Wed. July 31, 2019: Learning, Growing, Planning

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury goes DIRECT today (thank goodness) — but it’s almost midnight by the time it does so
Hot, humid, storms in the evening

I don’t do well in this heat and humidity. I’m like the cats — all I want to do is lie around and do nothing.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to see the second chapter of Fred’s adventures trying to hire a writer for his small business.

Meditation was great on Monday afternoon. A big group, and a great session.

I’m reading Jean Claude Izzo’s Marseilles trilogy. It’s quite wonderful. His tone reminds me a bit of Ron MacLean’s in HEADLONG.

I’m learning a lot from reading these international novels in translation. Not books by Americans set overseas, but books by writers about their own countries. The tone, the pace, the structure is very different from what we consider the “formula” for the genre, and it works.

I hope my little tiny publisher grows to the point where it can sell/negotiate international rights. I already know my plays do better in the UK and Australia than in the US; my friends in France, Spain, and Germany think my books would do well there, if translated properly.

Up early on Tuesday. Great session on ELLA, mediocre one on GRAVE REACH, but I’m determined to get back into its groove. I need to get it out to my editor soon. Fortunately, THE BARD’S LAMENT and DEADLY GROVE are properly percolating, so I hope not to get behind on those. Although I have to jump right back into the next round of revisions for BALTHAZAAR and then for DHARMA when GRAVE REACH goes out.

I’ve figured out where I want the next two ELLA books to go (it was always meant to be a trilogy), and how to make each book stand alone, while the three will be satisfying together. After that, I can decide if I want to write more ELLA books, or if I’ve said everything I have to say. I’m nearly at the two thirds point with ELLA. It’s been fun to write steadily, but not have a daily quota or a deadline on it.

My friend was pleased with the blurb I wrote for his book. I’m glad; it’s a lovely book and deserves to do well.

Still trying to pull myself out of the mire of discouragement. Client work yesterday was challenging, and will be so today. I’m working on my article for Llewellyn — that will probably go out early next week. I’m polishing some pitches. They’re taking longer than I expected, but I’d rather do them well than rush them and alienate a potential new-to-me editor.

Tomorrow is Lammas, one of the biggest days in my personal calendar. I’m trying to decide if I want to take a few days to disconnect and focus on writing, yoga, meditation, and the changes I’m trying to make.

Next Monday, the upbeat authors posts start on inspiration for the month of August. Believe me, I have plenty to say about that!

Have a lovely day. If I do decide to take a break, also have a lovely weekend as we slide into August.

 

Tues. July 30, 2019: Trying to Keep Steady

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot and humid

I did not have a particularly productive weekend. I wasn’t feeling well. Wrists, shoulders, hips, lower back, knees, all in pain. It was difficult to write.

I got a little bit done on ELLA. Not enough done on GRAVE REACH, and I feel like I’m losing the thread of it again. The deadline looms over me, so I have to get it done. Dig deeper and get it done.

But there was nothing in the tank this weekend.

I managed to get some grocery shopping done, and the recycling out to the dump. Painted some shells. Oiled a small table I picked up. Rearranged some stuff in the living room. Went through a box marked “trinkets” of things that were important to me about twenty years ago. At first, everything looked shabby and sad. Later, as I took each piece out and dealt with it, I decided what to keep and integrate, what to give away, what to toss.

Still have many, many more boxes to go and am running out of time.

We have a fisher on the property. I’m pretty welcoming to wildlife, but not fishers. They are vicious, and this one has an attitude. I don’t want him decimating our wildlife in the yard, or attacking Tessa. I’m not letting Tessa out, and she is angry with me. But I can’t risk her getting killed.

Fisher is part of the weasel family, and weasel is about stealth and paying close attention, so that is what I will do in the upcoming cycle.

While I try to figure out how to encourage him to move on.

Feeling very discouraged in general, and worn down.

But I managed to write the blurb for my friend’s book, which went off yesterday.

I’m still trying to get paid by that client. I thought this one was the exception to the local client rule around here. I was wrong. I’ll send another invoice on Friday, with the late fee. I partially blame myself — because of previous good experience with this client, I waived the partial fee up front. That won’t happen again.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s death. He’s been out of my life longer than he was in it, but it’s still difficult. I did a “happy memories” ceremony for him last night.

The heat and humidity were high yesterday, and will be so again today. I don’t do well in that, either. Work with the client is off-the-charts stressful this week and next week, and then, hopefully, we can have some equilibrium. But yesterday went well, so I hope today and tomorrow will be the same.

All I can do is keep pushing through, and making adjustments as best I can, work toward making the necessary changes. But it’s difficult, disheartening, and slow.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 30, 2019 at 6:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. July 29, 2019: Commitment-Gentle Disengagement #UpbeatAuthors

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image by Ihtar via pixabay.com

Monday, July 29, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Today is always a difficult day, because it is the anniversary of my father’s death. Yes, it was a long time ago, and he’s been out of my life longer than he was in it, but it’s still difficult, every year.

But today’s post is for #UpbeatAuthors, and it’s our final week talking about commitment. I’m posting some ideas on Gentle Disengagement when you have to break a commitment.

Don’t Commit If You Don’t Plan to Fulfill
We talked about this several weeks ago. Don’t chicken out and say you’ll do something to save yourself in the moment and then back out later and make it more difficult for everyone else. If you know you can’t/don’t want to do something, say no upfront. You are not required to give a reason. “No” means NO.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
As soon as you know you can’t fulfill a commitment, communicate. Do what you can to make it easier on those affected. If you know, two weeks out, that you have to withdraw from a commitment, make those arrangements as soon as you know. Don’t wait until the night before.

Don’t stay in a situation that is toxic or dangerous
This is the exception to the above. If you are in danger and the only way to stay safe in the moment is to lie until you can remove yourself, then do it. And get yourself to safety. If you don’t feel you can go to the police, go to an agency that deals with your specific situation. There IS help out there. When in doubt, talk to your local librarian, who will help you find resources and not discuss what you’ve asked. Not if the librarian has ethics, anyway. That is one of the most important things that was emphasized when I worked in a library — protecting the patron’s privacy, and not gossiping or revealing what books they’ve checked out or what information they needed help to find.

Communicate calmly and with kindness
Don’t quit in anger, if at all possible. Be the calm, steady peron in the room who disengages with kindness and respect.

Growth is Natural
We all outgrow people and situations. Sometimes, we grow at different rates. The kinder you are during disengagement (when it doesn’t put you at further risk), the better it is for all involved.

Don’t waffle
If you leave, leave. It’s one thing to give two weeks’ notice and help with a transition. It’s another to leave, but then be on call or run back any time someone has a problem. It’s great to continue to be a resource for a finite amount of time. Don’t wind up still being on staff without pay.

Learn and apply moving forward
After you’ve regained your equilibrium, look at the situation with honesty and clarity. Learn from it. Do not put yourself in the same situation again, and go through this again. Learn to say “no” earlier in the process where appropriate, and to recognize the early signs that something is not the right fit for you.

How have you gently disengaged from bad situations in the past? What has worked best for you?

Published in: on July 29, 2019 at 6:38 am  Comments (1)  

Fri. July 26, 2019: Figure, Configure, Reconfigure & Unethical Businesses Who Demand Phone Numbers

Friday, July 26, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

For some reason, I feel like one of those big steamrollers went right over top of me! I’m exhausted,physically and emotionally. I’m trying to solve those reasons, and change what needs to be changed, but it doesn’t happen in a day. Heck, it’s been taking me months, and certainly months longer than I’d hoped. But I’ll get there.

Got a little bit of writing done yesterday. Nowhere near enough. I lost the momentum I had on GRAVE REACH, and I’m fighting to get it back. ELLA has slowed down, but at least it’s putt-putting along. Of course it is, because that’s the piece that’s not on deadline.

Conferences with my cover artist and editor yesterday. The cover artist has roughed out the next two Coventina Circle books — THE BARD’S LAMENT (Sylvie’s book) and DEADLY GROVE (Diana’s book). They are kind of cool. I like the black and gray tones on all the Coventina Circle covers, with the yellow/orange lettering.

We’re still going back and forth on the Justice By Harpy books, which is just fine, since they are quite a way down the road. I am being difficult about them. I have a very clear idea of what I want, which my editor and publisher agree will be striking, but how to make it happen, how to layer and color, is a challenge. We may just bring in a painter to do small paintings of the three and then photograph or scan the paintings. Book 1 is close to ready to go into production, but I’m behind on Books 2 & 3, and we want all three ready to release quickly. And we’re discussing the Gambit Colony covers for the first six books.

I’m so lucky that my publisher allows so much input.

Took my mom to the doctor in the afternoon. He’s pleased with her progress. Had to take her over to Osterville for a blood test, only they were closed by the time we got there (it would have been nice to know they were closed before we left the doctor’s office).

Read on the deck in the afternoon, enjoying the yard. Worked on some article pitches I plan to send out early next week. I got some interesting leads, and I’m spinning ideas.

Still trying to chase down the freelance payment from that job I did over a month ago.

Some yahoo from TruGreen scared the bejesus out of us yesterday by pounding on the door like the FBI doing a raid. And then launched into a diatribe on how bad my yard was with all the weeds and how I “had” to pay him to fix it. WTF? Seriously? Why the hell would you dumbass think I would ever, EVER do business with you when you come to my house and try to intimidate me into hiring you? Especially since I have an organic lawn and every so-called “weed” is something that is there on purpose as a pollinator or because it’s good for the soil. TruGreen is getting SUCH a letter from me. I rarely say “never”, but I can say I will NEVER do business with TruGreen again, and the next time this jerk shows up and tries to intimidate me, I’m going to kick him in the nuts and then call the cops.

This morning, I was up early. Got a little bit of work done on ELLA. I really need to type up the chapters written in longhand, because I’m losing some threads in this draft.

Took my mom to the blood test. They were open this time, and it was early.

Then, headed to Stop & Shop and Trader Joe’s for grocery shopping, and then Staples. Because notebooks are on sale. I bought 16 spiral bound and 4 composition books, for a grand total of SIX BUCKS.

As a writer, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The school supplies go on sale.

I plan to spend the weekend reading, writing ELLA and GRAVE REACH, roughing out my article for Llewellyn, and maybe starting to shape the opening scene of the play on Canaletto’s sisters. The three Canaletto books I hunted down and ordered because I kept taking them out of the library arrived, and that will make the writing of the play so much easier.

I’m still trying to figure out the plot of the Brighton Pier radio play. I have sounds and jokes, but the plot is weak so far.

I ordered from Chewy this morning — cat food and cat litter. I refuse to shop at Petmart anymore, for multiple reasons. I’ve heard good things about them, but putting the order through was a major PITA. Let’s hope the rest of the customer service experience is better, or it will be a one-and-done.

I also hope to clear out some boxes from the basement. I also have to take the recycling in tomorrow. It’s getting a little crowded.

For the moment, though, back to the page.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thurs. July 25, 2019: Getting Back On Track

Thursday, July 25, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Monday night, we were awakened by the tornado alert sirens. We grabbed the important papers and purses and cats and were ready to flee into the basement if necessary. We watched the thunder and lightning flash. There was no wind, little rain. It was eerie. No tornado here, though.

Tuesday, we were hit with pounding rain and then the tornado warnings came through again. I was onsite with a client a town over; we huddled in the office, ready to go into the bathroom, where there were no windows, if necessary.

We weren’t hit hard — not at work, or at home. But Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, and Chatham got walloped. A tornado touched down in Yarmouth, ripping the roof of a motel like it was a can opener peeling back a lid. Terrifying. Harwich and Chatham are still without power. I managed to reach one of my friends in Harwich to offer our house as sanctuary.

Yesterday was calm and quiet, giving people a chance to recover. I had a busy, challenging time this week with a client. I didn’t have a chance to get posts up late Tuesday or yesterday.

By the time I was done with my client, I was wiped out yesterday. Although we did have fun on the Remote Chat.

Also, I paid attention to the Mueller testimony. He conducted himself with grace and integrity. The morons who wanted it to be like a television show, and the Republicans who are willing to sell us to Russia to forward their white supremacist agenda were beyond disgusting. If I wanted to live under Russian rule, I’d move to St. Petersburg. The corruption is revolting.

I’m behind on the writing. ELLA has gone slowly the past few days, and I’m behind on GRAVE REACH, but I hope to catch up this weekend. Plus, I have at least two articles to draft, and some more LOIs to get out.

Along with chasing down payment from a client who is dragging his feet on a job I did weeks ago. Typical of this area.

I’m pitching to a wider range of remote clients.

I’m updating the 31 Prompts page, in case you missed some of the days.

I’m looking forward to a few days immersed in writing and the garden.

Published in: on July 25, 2019 at 8:46 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 25, 2019: Getting Back On Track  

Wed. July 24, 2019: Storm Recovery

Sorry about the lack of post today; we had a tornado two towns over and there’s a lot of damage around us.

WE are FINE.

But it’s been a busy week. I’ll be back late morning tomorrow with a complete post.

Best wishes!

 

Published in: on July 24, 2019 at 2:50 pm  Comments Off on Wed. July 24, 2019: Storm Recovery  

Tues. July 23, 2019: Physical Manifestations?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

The weekend was brutally hot. It was bad. Difficult to get anything done.

I also fretted and stressed all weekend about this week with one of my clients, which I knew would be off-the-charts stressful. It’s easy to say “don’t think about it” or “detach” — but it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me.

I worked hard in the early mornings (usually up by four) to get the fans going and cool down the place. I had to shut everything by 7 AM, and then keep fans going inside. The humidity and lack of breeze kept everything heavy and oppressive.

Of course, there were power outages. Why should Eversource actually provide the services for which they exist and overcharge?

Read a lot. Jean-Luc Bannalec’s THE MISSING CORPSE, set in Brittany, which was interesting. The way the book is structured is so different from the way an American or British or Australian mystery is constructed.

Re-read Susan Cheever’s AMERICAN BLOOMSBURY, which I enjoyed even more this time around.

Tried to stay quiet and cool, and keep the cats the same.

I’d done some research on Friday about possible article markets, and I’m working on pitches. I hope to get at least some of them out this week.

The 2020 SPELL-A-DAY ALMANAC author copies arrived. They look wonderful! My work is in there under the Cerridwen Iris Shea byline. I’ll have to do some updates on that website, and on the blog.

I’m still waiting for payment for a freelance job for a local client I did nearly a month ago. It was invoiced on July 1. On July 15, the client apologized for the delay and promised to take care of it. It’s still not here. That is not okay. That money is marked for specific bills that need to be paid.

I’m sick of the attitude in this area that paying for work is optional. That, along with the attitude of hiring the cheapest person who is also the least threatening, instead of the best person for the job has gotten real old real fast.

I got out some LOIs. There was a communications job at a theatre in Maine that looked interesting. Unfortunately, instead of accepting a resume and letter, they demand filling out a specific application that is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever read. Some of the questions are also now illegal. So I’m not even going to pitch to them.

I had to go onsite at my client’s early yesterday and stay late. Same today. It went better than expected, but was still a tough day.

I’m having terrible trouble with my back. Every movement causes pain. I’m wondering if my frustrations from the past few weeks are manifesting in this particular type of “stuck” pain.

Meditation was much needed.

Between the heat and the stress, I’ve lost some of the momentum on GRAVE REACH. I hope to regain it in the next few days.

Awakened last night by tornado alerts. Got things together in case we had to go down to the basement. Lots of thunder and lightning, but it passed.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 23, 2019 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 23, 2019: Physical Manifestations?  
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Mon. July 22, 2019: Commitment – The Myth of “No Time” – #UpbeatAuthors

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image courtesy of Nile via http://www.pixabay.com

Monday, July 22
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

 

In this month of commitment, let’s explore the myth of “no time.”

“No time” or “I don’t have time” is often the excuse we give for not doing something.

Writers who aren’t serious about writing often give this as their excuse for not writing. So do non-writers, who say they’d write a book “if they had time.” No, they wouldn’t. If they wanted to write a book, they’d sit down and write a book. They don’t want it enough.

We all have 24 hours in a day. How we choose to use them defines us.

It’s not that we “don’t have time” to do something. It’s that it’s not a priority to make time for it. So let’s just be honest, because we are writers, and words matter. Use the correct ones when you don’t do something.

Each of us has different things we need to prioritize to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, our families safe. Then, we slot in the rest of the things.

Too often, it’s not time itself we lack, but time management skills. Time management skills are learned.

We also have to weigh the realities of what we want to make time for with what else is going on in life.

For me, the “necessity” of eight hours’ sleep per night is a myth. If I had bought into that myth, I could not have had a career and earned my living working in theatre and film and television production for decades. That is simply not a reality in that line of work. The profession will not change because I want eight hours’ sleep a night. Either I have to adapt, or I don’t get to be a part of that profession.

Fortunately, eight hours’ sleep a night is more detrimental than useful to me. Granted, I spent too many years not getting enough sleep — from one to four hours’ worth. I spent too much time in a state of perpetual exhaustion.

But six hours’ sleep a night is, for me, optimal. It’s natural for me to wake up after that period, feeling refreshed and eager to meet the day. Eight hours or more? I’m groggy and have trouble focusing all day. I’m more irritable on eight hours than I am on four. My muscles hurt, I get more headaches, I’m not focused. I’m not rested. Less than six hours? I can cope for several weeks, but then need to take an entire day in bed.

Yes, all those studies say you can’t catch up. But I adapted in order to have a career about which I was passionate. A career that was more important to me than demanding to lose ONE THIRD of my life in sleep. I am an individual, and it took a lot of years and a lot of mistakes, but I found something that works for me.

It’s the same with writing. When I have deadlines, I get up earlier or go to bed later. The writing is my priority. That is why I am a writer and not in a different profession. I am the breadwinner in the family. I am, technically, head of the household. “Not having time” is not an option.

Who gets that time changes. I get my time very early in the morning, because that is my peak creative time. That is spent on my novels, short stories, plays, etc. Clients get excellent work, too, but they get it within traditional business hours. Unless I’m on a tight deadline and I’m behind, in which case I do what’s necessary to get it done ON TIME.

Which brings us to punctuality, which is another part of commitment. Being ON TIME is important. Whether it’s sending something in by deadline or meeting a friend somewhere, being ON TIME is important.

Do we run into obstacles sometimes? Of course we do. And then we let the other party know.

But being constantly late? Laughing it off that “I’m always late, I can’t be on time, that’s just who I am”?

Then you are not someone I want in my life.

Way back, before the age of mobile phones, when I met someone at a location, I waited 15 minutes. If they didn’t turn up, and they didn’t phone the location and have me tracked down to say they were on their way — I left.

Being late is a sign of disrespect. It sends the message, “My time is more important than yours, I am more important than you are, and you need to waste your time in order to fit my schedule.”

That’s not true. It’s part of being an energy vampire, draining energy from all those around you instead of generating your own.

You’re late all the time? We will have a conversation about it.

It keeps happening? You’re out of my life. You’re not willing to respect me or my time. I refuse to remain in that situation. Unless you’re a first responder of some sort, work on your time management and be there, or let me know far enough in advance so I can make other plans. I get to choose who is in my life and who isn’t.

It’s part of our social commitment to each other. I don’t care how funny or brilliant or whatever someone thinks they are — if you don’t respect me, and live that respect, if it’s not a reciprocal relationship, I don’t want any part of it.

Because my writing is such a high priority in my life, I am ferociously protective of my time.

Do I always manage it well?

Of course not. I’m human. I faff around. Often, when I catch myself wasting time (which is different from taking breaks, daydreaming, and doing all those other things non-writers consider “wasting” time, but are actually an important part of the creative process), it indicates there’s something wrong with the project on which I’m working. Once I can dissect what it is, I can either solve it, or complete the project and not take on another one from that client again.

How do you mange your time? What tools do you use to keep on track? What is the biggest thing that derails you?

Published in: on July 22, 2019 at 5:48 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. July 19, 2019: Prepping for Brutal Heat

Friday, July 19, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

We are prepping for a brutal, dangerously hot weekend. Last night was cool. This morning, I had the fans going full blast to cool the inside as much as possible, before shutting everything down and just keeping internal fans on. We don’t have AC, not even a window unit. The sills in the rental are so narrow, we’d have to hire someone to build special supports and take them down every year. Plus, most years, we only have a few days that are miserable.

But this weekend will be some of those “few days.”

The cats are miserable, especially Lucy. I’m keeping them as cool and hydrated as they let me.

Got some good work done yesterday. Excellent session on ELLA this morning. Will work on GRAVE REACH later, provided that it’s not to hot to turn on the computer. When it gets too hot, I’ll switch back to longhand.

I made a Caribbean-style chicken and rice recipe last night that I will probably use in ELLA, but it could work in BALTHAZAAR or DHARMA. I have fun preparing meals that my characters eat. It makes it easier to write about within the context of the story.

I feel really, REALLY good about GRAVE REACH at this point. I know my editor will have some notes on this next draft, but it’s doing what I want it to do. It stands on its own, and still builds the series arc.

Looking forward to working on the radio play and the article this weekend, too.

NOT looking forward to the heat and humidity.

Trying to get some more pieces into place for a few other things. Fingers crossed.

Trying to mentally get my head in the game, because the next three or four weeks with one particular client will be, shall we say, challenging. There’s no reason they have to be, except that’s how this individual likes to operate.

Considering taking a social media break this weekend. Although, if I’m a limp noodle from the heat, checking Twitter might be all I can handle!  😉

I also have to add a Captcha to the contact forms on the websites. The spam is out of control. It’s a PITA for those legitimate contacts, and I apologize, but it’s necessary to maintain the sites.

All I can do is the best I can do each day.

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 8:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 19, 2019: Prepping for Brutal Heat  

Thurs. July 18, 2019: Steady Like the Rain

Thursday, July 18, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Pop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

I had a useless day on ELLA yesterday, but a good, smooth day on GRAVE REACH. I love being in the groove with it, and the characters keep surprising me for the right reasons. It’s a leaner book than the last two, which I think works better for the genre. There’s less overlap and backtracking of the same time periods on the separate tracks. I had an excellent session on GRAVE REACH this morning, and I’m excited, at this point, to see how the outline evolves into the actual book.

Sam and Jake are becoming friends, which I didn’t expect.

Client work was okay. The next few weeks with this particular client will be frustrating and difficult. I just have to deal with each day as it comes.

We kept getting storm alerts all afternoon, so I came straight home after client work. The storms hit six hours later than expected, and weren’t as bad as they warned, thank goodness.

Up early today, decent day on ELLA, good day on GRAVE REACH. Headed to do some work at the library, some client work, and then start roughing out my Llewellyn article.

I’m just about ready to start the next Frieda/Lazarus comic radio mystery, too. I need to get it drafted, then let it sit, so I can revise it, and get it out in early August.
I have to come up with a few more malapropisms before I’ll really be ready to write.

This weekend is supposed to be brutally hot and humid. I’m not looking forward to it. I’m hoping I’ll still be able to write a lot.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 18, 2019 at 8:57 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 18, 2019: Steady Like the Rain  
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Wed. July 17, 2019: Keeping Some Writing Consistency

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Last Day of Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot and humid

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice, where we start a saga of different business approaches. Sort of a serialized parable.

Good morning’s session yesterday on ELLA, although I’m using too many placeholders. Decent session on GRAVE REACH. It has its own pace and meets it, but I need it to happen more quickly.

Onsite with the client was what it was. Got some other client work done later on.

My friend’s surgery on Monday went well. He’s healing, although in pain. He’s got the determination to make a full recovery relatively quickly.

Monday night, I made crabmeat rolls, and cooked ahead to make a sausage/potato salad with mayo/mustard/paprika dressing for Tuesday night. This week is supposed to be hot and humid, and I wanted to get a bit ahead. The cats are miserable in the heat, especially Lucy, even with the fans.

I’m going to cook a few dishes in the coming weeks that are featured in ELLA, BALTHAZAAR, and DHARMA.

Finishing up some research on Venice from the Commonwealth Catalog books. I might have to reorder one of them, after I’ve sent it back. I need to start the play about Canaletto’s sisters by the end of the month. Not to mention the other radio play.

Prepping a few pitches to go out later this week, and reading submission calls to see if I have any short stories that might fit. My schedule’s too tight to write something new, especially with the #31Prompts.

I’m not writing a piece a day for #31Prompts, but I have a feeling all of them will eventually turn into something or be folded into something, which is a good thing.
I might keep up the #31Prompts page and update it occasionally with what each prompt inspired, and where it ended up.

I’m feeling stuck and discouraged on several fronts, which makes sense with all the retrogrades, but I also know I’m running out of time on several things, and I need to marshal some resources. I’m also angry at a lack of professionalism with which I’ve been met on several fronts, although I shouldn’t really be surprised.

Conversations are ongoing with several of my elected officials about situations where I have concerns. They can’t represent me if I don’t communicate with them. So I am.

As always, in times of stress, the GAMBIT COLONY pieces offer sanctuary.

But they are not on deadline, and I have plenty of other work that is, so I need to focus on that.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 17, 2019 at 6:15 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 17, 2019: Keeping Some Writing Consistency  
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Tues. July 16, 2019: Lights4Liberty Vigil & Writing

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

It was quite a weekend.

The #ReaderExpansionChallenge post will be up on A Biblio Paradise later today.

I went to one of the Lights4Liberty vigils on Friday. I’m glad I went, but attending one at a church was probably not the best choice for me. However, it gave me some important information.

They were a little too self-congratulating for my taste, a little too passive. But someone spoke who’d work with churches in Arizona who aided asylum seekers in their legal process (remember, it is completely LEGAL to seek asylum), and how Border Patrol is no longer delivering these seekers to the organizations who help them.

Of course not, because now they’re being shipped to inhumane, for-profit concentration camps.

I was annoyed when the pastor of the church spoke about this as being a “non-partisan issue.” Good way to pander to your white congregation and make them feel better about themselves, but the truth is that your conservative congregation is part of the reason we’re in this mess in the first place. The GOP has made this a partisan issue, because their position is racist, xenophobic, and misogynist. If vote for them, you support those policies. If you don’t support the policies, DON’T VOTE FOR THEM.

I was also disturbed by the comments of a naturalized citizen, now leading Bible studies for ICE detainees in prisons, acting like sitting around praying solved the issue. No, it doesn’t. It may give comfort, but it doesn’t solve the issue.

I get it; people feel helpless. But they need to face how their own actions – their VOTES – caused this in the first place, and commit to changing the policies by voting out of power those who create the policies, and by loudly demanding those currently in power to step down.

Not to sit and pray and light a candle. We are long, long, LONG past this phase.

Perhaps they were keeping the separation between church and state for their tax-exempt status. But it is no longer a non-partisan issue. There’s the GOP’s white supremacy on one side of the equation and decency on the other. Vote for the GOP and you don’t give a damn about decency.

Saturday was an excellent writing day, with solid work on ELLA, GRAVE REACH, and GAMBIT COLONY. Sunday was good for ELLA, but disappointing for GRAVE REACH.
I picked up three small tables from a craigslist post, and started restoring them. The nightstand just needed some oil and is fine. Tessa likes to sit inside it, but I want to put books there. However, I should know by now that the cat always wins.

The end table needs a bit more work, but the small drop-leaf table will need to be sanded and re-stained.

Yesterday was challenging with one client. Got some other client work done. Am frustrated and discouraged on a couple of different fronts.

I definitely needed meditation. I added my new mala beads to the practice.

This morning, more ELLA. More GRAVE REACH. I need to work on roughing out my Llewellyn 2021 article this week, finish some research from Commonwealth Catalog books that need to go back, work on the radio play, and get out some article pitches and short stories.

I also need to rework the opening chapter of THE BARD’S LAMENT, which will go in the back matter of GRAVE REACH.

Type one word at a time. That’s the best I can do.

 

Published in: on July 16, 2019 at 5:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 16, 2019: Lights4Liberty Vigil & Writing  
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Mon. July 15, 2019: When Commitment Becomes Harmful — #upbeatauthors

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image courtesy of Open Clipart via http://www.pixabay.com

Monday, July 15, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

For the past few weeks, we’ve explored how important it is to keep your word once you give it, and the importance of commitment to your writing.

But there are times when we must break a commitment, and that is when the commitment hurts us.

Most of us have been in negative job or personal situations, where we feel trapped. We build a case of misplaced loyalty to a person or a situation that doesn’t deserve it. Perhaps it worked for us at one time. But people grow and change. We are as likely to outgrow people as we are situations.

Ask yourself the following:
What portion of the day am I unhappy?

How does my physical body respond when I think of this person/situation, or when I know I have to deal with it?

Do I need a rest/break/sabbatical, or do I need to leave?

Why do I think I have to stay?

What steps can I take to improve the situation? Can I discuss problems or challenges, can I ask for what I need?

What do I need to do to get myself out of this?

Do I need outside help? If so, where can I get it?

It can take weeks or even months to find answers to these questions, but if you keep at it and genuinely explore, you can do it.

Sometimes, you can improve the relationship or situation. But if you can’t, and it puts you in physical or emotional danger, ask for help and get out. It’s not easy, it often takes longer than we want it to, but it’s vital.
If you need to break the commitment, do your best to be both kind and honest. Too often people claim they’re being “honest” when, in fact, they’re being cruel. Be clear, don’t over-explain, and, if it’s warranted, make a clean break. Lying, procrastinating, avoidance all draw it out and make it more painful for everyone involved.

Treat the others in the situation with the gentleness you would wish, if the situation were reversed.

Commitments are important, but your well-being is even more so.

How do you deal with respectfully breaking a commitment?

Published in: on July 15, 2019 at 6:09 am  Comments (1)  
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