Fri. May 29, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 11: Local Media Distorts

Friday, May 29, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Foggy and humid and raining

Yesterday went better than expected, but was still exhausting.

Loaded the car with two months’ worth of recycling, masked up, and headed for the dump. Got there just as they were opening. Long line to get rid of trash, but I was one of the first to make it to the recycling area.

Everyone was masked, as required. We parked leaving three spaces between us, and gave each other plenty of room. People were cheerful and talked back and forth – I think we were all glad to talk to someone.

Much less stressful than I expected.

Although, as I was leaving, I saw cars pulling up close to each other and people not being so careful.

I have a feeling they’ll have to shut it all down again in a few weeks, so I’m glad I got our stuff out. I got everything into one car load – a BIG car load, but it was still everything. I will try to go back in two weeks with whatever’s been accumulated, so I can keep as much out before they shut down again as possible.

Because I’m NOT going to be like the spoiled brats who were tossing recycling in with the trash. If we were in NYC, all piled up with no room, it’s understandable. But here? Most people have plenty of room and can hang on to their recycling for a few weeks.

Headed over to Trader Joe’s. Line wasn’t too long. It moved pretty fast, but I realized that I’m going to need sunscreen to go grocery shopping in the future. Standing in line in the sun is going to require sunscreen. Everyone was masked, as required, distanced, and the mood was pretty upbeat. The staff was friendly and wonderful as usual, it was well-stocked. They rearrange things when they can’t restock, so you don’t see expanses of empty shelves. You just realize you can’t find what you were looking for!

I bought more than I intended, but that’s okay. I won’t have to go out for anything except milk and bread for two weeks, and I might risk the local convenience store for that. Unless I see people in there unmasked.

Got everything home, went through full disinfectant protocol (disinfecting every item, putting bags into quarantine, stripping down and tossing clothes into the washer, showering).

Even though it all took less time than I expected, it was still most of the morning gone, and I was exhausted.

Talk about mask preparedness—when I go out, I’m wearing a mask, I carry a spare, and I wear a scarf that I can pull up if everything else fails.

I also realized I need more masks. Four isn’t enough. So that’s on the agenda this weekend. More mask-making.

Our neighbors (the ones who do the Driveway Dinner Parties) dropped off a note saying they were worried about us. While that’s sweet, I wonder why. Because we don’t have people coming in and out all the time like they do? We’re not socializing. We’re fine. But I appreciated the kindness and dropped off a note thanking them.

Got some client work done, but not enough, so I have to put in a few hours today.

Edward Robb Ellis’s diary is delightful. His writing about the Depression is an eerie echo of what’s happening now, although people now are acting much more like spoiled brats.

The local media’s coverage of what’s going on is distorted. What’s in the papers and what I witness daily as a resident are far apart. For one thing, it’s completely one-sided. Only business owners and companies are being interviewed. Not the people who are actually in harm’s way working and dealing with the public. Business owners are whining that Memorial Day weekend, business was 66% down. Well, maybe that’s because businesses aren’t supposed to be open yet, except for essentials and some curbside pickups. They’re acting like the long-term rentals, which are the only ones that are supposed to be happening (31 days or more) are a bad thing, and that the dozens of short-term weekend rentals aren’t happening under the table (which they completely are, putting everyone who lives and works here at risk, because those coming in for the weekend aren’t quarantining and aren’t following protocols).

Gee, local media, owned by corporate “media companies” are lying to us. What a surprise. Yes, sarcasm.

Even if workers spoke off the record, local “journalists” wouldn’t protect their sources. Because that doesn’t happen here. Because they know the employers, and would either put in enough personal detail to out the source, or tell a friend or neighbor they “trust” who the source is, knowing it will get back to the employer and there will be retaliation.

Because that’s the way it works here.

Oh, and the best thing about calling the bridge traffic “light”? Yeah, I suppose being backed up for three hours is lighter than seven hours. But there shouldn’t be enough traffic to back it up AT ALL. We are still in Phase One.

The irony is that these are the same people, whining about not enough tourists, who wanted to shut down the bridges and the entire Cape to all but residents in March and have checkpoints at both bridges. Now, when it’s no safer, they want to let in too many people too quickly to put everyone at risk.

You can’t have It both ways, boo.

How about this, as we rebuild the future of work? If you won’t pay a living wage and provide safe conditions, you don’t get to have employees. Do the work your damn self. Or you have to work for someone else, who hopefully provides a better wage and safer working conditions than you were willing to provide.

An organization promoting local businesses is talking about having a “fair” this summer. Seriously? How irresponsible is that?  There’s no way to make sure people follow protocols. Not only would I not attend such an event, I would then avoid vendors who participated, because I’d worry both they and their merchandise were contaminated.

This marketing that we “owe” it to go out and shop? Nope. My first priority is the health and safety of my family. If you allow other customers to act irresponsibly in order to get a few bucks from them, you’re not getting my money. If I feel confident that you are following protocols, and your customers are, too (and those who aren’t must leave), then I will shop there. If I see irresponsible behavior without consequence, I won’t. And, if I witness the latter, I probably won’t come back, even when it’s safe.

I’m focused on the necessities. I’m focused on working as much as I can SAFELY, because who knows when the work will dry up with 25% of the population currently unemployed.

The entire concept of “work” and “labor” has to be rebuilt in order to rebuild the economy, and part of that is dismantling current corporate structure.

I also think, during reopening, that any company that requires employees onsite dealing with the public has to have its executives and management pulling shifts with the same risks.

In the Governor’s daily noon briefing, he talked about how the numbers are going down and we are past the surge. Yet when the daily numbers came out late in the afternoon, there were 100 more cases in the past 24 hours than in the previous day (from low 500s to high 600s) and about 30 more deaths than there had been the previous day (from low 60s to mid-90s). Is this a one day uptick, or are the numbers going to steadily climb again? I suspect the latter, although I hope I’m wrong. I’m not sure I trust the numbers being released, either.

Switching to happier things, the cat playpen arrived. It’s an excellent design. It’s like a strong tent, with a solid floorcovering (although flexible), pops up, and has netted sides. Its arrival meant that we had to put the flea and tick medicine on all three cats. Charlotte, who I thought would have a nervous breakdown, didn’t care. Tessa didn’t like it. Willa rolled around, trying to rub it off on the carpet.

Charlotte was the most interested in the playpen, so she went out in it first. She didn’t freak out, but the world is too big out there, and she’d rather observe through a window.

Brought her in and took Willa out next. Willa was interested, and likes all the smells. She’s the one who’s been slithering out when we open the door, so I wanted to give her a way to be outside but safe. She kind of liked it, although she doesn’t like to be confined.

So far, Tessa wants nothing to do with it. Tessa’s good on the deck, but there’s so much chaos getting her back into the house that I am only willing to carry her in and out when she’s in the playpen at this point.

But it has to be HER idea to go into it the first time.

It’s bigger than I expected, but that seems to be a theme with recent orders.

The riots are not surprising. There has to be a reaction to the increased open racism. Also, it’s completely inappropriate the way the protesters in Minneapolis were treated, but the WHITE domestic terrorists in Michigan, occupying the state capitol, were allowed a free pass.

Meanwhile, we have over 100,000 dead and 25% of the population unemployed. While the Sociopath laughs and dances and claps his hands with glee (unmasked), golfs, and threatens Twitter.

In World War II, we were part of an alliance to keep fascism from taking over the world. If we don’t take back our country, we will be the enemy the way Nazi Germany was. Because there’s only so long the world can let this continue.

I have some client work today that I was too exhausted to do yesterday. Must get it done this morning.

Then some more writing, and I want to work on cleaning out another stack of boxes from the basement.

One eye on the world, in despair. The other focusing on chopping wood and carrying water.

Have a good weekend all. I wish you peace.

Thurs. May 28, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 10 — Why We Need UBI & Relevant Dreams

Thursday, May 28, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Foggy and humid; will be sunny and hot later

The garden is starting to bloom. There’s a post about it here.

Over 100,000 dead in this country and no end in sight. It is horrifying.

Yesterday wasn’t as bad as I expected onsite. There was some passive aggressive mask removal, but my co-worker and I kept ours on, and the third party put hers back on after a bit, when she saw that we weren’t going to budge. I was fully prepared to gather my things and leave, saying I’d come back some other time when no one else was there LIKE WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO PER STATE DIRECTIVES. But it didn’t come to that.

Got some stuff done. I work better from home. There’s less stress and more productivity.

Came home, stripped down, showered/disinfected. Was too wiped out to move on to other projects in the afternoon. I’d gotten an LOI out early in the morning, before I went in to the client site, for a company I think would be a good match. We’ll see.

Maine is pausing the re-opening Phase 1 and re-thinking Phase 2. No surprise there. My family up there told us how people are coming in for day trips, packing the beaches and parks, refusing to wear masks. Of course the re-open was going to fail.

The numbers Massachusetts releases doesn’t coincide with the reckless behavior I witness every day. Maybe our numbers just haven’t ticked up yet. But I expect that they will.

The traffic is just as bad as it ever is at this time of year. I see people congregating in groups, without masks. I mentioned yesterday the Sliding Mask Skanks that now populate the stores, and how visitors aren’t following the self-quarantine rule when they arrive. Most of them are coming in for the weekend, so they’re not quarantining for 14 days.

And, of course, the incessant whining, “I came all this wa-aay! Why isn’t anything o-PEN?”

Maybe because you’re a fucking dumbass who can’t follow the basic protocols and have no respect for other human beings, and there are those of us who actually live here who don’t want to die.

The lack of leadership here on local levels is appalling. Our Town Council is completely useless.

Come on, Congress. You want the economy to recover? Then give us UBI for the next few months. MANDATE that we work from home when possible. Don’t “suggest.” MANDATE. If an employer refuses, said employer should be fined. If an employee doesn’t want to return to unsafe conditions, then the employee shouldn’t lose unemployment benefits. If we have UBI, we won’t need Unemployment benefits to kick in until after it’s actually SAFE to reopen and we see where businesses stand.

UBI allows people to pay bills, keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, They can work from home whenever possible. They can also buy goods beyond the basic necessities, thereby keeping money in the economy – which paying bills also does. It keeps the money flowing.

The way they’re bailing out corporations? Top executives and stockholders get paid. Employees are laid off or lose benefits for refusing to work in unsafe conditions. How difficult is it to realize that people won’t buy your stuff if they’re dead or if they have no money and can’t even feed themselves?

So set it up so people have money flowing in and can keep it flowing out. Stop letting it get stuck in corporate accounts where it doesn’t help the general economy, but only a small percentage who don’t need the money anywhere.

It is not hard to figure this out.

The reason it’s not happening is that the GOP can’t stand the thought of the general population living in basic human dignity. Since Reagan, their platform has been to move us into a feudal economy with nobles (them) and serfs (the rest of us).

What they refuse to accept is that if we’re all dead, there’s no one to sustain their lifestyle or their egos.

The self-centered stupidity is almost as appalling as the inhumanity.

Switching gears to something more positive, it was nice to sit on the deck and read in the afternoon, in the sunshine, with a breeze and a martini at my elbow. We’d be mostly home during tourist season anyway. It’s not like it’s worth going anywhere when they swarm like locusts. When they’re swarming like infected, germy locusts, I’m REALLY not going out amongst them any more than necessary.

I’m reading Edward Ellis’s DIARY OF A CENTURY, which is absolutely delightful. He’s a newspaperman who kept a diary from 1927 on (this book came out in 1995). What I love about him is that he’s interested in everything. He likes to live life, think a lot, and he writes beautifully about it. A joyful book, even during difficult times.

Forced myself out of a nightmare that is relevant. I was in a car (not necessarily my car, but A car) at a busy intersection. Ahead of me was a split road, one was the way I could go, the other was one way against me, with a guardrail in the middle, and high rocks on either side. As I waited for the light to change so I could cross the intersection, it got so dark, I couldn’t see. The headlights didn’t work. I somehow had to get across the intersection and navigate the road ahead completely blind. I could hear and feel traffic around me, but I couldn’t SEE anything. It was terrifying.

I forced myself awake before I hit anything.

It was around 3 AM and I fretted until I got up around 5.

I guess sleeping through the night was only a few nights’ worth of bliss, and we’re back to being up in the middle of the night worrying.

Up early, got some writing done, and blogging.

About to gear up and  load the car with the recycling and take in the first load when they open this morning. Hopefully it won’t be too crowded, but I wouldn’t count on it. Then I have to brave Trader Joe’s for the regular grocery shop. Hopefully, there won’t be any Sliding Mask Skanks there, and it won’t be too crowded and awful.

I have to put in a few hours this afternoon for a client, but I’m doing it from home. And maybe get out a few more LOIs.

I’m hoping to get another stack of boxes purged/unpacked/cleared out this weekend.

The cat playpen should arrive today, so I can take Tessa safely out on the deck, and maybe Willa, too (not at the same time, though. Not yet). It means putting the flea and tick medicine on all of them today. Won’t that be fun? Yes, that was sarcasm.

Have a great day, and I hope you don’t die for your employer.

Wed. May 27, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 9 – The Newest Stupid

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Foggy and humid

In spite of a rocky start to the day, with a mediocre writing session, it didn’t turn out to be too bad.

Oh, and there’s a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice, building on last week’s, and detailing why two companies I was initially interested in, as a consumer, lost any chance of my business in the future.

Teleconference with my doctor was fine. Nothing much to say. I’m healing, she wants me to have more bloodwork done in the coming month to see if the anemia has gotten any better. It’ll be awhile before we can schedule the next surgery, which I figured; same with a mammogram. But I’ll schedule a full physical for autumn.

I went in to the office. I was on my own, as it should be per the state guidelines. I had a good day’s work in there, setting up the next part of an ongoing campaign that will take us through the 4th of July weekend. I worked on setting up the online store for the client. I think we can go live as of June 1. I sent out an email blast (which I’d already put together remotely), and it already generated orders.

Went to Shaw’s for groceries on the way back. It’s a big store, they’re limiting how many people can go in. But the newest Trick of Dumbasses is that they wear masks to get in, and then pull them down while shopping. When challenged, they whine, “But it’s on my body! I’m wearing it!”

So I’m going to try to avoid shopping there for the rest of the summer. Not to mention, there were a lot of empty shelves, and what’s on the shelves is overpriced. The staff is great, but I don’t feel safe because of other customers. They’re also not following the arrows and going every which way.

Came home, followed the full disinfectant protocol. After the shower, I spent some time out on the deck. It was still a little cool to be out there, but that’s okay. The scent of lilacs is wonderful.

The book I was reading started out well, and then sort of fell apart. Oh, well, it happens. I’m making a donation pile as I work through books as I clean out boxes. Some will go to the library, when and where appropriate. Some I want to take down to Niantic, if and when they open again. Some I will find other places to donate.

While I’m hanging on to my nonfiction, because too many libraries cull books I need, there’s plenty of fiction I’ll never re-read, and others can enjoy it.

Collapsing the timeline on the novel, compressing it from spread out over months and weeks into the rest of the action happening within a week or so, is making a big positive difference. Better first writing session this morning.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by a big project. I alternate between “who the hell do I think I am to initiate this?” and “but it’s so necessary for what we’re going through right now” and “to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it, they don’t have to participate.” Not sure what to do. I do believe the project is necessary and will help a lot of people with what we’re going through. I also know there will be a lot of trolls, and I’m not sure I have the emotional energy right now to eviscerate them the way needed.

First cup of coffee on the deck, the air heavy with the scent of lilacs, is wonderful. I am filled with gratitude for it.

Gearing up, mentally and physically, to be in the office, when all three of us will be in, in defiance of state guidelines. I don’t want any crap about staying masked. You make me come in with other people, you keep the fucking mask on and don’t bitch about it.

Tomorrow, I am forced out with other people, too. I have to take in at least the first carload of recycling (the garage is ready to burst at the seams), and then hit Trader Joe’s for the rest of what we need.

I’d hoped to go back to a smaller grocery shop once a week, but it’s just not viable, because of all the Stupids. We have the summer crowding, and, because the earliest hours for grocery shopping are for seniors (as it should be), I can’t shop as early as I normally would. Although AARP considers me a senior, I am still too young to be considered one for Cape Cod grocery stores! Which is fine, and I just have to figure out how to adjust, and where to shop where it’s safest.

The days of running out to pick up one thing one forgot are over. And I forgot a bunch of stuff yesterday because I was so upset about the Sliding Mask Skanks.

Fingers crossed today doesn’t turn out to be hell.

Tues. May 26, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 8

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Foggy and humid

I feel much better after taking some time off. Not that I was sitting around doing nothing. It was a busy few days. But it was a good few days, with fewer external pressures than internal ones, and it helped me get clarity on a few issues I needed in order to move forward.

I have new covers for all six Topic Workbooks. New editions are coming out over the next few months. I’m in the process of updating the information. Instead of uniform covers, each now has a unique cover with a Topic Workbook logo. I am going to take the old workbooks off Smashwords as the new ones are revised, and put the new ones up through a different distributor.

I’m working on the update for the Submission Systems workbook. With the way publishing has changed over the past few years, it needs updating, especially when it comes to things like online portfolios.

I’m hoping I can start rolling them out by the end of June or beginning of July. That will depend on how fast I can update them, because they need two full weeks pulled from distribution before I can release them via the new distributor.

The 99 cent sale is still on for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. That will be on until May 31, and I have promotions up via Tweetdeck every day.

Worked on some fiction writing, but didn’t push. Have to start pushing again this week, because there are deadlines, expectations, necessities. I have to keep the long-term balls up in the air while also pushing harder for short-term, immediate income balls. So it means longer hours and cutting more frustrations out of my life, unless they pay a lot in the immediate short term.

Got out a few LOIs, in spite of being, technically, on break.

It was pretty out on Friday, so I got some flower planting done. Cleaned out some boxes in the basement, got some files organized, tossed a lot of stuff I no longer need or can use. Sat on the deck for a bit.

One neighbor, who’s been sick with the virus, had a party on Friday night. He’s still sick, lost half his body weight, but he had people over, no masks, no social distancing. The wind carried over the part of the conversation about “catching it from those Chinese people” he works with. I’m disappointed in the ignorance.

The neighbors on the other side had company in and out all weekend, too. For some reason, they seem to think if they sit outside in the driveway, they won’t get sick. So they set their cars up like a barrier to the street, and put plastic tables and chairs out in the driveway, in front of the garage, and have people over. Now, they have a large yard and a deck. So I have no idea what the reasoning is. But hey, if it works for them, great.

Saturday, I lost count of the loads of laundry I did – mattress pads, blankets, winter stuff along with the usual sheets, towels, and clothes. Laundry all damn day. It was cold and rainy. I also baked tollhouse cookies. Cleaned out some more boxes. Progress is slow on purging the basement. There’s an overwhelming amount to do, and there’s also the psychological aspects of letting go of parts of my past that have often defined me.

But it’s time I redefined myself.

Kripalu is closed to visitors for the rest of the year, which had to be a difficult decision for them, but the right one. The Edinburgh Festival and Fringe is also cancelled in August. Again, a tough decision, but the right one in the long run.

Did some of my Susanna Centlivre reading, so I can start forming the play in my head before I try to write it down. I have some characters and scenes percolating, but I’m still trying to find a catalyst and a plot.

Read Deanna Chase’s WITCHING FOR GRACE, which was fun. Read two other mysteries, by different authors, which I found sort of “meh.”

Tessa, Charlotte, and Willa all spent some time in the same room without grumbling at each other, which was excellent progress. Tessa and Willa can manage quite well, and Willa and Charlotte are fine, but Tessa and Charlotte still have issues most of the time. But we’re working on it.

There’s so much talk about opening businesses “safely” but it’s just not happening. People are travelling in just for the day or the weekend. They’re not quarantining. They’re not wearing masks. There are no immediate consequences against them for being irresponsible, and it puts the rest of us at risk. It’s infuriating.

So I’m just plugging along, doing the best I can to keep my family safe.

I have a confession to make: I haven’t ordered on Amazon thus far, except eBooks to support fellow authors. But I broke down this weekend and ordered bamboo sheets. We need some new sheets, and I wanted to try the bamboo ones. I also ordered a “playpen” so I can take Willa and Tessa out on the deck (though not at the same time). But the latter was from Chewy, not Amazon.

Scored two absolutely adorable, padded ice cream parlor chairs on Craigslist from a place in Cotuit on Sunday morning. It was a no-contact pick-up. I was geared up and sanitized when I put them in the car, then disinfected them and myself when I got home. They are adorable and a perfect addition to our enchanted deck garden.

Yesterday, got some writing done in the morning. Did admin work, and prepped some paperwork that has to go off today.

Working on a big website project, and also working to update/cleanup/bring in new content on all my other websites. AND do new editions of the Topic Workbooks. AND work on the old Llewellyn material. AND get back on track with the books.

A lot to juggle.

Trying to figure out how to up the stakes on the book I’m working on (the untitled one, in longhand, that’s my first writing session of the day). I’m in the second third of it, and need to raise the stakes and make it more active. I’m trying to keep this book fairly lean. I keep reminding myself I don’t need to put everything in this book. Keep it simple. Deal with the main plot and a couple of subplots that are setting up longer arcs. Originally, I was going to have the plot thread through a long-term piece in which the protagonist was involved. Now, I want to compress the coming action in to the next few days. I think that will help pace.

I have a telemedicine conference with my doctor this morning, and then I have to go onsite for a client. Supposedly, I will be alone in the office today. Let’s hope it’s true. I have a mask, etc. anyway, just in case. Although this client does the whole passive aggressive mask thing “I can’t understand you when you wear a mask.” Well, then, let’s go back to fully remote. There is NO reason I need to be in the office more than an hour a week to download photographs that I then use in the materials. EVERYTHING else I do can be done remotely. If you’re going to force me into the office, then you can damn well wear the mask and not bitch about it.

This week is going to be challenging, on multiple levels. I’m trying to keep my cool, without letting myself be a doormat.

I am so sick of assholes.

 

Mon. May 25, 2020: Memorial Day is Different This Year

lights-1088141_1920
image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

We have suffered personal and immediate losses in the past months that make today different than other Memorial Days.

I’ve taken this weekend for rest and reflection. and mourning. And work on a project that I hope will help us heal and honor those we’ve lost.

Peace and light to you, my friends.

Published in: on May 25, 2020 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 22, 2020
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a bunch of work done yesterday, client work, LOIs, etc.

Putting together some relevant clips from some fairly old material got me started on a project I’d been putting off for ages. I’m going through all the old Llewellyn material, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name, and seeing what I can do with it. The pieces that haven’t been scanned for the clip file are being put into PDFs. I’m re-reading everything, taking notes on where I want to expand, how to organize, etc. The rights have all reverted back to me, so I can use the material however I want. In eBooks, on the website, etc. There’s a good article about Coventina that I will use on the Coventina Circle website.

My local library will start curbside pickup by appointment next week, and we can start leaving things in the book drop again. I took down two bags of books and a bag of DVDs, and it’s only about half of what I had out when everything shut down, so I will take down another load today and be done. They can only fill orders from their own shelves; most of what I have on order is from other libraries in the network. But I HAVE books from that library, and other people might want or need them, so I want to get everything back as soon as possible. I’m masked, I go down early in the morning when no one is around. Although a whole group of people was hanging out in the parking lot when I got there before 7:30 in the morning. At least they were masked, and keeping somewhat of a distance from each other.

Recycling opens at the dump next week. Maybe by the end of the week, I can take in at least the first carload. Supposedly, everyone must be masked. How will they enforce it?

Two of the local businesses I’d done my best to support during shutdown are now open to customers and have stopped curbside pickup. Well, I’m not going in there. Even if I trust the staff, I don’t trust the other customers. Everyone’s dancing around in groups without masks like it’s all over and nothing ever happened. We will be one of the nation’s hotspots in a few weeks, all because of greed for tourist dollars.

It’s too early to reopen. People didn’t follow protocols during Stay at Home, and they’re sure as hell not doing so now.

Planted some flower seeds. Let’s hope they come up.

Good first writing session of the day this morning (unlike yesterday). I’m gearing up to drop off more books, then have the day off. Yes, I’m going to write, but only what I feel like writing. And maybe the review for the book I read the other day, so I can send it to my editor first thing on Tuesday.

I hope the idiots with their power tools shut the hell up this weekend so I can actually enjoy my deck and my yard. I’d like to do some work on the beds, clean them out a bit more, and write and read outside as much as possible.

Last night, someone in the neighborhood had a fire pit going. I don’t think it was the usual neighbor, because his wood smells lovely and doesn’t give off much smoke. This time, the smoke billowed, and it smelled chemical, so I bet they were burning random painted wood. The smoke filled my bedroom and set off the smoke alarm in the house. Now, the houses aren’t that far from each other here, but they’re not that close, either.

So this morning, my throat is scratchy, and I can’t wait to jump in the shower and get the smoke smell out of my hair.

Have a great holiday weekend. Peace.

Thurs. May 21, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 3 — Frustration and Burnout

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

There’s a post on the garden over on Gratitude and Growth. We’re making some slow progress.

Yesterday was a nightmare. It is inappropriate to go into public detail here, but it was a nightmare. I’m working on the necessary changes.

At least I had Remote Chat in the afternoon, although I had a martini in my hand by 1:30 PM.

Got some writing done, did client work, sent out a couple of LOIs, worked with my editor on an article that needed some reformatting.

Read a book I was sent for review. My editor hadn’t had anything for a few weeks, so I was glad to get it. Even happier that it was delightful, although the ending was sad, and I was Big Weepy Mess for a bit after finishing.

Working on the review today to send off.

I’m hoping my migraine will ease up.

Will do some client work, get out some LOIs, work on the websites. I did not have a good writing session this morning, which was disappointing. But I’m going to cut myself a break, because I’m physically and mentally exhausted.

The sale for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA is still on. You can find details here. Each book is only 99 cents.

The library is going to be open for curbside pickup starting next week, by appointment. That’s good news. We can also bring back the books we’ve had during the StayAtHome. I filled two bags with books and one with DVDs and took them to the book drop this morning. It’s maybe half of what I have, so I’ll bring down another load tomorrow. The pick-ups are limited to what is in that home library, and I’m not sure anything I ordered is actually based there, but that’s okay. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of books to read of my own. And I am happy they are safely easing back into operation. Some of the stuff I had here all this time is based out of that library, and other people might want it, so I wanted to get it back as quickly as possible.

The Recycling Stations open next week at the dump. I will wait until the end of next week to take the first carload in. We have a lot of recycling stacked up in the garage, and it’s getting full. Everyone is supposed to be masked to drop things off; I wonder if they will actually enforce it. People weren’t masked during the StayAtHome when they dumped garbage, in spite of the staff being masked.

It’s supposed to be a nice weekend, and I intend to enjoy it. I have the “out of office” going up first thing tomorrow, lasting through Monday. I’m not answering emails or dealing with anything else. I’m going to enjoy nice weather and only do as I wish.

Because the next few weeks will be difficult, while I work on necessary, long-term changes.

I may do a short post tomorrow morning, before sign off for the weekend. In any event, I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wed. May 20, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 2

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Day Before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice, where I have a piece on “Don’t Be That Marketing Asshat.”

Yesterday went by fast. I did a lot, but it didn’t feel that way. I worked on the Square store I’m setting up for a client. Not thrilled with the Weebly platform, but hey. We do the best we can.

Sent out a bunch of LOIs – some of them were quite fun. There are some pretty interesting companies crossing my radar. I have to get the balance back for articles, though. I don’t want to drop the ball on that.

In the middle of an online meeting, there were crashes out on the deck. The wind knocked over and broke several of my large clay geranium pots. So there was a big mess to clean up. And, of course, it always has to happen when I’m in the middle of something work-related. Great way to impress a potential new client. “Just ignore all that noise; things are smashing right outside the window.”

This morning, I have to head back onsite for a particular client. She’s been good during all this, and we are supposedly taking precautions. We’ll see. Technically, offices aren’t open until next week, and then only at 25% capacity. The fact that’s being ignored does not make me feel confident. It’s the only client for whom I’m willing to do any onsite work through the end of this year.

I ended up troubleshooting something with the web developer for this particular client around 8 last night, so let’s hope that it worked. I’m the writer. I’m not the IT person.

At least I slept fairly well. Up early this morning. Decent, not brilliant, first writing session.

I’d heard from one of my editors, who had trouble opening the article I sent a few weeks back. I powered up the old Macbook, made the changes, saved it as an RTF, and sent it. Hopefully, that will work. Just in case, I printed off a copy. If there continues to be an issue with the current version of Word, I will just rekey it into Word. Do-able, and at least I didn’t lose the article.

I managed to do a workaround so I didn’t have to load a driver into the Macbook for the new laser printer. Since it’s USB connected, all it has to do is send the document. It worked, so, fingers crossed.

I am not looking forward to today’s battles. But all I can do is hold my boundaries and do the best I can to, literally, survive.

It definitely reinforced the whole, “I like individuals; not so fond of people.”

Hope you have a good day.

Published in: on May 20, 2020 at 6:34 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

So, we’ve moved from StayTheFHome mode to DieForYourEmployer Mode. Because that’s all this reckless “re-opening” strategy here in MA is. All the members of the Advisory committee? Employers.

Not workers. Employers. Who are whining because they can’t kill their employees fast enough to make $200 bucks and have to go out of business anyway because no one has any money to buy their stuff because 36 million people are unemployed.

Which tells us all we need to know about how messed up the whole plan is. Especially since businesses are to “self-certify” that they are following protocols and there are zero consequences for not doing so.

The weekend was up and down.

Had to go to Trader Joe’s on Friday. They are letting in more people at a time then they were, and the customers are not social distancing. The staff is burned out and exhausted – the head office has to do more for them. Had to stop at CVS to get toilet paper. The checker was so bored at the register she was reading a magazine and scanning items without looking at them. But at least it wasn’t crowded.

Came home, did full disinfectant protocols and was exhausted. Then, someone we know asked us to run a ridiculous errand that would put me smack in the middle of tourists, and I refused.

The virus isn’t “better” and it hasn’t “gone away.” This attitude people have that everything is fine now and can go back to the way it was is going to get people killed. As a doctor I know said, “The only thing re-opening means is that there’s room for you in the hospital.”

Saturday, I painted four tables, a plant stand, and a plant cart, did 7 loads of laundry, wrote, and read part of a book as background for an essay. I was wiped out by the end of the day.

I felt awful Saturday night into Sunday, and wondered if I was coming down with symptoms. But I took some liquid Tylenol and, as the day wore on, I felt much better. I’m pretty sure it was frustration and stress.

Found out a friend and her husband had the virus, and, fortunately, recovered. I was just thinking about them and planning to get in touch this week.

Sunday, I set up more on the deck. It looks festive now, and is a lovely retreat that I intend to enjoy for the summer. Because I’m sure as heck not going anywhere.

Actually slept through the night Sunday into Monday for the first time in about a week. Wrote, did client work, caught up on some admin and email stuff, got out some LOIs. Did some work on the Cerridwen Iris Shea website. It needs a lot of work.

More of the same today. At least I had a good writing session to start the day, and I slept through the night. I have a lot of work to do today. I’m grateful, and I will keep working as much as I can while there’s work, but I also don’t want to put myself in jeopardy. I want to work remotely. What I do doesn’t need to be done in someone else’s office. The LOIs I’m sending out make it clear that remote in the only option I will consider.

One of the large geraniums on the deck was blown over by the wind. The clay pot broke, and it had to be cleaned up and repotted. The damn PC took 32 minutes to boot up and “update” – I’ve had it two weeks, it doesn’t need any updates. This is why I prefer the Mac.

Now, I’m getting ready to dive into emails and admin before I switch over to client work.

Tomorrow, I have to go back onsite for a client, and not looking forward to it. Trying to change that situation as soon as possible, but not in the position where I can just give it up right now.

There’s a post up over on the GDR site, if you want to check it out.

Onward.

PS The 99 cent promotion is still on for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. You can get all the details and buy links here.

3 Firsts Collage

Mon. May 18, 2020: Intent for the Week — Inner Strength

plank-1327256_1920
image courtesy of HannahWells via pixabay.com

Monday, May 18, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde

I was very discouraged at the end of last week. I don’t want it to carry over into this week.

In addition to doing yoga, meditation, and other things to recognize, release, and move on, I decided that this week would be about inner strength.

We’re learned the harsh reality that too many of those entrusted with our well-being don’t give a damn. It’s time to renew and rebuild our inner strength.

We’ve already had to dig in for the last few months. Let’s renew as well, in ways that serve US, not that are convenient for those around us (providing it doesn’t put them in danger).

Have a great week.

Published in: on May 18, 2020 at 4:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. May 15, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 51 — Discouraged

Friday, May 15, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Yesterday started well, but then quickly descended.

I’m working on a big project for a client. I’d started implementing, earlier this week, the big marketing plan I’d created for this client a few weeks ago. I’ve been doing all the normal hours I usually do per week (although spread out over five days instead of three focused partial days onsite), and, to her credit, getting paid for them (although if she wasn’t paying, I wouldn’t be working). Yet when I said I was taking the Friday before Memorial Day and Memorial Day itself as a long holiday weekend, I got pushback, basically that what I do isn’t work and it’s not like I have anything going on.

First of all, I’ve been doing HER work throughout. She’s paid, so that’s all as it should be. Second, implementing the marketing plan resulted in money for the company. Other than overdue invoices slowly coming in, it’s the only income generated during the shutdown.

But I’m not working? I have nothing going on? What was all of this then, getting results? Self-generated?

Not to mention that she’s not the only work I have, she’s never been the only work I have, I’ve worked flat out since this started, because I’m worried that all the work will dry up, with nearly a quarter of the population on unemployment.

The personal snipes she took were also annoying, but I can shrug them off. The professional ones are upsetting. And the constant digs that I’m paranoid and over-reacting by taking basic precautions and following guidelines so I don’t die or make my family sick are also getting old.

I’m exhausted and discouraged. I also look at the way the Cape plans to open for Memorial Day weekend, talking about precautions but there’s nothing they can or will enforce, and it’s going to get a lot of people killed.

The demand from restaurants that they “have to” open by Tuesday for dine-in is ridiculous. I’m not going out to eat any time soon. Even if the kitchen and the rest of the staff take every precaution possible, the other diners won’t, and too many people are acting like idiots. No. Just no.

Had a martini before 2 PM.

Sat out on the deck for a bit, reading some background material in preparation for an essay. UPS finally found the missing package and delivered it. It had things I couldn’t find locally, for cleaning and house projects, which is why I had to order in the first place, so, if it doesn’t rain all weekend, I can get going.

Charlotte regressed seriously, and we had behavioral issues. Lots of work ahead of us with her again.

I went to bed early, feeling down on all fronts. I did some restorative yoga, which helped.

Still feeling kind of blue today. But I had a good first writing session. I hope to have a decent work day.

I have to venture out to Trader Joe’s. I could wait until next week, but with the Cape determined to re-open before it’s safe, I’d rather stock up now and not have to go out next week or the following week, when the idiot tourists are going to run around contaminating everything.

I’d rather stand in line in the rain this morning.

How did I do on my intention this week? I was dedicated, especially to the work. I got slapped down for it by one client that’s profiting from it, which is discouraging. But hey, Saturn Retrograde, life lesson. Learn from it, build on it, move on.

Peace, friends, and have a good weekend. See you on the other side on Monday.

Published in: on May 15, 2020 at 5:29 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. May 14, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 50 — Slogging Along

Thursday, May 14, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

You can check the progress of the garden over on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was a pretty good writing day. I had good writing sessions on two different novels, and re-read the Kate Warne curtain-raiser stage play. It holds up, and only needs a few tweaks and I have to do some research to add in restaurant names, etc.

I have to draft the Susanna Centlivre play next, but then I can go back and work on the Kate Warne play about the case where she posed as a medium to stop a pair of murderers.

I lost too much time on a computer update, Comcast woes, and arguing with both Target and UPS about the missing order. This morning, I got an email that claims it’s been found and will be delivered today. I’ll believe it when I have it in my hands.

I did client work, and caught up on a lot of admin and email, got out a couple of LOIs, declined responses from the previous day’s LOTs because they want a guarantee that I will come and work onsite when THEY deem it’s time. No, MF, I’m not dying for you. I’m working remotely until I believe it’s safe and/or I’m vaccinated. I’m not commuting into Boston to sit in an office full of germy strangers. The mere fact they’re insisting on on-site work — before the statewide Stay At Home Order is even lifted — shows that they are not planning to take proper precautions for their employees. Not getting into that situation.

There is nothing that I do as a writer that cannot be done remtoely.

The guy came to mow the lawn, and it looks great. He works alone, masked, and it’s always no muss, no fuss. We are an easy account for him, that he can fit in whenever he has a spare half hour — because that’s all it takes. So we are on the way to or from a bigger job. Unlike the services the neighbors use, where they have three guys that walk around for an hour with the leaf blowers on for yards smaller than this one. I’d talked to him prior, to make sure he felt safe coming here, and he did, so it was all good. It also takes huge pressure off me.

Started reading a book and taking notes for an essay. Blogged first this morning, and am about to switch over to the fiction for a bit. The bulk of the day will be spent on one particular client’s work.

If the Cape had some actual leadership, who care about the residents, they could set up a way to open slowly and safely and be up and running at least at some capacity by Fourth of July weekend. But they don’t and won’t. They are bound and determined to open by Memorial Day Weekend next week, as though nothing has to be different this year. They’re talking about safety measures, but people aren’t even following the basics to go to the grocery store. Not to mention the golf courses, the ultimate non-essential pastime, are already open, and old white men are already bitching because they have to carry their own clubs. We’re going to see another Death Surge (we’re still at nearly 200 deaths per day) and be locked down completely by Fourth of July. All because these old white men are greedy.

I’m staying home as much as possible, and enjoying my yard.

Four retrogrades, three of them major and that will last until fall, so I’m better off at home anyway!

Peace.

Published in: on May 14, 2020 at 5:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. May 13: StayTheFHome Day 49: Creativity and Exhaustion

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I had a new post over on Ink-Dipped Advice, but I took it down because it wasn’t really helpful. I will try to come up with a better one and get it up later today.

Yesterday was an overly-long work day. I am on the edge of burnout. I’m hoping I can make it to the Memorial Day weekend, because I intend to take some time off and do nothing except sit outside and read, and write if I feel like it.

Not only am I working long hours, but the clients for whom I’m working insist that I’m not working, and they resent paying me to do nothing – even when the results are coming in that prove otherwise. So I’m feeling burned out, overworked, underappreciated.

Too bad for me, right? At least I’m still alive.

Yesterday started pretty well, though. I had excellent writing sessions on two different projects, and I’m happy with the way both are going. The band name “Orgasmic Clowns” turned up, and at first, it looked like they would be a part of one of the novels, but now I think I need to make them their own piece.

I got admin work done, some bills paid, put in another Chewy order. I’m frustrated because an order from Target went astray via UPS and neither entity wants to do anything about it. I’m still having Comcast issues, and the only “fix” they provide is something I’ve done before that only makes everything worse.

But at least my stamps arrived, so I can write more cards!

There’s a new logo for the Topic Workbooks, that needs a bit of tweaking, but I like it. Instead of having all the covers uniform with different titles, I’m getting new covers and using the logo at the bottom. Once I have all the covers, I’m going to pull them off Smashwords and put them through Draft2 Digital. I also want a new cover for 30 Tips for 30 Days. I don’t like it.

I have to get some promotional material posted via Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for the books on sale, and I need to finish the Trinity of Teasers free download that I want available in either mid-June or early July.

A writer friend who misses writing in coffee shops set up a bistro table and chairs in her house, and writes there, drinking from her travel mug and playing music. Sometimes she put the TV on in another room to simulate conversation around her. And she’s grateful not to be in a tiny NYC apartment, where her bistro table was once the only table that fit in the place! I love that idea and that image, and may need to use it in a story.

So at least I’m feeling creative, even if I’m exhausted.

I got out five LOIs yesterday, and go responses back on four. All of which have turned me off to the companies, but best to cut it off now than waste time. This idea that I should be willing to trot into an unsafe office full of germy strangers is simply not happening.

Got a lot of client work done on a big project. Will get a little more done today, but it won’t be ready until next week. By tomorrow, I will have used up the allotted time for the week, and I’m not working for free.

Today, I have Remote Chat to look forward to. I had two excellent first writing sessions this morning, on two different novels, and a frustrating computer update on a computer I’ve had less than a week.

Peace, my friends, and be well.