Tues. Aug. 31, 2021: This and That

image coourtesy of Goumbik via pixabay.com

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy, foggy, humid, but cooler

Good weekend, although busy. I worked straight through the weekend on script coverage. I kept my promise to myself not to whine, either in person or on social media, and I didn’t. it wasn’t that bad; I paced myself, it wasn’t as hot and humid as it’s been, and I got it done. Since I didn’t take the time to whine, there was nothing to whine about. The pay period ends today, and I want to be able to enjoy taking four days off for the holiday weekend while my friend visits. Without worry or guilt. So I shut up and worked, and it was fine.

Ran some errands Friday. Didn’t get enough admin work done Friday, so that meant a lot of extra yesterday.

The students were checking in/moving into the college across the street on Saturday, so it was a little chaotic out there. It was nice to be able to sit on my second-floor porch above the fray! Everyone has to be vaccinated and wear masks indoors, so this neighborhood is safer than most (since those of us already here are already vaccinated).

Got some more unpacking done, especially the sewing room, which doubles as a guest room, and is where my friend will sleep. I don’t have the sewing machine up yet, but once it is, the room will be a good workspace. Ran some extension cords to lamps, and got them bulbed. I still have to invest in a few more household extension cords, but things are coming together.

Basically, there’s just my office and my bedroom to finish unpacking, and that doesn’t have to happen before my friend gets here.

As boxes are unpacked and things are put away, the space looks nice and big. The high ceilings help. There are still some pieces I’m slowly looking to add:  bookcases, always bookcases, but different shapes and sizes than at the other house; a nouveau-style cathedral mirror to go over the fireplace; a cabinet/island on wheels for the kitchen; new slipcovers for the wingback chairs; maybe a glass-fronted, curved low cabinet with shelves to store a mix of knick-knacks and fabric. Rugs. I know what I want, rug-wise, but haven’t found them in my price range yet.  It would be nice if the couch cover I ordered nearly a month ago would show up. It’s been stuck at the Edison, NJ Fed Ex facility since the 19th, and they deny that it’s there. And the place from which I ordered doesn’t give a damn about finding it, replacing it, or giving me a refund.

Unpacking decorations, and seeing where they fit. I’m sure I will keep moving things around. Frustrated at how dirty everything is coming out of the box, when I washed the pieces before they were packed. It’s as though that weird grit absorbed into the pieces, and the pieces are now expelling it. So everything’s being washed again, and cleansed on multiple levels before it’s placed.

My Yoga Frogs are out, which makes me happy.

Worried about Hurricane Ida, and colleagues in that area. There are still people with whom I lost contact because of Katrina with whom I’ve never managed to reconnect. But glad that we have a president who at least gets emergency help in place early on. I’m sick of the privileged sniffing how people deserve it if they didn’t evacuate – most of them can’t afford it, have no transportation, and have nowhere to go. Oh and the people making nasty comments about how we shouldn’t give aid to red states. The Republicans who keep systems in place that kill people need to be removed (permanently, from all walks of life), but fellow citizens deserve help. Even if I don’t agree with them. I’m sick of Democrats bringing a cupcake to a gunfight, but that doesn’t mean I want to see people indiscriminately drown. The hurricane doesn’t care how anybody voted. The hurricane is going to wreak havoc on everything and everyone in its path.

While I am glad that we are officially “out” of Afghanistan, and thankful for the amazing amount of people evacuated out, I am angry at the DOD for ignoring Kabul Small Animal Rescue, although they had the funds and resources in place to leave, but couldn’t get the paperwork signed. It was only 100 small animals and some staff; it wouldn’t have prevented any humans from evacuating. Their staff and Puppy Rescue Mission and everyone who worked flat out to get it done are devastated. All because some bureaucratic fucktard wouldn’t sign the paperwork. I hope every one of those horrible, disgusting individuals who refused to sign those papers meets an awful end. Because that’s what those poor animals, and some of the staff left behind, face now.

The human race is a failed experiment.

I haven’t been sleeping well. All that script reading is making it noisy in my head, and interfering with the ability to hear my own work.

Out of the house early this morning to go to the laundromat. I was the first one there, and had my pick of the machines. Three loads in and out in an hour and 15 minutes. Not bad.

I have a LOT of paperwork to do today on various issues, plus script reading, plus writing up coverage. Tomorrow, I need to get back to the short almanac articles for a few days. I’m still ahead of where I need to be, but behind where I want to be.

I used the time at the laundromat to outline a project that has been percolating, a kind of weird, cross-genre thing. And here I made all this fuss about keeping my notes organized, and I can’t find another set of notes I wrote up on a different project, about which I have some more ideas. It’s very frustrating. Even though I have specific places I’m putting things, they’re not there when I go back for them. It doesn’t make sense.

Covid numbers in the Berkshires have risen 61% in the past 2 weeks. That’s with most people vaccinated, and is still one of the lowest area numbers in the state, but still too much.

I also have to get to the store and get a bunch of other stuff done. Today and tomorrow are big pushes on the work front. On Thursday, there’s a lot of baking and cleaning on the agenda, and on Friday my friend arrives, and I have a weekend off.

I need it.

Have a good one.

Mon. Aug. 30, 2021: Intent for the Week — Work Now, Play Later

image courtesy of Tania Rose, via pixabay.com

Because we have a holiday weekend coming up, and because a vaccinated friend is coming to visit our vaccinated household for the holiday weekend, I am putting my head down and working extra early in the week, so I can take off and play without care over next weekend.

I intend to enjoy the week’s work as much as possible, so I can enjoy the weekend’s fun!

What’s your intent?

Published in: on August 30, 2021 at 8:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Aug. 27, 2021: Weekend Work

image courtesy of sujo-foto via pixabay.com

Friday, August 27, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny, hot, humid

Yesterday was kind of a mixed day. I managed to write up three script coverages, so I’m on track where I want to be with that. I have two more to write up today; for the weekend, I’ll only do one per day.

I forgot to mention yesterday that, the day before, my book arrived from the UK, the one on Squire and Marie Bancroft. It’s a 1909 copy published by John Murray, and not in the best shape, but definitely usable and readable. I’m excited. And delighted it was published by John Murray. I am friendly with the current John Murray (yes, an actual man and descendant of the founder), and fond of that house’s long legacy.

Drove to the TD Bank ATM in a Williamstown parking lot to deposit a check, only to arrive and discover I’d left my wallet at home. Drove back, retrieved the wallet, drove to the ATM – only to discover it didn’t accept checks. TD is the worst. I will be so happy when I am permanently done with them.

I will take the check and deposit it at Greylock this morning, instead.

We did a Target run. Got most of what we needed. I was so excited by some of their hardcover Mead notebooks that I forgot to get the yellow pads I use for my script coverage notes, and I forgot to look for the extension cords I need. The old extension cords don’t work in these sockets, or with the newer lamps. And I don’t want to use the thick outdoor cords inside for a basic lamp.

It was terribly humid, which made everything yesterday a chore. It’s still humid today, but not quite as hot, and the humidity is supposed to break by tomorrow. I have to go to the bank and the library this morning, and then I’ll do a run to Job Lot to see if they have the yellow pads and the extension cords.

Didn’t get in much writing this morning, although I worked on the novel, and I did some re-reading/edits on GAMBIT COLONY, whose siren song has been calling. I hope to get some work done on A RARE MEDIUM later this morning.

I’ll be working through the weekend, along with unpacking and preparing for my friend’s visit next week. I want to get ahead on a few things, so I can thoroughly enjoy taking next weekend off.

Have a good one, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Thurs. Aug. 26, 2021: Thoughts (Uh, Oh)

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny, hot, humid

I am looking forward to autumn.

Check out the post on Gratitude and Growth. I’m hoping someone can identify the bug on my geranium. I hope it’s not something icky.

I wrote up a couple of coverages yesterday, and still have a stack more to write today, although I only had one script to read last night, not two. And I was too tired last night to give real attention to the book for review.

Got the debit card for the new bank activated and tied to PayPal, and to the automatic payments for the storage units. 85 steps when it should be, at most, 2. It has NOTHING to do with security for the customer, and everything to do with micromanaging.

I read a bit in a book of essays I got from the college library, about journal writing in classroom situations. It’s giving me ideas, mostly for fiction that uses journal writing as part of the narrative drive. There was an interesting tidbit about the use of “reply” and “respond.” The author pointed out that one “replies” to a question, but “responds” to a person. It made me realize how often I have misused those words, especially when it comes to dialogue tags, and I need to be more careful in the future.

Remote Chat was a lot of fun, and several of us ended up having a side discussion when I mentioned how frustrated I am with Kripalu for not enforcing the no cell phone policy anymore, and how, when I asked about it as they reopen, I was told, “Everyone is on their own journey.” Well, MY journey means if I’m paying a fuckton of money to attend Kripalu, I don’t want the selfish and the stupid dancing around using their cell phones which DESTROY my experience and my peace/reflection time, when we’ve all signed an agreement not to use them outside of the designated areas. Which means I will think twice about going back to Kripalu, even though I’m much closer and it should be easy and fun for me to attend.

I think what I’m looking for is a silent retreat. Where there’s a commitment to not just shut off electronic devices, but not speak (except for a few designated times). One of my fellow chatters attended a Buddhist retreat with her husband a few years ago, and wrote about the experience for MARIE CLAIRE magazine. It was a good article – although she broke the rule of no electronics and blogged during the retreat, a choice with which I disagree.

I’m not sure I want that much time sitting in formal meditation or listening to talks. The no electronics and shut the hell up, that I’m there for. But one reason I didn’t attend the Zen retreats with the first meditation group with which I connected on Cape was that they don’t want participants writing in their journals, either. For me, the journal process is a vital part of retreat. And no, I wouldn’t just sneak the writing in while I’m in my room, because that is disrespectful.

Susan Wittig Albert did a silent retreat at a monastery in Texas that sounded more along the lines of what I need. Reading and writing in her cottage; walking on the property and using their library; not talking and no cell phones. Of course, that book is packed in storage, so I can’t pull it out and look up the details. I remember it was in Texas, and I don’t know if I’d go to Texas for any reason at this point, and certainly not during a pandemic, or even immediately after.

Then there’s the whole, well, if all I want to do is read and write and be quiet, I can do that the hell at home and turn off my phone and my computer. Do I really need to pay a bunch of money to do that somewhere else? And if I like the idea of not cooking during the retreat days, I can either cook ahead or buy meals at the co-op that I can just heat up. (Every time I pass the frozen meals at the grocery store, I remember the final weeks of moving and feel sick).

I mean, I have a big birthday coming up in March, and I’m hoping to spend a weekend at my favorite Inn in Sturbridge doing just about that. Reading, writing, eating good food prepared by someone else. And it’s not like I’d go to any retreat during the next wave of the pandemic anyway.

I have time to decide what I want and need.

For some reason, my phone battery was down to 1% this morning. It was 88% when I went to bed. I have a feeling I have to buy a new battery. Another unexpected expense. Hopefully, I can put it off for a couple more weeks.

I have to write up a complicated script coverage, then do a Target run, then write up more coverage. At some point, I hope to grab a couple more scripts to read tonight and write up tomorrow.

I was sitting on the front porch in the dark last night, semi-meditating, ruminating, more like, about the healing from disappointments from the last decade on the Cape. I was thinking to myself about how it will take a long time to heal. Then, I thought, why should it? That is not my life anymore. It’s done. Learn from it and move on. Don’t hang on to the bad bits. Remember the good bits with affection.

Have a good one, friends. Let’s hope the weather breaks soon.

Wed. Aug. 25, 2021: Still Drippy and Humid

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Foggy, hot, humid

I forgot to mention something good from Monday. The Marie Corelli biography I ordered secondhand in Ohio, from the bookstore who had it at a price I could afford, arrived. The description made it sound like a sad copy, but it’s great! I’m so excited to read it.

I struggled with WordPress yesterday. It just would not cooperate.

Went over to the college library to return books and get new books. Found some eBooks that would be helpful in my research. Hopefully, I can check them out. Came home and realized the bill for the tolls for moving was due, so I wrote the check and dashed down the street to the post office.

On this walk, it was the first time the warning bells went off in regard to another pedestrian. A guy a few yards ahead of me set off those bells. Now, I lived on the Deuce in NYC a good long time, and I know to listen to the signals. And, as small and friendly as this city is, it IS a city, and I have to remain alert. Every woman who’s ever had to walk alone can relate.

Anyway, the guy was on the other side of the street at first. I didn’t like the way he stopped and turned to gaze after a woman who walked by him, like she was his next meal. He swaggered on. Then, he crossed to my side of the street, and started slowing down.

At the next crosswalk, I crossed to the other side and went into my new bank. He sort of meandered around on the opposite side of the street for a minute or two, then took off again.

I waited, then resumed my journey. The post office was on my side of the street now anyway. He was on the other side of the street. He saw me, and started slowing down. I’m thinking, “Aw, man, I’m gonna have to dropkick him, aren’t it?” hoping I haven’t gotten too rusty.

But then, a cop steps out of a doorway and the guy walks right into him. The cop talks to him, glancing over the guy’s head at me. For the record, we were all white. The guy mumbles something and rabbits off down a side street. The cop lifts his hand in greeting to me. I do the same in return, and go on my way to the post office.

Mailed my letter, walked the couple of extra blocks to the library, dropped off my book, got a Sarah Addison Allen book. I’ve read it, but I’m in the mood for her work.

Walked back along Church Street, among the lovely houses. Saw my delightful postman, and we waved across the street. Enjoyed the architecture and everyone’s plants, and how they’re sprucing up and loving these old, lovely buildings.

Whenever I see someone on their porch or in their yard, and they notice me looking at the house, I call out, “I love the (detail) you have.” They immediately brighten up, and usually tell me the story behind it, which is interesting. It’s a nice way to get to know the neighborhood. And the neighbors.

But I’m tired of the humidity.

Of course, as soon as I was home, I got an alert that a book arrived for me at the library I just left. Isn’t that always the way? Well, if that’s the most annoying thing in the day, not bad. Of course, it wasn’t the most annoying, just another mosquito of annoyance.

Frustrated by a recruiter contacting me for the same information I sent when she contacted me yesterday. Big red flag. At first I re-sent everything, pointing out I’d sent it yesterday (and the email acknowledging it). A little later, I pulled myself out of consideration. Not worth it.

I’m tired of unprepared recruiters wasting my time. I’m tired of companies demanding that the copywriter have Adobe Creative Suite experience in order to create graphics for copy. No, that’s the designer’s job. Stop combining jobs with different skills and trying to hire one person at 1/3 of the rate that ONE of those jobs should be paid. Too many companies have learned NOTHING from the pandemic, and deserve to lose talent.

I didn’t write up enough script coverage; I concentrated on reading. So today, I have to make up for it, and have a boatload of coverage to write up. In order not to get overwhelmed, I will look at the individual coverages, and do something different in between them.

But no faffing around today. I also have administrative and unpacking work to do. And I have to run a check over to the TD bank in Williamstown, because the fucking app they FORCED me to put on my phone isn’t working properly for deposits. I will be so glad when we are finished with that bank.

Feeling burned out, especially since I know I have to work through the weekend this week. But that’s the way it goes, and at least I have the flexibility to do that, so I can enjoy spending time with a friend over Labor Day weekend for the first time since before the pandemic.

I will buckle down and do the work instead of faffing around today. Hopefully, it won’t be too humid. That’s what really slows me down. I do not deal with humidity well. Hopefully, when it cools into autumn weather, my energy will return.

Looking forward to Remote Chat. Always a bright spot in my week.

Tues. Aug. 24, 2021: What’s Best For the Work Isn’t Always Best for the Career

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Foggy and humid

Hop on over to the GDR site for a post on realignment.

Gad, enough retrogrades, already? And we’ve got another Mercury Retrograde to pile in on top, before things start going direct again. NOT looking forward to it.

We were not walloped with as much rain by Henri as feared; that was a good thing, although my pre-storm headache on Sunday was awful. There was a point where it was raining at the back of the house, but not at the front (and it’s not like the building is THAT long).

Friday was overwhelming with work, and I got most of it done, although I finished up a coverage writeup Saturday morning (still within deadline). Did a quick run to the Co-op and the grocery store. Shelves full, no one worried. I asked at the co-op if anyone was stressed about Henri and the clerk said, “We live in a place of changeable weather. We do a big storm prep when we first move in, and check/replace supplies regularly. We’re ALWAYS storm prepped.”

I wasn’t sure if people were chill because they knew what to expect and were prepared, or everyone’s just smoking a lot of weed (they smoke A LOT of weed on the porches in this neighborhood).

Home, unpacked, worked on some more unpacking/getting things set up, along with the usual Saturday chores like changing out the bed linens, etc.  But really, just didn’t feel like doing much, especially in the heat and humidity. But slowly, slowly, we’re getting there, arranging and rearranging so things feel good and right.

Seeing what we need, and will slowly add, as we find just the right pieces. Beachy/cottage doesn’t really work here, although we keep some shells and ocean items out. Deco/Nouveau works better. The items we love, ones with special meaning, of course, work everywhere. There’s stuff in storage that we kept from NY, which never worked in the Cape house, but will work here, so we’ll retrieve them on storage runs. If we’d listened to the crap from “organizational/clutter experts” we’d have thrown it out, and we’d be bereft. They can shove their ”expertise” right up their collective, mercenary asses.

Finished a book I’d been struggling to read for pleasure Saturday night. Beautiful writing, but I have rarely loathed a protagonist as much as I’ve loathed this one.

Sunday, I was flattened by the pre-storm migraine until the rain started mid-day. I then managed to finish unpacking the rest of the boxes waiting in the living room, except for the box of CDs, which I will unpack this week, when I can take time to enjoy the process. I read the fifth Wonky Inn book, which was fun. I started reading the next book for review, which isn’t working for me.

Much as I would have liked Sunday to be a “day of disconnect” I needed to keep track of the storm. Sat on the porch for a bit to watch the rain, which was soothing.

Yesterday, we had some more bands of rain, some of it serious downpours. I was worried about the river overflowing, but it didn’t. I caught up on email. Did some research, but didn’t find anywhere to send an LOI. A recruiter contacted me about a two-week fill-in gig mid-September. I set my price; I doubt anything will come of it.

Sundance sent a link to their online Writers’ Café, which meets three times a week for an hour. I figured I might check them out and use them as the occasional break in other people’s work to spend more focused time on my own work. If it’s an atmosphere that works for me, maybe I can work on the plays during that time. I don’t think Wednesdays will work very often for me, but maybe I can make use of the Monday/Friday sessions. We’ll see. Right now, everything seems like just too much work.

I spent a good portion of the morning refreshing myself on the research for “A Rare Medium”, the next Kate Warne play. I hopped onto the Sundance zoom meeting at noon – which was a PITA to sign into – and they were showing a scene from FLEABAG to demonstrate subtext in dialogue. The scene was great, it’s great, but my head was full of Chicago in 1859, and the Pinkerton undercover fortune-telling operation. So it was jarring. There was all this discussion about dividing us up into “breakout rooms” after the writing session to talk about what we’ve written and network.

I signed off Zoom and wrote for the hour. I drafted six pages on the play, the first two scenes. I tossed out my original first scene, where I had Captain Sumner coming to Pinkerton for help. I started, instead, with the operation already set up. Miss Seaton, who was trained by Kate, was vital to this operation. Her name has been lost to history (and I can’t get the Pinkerton microfilm again, because my machine is in storage). I researched names that would have been giving to girls at the time she was born (not the time she was an adult, working), and settled on Cristia.

By the time the hour was up, and we were supposed to go back into “breakout rooms”, I decided I couldn’t. I can’t talk about what I’ve just written. It needs to settle for a few hours. I can’t talk about what I’m going to write next in any detail, because if I talk it, I can’t write it properly.

And I didn’t have the patience for small talk. My head was still full of the play, and I needed to pace and mutter and percolate.

In other words, the way this Café is set up doesn’t work for me. Which is frustrating, because it’s Sundance, for crying out loud, it’s an amazing opportunity, but if I participate, it will hurt the work, and the work has to be protected at all costs. I can’t switch back and forth out of social/networking mode. If I sacrifice the work for the networking, it won’t be a positive, either, because I won’t have the work with which to back up the networking.

So I will continue in my obscurity.

There’s a part of me that feels like a failure for not being adaptable enough, but the work must be protected. That is the priority. And talking about it in an early stage sabotages it for me. It’s one of many reasons why I don’t “share” WIPs by splashing bits of them on social media (in addition to the whole blowing-first-rights thing).

I can talk about the work and around the work hours after I do it (as I do here, where I talk about process and research and some of the ideas around the work). But I can’t talk the actual work instead of doing it, or it stays in the “instead” mode.

I already know I’m going to have to work straight through next weekend if I hope to take the time off over Labor Day weekend when my friend visits. But that’ll be worth it. I’ll just grumble a lot next weekend, and have to get over myself!

I read two and a half scripts yesterday, and will have to finish the “half” and write up all three today. That’s another reason I’m slower in my own writing – I’m writing 3-5K in script coverage every day.

I did an extra long meditation last night, which meant I slept better.

I made some notes on a piece that’s rolling around in my head (along with that other piece that’s rolling around in my head). They’re both fantasies, but set in very different worlds, with very different rules.  A couple of chunks of dialogue showed up in my brain for DAWN AND DOROTHY IN THE AFTERLIFE, so I scribbled them down before I lost them. I have to make sure I keep all my notes organized, so I have them when I need them, unlike on Cape, where I took notes and they kept vanishing.

When one piece gets going, it fuels the other pieces percolating, and I have to be able to take notes as ideas come up, while still focusing on the main piece that needs to be written.

The novel is going slowly, and it’s often hard to show up at the page, but I’m always glad when I do. I have to block off some larger blocks of time for it. By the time I hit 1K and need to move on with the rest of my day, I’m just warmed up.

I have a bunch of admin work to do today, along with the script coverage, and getting back to the Almanac articles; I’m behind where I want to be on those.

I thought it was going to clear up today, and I’d get some errands done, but it’s about to rain again, so I’ll hunker down and work, then run out when there’s a break in the weather.

Daily life here is at the mercy of the weather even more than it was on Cape Cod.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on August 24, 2021 at 8:22 am  Comments (2)  

Mon. Aug. 23, 2021: Intent for the Week — Navigate the Tightrope

image courtesy of Tumisu via pixabay.com

I am very burned out, on various fronts. Before you start with the “self-care” suggestions, I do not have the privilege of indulging in them this week. Because, yes, in this system in this country, self-care is a privilege, and we don’t all have access to it when we need it. The term is tossed around like it’s a breakfast cereal or something.

I have to dig down and get a lot done this week, no matter what I’m feeling.

So my intent this week is to navigate the tightrope of what HAS to be done without hitting the point of burnout where I can no longer function. It means restructuring each day as necessary, a mix of pushing through and regenerating.

What is your intent this week?

Published in: on August 23, 2021 at 7:04 am  Comments (1)  

Fri. Aug. 20, 2021: Soggy

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Rainy and humid

Yesterday was not the productive day for which I’d hoped, and it was my own fault. I’m feeling burned out and procrastinating. Which means I have a boatload more to do today than I’d hoped, but too bad for me.

Meditation group was great, and is now on break until sometime in September. Our leader certainly deserves it; she’s wonderful. But I will miss the weekly sessions.

Finished a script coverage a little too close to deadline to be comfortable, but it got done.

Freelance Chat was good. I feel more knowledgeable now about going back to paying quarterly taxes next month.

I should have written up two more script coverages, and then read two more scripts. I did not. I faffed around and read a book for pleasure instead.

I prepped for the Wild Oats Board Meeting, where I was a guest. It was well run, and it’s nice to know the organization is in such good hands. They sure as heck don’t need me underfoot, and I really only need to be at the Annual Meeting. I hope it’s virtual this year; I don’t think I’d feel comfortable going to an in-person event.

I signed up for some locally based, but still Zoom events over the coming weeks, just to get a sense of the community. I’m not making any commitments beyond these events.

I was hot and tired and went to bed early. Tessa woke me pretty early; tried to feed the cats and go back to bed, but they weren’t having it. Got up, did my morning writing sessions. I was distracted this morning, so it was hard, but I made myself show up at the page anyway and do it, even though it was less than I’d hoped.

So irritated that the white supremacist domestic terrorist outside the Library of Congress is being treated like a poor little white boy who made a mistake. Stop giving these maniacs a free pass.

I have a long damn day ahead of me as far as script coverages go. I’m cutting it a little close on the two due today, and then I have to get the other two read and written up, or it will spill over into the weekend, and burn me out more. I also need to get to the store for bread and a couple of things. Hurricane Henri is supposed to hit the coast Sunday into Monday. Not sure what the impact will be all the way out here, but I always worry about the river flooding.

I need to unpack more this weekend, and to read the book for review. I desperately want to just rest, too.

Have a good one, friends, and I’ll see you on the other (soggy) side.

Published in: on August 20, 2021 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Aug. 19, 2021: Hurricanes and Dilemmas

image courtesy of Comfreak via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Rainy and humid

Uranus goes retrograde today. I’m a little tired of heavy retrogrades. It’s going to feel like slogging through molasses until the planets start turning direct in October.

There’s a new post on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was not as productive as I’d hoped. The humidity slowed me down, so I had to take a break again in the middle of the day and start up in the evening again. Grateful for the flexibility, but it makes me grumpy to work until 10 PM some nights.

Got out a bunch of LOIs, which is necessary, since I’ve been slacking lately on that. Did some more Marie Corelli research, thanks to a resource forwarded by a friend.

Broke down the stacks of boxes that accumulated in the front hall, and took them across the street to the dumpster. It took more than one trip. A couple of maintenance guys stepped in to help, which was very kind.

The hall looks great now. The bookcases look good, there’s space.

Vacuumed. I’m very happy with the new Eureka vacuum. The cats, however, are not. Screaming cats flying in all directions.

Remote Chat was fun.

Finished the third Wonky Inn book. Not letting myself get the next one in the series until I finish my work for the week, or I’ll read it instead of working!

Read two scripts, and wrote up coverage for a third last night. I have to finish coverage on another one this morning, before meditation, and write up the two I read last night, then read two more today to write up tomorrow. I’d like to take the whole weekend off from coverage, but not sure I can.

I have a lot of admin paperwork to deal with today, too.  I have the online meditation group this morning, Freelance Chat at noon, and a Zoom meeting with the co-op I joined tonight. An in-person networking event for the end of the month, to which I was invited and sent regrets because it was in-person, has switched to virtual, and I received another invite. I sort of feel I HAVE to go now; at the same time, I don’t want to rouse myself out of my semi-recluse state, as I said yesterday.

Part of me would like to look for a writers’ group (a virtual group, since I’m not doing in-person anything until at least next spring). There are plenty of groups around here, and they’re open to new members. My hesitation is that, right now, I want and need specific things from a group (rather than being more freewheeling and flexible, as I’ve been able to be in other situations). I’m just not sure how to graciously find what I need without coming across like a jerk.

I’ll do a lot of listening as far as information on writers’ groups, but not a lot of “visiting”, even virtually. If I’m patient, the right group will make itself known. Hopefully, they will want me to join as much as I want to join.

The best bet, at least for the next few months, is to do as little “joining” as possible. Concentrate on building strong work rhythms, and getting back on track with projects and clients and earnings.

I think today’s rain is the remnants of Fred; Henri is supposed to hit the coast this weekend at the other end of the state, and I’m not sure how much of it we’ll get here. Guess I’ll find out.

Just thinking about today exhausts me, so I better get started.

Wed. Aug. 18, 2021: Down the Research Rabbit Hole

Photo courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Got the laundry done at the laundromat yesterday. Three loads, but since it was nearly empty, I could run three machines at the same time, so washing, drying, and folding took just over an hour. Brought it all back; headed to Wild Oats for Owner Appreciation Day, and then to Stop & Shop for some other things.

And that was the morning. Those few things took all morning.

Which is why I really need to get up at 5 AM, not 6 AM, much as I’m loving that extra hour in bed.

Heard back from Williams College. I have to pay a fee to access the books I need in their collection. But the collection is only open to Williams students, faculty, and staff due to COVID right now. So I’ll check back with them in autumn, and we’ll see where we are. They were very nice, and I appreciate the information. I’m just not sure I need access badly enough to pay $60.

I searched for the Marie Corelli biographies I need (that are in Williams College library) online via various secondhand bookstores. Most of them are expensive and out of my budget, even second hand. I can get the books she wrote for Kindle either through Project Gutenberg, or through the library, so I can do that. But I can’t see spending nearly $300 on the biographies.

I finally managed to find a copy of one of the biographies, which doesn’t seem to be in great shape, but as long as I can read it, hey, I can afford it, so I grabbed it. It looks like I can access the other two biographies through JSTOR and through Semantic Scholar, so I might be able to do everything in my budget.

Then, I came across the memoirs of Squire and Marie Bancroft. Most of those copies are wildly expensive collectors’ editions, but there’s a copy in questionable condition from a bookstore in Devon, England, and the shipping’s not that bad. I grabbed it. Of course, there was an email this morning, upping the shipping costs, but it’s still less than a fifth of the fancy copies. I don’t need that book until either later this year or early next year, so it can take its time coming across the pond.

Found some other interesting research on Marie Corelli, tied to her home Mason Croft in Stratford-on-Avon, where she was involved in preserving buildings connected to Shakespeare. Not sure if that will be the event around which I build the play, but it’s a possibility.

Wrote up script coverage, read two more scripts, which I will write up this morning. The toner cartridge arrived last night, and I have to put it in this morning and get all the backed-up paperwork done.

My reward for getting the scripts read last night was to start reading the third Wonky Inn book. I’m enjoying that series.

Slept until six this morning. Wrote on the front porch, working on a tricky emotional scene in the book, so it was slower and a lower word count than I’d hoped, but I’m hitting the points I want to hit, so it’s worth it. I’m well into Chapter Four in longhand, so I should start typing soon, or it will be overwhelming.

Script coverage, paperwork, article work, LOIS, reading today. Maybe unpacking a couple of boxes. If it’s not too humid, I can work straight through and stop at a normal time; if it’s yucky, I’ll take a break mid-day, and then work more at night. Which is why I like flexibility in my hours.

I’m looking forward to Remote Chat today.

I had a thought, though, earlier this morning: What if, even when it’s safe again to socialize and network in person, I choose not to? One of the biggest sources of unhappiness the past decade was too often being bullied into pretending to be an extrovert on far too many occasions, just to serve others’ agendas and make THEM feel comfortable. What if I just. . .don’t? What if I choose to stay semi-reclusive?

We may all have to be semi-reclusive through the winter. The entire state is back to being high risk. But at least here, people are masking up indoors without fussing. Takes a lot of stress off.

Something I noticed walking around downtown the other day was that most buildings have a sign on their sides reading “Watch out for sliding snow and ice” so I guess that’s a thing here in winter. I’ll find out, won’t I?

Published in: on August 18, 2021 at 7:04 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 18, 2021: Down the Research Rabbit Hole  
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Tues. Aug. 17, 2021: Frustrating Start

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Mid-month check-in is up at the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

It was a good weekend, although I had a late start to it. In the hot weather, I’ve been taking a break during the worst heat/humidity in the middle of the day and focusing on the reading portion of my job(s). But that means I have to get back to the writing in the evenings, when it’s cooler and I can actually think. I wasn’t finished on Friday until about 8 PM, which I hate. (Which is why when someone approaches me with the line, “Must work PST hours” I refuse).

Also, too much of Friday was spent trying to open the new account at Greylock Federal Credit Union. It shouldn’t take three hours to open an account, and it shouldn’t take two weeks before the account is up and running. Seriously wondering if we made the right choice. Well, if we hate it, there are a ton of banks around here, and we’ll just change over again.

Tons of email to get through; I’ve been waiting too late in the day on Fridays with the admin. Hopefully, that will change now that it’s a little cooler.

After dinner on Friday, we had the lights off in the kitchen and sat, watching the thunder and lightning roll around the mountains. It was really cool.

Saturday was heavy with humidity, and it was hard to concentrate on anything. A friend is visiting for Labor Day weekend (yes, vaccinated), and booked her train ticket. I’m going to pick her up/drop her off at the train station in Albany, which will be an adventure.

Put away the holiday decorations we brought up in this last storage run. Winter on one side of the shelves, autumn on the other. There’s still plenty more coming up, but we will figure it out. There’s still room.

Got Mother’s prescriptions transferred up to the local CVS. The one on Cape said they’d do it, but, of course, didn’t. Everything is set up – only when we came home, there was a letter from Tufts that they are dropping her from their health insurance because she moved. They supposedly cover the entire state (one reason we wanted to stay in MA), sent her four volumes of statewide doctors and a list of local ones (none of whom were closer than 18 miles away), and now they’re dumping her. During a pandemic. After raising her premiums while doing less. This is not acceptable. Hey, I’m all for her having a better health plan, but Tufts needs to be bitch slapped by Health & Human Services, Maura Healey’s office, and Elizabeth Warren’s office for this type of behavior, and I am damn well going to make sure that happens. I’d like to bitch slap the Tufts CEO myself. In person.

Wrote up my book review and got it in on time. I always drag my feet when the book is a disappointment. This one needed both a developmental and a copy edit. It was a meandering mess.

Sunday was a lovely, sunny, cool day. We checked the local Goodwill, which is huge and has a lot of stuff, but nothing we needed. Then, we headed over to The Spruces, just over the border into Williamstown. The Spruces was a planned senior community of trailer homes, begun in the 1950’s, with its own mayor and city council. It was flooded out permanently in either 2011 or 2012, and now the town owns it and turned it into a community park. It’s filled with wildflowers and trees, and there are still ghostly outlines of some of the properties. The entrance has two white lion statues on very tall pedestals. It’s beautiful and a little creepy all at once.

The news of the earthquake in Haiti is sad, and what’s going on in Afghanistan was completely predictable. It was never about independence for the country, but about how much money our military contractors could make, Of course, the same GOP who doesn’t want to support those seeking asylum are the ones screaming about what’s going on there. Not to mention it was a Republican who got us into the mess in the first place. Typical hypocrites.

Read Peter Ackroyd’s short biography of Wilkie Collins, which gave me some ideas, especially when it comes to the Victorian actors Squire and Marie Bancroft. Put aside the book of letters between Yeats and Maud Gonne – that research is not leading where I’d hoped so I’m putting that project aside for now.

Worked on unpacking and setting up the sewing room (which also doubles as a guest room. Still more to do, but we’re getting there.

Wrote steadily all weekend, and that felt good. Writing steadily first thing every morning.

Monday started as a cool, lovely day. Good writing session, caught up on email. Went to the post office to mail a stack of bills and letters. Went to both libraries.

Got Mother’s social security deposit information changed to the new bank. No luck with the insurance. The Medicare “help line” who’d sent her paperwork promising to help passed her from person to person to person, NONE of whom helped. I have to contact Health & Human Services, copying Maura Healey and Elizabeth Warren.

Only the Brother laser printer needs a new yellow ink toner, and won’t let me override to print in black and white. Staples won’t ship the regular cartridge. It has to be picked up in store. The store in Pittsfield doesn’t have it – I’d have to drive to Albany, and they won’t guarantee it’s still there, even if I purchase it for in-store pickup. I had to order, online, the more expensive cartridge to be shipped. It’s supposed to be here by tomorrow. They sent me a “driver’s release” form so the driver just leaves it at the door – but the link doesn’t go anywhere.

Can’t ANYBODY do their fucking job?

I’m so sick and tired of losing hours and days of work for stupid people. They’re costing me too much money.

Tried to fill out the paperwork so my mom’s pension goes into the new bank account. But because I couldn’t print it out for her to sign, I don’t know if they’ll accept it. She signed a statement. They also wanted a void check – only we don’t have checks, so the bank gave us a letter of authorization, stating the account was open. Let’s see if they accept that. If the pension goes into one account and the social security goes into another, it will be a hot mess.

None of this should be difficult, nor should it take days to “process.” You have the information electronically. Fucking type it in and save it, and then use it.

It was faster when NONE of it was electronic.

Read the second Wonky Inn book, which was fun. Got my next book assigned for review, so I’m looking forward to it. Read one of the scripts I have to cover – turns out it’s about an historical even into which I’ve done extensive research. So that’s fun.

It’s getting humid again.  We’re supposed to have showers on and off throughout the week. High humidity, although the temperatures won’t be that bad. I think we’ll get smacked with a bit of Hurricane Fred at some point, although nowhere near as much as the coast will.

I have to head over to the laundromat to get the laundry done. Big pile of it, since I didn’t go last week (we did the storage run instead).

Script coverage, almanac articles, starting the book for review, LOIs. Just another day in Freelance Life.

There was a beautiful rainbow stretching over the mountain, when I was on the front porch doing my first writing session this morning. The camera in the phone couldn’t capture it, but I enjoyed watching it until it faded away.

Have a good one, friends.

Mon. Aug. 16, 2021: Intent for the Week — Creativity

image courtesy of Hans Braxmeier via pixabay.com

My intent for the week is to revel in my creativity, in more than one form. Not sure what that will take, in addition to the writing, and part of the fun will be figuring it out.

What’s your intention for this week?

Published in: on August 16, 2021 at 7:21 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 16, 2021: Intent for the Week — Creativity  
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Fri. Aug. 13, 2021: Still on the Heat Wave

image courtesy of JackieLouDL via pixabay.com

Friday, August 13, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Hazy, hot, humid

The photo above captures pretty much what it looks like every morning, front and back, as we peer at the mountains.

I love Friday the 13th.  Only the ignorant and evangelical (one and the same, at this point) are afraid of it.

Yesterday, my brain got mushy with humidity. Still, I got my writing done on my book; I wrote up and got out two script coverages; I read two more scripts and finished the book for review. I’ll have to write up those script coverages and the book review this morning.

Freelance Chat was fun, a good chat about boundaries.

I started unpacking the box of tarot cards we brought up from the storage run. There are three file boxes filled with decks (and some books, and some oracle decks). I have a lot of decks. I reviewed them, at one point in time, which was really interesting. We’re bringing up one box on each run (they’re heavy). The good thing about that is, as I unpack, it gives me a chance to reconnect with each individual deck, and see how I want to work with it, moving forward, rather than staring at the entire bookcase full of decks I had at the other house, wondering which deck to choose.

I have some shelf space for these decks, but when I get them all back up here, not sure how I’ll store them.

The thunderstorm came in just before my client call (of course). The client call was fine, but I got the feeling the interviewer was trying to get a canned answer to a particular question. I knew the answer wanted, but it’s not my reality or my answer, so I didn’t give it. I gave the honest answer. It will either work, or it won’t, so I’m not going to worry about it. I’m not telling companies what they want to hear; I’m telling them my truth. Either they like it, we’re a good fit, and we work together; if they don’t, we shouldn’t be working together.

The cats were so hot, in spite of the fans, that Charlotte and Tessa couldn’t be bothered to fuss at each other, which was a good thing.

Today, I have the writeups mentioned above. Plus, we’re going to the credit union to open our local account, and start moving the finances away from the icky commercial bank. That will take a few weeks.

The friend who found this place for us is coming to visit over Labor Day weekend, so we are making plans. She’s fully vaccinated and so are we, so we’re all comfortable enough to visit in person. She’s eager to see the place and the area, and I’m eager to show her around.

Every once in a while, a notification comes into one of my feeds from the yoga studio I used to attend where I used to live. The one where, when I first got sick and told them I had to stop going last year (pre-pandemic), the teacher wanted me to jump through all these hoops and pay her a bunch of money for a “healing.” When I said it was too much (it was during the week I was pushed around nonstop to all those tests, was feeling so ill, not to mention terrified), I never heard from her again.  Anyway, out of curiosity, I checked the studio’s website. They’re back to in-studio work, without safety protocols. Meanwhile, the studio I’m interested (but still hesitant) to try out up here requires proof of vaccination, one’s own mats/props, and respects it if students wish to wear masks during practice. Big difference.

Deep breath. Let It go and appreciate where I am now. That’s why I keep the Chiron retrograde listed on the retrograde chart. The Chiron retrograde is about deep healing, and that’s what I need to do in this cycle.

I had a good writing session this morning, although didn’t get as much written as hoped. But I will write through the weekend, and focus on unpacking/setting up the sewing room and the rest of what we’re calling “Tessa’s room” while also trying to get more unpacked in my room and in my office.

Today is still supposed to be hot, but it should be cooler and less humid over the weekend.

Have a good one, friends, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Published in: on August 13, 2021 at 7:17 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 13, 2021: Still on the Heat Wave  
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