Wed. Aug. 31, 2022: Inspection Day

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Partly sunny, still humid, a little cooler

I was up early yesterday morning, doing the final wipe on the granite countertops, on the stainless steel fridge and dishwasher, wiping the mirrors. The cats trailed along after me, letting me know when I missed a spot.

The inspector and the landlord were here promptly, and the landlord said he was delighted by what we’d done with the place (it was the first time he’d been inside since we moved in). The inspector seemed surprised that I actually talked to him and was glad to see him. So I’m glad about that. Charlotte captivated them both, and had them wrapped around her dainty paw in seconds. Tessa and Willa ignored them.

The inspection of the whole place just took about 15 minutes. I mean, we keep it in good shape, the landlord had it in good shape when we moved in. There are a few little things he’s going to take care of, but nothing major.

For some reason, we were exhausted after (maybe because we spent four days getting the place ready, rearranging things we’d planned to take care of for months).

The doctor’s office phoned and asked if my mom could come in earlier for her appointment than originally scheduled, so we got in the car and drove over, and she had her appointment.

I spent the afternoon writing up the analysis of the novel-with-and-eye-to-adaptation and sent it off.

I put a hand-stitched double wedding ring quilt on the bed that I bought in Plymouth, MA years ago, but haven’t really used. However, Charlotte just adores it. She knows she looks gorgeous on it, and takes full advantage.

But that was pretty much the day. This morning, they are fixing something downstairs and the water if off (not fun, especially since there was no warning).

We might head out to the fabric store this morning. I have ideas for a lap quilt I want to make for the winter, and there’s a sale. I have several scripts to turn around today (end of the month, always busy), some promotion to do on the LEGERDEMAIN episode that dropped yesterday, but most of today will be about script coverage. Tomorrow, I get back to work on the LEGERDEMAIN revisions, so the last episodes in the first large arc can be uploaded and scheduled before the holiday weekend. I’m also working on the Fearless Ink postcard that needs to go out a week or two after the holiday.

Next week, I’m also going to do a social media clear out, going through the following/followers and getting rid of the non-reciprocal accounts.

Busy few days preparing for the long holiday weekend, but I’m looking forward to having a few days off.

As I was planning the upcoming errands (be they today or in the next few days), I thought about where I would buy mulch. Then, I realized I’d dreamed I needed mulch for a garden last night. I don’t actually NEED mulch for what we have.

I’m looking forward to the weather taking a cooler turn, though. Between the humidity and the ragweed, it’s a challenge. Of course, the morons using leaf blowers only make the ragweed worse.

Have a good one.

Published in: on August 31, 2022 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 31, 2022: Inspection Day  

Tues. Aug. 30, 2022: That New Moon in Virgo Energy

image courtesy of Peter Lomas via

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Sunny and humid

This will be short, partly because there isn’t much to say about the weekend, and partly because today is overly busy.

Most of the weekend was spent getting the apartment ready for the inspection. I cleared out the pantry and rearranged it (which makes it work better). I pulled everything out of the laundry room, reorganized it, and built shelves out of crates, so it’s usable space and we can get at everything. I rearranged my room quite a bit. There’s more to do to make it the sanctuary I want, but at least it’s neat. Reorganized a bunch of things in the office and the sewing room and the living room. We hung up some more pictures and other art things. I cleaned off/out the rolltop desk (which lives in the sewing room in this place), and now it’s usable workspace again. I want to paint the filing cabinets teal and do the handles in a really pretty silver, but that couldn’t happen this weekend.

I also sewed the new curtain panel from The Kitchen Island Cart from Hell, a nice, bright sunflower fabric. All handstitched, because setting up the sewing machine seemed like too much work. It only took a couple of hours by hand, and the natural light was excellent this weekend. I sewed the back panel (coral and fishes) and velcro’d it on, so I can take it off and wash it as needed (I mean, kitchen. Things spill). Someone wondered why I hadn’t just stapled it on, and, frankly, it never occurred to me.

I read the book for review. I was assigned a novel to read for analysis as a something for potential adaptation, which I did. It was by an author whose work I know well, and for a company who has a script in production that I read a few months ago (and really liked).

I got out a couple of LOIs, including one to teach for a writers’ organization.

And, around all the organizing and unpacking boxes and getting rid of stuff that we don’t need, there was also lots of vacuuming and scrubbing floors and cleaning mirrors, and all the rest.

In other words, a good portion of our fall cleaning is done early. Which is great. On September 1, I’ll swap out the fabrics on the tables, etc. Oct. 1 is when the spiderweb curtains go up, and we put up the Samhain decorations.

But I’m tired and achy from moving stuff around and climbing up on stepstools and all the rest. And I’m worried, because I didn’t get in as much script coverage as I hoped these last two weeks – a combination of burnout, and that there just wasn’t all that much out there, and much of what was paid way too little.

That Virgo new moon is a hard taskmaster! But I went very Virgo-y, with all the organization, and things do look good. I even put the handmade double wedding ring quilt on my bed, which I bought in Plymouth a couple of years before we even moved to the Cape, and I’ve never used. It’s a gorgeous piece of usable art. Charlotte adores it. She better not puke on it.

But all of that physical work also gave me time to think. I am happiest when I focus on the work. I get grumpy and frustrated when people try to pull me off my work to serve their agendas (especially when they try to get me to work for free).

Why have I been able to make a living in the arts since I was 18? Because I didn’t let other people derail the work. Because I didn’t let them force their agenda into my priorities and syphon off my energy and creativity to serve them. I allowed it far too often on the Cape, because I was trying to figure out how to navigate civilian life, and let people take advantage. And it was always to my detriment.

My joy is in the work. I am a writer who loves the actual writing. So I need to get back to the work and focus on the work, and let the rest fall away. That way, I’m doing the work that keeps a roof over our heads AND doing the work I love to do.

Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries.

Which fits in well with this new moon Virgo energy.

Of course, now we’ve moved into Libra, and we have a fuckton of retrogrades, with the Mercury Retrograde looming over us, but focusing on the work is the key.

And there’s still a pandemic going on, so it’s not like it even makes sense for a sane person to get on a plane, be It for a vacation or a conference) and go dancing around unmasked. I got five emails over the weekend canceling events due to “unexpected circumstances.” When I asked what those were, they were all COVID. Stop fucking gaslighting. COVID is not an “unexpected circumstance” when you haven’t followed protocols. It’s a given. Stop lying. I mean, I wasn’t planning on attending any of those events anyway, due to lack of safety protocols. But the lying  really bothers me.

Anyway, I have to finish my analysis for the book’s potential for adaptation. I’m waiting for the inspector. I have to take my mom to the doctor. I have another script to turn around this afternoon. And it’s hot and humid, still.

But tomorrow, I can go back to the work.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on August 30, 2022 at 8:55 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 30, 2022: That New Moon in Virgo Energy  

Mon. Aug. 29, 2022: Intent for the Week — It’s About the Work

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Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time (around as I was working on other things) thinking about the root of my frustrations lately.

When am I happiest? When I focus on the work.

When do I get frustrated? When other people demand that I put their work (espcially unpaid) ahead of my own.

How have I been able to make a living in the arts since I was 18, rather than doing hated “day jobs” and only writing/working in theatre “on the side”? Because I haven’t let other people sabotage me when they didn’t have the courage to follow their dreams and resent that I follow mine.

So this week is about getting back to the work. Less other people, more myself.

I mentioned last week that I’ve peopled too much over the past weeks, and I’m ready to batten down the hatches for autumn and winter. I have tentative plans with several old friends for the autumn, which I hope come to pass, but I don’t want to get pulled into anything around here that requires much, if anything from me. That’s true not just because of COVID, but because too many people want to benefit from others’ labor without doing their part in their own work.

I’m focusing on the work this week, and that will help reset the equilibrium. I have my work; I have client work. I’m tired and burned out, but there is a holiday weekend coming up and I have every intention of taking it, and probably not dealing with anyone (or many people, other than, say, the grocery store or the library).

I keep joking that I don’t even plan to get out of my pajamas all next weekend, but it might not be a joke!

However, today, tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday — those are about the work. The rental inspector comes by tomorrow, so there is last minute tidying up to do. I have a book to read and analyze for possible adaptation for television for a client today, too, along with my own work.

Have a good one!

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on August 29, 2022 at 9:16 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 29, 2022: Intent for the Week — It’s About the Work  

Fri. Aug. 26, 2022: The Intersection of Burnout, Exhaustion, and the Blues

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Friday, August 26, 2022

Dark Moon

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

Sunny and warm

Yesterday was a frustrating day. I went down to the artists working group. Interesting group of people, perfectly nice, and in a variety of disciplines. It was a lot of need and few resources. One individual was trying to get other members of the group to volunteer to do the job for which she is paid. Nope. I’m not doing that. I also realized that every other person in the group had a salaried job with regular pay from the organization they represented. I was the only one where the art is my day job. Yet every time something was brought up to be done as free labor, the undercurrent was that I should jump in and volunteer. Nope. Not doing it.

To be fair, some of that might have been projection on my part, because the demand made of me in the previous location was always, “You don’t have a real job. You have the time to take this on. You owe it to us, because you think you’re all that being a full-time writer.” Which is, of course, bullshit, because writing IS my real job, and I’m not putting aside my own work to do other people’s unpaid labor because they resent that my art is my real job. Again, that was in the previous location. No one said that in the meeting yesterday, so I might have projected the undercurrent due to previous experience. I don’t want to be unfair to anyone here, and what’s been so refreshing here is that they do respect art as a real job.

I will give the group one more shot next month, and then I’m pretty sure I will withdraw. And I guarantee that not one of them will have bothered to check out my work at all between now and then. And I will have checked out all of them.

I’m not getting sucked into another non-reciprocal environment.

I’m looking for an artists’ working group where working artists actually go out and about supporting each other’s work, and, as they get to know it, find ways to expand everyone’s work  to a broader audience. Not a group where people whine, but those being paid by exterior sources except free labor from the rest of us.

It’s noisy in the neighborhood, between renovations happening and students moving in and not understanding how their voices carry yet. When some random stranger brings up something intimate they said that they didn’t realize carried over the whole neighborhood, they’ll learn to quiet down. I mean, if we have to listen to their lives, at least live an interesting life. So far, it’s all eye-rollingly banal. But this is the way it happens, the first few weeks, when people are anxious and lonely and unsettled, and then they start feeling better and it all calms down. If I wasn’t so burned out, I would barely notice.

I was exhausted, burned out, and had a bad case of the blues all day. It didn’t help when the book I read, the newest in a series by an author whose work I have supported for years, used “witch” as a slur against other women. I notice that one particular publsiher, in particular, has taken a hard turn right in the content of their cozies, and this slur is turning up more and more frequently, in books where authors haven’t used it before, and where it’s not organic in the way the characters have been established. It’s another example of traditional publishing moving right.

I felt slapped in the face and spit on by this particular author, who is someone, like I said, whose work I’ve supported for years, whose events I’ve supported, and who I’ve interviewed for articles several times. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.

Writers can and should write whatever they want. But readers don’t have to engage when it crosses lines unacceptable to them.

Was further frustrated by Staples. I went to order ink and pick it up down at the Pittsfield store. Only it’s not in stock. And they’re not willing to get it into the store for pick up. I could drive to ANOTHER STATE to pick it up, which is unacceptable. I had to order it for delivery. Not only did they charge a shipping fee on an order over $75 (I’ve never paid shipping with anything over $50 before) AND the ink won’t be here until Monday, they refused to honor the ink rebate coupon they’d sent me.

So I guess I have to find another resource for printer supplies. I don’t want to put my money in either Amazon or Walmart. I have to see where else I can order the ink, if I should get it directly from Brother or elsewhere. The prices seem pretty stable wherever the source. It will come down to shipping and other costs. And then other office supplies will need to be sourced elsewhere. I see mentions of indie office supply stores in towns around here; I will start checking them out, and put my money there instead.

So yeah, it was a depressing day, all around. I ended up ordering in Chinese food, because even the thought of heating up leftovers was too much. And two cookbooks I ordered arrived, so that made me happy.

Today, I need to read a friend’s play and give feedback. I have to finish the two script coverages that have been lingering (I’m still fine, deadline-wise). I accepted reading a novel with an eye to adaptation over the weekend that pays well. I read so little last week that it makes sense to read over the weekend. I also have to do some work on the house, so that everything is joyful and sparkling when the inspector comes next week.

I talked to a friend online yesterday, who is also feeling burned out, exhausted, and blue. Part of it could be the weird weather, feeling like it’s in limbo. It’s the end of summer, but hasn’t turned the corner into fall, but doesn’t really feel like either season. Plus, ragweed’s out, which means that goldenrod is soon to follow.

But for me, I think, it goes beyond weather. I think I’ve peopled too much too quickly in the last few weeks. I’m very grateful for the opportunities and invitations and the chance to get to know new people around here. Some opportunities will work out, some will not, but I’ll never know until I take the chance. But I think I stacked up too much too fast. Even though most people are still taking COVID precautions or, at the very least, respecting the precautions, I also feel like I’ve been rolling the dice a few times too often, and I need to back off before I come up snake eyes.

I’m looking forward to the fact that the weather here in the winter is bad, and I won’t be able to do anything beyond the library and the grocery store. I’m ready to hunker down and just focus on the work, with limited socializing (unless it’s old friends). Both for health reasons and for work reasons.

When I said I needed to be re-socialized like a feral cat, I wasn’t kidding.

Ben, my feral cat friend, I am right there with you.

The house next door is getting a new roof. The company is run by a woman, who’s right up there on top of the roof doing the work with her crew. It’s awesome.

I’m frustrated that Amazon doesn’t make it possible to use gift cards or gift tokens for the serial. I have ideas for three small things for the giveaway package that are kind of fun. I’m also working on a couple of designs for bookmarks, that I plan to use to promote the serial. There are a couple of places that print bookmarks reasonably. I may try different designs in small quantities with different companies and see what works best in a quality: price ratio. While I ponder what else to put in the giveaway package.

Have a good weekend, and I’ll catch you on the other side. For all the pressure I’m under through the end of this month and into next month, I really need the long weekend next week.

Published in: on August 26, 2022 at 8:41 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Aug. 25, 2022: Scattered

image courtesy of Brett Hondow via

Thursday, August 24, 2022

Day Before Dark Moon

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

Cloudy and humid

Read the latest on the garden over at Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was not as productive as I hoped. I decided to wait and go to the library today, and work in the morning. I got the review off to my editor, was late getting the post up here. It was a slow start. It was also noisy around here, everyone working on stuff, because the rental inspector comes through next week, and the new students are also moving in. So it’s a little chaotic around here right now. Considering how quiet it usually is, it’s not a big deal.

I managed to get the next two episodes of LEGERDEMAIN revised. Four more to go, hopefully today and tomorrow, and then upload them next week, do the episode ads and get those uploaded and scheduled, and start the next arc. I’m spending some time just thinking and spinning on the details of the next arc. I have its general shape; I just need to break down the plot points and figure how to spread them out over the episodes. There are a couple of arcs I’m going to push further down; I don’t want to start too much in this next one; I want to keep it reasonably simple.

My meeting got pushed back a half hour, which was fine, but also frustrating, because I couldn’t actually do much in that time. It wasn’t enough to drop deeply down into a project. But the meeting went well, so there’s that. And then another meeting in the evening, which was fun, because I got to hang out with some neighbors I’d known from a distance, but now got to chat with.

This morning, I have an Artists Impact Coalition Working Group meeting at MassMOCA. After that, I need to swing by the library for drop-off/pick up, and after that head to Pittsfield for errands. Some of which may involve office supplies (shhh).  And, of course, script coverage. Not sure I’ll get any LEGERDEMAIN episodes done today, but hope to make up for it tomorrow, and then do some more work on the LEGERDEMAIN website.

Reading MUDDLED THROUGH by Barbara Ross and enjoying it.

No meditation group this morning, which I miss, but I’m being steady about my own daily practice again, and that makes a huge difference.

It’s the day before the dark moon, my lowest energy day of the month, but I will push through. I kind of feel like a truck rolled over me, but I will get it together.

Have a good one!

Published in: on August 25, 2022 at 6:59 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 25, 2022: Scattered  
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Wed. Aug. 23, 2022: Real Calendars Are Still Best

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Waning Moon

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

Cloudy, warm, humid

Uranus goes retrograde today, so now we’ve got six retrogrades, with the next Mercury Retrograde looming over us.

Got some work done on the new Episode 32 and on Episode 33, along with some admin. Made a curried chicken salad, and used the leftover cilantro to make cilantro pesto, using the method Jeremy Rock Smith taught us a few weeks back.

My 1 PM meeting cancelled, so I then kept working on LEGERDEMAIN, revising episodes 34 & 35, and working on script coverage. I also put in a slide show on the landing page of the Legerdemain site, with the ads for all the episodes released so far, and will update that slide show with the new episode ads every few weeks. I started a slideshow on the businesses and the fun little quirky ads, which I will do on the business page, but ran out of time.

Had a good conversation with an editor about something I was worried about, and wanted to run past her before submitting. It’s all set now, and I can do that this morning.

Ordered pizza for dinner, kept working on the script coverage. The script I read last night is good, but it’s a 1400-word coverage, and I didn’t get it finished last night. I will finish it this morning (I’m fine, deadline-wise).

Yesterday’s meeting is moved to this afternoon, which is fine, but I have to spend less time on it. I have another coverage to turn around today/tonight, but the report is shorter.

Six more episodes to revise on LEGERDEMAIN, and this first big arc will be uploaded and scheduled. These are tricky episodes to revise and structure, because there are certain plotlines that have to be resolved, while others that were planted for future arcs have to be brought forward, so it’s clear where things are headed.

I did some promo on the episode that dropped yesterday, in addition to the promos already scheduled. I’m considering doing a giveaway package of weird, fun little stuff connected to LEGERDEMAIN in late September or early October, and playing with ideas for that. I may do it on Google Docs, but I put out a question to see how complicated it is. It’s always been easy as a contestant, but I want to hear from people on the other side of the table. So far, I have ideas for three little fun pieces; I want to come up with six or seven, put in a nice presentation, and then use it as a way to drive traffic to the Kindle Vella page. Contestants have to answer questions that are tied to details in each of the first three episodes (which will then get those numbers up, and help my algorithm. Amazon, of course, makes it as difficult as possible to actually market the serial. But I’m trying. I wanted to buy a bunch of tokens and add them to the giveaway, but Amazon doesn’t allow tokens as a gift. Gift cards can’t be used, either. Both of which suck, but hey, it’s Amazon, not at all unexpected.

I sent an email off to the artists’ working group, to make sure they are actually meeting tomorrow, and find out where. I have a few ideas (because, of course I do).

I actually slept pretty well, in spite of the humidity. I’m doing some work on LEGERDEMAIN this morning, and do a few other things before the afternoon meeting. Then, it’s script coverage. The next few days will be a mix of errands, LEGERDEMAIN, script coverage, and rearranging a few things in the house with the inspector coming next week.

Next week is crazy busy, and then, I am looking forward to the holiday weekend.

I also have to get ahead on some of the blogs that are starting up again after the long holiday weekend. I want to brainstorm topics, and always try to stay a little ahead.

The content calendar – the print version – is saving my ass daily. I’m finding the online project management tools, like Asana, Todoist, ClickUp and more, add several extra steps to everything, instead of streamlining. So I might delete Asana. Still on the fence about trying Hectic.

With my paper calendar, I write it down once, it’s there, I look at it, I do it. With an online project management tool, I have to:

Set up every project

Put in all the different steps

Tie them into the main calendar

Go back in every day after I’ve completed what’s to be done on that day’s list and mark it complete

Move the task to the complete column, because the platform doesn’t move it once it’s complete

With my big desktop blotter calendar, I just look at the calendar and know where I am. Much more efficient.

None of the “systems” out there have the flexibility I need for the range of projects, services, and mediums in which I work.

I do want to look into a social media scheduling tool that isn’t a kazillion dollars that lets me upload my content once and then schedule it across multiple platforms, not have to upload/schedule each day separately. I want to upload the content and be able to set different dates/times AND different platforms, all in one go, not separately.

Old-school desk blotter calendar works better! So be it. I need more ink for the printer; maybe I’ll go down to Staples tomorrow in person to pick up the ink, get more notebooks for the back-to-school sale, and get next year’s desk blotter calendar.

Have a good one!

Tues. Aug. 23, 2022: Clacking Those Keys

image couresy of Simon via

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde

Mars in Gemini

Cloudy and humid

The weekend was rocky. Friday, I still had a migraine. I dreaded going out to do the necessary errands, but it was sunny and pleasant out, and people were so darned happy about it, that it was fun to do errands. All of us who live there know that the sunny, pleasant days are numbered, and pretty soon, we have to hunker down for the winter.

Although I have to admit, I’m kind of looking forward to hunkering down for the winter.

I did more work on LEGERDEMAIN on Friday, finishing the episode ads, although I have to still work on some general ads. And I had to break up the folders for the episode ads and the general ads. I also did some work on the Legerdemain website. There’s still more to do, but I hope, by early September, I will have enough fun material on it to make it worthwhile to start promoting the link to the website.

Saturday morning, I went to the Farmers’ Market, which was a lot of fun. It wasn’t so hot and humid, which was a big help. I’d worn a dress – nothing fancy, just something simple and fun, and got a lot of compliments. Genuine compliments, not creepy ones. So that was a nice boost to the ego.

Forgot to photograph the produce when I came home. I immediately pulled out the slow cooker and did a slight adaptation of Moosewood’s ratatouille recipe so it would work in the slow cooker. And used the wonderful Carmen peppers instead of regular bell peppers, which made such a huge difference. That went simmering along for most of the day while I worked. We had some of it over couscous for dinner, and the rest made up six packets that I froze.

I did more work on the LEGERDEMAIN website. Because I want portions of it to read like the Chamber of Commerce put it up, there was a big section on public transportation and how to best get there, money, checkpoints, etc. It needs some massaging, but it’s fun.

I put up a bunch of the business-oriented ads, but did not write the information around them.

I really need to sit down with the sketchbook I bought for the project, my dad’s old Faber Castell pencils, and draw maps.

I worked on a new logo for the Coventina Circle Series. The graphic I’m using is too busy. I’m still not fully satisfied with the new logo, but it’s moving in the right direction.

I struggled with the horror story. The version that works, that sings, and makes sense on plot, character, and structure levels leans too far toward humor, which the editor very specifically stated he does not want for this anthology. The version without humor falls apart on plot and structure levels, although some of the character stuff works. So the version that works doesn’t fit the guidelines, and the version that fits the guidelines doesn’t work. The first would be rejected because it doesn’t fit the vision for the anthology; the second would be rightly rejected because it’s not good. I’m not saying that seeking praise; I’ve been doing this long enough to know when something doesn’t work/is bad. The version that fits the guidelines can’t be salvaged before deadline.

So I decided not to submit, because submitting either version wastes the editors’ time and is disrespectful. It kind of broke my heart, because I was so excited about the premise. But that’s the reality.

I’m putting away the more comic version. I think that has the potential to grow into a novella, which might eventually fit some other publisher’s guidelines. But right now, I will let it sit. There’s too much on deadline that needs my attention.

It still meant I was very depressed for the rest of the weekend.

I finished reading the Anita Loos biography. I always wished I lived around the beginning of the film industry, writing scenarios. I’ve always loved reading about it, and how writers used to move smoothly from coast to coast, and between prose, theatre, and film writing.

Sunday, I hit a wall. Or maybe the wall hit me. Not sure. I was exhausted (didn’t sleep well Saturday night). I was worried about a boundaries conversation I had to have with someone. Anyway, I made a late brunch of salmon Eggs Benedict, and spent most of the hot and humid da on the couch, reading Donna Andrews’ latest, ROUND UP THE USUAL PEACOCKS, which is a lot of fun.

The whole Mars in Gemini bit, with Mars being the planet for forceful momentum, and Gemini being quick-thinking and action, is hitting me hard. I have zero patience, and the urge to slap idiots upside the head is overwhelming. Seven months of this? Ick.

At least the migraine abated a little by Sunday.

Sunday night into Monday was rough, too. First, I was awakened by a cat in heat crying outside. All three of mine moved from window to window, worried. Finally fell back to sleep, and Charlotte woke me up a few hours later, because I had a nightmare. Took awhile to get to sleep after that.

But I woke up feeling better on Monday, and it turned out the boundary conversation was unnecessary, because the other party decided to respect the boundaries after all, so all is good. I have some ideas for the next couple of arcs of LEGERDEMAIN, one of the seeds which will be planted in the rewrite.

I’m considering putting all the Legerdemain stuff onto its own flash drive (in addition to backing it up on the external hard drive) instead of just having it on the general writing flash drive. I think the project needs its own. If I do wind up doing more serials (which wouldn’t happen until early next year, because I don’t want to undermine Legerdemain), maybe there would be room to put all of them on that drive. I’m thinking about revising ANGEL HUNT, finishing it, and putting it up as a finite serial, and then maybe revising EARTH BRIDE, and doing the same with that. It would be interesting to see how they stack up against each other. ANGEL HUNT started as a serial back when I wrote for KIC, and was unfinished when the company tanked. EARTH BRIDE was a Nano project way back in 2007 (I think) that wound up growing into a possible trilogy, but it might work as a serial, because it mixes science fiction and fantasy elements. But first, I want to get the first three major arcs of LEGERDEMAIN up and running, let them run, see if it’s worth continuing for several more arcs for the next year or so. Whenever I decide to finish it, I plan to leave it up for several months, up to a year, just to see how it does, and then I’ll decide if that’s it, or if it will have a life in a different format (after a multi-year break).

Readers who wait for an entire series to publish before they start reading are not my audience (and those readers are also why so many book series wind up dropped by their publishers, and no one gets to read the whole thing).

Worked on revisions for Legerdemain’s episodes 30 & 31. The new episode I need is between 31 & 32, and then the rest of the episodes to finish that arc get pushed back a number. I might break some of those last episodes into more than one episode, to keep the word count tight and the pacing strong. I got a few ideas for some general ads, and got to weave in some of what’s on the website into the episode, so each supports the other.

I ran into the landlord on the way out to do errands. The city inspector is coming around next week, and needs to come in and see our place before I have to take my mom to the doctor, which is not a problem. We’ll mop and vacuum Monday afternoon, and good to go. It was never a problem on Cape; it won’t be here, either. The place looks happy and comfortable. I will rearrange a few things between now and then, but it will all look good by the time he gets here, and it lights a fire under my butt to get it done.

Had to pick up more envelopes, staples for the stapler, some flash drives, a couple of small crochet hooks for the new yarn. It’s very delicate, so it needs a smaller hook than what I have here. Drove down to City Hall to drop off my mother’s ballot, and give them a little nudge because I still haven’t received mine. Picked up a couple of things at the grocery store, swung by the post office.

Home, and got the rest of the episode ads uploaded and scheduled through Episode 29, which takes me into November. I plan to revise, edit, proof, upload and schedule the last episodes for this major arc this week, and then get back to work on the next two arcs next week. There’s a character who died in this arc whose spirit is going to come back in the next couple of arcs, I think, and I’ve got a good idea of specifics I want in each of the two upcoming arcs.

I wrote a new episode, which I’m calling “31.5” in the first draft, but will eventually be Episode 32. It introduced a character who’s important to the murder arc, and sets him up for being central to the next big arc. I then did the multi-colored draft of the last batch of episodes in this arc, which are now ending with Episode 41. Actually, Episode 41 is a bridge episode winding up the last few details of this first large arc and launching the second arc. I’ve broken down episodes where I think it makes sense, structurally, to keep the pace and rhythm. I’ll work on those later this week, to get that whole arc finished and uploaded this week, which gets me through mid-December, as far as episode releases.

I read the next book for review, and need to discuss a few things with my editor before I submit the actual review. To say the book is problematic is an understatement. It was well over 400 pages of awful, and needs multiple content warnings. The content warnings section will be longer than the review itself.

But I was up until 2 AM with that atrocity, hoping at least the ending would make sense. But it doesn’t actually end. Just stops in the middle of a scene and promises a “next book.”

The cats got me up at 6 AM. While 6 hours of sleep is my sweet spot, 4 hours no longer works. However, I do not have the luxury of naps or taking the day off, so I just have to dig in and get things done.

I’d hoped to ease off the final two weeks of August and have some time to recharge, but that’s not happening. I still  hope to take the holiday, though.

Episode 9 of LEGERDEMAIN drops today!

Hope your week starts well and gets better.

Published in: on August 23, 2022 at 7:43 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 23, 2022: Clacking Those Keys  
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Mon. Aug. 22, 2022: Intent for the Week — A Positive Tension

Image courtesy of Tumiu via

This week feels like walking a tightrope, because there are a lot of things that need balacing. I want to make sure it’s done in a positive way, not the negative way I felt like I was spiralling toward by the end of last week.

I’ve let my daily yoga and meditation practice moulder for the past couple of weeks, and this morning, I made the time to put them back into the early morning routine. It’s already made a positive difference. A good reminder not to self-sabotage by letting steady practices slide.

If my father was still alive, this would be his 101st birthday. It is not a day to mourn him, but to celebrate him, and I intend to do just that.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on August 22, 2022 at 7:46 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 22, 2022: Intent for the Week — A Positive Tension  

Fri. Aug. 19: Migraines and Tension

image courtesy of Kerbstone via

Friday, August 19, 2022

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde

Sunny and warm

I had a migraine yesterday, but not the option to lie down until it passed. You can yammer about self-care and health all you want, but the reality, for many of us, is that we can’t just stop whatever we’re doing. Fortunately, since I work remotely, I could at least be grumpy and miserable at home.

The major need was to get the next batch of LEGERDEMAIN episodes edited, uploaded, and scheduled, and get the ads done. Although I’m still behind in the general ads from the last batch.

I’d hoped to get episodes 21-30 done. I got through episode 29. 30 really launches that last act of this first large arc, and it makes more sense to do it with the last batch of episodes. That last batch needs a lot of revision, and will probably wind up broken down into shorter episodes with more drive, which then puts the first major arc over 40 episodes. Which means the initial offering will go over 100. So much for that pretty 90 number! Oh, well. Needs must.

I changed the episode title of one of them. I’m overusing “Welcome” in episode titles.

Anyway, in spite of numerous computer crashes, one of which messed up the dashboard badly and I had to do a lot of work to get it untangled, I got all nine episodes revised. That was nearly 11K words, and I did about 3 drafts on each episode.

I wrote the episode loglines for the nine new episodes, and got to work on the episode ads. I only got five done before I ran out of steam.

Freelance Chat was fun, although I was distracted and a little grumpy. I had rehearsal stuff to deal with for a radio play. I worked on the Shakespeare horror story which has to get out the door this weekend. I’m struggling, because it keeps taking a comic turn, and they were very clear about not wanting comic horror, but horror-horror.

I got some admin done, but not enough. I got a little more done this morning. The Chewy order arrived, so there’s cat food for the next six weeks. And I ordered the tulip bulbs we’re going to try to plant in troughs overwinter and leave on the porch, and then put out on the balcony in spring.

Berkshire Gas hit me with an enormous “settle up” bill for the end of the balanced billing year, and raised my monthly rate yet again. Which is going to make the next few months difficult. So much for thinking I could ever get ahead or get any time off. They also shouldn’t be allowed to double the price per unit IN THE SUMMER, and then probably double it again in the fall, making sure they screw us all to the wall.

Today, I have to run errands. I meant to run some of them yesterday, but never left the desk, so they all have to happen today. It’s supposed to get very hot again during the day, but cool off at night, so we’ll see if I stay here all day to work, or pack up and go somewhere cool.

I need to get the ads done and finish a draft of the horror story. I should turn around a script or two, since I only read two days this week so far, and I have that big ass gas bill to pay. And I need to get the cats to the vet to get their shots updated. And, you know, establish with a vet here.

So I’m feeling stressed and overburdened right now. It will right itself, especially if I make the time over the weekend to get some rest.  But once I get this first big arc uploaded and scheduled, I can focus on writing the next arc. Episode 29 takes me through November 1, releasing twice a week, and the last episodes will get me into December. So that gives me some breathing room to do the next arc, but I also can’t drag my feet.

I also need to do some more work on the Legerdemain website this weekend. I want to be able to start promoting it, but I can’t do so unless there’s fun content on it, not just the episode releases and loglines.

I also need to read the next book for review, so I can send off the review on Monday.

The Topic Workbooks are chugging along nicely, and doing the content calendar/scheduling the ads has taken a lot of pressure off me. Being able to upload some of the Legerdemain ads has also been a help.

I need to get back to work on the next three radio plays, too. One has to go out by the end of the month, and the other two are due in September.

One thing at a time, right? All I can do is the best I can do. But it all has to get done, and I have to be ferociously protective of my time and energy right now.

I’m also not going to chase people down for stuff. I said I could do X within a specific time frame, and needed Y by Z. You don’t get it to me, it’s not happening. You’re not paying me. I said I could help out, but only within a specific time frame. I am not nagging or begging or “sending reminders.”  Be a fucking adult and do what you said you would do when you said you would, or communicate so we can adjust the schedule. Don’t just not do it or makes excuses or  ghost, and then expect me to jump when you get back in touch. I have paying work that takes priority. We set dates. Cough up or shut up. I am moving on to people and projects where any other parties involved step up and supply what’s needed with in the time frame. And pay.

Obviously, I need to make some serious meditation time this weekend.

Back to the page (and later, to the library). Have a good weekend, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Published in: on August 19, 2022 at 7:34 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 19: Migraines and Tension  
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Thurs. Aug. 18, 2022: This & That

image courtesy of Dzoko Stach via

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde

Cloudy and cooler

Garden post on Gratitude and Growth.

Because I had so little sleep Tuesday going into Wednesday, it was hard to get my act together. But I sort of did. I got everything done at the laundromat (and got in some work on LEGERDEMAIN).

When I came home and got the laundry put away and the couch cushions wrestled back on, I finished the next set of episodes for LEGERDEMAIN, at least the multi-colored draft, so now I can get started on those ten episodes and get them polished, uploaded, and scheduled over the next few days.

The last set of episodes in this arc are going to need some serious revision. But that’s okay, because it makes them work better.

Once that was done, we headed to Norad Mill, where the Spin-off Yarn Shop had a clearance sale. They are closing their physical store this week, so our first visit was, sadly, also our last. We’ll have to drive to Lenox or Bennington for a yarn shop now. I got some beautiful alpaca wool blend. Most of it is in a heathery rose. There were just a few skeins of teal and one of purple, so I grabbed those, too, and I’ll make something different from them. I asked my mom to do something with the rose for me. Since she doesn’t use patterns, I just sort of say, “I want it to do this” and she creates it.

A friend of mine was part of a yarn-bomb installation in Garrison the past few days. She posted photos and it looks like it was lots of fun.

Got off a grant application. I have a very small chance of this one, but if I don’t at least try, I have no chance. So I might as well give it a shot. Nothing tried, nothing gained.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Read a book in the evening that had come recommended, but I found it flat, dull, the pace was off, and it didn’t adhere to the internal logic of the fictional world.

No meditation group this morning; the leader is on vacation until after Labor Day, I’ve been bad about my daily yoga and meditation practices, and have to get back on top of them.

Wrestling with a few things, and then realized, of course it’s coming up now with Saturn (the planets of life lessons) and Chiron (the wounded healer) both retrograde.

Went to bed early. Slept fairly well, but woke up with a terrible headache. Working on LEGERDEMAIN and script coverage and whatever else comes up today. I need to work on the Shakespeare horror story, and get back to work on the next radio play, too.

Have a good one.

Published in: on August 18, 2022 at 7:29 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 18, 2022: This & That  
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Wed. Aug. 17, 2022: Work Stacking Like Wood

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde

Drizzly and humid

Yesterday was busy. I had trouble getting my act together. The fatigue is a lot, but I have to push through, at least for the next few weeks. Deadlines wait for no one.

I got out an LOI for an intriguing, but slightly odd position that would run about five months over the winter. We’ll see.

I got the two sessions I wanted for the Authors’ Guild WIT conference in Lenox in mid-September. Supposedly, they have strict protocols. But that’s what the other theatre claimed, and the audience didn’t do their part. So I will show up, and if I feel uncomfortable, I will leave.

I did some promotion for Episode 7 of Legerdemain. I did some prep work on a couple of grant applications that need to go out. I have to take some photographs, and I keep putting it off, but I can’t put it off much longer. I want to tweak a little in the project proposal, so that it’s tighter.

Cleaned the house, with a thorough vacuuming, scrubbing floors, tidying things up, burning some incense so it all smelled good.

Tessa Was Not Amused.

My friend came over and we worked mostly on her bio, and explaining the difference between a bio and a vision statement and the other pieces one needs to assemble. Before she can apply for grants, she has to get the domain registration and web hosting sorted out, because the grants all want a website as part of their process. She has a list of assignments of the pieces that need work before it makes sense to meet again. I sort of felt like I was giving homework, but she has to learn how to do this and be self-sustaining. She’s not a client. And I’m juggling this WITH all my other work, not instead of it. I have to have boundaries, or I’ll end up working as a consultant, researcher, copywriter, and grant writer for free and resenting it, and that’s not what this is about. It’s about teaching her how to find the resources and sustain those aspects as she builds her business.

In the evening, I attended the virtual launch of Roselle Lim’s new book, SOPHIE GO’s LONELY HEARTS CLUB with The Ripped Bodice LA. Which was a lot of fun. I’m so glad she invited me, and I’m looking forward to reading the book.

We wrestled off the couch pillow covers, which is always a not-fun chore, and stuck them in the laundry bag. I didn’t sleep well last night – as soon as I’d drifted off, the downstairs neighbor sounded like they were rearranging the furniture at midnight, and then I couldn’t fall asleep again. So when the alarm went off at 5, I was tired and grumpy.

But I hauled everything in the rain over to the laundromat. There were people there, unmasked, and I wasn’t about to sit in a humid, poorly ventilated space with unmasked strangers, so I spent the time the laundry was going through in the car, editing the next set of episodes for LEGERDEMAIN.

Managed to get a grant application out first thing this morning.

Now, I have to get the clean cushion covers back on the cushions, which will be a wrestling match, and then go on with the rest of my day.

The DEVELOPING THE SERIES Topic Workbook releases today, so I also have to get all those links updated. And turn around two scripts. And work on Legerdemain, both the episodes and the website. And start the next book for review. And. . .

Published in: on August 17, 2022 at 7:54 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 17, 2022: Work Stacking Like Wood  
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Tues. Aug. 16, 2022: All About The Words

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

It was a busy weekend, but few-words busy. As in I don’t need a lot of words to talk about it, although the bulk of the weekend was all about words.

Friday & Saturday were almost entirely about LEGERDEMAIN. I got six episodes revised, edited, proofed, and up on Friday, along with some other stuff (which I don’t even remember). I did a library/post office/CVS run.

But almost everything was focused on LEGERDEMAIN, and, of course, it all took longer than I hoped. But things take as long as they take, and I’m doing 3-4 editing passes of each episode and then uploading/scheduling, so what would normally be a process stretched out over a period of weeks is now over a period of hours.

Different mediums require different processes.

I was also tired from Thursday night’s event, albeit a good tired, and thinking a lot about the other poets’ poems.

I meant to go to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. At 7:30 in the morning, I sat down at the desk to “just do a little work” on the next 4 episodes of LEGERDEMAIN. The next time I looked up, it was 3:30. So, I missed it.

But the episodes are uploaded and scheduled through Episode 20. I did the episode-specific ads and loglines, and uploaded and scheduled all those. I started working on some more general ads.

I did some work on a residency application. I still have to take some photos of clay and textile pieces I’ve made.

I was too tired to cook on Saturday night, so I ordered in Chinese. And read.

Sunday, I had a slow start. I handwashed and ironed some of the new fabric – I’d hoped to sew this weekend, but that didn’t happen. But at least everything is washed and ironed. I managed to finish the new tablecloth for the kitchen table, and swap that out, and tidy up all of that.

The cut mugwort stems were dry enough to strip, so I stripped them and put them in glass jars for the stillroom section of the laundry room. 3 jars’ worth, which should last me awhile.

I played with some ideas for the Shakespeare horror story. So far, I have ideas and scenes, but I need the narrative drive, and I haven’t yet settled on that.

In the afternoon, I drove down to the Edith Wharton homestead again, this time to be an audience member for Word X Word. Nine poets did pieces inspired by various pieces of sculpture. It was fascinating to see how  they used the pieces as jumping off points.

Driving home, I started writing in my head two new pieces. I need to get a notebook specifically for poetry-esque work. I mean, it takes about an hour to get anywhere, so writing in my head while I drive makes sense. And then having the notebook for the specific type of work makes sense (although I always carry one of the Fragment Notebooks with me, to jot down notes).

Stopped at the Adams Market to pick up pizza and a bottle of wine, because, again, too tired to cook.

Monday morning, I was just exhausted. I think the last few weeks are catching up with me. I managed to heave myself out of the house for a run to Wild Oats for a few things, and Stop & Shop, and another store, where I went in to get Velcro dots and lightbulbs. I came out with those, and some project notebooks. Love back-to-school sales. I have to get down to Staples for more.

I got some more ironing done. I worked on an application for another residency, which had just opened up. I’d worked on all the pieces. It should have taken me 30 minutes to slot in what I’d written. But it took 2 ½ hours because the damn computer kept freezing and crashing. Windows11 sucks.

But I got it done and out, and I’m actually proud of it. We’ll see if they give me a slot next year.

Turned around a script coverage. Got my inbox down from over 900 emails to just over 170.

Roasted a chicken. It’s finally cool enough to make roast chicken again, my favorite, because there’s so much one can do with the leftovers. Had the makings of chicken stock simmering on the stove while I took Jeremy Rock Smith’s cooking class in honor of Julia Child’s birthday.

Didn’t sleep well, although I don’t have the overall sense of fatigue today that I had yesterday. I have to do some serious house cleaning this morning, because my friend the baker is coming over in the afternoon, and I’m going to teach her how to register her domain name and find a web host and maybe we’ll even apply for a grant or two. Tonight, I’m attending a virtual event with The Ripped Bodice for the release of Roselle Lim’s new book.

I have two scripts in the queue; I may do one today, or I may do both tomorrow. I will see how the afternoon goes. I intentionally kept the start of this week light.

This morning, in and around the cleaning, I’ll do some promo for Episode 7 of Legerdemain, which releases today, “There Are Rituals, and Then There Are Rituals.” The episode ad is lovely/creepy with a candle balanced on a raven’s beak.

Better get to it. Busy day, but again, it’s good busy.

Published in: on August 16, 2022 at 7:32 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 16, 2022: All About The Words  
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Mon. Aug. 15, 2022: Intent for the Week — Balance Between Work & Rest

image courtesy if Shiva Smyth via

I’ve pushed hard the last few weeks, and I’m tired. So this week, my intent is to balance the necessary work with the need for rest. Not push too hard, but not let things slide. Listen to my body and my heart, along with my head.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on August 15, 2022 at 10:15 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 15, 2022: Intent for the Week — Balance Between Work & Rest