Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Cold, rainy day yesterday.

Worked on the adaptation. In this section, I can stay close to the original screenplay; however, I have to add quite a bit later on for it all to make sense and really hold together as a novel. There are quick explanations that one can get away with in a screenplay that simply won’t hold up in the novel. For it to have the emotional impact I want, I have to deepen it, layer it, work out some of the kinks. I’m also deepening the relationship between Zenda and Sam earlier. While, if this was visual and I had three-dimensional actors working the material, a great deal could be left unsaid. Their bodies would do the “speaking” instead of the words. In the novelization, a great deal remains unspoken between them, but it still needs to be on the page. Even if it’s done through action and gesture and behavior rather than narration, it still needs to be there.

Worked on Yuri’s Tale. Actually, I stopped working to make some continuity notes and do some world-building. The problem with that is that I wind up staring at the page. Unlike Earth Bride, where I could do dozens of pages of world-building as I created the outline and THEN write, the participants in Yuri’s Tale want to reveal it to me as it goes along. So I’m doing more note-taking than world-building and letting the characters reveal the world to be in this draft. A little frustrating, but. . .that’s the way it is. Also, I realized I need to start the book with Esmé, not Yuri (yet another reason the title needs to change). At first I thought it could be a prologue, but the more I mull it over, the more I realize no, it needs to be a chapter focused on Esmé before they arrive in Solmer and Yuri’s taven. I’ll set part of it on the ship The Sea Trotter, and part of it . . .well, you’ll just have to read it to find out!

This is the kind of situation where a writer who insists on total control over everything from the get-go would just stop. But, if you trust your characters (i.e., your subconscious) to get you through even the disjointed bits, you’ll push through and have something better at the end than if you tried to control it all so tightly before you set a word on paper. Rewrites are good places to impose structure and logic. First drafts are to trust your characters and your imagination.

Did an extra yoga session yesterday afternoon and it made a big difference.

Commute sucked both ways, and too many SFT’s in the city. Brandy and Melissa, you wouldn’t behave like an SFT, because you naturally think about others. It’s your nature. I don’t mind the tourists who come here and are amazed by all the wonderful things in New York; I mind the ones who are rude, thoughtless (it’s not New Yorkers who are rude, it’s the tourists), and treat those of us who live here as though we’re their personal maids.

Show was fine. I had to tell one of my Dear Hearts this was our last week working together on this show; he’s off to do another show (he’ll be wonderful in it) and I’m covering the Preakness during his last weekend on this show. So we are going to savor every performance together this week! Seriously, working with these actors is always good for me – they’re loving and joyful as well as being talented, and working with them opens my heart a little every time. Which is good, considering how closed and ready for battle I always have to be in my own home.

I have to go and pitch a fit at the credit union this morning. It seems anyone can walk up to any ATM and wipe out my checking and savings, as they did in January, but I can’t get to my own money, and I’m sick of it.

Taped a show last night on which I thought an acquaintance was guest-starring (because he told me so). He’d teased me that he’d call at midnight to see how I liked it (I got home at 11). So I watch the whole darned thing – and he’s not on it! He called, I mentioned it, and he said, “Yeah, that kind of sucks, doesn’t it?” I’m not sure if the episodes got shuffled around or he’s in an upcoming one or what. And it’s not a show I’d watch if he hadn’t told me he had a guest spot! He so owes me! 😉

Very short writing day today; I have two shows and I have to take a train shortly after 10:30. I want to get more writing done before that, so this is a short post.


Adaptation: 23,460 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 90

Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I finished the Script Frenzy screenplay about mid-afternoon yesterday. It comes in at 155 pages. In spite of the fact that there’s a lot of rapid-fire dialogue and I use triple spaces between character speeches instead of double, there’s still room to cut. I’ll hone it and have it as a portfolio sample, but I think I’m going to adapt it into a novel. As I look back at it, I see how I can open it up and it’s very exciting.

This morning, I wrote 1900 words on a new piece, working title “Yuri’s Tale”. I’d hoped it would be the first of a set of linked short stories, but I don’t know if that’s going to be the case. The rhythm of the piece is quite different than what I usually do, a calmer pace, yet still building tension, and I want to see where it goes. The idea started percolating last night, and I dreamed about it, so now I’m sitting down to write it. The atmosphere is a character, if that makes any sense. There’s action, adventure, a little mystery, a little western in it, but the sensory elements are in the forefront. So it’s intriguing to work on, and I have to see where it leads me. I have no outline, I’m just writing my way into it.

As I often say, one needs to slightly re-invent the wheel with each piece, and let it be true to itself. If you get stuck in what you call “your process” – unless you’ve got the craft down so smoothly that you can plug in, write it, and sell it immediately – you need to trust the work. Trusting the work is trusting yourself, because it’s all happening on various subconscious levels within.

The response to my piece on InkThinker has been interesting, and pretty much split between those who write for a living, and those who write on the side. Those who write for a living totally get it and agree. Those who write on the side think I should be “grateful” that someone wants me to write for them. Um, why should I be “grateful” to be taken advantage of? You don’t ask the plumber to fix your pipes and then take a percentage of a fee at some unforeseeable time in the future, do you? This is my business, not my hobby. If they were serious about hiring me, it would be an entirely different conversation. But there’s a lack of respect for the quality of my work and of the importance of my time and my craft that infuriates me. And there’s no reason I should work for someone whom I don’t respect and who doesn’t respect me unless there’s A LOT of money involved.

Oh, and to respond to Brian, who said I must be “independently wealthy” to spend so much time on my blog: Uh, no, I’m not. I’m just very good at what I do. Which is write.

If ignorance is bliss, please keep the blissful away from me for awhile, okay?

Really, not much else to say. The air conditioners are still here, and I can’t do anything else, apartment-wise until they’re gone. They’re huge and take up the room I need to put furniture. Brandy, to answer your question, the window guys have to be very strict about not moving stuff or the clients would be lazy and not do anything. The window guys would end up being movers instead of window replacers. It was the building’s responsibility to get the air conditioners out for us – especially since the building put one of them in – and they never showed up. The fact that the window crew was kind enough to remove it was a big favor. Now, I have to hassle our scumbag management to get rid of them. They’re big, bulky, and environmentally unfriendly.

I cancelled all my “shoulds” this weekend, instead filling it with “want-to’s.” A lot of that will be reading, writing, and, if the weather holds, walking on the beach.


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on April 18, 2008 at 9:04 am  Comments (5)  

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

“Racing Ink”, the results of yesterday’s picks, is towards the end of this post.

Not much on the writing front today; mostly home-and-hearth kerflamma. A few writing bits sprinkled in, but if you’re here to read about writing process – not much was processing today. Sorry.

My apartment looks like a bookstore after an earthquake. I mean it. I even got three carloads of stuff into storage yesterday, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of headway here. Other than putting books into stacks so that when I get my hands on more book boxes, I can pack by project and actually get at them.

The kitchen altar and main altar area packed, the crystals and prayer flags and all that stuff are packed. That makes me feel very exposed. Oh, horrors, I have to count on my own energy and not external symbols, imagine that. I can hear my friend Gayle right now, “Buck up, bunny!” Okay, okay, I’m bucking up. Plus, it’s not going into storage, jut stacked on top of bookcases away from the windows so I can put it all back as soon as the new windows are in.

So, I’m looking for this DVD of a movie called A Dog’s Breakfast I figured I’d have to order it, but hoped maybe it would be at one of the video stores around here, so on my return trips from the forays to storage, I investigated places in Westchester where one can purchase DVDs. Not such a good selection. At one place, the guy was arguing with me that he’d order it for me if I agreed to purchase a membership and rent it. I said, no, I need to BUY it. He wanted to know why I’d buy a DVD. Not that it was any of his business but: A) I want to support someone whose work I like and respect, so dammit, I’m buying the effing DVD (sort of like buying my friends’ books as they come out in hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback), and B) I know I’m going to have to watch it multiple times for research. A return date is not going to work. I reminded this guy, hello, I’m the CUSTOMER, you’re supposed to SERVE me, not ARGUE with me.

Struggled to get some writing done in the evening; kept getting distracted by research. And pleased because this time next week, I am working onsite, out of town, for a few days, and I can’t wait to get away from the stress for even a short time. I’m putting as many safety mechanisms in place before I go as possible. I’m seriously thinking about using the time to go to ground and just write, read, do yoga, do the work that’s paying me to go out of town and onsite, and not deal with human beings any more than absolutely necessary.

I visited a friend, kind of sprawling on the couch for awhile, and he’s giving me a hard time – in fun, but still a hard time – about something, and I finally said, “If I had the energy, I’d get up and kick your ass”, to which he responded, “Why do you think I picked now to bust your chops about this?” And he wonders why I won’t date him! 😉

I felt I made progress in a different situation with a different person today, when, instead of reacting to something that provoked me, I realized, hey, that’s not this person’s problem, it’s MY problem, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal if I don’t let it. Not only that, if I wasn’t under so much house-and-home stress, it’s not something that would normally bother me. So I let it go, and avoided what could have blown into unnecessary drama. Pick the battle, know when to hold the line or give ground, don’t be a doormat, but don’t look for trouble, either. Because there are just times it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut. This was one of them.

I got a bit of work done on the erotic fairy tale – not easy when I, personally, feel about as sexy as wilted lettuce, and I’m at a point of fatigue where it’s hard to throw the switch into the genre part of my writing brain. I’m sure there are many erotic possibilities in wilted lettuce, but right now, I really don’t want to hear about them. Good thing the men in my life are out of town this week – I’m not a fun date!

I had a few moments of panic when I realized the research books I need for the next two Gwen/Justin adventures (The Balthazaar Treasure and Sandoval’s Secret) went to storage, but they’re in the box marked “priority books”, so they’ll come back the day after the windows go in. I kept telling myself, it’s only for a few weeks, and if I need them THAT badly before, I can open the box and bring them back early. It’s not like the storage units in the city, where I can’t actually GET at anything. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t talked about Tracking Medusa lately, that’s because it’s out in the world, and once I have a signed contract, there will be something to say.

Oh, someone asked what the price was for the new windows – our sanity, of course! What we NEED is flood mitigation. What the scumbags are doing is putting in a few cosmetic touches (and handling them in a way to guarantee the most disruption in our lives as possible) – so that they can flip the building. They have no intention of being around long enough to pay up when the wheels of justice roll in our favor (and they will).

I hope I can resume the house hunting soon. Brandy’s right: I am frustrated; I am angry; I’ve been living under siege for three years, and I’m sick of it. What they want is for us to be scared; I won’t give them that. I’m angry, and I’ll use that anger as a weapon. If it was as simple as renting a truck, packing up and taking off, that’s what I’d do. Unfortunately, this time around, it’s more complicated.

Today’s agenda: more packing and hauling stuff to storage; work on the essay and on the erotic fairy tale. Maybe, just maybe, finish the outline for the piece that has to be started April 1.

My grandmother’s worse again, so somewhere in all of this, I have to figure out a time to get to Maine.

Here’s some Racing Ink:
Eva Maria let me down in Race 2—she came in 5th. But that was nowhere near as disappointing as Moon Catcher in the 5th race, who came in last. Made me glad I tossed some money at Baroness Thatcher just because of Johnny V—they came in 2nd, that’s what I wanted, good for us.

Highest Class came in third and Backseat Rhythm came in fourth in the Bonnie Miss S, so that was also a disappointment.

However, I more than made up for all of it in the Florida Derby. In the post parade, I reshuffled my deck. I liked BB Frank, didn’t think he had it in him today – out. I was on the fence with Face the Cat, in spite of Johnny, so – out. I tossed Fierce Wind, much to the dismay of several colleagues. I liked Elysium Fields and wanted to see Majestic Warrior do well, so I waved some show money at them. That didn’t work so well – Elysium Fields came in second to last, which makes me thinks there’s an injury, and Majestic Warrior was a disappointing sixth.

BUT – Big Brown looked great in the paddock, so I tossed money at him. I got worried in the post parade, because I was afraid he used himself up, but wow! With a great break from the gate, he took control of the race, and never let go. I feared he’d wear down, especially since he did the first quarter in 22 seconds and change, but no – this big brown boy won by 4 ½ lengths. Very impressive.

He’s not yet my top pick for the Derby – he tends towards foot problems, and Churchill’s track is less forgiving than Gulfstream’s. (But then, Point Given also had foot problems, and he was a fantastic horse). War Pass, Pyro, and Georgie Boy still top my list. But he’s worth another look. We’ll see how he comes out of this – and he is 3 for 3.

Arkansas Derby is April 12 – it’ll be interesting to see which, if any horses in that have an impact on the Derby.

I caught up pretty well today for someone who hasn’t been paying attention since November! 😉


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop on over to Biblio Paradise and read the interview with Colin Galbraith.

Mik tagged me for 7 Random things about me. Um, hard to think of them, but here’s a shot:

1. I hate confrontation, but if you corner me, I turn into a feral cat. And I don’t mean a small one! More like, leopard-sized!

2. I hate the telephone. I have it off almost all the time. I have two half-hour periods a day when I return business calls, and I return other calls when I can, but I just hate the telephone. I pretty much use it only when I’m running late.

3. I love the juvenile mystery fiction from the early twentieth century: Ruth Fielding, Beverly Gray, Vicki Barr, Nancy Drew, Penny Parker, Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, the Dana Girls, Sue Barton, Dorothy Dixon, the list goes on and on. I find the social commentary as interesting (if sometimes frightening in its ignorance) as plot and structure.

4. I prefer animals to people, most of the time.

5. I like my men the same way I like my whisky – straight up.

6. I am technologically challenged. (Gee, you think?)

7. I’m much more of a winter gal than a summer one. I’ll take snow and ice over heat and humidity any day!

Hmm, who should I tag? Brandy, Girl-at-desk, Lori, Julia.

I had company stop by for a lunch visit yesterday, so I made roast pork with all the trimmings. Problem with that is, I was ready to nap all afternoon! But I didn’t. I got some admin work done, and went back to Tracking Medusa.

I also ordered a boatload of ink for the HP. According to the Staples website, one tank for this printer does 150 pages. WTF????? The Canon multi-pass did between 400-700 pages (I could always print more than a ream of paper on a single tank), and the Canon Baby Bubble did around 300. 150 pages is, like, a day in my printing life.

You can be sure I’ll compare the HP all-in-one capacities with Canon’s before I make my final decision. I just may stick with Canon after all! It never occurred to me that there would be such a MASSIVE difference in the ink capacity, especially since the HP tanks are bigger. And, frankly, I think the Canon print quality is better. Unfortunately, according to the reviews, the newer Canon models are ink hogs. So does that mean I should get my old Canon fixed? Spend the $100 and save several hundred a year on ink? This mathematically challenged human needs to sit down with pen, paper, and calculator and figure it out. But, from reading the various consumer reports, the machine I have is a higher quality and a higher print capacity than the newer models. So why fork out money for a new model that chugs ink?

And Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, has GOT to learn to leave the HP printer alone when it’s printing. I don’t know why it fascinates her so much – she always left the multi-pass alone. But she’s chasing the pages and sticking her paw in it and all of that. Elsa ruined an Epsom printer years ago by getting stuck in it when she was a kitten. She was just fine, although a little inky and she yelled a lot. The printer, however, was ruined. You can’t take your eyes off them for a second when there’s machinery going.

There’s something about reading a royalty statement that gets me all warm and fuzzy, even if there’s not an enormous check on its way. That’s all I’m saying.

I did a really nice chunk of work on the Tracking Medusa edit last night. I beefed up the Prologue. I expanded and detailed the first time Gwen and Justin meet, where she’s attacked outside the NY Public Library. I put the Harry’s funeral onstage, and created the dynamic between Gwen, Karl, and Jonathan. And I got to introduce Kitty – since it’s obvious later that she was in NY when Harry was killed, we might as well see her. I’ve given Tom Albright more to do. So it’s all good – the Prologue and the first two chapters, redone. Whew! And I love honing the language, fixing the structure, making it all polished and shiny. In spite of the hand-written notes on the actual manuscript, I find that, as I put in the changes, I’m delving even deeper into plot and story.

Decent morning’s work on Balthazaar. I have to stop and re-read the pirate research I did for Cutthroat Charlotte. It’s kind of cool to be able to use the same research with a completely different viewpoint for this.

Good morning’s work on Wyatt. The plot is taking an interesting twist. Wyatt seems to know what he’s doing, so I’m following along! I have the most basic outline of the story in my head, but no details, so I’m following Wyatt.

I hope that ink arrives soon – I’m halfway down the new ink tank I put in already.


The Balthazaar Treasure — 5,517words out of est. 90,000 (6.13%)

Wyatt – 4,176 words out of est. 20,000 (20%)

Tracking Medusa Revision – 8,579 words out of est. 90,000 (9.5%)

Published in: on January 18, 2008 at 10:22 am  Comments (9)  

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007
Waning Moon
Sunny and cool

Can you believe it’s October already? That’s my favorite month of the year!

So, you remembered to say “rabbit, rabbit!” for luck? Not me. Where did that come from, anyway? The first time I ever heard it was in the Trixie Belden series (one of my favorites growing up, because it’s set about twenty minutes away from here and I knew the locations).

Three nights of sleep in a row. I might regain my sanity at this rate, although I wouldn’t count on it!

I did not find any shoes I wanted at the sale yesterday. Isn’t that sad? But why buy something I don’t really want, just to buy? I’d rather buy books!

Brandy, there’s an old joke: “How many pairs of shoes should a woman own? One more than she already has.” I never got into shoes until I was in my mid-thirties. I’d have one pair of dressy shoes and the sneakers for my work. Suddenly, in my thirties, I fell in lust with shoes – especially comfortable ones.

Good yoga session. My friend Costume Imp is already on the plane to London. I have a few things to take care of this morning, and then I head off to his place, where I’m looking after the cats and doing a self-imposed writing retreat. Actually, I’ll have computer access while I’m there, so I plan to blog, and I have work and a PEN event tomorrow, but I plan as little contact with the world as possible. I want to regain some physical and emotional strength (I’ll need it, with these Evil Developers)

I made a mat bag for my yoga mat yesterday – a lovely dark tapestry. Of course, it’s huge – I can carry the mat, the block, and some yoga clothes in it –none of those narrow ones for me!

Did a little bit of work on Prince Paisley’s Chintz this morning, but I’d packed my notes, and needed to refer to them, so . . .The contrast between the beginnings of the two is intentional. Revenge Tangents starts off at a quick clip, full of dialogue, typically stressed Manhattan. At the opening of Chintz, Posey’s moved, and adjusting to the quieter, saner rhythm of her life. Perhaps this is yet another way of writing myself into the reality I want.

Yes, Colin, it does have to do with Paisley, in Scotland. Part of the plotline of this novella deals with a specific (fictional) fabric created by an interior designer who re-invented himself as “Prince Paisley” and some of the furniture in the house Posey inherited is covered in that particular fabric.

I’m still a fan of the paisley pattern, although sometimes it’s done to extremes. A dress I made years and years ago is a lovely, quiet blue-on-blue paisley. I still wear it – or, I would, if it wasn’t in storage right now.

Am I horrible to be excited about being out of the muck for a week? Away from the fray, not fighting? I hate to leave the place, the cats, my mom, unprotected, but I’ve set things in motion in case anything happens. I want to look after my friend’s cats, and I need the break.

Whoever thought I’d consider going IN to Manhattan a break? It shows how bad things have gotten out here.

I had another epiphany during morning yoga/meditation. In addition to the physical demands of working shows getting to be too much, and the schedule being too much (how many of you had to work every Christmas for 22 years instead of spending it with your family?) It’s also the care-taking. So much of working in wardrobe involves care-taking, on both physical and psychological levels. Now that I’m older, and have moved into a position of, well, authority, in the family, my caretaking needs to focus on them. Even though I’m paid, I don’t want to care-take at the theatre, even though I genuinely like and respect most of the people with whom I work. I need to save the physical and emotional energy for my own family and my own work. And I’ve never been someone who could simply go through the motions on anything I do.

Check in with you later – from the retreat!


PS Shout out to Hope Clark of Funds for Writers — Happy Birthday! And thanks for all you do for us!

Published in: on October 1, 2007 at 7:11 am  Comments (7)  

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Full Moon
Sunny and hot

It’s in the mid-80’s today. What’s up with that?

Still fighting with DHL. Either their driver’s been going to a different address or he’s recording false information into his record. Either way, it’s unacceptable. And the fact that customer service has absolutely no interest in solving the problem. So, it was time to contact Corporate Headquarters. Let’s face it, if they ever actually had shown up, they would have noticed that great big, sealed envelope that says “DHL” in big letters. And it hasn’t been touched for seven days. No one even attempted delivery.

Once I get my materials, I’ll be invoicing them, at my regular freelance rate, for the time wasted on them.

Brandy suggested UPS – -they’re even worse. They refuse to deliver to this complex until after 7 PM – although they’ll deliver to every other building in the area, because they’ve decided that it’s “residential” and they “don’t” deliver to residences before 7 PM.
Bite me, UPS.

And Fed Ex sucks unless it’s an LL Bean delivery. LL Bean whips them into shape.

Anyone know if Purolator Courier still exits? I used to like them. And there was some other one, that was mostly international. They had a maroon logo – wish I could remember them – started with a “B”, I think?

I bought Mindy’s boo-ook! I bought Mindy’s booo-ook! And now I can’t wait to read it. Although, before I got my hands on it, I’d started, yesterday, one of Donna Leon’s Venice mysteries – where have I been, all these years, not to read them? Fascinating!

I got through work – always nice to catch up with the people I enjoy, including one of my favorite colleagues who just returned from creating a dance project in Findhorn, Scotland. And another favorite colleague, who’s participating in the Avon Walk Against Breast Cancer.

I have to get to the post office today and send off my first Book Mooch requested book. Looking forward to it. I’m so happy these books will get good homes! And, I requested my first book. So it’s all good.

I’ve been crocheting my little heart out – time to do a post over at Tactile Muse this week. And my SDR post will go up at some point today.

One of my editors requested some revisions for an article. I had some more questions, so as soon as those are answered. I can do the revisions. There are a couple of directions we can go with this, and I want to make sure I’m clear on what they want – for what they’re paying, I’m not doing unlimited revisions.

Putting together my materials for next week, and receiving conference materials, so I have to go through all of that. I’ll take my conference folder with me, just in case.

I need a few more hours in the day and fewer interruptions. I’m good at being a bitch about interruptions and I’m still frustrated – I can’t imagine how someone bad at boundary-setting gets anything done.

Got a heads-up on a situation that might go down next week, so I’m prepared. Part of me hopes it does – it could be a catalyst I need. Part of me hopes it doesn’t, because the nuts and bolts will be a pain in the ass.

Frustrating morning’s work on Revenge Tangents.

But at least Crazy Downstairs Neighbor has been quiet the past few days. Maybe some other people complained. Maybe he’s been sober.


Revenge Tangents – 23,875 words out of est. 25,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 25
Published in: on September 26, 2007 at 7:47 am  Comments (7)  

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Just a quick check-in – home only long enough to refill cat feeders, unpack and repack, take care of some business, run some errands, and off I go again.

The first article for Blessed Gardens is here:

And the 2008 Llewellyn Annuals are out! I have work in The Magical Almanac, The Spell-A-Day, The Tarot Reader, and the Herbal Almanac.

I’m thinking about the next novel. I wanted to wait awhile, but this particular tale has been forming for a few weeks now, and, since Good Names is now in typing stage instead of creation stage . . .I have to do some more percolating, and I’ll probably actually start it when the moon turns to new next week. Plus, I sat down and figured out what projects are in what stages, so I can get through the backlog and start getting projects out. There’s no point in doing all this writing if it just piles up. Finishing, revisions, and submissions are important.

The past few days, I’ve been in the city working with a small dog. He was taken off death row in one of the shelters by an acquaintance of mine who felt sorry for him. The shelter workers hated him; no one wanted him; he was deemed unadoptable, aggressive, and sentenced to death.

Those people were either crazy or lazy.

This is one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met. He’s young, affectionate, and intelligent. He’s also frightened and insecure, and when he panics, it blocks his intelligence. Yes, he was a basket case when I walked in the door. But, when I left yesterday to go to the theatre, he was calm, affectionate, obeyed basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “go find” and “no”. All he needed was structure and love, and he got both. He’s fine. He’s a delight. He’s still unsure of strange people, but he’s really good with other dogs. When I sat at the table, writing, he’d curl up by my feet. When I read the paper in the morning, he’d sit in my lap. He snuggled when we watched television at night, or later on in bed. He’s a delight. If his human keeps up the structures I’ve started, there’s nothing he can’t learn, except maybe to do things that require opposable thumbs.

How many other dogs are being killed every day, simply because they’re smart and the people around them were either stupid or lazy? It breaks my heart.

And I miss him terribly. Talk about instant bonding.

My untrainable cats are happy that I’m home and I’ve lavished plenty of affection on them last night and this morning. They all “helped” me crochet last night – which means I spent quite a bit of time retrieving yarn from under the bed, behind the bookcase, etc., etc.

Diane – to answer your question, new owners are unlikely to improve our conditions. What they are likely to do is try to toss us all out on our asses again, despite the ETPA protections. Which is yet another reason I’m stepping up the house hunt. I’m sick of the bullshit.

Brandy – to answer your question: most people find knitting very easy. I have a terrible time casting on, although Anita at “Snapshots of a Life in Pictures and Words” is a great knitter and gave me some good tips. Once I’m actually knitting, I’m okay, although I’m slow. But the casting on . . . I’m pretty useless. And without casting on, you can’t knit. I’m still more comfortable with crocheting, so that’s what I’m focusing on now. My mom is a superb knitter, but won’t use a pattern. I buy the yarn, sketch out what I want, and she does it.

Day work was okay yesterday, but my focus is so far from theatrical work right now that I really had to pay attention. I can’t slack off and expect other people to clean up after me because I’m busy with other things. Plus, the call is getting more and more stuff heaped on it all the time, so I just prioritize each time I’m in there, and do the most important things first, and then however much else I can fit into the call and there it is. Some of the stuff has been put in because the dressers don’t feel like doing it; some of it is simply because different people are in different tracks and different things happen.

The construction guys are using the power tools that drive me crazy (yes, I know, short drive) right under my window. So much for getting creative work done this morning.

I managed to get some decent work done on “Revenge Tangents”, which I’ve finally accepted is actually Revenge Tangents and will be a novella.

Off to deal with the unpleasant b.s,, run some errands, do some prep work, and off to the next gig. “See” you all in a few days.


Revenge Tangents – 13,635 words out of est. 15,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
13 / 15
Published in: on September 5, 2007 at 7:58 am  Comments (11)  

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

It’s raining heavily here again today, and we’re on flood watch. The positive aspect is that the construction numbnuts, who started at 7:45 this morning, had to suspend their damned noise, and I could get some work done. I hope it doesn’t flood – really not up for that, but the car’s safe, so if it does, I can hunker down and just deal.

After two months of serious flooding in the UK, we’re only now hearing about it on the news. My thoughts are with all my friends and colleagues there.

Brandy, to answer your Rowling question: I think whatever she writes next will have huge sales and huge criticism, because too many will be narrow-minded enough to want the same thing from her, but bitch and moan no matter what she writes, even if the quality is excellent. I think by whatever she writes after THAT, there will be enough distance for people to embrace it on its own merits. I suspect that the media will be harsher on her than the public, since there will be plenty there who want to see her fail out of sheer spite. Fortunately, she’s now in a position where she can do whatever she pleases and follow her heart. If she chooses to write under another name, good for her; if she continues under hers, good for her. I wish her well in whatever she attempts, and I’m pleased by her success. She’s earned it.

I worked on Chapter 13 of Tracking Medusa yesterday. I think I’ll have to rework it substantially in the rewrite – it plods rather than flows. And I have to look at the photos I took of the Scottish War Memorial – I skimped on the description.

Went to my friend’s in the afternoon, did two more loads of laundry, more research for Good Names, and this time I cooked dinner: thyme chicken, asparagus with hollandaise, and potato salad.

For some reason, I was exhausted when I got home and spent most of the evening reading magazines and half-watching stupid television.

Didn’t get a gig I hoped for. Objectively, I should be relieved, because it would tie me down more than I can be tied down right now for less money than it should be for the gig, but it was an interesting, unusual thing that I wanted to try. Oh, well. Just means something better is right around the corner.

Good morning’s work on Good Names. One of the dead governess’s dalliances has been uncovered, and it gives them some detection work to do.

I have some business-y work to do today, and then I can get back to Tracking Medusa.

Let’s hope the water stays within its banks and the electricity holds on.


Good Names — 43,882 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
43 / 100

Tracking Medusa – 32,990 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32 / 90
Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 9:09 am  Comments (5)  

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I really hate being this exhausted. I hope I can rest up this weekend. Plus, I started getting a migraine on the train home last night – by the time I got off at my stop, it felt like someone was stabbing me through the eyes with an ice pick.

The post-Preakness article is getting a HUGE amount of hits – I’m thrilled.

There’s a chance I’ll get to write about the America’s Cup Race coming up in June. Not that I know ANYTHING about sailing – I can’t even swim – but I’ve always been fascinated by them, and when I met some of the former boats in Newport a few years ago (because in Newport, these boats are not considered inanimate objects, but members of the community), I was even more fascinated. So, if my editor agrees – I’ve got some studying to do! Good thing I’ve got a strong learning curve!

Yesterday was busy, but mostly about other people’s work. I caught up on admin work, scoured job boards (now I have to send out pitches), critiqued three chapters of my friend’s new manuscript (it’s good), sent script samples to another friend (and fell in love with one of my plays that needs revision all over again), and just generally played catch up until I couldn’t even see straight anymore. And that was all by one p.m.! I have to set up the links list for Script Frenzy – I’m going to have a specific set of links for that project, much the way I do during Nano. It’ll probably start as a long list, then shorten as people either drop out of Script Frenzy or don’t bother to do the agreed-upon link swap! “Cause if I’m taking the time to visit and it’s not reciprocal . . .I’m going to stop. Got some other work done, gave myself a reading break, cooked dinner, and was on a 4 PM train to get to the city.

Show was fine; it was a lot of fun, actually. And I thought I had the weekend off, but I’m booked for the Sunday matinee. And then B. and I are going out.

But it gives me two solid writing days, which will be nice; I can get Circadian Poems set up for June, and maybe into July 4, when it goes into summer break; I can read and comment the rest of my friend’s chapters (she’s got assignments due today and I gave her an assignment for the weekend. Can you hear that whip crack); I can get a good chunk of work done on the script outline for Script Frenzy (and maybe even come up with a title); I can work on GOOD NAMES; I can get some pitches out; I can finish the assignment for Confidential Job #1, get that off and invoice it; and I can get off two hefty submissions that need to go out by Monday.

I also want to re-read ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, last year’s Nano, this weekend, and get going on the revisions. As I mentioned, since the chapters alternate points of view, I’m going to do all the chapters from one point of view first, and then all the chapters from the other point of view.

Two pieces I’m in the midst of reading use multiple POVs and, while there’s some good writing, there are too many POVs and the voices aren’t distinct enough. So I want to make sure I keep Simon and Morag’s cadences very clear.

I re-read DIXIE DUST RUMORS, I’m going to revise the query a final time, and then, at the top of the week, I’m going to start batching queries on that one. It’s where I want it to be – the kind of book I would have loved to read as a middle grade reader. Let’s hope someone else agrees. It’ll go out under a pseudonym specific to the genre, which I’ll share as soon as I’ve got something contracted under it!

Circadian Poems will be updated later today.

Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton biography is fantastic, and I’m carving out reading time for it this weekend. I want several uninterrupted hours to sink into it and enjoy it. It also inspires me to read her work straight through. I’ve read some of it, and, while the writing is beautiful, my memory of the work is that her protagonists frustrate me. I am not one who believes that, because a character is a woman, she is “trapped by society”. That’s a choice, in my opinion. The only way progress has ever been made in this world is when people have flaunted society and followed their passion. Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, Jane Addams, Julia Ward Howe, heck our own Founding Fathers . . .the list goes on and on. You don’t get anything done by being complacent and conformist. I don’t sympathize with characters who are; I get impatient with them.

But Wharton wrote much more than the few pieces I’ve read, and it sounds like her work is much farther-reaching. I also want to re-read and read more of Henry James.

Off to Trader Joe’s. I opened the last cat of cat food this morning (it’s been tested and is safe). When I opened the cupboard a box of graham crackers fell on Elsa’s head and broke open. She didn’t mind; she would have eaten them, given the option (I took them away). She is a dog living in a cat’s body.

And I’m ordering new ear buds for my MP3 player. I’m tired of them either falling out all the time or hurting. Why have a player if I can’t listen to it?

Off to get things done and defeat the migraine. I refuse to lose an entire day of writing. Brandy, I answered your question in the post below this one.

Have a great holiday weekend!


May 11, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Jill Shalvis is going to laugh at me.

If you read her wonderful blog, you know that she is less than fond of spiders. And, if you’ve read my comments to those posts, you know I keep telling her that spider is a messenger and she has to interpret the message.

Well, I came home from the theatre on Tuesday night and went into the kitchen to fix a cup of tea and one of the biggest gray spiders I’ve ever seen scuttled across my bare foot from one side of the kitchen to the other. I screamed and nearly dropped the kettle.

It wasn’t as big as the spider who visited our apartment in Edinburgh a few years ago, where my fellow cast-mates jumped on furniture and I chased it around with a baking pan and a spatula and finally corralled it and released it out the window (we were on the first floor). But it was big.

And now I don’t know where it is.

So every time I feel the least little tickle, I jump ten feet, sure that a four inch spider is about to crawl up my leg.

And I have NO idea what it’s trying to tell me.

Go ahead, Jill – laugh! Serves me right! 

Brandy, I really admire the way you’re handling everything. Chris needs you to be strong right now. And remember – you’ve got all of us as your support system. You care-take him; we’ll care-take you so that you CAN care-take him. We’re here, so don’t hesitate to call on us.

Red tagged me for “eight wonderful things about me”. I’m going to do it – but so far, I’ve only thought of two!

Hop on over to the new site for The Scruffy Dog Review Blog and read my post on “Living By Your Wits”. Thank you, Brenda and Colin, for moving it to WordPress!

And hop on over to The Tactile Muse to read about my latest knitting adventures.

I was pretty much a waste of food yesterday. Exhausted and not feeling well due to this respiratory whatever – which is made worse by the growing (in every sense of the word) mold problem in the basement of this building, post-flood. The Tenants’ Organization is putting together a meeting to figure out what to do about it.

But I read a bit, caught up on some work, knitted a bit (Elsa helped), dealt with some phone stuff, etc., etc. All I wanted to do was sleep, but that’s not an option right now. Maybe Monday I’ll be able to take a nap.

I bought lilacs on my way home from work last night – and I’m so congested I can even smell them!

Took the train into the city. Stopped by the Imperial Theatre, where Coram Boy is currently playing. A friend of mine just moved into the assistant supervisor position. I wanted to stop by and drop off the tiny little gift I brought from Iceland. And I ran into another friend of mine who’s in the process of buying a house not too far from me, so we got to catch up. I barely made it to my own theatre by call time!

Show was fine. I started reading Practical Demonkeeping backstage. It’s hilarious! Well-written, well-structured and genuinely clever. I got pulled in so deeply that sometimes, I barely made my cues! But they all got done, so it was fine.

Missed the 11:10 train by one minute. I’d much rather miss it by ten minutes than one! Puttered around Grand Central for awhile, but got a good seat on the 11:40. Got home just before one, knitted a few more rows, and went to bed.

Good yoga session this morning, and a productive session on Good Names. I need to do some more research. I’m tired, in that state of exhaustion that an eight show week always places me. If I was ONLY doing the eight shows, I could sleep in and focus on that. But, since I’m juggling the writing and the rest of it as well – I simply have to be in a state of perpetual exhaustion all week.

Today, I have to catch up on paperwork, do some research, scour the job boards (they’ve been very disappointing this week), write the pre-Preakness article, and run some errands. And then, tonight, it’s off to the theatre again. The Circadian Poem will go up later – I’m having trouble with the disk.

Today’s Iceland photos, top and bottom, are of Kerio (there should be a line over the “o” to extend it, but I think it’s pronounced “Keyrith”). This is a volcanic crater now filled with water. No guard-rails, so I didn’t get too close to the edge! I love the colors.

Hope you’re preparing for a terrific weekend!


Good Names ¬ – 9,562 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9 / 100

May 10, 207

Wednesday, May 10
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

I overslept (happens when you get in after midnight and can’t get to sleep right away) and am having a slow start. Don’t have an update on Good Names yet, so tomorrow’s entry will probably combine today’s and tomorrow’s work.

The “Egg-on-Face Post-Derby Wrap-Up” article is up on Femmefan here.

No, Brandy, I haven’t received any replies to my adoption question. I think I’ll have to email my contact at NYPL and see if he can point me in the right direction.

And, Brandy, my thoughts are with you that everything works out. Most important thing to know – no matter how difficult it is for you, do NOT let the doctors, etc., push you around. You need to be Chris’s advocate right now. If someone’s not forthcoming with information or not doing what you believe needs to be done, be polite but FIRM and DON’T BACK DOWN. Unfortunately, hospitals tend to prioritize by who advocates and who rolls over. This, in my opinion, is due to pressure from insurance companies, and not necessarily the fault of the health care providers. My mantra when dealing with that is, “That’s not acceptable. Try again.” Hysterics won’t get you want you need, but firm, immovable determination will. You’re going to have to move out of your comfort zone to protect Chris’s health.

Mini-rant – I’m getting a little tired of celebrities jumping on the eco-conscious bandwagon. You want me to take you seriously? Stop riding in limos, using private jets, and get rid of your SUVs. More walking the talk, fewer photo ops.

Our show is one of several Broadway companies involved in helping the post-Katrina kids in this organization, (After the Storm Foundation) bring their production up to NYC and see other shows. They’re coming up in mid-June — it’s going to be exciting for all of us! I’m honored to be a contributor.

Shows were fine yesterday. I took allergy medication for the first show and it made me dizzy; didn’t want to take it for the second and was congested. Can’t win!

The weather was so gorgeous that my friend B. and I went over to World Wide Plaza and ate outside at the New World Grill in between shows. We had some wine and split several plates of appetizers and enjoyed a lovely, sunny New York experience.

I’m reading one of the novels I brought back from Iceland, called 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrimur Helgason. It’s my understanding this book (published in the mid-90’s) was so popular it was turned into a movie or TV thing or something. It’s sort of an existential slacker novel. Unfortunately, I hate it. It’s well-written, mind you; but I loathe the navel-gazing, self-involved, dull protagonist who’s as obsessed with his own genitalia as any Philip Roth character (but without the literary technique). Someone said that I “should’ like it because it’s Icelandic, and not liking it shows I’m a small-minded American – well, you know, the novel could be happening in New York (parts of it remind me of some of Jay McInerny’s work – not parts I like) or Los Angeles or London or Paris or anywhere – I’d still dislike the protagonist. He’s just the type of guy for whom I have no use and no sympathy. If I met him in a bar, I’d walk away within the first three minutes. There’s way too much going on in the world and that needs to be done in the world for me to have any patience with passive/aggressive apathetic morons.

“But isn’t it because it’s a pre-9/11 novel and you’re reading it post-9/11?” My questioner persisted.

I considered this, and decided that no, even before 9/11, I had no time for passive/aggressive apathetic morons. They are simply not people with whom I choose to spend my time, whether it’s on the page or in real life.

So my friend Jack lent me Christopher Moore’s Practical Demon-keeping instead, which he thinks I’ll really like.

I need to work on Good Names, get caught up on a bunch of paperwork, get out the report for Confidential Job #1, etc., etc., and then it’s back to the show tonight.

Let’s hope Lara has her baby today. I already told her I’m going to laugh like crazy if it turns out to be twins! That happened to an acquaintance of mine a few years ago, even though she had the ultrasounds and everything else. No one noticed it was twins until the kids were born. She kind of suspected (she said, “I’ve been big as a house in previous pregnancies, but never as big as a barn”), so she was less surprised than the folk in the delivery room. In fact, she was rather relieved that it wasn’t triplets!

I’m vamping now, avoiding getting down to work. Here are more Iceland pictures, top and bottom. Eventually, I’ll get around to actually writing about the trip. I had colleagues howling with laughter upon hearing some of our adventures.

Have a great day!


May 7, 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Hop on to Circadian Poems – we’ve started up again, with Wren Fallon’s “Desire in Passing” and, barring any more natural disasters/downed power lines/ illness/other acts of disruption – we should be up and running on the usual schedule until July 4.

My weekly Dog Blog ramblings should start up again this week, too. And Devon’s Random Newsletter for May will go out in the next day or two. If you’re not on the list, you can sign up here. Just make sure you put “subscribe” or “newsletter” in the subject line so I can pull you out from the spam.

Yesterday, I was basically a waste of food. The exhaustion of two floods, a lingering flu, trips to Plymouth, Portland, and Iceland – all caught up. All I wanted to do was curl up and read. Plus, I’m having some sort of respiratory problem – coming back into the pollution of New York just didn’t agree with me.

But I can’t afford that luxury – baby doesn’t write, baby can’t pay the rent or the food bill or anything else. So baby wrote. And scoured last week’s job listings to send out pitches. And went grocery shopping, did some hand laundry, balanced (well, you could call it that) the bank statement, etc., etc., etc. Roasted a chicken for dinner.

And was happy to find checks from both Confidential Jobs waiting for me in the stack of mail.

Two things I missed terribly in Iceland were cooking and reading the newspaper. Although I managed to understand some (very basic) Icelandic while I was there, I couldn’t grasp enough to read the newspaper. And English language newspapers were simply out of my price range on this trip. So I did without, and devoured The New York Times as an oasis of ink. It’s a shame I can’t read Icelandic – Iceland publishes five – or maybe it’s six, depending upon whom you ask – daily newspapers, and I would have loved to be able to read them and compare points of view. And, while every meal was luscious, I still missed the physical act of cooking.

However, I found short-term apartments for rent in a section of town in which I’m comfortable, so that’s an option for the next trip. Actually, the next trip will probably be a quick stop on the way back from Scotland – but the trip after that, I’d like to plan for two weeks, rent the apartment, and do it as a self-imposed writing retreat.

Caught up on most of the blog readings. Brandy, Kristen, ME Ellis, etc: If you don’t have the option in your comment section for me to choose another identity, I can’t comment, because Blogger swears I no longer exist. Some of the blogs HAVE this option, but, for some reason, won’t accept what I type in. So, my friends, I am reading your blogs, but can’t always comment. Brandy, I especially wanted to let you know, because I enjoy your blog so much and feel like I’m being a bad friend by not commenting.

Segueing from the guilt of being a bad friend to the topic of bad neighbors – Idiot Neighbor, who behaved so badly in the flood, does not accept that I am done with her. I mean, of course she misses the fact that Devon’s General Store (which is how she treated my apartment) is now closed to her. And she wrote me a note with a lame “I apologize, it’s all my teenage daughter’s bad behaviour” note which doesn’t address the issue, just makes excuses. I don’t know about you, but a 17 year old does NOT make the decisions in any household in which I participate. It’s up to parents to actually parent. Anyway, she was annoyed right before the trip to Maine that I wasn’t willing to take her laundry up to Maine, too, and do it for her (lady, I’m not even speaking to you – what makes you think I’m going to drive your laundry 600 miles and then do it for you)? And now, she’s moaning because she was in a car accident this week, “got hurt” (she looks pretty mobile to me) and her car’s been totaled. She stood there, waiting for me to offer my car, and I simply said, “I’m sorry to hear that. I hope it all works out for you.” I’m not obligated to lend her my car any more than I’m obligated to let her use my computer when I’m not home (an argument we had a few months ago – this is a woman who breaks absolutely everything she touches – no way am I going to imperil either my computer or my car). She still believes that she suffered more than anyone else in the flood, and that the emergency service people were unjustified in prioritizing the evacuation of the elderly and the woman who was eight months pregnant over her. She’s never going to get it. She’s in love with being a victim. And every time she’s presented with an opportunity to stop being a victim, she gets hostile. Enough already. It’s been four or five years of this type of behaviour. I am not obligated to be anything more than a polite neighbor in passing.

I must admit, the nasty side of my personality thought, “Wow! The Cat Goddess certainly worked fast to call up the Karma Dogs.”

Got the post-Derby article done and out. One makes mistakes in horse racing. I’m not going to back pedal, make excuses or pretend. I backed the horse I liked best, but another horse was better on that day and in that race. He was terrific, in fact, and absolutely deserved to win.

You’ll all be terribly disappointed in me – I didn’t photograph any of the Icelandic men! When I was interacting, I completely forgot. Those I saw in passing – well, I felt it would be rude to just whip out the camera and objectify them! You’ll just have to read some of the upcoming fiction to find out what they looked like! Seriously, if I don’t want to be objectified, I have to show the same respect to those around me. I can joke around about the good-looking and interesting men I met, but I wouldn’t trot them out publicly. This blog touches my personal life only in how it affects my writing life. Those who were my muses on this trip know who they are, and hopefully, they’ll be flattered by the way the characters they inspired morph into fiction.

And since I have a strict “no photo” policy when it comes to myself (what’s the point of publishing under multiple names if the same photo’s up?), I certainly would not put up anyone else’s photo without specific permission.

I searched online. I found some stock photos, but they don’t do the men justice. Hair color was pale blond to dark brown. Eyes from blue to brown and everything in between. They tended to be in good shape – some long and lean, some shorter and broader. And, almost every single one I met was nice. Even when they’re flirting, they’re not sleazy. You can have an actual conversation with them. I read some travel blogs where the bloggers (I swear, one of them should have been called “Around the World in 80 Men”) complained that the men were too dumb or too shy to flirt – I didn’t find that at all. I didn’t find them aggressive or spouting lousy pick up lines, which is such a relief. Most of the men I met (and there are always exceptions) were interesting AND interested, could hold up a conversation, had actual opinions and points of view, and a wonderfully dry sense of humor – which is something to which I really respond. I noticed a definite tendency, in some instances, toward the melancholic (understandable, in light of the weather), a strong work ethic in almost everyone, and a very different sense of time and lack of information up front, which sometimes drove me close to the edge. But, in general, I found the majority of the people (regardless of gender) genuinely nice. You’ll be reading about some of the exceptions as well as some of the good ones. Of course, this is a generalization. I was there for a short span of time, in a heavily touristed area. I only got a sampling – I’m sure there are as many diverse personalities and agendas and everything else going on there as anywhere else. Anywhere you have more than two people, there are going to be competing and sometimes conflicting agendas. I was lucky in that I had, people-wise, except for one restaurant experience, positive interactions.

I think, in every instance, you get out what you put in. As a writer, when I travel, I tend to be interested in almost everything. Shy myself, I try to move past that by asking lots of questions, and people respond. I attempt to be respectful, unless I’m pushed past my limits, and try to be a considerate guest in any country I visit. Most people I’ve encountered in Scotland are extremely gregarious hosts. Icelanders are more reserved, but if you make the effort, they tend to respond positively.

Printed out 240 of the photos (all the paper I had), the photo index, and attempted to copy the photos to CD for safekeeping. I’ll start loading some of them into the computer so I can post them – it’ll be hard to choose!

Today’s work is all about finishing the photo print, catching up on things, doing a few more pitches, and preparing for the week. I’m full-time on the show this week, back on the Big Broadway, and I have to re-adjust. I need to focus on the work there without letting any of the freelance work or the creative work slide.

In other words, warning – I’m going to be one tired and cranky bitch all week long! 😉 Consider yourself warned!


Good Names — 6,312 words out of est. 100,000

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6 / 100