Tues. Nov. 3, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 167 — Election Day in the US

image courtesy of Thor Deichmann via pixaby.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Mercury goes DIRECT in the middle of the day – when it can really  screw things up

Election Day

Hell of a weekend, and we’re moving into an even fiercer hell.

Friday, I got out the contracted article. It shouldn’t have been as much of a struggle as it was; I know the topic inside out. But trying to keep the balance between personal experience without it bordering onto ego and useful tools for other writers was a challenge. Hopefully, I achieved it.

As I was prepping the email, I got an email from the editor’s personal account – she’s leaving the magazine to be part of another site.

So much for being a regular contributor on playwrighting for her!

I sent the article anyway to the her email at the magazine, then congratulated her on the private email and wished her well. She reassured me that she still wanted the article, and wanted to continue working with me. We’ll see. I’m not counting on anything.

Some fun calls for submissions landed on my desk – but most of them were for November 1. Two days to write a good piece, polish, and submit? With everything else going on?

One of them was only 350 words, and the parameters sparked an idea, so I sat down and worked and reworked a few drafts and sent it off. It felt good to shake off the stuck for something off the cuff.

If it’s accepted, fantastic. Another new-to-me market. If not, I will expand it a bit with some fun details and submit as a flash fiction to other paying markets.

I’m having issues with my landlord. I don’t feel he is being honest with me about something, and I’m not having it. But it adds layers of unnecessary stress and interaction and interruption that I don’t need right now. I think his greed has gotten the better of him.

Six more months, and we’re out of here, even if, at the moment, we have no idea where we’ll land.

Saturday, Samhain/Halloween was cold and sunny. It was housework day with the usual changing the beds/doing laundry, et al. Saturday is my favorite night to go to bed now, because I love snuggling in the fresh flannel sheets.

Instead of doing one big ritual late at night, I did a morning ritual, and then I did my tarot reading for the coming year in the afternoon, and I did the big ritual at night. And, of course, in Tending the Dead, it was the Night of Ancestors.

In the afternoon, I did more decorating outside, especially with the lights, and set up the table, with more decorations, battery-operated candle jars, and the Treat Bags. It looked good when I was done (photos are posted over on Instagram, where I am @devonellingtonwork).

We didn’t have a lot of kids, but the flatbed truck of the little kids came through just before 8 and cleaned out the first batch of Treat Bags. It’s such a great idea – let the kids ride street to street, and then they can get out at the houses they want.

My neighbors on one side set out a Trick or Treat station in their driveway, which was fun, too. But we were the only ones on our street who did anything.

I made colcannon for dinner, which was great.

I took down the lights and the table a little after 9 PM, when it was very quiet, and there was a good chance no one else was coming around. Even though it was cold, the next day was supposed to be stormy, and I wanted to get things in.

Sunday was Day of the Dead. More ritual, and the Tending the Dead ritual for people I know who have died. That ended up being especially poignant, because author Rachel Caine, who was so supportive of me earlier this year when I was sick and scared, died of cancer. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was still sad. Saturday, she was no longer speaking; Sunday, she woke up long enough to smile and then go back to sleep, so we knew it was only hours. By early evening, we got word she was gone. It’s such a huge loss, on so many levels. But the last months and weeks were awful for her, and I’m glad she’s no longer in pain.

During the day, I’d made an early morning Target run. Scored toilet paper, but they were out of paper towels. Also grabbed a bread box. I’d wanted bamboo, but they only had steel. It looks kind of cool. We’re having issues keeping bread healthy, so a bread box seems like a better choice. Although I think that means we can’t buy sliced bread anymore. There will be a learning curve.

I remember when we lived in Chicago, when I was really little, we had a wooden bread box. I don’t know what happened to it when we moved to New York.

Monday, I went to my client’s, and worked there on my own for a few hours. Lots of Mercury Retrograde tech issues, but I got things done. It was difficult to concentrate, because of all the election insanity, but I got through it.

Had to take my mom to the doctor this afternoon for a wellness check. It went well, and the doctor is very pleased with her.

Through all this, my landlord was bugging me about the furnace inspection and the demands from the installation guy. Sorry, I don’t work for the installation guy. He is not the boss, and I don’t care what he says. He’s been a misogynistic dick throughout the entire process. Every interaction smells more of something hinky, and I will not be a party to it. If they’re going to be dishonest to try to scam more money from whatever system they’re trying to scam, they’re not going to use me to do it.

Governor Baker has put more orders in place, supposedly to fight the virus. Insisting on masking – but will there be enforcement? I don’t see any. But instead of closing things back down, which would be, you know, SANE, even more can be open, but they have to close by 9:30 at night. And now we’re on curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM, as though we were naughty high schoolers.

This is not going to stop the virus. Rolling back the re-opening and shutting things down again, and then ENFORCING MASKING MANDATES will do so.

I am so tired of all the dickheads.

Not only are they dickheads, but they’re greedy, selfish, and stupid.

Which is the whole point of today, Election Day, certainly the most important election in my lifetime.

We need to remove the dickheads and put some decent people back into office.

I am so stressed about today and the upcoming weeks that I turned on the coffee maker without putting the pot into it first. I need coffee to make my coffee. So I got to start the morning with a giant mess, which just represents how I feel today.

Last night, The Tending the Dead ritual was for children. Part of that was naming the children we know died in ICE custody. Tonight’s ritual is for animals we’ve loved and lost.

Knowledge Unicorns should be interesting this afternoon. I’m sure the kids are stressed themselves and picking up their parents’ stress.

Today is about trying not to worry too much (at least not until 9 o’clock tonight), get some work done, and fight more with my landlord.

I also have a review to write, and maybe get another book assigned. This one was over 600 pages, and needed at least 200 cut.

We’ve put in a lot of work over the past few years. I’ve marched whenever I could, been in daily contact with my representatives, written, and written hundreds of postcards. Many of the people I like and respect have done the same.

Let’s hope it bears fruit tonight. Blue fruit.

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March 1, 2007

Thursday, March 1, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cold and Rainy

I finally managed to get up the article “Other People’s Careers” on the Dog Blog yesterday. Can I just say how much I hate the new Blogger?

By the end of the day, you should be able to catch up on the past few days’ worth of Circadian Poems¸ finally up (I had Microsoft problems, it had nothing to do with WordPress), and the latest poetry news, and to check out Kemmyrk – and, if you have tarot questions, next Monday’s column is going to answer a few. Send them here.

Blogger’s newest annoyance, when I’m visiting friends’ blogs, is that it won’t give me the actual letters for visual verification. It simply says “visual verification” and the blank box, but not the letters I’m supposed to verify. So it takes five or six attempts to get the letters, then it tells me I didn’t enter them properly (which is total b.s.) and so on and so forth.

Why shouldn’t the spammers go through the hoops, not the legitimate readers?

Both shows were fine yesterday. Artie and I went to Whym, a fairly new eatery a little farther up Ninth Avenue than we planned to go. Décor nice. Artie chose the pork tenderloin with fig sauce, which was very good. Unfortunately, I had a quite mediocre chicken pot pie (I should have gone for the Mahi Mahi). Dessert, however, was excellent: warm chocolate cake for me and pear cobbler with cinnamon ice cream for Artie.

Chaz finally received the package (in Newcastle) with the filled Christmas stocking for his cat, Barry. Artie made the stocking and together we’d put in all kinds of things for cats to enjoy – and, according to Chaz, Barry’s enjoying it! The Royal Mail screwed up and sent it back when I’d sent it over for Christmas, but this time it got over there in only four days.

I’m reading In the Devil’s Garden, a book about food taboos arranged according to the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s fascinating, but it also makes me angry – the cruelties and the fact that so many people (and animals) have to suffer because of mentally ill rulers. It’s not a read-straight-through book or a good backstage book. I have to be able to pick it up and put it down.

Managed to catch an earlier train, which got me home at midnight instead of at 12:30. That meant I was able to get out two pitches before I went to bed last night. Keep your fingers crossed.

I can’t believe it’s already March. Here’s February’s Wrap-Up:

Done:
Query Challenge (12 queries out)
Circadian Poems
Kemmyrk
2 full weeks on the show

In Progress:
13-in-Play
Finish Chasing the Changeling
Biblio Paradise Newsletter out – Microsoft problems set this back; will go out by Mon.
Finish next Lit Athlete column – almost there
Real – did a bit of work, and then stopped
Tumble revision
“Illuminated Nude”
“The Man on the Yoga Mat”

Dropped/Postponed:
Work on DE site – I’m going to stick with this one for the moment
Revisions on Assumption of Right – I carried it around a lot, but didn’t actually start yet.
Fix-It Girl – although we talked about it at the show, and my colleagues got me excited about it again.
Typing Shallid – no time
Typing Token and Affections – no time
Restructure Thirteen Traveling Journals – ran out of time
Dixie Dust Rumors queries out – I focused on other queries instead

Additional:
The Project accepted and prep work begun
Tarot story for anthology discussed

Disappointments:
Getting sick and working on the show fulltime set everything back.

Successes:
Landing The Project
Article accepted by Notes in the Margin
Landing another steady gig

Reading:
The Tin Box by Holly Kennedy. Very good.
Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. (re-read). Excellent.
Martha Gellhorn by Caroline Moorehead (unfinished). Excellent.
Bride and Groom by Susan Conant. Good.
Dinner at Deviant’s Palace by Tim Powers (unfinished). Excellent, but pushes a lot of buttons.
Natural Enemy by Jane Langton. Very good.
Ivy Days by Susan Allen Toth. Excellent
In the Devil’s Garden by Stewart Lee Allen (unfinished). Excellent, but not an easy read.
The Easy Way to Be Brilliant at Business Writing by Suzan St. Maur (unifinished). Very good.
Noel Coward’s Diaries. Excellent.

March To-Do List:

Circadian Poems

Kemmyrk

The Scruffy Dog Review Blog

Finish Lit Athlete Article

Prep The Project

Press Release for Ink in My Coffee Third Anniversary

Biblio Paradise Newsletter out

Restructure Thirteen Traveling Journals

Craig’s List Ads for Fearless Ink

Query Challenge

13-in-Play

Write anthology story due March 31

Finish Chasing the Changeling

Finish Tumble re-vision

Type Token and Affections

Type Shallid

Start revisions on Assumption of Right

Work on The Fix-it Girl

Work on Real

Finish “Illuminated Nude”

Finish “The Man on the Yoga Mat”

Get out Dixie Dust Rumors queries

Two and a half full-time weeks on the show

Good thing March is a long month!

Devon

February 2, 2007

Friday, February 2, 2007
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Imbolc
Maybe about to snow?

Click on over to Circadian for poems celebrating Imbolc.

If you want to know how to piss off an editor, when I’m said editor, hop over to Wordish Wanderings. These are the arrogant morons who give writers a bad name. And the rest of us have to work twice as hard to prove that we’re professionals.

I designed and printed the new business cards for Fearless Ink, Devon Ellington, Cerridwen Iris Shea, and Ink in My Coffee yesterday.

Now I can get out the Fearless Ink pitch letters that have been waiting around – because of the lack of business cards!

Caught up on a ton of email. Got out Devon’s Random Newsletter. If you haven’t signed up or didn’t receive yours, let me know here.

Caught up on the fan mail (I always get a stack after the holidays because the annuals and calendars are often given as Christmas/Yule gifts). That can all go out today, and I don’t have to fret about it over the next few weeks.

By the way, my article (under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name) is the featured article for February in The Witches’ Calendar.

I had way too much in the writing stack to go to the city on Monday. After all, I’m only going to be there a week, and the bulk of it will be in the theatre. The only down time I will have is a few hours Thursday and Friday. I can’t take twelve projects. I need to pick two and focus all my attention on them. So I’m taking Chasing the Changeling (I don’t want to lose its rhythm) and the revision of Tumble. It’s bad enough I’m taking the yoga mat, the travel altar, the diary, the fitness journal, the MP3 Player, and the project discs. And, of course, my kit so I can actually do my work! No more heavy manuscripts!

The way I’ve been packing books, one would think I was going to the northern wilds of Canada away from all civilization, rather than the midst of Manhattan, a city with some of the best bookstores in the world!

I applied for a writing job with a company in Chicago, that indicating that telecommuting was okay. They contacted me for an interview – early next week – in Chicago. If they’re paying, I’ll go, but I’m not doing it on my own dime.

I got the info I needed for the anthology – here we go, people!

And the show wants me to come in this weekend – but I can’t. They’ve got me for most of the next month, so I need this weekend to clear everything off the table – and maybe go to Chicago and back.

I need to finish cleaning off my desk today, get out more pitches, get my haircut, pack some more, and cook ahead.

Better hop to it.

Devon

February 1, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

There will be about Imbolc over on Kemmyrk later this afternoon.

There’s a bit of poetry news over on Circadian also later this afternoon.

I was furious with my web host yesterday – server problems kept me from accessing my site or my mail, which meant a document sent late the previous night which I needed to turn around that morning for a job was stuck in limbo. I finally pulled it through another site, but it was frustrating. When I finally got someone on the phone, the response was, “Yeah, I guess we’re having issues. They’re working on it. Try again in a few hours.”

Remind me why I’m paying them again?

I understand that every site has problems once in awhile. But this is just too often. I thought Yahoo was a bad site host, but . . .

However, I doubt I’ll ever find another template as perfect as the one for Cerridwen’s Cottage, so there’s that, too.

A new issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter goes out today. I know, I know, two months in a row, don’t faint. If you didn’t get yours or haven’t signed up, send me an email asking to subscribe here.

Worked on the Barbaro article; started the next column for SDR. Didn’t get through enough of the piles on my desk.

Some errands today, but I need to focus on getting it all done before I leave town on Monday.

What can I say? Yesterday, I just didn’t wanna!

This morning, the whole routine was thrown into a tizzy because of the meteorologists saying a snow storm was on the way to dump four inches of snow, starting at 2 PM. So, my choices were: Be stubborn, write first and drive around in bad weather OR get over my damn self and get the errands done and then come back to write.

For once in my life, I decided to be an adult. I shot out the door before 9 AM, went to the bank, drove to White Plains, hit up Target. Target, of course, didn’t have what I drove all the way to White Plains to get and God forbid someone being paid to work there should actually be bothered to stop conversing with another employee and check in the back, and God forbid that I should go to customer dis-service and they could be bothered to do anything but tell me they can’t look up anything without an Item Number. Which I happen to know is complete and utter bullshit, because every other Target in the country can do so.

However, I filled my cart with a whole bunch of stuff on which I hadn’t planned, but definitely needed, so I checked out, then ordered online what I needed – which, since they offered free shipping, ended up being cheaper than if I’d bought it in the store – some tax thing.

So it was all good, in spite of the crappy customer service. Which was a surprise, because usually Target’s pretty good – except in the White Plains store, where you might as well not ask where anything is because not only do none of the employees know, most of them could care less and just give you wrong information anyway.

Off to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food, so my mom has plenty to feed them while I’m gone – and stocked up on other stuff, so I can cook in advance for my mom and all she has to do is heat it up. Off to the other grocery store to get the rest of the stuff, the wine shop, etc.

Came home and the meteorologists were now saying the storm won’t start until 4 in the morning. I think they’re wrong – my head’s about to explode with the pre-storm headache (I seem to be a human barometer).

Yes, Dru Ann, the Merry will go out somewhere else – or I might work on the novel length version – I have two possible publishers for that.

Tammy – the list is part of the Goals, Dreams and Resolutions a group of us work on every year – I’d be happy to email the questions to you if you’d like, and the to-do and wrap-up lists are born from that.

I found an exciting anthology and sent a pitch last night and got more info this morning – I only have until March 30 to come up with 10-25K, but I think I can do it, especially since the topic excites me. So, off to do some more research for that, send them more info to see if it’s along the lines of what they need, and then – clean off more desk stuff and get down to work! AND, the anthology editor sent me guidelines for a new imprint she thought would be a good fit with me. All good!

Back to the desk, and then to the page.

Devon

February 2007 To-Do List

13-in-Play

Kristen King’s 2007 Query Challenge – 3-5 pitches per week

Biblio Paradise Newsletter Out

Finish next “Literary Athlete” column

Work on revisions for Assumption of Right

Circadian Poems

Kemmyrk

Work on Real

Work on Fix-It Girl

Work on typing Shallid

Finish typing Token and Affections

Finish Chasing the Changeling

Catch up/restructure 13 Traveling Journals

2 full weeks on the show

Get Dixie Dust Rumors queries out

Finish Tumble revision

Work on the “Illuminated Nude”

Work on “The Man on the Yoga Mat”

4 Dog Blogs

January 31, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and snowy

I can’t believe January is over. I need another two weeks, please. Not quite ready for February.

“Blue” by Brenda Braene is up on Circadian.

A new essay on supporting living writers is up on the Dog Blog.

The train was late, big surprise, but frustrating because I had three errands that HAD to be run on the way to the theatre. First two, knocked right off. Third was all the way across on the West Side, almost to the river, and, of course, took longer than I wanted, but I still made it to the theatre just a hair late. Amazing how quickly you can walk if you have to.

Work was fine. Not too many sewing repairs, but I had to re-glue some bits of the tin man that were peeling away from the frame.

I heard some of the music from the new musical version of Legally Blonde, which is coming to Broadway sometime soon. It’s REALLY good. I was pleasantly surprised. The kind of music that sticks with you and that you can walk out of the theatre still humming.

I’m writing an article on Barbaro that needs to go out the end of this week, and I need to clear off my desk some more. I don’t know why I’m so sore – I’m going to try to work out some kinks later today with an extra yoga session.

So many of the performers have dashed to Target to get those humidifiers meant for kids in the shape of animals. They’re all over the place. They’re so damn cute, I might have to get one for my apartment.

My first check arrived for the anthology – woo-hoo! It’s always nice when someone pays on time.

The computer decided to upload the newest version of IE (don’t I get a say in these things?) and I had a bit of a fit when everything was rearranged. I found where it hid most of the stuff and put it back where I want it, but I’m not sure.

And this new Microsoft Vista? For which some people paid over $600? That only runs on computers less than two years old, only they don’t bother to tell you BEFORE you plunk down the money?

Typical effing Microsoft.

Chaz’s package returned from the UK, with all sorts of paperwork. Nothing seems too major – maybe I’ll rewrap the toys with bells so they won’t ring and upset postal workers – and then I’m going to try sending it again. At least it wasn’t stolen.

People need to back off from the jawing about Daniel Radcliffe doing Equus. Especially since most of these idiotic gossipy bastards haven’t bothered to learn about the play.

Equus is a modern classic, written by the astounding good playwright, Peter Shaffer. It’s extremely disturbing. However, the young man is not the main character —the psychiatrist treating him is. I saw the play on Broadway years ago, when it first became a phenomenon. It’s dark. It’s disturbing. You leave the theatre viewing the world differently than you viewed it when you entered it, which is what a good play is supposed to do. Although the kid was shirtless for a good portion of it, I only remember one full frontal scene. It was completely organic to the piece and necessary, brief, and not a big deal at all. It didn’t feel shocking or out of place. Plus, you’re in a big darned theatre, so, except for the voyeurs with the opera glasses, you’re not seeing a whole lot.

And believe me, there are plenty of plays that put nudity on stage just to sell tickets. I attended a production at a well-known off-Broadway company a few years back. Can’t remember if I knew one of the actors or one of the crew or why the heck I went. Maybe we just got on the list for one of the previews or something. At any rate, it was a tiny theatre. I was in the third row, and if I’d stretched, I could have touched the bed on the stage.

In the second act, one of the actors is completely naked, sprawled backwards, doing a monologue as part of a 12 minute scene. There was no organic reason in the text for him to be nude in that scene. He had the body, and the company knew it would sell tickets. Good thing he HAD the body, because he sure couldn’t act.

That was exploitation. And, believe me, I know what they pay off-Broadway, and he should have demanded a much higher salary.

Equus is different. The publicity photos that are being blasted around the world are pushing the nudity angle to sell tickets, which annoys me. There’s a shot of Radcliffe and the actress nude together. Now, I don’t remember, in the production I saw, the actress ever actually getting naked with the boy, but maybe that’s something they decided to do for this production. And the house staff will have its hands full taking away cameras.

Photographs are not allowed in ANY professional theatre – it’s a violation of the performers’ right to their image. You purchase a ticket, which is the right to see the live performance IN THE MOMENT, something that can never be exactly replicated again – not to photograph it and sell it or show it to others. Also, using a flash can disorient the actor and cause serious injury onstage. Especially if the actor is trying to maneuver on or off stage, is disoriented by a flash and is run over by a two ton piece of scenery. By being a selfish bastard and taking a photograph, you could maim or kill someone involved with the production. And let’s face it, people are going to try to sell photos of Radcliffe’s genitalia on eBay. I used to work front of house and remove film from cameras – it’s in the program, on the ticket, announced before the show, so if you’re going to violate it, you deserve to get your camera taken away. Personally, I think there should be a list, and if someone violates the no-photograph rule in one theatre, they should be banned for three years or more from all of them.

Regarding Radcliffe and Equus, I’m curious as to how a 17-year-old young man can handle this role. Working on it is bound to change his view of the world not just as an actor, but as a person. It’s an awfully young age to work on the material.

With the whole Harry Potter thing – look, Radcliffe is an actor. His job and responsibility to the audience is to show up on the HP set when he’s contracted and do a terrific job. Which he does. When he’s not on contract, it’s his job to make me believe in any character he plays. That’s what he’s trying to do.

I’d much rather see him doing Equus than go around drinking and doing drugs because the pressure of being HP has become uncomfortable.

I came to the HP movies as a fan of the books. When Rowling writes other books, I plan to read her work, because she’s a damn good writer. With the movies, I was a fan of the body of work of several actors whose work I’d known for years (Rickman, Thewlis, Smith, Shaw, etc.). And I’m interested to see what Radcliffe, Watson, Grint, et al do away from the HP movies.

I’m much more interested in a body of work than seeing someone do the same thing over and over and over again. Part of that is because theatre/film/television is my profession in tandem with the writing. But part of it is because I’m not an ignoramus. There’s enough information on the inner workings of the industry now that only a moron isn’t going to allow growth and change in the performers of which they claim to be “fans”.

As I said in the Dog Blog essay about writers, which makes sense in this situation, too: Decide if you’re a fan of the actor or of the character; own it, and take responsibility for it. If you’re a fan of Harry and only Harry – don’t go see anything else. If you’re a fan of Radcliffe, go with an open mind and give him a chance.

He’s 17. With any luck, he’ll be around for a long time, with a large body of work. Look over Johnny Depp’s body of work. He started young, had early success with Jump Street, made his own way in unusual (to say the least) work, and now he’s got the over-the-top success as Jack Sparrow. Why can’t Daniel Radcliffe find his way, too?

Okay, here’s the January wrap-up for the GDRS:

January 2007 Wrap-Up

Done:
Devon’s Random Newsletter
Finished 1st draft of Token and Affection
Plum essay revisions completed and essay accepted for anthology
Started Chasing the Changeling
Quarterly Newsletter
Occasional (but more frequent than last year) entries on Biblio Paradise and Wordish Wanderings.
Circadian Poems
SDR blog every Wednesday
Kemmyrk Mondays and Thursdays
Devon Ellington temporary site up

In Progress:
Typing Token and Affections
Working to finish 1st draft of Real
Pitches
13-in-Play
Reading research books for the Assumption of Right rewrite
Requested revision for Tumble
3 short stories – I’m going for quality over speed

Postponed/Dropped:
Work on Fix-It Girl
Dixie Dust Rumors queries out
Typing Shallid
Next SDR column begun

Additional:
Unknown Journey outlined
Knockabout Kingdom outlined
Marching Band stories outlined
“New Year’s Resolutions for Sports Fans” article (pub. By Femme Fan)
“Submission Log and Pitch Tracker” article written and submitted
Two interlinked paranormal comedy stories outlined
“Ink in My Coffee” moved to WordPress
“A Biblio Paradise” moved to WordPress
“Kemmyrk” moved to WordPress
“13 Traveling Journals” moved to WordPress
“Place and Space” moved to WordPress
Joined Kristen King’s Query Challenge 2007
Novel idea: Turn of 20th Century
Novel idea: Contemporary action/psychological
Designed and put up Fearless Ink site
Designed and put up Cerridwen’s Cottage site
Joined a blog chain
Devon’s Random Newsletter for February

Disappointments:
Rejection of The Merry’s Dalliance
The death of Barbaro

Successes:
First article of the year published on Jan. 4 (by FemmeFan)
Plum essay accepted
Token and Affections first draft done
Negotiations for possible regular writing gig (not signed, sealed and delivered, but I’m hopeful)

Reading:
Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. Very good; lots of fun.
Death by Station Wagon by Jon Katz. Excellent. (Actually, I read this in December and forgot to list it).
Hell’s Belles by Jackie Kessler. Wonderful! Excellent!
Dorothy and Agatha by Gaylord Larsen. Liked the plot; struggled with characterizations. Okay.
Diaries by Lavinia Riker Davis. Lovely.
The Ragman’s Memory by Archie Mayor. Excellent.
Off Season by Philip R. Craig. Very good.
Death on a Vineyard Beach by Philip R. Craig. Very good.
Seeing Red by Jill Shalvis. Very good.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling — 20,842 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 45
(44.4%)

January 29, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop over to Circadian to see  “flashback to summer”, Sylvia C’s poem.

Click over to Kemmyrk for the latest on The Celtic Oracle.

And zip on over to A Biblio Paradise to see my picks for my favorite books of all the reading I did over the past few months.

Oh, joy! The virtuoso biographer Claire Tomalin has another book out! This one is about Thomas Hardy, one of my least favorite authors. Yes, I know his craft is superb. However, I loathe Tess of the D’Urbervilles – yet another male writer punishing a woman for being sexual. However, if Tomalin writes it, I’ll read it. Her biography of Pepys is one of the best books I’ve ever read, period, and her other biographies are excellent.

And Thomas Mallon, one of my other favorite authors, wrote the review in The New York Times Book Review.

Train was late – gee, there’s a surprise! – but I got to the theatre in plenty of time. All sorts of buzzing going on, as usual. Because of the lessons learned during this (and the last) Saturn Retrograde, I can somewhat disengage and not get caught up in the bullshit, which is nice. Do my job, be pleasant to everyone, and move on. I genuinely like about 90% of the people with whom I work, but there are always going to be the shit-stirrers, who make trouble just because they can.

And one can choose not to engage, and let them spin their silly little selves into their own knots.

There’s something very freeing about choosing not to engage, and it certainly cuts down on the stress!

After the matinee, my friend B. and I went to one of our premiere hangouts in the neighborhood, Sosa Borella, for a few glasses of wine, some appetizers, and a good chat. We were shortly joined by an actress friend of ours, who got royally fucked (pardon the language, please, but believe me, in discussing the situations of these last few paragraphs, the four-letter words truly are the BEST descriptions in the English language) by a producer she’s known and regarded as a friend for twenty years regarding a series job. Fortunately, she’s got a fascinating play to do instead, and the series is most likely going down the tubes anyway, so the Karma Dogs are taking their bites now rather than later, always good to see.

What can I say? This is a brutal business, as well as being cyclical. Right now the cycle is at the point where all the clichés ring true. Most of the time, things run along, and there are the daily frustrations, and oh, well; but every once in awhile, one is confronted by the ugly side of the entertainment business, and the truth that those who make the decisions and hold the purse strings are usually the least creative, the most manipulative, and genuinely believe that the people who make it possible for them to earn these obscene incomes should pay to work, not the other way around.

Came home and puttered for a bit. The cats alternated between being glad to see me and mad that I left in the first place.

Because I got such a late start this morning, I haven’t done my pages yet. I have to get a lot done today, including a lot of admin done this whole week, so I can be in the city full-time next week without worrying about anything on my desk out here. I have to get a great deal of both creative work and practical work done, and must manage my time carefully.

And, now that it’s been two full months since I finished the first draft of Assumption of Right, I’m allowed to go back and start the edits. I think doing so while I’m working in the theatre full-time is a good choice – I’ll have that energy flowing along with the revision (since it’s mostly set backstage).

If you have tarot questions, please send them here by Friday; I’ll answer some of them on Kemmyrk next Monday.

Another issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter will actually go out by the end of the week (can you believe it?). If you haven’t signed up for it, you can sign up here.

Off to get organized, always a monumental task after a few days on the show.

Devon

January 21, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and COLD

The problem with doing admin work all day is I feel so unproductive. That sounds silly – I should be glad it’s done, right? But because it’s a bunch of little bits that take longer than it seems they should, I always feel like I’ve gotten very little accomplished.

Regarding the question on Saturn Retrograde: Better than Mercury Retrograde? Not so sure about that. During a Mercury Retrograde, travel is delayed; communication is hard and misunderstandings abound; electronics go klaplooey; but it’s a great time to go bargain shopping. You want to stay away from big ticket items: houses, cars, computers, plasma TVs – but go to thrift shops, flea markets, or hit sales.

My mantra for a Mercury Retrograde: Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.

Safest thing to do.

Saturn is the planet of life lessons. If you haven’t learned –and made the changes – since the previous Saturn Retrograde – the Universe is going to kick your ass and you’ll have a hard time.

Because I was thoroughly ass-kicked last time around (still have the bruises), I’m being especially careful this time. Every time I find myself falling into a pattern, I stop and ask if this is really the most positive way to deal with it.

Got the links and thank yous out to the interviewees for the Lit Athlete article.

Cleaned out a bunch of email accounts that had way too much spam in them. But managed to retrieve some non-spam that nearly got lost.

Worked on Circadian.

You know what’s cool about Valentine’s Day, Circadian-wise, this year? Many of the really good submissions are from men. And it’s lovely writing. Loving and clear and unsentimental, but with deep feeling.

So Mia and several others are encouraging this new magazine idea. I’m definitely open to brainstorming for a few months, and to getting it started once I’ve relocated. That’s the big thing – I don’t want to commit to something this big until I’m settled. The other thing is to write a business plan/proposal and get financing, because I want to pay all the writers. It might not be a lot, especially at first, but I want to pay everyone. I’m still waiting for a grant to come through for another project that will allow me to pay some writers for some stuff. I’d hoped THAT would get off the ground by May, but it now looks like October.

I also don’t want to exclude either men or married people. I have plenty of friends who are both, and I’d hate for them to feel left out of the mix, as either writers or readers.

So – writers, artists, readers – what’s missing from the magazines, in your opinion? What cravings are not being fulfilled? Let’s brainstorm over the next few months.

Regarding the advice of putting advertisements on the blogs and the websites: I appreciate your expertise, but I’ve decided not to do so right now. I’m happy that it works for others. I tend to ignore the ads on other people’s sites, unless the ad is for the new book or a friend’s book or something. I feel battered by everything being advertising/marketing all the time. I’d rather my pages weren’t that – which sounds like a contradiction since both Fearless Ink and Cerridwen’s Cottage are there to market my work. But people are coming there because they want to learn more about my work, not read ads for a casino cruise or erectile dysfunction or something. I’m going to put up Links pages in a few weeks on both sites to lead readers to other sites I think they might find interesting, but, at least for now . . .I’m skipping the ads.

Errands: Put gas in the car; went to Trader Joe’s; went to the drug store (hey, lipstick was buy one, get one free, I am there). Trader Joe’s was enormously busy – that’ll teach me to go on Saturday at mid-day, right?

The poor guy in front of me – he had two items and a woman with a cart ready to burst at the seams shoved him with it in the back of the knee so she could go ahead of him in the line. He had two things – she could have let him go first. But he doesn’t say a word, lets her go ahead of him. She’s digging through her purse, she’s bitching about her life (chick’s wearing a full length fur coat AND dangling a Lexus key – oh, here are the violins, you’re the one who married someone who gives you STUFF instead of love, don’t tell me you didn’t know what you were getting into — and get a better colorist, you can afford it), anyway, on and on, and on. The poor guy is totally uncomfortable and she does everything she can to make him more uncomfortable. I’m starting to wonder if maybe she’s naked under the coat and flashing him. She’s muttering something to him and, even though I’m behind him, I can see he’s turning all shades of red. I really thought he was going to crawl into the produce display and pull the lettuce over himself. Anyway, she finally leaves, he places his two things on the checkout, pulls out his wallet and change flies everywhere. I pick up the change and hand it to him and he’s beet red, very grateful, and looks like he’s going to burst into tears at any moment. And he can’t be more than 20. He’s about six feet four, but he’s YOUNG. Poor kid.

So he pays, and leaves. And I whip all my stuff through the checkout (I bring my own bags and can pack MUCH faster than they can). I take everything outside, pull the bags out of the cart to leave it where it needs to be – and the guy’s waiting for me – to carry my bags to the car because I helped pick up his change. It was so cute! I thanked him and told him that was his good deed for the day, but tolerating Lexus Bitch scored him angel points for at least six months.

Nice to know there are still some sweet guys growing up. His parents did a good job!

On today’s agenda is picking up groceries at the OTHER store (I love having six grocery stores in a five mile radius, I am such a spoiled grocery brat), and going over to my friend’s place to do laundry and cook a nice meal. This’ll be a busy week theatre-wise. I got a lot done in the fussy admin quarter, but not nearly enough writing.

You’re right, Brandy – it’s so important to eat properly. I’m usually pretty good about it, but I’ve woken up later than usual lately, and the food is what’s getting cut from the schedule, which it can’t.

And congrats to my friend J. from the UK, who just bought a place in Saratoga!!! We go to horse races together all over the world. He loves Saratoga and spends so much time there, especially over the summer, that it makes complete sense to own a place there.

Nice morning’s work on Changeling, but I need to get a lot more writing done today and tomorrow in preparation for the week.

Wrote a blurb for my friend’s book, which is always fun.

Devon
Chasing the Changeling – 14.092 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

14 / 45
(31.1%)

January 18, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Well, here we are, settled in the new home. It’s odd that I feel a wrench, leaving Blogger, even though I know the move is a positive one. The emotional fallout from change and all that stuff.

Oh, well.

Check out the new moon/new studies post over on Kemmyrk.

And there’s poetry news over on Circadian.

AND . . .drumroll . . .

Fearless Ink, the business writing site, is FINALLY up, while I try to figure out the DE site.

Check it out here:

www.fearlessink.com.

Yes, another of my photos as the header. And yes, it was deliberate to use a relaxing image rather than a hard-edged business image for the site. The clients I’ve tended to attract thus far aren’t the hard-edged corporate types. And even some corporate types might appreciate a beach.

If not . . .oh, well.

It should have taken about an hour to upload it (I had most of the text already), but the site froze every five minutes, so I had to log out, relog in, see what was saved (just because you hit “save” doesn’t mean it obeyed) and build from there. Very frustrating. But it’s up and . . .sigh.

AND . . .YES, THERE’S MORE . . .

I put up the Cerridwen’s Cottage site:

www.cerridwenscottage.com.

I had all the text for that one, too, but it took me HOURS because the frigging site “didn’t’ feel like” saving the web pages or the edits on the pages or honoring any of my formatting – things like line breaks, paragraphs, etc., etc. Two of the pages had to be redone FIFTEEN TIMES each.

And in all the frenzy . . . I forgot the “writing” page. That will go up shortly.

1and1 sucks. They’ve fixed the problems with the email accounts, but their lack of customer service is appalling. If the thought of moving hosts didn’t make me want to projectile vomit, I’d move everything again. But, frankly, I can’t face it, so I’m going to sic the BBB on them instead. And perhaps, once the sites are up and running, it won’t be so bad. I may need to purchase more space, though – although my package had plenty when I originally signed up, they’ve changed their whatevers and soon I won’t. I have to double my payment for every three months in order to get unlimited space (which I need, with the slew of upcoming projects), so I have to ponder all of those factors before making a decision. I don’t want to make a decision just because I’m mad at the host.

Twelve hours on website work that, at the most, should have taken four.

But I think both sites look REALLY cool. 😉

I MIGHT have a positive query story to share with Kristen King’s Query Challenge – we are still working out details, but I’ll post one way or the other, as soon as there are signed contracts involved.

Elsa keeps trying to run off with Pickles’s toy. Fortunately, it’s too big for her to drag very far before I catch her. I had to box it up so I can mail it today (too big for a padded envelope).

The aftermath of anger, for me, tends to be depression, and that was the demon with which I had to wrestle yesterday. What originally sparked my anger yesterday is, pretty much, rooted out and laid to rest. I’ve made the right decision for my life as a whole, even though it’s something that doesn’t feed my ego, especially in the short run. So the ego will just have to damn get over it. The long-term effects are more important that a short-term rush.

The anger in regard to The Situation: The Sequel continues to work at a slow burn, but I’m trying to keep it from interfering with my writing life too much. I feel, to an extent, that I am being manipulated and used for someone else’s agenda rather than the collective tenant good. I need to dig up evidence to prove or disprove that, and then act accordingly, in a way that is best for ME. These scumbags have devastated enough of my life. I’m going to let the Karma Dogs deal with the double and triple crossers involved.

Got an idea for a new short story while I did my yoga yesterday – a funny one, I hope. And a short one – I hope. Some of these tales have a life of their own, and the characters don’t want to leave.

I’m reading a draft of my friend’s play . . .sigh . . .I love to sink into his writing. It’s heaven!

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 10,092 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 45
(22.2%)