May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Well, I WAS going to post my Dog Blog this morning, but the disk is missing from my desk. So, either I’ll find it and post it, or I’ll have to re-write it and post it tomorrow. So much for writing ahead.

I was annoyed at Starbucks, where I stopped for an iced tea. Here I’ve gone and bought commuter cups in both hot and cold, and now they tell me they don’t fill the cold with any tea drinks because “it’s a health code violation.” Huh? Excuse me, I bring in a CLEAN cup, and I assume you put the cup under the spout and aren’t stirring it with your bare hands, so how is this a health code violation? It used to be that they gave you a discount (like, ten cents, but still) if you bought in a commuter cup. Now, here people are trying to be eco-friendly, and Starbucks refuses. So I have to buy the drink in a disposable cup and create more waste in order to fill my commuter cup. Doesn’t make any sense at all. But it’s Starbucks, so why am I surprised? They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Like all the advertising they do about fair trade coffee, when, in reality, they only use it one week per month unless the customer specifically requests it.

Yesterday was fine. Day work was, well, day work. It all got done. I nipped out, got a quick bite of Chinese food, came back, set up for the show. I’d dressed this actress before, on another Broadway show, so she at least knew me.

The show went fine. I had a few little hesitations, but nothing major, and the actress felt it was “seamless”, which made me happy. So I felt much better coming OUT of the show than I felt going IN to it. But a 14 hour day is still tiring.

Another delightful delivery from Strand waited for me when I got home with more books for Good Names. I’m thrilled. Strand takes such good care of me!

And not so delightful news from Verizon. When I told them to credit me for the seventeen days of no landline and seven days of no DSL last month, two people from Corporate called me and told me I was getting a $75 credit. Great. So what’s actually on the bill? $13 and change for DSL (which is fine) and 18 CENTS for the landline. Now, math is not my best subject, but even to me, that doesn’t add up to $75. So I’ll be talking to these people.

It’s ridiculous. All these companies are on the grift.

Some interesting info from my alma mater, NYU, with a list of resources and networking of which I think I’ll make use. My mother went to lunch with her best friend yesterday and it turns out her friend’s daughter has gone freelance as a graphic designer. And she lives close by, so I’m going to contact her and see if she’s interested in potentially teaming up on projects. I remember her when she was little – she’s always been very talented and creative. So, hopefully, we can meet in the next couple of weeks, share information and styles, and maybe get some work together. At any rate, I can point her in the direction of some good resources.

Got to turn around and go back in for another 14 hour day. Actually, today is more like 16 hours, because I have to do extra hours on this track. But it’s all good. Hopefully, I can avoid second show-itis, and do a good job on both shows today and on the show tomorrow. You never know. After all, it’s live theatre.

The Edith Wharton biography is fabulous. I want to sit in a gazebo somewhere on a lovely summer’s day and read it while drinking iced tea.

My commuting book is Elizabeth Peters’s SEEING A LARGE CAT, which is, interestingly enough, set in 1903, when GOOD NAMES is set, although mine is set in Chicago and New York, not in Egypt. I’ve read Amelia Peabody mysteries here and there and always enjoyed them, but this book – especially now, read so close to the Tut visit on Monday – makes me want to sit down and read the entire series in order.

Better get going. Those clothes aren’t going to iron themselves — although wouldn’t it be fun if they did?

Devon

May 16, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

There are wild fires raging in New Jersey. They’ve destroyed over 13,000 acres so far. I hope they get it under control soon.

Work was fine yesterday. The colleague from regional theatre was exactly on time (love that). I gave her a backstage tour and introduced her to some of the people there. WHEEL OF FORTUNE was shooting a segment at the show yesterday, as part of their Week in New York, so it was a bit chaotic.

We went to the bar at Thalia for a drink. I’d heard the champagne cocktails were excellent, so I had one – and they are. We discussed the ups and downs of living and working in New York, and then I took her backstage at a show at the Imperial to meet another set of people, and told her who to contact in our union office. When New York calls, you have to go. Plus, I think anyone who expects a career in the arts should live in New York for at least a few years. You’ll have enough stimulation to last for years. It’s a difficult place to live, but also a wonderful one. She seems like a New Yorker in many ways already, so I think she’ll do well here.

Still overslept and didn’t get the photos downloaded. Someday, there will be more photos – I promise.

I’m back at the show for the matinee, re-learning the principal track I’ll be doing for the first half of next week. Then I’ll come back and do some work on Circadian and a few other things.

I worked on the outline for the ghost story for Script Frenzy. In the reality of my career, it would make more sense to do a stage play. But this piece is definitely a screenplay. It needs too many visuals (such as the garden and the lake) to make it viable for stage. But a stage play is more practical. If I can come up with an idea for a stage play, I’ll do that instead, but, until then, I’ll work on this.

I’m not worried about writing a first draft of a script in a month – I did the first draft of JULIA’S LEGACY in a week, during the Book-in-a-Week thing last year.

Didn’t have the chance to work on Good Names – I hope to do some work on it tonight or tomorrow. I’m still trying to figure out the railroad car, because what happens on the journey from Chicago to New York sets the plot in motion for the rest of the book. I don’t want to use placeholders – I want to write the first draft properly, and then go back and fix it as needed.

Preakness coming up this weekend – I’m excited.

I am so ready for a new moon and fresh focus!

Devon

Published in: on May 16, 2007 at 7:56 am  Comments (5)  

May 15, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I hate being this tired. I putter around and can’t get anything done. I’m running behind today, and don’t have time to download and re-size photos. Sorry.

The weekend was exhausting, show-wise. Too many hours in the building when I wanted to be elsewhere, writing. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the people with whom I work on the show – but I’m at a point where I need to complete the transition out of the double career and into the full-time writing.

A great thing on Saturday was that my friend A. showed up at the theatre. We bounced up to the Time Warner Center to Borders (my mom loves Borders Gift Cards, so that was her Mother’s Day gift) and then over to Mantra for dinner. Terrific. And he’s so much happier now that he’s not in 8 shows/week. Next week, we’re traveling to Philly together, with two other friends, for the King Tut exhibit, which should be fun.

Of course, the pliers hunt on Saturday morning was nowhere near as easy as it should have been. I SHOULD have been able to go to the same hardware store where I got the first set, walked in, plucked it off the rack, paid, and done.

Ha!

They no longer carry that kind. I need the kind with the strong spring that stays open until you clench them closed. Otherwise, they fall open when I try to grab the purse clips on the monkey harness in the quick change and it’s a big ole mess.

Finally, I went to Home Depot, in the tool section. Amazing how much attention you get when someone asks, “Can I help you?” and I say, “Baby, I need some tools.” At least six guys dropped everything and came over to help.

I got myself a larger Husky pair of pliers that’s – reversible! I love them, and boy, do they make a difference in the quick change. They are SERIOUS pliers and the purse clips quake!

Got home late, overslept on Sunday, barely got it together to make the train back into the city on time. Matinee was fine, but I was glad to get out.

At the train station, of course, just a few minutes before the train leaves, they can’t be bothered to have the doors to the platform open. Not only that, but they had a cop and a National Guard troop in front of the closed door – but no information as to what was going on.

So I went down another platform door, zigged back up the platform to the connecting platform, and got onto my platform that way. Sorry, I’m not a sheep and refuse to be penned up like one. And nothing was wrong on the platform, except the lazy ass Metro North employees couldn’t be bothered to show up to open the train. This is NOT acceptable.

On top of it, they print this fantasy newsletter claiming their trains are 97% on time. I don’t know what planet they’re living on, but they are NOT taking the same train line I ride! Liar, liar, pants on FIRE! Whoever is writing and creating these fantasy articles need to be arrested – newsletters like this are supposed to print facts, not fiction!

Knitted and crocheted Sunday night, overslept on Monday, and just could NOT get it together. I have a ridiculous backlog of projects that has to go out, and I need to get down to it.

Checked the job boards, got out some pitches. Printed off some guidelines that sound interesting, but need further thought. Did a lot of research for Good Names, but still don’t have exactly what I need. I think I’m going to create a private rail car for the family – after all, she does own stock in the railroads, as well as running a shipping business.

Found an interesting tidbit of information – Robert Todd Lincoln (yes, THAT one) took over the Pullman Company when George Pullman retired (or maybe it was when he died).

Finished Susannah’s Garden. Liked it enough to want to read more of Debbie Macomber’s work. However, there were several things I didn’t buy: Carolyn’s lack of recognition; Susannah’s handling of Travis’s attempt at blackmail and the lack of resolution on that whole story line – oh, her husband’s going to deal with it now and she can just hand it off to someone else. That makes Susannah, in my opinion, too weak to be a protagonist I can respect. If someone threatened me with my daughter’s future that way, the first thing I’d do is go straight to the cops and say, “Wire me. Let’s nail this motherfucker.” I wouldn’t do what he says, and I wouldn’t wait around for my HUSBAND to deal with it. This is MY KID – you threaten one of mine, you are going DOWN. Permanently.

Also read Madelyn Alt’s A CHARMED DEATH. I liked a lot of it, but disagreed with some of the depictions of Craft practice. And, also, realized that those practices are perfectly valid – they are just handled differently than I feel comfortable. Whether it’s different training or different choices – there are many ways to practice, and the protagonist is learning her way through. I don’t want to be unfair, simply because my personal experience is so different. My sense was that the author did research, but I don’t know how many circles she’s actually attended with experienced practitioners. Even when the words tried to communicate the experience of being in circle, it felt more like a research approach rather than an experiential one. I liked it enough to want to read more, and am interested to see if this was a choice to give the protagonist somewhere to grow or something else. I also felt some of the subplots weren’t wrapped up enough, but thought perhaps that was a choice since it is a series. And I liked the fact that the protag rescued herself at the end, rather than being rescued.

Finished reading Margaret Forster’s biography of Daphne du Maurier. It’s very good, but I was disappointed at du Maurier’s rigid, spoiled selfishness.

Spooky update: He ran away from his new home. If I knew where to start looking, I’d drive around and call to him, but I don’t. I’m hoping he finds his way back; in the meantime, should I call local shelters? I called the one closest to his new home and they told me that someone filed a “lost cat” report already – so that gives me hope. If half the county is out looking for him – he’s still going to turn up where he darned well pleases.

Tenants’ Organization meeting last night to figure out how to get the repairs done on the building that need to be done. I’m truly surprised that people believe we won’t get hit with another flood again – my prediction is the next major flood will hit by August – and that’s only if we’re lucky.

Teleconference with a potential LA client; finished the report for Confidential Job #1 and sent it off. Managed to get some crocheting in. I really would like to finish that blanket before, like, January, since it’s cotton. But it’s a big ole blanket, and it takes time. Did some more research on Pullman cars and trains in 1903. I think I’m going to have to give the Tollivers/Westcotts their own private rail car in order to achieve what I wish to achieve in this portion of the story. Fortunately, Althea’s rich enough and important enough to warrant it! 😉

I’m off to the theatre for day work this morning. A wardrobe supervisor from a regional theatre is visiting New York. She found me through this blog (don’t I feel special?). She’s coming by the show and I’ll give her a backstage tour, and then we’ll go out for a cocktail or something. Tomorrow, I’m in to relearn one of the principal tracks (again), because I’m doing it for the first half of next week, and the rest of this week, I’m booked to the gills. All good, just busy.

On Friday, by about noon, I’ll post a special segment of “Racing Ink” to handicap the Preakness undercard.

I’m seriously considering signing up for Script Frenzy. I feel the need to exercise those muscles again, and 120 script pages in 30 days are about 4 pages a day. I usually script much more than that per day when I’m working in that format. I’m toying with a ghost story idea – an unusual form of ghost story. I’ll do a rough outline and see if it lends itself to the format. I must be nuts to even think of adding something like that to the plate, but hey, you knew that already about me, didn’t you?

Better sign off now, or I’ll miss my train.

Devon

Published in: on May 15, 2007 at 9:07 am  Comments (12)  

May 12, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Hop on over to The Tactile Muse to read my “Naughty Knitter” post – I went out and bought yarn. Started the cotton blanket, actually.

It was so odd – every time I came out of a store, the ground was wet and it had obviously rained. Yet it didn’t rain while I was actually outside.

No Iceland photos today – I don’t have the time to download them and convert them. I can probably do some more on Monday.

Ran my errands, did some paperwork, got out a few pitches, wrote and submitted the pre-Preakness article. Worked on the blanket a bit.

Finished Practical Demonkeeping, which is very clever. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Started Debbie Macomber’s Susannah’s Garden.

Some days, one just has a bad show, and last night was such a night for me. I had a different swing in one track, and didn’t realize she had a jacket for the first change; as I tried to wing my monkey, my pliers broke; moving one of the rolling racks of costumes, I got stuck on a bench leg someone’d left protruding. This was all in the first act, and I just had to shrug and say, “I’m doomed, this is a lost show” and not worry too much more about it. It all worked out, none of it was a big deal; it was simply a series of small annoyances.

But that means I had to wake up early this morning, because I have to go to the hardware store as soon as it opens and buy another set of pliers. I don’t like the kind of pliers they have at the theatre – I found a different kind that’s much easier for me to maneuver. However, since the spring between the blades broke and vanished – time for a new pair.

Knitted a few rows when I came home, watching the replay of the City Council meeting. Guess what? As local businesses apply to FEMA for assistance post-flood – businesses are being refused help if their credit is too GOOD. FEMA’s position is that those with good credit can get loans from banks – of course, at much higher interest rates. Yeah, that’s helpful. Punish the businesspeople who’ve worked their butts off for years because they’ve been responsible. And the developer who’s built in the town above us and whose work is one of the major causes of our flooding has made it clear that he doesn’t give a fuck if we all drown. So, I think, we have to make it a financial question – make it expensive enough for him so he has to care. And call in our governor and attorney general. I’m sorry, asshole, but your right to make a profit does not have more weight than people’s lives.

Not much work on Good Names this morning. I hadn’t gotten ahead of the story far enough in my research yesterday, and, until I do, I’m kind of stuck. They just got on the Twentieth Century Limited to travel from Chicago to New York, and I need to refresh myself on the details of the train and the trip before I can write it.

Off to the hardware store, and then another two-show, fourteen hour day.

Devon

Good Names 10,062 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 100
(10.0%)

April 12, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cold and raining

I just got back from checking the brook. It’s high, but hasn’t hit my personal discomfort level yet. I moved the car to higher ground last night, though. If the rain stops at noon, as the meteorologists promise, with the tide going out, I think we’ll squeak by. Otherwise . . .

And on Sunday, it’s expected to flood again.

If it’s like last month, there will be a riot at city hall. One of the frustrations repeatedly voiced over the past few nights – both at the Town Meeting and at last night’s City Council meeting, is that there’s too much talking and not enough action. It’s not that our City Council doesn’t care or doesn’t try, because they do – unfortunately, the towns upriver have made it clear that they don’t care whether or not we flood. I want to know why they are allowed to put lives in danger and what action can be taken against them.

I seem to be fighting a flu relapse somewhat – the headache, aches, unhappy tummy. I managed to talk myself out of it yesterday (something to be said for mind over matter). Got my errands done, got a bit of work done, sent out some research questions to Chicago for Good Names (and one hotel even responded already)!

My next assignment from Confidential Job #1 isn’t that much fun. Rather pedestrian. But, not every one can be glowing and great, can it? I’ll slog through it and give my honest response. But it won’t be easy! 😉

Took the train into the city and managed to spend a few hours with an old friend before his gig at Donnell Library. We caught up on a lot of stuff and, in general, had a really good time. It’s nice when you have friends where, even if you haven’t seen each other in awhile, you can pick up the conversation as though no time as elapsed.

Because of the weather situation, I didn’t get much done on Good Names this morning – not enough to update the word thingy. I tried to put in the Writertopia meter, but can’t get it to work here. And I tried to sign up for the Punkymoods, but, for some reason, it thinks the name “Devon” contains numbers and “only letters can be used to sign in.” If their system is that dumb, forget it.

I’ve got some submissions and pitches to get out today, I have to work on my taxes, and need to hop over to Greenwich for a lunch thingy. (I went to college, can’t you tell from that great vocabulary)?

It looks like Confidential Job #2 is going to keep me around for awhile, but until all “i’s are dotted and all “t’s” crossed – I’m not counting it as a done deal.

Keep your fingers crossed the brook stays within its bounds.

Devon

Published in: on April 12, 2007 at 8:52 am  Comments (8)  

April 10, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I ended up trying to help my mom with her taxes yesterday, and that ate up most of the day. I have a feeling we’re going to get Turbo Tax and simplify things. It didn’t help that I went through everything, did all the calculations and then realized one of my early numbers was wrong!

Anyone else use Turbo Tax? What’s your experience?

Assignments from both Confidential Jobs arrived yesterday, so I have to put my nose to the grindstone and get those done. Fortunately, I’m excited about both assignments.

I ended up having to rewrite the beginning of Chapter Two of Good Names because they would have traveled from the stepmother’s house to the hotel via horse-drawn hacks – it was still a bit too early for cars to be common just then. After all, Henry Ford sold the first Model A to a Detroit doctor in 1903 – but it may have been later in the year than when the story opens. I’d rather not risk the inaccuracy, and put them in a hack instead. But I can still have them pass streetcars – Chicago had lots of streetcars at that time! But I also went further into the chapter. It makes it stronger.

Got out two freelance pitches and a request for more information to a third company. Printed off some other guidelines for a potential market – I have to look through my pieces and see if there’s anything appropriate.

Did the assignment for Confidential Job #2, wrote the report, and sent it off this morning. Keep your fingers crossed that they like the result and keep using me!

Off to the theatre for day work today, and then I have to rush back and across town for the meeting regarding the flood last month. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to speak – it depends how much I disagree with what’s said!

Devon

Good Names — 3,562 words out of est. 100,000

Kristen King’s Inkthinker Query Challenge 2007 — 27 pitches out of 120 = 22.5%

April 9, 2007

Monday, April 9, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Didn’t post yesterday, because I was busy writing. So I’m posting today.

Check out “Vapid” by Kell E. Harper over on Circadian Poems.

Harmony, of Writer in the Making tagged me back on Friday, so here are my answers:

How do you achieve balance in your life?
I ruthlessly prioritize. I constantly ask myself what’s the most important, and act on that. And, I give myself the day off or change my mind when my intuition tells me so to do. I’m getting better at throwing other people’s agendas back at them instead of feeling I have to acquiesce. Also, running two full-time careers, even though I’m doing the transition, is not easy. It’s been difficult to stay balanced through all the home-and-hearth chaos with the Evil Developers. I’m counting on it being easier once I’ve moved.


What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life?

Other people’s agendas in conflict with mine. Constantly having to weigh where someone fits (or doesn’t) into my life and if that agenda should be taken into consideration.


What are your priorities?

My writing and my extended family hold the top spot together. They are equally important to me. Writing is breathing to me, and I’m no good to anyone, including myself, if I’m not writing. Walking my talk is another priority – I have strong opinions as far as personal conduct (treading lightly on the earth, treating people well, social justice, etc.) – but if I don’t live my life that way, it means nothing.


How have your priorities changed over time and why?

Writing has always been a priority, but there were about 15 years in the middle where working in technical theatre took over, and often the only writing was in my diaries. I lost confidence in my abilities, and I made the mistake of putting other people’s work before my own – thinking it would naturally balance out. Of course, it doesn’t – those people expect and demand to always be put first and never are willing to offer the same kind of support. So, eventually, if you have any self-esteem, you remove yourself from the situation and re-prioritize. At this point, “partnership”, to me, means we both work towards both our goals – not one or the other repressing or putting aside the goals only to work for the other person’s.

What advice can you share to help all of us learn to balance our own lives?
The word “no” is your best friend.
Don’t settle. Always strive.

I’m going to tag: Tammy, Rhian, Colin, Ann, and Tori for this one (and anyone else who wishes, please feel free to join in).

Ink in My Potting Soil
Over the past few days, four little tiny morning glory plants have struggled up through the soil. Nothing else has ventured out yet – but those four determined little shoots are here!

Writing
I spent most of yesterday working on Good Names. I wrote the first draft of Chapter One – slow going, just over 2500 words, but steady progress, and it feels right. I did some research, and embarked on the second chapter. We’re still in Chicago, but Althea has taken Ruby (the character through whose eyes the story is told) and her younger brother and sister (Althea’s brother’s children) away from their cruel stepmother. I’ve decided to lodge them at the Congress Hotel. They will only be in Chicago for another chapter or two before I put them on the Twentieth Century Limited luxury train and send them to New York. I decided that Althea’s New York City home will be in the Grammercy Park area; I’m still not sure in which town in Westchester she will live, although I’m leaning towards Tarrytown. I can’t make it to the Westchester Archives for the next two weeks – but I doubt I’ll be done with the New York city section by then.

I still have to weave Jane Addams and Agnes Nestor into the Chicago section, but I have to do some more research before that will work. I remember reading about Jane Addams when I was in elementary school, as one of The Childhood of Famous Americans series – but that’s not going to be good enough for this.

I did a little bit this morning, just over two pages, but need to do some more research for detail.


Ink in My Kitchen

The blueberry scone recipe went out yesterday. If you didn’t get it, but wanted it, drop me an email with your email and I’ll send it off to you.

I also worked on some other recipes for The Project. I’m being naughty – I should do one batch exactly as written before I make any changes – but when I know something isn’t working, or when I taste and it’s bland – I’m making the changes right away. And notating them.

I baked a few loaves of Swedish Coffee Bread (which doesn’t look like any Swedish recipe I’ve ever seen in a Scandinavian cookbook). Then, I worked on the cottage cheese pie recipe – different crust – and something went wrong in the oven, it started belching black smoke and there were the beginnings of flames, and I was afraid we’d have a kitchen fire (we had one in 2002). I turned everything off, got the cake out of the oven, turned on all the fans, opened the windows. The fire didn’t catch, it went out, fortunately – I didn’t even have to use the fire extinguisher. But it was traumatic. And here I had a partially warmed cottage cheese mess on my hands – so I dashed to a neighbor’s downstairs and used her oven instead. Thank goodness for neighbors.

And, when I move, I’m getting a custom-built oven.

Both the bread and the pie taste pretty darned good, though!

This morning, I tore apart the over and scrubbed everything down – even though it was remarkably clean. I couldn’t find any reason for what happened – which worries me even more. I tested the oven, and it seems to be working fine, but I’m still nervous.

Other Stuff
I went to my friend’s place to do laundry on Saturday. When I tried to leave – the dog jumped into my brand-new car and wouldn’t get out. It took the two of us forty minutes to wrestle him out of the car – and now I’ve got blonde Labrador hair all over the car! I even drove him around the driveway a few times, hoping he’d be satisfied, but no . . .I didn’t dare take him for a longer jaunt because they’ve got an electric fence and I didn’t want him to get shocked. It was funny . . .to a point.

Spooky ate two dishes of kibble Saturday and demanded a good, long cuddle. He’s shedding, too, so I have to get him his own brush (until everyone’s been to the vet I’m not mixing anything they use and I’m washing my hands thoroughly in between touching anyone). AND I’m looking after my neighbor’s enormous cat while she’s away this weekend, and he had to have attention – I’m telling you, Saturday was all about being at the beck and call of critters.

My girls were horrified that I smelled of two other cats AND a dog!

We watched programs on professional cat shows and on doggie day care, and I said to my three, “See, there are owners out here who are even nuttier than I am!” They were truly horrified by the cat show program and the cats yowling, and figured they have a much better deal here. Nothing against cat shows – those owners do adore their cats – but it’s not the kind of life mine want!

One of the cat food cookbooks arrived – vet approved recipes – and there’s a section called “Cooking in Tandem” with quantities for owners and pets together – dual recipes. Um, that might be even too extreme for me.

I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert, of course, hooks up with another guy by the end of the book – god forbid she should actually be comfortable in solitude, which is far more complex than simple celibacy. She goes on and on about how different she is now, after her trip – well, all I see is a woman who went from being in a marriage, rearranging her life for some guy, to being in an affair and rearranging her life with some guy. It seems, to me, she’s in the same situation, but in a different location with a different guy. Change is about more than just a few weeks without sex.

Started reading Daughter of Vermont, about Ella Eaton Hepburn, a young woman who was one of the early classes in the co-educational St. Lawrence University, near the turn of the twentieth century. The book is fascinating and there’s information I can use in Good Names.

I want to get back to Good Names today, do some more work on Circadian and a few other projects. Hopefully, Confidential Job #1 will give me my next assignment and Confidential Job #2 will send me the test assignment, and I can get going on those.

Devon


Good Names
— 3,000 words out of est. 100,000

April 7, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

For crying out loud, it SNOWED yesterday! Not much, but . . .I mean, really!

I can not believe how much time all the paperwork takes in reference to the three regular gigs. I’m not talking about the actual assignments – I’m talking about tracking the assignments, incoming and outgoing deadlines, invoices, and payments, and the various instructions that fly back and forth. But I figure if I take the time now, at the beginning, to set up solid systems, I can just plug in the rest as I go, and keep track. It’s quite different than the one-offs, where you just pitch, negotiate, contract, do it, send it, and get paid, and move on to the next thing.

Thank goodness for Excel!

Worked on the Writer’s Outline for Good Names yesterday morning. Found a few holes to plug, a few character bits to strengthen. In general, it’s coming along well. It feels different than anything else, but it feels right.

Spent the afternoon at the local library, researching turn of the century architecture, etc. in Chicago and New York. I found lots of good information – and two books that I have to hunt down and purchase. There’s one book in particular, on the Mississippi, that not only serves Good Names, but will be a big help in the restructuring of The Widow’s Chamber.

I had to leave the reference room because it was so frigging loud – this is a LIBRARY, people! Shut the fuck up! And, if someone is on the cell phone – they should be excommunicated from the sacred space of the library!!! I long for the days of stern librarians!

I moved upstairs to “the quiet room” and we were all quiet – although, I swear, I ended up on the squeakiest chair known to man and was mortified. And then I got distracted by a biography of Daphne du Maurier (which I now want to own, too) and ended up spending far more time there than I should. On the sale shelf, I found an almost-new copy of Patricia Wells’s Bistro Cooking. It’s one of my favorites, my copy is in storage, this one was only $2 – it is now mine. I can always use it as a contest prize when I get my own copy out of storage, or put it up on BookMooch or something.

On my way home, I stopped at Patisserie Salzburg and treated myself to a chocolate éclair. Not just any chocolate éclair – this one had chocolate filling, not custard! Yum!

Came home and those idiots with their leaf blowers started up as soon as I walked in the door. They had an entire afternoon to be annoying – why did they wait until I got home? Personally, I think leaf blowers should be banned – they’re bad for our ears and nerves, and lousy for the environment, the way they belch exhaust. Use a rake, people!

Did some online research about Chicago – still don’t have the information I need about neighborhoods, but I have some on hotels, restaurants, stores, etc., that I can use. I might pop off an email to the Chicago Historical Society over the weekend for some specifics. I also found some books at Strand – but I have to restrain myself for the moment.

The first chapter of Good Names is starting to bubble up, but I want to have the details of place IN PLACE, in my mind at least, before I start. Place is an additional character in this book.

I’m off to a friend’s for a few hours today, to do laundry and maybe get some work done. And then I need to come home and do more on The Project.

Confidential Job #2 keeps adding more and more things to the confidentiality agreement, which makes me think they are a little paranoid beyond a reasonable scope. I’m a bit skeptical about this gig. We’ll see.

I still don’t have my energy back from this bout of flu. I took most of the evening off yesterday and actually watched television (you know I’m not feeling like myself when that happens).

Oh, and down the street – they’ve started with the effing leaf blowers – already! Um, it’s spring, the leaves aren’t even out yet.

Harmony tagged me – I’ll post the results tomorrow.

Devon