Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Late post today and no photos. Oh, well. It took awhile to get back and get back into the swing of things.

Preakness Day was lovely – except for the horrible accident in the undercard, ending in the euthanasia of one of my picks, Mending Fences, and the fact that it rained for the 11th race and the Preakness itself. I’m sorry Street Sense lost by a nose – I like him, as a horse, better than Curlin. Quite a few of my other horses came in on the undercard – I hope Diabolical makes it to the Breeders’ Cup this fall. I like that horse!

I’m working on my Preakness wrap-up article, which I have to submit tonight in order for it to go up in the coming week’s issue of Femmefan.

To answer Julia’s question, my very first Kentucky Derby and my very first Kentucky Derby win was in 1969 with Majestic Prince. I was seven. I adore racing. I’ve been writing about it since the late 1990s. I think this is the fourth or fifth year I’ve covered the Triple Crown for FemmeFan. The majority of trainers, jockeys, groomspeople, hotwalkers, etc., truly love the horses and treat them very well, as do the owners that are in it for love of the sport, not love of prestige. And those who truly love horses are trying to change the sport in positive ways to make it a more compassionate sport and take care of the horses beyond their racing lives. Horse-related charities are a big thing with me – they’re the focus of my charity work. If I could, I’d have a farm for retired racehorses and premarin foals, but, as I can’t, I do what I can for the chartable organizations that help them.

Managed to get a nice chunk of work done on Good Names – just over 3000 words over the past few days. Also realized that I have to go back and insert a chapter between my current chapters 3 and 4 – there’s a hole there. I have to do the research for it before I can write it.

After I finish chapter 5, I’m going to type up the first chapters; working in longhand, it gets intimidating to have to type the whole thing when I’m done, so I figure if I type every five chapters as I go – without stopping to revise – it should help.

A chance remark of Colin’s a few days ago gave me the inspiration I need for the stage play I’m going to write for Script Frenzy – part ghost story, part treasure hunt, starting in Reykjavik. No title yet, but I’ve got most of the first act plotted.

To answer Michele’s question – the weather changed moment-to-moment when we were in Iceland. There’s be hail and five minutes later, bright sunshine. And a few minutes later, dark clouds, high winds, and pouring rain again. Also, it was daylight most of the day – I’m sure there were hours of darkness during a 24-hour period, but we didn’t see them.

Got Hermione Lee’s new biography of Edith Wharton today – can’t wait to read it. Her work is always so meticulous.

A friend sent me some chapters of her WIP to read – looking forward to that – and Confidential Job #1 sent me my next assignment, which I will start work on tomorrow morning, while in transit.

Probably won’t blog tomorrow morning – I’m off to Philly for the day, and then I start in on the principal track of the show for the middle portion of the week. I hope I’m free for the weekend, so I can dig it and get some solid work done on Good Names. It was so nice not to HAVE to stop after 1000 or 1500 words and get on with the rest of the day, but to have four to six hour stretches to actually work. I hate writing in little bits – I like large swaths of uninterrupted work time. I’m much more productive that way, and the quality of the work is much stronger.

Off to finish my article and get some pitches out.


Good Names -14,412 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14 / 100
Published in: on May 20, 2007 at 2:53 pm  Comments (8)  

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Hop on over to Circadian Poems and catch up on a week’s worth of poetry. You have “Rain Chant” by Dawn Appleton, “Plum” by Chloe Crooikshank, and “Waiting for Life” by Faith Fenner.

Dog Blog is up, Part I of “Creating Your Literary Life” – I’m doing a series of articles on aligning your goals with your life.

I was a Miss Crankypants yesterday – I’m sure all the machine noise around the building had a lot to do with it – I couldn’t even hear myself think half the time.

I went to check out City Island with an eye to writing about it. That will be a challenge, to say the least. I’m sure it’s perfectly lovely if you live there, but there’s really no reason to GO there. It seems like the only activity in town is to go out to restaurants. Nothing wrong with that. It bills itself as a bit of New England in New York – uh, no. Nothing New Englandy about it, except that some of the restaurants serve lobsters.

But I did hit a thrift shop and get a hardcover volume of AHAB’S WIFE for a dollar, and a volume of Margaret Mead’s letters for 50 cents.

If there’s a regular bookstore on the island, I couldn’t find it.

The history museum’s supposed to be good but: A) I couldn’t find it; and B) I already knew it was closed on Thursdays.

So we left City Island and drove up-county to Pleasantville, which certainly lives up to its name. It’s beautiful and mellow. It seems unusually calm for a suburban New York town, but in the right way. We had lunch at the Dragonfly Café, which is excellent. If I lived in Pleasantville, I’d patronize the place every day.

Unfortunately, the idiot drivers in SUVs were out in full force. Twice, different SUVs tried to change lanes without looking and nearly squished me. Both times, the morons were talking on their cell phones (not hands free), which is illegal in this state. Personally, I don’t think a fine is enough; if you’re caught driving and putting people’s lives in danger due to your cell phone and the fact that you’re too stupid to concentrate on the road – your license should be suspended for ONE YEAR. And then, if you get busted for driving without a license, the consequences should be worse.

Spent most of the afternoon doing paperwork, since it looks like a recycling truck threw up on my desk. It’s a bit better now, but paperwork takes ever so long. However, if I can keep on top of it week by week, it won’t all bite me in the ass at the end of the year.

I’m getting ready to do my Preakness handicapping – it’ll be up by noon as a separate entry here called “Racing Ink”. Then, it’s off to pay bills, run errands, and prepare for the Preakness!

Turns out I can use my Nano account for Script Frenzy – they seem to be run by the same people. Anita, what’s your handle there so we can be part of the same “community”?

I still haven’t figured out if I’m going to do the ghost story screenplay or some sort of stage play.

Lots of errands and bill-paying, and then I have to move the car in case of flooding. We didn’t get hit badly by Wednesday’s storm, but we might get slammed by this one. Even though I’m leaving later, I don’t want to risk the car.

And I hope to get some work in on Good Names later today.


PS More Iceland photos, top and bottom. These are from Geysir, where, logically enough, there are geysers.

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 9, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Photos on both ends of the entry this morning, again.

Hop on over to Circadian and read Brenda Braene’s poem, “Spring”.

I was going to tell you to hop on over to the Dog Blog to read my entry “Living By Your Wits”. However, fucking Blogger won’t let me sign in – even with the admin access my editor granted me. So I emailed the entry to her, and she can put it up or not when she has time. I feel badly about making extra work for her – it’s time Blogger’s taken to task.

Yesterday was okay. Day work was fine. Everyone was happy to see me. It was a shock to be back in Manhattan. The switch from NYC to Reykjavik was not difficult, but the switch back is. I don’t quite understand it. It was also weird to look at the clock and think, “last week at this time, I was on my way to the airport.”

Dinner at West Side Sushi, which was good.

The show was fine, although I realized something disturbing: I’d dumped the track from my mind. I hadn’t planned on two floods in six weeks (you think?), and I thought I’d have given my notice and would be in the moving process by now. So, after I did the track a few weeks ago – I forgot it. It came back – thank goodness for muscle memory. But it was disconcerting, all the same.

I’m reading a memoir of a woman who was born in Iceland, but now lives in the US with her husband. Memoirs of an Icelandic Bookworm by Jona E. Hammer (there should be an accent over the “o”, but I can’t get it to take). It’s fascinating, mixing memoir with folktales and fairytales with which she grew up. It’s amazing how the rhythm of Icelandic folk tales differs from the ones with which we grew up here.

I have to leave it at home today – it’s not a good backstage book. In order to do it justice, it requires more concentration than I can give it between cues.

Good morning’s work on Good Names. This morning’s scene was a bit of a tangent, but it will underline an important plot point later on. I still have to do some research for the next section. It’s interesting – this piece decides how much work I’ll do on it any given day. It has its own rhythm, already, only three chapters into it. Some days it’s 750 words, some days 1500. Most days it’s around 1000. And then it’s done for the day. Usually, I can set a goal and say, X words or pages/day, no matter what. Not this piece.

I’m also trying to write it in the cadence of the day (1903), yet not quite as passive. If you read work early in the twentieth century, the passive tense is much more prevalent than it is today. I’m trying to get the cadence, yet lose some of the passivity. It’s an interesting challenge.

Off to the theatre for a two-show day.


Good Names — 8,562 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8 / 100
Published in: on May 9, 2007 at 8:21 am  Comments (7)  


One of the many beautiful vistas we saw travelling outside of Reykjavik into the surrounding countryside.

Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 8:26 am  Comments (2)  


Reykjavik Cathedral.  The bells toll every 15 minutes — but a lovely, light clear tone.  This is about 2 blocks from the hotel, so we could tell time by the bells.

Not sure why it printed twice.

Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 8:24 am  Comments Off on  


I love all the contrasting architecture.

Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 8:22 am  Comments Off on  

May 8, 2007

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

My heart goes out to all those in Greensburg, Kansas, devastated by that awful tornado. What can one say? The destruction is apocalyptic.

Iceland photos will be on the top and bottom of the entries for the next few days. IE, there are three photos above this entry, and three photos below it. Tomorrow’s bottom three will be on top of today’s top three, etc. So keep scrolling and don’t miss anything!

If you haven’t entered Mia King’s contest yet, scroll below today’s photos to yesterday’s second post and hop on over to her blog. I believe the contest runs until tomorrow – and you can win an astrological report, among other things!

Research help: Does anyone know or know where I can find out the proper form of address, in 1903, for an adopted child to the parent, if the child is old enough to remember the birth mother? IE, the child was taken in as a ward, then adopted. Would the new parent be referred to as “Mother” or as “Aunt” or as something else? The etiquette books I’ve found for that don’t seem to cover it. If you can point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.

Remember how I had all that stuff I needed to do?

Instead, as I printed out the rest of the Iceland photos, I began The Tactile Muse. Yes, I’m doing a blog devoted to the fiber crafts I enjoy. The trip to Iceland inspired me to re-learn knitting, and I want to have a place to discuss, in depth, the quilting and sewing and other crafts. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting every day. Just intermittently. But you can read yesterday’s errors in knitting, should you choose.

If I do it all here, it’ll take you an hour every morning to read the entry. This way, you guys can pick and choose the topics in my life that hold any (if any) interest to you.

Rhian, thanks for making Wren’s poem part of the train. I wasn’t quite sure how to hook up to that. We’re both honored.

Devon’s Random Newsletter for May went out yesterday. If you didn’t get your copy, or want to sign up for the newsletter, you can do so here.

Went to Staples to get some more photo paper. Went to the liquor store to get more wine. Went to AI Friedman to get the photo albums for the Iceland photos and to get on-sale yarn – I should have gone to Michael’s, but I always forget we have a Michael’s near by until I’ve already spent the money at Friedman. Oh, well. It’s inexpensive “test” yarn for my knitting practice.

Caught up on a bunch of paperwork, but barely made a dent. It’s amazing, how quickly it all stacks up. Unpacked my bag from the trip and repacked it as my daily travel bag to and from the city this week.

Tried not to pour ice water on the guys making lots of noise with machinery under my window all day as they worked on . . .something . . .in the basement, and I tried to get work done up above. I realize that they have to do their work, and I respect it. It’s just that repetitive machine noise drives me crazy – and, trust me, it’s a very short drive!

Fortunately, if I get up early enough, I can get my 1000+ words for the day done BEFORE they start making noise!

I’m having an allergic reaction to all the mold/mildew/other crap kicked up by the storm. Complete respiratory meltdown. Not pretty, and not fun. I guess I should be glad I’m away from the building for most of the week, working. It got progressively worse as the day wore on – it’s acting rather like a bad cold, but not. I’d like to stay tucked in bed tomorrow – but I have an 8-show week. And I can’t call in: A) because I’m a swing, and it’s my job to be there when someone’s out and B) because there are various strikes looming in my industry this summer and fall (justified ones, I might add), and I have to take as much work as possible before they happen. Gotta love that Nyquil!

I have to find my book of yoga cures so I can do poses to counteract what’s going on. I’ve been sick far too much this year, and it needs to stop.

Good morning’s work on Good Names – tons of research still to do, but it’s coming together, story-wise and character-wise and even plot-wise.

Off to the theatre, for day-work and a show. Not in the mood. I need to decompress, get healthy, and do a lot of writing. But, as mentioned above – got to grab the work while it’s there – it could be a long, dry summer! Hopefully, everything will be negotiated in time – but I wouldn’t count on it.


Good Names – 7,812 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7 / 100
Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 8:15 am  Comments (8)  


One of the squares downtown, about two blocks from the hotel.  Lots of shops and restaurants surround it, and the tourist information center is to the left, out of frame.

Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 8:09 am  Comments Off on  


The interior of our hotel in Reykjavik.  Our room is in the front, overlooking the square. just to the right of this photo.

Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 8:05 am  Comments Off on  

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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