Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

My Belmont preview article is here:

Today’s race card is handicapped below this post.

Dog Blog post up here.

I rarely comment on celebrity this and that in the blog because most of the time, I just don’t care. But I am so angry that Paris Hilton whined her way out of serving her sentence. She didn’t pull some harmless prank – DUI is putting lives in danger. And she had two chances to make it right and shrugged them off. The so-called Justice System sent a message that, if you’re rich enough, you can get away with anything you want and not be held accountable. There are thousands of people serving time for lesser offenses because they’re not rich. Martha Stewart was sent to jail because she’s a good businesswoman and dealt with jealous liars, cheats, and thieves who decided to set her up; this spoiled brat chickie puts people’s lives in danger and gets away with it, threatens a nervous breakdown and goes home to order cupcakes. What are they going to do when she does it the next time, and someone dies? Since they’ve now sent the message that her behaviour is perfectly acceptable? Right, a “medical condition”. This is why she gets to go home and throw a party, completely flipping off the Justice System and most of the rest of the country. The level of narcissism and disregard for anything outside her own immediate desires is revolting, and her sense of entitlement that she can get anything she wants has been reinforced. Hmm, let’s see, what does this sound like? Scarily, for the past six years, very similar behavior has been demonstrated in the White House. Considering how George Bush got away with handling Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, are we really surprised? For the last six years, more than ever, if you’ve got the money, you can do anything you want without consequence. That is NOT democracy. It is a perversion of everything our Founding Fathers and Mothers fought to create.

(Dusting off soapbox, putting it aside until next time).

Ran errands, got groceries in (the cats don’t like it when the cupboard is bare), went to the bookstore. I bought it – Sailing for Dummies – so I can learn the basics and the vocabulary and at least have a clue when I get up to Newport. I also bought The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig, which looks like it’s going to be such fun! As far as the sailing, I plan to learn as much as I can and continue learning, using the slant, “This is fascinating; come learn with me.” I’m not going to try to fake being an expert; I’m going to take the readers out on the adventure with me, and hopefully we’ll all learn some interesting things.

Came back to find my next assignment from Confidential Job #1. This one looks really good, which will more than make up for the last one.

In White Plains, we had to go through police checkpoints coming and going. Every car was stopped. They’re looking for someone. I guess there was a shooting at the Galleria Mall’s parking lot. Again. I don’t know what it actually is, but it must have been pretty serious.

Racing Ink for today is posted below. I’ll wrap it up and handicap tomorrow’s card either late tonight or early tomorrow morning, before I head out.

I’m at Belmont Park today – should be fun. If you’re in the neighborhood – come out and play!

The biggest challenge with writing about horse racing for a period of years is to keep it fun, and not succumb to the feeling that I have to be right all the time. It’s horse racing – once they’re in the gate, anything can and does happen. You pick your favorites for whatever reason and hope no one dies. Yes, it’s fun to cash a ticket; but it’s more fun to watch a wonderful race, with so many variables no video game can come close to the excitement.

I’ve hit a wall with City of Lost. Getting this next scene right is crucial, or all of Act II falls apart. And I’m not getting it right. I’m over-convoluting things. I need to strip it down and simplify, simplify, simplify. Even though the play is still on the page, I want to pretend I’m in the rehearsal room and imagine the three dimensions the actor brings to the role and work it through that way. Eventually, I’ll have to just sit down and do it, but I want to let it simmer for a few days, and then hopefully push well into Act II.

I know I won’t get much writing done between now and Monday, other than horse racing articles, but I at least want to put it in the percolator so my unconscious can work on it – while my conscious mind is off playing the ponies!


January 25, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Burns Night
Virginia Woolf’s birthday

Have a laugh at my attempts at herbal studies over on Kemmyrk.

Check out the poetry news on Circadian.

Sometimes, you lose.

I lost yesterday, to the migraine. I managed to get some admin work done, but I thought my head was going to explode. It was the type that also creates nausea, so all was unhappy.

I wonder if the stuff the exterminator used triggered it.

It’s not supposed to affect humans or pets adversely, but I somehow doubt it.

However, the cats were fine (thank goodness), but I was not.

I tried everything – lying down, gel pack, passive traction with the rubber balls at the base of the skull.


So I caved by 2:30 and took a Canadian pain pill. It took the edge off, and made it difficult to focus. After awhile, I was able to read for short periods of time, but not any of my research material.

I managed to finish Archie Mayor’s The Ragman’s Memory. What a wonderful, thoughtful, clever, enticing book. I definitely want to read the entire series.

In response to the responses to yesterday’s second entry, “How to be a Full-Time Writer” (if you haven’t read it, scroll down): I forgot how many of you recently joined me on this journey. I’m in the midst of TRANSITIONING from two full-time careers into the full-time writing. I lost eight months of the transition fighting the developers last year, who were trying to drive out the 100+ families in this building. So I’m a little behind schedule, but, for once in my life, I’m TRANSITIONING instead of LEAPING. I’ve already cut way back on the theatre and increased the writing. That steady progress has to continue. In this case, a break as opposed to a flow is the wrong choice.

It was a choice I SHOULD have made back when it was pointed out to me over a dozen years ago. But I didn’t. In some ways I’m glad I didn’t, but in some ways, I know it makes the hill all that much steeper to climb now. It points out consequences of a road not taken. As glad as I am to have had 20+ years in the theatre, it took a toll on my writing and the overall flow of the writing career.

And I certainly wouldn’t cut and run when I made a commitment to the show until the beginning of March. Once I make a commitment, I do everything I can to keep it.

To bed early last night, because I could not get rid of the migraine. It’s a combination of the physical factors of the demands of the show and the mental demands of trying to balance the writing and the theatre work.

The migraine woke me up at 5:30, so I got up to start the day. A long session of yoga and plenty of coffee (in spite of the warnings about caffeine with migraines, it helps mine), helped. And, once the snow began, the pre-storm pressure lifted, leaving just the migraine.

Because I’m a swing, and I cover when others are out, calling in sick is not an option. So I’ll take some Excedrin migraine and work through it.

Managed to get some decent work done on Changeling. Working on it alleviated some of the migraine pain – probably because it released the tension built up by not writing. Although I have a loose outline, I find each chapter creates itself and its world, and the process of discovery is exciting. I feel as though I have the best of both worlds – the world of pre-planning, and the world of blank-paging. Let’s hope it all holds together for a coherent story.

Since “Illuminated Nude” is far more complex than I originally expected, I need to work on the other two stories due by the end of the month first and make sure they get out. “Illuminated Nude” would be great to include, but I’m not going to rush through it and hurt the story – especially since it’s not a deadline with a signed contract.

I have a lot to clear off my desk before I start doing full weeks on the show again. Next week will have to be very long days of practical work rather than creative work.


Chasing the Changeling – 17,217 words out of est. 45,000

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17 / 45

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:

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:

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!


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

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10 / 45

January 15, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Martin Luther King Day
Rainy and warm

Let’s take Dr. King’s message to heart and each day perform at least one act of kindness/and or tolerance, creating a ripple effect.

Rev up, people, there are links to click:

Today’s Circadian Poem: “Rainy Morn” by Joan Spoon.

A new post on preparing for herbal studies over on Kemmyrk.

An explanation of Hope Clark’s 13-in-Play and information on Kristen King’s Query Challenge 2007 over on Wordish Wanderings.

How’s that for a start?

On the Blogger version of Ink, it’s countdown time. I will only be double-posting for three more days. As of Thursday, when the moon turns, it will all be at Word Press.

On Word Press, I’m trying to fix some typos in links, and I have to talk to them today about some silly preview window they’re giving me when I want to click one of my links, that prevents me from actually getting to my link. I DON’T WANT IT. So, we’ll be having a bit of a chat today.

Yesterday – five loads of laundry at my friend’s place in CT, in trade for cooking dinner. Plus, he had some books relevant to a pitch I’m writing, so I used the afternoon to research.

Lots of correspondence to catch up on, getting started on the next couple of FemmeFan articles, my next SDR column, and getting those pitches out! And, I have to get started on the revision of Tumble, because the month is moving ahead, but my revision is not.

Typed/revised two chapters on Token last night. They’ll need more work, but I need to do some searching on the history of Greenwich Village to do them properly. I sort of know the old stories, but I want to double check them – choose one or two accurate anecdotes about real characters; make up one or two about imaginary people that are in the style of the day and the Greenwich Village myth. That’ll be draft 3.

Rejection on a short story yesterday – expected, but not wanted. There’s another market I think is a better fit (that I found AFTER I sent it out to the first one), but I have something on submission there and have to hear back from the first one before I can send this one.


Ideas for two new novels while I was putting around my friend’s place, reading newspapers and researching. One is historical – turn of the 20th Century. The other is contemporary, an action/psychological piece. Both need very different types of research, and both were triggered from situation rather than character, so I have to wait until the characters evolve before I can decide where to put them in the queue.


Token and Affections , 2nd Draft – 9,872 words out of est. 45,000

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9 / 45

Chasing the Changeling – 5,925 words out of est. 45,000

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5 / 45

Published in: on January 15, 2007 at 10:57 am  Comments (4)  

New look/url for Kemmyrk

Kemmyrk has a new look, a new URL, and information on working with The Celtic Oracle. Check it out here.

And, yes, it’s another of my photos in the header. I took it in Maine a few years ago.

Published in: on January 11, 2007 at 1:54 pm  Comments Off on New look/url for Kemmyrk  

January 11, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yes, all you bright, wide-awake compatriots, TODAY is Thursday. Yesterday was Wednesday, even though I put Thursday at the top of the post. I have an auto day and date thingy, but it got un-calibrated and put in the wrong day, although the correct date. Beyond knowing I had two shows, which should have tipped me off it was either Wednesday or Saturday, I was clueless.

Just heard from my editor – the Plum essay is accepted and she will send the copyedited version in a few days for final approval. Woo-hoo! As soon as I have the details of the finished anthology, I will let you know. I’m very excited.

Finished Hell’s Belles last night, and will write about it in depth at some point over the next couple of days. Short version: Loved it. Go buy it.

Read Dorothy and Agatha, too, a “faction” mystery. I liked the plot and its twists (although, yes, I figured out who-done-it several chapters from the reveal). I struggled with some of the characterizations. So I enjoyed the book, but didn’t love it.

Both shows were fine yesterday, although I had some fumble-finger moments during the second show. Part of it was the surprise at hearing on the fly information that should have been given to me in advance by my bosses. And there’s some other internal politicking and maneuvering and backstabbing going on that I don’t like. However, I realized that I can simply choose not to engage in it. I can see the destruction that one toxic person is going to wreak, mostly on herself – and you know what? I don’t have to be affected by it. Because I’ve been consistent and above board. And if she’s not – the consequences are on her head, even though, at the beginning, it looks like she’s “won”. I know I made the right decision and I was forthright about it, so I can continue on my way with a clear conscience and not be pulled down by someone else’s dishonesty and double dealing. Sorry if that seems obscure, but I can’t go into the details, unfortunately. I have to admit, though, once I realized I could detach if I chose to do so – it was as though a huge weight was lifted of my shoulders. Perhaps I am moving up the learning curve a slight bit, after all.

Artie and I had a wonderful French meal at Pigalle, on Eighth Avenue. The menu is so varied and excellent, we will have to go back often to try one of everything.

Relatively painless commute – trains late, as always, out of power for a few minutes on the way home, leaving us in the dark, but they got it going again quickly, so I actually got home around 1 AM, which is when I was supposed to.

I’m worse again today, but don’t have to go in to the theatre, thank goodness. I think Lara’s right – it must be a virus. And people on the train coughing and sneezing and not making the LEAST effort to be sanitary about it doesn’t help. Plus the long hours and the heavy lifting. I’ll probably do a few extra inverted poses.

New posts will be up later today on Circadian and on Kemmyrk.

I started Chasing the Changeling today, and someone I thought would be an extremely minor character turns out to have a lot to say and push the plot along well. So he’s staying. It was odd to jump from the word of a stranger in New York to a strange world that I have to think through before I write.

I’ll start typing Token today, and do more work on “Illuminated Nude”. I also got an idea last night for a pair of paranormal comedic short stories that need to go on the list, once the required trio of short stories for this month is done.

And, now that the Plum essay has been accepted, I can turn my attention to the requested revision of Tumble.

To help with my goals of getting out more pitches/queries every week, I’ve joined freelance Kristen King’s “Official Inkthinker 2007 Query Challenge.” Check it out. And sign up, if you’re trying to get a jump start on your query process.

I’d like to crawl back into bed, but I’m going to try to be a bit more productive first!


Chasing the Changeling — 1,375 words out of est. 45,000

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1 / 45