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 23, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and stormy simultaneously

I just realized I hadn’t actually posted this – just written it!

Okay, how’s this for more evidence of our administration’s incompetence? At Congressional hearings recently, there are over EIGHT BILLION dollars IN CASH that was flown to Iraq that’s unaccounted for out of the TWELVE BILLION IN CASH sent over.

How did they send it over, do you ask? They packed it in bricks, mostly made up of $100 bills, each brick worth $400,000, loaded it onto palettes, and fork-lifted it onto planes headed for Iraq. It was approximately 363 TONS of CASH.

For which they can’t account.

I’ll tell you where it’s gone – funding the people who are killing our troops every day. Who are now using chlorine gas to kill children.

Meanwhile, at Building 18 of Walter Reed Medical Center, the injured vets are living in conditions worse than slumlords keep in urban areas. And the Pentagon “doesn’t know about it”. Yeah, right. And whose pocketing that cash, I’d like to know?

They can’t rebuild New Orleans – they can’t even distribute the money regular citizens contributed to help after Hurricane Katrina – but they can airlift 363 tons of CASH to Iraq and lose two thirds of it, while leaving troops in a military hospital on American soil in sub-human conditions, while allowing credit agencies to repossess the veterans’ houses, cars, etc.

Completely unacceptable.

You don’t believe me? CNN and The Times UK both have articles on this debacle. Brian Williams of NBC News has followed the Walter Reed story all week, and there have been dozens of stories over the past months about veterans losing everything because they came back injured and the government is CHARGING them for their medical care and then turning everything over to collection agencies that seize their homes and belongings. This kind of treatment after they’ve fought for the US. Those stories inspired my short story “Not My Vote”, which is currently making the rounds.

Prince Harry of the UK is going to fight in Iraq. The Bush twins –and every other child of age belonging to anyone in Congress – should have to go over there as well. It was correctly spoken a few weeks ago in that Congressional hearing – the majority of the people making the decisions about troops have no personal stake in it – none of their loved ones are going. If they believe so much in this war, their children should have to go and fight in it.

Worked on The Project for a bit, and on Changeling, and on some notes for a few other things, but I’m not really in a creative groove. I’m terrified I’ll lose what little ground I gain this week by being on the show full-time for nearly three weeks. I just have to tackle it one day at a time, and not worry so much. Bit by bit, word by word, right?

Read the Coward diaries, which, from a craft standpoint, are really fascinating. When I’d originally read them, back in the 1980’s, it was from a backstage standpoint, because working backstage was the focus of my life. Now, with the shift to the writing, I’m noticing both his process and his productivity, which are fascinating.

The Fred Stone lithograph of John Henry arrived (an early birthday present) and it’s beautiful! I’m so glad to have it. And the three books I ordered from Strand for The Project – I think they’ll make good train and backstage reading, even though I’ll have to take notes sometimes.

Of course, I’ve come up with another few I need from them.

I started the books I’m set to review, and, thankfully, they’re good. That’s always a concern – that someone asks you to read something and review it and then you don’t like it.

Had a phone meeting with a potential client on the coast far too late in the day for me, which meant my head was spinning with ideas and I couldn’t get to sleep. That’ll teach me!

Had a slow start this morning, although I hauled myself out of bed at a reasonable hour. Had plenty of errands to run – banking; post office (always a chore, since it’s only open at random hours now); bill paying; driving over to Larchmont to a store to get some shirts; hitting Pier 1 for a particular china pattern they no longer carry; getting on I-95 and driving 30 minutes to CT to the Staples there because the one a mere mile from my house never has anything I need; stopping at Greenwich Library to find some Large Print mysteries on the discard shelves that I can send to my grandmother (I found five); the pet store to get apple bitter for a friend and dry food for my little bossy ones; back home, unpacking everything; putting together Chaz’s package to go to Newcastle and two packages of books for my grandmother; going BACK to the post office and getting them all out; going to the drug store to pick up some essentials; finally coming home and saying, “enough already!”

I want to finish reading the books I’m reviewing, work on The Project some more, and get started on a proposal for the potential client. And I haven’t even checked the job boards yet.

Not to mention the fact that zero creative work was done today. So I’ll have to make up for that tomorrow. First thing.

I have to do my creative writing first thing in the morning. Anything else, and I’m ruined for the day.

I have an idea for a new play babbling around my brain, and a completely weird newspaper article about murdered clowns is starting something else percolating. We’ll see.

Today’s house-hunting trip was postponed because of predicted bad weather. Of course, the weather was barely spitting snow down here, but, from reports, it’s pretty bad up near the Cape, so I’m glad I didn’t head out. I have a feeling I won’t be able to do any house-hunting until my next three-week stint at the show is over.

Oxford sent their weekly letter about what else they’re cutting from the health plan. I swear, they’re beyond inadequate; they’re practically non-existent. It’s a health plan in name only.

I’m going to have a cup of tea and read a bit before getting back to work.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Devon

February 22, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
About to storm

Sylvia tagged me, so here it goes:

5 Reasons Why I Blog:

–I look at it as “morning coffee” with friends and colleagues—it helps give me structure, focus, and enjoyment in the day;
–dissecting my process makes me understand it better, and, through some of the insights of my friends and readers, understand myself better, which in turn, makes the work better;
–I get to meet wonderful people with whom I might never have crossed paths in real life; and, when we do cross paths in real life, it’s always been grand;
–helping fellow artists get their work out to a wider audience, and they do the same for me;
–it’s exercise, keeping the writing muscles limber, the way a runner trains. A writing career is a long marathon, and you need to stay in shape!

I’d also like to point out that the reasons I blog now are slightly different than I did when I started – it was more about getting my name out there and building an audience. Now, that’s a lovely side perk, but the actual reasons I keep at it are those above.

I’m tagging Colin, Ann, and Tammy!

Landline and cell phone down for most of the day; DSL working on and off; power flickering; no trains. It actually warmed up on Tuesday, then, that night, we had another ice storm, and everything’s gone kaplooey. Mercury Retrograde!

You’re never going to believe this one: the twins can turn on the humidifier. Yes, Iris and Violet, the cats, figured out how to turn on Horace (okay, that sounds vaguely naughty, but you know what I mean).

I came in the living room yesterday morning, wondering why he was on, since I hadn’t turned the power on when I came back from the theatre the night before. The room felt great, but the water was getting low, so I turned it off and began to take off the ears, unscrew the head, etc., to refill it.

Iris walked right up to the back and pushed her paw on the switch to turn it on.

I dropped the ears, I was so surprised.

I turned it back off, took the head in to the kitchen sink to refill it, brought it back out, and was putting it all back together when Violet wandered past. She did a double take, walked up to the humidifier and pushed the “on” button, then went back to what she was doing.

Well, I guess they told ME, didn’t they?

I wish I had the camera handy so I could give you guys photographic evidence.

Fortunately, since it’s a child’s model, it has a safety switch that automatically turns off once the water goes below a certain level. I may have to unplug it when I’m not home. I already have to unplug the toaster because Violet’s so fascinated with it.

It will be good for them when we move to a bigger space. They won’t be so contained, and maybe they won’t get into so much. Or am I dreaming?

Oh, and ALL THREE tried to steal the banana bread. They’re running circles around me, let me tell you! I told Iris she was lucky I loved them so much, and she gave me the feline equivalent of a raspberry.

Sigh.

The positive of all the wonky phone/power problems was that, since I couldn’t work much on electronic stuff, it was mostly a reading and resting day. Got quite a bit done, but in a relaxed day.

And today, I’m feeling better.

What’s so inspiring about Coward is how much he got done. Yes, he was dashing around to parties with actors and writers and royalty and traveling the world. But he also got up in the morning, and, if he needed to, he’d work from 6:30 in the morning until 5 or 6 at night on whatever he wrote. He also painted and composed. He’d often write all day, perform on Broadway at night, then do a cabaret act at midnight, get home at 3 AM and be back at his desk in the morning. This was in his 50s! The man had stamina as well as brilliance. And, he was smart enough not to do drugs, and to cut back on the cocktails and the cigarettes when he felt they interfered with the work. He called his “long mornings” of writing “sacrosanct”. Truly an inspiration.

So, on with the catch-up. The show’s extended me an extra week, so, for the next three weeks, I’ll be both tired and have to be VERY organized.

Another storm’s heading in, so the house-hunting trip today was postponed. I’m going to try to get as much done electronically before the storm hits, in case the power goes out.

Great morning’s work done on Changeling. I feel as though I’m getting back into it.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 26,592 words out of est. 45,000

Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 9:13 am  Comments (12)  

February 21, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Ash Wednesday

Wren Fallon’s poem “Simple”, an homage to poets Sharon Olds and Jackie Kay, is up on Circadian.

Hopefully, there will be a new post on the SDR blog later this morning, or early afternoon.

I tried to comment on the Blogger blogs yesterday and was told I wasn’t “allowed” to. So, sorry, my friends, I tried. Blogger seems not to want anyone to read/comment on blogs unless you upgrade/give your firstborn/only bow to Blogger.

Much happier with Firefox than with IE7. I changed the look of it so the tool bar is made out of red and green cats. I guess you had to be there. But it makes me happy.

I’ve managed to pick up an ear infection on top of everything else, so my left ear is blocked, I can’t hear and my balance is off. Last time I was in Edinburgh (with an ear infection), I stumbled into the wonderful Napier’s, they took a look at me, sold me a bottle of drops, I put some in my ear and – two hours later, I was fine. I’m going to see if I have anything left in that bottle.

I got in to the city early enough to shoot across 42nd St. and drop down 9th Avenue to 40th Street to Empire Coffee and Tea to get some more fresh coffee – and I met Artie on the street on the way – he was on his way to pick up cat food and cat litter! So we did my errand, we hung out at Metropets – where I acquired Elsa twelve years ago! – and then I shot back up to 51st St. and the theatre.

I was terribly unfocused during day work. Everything got done, mind you – but thank goodness there wasn’t a quiz!

Back on the train home and found an awesome backpack from the Sierra Club waiting for me – along with an enormous box containing two teeny tiny ink cartridges for my printer and an enormous box containing the even smaller flashcard for the camera.

I know, I know – “They have to put them in big boxes or the delivery services lose them” – hell, then SWITCH damn delivery services! You’re PAYING them to PAY ATTENTION to each and every package, for crying out loud! If it’s the size of an earring, they shouldn’t lose it! The amount of waste just appalls me. However, I use the boxes over and over and OVER again, so I guess I’m doing my part to make up for it.

A colleague of mine is raising money for two wonderful-sounding dance projects – one will take place in Pennsylvania and one is a special commission either in or from Findhorn, Scotland. I can’t contribute much, but I can throw a little bit of money her way – and I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel. Instead of donating to a “cause”, where you never really know where your money goes, and always worry it’s going to someone’s expense account rather than the purpose of the organization – this money goes directly into the project. There will be a choreographed piece of dance/art resulting from it – and that prospect just thrills me.

I’ll ask her if there’s some sort of web link or something, so you guys can see the result!

Searched the job boards. Found a local writing job that might be interesting – I’ll send them a query and see if we’re a good match.

Did some prep work on The Project, but it was one of those evenings where there was a definite law of diminishing return.

So I gave up by 9:30 and decided to read a book instead (Noel Coward’s diaries), wrapped up in bed, with cats, hot water bottle, earache, and all. Sometimes, you just want to read about someone else’s life in the theatre.

I overslept this morning, much to the cats’ dismay. I have to re-read the 100+ pages I have on Changeling. By not working on it for over a week while I was sick, I completely lost the thread of the story. The only way I can get it back is to re-read what I’ve got and get back into the world. It’s quite discouraging. But that’s what happens when one breaks rhythm – the umbilical cord between writer and Muse is fragile, and if the Muse feels neglected (even for a good reason), sometimes she snaps the thread.

Rescheduled meeting with potential client for this afternoon, so I hope it goes well. I need to get some work done on the Tumble re-vision and also read over Assumption of Right in preparation for the revisions. AND, I was asked to review two e-books, so I have to read them this week so that I can review them properly next week. AND, a friend showed me some exquisite books she found at an antiques store in Wisconsin, and I want to write about them for Biblio Paradise. AND finish up the next Lit Athlete column.

And here I am, frittering away a good portion of the morning with sleep! 😉 Well, I needed it.

Have a happy day! I’m glad I don’t have to go into the city today – my train line is down, and there’s no way I’d drive in.

Devon