Tues. July 26, 2022: Protocols, Performance, Persistence

garden sculputre installation at The Mount

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Day Before Dark Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Sunny, cooler, less humidity

Hot, busy weekend.

Friday wasn’t quite as hot as Thursday, mostly because there was cloud cover, but the humidity was oppressive. Once the plants were watered on the front porch, we closed it off and let it be a greenhouse for the day, which helped keep the rest of the house cooler. And we kept the blinds closed on the east side of the house, and the lace curtains drawn on the south side. The lace lets in enough light, but blocks some of the heat.

I did some admin/organizational stuff, noodled on my article, and then turned around the script I had in the late morning/early afternoon. I made a pasta salad in the morning that could cool in the fridge for dinner, so we didn’t have to think about cooking or preparing anything.

I rehearsed my portion of the poem, working on rhythm and voice placement. What made me smile is that we just moved into Leo season – a season to shine, to share, to perform – and here’s the performance date.

I finished reading the next book for review.

The request for mail-in ballots arrived, and we filled them out and returned them. The mail-in option makes it easier (and safer) for this year’s voting.

I was invited to an artists’ resource meeting, but the day and the date didn’t match up. I emailed them for clarification. If the day of the week is correct, I can’t make it this month. If the date is correct, I can. At any rate, it’s a group with which I’d like to work, and if I can’t do it this month, I hope I can next month. They even are meeting outside this month, to make it safer.

It was tough to get to sleep Friday night because of the humidity, but I managed,

I should have worked on the Topic Workbooks, but I was too hot and tired and grumpy. I am very much a Winter Girl, not a Summer Girl.

Started feeling all kinds of doubt and uncertainty on Saturday morning again. Part of it was stage nerves for that afternoon’s performance. I am not a performer; I write for performers. I am a behind-the-scenes person. But there are enough of us in this event (50) that it’s about collective creation and collective experience, and there isn’t pressure on me to do more than be in the moment (and get my first & last words right, to keep the flow going).

Another part is also with the Topic Workbook and the serial launching in the upcoming weeks, there’s the whole pressure of now it’s out in the world, and no longer in my control. It’s 50-50. Some people are going to love these pieces & find them helpful or interesting; others won’t. There will always be those who are condescending and make nasty comments. Not that they ever create anything themselves; but they talk about what they’ll do some day while slam others. That’s the reality of the business.

I remind myself: They are not my target audience.

I remind myself: The previous negative reality is not my current positive reality. I am building something new here. That means taking risks, creatively and personally. Not all of them are going to work the way I want them to. But I still need to do it.

Because the alternative is a day job outside of my field, and that is the ultimate last resort.

I cut out a rant from this post about wanna-be writers who think they know more than those of us earning our living in the industry,  because I don’t feel like focusing on them today.

Saturday morning, I had to run out and get a hat. Early, when it was easy to stay ten or more feet away from anyone else in the store. There’s no way I could make it through the event without a hat. I have a whole collection of wonderful hats – in storage. So I ran out to a store that was likely to have workable hats. I couldn’t decide between two in the store, they were both affordable, so I bought both.

I did not go to the Farmers’ Market. I knew the heat would wear me out; I also didn’t want to risk exposure to anyone who might be sluffing off virus, and then bringing it to the event. I missed it, though. I missed the beautiful produce and the friendly, engaging farmers, and the other market regulars I chat with every week.

Took the rest of the morning to rest, read, rehearse. Packed my bag for the event. Took a shower, slathered on sunscreen, braided my hair that I wasn’t able to get cut in time, the whole thing.

I was proud of myself for breaking the usual pattern, which would have been to work myself into the ground all morning, and then feel frantic and unsettled when it was time to go. I gave myself time and rest. I knew it would be hot and humid and challenging, so I made sure, for once, not to sabotage myself.

I left around 2:30, to give myself time in case I hit tourist traffic. I did vocal exercises in the car, and rehearsed my little bit (all those years working musicals have application in the real world). I made decent time to get to The Mount, and got there around 3:30. Walked through the gardens to get to the house, where we were meeting. The sun dappled through the trees in nuanced light that was both beautiful and spooky. The phone’s camera made it look lighter than it was.

We assembled. They had us on chairs on either side of the path that wound down around the side of the house, odds and evens. We lobbed our parts of the poem back and forth across the path, with the audience on the path. I was number 9 (being one of the early poets to sign up and create my bit). So Number 7 was next to me. He lobbed the final word of his poem to Number 8, across the path, who started with the last word of his poem as the first word of her poem. She lobbed back across to me. The last word of her poem was the first word of my poem. I lobbed to number 10, across the path, whose first word of her poem was the last word of my poem, who lobbed it to Number 11, next to me, whose first word was the last word of the previous poem, and so forth and so on.

The audience moved through us as we spoke. They moved through us in waves, so when the first group reached the bend (about half way through), the next group started with the first poet again, so there were multiple vocals happening at any given time, and we had to be present to the poets around us, while aware of what was going on above and below us on the path.

There were a few poets who couldn’t be there. The agreement was that, if someone couldn’t be there, that individual was responsible for sending a proxy. There were several who did so, and that was great. There were a couple of people who didn’t, and a couple who didn’t show up or let anyone know, and that put unnecessary pressure on the poets who were there. Someone early in the poem couldn’t run down and cover for someone late in the poem, because by that point, the next wave of audience was coming through. So the organizers had to work out who could move a few chairs to read a missing poet’s bit, and then get back to their original chair to perform their own bit again in time.

It worked, mostly because there were enough experienced performers to flow, and the first-timers like me, who were trying to get a handle on what was going on and feel the rhythm, weren’t put under that additional pressure.

In other words, the organizers took care of the performers, instead of expecting the performers to fix things that happened at the last minute.

And the overall poem did build a flow and a rhythm. It was amazing. Somehow, even though we didn’t know anything about the poets and their poems on either side while we wrote, it all came together.

There were poets of all ages and from all over the place. I walked in with a poet from Northampton (who used to be a production coordinator for the Boston Ballet, so we had a good talk about backstage). The woman next to me and her daughter (numbers 11 & 13) were from Gloucester, MA, and each wrote a segment as something fun to do together. There was a family of six – wife, husband, two teen daughters, and their dogs – who each did a segment (they were spread out amongst everyone. And only the humans created poems, although the dogs performed with their humans). I think they’re from upstate NY. They told me they love to “poem together” and grab any opportunity to be part of public art events like this. There was a woman across and down a few who’s stage managing a show with a theatre company with whom I had contact awhile back, and I hope I get to see the show. The guy who led the playwrights’ workshop I attended a few weeks ago wasn’t in it (he’d planned to, but dropped out when he couldn’t be there, so another poet could step in and take his place with their own work, instead of someone reading as a proxy). But one of my fellow playwrights was there, and we had a good catch-up natter. There was another woman who’s a part of a poetry group that creates and performs social justice public art.

It was great to be part of a group that had NO Trumpers in it, and no both-siders and right-wing apologists. No one pursing their thin little lips claiming they “don’t do politics” when in reality, they support extremists.  In fact, a good deal of the poetry was political. Quite a few of the older poets, men and women, a few years ahead of me in age and experience, were talking about how they’d fought/marched/voted/protested for Civil Rights and Roe the first time around, and here we are again.

It was a dog, kid, family inclusive event. Several poets brought partners or family members who set up camp chairs nearby and watched/listened or read a book or worked on their own writing.

No one was told to tone down their language, and the audience was warned of the possibility of strong language. As far as I know, no one complained.

They’d put out a buffet for us up at the Terrace Café (it’s a spectacular view). They’d told us they’d have snacks for us, but there was real food to make sandwiches (and gluten free options) and salads and fruit and lemonade and raspberry tea and all that. They watered us well throughout, to make sure we were hydrated and didn’t faint. The chairs were in the shade. The audience was kept in the front courtyard until showtimes, with lemonade and cookies.

Originally, we were supposed to do the full poem 4 times through. However, so many people signed up that, for both vocal projection’s sake and safety’s sake, they split up the audience for the first couple of shows; hence the waves of audience members. So what were originally scheduled as the first two performances turned into four performances.

Each performance built a unique rhythm and flow. As the poets got more comfortable with each other, we could try different inflections with the same words, and lob the bits back and forth more easily.

We poets also kept moving our chairs back. We knew we were all fully vaccinated and had tested negative that day before showing up, but there was no way to trust that the audience was the same. Since the audience didn’t pay attention to the social distancing, we made it happen by enlarging the distance.

After the first four shows, we had a break to eat. One of the poets was bored with saying the same thing over and over, so he rewrote his poem in the break (keeping the first and last word, per the agreement). A couple of people joked that they’d never remember everyone’s name, but they could remember everyone’s content. For instance, I became “Lilac” because I had lilacs in my poem, and the image of “frothy lilacs” stuck in people’s heads. So, you know, any event I do from here on in, I’ll be “Lilac.” I can live with that.

After the break, we had two more shows. Because of time, the groups couldn’t be split up this time around. They were larger; we pulled our chairs back farther from the path and projected more. The heat and humidity were taking a toll, even with all the precautions.

During the final performance, as we completed our bits, we folded in behind the audience (at a safe distance), so that we were all together at the end and could celebrate.

We were all pretty much hurting by then (even the puppies were tired), but we celebrated each other, and were invited to a couple more of these creations, given our travel stipends, and then headed out.

The walk back to the parking lot seemed to take forever. I managed to get home in only 40 minutes (not much traffic), but as the adrenalin wore off, it was a challenge.

Dashed up the stairs, ordered Chinese food for delivery, and jumped in the shower to hose down and decontaminate. Even with some protocols in place, there were still a lot of people involved in the day. My throat was raw and everything hurt, and I knew I’d put myself at risk.

Popped the prosecco, though, and sucked down a couple of glasses along with the Chinese food. It took awhile to unwind. As a non-performer, and also as someone who’s used to writing by myself and then it either goes into the world, or, in the case of a play, it goes into rehearsal with a finite group before going out into the world, it was quite a new experience. But that sense of excitement, creating with others, trusting in them, and then INVITING the audience to experience it with us instead of PRESENTING TO the audience as pretty incredible.

Even if I don’t participate in the next couple of events (one of them, a haiku contest where content is created in the moment, is not something I could even consider doing), I might go as an audience member and support my fellow poets.

I finally collapsed into bed. I woke up around midnight and drank a bottle of water. My throat felt awful. I woke up again at 3 and did the same. Sunday, I rested. I drank tea and water. I took Slippery Elm (which I should have taken before I left, but I didn’t think of it). I’m not used to talking that much, or projecting outdoors. Of course it’s going to leave my throat and voice raw. I read.

Again, the usual pattern would have been to push myself and run myself down even more, probably winding up sick with a cold, if I managed to avoid the plague. At the very least, running myself down would give any exposure to the virus more traction.

So I rested.

I had to run out mid-day for a few errands – pick up my mother’s prescription and get her a new blood pressure monitor, get in some groceries, since I didn’t go to the market on Saturday. Just that little bit wore me out. The heat and humidity were oppressive.

I managed to do another read-through of the next chapters I have to upload for LEGERDEMAIN. I did some work on my article on Saturday morning, but didn’t do any work on Sunday. I put some hooks up in my mom’s closet, hung up some of the copper molds in the kitchen, and hung a quilt on the living room wall.

That was it.

Went to bed at the normal time. Tessa got me up early on Monday. I was still a little tired, but overall felt decent. Still just not loving the heat and humidity.

There’s a post on the GDR site about enjoying the week. There’s a lot going on, and I want to enjoy it.

THE GRAVEYARD OF ABANDONED PROJECTS released on Monday. I’m proud of all the Topic Workbooks, but I think this one will help a lot of people who get scattered among too many projects.

A ridiculous amount of email piled up over the weekend, so I slogged my way through that. Did the postings of the daily prompt on the site where I couldn’t schedule the posts. Wrote the thank-yous for the event. Signed up for a yoga class. Signed up for an online cooking class at Kripalu, with my beloved Chef Jeremy, and even received a scholarship to attend. Checked in with my friend about my upcoming visit, provided I test negative the morning I’m supposed to leave. Packed for the trip.

Kept track to see if I’m showing any symptoms, or if I felt bad. I mean, I was grumpy in the heat and humidity, and I was tired (hey, I’m not 20 anymore), but overall, I feel fine. My throat was a little raw for a couple of days, but steadily felt better. My voice is still a little scratchy, but I don’t talk much during the course of the day, so that’s to be expected.

Turned around a script and some questions on a previous script I’d covered. Grabbed some shorts to turn around today. I’ve been steadily working on the Italian every day. I’m definitely learning vocabulary, but I’m not understanding sentence construction.

Did some work on a grant proposal, and noodled around with my article and with an idea tossed out by Word X Word.

It was hot and humid when I went to bed, but much better upon getting up this morning. I feel like I can be much more productive today, and I kind of have to be. There are a slew of errands to run late this morning, after I get some work done on the article, the Topic Workbooks, and getting the next LEGERDEMAIN episodes uploaded.

This afternoon, I turn around the three shorts. In the late afternoon, I head out to Greylock Works for a 1Berkshires Entrepreneur meeting at Berkshire Cider. It’s inside, so yes, I’ll be masked.

Someone contacted me about a content writing position. I have to take a look at the details. On the surface, the money looks outstanding, but I need to know more about it.

Hope you had a good weekend, and let’s work toward a good week!

Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Joys of Local Authors

image courtesy of Yerson Retamal via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy, rainy, humid

I have a new post up over on Gratitude and Growth about differences in air and earth between the Berkshires and the Cape.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that the Knowledge Unicorns are back up and running. Since none of us believe any in-person learning in this country is safe at this point, and all the kids are being taught at home (be it online learning through their school or home schooling), the homework group is back. Most of the kids stayed in touch with each other over our summer break. Two of the families went camping together, and strengthened those bonds. So that is all good. Some of the kids are sad; friends of theirs have died, thanks to the anti-vaxxers. All of the kids are angry, and rightly so, that the systems and people who are supposed to have their best interests at heart are willing to let them die by trying to force them into in-person learning when it’s not safe.

Tuesday’s session was mostly about dealing with all these realities and emotions. Today, we will actually start on their homework.

Yesterday, I was up at 4:30 (so that I had time for yoga), and we were out of the house by 6 AM to do a storage run down to the Cape. In spite of the traffic, we arrived a little before 10 AM, and, even with switching stuff out of the units, unpacking and repacking the car, we were back on the road by 10:14 and home by 2 PM. It was a good day to drive, in spite of the traffic.

Unloaded the car, got everything upstairs, and got us late lunch/early dinner from Burger King, which I knew I would regret, but it was good while I ate it.

We got the new checks from the bank – hand-delivered, no less. So now, I can go about what I need to do to get the old account at the other bank closed. The checks written have to clear, and a refund has to show up. Then, I can go over to Williamstown and shut down the account. The bills I’m paying today will start coming out of the new account. All of this was way more chaotic than it needed to be.

I started the next book assigned for review, and, so far, I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

We were back in time for me to attend the virtual Straw Dogs Writers Guild Annual Author Showcase. They are based in Pioneer Valley, and it was in partnership with Forbes Library in Northampton. So probably too far to get regularly involved, once it’s safe so do to in person. But I was curious to hear local authors read, and there were a dozen authors scheduled, a mix of poets and prose writers and memoirists.

They were wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed each reading. These writers are professional, recognize that this is valuable work, and take the craft as seriously as the art. They don’t shy away from the political implications and responsibilities of their work, either (unlike the right-wing panderers who claim they “don’t do politics” which, in itself, is political by supporting the inequity of the status quo). One author read from one of her older books, a scene depicting an illegal abortion in the days before Roe. She, too, is old enough to remember it, and we are frustrated that here we are again.

Craft matters to all of them. They take time and pride in the craft of their work, along with theme and art and entertainment. They understand that excellent work combines all of these.

I now have a dozen new-to-me authors, whose books I will get out of the library and/or purchase (as much as my budget will allow). I’m very excited to delve more deeply into their work, and I will attend more online events in which any of them are involved.

I’m so glad I attended.

Charlotte and Willa were impossible. Charlotte is always difficult during Zoom, because she wants everyone to tell her she’s pretty. Willa was fascinated every time a poet read. She loved the rhythm of it. So I guess I’ll be reading poetry to the cats!

I didn’t want to read any scripts after the event was over, because I was so filled with beautiful writing that I wanted to bask in it, rather than put myself into the “critical” headspace in which I need to be for the coverage reading.

Read passages in the published journal I’m reading, where the actor worked with someone I knew quite well. It was nice to read affectionate anecdotes about someone I know and worked with!

Got an idea for a difficult short story about a woman who makes a choice out of exhaustion and despair that turns out to be a relief, even though she is supposed to feel guilty about it. No, not abortion, something else.  It needs development and I’m playing with it. It’s one of those that will probably need a dozen or so rewrites to hit exactly what I want with it, and I have to write at least one draft before I can even start making it work. I’m hoping it will be between 3-5K. The premise is enough for a novel, but I really want to telescope the emotion and time frame into that of a short story.

The cats were impossible this morning, and would not let me sleep past 5. Nor would they let me go back to bed after I fed them.

Fortunately, writing in the morning works for me. I got some decent work done on the novel.

Online meditation group was good this morning. There was discussion on ways to break out of the self-criticism cycle, which is something I need to do, since that severely worsened during the entire moving thing.

I have a lot of work to do today, but I’m not planning on going anywhere, so I can focus on the work, and on doing some more unpacking. I put some of the stuff we brought back yesterday away (most of the carload consisted of holiday decorations). But there’s more to figure out where to put, which means more rearranging. Not that I’ve finished unpacking everything else, either.

Back to the page, and to the library and local bookstores, to find the work by these writers.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on September 9, 2021 at 8:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Joys of Local Authors  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 247 — Governor Just Wants Us to Keep Dying

image by Karolina Grabowska via pixabay.com

Friday, January 22, 2021

Waxing Moon

Still dark out

Yesterday was a frustrating mish-mash.

Governor Baker is rolling back COVID restrictions, in spite of the fact that there were over 4000 new cases in the last 24 hours. Our numbers are higher than when we were on Stay-at-Home last spring, but, hey, keep people dying, why not? The curfew will be lifted Monday night. It’s not like it’s been enforced around here anyway; people started ignoring it as of New Year’s Eve.

Meditation was great, as always.

The landlord and a contractor were walking around the outside of the house, discussing the work that needs to be done – I’m hoping they wait until we’ve moved out, but I somehow doubt it, especially since I heard him say “whoever buys it” – which means he plans to sell it, as I suspected. That makes the move suddenly much more real. And ratchets up my anxiety as to where we will land.

I put together a portfolio package of B2B and B2C examples. I will polish it today, and then it’s ready to use.

Got out some LOIs.

Worked on the article. I need to stop leaving space for the last two quotes for which I’d hoped and just finish it without them. I have plenty of material.

Finished a mystery by a Swedish author that I enjoyed. SNOWDRIFT, by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy. It’s so interesting how differently non-English/American books are structured. Which details and backstory and tangents they use. I enjoyed the book for itself, and I learned something, as a writer.

Read another novel, by a different author, that angered me because it tried to justify sexual exploitation. Not just in the themes, but in the actual words on the page. It was okay for the protagonist to exploit this character because she was an awful person. Um, no.

But it also illuminated a piece of mine that I put aside because I couldn’t figure out a way to explore particular sex and power dynamics without being exploitative. Perhaps the answer is that those dynamics ARE exploitative, and ethical characters struggle and falter, but, ultimately, it is up to them to make the right choices in the end, or grow into them, or they aren’t worthy protagonists. Apologia for exploitation only cheapens any genuine love relationships, and why should the reader trust any of it? “It’s okay in this context because it’s a fantasy world” isn’t cutting it, so tear it apart and really explore the dynamics and the struggles.

In spite of being frustrated and angry with the book I read, at least it taught me something about how to rewrite a book I’ve struggled with. I’m grateful for that.

McConnell & Company are already being assholes. The Democrats need to crush them. Compromise now, and lose everything.

We really need to bring back the medieval cobradors to stand and serve as conscience to these asshats. Yeah, I know, they don’t actually have consciences or hearts or ethics or souls, but maybe it would at least make them uncomfortable.

And if you’re a Congress person carrying a weapon into the building, you should be thrown on the floor, cuffed, and thrown into a cell. Period.

Stop letting them get away with everything.

Knowledge Unicorns session was mostly about the inauguration last night, and the kids getting excited about poetry and song again. They’re going off to read more poetry; some of them want to try writing some poetry, some of them want to try writing songs.

My ear infection is still bothering me (especially dizziness/balance issues). My mother wasn’t feeling well last night, which, at her age, is always a worry.

I have to put my head down and push through a lot of work today, the article, client work, etc., and do a curbside pickup at the library.

The weekend has to be built around purging the basement. Have a good one.

Published in: on January 22, 2021 at 7:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 247 — Governor Just Wants Us to Keep Dying  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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

January 25, 2007

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

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.

Nothing.

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.

Devon

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

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
17 / 45
(37.8%)

January 24, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Check out today’s poem on Circadian: a very funny howl of despair from Ariel Cade.

And I have an essay on the Dog Blog entitled “Sometimes You Just Can’t Help” about lazy writers trying to take advantage of generous writers. While I’m sure it will piss off some newbies and make them defensive, the final version is much gentler than the original one!

Yesterday was an exercise in futility and frustration. I switched around my routine, and didn’t do my daily pages right after the yoga, because I needed to get something off first thing in the morning.

And then I had trouble getting back to the page, especially since a great, big, noisy Verizon truck pulled up before 8 AM to work on something at the building next door. Glad they’re getting it done, but it made it impossible to work, with some guy in a cherry picker right outside my window working on the building next door yelling down to his co-workers on the ground while the generator is booming at full speed.

The Zen V, turned up all the way, couldn’t block the noise.

The train was on time and the heat was on – in winter, no less. I began to think maybe I’d stepped into an alternate reality.

Work was fine, both day work and the show. I was terribly awkward in the first change (hadn’t done the track in about seven months – hadn’t worked with this actress in over a year), but it got done. Everything else went much more smoothly, but I was tired by the end of it.

Missed the 10:10 by less than a minute, and had to wait for the 10:40, only to have a drunken matron in a fur coat deposit herself next to me and be a vile pain for the ride back.

I’m reading Archie Mayor’s The Ragman’s Memory – absolutely fascinating.

This morning was all about waiting for Godot – uh, I mean the exterminator. So I’m getting a late start. I have a migraine thrumming inside my head and the base of my skull, but there’s a lot that needs to get done today, so too bad for me.

Devon

January 23, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Check out Silas Byrne’s essay on poets and striving poets on Circadian. I have a feeling it can open an interesting and perhaps heated discussion!

If you missed the interview Kristen King did with me last fall, she’s got the links posted again here:

http://inkthinker.blogspot.com/2007/01/kristen-king-featured-in-article-on.html#links

Anita – your blog won’t let me comment.

Colin – I can’t get your blog to load at all. I finally did, but . . .

Fie on Blogger!!!

If you need a pick-me-up, visit this link via Dorothy Thompson:

www.dorothythompson.youaremighty.com

it made me smile.

Promise to all of you regarding The Mag: although I’ll look for advertising, I will NOT accept ads for anything as vile as Botox. That’s a promise!

Got out a job pitch and the quarterly newsletter. Worked on two other newsletters.

Because of all the time spent on the computer, in addition to my morning daily yoga practice, I did a few poses in the late afternoon. What a wonderful difference!

It was snowing last night – a nice, peaceful contrast to all that’s wrong in the world.

And I worked my way through about a year’s worth of old magazines. I read them when they come in, but then they stack up. So I sorted through what I want to keep and what I can recycle. Doesn’t make much of a dent, but it’s something.

I changed my routine this morning and did computer work before working on Changeling, and I’m all messed up now. I have time to do a few pages, but then I have to run for the train. So no word bar update this a.m.

I’m off to the theatre for both day work and a show (a track I haven’t done in about seven or eight months). See you in the morning!

Devon

January 22, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Whew! Busy, busy, busy!

Check out today’s Circadian Poem: “Anticipation” by Kristina Logue.

Pop over here to see how I’m doing on the work with The Celtic Oracle.

Rhian – I fixed the link, and I’ve put your ideas for The Mag in the folder. The best retreats I’ve ever been on had a variety of artists working in different types – painters, performers, writers, sculptors, dancers, etc. – and we’d sit around at dinner and into the evening, influencing each others’ work. It was great. I agree – magazines don’t do enough of that, nor do they spotlight emerging artists enough. Even if the artists are great about sending out press releases, most mags are going for the big score to interest bigger advertisers. Good to keep in mind.

Michelle – The question is what do you feel magazines – whatever magazines you like – are missing? With all this specialization, you’d think there’s be a magazine for the likes of me – and my friends in various art forms – and I don’t feel there is one. There are magazines that cover facets, but not that look at the whole artist as a whole person. As much of a magazine junkie as I am, I sometimes look at the pile and feel absolutely fractured.

Tim – I’m honored!

Tori – there was a crate of clementines next to me, and believe me, aiming for Lexus Bitch’s head was awfully tempting!

Sue – got your ideas; put them in The Mag file.

Four loads of laundry done yesterday, including all the new fabric. More research for the article pitch – I’m still only halfway through all the material, but think I have enough to write the pitch.

And cooking, my favorite thing. Minute steaks marinated in red wine vinegar, soy sauce, onion, and garlic, served over rice and sweet peas. I’m marinating a honey-soy-mustard chicken for tonight.

Came home to a long email from my boss at the show, asking to book me for quite a few days (and several full weeks) between now and mid-March. I can do a lot of them, and I’m going to say yes – they’re broken up enough so I don’t think it’ll make me too wacky, and I can pay off some bills. But it means I have to be VERY organized on the writing and house-hunting fronts – I’ve got quite a few additional balls in the air and I can’t afford (physically, emotionally, or spiritually) to drop any of them, even if I’m doing 8 shows/week and pulling 14 hour days. Somehow, I will figure it out.

Expect additional bitching and moaning from me here. And also the occasional amusing anecdote, provided it doesn’t embarrass or hurt anyone in the show. Ooh, I wrote “antidote” three times in a row instead of “anecdote” – is my Freudian slip showing? 😉

Saw the premiere of The Dresden Files last night. There were a couple of places where I flinched because something didn’t quite hold together – and, from my own experience working on set, my sense is that it was more a case of running out of time and cutting a few scenes or shots to stay on schedule than an overall problem. Although I’m wary of a few points they set up and I’m . . .leery . . .of how they’ll explain them. I liked most of it a lot, and if I happen to be home when it’s on, I’ll watch it. I’m interested to see where the character goes. They’ve set up the antagonism between Harry and his uncle (even though Harry killed him? But he was in the last scene? I know, I know, magic, immortality, and all that, but it has to be logical within the context of its world). The focus seems to be ceremonial magic and the contrast between the ceremonial and illusionism. I’d have to capture a screen-save to actually look at the symbols tossed around to see if they’re accurate.

And tonight – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip comes back – some of the best writing and acting on television!

Got to get that newsletter out today – January’s fading quickly!

Devon
Chasing the Changeling – 15,592 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
15 / 45
(33.3%)

January 18, 2007

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

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

Oh, well.

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

And there’s poetry news over on Circadian.

AND . . .drumroll . . .

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

Check it out here:

www.fearlessink.com.

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

If not . . .oh, well.

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

AND . . .YES, THERE’S MORE . . .

I put up the Cerridwen’s Cottage site:

www.cerridwenscottage.com.

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

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

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

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

But I think both sites look REALLY cool. 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devon

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

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

January 17, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Dark of the Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and COLD!

Linky, linky, check out these posts:

My regular Wednesday entry is up on The Dog Blog. Today’s topic is: Space.

The latest issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is up, with my column, “The Literary Athlete”. We’re talking about endings here, and the talk includes agent Jacky Sach, editor Kristen King, reader Costume Imp, and authors Chaz Brenchley, Tim Cockey, Tess Gerritsen, Jonathan Mayberry and John Getze

Link:
http://thescruffydogreview.com/uploads/Literary%20Athlete%20Endings%20Formatted.htm

There are a couple of typo fixes I requested, and then I’ll send the links to the contributors.

Today’s Circadian Poem is “Lily” by Wesley Floyd.

Last day of posting on Blogger. Make sure you have the links updated over to Word Press.

Dealt with a good deal of anger yesterday. I struggled with it because I had the feeling that what I responded to wasn’t at the root of the problem, and it was more important to find out the cause than simply react on an emotional level. Not all figured out, yet, but I’m getting there. Trying to take the Saturn Retrograde into account and not make the same mistakes – make constructive choices instead of destructive ones. Mostly revolving around stuff in the city, not the writing life.

With yet more developments in The Situation: The Sequel – it’s not easy.

And, actually, Kristen, you gave me the key in our phone conversation today. I think I’m on the right track. Thank you!

Work was fine. Lots of principal dressing rooms painted, so I had plenty of clothes to haul up three flights of stairs. Was ready to slap one of the dayworkers who started whining that a rack she wanted to put downstairs for dry cleaning was full and I wasn’t emptying it fast enough (we had three hours until the dry cleaning was due). God forbid she could help me move anything if it meant going up the stairs. I told her it would take me as long as it took me, and she would just have to deal. Upstairs, in my work space, we had engineers trying to figure out which shower was leaking and why, and a design assistant in the rooms making sketches for the designer. Believe it or not, it wasn’t all that chaotic, because we were all working around each other with compassion and cooperation.

Printed out some more photos and got them in the book. Sent out two more pitches.

Good morning’s work on Changeling.

Busy day ahead. Good stuff: writing and pitches. Bad stuff: more to do on The Sequel. But guess what? It has to wait until the writing quota is met. I’m tired of losing writing time because of scumbags.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 8,842 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

8 / 45
(17.8%)

January 16, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

The revised guidelines are up for Circadian Poems.

I’ve moved both The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project and The Place and Space Journal Project. They both need a lot of TLC and revamping, which will happen in the coming weeks. Both of the new sites have my photos. I love how P&S turned out, but am unhappy with the Journals photo and will have to do another photo session in the near future to come up with something better. Not to mention sort all the problems with journals getting stuck because I haven’t been able to access the email to get the info from the proper people and TO the proper people. Patience, all, it will be worked out. Plus, some new journals will be available in the coming weeks, along with a fresh media campaign.

Spent far too much time yesterday working on a quarterly newsletter that has to go out in early February. But the content had formed itself in my brain, and I wanted to get it onto the page while it was still hot and fresh.

Tomorrow is my last day for Ink’s run on Blogger. Much of it was great, but we all have to move on sometime, right?

Let’s hope all this blog relocation is moving the house relocation energy into place!

Suzanne over at The Working Writer’s Coach invited me to join a Blog Chain this week – very cool. It’s a wonderful, intelligent, diverse group of writers and bloggers – witty, articulate, fascinating points of view. Thanks, Suzanne! I’m having a blast.

I wrestled a couple of pages out of “Illuminated Nude”. I’m getting into the difficult, sticky section now, and the only thing to do is push through.

I dropped back into the world of Real again for a few pages. I’m getting there. It’ll be a great, big mess to revise, but hey, get it all down first, then figure it out later, right?

Chasing the Changeling continues to surprise me in a good way.

Off to the theatre – yes, Kristen, I’m going to Spoiled Brats to look for the toy for Pickles! Don’t worry!

Devon

Token and Affections – 11,592 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

11 / 45
(24.4%)

Chasing the Changeling – 7,341 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

7 / 45
(15.6%)

“Illuminated Nude” – 3,250 words out of est. 5,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

3 / 5
(60.0%)

Real – 107,000 words out of est. 120,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

107 / 120
(89.2%)

January 12, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Chaz had a great quiz about the Egyptian Zodiac sign on his blog. I did it, and came up with a great answer – but, of course, Blogger can’t support it without losing all my sidebar stuff, so it’s only on WordPress. Hop on over to see it here. Or, if you’re looking at the WordPress version of Ink, just scroll down under this post.

The day absolutely shot by – that happens when you get a late start.

I spent A LOT of time loading my links into the WordPress version of Ink in My Coffee, rearranging stuff, etc., etc.

I spent A LOT of time setting up the new version of Kemmyrk, and I’m very proud of it. It’s as though finding the right look for the site has given it a whole new energy, and it’s finally coming together.

Crossed two more items off the January To-Do list.

AND, I moved Circadian Poems over to Word Press. The new site is here. Check out today’s poem, “The Judgment Within” by Sophia Simpson. And yes, that’s another of my photos in the header. Can you tell I’m getting into the whole Word Press thing?

I’m getting 1200 spams per day in the Circadian address – WITH the Spam filter as high as it goes. I know people are telling me to calm down about spam – but I’m paying the host enough for hosty-poo to filter the poo that is spam. So it’s taking me longer than it should to even find the darned submissions, much less respond to them. My apologies to anyone who’s waiting to hear back.

And if anyone is publishing any poetry, please send me an email with the information, links, etc., so I can include you in the Poetry News segment that comes out on Thursdays. At the risk of generating even more spam, send it here. And put something in the header so I know it’s a press release and not a penis enlargement ad.

WordPress actually makes sense to me, which gives me confidence trying to get up the websites.

I’ve almost made 1300 posts on the Blogger version of “Ink.” Who knew I had so much to say?

Worked on the quarterly newsletter. I’m waiting for one more piece of information; I hope to have it printed and in the mail latest by Monday.

Started typing Token and Affections and I’m doing enough work on it so it’s a legitimate second draft, not a “Draft 1A” which is what my typical drafts typed from longhand are. I put in some more information that’s necessary for all three novellas and fixed some logistical problems. I’ve gotten back into their individual speech patterns, some of which I think I lost in the middle of the first draft, and hope to recapture. And I’m very happy with the work. It’s getting stronger and stronger. Got the first two chapters done.

All in all, I spent nearly 12 hours working yesterday Not too shabby. Too bad all of them weren’t billable hours!

Errands today, and back to the page. I did not fill my quota on either Chasing the Changeling or “Illuminated Nude” and need to make that up.

Devon

Token and Affections, 2nd Draft – 4,505 words out of 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

4 / 45
(8.9%)

Chasing the Changeling – 2,050 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

2 / 45
(4.4%)

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 9:51 am  Comments (4)  

January 10, 2007

Thursday, January 10, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop on over to Circadian Poems to read “Image” by Violetta Ashe.

And check out my essay on “Why Do A Writing Exercise?” on the Scruffy Dog Review Blog.

Supposedly, Blogger had a maintenance session yesterday. Well, goody for them. But now I can’t post any comments to any Blogger account. I just get a blank screen with “Done”. So much for “fixing” anything.

Anyway, Colin, I tried to leave a comment on your article about “Aye, Write!” , but who knows if it’ll ever show up!

More adventures with Metro North. I bought a round trip ticket yesterday, to go in off-peak and come back out during peak (rush hour). So I get on and the conductor punches the “Peak” part of the ticket. I protested – peak is a much higher fare and I’m NOT going to be charged twice because the conductor was careless. So he takes the ticket and scribbles on it that the peak portion is really still good.

Yeah, THAT’LL work.

He “can’t” replace the ticket.

Horse hockey.

So, when I get into the station, I go to the ticket counter and explain the situation, and ask them to swap out the ticket.

The ticket office “can’t.”

Bullshit.

They send me to the executive office, where I have to fill out a bunch of paperwork. But they were very nice and gave me a pass that’s good for one ride on any Metro North train at any time.

All because one of their employees was so busy chatting and cutting up he couldn’t be bothered to read the ticket.

And, had I tried to use the ticket on a peak train with his scribbles, they would have charged me not just the adjustment, but the entire onboard fare, which is markedly higher than a pre-purchased ticket. I wasn’t going to be double-charged for someone’s mistake. As it is, it costs nearly an hour’s union pay for a roundtrip ticket.

After that little escapade, I had to buy some books to recover. I bought Jackie Kessler’s Hell’s Belles, which I was determined to be my first purchase of 2007, and Janet Evanovich’s newest, Plum Love.

Work was fine. They kept me, because one of my colleagues got sick. We sent her to the doctor – she has an eye infection – and I said I’d stay. She called back in later and has to stay out today, too – poor thing – so I’m in for both shows (a 14 hour day).

The show was fine, everyone was happy to see me, the three new leads went in. All good.

Starting reading Hell’s Belles. It’s clever and witty and imaginative and lots of fun. A really, really good book. I’m having a blast with it, and I’m so proud of my friend Jackie, thrilled for her success, and just want to stand up and cheer! She works hard, she’s talented and imaginative, and she deserves all good things!

I finished the first draft of Token and Affections this morning (I did about 1300 words). It came in at 44,574 words. I started it on October 7. Considering I expected it to be 15K that I could knock off in two weeks – it’s certainly grown beyond that. In the revision, I have to reshape and develop the ending a bit more – I glossed over a few things to get to the finish line. But I think it stands alone well in addition to being the first of a trilogy of novellas.

I start typing it tomorrow, as well as beginning Chasing the Changeling.

No work on “Illuminated Nude”, unfortunately, because I stayed to do the show. At least I didn’t have to do a revision on the essay until 4 AM, and I hope I don’t arrive home at 1AM tomorrow to find she needs a revision when she gets in at 9. Keep your fingers crossed for me, people!

I had this lovely To-Do list of writing tasks for today – all out the window, except for the work on Token.

Off to the theatre for a long, two-show day, but at least I get to have dinner with Artie. That brightens any day.

Devon

Token and Affections – 44,574 words out of 44,574

Zokutou word meter
44 / 44
(100.0%)
Published in: on January 10, 2007 at 9:01 am  Comments Off on January 10, 2007