Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

The new issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is out, which means my latest installment of “The Literary Athlete” is up. It’s called “In Between” and gives suggestions what to do while your manuscript makes the rounds. You can find it here.

The Pre-Derby article is off, and should be up in a couple of days. The monologue went off, the actor read it via web-cam, I did a rewrite, sent it off, we worked via webcam, I tweaked. I think it’s in good shape. I sent him one final tweak when I got home last night; if he’s comfortable, he can memorize it (his audition is tomorrow).

I didn’t get the script doctoring job. They decided to go with someone else (who has no published credits and has never written in play or screenplay format) who was willing to do it for the “experience” rather than pay. Now, they asked me for a quote when they approached me about the job, presented it as a paying job, and told me the scope of the project and the overall budget. I gave them a fair price, and, as far as I knew, this was a paying job, or I would have refused outright. Suddenly, they gave me the “option” of “we really want you to do this, but we decided we’re not paying anyone to punch up dialogue.” I don’t think so. You guys have no track record, I have no personal reason to work with you other than the actor who recommended me, you wouldn’t let me read the whole script, you’d only send me the few scenes you wanted punched up if I took the job (even after I explained why reading the whole script would be useful in punching up the dialogue of the specific scenes), and have been through six (count ‘em) writers so far. Usually, at least the courtesy of a deferred payment agreement is offered. Or, if you really don’t/can’t pay, you pull in favors from people you know really well, not strangers who have no reason to do anything for you. Their parting volley was amusing: “I’d bet you’d do this for free for a friend” to which I responded, “Probably. For a friend.” Whatever, it’s not my film, I’m not invested in any way. I feel badly for the actor who suggested me for the gig, who’s very unhappy with the scripts thus far. He only agreed to do it because he knew the first writer on the film – who was subsequently “replaced.” Honestly, it sounds like a nightmare-in-embryo to me.

The timing’s good, because I really don’t see how I could have taken it on this week while I’m in shows and doing a three hour daily commute and still have done my best work. I would have, but not landing it takes pressure off me, and that’s always welcome. I’m also enough of an optimist to believe it simply means some other opportunity to which I am better suited will come down the pike.

Besides, I have a Kentucky Derby for which to prep! After all, I’m in shows through Friday night and the Derby is on Saturday! I’m cutting it a little close this year.

Worked on the adaptation some more. I think I can add in one of the scenes I was sad to cut out of the screenplay due to time and space issues – it could be lots of fun here, and shore up the relationships among the secondary characters.

The trip to and from the city sucked, and there were far too many SFT’s to climb over (no, it’s not a venereal disease, it’s “stupid fucking tourists” and I don’t care what anyone says, THEY do not pay MY bills, so I can call them as I see them).

Show was fine, went smoothly, we had lots of fun. Once I’m in the building, it’s fine, but it’s getting to and from the theatre that makes it such a hassle.

Caught up with a colleague I hadn’t seen in ages, who’s very excited that Dreamworks is starting to produce on Broadway. He thinks they’ll be really good producers. They trust that the people they hire know what they’re doing and are honest with them, they let them do their jobs, and they don’t nickel and dime them to death. They’re willing to spend the money; in return, they want honest quotes, honest work, and that things are delivered on time, which seems perfectly fair to me. They seem to be thinking ahead so that there will be a minimum of scrambling at the last minute. That’s the kind of producers we need on Broadway, and there’s been a dearth of them with the corporate bean counters taking over instead of actual producers. So, let’s see if they come through as well as they’re starting, and, if so, it’ll be great for Broadway, and theatre in general.

Caught up with another colleague who I just think is one of our most exciting emerging artists; she’s getting ready to spend time in Europe again this summer, at an artists’ colony in Germany, working on a project. I’m delighted for her.

I have a friend visiting for a couple of days; he arrived yesterday and will be here until tomorrow. He’s been working in Canada and is on his way back home to Europe for the summer; it’ll be great to spend a few days together. He’s had a rough year, and he’s certainly been a life raft in stormy seas for me enough times, so I’m happy to return the favor.

Off to get some writing done. I want to finish at least one, maybe two short stories today so I can give them a polish tomorrow and get them out. And there was a very funny little incident on the train coming home last night that’s the seed of another story. I don’t want to relate it here, because it will dilute it – you’ll have to wait and read the story. I’m going to take what actually happened and then push its boundaries.

It’s a rainy, gloomy day, but we need the water after 13 days with no rain; as long as it’s steady and not so hard the brook breaks its banks, I’ll be happy.

Getting ready for a busy week at the show, and trying to balance it with the writing.


Adaptation: 20,808 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 90

Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop on over to The Scruffy Dog Review blog and check out my piece on “The Non-Writing Sabbatical.”

I’m going to stay home and quiet and work from home today; not be online much, just stay quiet. I don’t do well during lunar eclipses!

Yesterday was rather a lost day, which was frustrating. I did four loads of laundry at my friend’s place, which was great; however, he’s having renovations done. Although the guys were both exceptionally nice and very good at what they did with a minimum of repetitive machine noise, it was still too distracting to get much done. I got a little bit of research done for BALTHAZAAR, but that’s it.

Came home to find a stack of books for the essay arrived – so now I can start reading the first few in order, taking lots of notes. I figure I’ll spend 2-3 hours each day reading for the essay. It’s totally different from pleasure reading or review reading, because everything is through the prism of the essay topic.

I ordered my Canon Pixma. It should be here in a few days. There’s nothing wrong with the HP – it’s nearly new and I’m going to sell it at nearly half price to some lucky sod. It is simply the wrong printer for ME. It will make someone else very happy, and yay. And the Canon will make me happy, so everyone will be happy, and I won’t be hemorrhaging money on ink every week. Supposedly the printer’s shipped, so I should receive it any day now.

I’m playing with some ideas; not sure where any of them will lead. That’s part of playing, right? Got a bit of work done on Old-Fashioned Detective Work this morning, and will go back to it. There’s a stack of projects on my desk that require attention, so I will work my way through as much as possible.

I’m having trouble commenting on Blogger again – yesterday it took 8-12 minutes per comment, multiple tries, and it often didn’t publish the whole comment. I’m sick of it. I love my friends who use Blogger, but I can’t lose two hours a day with the commenting, which is what I’m averaging lately. I’ll keep reading the blogs, but if the comment doesn’t take the first time, that’s life, and I’m moving on to the next blog. I’m not going to keep working at it when the problem is with Blogger and not with my signature or typing in verification. Blogger wants to force non-Blogger users to switch, and therefore tries to make life hell for them; all they’re doing is diminishing the traffic for their users.

Now, to tackle the desk, which looks like an archaeological dig gone haywire . . .


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on February 20, 2008 at 9:22 am  Comments (8)  

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
A dark and stormy morning (hot, humid, and sticky, too)

Bad storms. Lots of flooding (not here yet, thank goodness). The Lincoln Tunnel is closed due to flooding; Metro North and Long Island Railroad are down; a tornado touched down in Queens.

Check out the latest installment of “Crafting Your Literary Life” on The Scruffy Dog Review Blog.

Other than that, I was one cranky bitch when I got home yesterday. 1 and 1 still has not fixed the server problem, and I’m having problems getting my business done. And then, they had the –is it balls or stupidity? – to send me a survey asking what I thought of their customer service. Use your imagination, I dare you, to guess what I told them!

Yesterday was a day of running into people, which I’m sure is better than running over them. Ran into a colleague on the train going in and we had a good chat. Caught up with everyone at the show. Am booked for 3 shows next week. Ran into another friend as I was leaving, who was visiting, and we made dinner plans for next week. Went to meet a friend for coffee and cupcakes, and we ran into another friend who joined us. Quite the social day! It was all lots of fun, and it’s always good to catch up with people.

Didn’t feel like eating when I got home – it was too hot.

Since it doesn’t look like the workmen are ever going to show up again to finish the mess they started in the front hall – let’s see, is it six weeks, now? — I decided to put the hallway back together myself. Get my little bits and pieces back where I want them. And now I’m going to get a picture to hang in front of the hole they were supposed to cover when they ripped the buzzer box out of the hall and added the new one in the kitchen – which, by the way, doesn’t work.

Oh, and the city council of one town upriver has approved the condo development guaranteed to worsen our flooding (even though they pretend it won’t). It’s about more than property damage – these dickheads are putting people’s lives in danger, and all so they can get a few more cents on property taxes. Of course, this is the community that created itself twenty years back or so because the town to which they belonged wasn’t a “prestigious” enough zip code, so what do you expect? That they’d give a shit about anyone but themselves? If our so-called “Flood Action Committee” had any balls, they’d start a class action suit for reckless endangerment, but they don’t.

A good long core workout and meditation helped last night, as did a good yoga session this morning.

Spent some time working on a business plan for a new, large project. The planning has to be meticulous in order for it to work. It could be fun, and, while it won’t be huge money, I think I could at least bring in enough to make it worthwhile. That was a big thing – to price it correctly. My original idea had a good advertising platform, but the price was so low I resented it. I short-changed myself. I upped the price to something that was still low enough to be attractive to a wide audience, but high enough so I wouldn’t get in a snit, and came up with a new ad campaign that I think works even better.

One of the pitchees came back and wants to me to write a test article, without guaranteed pay. And they haven’t answered any of my questions. Ding, ding, ding go the warning bells. I will re-send the questions and politely ask them to respond. However, unless they guarantee payment , there’s no reason I should write for strangers on spec.


Good session on Good Names –we’re still at the racetrack. Decent day’s morning’s work on ”Revenge Tangents”. The next section needs a lot of description – I have to sit down and really think about it as I’m writing, visualize it, because the sense of place, the actual house in the piece is a character.

Lots to do today. Confidential Job #1 sent the next assignment. It looks good. I have to finish the critique on a colleague’s synopsis, work on a short article for a mag on which I’m a bit behind, pitch an idea to another mag that wants material from me, do a short article for someone else’s newsletter, work on the profiles/interview requests, and get to work on another article due at the end of the month, but if I don’t finish it by next week, when all hell breaks loose, it will be late.

I’d like to get some work done on Tracking Medusa, but I have to clear this other stuff off my desk first.

Better hop to it.

Someday, the humidity will lessen and I will be so much pleasanter!


Good Names – 56,882 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
56 / 100

“Revenge Tangents” — 5,624 words out of est. 7,500

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5 / 7

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sticky

The Summer issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is up, and yours truly’s column, The Literary Athlete, continues with “Now What? Tips for Thorough and Sensible Revision, Without Losing Your Sanity”, here.

So here’s my idea for campaign finance reform – since the millions of dollars wasted on campaigns can be better spent on services like health care and rebuilding New Orleans:

Each candidate gets one million dollars, total, with which to campaign. That includes dinners and events thrown/financed by others “for” the candidate, etc. They have to do it all with a single million. If people particularly support a candidate, they are allowed to make a campaign contribution, in any amount allowed by law, to honor the candidate, to the nonprofit service organization of their choice (such as cancer funding, ASPCA, educational programs, programs that send city kids to camps, programs that send anyone who earns good grades to college, etc.).

Because if a candidate can’t be fiscally responsible enough and creative enough to run a campaign on one million dollars, why should we trust that person with our nation’s treasury?

The country should not be run by those with the biggest “war chests”, but those who demonstrate the most creativity and compassion.

Many thanks to all of you who’ve let me know how much you enjoy my essay in Perfectly Plum. It was fun and sometimes challenging to work on, and I’m glad the result is good.

Made it to Staples, got my supplies, and another crate. I’ll crate all the sailing tomes I’m accumulating, since I’ll be writing about the Cup up to and through the next Challenge – whenever they decide to decide when to hold it. I’ll clean out my Evanovich crate (put together during the work for the essay for Perfectly Plum) and put in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York and Chicago books for Good Names.

Found nine books for my grandmother – that should keep her busy for a few weeks!

Heard from the restaurant owner – so I could finish the article. I’ll give it a polish before I leave for the theatre this morning and send it off.

I’ve been thinking, and I’m interested in your responses. Those of you who are familiar with my popular character Nina Bell (Tapestry, Tumble, But Is She a Betting Man? and the forthcoming Finding Jake) – instead of writing all her stories chronologically, I’m thinking of jumping ahead to modern day (the early stories are set from 1994 on) and doing a piece with her now. Thoughts? Ideas? I’ll go back and do some of the stuff in between, but I was just thinking . . .

Mark Chisnell, who wrote the wonderful blog Tack by Tack during the Cup, mentioned to me that, in the past three months while covering the races, he’s written approximately a quarter of a million words – that’s the equivalent of two very large novels! I wish I was that productive! 😉 Seriously, he’s earned a bit of a rest before tackling his next novel.

I decided I needed a break from all the “have-to’s”, so I’m reading a fun book by Roberta Gayle called The Girl Next Door. Even though it deals with reality television (a form I loathe), it handles it in a clever and funny way (unlike several of the other books who jumped on the chick-lit/reality television bandwagon by simply copying what’s on the little box). I don’t know whether Gayle has actual production experience or simply did her research thoroughly, but she captures backstage pretty accurately – which is unusual. Most writers without production experience seem to take their backstage material from watching movies or television shows which portray it inaccurately, thereby continuing the incorrect stereotypes. Or, they spend a single day on a set somewhere, and everyone’s on good behaviour.

Having trouble concentrating on Good Names. I need to get some more article stuff done and out today and tomorrow. I’m already packed for the trip to Maine on Thursday, and I have to see what writing I’ll take with me. I have three or four ideas dancing around in my head – I want to find out if they’re all separate, or if I can link them somehow.

Off to the theatre. We’ve been lucky so far – it’s not been as hot as they warned. I’m just hoping the power stays on so that I can get back home tonight.

I hope none of you are wearing polyester or poly-blends in this weather. Stick to 100% cotton and/or linen – you’ll feel much better!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Late start today, but I didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m., so I’m entitled.

My article on the Preakness: “Post Preakness: When Eight Does NOT Mean Infinity” is up on Femmefan here:

It is the top feature article in this week’s issue – I’m pretty excited!

Hop over here to The Scruffy Dog Review Blog to read my next installment on “Crafting Your Writing Life”. Yesterday’s column (yes, I had to rewrite it – the disk’s gone AWOL) is about craft.

And then, since you’re jumping around, there’s a new post up at The Tactile Muse.

Getting to the city was a nightmare yesterday. For some reason (downed power lines, I later found out), trains running in both directions were running on the same track. I felt like I was in the middle of a third grade math problem. Remember those? “If one train goes at 48 miles an hour and the other train goes 60 miles an hour . . .when will they meet?” I used to get into trouble because I said, “If the dispatchers were competent, they never would meet, because they’d be switched to different tracks, a crash could be avoided, and no one would get hurt.” And I’d get detention.

Anyway, since the people running Metro North don’t have the sense of your average five year old who plays with trains, it was all about which train had to back up to the switchback, etc., etc. Two hours to travel 25 miles on a daily basis is simply not acceptable.

And, on top of it, the conductors are rude to customers. They wouldn’t need to put up the signs saying it’s a felony to assault a conductor if the conductors didn’t behave in such a way so the commuters wanted to assault them!

Two shows yesterday. They went well. I enjoy working with the actress a lot. We have many of the same interests – holistic health, meditation, connection to animals, crystals, etc., so we have a lot to talk about.

I’m still struggling, though, because part of me just isn’t there anymore – my heart’s not in my work. Even though I enjoy it. So I have to use even more energy to focus so that I don’t make careless mistakes.

Four of us went out to eat between shows – back to the New World Grill at World Wide Plaza. It was nice, so we ate outside and had a good chat. It’s so important to take the time to get out of the building and truly relax on those two show days.

Got home at a reasonable hour and stayed up reading SEEING A LARGE CAT. Lots of plot. I did figure out the answers, but the way the ending came about was a surprise. As I said, I want to get the whole series and read them in order.

I have to leave about an hour earlier than usual this afternoon to get a few things done in the room, and then, blessedly, this should be my last show for the week. I’ve loved working with this actress, but I’m ready for a few days of focused writing time.

I have to do some business and admin work this morning, and then I hope to get back to GOOD NAMES, and also finish the outline for the play. I figured out the ending, but, as usual, I have to sort out the middle. And come up with a title. It could easily open out into a screenplay, but, for now, I want to keep it a stage play.


May 11, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Jill Shalvis is going to laugh at me.

If you read her wonderful blog, you know that she is less than fond of spiders. And, if you’ve read my comments to those posts, you know I keep telling her that spider is a messenger and she has to interpret the message.

Well, I came home from the theatre on Tuesday night and went into the kitchen to fix a cup of tea and one of the biggest gray spiders I’ve ever seen scuttled across my bare foot from one side of the kitchen to the other. I screamed and nearly dropped the kettle.

It wasn’t as big as the spider who visited our apartment in Edinburgh a few years ago, where my fellow cast-mates jumped on furniture and I chased it around with a baking pan and a spatula and finally corralled it and released it out the window (we were on the first floor). But it was big.

And now I don’t know where it is.

So every time I feel the least little tickle, I jump ten feet, sure that a four inch spider is about to crawl up my leg.

And I have NO idea what it’s trying to tell me.

Go ahead, Jill – laugh! Serves me right! 

Brandy, I really admire the way you’re handling everything. Chris needs you to be strong right now. And remember – you’ve got all of us as your support system. You care-take him; we’ll care-take you so that you CAN care-take him. We’re here, so don’t hesitate to call on us.

Red tagged me for “eight wonderful things about me”. I’m going to do it – but so far, I’ve only thought of two!

Hop on over to the new site for The Scruffy Dog Review Blog and read my post on “Living By Your Wits”. Thank you, Brenda and Colin, for moving it to WordPress!

And hop on over to The Tactile Muse to read about my latest knitting adventures.

I was pretty much a waste of food yesterday. Exhausted and not feeling well due to this respiratory whatever – which is made worse by the growing (in every sense of the word) mold problem in the basement of this building, post-flood. The Tenants’ Organization is putting together a meeting to figure out what to do about it.

But I read a bit, caught up on some work, knitted a bit (Elsa helped), dealt with some phone stuff, etc., etc. All I wanted to do was sleep, but that’s not an option right now. Maybe Monday I’ll be able to take a nap.

I bought lilacs on my way home from work last night – and I’m so congested I can even smell them!

Took the train into the city. Stopped by the Imperial Theatre, where Coram Boy is currently playing. A friend of mine just moved into the assistant supervisor position. I wanted to stop by and drop off the tiny little gift I brought from Iceland. And I ran into another friend of mine who’s in the process of buying a house not too far from me, so we got to catch up. I barely made it to my own theatre by call time!

Show was fine. I started reading Practical Demonkeeping backstage. It’s hilarious! Well-written, well-structured and genuinely clever. I got pulled in so deeply that sometimes, I barely made my cues! But they all got done, so it was fine.

Missed the 11:10 train by one minute. I’d much rather miss it by ten minutes than one! Puttered around Grand Central for awhile, but got a good seat on the 11:40. Got home just before one, knitted a few more rows, and went to bed.

Good yoga session this morning, and a productive session on Good Names. I need to do some more research. I’m tired, in that state of exhaustion that an eight show week always places me. If I was ONLY doing the eight shows, I could sleep in and focus on that. But, since I’m juggling the writing and the rest of it as well – I simply have to be in a state of perpetual exhaustion all week.

Today, I have to catch up on paperwork, do some research, scour the job boards (they’ve been very disappointing this week), write the pre-Preakness article, and run some errands. And then, tonight, it’s off to the theatre again. The Circadian Poem will go up later – I’m having trouble with the disk.

Today’s Iceland photos, top and bottom, are of Kerio (there should be a line over the “o” to extend it, but I think it’s pronounced “Keyrith”). This is a volcanic crater now filled with water. No guard-rails, so I didn’t get too close to the edge! I love the colors.

Hope you’re preparing for a terrific weekend!


Good Names ¬ – 9,562 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9 / 100

Friday the 13th! (of April)

Friday, April 13, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I adore Friday the 13th, and find that I usually experience wonderful days. I feel pity and contempt for the ignorant who fear it. It’s all about creating your own reality. If you decide it’s going to be a day of bad luck, that’s what it’ll be. If you’re so weak-minded that you believe some repressed religious fanatic who calls the day evil – you get the reality you create. A DAY is not evil. What individuals chose to DO in that day is good or bad, depending upon choices and consequences.

ME Ellis over on Nutter’s Gang praised me so beautifully in yesterday’s entry that it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, and please know that you are an inspiration!

The latest issues of The Scruffy Dog Review is out and my topic in “The Literary Athlete” column is “The Importance of Distance.” You can read the article here:

Felt better yesterday by late morning. Met a friend for lunch in Old Greenwich, in spite of the bad weather, and then stopped at Greenwich Library on the way home to stock up on Large Print mysteries from the sale shelves to take up to my grandmother. And, of course, I found a few books that I was interested in as well. They’re only 50 cents for hardcovers and 25 cents for paperbacks, so one can make out pretty well there.

Puttered too much in the afternoon – did some research for Good Names, did some research on a couple of markets to which I’m considering pitching.

Someone’s been swiping my Elle magazines. Now, if someone can’t afford a subscription, I’m happy to pass the mag on – when I’m done. But I’m tired of not getting every other issue because someone’s swiped it, never to be returned, the company “can’t” replace it, and merely extends my subscription. First of all, stealing mail – even a magazine – is a federal offense. Second – I shouldn’t have to go out and purchase every other issue when I’ve paid for a subscription. Third – believe it or not, subscriptions to fashion magazines are part of my business, and I need them to be able to do my work. The thief better hope I don’t find out his or her identity. End of min-rant.

Did I work on my taxes? Surely, you jest!

Sad news: My neighbor called me in tears this morning to tell me her cat died during the night. She is inconsolable, understandably so. He was a dear, sweet cat, and I hope they find out what happened. RIP Marley. I hugged my girls a little tighter today.

I’d started to work on Good Names, but my neighbor’s phone call put an end to that. It was more important to try to comfort her in her loss.

Off to the theatre this afternoon.

The meteorologists are saying we’ll be hit with the worst flooding in years in this area. I’m moving the car. Again. And hoping no tree or telephone pole falls on it.


Published in: on April 13, 2007 at 8:12 am  Comments (9)  

March 23, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Yes, I’m back. I don’t know where to start, but starting somewhere seemed better than just paddling along like a dog in floodwaters.

The past few weeks have been hectic, stressful, and all the rest of it. The flood, losing the car, the aftermath, dealing with insurance, getting the new car, working full time on the show, the trip over my birthday weekend, the trip yesterday, and so on and so forth. I’m kind of tired.

I’m behind on many writing things, although I managed to keep up the paying, contracted deadlines. I have to finish up my column (that I was working on when the flood hit) and get it off to SDR and get back to Circadian and a few other things, but, for the most part, I kept up so there wasn’t a huge gap in money coming in (plus, working on the show helped fill the gap that opened).

Chasing the Changeling has been put aside while I get everything else sorted out. I haven’t completely given up the creative writing in the interim – I had a few ideas which I sketched out, but we’ll see what comes to fruition and when.

I was also hired for a freelance gig by a company that’s a big power in the industry – but I had to sign a confidentiality agreement, so in here, it will only be referred to as the Confidential Job, or CJ. I’m thrilled that they thought I was the right person for the job, and, so far, I’m loving it. The very first materials arrived on the day of the flood – the DHL guy waded through thigh-high sludge in order to get it to me. Too funny! I turned around that material, and, on Wednesday, I got my next assignment, which is due April 3.

Every time it so much as drizzles, I’m going to move the new car, because I don’t trust that the city will get the warnings out in time. I understand that the manpower had to immediately go out into the street to keep people from drowning in their cars, but the Reverse 911 failed (as in, it never happened because there was no one to do it ), and the sirens used in the past never failed. So re-instate the sirens as back-up already, right? That’s the LOGICAL thing to do. Which is why it probably won’t happen.

I already told the mayor that if I move the car and get a ticket, I’m not paying it.

The car drives like a dream. It drives like a terrific sports car and picks up on the entrance ramp of the highway as well as the stick shift did. I got automatic transmission because of all the traffic here – if I lived in a rural district, I would have gone back to standard. But this one drives just as much in partnership with me as the standard. Usually, I’m always fighting with automatic cars – they tend to wander off. This car feels like we’re working together. Love it.

The rental from the insurance company, a Chevy Cobalt, had two big disadvantages. The first was that it drank up gas like I’ve never seen (and it’s a small car)! I had to stop on the way to Vermont FOUR TIMES to refill the tank. Meanwhile, with the Rabbit, I can drive over 400 miles on one tank. The second big drawback to the Cobalt was that the entire driver’s side is a blind spot. You can’t tell a car is on your left side unless you’re eyeballing the driver. It was terrifying. The mirrors didn’t help, the frame of the door and the back window were such so that if you looked over your shoulder, the entire driver’s side was a blank. It was awful. In the Rabbit, I can see everything. Plus, the seats warm up, it has anti-skid and anti-roll features, it has so many airbags I’m basically driving a padded cell (appropriate, don’t you think?), and a good sound system. It’ll take me months to learn how to do everything it does.

I never thought I’d have a good thing to say about an insurance company, but AllState did right by us. They were not only efficient, but they made the entire process as smooth and stress-free as possible in a situation like this. I was surprised, pleased, and impressed by them. They’re not kidding – comprehensive coverage actually means “comprehensive” in their terms.

I have a stack of notes that need to be turned into article proposals, and I’m in my Spring Cleaning frenzy – especially since, even though no water got into my actual apartment, there’s still that sludgy, mildewy smell everywhere. Since chemical cleaners only stink up the place temporarily, hurt the environment, and then the stench comes back worse than ever, I’m using baking soda, vinegar, and lemon. The place smells fresh and clean, and it STAYS that way. There’s a reason our great-grandmothers used certain natural products (besides the fact they are all that were available). They WORK.

When the tenants were running power lines to the generators and trying to pump the water out (the usual five of us who end up always doing everything, with the self-appointed head of the group nowhere to be found when there’s any actual work to be done, as usual), the owner’s only contribution was to show up with a 9 foot length of garden hose. And that would do what, exactly, when there was 5 feet of water in the basement? Fortunately, the people negotiating to buy the building forced him to hire a clean-up crew – not only did they clean the basement, but they stripped all the walls down there to dry up – something that’s never been done in all the floods through which I’ve lived through in this building since 1972. It’s about damn time.

Now – the black cat. His name is Spooky and he was abandoned in the building several years ago when his people moved and left him. He’s mostly an outdoor cat – he can hunt and fend for himself. He’s gorgeous – big eyes, beautiful, shiny coat, very fastidious. He can be outside for hours and there’s never a speck of dirt on him. He’s hardly feral – he asks me to pick him up and then starts purring. He has the building at his beck and call – there are at least six people who feed him regularly and open doors for him when he so demands, etc., etc. The super is pleased to have him around, because it means no rodents, and almost every one is fond of him. There are several people who are convinced they’re his favorite, and he knows how to play it to the max.

However, he got trapped in one of the basement apartments during the flood. We saw him floating on a mattress, looking very freaked out, as the water rose, but we couldn’t get into the apartment to get to him. Finally, as the waters were pumped down, the super broke in and got him. When I finally got him in my arms, I couldn’t believe him. He’s sitting there, purring – not a drop of water or a speck of mud on him, after twelve hours in a flooded apartment! And here I was, waist high in sludge, hair plastered to my skull from the rain, and I was only out for a half hour!

I have food and water for him outside my door, and we have play time every day. Several others in my section are also leaving him food – basically, my section is now the cat’s smorgasbord – he goes from door to door and feasts.

I’m trying to integrate him into the household slowly – I’ll take him to the vet and make sure his shots are updated, etc. I don’t want to rush him – or my girls. He comes in and out of the apartment, occasionally, and the girls have drawn boundaries. There’s no fighting – but a bit of hissing on the twins’ parts, and many flicking tails. Whenever they take a stand, he backs right out (I leave the door open so no one feels trapped). I find it highly amusing that this is a cat who can stand down any wild animal in our region – but my spoiled, tiny housecats intimidate him! He’s very much a gentleman with them (he’s been neutered and mine are all spayed, so no worries there).

So we’ll see.

There’s much more, but that’s the short version. I’ll try to keep up the daily details, soon, and, hopefully, I’ll have more writing stuff to talk about shortly. Basically, this month’s GDRs are shot, so most of them are just going to roll over into April. I’m not going to stress about it. I’m going to do what needs to be done and re-assess. The GDRs are supposed to be guidelines, not prisons.

Back to work.

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:

Query Challenge (12 queries out)
Circadian Poems
2 full weeks on the show

In Progress:
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”

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

The Project accepted and prep work begun
Tarot story for anthology discussed

Getting sick and working on the show fulltime set everything back.

Landing The Project
Article accepted by Notes in the Margin
Landing another steady gig

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


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


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!


February 1, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

There will be about Imbolc over on Kemmyrk later this afternoon.

There’s a bit of poetry news over on Circadian also later this afternoon.

I was furious with my web host yesterday – server problems kept me from accessing my site or my mail, which meant a document sent late the previous night which I needed to turn around that morning for a job was stuck in limbo. I finally pulled it through another site, but it was frustrating. When I finally got someone on the phone, the response was, “Yeah, I guess we’re having issues. They’re working on it. Try again in a few hours.”

Remind me why I’m paying them again?

I understand that every site has problems once in awhile. But this is just too often. I thought Yahoo was a bad site host, but . . .

However, I doubt I’ll ever find another template as perfect as the one for Cerridwen’s Cottage, so there’s that, too.

A new issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter goes out today. I know, I know, two months in a row, don’t faint. If you didn’t get yours or haven’t signed up, send me an email asking to subscribe here.

Worked on the Barbaro article; started the next column for SDR. Didn’t get through enough of the piles on my desk.

Some errands today, but I need to focus on getting it all done before I leave town on Monday.

What can I say? Yesterday, I just didn’t wanna!

This morning, the whole routine was thrown into a tizzy because of the meteorologists saying a snow storm was on the way to dump four inches of snow, starting at 2 PM. So, my choices were: Be stubborn, write first and drive around in bad weather OR get over my damn self and get the errands done and then come back to write.

For once in my life, I decided to be an adult. I shot out the door before 9 AM, went to the bank, drove to White Plains, hit up Target. Target, of course, didn’t have what I drove all the way to White Plains to get and God forbid someone being paid to work there should actually be bothered to stop conversing with another employee and check in the back, and God forbid that I should go to customer dis-service and they could be bothered to do anything but tell me they can’t look up anything without an Item Number. Which I happen to know is complete and utter bullshit, because every other Target in the country can do so.

However, I filled my cart with a whole bunch of stuff on which I hadn’t planned, but definitely needed, so I checked out, then ordered online what I needed – which, since they offered free shipping, ended up being cheaper than if I’d bought it in the store – some tax thing.

So it was all good, in spite of the crappy customer service. Which was a surprise, because usually Target’s pretty good – except in the White Plains store, where you might as well not ask where anything is because not only do none of the employees know, most of them could care less and just give you wrong information anyway.

Off to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food, so my mom has plenty to feed them while I’m gone – and stocked up on other stuff, so I can cook in advance for my mom and all she has to do is heat it up. Off to the other grocery store to get the rest of the stuff, the wine shop, etc.

Came home and the meteorologists were now saying the storm won’t start until 4 in the morning. I think they’re wrong – my head’s about to explode with the pre-storm headache (I seem to be a human barometer).

Yes, Dru Ann, the Merry will go out somewhere else – or I might work on the novel length version – I have two possible publishers for that.

Tammy – the list is part of the Goals, Dreams and Resolutions a group of us work on every year – I’d be happy to email the questions to you if you’d like, and the to-do and wrap-up lists are born from that.

I found an exciting anthology and sent a pitch last night and got more info this morning – I only have until March 30 to come up with 10-25K, but I think I can do it, especially since the topic excites me. So, off to do some more research for that, send them more info to see if it’s along the lines of what they need, and then – clean off more desk stuff and get down to work! AND, the anthology editor sent me guidelines for a new imprint she thought would be a good fit with me. All good!

Back to the desk, and then to the page.


February 2007 To-Do List


Kristen King’s 2007 Query Challenge – 3-5 pitches per week

Biblio Paradise Newsletter Out

Finish next “Literary Athlete” column

Work on revisions for Assumption of Right

Circadian Poems


Work on Real

Work on Fix-It Girl

Work on typing Shallid

Finish typing Token and Affections

Finish Chasing the Changeling

Catch up/restructure 13 Traveling Journals

2 full weeks on the show

Get Dixie Dust Rumors queries out

Finish Tumble revision

Work on the “Illuminated Nude”

Work on “The Man on the Yoga Mat”

4 Dog Blogs

January 31, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and snowy

I can’t believe January is over. I need another two weeks, please. Not quite ready for February.

“Blue” by Brenda Braene is up on Circadian.

A new essay on supporting living writers is up on the Dog Blog.

The train was late, big surprise, but frustrating because I had three errands that HAD to be run on the way to the theatre. First two, knocked right off. Third was all the way across on the West Side, almost to the river, and, of course, took longer than I wanted, but I still made it to the theatre just a hair late. Amazing how quickly you can walk if you have to.

Work was fine. Not too many sewing repairs, but I had to re-glue some bits of the tin man that were peeling away from the frame.

I heard some of the music from the new musical version of Legally Blonde, which is coming to Broadway sometime soon. It’s REALLY good. I was pleasantly surprised. The kind of music that sticks with you and that you can walk out of the theatre still humming.

I’m writing an article on Barbaro that needs to go out the end of this week, and I need to clear off my desk some more. I don’t know why I’m so sore – I’m going to try to work out some kinks later today with an extra yoga session.

So many of the performers have dashed to Target to get those humidifiers meant for kids in the shape of animals. They’re all over the place. They’re so damn cute, I might have to get one for my apartment.

My first check arrived for the anthology – woo-hoo! It’s always nice when someone pays on time.

The computer decided to upload the newest version of IE (don’t I get a say in these things?) and I had a bit of a fit when everything was rearranged. I found where it hid most of the stuff and put it back where I want it, but I’m not sure.

And this new Microsoft Vista? For which some people paid over $600? That only runs on computers less than two years old, only they don’t bother to tell you BEFORE you plunk down the money?

Typical effing Microsoft.

Chaz’s package returned from the UK, with all sorts of paperwork. Nothing seems too major – maybe I’ll rewrap the toys with bells so they won’t ring and upset postal workers – and then I’m going to try sending it again. At least it wasn’t stolen.

People need to back off from the jawing about Daniel Radcliffe doing Equus. Especially since most of these idiotic gossipy bastards haven’t bothered to learn about the play.

Equus is a modern classic, written by the astounding good playwright, Peter Shaffer. It’s extremely disturbing. However, the young man is not the main character —the psychiatrist treating him is. I saw the play on Broadway years ago, when it first became a phenomenon. It’s dark. It’s disturbing. You leave the theatre viewing the world differently than you viewed it when you entered it, which is what a good play is supposed to do. Although the kid was shirtless for a good portion of it, I only remember one full frontal scene. It was completely organic to the piece and necessary, brief, and not a big deal at all. It didn’t feel shocking or out of place. Plus, you’re in a big darned theatre, so, except for the voyeurs with the opera glasses, you’re not seeing a whole lot.

And believe me, there are plenty of plays that put nudity on stage just to sell tickets. I attended a production at a well-known off-Broadway company a few years back. Can’t remember if I knew one of the actors or one of the crew or why the heck I went. Maybe we just got on the list for one of the previews or something. At any rate, it was a tiny theatre. I was in the third row, and if I’d stretched, I could have touched the bed on the stage.

In the second act, one of the actors is completely naked, sprawled backwards, doing a monologue as part of a 12 minute scene. There was no organic reason in the text for him to be nude in that scene. He had the body, and the company knew it would sell tickets. Good thing he HAD the body, because he sure couldn’t act.

That was exploitation. And, believe me, I know what they pay off-Broadway, and he should have demanded a much higher salary.

Equus is different. The publicity photos that are being blasted around the world are pushing the nudity angle to sell tickets, which annoys me. There’s a shot of Radcliffe and the actress nude together. Now, I don’t remember, in the production I saw, the actress ever actually getting naked with the boy, but maybe that’s something they decided to do for this production. And the house staff will have its hands full taking away cameras.

Photographs are not allowed in ANY professional theatre – it’s a violation of the performers’ right to their image. You purchase a ticket, which is the right to see the live performance IN THE MOMENT, something that can never be exactly replicated again – not to photograph it and sell it or show it to others. Also, using a flash can disorient the actor and cause serious injury onstage. Especially if the actor is trying to maneuver on or off stage, is disoriented by a flash and is run over by a two ton piece of scenery. By being a selfish bastard and taking a photograph, you could maim or kill someone involved with the production. And let’s face it, people are going to try to sell photos of Radcliffe’s genitalia on eBay. I used to work front of house and remove film from cameras – it’s in the program, on the ticket, announced before the show, so if you’re going to violate it, you deserve to get your camera taken away. Personally, I think there should be a list, and if someone violates the no-photograph rule in one theatre, they should be banned for three years or more from all of them.

Regarding Radcliffe and Equus, I’m curious as to how a 17-year-old young man can handle this role. Working on it is bound to change his view of the world not just as an actor, but as a person. It’s an awfully young age to work on the material.

With the whole Harry Potter thing – look, Radcliffe is an actor. His job and responsibility to the audience is to show up on the HP set when he’s contracted and do a terrific job. Which he does. When he’s not on contract, it’s his job to make me believe in any character he plays. That’s what he’s trying to do.

I’d much rather see him doing Equus than go around drinking and doing drugs because the pressure of being HP has become uncomfortable.

I came to the HP movies as a fan of the books. When Rowling writes other books, I plan to read her work, because she’s a damn good writer. With the movies, I was a fan of the body of work of several actors whose work I’d known for years (Rickman, Thewlis, Smith, Shaw, etc.). And I’m interested to see what Radcliffe, Watson, Grint, et al do away from the HP movies.

I’m much more interested in a body of work than seeing someone do the same thing over and over and over again. Part of that is because theatre/film/television is my profession in tandem with the writing. But part of it is because I’m not an ignoramus. There’s enough information on the inner workings of the industry now that only a moron isn’t going to allow growth and change in the performers of which they claim to be “fans”.

As I said in the Dog Blog essay about writers, which makes sense in this situation, too: Decide if you’re a fan of the actor or of the character; own it, and take responsibility for it. If you’re a fan of Harry and only Harry – don’t go see anything else. If you’re a fan of Radcliffe, go with an open mind and give him a chance.

He’s 17. With any luck, he’ll be around for a long time, with a large body of work. Look over Johnny Depp’s body of work. He started young, had early success with Jump Street, made his own way in unusual (to say the least) work, and now he’s got the over-the-top success as Jack Sparrow. Why can’t Daniel Radcliffe find his way, too?

Okay, here’s the January wrap-up for the GDRS:

January 2007 Wrap-Up

Devon’s Random Newsletter
Finished 1st draft of Token and Affection
Plum essay revisions completed and essay accepted for anthology
Started Chasing the Changeling
Quarterly Newsletter
Occasional (but more frequent than last year) entries on Biblio Paradise and Wordish Wanderings.
Circadian Poems
SDR blog every Wednesday
Kemmyrk Mondays and Thursdays
Devon Ellington temporary site up

In Progress:
Typing Token and Affections
Working to finish 1st draft of Real
Reading research books for the Assumption of Right rewrite
Requested revision for Tumble
3 short stories – I’m going for quality over speed

Work on Fix-It Girl
Dixie Dust Rumors queries out
Typing Shallid
Next SDR column begun

Unknown Journey outlined
Knockabout Kingdom outlined
Marching Band stories outlined
“New Year’s Resolutions for Sports Fans” article (pub. By Femme Fan)
“Submission Log and Pitch Tracker” article written and submitted
Two interlinked paranormal comedy stories outlined
“Ink in My Coffee” moved to WordPress
“A Biblio Paradise” moved to WordPress
“Kemmyrk” moved to WordPress
“13 Traveling Journals” moved to WordPress
“Place and Space” moved to WordPress
Joined Kristen King’s Query Challenge 2007
Novel idea: Turn of 20th Century
Novel idea: Contemporary action/psychological
Designed and put up Fearless Ink site
Designed and put up Cerridwen’s Cottage site
Joined a blog chain
Devon’s Random Newsletter for February

Rejection of The Merry’s Dalliance
The death of Barbaro

First article of the year published on Jan. 4 (by FemmeFan)
Plum essay accepted
Token and Affections first draft done
Negotiations for possible regular writing gig (not signed, sealed and delivered, but I’m hopeful)

Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. Very good; lots of fun.
Death by Station Wagon by Jon Katz. Excellent. (Actually, I read this in December and forgot to list it).
Hell’s Belles by Jackie Kessler. Wonderful! Excellent!
Dorothy and Agatha by Gaylord Larsen. Liked the plot; struggled with characterizations. Okay.
Diaries by Lavinia Riker Davis. Lovely.
The Ragman’s Memory by Archie Mayor. Excellent.
Off Season by Philip R. Craig. Very good.
Death on a Vineyard Beach by Philip R. Craig. Very good.
Seeing Red by Jill Shalvis. Very good.


Chasing the Changeling — 20,842 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 45

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.


January 21, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and COLD

The problem with doing admin work all day is I feel so unproductive. That sounds silly – I should be glad it’s done, right? But because it’s a bunch of little bits that take longer than it seems they should, I always feel like I’ve gotten very little accomplished.

Regarding the question on Saturn Retrograde: Better than Mercury Retrograde? Not so sure about that. During a Mercury Retrograde, travel is delayed; communication is hard and misunderstandings abound; electronics go klaplooey; but it’s a great time to go bargain shopping. You want to stay away from big ticket items: houses, cars, computers, plasma TVs – but go to thrift shops, flea markets, or hit sales.

My mantra for a Mercury Retrograde: Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.

Safest thing to do.

Saturn is the planet of life lessons. If you haven’t learned –and made the changes – since the previous Saturn Retrograde – the Universe is going to kick your ass and you’ll have a hard time.

Because I was thoroughly ass-kicked last time around (still have the bruises), I’m being especially careful this time. Every time I find myself falling into a pattern, I stop and ask if this is really the most positive way to deal with it.

Got the links and thank yous out to the interviewees for the Lit Athlete article.

Cleaned out a bunch of email accounts that had way too much spam in them. But managed to retrieve some non-spam that nearly got lost.

Worked on Circadian.

You know what’s cool about Valentine’s Day, Circadian-wise, this year? Many of the really good submissions are from men. And it’s lovely writing. Loving and clear and unsentimental, but with deep feeling.

So Mia and several others are encouraging this new magazine idea. I’m definitely open to brainstorming for a few months, and to getting it started once I’ve relocated. That’s the big thing – I don’t want to commit to something this big until I’m settled. The other thing is to write a business plan/proposal and get financing, because I want to pay all the writers. It might not be a lot, especially at first, but I want to pay everyone. I’m still waiting for a grant to come through for another project that will allow me to pay some writers for some stuff. I’d hoped THAT would get off the ground by May, but it now looks like October.

I also don’t want to exclude either men or married people. I have plenty of friends who are both, and I’d hate for them to feel left out of the mix, as either writers or readers.

So – writers, artists, readers – what’s missing from the magazines, in your opinion? What cravings are not being fulfilled? Let’s brainstorm over the next few months.

Regarding the advice of putting advertisements on the blogs and the websites: I appreciate your expertise, but I’ve decided not to do so right now. I’m happy that it works for others. I tend to ignore the ads on other people’s sites, unless the ad is for the new book or a friend’s book or something. I feel battered by everything being advertising/marketing all the time. I’d rather my pages weren’t that – which sounds like a contradiction since both Fearless Ink and Cerridwen’s Cottage are there to market my work. But people are coming there because they want to learn more about my work, not read ads for a casino cruise or erectile dysfunction or something. I’m going to put up Links pages in a few weeks on both sites to lead readers to other sites I think they might find interesting, but, at least for now . . .I’m skipping the ads.

Errands: Put gas in the car; went to Trader Joe’s; went to the drug store (hey, lipstick was buy one, get one free, I am there). Trader Joe’s was enormously busy – that’ll teach me to go on Saturday at mid-day, right?

The poor guy in front of me – he had two items and a woman with a cart ready to burst at the seams shoved him with it in the back of the knee so she could go ahead of him in the line. He had two things – she could have let him go first. But he doesn’t say a word, lets her go ahead of him. She’s digging through her purse, she’s bitching about her life (chick’s wearing a full length fur coat AND dangling a Lexus key – oh, here are the violins, you’re the one who married someone who gives you STUFF instead of love, don’t tell me you didn’t know what you were getting into — and get a better colorist, you can afford it), anyway, on and on, and on. The poor guy is totally uncomfortable and she does everything she can to make him more uncomfortable. I’m starting to wonder if maybe she’s naked under the coat and flashing him. She’s muttering something to him and, even though I’m behind him, I can see he’s turning all shades of red. I really thought he was going to crawl into the produce display and pull the lettuce over himself. Anyway, she finally leaves, he places his two things on the checkout, pulls out his wallet and change flies everywhere. I pick up the change and hand it to him and he’s beet red, very grateful, and looks like he’s going to burst into tears at any moment. And he can’t be more than 20. He’s about six feet four, but he’s YOUNG. Poor kid.

So he pays, and leaves. And I whip all my stuff through the checkout (I bring my own bags and can pack MUCH faster than they can). I take everything outside, pull the bags out of the cart to leave it where it needs to be – and the guy’s waiting for me – to carry my bags to the car because I helped pick up his change. It was so cute! I thanked him and told him that was his good deed for the day, but tolerating Lexus Bitch scored him angel points for at least six months.

Nice to know there are still some sweet guys growing up. His parents did a good job!

On today’s agenda is picking up groceries at the OTHER store (I love having six grocery stores in a five mile radius, I am such a spoiled grocery brat), and going over to my friend’s place to do laundry and cook a nice meal. This’ll be a busy week theatre-wise. I got a lot done in the fussy admin quarter, but not nearly enough writing.

You’re right, Brandy – it’s so important to eat properly. I’m usually pretty good about it, but I’ve woken up later than usual lately, and the food is what’s getting cut from the schedule, which it can’t.

And congrats to my friend J. from the UK, who just bought a place in Saratoga!!! We go to horse races together all over the world. He loves Saratoga and spends so much time there, especially over the summer, that it makes complete sense to own a place there.

Nice morning’s work on Changeling, but I need to get a lot more writing done today and tomorrow in preparation for the week.

Wrote a blurb for my friend’s book, which is always fun.

Chasing the Changeling – 14.092 words out of est. 45,000

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