Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

“Don’t make me come up there!”

Usually, that’s said to kids who are misbehaving. In fact, especially when I say it quietly, without lifting my eyes from the page, ALL of my ten godchildren quake. Even the ones who have children of their own.

See, I’m the “cool” godmother, the one who lived on 42nd St. in NYC for 13 years over a strip club, works (worked?) in theatre, television, and film, writes for a living, hangs out with horse racing and ice hockey people and travels all over the world whenever I want just because I want.

And I’m MUCH stricter with my godkids than their actual parents are sometimes. There are some cases where my rules are different, but the Main Rule when they stay with me, is “You follow the House Rules – or you go home.” I don’t negotiate with the underage. Period.

And, when I negotiate with the “of age” but young – hell, I’m a union negotiator. I play hardball. I don’t back down.

So I don’t have a lot of trouble with any of them, even the ones who’ve landed on the doorstep and stayed for months at a time because of problems at home.

Too bad it doesn’t work on cats.

I put up with way more from my cats than I do from humans.

It’s true: Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.

Fortunately, I’m bigger than the cats, so when push comes to shove, literally, I can pick them up and place them where I want them. And get that look of disdain that only a feline can throw, before turning around and stalking out with nose and tail in the air.

Building problems that needed to be dealt with immediately this morning. If things aren’t better by the end of the week, it’s time to bring in the Feds. Not the state people, who’ve been a big help. The Feds. That’s how bad it’s gotten. And my patience has expired.

I’m not negotiating.

This is the way it is.

I have a confrontation to handle right now, and then, hopefully, I can get some writing done. Read another book for the essay yesterday, and stayed up way to late to finish it.

The last box of books arrived, with the last books I need for the essay and some stuff from Strand for BALTHAZAAR research. Strand Books is so good to me!

Devon

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 26, 2008 at 10:21 am  Comments (9)  

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and read the interview with Cat Muldoon, the author of Rue the Day. We share many of the same interests and had a lively, interesting interview.

So, yesterday was a fun play day. Getting into the city was a nightmare, worse than usual, and I had the start of a migraine by the time I got in. I fought my way through the crowds at Grand Central and got some errands done. When I got to the subway, all of the ticket machines had lines of 20-30 people in front of them, and, since the booth clerks won’t do Metrocard transactions when it’s busy, I was stuck. It would have taken me about an hour to get a $4 Metrocard.

So I didn’t.

Instead, I walked down Park Avenue/Park Avenue South from Grand Central at 42nd St. to 12th St. and Broadway. In the rain.

And it was still pleasanter than being cooped up in the subway.

AND, I had time to swing by Strand and pick up a book they had for me, saving the shipping fee, and, while I was at it, I picked up a biography of Martha Washington. People seem to think George and Martha were rather dull, but when you look at all they managed to accomplish, they were quite resourceful, and quite a good match. John and Abigail Adams get more attention because they were more volatile and public, but George and Martha had a lot of energy and intelligence. George’s diaries can be a little dry, but he doesn’t strike me as the type of man who could express himself on the page.

I met my friend Barbara at the Cineplex, and we got our tickets and our snacks, and settled in for National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I will have a LOT to say about it in tomorrow’s post. I want to fact check a couple of things before I really go off on it. Short version: There were some things I really liked; a lot I didn’t; too many writers and not enough vision, not to mention shoddy research and things that were beyond implausible and not in the way that makes you go, “I’m having fun, so I don’t care”; and one of my favorite characters got short-changed, in my opinion. You’ll get to read all the details in tomorrow’s post. I was disappointed because I love the first one so much.

Afterwards, we walked over to University Place to go to the Cedar Tavern and . . .it’s not there any more! I’m heartbroken. This was one of the premiere hangouts for decades for artists and writers and everyone else. The food and atmosphere were great. We hung out there for hours after writing class, plenty of after-show parties, etc., etc., etc. I used to go there and have a meal after wearing myself out at Strand. A great deal of my creative life was formed there.

And it’s gone.

At one point, I thought Barbara was calling Bellevue, but she was calling information.

We wandered back down to Union Square to Heartland Brewery, where we had drinks and a meal, tore the movie to shreds, caught up on life, work, and art. We had an absolutely lovely waiter who took good care of us. And Costume Imp joined us for the last hour or so we were there, which was fun. Barbara and Costume Imp gave me my Christmas presents, which were wonderful! (So, more thank you notes have to go out today). They took a cab up to the show; I stopped in at Barnes & Noble, but they didn’t have what I wanted. I walked back up to Grand Central and got a 7 o’clock train home, getting home by 8 (it was an express).

My legs are sore from all the walking (just over 6 miles, total), and I didn’t sleep well, but, other than that, I’m ready to attack the day’s work. I do have to run to Staples this morning – AGAIN – I have two and a half manuscripts to finish reading this weekend, and I ran out of paper. I need to print them because I can’t read that much on screen, especially not when I’m taking notes. And I got a double assignment from Confidential Job #1, which I will probably take to Philly with me. There are a couple of jobs for which I want to pitch, and I’ve got some articles to write this weekend and early next week, so I better get going.

I need to come up with a segue way for Hex Breaker and I’m having trouble with it. And I have no time to have trouble with anything right now. I need to focus, get it done, polish it, and get it out.

Devon

Published in: on December 28, 2007 at 8:16 am  Comments (6)  

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and hot

The migraine won yesterday, and I didn’t get everything done that I needed to do.

Put gas in the car. We’re up to $3.53/gallon, which means it cost me $35 to fill the Rabbit, for crying out loud! Went to CVS, which, as usual, didn’t have everything I needed; went to Trader Joe’s, which, as usual, had everything I needed and more, and I bought it; went to the liquor store to get a nice French rose (can’t get the accent to work on the “e” – have I mentioned how much Microsoft sucks in the last few posts?) that goes with everything I bought.

Read all the rest of the chapters my friend sent me of her manuscript and commented on them. Worked on some pitches, but didn’t send them. I want to re-read them and re-work them if necessary, when I’m migraine-free. Did some work on a short hockey article which has to go out later today.

Had to lie down for part of the afternoon because it was so bad.

Good news – I have the green light to go ahead and write about the America’s Cup Races. Which means I have to learn everything really quickly. I found a book my Dad bought many years ago, after he and my mom attended the races in Newport, RI; I found the notes I took when I covered the HEALTH magazine fair in Newport and skipped out for a few hours to explore Newport and “met” some of the boats from former races; and Strand Books is on it, so I’m sure it’ll be all good. It’s about learning first (as well as fast), and then formulating the interviews, and then watching the live feed from the races – because I really don’t think I’ll be able to hop a plane to Valencia at the end of June. Although wouldn’t it be fun if it worked out and I could?

PERFECTLY PLUM’s release date is June 1, so I better get on the stick and get some PR going. I should have gotten releases out two weeks ago, but if I get them out this week, it’ll still be in the early days of the release. I need to talk to the Ben Bella PR person and see what’s what, so we’re not cross-pollinating and look disorganized. If our lists overlap, I’ll send a friendly note rather than repeat the same information.

I’m also developing a contest where some of you can win a copy! Stay tuned – it’ll probably happen around mid-June.

Came up with a new idea called Tracking Medusa, which could be a lot of fun if I can figure it out and slot it in properly. It’s too early to really discuss – but it’s definitely something that will appear under the Ava Dunne name, so that should give you an idea of its direction!

Did the research I need to do for the next section of Good Names. Had a terrific morning session on it, and finished Chapter 5. Now I can type the first chapters, so I don’t get too far behind.

The migraine still lingers, but it’s better than yesterday, so, hopefully, it will be a more productive day. Melissa, I think you’re right. I think I might have a thyroid problem. Unfortunately, since my insurance plan is in name only, I’m having a difficult time getting in to see a doctor without paying out of pocket. And the lab work is too far out of my price range in order to do it all out of pocket. But I’m trying to get tested. In the meantime, I’m doing dietary research, etc., and I’ll talk with my acupuncturist on my next visit to see what I can do to support thyroid health until I can get the medical treatment I need. Thank you for thinking of it.

Sya, you’re right –maybe I should go back to headphones. I didn’t order the earbuds I wanted because the shipping added 50% to the price. Um, considering how small and light they are, that’s unacceptable.

Devon

Good Names – 15,412 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
15 / 100
(15.0%)

Tracking Medusa — 4,123 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4 / 90
(4.4%)

May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Well, I WAS going to post my Dog Blog this morning, but the disk is missing from my desk. So, either I’ll find it and post it, or I’ll have to re-write it and post it tomorrow. So much for writing ahead.

I was annoyed at Starbucks, where I stopped for an iced tea. Here I’ve gone and bought commuter cups in both hot and cold, and now they tell me they don’t fill the cold with any tea drinks because “it’s a health code violation.” Huh? Excuse me, I bring in a CLEAN cup, and I assume you put the cup under the spout and aren’t stirring it with your bare hands, so how is this a health code violation? It used to be that they gave you a discount (like, ten cents, but still) if you bought in a commuter cup. Now, here people are trying to be eco-friendly, and Starbucks refuses. So I have to buy the drink in a disposable cup and create more waste in order to fill my commuter cup. Doesn’t make any sense at all. But it’s Starbucks, so why am I surprised? They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Like all the advertising they do about fair trade coffee, when, in reality, they only use it one week per month unless the customer specifically requests it.

Yesterday was fine. Day work was, well, day work. It all got done. I nipped out, got a quick bite of Chinese food, came back, set up for the show. I’d dressed this actress before, on another Broadway show, so she at least knew me.

The show went fine. I had a few little hesitations, but nothing major, and the actress felt it was “seamless”, which made me happy. So I felt much better coming OUT of the show than I felt going IN to it. But a 14 hour day is still tiring.

Another delightful delivery from Strand waited for me when I got home with more books for Good Names. I’m thrilled. Strand takes such good care of me!

And not so delightful news from Verizon. When I told them to credit me for the seventeen days of no landline and seven days of no DSL last month, two people from Corporate called me and told me I was getting a $75 credit. Great. So what’s actually on the bill? $13 and change for DSL (which is fine) and 18 CENTS for the landline. Now, math is not my best subject, but even to me, that doesn’t add up to $75. So I’ll be talking to these people.

It’s ridiculous. All these companies are on the grift.

Some interesting info from my alma mater, NYU, with a list of resources and networking of which I think I’ll make use. My mother went to lunch with her best friend yesterday and it turns out her friend’s daughter has gone freelance as a graphic designer. And she lives close by, so I’m going to contact her and see if she’s interested in potentially teaming up on projects. I remember her when she was little – she’s always been very talented and creative. So, hopefully, we can meet in the next couple of weeks, share information and styles, and maybe get some work together. At any rate, I can point her in the direction of some good resources.

Got to turn around and go back in for another 14 hour day. Actually, today is more like 16 hours, because I have to do extra hours on this track. But it’s all good. Hopefully, I can avoid second show-itis, and do a good job on both shows today and on the show tomorrow. You never know. After all, it’s live theatre.

The Edith Wharton biography is fabulous. I want to sit in a gazebo somewhere on a lovely summer’s day and read it while drinking iced tea.

My commuting book is Elizabeth Peters’s SEEING A LARGE CAT, which is, interestingly enough, set in 1903, when GOOD NAMES is set, although mine is set in Chicago and New York, not in Egypt. I’ve read Amelia Peabody mysteries here and there and always enjoyed them, but this book – especially now, read so close to the Tut visit on Monday – makes me want to sit down and read the entire series in order.

Better get going. Those clothes aren’t going to iron themselves — although wouldn’t it be fun if they did?

Devon

April 7, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

For crying out loud, it SNOWED yesterday! Not much, but . . .I mean, really!

I can not believe how much time all the paperwork takes in reference to the three regular gigs. I’m not talking about the actual assignments – I’m talking about tracking the assignments, incoming and outgoing deadlines, invoices, and payments, and the various instructions that fly back and forth. But I figure if I take the time now, at the beginning, to set up solid systems, I can just plug in the rest as I go, and keep track. It’s quite different than the one-offs, where you just pitch, negotiate, contract, do it, send it, and get paid, and move on to the next thing.

Thank goodness for Excel!

Worked on the Writer’s Outline for Good Names yesterday morning. Found a few holes to plug, a few character bits to strengthen. In general, it’s coming along well. It feels different than anything else, but it feels right.

Spent the afternoon at the local library, researching turn of the century architecture, etc. in Chicago and New York. I found lots of good information – and two books that I have to hunt down and purchase. There’s one book in particular, on the Mississippi, that not only serves Good Names, but will be a big help in the restructuring of The Widow’s Chamber.

I had to leave the reference room because it was so frigging loud – this is a LIBRARY, people! Shut the fuck up! And, if someone is on the cell phone – they should be excommunicated from the sacred space of the library!!! I long for the days of stern librarians!

I moved upstairs to “the quiet room” and we were all quiet – although, I swear, I ended up on the squeakiest chair known to man and was mortified. And then I got distracted by a biography of Daphne du Maurier (which I now want to own, too) and ended up spending far more time there than I should. On the sale shelf, I found an almost-new copy of Patricia Wells’s Bistro Cooking. It’s one of my favorites, my copy is in storage, this one was only $2 – it is now mine. I can always use it as a contest prize when I get my own copy out of storage, or put it up on BookMooch or something.

On my way home, I stopped at Patisserie Salzburg and treated myself to a chocolate éclair. Not just any chocolate éclair – this one had chocolate filling, not custard! Yum!

Came home and those idiots with their leaf blowers started up as soon as I walked in the door. They had an entire afternoon to be annoying – why did they wait until I got home? Personally, I think leaf blowers should be banned – they’re bad for our ears and nerves, and lousy for the environment, the way they belch exhaust. Use a rake, people!

Did some online research about Chicago – still don’t have the information I need about neighborhoods, but I have some on hotels, restaurants, stores, etc., that I can use. I might pop off an email to the Chicago Historical Society over the weekend for some specifics. I also found some books at Strand – but I have to restrain myself for the moment.

The first chapter of Good Names is starting to bubble up, but I want to have the details of place IN PLACE, in my mind at least, before I start. Place is an additional character in this book.

I’m off to a friend’s for a few hours today, to do laundry and maybe get some work done. And then I need to come home and do more on The Project.

Confidential Job #2 keeps adding more and more things to the confidentiality agreement, which makes me think they are a little paranoid beyond a reasonable scope. I’m a bit skeptical about this gig. We’ll see.

I still don’t have my energy back from this bout of flu. I took most of the evening off yesterday and actually watched television (you know I’m not feeling like myself when that happens).

Oh, and down the street – they’ve started with the effing leaf blowers – already! Um, it’s spring, the leaves aren’t even out yet.

Harmony tagged me – I’ll post the results tomorrow.

Devon

March 25, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was difficult. As anyone who’s cared for an ill, elderly parent knows, it’s not easy. Things looked pretty grim until about mid-afternoon, when everything took a turn for the better, and she finally got some sleep. Elsa was great, staying right there all the time. She (my mom, not the cat) is better today, but still a little wobbly.

In between taking care of my mom, I worked on the various letters in reference to the pet food recall. Let me just say that the more research I did, the more appalled I am by the entire industry. And I didn’t like what I heard from Trader Joe’s – although I’m grateful they got back to me so quickly. Although their food is NOT on the recall list, it IS prepared at Menu Foods, and they’ve pulled it all to run their own tests. They suggested I return everything I have to the local store for a refund. Which I will definitely do.

According to Amelia’s comment yesterday, she’d heard from CNN that the additional animals who died did so at the same time while they were testing foods at Menu; the information I had from NBC was that they tested the tainted food on animals when the complaints began coming in. I’ve asked NBC to clarify.

Purina only outsourced one brand of pouched dog food in the recall – the rest is manufactured at their own plants, so it seems (I’m waiting for a confirmation). However, I don’t know if I entirely trust their wet food, either.

None of the pet stores or book stores around here carry THE NATURAL CAT, and most of them claim they can’t even order it (hey, it’s on Amazon, why can’t they order it?). I ordered a copy through Strand (hopefully they’ll pull it before someone gets to it) and I’m giving the girls baby food for the next few days until I decide what to do. Yes, I could JUST give them dry food, but they’ll tear the house down. Their routine is wet food in the morning, dry food later on. And you don’t mess with their routine! Not without serious consequences, anyway!

If you ever read the wonderful book by a New York City vet called ALL OF MY PATIENTS ARE UNDER THE BED, he states that baby beef is perfectly all right to feed cats. Of course, I also give mine baby turkey, baby ham, etc. And it has to be Gerber’s Stage 2. They hate all other brands, and Stage 1 is too mushy. I have a few jars, but I’ll get some more tomorrow when I pick up the newspaper. Generally, I only give them baby food if they have an upset stomach, but in the circumstances, I think it’s safer than anything else out there, at least in the short term.

Just in case, I checked the Gerber site to see if there were any recalls.

And you really want to get angry? Check out www.iamscruelty.com.

By the way, Iams and Eukanuba are basically the same company, under two different brand names.

I finished Susan Cheever’s lovely book American Bloomsbury, about Alcott, Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Hawthorne. It’s a personal book as well as an historical one. I highly recommend it. I also recently read Mary Poppins, She Wrote, which an excellent biography of PL Travers, and Mia King’s Good Things.

I loved Good Things. You can visit Mia’s blog on my list to the right (Mia Musings) to find out more about the book. Her main character is someone I feel I could be friends with, and she avoids the genre traps of overly neurotic protagonists. It’s a warm, lovely book which has enough surprises so the reader never gets complacent. Go read it.

Once I finished American Bloomsbury, I started on the first volume of LM Montgomery’s Journals. They are fascinating. I love her books anyway, above and beyond the Anne of Green Gables books. And her journals! I also love the way she refers to herself as a “book drunkard”. I know exactly what she means.

Hopefully, my mom will continue to improve today AND I’ll be a bit more all-around productive. The less time I make to write, the more fractured I feel. Now that I’ve tasted the non-writing life for a few weeks – it’s not for me.

Devon

February 23, 2007

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

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

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

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

For which they can’t account.

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

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

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

Completely unacceptable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Devon

February 17, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Diane, wonderful editor that she is, pointed out that the description “cat humidifier” made her wonder why I’d want to humidify a cat. Of course, the un-lazy description would be “cat-shaped humidifier”. And, of course, at this point, it’s been decided that the humidifier is a male tom cat-type and his name is Horace.

Of course, “erranding” didn’t work out the way I hoped, it being Mercury Retrograde and all, but I simply shrugged and plodded along.

I came back, got another pitch out, did some groundwork on The Project, realized I have a deadline looming for something else that I completely forgot about once I was sick, ordered some stuff online, etc., etc.

The great thing about having Horace here puff away is that, although he’s a cool steam humidifier, keeping it moist makes the place feel warmer. Even the wonderful Lilac potpourri I got from Aphrodesia about two weeks ago revived and the entire apartment smells lovely.

Came across some other books relevant to The Project by accident at Strand, so I ordered them. I also need to make a trip to the Upper East Side and visit Kitchen Arts and Letters – if you’ve never been to this place, check it out. It’s awesome.

My mom gave me a scare – I was trying to reach her and she wasn’t answering her cell phone (she’s on a dog sitting job). So, I called a neighbor and had the neighbor go over and check on her. Fortunately, my mom was fine, and had just put the phone aside and didn’t hear it. But getting her to keep the phone handy is always a struggle. She’s in her 80s, recovering from a major injury – come on, here! I swear, when we get the room, I’m getting her a dog and training the dog so he knows she is his primary responsibility. He’ll be a herding dog or something, to keep track of her.

Grabbed a new notebook at the bookstore for The Project – I need to write pages and pages to figure out what I’m actually going to say in print. There are so many directions here, and I have to figure out how to weave things together properly.

Show was fine; slightly frustrating due to the personnel situation, but nothing insurmountable. I’m almost done with the week, have a week away from the fray, and then I’m in for someone else, so it’ll be fine.

The Martha Gellhorn biography is wonderful.

Off to finish the “erranding” this morning, and then I’m heading in to the city for yet another 14-hour day. It may take me 20 minutes to wrap up to go out in the cold, but it’s worth it once I’m out there. That LL Bean coat really IS good for up to 35 below zero! Keeps me toasty on the walk to and from the theatre!

I’m taking The Project notebook with me today to see if I can get some work done on the train. April isn’t all that far away, you know!

Devon