Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Breeders’ Cup picks are below, in “Racing Ink”.

Yesterday was the epitome of Mercury Retrograde – everything took too damn long; Book Mooch lost the last few days of transactions; all the worst drivers were out; no good shoes; yarn in the most garish colors imaginable; at the store, no one could “figure out” how much the fabric softener cost – even though it was on the tag on the shelf. Since someone “forgot” to enter it into the computer, it wouldn’t scan and the checker refused to hand-enter it, and said I had to wait until the manager “came back from lunch”. Uh, no. Keep the freaking fabric softener – I’ll buy it somewhere else.

Managed to get my mom’s birthday present and birthday cake, though, and to do some of my Christmas shopping online!

Also tried to get things in better shape for Samhain on Wednesday, and handicapped the BC races. Figures the track in New Jersey would spread them out over two days, milking it for all it’s worth. Although with the weather, I don’t know how successful it was, anyway. I’ll have to check this morning, and do that part of the BC follow-up article, then cover today’s races and finish up the article and get it out tonight, because I’m working two shows tomorrow.

Paid a bunch of bills. Didn’t get the e-books finished, the program downloaded or learned. Somehow, I have to squeeze that in.


There’s a very good chance the town may flood again. I’m glad I got in groceries, and boiled and bottled about 5 gallons of water, just in case. I checked the brook early this morning – very high, running fast, that dark, muddy color that does not bode well for us.

One bright spot – I baked hazelnut cookies! Two more batches of rolled rather than drop cookies and a few batches of brownies to go!

I transcribed about a third of my Earth Bride notes, and will try to get some more done today.

But most of the day will be on flood watch.



Published in: on October 27, 2007 at 8:28 am  Comments (4)  

Racing Ink — Breeders’ Cup 2007

The races are spread out over two days at Monmouth Park. These picks are made hoping it won’t be all rain and muck. If it’s horrible weather and they run anyway, throw everything out and watch them in the saddling ring and the post parade. See who looks like a mudder and go with that. The ones who are fussing at the raindrops probably won’t do very well. And don’t bother to bet on the juvenile races – most of the horses will be too green to know how to handle bad weather.

For today’s Breeders’ Cup races, my picks are:

8th Race: Filly & Mare Sprint:
Miss Macy Sue, Oprah Winney, Jazzy

9th Race: BC Juvenile Turf:
Pick the babies after you’ve seen them in the post parade. But I’m going to take a look at Strike the Deal, Cannonball, The Leopard, and the Irish horse Achill Island.

10th Race: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile:
Discreet Cat, Park Avenue Ball, Xchanger

Non Breeders’ Cup Race Picks:
Race 2: Tiz It & Golden Fusaichi (sired by Tiz Now and Fusaichi Pegasus – of course I’m going to root for them)!
Race6: Sea Chanter (sired by War Chant), Saki to Me (sired by Fusaichi Pegasus) and Joffe’s Run (by Giant’s Causeway).
Race 7: Cobra Strike to show.

Saturday’s Card:

1st Race: Slew’s Tizzy and Helsinki

2nd Race: Jump on In, Coco Belle, and Silver Knockers. Long-shot possibilities are Casino Transaction and Miss Tizzy.

3rd Race: Double Action, Cobalt Blue, Appealing Spring

4th Race – Juvenile Fillies:
Pick as close to the post parade as possible. But I’m seriously looking at Proud Spell and Irish Smoke.

5th Race – Juveile:

Again, I want to see them in the saddling ring and the post parade before I decide. But War Pass and Slew’s Tiznow are my top contenders on paper.

6th Race – Filly and Mare Turf:

Wait a While, Honey Ryder, and Precious Kitten (in spite of her long odds).

7th Race – Sprint:
Smokey Stover across the board.

8th Race – Mile (Turf):
Excellent Art, Jeremy, After Market. I’m also going to bet Nobiz Like Shobiz across the board because I love him, and, if I remember correctly, he’ll be retired soon.

9th Race – Distaff:
My longshot pick is Tough Tiz’s Sis across the board.
I will probably box an exacta for Lady Joanne and Lear’s Princess. I might throw some money at Hystericalady if she looks good.

10th Race – Turf:
Dylan Thomas across the board. Red Rock, Better Talk Now, and English Channel to fill in.

11th Race – Classic:
Wheel them all. They’re very evenly matched – unless it’s sloppy. If I have to pick, I’ll go: Street Sense, Hard Spun, Lawyer Ron, Tiago. My prediction for the big upset horse in this race is George Washington, who could steal it all, so I’m going to also bet him across the board.

Published in: on October 26, 2007 at 9:26 am  Comments (3)  

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007
Full Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I got the Newsletter out on Wednesday. If you didn’t get yours, or you aren’t signed up, send an email here with “subscribe” in the title. Otherwise, you’ll end up in the spam box.

So, I have a feeling it will be the second week of November before the next one goes out! 😉

Looooong day in court yesterday. And the lunch place I chose was LOUSY – won’t go back there again. Nearly bought boots and a suit, just because I was cranky, but I refrained. However, I did go to the bookstore once we were released and treated myself to both a book and a new deck of tarot cards (yeah, I know, like I don’t have nearly 50 decks, but this one hadn’t been sent to me for review, and it looked really cool).

Too wiped out to do much in the evening. Focusing that intently for that many hours in the courtroom pretty much finishes me for the day.

Putting things together for Samhain next Wednesday (which I’ll be doing AFTER a full day in court – sigh).

Today I need to finish and edit another e-book, insert some design elements in the first e-book, and then download the conversion program, see if I can figure out how to do it, and upload it to the site, so my testers can try it before I post the link.

No court today – we’re back on Monday.

Had horrible cramps in the arches of both feet last night – never had anything like it – as though there were Charley horses in the arch. Awful. I was wearing comfortable shoes that I usually wear. So it doesn’t make sense. Well, acupuncture is in two weeks, and I’ll mention it. A combination of Advil and Valerian root finally brought me some relief.

Got a little bit of work done on Tracking Medusa, but I’m not sure how I’m going to get it together to finish it before Nano starts.

Racing Ink, handicapping tomorrow’s Breeders’ Cup card, should be up before noon, right here, so come on back later today and check it out!


Tracking Medusa – 51,824 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
51 / 90
Published in: on October 26, 2007 at 7:39 am  Comments (2)  

Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

The last day of August, can you believe it?

My article “Travers Triumphant” is up on FemmeFan. Unfortunately, there seems to be a problem with the link, so you have to go to the home page of Femmefan,

and then scroll down until you see “Travers Triumphant”. Sorry.

I had a great, busy, couple of days.

And I did it again, what I always do when I go to Philadelphia.

I bought shoes.

Last year, I bought three pairs and had to haul them back up to NY. This year, I bought only two. Both are lovely suede flats, one in brown, and one in a red that goes with the new fall purse.

Hello, my name is Devon and I’m a Shoe-A-Holic.

Only I don’t want to be cured.

There’s the old joke: How many pairs of shoes should a woman own?

Answer: One more pair than she already has.

Tuesday, work was okay. I like most of the people, but the situation is no longer for me, and if I don’t cut the cord and do without it as my safety net, I’ll never move forward. I kept telling myself I was hanging in there to make insurance, but our union’s screwed us so badly insurance-wise that I’m not going to make it anyway, so why stay in a situation that’s no longer supporting any part of my life?

One of my colleagues was about to fly to London that night. He landed the job as the assistant designer for a show that’s coming to Broadway from the National in London, and off he goes to learn the show, work with the designer, etc. Good for him! I love it when something like that comes together so quickly! He’s very talented and deserves it. He text-messaged me yesterday to let me know it was great over there. The National’s a wonderful place – everyone is so nice and the facility is outstanding. He’ll have a blast.

Shot out of work and down to Port Authority. The 4 o’clock bus was still loading when I got there, so I thought maybe I could get on that, but they ran out of seats. Then, they put us through so-called security checks – poorest excuse for a security check I’ve ever seen.

They pulled up another bus, and I ended up on one that left at 4:37 instead of 5:00, which worked for me.

The ride was fine, although the bus was full. People were just tired, and most of them slept on the bus –except for the guy in the seat ahead of me who sung tunelessly to himself the whole time, until I was ready to hurt him. So I put on my MP3 Player instead, which seemed like a much more equitable solution.

I tried to read on the bus, but was so disappointed with the book. I felt almost guilty not liking it, because the writer’s gotten a lot of praise and won quite a few awards. But I don’t like the characters and the story’s not told engagingly enough to keep me focused. So that book is going into the Book Mooch pile.

Arrived in Philly a little before 7, grabbed a cab, got to my friend’s place, dumped my stuff. We went across the street to a really cute pub called The Black Sheep. They’re very nice there and the food is good. I had my first hamburger in ages (topped with roasted red peppers and garlic spinach), and a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat Ale. I’d never had that before, and it was quite good – doesn’t taste like beer. But I eat red meat so rarely now that I felt like I was walking around with a lump of lead in my stomach for the rest of the night.

Hung out with my friends, did some crocheting, but went to bed pretty early. Slept well, up early, yoga. I felt separation anxiety since I left my mat at home, but they had wall-to-wall carpeting. Their cat had never seen yoga before and was both freaked out and fascinated.

Brought breakfast in from Miel Bakery. We walked down to Trader Joe’s and did some grocery shopping. On the way back, we hung out in Rittenhouse Square for awhile. It’s so beautiful. I’d love to set a story in that area.

I met my friend L. for lunch at Susanna Foo’s. The food was exquisite (I had curried chicken dumplings, the crabmeat Egg Foo Yong, and a glass of pinot noir) and the service was excellent – a rarity in Philadelphia, in my experience. My friend and I had a great catch-up time, and then walked the half a block to Lush, where we treated ourselves to organic soaps and creams.

Later that afternoon, I dropped by one of the theatres to catch up with some old friends (missed them), and, on the way back, bought shoes.

Cooked dinner for my friends, hung out with other friends. Didn’t sleep well – I dreamed I was moving furniture all night, and woke up exhausted.

I hoped to get some writing done in Rittenhouse Square, but they had it sealed off to shoot a movie – I think it was the same M. Night Shyamalan movie that shot near my friend’s place last week. As I passed the wardrobe truck, I kidded with the crew, “Can’t I ever get away from work?”

I cooked a big salmon lunch for my friends, and then decided to take a 2 PM bus instead of a 4 PM bus back to New York. I got on, no problem, and read Yasmine Galenorn’s Witchling on the way home. It’s great – if you haven’t read her Sisters of the Moon series, go out and get them right now!!!

Hauled my luggage across from Port Authority to Grand Central, cursing out the tourists all the way. New Yorkers aren’t rude, tourists are. They also act like the biggest, sloppiest pigs ever. It’s disgusting, and I wish the cops would start ticketing again for litter (as if they don’t have enough to do).

Caught the 4:49 express and was back home by 5:45. The cats were so happy!

Chilled out and played with the cats.

Did not have a good start to the morning. Was jolted out of bed at 6:25 AM when, two buildings down, they started in with the leaf blowers. We have an ordinance in town that says they can’t start until 7 AM weekdays and 9 AM on Sundays. So I went down to tell them to stop and they started with the bullshit, “No speak English.” Amazing how quickly they found it when the cops showed up. One guy said something demeaning towards women as the cops wrote them up and I asked him if he wanted me to cut his dick off and feed it to him. Anyway, the building owners are being fined and so is the landscaping company.

Unfortunately, the noise also woke up the crazy downstairs neighbor who turned on his television full blast and then decided to “sing” – which is basically a cross between yodeling and a cat being tortured.

Like I said, not a good way to start the day.

I still have to finish and send off two articles today. I had a good morning’s work on Good Names. Finished the confrontation –with-the-killer chapter. It’s a little odd – I’ve never read a scene quite like it, but I think it’s fun, and hope it gets to stay in the book. I have about two more chapters and then this draft is DONE!

Off to do some errands, check the job boards (but without much hope – bad week on the job boards), and finish those articles. I’d like to do some more work on Good Names later today – it would be great if I could finish the draft before I leave for my next gig on Sunday.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Good Names
– 70,632 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

70 / 100

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sticky, icky, cloudy

Imagine my surprise when I pulled out a contract to check something on Friday and discovered that, instead of the September 30 delivery date my editor and I agreed on, the delivery date, for 25 short articles was AUGUST 31. And my editor has since left, with someone totally inexperienced taking over.

It’s no one’s fault but mine. I know this particular organization has degenerated over the past few years into disorganization. I should have been on top of it. So, not only do I have to finish the 1700 word article that I knew was due, I have to get the 25 short articles researched, written, polished, and out.

And it has to happen before I leave town on Tuesday, because I won’t be back until they’re due, and I can’t have them hanging over my head while I’m gone, or I won’t be able to concentrate.

On top of that, I have to write the post-Travers article today.

And I don’t feel like doing a damned thing. I’m tired and cranky and hot.

Too damn bad.

I wrote 2 of the articles on Friday night, and 12 more yesterday, so I only have 9 more to write today. It won’t be fun, but it will get done.

And there’s another article I SHOULD get done and out by tomorrow, but I don’t know if I can.

It’s even more frustrating because I only have myself to blame. But, that’s the way it goes.

Wrapped up the CT job last night and came home. Was pretty much a waste of food once I got here. After all, I had three cats who DEMANDED that I make up to them for being gone all week. So I did. I’m almost forgiven, even though I unpacked and repacked in front of them (they were not amused) so I’m set to go Tuesday morning.

I managed to get a bit of work done on Good Names this morning, but that’s it.

Back to research/writing/polishing.


Good Names – 67,382 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
67 / 100
Published in: on August 26, 2007 at 10:12 am  Comments (3)  

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I’m making a flying visit home to feed the cats. The gig in CT is going well – they have a great fitness room, and I’m taking full advantage.

I have THREE articles in this week’s issue of FemmeFan:

Horse Racing at Saratoga, pre-Travers:

Horse Racing at Del Mar:

and the Central New York Scottish Games:

Check them out, if you get the chance!

I’m home long enough to feed the cats, check some email, and get some business done, then it’s back to CT. I don’t have internet access there. I don’t mind, though, because I’m getting both writing and percolating done.

I do have something to say about the Michael Vicks case: this man is accused of running a dog fighting ring and either drowning or hanging several dogs himself. The NFL is only worried about the gambling aspect; and Vicks himself has apologized for his “mistakes”. Torturing and murdering animals is more than a “mistake”, and the NFL’s shrugging off of these acts is disgusting. All I have to say is give me ten minutes with Vicks, alone in a room with him. At first, I wanted a machete. But I don’t need one. And I’m sure there are many people who feel the same way I do.

In my opinion, the so-called “justice system” is going to wait until he murders a girlfriend or someone he considers a rival somewhere down the road before they do anything more than slap him on the wrist. Again, look at the studies: if someone is capable of doing this to an animal, they often move up to do it to children and then adults.

And PETA completely failed the animals here. All they did was go to the hearings, stand outside and screech. If they were actually motivated activists, they would have infiltrated the ring and taken it down. The idea of an organization like PETA is a good one, but the way they put their so-called beliefs into action – or lack thereof – is ridiculous.

Let us hope the Karma Dogs appear very quickly to take care of this situation. I have no doubt they will be far more inventive and imaginative than I could ever be.

Good Names is chugging along well. I’m in the last three or four chapters. I think it will come in at under 100K, which is a good thing, because than it means the next draft won’t be so over the word count I have to cut 1/3. I’m also slowing down as I near the end, because I hate the thought of leaving these characters. However, the next draft needs to build more tension and toss in more red herrings at certain points. This is far too straightforward a narrative as it currently stands.

“Revenge Tangents” is moving along, but it’s getting bigger than I thought. That’s okay, because I have the scope of the overall project in my head, and it can be whatever it wants to be.

Did some planning on some other projects, and I hope to get some work done on Tracking Medusa over the next few days.

Must check job boards, get some pitches out, do the first couple of pages on a couple of articles, and then get back to CT. I have a batch of brownies in the oven – it’s easier for me to make them here than over there, although I’m totally enamored of the kitchen there.

My thoughts are with everyone in the middle of the country, dealing with flooding. I hope the waters recede soon and there’s a break in the weather. I know, first-hand, how devastating this can be.

And the Utah miners and their families are in my thoughts and prayers. Something must be done to bring these men home. The owner saying there’s nothing he can do is crap. Then he shouldn’t have sent them in there in the first place.

FDNY lost two more firefighters when the former Deutsche Bank building beside the World Trade Center site caught fire – and they were trapped by shoddy construction work and the fact that the stand pipe supposed to get water up to the higher floors had been taken apart by the construction crews and left in the basement. The way this building’s demolition has been handled for the past six years has been completely unacceptable – especially since they keep finding human remains from 9/1ll there. Two more firefighters – from a house who lost 11 men on 9/11 – should not have had to die because of the greedy developers. And I’m getting tired of these same greedy developers – who did not lose anyone on that day – saying that we need to “get over” 9/11. There’s a difference between getting over something and healing from it to rebuild lives. The developers don’t care how many people were murdered that day; they want their cash. We never will get over it, even as we rebuild lives, the site should be a memorial the way Pearl Harbor is a memorial, and these greedy bastards need to be run out of town.

On that note (ahem), I’m going to do an hour or two of focused work here online, and then get back to the CT gig.


Good Names – 65,632 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
65 / 100

“Revenge Tangents” – 11,875 words out of est. 12,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 12

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I need sleep!

I got the pre-Travers article done, polished and out in the morning. I did some more work on the Scottish Games article, but it just wasn’t sparkling.

I went to my friend’s, where I read the paper, played with the dog, read a bit, cooked dinner, did some writing, and, in general, had a fairly relaxing afternoon.

Came back, finalized the Scottish Games article, picked photos, and sent it off. I’m not happy with it. I haven’t done it justice.

I caught some of the Del Mar races, which affect the Breeders’ Cup in October, so I did a quick piece on them and sent that off. There’s a horse from New Zealand named Crossing The Line, who won the Del Mar Mile, and is a horse with which to fall in love.

Noisy Downstairs Neighbor was at it again. Even the cats are fed up. At least it was earlier in the evening, and not after midnight.

I’m ready to play CDs of bagpipes at full volume all the live-long night to see if maybe that shuts up some of the crazy neighbors!!!!

Good morning’s work on Good Names; decent morning’s work on “Revenge Tangents”.

I have to be very organized during the next three weeks, with all the traveling and working from different places. I need to clear quite a bit off my desk today and also do practical things like pack, vacuum, and wash the floors. They don’t wash themselves – believe me, I’ve tried.

I need to check the job boards, get out pitches, follow up on a few emails, send out some interview materials, research a quartet of articles, work on my column, and work on an article I want to get finished by the end of the week. And, one of these days, I’d like to get back to Tracking Medusa. I think I figured out how to fix the problem with the OBE chapter.

Not a particularly compelling post today; sorry. Too many things whirling around my head, and I’m trying to put together a to-do list that’s both logical and do-able.


Good Names – 63,632 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
63 / 100

“Revenge Tangents” — 10,625 words out of est. 12,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 12

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny, less humid, pleasant

As usual, I packed too many pairs of shoes.

In my own defense, they are for the umpteen changes of clothes I always have to make buzzing around Saratoga. At least it’s summer and those little dresses roll up to next to nothing. I’ve packed sensible clothes for the Scottish Games in Syracuse. I’ve never been to Syracuse. I’m looking forward to it.

So much to do yesterday, so little focus.

Worked on some other articles, worked on some pitches, printed out the directions for my trip, made mega-dinner plans for Sunday with friends, found a bunch of upcoming anthology deadlines (thanks to the anthology newsletter).

Packed, prepared the receipt envelopes, the mileage book and all the frigging paperwork that goes along with writing trips.

And, even with the air on, it was unbearably hot and sticky, which is why every other word off my keyboard is a swear!

Researched a bunch of topics for The Big Project. Researched some other stuff so I can move forward with Good Names.

Prepared the writing bag, the camera bag. Yoga mat’s going along too, but not the weights.

Weight training couldn’t happen last night due to wrist pain, but this morning’s yoga session was good.

Unfortunately, I woke up with a migraine. I fed the cats, did my yoga, tried to write, but felt so horrible that I went back to bed for another hour or so. That’s the point of freelancing – a flexible schedule. I felt better when I woke up, took something to take the edge off, and will try to finish up as much as I can.

Yesterday’s tornado was categorized as an FE2 – cut a 9 mile path of destruction through Brooklyn. I’m not sure if it touched down in Queens, or if they thought it was a tornado and it wasn’t, or if the only actual tornado was in Brooklyn, but there was a lot of damage everywhere.

Tomorrow is supposed to be vile; I hope I can get on the road early and safely.

No word bar updates yet – I’m going to try to get some work done when the migraine lifts a bit more.

I’m offline until the middle of next week. Everyone – enjoy!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sticky, disgusting

I cannot wait to cover the Central New York Scottish Games this weekend. In addition to covering the actual sporting events (trust me, there are a few people I’d like to whack with a caber right now), I’m excited because I bet I’ll be exposed to some new (to me) music. I feel like I’ve hit a musical rut lately.

Some of that rut’s been helped by finding bands on My Space (I know, I know, how could I not know?), but nothing beats live performance.

I hate working all day and feeling as though I got nothing done.

I had problems with the email accounts all day, and felt that the tech support asked for inappropriate information. Sorry, bubbelah, not giving you the passwords. I am paying this host enough to actually get the service for which I pay; I shouldn’t have to spend an entire day arguing with them about a SERVER error. What can I say? 1 and 1 sucks. Unfortunately, it took me over a year to get my sites up and running once I switched over from Yahoo Small Business Hosting (which sucked even worse), and, at this moment, I can’t face switching everything again. However, within the next year or so, I expect I’ll redesign everything and then leap.

I managed to polish a press release and get it to the person who had to distribute it. I got some pitches out. I plowed through paperwork and email, but my inboxes are still filled to bursting, and the piles of paper don’t look any smaller.

Hate that!

Off to the theatre today; hopefully, I don’t have to stay for the show. I’ve got articles to get out this week before I leave; second requests to put out for some interview material, and writing to get done. And I’d kind of like to leave my desk looking a bit better than as though a shredder threw up all over it.

I wish I could train the cats to file. I mean, they’re sitting around all day sleeping. Why can’t they alphabetize? When I presented this to Iris, her look of disdain said it all, “We’re cats. We don’t have to work for a living. We just have to be – be adored.”

They certainly do that part well.

Several days ago, I watched a series of episodes back-to-back for a limited production. I won’t give details, because what I have to say is uncomplimentary, and I don’t want to be cruel to the people who put a lot of time and effort into it. It had religious overtones, to say the least, but the presentation was one of the best parts of it – it made sense, and wasn’t shoved down the viewers’ throats. Even though my point of view on the issues is quite different, I could appreciate the point of view presented. The themes were interesting, the writing was uneven – and it contained some of the WORST acting I’ve seen in a long time. Just dreadful. There was one actor, a second lead, who managed to pull off most of it because he relied on physical tricks. But then the writers gave him a character inconsistency near the end and he broke character because the writing gave him nowhere to go. Everyone else in the piece was unremittingly AWFUL. And I know some of these people’s work – some of them are decent at their craft. It was a terrific lesson in writing and production – I just felt bad for those involved that the outcome was so below par. (No, it’s not SAVING GRACE – I’ve mentioned in detail how much I flat out loathe that show and why).

Decent night’s weight training; good yoga session this morning.

I did some logo design work and some page design work for a gift I’m putting together for registerees for The Muse Online Conference.

Good morning’s work on Good Names. I’m having fun with the racetrack sequence.

Good morning’s work on “Revenge Tangents”. Although I’ve had to accept the fact that this is not going to be a typical short, and I’ve bumped up the estimated word count. Sigh. But it’s the introduction to a bigger project, and I have to get it right.

Now, if I could only make this next chapter of Tracking Medusa work . . .

Off to Manhattan, in this disgusting weather. Metro North better have the air conditioning on for once, instead of the heat, the way they usually do in summer. I had to turn the air on by 7:30 this morning. Ick.


Good Names – 55,382 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 100

“Revenge Tangents” – 5,125 words out of est. 7,500

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5 / 7

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, sticky, yukky

An example of typical, American hypocrisy: Giant Stadium parking lot was filled with SUVs, the vehicle of choice for those who attended the Live Earth Concert.

Yeah. Sure, they got the message and are acting on it!

Right. In Al Gore’s dreams.


My errands only took an hour and a half yesterday. It only seemed like six hours, due mostly to the migraine. I reached the point several times where I wanted to chop off my head just so I’d feel better. The migraine’s gone today, thank goodness.

Came back, tried to get answers for my two articles by deadline; didn’t, so I’ll have to go without. Watched some stakes races.

Came across a job listing for a piece that’s due, well, today, so I sat down and wrote nearly 2500 words, then shot it to a Trusted Reader to vet while I kept working on it. Will do another polish, send it off today, and hope for the best. I like the premise; even if this market doesn’t want it, I’ve got other places I can send it. The characters are fun and a little goofy; I’d like to do more with them.

Wrote chapters 9 & 10 of Tracking Medusa. It felt good to get back in the mix with Gwen and Justin. Plus, they’re in Edinburgh, one of my favorite cities in the world, so I’m having fun with this section.

Nice morning’s work on Good Names. The murder finally happened!

On today’s agenda: polish the two sports articles and send them off; polish the short story and send it off; work on the restaurant article. Work on a trilogy of short articles for another publication; work on Confidential Job #1; try not to melt in the heat.


Good Names – 33,007 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33 / 100

Tracking Medusa – 23,170 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 90

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

I re-did the article for FemmeFan, and it was like reliving the whole race. Whew! Needed to take a break after that one!

Did some business/admin work, worked on some press release material that needs to go out, but spent most of the afternoon reading Debbie Macomber’s A Good Yarn, which I enjoyed.

Tried to write myself out of the corner in City of Lost and ended up in a worse one. Urgh!

Got the rest of my advance for Perfectly Plum and the latest check from Confidential Job #1. Love it when I have an excuse to go to the bank to make a deposit!

Read and commented on my friend’s next chapter. E-mailed another friend about geography of a certain cemetery in Edinburgh – turns out he’s going to use the same one in his next novel, but he’s on his way to London and will go there himself when he gets back to answer BOTH of our questions! Look out, Col – I may shoot some questions your way in the interim.

Prepping for my trip to Newport later this week. The woman who can’t swim is learning all about sailing.

Off to the theatre for day work – hopefully I can figure out a way of the mess I’ve made of City of Lost.

The new novel is poking at me. It’s got an emotional depth in areas which scare me, in a way, but that’s probably also why they intrigue me. It will be quite a change of pace after Tracking Medusa.

Re-worked the synopsis for Dixie Dust Rumors. I want to get the logline, one paragraph summary, synopsis and outline polished, change one phrase in the cover letter, and then blast them out next week (once the moon has turned, even though Mercury will be retrograde). The book is in good shape – it’s the surrounding paperwork that needs a quick fix.

I got my next set of contracts from Llewellyn – I’m turning them around immediately and getting them back in the mail before Merc goes Ret on Friday. Because from Friday until July 7, there is no contract signing for this gal!

Nice morning’s work on Good Names. I like the depth of the book, and getting so deep into the time and place. But I’m worried that I’m waiting too long for the murder.
But perhaps this is an historical novel that happens to have a murder in it instead of an historical mystery. I have to let the project pick the genre, and stay true to the story.

Good yoga session this morning, too, which always puts me in a better frame of mind for the day.

Off to catch a train – someone was stabbed on this commuter line day before yesterday, so I’m looking forward to The Hell That is Metro North even less than usual. I’m not really surprised – after all, they let rampaging drunks go up and down the train slugging people on St. Patrick’s Day and did absolutely nothing, so why would someone getting knifed be a surprise? I get cranky when someone pulls a knife on me, so for his own health – he better not.


Good Names — 27,387 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27 / 100

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

What a weekend! Rags to Riches makes history, winning the Belmont Stakes, only the third filly in its history to do so; Tanya won in 1905 and Ruthless won before the turn of the century. Silence Dogood, Enchantal, and Lauren’s Tizzy were all spectacular in their races last Friday. And the Tony Awards were last night.

Time for a nap!

No such luck – far too much to do.

I thought the Tony Awards last night was one of the best productions of this award show in years. Although, if they are going to get the full three hours, they should return the creative awards back into the main televised ceremony. It’s a slap in the face to designers not to give them the same amount of camera time as everyone else, and the design elements are integral to the success of productions. Other than that, it was a polished, professional show. And the Tonys tend to be so much more fun than the film and television award shows, because it’s a smaller, more tightly knit community, where most people are genuinely happy for each other’s successes.

I’ve had more champagne in the last 48 hours than I’ve had in the last 48 months!

So, back to reality today. Lots of writing needs to get done, along with lots of business/admin work. And it’s time to excavate my desk again – I can barely see the computer monitor.

I had a good morning’s work on Good Names. I thought I’d done all this research, but it’s not until I get into the details of each scene that I see what’s missing. So I keep a running list, and then I’ll go back and find all those make-or-break historical, sensory, and technical details that make or break a piece like this, and put it in for the second draft.

I want to get some work done on Tracking Medusa, and I’ve got to figure out a way out of the corner I wrote myself into on City of Lost. The clock is ticking on the month of June, and I have so many deadlines this month.

Got an idea for a new novel and two new plays, so they have to take a number in the queue. Scribbled notes so I won’t lose the thoughts. The material’s much darker than what I’ve done the past few months, but intriguing and I want to explore it further.

First, though, I need to finish and polish my Belmont wrap-up and get that to my editor!

Hope you have a great start to your week.


Good Names
– 26,412 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
26 / 100
Published in: on June 11, 2007 at 9:16 am  Comments (7)  

Sunday, June 9, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

She won! She won! She won!

We were a part of history yesterday. And I just got home from the celebration.

Rags to Riches beat the boys – though Curlin put up a really good fight, and that horse deserves more respect than I’ve been giving him. She beat them with skill and grace and charm, and her jockey was confident enough in her poise to take her around to the screaming, cheering crowds after her victory, where she calmly and graciously acknowledged the delight of “her people” – the way any Queen should.

It was a beautiful, wonderful, magnificent race – and you’ll just have to read my article on FemmeFan for all the details!

I’m not cashing my winning ticket – I’m keeping it!

Then, later, at the party, someone turned on the Ruffian movie, and we were all bawling our eyes out. At any racetrack, if you talk to the old timers, everyone gets emotional at the mention of Ruffian. She had more impact, in many ways that Seabiscuit or Barbaro. And she’s buried in the infield of Belmont Park – she must have been smiling down yesterday.

What a fabulous day. It was a good race day, all the way around – great racing, and, again, more wins than losses for my particular picks. But Rags to Riches was the best. And I hope they savour this instead of only focusing towards “what’s next”. She made history.

The last filly to win the Belmont Stakes was Tanya in 1905, the year that particular track opened (although this was the 139th running of the actual Belmont Stakes).

My friend from England had to cancel his trip, so that brunch was cancelled, but I’m going to another one (and I get to do my laundry). Since they won’t replaced the machines in the basement that have been submerged under sludge and sewage twice now, merely rinsed them out, I will do my laundry elsewhere. As a friend says, “You don’t want cholera laundry.”

Then it’s back here in the afternoon to change and go to the Tony Awards Party. And somewhere, in all that, I have to do my wrap-up article. And read my friend’s newest chapters for comment.

Hopefully, I won’t need tomorrow as a full recovery day – and I can get some writing done. Because I’ve also got to do more work on the upcoming NHL draft and America’s Cup!

Have a great day!


Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 7:55 am  Comments (3)