Fri. Jan. 6, 2023: Deep in That Mars Retrograde Energy

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Friday, January 6, 2023

Full Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Rainy with temperatures dropping

Yesterday was kind of all over the place.

Meditation was canceled. I mailed some bills, did a big grocery shop, picked up books at the library, got more ink for the inkjet printer.

Came home, unpacked everything, wrote my reviews, submitted the reviews and the invoice, and was paid within ten minutes (love that). I even got a holiday bonus! Was assigned my next two books for review.

Makes me feel better about the lack of script coverages in my queue lately.

Did the social media rounds to promote Episode 48 of Legerdemain.

Was annoyed by an email with the subject line saying: “Set New Year’s Resolutions If You Want to Fail.”

My response to that is “fuck you.”

Resolutions work for me. If they don’t work for others, fine. But don’t tell people that it makes failure the only option.

This is from an organization (not local) from whom I took a few online courses when I first moved here, but they have a very cliquish system, where unless you pay to be part of their group and agree to work within their system, you’re excluded.

No, thanks. I believe I will unsubscribe to their mailings and constant invites to buy in. I got a few good things out the work with them that set me off some interesting paths, but this “do it OUR way, it’s the RIGHT way” is pretty fucked up.

Buh-bye.

I unsubscribed from a boatload of nonprofit mailing lists at the end of the year, and continue to do so as I wade through the ridiculous amount of email that comes in every day. When the day before New Year’s, I opened my email to find almost all of it demands for money, I just hit unsubscribe, over and over again. I have told every nonprofit to whom I give money that they get ONE ask per year. Segment your fucking mailing lists (it’s not hard, I did it for clients for years) or lose any future support.

Done.

I rarely unsubscribe from author newsletters unless the work no longer works for me (such as the author starting to use “witch” as a derogatory term toward women, or the work moving toward right-wing values). Even if I don’t get to read the newsletter for a few weeks, the metrics and numbers matter, so I try to open it, even if I have to read it later. In fact, I tend to increase sign-ups to author newsletters, because it’s a way to support them.

Read something online that made me angry. Someone made a series of dumbass decisions that ended in a tragedy, and then came online wanting to be told she did the right thing (when she did not). Of course, people told her she did. And yes, she knew better. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knew better. The choices were made out of selfishness (which is different than self-care or self-preservation) and now she pretends to be surprised and heartbroken at the outcome, and wants reassurance that she did “the best she could” (when she did not). The universe offered her a beautiful gift; she spit in its face and destroyed it. And now feigns surprise that her actions had fatal consequences. I have zero sympathy for her. Mostly disgust. Trying to find compassion, but so far haven’t succeeded.

I was definitely deep in the Mars retrograde energy yesterday.

I set up ornament hospital in the afternoon and fixed a bunch of stuff, since it has to start getting boxed up for the year again.

Willa helped.

Hot glue and a helpful cat. You can imagine.

She’s smart enough and I’m careful enough that there was no hot glue on the cat. But it meant everything took longer than it might have otherwise.

The 365 Women a Year Playwriting Project is no more, which is both frustrating and saddening, after writing ten plays with them, and then being in limbo last year. I need to remember the good work that project launched, instead of being frustrated with the now of it.

I gave myself the afternoon off yesterday. I worked out, in my head, the next couple of sections of the screenplay (I’ve come almost to the end of my notes).

I had the sudden urge to visit a particular thrift store in the afternoon. The storm hadn’t started yet, so I nipped out and over. I found a small leather trunk with a curved top, lined inside with burgundy fabric.  It’s delightful. I’m so happy I found it. No idea what I will put in it yet, or where I’ll put it, but I’m glad I found it. One of the few bright spots in an otherwise frustrating day.

I finished reading a Kindle book where the premise was good, but the execution/structure/worldbuilding were weak and inconsistent. I think I need to make a list of the digital books that don’t work for me, so I can delete them from the Kindle, but not risk buying them again. I don’t return digital books; that’s a lousy thing to do to an author. I bought it; if I don’t like it, it’s on me.

We enjoyed the last night of the Yuletide decorations. Today, we start taking them down (although it will probably take the whole weekend).

Didn’t sleep well last night, and it wasn’t Charlotte’s fault (for once). I woke up around 1:30 and just couldn’t get back to sleep. To say I am at less than my best today is an understatement.

I started trying to figure out how to channel my anger about consequences for the needless suffering the dumbass caused, transformed into fiction. I came up with the premise and the catalyst, but everything I came up with as a way for the protagonist to make it right is either trite or too easy. This morning, I came up with an idea to up the protagonist’s stakes and pain. It will take a few weeks to figure it out so I can write it, and it may not ever be something that can go out into the world, but it will channel the anger, and maybe turn it into something that has some sort of meaning, at least for me. Better than letting it fester.

Looking at the situation around the Speaker of the House votes is both frustrating and somewhat ironically funny. The wanna-be had lost the 11th vote by the time I went to bed. First of all, he and a good portion of the other GOP members sitting there are insurrectionists and belong in prison, not Congress. Second, I would love it if the Dems held firm throughout, and I’m pleased that they have so far, but I’m not hopeful.

This has been rather a downer of a post, hasn’t it? Not the best way to end the holiday season and the week.

Let’s look at some good stuff, shall we, and end the week and the post on a better note?

Packing up the decorations will take time and care. The place will look bare, but I’m kind of looking forward to it as a rest period before spring starts things up again. I need to start ordering seeds soon, and I put in a Chewy order yesterday, because those little furballs need to be fed properly.

I’m going to take breaks in the packing up with writing over the weekend, working on Legerdemain, ANGEL HUNT, and the screenplay. I want/need to start uploading and scheduling the ANGEL HUNT episodes next week, and get that promotional campaign going.

Tonight, I will make bouillabaisse in the Dutch oven. Tomorrow, I’m making the Moosewood Mac & Cheese again, and on Sunday, I will make turkey meatloaf. We are still up to our eyeballs in rum cake and stollen.

I will also carve out some extra time to sit in meditation and shake off the anger and frustration that have built up lately. I will get back to the stillness and start over, in order to create a better week next week.

So much for the intent of easing into the year with grace, huh? I managed at the beginning of the week, but then things deteriorated. I will work to do better next week.

Have a good weekend, my friends.

Wed. December 21, 2022: Blessed Solstice (and Upcoming Holidays)

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Day before dark moon

Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and cold

Yesterday, I did some more cookie deliveries and uploaded a few things at the library. I picked up a couple of last minute items, and now I just have to wrap.

There are a couple more cookie platters I want to give out, but I haven’t been able to reach the people, so it might be next week.

I might not have needed that extra batch of oatmeal currant cookies, but we’ll eat them!

I started playing with one of the new ideas, to see if it will be feasible. Wrote about 1600 words yesterday and nearly 1000 words so far this morning. It relieves the stress of the deadlined projects, and it’s in longhand.

I did a few more drafts of “Comfort, Then Joy” and another two drafts this morning. It’s going in the newsletter, and, hopefully, the newsletter will go out while I’m at the library, without too many errors!

I’m doing a grocery shop and then I’m in.

It’s Winter Solstice today, so I’ll do my ritual of sitting as it gets dark, and moving around the house, putting on all the lights and candles. I’ll also take the big iron cauldron out on the back balcony and burn greens from last Solstice.

Dinner tonight is Cornish Hen, and we’ll use the stock I’ll make later in the Coq Au Vin on Sunday.

It’s the day before dark moon, my lowest energy day of the month, but too bad for me. I’m back on iron supplements, because the anemia is rearing its head again. There’s still more decorating to get done before tonight, and we switched over from flannel sheets to fleece.

I should have gone to the Laundromat first thing, but it was 8 degrees. It’ll be in the 40s tomorrow, so I’ll go then, even though it’s supposed to be a mix of snow and rain.

This will probably be the last post I do until sometime next week — the laptop is still in computer hospital.

I wish you a joyful and peaceful Chanukah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and everything else you celebrate.

Published in: on December 21, 2022 at 10:47 am  Comments (6)  

Thurs. Dec. 15, 2022: Incoming Snow (Quick Update)

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Waning Moon

Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Storm coming in

This will be quick. I’m uploading at the library, and the storm is coming in faster than predicted.

Yesterday went better than expected: sent off the work at the library. Put in the claim to get the computer fixed and it went right through and I got the paperwork. I will pack it up. I was going to send it off today, but I will wait until the storm is over. I don’t want it sitting in a truck in a snowdrift.

Came home. Turned around 3 more scripts and wrote the book review, which I just sent off from the library this morning.

I was going to do cookie deliveries this morning, but with the storm coming in, I popped over to the library, and I’m going to pick up some wine on my way home, and that’s it. The storm starts today, and won’t end until sometime on Saturday. The town has sent out a warning to expect everything shut down all day tomorrow.

So it will be next week sometime before I post here again, when I can get to the library. I will check in on social media as I can, although we’ve been warned to expect power and internet outages.

Take care and stay safe.

Guess my vacation starts early.

I intend to lie on the sofa reading books and watching the snow tomorrow.

Published in: on December 15, 2022 at 10:20 am  Comments (2)  

Thurs. Nov. 17, 2022: And More Snow

image courtesy of Michael Gaida via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Snowy and cold

Between the time I wrote the garden post a few minutes ago and the time I wrote this, it started snowing again. I wonder how much we’ll get today? Guess I’m not going to the library to pick up all those books that came in!

Yesterday was a busy day. I got a “yes” from a new-to-me editor for an article I pitched. I have to go over the contract terms. The pay is much lower than I expected, which is already a red flag, but I would like to have something in this particular publication, so it may be a one-and-done for me.

Heard back from a place I pitched to write audio content, probably about six to eight months ago. They want me to take an unpaid test, which means they never read my cover letter or looked at my samples. Bite me, assholes. And yes, they go on The List.

After I got my words in for THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH yesterday, I wrote a post of Ink-Dipped Advice about the myth of work-life balance, and how it’s all one life. You can read it here.

I did the social media rounds. I notice I’m avoiding Cohost, which is a pretty good indicator that I need to delete my account.

In the afternoon, I turned around three scripts, got some more to round out the rest of the week (too many, but I will deal), and got the book review out. I was paid for the last two weeks of coverage, and that went into the bank.

I started fighting with Charlotte and Tessa at 2:30 this morning, so I didn’t get much sleep between that, and when I finally got up a little after 6. I didn’t do my Nano words first thing today; I will do those after meditation and  breakfast, which pushes back the whole day a few hours.

Meditation was good. Between meditation and soup class on Zoom, Charlotte is in heaven.

I either have to turn around three scripts today and two tomorrow, or two today and three tomorrow. I’d rather do more today and less tomorrow, and get my weekend going.

Off to meditation now. The next episode of Legerdemain goes live today! Enjoy!

Published in: on November 17, 2022 at 8:56 am  Comments (2)  

Thurs. Oct. 20, 2022: An Interesting Mystery Dropped Into My Lap

image courtesy of Julia via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Waning Moon

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

A little cloudy and cold

The latest on the garden is up on Gratitude and Growth.

A piece on expanding the definition of freelancer is up over on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Yesterday was basically a day off writing and writing-related work. I blogged, took care of some email, did the social media rounds, noodled with the notes Paula gave me on my plays. They have to go out the door soon. I can’t waste any time.

But by mid- morning, we were out the door. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and it was absolutely beautiful to be out and about.

After the first errand, I had a feeling we should stop at the local thrift store. I’ve been looking for another jewelry box to stack on top of the ones I have, a magazine rack for the unread magazines before I file or pass on the read ones, and, of course, more bookcases. Always more bookcases.

All of those items were at this thrift store today, along with another glass chimney for the pillar candles. The magazine rack, in particular, is a piece I fell in love with. Maple, beautifully made.

All for a very low price.

Loaded the car and headed for another store that was between the thrift store and home, to pick up some basic supplies like project binders, divider sheets, and I found my great, big desk blotter calendar for sale at 1/3 of the price I’ve seen it elsewhere.

We unloaded everything at home, and then headed down to Pittsfield, where we had a series of stores on the list to visit. We batch shop when we go down there. The candle store, the kitchen store, the bookstore, etc. I’m almost finished with my personal journal book and had to buy a new one – the 5th journal book for this year. I also bought 4 books for next year, and they are gorgeous.

It was after 2 by the time we got home and unloaded. So I decided to give myself the day off script coverage. There hasn’t been much coming in, and my next piece isn’t due until Friday, so rather than pressuring myself, I gave myself the day off.

I cleaned and polished the jewelry box and the magazine rack. I found a maker’s mark on the magazine rack that said “George B. Bent, Gardner MA.” I did a quick look up and discovered the company was in business from 1946 to 1990, but little else except a note about a fire at some point.

I did a little more digging. Turns out Gardner was known as “Chair City” for its furniture making. There was also a furniture company called “S Bent” in business from 1867 to 2001.

George was the brother of the current “S” Bent when he started his own company.

There’s a play in there somewhere. I need to do more digging.

Anyway, researching the piece, I found a high-end furniture company selling a similar one for– $599. As in nearly six HUNDRED dollars. I did not pay that much at the thrift store. There’s another similar piece on eBay for $75. Still far more than I paid.

I found the Gardner Museum, and emailed them for more information. The was also a strong theatre community there at one point, and I want to know more about them, too.

I have a feeling there is a trip to Gardner in my future in the spring.

An old family friend got in touch in the afternoon. We have not seen her since pre-plague. She wondered if she could come up and visit tomorrow, and we said sure.

Which means I have to make up for all the work I didn’t get done yesterday AND work ahead to do everything for tomorrow. Plus make the food and clean the house.

That’s the way it goes sometimes. Good thing it was a light coverage week!

I finished unpacking the rest of the stuff we brought up from storage. I realized I forgot to buy a tarp and another rolly cart yesterday, but my mom said she didn’t see any rolly carts. We’ll deal.

My back is bothering me again, from all the hauling stuff around yesterday. I also have to check the paint/primer situation. The two bookcases still need some TLC, which includes new paint. I have to see if I have any, or need to buy it. I thought I had some primer, but I might have used it. Since it will be in the 60’s this weekend, I can paint.

I’m looking forward to meditation again. I have to make another trip to the grocery store. I decided I’ll make up another batch of black bean soup, and serve it with ciabatta. I know our friend loves my devilled eggs, so I’ll make some of that, and more mousse. Maybe lemon instead of chocolate? That might balance better with the eggs and the soup. Keep it simple, right?

And try not to hurt my back any more with the cleaning.

Have a good one!

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. Direct link here. Enjoy!

Tues. Oct. 11, 2022: Serial Musings, Creative Inspiration, and Dishes

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Waning Moon

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Pluto direct as of Oct. 8

Cloudy and cold. Second frost.

I started out stressed on Friday, but then calmed down. As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I hoped to get an oil change, but had to schedule it for yesterday instead.

I came home, got some work done, had trouble logging into Ello, which bothered me, since that platform has one of the highest metrics for me.

I picked up some books at the library, swung by the post office to mail some cards and bills, picked up some wine at the liquor store, filled the gas tank.

I jumped in the shower when I got home, and I thought, “what if I just don’t worry about everything that still has to be done today? What if I just get it done without the worry?” And that made things flow better.

I worked on script coverages up until the time I had to get dressed and go to the art opening. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t stay long; I made sure my colleagues knew I was there and that I thought they did a great job; I had a short conversation with the artist; I looked at the art five or six times, seeing something new each time. And then I left, as it got more crowded. The turnout was good, which is always heartening.

Home, made fish and chips for dinner, then finished the script coverages, which took until nearly 10 PM. But I made my goal and a little over this week. But I was tired.

Overslept on Saturday morning, after weird dreams.

I did a lot of promotion for the Free Vella Binge days. I promoted my serial, and I also read a lot of other writers’ serials, and it was a lot of fun. I hope they do a binge week a few months down the line again. Today is the final day of the binge – which means you can even read the episode dropping today, Episode 23.

It also means I have to start a different type of promo as of tomorrow.

And I’m behind on the Topic Workbook promos, which have to get done, since they pay at least one of my bills per month!

I wrote more on the next LEGERDEMAIN episodes – about 3K, and it felt good. This arc is taking some interesting twists and turns for me as the writer, even as I sort of stick to the general outline I made for the arc.

A character started talking to me. She’s kind of a cross between Marion Ravenwood and Morticia Adams, and I kind of love her. I listened to her for awhile and made some notes. Where I originally planned to start turns out to be further into the piece. My character told me the action starts IN an action scene earlier. So I listened.

I think this will be a short serial, to dip my toe into the waters of Substack. I have some questions to ask them about pricing, and if one can put bundling serials into the tiered pricing system. It’s a combination of action, magic, fantasy. With, of course, some humor. The voice is VERY different from LEGERDEMAIN.

Anyway, the series is called Vixen’s Hollow, and this first “season” is called THE CUNNING ONE. If I stick to the outline, it will be 12-20K. That way, I can dip my toe in while prepping EARTH BRIDE (which needs a fuckton more revision than ANGEL HUNT) and developing REP. While keeping LEGERDEMAIN going on over at Vella, as long as the metrics for work it, and also putting ANGEL HUNT up there in January.

Then, by midyear next year, I’ll have enough data and metrics to compare, contrast, and see if either platform grows the way I need it to grow for this to be viable on both financial and creative levels. And can make informed decisions.

While I’m juggling the other prose, script, and business writing. I think it’s do-able, if I stay focused, and if everything is outlined properly. Then, in each project’s time slot, I drop down and work. Hit my quota, take a quick break to clear my head, and move on.

We also did some more decorating on Saturday, putting up the autumn lights (which is always a bigger PITA than I’d like) on the front porch, in the living room, and in the kitchen. I wanted to wait to do the stair lights until after the storage run.

Sunday morning, we were up at 4:30, and on the road by 6, even though I had to scrape frost off the windows. It’s our first frost, which means the colors will begin to pop soon.

The drive to the Cape wasn’t bad at all, in spite of some sun glare for a bit. There wasn’t much traffic, and it was pretty to see where the colors are throughout the state. Mid-state has the strongest color now.

We made it in 3 ½ hours instead of 4, and spent about an hour in the storage unit, trying to organize and rearrange what shifted. We still haven’t found the photos and scrapbooks from our trips, and I’ll have to take another look at spring’s trip. I also forgot the shepherd’s pie dishes, which annoys me, and I didn’t have the energy to move enough boxes to get to the books I wanted.

But we brought back teapots, my grandmother’s china, the snowman china, lots of pictures and a couple of paintings, more sewing baskets, my wardrobe kit (which I will clean out and make functional for current project life), plant pots, and some miscellaneous stuff. It was a full car.

We stopped at a favorite store, which has things I haven’t yet been able to source here, and stocked up.

We were back on the road  a little after 11. We hit a bad pocket of traffic from Worcester to Sturbridge, but then, even though it was busy, traffic moved. We stopped at Adams Fresh Market for things like pizza, bread, and pie (their bakery is wonderful), and filled the tank up the street at Cumberland Farms. The gas was 4 cents more a gallon on Sunday than it was on Friday, when I filled the tank in preparation for the trip.

We were home with the car unloaded by 3:30, and kind of tired, even though it was a much less stressful day than I expected. Ate pizza, unwrapped some of the pictures. Some we will hang up; others we will put aside and maybe switch out, if we get tired of what’s up on the walls.

So tired, I went to bed at 7:30 at night. Slept until midnight. Woke up because my hip hurt. Moved to the bed in the sewing room and slept until the alarm went off at 6. Weird dreams, including that my laptop was stolen, with the flash drive holding the serials. I guess I better back it up on the external hard drive, too.

Tessa was beside herself, claiming we were starving them to death.

Fed the beasts, fed myself, pulled it together and was out the door and at the garage by 8 for my oil change appointment.

I’d brought CAST IRON MURDER with me, to work on the multi-colored draft, and got a couple of chapters done while I waited. The change was easy-peasey, reasonably priced, and they always do right by me. The car is purring like a contented cat.

Came home and started unpacking/washing china. Of course, now we have to figure out where to put it. And now, in addition to working on a flash fiction idea about a haunted doorbell, I want to write another about dead ladies’ china. Because ideas come in batches, like cookies.

Some of the pieces could go into the dishwasher, but most of the older, fragile, bone china needed to be handwashed and set out on the mats to air dry, then get wiped.

Of course, I don’t have a place to put some of it, although I think I’ve come up with a temporary solution that involved buying another rolly cart for the shelf full of tea and chocolate, and then putting some of the dishes up there. Until I can get a china cabinet that will fit into one of the corners in the living room or my office.

Because there are still two boxes of china that need to come up in spring. And who knows how  much I’ll rescue out of thrift shops over the winter?

While batches of china dried, I did Kindle Vella promotion and finished the first draft of the first episode of THE CUNNING ONE. It needs some tweaks, but the bones are good.

One of the things I noticed while reading serial episodes is that many of them are long, because the author is simply posting book-length chapters in preparation for the book’s later release. I’m intentionally keeping the episodes shorter and crisper than I would for a book because serial structure is different from book structure. It’s not just a bunch of chapters slapped up there, one at a time.

LEGERDEMAIN’S sometimes run longer than I would like, although if we get up to 1700 words, I try to break it down and restructure it. I can’t always do that without losing the rhythm, but I try, and as I write forward, in this second arc, I’m much more aware of structure as I write, rather than writing and then revising to fit structure.

ANGEL HUNT was originally created as a serial, then opened out as an (unfinished) novel, and now being adapted back into a serial. The episodes are short and tight, shorter than the original serial episodes. But it fits the rhythm.

THE CUNNING ONE, at least so far, is a little longer than ANGEL HUNT’s, but still less than LEGERDEMAIN. I want to keep the episodes between 900-1100 words, not more than 1200.

EARTH BRIDE’s will be more complicated, since that was originally written as a novel, and the chapters run long even for my usual chapter lengths. I have a feeling those will run around 1500 words each.

No idea about REP yet. Since it’s a science fiction comedy, probably short, precise chapters that build in comedic beats and then pay off.

Anyway, in addition to that, I did some noodling on two Christmas story ideas, which I need to draft before November. One is aimed at the newsletter subscribers; the other will go up on Ko-fi. My friend Chaz Brenchley has a really cool piece called HITHER that he releases a page at a time over there. You can read HITHER here (and buy Chaz a coffee).

We’re all experimenting across formats, trying to earn a living practicing our craft.

I tidied up some of the text on the Legerdemain site yesterday afternoon, too. I will work on the city’s history and the People content, and hope to get them up this week. I want to start promoting the site.

Slept decently last night, although, again, I had the dream that my laptop was stolen with the serial flash drive in it. Note to self: back up serial flash drive on external hard drive AND make sure the flash drives are out of the laptop and put away at night, or when away for extended times.

Back to the page; there’s a lot that has to get done this week. The To Do lists I made the last two weeks only depress me. But I have a lot that has to get done. So I better get to it, huh?

Anyway, Episode 23 drops today for LEGERDEMAIN, and I hope you enjoy it. The direct link to the series is here.

Mon. Oct. 10, 2022: Intent for the Week — Keep on Keeping On

image courtesy of Kosta via pixabay.com

I’m taking the holiday and honoring Indiginous People’s Day, and trying to ignore the little voice telling me all the things I “should” be doing.

All told, last week trucked along (pun intented per photo above) pretty well, on multiple levels, even though I didn’t get everything done for which I’d hoped. But that’s my normal.

This week, I want to focus on the work, balance it with client work, and keep on an even keel. So that’s the aim, and let’s hope I’m not derailed.

What’s your intent?

Published in: on October 10, 2022 at 10:58 am  Comments (2)  

Wed. Oct. 5, 2022: Battling the Grumpies

image coourtesy of Alexa via pixabay.com

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Rainy and mild

Yesterday was not the productive day for which I hoped, and which I needed. On the plus side, I did another draft of “After Arden” and polished, then submitted it. I got a lovely acknowledgement back. Fingers crossed it’s what they’re looking for.

I promoted LEGERDEMAIN all the places it needs promoting, including in some of the FB Vella groups, and promoted some other authors’ serials in return. Because if it’s not reciprocal, there’s no point. And I’m getting ready to clean a whole lot of non-reciprocal “authors” out of my Twitter feed.

I might be dumping Twitter anyway; we thought we were done with the Elon Musk buying it debacle, but he’s trying again. If he does, I’m out. I would miss it terribly (especially because I’m on it TOO MUCH and waste too much time there), but he’s scum and will run it into the ground.

In the afternoon, I turned around three coverages. I have 9 more to turn around this week. Hopefully, I can then take the Monday holiday, because I need it.

I felt grumpy and irritable all day, which was not conducive to getting good work done. Sometimes, one just has those days. I did manage to run one big errand, and I was pleased to see that 75% of those out and about wore masks.

This morning, I have a big grocery shop to do, along with trying to get some writing done. Then, I have a client coming in for a consult (one of the few allowed into the home office). Then, it’s 3 scripts to cover. I also have to do a library run, along with everything else.

Tomorrow and Friday, I have to dig into the writing and script coverage. We might do a storage run this weekend, depending on the weather. I want to get it out of the way. We really should do two runs, but I don’t know if I have the stamina.

I’m also toying with experimenting with changing up my schedule to be more aligned with my energy levels. The best schedule for me is to sleep in the afternoons and work in the late night/early morning hours. If I go completely asynchronous, I can play with that. Sleep from 11 AM to 5 PM. Winter, when it’s dark and energy costs are high, is probably not the best time to experiment with that. Or maybe it is. I’ll probably wait until January or February to try it. Since I’m basically planning to isolate/hibernate for the winter anyway, it might make sense to try it then.

But, right now, I need to earn the money to pay the additional bills this month, and try to build a bit of a cushion. While juggling the creative work, because I can’t drop the ball on that. AND having some fun in there, too, because when I deny myself fun, I just resent everything else and don’t do my best work.

Day by day. That’s the best we can do. Today will be a little scattered, but hopefully, tomorrow and Friday, I can dig down with deep focus.

Have a good one.

Published in: on October 5, 2022 at 7:11 am  Comments Off on Wed. Oct. 5, 2022: Battling the Grumpies  
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Mon. Oct. 3, 2022: Intent for the Week — Write

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That I intend to write this week isn’t a surprise; writing is both my business and my passion. But there are various projects that need my attention, and therefore, I am structuring my workday a little differently this week.

I have to be able to flow between stage play, radio play, serial, and other prose. Which means protecting my creative energy and time is key.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on October 3, 2022 at 6:46 am  Comments Off on Mon. Oct. 3, 2022: Intent for the Week — Write  

Thurs. Sept. 29, 2022: Choices

image courtesy of Arek Socha via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Partly sunny and cool

The latest on the garden is over on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday morning, I set up a Substack account and subscribed to some material. I will read for a few weeks/months, to get an idea of the platform and how it can be used.

Found out about some great submission calls. Hopefully, I can fulfill them.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by opportunities and having trouble prioritizing them. It shouldn’t be difficult. The opportunity needs to meet the following criteria:

–Does it pay the bills? Because writing – yes, even fiction and plays – is my BUSINESS, not my hobby.

–Does it present an opportunity for professional growth?

–Does it challenge/stretch me creatively?

–What are the long-term benefits compared to the short-term benefits?

Chasing something because it’s new and shiny and interesting does not build a career. Finishing work and making sure it pays its way, while growing in the process, builds a career.

I drafted an episode of Legerdemain (I wanted to draft two, but that didn’t happen). I stayed current on the marketing game, posted on LinkedIn, made the social media rounds, slogged through some email. In the afternoon, I turned around three script coverages and grabbed a big coverage I will do today and tomorrow, along with a couple of smaller ones, that should get me closer to where I need to be this pay period.

I started reading the next book for review (the review is due tomorrow). Good thing I read fast.

I prepped for this morning Working Artists Group session.

Watching Hurricane Ian destroy Florida is horrifying.

DeSantis, who voted against Hurricane Sandy aid to blue states, should be forced to step down as Florida gets aid. That needs to be the tradeoff. You vote against aid? When you then ask for it for your state, you have to step aside. The aid should go to the people who need it, but the politicians cannot be allowed to remain in office when they’re hypocrites.

I had two weird dreams last night. One was very personal, and I completely understand the message, but it made me very sad. It will keep me sad as I process it. The other dream had something to do with time travel in New Orleans, and I have no idea what that was about.

Online Meditation group this morning. Then, I just have time to gulp down breakfast before I head off to the Working Group, and there’s the morning gone. This afternoon, I have a lot of coverage to do, and to finish the book for review.

It is unlikely I will draft anything for Legerdemain today, which puts more pressure on tomorrow and the weekend.

Episode 20 of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it.

Peace, friends, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Published in: on September 29, 2022 at 7:01 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 29, 2022: Choices  
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Tues. Sept. 13, 2022: Fun With Friends

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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury

Cloudy and humid

I completely forgot to post an intention for the week yesterday; I knew I’d scheduled something to post, and it was for the GDR site, not this one. Oops.

Friday and Saturday were about getting the house ready for guests, and cooking ahead somewhat (making the potato salad and the curried chicken salad and the black bean soup, etc.). Sunday morning, I put the chicken in the crockpot and made the devilled eggs.

My friends arrived a little before 11. We got them settled, and then I drove them around for the basic tour of the town, ending up at Windsor Lake. In the afternoon, we just caught up chatting and decided what to do on Monday. We ate and yakked and had a good time.

Tessa remembered one of my friends from his trips to the Cape. It was funny, because at first she didn’t, until she did. Charlotte and Willa had never met either of them. Willa was friendly, but Charlotte was anxious she was being given away, and hid most of the time.

We were up early on Monday, had a leisurely breakfast, and then headed out. I showed them the library (the building is beautiful) and then we spent the rest of the morning at MassMOCA. The space is enormous, and there’s only so much you can see before the brain fries.

But we saw Kellie Rae Adams’s very intense installation “Forever in Your Debt” which was just amazing. There was also an exhibit of Louse Bourgeois marble and metal sculptures I’d never seen before, Laurie Anderson’s fascinating, personal pieces,  Gunnar Schoenbeck’s musical art, Richard Nielsen’s set of 48 masked paintings, a group exhibit of Ceramics in the Expanded Field, and a kind of graffiti/pop art/neon set of rooms.

It was all fascinating. I often wonder how different the story I receive from these pieces is from the story the artist told. It’s such an education in different ways of telling stories that don’t all rely on words on pages, and how different textures, colors, and juxtapositions stimulate responses.

Definitely an inspiration to keep experimenting with different types of storytelling.

We came home for lunch, and then headed down to Lenox to The Mount (Edith Wharton’s home) to walk the grounds, visit the sculpture installation, and my favorite, the sunken garden. We had tea on the terrace and headed back. It was hotter and more humid than I’d expected.

More snacks, more cooking, dinner, and talking.

Charlotte got a little more comfortable as time went on, but I think she needed a couple more days to really make friends.

Charlotte woke me up at 3:15 this morning to let me know it was raining, so I could put the bucket out on the porch under the leak (it’s on the landlord’s list). Her work was done and she went back to sleep, but I was up. For a while there, it monsooned, but it tapered off.

I made Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and they got back on the road by about 8:30, in case the rain slowed them down.

It was a good visit with good friends with whom I have a long history of laughter and creativity.

Stripped the beds and prepared the laundry. I have to get back to work now, and get some stuff done today.

We’ll be out of the house mid-morning tomorrow, because my mom gets Covid Shot #5.

Episode 15 of LEGERDEMAIN drops today; I hope you enjoy it.

Have a good one!

Published in: on September 13, 2022 at 9:31 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 13, 2022: Fun With Friends  
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Fri. Sept. 2, 2022: Hello, Mr. Fireman

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Friday, Sept. 2, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Sunny and cool

Finally, some cooler weather! Although it doesn’t smell like autumn yet.

I read a friend’s rewrite of her play yesterday and it was wonderful! I’m so excited for her. And I got my ballot down to City Hall and left it in the ballot box. So we’ve both voted in next week’s primaries.

Well, we had some excitement here yesterday. Yes, that was sarcasm.

I was working on the computer when I smelled something like burned toast. I got up to see if one of the burners was on, or if the toaster or the microwave or the coffee machine was doing something funky. Nope.

Then I wondered if I was having a stroke.

But I felt fine. Ish.

The fire alarms started going off, with their beeping, and the weird, robotic voice going, “Fire! Fire! Fire!”

They do that pretty regularly, but we could smell smoke.

A minute later, the next-door neighbor pounded on the door saying, “Get out! It’s real! The old lady downstairs has a kitchen fire!”

We grabbed the cats and stuffed them into their crates. Willa ran and hid, but when my mom called for her, she came out, and I grabbed her and popped her into her crate. I grabbed the computer, my bag of flash drives, and my purse, forgetting my passport and my phone. My  mom had the backpack where we keep the important papers, her phone, her purse. She took Willa. I had Tessa and Charlotte, and we went downstairs and sat on the curb.

The firemen were there by then, and the neighbor had gotten the woman and her walker out of the apartment, his roommates had gotten out with the dog, and the other downstairs neighbor had evacuated along with her kid (the other kid was in school).

It wasn’t bad; the woman had put something in the microwave to heat up, and, for some reason, it caught fire. It was mostly smoke. The firemen brought in big fans to clear everything out. No one was hurt. Nothing was destroyed except the microwave and the poor woman’s lunch. She was so embarrassed. I told her not to worry; it was more important that she was okay.

Tessa Was Not Amused. She sat in her crate with her back to the world, mumbling and threatening revenge. Charlotte and Willa, however, reveled in the extra attention. Everyone stopped by to tell them how pretty they were (Charlotte was purring by then). People driving by actually stopped and got out of their cars to admire them.

The firemen did a walkthrough of the apartments to make sure everything was fine, and up we went. The apartment smelled a little rank, but the windows were open, and I’d just gotten new incense in cedarwood and jasmine, so that went right on the burner, and soon it was back to rights.

We let the cats out of their crates and they ran around checking on everything. Tessa Was in A Mood, hissing and swiping at everyone, eating a whole bowl of food, and then not having anything to do with anyone until this morning.

The adrenalin crash wasn’t pretty, but I managed to cover two scripts (I needed to do three, but I’m still okay, deadline-wise. But not  a whole lot got done.

It was a good test run. We’re going to have to run drills to pack the cats faster. Willa and Charlotte’s crates were handy, but Tessa’s had been stored in a place that took too much time to reach, so that will be adjusted. We have to be efficient about packing up what we need and getting out in under three minutes. I think this time, we took six, and that’s too long. We were lucky; it could have been a lot worse, and now we know what we need to adjust for future emergencies.

I started the next book for review, which is kind of meh. Calls itself a thriller, but the pace is slow and the male protagonist falls into the Too Stupid To Live category. Never a good sign when I’m rooting for the protagonist to get murdered.

Started panicking in the evening when I had a sore throat, worrying I’d come down with the plague, and then remembered we’d had a fire and the apartment was filled with smoke. Took some slippery elm and felt better.

Slept well until about 3 AM, then had trouble falling back to sleep. I was restless, even though I wasn’t fretting. But I did fall asleep, and didn’t wake up until after 7, so it’s been a slow start.

I have to run some errands this morning. We didn’t have a chance to swap out to September fabrics (everything is still very summery) or change the wreath on the door, so that has to happen today. And I have to cover three scripts. I’d hoped to start my holiday weekend today, but no such luck.

At least it should be a good weekend. I plan to spend a lot of time resting and doing inner work. Maybe some work on LEGERDEMAIN. Maybe start recovering the kitchen chairs (which is the next project on the list).

Have a good one, and enjoy the holiday!

Published in: on September 2, 2022 at 8:16 am  Comments (2)  

Wed. Aug. 31, 2022: Inspection Day

image courtesy of Graphics Mama Team via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Partly sunny, still humid, a little cooler

I was up early yesterday morning, doing the final wipe on the granite countertops, on the stainless steel fridge and dishwasher, wiping the mirrors. The cats trailed along after me, letting me know when I missed a spot.

The inspector and the landlord were here promptly, and the landlord said he was delighted by what we’d done with the place (it was the first time he’d been inside since we moved in). The inspector seemed surprised that I actually talked to him and was glad to see him. So I’m glad about that. Charlotte captivated them both, and had them wrapped around her dainty paw in seconds. Tessa and Willa ignored them.

The inspection of the whole place just took about 15 minutes. I mean, we keep it in good shape, the landlord had it in good shape when we moved in. There are a few little things he’s going to take care of, but nothing major.

For some reason, we were exhausted after (maybe because we spent four days getting the place ready, rearranging things we’d planned to take care of for months).

The doctor’s office phoned and asked if my mom could come in earlier for her appointment than originally scheduled, so we got in the car and drove over, and she had her appointment.

I spent the afternoon writing up the analysis of the novel-with-and-eye-to-adaptation and sent it off.

I put a hand-stitched double wedding ring quilt on the bed that I bought in Plymouth, MA years ago, but haven’t really used. However, Charlotte just adores it. She knows she looks gorgeous on it, and takes full advantage.

But that was pretty much the day. This morning, they are fixing something downstairs and the water if off (not fun, especially since there was no warning).

We might head out to the fabric store this morning. I have ideas for a lap quilt I want to make for the winter, and there’s a sale. I have several scripts to turn around today (end of the month, always busy), some promotion to do on the LEGERDEMAIN episode that dropped yesterday, but most of today will be about script coverage. Tomorrow, I get back to work on the LEGERDEMAIN revisions, so the last episodes in the first large arc can be uploaded and scheduled before the holiday weekend. I’m also working on the Fearless Ink postcard that needs to go out a week or two after the holiday.

Next week, I’m also going to do a social media clear out, going through the following/followers and getting rid of the non-reciprocal accounts.

Busy few days preparing for the long holiday weekend, but I’m looking forward to having a few days off.

As I was planning the upcoming errands (be they today or in the next few days), I thought about where I would buy mulch. Then, I realized I’d dreamed I needed mulch for a garden last night. I don’t actually NEED mulch for what we have.

I’m looking forward to the weather taking a cooler turn, though. Between the humidity and the ragweed, it’s a challenge. Of course, the morons using leaf blowers only make the ragweed worse.

Have a good one.

Published in: on August 31, 2022 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 31, 2022: Inspection Day