Friday, July 5, 2019: Long Holiday Weekend

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image courtesy of Devenath via pixabay.com

I’m taking the weekend off to relax and restore!

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 5:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Fourth of July!

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(image courtesy of  Cleverpix via pixabay.com)

I have every intention of having a peaceful, joyful holiday. I wish you the same!

Published in: on July 4, 2019 at 5:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. June 27, 2019:Relapse

I’m worse again & miserable. Will post more when I’m better.

Published in: on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. June 26, 2019: Sick Day 2

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny/Foggy/Warm

Yesterday wound up getting wiped out. I woke up with a nasty — and I mean NASTY — stomach bug. I could barely even sit up most of the day. I was either lying on the couch or in the bathroom.

I haven’t been that sick in a long time.

So I didn’t go in to my onsite client, and I couldn’t finish up the last few things for another client. I plan to go in today and pace myself.

I wrote a little bit yesterday morning, but nothing today. I’ve got so little in the tank, I’m trying to be careful with it.

I hate being sick.

New neighbors moved in yesterday to the house where my lovely elderly neighbors used to live. I felt guilty that I didn’t feel well enough to back them some welcome cupcakes. Hopefully, I can do it soon.

All I can do is the best I can do. Let’s hope I’ll be a little better tomorrow, and not worse because I pushed myself today.

Onward.

Published in: on June 26, 2019 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  

WEd. June 19, 2019: Good Event

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I hope to get up the #ReadersExpansionChallenge for the month up over on A Biblio Paradise later today, and also the Ink-Dipped Advice post.

Yesterday was all about my client’s event. It went better than I expected. My bit was fine, except for the president of the organization, who kept thrusting her salad plate at me, telling me she was finished with it, in spite of me telling her repeatedly I was not the waitress, I was there dealing with the models for the fashion show. Had I been there representing only myself and not my client, I would have dumped the plate of salad over her head. I have no trouble burning that bridge. But it wasn’t about me, so I didn’t.

That was really the only irritation on my end. Even the last minute substitution of two models that they didn’t tell us about ahead of time was fine. I had everything organized, and I had a great pair of women helping me. The models had a positive attitude (I know, what a shock, right?), the show ran smoothly. I’d done plenty of prep and had a book of style photographs and running orders and all the rest. It was fine. I kept out of anything not having to do with the direct show, and it saved me a lot of tsuris.

I was pretty wiped out by the time I got home. I should have done plenty of things, leading into the rest of the week, but I had no energy left, so I have to catch up today. Actually, I’m on top of things; I just have to keep moving forward. I haven’t fallen behind on anything.

Of course, the day I had everything done ahead of deadline and warned people NOT to contact me because I was out of touch doing an event is the day that everyone panics and decides they need an answer RIGHT NOW.

They had to wait until I finished my commitment. There was NOTHING that needed an immediate answer. EVERYTHING that was needed for the first half of this week was done and out by Friday.

I’m with a client today, although I’m hoping to get out a little early, because I have some running around to do. I’m in Boston tomorrow for a meeting, so I won’t have anything of substance to say until Friday.

Work is going along well on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH. I turned in my review and am getting the next book to review. This one’s in print, so they’re mailing it to me. I should receive it in a few days.

It’s been rainy and cool. The lawn looks nice and green again. It will definitely need mowing again when he comes back a week from Friday.

My best friend from college contacted me to see if I could remember someone who was part of an important presentation we had on a project back then. I don’t remember off-hand (although I remember the meeting and how one of our teachers after pulled me aside to encourage me to do my own work and not keeping working with my friend — I didn’t listen). I’m going to see if I can find the diary from that year, and see if I wrote it down. I’m the official memory keeper of the people in my life, as well as being the kin keeper.

My friend revealed to me that he didn’t get along with the screenwriting teacher who was one of my biggest champions in college. I had no idea.

Part of me is tempted to wonder about the road not taken, but what’s the point? Had I listened to my teachers and broken away from my friend and his projects, there’s no guarantee that I would be some big time screenwriter now. In fact, quite the opposite. My projects were always quiet and more internal. I was passionate about the production side of things, which is what I handled for my friend — the organizational/production management elements. I don’t regret that.

But it’s interesting how, as close as we were, didn’t know certain aspects of what was going on with the other person during our experiences together.

Interesting times, people. Interesting times.

Neptune will go retrograde on Friday (the Solstice) and then Mercury will go retrograde on July 7. We’ll have 5 planets in retrograde during July. That’s going to suck.

One day at a time. One word at a time. All we can do is the best we can do.

 

Published in: on June 19, 2019 at 8:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Tues. June 11, 2019: Working My Way Back

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

The weekend, of course, turned out differently than planned.

I’m still trying to find a reliable mowing service. The rudeness and misogyny with which I’m met when I ask for a quote and say what I want done — and they TELL me what I need without ever seeing the space — is infuriating. I am the person paying them. They need to provide the service I ask, not the service they feel like doing so they can charge extra.

Had an excellent Skype meeting on Friday afternoon with a potential client. Got out material to another client. Saturday, got out another draft of something else. Got some errands done and some writing done. Worked in the yard.

Saturday evening, I went to the fundraiser supporting the library. A wine tasting and auction. I wanted to support them, since I use their services so often.

Sunday, I did some writing, three loads of laundry, more yard work. It’s not like anyone ever enjoys their yards. They’re out there making noise with leaf blowers and the like all the damn time and never doing anything else.

Did some research on some stuff that’s coming up in the next few months, so I have an idea of my options.

Took most of Sunday afternoon off from “have-tos” because I needed the break.

Up early on Monday to get the last bit of the car repair done, then to work onsite with a client. Was already tired by 9 AM.

Library after, then meditation. Today, I’m onsite with a client, and doing some other writing, and some other stuff for another client. I have to work on the book for review this week, too.

But it’s the good kind of busy.

This week and next week are mostly caught up with an event one of my clients is doing next week, and planning for her big August event, while helping another client do a PR campaign for a speaking tour.

In other words, the good kind of busy.

I woke up feeling decent on Sunday for the first time in a couple of months, and Monday morning was the first time I’d woken after a really good night’s sleep in I can’t remember when.

Moving the pieces around, seeing what the best configuration is. It might not move as quickly as I want, but it’s moving, and that’s a good thing.

Back to the page.

Published in: on June 11, 2019 at 5:33 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 11, 2019: Working My Way Back  

Thurs. June 6, 2019: This N That

Thursday, June 6, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Early Morning meeting with a client. Not much to post, except that there’s a lot going on, but not much about which I can talk.

My mom has a medical appointment this afternoon. Fingers crossed she doesn’t need more surgery.

A more complete post tomorrow — I hope.

Published in: on June 6, 2019 at 5:53 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 6, 2019: This N That  

Mon. June 3, 2019: Attitude #upbeatauthors

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

This image reminds me of the Boardwalk at Playland Amusement Park, Rye, NY, where I grew up.

I always felt a sense of sanctuary there. I need that right now — I’m going through a difficult time and am fighting to maintain a positive attitude.

This image helps me feel better about the possibilities.

Published in: on June 3, 2019 at 5:51 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 3, 2019: Attitude #upbeatauthors  

Wed. May 15, 2019: Keeping On Keeping On

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

If you haven’t stopped by A Biblio Paradise to see the interview with Heather Haven, please do so. It’s wonderful, and I’m excited to read her new book.

You can also go on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Site and see my mid-month check-in.

I can’t believe how cold it is. They actually has snow in Western Mass Monday night into Tuesday. We had a cold, damp rain.

My lower back and hip have been incredibly painful. On Monday, at meditation, I had trouble moving from position to position. I don’t understand what’s going on. I’m sure all the sitting I do is part of it. More yoga? More movement? Back to acupuncture? There are times when the pain is excruciating, and I’m always aware of a dull throb.

But at least, Monday night, I slept through the night. I went to bed ridiculously early, and slept until the alarm woke me up on Tuesday.

Got some writing done in the morning. Waited for the insurance adjustor to show up. It went okay– he’s approving less than the initial claims agent thought was covered. But then, it’s his job.

Then, it was off to work onsite with a client, which was exhausting.

To the library, back home. I’m so exhausted I can’t even see straight.

Published in: on May 15, 2019 at 5:25 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 15, 2019: Keeping On Keeping On  
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019: Worries

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Yesterday was spent in a stressful haze, due to the car. There were a couple of times I wondered if I was having a heart attack.

But I made it to my client’s. And fretted.

Hard to concentrate. Worked onsite, worked on contest entries. Wrote a little, but not enough.

Mostly, worried.

It’s much worse than I expected. A major, major car repair. What a gutpunch.

I had to set up a GoFundMe here to try to get ahead of it.

Not doing well at all.

Would greatly appreciate it if you would share the link.

Meanwhile, I’m pitching like crazy to pick up extra freelance work over the next few weeks. Good thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Published in: on May 8, 2019 at 6:14 am  Comments Off on Wednesday, May 8, 2019: Worries  

Thurs. April 25, 2019: Evolution of the Writing Process & Internet Bullying

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

That pressure you’re feeling? Jupiter AND Pluto are retrograde. Saturn joins them on Monday. Yuck.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest post on the garden.

Was with a client most of yesterday. Somehow, when I woke up I thought it was Thursday instead of Wednesday; even once I realized it, I had trouble getting into the Wednesday head space to work with the client.

Home and worked in the garden for about an hour. There’s still a lot to do, but I just have to do it one piece at a time. Eventually, it will all get done.

Worked on contest entries.

I’m playing with a new idea for a series of novellas. I want to mix genres. I want them to be short. The characters are clear; the world is taking shape. I have the beginnings of a plot, which I’ll have to explore further. I don’t want them to run longer than 25-30K, so the plot has to be precise, and a minimum of sub-plots, even though I want a couple of them to run the course of the series.

I’m not sure WHEN I can fit in the writing of them, so I have something worthwhile to show my editor. I have deadlines to meet, and re-adjusted deadlines to meet.

But it’s fun to play with the ideas.

It’s so important for process to evolve. My process is constantly evolving. I learn from each project. I work on both art and craft. Some of them wind up not working at all, and that’s okay. Disappointing, but even what doesn’t work gets me somewhere else, and gives me valuable experience.

I’ve written books as a blank-pager, not using an outline. (I don’t use the term “pantser” — to me, it sounds like an STD). While it was sometimes fun and often frustrating to figure it out as I wrote, ultimately, I had to evolve away from that. It also needed a lot more drafts to get it into the shape where I could even ask a Trusted Reader to look at it.

This is my profession, not my hobby. This is how I keep a roof over my head and food on the table. I don’t have the luxury of writer’s block or not knowing what comes next when I sit down at the page. I need to be able to drop immediately into the world of whatever I’m working on and move forward.

I’m juggling several series, along with other projects. Some are novels; some are radio plays; some are stage plays; some are articles or other writing I do for clients. I don’t have the option of telling a client I “didn’t have time” to do their project.

Outlining has helped me. I sit down and plot out the book. I free write the characters’ stories. Then I go back and work on plot points and scenes. Then I arrange and rearrange them as I best think it will serve that particular book.

I don’t like working on index cards. For scripts, especially television scripts, that’s the protocol, and if I’m working as part of a staff, or with a partner, yes, we use index cards. But I’m happier with paper and pen. My outlines are more like treatments.

This is NOT the outline I’d send with a query. Even the outlines I send my editors for series in progress are honed from these outlines, but are NOT these outlines. I call these outlines my “Writer’s Rough Outline.”

I type a copy and keep my original handwritten copy. I usually work from the handwritten (if I can read it — sometimes it’s too scrawled). The creative energy that went into the handwritten copy often serves me better than a cold, typed version.

As I complete each section of the outline, I check it off.

I adjust along the way, as the story and characters dictate and evolve.

My outline is a roadmap, not a prison. I often go in very different directions. That’s okay.

The first draft is often lean and skeletal. I don’t want to lose momentum. I want to get through it.

I like to put each draft away. The most important rest time is between the first draft and the second. Ideally, it’s two months. The reality is often far less, but I always try for at least two weeks.

I have to be able to look at it objectively, as though someone else wrote it.

Then I do as many drafts as it takes, including my multi-colored draft (where I go through with different colored markers highlighting adverbs, passive or past perfect, and qualifiers. Then I take them out and look for better ways to express what I want to say. If that word IS the best way, I negotiate with myself to put it back in).

The second draft is usually where I overwrite and follow tangents and develop ideas. The third draft if usually a combination of multi-colored draft and massive cuts.

Trusted readers usually get a third or fourth draft. I usually have at least one, sometimes two drafts after my readers see it before I consider it submission-ready. An un-contracted manuscript can take several years until it’s ready for submission.

The books on series contract have fewer drafts, since my contracted editor is in earlier in the process. Plus, the schedule is tighter.

There are always more ideas than hours in the day to write them. (I distrust those who say they “don’t have anything to write about” the same way I distrust people who get bored. Writers always have too much to write about). I recently started a notebook I call the “Whatever” notebook. I’ve had variations on this throughout the years, usually called “Fragments.”

I date every entry. I find the date provides a context for the inspiration, and sometimes it helps to go back to other elements of the day.

In it, I write whatever I want. A snippet of dialogue, an observation, ideas as characters and situations come to me. If I’m somewhere between meetings or in a waiting room or just want to get away and clear my head, I take the Whatever notebook and free write. Write about whatever’s on my mind, a combination of inspiration, what if, development, and brain dump.

It’s along the lines of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Practice and Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, although they happen at any time in the day, and at any place.

Morning pages work for lots of people, but not fore me. Morning is my most creative time. If I do morning pages, then I’ve used up that creative energy that should have gone into whatever is my Primary Project (the manuscript in which I write my first 1K of the day every morning). I think they’re great if they work. The concept is terrific, and it gets the person writing every day. But I need my first writing of the day to be about the work, not about me.

I’ve also started reading a few pages in one of my favorite writing books in the morning, before I start writing. Morning routine is: make coffee, feed the cats, check email/social media (sometimes I respond, while the coffee is brewing; sometimes I make a note to respond later), first cup of coffee, yoga, meditation, shower/dress, first 1K of the day.

When the weather is nice, I have my first cup of coffee out on the deck. When it’s not, I have it in my writing room. Now, I’m reading a few pages in one of my favorite books about writing (I have shelves of them, and some of them I re-read regularly as fuel).

Any other kind of book siphons energy away from my own work; in other words, I don’t read fiction first thing, or it derails my first 1K. But reading about writing and process helps. Usually it’s only 2-3 pages. But it starts building the desire.

Once I’ve written my first 1K of the day, I have breakfast. Check email, plan the day. If I can, I get a little more writing done. If it’s a day where I’m headed off to work with a client, I do it. Otherwise, I might write at home for a bit, and then head to the library for a few hours. There, I can research and put together pitches, or just sit in a corner and write. I answer emails, I send out LOIs or pitches. It’s easier for me to do that away from the writing room.

I prefer to write in the morning and edit in the afternoon. That’s flexible, depending on deadlines.

Again, weather dictates when I can work in the yard, so sometimes I have to push an editing session or add an extra writing session into the evening, when necessary.

I still go out with friends. I still spend time with family. But they can’t sabotage the writing. Anyone who sabotages the writing is removed from my life. This is my profession as well as my passion. I am the breadwinner. Writing is a priority, and those who don’t understand that, who don’t respect that, reveal a far deeper problem than time or writing. They reveal that they don’t understand or respect ME. Why would I have people in my life who don’t respect me?

That carries over to the endless bullying on the Internet. The last few days, I have received demands to stop talking about politics because the follower “only” wants writing information; to stop talking about writing because the follower “only” wants politics; to block people that person didn’t like or they would block me; if I’m even willing to listen to a different point of view, they’ll block me; if I don’t like the same thing they do, they’ll block me; they pick the “hill they want to die on” for something meaningless to most of the rest of us and demand fealty; that they’ll block anything that is retweeted without comment — really? If it’s well said, adding anything is only ego on my part; that I have to “prove” I’m a “real person” and they get to define “real” and that I “must” use pronouns in my bio– um, no. I get to decide what I share publicly and how to share it; to stop forwarding information on animals in kill shelters whose lives can be saved through adoption, fostering, and sponsorship.

All these people can go to hell, as far as I’m concerned. They don’t get to tell me what to post about, what to write about, how to live, what parts of myself I choose to share with the world.

I’m tired of people who claim they support inclusion and tolerance and are fighting for what’s right then tell me what I can and can’t say or do or think — as much as those we’re fighting dictate to us. Especially if it’s someone I’ve never met and only know for a few days on a social media platform.

Are you paying me to write something specific? No? Then you don’t have a say in what I write. YOUR right is not to buy it. Or read it. But not to tell me I can’t or shouldn’t write it.

None of these people matter in my life. I quietly unfollow or block plenty of people every week. We’re just not compatible. I don’t have to threaten them or fight with them. I either scroll past (because we are all more than one thing, and that’s beautiful) or, if it truly is something I don’t want in my life in the long term, I unfollow or block, as appropriate. I don’t have to make a big deal out of it. I’m a random person on plenty of people’s feeds, as they are on mine. We can peacefully co-exist, in most instances, without bullying each other. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to write posts that incite violence or demean people — yes, those should be called out. But if someone is happy about a show or a flavor of ice cream or whatever? Why be mean? If something matters to someone and they want to share a post to try and help? Why do YOU have the right to say THEY don’t have the right to care or to share it?

You don’t.

Also, I am not required to follow everyone who follows me, nor is everyone I follow required to follow me. There are certain red flag words in posts or bios that mean I won’t follow back. It doesn’t mean that person is expected to change; it’s just not something I want in my life. Eventually, they will probably unfollow me anyway.

And we don’t miss each other, because we never really knew each other.

Yes, social media is a marketing tool for my work. But that’s only part of the reason I’m on it. I’m on it to learn from people who know and are interested in different things than I am. I am on it for conversation and information and laughter. I don’t have to like, or even agree, with every post from every person that shows up on my feed.

Have I made poor choices, either in comments or in sharing? Of course. But I’m getting more aware of it, and am thinking twice before doing either. I am well aware how flawed I am, and I work on it. But I don’t bow to bullies, even in elementary school.

I’m happy with the way GRAVE REACH is going, and hope to get in at least one more writing session on it today. I have to make a grocery run, go to the library, take my mother to a doctor’s appointment, get some yard work in.

I also have to go over Saturday’s presentation one more time, and re-check the packing and all the stuff I’m bringing for the presentation. I have a rolling rack full of fun stuff. I leave for the conference tomorrow. I present late on Saturday. I know I’m prepared, but I always like to make sure.

I could teach a semester-long course on this. I have 50 minutes. I hope I picked the right 50 minutes of material!

Back to the page. And the yard.

 

Wed. April 24, 2019: Organization is Key

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for the latest.

I’m tired. I’m wondering how I’ll pull up the energy for the conference.

Trying to get everything done so my client can get out the door and out of the country next Monday for her business trip is fun and interesting, but it takes a lot of energy.

Turned around the outline request from an editor; hopefully I’ll land the article. Took care of a few other admin things, and picked up the ribbons for my handout packets. Instead of putting the material in folders or just dumping it on the chairs, I’m going to tie them with pretty ribbon. I wish I’d had the budget to do swag for the conference, but that’s the way it goes some years.

Borrowed a sturdier rolling rack that folds down from one of my clients. It’ll fit in the car and be more stable than my little one that doesn’t fold. I need it for the display pieces I’m bringing.

Worked on contest entries.

Pondered what’s next for THE TIE CUTTER. I really like the material in the draft I re-read on Monday. But I think my original vision for the rest of the story was off. I have to re-read my outline and notes, but I think I want to take her journey more to self-realization (with love as a bonus) than the traditional finding true love story I originally wanted. She’s learning that maybe she shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place, and that the twenty-six years she spent with her husband wasn’t the partnership she needed.

The draft stops when she gets to Iceland. The Iceland section is next, and I’m going to deviate in that section, the Ireland section, and, ultimately, the Scotland section, from the way I originally envisioned this unfolding.

And that’s okay. Because an outline should be a roadmap, not a prison.

Really happy with the way GRAVE REACH is taking shape. That’s always a relief.

I’m re-watching STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, and enjoying it (in spite of some of the flaws I find in it) even more this time around. I learn so much from the structure and the writing.

With a client for the bulk of the day. Have to decide if I want to get some foam core and add vision boards to the presentation.

Mostly packed. The accessories are packed, and the pieces that will go in the garment bag are pulled — I just have to put them in the bag, zip it, and load it.

I’m kind of looking forward to sleeping in a hotel for a couple of nights; but I also don’t think I’ll be doing much hanging out on Friday night. I have a feeling I’ll check in, go to the cocktail hour, and then set up for Saturday and rest.

Saturday night, however, I hope I get to spend some quality time with fellow conference goers.

Tomorrow, I have a lot of last-minute stuff to do, and work to clear off, so that I can leave on Friday with a clear conscience, and nothing hanging over me.

Back to the page.

 

Tues. April 9, 2019: Catching Up on the Adventures

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Waxing Moon

I bet you want to hear about my adventures last week, don’t you?

Which I’ll get to in a minute.

There are all kinds of games to connect writers now on Twitter. Which is great and fun and interesting. But too many of them demand information from WIPs. That does not work for me. If I talk the book, it takes away from writing the book. It dilutes the creativity. Not to mention that actually posting something from a draft blows the ability to sell first rights (and, for the series under contract, they are specific NOT to post anything from a draft, just excerpts from edited, contracted work), and early draft material splattered on the internet is more likely to turn readers off than engage them. It harms the work. It harms the quality. And talking about switching places with the MC or putting them in a different situation — no. Just no. They are part of the construct of their world. Putting them in a different world doesn’t add anything to them or the book. It hurts everything.

So I skip those questions. Because people can post whatever they want on their own timelines.

But I will not put the work at risk. The work is central. The work is what’s important. I’ll talk process until the cows come home, but I only post excerpts and lines and information from the actual work when it’s ready to go out into the world. — once it’s under contract and has been edited.

Wednesday morning, we left early for Vermont. The stretch from the Cape to Worcester is always the worst, but once we got past that, it was nice driving. We drove out of a storm and into sunshine (once we were over the bridge onto the mainland, it was already better weather).

Turned north at Springfield and went into Vermont.

It took a lot longer than I expected it to take. Vermont is interesting, because, although there’s not much traffic, the roads are long and often windy, and you have to drive around things instead of straight shots between destinations.

The quality of light is very different, and the quality of air is very different.

We ended up in a small hotel in Quichee Gorge, which was fine. Drove around to get oriented. Everything seems quite far away from everything else. Weathered and funky rather than ostentatious.

Dinner meeting, took care of some other business. Watched some TV in the room at night, but really, I so prefer watching DVDs. The sound and image got out of sync on one particular station, and it was annoying.

Up early the next morning. Stuck to my morning yoga and meditation routine (I’d brought my travel mat). It was another sunny, lovely, beautiful day.

The hotel served a hot breakfast as part of the stay, which was great. Then I headed off for a day of meetings, some with potential new clients, some with those for whom I do some remote writing. There’s a lot of solar and wind energy, people are dedicated to recycling and doing better for the planet. Fox Disinformation doesn’t play in public areas. People are committed to doing good work while maintaining a high quality of life. I met with a lot of smart people who are good at what they do, which was nice.

It was interesting, busy, creative, but I was tired by the time I was done in the mid-afternoon.

We drove back as far as Sturbridge, and checked into my favorite Publick House. We were up in the Lodge, with all its toile, which always makes me laugh. The room was great, the food in Ebenezer’s Tavern was terrific, and it was a nice way to wind down after a busy couple of days.

Friday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel, then drove home. I ran around and did some grocery shopping, and then, exhausted, just worked on contest entries and thank you notes.

Saturday morning, I was up early trying to get things done, and then on the 9:45 bus to Boston. Another gorgeous, sunny day, and much warmer than I expected. It was a lovely ride.

Amazing how much the city coping skills come back instantly. The focus, the confidant stride, the “don’t mess with me” vibe. Even though I’d never ridden the T before (imagine, I’ve lived here for nine years, and it was the first time I took the T), I got my Charlie card, found the Red Line, and off I went.

Of course, it’s public transportation, and nothing is easy. So, at Harvard Square, we had to get off the T because of construction, and were taken by shuttle bus to the next stops.

It was nice to be above ground and get a sense of Harvard and Cambridge and all that.

The theatre was only a few blocks from the Davis Square stop, in Somerville. Somerville reminds me of Queens a bit, and I mean that as a compliment. Lots of great little restaurants and shops, busy, lively, upbeat. People of all ages and diverse — very different from down here on Cape.

Everyone was very nice. They were genuinely happy to see me, which was nice. Because so often, the writer is considered an obstruction to the production instead of an asset.

They did a wonderful, wonderful job with “Confidence Confidant.” Their commitment to the piece, their talent, their excitement, their creativity — it was all great.

I met the director, assistant director, producer, house manager/board member. It was an excellent experience. It was great to meet everyone, and meet some audience members who were excited about it. It was a good-sized house, which thrilled us all, and a very responsive audience. The laughs hit where I hoped they would. I want to tighten the scene in the garden for future productions, and beef up the role of Bill. That role was woefully underwritten, and I’m grateful that the actor made it work.

They suggested I submit “Horace House Hauntings” for their October show. I don’t think it exactly fits the guidelines, since it’s not adapted from legend or folklore, but, you never know. I’ll think about it.

The other play on the bill was also fun, having to do with airships and bank robberies and mistaken identities, adapted from a silent film.

All in all, a lovely afternoon.

Headed back to the shuttle bus, which took me back to the Red Line at Harvard Square, which took me back to South Station. The subways have far fewer seats here than the ones in NYC. People expect to stand.

I tell you, though, there’s even more walking involved in this transit system than in New York. I’d be back in shape within a month if I had to do it every day.

Caught the 5:15 bus, and was back home by 7. Some traffic coming out of Boston, but I just sat on the bus and read my book. The bus was nearly full from the airport when it hit South Station, and those on the bus were disgruntled that more passengers got on, and, heaven forbid, their luggage couldn’t have its own seat. Sorry, sweetie, it’s people before purses.

But P&B has made the bus as a quiet zone — yes, you can call to tell someone which bus you’re on and what time you’ll arrive, but no ongoing conversations during the ride. Makes it much better.

Tired, but happy tired. Still re-watching WEST WING. Worked on more contest entries. Heated up leftovers for dinner. Fell into bed, exhausted.

Had trouble getting up on Sunday, but got there. I should have gone out and done yard work. Instead, I worked on contest entries, planted the rest of my tomato seeds, wrote.

I finished the first draft of the radio play “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale.” I need to let it sit a few days, because it needs work. Started a draft of “Organizing the Dead” which is a darker paranormal comedy that I might also submit to PMRP. I want to take the idea that derailed the original draft of “Horace House Hauntings” and took it out of farce, and see if I can develop it here. We’ll see.

I’m getting back into the rhythm of GRAVE REACH, which is pretty exciting. I’m looking forward to diving further into this book. Lesley is growing into herself, and Sam is an intriguing character.

This week will be stressful, on a lot of fronts, so I’m trying to mentally prepare.

Worked with a client yesterday, which wore me out, although we did good work. Had another appointment, and then skipped meditation, because I wasn’t feeling well. With a client today, too, and then another location after. Trying to keep all the flaming coconuts in the air and still keep my sanity.

I should go out tonight, but, honestly, I don’t feel up to it.

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