Fri. May 7, 2021: Peaceful Thoughts

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Not blogging today, because I’m working on a variety of moving parts. And preparing for my second vaccine dose tomorrow.

I wish you a lovely, peaceful, joyful weekend.

Published in: on May 7, 2021 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Mon. March 8: International Women’s Day

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Instead of the usual intent of the week, I’m going to tell you about some of the extraordinary women about whom I’ve written for the 365 Women A Year playwrighting project over the last few years.

Imagine if society didn’t just pretend to value women on one day of the year? Imagine if they actually took action that proves they value women, including equal pay for equal work and non-toxic work environments.

Imagine if a woman’s value wasn’t tied to whether or not she CHOSE to have children, and both choices were given support?

Imagine if all the “administrative assistants” (who are mostly women) were given the recognition for the jobs they actually do and given the titles and pay of the do-nothing, useless executives for whom they work?

For many years, working my way up to Broadway, I worked as a temp in offices all around the country. Well over 200 companies over the decades. In all that time, I only met THREE ‘executives’ who actually did any work and weren’t a total waste of space, money, and time. Two of those individuals worked for the same company (and I worked for the pair of them).

Imagine what we could accomplish if the truly talented and those who did the work were given the money and support to do said work, instead of propping up those who don’t?

Now, to celebrate some of the extraordinary women about whom I’ve written:

Kate Warne. She was the first female Pinkerton. She walked into Allan Pinkerton’s office and told him she wanted to be a detective, and that women could get information that men couldn’t. She proved it, and became one of his top and most trusted operatives. She and her fellow Pinkertons often did large, theatrical, undercover operations. Among the cases were the Adams Express Embezzlement case (the case around which “Confidence Confidant” is based), where Kate posed as the wife of a forger to gain the confidence of the wife of an embezzler, and retrieve the money; a case where Kate posed as a medium to help kill a pair of lovers who’d poisoned the spouse of one of the pair, and was planning the murder of the other (I’m writing about that case this year in “A Rare Medium”). Kate was so popular as a medium that her clients were disconsolate when she solved the case and closed up shop. She helped smuggle Lincoln into Washington for his inauguration and thwart an assassination attempt. She helped bring down the Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow. She trained an entire division of Pinkerton women.

Jeanne de Clisson. In the 14th century, she became the pirate known as “The Lioness of Brittany.” The King of France wrongly accused (and executed) her husband for treason (I think it was her second husband; it might have been her third). At forty, after giving birth to seven children, she sold her land before it could be seized. She bought three ships, painted black with red sails, and became a pirate, only preying on French ships. She later fell in love with an Englishman, and retired to England. Her son, Olivier, became known at “The Butcher” and built the Château de Clisson in Brittany, which still stands today.

Giulia Tofana. A 17th century herbalist, she developed and perfected Aqua Tofana, a poison used to free women from their abusive husbands by turning them into widows. She had a tight circle of apprentices, and they are thought to have poisoned at least 600 people. The formula has never been recovered. Supposedly, Mozart thought he’d been dosed with it. Stories differ as to whether the fanatical Wilrich von Daun actually killed her while she was in sanctuary, or whether she escaped and retired to a convent.

Lavinia Fontana. She was a painter in Renaissance Bologna, one of the first to negotiate commissions like a man would. She was supported and promoted by a cadre of powerful Bolognese society women, several of whom ran their husbands’ businesses. She married a man who took her name and took care of their many children while she worked.

Canaletto’s Sisters. The Venetian painter Caneletto had three sisters: Fiorenza, who married, and whose son became a court painter in Austria and Germany, his work often confused with Canaletto’s; Francesca, and Viena, who never married. Not much is known about them, other than they were smart, lively, and devoted to their talented brother. Canaletto started his career painting stage sets, part of a family renown for theatre stage design.

Isabella Goodwin. She was the first female NYPD detective, and her work was as much about improving women’s lives as fighting crime. Like Kate Warne, she enjoyed theatrical undercover work. She was widowed young. Her husband was a cop, killed in the line of duty, and she went into police work to provide for their children. By all accounts, she was much better at it than her husband. Later in life, she married a younger man, a singer, and her final case involved medical fraud.

Susanna Centlivre. She was one of the most popular 18th century playwrights of her day. She posed as a boy to attend Cambridge; when she was discovered, she joined touring theatres as an actress, and then became a playwright. Her satires were popular, and she was part of a lively group of writers and artists. She married a “yeoman of the mouth” – one of Queen Anne’s favorite cooks, and the stability of that marriage supported her writing.

Who am I writing about this year? More Kate Warne plays, dramatizing some of her other cases. A play about Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker, two of my favorite writers (who weren’t particularly fond of each other). Marie Correlli, born Mary McKay, a popular Victorian novelist.

Among my earliest heroines were Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe. They are two of the reasons I became a writer.

Who are the women who inspire you?

Mon. Feb. 15, 2021: Intent for the Week — Utilizing Ox Energy

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The Year of the Metal Ox began on Friday. I intend to use Ox energy this week — plowing forward, steady and methodical, organizing what I need to reach my goals.

It’s also Presidents’ Day, but the way the GOP Senators are making a mockery of our democracy, I’m going to focus on Ox energy.

Published in: on February 15, 2021 at 6:17 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 15, 2021: Intent for the Week — Utilizing Ox Energy  

Mon. Jan. 11, 2021: Intent for the Week — Staying Strong in My Core Integrity

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With all that’s going on, it’s more important than ever to walk my talk and be true to myself.

My intent and focus this week is to stand strong for what I know is right for me; there’s a difference between being flexible and open to compromise, and sabotaging oneself for someone else’s agenda.

The coming days, weeks, and months will continue to be challenging. We will be disappointed as certain individuals reveal who they really are, personally and professionally. We will be delighted at those who step up and surprise us in the best possible ways.

Published in: on January 11, 2021 at 6:17 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 11, 2021: Intent for the Week — Staying Strong in My Core Integrity  

Fri. Jan. 1, 2021: Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year’s Day and may 2021 bring health, healing, creativity, joy, and prosperity!

Published in: on January 1, 2021 at 9:13 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 1, 2021: Happy New Year!  

Fri. Dec. 25, 2020: Merry Christmas Day!

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Although we won’t be having busy gatherings like the one pictured above this year, I wish you peace and joy of the season.

Published in: on December 25, 2020 at 9:10 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. Dec. 11, 2020: Surgery

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If this post is up, it means the surgery went forward. I have the surgery today, and the weekend to recover. Catch up soon!

Published in: on December 11, 2020 at 7:29 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 11, 2020: Surgery  

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of those who celebrate.

Have a safe, peaceful time of it full of good food and interact on Zoom!

Peace.

Published in: on November 26, 2020 at 6:43 am  Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving!  

Wed. Nov. 4, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 168 — Holding Pattern

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and warmer

Well, yesterday was hell, and it doesn’t look like it will get better anytime soon.

I have plenty to say, and feeling a lot of rage right now. Most of it will be just as relevant in a few days, when all the votes are counted.

All the votes MUST be counted. I have no problem with it taking as long as it takes, as long as it happens.

I DO have a problem with the amount of people who voted for the Sociopath throughout the country, and who voted for corrupt and disgusting Senators. KY remains misogynist and SC remains racist. Good to know. It is absolutely unacceptable and ridiculous that those two states didn’t kick out McConnell Graham.

The amount of morons who voted for people who want to stand by and watch us die is appalling.

This idea that Dem candidates who didn’t win made inroads and are “party-building” is crap. I know resisters fought hard in all those states and are hurting, but the bottom line is it didn’t get done and it HAD to get done. There’s no prize for coming in second. They HAD to win. There is NO FUTURE without those wins.

It’s not about regrouping and trying again in two years. It needed to happen NOW.

It needed to happen all over the country the way it happened in Arizona.

Knowledge Unicorns was subdued. They’re all tense, and felt their parents’ tension.

I didn’t drink as much as I expected – one glass of wine with dinner and one glass of brandy around 11 PM or so. It wouldn’t have helped. I feel bad enough anyway this morning. Too much alcohol would have made it worse.

I managed to get a book review polished and out yesterday, a bit of client work done, and got another book assigned. The contest where I’ve been a judge for several years invited me back again for 2021. We’re discussing categories.

I got the Samhain decorations packed up, and the fabric switched over for November. I ordered an air purifier, because we’re coughing. Imagine – we live on Cape Cod, and we need an air purifier, because the greedy and the stupid have destroyed so much of the environment in the past few years. It’s supposed to get up into the 70s for the next ten days or so; that means I don’t have to take in the furniture on the deck. I can sit out and enjoy things.

Got to grab moments of enjoyment while we can, because we’re in for a very dark time.

Published in: on November 4, 2020 at 6:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 4, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 168 — Holding Pattern  

Mon. Oct. 12, 2020: Intent for the Week — Batten Down the Hatches

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We’re headed into a Mercury Retrograde tomorrow, along with our rocky Mars retrograde and the more slippery Neptune and Uranus retrogrades.

The next three weeks will be rough.

So I’m working ahead as much as possible, in order to have as much bounce room as possible.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on October 12, 2020 at 11:29 am  Comments Off on Mon. Oct. 12, 2020: Intent for the Week — Batten Down the Hatches  

Tues. Oct. 6, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 139 — Willa’s First Anniversary With Us!

Willa

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Waning Moon

Pluto Direct as of Sunday

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

Well, that was quite a weekend, wasn’t it?

I got very little done, other than laundry and a lot of reading. I was tired. The new furnace works well, but makes the air much dryer, so I’ve had a scratchy throat for a few days while I adjust.

Made a buttermilk spice cake on Sunday, from a Moosewood recipe. It’s wonderful.

Didn’t do the grocery shopping or get to the dump or get much writing done. I was worn out.

Liars and Scammers

The political shitshow didn’t help. Now that it’s obvious the Sociopath took a Spa Weekend at Walter Reed to mock people who are actually sick and those who’ve died, let’s move on. Or back. Find out to whom he’s in debt. Block the judge – there is ALWAYS a way to stop the nominee. The Democrats need to grow some balls and do it. Get a relief bill passed so we get another stimulus check. Don’t let Wife Creature off the hook for her tapes. Keep investigating the taxes. Get out the vote.

All this speculation that the Sociopath is “sicker” than they’re telling us – mentally, yeah. Physically? He’s not sick. This was all the latest con to give him attention. People around him are sick, but he’s just mocking everyone. That’s why he did photos signing blank pieces of paper. That’s why he’s “visiting” wounded soldiers. That’s why he’s taking car rides to wave at people. He’ll come home this week and claim he “recovered” and it’s “not that bad.” Which is already what he did yesterday.

The only way I’ll believe he’s sick is if he has the worst possible outcome.

The whole thing is disgusting.

Are people around him getting sick? I’m sure they are. They’re infecting each other, because they won’t take basic precautions.

All these people checking into the hospital out of “caution”? When thousands were turned away who were really sick? Disgusting.

And the Conway reality show going on? Another scam. Stop pressuring a 15-year old girl to be a savior. It’s disgusting enough her parents are using her as part of their media manipulation.

Our numbers are going back up in MA. Yet the bridges were backed up and the tourists were all over the place, not taking any precautions. The traffic to get down to the library for curbside pickup, which is about 3 miles down the road – on Saturday was insane.

It’s all exhausting, which is the point. Wear us down.

Life stuff

I’m telling you, I want to rearrange my life to become a professional recluse. People suck.

I managed to get some of the outdoor decorations up, but I’m probably going to rearrange them a few times. I’m not satisfied.

Saturday night, all three cats decided they were going to be busy all night. And, of course, if they were up, they weren’t going to let us sleep. And they were busy together, which is a nice step, even though Charlotte and Tessa still don’t really get along. But it was pretty funny.

Today is Willa’s one-year anniversary with us. She’s made terrific progress, and is a sweet, funny, smart, curious cat. Charlotte came two days later – her anniversary is coming up. They were staying with different people when I adopted them.

She’d been moved around every few weeks for 18 months, and was totally disoriented and confused. She came with a different name – but she likes her new one.

I’m glad she’s a part of our lives.

Money and Writing

Received an unexpected check yesterday, for which I’m grateful. Preparing a pitch for a magazine which wasn’t paying a few months back, but is now. Was contacted by someone with whom I worked here on Cape to do an online lesson for the Writers’ Center (for a small honorarium).

That’s what I love about Jupiter going direct – influences the possibilities for financial/career expansion. Of course, I have to actually follow up/fulfill those opportunities (if I don’t take action, these influences mean nothing), but at least they’re offered.

I’ll get to work on all those today, along with some client work, LOIs, and I have to venture out for the Big Grocery Shop. I’m going to start stockpiling for holiday baking, although I’m still flirting with the idea of not doing it this year.

An opportunity I passed on yesterday: I was offered the “great opportunity” to PAY to be part of a collaborative script writing process that would be read by “prominent Hollywood and/or Broadway actors.”

Okay, first of all, I am PAID to write, I do not PAY to write. I’m not going to pay to work on a script-by-committee and then not have any rights to the work. Second, honey, by this point, I’ve worked with plenty of actors. When I lived in NY, I’d call them up and have them come over or rent a rehearsal studio so we could do table reads of scripts and novels. I’d pay them and feed them, and, most importantly, LISTEN to them.

The above “opportunity”? Not the kind of scam in which I’d participate.

Figured out where I’m going to set the Susanna Centlivre play (a room near the royal kitchen). I’m going to have Susanna, her husband, Joseph (chef to Queen Anne), and Mary Pix at least in it. I was going to add in Catherine Trotter and Delariviere Manley, and one of their male writer friends, but that might be too many characters for a short play. The conflict/plot will center around the male writer who kept plagiarizing the prolific female writers of the time. I need to check some research notes and fact check a few things, and then I’m ready to write.

As much as I hate the thought of going out, I’m excited to do a big grocery shop and get going on cold-weather cooking.

And it’s so nice to have a working furnace again!

Will get a final batch of voter postcards out this week, too. And this afternoon, the Knowledge Unicorns meet.

Busy day in store, but, I hope, a good one, after a tough weekend.

Published in: on October 6, 2020 at 6:12 am  Comments Off on Tues. Oct. 6, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 139 — Willa’s First Anniversary With Us!  

Mon. Oct. 5, 2020: Intent for the Week — Still Center in Chaos

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I’m sure this week will get exponentially more chaotic.

I will attempt to find a still center, at least a few times a day.

I’m so weary, I need some peace.

Let’s hope this actually posts when it’s supposed to, hmm?

What’s your intention this week?

Published in: on October 5, 2020 at 5:53 am  Comments Off on Mon. Oct. 5, 2020: Intent for the Week — Still Center in Chaos  

Mon. Sept. 7, 2020: Labor Day Weekend

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Yes, I was serious about taking time off.

We’ll catch up tomorrow!

Published in: on September 7, 2020 at 5:16 am  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 7, 2020: Labor Day Weekend