Friday, Nov. 1, 2019: Day of the Dead

image courtesy of ClipVector via

I have company for Samhain & Day of the Dead, and then I’m going to enjoy the weekend. Have a good one!

In the meantime, I have a post on choosing point of view in my books over on Affairs of the Pen.

Published in: on November 1, 2019 at 5:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. Oct. 22, 2019: Ups & Downs

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Certainly been a challenging few days.

Most of the life has revolved around the cats. They were doing really, really well most of the weekend. Tessa and Charlotte even hung out on the sofa together. Willa slept on the bed with me. Then, yesterday morning, everyone regressed.

Time and patience. They just need time and patience.

I’m behind in the writing, which is also frustrating. Also, when I’m trying to write, all three cats are in the room, vying for my attention. There’s no door, so I can’t shut them out.

We had a lot of yard clean up after Thursday’s storm. Had to put out the decorations I’d taken in yet AGAIN. Prepping for meetings. Doing research.

Read a lot. Didn’t get to read my friend Arlene’s book yet. That’s on the agenda for this week.

Had to fight with the bank when they manipulated data in order to try charging fees. So I fought with them, had the evidence, and they backed down.

The new Target opened on Sunday. It’s nice to have a Target around. What they do, they do well. Plus it’s neat and clean and the staff is nice.

The check from Llewellyn arrived — early! For the 2020 pieces.

Turned around the edits on the piece for 2021, and my editor and I are talking about 2022. I’m so lucky with this editor. She always encourages me to make things better and catches me when I’ve gotten off track.

Went in to my client’s early on Monday, to accept a Fed Ex shipment. Left a little early, too. Could barely keep my eyes open.

Had another appointment, and then meditation group.

Relaxed with a book in the evening, and worked with the cats.

I’m discouraged on several fronts, and feeling jerked around by a few people. I need to get some rest, so I’m not coming from a place of grumpy and disshevelled, but from calm and rational.

I need to put together a marketing campaign, and prep for the release of GRAVE REACH. I need to finish the radio play. I need to get to work on the Canaletto play, and I need to get back into the edits for BALTHAZAAR.

I need more hours in a day, and more dollars per hour.

It sickens me to watch these people burning down the world for personal profit.

Published in: on October 22, 2019 at 6:03 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. Oct. 11, 2019: Interesting Times, My Friends. Interesting Times

Friday, October 11, 2019
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Hop on over to Affairs of the Pen, where I talk about Location.

We’re still in the throes of the Nor’eastern. Wondering how long we’ll have power.

Speaking of power, what PG&E is pulling out west is crap. The ONLY reason a power company exists is to provide power for its customers. Customers pay. The utility provides. Because the company is too incompetent to maintain/improve its equipment so it doesn’t start wildfires, everyone has to sit in the dark? No. Just no. Get rid of them and hire someone competent. Dismantle the company. Fine them in the billions and drive them out of business. What they are doing is NOT acceptable. THEY are at fault for this problem. To inflict it on the people who are the reason for the company’s existence is not acceptable on ANY level.

Cat update: Willa is a little love bug. She’s in my lap constantly. Wants to be petted. Wants to be included. We’re giving Tessa plenty of attention, because I am Tessa’s Primary Human, and she is not amused.

Charlotte is the one left out right now. I’m spending some quality time just with her to get her socialized and comfortable.

I posted photos of Willa on Wednesday night; still trying to get photos of Charlotte.

Got some work done yesterday on GAMBIT COLONY and GRAVE REACH. Had a phone interview with what turned out to be a recruiter. There are some possibilities there. I have to say this is the first recruiter I’ve spoken to since I moved to the area who hasn’t been a complete waste of space. She knew what she was talking about and actually listened.

Another potential client asked for more information, and I sent that off. I have another phone conference with yet another potential client this morning, so I am scheduling this to post on Thursday (while we still have power).

Yesterday was about meetings, writing, storms, and cats. Today will be about meetings, writing, and cats. This weekend, we add cleaning out boxes from the basement into the mix.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Published in: on October 11, 2019 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 11, 2019: Interesting Times, My Friends. Interesting Times  
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Tues. Sept. 24, 2019: Processing



I had an extremely difficult weekend. I’m processing it all, deciding what is appropriate to share and what needs to be worked on in private. I’ll have something more coherent to share tomorrow.

In the meantime, happy autumn. It’s my favorite season.

Published in: on September 24, 2019 at 9:13 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 24, 2019: Processing  

Tues. Sept. 17, 2019: Trying To Smooth Out Difficult Times

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Difficult weekend. Everything worked my last nerve. I’m angry and hurting and unhappy and nothing works to lessen it. It’s a bad patch. I’ll get through it, but it’s not fun while it lasts.

Hop on to see the mid-month check in over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions; some musings about reciprocal and non-reciprocal spirituality on Kemmyrk; today’s post for the #ReaderExpansionChallenge over on A Biblio Paradise. That catches us up, at least for the moment.

We still miss Lucy terribly. It’s tough on Tessa, being the only cat. She’s with us all the time, but she misses having another cat in the house. Without Lucy to sleep on the bed, my elderly mother started having nightmares again.

Friday night, I gussied up and attended the opening reception to the new exhibit at the Cahoon Museum. I almost didn’t manage it, because, in spite of their expanded parking, it was packed. Great for the support of the museum, but frustrating. I cheated and parked at a business next store that was already closed for the night.

The reception was lovely. I have to say that I found the “pre-mortem” daguerreotypes disturbing. Photos taken just before the moment of death. Creepy. And the hunters with their trophies were gross. But there was also an exhibit called Look This Way which included “Unidentified Women” with artist Jodi Colella that was quite wonderful. She combines film and fiber in a unique and wonderful way. She created the giant scorpion out of black doilies for the fiber art exhibit last autumn. I had the chance to talk with her for a bit. I didn’t want to hog her time, because the reception was packed. But we had a lovely conversation. She brings such insight and imagination to her work.

I ran into a couple of people I knew, which was nice. I eavesdropped on several conversations (as writers do). Mostly old rich white people moaning about their privileges and criticizing anyone who didn’t grovel before them. Several of them deserved a good slap upside the head.

Worked on GRAVE REACH, but not enough. When I’m actually into it, it flows well, but sitting myself down and doing it is a struggle. For no good reason. This book is leaner and more tightly plotted than the last two, and, in many ways, I think it works better. So I don’t understand why I’m struggling with these revisions.

Worked on ELLA. Worked on another idea I’ve been spinning, that looks like it might turn into something worthwhile. Played with some short story ideas. Worked on some article pitches.

Did some revisions on the first volume of GAMBIT COLONY, which I shouldn’t have, but working on that book soothes me when I’m stressed, so I did it.

Had sent an LOI to a company that looked like it would be a good match for some marketing work, pairing writing with my film/theatre expertise. Their response? Demanding a timed on-line assessment. No. Not doing those. If you’re too lazy and stupid to read my cover letter, resume, and samples to figure whether or not I’m right for the job, that’s on you. We are not a good match. Do not waste my time for what you’re claiming is a top-level assignment by sending me something an hourly minimum-wage employee would have to fill out. I have three decades of credits behind me. You know where you can put your “timed assessment.”

Another response to an LOI was a request for additional information, via an online form. It arrived on Saturday afternoon, outside of business hours. Fine. I figured I’d do it on Monday, DURING business hours, as any legitimate business expects. Only they nagged me ALL WEEKEND. I ignored them. They’re not paying me. I’m not giving up my weekend to fill out a form. It can wait until Monday. I suspect part of this “next step” will be a demand for an unpaid project-specific sample, in which case I will tell them where they can put it. I’m supposed to be panicked and jump through hoops because they claim they had 400 applicants? First, I don’t believe they did; second, part of the introduction/interview process is to see if we are a good fit FOR EACH OTHER. So far? Not liking what I see.

It’s a complete lie that there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill top-level jobs. The problem is that the companies outsource EVERYTHING to unskilled recruiters who are working part-time in between their college classes (because yes, I know how to get them to tell me everything about themselves and they’re not skilled enough to avoid the questions or dig into MY background) and HR people who don’t know anything about the job or the company, and do everything by form and algorithm. You’re not going to find the strongest skilled, creative person for the job that way. Genuinely skilled people with solid credentials aren’t going to play that game.

Saturday was all about laundry. Nine loads of laundry. We changed over from the summer cotton sheets to the flannel fall/early winter sheets. We took the summer covers off the chairs and sofa and put on the fleece for the sofa and the autumn on the big chair. The lace curtain panels came down in my room and the red-and-gold three season curtains went up. Some of the plants came in. Some are getting cut back. Things are being washed, dried, ironed/folded, and packed until next summer. Leaves are falling, and I’ll have to start raking soon.

I read a book by a writer who was trying to write blue collar, rough characters from her point of white privilege. It didn’t work. She didn’t understand what drove the characters, and they weren’t dimensional enough. I’ve read some of her other work and enjoyed it, for the most part. This was a disappointment.

Worked on the books for review. One blurb will go out today; will send the other tomorrow or Thursday.

I’m reading the entire Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald in order. I’d read several of them a long, long time ago. It’s interesting to re-read them all, with fresh perspective of life experience. They are very of their time and timeless. It’s interesting. There’s some beautiful, concise descriptive writing. I didn’t like any of the female characters in THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY. I’m hoping I will like them better in NIGHTMARE IN PINK. But so, far, not liking the women in that book either.

It’s also interesting to re-watch the entire MARY TYLER MOORE series in order. It’s very much of its time, too. I wasn’t too excited about the first half of the first season, but then it started having a little more bite. I remember it being more ground-breaking than I’ve seen so far, but maybe it grew into it. Or maybe it was ground-breaking at the time and seems less so now, because of the ground it broke.

THE NEW YORK TIMES is being stupid and pandering again, as usual. Calling a sexual assault “harmless fun” is not “poor phrasing.” It’s trivializing sexual assault, which is something the media –and the justice department does. Brett Kavanaugh should not have been confirmed, and he needs to be impeached.

The whole bru-ha-ha over Felicity Huffman serving 14 days for bribing someone to fix her kid’s test scores irritates me, too. I am furious at her for doing that. First of all, it’s an insult to her kid. If my parents had so little faith that I could get into the school of my choice that they felt they had to bribe someone, I would have been devastated. And yes, I got in to every school to which I applied, including top-level Ivy League schools. On. My. Own. Merit. I’d always admired Huffman’s work and she presented herself as an ethical person. So I am angry that she’d stoop to something like this.

Do I think it’s fair that she serves only 14 days when a black woman got 5 years for trying to vote? No. Those sentences have no parity. I believe both racism and economic segregation played a part. But I also disagree with John Legend’s comments that there shouldn’t be any jail time. For the black woman who was arrested for trying to vote? Zero time, I believe, a class in political science, and community service. But rich people trading on white privilege need to have serious consequences. Is jail the best solution? Probably not. But community service isn’t enough either. Using the same amount of money she paid or more to pay toward the tuition of someone smarter than her kid who can’t afford college? Maybe that would help.

Yesterday was a long but productive day at my client’s, then work at the library, then Meditation. I desperately needed it.

Today will be another long day with my client and then who knows what else. I’m trying to tackle everything that needs to be done and struggling.

For the moment, though, it’s back to the page. The consistency gets results.


Monday, September 9: Challenge Yourself — Make Your Art a Priority #UpbeatAuthors

image by freephotocc via

Monday, September 9, 2019
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

This month’s theme is to challenge yourself.

How many of you make your art (whatever that art is) a priority? How often do you scramble to fit in around everything else in your life?

This month, I challenge you to make your art a priority.

Every day, no matter what else is going on, do one thing, just one little thing, for your art.

No excuses. No compromises.

Just do it.

It will make an enormous difference in your work AND your life. When you respect your art and make it a priority, you demonstrate that you respect YOURSELF and then others will respect YOU and your art, too. If you don’t respect your art, no one else has any reason to, either.

Do it.

Published in: on September 9, 2019 at 5:24 am  Comments Off on Monday, September 9: Challenge Yourself — Make Your Art a Priority #UpbeatAuthors  

Tues. Sept. 3, 2019: And It’s September

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend. But I needed it. Check out the September list over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

There were plenty of things I should have done on Friday, once I was finished with my work at the library, but I didn’t. I read instead. I’m really enjoying all three series by Elaine Viets.

Played with some ideas, developing them. Have to figure out how to fit them in between everything else I have going on.

Sat outside for awhile on the deck, reading. It was lovely. I want to enjoy every minute I can.

Ordered some books, some for research, and Lauren Dane’s Books 4 & 5 of her Goddess Blade series. That was my treat — only allowed to dip into them once I finished my quota for the day.

When I woke up Saturday, it smelled like autumn. The leaves are starting to turn and fall. The tiger lilies have faded and the chlorophyll has already receded. I’ll have to pull the dry stalks soon. That shouldn’t happen until well into September. The birds are starting their migrations, too. They congregate in the front yard, have a snack, and move on.

Concerned about my friends and colleagues down in Florida, and my contacts in the Bahamas. SAVASANA AT SEA is set in the Bahamas, and so it THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I’m worried about what’s happening there.

Worked on GRAVE REACH. Not enough, but we’re getting there. I’m running out of time for it, though, and that’s setting back the BALTHAZAAR and DHARMA revisions, too, so I’m a little stressed.

Worked on the adaptation to radio for BEHIND THE MAN. Anyone who thinks it’s “easy” to adapt a stage play to a radio play is an idiot. They are two different mediums. It’s not about just changing the format.

In the adaptation, I start by changing the format, scene by scene. I take a scene and change the format. Then, I take out all the visual cues and replace them with aural cues. Then I go over the scene however many times I need to for pace, plot, and character, and layer in additional cues to drive the piece. Putting in sound cues isn’t just about adding noise — it’s about picking the right aural stimulation that drives plot and supports character.

It takes a long time.

But BEHIND THE MAN is one of my favorite plays, so, to me, it’s worth it.

Didn’t finish “Pier-less Crime” which is annoying. I keep changing my mind on certain plot points.

Read more than I should have. More of Elaine Viets’s books. Read Lauren Dane’s GODDESS WITH A BLADE Book 4(the twist at the end made me sad). Worked on the book for review. I should have that done and out by tomorrow.

Worked on some article pitches that will go out this week. I have to scan a couple of clips that aren’t available online to attach with one of them. That’s always a pain the butt.

Spent far too much time on Saturday pruning. I did a big prune on the forsythia bushes in the front. They were really getting out of control. Managed to free an enormous hydrangea around the side that was being choked. Also pruned one of the shrubs in the front bed that’s gotten a little out of control. Watered the front and back lawns, too. I still have to prune in the back (the forsythia and the bittersweet) and hack back the roses (but I’m told I should wait until the first frost to do that).

Also replaced the dying pansies in the front baskets and in the front barrel with large marigolds and chrysanthemums for the autumn. Bought a new mat for the front door (the old one was growing moss; it was beyond time to get rid of it). Did tons of laundry and changed out some of the fabric from summer to autumn.

Didn’t start refinishing the sewing cabinet or the small, drop-leafed table, although I should have. There were plenty of things I should have done this weekend, and just didn’t.

Saw the black cat, who was tucked in amongst the rose bushes. She looked a little worse for wear, but wouldn’t let me near her. I left out food and water on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night, and it was all gobbled up when I got up. I hope it’s the cat and not some other critter.

Feel absolutely weary, both physically and emotionally. Until we know if we’re getting a lease renewal for one more year, I am going to be worried.

Kept an eye on Hurricane Dorian. It’s terrifying how it just stopped moving over the Bahamas.

Re-watched CASABLANCA. Every time I see it, I’m reminded how good it is. So many lines have gone into the lexicon of daily conversation, it’s easy to forget how good the movie is as a piece.

Also watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST. I hadn’t seen it since we studied it in film school, and I’d forgotten a lot of it. The ending was a bit abrupt for my taste, but the rest of it was interesting. Although I wondered how Cary Grant’s character just happened to have enough cash on him to race around the country like that. The logic didn’t quite work.

I’m with a client today and tomorrow. Have a ton of errands on Thursday, and then, hopefully, I can go to yoga. Friday morning, I have an important meeting. So we’re hitting the ground running for September.

In and around all of that, I have to meet my writing deadlines, get some promotions going for my books, and get out a bunch of article pitches and LOIs. I also have to do my postcard for my quarterly freelance mailing. That usually gets a good response and I land some decent repeat work from clients.

Never a dull moment.

But I still wish I could take a couple of weeks of vacation.

Back to the page.

Published in: on September 3, 2019 at 9:09 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 3, 2019: And It’s September  
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Wed. Aug. 14, 2019: Feeling Stuck

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Day before Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Bizarre few days.

Woke up in the middle of the night Monday, with my ring finger on my left hand swollen and throbbing. I’d bumped it a couple of times over the weekend, cleaning and moving things, but didn’t think much about it.

But it was bad enough to wake me up.

Then, I was dumb enough to look it up on the Internet and worry I needed to go to the ER.

THEN, I had to worry about insurance, because here in MA we have Romney-care, which means insurance in name only most of the time.

I iced it, took ibuprofen, used tea tree oil, kept it elevated, and managed to get back to sleep for a couple of hours around four.

It was better when I woke up. I’ll nurse it for a day or two and see. It doesn’t help that I have to use that poor finger to type. If it doesn’t get better, I’ll go to Urgent Care and see what they can do. At least I can afford that, if they decide to decline my insurance card.

Tuesday was a challenge with my client. Then, I was supposed to drive to Eastham to pick up an antique sewing cabinet (a craigslist find) — but with incoming storms, I wasn’t sure and thought I should push it to today. So I’ll head out there this afternoon.

Read my friend’s radio play and gave feedback. The play is good, but the formatting needs some work. Radio is driven by aural cues, and they have to drive the plot and characters, not just be there to be there. Visual cues have to be translated into aural cues.

Worked on “Pier-less Crime” and on my article.

I’m off my game right now, mostly because I don’t feel well, and I have to get my act together. I feel stuck. Everything feels like it’s moving, and part of me feels like things are moving, and the changes I’m taking action to make WILL happen, but they’re not happening yet, and I’m getting impatient. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Working with the singing bowl. I ordered some books on working with them from the Commonwealth Catalog via the library.

Big push this weekend to finish this draft of GRAVE REACH and get it to my editor.

Think good thoughts for me.


Published in: on August 14, 2019 at 6:18 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 14, 2019: Feeling Stuck  

Tues. Aug. 6, 2019: Life And . . .

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid

It’s been nearly a week since I blogged about daily life. I needed the break.

Today is Lucy’s first anniversary since she came to live with us. She’s grown from being a shy, terrified cat into a friendly, inquisitive lovebug. She makes every day better.

Late last week, I struggled with stress and motivation. My client kept telling me the check was mailed; it kept not arriving. It finally got here yesterday, just as I was getting ready to send a second invoice with a late fee. I’ve already cut this client too many breaks: didn’t require a deposit due to past work together; didn’t charge when one of the venues to which I uploaded the information changed and did it on my own time; gave 5 extra days past the 30 days before sending the invoice with the late fee. Needles to say, I won’t be cutting the client ANY breaks in the future. Deposit up front, late fee on the day it’s late. I no longer trust this client. That it’s typical of local clients doesn’t change the fact that it is unacceptable.

Work on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH was shaky. Had an idea that combined other ideas with which I’ve played for several years. Made some notes, but it’s the type of piece that won’t be done much faster than a page or two a day. I’m trying to combine themes from several other projects that haven’t quite worked. It’s percolating, but not really ready to be written yet, which is fine, since there’s plenty that HAS to be written at this point.

I’m having a lot of fun with the Upbeat Authors posts this month about inspiration. I’m playing with the #31Prompts posts, and it will probably take me a couple of years to write the projects inspired by them all. Having fun with the serial parable I’m doing on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Did house and hearth stuff. Have some worries on the home front, but we’ll see what happens.

Had a good meeting with a potential new client. I definitely have the skills and versatility they need, but it depends if they want versatility and skill, or merely a drone.

Went to a sound bath at the yoga studio on Friday night, which was good, although my back was giving me trouble.

Got my hair cut, finally, on Saturday. A totally different style than I’ve ever had, and it looks good. Fun, flirty, professional, a little retro. It goes with the way my hair naturally waves at this point (considering it used to be stick straight). It feels much, much better. Make-up updated, wardrobe freshened, new hair. Getting the changes started.

My hairdresser was an artist-turned-hair-art guy, and his boyfriend is an aspiring YA writer, studying for his MA. I reeled off a bunch of local writing resources. I always prefer to talk about my stylist than myself when getting my hair done. I’m not one to gossip about myself in the chair.

Read Soniah Kamal’s UNMARRIAGEABLE. Wow, is that a good book! Absolutely loved it. Will shelve it with the set of Jane Austen from my grandmother, and re-read it often. Soniah asked for a photograph of the shelf. Once I dust and light it properly so it photographs well, I’ll do it!

Started the book I’m reading for review. Started the next radio play, tentatively called “A Pier-less Crime.” It’s the next Frieda/Lazarus comedy.

Delved into art books for both the month of Upbeat Author posts on inspiration and the Canaletto play. Started re-Feng Shui-ing some of the house. Did more research on Caribbean recipes to incorporate into my writing. On the flip side of that, also made some more smoked trout pate, because it’s a good cool dish to eat on a hot day. And we had tiramisu, although I bought that. I’m not confidant enough to try making it — YET.

Read a couple of cozies (from two different series) by an author who always leaves me with mixed feelings about her work. There’s a lot of charm and warm detail. But her protagonists are too dependent on the men in their lives, cry too much, repeatedly get “tired” as a plot device to miss important information, and are always rescued by men during the climactic sequence instead of participating in their own survival.

Focused mostly on writing and reading on Sunday. I’m reading a mystery by a Spanish writer. Again, so different from the way US/British/Australian mysteries are structured. So interesting. With an unusual pair of detectives. I also read THE ABOMINATION by Jonathan Holt, set in contemporary Venice, dealing with the war crimes, especially against women, when Yugoslavia was split up. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a huge book, and I read it in one day.

Worked on my Llewellyn article, the play, GRAVE REACH.

Angry and heartbroken over the shootings in El Paso and Ohio. The Narcissistic Sociopath dances with glee that he can incite such violence, and his Russian handlers are delighted. The corruption in this administration is astonishing, although it’s been building since the Reagan years. None of this is a surprise. The lack of will to change it is disgusting.

Yesterday, had to go into my client’s early, so someone would be there to receive a shipment. Challenging day.

Meditation was much-needed.

But Sunday and Monday were good writing days, and this morning was, too. Onsite with a client for most of the day, before other appointments. Getting out some article pitches this week that I hope will hit their marks and create some additional income.

Back to the page.

Fri. Aug. 2, 2019: Taking Some Time To Chill


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I’m taking some much-needed time to relax, write, and work out a few things this weekend. Have a good one! Back on Monday.

Published in: on August 2, 2019 at 5:59 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 2, 2019: Taking Some Time To Chill  

Thurs. Aug. 1, 2019: Blessed Lammas!


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Published in: on August 1, 2019 at 9:58 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 1, 2019: Blessed Lammas!  

Mon. July 29, 2019: Commitment-Gentle Disengagement #UpbeatAuthors

image by Ihtar via

Monday, July 29, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Today is always a difficult day, because it is the anniversary of my father’s death. Yes, it was a long time ago, and he’s been out of my life longer than he was in it, but it’s still difficult, every year.

But today’s post is for #UpbeatAuthors, and it’s our final week talking about commitment. I’m posting some ideas on Gentle Disengagement when you have to break a commitment.

Don’t Commit If You Don’t Plan to Fulfill
We talked about this several weeks ago. Don’t chicken out and say you’ll do something to save yourself in the moment and then back out later and make it more difficult for everyone else. If you know you can’t/don’t want to do something, say no upfront. You are not required to give a reason. “No” means NO.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
As soon as you know you can’t fulfill a commitment, communicate. Do what you can to make it easier on those affected. If you know, two weeks out, that you have to withdraw from a commitment, make those arrangements as soon as you know. Don’t wait until the night before.

Don’t stay in a situation that is toxic or dangerous
This is the exception to the above. If you are in danger and the only way to stay safe in the moment is to lie until you can remove yourself, then do it. And get yourself to safety. If you don’t feel you can go to the police, go to an agency that deals with your specific situation. There IS help out there. When in doubt, talk to your local librarian, who will help you find resources and not discuss what you’ve asked. Not if the librarian has ethics, anyway. That is one of the most important things that was emphasized when I worked in a library — protecting the patron’s privacy, and not gossiping or revealing what books they’ve checked out or what information they needed help to find.

Communicate calmly and with kindness
Don’t quit in anger, if at all possible. Be the calm, steady peron in the room who disengages with kindness and respect.

Growth is Natural
We all outgrow people and situations. Sometimes, we grow at different rates. The kinder you are during disengagement (when it doesn’t put you at further risk), the better it is for all involved.

Don’t waffle
If you leave, leave. It’s one thing to give two weeks’ notice and help with a transition. It’s another to leave, but then be on call or run back any time someone has a problem. It’s great to continue to be a resource for a finite amount of time. Don’t wind up still being on staff without pay.

Learn and apply moving forward
After you’ve regained your equilibrium, look at the situation with honesty and clarity. Learn from it. Do not put yourself in the same situation again, and go through this again. Learn to say “no” earlier in the process where appropriate, and to recognize the early signs that something is not the right fit for you.

How have you gently disengaged from bad situations in the past? What has worked best for you?

Published in: on July 29, 2019 at 6:38 am  Comments (1)  

Thurs. July 25, 2019: Getting Back On Track

Thursday, July 25, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Monday night, we were awakened by the tornado alert sirens. We grabbed the important papers and purses and cats and were ready to flee into the basement if necessary. We watched the thunder and lightning flash. There was no wind, little rain. It was eerie. No tornado here, though.

Tuesday, we were hit with pounding rain and then the tornado warnings came through again. I was onsite with a client a town over; we huddled in the office, ready to go into the bathroom, where there were no windows, if necessary.

We weren’t hit hard — not at work, or at home. But Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, and Chatham got walloped. A tornado touched down in Yarmouth, ripping the roof of a motel like it was a can opener peeling back a lid. Terrifying. Harwich and Chatham are still without power. I managed to reach one of my friends in Harwich to offer our house as sanctuary.

Yesterday was calm and quiet, giving people a chance to recover. I had a busy, challenging time this week with a client. I didn’t have a chance to get posts up late Tuesday or yesterday.

By the time I was done with my client, I was wiped out yesterday. Although we did have fun on the Remote Chat.

Also, I paid attention to the Mueller testimony. He conducted himself with grace and integrity. The morons who wanted it to be like a television show, and the Republicans who are willing to sell us to Russia to forward their white supremacist agenda were beyond disgusting. If I wanted to live under Russian rule, I’d move to St. Petersburg. The corruption is revolting.

I’m behind on the writing. ELLA has gone slowly the past few days, and I’m behind on GRAVE REACH, but I hope to catch up this weekend. Plus, I have at least two articles to draft, and some more LOIs to get out.

Along with chasing down payment from a client who is dragging his feet on a job I did weeks ago. Typical of this area.

I’m pitching to a wider range of remote clients.

I’m updating the 31 Prompts page, in case you missed some of the days.

I’m looking forward to a few days immersed in writing and the garden.

Published in: on July 25, 2019 at 8:46 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 25, 2019: Getting Back On Track