Fri. April 14, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 86 — Oh, To Escape Into the Forest

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Friday, August 14, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Got out some LOIs yesterday. Got some writing and some admin done, and a little bit of client work, although not as much as I’d hoped. I created a new ad for Fearless Ink, which I like, and I’m working on my autumn postcard. Which, the way the USPS is being sabotaged, might get there around the winter holidays.

Freelance chat was fun. Stefan Palios, one of our group, made an excellent point that will help me in my client negotiations: a freelancer does not have an employer-employee relationship with companies, but a business-to-business relationship. That is phrasing I will use every time a potential client tries to treat me like an employee not receiving benefits.

The whole thing made me more cheerful for the next round of LOIs.

The afternoon was spent working on the Grief to Art site. It’s soft-launched, which means it’s live, and, technically, open to submissions for the Walls of Remembrance, but I’m not going to actively start promoting its existence until the new moon on Tuesday. I’m still tweaking.

I don’t have the art submissions open yet, because I’m still working on guidelines and contracts. I might make the art/visual/verbal aspects by invitation-only at first, because I don’t want the site to be treated as a market for the unpublished. So that has to evolve.

Work on the site always takes a lot out of me, so I was pretty worn out by the end of the day.

I always wonder why I’m wiped out in the afternoon, but I wake up at 4 AM and usually start my workday by about 5 AM (even when that work is watering the yard). So by 2 PM, I’ve put in a full day.

Had weird dreams last night about being stuck in a mountain town with no way to leave. It was very busy and social, with no one wearing masks or distancing. Nothing like pandemic stress dreams to make one wake up exhausted.

Overslept, and was too late to do the morning watering. It kind of looks like it might have rained a little overnight? The asphalt is wet. Who knows.

Realized, in my early morning writing session on the deck, how much I love trees. They make me feel safe. If I was a fictional character, I’d be one of the ones who flee into the woods for sanctuary.

When I first woke up, around 3 AM (pre-weird dreams), it was actually quiet for about 10 minutes. No crazy traffic. No drag racing on the local streets (something I’ve never understood since I moved here, and which drives me nuts). Not even any of the nocturnal birds singing. It was blissfully quiet.

For only 10 minutes, but it was a happy 10 minutes.

I couldn’t do the curbside pickup at the library, so I will do that today. Also have to take in the garbage and the recycling – in one carload, since one can no longer take it in separately without paying twice, and the Town of Barnstable’s mantra is “Screw Thy Residents.”

More LOIs to get out today, client work, article work, tweaks on the Grief to Art site. This weekend, I hope to focus on THE BARD’S LAMENT, cleaning out the basement, and reading the book for review.

Have a good one, friends! See you on the other side

Published in: on August 14, 2020 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Fri. April 14, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 86 — Oh, To Escape Into the Forest  
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Mon. Aug. 10, 2020: Intent for the Week — Find a Way Through

image by jplenio courtesy of

This week brings more challenges and more pressure. I need to find a way through. I need to find a path.

Possibly get off the path already there and strike out differently.

I’m not sure of the details yet, but I have to be alert, aware, and ready to respond in an instant.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on August 10, 2020 at 4:15 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. July 24, 2020: Nothing of Value

image courtesy of

I have nothing of value to add to any conversation today, so I leave you with a lighthouse, and wishes for a good weekend.

Published in: on July 24, 2020 at 8:21 am  Comments (2)  

Mon. July 6, 2020: Intent for the Week — Determination

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Monday, July 6, 2020
Last Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
<ercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid

This week’s intent is determination.

The weekend was absolute hell, thanks to up to ten hours at a stretch of illegal fireworks being set off in the street in front of houses.

I have doctors’ appointments and client work and deadlines and other challenges to face. I am dreading the doctor’s appointment — I don’t want more bad news. Or to be sent for more tests.

The only way I can get through it is by making like a hockey player, and digging deeper with determination.

I spent a lot of the past weekend in both anger and despair. Now it is time to hone those emotions, to bend them into determination, and get done what needs to get done.

Because things can’t continue the way they are.

What’s your intent for the week? How do you intend to get there?

Published in: on July 6, 2020 at 4:50 am  Comments Off on Mon. July 6, 2020: Intent for the Week — Determination  

June 22, 2020: Intent for the Week — Tranquility

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I am so sorry. I don’t know why this didn’t post when it should have.

I managed to hold to last week’s intent, for the most part.

This week, I am being ruthless about taking care of myself to go into surgery.

I plan to focus, as much as possible, on tranquility, and, from there, pull up the strength to move gracefully through the surgery and recovery.

It’s already been challenged a few times today, but I’m dealing with those challenges with as much practicality and humor as possible.

Peace, friends.

The writing post will go up early tomorrow, I promise!

Published in: on June 22, 2020 at 11:07 am  Comments (2)  

Mon. May 25, 2020: Memorial Day is Different This Year

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via

We have suffered personal and immediate losses in the past months that make today different than other Memorial Days.

I’ve taken this weekend for rest and reflection. and mourning. And work on a project that I hope will help us heal and honor those we’ve lost.

Peace and light to you, my friends.

Published in: on May 25, 2020 at 8:07 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 25, 2020: Memorial Day is Different This Year  

Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 22, 2020
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a bunch of work done yesterday, client work, LOIs, etc.

Putting together some relevant clips from some fairly old material got me started on a project I’d been putting off for ages. I’m going through all the old Llewellyn material, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name, and seeing what I can do with it. The pieces that haven’t been scanned for the clip file are being put into PDFs. I’m re-reading everything, taking notes on where I want to expand, how to organize, etc. The rights have all reverted back to me, so I can use the material however I want. In eBooks, on the website, etc. There’s a good article about Coventina that I will use on the Coventina Circle website.

My local library will start curbside pickup by appointment next week, and we can start leaving things in the book drop again. I took down two bags of books and a bag of DVDs, and it’s only about half of what I had out when everything shut down, so I will take down another load today and be done. They can only fill orders from their own shelves; most of what I have on order is from other libraries in the network. But I HAVE books from that library, and other people might want or need them, so I want to get everything back as soon as possible. I’m masked, I go down early in the morning when no one is around. Although a whole group of people was hanging out in the parking lot when I got there before 7:30 in the morning. At least they were masked, and keeping somewhat of a distance from each other.

Recycling opens at the dump next week. Maybe by the end of the week, I can take in at least the first carload. Supposedly, everyone must be masked. How will they enforce it?

Two of the local businesses I’d done my best to support during shutdown are now open to customers and have stopped curbside pickup. Well, I’m not going in there. Even if I trust the staff, I don’t trust the other customers. Everyone’s dancing around in groups without masks like it’s all over and nothing ever happened. We will be one of the nation’s hotspots in a few weeks, all because of greed for tourist dollars.

It’s too early to reopen. People didn’t follow protocols during Stay at Home, and they’re sure as hell not doing so now.

Planted some flower seeds. Let’s hope they come up.

Good first writing session of the day this morning (unlike yesterday). I’m gearing up to drop off more books, then have the day off. Yes, I’m going to write, but only what I feel like writing. And maybe the review for the book I read the other day, so I can send it to my editor first thing on Tuesday.

I hope the idiots with their power tools shut the hell up this weekend so I can actually enjoy my deck and my yard. I’d like to do some work on the beds, clean them out a bit more, and write and read outside as much as possible.

Last night, someone in the neighborhood had a fire pit going. I don’t think it was the usual neighbor, because his wood smells lovely and doesn’t give off much smoke. This time, the smoke billowed, and it smelled chemical, so I bet they were burning random painted wood. The smoke filled my bedroom and set off the smoke alarm in the house. Now, the houses aren’t that far from each other here, but they’re not that close, either.

So this morning, my throat is scratchy, and I can’t wait to jump in the shower and get the smoke smell out of my hair.

Have a great holiday weekend. Peace.

Published in: on May 22, 2020 at 5:59 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend  
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Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

So, we’ve moved from StayTheFHome mode to DieForYourEmployer Mode. Because that’s all this reckless “re-opening” strategy here in MA is. All the members of the Advisory committee? Employers.

Not workers. Employers. Who are whining because they can’t kill their employees fast enough to make $200 bucks and have to go out of business anyway because no one has any money to buy their stuff because 36 million people are unemployed.

Which tells us all we need to know about how messed up the whole plan is. Especially since businesses are to “self-certify” that they are following protocols and there are zero consequences for not doing so.

The weekend was up and down.

Had to go to Trader Joe’s on Friday. They are letting in more people at a time then they were, and the customers are not social distancing. The staff is burned out and exhausted – the head office has to do more for them. Had to stop at CVS to get toilet paper. The checker was so bored at the register she was reading a magazine and scanning items without looking at them. But at least it wasn’t crowded.

Came home, did full disinfectant protocols and was exhausted. Then, someone we know asked us to run a ridiculous errand that would put me smack in the middle of tourists, and I refused.

The virus isn’t “better” and it hasn’t “gone away.” This attitude people have that everything is fine now and can go back to the way it was is going to get people killed. As a doctor I know said, “The only thing re-opening means is that there’s room for you in the hospital.”

Saturday, I painted four tables, a plant stand, and a plant cart, did 7 loads of laundry, wrote, and read part of a book as background for an essay. I was wiped out by the end of the day.

I felt awful Saturday night into Sunday, and wondered if I was coming down with symptoms. But I took some liquid Tylenol and, as the day wore on, I felt much better. I’m pretty sure it was frustration and stress.

Found out a friend and her husband had the virus, and, fortunately, recovered. I was just thinking about them and planning to get in touch this week.

Sunday, I set up more on the deck. It looks festive now, and is a lovely retreat that I intend to enjoy for the summer. Because I’m sure as heck not going anywhere.

Actually slept through the night Sunday into Monday for the first time in about a week. Wrote, did client work, caught up on some admin and email stuff, got out some LOIs. Did some work on the Cerridwen Iris Shea website. It needs a lot of work.

More of the same today. At least I had a good writing session to start the day, and I slept through the night. I have a lot of work to do today. I’m grateful, and I will keep working as much as I can while there’s work, but I also don’t want to put myself in jeopardy. I want to work remotely. What I do doesn’t need to be done in someone else’s office. The LOIs I’m sending out make it clear that remote in the only option I will consider.

One of the large geraniums on the deck was blown over by the wind. The clay pot broke, and it had to be cleaned up and repotted. The damn PC took 32 minutes to boot up and “update” – I’ve had it two weeks, it doesn’t need any updates. This is why I prefer the Mac.

Now, I’m getting ready to dive into emails and admin before I switch over to client work.

Tomorrow, I have to go back onsite for a client, and not looking forward to it. Trying to change that situation as soon as possible, but not in the position where I can just give it up right now.

There’s a post up over on the GDR site, if you want to check it out.


PS The 99 cent promotion is still on for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. You can get all the details and buy links here.

3 Firsts Collage

Published in: on May 19, 2020 at 7:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1  
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Thurs. May 14, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 50 — Slogging Along

Thursday, May 14, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

You can check the progress of the garden over on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was a pretty good writing day. I had good writing sessions on two different novels, and re-read the Kate Warne curtain-raiser stage play. It holds up, and only needs a few tweaks and I have to do some research to add in restaurant names, etc.

I have to draft the Susanna Centlivre play next, but then I can go back and work on the Kate Warne play about the case where she posed as a medium to stop a pair of murderers.

I lost too much time on a computer update, Comcast woes, and arguing with both Target and UPS about the missing order. This morning, I got an email that claims it’s been found and will be delivered today. I’ll believe it when I have it in my hands.

I did client work, and caught up on a lot of admin and email, got out a couple of LOIs, declined responses from the previous day’s LOTs because they want a guarantee that I will come and work onsite when THEY deem it’s time. No, MF, I’m not dying for you. I’m working remotely until I believe it’s safe and/or I’m vaccinated. I’m not commuting into Boston to sit in an office full of germy strangers. The mere fact they’re insisting on on-site work — before the statewide Stay At Home Order is even lifted — shows that they are not planning to take proper precautions for their employees. Not getting into that situation.

There is nothing that I do as a writer that cannot be done remtoely.

The guy came to mow the lawn, and it looks great. He works alone, masked, and it’s always no muss, no fuss. We are an easy account for him, that he can fit in whenever he has a spare half hour — because that’s all it takes. So we are on the way to or from a bigger job. Unlike the services the neighbors use, where they have three guys that walk around for an hour with the leaf blowers on for yards smaller than this one. I’d talked to him prior, to make sure he felt safe coming here, and he did, so it was all good. It also takes huge pressure off me.

Started reading a book and taking notes for an essay. Blogged first this morning, and am about to switch over to the fiction for a bit. The bulk of the day will be spent on one particular client’s work.

If the Cape had some actual leadership, who care about the residents, they could set up a way to open slowly and safely and be up and running at least at some capacity by Fourth of July weekend. But they don’t and won’t. They are bound and determined to open by Memorial Day Weekend next week, as though nothing has to be different this year. They’re talking about safety measures, but people aren’t even following the basics to go to the grocery store. Not to mention the golf courses, the ultimate non-essential pastime, are already open, and old white men are already bitching because they have to carry their own clubs. We’re going to see another Death Surge (we’re still at nearly 200 deaths per day) and be locked down completely by Fourth of July. All because these old white men are greedy.

I’m staying home as much as possible, and enjoying my yard.

Four retrogrades, three of them major and that will last until fall, so I’m better off at home anyway!


Published in: on May 14, 2020 at 5:17 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 14, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 50 — Slogging Along  

Mon. May 11, 2020: Intent for the Week — Dedication

image courtesy of ImaArtist via

Monday, May 11, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

We have Pluto Retrograde, which is about revealing what’s hidden, which includes the hidden parts of ourselves. We have Saturn Retrograde, which is about life lessons. We’re all in a harsh life lesson period. Since my Saturn Retrograde coincides with my second Saturn Return – ouch?

Venus goes retrograde on Wednesday and Jupiter goes retrograde on Thursday, so we’re in for a rocky few months.

At the same time, I want to dedicate these retrogrades to sorting through past choices and making positive changes, in ways I haven’t really done during the previous retrogrades. Instead of regrets, I want to say, “Well, at least I tried. Now it’s time to try something new.” I think this is a stronger choice than beating myself up for what didn’t work. I wouldn’t pound on someone else for making a choice that didn’t work – the celebration is trying something and learning from it. So I need to stop beating up on myself.

I also want to dedicate this week to work. My fiction, the client work, and pitching for new work. There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site about adaptability, and I’m going to incorporate the adaptability as part of my dedication.

I want to dedicate time to the garden (weather permitting) and even more time to my expanding yoga and meditation practice.

I want to dedicate less time to dealing with other peoples’ stupidity, especially when it puts my life and the lives of family members in danger.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on May 11, 2020 at 6:39 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 11, 2020: Intent for the Week — Dedication  
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Fri. May 8, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 44 — To Rest or Not To Rest

Friday, May 8, 2020
Last day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was less stressful than anticipated, but more stressful than I wanted. It’s inappropriate for me to discuss details at this time, so I have to be vague. Especially in light of this week’s intention to be fair.

But I came home and drank a martini on the deck!

Tessa came out with me and was happy. Charlotte chased Tessa when we came in, so we haven’t fixed all of Charlotte’s behavioral issues yet.

The new Brother color laser printer arrived. It’s the size of a dorm fridge, and I am thoroughly intimidated. I’m sure it will take me most of today to set up. I expected it to be half the size. But it’s going to be amazing once it’s up and running.

All the commotion upset Charlotte, especially taking away the old, non-working printer, on which her bed had rested. But there’s room for it next to the new printer, and she seems to have settled down this morning.

Willa took it all in stride.

Woke up too early. Good first writing session.

I have to go to the grocery store today. It could wait a few days, but the weather will be bad, and I’d rather stand outside in the sun than the snow. Yup, we might have snow this weekend. I am rolling my eyes.

I’ll set up the printer, write some product descriptions for a client, maybe get the article scanned and copies sent out to contributors.

I want to work on fiction this weekend, figure out the shape of the Susanna Centlivre play, and clean out some boxes from the basement. I’m worried that my protag in a piece is observing more than participating, and I need to get a better balance in the next draft. For now, I’m letting her do what she’s doing, especially since she’s recovering from a serious car accident during the course of the novel. But I don’t want her to be the camera for the story. She has to carry a series.

If there’s any good weather, I’ll do yardwork and maybe some planting on Sunday, which is the next planting day.

We have three major retrogrades moving in next week, and I’m not looking forward to them.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on May 8, 2020 at 6:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 8, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 44 — To Rest or Not To Rest  

Thurs. May 7, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 43 — Battles Begin

Thursday, May 7, 2020
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

There’s a new post over on the garden journal, Gratitude and Growth. I actually have something to say this week.

Today we go back into battle with clients who don’t believe it’s work when it’s done remotely. I’m replacing them as fast as I can, but everybody’s hurting and it’s not easy. Step by step, and I have to make the necessary decisions to save my life in a very real sense, and then deal with the consequences.

So yesterday was scattered and stressful and frustrating. Today will be worse.

But I am working on the plans for an exciting, albeit complex art project that’s relevant to what we’re all going through. If I can pull it off, there will be more information soon. If not, it will merely be an idea that fades away.

Musing and percolating and wondering and following false trails took up a good portion of yesterday. Along with client work and submitting some of my books to a library promotion.

Remote chat was good, as it always is. I feel lucky to have these people in my life,

It’s been nearly three weeks since I ordered stamps, and still no sign of them. They were quick enough to put through the payment. It better be a positive sign that people are buying stamps to try to save the Post Office. But I need stamps,

According to tracking, UPS had stuff on the truck for me yesterday. I waited far past normal delivery times, and hoped the driver headed home. It was raining and miserable. I didn’t want the packages to sit out in the rain all night. Or be stolen, since one contained some of the office upgrade.

But, eventually, I had to go to bed.

Yup, when I got up at 5, there were the rain-soaked packages. At least they were in plastic and had too much packaging. Nothing was ruined. Yay for me, but I feel bad for the driver. It must have been REALLY late when he dropped them off.

Today, the new printer is set to arrive.

Slowly, slowly, we’re getting everything up to speed for optimum remote efficiency.

Worked on a couple of article ideas. Hope to have them fleshed out and ready to go by tomorrow.

Decent, though not brilliant, first writing session of the day.

Dreading the upcoming battles. I just have to trust that I’ll come out the better for them in the long run. But the short run is still worrisome.

Off I go.

Published in: on May 7, 2020 at 5:57 am  Comments (2)  

Wed. May 6, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 43: New Channels to Focus Grief and Rage

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
First Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s going to rain again in a few hours, but for the moment, there is some sun, and I am going to enjoy it.

Have I mentioned that the peepers are singing? I love going to sleep listening to them. Brings back happy childhood memories of my grandmother’s sleeping porch over in Foxboro.

Yesterday, I had a good writing session, then did some client work. Got out a couple of LOIs. Research on a few places in which I was initially interested — the results lessened my interest.

Got outside and cleaned some of the branch debris away in preparation for mowing. The guy who handled it last year is willing to come back, and we can do it safely for both of us, so all good.

Vacuumed the house top to toe — the regular 90-minute vacuum, not the fussy longer one. Enough cat hair to build another cat. I never thought I would miss the yearly steam cleaning, but I do. Mopped the floors, cleaned the bathrooms. Typical weekly housecleaning. Somehow, it’s easier with the sun out.

Spent some time out on the deck, reading for what I think may evolve into an article. I need to let it percolate for a bit. I’m playing with some other article ideas, but they’re still in germination stages.

The potted lilac on the deck is starting to bloom, and there’s actually stuff happening for tomorrow’s garden journal entry, which is good.

Staples sent the first part of my order. A pair of flash drives in a box big enough to hold a year’s worth of files. Ridiculous. “Oh, it’s so it doesn’t get lost.” Be more careful and waste fewer resources.

Cooked the warm green bean and potato salad from the Belgian cookbook, and it was amazing. Can’t wait to try more recipes.

Someone on Twitter mentioned something that got me thinking. It’s bad enough that our government commits mass murder so billionaires can continue to line their pockets, and that they are spinning that 3000 deaths days A DAY come June is acceptable.

But this individual — and I’m sorry I didn’t note the name — pointed out that there’s no organized mourning. The WH flags aren’t flying at half-mast. No surprise there. The Gibbering Sociopath claps and laughs and dances with glee at the deaths he’s caused. It makes him feel powerful.

But there’s no collective mourning for the massive loss of life. That both causes more pain and distances us from the grief.

I decided that I will make a memorial quilt. I will create a block for each friend and family member who dies. I have a sinking sensation it will wind up being multiple quilts.

But it is something I can do and share and ritualize.

I’m also playing with some ideas for creating space for shared grief, but they are too fragile as idea shoots to share right now.

Writing and client work today. Preparing for a stressful day tomorrow.


Published in: on May 6, 2020 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 6, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 43: New Channels to Focus Grief and Rage