Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

First and foremost, Happy Birthday to Chaz Brenchley! Not only is he a brilliant writer, he’s a wonderful friend. Many happy returns of the day and the year for you.

Lyd, all is good between us. I think where we got our wires crossed is that you assumed I was blogging and making lists INSTEAD of writing, when I do it in ADDITION to writing. When I get tired (because the creative energy does flag after awhile), the blogs and the lists help me get back on track. Also, because of the amount of projects I have to juggle as a freelancer, if I didn’t track them with lists and spread sheets, I wouldn’t be able to stay on top of deadlines, outgoing invoices, and know when the chase down the money from clients that are slow payers and won’t be getting my services again!

My printer died yesterday morning, right as I’m in the midst of trying to get out all my work. The “ink waste tank” is nearly full. It will cost me $100 to fix it, which does me no good between now and the time I have to leave; it costs $279 to get a new printer that seems to do everything I need it to do. I contacted Canon – I’ve had trouble with this printer since the first week I had it, and for four years, they promised to replace it and never did. I at least want a partial credit towards a new printer.

And I’m not sure how or where I can get my printing done, but maybe I can run downstairs to my friend’s place once a day or once every few days and print.

According to one of my forums, where they’d know this kind of thing, it’s good to have a small, inexpensive printer just to print manuscripts AND the all-in-one. I used to do that – you could drop-kick my Baby Bubble and drive a truck over it and it would still churn out the pages – but I’ve stuck to one printer for the last few years. Maybe I should go back to using two. I wonder if I can keep both plugged in all the time.

I just cried. It always, ALWAYS happens when I’m on deadline. I HATE technology. It’s built to fail, especially when you need it not to, and it’s created that way on purpose to get the maximum amount of money out of the consumer.

I’m telling you, I’m ready to go back to quill pens and ink, and keep a couple of pigeons around to transport manuscripts. Okay, maybe I need a bird that‘s a little bigger than a PIGEON to carry a 400 page manuscript, but you get my drift . . .

Instead of doing what I was supposed to do, I worked on Hex Breaker all day, finishing the second draft in the late afternoon. I’m going to let it sit today, and not look at it, as much as I want to, and then revise it, print it at my friend’s place, and get it out before I leave. I love these characters, even though I know the piece needs more work. Hopefully, my editor will love them, too!

Exhausted, and still trying to figure out a way to make the last bit of this assignment with Problem Client work so it doesn’t cost me, literally, hundreds of dollars in wasted time for which they won’t compensate me. Yes, the Saturn retrograde is kicking my ass, and I damned well better learn this time around. I learned the show stuff since last time, but this go-round I’ve got a whole new set of life lessons to face, gosh darn it!

I was lousy company last evening for one of the men in my life (yes, there are more than one; one just can’t keep up at this point), but, fortunately, it all worked out and my, ahem, mood improved as the evening wore on. He knows how to distract me! 😉

So, the insurance company who’s dumped me sent me a letter offering me a $100 gift card if I had a mastectomy last year. WTF????? That is just twisted. Not only is it sick that they’re trying to make it a game to publicize the results of one’s mammogram (isn’t that illegal?), they’re offering a chance to win a gift card if you have a mastectomy. It is so inappropriate and so twisted. I’m furious. I’m calling the union today with a few choice words, let me tell you! I think I also might file a protest with the state.

It felt odd this morning to wake up and not jump into fiction right after my morning yoga. I still need to do the cheat sheet before I can get back to EARTH BRIDE. I’ve got the characters worked out for the time travel novella, but the plot is still too shaky to start. It would be nice to get that in well ahead of the deadline. Last night, I worked on a short story for a bit.

But, of course, I’m chomping at the bit to get back to Hex Breaker. I did some tweaks last night, but I’m determined to let it rest for at least a day so I can come back to it with fresh eyes.

Off to work on articles and run my Friday errands – which, today, unfortunately, includes printer shopping!

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on January 4, 2008 at 8:54 am  Comments (7)  

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and mild

I feel rather lost without Gwen and Justin, although the first chapter of Book 2 is already writing itself in my head. I finally unlocked the key to this one’s structure, which is helpful, and can now do a truly detailed Writer’s Rough. We get to see Justin’s dark side in this one, which will also be kind of fun. And see how he does or does not come to terms with it.

Worked on material for Confidential Job #1 yesterday afternoon, and ran some errands. Didn’t do much in the evening other than work out.

My computer had a freak-out and I nearly matched it – there was a point where it claimed not to have a hard drive – but we seem to have negotiated a truce, at least for the moment, and I did a restore that seems to have worked.

I found a book on the Greenwich Library discard shelf for 50 cents – a hardback needed for research that I’d nearly ordered from Amazon for $17 earlier in the day, but decided to wait. I love when that happens!

I had a nice morning’s work on Earth Bride. I’ve deviated a bit from the outline, but it’s important to the overall story, and I’ve uncovered a rather disturbing flaw in Niki’s about-to-be husband. But it makes the story richer, so it’s all good.

I might have to go to the city to go to the union office or I might not, if my supervisors didn’t include me in the paperwork. I’m waiting to hear from the union, because I don’t want to make a three hour round trip to the city for nothing.

I have plenty of other errands to do today, and I need to pack. I’m off to Maine tomorrow for the holiday – I’ll check back in when I return. Have a wonderful week!

Devon

Earth Bride – 65,988 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
65 / 50
(130.0%)

Earth Bride – 65,988 out of 100,000 (completion goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
65 / 100
(65.0%)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Waxing Moon
Rainy and blustery

I pitched for 11 jobs yesterday. I’ve been negligent about hunting down new work, and, with the strikes going on, I can’t just shrug and say, “Oh, I’ll make up the difference at the theatre.” Time to hustle.

Spent a lot of time on admin work yesterday. I still have a lot of catching up to do.

Devon’s Random Newsletter went out. If you didn’t get your copy, sign up here.

Ran some errands in the afternoon. The home town’s in a tizzy – ten burglaries in ten days. They thought there was another one up the street – cop cars everywhere, dogs, even a helicopter. Quite unsettling.

Wrote chapter 25 of Tracking Medusa. Gwen and Justin are captives on the yacht, on the way to Greece and the re-animation ritual. I don’t think I have another 30K of storyline left, so it might come in under the 90K mark. We’ll see – it is what it is. I realized a few places that I have to fix in the rewrite, which will add substantially to the word count. I skipped over some of the developmental details to focus on action in this draft. It gets me to the finish line, but there are certain sections that will need major attention in the rewrite.

Plotted out two more eBooks, and did some preliminary work on the paranormal novella.

Had a decent morning’s work on Earth Bride. I’m setting up character relationships and subplots that will be important in the next section of the story, and that’s always time consuming.

Today, I’m off to the city to run errands, visit picket lines, and attend my union meeting.

Devon

Earth Bride –55,555 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

55 / 50
(110.0%)

Earth Bride — 55,555 words out of 100,000 (completion goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

55 / 100
(55.0%)

Tracking Medusa — 60,090 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

60 / 90
(66.7%)

Free eBook: 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick-Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Guide. Available for free download here.

Published in: on November 15, 2007 at 8:32 am  Comments (5)  

October 11, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007
New Moon
Rainy and cool

Every time I try to get on the Nano site, it’s down for maintenance. Somebody trying to tell me something? 😉

Absolutely bone-crushing depression yesterday. I know the cause; I’m trying to figure out a solution. It won’t be a complete quick fix, but any small step can only help.

Spent most of the day on the workshops, which helped. I need long breaks between the brainstorming I do in Christine Amsden’s workshop and the stuff I do for Karina Fabian’s workshop. I’m creating original material for both, and it’s both world-building, and dealing in story types outside of my comfort zone, which is why I’m doing it. But it’s challenging, and I can’t work on the two ideas back to back.

Also caught up on everything people posted in my workshop.

I’m going to try to get the rest of this week’s work done for the workshops I’m taking. I haven’t spent too much time in other workshops for which I signed up. I was very disappointed, because some people who said they’re doing “week-long workshops” actually just have a conference board to post questions that they plan to answer in their real-time chats. The only real-time chat I can do is my own – the reason I wanted to do the week’s workshops was so I could pop in and out whenever and actually learn the material. Well, everyone has their own perception of the definition of “workshop”, I guess! 😉

Amusing story: I was at the grocery store yesterday. One of the cashiers was hilarious – couldn’t have been more than 24, cute, very dry sense of humor, but totally – let’s just say I nicknamed him “Slacker Dude”. Very mellow. Anyway, he ended up being my cashier, and I started teasing him. “That’s some hangover.”

“You can tell?” he actually looked embarrassed.

“Been there often enough to recognize it.”

It was very funny. The jokes he made in the moment wouldn’t make any sense unless you were there, in the moment, but it was hilarious.

I want to see if I can get some work done on Tracking Medusa before I have to head off to the theatre.

Barely got any sleep because Downstairs Neighbor came home drunk and wailing in the middle of the night. And Crazy Fishwife was downstairs screeching for most of the late afternoon, so so much for a nap.

Devon

P.S. Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow – batten down the hatches!

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 8:30 am  Comments (7)  

October 10, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Dark Moon
Rainy and cool

Just when you think kindness is a lost art, someone surprises you.

I stood on the train platform yesterday morning in my short-sleeved shirt, waiting for the train, annoyed with myself for walking out of the house without a jacket or a sweater (I expected it to be still warm – silly me, believing the meteorologists)!. There was a cute guy on the platform, busy with his PDA. Suddenly, he walked up, took off his suit jacket and draped it around me, saying he didn’t want me to be cold. I made a joke that I must have turned as blue as my shirt, but appreciated it. Of course, the train was air conditioned, so I appreciated it even more!

We grabbed a cup of (hot) coffee when we reached the city, talked a bit (I’d pegged him as a swimmer – broad shoulder, narrow hips, and I was right), I gave him back his jacket and we went our separate ways. He reads a lot, and the idea of writing always fascinated him, but he’s never tried it – although he admits he mentally rewrites books and television episodes he doesn’t like. I teased him that he’s probably a natural-born editor!

It was a pleasant way to start the day.

I’ll have to put a character inspired by him in one of my stories.

Exhausted. Day work was busy – cast changes, two new leads, a put-in rehearsal, the works.

I agreed to take on a gig next week that I already regret. It’s something I already turned down, and I should have kept turning it down. But they were desperate, and the cash will cover most of November’s bills, so I’m going to shut up and deal. But the very thought of it is already upsetting me. That’s what happens when you make the wrong decision – there’s a price attached.

Grabbed a quick dinner and went over to the other theatre to start learning that show. We weren’t sure if the lock-out would start before the show or not, so we simply carried on as normal. The show went on, but the lock-out could start today, and then who knows what will happen.

No one wants any kind of strike, but the harsh reality is that labor, in general, needs to take a stand. Bluntly, all of the unions in every area should strike right now, and regain some of the ground the unions have lost in the last 30 years. The CEOs scream that the economy can’t support union demands – yet the CEOs and top staff are making more money and bigger profits than ever, while they cut back on wages and health care for the people who actually do the work. If people were paid adequately for the work performed, then they could afford to put that money back into the economy. No matter how it’s advertised, the luxury market cannot support the entire nation’s economy. And US companies should be forbidden to outsource to other countries until our own unemployment rate is below a half a percent.

If entertainment unions do go out over the next few months (the WGA contracts are up this month, too), I ask that you not believe the management spin doctors and listen to me, someone who’s actually worked in the trenches. Don’t even listen to the union spin doctors – although the ones they hire are usually pathetic and do more harm than good. In negotiations, both sides lie to the public to get what they want. Whatever you read in the paper will have little to do with what’s actually happening at the table. I’ve been a negotiator – I’ve seen the hypocrisy.

The show itself is fun to work. I haven’t seen it yet (in spite of its Tony win), but everyone is nice, there’s no raked stage to wreak havoc with the body, and the cues make sense. It’s easy enough so I only had to trail – I don’t have to do it while being trailed. I’ll just jump in and do it when it’s time for me to do it.

Came home, posted today’s exercise on the Workshop board. This morning, I’m working on my own homework for the other workshops, and I’ll catch up reading and commenting on the homework in my workshops.

I’m very excited about both worlds I’m building in the world-building workshops. I think I might use one of them for my Nano instead of Effie, because I’ll have so much work done on it, I should be in a position to write it.

We’ll see. I still don’t know if I can do Nano.

And I’m so exhausted right now that I just want to go back to bed. Not an option. First, I have to catch up on everything. Maybe later I can take a nap. Of course, I also have to go grocery shopping – we finished the cat food today and the beasts are horrified by the empty spot in the cupboard!

Devon

Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 8:46 am  Comments (12)  

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday, October 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Sunny, hot, humid

My last day in New York. I’ve enjoyed this self-imposed retreat, although I didn’t get as many word on paper as I wanted to. And I love Costume Imp’s cats. But I miss my own, and I need to get back into the house-hunting saddle again. Also, this week is the Dialogue Workshop for the Muse Online Conference, and I now have over 160 people signed up. I want to make sure everyone gets the attention they need and deserve (and, should there be attention-hogs, that they don’t suck all the energy out of the place).

I’m probably the world’s worst hostess, and you know what? On one level, I don’t care. I’ve read, over the past few weeks, people’s sites who say they can’t blog or write because they have company. Um, when I have company, I’m up super early, put the coffee on, bake something, and then retreat to my desk and do my day’s quota. Woe to anyone who tries to interrupt me. They have coffee and fresh-baked whatevers; there’s a newspaper; you’re not a toddler, amuse yourself for a few hours. To me, protecting the writing is the MOST important thing. They are on MY turf – they live under my house rules. After I’ve done my day’s quota, I come out and we sightsee or go to a concert or a museum or whatever – but mornings are sacred writing time, no matter who’s in the place. The energy’s different with guests – especially in a small apartment. I’m similar to Yasmine Galenorn in that I’m very aware of the energy of others in the house while I’m writing, even those I love, and I prefer an empty house. But if I don’t have it, I can work anyway.

And when I’m a guest, I stay quietly in my room, doing my day’s work, until I hear the hosts moving around, give them time to get settled in the day, and then I get up and about.

Again, a traffic jam by mid-afternoon, with them all backed up, honking horns and screaming at each other. People, it doesn’t make the traffic move faster!

More reasons to leave New York:

–three teenagers set a sleeping homeless man on fire;
–an explosion on 119th St. that might have been a gas leak or might have been a crystal meth lab;
–a man had an altercation at a Dunkin Donuts; he then ran into a restaurant on the East Side in the 30s, grabbed a knife, stabbed someone who worked there, then repeatedly stabbed an elderly woman walking her dog outside the restaurant.

Who wants to live like this? For me, NY’s negatives now outweigh the positive. It will always be a fascinating city, but I need something else.

One of the most wearing things about living in the city is the constant rage. Those with money can protect themselves and keep from dealing with it – they live in high-rises, they’ve got the double-paned glass, the doormen, the car services. But the regular, working New Yorkers have to deal with a constant energy of anger.

There’s plenty about which to be angry. This city is run by a billionaire, and corporation executives are making obscene personal profits, while every day, people are forced out of homes and jobs, onto the streets, homeless and starving. Regular people who might have the cubicle beside you at work. And it’s not just in New York, it’s all over the country. It is inexcusable that there is any homelessness or hunger in this country. The Republicans call it “personal responsibility” and that’s their justification to keep the gap growing between the top corporate execs and everyone else. There is plenty in this country for everyone to have the basics for a decent life; however, the corporate honchos only see their way to having more – and they are never satisfied – is by taking away and giving everyone less.

Cities should not offer corporations tax breaks. They should only get tax breaks based on how much they do for the community in terms of setting up shelters, educational programs, affordable housing (as in, someone on minimum wage only needs to spend 1/3 of that wage on rent), affordable health care, and food banks. Not the so-called “corporate philanthropy” where corporations give money to other corporations set up as non-profits, which then dole it out to their favorites. Corporations should have to get out on the street and make a difference, in direct proportion to their profit. People who work for corporations should be paid to spend 10 hours per week manning these programs. Give people a roof over their heads and a full belly, and they can start to focus on getting their lives back on track, getting better skills, searching for jobs that can support their families, because they’re not panicked and in despair. Those who have physical/emotional/psychological problems need access to care, so they can build lives. I’m not talking about handouts for life – I’m talking about putting systems in place to let people live with dignity. The parasites can get weeded out. And there are more parasites at the top of corporations than there are trying to get welfare. Just because he wears an expensive suit doesn’t mean he’s not corrupt. But, also, basic costs such as rents and fuel have to be controlled.

Dived back into Tracking Medusa. I’m the happiest writing this book as I’ve been since writing Shallid. This book and its characters are very special to me. Dropped right down into the well with Gwen and Justin. Finished Chapter Seventeen, when Gwen astral projects to keep from revealing information under sodium penothol and protect Justin. It took some wacky turns, but I like it, and it also wraps up some things in the plot that were dangling (mostly because I had no idea what to do with them). Finished Chapter Eighteen, where they’re running from the vampire hunters (who don’t care that Gwen and Justin aren’t vampires), and the stress finally gets to Gwen. Just under 5K on that story today. And, if I had more stamina, I’d have kept going.

All I had the energy to do was flip channels on bad TV. I tried to watch Failure to Launch. While I liked the supporting cast a lot and thought that the B storylines were handled better than the A storyline, I found the lacking elements in the A storyline so frustrating I couldn’t stand it. Structure-wise, I found it interesting, but it didn’t serve as entertainment for me, and that’s what I needed.

Watched a couple of episodes of Torchwood. Interesting series, with mixed feelings about it. I like John Barrowman’s work a lot, and I think there are some interesting thematic structures. What concerned me when I watched episodes back to back was that each episode I viewed ended on a note of almost existential hopelessness. If there’s never a sign of hope, it certainly won’t hold me for long, and I wonder how long it can hold an audience. In fiction, as in life, I want solutions that move us to a more positive place. I want it even more in fiction when it doesn’t happen in life, and it’s one of the things for which I strive in life. In the “Fairy” episode, I also felt the structure was not true to the internal logic of the fae that had been set up in regard to Estelle. I understand her death from a dramatic point of view, in the way it affected Captain Jack, but it was not believable or necessary, to me, within the fae logic which had been set up at the top of the episode, or in Captain Jack’s story of the troop train.

Looks like the stagehands are going to cave to the producers’ demands. I can’t even begin to say how disgusted I am. I hope I’m wrong – I hope it’s just more posturing. If I’m right, let’s just say I’m getting out of this arena of the business at the right time.

Didn’t sleep much last night because of street noise. I think it quieted down around 3 AM. By 8 AM, the next door neighbor had his disco beat going – but still more quietly than the downstairs neighbor back home.

Spent a leisurely morning reading the paper and getting depressed at the violent state of the world.

Can’t wait to get back to Tracking Medusa.

Devon

Tracking Medusa – 44,779 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
44 / 90
(48.9%)
Published in: on October 7, 2007 at 10:27 am  Comments (5)  

April 5, 2007

Thursday, April 5, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Misty and cold

I decided that Saturn can’t STILL be retrograde, so, even though I can’t find a “direct” on my calendars – I hereby declare it DIRECT! With both Pluto (hidden things) and Jupiter (money, material things) retrograde, I am NOT dealing with a continuing Saturn Retrograde as well. SO THERE!

I could not get the engines fired yesterday. I made it to Old Greenwich to Staples, where I got the binders I needed and a new Staples Rewards card. About time – I’ve had the old one for five years and it’s done me NO good.

At least I have binders to organize the information for Good Names.

Someone asked me the other day if I didn’t think Good Names was too close to Mia King’s title of Good Things. Well, no, and not just because they’re in two different genres and two different time periods. When I speak the title of Mia’s book, I put the emphasis on the first word: GOOD Things. When I speak the title of my book, the emphasis is on the second word: Good NAMES. To me, the inflection keeps the titles from being too similar. Plus, to me, both are the beginnings of phrases with quite different roots and meanings – they take us to different places.

Got out a couple of pitches and spent too much time dilly dallying on the internet. Now that I’ve limited the time spent on various forums (although I’m still having technical difficulties and can’t get in to the freelance forum that’s my absolute lifeline), I’m more focused with my time. But I’m doing some research, and the problem with research is tangents. I love tangents, and some of my best inspiration comes from tangents, but one still has to be careful.

It rained and rained and rained yesterday, so I kept the car on high ground and I’m hoping I don’t get a ticket. I will challenge it if I do.

Spooky stopped by this morning for a snack and a pet. He has absolutely no interest in being an indoor cat. He likes his independence too much. However, he does count on me for regular meals and cuddling. He’s getting the best of this deal, I think, but at least my girls aren’t upset.

I’m enjoying Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love more and more. It’s nice to watch her blossom into herself, instead of completely defining herself by men all the time (at the start, she was one of those people who had to be in a relationship all the time – the type of woman with whom I have absolutely NO patience). And her details and asides, especially in the section on Italy, are wonderful, funny, and engaging.

Worked on the guest blogger piece. Will give it a quick polish before I send it out this morning.

Started to sign up for the Freelancers Union – but found some of their questions during the sign-up process intrusive, and, quite frankly, none of their business. I should be able to choose not to answer them. If they keep insisting – I will UN-sign up.

Chaz Brenchley’s new novel, River of the World, arrived last night, and I look forward to reading it.

I prepared chicken and Italian sweet sausage last night, cooked in garlic, onion, tomato, and thyme, served over pasta, with green beans on the side. It was very good.

I have a busy morning ahead of me – the post office may deign to be open for a few hours, and I need to get some packages out to my cousin in Germany. And then I need to sort some more receipts in preparation for taxes. And work on The Project. And write. I want to get some work done on Good Names.

Devon

February 15, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and COLD

And guess what? No hot water! Again. Are you really surprised, at this point?

I was featured on Deborah Ng’s “Pay it Forward Tuesday” this week – and too sick to visit any other blogs. So I caught up today.

My “Pay it Forward” is Mia King, who found me here via wordpress or something, and whose new book, Good Things was published about a week ago. Go, Mia! Hop over and visit her if you get the chance. Not only does her book sound terrific, she and her husband run a golfing company in Hawaii!

Visiting the other blogs on the Pay it Forward:

Kelly Boyer Sagertz: Word of Mouth has some interesting information on a variety of topics:

Eleanor Burks’s book Assaulted by Memory – the page goes directly to Amazon.com, not her site, so all I could see was that only one book is left in stock; nothing about her;

Sinclair Nicholas has an interesting Prague Blog

if you’re interested in daily life in Prague. I wanted to comment on the blog, because I enjoyed the writing, but I “wasn’t authorized.” I tried to “log in” and it wouldn’t even let me sign up/sign in/whatever. Oh, well. I’m not going through any more signing up processes. I’m tired of jumping through hoops in order to be able to give someone a compliment. Either you want people to respond to your blog, or you make it too difficult and they don’t come back.

Scott Penny has That Blog

which is pretty fun AND you can leave comments on it without having to promise your firstborn, your dog, and your kitchen utensils.

And I really enjoyed Joanne Mason’s blog, What Do You Read?

Now, back to life, writing, and the rest of it.

I’m much better. No idea what got me down – and, because my union’s so-called insurance plan is not only inadequate, but for all intents and purposes, non-existent (I swear, the guy I was forced to see must have gotten his degree from a matchbook cover, so I ended up paying out of pocket for my former doctor and then going to my acupuncturist, who fixed just about everything), it wasn’t pretty.

Those of you who’ve known me for awhile know I’m pro-union. I’ve served as a union negotiator on contract issues. However, the labor movement, in general, has failed its membership in this country since Bush was crowned President by the Supreme Court (because he sure as hell wasn’t voted in – the votes weren’t even counted).

People join unions for two reasons – to have a unified voice in receiving a FAIR day’s pay for a FAIR day’s work in reasonably safe and sanitary conditions, AND to have access to health care by being a part of a group large enough that an insurance company can actually be bothered. Their responsibility is to provide that day’s work, and the union leaders’ responsibility is to make sure the membership is paid fairly, with cost-of-living increases each year, and to make sure the health care is there.

The union leadership has done nothing but cave to Bush’s anti-labor policies for the past six years instead of holding the line. It’s not just my union, it’s a nationwide problem. Too many egos and personal agendas have taken precedence over the reason unions rose in the first place, and now “union” is equated with lazy and/or corrupt – an incorrect image the employers are eager to push, and the leadership does nothing to dissipate. We need new leadership across the board who clean up the internal messes and then present unity to those who expect everything for nothing.

My industry has prime examples – those with the least contribution to the creative process make the profit, when it should be evenly distributed amongst those who actually generate the work.

Anyway, enough about unions and healthcare.

The show is going fine, in spite of the lazy co-worker who expects to be carried (and I’m not). This person begged for the job; now this person must fulfill the responsibilities. I’m doing MY job, not TWO jobs. I have a second full-time career already. Make the choices, take the consequences, right?

The commute hasn’t been too hateful this week, so far; I’m dealing with it, back to reading on the train, etc.

The writing has gone to hell without even the hand basket – I’m way behind on all the creative work, although I’ve managed to stay on top of the business writing, pitches, follow-ups, etc., and I’m in the midst of negotiating contracts on several interesting projects. I also found some interesting new markets for some of the pieces that I worried about before I left a week and change ago. I certainly have my work cut out for me, catch-up wise, next week, on my week off between tracks. At least I managed to keep up with Circadian posts.

Artie is back, and we went to dinner at a recently opened French restaurant on Ninth Avenue between shows last night. The décor is lovely, the service excellent, the food wonderful, the presentation beautiful. All in all, a good experience.

We had a few kerfluffles in the show – a boot got caught up in one of the massive underskirts and we couldn’t find it for a quick change, so I ran down to storage and got out an old pair and got the actress on stage; two pairs of boots that look the same were accidentally switched, but I managed to get them switched back before the change – little stuff like that. For the most part, it’s been pretty calm, and there’s been enough laughter to make it fun.

I got the child’s humidifier from Target that looks like a small, round, yellow cat. The steam comes out of its ears – it’s pretty funny. My cats are fascinated by it.

I’ve got a few hours before I head back to the show tonight to try and get some stuff done out here. I need to dig out my mom’s car later because she’s got to get on the road, and I’m not going to have her do it herself.

February 19 was supposed to be a day off, but because I lost so much ground when I was sick, that’s just not going to happen. Maybe the weekend of the 24/25, I can have some time off.

Doesn’t it suck that Mercury went Retrograde on Valentine’s Day? Hope it didn’t have too much negative effect for any of you.

Will catch up on everyone’s blogs over the next few days.

Devon

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tueday, February 13, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I’ve been to sick to even turn on the computer for the past few days. But, as I said, it’s not an option for me to call in. I still have to work.

The fact that our union betrayed us by forcing us onto an insurance plan that’s completely inadequate has only made matters worse.

I’m better, back home, but heading back into the city (and a snowstorm) for daywork and a show.

I’ll catch up here when I’m feeling up to it.

The labor movement, in general, has betrayed its membership, as far as health care. It’s their job to hold the line, not bow down to George W. Bush’s anti-labor policies. They’ve failed in this, mostly due to ego within the unions, and then they wonder why the membership is unhappy and doesn’t turn out in force when needed.

Published in: on February 13, 2007 at 8:40 am  Comments (18)