Thurs. June 13, 2019: Writing, Garden, Rain

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Raining and cool

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the details about the garden and the mowing.

People are pretty sad around this area. The Bruins lost the Stanley Cup last night to St. Louis.

Yesterday, the guy came to mow, early in the morning. I’d let my neighbor know, so that he wouldn’t be rudely awakened (although he was probably up). In one hour, the guy did what usually took me several days. There’s a lot of relief in having this off my plate. I never found my mowing Zen, I hated the mowing part of having a yard. I struggled for years. This guy is nice, charges a price fair to both of us, and does a good job. If anyone decides to give me a hard time for not handling it myself, too bad. I’m not twenty any more. There are things I can’t physically do anymore, and things I don’t WANT to do. Mowing is both.

The lawn looks good (okay, I admit, I preferred it to look wild in the back), and now I can concentrate on the beds and plants, and putting down fertilizer to keep it green and healthy.

Client work onsite was fine. I’m prepping for next week’s big event. I’ll probably have to put in some extra hours in the next few days, remotely, but that’s fine.

Another client gave me the greenlight on the material I wrote, so now I’m getting it out to the press and up on event calendars.

Again, I got jerked around by the potential client in Boston. We’ve now had half a dozen conversations that I need advance notice to come up from the Cape to Boston. It is ignored. When I follow up on meetings they claim they want for confirmation, I get excuses.

So, it’s finally gotten through my thick skull that they’re not serious about hiring me. Somehow, they can use me as leverage against someone else. They’re stringing me along for whatever reason. But guess what? I’m not willing to be anyone’s second choice. And if so many red flags come up during our initial meetings, what would working with them be like?

I’m going to keep pursuing other opportunities. I’m going to keep keeping up with my other clients. I’m going to keep sending out LOIs and article pitches.

I’m disappointed, I’m a little angry, I’m insulted. But it’s best that I acknowledge those feelings, then drop them and move on.

I’m doing all kinds of research in Caribbean history. It’s technically for ELLA BY THE BAY, but some of it is useful in THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and DAVY JONES DHARMA.

ELLA BY THE BAY is going very well. I enjoy my daily writing session on it, in longhand. I like mixing elements of mystery, romance, and the character’s self-exploration.

GRAVE REACH is going more slowly, but it’s finding its way. I look forward to getting this draft to my editor. THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and DAVY JONES DHARMA both have new release dates, early next year, and I’m working on the revisions. The new track for both books is much better. I’d rather spend more time on the book than rush it and put out a lousy book.

I’m reading some material on Brighton Pier in preparation to write the next radio play. I’m looking forward to it. I might also contact the museum with some questions.

There’s still an awful lot that needs to be dealt with in the next few months, but I’m doing what I can each day to deal with it. Mercury in Retrograde for the bulk of July isn’t going to help.

Have to follow up today on an article I submitted a couple of weeks ago. It’s supposed to be paid on acceptance, and there hasn’t been any acknowledgement of it, much less acceptance, or payment. If this was the first time working with the publication, I would figure this is just the way they operate, but I’ve written and been paid for a half a dozen pieces over the years, so I don’t understand what’s going on now.

Will follow up on a couple of other things, too.

Fingers crossed, and then back to the page.

 

Wed. June 12, 2019: Could There Be Some Relief in Sight? Don’t Want to Jinx It!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Over on Ink-Dipped Advice, I talk about interviews being more of information exchange sessions.

I don’t feel like I have many interesting things to say on the blog right now. There’s plenty going on; but much of it is inappropriate to discuss publicly at this point. It’s taking a toll, but until certain things are settled, it’s counterproductive and potentially harmful to discuss them here. So I hope you will be patient. I will share what I can as I can.

On the upside, I managed to get the final piece finished on the car — the hub cab. I can’t believe they charge that much for a plastic piece of crap that’s going to pop right off again the next time there’s a pothole. Which, by the way, is how most roads in MA operate — full of potholes. They spend months narrowing traffic lanes and causing delays to pave the roads. Two days later, some utility company rips it all up, puts a bad patch on it, and everything’s right back to where it started. It’s not about throwing money at infrastructure — it’s about coordination, and making the utility companies fix what they rip up.

I’ve been getting estimates from lawn care companies about the mowing. No luck finding a woman-run business so far. Hit and miss on the others. This attitude that I don’t have the right to decide what is done and when has got to stop. I’m not hiring someone who shames or demeans me. Why would I pay for that?

I finally found a really nice guy who is responsive, friendly, listens. He came by yesterday morning to take a look and talk about it. He’s going to start today, and then come every other week. It’s a reasonable price, and it takes a lot of worry off my back (and pain out of my back). What a relief.

Working with a client on a big event next week. Working with another client on a marketing campaign for a series of talks given at different locations. Trying to pin down the meeting in Boston with a potential new client. Working on a couple of articles. Following up on an article I submitted nearly two weeks ago to a publication — they pay on acceptance. In the past, it was always accepted the same day I submitted and paid. I’m happy to make any changes they want, but I can’t make them unless they communicate. Got out some more LOIs. Working on some pitches. I don’t feel I can send them out until I have a few other things finalized, because those projects will change my schedule and limit my flexibility.

Meditation was great on Monday afternoon. Even managed to get home before the rain started. It wasn’t anywhere near as big a storm as predicted.

ELLA BY THE BAY is chugging along nicely. GRAVE REACH is going more slowly than I’d like. I’m getting out the gift books to the donors on the GoFundMe campaign.

My “action card” for the month is the Eight of Swords, and that’s exactly what this feels like. All I can do is keep my head down, keep moving forward, and handle each thing as it comes in, so I can make the next necessary thing happen.

I’ve had a couple of good nights’ sleep in a row, which helps, but I really, really, REALLY need some time off. That’s not going to happen until 4th of July weekend.

Back to the page.

Fri. June 7, 2019: Trying to Get Back on Track

Friday, June 7, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It’s June, and I just switched from flannel sheets to cotton ones. That’s how cold it’s been around here.

I was up early yesterday morning. Got a bit of writing done, then headed out at 8:30 for a 9 AM meeting with a local client. It went well; after the meeting, I got the first of my part of it done; I have a press release to finish today and get off to them, and then a Skype meeting with another potential client in the afternoon.

Took my mother to her medical appointment. It went reasonably well, but there’s still care to be done on the leg. Ran some errands on the way home, and then, using some new garden equipment, did some yard work. Tackled the rest of the front bed, and cleaned out a lot of the Sleeping Beauty look on the side, and pruned the pretty blooming tree. I decided to hire in someone to mow, but so far, the companies are nasty and sexist and condescending. Why would I pay money to someone who treats me like that? I wish I could find something like Rent-A-Husband, or a woman-run business.

Went to bed ridiculously early last night and finally slept through the night. I’m suffering from severe stress & exhaustion from the events of the past few months, and it’s taking its toll. If I don’t take care of it now, my health will break down indefinitely.

Errands this morning, client work out, prepping for a meeting, and then more yard work. Because there’s always more damn yard work. I’m trying to get the damn weed whacker fixed, so I can actually use it to whack weeds. It works for about two minutes, and then needs adjustment again. I’m so sick of nothing damn working.

I want my weekend to be about writing, especially about GRAVE REACH, but there will, no doubt, be lots of yard work, too.

The Bloomberg article the other day about it being a “myth” that most people can’t afford an unexpected expense was so condescending and removed from reality I wanted to vomit. I expect no less from them — they are, after all, a business publication, and dedicated to screwing the workers while applauding useless executives who profit from those who actually do the work.

I want some time off, with no pressure and no demands on me. I am desperate for it.

Don’t see that happening any time soon.

But I am always happy to go back to the page.

And tomorrow, I’m going to my local library’s big fundraiser (not the library where I used to work, but the library where I spend part of my day three to four times a week). I’m looking forward to it. I use the library so often; I want to support them.

Have a great weekend!

 

Published in: on June 7, 2019 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. June 5, 2019: Trying to Balance Irritation and Action

Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Exhausted.

Ink-Dipped Advice has a post on trade-offs today.

Irritated because someone has been bitching at me about money, about how much certain things cost. But I’m doing the numbers, and it’s not adding up. I don’t want to hear it any more.

I had an epiphany, and, while it’s not appropriate for me to go into public detail, a few things are going to change soon, paving the way for bigger changes in a few months.

I’m also sick and tired of these nasty, filthy tourists who come on Cape Cod supposedly to “enjoy” the natural beauty, and then do everything in their power to destroy it. Leaving their trash everywhere, being rude to people. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is talking about doubling the size of both bridges. How are they going to feed that extra traffic into the narrow roads? We can’t fit the people that are here now.

But again, everything is being sold off to corporations not located on Cape Cod, so all they care about is short-term profit.

Thank goodness for Monday’s meditation group.

The writing is not going well, because I have so much other stuff to sort out, and that always sends me into a downward spiral.

I need to come up with something pithy for the radio play set on Brighton Pier. I’m not feeling very witty right now, though. But I think I can have a lot of fun with the premise. Carousel sounds and carnival barkers and fortune tellers and the rest.

I need to get out of this negative headspace. I also need to push back against those who are demanding that I live my life to their rules, when my life has little to nothing to do with theirs.

What I need, most desperately, is some time off.

Which isn’t going to happen any time soon.

With a client today, for most of the day, and then, possibly, with another client.

Onward.

Published in: on June 5, 2019 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. June 4, 2019: Trying to Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

It’s been a difficult few weeks. There’s plenty I can’t talk about right now in a public venue.

The additional pressure has certainly slowed down the writing. That’s negative not only because it puts a dent in earnings — which I can’t have right now — but also because when I don’t write enough each day, it throws my day out of balance. I have deadlines looming, and even though I’m working as hard as I can, I don’t know what to do.

The red flags just keep coming with that potential client out of Boston. They made demands; I met them; now I’ve heard nothing. Not even common courtesy. Yet I’m sure, should they want to take the next step, that they will, once again, expect me to drop everything the second they snap their fingers. Not happening. IF and WHEN they are paying me for my time and my skills, that’s when they get to make such demands. Otherwise, they have to negotiate. Current clients take priority over maybe someday clients.

On a happy note, I heard from Radio Theatre Project that they like “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” and want to take a look at the play set on Brighton Pier for their October slot. Of course, I have to write the play set on Brighton Pier — but at least I managed to dig up one research book, out of the Boston library.

Saturday, I ran errands. Tried to get the house back to rights after all the rearranging for the fridge switch out. Cut back and dug out one of the front beds in the yard, and moved some hostas.

I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and discouraged.

Was up, as usual, half the night fretting Saturday night into Sunday. Got some work done on ELLA both days. Not enough on GRAVE REACH. Got the first chapter of ELLA into the computer (which means I’m working on the first and second drafts together of that book).

Did four loads of laundry on Sunday. It kept threatening to rain; I wasn’t sure if I should try to get something done in the yard, but it being Sunday, I wanted to make sure it was something quiet. I managed to get the fertilizer down on the terraced back area.

Started reading Amanda Flower‘s Magical Bookshop mysteries, which are quite good.

A former client contacted me, wondering if we could get together this week so I could write a press release. Hopefully, we can work out the day and time. I like working with them, and it would be fun to do something again.

Was onsite with a client yesterday, and will be today and tomorrow. More pitches and LOIs going out this week.

There was a great piece by a job search advocate (who even knew those existed?) about how badly so-called “human services” professionals treat the people they interview — things like not respecting the interviewee’s time, asking questions that don’t matter to the job, not giving enough or correct information about the job, and not giving a final answer, even if it’s a rejection. Totally agree. It’s not true that there aren’t enough qualified candidates for the jobs — it’s that the people doing the interviews aren’t finding the right matches. It’s especially true when everything is done online and the application is only sent through an algorithm. Especially for a job that requires creativity, the best candidate cannot fit into the boxes. The whole point of finding the right creative fit is someone who DOESN’T fit into boxes, not someone who lies to make it seem like a good fit.

Trying to break out of this loop of self-defeating, negative interior monologue telling me I’m worthless and useless and untalented and a failure. Intellectually, I know it’s not true, but emotionally, that’s what I feel, and I’m frustrated and disheartened and feel stuck, and like I can’t break the cycle. I have to, and I have to do it quickly, but I don’t know how.

It doesn’t help that the economy is about to crash, either, thanks to the Narcissistic Sociopath Grifter and his enablers.

I am desperate for a break of a few days with NO demands on me, and I don’t know when that will happen.

In the meantime, I’m dealing with whatever’s in front of me in the moment. Which isn’t a good solution, but it’s all I’ve got for the moment.

Fri. May 31, 2019: Discouraging Few Days

Friday, May 31, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Going through a rough stretch. Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. Didn’t post to the garden blog, either, and won’t be able to until next week. Considering how much work I’ve done in the garden, with so little return – oh, well. GDR wrap-up isn’t up, either; I’ll do it early next week, although I’m going to be so discouraged, I hate even the thought of making the list.

Wednesday night, the refrigerator died. Called the landlord, dashed to K-Mart to buy a set of nested super coolers. Down to the corner store to buy ice. Unloaded the fridge and freezer and packed up everything, setting it out on the deck. We had a cool night, which helped.

Cleaned out the kitchen yesterday, making room for the fridge move. The landlord came by to look at the downed tree limb and the leaning tree, and will get someone in to take care of them. He also noted everything that wasn’t done, and it turns out that one of my favorite shrubs is something that is basically a weed and shouldn’t be there.

So I feel like a complete failure.

At the same time, even though I’m a freelancer, I put in at least a 60 hour week. I’m not a retired Cape Codder, like so many others who spend eight hours a day in the yard, nor can I afford a landscape service to come in. The place hardly looks like a vacant lot. Plus, I LIKE it to look a little wild, a little like an enchanted cottage. I WANT it to have all the elements that the National Wildlife Federation list as necessary for a habitat.

This is why I need to buy. So that I can do whatever I damn well please in my own house and yard.

But I really like and respect my landlord, and hate feeling like I let him down.

They were an hour late with the new fridge, which is a spare my landlord had, but it’s really nice. It’s a little smaller, but the way the space is arranged, we have more room. It was nice to organize things a little differently.

I AM the queen of condiments. Wow. I didn’t realize I had so much. Even though I use them.

We lost some things, and some of what we lost would have been tossed in the semi-annual fridge cleanout anyway. So, it wasn’t bad.

The cats kept staring at the new fridge as though they expect it to expel tuna treats any minute. It’s pretty funny.

I was exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, and discouraged last night, not to mention in pain. I gave in and took a Tylenol PM so that maybe, MAYBE, I’d sleep through the night for once. I woke up around 12:30, but managed to get back to sleep. Then, I felt like crap when I woke up, and still feel like crap. I’ve already had two crying jags, and it’s not even noon.

Went out to pick up some necessary stuff at Kmart again this morning – cleaning supplies, etc. Getting some work done, and then I have to make a run to the garden store to get fertilizer in.

It’s sunny, so I have to work in the yard. I still need to put back the stuff we took out of the kitchen. I still have writing to do, and LOIs to get out. I need rest, I need a break so badly, and I can’t take the time for it. But not taking the time for it means I’ll just feel worse. So I’m screwed no matter what I do.

Which really sums up the entire month of May.

Hope your May was better than mine, and have a great weekend.

Published in: on May 31, 2019 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. May 29, 2019: Project Juggles

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Not sure at what point this is going up today; if it’s late, I apologize.

Worn out.

Yesterday, I was up early, getting some work done before I had to drop off my car at the shop at 7:30 in the morning. I spent most of the day with a client, working on an event that’s coming up in about three weeks.

The mechanic kept calling and calling and calling while I was in the middle of something that involved other people and couldn’t be interrupted. I was terrified that they’d found something else wrong and I’d be screwed. Plus, they know they’re supposed to text me or email me, not call. I finally got a message — the car was ready earlier than expected!

Once the adrenalin rush dropped, I was toast for the day. I struggled through the rest of the day. They picked me up at the end of my day, I picked up the car. I have to go back later in the week to get a new hubcap they ordered. Thanks to the tariffs, the hubcap has now DOUBLED in price.

Should have stopped at the store, but I was too wiped out.

But I managed to get one of my articles out to the editor, and chased down payment for the radio theatre who still hadn’t paid me — the latter even showed up in PayPal the same day, which was nice. I heard from my editor at Llewellyn. She liked one of my ideas and wants to contract it for 2021. So that’s good news!

Information on an interesting new-to-me company looking for a remote writer landed on my desk, and I’m going to send them an LOI. I like their tone and the philosophy they claim to practice. I’d like to know more about them.

Worked on some ad copy for the “assessment.” I’m doing what I think best serves the work, instead of trying to second-guess what they want to hear. Either they like it or they don’t. I’m happy with what I’ve done on it. Off it goes.

Most of today will be spent on-site with a client, then I have to swing by Trader Joe’s to get some basics. I’ll know by noon whether or not I’m going in to Boston tomorrow or Friday for a meeting with a potential client. I’m sure they will contact me at the end of the day or tomorrow, expecting me to drop everything and rush up there, and then it will be a no-go. The lack of respect for my time and that I put the clients with whom I already have commitments ahead of those who are simply trying to jerk my chain sends up red flags for me.

We’ll see. I read an interesting article on negotiating offers yesterday, which gave me good points to consider.

I need to do a polish on the play, so it can go out tomorrow or Friday (Friday is the last day of the submission period).

I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped with the car repair. I will post information via an update on what information I need, in order to send out the books.

Onward.

Published in: on May 29, 2019 at 8:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. May 28, 2019: Hit The Stress Running

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

So much for having five days off. When the best laid plans go awry, and all that.

Wednesday morning, I’d had a brief conversation with a potential new client. This would be a big deal. Good money. The conference went well, and the person with whom I spoke wanted the next steps up the food chain to happen on Thursday morning, via Skype, and Friday, in person in Boston.

Only I never got the necessary information by end of day on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, I let her know that I hadn’t had any information, and I would not cancel my Friday and go into Boston, on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. That’s just nuts. I said I could arrange to go up next Thursday or Friday, but I needed to know by next Wednesday noon. I’m getting a little tired of this attitude that I’m supposed to be at their beck and call when they’re not paying me.

I got a message back stating that the Thursday morning conference couldn’t happen, could we do it in the afternoon?

Good thing I hadn’t booked office space at Cape Space, as I originally planned. Or I would have had to pay for it, even if I canceled. They seem to have difficulty understanding that I actually work for a living; I’m not lounging around the house in pajamas waiting for their summons.

The Skype meeting went well, although it was 45 minutes, longer than I expected. I haven’t heard anything about whether or not the meeting in Boston is on for next week. If I don’t hear by my deadline, it won’t be.

They requested writing samples, which I provided from my portfolios. On top of it, they want me to do a project-specific “assessment” — which, if they weren’t such an established company with a good reputation, I would refuse to do without pay. But again, I’m losing billable hours for AN INTERVIEW. Red flags going up.

In the meantime, I had a very, very busy Wednesday with a client, and was exhausted by the time I got home in the afternoon. But glad that I had five days away from clients. We have a big project coming up that’s more difficult than it needs to be, because the other party responsible for organizing it is clueless.

I was supposed to have five full days off. However, once the Thursday Skype meeting was moved, I got some other work out of the way in the morning, and then mowed the front yard in the afternoon before my meeting. It looks pretty darn good. The push mower does a far better job than the gas mower ever did.

I finished the final polish on “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” and sent it off to the producer.

Started plotting the next Frieda/Lazarus radio play, which will take place on the Brighton Pier — provided I can get the research in. I’ve been in Brighton, but I need to do some of the historical research. It’s hard to find books in the MA library system on historical Brighton, England.

Working on the stage play that’s due next week.

Friday, I ran some errands, including stopping by the mechanic to make arrangements for the rest of the car repairs, which are happening today. Downloaded the materials for the “writing assessment” and did a couple of other things.

Managed to get some decent work done on ELLA BY THE BAY throughout the weekend. I find it relaxing to do a few pages with my morning coffee, even before I do yoga and start the rest of the day.

Finished a chunk of research on forensic psychology, so I can draft Sam’s professional scenes in GRAVE REACH.

Mowed the side yard.

I’m taking as much time as possible to enjoy being on the deck. I rubbed the wooden furniture with teak oil; I’m starting to put out the garden ornaments.

I managed to get a lot of reading done: MURDER AT OCHRE COURT and A MURDEROUS MARRIAGE, both by Alyssa Maxwell, although each is from a different series; THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE and LETTERS FROM PARIS, both by Juliet Blackwell. Started reading a serial killer novel, but the cat was murdered, so I’m done. I’m tired of pets and women constantly brutalized in fiction (not to mention real life).

Saturday, I ran some books back to the library, and got out a pitch for an opportunity that landed on my desk late Friday night.

The stage play I was writing took a turn to the more dramatic; I started another, more comic play that I think will work better for the piece I have to submit at the end of the week.

Mowed No Man’s Land and about half of the terrace back part of the yard. An enormous tree limb crashed down in the meadow, and I’m not sure if I should be worried about the rest of the tree. Not to mention that I don’t think I can move the tree limb by myself.

Cooked a lot and ate too much on Saturday. Complete indulgence. A Spanish-style tuna with relish, olive, and tomato along with an Italian anti-pasto plate, French bread, and French wine for lunch (and a sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries). A French bistro recipe for chicken, shallots, tomato, and tarragon for dinner.

The hordes of tourists have descended and Cape Cod is a nightmare. They are rude, they are arrogant, they drive on the wrong side of the road while texting on their phones. They are sloppy and they litter.

Sitting on the deck on Saturday afternoon, it smelled like Cape Cod, but with the noise of traffic and sirens, it sounded like New York City, and I felt claustrophobic.

A thunder storm woke me overnight Saturday into Sunday, but it passed quickly. It was the first night we left the plants out, and they seem to have survived.

Up early on Sunday, reading and writing. Especially on ELLA BY THE BAY. It’s got a nice, steady pace. I need to transfer some of that pace to GRAVE REACH, and up it a bit.

I should have mowed, but I didn’t. Instead, I tried to enjoy the day.

I am, however, worried about a tree in the backyard that’s leaning. Only I’m not sure if it’s on my property or my neighbor’s. So I will have to ask the landlord. But I’m worried that it will come down and hurt someone or something.

Wrote and polished an article which will go out today. Worked on the “assessment” assignment for the potential new client. Read Tami Hoag’s DUST TO DUST, which was quite good.

Noodled with some ideas for stories and for plays (different ideas). We will see which ones work and which ones don’t.

Got an idea for a short play, which I think will work better for the play on deadline than either of the ideas with which I’ve been playing.

Monday, morning, up early. Worked on ELLA BY THE BAY. Worked on the new play, called “Qualified Personnel.” Got the first draft done. Will let it simmer for a day or two before I revise it and then I want to get it out by Thursday, if possible.

Got more stuff out on the deck, to build our enchanted garden there. Put in the solar stakes. Started mowing the meadow, which is a nightmare, because it’s uneven. Wondering if I’ll have to get in someone to do it for me, at least mow it down the first time.

Reading about the history of Havana. Fretting about the “writing assessment.” I should have simply stated I was away for the weekend, and had the initial interview, etc. this week. It’s my own fault, but I didn’t get the rest I needed, and am still feeling cooked, instead of revived and ready to face the hell that is summer on Cape Cod. It should be wonderful because it’s so beautiful, but it’s not.

Just when I hit a low point, a friend sent me a link to his new song, which is quite beautiful. That cheered me up.

Thought I’d bought ground lamb for dinner, but it was beef. Made burgers for dinner. They were very good, but the last few times I’ve eaten beef, I’ve felt awful, and this wasn’t much different.

Up early today, stressed, and off to get the car fixed. Hope it stays within the estimate and can all get done.

Exhausted and out of sorts, when I should be renewed and ready to face what’s coming. Not a good way to start the coming months.

Fri. May 24, 2019: More Relaxation

yoga-2176668_1920

image courtesy of pixabay.com

I’m still taking some time off. I’ll be back blogging at some point next Tuesday. It may be late in the day, not early. Apologies in advance. Have a lovely weekend. I intend so to do!

Published in: on May 24, 2019 at 6:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. May 23, 2019: Relaxing

pool-690034_1920

image courtesy of pixabay.com

As you can see from the picture, I’m taking time off to relax.

However, you can read my latest garden post on Gratitude and Growth.

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 6:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. May 22, 2019: Links & Prepping for Time Off

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Rachel Poli interviewed me for her blog here, and I’m quoted in The Ray Journey’s article on fighting creative block here.

Also, hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for some ruminations.

Still have the Go Fund Me for the car repair going. Once I get the insurance check, I’ll know if I can shut it down and start distributing the thank-you books.

I’m helping a client prepare for a big event next month. Neither of the parties involved wants to take responsibility for proper organization and running of it, and they won’t give me the autonomy to do what needs to be done to make it run well. It’s very frustrating. So I’m doing the best work I can in my realm, and it will be what it is.

The morning routine now includes taking the plants out to the deck and arranging them, and the evening routine includes bringing them in. Hopefully, after this weekend, they can just stay out. We’ll see.

Client work most of the days yesterday and today. Early morning meeting with a new potential client. Working steadily on the books, the plays, some new ideas for radio plays. Someone who does NOT like my work was just named artistic director of an organization where I had something produced, so I guess that’s it for me with them right now. That’s the way it goes.

Sent off  “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” to the producer. Fingers crossed.

Working on the articles. A couple of sources dropped out on both of them, so I have to replace those.

Playing with some other ideas, trying to get back on track for a few things. My brain is tired, which is why the next few days off are so important. I’ll let each day happen as it comes, let myself write and rest as I need to. That will help me get my energy together to hit the ground running again next week.

I mentioned to a writer pal of mine that I was “drunk on the scent of lilacs” and she is going to use it for the title of her book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

The beginning of this week was stressful, but I hope that the rest of it will be restorative.

I don’t plan to be online much; I won’t be blogging here again until late in the day next Tuesday.

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, or, if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have that day, just a wonderful few days.

Namaste.

 

Tues. May 21, 2019: Digging In to Dig Out

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Busy weekend, but a different busy than I expected. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Work is coming along steadily on ELLA BY THE BAY. It’s different than my usual pieces, and I’m taking what I’ve learned in other pieces and applying it here. It’s taking on its own form and rhythm, while still holding genre elements which interest me.

Working on GRAVE REACH, which is interesting in the way it’s forming, too. I feel as though last year I’d hit a plateau with my work. Although I wanted to improve, I’m not sure I did. I think both GRAVE REACH and ELLA will wind up being really good books. They’ll need a lot of work to get there, but the bones are solid on both of them, and I can layer on in the edits.

Ran errands on Friday, got out some LOIs, handled some stuff for my mom, and some grocery shopping. Saturday morning, more groceries, gas in the car, and a trip to Country Gardens so that I could get the stuff I need to treat the deck for ticks, et al. There were lettuce six packs on sale, so I could replace some of the lettuce we lost.

I did some trimming in the yard, and spent a good portion of the day transplanting tomato, eggplant, and pepper seedlings, and repotting some herbs. I also planted nasturtium, morning glory, moonflower, kale, mesculan green, and spinach seeds.

We have to take some of the tender plants back in at night, but they need the long sunshine.

Did the first of the tick treatments on the deck. I’m probably more afraid of ticks than anything else.

Later in the day, I enjoyed the scent of lilacs on the breeze, as I did research for a couple of projects.

The check arrived from the radio play in Minnesota that was taped last week. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the check from the Boston production a month ago. I’ll wait a few more days and then do a follow-up.

The Preakness was wild. Both in the entrants, and the poor horse who ran without his jockey.

Last week, I re-watched, on DVD, Bill Moyers’ FAITH & REASON, which took place at a PEN conference in NYC a few years back. What those writers predicted is even more chilling today. Now, I’m watching A WORLD OF IDEAS, conversations Moyers had with writers way back in 1988. E.L. Doctorow predicted what has since come to pass.

I overslept on Sunday, not getting up until after 8. I can’t remember when I’ve done that. Put the plants out on the deck for the day. Will have to take them in and out all week, because the nights are still too cold. I’m slowly taking out the teak furniture, a piece at a time, and rubbing it with teak oil, so it won’t crack in the weather. Did three loads of laundry. Wanted to mow (okay, not really, more like NEEDED to mow), but it kept threatening to rain, so I didn’t. That was my excuse, anyway. I need to get the meadow done soon, or it will be too high for the mower.

Worked on ELLA; worked on GRAVE REACH; worked on a tweak my editor asked for in the review; got ahead on some blogging. Worked on the articles that are due this week.

Woke up at 2:30 on Monday morning; managed to get back to sleep, but it always means I’m groggy and have a problem getting going when the alarm goes off. The weather was lousy, so I kept the tender plants inside.

I think I’m going to stick to my plan of taking off from this Thursday through Memorial Day. I’ll make it a long weekend of reading, writing, and yard work (weather permitting). As little online as possible, not dumping things on people’s desks except for deadlined work. I need the break, or I will break.

Taking Sunday almost completely offline helped a great deal. I need to go back to one day a week that’s disconnected; for a long weekend, I plan to spend most of it disconnected.

Was with a client yesterday. It was a little chaotic. Will be there today and tomorrow, and then I have a break from client work until next Tuesday. I barely made it to meditation on time.

I desperately, desperately need it.

 

Mon. May 20, 2019: Inner Peace in Times of Adversity #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, May 20, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Hey, when you have a handle on today’s topic, share, will you?

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with this. I had an unexpected car repair, and I had to ask for help, including starting a Go Fund Me. I was worried I couldn’t get the car back on the road, or that it wouldn’t survive long if I did, and I didn’t know what to do.

If it wasn’t for my daily yoga and meditation practice, I would have had a complete breakdown.

I came pretty darn close, as it was.

But every time I was sure I would lose my grip on “the edge of the verge” as a theatre colleague used to say, I would go to the mat or I’d go to the zafu and try to find a few minutes of peace. Those few minutes of either movement or stillness helped me steady. Helped me refocus. Helped me think clearly, so I could do what was necessary to take action and make decisions to deal with the situation.

I still had sleepless nights.

I still had days when I fell into bed early, because I couldn’t function any more.

There were tears and fears.

But, with the help of friends and colleagues, and the help of my daily yoga and meditation practices, I survived.

It clarified a few harsh realities of my life, and means the upcoming changes for this year may need to happen sooner rather than later.

I wouldn’t say I found “inner peace” — but I found a few moments of reprieve, and those helped me cope.

How do you cope when life throws adversity your way? How do you try to achieve “inner peace?”

 

Published in: on May 20, 2019 at 5:32 am  Comments (2)  
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