Tues. Sept. 15, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 118 — Getting Busy

image by pepperminting courtesy of pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Day Before Dark Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Friday’s performance of Table of Silence was wonderful. Not only is it a breathtaking piece of art in its own right, but it shows that performance can be done masked and socially distant and still work.

So those Covidiots who say they “can’t” wear a mask to go into a store for 10 minutes to pick up milk can go fuck themselves.

There was a chat going on in the sidebar while the stream ran. There was a Covidiot with a meaningless handle that indicates it was probably a bot who kept screaming about how the dancers should take off their masks and it was a lie and so on and so forth. Not one person engaged with this moron. Everyone (over 600 people) ignored the idiot. It was great.

I found it difficult to concentrate the rest of the day. I finished up something for a client, and then was kind to myself. I read, I rested. I did my special ceremony for the dead.

I feel like I need one of those Victorian rest cures, only instead of not reading, lying in bed or on the sofa and reading is all I do.

Did a quick run to the library to drop off/pick up. Roselle Lim’s newest, VANESSA YU’S PARIS TEA SHOP was part of the pile, so I dropped everything tor read it, and it’s lovely.

The noise from the neighbor two doors down, the neighbor across the street, and the neighbor whose property backs this one is just out of control. It interfered with everything, and the dirt is unacceptable.

Fed Ex was supposed to deliver a package on Friday by the end of the day; of course, they didn’t, and there was “no information” on it all weekend, and now it’s in Mississippi and won’t get here until the end of this week. I’m so sick of them. The only time they’re reliable is when they deliver for Chewy.  I had to pay extra for shipping, so they can damn well get it to me within the original time frame.

It’s not even the delay that bothers me. Things get delayed, or there are mistakes.  It’s the LYING. Saying it was never out for delivery last Friday. Then why did the tracking show that it was, and would be here by the end of the day? I didn’t hallucinate that. Then, they go in and change the tracking information. One has to screen shot everything. Because they lie and lie and lie. All they had to say was, “you know what? We screwed up. Instead of the package leaving Tennessee and going north to Massachusetts, it went south to Mississippi. We’re fixing it as fast as we can.” That would have been fine. It’s the LYING that infuriates me. I told the store from whom I bought the stuff that this is unacceptable. It’s not like it was free shipping or anything, even though I spent an amount where most companies would have given me free shipping.

Another store crossed off my list.

And retailers wonder why they’re going out of business. Try not treating your customers like crap. Don’t partner with shippers who don’t give a damn.

Saturday was about housework and laundry. Cleaning out stuff, I found my Betty Crocker Recipe cards from the 1970s, which, when I was a kid, I thought were the coolest things ever. Now, most of the recipes make me shudder and how sexist is it to have a section called “Men’s Favorites”? As history, though, and for writing, they matter. I’m missing a few of them, too, I noticed. I wonder if they are packed with some other stuff.

I also took my first walk since March – down to the plaza at the bottom of the road to pick up something. Yes, I was masked. The only one out and about masked, except for those in the store.  It wasn’t a long walk, only about a mile and a half round trip. The fumes from the passing traffic were pretty bad. Traffic has fallen off somewhat during the week, but it’s “shoulder season” and it’s still packed on the weekends, pandemic or not, which is frustrating.

There are a lot of empty storefronts in the plaza. Not particularly surprising, but most of them were in trouble before the pandemic.

Decontamination protocols when I came home.

I’ve started using my mom’s exercise bicycle, too, because I’ve stalled in the whole “getting fitter” thing. I’m  sticking to yoga twice a day, but I need to do more, to counteract all the sitting. On Monday, I also started with weights again.

Read some more, in a series I’ve been enjoying. But the author’s contempt for anyone who works in theatre or film is starting to bother me. I’m also tired of the genre celebrating its protagonists not paying characters more than minimum wage. Many of these protagonists are entrepreneurs. When they actually do the work along with solving the mystery, I respect them. Too many can just take off and do whatever, and I’m like, how do you think you can sustain a business when you never do any work?. Then, they don’t pay their employees a living wage and it’s celebrated. How about writing a better reality? How about, when the business starts doing better, the protagonists share the success with the employees?

Have had a headache since Thursday and feel like I’m coming down with a cold. Just what I need, on top of everything else.

My instructions arrived for December’s surgery. I have to put them in a Safe Place where I can actually find them again when I need them.

Yesterday, I did a lot of client work, got out 10 LOIs, and did a library drop off/pick up. Heard back from an LOI I sent last week – we have a phone appointment this morning, to see if we’re a good fit. This afternoon, I have an online Women in Business conference. And then the Knowledge Unicorns.

Tomorrow, things are stacked up – on site with a client, then Remote chat, then an online meditation session with NYU-LA, then my friend’s sister’s poetry book launch online. But I’m looking forward to these events.

Gearing up for a busy week. I’m trying to stay on top of everything, but it’s a struggle.

Fri. Sept. 11, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 114 — Anniversary of 9/11

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Friday, September 11, 2020

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and Humid

Today is the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I have an essay about it over on Grief to Art.

This morning, I plan to watch the performance of Table of Silence, streaming from Lincoln Center.

Remember how, last week, I was worried that those anti-mask Covidiots at the mechanic’s might sabotage my car because I was masked and following protocols? Guess what . . .leaking fluids and dropping wing nuts. Not sure if I should go back and force them to fix it (risking my life yet again) or go somewhere else – only I don’t know where else to go. My regular, trusted mechanic is too far.

Trader Joe’s run was fine, although I bought more than I planned. But I’m stockpiling for winter.

Got some client work done, did some LOIs.

It was Freelance Chat’s 2nd anniversary, which was fun.

A middle-aged white woman (wearing her fanny pack but unmasked) was roaming the neighborhood, banging on doors. In a pandemic. When I saw her coming, I shut the front windows, because, you know, AIRBORNE virus. I refused to answer when she pounded on the door, and told her I definitely wouldn’t unless she wore a mask.

“I don’t need a mask!” She insisted. “I have Jesus.”

Needless to say, I did not open the door. She knocked until she tired of it, and wandered off to the next house. Then I disinfected the door.

Finished reading Barbara Ross’s new book, JANE DARROWFIELD AND THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR. It’s fantastic. Absolutely wonderful. Funny, scary, heartfelt all at once. She is a writer who takes the genre and makes it better.

My friend’s sister released a book of poetry. I ordered the book and signed up for her Zoom reading next week. Next Wednesday is stacked to the rafters: onsite with a client for a few hours, Remote chat, a session with NYU LA alumni, and the Zoom reading.

Took time to read both VANITY FAIR and start the latest NEW YORKER issue. I really like what Radhika Jones, the current editor is doing with it. I’d stopped reading it under Graydon Carter because it wasn’t relevant to me – a bunch of rich white people amusing each other and reassuring each other they were fabulous. But the September issue, with a focus on racial injustice and Breonna Taylor’s murder in particular, is excellent, and I’m glad I’ve re-subscribed.

Knowledge Unicorns

We had our second session yesterday. It went well. One of the schools where one of the kids was pressured to return to has already shut down again due to the virus. Some of the other kids (siblings) were pulled out of regular school at the end of the 2018-19 schoolyear and have been homeschooled starting last fall, so they are old hat at learning at home, and they are offering suggestions to the kids new to it to make it easier. Even though the homeschooling program is quite different from the current online learning platform, there are still tools and inner coping resources that are helpful in both.

We talked about 9/11. It was a bit of a shock to realize that NONE of them had been born when the attacks happened. Again, it made me feel old. But hey, I’m not 20 anymore.

There’s a fantastic interview in the September issue of VANITY FAIR, Ava DuVernay interviewing Angela Davis. Angela Davis has had a huge impact on my frame of reference ever since I can remember. I read the interview to the group, and we talked about it, Davis’s belief and commitment that it is the ordinary people who create change.

We worked on their assignments and caught up on the details of what’s going on with them. We took our regular breaks to stand up and stretch, and had our dance break. We did a quick foray over to the National Aquarium’s site to learn about the giant Pacific Octopus.

It was a great session, but I was tired by the end of it. I can’t imagine how exhausted their parents are.

___

We had some much-needed rain yesterday, and it looks like we’ll have more today. I hope it cools off; still too hot for my comfort.

I have to make a curbside pickup at the library. Unless I take the car in. . .somewhere, that’s my only outing today. I have a lot of writing to get done this weekend, and some client work to handle today.

Have a great weekend.

Thurs. Sept. 12, 2019: Trying to Get Back on Track

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Monsoon-like rains

Sorry this is late, but the weather’s thrown a monkey wrench into things this morning. Tomorrow’s post will be late, too, because I have a morning meeting.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth, for the latest on the garden. And if you didn’t see Monday’s post about Flexibility on the GDR site, it’s here. I’m working on the questions for 2020, and they will be posted soon.

It’s been a tough week. We miss Lucy terribly. Tessa steps up, trying to take care of everyone in the household, but she misses Lucy, too.

One of my clients was at a luncheon with the head of Bide-A-Wee, where I adopted several of my cats when I lived in NYC. She got us in touch, and Leslie looks forward to helping me find the next member of our feline family when we’re ready. It means going to NY, but I’m established with Bide-A-Wee, and they don’t automatically mark every cat as “must be only pet” as they do here.

We are, of course, open to a cat coming to us from another source, but it’s nice to know we have options.

The writing has been a struggle. I’m close to the end of this draft of GRAVE REACH and am pushing through. I’m working slowly but steadily on ELLA BY THE BAY. I’m working slowly and not quite as steadily on “Pier-less Crime”. I’ve also been playing with another idea that’s pulled at me and pulled at me.

I have a meeting early tomorrow morning. I like what I know of the company, but wasn’t thrilled with the interactions with the person I’ll be talking to tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m getting jaded. Most of these appointments are a complete waste of time. They’re about putting quotas into the statistics column, not actually finding the right person for an assignment or a marketing campaign. It’s a waste of time.

I’m getting more and more frustrated with A2 hosting. Now, when I have a question, I have to jump through multiple levels of “security” that has nothing to do with actual security and everything to do with asking me questions that are none of their damn business. Not to mention not actually reading my questions and answering them. Or providing any actual security against spam or anything else. Any random hacker can do whatever they want to my sites. But me? The owner who actually pays for them? Not so much.

A social media contact sent me the link to an article about how A2 has had security breaches since May of this year and isn’t fixing them. Yeah, that’s about when the problems started.

So I’m back to interviewing hosts again. I like what I see and hear so far with Site Ground. I want to have a more detailed conversation with them and maybe move everything over in a few months.

Working on LOIs and some more article pitches. Just so, so weary and sad.

But the Fearless Ink Twitter account I started to keep the business writing part of my social media life separate from everything else is working out well. And the Remote Chat yesterday was tons of fun, as usual. I feel very lucky with these colleagues.

Yesterday, September 11, was difficult, as it is every year. What was especially sickening was that the Narcissistic Sociopath tried to make it all about him, and those damn GOP hypocrites, talking about honor and remembrance, when just a few weeks ago, they tried to deny health care to those who came in and worked on the pile. I hope they all burn in hell for eternity.

I’m nearly finished reading Nancy Martin’s Blackbird Sisters mysteries. They are a lot of fun. I like her writing. It has a lot of energy, warmth, and humor in it. Plus, she’s a good plotter. It’s also fun to read books set in an area I know — Philadelphia and Bucks County.

I made chocolate chip cookies last night just because. Sometimes, you just need a chocolate chip cookie.

Back to the page.

Published in: on September 12, 2019 at 9:08 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 12, 2019: Trying to Get Back on Track  
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Wed. Sept. 12, 2018: Switching Genres

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Yesterday was a sad day. It was appropriate that it rained for most of it.

The Narcissistic Sociopath was his usual disgusting self.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to see my article on how to lose a client.

Getting back into the groove of DAVY JONES DHARMA. These characters are a lot of fun. I enjoy spending time with them. Now that this is the primary writing focus, I can have fun with the piece, and be a little zany.

Having fun playing with a new idea, although I have no idea when I’ll actually get to write it.

Working on website stuff.

Working on the info sheet for my books that I need for Saturday (and beyond). I had a heck of a time fitting everything on it, about the different books and series. I finally distilled down the blurbs to three words per book. THREE WORDS.

Watched a BBC production of Shaw’s THE MILLIONNAIRESS, starring Maggie Smith. Still relevant in many ways. There’s a reason we keep doing Shakespeare and Shaw.

We are teaching Lucy how to play. She’s starting to enjoy herself. She and Tessa are figuring out how to be friends.

While I appreciate the efforts of people to be politically active on social media, for me, I don’t necessarily want to broadcast everything I do. I do a slew of active things every day. I don’t detail it, either on social media or here. I do it because I believe it’s part of the deal when you’re a citizen — you vote, you serve jury duty, you let your elected officials know where you stand on issues and bills so they can properly represent. It’s great to know what other people are doing, but I don’t feel detailing it publicly is the right choice for me. So I don’t. Because I get to make those choices. And those who find it appropriate to discuss their daily details make their choices. That’s why we’re all working for positive change — so we get to make these choices.

The story about a female cop who went into the wrong apartment and killed the man who lived there has a lot of holes in it. I’ve stumbled home after a 22-hour day on set. I always recognized my apartment (or, if I was staying at someone’s place, their apartment). I didn’t try to get into other people’s apartments. And to just shoot the guy? No. It’s beyond poor judgment. Especially for someone who is supposed to protect and serve, and who carries a gun. There’s more to this story. I don’t know whether there’s race involved (it wouldn’t surprise me) or something more personal. But there’s more to this story, and I hope it gets thoroughly investigated.

Hurricane Florence is supposed to hit the Carolinas tomorrow. I hope it loses power along the way.

I’m hauling all the stuff I’ve been working on out on the deck inside, because of the rain and humidity. Guess I’ll be unpacking inside for awhile. I hoped to have a few more months to air things out on the deck.

Rehearsing for Saturday. Public readings are a necessity, and once I do them, I’m fine, but it’s the prep and the pre-show jitters that I hate.

Onward.

 

Published in: on September 12, 2018 at 2:26 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 12, 2018: Switching Genres  
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Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read about Andrew Singer’s wonderful memoir, China Sings To Me.

The 17th Anniversary of 9/11. I knew a lot of people who died that day. I still grieve. I perform my own ceremony of remembrance.

I get annoyed when people book social events, etc. on this day, but it’s not up to me. What is up to me is not engaging, and keeping it a day of remembrance in the way that works for me. People have the right to live their lives. I have the right to live mine.

For me, this day is about remembrance, commitment to those for whom I care, and trying to figure out how to make the world a better place that’s not fear-based. I have a long way to go, but at least I put in the work.

There was some sort of stomach bug prevalent in the house over the last few days. I had trouble Thursday and Saturday; my mom was sick Saturday into Sunday.

I managed to finish this draft of RELICS on Saturday night and get it off to my editor. I’ll get editing notes back later this week, turn it around, and then we go into galleys.

Meanwhile, DAVY JONES DHARMA moves into the Priority slot, with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE moving back into the secondary slot (out of the “I’ll work on it whenever” slot). CRAVE THE HUNT and the rest of what used to be POWER OF WORDS are in the “whenever” slot, and I’m percolating the opening chapter of GRAVE REACH, which goes into the back of RELICS.

GRAVE REACH is outlined, but I’m on a tight schedule for it, and have to get cracking. That will also be in a “whenever” slots.

I read some nonfiction books by an author whose work I’ve followed for decades. Some of her work resonates with me; some does not. She is not someone I want to meet or work with, though. Too many of her quirks annoy me: they’re not honest or endearing; I find them selfish and hypocritical.

But then, as someone pointed out a couple of years ago, we all have areas in which we’re hypocrites. We simply choose our level of hypocrisy. I’m trying to narrow those areas in my own life. Again, work in progress.

Also read an urban fantasy novel by a new-to-me author. I’d read one of her short stories in an anthology and liked it, so I figured I’d try a full-length book. The only book I could get from the library was in the middle of the series. Loved the action. Although, after awhile, it was too much action and not enough happening in between. The sex scenes were necessary to drive the plot, and were pretty well written, but ten pages plus, in my opinion, is too long in this case. Some of the best development of supporting characters I’ve seen in a long time. I wasn’t so thrilled about the protagonist. This was book six and she was in a place I’d have expected in the middle of book one or maybe book two. She doesn’t make a mistake once and then learn from it. She makes it five or six times, finds a solution by accident, but doesn’t apply it moving forward. That bothers me. She found out information and, at the end, it looked like she evolved, but when I read the reviews for the next few books in the series, it seems like she’s doing same old, same old. Also, according to the reviews, the cliffhanger set up at the end of this book still isn’t resolved two books down. I’m not sure I’m willing to go ahead indefinitely with constant cliffhangers, so that each book is like an overlong chapter. Especially since the cliffhanger involves the character that was my favorite in the book.

I rarely use reviews to make a decision about whether or not to read a book, but I had suspicions about where this was going, and wasn’t sure I wanted to put time into it, which is why I hunted down the reviews. I’m on the fence. If I can come across the next two books easily via the commonwealth catalogue or something (they’re not in CLAMS), I’ll try them.

Then I feel guilty, because I should support my fellow writers. However, this woman has plenty of sales — mine won’t matter! And, since a library book is a sale for her, it works all around.

I was really disgusted by the way Serena Williams was treated at the US Open. Men get away with questioning the umpire, but heaven forbid a woman, especially a talented black woman, do the same. The crowd also treated Naomi Osaka terribly. It should have been a glorious day for her, not a misogynistic one.

With Hurricane Florence a threat, I have to finish what I’m doing, cleaning-up wise, on the deck in the next few days. Here I’d hoped I’d have until nearly the end of October to use the deck as a staging area as I clean out, but I guess not.

Rehearsing for the reading, working on the calendar articles.

Onsite client work yesterday, today, tomorrow. Trying to find a new angle for the current and upcoming collections.

The newsletter went out on Friday, with cover reveals for the next three books. Next newsletter is December’s.

Working on my sell sheet for the weekend (and beyond), too.

Sent off a guest blog post. Working on the calendar articles. I want them done by the end of the month.

Got an idea from some of the non-fiction reading I’ve been doing for a novel. Playing with the setting, characters, themes, plot. We’ll see.

Working on the book I have to review.

Working. Working. Working.

I like it.

 

Published in: on September 11, 2018 at 3:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work  
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Thurs. Jan. 19: Day of Resistance (Part II)

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Waning Moon
Cloudy turning to sunshine and cool

Not a productive writing day yesterday, but got a bunch of other things done. One contract negotiation, in particular, is taking more and energy than it should. I’m being pushed towards signing something that is not in my best interest and is in conflict with the standards provided by the Authors’ Guild, and I’m not willing so to do. Yes, I am willing to walk away if necessary. But the person who fights me on it wants me to sign it anyway. Which I won’t. This “shut up, roll over and deal, even though you’re being fucked on every level” mentality especially irritates me because it reflects what Swamp Thing Elect’s supporters are demanding of the country in every capacity.

Got some research done, but not as much as I’d like. I’m on hold on some of the research, because that is yet another contract that needs to be finalized.

On the third ongoing contract negotiation, the other party asked for more time, which is fine. She needs to run things by her legal advisors, too.

Today is officially the Day of Resistance, before tomorrow’s inauguration and our country’s march into destruction.

I am not able to go to NYC for tonight’s rally led by Michael Moore and Mark Ruffalo, unfortunately. Unfortunately, I’m limited in how much I can afford to travel right now, and since I’ll be marching this weekend, and last weekend was the PEN event — something had to give somewhere. But I will attend it virtually.

Swamp Thing Elect, the Narcissistic Sociopath, that corrupt con man, is not my president. I will not give him the attention he craves. I will not capitulate to his bullying, nor will I become complicit as he tries to destroy the many good things this country stands for, and the progress we’ve made over the last fifty years.

I am not interested in “unity” with Swamp Things Elect’s supporters, who believe it’s okay to mock the disabled, to deny women healthcare, to sexually prey on others, to destroy Medicare — which is an EARNED benefit, to destroy Social Security — again, an EARNED benefit, to condone violence against those who disagree, to destroy the educational system, to destroy the very planet on which we live on, to deny equal rights and basic human decency based on skin color and/or religion, and/or sexual orientation, to force one’s particular brand of extreme religion down the country’s throats while claiming everyone else’s religion makes them a “terrorist”, to condone domestic terrorism as long as the individuals performing it are white, to deny the press access to what is going on so the corruption can go unhindered, to put people in charge of agencies they are bound and determined to destroy, and to get us into a nuclear war because of a Who-Has-the-Biggest-Dick contest.

I’ve heard Swamp Thing Elect’s supporters proclaim that, should they see anything unethical, immoral, or tactics that resemble fascist tactics, they will be the “first” to stand up, and they will protect the “others.” These idiots are completely ignoring that they HAVE seen countless demonstrations of all of that throughout the campaign and voted for him anyway. The behavior had only intensified since the election. They can’t expect anyone to take them seriously that they believe in “family values” when they vote for someone who is its antithesis. They ARE NOT and they WILL NOT stand up against Swamp Thing. or his goons. As usual, they’re blowing a lot of hot air. Paraphrasing the meme that’s been going around, when someone comes for them, there will be no one left to stand for them, because they did not stand for others.

He has had numerous opportunities to respond to criticism and dissent with statesmanship and dignity. He refuses so to do. Instead, he behaves like a spoiled, ranting toddler, and incites further hatred.

It also amazes me how many Swamp Thing Elect supporters think they’re on a “special list” because they voted for him. They genuinely believe that, while people who voted for Hillary will lose health care, Medicare, all health and human services, and Social Security, because they voted for the Swamp Thing, they will keep their benefits while the “others” lose them. Several have SAID that to me. “You’ll be left to die in a ditch, but I’m getting a Cadillac plan and I don’t have to pay for it, because I’m on The List.”

So when they’re shocked that they might lose their benefits and go crying to the media? Honey, this is what you voted for. There is no such thing as “one issue voting.” You voted for the whole package including advocating racism and violence and inequality. You voted to lose your healthcare, your benefits, your overtime pay at your minimum-wage job, and to have your house foreclosed. You are not exempt. You are not on a “special list.” The information was out there; you chose to ignore it.

All while Swamp Thing Elect and his buddies line their own pockets, plunder the US Treasury for themselves, sell us off to other countries, and probably put the contents of the White House up for sale on eBay.

No. I will not “unify”. I will not normalize one of the most unqualified and corrupt administrations in this country’s history.

It is BECAUSE I have respect for the Office of the President that I will not unify with those determined to destroy it for personal gain.

For eight years, anti-Obama factions refused to work with/unify/compromise with the Obama administration. The amount of racial insult against the President and his family, the constant obstructionism. Mitch McConnell declaring it was his mission to make sure Obama was a “one-term President”. Not that he would do his job to serve the country, but that his entire mission was to obstruct Obama. Mitch McConnell refusing to give Merrick Garland a fair hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy, and then whining that the Senate has to rubber stamp anyone Swamp Thing Elect puts forth. If the cabinet posts are any indication, the next nominee for the Supreme Court won’t even have any legal experience.

I will not “unify” with such hypocrites.

I will not give the Swamp Thing the attention he craves. When the Supreme Court betrayed the American people by handing the election to GW Bush, instead of allowing votes to be counted, I did not consider Bush my president, either. I ignored him as much as possible, working with my elected representatives on issues that mattered to me.

Then, of course, 9/11 happened. Even though Bush had the information on August 6 that would have prevented it. Read, or re-read, the 9/11 Commission Report if you’ve forgotten. So we had to pay attention. And then Bush came to speak to an anti-war rally in NYC, against getting into Iraq, and told the assembled crowed, “I don’t care what you think.” I was there. I heard the words. I wrote them down on the day. He was my EMPLOYEE. He damn well better care what I thought!

And here we are, with thousands of lives lost and thousands of veterans who aren’t being cared for, and who won’t, be cared for, under the incoming administration.

The dumbing-down began in the Reagan years. I lived through them. I remember. It got worse with reality television. And now a reality television celebutard is about to take an oath of office he will not fulfill, treat the job like a hobby that he will ignore when he doesn’t feel like doing it, destroy our relationships with our allies all over the world, do whatever Putin tells him, and probably get us into a nuclear war, because he thinks it’s like a video game, and, in his pathetic life, there have never been any consequences for any of the horrible things he’s done. He’s been bankrupt four times. If this cabinet picks are any indications of how he’s run his businesses, hiring the least qualified for every position, no wonder. Now he gets to bankrupt the country.

I will not give him the attention he craves. I will ignore him as much as possible, while working with my elected officials on issues that matter, and fighting the policies that will destroy us.

One of the first things to do is to remove Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell from their positions, because they are using Swamp Thing’s ignorance and bombastic posturing for their own ends.

I have been keeping up with the confirmation hearings this week for the inept and corrupt that want cabinet positions. So far, they’ve all been horrifyingly unqualified for the positions to which they were named. I have been letting my elected officials know how I feel about them. I will continue working with my elected officials, and I will work to help other ethical progressives get elected all over the country in 2018.

I will continue with my own creative work, in prose, on stage, on film, and on radio, and accepting gigs from organizations in whose missions I can believe. I will not normalize behavior, legislation, and corruption that are sickening to me, and I will not “unify” with people who promote, condone, and live those beliefs. If I have to, I will co-exist with them, provided they don’t try to force them on me, and I will continue to use my First Amendment rights to speak out.

I will continue working with organizations like PEN, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and environmental organizations that work for dignity and rights for all. I will cut ties with organizations who don’t take a stand.

I will continue to vote when votes come up, to read as many bills coming up as possible, and to find daily ways in my life to make the world around me a better place. That does not mean shutting up and ignoring the corruption around me.

There are plenty of progressive slogans being bandied about with which I don’t agree, because I think it’s too much bunnies and rainbows and not enough practicality. While we often need to unwind with cute cat videos and a glass of wine after a long day, bunnies and rainbows and “positive energy” won’t fix this. Hard work, cunning, intelligence, and a refusal to back down will.

That is my resistance.

I am not watching the inauguration tomorrow, for the first time since I can remember. I have other work to do, especially creative. I am also taking the trash to the dump — the gesture pleases me, in a small way. I intend to help take out the trash that is the incoming administration as much as possible in the coming months.

I will be offline from tomorrow until Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Sat. Sept. 12, 2015: Preparing for Vacation

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The weight of yesterday was obvious, but it was also helpful to share it. That Budweiser commercial, the one only shown once after the event, gets me every time.

Work was fine. I got a lot done, in preparation for being gone for a week. Everything is set, as far as I can tell, so I’m not leaving anyone holding the bag.

I’m also missing two Board meetings — one would be my last as Secretary of the Writers Center Board, and the other is the Marine Life Center Board. First meeting I missed in my term for both of them, so I refuse to feel guilty. Especially since I prepared notes/did homework/voiced opinions in anticipation of agenda items.

I got frustrated with Amazon yesterday — I’m supposed to be able to use the Coursera app on the Kindle Fire, but it won’t download (it tells me there’s a geographic problem, although the US has designated permissions), and support/customer service was polite, but unhelpful. They’ve just gotten so big, they are no longer interested in solving customer service issues. I’ve got the app on my phone, but it would be easier to work on the Kindle.

“Unethical Decision Making in Organizations” starts next week, out of the University of Lausanne. Looking forward to it.

Dashed home — we had guests up from CT on their way to a wedding. They had to leave just a few minutes after I got back from work. It was lovely to see them again, and the cats had kept everyone busy. Now that Violet is feeling better, she is being demanding! It was funny, though.

After dinner, Part 2 of the 9/11 remembrances, and we could feel some of the grief lifting. We’ll never get over it, but we’re learning to live with it, and perhaps being together really does help.

It will also inform the writing.

I’m watching the second season of SIX FEET UNDER and thoroughly enjoying it. I’d forgotten how much fun that show is.

Packing and prepping for the trip. I’m working until mid-afternoon today, and I want to make sure my desk is CLEAR before I go. I miss Village Day tomorrow, but I worked it last year. Again, I refuse to feel guilty. I’ve earned this time, and I’m using it, free and clear.

In preparation for Kripalu, I upped the yoga practice, doing a full hour now in the morning and at night. I don’t want to be completely out of shape when I get there — although I should probably have started doing this about a month ago! 😉

I’m packing a handful of writing projects, so I can go with whatever moves me the most in the moment — and hope I don’t get too many new inspirations. Or, if I do, that they are for short stories and not novels!

I’ve got a book proposal to send off before I leave, and maybe get out a short story.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be online next week — I’m tempted to blog “from the road”, but I’m also tempted to be completely disconnected.

Have a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful week!

Devon

Published in: on September 12, 2015 at 9:44 am  Comments Off on Sat. Sept. 12, 2015: Preparing for Vacation  
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

It’s definitely autumn, which is fine with me, because it’s my favorite season, but wow, short growing season, early fall, early harsh winter.

No yoga on the beach yesterday. Spent a lot of time with students. Have had to send some exercises back because they aren’t following exercise requirements. There are always a few who seem to think I pull these exercises out of my ass for no reason. Every exercise is constructed to teach them something, to have them look at their work in way, and to teach them something they can use beyond class. They’re not here to free write and do whatever they want. They are here to learn something specific.

That whole “you can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink”. Horses usually have a good reason. Some students disregard the purpose of their classes and then wonder why no one will publish them.

Some of them will overcome their resistance (whether it’s in my class or elsewhere) and learn something. Some will chose to just sit and spin.

The majority, though, are great, and they make it all worthwhile. I’ve got some students with whom I’ve now worked for several years, and they’ve made some beautiful growth. I also heard from a former student who just landed a book contract with a book she worked on in several of my classes. I’m delighted for her! I WANT them all to do well and fulfill their dreams.

Baked apple spice bread for the Post-Mermaid Ball meeting. It was lots of fun to see everyone again, celebrate the success of the ball — and start planning next year’s ball! It was one of the best committee experiences I’ve had doing one of these events (and I’ve been doing them since 1999), so that says a lot.

Came home, had dinner, got some work done, wore out the kitten, went to bed early.

This morning, took my mom to the doctor, who is pleased with her progress. I’m spending some time with students, then have some errands to run. The Dialogue class has a deadline today, which means I have approximately 22,500 words to read and comment on today. It if dries up, I’ll mow the front later on. I have company coming in this weekend from NY — first time they see the house. I want the yard to be at least somewhat tidy, and I’m still trying to clean up post-Irene.

The place I used to live in NY flooded AGAIN yesterday morning, so any progress residents made since Irene was destroyed. Again. The elected officials just ignore the problems as long as the developers keep paying them off, and nothing will change until people die. Not acceptable, and glad to be out of there.

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is on Sunday. NY is on high alert, due to “credible threats”. There’s a lot of coverage, most of which I can’t watch. It doesn’t feel like ten years. I think it’s important to keep reminding people of the depth and scope of it (which continues to increase as first responders continue to fall ill). I also think there’s a fine line between remembrance and exploitation, and that each individual who was affected needs to be able to mourn in his/her own way. Within the shared experience, there are also the individual experiences, and those must be honored, too. It’s on a Sunday, and it’s on the day before the full moon, so emotions will be even higher than usual.

I plan a quiet day of remembrance. A lot of people I knew died that day, and they deserve my time and thoughts.

Devon

Published in: on September 9, 2011 at 8:26 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Partly sunny and mild

Tired, but in a good way.

Yesterday packed an emotional wallop. I didn’t expect that kind of response to Bin Laden’s death. I spoke to several people who also lost friends and loved ones that day and some of my former firefighter acquaintances — all of us were on an emotional roller coaster, all of us felt walloped, relieved, emotional, and wondering why we didn’t feel joy. We’re glad, but it’s much more complex than a single emotion. We look around at people who didn’t have the immediate loss, and they are joyful, and we wonder why we aren’t feeling it, too?

I handled the insurance stuff that needed handling (some day, the State of MA and I will be on the same page — I hope). I did my write up for Confidential Job #1 and sent it off. I checked in with my students. I went over the book one more time and sent the final corrections. All I can do is hope for the best.

The rest of the day was spent working on the garden. I picked up mulch and potting soil and another barrel and pot feet and all kinds of other stuff. After lunch, we got to work: Cleaning the side yard (AKA “No Man’s Land”), etc. I mulched the pair of oaks in the front — I’ve chosen a black pine bark, which is really pretty, a nice contrast to the red house. Mulched the tree to the side of the driveway, and one of the Mystery bushes. Cleaned up a lot of debris in the side yard. I need a lot more mulch.

I’m having a terrible time with the hose — it’s spraying where I fasten it to the spigot, and I’m not sure why. I’ve taken it out and re-fastened it a few times. It has a collar that’s supposed to prevent it. The hoses are also woefully short for what I need — I underestimated. I think I’ll move the back hose to the front (which is longer) and buy a longer hose for the back.

I put new soil into the two front beds on either side of the driveway, and planted some cosmos in and amongst the other stuff that’s there. Not that I know what a “cosmo” is, but Costume Imp said they’d look good there, so that’s what I planted. They’ll either come up or they won’t. We found some pansies –who turned out to be horribly pot bound — and put them in the front, a clump on each side. Actually, I spread them out a bit, so they’re not clumped like they were in the pot, so maybe I should say “a grouping”. I tossed foxglove, hollyhock, and delphinium close to the house for some height, and we’ll see what comes up. I planted the morning glories and the mooonflowers on the side of the house, near the wheel. When they come up, I’ll train them up the wheel.

I also planted the pink heather in one of the cedar barrels, and it’s out front, looking perky.

Really, everything looks much, much better. It feels good.

There wasn’t time to do anything at the back, but at least the front is tidied up. Tomorrow, I’ll start putting in the plants I bought for the back.

But I was wiped out, and all the emotions I tried to avoid all day raced back as soon as I sat down on the deck with a glass of wine. Grief is a process, not something with a fixed endpoint.

Caught up with the students, watched a little television. Today, I’ve got writing to do, my students have a deadline, and I want to get some plants in at the back.

I’ve got the April Wrap-Up and the May To Do List up on the GDR site. I have a good bit of traveling to do this month — later in the week, I’m getting my hair cut and getting the car serviced, so that I’ll be all set. I’ve got to go grocery shopping and do a bunch of other things, although I’d rather just sit and BE for a bit today, and try to sort out all these complicated emotional reactions.

Devon

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 7:37 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Disk 3 Excerpts 006_2_2
Montauk, NY

Friday, September 11, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto DIRECT
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

A sad day for everyone, but especially for those who lost people in the 9/11 attacks eight years ago. I encountered a woman in the post office yesterday who was having a hard time — she lost two daughters that day. Everyone in the facility did what they could to comfort her, but this time of year will always be tough for her.

On the news yesterday, they were blabbing that no one pays attention to 9/11 anymore and it no longer holds meaning. Of course, every single individual they interviewed was a tourist, not someone who lived here or lost someone. Those who did have chosen their own ways to mourn, out of the spotlight.

And, to me, the most important and moving moments of the day are the reading of the names.

I think I’ve mentioned a few times how worried I’ve been about some of the bridges and overpasses in the area, to the extent that I avoid some of them and I’ve called in my concerns a few times. Well, a lot of construction workers have been around, with those green-and-white Recovery Act stickers. On my errands the other day, I walked under the I-95 overpass, which had worried me and where debris had fallen several times. They’ve been working there, and one of the guys pointed out the new plates fastening the sections back together and the new supports. Very cool. I actually drove over it a few hours later, and it feels much better. Now THAT’s the way I want my tax dollars to work! Not bailing out corporate executives, but putting people back to work on projects that actually keep people safe and make a difference.

A video clip both highly entertaining and somewhat ironic was broadcast last night. I thought it was sadly hilarious. Some of these anti-education, anti-health care wing nuts were waving around signs calling people “Morans.” I’m assuming they meat “morONs”; they can’t even be bothered to spell their message correctly. You wanna see a moron? Look in the mirror, sign-waver! I sure as heck know a lot of wonderful people in the clan of MorAN and I’d be PROUD to be lumped in with them! 😉

I had to pull clips of my work off a site that’s going dark today — just what I needed right before I leave, especially since it won’t print the articles cleanly without superimposing text on other text (I could then scan the clips back in and create PDFs in my clip file) or print/save as PDFs or even copy and paste. No luck with any of them. While I appreciate that means no one could co-opt the work, it makes it a damned sight harder to have usable clips, and I’d rather not lose three years’ worth of clips. I asked a few people and put the word out on Twitter. We came up with a few possible solutions. I tried them all, so I should have the clips saved several ways! Whew.

Also found some interesting possible prospects. I hate to pitch right before I leave, but I’ll be upfront about my schedule. If it knocks me out, then that’s the way it is; if they like my work enough and we can work around each other’s schedules, I think it would be fun.

I’m happy with my decision to skip Nano this year. I think it’s great and I encourage people to participate, and do it more than one year, because one can learn so much each year. But this year, I’m juggling deadlines and publishers and I’m getting my toe into the foreign rights waters and the websites are undergoing a massive overhaul and all the rest, so for me, this year, it would be the wrong choice. I may do it sometime again in the future. I’ll be cheerleading all my friends and colleagues from the sidelines. No challenges, no Nano, just focusing on clearing up unfinished projects, getting the backlog out, and landing better and higher-paying gigs.

I plateau’d there for awhile, and it’s time for the next leap.

I’m reconfiguring what I want to do and what I need to do in order to pay the bills, and getting them more in tandem with each other. And because I want to take some interesting creative risks next year, I have to figure out how the months around the months in which I take those risks will pay for everything. And still be open to new opportunities.

The plus side of the economic problems is that it proved I was right to remain the Anti-Niche. Except for February, which was a scary month, I managed to make steady gains in clients and income every month by being able to do a wide variety of writing. I miss the Broadway money, but I don’t miss the work in the way I thought I would. I miss some of the individuals, but not the politics of backstage. Income will be frighteningly low for September because I’m not here for a good bit of it, and more will go out then comes in. However, the content of the time away will pay off, both literally and figuratively for years to come. The trade-off’s worth it.

My mom went to the doctor yesterday, and she’s having thyroid problems. Then, she cut her leg this morning, which is a little worrisome. I’m going to cook all weekend and prepare meals she can heat up while I”m gone (because I know she won’t eat properly if I don’t). She’s looking after the cats, so they have their second-favorite human on the planet with them, catering to their every whim.

I did three loads of laundry yesterday and I’m going to do some ironing today and maybe even pack. I have to find the jeans i want to wear on the plane, and pick up a few things at the drug store, but, other than that, I think we’re okay.

It’s in the 40’s here today, and rainy. The cats are much perkier in the cooker weather. I certainly slept better. Autumn is my favorite season.

I’ve got most of my holiday cards sorted out and worked on the Christmas list, so I can tackle that when I get back and get things done ahead of time.

I have my eye on yet another sofa. I’ve got to stop buying sofas or I’m going to need a 16 room house just for the sofas. As comfortable as that red microsuede is when it’s unfolded into a bed, it’s far too small and low for an adult human to actually sit on. It’s the most expensive cat bed I’ve ever bought.

I’m at a stopping point with AMENDS. I tried to push through, but without sorting out what I’ve got and plotting the middle, it’s merely getting muddled. I’ll read it over before I leave and let it percolate while I’m gone.

Errands, pitching, ironing, packing today.

Devon
IMG_0431
Violet on the most expensive cat bed I’ve ever bought.

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 7:41 am  Comments (6)  
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

IMG_0249
The garden at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA

Sunday, September 6
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and lovely

For some reason, I thought the full moon was tomorrow, but it was on Friday. Sorry about that.

I forgot this was up: I guested on Catalyst Blogger on the 2nd. Oop. Stop by and drop a comment, okay?

I was a little annoyed at an email posted on a board about what I’m “supposed” to do on 9/11 as my “duty.” I lost a LOT of people on that day, firefighters from my neighborhood, people with whom I went to school, people I knew from work. NO ONE tells me what I HAVE to do on that day. Especially not someone who lives thousands of miles away and lost no one. I think it’s wonderful people are putting together events and using it as a day of service, but no one has the right to dictate how anyone else mourns.

Yesterday morning was very productive — I polished an article and sidebar and submitted them. I also got the guest blogs sorted and uploaded and scheduled to post — if they post properly, there will be some really great articles here while I’m gone!

I spent the afternoon relaxing, reading a mystery that was a delightful surprise. I expected something light and brain candy-ish, but it actually had some substance. The writer knew the ins and outs of her character’s profession (instead of assuming she knew it from stuff she’s seen on TV), and created good characters and plots. My only disappointment was that I pegged the murderer the minute the character made its first appearance. Even though lots of suspicion was pointed at two other characters, I knew who it really was the first time the character was introduced to the reader.

While I read, I had the iPod on, listening to waves on the beach through an application called Naturespace. Most of these “nature” sounds are usually pretty cheesy, but this one is actually good. It’s a free app I downloaded via iTunes; I figured if I hated it, I could delete it. But it’s actually good! I spent half the afternoon listening to beach waves and the other half listening to a river in the woods.

So it SOUNDED like I was on vacation, even though I was home!

Lazy evening, good morning’s yoga practice, having a hard time getting started on AMENDS. I have to go to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food and get in some more milk. It’s my last chance to get out that way until not only after Prague, but after the scallop festival.

Did I mention I got my hair chopped off on Friday? Over 12 inches off! I hadn’t had hair that long in 15 years. It’s short again, but a kind of a wavy, bouncy cut instead of a very short, sleek, to-the-head one. I’ll do the color either today or tomorrow, and then I’m good to go. Just about anywhere.

I did a little digging around, and Switzerland’s not going to work as a home base. First and foremost, I don’t feel the sense of belonging when I’m there and the sense of longing when I’m not, the way I do in other places. Second, it’s land-locked, and I prefer sea, not lakes. Third, the real estate negotiations are ridiculous. So, Switzerland’s a nice place to visit, but I don’t see myself living there.

I liked the idea of living someplace neutral, though, a place not caught up in other people’s arguments. Lichtenstein’s run out of land, so that’s out. Plus, I drove through it once without realizing it, which is not a good sign. Costa Rica — well, I’m not really a tropical girl. Sweden and Finland both intrigue me, though.

Heads up, Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow for three weeks: travel delays, technology problems, miscommunication, no large purchases, but great shopping for smaller stuff.

Mantra: Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.

Enjoy!

Devon
IMG_0295
the Library of Congress, in Washington, DC. A place of personal pilgrimmage for me.