Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Full Moon
Rainy and mild

Managed to get errands run before the storm hit yesterday; hoping to do the same today.

Lousy writing day. I’m having too many of those in a row. Not quite sure how to fix it, other than to keep showing up at the page and working my way through it.

In negotiations for a project that sounds interesting; fingers crossed it all works.

Very little of interest to say today; frustrated by the way Congress betrays us. Disgusted by the Creature who thinks he will take office next week, in spite of the fact that he’s going to screw over and pillage the entire country and sell us to his foreign business interests.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell need to be removed from their positions and tried, if not for treason, for crimes against the American people.

The story of an early Italian painter (female) interests me, and I’m wondering if I should accept the invitation to write about her for 365 Women this year. I have to do some more research.

I think I want to do some revisions on JUST A DROP. The bones are there, and there are scenes I really like, but some things, I want to change. One character in particular is much weaker than I originally envisioned him. While it works in the context of what I have, I wonder if making him stronger and more manipulative might ratchet up the tension.

This is a case where I wish I was in New York and had access to actors for a table read. That would help a lot. I need to HEAR it to really know what works and what doesn’t. Even if I had access to enough actors for this particular piece here, I don’t trust that they’re experienced enough to read without massive rehearsal and really give me an idea of the material. A table read is a specific skill. It’s the first creative dipping toes into the waters.

Full moon tonight. I need to decide on my focus. And Friday the 13th tomorrow! One of my favorite days.

Have a wonderful day.

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Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 11:18 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done  
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Fri. July 1, 2016: Mars Makes His Move & I’m Independent

Personal Revolution CoverFriday, July 1, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Walked in to the library yesterday morning to be told I was fired, the position was “eliminated”. I would have stayed for a few hours to compile contacts info for upcoming programs and finish dangling ends, but I had to turn in my key and leave without even turning on the computer or anything else. Buh-bye.

Had to take my mom on some medical errands, but then I went down to the “Career Center” in Hyannis to fill out the unemployment paperwork and do all the registering and stuff one does in this situation. They were absolutely lovely AND I can go down there and do my job searches on their computers and book time and all kinds of things. In fact, I have to show my face once a week, which is fine, because they’re so helpful. I haven’t had to fill out unemployment paperwork since 1991. It’s kind of different now. But if you have half a brain, it’s not rocket science. They also suggested that I not put so much pressure on myself now (the first three hours after I was fired), and at least give myself the holiday to decompress.

Of course, I’ll be writing for the entire holiday weekend to finish the book that’s due at the end of next week, but that’s another whole ball of wax.

It also shores up how people took advantage of us at the Place That Shall Not Be Named when they demanded we fill out applications for them, instead of going to the center and learning how to do it them-damn-selves.

But that’s no longer my problem, and neither is anything else over there.

I let the people with whom I’d been negotiating projects know I was gone and they’d have to deal with Them directly.

Did the grocery shopping (chop wood, carry water). Did a little bit of work on INITIATE, and finished the proofs of “Personal Revolution”.

Read Lilith St. Crow’s CLOUD WATCHER, which I enjoyed.

I have a massive migraine, but that’s the stress, and once it releases, I’ll be okay.

Didn’t feel up to doing much of anything last night and went to bed early. I promised myself I’d give yesterday over to mourning, and then get on with it. Too many deadlines to indulge in a pity party.

Lots of support from friends all over the place, and suggestions from colleagues in the business who are off-Cape. Also getting a lot of love & support from some actor pals, even though we are all far-flung all over the world on different projects right now. Because when you’re “one of us”, you circle the wagons when the civilians behave like . . .well, civilians.

Up early this morning. Yoga outside, and my first writing session of the day on the deck (on INITIATE).

“Personal Revolution” released this morning. You can find it on Smashwords here. It’s set during an Independence Day event at a New England historical site (a fictional one), so it’s relevant to the weekend, and I was damned if I was going to drop that ball, even though it was rough getting it done. But done it is, and I hope people enjoy it.

Headed back to the page for the CHARISMA revisions. I have a wide stretch of uninterrupted worktime, and I intend to make the most of it and meet my deadlines.

The summer flirt boys are back in town, so that’s always amusing, too. Not that I take any of it seriously, but it’s a fun distraction.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! See you on the other side, when I’ll update where I am on the deadlines.

Happy 4th! Mars is kicking my ass, and “Independence Day” is a relevant meaning this year!  😉 It will all be good, it just sucks right now.

Devon

Published in: on July 1, 2016 at 9:32 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 1, 2016: Mars Makes His Move & I’m Independent  
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Fri. Sept. 6, 2013: The Evolving Novel

Friday, September 6, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

It’s definitely autumn. The heat would kick on if I’d let it.

I struggled yesterday. It took me all day to write one chapter, just over 5200 words. Not a good thing. It shouldn’t have taken that long.

I managed a trip to the library to drop off some books and then took a walk on the beach. The beaches are ours again, now that it’s past Labor Day. I’ve missed being on the beach regularly. I need the sound of the waves.

Wrote some letters, got some admin work done. When I finish today’s fiction quota, I’ve got some articles to knock out.

An actor friend wants me to write a caper script. Amazing, how when a civilian says, “You should write”, I just want to smack him, but an actor I like working with mentions something, and off I trot to the desk. Occupational hazard, I guess. Made some notes on the caper script and on another piece that I thought would be prose, but might start as a script and then I’ll adapt it.

I hope this will be a quiet, writing-centric weekend.

The book on which I’ve been writing a chapter a day started as a potential category piece, but is evolving into more of a contemporary exploration of loyalty and fame. I’m just going to let it be what it is, and then take it from there.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. Feb. 26, 2013: Ebooks and Rehearsals

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and milder

Yesterday started off as a good day — knocked out a review and got it to my editor; typed up the article I’d written the night before, edited it and pitched it; pitched two articles to a publication into which I’ve wanted to appear for years; started on another article; worked with students. Most importantly, I had an excellent writing session on my own novel, which put me into a pretty decent mood.

Frustrations started happening in the afternoon, everything from checks that were supposed to be here last week still not showing up to casting problems with the play. We lost an actor to a series pilot — understandable. An actress flaked, and she wouldn’t even have let me know if I hadn’t checked in with her about something about last night’s rehearsal. I was NOT amused, especially since she doesn’t seem to think it’s an issue, just to bail without notice. Needless to say, I won’t be using her for anything else. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. I found someone else who really wants to do it who ended up having to race to the hospital on a family emergency, so last night wasn’t a possibility, and we’re trying to figure out if we can make it work.

So, we were down two actors for the hospital tour and the read-through. But we coped, and the three actors we have are awesome. Completely the right choices. And they seemed very interested in the workings of the hospital. Townsend is emotionally ready to go, I think. He’s restless. Hopefully, we’ll be able to release him soon.

We loaded up my car with props afterwards, and I came home to work on leads for the other two actors. I have a meeting with one today — hopefully that will work out — he seems eager, and I know he’s really good.

I was exhausted by the time I got home, but so keyed up I couldn’t sleep.

Woke up with an excruciating migraine this morning.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise, where I talk about my non-fiction E-books and the Topic Workbooks.

I have a lot to get done today, and a meeting tonight, so, deep breath and jump in. Migraine or not, it all has to get done.

Devon

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 9:52 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 26, 2013: Ebooks and Rehearsals  
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I’ve got a blog post up about Dialogue over at RWA’s Fantasy, Future, and Paranormal Chapter, here.

I’m teaching over there for two weeks in April.

Yesterday was an outstanding writing day, the type I reach for all the time. I wrote 29 pages on MODERN CREATION MYTHS, 20 in the morning, and 9 in the afternoon. I’ve developed the antagonists so they’re more fully dimensional. Even when they’re working together for a common cause, they’re still drawn very individually, with their personal, distinct reasons for making the choices they’re making clearly drawn, and separate motivations revealed over the course of the story. Money plays into their desires, but each one has specific reasons outside of money for deciding to be on that side of the fight. It gives my ensemble of protagonists a lot more to work with.

I hit a stuck point/stopping point in the afternoon, partially because I was tired, and partially because I wasn’t sure how to bridge into the next plot sequence. I hopped onto Twitter for a little mindless distraction. It just so happened, a few tweets down, an actor I follow had been shooting on Malibu beach during “golden hour” and posted an absolutely luscious photo. That photo unlocked the inspiration for what drives the next bridging section.

Yes, I made a note to thank him in the acknowledgements!

It was one of those lovely moments of synchronicity, where we were both doing our thing, happened to convene on social media at the same time, and he provided the inspiration I needed. I love when that happens.

Because actors (good ones) tend to work in a pretty high state of sensory awareness, they’re capable of capturing a moment — either in a performance or in a photo where they grab a moment outside themselves that they want to preserve in time — and sharing it in ways that make others see the world differently. All artists do that — writers, actors, painters, potters — they capture a moment in time to make the audience experience the world differently, albeit briefly.

So that was that, and a good day’s work on that piece. Then, I did some work on the Tele Seminar, including working on the landing page. Firefox (the only server I can work on my web host with) was wonky yesterday, so I have to go back and finish today.

Spent a good chunk of time on my students’ work, and am really pleased at their positive, playful, committed attitude. My workshops seem very structured at the outset, but once you’re in them, there’s a lot of creative freedom within the structure.

In the evening, I wrote nearly 5K on a project for an anthology. I was going to pass on it, but some ideas have been swirling. The characters I originally envisioned for this piece said, “No, sorry, we’re busy doing something else”, but a new cast of characters stepped up to the plate, and off we went. I haven’t written in this genre in a very long time, and wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to it, but I’m rolling with it, and seeing where it takes me.

By the time I fell into bed at nearly midnight, I was wrung out.

But I woke up ready to go back to the page this morning!

I tried a kundalini yoga session for the first time a few days ago. It was definitely a challenge, and I couldn’t do all of it full out, but I felt much better. I’m doing some yin yoga to help my back and hip flexors, and continuing with mixing hatha and vinyassa, but I think I’ll add the kundalini in a couple of times a week, too. I wonder if that has anything to do with getting the creativity flowing again?

However, my hip is bothering me from all the sitting yesterday, so I’ve got to do some poses to work the hip flexors later this morning and this afternoon. I may have to invest in one of those foam rollers. I also hope, when I start walking the sanctuaries in the nice weather, that’ll help.

Back to the page again — there’s a lot to do! I want to tackle the play first, and then move on to the other things on my list.

Devon

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and milder

I was going to sign up for an intense inversion yoga workshop at the end of March (right after the teleseminar), but I’ve lost so much flexibility during the six weeks my back was completely out that I think I’ll be risking too much. As I’m easing back into my previous daily yoga practice, I realize how much flexibility I’ve lost in the past six weeks, especially in my hamstrings. The level of that workshop is more than I can safely and happily do, even working every day to regain the ground I’ve lost.

There are workshops in April and May that I think I’ll be able to handle and will sign up for those instead.

The Elsa Memorial Orchid is getting new buds,so I think it will bloom again this spring and summer. I’ll make sure to post photographs when it does.

Yesterday was rainy and dreary. I had to go to the post office, but other than that, I was home most of the day.

I found my notes for the play, but now I’m second-guessing if the play I want to write is the play they want. And the format they need it in is different than I’m used to, so I’m having to adjust. I need to put all that aside and just write the damn play, and then see what I have.

I finally found the 200+ pages of notes on POWER OF WORDS, which is a huge relief. I’d been inserting scenes for a necessary conflict — two of which I’m going to take out, because the only place they make sense in the story slow it down too much, and I think, with the other material, it works without it. And, with the notes, I can move forward. It’s not on my March list, it’s kind of what I want to work on for me, but right now, it’s pulling at me very strongly, and I want to balance it with the work on the play and the other pieces.

I got a short story out, and I need to get another short story out. I’m tempted to pitch a serial, but I have to look at the time frame and see if the time and money balance out.

The other day, I was talking to an actor acquaintance from the city about needing to buy a hoe for the garden. He thought I was talking about a ‘ho, and wanted to know why I thought a streetwalker could garden! I explained that really wasn’t a strong enough premise for FUNNY OR DIE, but hey, he tried.

I’ve been getting invitations to an event this spring where I’m supposed to pay what I think is a silly amount of money to have lunch with a Well Known Actor. Not someone I know personally, but I know the name and the work. I ignored the first few emails about it, it doesn’t fit into my schedule or what I want to do, but the emails got more and more aggressive. Funnily enough, it was an actor I’d been discussing with another friend that very day. I finally sent back a somewhat snarky email saying that I spent many years in wardrobe and I do not pay to deal with actors — I AM paid, and to stop these escalating demands to attend. The conference person forwarded the email TO THE ACTOR. Not cool at all. Fortunately, the actor has a similarly dark and warped sense of humor to mine and emailed me that he could always attend the lunch without pants. To which I shot back, “then I’d be forced to change you” to which he replied, “I’ll bring a rack of choices.” It worked out to be all in good fun (and he’s aware enough to know what a wardrobe person actually does), I’m still not going to attend and I think the conference intern or organizer or whoever it was who forwarded the email should be fired, but at least everything’s cool between the actor and me. I certainly did not want to hurt or offend him — but I won’t be bullied into attending an event I don’t want to attend, just because I could sit at lunch with a Famous Person. I can have lunch with “famous people” any time I want (although the commute is a little longer at this point). I don’t care about the “famous” part. I care about spending time with individuals like and respect.

The old water tower is already down — it took them only three days. That’s efficiency for you. I’m glad I photographed it before it disappeared.

Got some work to do this morning and then some errands. At least the snow’s gone from the yard and things should dry up a bit. I might even get to go and clean up the yard a bit tomorrow.

I thought of another exercise I want to insert to the Unstick Your Book Workshop which starts on Thursday — and is full, I’m pleased to add. And then I want to rearrange the exercises for the Advanced Dialogue Workshop in April and the Setting as Character workshop April into May. They’re still not quite where I want them.

Confidential Job #1 sent me my next assignment, so I’ll start that this afternoon. But for now — the page.

Hop on to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions to see my To-Do list for March.

Devon

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

My post-Derby article is up on FemmeFan here. My editor loved it, even though I felt it lacked sparkle. Motivates me to make the Preakness article this week twice as good!

Exceptionally cold all weekend, frost on the ground this morning, and the scumbag landlords had the heat off until 6 AM today. Typical.

The alarm didn’t go off this morning, but Elsa is better than any alarm clock, so I went out for my run by 5:15. It’s quite light out, with just a sliver of waning moon, singing birds, corporate types scurrying to the train station . . .

So, where do I start? Didn’t write on Saturday at all — on purpose. Needed to refill creative well. Did my errands, sorted, purged a bunch of junk, took stuff to storage. Read. Cooked.

Got some good ideas for the next section of the urban fantasy.

Was about to order a great futon couch. It looks good, the price is good, and it will fit through the doorway — since they put in the new doors, I can’t bring in my sofabed. the doorway is now too narrow. Not to mention the doors suck. Anyway, I was trying to figure out the shipping costs, and, when I read the fine print, it clearly states that they don’t deliver the couch to the house. They deliver it TO THE CURB. If you want it taken into the house (or, in my case, the third floor apartment), you negotiate with the delivery guy when he arrives and you pay him cash on the spot. Sounds like extortion to me — no price quotes, no regulations. So I’m not ordering the futon. Bite me, assholes. You think I’m really that stupid? I wonder how many people were stuck with furniture left on the curb and wound up paying a couple of times more than they paid for the pieces themselves just to get them inside the house?

Elsa was up and down on Saturday — much better than she was on Friday, but still not doing as well as last week. I got up early on Sunday to give her the medicine, went back to bed, and had a weird dream.

In the dream, I was brought in to script doctor some piece or other rehearsing in Greenwich Village. I’m assuming it was a film, but maybe it was a play. That was unclear. It starred an actor who tops the list of people I still want to work with. He looked completely dazed at the disorganized chaos. No one seemed to be in charge. There were far too many producers floating around (as usual), saying, “I’ll take care of it” when something was brought to their attention and then doing nothing (as usual). We had to fill out huge packets of information we were told were “for tax purposes” but read like psych evaluations. I told the actor I was excited to work with him, just not sure it should be on this. He laughed. Some other guy asked me to watch his stuff because “You’re the amateur.” I said, “No, I’m the writer” and he replied, “Same thing.” I did NOT watch his stuff. I knew a lot of the actors in the project in the dream and had worked with them before, although in life, I’d only worked with one actress in a big musical. She kept trying to match-make me with this one and that one, whether I was interested or not (which she tried when we worked together). I was about to pitch a fit and either take over or walk out (in spite of the actor I really, really wanted to work with) when Elsa sneezed in my face and woke me up.

Obviously, I’ve been thinking about production a lot lately, since POWER OF WORDS takes place behind-the-scenes on one. This dream is a warning, the the specific actor representing not just himself, but everyone that’s still on that list of people I hope to work with (poor guy). Knowing how my dreams work, it may also be a caution– an opportunity may present itself and it may not be what it initially seems. I shouldn’t accept simply because there’s someone involved who’s on my list. So I stand warned. The nasty comment from the guy who wanted me to do PA duties represents the way writers are often treated in this business.

Made some cuts in SETTLING THE SCORE on Sunday, wrote twenty more pages, made more cuts, wrote eight more pages. Printed it all out (now that I have ink and paper again) and saw a huge, huge, HUGE logistics gap. There’s no way that character could have that piece of information vital to the plot machinations at that point in time the way I’ve got it laid out. I wrote some notes — I want to complete the draft before making any more fixes and running any more copies — and will move forward. Also, in the final draft, I’ll have to fix some formatting things. When I write scripts, I triple space between dialogue bits instead of double space. And the default font on this machine is Helvetica, which is fabulous to work in, but for script purposes, I have to change it to Courier (I loathe Courier). That will also drop the page count, which is good, because I’m up there now, and there’s still another good third of the movie to go. My goal is to have it run just over 2 hours, but feel like about 85 minutes.

On today’s agenda: pack more stuff for storage, work on SETTLING THE SCORE, maybe work on the adaptation of BEHIND THE MAN. I need to get my scripts sorted and synopsised and loglined over the next few weeks for some upcoming meetings. I may take WOMEN WITH AN EDGE out of retirement briefly just for the meetings, even. I should also take a look at my spec TV scripts — I don’t even know what one is “supposed” to have in one’s portfolio this season. I don’t know if I can still even use the BUFFY sample or the STARGATE ATLANTIS sample. If I need to come up with new ones, it would make sense to do one for HUMAN TARGET, since I spent so much time dissecting the show, but I don’t think that’s on “the list.” Of course, I might do one anyway, just to prove to myself that I can.

I’ll check with some acquaintances and find out what this season’s “list” is, and then figure out if I should even do a set of specs, or just stick to the plays for the moment, and this next round of meetings. I’m not angling for a series slot anyway — there are, literally, thousands of scriptwriters more qualified, in line ahead of me, and in LA so to do. But sometimes, even if you’re not up for the job, that’s the kind of sample someone wants to see in a meeting.

I’ll pack extra Excedrin, too. The meetings aren’t for a few months, but it takes time to put everything together, write any new material necessary, and have it be good, so I’m looking ahead. That way, instead of scrambling, everything is ready, I can just pull what i need for that meeting out of the file, and it’s much less stressful.

I’d like to get back to the urban fantasy this week, since I figured out how to overcome it’s obstacle, and, of course, ANGEL HUNT. My worry with ANGEL HUNT is that, once I go down the rabbit hole with that, I won’t come out for weeks, because of the intensity of the project. With the Preakness AND a pottery workshop this week, AND paperwork to complete for next year’s teaching schedule (yes, I’ve already got some major bookings for 2011), I don’t know if I can go down that rabbit hole right now. However, I want to get the book out on submission by the end of the month, so I need to get cracking.

Hard to sort out when so much has equal value and equal importance. But, I’ll figure it out. And I have to talk to the vet. Elsa is steadying again, but it doesn’t look like we can wean her off the steroid just yet. So we need to discuss next steps.

Back to the page.

Devon

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Tired. Didn’t run this morning. Elsa had a bad night. I got up at 4 to give her medicine, in the hopes of giving her some relief, and then fell asleep again, and overslept.

Yesterday was another good writing day, thank goodness. I did another twenty pages on SETTLING THE SCORE, the screenplay. Letting things unfold. I’m worried that some of the major characters don’t get introduced until too far into the piece. It’s also become Lucas’s story, he’s the one we see from the get-go and the one we follow. My original vision was that it was more Elizabeth & Chris’s story. I made some internal cuts, and then, after dinner, when I thought I was so written out I couldn’t even speak properly, I had an idea. I put Max into the original diner scenes with Elise, Viola, Arthur, Lucas, and Jimmy, so they’re all there together and I can cut a lot of the road scenes. It means daylight arcs are even more important to indicate time passage.

An actor friend (who likes performing in my work) said he thinks I’m so used to having female protagonists at the center of my work (because I’m known for strong female characters, especially in plays and screenplays — not women behaving like men, but strong female characters), he’d like to see a male protag at center. He thinks I write well for men — and, of course, he wants to be considered for the role! 😉 I’m writing the role of Jimmy for him, but still . . .

I think I’ll continue the way the story’s unfolding now so that I learn about the characters and then, in the next revision, maybe rearrange some scenes and introduce some of the other characters earlier, having the story run on parallel tracks until they all intersect, rather than the current episodic. Send both versions to the readers, see which one gets the best response!

Ran out of ink. Ran out of 3-hole punch paper (I put my drafts in binders). Can’t find my hole puncher. Yeah, a Mercury Retrograde type of day!

Packed a bunch of stuff for storage. Will pack more and make a couple of trips this weekend. Have to get in the goodies for my mom for Mother’s Day.

It’s so funny — a character in another piece discussed writing a piece such as SETTLING THE SCORE in a scene where she was on a panel discussion at a conference, and here I am, writing the piece.

Back to work.

Devon

Published in: on May 8, 2010 at 8:07 am  Comments (2)  
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Last Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde (say what)

I was up for 22 hours yesterday, from 3:30 in the morning until nearly 1:30 this morning. Feel like a truck rolled over me. I’m not used to that kind of schedule anymore, especially when I’m not paid television rate!

So it seems Mercury went retrograde over a week ago — why wasn’t it in my calendar? That calendar’s starting to get sloppy. It also explains oh, so much.

I struggled with the writing yesterday. I don’t know how I’m going to get this done. I’m happy with the bones of it, the first few chapters thrum along well, but I’ve lost the rhythm of it, and trying to force it back isn’t working. I’m considering doing an all-nighter to finish, but it still wouldn’t be polished. My time should have been planned better, I should have front-loaded it more rather than getting derailed by events I couldn’t forsee, but that’s not what happened.

I also have serious reservations about the place that put out the call for submissions. They haven’t liked my work before, and, frankly, when I’ve read anthologies of theirs from which I’ve been rejected, I’ve felt relieved not to be included, because I thought the stuff chosen was AWFUL. Not just, “oh, it’s to someone else’s taste”, but downright poor writing, storytelling, and cliched characters. If that’s their “house style” — I don’t want to write to that style, so why am I even submitting?

The call to submission sounded unique and fun, and as soon as I read it, I had ideas, that’s why. But it’s silly to think “this time will be different, this time we’ll be a good match.” We’re not. It’s been proven. Either I change to their “house style” — which goes against what I like to read and write — or I don’t submit. I’m not “their” type of writer. And, other than a few pieces written by a friend of mine, which contain good characters and storytelling, everything I’ve read from their house has been a disappointment.

The characters and situations I’ve set up here are really fun and lively and different from anything I’ve ever seen before. I don’t want to give them the short shrift for an on spec deadline. I’ve already changed storylines simply on the basis of word count, rather than what serves the story best. I think part of the reason I’m struggling is that I know this is not a good match for me. Sort of like when I struggled to meet the deadline for OLD FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, knowing I needed to pull the Jain Lazarus series from its original publisher. So I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. If, suddenly, it catches fire later today, hooray for me, and I might get it out the door tomorrow with notes for changes should it come back. Otherwise, I’ll just plug along, and, when it’s really ready, send it to a different publisher.

It would be horribly ironic, though, if I sent out something I felt was weak, and that’s the piece they liked, rather than polished pieces I sent previously!

I have to see how today goes — I’ve got to take my mom on an appointment and do battle – I am sick and tired of corporations who hire individuals taking delight in hurting Senior Citizens, thinking they can take advantage of them because they’re old. Today is a day when it’s a damned good thing I don’t own a gun or have a carry permit, because today I’d use it inappropriately and without remorse.

Last night was wonderful. The trip into the city wasn’t particularly torturous, for once. Read my book, had my music on. Caught the shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square, walked over to the 1,2,3 line. The 2 & 3 Express trains were jam packed and I didn’t want to be squished, so I took the local 1 instead. Much roomier. And I got out a stop early, walking the last 10 blocks up Broadway. I haven’t been in that neighborhood for years. It’s been gentrified, and, on one hand, it’s cleaner, but they’ve taken down quite a few graceful old buildings and replaced them with ugly ones, and the neighborhood’s character isn’t as much fun.

Symphony Space itself is beautiful. My friend was the very first in line, and we had our pick of seats. We sat about 8 rows back, in the middle. The celebration was the 50th Anniversary of Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — held on her 84th birthday. The panel consisted of Kurt Anderson, Libba Bray, Stephen Colbert, Oskar Eustis, Mary McDonagh Murphy, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Isiah Sheffer. Excerpts of the book were read, and themes and meanings — both personal and universal, were discussed, along with some audience discussion. Unfortunately, several of the audience members had a different agenda — not discussing the book, but trying to get Colbert’s attention. He was very skillful and graceful in diffusing such greed and awkwardness and getting the discussion back on track. Everyone on the panel was interesting and engaging and the opinions and discussion were fascinating.

I’d crossed paths with Oskar Eustis back in San Francisco, when he was running the Eureka Theatre. I’d moved to SF to work at the Eureka, which had burned down when I got there. I got a job, instead, at the One Act, where I remained for the duration of my life in SF. But the community at that time was fairly small, and Oskar and I crossed paths a few times. I thought the world of him then, and I was thrilled when he took over the Public Theatre here. He was wonderful last night — I didn’t talk to him after, it was inappropriate with so many people in the building — but I’m going to drop him a note. He’s one of those intelligent, funny, warm, incredibly perceptive people, and the Public’s lucky to have him.

My friend and I went to a local bar for a glass of expensive but mediocre wine and to listen to some mediocre music. The musicians in the jazz trio were good, but the first singer couldn’t discern that “loud” does not equate with “good” and had no finesse in handling the microphone. The second singer, “in from Vegas” — was just that — a third rate lounge singer. My friend and I got the giggles. There was a production meeting from a small theatre production across the bar from us — people who’d once had their shot, but couldn’t quite make it, but still love the theatre. They have day jobs and do small theatre at night, and, as much as they love what they do at night, there’s still a little voice inside that tells them they failed. They didn’t fail — they’re still doing theatre — but the fear rolls off them like a pungent sweat.

Beside us at the bar were a man and woman. He was in his 50’s — an actor whose name I can’t remember, but who I recognize from small supporting roles on TV shows that shoot in NY. I think he was in some of the stuff I worked on a few years back. I was kind of shocked — he looks good, he’s aging well, except he had Botox only in his forehead, so the rest of his face looks normal, while his forehead looks like a shiny baby’s bottom. The woman with him was in her 40’s, and he obviously Had Plans for Her that night. But she was more interested in the conversation my friend and I were having.

Caught the #1 back downtown. The Shuttle didn’t show up and didn’t show up and didn’t show up at Times Square, because, really, to have it work would mean there was some level of competence on the part of the MTA and there is none. So I popped up and walked back to Grand Central, across 42nd St. Caught the 11:10. got home by 12, was in bed around 1:30.

Elsa was relentless, starting at about 4 AM. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, fed them at 6, and went back to bed, but, by 7:30, it was no use. I had to get up. I have a terrible headache, probably from the bad wine (even one glass?).

I’ve got to help my mom today and then run some MORE money up to the vet. I’m getting a little tired of the constant demands for money. They want a credit card number, but the way they’re constantly adding charges, I don’t want to open my bill one day and suddenly see a few thousand dollars’ worth of charges they “put through” without a thorough discussion.

Will try to get some writing done, too, but the leafblowers are on. Ick.

Devon

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I love the warm, pleasant days and the cool nights we’ve had. I haven’t even put in the air conditioner yet! Love that.

Finished consolidating the storage units yesterday. I still have some repacking to do in there and re-organization. And then I can bring in a bunch of stuff from the apartment, and buy myself some breathing room. Since the unit is close and large enough to get at things without having to take it all out because the thing you need is always at the back — I can actually use it as an extra, very large closet for stuff I don’t need every day.

Worked on client projects and Confidential Job #1 yesterday. The latter present some interesting challenges.

I’ve been good about keeping up the yoga this week, but with all the box moving, I’m skipping the weights. I think it would be too much.

Interesting contrast between two actors: i received a really nice email from a well-known actor with whom I’ve never worked, but we were both working on Broadway at the same time last year/early this year. We ran into each other in the neighborhood, as one does, had a few conversations, joked around, etc. He came to see the show on which I worked and I happened to be there that night, and he’s kept in touch with one of the actors with whom I worked closely and am still in touch with regularly, which is how he got my contact info. He’s in town to promote his new movie and just dropped me an email to say hey, he was thinking of me and hoped all is well. Classy, which is typical of him. We’re not going to get together, but it’s a nice gesture on his part, and it keeps two professionals who respect each other in touch, so if we get the chance to work together someday, we’ve maintained a rapport. On the other hand, another actor with whom I worked very closely last year, and with whom I’ve been in sporadic touch (whenever he needed something), was in town for an entire week last week. Not only did he not contact me at all (we couldn’t have coordinated our schedules, I’m sure, but it would have been polite to say hi), I found out he was in town when he twittered about hanging out with someone about whom he complained frequently to me while we worked together. Déclassé to the max. Fortunately, I think it’s funny rather than getting upset about it, and I will work it into something someday. Inspiration comes in many forms! And it’s always great to create a fictional situation of poetic justice or envision the karmic return. Like I always say: EVERYTHING is material! 😉 And, if and when I have the opportunity to choose which one to work with, guess which one I’ll choose? The classy one, of course.

This morning’s writing session was better. I hope I’m starting to turn the corner. if you just keep digging, eventually you dig your way out the other side.

I’m taking my mom to the train station this morning — she’s off to NYC for the weekend. I’ve got some errands to run, and then more client work and I want to wrap up Confidential Job #1. I will be glad to get that one out the door!

The weekend is about packing, writing, and reading. Now that I’ve brought all these books home from storage (in anticipation of the bookcases I’m bringing out when I do the furniture swap in a couple of weeks), I want to read them! 😉 Nothing like shopping in your own bookcase, right? I might get to go out of town for the second half of next week, which would be great, if I can coordinate everything and get the cat sitter to stay with the beasts.

Violet seems fine today, thank goodness. I told her yesterday she might have to go to the vet, and it was amazing how quickly she stopped sneezing! I’m keeping a close eye on her for the next few days, but I hope it was just that there was extra dust from the storage work and everything is fine.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Nina Bell lately (the protag of TAPESTRY, “Tumble”, “Too Much Mistletoe”, etc.). Those pieces were set when she was just starting her life in NY in the mid-1990s. I really do want to write FINDING JAKE, set in that same time period, where she finds out once and for all what happened to the boyfriend who got her into so much trouble in TAPESTRY, was shot, and she doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead. But I’ve also wondered what would happen if I wrote about her life in the 21st century. Do I need to write the adventures in the interim to see what happened? Or can I imagine her in the present and then, maybe somewhere down the line, fill in? Would she have grown up, settled down with more than her philodendron Esmerelda, or gotten more eccentric? Would she have stayed in theatre? In New York? Are Tom and Zach still in her life?

It’s something to think about while packing.

Oh, and for the hypocritical politicians, a bit of clarification on definitions: When you pay or are paid for sex, it’s called PROS-titution, not RES-titution. Just saying.

Anyway, I’ve got some correspondence to get out today and then it’s off to errand land before getting back to work. Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 6:38 am  Comments (2)  
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Yesterday was not as productive as I wanted or needed. I had a raging headache, borderline migraine, all day.

I managed to get out the two articles due. One is weak, in my opinion, but the other’s pretty darned good, if I say so myself.

Worked on the N3 email yesterday, finished it this morning, and out it went.

None of the job posts excited me enough to pitch.

Couldn’t focus on either the Big Project or the western, and I’m waaaay behind on the western.

Got up Racing Ink for yesterday’s race day, and am about to handicap today’s card. I wish I’d done more homework for yesterday, because the majority of filly and mare races were on Friday, and they’re my favorite. But I just ran out of time, and had to make my picks with the minimum of preparation.

Show was fine. It seemed to race by quickly. I got to work with one of my favorite actors these past two days, so that was fun. We’re really in sync, completely understand each other, and can be completely up front with each other about anything. I’m fond of everyone on the show, and it will be hard to let it go in January. But it opens up new creative opportunities for everyone.

I have to do some errands this morning, handicap the race card, get some writing done, and cover the Breeders’ Cup later today and write the article tonight. Tomorrow is another 14-hour day at the theatre.

One week from today, we will be Nano-ing.

Devon

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 8:20 am  Comments (2)  
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