Fri. Jan. 13, 2012: Day of Luck and Fun!

Friday, January 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Friday the 13th — a wonderful day!
Cloudy and cold — bits of rain and sleet

I love Friday the 13th! It’s a day when the ignorant hide, due to their own fears and guilt, and leaves open space for the rest of us to come out and play!

Yesterday was a good day, even if it turned out unexpectedly. Worked early, early in the morning. Went to yoga. Dashed back, changed for acupuncture. Ran some errands on the way to acupuncture.

Acupuncture was great. My bad shoulder’s been squawky and my hip was bothering me, and I have all that neck and shoulder tension from hours on the computer. So we worked on that, and I was told to rest for the remainder of the day to let the treatment set.

I felt giddy with energy when I got out, like I could run a marathon (provided it was a spiral course). By the time I got home, I was ready to lie on the couch –and woke up up in time for dinner! Guess I needed some deep relaxation!

Made ham soup for dinner. Which sounds weird, but . . .we had a ham bone left over from the party. I cooked the meat off it, tossed in some herbs and carrots and celery and kale and white beans — yummy! And very filling on a cold, raw January night!

Took it easy in the evening and went to bed early.

Feel better for it this morning. I’ve got work to do, including dealing with my students. I have lunch with a writer friend,and then some more work. I’m looking forward to a focused writing weekend coming up. I want to work on my new brochure, in addition to working on fiction pieces, and I need to update my business writing portfolio. People around here like to meet in person and see physical samples. Fine with me — I just want to make sure I’ve got the best possible ones out there.

Devon

Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 8:14 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Dec. 29: Of bait-and-switch and unneccesary costs

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Waxing Moon
Windy and cold

Thanks for all the good thoughts for my mom. She’s very sore, but okay. Of course, she felt worse yesterday (the day after is always worse than the day of, once the body’s shock wears off). But I took her to acupuncture, and it helped a lot — certainly more than any prescription pain killer would have, and with no icky side effects. She feels a lot better with treatments that actually promote healing instead of just blocking the problem. We both realize how lucky she is that it wasn’t a lot worse — she could have broken an arm, a leg, a hip, or even her neck.

She rested, while I spent the rest of the day running errands, which included buying a large piece of upholstery fabric that can be hung over the damaged wall if it’s not fixed before the party. JoAnn’s pulled their usual attempt at bait-and-switch (refusing to sell at the discounted price on the tag because “the computer said it’s too big a discount and corporate blah blah blah” — I made them sell it to me at the price advertised, per state law. There’s a reason I hardly ever go into that crappy store.

Got home, unloaded everything — fabric, groceries, pharmacy run, etc. (her pre-op medications for the eye surgery were ready) — and by then, it was time to cook dinner.

Got a little work done, but not much. Must get much more done today, including the finishing touches on a new forum.

I’d love to just sleep for a bit. But I’m up early for yoga class this morning (which I desperately need), and then there are MORE errands and then I’ve got to take my mom to her regular doctor for a follow-up –which means waiting at least an hour and a half in the waiting room, because heaven forbid the office runs on time (yet when my mom was in ER, the doctor certainly didn’t walk across the street to find out what was going on, but regularly disappears on “emergencies at the hospital” if you’re in the waiting room at the office). The MA healthcare system is much better than the one in NY — but there’s still room for a lot of improvement.

Costs CAN be kept down. For instance, a regular doctor visit, which means driving to the next town over and sitting in the waiting room for an hour and a half for a five minute visit — is ridiculously expensive, even though Medicare and the supplementary insurance pay it, between them (and they certainly take enough out of my mom’s Social Security, several hundred dollars a month, so it’s not like Medicare is “free” the way the dipshit Republicans keep pretending). “Overhead” is not a valid reason to charge that much. It’s not like any tests are ever run in the office — she’s shuttled around to another location for anything else. It’s five minutes of chat, blood pressure, and a step on the scale. That’s an office visit. I know how to run an office, and I’ve certainly worked in enough medical offices over the years as a temp to know they don’t pay the staff enough to justify the price of a so-called “office visit”. And it’s not like the office furnishings and location are that fancy (thank goodness, or I’d really be annoyed). Acupuncture is less than 1/3 of the cost (closer to 1/4), she is actually treated by the doctor for a solid forty minutes, and comes out well on the road to healing, feeling better both mentally and physically. She’s also taken in to her appointment on time. The only reason we’ve ever waited more than five minutes is because we showed up early. Yes, it’s out of pocket (my pocket), but there are tangible results, and the payment/time ratio is much more in alignment.

I have so much to do before Costume Imp comes up next week, and so much to get everything in shape for the party. Somehow, it will all get done. Not quite sure how, but it will. The cats are being really sweet, and Tessa, in particular, loves to “help”. That means it takes longer to do things, but the laughter is worth it.

Onward.

Devon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The Elsa Memorial Orchid reblooms

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

In the 30’s today, but at least the sun is out. Maybe I can get out this week and clean up some of the beds. And I have to get that lawnmower — not the best thing to do during a Mercury Retrograde, but it’s a small lawnmower, not a car or a refrigerator, so I’ll consider it a small purchase, not a major one!

Went to acupuncture yesterday morning. He worked on my back, and needled me for the cough. Buh-bye, cough. I have what’s more like a deep throat clearing once or twice a day, but the cough is gone, which means the back can heal, and I’m back to regular stretching and strengthening exercises. Carefully, but consistently.

I’ve got a new post up on Gratitude and Growth about what’s going on in the garden, and the Ever-Growing Eggplant.

Grocery shopping and resting to let the treatment set for awhile yesterday, then commented on exercises in the workshop, posted the new one, and got started on the edits for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I like my editor, which helps a lot. She’s got great ideas, and she’s very enthusiastic about the book. I’ve also got to get back into the rhythm of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and I have an idea for another Annabel Aidan book, which has nothing to do with these characters. I need to organize my time. And not neglect the taxes,which hang around and are just a major magilla this year. I have something like eight extra schedules to file this year. Hopefully, next year’s taxes will be easier. At least I won’t have to file in NY State, which is just one of the meanest state tax organizations with whom I’ve ever dealt. Nothing like systematically cashing checks without applying it where it’s supposed to be, right?

I have to do the write-up for Confidential Job #1 today, too.

Got a few errands to run, but I want to get some good time in at the desk first, and, once I come in from the garden this afternoon, some quality time with edits.

A dear friend’s cat died, and I just hurt for him. I know how awful those last few hours are, with the animal in pain. It’s heartbreaking.

Devon

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

I’m returning to the world of the living, slowly. Monday was bad. I couldn’t sit — it was as though all more core muscles just quit on me. I could stand or lie down, but none of the middle stuff, and every time I coughed, it got worse, and none of the cough remedies did a damned thing. My insurance isn’t finished being sorted — not my fault, the state is still fussing with the paperwork — so it’s not like I have many choices in care, since we live in a country where healthcare is non-existent for any but the rich, and the Republican politicians are determined to keep it that way and keep taking their payoffs. And there’s nothing they could do anyway – they’d put me through a bunch of tests and then say “I dunno” and give me something that wouldn’t work anyway and charge thousands of dollars I don’t have for it. You can’t use antibiotics on a cold, and if my back wasn’t in such bad shape, I’d just be snuffly and miserable for a few days.

We called an acupuncturist, who suggested that I come in early, early on Tuesday morning. I had a bad night Monday, and practically had to be winched in and out of the car, but we made it. Turns out this was the acupuncturist my acupuncturist suggested I track down AND the one a new friend on the Cape had suggested. It just happened to be the first number we called, and we hit pay dirt.

Anyway, I was there before 8 AM on Tuesday. He’s very gentle, very kind, and he works in the same way my acupuncturist back in NY does. He uses the small, Japanese needles like I’m used to, and, while he doesn’t use Moxa, he uses a heat lamp. I did the best impression of a porcupine EVER for about an hour, and then I nearly hopped off the table and did a dance. My back was still a little sore, but I had movement, and, even when I coughed, the cough moved THROUGH the back, instead of seizing in it, and nearly causing me to pass out. Since we speak the same healing language, I could be very specific on how anything felt at any given moment, and he confirmed what every previous person who has ever worked on me told me — one can instantly see the effect as soon as the needle is in. The energy line becomes visible to the naked eye (which happens, according to this guy, in less than 10% of patients) and each point then informs the next one. It allows for much more precise treatment, because the body gives instant feedback. And his pricing is absolutely fair and reasonable.

Stopped at the health food store to get a few more things (I’d stocked up on Sunday and forgotten the slippery elm, gosh darn it), came home, took a nap to let the treatment set, and, when I woke up, I was about 97% mobile.

I caught up on some stuff, spent time with my students, did some admin, read a lovely little garden book, and started planning for yard work. Of course, then we get news that we could get up to a foot of snow on Friday — not my idea of an April Fool’s joke!

Monday night into Tuesday, I had a bizarre set of dreams that linked a couple of set of dreams I thought were entirely separate, but, according to this set of dreams, are actually connected, and connected to the workshop I’m taking. Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either, although at 3AM, it seemed perfectly logical.

The cough came back overnight with a vengeance, so I’m sore and uncomfortable this morning. I did my stretches, I used the eucalyptus tablets in the shower to do aromatherapy steam, and I’ll use the malachite stone later, too. I used the lapis on Monday on my throat, and I can now speak again and actually be heard, so that’s a good thing, and I used the malachite on the really sore points on my back on Monday to make them release (until the next fit of coughing). Malachite is tricky, because it’s easy to misuse, and there’s a certain level of toxicity to it if it’s misused. I’d only used it on swellings and wounds before, so I was pleasantly surprised when it helped here.

I’ve got a lot to do today — I may have to let the play go, I don’t think I can sit up long enough to do it. I also have to contact my publisher. Yet again, we’re two days before a deadline and I haven’t heard a word from my editor. Even if I heard back today, I can’t turn around a novel in two days, and the contracted deadline is April 1. This is supposed to be for the second round of revisions, and I haven’t even heard boo about the first. When I asked at the earlier deadline, I was scolded.

I have a follow up appointment next week (cancelled the other appointment I’d made at the other place). There’s a PT place down the street with a good reputation — I may go in and see if I can book 3 or 4 sessions so we can come up with a program for core and back strengthening. I’d rather go to a PT place than to a yoga teacher I don’t know, who may not have the anatomical training necessary for something this specific.

I’d love to just lie down and let the world go by, but the back won’t heal itself, so I’ve got to be active, while not trying to do too much too fast.

And I’ve got to the garbage to the dump — we’re full up in the bins and the recycling.

Devon

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 8:04 am  Comments (4)  
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I can move! I can bend, I can stretch, I can sit up from a prone position, I can stand from a sitting position! Since I haven’t been able to do that in about six weeks, it’s very exciting. My acupuncturist did a great job — acupuncture, massage, cranial sacral, moxa, and I’d brought a malachite stone I’ve used for other healing work and let her place it where she thought it would work best (the tighter of the two hip flexors).

I’m a little sore, and was warned I might twinge for two or three days, but, for the most part, I am pain free. Sans drugs.

She’d also heard good things about the place where I want to train next spring in herbalism, so that’s a good sign.

Being pain-free makes it easier to write — both physically, and mentally, because I’m not wasting so much energy on pain.

I am delighted.

Devon

Published in: on February 26, 2011 at 6:57 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Full Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Why I do not own a gun — I would use it on these aggressive workmen who thunder up and down the fire escape, try to open my windows, and use leaf blowers under my window at 8 AM in violation of the City Code. And of course, the City doesn’t care and just looks the other way because the right palms were greased. The town has reverted to its worst possible self with this new Council.

What a shame, because the day started out well, although I overslept. The writing was going very well and I hated to stop. The piece is taking some interesting turns. Its natural pace is much slower than the action-packed pieces we’re so used to, but it’s one of the things I like about it.

Not as organized for the trip as I’d like, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. If I don’t have something, I have to do without. I’ll have my computer and lecture notes and all that, so it will be fine. Let’s hope the journey is smoother than the last few have been!

Acupuncture was great yesterday, but she had so much work to do on me that I’m sore today, which I haven’t been since I started the whole acupuncture process about ten years ago. The migraine was gone until the fucking bastards started up with the leaf blowers. In my opinion, anyone who uses a leaf blower should be chopped into little pieces. It’s an act of aggression against the environment and other people, not a working tool. It’s not like any of them ever use it to actually move leaves — they wander back and forth kicking up dust and making noise. There’s something about the sound range that just turns me into a raging maniac. It causes enormous physical and psychological pain. I’m putting it in the new lease that no one can use a leaf blower on my property. I’d rather do the lawn care myself.

Violet is ready to go. She gets in the carrier all by herself and even shuts the door. She also goes with me to the door each time I get ready to leave, and even tries to get it open when it’s closed. She is OUTTA here! Maybe she won’t be so upset during the actual journey. She hates all the chaos. I know how blistering the pain is to my ears with the noise — the thought of how much worse it is for the cats is heartbreaking.

Traffic was awful yesterday; fingers crossed the busses have smooth roads today. I just want to get on that bus, pull out my book, put on the iPod and zone for two hours. And I want a quiet time in Philly — do my work, run my workshop, work on the Willowspring Grove novel and SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Because when I get back, things get crazy!

Will check in from Philly.

Devon

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 7:34 am  Comments (5)  
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

It’s so humid that it feels like I’m trying to breathe underwater. Ick.

Drove to Stamford to use a gift card at the bookstore. That was fun. There was also a lovely farmer’s market in the lot beside the bookstore’s. Got some absolutely wonderful produce, still sun-kissed from the gardens. Which contributed to a delightful lunch with a friend.

Called the acupuncturist recommended to me by the woman in my pottery class. She picked up the phone herself; my acquaintance had talked to her about me, so she was expecting my call. We discussed Elsa for awhile, and she actually has an opening this morning, so, off we go.

Elsa thought we were going immediately, and tried to get into the carrier as soon as I was off the phone!

I really don’t think the new medication is helping her much. So, we’ll see what happens here. At the very least, this practitioner can make her more comfortable, even if there’s not much more we can do for her. And quality of life is more important than length. Of course I want Elsa around for a long, long time, but I also don’t want to torture her. When she’s ready to go, she will let me know. She’s made it pretty darned clear she’s not ready yet — she actually was the dominant cat yesterday, for the first time since we lost Felicia several years ago, bossing the twins around.

Read the second book in that series I’ve been reading. It was much tighter, better plotted, better written. If it wrapped up the story, the first book would have been unnecessary, and it could have all been the second book and been just fine. I read the first chapter of the third book, and it’s not grabbing me. So, we’ll see. If I come across it next time I’m in the bookstore, I might pick it up But I’m in no rush.

I also got Yasmine Galenorn’s newest release, NIGHT MYST, the first book of her new series, and I’m reading that and enjoying it very much.

It’s raining and gross outside. Not the kind of weather I want to haul Elsa around in, especially since the directions don’t really make sense to me, but we’ll see. Somehow, it will all work out. And, if it helps Elsa, it’s worth it.

Good first writing session this morning, about 1200 words. Will try to get a little more done before I have to pack up Elsa and go.

Considered applying for an editing job yesterday, but I don’t want to put that much energy into someone else’s work right now. The business writing and articles are fine, because it’s mine, even if I’m doing it to attract customers to someone else’s work. But working on someone else’s creative work — other than reading the piece for my friend — just not in that headspace right now, and why set myself up for a job I won’t enjoy at this point?

Would like to do some more adaptation on the plays so that I can work on query letters and start pitching them in August.

Well, I’ve been assigned an editor for my new book and sent the paperwork for marketing and cover art — but I’ve not signed the contract, so I’m not yet making any announcements. Guess we’re going forward, though, on what I hope will prove to be an exciting new venture. It also means I have to get started on the next book for them – and re-read this manuscript so that I can come up with blurbs, teasers, etc. I want to get that all turned around in the next few days. And it means the photo shoot needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Today is the 38th anniversary of my father’s death.

Devon

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

We’re supposed to break 100 degrees again today. Ick.

Off to pottery yesterday, for my last regular class. Finally, I found something I”m good at — mask-making. We did slab masks (which means we created a slab on the roller, then shaped it on a newspaper form and decorated it). I’m thrilled with mine.

I have some experience with mask-making, both for ritual purposes and for theatre productions, although I’ve never made one in clay before.

We also trimmed the pots we threw on the wheel. So, I was back to going clockwise, which feels more natural to me, but other than that, it was a disaster. Now, it’s just getting to the point where I’m afraid of the wheel, which is not a good thing. My pot is a disaster, but I’m firing it and glazing it anyway, because when I master my fear of the wheel (like, when I’m 105), I can see how far I’ve come.

Glazed my little tiny pressed mold pot, which looks cute, and glazed my enormous pressed bottle vase. I love the glaze room, and I’ve gone from being fascinated by glazes to being obsessed with them.

Several people praised the pressed bottle vase, which surprised me. I look at it and see the flaws, but they think it’s really cool, the way I played with texture. I thank them for their support of a newbie.

When I get back from Philly, there are a few glazing days, so, provided this work’s been bisque-fired (the first firing), I’ll be able to glaze it and send it on for the second firing.

I received an unexpected check which, I think, will pay for fall’s pottery class.

While I was at class, my mom dealt with the new exterminator now handling the building. He’s very nice and very thorough — what a great change from the guys who wandered in, squirted the hose a few times at baseboards(and then we had to wash away the run-off before the cats stepped in it), and wandered out. Everything he uses is pet-safe (Elsa, being Elsa, followed him around to make sure, and the twins peered out from under a table; Elsa must always supervise and remind anyone who enters that this is a cat-centric household, and she expects proper greetings and pettings) and his equipment is very precise, so there’s no drippage or leakage or it getting onto anything but what he focuses on. With all the construction and other chaos going on, we needed a good exterminator around here, not to mention so many people moving in and out. It’s a fact of living around New York — you have to battle vermin on every level.

Unfortunately, because he was so thorough, it means I can’t use the gas oven for two weeks.

And while that was happening, I’d merrily offered to bake for the final class party that I’ll miss next week, and leave it on Monday at the clay center before I leave for Philly on Tuesday.

So, I called up a friend of mine, who will be away this weekend (she goes to an old family retreat every weekend all summer), and asked if I could borrow her oven. She was just talking to her co-workers about our last adventure when I called, thought the whole thing was funny, and we’re sorting out the key exchange later today.

I received a very exciting offer, but there are a few contract details to sort out, and the person I’m supposed to deal with is on vacation — but the contract is supposed to be signed “immediately” — so I went to the person who sent me the offer and asked who I should deal with in the interim. Someone’s got to be covering, or, if not, it won’t be finalized until that person gets back. Not signing something just because the other side is in a rush. Anyway, IF we get these two contract points sorted out, it will be exciting news and I’ll be able to share it.

Also received my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, which looks pretty darned interesting. Sometimes, I think my editor over there reads my blog!

Elsa’s new medicine did not arrive yesterday — although it was sent out and to the correct address. Why am I not surprised? And, of course, the vet still hasn’t made his promised phone call. She actually was a little better, although she’s kind of droopy. I want to call the acupuncturist/Reiki master recommended by the woman in my pottery class when I get back from Philly and see if I can set up an appointment. Elsa’s moving sometimes as though she’s uncomfortable (although she can still outjump Iris, who never bothers to do the math before she does a jump, but just flings herself on and off things and assumes inanimate objects will move to accommodate her). I think a little acupuncture or some Reiki would do her good. I know I sure as heck could use some Reiki. So, I’ll meet with these people and see if we connect, and then maybe they can at least help Elsa stay more comfortable. Supposedly, they do acupuncture at my vet’s, and I’ve asked for it several times, and the request has been ignored. I’d rather go to an independent professional anyway. My acupuncturist was recommended by both a jockey friend and a trainer’s wife, and she’s been a life saver — certainly a career-saver. I would have had to quit Broadway much sooner because of disability had I not started seeing her.

Anyway, I’ve got some running around to do today, some correspondence, hopefully get some writing in. I got some ideas for a couple of little projects to use up what’s left of my clay, so I might head back to the studio for open studio hours this afternoon and finish up for a couple of hours. Got a couple of things sorted out for the Philly trip — looks like I’ll be dealing with another set of scumbag real estate management company when I hit Philly, who are creating unnecessary problems at the site. I’m used to real estate scumbags by this point, and if they get physical, I’ll file a police report. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. I’m starting to think that 98% of the people who work in real estate make pond scum look like a higher life form.

I am certainly looking forward to things lightening up after July 21. Saturn can’t leave the House of Pisces fast enough for me. Enough life lessons already! 😉

I’ve got to pack for Philly and decide which projects to take with me. I’m doing a lot of running around, so I don’t want to take too many projects and then not get around to doing them. I’m definitely taking both books on which I’m lecturing, to finish the notes and lectures. If the contract is finalized before I leave, I’ll be outlining another project along the same lines (per the contract); if it’s not finalized, I’ll wait. I’ve got the booklet to work on and some short stories. I’ll take the assignment from Confidential Job #1, which I don’t think I can finish before I leave. And, oh, yeah, I kind of have to do the work I’m paid to do while I’m there, right? 🙂 I’ve also got to write up Elsa’s medication schedule and feeding schedule so my mom can take care of it while I’m gone, and cook ahead so my mom doesn’t have to cook while I’m gone.

Yeah, it’ll be a busy weekend. And a hot one. I will probably run the air conditioner a lot. Yesterday, even in air conditioning, I just couldn’t cool down.

Devon

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and HOT

First of all, my wrap-up article on Belmont Stakes day is here. Enjoy.

Second, I have some teaching gigs I’m going to mention now, and then remind you about as they draw closer.

In fall and into winter, I’m doing three deconstruction seminars. Each runs for a week, analyzing structure and character development.

September 13-19: Fantasy/romance

September 20-26: Steampunk film

November 29-December 5: Paranormal mystery

These are all online through Savvy Authors, and I will direct you to the blurb and registration and fees once that’s all sorted.

I’m also teaching two workshops at The Muse Online Conference this year: My ever-popular Dialogue Workshop and also a Story-Building Workshop. Registration is limited and will close on August 15 for the conference in general. More importantly, my workshop is limited to the first 30 people who sign up; in previous years, something like 150 people have signed up, with 50+ posting each day, and it’s just too much for me to give feedback as intensively as is necessary for the workshop to a large group of students, especially those who ignore the directions in the exercise or who take on too much and don’t keep up with the work. If I can make the commitment of time and energy, I expect the same from the students.

The Muse Conference is free. If you’ve never participated, I suggest that you try it this year. It’s terrific. I’ve developed three novels and a collection of short stories in it over the years. There are some really great teachers this year. If either Karina Fabian or Christine Amsden are teaching world-building workshops, take them. They are amazing.

The conference runs from October 11-17, but, as I said, registration closes on August 15.

I’m also teaching One Story, Many Voices online over the month of January 2011 at Savvy Authors, and several workshops for the RWA in 2011, but I’ll post information closer to registration dates.

Yesterday was a pretty good, calm day. I spent time in the morning hanging out with the nieighbor’s cat, who first pinned me against the door when I came in, and, once he’d eaten, sat in my lap for the rest of the time. He’s 16 pounds, so that’s a lot of cat in the lap!

Drove to LI for my acupuncture appointment. Lots of traffic, but it moved and I gave myself plenty of time so I wouldn’t stress out. Started plotting the story that the “spiritual” center inspired while I drove. Acupuncture was great. Turns out the painful hip was a half inch out of alignment. She was surprised I could even walk around from the pain. I guess I just sort of got used to it. Anyway, she untangled me, got my neck back in the right spot, too, and unwound my back. Wow. What a difference.

But I had to rest for the remainder of the day (once I drove home). I can do most yoga, except for one sequence, but no running or weight training for two weeks, to make sure the body gets used to being in proper alignment. I’m definitely a little sore today, but always checking to make sure I’m not askew.

On the way home, I stopped at the wine store. Two older “businessmen” in cheap suits were hanging out in the store. One of them said to me, “Don’t you think it’s time you got a boob job?” And I said, “Don’t you think it’s time you got a personality job?” The proprietor was mortified — I go there a lot, and people there are always nice. Figures. The old, out-of-work, down-at-heel drunks are true gentlemen, and the older white guy in the business suit is the sleaze bag.

Anyway, hung out with the cat some more, wrote up the notes I’d come up with as I drove (always interesting to see how far a piece evolves from the original kernel of the idea — it’s already mutated a lot). Rested the hip.

The night was terrifying — bad thunder storms and a bolt of lightening struck right outside the bedroom window. It came down white, hit the asphalt and turned into an orange fire ball that sounded like an explosion. Cats flew in all directions, and I could feel the tingle of the electricity.

No running this morning, just some light stretching. Will do yoga later. It’s hot and humid. Will hang out with the neighbor’s cat early, then check in the afternoon to see if he needs the air on. Plan to write, read, and generally take it easier.

Sorted things out with my editor. I think we’ll be okay for the next few months. We’ll see how it works out. I have a loyalty to my editor, but there will come a point where I have to say, “enough.”

I’m invited to the opening of my pottery teacher’s new exhibit in two weeks. I’m looking forward to it. The pottery class I’m taking (with a different instructor) starts next week, and I’m looking forward to it.

Elsa is worse, unfortunately, and I am very worried.

Back to the page.

Devon

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday wasn’t much of a writing day, although I soldiered along on POWER OF WORDS. Because of all the energy I’m using to try and help Elsa, there’s not much left for anything else. I’m trying to recharge, but I’m only managing to keep up with deadlines. I need to hustle some new work, though, especially since my play is closing tonight and that’s the end of those royalties! Figuring out what to write for the skits will help — they want some topical, political stuff and some more general, universal stuff. And I found a couple of other things I can pull together a pitch towards. I need to get back into “hustle headspace” again.

What was funny is that I wrote a scene about hiring in a massage therapist and acupuncturist to deal with injuries on my fictional production, and then felt slighted when I turned off the computer because I had no appointment!

I eagerly look forward to my acupuncture appointment next week, though. My hip is giving me trouble again, and I had lower back spasms. I finally gave in and took a couple of Excedrin — which took off the edge in less than 15 minutes. And some yoga helped, too. There was nothing on TV, so I did a more intense than usual evening practice, focusing on hip-opening exercises, and a long meditation, with Elsa purring on the mat beside me.

Elsa had a bad morning, and then I adjusted a few things, and she actually had a GREAT afternoon and evening, very much like her old self. She was comfortable and happy and funny as hell. What a relief.

I finished reading BREAKFAST WITH BUDDHA. What a lovely novel! Truly a joyful read, and it was the perfect choice for right now. If you’re looking for something that’s loving and funny and insightful, pick up this book.

I started another book, which looks promising. Once I’m in it far enough to know and still like it, I’ll mention it!

I got a couple of ideas for short stories that I want to play with. There are some deadlines coming up in July and August, and I’ve figured out my next column — now I just have to sit down and write it.

Made a baked catfish in spice rub for dinner — it wasn’t bad. The quality of the fish wasn’t what I hoped, but the rub, I think, would also be good on cod or halibut, so I will try that next time.

We were woken up at 4 AM by cats in heat yowling under the windows. Not only is that unpleasant in itself (the twins were horrified by the yowling, and Elsa just felt it wasn’t worth getting up), it means there will be feral kittens around eventually. I’m pretty sure Bossy Girl’s spayed, so it was probably Little One, who I haven’t been able to find and catch. Sigh.

Dozed off again until 5:30, gave Elsa her medicine, just kind of lay there staring at the ceiling until nearly 6, when I got up to feed them and do yoga. Heard from the vet, we’re doing a few adjustments, he likes what I’ve done on my own to figure out how to help Elsa. We’re also going to add licorice root into the mix.

To the page now for awhile. Busy day — the building finally hired an exterminator (it only took them three damn years) who starts rounds today — with all the renovations, we need it. Will keep the cats clear. Later, we’re headed waaaay out on Long Island (not as far as the Hamptons, thank goodness, that would make me nauseous) to see closing night of my play — I dread driving home late at night. I hate driving on Long Island at any time, but especially late at night, and especially since I’ve been getting up so early and going to bed so early lately. Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. I want to leave early so we don’t get caught in early beach traffic — so I have to do some research and figure out something for us to do for two or three hours in the close vicinity before the show. Maybe there’s a bookstore or cafe where we can hang out. I might bring my notebook and work on the short stories or the skits.

Devon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Waning Moon
Cloudy and humid

It hit 90 degrees in Central Park yesterday, which is just wrong. It was only 80 out here, but still . ..

Did some good work on the urban fantasy. I’ve written what I outlined, so I’m flying blind for a bit, then outlining more.

Acupuncture was great. The traffic, in both directions, was a nightmare, and I wasn’t in as bad shape as I usually am. She also worked on my knee.

Came back, did a little more on the urban fantasy, but mostly had to let the treatment settle. I’m reading PD James’s book THE LIGHTHOUSE, which is very interesting. She moves POV in various chapters, but is consistent within a chapter, and shows us the mystery through several perspectives. I haven’t read her books in order, so I’m a little lost in the arcs that have developed over the series, but not so lost so that it’s distracting. It’s also set on a fictional island off Cornwall, and makes me miss Cornwall.

I’m learning a lot by breaking down this show on a craft level, so thanks for bearing with me. HUMAN TARGET was on last night, and, I’m happy to say, back on track, at least as far as I’m concerned. i nearly skipped it because the premise required such a far suspension of my disbelief, but I’m glad I watched. The writing and direction were much better this week. The two episodes I had a problem with were directed by the same guy, and this was directed by someone else. Huge difference. His work was really solid, and he let the actors fly, for the most part. Jackie Earle Haley’s Guerrero had the hair that reads well on camera again, AND he got to be very active in this episode, with actions including taking out a sniper and driving an ambulance. This production must OWN that frigging ambulance, because it keeps turning up in episodes. And I have to take a second to praise the crew on this show — the demands of this show means they’re flat out busting their asses at an enormous rate. It’s amazing that the continuity of the show is as good as it is. I’ve been there, I’ve had to watch for continuity, at least as far as wardrobe, so wardrobe and hair continuity and prop continuity are things I tend to notice. And it’s damn hard, especially when you’re working outside and so many factors can’t be controlled. You do the best you can and you hope that, if something doesn’t work, it’s small enough not to notice, or they don’t decide to use the take with the continuity error because the performance is better and the director figures no one will notice. Other than hating the Guerrero hair last week that read so flat on camera (in contrast to the texture it usually has), and that had to have been a much-discussed choice, not an error, I’ve picked up very little continuity stuff that bothered me — and not enough to write about. Script inconsistencies — that’s something else. But even that — they’ve been good about looping references and coming back to follow up on things set up in earlier episodes, and I admire that. As far as last night, Haley had both the writing and direction support to really shine, except for one scene, which I’ll get to later. It was set in New York, and, while the stock footage and art direction were more realistic than, in, say CASTLE (a show I enjoy for the dynamic between the actors, except they don’t even try to get the locations right, and it’s so obviously shot in LA not NY, but they pretend it’s NY and it bugs me), it still was obvious that it wasn’t New York. There were logistical lapses in the script — if Gerard AND Chance had hunted Connor, why didn’t Connor recognize Chance? And once Victoria spouted off about the uselessness of fencing lessons, you knew, in the final fight, she’d come out swinging a sword. Really, that could have been handled better. Not to mention that it was either a broadsword or a claymore in the fight scene, and if she took fencing lessons, she’d have learned epee (accent won’t come in, sorry), foil, and sabre. Totally different fighting styles. I fenced, remember? AND had stage combat training. So stuff like that drives me nuts (yeah, I know, short drive). Loved the actors who played Gerard and Connor — well-known faces, and the actor playing Gerard was just a guest on something or other I saw a few days ago. It might even have been CASTLE. The last Guerrero-Winston scene bothered me — it felt like the producers or someone had demanded it, and it was inorganic to the rest of the episode (and some of what’s been set up in the series). It was written so that what Guerrero said was somewhere between a sulk and a whine. Had the director of the previous two episodes been at the helm, I have no doubt he’d have forced Haley down that path. Fortunately, both Haley and the director of this episode were smart enough not to make that choice. Still, it didn’t ring true to me. Haley’s had to fight the direction in this show before, depending on the director — this was the first time he had to fight the writing. He almost pulled it off — he did the best he could with what he was given, and he’s so damned good that you want to roll with whatever choices he makes. But, let’s face it, once Guerrero sets his sights on something or someone — he’s going to win. Or die. Period. That’s what’s been defined in the character, and to have it challenged with something as weak as the context and content of that particular scene, rubbed me the wrong way. I also felt Chance should have been watched, in that last scene in the graveyard, to put an ominous button at the end of the episode. Next week is the season finale, and it’s supposed to show us Chance’s conversion to good guy Human Target. I don’t know if the creators’ reality can live up to what I’ve imagined, quite frankly, although I’m happy to see the character of Baptiste is back — he was so good in my favorite episode of the season.

Regarding the urban fantasy, I realized I have to go into NYC sometime soon and walk the neighborhoods where I’m setting the story. I’ve set in around City Hall, Tribeca, and the fringes of Chinatown and LIttle Italy. I’ve certainly spent enough time there,and I’ve shot on location there (part of it takes place while a cop show is shooting). But, as I sit here and write it, I’m drawing a blank on some important details. Pulling up the city maps isn’t helping. I have to get down there and WALK it.

I need to see the Native American Museum for another project, and that’s in the same neighborhood, so I may combine the two. The city’s not that far away, but it’s gotten so expensive to go in that I try to combine as much as possible. I’ll take the notebook and the camera with me and get some details.

I’m working out of town for the second half of next week, so it might have to be the following week.

Decent morning’s work on the urban fantasy, but not as good as I’d like. That’s because I’m feeling my way through it, rather than following notes on sections I’ve already figured out. I’ve also got a couple of B plot lines to weave in.

I want to thank Diane Parkin for the Beautiful Blogger award. I really appreciate it. If you don’t read her blog, you should. It’s fantastic, and she’s so on top of her creative life, she inspires me on a daily basis.

Back to the page, and, ugh, the taxes.

Devon

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Snowy and cold

We had about four inches of snow overnight. The roads look pretty clear, so I think I can hold on to my original intent to go to Greenwich Library after lunch to do some research.

Linkage stuff to share: My SDR blog is up “The Intersection of Life and Fiction.” The new issue of THE SCRUFFY DOG REVIEW is out, with my Literary Athlete column on workshops. Kim Smith kindly awarded me a “Prolific Blogger” award last week, and I haven’t had the chance to pay it forward, although I plan to in the next few days.

Acupuncture was great yesterday, and I felt so much better once I was done. Driving to and from Long Island wasn’t all that bad, either.

The writing went very well, so that was a relief. Switching between the long WIP I’ve been working on (tentatively titled POWER OF WORDS) and the dark piece (REDEMPTION KILL) works because they’re very different, and yet, they feed off each other in a weird way. Hey, I’m not going to argue, I’m just going to roll with it.

Two very interesting and different conversations yesterday re: scriptwriting jobs for which I’d pitched. The first really liked my samples, but they need someone local (in LA) to be on-site doing topical revisions — it’s the monologue for a small, daily show. They hired someone to fit that, but wanted to talk to me anyway about future projects. They’re in negotiations for a development deal for some scripted web projects, and wanted to know if they could keep me on file and contact me if and when they had funding for something like that. That project could be done mostly remotely, but, if and when they needed me present, they’d also have the funds to bring me out west as needed, whereas this project doesn’t have the budget. Everything’s an “if”, but they came across as having integrity, and should the opportunity come up, I think we’d work together well. If the opportunity doesn’t come up, at least we had a good talk! 😉

The second conversation was more typical. They like the samples, but wanted me to write a project-specific script for them to “help them make their decision.” Without pay. I refused. I said I’d write a partial at a specially-negotiated rate, but I don’t do free project-specific samples. I know that road — the “employer” sends out different “samples” to different individuals, tells everyone they’ve hired someone else and gets the whole project for free, not paying anyone. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. They also said that, although, in the ad, they’d listed a per-script rate (which I found acceptable but not brilliant), they’d decided that was the rate they were paying for ALL the scripts, not just one. I said no, thank you. These are NOT people I’d want to work with in the future.

So, I watched the premiere of LOST’s final season. I didn’t watch the narrated pre-show explanation — I stand by my belief that if you have to keep explaining things, you’re not telling the story well. I enjoyed seeing old, familiar faces from the first season, the season I liked. I enjoyed the scenes from “the plane didn’t crash” section. I see where they’re going with the rest of it, and I’m just sighing and shaking my head. As I’ve said frequently when I’ve dipped into it once I stopped watching regularly, I enjoy the scene work, but not the overall arc, and I don’t trust the creators to lead me on a fulfilling journey. I’m glad the show gets the support it does, it is truly innovative on so many levels, and I’m glad so many people are fanatically loyal to it — that helps everyone creatively, the show’s creators, the writers, the actors — and, once the knock-offs run out of steam, will hopefully open the door to more innovation. But LOST lost me at the top of Season 3 and never won me back. It’s really well done, and, in spite of it, I feel like they’re over-manipulating the audience. To me, that’s a turn-off. I’ll probably watch it here and there over the coming weeks, and I want to see the series finale to see if my speculations are correct. But I’m certainly not planning my week around it.

Imbolc ritual was lovely, honoring the stirring of what is to come.

Good first writing session this morning. The word count is low, but I’m writing a scene that’s both physically and emotionally complex and I’d rather take my time with it than rush through it. It’s pivotal to the rest of the book, so I’d rather get it mostly right (there’s always room for improvements during revision) than rush through it, blow it, and then not have built a strong foundation for the rest of the piece.

Back to the page for a bit, and then I’m headed off to the library.

Devon

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Waxing moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I can’t believe it’s December already! Wow. This year went fast.

I feel so much better after acupuncture. Truly amazing. I feel like I can deal with the next two weeks.

The drive to Long Island and back wasn’t pleasant because of the weather, but I got there and it was all good. I had to take it pretty easy for the rest of the day to let the treatment set, but I managed to get some packing done for Thursday. Amazing how much stuff I stashed on top of that set of bunk beds!

I read Jean Hager’s THE SPIRIT CALLER, which was interesting.

Blocked out a new play for the company that keeps commissioning my work. This is only a 3-character. But it could be quite the tour de force for the actors, if they can cast it properly.

Worked on the Christmas story and its design — kind of weird to do it simultaneously. Started the anthology story and the steampunk novella. So I’m sort of on schedule.

The cats are whiny — they don’t like all the chaos of things being moved around.

Got a royalty check for MATILDA MURDERS, and the contract for FEMME FATALE, which opens in April and runs for four months, not three. Pretty sweet. MATILDA MURDERS extended a few extra weeks as well. So, at least the plays are doing well!

Lots of errands this morning, and then more packing and back to the page. At least I feel much better, both physically and mentally, which makes a huge difference. Come Thursday night, when the furniture swap is done and I can start putting things back to rights and really start decorating, I will be a happy camper.

I decided I’ll start writing the holiday cards tonight, while I’m watching the news or something. I also plan to finish all my online ordering today. Then, I’ll only have a couple of things to pick up in-store and the stocking stuffers, and I am DONE. In spite of the chaos, things are chugging along.

Happy December!

Devon

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