Tues. Dec. 22, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 216 — Trying to Get it All Done

Cookie tins, packed & ready for delivery

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Waxing Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend, although I wasn’t really feeling up to it.

Friday had more snow; not much, just a dusting. I had to pick up a prescription for my mom, and I did a curbside drop-off/pick-up at the library.

Decontaminated, read a bit.

Finished the revisions on both the Susanna Centlivre play and the Isabella Goodwin play and got them out. Nearly two weeks ahead of deadline, too. I’m pretty pleased with myself.

Heard back from the Body Be Gone publisher. I didn’t win the big prize, but I am in the anthology and will get a little bit of cash and a copy of it, which will be fun. It was a lot of fun to participate in it, and I’m pleased to be part of such a lively, creative group. I wonder which story won?

In any case, by not winning, I retain my rights to these characters, and they can have a life beyond that one story. Which could be a lot of fun.

Woke up early on Saturday, with ideas for a story for one of the anthologies that would be due on Dec. 31. It might be too complex for a short story, but I’m going to give it a shot and see what I can do with it.

Wrote 1600 words on it, and it’s a bit all over the place, but I like the bones of it. Once I finish the draft, I can strip it down and rebuild.

I poked two companies about orders I placed weeks ago – giving them plenty of time because it’s both busy season and the pandemic. They finally shipped. One of the orders was placed before Thanksgiving. This is inexcusable. I help one of my clients with shipping. It doesn’t take five weeks to ship something that is in stock.

Saturday’s big project was making stollen. I used the traditional Dresden recipe. It takes all day, between the rises and waiting while things soak. But we wind up with three enormous loaves of stollen that are delicious. Much better than the overpriced, stale loaves on buys in the stores or orders online. If I bought this from a company, it would cost several hundred dollars. And not taste half as good.

I also decorated most of my office – got the tree up, anyway. Switched the bedding over to fleece. Got 6 loads of laundry done.

And was wiped out.

A client contacted me, frantically needing me to get something out right that second. I got it done, and that will be on next week’s bill. You don’t interrupt my weekend and expect it to be free. This is information I asked her for nearly a month ago, and she couldn’t get her act together until Saturday for something that needed to go out before Sunday.

Sunday, I finished decorating my office, put a lot of empty boxes away. I baked a chocolate Grand Marnier cake. The Bundt pan I have is awful, and even though it was greased in every crevice, it didn’t come out properly. But it still tastes good. Also made bourbon balls, which turned out tasty, but look a little off-putting.

I was just wiped out. I felt weak and emotional all weekend. All I want to do is sleep. I can’t seem to get my feet back under me after this surgery. It’s been more than a week, and it was good news, so I don’t get why I’m still completely wiped out.

The “relief” package Congress passed is a joke. Sure, $600 is better than nothing, but we should have been getting $2000/month EVERY month since March. All of them failed us, including the Democrats. All these people saying, “Oh, take a government class, it’s all on McConnell, it’s not on Pelosi and Schumer” – grow up. I’ve been a negotiator. When you don’t have the votes, you GET THE VOTES. McConnell does it all the time, but Pelosi and Schumer aren’t willing to play hardball.

They’ll have another excuse for no continued, REAL relief in January. I’m sick of excuses. I want action. Tough, strong action against the corrupt. Not continuous capitulation and acting like $600 is good. It’s HALF of what we got in May, and just over ¼ of what we should have been getting EVERY MONTH of the pandemic. While the grifters continue to grift, without consequence. This has to change. If this is the “best they can’ do” then we need stronger leadership who can do better.

In this state alone, there are nearly 30,000 new virus cases a week. We need a full lockdown. With continued, direct cash relief.

And prosecution for those who profited from the pandemic at the expense of our lives all the way through it.

Monday, up early, still feeling like crap. But I went into the office – alone, like it should be. I got some shipping done – see, people? The orders came in over the weekend and went out MONDAY – that is how one takes care of customers. The postman hadn’t arrived by the time I left, so I took the boxes with me and dropped them off at the post office myself. Went to the library for a curbside drop-off/pickup.

Home, decontaminated, masked up again, and packed cookie tins. They look really cute. The cookies are packed in individual sleeves, which work well, but take up a lot of room.

One of the companies I poked came through and I got the delivery that was most important to get today. The company from whom I ordered before Thanksgiving – shipped so late it’s still stuck in California, and the third company is making noises about delays. But what I really wanted for today came, so that’s that.

I got an unexpected bonus from two clients. One goes into the bank, as prep for moving; the other I used on a piece of jewelry by an artisan on which I’ve had my eye for a few months. I put in a note with the order not to stress about trying to get it out for this week. It gets here when it gets here. I ordered it late – when I had the money to order it. I’m happy whenever it arrives.

I was finished just as the sun set, and we did the family Solstice ritual: let the sun set all the way, sitting in the dark. Start by lighting the fire in the fireplace, with greens from last year’s Solstice season; then light all the candles and put on the trees and other decorative lights, inside and outside the house. And take a few minutes of gratitude to enjoy it, release what no longer works, and make room to invite something new and wonderful.

Dinner was pancetta and peas in Alfredo sauce, with the chocolate Grand Marnier cake for dessert. Delicious.

Then, a quiet evening re-reading Terry Pratchett’s HOGFATHER (one of my favorite books), enjoying the tree, listening to Chantal Chamberland sing carols.

Later, I did my own private Solstice ritual, to remove the detritus of this year, and make way for something new.

I’m off today to Plymouth, to get the car inspected, and I’m terrified. I’m terrified that the Trump-supporting maskless mechanics who did the oil change sabotaged the car a few months back, and there will be a major repair. Think good thoughts for me. At least I’ll be at the mechanic I know is honest.

If I’m not there all day with car repairs, I hope to come home the cookie deliveries (and yes, one of those tins is for the mechanics in Plymouth).

Have a lovely day, friends, and a lovely week.

Fri. Aug. 17, 2018: Tucking In to a Weekend of Inspiration & Writing

Friday, August 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

Here’s hoping I can hang on until Mercury goes direct!

Yesterday, not enough writing done. But I got some LOIs out, updated the websites. I’m trying out the new Fearless Ink logo, and I changed the background color on the site. As my work evolves, so must the site. The concept for the site wasn’t meshing enough with the practicality.

Did some updates on the Devon Ellington site, too. Tweaked the information; added a couple of necessary things. I really like the slideshow of book covers on the Welcome page; I’d like to add additional slideshows to the top of the Delectable Digital Delights Page and the Anthologies Page. Eventually, the Topic Workbooks will have one, too.

We’re working on a new look for the Topic Workbooks. So far, the consensus is that the old covers work better! So I guess we’ll keep working.

Saw a couple of roughs for the cover of what will be the new book in the first of what used to be the Power of Words series. I really like it. It’s very different from anything I’ve seen out there. It gives information on the cover without over-extending titles and gives an idea of what the series is about. We’re going to start building the website offline, so it can go live when we’re done.

About twenty research books arrived at the library — some I’d ordered quite awhile ago. Most of them already go back today.

Did some good work on something I had to research for RELICS. I think feeling insecure about some of the research is what’s tripping me up and making me second guess. Also, the massive overdose in New Haven, CT is supporting what I’m dealing with in the book.

A new character walked into DAVY JONES DHARMA and is going to give Sophie a hard time — in more than one book, it looks like!

Writing this morning. Then, I have to do a few things at the library, and then it’s off to the Cahoon Museum to see their exhibits.

Tessa and Lucy are doing really well. They’re adjusting to each other. Tessa’s mood has improved enormously since Lucy joined the household. Lucy came from a difficult situation, so she’s cautious, but she’s starting to feel safer and more confident.

I plan to dig in this weekend. It’s all about writing and working on the house.

Back to the page, and then off to get some inspiration!

Have a great weekend!

 

Published in: on August 17, 2018 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 17, 2018: Tucking In to a Weekend of Inspiration & Writing  
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

The sun is out, the birds are singing, it’s warm enough to only wear shirt sleeves – could it be that spring really will start this week?

Thanks for the St. Patrick info, Lori. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about him. I only know I refuse to work in the city on St. Patrick’s Day because Metro North allows the drunks to harass the commuters on the train, and it’s not worth it.

I’ve got an article on The Scruffy Dog Review called “Where’s the Work?” Stop by and leave a comment if you get a chance.

I’ve set off AIG comments, so if you don’t want to read them, skip down:
More AIG madness, with one of the best articles in yesterday’s LONDON TIMES (a reliable source):

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5926545.ece

Thank goodness we have Andrew Cuomo. He’s not waiting around while Congress drags its collective feet.

Abby, the reason these (word deleted because it was beyond rude) weren’t fired as soon as they started losing the company money is because Reagan began the deregulation that created the environment to allow this financial rape. Pay is not connected to competence, but to the amount of paperwork generated; the execs saw the opportunity for millions in personal profit and to hell with everyone else. United Auto Workers are told to take pay cuts or else. The AIG execs get a million dollars apiece for doing far worse to their companies – running them into the ground – whereas auto workers actually made cars, created something tangible. It’s not the auto workers’ fault that they were instructed to make gas-guzzling behemoths that couldn’t be sustained in an economy. Auto workers don’t make the decisions as to what’s built at a plant. But it IS the fault of the execs for writing policies that they knew couldn’t be sustained. Again, it’s an example of the direction towards medieval feudal society this country headed over the past years: If you’re rich and corrupt, you are rewarded; if you work for a living, you’re kicked in the teeth. NO MORE.

Lori, thanks for your comments. For those of you who don’t know, Lori has enormous experience writing about the insurance industry. She knows of which she speaks.

We need to remain outraged and keep pressure on those elected to represent us. If all we do is bitch and moan at home, nothing will happen. TAKE ACTION. Or shut up. Whining doesn’t solve the problem. Doing something does, and yes, we as citizens have the power to fix this, if we choose to use it. Believe me, I’ve been shooting off the emails every day. And, we need to call out the hypocrites who now pretend outrage for measures they allowed in the first place. We need Edward Liddy out, we need all those executives banned from ever working in the financial industry again (and those who knowingly wrote policies that couldn’t be covered, which, I’m sure, is all or almost all, jailed), and Hank Paulson punished. I want the list of the executives who received the bonuses MADE PUBLIC. It is our money; we have the right to know where it went.

Back to my daily life:
I forgot to comment on Monday’s episode of CASTLE in yesterday’s blog. Guess that’s how much it impressed me. 😉 Again, I like the leads. I could tell the production moved back to shoot in LA, rather than continuing to shoot in NY, and that turns me off. Got ahead of the story most of the time, and there were a few places, especially near the beginning, where you could see the actors working too hard to make the material pass. I was pleased that, in the Big Reveal scene and the final scene, they avoided a couple of cliché traps, although, early in the episode, they walked right into a few. I’m still very much on the fence with this show. I like Nathan Fillion’s work a lot (as I mentioned last week, it took awhile for him to win me over with his work, but now that he has, I’m loyal). I’m becoming a fan of Stana Kavic’s work, and I like them together. I’m not entirely satisfied with the writing, but again, I wonder how much of the script is watered down by the network. Fillion’s definitely on the list of people I’d like to work with someday – the odd details he puts into the work make me want to throw some unusual material his way just to see what he does with it. Of course, we’d need to find a context where we’re both paid! 

Computer troubles curtailed some of yesterday’s work. That was frustrating; I’ll make up for it today. My Microsoft decided I’m not longer “allowed” to create new folders in which to save files on my flash drive. Even though I’m only using half the drive’s space.. Microsoft can BITE ME.

I was worried I’d lose the revisions of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, so I sent backups to the three different accounts to which I always send backups.

Rewrote “Ris an Abrar” – I thought I found a spot for it. I see why it was rejected from the anthology to which I originally targeted it – there were some stupid mistakes in it. Hopefully, I’ve fixed most of what’s wrong with it, and I have to take a couple of scenes farther. Going over it again, I see that it IS the first chapter of a novel, whether I want it to be or not. There’s too much story to fit into a short story, so I’m going to put it aside and deal with it when it pulls strongly again.

I came up with an idea for the slot into which I planned to stuff “Ris an Abrar” into – now that it won’t fit, no matter what. I need to percolate it for a few more days, but the deadline for this anthology is coming up quickly, so I need to buckle down and do it or pass on it.

Got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1. I’m glad – it looks interesting. They’re definitely sending me the more challenging material crossing their desks lately. I don’t mind – although yesterday I was definitely more in the mood for brain candy!

I’m learning how to utilize Twitter. I’ll never be Uber-Marketer – that’s not my style. And I don’t go on and off it all day. I check it once or twice a day, tweet if I’ve got something to say or need to ask a question, catch up on tweets for a few minutes, and I’m done. I’ve met some interesting people with whom I might not have otherwise crossed paths. We’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic.

The other anthology story’s percolated enough so I’m ready to write. Again, there’s a lot of story there, but I’m pretty sure I can pick and choose what’s strongest for this particular piece.

By the weekend, I hope to get back to both The Big Project and ANGEL HUNT.

We’ll see – a lot will depend on how the computer runs and how much client work I can clear off.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (5)  
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