Tues. Sept. 3, 2019: And It’s September

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend. But I needed it. Check out the September list over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

There were plenty of things I should have done on Friday, once I was finished with my work at the library, but I didn’t. I read instead. I’m really enjoying all three series by Elaine Viets.

Played with some ideas, developing them. Have to figure out how to fit them in between everything else I have going on.

Sat outside for awhile on the deck, reading. It was lovely. I want to enjoy every minute I can.

Ordered some books, some for research, and Lauren Dane’s Books 4 & 5 of her Goddess Blade series. That was my treat — only allowed to dip into them once I finished my quota for the day.

When I woke up Saturday, it smelled like autumn. The leaves are starting to turn and fall. The tiger lilies have faded and the chlorophyll has already receded. I’ll have to pull the dry stalks soon. That shouldn’t happen until well into September. The birds are starting their migrations, too. They congregate in the front yard, have a snack, and move on.

Concerned about my friends and colleagues down in Florida, and my contacts in the Bahamas. SAVASANA AT SEA is set in the Bahamas, and so it THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I’m worried about what’s happening there.

Worked on GRAVE REACH. Not enough, but we’re getting there. I’m running out of time for it, though, and that’s setting back the BALTHAZAAR and DHARMA revisions, too, so I’m a little stressed.

Worked on the adaptation to radio for BEHIND THE MAN. Anyone who thinks it’s “easy” to adapt a stage play to a radio play is an idiot. They are two different mediums. It’s not about just changing the format.

In the adaptation, I start by changing the format, scene by scene. I take a scene and change the format. Then, I take out all the visual cues and replace them with aural cues. Then I go over the scene however many times I need to for pace, plot, and character, and layer in additional cues to drive the piece. Putting in sound cues isn’t just about adding noise — it’s about picking the right aural stimulation that drives plot and supports character.

It takes a long time.

But BEHIND THE MAN is one of my favorite plays, so, to me, it’s worth it.

Didn’t finish “Pier-less Crime” which is annoying. I keep changing my mind on certain plot points.

Read more than I should have. More of Elaine Viets’s books. Read Lauren Dane’s GODDESS WITH A BLADE Book 4(the twist at the end made me sad). Worked on the book for review. I should have that done and out by tomorrow.

Worked on some article pitches that will go out this week. I have to scan a couple of clips that aren’t available online to attach with one of them. That’s always a pain the butt.

Spent far too much time on Saturday pruning. I did a big prune on the forsythia bushes in the front. They were really getting out of control. Managed to free an enormous hydrangea around the side that was being choked. Also pruned one of the shrubs in the front bed that’s gotten a little out of control. Watered the front and back lawns, too. I still have to prune in the back (the forsythia and the bittersweet) and hack back the roses (but I’m told I should wait until the first frost to do that).

Also replaced the dying pansies in the front baskets and in the front barrel with large marigolds and chrysanthemums for the autumn. Bought a new mat for the front door (the old one was growing moss; it was beyond time to get rid of it). Did tons of laundry and changed out some of the fabric from summer to autumn.

Didn’t start refinishing the sewing cabinet or the small, drop-leafed table, although I should have. There were plenty of things I should have done this weekend, and just didn’t.

Saw the black cat, who was tucked in amongst the rose bushes. She looked a little worse for wear, but wouldn’t let me near her. I left out food and water on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night, and it was all gobbled up when I got up. I hope it’s the cat and not some other critter.

Feel absolutely weary, both physically and emotionally. Until we know if we’re getting a lease renewal for one more year, I am going to be worried.

Kept an eye on Hurricane Dorian. It’s terrifying how it just stopped moving over the Bahamas.

Re-watched CASABLANCA. Every time I see it, I’m reminded how good it is. So many lines have gone into the lexicon of daily conversation, it’s easy to forget how good the movie is as a piece.

Also watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST. I hadn’t seen it since we studied it in film school, and I’d forgotten a lot of it. The ending was a bit abrupt for my taste, but the rest of it was interesting. Although I wondered how Cary Grant’s character just happened to have enough cash on him to race around the country like that. The logic didn’t quite work.

I’m with a client today and tomorrow. Have a ton of errands on Thursday, and then, hopefully, I can go to yoga. Friday morning, I have an important meeting. So we’re hitting the ground running for September.

In and around all of that, I have to meet my writing deadlines, get some promotions going for my books, and get out a bunch of article pitches and LOIs. I also have to do my postcard for my quarterly freelance mailing. That usually gets a good response and I land some decent repeat work from clients.

Never a dull moment.

But I still wish I could take a couple of weeks of vacation.

Back to the page.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT (as of the 19th – Huzzah!)
Hot, humid, sticky

My goodness, there’s a lot to catch up!

Spent far too much time on Thursday rearranging my storage unit up here in preparation for this weekend’s consolidation.

Worked on the revision of THE MATILDA MURDERS. I needed to do a lot of restructuring, and I was having trouble adding comedy. This is a more thoughtful piece than The Play Formerly Known as Sidekick. I want to give the producer the humor she wants while still staying true to the concept of the show. I’m really struggling with it, and I have to figure out how to unlock it. I know there’s a way; I just haven’t found it yet. Actually, the new name for The Play Formerly Known as Sidekick is Behind the Man. Thank you, Danny! That title captures the era and the themes very well.

Worked on the next adventure for the crew of the Merry – thanks to my actor friend who unlocked the idea with a single comment! The Merry is sailing again, and her crew is getting into some interesting stuff!

I’m letting the monologue sit for a few days before I go back to it.

Got a check from Confidential Job #1 – my last one before the rate cut goes into effect.

Decided on the “stuff” for the HEX BREAKER promo – once I get the cover art, I can see what can use the cover art, and what just needs something simpler with the URL on it. Some of it should be pretty funny. Worked on the webpage for the series, where I can put up excerpts, etc, for the piece.

I had meeting with various “people” about various projects. I was polite, I listened, I had a few things to say, but I truly can’t see anything tangible coming out of it, at least not right now. Which is fine. But none of them were people I’m wild to work with. It was all very “I’m listening, but you’re really not impressing me and I don’t need to do this, so I’m not taking it seriously until there’s money on the table” for me. Sometimes you meet people and there’s instant connection; you know that even if this project doesn’t work out, something down the line will. I didn’t get that feeling here. Still, it never hurts to listen politely.

Was horrified by a TV show that pretends to be about something I know a lot about, but is, in reality, the worst piece of crap in every aspect of the show, that I have ever seen in my life. I won’t even name it, because I don’t want to draw attention to it. Watching the pilot made me ill. I had to leave the room 4 times in the first 20 minutes. And it just kept getting worse. It’s an insult to the world it purports to be about; it is an insult to the actors working on the show. I can honestly say I’ve never watched anything that bad in my entire life, and I hope it vanishes quickly.

Did interviews, was interviewed, ended up being a designated driver for a minivan full of under-aged, over-excited teenaged boys when the (adult) driver got too drunk to drive(swear to God, it was like dealing with bear cubs on sugar), did a reading of an unpublished piece by special request, ate steak for about the first time in a year, did preliminary negotiations for several possible working trips in the course of the upcoming season, caught up with a bunch of people I know, met a whole bunch of new ones, sat up and laughed far into the night about a horrible show we all watched together, and pretty much tried to pack three months’ worth of stuff into 27 hours.

I have a lot of information on the NHL draft, and now it’s about getting into an article or articles, and setting up interviews for training camp time later in the summer. I also have to do articles, over the next few months, on some of my picks from the past years, kind of a look-at-what-they’ve-done thing.

Was tracked down by a friend I haven’t seen in 12-15 years who is now living in Boston, which is really cool, because it means we can hang out occasionally (I hope) after I move.

Tracked down an old friend I haven’t seen since Miss Saigon closed, and am hoping we can get together soon.

Nearly killed myself consolidating storage units and I’m nowhere near done. Four round trips to and from the storage unit in the city to the storage unit up here, in a minivan rented for the occasion. And there is no way in hell what’s left in the one unit will fit into this unit AND the unit I’m keeping in the city. I don’t have time to go through boxes and throw stuff out – it all has to be solved before July 10 and I go back to full-time on The Big Broadway on July 7. I’m going to have to go back in to the city this week and try to repack at least part of the remaining unit, see how many boxes I can fit, and then maybe rent a smaller, auxiliary unit out here, then rent a cargo van and get it out here in a single trip. Also, this week, I’m going to spend an hour a day in the early part of the week going through some of the boxes I moved out here and repacking them and (hopefully) tossing stuff, which means I can fit more boxes in the one out here. I just can’t afford to maintain two units in the city anymore and I can’t afford to hire movers to get everything out here, so I’m Pre-Pitching what I can before the move. The timing sucks, but doesn’t it always?

So I’m unloading the minivan, piling boxes onto the dolly at my storage unit out here. This guy’s pacing in the parking lot, talking too loudly into his cell phone – total cliché, too many gold chains, “F-this and F-that” every other word, tank top with the chest hair fighting its way out (guess I notice now because of the cover art question), real New Yawk accent, it wouldn’t hurt him to hit the gym occasionally. I’ve got the last box on the trolley and I’m locking the van when he says, “You need a hand?”

Typical. Wait until the heavy lifting’s over. “No, I’m fine, thank you.”

“You really oughtta have a guy helping you.”

Not that it’s any of his business and not that one of my guys wasn’t a huge help up until this last load. “I’m fine.”

“You need someone ta take cara you. I’m open for the job.”

“Yeah, like I’ve been so impressed with your behaviour thus far.” And I pushed the trolley into the building.

WTF?

At least I learned I can drive a passenger van AND a minivan, if necessary. Actually, towards the end of the weekend, I was getting pretty used to the Nissan Quest. And I like the way people get the hell out of the way when you come roaring down the highway in a big car.

Of course, when I’m in a little car, I just give them the finger, but hey, that’s me . . .

Got a check for an article I wrote over a year ago – about time they published it and paid up! At least they weren’t being deadbeat – and they are the reason I have an extra clause in pay-on-publication contracts limiting how long they can hold the article before publishing, or rights revert back to me. In other words, no more holding it for a year. If I write it within the two assigned weeks, you can damn well publish it earlier than a year down the road AND PAY ME, or momma doesn’t write for your publication any more. Live and learn.

Going through stuff from the storage unit is disconcerting. Some of it – well, it’s like Christmas. There are items with deep meaning, history, and specific stories attached, and it’s delightful to reconnect, even if I have to repack. Some of it – I look at it and wonder who was the woman who packed these things seven years ago? Of course, at the time, I expected to have things in storage for three months, but life took some unexpected turns. But it’s a strange sensation. .

And, scrubbing down in the shower after everything, I felt like I was never going to get the dirt, dust, and grit off. Ick.

I have a kazillion errands to do this morning before I can get back to writing, and a truncated writing day, because the show schedule’s switched, and we now play on Mondays.

I will go up to Maine towards the latter part of the week to see my grandmother. She’s holding on, but that’s about it. I want to make sure I see her.

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 6:07 am  Comments (8)  
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