Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warm

I don’t know how I’m ever going to get my act together today. I’m overtired and unfocused. But I have to — lots to do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the praise you’ve showered on me for “The Retriever” in Books for Monsters. And for the suggestions to expand it into a book. I just may do that. If you want to see more of my work there, let the editor know!

Friday was reasonably productive. I cleared a bunch of stuff off my desk, got some writing done, worked on redesigning the ebooks — there are two possible ways to do it, and I’m going to see which one is more efficient and use that method. I finally got to start my friend Kim Smith’s book AVENGING ANGEL, which is a really fun mystery.

There were actually a half a dozen jobs on the boards Friday that I thought were worth pitching. And I’m working on a residency proposal. I don’t think I’m quite “literary” enough a writer for them, so I’m trying to play my other strengths. There’s also a contest I might enter — it seems fun.

Not much sleep Friday night into Saturday morning. A domestic disturbance in another apartment woke me around 1 AM — it settled down quickly; I don’t know if someone called the cops or what. Then, around 4:30, the cats and I were woken up by snarling and growling, but it sure didn’t sound like anything we’d ever heard before. The creature was in the tree outside the window — I couldn’t see what it was, but the cats believed it was a threat. Their eyes were enormous, the fur bristled, backs arched, tails low and waving, and they were growling and hissing right back. I shut the window, because a screen felt way too flimsy between us. It wasn’t a cat, it wasn’t a dog (obviously — it was in a tree), it wasn’t a skunk or a raccoon. I don’t know if possums make noise — we occasionally have them around here. I HOPE it’s not a fisher. If fishers have invaded the neighborhood, we’re all screwed. If I can get a good look at it and it IS a fisher, I’ll have to call some nature authority to come and deal with it, or no cat, small dog, squirrel, chipmunk, skunk, or small child is safe. The ones in Maine are VICIOUS. I didn’t smell the odor I normally associate with fishers, so I hope it’s not one of those.

But then, the cats decided that, since we were up anyway, it must be time for breakfast. Uh, no. But they are extraordinarily persistent, and it was well before six when they won. I’m seriously outnumbered.

I was in NO mood for a big day of racing. I managed to get a polish done on a submission and got it off before I had to turn my attention to the horses. The weather was gorgeous — low seventies with a breeze, unlike last year, when it was in the 90’s and disgustingly humid. It was a hit and miss day for me in my picks. I’m not quite sure how I wound up ahead by a little, but I did. I did not pick Summer Bird, the winner. He ran a great race, but I’m still not getting on his band wagon. What interests me in the whole thing is how this year’s Triple Crown affects the trainers of Mine That Bird and Summer Bird (half-brothers, sired by Birdstone). Both trainers weren’t well-known outside of their home tracks, and I’m interested in following their careers.

I also got a ton of inspiration for DEAD MAN’S STALL.

Sunday, I gave myself most of the day off. Did some catch-up. I have to make a decision about 1 and 1 before the end of the summer. They gave me a credit for the problems, as I asked, but the problem isn’t being solved. I missed a job opportunity yesterday because it was time sensitive, created in the email (because I didn’t have time to do it elsewhere and cut and paste), and the server error not only didn’t send it, but dumped the email without saving it as a draft or anything else. I now have a reliable computer. I need to expand that to a reliable web host. I understand that there are sometimes problems, but every day for the past two months and change? And at least three times a week for the four to five months prior. I love the components in the package and the price point, but if it doesn’t work when I need it to, it’s useless.

I finished some half-read books that needed attention — two that were quite disappointing — but learned from both of them. I finished my friend Kim’s book and sent off the interview questions for her appearance on A BIBLIO PARADISE. I bought my friend Colin’s book STELLA, and spent some time congratulating him on the Eternal Press loop.

Some new client projects came in, which I will start today.

I went to the Tony Award viewing party in the evening and it was great. I thought Neil Patrick Harris did a good job as a host, although they had the announcer on the God mike too often at times where he should have handled duties. I’m thrilled that HAIR won Best Revival, although I expected WEST SIDE STORY to win. The three “Billys” in Billy Elliot shared the award, which was great, and, in general, it was a delightful evening. I thought they showcased some great numbers, although the sound problems and the sound mix drove me nuts. In the course of a live show, everyone deals with each other much more constantly and intimately than in film or television, so everyone who works on a production is much more fully and emotionally invested. I think last night’s production communicated that investment better than many prior years. Tony Award night always makes me remember why I got into the business in the first place, and grateful for the long career I’ve had there. I don’t miss being backstage every night anymore, but I’m very grateful for the years I had back there.

The cats got me up early (big surprise). Nice morning’s work on the Matty book. Need to get back to the serial and to DEAD MAN’S STALL, and to finish, polish, and send the Belmont wrap-up article. Must do some stuff for my mom, design another postcard for a giveaway, do some work for the Prague trip, and the client work.

Busy day — better get to it!


Racing Ink — Belmont Stakes Day

Regular “Ink” daily post below:

Racing Ink — Belmont Stakes Day, June 6, 2009

As I predicted, Rachel Alexandra is not running on Belmont Day. But the race will be exciting, and here are my picks for the whole card:

Race 1:
Inger Management across the board with Justin P. as a long shot show bet.

Race 2:
Speight of Hand across the board and Just Ben.

Race 3:
I like Bimini a lot here, so I’ll probably bet him across the board. I’m surprised at Molten Lava’s long odds — if he looks good in the paddock, I’ll toss him in to show, and pick a place horse at the paddock, possibly Wanted Alive.

Race 4:
Spurred, trained by David Donk, across the board. Slam Dunk, trained by Graham Motion to place, and Radical Sabbatical, trained by Barclay Tagg, to show. Since this is a turf race, and I like the way all these trainers prep their horses on the turf, I’m choosing trainer as the top factor.

Race 5:
Another turf race and another Donk horse, So It Goes, across the board. Christophe Clemente’s horse, Western Influence, has surprisingly long odds at 10-1 as of this writing. If he looks good, I’ll put him in a show spot. I’ll pick one more horse at the paddock. If the race moves off the turf, I’ll also toss in Overextended.

Race 6 — The True North Stakes:
This is always a fun race. I’ll take Benny the Bull across the board. I’ve always liked both Silver Edition and Desert Key, so I’ll look at them. Fabulous Strike’s odds seem too short to me, but I’ll take a look at the horse and see if he’s on his toes tomorrow.

Race 7 — Just a Game Stakes:
For fillies and mares, so of course, I can’t wait. AND it’s on the turf. Caribbean Sunset, the Clement horse, across the board. With a name like I Lost My Choo, how can I resist to at least try her in the show spot. I’ll take a look at Forever Together, Modern Look, and My Princess Jess and make my place spot choice.

Race 8 — Woody Stephens Stakes:
Munnings, Hull, and Regal Ransom across the board and as a boxed trifecta. Hello Broadway is my longshot show pick.

Race 9 — Acorn Stakes;
For the fillies. Honestly, I do not have a clue which horse I’ll pick. I’d like to put Funny Moon in there somewhere, but I will wait until I see them to decide.

Race 10 — Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap Stakes:
This is a turf race with a lot of GREAT horses in it. I’m throwing Better Talk Now in there — he’s ten years old, he’s been good to me, I’m going to support him. Wesley, who I’ve championed all season, no matter where he turns up, is also in the mix. I also want to consider Court Vision, Cowboy Cal, and Cosmonaut. I’m surprised by Champes Elysees’s long odds. The choices in this field are tough.

Race 11 — Belmont Stakes
The Big Race of the Day. I’m going with Mine That Bird across the board. Summer Bird has more experience as a sprinter, so I’m surprised to see him in such a long race, and I’ll pass. I still don’t think Dunkirk will have his mental game in place until Saratoga, but I do like the horse, so I’ll also take him across the board. Chocolate Candy for place and show, although Mike Smith’s not on him this time. Flying Private ran much better in both the Derby (correction: This should read “Preakness”, not “Derby”) and the Preakness than I expected. I still think he’ll be at his best at Saratoga, but I’ll also put place and show bets on him here. I will pick a longshot horse in the post parade.

Race 12:
A very short race (6f) after a really long one. There should be some good value for money here. I’ll go with Storm Hope and Brave Soul, with Rock and Rune as my longshot show bet. If Afrikaner gets in, he’ll at least get place money. If Graceful Afleet gets in, I’ll toss some cash his way, too.

Race 13:
Another crowded race with value for money. Manchild and Golden Guska are my top two, with Skybay and One Lucky Date as my longshot picks. If the race moves off the turf and Wanda’s Double gets in, he’ll be my top choice.

Hop on over to FemmeFan next week to read my wrap-up article!

Happy Racing!

Don’t know how to bet a horse? Read my article here for my rather odd point of view!

Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 8:27 am  Comments (3)