Tues. May 4, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 346 — Digging

photo by Devon Ellington

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Rainy and cool

I’m in a rocky period, and that’s the way it’s going to be for this next stretch. I have to figure out how to navigate it without killing myself.

Friday was a mix of frustrations. I managed to get some client work done really, really early to hand it off to the person who needed it, getting in early rather than waiting until this week. And then THAT person went and took credit for the work I’d done both Thursday and Friday. So there’s some clarification that needs to happen next week.

Friday was a bit of a fractured workday, although I managed to do a curbside pickup at the library. I’m stressed with most of my cookbooks packed, so I ordered more cookbooks from the library as a soothing agent.

Got a stack of LOIs out. Prepped for a late afternoon meeting. It was a video call, so that meant choosing the wardrobe, doing the makeup, fixing the lighting, checking to make sure the background wasn’t full of boxes.

I woke up on Saturday morning, filled to the brim with stress and rage.

I worked hard to let go of it – it was a gorgeous day outside. I did an early morning grocery run, got the laundry and the housework done, worked on the paperwork for the contest (I finished the third category), and then decided to give myself a day off. I’m completely cooked, and I am making myself ill. I read a book, I played with the cats, I sat outside on the deck and enjoyed myself.

It was Beltane, and I did a ritual. Let’s hope things are moving in the right direction.

The Kentucky Derby was in the evening. I was disgusted to see how many flouted the masking protocols and ignored social distancing. They should have all been removed.

King Fury was scratched, so he wasn’t part of my picks, poor baby. I didn’t actually bet this year, even online. With the move coming up, betting is an unnecessary expense, and, frankly, I didn’t put in enough work to make it worthwhile. Plus, it’s not the Derby where one makes money; it’s the undercard, and I certainly didn’t put in the work to bet on that.

I stuck with my choices of Midnight Bourbon as my first choice, then Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie, and Soup and Sandwich as my long shot. Had I bet, I would have put the first three across the board and Soup and Sandwich to Show.

The winner was Medina Spirit, who ran a beautiful, wire to wire race. Mandaloun came in second, very close, with Hot Rod Charlie third and Essential Quality fourth. Midnight Bourbon was sixth – I don’t know what was wrong with him today, he just didn’t show up. Soup and Sandwich has a good start, but faded to finish last, poor thing.

So I’m glad I didn’t bet! I would have only won a few bucks on Hot Rod Charlie.

I had good early morning writing sessions Saturday and Sunday. Sticking to writing first thing in the morning helps keep the rest of the day grounded. I’m going to work hard not to self-sabotage on that front.

Finished the decisions on the winners and the finalists for the contest on Saturday and sent them off. On Sunday, I received invoicing instructions, sent off the invoice first thing Monday and was paid immediately.

Sunday, I also read a book for review, sent off the review and the invoice from the last batch. Again, first thing Monday, I was paid. That’s how it should be!

Found some interesting listings for rentals on Sunday, and sent off a few emails. Heard back yesterday morning from the one I really, really liked, so I’m hoping we can set up a time for me to head up there to see it, although it’s a bit of a hike.

Got a little bit of packing done, but not enough. If we knew where we were going, it would be easier.

photo by Devon Ellington

Monday morning, we were up early to eat, do the dishes, clean the litter boxes, etc., before the septic people arrived. They were here on time, and very, very nice. And efficient.

I managed to get some LOIs out before I headed to the client’s. Unfortunately, the water needed to be turned off at the house while I was gone, and the landlord came in to do it. I was embarrassed that he came in among the moving chaos. I’ve got things spread out and boxes everywhere and it’s a mess.

My client figured out that I’m having a moving situation going on, and immediately started giving me advice – that serves her, not me. This is one reason I didn’t want to discuss it with her until I had more tangibles. It’s going to be a nightmare for the next few weeks until things get sorted out, with her trying to “fix” things so it suits her, and not what we need. I should have just lied, but I didn’t.

Got an interview request from another LOI. At first, I set it up for later this week, but then I moved it to this afternoon – another end of day interview, which I’m not thrilled about, but if we’re going to look at rentals toward the end of the week, before my vaccine on Saturday, I needed it to happen sooner rather than later.

Turned around a script coverage piece. If this company likes me, they might throw me some more work here and there. I loved the piece I read; if that’s an indication of the quality they get in, it will be a joyful job. But what I have to say might not be what they want to hear. Still, I had to give notes that I felt best fit the piece.

The backyard is quite in tumult. The septic guys will be back today, and maybe finish by Thursday. Che Guevara Chipmunk sat on the deck steps in the late afternoon, looking absolutely devasted (although his actual home, in the bushes, is fine). I felt awful for upsetting the chipmunk.

Absolutely shattered by the end of the day. Fish and chips were as fancy as I could manage.

We watched some more of WILLIAM AND MARY, which is so well-written. Martin Clunes and Julie Graham are wonderful, and the supporting cast is great, too.

The June issue of THE WRITER arrived on Saturday, with my article in it on “Food Sensuality in Fiction.” I scanned the pages (although I had computer issues – my curser and trackpad aren’t always working properly and letting me use the keyboard). But I got it scanned, and I sent the PDFs out to the authors who were included. They were all really pleased with the way the article came out, and I’m so grateful to them for their quotes.

I love writing pieces like this, and I hope I get to do more.

Decent, but not brilliant first writing sessions yesterday and today.  Today, I’ve got some remote client work, an article to finish, a short story to work on, and a book to turn around fast for review. My editor’s been so great since I started working for the publication; no one wanted to read/review this book, and it needs to be done quickly, so I said sure. It’s definitely got some challenges. But I want to be fair and give it a helpful, not a harmful review, while still being honest.

CAPE COD TIMES ran an article about how Cape Cod businesses can’t find enough workers for summer tourism season. Hmm, let’s see, people are refusing to work in dangerous conditions for crap wages? Good. Of course, the paper frames it as “lazy people making more on unemployment.” Hey, assholes, if they’re making more on unemployment, the job was crap anyway. They did point out that there aren’t enough of the visa workers who come in from other countries for the summer season. Again, these are people who work for subpar wages. They compete for housing with people who live here year-round. And the article barely touched on the fact that the lack of housing is a crisis. The ratio of actual pay to the cost of housing is completely out of whack. As usual, it was right-leaning whining, instead of actual journalism. Typical of this area.

It rained overnight, so the backyard is now a mud bath.

Should be interesting.

photo by Devon Ellington

Published in: on May 4, 2021 at 5:38 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 4, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 346 — Digging  
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Fri. April 30, 2021: It Keeps Piling On

photo by Devon Ellington

Friday, April 30, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Foggy and cool

Beltane Eve

Yesterday was a frustrating day, but it all worked out, somehow.

Dealing with a boundary issue with a client, which is frustrating.

At least I got out some LOIs and got some work done. The property manager missed the two potential phone appointments with no contact, and then sent me the rental application late last night, along with a time to drive a long way up and see the place that I already said wouldn’t work.  So, that place is out. Plus, my questions haven’t been answered on the lack of washer/dryer, the monthly fee for the garage, etc. I don’t think this is going to work. If we’re having this much difficulty communicating in getting basic information on the property, it’s a red flag to what it would be like if we actually moved in. It’s already near the top of my price range, and then with all these extras? I don’t see how it can work.

Heard back from a company to whom I’d sent an LOI months ago, and they want to talk today, so we have a video interview set up late this afternoon (my worst time of day, but so what). I have to bring up the rolling rack from the basement and drape fabric over it so act as a screen to hide all the packing going on in the office. It also means I’ll have to dress up and put on makeup.

Contacted another property, that’s also quite far away, but looks and sounds fantastic, and the price is good, too. It’s a little small, but workable, and in a place I hadn’t considered, but that would work.

Had a series of exchanges with a fairly local realtor, who contacted me after I told her that a property she represents showed up as a scam rental on craigslist. She’s been in touch a few times. I explained the situation, and she suggested some resources (all of which I’ve already contacted), but also admitted that there isn’t anything in the area to rent (that’s not a kazillion dollars and a short-term rental) and very little to buy. I mean, she was nice and all, but it didn’t get me any closer to solving the problem.

The stress continues to build.

photo by Devon Ellington

The septic company dropped off the digger yesterday afternoon. It’s a big old thing, stashed in the backyard, until they start up, first thing Monday morning.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. We’re all ready for this school year to be over.

Worked on contest entries. I should be finished by today, and can send off my choices tomorrow.

I had a horrible, horrible cramp in the arch of my foot last night, like a Charley horse in the arch. I don’t want to experience that again any time soon.

I have a lot of work and a lot of packing to do today, along with a grocery run. At least I had a good first writing session, although I didn’t get enough work done on the article or the story yesterday. Hopefully, I can make up for that today.

And tomorrow, the Kentucky Derby! AND Beltane!

Catch you on the other side. Hopefully, next week will look up as far as house hunting.

Published in: on April 30, 2021 at 5:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. April 30, 2021: It Keeps Piling On  
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Wed. May 1, 2019: Recalibration Time

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool
Beltane

Blessed Beltane, for those who celebrate!

The May To Do list is up on the GDR site. I have to re-think a few things, so it’s subject to change.

I can’t shake this overwhelming fatigue. Je suis très fatigue.

Because even exhaustion sounds better in French!

Worked with a client. Started working on the thanks yous and follow ups for the conference, but I’m behind. Started sending requests for quotes on an article on which I’m working. I have to craft a letter for the Bourne Town Council, which is giving a local organization for which I have great respect a hard time, thanks to a damned developer.

Working on contest entries.

Trying to recalibrate what I want and need from my work and how to get it.

It’s hard to think straight when I’m so tired I can barely sit up.

Plugging along with the book. Have to get back to the play this weekend. Have some new web content to write and get up, and I want to write ahead on a few posts for Upbeat Authors and for Ink-Dipped Advice.

I’m having trouble with A2 Hosting and their insistence that I can only access my websites from a single, fixed IP address. That simply is not my life. I travel. I work from different machines in different locations. I need to get on when I need to from where I need to. They don’t protect from hackers, but they prevent me from accessing the sites for which I pay. That’s wrong on so many levels.
So I guess I’ll be moving hosts again when this contract is up. Which is a shame, because I like everything else about them.

Meanwhile, I’m as happy as can be with my registrations over on Name Silo. No drama. Great customer service.

The weather isn’t letting me do yard work. The grass is growing nicely (a good thing), but it needs mowing. However, unlike some of my neighbors, I don’t believe it’s useful to mow in the rain.

I desperately need some time off, but I don’t know when I’ll get it. I need a few days with no demands of any kind made on me, where I can just create each day as it unfolds.

Some of the research books came for the Caribbean. That’s where I’m setting this Shiny New Project — and they also serve two other projects on which I’m working.

I’m also working on the forensic psychology books I have for GRAVE REACH.

All interesting stuff.

I need more energy, so I can make better use of my time.

Onward.

Published in: on May 1, 2019 at 8:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 1, 2019: Recalibration Time  
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Thurs. May 2, 2013: Car Massage

Thursday, May 2, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and gorgeous

Yesterday was certainly a day of challenges. Someone flaked on me — someone with whom the “no flake discussion” had been held. The writing on the novel went badly.
I sent in the proofreading test and got an auto response that I failed and didn’t make it to the next round — um, there’s no way an auto response can indicate the test was actually looked at. Since I had the manual they claimed to use open on my lap when taking the test (which was allowed) — I know I got things right, per the manual. I checked the website, which said all positions were filled. Now, if you tell people they have 3 days to take the test, don’t tell them they “failed”, when, in reality, you filled the position and didn’t have the courtesy to tell the rest of us. Red flags all over that one, so it’s probably a good thing I didn’t get in!

Put stuff together for the Beltane festivities, drove out to Brewster — and the car died. Ignition locked. I was at the site, fortunately, not somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. The celebration itself was great, a lovely bunch of people.

Tried the car again after — no deal. Lost it and was sobbing in the kitchen. Nothing like having a nervous breakdown in one’s first meeting with a bunch of strangers. But everyone was very kind. Called the VW Roadside Assistance program — I have too many miles on the car, so now they charge. They arranged for a tow truck. I calmed down with a cup of tea and went out to wait. I played with the car, massaged it, basically Reiki’d it — and it started. I drove it around the neighborhood, stopping and starting a few times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t.

I cancelled the tow truck, got to hang out with some of the other celebrants, and then drove home. No problems, except I was exhausted and wrung out. Called Roadside Assistance and told them to return the money they’d charged me, since I fixed the damn problem myself.

Two years ago, the ignition coil was replaced when the same thing happened in Shaw’s parking lot in Hyannis. An ignition coil should damn well last more than two years, so this better not be an indicator this will be an on-going problem!

Fell into bed, exhausted. Woke up late this morning, but got to yoga on time. Good class. Stopped at Covell Beach on the way back — gorgeous.

Finished painting the plant rack. Forgot to mention that, last weekend, I oiled all the porch furniture – those of you that have teak furniture and teak oil know what I’m talking about! It’s time-consuming, but well worth it.

Now, I have to dig in and get everything done today that didn’t get done yesterday. All I really want is a nap, but I have to catch up on the book and a few other things.

Exhausted, but relieved that the car is okay.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on May 2, 2013 at 10:12 am  Comments (1)  
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May 1, 2013: Beltane and Writing

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant
Beltane

It’s Beltane! May Day! Time to dance around the maypole!

Yesterday, I had a frustrating writing day. Granted, the work on the short story was good, but I struggled with the novel. And I had to get two chapters written. There is no wiggle room in this particular deadline — I miss it, I lose opportunities.

I went grocery shopping, to the library, worked in the yard, worked with students, finished an edit for a client. Did some work-related reading out on the deck, because it was so nice out. Struggled with the novel.

So, instead of signing off at night, as I usually do after a long day at the computer, I kept going.

It was nearly 11 PM when I finished the two chapters (nearly 5000 words) I needed to get done, but they are done. A couple of scenes came up that are a lot of fun and were unexpected. The love scene I wanted to put in these chapters didn’t work. I cut it, and I found a place in an upcoming chapter where it is more organic and will work in the overall structure of the book better.

I have to do two more chapters on the novel today, and get them done before I head out for the Beltane celebration this evening, so I better get going! The draft needs to be done by Friday, and then it rests for the weekend. I’d like it to rest longer, but don’t have that option this time around, so it must rest, and then, on Monday, I start tearing it apart for revisions.

“May is Manuscript Prep Month” has started, and the first Tip went out this morning. Enjoy!

Devon

Published in: on May 1, 2013 at 10:30 am  Comments Off on May 1, 2013: Beltane and Writing  
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Tues. May 1: Tessa Turns One!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Beltane

Tessa turns one this month! Not sure exactly when, but she’s a Birthday Girl!

The weather’s definitely a contrast to Beltane energy! It’s in the forties and raining. And I’m sick again, with fever and chills. Ick.

Did as much work as I could yesterday; so tired of feeling behind all the time. Got a rough to my collaborator and a proposal out to another arts organization. Fought some more with Verizon. I’m turning the paperwork over to the appropriate legal authorities. I’m done trying to reason with douchebags who think they are above the law.

Getting the house ready for the family visit from Maine over the weekend. In addition to it being the first time they’re visiting on the Cape, we’re finally bringing my grandmother’s ashes back to Foxboro, where she lived for so many years with my grandfather.

Lots of work to do today. I have a meeting this evening, but if I don’t feel better by noon, I’ll have to cancel and send in the report instead.

Students in Setting as Character seem excited by the class, which is a good thing.

Hope I can get my energy back up. I’ve got a newsletter to get out!

Devon

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny, wet, and cool

Had a good 3K day on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY yesterday, which certainly lifted my spirits. Unfortunately, didn’t finish the galleys of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, so that will be today’s focus.

Ran a couple of errands, picked up a few things for Beltane. It rained all day, thunderstorms at night, and quite a bit of wind, so there wasn’t much I could do outside. There are more dandelions all over the place — of course! 😉

The huckleberry bush arrived — it’s tiny! But adorable. It was a little traumatized from the trip, but seems to be settling in.

Caught up on the workshop — a group of students even posted early.

Got up early to watch the Royal Wedding — in real time. No way was I going to have to watch the three same clips everyone’s going to run for the next two weeks. And I wasn’t going to record it to watch later. Either I watch it or I don’t. Events have more meaning when experienced in real time. I watched Prince Charles & Princess Diana get married, so I figured, why not witness another piece of history? Even if I hadn’t set my alarm for 3:15, I would have been up that early, because Violet hurled up three fur balls and was completely shocked.

Scheduled the wake up so I had time for my yoga and meditation — I kind of understand why so many people get up that early to do two hours of yoga and meditation. It’s lovely and quiet. Even the birds are asleep. Fed the cats, made the coffee, even got some writing done before putting on the television.

Watched the coverage on BBC America, because the three US Networks had coverage that was tacky and tasteless, on par with reality shows. No surprise there. BBC was commercial-free, and had historians to put traditions in context, etc. I thought the whole thing was lovely, well done, and beautifully orchestrated. I hope a happy day gives them a happy start to a good life together.

And now, I’ve had enough of it all. I can always turn the channel when they regurgitate bits and get snarky.

Errands today, and I have to focus on the galleys of the book above anything else. I’ll probably take a nap, and maybe do some yard work. SPIRIT REPOSITORY will be put aside for a day or two, until ASSUMPTION is complete, and I’ve committed to work tomorrow morning at one of the wildlife sanctuaries.

At some point, I need to mow the lawn this weekend, because it will soon look like a hayfield.

I have a feeling, though, that I’ll work a nap in there!

Right now, though, I have to post the next exercise on the workshop, go back to the page, and then comment on exercises during the block I’ve set aside this afternoon.

Devon