Tues. Feb. 7: And Saturn Goes Retrograde

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Full Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Three tires.

Yup, yesterday, I had to buy three new tires at the servicing. I was ready to cry when they told me, but I’m also grateful that it was caught BEFORE I start the next six weeks of way too much driving, and nothing bad happened to me on the road. The mechanic gave me a very fair price, and I can trust his work, so I’m glad it all happened there and not at some anonymous place who-knows-where.

So, it was a shock, but it could have been much worse, and I’m grateful for the bits that worked.

Wanted to run some errands in Plymouth, but the whole thing took much less time than expected, so every place I needed was still closed. Came back to the Cape and ran errands here, including doing some market research at Barnes & Noble that made me decide to do this new, potentially lucrative project. I even managed to get 1K of it done yesterday.

Came home to the happy news that Cape Cod Women Online wants me to do a story for their spring issue — I was delighted to accept. Also saw the first pass at the cover art for the new HEX BREAKER — just needs a slight tweak, and it will be there. Much happier with this cover than the previous one. And had a good conversation with my editor. My first-round edits should come through today, so I’ll have to get to work on those, along with everything else. Figures that would all come through as soon as I made the decision to accept the other project! 😉

Got my write-up out to Confidential Job #1, got out a guest blog post, finished critiquing a client’s manuscript and sent back the notes. Caught up with my students in both classes. The student with boundary issues left the class — but of course, I found out second hand. Then, this morning, I discover that individual’s tried to do an end run around me, going to administration to get them to intervene to change the parameters of the rest of the course just to suit this particular individual. Um, no. Again, an action that is completely out of bounds and unacceptable, shrouded in manipulative language. I worked with actors and television producers, some of the most skillful manipulators on the planet. I know manipulation when I see it. And such attempts piss me off, not make me cave.

Speaking of theatre, watched SMASH last night, since I’ve worked with some of the people on it! Production values are very well done, and it’s an interesting look into one view of the process, very different than anything we’ve seen. Theresa Rebeck, who’s a wonderful playwright AND television writer, is writing it, and the quality shows. Still not a fan of Katherine McPhee’s. I’ve always felt she works very hard at coming across as genuine instead of being genuine.

Anyway, my list of what has to get done today is very long, so I better get to it. Saturn goes retrograde today, which means any life lessons I didn’t learn last go-round will come back to kick me in the butt. I think I’ve made a lot of progress in the past year, so let’s hope I keep growing in the right directions! 😉

Devon

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Isn’t that pretty? That’s a Stewartstonian Azalea. There are so many azaleas and rhododendrons in the area that I’m kind of over them, but I fell in love with this one. It’s going to go in another of the cedar barrels. Because I’m taking it with me when I move! 😉

Got about 3K done on the untitled book yesterday — Chapter 4’s nearly done. I had to stop writing in order to drive to Plymouth for the car servicing appointment.

Dropped off the car, headed to the waterfront, browsed through stores and favorite places. Picked up a few things to take with me this weekend.

Had coffee and a pastry at a really nice cafe called Blue Blinds (it’s in an old house, and the shutters are blue). Fair trade coffee, pastries made with whole, fresh ingredients, good all the way around.

The car needed new spark plugs, so that was an expense I wasn’t expecting, but it was okay. And I’d rather know they’re working than get stuck on the road with all the driving I have to do this month. The car’s much happier with the oil change and the spark plugs and everything re-calibrated, so I think I’m set for the next few trips.

Came home, caught up on commenting on student work, did two loads of laundry, took care of some other business, including working on what I’m getting ready for my Senator. There’s a complex fact-checking and sourcing process involved in order for the material to be taken seriously. I’m not one of the ignoramuses who believes and repeats partisan sound bites. I do my own research, come to my own conclusions, and when I present a proposal, the facts are established and sourced. There’s room to disagree on the principles, of course, but the facts are solid. Unfortunately, it’s time consuming. But if even part of the proposal is accepted, it will make life easier for everyone.

Caught up on GAME OF THRONES last night. Mixed feelings on the first episode, didn’t like the second episode, liked the third episode. Sean Bean had some great scenes with the actress who plays his youngest daughter, and with the actress who plays his wife. I think one of the problems I have with the piece is that there are so many unlikeable characters in it. Yeah, I know, the actors call them “complex” — they have to, in order to invest in them. But they are unlikeable. And one gets tired of that many scenes of ugliness. We have to deal with enough ugliness in the world right now. I want to see better worlds, not worse ones in my fiction, at this point. That’s a personal point of view, but there it is. The production design is so gorgeous, though.

Found out I have to leave earlier than I expected tomorrow — probably will hit the road around 5:30 AM. I have to finish packing the writing bag and do a Time Machine Back Up on the computer later, but, for the most part, I’m in good shape.

Tomorrow will be a Very Long Day, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Devon

Published in: on May 6, 2011 at 6:33 am  Comments (5)  
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

IMG_0438
Violet

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Yesterday was the full moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
No idea re: weather — I’m scheduling this to post the night before

Yeah, I never managed to blog yesterday. Oops.

And I’m headed off at the crack of — to get my car serviced, so I actually scheduled this to post on Monday night.

I’m trying to remember if I have a good book depicting Edward Hopper’s paintings in storage, or if I need to go and buy one. I know I have a big biography and books ABOUT him, but I don’t think I’ve got a book of plates of the paintings. And I need it for a project. Guess I’ll be haunting the Bargain Books section of the major bookstores soon (like I don’t anyway?).

Re-reading THE JOURNALS OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT. Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe are still my heroes, and they’ve been that since I was about eight.

Gave myself Sunday off from writing because my brain was exhausted. Two proposals, a 5K story and a 9K story all out within 48 hours was a bit much, even though I’d been working on everything over a period of time. I’ve got a 2500 word story that needs to be done in the next couple of days, the Christmas story, and another anthology story that need to happen in the next couple of weeks.

I had a BLAAAAST talking to those middle schoolers yesterday. I brought in my wardrobe kit and showed them how a bunch of stuff worked, talked about quick changes, talked about the differences in wardrobe needs between theatre and film, and how that feeds into the writing. They asked very insightful questions. They seemed interested and engaged. Almost all of them had seen WICKED, and, since I swung on that show for 3 1/2 years (gee, I bet you had NO IDEA that’s where I worked with all the flying monkey talk, huh? 😉 ) I used a lot of examples and anecdotes from that show. It was a lot of fun, the time flew, and the seemed pretty engaged. I was totally honest with them, especially about where I’m a royal pain in the ass and where I break the rules, why, and both how I’ve made it work and where it’s made things harder.

Came home and was pretty much a waste of food all afternoon. I booked the tickets for DC and am having hotel trauma. I thought I’d found this GREAT hotel at a GREAT price, but it turns out the neighborhood is too skeevy even for someone who used to live a block off Times Square, so I’m looking for something else that’s not totally out of my price range, but close to where I need to be. Not fun.

Anyway, I’m off getting the car serviced for its regular check up. Then, I have to go vote for friends who are running for re-election locally (and doing a damned good job). More errands after that AND some writing AND finishing up Confidential Job #1.

Then, it’s off to the meditation group, taking a change of clothes with me so I can hit the election party on the way back.

It would be really, really, really a good idea to get some writing done today, too.

Since, well, tomorrow’s another adventure!

Devon

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Partly sunny and cooler

I didn’t get online until after 2 PM yesterday, so it was kind of pointless to blog. Considering I’d been up since 5:30 AM — well, I was ready for a nap!

I had to get up extra early in order to get the yoga/meditation/morning 1K writing/shower/breakfast and still get out of the house by 7:15 to take my car in for servicing. I’d missed the 15K checkup and am now past 17K, so we went ahead and did the 20K. It took nearly three hours, and, since I couldn’t walk around (more on that later), I brought some work with me and finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1 while I waited. I didn’t bring the Macbook with me, although I could have. But I knew I’d run errands after the car was done, and I didn’t want to leave it in the back of the car in the heat. So I left it home.

Finished up the assignment faster than I expected, so I read a lot of magazines I never normally buy, but that were in the magazine rack at the dealer!

But the car’s all set and ready for a road trip.

Diane, yeah, the Mac is more expensive than the PC. I’ve been eyeing it for over a year, and finally had the resources to invest upfront. I figured that the PC cost me between $17-25K in lost income over the years I’ve owned it, because Dell sold me a lemon and refused to honor the service contract or do anything about it, despite numerous complaints. If I can keep up the pace I’ve started with this Mac, which saves me nearly four hours per day on the simple fact that it runs properly, I figure it will pay for itself in about four months. That’s outside of the income just to pay bills. It was hard to put together the necessary upfront investment, but it will pay off in the long run. I had to give up some other things in order to do this. But it will be worth it.

After the car was serviced, I stopped at Costco to pick up a couple of things I forgot last week –and yes, I ONLY picked up those two items, I was good — and then went grocery shopping. Tuesday and Wednesday have the best prices and freshest items, so that’s when I try to shop.

Came home, typed up the assignment for Confidential Job #1, caught up on some email and Twitter, shot off some questions to people, and got back to work.

Monday was extremely productive — in addition to the usual business stuff and errands I had to do, including a massive trip to the post office — I wrote two articles, typed up a couple of chapters, and did a couple of job pitches. I’m starting from scratch on the Fearless Ink brochure, too – designing new logos, the works. All in about the third of the time it took me on the PC.

The cats are fascinated when I take the laptop to the kitchen and work on the table. Iris and Violet sit like little grey bookends on each side and watch the words march across the screen.

Managed to get some more work done on the final proof of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Going slowly, I’m catching far more. I don’t know why that’s such a revelation. It’s perfectly logical.

On the negative side, the scumbag landlords are cutting down perfectly healthy, beautiful trees on the property — even though they promised the tenants they wouldn’t. Not only is it upsetting on many levels, it’s also the opposite of eco-friendly. We should be planting more trees, not cutting down trees that are providing shelter and oxygen and beauty. I talked to them and was reassured that only one more tree will be cut. Of course, they think I’m looking to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, too.

Further on the negative side, as we prepared dinner Monday night, a Pyrex bowl fell out of the cupboard, hit the back of my leg and shattered. I have a heck of a bruise, but it didn’t break the skin. And it was hell to clean up all the broken glass. We have to be especially conscientious about it because of the cats. In spite of the care we took, I forgot that night, wandered into the kitchen to make tea while barefoot — and wound up with a shard of glass in the bottom of my foot. I got it out, re-washed the kitchen floor two more times to make sure NOTHING was left behind, sterilized and wrapped the foot. It’s okay, I can walk on it. I just can’t walk a lot on it.

I’m having trouble finding wonton wrappers in order to make the various kinds of ravioli I plan to prepare this week. I don’t have the counter space to roll out dough, or I’d consider making my own. I have a feeling I’ll head back to the large Asian market in White Plains — they MUST have the wrappers in bulk. Even phyllo dough only comes in packages of 8 around here, and that’s just not enough. Yeah, I checked Costco — no luck there, either.

Last night, I fixed mac and cheese with crabmeat –a suggestion from GOURMET magazine. It was pretty darned good.

Okay, is it my imagination or are the wanna-bes’ questions getting stupider? I mean, go ahead and ask questions, that’s how one learns, but for crying out loud, show a little initiative and do a little research first. It’s the laziness that sets my teeth on edge. Two examples in one day gets my goat. First, on a colleague’s site, there was a question she answered nicely that I would have told chicklet to go to the library and do her homework, THEN ask me. Second, I answered someone’s question on a board and the person emailed me asking me to write “an example.” I TOLD you the steps to create it – I am NOT writing the letter for you. Use your brain, you lazy ass! Because that’s what it was – a roundabout way of getting me to do this person’s work. Uh, no. I get PAID to write business letters. I ANSWERED your questions. Now, it’s up to you to apply the information.

I got six chapters proofed on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT in the time it would have taken me to proof one on the other computer. I caught some big errors. Always good to catch that before it goes out!

I had three choices of covers for DIXIE DUST RUMORS and made my choice. It’s kind of cool. It has a lot to do with the book while not screaming YA, which was unexpected. I kind of wonder if it should be more YA, but I’ll trust the publisher. I’m getting more excited about the book every day. As soon as the cover is finalized, you better believe I’ll post it.

And, someday, my other publisher will let me know the new release date for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. As soon as I’ve got one, I’m going to create a postcard for it – on the Mac, something I couldn’t do on the PC.

Apple has the most awesome customer service. I’ve used them twice so far, because I couldn’t figure out how to do stuff. I got a real person without being put on hold both times, the reps were REALLY nice, and they taught me how to do what I needed in less than 5 minutes. The Apple Experience rocks!

Decent morning’s writing session so far. Lots to do today.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 5:51 am  Comments (5)  
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