Mon. June 19, 2017: Not on Weekends. Not for That Rate

Monday, June 19, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy, humid, cool

Challenging weekend. A lot of stresses on the personal front, some annoyances on the professional front.

Saturday morning was difficult and discouraging, and exhausted me beyond expectation.

On the positive side, I managed to pull a metaphorical rabbit out of a hat and solve one pressing stress; but there are still a pile that need dealing with.

Also on the positive side, I finished reading Philip Margolin’s SLEIGHT OF HAND, which I thought was well done. I’d never read one of his books before; will definitely read more.

Also, over the weekend, read Barbara Ross’s first Clambake Mystery, CLAMMED UP. I liked it a lot. It’s not dumbed down, the way so many of these mysteries have become. The protagonist is smart & resourceful, I like the supporting characters, it kept me guessing for the right reasons. It’s set in Maine, in a fictional cover near Boothbay Harbor and Bath, two places in the state of which I’m very fond, and she got the emotional geography right. I’m looking forward to the other books in the series.

AND I read Abbi Waxman’s THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS, which I absolutely loved.

I’m playing with an idea, writing my way into it, to see if it’s viable. I’m wondering if it’s too similar to another idea with which I’ve been toying, although the characters are very different and the premises are, too. But the openings are similar, and I might have to change that. However, a character I planned to be the first body drop won’t comply; I’m trying to figure out how to make him the second body drop instead, but he’s balking. He has every intention of being an continuing character, should this be a series, and not as a ghost.

I usually have Sunday as my “day of disconnect”, where I don’t go online or use social media. Unfortunately, I had to check my email on Sunday morning. What I wanted wasn’t there, but a demand from the new editor for revisions was, and he wanted them by 9 AM Monday morning.

I said no.

First of all, he’s had three weeks to give me notes for revisions. That’s right. I turned in my assignment three weeks before deadline. So don’t email me revisions ON A WEEKEND and demand them first thing Monday morning. Not only are you not frigging paying me enough, I’m taking my mom to a medical appointment in the morning, so you’ll get them when you damn well get them. Also, the two month lag time between the deadline and payment isn’t sitting well with me. I resent it, and it’s making me drag my feet on the next assignment. I responded that I would have the revisions back at some point on Monday (and I am SO tempted to charge a rush fee), but it wouldn’t be by 9 AM. When I return the revisions, I will also point out that if he sends me revisions on Sunday, he WILL NOT receive them on Monday morning, because I won’t know about them until Monday morning. If you want them Monday morning, you get them to me before noon on Friday.

I did the revisions (the actual notes made sense; I resented the timing and lack of consideration of my time). I will finish up the current assignment and accept one more; if these frustrations continue, I will resign. They’re not paying enough for all this kerflamma, and not paying fast enough, which is even more important.

My anger was out of proportion to the situation, in some ways; perhaps it’s because I know I’m in the wrong situation. I need to let it go, resolve it, and move on.

Worked on another article that I want to get out in the next couple of days. This week is also my follow-up on queries where I haven’t yet received a response.

Worked on a short story that will go out the door later today, and will turn my attention to the longer short story that I want to get out this week. These are initially aimed at two publications where, should I open a positive relationship with them, there is the potential for paying work that is both steady and creative.

Took my mom to her medical appointment, and she had a biopsy. Fingers crossed nothing is serious.

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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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was on the road by about 7:30 yesterday morning. It was a pretty decent drive down. Providence was a pain, but it usually is. For the most part, though, it was painless — although as I hit the bridge, I got hit with a migraine, and I hate driving with a migraine.

Stopped in Stamford at the Border’s to get a book I need that I haven’t been able to find at the seven other bookstores I’ve visited in the last month. That Borders will close on Sunday — even though it wasn’t on the original list. So that means there are NO Borders anywhere in my regular routes anymore, and they’ve NEVER gotten an internet order right in six years, so I don’t even bother. I’m sorry, I’m not driving several hundred miles out of my way to find one of their stores. The price of gas negates any discounts they might offer. There are plenty of independent stores near me that actually carry what I want, most of the time (except for this damn book). You know what? They deserve to go out of business. Their utter contempt for their customers is appalling.

Anyway, most titles were 75-80% off, and I wound up getting 11 books for $21. Not the book I needed, but oh, well. I had to order that on Amazon for two day delivery, because I have to have it next week. Now, this book is a best-seller. It should be on all the shelves.

The work at the site threw a monkey wrench in what I hoped to get done in the afternoon, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. When I finally got online in the evening, I got an email from my editor at Confidential Job #1 that he’s leaving and this was his last day! I was stunned. He got a better job, and I’m happy for him, but still . . .When I first started with this company, I worked with two editors. When the company downsized (and cut our rates), they fired the primary editor I worked with, and this one took over everything. I agreed, at the time, at his pleading, not to leave while he was still working there. In the interim, the company was sold. Now, he’s leaving. And there’s no replacement. The paperwork goes to one person; the invoices to another. So who assigns? Or will we not get new assignments until this is settled? But at least I don’t have to feel guilty if I decide to leave. I can’t help feeling slightly abandoned, although that’s not a logical response. But whoever said emotions were logical?

Saturn Retrograde is challenging me to rethink some of my long-term clients. In freelancing, the top earners warn the rest of us that your client bases changes pretty drastically about every six months. I tend to stick with clients for years — sometimes out of misplaced loyalty. I’m already feeling a lot of frustration with a portion of my clients — not because they’re doing anything unprofessional or skeezy, but because my focus, needs, and vision for my career are changing. I’m building a new life in a new location. I can’t pop down for a 500-mile (or, in some cases, more) roundtrip whenever it’s convenient for them for a couple of days– I have jobs and responsibilities in my new location. It’s not just about money, but about the logistics of the travel and the time lost during travel that really needs to be spent on other things. Also, now that I live in a place I love, some of the jobs I originally took on as “escapes” feel more like burdens. I have to really be firm about the parameters, so I’m not taking on something that doesn’t work for me, and then resenting it because I didn’t ask for the right things. In two of the new jobs which are in proposal/negotiation status, yes, the money is considerably higher, and yes, there is travel involved – one would have me roaming around MA, and the other would have me in Boston sometimes and DC at other times. They would both be challenging (I’m trying to land them both), and both push me in new directions more in alignment with the vision of where I want to go in the next few years. I’m at a crossroads, and I have to figure out how to gracefully, professionally, and kindly work towards my goals without leaving anyone in the lurch. Although, as a good friend reminds me, “You’re not HR. It’s not your job to find a replacement — it’s theirs.”

Crap. And here I thought I could ride out this Saturn Retrograde because I’d left NY! 😉

The thought of all the work that needs to get done this weekend just depresses me, but there it is. I have a lot of figuring out to do — in some ways, I’m in the same boat as several of my friends going through job changes. And I really want to make positive choices, or the next time Saturn goes retrograde, I will get my ass kicked (as a friend of mine does regularly, because she refuses to make changes, staying with the devil she knows, and then wondering why everything keeps getting worse).

Deep breath. Keep moving forward. And keep figuring it out. All we can do, right?

Devon