Tues. Aug. 28, 2018: Design, Create, Purge

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mars Direct (as of yesterday)
Uranus Retrograde

Sorry I didn’t post on Friday. The day got away from me.

But I bought 18 notebooks in the back-to-school sales, so I’m set for notebooks. For the moment!

Thursday was not a good writing day at all, but at least I got some other stuff done, including early morning grocery shopping.

I tried reading a book from a series by an author who’d come recommended. I wound up skimming through the second half of the book I was reading because the protagonist was such an idiot I wanted her to be the next murder victim, there were copy editing errors as in the wrong character name in a scene that made no sense, and some major revelations happened off the page and were told to the reader in a toss-off sentence.

No. Just no.

I tried a book from a different series by the same author; put it down after the third chapter. I’m tired of dumbed-down, silly protagonists being marketed as “cute” and “whacky” and “spontaneous” and “eccentric.” Sorry, they’re dumb and annoying. I know plenty of cute, whacky, spontaneous, and eccentric individuals who aren’t morons.

An author I’ve crossed off my list. Fortunately, I’m not in contact with her on social media or at conferences. And no, I won’t name her publicly. I don’t bash other authors.

I want the protagonists in the books I read to be smarter, more resourceful, and more inventive than the average person. Yes, I like to see characters grow and change during the course of a book and series, but the change has to start soon after the catalyst, not six books down the road. A protag doesn’t learn from mistakes and keeps making the same one over and over? First of all, I want that protag to be the next murder victim (Donna Andrews calls it the “Too Stupid to Live Syndrome” and I agree). Second, it’s not a person I’d spend time with in real life, so I sure as heck won’t waste my reading time with that individual.

I like living books through characters vastly different than I am, but I demand intelligence and resourcefulness from them. Or I just don’t care enough to take a book-length journey with them.

Dumbing down characters so the reader can feel superior (a reality-tv trend) is not something I buy into. Or buy books of authors who do that.

I managed to get some yard work done Wednesday afternoon, which meant I could sit out on the deck with a lime martini and my writing and some books and not feel guilty. I need to mow and tidy up the front again.

By the time I get the yard where I want it, it will be snowing!

Read Yasmine Galenorn’s SOULJACKER and really liked it. Totally understand why she can’t continue the series. But still really enjoy this book (and it does stand alone).

Got out a couple of article pitches. Working on a radio play pitch and a workshop pitch, and a detailed LOI for a company that really interests me. Doubt they’ll go out before the end of this week.

Friday, I got a bit of writing done, and then I had a stack of errands, including getting a new phone. I went to one store — I told the guy my budget, and he immediately tried to get me beyond by double for a phone that he could only sell me that day. Um, no. That’s more than I can afford for a phone I don’t want. So I shopped around, and finally got something at a different store within my budget, and they were nice about it. So I have a phone I like that works.

I’ve been trying to get onto Vero, a social media network that’s only on one’s phone, that’s supposedly far superior to Instagram, Facebook, etc. Only when I download the app and try to sign up, they tell me the email address I use a dozen times a day is invalid. I complained to support, and they respond quickly, but keep asking the same questions and not solving the problem. So, unless it’s solved by today, I’m done and moving on.

One of the reasons I try new social media networks/apps is because, in addition to my own needs, I run social media platforms for other businesses and creatives. I experiment with them, see how they work, and then, depending on the need of the client, I can suggest one or more network.

If there are glitches and problems and a lot of hoops to jump through, I’m not going to recommend it.

I’m still getting a handle on Tumblr. I really like Ello, but that’s for creating, not really promotion. Which is fine, because it fills the hunger I have for connecting with other creatives about creation, not promotion.

I need and want to be around other working creatives who are creating. Not who are whining about “not having time” or only talking about the business side. The whining and the only-market-driven talk is like a disease among creatives, and it interferes instead of enhances creativity.

The last days of the Mars retrograde were tough. I had to take a breath and step back or I would have burned some bridges that really don’t need it right now.

The weekend was frustrating. Saturday was not a good writing day, and I didn’t get enough done around the house, either. I feel like I have no energy, like I’m in limbo. I can’t wait for other people’s decisions, even though they affect mine. I have to do what I need to do and just adjust. But it all seems overwhelming right now.

Sunday was better, especially creatively, although I’m still not where I need to be.

In addition to necessities like laundry, I also spent some serious time working on unpacking/purging stuff from the basement. Stuff that’s sat down there for far too long that I haven’t dealt with.

Time to deal.

It took me two hours to go through four boxes. I’m trying to deal with each item only once. There are a few things which I’m not yet sure about. Everything else was either toss or integrate. Not merely keep. Integrate.

I have a box for stuff to give away, but nothing from these boxes was appropriate.

If I can do a little every day, and more on weekends, eventually I will have gotten through it. But it’s slow going and it means making decisions that I’ve been putting off, sometimes for years. But it must be done.

It was also much more emotional than I expected. I had to confront my past self, and, again, decide what to integrate and of what to let go.

Difficult, but necessary.

Design work on site with a client yesterday and today. It’s fun, but needs a lot of focus.


Published in: on August 28, 2018 at 3:42 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 28, 2018: Design, Create, Purge  
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Wed. Aug. 21, 2013: Getting Back to Work

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and a little humid

I hit the ground running so hard yesterday that I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged!

Monday was not a very productive day. I still had a post-Ball hangover, and not an alcohol-related one (I only had a single drink the entire evening). I was simply exhausted. I unloaded the car, started putting things away, started tidying up for the guests, tried to do some wrap-up. I have to accept the fact that I simply cannot bounce back as quickly as I’d like anymore. I’m not 20 — I need more recovery time from big events.

I read a lot, which was good. Well, some of the books were good, some — not so much, as it happens.

Yesterday, I was up early. I worked on the deck — I’m cleaning up and rearranging. I’m cutting back the plants that are done for the season, prepping for some fall planting, and so forth. I’ve split the area into thirds, doing a third each for the next few days. Yesterday’s third included cleaning the lanterns hanging from the wall.

Then, I polished and sent off my articles for one publication — one on labyrinths, and one on retreats. I got some quotes back from a source and put together another interview, got that off to that editor, who was very pleased. Pitched for several jobs. Heard back from a couple of them. One of them, I’d really like to do, but I’m not sure we can work out the numbers. Another just flat-out can’t afford me. The third says there’s a family emergency and can’t get back to me until next week, but liked my samples, so we’ll see. All of these would be a ton of fun, so we’ll see what happens.

Spent quite a bit of time outside, Tessa with me. That’s the great thing about what I do — I can set up outside and work, and be just as or more productive than I would be in an office. Worked with students a bit.

I’ve rejected a stack of students for the autumn slots. Refusal to follow directions, misplaced sense of entitlement, don’t want to actually put in the work, and zero knowledge of basic, third-grade level grammar/spelling/punctuation. How did these people ever graduate high school, much less go to college? Talk about a failed educational system. Not to mention they argue when they’re rejected, and expect the parameters of the program to change to suit them. NO. My house, my rules. You don’t follow them, you don’t fit in. You get in by following the guidelines, showing a strong work ethic, and that’s how your spark of creativity shines. Believe me, I understand problems with authority. But this is not a service organization. It is an apprenticeship program. It’s about finding the right teacher. If you want to chase butterflies across the field and THINK about writing rather than ACTUALLY writing, go ahead; but I am not the right teacher for you and you are not the right student for me. Find someone who is about the thinking rather than the writing, and work with that person. Arguing isn’t going to get me to change my mind. Submitting something brilliant in clean copy in the correct format will. So shut up and deal.

Every minute I spend on student work is a minute not spent on my own. It has to be worth it, and that goes beyond any kind of fee.

Looking back at the Twelve Days of Christmas stories, wondering how I’m going to fold them back into the queue so they are ready to go this winter. They will be tons of fun — they’re a little wacky — it’s just a case of making sure they are truly ready to be downloaded each day. Each would only be available for one day. The following year, I might collect them and release them as an e-book.

Did some figuring out on the fantasy novel — there are several characters I need to go back and introduce earlier. I realized I needed them later for pivotal scenes, but they already have to be established. So I’ll look at that today. The “who” and the “where”.

Got my certificates from both the archaeology and climate literacy classes. I was surprised — I was sure I didn’t meet the requirements in the latter. But I’m pleased. Have to update the resume with those.

Lovely full moon last night, and lovely full moon ceremony.

Laundry’s going downstairs, and have to do some grocery shopping later, and more tidying up. Have some admin to do, too. Busy day — lots of clearing out and catching up.


Published in: on August 21, 2013 at 7:04 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Sept. 14, 2012: Writing, Washing, and 7 Things

Friday, September 14, 2012
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I got out a slew of interview requests out for my next article, and I’m also getting responses from authors I’m interviewing for BIBLIO PARADISE over the next few weeks. I pitched for a job that sounds like a lot of fun, although they want someone onsite and I need to telecommute. So, we’ll see. Heard from a dear friend in the UK — hoping she can visit this fall.

Yoga was great yesterday. Helped enormously, on many levels. I wish I could work my schedule (and my finances) so I could take class three times a week, instead of one. Even daily practice as home isn’t as helpful as being in class.

I’m starting the fall cleaning. I’m doing the heavy velour drapes in the living room. They can’t go into the washing machine, because it’s a top load, and the agitator would chew them to pieces. So I wash and rinse them in the bathtub and then set them out on the deck to dry in the sun, with a quick fluff in the dryer. They’re so big and bulky, I can only do one per day. I did one yesterday, doing one today, will do one tomorrow. Washed the yoga mat yesterday, too, and had it dry in the sun. Always smells so nice when I do that!

Also, this morning, I’ve got blankets and chair covers to wash — again, from the living room. I’m working room by room. Switching out the summer covers, washing them, pulling out the cozy fleece covers.

Mermaid Ball wrap-up meeting was good last night, and then we went out to dinner at Lindsay’s, which was a lot of fun.

I’ve got errands to run later, including the most important — getting in cat food. We’re very low in that respect.

Most of the weekend will be focused on writing. I have a lot to get done, and the only way to do it is to keep the butt in the chair and DO it. And finish up the week’s work for the Sustainability Course — the Tragedy of the Commons theory is quite discouraging. Personally, I think Mars was once similar to Earth (with adjustments for being closer to the sun and all), and they overused the resources and that’s why it’s in the state it’s in. We’re probably going down the same path. I love watching what little Curiosity Rover is up to, dashing around up there and taking photographs.

My pal Debra over on Pendrifter gave me the “Seven Things About Me” Award. Thank you!

So here they are:

1. I can’t swim (and I live on Cape Cod)!

2. I will probably never find my Mowing Zen.

3. I do yoga every day.

4. I work with tarot cards.

5. I used to work on Broadway and on set in wardrobe (I’m a recovering wardrobian).

6. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be part of the National Marine Life Center.

7. Moving to Cape Cod was one of the best choices of my life.

Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
List 7 Things about yourself. Can be anything you want.
Nominate 7 other people.

I nominate:
Lori Widmer, Words on the Page
Diane Parkin, Tales from Baggins Bottom
Lara, Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom
Chad, Soundtrack of a Life
Nina Benneton, Romance With a Dose of Humor
KT Wagner, Northern Lights Gothic
Suzanne Purvis, Passions and Pursuits


Back to the page and the washing machines for me!


Jan. 2, 2012: Hit the Ground Running in the New Year

The twins recovering from the holidays

Monday, January 2, 2012
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

I hope everyone had a lovely New Year celebration!

Friday was an exercise in frustration, running from pillar to post trying to get what I needed. Target was such a huge disappointment — the bins were overpriced, no decent toasters, nothing else on the list. I managed to get some bins at Home Goods, bought some clothes (I wanted something sparkly to ring in the new year), and then found a toaster that nearly matches the new red microwave at Sears. On sale. Up in the top corner, so I got someone to help me get it down — rather than try climbing up the shelf unit myself. New toaster, new microwave — I think we’re okay, appliance-wise, for awhile.

Got some work done on Saturday, and worked on cleaning up the place, because Costume Imp arrives. Got out the last of the party invites. For some reason, one person who turned down the invite thought it was tonight. Um, if you read the date it says “Friday, January 6th, 2012” not Saturday, December 31, 2011” and “Twelfth Night” is not the same as “New Year’s Eve.”

At least no one showed up at the door on New Year’s, expecting a party! 😉

The landlord came over to check the damaged wall, and we ended up talking about this, that, the other for most of the afternoon. It’s nice when you can have actual conversations with people, not just small talk.

Did a few loads of laundry, to go into the New Year with clean clothes!

Did a lot of work on HEART-SNATCHER — I’d written myself into a corner and had to find a way out. Made some notes for a few other things. Rang in the New Year with some good cheer, and kept right on working until about 1:30.

Up early Sunday morning, for the Fire-and-Ice ritual I do every New Year’s Day. Went to yoga — the teacher had a special class to ring in the New Year. it was great. Always helps to start the year right!

Cleaned the house, got my mom set up in the downstairs bedroom, got the upstairs bedroom set up for Costume Imp, scrubbed some shelves in the basement, took a quick walk on the beach, roasted a duck for the New Year’s Day dinner, and prepared the shepherd’s pies that are tonight’s dinner.

Worked on the book this morning. Today is also the first day of the 5 in 10 workshop and a new private student begins today. So there’s a lot to do. My office is a disaster area, but it will be fine in time for the party (we have to set up one of the buffet tables here).

Just after lunch, I’m driving to Providence to pick up Costume Imp, who’s taking the Mega Bus there from NY. So all the class stuff and last-minute tidying has to happen before I leave.

This will be a busy week, but I’m optimistic about 2012. I’ll have some materials up on the GDR site in a day or two, and I’m going to work smarter, not harder this year, and take more time for myself.


Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 7:24 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Nov. 28: Ewwwww! Creepy-Crawly Chaos

Monday, November 28, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

It’s been quite a week!

Wednesday morning, our departure was delayed due to weather. We didn’t get on the road until nearly 10 AM. Fortunately, we missed the worst of the rain and didn’t hit snow until we were past Portland. Not a bad drive, and we managed a few stops on the way at “usual” places on our route. Eight inches of snow where we were staying. Talk about a winter wonderland!

My great uncle is very frail. He’s walking with a cane, thanks to a nasty spill a few weeks ago. He’ll be 95 next month, so, all told, he’s doing pretty well, and he was glad to see us.

The lasagna pan barely fit into the oven, but it did, and the lasagna was a bit hit, as were the salad and cake.

Up early on Thanksgiving. Managed to write 3K of a long short story that’s been percolating for nearly ten years now. It’s finally coming together, and I’m very excited about it.

Thanksgiving Dinner was great — good food, good company. Only 42 people this year, a little smaller than some of the previous years. But good fun. Lots of interesting social dynamics, in spite of everyone sticking to the “leave your egos and arguments at the door” rule. Came away with a stuffed belly and a head equally stuffed with ideas.

Quiet evening, with some visiting, and some packing. Up early on Friday, back on the road by 8. Stopped in Ongonquit for breakfast at Bessie’s. I’ve wanted to eat there for years, but this was the first time I figured out where to park. It was excellent.

Also stopped at a great thrift store at the York/Kittery line and got some wonderful deals, including a pair of metal deer that were obviously hand-crafted and bolted in a unique manner — I’ll have to photograph them at some point.

Home in the afternoon, unpacking, sorting out the cats. Exhausted.

Saturday, worked on the short story, ran around and did some errands. Started cleaning and straightening the place for the holidays. Wondered why the six-foot eggplant in the living rooms was so dusty — and realized it was MOVING! BUGS! The entire plant was infested. The other plants nearby were infested. The curtains were infested. Things were crawling up the walls.

Took the plant out, disposed of it responsibly and sterilized the pot. Washed the other plants to try to save them. Stripped the room and scrubbed it, sterilized it top to toe, vacuumed and laundered the curtains, washed the walls, vacuumed everything remotely vacuum-able, scrubbed everything scrubbable. Stripped down and scrubbed myself in the shower with castile soap (ow) and immediately washed all my clothes in hot water. It took hours. Sprinkled mint everywhere.

Tessa and the twins brawled. There was literally fur flying, but the twins have stopped picking on her.

The next morning, the mint worked and overcame anything left in the windows, but I found some other plants infested in two other rooms. We’ve lost all the eggplants (which were still giving us eggplants) and the green peppers. One of the strawberries was infested, and all the foxgloves.

Headed to Country Gardens. They told me it was spider mites, and what I thought were bites all over my hands, arms, and torso was an allergic reaction to their sticky secretions. Ginger (an anti-inflammatory) offset that. Anyway, they gave me a spray for the plants. I soaked whatever was salvageable, wiped off the dead things once the leaves were dry, and have those plants in quarantine. And scrubbed everything again.

The spray worked. And now I know how to deal with it the next time it happens.

Fourteen hours on it yesterday. The house looks like a tornado hit it. But it’s clean enough to use as an operating room.

I’m sure spider mites exist in NYC, but they tend to choke on the bus fumes, like the rest of us. I never had them in the apartment. I’d never seen the larvae, and didn’t know what it was. It looked like dust. Until it hatched and started moving. Ewwww. And they had to work fast, because we checked all the plants on Wednesday morning and they were fine.

Also managed to put together the Christmas tree and put up the Advent Table (it was the First of Advent yesterday). Deocration boxes are now also all over the place.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get it cleaned up by Christmas. 😦

Good morning writing session. Headed off-Cape for a meeting this morning, then back to try to get some yard work done (the neighbors spent all weekend making their lawns pristine and have ALL their decorations up — I feel so disorganized) and comment on the short story assignment for my class.

I’d love to have a mini-melt-down, but, honesty, there’s just no time.

Today’s word count: 1357
Total word count: 92,360

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

First of all, hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and celebrate the release of my friend Michelle Miles’s new book, ONE KNIGHT ONLY. Congrats, Michelle!

Tired, but it’s a good tired. Got some work done in the morning, Drove to Wareham. Didn’t find what I needed at Lowe’s, but at a combination of other stores, unexpectedly got almost all my fall/winter shopping done: three pairs of yoga pants (two eco-friendly and amazingly comfortable that can also double as “real people pants” to go out in with tunics or long sweaters), some sports bras, three shirts, a pair of subtle Glen-Plaid dress slacks, and a pair of shoes. The shoes are really for spring and summer — turquoise suede peep-toe skiimmers. I had my eye on them earlier this year, but didn’t want to spend the money. However, they were about 85% off — I got them for $6.29! So I’m a happy camper.

And, of course, stopped at the Lindt outlet to stock up on chocolate, what with a new book to start on Saturday and all! 😉

Spent most of the afternoon organizing the storage room. We’re getting an anergy assessment on Monday, and I have to get at least the storage room organized (the basement is a lost cause). Unpacked more than a dozen boxes, rearranged things, did four loads of laundry as I discovered sheets, towels, blankets, linens. More work on that today.

And I finally have the creativity altar for the Year-Long the way I want it!

However, that meant that I was up until midnight catching up with student work. I collapsed into bed, exhausted, and dreamed about a mishmash of everyone’s stories being one big tale.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Spent time with my students yesterday, posting new exercises and giving whatever help and support to the newest member of the year-long class that I could to help her get set up. Three loads of laundry, a session trying to declutter the desk, too much admin work, cleaned another section of the kitchen (three sets of cabinets, a set of drawers, counter space. Kitchen’s looking better and better.

Heavy rain on and off all day yesterday and most of the night. We’re fine here, but where I used to live is under yet another flood watch.

Cooked the Cornish hens for the Equinox dinner, celebrated, then boiled down the bones to make stock.

Today, I have to spend a lot of time with my students, especially in the Dialogue class. I have to vacuum, do more desk declutter, and work on the next section of the kitchen. I’d like to curl up with a book, but any downtime is more likely spent with a chamomile compress over my eyes.

I have so many decorative boxes — I keep finding them when I unpack. Of course, now that I need one to put other people’s business cards in, I can’t find one! Isn’t that always the way? Will put them in a drawer in the Behemoth until I unpack some more and find one.

I have to start thinking in terms of the materials for the in-person class and the conferences I’m doing. I have the handouts ready to print, but I need to think in terms of business cards, bookmarks, etc., and get whatever needs to go out to the printer — out. Since I have several hundred copies of some the materials that need to be done double-sides, it might be more efficient in terms of time, money, and supplies, to just take it somewhere and get it done. I have to price things out this week.

Always something to do! Which is a good thing!


Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 8:18 am  Comments Off on Saturday, September 24, 2011  
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Late start today. Well, at 4 AM, the storm woke me and I ran around to close windows, but then, the cats and I all went back to bed, and I didn’t wake up until 7:30, when the cats threatened to have me for breakfast if I didn’t get up and get them their proper one!

It’s supposed to rain for the next seven days, until next Wednesday. Ark, anyone? At least I don’t have to mow!

Got my hair cut yesterday and feel much better. Amazing what a hair cut does for the morale!

Spent most of the day commenting on student work. Did some more work on my own stuff. Took an hour or so in the afternoon to sit on the deck while it was still sunny and do my work-related reading out there. Not that many days left when I can sit on the deck; I want to enjoy them!

Took a break in the late morning to start my fall cleaning. Yeah, I know, I’m a little late. Did the section to the left of the kitchen sink, over the microwave. Took everything out of all the cabinets, scrubbed out the inside of the cabinets, checked all the dishes, and, since I have cherry-toned wooden cabinets, polished the cabinets (inside and out) and polished the knobs. Scrubbed the counters, the dishwasher, and the microwave. Lots of baking soda, lemon, vinegar, wood polish, and green cleaner. Since everything was eco-friendly and pet-friendly, Tessa could “help.” It was detail-oriented and time-intensive, but worth it. What a pleasure to put the dishes away this morning!

Sure, I’d love to block out a day or a weekend and just do all the scrubbing from top to toe in the house, but I’m pulling 14+ hour days just with the classes, not to mention the rest of the work that has to get done so I can pay the bills. I have to break it down in manageable bits, and enjoy those bits when I accomplish them! The schedule will lighten up soon — I had a few cancellations in the schedule, but I have to find a way to make up the missing cash with quick-turnaround, good-paying, but not time-intensive stuff.

I wanted to wash the kitchen windows today, but it’s raining. So I guess the windows will have to wait.

Got news from my former residence that the tenants are still living in hotels after the flood/oil tank rupture, more than three weeks now. The scumbag landlords were ordered to pay for the hotel rooms and per diem — and have yet to pay anything. The tenants are going out of pocket so they have a roof over their heads. That is wrong on so many levels. Why aren’t the scumbag landlords getting arrested? Oh, right, because they’re paying off the city. I am SO glad to be out of there!

I was supposed to go dig up some material in files today for a project, but never got a confirmation, so I sent an email saying I assume the time and date won’t work, and offering possibilities for rescheduling.

I’m seriously thinking of setting a pillow on the desk behind the computer for Tessa to lounge on! She’s happy back there. She and my desktop gargoyle have made friends.

Onward and page-ward!


Published in: on September 22, 2011 at 8:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Scheduled to post

Roller coaster of a weekend. Packed Saturday morning, went over to the site job for a few hours, came back, packed some more, was in absolute despair by the time I left, wondering how it will all get done. We’re at the point where it’s the weird-sized stuff, that doesn’t really fit into boxes, but the movers don’t want bags, they want BOXES, and large boxes are damn expensive. So it’s sorting what we take in the last carload today and what we can leave for the movers. I feel like I should put a sticker on the car staying “Weird shit” – only, I don’t put stickers on my car.

Went back to the site job, finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and also read Yasmine Galenorn’s HARVEST HUNTING. Loved it. Delilah is my favorite of the three Otherworld sisters anyway, and she just grows and learns so much in this book. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Plus, it was nice to read something just because I wanted to.

To bed early, lots of weird dreams, mostly involving actors (which means they must be anxiety dreams about leaving the NY area and Broadway). Up early Sunday, got some writing done (which felt GREAT, I miss my daily writing). After breakfast, headed back to the apartment.

Finished pulling stuff off the PC, was ready to pull the hard drive and dump the PC, then realized I don’t know what the hard drive looks like. So that had to wait. Packed some more, in absolute despair. Bought a bunch more boxes, mailed some stuff, returned library books, announced to the neighbors and a few local friends who know my neighbors that I’m leaving. We’ll see how that goes over. Can’t say as I care all that much — my friends are happy for me, and those who aren’t — I don’t have to deal with them any more.

Back to the site job. Looked up what the hard drive looked like, so I could pull it when I got home. Took care of some other stuff online.

I’m so sad to be leaving this job. It’s one of the few things I will miss.

Worked on the write up for Confidential Job #1 and emailed it when I got back.

Had to go back to the site because I left my cell phone there. Freudian slip much?

Returned a key to another job. Picked up my mom and returned a key to yet another job.

Packed some more when I got home. Cleaned the oven. Played with the cats, who are beside themselves with stress. Stacked the stuff that somehow HAS to get squished into the car today.

Eddie McClintock’s tweets on the Jets/Browns game were so hilarious I got distracted from my packing. Better than the game! Always nice to know that an actor whose work you admire is also funny and smart without a script!

Pulled the hard drive and dumped the old PC. I am now officially PC-free and totally Mac-converted. As my friend Barb says, “I am of the Cult of Mac, and it is good.”

Up to the house early this morning, with the last carload of stuff before the Carload of Cats. Errands, raking, and I bet I’ll be in bed very early. Everything hurts. I can’t wait to take a long, hot soak in Epsom salts on Friday night, with a great glass of wine, some scented candles, and Valerian root before bedtime. Because I”m taking waaaaay too many over-the-counter painkillers, and, in just two weeks, I’ve built up a tolerance. So, after Friday — no more for a few months — just massage, yoga, and my special stress-release bath salts.

Three days, people. Three days.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Busy weekend. Saturday, I got some paperwork done and some stuff notarized, then went up to Pet Smart to restock cat food, cat litter, etc. The little black kitten was still there — so tempting. Went to storage and pulled out some of the empty boxes I’d kept and put aside. Hauled everything up the stairs.

I yanked all the tins down from on top of the cabinets and inside of the cabinets, washed them — the construction debris is as sticky as tar, as well as being a fine dust. It makes sense for me to have lots of tins because, during the Big Holiday Bake, I usually make about 1000 cookies (seriously), and I put different types in different tins. Then, when I put together the platters, I can set up an assembly line and it goes pretty fast. But when you have to clean them and dry them and set them out and pack them — there are a lot of them. And I took about two dozen to storage after the holidays.

Took out all the cookie cutters, scrubbed them, set them out to dry. The cats then decided they had to play with each and every one of the cookie cutters, which meant they all had to be re-washed and dried. How much do you want to bet I’ll be finding stray cookie cutters all over the place on moving day? I have about 200 of them. I’m storing the cookie cutters in the tins for the move — make sense to use the space. Also found the souvenir spoons of my mom’s — we used to have spoon racks up, but with the construction dirt, they were too hard to keep clean, so we packed them away. Washed all of them — when they go up in the new place, I’ll have to polish the silver ones — but they’re like having a trip log on the wall.

Also found a bunch of candleholders I washed and put aside to be packed with the candle stuff. Hopefully, I’ll have a space where I can store all my candleholders and can use them when seasonally appropriate. Again, I have well over 100. I have to get some more of those glass chimney things, because it’s safer to have them enclosed, even the tapers, unless they’re on a dining table for a meal or something. Otherwise, little whiskers and tails can get into trouble. Olivia, Felicia, and Maude were very candle-savvy, but these two — not going to risk it.

I dread having to climb up there and clean the tops of the cabinets. It’s going to be disgusting. But it’s gotta be done, even though the dirt isn’t my fault, because otherwise the landlords will try to charge me for it. And I refuse to pay for a cleaning service to clean mess caused by the landlords.

I still have the luxury of cleaning, packing, and sorting without rushing. So I’m taking advantage of it. Also, I don’t want to take dirt from here, either physically or symbolically , with me.

Didn’t sleep well Saturday night, had trouble focusing on Sunday morning. Not a good yoga session or meditation session or writing session.

Worked on the lectures, did some internet research, realized I should stop at the library on my way to my friend’s place. The library opens late on Sundays, so that set the whole day back.

I figured, while I waited, I’d pull some more stuff off the old PC and onto flash drives. I was so proud of myself — about 75 floppies copied. How did I ever get anything done on a PC? They’re so inefficient compared to my options on the Mac.

Wanted to check the workshop one last time before I left. No internet. Called Cablevision, whose service I’ve been so gleeful about, and got a huge wake-up call. Not only did he give me the wrong information, he told me it was my fault the internet wasn’t working. Say what? My “fault”? Exactly how is a non-working connection with everything hooked up the way it’s supposed to be my FAULT? And that the earliest a technician could come out was on Wednesday, and he’d just tell me the same thing. That doesn’t get me back online for my courses or anything else. It’s not like I just screw around wasting time on the internet — it’s how I make my living. I was so upset — I’m winding up a workshop, I’m starting another workshop, I’ve got moving stuff and financial stuff and script stuff and other freelance work, all of which has to be done online. I asked to speak to a supervisor, was passed around, the technician called me back with more misinformation, I told him to leave me alone, he kept calling with the same b.s, until I totally melted down.

Completely unacceptable.

When I pulled myself together, I called, asked to speak to a supervisor, got hung up on, called again, got a nice woman who passed me to a supervisor who said she was in customer service, not support — hello, dumbass, it’s a CUSTOMER SERVICE ISSUE, you’re not giving me any frigging SERVICE — and passed me on to yet someone else. She actually seemed to know what she was talking about. She said she thought the cable between the modem and the computer was shot, and I should get one at Staples, and gave me the information as to what kind.

So I lost two fricking hours and was blamed for a faulty CABLE? Their cables don’t last more than a year? Shouldn’t they tell us, so we can switch them out? It’s not like I attack my cable with kitchen knives or tap dance on it in high heels. It sits there quietly as a cable.

Drove up to Staples, the guy was very nice, they actually had what I needed so I didn’t have to drive to another state, I bought it, drove home, plugged it in.

It worked.

So I lost two hours and had all kinds of job-loss stress for something that could have been fixed in ten minutes with the right information.

Not acceptable.

I’ve sent them an invoice for time lost and aggravation. I am done with this B.S.

And maybe I should be GLAD they don’t serve the area to which I relocate!

Skipped the library, went to my friend’s, hung out in the sunshine, and actually had McDonald’s for dinner. And drank about a liter of Coke because, my goodness, that stuff is salty. I hardly ever eat at McDonald’s, and I guess this is my quarterly Coca Cola. Is this what they mean by “emotional eating”? I regretted it, though — felt like crap the rest of the night and this morning.

Came home, wound up one workshop, opened another. Had trouble concentrating last night, was exhausted, then had trouble sleeping.

Up early this morning, yoga, attempted meditation, did not have a good writing session. I may have to go into the city for some business, but I hope I don’t. I have so much to finish before I leave for Philly later this week, and don’t have the energy for any of it. But it has to get done, that’s all there is to it. And I don’t have time, room or patience to put up with anyone else’s screw ups. If I have to be without error, so do those around me who are getting paid. And the landlord’s up to something again — I just don’t know what yet.

Trying to get myself into the head space that I will just deal with each thing fully as it comes up, not get distracted and do things piecemeal. The next couple of months are going to be a challenge, but there’s joy and serenity at the end of it, so it will be worth it.


Friday, September 17, 2010

The beautiful orchid sent in Elsa’s memory. Thank you, my friends!

Friday, September 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

Yesterday was a bizarre day. I wound up cleaning and scrubbing early in the morning, in preparation for the exterminator, who was supposed to show up around 10. He showed up around 1:30. Sigh. At least he showed up, step in the right direction. And they gave us heat for a full 20 minutes around lunchtime. Someone must be getting high in the office and playing with the switch, because they sure wouldn’t give us heat on a weekday on purpose!

So, in the morning, I did bits of this and that, not wanting to go too deeply into anything that couldn’t get interrupted.

I wound up cleaning out some of those little top drawer things in some of the bureaus. And some of them I hadn’t even opened since I was a kid. Very strange experience. I tossed a lot, packed a lot. My goodness, even as a little kid, I picked up rocks everywhere I went. I’m always picking up stones and rocks. I have rocks and stones in almost every box and drawer. Even then, when I didn’t know what I was doing, I knew what I was doing! 😉

And then I found a notebook given to me by my Dad. He died when I was ten. It had some pages of different ideas and things from him to me, and then something I wrote about two months after he died. Wow.

I found photographs, black and white, too, of my mom at Niagra Falls in the 1950s, of my dad, my grandmother, my dog (actually, I think I was his human, he came into the family before I did), and a little picture of what I think is me. I found a naughty gag gift someone made for me in high school — it was the late 70s, use your imagination — and some boy-crazy notes from someone I used to be friends with in middle school about her latest crush. And medals – Spelling Bee, Honor Society, Music This and That.

So I packed up my past and it’s ready to go.

After the exterminator came and left, I started washing teapots. They’ve been on top of the kitchen cabinets, and with all the construction crap going on here have gotten really dirty and sticky. I don’t want to pack them like that. So I soaked them and scrubbed them, and put them out to dry. What’s interesting is that the oldest, seemingly most fragile teapots — the Allerton and the Steubenware, given to me by my grandmother — were the easiest to clean, whereas the more modern “dishwasher safe” ones were a pain in the —-, and one of them, my snowman teapot, lost most of his red coloring, which means the ceramic teapot wasn’t properly painted and then glazed, but glazed and then some paint slapped over it. It’s still cute, it just has a lot more white.

I didn’t know I had 10 teapots here. I have a few more boxes of teapots in storage.

I really like teapots.

And I feel off kilter with them all packed.

Not that I use them that often — usually I just stick a bag in a mug and pour hot water over it. But I like having the option and looking at them.

Violet played in the teapots as they dried.

And the big excitement — the President’s helicopter (and its companion choppers) flew over the building! I heard approaching helicopters and thought, “Oh, no, must be a bad accident on I-95 for them to fly this low.” Then, I look out my third floor window and it’s the Presidential Chopper! And it’s REALLY cool! He was attending some to-do in Greenwich. I’d forgotten. At least he wasn’t on the ground tying up traffic, right? Anyway, the third floor is high enough and they flew low enough to get a good look and it was really cool. I’m rather fond of helicopters anyway.

We had big weather kerflamma. Wednesday night, the weather folk said, “Oh, we might have some showers during tomorrow’s rush hour” and suddenly we had tornadoes in Brookly and Queens. Up here, it got dark fast, with thunder, lightening, and lots of rain. The cats weren’t too worried, so neither was I. Well, Iris scooted under the bed after a loud thunderclap, but she came out pretty fast. And then they pre-empted the shows to run the same three clips over and over again all night. Give me a break!

Caught up with some old friends online, which was nice. We’re scattered all over the place.

Had a decent first writing session of the morning.

Violet is sneezing again, and it worries me. She seems fine otherwise — she’s eating and playing and all the rest. Of course, I’m coughing up a lung with all the brick dust, too. I’ve measured for the past few days. With the windows CLOSED, between 1/8th and 1/2 of an inch of dust comes through every single day. Yeah, that’s healthy. Not.

I’m having iPhoto kerflamma. I merged some batches of photos, and now I can’t find them. iPhoto sits there like a Zen whatever, saying that, yes they are there, and not telling me where they’re hidden. Guess I’ll be calling Apple Care when they open!

Best wishes to my dear friend Lori, who has surgery today.

Today, I’ve got some business to take care of in the morning, and then I’m going to a friend’s to do laundry. I’ve got to polish those lectures tonight and tomorrow for next week. And maybe start washing and packing the vases.


teapot extravaganza

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I light this candle every morning when I start my first writing session of the day. I love it — I find it very soothing. It was originally a pyramid shape. I don’t remember where I got it, but I hope to find a similar one soon, because I like using this type as my writing candle. I found it in a “Misc.” box as I cleaned out storage.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dark of the Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It’s September, and A Biblio Paradise is gearing up again, for Tuesday posts featuring books, authors, and other writing stuff. Our first post of the new season is an interview with Michelle Miles, whose book SEX. LUST & MARTINIS recently released. Hop on over here to check it out, and leave a comment, so we’ll know you were there!

So, I was thinking yesterday — hey, you, over there. Stop laughing! Anyway, I was thinking, after yesterday’s post, why SHOULDN’T the Hundred Dollar Bill Fairy come visit and leave hundred dollar bills under my pillow?

I just have to figure out an offering! 😉

I’m waiting for the workmen to come back today, making my life hell. I just don’t get why they have to use MY fire escape when they’re working on the other side of the building with fire escapes more convenient to their “work”. Oh, yeah, because they were instructed to make things as miserable as possible for the tenants that the landlord wants to drive out.

Triumphed over the Scary Monster Closet yesterday. It wasn’t as scary as I feared, but it could have been better. But it was scrubbed, purged, organized and packed. At this point, all the closets in the apartment are ready to load. I don’t yet have a place in which to UNLOAD them, but at least I’m getting the energy moving in the right direction.

Hey, any time the Hundred Dollar Bill Fairy wants to send a few my way . . .

Worked on the lectures. I’m doing some restructuring on them, so that will take awhile. I hope you’ll join me. We’re deconstructing my favorite fantasy romance novel from September 13-19 and a steampunk film from September 20-27. You can sign up by clicking on the name of each type of deconstruction. It should be a lot of fun and very useful for both readers and writers.

Took Elsa to the park yesterday. I wanted her to get more sun, so I took her to the baseball diamond, but she felt too exposed. She always eats better when she gets back, though, and she’s eating so little at this point, that any improvement is worth it.

I have a business appointment this morning, and then I’m going to take a carload of stuff to storage and do an inventory of what’s there. I’ll do some more work on the lectures and the scripts this afternoon, and also try to go back to pulling material off the PC floppies and getting them onto flashdrives. I want to dump all the PC behemoth equipment before I leave. I also want to excavate my desk again — my paper reproduces as I sleep, and it needs to refrain from doing so for the next few months. I’ve set up files and envelopes for the important transition stuff that has to be carted back and forth, and I’m packed for the Philly gig this coming weekend. Bills are all written, and marked to be mailed on the appropriate days.

Optimum doesn’t cover the area in which I plan to relocate, which is awful, since now I’ve finally found a decent company. My choices are Comcast (who suck), RCN (who suck even worse) and Time Warner (no idea if they’re any good). There’s also FIOS, but, uh, no, not an option for me. The only thing I want to keep with Verizon is my cell phone.

Well, I don’t need to make that decision quite yet.

I had a decent, but not brilliant first writing session this morning. At least every word I manage to get down is one more than I had before. I may have slowed down, but any steady routine during the chaos is helpful. And little bits add up to big bits. I’m not on a deadline for this – although I am for SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I hope to get back to in a few days.



First Willowspring Grove Novel (first draft, handwritten): 43,000 words out of est. 100,000 (43%)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bench at the center of the labyrinth

Monday, September 6, 2010
Waning Moon (Day before dark moon)
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant
Labor Day

Pretty good weekend. Not much writing done on Saturday, but a great first session on Sunday morning — more than made up for it. And a decent session Monday morning.

I travelled to Narnia and back in my closet on Saturday. It wasn’t anywhere as scary as I feared. Everything’s packed and ready to be loaded when the time comes. I have three more bags of clothes for donation. I have some more stuff to take to storage.

I know, why take it to storage when it’ll just be moved anyway? Because I need the room so I can pack what’s left. This is a very small space, and i need room to both pack and continue living.

I used one of the mustards I bought at Sturbridge Village in the chicken recipe I cooked Saturday night. Very good. Next time I’m there, I’ll get more. And I’m still eating the fudge!

I’ve been woken up every day this holiday weekend at 5:30 AM by construction noise, because someone paid off the City to look the other way and not enforce the City Code. Unacceptable.

It was so beautiful on Saturday afternoon that we went out. First, to Bruce Museum Park to walk around the sculptures. I also picked up some acorns, which are now in the little green pottery dish I made. We took a wrong turn and got lost in an exclusive section of a nearby town. I wondered, as we drove through it, why there was such a bad vibe everywhere — talk about one’s skin literally crawling, in spite of beautifully manicured exteriors. And then I saw the sign and it all made sense: It’s an exclusive enclave populated by those who helped create the current depression — the heavy karma hanging over the place is ominous because they’re about to get their asses kicked. They have their own security — they don’t want any poor people in the enclave unless they’re maids or gardeners. One of the most awful murders in the area took place on the grounds when I was just a kid. Figures – -they have their own security to keep out people who aren’t as rich, so they go around murdering each other instead.

So how did I get past security? I’m white, my car may be small but it’s shiny, and I’m decently put together. They didn’t even question me. It would almost have been better to get stopped and turn around rather than being lost in there for nearly 40 minutes!

I was glad to get out! Very oppressive atmosphere, in spite of all the ornate trimmings.

We then drove to Wainwright House, here in our town, to get rid of the bad vibes (I don’t want to be infected with that kind of evil and bad karma) by walking the labyrinth and looking out over the water. They were preparing for a sunset wedding — we offered to leave, but they said if we just walked around the side of the property, to go ahead and enjoy. We were only there for about twenty minutes, but it was very revitalizing.

Elsa was better on Saturday morning, then worse again Saturday night. I spent a long time on Saturday night just cuddling her and trying to make her feel better. She perked up on Sunday morning a bit.

One of the sad drawbacks of fighting with the landlords for the past four years is that it’s injured my capacity for joy. Every time I see a glimmer and start to feel good again, I start wondering when the other shoe will drop. I’ve never been that kind of person, and I don’t want to live my life like that. I wasn’t a fan of this town growing up, I left, I came back to take care of family issues, and hoped it had matured and grown as I had. For awhile, when we had a City Council that actually gave a damn about its citizens, it seemed to be the case. But this new, corrupt, greedy, cowardly Republican City Council (I think these individuals would be cowardly or corrupt no matter with what party they were affiliated) with one thumb up its ass and the other hand extended waiting for a payout epitomizes everything I disliked about the town growing up and some of the reasons I left in the first place. It’s a shame, because there’s some real beauty in the town, and it’s being destroyed by the poison of particular, greedy, selfish citizens.

Elsa had an adventure on Sunday morning. The Reiki Master said the best way to help her heal was to get her away from the building on any nice day and take her outside in the grass and sunshine. I’ve been trying to find a park that didn’t charge. I found a small park in the next town that seems to fit the bill, so we packed up Elsa and took her to the park. There was an event going on in another section that involved singing, and really, I wished I had a bucket in my trunk to offer them so they could carry a tune. But other than that, it was lovely and breezy and fine. Elsa’s never had her paws on grass before — she wasn’t too sure about it. But she batted at a butterfly, and recognized the pine cones (I have bowls of them in the house) and tried to slip away and investigate some wildlife in a bush (she did not succeed). She also got to sniff and play with pine branches and sharpen her claws on an oak tree. She was lively and perky the whole time, and had a lot to say, but wasn’t stressed out or scared. And she was much better the rest of the day, and even ate better. It really made a positive difference. Plus, she could brag to the twins.

Cleaned, purged, and packed another closet. One more closet today — the front hall closet, nicknamed “The Scary Monster Closet” and all the closets are packed and ready to load when the time comes. Not too shabby!

Much as I appreciate the understanding of all who try to make me feel better about my decreased productivity, I don’t write on the side, THIS IS HOW I MAKE MY LIVING. No money comes in if I’m not on top of things. The bills don’t pay themselves. I don’t know where people think I get the money for expenses if I don’t stay productive. There’s no Money Tree on the fire escape and no Hundred-Dollar Bill Fairy leaves anything under my pillow. I don’t have the luxury of “life getting in the way.” Bills don’t get paid, I can’t pay rent — much less put down a deposit and hire movers, I can’t eat, I can’t take care of the family. There is no spouse or partner’s income. I don’t have a trust fund, or I’d have gotten out of this hellhole a long time ago. It’s all on me. I have to take care of an elderly parent, an old sick cat, two little cats, and myself. And help out with the family up in Maine whenever possible, shouldering my share. If I want this move to succeed, I can’t let anything slide on the writing front. And, before it became an issue that the move had to happen right now, I managed to book more work for the next four months than I’ve had in the past eight. And NONE of it can fall by the way side. NONE. None of it is stuff that can be scheduled for any other time. It’s date-specific and location-specific. I don’t get to take a week or six to settle in — not during the packing, not during the move, nothing. I don’t get to be offline for more than 24 hours. I’ll be in coffee shops all up and down New England with my laptop as the weeks move forward (at least until I get internet set up at the new place), stopping along the highway to meet deadlines on my way back and forth with carloads of stuff. I need the money, I need the credits, I need the business building, I’m under contracts that can’t be broken. So I am just going to have to fucking deal. AND pack. AND move. AND fight with the landlords., who are going to get really nasty (yeah, up to now, this was them being their version of cordial). And do all the other daily things that have to happen in order to keep the home running. That’s just the way it is. I’ll try not to whine too much about it! 😉

When I move and have cleared off my deadlines — I’m taking off two weeks to sleep! 😉 The work is booked steadily until December 5, and then all I have to worry about is finishing the edits on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, which are due on January 1. I’m not booking anything else in the month of December (I’ll probably eat my words, but that’s the plan right now). And, of course, the move has to happen right around all of that, too!

And it gets crazy again in January, work-wise, thank goodness!

I have to be organized and focused. Once I can set some definite dates and schedules and lists, great. Until then, I’m doing what I can to prep, because the less last- minute scrambling I have to do, the less stress there will be. When I left Manhattan, I had only 10 days to pack up 13 years of my life, which I did with help from my friends, and that was great. This time, I’m hiring movers, which is a whole different dynamic with its own set of problems. But at least I do all my own packing. And I’m a damned good packer.

Speaking of organized and focused, I swear I cleaned my desk this weekend, and yet again it looks like a Staples truck threw up on it. I’d blame the cats, but most of this stuff is too big for them to haul around. The Paperwork Gnomes are at it again!

And I’m nearly out of boxes. . .


Because, really, what other choice is there?

It’s Labor Day. I’m going to go labor!


First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, handwritten): 42,750 words out of est. 100,000 (42.75%)

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 6:19 am  Comments (3)  
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