Thurs. June 4: Die For Your Employer Day 17 – Trying to Find a New Rhythm

Thursday, June 4, 2020
First Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and humid

There’s a post over on Gratitude and Growth about the progress of the garden.

If you didn’t get a chance to read the blurb for THE BARD’S LAMENT, hop on over and read it. I had a decent writing session on it yesterday after a rough start. Last night, I figured out how to up the conflict and potential heartbreak.

Onsite at a client’s yesterday. I went very early yesterday morning, to minimize the time we were all in the office at the same time. It was fine; we got a lot done and planned for the next few weeks, as things are starting to open up again. We are taking precautions, although there is one person who I don’t feel is being cautious enough. So I’m keeping more than 6 feet away, whenever possible.

We discussed how I’ll work remotely again the week of my surgery. Since I have to be in complete isolation once I take the COVID test to the time I enter the hospital, it makes the most sense. It takes a huge amount of pressure off me.

Came home, followed the disinfectant protocols, and was back at my computer in time for Remote Chat, which was fun. Also got some advice on how to make those photos work on the Square store. I’ve followed every set of instructions, and it’s just not working. I’ll have to keep trying. The ratio should adjust it, so I don’t understand why it’s not.

Comcast sent me a text saying they would cut me off if I didn’t pay my bill by June 30. I have not received a bill. I pointed out that psychic billing doesn’t work. I’m happy to pay my bill, but they have to actually SEND ME A BILL. I’m not doing autopay. That means they make up and amount and pull it multiple times from the bank. Been there. Not doing that again. They cannot be trusted with my bank information. I am happy to send them a check. But I need a detailed bill. I want to see what illegal charges they’re trying to pull off.

I loathe Comcast. They need to be broken up. Every place, even the most rural area, should have a choice of at least three providers, who aren’t allowed to set rates amongst themselves, but actually compete. No one company should hold a monopoly. Technology is now a necessity, like any other utility. Make Comcast follow the regulations. Stop letting them do whatever they want.

Started reading Lilith St. Crow’s STEELFLOWER and really like it. I’ve owned that book for ages, and haven’t had a chance to read it before. I believe it’s the first of a series, so I have more of these characters to enjoy!

My Goddess Provisions box arrived, and it was wonderful. It’s such a joy, every month. The incense this month, the cute little socks, the lip balm, the selenite, the astrological planner, everything is great.

You ever have that person in your life, the one who floats balloons of inappropriate comments and racist agendas? When you push back, the individual backs down; if you don’t, the person keeps pushing to reveal the real self.

I have one of those in my life right now. I’m pushing back. And every time this person makes such a comment, I lose more respect.

I am in the process of removing this person from my life, but it can’t just be a clean, immediate cut. I have to be diplomatic about it.

I may do a run to the garden center (masked, of course) to get a few things I need to work in the garden this weekend. I’m hesitant, because yesterday? Driving to and from the office? I saw ONE person, on a bicycle, masked. No one else driving, walking, or working was masked. Plenty of them were in groups, and not distanced. This attitude that they’re bored with the virus and are therefore going to ignore it is going to get people killed.

The MA numbers were up significantly yesterday from the day before.

Honestly, I don’t trust the customers at the garden center to follow the rule of masking or distancing. But I’ll see. If I’m uncomfortable, I’ll leave.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment for curbside pickup at the library. That’s my only outing. It’s a full moon with an eclipse and four retrogrades. Not pushing my luck beyond the single book pickup. It was good to talk to one of the librarians again, though. I’ve been in touch via email, but she said it was good to hear my voice. I asked her to give my love to everyone there.

I have writing, client work, yard work on the agenda today. I need to do some more work on the Topic Workbooks and the old Cerridwen Iris Shea material. Maybe start the book for review.

Over the next few days, I also want to get the mending done, some sewing done, and purge more boxes from the basement.

I am in daily contact with my elected officials about what’s going on in the bigger picture, and I’m working on some proposals. We all have different roles to play in this, along with voting.

I hope I’ll have a good few days and up my output on THE BARD’S LAMENT. And maybe, just maybe, get a bit done on BALTHAZAAR. I need to get back into the rhythm again, of both those worlds.

Hope you have a great day.

Wed. May 13: StayTheFHome Day 49: Creativity and Exhaustion

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I had a new post over on Ink-Dipped Advice, but I took it down because it wasn’t really helpful. I will try to come up with a better one and get it up later today.

Yesterday was an overly-long work day. I am on the edge of burnout. I’m hoping I can make it to the Memorial Day weekend, because I intend to take some time off and do nothing except sit outside and read, and write if I feel like it.

Not only am I working long hours, but the clients for whom I’m working insist that I’m not working, and they resent paying me to do nothing – even when the results are coming in that prove otherwise. So I’m feeling burned out, overworked, underappreciated.

Too bad for me, right? At least I’m still alive.

Yesterday started pretty well, though. I had excellent writing sessions on two different projects, and I’m happy with the way both are going. The band name “Orgasmic Clowns” turned up, and at first, it looked like they would be a part of one of the novels, but now I think I need to make them their own piece.

I got admin work done, some bills paid, put in another Chewy order. I’m frustrated because an order from Target went astray via UPS and neither entity wants to do anything about it. I’m still having Comcast issues, and the only “fix” they provide is something I’ve done before that only makes everything worse.

But at least my stamps arrived, so I can write more cards!

There’s a new logo for the Topic Workbooks, that needs a bit of tweaking, but I like it. Instead of having all the covers uniform with different titles, I’m getting new covers and using the logo at the bottom. Once I have all the covers, I’m going to pull them off Smashwords and put them through Draft2 Digital. I also want a new cover for 30 Tips for 30 Days. I don’t like it.

I have to get some promotional material posted via Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for the books on sale, and I need to finish the Trinity of Teasers free download that I want available in either mid-June or early July.

A writer friend who misses writing in coffee shops set up a bistro table and chairs in her house, and writes there, drinking from her travel mug and playing music. Sometimes she put the TV on in another room to simulate conversation around her. And she’s grateful not to be in a tiny NYC apartment, where her bistro table was once the only table that fit in the place! I love that idea and that image, and may need to use it in a story.

So at least I’m feeling creative, even if I’m exhausted.

I got out five LOIs yesterday, and go responses back on four. All of which have turned me off to the companies, but best to cut it off now than waste time. This idea that I should be willing to trot into an unsafe office full of germy strangers is simply not happening.

Got a lot of client work done on a big project. Will get a little more done today, but it won’t be ready until next week. By tomorrow, I will have used up the allotted time for the week, and I’m not working for free.

Today, I have Remote Chat to look forward to. I had two excellent first writing sessions this morning, on two different novels, and a frustrating computer update on a computer I’ve had less than a week.

Peace, my friends, and be well.

Tues. May 12: StayTheFHome Day 48 — Tech Woes

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

If this Saturn Retrograde continues the way it’s started, I’m done. There’s no way I can do this every day for months.

The tablet isn’t working properly – and I’ve only had it a month. Neither Staples, from whom I bought it, nor does the manufacturer. It MIGHT be a Comcast issue, since suddenly, the only device that’s connected to the Internet is my laptop, and neither the tablet nor the phone will connect anymore. Comcast, of course, couldn’t care less. When I try to troubleshoot, I get a message saying they will only answer my question if I upgrade my plan.

As usual, Comcast is out to screw their customers. I have lost tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of income/assignments because Comcast refuses to give customers like me the promised service, and I have to go far afield for basic connectivity, because Comcast is my only choice here.

I lost half my workday trying to get things sorted out. And it’s not anywhere NEAR sorted out.

Then, I’m setting up a Square Store for a client. Only the video tutorial has very little to do with how the store is actually setting up the store, and the specs for photographs look grotesque, so I had to figure out a different way to edit them.

Not a good technology day for me. I suspect that my phone is about to give out, too.

On top of that, a delivery that was supposed to arrive on Friday is – well, no one really knows. According to UPS, it went to Shrewsbury by accident, and is still there.

Considering that the weekend was pretty darn good, yesterday was an unpleasant shock.

The cat tree arrived on Friday and is, well, much bigger than I expected. I expected the height, but not the breadth. Once it was built (which took two hours), we had to rearrange the furniture in the living room to accommodate it. The cats are sort of curious, but not making it their favorite spot yet, which I expected, but has deeply disappointed my mother.

I got the printer set up on Saturday – it’s amazing. Truly amazing. The laptop arrived, too, which I didn’t expect, on Friday, and I got that set up. It works well, although I have to learn my way around it. I miss having a Macbook. But this laptop is sleek, and I’m sort of figuring it out.

I went to pick up a curbside delivery on Saturday (for which I tipped 20%) and the employee who answered the phone when I let them know I was there gave me a hard time about it being a curbside pickup. When I placed the order THE NIGHT BEFORE, that was the only option. But I got a lecture about how now they’re open and I should just come in if I’m wearing a mask. No.  I was given curbside pickup as an option, and that’s what I chose. This is the same employee who scolded me for coming into the store before the Stay at Home was issued. I’m trying to follow protocols AND support a local business, and they give me grief. Meanwhile, the asshats running around without masks spewing on people get to go anywhere they want and behave anyway they want, and no one challenges them. I know the owner of the store, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to spend my money there and not somewhere else. She’d never condone that behavior. At the same time, I know employees are under a lot of pressure, and don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Fortunately, the guy who actually brought out my delivery was delightful. I hope he’s the one who got the tip.

I scanned the article from THE WRITER magazine and sent if off to the people who contributed quotes, and they are all very excited. It’s a good article; I’m glad I had the chance to write it, I’m glad I did a good job on it. Especially since that was the week I was in and out of the hospital before my emergency surgery.

Speaking of surgeries, on Saturday I got a completely tone-deaf and inappropriate letter from my health care provider berating me for not having the surgery that THEY cancelled due to the pandemic. I am so going off on them. As a writer who creates this type of material, if I EVER had written something so callous, unresearched, and tone deaf, I would have been, deservedly, fired.

I had good writing days all weekend. I’m juggling projects, some of them are percolating along nicely, and I’m in the planning stages for others. Now that I have the new laptop, I think I can get back to some that were languishing, more due to a lack of hardware than anything else. My Llewellyn editor is sending me a contract in June to write for the 2022 almanacs.

I’m doing some reading for a couple of upcoming essays/articles and planning a Great Big Project that’s a little on the overwhelming side, but, I think, necessary. Parked my domain, now have to look at how to build it.

Cleaned up the Fearless Ink website a bit. Added the extensions for the 99-cent sale for PLAYING THE ANGLES,SAVASANA AT SEA, andTRACKING MEDUSA to the websites, and also to the Facebook pages. I need to schedule some posts for promotion.

So, until yesterday, I felt pretty optimistic about getting back on track work-wise, especially remotely. Now, Comcast is literally going to put my life in danger because they can’t be bothered to provide promised service.

Comcast isn’t the only one to blame. Our Town Mis-Management is bound and determined to get us all killed by opening up to tourists for Memorial Day. We will have 250,000 deaths by July 4th weekend in this country with the way they’re planning to open. Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can go back and do everything like you did before. That’s not how this works. I mean, for Mother’s Day, my neighbors had the extended family all over, convinced that because they were all shivering outside in the wind – unmasked – they were fine. Again, that’s now how it works, people.

We need UBI NOW and until we have a vaccine. We need a WPA-style program, that’s more technology-based, in order to put people to work and get the economy back up and running. We need to change the way work is viewed and done.

I’m seriously fed up.

It was goo cold to plant, although I made biscuits for Mother’s Day breakfast, got her a cheesecake, and roasted a chicken.

I am tired. I have no idea what today will bring. Hopefully not more technology frustrations. At least I had a decent, if not brilliant, first writing session of the day.

Peace, friends.

Tues. June 5, 2018: So Close!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

I’m leaving the essay on the “In Death” series up as the lead article on A Biblio Paradise for another week. If you haven’t yet read it, hop on over.

Got yard work done, mostly on Saturday. The front yard and the side front are now under control, although by the end of the week, I’ll have to mow again. I trimmed the beds in the terraced back area.

As soon as the weather clears, I’ll have to mow the terraced back area, no man’s land, and the meadow. But I feel like I’m getting a handle on things, between the push mower and the weed whacker.

I apologize for not posting on Friday. Comcast was down in my area, and couldn’t be bothered to give us an estimated repair window. Because, as they tell us often, “we’re you’re only option, so we get it done when we get it done.” I hate them.

The weekend focused on MYTH & INTERPRETATION. It will be ready to go to the editor in a couple of days, and cover art will be ready in a couple of days. I’m happy with the work. It feels good to be back in the groove with Gwen and Justin. It gives me the opportunity to seed the stresses that later explode in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, and yet it stands fine on its own.

It made a huge difference to show an outline early in the process to my editor, back when we talked about breaking off the section that grew into MYTH off BALTHAZAAR, because it gummed up BALTHAZAAR’S works.

I wrote a Writer’s Rough Outline for MYTH. I showed it to my editor. She came back with suggestions to streamline and focus. As I wrote, I could streamline and focus even more. I kept a nice, lean word count that works for a novella, it has a good story on its own, and it drives forward the series arcs of both Gwen and Justin.

Knowing the four books and the novella in the series have a contractual commitment, being able to work with my editor before I finished a first draft, made a huge difference in the process. It made the writing smoother, more focused, and will save me a few drafts full of tangents.

I could get used to these multi-book contracts.

I also spent a little time on THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS and re-reading POWER OF WORDS. I didn’t get any work done on the play, because I’m pushing hard to get the novella out to my editor this week.

I miss POWER OF WORDS. A lot. I don’t know when I can get back to it, though.

I’m still waiting for a check from a gig that was contractually obligated to be here on the 31st. This is the same gig whose ethics (or lack thereof) make me uncomfortable. Once I get this check, I will withdraw, as gracefully as possible. I hate to lose the money, but a two month lag time and the rewrites to turn it into something different than it claims to be make it an unworkable gig for me. I need to let it go and make room for something better.

Hopefully that check and the check from the radio play will arrive shortly.

Yesterday was a chaotic day onsite with a client, and I expect today will be the same. But I got off some paperwork to another client; I have one more batch, and then I’m caught up on that job until next January.

But I had a great writing morning with MYTH, and another one today, so I’m feeling good about that portion of my working life, at least.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 1:32 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 5, 2018: So Close!  
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Mon. March 17, 2014: Stress Builds

Monday, March 17, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing

Comcast fucked me again. They blatantly refuse to follow the laws, and the lawmakers let them get away with it. Disgusting. No corporation should be allowed to bully citizens in the way that the telecommunication companies and banks do.

Busy weekend. Worked hard all day Friday. Pitched for jobs. Ran errands. Worked on contest entries. Finished the next book for my editor. The last FIVE have been excellent. Roasted a chicken for dinner and then made chicken soup. Saturday morning, I was up early and at the Middle School to check people in for Tomorrows Writers Today. Cast my Corinne for SEAL TIDES — she’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for. And then she pulled out this morning, so we’re back to auditions. Came home, finished the latest revision on the script, sent it out, worked with students. Sunday, I broke my rule and worked.

I also found a box of books I’ve been looking for since I moved here. Re-read Christina Baldwin’s ONE TO ONE, a terrific book on journal writing and ground-breaking when it came out, and am in the process of re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s THE LONG QUIET HIGHWAY, which I have more mixed feelings about this time around.

Also did some terrific research for my ferry girl book. Now I have so much information for the opening chapter, I’ll probably wind up overwriting it and have to cut back.

I did some correspondence this morning, and sent back some contracts. Working at the library for a bit, and then will work at home.

The play goes into rehearsal on Wednesday. Even if you’re far away, for only $10, you can be included in the program, and support us. Our Indiegogo campaign is here. I hope you’ll consider tossing us a few bucks. The more we can raise in the campaign, the more dollars from ticket sales benefit the patients.

Onward!

Published in: on March 17, 2014 at 10:49 am  Comments Off on Mon. March 17, 2014: Stress Builds  
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Mon. March 10, 2014: And Comcast Fucks Me Again

Monday, March 10, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing and cold

Day before my birthday, snowstorm, and Comcast fucks me again. Why won’t anyone make them obey the law? Who are they paying off, how much, and why are they getting away with it? They are an example of the deep corruption that runs rampant in this country right now. Everything is corporate-centric, and fuck the actual customers. The fact that I have no other choice but Comcast is ridiculous.

I’m in the middle of casting, I’m up for several jobs, and I’m totally fucked. All because Comcast thinks they are above the law.

Good weekend, overall.

I don’t really remember Friday. I was exhausted and worked a lot. Follow-up from Boston, some good, some not-so-good. Worked on contest entries. Worked with students.

Saturday, up early, finished revisions on the play, and sent it off for comments, started casting. Also did some other paperwork for the show.

I hate the switch to daylight savings time. It always leaves me feeling awful for days. But Sunday, I sucked it up, and, although I had a slow start at first, I was relatively productive. Planned the next work on BALTHAZAAR TREAURE, figured out the research I have to do to write the opening for the ferry girl novel that my tandem novel-writing pal suggested.

Did some yard work. If I do a little bit on every nice day, I can prep the yard for summer.

Got it in me that I wanted to rearrange my closet, and did. It had gotten a little chaotic in there. Got shoes sorted, tried on clothes. I’ve lost most of the weight I gained since moving here, so things fit me again, and most of what I buy is very simple and classic, doesn’t go out of style. Made a pile for donation, a pile for sale, and a laundry pile. The laundry pile translated into about four loads of laundry, but now everything is washed and put away where it should be. I have a bit of mending to do, and some ironing, but the closet is all set, and it feels really good. Cleaned off my desk a bit, too, caught up on some filing and some other organization.

Now, I’ve got to write all the stuff I need to write, so when I hit the library, all I have to do is copy, paste, and hit send.

Comcast is a vile, lying, grasping company. If the Time Warner merger goes through, even more people will lose out. It’s time to stop it.

Devon

Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 9:29 am  Comments (6)  
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Tues. Dec. 10, 2013: Connection Frustratons

Tuesday, December, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
About to storm

More problems with Comcast — no internet, phone, or TV at home, and no timeline when it will be fixed. Typical. They are such fuckheads (no apologies for language). Unfortunately, they have a monopoly on the Cape — I thought that’s why Ma Bell (which was actually a GOOD company) was broken up. Yet, I guess Comcast bribed the right politicians to get away with it. Tried to get things sorted out in person, and all they do is make new shit up and lie. Time for the appropriate authorities to step in –but that takes time.

So, I’m working at home offline, and then going a couple of times a day somewhere so I can work online. I’m making it work, and trying not to let the frustration factor sabotage me.

I reworked my resume, and really like the new format. I’ve also updated various sample packages. I’m in negotiations for a couple of freelance gigs that sound really interesting. I’m still trying to choreograph that climactic sequence in the one screenplay, and, no matter how I move around the pieces, I haven’t found the right way to make it work.

I’m typing up some of the chapters from the development notebook for the steampunk series. I love writing from Jem’s POV. He’s one of the favorite characters I’ve ever developed. A special guy.

I’m trying to do the end-of-year purge and clear-out, but it’s slow going. I have to be more efficient about that during the year, building in purge or file time weekly or at least monthly.

Even without cable, the monitor works and we can watch DVDs. We watched NO RESERVATIONS last night, which was better than I thought, although pretty unrealistic in terms of huge NYC apartments and how much time off chefs get. But it was still fun.

A plus on all this disconnect is that I’m more focused when I’m writing AND that high-pitched sound that is incredibly painful that I complained about for four years and Comcast swears doesn’t exist — isn’t whining anymore, so I’m not in constant pain.

That’s a good thing.

Keep a good thought for me.

Devon

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 9:39 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. Nov. 26, 2013: Comcast sucks, stress, and late night cooking

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and snow showers

I lost most of yesterday, work-wise. I had a decent start, then went out to run errands, and then spent the afternoon dealing with Comcast, who majorly fucked me. There is no polite way to say it. I checked and guess what? They violated both Federal and State laws, and I filed complaints against them. I refuse to let these major corporations turn me into a victim, because they think they are above the law and no one will fight back.

But I lost a half a work day. For which they will pay, on more than one level.

There was some other unpleasantness to deal with, too.

Unfortunately, because of Comcast’s doucebaggery, I lost a job I was scheduled for yesterday, and also lost the ability to take an editing test for a BIIIIG upcoming job. I’m trying to reschedule the latter for today.

Ma Bell was broken up so they wouldn’t have a monopoly, yet that’s what Comcast has here on the Cape. How is that legal? They are my only choice.

Didn’t get the screenplay finished. Managed to work with students and get some other work done.

Wound up staying up until three a.m., doing the cooking and baking for which I’m responsible for the holiday. All that’s left to do is to frost the lemon cupcakes.

Today will be crazy busy, as will tomorrow, then the holiday, then the whole weekend crazy busy.

But not with shopping. I don’t shop on Black Friday and I sure as hell boycott the stores that are trying to lure customers in on Thanksgiving themselves — especially those who don’t pay their employees a living wage.

Devon

Published in: on November 26, 2013 at 7:52 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Oct. 24, 2013: Costumes and Comcast

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I knew it was too good to be true. I kept my head down for the first few days of the Mercury Retrograde and hoped for the best, and got whammed this morning when Comcast screwed me. I am so sick of them having a stranglehold on the Cape and being my ONLY choice. Where are the anti-trust laws when you need them?

Yesterday I worked at getting the screenplay on track, and I think I’m getting there, at least for this draft. Then I worked on the palate-cleanser, which is just taking off.

Sent out a few pitches, and got immediately hired on a new, potentially long-term, fun gig. My first assignment is on its way, so we’ll see how that works out.

Got in many of the plants from the deck. Working at putting everything to bed. There’s a LOT of work still to do in the yard, but I’m doing a little bit every day, and, eventually, I will get there.

Most of the afternoon was spent getting ready for the CCWC Annual Meeting (in costume). Not having to set up the ball all day and then having only 40 minutes to get ready made a big difference. I got an hour just to do the make-up, and it was much better. Getting into the corset was, of course, an adventure in itself. Next corset will be front-lace.

Since it was raining, I had to put a cloak over the costume, and maneuver the cloak and the tail. Quite the adventure.

Dinner was fun, the annual meeting part of it was quick and fun, and it was great to see familiar faces and meet some new ones.

Home at a reasonable hour, stripped out of the costume pieces back into sweats, to bed early (after taking nearly as long to scrub the make-up off as it took to put it on).

Worked with students, shot an email to an editing client asking for the new ETA on the project that was supposed to arrive on Monday. Have two articles to write in the next few days, an article to wrap (got two new sources yesterday), and an essay to get started on.

Deep breath, pull it together, move forward.

I need a nap, and it’s barely 9 AM.

Devon

Published in: on October 24, 2013 at 8:07 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 24, 2013: Costumes and Comcast  
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Thurs. Jan. 10: Time Wasted Due to Coporate BS

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Dark Moon
Sunny and cold

I actually had a positive experience with Comcast yesterday. I’ve bashed them frequently over the years here, especially with problems in the Philadelphia area, but yesterday, we were able to have positive contact, intelligent discussion, and able to SOLVE the problem in a way that benefit both of us. In other words, actual customer service and negotiation. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. I thought it was worth a public mention, and I thanked the person who was so helpful.

Verizon, on the other hand — well, we won’t even get started there! They really need to be slapped around by the regulators, because they treat their customers like dog poo. I have a neighbor who works for them, and they pretty much treat their employees just as badly, but someone needs to get them in line. Hopefully, I can wrap everything up with them soon and not have to deal with them anymore. You’d think, after being a customer for a dozen years, they’d give a damn. But what do you expect from a company that funds crazy, right-wing political candidates and finds it acceptable for employees to THROW THE PHONE at customers who come in to ask questions?

Still feeling under the weather. Boston has declared a health emergency, due to the flu. I’m one of the small percentage allergic to the flu shot, so I can’t get it — the shot could kill me. The flu itself just makes me feel like crap for a week.

Worked with students, wrote a pitch, got some writing done, but not enough. Never enough, which is discouraging. I had to waste far too much time and energy fighting with Verizon when I should have been doing income-earning work.

Spent some time on school work, too. I’m trying to catch up in the Astronomy class — the sheer volume of lectures each week makes it tough. There are fewer lectures in the Galaxies and Cosmology class, which started this week, so I’m in pretty good shape on that. The math is far beyond me, but the quizzes on theory I’m doing quite well in (even though I don’t have the science background).

Struggling to finish the proposal for my agent. I haven’t hit quite the right tone for the sample. The proposal itself is very strong, but the writing that the proposal is ABOUT has to sing, and there’s a metaphorical frog in its throat right now.

Also, on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE, I’m over 80 pages in and have to stop and write the outline. I’m getting unfocused.

Have to put some material together for a meeting this afternoon at the Marine Life Center. Also have to remember to take my camera to do some promo shots of Townsend and Major Margaret. MM is healthy enough to be released this weekend!

It looks like the only class I’m teaching in February is going to be a three-day seminar called “The Graveyard of Unfinished Projects.” More details to follow. Should be fun.

So much to do, hard to focus. But, somehow, it will all get done.

Devon

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Mon. Oct. 1, 2012: Great Start to a Busy Week!

Monday, October 1, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend.

As I posted late Friday night, I was pleased with the reading of my play. I saw (and heard) where I can make it better, and the feedback from both the actors and the audience was helpful. And it was nice to have some friendly faces in the audience!

Saturday morning, I hit the road, by 8 AM, as planned. Traffic going south was awful. I stopped in Mystic to pick up some truffles (since I hadn’t made it to Cape Cod Chocolatier before I left, I stopped at Munson’s, instead). I arrived safely in CT, and was absolutely exhausted (I was too wound up after the reading to sleep well).

Got settled in, tried to get set up for the week’s work. Discovered that the Cablevision connection is much weaker and wonkier than the Comcast connection. You know it’s bad when I’m praising Comcast. The videos I need for my schoolwork come in fits and spurts, not smoothly streaming. Frustrating — a time eater as well as hard to follow. A 19 minute video took nearly an hour and half to watch. Considering I have six hours’ worth of video to watch between the three classes this week, plus finish the rough drafts of both Sustainability Projects, write another Sustainability paper and write my first paper for — gosh darn, I can’t remember if it’s World History of the Mythology class — one of them — I have my hands full.

Read a mystery that frustrated me — the protagonist was such an idiot, I almost hoped the murderer would get her. “Who did it” and why the Who actually Did It made no sense. And the author created a paranormal mystery, yet obviously has utter contempt for the paranormal elements. A waste of time. Won’t be reading anything by that one again!

Re- watched the scene in REVOLUTION that bothered me so much last Monday — yup, still bothers me, and for the same reasons. Won’t get to see tonight’s episode, because I’m busy, so I’ll have to catch up when I get home.

A doe calmly ate her dinner in the yard Saturday evening, not in the least bit disturbed by proximity to others. I kept the dog away from her until she was done.

The dog woke me a little before 1 AM, barking at something — but I couldn’t find whatever upset her. She then woke me up a little after 5 AM, needing to go out.

Lots in the NY TIMES, including pages and pages on the life of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, its publisher, who died on Friday. Sunday’s edition had many of the elements that make the NY TIMES one of the best papers in the world. It’s not the best with every article every day, but it’s damn good, and everything I read in it on Sunday supported that.

Watched my school work videos — as long and as frustrating at it was. Wrote my paper for the week for Sustainability on learning how to value energy if/when it’s affordable, without losing the impetus to conserve.

One of the many things I love about the three classes is that the professors encourage us in critical thinking — approaching a theory from different angles, poking it with a stick, and fact-checking, not just accepting sound bytes or a single source.

Drove to White Plains, to the Asian grocery store (since I can’t find one on Cape Cod), and stocked up on all kinds of things I haven’t been able to find. White Plains itself was dirty, crowded, and full of rude people. If I hadn’t been so delighted by the contents of the market, I would have left immediately. But I got some delightful things, including another bagua mirror for the BACK door (I have one on the front door).

On the way back, I stopped at a favorite store when I lived here that has no branch up near me — and they had Christmas cards on sale, so I stocked up! I have enough Christmas Cards for the season — now I have to put together the postage and the presents! 😉

Shortly after I got back to my base camp for the week, we had a hail storm. Very bizarre.

Spent most of the evening finishing up the week’s work for the World History class. Watched the season premiere of ONCE UPON A TIME — I thought they tried to stuff an awful lot of plot into the first episode. Watched the season premiere of THE GOOD WIFE — nice to see so many familiar Broadway faces in the cast.

This morning, I sent off some information for an interview, did some follow-up from the play reading, and worked on a short story. I have to do a polish on an article and get it out the door in the morning, and then batch some ideas to another editor.

This afternoon will be busy — an old friend is stopping by, someone I haven’t seen since I moved. And someone else will be on site for the next few days, so I’ll have to adjust where I do my work — considering how much of it I’ve got to do! I better get going, lots to do, and, as always, limited time.

Devon

Wed. Jan. 11, 2012: Prompt Playground Webinar Tonight!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Tonight is the Prompt Playground Webinar, from 8-10 pm. I hope you’ll join us — we’re going to play, writing 2 and 3 minute exercises, and then seeing where to take them from there. It’ll be fun!

Yesterday was not fun. Comcast screwed me big time, and it took six hours to sort it out. It doesn’t help that they have offshore call centers, and the “representatives” believe since they’re in other countries, they can do whatever they want, and are not answerable to US law. Imagine my surprise (yes, that’s sarcasm), when I checked with the MA Department of Telecommunications and Cable and discovered how many laws Comcast is breaking. It means two weeks’ worth of gathering 14 months’ of documentation, but it’s worth filing with the half dozen agencies that need to know about this crap. Good thing I write everything down. By the time I get all the info sorted, I’ll be sending a binder to each of the agencies with the relevant documentation. Seriously, it’s that bad.

I didn’t think Mitt Romney was all that bad until his “victory speech” last night in New Hampshire, where he promised to protect corporate special interests and turn us into a fascist military dictatorship. I stand corrected — he’s as bad as the rest of that batshit crazy field.

Very excited by the quality of work in the 5 in 10 class. The first pieces are really good. Let’s hope it sets the bar high for the rest of the class, and that they continue to meet the challenges. Got cat food and cat litter in, too, yesterday, and had a decent meeting last night — I want to type up the notes while they’re still fresh and then get going on some stuff I’ve got to get done before next month’s meeting.

This morning, I’m doing post-holiday loads of laundry — holiday fabric, the guest sheets and towels, etc. I finally converted the buffet table back down to the work table and am slowing moving the stuff that had to be stashed in my room to make space for partygoers back to where it needs to be.

I feel better, but my voice is still not where it should be. I’m putting myself on “vocal rest” all day so I’ve got something for the webinar tonight.

Back to the page — in addition to classwork, I’ve got two novels I have to move back and forth between, due to deadlines, and a novella. Plus, I’ve got to prepare some marketing materials to get out next week, and some more packets for reading groups.

The cats are having trouble adjusting to just one human to do their bidding, down from the amount of people in and out during the holidays. Oh, well.

Never a dull moment. And that’s a good thing!

Devon Ellington

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I had to re-title my essay on Sir Terry Pratchett’s popular character of Death for A Biblio Paradise — my original title might have hit the internet as an incorrect report on the man’s condition. Anyway, I hope you’ll hop on over and give it a read. Another example for the need to use specific, clear language when one writes.

Worked hard to catch up with my students. Had to crack the whip over some of them in the year long, because they’re starting to drift and get behind. January 31, when they have to have their first draft DONE, isn’t all that far away.

The owner’s still working on the roof. Hey, I’m happy to have it fixed, and he’s not using power tools, so the sounds of the work don’t bother me at all. Got all 125 tulip bulbs in yesterday afternoon. My fantasy of a bed of tulips far in the back remains a fantasy — I’d need heavy machinery to dig. The spade hits too much rock. Oh, well. They’re in the terraced bed, and a strip down the side of the house in No Man’s Land, and two beds near the bottom of the driveway (high enough so Idiot Boy doesn’t drive over them when he maneuvers in and out of his garage and onto my yard — that’s why the owner’s daughter sunk a boulder at the bottom of the driveway — she was sick and tired of him not respecting the yard), and two patches of tulips in the beds across the front of the house. We’ll see what comes up. If most of them come up, it should be quite pretty.

The eggplants and green peppers are still doing well, so I transplanted them to pots and will bring them inside. The six foot tall eggplant inside (our Big King) is producing more eggplants, so who am I to tell it that growing season’s past? And our tomatoes are doing well. I may have to get a grow light and move them inside to mature.

Deadheaded the mums — the ones we put in the ground have all faded, which is a disappointment. I’d hoped they would last through Samhain. But that’s the way it goes. We’ll see what happens next year.

I’m sore from all the digging, and the TV is out today. Comcast, in all its “wisdom” (there, now, don’t choke) made an “upgrade” that knocked out service. Typical of those morons. As long as the internet keeps working, though, right? I don’t watch that much TV anyway.

I watched the premiere of ONCE UPON A TIME on Sunday night, though, and liked it better than I expected. I’m interested to see how they develop it. The actors are having fun, and that comes across nicely.

Decent morning’s work on the book. Re-shaping the outline as the book’s thematic structure becomes clearer. I’m pretty sure it’s a trilogy, and will move the end of book 1 a little further into the story instead of where I ended the first third of the outline. Will run some errands, do some more work with students, work on the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and then see if I can get some more writing in later. Maybe not on this book, maybe on something else, but I’m not spending enough of each day actually WRITING, and the whole point of doing this is to WRITE.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1081
Total word count: 38,309