Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017: The Relief of Release from a Bad Situ

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold
Imbolc

I sent off my letter of withdrawal from the ghost writing project. The author apologized, saying she hadn’t meant to insult me. What did she think the response would be to “imaginary research”? She also seemed to think that I would say all was forgiven and I’d work for her substandard rate that would work out as cents per hour, instead of a fair rate. That would be “no.” So we have officially parted ways. What a relief.

I discussed it with my one of my freelancers’ groups — professionals, not wannabes — and almost every single one of them has stopped working with individual authors for similar reasons: the arrogance and the reluctance to pay a fair rate. They want professional work for nothing. Why? This is a profession, not a hobby.

At this point, I have one long-term author client with whom I’m working to finish a project, and that’s it. Only accepting contracts to work with authors through publishers beyond that. Work that the publisher has contracted, and where I know I’ll get paid fairly and on time. Not worth the hell these unprofessional dilettantes put us through.

Worked on contest entries yesterday and made good progress. Re-read some work on a piece I’d put aside. It’s better than I remembered it.

The Constitutional Law class is a challenge, but a good one. I hope I can keep up! Things are so chaotic in the world, it’s hard to start at the beginning in order to learn the foundation, but it’s so, so important.

Today’s interview was moved to next week. I think I’ll get my hair cut, instead. It’s been months, and it needs it, especially since I’m out and about in the world interviewing and working. I hate getting my hair cut. I find it stressful to sit in the chair during the process. I never know if it’ll come out, and I’m not interested in confiding in the hair dresser.

I’m really tired of Congress selling this country down the river. Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State? Spare me.

Last night, I dreamed I was walking down a crowded street, and someone shoved a leash in my hand and walked away. And that’s how I got a dog named Molly. She was very sweet, a corgi mix. I do want a dog, although I can’t adopt one right now. I wonder what else the dream means? It was very clear.

The cats were both staring at me when I woke up, like they knew.

Hope to get some writing done before I head for the hair dresser, and then, when I get back from the library.

I hate the fact that there’s no collaborative office space available around here. They have it in Boston; they had it in New York; heck, they even had it in White Plains. I expected the Cape to be progressive, but I swear, I often think it’s stuck in 1956.

Today is Imbolc, so I’ve got a celebration and the first planting to do. In spite of the snow on the ground.

Published in: on February 2, 2017 at 10:53 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017: The Relief of Release from a Bad Situ  
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Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Full Moon
Rainy and mild

Managed to get errands run before the storm hit yesterday; hoping to do the same today.

Lousy writing day. I’m having too many of those in a row. Not quite sure how to fix it, other than to keep showing up at the page and working my way through it.

In negotiations for a project that sounds interesting; fingers crossed it all works.

Very little of interest to say today; frustrated by the way Congress betrays us. Disgusted by the Creature who thinks he will take office next week, in spite of the fact that he’s going to screw over and pillage the entire country and sell us to his foreign business interests.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell need to be removed from their positions and tried, if not for treason, for crimes against the American people.

The story of an early Italian painter (female) interests me, and I’m wondering if I should accept the invitation to write about her for 365 Women this year. I have to do some more research.

I think I want to do some revisions on JUST A DROP. The bones are there, and there are scenes I really like, but some things, I want to change. One character in particular is much weaker than I originally envisioned him. While it works in the context of what I have, I wonder if making him stronger and more manipulative might ratchet up the tension.

This is a case where I wish I was in New York and had access to actors for a table read. That would help a lot. I need to HEAR it to really know what works and what doesn’t. Even if I had access to enough actors for this particular piece here, I don’t trust that they’re experienced enough to read without massive rehearsal and really give me an idea of the material. A table read is a specific skill. It’s the first creative dipping toes into the waters.

Full moon tonight. I need to decide on my focus. And Friday the 13th tomorrow! One of my favorite days.

Have a wonderful day.

Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 11:18 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done  
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Thurs. Nov. 13, 2014: Working in All Directions

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Waning Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Busy few days. Can I even remember back that far?

Been busy at work, been busy at home. Doing a lot of research; working on RED WIDOW. Also went back to a couple of other projects that are in various stages, went over the material, and I’m re-sorting those priorities. Not getting enough yard work done. Getting paperwork done, especially on the home front, contracts, and the like, and preparing submissions.

Got another small royalty check and the payment for the anthology that’s about to release. I’m excited – my first steampunk story in print! That will drop at the end of next week.

Doing my wreck diving homework for the background on BALTHAZAAR – behind where I’d like to be, but it’s getting done, and a lot of it is creative work, sitting on the floor with a large piece of paper, trying to visualize things. Putting together lots of questions.

A project in DC I thought was dead due to the change in Congress is still on the burner – it may be another six months to a year before it’s up and running, but there’s grant writing and proposal writing to be done in the meantime, interviews to be conducted, etc. If it happens (and there are so many “ifs” involved), it will mean going to DC on some of the days I’m not scheduled to work elsewhere. Not that I mind, especially if someone else is making the arrangements and paying for it! It’s a project I really want to be involved with, although I’m a way out of the box choice – which is exactly why the person heading the project, a former professor of mine, is bound and determined that I remain a part of it.

Got a request for a play of mine – a company in Florida is interested in it. That might be kind of fun, adding it to the resume. I’d just license it, not go down and work on it.

Went to see a facility here on the Cape in connection with another project, earlier this week. I was disappointed. I expected more from the location. I’m still glad I saw it, and it made the creative wheels turn, but I don’t see how we can work out the practicalities in the near future.

Yesterday, Talin Bookbindery did a program at the library. It was magnificent, one of the best programs I’ve attended anywhere. I was even more enchanted with the bookbinding process by the end of it than at the beginning. And the process of making marbled papers! A true art. Wonderful.

Spending lots of time on student work. Hopefully, the students are getting something positive out of it. It was the right route to go for the past few months, only working with private students, and teaching groups in one-shot deals, not long-term classes. I’m under too much deadline pressure right now for anything else.

Even though I was “on” last Saturday here, I switched with a colleague for this weekend, who has a commitment. Not a problem at all. And I have to participate in “Taste of the Mills” this weekend, and write up some proposals for new programs. Monday, I’m in the writing cave; Tuesday, I’m spending the day on Martha’s Vineyard. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate!

The webs in RED WIDOW and the novellas connected to it intrigue me. I’m wondering just how far I can push certain elements in this series. Guess I’ll find out soon, huh?

Devon

Thurs. Oct. 17, 2013: Stress and Migraines

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Day before full moon
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was a difficult day, very stressful. I managed to get some work done on the novella, and a nice bit of work done on the screenplay (I love writing the screenplay), but not enough.

I’m tired of unreliable clients. Therefore, I decided to raise my rates as of January 1. I’d rather have fewer clients, but ones that don’t nickel-and-dime, and try to play me for a fool whenever I try to cut them a break. It should also, once and for all, sweep the wanna-bes, who pretend they want a writing mentor, when they really don’t want to put in any work.

I have no doubt the next few days will also be difficult and stressful. The migraine isn’t helping, although it’s better today. I desperately need a few days off, but I can’t afford it right now.

At least Congress finally did their job. That delusional fuckhead Ted Cruz is still nattering on, and Speaker of the House Bonehead needs to be removed, but at least the government is up and working again, albeit temporarily.

Devon

Published in: on October 17, 2013 at 7:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am exhausted. I feel like there’s too much going on, and I just can’t keep up.

There was frost on the ground when I went for a run this morning!

Woke up at 3:30 with full-blown anxiety, which is very unusual for me. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Got up when the alarm went off at 4:45, did my yoga, was out the door for the run by 5:15. Did okay on my double circuit. Feel like I’m making a little progress. Great time to run on Wednesdays — very few people out.

Had to make a detour on the way home. A mallard drake was lost, and I was worried he’d get hit by a car, so I shooed him carefully across the road and through someone’s backyard back to the brook. If the people who live in the house woke up and saw me herding a duck before they had their first cup of coffee — poor things! But at least the duck is safe.

Didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted/needed to yesterday, which was very frustrating. Got the grocery shopping. Ran around to health food stores, trying to find the stuff I need for Elsa — ended up having to order it online.

The vet thinks Elsa’s blood work indicates a pretty serious infection. What we don’t know is the cause, which affects how it’s treated. I’m to stop the antibiotics and wean her off the steriod over the next couple of weeks, adding in a supplement. The antibiotics are treating the symptoms but not the cause and weakening her overall system, so when they’re stopped, she gets sicker faster and doesn’t respond to the next round of treatment. It still could be cancer — or it could be other things. But the steriod is buying her time, not solving the problem, and we need to root out the cause. She is a very sick little cat, in spite of seeming improvement.

On better health news, my mom is doing pretty well. Her bloodwork came back in good shape, and her doctor said I’m doing well feeding her with organic, healthy, whole foods, etc., and she’s in great shape for someone who’s 86. (I do all the cooking for her, and, when I’m not around, prepare meals she can just heat up). My cousin in Maine finished his chemo treatments last week. He’s tired, but he’s hanging in here. Hopefully, Elsa will be well enough soon so I can get up there for a few days. I’d take her with me, but the trip would be too much for her.

Today and tomorrow are do-it-or-lose-it days for the novella. Either I get it done and polished and out the door on Friday, or I lose this opportunity, and it will weigh me down as an unfinished project draining creativity. I really want to get back to ANGEL HUNT and CRAVE THE HUNT next week, so I better get in gear.

I got Elsa to sneeze on one swab, and will keep trying this morning, and then run the swabs up to the vet, and take care of paying for that, yesterday’s phone consult, and the radiology consult that still needs to happen with Cornell. While I certainly feel better about Smith Ridge than many of the other vet establishments around here, there’s still an emphasis on money that turns me off. Yes, they deserve to be paid, but I’m getting a little sick and tired of health care in this country, being people or pets, only going to those who have a lot of cash.

Since so many of our heath problems are caused by the actions of corporations who’ve created environmental and other health risks that make it necessary for so much health care in the first place, those corporations need to kick in.

Speaking of corrupt corporations, while I appreciate Congress posturing and scolding Goldman Sachs yesterday, unless there are actual consequences for the actions of these executives, and they are made an example of what will no longer be tolerated by either Congress or the public on any level, it’s all a lot of hot air. Executives who are found guilty of these frauds (no matter what the company) need to be incarcerated for a looooong time, banned from working in the financial industry ever again, and the profits they made stripped from them and put back into the budget deficits caused by their corruption. Anything less makes the Congressional hearings a joke. A slap on the wrist instead of strong action gives Wall Street the permission to do the same thing again. And they can’t be dealt with as entities. Individuals made these decisions and those INDIVIDUALS must be held responsible, and must make amends for the lives they destroyed.

This evening, I attend the 50th Anniversary celebration for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Stephen Colbert will read, and there will be a discussion. I think it will be wonderful.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 5:16 am  Comments (5)  
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Promised links pertaining to current events:
Several people wanted to know where they could get some unvarnished content on the stimulus bill. It’s up at the Government Printing Office:

http://www.gpo.gov

with the direct link to the text of the bill here:

http://fdsys.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr1ENR/pdf/BILLS-111hr1ENR.pdf

Yes, I will be reading it in its entirety. If there’s something worth saying about it here, I will. It’ll take awhile, it’s long, but, reading a few pages at a time, I will read it in its entirety, because only then do I have the information to responsibly comment on it. Of course, one of the bonehead representatives claimed it was “over 1100 pages” and that “nobody read it”. Um, then, why was ANYONE voting on it? We pay these people enough so that they can sit down and read the frigging legislation before voting, not spread lies from the sound bytes put together on a partisan level. And you know what? The people I pay to represent me actually DID read the plan before voting. Someone had to read it because someone had to write it and argue about it. It’s only 407 pages in the PDF format (only! Ha!), but the print is pretty tiny, so I suggest viewing it at 125%. I skimmed the first few pages, because I’d heard complaints that it was difficult to understand. I know five year olds who could read and comprehend the first couple of pages. But, of course, you can’t understand something you haven’t read.

You can also track the budget here:

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/index.html

and if you want to track how the specific stimulus money is being spent and compare it to what’s laid out in the bill, so you can let your representatives and senators know what you agree and disagree with, so that they can actually represent you, the link is here:

http://www.recovery.gov/

And if you want to track how your representatives vote, to make sure they aren’t doing one thing in Congress and coming home to spread yet more mis-information, you can go to the website for Congress and find records of the roll call votes in each house. Not every vote is a roll call vote; quite a few are by voice. But on major issues, someone usually demands a roll call vote so that it’s a matter of public record where each person stands and how they voted.

http://www.congress.org

The media’s giving me a headache about it all, no matter what side they’re spinning, and I’d rather use these resources to get my own information and make my own decisions. And then make my views known to the people who represent me. I’m not allowing the government to destroy everything I spent my life building, the way they tried over the past eight years.

Life, writing, etc.:
When is an apology not an apology? When it’s an editorial in the NY POST. What a joke. If you say you’re going to stand behind something, even against opposition, then do it. Don’t pretend you’re maybe sorta apologizing for something for which you aren’t in the least sorry. I have to say, I was curious about the whole protest-at-the-Post thing. The Post is a TABLOID, not in just the shape the newsprint they use, but in content. Controversy is their crack. If people want to send the POST a message, not buying the POST sends a much stronger one.

I have to say I’m glad that those NYU students have locked themselves into the cafeteria as a protest about – well, heck, whatever it is that they’re protesting. The news has been rather vague. It’s nice to see some social activism happening again, but they need to communicate their position clearly, and somehow, I don’t think those You Tube videos are necessarily going to do it. NYU is, of course, handling it with its usual lumbering lack of anything resembling grace or intelligence. I had some great times at NYU, I had some great teachers (some of whom I’m still in contact with 20 years later). But the administration is just eye-rollingly out of touch with reality, and has been as long as I’ve known the institution.

Too bad more people aren’t protesting, especially against the banks.

Just an aside on the Government Printing Office. I first heard about them in elementary school, when we took a trip to the United Nations (one could still listen in at the General Assembly sessions then, dialing the headphones to all the different languages), and I saw the stacks and stacks of publications on various topics. I used to use them to write papers throughout elementary and high school – topics like NASA, aviation, geography, agriculture, etc., etc. So, if you have kids who have to write reports, it’s a pretty wonderful resource. And, of course, for writers, it’s a great resource. The publications can point you towards hundreds of primary sources for your work.

I felt about as creative as wilted lettuce yesterday. I managed to get some work done on the revision of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, incorporating the last few days’ research into the piece. Now, I’m struggling with inconsistent points of view. Odd numbered chapters need to be from Morag’s POV, even from Simon’s. But I’m finding a lot of inconsistencies, and I have to fix them. Otherwise, I’m jumping around heads too much, and it doesn’t work. I can also see where each day’s work stopped, because there’s a lot of choppiness in the first draft. It’s an excellent learning experience to break it apart and make it work, but it’s much more complex than I originally thought.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Will polish the write up and send it off this morning.

Did some research for the Billy Root story (yes, there are times where I have to research). I still haven’t quite figured out how to bridge the two sections of the book, but I think, in the next couple of scenes, I can put in a few things that seem like fleshing out the time and place, but are really setting up the second half of the book.

Couldn’t get the knot out of my shoulder. Weight training last night helped – I had a great work out session of weight training and then yoga. But I would up taking a couple of valerian root capsules and using a heating pad. That helped a lot, but it’s still not completely released, and it’s affecting my neck and head.

New Jersey had three earthquakes in the past three weeks, and now has reports of red lights dancing in the sky that no one can figure out.

I got to watch BURN NOTICE last night. I enjoy that show so much – it’s clever and I love the cast, although I wish they’d change up the weekly structure a bit. I’m starting to get ahead of it, and can predict what will happen by looking at the clock. I’m learning a lot about script structure, though.

LOST just makes me roll my eyes. I’ve tried to watch the new season, because I like the actors and their scene work, in spite of feeling that the creators mess with the audience just to mess with them. I keep saying, “oh, no, they’re NOT going down that road, they’re just NOT” and then they do. I’m ahead of it all the time. They’re supposed to surprise me and they don’t. I stopped watching the show because I felt the creators were messing with the audience and because, of the three possible roads they could have chosen at the end of whatever season it was (I think it was Season 2), they chose the one I disliked the most strongly. I really like the cast, I really like the individual scenes, but overall, the show just isn’t working for me. I realize I’m in the minority, and I’m glad so many people love it (hey, it’s keeping a couple of hundred people employed in this economy, which is a good thing), but I want to be surprised and engaged in the overall piece, not just because I like the actors, and I’m not.

Today’s agenda includes: Errands , bills to pay, groceries to buy, laundry to do, some time spent outside. So I better have a really, really, REALLY productive early morning stint, because that’s my only shot at the computer all day.

Hope you all have a great weekend. And, if you haven’t stopped by The Urban Muse to read my article and comment, please do. Last time I checked, no one left a comment, and I’m feeling abandoned. 😉

Devon

Billy Root story – 19,348 words out of est. 60,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19 / 60
(31.7%)