Wed. April 28, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 340 — Unsustainable Stress Levels

image courtesy of kalhh via pixabay.com

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Rainy and cool

Today is a rough day. It is the second of the hoped-for moving dates I’d wanted when we were deep in this process. To say I feel like a complete failure on personal and professional levels because this isn’t our moving day is an understatement.

Yesterday was rough, too. The recruiter who’d claimed to want the morning appointment blew me off. No contact, no response when I followed up. Just skipped the appointment. Not a surprise, but any time I see that “staffing agency” listed, I know to avoid it.

The property manager who had the afternoon phone appointment didn’t call, either, although I did get an apology email in the evening, and we’re going to try to set up something for tomorrow. I’m hoping we can go up and take a look at it over the weekend.

I thought I’d found another, really cute house in Nashua for rent. At first it didn’t come up in any realtor searches, but digging a bit deeper, it did –yup, another scam. So I reported it.

In the afternoon, I heard back from one of the LOIs stating they wanted to “get to know me better” and sent me a link – to write an unpaid, 250-word piece.

I responded with a cordial email and the contract/rates for that.

I got an almost immediate snarky email back from the entitled white boy who runs the company, stating that they paid for test pieces further in the process, but a 250-word piece about something I knew about “shouldn’t take much time.”

Talk about a red flag right there. How would he know how much time something took? Short pieces need a great deal of care, to make sure that every word carries more than its weight.

I shot back, again, politely but firmly, that a good 250-word piece, even on a topic well within my wheelhouse, takes time, skill, and care, and deserves compensation. Our work styles are obviously incompatible.

Entitled white boy mansplaining his attempt to get free labor. No, thank you. So sick of it.

Because of the two meetings (which ended up not happening), I couldn’t deep dive into any project. It was a frustrating day.

I did get out a bunch of LOIs, including to a really cool project that would be long-term, steady, and in one of my favorite arenas.

I did some research into the KY Derby for Saturday.

Got some reading done. I’m close to the end of the third category of entries (although I still have a lot of paperwork to enter). I hope to have my decision by either Friday or Saturday. I’m reading a magical realism book that I waver between liking because it’s clever and getting frustrated with for jumping around too much.

Made Chicken Chow Mein for dinner – that’s turning into a major comfort food for me.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. Everyone’s ready for the school year to be over.

The mask mandate is being lifted for being in outdoor spaces as of Friday. Which means the Covidiots will be even dumber inside.

We watched some DOC MARTIN, and I went to bed early.  Of course, that meant I work up a little after 2 AM, fretting, and couldn’t go back to sleep.

I made myself write this morning, at least a few pages. I was tempted to punish myself and not do it, but I needed to, and it helped. I still have two pieces that I need to finish this week.

Living at this level of stress and uncertainty is unsustainable. But I just don’t know what to do. I’m at the end of my rope.

Today, I have a stressful day onsite with a client, but at least there’s Remote Chat to which to look forward.

Keep a good thought for me, okay? Thanks.

Wed. April 21, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 333 — Give Credit Where It’s Due

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Waxing Moon

Partly cloudy and cooler

Got a lot done early in the day yesterday: LOIs, article work, house hunting. I need to fill out some paperwork on a couple of places.

A house I’d hoped would work out seems to be a scam; another one we really liked has so many applicants, the guy isn’t even responding to emails.

Did a grocery run to Trader Joe’s and bought more than I planned; picked up a few things at CVS. Still doing full decontamination protocols. Even once I’m fully vaccinated, we’re talking about keeping some of the protocols in place. Because too many people are gross.

The tree-clearing morons were out in force yesterday. Cutting down healthy trees all over the neighborhood. Noise pollution, dust pollution, destroying habitat. Welcome to Cape Cod, where those who move here for the beauty systematically destroy it.

My mom still felt poorly, but she was better than the previous day, so, hopefully, she’s on the mend. Charlotte and Willa took turns playing nurse.

Worked on contest entries. Packed some of the candle holders. I didn’t realize how many candle holders I have. I’m washing out a bunch of them and scraping old wax out of some, too. The stillroom is going to take longer to pack than I expected.

I had to order more bubble wrap (the 6th & 7th rolls, for those keeping track).

The Tamed Wild box arrived, and it’s gorgeous. There’s a stunning necklace included, a beautiful altar cloth, a carved bear. Just lovely.

Worked through another stack of magazines I came across and tossed a lot.

I need to photograph the old mower and contact the guy who buys them and refurbishes them. I want that and the broken weed whacker out of here.

It was nice enough in the afternoon to sit outside and read for a bit. I took Willa out in her playpen for a little while, but it was too windy, and she kept getting tossed ass over teakettle, so I brought her back in. Charlotte was upset that I took Willa out and not Charlotte. Tessa stayed out of the fray.

I burst into tears of relief at the Derek Chauvin “guilty” verdict. As someone who’s been a juror on murder trials, I know how seriously jurors take it, and how heavily the responsibility weighs to go over the evidence and serve justice.

I was angered by all the “thanking God” going on all over the internet. God had nothing to do with the guilty verdict. It was the jurors, who took their job seriously and fulfilled the oath they swore. If God gave a damn, George Floyd wouldn’t have been murdered in the first place. If God existed, the Sociopath would have never been in the White House. So cut the crap about God having anything to do with this verdict. It was people who took their oath seriously, which is more than most politicians do.

Today I have to go onsite for a few hours, overlapping with other work colleagues. Not looking forward to it.

But then, there’s Remote Chat, to which I AM looking forward.

The early morning writing sessions are going well. It gives me a solid, positive foundation for the rest of the day. I’m making progress in the work, and it’s giving me creative energy to fuel more work in the day. So I’m glad I’m getting back into the daily rhythm.

Now, if I could only land us a place to live. . .

Wed. March 24, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 306 — Trudging Onward

image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cloudy and cooler

Yesterday was warm and pretty enough so we could have the windows and the door to the deck open for a bit. Only about a half hour, but it was nice to get in a spring breeze. It still goes down into the 30’s at night, so we wake up to frost, but there are a few hours during the day when it’s lovely.

I was up early. Got ahead on some client work. I’m trying to work ahead, at least roughing out a few projects, so that we get closer to deadline, I can refine them.

I’m spending hours every day house hunting. I’m not going to go into the details here, but it’s discouraging. The number of scams is appalling.

Got out some LOIs. Worked on contest entries. I’m almost done with one category. One of the digital files was blank, so I asked for a replacement. I’m hoping to get the finalists sent off by the end of this week. Working on the other two categories, too.

Reviewed the assigned book. I have another from the same company to review, which I will start reading today. Hope to get the review out by Friday or the weekend.

Did an early morning grocery run. Decontaminated.

Did some sorting, but not much packing. I will do a big push tomorrow through Sunday.

Did some work on GAMBIT COLONY. I’m not writing enough every day, and that’s making me more stressed. So I have to go back to the early morning writing to get my centering for the day.

Heard about a call for horror audio scripts. Paid. Thought it would be kind of fun, but their formatting is so out of any audio formatting I’ve ever done that it’s too much to take on right now. If it was one of the standard formats, no problem. But to have to learn a new format and create a 30-minute piece in a few days? While I’m under all this stress? Too much, and, while it’s great that it’s paid, it would be on spec rather than contract, so I’ll have to pass.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. Everyone’s working hard, Stressed about schools reopening too soon and without everyone being vaccinated, even though my kids will not go back to in-person learning this school year. It’s too dangerous. Plus, ALL their grades have gone up this year. There are all these “studies” about how not being in school is hurting kids. It might be true in certain cases, but WE are making it work for them. The fact that they like learning helps. And resources from museums and other cultural institutions adds so much.

I’m reading Nicholas Hytner’s book BALANCING ACTS about his years at the National Theatre. He was the director on MISS SAIGON. Although the show was five years into the run when I joined it (for its last five years), he stopped by to check on the show every now and again. I didn’t know him well by any means, but we had some good conversations. I liked and respected him a lot.

It’s fun to read about his work with people I worked with, and also people I didn’t work with, but admired.

Reading it makes me miss theatre even more.  I wish the US funded theatre (and all the arts) the way the UK does. The way Europe does. Although, re-reading Peter Hall’s diaries about his years at the National, the amount of time spent appeasing various Councils definitely interferes with creation.

I need to get back to reading more Dorothy Parker and Dawn Powell material to do the play about them, and I need to do more research on Marie Collier for that play.

A couple of interview sources turned down the request for interview for the article, so I’m looking for other sources. I will get out some requests today.

I have to be onsite at a client’s for a few hours this morning, then do a curbside pickup/drop-off at the library. After decontamination, it’s Remote Chat, and then some other work.

Onward.

Wed. Feb. 10, 2021: Die For Your Employer day 266/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 14 — More Snow

image courtesy of Suzanne Stockli via pixabay.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dark Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Snowy and cold

There’s a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice about how words are used (and mis-used) in job descriptions.

I was up way too early yesterday, but I got a lot done. I got some photo stuff done for a client, which will be built on today. I have to go in and actually look at the pieces before I can get them up on the client’s website, so that’s on the agenda for today.

Got the second part of the article into PDF format and sent it to those quoted in the article.

Did some research for the next two articles I was assigned. Interview requests start going out tomorrow.

Got out some LOIs.

Have a preliminary meeting (virtual) tomorrow at noon with a potential new client.

Had some good exchanges with some people from high school, in preparation for the upcoming 40th reunion.

Noodled a bit with stuff for the proposal. Will sit down and do some serious writing on that tomorrow and Friday. There’s another grant proposal coming up for which I want to apply, too, and I have to research budget figures for that.

Worked on contest entries. I have all the print books done in the first batch of one category, and am moving to the next category. I will do the digital entries when I’m finished with the print entries.

Got an email that there were two vaccine clinics this week here on Cape. Went to the site – no information live. It kept saying the clinics didn’t exist. But the email link kept sending me to the page that said the clinics didn’t exist. Kept going back over and over all day. Suddenly, there’s a statement that they’re all full.

If I’m not fast enough signing up, that’s luck of the draw. But when the site isn’t even live – how is it getting filled?

The disorganization and incompetence are enraging.

And Governor Baker, smirking in his briefing with “Hang on until you’re a priority.” Fuck you, Baker. People are DYING.

The Senate trial for the Sociopath’s conviction started yesterday. The Republicans have already decided not to convict, and that makes them as traitorous as the Sociopath. All of this, “oh, they’re scared and if it was a secret vote they’d convict” is complete and utter bullshit. They are NOT doing this because they are afraid of retribution or violence from the Sociopath’s supports. They are doing this because they AGREE with him. They wish the insurrection had succeeded the first time, and that their colleagues had been murdered. They have to ALL be removed.

We do not negotiate with terrorists, and they are terrorists, and must be so handled.

Snowed yesterday, but not enough so I have to shovel again. Managed to do a quick run to the library for curbside pickup.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. The kids are doing really well. There’s some confusion about whether or not there will be a break next week, or if there’s going to be classes/homework group. We’ll have more details tomorrow.

Today will be stressful in the morning, but hopefully, I can join Remote Chat this afternoon, and then have a productive afternoon. It was too cold to scrub the basement floor yesterday, so I’m going to try to do that this afternoon. I need to have that space to move the newly sorted boxes.

Lots to get done, in a short period of time, and I need to stay focused.

At least I got some good work done on GAMBIT COLONY the past few days. That serves as a springboard to loosen creativity on other projects.

Published in: on February 10, 2021 at 7:31 am  Comments Off on Wed. Feb. 10, 2021: Die For Your Employer day 266/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 14 — More Snow  
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Wed. Jan. 27, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 252 — Finally, Snow!

image courtesy of Alain Audet via pixabay.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

First Day of Full Moon

Snowy and cold

I’ve got a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice about tidying up one’s materials, with an eye to where one wants to move, career-wise.

Yesterday was one of those days when, even though I put in a long day at the computer, it felt like not a lot got done.

I got out a bunch of LOIs, worked on (but did not finish) my article, wrote two blog posts, did some client work, worked on contest entries.

Didn’t get any boxes purged from the basement, which made me feel like a failure. Means I have to catch up on that this afternoon and tomorrow, WHILE handling client work and finishing my article.

Because that’s the way it goes, when you don’t get something done. You have to dig deeper and get it done anyway.

One of the contest entries was outstanding, though, and is in the pile I’m making for possible winners and finalists.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. We are back to dealing with their schoolwork, although we’re talking about the trial in the Senate, too. It’s important they understand its impact and importance to their future. It affects them directly.

An editor sent off a contract that will cover all the pieces she wants me to write for the year (and make sure I get paid on time). So that was nice. I signed it and sent it back this morning.

It started snowing late yesterday afternoon. I’d had the pre-storm headache since late morning, so it was a relief when it finally started. We didn’t get that much – maybe about 3”. But I will wrap up in about twenty minutes or so, if it’s light enough, and shovel the driveway and the front walk.

I have to spend some overlapping time at a client’s today, and I don’t want to wait to shovel until five minutes before I leave, and then be grumpy the whole time I have to be there. I’m grumpy enough that there’s any overlap.

I’m frustrated at the lack of information about scheduling my mother’s vaccine. Seniors 75+ are supposed to be able to get the first dose “starting Feb. 1” only there’s no way to start scheduling until Feb. 1. I’m going to call her doctor’s office this morning, and then maybe Whole Health, where she got her pneumonia and shingles shots when CVS kept giving us the runaround. I do NOT want her to go through CVS. It will be a nightmare. According to the Governor’s site, those with “comorbidities” will be contacted by their doctor to get the vaccine. Only I don’t know if the three surgeries and two cancers still count, since the last surgery had such a good prognosis. So I will get in touch with my doctor, too. I don’t plan on waiting around. I want those “Fauchi ouchies” for both of us, as soon as we can have them, and it’s more important to get my mom’s, because she is 96.

I hope today won’t be too stressful. I want to get home, decontaminate, finish my article, and purge boxes.

But now . . .it’s time to shovel snow.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on January 27, 2021 at 6:27 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 27, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 252 — Finally, Snow!  
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Tues. April 17, 2018: Staying on a Tight Contract Schedule

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Direct (as of 4/15)

Even though the Mercury Retrograde echoes, I’m glad it’s gone direct. Not happy about Saturn and Jupiter being retrograde, though, and Pluto piling on at the end of the week. But, it is what it is.

The area is still in mourning for Sean Gannon, and will be for a long time to come. Hopefully, that gives some help and comfort to his family, although I’m sure everyone would simply rather he was still alive. Nero survived surgery and is recovering.

THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY is in galleys — I got them on Saturday. Yesterday, I started work on them. I’m starting to feel good about this book again, although, by the time I finish galleys, I’m always sick of whatever book’s in galleys! Part of the process!

I finally cracked the first chapter of RELICS & REQUIEM, and polished the excerpt that will go in the back of SPIRIT REPOSITORY. So that can progress on a steady pace, as it needs to.

Most of the weekend, however, was spent working on the serial. I’m putting the scenes on index cards, teleplay style. Even though I don’t like working that way, for this piece, I feel I need to. I need to weave a couple more lines together and figure out the big climactic sequence. Then I can pull out the points most necessary, do the outline, and get the piece off to the producer. They’ll either want it or they won’t. If they do, we go into development and see what happens; if they don’t, I’ve got a good start on the book itself, although when I’ll be able to slot it in, who knows?

The fifth POV muscled in, and I wrote a chapter from that POV, to see if it truly was necessary. It is. It made a lot of the rest of the outline click.

Worked on contest entries as well; some good ones. Enjoyed them very much. Picking the winner and the top five finalists will be even more of a challenge than usual this year. It’s exciting that there’s so much good writing out there, and that those good authors are no longer limited by the Big 5. Small presses that do actual print runs — not PODS, but print runs — need to start flourishing again, because they are the ones that will turn the industry around.

Sunday is usually my “day of disconnect” from social media, et al. I didn’t take it this weekend, what with all the corruption and the bombing of Syria and James Comey trying to save his legacy with his book and interviews. So I didn’t get the silence on that front I needed. However, I got into some lively conversations about process and art, which made up for the news feed chaos.

I didn’t take Patriots’ Day as a holiday yesterday; I worked with a client. I felt bad for the Boston Marathon runners. It was a nasty day.

I got back to work on MYTH & INTERPRETATION, RELICS & REQUIEM, and the outline for the serial. And contest entries and a book whose review deadline is coming up quickly. I hope to get the serial pitch out this week. Fingers crossed.

The updated media kit for TRACKING MEDUSA is up. I’m working on the updated kits for HEX BREAKER, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, and the Jain Lazarus series.

They are pushed back a bit, because I have to do the media kit for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY first, and then create one for the Coventina Circle series in general, so I can get those uploaded by the end of the week.

I’ve run across some interesting people I’d like to host for A Biblio Paradise, and I’m getting the invites out over the next few days. And talking to my distributor about a special promotion when SPIRIT REPOSITORY comes out, so I can do a promotion.

I need to get some LOIs out this week, and also do some more purging in the basement. And, you know, yard work whenever the weather lets me.

Oh and hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions, to see where I am on this month’s list!

Never a dull moment, which is a good thing!

Published in: on April 17, 2018 at 5:18 am  Comments Off on Tues. April 17, 2018: Staying on a Tight Contract Schedule  
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Wed. April 12, 2017: Script Progress

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Venus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

Some yard work done in the front and back yesterday. I’m attacking the beds a little differently this year. Instead of just trying to tidy up so the whole thing looks “okay”, I’m breaking the yard down into sections and doing detailed work on each section. That will make it harder to get the whole thing done, but it will look better when it finally is.

10 more pages on the screenplay. The scene I’m getting ready to tackle today is the end of Act I, pretty much in the right place. I think the first draft will run a little long, but I already see where I can make some cuts. Of course, there are a few things I also have to plant. It will work out. The script feels “right” in a way few have in a long, long time.

Worked on contest entries. Nearly finished with the second category in print — will be able to finish that and start the final category today; when those are done, I’ll get started on the digital entries, probably next week. The gap between the books that really work and that really don’t is the largest, this year, than they’ve ever been. The winners and finalists will be within a whisker of each other.

Spent a lot of time outside on the deck yesterday. Took my work out there, and worked outside, because it was so lovely. Tessa was out with me, for most of it. She was pretty happy, too.

Back to the page, errands, yard work, taking my mom to a medical appointment, preparing for a meeting tomorrow. Somehow, it all weaves together.

Published in: on April 12, 2017 at 11:22 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 12, 2017: Script Progress  
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Tues. March 11, 2014: La, La, La, Today’s My Birthday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Today’s my birthday! Fuck Comcast, I’m gonna have fun!

Yesterday morning, I headed to the library. Of course, it was the day everyone needed to reach me and was getting back to me with information, etc. Which was great and very productive. I just had a limited time in which to get everything done.

A lot of it was for NMLC, and we managed to get it done, going back and forth quickly. The casting has begun for the play, the press releases are going out. I’m doing some more revisions, based on the scientific feedback Kathy gave me.

Worked with students. Worked on contest entries. I mean, I’m doing that every day — so many entrants, and I want to make sure each one gets a fair share of attention. It is painfully obvious who bothered to hire a professional editor, who went with cheap because it was cheap, and who couldn’t be bothered to work with an editor. Since part of the judging criteria has to do with grammar, punctuation, etc., that all feeds into the final score, and what makes it into the finalist category or not. As it should be.

Sent out the first script packets. Always scary. Have to finish revisions on several scripts in the next few weeks — while in rehearsal for the play. While working on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and the Ferry Girl novel. Should be an interesting juggling act.

Home, took care of some stuff that was home-based. Waiting for a check that should have been here last week; very frustrating that it’s not. Shaking my head in disgust at the so-called “writer” who pursued me because he was so eager to work with me and impressed with my work, but disappeared the minute I gave him a quote for editing work. Typical. I don’t work for flattery. My work pays the bills.

On a further positive note, one of my plays is being taught at the local community college, and I will be a guest lecturer there at the end of April. I’m looking forward to it.

Read a book on wine as research for Adventures in Vineland that just made me roll my eyes. Every other paragraph was about the author’s ego. Every chapter had a photo focusing on the author, tilting her head at the camera (who told her to do that in EVERY SHOT?), with the emphasis on her rather than the wine. If I reviewed it for the blog, I’d be snarky, so I’ll just pass.

I have a lot I want to clear off my desk today, and then I want some playtime, too, because, hey, it’s my birthday and I’ve earned it!

Devon

Published in: on March 11, 2014 at 9:25 am  Comments (8)  
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