Wed. Feb. 1, 2017: The Lawyer’s “I Told You So” Song

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

We had snow yesterday! Enough to cancel my evening plans, although not so much we were stuck and had to be rescued. Again.

Busy day yesterday. Short story out to the anthology, the Constitutional Law textbook arrived and I can dig in. Worked on contest entries. Worked with my elected officials.

Not enough writing done, which is something that has to be remedied this month.

Contract negotiations that were seemingly settled blew up last night on the ghostwriting project– after I’d sent out the paperwork at the author’s request. The other side came at me with new terms — even worse than the terms to which I’d agreed. Not only that, but I was accused of “imaginary research” — for a non-fiction project. We’d talked about research — the author wanted me to do research, handle photo permissions, and all that — and then decided she didn’t want to pay for it. Um, no. I put in the work, you pay for the work, and for any permissions fees. So we agreed to a provision where I wouldn’t put in any time or incur any costs without prior written permission from her on specific parameters. So she comes back with capping “imaginary research” at a specific fee.

I don’t know of a single professional working in non-fiction who doesn’t research the topic in question. I can understand if she was talking to advisors and that term was bandied about in conversation — but to try to put that language into a contract?

I wrote a rebuttal and formally withdrew from the project. She’d already kept scaling back and scaling back — trying to get out of a fair rate. No. Line. Crossed it. Done. Find someone on craigslist who’s going to do substandard work and screw you six ways from Sunday. Because it sure as heck won’t be me working on this.

My lawyer warned me it would come to this, back when she negotiated back the fee the first time. He gets to do the “I Told You So” song, and I’m going to have to acknowledge that, as usual, he was right.

This is the second referral from the same person who tried to screw me on money. I’m going to tell this individual to not give out my name and information any more.

I’ve got my To-Do list for February up on the GDR site. Let’s hope I’m more productive in February than I was in January!

Back to the page — and to the Constitutional Law textbook!

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Published in: on February 1, 2017 at 10:11 am  Comments Off on Wed. Feb. 1, 2017: The Lawyer’s “I Told You So” Song  
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Mon. Jan. 30, 2017: Political and Personal and Art

Monday, January 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend, a lot of it political. Although, within it all, I got some writing done.

The Unconstitutional, poorly thought out “travel ban” that went into effect late on Friday was the primary cause of it, along with removing legitimate security officials from the National Security Council to install an unqualified, unvetted white supremacist. Lots of activism, and thank you to the Federal judges who actually understand and uphold the law.

Every Senator and Representative who remained silent needs to be removed from office next year. The ACLU got five to six times more in donations this weekend than they typically get in a year. Better them than the DNC, in my opinion. The candidates need to start earning their keep before I give any money to them. Hopefully, we will see some contentious primaries and get some of these cowards out.

Ironically enough, I was re-reading the Constitution in preparation for today’s start of the Constitutional Law class. The Executive and Legislative Branches are not only ignoring it, they are using it as toilet paper.

I’ve also taken note of those, who, right after the election, kept insisting that even though they voted for the Sociopath, they were “good” people and would be the “first” to stand up if he violated the Constitution, yet remained silent this weekend. Duly noted. You didn’t stand and you won’t stand. Because you agree. Also duly noted.

I got nearly thirty pages written on one project. Too bad it wasn’t one of the ones I was supposed to be working on! But it felt good, to get back into the groove. Got some work on the short story due on Wednesday, although I didn’t finish it, and will have to so do today.

Worked on contest entries, finished re-reading POSSESSION, which remains one of my favorite books.

Waiting to hear back on two contract negotiations. Got a request for a meeting on another project that I’m hoping to set up later this week. Got an email from someone with whose company I parted on less-than-stellar terms who wants to know if I want to come back for the summer. Wondering what the ulterior motive is — we were relieved to be parted.

SAG Awards last night, and it was a lively night. I’m getting sick of those who try to demean or diminish artists for speaking out. Having spent most of my professional life working in the arts, most artists are intelligent, thoughtful, have a strong sense of justice, curious, and, in the course of researching their work — informed. The artists I’ve worked with, on the whole, have been much smarter than the non-artists I’ve worked with. Yet non-artists are quick to try to bully, condemn, and censor artists. All that does is show the lesser character of those non-artists.

Because genuine artists are the ones who change the world. And theatre, in particular, started out in Greece as a form of politics.

Speaking of artists making a difference, I’m re-reading Vaclav Havel’s THE ART OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: Politics and Morality in Practice.

One of my neighbors built a section of fence to block off his patio area from the street. Good for him, I have no problem with that. Privacy is important. Unfortunately, it’s one of the ugliest structures I’ve seen in a long time. It’s especially noticeable to me right now because, this weekend, I was researching different types of walls, fences, and gates for one of my novels, and designing something beautiful. Synchronicity!

The Constitutional Law class begins today. I’m excited and a bit apprehensive. I hope I can do the work. I really like my professor, who’s both soft-spoken and passionate about his topic.

I have to set up some appointments, and some places for appointments, so I’ll have some running around to do.

Another week, and Imbolic is only a few days away! First planting!

Onward.

Published in: on January 30, 2017 at 10:06 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 30, 2017: Political and Personal and Art  
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Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Dark Moon
Rainy and cold

At least it’s not snow, although I’m getting a little tired of rain. And it’s been so mild that the shrubs aren’t sure whether to stay dormant or to bud.

Got some work done on the short story yesterday, and on two proposals. Had a nice lunch at Captain Parker’s in Yarmouth, which is a fun restaurant with good food. Worked on contest entries.

Worked with my elected officials. We are differing on a couple of things, but are keeping it a civil discussion. Working with my elected officials, I don’t expect to get everything I want just because I ask for it; but they can’t represent me unless they know where I stand on things. When they make decisions counter to what I believe is the right choice, we discuss it. If their decisions are counter too often, I vote for someone else in the next election. But a good channel of communication is helpful. Even when I disagree, at least I know I’m being heard and not just ignored, especially when discussions hit specifics. And that’s the point of public services — you are representing many individuals, trying to make decisions that benefit as many as possible, within the value system of those who want you to represent them.

Walked away from a bad contract offer yesterday with the full support of my agent and lawyer. The offer was unacceptable as presented. Our side suggested changes, as one does. The other side said they don’t make any changes. Well, then, I’m not working with you. The first offer is where negotiations START, at least in the professional world. These smaller publishers who expect authors to sign boilerplates are delusional, and the authors so desperate they’re willing to give everything away just to get their names in print usually wind up regretting it.

A second contract negotiation on a different project walked back the money a LOT. We’re talking about walking back the workload to match. Otherwise, I won’t be doing that project, either. Which is fine, since I’d only even agreed to talk to the person as a favor to a friend. You’re not paying? I’m not working. This isn’t my cute lil hobby on the side.

Worked on a couple of proposals last night and this morning, and feel pretty good about them. We’ll see where they end up. This is in follow-up to Tuesday’s meeting.

Writing to do today, and research. The play I’ve been outlining gnaws at me. The last few scenes are very, very clear in my head. I may have to write them down so I don’t lose them.

I’d like to have the short story ready to submit by tomorrow or Saturday so that I can write a bit of the play and get it out of my head — and my heart. This one will be a gut-wrencher to write, which means I’m probably on the right track.

I forgot yesterday that it was both Burns Night and Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Salutes to both of them!

Back to the page.

Published in: on January 26, 2017 at 11:25 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities  
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Wed. Jan. 25, 2017: Meetings & Negotiations & National Parks

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and mild

Yesterday morning was about contract negotiations on two projects. We’ll see. At this point, either the terms will be accepted, or they won’t. I’m fine with either. I’m not willing to sign something detrimental to my interests. I’d rather walk away.

Got some work done on the short story. I feel good about what’s there, and where it’s going. It was nice to get in some solid writing time.

Drove to New Bedford in the afternoon for my meeting. Drive wasn’t bad, although the fog was thick and it was raining. I need to replace my windshield wipers. I don’t understand the idiots who’ll drive in that weather, refusing to put on their lights. It’s the law to have one’s lights on in this weather; would be nice if it was enforced. It would prevent a lot of accidents.

The meeting went very well. I have some materials to put together by tomorrow and we have to negotiate money. Hopefully, it will work.

On the way back, I plotted out a new play, and worked on the outline last night. It’s a rather bleak, dystopian piece. In other words, contemporary.

Had my orientation for Constitutional Law. I really like the professor. While I believe the class will be challenging, I think it will be worth it.

Picked up Chinese food on the way home, and worked on contest entries. The last couple have been very good.

Love watching WEST WING, but it makes an even starker contrast to what we’re facing.

Kudos to the National Park Service and the employees who are standing up to climate change facts being censored. The Park Service reports to the PEOPLE, who pay for them.

I have a lot of work to do today, along with errands and a lunch mid-Cape. I’ve been invited to an early morning coffee tomorrow morning by a networking organization. I’m tempted to go, but it’s during my best writing time, so I hesitate.

The White House is still ignoring the devastation caused by the tornadoes this weekend. In the states who voted for him. That is not okay. Too busy abusing executive order power and gagging federal agencies.

Published in: on January 25, 2017 at 10:10 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 25, 2017: Meetings & Negotiations & National Parks  
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Tues. Jan. 24, 2017: Piling More on the Plate

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and mild

Yesterday was a busy day. I had contract negotiations on two different projects, admin work, a couple of hours’ work with the staffs of my elected officials, preparation for this afternoon’s meeting, writing (which did not go well), and research into both Italian Renaissance painting and 1930s fashion.

On top of that, I applied to and was accepted by, a Yale-based course in Constitutional Law, which starts next week. I want to be prepared. People are waving around the Constitution, but most of them haven’t read it. I studied it in school, but that was a while ago, and I want to learn the legalities. I received my orientation package, and made arrangements with the local library so I can study and do research there during open hours. It’s at least fifteen hours a week, and I’m sure it will kick my ass, but I think it will be worth it.

The local news mentioned that more people died in the tornadoes that hit this country this weekend than in all of last year. The only other information I could find on the tornadoes was on CNN, which confirmed that. I finally managed to get onto the Red Cross website to find out that they are on the ground, and donations can be made through their site, but I had to hunt for the information.

Why isn’t this being reported? More importantly, what kind of federal aid is being sent? Why is the White House continuing to whine and push false inauguration numbers while people are dying or have lost everything and need help? There should have been a strong message of support and comfort and promise of aid out of the Oval Office as soon as it happened.

I’m not surprised that there wasn’t, but there should have been.

More contract negotiations today, and more work with elected officials before I head off Cape for my meeting. I’m hoping to sneak in some writing.

If one of these contracts actually comes through, not only will I have a tight contract schedule on the book that’s being negotiated, I have to make the next book in the series a priority. That will mean re-arranging the year’s manuscript schedule. I hate being in a holding pattern, but the contract that was offered was against all of my interests in so many ways, I can’t believe it was actually offered. But that’s why I have an agent, a lawyer, and the Authors Guild.

The press release about the new play goes out today. That should be fun.

Meanwhile, I have a short story to finish and get out this week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and hot
Festival of Salacia and Sulis

Yesterday was fun. Different than I expected, but fun. I was out of the apartment early, walked east on Chestnut Street to the historic district. Never made it to Ben Franklin’s grave, although it turns out I was always within a block of it. There are thousands of boy scouts on their way to a jamboree — thousands of ‘em, all over the place. I spent most of the day trying to dodge the large groups. A store proprietor said they’d be at mostly family-friendly places; I hoped to find a tavern to hide in.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re very nice and reasonably well-behaved, in spite of being older teenaged boys. But they ARE teen-aged boys, and there are thousands of them, and there’s only so much of that I can take.

Paid my respects to Betsy Ross, photographed the fountain in her courtyard with the cats. Swung by the Old Quaker Meeting House, and the store at the Visitor’s Center. I wanted to buy some silly gifts, but the store was overpriced, and there wasn’t anything appropriate. And why do the stores in the Bourne Center sell replicas of the Statue of Liberty and postcards of NYC? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Carpenter’s Hall (good bookshop there), swung back around on 2nd St. to the Clay Center. Although it states on the website that the gallery opens at 10, and I was there after 10:30, it was locked and dark. Typical Philadelphia.

Ducked down Elfreth’s Alley, full of tiny little row houses and window boxes, and pre-revolutionary lane that still has people living there. Poor things, the tourists must drive them nuts. And there’s Blanden’s something or other, another little alley leading of Elfreth’s Alley, which would be lovely and peaceful is so many people weren’t crawling around taking photos! I was one of them, but I tried to do it quietly! 😉

Took some lovely photos in the cemetery at Christ’s Church, dodged four troops of boy scouts (for a minute, I thought I’d have to hop over the wall, which, in a dress, would have been an adventure). Walked across to the Society Hill neighborhood, full of restored (expensive) row houses.

There’s an oddly designed red brick building, heading south, called the Center for Living History that “closed permanently” on June 18. That’s a shame. And I wonder what they’ll do with the monstrosity.

The plan was to eat at a pub I’d read about called The Artful Dodger that looked interesting. I thought I’d check it out and write a short article about it. There are plenty of publications who take that type of stuff. I got there about a half hour before they were scheduled to open. I was hot and tired, in spite of carrying water. I wandered around the neighborhood, which is lovely, and spent a good bit of time in the churchyard next to St. Peter’s. I took some interesting photographs — I like old graveyards, they have stories, and they tell them if you listen quietly enough. Also met a woman walking two Wheaton terriers who told me about some interesting graves in the graveyard next door, at cemetery beside Old Pine St. Church, and about some lovely little gardens tucked away between Society Hill and where I’m staying off Rittenhouse Square.

By the time we were done, it was a few minutes after noon. I walked back to the pub, and it was even a few more minutes after noon. Not only was it not yet open, the staff saw me waiting and turned their backs. Not a wave or holding up a hand to indicate five more minutes. Dismissal.

So I left. Not spending my money there.

The service in Philadelphia restaurants sucks more often than it doesn’t anyway, which is a shame, because Philadelphia has a lot of outstanding restaurants. It sucks more than in most other towns I’ve travelled to throughout the world. But the servers seem to think they’re doing you a favor by letting you come in and sit down and pay them to maybe come by your table if they feel like it and can get off their smart phones or be bothered to stop conversing with their colleagues. 98% of the wait staff in Philly couldn’t last a single shift in NY.

Exceptions that I’ve discovered (and to which I keep returning) are Smith’s, on S. 19th St., a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, and The Black Sheep, on S. 17th St. Hopefully, the place we’re going for lunch to today will also fall into that category.

Walked west on Pine Street, which was lovely. Row houses, Antiques Row (a series of antique stores — if I’d been in shopping mode, I’d have stopped at a few, but I wasn’t). I hoped to find a little cafe to stop and have a bite, but didn’t see anything that particularly struck me.

So I wound up at The Black Sheep, which is close to where I’m staying. I already knew they had great burgers and a nice selection of beers. I sat in the bar. The only person working was the bartender, who was also serving, but she was great. Nice change. I had the fish tacos — a huge platter with delightful condiments including one of the best cilantro sauces I’ve ever had. And a couple of pints of Flying Fish beer, which was very good. All reasonably priced, served promptly and politely, in a good atmosphere. Because The Black Sheep is so close to where I stay, I tend to overlook it, but I won’t anymore.

After lunch, I returned to the apartment and collapsed in the air conditioning. I was pretty wiped out. Didn’t do much of anything for the rest of the day except some percolating and email. I overheated during the day, in spite of drinking a lot of water, so it took me awhile to cool down.

Contract negotiations are not going well. I hope I don’t have to walk away and start the submission process all over again on this project, but if it comes to that, I will. I like this company, but they’re not taking one of the non-negotiables for me seriously and they think I’ll blink. They are sadly mistaken.

I will tell them so politely and firmly, and we’ll see where that leaves us.

Back to the page for awhile this morning, and then it’s off to lunch with some writer pals at a Belgian restaurant only about two blocks away whose menu looks fantastic. Let’s hope the service is up to par.

Boy, am I spoiled with my Optimum internet service at home. Comcast sucks — it’s hard to get anything done efficiently. Pages take about 3-1/2 minutes to load — when they can be bothered to load at all. I hope they are not my only option when I relocate.

Today is the festival of the goddesses of mineral springs, salt water, and healing waters. I will honor them tonight by a good soak in the tub with salts!

Devon