Wed. June 7, 2017: A Day in the Life of A Writer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

My brain was tired yesterday from all the script work. However, I pushed through and sent off a few more article pitches. One of them was accepted within 20 minutes. I’ve written most of the article in my head; I’ll set it to paper later today. I’m hoping I can get a quote from a source in time, but the turnaround is so tight, I don’t know if that’s possible.

Another article pitch that I sent off a few weeks ago was rejected, so I’m re-slanting it and sending it to a different market, and crafting a new pitch for the first market, which is a place I’m determined to crack.

Decided not to pitch to two markets, because they expect you to sign up and participate in the “community” in order to land a paid assignment. Sorry, as a professional, I am hired to write on my ability to deliver the particular assignment, not on spending hours of unpaid time toadying. Next!

Pitched to another gig that is in my wheelhouse and that I would like a lot provided the pay is right and they’re willing to work bi-coastally.

I wrote twenty more script pages on PARALLEL-O-GAME. Definitely a limited run series (which used to be called a mini-series). I’m writing the first draft as one long piece; in subsequent drafts, I will break it down into the correct act structure for each segment. However, while I’m writing, I’m also keeping the act structure — both for each segment, and for the overall piece, in the back of my head, so that most of it will already be inherent in the pace. That’s something that only comes from experience. I’ve outlined a good portion of the next section, and scratched some notes down, although not anywhere near as detailed as for what’s already written.

I managed to write 13 pages this morning, which brings me roughly to the end of Part One.

Still haven’t heard about the edits on the assignment from the other publication. The lag time they have between everything is irritating. I have serious doubts that we’ll have a long association. I want to give it a chance, see if it’s just a case of getting used to their rhythm, but I have my doubts.

Was asked to submit a play to a new works festival north of Boston; on the fence about it, since they didn’t take the last one I submitted. Not sure I want to simply submit so their numbers look good for funding. Their numbers this year must be low, or they wouldn’t have emailed me to ask me to submit.

The radio play was acknowledged; they make their decisions in early September.

I have a short story to finish that’s dragging; I need to get it done and out the door, once the article is done, because the market for that story, should I crack it, would be another solid source of steady work. Even though it’s fiction.

This morning, I’m headed over to Cotuit Center for the Arts for a coffee chat, a new program of theirs. Several people I know will be there, and the set and costume designers will be talking — always fun to talk to colleagues.

Friday morning, I have a meeting for a potential new project that would be a lot of fun. And local. Fingers crossed it goes well. I pitched to them yesterday morning and the interview was nailed down by the afternoon, which is always a good sign.
I hope this creative rhythm continues!

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Thurs. May 11, 2017: All Types of Theatre and Creativity

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny/cloudy and cold

Yesterday wasn’t quite as productive as I hoped. The library was fairly quiet, so I got a good chunk of necessary work done there, finally, thank goodness.

I got caught up in a book and spent too much time reading, but I’m glad I did. I spent most of the day fighting a migraine, and could only do creative work in short spurts. For some reason, reading doesn’t bother my headache as much as, well, thinking.

I did some research for this morning’s meeting, so that I can feel properly prepared. It looks like I’ve landed a steady reviewing gig again that will start in the next few days; we’re trying each other out to see if we’re a good match.

I did some work on the play proposal. So much of it is thinking work, planning work. I need to know the shape of it for myself before I can effectively communicate it.

Angry and frustrated with the way the GOP is deliberately dismantling everything good about this country, and letting a Narcissistic Sociopath play Emperor and sell us out.

Burned my forearm badly on the steam from the roasting pan. I’ve got ointment and the whole thing gauzed up to protect from infection. I keep aloe in the kitchen, and applying that right away helped a lot, but I’m in for a few uncomfortable days.

Went to see a reading of THE CRUCIBLE last night at Cotuit Center for the Arts. My friend’s daughter had one of the major roles. The reading was much better than I expected — the actors committed and gave it their all. My friend’s daughter was good in a role that required quite a few reversals over the course of the piece. The play never gets old, never gets tired. It is particularly relevant with what’s going on right now. And, while it reflects the error of McCarthyism, is also reminds us how often religion is perverted in this country to justify injustice.

Ran into someone with whom I’d served on a board for a couple of years. Either he genuinely didn’t recognize me when I greeted him, or he chose to be rude. Not my problem, but it’s very telling about this area, and it’s growing lack of basic courtesy. I lived up to my standards for myself; what other people do is up to them.

Still fighting the migraine, but trying to be productive before this morning’s meeting. I hope it goes well. There are a lot of variables to make it a viable option for me.

One of the organizations I sent some asked-for advice (with 24 hours of the requests, I might add) was pleased, grateful, and thanked me. The other, an organization with whom I worked much more closely for many more years, has, of course, not. Fuel for the article, right?

I have to finish up with some of the Lavinia Fontana research material this weekend, because they have to go back. Time to get my head out of 1930s Hollywood, 1920s Maine, 1890s New York, and back into the Italian Renaissance.

The meeting went well; now for follow-up and prepping for other meetings. Good to be busy, especially when it’s creative!

Published in: on May 11, 2017 at 10:31 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 11, 2017: All Types of Theatre and Creativity  
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Wed. March 23, 2016: Lots of Good News!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Busy few days! Including a snow storm on the Equinox, although it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as predicted.

Saturday, I had some running around to do, and some writing to do. Baked cupcakes. I’d come home from work on Friday feeling just awful. We think I might be having a bad reaction to the new carpet.

Then, at 2 PM, we hosted Caroline Kepnes at the library. She’s got two wonderfully creepy books out, You and Hidden Bodies. She’s also a smart, funny, terrific person. it was a great presentation. We’re so glad she could fit us in before she went back to LA.

Sunday, I had a few things to pick up at the hardware store to finish prepping my canvas, and then it started to snow. I read and researched, but didn’t do much else. In my mind, I was preparing to write two short radio plays.

I also pulled out of an interview with a theatre company for a project because there are upcoming scheduling conflicts, and we’d all get frustrated. Maybe we’ll work together at a later date. They’re interviewing plenty of candidates for this particular project, so it’s not like I’m the top choice or leaving them in the lurch.

The snow on Sunday night into Monday was more like two inches, instead of ten, which was a relief. I sat down and wrote “Not Such a Bargain”, one of the ten minute plays, finished putting the hardware on the canvas, dropped it off at Cotuit, and then came back and wrote the other short radio play, “Fright Shift.” By then, I was ready for a glass of wine.

I’m happy with both plays, although I think “Not Such a Bargain” is a little stronger. I do love Emily in “Fright Shift”. She’s kind of a bratty teenager, but she gets things done!

Watched CRIMSON PEAK on Monday night. Absolutely gorgeous production design, but Tom Hiddleston’s character was underwritten, and not given enough to show his transformation. He did the best he could with what he had, and I liked that it was the Edith who was the rescuer, not the rescued, but if he’d just been given a handful of lines more in a couple of scenes, it would have worked better for me.

Tuesday, up early and wrote a grant proposal for an individual grant. I had to do a one-page synopsis of where I think SONGBOUND SISTERS is headed, and they also wanted a one-page bibliography of my published work. I could only fit back to 2012 on one page. I might have too many credits for the grant, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Then, I outlined a new project nagging at me — a novel. I see the shape in my head — just have to get it all down, and figure out where to slot it in.

Did some research. Watched CHASING SHADOWS, which is a little odd, but interesting, and THE BIG SHORT — well done, and I still think all of them should be in jail.

Got some excellent news — “Broken Links”, the comic mystery, won first place and will be produced and performed by On the Air Radio Players in June. I’m excited and thrilled! I plan to have a listening party when I get the link. So that was a good note on which to end the day.

Up early this morning to do the revisions on the two short radio plays, and do a final polish on the grant proposal. Today will be a long day at work, with an “Easter Tea” program. I have to do PR, and I have to get posters and PR done for the Shakespeare night and for the ArtsWeek Boston panel, and some other programs.

Onward!

Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Challenging few days. On the upside, yesterday, I wrote 39 pages (three chapters) of a fantasy novel — approximately 9,750 words. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Thank goodness the Olympics in Boston is OFF. That was a damn stupid idea in the first place — the city simply does not have the space, and spreading out all over the state — one of the ideas floated — was ridiculous. People need to be able to get to the venues, and even a few miles in Boston traffic is impossible. It would have hurt Boston, not helped us, and cost us (not just financially) far more than it would have earned us.

So, I appreciate Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker’s standing up for the taxpayers. However, I’m still annoyed with Baker for vetoing a $2.3 million dollar funding increase for the arts in MA. Close the tax loopholes for the corporate fucks and fund the arts. We already have a population who’s losing the ability for independent thought. Fortunately, the Senate and House overturned the veto.

The weekend was rather chaotic. This was supposed to be my Saturday “off” rotation. However, I wanted to deal with an issue in a particular way that I believed would be best for all concerned and save face for us; my boss said no. She’s the boss, so be it. Then, at 5:18 that night — when I’m already home on the deck with my feet up and a martini, trying to sort out the writing for the weekend — I get a text saying she shouldn’t have butted in and if I wanted to handle it that way, go ahead. In other words, the answer I needed at 10 that morning.

Part of me just wanted to ignore it — technically, this is supposed to be a part-time gig and when I’m off, I’m supposed to be OFF so I can write. But being petty would only hurt all of us. Believe me, I seriously considered being petty. I’m not trying to present myself as “good” in this situation by any means, because I was angry.

But, I went in on Saturday, and started the ball rolling. I knew it would take several hours to get the definitive answer that would allow me to do all the rest connected to it — what I SHOULD have had all day Friday to do. I didn’t want to spend all those extra hours at work, and I certainly wasn’t going to deal with the public, not on my day “off”. So I left and ran errands, planning to go back near the end of the open hours to find the answers, take care of the rest of the domino effect, and take down last week’s specific event display.

Only there was a major truck accident on Rt. 28, the road was closed, and the cops sent us into a maze of side streets I’d never seen before, and I couldn’t “get there from here”. An hour and a half later, I figured out how to get home.

Which meant I had to go in on Sunday, too. I baked first thing, and then headed in to work, dodging people who are incapable of understanding that “closed” means they can’t come in and do whatever they want, and they have to come in when the place is actually open. I had the answer I needed, I then spent the necessary time taking the next steps, so everything is taken care of. Because it all had to be done by Monday, and certainly before I officially got back to work today.

So it all worked out, but I was still irritated (putting it mildly), because all that extra chaos could have been avoided if I’d simply been allowed to do my damn job, which includes making the decisions that are part of it.

Watched LINE OF DUTY over the weekend, which is well done, and JACK IRISH, which I liked a lot. I think Iain Glenn is great in JACK TAYLOR, but it was a little too consistently dark, whereas JACK IRISH has a better balance, and Guy Pearce is also excellent. Watched MY OLD LADY, which is packaged as a comedy, but is definitely NOT, and needed about 20 minutes of whining cut out of the middle of it. The actors were terrific, the camerawork was good, but the script needed some tweaking. I’m watching POWERS, with Sharlto Copley and Susan Heyward. I like the actors a LOT, and the scene work is terrific. I like the concept. I’m not convinced on some of the arcs yet. But I’ve watched 6 episodes out of the 10, and I’m still watching, which says something positive!

Throughout all of this, I read and I tried to write. I read Lisa Chaplin’s THE TIDE WATCHERS, which I thought was good, but I’m wondering if she’s setting up for a sequel, or just leaving us somewhat dangling at the end. I read Barbara Delinky’s BLUEPRINTS. I read THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET. I read some research books for various projects.

I worked on a couple of ideas for projects. Got about six solid pages done on one. Did seven pages of another, and then, as I was driving around yesterday, picking up things for the Mermaid Ball, I realized that I’d started it in the wrong place. General advice is to start later than you think you should (cutting unnecessary exposition). In this case, I started in the wrong place with the wrong characters. So I let that percolate for awhile.

Met with my editing student and we had a good session. She’s taking her time to learn the craft, which is necessary, and her premise is good. As long as she really LEARNS before she sends this out, she can then apply it moving forward.

Worked on Mermaid Ball stuff, running around picking things up and putting together packages. Amazon delivered three days later than guaranteed — this is the third time in the last two months, and I’m getting sick of it. Guess they’ve gotten so big, they no longer care about customer service. Which meant all the stuff I wanted to deliver on Sunday couldn’t be — not that I could have made it over the bridge anyway in good time, but that was my day to deliver packages.

You’d think Mercury was in retrograde! 😉

Yesterday, I wrote. From about 6 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. 39 pages of the re-envisioned piece. Obviously, it’s working now.

I ran over to pick up something at Cotuit Center for the Arts, then changed and went to Harvest Wine Bar and Gallery in Dennis for an artist HobNob event. We were a small group, but it was enormous fun — spent a lot of time talking to a choreographer, a musician, and a cabinet maker.

Home, dinner, POWERS, percolating some more writing. I have a play I have to work on, and work through the next section of BALTHAZARR. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with this book. It should have been done ages ago.

The whole Tom Brady/NFL suspension is ridiculous. Tom Brady is one of the few players who is consistently a class act, and people want to take him down. When I was on sports journalism gigs, football players and baseball players were my least favorite interviews. Hockey players were consistently interesting, not to mention nicer and more respectful. What’s the most disturbing, to me, is the anti-woman message the NFL is sending. Players can beat up on women and only get 2 suspensions, but because there’s less air in a piece of pigskin, that deserves 4? Totally out of balance. It says that the air in a football is more important that the treatment of women. For an organization that makes that much money and has that many people looking at them as role models (heaven forbid), it is appalling. I could understand 1 suspension, but 4? Aside from the fact I don’t think he had anything to do with it, and the whole “destroyed cellphone” thing — hell, I throw my phone across the room several times a week, not because I’m trying to hide something, but because the phone and TMobile are both garbage. It’s all crap. People — especially women — should boycott the NFL this season, make a point with their wallets. But they won’t, because until someone beats down on them personally, they don’t care enough to stand up for something that matters.

It’s also the anniversary of my father’s death in 1972, never an easy day for me.

On that happy note (yeah, that’s sarcasm), yet another long week begins.

Hope yours is terrific!

Devon

Published in: on July 30, 2015 at 7:56 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston  
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Fri. May 1, 2015: A Raw Beltane

Friday, May 1, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and Raw
Beltane

Busy day yesterday, but good busy.

Got the rewritten short story out, on deadline, and got an acknowledgement. I won’t hear back on the status of either story until autumn, so I’m not going to worry about them; I’ll just move on to the contemporary play.

Work was fine.

After work, headed to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the Mid-Cape Cultural Council grantee reception. I received a grant last year from them for SEAL TIDES; this year, I’d been invited to cheer on the next round of recipients. So that was fun.

Stopped by tango to help clean up.

Read a bit when I got home, went over my final list again for the Indie Next Generation Book Awards – I am solid in my choices, I believe I picked the strongest entries in each category. They go off today.

Overslept a bit, ran errands this morning. Will be a long day, and there’s a lot to get done. I’m working tomorrow, because the person who would normally be “on” is on vacation. The rest of my days off will be about writing and about a major spring house cleaning and yard work.

I’ll celebrate Beltane when I get home tonight.

Have a wonderful start to May!

Devon

Published in: on May 1, 2015 at 8:16 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 1, 2015: A Raw Beltane  
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Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend

Friday, February 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a fantastic meeting with the historical society yesterday about our next display. When we’re ready to reveal it, I’ll post a picture here. We all got very excited about it.

Spent far too much time hunting down contact information from magazine mastheads that should be readily available. Getting a little tired of these “media groups” that aren’t publishing actual articles and stories in their magazines, just glorified ads, and the only people you can contact are those in the advertising department.

When it started snowing again in the afternoon, I was just ready to put my head down on the desk and cry. I usually LIKE snow, but this is just too much. Mostly because I have to drive around in it, and the roads continue to be total crap. Even Old Stage Road, which is usually in good shape, has been under par.

Worked on a new order list, did a lot of research, started pondering a full marketing plan.

Raced home, quick dinner, and then back for Tango. It was a really good lesson. It’s an entirely different way of not just listening to music, but to your partner’s body. Talk about having to deal with trust issues! 😉 But it was fun. I was worried that what we worked on was too complicated, especially since I’d missed a lesson, but I picked it up. Whether or not I can retain it is something else.

Had a snack when I came home, watched a few episodes of WEST WING Season 5, fell into bed.

Had weird dreams. Even though the dreams were realistic, they must be representational, because the literal terms don’t make sense in my life.

My vacation dates for May are confirmed – my first vacation since Costume Imp and I went to Prague. Something to which to look forward.

The Pinkerton Case Files arrived – from Indiana! Totally looking forward to spending the research time on them.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library – and I have to come in early for a meeting. Then, I have to go and pick up my mother’s medication, and then head to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the opening for an exhibit in which a friend is featured.

Sunday will be about errands and writing; Monday, there’s a reception in the morning at the Law Library, and the rest of the day is about writing. Tuesday – not sure if I can snag a machine to read the case files, or if I’ll just stay home and write. Wednesday it all starts up again.

I’d like to finish the second draft of LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES so it can sit for a couple of weeks before I do the third draft, register it with WGA, and send it off.

I have also got to get some organizing done in the house. Things are stacked up all over the place; I need to purge a bunch of stuff, and put a bunch of other stuff away.

I can’t believe we’re nearly in March!

Devon

Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 9:29 am  Comments Off on Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend  
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Wed. June 25, 2014: Deadline Pressure & Focus

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Day Before Dark Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day yesterday. Worked flat out, focusing on the revisions for the Big Script Project, and the galleys of “Severance”. Nipped over to Wheldon Library in the late morning to come up for air for a few minutes, connect to the internet, sort out a few things, and send off the finished products.

Then, it was back home and more writing. Also wrote about 750 words in longhand on something I hope is a novella, but I suspect may be longer. AND I figured out how I can tie one of the new ideas I outlined over the weekend to the world in which “Severance” is set.

Also discovered three new possible publishers for the Sophie Batchelder mystery series. I think I’ll re-read the first book and the proposal over the weekend, see if it needs any more tweaks, and then send it out next week, when Mercury goes direct.

I am so ready for Mercury to go direct!

Reading Rachel Aaron’s Eli Monpress series, which I thoroughly enjoy. The first book reminded me, in tone, of Robert Asparin’s first few M.Y.T.H. books, which I loved, and the second book went deeper in a good way. Looking forward to the third.

Working on the materials I’m taking to the Author Palooza event this weekend. I’ve got the copies of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, HEX BREAKER, and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Fingers crossed the print copies of TRACKING MEDUSA are arrive on time, but hey, it’s Mercury Retrograde, so I’m not counting on anything.

Busy day today at the library — training session, getting as much work as I can, and then meetings at 4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM. I’m supposed to read at Cotuit Center of the Art’s Salon of Shorts tonight, too, but I wonder if I’ll have enough in the tank after three back-to-back meetings to do it. Then home, starting the food I’m bringing to tomorrow night’s party, and more revisions. And this, being the day before the Dark Moon, is my lowest energy day of the month. Tomorrow morning, when I get up, I have to finish prepping the devilled eggs while working on more revisions.

And here, I thought my schedule would slow down. Silly me!

But it’s all good busy, and I’m grateful.

Have a great day!

Devon

Thurs. May 29: Library Programs, Coonamessett Farm, Cotuit Center of the Arts, and Edward Snowden

med_TrackingMedusa

Thursday, May 29, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Have you gotten your copy of TRACKING MEDUSA yet? It’s a fun read for the summer. Visit the website for more information here.

Heat’s still kicking on, and it feels more like March than May. My plants are not happy.

Yesterday was tiring, but good. Wrote in the morning. Was at the library a little before ten (technically, I started at ten yesterday).

Good, but busy day at the library, including a programming meeting. The collaboration on programs, I think, will work better than each of us working on our own. I also put in some work on my staff workshop for next week. And decided what I’m going to serve — I’ll bake some cookies, and also do a black bean hummus with some pita bread.

Drove to Coonamessett Farm for the Chamber of Commerce meeting. Okay, so first I went to the INN — which was the wrong place — but they gave me directions to the FARM, which was the right place. It was a Cape Cod Canal Chamber of Commerce networking event, and it was a lot of fun. I represented the National Marine Life Center there, and it was my first time at the Farm, and at a Cape Cod Canal Chamber event. Lots of fun, and we met some great people there. AND the food was outstanding. Kathy and I definitely want to go back for one of their Jamaican nights.

When that was done, I headed back to Cotuit Center for the Arts for their Salon of Shorts readings. It happens the fourth Wednesday of the month at the Center, and people get to read pieces that are under five minutes. The quality last night was very good, and I got to meet a fellow New Yorker who has the same views on approaching the work as I do. I may well read something from WOMEN WITH AN EDGE next month, and then maybe in fall, start working on some flash fiction or monologues to try out.

Home in time to watch the Edward Snowden interview on television. I wanted to hear his side of the story, because I think it’s a difficult situation, all around. The Intelligence Community is in a difficult position — they are trying to prevent another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 and there are plenty of people out there who want to see this entire country destroyed. There are many individuals working in intelligence who are smart, dedicated, and work like crazy. I am more distrustful of those making the decisions, in the bureaucracy. Also, as an individual, I am sick and tired of everything lowered to the common denominator, and, every time I want to travel or attend an event, I am treated like a criminal first, and have to prove I’m not. Our justice system is supposedly based on “innocent until proven guilty”, but, in reality, it’s the other way around. If you’re a rich corporate fuck, you get a free pass, no matter how many people you destroy. If you are an individual just trying to live your life, you’re treated like a criminal. It’s more than just “it’s a dangerous world out there and fanatics want us dead” — it’s a layer of socio-economic injustice, too. The corporate fucks who are funneling money and laundering money to the people who want to kill us get a free pass again and again and again, but someone who wants to visit a grandchild across the country has to take off their shoes at the airport and isn’t allowed to bring a bottle of water on the plane.

Further to that, I call bullshit on the whole liquid bomb stuff that they claim is the reason we can’t take water bottles on the plane. Tell the truth — it’s economics. The airlines — who have already made it a nightmare to take a trip with their fees and their rules — don’t want us to take a 99 cent bottle of water on the plane when they can take it away and charge us $4 once we’re past security.

These companies use our fears to make a profit. Cut off the profit — to some of these corporations AND the terrorists — and we’ll all be safer.

I believe Snowden believes he did the right thing. Whether it WAS the right thing or not, I don’t know, but it should make us think twice about protecting our individual freedoms and looking at other ways to stop terrorists — the most effective, I believe, which is cutting off the money, and one of the ways to do that is to have serious consequences for the corporations who are profiting from terrorism and profiting from the so-called War on Terrorism.

On that (cough) happy note, I have a script to finish before I head back the library today.

Devon