Thurs. June 30, 2022: Following Through on Creative Risk

image courtesy of cocoparisienne via pixabay.com

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I talk about what’s new with the garden, especially in terms of taking out the cats in their playpens, and our neighborhood squirrels, on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday started with frustration, moved to creativity, ended in sense memory stress. A day of variety, that’s for sure!

I got some work done early in the morning. Headed out to the library for a pickup/delivery. For some reason, I hadn’t received the email that the books arrived, and there was quite the stack, including several books by the poet/undertaker Thomas Lynch and a couple of Chilean authors who were recently recommended to me.

I stopped at the carrier to whom I hoped to switch my phone service, but they didn’t have the phone I want in stock, and I’d have to pay for another month at my current carrier, at least, while they got it in. So that’s a no-go.

I planned to order it online, but they would only let me order that phone if I started a committed contract, and I don’t want that, because I want the option to switch carriers. Plus, they were charging twice for the phone than listed yesterday.

I found the phone I wanted, supposedly at a nearby store (one at which I loathe shopping) at the price I wanted. I bought the phone, but of course, they wouldn’t activate it or help me with it. So I drove down to my carrier’s store in Pittsfield. They got it activated, and moved the SD card for me (and were nice about it). They couldn’t get the transfer done (said they didn’t have strong enough Wi-Fi), but wrote out the directions. I got it done at home. The photos I thought were all on the SD card (because that’s what I told the phone to do) were scattered throughout my phone, but I managed to corral them and get some of them onto Google Photos (which doesn’t seem to have a download option) and the rest onto my hard drive Photos (who knew I’d posted 888 photos on Instagram?) and will download onto my external hard drive.

I still have to re-enter my contacts. But it’s mostly done, I really like the new phone, I could get my meditation timer app back on it, so fingers crossed.

I have to figure out how to make sure ALL the photos go and stay on the SD card.

A much smoother and less stressful process than the months of hell trying to get my mom’s phone situation sorted out!

It’s a Motorola G Pure, which is what I wanted. I can also unlock the phone and change carriers down the line, should I choose.

But at least I have a working phone again. My other phone still works, to a point, so I’m keeping it handy, even though it’s not hooked up to a carrier anymore. It served me well for four years (all my other phones bit it after a year).

But it took time that I’d planned for other things.

I didn’t even get started on client work until 2 PM. But I turned around three manuscripts with notes for a client. I have four more to do today.

After dinner, I went back to work on the horror story. It truly is horror, and the first piece of mine that I believe needs trigger warnings. And yet, in light of what’s going on, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, which makes it even worse. I did a couple of editing passes on it before I called it a night. I’ll put in the changes this morning, do a final proof, and out it goes, on deadline.

Even if it’s not accepted, I’m proud of myself for taking a creative risk out of my wheelhouse and seeing it through.

Part of me wanted to immediately dive into the play that’s been poking at me since the workshop last week, but I went to bed instead.

And immediately suffered a severe bout of sense memory stress. This time last year, the clock had run out, and I had to negotiate a few extra days to finish clearing out the house, accepting the berating from the landlord. While I understood his frustration, I could have also walked away and left him to deal with everything, and I did not. I communicated and I followed through, even though it nearly killed me. But there were a lot of tears and a lot of feeling like I’d break permanently.

But I didn’t. Even though I may have sense memory stress all weekend, I got through it and I am here now. That’s what matters. Building something better.

My Ello page has over 200K views now, and has led to some intriguing creative conversations. Unlike the bottom of the barrel crap from LinkedIn, there are viable projects over on Ello. A much stronger choice for me.

I’m looking forward to meditation this morning. I doubt I can get my final copyedit/proofread of the story done before it, but it will go out early today. Then I can focus on the client manuscripts, and finishing the book for review. I have one script to read tomorrow, and then I’m taking the weekend. Which will be about The Big Project and finishing the damn kitchen island. I’m not “celebrating” this Independence Day on Monday (although I’m taking it as a day away from client work). How can I celebrate “independence” with a corrupt court is stripping away so many rights?

Back to the page. Have a good one.

Mon. April 4, 2022: Intent for the Week — Stretch

image courtesy of Jonathan Sautter via pixabay.com

This week’s intent is to stretch, in a couple of different ways.

The first stretch is to stop beating myself up for “not getting enough done” when I’m getting plenty done and meeting my deadlines just fine. This stretch means enjoying the work I’m doing, and realizing that yes, it is enough. I need to stop nearly killing myself all the time, to meet outmoded expectations.

The second stretch is with the work I’m doing — with Monthology, with the project for the Dramatists Guild, with the radio plays, with The Big Project. All of those stretch me creatively in different ways, and I need to mindfully enter each project with full joy in the process. Not feel like I have to rush through it in order to get to the next thing on my list.

The third stretch is actual, physical stretching. I’m sitting too much, and I need to add several breaks and find yoga asanas that are appropriate counters.

That’s my plan for the week. What’s on your list?

Published in: on April 4, 2022 at 7:15 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Tues. March 22, 2022: Challenging Start to the Week

image courtesy of Paul Barlow via pixabay.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Waning Moon

Sunny and pleasant

There’s a post on the GDR site about being the architect of your life.

I hope you had a good weekend, and a blessed Equinox. Now, we’ll really see the gains in daylight, since it’s tipping toward longer light.

Friday was a mixed day. Very foggy in the morning. Not fun to make my way to the mechanic when I couldn’t use the broken windshield wiper. But I got there.

The wiper was easily fixed. But the engine light issue, not so much. As long as the light stays steady and doesn’t blink, I can continue to drive short distances. The mechanic thinks it’s a fuel pump issue, but they can’t even get me in for a diagnostic for another month. They suggested a mechanic in Williamstown, who specializes in foreign cars. It’s the second time that mechanic has been suggested to me. I am trying to get an appointment.

Stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and restocked our food supply.

Moved the plants back out on the porch, and even opened the windows once it warmed up enough.

Did some client blogging, and roughed out the next edition of Devon’s Random Newsletter, which should go out this week. I think I wrote too much, so will probably edit it back.

Worked on a recipe for strawberry-vanilla mousse. It tastes quite good, but doesn’t look appealing. Nor did it set properly. Ever. I think the acid from the fresh strawberries had something to do with it. So I need to adjust the recipe, and figure out how to make it look better without using artificial colors.

In the afternoon, one neighbor was working on a new piano composition. Another neighbor was on her front porch, playing her guitar. I worked on script coverage. It was a great vibe. Everyone in their own space, but knowing people around them were doing creative work.

Fresh cod for dinner on Friday night, with rice and steamed spinach. Yummy.

Throughout the weekend, I did some cleaning here and there, but nowhere like the intense spring cleaning I planned. The Plan was to start in the kitchen and work forward doing intense deep cleaning. But I spent more time unpacking and organizing things than in deep clean mode.

It kept raining and then not on Saturday, and I didn’t feel like going out, so I didn’t. I did regular housework and changed the beds and did some unpacking and organizing. I made more vegetable stock. I finished reading a novel I’d started that was recommended by an acquaintance over at VOGUE. I liked a lot of the book, especially relating to the characters and what they were going through. I got ahead of the plot a little too quickly, and there were some chapters where way too much backstory was info-dumped, instead of being integrated into the overall story. I liked more than I didn’t, but it’s not a book I’d rave about. Went through some other books for research on various projects, and put them back in the pile for the library.

Percolated on the retro mystery for a bit. I’m creating a new name for my fictional community and putting in some lines as to how the creator of it is in competition with The Spruces. This will give me the flexibility I need for plot and character and even some geographic deviations. The application for The Spruces was careful and thorough. I want my fictional community to be a little more raucous and freewheeling. On Monday morning, I did some research on different mobile homes, and I found the one I want for my central protagonist: a three bedroom, with a second story for her main bedroom and a roof deck, with a patio downstairs, two bedrooms, a bath, a kitchen, and the living room. I need to go back to the library and look at the dimension widths for the homes that remained in the park. On the road, they could only be 8’ wide, but if they weren’t meant to move? Could they be 10’? When I did my research, I wrote down the length, but not the width.

Sunday was the Spring Equinox. I kept the celebrations simple. It was cloudy most of the day, so I decided not to run errands that day, either. I did some more unpacking and organizing.

I spent a good portion of the day going through a research book I’ve had out of the library for months (I am allowed 99 renewals on it). But I felt like I should go through it thoroughly and return it. I got 9 pages of notes on one project, and images that are relevant to three projects, so it definitely was worth taking the time with it.

I did a chipotle chicken in the crockpot, which was yummy. I do love my crockpot.

I’m slowly working my way through ATLAS OF THE HEART, which was recommended by the leader of the Thursday meditation group. It’s not an easy book. There are things which resonate strongly with me. There are other things with which I disagree. The third category is the most problematic because they resonate, even though I don’t like them! But they make sense. Definitely a worthwhile book, albeit not an easy one.

Up early on Monday, on my own. Got the morning routine going, in spite of going down another research rabbit hole with The Spruces.

I had a long list of errands that needed to happen. On the way to the first set, I stopped at the credit union to make a deposit for my mother, in the joint account, on which I am named with Power of Attorney. The teller and the teller supervisor accused me of trying to scam my elderly mother. Even though I have POA, and my mother signed the check (since it was made out to her), and marked it for deposit. Because I am named for my mother, and therefore must be trying to scam her, because heaven forbid a daughter have the same first name as a mother. If I was a man named for my father, this would never be a problem. Because misogyny. I had to go home, get the check stub and the letter that came with the check TO MAKE A DEPOSIT INTO A JOINT SAVINGS ACCOUNT. On top of that, they’re going to hold the money until the end of the month “to make sure the check is real.” It’s from a major company in the Midwest. On top of that, they said she should have come in to make the deposit herself. First of all, she’s 97. That’s why it’s a joint account and I have POA. So that she doesn’t have to come in herself. Second, none of the staff is masking. Why would I put her at risk in a pandemic? As usual, they are inappropriate.

EVERY interaction with Greylock Federal Credit Union since we opened the account has been unnecessary drama. Why would I want to keep our money in an establishment that treats me like a criminal instead of a customer? The whole point of being with a credit union is because their mission is to treat their members like individuals.

Not Greylock.

As soon as I can legally move the money, I will. It will be a nightmare to open yet another account and switch everything over.  I’m starting the research now. But it’s necessary. Because my mother is 97. I hope she’s around for a long time, but when she does go, how much you want to bet they’d refuse access to the JOINT ACCOUNT so I could pay the bills for the funeral? What about when I start traveling again? How much do you want to bet they’ll leave me stranded somewhere, even though I will have given them the information about the trip in advance? Not to mention that, as a legal adult (for decades now), I shouldn’t have to get the bank’s “permission” to travel.

NONE of this is about security. ALL of it is about control.

The Annual Meeting is tonight. Part of me is exhausted at the very thought of attending. Part of me wants to go in there and tell them off. Yet again. I have brought up these issues before, and they “feel bad” that I have a bad experience with them, but never adjust their behavior.

I have ALWAYS been polite in dealing with them, even when they frustrated and insult me. And EVERY transaction is an absolute nightmare of unnecessary drama.

If I was rich and laundering money through them, they’d let me do anything I want.

Part of being the architect of my own life is only dealing with businesses that treat me with basic human respect and decency. The credit union does not. Therefore, I need to take my business (small as it is) elsewhere.

After it took the hour plus to get sorted what should have been a basic deposit, I did the rest of my errands: the liquor store, the library. Did a pass through the thrift store, hoping for some cute plant pots, but they didn’t have any in stock. Went to another store, where I found pots, potting soil, and even got some morning glory and moonflower seeds.

It meant I didn’t have to drive to another store I thought I’d have to visit, for the soil and the pots. So that saved time, energy, and stress on the car.

After lunch, I planted eight pots with seven kinds of seeds (I’ll discuss it in detail in this Thursday’s post on Gratitude and Growth). It was lovely out on the porch, so we moved all the pots out there in the sun. I updated the plant journal. I’m trying to be more consistent with it. Keeping it in a 3-ring binder instead of a spiral-bound notebook makes it easier.

There were plenty of things I “should” have been doing in the afternoon, although I was well in the zone, deadline-wise. So I cut myself a break, read a book I really wanted to read for fun, and watched the clouds roll by. Being up in the mountains is fun, because the clouds are low enough to really observe.

Tessa started howling as soon as I went to bed. I got up, sat with her while she ate her bedtime snack, and waited until she fell asleep before sneaking off to bed. I was awake on my own just before five this morning, and she was happy.

Took the laundry to the laundromat in the rolly cart. The moon was still out and shining brightly when I left. They’d adjusted the lights to the time change, finally, although the clock is still an hour behind. Got a nice chunk of edits done on CAST IRON MURDER, in spite of some guy coming in to do his laundry who kept trying to talk to me. What is it about men that they can’t stand to see a woman involved in something that isn’t them? I had my folder open with a full manuscript of several hundred pages, I was editing hard copy in red pen, it was obvious I was working. Basic greeting and acknowledgement make sense; trying to engage me in conversation when I am obviously working is not. I was polite, but minimal, and made it clear that I WAS WORKING, and not there to hang out and socialize.

I mean, it’s a lot better here than it was on Cape, but still. Read the room, guys. Not everything is about you.

Home, put the clothes away. I only have about two chapters left to edit on CAST IRON MURDER, so I might just go ahead and do that, and then put in some of the fixes I noted in pen this morning, before switching over to The Big Project, and then client work in the afternoon.

Trying to decide if I want to do a run to the library – six books came in after I had done my drop-off/pickup yesterday.

The tansy seeds finally showed up after travelling from Missouri to Massachusetts to Chicago back to the Berkshires. I hope to plant them today. Otherwise, I have to wait until Friday, which is the next planting day.

By the way, any business that is running around with an unmasked staff behaving like the pandemic is over does not get to use “the pandemic” or “supply chain issues” as an excuse for not being competent or fulfilling their responsibilities. Either they acknowledge we are still in a pandemic and follow protocols, or they forfeit the right to use it as an excuse. It doesn’t work both ways.

The Republican racists are in full sail in the hearings for our new SCOTUS. People need to believe them when they show who they are, and remove them.

The week has barely begun and I’m exhausted.

I will make the time for extra meditation today.

Mon. Aug. 16, 2021: Intent for the Week — Creativity

image courtesy of Hans Braxmeier via pixabay.com

My intent for the week is to revel in my creativity, in more than one form. Not sure what that will take, in addition to the writing, and part of the fun will be figuring it out.

What’s your intention for this week?

Published in: on August 16, 2021 at 7:21 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 16, 2021: Intent for the Week — Creativity  
Tags: ,

Mon. Aug. 9, 2021: Intent for the Week — Flow

image courtesy of silviarita via pixabay.com

I’m starting to get back into the flow of my own creativity and my own writing.

This week, I want to concentrate on that, as I continue to structure my work week/life, adding new clients and projects. I want to work on creating flow in the work I’m doing and accepting; I want to flow with what’s offered (provided it’s worth my time and energy) and what’s around me.

I’ve been stuck and static for so long, that this week, I want to be very, very mindful about flow.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on August 9, 2021 at 7:10 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Mon. Sept. 28, 2020: Intent for the Week — Time to Dream

image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

I’ve been so focused on survival and practicality for months on end now, that I need to build in some dream time this week. I need to build in an hour or several hours each day not being practical, not being productive, not doing other people’s work.

Just being and dreaming.

That should get some of the stuck bits out.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on September 29, 2020 at 5:00 am  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 28, 2020: Intent for the Week — Time to Dream  
Tags: ,

Wed. Aug. 14, 2013: That Delicate State of Creation

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Waxing Moon
Rainy and muggy

The new washer/dryer were delivered and hooked up yesterday. They are tiny compared to the previous ones! I’ll put a table or something in between them. This morning, I’m catching up on all the loads of laundry that accumulated, and then I have a lot of errands to do before I hit the Mermaid Ball meeting.

Yesterday, everything got cancelled, because I was at a delicate, crucial stage in the work on the fantasy trilogy. Originally, it was envisioned as one book, but there’s too much story and too much sweep to explore what I want to explore to do that. I figured out where to break it, and what to call each book, putting it together as a trilogy under the original title. The first book is completely drafted, and two thirds of the second book is drafted. I know where I want to go from here — I had a solid, 12 page writer’s rough outline for it, on which I expanded, based on notes I took re-reading the draft material I have three or four times. I want to have the entire trilogy ready before I start submission, and I’ve got my top two choices of publishers picked out. I think a realistic deadline is the end of this year, although I’d prefer it sooner.

Also, started the second book in the mystery series.

But, the focus was on the fantasy novel. That’s what’s been pulling at me hardest; that’s what feels right at this moment. It’s in much better shape than I remembered.

Today, I can move forward on drafting, and I also have to write a review and two articles, plus do all the running around. Should be a busy day.

Mermaid Ball is this weekend — should be tons of fun.

Devon

Published in: on August 14, 2013 at 6:41 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Fri. Aug. 10: Fond Farewells & Creative Boosts

Friday, August 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Muggy and cloudy

Conference ends today. I’m exhausted, but a happy exhaustion. I’ve got enthusiasm for a new project, and built enthusiasm for what’s out there. I’ve met amazing people, forming new relationships and deepening those I had. I learned a lot, soaking up as much as I could like a sponge, and I laughed a lot.

Best of all, I feel like I’ve catapulted out of my creative rut. I feel a better balance between current commitments and the path I want to try next.

Terrific times.

Will have more coherent posts again next week, when I’ve caught up on sleep!

Have a fantastic weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 7:41 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,