Wed. Oct 31, 2012: Post-Sandy Samhain

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool
Samhain

We made it through Sandy. We were pretty lucky, tucked in mid-Cape. We lost power about mid-day on Monday, as the storm picked up speed. The gas stayed on, though (the lines didn’t flood), so we could cook and had hot water, which made it all much easier. In other words, we didn’t need to cook in the fireplace!

Sunday, we’d pulled in all the plants, creating an indoor jungle that Tessa loves to play in. Friday totally sucked, on so many levels I don’t even want to get into it, crowning with the deadbeat client who paid me three months late giving me a rubber check — don’t even get me started. Needless to say, it’s started a negative ripple effect that will take weeks to sort out, and, since the client is in the worst of the hurricane zone, it is unlikely I will EVER see the money. I don’t want to be unsympathetic to a hurricane, but it should have never happened in the first place.

On the positive side, we did a big Market Basket run, and were well-stocked. Since the power was off for only about 12 hours, we didn’t lose anything, and we could cook. We hunkered down, reading books, eating, and listening to the battery-operated radio. We woke up in the middle of the night when the power kicked back on, and started watching the news at 4:30 in the morning.

The devastation in NY and NJ is horrible. Kudos to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for pointing out that we’re getting the “100 year storm” every 2 years and climate change! Even Broadway shut down for two days, which is a heck of a lot more unusual than the damn Stock Exchange.

The town I grew up in was hit hard, especially the art deco amusement park down by the water. The boardwalk was seriously damaged, and one of my favorite restaurants destroyed. I’m glad I took so many photos while I still lived there. I’ve tracked down most of my friends and neighbors, who are fine, but in the dark. We never lost mail delivery, but someone tacked a sign on the post office in my former home town — which happens to be at one of the highest points in town — saying, “we’ll be back when it’s safe.” Although the official news reports are saying how things are running smoothly, I hear very different stories from the people actually living there, and much bemoaning that the former mayor isn’t still in charge — someone good at dealing with this type of crisis.

It’s that mix of relief that I’m here, and things are fine, and guilt that I’m not there, with the people I’ve known for so many years.

We are in much better shape here. In fact, everyone yesterday was, in typical Cape Cod fashion, Very Busy yesterday. There was as much traffic as on a summer day — it’s as though people had been trapped inside for a week instead of a day.

I did cancel the writers’ group gathering, since the roads were still hit-and-miss, and there were lots of power outages.

Today, it’s buckling back down to work, and getting everything re-decorated again for Halloween. I’ve still got to finish edits on a manuscript and knock out a couple of articles, not to mention get started on my school work for the week. Costume Imp is figuring out if he’s going to try to go back at the end of the week, as planned, or stay longer. He’s welcome to stay as long as he needs to.

All I want to do is sleep!

Devon

PS on two fronts — the “Dissecting Submission Guidelines” seminar is ON for this Saturday, only $20 to learn how to interpret and successfully prepare your submissions to guideline. More information here.

The deadline for application for the Playwrighting Intensive has, per request, been extended to November 20, in light of the hurricane and power issues. Decisions will still be announced on December 1. More information and application here.

Wed. Oct. 10, 2012: Happy NMLC News!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

First, the good news — I’m a guest on Penny Estelle’s blog as part of Christmas in October, with HEX BREAKER. You can also win a PDF of a story that will be one of the Copper Wishes Creek Tales released next year.

Lost most of my morning workday due to problems with the webhost, 1and1.com. Suddenly, it won’t let me put ANY buttons on my site. It used to be just Twitter and Facebook buttons, but I could drive to a computer with IE on it and put in the “Buy Now” buttons on my site. No more. They basically want to double what they’re charging me and say “that’s how it’s always been”. Then why have I had those buttons on my site previously? Plus, of course, the usual problems with changing font size not taking, and wonky links. Why would I pay double what I’m paying now, when they don’t even give me the service for which I pay now? I lost at least three hours of work time, for which I will invoice them.

So, anyone who takes the upcoming Fast & Fun workshops just has to make direct PayPal payment, without the buttons, which looks unprofessional. I will be billing them for lost income.

And then their dumbass “customer service” people argue with me.

As soon as I can free the files they continue to hold hostage, I’m outta there.

We got our first seal at the National Marine Life Center. You can see pictures of Townsend here. Isn’t that the cutest little face ever? We are so excited! He’s a lively little guy, a harbor seal. His arrival was exciting!

Then, the chairperson of the Mermaid Ball and I visited a couple of locations for next year’s Mermaid Ball. Both locations were good; each had positives and negatives that need to be weighed in terms of the choice. We’re going to look at two more today.

Checked on Townsend before we headed home (little cutie, getting settled in his tank).

Worked with the students in the Supporting Characters workshop — some excellent work. They’re taking it seriously.

Couldn’t get into Savvy Authors at all to work with my tarot students — I tried in three different browsers, but MacGeorge says, no honey, it’s got malware, we’re not going there. This has been an ongoing issue for the better part of a year. I feel for them, but it’s also putting all of us behind a lot.

Didn’t get a chance to do any schoolwork yesterday, so I’ll have to make up for it today, working on my final project for Sustainability, and watching lectures for this week in all three classes.

I know it’s coming up quickly, but the “Dissecting Guidelines” workshop is this Saturday, October 13, and the “The First Three Pages: Dynamic Openings” is on October 20. This is the only time they will be offered this year, and they’re very reasonably priced. More information here.

Got to get a lot of work done this morning, before I head out again to look at venues!

Devon

Tues. Oct. 9, 2012: Painless Update and Upcoming Workshops

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

For the first time in my life, I had a positive experience upgrading the computer. In it went, first thing in the morning. Out it came in the afternoon, running like a dream. Fast, efficient, feels like brand new. The techs were kind, calm, and got the job done right the first time. In all my 20+ years of computer experience, this is the first time it’s happened.

Of course, trying to update the website, 1and1 Webhost is still a pain in the butt.

Today, tomorrow, and Thursday, I’m on the Muse Online Writing Conference, teaching a Supporting Characters Workshop. The Tarot and the Writers Workshop is still going well, although too many are late getting in their assignments. And, right now, I can’t get into Savvy Authors because of yet more malware warnings.

This Saturday (the 13th) I’m teaching a Fast & Fun Workshop on “Dissecting Submission Guidelines”, since that’s a complaint I’ve heard from editors and agents a lot these last few months. Only $20. Next Saturday (the 20th) I’m teaching a “First Three Pages” workshop, getting the first three pages dynamic. That’s only $30 — I have a sense I’m lowballing a bit for the amount of work, but we’ll see. Registration should open for both of those later today — 1and1 won’t let me put in the coding for the Buy Now button, so I have to go to the library and do it on their computer. More info on both here, on the Fast & Fun Page.

The application is open for the three month playwrighting intensive that starts in January. More information and download the application here.

While MacGeorge was in computer hospital, I worked on the material for Confidential Job #1. It’s over 600 pages, and I got about 275 pages done. It’s due Friday, so I’ll have to do another 200 pages today and another tomorrow.

I checked in with the Muse Conference — some people already posted the first assignment, so I’ll be working on those tonight when I get back. Posted tomorrow’s lectures and assignments, so they have a head start.

I’m on my way out the door — to one library, to try to put in the PayPal button; to another library to return a book. Then, it’s off to the Marine Life Center — the ball chairperson and I are going to look at venues for next year, and we also have a special arrival at the Center later this afternoon. It means I have a lot of work to do tonight when I get home, but it will be worth it!

Devon