Mon. July 30, 2012: Suddenly Quiet . . .

Mutant primrose in my office

Monday, July 30, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s starting to feel like autumn, and it’s not even August. My orange chrysanthemums are blooming, the air smells sharp in the morning and evening, in the way it does during the turn of the seasons. The cats are shedding like crazy and growing their winter fur — it’s thick.

Busy weekend. Costume Imp’s friends from the west coast were east, and they came over on Friday for cocktails, dinner, and we watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics. My reaction to most of it was “WTF?” I liked the Rowan Atkinson bit and the Queen Elizabeth/James Bond skit. Those were clever and worked. The history of the Industrial Revolution just didn’t, for me. It felt pompous and heavy-handed, and far too much a celebration of colonialism (which caused a lot of suffering that wasn’t even touched on). The parade of athletes is always interesting. Not having the flame publicly visible is, I’m sure, irritating to many.

Saturday we ran some errands and mostly watched the Olympics and recovered. We attempted to go to the Lavender Farm and Great Cape Herbs. The traffic was so awful that we only made it to the latter. Took way too long to get around. Now, I’m happy and grateful that everyone’s having a good summer season — I just don’t want to be out in it! 😉

Got a lot of research done for the aviation story. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a better handle on it. More work on the revisions for the first book in the trilogy, while trying to balance writing the second book.

Sunday was just a quiet day at home. Much needed. Read a mystery that head-hopped so much it worked my last nerve and I found it hard to connect with any of the characters. Read a terrific fantasy by NK Jemisin called THE KILLING MOON. She is a superb world builder. I have to put that book on reading lists for class. Now I’m reading Alice Hoffman’s THE PROBABLE FUTURE. I love Alice Hoffman’s writing, so I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Somehow, in the fray of all this company these past weeks, the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom cracked. So I replaced that yesterday and also put in a Waterpik 5-speed shower head in the downstairs bathroom. The original one is bagged and labelled, so, when we move, I can switch them back. I felt like such a competent handy woman after all that! 😉

This morning, we were all up extra early, because Costume Imp had to make a 7:30 bus back to NY.

I’ve got errands to run this morning, and then a short story to finish, an article to draft, and a book to start for critique. I’d love to just go back to bed, but — not an option!

I’ll have to mow the lawn this week — it’s been growing slowly, acting like it’s already October, but it’s now grown enough it needs some attention. The hosta blooms are all faded, and bees have all they want from them, so I’ll cut those back, too.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

I’ve got my SDR blog piece up, “Writers Who Blog . . .and Drive Me Away”, sure to get a few backs up. Hop on over if you like.

So, the Jupiter Retrograde kicked me in the ass yesterday with the 72” bookcase. It arrived, much earlier than I expected. I was all excited and started putting it together.

Only the holes where you’re supposed to assemble it were shut. Hadn’t been hollowed out to allow assembly. And, when I tried to hollow them out, the wood splintered. Gee, well-crafted piece, wasn’t it?Th

Called Staples; they were really gracious. The replacement should arrive today, but it could be up to a week before the pieces of the other one are picked up. I contacted the company who sold the piece to Staples and told them that I’m disgusted by their lack of quality control, and if the replacement has the same problems as this one, I’m reporting them to the BBB. Having the clear holes so the screws can meet the fasteners is not brain surgery – it’s their job.

So, by 9:30 in the morning, my hands were bleeding, my wrist swollen, and my nails broken thanks to their incompetence. I’ve put together dozens of bookcases before, so it’s not like I don’t know how. And it’s not like I don’t know when a product is defective.

And then, of course, you can’t get the crap back in the box, and they have “no idea” when they will come and pick it up in the next five days. I don’t have room for a 72” long box of crap to sit in my hallway. 5 days is not acceptable. I’m tempted to throw it out of my third floor window into the construction dumpster.

Polished the essay, got it out. Hopefully, my editor will like it.

Worked on THE MATILDA MURDERS in my head, which isn’t as good as putting it on paper, but I paced and muttered a lot, and I have a good idea of its overall structure now. For some reason, this piece really wants to be mentally written before it’s physically written, so I’m just going with it. I’m mentally writing while I’m doing things like mopping the floor and making Pad Thai.

It was too nice to stay in, so I went out to visit the Bruce Park in Greenwich to read for a bit – it was so pretty there, I’ll have to see if I can post pictures at some point. Stopped at the library, got some books off the sale shelves.

Finished reading Gail Z. Martin’s The Blood King and liked it. Not bad – it was over 600 pages and I read it in just over two days. In other words, it’s a page turner. And, I felt so relieved on the author’s behalf – the copy editing was good! It picks up right where The Summoner left off, but if you read this book before the first one, it still makes sense. She tells just enough about the first one to clue in new readers, but not so much that if you’re reading the series in order you feel held back. There are quite a few clever and imaginative escapades in both books, and I’m glad I read them.

An acquaintance and I were talking about various writers and one writer’s name came up. I’d happened to read a couple of her books over the last few years, and they don’t do it for me. The acquaintance said, “Oh, you must really hate it that she sells so well.” Actually, I’m glad she’s found her audience and that she’s making a living. I don’t know her personally, so I have no idea if I’d like her or not; just because her writing doesn’t thrill me doesn’t mean I wish she wouldn’t succeed. It’s hard enough to make a living in this business – most of the time, I’m glad when someone does. There are so many different tastes out there, there’s room for all of us.

Contrast between the type of client for whom you want to work and the one you don’t. Client A and I emailed back and forth some negotiations. She went with someone else (probably cheaper), but she wants to keep my information for the future, and she was so lovely to deal with that I’d work for her in a heartbeat (at a decent rate). Client B had an interesting but vague ad, so I sent an email asking for more information so I could put together relevant samples and I got this response: “We got over 200 responses in a single day to our ad. We have plenty of samples and therefore don’t need to respond to any emails that are stalling tactics.” Guess who I WON’T be working for unless there’s a hefty aggravation fee attached? 😉

Disquieting news from Confidential Job #1 – they’re cutting their pay rate. I’m not happy about it, but I’ll try it for awhile. It hasn’t dropped to insulting. I just always question the intelligence of allowing one’s fee to be cut. If it hits a point where I feel that the time spent isn’t being adequately compensated, I will have to leave. I’d hate to – I really enjoy the job – but I have to be paid a decent fee for my time and my work.

So that’s the latest. I’m waiting for the bookcase delivery, hoping there are some decent jobs in the listings, and working on both the adaptation and THE MATILDA MURDERS.


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 7:35 am  Comments (9)  
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