Wed. Dec. 5, 2018: Mercury Retrograde Strikes

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Day before dark moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
St. Nicholas Night

Yesterday sucked. Big time.

I was up a little after 2, fretting about a situation that I have to deal with and that screws up my timeline for things over the next few months.

I had trouble getting back to sleep; once I did, I was disoriented when the alarm went off.

I went to my mom’s bank to handle some banking for her. The ATM ate the card; I went in to get it back and was told I couldn’t. I’d have to bring her in to do paperwork, and maybe 7-10 days until a new card. I said, no, you advertise one can get a same-day card. But I had to go home, get her out of the house, down to the bank, and get the new card done.

Then I had to spend a couple of hours changing the card in all the relevant places. She doesn’t keep it on file with too many places, for security – although this damn bank will let any random person pull from the account, but heaven forbid the account holder have access.

On site with the client was okay. We got a few things worked out; we have a few more things to work out. It’s exhausting.

I got a little bit of writing done in the morning, and a couple of articles. I finished the review and got it out. I worked on the update for “Too Much Mistletoe” — I do love Nina. I love her passion and the fact that she’s a romantic wrapped up in cynicism.

Finally got some more work done on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I didn’t want to ruin the momentum I got going last weekend.

I have a stack of books on Degas. It’s a single reference in the scavenger hunt for DAVY JONES DHARMA, but if I don’t get it right, the murder won’t be right.

Tonight is St. Nicholas night – one of my favorite family traditions. We’ll have lovely chocolate tomorrow.

Today will be another challenging day with a client.

All I wanted was a few smooth weeks so we could enjoy the holidays.

I’m exhausted.


Published in: on December 5, 2018 at 6:17 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 5, 2018: Mercury Retrograde Strikes  
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Wed. Nov. 4, 2015: Dealing with Loss, Pushing the Writing

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015
Waning Moon
Sunny and warm

Yesterday was busy. The Come Write In! session at the library was a lot of fun. Really nice group. I got a little over 1700 words written in longhand. Between the two projects, it brings my nano word count to just over 13K, which isn’t bad. It will drop substantially during the second part of the week because of my schedule, but that’s life. As long as I show up every day to the page, it will work.

When that was done, I helped set up the test run of the Christmas tree as a dry run for Spectacle of the Trees. We wanted to see what we still need, and we also wanted to have it up for tonight’s donor event. It looks really nice.

Iris and Tessa are renegotiating their relationship. They also both still search for Violet. Iris and Violet were litter mates and have never been apart in their entire lives. Iris howled and howled yesterday, completely grief-stricken. It’s heartbreaking.

Even though I got home mid-afternoon, I was exhausted. I’m exhausted all the time lately. I got some reading and research done, and we started raking leaves. Of course, by this morning, it doesn’t look like we raked at all.

One of the biggest challenges between switching back and forth between the two novels is that they’re both written in the first person, but the protagonists are very different from each other. It takes me awhile to drop back into the voice of one or the other.

This morning’s work on CHOLERIC is difficult. I wonder if I should have pushed through yesterday, because I was on fire and ready to start at the argument scene in the restaurant. Today, when I worked on it, it felt flat. Very frustrating. Hemingway (I think) always said to stop in the middle of something vital so you can pick up with energy; that doesn’t work for me. I need to finish the beat or I lose it.

So, today, I’m a little tired and discouraged. It doesn’t help that it will be a long day at work with an event after that should be uplifting and lovely, but I don’t feel up to it. And tomorrow morning is a meeting I’m dreading, because I always wind up feeling frustrated and discouraged when I come out of that particular committee’s meeting.

I can’t wait until the weekend. I want to get some serious sleep, if I don’t get off the waiting list and into Crimebake.


Published in: on November 4, 2015 at 10:34 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Sept. 11, 2015: 14 Years — Change and Changes

Friday, September 11, 2015
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

The 14th Anniversary of 9/11. There’s always a struggle to balance the need to build new memories connected to the day and to keep it sacred – at least for me. At this point, I still don’t want to do anything other than be in quiet remembrance. I have no problem with other people doing whatever it is they need to do in their lives. What I do have a problem with is people trying to make ME do what THEY think I should do.

The weather took a turn for the worse yesterday, but it was actually a good thing, because we needed the rain.

Home, tried to rest up. Part 1 of the Sept. 11 honoring ceremonies was last night. Most of us didn’t know each other when it happened, but have met since, and thought it might make more sense to try remembrance together instead of separately.

Up early, finished cleaning. We have company visiting for just a couple of hours early this evening from CT, and then the second of the ceremonies.

The levels of exhaustion I’m fighting are immense. I need next week to figure out what I need to adjust so I don’t feel so beaten down all the time. I left New York for a slower pace and a better quality of life. The people around me live at a slower pace, but expect me to pick up the slack, and, um, no. Not unless you’re paying me a boatload of money.

There are involvements I need to leave behind; the thought of separation with some of them makes me sad, but, in the long run, for my own well-being, it’s necessary.

Dearly looking forward to next week’s vacation. I need it even more desperately now than I did in May. May didn’t wind up being what I needed, so I need to make sure this coming week is.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Published in: on September 11, 2015 at 8:58 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 11, 2015: 14 Years — Change and Changes  
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Wed. Nov. 13, 2013: Submission Catch-Up

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

It snowed most of the day yesterday, so I stayed home and worked. Glad I got so much yard work done the previous day!

Didn’t get enough of my own work done, although I did some work in the development notebook, got out a few submissions, and found a few interesting submission calls. I’ve been focused so much on other people’s work that I feel drained when it comes to my own, and that has to change. My own work must always come first.

Got paid for a piece by someone I’d written off; always a good thing. Still waiting for a project that was promised nearly a month ago — no communication, no project. This is why I’ve started to ask for a non-refundable booking deposit.

Errands to run today, and tomorrow I’m out the door very early for an NMLC Board meeting.

I need a vacation, but there’s no chance of one anytime soon.


Published in: on November 13, 2013 at 8:26 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Aug. 30, 2013: Brain Fatigue

Friday, August 30, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and warmer

Not very productive yesterday, although I got some stuff done in the morning. Suffering from brain fatigue, I think. Worked with students, got a few things cleared out of the way, went grocery shopping.

Read a terrific book, DEATH OF AN AMBITIOUS WOMAN by Barbara Ross. Really well-written.

Cooked a pork roast in a spice marinade, roasted fingerling potatoes, red cabbage, for dinner.

Giving myself the weekend off, my houseguest leaves Monday, and then it’s back into the writing routine. My brain needs the break right now, and I need to refill the creative well. I’m waiting to hear back on a few projects, and I can’t set my schedule until I know what’s coming through and what isn’t.

Thinking about applying for a residency for next spring. Not sure what to do. Tired of feeling like I’m on other people’s schedules all the time.


Published in: on August 30, 2013 at 6:57 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 30, 2013: Brain Fatigue  
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Mon. March 25, 2013: Sprouting Seeds and Scheduling Dilemmas

Monday, March 25, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Friday was a difficult day, and, frankly, there were times when I just wanted to give up. But I made it through. This week will be tough, but, hopefully, I will get through this, too.

I don’t remember much about Friday, except it was a blur of stress and pain.

Friday night’s rehearsal was a nice break, though. The actors are doing well, although they still have work to do. Friday was the painful rehearsal for them, where they realized that, in spite of all the good work they’ve done, there’s still more to do.

Came home late, exhausted.

Up early on Saturday. I filled in as the set-up person for the Tomorrow’s Writers Today program for teens at Barnstable Intermediate School, set up by The Cape Cod Writers Center. The people at the school were great, the teachers were great, and the kids were great. Terrific all around. At 10 AM, I handed off the program to the Executive Director.

The only thing about the experience that sent a chill through me was the postings, in every classroom, on “lockdown procedures” and “safe spots” set aside in every room. This is what it’s come to? It’s heartbreaking.

Came home, set up for the online Query Clinic, ran that.

Dealt with scheduling issues for the show. MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL is sold out, and we want to add a second show, but it’s getting it scheduled with the company that’s a challenge.

Received the grant money for SEVEN OF SWORDS, my other play, which just made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s not the amount (which was small, but fair), it’s the fact that we were respected enough, as playwrights, to be awarded money for our work.

Sunday was supposed to be my day off, and one that was badly needed, but it didn’t work out that way. Dealt with show stuff nearly all day, searched for stuff I needed for various projects, which led to reorganizing the storage unit over the garage. It looks great and I can get at everything, but I still didn’t get my hands on what I needed. So tired, I was shaking and dizzy.

The mesclun greens, bok choy, buttercrunch lettuce, speckled lettuce, and radish seeds all sprouted over the weekend. Very exciting! The tulips I planted in pots and overwintered in the garage are also blooming — lovely!

I have a meeting in Brewster this morning, and then have to deal with show stuff and the book. I’m supposed to have another meeting this evening, but there’s no way I can do all of it.

Didn’t get enough work on the book done, which upsets me. Worked with students, sent out a lot of pitches.

Have a blasting migraine, but have to work through it.


Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 7:12 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. March 14, 2013: Running on Empty

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I wasn’t feeling well, so yesterday wasn’t as productive as I hoped. I got some pitches out, worked on the synopsis for the new book for my agent, did some marketing, etc. I had a meeting about dealing with the trespasser — and he’s either being more careful or has backed off for the past two days. Got the batteries changed in the thermostat – -who knew it needed batteries?

Finished material for Confidential Job #1, and will write it up this morning and turn in the invoice — although the check hasn’t arrived from the last batch of work, which is unusual, and they’re “checking on it”. This client is very good about paying on time, so this is weird.

Watched the coverage of the new Pope. As someone who is not Catholic, the tradition, pageantry, and theatre of it all are fascinating.

Read a page-turner — THE ELDRITCH CONSPIRACY, by Cat Adams. I liked it a lot, and look forward to the other books in the series. I needed a break from reading what I HAVE to read, and read something I WANT to read.

As far as my own creative work, I feel drained and flat. I have to get past it, because I have deadlines, but the tank is empty. Still, I show up every day and push through, because that’s how it gets done, and sometimes the work that comes through on the hard days is what triggers a better flow.

The cats are being very clingy lately. I don’t know if it’s because they sense how much pressure and stress I’m under, or if something else is going on. I was so exhausted yesterday that I was shaking, so I made sure, after the meeting, I had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Today is meetings, back-to-back, all over the darned place, so off I go.


You can still sign up for March 23rd’s Query Clinic and get line-by-line support on multiple query letters.

Check out the new Author Services offered by Fearless Ink!

Tues. Jan. 10, 2012: Recovering from the Party

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Last Day of Full Moon
Cloudy and cold

I’m back! Good to be home! I’m fighting a cold, but, that’s the way it goes.

Got a lot of work done on Friday, and then it was party prep.

Friday night’s party was a ton of fun. Eighteen people in the little house, lots of food, drink, and laughter. Everyone talked to everyone, and got along. The food was good, the decorations looked good, we’d set up the buffet tables to work with the natural flow of the house — one could basically graze one’s way through the house. Turns out one of my colleagues at the Marine Life Center is the niece of the owner of the house!

Tessa Houdini slipped her harness twenty minutes in, but was much happier roaming and playing extra hostess. She never tried to dash out the door as people came and went. She had a blast, because everyone adored her. The other two hid.

We cleaned up after it was over and pulled down the boxes for the holiday decorations before going to bed.

I woke up feeling like I could sleep for a week. But we started taking down the decorations. It took all day, but they’re packed and put away. And a trip to the dump to get all the party debris out.

Then it was packing for the trip and leftovers, which was all we had the energy to heat up.

Up early Sunday morning, loaded the car, on the road a little after eight. Stopped in Niantic for some books (always a treat) and in Old Saybrook, where I found a few little things, then on to Greenwich. Dropped Costume Imp off at the train and my mom at her site.

Found out I the site has now locked wireless access, so I couldn’t use my own computer. I HAD to get online, so I borrowed a computer and caught up with students. Some of them are pushing boundaries — I am not on call 24/7, nor am I required to explain where I am, AND I’m allowed to take off a day here and there, just like anyone else. At the same time, I appreciate that they want to make sure I’m not lying in a ditch somewhere. One of the students, however, pulled an absolutely unacceptable manipulation move. To say I hit the roof is an understatement. The passive aggression and constant turmoil this individual causes must stop NOW. Line crossed. Unacceptable.

I thought I was shaking because I was so angry — turns out I was also running a fever and had chills. Broke it with good, ole-fashioned aspirin.

Up early on Sunday, back in the car. Drove straight through to the Cape — well, I had to stop for gas, but that’s it. The cats were glad I was home — it looks so bare without all the decorations! I have to do laundry and convert the big buffet table in my office back into the low workspace table and get back to the routine.

I was congested and feeling icky. Broke down and took a Sudafed, which has always been my go-to. Nothing but an upset stomach from it. So, when its term was done, I fired up the oil burner and mixed eucalyptus, tangerine, and pine oils, letting it burn for a few hours. I could breathe all night without distress.

My throat is a little scratchy, but, other than that, I seem in decent shape. Will hit the page for a few hours. I’ve also got to finish a review and type up the minutes for tonight’s meeting. Then, it’s checking in with the students in both classes. The Year-Longs are soldiering along (5 out of 12 have completed the first draft that has to be done by the end of the month). The 5-in 10-ers have their first flash fiction piece due today. Of the four pieces I’ve read so far, all four are excellent. They took the found inspiration and ran with it, kept their unique voices, and kept within the word count limits. The stories are lively and pack a punch. Good stuff! My new private student’s doing really, really well, too. I’ve got some polishing to do for tomorrow’s Webinar — I hope some of you will join me. It’ll be fun.

I’ve got a busy week ahead of me. It’ll be fun, but demanding. I’m also looking forward to next week, which I’m trying to keep very quiet.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and bitterly cold

Okay, I’m officially tired. The Holiday Season officially caught up with me and kicked my ass. Hell, the whole damned decade caught up with me and kicked my ass.

For some reason, I have internet access this morning, so I’m posting from the site.

The cats were pretty angry when I got home yesterday to feed them. I dashed home to bring a bunch of stuff home yesterday and today, and will return from the job late tonight.

I was only home for two hours (can you say “even more pissed felines” when I left?) I’m having trouble finding the champagne I need for New Year’s. I need half splits, and can’t find the kind I like.

I worked on the GDR wrap-up for the year, which will post on New Year’s Eve. I’m pretty hard on myself, and blunt about where I failed — which is, basically, everywhere except that I managed to earn a living by my pen all year. But the “how” frustrates me. I thought I was getting all this great work done, and . . .I didn’t. And it’s my own damned fault, most of it due to time mismanagement. Really, I thought I did better than the GDRs reflect. I THOUGHT I was being very productive. Wrong! “Treading water” is just about it. And that’s just not good enough.

Hopefully, I can take what I learned and apply it moving forward. The GDRs for the New Year will post on January 1. January’s To-Do list will post on January 2. The next newsletter SHOULD (famous last words) go out on Twelfth Night. At least I found the cause for the past weeks of restlessness and frustration. Now, let’s hope I can come up with a cure.

I finished the Apocalypse story, and I hope to send it off today. I want to rework the ending a bit — it doesn’t quite have enough punch — but the rest of it, I really love. I kept the original premise, threw out what I’d written, and wrote nearly 5K of new material — ever so much better.

I’ve been having the oddest, most bizarre dreams. Since what you dream during the Twelve Days of Christmas is supposed to come true — let’s say that if I see any of this manifesting, I’m heading the other way!

Lots of work to do, must hop to it!


Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 9:35 am  Comments (4)  
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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

I can’t believe it’s March 1! February will be known as “The Lost Month of 2009.”

Later today, or maybe tomorrow morning, I’ll post my To-Do List for March on the GDR site. March will be about a lot of catch-up from January and February.

We had a dusting of snow last night, like someone sifted powdered sugar over us all. It’s pretty, but we’re supposed to get a foot of snow tonight.

I’m kind of glad I’m not driving out to Long Island to see my show tonight – it would be rough getting home! Instead, I’m going out in a couple of weeks. I do want to see the production and meet everyone.

Elsa is pretty much the same – paying attention to everything, snuffily, taking her medicine like a good girl, eating everything she can get her paws on, opening the cat food cupboard and pulling out more cans, then getting frustrated because she can’t open them. I’m glad she’s not lying in a heap in the corner, but the respiratory stuff doesn’t seem to clear up at all. And I keep saying it – the Rescue Remedy seems to give her the most relief. When I give it to her in tandem with the antibiotics, she’s much better than with just the antibiotics.

I’m being careful to give all three lots of individual attention. They always get lots of individual attention, but they know something’s different, and I’m checking on Elsa every two minutes, so I have to give EVERYBODY extra attention.

I put up a “Buy My Books, Help My Cat” page on my website. If you know of anyone who might be interested in the fiction or the writing ebooklets (and are cat people), they can click on the link and it’s got all the information. Once Elsa’s all healthy again and the vet bills are paid, I’ll take down the page (after leaving a “thank you” up for a few days).

I got some work done yesterday, but, honestly, I felt quite under the weather, so I called it an early day. The first Bedtime Louie story, tentatively entitled “Death by Ice Cube” is going to be a heck of a lot of fun, but will need more research. I did some research on the subways and Jamaica racetrack in 1933, when I plan to set it, but wound up sending out quite a few emails to check historical details. When I first envisioned the story, who knew I’d have to find out whether or not the stop at Jamaica was an elevated subway or a trolley? Or that I needed to know if there was an admission fee at Jamaica racetrack in 1933 and how much it was? Yet, all those things come into play. I might have to make a trip in the next few weeks and go digging in some archives (one of my favorite things to do).

I went to bed at 7:30 last night and slept for 11 hours. Needless to say, I feel much better, revived and focused, ready to work on some fiction this morning, and then do some work for a client with energy and clear focus, which is what it deserves.

I made my infamous turkey chili last night – each time I make the recipe, it gets better. I like using actual chunks of turkey in it rather than ground turkey, and I’ve upped the cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder a bit to give it extra kick. And, instead of green peppers, I find celery tastes better in this particular concoction, especially since I upped the spices.

I might have to trudge out and get some more milk in before the storm really hits. But, other than that, it’s a day tucked home and working.

Hope the rest of your weekend’s great.


Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 8:29 am  Comments (6)  
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