Fri. April 6, 2018: Seriously Sick of Retrogrades

Friday, April 6, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Why yes, we are going to have more snow this weekend. Enough already!

Yesterday was a lot of running around in the morning, juggling errands and priorities. I posted pieces for Upbeat Authors, next week’s Ink-Dipped Advice, worked on a few LOIs, did some promo for the Jain Lazarus Adventures. The ebooks are discounted on Kindle, $1.99 for HEX BREAKER and $2.99 for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, with Kindle Unlimited editions free.

Did some genealogy work. I enjoy it, but it’s specific and detailed, and it takes time. Carving out the time while juggling everything else that needs to be done is difficult. But I want to do it, so I’m finding a way.

The Stupid was very strong out and about, and, especially online yesterday. Just have no patience with it right now.

I have an article to finish today, another pitch to get out. I’m working steadily on the serial outline. I’m wondering if it makes more sense to put scenes on index cards and then arrange them. I HATE working that way, but it might make the most sense for this.

I’ll be digging in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY over this weekend, with the snowstorm, and finishing up my taxes.

Have a great weekend!


Published in: on April 6, 2018 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on Fri. April 6, 2018: Seriously Sick of Retrogrades  
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Mon. May 7, 2012: Intense Family Weekend

Mist over the dunes at the Province Lands Center, Provincetown

Monday, May 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Intense few days. Went to yoga on Thursday morning, came back, packed the car, and we were on the road a little after 11. Trip to Maine wasn’t bad, not much traffic, we made good time. We settled in, spent some time with my great uncle, I cooked dinner.

We were up early the next day, breakfast, picked up one cousin who lives down the street and one in Portland, and hit the road. The drive down wasn’t bad, either — we timed it well.

We hit Foxboro around 10:30 in the morning. I was born in Norwood, and Foxboro is where my grandmother lived for many years. I haven’t been back since the mid-90s.

We found the cemetery without any problem, and found my grandparent’s grave. The cemetery is beautiful — extremely well-cared for, and people are allowed to individually landscape each of the graves, which is great (unlike so many cemeteries, now, where everything is supposed to be identical and plain, and everyone is a number, not a memory of an individual). We also visited the nearby grave of another family friend. We spoke a few words by the site, and handed over the ashes to the caretaker, who will bury them today.

We drove past the house where my grandparents used to live, and where I have many happy memories. It looks lovely — the current owners take loving care of it, have landscaped it nicely, put on a new roof, etc. And the property next door (formerly belonging to the person whose other grave we visited) is also lovely. She had magnificent formal gardens, and the current owners have kept them up.

It was strange to see those childhood places through adult eyes.

Something is starting to tickle in the back of my head, an idea; I’m not sure where it

We continued around to the Cape and home. After getting the cousins settled in, we headed up to Cobb Hill — the cemetery where the first arrivals are buried. They came over from Kent, England, and one branch of the family went up to Maine. It was cold and rainy, so we didn’t spend as much time in the cemetery as we might have otherwise.

We went over to Sturgis Library and spent a few hours in their genealogy collection. They have a lot of information on the family — the branch that started here and wound up to Maine, another branch that wound up in West Virginia. It was fascinating.

I cooked dinner, and we all visited and played with the cats. I spent a bit of time with students.

To bed early, but also up early on Saturday. I baked apple spice bread for breakfast. Then, we headed out to Provincetown. Unfortunately, it was another cold, drizzly day. But we got to walk around town a bit (already quite busy) and had a nice lunch. We went up to the Province Lands Observation near Race Point, always one of my favorite places, and I got some interesting misty pictures.

We came home, and someone from Sturgis called — I’d left something important at the library the day before! Someone from the library was coming to my library for an event; I met her there, feeling both stupid and grateful. She is definitely getting a thank you note.

Cooked dinner, uploaded photos, made prints for them, copied the information from the library — by the time I tried to get online to deal with students, it was 9:30 at night and I was incoherent.

Up early on Sunday, made eggs benedict, and we were on the road a little after 9. Not a bad ride up to Maine, in spite of an accident on 93 and one inside the Big Dig tunnel. Dropped off the cousins and turned right around to go back.

I admit, I was getting a little tired.

But it was great to have the family from Maine here, to have them see where we live, and that this move was the right choice for us. They also have been working very hard, and I wanted to give them a happy, relaxing time.

We meant to stop for lunch, but didn’t find what we wanted, so wound up driving all the way back. Instead of going back through the Big Dig, we hooked around again on 128 so we could take the Bourne Bridge. The Sagamore had a two hour delay getting off-Cape, and that usually causes a tangle getting on the Cape, too. We shot over the Bourne Bridge and found off-Cape traffic backed up all the way to our little town, too. But we got home in a reasonable amount of time.

Heated up some dinner and went to bed. That was all I could take.

A LOT to do today, both online and off. The rain last week stimulated the grass — I’ve got to mow. And hit the bank. And put gas in the car. And do some work with my students. And help out a pro bono client. And polish my lectures for Saturday’s workshop.

Billy Root’s blog will go up later today.

Better get to it! I’m tired, but more optimistic this week. I’ve still got some stuff to figure out, but I’m getting there.


Don’t forget the Amazing Antagonists workshop on Saturday, May 12! You can turn your antagonists from ciphers to complex, fascinating individuals with these tips. More info and registration here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

This is what the bastards have done to our courtyard — cut down all but 3 of the beautiful, old trees, and those will probably come down today. The City stands by and says they can’t do anything — which is bullshit — you can ALWAYS come up with something, if you really give a damn.

It causes me physical pain as well as emotional. I can’t really describe it, but I can feel every cut.

May those who ordered it and yes, those who carried it out — get their karmic retribution sooner rather than later, and may I be allowed to witness it.

Because I’m sick and tired of cowards who hide behind “it’s my job”. If you do something you know is wrong because “it’s your job” — it’s still wrong and you’re as culpable, if not more culpable, than someone who made the choice. Someone who makes a choice is taking action — someone who hides behind the job is a coward.

Believe me, I am not done with these scum yet. I may not have been able to save these particular trees, but I can work to change legislation to prevent these scum from doing this in the future. I would prefer to simply chop them to pieces with a machete, but that is not a sane viable long term solution, so I’ll refrain.

In other words, yesterday was an awful day, and I didn’t get much done on the job front.

I managed to proof the essay and get it to my editor first thing (before the chaos started). I rewrote the story for the other editor — I’m not happy with the requested cuts. The cuts took out the details that made it unique and, to me, the story now reads as though I’m “talking down” to the age group. Part of me almost hopes it doesn’t make the next round of readings, so that I can restore it to what it was (although, the editor was correct and the last line had to be better — so I put what I think is a humorous twist in it — and then re-submit elsewhere. We’ll see. If it’s accepted and published as it, I’ll learn about the publishing side for that young age group — even if I think they’re underestimating the actual readers.

I submitted two other stories yesterday, too, so, fingers crossed. But I couldn’t get any writing done, because I was too upset. I will find a way to shape the rage into a viable piece of writing, but it’s too soon, too raw.

I also received my honorable withdrawal card from the union, which was kind of jolting.

November is filling up with work — good thing I’m sticking to my commitment to skip Nano this year. I’m also determined to hold my dates for my trip to DC. Three days of libraries and museums will set things to rights in many ways, plus I’ll have meetings with both politicians who represent me and activists and writers I’ve gotten to know via Twitter and other writing. I’m going to pack a lot into three days!

On another weird twist in the story of my life, by accident I found a photo of a guy standing with the Stanley Cup who may well be related to me. I had to join Facebook in order to send him a message (don’t worry, folks, no page is going up, and I may well cancel my account soon). I did a little research — he seems to play — and win — in billiard tournaments — my kind of guy. And obviously likes hockey. We’re close in age, so he can’t be a half-brother, but maybe he’s a second or third cousin. The family name — especially that spelling — is very rare.

Delving further, I found another possible ancestor who was a founder in a small town on the Polish-Czech border — he was the town’s butcher, co-owned the inn, and owned a shop — a busy guy — in a town with a population of 483 back in the mid-1800s.

Someone with one letter missing in the last name originated in Russia and emigrated through Ellis Island, and has records in St. Louis. So I’ve contacted the special collection there to see if I can get copies of the records.

This is all on my father’s side of the family, and I know very little about them. My father’s elder brother was a well-known artist in Europe, who died a few years ago. his younger brother is an etcher and art printer. Supposedly, the younger brother has all the family records, but has ignored repeated requests for copies of the information, even though I offered to pay all copying and mailing costs. I’ve only ever met them once or twice, soon after my father died, back in the 1970s. was no help. They want me to sing up for a free 14-day trial and then do a monthly payment — bur since they won’t let me see the few records they have, I have no reason to believe their information is useful. I may be better off hunting stuff down on my own. Quite frankly, the information I’ve gotten through the site run by the Mormons has proven much more complete and accurate.

I’ve gotten a good portion of information from my mother’s side of the family, thanks to a project she and her dad did together when she was a kid. I’m kind of stalled there — time being a factor as much as anything else.

Eventually, I’ll need to spend a few months putting stuff together and then plan a trip to Europe that is specifically geared towards genealogical research.

On today’s agenda — trying to catch up on what I didn’t get done yesterday, work on some environmental legislation, and, hopefully, get some writing done.

I helped a friend hone an ad yesterday — he’s certainly had my back enough times in life, so I was happy to do something as simple as proofread and comment on some copy.

Let’s hope today is better, and Gaia starts pushing back against these scum.