Mon. July 31, 2017: Author, not “Author”, Women’s Memoir Cliches, and Unfair Expectations

Monday, July 31, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It definitely smells like autumn. Tomorrow is the first harvest festival, so it makes sense.

The cats and I were up most of the night because a neighborhood dog was crying. We couldn’t figure out where it was, or I would have comforted it. Poor thing!

I gave myself the weekend off, mostly. I needed to recharge; I was mentally exhausted, even more than physically.

I did some yard work. I read a lot, which was hit and miss. I read a mystery that was set “backstage” in a “professional” theatre. Yeah, right. The performers went around quoting the Scottish play without comment or consequence. DOESN’T HAPPEN. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t be an “author”. Be an author or a writer.

I read another mystery, first book in the series, where the characters were okay, but the plot forced to fit into a tight formula that didn’t work for the premise, and the writing weak.

I read Val McDermid’s OUT OF BOUNDS, which was excellent.

At least it was nice enough to read outside most of the time. A little cool, but nice. I prefer cool weather to hot, anyway, which is why I live in a place with seasons.

I’m reading a stack of books and memoirs about the NEW YORKER magazine, as background for a piece. Hit and miss interesting. I’m looking more for the daily-ness of working at the publication set against the historical backdrop, and what made the people tick, not the navel-gazing.

I’m so tired of memoirs by women who spent the whole book “finding” their “independence”, only to get married (or get married again). Basically, they’re just circling back to where they started, but with a different guy. But people buy into all this “I’m now an independent woman” — um, no, you’re still acting like a 1950s college grad with her MRS degree. Leaving one guy, “travelling” mentally and physically, in order to wind up with another guy, doesn’t make you “independent”. It makes you a cliché.

Worked on notes for a couple of projects.

Finished the next book I have to review. I want to get the review out today, and then request the next book. Hopefully, it won’t take them two weeks to assign it this time. To me “steady work” means the next assignment arrives when I turn in the previous one. They still owe me for the last two reviews, too.

I have two essays and two short stories to finish, plus a couple of pitches to get out. I SHOULD have done them this weekend, but the quality would have been crap. I’m still within my deadline, so it was a better choice to give myself a break, and then be able to attack them with fresh eyes this morning.

I already did a pre-tourist grocery run, so I’m doing okay! 😉

Little annoyed with a friend. I didn’t hear from him for about six months; fine, no problem. But I received an email from him late Friday night, and another one early this morning, berating me for not instantly getting back to him. Um, no. This was a “hey, how are you?” email, not an emergency or a question that required immediate response, and taking the weekend off-line is something he KNOWS I do. Not answering until this morning (just over 48 hours later) is not too long, especially since the last contact was at Christmas. I don’t say “how high?” when someone says “Jump”. I’m more likely to tell that person to eff off. 😉

Tomorrow is the cover reveal for PLAYING THE ANGLES. I’m nervous!

July wrap-up is over on the GDR site.

Back to the page.

Tues. Jan. 3, 2017: Writing and Books

Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Ninth Day of Christmas
Rainy and cool

If you want to see my To Do List for January, visit the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site here.

I also have an article up about my favorite “Comfort Books” — books I re-read regularly — up on A Biblio Paradise here.

Yesterday, I wrote nearly 2300 words on the 5K short story that’s due at the end of the month, so that’s well on its way. It’s surprising me in a good way; I just hope it’s what they want.

I also wrote an article (the one on comfort books), and started rehearsing for this weekend’s MOBY DICK marathon at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

I should have worked on NOT BY THE BOOK, but I didn’t. I’ll have to make up for that today.

I read a book called SKIN LIKE SILVER by Chris Nickson, and I really liked it. I definitely want to read more of his work. I ordered a bunch from the library. Once I read some more, I will decide which ones I’ll buy. Important to support living writers and all that.

I have more admin work to do today, and then it’s back to the page — both the short story, and NOT BY THE BOOK. Then, it’s more rehearsal for MOBY DICK.

Started a new training regimen of strength & cardio work to go along with the yoga and mediation. Yesterday was strength training. The circuit was challenging without being disheartening, and I felt much better once I did it. Today is cardio — I’m supposed to walk in this bad weather. Too bad for me, right? The only way I’m going to achieve what I want and need to is to get back in shape and stay healthy.

So the House of Representatives wants to gut the Congressional Ethics Panel, does it? The House GOP isn’t even pretending to have any ethics any more. Then it’s up to the few ethical Congress members left to hire private investigators and prosecute the unethical Congressional members through the court. Don’t make our entire system a mockery.

As of January 20, our government WILL be a mockery.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 10:33 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 3, 2017: Writing and Books  
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Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Seventh Day of Hannukah
Fifth Day of Christmas
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa
Sunny and cold

I’ve had my head down to finish JUST A DROP. From commission to submission-ready draft, the play has taken me a year. There’s a lot I love about it, and it’s amazing how relevant the political scheming in 17th century Rome is to today.

Of course, there’s plenty of room for further development, through workshopping and rehearsal. But, for now, it makes its deadline, and heads down to 365 Women in New York City.

I can’t believe all the recent deaths. Why aren’t any of the Horrid being taken?

Usually, I’m wonderfully optimistic about the coming year, but I’m not this year. 2016 has been tough; I would like 2017 to be better, but I’m discouraged.

At least the writing’s been going well.

If I choose, I can take a break from writing until Monday. I understand that civilians call this a “weekend” and have them quite regularly. As a writer and theatre person, that is rarely an option for me.

Tomorrow, my wrap up for the year will be on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site here. I am taking Sunday to contemplate what I want from 2017, and on Monday, I will post my answers to the questions on the same site. And start the work for 2017. Even if I don’t have much hope for it, I’m going to dig down and do the work, which is an action I can take, and see what else happens. It’s either that or give up and never get out of bed again, and that’s not what I do.

I was thrown off track this year by many things, and that is just something that happens. I’ve survived, and I want to put things into place in the coming months so that I can thrive.

Happy, happy New Year to you all. I wish you joy and abundance in all that is good.

Devon

Published in: on December 30, 2016 at 10:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!  
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Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Day before Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Second Day of Christmas
Second Day of Kwanzaa
Fourth Day of Hannukah
Stormy, windy, rainy, mild

It was a nice holiday weekend. Quiet on our part. Lots of reading, some planning, lots of eating. We spent Christmas Day with friends. It was nice.

Yesterday was a serious writing day. 26 pages on JUST A DROP. I love the shape the play is taking. It’s very naturally flowing into something that plays well. I’m excited to see where it takes me today. It goes out on Friday, so I have to dig in these last few days.

For the twelve days of Christmas, I can’t remember my dreams on either of the first two, so I hope that means January and February will be relatively quiet months.

I’ve been working on my GDR Wrap Up, which will post on Saturday, and on my GDRs and writing schedule for next year. We don’t even know if we have a future, so it sort of feels like I’m hedging my bets. But I intend to proceed, as long as I can, as though I do have a future, and sort out a writing schedule. I need to get a lot done. I’m giving myself more time for first drafts, which is probably a good thing. I just hope I can juggle as many projects as need juggling.

I’ve got some other stuff I’m working on, stuff I can’t yet talk about publicly. Don’t you hate it when someone posts like that? I certainly do. But it’s exciting, and while the initial planning may not pan out in the way it’s intended at the start, I think it opens some doors that may be worthwhile over the coming few years.

Along with that, I’m starting to think in terms of where I want to be in a year, in three years, in five years — even thought the Sociopathic Narcissist will probably cause a nuclear disaster by April. Still, I’d rather my final thoughts be, “damn, I didn’t get a chance to do that” rather than not having anything planned in the first place.

Planning the menu for New Year’s. We will have a quiet one at home. I hate going out for that holiday. Too much desperation for a good time. I’ve had too many miserable New Years in company. I’m much happier doing yoga and meditating.

Back to the page. I’m focusing only on the play this week. Next week, it’s back to NOT BY THE BOOK, figuring out the rest of THE FIX-IT GIRL, and drafting the short stories that are due at the end of January.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on December 27, 2016 at 10:46 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans  
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New Year’s Eve!

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Full Moon
BLUE MOON
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowing!!!
New Year’s Eve

Holy crap, another year, another decade gone. Well, I’m ready for the next one. Oh, and by the way, I don’t have time for the world to end in 2012. I have too much to do, and the Apocalypse will have to make an appointment with me like everyone else! It’s really not going to work out until like 2075 or something, so just chill Horsemen, chill. 😉

I would not want to be in Times Square for anything – can you imagine, no toilets? And they don’t let you out once you’re in? Ick. When I had the apartment a block away and could see the ball drop from my window, it was really cool, but as the years progressed, I couldn’t even give a party, much less get home after my show because the whole Square is in lock-down. I’d have to go OUT — which I hated — until 1 AM. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that any more.

It’s snowing like crasy — looks like someone dumped a truck of powdered sugar all over everything. Lovely, especially since I don’t have to go out in it!

Dashed out early to the grocery store, came back, cooked like a mad woman all morning (hush, I can hear the comments all the way over here), packed things up, and delivered where they needed to be delivered, packed in the fridge what’s needed for today and tomorrow, did the errands for my mom, picked up the rest of the ritual stuff, and was home by about 3 PM. Poured a glass of wine and just could NOT face going in to the kitchen to even heat anything up for dinner. I’d had a huge lunch — because I needed the space in the fridge!

I’ve posted my year-end wrap up on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. Not happy with my progress, but I feel I learned a lot, and if I apply it moving forward, it will have been worth it.

Forgot to mention I watched the Louisa May Alcott documentary/recreation on PBS the other night. Since Louisa is one of my heroines, and one of the reasons I’m a writer, I had to sit down and watch it. I enjoyed most of it, loved Elizabeth Marvel in it, but felt bad because it was obvious they were on a small budget, and those paper animation thingys just didn’t work for me. I feel bad about not loving the whole thing; after all, I know what it’s like to work on a shoestring production budget.

I ran into one of my best friend at, of all places, the gas station, on my way home from errands. Too funny! We both wanted to top off the tanks to start the new decade with full tanks.

My plans today are to stay home and read and write and do exactly as I please. Ritual tonight (blue moon/full moon, after all). Everything’s ready for that, food just has to be popped into the oven. We’ll toast in the New Year with some champagne, and I have to force down some herring before midnight (not fond of herring, but it’s a family tradition for good luck). Lots of yoga, too. I want it to be a peaceful crossing into the new decade!

If you haven’t downloaded “Just Jump in and Fly”, you only have a few more days. It won’t be available after January 6. If you didn’t get to read “First Feet” last year, it’s still available — a Jain Lazarus Adventure influenced by the first footing custom. It’s below the excerpt from OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so scroll down a bit. Enjoy!

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Devon

Saturday, November 7, 2009

IMG_0461

Saturday, November 7, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Today is the Breeders’ Cup and I haven’t handicapped it. Oops.

I have my November To-Do list up on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. I’m working on next year’s questions.

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy at Ft. Hood. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the dead and injured.

Yesterday, my nerves were shot be midmorning, between the lack of heat and the noise outside. I was happy to pack up and head out in the afternoon. I didn’t get any work done, but I managed to have some relaxation time, and I also got 4 loads of laundry done!

Lazy night. I watched part of SANCTUARY and part of WHITE COLLAR, which meant I didn’t really follow either story too closely. I love Tim DeKay’s work on WHITE COLLAR — his extensive experience working in theatre serves him well here — he’s got a lot of nuances. In SANCTUARY, there was some sort of post-apocalyptic storyline and they put Robin Dunne in a mullet and a tank top for the Rambo reference. It was kind of funny — and I’m not entirely sure it was meant to be funny — but I kind of wish the design for his look had been a little more unique.

Some dates are changing in my site work the next couple of months. On a time/work level, it takes some of the pressure off, but on a financial level, it means less money.

Brandy, yesterday’s picture was taken up in Maine — I like it, too. I’m going to pass on the party in Lenox today because it’s driving 2 1/2 hours in each direction for a party based around wine-tasting — since I can’t stay overnight up there, and if I was going to have to get on the road, I couldn’t really enjoy the wine — I’m going to skip a 5 hour round trip.

Hitting the page early. I need to get a lot done on “Digging”, the short story today. It’s in the high 20’s outside — hopefully they’ll keep the heat on at least for a little while. I may do some errands later, or I may just stay in and keep writing, if it’s going well.

Devon

Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 6:52 am  Comments (1)  
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