Tues. Jan. 19, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 244 — Dark Before Dawn, Dare I Hope?

image courtesy of Shantanu Kashyap via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Waxing Moon

Still dark out

Busy weekend, but busy in a good way. Post up over on A Biblio Paradise about Dan Rather’s book.

I finished the book proposal and got it off on Saturday. I also completed and submitted a grant application. In and around doing five loads of laundry and the usual Saturday housework.

The first shipment of books for the contest arrived, and I unpacked them. I will process them today, and will start them this week.

Then, I was exhausted.

Other than worrying about what crap the radical right plans to pull this week, I gave myself Sunday off. Finished reading Neil Simon’s REWRITES and started his next memoir, THE PLAY GOES ON.

I put up the Carnivale decorations on the mantel, which cheers up the entire room.

I did some work on GAMBIT COLONY, which always serves as a stress reliever. But it’s difficult, this week, to focus on anything.

I took the holiday on Monday, at least, location-wise. I did not go into the office, but worked remotely for a few hours. Also got some LOIs out.

I also did a run to Trader Joe’s, the pharmacy, and dropped off some library books in the book drop.

Working on the ScriptMag article. Not sure I can get it finished today, but I will try. I alternate between struggling to concentrate and glad to have something that demands strong focus.

I am in desperate need of a real break, a couple of weeks with no pressure on me about anything. Genuine rest. Catching a day or two here and there doesn’t cut it. But I don’t see any way for me to get such a break in the foreseeable future. Not until after the move, at the very least. But I’m hurting from the exhaustion.

Today is blocked off to do some client work and the article. Once the article is out the door, I have a short story that needs some attention.

I want tomorrow to go off without any violence happening to Biden and Harris, or their families. That’s my main concern. And I want the insurrectionists destroyed. No negotiation with domestic terrorists, whether they are in public office or roaming the streets. No. Negotiation.

Published in: on January 19, 2021 at 6:40 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 19, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 244 — Dark Before Dawn, Dare I Hope?  
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Fri. Jan. 15, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 240 — Blocks of Creative Time

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Friday, January 15, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cloudy and cold

Although it’s milder than normal for this time of year, it’s still cold and raw.

The Mid-Month check-in is up on the GDR site, and looking at how short the list is, I feel like crap.

Which is a shame, because I felt pretty good after yesterday’s work on the book proposal. It has to go out by Sunday, although I’m hoping to get it out today or tomorrow.

This particular organization’s guidelines are structured very differently than a traditional book proposal, so I’ve had to change my process to fit it. It’s a challenge, but in the right way. I feel good about the work I did. I don’t know if it’s what they want, but I have something solid that I can use, be it for them or somewhere else, and that feels good.

It was a good mix of finding the right resources to source for research to support the themes I the novel, and to talk about schedule and process. I need to move some material around today, and polish it. As I did my first couple of editing passes yesterday, I was alarmed by the overuse of passive voice and the overuse of adverbs. Thank goodness for edits. I’m also tightening, focusing, and clarifying.

A grant application hit my desk yesterday; it’s not a complicated process, and I might as well try. If I don’t apply, there’s no chance of getting it. But that will happen AFTER this proposal is out.

Once the book proposal is out, I have to turn my attention to the article for SCRIPTMAG. I have almost all of the material. Two sources did not get back to me with the requested quotes,  so I will move forward without them. That is due on Tuesday, so I’ll finish it over the weekend.

I finished the book for review, and will submit the review today. I have one more book assigned for review; I will do that this weekend. The first box of contest entries is supposed to arrive today, and once I process them, I will have to get started on them next week.

It felt really good, though, to spend the bulk of my energy on a single creative project yesterday. That’s the way I like to work. Large swaths of uninterrupted work time.

During our Knowledge Unicorns session yesterday, we discussed the impeachment process, and what needs to happen for the Senate to convict — and what can happen if they chose to remain loyal to a traitor.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Let’s hope we’re in for better things after what will be a chaotic week next week.

Published in: on January 15, 2021 at 7:16 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 15, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 240 — Blocks of Creative Time  
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Wed. March 23, 2016: Lots of Good News!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Busy few days! Including a snow storm on the Equinox, although it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as predicted.

Saturday, I had some running around to do, and some writing to do. Baked cupcakes. I’d come home from work on Friday feeling just awful. We think I might be having a bad reaction to the new carpet.

Then, at 2 PM, we hosted Caroline Kepnes at the library. She’s got two wonderfully creepy books out, You and Hidden Bodies. She’s also a smart, funny, terrific person. it was a great presentation. We’re so glad she could fit us in before she went back to LA.

Sunday, I had a few things to pick up at the hardware store to finish prepping my canvas, and then it started to snow. I read and researched, but didn’t do much else. In my mind, I was preparing to write two short radio plays.

I also pulled out of an interview with a theatre company for a project because there are upcoming scheduling conflicts, and we’d all get frustrated. Maybe we’ll work together at a later date. They’re interviewing plenty of candidates for this particular project, so it’s not like I’m the top choice or leaving them in the lurch.

The snow on Sunday night into Monday was more like two inches, instead of ten, which was a relief. I sat down and wrote “Not Such a Bargain”, one of the ten minute plays, finished putting the hardware on the canvas, dropped it off at Cotuit, and then came back and wrote the other short radio play, “Fright Shift.” By then, I was ready for a glass of wine.

I’m happy with both plays, although I think “Not Such a Bargain” is a little stronger. I do love Emily in “Fright Shift”. She’s kind of a bratty teenager, but she gets things done!

Watched CRIMSON PEAK on Monday night. Absolutely gorgeous production design, but Tom Hiddleston’s character was underwritten, and not given enough to show his transformation. He did the best he could with what he had, and I liked that it was the Edith who was the rescuer, not the rescued, but if he’d just been given a handful of lines more in a couple of scenes, it would have worked better for me.

Tuesday, up early and wrote a grant proposal for an individual grant. I had to do a one-page synopsis of where I think SONGBOUND SISTERS is headed, and they also wanted a one-page bibliography of my published work. I could only fit back to 2012 on one page. I might have too many credits for the grant, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Then, I outlined a new project nagging at me — a novel. I see the shape in my head — just have to get it all down, and figure out where to slot it in.

Did some research. Watched CHASING SHADOWS, which is a little odd, but interesting, and THE BIG SHORT — well done, and I still think all of them should be in jail.

Got some excellent news — “Broken Links”, the comic mystery, won first place and will be produced and performed by On the Air Radio Players in June. I’m excited and thrilled! I plan to have a listening party when I get the link. So that was a good note on which to end the day.

Up early this morning to do the revisions on the two short radio plays, and do a final polish on the grant proposal. Today will be a long day at work, with an “Easter Tea” program. I have to do PR, and I have to get posters and PR done for the Shakespeare night and for the ArtsWeek Boston panel, and some other programs.

Onward!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

IMG_0667
Violet

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Well, today I actually know what day it is, which is better than yesterday.

Up again at six, yoga et al done and at my desk by 7. It makes a HUGE difference in productivity.

Yesterday, I finally got a handle in the work statement for the grant application. Once i make the final decision on the work samples, I can send it all off. I’m torn between sending material that’s been published (and therefore accepted as “good enough”) and material that’s in decent shape, but still in progress, yet more along the lines of what I’d do if I get the award. For the playwrighting grant, there’s no question — I’ll use BEHIND THE MAN. But for the fiction, I’m not really sure what to use.

Got a really nice email from an editor who worked with me on the children’s story, delighted it’s accepted and will appear in January. I thought that was very sweet of her, and thanked her for her guidance. I learned a lot from them, and now we’ll see if I can apply that moving forward. Markets for children’s stories are difficult because most of the publications don’t pay much, but expect all rights. And if I’m selling ALL rights, it’s going to be for a boatload of cash. So my pool of potential submission sites is pretty small. The more I can learn from each successful submission, the better.

Talked to another editor about the essay — hopefully, we’re all the point where we can call it done and move to the copy edit stage. Again, I’ve learned a lot from this process, which is what I hope for each time I work with an editor.

Working on the rituals I’m booked to perform next week. I’ve got to put together a bag for each one, so that, as I gather the materials for each, I just drop them into the appropriate bag.

Did some good work on the novella. it’s natural rhythm is slower, about filling out each scene as completely as possible before moving on to the next (in the fewest possible words). Word count doesn’t add up rapidly, but the piece feels good.

Today, I may run a few errands, but, for the bulk of the day, I want to keep my butt in the chair and finish the first draft of “Lake Justice” so I can revise it over the weekend and then send it off.

Devon

Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 7:05 am  Comments (5)  
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

IMG_0593

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

“Day 1: City Tour, Castle, Mala Strana, and Mozart ” is in the post below. With lots of photos.

A lot of yesterday was spent recovering from the Iris Trauma. Iris was fine — the rest of us were limp with exhaustion.

I also made a huge, life-changing (for me) decision: I requested an honorable withdrawal from the wardrobe union. This means I’m no longer an active member, although, should I choose to return in the future, I could request reinstatement and the membership would vote on it.

It’s scary, because I’ve defined myself by my work in the theatre since I was 18 years old (a long time ago at this point). Theatre — as transient as it is — has always been my safety net.

But I needed to do it, to deal with my life. I couldn’t keep getting pulled in so many directions, and not give my all to anything.

Scary, scary, scary. Necessary, necessary, necessary. Hopefully, this makes room for some writing projects with equal weight as the shows to come into my life.

My first instinct was to scuttle across and join one or more writers’ union. I feel naked without union ballast. Yet, at the same time, I want a bit of time (even if it’s only a few days) to see what it feels like. I’ll definitely join one or more writers’ unions over the course of the next few months — partially in order to be eligible for insurance. It’s one of the reasons I felt less guilty about withdrawing from the wardrobe union– they’ve made it impossible for me to meet my non-theatrical commitments and still have insurance. I can’t wait four years for whatever health care reform does or does not make it through Congress. And I can’t afford the insurance rates around here, which are higher than apartment rents — and in New York, that’s saying something. So theatrical commitments (unless they’re writing) have to be tabled. I’ve felt frustrated and constrained and betrayed by my union for over a year — why not take an honorable withdrawal and get some distance? Try a new way of doing things? Too much connected with that part of my life was no longer enhancing it. Getting trapped in the financial aspects only made me bitter.

Still, it’s scary. And necessary.

On a lighter note, I’ll be speaking at the school I attended for Middle school grades in early November, talking about career as a process, not a fixed, finite object. Most of the people who talk to the students are 9-5‘ers. I’m working on, shall we say, a much broader and more diverse canvas.

Started work on the essay, talked some more to my editor. Too tired and unfocused to do much, so I’m going to Greenwich today instead.

Did some work on the NYFA grant application. I don’t know if it’s gotten simpler over the years, or if I’m just more comfortable and adept at the application process. Choosing the work samples will be the big challenge. I think I’m going to use some short stories. I’m thinking of “The Merry’s Dalliance”, “The Retriever” and either “Peace of the Night” or “Lucky’s Choice.” Let’s face it — the committee is not going to take HEX BREAKER seriously, no matter how big the fan base or how good the reviews.

Didn’t get a lot done today. Exhausted, and, well, writing up the Prague essays and choosing photographs takes a lot of time. I took 600 photographs on the trip.

I’ve got to deal with scumbag landlords some more, confirm whether or not it’s true that one of our nastiest neighbors died, and then get over to Greenwich Library to work on my essay. I got a lovely letter from a new-to-me editor for another publication — she can’t use the pitch I sent, but asked if I would be willing to write a different piece. I’d love to — gotta do some more research for that.

Busy day. Blinding headache. Iris is playing with her ball, so I guess she feels fine, thank goodness.

Devon

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 7:56 am  Comments (5)  
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