Tues. Jan. 4, 2022: Back to the Page

imageg courtesy of Nile via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Waxing Moon

Uranus and Venus Retrograde

Clear and cold

Happy New Year! I hope yours was everything you wanted it to be.

The car failed inspection on Thursday, but I have 60 days to get it fixed by a registered garage. Now, if only one of them would work on Volkswagens. . .

Finished up script coverages on Thursday afternoon, and was able to take the entire three day weekend off. I stayed off social media, too, although I hopped online a bit when I heard that Betty White had died. What a shame she didn’t make it to 100.

Friday, I did a run to the post office, the library, and the liquor store (on foot). A good friend send a birdfeeder that’s supposed to attach to the window, so one can see the birds. I will try to get it up this week. Kitty TV.

Made roast duck for New Year’s Eve. It was very good. With potatoes and steamed vegetables. We still have plenty of stollen, so we had that for dessert. I’d made our favorite devilled eggs to snack on, and we did the traditional smoked herring before midnight. There was a small party in the house next door, but mostly, it was quiet in the neighborhood.

We watched the ball come down in Times Square online, and toasted in the New Year with prosecco. I let the old year out of the back door a little before midnight, and then the new year in the front door just after. Too bad they don’t have First Footers here. There were some fireworks in the distance, but nothing close and disturbing. Burned the second bayberry candle, for luck and prosperity.

I was very disappointed to see that NYC went ahead with letting people into Times Square, and how irresponsibly people behaved. A good many of them could be dead in the coming few weeks. Will they think this was worth death?

I used to watch the ball come down from my window, in my NYC apartment. I could watch them get the ball ready, too. Then, the years I had Broadway shows on New Year’s Eve night, I couldn’t get home in time for midnight, because it was blocked off, even if you lived there. So I was forced to go to a party or an overpriced restaurant until after the square cleared out. I’m glad I had the experience of seeing it from my window, but don’t miss the chaos. That’s probably why I still always feel so unsettled. That desperate energy of people trying too hard to have a good time.

I’d started taking New Year’s Eve off and leaving the city a few years before I moved out. Sometimes just to be with my mom; sometimes to go to a yoga retreat. Then, shows started cancelling the evening shows and only have matinees, because people couldn’t get to the theatre, or, after, had to go all the way up and cut through Central Park to get anywhere else.

The chaos takes the fun out of it, and it puts too much strain on all the services that have to work that night.

Got to bed a little before one, woke up again at three, and then Tessa woke me at five. I was grumpy and out of sorts. Tried to do the fire and ice ritual, but the ice maker wasn’t working. Then, I realized that the first day of the New Year fell on the dark moon. So the natural dark moon energy of releasing was battling the desire to start fresh we have in the new year.

So I stopped fighting it and read all day. Except when I made lemon mousse, and later, did the baked salmon in the lemon-mustard-brown-sugar-cumin glaze.

Over the weekend, I read THE TWELVE JAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Donna Andrews, laughing out loud at a lot of it. And then I read the second and third of Emily Flynn’s books, DEAD GORGEOUS and END OF THE ROADIE, both of which were excellent: writing, plotting, characters. I really like her work.

Sunday, I did some work on The Big Project, cleaning up what I’ve worked on so far, so I could dive back into it. I’m behind where I want to be, so I need to double down on it in the next few weeks. But I’m happy with the quality, the tone, the plot, the characters.

I was disappointed to learn that 365 Women a Year is not calling for projects for 2022. I hoped to write a play about Marie and Squire Bancroft, well-known Victorian actors, for them this year. There’s no reason I can’t still write it, but pitching it to 365 would have given me momentum.

I’m doing an Excel spreadsheet (oh, horrors) with details of the various scripts ready for submission, so that I can get back on track with it this year. Details on length, characters, production history, etc. I have 21 plays that can go out there and keep earning their keep after their initial readings or productions, and I have a handful I’ve pulled because I’ve outgrown them, and the market is in a different direction. I’ll do another one for the radio plays, and then a third one for the screenplays. I wanted to focus on creating and stockpiling, and that’s what I’ve done. Now, things need a polish, and need to get out into the world to earn their way.

A conversation with author and illustrator Dewi Hargreaves about Hope Clark’s 13-in-Play made me realize I need to get that back up to speed again. 13 pieces out at any given time, so the work earns its keep. The new version of THE WRITERS MARKET arrived, and I will go through it, cover-to-cover, making notes, and then work my way through pitches and/or submissions wherever I think it’s appropriate. Of course, I’ll have to cross check the information with the websites of each place, but that should get me back on track with keeping submissions out there properly, as I create new work. Almost all the new work I have on tap for this year is long form, not short form, and I need to mix it up a bit more.

The first shipment for the contest I’m judging has arrived, and I’m at work on those pieces, too. I have two book reviews to write and submit, and then get my next assignments from that editor.

Monday morning, Tessa got me up around 5:30. I fed the cats, did the usual longhand writing session. Expanded the morning yoga practice by a few more asanas. Extra-long meditation session.

After the shower, I sat down and wrote just over 3100 words on The Big Project, and I liked most of them, which is a good way to start the day, the week, the month, the year.

Headed to the library to pick up/drop off books. It was darn cold. It kept looking like it wanted to snow, but it didn’t smell like snow, and didn’t snow.

In the afternoon, I caught up on email. I sent off a grant proposal. I doubt I’ll land the grant; it’s unlikely they’d give it to a genre writer, thinking they’re “not serious enough” and my work samples were comic noir mystery/fantasy and mystery. But I have zero chance if I don’t try, so it was worth putting it together and sending it off.

Read two scripts. Should have written them up, but was too tired. Too tired to start on the contest entries, too.

But all in all, it was a good start to the day, week, month, year.

The answers to the GDR questions are posted here, if you’re interested, and if you want to post your own.

Back to the page now, to get the day’s quota done on The Big Project. Once I’ve hit that, I can decide how to structure the rest of today. A lot of it will be taken up with script coverage, but I have to run down the street to get eggs from Cumberland Farms, and then maybe take down the decorations out on the front porch. Rather than taking everything down on Thursday, I’m doing the outer rooms, and then getting the big tree, etc., down on the 6th. We have to figure out how we’re going to stash it all until next year, so it doesn’t take up all the closet space and hall space. Geometry. Fun times.

Tessa didn’t wake me this morning; I woke up all on my own, a little after 5:30. Heaven!

Back to the page, and I hope you’re having a good start.

Thurs. Feb. 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 274/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 22 — A Little Good News

image courtesy of Oliana Gruxdeva via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Incoming storm

There’s a post over on Gratitude and Growth about the quiet and the garden.

Yesterday was stressful.

The good news is that my 96-year-old mother was moved from the waiting list to an actual slot for the first dose of the vaccine.

I swung by the office to do a few things before anyone else arrived, left a note, and then came back home and did some more work before we had to head out.

The vaccination site was on Cape Cod, and not too far away. It was in Orleans. At the dump. They had to set up a vaccination site at the town dump.

Everyone was very nice, and it was well-run. It was a drive-through clinic, so we stayed in the car the entire time. We were guided to our slot. The nurse gave my mom the vaccine in her arm. We had to wait, with the fire/rescue checking on us every few minutes, until we could leave, about 15 minutes later. We drove home.

There’s a ton of paperwork around it all. The paperwork was more complicated than the shot itself.

There weren’t enough doses to give me the “caretaker” shot – I have no problem with that, but it worries my mom.

We drove home, decontaminated. She felt fine; I was wrecked.

I managed to do a final polish and get one of the grant proposals out, though. And I talked to some of my interview sources for two of my articles. Even got out a couple of LOIs.

But mostly, I was a wreck.

My mom was perky until sometime in the middle of the night, when her arm started hurting badly. She’s in pain right now, and can take liquid Tylenol, so let’s hope that helps.

I’m not sure if we have to compete for a slot for the second shot, like we did for the first, or if it’s assigned. The paperwork says we have to compete, but several nurses along the way said we’d be emailed with the next slot.

It should happen right around my birthday, and I can’t think of a better gift.

So why is the headline on this post still about the distribution fail? Because it’s not all about me. There are thousands of people unable to get an appointment because of the chaos. I was lucky and dogged in staying online and trying and trying and trying. Too many people don’t have the resources to do that, or anyone who can help them. Until there’s equitable distribution, this will continue to happen.

This morning, I have to go into the office WITH a client, which I’m not too happy about. But it’s just a couple of hours, what would have happened yesterday. I’m hoping to get home before the snow starts.

I did some good work on GAMBIT COLONY this morning.

I looked at the sample budget for the second grant proposal, and the sample seems way off base from reality. I have to do some more research.

I’m looking forward to meditation this morning. I definitely need it. I’ll probably need another session when I get back home and decontaminate.

I’m worried about the people suffering in Texas, and furious at their governor and the other leaders who are perfectly happy to let them die, to prove their independence. They should all be indicted. Removed. Imprisoned. Hopefully, the federal aid will reach them soon, and not be turned away by the twats in charge.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 6:55 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 274/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 22 — A Little Good News  
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Tues. Feb. 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 272/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 20 — Trying to Hold Steady

image courtesy of M. Maggs via pixabay.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Icy rain and fog

Busy weekend, but that’s the way it is for the foreseeable future.

Worked on the grant proposal on Friday, which comprises three 250-word pitches. Working on them was fun. Decided to wait and send out the interview requests for the article for THE WRITER today, because I’m worried it will get lost over the holiday weekend. The pitch for that had most of the information I need, so those go out today.

Got out some LOIs.

Did not do my box quota; ran out of steam by lunchtime, which is what starting work a little after 4 AM will do.

Got some good work done on GAMBIT COLONY.

Looked for the start of a draft for a play I’d hoped to finish and submit yesterday; can’t find the draft anywhere, so it’s just not going to happen this cycle.

Jumped on the signup site for vaccines for tomorrow, out in Orleans. The first time, the site glitched and switched me from the Orleans facility to the Needham facility. I had to cancel that appointment and re-apply in Orleans; by the time I got the information all put in again, all the appointments were gone.

Again, why is the Cape only getting enough doses to have one site live PER WEEK, when sites all over the state are getting as many or more doses PER DAY?

And the county is saying we should go off Cape to get vaccinated. How many people can’t? I talked to my mother’s doctor’s office about that, when I had to call to get one of her medications adjusted. Their concern (which echoes mine) is especially about the second shot, especially if I’m able to get the “companion shot.” I won’t be able to drive that far directly after getting the shot. There’s a good chance we’ll both start feeling bad within 30 minutes and have to be careful for a couple of days. A day trip to get the shot is not possible. And it’s not safe to get someone else to drive us.

Baker’s swanning around, acting like everything is great, but Cape Cod is being ignored. It’s disgusting. It’s bad enough he’s demanded non-essentials workers put their lives in danger by working on site since last May to please tourists; now he won’t even give us access to vaccines. The Feds have increased the doses steadily, but they are not being distributed within the state properly.

But at least the signup site was sorta working, and my mom is on a waitlist tomorrow. I’m sure it’s with several thousand others, but it’s better than the previous week, when the sites weren’t even live when promised.

Up early on Saturday morning to do a dump run. Five bags of garbage and as much recycling as I could stuff into the car, which still wasn’t enough. There will be another dump run this week.

Stopped at the grocery store for a few things, swung through an empty Dunkin Donuts to use a gift card someone gave us, home, decontaminated.

Then, it was time to put in some more work on the grant proposal. I fixed some log lines and a few other things. My friend and I are reading each other’s pitches and helping each other hone them, which is helpful. I do want to get it out soon, though, and not wait until the end of the week.

I need to turn my attention to the other pitch, due March 1, which needs a production budget attached. As I worked on the proposal, I realized I don’t know what things cost anymore, so that requires some research this week.

Managed to purge 13 boxes on Saturday. Tossed A LOT, which was good. Lost some books to basement damp that I need, so I found replacement copies on Alibris and orders them. Repacked a bunch of stuff. Scrubbed the basement floor, where the boxes rested for so long. I’m going to put some boards down, and then restack the freshly-sorted boxes on top of the boards, so they don’t stick to the floor and get damp again.

Found some books relevant to current projects and put them aside. I have to configure some project bins so I can keep certain books handy.

Found a ton of writing books – fun to go through them again. Tried not to get too caught up in re-reading.

Packed up some of the books in my bedroom, and now things look more chaotic instead of less. I have A LOT of books in my bedroom.

The packing/moving tape I bought sucks. Sticks to itself, but not to the boxes.

Read the book for review. It’s delightful. What a gem, what a lovely, lovely book.

Up way too early on Sunday. Worked on GAMBIT COLONY. Wrote my review. Did another pass on the grant pitches.

Felt overwhelmed and exhausted.

Purged 12 more boxes from the basement, and scrubbed the floor some more. One whole wall’s worth of double-rowed boxes is nearly done. I just have the corner boxes to finish.

The bulk of those boxes were books. I’ve been re-sorting them and repacking them. The upside is that I’ve assembled a wonderful library over the years, especially when it comes to diaries, letters, women’s history, and the arts.

The downside is that some of the boxes of books were destroyed by being in the basement for so long, and, since it’s Cape Cod, the bottom boxes disintegrated in the damp. One set of Robert Louis Stevenson, leather-bound, from 1912, might not be able to be saved. Which is my own damn fault. But I’m trying.

Most of the lost books don’t need to be replaced. But five of the ones in this weekend’s purge do, and I found replacement copies at reasonable prices online. I ordered them, and they’ve already shipped. I am sorry to lose two of the original copies – they were signed by the author and had personal meaning to me. But it’s my own damn fault for not going through things in the basement once we moved, and not getting the boxes up off the floor.

One of the most difficult things the past days has been the constant negative talk inside my own head, telling me what a failure I am.  (If one more person tells me to “take a walk” to feel better, I will scream. TAKING A WALK IS NOT SAFE HERE DUE TO COVIDIOTS). I’m trying to halt each time the negative loop starts and turn it into something positive. Because the negative just drains me, and I don’t have the time to be drained and wallow right now.

It needs to be turned into POSITVE ACTIONS.

But fighting with that inner negative loop takes a lot of energy.

I’m exhausted and in pain from the physicality of scrubbing the basement floor and moving all the boxes around, unpacking, repacking, stacking, etc. But I can’t take any time off right now. The time doesn’t exist.

Sunday night into Monday, I dreamed of a dead black snake. A disturbing dream. I panicked when I looked up the interpretation of “black snake” – which is about evil and distrust (wait, you mean I’m surrounded by Republicans? No! – Yes, that is sarcasm). But then I remembered it’s a DEAD black snake, so I looked up that interpretation, which is positive transformation.

My subconscious is telling me to hang in there. And, when I listen to that quiet inner voice, I feel on track. But when I look at exterior logistics, I panic.

The exhaustion and the headaches don’t help. But I just have to keep going on.

Monday morning, I did some more work on GAMBIT revisions. And looked at the notes a friend gave me on the proposal.

I knew there was an incoming storm, and there was some stuff at the client’s office that couldn’t be done at home. I went in extra early (to make sure no one else would be in), loaded the photos I needed onto a flash drive, packed the order that needed to be shipped, and was out of there lickety split.

On the way in there, I stopped at Target, right when they opened, to pick up a few things, like toilet paper and garbage bags. And my favorite pens. You know, the necessities.

On the way back from the office, I stopped at CVS to pick up my mom’s adjusted prescription. I felt bad for the staff – the computers ran so slowly, which was causing all kinds of backups. And then, when I used the hand sanitizer, it squirted all over me, so I looked like I’d been hosed down in sanitizer. Too funny. Swung by the post office to drop off the shipment. It was small enough to fit in the bin in the lobby.

Home, decontaminated, did client work. Got up the Monday social media posts, finished the graphic for the email blast and got it out, created a graphic for another email blast (which I hope to get out today).

Got out some LOIs.

Did not look at the grant proposal, so that I could come back at it with fresh eyes today.

Got assigned two more books for review from my editor, and already started one of them, which is very good.

Worked on contest entries. I’m on the print books in the second category now, and they’re so all over the place. It’s kind of wonderful.

Hunted for vaccine appointments. No luck. I’m so sick of Baker treating the once-a-week sign up as thought it’s Black Friday, and then standing there smirking when people can’t get appointments. He’s saying that not enough doses are coming in. While that is true to a point, there are many more doses coming in now than there were a few weeks ago. It’s the distribution that’s a problem. There are sites all over the state with open appointments. There are sites all over the states with expiring doses. There are sites all over the state where you can book an appointment weeks in advance.

EXCEPT on Cape Cod, where one site opens to book appointments once a week, if we’re lucky. And the slots fill up in ten minutes or less. Which is ridiculous. The problem is not on the federal level – they’re ramping things up as fast as they can, and increasing dosage deliveries. The problem is at the state level.

Baker’s office.

Not to mention that the county continues to have a slew of sites listed that AREN’T LIVE. That aren’t getting doses or booking appointments.  So Baker points to the site to say there are so many locations – but if none of them have doses or take appointments, it doesn’t matter. It’s not real.

I packed up some boxes of books in my bedroom yesterday afternoon, and I’m taking down the folding bookcases in the room as I empty them.

Tessa is not amused.

I did some work on GAMBIT COLONY this morning. I have another ad to design for a client later on. Have some LOIs to get out, and I’m going to send out interview requests for THE WRITER article today. I’m hoping the power stays on, so that I can do some work in the basement this afternoon, but if it doesn’t, I’ll pack more in my room. I’ll set the logs in the fireplace later this morning, so we can light it if necessary.

As I’m searching through the boxes, I’m finding the print copies of articles not available online. I’m stacking them by the scanner, so I can scan them and put them in my clip file and online portfolios.

Why has WordPress changed the font suddenly? Why is every WordPress upgrade actually a downgrade?

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on February 16, 2021 at 7:12 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 16, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 272/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 20 — Trying to Hold Steady  
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