Thurs. Oct. 21, 2021: Meandering

image courtesy of pexels.com

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Last Day of Full Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy/sunny and warm

There’s a post about the garden and the seasonal changes over on Gratitude and Growth. Since my definition of “garden” has had to change since I moved from a third of an acre to a porch and balcony, it focuses on the surrounding area as I learn It, as much as my actual plants.

Yesterday was rather a lost day, in some respects. I did a good bit, but not on the deadlined work, which means I have to make up for it today. I will have fallen short of my week’s goal, financially, but my brain needs to break.

I didn’t get a chance to type up the notes for CAST IRON MURDER (the ones I’d written in the laundromat). I doubt I will have the chance so to do today, but maybe tomorrow or Saturday, depending on how I fare with the script coverage in the next couple of days.

I did the soul journey exercises in the morning, then headed off to the public library to pick up the books that had come in. It was a lovely day, and there wasn’t too large a stack, so I walked there and back, enjoying the day and the architecture. Had a conversation with someone who lives in one of the houses I like. People here are open to conversation, which is nice. As the ultimate introvert, if I can have all kinds of conversations with random people in passing, it says something about the overall friendliness of the area.

One of the books that came in was the biography of Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee. I own a copy of it, but it’s in storage, and I wanted to fact check something from a conversation I’d had with a Twitter pal a few days back. But I got immersed in re-reading it, so I guess it will take a few days to find the information!

It also makes me want to re-read some of the stories Wharton and Henry James wrote, that mirror each other’s themes.

Wharton and James might turn out to be my Winter Authors. Meaning I’d re-read all their work in order. Of course I own most of it, but, you guessed it, it’s down in storage. So I’ll have to get from the library what I don’t have with me. Fortunately, the college library across the street has a massive literature section. Although I still haven’t figured out how it’s organized.

I’m also reading a mystery by Elizabeth Flynn called GAME, SET, AND MURDER, set at Wimbledon, which I really enjoy. I want to read more of her books.

My friend Arlene Kay just signed a contract with Level Best Books for a new series. I’m so excited for her, and I can’t wait to read it.

I was in the beginning of Remote Chat, which was fun, then switched over to the live soul journey session.

Today’s work was Shadow Work, with which I’m familiar, and more comfortable than a lot of people. I like using the shadow side as a catalyst, rather than an obstacle or an excuse. What was interesting in this work was it was about the shadow aspects of the moon sign, which was new to me. It was very interesting, and I had a few moments of “yup, I do this, and here’s how I can break this pattern or use it in a more positive way.” So that was useful. (I have a Taurus moon sign, although my sun sign is Pisces).

The discussion of the shadow side of Capricorn moon hit home, too. I do some of that (and it’s definitely a detriment). So now I need to dig up my birth chart (which I know I have around here. . .somewhere) and see where Capricorn sits. So that I can turn that obstacle into a positive catalyst, too. Because the beauty of astrology is that it’s a puzzle, and the bits fit together. Understanding the influences helps understands why one reacts to something in a specific way. If it’s a way that causes harm, or creates a negative pattern, one now has the information to make necessary changes and not stay stuck. It’s all information, but if it’s not used for active choices, then it’s meaningless and yes, just more noise.

As long as I ignore the yammering of the energy vampires, I can get something out of the class.

With a view toward how I want to set up my future, I feel as though I’ve lived the noisy part of my life, and now want to live much more quietly. I still want to travel. Once it’s safe. I still have to keep somewhat publicly connected, in order to market/sell books. But I don’t want to get caught up in the cycle of forced extroversion that I was in for the past decade. And I had my years living in NYC, where I was out and about all the time. I don’t feel like I missed anything. I can be quiet now. Time for others to take up the fights.

That doesn’t mean I’ll let injustice, et al, go when I witness or experience it. I’ll still call an asshole an asshole when it’s warranted. But I can do the work differently.

Roasted a chicken for dinner, with sweet potatoes and spinach. Wrapped up the bones and stuck them in the fridge, so I’ll make stock today. I also have to make ratatouille, because I bought the vegetables the other day, and I don’t want them to go bad.

Got a script coverage done, and a good start on a second one, which has to go out today. I have four scripts to read today, two of which coverages I’d like to get out, although I’ll probably only get out one.

If the weather is as nice as predicted today, I hope to get up to the lake for an hour or so, in the afternoon.

Class yesterday gave me additional ideas for a piece on which I’d taken a few notes a few weeks back, and then put aside, because I wasn’t sure where it was going. I also have a short story, a ghost story, clunking around in my head, inspired by one of the few annoying college students in the neighborhood.

Meditation this morning, then the homework for class, then back to work on the script coverages until the live session. More books came in to the public library for me, but I’ll probably wait and get them tomorrow.

Have a good one.

Thurs. Oct. 14, 2021: Enchanted Wordsmiths

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Waxing Moon

Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Cloudy and mild

Yesterday was not as productive as I hoped. There was a popular phrase in the 70’s: “My get up and go got up and went.” That was me, yesterday.

Weather-y post over on Gratitude and Growth.

I got through a bunch of emails in the morning.

I took the time to create the above logo for a Writers’ Group I started for Nano, Enchanted Wordsmiths, and chose a header background of maps.

The sun was out for a bit, so I took a walk down to the post office to mail bills and catch up on what’s going on in town, and then headed over to the library to drop off and pick up books. I walked back down Church Street, as I love to do, enjoying the architecture, and, now, the decorating.

Home, read for a bit until lunchtime. Was wiped out, for no good reason.

Remote Chat was fun.

Did my journaling prep for the Soul Expedition. In the online group, there are already people making excuses about not doing the prep. Energy vampires, the lot of them. At least I know who to avoid during the expedition. I’m there to dig deep and replenish energy, not allow strangers to leech it off, because they can’t be bothered to do the work, and want to siphon off the energy from those who do.

Got the deadlined script coverages out, and read another script.

Received a DM on the Twitter account, haranguing me for posting to offer condolences to people grieving, support people struggling, and celebrate people’s triumphs. I was accused of “performative niceness” which doesn’t even make sense. If I can take 90 seconds out of my day to offer comfort to someone who is sad or hurting or struggling, why wouldn’t I? And why wouldn’t I be happy when someone succeeds in their dream? Sharing sorrows and celebrating joys is part of the reason I’m on social media.

It wasn’t worth arguing, so I just blocked the person. Arguing with them is not worth my time. It exasperated me as much as it bothered me. If someone doesn’t like the way I interact, they can choose not to follow me. Or block me. This wasn’t someone I regularly interacted with, anyway.

Did another block this morning, a self-styled “marketing guru” who was being an ass.

The block button takes a lot of stress out of my life.

The friend whose trip up here was cancelled due to Hurricane Ida is rescheduling for Halloween weekend, so that will be fun.

Went to bed early, because I was so exhausted. Pandemic fatigue strikes again.

Tessa woke me up at 3:30 and I discovered Spectrum internet was down. Again. Put in my repair tag, and tried to doze on the couch, but Tessa and Charlotte fussed at each other. I fed everyone at 5:30 and got going on my day.

Meditation group this morning, which I definitely need. I’m going to get my script coverages done this morning, because we have to do the prep for my mom’s COVID booster this afternoon. I’m expecting her down for the count the rest of the day today and then tomorrow, and have adjusted my schedule accordingly.

I need to work on the short articles and do a little more script coverage before the end of the week. I need to devote the weekend to the outline for CAST IRON MURDER, and unpack/decorate some more.

Since my friend is coming to visit, I need to get it done in the next two weeks!

Have a good one.

Thurs. Oct. 7, 2021: Cat-aversaries

Willa, photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Waxing Moon

Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Foggy and mild

I talk more about foliage and farmer’s markets over on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was a quiet day. I worked through some emails, wrote up four coverages, participated in Remote Chat, sent out some LOIs. Read three more scripts. Steady workday, although not as varied as some.

The longer morning yoga session helped counteract all the sitting, and I did another yoga session before bedtime. I want to get back into doing that. I sleep better when I have that transition time of yoga and the night meditation, especially if I’ve been reading scripts all the way up until bedtime.

I’d bundled the chicken carcass into the fridge because I was tired the previouos night, but made the stock yesterday. That will be good for the rest of the week’s cooking.

Yesterday was Willa’s 3rd anniversary with us, and tomorrow is Charlotte’s 3rd anniversary. Although they are litter mates, and were raised by the same guy, they’d been separated by the time we adopted them. Their original owner got the pair of them as kittens. He had a lot of health problems, and needed a service dog. The cats and the dog didn’t get along, so he had to give up the cats. For eighteen months, they were moved around to different relatives about every two weeks, sometimes together, sometimes separated because they fought (of course they did, they were stressed). By the time we adopted them, they were both very traumatized. It’s been a lot of daily work, but they’ve both shown a lot of improvement. They are healthy, curious, funny, and loving. Willa is the goofier one; Charlotte is more of a princess. Charlotte still has some behavioral issues, especially when it comes to sharing space and humans; she and Tessa have attained peaceful co-existence most of the time, but usually fuss at each other once or twice a day. Willa and Tessa are sort of friends, although they don’t really understand each other. But they hang out together and sort of play in the same space, but at a safe distance from each other. They were six when we got them, so they are about nine now, and Tessa’s going on eleven.

Charlotte, photo by Devon Ellington

We love all three of our furry critters, and are glad they are part of the family.

Tessa let me sleep until 4:46 this morning, which is just perfect. Got up, and had a good morning routine, finally. Coffee, first writing session (which went well), the extended yoga session, a good meditation session. I have meditation with the online group in a little bit.

I have four script coverages to write up today, and two more scripts to read (which I will write up tomorrow), and then I’m done for the week. I have to write up the book review today and send that off, so I can get my next assignment. Errands today: both libraries and the bank.

I hope to catch up on some more email, and get out some more LOIs.

I’m hoping for a few quiet weeks to get settled into a solid remote work routine, and also finish unpacking!

I managed to book my mom’s Covid booster shot for next Thursday, just down the road at the local CVS. They’re so much nicer and, you know, actually work with their customers instead of against them here.

Have a great day, friends!

Thurs. Sept. 23, 2021: Unnecessary Complications

image courtesy of Michael Gaida via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Yesterday was nowhere near as productive a day as I’d hoped. I got some work done in the morning, between script coverage and other small projects.

I’ve been invited to present next year at the Cape Cod Writers Conference. If it’s live, I’ll be down there for a weekend (it’s a paid gig, plus meals and accommodations). If it’s virtual, I’ll do it from here. Either way, it will be fun. Think of how much money they’d have saved all the years I lived right down the street from the conference center (they wouldn’t have had to pay accommodations). I have about a month to come up with what I want to teach. Their workshops are about rolling up the sleeves and writing in class, so I’m going to create or re-slant a workshop that focuses on the writing.

I started to put together the bookcases for the sewing room, only to discover that they weren’t properly prepped for assembly. Instead of being a single tall cabinet, they are built/broken down into two smaller units that need to be stacked and then fastened together. Only one of the units lacks the capacity to fasten it to the other.

So I took it all apart again and put it back in the box and tried to contact Target to arrange a return. Only Target tries to force phone calls. The claim to have a live chat option, but it kept going around in circles and not letting me enter. What they sent me was a “customer experience survey” which I filled out and gave them a zero.

I also dug out the email address from the corporate office that I used last year, when UPS lost a mail order. I contacted them, explained the situation, and asked for something in writing to allow me to return both boxes and get a refund. Because, you see, Target’s stated refund policy is that they only return goods in UNOPENED boxes.

One of the bookcases is in an unopened box. But there was no way I could have known that the bookcase was improperly prepared without opening and starting to assemble the one in the other box.

I heard back from the manager of the Target, who wanted to talk on the phone to “make it right.” What part of “I don’t do business on the phone” is so hard to comprehend? I told him, no, we were not talking on the phone, as I stated in the previous email, and that the only thing I wanted was to return both bookcases for a refund.

This morning, I got an email from him stating that I could.

Now, I lost 2 billable hours getting the damn bookcases in the first place; I lost 3 billable hours trying to put them together, and now I’ll lose at least another 2 billable hours returning them. That’s almost a full workday lost. But they’ll be returned, and I’ll head to Re-store to see if they have something that works that’s already an actual bookcase and not a bunch of shitty, overweight particle board that’s flimsy while being heavy.

Before anyone starts with “what do you expect from a cheap Target bookcase?” – the answer is I expect a cheap Target bookcase that will sit in the sewing room, not look too bad (I’d planned to embellish it), and hold the items I need it to hold for 2 years or so. I’m not looking for heirloom whatever. I wanted a simple bookcase to hold stuff. It shouldn’t be this much drama around it.

Because I lost three hours of worktime yesterday, I ended up working until 10:45 last night, not something I want to become a habit.

Autumn Equinox dinner was good: Cornish hen with apples and sage, sweet potatoes, spinach.

Simple Equinox ritual,

We’re having too much kitty drama, too, lately. On Cape, Tessa always stayed with me in my room and slept on my bed (since she was a kitten). Charlotte was shut out of my bedroom. In this place, Tessa doesn’t like my bedroom (no carpet, and I’m not unpacked yet) and doesn’t want to stay there. Besides, she likes to roam around at night. So Charlotte now sleeps on the bed with me.

But, by 4 AM, Tessa is hungry and lonely and starts howling. If we were still in the house, I’d let her howl and not get up until 5. But I can’t have her waking the neighbors. So, she gets what she wants, and I stagger up to feed her. But when I try to go back to bed, she starts howling again as soon as she finishes her breakfast. I move to the sofa and try to doze off again, and she’s fine.

She gets plenty of attention during the day, but she wants the day to start at 4 AM, and that’s too early for me. I’m fine with starting at 5. But 4 is too much.

Meditation was good this morning, and now I have to figure out how to get the heavy bookcases back down to the car and go back to Target. Urgh. I have a lot to do today, so I have a feeling it will be another day of work rolling well into the night.

I still haven’t gotten the paperwork sorted to switch over the car registration and our licenses. Since Mercury goes retrograde on Monday, that’s all going to be even more of a nightmare than it needs to be. Urgh. Again.

Well, nothing for it but to get to it.

The house on Cape has an offer pending on it. I’m sure my former landlord is relieved, and I hope whomever buys the place is very happy there.

Post about the garden over on Gratitude and Growth.

Onward.

Thurs. Sept. 16, 2021: Emotion is a Weird Thing

image courtesy of Arek Socha via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Yesterday was a hot, summer-like day. Enjoy them while we have them, I guess. I hear winters are miserable here.

There’s a post on Gratitude and Growth about the start of the autumn colors.

Greylock Federal Credit Union is, once again, making life difficult. There’s no reason for everything to take 10 steps instead of 2. I should be able to deposit a check without it being a production. I should be able to write a check without it being a production. I shouldn’t need FIVE security questions for everything, and constant haranguing by their staff on issues we’ve already settled.

Obviously, I made a mistake choosing them as my bank. I’ve always preferred credit unions, because the reason for their existence is to treat their members with dignity, not have the traps and fees commercial banks use, and to smooth the financial path for their members. Greylock does the exact opposite.

I can’t switch banks again for 90 days, but I’m looking into other banks. I may actually go in and interview them.

Because I am not putting up with this shit.

I went down a research rabbit hole for a project, which was fun, but set me back on a few other things.

Remote Chat was fun, although I was still in Grumpy Pants Mode from dealing with Greylock.

Windows keeps telling me I need an update, and then the update “fails”. I’m frustrated.

I unpacked a few things from the last storage run. One of them is an original sketch, signed by the artist, done in 1969. I’m trying to decipher the artist’s name so I can research the artist. I think it was a gift from my uncle, who was a well-known artist in Europe, done by one of his colleagues, because the name I think is one the sketch comes up connected to Hamburg, near where my uncle was based. I might post the signature on Twitter, so see if anyone can help me decipher it, so I can do the proper research. It’s a very atmospheric black and white sketch, and I want to find a place to hang it here. But I also want to know about it.

Found out that the house in which we lived for the past 10 years is on the market. For a lot of money. The landlord repainted the inside (which it needed, because hey, ten years) in sterile colors downstairs, and didn’t repaint the upstairs bedrooms. The old carpets are still there, and the lawn’s been mowed, but where’s all this “landscaping” he talked about? The broken boards on the steps of the deck where replaced, and the deck washed, and the back windows repainted (which he did while they were still there). But that’s it. So all the fussing at me, about how the work was going to take him six months and I’d put him so far behind wasn’t true. It took six weeks to slap on some paint and put the house on the market.

None of this should matter. But it’s still a wrench, because that place was my home for a decade, and, with all the ups and downs, I did love the house. But he was never going to sell it to me, even if I could have or wanted to buy it. And, with the way the neighborhood was changing, and how the Cape is changing, it’s not where I wanted to live out the rest of my life.

Yet, there are still complex emotions.

I sat with them in meditation last night, which helped a lot.

I do wish whomever buys the place is very happy there, because the house itself encourages happiness.

Meditation this morning, and then it’s back to work. I need to write up the scripts I read last night, and grab some more to read today, write some short articles, and start the next book for review.

And, of course, unpack.

Have a good one!

Published in: on September 16, 2021 at 7:30 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 16, 2021: Emotion is a Weird Thing  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Joys of Local Authors

image courtesy of Yerson Retamal via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy, rainy, humid

I have a new post up over on Gratitude and Growth about differences in air and earth between the Berkshires and the Cape.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that the Knowledge Unicorns are back up and running. Since none of us believe any in-person learning in this country is safe at this point, and all the kids are being taught at home (be it online learning through their school or home schooling), the homework group is back. Most of the kids stayed in touch with each other over our summer break. Two of the families went camping together, and strengthened those bonds. So that is all good. Some of the kids are sad; friends of theirs have died, thanks to the anti-vaxxers. All of the kids are angry, and rightly so, that the systems and people who are supposed to have their best interests at heart are willing to let them die by trying to force them into in-person learning when it’s not safe.

Tuesday’s session was mostly about dealing with all these realities and emotions. Today, we will actually start on their homework.

Yesterday, I was up at 4:30 (so that I had time for yoga), and we were out of the house by 6 AM to do a storage run down to the Cape. In spite of the traffic, we arrived a little before 10 AM, and, even with switching stuff out of the units, unpacking and repacking the car, we were back on the road by 10:14 and home by 2 PM. It was a good day to drive, in spite of the traffic.

Unloaded the car, got everything upstairs, and got us late lunch/early dinner from Burger King, which I knew I would regret, but it was good while I ate it.

We got the new checks from the bank – hand-delivered, no less. So now, I can go about what I need to do to get the old account at the other bank closed. The checks written have to clear, and a refund has to show up. Then, I can go over to Williamstown and shut down the account. The bills I’m paying today will start coming out of the new account. All of this was way more chaotic than it needed to be.

I started the next book assigned for review, and, so far, I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

We were back in time for me to attend the virtual Straw Dogs Writers Guild Annual Author Showcase. They are based in Pioneer Valley, and it was in partnership with Forbes Library in Northampton. So probably too far to get regularly involved, once it’s safe so do to in person. But I was curious to hear local authors read, and there were a dozen authors scheduled, a mix of poets and prose writers and memoirists.

They were wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed each reading. These writers are professional, recognize that this is valuable work, and take the craft as seriously as the art. They don’t shy away from the political implications and responsibilities of their work, either (unlike the right-wing panderers who claim they “don’t do politics” which, in itself, is political by supporting the inequity of the status quo). One author read from one of her older books, a scene depicting an illegal abortion in the days before Roe. She, too, is old enough to remember it, and we are frustrated that here we are again.

Craft matters to all of them. They take time and pride in the craft of their work, along with theme and art and entertainment. They understand that excellent work combines all of these.

I now have a dozen new-to-me authors, whose books I will get out of the library and/or purchase (as much as my budget will allow). I’m very excited to delve more deeply into their work, and I will attend more online events in which any of them are involved.

I’m so glad I attended.

Charlotte and Willa were impossible. Charlotte is always difficult during Zoom, because she wants everyone to tell her she’s pretty. Willa was fascinated every time a poet read. She loved the rhythm of it. So I guess I’ll be reading poetry to the cats!

I didn’t want to read any scripts after the event was over, because I was so filled with beautiful writing that I wanted to bask in it, rather than put myself into the “critical” headspace in which I need to be for the coverage reading.

Read passages in the published journal I’m reading, where the actor worked with someone I knew quite well. It was nice to read affectionate anecdotes about someone I know and worked with!

Got an idea for a difficult short story about a woman who makes a choice out of exhaustion and despair that turns out to be a relief, even though she is supposed to feel guilty about it. No, not abortion, something else.  It needs development and I’m playing with it. It’s one of those that will probably need a dozen or so rewrites to hit exactly what I want with it, and I have to write at least one draft before I can even start making it work. I’m hoping it will be between 3-5K. The premise is enough for a novel, but I really want to telescope the emotion and time frame into that of a short story.

The cats were impossible this morning, and would not let me sleep past 5. Nor would they let me go back to bed after I fed them.

Fortunately, writing in the morning works for me. I got some decent work done on the novel.

Online meditation group was good this morning. There was discussion on ways to break out of the self-criticism cycle, which is something I need to do, since that severely worsened during the entire moving thing.

I have a lot of work to do today, but I’m not planning on going anywhere, so I can focus on the work, and on doing some more unpacking. I put some of the stuff we brought back yesterday away (most of the carload consisted of holiday decorations). But there’s more to figure out where to put, which means more rearranging. Not that I’ve finished unpacking everything else, either.

Back to the page, and to the library and local bookstores, to find the work by these writers.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on September 9, 2021 at 8:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Joys of Local Authors  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Sept. 2, 2021: So Ready For a Long Weekend

image courtesy of Daria Nepriakhina via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Partly cloudy, mostly sunny, and cool

There’s a post over on Gratitude and Growth of garden-y type things.

Why is anyone surprised that SCOTUS allows Texas to get away with destroying Roe vs. Wade? That’s what this court wants, that is why those inept, corrupt “justices” like Kavanaugh, and Barret were pushed through. Those of us who’ve been working for reproductive rights since the goddamned EIGHTIES have been predicting this, and we were called alarmists. All of this, and most of the COVID deaths, could have been prevented if the fucking Democrats would stop acting like Republicans will EVER be reasonable. We voted the Democrats in to FIGHT, and they’re letting Republicans walk all over them as they always do.

Got some decent writing done yesterday morning. Caught up on email; sent out one LOI. The company is interesting, but I don’t think they can afford me.

Got paid by a client earlier than I expected, which is great, and takes a lot of pressure off me for the weekend.

Remote Chat was a lot of fun. I also participated in MassCreative’s WPA Town Hall about the Arts Recovery in the state. It was a really good conversation, with participation from the US Dept. of Arts and Culture. Will anything come of it? Who knows? But it’s making me seriously consider joining the Town Committee on Public Art.

Worked on script coverage, on and off, most of the day. Have to finish up my last few pieces, and then I’m done for the weekend. My friend arrives from NY tomorrow afternoon (I’m picking her up in Albany, at the train station), and she’ll be here until Monday afternoon. We are going to have some fun. I hope the weather cooperates enough so we can spend some of it outside, but I also want to go to MassMOCA.

I was invited to an online tarot class today which I’m looking forward to – in and around the cleaning and the baking and the last-minute runs to the stores.

I have meditation this morning; then I’ll prep the breads. I’ll do one script coverage, then the grocery run, then the class, then cleaning and finishing the baking, while doing the rest of the script coverage. I also have a book to write up for review. It’s a lot to get done, but it will take as long as it takes, and that’s all there is to it.

I’m taking off tomorrow and Monday from regular work, although I’ll probably do my first 1K of the day in longhand. My friend from NY arrives tomorrow for the weekend, the first guest in the new apartment, and the first time I’ve spent fun time with any friends in person since before the pandemic. I hope the weather is nice enough so we can do stuff outside, for at least part of the weekend.

Have a good one. Let’s hope we can find solutions to the world burning down. I do not believe there are any peaceful solutions left. That train left the station a long time ago, thanks to Democrats refusing to fight, and constantly cutting slack to right wing extremists.

I hope all the suffering and death Susan Collins has caused torments her for every moment of her natural life, and that the souls of those she’s wronged chase her into the hell she deserves. Same with the Court Justices who betrayed their oath to the country, putting their right-wing ideology first.

And to say I’m disappointed in Merrick Garland is an understatement. We need action and leadership, not milquetoast nothingness.

Published in: on September 2, 2021 at 7:15 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 2, 2021: So Ready For a Long Weekend  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Aug. 26, 2021: Thoughts (Uh, Oh)

photo courtesy of MyriamsFotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny, hot, humid

I am looking forward to autumn.

Check out the post on Gratitude and Growth. I’m hoping someone can identify the bug on my geranium. I hope it’s not something icky.

I wrote up a couple of coverages yesterday, and still have a stack more to write today, although I only had one script to read last night, not two. And I was too tired last night to give real attention to the book for review.

Got the debit card for the new bank activated and tied to PayPal, and to the automatic payments for the storage units. 85 steps when it should be, at most, 2. It has NOTHING to do with security for the customer, and everything to do with micromanaging.

I read a bit in a book of essays I got from the college library, about journal writing in classroom situations. It’s giving me ideas, mostly for fiction that uses journal writing as part of the narrative drive. There was an interesting tidbit about the use of “reply” and “respond.” The author pointed out that one “replies” to a question, but “responds” to a person. It made me realize how often I have misused those words, especially when it comes to dialogue tags, and I need to be more careful in the future.

Remote Chat was a lot of fun, and several of us ended up having a side discussion when I mentioned how frustrated I am with Kripalu for not enforcing the no cell phone policy anymore, and how, when I asked about it as they reopen, I was told, “Everyone is on their own journey.” Well, MY journey means if I’m paying a fuckton of money to attend Kripalu, I don’t want the selfish and the stupid dancing around using their cell phones which DESTROY my experience and my peace/reflection time, when we’ve all signed an agreement not to use them outside of the designated areas. Which means I will think twice about going back to Kripalu, even though I’m much closer and it should be easy and fun for me to attend.

I think what I’m looking for is a silent retreat. Where there’s a commitment to not just shut off electronic devices, but not speak (except for a few designated times). One of my fellow chatters attended a Buddhist retreat with her husband a few years ago, and wrote about the experience for MARIE CLAIRE magazine. It was a good article – although she broke the rule of no electronics and blogged during the retreat, a choice with which I disagree.

I’m not sure I want that much time sitting in formal meditation or listening to talks. The no electronics and shut the hell up, that I’m there for. But one reason I didn’t attend the Zen retreats with the first meditation group with which I connected on Cape was that they don’t want participants writing in their journals, either. For me, the journal process is a vital part of retreat. And no, I wouldn’t just sneak the writing in while I’m in my room, because that is disrespectful.

Susan Wittig Albert did a silent retreat at a monastery in Texas that sounded more along the lines of what I need. Reading and writing in her cottage; walking on the property and using their library; not talking and no cell phones. Of course, that book is packed in storage, so I can’t pull it out and look up the details. I remember it was in Texas, and I don’t know if I’d go to Texas for any reason at this point, and certainly not during a pandemic, or even immediately after.

Then there’s the whole, well, if all I want to do is read and write and be quiet, I can do that the hell at home and turn off my phone and my computer. Do I really need to pay a bunch of money to do that somewhere else? And if I like the idea of not cooking during the retreat days, I can either cook ahead or buy meals at the co-op that I can just heat up. (Every time I pass the frozen meals at the grocery store, I remember the final weeks of moving and feel sick).

I mean, I have a big birthday coming up in March, and I’m hoping to spend a weekend at my favorite Inn in Sturbridge doing just about that. Reading, writing, eating good food prepared by someone else. And it’s not like I’d go to any retreat during the next wave of the pandemic anyway.

I have time to decide what I want and need.

For some reason, my phone battery was down to 1% this morning. It was 88% when I went to bed. I have a feeling I have to buy a new battery. Another unexpected expense. Hopefully, I can put it off for a couple more weeks.

I have to write up a complicated script coverage, then do a Target run, then write up more coverage. At some point, I hope to grab a couple more scripts to read tonight and write up tomorrow.

I was sitting on the front porch in the dark last night, semi-meditating, ruminating, more like, about the healing from disappointments from the last decade on the Cape. I was thinking to myself about how it will take a long time to heal. Then, I thought, why should it? That is not my life anymore. It’s done. Learn from it and move on. Don’t hang on to the bad bits. Remember the good bits with affection.

Have a good one, friends. Let’s hope the weather breaks soon.

Published in: on August 26, 2021 at 8:20 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 26, 2021: Thoughts (Uh, Oh)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Aug. 19, 2021: Hurricanes and Dilemmas

image courtesy of Comfreak via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Rainy and humid

Uranus goes retrograde today. I’m a little tired of heavy retrogrades. It’s going to feel like slogging through molasses until the planets start turning direct in October.

There’s a new post on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday was not as productive as I’d hoped. The humidity slowed me down, so I had to take a break again in the middle of the day and start up in the evening again. Grateful for the flexibility, but it makes me grumpy to work until 10 PM some nights.

Got out a bunch of LOIs, which is necessary, since I’ve been slacking lately on that. Did some more Marie Corelli research, thanks to a resource forwarded by a friend.

Broke down the stacks of boxes that accumulated in the front hall, and took them across the street to the dumpster. It took more than one trip. A couple of maintenance guys stepped in to help, which was very kind.

The hall looks great now. The bookcases look good, there’s space.

Vacuumed. I’m very happy with the new Eureka vacuum. The cats, however, are not. Screaming cats flying in all directions.

Remote Chat was fun.

Finished the third Wonky Inn book. Not letting myself get the next one in the series until I finish my work for the week, or I’ll read it instead of working!

Read two scripts, and wrote up coverage for a third last night. I have to finish coverage on another one this morning, before meditation, and write up the two I read last night, then read two more today to write up tomorrow. I’d like to take the whole weekend off from coverage, but not sure I can.

I have a lot of admin paperwork to deal with today, too.  I have the online meditation group this morning, Freelance Chat at noon, and a Zoom meeting with the co-op I joined tonight. An in-person networking event for the end of the month, to which I was invited and sent regrets because it was in-person, has switched to virtual, and I received another invite. I sort of feel I HAVE to go now; at the same time, I don’t want to rouse myself out of my semi-recluse state, as I said yesterday.

Part of me would like to look for a writers’ group (a virtual group, since I’m not doing in-person anything until at least next spring). There are plenty of groups around here, and they’re open to new members. My hesitation is that, right now, I want and need specific things from a group (rather than being more freewheeling and flexible, as I’ve been able to be in other situations). I’m just not sure how to graciously find what I need without coming across like a jerk.

I’ll do a lot of listening as far as information on writers’ groups, but not a lot of “visiting”, even virtually. If I’m patient, the right group will make itself known. Hopefully, they will want me to join as much as I want to join.

The best bet, at least for the next few months, is to do as little “joining” as possible. Concentrate on building strong work rhythms, and getting back on track with projects and clients and earnings.

I think today’s rain is the remnants of Fred; Henri is supposed to hit the coast this weekend at the other end of the state, and I’m not sure how much of it we’ll get here. Guess I’ll find out.

Just thinking about today exhausts me, so I better get started.

Thurs. Aug. 12, 2021: Hot, Hot, Hot

image courtesy of S. Hermann & F. Richter via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Heat wave: Hazy, hot, humid

There’s a new post up over on Gratitude and Growth, about how I’m adapting to gardening here, on porches and balconies.

Yesterday was kind of a miserable day, weather-wise. I did an early run to Wild Oats and to Stop & Shop, and got everything back and put away before it got too hot. Everyone I saw is masking indoors now. Even better, not fussing about it.

A rather serious issue came up with one of my biggest clients, and that had to be dealt with. I don’t think management’s position on this issue – which has serious legal implications – is strong enough. I’m concerned. I’m in the clear, but I’m still concerned.

Wrote up a coverage; read another script that I have to write up this morning, and have two more scripts to read today. I hope to write up one this evening, when it gets cooler, and the other tomorrow morning. I’m still catching up on email from Tuesday.

I have to finish the book for review today, and get that review out tomorrow. I hope I’ll get another assignment before the weekend.

Today is supposed to be even hotter than yesterday. The cats lounge in front of the fans, and we give them fresh, cold water every two hours.

I had an idea for a fantasy piece that I didn’t write down immediately, and lost parts of it. It had a wry tone to it that I wanted to play with. Some of the ideas started coming back this morning, so I want to take some notes before my brain overheats.

Working steadily on the book. I wrote more than I planned this morning, because it flowed well; nearly six pages instead of four. I’m into Chapter Four of the handwritten draft, so I should start typing, or it will be overwhelming.

This weekend, I need to get back to the book(s) I SHOULD be writing. Of course, the siren song of GAMBIT COLONY has started again.

My check from last Friday’s conference teaching arrived, which makes me feel appreciated. I will take it to the credit union tomorrow to open a new account, so we can switch things over from the commercial bank to a bank that, you know, actually gives a damn about its customer/members.

I’ve been invited to join the Friends group at the public library. I’m considering it, although I don’t want to commit to much volunteer time. Maybe bake for their events (they need people to help with baking). I have to think about it. I may hold off until spring, if it means being around strangers and not being sure whether or not they’re vaccinated.

I already sent regrets to an indoor event to which I was invited, because they’re not requiring attendees to be vaccinated. Nope. Not being around the germy and the stupid, when I can possibly avoid it.

Back to the page, to try to get some work done before it gets too hot. I also have to unpack and put away what we brought back up on Tuesday. Meditation group was great this morning, so that’s a nice start to the day. I have a conversation with a potential client late this afternoon; it will NOT be a video meeting, because I’m wearing as little as possible, and not dressing for an interview today.

Bit by bit, we’re getting there.

Published in: on August 12, 2021 at 8:31 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 12, 2021: Hot, Hot, Hot  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. May 20, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 362: Loving the Lilacs

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I have a post over on Gratitude and Growth about the lilacs. More photos, too.

Yesterday was a little all over the place. I was up half the night, worrying. Worked on cleaning out the garage early in the morning. I got out some LOIs and some rental information requests. Heard back from some of the rental possibilities, and am waiting to hear back from another one that sounds fantastic and is in a place we love.

Went to the client’s. She was fine today, acting like Monday’s outbursts never happened. We got a lot done. She interviewed someone to replace me, who would be good. The second interview of the day didn’t show up. Two more are being set up for early next week.

I’m under no illusion of not being replaceable. I know I am; in fact, they need someone with different skills to replace me, because the focus of the business, for the next few months, is not on what I’ve been doing, but on other stuff I don’t do and don’t want to do. So it’s all good. I’m wrapping things up and writing up notes and cheat sheets. And, I’ve always believed that it’s important to set things up so it can run without a particular individual, because one never knows what life brings. Hoarding information and knowledge sets a bad tone.

I was exhausted by the time I left; picked up a prescription for my mom. Got home, had a few exchanges about rentals, joined Remote Chat, which was fun.

I was wrecked after chat. I rested for a bit (reading the latest Donna Leon Brunetti mystery). Then, we took the cats out on the deck in their playpens while I watered the grass, and I read another script. I’ll write up the coverage today.

Collapsed into bed early, which meant that I was up by 1 AM again, worrying. Charlotte started fussing around 4, as usual. I got up and fed everyone, then settled on the couch for about 45 minutes, which calmed Charlotte down, and I got a bit of a doze.

Getting ready to do some more work in the garage. Then, I’ll get out some LOIs, join the online meditation group, and I have a few errands to run this morning, before getting back to the script coverage job, articles, LOIs, packing, and house hunting.

To say I’m exhausted is an understatement.

Published in: on May 20, 2021 at 4:36 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 20, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 362: Loving the Lilacs  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. May 13, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 355 — Do I Listen to My Head or My Gut?

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I have a post on the garden progress over on Gratitude and Growth. The lilacs are blooming, which always makes me happy.

Yesterday was an enormously stressful day, and it’s not appropriate for me to discuss the details publicly. But, believe me, it sparked plenty of discussions on the home front about choices we need to make in order to move forward.

I’m hesitating to make a choice out of fear, but my gut is telling me it is vital to make this choice and make it NOW.

Was in touch with my doctor, and we have a telehealth consultation late Monday afternoon. That will help, although there are some decisions and actions that need to happen before Monday.

Remote Chat was a lot of fun. Turned around some more script coverage. I’m worried that I’m not giving them what they want; I’m happy to adjust to whatever they do want, but without knowing, I’m just plowing forward in the way I’ve been trained for this type of job. It’s a little nerve-wracking.

Still feel bad after the vaccine dose, but at least I’m on my feet, moving around, and keeping food down. Let’s celebrate the small improvements, shall we?

Watched a documentary about New Zealand last night, which was interesting. I only passed through New Zealand on my way to Australia when my show was in Adelaide, but the place fascinated me. I’ve always wanted to go back.

Online meditation group this morning (much needed), then client work, script coverage work, work on the short story and article, more LOIs, setting up more conversations with potential clients, packing, starting to clean out the garage. Busy day ahead, yeah?

Hope you have a good one!

Published in: on May 13, 2021 at 5:41 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 13, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 355 — Do I Listen to My Head or My Gut?  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. May 6, 2021: Nurturing Myself, Rather Than Dying For My Employer

image courtesy of Nico Wall via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Still Dark outside

Yesterday was so stressful that my skull was ready to explode before 10 AM. But we got through it.

Of course, being up since 2:30 in the morning, I was already exhausted by 8. I’d put in a full day, at least mentally and emotionally.

There’s a post up on Gratitude and Growth about how the septic guys evened out, raked, and resodded the back. It’s going to look beautiful. With photos!

And the lilacs will be far enough along this weekend, so I can cut some and enjoy them while I recover from my second vaccine dose.

The septic guys were back early in the morning, right on time, to finish up. Then, at the time I should have left for work, the plumber arrived. Turns out the upstairs toilet needs to be replaced, and a new valve needed to happen in the hot water heater in the basement. We’d shut Willa in my mom’s room and Tessa in my room, which left Charlotte to supervise, and she took her duties seriously. Fortunately, the plumber adored her. He’s another good guy.

Having skilled people who care about their work actually do the work makes a huge difference. They were great, so they didn’t add stress, it was just trying to juggle everything all at once, and keep on top of some appointments I was setting up for today AND get to the site for the client.

I’m riding out that situation for a few more weeks, but it will change. What I do does not have to be done in the office, and the client is trying to change the scope of duties to work I don’t do and don’t want to do. But I’m supposed to be grateful.

On top of that, the client has made decisions on my housing situation that are inappropriate and don’t work for us, but says that I “have no choice.” Um, yeah, I actually do have choices, and choices that don’t involve this client and aren’t the client’s business.

Swung by the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few things for the next few days.

The septic guys were just leaving. The back yard is going to be gorgeous once the grass grows back in.

Remote Chat was fun.

I got some responses from LOIs. Some were “no, thanks” which is fine. One wants me to do a one-way video interview, so that’s a no. Another wants me to write a “case study” for free in the next 48 hours. I’m sending my contract for samples and telling her I can book it next week, provided the deposit arrives in time. And those companies go on my Toxic Company Culture list.

I’m waiting for my first assignment from the new client – hoping I can start next week. Waiting to hear back from a couple of other potential clients from materials I sent them last week and this week. Depending on how a few more pieces play out, I may decide not to go forward with one of them, because there are some red flags that concern me.

I finished the book for review; will write up the review and get it out within the next hour, so I can get assigned the next one.

I’m very, very worried about my car. The last thing I can cope with right now is another major repair. Think good thoughts for me.

There’s stuff going on today and tomorrow that I can’t discuss publicly yet – it’s all good, don’t worry. I hate vague posts, but things are at a delicate stage, and if I talk to early, I’m afraid I’ll crush them. Plus, it might not work out. Then, I can pour out my disappointment and ask for sympathy!

But I won’t be around much today and tomorrow, and I get my second vaccine dose on Saturday, so it’ll be next week before we can thoroughly catch up.

Peace, friends, and hold a good thought for me.

Published in: on May 6, 2021 at 4:54 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 6, 2021: Nurturing Myself, Rather Than Dying For My Employer  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,