Thurs. Dec. 8, 2022: Following the Packages

image courtesy of E. Muhammad via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Last Day of the Full Moon

Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and mild

The latest garden update is over on Gratitude and Growth.

I had a slow start yesterday, and did not get anywhere near what I hoped to get done accomplished. I got the blogging done, and did the social media rounds, and promoted The Process Muse.

I was accepted on the Post.News site, so I had to get that signup sorted out, do my profile, start posting. It seems Very Serious over there. But there’s a lot of interesting content, so we’ll see.

Took a lot of books back to the library, and returned with a smaller stack, but one of them was a medieval bestiary so huge it needed its own slipcase. It looks beautiful, though. I posted photos online yesterday. I have it sitting on the worktable in my office, because it’s too big to curl up with on the sofa.

I was too tired to bake, but I turned around two more scripts. I have two for today, but nothing for tomorrow, so I might use tomorrow as a baking day, instead, and hope there are scripts early next week.

I kept getting distracted by the notifications on where the various packages I mailed on Monday were, at any given moment. Originally, most of the ones on the East Coast were supposed to hit yesterday, with those in the Midwest hitting today, and the one for the West Coast on Saturday. No problem.

But, although I kept getting notifications that the East coast packages would be delivered yesterday by 9 PM (impossible, since most of them were still in Chicopee midafternoon), the package to New York City, the one to Maine, and the one in California were all delivered. Go figure. Anyway, there’s no stress involved, because that’s why I mailed them early. But it’s fun to watch their progress.

We were supposed to receive 3 packages yesterday, but only one showed up: the red fleece sheets for my mom.

I ordered one last gift for my mom from LL Bean. She really wanted a particular shirt (again, in red) and she never asks for anything, so, of course, I ordered it.

Read my friend’s book last night (didn’t finish it). It’s very well done, and I’m happy for her.

Meditation didn’t happen this morning. The regular group leader is away, and the person who was supposed to step in either forgot or had technical difficulties. It happens. I’ll sit on my own later.

I HAVE to do the new promo graphic for the episode of Legerdemain that drops next Thursday; I really hate the one I did earlier this week. It would be good to get a couple more episodes uploaded and scheduled today, and a couple more tomorrow, and then I’m fine through the first week of January. I have enough episodes through January, but I need to get more drafted, so I can get ahead of things a bit more, in case I need to drop a seed in one of the earlier episodes.

Maybe this weekend, along with work on “Comfort, Then Joy” and THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH.

Anyway, back to work. Have a good one, my friends.

And don’t forget, the next episode of Legerdemain goes live today!

Thurs. Dec. 1, 2022: Boxes. And More Boxes.

image courtesy of Davie Bicker via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Getting sunnier, and very cold

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

If you missed Ink-Dipped Advice’s post yesterday on vetting potential clients, that’s also up.

I have not yet unpacked the new printer. Of course, I haven’t started using the new coffeemaker yet, either. It took 4 days to read the manual. But that’s on the agenda for the next few days going into the weekend. Along with another big decorating push. There are many decorating boxes strewing the space. There are boxes/bags that need to be packed and shipped with gifts. There are things, such as the printer, which need to be unpacked. Do I feel boxed in? More like boxed out.

I managed to get home from errands yesterday before it started bucketing down. I sat down and wrote THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. 1151 words. Which brought me to 59,736 for NaNo. I did some other stuff, but it bugged me to be so close to 60K and not at 60K, so I went back, wrote 481 words to finish the chapter, and made it to 60,217 for the month. That feels better.

That was the final interim chapter. Now, I can renumber the chapter I wrote last Friday, put that in, and start on the next chapter, which hurtles us toward the climactic sequence and the end of the book. I think it’s more likely this will come in around 75-77K, and that gives me room in the edits to layer on historical detail, while also putting in some more twists.

In the afternoon, I turned around 3 coverages, which means I ended the pay period close to where I hoped. I have to push hard the first half of December, so that I can relax around the holidays. Then I have to push hard at the beginning of January, because quarterly taxes are due mid-January. It’s great to say “save 30% of your income for taxes” but that is not always the reality.

This morning is meditation. After breakfast, I will sit down and write THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. The natural rhythm of the piece is between 1100-1700 words, rather than pushing over 2K in each session.

I have to get some comments out on a friend’s book and set up the interviews for January for the article I’m doing. I need to get back to another colleague with information.

I have two coverages to do this afternoon (starting the new pay period), and I have two for tomorrow, so I’m set for the week. Hopefully, enough will come in next week for a full week. I also need to get the next seven episodes of Legerdemain uploaded, scheduled, and the ads created. They’re written, they’ve had a couple of editing passes, but I need to get them up, and hope that I don’t need to plant anything there as I finish the arc (I’m behind where I want to be on that). If I hit a point like that, I’ll have to make do planting it somewhere else. The joy of serial writing.

In any case, the next episode goes live today, and I hope you enjoy it. I’m certainly not getting rich on the serial, but at least the last couple of months, it’s been earning its run. Have a good one!

Thurs. Nov. 10, 2022: A Sunny Autumn Day

(image courtesy of Tim Hill via pixabay.com)

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and cold

I’m late posting, because I was busy writing.

The latest on the garden, and last night’s avian visitor, is over on Gratitude and Growth.

I realized I need to rewrite my cover letter template, the one I use as the basis for sending out LOIs. It’s become outdated.

Did some work on future posts for THE PROCESS MUSE yesterday. Did the SM rounds to interact and promote Process Muse. I’m behind reading other Substackers, and need to build time into the weekly schedule to do that. It’s very much about being a reciprocal community. I’ve blocked off some time tomorrow to catch up.

Did a library run, dropping off books, and picking up the eight books waiting for me. Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Made chicken enchiladas for dinner, and they were excellent.

I feel better about the election results. I spent a good deal of time yesterday listening to people whose opinions I respect. I’m still wary, but I feel like I have a fuller perspective now. And, as I said, I’m happy about the results in my home state. And I want indictments to happen. NOW. No more excuses. When you crime in real time on video, there need to be consequences.

I was tired and went to bed ridiculously early. Busy in the Dreamscape, putting a garden to bed in front of what looked like a British cottage, only it wasn’t as damp.

Up early, and at the desk. Got in one chapter of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH before meditation. I was on a roll, with the next scene boiling in my head, so I wrote a second chapter after mediation. My total today is 4007 words, and I’ve passed 25K for the month, so I can take a breath. I don’t want to skip any days, but I don’t have to panic, either. At a third of the way through the month, I’ve hit half the word count, so steady work until 50K will mean I can slow down later in the month around Thanksgiving.

Meditation was good, although Charlotte was a pill until she got settled in front of the Zoom screen.

I have a script that needs to be turned around quickly, today, so once I make the social media rounds, I will do that first, before going back to any other writing or reading. I’m in good enough shape that I can take tomorrow off script reading; I have two scripts in my queue for Monday.

I have house-and-hearth stuff to do in the next few days, along with working on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, LEGERDEMAIN, and ANGEL HUNT, and finishing reading/critiquing my friend’s book. I want to get that out to him this weekend. I also need to get back to the radio plays.

If you’re taking the holiday tomorrow, I wish you a good long weekend. If you’re not, we’ll meet again here virtually tomorrow!

Have a good one!

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it!

Thurs. Nov. 3, 2022: Weary

(Image courtesy of S.Hermann/F. Richter via pixabay.com)

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and warm

The latest on the garden is up over on Gratitude and Growth.

The Mars retrograde is kicking my ass, and it just started. I don’t even want to imagine what it will be like when it pairs with the Mercury Retrograde over New Year’s.

After I finished the Nano quota yesterday, and then made the social media rounds, I switched out the curtains and took down the Samhain ornaments.

Packing them took a while, since I also had script coverage, and all that climbing and untangling and all the rest took time.

Something about Nano that makes me tired is all those who only write once a year doing Nano thinking they know everything about writing and giving condescending pats on the head to those of us who MAKE OUR LIVING AT THIS ALL YEAR. Learn something about the person you’re talking to before you give “advice.”

If you missed Ink-Dipped Advice yesterday, I talk about the toxicity of “Team Player”, so hop over and read it.

Turned around 3 scripts in the afternoon. Packed up the decorations in the evening, and I have to hoist the boxes back onto the shelves today.

I’d accepted it was unlikely I’d work on Legerdemain yesterday, so at least I didn’t beat myself up about it.

A strange, murky-colored stain started to expand on the ceiling of my mother’s bedroom. Either something is leaking up in the attic, or something is bleeding up there. Either way, it needs to be dealt with. Since we don’t have access to the attic, I reported it to maintenance, who promised to check it out today.

As my friend Dewi Hargreaves said, it’s an intro to a story. Let’s hope it’s not a horror story!

The rituals for the dead continue. They take more of a toll this year than usual. I’m not sure if it’s because there are more dead due to COVID, or I’m older, or a combination. But this year, it’s difficult to sustain the rituals all week.

Weird dreams last night, and up early this morning.

Up early, and at the desk. Wrote Chapter 3 of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, 2624 words. The book wants to pace at around 1K/day, but that doesn’t work for Nano, so I’m pushing it into an unnatural pace, which will mean more time in revisions. I also need to create boards with visuals of the clothes and other details to have in front of me while I write (not on yet another screen – a real BOARD). The hat etiquette is slowing me down. It’s interesting, it’s fun, but it’s slowing me down.

Meditation this morning. After breakfast, I hope to get a little work done, and then I have a morning filled with errands. Not sure if I’ll get to work on Legerdemain, or how much work, because there are two more scripts that need attention this afternoon.

At least the weather should be gorgeous through the weekend.

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it!

Published in: on November 3, 2022 at 8:16 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 3, 2022: Weary  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Oct. 27, 2022: A Cat With A Plan

(Charlotte, photo by the author)

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Warm and wet

I hope you’re enjoying The Process Muse. If you haven’t had the chance, you can sign up for it here. (It’s free).

Latest on the garden and our weird weather up on Gratitude and Growth.

Worked on the outline for THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH and I’m still not happy with it, although it’s grown and is richer than it was. A major arc for a couple of supporting characters is gaining traction, and, if I handle it will be both beautiful and sad throughout the book.

Picked up the rest of the books at the library, and put in for some books with 1950s details that I will need for Nano. The book on fashion is a lot of fun. After all, I have to clothe my characters (and most of my costume books are still in storage).

Went to the DMV (RMV here in MA) to renew the car registration. In and out in under 10 minutes, and they were very nice, just the way I like it. Paid the insurance for the next 6 months, so that is all set.

Ordered in Chinese food for lunch, because I was too lazy to cook.

In the afternoon, I turned around two scripts, and in the evening, I read the next book for review. I will write it up and send it off this morning, after meditation and breakfast.

Charlotte kept bothering me in the night. Around 2 AM, I set up her playpen in the sewing room and put her in it (Tessa came by the snicker at her). I was just falling asleep again when I heard a series of thumps. I got up. Charlotte had rolled the playpen out of the sewing room and down the hall into my office, headed for my bedroom. Gotta give the cat points for ingenuity.

I took her out of the playpen and back in bed. She snuggled down, purring, and was good until Tessa woke us at 6:30 with her howling.

I had a breakthrough on the outline for THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH – I think I’ve finally figured out the climax and refigured the resolution, so it works better. It means setting up a couple of other characters earlier and planting more clues, and shifting a relationship, but it will make the book stronger, and fix what I was worried isn’t working. As soon as this is posted, I’m going back to work on it, taking a break for meditation, and then finishing it.

I’ll have to decide if I want to work on ANGEL HUNT this morning and LEGERDEMAIN tomorrow, or the other way around. I think I’ll work on ANGEL HUNT, and then work on LEGERDEMAIN all weekend.

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today, and I hope you enjoy it!

Published in: on October 27, 2022 at 7:09 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 27, 2022: A Cat With A Plan  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Oct. 20, 2022: An Interesting Mystery Dropped Into My Lap

image courtesy of Julia via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Waning Moon

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

A little cloudy and cold

The latest on the garden is up on Gratitude and Growth.

A piece on expanding the definition of freelancer is up over on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Yesterday was basically a day off writing and writing-related work. I blogged, took care of some email, did the social media rounds, noodled with the notes Paula gave me on my plays. They have to go out the door soon. I can’t waste any time.

But by mid- morning, we were out the door. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and it was absolutely beautiful to be out and about.

After the first errand, I had a feeling we should stop at the local thrift store. I’ve been looking for another jewelry box to stack on top of the ones I have, a magazine rack for the unread magazines before I file or pass on the read ones, and, of course, more bookcases. Always more bookcases.

All of those items were at this thrift store today, along with another glass chimney for the pillar candles. The magazine rack, in particular, is a piece I fell in love with. Maple, beautifully made.

All for a very low price.

Loaded the car and headed for another store that was between the thrift store and home, to pick up some basic supplies like project binders, divider sheets, and I found my great, big desk blotter calendar for sale at 1/3 of the price I’ve seen it elsewhere.

We unloaded everything at home, and then headed down to Pittsfield, where we had a series of stores on the list to visit. We batch shop when we go down there. The candle store, the kitchen store, the bookstore, etc. I’m almost finished with my personal journal book and had to buy a new one – the 5th journal book for this year. I also bought 4 books for next year, and they are gorgeous.

It was after 2 by the time we got home and unloaded. So I decided to give myself the day off script coverage. There hasn’t been much coming in, and my next piece isn’t due until Friday, so rather than pressuring myself, I gave myself the day off.

I cleaned and polished the jewelry box and the magazine rack. I found a maker’s mark on the magazine rack that said “George B. Bent, Gardner MA.” I did a quick look up and discovered the company was in business from 1946 to 1990, but little else except a note about a fire at some point.

I did a little more digging. Turns out Gardner was known as “Chair City” for its furniture making. There was also a furniture company called “S Bent” in business from 1867 to 2001.

George was the brother of the current “S” Bent when he started his own company.

There’s a play in there somewhere. I need to do more digging.

Anyway, researching the piece, I found a high-end furniture company selling a similar one for– $599. As in nearly six HUNDRED dollars. I did not pay that much at the thrift store. There’s another similar piece on eBay for $75. Still far more than I paid.

I found the Gardner Museum, and emailed them for more information. The was also a strong theatre community there at one point, and I want to know more about them, too.

I have a feeling there is a trip to Gardner in my future in the spring.

An old family friend got in touch in the afternoon. We have not seen her since pre-plague. She wondered if she could come up and visit tomorrow, and we said sure.

Which means I have to make up for all the work I didn’t get done yesterday AND work ahead to do everything for tomorrow. Plus make the food and clean the house.

That’s the way it goes sometimes. Good thing it was a light coverage week!

I finished unpacking the rest of the stuff we brought up from storage. I realized I forgot to buy a tarp and another rolly cart yesterday, but my mom said she didn’t see any rolly carts. We’ll deal.

My back is bothering me again, from all the hauling stuff around yesterday. I also have to check the paint/primer situation. The two bookcases still need some TLC, which includes new paint. I have to see if I have any, or need to buy it. I thought I had some primer, but I might have used it. Since it will be in the 60’s this weekend, I can paint.

I’m looking forward to meditation again. I have to make another trip to the grocery store. I decided I’ll make up another batch of black bean soup, and serve it with ciabatta. I know our friend loves my devilled eggs, so I’ll make some of that, and more mousse. Maybe lemon instead of chocolate? That might balance better with the eggs and the soup. Keep it simple, right?

And try not to hurt my back any more with the cleaning.

Have a good one!

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. Direct link here. Enjoy!

Thurs. Oct. 13, 2022: Working Through the Back Pain

image courtesy of Wolfgang Claussen via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold (rain coming in)

Read up on what’s going on, garden-wise, over on Gratitude and Growth.

I had a pretty good day workwise, yesterday, and my back didn’t give out until the evening.

In the morning, I wrote another episode of LEGERDEMAIN, updated the style sheet and series bible. That usually takes longer than writing the episode (okay, it doesn’t. It just feels like it). I’m having a lot of fun, and working hard to keep the rhythm of the chapters more consistent, and closer to the 1200-word mark.

Then, I switched over and wrote the next episode of VIXEN’S HOLLOW/THE CUNNING ONE. It’s a lot of fun. I think people will enjoy it. I updated the series bible for that (I won’t have a style sheet until I revise/edit, as I prep it for release). But I am creating a “Work Diary” that gets into the details of each episode, the inspirations, the changes as the writing flows, etc. That will be part of the subscription element when the series goes live.  For my personal definition, the central protagonist, Esmeralda Santini, is a cross between Marion Ravenwood and Morticia Adams. The series itself is somewhat like WAREHOUSE 13 meets LEGENDS AND LATTE. Yeah. That far out there.

It’s a helluva lot of fun to write, and I think readers will enjoy it. Again, it’s specifically written as a serial, as is LEGERDEMAIN, not releasing chapters of a book one at a time. Which means if I ever do decide to take them down and turn them into a book, it will be a bit of a PITA to adapt it back.

I poked around some more on Substack. There are so many different ways to do this. It looks like the most sensible way is to start building an audience before launching the serial and the “extras” that would be part of a subscription. Another thing to keep up. But I have some ideas, and if I can batch write posts and schedule them, It should work. It definitely feels better than Medium, which had so many obstacles to get over that it became a chore, rather than something joyful. There’s also more of a sense of writers supporting each other’s work over on Substack, which I like. So we’ll see. It means at least a year’s commitment, before I’d know whether or not to keep going. And before I have enough metrics to compare to Vella.

While juggling the shorter-term work that pays the bills every month. I’m playing with several different approaches, and I will see what works best. I look at the way Lilith St. Crow runs her career, and she’s doing pretty well running her serials on Patreon and Gumroad, but those are written with the intent to put them out later as books.

It’s a lot to think about and plan. Especially with the pressure from Nano coming up, and the need to keep up with immediate-paying work. I don’t want to drop the ball on radio plays or stage plays. I have plans for those for next year.

I looked at Linktree, which seemed like a good idea, but it drives traffic to Linktree instead of my website, so I think I’ll keep it to the website, which then has links to everything else on its landing page. It keeps my metrics higher.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. I liked both of them a lot, which is always a nice way to end the day.

There were computer issues on and off. By next spring, no doubt, I’ll need a new laptop. This one will be 3 years old, and I never had a PC make it more than a week past its warranty.

After dinner, I was on the couch with a heating pad on my back, reading the next book for review. I like the writing style – until it hit a trope that just sets my teeth on edge.

Didn’t sleep well. Woke up several times because of back pain, and used the yoga blocks and the foam roller. Had weird, bad dreams. Their messages are very clear, but it makes me weary.

Meditation this morning, and then it’s back to the page. I also have to do a library/grocery/post office run. This afternoon, more coverage. I’m hoping to have a light coverage day tomorrow, because I want to spend some time updating my websites.

Episode 24 of Legerdemain drops today. It’s not all-free anymore, but if you haven’t yet started to read, the first 3 are still free. The link is here.

Have a good one!

Published in: on October 13, 2022 at 7:29 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 13, 2022: Working Through the Back Pain  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Oct. 6, 2022: Adopt-A-Versaries and Free Vella Reads

Willa (photo by Devon Ellington)

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Foggy and mild

It’s still gray and foggy. Yesterday, it rained on and off all day. I guess we’re having a damp autumn. Latest on the garden is at Gratitude and Growth.

There’s also a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice about the Work Wins Journal experiment, and what did and did not serve my work.

Today is the 4th Anniversary of Willa’s adopt-a-versary. She’s come a long way from the scared little cat who arrived four years ago. Saturday will be Charlotte’s 4-year anniversary. Charlotte’s been an even bigger challenge. They were with two different people, which is why they arrived on different days. I’m glad we have them both. Tessa isn’t so sure on some days.

Charlotte, photo by Devon Ellington

I mostly got admin and some marketing done yesterday morning. Then, I went to Big Y and did the Big Grocery Shop that sets us up for most of the month, and we just have to fill in here and there with fresh things. I was relieved to see so many people masked. But I had six large bags when I was finished (the reusable big bags I take with me).

Got everything home, up the stairs, put away. Did a few more things before  my meeting with a  client. It should have taken an hour and took three, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Dug in after the client left and turned around three scripts. Which meant I was working until nearly 9 PM, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Had trouble settling into sleep. Charlotte was impossible. I ended up kicking her out of the room so I could sleep. I woke up around 2:30 and let her back in, and then we settled down to sleep and I overslept until 7:30. The bed looks like a battlefield this morning.

I had weird dreams about being in a writers’ residency with a famous author, where we shared living space that had a studio for each  of us in it, but we cooked together and had a common room together.

Today needs to be about writing and cooking (and, in the afternoon, three more scripts to turn around). I doubt I’ll make it to open studios tonight at MassMOCA. I won’t be able to turn around three scripts early enough without cutting into my writing time, and I’m never in any shape to concentrate on coverage after open studios, because I’m too excited about the work.

I was thinking about the request to move the artist working group meetings to evenings because of “day jobs.” If that becomes the norm, then this is not the right group for me. Art IS my day job, and I consider these meetings part of my job. I’m not interested in being part of a group where the day job is the priority, not the art. The reason I’ve been able to earn a living in the arts since I was 18 was that the only purpose any non-arts “day job” had was to SERVE the art, not the art pushed aside for the day job. And any time a day job conflicted with the art, it was the day job that was dropped. I’ve participated in groups of part time artists before. All they do is whine about the world not accommodating them, rather than making their art a priority. That is not what I want and need now.

If you don’t make your art a priority, you will never be given the opportunity by others for it to be a priority.

So we’ll see how this unfolds. It may well not be the right group for me at this point in my journey. It may well be the right group for the other members where they are, and if that is the case, so be it.

Meditation as good this morning. Now, it’s back to the page, and also the stove. There’s a lot of cooking that has to happen today, along with the writing.

Have a good one, friends.

Episode 22 of Legerdemain drops today. On top of that, from Oct. 5-11, eligible accounts can read up to 100 episodes per day for free. That means you can read ALL of the released episodes of Legerdemain (and give them thumbs up if you like them) FOR FREE this week. “Eligible” means you have an active Amazon account, and have spent $50 on Amazon at some point. The link to the serial is here.

Thurs. Sept. 29, 2022: Choices

image courtesy of Arek Socha via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Partly sunny and cool

The latest on the garden is over on Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday morning, I set up a Substack account and subscribed to some material. I will read for a few weeks/months, to get an idea of the platform and how it can be used.

Found out about some great submission calls. Hopefully, I can fulfill them.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by opportunities and having trouble prioritizing them. It shouldn’t be difficult. The opportunity needs to meet the following criteria:

–Does it pay the bills? Because writing – yes, even fiction and plays – is my BUSINESS, not my hobby.

–Does it present an opportunity for professional growth?

–Does it challenge/stretch me creatively?

–What are the long-term benefits compared to the short-term benefits?

Chasing something because it’s new and shiny and interesting does not build a career. Finishing work and making sure it pays its way, while growing in the process, builds a career.

I drafted an episode of Legerdemain (I wanted to draft two, but that didn’t happen). I stayed current on the marketing game, posted on LinkedIn, made the social media rounds, slogged through some email. In the afternoon, I turned around three script coverages and grabbed a big coverage I will do today and tomorrow, along with a couple of smaller ones, that should get me closer to where I need to be this pay period.

I started reading the next book for review (the review is due tomorrow). Good thing I read fast.

I prepped for this morning Working Artists Group session.

Watching Hurricane Ian destroy Florida is horrifying.

DeSantis, who voted against Hurricane Sandy aid to blue states, should be forced to step down as Florida gets aid. That needs to be the tradeoff. You vote against aid? When you then ask for it for your state, you have to step aside. The aid should go to the people who need it, but the politicians cannot be allowed to remain in office when they’re hypocrites.

I had two weird dreams last night. One was very personal, and I completely understand the message, but it made me very sad. It will keep me sad as I process it. The other dream had something to do with time travel in New Orleans, and I have no idea what that was about.

Online Meditation group this morning. Then, I just have time to gulp down breakfast before I head off to the Working Group, and there’s the morning gone. This afternoon, I have a lot of coverage to do, and to finish the book for review.

It is unlikely I will draft anything for Legerdemain today, which puts more pressure on tomorrow and the weekend.

Episode 20 of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it.

Peace, friends, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Published in: on September 29, 2022 at 7:01 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 29, 2022: Choices  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Sept. 15, 2022: Organization is Key

image courtesy of Karolina Grabowka via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Waning Moon

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

Sunny and cooler

It’s finally starting to feel like autumn. Doesn’t quite smell like it, though. There’s a post on Gratitude and Growth about the garden.

We went over early to Stop & Shop for my mother’s bivalent booster. Good thing we did, because they claimed they “only got the first page of the paperwork” and we had to fill it all out again. So sick of filling out forms.

While my mom got her shot, I picked up a few things we needed. She didn’t have to sit and wait for 15 minutes, like we had to for the other shots. It was stab and go.

She had zero side effects yesterday at all, to the point where she worried she’d gotten a placebo. This morning, she has a little soreness n the arm. That’s it.

I finished reading a second book for review. I will write and submit both reviews today, submit my invoice, and ask for my next assignment.

I spent way too much time building my profile on Creative Ground, but it needed to get done, since the launch party is tonight (virtually), and I’m invited.

I set up an appointment at the law library next Tuesday to do the research on banking laws here in MA in 1957, for the retro mystery that will be drafted during Nano this year. The librarian is looking forward to it (and so am I). Since the state banking association and the banks themselves refuse to answer my questions. I’m batting around potential titles with some trusted friends, and realizing just how much I need to get back to the outline, so it’s ready to go before November 1. I have character sketches, locations, situations, but I need to, you know, actually plot the murders and the rest of the book.

Did some research on local radio stations, and on the community television/radio station that’s here in North Adams. I might need to make an appointment to go and check out the facilities.

Got my instructions for next week’s conference sessions down in Lenox. I’m worried that people won’t be responsible about masking; if that is the case, I will get up and leave the session. Not taking the risks.

WAM’s next show is in October, and tickets are available. I’m not going in person, since their audience already proven they won’t keep up their end of the masking bargain (even though a caveat of ticket purchase is to remain masked). I may buy a ticket for the virtual performance. At least they have that option, and I know their work is excellent.

Starting to figure out the autumn into winter schedule, which looks to be intense. I have 4 radio plays to write, for specific producers; I have to write the next 2 arcs of LEGERDEMAIN, polish them, and get them up; I need to revise “The Little Woman” and “Inspired By” so they can go out the door when appropriate calls open up; I have a handful of short stories with which I’m noodling; I need to outline the retro mystery so it’s set to go for Nano; once the first draft of that is finished, I need to draft THE KRINGLE CALAMITY and then the third book of the Hearthstone Mysteries, so that all three of those are ready to go out the door by early summer. And I need to do the first draft of the full-length play FALL FOREVER. I’d like to get ANGEL HUNT finished and broken down into episodes, so that can launch in January.

Which of course means having to keep up the content calendar on LEGERDEMAIN, the Topic Workbooks, and, if ANGEL HUNT goes live, the ANGEL HUNT content calendar, and it’s a lot.

Plus, you know, client work and script coverage, and next year’s contest entries will start arriving before the end of the year.

So I guess it can snow, because there’s plenty to do at home!

But it’s nice to feel creative again. In late winter, early spring, decisions will be made on the current series, as to whether I feel up to starting up again, and if my publisher wants to keep carrying them.

I haven’t spent the time on the Cerridwen’s Cottage website that it needs, so that has to be folded in there somehow, too. Plus organizing the almanac articles whose rights have reverted, so I can turn those into eBooks and sell them.

I might need a larger desk blotter calendar!

Anyway, I have meditation this morning, and then getting the reviews done and out, and invoicing. I have to pay my quarterly taxes today (argh), get everything to the post office, pick up my mom’s prescriptions, take a couple of checks to the bank. This afternoon, I have two more scripts to cover, finishing out the pay period, not terribly, but still below what I’d hoped.

What I do hope is that my bivalent booster tomorrow won’t take me out. I’ve blocked off the weekend to rest. If I feel up to it, I’ll do some work on LEGERDEMAIN, and maybe turn over the closet from summer to winter. Otherwise, I’ll stay in bed, or read on the couch.

Episode 16 of LEGERDEMAIN drops today.

The next two weeks are busy, but filled with good stuff.

Peace my friends, and enjoy!

Thurs. Sept. 8, 2022: Prioritizing Projects

image courtesy of Conger Design via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Waxing Moon

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

Mercury goes retrograde TOMORROW

Cloudy and cooler

I kept thinking yesterday was Thursday, but it was only Wednesday, and I was all mixed up. I am so NOT looking forward to Mercury retrograde piled on top of all these other retrogrades. My preference is to stay in bed for the next three weeks, but the Universe would laugh and have the bedroom ceiling collapse on me, so I better just deal with what needs to be dealt with, and stay away from traps.

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

There’s a post about creating and using content calendars over on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Those oughta keep you busy for a bit, right?

I did a big grocery shop yesterday. You can tell the tourists are clearing out, because the majority of people in the grocery stores are masked again. I’m trying to get us scheduled for our Shot #5, but I’m hearing nightmare stories about CVS cancelling appointments when insurance doesn’t cover it, and refusing to accept payment out of pocket. It looks like we can get them at the Stop & Shop Pharmacy otherwise, so at least we have a backup, but the timing is the problem. We’ll see what we can come up with. And I want to make sure it’s the correct formula.

I sent some info out to a friend for her business, and I answered an email from a friend of a friend who is relocating to the area. At least I got that all caught up.  I spent more time than I should experimenting with text-to-art AI technology. I don’t think I’ll be able to use anything (or very little) of the experiments, but I learned a lot, so I don’t feel that it was wasted time.

I turned around two scripts.

Roast chicken for dinner, which meant the house smelled wonderful, and then I made chicken stock. So we are well-stocked (pun intended) on both vegetable stock and chicken stock. Bring on soup season!

An acquaintance on Twitter posted a thread of open submission class with paying markets for short stories. I made notes on some of them, and will look into them in more detail over the next few days. I got one idea for one of them and made some notes; hopefully I can do a rough draft today. I may have a couple of stories ready to go on some of the calls. We’ll see. The work on those has to fit around the work that has to get done, and that is stacking up something fierce.

I need to get back to the radio plays, and I’m just not in that headspace right now. So I better figure out how to get into it. I have to spit out four radio plays pretty darn quickly. And I have to get back on track with the next arc of LEGERDEMAIN, while promoting what’s dropping. I also have a short play that’s been squawking at me, a comedy, and I need to get that drafted, plus go back and revise the two one-acts I wrote a few weeks ago, where my friend Paula gave such great feedback. They need to be prepped and ready to go out the door for appropriate submission calls.

Speaking of which, Episode 14 of LEGERDEMAIN drops today.

Meditation group starts meeting again online this morning, and I’m looking forward to it. I also have to nip down to the post office later to mail some bills that I forgot to mail on Tuesday. Oops.

I better get going then, hadn’t I? Have a good one.

Thurs. Sept 1, 2022: A New Month

image courtesy of tigerlily713 via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 1, 2022

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

Sunny and pleasant

I’m so delighted the humidity broke. Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

We headed out for errands in the morning. Fabric store first. I want to make a book-themed quilt for winter. I’d seen the fabric online, but, of course, they didn’t have it in the store. One of the women who worked there said she had some at home, and offered to sell it to me; she said she would email me with the details. But I didn’t hear from her, so I assume she didn’t find it, or she changed her mind. Which is fine. I’ll keep looking. I want it to be the leather-bound, fancy covers, not something cutesy.

I did find, however, a lovely fleece with constellations on purple, that will make a lovely winter throw. So I bought that instead.

Dropped off the ink cartridge at Staples – not that it will matter. I planned to walk out of there immediately, but notebooks were on sale. I don’t need more notebooks. I have an entire shelf of blank notebooks. But I bought 16 notebooks. Because I hoard notebooks.

Since we were down there anyway, we went over to Restore, just to check, but there was nothing we wanted or needed.

Then, we stopped at Target on the way home, because the mop I bought during the clearing out chaos on the Cape last summer, when the old mop died is just awful. We bought a fancy new cotton-headed wringing mop that looks like it will be wonderful.

I managed to get out of Target only buying what I went in to get.

The water was back on by the time we got home. I turned around four scripts after lunch, getting them in before the payment deadline. I still haven’t earned as much as I hoped this pay period, and I have bills looming over me, so let’s hope I do better next pay period (which starts today), and some of the LOIs I’ve sent out bear fruit. I also have to finish my postcard to do my autumn mailing to prospects.

I got my next two book assignments to review, so I’ll download one today, and the other one they’re mailing to me.

The mail carrier put the Goddess Provisions box in the mail slot AGAIN instead of at the door. So, obviously, telling the postmaster about it meant nothing, and I have to go to his boss. Because at this point, eight months in? It’s not the carrier being thoughtless. It’s the carrier deliberately being a jerk. I took a photograph and will include in my next letter to the postmaster, which will be cc’d to the postmaster’s boss.

This morning, I will swing by City Hall and drop off my mail-in ballot. I need to do a bunch of admin and write some cards. I don’t think I’ve mentioned, on the blog, that over last weekend, I learned that Bobby LuPone died. I was part of MCC for several years early in my theatre career, first as a stage manager, and later as an assistant production manager, before I was hired by The Vineyard, Manhattan Theatre Company, and the Public, and then made the leap to Broadway. I worked on a lot of productions with MCC in those early years on 42nd Street, including one act festivals. That was a huge part of my early career. Bobby was a force of nature. It’s a huge loss for the theatrical community.

I have two scripts to read today and one tomorrow. I’m taking the holiday weekend to rest and recharge. And probably work on LEGERDEMAIN, unless I got a lot of work done on it today.

Episode 12 drops today – I hope you’re following it and enjoy it.

Have a good one, friends.