Tues. July 3, 2018: Writing, Marching, Company

Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Packed few days.

Friday, I gave myself the day off. Even from writing. We got out of the house early and drove out to Truro, to the Atlantic Spice Company. I was out of a few things, and, since the local natural market closed, I needed to restock. It was a nice drive on a lovely day, and a good trip.

On the way back, we had a quick stop at the National Seashore in Eastham, stopped at Great Cape Herbs in Brewster, and had lunch at  Captain Frosty’s in Dennis. Then, a quick stop at Trader Joe’s. At 1 PM on a Friday, the place looked like it had been stripped by locusts. I couldn’t believe how many shelves were bare.

I also picked up some globe solar lights and put them into the garden. Between the lights and the fireflies, it was beautiful.

We have a mother and baby bunny in the garden, too. I have enough dandelions for them to eat, so they leave our lettuce alone!

I read a lovely book by Catherine Isaac called YOU ME EVERYTHING. Really well done.

I received the most wonderful request from my colleague Ron MacLean to write the foreword for the re-release of his novel HEADLONG. It remains one of my ten favorite novels I’ve read in the past decade or so, and probably on my top 20 books of all time. I’m so honored.

Between that and the almanac articles and the monologue for my friend’s benefit and the material I’m sending for a potential reading slot in fall, I have quite the schedule. But it’s wonderful.

I’m going to re-read HEADLONG before I write the foreword. Fall in love with the book all over again.

My lunch at Frosty’s had been a much anticipated platter of fried seafood, and I spent the rest of the day and night regretting it. But it was wonderful while I ate it.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 4 AM. I felt better, but Iris (aka Princess Hellion) scared me nearly to death. She was lying in the hallway, not moving. I was afraid she was dead. It was only a deep sleep, thank goodness. She was quite annoyed that I woke her up. She was hot, and could get a breeze by lying in the hall.

Early grocery shopping before heading out to the march.

Each march has its own distinct atmosphere. This, #FamiliesBelongTogether was of grim determination. Although Elizabeth Warren and Joe Kennedy III worked hard to make us optimistic in our fight.

I am sick and tired of Republicans denying human beings basic human dignity and calling it “religion” and “safety.” My mother is terrified — she survived a regime like this during WWII.

I did not do well in the heat and had to be treated for heat exhaustion.

On the bus back, and later in the evening, I read Hannu Rajaniemi’s new book SUMMERLAND. Wow. Just wow. The type of book that’s a page turner while you read it and keeps you thinking after you put it down. Really excellent.

Watched STATE OF PLAY (the one with Bill Nighy, the BBC mini-series). Very good. Also started watching the second season of HUSTLE, which is fun.

Sunday was hot, hot, hot. We got the garbage to the dump (not fun). Read and wrote a little during the day. I’m playing with an idea that’s a variation on something I’ve played with on and off for years and never quite made work. Also pondered this, that, and the other on RELICS & worked out ideas on calendar articles.

We went to MSPCA for a senior cat adoption. The new facility was beautiful, but there weren’t many cats (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong). Tessa needs a friend, and I don’t think the right one was there for her in this batch. I feel so guilty every time I walk out of a place without adopting.

When we came home — the power was out in this neighborhood. I was worried we’d lose everything in the fridge, but it came back on after a couple of hours without damage.

Monday, I did client work and had some meetings and did some work at the library.
Worked on a marketing campaign for a client and got part of it out. The rest has to be handled today.

Had an excellent writing day on Monday for RELICS. Finished a Phineas chapter, wrote an entire Amanda chapter.

Have to get going with DHARMA this week, too. I look forward to being back on the cruise ship with Sophie, Sebastian, Roz, and the gang.

Today, more client work, and then Reiki tonight. Company arriving late tonight — they might stay until the end of the week, they might leave after a few days. We’re playing it by ear.

No post tomorrow — Just a holiday greeting. I’ll be back online on Thursday. Have a great weekend. And I hope my Canadian friends had a wonderful Canada Day on Sunday.

 

Advertisements

Mon. July 30, 2012: Suddenly Quiet . . .


Mutant primrose in my office

Monday, July 30, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s starting to feel like autumn, and it’s not even August. My orange chrysanthemums are blooming, the air smells sharp in the morning and evening, in the way it does during the turn of the seasons. The cats are shedding like crazy and growing their winter fur — it’s thick.

Busy weekend. Costume Imp’s friends from the west coast were east, and they came over on Friday for cocktails, dinner, and we watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics. My reaction to most of it was “WTF?” I liked the Rowan Atkinson bit and the Queen Elizabeth/James Bond skit. Those were clever and worked. The history of the Industrial Revolution just didn’t, for me. It felt pompous and heavy-handed, and far too much a celebration of colonialism (which caused a lot of suffering that wasn’t even touched on). The parade of athletes is always interesting. Not having the flame publicly visible is, I’m sure, irritating to many.

Saturday we ran some errands and mostly watched the Olympics and recovered. We attempted to go to the Lavender Farm and Great Cape Herbs. The traffic was so awful that we only made it to the latter. Took way too long to get around. Now, I’m happy and grateful that everyone’s having a good summer season — I just don’t want to be out in it! 😉

Got a lot of research done for the aviation story. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a better handle on it. More work on the revisions for the first book in the trilogy, while trying to balance writing the second book.

Sunday was just a quiet day at home. Much needed. Read a mystery that head-hopped so much it worked my last nerve and I found it hard to connect with any of the characters. Read a terrific fantasy by NK Jemisin called THE KILLING MOON. She is a superb world builder. I have to put that book on reading lists for class. Now I’m reading Alice Hoffman’s THE PROBABLE FUTURE. I love Alice Hoffman’s writing, so I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Somehow, in the fray of all this company these past weeks, the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom cracked. So I replaced that yesterday and also put in a Waterpik 5-speed shower head in the downstairs bathroom. The original one is bagged and labelled, so, when we move, I can switch them back. I felt like such a competent handy woman after all that! 😉

This morning, we were all up extra early, because Costume Imp had to make a 7:30 bus back to NY.

I’ve got errands to run this morning, and then a short story to finish, an article to draft, and a book to start for critique. I’d love to just go back to bed, but — not an option!

I’ll have to mow the lawn this week — it’s been growing slowly, acting like it’s already October, but it’s now grown enough it needs some attention. The hosta blooms are all faded, and bees have all they want from them, so I’ll cut those back, too.

Devon

Monday, January 17, 2011


View over Plymouth Harbor

Monday, January 17, 2011
Waxing Moon
Martin Luther King Day

This is scheduled to post, because I had to get my butt out of bed and get on the road far too early in order to get the car to Plymouth for its spa day. Hopefully it means that, by the time most of you read this, I’ll be back. My car gets a spa day and I get to freeze my ass off in Plymouth before any of the stores open. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Plymouth, but here’s hoping I find a nice, warm coffee joint and can do some writing!

I have a dilemma with the Samantha LIght piece. I originally wanted it to be speculative fiction in either a created world or a parallel world. But I keep making familiar references. I don’t know if that means I should set it in a somewhat futuristic NY/Scotland/Paris or just use those references in the first draft, and then change them substantially into a created/imagined version of similar cities in revisions. Stopping to world build right now will make me lose the dynamic between the characters. But, in the ultimate piece, the setting will be very, very important.

Regarding my protag, Samantha, I’m not having trouble with her. I thought it would be a challenge, because, on the surface, she seems like the kind of woman I can’t stand, and yet, she’s very much her own person without being the sort of cliche we see of this type of woman on tv, in the tabloids, or in fiction. So, I’m having fun with her.

Costume Imp moves today, leaving Queens to go up to Washington Heights. New situation, new roommates, the whole thing. He brought his delightful beasts up on Friday night — yowling all the way. They can give Iris a run for the money when it comes to feline opera performances.

I certainly learned how far some students will go to bend the rules in class. In the historical/western assignment, we had more than one person have a character “tell a story” about an historical time to another character. I had to let it go since I hadn’t expressly forbidden it, but now I know, and I’ve tweaked the exercise for future classes. When I say “set your characters in an historical or western piece”, having them tell each other a story about someone else doesn’t cut it. Even when it’s cleverly done and good as a piece in its own right. But again, I guess I have to expressly forbid just about any place they have wiggle room.


Can you find the hawk hidden in the tree?

The raptor release at Long Pasture Sanctuary was magnificent. First of all, the place is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to spend more time walking around there when the weather is a little warmer. I learned a bit about identifying hawks — I’ll have to practice a lot more before I can actually do it. Two hawks were released — both females. The first one, who recovered from a broken wing, was still a little overweight. She flew to a nearby tree and stayed. Hey, I don’t blame her — she was used to room service! Two other hawks circled near by, wanting to know what was going on. The second hawk, also a female, nearly tore the carrier apart. When the door opened, she backed to the rear, took a few steps, and soared out. She paused on top of a nearby tree to get her bearings, and then she was outta there! Absolutely gorgeous.

Again, the kids who attended the event were bright, engaged, enthusiastic, asked some of the best questions and made some of the best comments. No crying or whining.

I like how the parents here actually engage in conversation with their kids when they’re off doing something, whether it’s at an event or going to the grocery store. They talk to them like actual human beings, unlike in the suburbs of NY, where parents are on the cell phone all the time talking about stupid gossip and just pause long enough to yell at the kid. Here, when parents take their kids grocery shopping, one kid has the list, and another kid scouts the aisle, and they learn how to tell if a piece of fruit or a vegetable is a good choice, etc., etc. Just a much healthier dynamic, and you can see the difference in the kids. They’re not as brittle and wounded and desperate for attention and filled with the sense of entitlement they see from their parents as suburban NY children.

The director took us on a short walk on the sanctuary — he showed us how to recognize rabbit tracks and otter tracks and we saw the pond where the otters like to come and fish. The otters were to smart enough not to let us see them, but it was fun to see where they played and slid.

It was just a great couple of hours, even though I’d lost all feeling in my toes before the end of it! I need to start dressing for these things like I did on the days I spent outside on location for television shows. And, Diane, I couldn’t find my silk thermals. I was not happy. I also need to find my fleece-lined jeans for the next event, and slip some toe warmers into my boots and hand warmers into my gloves. I will also pre-heat by drinking ginger tea before I go (learned from the Great Cape Herbs seminar last week).

I drank quite a bit of ginger tea when I got home, and that helped a lot.

‘Cause there’s no reason to attend these events if I don’t apply what I learn, right? 😉

The mail brought a box of books containing the second volume of Gail Godwin’s journal and Antonia Frasier’s memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, so I was a happy camper. Wrapped myself in a blanket, put on some jazz, and started the Godwin memoir.

I read a lot of her books in the late 80’s, early -mid 90’s and really enjoyed her writing. I haven’t read her lately, and I’m interested, once I unpack them, to re-read some of the books I read and see if my perceptions have changed. The writing on the page remains the same, it is fixed once it’s published, but do I respond to it differently?

I remembered getting impatient with the first volume of journals, but couldn’t remember why. I’m not very far into this volume of journals, and I get impatient again. Yes, it was the early 1960’s, and women had a different frame of reference. But if she spent even an eighth of the energy she wastes on pursuing toxic relationships with men on her writing, she would have gotten a whole lot further a whole lot faster.

The diary can help you see patterns and break them. I look at my diaries from my twenties and self-indulgent thirties and cringe. But writing it all down and looking back also helped me break negative patterns and realize how I was getting in my own way, both personally and professionally. That person helped form who I am now, but I wish she’d gotten her act together earlier. Maybe that’s why I get impatient with Godwin’s journals — I see too much similarity. The qualities I didn’t like in myself at that age, I see in those journals.

When she details observations on the world around her, and how her writing process evolves, it’s very interesting.

Also got a lovely CD mixed by a good friend that is a joy to play. I was just casting around for some new music, and it appeared in the post! Thanks, Colin!

Went to bed pretty early. Got up on Sunday pretty early, having dreamed I was working on location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and I was as tired as if I’d actually spent the night doing just that. These “busy dreams” take it out of me! 😉

Morning routine, out to get the papers, read the papers. The papers here are better written, have fewer typos, and are more balanced that most other papers I’ve read across the country. They poke at multiple sides of an issue, so you get a broad spectrum of both information and opinion — each of which is clearly defined, so that biased opinion isn’t presented as journalism. It makes it easier to get a more complete picture of an issue to figure out one’s own stand on it. I read more than one paper, and each paper contains multiple points of view on different issues, so one really gets a good cross-section of information.

Decided that Sunday was going to be my day off from writing this week. I kind of feel that all of my life since I’ve moved is a bit of refilling the creative well, which I desperately need. I’m trying a lot of new things and trying to open myself up to a lot of new experiences I didn’t/couldn’t in NY, and seeing what I learn.

Read a lot. Caught up on some emails. Caught up on filing and receipts. Played with the cats.

Got frustrated with the workshop because so many people seem to think that the date an assignment due is a suggestion. Far too many of them post their assignment days late, the day before or the day the next assignment is due. Some people are skipping exercises, which they were told UP FRONT they can’t do. I had to resort to keeping a tracking sheet so I can track, as I jump back and forth between the assignments, who’s keeping up and who isn’t. It’s just so disrespectful. We all have life stuff. If you expect to have a career in anything, you learn how to deal with life and your career. You can’t wait until you’re earning a paycheck to behave that way or you’ll never earn a paycheck.

Enough. I had to get up at five frigging a.m. in the freezing cold to get in the yoga, meditation, and my first 1K of the day before I left for the garage. So I don’t want to hear about anyone’s conflicts when they have a half a week to get a 1300 word assignment done. In four days, I have to do AT LEAST 4000 words. Usually a heck of a lot more. AND run my life.

Devon

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011
Waxing Moon
It’s snowing

OK, no one said anything else about more snow. At least not until tomorrow night. It’s not bad at all — just flurries — but a lot of them. I guess I better get my act together and get my errands done early in the day, rather than later.

The cats broke my Green Man plaque while they were playing, and then managed to turn a light switch on with a tail as they raced to get away. They are having fun doing laps around the house, though. It’s nice to see them settling in a bit.

Yesterday was a good day, all the way around. Shoveled the snow (okay, that wasn’t that much fun), headed out to Dennis to the library for the herb seminar. The Google Map directions were useless and I found the place by accident, but I found it and I found it on time, which is what counts.

The seminar was GREAT. It was given by the folks at Great Cape Herbs in Brewster — a store I can’t wait to check out. Some of the information was familiar, but there was also enough that was new to me that I took several pages of notes. Now, I’m going to study and memorize the notes.

I also realized that some of the things I crossed off my garden list need to go back on.

Drove home, my head stuffed so full of great information I thought it would pop off. Stopped for take-out Chinese food on the way. I haven’t had Chinese food since the day before the big move. I’m used to always living close to a Chinatown or an Asian market, and either getting take out or cooking Asian at home. I miss it.

As soon as the cats smelled the Chinese take-out, they both came running. It’s not that they get to eat any of it — but the scent is familiar to them.

Booked the car into the garage in Plymouth on Monday for its “spa day” and caught up on some other calls before I had to head back out again to the library.

The library in my little town is just as cute as can be, and much bigger than it looks from the outside! The owner’s wife met me there, introduced me to the library director (who is lovely), and she got me set up with my library card. Now I feel like I really live here. Everyone was highly amused that I was so excited about getting a library card. I took out three books — one about gardening on Cape Cod, a mystery that looked good, and a biography I’ve wanted to read for at least ten years and never got around to reading.

I’ve also been invited to spend whatever time I can with the horticultural group that does the upkeep on the local parks, etc. They’re perfectly happy to teach me stuff, and I think it would be good training. I need to learn all this stuff, and what better way to learn than by doing?

Ordered some garden pieces that are kind of cool from an interesting store I found online — the pieces are both inexpensive and unusual.

I have to do my quarterly taxes, which will be depressing. Not because I owe that much, but because I was hemorrhaging money last quarter due to the move. But I have to say, I enormously prefer paying quarterly taxes and just adjusting the paperwork in April.

Today is about writing, cleaning the house, and commenting on the exercises due in the workshop. First writing session of the morning did not go well. The piece isn’t flowing, I haven’t quite found the voice of it, but I’m behind on it, and, if it’s going to make the end of February deadline, I need to step up. No excuses; butt in chair, words on page.

Devon