Tues. Nov. 10, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 174 — Alternating Hope and Chaos

image courtesy of Valiphotos via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Day Before Dark Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Foggy and mild

I have a new post up on A BIBLIO PARADISE about a book I missed the first time it was published, that I really enjoyed.

The roller coaster continues.

Friday was more about practicalities and keeping on keeping on than anything else. Library drop-off/curbside pickup. Paying bills. Ordering cat litter from Chewy. Some clothes I ordered online arrived – pants. Three pairs fit perfectly; one does a weird pouchy thing along the front of the legs, and needs to be returned.

In the evening, there was a talk session with the meditation group from Concord Library, “Vent with Intent.” It was small, but everyone got to talk and Lara, the leader, led us in some meditation and Qi Gong.

That led to a peaceful night’s sleep.

Votes were still being counted when I woke up. I left at 7:15 to go grocery shopping and wasn’t done until nearly 11. I went to the Marstons Mills Stop & Shop first (they follow protocols, where the one closer to me does not). I did a BIG shop there, but also noticed that prices have gone up 25% since two weeks ago.

I took things back, decontaminated and put away, then jumped back in the car to go to Trader Joe’s, in the other direction. I did a medium shop there. So we’re pretty well stocked until I have to get the fixings for Thanksgiving. While I was in that plaza, I nipped next door to Christmas Tree shops to get things like parchment paper, and they finally had the tins out that I will use for the cookies this  year, instead of doing platters. I bought a stack of them. Plus a boot tray, so I can put disinfectant in it and we can leave our shoes steeped in disinfectant in the garage.

When there was an outbreak of equine herpes a few years back in the racing community, the tracks had disinfectant one had to walk through at various points. They also have that at the NMLC hospital. People bitch and moan (like they do about masks), but it makes a huge difference in the health and safety of the animals.

Biden and Harris were finally declared the winners. They have enough of a lead in the states still counting for it to make sense (and the lead is growing). It’s such a relief. People danced in the streets; world leaders congratulated him.

The Sociopath, of course, was on brand, playing golf and ranting. His sycophants thought they’d booked the Four Seasons Hotel in PA, but in reality, it was the parking lot of Four Seasons Landscaping, next to a sex shop and across the street from a crematorium.

Which just is on brand for this whole Administration.

Biden gave a speech in the evening. It was nice to hear a grownup talk, and no insults hurled. However, there was too much religion in it for me, and this talk about co-operating with Republicans? They will see it as weakness. For Republicans, there is no co-operation, only capitulation, and we elected Biden and Harris NOT to do that.

We still have to flip the two Senate seats in Georgia. I will be looking to Stacey Abrams for leadership on that, and NOT the Lincoln Project. I don’t believe they delivered. The fact that they are officially going 501c3 means it’s just another Republican machine. They can’t be trusted. They might want the Sociopath gone, but they also don’t want the Democratic platform to happen.

Sat on the deck to enjoy the lovely weather. This is the last chance we have on this deck, so we want to enjoy it.

I made a vegetable stroganoff that turned out very, very well. I expected to think it was okay, and a decent experiment, but it was excellent, and goes into the repertoire.

Chewy delivered the 66 pounds of cat litter I ordered yesterday, which is rather extraordinary.

Sunday, I spent a good portion of the day cleaning out the annuals that are spent, washing pots, putting things away, tidying up the deck. I’m leaving out the big pots for a little longer, until the weather turns. I took my time to do the work, so that I could actually enjoy it. Cut back some stuff in the beds, put things away.

The Sociopath refuses to concede, the Republicans are rude to the incoming administration, refusing to acknowledge them, and then call for “civility” and that we should consider their “feelings.” I keep repeating this: I am not required to be nice to people who are actively trying to kill me.

And I won’t.

Watched a DVD of the Broadway production of SWEENEY TODD starring Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, directed by Hal Prince. It was amazing. I’m lucky enough to have worked with all of them: I dressed Angela Lansbury in the staged reading of ALL ABOUT EVE, the last Broadway piece I did before leaving New York and she was a delight; I worked with George Hearn when he did a stint on WICKED as the Wizard, and he was gracious, classy, funny, and wonderful; I worked with Hal Prince on THE PETRIFIED PRINCE at the Public, and kept in touch with him after, for years. I learned so much from all of them. I also worked with Sondheim (who wrote the SWEENEY score) on the revival of FOLLIES, and liked him a lot, too.

Sondheim’s scores are complex – the chorus singers need almost as huge a range as the leads. The role of Sweeney is stunningly demanding. The whole production took my breath away.

Slept reasonably well again on Sunday into Monday, although I’m still having weird dreams. Up early on Monday. I went in to a client’s, where I worked on my own. I noticed that the colleague with whom I split time hasn’t been in at all last week – she must still be sick, and I hope it’s not COVID.

I worked flat out all morning. Then, I had to brave a store to return the pants that didn’t fit (because sending them back would have cost more than the pants – shipping prices have all gone waaaay up). I couldn’t believe how many people were out shopping. I stood in line for 45 minutes to do the return. The woman in front of me touched every single item on the display shelves that were on either side of us as we stood in the line. It was kind of gross. At least everyone was masked, although most weren’t distancing properly. Believe me, I kept people FAR away from me.

But the return went smoothly, and then I headed over to the library for a drop-off/curbside pickup. They have book carts with books for sale out front, and the dumb fucks were taking off their masks to READ THE TITLES. What part of “airborne virus” are they too stupid  to understand?

Supposedly tougher mask mandates are in place. Yeah, right. Not ONE man wore a mask as I drove around to do my errands, except while inside a store. Older white women are not wearing masks. Masks are required in all public spaces. Parking lots are public spaces. Streets are public spaces. What part of “airborne virus” is above their level of understanding?

I’ve never had a high tolerance for the stupid. The stupid has risen around here so sharply in the past few years, as many of the smart with whom I interacted when I first moved here have left.

The air purifier arrived, and it’s already helping. Imagine – I lived a block from 42nd Street in NYC, across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, but on CAPE COD I need an air purifier. That’s how much destruction and overbuilding has happened around here in the past ten years.

Wrote and submitted the review for the book I really liked. Submitted the invoice, was paid in less than five minutes, received the next book to review. That’s the way I like to work!

Have to finish a pitch to send to a new-to-me magazine, and received a query to hire me to freelance that smells a little fishy, but it’s a high-paying market, so I want more information.

Ordered the cookie sleeves for the holiday baking. I should have ordered them the first day I saw them. The price is now double for half of what it was then.

The Republicans are still being assholes and traitors, which is to be expected. They’re still trying to pull off a coup and deny the duly elected next Administration.

Today, I have a lot of work to do, in spite of my landlord putting around for the entire morning “pruning” – meaning he’s going to destroy the habitat I’ve built for the local wildlife – as we wait for the gas inspector to come. The guy at the furnace company is going to call the inspector this morning to tell him that no one in this house has COVID. How would he know that, since he has refused to ever deal with me directly or acknowledge my existence during this entire process? All he’s done is demand and bully. I’m so sick of the unrelenting misogyny in getting a furnace installed. It’s disgusting.

But then it will be done. We have a ton of leaves here, and Roger will come soon to take care of them. I’m so sick of the neighbors who can’t stand to see a single leaf on their astro-turfs. Then don’t live in New England.

I’m sick of them all.

I wish it was the end of January, and the new administration was sworn in. The next few months will be hell, and we will have to fight like crazy to make sure nothing happens to derail it.

At least the new Biden-Harris Corona Task Force is in place, with actual doctors and scientists, there’s hope for a working vaccine from Pfizer, who did not participate in the Federal Too-Fast-Who-Cares-If-It-Kills-People-As-Long-As-There’s-A-Photo-Op program. The stock market went up 1200 points.

But we still have to fight the Sociopath, Barr, and Moscow Mitch. Not such fun times.

Onward.

Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 78 — Less Stress (Yay)

writing-828911_1920
image courtesy of FreePhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Partly cloudy and cooler

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth, to learn the latest goings-on in the garden.

I didn’t feel well yesterday, so I worked from home instead of going onsite for a few hours. It helped me on oh, so many levels. Plus, I got a lot of work done.

I was supposed to sit in for a client on a Zoom session about SBA/PPP loan forgiveness. I was there on time, waiting and waiting for the host to start the meeting. Nothing happened. I finally emailed the organizer – only to get an email back that it had been cancelled. Um, why didn’t you let me know? I’m registered by the email. I’m obviously waiting to get in. You just . . .forgot? I was polite, and it wasn’t that big a deal because I was working remotely, but still. Basic consideration. Stuff happens. Things have to be postponed and cancelled. But communicate. Don’t just ignore the people who have put aside the time to be there.

Moved on from that debacle to Remote Chat, which was fun.

I downloaded GIMP, and now I have to learn how to use it.

Started work on one of the play ideas. It’s coming together nicely.

Did some brainstorming for the next section of GAMBIT COLONY and the next section of BARD. Need to catch up on classwork today.

019 Instagram

The Merry Writer Podcast I recorded about a month ago went live yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. If you get a chance, I hope you’ll listen.

Decided to return a stack of books to the library, some unread. They are all by the same author (albeit different series, sometimes under different names). The only passion or spark the characters ever show is when their white privilege is threatened, and it’s both boring me to death (pun intended, since they’re mysteries) and annoying me. So the stack goes back into the book drop, and that author (with the various pseudonyms) is crossed off my list.

I learn as much from books which don’t work for me as I learn from books that do.

I have to venture off the property to do the two-week shop at Trader Joe’s. We are out of milk, eggs, butter, bread, and a bunch of other stuff.

Then, after disinfectant protocols, I hope to have a productive day working.

Have a great Thursday!

Fri. July 17, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 58 – Feels Like 2020 is Retrograde

solar-system-439046_1920
image courtesy of Comfreak via pixabay.com

Friday, July 17, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s supposed to get brutally hot and humid this weekend. I hope that’s not the case.

Yesterday seems like a year ago. And I wasn’t even all that productive.

Did a run to Star Market for a few things. Not too many people, everyone masked, although not following directional arrows and not distancing in line for checkout. But I was in and out quickly, and did full disinfectant protocols when I came home.

Read a little bit on the deck to get my energy back from all that is expended every time I have to be amongst people.

Did some client work, but didn’t get what I wanted to finish done, so I will have to suck it up and put in a few more hours today. Got out an LOI to an interesting company. Have been debating about sending an LOI to a company looking for YouTube scriptwriters. I doubt they’ll want to pay my rates, but it might be worth a shot.

Spent way too much time and energy trying to chase down a late payment from a major magazine for whom I did a piece back in February. The contract states I’ll be paid “within eight weeks of publication.” The issue dropped April 22. I should have been paid by June 22. It was now July 16 and crickets. I knew my paperwork was all in, because I’d sent it in February, and it was re-confirmed in April. April was the height of the shutdown in this state.

I contacted my editor and was sent new paperwork for direct deposit – but April’s writers are getting paid “next month” and I’d be “up next after that.” So I might get paid by September? Um, no. My contract says within eight weeks. Not five months or more. Pandemic or not. Besides, here in MA, where the ‘office’ is located, accountants and payroll people have been considered “essential” since Day 1 of Stay at Home. I have clients who do direct deposit – they’ve been on time AND their accounting departments have been in touch throughout all of this to make sure everything is smooth while we all work remotely – including the accounting departments. There’s no reason it should take another six weeks to pay via direct deposit. Oh, and if I wanted a paper check, I’d have to wait “indefinitely” since the office is still closed. Hey, I’m all for offices remaining closed (although here in MA, we’re in Phase 3 re-opening, offices are allowed at 50% capacity with safety protocols in place. Most are at 100% without protocols. So kudos to the company for keeping their offices closed), but direct deposit doesn’t take six weeks.

I contacted the accounting department directly and am waiting to hear back. Also, if additional paperwork was needed, why didn’t THEY send it to me as soon as they knew? Why do I have to find out about it because I’m chasing down payment? This is not some little nonprofit lit mag with a single individual toiling to keep everything put together. This is a major publication. The lack of communication is just as inexcusable as the lack of payment.

If I agree to wait six more weeks to be paid, I guarantee they’ll go out of business between now and then and I’ll never be paid.

The article I wrote last week and submitted on Tuesday was accepted. Payment was sent, but hasn’t shown up yet via Paypal. I’ll wait until we’re a few hours further in to business hours, and then contact them to see what’s going on. But look at that – I’m paid promptly, per the terms of my contract.

Freelance chat was fun. It gave me some new ideas. Now I have to schedule the time in which to implement them.

Spent a few hours on the new edition of the Topic Workbook SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM (which fell by the wayside with everything else going on). I have to do some research to update a few points and resources, and decide if I want to keep all the samples/examples in their own section at the end of the workbook, or if I want to put them with the exercises/topics.

The friend serving as a Trusted Reader for the script I sent out a month ago – turns out she never received it! Here I assumed she hated it and didn’t know how to break it to me! So, with her permission, I’ve resent it, and I’m hoping she doesn’t hate it once she actually gets to read it!

You’d think Mercury was still retrograde.

I don’t know, seems like all of 2020 is retrograde.

Have to go to the library this morning to put some books in the book drop and do a curbside pickup. Then, it’s client work, LOIs, work on the Topic Workbooks, work on BARD, work on GAMBIT.

This weekend, I plan to read the book I was sent for review, write, clean, and maybe do a little sewing.

Of course, if it’s hot and humid, I might just lie on the floor in front of the fan!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Tues. June 16, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die for Tourist Dollars Day 29 — Bone Weary

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It was cool enough last night for the heat to kick on.

There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site, “Just Rest”, which I have to take to heart this week.

Up and down weekend. Not as productive as I wished, but I got work done. It just wasn’t what I needed to get done.

I felt as creative as wilted lettuce on Friday, so I concentrated on admin tasks. Cleared out a couple of inboxes, dealt with things, got out some LOIs.

I can’t remember if I made the new curtains for the bedroom on Thursday or Friday. Sheers with small roses on them, a little out of character for me, but they’re nice.

Saturday morning, geared up and went to Star Market early (after dropping my library books in the bin). People were masked, and there weren’t a lot in there, so it wasn’t bad, even though they don’t always follow the arrows.

On the way home, I saw lots of people out and about. All unmasked. All acting like nothing’s happened.

Basically, we stayed home to give the powers that be time to come up with solutions to keep us alive, and they did nothing. Now, they just want us to go back out there and die for their profit.

Still getting daily emails claiming my package will be delivered that day (whatever day it is). Of course, it’s not. Now, UPS marks the excuse as “emergency or natural disaster.” Um, no. There haven’t been any emergencies or natural disasters in the 11 miles between the facility and the house in the past ten days. It was either Friday or Saturday when the UPS truck drove right past the house, but didn’t stop.

Absolutely unacceptable.

If my package isn’t important enough for them, then they should hand it off to USPS, like they did the last one. At least USPS can be bothered to deliver.

UPS seems to forget that the only reason they exist is to deliver packages. If they can’t do that, then they need to be broken up.

Most of the weekend was taken up by GAMBIT COLONY revisions. I planned to spend an hour or two in re-reads. That piece is my favorite stress reliever. But I got caught up in it. I revised books 3 & what I have of 4. Book 4 is nearly finished. Book 5 is an interlude book, and I have bits and pieces of it done, and Book 6 is in basic outline.

Once all six books are done, I will do a big pass over them for continuity and hand them off to the editor. As we do the editor-based revisions, I will do the Series Bible, which is complex.

The plan, once the first six books are edited, is to release one a month over the course of six months. Although I have ideas for a few more books in the series, whether or not anything will come of them remains to be seen, and will be contingent upon how well the first six books do. They are of a piece; while they don’t act as cliffhangers, each book is a specific part of the journey.

I’ve been joking about the series being a “creative soap opera” since it deals with the behind-the-scenes filming of a television show. But, really, that’s what it is. And not your typical, clichéd, bitchy idiocy. But an exploration of creative process under pressure; some of it is a creative utopia I wish existed, some is about the actual conflicts that come up.

We’re looking at a 2022 release, but it could get pushed back, again, because of other contracts that need to be finished first.

If there are further books down the line, they will have to deal with the pandemic and how it affects the show. Maybe by then, I’ll have a better idea of how things actually work out.

Providing I survive. Which, when your government and your bosses are doing what they can to make sure one doesn’t, becomes a challenge.

I got a bit of yard work done. Not as much as I should have. Cut back some invasives. Did not get the front finished, which is something I need to do this week if the weather holds.

A lot of this week is getting in what I need for next week’s surgery and recovery. I think I have most of it; will get a few last things at the end of the week, and then play it as safe as I can until I have my COVID test next week, and, if it comes back negative, the surgery.

At each phase of the process, depending on what happens, there are different sets of protocols to follow, so it’s just one step at a time.

I decided, since GAMBIT COLONY is my stress-relief project (as complex as it is), that it will be my carrot. If I finish what I need to write that day, I get to spend some time on GAMBIT COLONY. If I don’t, no GAMBIT.

That should motivate!

Had weird dreams all weekend. Sunday night into Monday I had a good one, which was working on a Shakespeare production with Peter Dinklage. That would be great, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Decent first writing session on THE BARD’S LAMENT on Monday morning.

Headed in to the office. It was quiet for most of my stint, and I was on my own. A bit of overlap with a stressed out co-worker. There’s nothing I can do to help her. I’ve tried. I attempt to lend a sympathetic ear to her venting, but I leave feeling bruised from the negativity.

Home, got out some LOIs, had a really nice preliminary online interview with a company based in Australia. I don’t have enough expertise in their field, so I doubt they’d hire me, but the actual process was a pleasure. That is so rare when so many of these recruiters and application places either bait and switch or are so demeaning in the initial contact that I stop the process right there.

I’m so weary, weary all the way into my bones, running deep. Having a migraine didn’t help, either.

I took a two hour nap (I’m not a napper). It didn’t help.

Slogged through making dinner. Read a bit, went to bed early. Felt no better after nine hours of sleep.

The UPS package finally arrived. It wasn’t delivered for so long because it was small (smaller than I expected). Therefore, not important enough. They should have just handed it off to USPS, and not lied every day that it was going to be delivered.

I already decided NOT to buy a couple of things in the past few days because the companies use UPS to ship.

Ron Perlman taking Ted Cruz to the woodshed was funny as hell. Cruz behaved completely inappropriately for a sitting Senator – especially one who allowed the Sociopath to publicly trash both his wife and father. Perlman is smart, talented, and has integrity – everything Cruz does not.

The Supreme Court decision saying the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT was important. I was not impressed with Gorsuch’s opinion on it, and Alito’s disagreement was appalling and from the past century. But it passed, and the Supreme Court actually served justice and our population, which it hasn’t always done.

I’m hoping to have a good day both on the fiction front and the client front today, and mentally prepare for a difficult day onsite tomorrow.

But I still have a migraine, I’m weary unlike any exhaustion I’ve ever had before, and it will be a struggle. Hope it’s all better on your end.

Published in: on June 16, 2020 at 5:36 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 16, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die for Tourist Dollars Day 29 — Bone Weary  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wed. Aug. 9, 2017: Building & Happiness

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday. Early morning errands and bill paying, including a major grocery shop. I love grocery shopping. I love looking at what’s fresh and in season, and, because I cook, I can make up recipes as I shop.

Built two websites yesterday, one for the Coventina Circle series and one for the Nautical Namaste series. They’re not live yet; I want to get most of the material on the site before I send it live.

At first, it looked like the host wouldn’t let me build any more without yet another fee, but then I figured out how to do it. As usual, customer disservice was useless.

I’m happy with the look of both sites, although I need to wrangle the graphics on the Nautical Namaste site a bit more.

Finished the last piece of backmatter for the PLAYING THE ANGLES manuscript. One more major proofread, and off it goes. I need to get it out the door before Mercury goes retrograde! I have to change a few links, since I directed readers to the web PAGE for the Coventina Circle series on the Devon Ellington site, whereas now they will go to the web SITE dedicated to the series. And I’ve got some fun stuff going on the site, too!

I had a lovely wine/cheese/gab session with someone yesterday afternoon. Good catch-up. And, for dinner, baked chicken with Thai sweet chili, basil, and garlic, along with mashed potatoes and spinach. Yummy! And I baked chocolate chip cookies, because I wanted to.

It was nice to spend a few hours relaxed and happy after the unrelenting stress of the past few months.

Today, it’s getting the manuscript out the door, uploading more material to the Coventina Circle website, getting in cat food, and probably buying a new phone.

I’ve been having trouble with this phone for months now. It’s constantly telling me I’m “running out of internal storage”. I’ve taken out almost all the apps; I have about 11 emails in my inbox. And it keeps “running out of storage”. That’s because the manufacturer, BLU, is trying to force me to buy a more expensive phone. I may well do that, but it won’t be from this company. It stopped letting me take photos months ago, claiming there wasn’t any room; and the camera isn’t anywhere near as good as it was on the other phone. The other phone wasn’t very good, either (Alcatel), and I won’t buy another of those. BLU was useful in the transition from T-Mobile to AT&T. T-Mobile was a crap carrier; AT&T serves my needs much better. But this particular phone causes me grief on a daily basis. I need a smart phone for email and to do internet research. I never TALK on the phone — my hyperaccusis makes it painful. I don’t do business by phone. But I need something reliable for email and social media, and so I can look things up when I write. So I’m off to hunt down a new, affordable

And it all needs to happen before Mercury turns retrograde, or I’m really screwed.

I’m still not back into a good writing rhythm, but I hope to get that handled later today.

“Labor Intensive”, SAVASANA AT SEA, and SPIRIT REPOSITORY are the priorities here.

Onward.

Published in: on August 9, 2017 at 8:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 9, 2017: Building & Happiness  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. July 6, 2017: Trying to Get It Together

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I am having trouble getting it together today. I woke up around 3:30 and had trouble getting back to sleep. When I finally got back to sleep, I overslept and staggered around this morning.

I had a lot of email and admin to catch up on yesterday. I got the front mowed; I have to get more gas for the mower, and then I can continue. Not that I’m looking forward to it.

The afternoon was spent on researching new freelance markets, working on the schedule to add the Gwen Finnegan mysteries back into the mix, and putting together a potential list of book bloggers to pitch PLAYING THE ANGLES. “Ramsey Chase” PR also went out.

I wanted a day to clear my head from “Ramsey Chase” proof — I have to look at it again today.

A writer friend contacted me about a very sick little girl, daughter of a librarian, who could use cards and letters to cheer her up. I’m going to send her a card and write a flash fiction piece just for her.

Grocery shopping this morning. Now, I’m off to send some pitches, post information about “Ramsey” on the website, then to get gas for the mower and mow the side yard. I want to write the flash fiction piece this afternoon, proofread “Ramsey” one final time, and do some work on FIX IT GIRL. All I want to do is go back to bed, but that’s not an option.

I’m still frustrated by the continued late payments from two places that are adding unnecessary stress to this month. I may well cut ties with both places once I’m paid.

Frustrated by a few other things, but it won’t help to publicly vent. One thing that I realized is really bothering me — it shocks me that New York City is more supportive of introverts than Cape Cod. I am sick and tired of people trying to force me to be an extrovert here — that I HAVE to do this or that with people I don’t know and don’t care to know. No, I do NOT have to interact with them. I am not here to make YOUR life more convenient; I am here to live my own. Fuck off.

On that happy, note (yes, that’s sarcasm), I am off to get going on my day. Late, but I still need to get a lot done.

I’m looking forward in getting back to the page. I hate it when I have to do errands early to avoid the stupid tourists, and then it throws my writing schedule off. Makes me think I should have just gotten up at 3:30 AM and written then.

I’m happy about “Ramsey Chase”, though. It’s a fun piece and says what I wanted it to say.

Fingers crossed some of these pitches hit today.

Published in: on July 6, 2017 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 6, 2017: Trying to Get It Together  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 1, 2011


Looking forward to better weather so I can walk in Ashumet Holly Sanctuary again

Friday, April 1, 2011
Day before dark moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy
April Fool’s Day

I worked so concentratedly yesterday morning, when we got back from the dump and grocery shopping, that when I stopped for lunch, I thought it was dinner time! Oops!

Went to the dump early, got rid of the garbage and recycling that stacked up. Felt good to get all those bins empty. We really only go about every 6-8 weeks, and usually only have one bag of garbage — the rest of the car is stuffed with recycling.

Went grocery shopping, worked on updating the Annabel Aidan web page, popping the cover art in wherever I could, and I’m almost finished with the media kit. Now, at some point before the book launches, I better join RWA!

Caught up on student work, dealt with piles of correspondence, tidied things up post-webinar, backed up some files. I need to do a Time Machine back-up today.

I need to decide what kind of swag to do for the book — something appropriate to the content, but also fun. I’m going to do the postcards at home, because I’ve got the set-up, but I’ll job out the bookmarks — there are, supposedly, some really good printers in the area. Time to get to know them!

Did my quarterly taxes, easy peasey, will write the checks in a few days. Still have the mountains of tax returns to sort out (amazing how many schedules you have to attach when you freelance, get royalties, and move), and figure out how much I overpaid in quarterlies last year, compared to what went out on all the other stuff! My first quarter earnings this year are way above last year’s, so I can already see how much better the move has been for my work.

I’m outlining THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY — I want to take it in a slightly different direction than originally planned. I also want to take what I’ve learned from ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — and the other books I’ve written in the interim — and apply it to SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Someone asked me if the knowledge that locals and students are reading my blog is going to make me self-censor. No. I’m not saying here anything I wouldn’t say to their faces, and, in fact, if they read something here, we’ve probably already discussed it, so I don’t see this is a source of Big Drama.

UPS, Fed Ex, and the mailman all arrived together — plant delivery, next assignment from Confidential Job #1, and the mail. Guess they wanted to get everything done before the storm, which hit several hours earlier than predicted.

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day, because so many of the “pranks” are mean-spirited, so I’m glad I don’t have to go and deal with anyone today.

We were lucky — we’re getting a lot of rain, but no snow. The rest of the state looks pretty slammed.

My back is still sore, but I’m slowly making progress. Mixing the slippery elm with echinecea and honey seems to be doing more than anything else.

The March wrap-up and April To -do list are up over on the GDR site .

Back to the page for awhile, and then some queries based on discussions we had in The Confident Freelancer.

Devon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, sticky, icky

I pretty much wilted yesterday, and fairly early. Got the grocery shopping done, hung out with the neighbor’s cat, got a bit of writing done.

In spite of honoring Fandango, the Air Conditioner Goddess (thank you, Barbara Ardinger), I had all the excitement of a wet dishrag. I am a Winter Girl, born in a snowstorm under a full moon. Heat and humidity don’t do it for me.

The cats got absolutely frantic in the afternoon, trying to get out of the air conditioned room. At first, I thought it was their usual hatred of closed doors. But then, Elsa, who had not been doing well all afternoon (I thought I’d be posting her obituary today), hauled herself up, yanked away the barrier that blocked them from opening the door, pried it open, and led them to “safety.”

Turns out there was an earthquake near Ottawa, and it could be felt all the way down here! I sure didn’t feel it, but the cats did.

Funny thing is, whenever Elsa gets very busy, we always tease her with, “Is there an earthquake in New Jersey?” because once, when there was one, she practically climbed the walls. And this wasn’t in New Jersey, but she could sense it anyway. Always trust the cats and dogs, right? They know what’s going on.

Checked on the neighbor’s cat in the afternoon. That apartment wasn’t too hot. I actually fell asleep with him on my lap for about an hour, which was pretty funny, but at least he had some company. Three weeks is a long time for a cat, and that’s how long his human is away.

I wasn’t very productive yesterday. Today’s supposed to be hotter and more humid, so more of the same. We were supposed to head to Plymouth, MA and just over the bridge on the Cape to take care of a few things, but I can’t leave the cats in this heat. They need the air, and it’s not safe to leave the air on without us here — too much of a fire risk. So we’ll try to go sometime next week instead.

Elsa’s having a hard time eating, still. She wants to, but it’s like she physically can’t. I haven’t heard back from the vet yet, so I’m going to get some Pedialyte and see if that will help. The vet had suggested it earlier, and that’s what we give to actors when they’re ill, but we still have to get them onstage. Feeding her a few teaspoons every couple of hours is keeping her going, but now we need to find something stronger and more longterm. And it’s hard on the other cats, too, especially Violet, who adores Elsa. Iris has my mother as her own, personal human slave, but Violet and Elsa have always been very close. Elsa’s illness is breaking Violet’s heart, as well as not being much fun for Elsa.

I’m going to try to get some work done on a few articles this morning, before it gets too hot to work, and maybe a little bit of work on POWER OF WORDS. I need to work on some proposals, but I’m not up to zippy, excited language today. More like mojito-on-the-beach language.

I am grateful to live someplace where the seasons are clearly defined. I don’t do well in the heat, but I do even less well when there’s an unchangeable climate. I like variety.

Devon

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 5:43 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Do you realize that we have a Blue Moon on New Year’s Eve? The second full moon to fall within a calendar month? That’s kind of cool.

So, we’re supposed to get 6-12 inches of snow tomorrow and guess what? No hot water. Again. Guess who’s going to call the Buildings Department yet again when they open this morning?

I don’t care WHY there’s no hot water. They are legally obligated to provide hot water 24/7 and they better damn do it. it’s bad enough that they turn off the heat at 9 AM and don’t turn it on again until after 5 PM because “everybody” works from 9-5 (at least 1/3 of the tenants don’t). There’s a reason I live in the 21st century in a first world country, and a big part of that is HOT WATER. Also, I expect to get what I pay for, and hot water is one of the things covered under the lease agreement.

Yesterday, I picked up the final present for my mom. I am officially DONE with the shopping. I ordered a couple of things online for us to enjoy (it was the big free shipping day) — they weren’t have-to’s, but they were there, so . . .

And I bought I pair of Liz Claiborne grey suede half-shoe/half-boot. They’re not exactly what I was looking for in a grey boot, but they look terrific with either pants or dresses AND they are extraordinarily comfortable. Square toe (plenty of room for my long toes), block heels, very cool. On clearance.

Went grocery shopping. Shopped a lot more than I planned. But now, the only thing I have to pick up the day before Christmas is the turkey for Christmas Day. Because there is no way in hell a cracker can fit in the fridge right now, much less a turkey!

I was in one of the aisles when a little kid carrying an oversize candy cane walked up to me and said, “Hi! I”m Abe. Like Lincoln, only I’m shorter.”

That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life. I was howling with laughter. His mom thought it was pretty funny, too, when she caught up with us.

Worked on cards all afternoon. Except for a few addresses I still have to track down, they are DONE. This batch goes out, and, if I have to, I will tromp out in the snow to mail the last few cards. There are a few people where I don’t have current addresses OR emails, so I’m hoping they write me first, so I can write back!

I’m actually looking forward to the snow — provided we have hot water — because I can stay in and finish the decorations.

This morning, I’m going to the post office, I’ll pay a few bills, and then I have to dash to Costco to get ink for the big printer — I have a feeling I’m about to run out, and that’s all I need in the middle of a snow storm.

I look forward to repairing ornaments and writing this afternoon. And filing paperwork to get after the scumbags for continuing to deny us hot water!

Devon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Partly sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday, but definitely a step up from the last few. Good writing day on the contemporary Christmas story. Stopped at some stores that didn’t have what I needed, paid storage, picked up the cheesecakes for the trip and the fixings for the shepherd’s pie I’m making today to bring up for tomorrow night’s dinner. Lunch with a friend, back home, some reading, some writing, some correspondence. Glass of wine and a snack with another friend. Worked on the grocery lists for baking. I need to build in a day to try the various stollen recipes somewhere, and I’m adding those supplies to the list (can you say a lot of yeast and a mountain of candied fruit)?

Writing going well on the new Christmas story. It feels right. In addition to the usual holiday issues of family and estrangement, I get in a few jabs at ignorance and injustice, but as a trusted friend pointed out, hey, Dickens wrote about the social problems of the time, too, so I’m in good company.

Today’s agenda consists of writing, baking, cooking, wrapping the presents that go up to Maine, and deciding what the heck to wear for the dinner. I hate not being packed the day before I leave — I like to pack ahead of time and not stress.

Bad headache today, but I hope it will dissipate as the day progresses. The constant leaf blower noise doesn’t help either. We had no heat for most of the day yesterday and it got a little raw in here towards mid-afternoon. Now, they’re turning off the heat BEFORE 9 am, when they figure people have left for work, and don’t turn it back on until AFTER 5 PM, when they figure people are on their way home. Because anyone who’s here during the day isn’t worth considering. Yes, it’s illegal, and no, they don’t care, because all that happens is a slap on the wrist, and they go back to doing the same crap.

At least I’m baking and cooking for most of the afternoon, so that will keep the place warm.

Devon

Published in: on November 24, 2009 at 8:40 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Got business stuff done in the morning. Went grocery shopping, which is just about my favorite thing in the world. I always feel so creative. I even used the “notes” function on my iPod touch for my shopping list — pretty happy with it. (I love the font — makes creating notes fun).

Got out some correspondence, finished up a few client projects, talked to a couple of my editors, looked over some guidelines for new projects. Set up an interview for an article next week.

It was pouring with rain all day — if I took out my cardboard boxes, they’d be soaked by the time they got to the car, and it would just be icky in the unit. So I didn’t attempt it — just packed up more stuff, and now my hallway is filled with boxes. So I may have to make more than one trip today.

Also, I’m off to the library — not the one in my own town, but over to Greenwich, where they’re actually open when I need them to be open and have a much larger selection of the research materials I need. It amazes me — both Sandwich and Plymouth, MA are smaller towns than the one I live in, yet not only are their libraries larger, but the hours make sense and their post offices are also open during hours when I can actually use them! Can you imagine? I have a post office about two blocks from where I live, but, half the time, I have to drive 20 minutes to another town — and sometimes another state — because the hours are so wonky. And, when the post office IS open up the street, the lines are so long and they don’t have enough personnel. Work efficiently and give the service for which you’re paid, and maybe enough people would use you so you don’t have to whine about losing money all the time. Sheesh!

My computer reminded me I hadn’t used the Time Machine back up in ten days — so I plugged it in and everything was backed up in 90 seconds. It took me longer to plug it in than to back up the computer. Love it!

First things first, though: Got to head to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food.

Speaking of cats, Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, lived up to her name by waking me up at 4:20 this morning, rummaging, swearing she hadn’t eaten for a week. Right. That’s why you’re as round as a beach ball. She’s not quite overweight yet, but I’m watching her eating patterns carefully, so she doesn’t tip over into the danger zone. And I’m trying to give her more exercise.

Had a good writing session this morning — finally! The piece I’m writing is set in Southwest Scotland, and I was so surprised to look up and be at the kitchen table. So, I guess I really got into it. I’m taking the elements I love best from Felbrigg House in Norfolk and the elements I love best from the Culzean Castle property and mixing them in my fictional estate. If I keep stretching geography in that area of the world, pretty soon the shoreline will reach across the Irish Sea and touch Ireland! 😉

Anyway, I’m off. I’ve got a lot to get done today. When I get back this evening, I need to pack up some more stuff and haul another load to storage tomorrow. Getting rid of the clutter — good Feng shui!

Devon

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,