Tues. June 21, 2022: Creativity in Multiple Directions

image courtesy of Chris Martin via pixabay.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Waning Moon

Pluto & Saturn Retrograde

Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere)

Cloudy and pleasant

Friday turned out to be an up and down workday. I spent some time working the class I’m teaching in August, preparing both the Topic Workbook for it and the PowerPoint. Some of my examples have not aged well over the past couple of years, so I’m switching them out.

I hopped onto Pages on Stages to do some updates, and it was an absolute mess. The posts page had somehow detached from News & Updates. Most of the time, I got the white screen of death when I tried to get on or switch pages.

I was lucky to land some excellent techs at A2Hosting, and together, we spent a couple of hours sorting it out. I am very grateful, and told them directly, and on social media. Hey, if I’m going to moan on social media when a company is awful, I have the obligation to praise when a company comes through.

I need to put up a media room page on that site eventually, with links to productions.

I did a library run to drop off/pick up books. It started raining when I left (on foot). I almost turned back, but it stopped within two minutes, so I continued.

Turned around a script in the afternoon. My Llewellyn contract came through, so I’m good to go on that article after 4th of July weekend.

I’m playing with a very dark idea for an anthology call edited by a friend. I don’t know if I can pull it off within word count by deadline, but I will try.

Reading an article in THE NEW YORKER about a new production of HAMLET spawned an idea for a new project that mashes up two genres that seem weird, but just might work. I have to finish what I’m working on first, though, before I hie off on anything else. I made some notes, to capture characters and energy, and now that project has to wait its turn.

Tessa started howling at 3:30 in the morning on Saturday. I moved to the sewing room, but she was not mollified. We no longer leave her food down at night for her 2 AM snack, because the others are eating it, and Willa is putting on too much weight. However, Madame Tessa Is Not Amused. She wants her 2 AM snack.

Got the proof done on “Personal Revolution”, fixed a couple of formatting things, and it is out. The re-release happens June 28. Once I get links and stuff, there will be a push for it.

Now, I have to decide what’s the next Digital Delight to come off Smashwords and switch over to D2D. Probably “Severance.” I want a new cover for that, too. Or maybe I’ll take down “Plot Bunnies” and put it up with the next Twinkle Tavern piece that hasn’t yet released, “Labor Intensive.”

Headed to the Farmers’ Market. I didn’t need much, but made the rounds to chat with the vendors; ran into people I knew from other spaces, such as the library, and we were chatting as to how it’s often hard to place people out of context. You know that you know them from somewhere. . .

Quick grocery shop from the store. Didn’t need much. Home, put it all away, lugged 66 pounds of cat litter up the stairs (Chewy delivery).

Then, I spent the rest of the day trying to put together the kitchen island cart I ordered. I wasn’t even close to finishing after 6 hours (it’s supposed to take 2 people 70 minutes). The directions were incomplete, so I had to hunt for another set online. The drawings aren’t detailed enough with some of the pieces, so then I had to find various videos of similar pieces to figure out the details, so I wouldn’t put something on incorrectly and have to take it apart again.  And the design is so poor that, by following the directions, I had no room to maneuver the tools needed to tighten the next thing in the directions. Very frustrating.

If I ever get it put together, I think it will be a decent piece, though.

Used bounty from the Farmers’ Market to make a pasta primavera in Alfredo sauce (and used our own basil for it).

Started reading a biography of Balzac, before I go and re-read some of the novels.

By evening, every damn thing hurt and I went to bed ridiculously early. I slept well, dreaming of various gardens, which was rather nice.

Worked on an ad and other promotional materials for the re-release of “Personal Revolution” on Sunday. Started getting the pre-order buy links. I’m adding them onto the various websites as I get them. The release is holding to June 28.

Played with some other graphic tools to try to get comfortable. Since I can’t seem to do all of what I need with any single tool, I’m learning how to mix and match bits of what I want to do in different programs to get to the whole. It’s actually less irritating that trying to figure out a single program.

Made a logo for the project inspired by the article yesterday. If THAT’s not putting the cart before the horse and all, right? But it gave me an excuse to play with learning something new.

Worked on the newsletter. If you haven’t yet signed up for it, you can do so here. It will go out later this week. And, hint – in the newsletter, I reveal what The Big Project is really all about! So if you’re interested in finding out what I’ve been yapping about for months, calling it “the Big Project” you will find out before the hoi-polloi.

I created a bunch of ads for the Big Project, too, and they are really cool. I’m having way too much fun creating these ads. I’m trying to capture the voice of the piece in the ads.

One of the best things I started doing is opening a new document for the upcoming newsletter and adding information on projects over the course of the quarter. That way, I don’t have to scramble to remember what I did, and what I want to talk about.

Made more vegetable stock. Because buying all these vegetables from the market means I have lots of bits and bobs left over for stock. Not at a zero waste kitchen yet, but working on it.

Most of the day was spent on working on things around The Big Project, which will save me time and effort once it launches in July. It was a lot of fun.

I couldn’t face the kitchen island cart on Sunday. I needed the time away.

Slept well Sunday into Monday. Got caught up on some blogging, and blogged ahead. There’s a post on healing over on the GDR site, if you’re interested.

Planted some of the borage seeds and more cat grass. Got through nearly 400 emails. Sent out two LOIs. Worked on an anthology story.

The Authors Guild is doing a Words, Ideas, and Thinkers Festival this September over in Lenox, which is close by. Well, okay, about an hour, but just about everything is at least an hour away. They sent me an invite to attend, and I accepted. It’s in the calendar. I mean, if the COVID numbers are way up again at that point, I’ll cancel, but I know the venue, and they have good protocols in place. I’m hoping it will be safe to attend. I’m sure I’ll be masked, no matter what.

Since I didn’t have any scripts in my queue, I spent the afternoon on the porch, reading the next book for review. This morning, I will send off the review, and hopefully get assigned the next book before my editor goes on vacation.

Made a sausage pasta for dinner, and it was yummy. We have plenty of leftovers for the week (most of them pasta).

The B plotline has switched with the A plotline in the anthology story. It makes it a quieter story, and I hope the editor doesn’t feel it no longer fits the tone of the overall anthology. We’ll see. It’s for a created world, so it’s not like I could use it anywhere else if it’s rejected, not without major, major re-envisioning. But trying to force it the other way wasn’t working. All I can do is send in the best piece I can to this point, and then get notes on it, and apply them.

The other anthology story I need to get out by the end of the month is percolating in the back of my brain. I’ll be making the bed or chopping onions, sorting through plot possibilities: If I do A, with D work, or should I go with E? That type of thing. Hopefully, once the shared world story is out, I will have figured out enough of the other piece to just sit down and draft.

Slept well last night, although I woke up about every two hours (similar to what I was doing last year at this time). By 3 AM, Charlotte and Tessa were fussing. They woke me from a dream where I was temping at a company. I’d brought in blueberry muffins. Their kitchen/breakroom was stacked high with empty/used takeout containers and dirty dishes. They told me to clean the kitchen. I told them I was there to type, not be the maid. They laughed and said they couldn’t get any of the wives to come in and clean. I told them maybe they should stop being sexist and  learn to clean up after their own damn selves.

That definitely happened to me more than once in my temping years, but I didn’t recognize this company or these people. Something about the dream made me think it took place in Chicago, and I never temped in Chicago. New York, Westchester, San Francisco, Seattle, yeah. Chicago, no.

I moved to the couch. Charlotte settled on top of me, Tessa rummaged. I dozed off and dreamed about more boxes (echoes of the move, no doubt). Willa woke me around 5:30, telling me she was Very Hungry, so I got up and fed them.

Plenty to do today, even without scripts in the queue, although I hope some more show up, so I can make my goal this pay period.

Last year today was the day the movers were supposed to show up and did not. I am glad we are where we are (and that it isn’t as hot as it was at this point last year, either).

I have every intention of enjoying the Summer Solstice, even though it’s supposed to rain.

Have a good one.

Wed. June 8, 2022: Sometimes Saturn (Retrograde) is Positive

image courtesy of Michael Heck via pixabay.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Waxing Moon

Pluto & Mercury Retrograde

Rainy and cool

I dreaded yesterday for weeks, particularly since I’ve been suffering from sense memory stress from the move last year at this time. But we needed to make a run to the Cape, and yesterday was the right day to do it.

We were up at 4:30 and out of the house by 5:30. The cats Were Not Amused.

The drive went smoothly until we hit a pocket of traffic at Westboro. Once we got on 495 South, the traffic grew steadily heavier, but it was moving. It wasn’t even too much trouble to get over the Bourne Bridge.

We hit some stores where we hoped to find stuff we haven’t yet sourced up here. Weren’t very successful, although I grabbed a couple of jars of beach plum jam (which I love and one can’t get here, because, you know beach plums need the beach). I grabbed a few other things, too, because they were there and at a good price, including a small, tiled plant stand. Also found the perfect fabric in cotton canvas to recover the kitchen chairs, in a cheerful, vintage-y print. The store had VICTORIA magazine in stock, which I haven’t been able to find in print here, so that was a bonus.

We drove past the old house and it looks. . .the same? Sheer pink curtains, the lilac tree is still there, the lawn isn’t mowed and fake greened the way the other lawns on the street are. Hopefully, Che Guevara Chipmunk has been able to re-establish his home there. And I hope the people who bought it are happy there.

Tried to drive past the beach, but they were having an event and the roads were blocked off. So we headed to the storage unit, about an hour and a half later than I’d hoped. The unit was kind of overwhelming. We didn’t find everything we hoped to dig out, but I didn’t want to overstuff the car, either. We got what we could, and headed out, again, over the Bourne Bridge, into the heavy traffic.

But we made it past Worcester just before 2:30 (if you don’t get past Worcester by 2:30, in either direction, you get caught up in the Boston spillover traffic). A little beyond Worcester, we stopped at a rest area to eat the picnic lunch I’d packed, full of farmers’ market goodies, which was a much better choice than getting fast food.

Refreshed, we continued on, and were home a little after 5 PM. Unloaded. Stripped down and decontaminated. Only about 10% of people were masking on Cape, in comparison to 90% here. COVID cases in the state have gone down 20% over the past two weeks, but the tourists will bring more infections. We are still masking.

Had a light snack for dinner, and just crashed on the couch, enjoying VICTORIA magazine. Tessa wouldn’t speak to me. Charlotte complained from a distance, but wouldn’t let me pet her until we settled in to sleep; Willa slept through the whole day and was perfectly happy to join us for supper.

Things are in bloom out there; the lilacs are still out, and the PGM azaleas (those bright red/violet/purply ones) are in full bloom, too. So it was pretty. But the pollen was thick. My blue car was covered in yellow dust. When I showered, as part of the decontamination protocols, I touched my face and realized I had to scrub off a layer of pollen that stuck to the sunscreen.

Fortunately, it’s raining, and one can tell the car is blue again.

I didn’t feel torn apart going back, which is what I expected to feel – not only the sense memory stress, but the full weight of the dream of living on Cape for the rest of my life not being my reality. And I didn’t, which is a good thing. I still have affection for the good memories, and it’s not where I’m supposed to be anymore, at least right now.

And the move is OVER, and we are HERE, which is where we should be right now, in a lovely, light home in a vibrant, artistic community.

So, while the transition last year was tough, and I hope never to move during a Mercury Retrograde again, I am deeply grateful that we’ve landed here. And now I can enjoy the Cape again as a nice place to visit. And maybe build some fresh good memories.

An example of when Saturn Retrograde works positively: a life lesson that doesn’t feel like getting beaten down.

I went to bed ridiculously early and slept until Charlotte and Tessa conspired together to get me up. I’m a little sore from hauling stuff around and spending so much time in the car, but nowhere near how bad I felt last year at this time. Which is part of the healing.

Today, I have writing to do, and three scripts to turn around. I was going to haul over to Carr’s hardware store over by Norad Mill, but I think I’ll wait until tomorrow. I have a list of weird stuff to get there, and I’m sure the clerk will find it highly amusing to help me hunt it all down. They are very nice there.

I also have unpacking and lots of washing to do. Everything comes back sandy because, you know, beaches have sand. And there’s also an oily layer over it, from all the leaf blowers and other machines that vomit oily gases.

It will be a combination of nesting, writing, and script coverage, which is just fine with me.

And feeling better about things, in general.

Mon. Oct. 25, 2021: Intent for the Week — Replenishing Energy

image courtesy of Jared Rice via Unsplash.com

Last week was about protecting my energy in group work. This week, it is about replenishing energy that’s been lost over the past months.

It won’t all be restored, but I hope to use techniques learned in last week’s course and through the weekly meditation sessions to replenish the energy and tone down the burnout. Since I can’t take extended time off to heal the burnout, I have to carve out focused time each day, and make it the focus of this week.

Samhain is coming up, and a friend is visiting, at the end of the week, which will be great. National Novel Writing Month starts next week, which will also require giving and receiving energy.

So this week, I need to replenish, and, maybe, even stockpile a bit.

I want to approach the coming weeks with a sense of energy being able to flow, and that creative energy used then creates more creative energy to flow.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on October 25, 2021 at 8:36 am  Comments Off on Mon. Oct. 25, 2021: Intent for the Week — Replenishing Energy  
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Thurs. Nov. 5, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 169 — Pleasant Weather

image courtesy of wingsofcompassion via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

We’ve been promised a stretch of days with unseasonably warm and sunny weather. I intend to spend as much time as I can in the garden, and here’s a post on Gratitude and Growth with a little more about it.

Yesterday was, basically, a lost day. I had a stomach bug, and worked at home for a client, got out a bunch of LOIs to interesting companies, and spent too much time watching election results. We’ll know when all the votes are counted. I want all the votes counted, even if the results make me unhappy. I’m already unhappy because this country has so many millions of racist, misogynistic, selfish morons.

I felt awful all day. By evening, I managed to keep a little food down.

I didn’t even read much. I had trouble concentrating. Although I’m enjoying a book by a new-to-me author set in Seattle. I was miserable the year I lived in Seattle, but I enjoy authors who love the city and integrate that love of it in their books. Obviously, the city has changed a lot since I loved there in 1986, and, from what I read in various outlets, for the better.

Wrote in my head a bit while I was lying down in between bouts of illness. Hopefully, I’ve retained enough of that writing In my head to actually get on a page somewhere.

My plan for the next four days is, yes, to get some work done, but mostly to focus on healing. The stress from the pandemic and the politics and everything else have, literally, made me sick. I need to heal myself from it, and rebuild the coping resources that are so badly depleted.

Some of that will be achieved through writing, because I find writing more healing and useful than anything else.

Some of it will be working in the garden. Since it’s warm and lovely, I plan to savor these last days on the deck. I won’t live here to enjoy it next summer and fall, and I want to enjoy the time remaining. For all the frustration as this area has deteriorated due to greed and selfishness and stupidity, I do love the house and the yard. My little patch has been a joy, and I am grateful for the time I’ve had here.

I’m not counting on anything until all the votes are counted. I know there will be chaos after, no matter what, but I refuse to get my hopes up.

I’m also sickened by the millions of dollars spent on elections. That should be spent on infrastructure, education, health care, and other things. NOT marketing, which is really all a political campaign is – a giant marketing campaign.

Morning meditation with the group at Concord Public Library (via Zoom) was wonderful. I’m so happy I found this group and that I can participate. When they go back to in-person only, I will miss them.

Trying for a more productive day today, but also a healing one.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on November 5, 2020 at 9:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 5, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 169 — Pleasant Weather  
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Mon. March 23, 2020: Intent for the Week–More Healing

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image courtesy of wingsofcompaasion via pixabay.com

Monday, March 23, 2020
Dark Moon

Even though my surgery was cancelled on Friday, I want to concentrate on healing. We have to take all this day by day. We don’t know what any new day will bring.

One of the biggest challenges in that is keeping other people’s agendas and demands at arm’s length. In some respects, I need to be ruthlessly selfish right now, or I’ll pay for it down the road. My intent is to be both firm and kind. But if my boundaries aren’t respected, it’s the firmness that will take precedence.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on March 23, 2020 at 5:58 am  Comments Off on Mon. March 23, 2020: Intent for the Week–More Healing  
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