Fri. June 29, 2012: The Kind of Work I Love


These roses planted themselves

Friday, June 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s been a long time since I drank tequila. More on that later.

Busy day yesterday, but tons of fun. Between prepping production for the PSA and IM’ing to live follow the Supreme Court Decision with the people with whom I’d worked so hard to get a decent version of health care passed, I had my hands full, once I got back from yoga.

Yoga was great– it kicked my ass. I came in with nothing in the tank and was wiped out when I left, but it really upped my energy for the rest of the day.

I was thrilled and delighted by the Supreme Court Decision. Surprised — I fully expected it to go the other way — and felt like all that work I did with my elected senators and representatives and their staffs hadn’t been thrown out just because the other side could afford to pay for more lies. It’s good to know that the highest court in the land doesn’t think I don’t deserve access to health care simply because I’m not rich, which is the right’s position on it. Even though I don’t agree with the mandate, there are many, many elements of the health care law that are important, especially for women. The provisions that insurance companies can’t charge women more than men simply because they’re women, and that they can’t turn away someone for a pre-existing condition are important. And, let me remind you, if the Republicans hadn’t forced those 168 stupid amendments, the insurance companies wouldn’t have been able to raise premiums the way they have. That was NOT part of the original legislation — that was ADDED by the GOP politicians owned by the insurance companies. If you don’t believe me, go to the government website, read the original legislation, and the read the GOP-forced amendments. There’s a lot more to be done until health care is fair for all. Erin Gloria Ryan has an hilarious and frighteningly on-the-mark response to what this decision means for women here.

But the happy dance had to pause, because I had a video shoot to deal with! Loaded up the car, got there on time. It took awhile to get set up, and there was a lot of noise all around on the early takes (because it’s not like we were shooting in a studio and had control of the environment). And we changed the background a few times, and tried takes with different wardrobe choices, and I was glad I brought some clip lights, because I needed to add some fill in to offset the overhead florescent. Obviously, it’s not studio production quality, but it’s something that’s simple and clean and clear and usable for what we need. It was fun for a day, and I realized that I miss some elements of the work — but if I had to do it every day again, it would quickly get old.

After the shoot, we had a good meeting, and then a couple of us went over to Captain Al’s, on the water to just go hang out. It was a ton of fun. I had a couple of margaritas — first time in a long time I had tequila. Fortunately, I’d brought dinner along to the shoot and the meeting (I made an Asian-style chicken salad), so we’d eaten before we went! It was nice to just hang out.

Today, I’ve got to edit the PSA and send it off. I’ve got to work on a couple of articles and get out some interview requests. It looks like another article assignment from a “slick” (print magazine on glossy paper) may have landed in my lap — I have to find out the deadline and word count. I start the ghostwriting gig — the check arrived and they emailed me the materials I need to get started. I have to turn around an assignment for Confidential Job #1. I’ve been invited to a press jaunt in Newport next week — if I can arrange it, I’d like to go. That’s very iffy at this point.

Edits, then errands — and I’m going to try to mow a bit before the rain starts.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!
And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010
Waxing Moon
Foggy

It wasn’t foggy when I got up at 5:30 this morning and went out to run. In fact, it was really nice out.

Yes, I went running this morning. Pick yourselves up from the floor and stop laughing. I know it’s absolutely ludicrous, but I did it.

It’s a fact that I’m not as active as I was when I worked 8 shows/week on Broadway, and therefore not as fit. Yes, I do daily morning yoga, and some evening yoga, but that’s more for flexibility and serenity — I need more cardio. Twice a week with weights isn’t enough. I don’t have room for a treadmill or an exercise bike, and I wouldn’t use them, even if I did. I’m not going to go somewhere else to a gym. I”m not going to join a team and play sports. Running is the only thing that makes sense.

Even though I hate it.

So I’m going to try it, three times a week, for three months. If the effects are overall more positive than negative, I’ll continue. If not, I’ll have to come up with something else.

Honestly, I didn’t hate this morning as much as I thought I would. I did my time outside, a combination of running and walking and realizing how much fitness I’ve lost in the past year. But it was nice to be outside. I’d done a more active yoga routine as a warm-up, had a hot shower when I came home, and the coffee was ready, and hit the desk by 7 AM, which is when I like to start writing.

We’ll see how it goes.

Saturday was pretty productive, in spite of the news about the theatre company. I managed to get out 10 queries and a submission. A lot of them were via post rather than email, so there was a lot of additional work involved. I’m getting spoiled regarding email queries, and definitely prefer them. I’m definitely worried about the blow to the income that the loss of those commissions means, and I have to find ways to make up for it.

Posted the information for my Dialogue workshop, and today, the workshop officially starts. So the next two weeks will be busy.

Yesterday, I freaked out and worried about how I’m going to replace the income from the plays. Yes, I have until autumn, so at least I have some time to get a few things in the works, but it was steady monthly income in fall and then again in spring. And now it’s not there and has to be replaced by something else, and I have no idea what that is

Did a bunch of research (I just love it when I can count YouTube as “research”), and worked on POWER OF WORDS.

Worked on the short story this morning. Will hop on and off the workshop all day, and also focus on the steampunk, which can take front and center priority this week. I want to get it out the door next week, and go back to ANGEL HUNT, because I’d like to get that out the door by the end of April and turn my attention back to CRAVE THE HUNT.

I’ve got to pay some bills and get to the post office this morning. And get to work on my column. It would be nice to get out some more queries and submissions this week, too. I’ve let a backlog stack up, work I’ve written, but not sent out. It can’t earn money if it’s sitting in the computer.

The House passed the health care reform bill with some fixes that don’t make it as vile as the Senate’s bill. So at least I can stay in the country for the next two years, although I may still have to expatriate in 2012. It was also literally vital as to whether or not I was going to be around/alive long enough to have to worry about replacing fall and spring’s income. I need to get back on the house hunt this spring – Wall Street and special interests own New York, especially Albany, where the decisions are made, and it doesn’t make sense to live here any more. If the bill had failed, I would have had to leave the country by the end of the year latest, and probably by summer; now, perhaps I can actually live in the country where I was born. And where I’ve paid far too many taxes over the years that are wasted on bailing out banks, who then turn around and screw their customers. Since I’m not bound to the Broadway theatres, I don’t have to live in NY anymore. I can live out in the woods somewhere, as long as I have a good internet connection. That’s the plus side of technology.

So Hank Paulson has a book out? That SOB should be in jail for treason; instead, he got a book contract. Go figure.

We’re back on flood watch tomorrow; the down side of spring around here. When I move, I want to make sure it’s not to another flood plain. Enough already! I’m tired of having to worry every time a raindrop falls.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 6:47 am  Comments (9)  
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy, dreary, miserable

I can’t believe it’s the end of July already. Wow. This month flew — and it’s supposed to be a long month!

Yesterday was busy — caught up on quite a bit in the morning, got some tidying up and vacuuming done (the cats were NOT amused). Those little stinkers stashed my yoga block somewhere — I always keep it with my mat and it’s gone. I tossed the whole living room — it’s nowhere to be found. I’ll probably find it when we do the furniture swap. In the meantime — I miss my block!

I was about an hour later than I hoped to get out of the house, so I had to skip the whole writing-in-the-coffee-shop thing. The parking lot was full, so I may not have been able to grab a table anyway. I’ll try to get there at some point next week.

Met my friend for lunch, headed to the site job. Had a good afternoon on site, and also got a nice chunk of work done on a big client project I’m going to finish today and get out the door. Had my headphones on, and since, the iPod is synched with the computer, just used the “shuffle” on the computer and only used one device instead of two.

Wound up with eight pages of prospect leads — I have GOT to get that mailing out in the next couple of weeks. The prospect list has gotten incredibly long. Plus, as I’ve been working on the brochure, I realized that I offer some services that most other freelancers don’t (that looks weird on the page, but it’s nothing skeezy, I promise), so I’m adjusting the brochures to reflect that.

I LOVE direct mail projects. I know, I’m a freak. And I love the postcard follow-ups. I especially love it because I can do such cool designs on the Mac.

So I bought those OFF clip-on thingys — and they need BATTERIES! Really? You’d think they could have mentioned that in the ads! Urgh!

Unfortunately, because I couldn’t use it, I was bitten. Badly. On the outside of my arm, just above the elbow. It’s swollen to about the size of a golf ball. I put after-bite ointment on it, iced it a few times (it’s so hot the ice melts), wrapped it in witch hazel compresses, and took ibuprofen last night as anti-inflammatory. I don’t know if taking an anti-hystimine is the right thing to do, or if that will interfere with whatever the body’s trying to do to protect itself. It’s itchy and distracting, especially when I move my arm. And now there seems to be a rash forming and travelling down the arm. When I head out to do errands later, I will stop by the local mom-and-pop pharmacy (rather than a chain store) and show it to them. They’ve got a great holistic section as well as a good pharmacy, and they’re very helpful. Since I don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a doctor’s visit, my options are limited.

Meanwhile, the dickhead senators claim they don’t want the government involved in health care on principle. Yet they’re not willing to give up their government-sponsored health care they receive — policies which work, and work well. Medicare works well. It has nothing to do with principles, because most of these politicians have none. It has to do with financial contributions from the insurance industry to these politicians’ campaigns.

The wrist is better, but now I’m dealing with Mega Bug Bite! Always something.

I wasn’t able to participate in the Health Care Town Hall last night, but I emailed over my suggestions, solutions, and opinions.

I’ve got some follow-up to do and some more interviews to schedule. I have GOT to get to Staples today — I’m on a use-it-or-lose it day with a coupon. I need to get to Target in the next couple of days, too — more bins and also the stationery is cheaper there than at Staples.

I’m going to do some intensive Czech study today and all weekend — I let it slide most of the week, and I only have six weeks left before Costume Imp and I leave.

I’m also going to a different meditation session at another studio this evening. That will give me an idea of what’s going on around here, and I can see where I feel most comfortable.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 7:34 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Hop on over to the Scruffy Dog Review blog for my article, “Don’t Assume You Know My Contract” and leave a comment.

I’m so tired of everything being damp and clammy all the time. Ick!

After a day as good as Tuesday, of course, yesterday was filled with interruptions and frustrations. I had a heck of a time getting out the door to storage, and it wasn’t fun hauling the crap to storage. My wrist and I are not on speaking terms.

I swung by the site where I needed to get some paperwork signed and took care of that, had lunch with a friend, and installed myself at the Greenwich Library to get some work done.

I wound up finding some very interesting material and going off on a tangent, but that’s okay, because it will come in useful further down the road. It just means working some additional hours today and tomorrow to get everything done.

I looked up about halfway through the afternoon and saw the storm moved in, so I gathered my belongings and headed home. I tried to get some more work done, and managed to write two articles and get some editing work done before the storm was bad enough for me to shut down all the electronics (since surge protectors are basically useless).

I tried to read a mystery I picked up. It lost me in the first sentence. I felt I was being unfair, so I struggled along. Most of the writing is far too precious — the writer is in love with the sound of her own voice and wants to sound “literary”, but doesn’t have the skill level to pull it off. And, while she writes well about the conceit of the protag’s profession, the mystery part of the tale falls apart. The protag makes such stupid choices that, should she become the killer’s next victim, it wouldn’t bother me too much. This is the third book of a series. I won’t be going back to read the first two, and I won’t read the books that follow. These are hours of my life better spent reading GOOD writing.

Well, at least I learned valuable lessons about what NOT to do in this type of book!

I packed up some more stuff — this has to be stacked in a corner until the furniture swap happens, and I can put it away in the furniture coming in. The new couch shipped, and, after using Safari to push the site link (it spun and wouldn’t connect in Firefox) and discovered that it left California on Tuesday (huh?), so I don’t think I have to worry about it showing up until the original Monday – Wednesday time frame.

I had a good writing morning on the mystery short story. I’ll have to rearrange a bit of the dialogue for logistical reasons, but I think I can finish it this weekend and let it sit for a week or so while I write the second story, and then go back, edit this one, edit the other one, and get them in on deadline.

I’ve got to vacuum (here we go, Jupiter Retrograde influence). I’m going to write in a local coffee shop for awhile, then I have a lunch date, then I’ve got a site job in CT this afternoon.

It also looks like I’ll land a gig down in DC for a few days in November, which will be really cool! IF all the contract details work out.

Of course, if I go down, I will build in time to visit my Senators and Congressional Reps. Can’t let any opportunity slip by. My Congresswoman wants me to be part of a Telephone Town Hall on health care tonight — only I’ll still be onsite at the time it starts. I’ve sent her my cell phone and also some thoughts on it, in general.

Devon

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

GRRR! 5:30 in the morning, I am awakened by leaf blowers. You know how much I hate leaf blowers. And our city code forbids the use of leaf blowers from May-September, and always at 5:30 AM. So I stomp down to pitch a fit and call the cops — and it’s city public works trucks using them! You can bet City Hall is going to get an earful. Not acceptable.

My wrist is in bad shape. I put too much pressure on it yesterday — two carloads of stuff into storage. Heavy stuff. For those of you with driveways and garages, it may not seem like a big deal, but remember I’m in a third floor walk-up, and have to not only navigate the stairs, but cross a large courtyard to the street and/or parking lot, carrying the stuff. No dollies or anything else. So, filling the car with 18 boxes (which is what the car can hold) means 36 trips up and down the 3 flights of stairs. Once I get to the storage facility, it’s fine, because I load everything onto dollies and roll them right in to the unit; I’m now on the ground floor.

There’s more room in the living room, though. And I managed to save the old couch from the 1950’s. For awhile there, it looked like it was beyond salvation — on one side, the wooden pegs have come loose, and the elastic struts underneath suffered dry rot. But I stripped the struts out, stripped it all down to just the wooden frame, which is still great with a little TLC, washed it. I’m going to get some wood glue and maybe some new pegs and put it back together again, and then put it in storage during the furniture swap. When I move, I’ll make a new bottom cushion and back cushion with upholstery foam and create covers for them in whatever fabric I want — it’s a nice piece of furniture in a unique style. The back corners already have angle braces. I can add some in the front corners, and then I don’t need the struts. It had wooden supports placed every few feet. So it will all be good.

But now I have a six foot wooden couch frame upended in the corner of the living room until the furniture swap happens!

The cats are having a fit!

I’m also reaching a point of lots of stuff stacked, because until the bookcases and the bureau come in, I have no place to put the clothes and books that are going IN them. There’s a bit of chaos going on.

Wasn’t able to get all the client projects cleared up, so I’ll finish them today and probably start the writing retreat tomorrow. I think, for the remainder of this particular Jupiter Retrograde, I have to block off Thursdays as just for hearth-and-home. For whatever reason, it’s got a strong influence on me, and I better just go with it.

As far as the wrist goes, I can’t see a doctor because I have no insurance (get that damned health reform bill done, Congress! All of you who voted to bail out AIG and the banks– who shouldn’t have been rewarded for their bad decisions with taxpayer money– if you can afford that, you can afford to reform health care, so stop dragging your feet. And stop calling it “socialized medicine” when it’s not and you have no clue as to the actual definition of the term. “Socialized medicine” is a very specific set of procedures, none of which I’ve seen included in any drafts of the current health care bill possibilities. If you can’t learn about that which you speak, shut the eff up. Don’t regurgitate inaccurate talking points), and my acupuncturist is out of town until fall. I’m going to take some ibuprofen, wrap it, brace it if I have to, and hope for the best. Only turning or heavy lifting bothered it yesterday — EVERYTHING bothers it today. I discovered that I can’t turn on the ignition using my left hand, so driving will be interesting.

Of course, when I had insurance, the usual round was: Go the the doctor; get sent to another doctor; get sent to a third doctor who sends me for X-rays. Go back to one of the three doctors who shrugs and writes a prescription for narcotic pain killers that I’m not going to take anyway, and I probably won’t even fill the prescription. Yeah, that’s “health care.” And it would be nice if any of the doctors and the X-ray people would actually talk to each other and have the same information.

Aside: the absolutely useless insurance company our union forced us to switch to (before I lost my insurance entirely), which isn’t accepted by most doctors or clinics in this area –is owned by the same parent company that owns U-Haul. That explains a lot! There are just so many bad jokes I could make, and I’m not going to go there . . .

I’ve got some errands to run this morning, then finish off the client work, and then descend into my weekend writing retreat. I am so looking forward to it.

Czech lessons are going slowly, but I’m plodding away at it. I always have trouble with a language when I’m not immersed in the country. For instance, I can’t speak French in NY, but once I’m in Montreal, it comes back pretty quickly. I certainly don’t consider myself fluent, but I can get by. And that’s what I’m hoping with Czech — if I work steadily from now until I leave in mid-September, hopefully enough will stick so I can get by.

Decent morning’s writing, in spite of the unpleasant wake up. I look forward to a productive writing weekend, in spite of the wrist. I’m eager to get back to the page. I’ve had too much practical lately, and not enough creative.

Devon

Sunday, July 19, 2009

IMG_0304

Sunday, July 19, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Here is one of my ultimate “bad kitty” photos of Violet, Elsa, and Iris on the table, where they KNOW they are not allowed!

It was quite a trip, with a rocky start due to the telephone kerflamma and the City Council meeting the night before we left. We didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 in the morning, and had to be up at 5. So, Thursday was a long day.

Traffic was bad all the way up to Maine. I guess that’s a good thing — means people are out on vacation. But it made driving — when we were already tired — more difficult. And the weather was odd — showers off and on.

We stopped in Kittery to pick up a few things, I found a few things I can use for Prague, and then headed up to York, where I restocked supplies from Stonewall Kitchen. And we got a new jam — a Strawberry Apricot Brandy concoction that is fantastic!

We had lunch in York, at a wonderful local spot called The Stolen Menu Cafe. I hardly ever eat red meat anymore, but I was craving a burger, and boy, do they make terrific ones. I had it with bacon and sauteed mushrooms — no tomato, no lettuce, no ketchup, no mustard — just a perfectly prepared burger with bacon and mushrooms. Delightful. Their coffee’s great, too.

Meandered on up Rt. 1, past the usual haunts. I miss the bookstore in Wells where I always stopped — the guy retired a few years ago, and the large old barn is still empty. We made some of our usual stops along the way, and did a bit of shopping. There was a lot of traffic, so I guess people are out spending money, doing their bit to stimulate the economy.

And I collected a bunch of information that will result in at least a 300-piece mailing to prospects for Fearless Ink clients — there are a lot of people, businesses, and organizations in New Hampshire and Maine for which I’d love to write.

Arrived in the late afternoon, caught up on the news with my great uncle, fixed dinner for everyone, and we made it a Very Early Night. I had strange dreams — something to do with John Cusack, a warehouse full of artists (as in painter and sculptors), and health care. I don’t remember the details. It was weird, because I rarely dream about actors, and I don’t dream about actors with whom I haven’t worked. I wish I could remember the details. Then maybe it would make sense.

Up early on Friday, coffee and blueberry muffins for breakfast. Out to take care of some business still related to my grandmother’s death. It was strange to be up in Maine without her.

On a whim, ran into a store to see if they had a suitcase — none of my current luggage works for Prague. They had a Samsonite bag in a lovely color in the perfect size and on sale. It is now mine. I also picked up a gorgeous pair of dress slacks on sale and a pair of jeans. The slacks are comfortable enough to wear all day sightseeing in Prague, but nice enough so I don’t have to go back to the hotel to change if we go out that night.

Picked up a few things at the grocery store, got back to the house, bundled my great uncle and my mom into the car and we drove to a little town called Cornish, that’s close to the NH border. We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant called Bay Haven — fantastic lobster casserole. Really wonderful. After lunch, we visited some of the stores, including Rosemary’s Gift Shop, where the second floor is devoted to a yarn shop. She’s got one of the best selections of alpaca, llama/silk blends, and bamboo I’ve ever come across, and at wonderful prices. I took her card and will sit down and figure out what I need for which project, and then order from her.

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On the drive back, I stopped at some rapids just outside of Standish — it’s something created by the power company — really interesting. I took photographs — I’ll post them over the next few days. Great place to set something.

I’ve got a Jain Lazarus tie-in story and another Rose Olen (protag of DIXIE DUST) percolating.

My great uncle rested when we got back, but my mom and I took a walk — Little Sebago Lake is close by, but too far to walk (we discovered the hard way). I hadn’t realized how much land the family owns — it’s really wonderful.

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Lots of terrifically spooky woods, and then the massive blueberry fields and all the rest. The blueberries need to be harvested soon (calendar-wise), but there hasn’t been much sun, so they’re not ripening as fast as usual. Some sort of insect bit me — not a mosquito. Whatever it was took a chunk out of the skin on the top of my wrist, leaving a little hole. Ick. It’s a little irritated — I’m going to treat it today.

I’d been wondering why I got stuck so early in DEAD MAN’S STALL, which is set in Saratoga during the summer race meet. I think it’s because there’s a Rose Olen story that happens earlier, between DIXIE DUST and DEAD MAN – and is set in Maine. I’ll give her relatives in Maine, and she and Simon visit in the summer, before heading to Saratoga. It’s starting to come together, and now the outline for DEAD MAN is even making more sense. Amazing how that works. So I”m making notes on this, inventing a new lake, because I need stuff to happen that’s different from the lakes here, but will stretch geography to place it in the vicinity. And I think that Rose’s relatives will run a Morgan horse farm. Yes, still focus the mysteries on horses, but not race horses this time. It’s all percolating. I wanted this to be a tie-in, but I have a feeling it will wind up being a novel.

I found out there was a health care reform rally in Portland, but I found out too late to go. I don’t think John Cusack was there, so that disqualifies the dream from being precognitive. 😉 I was also invited to attend an art opening in Kennebunk for women artists, but found out too late — it takes about an hour to get there from here, and by the time I arrived, it would almost be over. Gosh darn it. I would have liked participating in both events. The Clam Festival started in Yarmouth today, but, since there’s an outbreak of Red Tide up here right now — I skipped it on purpose. No clams or mussels for me on this trip, I’m afraid! I’m sure the retailers are very careful . ..but so am I, especially when I don’t know the retailers personally.

I did eat way too much lobster. And I always feel like a hypocrite, because I won’t cook lobster — I cannot bring myself to put a living thing into a pot of boiling water. But I’ll eat it if someone else cooks it. So report me to PETA.

Speaking of PETA, I was so darned annoyed when they criticized President Obama for smacking a fly when the same day or maybe it was the previous day, a couple in Oklahoma skinned a puppy to make a belt. Why wasn’t PETA all over them? And where were they when the psycho teen in NY put her friend’s kitten in the oven “as a joke”? Yes, the kitten died. THAT chick’s on her way to serial killer-dom. THOSE are the types of incidents I’d respect PETA for protesting — not the President smacking a fly so that they can get attention. I’m disappointed in them.

I packed up my grandmother’s art books (she was an art teacher) and taking them back with me. I also brought back my grandfather’s college yearbooks from Amherst College in the 1920’s. They’re pretty amazing, and I can definitely use them for research.

Up early Saturday and on the road. It was raining — a shame, because Wells was supposed to have an all-day Pow-Wow. That was something else I wished I could attend. The farm stand we wanted to stop at was closed so early, but we went down to — I think it’s York Harbor — to have breakfast at Goldenrod. The staff is very nice. The food is basic and no frills — I’d have liked a bit more seasoning in the eggs. But it’s hearty and filling. We walked around the town a bit– an old-fashioned seaside town, really nice.

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We went into Whispering Sands Gift Shop because they have a lot of moose-oriented merchandise, and I’m a sucker for anything with a moose or an owl or an otter — and I bought a couple of cookie cutters. When I make the spice cookies for the Christmas packets this year, some of them will be moose-shaped!

We stopped in Kittery to exchange something bought on Thursday — the place was packed. Well, people are out there doing their bit to stimulate the economy, right? We’ve all got to do our part! 😉

Instead of hopping back on I-95, we stayed on Rt. 1, and went through New Hampshire on that. Rt. 1 isn’t exactly a back road, but it isn’t the highway, ether, so we got to see a stretch of road we usually only zip past. I wanted to stop at Drake’s Antiques in North Hampton — I’d seen quite a few large advertisements and it’s supposed to have a wonderful array of furniture, linens, and books. However, when we got there, although there were flags outside saying “Open” — all the doors were locked. So we got in the car and left.

It’s a shame, because that was their one shot to get me as a customer, and once I’m a customer, I tend to come back a lot. I’m looking for some specific pieces right now, too, so I was there to buy, not just browse. It was out of our way, we arrived within posted business hours, during high season and . . .nothing. Oh, well.

For some reason, I missed the turn back to I-95 over the MA border, and before we knew it, we were in Danvers. When we’re on the highway, that stretch seems to take FOR – EV-ER! Yet going Rt. 1, even at a lower speed limit, seemed to take hardly any time at all because we were looking at new sights.

Back on the highway, navigated Rt. 128 (ick), made a note that I need to get back to up Lexington and Concord at some point in the next few months for research, and onto the Mass Pike. It moved pretty well until about 10 miles from Sturbridge, where it was heavy, slow traffic, and for no good reason.

We hopped off at Sturbridge to visit Earth Spirits, one of my go-to spots for herbs and oils. And they’re CLOSING as of July 31. I am devastated! The herbs and oils are moving down the street as part of a garden center — next time I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll stop in and see how I like it. But they won’t have the books or the stones or the candles or the incense or the other stuff that I loved. They’re selling fixtures — there’s a gorgeous oval oak table that I wanted to buy, but how would I get it back to NY? It wouldn’t fit in the car, even without all the luggage. I stocked up on herbs, they’d sold through the oils I needed, so I’ll have to get them elsewhere, got a few stones, and a couple of books, including another book on oils and blends that has some recipes I want to try. And a book on holistic pet care.

The rest of the drive back was uneventful. We got home in the late afternoon, unpacked. The cats were delighted we were back. Elsa seems fully recovered. Unpacked, played with the cats, had a quiet evening.

I was supposed to go to a holistic pet care workshop this morning, but it was cancelled. I’m going to use today to rejuvenate, maybe catch up on some correspondence, and pack some more stuff to go to storage. I want to get the bulk of that done so that I can do the furniture swap sometime next week. I’m also very tired, for whatever reason, so I bet I’ll take a nap. I was vigilant about my morning yoga practice, but I missed my evening workouts all last week, and I can feel the negative effects. I’ll have to fix that this week.

Have a great Sunday, all!

Devon

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Raining. Again.

Well, the sun didn’t last long enough yesterday for me to get out and enjoy it. Boo. 😦

I’m back, as Jenny, talking about writing without a contract in place, on Diane Parkin’s blog.

Pretty productive day, though. Got my assignment polished and out to Confidential Job #1. Took care of some business correspondence. Finished off a client project. Went to Trader Joe’s to restock the cat food supply.

I printed out CRAVE THE HUNT and had it stacked on the desk, waiting to go into a binder. And Iris had a temper tantrum and scattered the pages all over the living room. Sigh. Fortunately, they’re numbered.

I found that, if I use Safari, I can override the 1and1 server error. I can’t get into my sites to work on them, but at least I can access my email. Not perfect, but a stopgap until I can move things.

Trying to get back on track with the serial and CRAVE THE HUNT. There are some things looming in the near future that take a lot of energy and focus right now, and it’s negatively affecting the writing. Hopefully, once that’s sorted, I can get back in the groove.

I’m making preparations for the DC trip next week — so far I am not impressed with the organization, or lack thereof, and I’m setting a bunch of appointments on my own. I’m not going to stand around doing nothing, and it wouldn’t be right if I slipped away to a museum! So I’ll do my bit at the rally,and then I’ve got appointments with people who can actually create some positive change. I need affordable health care. This week is a good example — I don’t have insurance, and I can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars for a five minute doctor visit out of pocket (which is what it is here) unless I REALLY need it. I’m feeling off, not awful; I’ll deal. I had DECADES of pouring money into health insurance, and hardly ever needed to see a doctor. All of that should be credited, and I should be able to draw on it now Instead, I threw out money for years BECAUSE I WAS HEALTHY. How twisted is that? Plus, I’m sick and tired of the way they glance at you and order a plethora of tests, almost all unnecessary, because they can’t be bothered to spend the time to get to know you and your individual health issues. Assembly-line medicine doesn’t work. I do much better with my acupuncturist, and I’m calling her today to see if she can fit me in before she leaves for Saratoga. Whenever I leave a doctor’s office, I feel completely dehumanized. When I leave my acupunturist’s, I feel I can take on the world. The insurance companies in this country need to be gutted, and the health care industry needs to be rebuilt from the ground up so that doctors can provide individualized care and patients are treated like people, not like the plastic dummies one practices on in First Aid training sessions.

Next week is going to be a long day! 😉

I’m also prepping for the NHL Draft, which starts the day after the rally in DC. And, in a few weeks, I’m going to head up to Maine for a couple of days, to see my great uncle, and maybe visit some farms where they spin and die the yarn they shear from their sheep.

Hopefully the laundry room renovations are done. Six weeks ago, they told us it would take “about ten days”. Right. My friend’s out of town, so I can’t pop over to do laundry there, and the laundry bag’s about to burst at the seams. Fingers crossed.

I’ve got a fiction deadline coming up for a short story. I’ve got it percolating, and I’ve also got a couple of other short pieces percolating. Maybe, with everything going on these next couple of weeks, it makes more sense to focus on shorter pieces, pieces I can actually get done.

Now that I’ve visited The Mount in Lenox, it really makes Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton biography come even more to life. It’s also making me itch to back to GOOD NAMES.

Back to business. There’s a lot to do. Maybe if I keep focused on work, I won’t notice that it’s raining. AGAIN. There are flood warnings, so I’ll be jumping up and down to check the brook every few hours, and see if I have to move the car. And I’m boiling and bottling water, just in case. Maybe today’s NOT a good day to do laundry!

Prepared fried cod cakes last night with home-made tartar sauce (wonderful) and roasted potato wedges (with oregano, cumin, and olive oil) dipped in lime-cilantro mayonnaise. Yum.

Back to work.

Devon