Thurs. Aug. 3, 2017: Too Much Drama, Too Many Guns

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Too much drama, too many guns.

On the positive side: I got hired for a freelance gig I really, really wanted. Flexible hours, steady work, steady monthly pay with regular chances for promotion. They offered me the gig yesterday morning, I accepted, did the paperwork, got my first assignment.

Once I get the rhythm set with this new job, I can give notice at the other freelance gig I’ve held for the last few months that has given me nothing but grief. I was “hired” quickly, but it was over a month before my first assignment, and there’s a delay in payment by two months. Additionally, I am regularly asked to compromise my ethics. In small ways, but I believe digging away at the small stuff leads to bigger stuff. I spend too much time uncomfortable and/or frustrated. I knew I couldn’t stay much longer; at least this means I can both replace and increase the lost income.

A pitch I sent to a new-to-me publication was rejected, but nicely. In fact, the editor was intrigued by a throw-away line in my credits and asked for a pitch built around that. The new pitch goes out today.

An historian whose work I like and respect a lot put out a call for sources for an article he’s working on. I immediately thought of someone I knew years ago, who I thought would have an interesting perspective. She’s still alive (thank goodness — sad we have to check that first, isn’t it?) I’m trying to get updated contact information, remind her how we know each other, and set up a virtual introduction. I think she’d find his work interesting, and he’d find her a good source.

I have one more piece of back matter, an article on theatre ghosts, that I hope to finish today, and then PLAYING FOR ANGLES can go to my editor!

On the frustrating side, I’m dealing with far too many insurance companies right now. Does HR intentionally hire the least competent, least intelligent, most likely to commit acts of willful cruelty, or is that just the type of individual who seeks work in the industry? That’s been my personal experience since I started temping and was sent to insurance agencies back in high school, not to mention dealing with them. The only exception is the guy in my hometown who handled my mother’s car insurance for over 30 years. He was actually smart, compassionate, and had integrity.

Still having trouble with the web host. I’ve put together a document that’s almost a questionnaire that I will submit to the web hosts that SEEM to offer what I need. Their answers will have a lot to do with which company I move my business.

I’m reading Christopher Isherwood’s diaries. I realized I know ABOUT him (after all, his play I AM A CAMERA was the basis for CABARET), but I don’t actually know his work directly. There’s a great passage about LA haunted by the ghosts of failure that I copied out, and there’s also a lot of talk about impending WWII (the diaries begin in 1939). The way history is taught in school, I had the impression that the US basically ignored the war until Pearl Harbor. Of course, it was far more complicated than that, and it’s interesting to read the first hand accounts, especially when actual dialogue’s been recorded. Yes, diaries filter through a subjective point of view, but such a personal viewpoint of world-changing events is both fascinating and necessary.

We watched TO WALK INVISIBLE, the drama about the Brontes, which was interesting and well-done.

However, during that, came the scary stuff: we heard something we assumed were yet more idiots setting off illegal fireworks, which happens a couple of times a week in the neighborhood.

They were gunshots.

I didn’t know that until this morning. I SHOULD have — I know enough about guns, and I should be able to discern the difference between a gunshot and fireworks. Yet another example of dangerous assumptions. But a few minutes after the quick succession of noises, a quartet of helicopters with search lights hovered over the neighborhood. So low I was worried they’d tangle in the trees.

I posted on social media, asking about it. A friend a couple of miles down the street had heard about a police car involved in a major crash while en route to respond to report of shots fired a few miles away in the next town over. We figured it was probably that. As an aside, I believe that’s the third police vehicle involved in a MAJOR accident while responding to a call in a month around here.

I knew I wouldn’t get any answers if I called the police — it’s not NY, nor do I have the contacts here that I had there. I considered calling the fire department, but decided not to. The helicopters hovered for about a half hour, and then there was that eerie silence that rolls in after a commotion.

We locked the doors early last night, just in case.

I woke up at 4. Something that sounded like it was out of a horror movie was on the deck — nails clattering, vocally chattering, skittering around. It was a drawn out, high-pitched, single-note call, followed by a series of short, staccato sounds over about an octave’s range (still pretty high). I was actually more scared of that then the possibility of a gun-toting moron with a sub-par IQ. No, I did not go out and investigate. I sincerely hope I never hear that again — although I’m sure I’ll use it in a book at some point. I checked the deck this morning, but couldn’t figure out what it was. The older cat slept right through it (she slept through the gunshots, too). The younger cat wasn’t going anywhere near the doors or windows. I decided to pay attention to her instincts. Whatever it was, it was not friendly.

The morning news feed had the news of a shooting — a BLOCK AWAY FROM THE HOUSE. Not many details, but this was definitely NOT the shooting to which my friend referred. Too many morons with guns out there. Two incidents, around the same time, about three miles apart. One of which was way too close to my home for comfort. I’m pretty sure I know which house — there are only 3 on the block mentioned in the article. I’m going to drive by this morning. If it is them, I’m not surprised, but I am angry. If it’s the house on either side, I’ll be worried.

I’m exhausted and on edge this morning. I’ll do what I need to do this morning (which includes a visit to the fire station to find out what the HELL was going on last night), get out some pitches, hopefully finish the article so I can do a final proof and send out ANGLES tomorrow, and then nap.

Or I might send out my pitches and nap before I try to do a final proofread. I’ll miss less that way.

Onward.

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Published in: on August 3, 2017 at 9:00 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 3, 2017: Too Much Drama, Too Many Guns  
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Wed. Jan. 30, 2013: Moving Past Frustrations

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter direct
Cloudy and cold

Well, yesterday was a frustrating day, full of cleaning up messes that shouldn’t have been mine, interrupted writing time, and getting a knife in the back up to the hilt. Fortunately, I have a long reach, have removed the instrument of destruction, salved the wound, cleaned the weapon, and now I’m biding my time.

On a happier note, my editor suggested me for a gig. I contacted the person hiring, who’d filled all the slots, I made a flippant comment about keeping me in mind WHEN someone flaked, and he immediately responded that I was right, I should consider myself in as an alternate and part of the loop from Day 1! Getting hired because I’m a brat — I love it.

Also, back-and-forth with my wonderful agent on a couple of things, and more people signing up for the upcoming classes, and some possible new editing clients.

Unfortunately, I also got hit with a migraine in the middle of the day; however, stuff had to get done, so other than lying down for about 20 minutes, I had to push through. Nothing like feeling someone’s repeatedly driving a pickaxe through your skull to sour the day.

I wrote a review this morning, and I have to clear a few things off my desk. I have to take my mom to the clinic later — it’s a regular appointment, but she fell yesterday, and I want to make sure she’s checked out for that, too, when she goes to the doctor on Friday.

Audition notices go out today — if you’re in the area, come on by! As far as writing goes, you can still sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” on Feb. 4-6 and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14 here.

Onward to meet the day!

Devon