Thurs. Dec. 27, 2018: Hypocrisy & Artistry

Thursday, December 27, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Second Day of Christmas

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Solstice was a little more drama-ridden than I would have liked, and I was under more stress than I wanted, but it all worked out.

Nice ceremony, starting at dusk, when the house went into full dark. Then, the fire lit first, then the candles in each room, then the tree and all the lights I have around the windows, then the outside lights, then the ritual, followed by a nice meal.

The Narcissistic Sociopath shut down the government, screwing 800,000 federal workers right before Christmas. Typical. He’s such a vile and disgusting pretension of a human being, and those around him, like Ryan and McConnell, who enable him, are even worse.

Saturday was the full moon. Again, more drama than I would have liked (and less writing). More cookie platter deliveries, a few errands and things I had to get done.

Trader Joe’s was a zoo. People screaming into their cell phones and acting like it was the bumper car ride at an amusement park. I met a lovely elderly man there, clutching his list, his cane, and his cart. I walked through the aisles with him, more to keep him from getting knocked over than anything else. His wife was sick, and the family coming in, so he decided to take over cooking the dinner. He was a WWII pilot in the RAF; he guessed he could figure out how to cook a turkey.

What a contrast to that awful man at the library, a week or so ago, whining that his wife was recovering from surgery, couldn’t do anything, so his meals weren’t on time and the house was dirty? When challenged he should step up and help he said, “That’s not why I got married.”

I will use the lovely ex-RAF man in a book as a positive character, and kill off a character based on the nasty man.

Worked ahead on Sunday on a bunch of articles and posts I’ll need in the new year. Didn’t get enough work done on any fiction. But even writing non-fiction helped a lot. Steady writing helps me keep my equilibrium.

Started a proposal for one of the plays that will have to go out the first or second week of January.

I’m under enormous deadline pressure for the next few months, so I have to step it up. The emotional exhaustion of the past couple of months has led to physical exhaustion. I’m sleeping, but I’m not getting any rest.

I also had a chance to sit with a stack of books on Degas and Sargant, and figure out which painting I want to use as a clue in DAVY JONES DHARMA. I’ve got it — it’s a lovely painting of a dancer in an aqua-colored costume. That will be perfect for the Scavenger Hunt clue.

Woke up to a bit of snow on Monday, not quite a white Christmas Eve, but still pretty. Read and wrapped packages and wasted time on silly things and spent time with the guests.

Dinner was the traditional pork roast, with mashed potatoes, green beans with hollandaise sauce, and red cabbage. It was very good. We had home-made stollen for dessert.

Quiet evening, talking, burning down the advent candles and the bayberry candle. Sent some good wishes to friends and cyberfriends.

The hypocrisy of the so-called “Christians” is in even starker contrast this year than in previous ones. Going to church, talking about God and love, and then supporting the policies of this administration, the racism, the sexism. It’s sickening. I’m at the point where, when someone starts the whole “Jesus” tirade, I ask them what they’re doing about the wall, about the children in cages, about homeless veterans and homelessness in general? When they start to sputter, I say, “Live your path and then come tell me what you’ve accomplished. Not doing anything? STFU and get out of my face.” I’m done with these hypocrites.

Up late with the candles, then filled the stockings. Up early the next morning (the cats won’t have it any other way).

We opened the stockings, then I made our traditional breakfast of scrambled eggs served with thick slices of panettone. Then I stuffed the turkey and got it into the oven.

Then, we did presents. We usually do them on the Eve, but this year, we did them on the day.

Settled down to read, while the dinner cooked. Turkey with all the trimmings. It was delicious. Read, talked, listened to music for the rest of the day.

I read two theatre-oriented books: UNMASKED, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir, and SOMETHING WONDERFUL, about the Rodgers and Hammerstein partnership. Both books talk a lot about process, which I loved. It got me thinking in terms of structure and possibilities for the three plays I’ll write this coming year: the anti-gun violence play, the play set in Renaissance Venice, and the play with the two women authors central to it.

I need to figure out where to submit the other plays I’ve got. I haven’t been active enough about submissions in 2018. That changes in 2019. I need to get back to the Thirteen-in-Play, where there are always at least thirteen pieces out on submission or pitched. Separate from the client work pitches.

Someone told me about a production company that’s looking for new film scripts, but I don’t think what I do is in alignment with what they want. The two film scripts I have that are ready to go are very different: an action/adventure and a drama. I’ll do some more research on them, but why send them something they’re not looking for? Unless they’re on the hunt for good writers? But if I don’t like writing what they like producing, it’s a waste of both our time.

I’d like my client work in 2019 to have more script work for clients involved. I have to research companies that specialize in that kind of work and pitch to them, rather than to the corporations/small businesses directly. All I want to do is write the scripts for them, not produce the segment or any of the other production work that goes with it.

I spent most of yesterday onsite with a client. I’ll be with that same client today. Tomorrow morning, I have to take the car in over the bridge to Plymouth — in bad weather, and I’m worried the repair will cost more than I can afford. If it’s simpler than I fear, I’ll spend some time with my client. If not, I’ll do what needs to be done.

2018 was definitely better than 2017, but 2019 needs to put them both in the shade.

 

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Wed. July 9, 2014: Back To It

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Humid and ready to rain

I’ve been offline for a few days, for a much-needed break. I’m creatively exhausted right now, and need a chance to reinvigorate. The past few months have been at a ridiculous pace, and took their toll.

Thursday was a busy day at the library — people stocking up for the holiday weekend. That’s always fun — people who are excited about taking out books for the weekend, or for any other time. It’s one of my favorite things about the work — helping people find reading material that they enjoy and that engages in them. Also managed to get my desk cleared off for the first time since I was hired.

Exhausted Thursday night, and grateful that Friday was a holiday.

However, I was up at 5:30 on Friday morning. Since Hurricane Arthur was set to hit, we had to bring in all the plants from the deck and all the outdoor furniture and all the statuary, etc. We set down old sheets on the floor in the living room and the back bedroom and hauled everything in. We had to lock Iris in the downstairs bedroom and Violet and Tessa in my room, or we would have lost them, since we had to have doors to both outside and the garage propped open.

But we got everything in and then . . .waited. Most of the day was spent in humid suspended animation, waiting for the damn storm. I wrote a bit, read a lot, and battled the pre-storm headache. The storm didn’t hit until evening, and then I was glad I’d brought everything in.

Watched the Joss Whedon version of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which was very clever.

Saturday, I took out some of the plants before I left for work. Since there were so many power outages, I was afraid the library’d been hit, and didn’t want my colleague there in a dark building on her own. So I went in early, the Exec Director went in early, our colleague was there, and the power was on. So it was all good. But it was busy, and there was no book delivery, which meant we couldn’t give people the books they’d ordered, and it was more chaotic than I’d hoped.

Came home, exhausted, and got the rest of the plants, furniture, statuary, etc., back out onto the deck. Read.

Sunday, I was out early and got us a Dunkin Donuts treat. Wrote a bit, then ran errands — had to do things like get the re-up cards for the phone. Looked at Kindles, and a few other things. We even went to the mall (oh, horrors) to get the phone cards and to pick up some things at Crabtree & Evelyn, where we had one of the nicest salespeople I’ve ever encountered. So nice, I’m letting the office know. Got a case for my phone, too.

Back home to read and write a bit. Juliet Blackwell’s newest, A VISION IN VELVET, arrived on Saturday, and I read it. I enjoy the Lily Ivory series.

Worked on the final round of edits for “Elusive Prayers”, which will go out to my editor today. Wrote the press release and the PSA for the Mermaid Ball.

Monday, up early and off to run errands in Falmouth. Stuck in traffic all day. Gave up after awhile, realizing it was going to take as long as it would take, and that was simply that. Getting upset wasn’t going to change anything.

Wrote a bit, came home long enough to make a black bean ful, and then headed to the Marine Life Center for the Mermaid Ball meeting. It took me an hour and a half. The meeting was the meeting, and, fortunately, coming home was quicker than getting there.

Watched FROST/NIXON — excellent. Fascinating interpretation of a period in history though which I lived.

Up early yesterday. Writing, but feeling burnt out. The weather didn’t help much, either. Went to Just Picked, where I found some good deals, but mostly was an uncreative lump, reading, and trying to replenish. I’m so tired that everything is a ridiculous amount of effort right now.

Up early this morning. Usual routine (which I’ve managed to keep up every morning, in spite of the exhaustion) of yoga, meditation, etc. Had a bad night — I had trouble sleeping and was fretful, for some reason. The last thing I need to do right now is borrow trouble. Getting some work done before I head to the library. I’m sure it will be a busy day — it always is when I come back from a few days away — and then we have a program meeting in the afternoon.

Onwards. I need to get back in the groove of BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, and it hasn’t quite clicked yet.

The copies of TRACKING MEDUSA that were supposed to be here for the signing, and then the bookstore haven’t arrived, but the copy that the library ordered is there. Go figure.

I settled on the new title for the re-release of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, and have to book the new cover artist. I’m getting print quotes. I hope to re-release it under the new imprint, title, and cover in October. Stay tuned.

That also means I have to get THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY back on track, because I won’t be releasing it through Champagne, I’ll do it through the new imprint.
I’ve got to get BALTHAZAAR back on track, get back to the ferry girl novel, do another pass on CHARISMA KILLINGS and submit that to an interested party ASAP, and do the next Bronwyn Rowan piece.

Yet I’m feeling about as creative as wilted lettuce.

I’m also tracking my activity/commitment with an organization with which I’m working to decide whether I will remain past my commitment (which ends next year) or not. If the financial ratio and the ratio of emotional give/receive do not balance better than they have in the past two years, I will withdraw when my commitment is complete. I would like to withdraw now, but it is unfair not to fulfill my commitment to the best of my ability, and not to spend a reasonable amount of time gathering actual data to review, rather than making a decision based solely on emotion.

Onward.

Devon

Fri. Dec. 23: Tis the Season

Friday, December 23, 2011
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was the Solstice. Yoga was good; we’ve got a merry group. The next assignment from Confidential Job #1 arrived, and it looks AWESOME. I can’t wait to get into it.

Picked up the new microwave to replace the one that kicked the bucket during the last Mercury Retrograde. We’d looked and priced the previous day. There were piles of them. When I returned yesterday morning, only TWO of the style and color I really wanted were left. So I grabbed it. It’s red, it’s pretty, it looks good in the kitchen, and it works. I don’t use it that often — but I missed it when it didn’t work. Hate giving up the other one — the blue one — it was a good workhorse — but it smoked every time I used it, and it was a disaster in the making.

Took my mom for her pre-surgery consultation. The surgery itself has been moved back AGAIN, and I’m getting a little cranky about it. She has another consultation in late January, and then the surgery will be in late February. But everyone is very nice, and they’re calmed her worries.

The house looked lovely, candles all lit for the Solstice, the twinkle lights on, inside and out. I’ve got candles in the fireplace right now — will actually use it to burn logs in January. It’s the safest place to have lots of candles with people and cats roaming in and out right now.

The cats LOVE the holidays, and, really, they’re pretty good. They don’t yank things down or break things. They do want to be included in everything. If I include them early on, as I unpack and put things up, or with the wrapping, etc., then they’re satisfied and don’t get into trouble once it’s all done.

I’ve got to get the party invitations out this weekend. I’m going out to lunch today at one of my favorite places, and I’m stopping by a friend’s for a quick drink tomorrow night. I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve! AND the new moon!

I read HEART’S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier yesterday. Really liked it — couldn’t put it down. I picked it up somewhere with a gift certificate a few months ago because it looked interesting — now I want to read more of her books!

Most of the weekend, in and around holiday festivities, will be spent on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. That needs to be whipped into shape and out the door on January 2, and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK needs to go out a day or two later. I’m going to keep working on the harpy trilogy, too, because I don’t want to lose momentum.

And I’m writing up a business plan for 2012. I need to shift around a few things. I need to spend more hours per day actually writing on the novels, and not on other people’s projects. That’s gotten a little out of balance in the past months, and I need to get it back in balance. The books are getting contracted — I can’t lose that momentum. At the same time, I need the shorter term projects to pay the daily bills. It’s a case of finding the RIGHT shorter term projects, so that I’m working smarter, not harder.

But for the weekend — I’m enjoying the holidays!

Part of me misses the Broadway hustle and bustle of being in a show, but the rest of me is so happy to not have to dash around and plan holiday festivities around a show schedule any more.

Being here, now, is the right choice.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Devon

Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 9:54 am  Comments (1)  
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and lovely

I had a really quiet day for the most part, yesterday. I felt better in the evening, so that’s when I got back to the page, and worked. I have another couple of scenes on THE MATILDA MURDERS, and then I’ll do a polish tonight and send it off tomorrow. I still have to do the FEMME FATALE and SIDEKICK scripts, but I hope to get those finished either before I go to the Cape or just after I get back next week.

I did a little bit of work on the short stories, but, once I finish the MATILDA scenes, there’s one story in particular, the Crone story, that needs my primary attention.

There’s actually a post up on The Tactile Muse, which goes into detail about how I spent my afternoon yesterday when I should have been writing.

I’m trying to get everything done early this morning, because I’m spending most of the day at my friend’s place in CT. After all, it’s a holiday weekend – I want to sit outside and enjoy it!

I’m taking work with me – both Confidential Job #1 and #2 sent me new assignments, and I want to get everything done this week before I leave for the Cape. I’m still at my old rate with #1, until June 15, so I’m trying to get as much done before the rate change as possible. And, if the new rate doesn’t work for me . . .I’ll have to leave. I’ll give it a few months to see how it shakes out – more frequent and easier assignments at the lower rate can work in my favor. Ones that require a higher level of skill and concentration, and I’ll have to make the decision that’s best for me.

Hope you’re all having a fun and creative holiday weekend!

Devon

PS I have links to a bunch of articles of mine that are up — but I’ll post them on Tuesday, when people are actually around to read them!

Published in: on May 25, 2008 at 7:39 am  Comments (1)  
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