Tues. Jan. 4, 2022: Back to the Page

imageg courtesy of Nile via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Waxing Moon

Uranus and Venus Retrograde

Clear and cold

Happy New Year! I hope yours was everything you wanted it to be.

The car failed inspection on Thursday, but I have 60 days to get it fixed by a registered garage. Now, if only one of them would work on Volkswagens. . .

Finished up script coverages on Thursday afternoon, and was able to take the entire three day weekend off. I stayed off social media, too, although I hopped online a bit when I heard that Betty White had died. What a shame she didn’t make it to 100.

Friday, I did a run to the post office, the library, and the liquor store (on foot). A good friend send a birdfeeder that’s supposed to attach to the window, so one can see the birds. I will try to get it up this week. Kitty TV.

Made roast duck for New Year’s Eve. It was very good. With potatoes and steamed vegetables. We still have plenty of stollen, so we had that for dessert. I’d made our favorite devilled eggs to snack on, and we did the traditional smoked herring before midnight. There was a small party in the house next door, but mostly, it was quiet in the neighborhood.

We watched the ball come down in Times Square online, and toasted in the New Year with prosecco. I let the old year out of the back door a little before midnight, and then the new year in the front door just after. Too bad they don’t have First Footers here. There were some fireworks in the distance, but nothing close and disturbing. Burned the second bayberry candle, for luck and prosperity.

I was very disappointed to see that NYC went ahead with letting people into Times Square, and how irresponsibly people behaved. A good many of them could be dead in the coming few weeks. Will they think this was worth death?

I used to watch the ball come down from my window, in my NYC apartment. I could watch them get the ball ready, too. Then, the years I had Broadway shows on New Year’s Eve night, I couldn’t get home in time for midnight, because it was blocked off, even if you lived there. So I was forced to go to a party or an overpriced restaurant until after the square cleared out. I’m glad I had the experience of seeing it from my window, but don’t miss the chaos. That’s probably why I still always feel so unsettled. That desperate energy of people trying too hard to have a good time.

I’d started taking New Year’s Eve off and leaving the city a few years before I moved out. Sometimes just to be with my mom; sometimes to go to a yoga retreat. Then, shows started cancelling the evening shows and only have matinees, because people couldn’t get to the theatre, or, after, had to go all the way up and cut through Central Park to get anywhere else.

The chaos takes the fun out of it, and it puts too much strain on all the services that have to work that night.

Got to bed a little before one, woke up again at three, and then Tessa woke me at five. I was grumpy and out of sorts. Tried to do the fire and ice ritual, but the ice maker wasn’t working. Then, I realized that the first day of the New Year fell on the dark moon. So the natural dark moon energy of releasing was battling the desire to start fresh we have in the new year.

So I stopped fighting it and read all day. Except when I made lemon mousse, and later, did the baked salmon in the lemon-mustard-brown-sugar-cumin glaze.

Over the weekend, I read THE TWELVE JAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Donna Andrews, laughing out loud at a lot of it. And then I read the second and third of Emily Flynn’s books, DEAD GORGEOUS and END OF THE ROADIE, both of which were excellent: writing, plotting, characters. I really like her work.

Sunday, I did some work on The Big Project, cleaning up what I’ve worked on so far, so I could dive back into it. I’m behind where I want to be, so I need to double down on it in the next few weeks. But I’m happy with the quality, the tone, the plot, the characters.

I was disappointed to learn that 365 Women a Year is not calling for projects for 2022. I hoped to write a play about Marie and Squire Bancroft, well-known Victorian actors, for them this year. There’s no reason I can’t still write it, but pitching it to 365 would have given me momentum.

I’m doing an Excel spreadsheet (oh, horrors) with details of the various scripts ready for submission, so that I can get back on track with it this year. Details on length, characters, production history, etc. I have 21 plays that can go out there and keep earning their keep after their initial readings or productions, and I have a handful I’ve pulled because I’ve outgrown them, and the market is in a different direction. I’ll do another one for the radio plays, and then a third one for the screenplays. I wanted to focus on creating and stockpiling, and that’s what I’ve done. Now, things need a polish, and need to get out into the world to earn their way.

A conversation with author and illustrator Dewi Hargreaves about Hope Clark’s 13-in-Play made me realize I need to get that back up to speed again. 13 pieces out at any given time, so the work earns its keep. The new version of THE WRITERS MARKET arrived, and I will go through it, cover-to-cover, making notes, and then work my way through pitches and/or submissions wherever I think it’s appropriate. Of course, I’ll have to cross check the information with the websites of each place, but that should get me back on track with keeping submissions out there properly, as I create new work. Almost all the new work I have on tap for this year is long form, not short form, and I need to mix it up a bit more.

The first shipment for the contest I’m judging has arrived, and I’m at work on those pieces, too. I have two book reviews to write and submit, and then get my next assignments from that editor.

Monday morning, Tessa got me up around 5:30. I fed the cats, did the usual longhand writing session. Expanded the morning yoga practice by a few more asanas. Extra-long meditation session.

After the shower, I sat down and wrote just over 3100 words on The Big Project, and I liked most of them, which is a good way to start the day, the week, the month, the year.

Headed to the library to pick up/drop off books. It was darn cold. It kept looking like it wanted to snow, but it didn’t smell like snow, and didn’t snow.

In the afternoon, I caught up on email. I sent off a grant proposal. I doubt I’ll land the grant; it’s unlikely they’d give it to a genre writer, thinking they’re “not serious enough” and my work samples were comic noir mystery/fantasy and mystery. But I have zero chance if I don’t try, so it was worth putting it together and sending it off.

Read two scripts. Should have written them up, but was too tired. Too tired to start on the contest entries, too.

But all in all, it was a good start to the day, week, month, year.

The answers to the GDR questions are posted here, if you’re interested, and if you want to post your own.

Back to the page now, to get the day’s quota done on The Big Project. Once I’ve hit that, I can decide how to structure the rest of today. A lot of it will be taken up with script coverage, but I have to run down the street to get eggs from Cumberland Farms, and then maybe take down the decorations out on the front porch. Rather than taking everything down on Thursday, I’m doing the outer rooms, and then getting the big tree, etc., down on the 6th. We have to figure out how we’re going to stash it all until next year, so it doesn’t take up all the closet space and hall space. Geometry. Fun times.

Tessa didn’t wake me this morning; I woke up all on my own, a little after 5:30. Heaven!

Back to the page, and I hope you’re having a good start.

Monday, August 31, 2009

IMG_0504
The statue in front of the National Museum of Dance, Saratoga Springs, NY

Monday, August 31, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, muggy, cooler

I can’t believe it’s nearly September. Two weeks from today, I’m headed to Prague. Language-wise, I am so not ready, but everything else seems pretty organized.

Yesterday was mostly a writing day. AMENDS has a good natural writing rhythm. I write a few pages, I wander off and do something else, I write a few pages, I wander off and do something else. All good.

I did the write-up for Confidential Job #1. I’m going to proof it and add the page numbers for fact-checking, and then send it off. Then I have to bundle up the invoice information and find a computer with IE on it so I can invoice, probably at the Greenwich Library. Pain in the —-.

And Apple better cough up a solution today. My patience has ended.

There’s a very important article on Shiloh Walker’s site about piracy and ebooks. I hope you check it out. The article articulates the problem very well.

Brandy, you are incredibly talented in so many areas — and not just household management and child-rearing, which are pretty impressive skills in themselves. You’re well-read and articulate, you can do all kinds of crafts, and you have a way with animals, especially cats. You have a wealth of kindness and compassion, and you’re not afraid to share it. All of those are rare and wonderful traits in this day and age.

I found a residency for which I want to apply for next summer, thanks to Hope Clark’s site. It’s an island off the coast of Maine, not a fancy, resort-style retreat, but something where I can actually get a lot of uninterrupted work time in a natural setting. I’m going to apply when I get back from Prague.

I decided I’m going to get my hair cut sometime this week instead of waiting until next week and letting everything pile up just before I leave. I’ve let it grown for seven or eight months now — I haven’t had hair this long in about 15 years. And it’s all coming off, back to my usual short hair, which will be easier to deal with when traveling.

My phone’s not holding a charge for more than a minute (okay, I’m exaggerating, a couple of hours), and I can’t get another battery for it, but it’s a waste of time and money to get it upgraded before I head to Prague. I’ll switch out the phones when I get back.

I have a few pitches to get out to magazines this week, and I want to get a draft of an article done and out to an editor before I leave, so she can look at it and consider changes while I’m gone. I need to do some follow-up on some information for which I asked in order to write it all up.

I’ve got another short article to tweak and get off, hopefully with some photos. I’m hesitant to pitch for any freelance jobs before I go, because the turnaround time will be while I’m gone.

Planning continues for the DC trip in November, and, in and among the various gigs in October, I want to squeeze in another overnight to Saratoga and Lenox.

I have to stay very calm and organized over the next few weeks, and my tolerance for crap is at zero. Should be interesting.

Good morning’s work on AMENDS. The characters are far more complex than I originally envisioned, which is a good thing. I’m going to start typing up the chapters as I write them, and save them on the flash drive, in case this computer goes kaplooey again. I’m tired of being treated like the dumb little errand girl by Apple. I am the customer and they need to fix the problem they caused.

Devon

AMENDS: first draft: 15,812 words out of est. 75,000
21%
IMG_0541
A lovely place to watch the world go by in Saratoga Springs, NY