Wed. Dec. 31, 2014: Out with the Old Year, in With the New

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I took the last few days OFF, really off, just doing what I wanted to, and not worrying about “have to”. I worked Saturday, then came home and relaxed. Read a lot. Percolated on a few things, but it was because I wanted to, not because I had to. Had nothing left in the tank, and felt like I had to replenish a bit, especially before the turn of the year.

Did some work on POWER OF WORDS (which will be retitled before it ventures out into the world). It holds up better than I expected, and there’s some really good stuff in it. I’d like to finish it and get it out there (under a better title).

Yesterday, I got the car inspected for 2015, and then ran errands: CVS, Petsmart, Stop N Shop, then over to Wareham. Got a new globe for the little red lamp — finally found one that fits it. I was looking for some dress pants and dress skirts, for work. Hated everything — the drape and measurements don’t work for me, I don’t like most of the fabrics and patterns. I have a feeling that I’ll wind up making a muslin mock-up of my “perfect” pants, and then use it as the master pattern to make a few pairs of my own — once I find a store from where I can get good fabric. Let’s face it, JoAnn’s doesn’t cut it (no pun intended). I’ve got several good skirt patterns and some nice fabric for those, so I’ll get to it on those soon. If I don’t rush, and really take time with the workmanship and the details, I’ll be able to concoct some classic pieces that will work for years.

I did find two dresses I really liked, and two sweaters. They look good on me, were on sale, and I bought them. I haven’t bought any clothes in ages, so I didn’t feel guilty.

The restaurants in Wareham all smelled of grilling hamburgers; stopped on the way home at Market Basket to pick up a few outstanding items, and also grabbed a couple of hamburger patties. Had a late lunch/early dinner. My cooking is better than a lot of restaurants (except some of the really fancy ones), so it made more sense to just get the ingredients and eat at home.

Finished watching the second season of HOUSE OF CARDS. The production is brilliantly done, but it’s still a depressing look at politics. Yes, it’s fiction, but there’s a lot of emotional truth in it.

Got everything prepared for tonight. Beds changed, food in, will do laundry as soon as I get back from work, bayberry candle for tonight, jasmine candle for tomorrow at dawn. Quiet night at home, lots of yoga, meditation, planning for the New Year, and good food. 2014 was definitely better than 2013, but it had more than its share of ups and downs. I want 2015 to be more focused and productive, on many levels.

I wish you a joyful start to the New Year, and I’ll see you in the next cycle!



Published in: on December 31, 2014 at 9:08 am  Comments (3)  
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lady’s Mantle in a vase

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was just flat out busy. I’m grateful for it, but looking forward to August! 😉 Not that I want to wish my life away or anything.

Got my work out for Confidential Job #1. Got my welcome and first lecture up in the new workshop. And, of course, students are already making excuses as to why they hadn’t read the material. Um, the course description has been up for several months now. One student even stated that nothing in course description mentioned needing to read the books ahead of time.

Of course, the description says this:
“Participants must read the entire trilogy BEFORE the class, since we are not discussing the books chronologically.”

How can that be interpreted as anything except “Read the damn books before we start”?

Whatever. I’m putting up the information. They’ve paid to be there. They’ll either respond or not, and I better not hear one word about spoilers! 😉

Actually had a decent day’s work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. And I had a good start this morning. We’re getting there. As long as I don’t let the whole list of things overwhelm me, and do one thing at a time, I’m fine. If I actually wrote a daily list, I’d cry and never get anything done.

Today is another busy day. I’ve got to get everything done before 11 AM, because I’ve got other stuff booked all afternoon into the evening.

Finished HOUSE OF CARDS last night. What I’m missing in this trilogy is the sense of emotional geography of New York City. CE Murphy did her research, the geography is correct, but the sense of the writer having walked the streets and knowing the city and having an emotional response to it (positive, negative, or mixed) is missing, and that leaves a gap in the series for me. It’s not that anything’s wrong, it’s just a lot of it is vague, and New York is a very changeable city with specifics. Those specifics create distinct responses in the people who experience them, even if they rush past them every day. I’m sure I’m more sensitive to this right now because I just taught a workshop on setting, but I’m really noticing it. Also, because I know New York City so intimately, from having lived there for many years, and I have strong emotional responses to a lot of places in the city, some positive, some negative. The Walker Papers series has a much stronger sense of emotional geography (and I have no idea if Murphy spent time there or it was again research), but, more importantly, I get a sense of how Joanne feels about her area, and I never get that from Margrit. I miss it.

Okay, I have a lot to get done this morning, and the clock is ticking, so off I go.

I wish there was more I could do to help those in Joplin and the area that was hit so hard. Donations from a distance seem so remote, somehow.


Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 6:33 am  Comments (6)  
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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Black King Eggplant’s first blossom

Monday, May 23, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

All the garden centers sent out a flurry of emails about how awesome and warm a gardening weekend was predicted, and then, it was cold and rainy! Oh, well, it happens.

Saturday, I worked on materials for the class starting today, commented on student work, and covered the Preakness. Gee, what a surprise, no shot at the Triple Crown again. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

Got a lovely compliment from someone at the publishing house, who sat up well into the night reading my book because she couldn’t put it down. Now, THAT’s what I like to hear! 😉

Stayed up late working on Saturday. Sunday, most of the day was spent polishing lectures for the workshop starting today and finishing up the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Also did a couple of loads of laundry, as I unpacked some more boxes. And, I started reading HOUSE OF CARDS, the next CE Murphy book of the Negotiator Trilogy.

Very long to-do list today, since I’ll be on the road for a couple of days this week. And it better be sunny, so I can finish mowing the back meadow! Have to finish the write-up for Confidential Job #1 and get off the invoice; have to return some books to the library; have to pick up some things at the store and the wine store; have to take grass clippings and recycling to the dump; have to work on PR for ASSUMPTION’s release; have to figure out the travel arrangements for Martha’s Vineyard (I’ve been invited to a friend’s place in a couple of weeks); the day’s lecture on the new workshop; excavating the desk; and oh, so much more. I’ve got to get back into THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, too. That manuscript has to be finished and get out the door sooner, rather than later, or the window of opportunity closes for it.

In the middle of doing a bunch of other stuff, I had a huge AHA! moment on a different piece. Several years ago, I wrote a mystery that then inspired a serial that ran for just over a year. I wanted to re-adapt it into a novel and start sending it out, But there were certain things that I just couldn’t make work. I’d started the second book in the series, which never really went anywhere, and outlined the third, about which I had strong feelings. I’ve been playing with the idea of just writing the third as a stand-alone. Yesterday, I realized that I can set the third book in the recent past (say 2007) and pull the chapters of the first book that are strongest as flashbacks to 1994, illustrating how the events in that book influenced what’s happening now. It also gives me the chance to show the growth in my protagonist, without having to write the entire series from 1994-2007. It makes a lot more sense, it will be a stronger book, and I can use strong material from the earlier book and cut out the weak material, or simply refer to the events I don’t want to show in conversation or other integrated ways. It also gives me a chance to show how different lives in NYC were pre-9/11 and post-9/11, and how the events changed the lives of my primary protagonists in ways that just evolving through normal life couldn’t. When I’ll get to do it, I’m not sure — I’ve got projects stacked up like planes over LaGuardia right now. But KNOWING what I want to do is a good step, and I’ll probably make some notes over the next few weeks.

Jane Espenson’s episode (the one she wrote or co-wrote, not sure which) of GAME OF THRONES aired last night. What a huge difference! The wit, the plot, the characterization, the action, all of it was head-and-shoulders above every other episode thus far. It was really well done. There were layers and details and development.

To the page — and all the rest of it today.