Fri. Aug. 21, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 93 — Tired

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image courtesy of pixabay.com

Friday, August 21, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It’s getting hot and humid again, so I am getting grumpy again, especially with the allergies.

Yesterday, I got some client work and some yard work done. Took my mom to the other doctor to get some things dealt with. Freelance chat, which was fun. Tidied up the deck.

My landlord came over (with his mask and folding chair) and we chatted for two hours. He’s put a lot of research and work into an historical project that someone else is trying to control, and he wanted advice. Since I knew the other individuals involved, I could give him advice based on their past conduct and patterns. Hopefully, it was helpful.

Got some reading done, but not much else. The mice arrived from Chewy in a big box — ordered only because I needed to spend an extra dollar to get free shipping on the playpens. Instead of shipping it all together, three little toy mice arrived on their own in a great, big box.

But all three cats love the mice.

Overslept this morning, decided to put off going to the dump and recycling off yet another day. Picked up my mom’s new medication at the pharmacy, which was MUCH more expensive than I expected. So I have to put off buying the lumber and the fabric for the screen.

Did a grocery run to Trader Joe’s. Too many people in the store, ignoring the traffic arrows, but at least everyone was masked. And the staff is so great.

Home, full disinfectant protocols, then heard from the library there were books ready for curbside pickup. Masked up again, drove down in my yoga clothes (because hey, curbside pickup). When I got out of the car to go to the table to pick up my bag of books, some women getting out of another car berated me for not wearing a bra. “What if there were children here?” (There weren’t — we were the only two cars in the parking lot). Plus, my shirt was black and oversized and nothing was showing. PLUS, it’s none of her damn business.

So I looked at her and said, “Why are you staring at my breasts?” and she stared sputtering.

I grabbed my books and came home.

I’m having a serious case of the don’t wannas today, so maybe I just won’t. Had a good first writing session out on the deck, though.

Have a great weekend.

Tues. Aug. 11, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 83 — Heatwave, Covidiots, Phase 3 Pause

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image courtesy of igorovsyannykov via pixabay.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, humid, heat wave

I really like this image I used on Friday, so I’m using it again.

It was an up-and-down weekend for me. I didn’t feel well at all during the course of it. The thunderstorms we needed desperately and were promised never showed up.

I did a Target run early on Friday to get the pens and notebooks I needed. People were masked, and I was in and out in just a few minutes. Disinfectant protocols, then a quick curbside pickup at the library.

It was so hot, I had trouble concentrating. I gave myself the time off from working and read. I read THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME by Krista Davis, and really liked it. It made me laugh, more than once, for the right reasons.

I read another mystery by another author. I’d read a book from one of her other series and had mixed feelings about it. Had even more mixed feelings about this one – especially since she misused “witch” in an insulting way. Normally, I’d just cross her off the list, but she’s friends with some acquaintances of mine. I will read one more book by her and then decide. That choice of language usage is a slur and shouldn’t be used any more AND it’s a sloppy language choice.

Reading volume IV of the Paris Review Interviews. Even when I disagree with the writers (especially the white male ones), I wind up learning something.

Read Robert Caro’s WORKING, where he talks about his process of writing his books about Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson. Reading about his research into Moses made me loathe the man even more than I already do. Yes, he was a visionary with parks and road and bridges – but he destroyed a lot of people’s lives, and he didn’t give a damn. Which sounds far too familiar in these days. If someone was rich enough to buy him off, he modified his vision. But if one couldn’t afford to buy him off, he thought they deserved to have their lives destroyed. I’m so glad he didn’t get to put in the bridge between Rye and Oyster Bay. I grew up in Rye while that was being floated around. It would have ruined my hometown.

Did an early morning run on Saturday to Star Market. They are eliminating the position of the door person making sure there aren’t too many people in the store and that people are wearing masks. Which means I have to time my shopping as early as possible, and, when the customers stop masking properly, stop shopping there. Which is a shame, because it’s the only place I can get the white cranberry/peach juice.

The fucktwits are still setting off illegal fireworks in the street every day. But heaven forbid the Town of Barnstable do anything for its residents. Because it doesn’t care about them. With everything as dry as it is, this is a disaster in the making.

Did laundry, changed the beds, cleaned the house. Typical routine.

Sunday was all about organizing the files I’d kept from the boxes I purged. I also cleaned out four file cabinet drawers. Everything I’m keeping is being sorted and organized into five boxes: one for files from the 1900s; another from 2000-2009. The next box only fits the first half of the decade we’ve been here – 2010 – 2014. I had to get another box for 2015-2019. The fifth box is for project manuscripts. I’m thinking of pulling out all the contract files and putting them into a separate plastic file with a lid and a handle.

It was overwhelming. I worked all day and it felt like I got nothing done, because I didn’t go down and clean out any more boxes. I was just dealing with stuff I’d already brought upstairs. I don’t get how people can clean out their attic or basement in a single day.

It was hot and humid and I felt like crap. Yes, there were tears. More than once.

The dumbass neighbors – more than one of them – all had heavy machinery going ALL FUCKING WEEKEND. We couldn’t have the windows open – without air conditioning and in the heat – because there was so much dust flying around we were choking on it.

Again, Town of Barnstable doesn’t give a flying fuck about its residents. There’s no reason that heavy machinery/construction should be allowed 7 days a week from a little after 7 in the morning until whenever they feel like finishing (often 9 or 10 at night). They don’t do anything about illegal fireworks; they refuse to enforce the noise ordinances; they’re not enforcing the state requirement for masks (most of their own workers don’t wear them when they’re out and about, and they’re sure as hell not distancing), they’re not doing anything to enforce quarantine.

The Town of Barnstable is fucking useless.

So it was a disheartening, frustrating weekend.

On a happier note, I fit into a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt Capris on Monday that I haven’t been able to wear for a few years. So there’s that.

Was onsite for a client for a few hours on Monday. I was by myself in the office, so it was all good. Got a bunch done. Did a curbside pickup at the library on my way home. Read in the afternoon. I have another book assigned to review, so I’m looking forward to that.

Sent out a couple of LOIs.

Today, I was out watering by 5 AM. Took me nearly an hour to water the front. No rain in sight. The back took only 20 minutes, because I’d watered it last night.

I have some client work to do this morning, then more LOIs, and work on an article that’s due in September, but I’d like to get out early.

In the mornings, I’ve been noodling on the new idea, trying a very different way of working, just to see if I can shake up the process.

I’m hoping some of that will transfer to getting back on track with BARD’S LAMENT.

But, honestly, I’m feeling overwhelmed and hopeless right now. While I appreciate all the suggestions for “self-care” – at this point, they’re psychobabble for me. Also, I CAN’T “take a walk” anywhere around here, because the fucking tourists WON’T WEAR A MASK OR SOCIAL DISTIANCE and it’s not “self-care” to put my life in danger.

We’re supposedly on pause for Phase 3 of the reopening, and the governor is talking about rolling back some things, which is necessary. But no one is paying any attention because there’s zero enforcement and zero consequences — except people who ARE trying to do the right thing are getting spat on (literally, often) by Covidiots and dying.

“Taking a walk” won’t help. Fucking locking down the country, enforcing masking regulations, and UBI will help.

I’m sick of the Democrats not getting it done. Republicans rammed their agenda through no matter if they were the majority or not. So the Dems need to start getting ruthless. Our lives are on the line. Get it fucking done.

I’m sick of it all. I’m tired of the stupid and the selfish ALWAYS getting away with EVERYTHING, especially when it hurts everyone else. Without consequence.

Tues. July 28, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 69 — Maskhole Rant, Che Guevara Chipmunk, and Writing

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image courtesy of jplenio via pixabay.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid

I hit a level of burnout on Thursday afternoon and into Friday. I was just done.

But, of course, when one is the breadwinner, not coping is not an option.

From Masshole to Maskhole
Plenty of people from Massachusetts are not well-liked (often even in their own state). “Masshole” is the common term. But far too many are now also Maskholes – refusing to wear the mask properly or at all. To be fair, they’re not just from around here – the tourists are even worse.

Virus cases are on the rise in this area. No surprise. Some dimwit in Chatham had a party with 50 people, no masks, no distancing. At least half the partygoers have tested positive since that party. They are trying to figure out how many people THOSE people infected Elected officials moan and say there’s nothing they can do because it happened on “private property.” Yes, they can. Charge the party-thrower with criminal negligence. Anyone who got infected by someone at the party should have all health costs paid by the person who infected them.

A good portion of the attendees were restaurant workers. Yeah, so how’s all that Phase III-IV on-site dining working for everyone, huh?

On Saturday morning, I did a quick errand. The drive home was 3 miles from store to home, along the beachfront. I passed about 150 people (I stopped counting at 127). Over the course of three miles.

4 of them were masked.

FOUR.

You can’t social distance when there are that many people in that small an area. Not that they were even trying. Many of them walked in packs, or hung out as their pack met another pack. No masks, no distancing. And yeah, not even pretending they give a fuck by having one around their neck or in their pocket.

I can’t go for a walk in my own neighborhood because the fucktards roam in maskless packs. All those people who claim they’re “safe” when they take a walk or walk the dog because “nobody’s around” or “there’s plenty of room” or “I cross the street” or “we’re good at social distancing” – I don’t believe you. They’re saying the same things here every day. Praising themselves to the sky for being so responsible and careful. I watch every day and it is not happening. No masks. No social distancing. You need BOTH. You need to wear a mask AND social distance. What part of this is an airborne virus do you not understand? Being outside doesn’t negate that. “Oh, but I’m just walking the dog, it’s early, no one’s around” – yeah, so are 15 other people and you’re stopping to chat and pet each other’s dogs and hang out and you’re only about a foot apart. Wear your damn mask when you leave your property. Keep it on – properly on, not pretend on — until you return.

If you NEED to be out and about – wear the damn mask.

If you WANT to be out and about – wear the damn mask.

It’s not hard. Yes, it’s inconvenient, and the first ten minutes are uncomfortable. So?

The level of selfishness is just disgusting.

The stats are that we have 100,000 extra people so far on Cape Cod. I don’t want to hear one word from businesses about how slow business is. Every place around here is packed. Plus, almost every business I know got either a PPP loan or an SBA loan or both. We have heightened travel rules in place as of the first of the month per the governor about 14-day quarantines and fines of $500/day. Too many aren’t even doing the mandated masking and social distancing. No one’s going to enforce a damn thing.

The bridges are backed up every damn day and unbearable from Friday to Monday again like every summer weekend. People aren’t quarantining here. They come in for the day, spread the virus, leave. They’re not being careful, even if they pretend they are so they can feel all righteous about it. Yes, the travel restrictions are not as firm from New England states and New York and New Jersey because those states have controlled it FOR THE MOMENT. But many, MANY of these plates are from high-risk states. They’re not complying with quarantine. The places they’re renting aren’t requiring it. They’re just taking the money and looking the other way.

There are businesses requiring people follow the mask mandate and distancing, etc. They’re truly trying to make it work and keep people as safe as possible. But plenty of businesses look the other way when the tourist twat walks in and immediately pulls the mask down around their neck.

We’re going to need to be in lockdown all damn winter because people are so damn selfish and lazy, while claiming they’re being responsible. I’m talking genuine lockdown, where maybe you can leave your property once a week for an hour to go grocery shopping. It’s going to make this spring look like a cakewalk.

We could have had the virus under control and be back to a modicum of normal without much danger – like New Zealand and Iceland and Europe – but instead, it’s getting worse. People are lying to themselves and each other about it.

The positive spin that’s being put on everything here and WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING are far apart. But people are buying into the spin, which means things are moving even farther apart.

I am very, very glad I was wrong that we would hit the 250,000 death toll mark by July 4th. But I doubt I’m wrong about the next lockdown. And so much of this could have been prevented. So much of it still can be prevented, but won’t, due to selfishness on personal and nationwide levels, and greed.

I’m sick of it.

No wonder I’m feeling burned out. If I didn’t have to leave the property at all, I could just shrug it off. I mean, on human level, I’d still be angry at the sheer level of selfishness and I’d still be working with my elected officials on various legislation, but I could stay in my little book-lined tower and keep my family safe.

Chop Wood, Carry Water
I mailed off my passport renewal materials for the third damn time. Let’s hope they actually renew it this time. The first time, last fall, when the rumors about no more passport renewals started, it was returned because it was “too early to renew.” When I tried in March, it was “returned to sender” with “office closed due to COVID-19” scrawled on the envelope.

Even if we’re banned from entering other countries, I need my passport. I hate being separated from it.

Saturday morning, the cats got me up way too early. Fed them, watered the front and back gardens, lawns, and the meadow out back. Changed the beds, did two loads of laundry, did a run to the store that carries the white cranberry-peach juice and some gelato for the heat wave. Full disinfectant protocols (not letting up on them any time soon). Sorted the boxes and bags in the quarantine area of the garage – some went downstairs to be used, some put aside for other use, some into recycling). Washed all the reusable grocery bags and disinfected them.

The ban on reusable bags has been lifted in the state, but most grocery stores sill ask that people not use them. Still, I thought it would be a good idea to disinfect all the bags.

Paid end-of-month bills.

The neighbor across the street has his very own small bulldozer. Yup. Drove it around the neighborhood to show it off on Friday. Saturday, he brought in a truckload of gravel and dumped it next to his garage (which faces our front yard). Then he started leaf blowing the gravel. Which is a stupid move on multiple levels, but it also sent clouds of gravel dust across to us, and I had to close the windows (on a hot day, with no air conditioning) so we didn’t choke on the dust.

His parents must not have bought him Tonka Trucks as a child, and he’s making up for it now.

All he ever does is use heavy machinery, make noise, and destroy. There’s never building anything beautiful – just cutting down trees or leaf blowing gravel.

My neighbor next door is awfully fond of his power tools, too – but he builds. A firepit, a three-season room, a shed for his nifty tools. Also, he does it during reasonable hours, and it’s never for long stretches. I don’t mind even the power tools, because the energy is so different – it’s CONstructive, not Destructive.

Sunday morning, I was up early again to water. I don’t have a sprinkler system, and I don’t want to do the putting green thing, but I also want the yard to be healthy. Right now, we haven’t rain for a bit, and it needs a drink.

Che Guevara Chipmunk is back. I didn’t put out the bird bath this year (because it’s 2020 and West Nile or some other plague would come by, too). But I’ve been putting out a big dog dish of water out back, and changing it three times a day. Che Guevara Chipmunk comes by the drink out of it and tell me the news. And the birds like it, too. We had some melon that was getting squishy, so I put it out back and the murder of crows dashed from the front yard and gobbled it all up. Who knew crows like cantaloupe?

Friday morning, when I sat on the deck with my first coffee and my writing, a bat dropped down from the roof of the covered deck and then flew away. Startled me, but I like bats, so I’m good with it. If he (or she) comes back, the bat gets a name!

I got a spam call on my cell from Russia. Uh, yeah, that’s a block.

Monday, I was out early to water. This morning, I was out early and did just over an hour of yardwork from just after 5 AM to nearly 6:30. It’s been brutally hot and humid. 102 degrees in Hyannis yesterday, 94 degrees here, a few miles away. We’re still a little cooler because we haven’t cut down all our trees.

But there are poor air quality warnings up. On Cape Cod. Can you imagine? We moved here for healthy sea air. But it’s been clear cut of trees so badly and overbuilt so badly and with the tourists flowing in DURING A PANDEMIC, we have poor air quality.

The virus is delighted.

But with fans going and staying quiet in the worst of it, it’s bearable. Even without air conditioning. So far.

Shall I mention that the furnace was supposed to be replaced by the owner last year before Thanksgiving, and he was going to add coils for air conditioning? And it still hasn’t happened?

Writing. Oh yeah, there’s writing. And Reading
I got about half the revision of VISCERAL INVISIBLES done. Still trying to come up with another title, although a part of me kind of likes this one.

Shaped the review for the book I read. Sent it off yesterday morning, along with the invoice. Yay, money!

I read a wonderful book by Fenton Johnson, AT THE CENTER OF ALL BEAUTY: SOLITUDE AND THE CREATIVE LIFE. It’s quite wonderful. As someone who is, by nature, solitary, and needs a lot of solitude even within the context of relationships, the book speaks to me on multiple levels.

Catching up on the issues of THE NEW YORKER. There’s always so much good information there, and stellar writing (even if I don’t always agree with the pieces). The latest issues re-runs earlier profiles – Toni Morrison, Larry Kramer, etc. – it’s interesting to see how much I’ve changed since they first came out. How much I’ve learned.

Actually got to sit outside and enjoy the deck for an hour here and there, in between neighbors and their power tools and heavy machinery. And they’re still setting off the fucking illegal fireworks most nights.

Also reading Donna Leon’s non-Brunetti mystery, THE JEWELS OF PARADISE, which is interesting.

My mother is reading Chris Cavender’s pizza-lover’s mysteries, and really likes them. I will read them soon (while she finishes reading the Vivien Chien series). We have one more Brunetti book to read, the one that came out during Stay-at-home, and then we’ll start reading the Gamache series in order (re-read for me). It’s fun to read a long series together in order and talk about the books.

Did some planning for the Gambit Colony books. Will get back to them once I’m done with this draft of BARD’S LAMENT.

Worked on the Topic Workbooks.

I’m working on the Grief to Art website, but it takes a lot out of me, and is thereby taking more time than I’d like. With nearly 150,000 dead, we need a site for collective mourning.

Did a quick proof read of the WINNER TAKE ALL screenplay and sent it to my friend, who has time to read it this week.

I was at the office for a few hours yesterday for a client, by myself, which was perfect. I’m still far more productive from my home office even than in an empty office, but if I have to be in an office, I’d rather it was empty. I do some client work before it gets too hot. When it heats up, I have to shut down the computer; it doesn’t function well in heat and humidity. Plus, I figure the power’s bound to go off at some point.

Have a safe week, and try to stay cool, if you can. Mentally and physically. Peace.

Thurs. July 23, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 64 — The Need For a Good Storm

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Thursday, July 23, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and oppressively humid

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

Yesterday started out as a pretty optimistic day, but a few obstacles got thrown in the way. Not appropriate to discuss them publicly. I will have to find a way to deal with them like a professional, while still holding my boundaries.

Onsite for a client early; got a good bit done. I was worried about a particular campaign, but it’s started to show results, and that’s a relief.

Swung by CVS to pick up my mother’s prescription. It was packed, but at least everyone wore their mask PROPERLY.

I am so sick of these fucktwits pulling their masks down below their noses. Cover your NOSE AND MOUTH, you fucking morons. The disregard for other people is revolting.

Remote chat was fun.

Solved a client problem remotely.

It was so humid and I wasn’t feeling well, so the afternoon was nowhere near as productive as it needed to be. Will have to make up for it today. Managed to get a few LOIs out.

One client is trying to figure out why payment hasn’t gone through. Another client, a late payer, is ignoring my emails. This is a major publication, now in breach of contract. Not happy about it.

Frustrated with the state of the country and the supreme selfishness and greed that’s allowed.

I seriously want to become a professional recluse.

In the evening, I got dressed up and in full make-up for two virtual Zoom events.

One was a fashion industry event, that I attended on behalf of a client. The hosts did a good job. Some of the guests, however, seem to have forgotten that a Zoom event requires interaction. Yeah, when we were in an actual party room, you could stand there and pose and people would admire you. But at an interactive chat, everyone’s gong to move on to someone who is, you know, actually interesting.

It sort of reminded me of Studio 54’s fading days, when it was trying to be relevant and cool, and failing.

But I’m glad I went. I managed to meet some interesting people and get information that is useful in shaping this particular client’s marketing strategy.

Then, I switched over to another Zoom event, this one literary. That was kind of fun and raucous, very much like the old time literary events in NYC, but virtual. Had some decent conversations with various people about things that matter. I actually got some information relevant to the client for whom I attended the fashion industry event. So that’s 2 for 1.

I’m trying to limit my Zoom time, because it’s so exhausting, but I’m glad I attended these events.

I got a nice compliment on Twitter from someone who likes that I tweet to congratulate and encourage people and wish them well. To me, that’s a big part of being on a social media platform – celebrating the good things, offering a helping hand when I can. Still, it was nice to hear. Because I’m so enraged about what’s going on politically and trying to do something about it, I sometimes worry I’m too negative on social media. I’m trying to keep it balanced.

What I should do is take a break from social media completely for a few days.

Tessa woke me up around 1 AM. She was hot. She woke me, walked over to the fan, looked at me, looked at the fan. I put it in the window, turned it on, she stretched out on the floor in front of it, and went back to sleep.

Fell asleep and had weird dreams. Charlotte woke me a little after 4, although I refused to go downstairs and feed everyone until 5. I wish they’d let me sleep until 5. Waking up at 4 every day is just a little too early.

Horribly humid today. The air is thick and won’t move. It’s supposed to storm, and I hope it does. A good thunder storm would do a world of good.

I have a busy day of writing, client work, course work, and unpacking ahead of me. I hope the humidity eases up a bit so I can actually do it, and not act like one of the cats, lying on the floor in front of the fan.

I had a nice first writing session out on the deck this morning, playing with an idea that might or might not go anywhere. But at least I eased those characters yapping in my head.

Feeling kind of blue and discouraged today, on multiple fronts. I hope a storm will break both the humidity and my mood.

Thurs. July 26, 2018: And Mercury Goes Retrograde, Too!

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Day Before Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

I’m tired of everything being perpetually warm and damp.

Mercury goes retrograde today, with all these other retrogrades, and right before a full moon with the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

Yesterday was not a productive day on RELICS, and I’ll have to make it up this weekend. I have a deadline looming (although my editor let me push it back a few days). But this new deadline still must be met. I have Amanda and Phineas’s first real love/sex scene to write, and it’s tricky. I haven’t been in the right headspace to write it, and I can’t just skip it, move on and go back, because how it plays out influences the rest of the book. I know the focus and drive of it and what happens after, but the nuances I’ll discover when actually writing the scene will make a big difference.

Review out, a few blog posts ahead on some other blogs. Worked with a client on a batch of blog posts. The new hire at that client’s place is working well, so far. We’re finding lots of mistakes from the person that left. I also got a raise at this gig, without having to be the one to say, “I’m raising my rate.” Which is nice.

Got some work done restructuring THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so I have an idea of what I have, how much, what needs to be tweaked since I split out the material that grew into MYTH & INTERPRETATION. Behind on where I want/need to be for DAVY JONES DHARMA, which will also have to get caught up this weekend.

The consensus on the DAVY JONES DHARMA cover was that it was too cutesy. Since the Nautical Namaste mysteries intentionally break some of the cozy formula rules, the covers can’t be entirely cozy, although they are more light-hearted than the ones for the other series. My cover designer showed me two other options. My editor, publisher, and I all liked the same one best, and I admit — they were right, I was wrong. The new one fits the tone of the book and the theme of the series better. We’re still debating whether or not to have the figure seated in lotus position, as we did on SAVASANA, to keep it consistent. But it looks wrong, so we might go without.

Also saw a rough of the cover for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, which I love, love, love!!!! Completely different direction than I expected, and much better.

And the cover for RELICS & REQUIEM is beautiful. We also have a rough of the fourth boo in the Coventina Circle series, GRAVE REACH, which is lovely. The image was originally one of those proposed for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. It wasn’t right for that book, but was compelling and fit more in the style of the Coventina Circle books.

So all of those covers are done ahead of time and are in good shape. I’ll be working with my other cover designer on the covers for the re-release of the Jain Lazarus Adventures for next spring, and the next set of covers we need to worry about are those for what used to be POWER OF WORDS, but is now going to be called something else, and get its own logo and subdomain and website and all the rest, so it’s a lot.

I have a few things to do this morning and the library, and then it’s back home to write, write, write!

 

Published in: on July 26, 2018 at 8:42 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 26, 2018: And Mercury Goes Retrograde, Too!  
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It’s been back up in the 90’s for the last few days, but low humidity. That seems to be changing — the humidity is rising to meet the temperatures. And it looks like we may have to deal with Hurricane Earl over the holiday weekend. Ick.

Yesterday was tough. The workman/landlord situation was bad in the morning, which of course, stressed me out and made Elsa worse. I spent most of the morning in tears out of sheer frustration and exhaustion.

Got some queries out. We’ll see what happens. Tried to start the assignment from Confidential Job #1, but couldn’t concentrate. Managed to get some research done in the afternoon, with the iPod on to Naturescape, which has to be my favorite app ever. Ran a few errands, put gas in the car, things like that. It cost me $10 more to put the same amount of gas in the car at the place near here with the best prices than it did up in Sturbridge last week.

I’m still eating the fudge I bought up there — best fudge I ever had. Smooth and creamy and rich. I have one little slice every day, and I still have a lot. That’s the way I like it!

Booked my tickets for the two Philly gigs in September. So that’s all sorted out. Even though it’s ridiculously early — I don’t leave for the first until the end of next week — I’ll probably pack in the next day or two.

Made a note the other night as I fell asleep for a story idea. Now I have to decipher it!

Had a lot of trouble sleeping. Well, I GET to sleep just fine. But I wake up completely anxiety-ridden.

Decent writing session this morning on the Willowspring Grove piece. Not a brilliant one, I’m having to fight for the words harder than I’d like, but I’m getting there. I’ve got to get back to SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Even if I don’t hit my goal every day, even a few pages a day would be better than no pages a day. But it’s noisy and dirty and chaotic here, and I can’t concentrate. As it is, I’m having to get up at 5 AM to get anything done before the rat bastards descend. And I can’t flip my schedule completely because I can’t sleep when they’re “working.” And I can’t leave to work elsewhere because I have to be around to make sure they don’t destroy the apartment.

I’m gathering references for the moving packets. Even though I can’t get my hands on the cash for a few more months, I want to have everything ready.

Will head to the museum this morning to see the exhibit before it closes (my mom is staying with the cats), and then come back to do some more sorting and purging. And I have to start Confidential Job #1 — it’s due on Friday.

Elsa is a little better this morning; let’s hope she doesn’t get worse now that the rat bastards are back.

It’s relentless, and it’s hard to keep any energy and focus. I feel like I’m fading and failing. And I have to hold the line until I can get out. Thanks so much for all your support. Sometimes it’s all that keeps me going.

I pitched a piece, never thinking they’d really want it, and they came back wanting more than one. I have to go over the terms and then sit down and get them done in the next 72 hours, provided the terms are acceptable. It would be some quick cash on something fun — if it works out. We’ll see.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, handwritten): 36, 125 words out of est. 100,000 (36%). I’m not sure how I wound up with a lower word count today than yesterday, when I wrote an additional 4 1/2 pages this morning. Headdesk).

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 6:59 am  Comments (5)  
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

It’s so humid that it feels like I’m trying to breathe underwater. Ick.

Drove to Stamford to use a gift card at the bookstore. That was fun. There was also a lovely farmer’s market in the lot beside the bookstore’s. Got some absolutely wonderful produce, still sun-kissed from the gardens. Which contributed to a delightful lunch with a friend.

Called the acupuncturist recommended to me by the woman in my pottery class. She picked up the phone herself; my acquaintance had talked to her about me, so she was expecting my call. We discussed Elsa for awhile, and she actually has an opening this morning, so, off we go.

Elsa thought we were going immediately, and tried to get into the carrier as soon as I was off the phone!

I really don’t think the new medication is helping her much. So, we’ll see what happens here. At the very least, this practitioner can make her more comfortable, even if there’s not much more we can do for her. And quality of life is more important than length. Of course I want Elsa around for a long, long time, but I also don’t want to torture her. When she’s ready to go, she will let me know. She’s made it pretty darned clear she’s not ready yet — she actually was the dominant cat yesterday, for the first time since we lost Felicia several years ago, bossing the twins around.

Read the second book in that series I’ve been reading. It was much tighter, better plotted, better written. If it wrapped up the story, the first book would have been unnecessary, and it could have all been the second book and been just fine. I read the first chapter of the third book, and it’s not grabbing me. So, we’ll see. If I come across it next time I’m in the bookstore, I might pick it up But I’m in no rush.

I also got Yasmine Galenorn’s newest release, NIGHT MYST, the first book of her new series, and I’m reading that and enjoying it very much.

It’s raining and gross outside. Not the kind of weather I want to haul Elsa around in, especially since the directions don’t really make sense to me, but we’ll see. Somehow, it will all work out. And, if it helps Elsa, it’s worth it.

Good first writing session this morning, about 1200 words. Will try to get a little more done before I have to pack up Elsa and go.

Considered applying for an editing job yesterday, but I don’t want to put that much energy into someone else’s work right now. The business writing and articles are fine, because it’s mine, even if I’m doing it to attract customers to someone else’s work. But working on someone else’s creative work — other than reading the piece for my friend — just not in that headspace right now, and why set myself up for a job I won’t enjoy at this point?

Would like to do some more adaptation on the plays so that I can work on query letters and start pitching them in August.

Well, I’ve been assigned an editor for my new book and sent the paperwork for marketing and cover art — but I’ve not signed the contract, so I’m not yet making any announcements. Guess we’re going forward, though, on what I hope will prove to be an exciting new venture. It also means I have to get started on the next book for them – and re-read this manuscript so that I can come up with blurbs, teasers, etc. I want to get that all turned around in the next few days. And it means the photo shoot needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Today is the 38th anniversary of my father’s death.

Devon

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

It is so humid in here that when I walk across the livingroom carpet, I squish moisture out of it. Disgusting. Thank goodness there’s an air conditioner in the bedroom.

Got out a stack of correspondence, headed to the post office. Ran into a neighbor and caught up. Just walking six blocks in the heat nearly killed me. Could have run into another neighbor who is supposedly heading the tenants’ organization, but he’s been so useless and uncommunicative for so long, that I chose to avoid him rather than get into it with him. I don’t want excuses — I want follow-through and some cojones.

I’m re-reading some books that I’ve recommended to someone who’s taking a private course of study with me, so that we can discuss them. It’s been five or six years since I read them, so I figured I needed to refresh my memory.

A few short stories are swirling around my head, and I hope to get them down in the next few days, if I don’t pass out from heat exhaustion. I keep hearing or reading something, and the short story wheels start to whir. Character voices are coming through loud and clear, and I want to get them down before they float away. Muses don’t come when you call — they come when it’s time to write. If you ignore them, they leave you and don’t necessarily come back (they hate disrespect). And on the days they don’t feel like showing up, you have to lean on craft and the notes you took when they were around.

It was too humid to go into the studio and work yesterday — nothing would have dried enough to write up and put on the greenware shelf for firing. So I’m making another attempt to go today. This is really my last shot. Also, the large wheel-throwing class met yesterday before open studio, and, from what I’ve heard, most of the class continues to work through studio hours, so it would have been crowded.

One thing I love about the place is that everyone is nice, and everyone helps everyone.

If I can get in there, I want to work on a couple of pinch pots and do something on the slab.

I picked up the keys to my friend’s place yesterday afternoon, so that I can bake over there tomorrow. I have to pick up a few things at the store when I’m done at the studio in order to do that, and I’ll bring some writing along to work on while the stuff’s actually in the oven and then cooling.

Elsa’s hanging in there. Her medicine still isn’t here (and no one has an answer for me on that — hmm, let’s see, how about sending me another shipment, then?) and still no word from the vet.

Haven’t heard back yet re: the contract negotiations. Hopefully, there will be someone else at the company with whom I can talk in the coming week.

Lori, always happy to brainstorm with you. Always have time.

Brandy, hmm, online writing classes for teens. Try checking with www.savvyauthors.com — email them via the “contact us” feature if you don’t see anything offered and suggest it — I bet they’d bring in someone to teach. Their yearly fee is reasonable, and once you’re a member, some classes are free or at least have even more of a discount. Even if you’re not a member, the fees are reasonable. National Novel Writing Month, in November, has a section for teens, complete with mentors. www.nanowrimo.org. That’s completely free, although they always need donations, so if you donate $10 or $20 bucks or buy a mug or a tee shirt, it helps. Have you checked the Y? I’ve taught at a lot of Y’s, and the prices are usually reasonable, and I also teach at Continuing Ed programs of both high schools, colleges, and community colleges, which often have classes for teens. Let me also ask on the Muse Online loop — I bet someone there would know. I don’t think Muse, where I teach every October, has teen-focused classes, although I’ve had teens in my workshops along with adults. Again, the Muse conference is free — but you have to sign up by August. You could talk to Lea, who runs it, and ask what would be appropriate for your daughter to sit in on. It’s a wonderful week, and it might give her a taste of lots of different things so she can decide in which direction to proceed next.
http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/registration.htm is the link, and Lea’s email is at the bottom. We’ll find something good!

I’m trying to figure out what to make as Christmas/Yule/Holiday gifts this year. My mom hoped I could make little pots for everyone, but I just won’t be that good that fast. So I’m exploring other options. I need to get started in August and make things in August and September, because October through December will be wild months.

Okay, must shower, I’m way too sticky for this hour of the morning, and then it’s back to the page for a few hours, before heading back to the studio.

Have a great weekend. Stay cool and hydrated!

Devon

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

We’re supposed to break 100 degrees again today. Ick.

Off to pottery yesterday, for my last regular class. Finally, I found something I”m good at — mask-making. We did slab masks (which means we created a slab on the roller, then shaped it on a newspaper form and decorated it). I’m thrilled with mine.

I have some experience with mask-making, both for ritual purposes and for theatre productions, although I’ve never made one in clay before.

We also trimmed the pots we threw on the wheel. So, I was back to going clockwise, which feels more natural to me, but other than that, it was a disaster. Now, it’s just getting to the point where I’m afraid of the wheel, which is not a good thing. My pot is a disaster, but I’m firing it and glazing it anyway, because when I master my fear of the wheel (like, when I’m 105), I can see how far I’ve come.

Glazed my little tiny pressed mold pot, which looks cute, and glazed my enormous pressed bottle vase. I love the glaze room, and I’ve gone from being fascinated by glazes to being obsessed with them.

Several people praised the pressed bottle vase, which surprised me. I look at it and see the flaws, but they think it’s really cool, the way I played with texture. I thank them for their support of a newbie.

When I get back from Philly, there are a few glazing days, so, provided this work’s been bisque-fired (the first firing), I’ll be able to glaze it and send it on for the second firing.

I received an unexpected check which, I think, will pay for fall’s pottery class.

While I was at class, my mom dealt with the new exterminator now handling the building. He’s very nice and very thorough — what a great change from the guys who wandered in, squirted the hose a few times at baseboards(and then we had to wash away the run-off before the cats stepped in it), and wandered out. Everything he uses is pet-safe (Elsa, being Elsa, followed him around to make sure, and the twins peered out from under a table; Elsa must always supervise and remind anyone who enters that this is a cat-centric household, and she expects proper greetings and pettings) and his equipment is very precise, so there’s no drippage or leakage or it getting onto anything but what he focuses on. With all the construction and other chaos going on, we needed a good exterminator around here, not to mention so many people moving in and out. It’s a fact of living around New York — you have to battle vermin on every level.

Unfortunately, because he was so thorough, it means I can’t use the gas oven for two weeks.

And while that was happening, I’d merrily offered to bake for the final class party that I’ll miss next week, and leave it on Monday at the clay center before I leave for Philly on Tuesday.

So, I called up a friend of mine, who will be away this weekend (she goes to an old family retreat every weekend all summer), and asked if I could borrow her oven. She was just talking to her co-workers about our last adventure when I called, thought the whole thing was funny, and we’re sorting out the key exchange later today.

I received a very exciting offer, but there are a few contract details to sort out, and the person I’m supposed to deal with is on vacation — but the contract is supposed to be signed “immediately” — so I went to the person who sent me the offer and asked who I should deal with in the interim. Someone’s got to be covering, or, if not, it won’t be finalized until that person gets back. Not signing something just because the other side is in a rush. Anyway, IF we get these two contract points sorted out, it will be exciting news and I’ll be able to share it.

Also received my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, which looks pretty darned interesting. Sometimes, I think my editor over there reads my blog!

Elsa’s new medicine did not arrive yesterday — although it was sent out and to the correct address. Why am I not surprised? And, of course, the vet still hasn’t made his promised phone call. She actually was a little better, although she’s kind of droopy. I want to call the acupuncturist/Reiki master recommended by the woman in my pottery class when I get back from Philly and see if I can set up an appointment. Elsa’s moving sometimes as though she’s uncomfortable (although she can still outjump Iris, who never bothers to do the math before she does a jump, but just flings herself on and off things and assumes inanimate objects will move to accommodate her). I think a little acupuncture or some Reiki would do her good. I know I sure as heck could use some Reiki. So, I’ll meet with these people and see if we connect, and then maybe they can at least help Elsa stay more comfortable. Supposedly, they do acupuncture at my vet’s, and I’ve asked for it several times, and the request has been ignored. I’d rather go to an independent professional anyway. My acupuncturist was recommended by both a jockey friend and a trainer’s wife, and she’s been a life saver — certainly a career-saver. I would have had to quit Broadway much sooner because of disability had I not started seeing her.

Anyway, I’ve got some running around to do today, some correspondence, hopefully get some writing in. I got some ideas for a couple of little projects to use up what’s left of my clay, so I might head back to the studio for open studio hours this afternoon and finish up for a couple of hours. Got a couple of things sorted out for the Philly trip — looks like I’ll be dealing with another set of scumbag real estate management company when I hit Philly, who are creating unnecessary problems at the site. I’m used to real estate scumbags by this point, and if they get physical, I’ll file a police report. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. I’m starting to think that 98% of the people who work in real estate make pond scum look like a higher life form.

I am certainly looking forward to things lightening up after July 21. Saturn can’t leave the House of Pisces fast enough for me. Enough life lessons already! 😉

I’ve got to pack for Philly and decide which projects to take with me. I’m doing a lot of running around, so I don’t want to take too many projects and then not get around to doing them. I’m definitely taking both books on which I’m lecturing, to finish the notes and lectures. If the contract is finalized before I leave, I’ll be outlining another project along the same lines (per the contract); if it’s not finalized, I’ll wait. I’ve got the booklet to work on and some short stories. I’ll take the assignment from Confidential Job #1, which I don’t think I can finish before I leave. And, oh, yeah, I kind of have to do the work I’m paid to do while I’m there, right? 🙂 I’ve also got to write up Elsa’s medication schedule and feeding schedule so my mom can take care of it while I’m gone, and cook ahead so my mom doesn’t have to cook while I’m gone.

Yeah, it’ll be a busy weekend. And a hot one. I will probably run the air conditioner a lot. Yesterday, even in air conditioning, I just couldn’t cool down.

Devon

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
This weather is disgusting

If this is a “break” . . .use your imagination. Ick. Perhaps the temperature is down outside, but in here, the bricks in the building absorbed the heat from the past few days and I feel like I’m a loaf of bread baking in a traditional oven.

I am not a heat-and-humidity girl, which is one of the many reasons I live in a mid-Atlantic state rather than a more tropical one, and one reason I hope to move further north.

Even Elsa is coping better than I am. Actually, she’s showed steady improvement over the last few days — although she is smart enough to prefer the air conditioning. Violet has ben fine; Iris got all sulky for some reason, kept getting out of the air conditioned room and hiding in one of the hot rooms, so I had to drag her out and back into the cool. Since she’s the fattest of the cats (as the vet says, she is “at the top of her weight range”), I have to watch her carefully in this weather.

I got some work done, mostly reading and note-taking. The possibility of several non-fiction books looms on the horizon — two are fairly new ideas to me, but make sense; one has been swirling around for years, but I think I finally have a handle on it; and one I wrote up an entire notebook of notes on about a year ago, and am now expanding those notes into chapters and essays here and there. I’m going to play with shaping them a little more to see if they are actually viable, and then get to work on outlines, sample chapters, and proposals. Two would go under the Cerridwen Iris Shea moniker and two under the Devon Ellington one.

Also made notes on another piece of fiction, but I’m not sure if anything will ever come of it.

Have to go next door early to look after neighbor’s cat, then it’s off to pottery class. If the studio isn’t sweltering and I’m not at the point of collapse after three hours, I may stay and try to do another hour or so of work. Then, I have to come home, shower, and change — the opening of my first wonderful teacher’s exhibit is tonight, and I want to be there.

I found two potential pottery studios to join in the area in which I hope to relocate. One is close by, but I don’t like it as much as the one that’s about an hour away, and seems run more like this one is. Of course I’d like the one farther away. Once I move if that’s where I land, I’ll attend events at both and see which one feels best. That’s the one I’ll join.

Because I am hooked on clay.

Devon

Published in: on July 8, 2010 at 6:45 am  Comments (5)  
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, disgusting

It hit 101 here yesterday, with 103 in the city. I was cooked by 8:30 in the morning.

I need to clarify — the power issues have nothing to do with the landlord — it’s strictly the power problems Con Ed has. There are so many millions of people in this area that pressure the grid that the lines burn out. In Queens, a batch of power lines burst into flame Monday into Tuesday night, taking out the power in the neighborhood and landing on cars, torching them. Con Ed’s running around congratulating themselves that only about a dozen major feeds blew out of 1200 — but for the people served by those broken feeds, it’s horrible. The guys actually working the lines are great — it’s the ones making the decisions that are idiots. And, when you have the most densely populated area in the country, you know you need a lot of power. If you can’t provide it, while still raising rates every year by the amounts they do — maybe someone else needs to provide the power. Our monthly payments are contracts, and a power outage like this is breaking the contract.

I am grateful that our power’s held, thus far, and hope it continues today. I am running the air for a few hours, then trying just to sit in the cooled down room with it off during peak hours. Don’t know how many others are following the guidelines, but hopefully, if I’m not the only person in the county doing it, we can keep things going.

I am extremely grateful that I freelance, especially in this type of weather. Most summers, I would be stuck on Metro North — sometimes literally — and, since they are dolts, they run the heat on the trains in the summer and the A/C in winter. I would have to slog through the hot Manhattan streets, and then haul baskets of laundry up and down three to five flights of stairs for hours at a time, then take at least an hour and a half slogging through the streets and on a heated train to return. Those of you that have been reading the blog since the Broadway days probably remember the tales of nightmare commutes and being stuck on Metro North, sometimes until three a.m.

I miss my theatre pals sometimes a lot,and the interaction and adrenalin rush of working a show, but I don’t miss the commute!

I don’t do well in heat and humidity, so I was done before 8 AM yesterday. I barely made it online at all, and the computer was off for most of the day. I didn’t dare take the computer into the air conditioned bedroom to work, for fear I’d run down the battery, the power would go out, and I couldn’t recharge.

I bounced back and forth between keeping my cats in the air conditioned bedroom (barricading the door with pillows, because they hate closed doors and the doors are so warped with paint in this place that they don’t close) and going over next door to run the air for the big cat for a few hours.

I had trouble concentrating — I always do in hot weather. I didn’t take any of the computer work with me. I finished LUCIA, LUCIA by Adriana Trigiani. I think all of you would enjoy it, but it struck me as something particularly that Lara, Dru, Brandy, Ada, and Teresa would like. Dru — it talks about a lot of neighborhoods we know well!

Also read Nicole Peeler’s newest in her Jane True series, TRACKING THE TEMPEST. I’d picked up the first book in the series because the cover was so outstanding, and was pleased that I liked the book (and Nicole) a lot. This builds on the first book beautifully — a great story on its own, but also builds the character arcs of all the regular cast. It’s very well done.

I tried to read an historical research book for a project, but couldn’t focus.

I started re-reading Doris Lessing’s THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK, which I haven’t read since college (and which I may be writing about). It came out the year I was born, and was an enormously influential book in the 1960’s and 1970’s for women and the fight for equality. So it’s very interesting, in this 10th anniversary edition — which came out in the 70’s — to read her introduction detailing that how it was received was quite different than her intent in writing the book.

That’s the thing with writing — you sit there and work your ass off and have a very clear vision of what you’re doing. But once it’s out in the world, people approach it with their own frames of reference. The better the writing is, the stronger the response, the more likely you are to get a wide range of responses. If you spark a response in someone who speaks or writes persuasively about that response, many other readers will either approach it with that frame of reference imposed on their own, predisposed to see it through that secondary lens, or think they SHOULD view it that way, or will be perceived as stupid, and the author’s entire vision of the book is shifted, then, to the critic’s or essayist’s.

Sometimes meanings that the author didn’t realize were there come through, which can be fun or disconcerting: “Hey, I didn’t know that was in there when I wrote it!” (Of course, the subconscious did, but that’s a whole other ball of wax) or “That’s not at ALL what I meant!”

I have some errands to run, which I will try to get out of the way before we hit triple digits — I’m out of cat food, and it would be a good idea to get some people food in, too. Elsa is actually handling everything very well — she’s eating well and every day is a fraction more “Elsa” and less “invalid”. Still waiting to hear back from the vet. She’s lost far too much weight quickly, which puts stress on her liver and kidneys, and, although I want her to put it back on, we have to do it slowly, so as not to stress them in the other direction. I really want to start her on the new medication sooner rather than later.

I hope to start the first of the books I’m deconstructing in fall, re-reading it and taking notes to shape the week of lectures.

We’re being careful in the heat — that’s all we can do. I’m very excited about pottery class tomorrow, but sad I haven’t been able to do any studio time.

Devon

Wednesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sunny, sticky

The humidity wasn’t a problem yesterday until later in the day, although the heat soared. Today, I doubt we’ll be that lucky. Now they’re saying we’ll break 100. That’s pretty rare around here.

I wanted to put studio time in, but the website wasn’t updated, and no one answered the phone, so it was a pretty good bet they were closed.

I got out a couple of queries for the plays. I finished the draft changing BEHIND THE MAN from a three-act interactive piece to a two-act proscenium piece. I expanded it a bit in Act I and have to add some more in Act II — it’s still a little short. And I need to work on the new material. It’s not yet seamlessly integrated with the other material.

I started the same transformation on THE MATILDA MURDERS. My dilemma there is that one of the jokes in the interactive version is that all the characters interact/acknowledge the audience except Nate, and he starts to wonder if he’s crazy or if they’re crazy. I’ve been trying to make that work in the two-act structure, but it doesn’t. I may have to lose that whole element. That makes the gap between the three-act and two-act versions wider, which is a good thing, but means I have to come up with extra business to replace the business I’m cutting, and, again, make the play longer.

It’s a fascinating process.

Finished Susan Turnbull’s ALMOST FRENCH. In many ways, it works better for me than Elizabeth Gilbert’s overpraised EAT, PRAY, LOVE. Don’t get me wrong — I think Gilbert’s writing is beautiful. But, to me, she went on this incredible journey and ended up in the same place she started. The man was a different individual and the location was different, but she hadn’t really made progress. The entire focus of her existence was still on a man. Yes, she spent time on her own, but one never got a sense that she developed as an individual. It was always in how she related to the men on her journey. And then, the second book of hers that came out a few months ago, is a justification as to why she agreed to marry this new guy after swearing she’d never get married again. Don’t plan to read it. It’s none of my business. It’s her life, not mine. I don’t care what she does, and if she wants to change her mind, that’s up to her. But she’s doing it publicly, and in my opinion, she’s being well-paid to be a hypocrite. It doesn’t matter on a personal level because we are not a part of each other’s lives. I think it’s great she’s a success, good for her, it’s hard to make a living in this business. So, she found out her “ethics” on the matter of remarriage weren’t all that strong when push came to shove and she’d have to make actual compromises for her supposed “principles.” I don’t need to spend my hard-earned money reading her justification. Turnbull, on the other hand, although she comes to Paris because she’s fallen in love with a guy, actually builds a life AND a partnership, and, for all the growth and change she manages during the six years before her marriage, she also stays true to an essential core of herself, even when she makes mistakes, even when it’s not always pretty, even if she’s not always right. And I really like and respect that about both her and her book. She doesn’t make excuses or justifications. She simply IS. She’s doing the best she can, she’s learning along the way, and she’s taking joy in the journey. For a memoir, there’s not a whole lot of naval-gazing going on, and yet she has a wonderful journey of self-discovery.

Roughed out two comedy sketches, one political, one more universal, about scumbag landlords. They still need work — the political one needs more zap leading to the end, and it’s very vicious. I may need to dial down the viciousness, yet still be witty enough to get my point across. But they were fun to write. I want to write two more, polish them, and that will be my first bunch sent to the comedy group.

Started reading Adriana Trigani’s LUCIA, LUCIA, which is a lovely novel. I’m throughly enjoying it. Although most of it is set in the Greenwich Village of the 1950’s, enough of it remained when I went to NYU in the 80’s to enjoy the landmarks. Some of them are still there, but NYU is rapidly buying up all the lovely historical buildings, ripping them down, and building soulless dormitories. I’m sometimes embarrassed to be an NYU alum; it used to mean something, one could take pride in it, but now — they’ve been such poor stewards of the grace and history of the Village for the past twenty years that it’s disgusting.

Will try to get some writing done and read at least a bit of the play sent over by my acquaintance before it gets too hot to work and I have to shut off the computer. We have to “conserve power” — either the air can be on or the TV or the computer. Let’s see, now, Con Ed raises our fees by 17% every year, but can’t provide the power we need. Something’s not only twisted about that, but fraudulent. Their JOB, their reason for existence, is to provide the power we need because we’re paying for it. Fingers crossed they don’t screw us like they usually do — there’s no place I can take the cats to cool down if the power goes out.

No studio time for me today. It’s not even 7:30 in the morning, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I do not do well in heat and humidity. I am a Winter Girl all the way!

Elsa is hanging in there. She’s not making huge progress, but she’s eating better and interacting more and making decisions. She’s not backsliding, although the heat and humidity are tough on her, too. Still waiting to hear back from the vet about her new medication. Getting a little tired of having to wait at least a week every time I make contact.

Stay cool, stay hydrated.

I’m going back to the page.

Devon

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, June 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and HOT!

Hope you all had a lovely Fourth of July.

I wanted to start running again today, but between the humidity and coyotes and the warning that the pollution is so bad we shouldn’t run — I didn’t. I’m starting to understand why people use treadmills.

Lots of yoga, though, to make up for it.

We’re supposed to have a week of hot, humid weather in the high 90’s, with heat index bringing it well over 100. Ick. Let’s hope Con Ed doesn’t screw us with a power outage.

I’ve had a good few days working on POWER OF WORDS, getting back into the rhythm of it. Rolling around some other ideas that I hope will migrate from percolation to page in the coming weeks.

Reading ALMOST FRENCH by Sarah Turnbull, and, for the most part, enjoying it. The fact that she adopted a Westie makes me like her (and the book) even more, since I have a soft spot for West Highland Terriers.

Reading all these ex-pat tomes makes me realize that I approach living in a new place very differently than many others. Which is odd, because I’m shy and not outgoing. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always felt like an outsider, so I never worry about whether or not “they” consider me an outsider or not. I’m just me — deal. I start from a position of respect and courtesy. If you try to walk all over me, I won’t put up with it, but politeness is met with politeness. Friendship takes time and shared experience, so you’re not going to go somewhere and make instant friends. It’s more likely to happen in the theatre — I’ve actually made several long-term friendships when my shows travelled — but, again, there’s shared experience.

I don’t sit around and wait for people to be friendly. When I land somewhere, whether it’s a holiday house rental or a stop on the show schedule — I set up house, I find the nearest grocery store, newsagent, cafe, pub, and bookshop. If the newsagent’s is close enough, I get the papers first thing every morning. Newsagents know everything and everyone. I’m polite, pleasant, I listen. I’ve got my notebook and camera, so I’m busy. I walk the neighborhood, learning it, in ever-widening circles. I always meet people who are walking dogs, because almost every dog I meet will stop to greet me. Even if I don’t feel particularly social, I am polite to people I meet. I let things develop organically. There’s always going to be an element of loneliness in a new place — or even a place you’ve lived for years. That’s part of the deal. When you actively participate in what’s around you, everything else happens organically. Granted, it’s easier when one is in theatre, because theatre people are used to transience, and tend to be friendly from the get-go. Even if I’m not in a theatrical capacity, if there’s a local theatre, I know I can find people to talk to. Having Broadway credits gets one through most stage doors.

Several places around here had fireworks last night, close enough to see from the apartment windows, and certainly close enough to feel. The cats were not amused. I left mine in good hands and went next door, to my neighbor’s cat, who was just terrified. I didn’t want him to get overly stressed. I sat with him under the table, petting him and talking to him, until it was quiet again. Poor thing.

If Elsa was healthy, I would have just brought him over at the beginning of this three-week stint and integrated him here, but I think it would be too much chaos for her. Even though she’s the friendly one.

I’m hoping it doesn’t get quite as awful, weather-wise, as they predict. I’d like to get up and about and get a few things done. I’m pretty sure it’s a holiday Monday, so I’m hoping it’s relatively quiet.

The producer who relocated is talking to companies in her new locales about my plays. That’s great, but I need to see a contract if there’s interest. This is my business, not my hobby. So, we’ll see what happens.

I want to get some writing done, some revisions done, and get started on the fantasy novel on which I’m giving the seminar in fall. Two weeks ago, I followed up with someone else on a workshop proposal I sent; chickie said she was on vacation for a month (must be nice, but why no auto-responder? If you put out a call for proposals immediately before going away FOR A MONTH, you need to put up an auto responder — or put out the call when you get back) and would get back to me the next day. Of course, I have yet to hear from her. So I’m not holding the slots. Your disorganization is not my problem, and I don’t put my life on hold because you can’t get it together.

Busy week coming up. I hope I can get in some studio time. And that the weather is not as awful as predicted.

Devon

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