Fri. July 31, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 72 — Lammas Eve

image courtesy of Bru-nO via

Friday, July 31, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Got out a bunch of LOIs yesterday, did some client work, enjoyed Freelance Chat.

Finished reading a book from a series I previously enjoyed, but was disappointed in this particular book. The protagonist got together with a guy who spent previous books behaving like a creepy stalker, and there’s no chemistry between them, and everything in this book was too easy.

Read another book, a first book in a series. Frustrated because the protagonist spent most of the first 100 pages crying and being dizzy. Sorry, that doesn’t make her relatable and cute. It makes me want to smack her upside the head.

So that series is a no-go for me.

So hot and humid that reading was all I could handle yesterday afternoon.

I managed to read and give notes on the latest version of a friend’s script. It really sparkles!

This morning, managed to get the front watered again – and then it rained, so I didn’t have to do anything about the back. Still none of the lovely thunderstorms we were promised, although it looks like a hurricane will find its way up here next week.

Did a grocery run to Star Market for some necessities, then a library run to drop off/do curbside pickup. Full disinfectant protocols. At least everyone was masked at the store and at curbside pickup.

I have a bunch of stuff to get done today, house and home stuff mostly, so I’m going to cut myself a break on the work. I have to re-think how I’m going to make the Topic Workbook example sheets work in the reformatted workbooks, because they’re not holding the formatting – and when they do, I can’t insert them into the text.

I need to get a lot of boxes purged from the basement this weekend, and work on the Grief to Art site. Over 150,000 dead, we need it.

But I’m not feeling hopeful, and I am feeling exhausted and burned out. So we will see.

Still, I’m looking forward to salmon burgers and potato salad tonight, and there’s now plenty of gelato, so there are some small pleasures I can enjoy.

And books, more books.

I have a review to get out today, and I’m writing an article in my head that I hope to get down on paper and out to my editor in the next couple of days.

Chasing down late payments, which is always frustrating.

Tomorrow is Lammas, a special day in my personal calendar. I will make cornbread early in the morning, I have blackberries. I don’t have any beer – might use wine or vodka instead.

First harvest – and I’m out of time on a few things, and not sure what to do.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 10:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 31, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 72 — Lammas Eve  
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Mon. Sept. 11, 2017: Trying to Balance the Good (Live Links) with the Sad (9/11, Hurricanes)

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

PLAYING THE ANGLES will release on October 2, 2017. It is available on the following:



Barnes & Noble


Monday, September 11, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Quite the weekend. Of course, most of the focus is on Hurricane Irma and its devastating path in Florida. And on the clean-up in Houston.

I am deeply grateful that the weather here on Cape has been so beautiful the past few days. I realize how lucky I am. It’s difficult not to feel guilty, but it’s better to be grateful and then take what action I can to help those who are struggling.

As part of that gratitude, I went out and did yard work. The mower is still being cranky, but I pruned the forsythia in the back that nearly obscured the path on the west side of the house, and the forsythias on each side of the garage door that were making entering and exiting the garage feel like hacking through a jungle. I yanked out a lot of invasive brambles, vines, and autumn olive, clearing out one of the front beds, tidying up two beds in the back, and some random growth in the meadow. I also cleared out some of the oak that’s acting more like an invasive than anything else. There’s still a lot more to clear — I’ll have to take the saw to some of it.

As the feverfew passes, I’ll clear all of that out of the beds, too. I figure if I do a little bit every pleasant day, then it won’t overwhelm me later in the season.

PLAYING THE ANGLES is up for pre-order so far on iApplem Kobo, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I’m putting the pre-order links up on the websites as they come in. Publication date is October 2, and it’s a go. I’m pretty excited. The PDF of the ARC is ready to send out for review. The promotional train is headed out.

Meanwhile, I finished a pass on the next draft of SAVASANA AT SEA. I also spent time fixing and smoothing out problems and logistical lapses that the previously requested edits and cuts caused. I’ve restructured a good bit of the book, which is fine for the pace, but I have to fix some gaps. The chapters are all loaded into one document now, and I’m going to do a pass for smoothness and logic.

I also have to write the first chapter of the next book in the series, DAVY JONES DHARMA, in the next week or so, and prepare the back matter, as I smooth things out. I’d like to get this draft to my editor in about ten days or so. I’m sure we’ll have several passes to whip it into shape, the way we did with ANGLES.

Did quite a bit of work on the literary fiction, tentatively entitled THE MARRIAGE GARDEN. I like the way it’s taking shape. It will need an awful lot of editing once I’ve got the draft done, but I’m getting to say things that I haven’t found a way to speak otherwise, and explore some interesting relationships and quirks about this area.

I am going to have to create a fictional town, though; too much controversy if I portray some of the actual places as I’ve experienced them.

Re-reading Joyce Carol Oates’s published diary from 1973-1982. I always learn something new.

“The artist must find an environment, a pattern of living, that will protect his or her energies; the art must be cultivated, must be given priority.” (p.21). So true.

I’m reading Claire Tomalin’s biography of Thomas Hardy, and trying to understand him better. I remember reading TESS OF THE D’UBERVILLES in school and hating it; but I wonder if I just didn’t understand it, and if I’d have more appreciation for his work now.

I started reading the next review assignment. It’s one of the worst-written pieces I’ve ever had to plow through, with a lack of editing and copyediting, and no knowledge of the difference between a possessive and a contraction. Very frustrating.

I have such a list of things that need to get done today, looking at it I feel overwhelmed. But all I can do is start at the top and work my way as far down as possible.

September 11 is always a tough day for me — and for so many. I’m doing my remembrance rituals, and keeping candles lit. I’m trying to balance that with the creative work that needs to be done.


Published in: on September 11, 2017 at 8:49 am  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 11, 2017: Trying to Balance the Good (Live Links) with the Sad (9/11, Hurricanes)  
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Fri. Oct. 26: A Very Long Day Before 8 AM

Friday, October 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Barely past 8 AM, and it’s already been a long day! I got up early to move the car out of the painter’s way; then, as I was mixing up the apple muffins, the landscaper finally showed up and I had to move the car again. Of course, he’s not moving the bushes today — he’s waiting until Monday, when we’re in the middle of a hurricane. He just removed the brush, and tied up the bushes, “to make it easier for the painter.” Um, if he’d come when he was supposed to, any time in the last two weeks, the painter would have had a clear shot! 😉

On top of that, something fell off the lazy Susan cupboard, it’s stuck half open, half closed, and Tessa is trying to crawl behind to explore. (Yes, as I typed, I was interrupted, yanked out the jar of popcorn kernels, and nailed the rim back into place).

I’ve got a ton of work to do today, and I can already tell that doing any of it is going to be a challenge.

Yesterday, Costume Imp and I went to the Cahoon Museum in Cotuit. It was charming! Just lovely. The Cahoons were artists with both a lovely sense of design and a lovely sense of humor.

On the way back, we stopped at the Sandwich Library to pick up a book they’d put aside for me, the grocery store, and Sturgis to return the museum pass. I love that you can check out museum passes at the library!

Tonight, we’re going to an event at Long Pasture — should be a lot of fun!

But first — there’s a lot of work to do.

And this damn hurricane that’s supposed to hit early next week is screwing up my Samhain plans!

Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 7:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, August 25, 2011


Thursday, August 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and humid

You can smell the hurricane, even though it’s still thousands of miles away. I’ve dealt with hurricanes ever since we moved to the East Coast in the late 1960’s, and they have a specific scent of wetness, decay, and chaos, unlike a thunderstorm, which smells and feels heavy, but then everything is fresh.

The day on Long & Short Romances Chat Loop was a lot of fun. I got on just before 9 AM and was on pretty much all day until nearly 8 PM. Interesting questions, good conversations.

In and around that, I wrestled most of the heavy iron furniture at the site into the garage. I’d asked the grounds crew to help me, since they were walking around waving leaf blowers at nothing, and they refused. I realize the client couldn’t know there’d be a hurricane, but expecting me to move stuff that’s way too heavy for me is out of bounds. At the same time, it’s too dangerous to leave it where it could smash through the glass windows/walls.

I did not feel at all bad when one of the coyotes snuck into the cab of their truck and ran off with the Burger King bag. In fact, I was highly entertained.

Quiet evening, to bed early. Had trouble sleeping as the electronic devices went wonky again (and no, there’s no way I can cover them/hide them/whatever. Tried. Doesn’t work). Up early, wrestled the last few big pieces of iron into the garage. Two of the coyotes were watching me, making it clear they thought I was out of my mind. I said to them, “Really? ‘Cause it’s not like this is fun for me, you know. I am NOT in a good mood today. Be warned.” Dumbass grounds crew does nothing but walk back and forth from 8 AM – 5 PM every day waving leaf blowers unnecessarily. Yesterday they mowed the exact same patch of ground at 8:30, at 11, and at 2:30. The patch of ground they’d mowed the previous day. And you all know how I feel about leaf blowers.

Hopefully, I can get a little bit of productive work done. I have to check in with my “relief” later, who’s supposed to take over for me while I deal with the Mermaid Ball tomorrow and Saturday. Then, I’m back here on Sunday to deal with the hurricane and into next week.

I get reports from home that Tessa is finding all sorts of new things to get into, everything from taking all the dishcloths down in the kitchen (and dragging them all over the house) to unrolling the toilet paper to playing with the rubber duckies in the bathtub. Yes, I have rubber duckies decorating the tub. I think they’re funny. I can’t wait to see her again. Iris is still being mean to her, but Violet is ignoring her.

I am determined to triumph over that difficult chapter in THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY today, leaf blowers or not.

I can’t type more than a sentence or read more than a paragraph here without an interruption. Not conducive to getting anything done. And the interruptions can’t be stopped — I don’t have any say in how I set up the workday here, which is not what I agreed to.

I have stories that need to be spun and classes that need to be prepped, and everything is fractured and frustrating.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 8:10 am  Comments (3)  
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and humid

I’ll be over on the chat loop at Long and Short Romance all day, answering questions. That should be fun.

So that whole East Coast earthquakey-thingy was interesting. I missed it, out here on the Cape. Didn’t feel a thing. The animals were upset — should have listened. Friends in New York said they felt things shake, but nothing major. DC seems to have been hit the hardest — Smithsonian evacuated and then closed. And here I’d just hopped on Twitter, hoping for a few minutes of distraction!

Fragmented work day. The person who’d demanded the 9AM meeting yesterday regarding the client project never showed up; never called. She’s supposed to take over for the weekend. She damn well better show up on Friday morning.

Paced and muttered a lot this morning, because in the waiting process, I frittered away the best part of my writing day. Didn’t dare to dive into the writing for fear of interruption. I should have just done it anyway. Caught up on email, did some promo work on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Struggled with SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Worked on the lectures for my classes, including doing prep for the book I’m supposed to start in September along with my year-long intensive students. I read the notes and felt . . .nothing. Now I have to figure out what the heck I’m going to do for that. I’ve got a couple of intense pieces that need my attention. I’ll weigh each of them, and see which one I think I can live with in the context of the class, for a year.

I’m restructuring the Dialogue Workshop quite a bit. It’s Advanced, so hopefully most of the students have taken the intermediate workshop and won’t start whining because they don’t know what a beat and a scene is.

Didn’t sleep well. I don’t have any electronic devices in my bedroom at home. Not even a clock radio. No TV (I hate TVs in the bedroom). The room I have to sleep in here is FULL of them, and they whistle and hum and blink all night, driving me nuts. On top of that, at 4 AM, the cable box went nuts for whatever reason, and didn’t settle down until after 7. I was worried the computer would be wiped, but it seems okay.

And now I have to deal with a frigging hurricane coming in and I won’t even be at my own house. I have to be here on site, in a strange place that’s built like it’s made out of matchsticks instead of being in my stable, sturdy little house with my cats. When I go back on Friday, in preparation for the Mermaid Ball, I will bring in all the plants and the deck furniture. I have to get in the patio furniture here, only it’s cast iron and HEAVY and I have no place to put it. Where there’s room — the basement — only has long, narrow stairs. I am not wrestling heavy stuff up and down those stairs on my own. But I can’t leave it out because, if we have hurricane winds, iron or not, it’s going to smash the windows if it starts flying around. I’ll have to figure out how to both fit it in the garage and drag it all the way around the house to the garage. I have to leave my car unprotected, because there are two cars in this garage, and I have to leave it in front of the house. And there are tons of unstable trees all over the place. Not a happy camper, and trapped here until September 2, except for a brief foray out Friday and Saturday for the Ball.

I’m hoping some of this pressure will lift when Mercury goes direct on Friday. Because I am DONE.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 7:52 am  Comments (7)  
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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.


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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