Mon. Oct. 7, 2019: Know Your Unique Health Needs — #UpbeatAuthors

coast-1834827_1920
image courtesy of pixabay.com

Monday, October 7, 2019
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Health is an important topic for writers. For everyone. How do we do what we do and stay healthy, on both mental and physical levels? How do we stay in balance? How do we remove stressors from our lives, or learn how to deal with them better?

The fact that in the US, healthcare is considered a privilege, and the attitude is that you only deserve good health if you’re rich makes it even harder to stay healthy.

Any system is bound to fail at some level, because “systems” don’t treat people as what they are — individuals. So much needs to change regarding healthcare, but one of the most important things is that people are individuals and must be so treated.

Part of what we need to do for ourselves is to learn our own bodies and health. What is “good health” for each of us? It’s going to be different. It’s also going to change at different stages of our lives.

What does it feel like, physically, when you feel healthy? Do you feel well-rested? Energetic? Pain free? Able to breathe and move and think clearly? Have a sense of optimism, or at least peace?

For me, all of those factors contribute to what I consider “good health.”

I’ve had to learn to listen to my body. Too often, I just push through. Too often, it’s because I can’t afford to be sick, on any level. Which, of course, just makes me sicker. If I listen to the signs earlier and deal with them, the severity is lessened, AND I heal more quickly.

But what feels right and good in my body is different than what feels right and good in someone else’s. We have to learn how to calibrate our own health, and learn the warning signs.

I’ll never forget the first time I went to acupuncture. I left the session, pain-free, for the first time in YEARS. I had forgotten what it felt like to be pain-free.

It didn’t last more than a few days, but it was a reminder that there is a place where both my mind and my body feel good and right.

Spend some time with yourself. Learn how different movements feel. We are writers, so we communicate the world through sensory detail. If we use that same type of sensory detail on ourselves, we can figure out where we are in relation to where we want to be. How we feel versus how we’d like to feel.

We can ask for the help we need, because we have a place to start.

The level of toxicity has risen so high in the past couple of years, between vile people feeling they have the right to destroy those around them on emotional and financial levels, between environmental and health inspections rolled back, new poisons allowed in the world, and strong new diseases flourishing that it can be overwhelming.

So start with yourself. See what small changes you can do every day to help you feel better.

When asked, share it. But do it with kindness, not force. Say, “this worked for me. Would you like to try it?” rather than “You should . . .”

Everyone’s needs, abilities, and resources are different. We need to understand ourselves, and OFFER understanding TO, rather than FORCE our opinions ON each other. We need to use language that supports rather than judges. We need to recognize and celebrate individuality. That includes individual needs in our health.

Published in: on October 7, 2019 at 6:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. May 16, 2019: Process, Viability, and Attitude Adjustment

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Check out the latest on the garden here.

I still have the Go Fund Me up for the car repairs. Your help in sharing is greatly appreciated.

I was pleasantly surprised that the insurance adjustor got back to me on Tuesday night. Part of the repair costs will be approved. Hopefully, I’ll get the check soon; then I’ll know if and when I can shut down the GoFundMe, and schedule the next phases of repair. Even a little bit will be a relief.

I just hope it doesn’t make my insurance skyrocket.

I also have to face the fact that, within the next couple of years, I’ll need a new, or at least new-to-me, car. I love my little blue rabbit. But it’s twelve years old.

Woke up at 3 AM yesterday. The good part about 3 AM is that, from 3-5 AM, it’s relatively quiet. I can get some thinking and plotting done, even if I don’t get up and actually write.

I got up at 5. Worked on ELLA BY THE BAY. Worked on GRAVE REACH. Worked on articles, and on blog posts that have to go up in the next few weeks. Worked on the review of the book I just read.

I’ve now written my way four chapters into ELLA BY THE BAY. It’s a viable book. The next step is to sit down and do a writer’s rough outline, so I can continue with an idea of where I’m going.

My process has changed over the years, from being a total blank pager, to being a total outliner, to mixing the two. I get an idea; if it nags me, I write about four chapters, to see if it can sustain. If it can, I then outline, and then go back and write it.

Some pieces can’t sustain. Some are okay, but I do a nice temporary chapter ending and put them aside to get back to “someday.” (See my Topic Workbook THE GRAVEYARD OF ABANDONED PROJECTS for more on this).

But “process” has to change, as we grow and change as writers. How I created work twenty years ago doesn’t necessarily work the way I do it now, although some tools still work.

Went in and worked onsite with a client.

Came home, changed, had a quick snack, and then drove to Brewster to participate in a panel discussion for a local organization.

Of course, I had handouts. Because I am the Queen of Handouts.

We got off to a bit of a rocky start. I’d given myself an hour to drive there, which would mean I arrived 15 minutes before start time. But the traffic was lighter than I expected, and it only took me 45 minutes to get there. So I was a half hour early. I’m often that early to events — it gives me time to prepare, set out handouts, find out the structure of the event, etc. However, as I tried to get into the building, a board member came out and said, “You’re really early. We’re in the middle of a meeting. Come back in ten minutes.”

Excuse me?

I am one of your guest speakers. An UNPAID speaker, on top of that. (I rarely accept unpaid gigs at this point, but I did here because of my connection with the organization). The proper greeting is, “We’re so glad you’re here! We’re still in the board meeting. I’ll get you set up over here until we’re done.”

Not “come back in ten minutes” so I had to sit outside in the cold.

When I was on the board, I considered it my JOB, my RESPONSIBILITY, my HONOR to make guest speakers and presenters feel welcome and appreciated. I also considered it my job to make the audience feel the same.

“Come back in ten minutes” because they’re busy? No.

I sat outside, fuming. I was tempted to rant on social media. Which was inappropriate. I was tempted to leave. And then I thought, why? Why behave with as little grace as this individual? I’m not Top Poobah Writer of the Universe who demands minions bow to me. It’s really not that big a deal in the scheme of the Universe. It gives me important information, and factors in to future dealings, but, really, it’s not a crisis. I got over myself. Because, in the bigger scheme of things, apart from both my ego, and from feeling that’s not the way to treat people who donate their time to an organization, getting over myself made more sense.

Which was the right choice, because ultimately, it was a lovely evening. My fellow panelists were delightful. The questions, for the most part, were excellent. Except for the couple of people who went on and on about the “art” of what they do and how they didn’t like we talked so much about business. (The topic of the evening was business-oriented, so go figure).

Well, first of all, one does not negate the other. My passion for my art does not mean I forfeit my right to earn a living at it. And if you want to succeed as an author, the business part of it is part of the gig. All of those making faces about how they “don’t do” or “don’t like” websites and social media and all the rest can either pay someone to do it for them — and really PAY, not the attitude around here where $20 is supposed to pay your rent for three months, or better yet, you’re supposed to be THRILLED to do it for free — or suck it up and learn or don’t do it and have a different career trajectory. But if you do the latter, don’t whine that nobody pays attention to you.

Still, it’s an important discussion to have. The more information people have, the more informed decisions they can make for the path that works best for them. There is no ONE WAY — thank goodness! It would be far too dull.

But I’m glad I did it. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in ages, and that was great to catch up.

And I’m glad I didn’t stay mired in annoyance. That wouldn’t have done any good for anyone. This was a case where recognizing the emotion and CHOOSING to move on from it made a lot of sense. I didn’t ignore my response. Nor did I pitch a tantrum. I was able to face it and see how it fit into the bigger picture, and make the best choice for me, which turned out to be positive for everybody.

However, if this individual treats the keynote speakers and better-known workshop presenters at the conference this way, it’s going to hurt the organization.

Happily, it is not my problem!

It was still light-ish driving home, which was nice. I had Prince turned up on the radio for a few miles, and then, by the time I got to Yarmouth, I drove through Yarmouth and Barnstable with the windows down singing along with various radio songs at the top of my lungs. Which was really fun.

The abortion ban in Alabama is disgusting. So are the bans in Georgia and Ohio. I am sick and tired of old white male religious zealots trying to control me. And who are bound and determined to kill me if I don’t “behave.” They must be stopped. Especially when they give rapists more rights than rape victims.

The level of corruption in our government is appalling. Russia is delighted.

Last night, I dreamed about a large tree falling. It woke me, and I was upset, but I managed to get back to sleep. When I looked it up, it said it indicated that I’m “on the wrong path.” Which path is wrong? I’m preparing to make several major changes over the coming months. Is it warning me where I am at this moment is wrong (which I know) or that the options I’m looking at are wrong? So now I’m really confused and worried.

Today, I’m working on ELLA BY THE BAY, GRAVE REACH, and the articles. I hope I can polish the review well enough to send it off, either later today or tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go to yoga.

If the weather holds, I’ll do some yard work.

I have a new Trusted Reader for GRAVE REACH. She’s going to read GR, and I’m going to read her magical realism she’s-not-sure-what-it-is.

I hope the rest of the quotes I requested for articles come in soon, so I can finish them and send them off. My mechanic can’t give me an estimate on the rest of the work without seeing the car. That means losing another day of work to go to Plymouth, and then losing another day of work when repairs are actually done. Whereas if I have them done here, at the original estimate, they will drive me to and from work and home. The money I lose by losing those days in Plymouth will even out what I’d save in actual repair costs. So I’m not sure what to do.

I have some more pitches to finesse and send out. I was about to send out a short story to a market, only to find it closed early this reading period. Oh, well.

I also have to finish the first draft of the short play that has to go out this month, so it can marinate for a few days before revisions, and polish “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” so it can go out next week.

One step at a time. That’s the best I can do.

Wed. May 15, 2019: Keeping On Keeping On

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

If you haven’t stopped by A Biblio Paradise to see the interview with Heather Haven, please do so. It’s wonderful, and I’m excited to read her new book.

You can also go on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Site and see my mid-month check-in.

I can’t believe how cold it is. They actually has snow in Western Mass Monday night into Tuesday. We had a cold, damp rain.

My lower back and hip have been incredibly painful. On Monday, at meditation, I had trouble moving from position to position. I don’t understand what’s going on. I’m sure all the sitting I do is part of it. More yoga? More movement? Back to acupuncture? There are times when the pain is excruciating, and I’m always aware of a dull throb.

But at least, Monday night, I slept through the night. I went to bed ridiculously early, and slept until the alarm woke me up on Tuesday.

Got some writing done in the morning. Waited for the insurance adjustor to show up. It went okay– he’s approving less than the initial claims agent thought was covered. But then, it’s his job.

Then, it was off to work onsite with a client, which was exhausting.

To the library, back home. I’m so exhausted I can’t even see straight.

Published in: on May 15, 2019 at 5:25 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 15, 2019: Keeping On Keeping On  
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Fri. Dec. 28, 2018: Wrapping Up

Friday, December 28, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Third Day of Christmas

Today, I take in the car. Think good thoughts that it won’t be as complicated as I fear. Or as expensive. Hate driving over the bridge in foul weather, but too bad for me.

I had a bad night, Wednesday into Thursday. I came down with a migraine (nothing helps). It woke me at 2; then I had trouble getting back to sleep until just before the alarm went off.

I really, truly, hope this is not a preview of the next three months.

Weird dream Wednesday into Thursday, but I lost it before I could write it down. Which means February will be weird, which was already kind of a given.

The insurance situation, which I was promised was solved before the Dec. 23 deadline, of course, is still a mess. Don’t believe the hype that MA is so healthy and has such great insurance access. That’s all it is — marketing hype.

And I think I’m getting an ear infection, too. Not a happy camper.

I’m not writing enough, which throws off my equilibrium. With the onsite days all flipped around this week and next week, and a shorter break next week into the following week, the creative cycle is in disarray. I’m managing to stick to the yoga/meditation schedule, but the writing is more haphazard, because there are things that have to happen in what is usually my writing time, so unless, next time when I wake up I get up and write instead of trying to get back to sleep, I’m screwed. I should get up and write, but when there’s a migraine involved, it’s nearly impossible.

I’m trying to sort out a better fitness regimen for next year. I need to up the yoga practice again. Since the next three months, in particular, will see the stress in one particular work situation go through the roof, I’m considering adding an additional yoga session as soon as I come home from that particular gig.

Go to the mat instead of reach for the liquor.

I also need to add weight training back in to the regimen, but I have to figure out the sequencing and where to put it.

And I need to figure out one more activity that I enjoy (and will actually do). The stationary bike, which my mom loves and does every day for 20 minutes — hurts my knees too much. I HATE running. I like the idea of it, but I hate actually doing it.

Walking, maybe? Taking a walk a few times a week, for 30 minutes or so? On the days I don’t weight train? I don’t know. I need to play with a few things.

But I need to rebuild both strength and stamina, regain some of the lost muscle, and lose some weight (in a way that keeps it off).

That will help me keep creatively focused.

Yesterday contained work-related challenges, and I was glad to get home. Let’s hope, in spite of the car repair trauma, that today– and the next few days — are better.

Have a safe and lovely New Year’s Eve and Day — and we’ll reconnect next year!

Peace, friends, and Namaste.

Published in: on December 28, 2018 at 6:30 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 28, 2018: Wrapping Up  
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Tues. Aug. 8, 2017: Small Victories Pave the Way

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Got out a short story and a couple of pitches yesterday. The medium-sized late payment (not the big one that’s nearly two months late) arrived, so yesterday afternoon and today is a flurry of catching up on bills. Also had a small victory with one of the insurance companies.  One down, three to go!

My web host is placating me for the moment — I now have the ability to build more subdomains, and I can still pay quarterly. I’m going to see how it goes for the next three months (since I’m paying this week). I’m still interviewing other hosts, But it also means I can build the subdomains for the Coventina Circle Paranormal Romantic Suspense books and for the Nautical Namaste books.

I came up with some fun stuff for the websites, and a couple of good things for the tour giveaway.

I worked on the final piece of back matter for PLAYING THE ANGLES, so I can get that darned thing out the door, but it needs some more work. I’m hoping if I dig in today, I can get the manuscript out to the publisher by tomorrow or Thursday, and then, once I clear it with them, book the release tour.

The paperwork arrived for my mother’s upcoming surgery. There’s a lot of it, unfortunately. Not too happy about that. The surgery itself will take five to six hours. Not happy about that, either. But it is what it is.

This morning is all about errands and starting the new series websites. This afternoon is about finishing the back matter for PLAYING THE ANGLES and doing yet another proofread so it can go out; if I can, I need to do more work on an essay, work on a pitch package that needs to go out by mail, and do work on both THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and THE FIX-IT GIRL. AND “Labor Intensive”. However, I have the feeling some of that will wind up bumped over to tomorrow.

I think I’ve figured out how to get “Labor Intensive” back on track. I’m lightening the plot a bit, and getting the tone right, but not losing some of the social prejudices I had in the darker version.

The cover is a problem, though. Fireworks seem more like July 4th, but there are fireworks in the story. I don’t have much time to come up with the cover — or finish and edit the story. It needs to drop at the end of the month. But I’ll figure it out. Somehow, I always do.

I also have to get the big fall cleaning started — yes, even though it’s only August. I’m trying to do it in little bits every day, once I finish my writing quota, rather than putting aside days to do big bits. We’ll see how that works.

It’s raining, so no yard work today. I can practically watch the grass growing. As soon as the weather clears up, there will be yet more mowing in my future.

Second day of a migraine, but at least I can fit into my favorite pair of jeans again. I’ve lost weight, which is a good thing. I’m not completely down to what I consider my ideal weight — I may never reach it again, but I look and feel better. And my clothes fit again.

Which is why I think those “organizers” who tell you to purge everything the minute you need a different size are full of crap. I’m convinced that most “professional” organizers are in league with stores to try to get their clients to spend as much money as possible, instead of making use of what they have.

Anyway, there’s a lot on the agenda today, so I better get moving! Trader Joe’s grocery run starts the day, along with putting some gas in the tank.

Published in: on August 8, 2017 at 9:39 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 8, 2017: Small Victories Pave the Way  
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


ice-encrusted light fixture by the front door

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Stayed in all day yesterday, except for the few times I went out to brush the snow that fell from the roof right onto the front step (would be good to have a little awning over the door, but that’s not my call). Wrote, read, enjoyed the season.

I’m thoroughly enjoying Alan Bennett’s UNTOLD STORIES. I’m a big fan of his writing anyway, and this book of diaries and essays is fascinating.

Designed, wrote, and delivered the thank you notes to the neighbors for helping me out by digging me out.

Had to redesign the party invite, because the template didn’t work with the notecards I have, but managed to do it. I had to wrestle the printer, though. I love Canon printers, and want to stay with them, but the MX860 is a piece of crap, especially the bottom tray, which is plastic painted to look like metal, and messes up special papers. I’d use the top tray exclusively for special papers, but you can’t always convince the printer to pull from it. I’ve complained to Canon about this model ever since I bought it, and get no solutions. I want my old multi-pass to get fixed and use that again, because it was a warhorse and a workhorse, and maybe just keep this for photo work, but I don’t know if I can still get the ink. I’ve got a stockpile, but still . . .

Anyway, the invitations are very pretty and will go out today.

Didn’t get much writing done, unfortunately.

Tried to light a fire in the fireplace for Yule. The smoke’s going up the chimney, so the flue’s properly open, but it’s also going in the house. Not badly enough to set off the smoke alarms, thank goodness, but enough to notice. I’m not sure if it’s my fire-building skills (probably) or what — the owner said the chimney was cleaned and inspected right before we rented. Costume Imp will have to figure it out when he gets here.

Speaking of Costume Imp, we are finalizing the plans for his week up here, and he’s already packed. We are very much alike in those types of aspects!

I looked at snowblowers online. I may get a small, electric one — yes, I know if the power goes out I’m back to using the shovel. But I need one that fits in the car and that I feel comfortable handling, and a lot of the bigger ones (besides being out of my price range) don’t seem comfortable for me to handle. I’ll have to play with a few today in the store and see what happens.

I also have to stop by my insurance agent’s to drop off the Allstate policy so she can do the official State of MA paperwork telling them to shove it, we’re covered with a better agency. I love that the state has official paperwork for that!

I contacted the Senators and my new Representative to introduce myself and voice a few opinions. Because how can they represent me if they don’t know where I stand on issues? I can’t expect them to be psychic. Anyway, within 24 hours, I heard back from everyone’s offices, very nice, offering to meet and talk to me about anything that’s on my mind, and giving actual responses to the content of my messages, so it wasn’t just robo-response. I was particularly blunt with Senator Brown’s office, saying I expected him to actually listen to his constituency, not goose-step the Republican Party line. He’s stepped out of the box a few times now to vote for things with which I agree, so it gives me some cautious optimism. I’m an independent — I’m an example of the type of voter both parties need to listen to, or they won’t keep their jobs.

MA will lose one congressperson in 2010, and NY two. I hope it’s none of mine! I was counted in NY, because that’s where I lived in April. And now I’m here, where they’re saying population has dropped (which, on levels outside of Federal funding, is just fine with me).

ALICE was rebroadcast last night, and I watched the last two hours. I enjoy that production so much, especially Andrew Lee Potts and Caterina Scorsone. Lots of really good work there. Makes me miss my actors (but not enough to go back).

The Hounds of the Baskervilles woke me up early this morning, baying at who-knows-what. Probably the moon. The full moon was gorgeous over the yard. There are also all kinds of tracks in the yard, including a set that come right up to the windows, skirt the house, and go to the back deck, but not on it. I’m not well versed enough in tracks to know what it is. It might be Imp Dog, it might be a small coyote, it might be a fisher. And there was something in the yard with hooves rather than paws, but I don’t know what. I haven’t seen any deer in the area since I arrived — they mostly stay on conservation land. Maybe a reindeer took a break on a training run! 😉

So, today is about writing, errands, and maybe getting some more unpacking done. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight, and they’re wavering as to whether the weekend’s big storm hits on Saturday or Sunday, so I don’t know if we’ll risk going to Maine. We might be better off tucked in here at home.

Back to the page. I want to play with a few ideas.

Devon

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Imp Dog tootled down the street yesterday as I worked. I went outside to try to call him to me, for fear he’d get hit by a car, but he just shot through the yard to wherever it is he comes from. I’m really worried about him being out on his own, even though he’s a little dickens.

Wrote in the morning and then ran some errands — last of the packages and cards out, bank business handled, checked out the natural foods store near the yoga center. It’s excellent Picked up a few things.

Went to Country Garden in Hyannis, which is just an enchanted place. Lovely, lovely, lovely, and everyone is very nice. Even though one of our Christmas cacti has started to bloom, the ones they have were so pretty, we bought a small one,filled with blossoms. It’s in the window of my office now, ready to go. We also picked up some lovely ornaments for the big tree. They’ve got some gazing balls and garden statuary there, and the prices are better than some of the other places around, so I will go back in spring. I want a gazing ball, a Buddha, and a gargoyle for the back, at least to start, and I’m not yet sure what for the front. The twin oaks in front need some ornamentation.

Had lunch, read the papers. In the afternoon, we had an appointment with a local insurance person (not sure if her designation is “broker” or “agent” — Lori would know). Anyway, within an hour, we had the car insurance and the renters’ insurance sorted out. We took the paperwork to the RMV, and walked out, ten minutes later, with our new registration and new plates. Now, I’ve got to go to the place I picked out for the inspection and plate swap and get that done in the next couple of days, and I am legal in the state of MA. Bite me, Allstate. She agreed it was vital to file with the Commissioner of Insurance here in MA and the Attorney General in NY, because almost everything every person I spoke with at Allstate during this debacle is both incorrect and illegal. Since MA is very strict about what companies can and can’t get away with, they’ve got to know to make sure it doesn’t happen again. She said the three big companies who were recently granted rights to operate in the state have done nothing but ignore the law and get their customers into trouble, so it’s important to keep filing. Our new car insurance is with a company based in NH who covers New England and has a great reputation. I’m still not sure, exactly, about where the renters’ insurance is based.

The registration document stays in the car, and we don’t need an insurance card in the car, because all cars are required to have insurance (the health care law in MA was based on the auto insurance law). In NY, one had to keep the insurance card in the glove compartment, but the actual driver had to carry the registration card on his person. For instance, if I was travelling with my friend Joe, and we switched off driving in the state of NY because I was tired or whatever, I’d have to hand him the registration card. If we got stopped, he couldn’t turn to me and ask for it without getting a fine or a warning (if the cop was in a generous mood). In MA, the registration is kept in the glove compartment, because you can’t get a registration without insurance. So one doesn’t have to carry it on one’s person.

Anyway, enough about all that. I feel like a huge burden’s been lifted. Now, I just have to tell Allstate where to stick the phantom policy they were supposed to Fed Ex me ten days ago and never did and get my money back (which I am sure will be another fight).

On today’s agenda — stopping by the garage to make the appointment for inspection/plate change, at least three trips to the dump to get rid of the rest of the leaves and the recycling that’s built up, unpack some more kitchen boxes, vaccuum everything (a friend of my mom’s said she’d be in town today, but hasn’t given us an ETA, and we can’t sit around and wait all day).

I want to finish the article and let it sit for a few hours, then go over it one last time tomorrow before sending it off. I also want to get going on the mystery due in February.

And unpacking some more boxes in my office and bedroom would be nice, too. Never ends, does it?

Devon

Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 8:32 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I forgot to mention that on Tuesday, I bought and read the first book of Juliet Blackwell’s new series, entitled IF WALLS COULD TALK. Like the Witchcraft mysteries, it takes place in San Francisco, but this one involves home renovations and the protagonist’s burgeoning ability to sense spirits. I enjoyed it, but Lily Ivory is still one of my favorite protagonists.

Checking my online banking stuff, it seems I have a credit card payment due on the 20th, although I have yet to receive a statement and there’s no minimum payment listed. Why am I not surprised? Anyway, I shot them an on-line bill pay for what I’m sure is far more than the minimum, but at least they get a wad of cash before the due date. And I still don’t have a valid pin number. Not happy with Citizens Bank at all.

The owner stopped by with an additional CO detector that does digital readings, and we’ve put it in my room. As long as it keeps reading 0, I remain a happy camper. He’s also delighted with the way we’ve furnished and decorated, and says it feels like a happy house again. It is (except for the whole poisoning thing).

There was some kerflamma with the stove repair place, but the guy showed up, took the stove apart, tested everything, and swears it’s working perfectly.

So the cause of the CO is still a mystery. The owner is going to get someone to come and check the furnace and clean it out (even though it’s clean), just to make sure.

Worked on my article. The draft meanders quite a bit, and tries to cover a lot of ground, so now it’s about focus, focus, focus. Winnowing down all the great information from my sources while still keeping the context true to the sources’ answers.

Violet likes to sit on my lap and edit while I work, so I’m constantly having to remove her “changes” to the manuscript. For someone with paws, she’s pretty agile when it comes to typing.

Ran some errands, including going to Lavender Moon to pick up a few things (l always walk out with more than I intended, but the quality if lovely). I can’t wait to take Costume Imp there! Drove to Brewster to the museum to see if we could find some stuff to bring the kids when we go to Maine on Christmas Day, but we arrived fifteen minutes before the store shut, and I couldn’t really SEE anything in that time pressure.

Home, eggnog around the tree, tested the stove, nothing went off, so I guess it’s all good, but it’ll take me awhile to feel comfortable with it again. Wrapped presents in the evening — I need a couple more padded envelopes for the last two gifts, but the rest can go out today.

Got a call back from the recommended insurance broker, but, of course, I’d left my phone on the desk while I was running errands. i will call her back today and try to get an appointment sorted out. Also got more information on the doctors for my mom, so I’ve got to see if I can get her in for an appointment in the next few weeks.

My MA driver’s license arrived! Okay, so it’s the worst photo I’ve ever taken in my life, but still, I don’t have to worry about ripping the temporary license, I have the real one. I’m now legitimate in the state. And registered to vote. Guarantee I’m called for jury duty by February.

Smudged the whole house with a combination of sage, clove, and peppermint, to get the last of the icky crap out after the CO scare. The whole house smells yummy. Forgot to mention on that on Sunday, I put together the sachets for the closet — rose, cedar, rosemary, lavender, and jasmine flower. I had enough for the interior closets; I’ll have to get more herbs and make some more for the four large closets in the storage room.

Trying to sort out the writing projects and prioritize them for next year. Spoke to my administrator about putting up the first lectures/exercises for my two January workshops early because I’m on the road on Jan. 2 & 3, and the workshops both start on the 3rd. I want to make sure I have the Welcome message and first lectures/assignments up earlier rather than later. I also have to get my new brochures done, and probably get a PO box in the area as my official business address for Fearless Ink.

Today contains more work on the article, gently reminding anyone who hasn’t returned the questionnaires (the business freelancers all returned theirs early; some of the novelists need prodding. Interesting). I need to take care of some unpleasant correspondence dealing with lingering issues from the previous home base, set up appointments here and yes, there are yet more errands. I realized I’d totally forgotten about the two prints I bought for my mom and have to get frames, and I want to get hurricane sleeves for some of the candles here before the party so no one catches any fabric as they brush past. I’m also going to continue preparing the workshops.

I sent Costume Imp the invitation, and, if he likes it,I’ll print them and get them out. I’m going to add an additional line stating that there are cats in the house, so if you’re allergic — take Sudafed. Because that’s the reality.

Read through a publication I’m considering pitching to, but I don’t think I’m quite the right fit for it. I wrote for similar publications for this company for many years, but this seems very simplistic, almost by-the-numbers, and it feels wrong. Of course, considering the many frustrations I went through with the company over the years and my concern about some of the directions they’re taking, I shouldn’t be surprised. I have to think about it. I wrote for them for so many years, it’s more of feeling secure with the devil you know than anything else, I think. Which is not the best choice for a career.

I really want to try a class at the yoga center nearby, but haven’t had the chance so to do. I don’t want to just sign up for a 20-class pass without actually experiencing a class.

Back to the page.

Devon