Friday, September 17, 2010


The beautiful orchid sent in Elsa’s memory. Thank you, my friends!

Friday, September 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

Yesterday was a bizarre day. I wound up cleaning and scrubbing early in the morning, in preparation for the exterminator, who was supposed to show up around 10. He showed up around 1:30. Sigh. At least he showed up, step in the right direction. And they gave us heat for a full 20 minutes around lunchtime. Someone must be getting high in the office and playing with the switch, because they sure wouldn’t give us heat on a weekday on purpose!

So, in the morning, I did bits of this and that, not wanting to go too deeply into anything that couldn’t get interrupted.

I wound up cleaning out some of those little top drawer things in some of the bureaus. And some of them I hadn’t even opened since I was a kid. Very strange experience. I tossed a lot, packed a lot. My goodness, even as a little kid, I picked up rocks everywhere I went. I’m always picking up stones and rocks. I have rocks and stones in almost every box and drawer. Even then, when I didn’t know what I was doing, I knew what I was doing! 😉

And then I found a notebook given to me by my Dad. He died when I was ten. It had some pages of different ideas and things from him to me, and then something I wrote about two months after he died. Wow.

I found photographs, black and white, too, of my mom at Niagra Falls in the 1950s, of my dad, my grandmother, my dog (actually, I think I was his human, he came into the family before I did), and a little picture of what I think is me. I found a naughty gag gift someone made for me in high school — it was the late 70s, use your imagination — and some boy-crazy notes from someone I used to be friends with in middle school about her latest crush. And medals – Spelling Bee, Honor Society, Music This and That.

So I packed up my past and it’s ready to go.

After the exterminator came and left, I started washing teapots. They’ve been on top of the kitchen cabinets, and with all the construction crap going on here have gotten really dirty and sticky. I don’t want to pack them like that. So I soaked them and scrubbed them, and put them out to dry. What’s interesting is that the oldest, seemingly most fragile teapots — the Allerton and the Steubenware, given to me by my grandmother — were the easiest to clean, whereas the more modern “dishwasher safe” ones were a pain in the —-, and one of them, my snowman teapot, lost most of his red coloring, which means the ceramic teapot wasn’t properly painted and then glazed, but glazed and then some paint slapped over it. It’s still cute, it just has a lot more white.

I didn’t know I had 10 teapots here. I have a few more boxes of teapots in storage.

I really like teapots.

And I feel off kilter with them all packed.

Not that I use them that often — usually I just stick a bag in a mug and pour hot water over it. But I like having the option and looking at them.

Violet played in the teapots as they dried.

And the big excitement — the President’s helicopter (and its companion choppers) flew over the building! I heard approaching helicopters and thought, “Oh, no, must be a bad accident on I-95 for them to fly this low.” Then, I look out my third floor window and it’s the Presidential Chopper! And it’s REALLY cool! He was attending some to-do in Greenwich. I’d forgotten. At least he wasn’t on the ground tying up traffic, right? Anyway, the third floor is high enough and they flew low enough to get a good look and it was really cool. I’m rather fond of helicopters anyway.

We had big weather kerflamma. Wednesday night, the weather folk said, “Oh, we might have some showers during tomorrow’s rush hour” and suddenly we had tornadoes in Brookly and Queens. Up here, it got dark fast, with thunder, lightening, and lots of rain. The cats weren’t too worried, so neither was I. Well, Iris scooted under the bed after a loud thunderclap, but she came out pretty fast. And then they pre-empted the shows to run the same three clips over and over again all night. Give me a break!

Caught up with some old friends online, which was nice. We’re scattered all over the place.

Had a decent first writing session of the morning.

Violet is sneezing again, and it worries me. She seems fine otherwise — she’s eating and playing and all the rest. Of course, I’m coughing up a lung with all the brick dust, too. I’ve measured for the past few days. With the windows CLOSED, between 1/8th and 1/2 of an inch of dust comes through every single day. Yeah, that’s healthy. Not.

I’m having iPhoto kerflamma. I merged some batches of photos, and now I can’t find them. iPhoto sits there like a Zen whatever, saying that, yes they are there, and not telling me where they’re hidden. Guess I’ll be calling Apple Care when they open!

Best wishes to my dear friend Lori, who has surgery today.

Today, I’ve got some business to take care of in the morning, and then I’m going to a friend’s to do laundry. I’ve got to polish those lectures tonight and tomorrow for next week. And maybe start washing and packing the vases.

Devon


teapot extravaganza

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Yesterday was mostly about design. I did some promo work, but the bulk of the day was spent applying what I learned in the iPhoto and iPages workshops this week. I did a lot of work on the new Fearless Ink brochure. I need to hone the text, but it’s designed and the graphics are there. I managed to pull the old graphics I used in Windows, scan them, have the Canon printer send them to my email as a jpg and download them into iPhoto, so I can use them in design. I’m going to see if I can somehow do that with the moonlight-over-water graphic I use for my main business card (which is in a very old PrintMaster Gold program) and do the same thing. I COULD get BootCamp and run Windows simultaneously, but I really want to get away from Windows, except for using Word For Mac when I have to. The Mac system integrates much better and is more useful for my needs.

I also worked on the Jain Lazarus brochure — again, I need to hone text. I know I wrote text for all these — I bet it’s still on the old PC.

I started redesigning the ebooks. I’m trying two different methods, and whichever one is more efficient will be my first choice moving forward. I can design fun and eye-catching covers, create good-looking page designs, and set up the booklets so that they look better and read better. I’m going to redesign all of them, and then upload them at once.

And then, all of a sudden, it was dinnertime! I was tired, but not frustrated — even though there are some things that worked in the workshops that I couldn’t duplicate. Most of it has to do with transferring material that was in Word, rather than creating it in iPages. Although Word for Mac runs better than Word ran on the PC, it’s still Microsoft, and still doesn’t really want to integrate with anything else and has to be coaxed. I get there eventually, and, once I’m creating everything in Pages, it will be better. I figure it will take about six months to really transition things and feel comfortable moving between the older work in Word and the new material.

I can save into word and convert into PDF without using programs like the nightmare Nitro PDF — which didn’t even let me convert photos and covers.

For me, this system works much better.

Now, my big question for the DIXIE DUST RUMORS postcards is — glossy or matte? What do YOU think? Leave a comment below!

Confidential Job #1 has honored me enormously. The next assignment deals with the work of an iconic figure who was very central during the time I grew up. And they chose ME. Because of the confidentiality agreement, I can’t go into details, but I’m thrilled.

Got a little reading done, but not enough. I’ve got several books stacked up to read over the weekend and into next week, so I can send out interview questions for A BIBLIO PARADISE. And Colin’s book comes out on Sunday — I can’t wait to buy it, read him, and host him on his blog tour!

Lots of admin work to do today, along with some writing and some redesign work. I need to get follow-up done on the March pitches. I’ve got at least one pitch to get out, and start a proposal for a residency I’d like to land.

I’d like to get more writing done over the next few days, but I’ve also got to get out the DIXIE DUST mailing and another round of press materials. All good, just very busy.

Great morning’s work on the Matty book. The serial suffered the past week, and I need to get back to it.

The weekend will be busy — The Belmont Stakes are tomorrow, and I’m going to a Tony Awards party on Sunday.

My picks for Belmont will be up on RACING INK here later this morning.

Back to the page.

Devon