Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury — What the Hell?
Rainy and mild

Today is Writers’ Worth Day, and go check out Lori Widmer’s blog. You should read it anyway, if you want to make your living as a writer, because she knows her stuff. You need to learn how to value your work and yourself, and, most importantly, if you think writing for content mills constitutes a “career” you need to get a clue as to what it means to be a professional.

So I’m in a Mercury muddle. I hadn’t thought it was retrograde, and then an astrologer friend said it’s retrograde until May 18. My calendar does not say that. In the back of my calendar, I just saw that it said Mercury was retrograde from April 18 until May 5. So now I’m completely confused. I think my Mercury is just in perpetual retrograde right now, so I’ll have to sort it out this weekend with some alignment work.

Drove up to Westabrook, CT to the Tanger outlet center. Shopping is not my idea of fun, unless it’s books, but I had a list of things I needed, figured I could knock them all out in one spot, and, since I mistakenly thought Mercury was retrograde – – –

Let’s just say it was not fun. Couldn’t find anything I wanted and/or needed in THE ENTIRE COMPLEX. Since we’d driven an hour and a half and it was only 7 more exits to go to Niantic and The Book Barn, that’s what we did.

Gorgeous day to wander through the books. I’d crafted a detailed list of everything I planned to look for there, but, of course, since we weren’t planning to go, I had it at home. I kinda sorta remembered, and picked up the works of John Donne and the works of William Blake, both of which I need to read over the next few months for various reasons. I also picked up Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD, a book I enjoy, but isn’t on my writing shelf. I got a couple of novels, including Tim Powers’s DECLARE. I am rabidly wild about Tim Powers’s writing — I still think his book LAST CALL is one of the best books I ever read in my life. I’m going to read it over the weekend — it’s too big to take with me when I travel at the end of next week, and, once I sit down and open a Tim Powers book, the world falls away until I’m done. So it’s my Sunday treat, since tomorrow will be caught up in the Preakness and the pottery class. Once I’ve finished and submitted my Preakness wrap article to my editor on Sunday, I get to read the book. How’s that for a carrot? I also picked up an anthology that sounded interesting, and it happens to have a novella by yet another of my favorite writers, Sharon Shinn, in it.

Was in the mood for a burger, and, on the recommendation of the staff, tried The Niantic Diner, which is across the street from The Book Barn. The burger was good and hit the spot. I rarely eat red meat anymore because I feel better when I don’t — but once in awhile, when I crave it, it’s exactly what I need.

Drove back — way too much traffic on both I-95 and the Merritt. Still a lot of infrastructure work going on from the stimulus money. It’s a pain in the ass, but the parts of the road that are finished are wonderful. I’ve been driving these roads for decades, and it’s the first time the bridges feel secure and the pavement doesn’t rip up the tires. Yes, this is one of the few places I want my tax dollars! 😉

Couldn’t find Iris when we got home, and nearly had a fit. She’d made herself a nest tucked down amongst a pile of cushions and ignored us when we called. I should have trusted that, since the other two weren’t worried, there was nothing to worry about.

Heard from the vet. We’re going to add an olive leaf supplement and then a homeopathic nasal treatment, as though she has the feline equivalent of a sinus headache. If she responds well to that, we’ll also switch the cats’ drinking water to an alkaline water because Elsa’s pH is too acidic, and that could also contribute to the problem. We’re switching her from the synthetic steroid to a natural one, and, in about a month, will see if we can wean her off it or if we need to continue. The natural steroid has fewer side effects than the synthetic, so it’ll be better to use long-term, but we’ll eventually want to get her off it. We’re adding and subtracting things one at a time to see how each bit affects her, and kind of breaking new ground here. She’s definitely responding well to the first portion of treatment — she made quite a bit o forward progress just in the last two days — so let’s go with it.

I have to handicap tomorrow’s race card and get that up, then drive up to South Salem to get her additional medication. Hopefully, I can get some writing done, too. Thought of another issue in the screenplay — we know what all the older characters do and what got them where they are — the mainstay caper that broke them apart — but what do Lucas and Jimmy “do”? Are they still in college? Do they have jobs? Are they unemployed due to the bad economy? I need to figure that out, even if it’s not a big deal in the story. Lucas’s girlfriend has a job, so why wouldn’t Lucas? I can add in a line about him having a bit of bereavement leave, but then, what about JImmy? I have to figure it out. It can be solved in a short line, but it needs to be addressed.

I better get going — busy day leading into a busy weekend.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde

By the time you read this, if transportation is running properly, I’ll be on my way to the gig in Philadelphia. I’m promised a good internet connection, although I’m bouncing between two separate locations, so you’ll hear from me over the next few days.

There was all sorts of chaos due to the impending storm — the plans in Philly changed, but we’re getting hit harder supposedly, and later, so if I tried to leave later it would be impossible. I wanted to leave late last night so I’d BE THERE already, but the final decision (not up to me, unfortunately), was that I should try to make a run for it today in the nor’easter.

Yes, you really can sense my eyes rolling.

Worked steadily, got done what was necessary, but felt rather like a draft horse. We all have those days. It wasn’t a bad day, it wasn’t a great day, it was simply a work day.

The only writing-related magazine I find useful at this point is POETS AND WRITERS. I find the other mags are almost entirely newbie-oriented, which is great when you’re starting out, but once you’ve subscribed for two years or so, it’s recycled content. POETS AND WRITERS always feels fresh to me, and it has great information over a lot of areas. It’s less oriented to how to break in and present yourself as a business person than it is about writing the best books you can write, and the articles are more than page or two-page sound bytes. They are actual ARTICLES, not advertorials.

The March/April issues is especially gratifying for Phyllis Theroux’s contribution to “The Literary Life” section. It’s a wonderful essay for anyone who is a writer and also has a life to live. It makes me eager to buy her memoir, THE JOURNAL KEEPER, which is supposed to come out any minute. Maybe I’ll pick it up in Philly! 😉

There was also a wonderful article by writer and BU professor Wiliam Giraldi on John Donne. It made me realize that, despite my supposedly good education, I’ve read ABOUT John Donne, but never actually READ John Donne. i intend to remedy that the next time I hit a bookstore, and certainly next time I visit Niantic’s enormous Book Barn (which should be around my birthday, in about two weeks).

Confidential Job #1 sent my next assignment, so I’ve tucked it into my bag and will start it either on the bus or while I’m down there.

Will check in once I’m settled in Philly — provided I get there! 😉