Wed. July 9, 2014: Back To It

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Humid and ready to rain

I’ve been offline for a few days, for a much-needed break. I’m creatively exhausted right now, and need a chance to reinvigorate. The past few months have been at a ridiculous pace, and took their toll.

Thursday was a busy day at the library — people stocking up for the holiday weekend. That’s always fun — people who are excited about taking out books for the weekend, or for any other time. It’s one of my favorite things about the work — helping people find reading material that they enjoy and that engages in them. Also managed to get my desk cleared off for the first time since I was hired.

Exhausted Thursday night, and grateful that Friday was a holiday.

However, I was up at 5:30 on Friday morning. Since Hurricane Arthur was set to hit, we had to bring in all the plants from the deck and all the outdoor furniture and all the statuary, etc. We set down old sheets on the floor in the living room and the back bedroom and hauled everything in. We had to lock Iris in the downstairs bedroom and Violet and Tessa in my room, or we would have lost them, since we had to have doors to both outside and the garage propped open.

But we got everything in and then . . .waited. Most of the day was spent in humid suspended animation, waiting for the damn storm. I wrote a bit, read a lot, and battled the pre-storm headache. The storm didn’t hit until evening, and then I was glad I’d brought everything in.

Watched the Joss Whedon version of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which was very clever.

Saturday, I took out some of the plants before I left for work. Since there were so many power outages, I was afraid the library’d been hit, and didn’t want my colleague there in a dark building on her own. So I went in early, the Exec Director went in early, our colleague was there, and the power was on. So it was all good. But it was busy, and there was no book delivery, which meant we couldn’t give people the books they’d ordered, and it was more chaotic than I’d hoped.

Came home, exhausted, and got the rest of the plants, furniture, statuary, etc., back out onto the deck. Read.

Sunday, I was out early and got us a Dunkin Donuts treat. Wrote a bit, then ran errands — had to do things like get the re-up cards for the phone. Looked at Kindles, and a few other things. We even went to the mall (oh, horrors) to get the phone cards and to pick up some things at Crabtree & Evelyn, where we had one of the nicest salespeople I’ve ever encountered. So nice, I’m letting the office know. Got a case for my phone, too.

Back home to read and write a bit. Juliet Blackwell’s newest, A VISION IN VELVET, arrived on Saturday, and I read it. I enjoy the Lily Ivory series.

Worked on the final round of edits for “Elusive Prayers”, which will go out to my editor today. Wrote the press release and the PSA for the Mermaid Ball.

Monday, up early and off to run errands in Falmouth. Stuck in traffic all day. Gave up after awhile, realizing it was going to take as long as it would take, and that was simply that. Getting upset wasn’t going to change anything.

Wrote a bit, came home long enough to make a black bean ful, and then headed to the Marine Life Center for the Mermaid Ball meeting. It took me an hour and a half. The meeting was the meeting, and, fortunately, coming home was quicker than getting there.

Watched FROST/NIXON — excellent. Fascinating interpretation of a period in history though which I lived.

Up early yesterday. Writing, but feeling burnt out. The weather didn’t help much, either. Went to Just Picked, where I found some good deals, but mostly was an uncreative lump, reading, and trying to replenish. I’m so tired that everything is a ridiculous amount of effort right now.

Up early this morning. Usual routine (which I’ve managed to keep up every morning, in spite of the exhaustion) of yoga, meditation, etc. Had a bad night — I had trouble sleeping and was fretful, for some reason. The last thing I need to do right now is borrow trouble. Getting some work done before I head to the library. I’m sure it will be a busy day — it always is when I come back from a few days away — and then we have a program meeting in the afternoon.

Onwards. I need to get back in the groove of BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, and it hasn’t quite clicked yet.

The copies of TRACKING MEDUSA that were supposed to be here for the signing, and then the bookstore haven’t arrived, but the copy that the library ordered is there. Go figure.

I settled on the new title for the re-release of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, and have to book the new cover artist. I’m getting print quotes. I hope to re-release it under the new imprint, title, and cover in October. Stay tuned.

That also means I have to get THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY back on track, because I won’t be releasing it through Champagne, I’ll do it through the new imprint.
I’ve got to get BALTHAZAAR back on track, get back to the ferry girl novel, do another pass on CHARISMA KILLINGS and submit that to an interested party ASAP, and do the next Bronwyn Rowan piece.

Yet I’m feeling about as creative as wilted lettuce.

I’m also tracking my activity/commitment with an organization with which I’m working to decide whether I will remain past my commitment (which ends next year) or not. If the financial ratio and the ratio of emotional give/receive do not balance better than they have in the past two years, I will withdraw when my commitment is complete. I would like to withdraw now, but it is unfair not to fulfill my commitment to the best of my ability, and not to spend a reasonable amount of time gathering actual data to review, rather than making a decision based solely on emotion.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Costume Imp and I made it — we hit the window between the storms. I was up at 6 on Saturday, my usual routine, then packed the car with what i needed and sorted out the cats. So, when he got up at 7:30, he had clear sailing, and we were on the road just after 8. It was starting to sleet as we left, but once we hit I-195, it was clear. Although there was a lot of snow once we crossed the CT state line, the roads were clear, and I stayed on I-95 the whole way instead of flipping over to the Merritt (upon hearing rumors it had yet to be plowed).

Dropped him at the train in Rye, tried to avert my eyes from how sad and neglected my old building looks, picked up my mom’s medications, headed to her gig in CT. Unloaded everything I’d brought down for her, considered getting right back on the road and heading back, but I was too tired and, according to reports, it was snowing along the way.

I stayed put, used the wireless to keep up with my classes, did some other work, and read the NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW (the one thing I really miss up here, although the GLOBE’S “Ideas & Books” has a lot of great stuff — and I don’t like to read the NYT BOOK REVIEW online. I like to hold it in my hands).

To bed early, up early on Sunday, out the door by 8 AM. Smooth trip up, although my windshield wipers are driving me nuts. They’re smearing not wiping. I just had them replaced in late October. Not happy.

Along the way, I world-built a new piece. I’m not sure of it’s urban fantasy in a created world or speculative fiction. The protag nudged me a few days ago with, “Hey, I got a story here, you better tell it.” On the surface, she’s the type of woman I can’t stand, so it will be interesting to investigate the layers and see what’s there. Anyway, I worked on creating the world and the supporting cast and getting to know her a bit, and the premise. I’ve got the premise and a bunch of scenes, but I have to figure out the WHY of the piece, or I’ve got nowhere to aim.

And, hey, the CD player wasn’t working! 😉

Got home just after noon. Not too much snow, about 2 inches. The car managed to hop over the snow wall left when they plowed the street and get into the garage, fed the cats, then went out and used the regular shovel (rather than the electric one) to clear the driveway and walkway. Took 30 minutes, tops, it was light, fluffy snow, and not that much of it, plus it was sunny out. Sprinkled down some ice melt, and it was time for my hot shower!

Showered, unpacked, had a snack, spent the afternoon reading the Sunday papers in between doing loads of laundry. There was a really interesting article about scientists mapping the geography hell based on the writings of the philosophers. There were lots of interesting articles — the newspapers up here are miles better with actual articles, ideas, opinions, not just recycled celebrity trash, the way most of the NY papers are now.

The seed catalogs arrived. I made my initial list, and now I have to cut it way down. I’m already figuring I have to double my original budget for the yard this year (guess I better land a few more short-turn-around, quick-pay gigs), but still — I can’t blow my entire garden budget just on seeds. So I have to think it through a bit more. Also, there are some plants who will do better if I buy them as Baby Plants instead of starting them as seed, as I learned during the Holly Walk.

I priced patio furniture and am kind of horrified by the cost. $649 is the low end for a metal bistro table and chairs? Really? I can do better than that. And I can do better than the going rate on Adirondack chairs. I just have to pay attention and repaint a lot.

I do have quite a bit to say about the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords, but it’s going into an article. Why is anyone surprised? It was only a matter of time before this happened. Words have power, and we have irresponsible Snake Oil Salesmen (and Women) inciting this violence, then backpedaling and pretending they had nothing to do with it. In reality, they are dancing with glee on the graves of the dead and are such cowards that they incite rather than take any sort of action themselves. Not that I agree with this specific action, I don’t want to come across as though I do, but those who incited it are cowards and hoped someone else was crazy enough to do their dirty work.

Watched THE CAPE pilot last night, (spoiler alert), and I must say, I liked it better than I thought I would. Writing’s better than I expected, premises executed better than I expected, I like David Lyons in the lead — he knows when to be intense, when to pull back, and when to throw away a line to make it work better. I like that he trains and learns to use both his physicality and illusion instead of being zapped with nuclear something and gaining superpowers. He earns his skills, and uses his brain. I like the supporting cast and the whole carny-as-hiding place/training ground — plus it gives the designers a wonderful canvas. I like the design a lot, although I want better lighting. I understand keeping him in shadow sometimes, but please, could we see the action already? I’m a fan of Summer Glau’s work (hey, she’s from the Joss Whedon Repertory, and I’ve got a soft spot for most of his ensemble), but I’m not sold on Orwell as a character yet. I bet she turns out to be Fleming’s daughter or sister or something. My big problem is the villain. Peter Fleming is rich and greedy, but he’s not all that scary, smart, or creative. He must have inherited his wealth, because the character that’s up there isn’t smart enough to have accumulated it himself. Cain showed promise; I’m on the fence about how I feel about the organization of assassins called Tarot — although it makes sense, because they’ve decided to be Karma-For-Hire. I’d have a lot more respect if they went after bad guys in a way Vince couldn’t stomach rather than just being for hire, since they’re co-opted the tarot. If it descends into ignorant Hollywood cliche about my beliefs and practices, I will shut the show off. But I liked a lot of what I saw, I hope the villains man up (probably won’t until they toss some female villains into the mix), and I’m interested enough to watch a few more shows. The teasers NBC ran made me NOT want to watch it, and I only happened to flick onto it and decided WTH. Glad I did.

Up early, yoga, meditation, writing, etc. Will spend a few hours on the page and then run some errands — next snowstorm set to hit tomorrow night, and I want to make sure there’s enough cat food. I can eat my way through leftovers for a good long time, but the cats need provisions. Also, need to get the MA car title into the safety deposit box — it’s so much fancier than NY’s — I feel like i’ve been given an award or something. Need to get more filters for the furnace — it’s nearly 90 days and time to change the first one, and do a few other dribs and drabs. Then, I’ll start taking down the holiday decorations. A little late, but I want to get them boxed up and put away this week. It will seem very bare, but it’s time to let go of the first holiday season in the new house.

I probably won’t make it to the dump until tomorrow, but I want to get the garbage cleared out before the storm.

Got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, so I can get started on that, too.

The Stephanie Plum workshop wound up yesterday, really fun, great discussions. The One Story, Many Voices stretches for the whole month, and I’ve got a live chat on Wed. January 12 at 8 PM EST about craft — I need to find out some details and do a test hop-on so I’m not locked out during the chat.

We’ve been warned to cancel all plans for Wednesday, expecting 7-12 inches of snow, and then I’ve got a lot to do on Thursday. I wanted to take the car in for its 40,000 mile check-up on Friday — it’s running fine, but needs the equivalent of a spa day — but I might take the cats to the vet on Friday and try to book the car for Tuesday, unless another storm’s coming.

I need to get some pitches out and possibly get a press pass for something early next week.

So much for sleeping for three days! I did four loads of laundry yesterday when I got back, and I’ve got at least one more today. More, once I pull the festive holiday fabric — I like to wash it and iron it before I put it away.

And off we go.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I finally saw it: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon’s internet extravaganza. I liked it a lot – I’m not as fanatically head-over-heels about it as some people, but I thought the writing, production values, acting, etc., were all top notch, and, of course, I’d expect nothing less from Whedon. I liked most of the music, although I thought some of the songs where they wrote it atonally might have worked a bit better with either more harmony or even a further atonal choice. And Neil Patrick Harris – talk about an actor who’s fucking brilliant. He’s one of those rare actors who can take material and go from broad comedy to snarky to simple and direct to sarcastic to vulnerable to sweet, turning on a dime and completely taking the audience on the journey. Every time I see him do something, I appreciate him more – one of those actors who’s both thoughtful and instinctive in his work, has layers of craft along with talent, and knows how to pull it all together.

I also have to admit that I’m not watching the Olympics much this time around. I’m more of a Winter Olympics fan than a summer one anyway. I’m keeping tabs on Michael Phelps – good for him, that talent and work ethic are paying off – but that’s about it. And kudos to Phelps for giving the credit for his eighth gold medal of the games to his teammates in the relay, acknowledging that not everything revolves around him. He’s got his head screwed on straight, and I hope that, once the games are over, some of the media frenzy around him calms down and he can just go and play without people judging him. No one can be a perfect role model all the time, and he deserves to be able to blow off some steam.

Every time I turn on the television, they have volleyball on, and that is a sport I absolutely LOATHE. Anything I have to say about it is mean and out of line, so I’ll keep it to the fact that I loathe it. I wanted to see more of the archery, and haven’t (although those Ukranian archers are HOT), and the fencing, sailing, and equestrien events. So far, not much luck – the hours I can watch don’t seem to be the hours those events are broadcast, if they’re even being broadcast at all. I have to say I’m kind of glad I’m not over there, trying to cover it, as fascinating as it would be to travel to China.

I’m already prepping to cover the Vancouver 2010 games, believe it or not.

A friend called and invited me over for the afternoon, so I packed a writing bag and headed over to sit by the pool. Worked on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but got something done, and got some work done on the article.

I cooked dinner over there, then came back home to pack for Philly. As soon as I pulled out the suitcase, all three cats threw up. So we know how they feel about it. I’m still trying to figure out what to pack in the writing bag – I don’t want to take too many projects. If I limit which projects I take, I’ll have to actually focus on them.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this working trip. I’ve hit a point where I work much more efficiently when I’m away from New York.

Back to the page.