Fri. Sept. 25, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 128 — For Love of Socks

image courtesy of FotoRieth via pixabay.com

Friday, September 25, 2020

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Mars Retrograde

Horror-movie level fog

Yesterday was a fairly productive day. Started with the online meditation session from the Concord Library. Different leader this week, totally different experience. Still positive, but this leader talked a little too much and didn’t leave me enough room to just be in silence.

Got out an article pitch to an editor, and some LOIs. Did a bit of client work.

The bulk of the morning was spent finishing the revisions on JUST A DROP and submitting it. It’s off to the theatre, for consideration in the 9-month development process. It’s got a 50-50 chance – either they accept it or they don’t. But, if I didn’t submit, it would have a 0 chance. I’d rather submit and risk not getting in than not submit and not have a chance.

Freelance Chat was good. It’s helpful to share experience and resources with other freelancers.

I dug into cleaning stuff out in the afternoon, only not the way I planned. I pulled out a crate in my bedroom – that was, unfortunately, anchoring some things that came tumbling down. It was full of socks and accessories and things I’d stashed there back when we moved and never dealt with. I took everything out, washed it (the washer put holes in one of my favorite sweaters that I found, sadly – I HATE this washer. Don’t say “get a new one” – I’m a renter; it’s not up to me, although the people putting in the new furnace are also supposed to put in a new fridge and washer).

Anyway, most of the socks were orphan socks I have A LOT of orphan socks. I have a thing about socks. As a Pisces, it’s all about the feet. Pisces is the sign that is associated with feet. My feet need to be warm and dry or I am miserable. When I worked in production, I always had extra pairs of socks with me (and, on exterior film/television shoots, my supervisor would regularly send me back to the truck to put on fresh socks). When I was busy, in the 10-out of 12 tech weeks or 18-hour days on set, I wouldn’t have time to do laundry. So I’d just keep buying more packages of socks until I had a day off to do laundry.  I’ve bought hundreds of pairs of socks over my production years.

We all know how dryers have Sock Goblins and socks vanish. So I have a lot of orphan socks.

It’s time to either find pairs or get rid of them.

I found a crate of orphan socks. I know I have a file box of them . . .somewhere. I didn’t find the file box, but I found a file box that contained two tote backs with socks, scarves, tee shirts and sweatshirts from shows and travels that I’d packed up in a hurry when we moved and never unpacked. And some other interesting bits and bobs I’d forgotten about.

I washed everything. I’m going to try some things on (let’s face it, the Tommy Hilfinger Size 8 Khaki pants are never going to fit me again and will have to go).The black velvet sheath dress from the 1960’s is fabulous, but again, I’m never going to fit into it again.  I’ll sort what I’m keeping AND PUT IT AWAY, and make a pile for donation. When donation places open up again, I can drop them off.

I have a bag to stash orphan socks until I’ve cleaned everything out; then, anything that’s still an orphan will have to be dealt with.

I’d hoped to clear out four boxes from the basement. The boxes weren’t from the basement, but I cleared out four boxes, so now I have room  for stuff and other stuff as it comes out of the basement and I decide on a spot for it.

Of course, today, I have to set to rights everything that went all topsy turvey in my room. It means cleaning out or repacking some other boxes that serve as a divider/counter space in my room (hard to explain).

It was a ton of fun finding a bunch of stuff I forgot I had and hadn’t seen in years. Shopping in my closet is always fun. Looking for something else in my closet, I also found some leggings that still fit and will be appropriate with tunic-length sweaters. I’m not comfortable wearing leggings with short tops. Plenty of people can pull it off, but if I don’t feel comfortable, It translates into carriage and body language and I’m miserable. But tunic-length sweaters that hit at least mid-thigh and boots? I’m there for that this winter (on the few occasions I actually have to leave the house).

And, let’s face it, I have every intention of looking professional on the Zoom business calls/meetings. I’m not someone who enjoys working in my pajamas. I have enough sleep issues. I wear pajamas to sleep.(And I found a great pair of blue fleece pajamas that will be cozy this winter). I wear other clothes during the day. They might be comfortable fabrics and generous cuts, especially to work at home – but they’re not pajamas.

The Knowledge Unicorns session was fun. There’s intense pressure to return to in-person ln learning, ESPECIALLY in areas with high rates of infection, which is just ridiculous to me.  Most of them had a lot of essay work (essays due early next week, so yay, we’re working ahead and not leaving it to the last minute). So there was a lot of discussion about language and usage and shades of meaning and context.

I was pretty tired by the end of it (kudos to parents and teachers doing this every day). But I’d signed up for an NYU-LA seminar about Creative Future: The Job You Save May Be Your Own. It was about piracy and how it destroys artists’ ability to earn a living, while being part of a larger, international criminal enterprise funding all kinds of  awful things.

They pointed out that it’s not the multi-million dollar stars and the studios who take the hit – it’s the smaller projects that don’t get funded any more and the crews who are out of work when studios cut back to fewer projects to keep their profits high.

So these people who claim piracy is about freedom and they’re sticking it to “the man” aren’t. They’re hurting working artists and technicians who are barely making a living.

I think the panel is far too generous to the individuals doing these illegal downloads (even as they advocate for tougher laws and punishment). I think many of those pirating know EXACTLY who they’re hurting, and they want to. It’s the typical non-creative people resenting and hating artists for earning a living doing what they love, and determined to prevent that.

But then, I’ve turned into a cynic.

Anyway, I hadn’t heard about Creative Future before. The executive director is Ruth Vitale, a former film executive. They do advocacy and work with elected officials on legislation to protect copyright. You can visit their website for more information.

Dense fog this morning. The street looks ready for monsters.

Writing this morning, some client work, a run to the library for a curbside pickup, more cleaning stuff out in the afternoon, more writing, and working on the changes I need to make to SERENE AND DETERMINED, hopefully in time to get it in under the deadline for the O’Neill Center.

I’m hoping, against all odds, for a productive weekend.

Have a good one, friends! Peace.

Published in: on September 25, 2020 at 5:52 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 25, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 128 — For Love of Socks  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Sept. 24, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 127 — Yet More Stupid

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Waxing Moon

Pluto. Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

There’s a post about the garden over on Gratitude and Growth. With any luck, in this good weather, I can get some of the yard work done I’ve been putting off.

Client work was fine yesterday. We only overlapped for a bit, and I was careful, even if everyone else is slacking off. This will be an increasing problem as we move into winter.

And will have to be dealt with. I’m looking at my options.

I did an ad I’m really proud of for next week’s email blast/post boost. It’s one of my favorites ever, and I will put it in my portfolio.

I was still emotionally exhausted by the time I got home. Did a full decontamination process.

Remote chat was fun.

There were plenty of things I “should have” done in the afternoon. Instead, I took Charlotte and Willa out on the deck in their playpens and read a book, enjoying the sun. We don’t have that much more time to enjoy the deck, and I want to savor it.

I am, however, done with the stupid around here. I made a new sign for the front door: No Solicitations: It’s a pandemic, asshole. And don’t even think about knocking on the door if you’re not wearing a mask.

I’m especially done with the evangelicals coming door-to-door extolling how they have Jesus instead of a mask.

And I’m done with being “polite” to people who want to kill me.

I’m disappointed in the neighbor who has the amazing, wonderful rescue husky. He gave a Covidiot party yesterday – blatantly political, loud, no masks, no social distancing, amplified speaking and music in defiance of town ordinances, a big “fuck you” to all of us.

He’s had plenty of parties before over the years; usually, in the summer, he has parties every week. Other than lots of cars parked everywhere, they’ve never been a problem. You hear a little music sometimes, but they’re self-contained and respectful of neighbors and wrap up at a reasonable hour.  But this one was intentionally over loud and disturbing AND the guests were staggering around the street drunk and screaming at each other.

No, I didn’t call the cops. They wouldn’t do anything. The town doesn’t enforce noise rules, although they wave them around a lot. Plus, I was afraid if they did show up, they might hurt the dog. I may have lost all respect for the people, but I still like the dog.

The stats are out – there was a 2000% increase in the use of illegal fireworks in town this year – during a drought. An increase of TWO THOUSAND percent.

And the Town does NOTHING.

Because Barnstable’s mantra is “Screw your residents for tourist dollars.”

They’re about to pass a change in the town code that allows EVERY house to be a short-term rental. There’s already a housing crisis around here, and this will make it worse.

“It helps people stay in their houses” is the justification.

Um, no. They have to MOVE OUT of their houses in order to get the short-term rental money. Where do they go? Tents in the campgrounds? Trailer parks? Other short-term rentals?

If you want to make sure people can stay in their homes, PAY THEM A LIVING WAGE WITH BENEFITS so they don’t have to work six part-time jobs without benefits and live in a tent somewhere while their house is rented.

On a happier note, I slept well last night. That’s two nights in a row that I’ve slept through the night, a record since the pandemic started. I also had a positive theatre dream. Over the last few years, I’ve had stress dreams set in various theatre situations where I’ve made stupid mistakes, gotten lost backstage, and not been up to the job. The dreams have been frustrating, because Awake Me knows how to do all the things – and do them well – that I screw up in the dreams.

But last night, Dreamer Me was in a positive theatrical situation where we all knew what we were doing, did it well, and were happy.

I hope this is an indication that I’m turning a corner, healing from the abusive boss who tried to break me a few years ago, and moving in the right direction, workwise, with what I want the next chapter of my life to encompass.

Today, I have a morning meditation via Zoom with the group from the Concord Library, which I’m looking forward to very much. Then, it’s some client work, a pitch to an editor that was requested via social media yesterday, and finishing the revisions on JUST A DROP so it can go out tomorrow.

Later today is the Knowledge Unicorns homework session, and then I’m attending, via Zoom again, an NYU alumni event about combatting creative piracy.

I might sneak in some yard work in the afternoon – we’re supposed to have a stretch of good weather until Sunday, albeit dry.

Have a great Thursday!

Published in: on September 24, 2020 at 5:42 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 24, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 127 — Yet More Stupid  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wed. Sept. 23, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 126 — Darkness Lengthens

image by coleur courtesy of pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and warmer

Yesterday was a fairly productive day. I got client work done, including getting the A/B ads out; got out a big stack of LOIs; managed to renew the car registration online (and it actually worked), backed up the computer with my the Seagate external drive. I have to say, I prefer Time Machine.

I put the new black toner into the big printer. That should give me 3K pages. It was a bit of a battle; I had trouble getting it in. But I managed. The instructions were useless.

Did a nice chunk of work on JUST A DROP, folding in my friend’s notes, and finding a few other things to tweak. I checked with the theatre to whom I plan to send it – yes, they do accept both one-acts and full-lengths. All of a sudden, I worried that they only wanted one acts.

I’m steadily increasing time on the exercise bicycle. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it, either. But I need the exercise. Weight training is back in the mix, on Mondays and Thursdays, too, along with the twice daily yoga and meditation. It’s slow progress, and there’s that voice inside my head that lambasts me for not buckling down during the Stay-At-Home to get fit, but pandemic stress has derailed just about everything for me.

Don’t even get me started on what’s going on in the country. I have plenty of opinions, but nothing of real value to add to the conversation. I’m doing what work I can and not getting drawn in to the stupid.

Using the “unfollow” and “block” buttons a lot on social media. Unfollowed someone who followed me and is supposedly a yoga/wellness person. First interaction – her “publicist” sends me a DM trying to sell me something. Nope. Bye.

Finished the latest book I was reading in the series I liked, but the like is fading. Not only am I insulted by her dislike of theatre and theatre people, and don’t like that the protagonist is getting a self-righteous stick up her ass, the protag is getting weaker as the series progresses and dumber, instead of stronger and smarter. I’m not talking about being more vulnerable – I’m talking situations that she used to handle, she’s now falling apart and expecting a man to come and fix it. She’s scared of everything, she makes stupid decisions, she doesn’t learn from previous dangerous experiences, and she’s no longer getting herself out of bad situations. I also don’t like the trope that’s becoming more and more central where she only “realizes” she has feelings for one or the other of the two men in love with her when some other woman is interested in them. I think that’s toxic. I also predict an arc unfolding in the next few books where a love interest shows up for one of her love interests, and she suddenly “realizes” that he’s actually the one she wants, rather than the other guy who’s also in love with her and does stuff for her all the time, but she only “realizes” how deep her feelings for him still run when she sees another woman interested in him.

Again, like the other series I’ve been reading, where I liked early books and then felt they turned vicious and leaned into white privilege, I’m learning as much from what bothers me about the books, the series, and the genre, as I learn from the books I like. That matters.

The Knowledge Unicorns met last night. With our tiaras. It was fun. Working on assignments, talking about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and death, and all that she fought for before she was even nominated to the Supreme Court. We really have an awful education system that’s not about learning, It’s unfair to teachers and kids. And, in this context, the flaws come out even further.

Mabon ritual was good. It steadied me, somewhat. The Mars Retrograde is kicking my ass, especially paired with Saturn retrograde. The next six days will be rough, until Saturn goes direct. I mean, the entire Mars retrograde will be rough, but once Saturn is out of the mix, it will ease up a little. Of course, we have Mercury going retrograde in a few weeks to look forward to, so it’s just going to suck all the way around for awhile.

Today I have to go onsite for a few hours, overlapping with other people (ick). Then, it’s Remote Chat, and more client work, and more work on JUST A DROP, plus whatever else I can fit into the afternoon. More writing. I have to get back on track and get more writing in every day, whether I feel like it or not. Because I don’t have the luxury of not getting it done.

The dark is longer than the light from now until Winter Solstice. I actually enjoy this time of year, but I suspect a lot of people will struggle with longer dark paired with pandemic pressure. I’m looking forward to cozy sweaters and comfort food and hot cocoa and good books, carving out a few hours of nested solitude every night to help me keep equilibrium.

Published in: on September 23, 2020 at 5:29 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 23, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 126 — Darkness Lengthens  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tues. Sept. 22, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 125 — Autumn Equinox

image courtesy of jplenio via pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Mabon, Autumn Equinox

Stormy and cold

Hurricane Teddy is going to give us a bit of a slap as he moves by today, mostly with high surf and winds. We could use a few hours of torrential rain, although we do have a coastal flood advisory out.

There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site about planning in chaos.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death grieves me. I’m also furious at the Republicans for pushing through the next nominee. I’m even more furious at the Democrats for not doing anything. I’m tired of them bringing a cupcake to a gunfight. There is ALWAYS a way to stop the other side and stop the vote. There is ALWAYS a way to derail a nominee. But they’re not willing to do it.

I stress-baked and stress-cooked most of the weekend, instead of doing other things I should have been doing. I did get several loads of laundry done, and I switched out the lace curtains and those pretty sheer rose curtains I made at the beginning of the stay-at-home for the heavier red and gold paisley curtains I use for winter.

I made chocolate chip cookies, cornbread, and tried a chocolate cake from a cookbook borrowed from the library. I’m not sure if I like the cake. It’s a pain in the butt to make, even though it has no eggs. It tastes fine, but with all the hype around it, I expected it to be brilliant, and it’s not. I make other chocolate cake recipes I like better. Still, I will copy out the recipe, in case I want to try it again with tweaks.

I made a crockpot minestrone on Saturday (quick dash to Star Market at 7 AM to get what I needed, and then full decontamination process). That was from a small cookbook I picked up years ago with seasonal garden recipes. That came out very, very well.

I took the bits and bobs discarded from the minestrone and used it to make vegetable stock. I actually used the vegetable stock I made whenever it was I last made it instead of water in the minestrone, and it made a huge difference. It gave it a depth and a richness I liked a lot.

Sunday, I made a cauliflower-leek soup from one of the cookbooks I bought as background for one of the novel ideas with which I’m playing. I have to say, I wasn’t thrilled with it. I’m not a big fan of cauliflower anyway. I just sort of felt there should have been more of something, somehow. It’s not bad, it’s better than edible, but I’m not thrilled with it.

I also learned that cauliflower is easier to cut than broccoli. I expected it to be as hard. When I whacked the cauliflower head with the cleaver, it exploded all over the kitchen. So that was a bit of a clean-up.

The soup only used the white part of the leeks. I took the green parts to make leek stock – I will use that in the prep for the next surgery, and froze it.

I also put the discarded bits from the soup into a bag and stashed it in the fridge for the next round of vegetable stock.

Yesterday, I made the Indian stuffed eggplant from Moosewood’s recipe. I also took the bits from the past few days’ vegetables and some tomatoes that looked a bit sad and made more vegetable stock. Making stock this way is fascinating, because no two batches are ever alike.

My friend gave me the notes back on both JUST A DROP and SERENE AND DETERMINED. They’re excellent and workable. She put her finger on what was missing on SERENE AND DETERMINED, and now I can fix it.

I’m going to work on JUST A DROP today – it needs the least work before submission for this particular market, and I need to send it off by the end of the week – company wants to work on plays over a nine-month process (much of it via Zoom) and then do a public reading. I think JUST A DROP could benefit from that, although I don’t want it to lose its theatricality. It’s unabashedly melodramatic at points, and that is a stylistic choice.

Whether it works or not is yet to be determined.

When that is done, I will turn my attention to SERENE AND DETERMINED, which I would like to submit to the O’Neill for next summer. It’s a long shot, but if I don’t try, there’s no shot.

The Susanna Centlivre play is taking shape in my head. By the time I’m done with the revisions on the above two plays, I should be ready to put Susanna’s story down on paper. Then, it’s on to Isabella Goodwin’s play, and then I can circle back around to the Kate Warne one acts I’d planned to write all year. I’ve figured out how to retain them as one acts, but also adapt them into a full-length by adding a supporting character who flows through the evening and also serves as a bit of a Greek chorus/narrator between the plays. I still want to expand CONFIDENCE CONFIDANT to a full-length, adding in Nathan in his jail cell and that whole part of the undercover operation. But that’s down the line a year or two.

I pitched to a couple of arts-related gigs.  One might not work out because the money is lower than I’m looking for; the other might not work out because I don’t think they’d support the necessary relocation and I’m not doing it on my own dime. But again, if I don’t try, there’s no chance.

Yesterday, I got some writing done early in the morning, and then went onsite to my client’s. I was alone in the office, which is as it should be. I got some A/B ads done, and an email blast, and took care of a few things that can’t be done remotely.

Swung by the library to drop off books and do a curbside pickup. Another woman was there, dropping off, and whining that the library is still closed to patrons. “We’re so much better,” she whined. “I work at the hospital and we haven’t had a case in a long time.”

“Maybe they want to keep it that way,” I snapped at her, and stomped off to the table to pick up my books.

It alarms me that stupid works in the hospital. Nantucket has gone up to a red zone for COVID. This area is now up to green (from gray, which is low risk), and our numbers are only climbing. According to the stats I watch, um, yeah, there ARE cases in the hospital, so this person doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Not sure where in the hospital she works, but it’s not anywhere getting information.

And we wonder why we’re not further along fighting this thing.

Well, at least she wore a mask and social distanced.

I’m reading the series I’ve been enjoying (where I stopped reading her other series), and now this one is starting to bother me, too. The disdain this author has for theatre people bugs me. Considering the series is set adjacent to a theatre company, this becomes a problem. The dislike and disdain drips from every sentence in which she includes them. Everyone is always painted in caricature. In 30 years of working professional theatre all over the country and the world, I’ve never encountered anyone working professionally in the theatre who is that un-dimensional. Community theatre and non-pro theatre? Yeah. Because it’s a hobby. Professional theatre? No. A career would be unsustainable.  Most people are multi-dimensional and choose which facets to bring forth at any given time. But not in this author’s books. And it angers me. I’m willing to read the last four books in the series, because I like the way the relationships are building between the characters, but I don’t know if I’d recommend the series. If I ever cross paths with her, I will ask her why she hates theatre people so much.

Also, the protagonist, who I liked because she wasn’t a typical flat cozy protag, is starting to get a self-righteous stick up her ass, and it annoys me.

The book I have to read for review lost me in the first sentence, due to adverbs and lazy writing. I put it down for a bit, and will get back to it today, since, you know, I’m being paid to read it.

However, I read Alyssa Maxwell’s MURDER AT CROSSWAYS (which I someone never got my hands on when it came out last year), and liked it a lot. I like the way this series has grown.

Today is about client work, LOIs, working on JUST A DROP, working on edits for a novel, and, hopefully, cleaning out a few boxes n the basement. One box a week won’t cut it. I need to do at least one box a day, two on weekends. Even that’s not enough, but it’s better than I’ve been doing.

Later today is the Knowledge Unicorns session. We are going to wear tiaras. It was a suggestion that came through over the weekend, and we all decided it would be fun.

Today is the Autumn Equinox, Mabon. We are in a precarious moment of balance, before tipping back into the dark. I’m looking forward to tonight’s ritual.

Blessed Mabon, friends.

Wed. Sept. 16, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 119 — Scattered and Frustrated

image courtesy of HeungSoon via pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Dark Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was just all over the place.

Decent morning, got some work done, prepped for a phone appointment. The phone appointment had to be moved, which is fine – the other person was good about getting in touch.

Signed up for a NetZero online climate conference at the end of October. It has an interesting agenda.

I managed to get in a few hours’ of writing, which was great. The tone of the piece I was working on is lighter and funnier than I expected. Which means it may have to go under a different byline. I was going to put it under the Annabel Aidan moniker, but right now, it’s not dark enough.

I had the phone meeting. 15 minutes of my life, and pleasant, but this gig isn’t going to work out. Third party recruiter again and is not approaching the client in a way that makes me comfortable. AND made the bulk of the conversation about her, instead of about the job. I don’t want to work with third party recruiters. They need to be upfront about it and not wait until I’ve submitted requested materials to tell me they’re a third party. Every single recruiter I’ve dealt with in the past ten years has been a waste of space. It lowers the value of the companies who hire them, too.

Logged into the SBA Women in Business online conference taking place in Western MA. First we had a guy mansplaining how an online conference is run. Not THIS conference, but how ANY conference is run. Since when does he know how every conference is run? Then, the first speaker was a (male) Trump appointee lying about the economy. Both of them inferred that they (men) were giving us “permission” to have this conference. Um, no. I don’t need a man’s permission to have a business or attend a conference.  I “left meeting.” I will NOT sit there and be a party to that partisan crap. That is NOT why I signed up to participate in the Women in Business conference. Why are condescending white men talking at a Women in Business conference?

Every SBA event I’ve tried during the pandemic has been an unorganized, mismanaged, patronizing nightmare. Done with SBA.

Twitter kicked me off – I can’t sign in on any of my accounts or the accounts I run for clients due to “unusual log in activity.” When I finally got back in – now I have to change the passwords EVERY TIME I log in. Which I can’t do on client accounts, it’s not my purview. They’ll let liars and trolls and bots and murderers do and say whatever they want, but I can’t get into my little accounts – or those I run for clients because of “unusual” activity? They can fuck right off. I finally got back into the Devon Ellington account. I’ve sent them several messages – their responses make it clear that they’re not paying the least bit of attention to anything I say.

Losing both Twitter and FB will hurt the social media management part of my business, but, oh well. If that’s what happens, that’s what happens. I survived for decades before they existed; I can find a way to do so now.

I am so done with so much right now.

Deeply disappointed with a second series by an author whose other series I’m enjoying. She used the “witch” slur again as acceptable and normal. So I put down the book, cancelled the other books I ordered, and I’m done with this series. Nor will I recommend it.

I will, however, set up and call out similar situations in my own work.

The book for review arrived, and I look forward to starting it today.

The store from which I ordered the stuff that Fed Ex is sending all over the country and everywhere but here can’t be bothered to respond. Fine. Won’t do business with them again. I can put my money elsewhere. I have a feeling I’m going to wind up sending everything back anyway and asking for a refund. Fed Ex, of course, doesn’t care. Because their quarterly earnings were off the charts.

Theatre Scripts

I read over both JUST A DROP and SERENE & DETERMINED to see if either of those plays are appropriate for a 9-month script incubator project in Brooklyn. I’m sure there are a lot of submissions, but I still want to at least try. Only I’m not sure either of these plays (both of which could use that long development process) are naturalistic enough for the company. They are both set in Italy. The former is set in Rome, around the 17th century poisoner Giulia Tofana and her circle, and borders (intentionally) on melodrama. The second is built around Lavinia Fontana, the painter in Bologna who competed successfully with men for commissions thanks to the circle of noblewomen who adored her work, and the fact that her husband ran the household. Lavinia is on stage for then entire play, flowing from scene to scene. Again, unashamedly theatrical.

They both need work, but I don’t’ want them stripped of theatricality and made more naturalistic. I’m not sure this theatre is the right fit for them. I have to do more research on the company.

But if neither of them is right to submit, then I don’t have anything to submit.  However, it doesn’t make sense to submit just to submit.

My friend Paula is going to read both plays (her notes are amazing) and let me know what she thinks. Both plays need work, but both were structured with deliberate stylistic choices that I don’t want just thrown out. I want those choices strengthened instead of destroyed. Or, as I mentioned to Paula, maybe they’re just bad and I can’t see it. Although they were written for and accepted by the 365 Women Project.

Knowledge Unicorns

We’re still playing with times to find the best one. I have a feeling we’ll be playing with times for the entirety of this project!

More schools are shutting back down as kids and teachers get infected. The school administrations continue to ignore the needs of teachers, kids, and parents. Not surprising when you look at who’s the head of Education in this country – a selfish grifter who doesn’t give a damn.

But we had fun, helping each other with assignments. We came across misinformation in one of the social studies books – whitened and Christianed up. We did some research on the publisher, who is one of those right-wing nut job houses in Texas. They shouldn’t get to rewrite and (literally) whitewash history and then have it taught in school as fact. We found some other sources that have more breadth, depth, and, you know, actual information.

We had our stretch breaks and our dance breaks. We looked through the octopus slideshow on the National Geographic Kids website and learned more cool things.

Looking Ahead

Today is going to be a long, complicated day. I have to go onsite for a few hours. I’m frustrated because Hootsuite’s been down for nearly two weeks, and I’m not sure if I can get into the client’s Twitter, although maybe I can from their computer.

I’m supposed to participate in Remote Chat, but if I can’t log in, that’s not happening.

I have an online meditation session this afternoon with NYU-LA alumni, which should be interesting, and then my friend’s sister’s book launch tonight via Zoom.

Along with the writing and the client work and the LOIs I have to get out.

So it will be a busy day, but I’m hoping it will be good busy instead of frustrating busy.

Peace, friends.

Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Full Moon
Rainy and mild

Managed to get errands run before the storm hit yesterday; hoping to do the same today.

Lousy writing day. I’m having too many of those in a row. Not quite sure how to fix it, other than to keep showing up at the page and working my way through it.

In negotiations for a project that sounds interesting; fingers crossed it all works.

Very little of interest to say today; frustrated by the way Congress betrays us. Disgusted by the Creature who thinks he will take office next week, in spite of the fact that he’s going to screw over and pillage the entire country and sell us to his foreign business interests.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell need to be removed from their positions and tried, if not for treason, for crimes against the American people.

The story of an early Italian painter (female) interests me, and I’m wondering if I should accept the invitation to write about her for 365 Women this year. I have to do some more research.

I think I want to do some revisions on JUST A DROP. The bones are there, and there are scenes I really like, but some things, I want to change. One character in particular is much weaker than I originally envisioned him. While it works in the context of what I have, I wonder if making him stronger and more manipulative might ratchet up the tension.

This is a case where I wish I was in New York and had access to actors for a table read. That would help a lot. I need to HEAR it to really know what works and what doesn’t. Even if I had access to enough actors for this particular piece here, I don’t trust that they’re experienced enough to read without massive rehearsal and really give me an idea of the material. A table read is a specific skill. It’s the first creative dipping toes into the waters.

Full moon tonight. I need to decide on my focus. And Friday the 13th tomorrow! One of my favorite days.

Have a wonderful day.

Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 11:18 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done  
Tags: , , , ,

Mon. Jan. 2, 2017: Hit the Ground Writing

Monday, January 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Eighth Day of Christmas

Busy few days.

The file with my answers to the GDR questions didn’t save, so I have to retype it and, hopefully, post it in the next couple of days.  Very frustrating.

JUST A DROP went out on time on Friday, and was accepted. I feel good about it, although there’s still work to do in the development process.

It was weird not to “have to” write for a few days.

So, of course, that meant I wanted to.

Ran some errands on Friday, including getting one of my 2017 calendars. In one of life’s little ironies, the store gave me a bag with a quote on it from MOBY DICK — just minutes after I was assigned my reading slot in next weekend’s MOBY DICK marathon at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Nothing like synchronicity, is there?

But I tried to relax on Friday afternoon and evening. Saturday was about cleaning the house, ruminating on the year, and preparing for the coming one. As a final kick to all of us, 2016 took William Christopher, too. What a damn lousy year.

Made sidecars as the signature cocktail for the evening — I do love a good sidecar! Devilled eggs, cheese and crackers. Poached salmon with potatoes and broccoli for dinner. Bayberry candles for prosperity. Choked down some herring, too! 😉

Prosecco at midnight, a little writing, meditation before bed.

Up early on Sunday, extended yoga and meditation. Fire & Ice ritual, which I do every New Year’s Day. Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Cornish hen, roasted potatoes, and peas for dinner.

A little writing on a project just for me; sorting out some calendar stuff. Finishing up GDR answers and putting together my To Do List for January. Printing off my submission log from 2016, and putting away the drafts and the research for both “Courting the Lioness” and JUST A DROP. They want me to write another play this year; I’m trying to decide whether or not I think it’s a good idea. I will mull it over for a few days.

Re-read what I’ve written so far on NOT BY THE BOOK. I dive back into that today, hoping to finish a draft by March 6. Also working on the outline for SONGBOUND SISTERS, so I can start drafting that again next week.

I have some annoying administrative stuff to handle today, but can’t be avoided. Will also start putting together the newsletter, which I hope to get out by the end of the week. Instead of monthly, which isn’t an option, and too randomly, which doesn’t do anyone any good, I’m going to aim for quarterly.

Start rehearsals for the MOBY DICK marathon today, and also want to get a start on the short story due at the end of the month for the anthology. The word limit is 5K, so it shouldn’t take long to draft, but I want enough time to hone it.

Working on my personal strategic plan, and new marketing plans for the Topic Workbooks and for the Delectable Digital Delights.

Start a new strength training/cardio training plan today, that should work well with the deepening yoga/meditation practice. I need to get back into top condition. I was in shape working shows last summer, and then lost most of it in the autumn, between all the sitting and the driving.

I’m diving into the New Year and making a go of it!

Hope your New Year has started well. Let’s work together to make sure it gains positive momentum, shall we?

Devon

Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 10:22 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 2, 2017: Hit the Ground Writing  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Seventh Day of Hannukah
Fifth Day of Christmas
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa
Sunny and cold

I’ve had my head down to finish JUST A DROP. From commission to submission-ready draft, the play has taken me a year. There’s a lot I love about it, and it’s amazing how relevant the political scheming in 17th century Rome is to today.

Of course, there’s plenty of room for further development, through workshopping and rehearsal. But, for now, it makes its deadline, and heads down to 365 Women in New York City.

I can’t believe all the recent deaths. Why aren’t any of the Horrid being taken?

Usually, I’m wonderfully optimistic about the coming year, but I’m not this year. 2016 has been tough; I would like 2017 to be better, but I’m discouraged.

At least the writing’s been going well.

If I choose, I can take a break from writing until Monday. I understand that civilians call this a “weekend” and have them quite regularly. As a writer and theatre person, that is rarely an option for me.

Tomorrow, my wrap up for the year will be on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site here. I am taking Sunday to contemplate what I want from 2017, and on Monday, I will post my answers to the questions on the same site. And start the work for 2017. Even if I don’t have much hope for it, I’m going to dig down and do the work, which is an action I can take, and see what else happens. It’s either that or give up and never get out of bed again, and that’s not what I do.

I was thrown off track this year by many things, and that is just something that happens. I’ve survived, and I want to put things into place in the coming months so that I can thrive.

Happy, happy New Year to you all. I wish you joy and abundance in all that is good.

Devon

Published in: on December 30, 2016 at 10:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!  
Tags: , , , ,

Wed. Dec. 28, 2016: Dark Moon & Playwrighting

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Third Day of Christmas
Third Day of Kwanzaa
Fifth Day of Hannukah
Cloudy and mild

Tired, but all good. Working hard on JUST A DROP. Behind where I need to be in order for it to go out on Friday, so I’m digging down.

I loathe having Mercury Retrograde over the new year. Hard to do any positive work for it.

In spite of the pace of JUST A DROP (the creation, not the internal) being slower than I need, I love the way the play is shaping up. It is better than I hoped, which means, once it goes through the collaborative rehearsal process, it will really be something special.

It feels good.

I’m ready for a new moon and a new beginning.

Best wishes,

Devon

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 28, 2016: Dark Moon & Playwrighting  
Tags: ,

Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Day before Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Second Day of Christmas
Second Day of Kwanzaa
Fourth Day of Hannukah
Stormy, windy, rainy, mild

It was a nice holiday weekend. Quiet on our part. Lots of reading, some planning, lots of eating. We spent Christmas Day with friends. It was nice.

Yesterday was a serious writing day. 26 pages on JUST A DROP. I love the shape the play is taking. It’s very naturally flowing into something that plays well. I’m excited to see where it takes me today. It goes out on Friday, so I have to dig in these last few days.

For the twelve days of Christmas, I can’t remember my dreams on either of the first two, so I hope that means January and February will be relatively quiet months.

I’ve been working on my GDR Wrap Up, which will post on Saturday, and on my GDRs and writing schedule for next year. We don’t even know if we have a future, so it sort of feels like I’m hedging my bets. But I intend to proceed, as long as I can, as though I do have a future, and sort out a writing schedule. I need to get a lot done. I’m giving myself more time for first drafts, which is probably a good thing. I just hope I can juggle as many projects as need juggling.

I’ve got some other stuff I’m working on, stuff I can’t yet talk about publicly. Don’t you hate it when someone posts like that? I certainly do. But it’s exciting, and while the initial planning may not pan out in the way it’s intended at the start, I think it opens some doors that may be worthwhile over the coming few years.

Along with that, I’m starting to think in terms of where I want to be in a year, in three years, in five years — even thought the Sociopathic Narcissist will probably cause a nuclear disaster by April. Still, I’d rather my final thoughts be, “damn, I didn’t get a chance to do that” rather than not having anything planned in the first place.

Planning the menu for New Year’s. We will have a quiet one at home. I hate going out for that holiday. Too much desperation for a good time. I’ve had too many miserable New Years in company. I’m much happier doing yoga and meditating.

Back to the page. I’m focusing only on the play this week. Next week, it’s back to NOT BY THE BOOK, figuring out the rest of THE FIX-IT GIRL, and drafting the short stories that are due at the end of January.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on December 27, 2016 at 10:46 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016: Lovely Solstice, Looking Forward to the Year’s End and More

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Don’t forget, “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” is free here with Coupon Code QB74U until December 26, and “Just Jump in and Fly” is free here with Coupon Code LW63D until the same date.

Lovely Solstice celebration yesterday. Cheered me up considerably, which is part of the point of the ritual.

I have questions for the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions for 2017 up here. Please take some time and use them, if you connect with them. You are welcome to comment publicly on the site, or read along and work on your own. Some of the questions are from last year’s. There are also some new questions, and places where we build on the work done last year. You can access the questions here.

I’m working on the year-end wrap-up of Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. I will schedule it to post on December 31 at the GDR site.

I will not post my answers to my questions until January 2, because I intend to spend most of the 1st in deep contemplation. I am playing with ideas for a “dream” that will take several years to come to fruition, but, if I can pull it off, will be worth it. Or maybe it will stay a dream, but give me something about which to dream. We will see.

Today, I focus on writing JUST A DROP and the short story. After lunch, I deliver the last of the cookie platters to the neighbors. I’m almost finished decorating (finally). Tomorrow will be a major writing/cleaning day.

And then it’s Christmas! AND Chanukah! They both start on the same day this year.

Don’t forget to track your dreams on the Twelve Days of Christmas — they are portents of the coming year! I’m hoping to have positive ones. 2016 was a tough year, and I need a year of kindness to make up for it. With the incoming administration, it is unlikely to happen, but there’s still hope.

Devon

Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016: Lovely Solstice, Looking Forward to the Year’s End and More  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Thurs. Dec. 15, 2016: Writing, Baking, and Get Your Jingle On!

Thursday, December 15, 2016
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. Ever so much of the week has been taken up by the holiday baking. But now, the baking for other people is done, and deliveries have started.

This is the last year I do the Lemon Sugar Cookies. They are too much of a pain in the butt. The recipe needs modification, and I haven’t had the time to tweak it.

I’m behind on JUST A DROP, because I’m working on a story that has an earlier deadline. I’ve got a really cool cover for it. Now the story just has to live up to it! But I’m not where I want to be on that one. Go figure. Somehow, it will all happen, although I’ll be exhausted.

And, I’m behind in my cards. Oh, well.

I helped count tickets for Spectacle on Monday, which took most of the day. Sunday was baking. Tuesday, I had appointments all over the state, and then there was more baking. Yesterday was decorating and baking.

This morning, we were up early to take the car to Plymouth for inspection – and give the auto body shop their holiday treats! They were thrilled. Also dropped off platters at NMLC and at the fire station in Falmouth where I always stop for directions. They were delighted. Gave my hometown firemen their platter, and the library.

I’m putting together the neighbor platters and delivering them this afternoon, and then, the last few, tomorrow. I want to get everything done before Mercury goes retrograde on Monday!

So, on Saturday – please come and participate in Get Your Holiday Jingle On, a Facebook party. The party itself runs from Friday night through Sunday. My slot is on Saturday the 17th at 1 PM for a half hour.

Everyone who attends will get a coupon for a holiday short story. One person will win a set of signed Jain Lazarus books. I have a fun game that will end in a participatory project. And, if I can get my act together, there will also be another surprise. So, please come! Facebook event link is here.

I can’t believe Christmas is just over a week away.

As of today, it’s legal in MA to have pot for home/recreational use and grow it, but not buy or sell it. Yeah, figure that one out! 😉

I’m not ready! Usually I’m disgustingly filled with holiday spirit, but I’m having to work at it this year.

Be well.
Devon

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 11:55 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 15, 2016: Writing, Baking, and Get Your Jingle On!  
Tags: , , , ,

Fri. Dec. 9, 2016: On to the Next Project

Friday, December 9, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday, errands took longer than they should have. But “Courting the Lioness” went out, and now it’s back to JUST A DROP and the short stories. Plus, I want to get a good chunk of MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC drafted, since it happens just before Christmas, and I always write better about a holiday in the midst of said holiday.

And fighting with the health insurance company, who is staffed by people with the intellectual and emotional intelligence that would make amoeba cringe.

On the up side, decorating continues. I love decorating our trees because each ornament has a story, and decorating keeps me connected to the stories and the joyful memories.

Which is important, as the President Elect continues to put together one of the most corrupt and incompetent cabinets in this nation’s history, while continuing his conflict of interest. He has now been given permission to use the entire country as his own personal piggy bank and will bankrupt us all.

Tomorrow is the drawing for Spectacle of Trees. I hope the organizations made lots of money. There will be 17 very happy people tomorrow night, whose names were drawn to win the trees and the gifts under them. And 17 grateful organizations.

We’re supposed to get snow on Sunday and Monday. Hopefully that means I can finish the writing, get the decorations finished, and most of the baking done! Not to mention CARDS. I love cards, but some times it’s hard to get my act together to sit down and write them.

Especially when my head is full of characters and stories demanding attention.

Devon

Published in: on December 9, 2016 at 11:12 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 9, 2016: On to the Next Project  
Tags: , , , , ,