Tues. April 12, 2022: Meditation, Taxes, and Vaccines

image courtesy of Shanon via pixabay.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Waxing Moon

Rainy and chilly

My brain was tired on Friday, and that was bad, since I needed to work ahead. I got through some emails. I was asked to submit some samples to a potential new client – who then demanded unpaid labor for the next step. Nope, and added to the Red Flag List.

Submitted two short stories to calls which landed on my desk. That counts as work, right? A couple of other calls for submission got the creative juices percolating, but I can’t add any new projects until I clean off some of the projects already here.

I did a run to the library to drop off/pick up books. Swung by the fish monger, and got some fresh fish for dinner. I love to see what they get in on any given day, and then plan the meal around it.

I also saw packets of dahlia bulbs for sale. On Cape, there was dedicated group of dahlia lovers. Frankly, they, and the plants themselves, intimidated me. Plus, between Che Guevara Chipmunk and the various squirrels who rearranged the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, I was worried the dahlias wouldn’t have a good chance. And all the digging up and babying them over the winter.

But I saw the photo of the gorgeous, dark purple Thomas Edison dahlia on the package and couldn’t resist. It was in my budget, and a Twitter pal has agreed to be my Dahlia coach.

But it meant another trip to the store for more pots and more soil. I’ll talk in detail about all of that, and planting snapdragons and marigolds over on Gratitude and Growth in Thursday’s post.

Wrote 3 more pages on “Owe Me.” Turned around 2 more script coverages. Grabbed four more at the higher pay rate to get me through the beginning of this week. An editorial director to whom I sent an LOI got back to me with some questions. I answered them, and we’ve set up a video conference for Thursday morning, to get to know each other and see if we are a fit. It would be freelance work for an agency, and it might be the type of client I’m looking to add to my rather eclectic roster.

Attended the second day of the Buddhist summit. It’s from the Shambhala tradition, with which I have only the most passing familiarity. Like all traditions, they have their internal strife, and I am always wary of anything built around a central figure. There tends to be too much room for things to warp.

But the sessions themselves are interesting. Some of the material resonates, and I look forward to exploring it. Some of it I respect, but it is not my path at this time. Some of it, had I encountered it thirty years ago or so, might have become my path, but will not now. Some of it I have to think about in more depth and detail past the summit. All of which is positive.

Charlotte is so funny. She doesn’t understand that this isn’t a two-way communication, like Zoom. I’m merely watching sessions. Every time a new session starts, she jumps onto my lap, hoping whomever is on the screen will tell her she’s pretty. Because, you know, the entire purpose of Zoom’s existence is so people all over the world can tell Charlotte how pretty she is. I explain to her that they can’t see her, but if they could, they would see how pretty she is. Once the meditation portion of each session starts, she goes back into the rocking chair in my reading corner and falls asleep. It’s hilarious.

There are all kinds of conferences going on in person, including writing conferences. I see all these people who should know better packed together without masks. I don’t want to hear any whining when they get sick. It’s just very disturbing, this pretension that the pandemic is over, and will have a high human cost.

Saturday morning, I got the pots and the soil and planted all kinds of things. Right after lunch, we did our 2021 taxes. It wasn’t as complicated as I feared. Much less stressful than I expected. So those envelopes are ready to be mailed at the end of the week, and the quarterlies at the beginning of the following week. The quarterlies always hurt in the moment, but end up being less painful at the end of the tax year.

After taxes, I turned around a script coverage and then attended the summit sessions, which were interesting. I like that there’s a practice involved with most talks, making it experiential, rather than theoretical.

Sunday morning, I watched most of the summit in the morning, then drank my 16 oz. of water and headed for the 4th vaccine shot. This was the first time the shot itself actually hurt. The other three were the tiniest of pinpricks. This felt like a much thicker needle.

Came home, drank 32 oz of water, because I was so thirsty. Watched the final session of the day. Started feeling awful pretty quickly. Chills, mostly, and a sharp headache. I tucked myself in on the couch with blankets and a hot water bottle, and then went to bed early.

The night was rough: alternating fever and chills, every couple of hours, waking me up. The dull headache. The body aches. I felt awful by the time Monday rolled around.

Tessa was howling like crazy, and Charlotte wouldn’t leave me. We had to bring Charlotte’s breakfast into my room, because she wouldn’t leave me to eat.

Speaking of eating, except for the first night, with the other three shots, I always had a healthy appetite. Not this one. I barely ate at all on Monday. Couldn’t even stand the thought of food.

I listened to the last day’s worth of summit sessions, lying on my acupressure mat, because I couldn’t sit up for that long. I don’t think I got much out of it, because I couldn’t concentrate. But I learned a lot from the other days, so I’m glad I did it. There was a little too much market-speak at times for their tradition, but if one blocked off that noise, the actual teachers had interesting information to impart.

I felt a little bit better in the afternoon and turned around a script coverage. It took everything out of me, so I was back to the couch after that.

A radio producer who likes my work wants to record “Horace House Hauntings” in June, which makes me very happy. He’d planned to do so as the pandemic hit, and it was postponed, but now they’re back on track. I’m absolutely delighted.

I went to bed very early (7:30) and sort of slept/woke/slept/woke all night. I still have a headache, body aches, and fatigue today, but I’m better.

I kind of have to be, because the car goes into the mechanic this morning, and it can’t be postponed.

I have another script in my queue that has to be turned around today. I’d hoped the effects from Shot 4 were going to be mild, and the day I’d blocked off (yesterday) for recovery would be spent writing, but no such luck. Let’s hope I feel well enough to do well in my video conference with a potential new client on Thursdays.

Hope you had a good weekend, and I hope this week is lovely.

Fri. Jan. 29, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 254 — Work at a Steady Pace

image by Karl Eggers via pixabay.com

Friday, January 29, 2021

Last Day of Full Moon

Bitterly Cold

Yesterday’s Zoom meditation group was great yesterday. The leader always introduces us to wonderful techniques and possibilities.

Got an ad done for a client.

Worked on the article, finished it, checked quotes with one source, sent it off. The editor has a few suggestions, so I will turn those around today. I’m glad for them – there were a few problem spots I wasn’t sure how to tackle, and her guidance is a big help.

She also suggested another article, so I’m going to look for some sources and put together a pitch to send her next week.

The first part of the article, “In the Company of (Historical) Women Part I” is up. I want to put together the PDF for the contributors and send them the link, and then I will be promoting the heck out of it!

The landlord and the contractor roamed around the outside of the house in the snow, which seemed counter-intuitive to me, but whatever. The cats did not like it; usually they take a look out the window and then go back to sleep, but they didn’t like this guy.

Got out a bunch of LOIs. Finished reading WICKED AUTUMN, the first of G.M. Malliet’s Max Tudor series and really liked it. I’ve ordered the rest of the series.

Still trying to get my mom her vaccine appointments. One site is still down; the other claims all the appointments are booked. Governor Baker shrugs it off, saying the lack of doses aren’t his fault. Interesting, when the Sociopath from his own party was destroying everything, Baker at least put up the façade of fighting for us. Now that the other party is in charge, he’s happy to pass the buck. Unacceptable.

The short story about the ghost pirate ship was rejected, which made me sad. The letter was very nice – they got over 1400 submissions, and could only take 20. Still, I really love that story. I’ll take a look to see what needs tweaking and improving, and then look for another paying market.

Knowledge Unicorns was good; steady work on assignments. There’s a lot of pressure for the kids to go back to in-person learning, in the places where it’s being done. The parents and I are all united that’s not going to happen until they’re all vaccinated. Some of the kids will remain home-schooled, even when it’s safe to go back. They are doing better in this environment: fewer distractions, less bullying. They’re smart and love to learn, and they CAN do well remotely. The education system was failing them even before the pandemic, because it didn’t have room for their individuality and their intelligence. What I also love is how they have made friends with each other, and are in touch outside of the homework sessions, even though we’re all scattered around the country. And their parents now have each other as a support system, too.

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get a piece ready for that February 1 submission deadline. I don’t think I’ll have enough time to polish. We’ll see how I feel later today.

It’s bitterly, bitterly cold. I was going to do a library run for curbside pickup; now I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow? I’ll see how I feel in a few hours. That pushes a lot onto tomorrow, as far as the dump run and the grocery run. Plus, I need to get more ice melt. I’ll clean ash out of the fireplace later, so we can have the fire going all weekend. Maybe I’ll do some baking, too.

I’m going to do a couple of hours’ worth of work on a client’s website, and turn around the edits on the article. Then, I’ll work on the next article pitch, so I can send it to my editor early next week.

I HAVE to catch up on all the box purging that didn’t get done this week. Most of the weekend will focus on that, along with housework and errands, the book for review, contest entries, and maybe some work on a play.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Stay cozy!