Wed. Oct. 22, 2014: Writing Immersion and Diving Class

Wednesday, October 22, 2104
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Busy, busy time.

Friday morning, I was up at 4:30 AM and out the door around 5:45 AM, heading for Woods Hole. I couldn’t quite remember how to get to the Palmer Ave. lot for ferry parking, and, of course, Google Maps, Mapquest, AND GPS on the phone were wrong. Gee, there’s a surprise.

I found it anyway, but sort of remembering where to go when I got there, and made the 7 AM ferry. It was cold and wet outside, so I rode inside, and was able to do my 1K on INITIATE.

I had time, when I reached Vineyard Haven, to have a quick snack – coffee and chocolate croissant at Nat’s Nook, on Main Street. Very good, and it seems like a fun place to hang out. That’s one thing I miss about the area where I live now on Cape – a lack of coffee shops where I can hang out.

Arrived at the library. The workshop was GREAT. We had such fun, and it was very relevant to what I’m doing. I love spending time with the Vineyard Librarians, and I love that Martha’s Vineyard has SIX very distinct libraries, all on one island. I keep threatening to make a day trip and visit all of them!

Lunch at the Black Dog, near the water, burger and a beer. Caught an earlier ferry back than I expected, and it was so beautiful I rode outside the whole way. What a gorgeous day. Hard to come back.

Returned to the library/office for the last couple of hours of the day and tried to catch up. Some books came in that I knew had holds on them, so I went back on Saturday (my Saturday “off”) for about an hour to do processing, etc.

Watched PENNY DREADFUL all weekend. Had really mixed feelings about it. There may be spoilers in here, so read on at your own risk. Loved the production design. Would have been nice if they’d use an occasional key light here and there so we could actually see it. There’s dim lighting for mood effect and then there are scenes that are so poorly lit you can’t tell what’s going on, and this series has too much of the latter. And I started in lighting, and have lit theatre, film, and television, so yes, I know of what I speak. I had problems with the final confrontation with the vampires taking place in a theatre where a different storyline focused. It didn’t make sense, and felt like they’d run out of money for locations. If the vampires had nested in the theatre, the Creature (being not entirely human himself) would have known. And the vampires would have attacked the actors and the audience AND the Creature, so the logic set up in the world didn’t make sense. My biggest problem was, yet again, another male creator depicts negative female sexuality. The lead females were a consumptive whore and a woman possessed when she enjoys sex. Yes, those are common tropes of the era; however, when you’re going to take a genre to new heights, explore it in new ways – I expect better. By the time we got to the madhouse episode, I was irritated – yeah, let’s have an hour-long episode JUST about torturing the lead female character and call it “backstory” and “motivation”. And then the possession episode – right, because if a woman appears strong and in control and then loses control in a passionate encounter and wants/likes sex, she MUST be possessed by a demon. I was outright angry by the end of it. I thought there was a lot of depth and humanity in the other storyline, about Frankenstein and the Creature, but suddenly they have Victor as a morphine addict, several episodes in, without giving us an indication of it before? He wouldn’t be able to think, be as precise or as creative if he was an addict addled by drugs. I thought Harry Treadawell, Rory Kinnear, and Josh Hartnett were all very good. I’m interested in seeing what they do with the next season, but if they continue this negative portrayal of female sexuality (no matter how they pretend to justify it), I’ll stop watching. This is an outdated, overworn cliché that, if you’re going to break new ground with the genre, you have to go beyond “women who enjoy sex are possessed”. I realize that there are plenty of religious fundamentalists who still believe that, but the rest of us have moved beyond it.

The rest of the weekend was about writing INITIATE. Wrote a LOT. Typed up several earlier chapters, because I had to make fixes in a few things that needed to be set up in order for the chapters I’m doing now to work. Didn’t do enough work on RED WIDOW – will have to make up for that this week. I was as surprised as my character when he got unexpectedly seduced by a minor character.

Sent of the writers’ center board minutes on Monday. Spent most of Monday and Tuesday writing. Well, Sunday, too. In fact, I was up until midnight on Monday writing. Tuesday afternoon I had diving class in Onset – learning a lot that will help in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have homework, which I’m sure will spur more questions. I put on some of the equipment. It’s damn heavy. Good to get my hands on things.

To the library early this morning; have the annual meeting for the Writers Center, and then I have to bake, because tomorrow morning, I have a board meeting at the Marine Life Center.

Never a dull moment, and that’s a good thing.


Published in: on October 22, 2014 at 9:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Sept. 7, 2012: I Love Riding the Ferry!

Friday, September 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Yesterday was a really terrific day out on Martha’s Vineyard — I’ll have photos soon! Up at 5, had to do some things at the desk first, On the road a little before 7 — I was sure I would miss the 8:15 ferry, since I got caught behind every slowpoke on Rt. 28. But I made it, with 5 minutes to spare.

The ferry ride over was GORGEOUS. The weather was perfect, the water calm. 45 minutes of pleasure.

My friends were waiting for me at the Vineyard Haven dock. We went over to the Black Dog for breakfast. They had the blueberry pancakes — I had them last time I was there, and they are the best pancakes ever. I had an apple fritter, which was about the size of my head! We wandered around to thrift shops — I got a solid brass door knocker in the shape of a grandfather clock! It’s adorable. I’ve been looking for a door knocker since we moved to the Cape. I love it. And, of course, I’m always on the hunt for demitasse spoons, but didn’t find any. Found a baby spoon that can pinch hit if necessary. Wandered into bookstores and little other stores in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Had lunch at Linda Jean’s in Oak Bluffs. I bought a lovely candle by one of my favorite manufacturers in one store, and a lovely silver and aquamarine seahorse necklace in another. We hung out at the house overlooking the water, and I made the 5 PM ferry back — another lovely ride on a beautiful evening.

Even got back in time to vote in the district primary!!! And my person won, so I feel like my vote mattered! 😉

Relaxed in the evening, and the mind turned to some of the more frustrating elements I’ve been dealing with the past week. Fortunately, one of the outstanding clients paid — let’s hope the other one does soon, and that the checks that are due by the end of this week and early next week come in on time.

Iris dived under the covers this morning in the bed. Violet thought she was jumping on me, but landed on Iris, and there was much caterwauling, chasing, and carrying on. At 5 am. So much for sleeping in!

There was a good bit of damage to the garden from the storm. After I run some errands this morning, I’ll spend time in the garden. Hopefully, the rain will hold off long enough for me to mow the terraced back or I’ll need to hire people with machetes to come through!

The weekend will be devoted to the Jain Lazarus adventures — the short story, working on CRAVE THE HUNT, starting edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I have to schedule some day-long workshops with Fearless Ink, too, and look into a couple of grant application opportunities.

This morning, I parted ways with a client, and there’s a huge sense of relief. Gives me room to replace that client with a more positive match.

Have to finish the reading for the Sustainability Course, write my paper, do my project proposal, and take the quizzes.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Partly cloudy and cool

We went to Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, which was great. The picture above is from June’s trip, because I haven’t downloaded the photos from my camera yet.

Up at 5:30, out the door before 7, we arrived at the ferry early. Instead of waiting for the Tourist Ferry, they let us on the “Real People ferry” with early morning trucks and commuters. No fancy seats or coffee shop — just laminate benches over metal lockers on either side of the flat, open area for the cars and trucks. This ferry takes only a half hour, not 45 minutes. Loved it, in spite of the noise and the smell of oil. Felt much more connected to the water.

We disembarked in Vineyard Haven. It was just after 8 in the morning, so not much was open. We had coffee and a muffin at Beetlebung’s, which was great. Really nice place.

Stopped at the Chamber of Commerce for some information, and hopped onto the tour that was leaving. We had about an hour in Oak Bluffs, waiting for the next ferry boat to come in, and then the bus filled up and off we were.

It hit all the towns, which my friend took me through when I visited in June, but in a different order. The history was great, but our tourguide talked really fast and mumbled, so I only got about 1/3 of it. However, I remembered a lot of what my friend told me and what I’d read in the interim, so it worked out.

I was amazed by how different Aquinah looked in the different season. I’ll have to post the photos beside each other — the coloration is quite different. It was much quieter, too, which was nice.

We wound up in Oak Bluffs again, and went to have a late lunch at Offshore Ale, where I’d eaten with my friend in June. I made sure to order something different this time — I have the habit of having a “favorite thing” at a restaurant and always ordering it. So I made sure to try something else. And it was really good!

The ferry back was full of busloads of tourists — it was the big tourist ferry out of Oak Bluffs, last day for the ferries out of OB. The bus pulls into the car port and burps out the passengers upstairs. We got a good seat by the window, though, so it was fine. Just seemed to take forever after the other ferry in the morning! Lots of traffic coming home, and then had to deal with the stuff that happened while we were gone.

The tulip bulbs arrived, and I want to get them into the ground today before the storm, if possible. I’m way behind on everything. And yet, by Monday night, I was caught up. Yesterday was my first day off in a month, maybe two. I thought I was really organized and caught up, but I feel ridiculously far behind today and discouraged. I need to reconfigure things so I work smarter. I have the right to take off a day here and there, and I have to find a better way so it doesn’t all stack up in such an out of control way when I’m gone.

Another teacher advised me to stop investing so much in my students, that “it” isn’t worth it. Well, I happen to think most of them are worth it. I just have to come up with a smarter way to work, so I’m not pulling 16-20 hour days/7 days a week without relief. Financially and energetically, it doesn’t work out. So I have to find a better way to work, and I have to hold firm when students make demands beyond what I can meet. Even though Saturn isn’t retrograde right now, its position in my chart is STILL kicking my ass! 😉

Fortunately, I have a new Sharon Shinn novel waiting for me as a reward when I do catch up.

And I had a great morning’s work on the book.


Today’s word count: 2362
Total word count: 21,704

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Aquinah, Martha’s Vineyard

Friday, June 3, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I got up very early yesterday, so I could take care of everything that needed attention before I left. I meandered to Falmouth, parked in the Palmer Ave. lot. The bus was there, so I got on and shuttled to Woods Hole. Bought my ticket, and they told me to get right on the ferry.

Once I was settled, I discovered that I was on the earlier ferry than planned! I called my friend, who, fortunately, was up!

View from the ferry

Then, I couldn’t remember if I’d rolled up the window in the car. I knew I’d driver with it cracked, and I’m usually very good about rolling it up when I get out of the car. I couldn’t remember; I couldn’t go back. I decided not to let it ruin my day. Either I left it cracked and would pay the consequences, or I was my usual reliable self and couldn’t let it taint the day.

My friend picked me up in Vineyard Haven and we toured around the island all day. It’s much bigger than I expected, and so pretty! We ate breakfast at the famous Black Dog — best blueberry pancakes ever.

She gave me an overview of the entire island. I liked pretty much everything about it.

I’m fascinated by this statue at Menemsha. There’s no plaque, so I’ll have to do some research.

The different colors on the water were gorgeous. I was great to walk on the sand, dip my feet into the ocean. We did a little shopping in Aquinnah (used to be Gay Head). We had lunch at Offshore Ale in, I think, it’s Edgartown. Mussels, calamari. clam strips, and Menemsha Ale.

I talked to every dog I met all day — couldn’t tell you about the people, but I met a lot of dogs! One lovely young lab slipped his harness and tracked me down inside a jewelry store! His owner came after him, and explained, as I held the dog so he could be re-harnassed that he wound up with the only labrador on the planet who’s afraid of water, and when the dog saw them walking towards the harbor, he freaked and slipped his harness. Poor thing! His person kept trying to reassure him, “I’m not going to make you go into the water. Don’t worry. But we parked in the lot over there. We have to walk that way.”

The Chappy ferry, to Chappaquiddick reminds me of the ferry in Cornwall — it’s basically a raft with a motor on it, and fits two cars. There’s no schedule. It just goes when someone needs to go back and forth!

The gingerbread-decorated houses in Oak Bluffs are astonishing. The detail in some of the cutout trim is just gorgeous, such as this one, of the carousel horses. When I walked towards it, I thought it was painted. It wasn’t until I was standing right in front of it that I realized it was cut.

I got a history of Cape and the Islands by Paul Schneider, which I look forward to reading. We spent so much time touring around that we had about a half hour at my friend’s house! It’s adorable, a beach shack from the 1930’s, just perfect for a Vineyard getaway, and with a lovely view.

Each of the communities has a very distinct personality, and the overall vibe of the place is friendly and sensible. It’s a little on the expensive side, but that’s island life, especially when you have tourists coming to spend money. There are lots of artists and garden centers and other things I hope to come back and spend more time visiting off-season. Getting there is so easy, and the Steamship Authority is organized, low-key, and the most reasonably priced of the ferry systems. The ferries are very comfortable, with both indoor and outdoor space.

View from my friend’s house

I just made the 6:15 ferry back at Oak Bluffs, was shuttled back to Falmouth to the car, and off I went home. Yes, I HAD properly closed the windows and locked the car!

Stopped to pick up berries and a bottle of wine on the way home. Got home a little after 8, showered, changed, checked email, and relaxed. I got some color, although I was diligent about sunscreen. It doesn’t hurt, so I’m not going to worry about it.

This morning, I was up early again, tended the garden. The pumpkin blossoms opened this morning, which is very exciting! It was so cool overnight that the heat kicked on.

I vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, set out the garden statuary, watered what needed to be watered, and set up the breakfast spread.

My friends and their dog arrived a little after 9:30. I’d corralled the cats up in my bedroom. The dog was so happy to play in the yard and run around. She’s a big black lab, and just as sweet as can be. We had breakfast and caught up.

Now that they’re gone, I’ve started the dishwasher, and I’ll catch up online. Then, I’ve got a press release and an article to get out the door today, along with some other writing.

And yes, it’s three days until the release of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT from Champagne Books!


Published in: on June 3, 2011 at 10:56 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT releases in 4 days from Champagne Books!

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

No idea what the weather is, because I’ve scheduled this to post. I’m headed for Martha’s Vineyard today, way earlier than I would have liked. Since the garden needs 1 hour of attention before I leave, I need 1 hour for yoga/meditation and 1 hour for writing — I’m up three hours earlier than normal.

Got some work done yesterday. Decided I wanted to mow the terraced back before it got too hot, so around 9:30, off I went. Just as I finished, thunderstorms broke out. Talk about timing! Took grass clippings to the dump, going a different way due to paving on Rt. 28. I found my way there and back without getting lost.

Hit the post office, hit Verizon, went to Home Goods and found three awesome planters in which to transplant the witch hazel, the Big King Eggplant, and the lilac. All one sale, for about 70% off. Also found a Ganesh-type statue for the deck. Looked at a couple of leaf-shaped birdbaths — that might be a better choice than the traditional basin-type. I have to think about it.

Stopped at Shaw’s to get in some supplies for tomorrow’s breakfast, since I have friends stopping by on their way further into the Cape. It also meant I had to dash around cleaning. I mean, I’ve been keeping up with the basics, but because of the unpacking and projects, I’ve scattered stuff around. So it was about tidying, wiping off the counters, etc. I’ll vacuum quickly tomorrow morning, clean the bathroom and the litter boxes shortly before they come, and it’s all good.

I was advised to take an overnight bag to the Vineyard in case there’s ferry trouble. Let’s hope there’s not, and I can get back this afternoon and do a few last-minute things for tomorrow!

Got out another article. Didn’t spend enough time on SPIRIT REPOSITORY or the article meant to start.

I’d pitched to be a guest poster, as Annabel Aidan, on The Writers Vineyard (which features Champagne authors) and . . . a slot opened up and I’ll be blogging there about once a month. My first post is on June 16. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you!

Good meeting for NMLC’s Mermaid Ball. Interesting mix of characters on the committee. We’ve all got different strengths, so as long as we let people do what they’re good at and not try to force them where they’re not, I think we’ll be in great shape. The chair of the committee and the head of the publicity committee are excellent, and I’m excited to work with them. I’m going to rough out some of the ideas over the weekend about what we discussed, in time for next week’s meeting.

Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final! Game still going on when I set this to post. Of course, one of the guys most vital to the evolution of CLEAR THE SLOT (the hockey novel) now plays for Vancouver and is in the playoffs. How can I not want him to do well, even though I’ve got to root for Boston?

Tornadoes did a good bit of damage in central MA. On the radio, driving back over the bridge, we were warned about severe weather and maybe even hail. I stacked the deck furniture and protected the plants as best I could. Fingers crossed it didn’t come to pass.

Lots to do when I came home. There’s no way I’ll get to bed early, but I still had to get up at 5 AM on Thursday! I’m looking forward to a meditation session before bed. I need to sit and just BE.

Iris keeps trying to dig open the door to the basement. I hope she’s not telling us we have to go down due to an incoming funnel!

I’ll have lots to tell you tomorrow, and lots to blog about!