Tues. May 17, 2022: This, That, and Other

image courtesy of monicore via pixabay.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Waning Moon

Sunny and cool

So it was Mercury Retrograde chaotic. Friday morning, after my first writing session on the porch, I decided to do the script coverage in the morning, so I’d have a longer weekend, but it all took longer than expected. Plus, it took an hour to get the computer limping along again. I also cleaned out the refrigerator, which was a bigger job than I expected, but it’s clean and shiny and we got rid of those bits and bobs that tend to take up residence in the back of the shelves and morph into scary monsters.

By afternoon, I was tired, even though the work wasn’t that difficult. I read on the porch, played with the cats, fussed over the plants. We’re having wasp issues this year, again. I managed to kill one of them; according to MOTHER NATURE’S HERBAL, I can use sugar water to get rid of them. If it continues to be an issue, that is what I will do.

I was actually happy for most of the day. I’ve been almost afraid to be happy since the move, afraid the other shoe would drop and something else awful would happen. But we are happy here. This was the right move. We love the home, we enjoy the city, there’s a lot for which to be grateful and to enjoy every day. I need to allow myself to experience that instead of being afraid of it.

My mom turned over her winter clothes for her summer clothes. Willa “helped” – which was pretty hilarious.

I made a simple dinner of breaded flounder, rice, and steamed vegetables for dinner, and we had gelato for dessert. Time to stock up on the gelato!

Rough night again of strange dreams and waking up with stress memory. Charlotte has decided she prefers to sleep either stretched out along my back or curled up against my chest. Which is sweet, except it’s a little too hot for that. That’s more of a winter thing!

Up early on Saturday, another sunny and hot day. I wrote on the porch, with Tessa for company. After yoga, I switched out the flannel sheets for bamboo sheets, and switched out the comforters.

McAfee forced me to renew the virus protection (nearly a month early). They gave me a “discount” and then I had to uninstall the old version and install the new version and restart the computer (which was having screen freezes anyway). When it all got fired up again – every screen looks completely different. Every feature runs differently. I assume that’s part of Windows11. I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet – I mean, it’s a sleeker, more modern look – but it’s different and I have to get used to it.

Did a bunch of paperwork that had to go out on Monday. Signed up for Counter Social. I’m @DevonEllington over there.

Usual Saturday housework stuff.

If you missed the Self-Care for Mercury Retrograde oracle spread over on Ko-fi, you can find it here.

Made potato salad and put some chicken in the crockpot with honey barbecue sauce. Switched from flannel sheets to bamboo sheets, and put away the winter comforter for the summer, rose-patterned one (Charlotte’s favorite). Fussed over the plants, including changing the water in the birdbath. Put together two of the three small shelf units I bought. They’re much nicer in person than they look on the package. The third unit is missing a shelf, so I had to return it yesterday.

These two small units are for my tarot cards, only I don’t think they will all fit, and I’ll still need to use some space in the blue bookcase (where they all used to live, in the other house, but where I also have writing books and poetry books now in my office).

Finished repotting the rest of the plants bought last week, repotted the last Cape Cod geranium, and planted some more seeds: the new morning glory, cat grass, some marigold seeds sprinkled in with the ruby cherry tomato we bought.

The college across the street had their graduation on Saturday, and it was a beautiful day for it. It was joyful in the neighborhood, although one young woman, wearing shorts and a tee shirt under her robe (and high heels), walked by and said, “Oh, my God! I just realized it’s all over. What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”

As someone who knew what I wanted by the time I was six, that made me laugh.

The neighbor across the street put rows of solar lights along the path to the front steps. Which is great, I love that they’re decorating. However, at night, it kind of looks like a landing strip!

We discussed the various road trips that have been on the table, that we hoped to do this summer. We decided to cancel the trip to Ithaca. It was supposed to be a pilgrimage to Moosewood Restaurant, but they keep having to close for a few days here and there as their staff tests positive for COVID. Which means their patrons are being selfish and going out to eat while positive. Even with outdoor seating, it’s not worth the risk. We’ll put it off, and see how things are in fall, or next summer. We’d also considered doing a quick hop to York, Maine, just for an overnight. But, with the variants being more dangerous for those over 60, even with double boosting, we’re not comfortable doing an overnight in a hotel, even if we can get our favorite pizza in the area as takeout. So that’s cancelled (although we have the sneaking suspicion we’ll have to head that way for a funeral at some point over the summer; a family member is not doing well).

I still hope to do a back-and-forth with friends to Beacon. I’d like to visit there, and would love them to visit here. I’m still hoping to do a day trip over to Saratoga during race season to visit with friends there whom I haven’t seen since before we moved to the Cape.

My mom really wants to do a couple of small trips, since she’s basically been in isolation for going on three years now. So we picked a few places nearby and will do short day trips. And I’ve got a book of unusual places right here in the Berkshires we can visit. We didn’t really get a chance to explore much last summer, because we were so traumatized and exhausted by the move.

Plus, with a season pass for Windsor Lake, we can pop up there whenever we want.

If we take our jaunts midweek, it won’t be as crowded. We won’t eat indoors; we’ll get takeout and eat in a park or something. The great thing about freelance is that if I take off a day midweek, I just work a weekend day, and, as long as I meet my deadlines, it doesn’t matter when the work is done, as long as it gets done. When we return, we will follow decontamination protocols, and we will continue to mask indoors. I mean, not at home, but I’m still masking at the grocery store, library, anywhere else I go inside. And when we travel, we will do the same.

So that discussion and those plans took a lot of stress out of the mix. We won’t be able to get a storage run in before Memorial Day, so maybe we’ll do one in early June, and then nothing until autumn again. I’m hoping I can get enough work this summer so I can afford to rent a storage unit up here and move everything up. If I can even find a storage unit up here. But the prices listed are much less than I’m paying on Cape, and it certainly would be easier to get at things. And maybe store things seasonally.

Dug into my Elizabethan theatre research again, for a long-time idea that might, later this year, be ready to form, if I tweak it into an alternate universe, instead of making it historical. An idea on a book about Jonson and his masques gave me an idea for an arc for The Big Project, should I decide that the initial arcs are strong enough to support continuing. (That will all make sense when I publicly announce what The Big Project actually is).

I have to figure out when I can make an appointment at the Williamstown Historical Society so that I can do some more research into the history of The Spruces for the Retro Mystery. I’m pretty sure I want to write it for this year’s National Novel Writing Month in November.

The eclipse energy started hitting me in the evening, and my emotions were all over the place.

Tessa let me sleep until 6:30 Sunday morning, which was wonderful. It’s light enough and warm enough now to do my first writing session of the day (in longhand) on the front porch, and once she’s had her breakfast, Tessa joins me. The scout crows stop by and we all have our morning chat. Tessa has developed a really strong relationship with the two scout crows. They chat every morning. And it’s not like the birds she wants to catch, out back, with the swishing tail and the predatory body language; it’s a chat.

Still having trouble with the computer. It takes an hour to boot up every morning, even from sleep mode. Then it takes about 20 minutes to start running properly, without freezing screens. If I take a break for a few minutes, with the laptop lid up and it goes into screensaver mode, it takes 20-40 minutes to rev back up. Usually, if I take longer breaks, I put the lid down to protect the keyboard from cats and dust, but then I have to start the whole hour boot-up process again.

This is not okay. It cuts in too much of my workday. How is this an “improvement” or an “upgrade”? I have PLENTY of space on the hard drive for this upgrade.

I got the email for the World’s Largest Poem, giving me the heads-up that I will get my prompt in 7-10 days. So excited to be a part of this.

Edited three chapters on CAST IRON MURDER. The pace, the flow, the story, are all working, thank goodness. Updated my tracking sheets, too.

Took “Personal Revolution” down and will revise it so it can work on more platforms. Since it’s set around the 4th of July, I want to make sure it’s clear of all the previous outlets before the re-re-release. Looking at it, it needs more revision than I’d hoped.

Updated the Devon Ellington Work site.

Finished reading TO MARRY AND TO MEDDLE by Martha Waters, which was kind of fun. The theatre/backstage scenes were done particularly well, and I appreciated that.

Started John Scalzi’s THE KAIJU PRESERVATION SOCIETY, which promises to be one of his typical wild rides.

We had thunderstorms, so I took down the hanging baskets, worried they would get pounded. Students are moving into the ground floor unit across the street; I wonder if they’re there just for the summer, or are staying all year.

Up early on Monday, thanks to Tessa. The computer actually booted up pretty quickly. Got some blogging done, and put up the GDR post for the week, which you can read here. Started revisions on “Personal Revolution.” It needs more work than I’d hoped, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Revised three more chapters for CAST IRON MURDER. Got the inbox down from over 1000 emails to just over 200. Looked at some calls for submission. Did some admin.

The morning was gorgeous, and I got out and did errands: returned the shelf unit missing a shelf for a refund (they’d sold out of the units, so I couldn’t just swap it out); dropped off/picked up books at the library; went to the liquor store.

Found out that Berkshire Gas is doing their inspection of the lines today (the one where I’d been trying to get actual information for weeks, and finally just turned it over to the landlord). They may or may not have to come into the apartment. Which meant I spent the afternoon cleaning instead of working. Not that the place is dirty (I mean, I cleaned over the weekend). But still. I wanted it to be even better. I mean, we still haven’t unpacked everything yet, and we’ve lived here for nearly a year.

Finished reading John Scalzi’s THE KAIJU PRESEERVATION SOCIETY, which was a wild ride. I don’t know how he does it, but that brain of his is certainly unique. Read THE AMBER CROWN, by Jacey Bedford, which was a much grittier alternate world fantasy than one usually gets. Started THE BONE ORCHARD by Sara A Mueller, which is fascinating.

Thunderstorms and intense rain came through in the afternoon and evening. But it’s absolutely gorgeous this morning.

The MADE IN MARSEILLES cookbook arrived yesterday. The jerk of a postman (I think our former, lovely postman retired) also left a package for 10 numbers down the street with my package. So I went down the street (in the rain) to make sure they got it. Our former postman loved his job and all the people on his route. This one doesn’t give a crap about any of it, and doesn’t even pretend otherwise.

Doing some last-minute cleaning this morning, and taking the garbage out. Then, it’s back to the page in the morning, knowing I could be interrupted at any point for the inspection. We’ve closed the doors to the bedrooms and the laundry room, and the cats are very confused.

I hope to work on revisions for CAST IRON MURDER, The Big Project, and the radio plays today, along with some script coverage. Tomorrow morning, the car goes back in, hopefully, to be fixed once and for all.

I’m hoping to even work outside on the back balcony, in one of our enchanted garden spots. I’m pretty sure if I do, Willa will want to come out, and we’ll put her in her playpen for safety.

I’m not talking about the three mass murders by gun over the weekend, or how the Supreme Court continues to force its ideological agenda on the country. This post is long enough. That will wait for a different day.

Have a good one, friends.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Oooh, Dell, Microsoft, McAfee, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

The McAfee causes upwards of 5 computer crashes per day. It is out of control and it hates TweetDeck. McAfee cost me over $3K in lost work time during March. Unbelievable. And I can’t remove it from the computer. And now this piece of Dell crap – the space bar flew off the keyboard. I put it back on, but it’s wonky and I have to pound the bar to create spaces. My thumb is bruised, and I can only type for a few minutes at a time. I’m NOT buying a new keyboard when I plan to get a new computer.

It’s appalling that these companies are allowed to get away with the crap they pull.

And, I’m having flash drive problems, probably connected to the Microsoft/McAfee problems.

Before yet more computer problems, I managed to get some proofreading done on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, submit a short story, and get out a query on a project. So it wasn’t an entirely lost day.

Now, it looks like Iris might have to go to the vet, poor thing. Not exactly sure what’s wrong with her, but something’s not right. Will watch her closely for the next few days. She seems okay this morning – hopefully it’s all resolved.

I had a good morning’s writing session in longhand. I will try typing wearing a thimble on my thumb, because otherwise I can’t type. Middle Finger Award to Dell for both substandard merchandise and their refusal to honor the service contract.

Now, for the great news: The submission I made yesterday was accepted. BOOKS FOR MONSTERS bought “The Retriever”. Woo-hoo! Got the contract this morning; already sent it back.


Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 7:02 am  Comments (10)  
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Okay, it’s the middle of April and there’s still frost on the car windows in the mornings. That’s just wrong!

Yesterday was another odd, interesting day. On the positive side, I spent most of the day working on the play, FEMME FATALE. Act I was hard – I don’t know why, but I had a terrible time with it. I realized I had to introduce the faux villain earlier for it to make sense – the actual villain’s intro still works. I planted a few red herrings, worked in a few surprises, but it took me all morning to finish the act. I started working on Act II in the afternoon, which is much easier. I have a clearer idea of what I want, the dialogue sparkles, the layers are mostly there, it’s chugging along quite nicely.

On the negative side, in the afternoon, I started having computer problems again. I wound up with seven computer crashes. SEVEN. Some of them were caused by McAfee. Some of them were simply because Microsoft and Dell suck.

On the odd/interesting side, I’d downloaded TweetDeck the day before. There are things I like about it and things I don’t. I still need to use the old version sometimes, especially first thing in the morning, when I’ve been off the computer all night; TweetDeck only allows me to scroll down for a finite period & I can’t catch up on everything I’ve missed. But it’s easier to send a message, shorten an URL, track incoming messages, all that. So, using both works.

However, I was Tweeted approximately every 14 seconds. That gets a little distracting. I had the Deck open most of the day, and it pings when a new message comes in. I can see where that can be a time suck. I didn’t mind during Act I, because it was such a struggle, but it got annoying during Act II. Today, I’ll go back to just checking in occasionally.

And, McAfee HATES TweetDeck. The McAfee kept hijacking the Deck and the entire computer and bringing it down. For awhile there, after all the Conficker updates, McAfee was behaving itself, but this week, it’s back to the same old crap. And, of course, neither their Customer Disservice Department nor the Executive Office can be bothered to even respond to the complaints. However, the BBB has, and I appreciate it. The complaints will continue (as will the invoices for lost work time) until it is resolved to my satisfaction.

I made a pitch to an Australian magazine. I’d come across it a few days ago and sent an introductory email. They responded, so I responded back, and we’ll see from there where it goes. I really like the magazine, the pay rate’s decent, and I’d like to be involved with them. We’ll see how it goes.

The sci-fi book surprised me yesterday, in a good way. I’m getting a better idea of the overall structure and plot for this particular novel. The subplots were clear before the plot, which is weird, but hey, one of the things I’ve tried to strengthen in my work over the past few months is the use of subplot. This is where scriptwriting is useful – you need to weave in at least one “B” storyline succinctly into a finite number of pages (especially for a television script). Learning how to do that and then apply it to a novel helps.

I realized this morning that I shut off my phone a few days ago when I went to the library and left it off. Oops.

Some errands, and it looks like a nice day. I think I can walk to all of them, so I will alternate writing sessions with errands and split up my day a bit.

I had a reasonably pleasant exchange with building management yesterday and the hot water was back a little before noon.

DAUGHTER OF BOSTON shipped yesterday. I can’t wait to receive it and read it!

Back to the page.


Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 6:09 am  Comments (3)  
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Partly Sunny and cold

How to Deal with a Writing Saboteur:

Stranger: So, what do you do?

Me: I’m a writer.

Stranger: Oh, I love to read! I’ve always wanted to write, I have lots of great ideas, but I’ve never gotten around to it. What an easy way to make a living! All you do is sit around in your pajamas and make things up. I read all the time Would I have read anything of yours?

Me: I don’t know. What do you like to read?

Stranger: I read EVERYTHING.

Me: (reels off several of the names/titles/publications).

Stranger: You can’t be a REAL writer. I’ve never heard of any of those.

Me: Obviously, you don’t read that much or keep up with hot new releases.

There’s no need to be gracious to someone who tries to disguise jealousy with false enthusiasm.

Because if it’s someone who’s genuinely interested and excited about your work, the person will say, “Oh, I haven’t read any of that yet. Where can I find it?” THAT is an actual reader, someone worth the interaction.

Let’s face it, no matter how much any of us read, there will always be new-to-us authors. That’s part of the fun.

On to our regularly scheduled blogging:

It was really good to be offline for a couple of days. I think I’m going to have to do that more often, whether I’m working on a site or not. I checked email and visited a blog or two on Sunday after I got back, but that was it. Bliss.

I wrote an article on Friday morning before I had to leave for the job. I’ll polish it and send it off today.

The site job went well. The weather was great for the most part, so I got to spend time outside in the warm sunshine. By Sunday, instead of warm sunshine, we had cold rain, but that was fine.

Completed the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and will send it off this morning. It was fascinating. They’re giving me more challenging work lately, which I like.

Got some work done on CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to re-immerse myself in my Iceland trip to get the sensory details right for the Jain/Wyatt chapters set in Iceland – I think there will only be two, but it’s important to get them right. Coincidentally, negotiations have resumed about adapting one (or more) of the Icelandic myths for the stage, so I need to actually sit down and read that doorstop-weight of a book of the Icelandic Sagas over the next few months, taking notes – all 1800 pages of it.

Didn’t do any work on The Lucy Gothic, unfortunately. Mapped out a few other pieces. Had an idea in the car driving to the site for something – very strong opening scene, good characters, etc. The problem is that I don’t know why these characters are brought together or for what purpose. I’ve got a group of dynamic individuals in search of a plot, and, until I can figure out that plot, there’s nothing I can do, because it will just all fall apart. I jotted down some notes, and it’s put away.

Worked on a couple of outlines, which should be ready to go out the door this week. Went over a proposal I’ve got to submit today, and did the groundwork for another proposal I hope to get out this week. Worked on the newsletter — I’m combining March and April. I hope to get it out later today.

Also, once I got home, I managed to do some house-and-hearth stuff, including six loads of laundry and re-arranging some books. I’ve got some seeds to plant on Thursday, the next planting day on the lunar calendar. Someone moved in next door, into the apartment recently vacated by the Nasty Neighbor. I haven’t met the New Neighbor yet, but New Neighbor has a lot of bookcases and boxes of books, so I bet we’ll get along.

I re-read one of my favorite writing books, as fuel, one which I haven’t re-read in about two years. And was deeply disappointed. Whereas two years ago, although I didn’t find many of the techniques/exercises personally useful, I found the book detailing them fun and energetic. Now, I find it neurotic and filled with yet more ways to procrastinate. The words on the page haven’t changed, obviously, but where I am in my overall writing has changed a great deal. It’s interesting to see how much progress I’ve made on my own journey, but disheartening that I’ve “outgrown” this particular writer’s suggestions.

Read Colleen Gleason’s WHEN TWILIGHT BURNS, one of her Gardella Vampire Chronicles. I’d never read any of her books before. I enjoyed it – the contrast between Regency lifestyle and vampire hunting is strong. I like the characters a lot. I kind of felt like I was dumped in the middle of the wilderness without a map at times because it’s several books into the series. There were hints of what happened in previous books, so I think I’ve figured the overall series arc to this point, at least the basics; when I read the other books, I’ll find out whether or not I’m right. I liked the choice of not putting too much information about the previous books in it, and the way tidbits were woven in organically — I just felt I missed a lot. Part of it was reading when tired, but that’s the way it was. Characters are great, it’s well-plotted, the pace is good, the storylines are well-woven. All in all, I enjoyed it a lot, and I look forward to reading the other books in the series. The only thing that irked me was it’s yet another depiction of Lilith in a particular way. I’ve got a very different view of the Lilith myth, so every time I see this choice, especially in a book written by a woman, it puts me off a bit. But that’s a personal interpretation choice, which has nothing to do with the high quality of the writing. She’s got the right to create any mythology she wants (and she does it well), and it’s up to me how I respond.

I booked another job for next weekend, which will be tons of fun. Plus, the place I stay when I’m on that particular site has a fabulous kitchen, so I get to do some serious cooking along with everything else – there’s a great grocery store nearby, so I can stock up on my way in.

I have to be focused and productive this week, juggling my deadlines with client projects, but I’m looking forward to a productive week without too much paperwork B.S. I do have to have an unpleasant conversation with one of my editors at some point, but I’m being jerked around and I don’t cave to emotional blackmail; I’d rather get this sorted out sooner rather than later. I fulfill my contracts to the letter, and I expect the same from the other side of the table.

I also have to take my car in at some point for the state inspection. March is nearly over!

I will be offline on Wednesday, April 1. Not only do I loathe April Fool’s Day (the majority of so-called “jokes” usually have an undercurrent of cruelty to them, which I find inexcusable), that’s the day the Conficker worm is rumored to unleash, infecting millions of computers. And, since we know I can’t trust McAfee to do what I pay them to do and actually protect me, and since I tend to have computer problems anyway, I’m staying offline. This morning, McAfee is, of course, totally out of control. Again. And heaven forbid customer service or even the executive office can bother with the basic courtesy of a response to my numerous complaints.

When I return to the online world (hopefully, if the computer doesn’t self-destruct the following day as soon as I try to connect to the internet, which is a possibility), it will be the Sixth Anniversary of Ink in My Coffee. I can hardly believe it.

I expect to be online tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Very cold

Yesterday, while writing about researching the history of the ice cube, I wrote “mush as I love” – sounded like I’d had a glass of ice cubes with a tad too much martini in it! Sheesh!

Finished and polished The Literary Athlete column yesterday, and got it out to my editor, finally on time for once, rather than just under the wire. I think the to-do lists are helping.

I toted up how much lost work time, how many lost billable hours the Demon McAfee cost me in January and February. Are you ready for this? $1589 in lost billable hours, and that’s not even at my full rate. Yeah, they’re hearing about it.

I have to comment on the current frenzy about newspapers and magazines folding. As I see it, there are several reasons for this. One is that too many papers have been taken over by conglomerates and aren’t balancing unique local news with far-reaching stories. But the two biggest reasons I believe newspapers are failing are price and content. The NEW YORK TIMES is $1.50 PER DAY. In this economy, people can’t afford it. Yeah, the NEWS and the POST are only 50 cents, but their content’s not worth even those two bits most of the time. Newspapers are so frantic to get content out fast that they don’t care any more if it’s correct or good. Of course that’s always been the case in some newspapers, and it cycles through time periods. But I miss some of the outstanding journalism of the 1960’s and 1970’s (sure, there was crap journalism then, too, but there was also a lot of great stuff). The quality of writing has gone down, you can’t find two sides of an issue in an article any more, and there are typos and grammatical mistakes all over the place. You need to have copy editors, not just run it through spell check, which is wrong most of the time anyway. Plus, so many of the same stories are placed in different newspapers, you no longer get a sense of place when you’re in a new city and you’re reading the paper. You could be anywhere. And, despite the wails going up that ad revenue goes down, there are certain newspapers in which you need to use a magnifying glass to FIND news stories in between the ads.

As far as magazines go, I’ve dumped the bulk of my subscriptions because the content on any given month over the range of magazines is identical. Because they’re not paying writers well anymore, it reflects in the quality of the writing. And they’re edited so there are no unique voices. Every article in a given magazine sounds the same, and place four or five mags in the same genre beside each other and the content is, well, generic. On top of that, too many of these magazines are running ads by companies I find skeezy. If you’re a supposedly health-oriented magazine, I believe it’s hypocritical to run ads by companies promoting unhealthy products, and I’m not going to give you my hard-earned money.

Why would these publishers think they COULD survive?

Pay good writes what they’re worth, encourage unique voices and well-rounded content, and your sales will pick up. DUH!

I’m keeping YOGA JOURNAL and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC because they retain unique voices and have unusual, inventive features.

On the freelance front, I feel lucky because I’ve got clients on my roster who are a joy with whom to work, and whose projects I genuinely enjoy. For each of those, I’m approached about a dozen times a day by would-be clients who don’t respect my time and my work and want a lot for nothing because “it’s not hard”, “it doesn’t take so much time”, “you’re a professional, how about giving back”. I’m seriously thinking of starting a column called “Tales of the Clue-Free.” Freelancers all over the world can relate.

Gotta love Mayor Bloomberg – in yesterday’s news conference, he suggested everyone bundle up and go to the parks for sledding and free hot chocolate. Schools closed for the first time in five years.

Got some work done on the revisions of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. The changes that need to happen are starting to make sense. I’m also writing the chapter-by-chapter outline as I revise the chapters; then I’ll pull the synopsis out of that, and develop the one paragraph summary and the logline.

Got work done on several client projects in the afternoon, worked on some corporate proposals and some business correspondence. I’m also checking on a neighbor’s cat – poor baby is very lonely, so I’m spending a couple of hours with him, playing and sometimes just sitting in a chair reading a book with him on my lap (he weights more than all three of mine put together). Of course, before I go over there, it’s like surgical scrub time – different clothes, totally disinfecting myself, so I don’t bring over any germs, and then washing up again when I get back. Considering how I’m sterilizing all the cat bowls over here all the time, too, I may be a little over-cautious, but better safe than more sick kitties. I don’t always stay ahead of clutter, but I can’t stand dirt.. Right now – seriously, you COULD perform surgery in the kitchen or the bathroom. I’m cleaner than most hospitals. Yeah, I realize that’s not saying much in this day and age, but you get the idea . . .

And the cats are starting to lose their winter coats, so we’re back to daily vacuuming. Maybe most people vacuum every day, but in normal circumstances, I only vacuum once or twice a week. Not during spring and fall shedding seasons, though!

Good morning’s work on the Billy Root story. I’m getting back into the rhythm of it.

Back to the page. Plenty to do.

Elsa is a little better, which takes off some of the pressure. She’s still sneezing, but her breathing’s not as wet and steadier. It took about five days, but I think the antibiotics are finally kicking in.


Billy Root story – 25,373 words out of est. 60,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
25 / 60

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT revision – 6,581words out of est. 80,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6 / 80

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde

Believe it or not, I’m doing research on the history of the ice cube. Because, mush as I love the title “Death By Ice Cube”, it might not make sense in 1933, in the grandstand area of the track, that they used ice cubes in drinks. I also contacted the Queens Historical Society to find out if they have archival material on Jamaica Racetrack, or know who does.

And here I thought this would be a quick, easy story! No such luck!

If you haven’t seen my post on “Time Management” over at the Scruffy Dog Review blog, check it out.

My computer crashed five times yesterday, all directly related to my Demon McAfee. So, if you emailed me and haven’t heard back, I’ll make sure to catch up today.

I wrote a guest blog for a friend, did some research, and turned around the assignment for my client. It was a pleasure. Always nice to get one of those.

I gave the cats a lot of attention. Elsa seems a little better. She usually seems better during the day, and then gets worse again at night.

I’m reading a book on meditation, because that practice has, unfortunately, suffered in the stress of the past few months. Actually, I think I need to change my morning yoga sequences, because I’m having trouble focusing on them, too. The evening yoga practice is working well, but the morning one, the one I need to really get me going, needs some adjustments.

We have about six inches of snow on the ground. Supposedly, Long Island has 10 inches so far, and, instead of snowing only until noon, it’s going to snow all day all the way around. All the schools are closed, etc. I think we all deserve a snow day, don’t you?

I’ll work on March’s To-Do list for the GDR, and post it later today, get out the newsletter, catch up on email, and, hopefully, get some work done on the Billy Root story, Bedtime Louie, one of the plays, and some revision work on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.

Provided I can coax the computer through.

Have a great start to the week, everyone!