Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read about Andrew Singer’s wonderful memoir, China Sings To Me.

The 17th Anniversary of 9/11. I knew a lot of people who died that day. I still grieve. I perform my own ceremony of remembrance.

I get annoyed when people book social events, etc. on this day, but it’s not up to me. What is up to me is not engaging, and keeping it a day of remembrance in the way that works for me. People have the right to live their lives. I have the right to live mine.

For me, this day is about remembrance, commitment to those for whom I care, and trying to figure out how to make the world a better place that’s not fear-based. I have a long way to go, but at least I put in the work.

There was some sort of stomach bug prevalent in the house over the last few days. I had trouble Thursday and Saturday; my mom was sick Saturday into Sunday.

I managed to finish this draft of RELICS on Saturday night and get it off to my editor. I’ll get editing notes back later this week, turn it around, and then we go into galleys.

Meanwhile, DAVY JONES DHARMA moves into the Priority slot, with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE moving back into the secondary slot (out of the “I’ll work on it whenever” slot). CRAVE THE HUNT and the rest of what used to be POWER OF WORDS are in the “whenever” slot, and I’m percolating the opening chapter of GRAVE REACH, which goes into the back of RELICS.

GRAVE REACH is outlined, but I’m on a tight schedule for it, and have to get cracking. That will also be in a “whenever” slots.

I read some nonfiction books by an author whose work I’ve followed for decades. Some of her work resonates with me; some does not. She is not someone I want to meet or work with, though. Too many of her quirks annoy me: they’re not honest or endearing; I find them selfish and hypocritical.

But then, as someone pointed out a couple of years ago, we all have areas in which we’re hypocrites. We simply choose our level of hypocrisy. I’m trying to narrow those areas in my own life. Again, work in progress.

Also read an urban fantasy novel by a new-to-me author. I’d read one of her short stories in an anthology and liked it, so I figured I’d try a full-length book. The only book I could get from the library was in the middle of the series. Loved the action. Although, after awhile, it was too much action and not enough happening in between. The sex scenes were necessary to drive the plot, and were pretty well written, but ten pages plus, in my opinion, is too long in this case. Some of the best development of supporting characters I’ve seen in a long time. I wasn’t so thrilled about the protagonist. This was book six and she was in a place I’d have expected in the middle of book one or maybe book two. She doesn’t make a mistake once and then learn from it. She makes it five or six times, finds a solution by accident, but doesn’t apply it moving forward. That bothers me. She found out information and, at the end, it looked like she evolved, but when I read the reviews for the next few books in the series, it seems like she’s doing same old, same old. Also, according to the reviews, the cliffhanger set up at the end of this book still isn’t resolved two books down. I’m not sure I’m willing to go ahead indefinitely with constant cliffhangers, so that each book is like an overlong chapter. Especially since the cliffhanger involves the character that was my favorite in the book.

I rarely use reviews to make a decision about whether or not to read a book, but I had suspicions about where this was going, and wasn’t sure I wanted to put time into it, which is why I hunted down the reviews. I’m on the fence. If I can come across the next two books easily via the commonwealth catalogue or something (they’re not in CLAMS), I’ll try them.

Then I feel guilty, because I should support my fellow writers. However, this woman has plenty of sales — mine won’t matter! And, since a library book is a sale for her, it works all around.

I was really disgusted by the way Serena Williams was treated at the US Open. Men get away with questioning the umpire, but heaven forbid a woman, especially a talented black woman, do the same. The crowd also treated Naomi Osaka terribly. It should have been a glorious day for her, not a misogynistic one.

With Hurricane Florence a threat, I have to finish what I’m doing, cleaning-up wise, on the deck in the next few days. Here I’d hoped I’d have until nearly the end of October to use the deck as a staging area as I clean out, but I guess not.

Rehearsing for the reading, working on the calendar articles.

Onsite client work yesterday, today, tomorrow. Trying to find a new angle for the current and upcoming collections.

The newsletter went out on Friday, with cover reveals for the next three books. Next newsletter is December’s.

Working on my sell sheet for the weekend (and beyond), too.

Sent off a guest blog post. Working on the calendar articles. I want them done by the end of the month.

Got an idea from some of the non-fiction reading I’ve been doing for a novel. Playing with the setting, characters, themes, plot. We’ll see.

Working on the book I have to review.

Working. Working. Working.

I like it.

 

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Published in: on September 11, 2018 at 3:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work  
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Thurs. March 8, 2018: (Webhost) Moving, Moving

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Waning Moon
Stormy and snowy
International Women’s Day

I sat down to work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY yesterday morning. I am SO CLOSE to finishing.

And realized the chapter I’d written on Tuesday was from the wrong point of view.

This book is carefully structured in POV shifts in alternating chapters. I screwed up. Odd chapters are supposed to be from Bonnie’s POV, even from Rufus’s. Well, Chapter 31 is from Rufus’s. I’m ready to bang my head against the wall.

I was so tempted just to keep going, but I couldn’t. It changes the action. So I had to go back and rework the material. Something I couldn’t afford on any level on this deadline.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read the latest post.

And hop on over to the GDR site for a post on Intent.

The Cerridwen’s Cottage site is re-designed. I don’t have all the material uploaded yet, so I’m not officially sending people over there yet. I’m happy with the re-design. It’s giving me ideas to do a few tweaks on the Coventina Circle and the Nautical Namaste sites.

I might add a plug-in on the Devon Ellington site. The Twenty-Seventeen template works for that, but I want to change the background color on the page without writing new CSS code. I’m hoping a plug-in will fix it. If not, I’ll leave it white. White’s easy to read and to navigate, and, considering how much content I have on the page, it makes sense to keep it white. I have to figure out how to activate the social media stuff.

The Twenty-Seventeen Template did not work for the Cerridwen’s Cottage site. I switched to Twenty-Sixteen and am much happier. The Gwen Finnegan and Jain Lazarus sites are on Twenty-Sixteen, and I think I might move Coventina and Nautical Namaste to them, too, mostly so that I can do background colors on the page, and not just the border.

I’m unlocking the Fearless Ink site and prepping for that move. That’s the last of the sites that has to go. I’ll cancel my hosting package with 1&1, once it’s safely moved. Then I’ll be able to move, in 60 days, the registrations for all three domains, over to NameSilo. And I will be free of 1&1.

I will never know how much business that webhost has lost me, because of the lack of customer service, downtime, lost or delayed emails, and then, refusing to let me post jpgs unless I pay a separate monthly fee. I’m well rid of them.

I’m much happier with the new designs on the various sites, and the flexibility being on WordPress gives me. I’ve learned a lot. I still have a lot to learn, but at least I’ve learned a lot.

Once the sites are up, I can get back to writing and marketing. And creating new content.

I’d already rewritten the Fearless Ink content when I tried to move from 1&1 to Green Geeks. So it’s a case of putting in the time to the design, and then uploading the text already written, tweaking as needed. Maybe adding some graphics.

The new logo is back in re-design. As much as I liked it, a good friend pointed out that Freudians would have a field day with it. So, back to the drawing board.

I’m working on the newsletter, which will go out either the end of this week or early next week (probably early next week).

I have a meeting tomorrow morning with a potential new client. I hope it goes well — even in the emails setting it up, we seem to have a good time. Their work is a bit out of my wheelhouse, but it intrigues me.

Later today, I need to head into Hyannis and pick up some bus tickets; heading into Boston this weekend, if the weather holds.

I’m playing with new series title ideas for POWER OF WORDS. I want the double entendre without being cozy-mystery-cutesy. Unfortunately, everything I’ve come up with so far sounds vaguely unsavory and naughty in the wrong way, so no good so far.

I didn’t use the exact word I wanted above so  the bots pick up that term and start posting awful sites in the comments?

Onward.

Which seems to be my mantra lately!

 

Tues., June 4, 2013: Trying to Get Back into the Groove

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hard to get back into the swing of things yesterday, especially with a sore throat. I think it’s bus fumes, not getting sick, although I feel logy and over tired.

Yesterday was about catching up with what I’d missed, working with students, trying to get back on top of things. Torrential rain, which made it hard to get anything done outside the house. Plenty of rain water gathered for the week’s watering, though! 😉

Pitched a couple of jobs. Was insulted that a couple of jobs to which I pitched, which sounded legitimate, were actually paying content mill rates of $5 and $10 per article. Considering another place offered me $150 for the same word count — guess where I’ll be working? An article was turned down and immediately picked up by a better publication.

I did some work on Confidential Job #1’s material, and made some notes for an upcoming project.

Finally managed to settle down and fixed about 20 pages on the BLOOD AND BONE script, then adapted it into 15 pages of prose. Working on the script and the novel in tandem is an interesting exercise, especially when it comes to point of view, and in whose POV any particular scene or chapter needs to be in. Once the novel draft is done, I’ll have to let it sit for a bit, and then flesh it out with some more sensory detail, although I’m doing a bit of that now.

Have to get out the June newsletter. Should have prepped it before New York, but I ran out of time.

Reading Eleanor Coppola’s NOTES ON A LIFE. Gives me ideas on enriching some of the atmosphere POWER OF WORDS (which will shortly be renamed).

We have a seal release this afternoon over at NMLC, so I have t make sure everything is handled and I can go out there and photograph it.

Better get to work. Wish I felt better.

Devon

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 7:40 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Dec. 5, 2012: Home and into the Fray

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Waning Moon
Rainy and cool

I am back!

It was quite the trip. I am exhausted and stumbling around, and will be for another day or two. The roofers are starting tomorrow, so that should be, um, interesting. The guy heading it up is really nice, so, other than my usual horror of noise, I doubt it’ll be a problem.

Sunday, I managed to get the newsletter out (It will be up on the Devon Ellington site later today). Then, off we went to Providence to pick up the Megabus. The streets we needed were closed due to some sort of road race, but I got out and walked the few blocks to the bus stop, and off I went.

Bus ride was smooth, no problems. They let us out in front of FIT, and I hauled my luggage over to Penn Station for the subway kerflamma. Yes, I realize I should be grateful there’s even subway service to Brooklyn post-Sandy, but it was a lot of unnecessary chaos.

I got on the C train. Suddenly, we were told that the C line wasn’t running, so we’d have to take an F train, that would run on the local C stops in Brooklyn — only not the stop I needed. I was instructed to get off at W. 4th Street and take the B. I get off at W. 4th, haul the luggage down to the level where the B train is — only to find that the B does not run on weekends. The sign on the platform said take the D to Atlantic Avenue and pick up the Q. I had multiple sets of directions to the house, but the D didn’t figure in any of them. However, I jumped on the D train. When it stopped at DeKalb, I thought, “well, DeKalb is on my list of stops for the B or the Q. I’ll get off the platform and if I see a B or Q sign, I’ll know I’m in the right place; if I don’t, I’ll find a cop and ask him how to get to where I’m going.”

I got off, it was the right stop, all good. I hauled everything up too many flights of stairs, and walked down DeKalb until I hit my friends’ street, and there was the brownstone on the corner. I got in, hauled my luggage up to the third floor, and played with Costume Imp’s cats until he got back from work.

We went to a local diner for diner, really good food, and all got to know each other, friends and family from different phases in his life. Late to bed, up early, did my yoga, read a bit while I waited for everyone else to get up.

Monday, we set up for the party, cleaning and decorating, and all the rest. The party itself ran from about 1 PM to 8 PM (technically), although it was closer to 10 by the time everyone cleared out. It was a great celebration of Costume Imp, and old and new friends met and melded well. The food was amazing. We cleaned up and got to bed a bit after midnight. The house’s owner (also a friend) has a very old husky who’s blind and not very well. I think the party overstimulated her, because she paced and was upset all night. Since I slept downstairs in the parlor on an air mattress, I was up with the dog all night. I finally got her settled around 4:30, but I had to be up at 6, so it wasn’t really worth going to sleep. Poor baby. The other husky is a young male, lively and friendly, and there was also a little, lively dog, and another cat. Busy household. But it’s a household filled with love and laughter, the very best kind.

And I met an actor-musician at the party with whom I had an interesting conversation that got a dormant idea for a play percolating again. So that’s all good.

Out the door by 9:30, couldn’t find the subway I was supposed to take, found a different one, got directions from the very nice woman in the booth, switched trains one stop in and got an express to Penn. Exited Penn Station and headed all the way to the Hudson on 34th St. The Megabus now leaves from 34th St. between 11th and 12th Avenues. I got there waaaay too early and had to stand for over an hour, but finally the bus bothered to show up and we could get on it.

We left on time, and it was a smooth ride, although I couldn’t get comfortable, and wanted to doze, but couldn’t. Got in the driver’s seat of the car in Providence, drove back to the Cape, stopped for gas, unloaded the car, greeted the cats, popped something in the microwave, scarfed it down, and headed back to the Sandwich Library for the Cape Cod Writers Center Board meeting.

The businesses on Rt. 6A have a series of glorious, over-sized light sculptures up along the route. So beautiful! What a treat to drive it, tired as I was.

Meeting was good. Interesting. Learning the people and learning the dynamics. I was practically falling over with exhaustion by then, so limited myself to asking questions. I have to understand the foundation of what we HAVE before I can make useful suggestions of how to build on it.

Home, showered, fell into bed. Staggering around this morning. Already had to deal with the roofers, and have to call the plumber, because I can’t get the front spigot for the hose to shut off. All I want to do is go back to bed!

But there’s a ton of email waiting to be dealt with, and I have to hustle some quick turnaround, quick pay jobs in the next few days.

To the page.

Devon

Last two days to sign up for Flash 7 — write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Dec 7-16. Sign up here.

Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 10:05 am  Comments (2)  
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Monday, July 4, 2011


A cork tree, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Monday, July 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and humid
American Independence Day

As you can see, I’ve tweaked the sidebar. The small writing booklets are gone — Payloadz is more trouble than its worth; in addition to poor or no customer service, they wound up keeping 80% or more of each booklet. Not an acceptable arrangement. I’m combining the booklets into a new book and adding some additional material. I plan to have it ready for purchase, probably via Amazon Kindle, in the fall, and am researching the cost of spiral-bound copies to bring to conferences and classes. I’ll keep you posted.

I cleaned up some of the blog links — got rid of ones where people have stopped posting, stopped by and said hello on a bunch I hadn’t visited in awhile. Nice to catch up. I added The Writers Vineyard, where I now post monthly, and I hope that will be one of your regular stops.

I’ve also taken down the Nina Bell story. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with the Nina Bell stories — she’s got a lot to say, but how best to get the stories out there? And do I want to write FINDING JAKE, setting it fifteen or twenty years after TAPESTRY? I have to think about it.

I wound up not going to the Powwow, unfortunately– I’ll put it on my “must do” list for next year. 30,000 other people managed to get there, so I doubt they missed me! I ran some errands on Saturday, including getting another cubic foot of potting soil and picking up a pie. Got more gas for the mower, and mowed the front. Costume Imp’s right — it runs much easier without the death grip on it, but it’s still difficult to maneuver on the uneven ground. I did a lot of deadheading and weeding, all around the house, and cut back stuff that’s popped and faded. Planted zinnias and, because I think Bessie’s brood ate the flowers on the pumpkins and zucchini, planted some more pumpkins — this time in a pot. Put the teeny, tiny tomato plants in the big pots outside with the basil and the marigolds. We’ll see what happens.

I did a bunch of research and worked on the lectures for the upcoming classes. I finished the July newsletter and got that out on Sunday morning.

The line at Dunkin’ Donuts on Sunday was right out the door. Yeah, it’s summer on the Cape.

There are all kinds of fireworks going off, some legit, some morons who don’t know their asses from their elbows and may lose both if they’re not careful. Having trained in pyrotechnics during my time in theatre, I have only contempt for people who act like setting off a firecracker is the same as lighting a candle. If you don’t have the knowledge, and, more important, the RESPECT for the piece, it will take no prisoners.

Violet is absolutely turning herself inside out with terror from the noise and the vibrations. Iris just puts her paws over her ears and goes back to sleep. The Hounds of the Baskervilles are very upset — it hurts their sensitive ears.

We got to eat the first strawberries from our hanging baskets — the Seascape variety, no less! They are delicious, so full of flavor. I don’t think we’ll get 25-50 quarts this summer, but we will enjoy whatever ones we have!

Got out a couple of short stories on submission, and got some other work done. Got some decent work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and simply don’t understand why the progress is so slow. It’s not a bad book, the pace is decent, and I’m struggling to sit down every morning and get my minimum done on it. But it needs to get out the door, so butt goes in seat, until it gets done.

Did some work on the outline of the new book, and then realized that I have to rename the character, because she doesn’t like her first name, and her last name is the same as a character in a book that will go out on submission in fall. Since the books are both set on the Cape, unless I plan to have them related to each other, this isn’t going to work. I want this book to have a rather wry, light tone, with a hint of brittle humor without breaking, but it seems to want to go in another direction. I hope I can set up character and situation so humor emerges organically; if I try to “write funny”, it will be leaden and awful. I planned out how I want the bitchy manger to meet her untimely end, and why, and tied it to a murder at the same location in the 1950’s, in the earlier history of the same complex, so we’ve got the whole generational thing going on. I’ll have to work with some timeline stuff, but it gives me the chance to play with summer stock on the Cape in the 1950’s. Originally, I’d wanted to do a series about a summer stock theatre, starting it in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s, bringing it forward to contemporary times. But this way, I get to put that and the contemporary times side-by-side. I think the contrasts and compliments will be interesting, instead of breaking each thing into its own book. Bitchy Manager actually gets a nicer end than what I originally envisioned, but it serves the book better and hey, she’s still dead! 😉 I think I’ll actually title the chapters with when they take place, so that I can write scenes set in the 1950’s as well as in contemporary times. I know I’ve got books about the straw hat circuit that I haven’t unpacked yet, and I have two whole shelves in the storage room just waiting for them . . .

Yes, I’m writing about theatre again. What can I say? Backstage is ripe for stories, and writing them is easier than going back and keeping those hours! 😉

Had a breakthrough on the adaptation of GLAMOROUS HEARTS, which is back on the schedule. I think it can do very well as darkly comic novel. I’ll need to do research, but I’ve got most of the research on the 1920’s New York part, and I’m close enough to Newport, with enough resources, to be able to fill that in. WHEN that will get done, I’m not quite sure — maybe allow myself to do a scene at a time as a reward whenever I get a good, solid chunk done of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Today, I have quite a bit to do, writing-wise, and I want to make sure I complete the material for Confidential Job #1. I get to go back to yoga tomorrow morning — I’m absolutely hungry for it.

But today, holiday or not, I have to put my head down and get some work done.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Headache’s better, and I’m vaguely coherent again, thank goodness. You’re absolutely right, Diane, I’m sure it’s connected to the back problem. I look forward to my acupuncture appointment next week.

Yesterday was focused on conference work and work for Confidential Job #1. I also got some other reading done, and I booked into the clay workshop for May. Several conference participants got a late start,which means they’re rushing through the exercises, and it’s a big dump of work on me at the end of the week. But tomorrow’s the last day of the conference, so it’s all good. And I’m still working on three assignments to submit to a workshop, so I’m not one to fuss! 😉

Got some work done on THE POWER OF WORDS. I’m at a very technical section right now. I think I actually need to type what’s written so far, because it’s too hard to go through a hundred plus pages of handwritten material when I need to cross-reference something to keep it consistent. I’ll also have to start some typed notes and charts to keep bits of the story and logic sorted.

Errands later today, more conference work, and then back to the play (probably MRS. TELLER), and finishing up Confidential Job #1.

I have to work on the newsletter this weekend. I dread trying to get it out through my useless host. Hope I can pull things off the host in the coming few weeks and finally do that host move I resent being held hostage by my hosting company.

I dreamed about architecture the past few nights, as in building historical-style buildings. And then, last night, I dreamed that a freight train derailed in front of me and crates of dogs were on it. (Yes, I took them home. I couldn’t leave them scattered in broken crates, could I?). What does all that mean?

Devon

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 8:42 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, November 9, 2009

IMG_0439

Monday, November 9, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Today is a huge, emotional day for my family: The 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Having had family on both sides of the wall — and knowing what it actually MEANS to live under such oppression, unlike the GOP wingnuts in this country who don’t know what they’re talking about in their overprotected circumstances — this is a big day. Tom Brokaw had some wonderful insights, especially on the emotional divides between what used to be East and West Germany.

I feel guilty about not being over there today, but I have cousins who are celebrating in my name!

And Zenyetta won the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday — the first mare so to do under the brilliant rider Mike Smith. Woo-hoo!

Yesterday was a pretty productive day. I had a good writing session in the morning. I also managed to get through the final copy edits of the Anita Blake essay for the anthology and get it off to my editor. I am truly grateful to have such a good editor who knew what I was trying to get it and helped me sort through the muck to get there.

After that, I got a bunch of conference paperwork off to where I’m teaching in February.

I finished the newsletter and it’s out. Now I can reveal information on “Digging”. It’s a serial story that’s just for the newsletter. Originally, it was meant to be short — 5 installments of 500 words each. Let’s just say — it’s longer. I plan to write the rest of it before December’s newsletter comes out, and then just put in each installment as each month rolls around. I don’t think I’ll do anything that would change the beginning significantly. It’s a ghost story — fewer paranormal elements than some of my other stuff (in spite of being a ghost story). So we’ll see, and it’s a bit of playtime for me. I missed writing a serial. This has deadline pressure and the type of pressure in that I want my subscribers to enjoy it, but no publisher pressure.

If you don’t subscribe to the newsletter, unfortunately, you don’t get to read it. If you want to subscribe, just send an email to newsletter-at-devonellingtonwork.com with “subscribe” in the subject line. I’ll put you on the list, and send out this newsletter.

I’m getting better at the graphic element, too. It’s much easier on the Mac.

The questions for 2010 are up at the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. If you’re having trouble figuring out your priorities for next year – even if they have nothing to do with writing — these questions might help.

Oh, yeah, and there’s a new post up on Kemmyrk.

I had a good second writing session on The Untitled Blair Holland Project. I’d planned some back stories for the characters, but it turns out that their actual back stories are quite different. Sigh. And I need to work out some more about the antagonists and the why of the antagonists. I have a lot of strong thematic material, but I need to layer some additional plot structure involving the antagonists over it.

So it’s writing, percolating, writing, percolating. I know scenes I want to write, but I have to figure out plot stuff so I can GET to those scenes.

Unless I decide to write this piece out of order. That’s an option. The more I think about it, the more I may do that.

Right now, I feel the plot has expanded so it’s bigger than the story/themes I want to tell. Certain revelations have to happen in the first chapter to set up what’s going on, but my sense is that they’re not the right revelations. So I may write scenes from different parts of the book, put them together like jigsaw puzzles, and then see where I need to create bridges and re-think plot points.

I’ve never worked like that before and it’s a little scary, but that’s the point — to keep challenging myself. Otherwise, I might as well be in 9-5 land.

Up early to watch a colleague on a show at 7:30 in the morning — and then he was bumped back to 6:30, so I missed him anyway. So my morning routine is screwed up. Writing to do, errands to run, but I’m hoping for a good, productive day.

Devon

February 2, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Imbolc
Cloudy and cold

I am so insulted and enraged that the Republican senators call funding for the arts “pork”. It is a direct slap in the face not only to me, but to all artists, writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, musicians, fiber artists, potters, those who teach the arts (many of whom are working artists) and everyone who works hard to create a better world. We are not self-indulgent celebrities. We work our butts off, usually seven days a week, on weekends, on holidays, to make people experience the world differently and create positive change. Of course, anything that smacks of education or stimulating independent thought is discouraged by the Republican Party. There are plenty of individual Republicans with good ideas who actually have values – unfortunately, none of them are currently in leadership positions.

Some of the best photography, writing, plays, and paintings were created during the WPA days. Look in your local libraries or on the internet if you don’t believe me. It was astonishing. One of the most important historical contributions was sending writers out to talk to people, especially the elderly, about their daily lives growing up – part of which makes it possible for many of us (no matter how we vote) to write historical fiction,. not to mention a way for school children to learn their own country’s history.

It’s appalling to me that the Republicans wholeheartedly voted to let Hank Paulson stand on street corners handing out billions of our dollars to his buddies, 18 BILLION of which went into paying executive bonuses, 10 MILLION of which Bank of America used for its Super Bowl Party last night, NONE of which came back into the economy to stimulate it. And yet artists are considered “pork”.

Oh, yeah, I know that Democrats voted for TARP, too, and believe me, I have made my displeasure known to those who represent me! I don’t care what party they belong to – if I pay their salaries, they are going to know what I think! And if I think what they’ve done is stupid and irresponsible, I let them know!

I’m going to use a Broadway show as an example. Broadway shows are not eligible for funding, although some shows that move to Broadway are developed in the wonderful regional theatres throughout the country. (I am someone who firmly believes there’s good theatre EVERYWHERE, if you give it a chance). It takes 150 people to run a show on an eight-show/week basis, between cast, crew, front of house, etc. That’s 150 jobs. Those paychecks are spent on food, clothing, cars, mortgage payments, sometimes even vacations, gifts for family and friends’ birthdays, etc. In addition, the people working in theatres have to eat and spend some of their paychecks in restaurants, delis, coffee shops, bakeries, etc. in the neighborhoods in which they work. Plus, it’s often easier to do errands on one’s way in to work or between shows — so retail benefits. Add to that the money spent by people coming to see the shows on restaurants, parking, mass transit, souvenirs, nearby stores that have nothing to do with the show — and the whole neighborhood benefits. A single Broadway show affects positively between 750-1000 jobs on any given day.

Many shows are now developed by regional theatres, who are eligible for financing. They might not need 150 people to run a show, but most of the regionals in which I’ve worked had a seasonal staff of between 20-60. That’s 20-60 full time jobs in a small town. Again, these paychecks go back into the economy in groceries, restaurants, retail, cars, gas, mortgage, etc. And the people who come to see the shows (paying significantly less than they would on Broadway) have the same purchase needs in and around the show for food, drink, parking, etc. So every regional theatre probably positively affects between 60-250 jobs on a daily basis.

This is not pork.

Devon’s Random Newsletter went out yesterday. If you didn’t get your copy, please let me know. If you haven’t yet signed up and would like to, you can do so here.

If you haven’t had a chance to wrap up January and list your goals for February, you can do so here.

My online presence will be hit and miss in February. I’ll try to blog as regularly as I can, but if I miss a day here and there, don’t fret. I’m teaching at the Catholic Writers Conference Online this week, and I’m juggling a multitude of site jobs throughout the month. I’m supposed to have internet access during that time, but one never really knows what’s going on until one arrives.

February requires focus and extraordinary time management.

I’ve got two plays on deadline and a third restless in the wings; I have to get back to the Big Project and keep pace on the Billy Root story. And take on some immediate turn around jobs to pay the bills. It will be an adventure.

So, on my “day off”, I updated the Devon Ellington website, the Hex Breaker website, and the Cerridwen’s Cottage website. I started building the Jenny Storm page. I took photos for both the Jenny Storm icon and the Ava Dunne icon (the Ava Dunne name will reactivate this year). I think I got some decent shots for the Jenny one, but I’m not happy with anything for the Ava one. I also followed up on a patch I made a few months ago.

I finished TWICE OVER LIGHTLY. The chapters on Christmas in New York, The UN, the Bronx Zoo, and the Public Theatre were actually quite good. Their tone was far more 30’s and 40’s style than early 1970’s, and many of their anecdotes go back to those days. This book will remain a good reference book for the time – even in its negative aspects.

I started reading Anita Loos’s autobiography KISS HOLLYWOOD GOODBYE about her time as a scenario writer and script writer in Hollywood in the 1930’s. This is great background for when I go back to fix THE FIX IT GIRL.

I enjoyed watching the Super Bowl. I think I enjoyed watching it more because I had no emotional connection to either team and could just watch the game. Plus, I always prefer it when it’s a close game.

I thought most of the commercials sucked, though. The Clydesdale emigrating to the US from Scotland had its moments, but come on, that was NOT a Scottish accent. Maybe a fake Irish one, but NOT Scottish. They could spend the millions on the spot but not spend a hundred dollars on a dialect coach? GE had some clever stuff, but most of them were just boring. Definitely nothing as creative as “Herding Cats”!.

Speaking of which, the Puppy Bowl and Kitty Half-Time was pretty funny. They don’t seem to get that the kittens they use are so small that they overwhelm them with the moving lights and confetti and all the moving bits and scare them rather than encourage them to play.

I have to attack my To-Do List for February today. It’s not going to accomplish itself.

Devon