Tues. March 2, 2021: Die Even Faster For Your Employer Day 284/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 34 — It’s a Whirlwind, But is it Positive or Negative?

image courtesy of David Zydd via pixabay.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Waning Moon

Windy and c-c-c-old!

It’s March, and there’s a LOT that needs to get done in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, I can pull it off.

There are posts on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site that wrap up February and start March.

Early Friday morning, I entered the cage match that is the fight for vaccine appointments. I made it into the “digital waiting room” with an “estimated wait time” of 21 minutes. Which rapidly went up to 23 minutes, 27 minutes, down to 11 minutes, up to 14 minutes for nearly a half hour, then “your estimated wait time is greater than a day.”

WTF????

When Baker smarmed his way through the press conference announcing this “digital waiting room,” he claimed it would be like getting in line – you arrive in the waiting room, get a “number” (like at the deli, although you never see it), and will be taken in turn.

So why is MY digital wait time expanding as more people virtually enter? Why are they getting in ahead of me when I’ve been waiting in it for however long (and it was much longer than the estimated wait time).

Suddenly, it went down to 3 minutes, then it went up to more than a day, then it went down to 1 minute (for about 5 minutes) and then, catapulted me onto the sign-up site.

Where I had to compete with those wanting a first dose.

And where they don’t have signups even listed for the week I need it for my mom, and the signups for the next few days are all full. And NONE of the signups were on Cape Cod. Not one.

So I left without being able to book anything.

I’m hoping they’ll post more dates next week.  It’s ridiculous that one can only book a couple of days out.

A couple of hours later, I got an “update” email from the county, stating that if I’d received the first dose on the 10th or 12th, they’d sent me a link for the second this morning, and I should hurry up and use it to sign up for the second, at specific locations.

Well, that’s not when and where my mom’s signup was. But does that mean that, next week, I will get a special link for the second shot in Orleans? Or am I going to have to keep fighting?

The contradictory information and lack of clear communication is ridiculous.

Polished my article and sent it off to my editor. I hope she likes it (although I’m also hoping we find a better title).  I liked cutting and rearranging. It made the piece tighter and helped with the flow. Being forced to fit into the word count meant any word that didn’t earn its keep had to be cut. And was. I even made it 5 words UNDER!

I went over my notes for the next article, for the other publication, and started writing it in my head a bit.

Had to pick up a prescription for my mom at CVS. It was the wrong prescription, something that’s been cancelled, but I didn’t know until I got it home, and they wouldn’t let me return it. So we’re out money for something we can’t use. Every damn month for the ten years we’ve lived here, CVS messes up the prescriptions. I sincerely hope I don’t have to go to them for the vaccine, because they’re not organized enough to be administering it. Who knows what they’d actually jab into my arm? But it probably wouldn’t be the vaccine.

IF they would even deign to do it. A few years back, we went back six times and they kept refusing to give my mom her shingles shot, told us to come back, we came back as scheduled, and then they found another excuse. So we went to Whole Health instead, who were lovely.

Unfortunately, Whole Health isn’t listed on the site of Fantasy Vaccine Sites the county put out (where supposedly, they’re giving vaccines, but the sites themselves don’t have any vaccines to give).

It’s a complete mess, an unnecessary one – it COULD have been handled better. Baker keeps trying to blame the Feds. Yeah, we know we aren’t getting as many doses as we can use. But, at the same time, the doses we are getting, which have increased every week, aren’t going where they’re needed. Instead of sending them to mass vaccine sites and opening the pool to more applicants, look at the data, see where the doses are needed, and route them there. When the pool is vaccinated, THEN open it up to the next tier. But this attitude of “oh, Gillette has appointments not being used, so we’re going to let a larger group of people make appointments” is crap, because the reason the original pool didn’t use the appointments is because THEY CAN’T GET TO GILETTE. So send the doses where people NEED them.

On top of this, Baker is ramping up more re-opening as of yesterday. Knowing that people can’t get vaccinated fast enough to make it viable, knowing the variants are showing up, knowing that our daily new case numbers are back on the rise.

Completely irresponsible.

Curbside pickup at the liquor store and the library. Home, decontaminated. Got out some LOIs. Looked at a grant, which don’t think I fit, at least not for this round. Started prepping a play for submission in the UK.

Started re-keying the play “Date Café” and am now wondering if I should update it to just pre-pandemic, or leave it just prior to Y2K. I’m leaning toward the latter. It’s a romantic farce, and tightly written, so I don’t want to mess with it to much, except to clarify a few points and tighten it a bit more. Actors doing it have to work at whiplash speed, or it won’t work.

Caught up on some admin.

Live script doctored via Zoom for a video shoot, which was an interesting experience. Can’t talk in detail because of the NDA, but having to create on my feet (metaphorically, since I was sitting) during the shoot was both stressful and fun. It was mostly punching up some dialogue and fixing cadence rhythms that weren’t true to the character and tripped up the performers.

Worked through some contest entries. There’s some really good stuff. There’s some that just misses, but a lot of heart and soul went into the entries, which is why it’s always such a great experience to read them.

I was feeling lazy and not like cooking, so I was going to do a curbside pickup at a local restaurant, even though the two times I’ve done that during the pandemic were a complete disaster. However – their prices have tripled in the past year. For food that’s okay, but not great.

No, thank you. I’ll suck it up and cook something better myself.

Woke up way too early on Saturday, worrying. Got up and started my day. That full moon in Virgo energy was going full blast, and cleaned out stacks of stuff and reorganized some creative projects and project files before 5 AM.

Found a bunch of random notes I’d jotted in passing for several projects in process, and put them in appropriate files, and I’m separating them out into their project bins.

Felt good to get it done.

Finished the print books on the third category of contest entries. I’m going to read a book for review, and then start reading the digital contest entries. I want to get all the entries done on the first shipment before the second one arrives (I think it ships this week).

Seven loads of laundry.

Got the article done for this week’s Ink-Dipped Advice, working a bit ahead, for once. I have a couple of other ideas for posts, so I might work a few weeks ahead this week.

Purged boxes from the basement (meeting my quota). Relaxed with a glass of wine by the fire and a book.

Up way to early Sunday, worrying (note the pattern?)

Did a rough draft of my article for THE WRITER. Finished the Ink-Dipped Advice post and scheduled it to post. Sent out some LOIs.

Purged more boxes. I have one more row than I thought I did, which is depressing. But I’m seeing progress. I have a lot to take to the dump, and I have a stack of empty bins that will be useful to transport oddly-shaped objects.

Got my contest lists for the second shipment of entries. Good thing I’ve gotten through so many from the first! I have to cross check the second list with my first list, since the second list is comprehensive, not just additions.

A Zoom interview with a source was moved to Sunday afternoon, which meant I missed my virtual 40th high school reunion. On the one hand, I know the organizers did a fantastic job, and I would have liked to view it. On the other, so few of these people have remained part of my life, I wish them happiness and good lives.

Didn’t really watch the Golden Globes (although I loved Elle Fanning’s dress), but I did catch Mark Ruffalo’s speech. He continues to teach us about being good humans.

Up way to early Monday, worrying. Didn’t write first thing, which was a mistake, and it threw off the pace of my day. Instead, I started in with admin work. That threw off my day.

Switched over to client work. Got out the email blast I’d set up last week, got up some social media posts, worked on some direct response copy.

Worked and reworked and polished the article. Still not convinced the last sentence hits the way I want it to, but it’s much better than, say, 15 sentences ago. That goes out this morning.

Purged double my box quota for the day, which felt very good. Found some cool stuff; tossed a lot. It’s too stormy to do a dump run today, so that is pushed back until later in the week.

Submitted a script to a theatre in the UK that’s having an open call.

Working on a pitch for a specific magazine. The timing works, because they just rejected the previous pitch I sent them; I have another market appropriate for this one, and the pitch I’m working on, I think, is more suited. Hope to get that out today.

Coordinated the two sets of contest entries, to make sure I have/read everything.

Found an old pair of glasses when I cleaned things out that make the world much clearer than my current ones. Although they are very 80’s/90’s, oversized and heavy, so I’ll probably just wear them in the house.

Found photos of me in a mermaid gown I designed and a friend built me, for a big event, and photos from one of our times at the Tony Awards. One of the friends in the photos is already dead. And I miss that exuberant woman I was who believed in so much. I mourn the loss of that part of myself.

Lost yesterday’s cage fight for my mom’s next vaccine appointment. Got into the virtual waiting room – they weren’t even giving wait times. It was over a day, and they’re telling people to try again some other day. I’m running out of days, you morons.

Heard from my editor that she loves the article I sent in late last week. Phew! I’m in the midst of the research for the next one for her, and hope to get out interview requests this week.

Read a book for review that was a very different genre mash-up and most of it worked. Will write the review and send it off this morning.

Someone gave me a lead on a really cool company looking for someone to do something that’s well in my wheelhouse, so I sent an LOI within 15 minutes of hearing about it. Fingers crossed!

Fell into bed too early, which meant I woke up too early. The wind was howling, the temperature had dropped. Tessa had pushed me off the hot water bottle, so she could have it all to herself. Life with cats.

Heard from a friend/source about an article quote, only it’s too late and the article’s done. I was going to contact her this morning any way to tell her not to worry about it. She’s under huge deadline pressure, and the timing just doesn’t work this time around.

A potential new client asked for some more information, so that will go out today.

I will work on next week’s email blast for a client, and some more scheduled social media posts, get the other work turned around as listed above, and maybe get out a few more LOIs. If the weather’s okay, I’ll do a quick grocery run (we need milk, bread, eggs, juice), and a library curbside drop-off/pickup.

I’m getting contradictory information as to whether I need to keep cage fighting for the appointment, or whether I’m getting a “special link” later in the week. I wish they’d communicate clearly and with consistency. When they need to change, they need to clearly say, “This is a change from the last email” instead of acting like the last email never happened.

Onward, in spite of the reckless re-opening here in MA that’s going to wind up killing even more people.

Onward.

Tues. Aug. 11, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 83 — Heatwave, Covidiots, Phase 3 Pause

abstract-3092201_1920
image courtesy of igorovsyannykov via pixabay.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, humid, heat wave

I really like this image I used on Friday, so I’m using it again.

It was an up-and-down weekend for me. I didn’t feel well at all during the course of it. The thunderstorms we needed desperately and were promised never showed up.

I did a Target run early on Friday to get the pens and notebooks I needed. People were masked, and I was in and out in just a few minutes. Disinfectant protocols, then a quick curbside pickup at the library.

It was so hot, I had trouble concentrating. I gave myself the time off from working and read. I read THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME by Krista Davis, and really liked it. It made me laugh, more than once, for the right reasons.

I read another mystery by another author. I’d read a book from one of her other series and had mixed feelings about it. Had even more mixed feelings about this one – especially since she misused “witch” in an insulting way. Normally, I’d just cross her off the list, but she’s friends with some acquaintances of mine. I will read one more book by her and then decide. That choice of language usage is a slur and shouldn’t be used any more AND it’s a sloppy language choice.

Reading volume IV of the Paris Review Interviews. Even when I disagree with the writers (especially the white male ones), I wind up learning something.

Read Robert Caro’s WORKING, where he talks about his process of writing his books about Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson. Reading about his research into Moses made me loathe the man even more than I already do. Yes, he was a visionary with parks and road and bridges – but he destroyed a lot of people’s lives, and he didn’t give a damn. Which sounds far too familiar in these days. If someone was rich enough to buy him off, he modified his vision. But if one couldn’t afford to buy him off, he thought they deserved to have their lives destroyed. I’m so glad he didn’t get to put in the bridge between Rye and Oyster Bay. I grew up in Rye while that was being floated around. It would have ruined my hometown.

Did an early morning run on Saturday to Star Market. They are eliminating the position of the door person making sure there aren’t too many people in the store and that people are wearing masks. Which means I have to time my shopping as early as possible, and, when the customers stop masking properly, stop shopping there. Which is a shame, because it’s the only place I can get the white cranberry/peach juice.

The fucktwits are still setting off illegal fireworks in the street every day. But heaven forbid the Town of Barnstable do anything for its residents. Because it doesn’t care about them. With everything as dry as it is, this is a disaster in the making.

Did laundry, changed the beds, cleaned the house. Typical routine.

Sunday was all about organizing the files I’d kept from the boxes I purged. I also cleaned out four file cabinet drawers. Everything I’m keeping is being sorted and organized into five boxes: one for files from the 1900s; another from 2000-2009. The next box only fits the first half of the decade we’ve been here – 2010 – 2014. I had to get another box for 2015-2019. The fifth box is for project manuscripts. I’m thinking of pulling out all the contract files and putting them into a separate plastic file with a lid and a handle.

It was overwhelming. I worked all day and it felt like I got nothing done, because I didn’t go down and clean out any more boxes. I was just dealing with stuff I’d already brought upstairs. I don’t get how people can clean out their attic or basement in a single day.

It was hot and humid and I felt like crap. Yes, there were tears. More than once.

The dumbass neighbors – more than one of them – all had heavy machinery going ALL FUCKING WEEKEND. We couldn’t have the windows open – without air conditioning and in the heat – because there was so much dust flying around we were choking on it.

Again, Town of Barnstable doesn’t give a flying fuck about its residents. There’s no reason that heavy machinery/construction should be allowed 7 days a week from a little after 7 in the morning until whenever they feel like finishing (often 9 or 10 at night). They don’t do anything about illegal fireworks; they refuse to enforce the noise ordinances; they’re not enforcing the state requirement for masks (most of their own workers don’t wear them when they’re out and about, and they’re sure as hell not distancing), they’re not doing anything to enforce quarantine.

The Town of Barnstable is fucking useless.

So it was a disheartening, frustrating weekend.

On a happier note, I fit into a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt Capris on Monday that I haven’t been able to wear for a few years. So there’s that.

Was onsite for a client for a few hours on Monday. I was by myself in the office, so it was all good. Got a bunch done. Did a curbside pickup at the library on my way home. Read in the afternoon. I have another book assigned to review, so I’m looking forward to that.

Sent out a couple of LOIs.

Today, I was out watering by 5 AM. Took me nearly an hour to water the front. No rain in sight. The back took only 20 minutes, because I’d watered it last night.

I have some client work to do this morning, then more LOIs, and work on an article that’s due in September, but I’d like to get out early.

In the mornings, I’ve been noodling on the new idea, trying a very different way of working, just to see if I can shake up the process.

I’m hoping some of that will transfer to getting back on track with BARD’S LAMENT.

But, honestly, I’m feeling overwhelmed and hopeless right now. While I appreciate all the suggestions for “self-care” – at this point, they’re psychobabble for me. Also, I CAN’T “take a walk” anywhere around here, because the fucking tourists WON’T WEAR A MASK OR SOCIAL DISTIANCE and it’s not “self-care” to put my life in danger.

We’re supposedly on pause for Phase 3 of the reopening, and the governor is talking about rolling back some things, which is necessary. But no one is paying any attention because there’s zero enforcement and zero consequences — except people who ARE trying to do the right thing are getting spat on (literally, often) by Covidiots and dying.

“Taking a walk” won’t help. Fucking locking down the country, enforcing masking regulations, and UBI will help.

I’m sick of the Democrats not getting it done. Republicans rammed their agenda through no matter if they were the majority or not. So the Dems need to start getting ruthless. Our lives are on the line. Get it fucking done.

I’m sick of it all. I’m tired of the stupid and the selfish ALWAYS getting away with EVERYTHING, especially when it hurts everyone else. Without consequence.

Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend

Friday, February 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a fantastic meeting with the historical society yesterday about our next display. When we’re ready to reveal it, I’ll post a picture here. We all got very excited about it.

Spent far too much time hunting down contact information from magazine mastheads that should be readily available. Getting a little tired of these “media groups” that aren’t publishing actual articles and stories in their magazines, just glorified ads, and the only people you can contact are those in the advertising department.

When it started snowing again in the afternoon, I was just ready to put my head down on the desk and cry. I usually LIKE snow, but this is just too much. Mostly because I have to drive around in it, and the roads continue to be total crap. Even Old Stage Road, which is usually in good shape, has been under par.

Worked on a new order list, did a lot of research, started pondering a full marketing plan.

Raced home, quick dinner, and then back for Tango. It was a really good lesson. It’s an entirely different way of not just listening to music, but to your partner’s body. Talk about having to deal with trust issues! 😉 But it was fun. I was worried that what we worked on was too complicated, especially since I’d missed a lesson, but I picked it up. Whether or not I can retain it is something else.

Had a snack when I came home, watched a few episodes of WEST WING Season 5, fell into bed.

Had weird dreams. Even though the dreams were realistic, they must be representational, because the literal terms don’t make sense in my life.

My vacation dates for May are confirmed – my first vacation since Costume Imp and I went to Prague. Something to which to look forward.

The Pinkerton Case Files arrived – from Indiana! Totally looking forward to spending the research time on them.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library – and I have to come in early for a meeting. Then, I have to go and pick up my mother’s medication, and then head to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the opening for an exhibit in which a friend is featured.

Sunday will be about errands and writing; Monday, there’s a reception in the morning at the Law Library, and the rest of the day is about writing. Tuesday – not sure if I can snag a machine to read the case files, or if I’ll just stay home and write. Wednesday it all starts up again.

I’d like to finish the second draft of LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES so it can sit for a couple of weeks before I do the third draft, register it with WGA, and send it off.

I have also got to get some organizing done in the house. Things are stacked up all over the place; I need to purge a bunch of stuff, and put a bunch of other stuff away.

I can’t believe we’re nearly in March!

Devon

Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 9:29 am  Comments Off on Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend  
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Mon. March 10, 2014: And Comcast Fucks Me Again

Monday, March 10, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing and cold

Day before my birthday, snowstorm, and Comcast fucks me again. Why won’t anyone make them obey the law? Who are they paying off, how much, and why are they getting away with it? They are an example of the deep corruption that runs rampant in this country right now. Everything is corporate-centric, and fuck the actual customers. The fact that I have no other choice but Comcast is ridiculous.

I’m in the middle of casting, I’m up for several jobs, and I’m totally fucked. All because Comcast thinks they are above the law.

Good weekend, overall.

I don’t really remember Friday. I was exhausted and worked a lot. Follow-up from Boston, some good, some not-so-good. Worked on contest entries. Worked with students.

Saturday, up early, finished revisions on the play, and sent it off for comments, started casting. Also did some other paperwork for the show.

I hate the switch to daylight savings time. It always leaves me feeling awful for days. But Sunday, I sucked it up, and, although I had a slow start at first, I was relatively productive. Planned the next work on BALTHAZAAR TREAURE, figured out the research I have to do to write the opening for the ferry girl novel that my tandem novel-writing pal suggested.

Did some yard work. If I do a little bit on every nice day, I can prep the yard for summer.

Got it in me that I wanted to rearrange my closet, and did. It had gotten a little chaotic in there. Got shoes sorted, tried on clothes. I’ve lost most of the weight I gained since moving here, so things fit me again, and most of what I buy is very simple and classic, doesn’t go out of style. Made a pile for donation, a pile for sale, and a laundry pile. The laundry pile translated into about four loads of laundry, but now everything is washed and put away where it should be. I have a bit of mending to do, and some ironing, but the closet is all set, and it feels really good. Cleaned off my desk a bit, too, caught up on some filing and some other organization.

Now, I’ve got to write all the stuff I need to write, so when I hit the library, all I have to do is copy, paste, and hit send.

Comcast is a vile, lying, grasping company. If the Time Warner merger goes through, even more people will lose out. It’s time to stop it.

Devon

Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 9:29 am  Comments (6)  
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Saturday, August 14, 2010


Violet keeps an eye on things

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Free Muse Online Writers’ Conference registration closes tomorrow, so if you want to participate, or take either my Dialogue Workshop or my Story-Building Workshop, register before tomorrow. The Dialogue Workshop has a limited amount of spots available, and once they’re full, that’s it. I simply can’t correct 50-70 exercises per day and give each student my full attention — especially when students are late turning in exercises, don’t follow the instructions, etc. So, the Dialogue has a limited amount of participants. The Story-Building does not this time, because it’s my first time teaching it at Muse.

Dialogue Workshop Taught by Devon Ellington
Learn how to craft character-cohesive dialogue that moves along the story. Explore methods of cutting, crafting, and creating conversation that sparkles on the page and in the ear, and works in the context of the overall piece. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop, with daily assignments. Participants are expected to have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, proofreading, and structure, and the ability to process comments, apply them moving forward, and keep up with assignments rather than doing them in a batch. Daily assignments will build on each other. Newly created work is required in the class; please do not use something from a WIP or that is used for another class. It will trip you up as we build from assignment to assignment. Anyone is welcome to read and follow along on the assignments, but daily participation is limited to 30 students. If you sign up, please meet the commitment, or give up your slot within the first day so another interested participant can take it.

Story Building Workshop
Spend the week with Devon Ellington building your story scene-by-scene — but not in the way you’d expect! Learn to integrate the elements of plot, story, and character with dialogue, description, and action to create a complete draft of a short story over the course of the week. There will be intense, daily assignments with specific guidelines to delve into the day’s purpose. Please do not use previously written material in the class.

Registration for the Muse Online Conference is HERE. You may have to send a separate email once you’re registered to the “contact” address in order to sign up for the Dialogue Workshop. Sorry it’s so late going up, but there was a glitch on their end and my information wasn’t up until I mentioned it yesterday.

Even if you don’t sign up for my workshops, there are a lot of great workshops happening. I particularly recommend Karina Fabian’s World-building Workshop.

Now, onto Savvy Authors. The links are up for the deconstruction workshops. If you want to join the workshop to deconstruct a fantasy romance and learn how to apply it to your own writing, you can sign up here, and if you want to deconstruct a steampunk film and learn to apply the techniques to your own writing, you can sign up here. The fees are very reasonable for both members and non-members. And there’s no homework in the deconstruction workshops! You just have to read the book or watch the film before it starts.

Now, on to other stuff:

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Great writing session in the morning on the Willowspring Grove novel. I’m thinking about it a lot in between writing sessions, which is good. I’m averaging between 1500-2000 words per session, and I’m 86 pages in so far. i have to start putting them into the computer, or I’ll get too far behind.

I got out some of the backlog of short stories, and got out a stack of queries, all good. Decided not to submit to one particular publication — the way they wanted me to reformat out of standard manuscript format to their house format would have taken me so long that, even if they accepted the story, they didn’t pay enough to cover the time. There’s a reason it’s called ‘standard manuscript format” — the writer formats it once, professionally, and it should be acceptable to any professional publication. I can understand stipulating .doc or .rtf or even .pdf, but to expect writers to spend hours reformatting from market to market is a waste of time, except, maybe, for the desperate-to-be-published. it’s hoop-jumping, power-playing, and I’ve noticed that the markets that pay the least expect the most amount of hoop jumping.

NEXT!

Spent a few hours in storage. Consolidated 20 boxes into 8, bagged a bunch of stuff I’ll drop off as donations, tossed a lot of stuff that needed to be tossed. It feels good.

Plotting the next Annabel Aidan, whose working title is THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Will start the actual writing on Monday. The central character will be Bonnie, who we meet briefly in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Amanda and Phineas will have important secondary roles, and then they will be the focus of the third book. It’s not really a series, as each book stands alone with its own set of protagonists, but they are in the same paranormal, romantically suspenseful version of Manhattan, and they wander in and out of each other’s books.

Dinner with friends last night, which was fun. And, I managed to see just a tiny bit of the meteor shower last night — one quick sprint across the sky. Very exciting. I’d been so disappointed the previous night because I couldn’t see anything due to cloud cover.

Today, I’m writing in the morning, trying to get some organizational stuff done, then off to a friend’s in the afternoon. Tomorrow should be all about the writing. Because come Monday, my daily output has to either double or triple amongst the different projects, and I have to stay on top of everything else. The next few weeks/month will be very busy, not the least of which is getting the house-and-home situation sorted.

Devon

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I have some catching up to do with you, don’t I? The decorating is getting started, but there’s still more apartment sorting to be done before I can really commit to it. But at least the front door’s done. Ran around to places like Michael’s and the garden center on Saturday, and spent the rest of the day sorting out the apartment. I have a couple of carloads of stuff stacked in the hallway to go to storage — and then I’ll bring in the rest of the decorations.

Yesterday, I was too damn tired to do any work on the apartment. “St. Nicholas” made a delightful visit and filled the shoes with candy and cute things. So that was fun. I went out early to get the newspaper, but most of the day was spent resting up, working on Confidential Job #1 (which is due on Wednesday), and writing. I had some really good writing days Saturday, yesterday, and today.

In late afternoon, my friend picked me up and we drove to Long Island to see my play. It went pretty well. For the most part, I was pleased with it. No matter how far removed a story or characters is from my actual life and experience, I always feel slightly naked when I see my work performed, even when it’s done well. Par for the course. I’ve learned to deal and smile through it and be gracious. And, of course, I sit there mentally cutting material, because once you put in an actor, a three-dimensional human being, you can cut out unnecessary words. And, since I’m not a part of the rehearsal process with this company (their contract is very specific about that), I don’t get to cut in the rehearsal room. This cast hadn’t had the series of crises that befell the last production, so the energy was much more upbeat, and there was much less tension. It showed in the performance. You could tell that the cast really enjoyed working on the piece, which is always a relief to the playwright — because, after all, if you hate the piece, don’t do it. No performance job is worth that. There are some timing issues, especially with entrances and exits leaving holes big enough to drive through convoys of trucks, and one actor went up on his lines and had trouble digging himself out of it, but that happens. It wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, except that he tried to say later that it was “intentional” — which is, of course, a slap in the face to a playwright who didn’t write those lines. Plus, I’ve spent my entire life in the theatre, a lot of it on Broadway, with the best of the best — I know when an actor deliberately adds his own material, and I know when an actor goes up on his lines and is trying to find his way back. There was one script change they hadn’t cleared with me which I wouldn’t have agreed to, and I will discuss that with the producer. One actor was particularly weak, in my opinion. The role was written so the guy is gregarious, happy-go-lucky, charming and a little snarky, but then falls head over heels in love, and, while he doesn’t reform, he softens a bit. Unfortunately, he was played at a single, frantic, one- note screech with no shading. I have no way of knowing if that was the actor’s choice or the director’s, since I wasn’t in rehearsal. I’d like to give the actor the benefit of the doubt. However, the woman playing the villain was perfect. She got every nuance, every subtext, all of it. I was delighted with her work. She actually had to improv at one point to fix something that went wrong (the joy of live theatre) and her improv was fantastic, just spot on. She had the training and the in-depth knowledge of the character to pull it off. One of the actresses in my last play done by this company was in this show, too, and she was very good. In fact, she played SIX roles in my last play, so it must have been a relief to only have a single role here! We pretended not to recognize each other until the end (the cast isn’t told when I’m coming, but since they interact with the audience, she spotted me) — it was pretty funny. She gets a lot of the timing down well.

In both of my shows for this company, the strongest actors in each piece have told me that they find my dialogue easy to memorize because it flows so well and has such rhythm. That’s my goal — to have the words flow naturally from both character and story –which is why when the less experienced/ less trained actors think they can “improve” the piece with their ad libs, it falls flat, doesn’t get a laugh, and all the air goes out. The rhythm is disrupted, and the piece goes off the rails a bit. If I was an inexperienced playwright without a world-produced pedigree, I’d have no right to say any of this, but I have the credentials and the experience so to do.

It’s always interesting to see how someone else interprets one’s script, especially when one is not included in the rehearsal process, and I’ve learned to pick my battles. There’s plenty I’m willing to let go (more than many playwrights, actually); there are some things I am not.

The producer and I discussed the next three plays I’m writing for the company, and we discussed the play that’s going to open in April, so that’s all sorted.

When I got home, I saw the first part of the ALICE mini-series on Sci-Fi (I will NOT use their silly new logo). I thought the piece was quite clever, although it looks like they used some of the same locations they used in TIN MAN. And some of the other shows on the channel. However, I think both Caterina Scorsone and Andrew Lee Potts are excellent. I wonder if they cut some of the early Hatter scenes or just didn’t develop the tea shop much due to time constraints. Anyway, I enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing the conclusion tonight.

Good morning’s writing session. I have some paperwork to gather for a meeting tomorrow, and then it’s back to Confidential Job #1, and trying to get the apartment organized so I can put up the decorations.

Devon

Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 9:05 am  Comments (7)  
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
About to snow/cold
St. Nicholas Eve

Yes, we’re supposed to get snow today. Woo-hoo! That puts me in the holiday spirit, although I’m not going to go to storage and haul out my stuff and get it all wet. Not that there’s room for it anyway — I still don’t have the apartment completely sorted out, although I got a lot done yesterday and we’re getting there.

Had some ginger in the morning for the nausea and celery for the headache and felt human again. Had to run some errands — couldn’t find what I needed locally, so wound up at Target in White Plains — I’ve been to WP every day this week, it’s ridiculous. And here I’m trying to plan the errands so I’m not dashing all over creation! But Target had what I needed and more, so I got a lot done. Got done everything I needed at the bookstore — which is closing in January, which totally sucks. I mean, it wasn’t a great one, but still . . .

Realized I was running a fever, so I went home, rested up a bit, took whatever supplements I’m not allergic to that could pound out whatever’s trying to take me down,and got back to work. I got a lot done, sorting, purging, organzing. I’m trying to find a place for everything, and if I can’t, it either gets given away or goes to storage. The challenge is then keeping storage organized enough so I can get at things as I need them.

I’m purging a lot of clothes that either don’t fit properly and aren’t worth the alterations, or just don’t suit the way my style has evolved. I found two coats that were in storage for years and took them downstairs to the new cleaners that opened up — they are so nice! Lovely people. I considered buying a new dressy winter coat this year, but the one in storage is lovely — really well cut, full-length, navy blue — and my black pea coat, that I bought way back in college in Greenwich Village when I was caught in a snowstorm without a coat — will be fine once it’s cleaned and I put the silver buttons back on (I’d lent it to a show and took my good buttons off so they wouldn’t get lost). I also found an almost-finished dress in one of my favorite styles — very simple, tailored, slight flare below the knee. All it needs is the finishing on the hem, the neckline, and the armholes, and I can wear it in spring. It’s a lovely soft pattern in blues and grays and greens with just a hint of burgundy in it. I love shopping in my closet!

I’m putting together several bags of clothes I will then sort into stuff that gets donated and stuff that goes to a local consignment store. I’ve got some beautiful theatrical pieces like a beaded formal skirt (given as a Secret Santa gift that’s never fit me) which are nearly new, tried on but never worn, and someone could enjoy them.

I’ve sorted out a lot of my books and reconfigured the bookcases. So why do I STILL have piles of books on the floor with no place to put them? Unfortunately, a lot of them are in use in various projects.

Started work on Confidential Job #1, which seems like it’ll be really cool. Got some decorating ideas that I will start this weekend, and then, as I can bring stuff in from storage, I can add to it. I’m finding some great fabric as I’m going through packed stuff, and I’m sorting the fabric and the yarn and all the rest so I know where everything is, can complete any uncompleted projects, and actually get at everything.

The fever broke at some point in the night, so I’m feeling much better. I did an extra-challenging yoga session in the morning — swore somewhat during the process, but feel better now. I’ve got a bunch of errands to do before the snow starts, and then it’s back to trying to sort out the apartment.

I’ve got the menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day sorted,and I’m trying to figure out what to do for the Solstice.

I had a good writing session this morning; feels good after two days away from the page. I get cranky and more neurotic than usual if I skip a day or several days of writing. Everything is on track, writing wise, although I’m not spending as many hours at the page as usual. But, even if I can snatch a half hour here and there, I sit down and I focus and I DO IT. Every few words on the page is a few more than I had before, and it’ amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes if you don’t procrastinate and keep saying, “Oh, it’s only 15 minutes, what can I do?” You can write a bunch of words, that’s what you can do.

Tonight, we put out our shoes, in the Dutch (?) tradition, and St. Nicholas comes and fills them with treats (unless the cats get there first).

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 8:44 am  Comments (9)  
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday turned out to be an odd day. I headed out to do my errands and got a Really Bad Feeling. I tried to shake it off. I couldn’t. I was practically nauseous by the time I got to the car.

So I didn’t go.

These errands were not stress-inducing, and there was no reason for me to dread them. I just had a strong sensation that I shouldn’t go to that particular town that day. don’t know why — might never know why. But I felt better as soon as I listened to my gut. They weren’t anything that had to be done at that moment.

Instead, I finished the job for Confidential Job #1 — finally, what a slog THAT was this time! — and got it out the door. I finished some other client projects. I had chills and a scratchy throat and that achy feeling and thought, “Oh, no.”

So, when I finished my work at 2:30, I logged off, went back to bed with some hot tea and the book about Felbrigg Hall, and spent the afternoon in bed, warmed by cuddly cats. I felt well enough to cook dinner and eat, and then went back to bed, alternating between reading and watching TV.

I feel much better this morning. It was probably exhaustion that could have turned into an illness, but was caught early enough not to. I hope so, anyway!
IMG_0531

Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, lived up to her name this morning, thundering through the apartment, yelling at the top of her little kitty lungs(at 5 AM), plunging over and under the bed. She even tried to dig her way up through the mattress and box spring. Elsa just ducked and stayed out of the way. Violet finally got so annoyed she whacked her sister right out of the air as though she was a baseball. It was pretty funny.

I finally had a good, solid writing session this morning, so let’s hope that’s all sorted. I’m getting back into the groove of a couple of WIPs, and making notes on a new project that actually combines several ideas that have knocked around in my brain for awhile.

I’ve got some correspondence to get out this morning, head off to the post office, and then run some errands. If I feel like doing the ones I put off yesterday, I will. Otherwise, they can wait until next week.

I hope to do some packing this afternoon. Those of you with “spare rooms” probably have a piece of furniture you never use, and “stuff” accumulates on it. I’ve got that too — only it’s not in a spare room! So it’s time to excavate the stuff off it and prepare it to go to storage. I’d rather use the space for bookcases and another bureau.

So, we haven’t needed to use much power because the weather’s been temperate. Yet the power company raised rates because they’re losing money due to the good weather. Of course, when the weather is vile and we USE the power, they raise the rates, too, because we’re using so much power and they’re trying to ‘teach” us to live green. Yeah, right. I like my fairy tales to actually have plots and characters.

Hopefully, it will be a calm, low stress day, and maybe I’ll even get another writing session this afternoon. Fingers crossed! Hope you’re having a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 7:37 am  Comments (1)  
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