Fri. Sept. 8, 2017: Finalizing One Book, Moving on to the Next

Friday, September 8, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Got my review out yesterday. Was assigned my next two books, which I pick up today.

Put together some information for my friend, which he found helpful.

Worked on the literary fiction piece. It’s an interesting challenge. Today, I get back to the other work on the roster, but I’m finding a way to keep the momentum for this piece along with the work that has to be done on other pieces. Now I’m second-guessing (maybe it’s fourth-guessing, by this point), and thinking I SHOULD focus on each section in each voice at once to go deep enough, rather than alternating shorter sections. As I reader, I prefer chapters or sections that go long enough to get deeply into the character. I could always rearrange the sections once they’re written, but I’m not sure which way will serve best in the WRITING of it.

We found one small thing that had to be clarified in PLAYING THE ANGLES. I probably could have gotten away with it, but if anyone questioned it and it needed clarification — better to use the clear language from the outset. Hopefully, it’s off for the last time — which always makes me queasy. Even with the editor, the copy editor, and I going over it multiple times, I’m always afraid we missed something, simply because we’ve gone over it so many times.

My mom had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. October is filled with appointments before her surgery, poor thing.

I did some yard work. I started cutting back in two of the beds in the back, and I hard pruned the forsythia that grew so wild this year it completely blocked one of the paths on the side of the house. I hacked back most of the invasive autumn olive, and a lot of oak that’s acting like an invasive. When it gets colder, I’ll have to saw down some more oak that’s interfering with the roses. Doing a little bit every sunny day, and eventually, it will get done. Don’t know how I’m going to finish the mowing, though, with this damn mower being recalcitrant.

I had weird dreams, mashing three different times/experiences in my past. Probably because I’ve been talking with my college friend. Bizarre.

I want to get anything I need to do out and about done fast this morning, so I can get back into the writing for the rest of the weekend. I keep changing my mind about what to do with a particular section of THE FIX-IT GIRL, but I have to suck it up, make a decision and move on this weekend.

I’m worried about my friends in the path of Hurricane Irma, and I’m not looking forward to the anniversary of 9/11 on Monday. I think next week could be quite emotionally difficult, for a lot of people.

I also have some paperwork to file with the attorneys general of MA and NY on two different scam issues that they need to know about. Some other paperwork to get done, too, some for me, and more with my mom’s insurance.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

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Mon. April 15, 2013: Back in the Groove of the Book

Monday, April 15, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Ugh. The day we mail our taxes. Hate it. There was an article in the Sunday paper how writing the checks for taxes should be a matter of pride. Honey, when Congress stops pandering to special interests and does the work for which I pay them, I’ll take pride in it. When Congress behaves the way they have lately, especially the GOP and Democrats too cowardly to stand up to anyone, no dice.

Don’t remember much about Friday, except I know I worked and ran errands and dealt with bills and all sorts of other things. I’m trying to wind up the paperwork from the play, but getting what I need from the people who still have stuff outstanding is like pulling teeth. And I’m still waiting on the sign-off for a press release that needs to go out TODAY. Hate that.

Saturday, I got back into the groove on the book, working on Chapter 8. Felt good. Yesterday was all about newspapers and taxes. And four loads of laundry, including show laundry. I’m trying to get stuff from the show sorted out, so I can return what needs to be returned, and properly pack and store the rest for October’s gig.

This morning, I finished Chapter 8 and wrote Chapter 9. Fifteen pages (approximately 3,750 words). The flow is going well, and that’s a huge relief. I have a lot of business and admin stuff to take care off, and to make sure I get the damn taxes mailed and date-stamped properly, but I’m glad to be back in the rhythm of the book, and into the rhythm of other articles I’m working on. Will finish up the contest entry paperwork today and get that off this week, along with some other errands. Time to make a clean sweep/fresh start on the desk, and to go after the next higher tier of client.

Happy start to a productive week, I hope!

Devon

Published in: on April 15, 2013 at 7:57 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Sept. 17: Classes, Writing, Cleaning

Monday, September 17, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. I didn’t get as far in either the writing or the editing as I hoped, so I have to buckle down this week, because OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK has to go back to my editor by the end of the week. I haven’t fully let myself drop back into that world, which is slowing down these edits and the work on CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to get my act together on both of those NOW. I don’t have time to wait for the Muse to show up — I’m on deadline. Thank goodness for outlines, or I’d really be lost.

Lost far too much of Friday dealing with official paperwork that had to go out on Friday, but it had to be done; it just took longer than I would have liked. Finished washing and rehanging the living room drapes, washed and switched out the summer chair covers for winter ones, started on the fall decorating. This week, I have to spend some time in the basement every day, moving boxes so that the furnace guy can get to all the duct work when he shows up next Monday.

Worked with my students. Prepped for upcoming classes. Worked on some of the small workbooks that will be released later this fall. A friend told about a job she heard about at one of the local papers — I shot off a resume and cover letter.

I took my quizzes in the Sustainability Course, wrote my Tragedy of the Commons short paper for the week on beachgoers at Craigville being pigs and not cleaning up after themselves (actually, that’s an insult to pigs). I did the outline for the Flood/Drought rebalance and worked on the fiction project for the class.

The book needs more percolation time, so I didn’t do a traditional outline for it. I did more of a teaser that gives elements of plot, character, and machination, but it’s definitely more of an elongated blurb to get people interested than an outline. I’ll go back and do the Writer’s Rough once I’ve drafted the first three chapters.

I’m also realizing how much I don’t know about the daily routine at the Marine Life Center, and how many questions I’ll have to ask. But I need to write my way in for a bit, so I know what I need to ask. I think I’ll see if I can just shadow them all for a day at the Center to really get the details of what everybody does. That will help in the articles I write for them AND the book.

My fictional marine life center is very different from the real one, but I need to use the foundation of their day as a jumping off point.

The History of the World Since 1300 class, taught by Jeremy Adelman of Princeton University, starts today. We’ve been yapping in the discussion forums, and I think it will be a fun course. The writing assignments seem to be all about argumentative essays — that’ll be a stretch (although I seem to be naturally argumentative in some cases).

Ducked out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon to join a friend listening to some jazz up in Hyannis. I love the mix of people of all ages that show up to play there, from teenagers to those who have been playing for decades. The musicians are all quite good. The singers are often hit-and-miss. It’s one thing to use something like this to work on your pieces (as the musicians do). It’s another to get up there for your own ego, do the same pieces, and not even attempt to improve from session to session or learn from what wasn’t working (as some of the singers do). There are singers who are good, who understand tones and sharps and flats and breath, and who you can hear grow. Some of them, though . . .But then, I’m spoiled – I worked on Broadway musicals. I expect not only a high level of quality to reach my ears, I expect the people singing to always strive to be better.

Already getting the interview quotes I need for the next article — looking forward to getting that done and out ahead of time.

I have to go “remind” a couple of clients they still owe me money, and I need to get back to the edits. Juggling two classes with all the other stuff this week should be interesting — there’s no room for me to slack off!

I still have to upload the promised photos from Martha’s Vineyard — will have to get that done this week, too!

Devon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Still snowing

I shouldn’t complain. Really, I shouldn’t. But I am anyway. Yesterday’s snow was steady, but it stopped sticking after awhile, so I didn’t have to shovel, and for that I am deeply grateful. This morning, it is flurrying, so it’s really not that big a deal.

I spent most of yesterday catching up on paperwork, bills, correspondence, administrative stuff, etc. My desk is relatively cleaned off, and what’s left is tidy, and I know why everything is there. I did three loads of laundry. I started reading applications for the year-long intensive. I think the class is going to fill pretty darned fast. And they will be an eclectic and talented group. Which is a good thing!

In the afternoon, I headed to one of the Borders in the area which is closing. It’s always hard to find a parking spot — it was completely impossible. I had to park up the hill in the lot for a big shopping complex and walk down. The store was absolutely packed. I can’t believe they’re closing this store — it’s typical of Border’s Corporate Management’s stupidity. This store is ALWAYS packed, and if they claim it’s not making money, either they can’t read a spread sheet, can’t negotiate a decent rent deal, or someone’s cooking the books on the corporate end. On any given day, there are at least 20 people ahead of me in line. Yesterday, there were 65. I had six books, three puzzle books,and four magazines, and I had the smallest stack of anyone in line. There is no reason to close this store, except that Corporate is manned by morons.

When I got home, I realized that I’d bought the wrong Audubon Guide –for the Mid-Atlantic states instead of New England. I’m so used to living in a “mid-Atlantic state.”! Still, I can use it when I’m in that area, and some of the plants, trees, and animals are up here, too. I also got two books I need for a class I’m teaching in May. I just have to get the third of the trilogy, and I can start reading and breaking it down. Someone else was supposed to teach that particular deconstruction, but stepped out, so I’m stepping in.

My next assignment for Confidential Job #1 was in the bag that was mis-delivered, which means I have two days instead of two weeks to complete it. Since it was not their fault, I’m not putting a rush fee on it. They sent it to the right spot, but from there, the person who was supposed to get it to me screwed up. Not a problem — I can sit and do it today and tomorrow.

Comcast got the bill wrong AGAIN. Gee, there’s a surprise. Not. They’re always charging for things that don’t exist, and they’re the only choice on the Cape, which is ridiculous. The State should not allow that kind of stranglehold monopoly, and that’s what I’m communicating to my legislators.

Later this morning, I’m headed out to the bank, the post office, and the library. Shouldn’t take too long (famous last words). But it’s all in the same direction.

Reworking the book, which now even has a title (HISTORICAL INFLUENCES), and the changes are getting it flowing again. It’s becoming the book it wants to be. Amazing what that small shift did to open it up and get it flowing.

Working on the structure of the play, which I will probably start next week. It’s due the end of March, but I want to actually write it early in March (I like to write scripts in large chunks), put it away for a few days or a week or two,and then revise it before I send it off.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on February 22, 2011 at 8:13 am  Comments (3)  
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December 31, 2010 — New Year’s Eve

Friday, December 31, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and mild
New Year’s Eve

I can’t believe this year is over, and it’s been quite a roller coaster of a year!

If you’d like to see my evaluation for 2010, which I thought would be depressing, but actually turned out to be quite enlightening (for me), hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog, which has been sorely neglected in the past few months.

My back kind of limited a lot of activity yesterday. I had to do a bunch of paperwork dealing with various transitional business — really, most of these companies are staffed by morons. There are enough people looking for work that companies should dump the incompetent and hire the intelligent. Oh, wait, that would mean they had to pay people a fair wage for a fair day’s work and the intelligent might actually question the corporation’s culture of screwing the public, and that would never do!

But the auto insurance kerflamma is sorted out. Turns out they sent the bill BEFORE they checked my driving record, and it’s even less than the original quote, thanks to me being a careful driver in the past (and now I have the pressure to continue)!

Paid a bunch of bills, so I can go into the New Year without bills hanging over my head.

Played with the cats, who wanted attention.

Filled the car to bursting with garbage and recycling and took it all to the dump. 80% of our garbage is recycling — we really generate very little stuff for the landfill, which is good.

Went grocery shopping and spent far more than I intended — I thought when you have a list you stay under budget? Even with a list, I bought more than I thought I would — and I stuck to the list! Also stocked up on some wine for next week. For a state with such tight blue laws, they have a lot of awesome wine shops around here!

I was in so much pain in the morning that I considered a trip to the emergency room. But, again, it would be a lot of money and tests and all they can do is give me a stronger painkiller, which doesn’t solve the problem. Alleve did NOTHING, didn’t even take the edge off, and neither did Excedrin. Spent most of the afternoon lying on the couch reading, with a heating pad on my back.

Yet another customer service person from Verizon told me that they “can’t” do anything to help me unless I buy the blocker. I ignored them, and I think I’ve finagled it so that it’s blocked — I’m not getting messages every 15 seconds any more.

Costume Imp and I are getting next week figured out — it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Saw a lovely rocking chair for sale for a great price on Craigslist – I was hoping to pick it up today, but haven’t heard back from the owner. If I can’t get it today, it’ll have to be next week, and they’ll probably sell it to someone else. Oh, well. I’ll either get it or I won’t.

The appliance repair place called and will come today to fix the washer. I can do laundry here before the New Year! I hate starting the new year with dirty clothes!

I also want to do my hair today — I want to start the New Year with shiny hair AND clean clothes!

My hurricane cylinders arrived yesterday (they weren’t scheduled to arrive until Monday) and this time, the UPS guy HANDED me the box instead of throwing it from the truck. Which is good, since they’re glass. They are beautiful. They fit the candlestands perfectly, although they’re taller than I expected, but look great. I washed them last night, let them dry and they’re up now. It will make things safer.

I’m looking forward to a nice, cozy celebration here at home tonight (I’m not big on New Year’s shindigs, and I don’t have to be banned from my own home until 1 AM, like I was in NYC). Yes, when I lived a block from Times Square, if I left the house after 6 PM, I was not allowed back in until after 1 AM, even though I lived there! Isn’t that awful? I usually had a show on New Year’s Eve (thankfully, most shows now only do a matinee), and then I was forced to go to a party. I don’t like New Year’s Eve — too much forced joviality for me — I like to celebrate quietly at home with one or two people.

Once I moved out of the city and wasn’t working full-time anymore, I refused to accept work for New Year’s. I did a yoga retreat upstate for several years, which was great. After that year where I was on the train when the year turned, I decided no more of other people deciding how I start my year!

So, I’ve got some errands to run today, and the repairman to wait for, and my hair to do, and some shelves to put up in the basement to sort the dishes I don’t need every day, some writing to do, and then enjoy sweeping the old year out of the back door and welcoming the New Year in the front!

I’ve got my bayberry candle for tonight; my bayberry incense for tonight and tomorrow, and the stuff I need for the dawn ceremony I do on New Year’s.

I want a peaceful end to this year and a quiet, fun start to 2011!

Happy New Year!

Devon

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Tree at the bottom of the drive

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy and cold

Spent far too much time yesterday morning doing annoying paperwork, but at least got a lot done and out, along with party invitations. Then, it was off to Sears to look for the electric snowblowers — which they didn’t have. The guy was very, very nice. He agreed that they’re great and said that a lot of people who bought gas blowers last year are now having problems because the ethanol content has changed in gasoline and is mucking up the engines. And I overheard a woman tell an elderly couple looking at one, “You don’t want to keep too much gas in the engine when you’re not using it, or it might cause a bad accident in the garage.”

Definitely electric.

The sales guy told us to go to Home Depot, we dashed over and got THE LAST ONE. At $100 less than I’d seen it advertised. And the clerk at Home Depot got me set up with the correct cord, and the check out guy got me set up with an extra 2-year replacement warranty for under $12, so now it’s covered for 4 years.

Happy camper, me! 😉

Ran some errands in Osterville, including dealing with a bank error (they fixed it immediately, and, in fact, gave us more than what we asked for — TD has great customer service), and I stopped at the hardware store, where I found a reasonably eco-friendly ice melt for the front walk and driveway. It’s pet, lawn, and car-safe, which is probably as good as it gets. It got the 25 pound bag, because I knew the 50 pound bag would be too hard for me to maneuver, and I designated it its own scoop cup to make it even easier to spread.

Got everything home, picked up the two invites I had to hand deliver, got them off, got back before the snow started up again. Read in the afternoon, met the mail carrier at the bottom of the drive (I’m trying to help them by not making them get out of the truck in bad weather). Some more books arrived — again, happy camper.

Quiet evening watching TV and reading. Think I figured out the fireplace kerflamma, so will try again on Christmas Eve.

The Hounds of the Baskervilles woke me up at 2 AM, just beside themselves with frustration, baying at something. And it sounds like something talked back. Then, I worried that I hadn’t locked the front door properly when I turned off the trees last night. I’m less worried about some sort of animal around the house than people — there have been a lot of burglaries in the area lately.

So, my ritual bogwood axe and I crept down the stairs in the dark. Not that it could cut anything, but it’s heavy, so it might be useful in an emergency. Iris waited half way up the stairs; Violet came with me. The moonlight on the snow reflected so much I didn’t have to turn on any lights. The door was locked properly and I couldn’t see anything amiss, so I went back upstairs.

More fresh tracks around the house this morning, though. I’m pretty sure something is taking shelter under the deck. I don’t mind — I hope it’s not a stray dog or cat, because I’d like to help it, and whatever it is, my worries are twofold — I don’t want it to starve or freeze, and I certainly don’t want it to expire under the deck! The size of the paw tracks makes me wonder if it’s a fox. I like foxes — they’re one of my totems — but I’ve never had to deal with one, so I’d probably just stare at it.

Up early this morning, plugged in the new snowblower. It took a bit of time to get coordinated with the cord, and the cord JUST barely reaches to the end of the driveway (at least I know how long my driveway is now). It works pretty well, although when the wind shifted, most of the snow blew back in my face. I’ll get better with practice. But I have a feeling I’ll go with a gas lawn mower — I don’t think the cord thing would work in the long flat back portion of the yard, and, heaven forbid they have battery-powered mowers! I mean, that would be quieter and logical, so obviously, it can’t happen!

I found a pair of arm chairs on Craigslist that I really want at an excellent, fair price for both of us, so I’m talking with the owner about when to take a look, and, hopefully, pick them up. They’re not quite Victorian wing-backs — a little shorter in the back — but that style. So, hopefully, we’ll get that sorted out today and tomorrow, before the next big storm hits.

I’m going to get some writing done today, hopefully, and tackle the assignment for Confidential Job #1 in the afternoon. I’d like to get a couple more boxes unpacked — even a few a day will make a difference.

It’s still snowing, and supposed to do so until about noon, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can do a chair run this afternoon.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 9:07 am  Comments (7)  
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Saturday, November 27, 2010


Violet likes the sofa

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was busy. A few hours’ work unpacking more kitchen boxes (22 left, and then about 60 in the garage). A few hours’ work in my office — didn’t get enough unpacked, mostly because I’m at a loss where to put stuff. Never managed to unpack anything in the bedroom. A few hours’ worth of paperwork. Citizens’ Bank is a pain in the —, and I’m starting to think I made the wrong choice there. Waaay too much hoop jumping. If they continue to act like Chase, I will take my business elsewhere. They have three months to prove they’re worth the hassle.

Caught up on a lot of the paperwork that’s built up during the move, did a lot of filing, set up the files for next year.

Nipped down to the store down the road to get the BARNSTABLE PATRIOT — the small, local paper that contains more actual information and journalism than both of Rye papers combined– and the CAPE COD TIMES.

The Cape is Very Busy for the holidays, and there’s lots of fun stuff to do. I booked reservations at a few things that sound like they’d be interesting. And I was invited to a breakfast at the National Marine Life Center over in Buzzards Bay, an organization to which I toss a few bucks whenever I can because I like them so much. Got the voice mail set up — we haven’t even given out the number and are getting scam trash calls. I was rather abrupt, and made sure we’re on the Do Not Call Registry. I can’t screen calls and decide what to pick up, so I just won’t pick up. I also blocked any call that doesn’t provide Caller ID. If you won’t tell me who the hell you are, I’m not interested in talking to you!

The weather was too bad to do any raking, so lost yet another day of that. Heated up some beef stroganoff for dinner, which was good, watched some TV, played with the cats. Did some work (but not enough) on the lectures. Stacked more stuff in the basement. Since the Danish sofa probably won’t be ready by Christmas, we may put the enormous tree in that corner in the living room.

This morning, I’m about to make the banana-walnut chocolate-chunk cookies (the bananas really need to be used), then haul up the area rug from the basement for the livingroom, unroll it, and use rug cleaner on it. While it dries, I hope to get about an hour of raking done. Then, I’m driving to Brewster for the owl program (I love owls). I have to run a few errands on the way back, and then, hopefully, I can rake some more. The next three days are supposed to be clear and cold, so I hope I can make good progress.

The workshop starts Monday, so this evening I want to finish the lectures. Hopefully, I can post my welcome message this morning, and then I’ll post the first lecture tomorrow night, encompassing the various time zones inhabited by students.

The cats are sleeping all day and roaming all night. Going to have to do something about that. Sigh.

Devon

Published in: on November 27, 2010 at 7:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Still dark out — I think it’s raining

Yesterday afternoon and evening was all about the packing. Storage is in good shape — let’s face it, the unit is 20 x 11 x 8 and packed to the gills, mostly with boxes. But at least they can handle them. Spent the evening working on the bedroom, finishing up the annoying bits, preparing for the air conditioner to be removed today, etc.

Today, I just have to methodically move through the apartment with boxes and toss stuff that’s floating around into said boxes. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of damn, oddly-shaped stuff still floating around. It will get done.

The CDs are cleaned and packed — two file boxes’ worth. I found a bunch of stuff I forgot I had, which is always nice. That will be fun when I set up the CD player in the house.

I have to finish up some paperwork before taking the router and the cablebox back to Cablevision. Furious that they sent me a bill for a full additional month, when I’m only extending two days from the last billing cycle. They can bite me. I’m paying for the additional days and that’s it. They screw up my work, they lie, they can’t be bothered to pick up their own equipment, they decreased service because I complained about them, they’ve made it clear they have no interest in making things right, and now they charge me for a full month? GO TO HELL. And the fraud division of the AG’s office.

Anyway, after about 10 AM or so, I will be off line probably until Monday the 22nd. Everything’s supposed to get hooked up on Saturday afternoon, but we’ll see. I’ll post a little something-something scheduled for tomorrow, but other than that, I doubt I’ll post again until Monday. Unless something awful happens and I run into a library or a coffee shop to post.

I’m also getting my hair cut today — risky when Venus is still retrograde, and a waxing moon means it will grow fast, but I don’t yet know where to go up there, it’s down past my collar bone, and too much to deal with. I want it all chopped off again. The last time I got my hair cut was before I left for Prague last September.

I probably have to get a few more boxes; I have to stock up the water for the movers. Tomorrow morning, we pack the bedding and the cat stuff, and then clean as rooms are cleared out. My mom will finish cleaning the apartment while I go over to storage with the movers, and let the cats out of their crates for awhile — in the empty apartment, which will freak them out. Then we have to catch them — fortunately, there won’t be anyplace left for them to hide — crate them again, and off we go. My mom thinks we can be out of here by 4 PM. I think 6 PM is more realistic. It’s a huge move — a small, overstuffed apartment on a third floor and a large, overstuffed storage unit — with two trucks and five guys. It’s definitely an eight hour loading day.

I also have to make sure I have all the tip money handy, the contracts and correspondence printed out in case there are any questions, etc.

Today will be a long day. So will tomorrow.

They’re supposed to deliver on Friday, in the early afternoon, so by Friday night, we should be able to open a bottle of wine and relax – on furniture!

Saturday morning, I want to hire one of the those steam carpet cleaner thingys and clean the rugs. And rake. In the afternoon, the Comcast guy is coming to get us all set up. I’ll probably rake some more.

Sunday, I have to buy a big trash bin for the garage. We don’t have trash pick-up. We take things to the dump — ahem, “transfer station” — which is about a mile away. I’m still trying to figure out how to get 50 30-gallon leaf bags into a VW rabbit without getting leaves everywhere.

Lori, i may just cancel the Sleepy’s order. Monday, it will be three weeks since the whole mess started, and that is unacceptable.

Stories and characters are crowding in my head, and everyone just has to SHUT UP for a few more days until we get moved. Then, I can settle back into writing in the morning and unpacking the rest of the day.

I promise, after Thanksgiving, to catch up on all the blogs. I’ve been lagging behind. But I will catch up, and I’ll visit all those lovely people who’ve been lurking and stepped forward to say hello and offer encouragement. I appreciate it.

I’ll have more photos soon, too.

Onward and Cape-ward.

One more day.

It will be tomorrow in X hours, no matter how much I get done or don’t get done. So I better hustle.

Devon

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got everything on my list done yesterday, although I wish I’d actually gotten more boxes packed. Still, it was a relatively good, although busy day, and, by the end of it, I felt pretty good about it all. Of course, this morning, I woke up worrying I’ll never get it all done in the next five days.

One week from today, I will wake up in my new home. The only things I’ll have to worry about is figuring out my new yoga/meditation/morning coffee/feed the cats/first 1K of the day pattern and if the cable installer will show up. The unpacking process will start, and so will a new life that actually has a quality of life, something that’s been too often lacking here in the last four years.

Six days from today, I will wake up in my new home and prepare for the movers to arrive and unload, and try to get the cats somewhat settled before I shut them in the upstairs bathroom so they won’t get lost.

Five days from today, I probably won’t have gone to sleep, doing the last minute prep for the load-out. It will be a long damn day, loading everything from the apartment down three flights of stairs, through the courtyard and onto the two trucks, going to the storage unit in the next town and loading all that, heading back to the apartment to make sure it’s clean enough, return the keys, get the cats in the car, and drive four hours and change up in the dark. I don’t like driving in the dark, and I don’t like driving when tired, but there’s no choice this time. We have to be up there that night. So, I’ll just be overly cautious.

Closed my bank account with Chase, much less drama than I’d been led to believe, thank goodness. I am done with them, and it is a relief. Chase and Citibank are the reasons I fought so hard for the new banking legislation, which isn’t perfect — Congress allowed too many loopholes that I had suggested provisions to close — but it’s better than what we had.

Spent a couple of hours working in storage, catching and packing stuff that’s wandered over the past year and change. The unit’s in pretty good shape. I need to bring in some more boxes and pack some of the small stuff and the bagged stuff, and then, all they have to do is load. I’m not sure WHEN I’ll get to do it — probably on Tuesday afternoon. But it has to get done. The paperwork is all settled with the storage unit — they are sad to see us go, but happy we’re going somewhere lovely.

Took everything out of the safe deposit box and “surrendered” it; stashed it close and will take it up Monday, open a new box on the Cape, and all good.

Drove my mom to CT, where she’s working for the weekend. She needs the break. Sorted everything out with my editor. Spent an hour pulling stuff off the old computer, filing, doing paperwork. I have three more boxes of floppies to convert and put on sticks, and then the PC is tossed, and I’ve got another old PC in storage I’m also getting rid of. I’m pulling the hard drives out first. I will have so much more room on my desk with just the MacBook!

Packed a few boxes, had dinner with a friend at a local hangout, caught up on everything, had some fun. Drove her home — okay, we were talking, so I nearly got on the highway headed to the house, because that’s now what the car automatically does. But I eventually got her home. Went to bed very early.

Got up early today, will pack a few boxes, spend another hour pulling crap from the PC. I have to be at a site job at 10, where I can do laundry and get some writing done, then I’ll come back here in the afternoon for a few hours to pack, then go back to the site overnight. I hope to finish the assignment for Confidential Job #1 and get a few other things done. Tomorrow morning, I plan to come here for a couple of hours to pack, go back to the job to wind it up once and for all (my last time there, I’m sad), come back here and pack like a crazy woman well into the night, and spend another hour pulling stuff from the PC. The PC will only run for an hour at a time. How did I ever get anything done on it? Appalling.

I have a LOT of paperwork to complete this weekend, because the printer will be packed either late Sunday night or early Monday morning. And it all has to get done.

It will. I’m approaching it the way I approached load-ins and load-outs of shows on the road. You have a finite amount of time and it all has to get done. There are no excuses. You simply adjust your work pace to complete the job in the allotted time. Looking at it in that light also keeps me from getting emotional about anything — no matter how negative things have gotten here, this is the place in which I grew up, and there will always be some kind of tie. I’ve always had a complicated, tumultuous relationship with this place, and, while I’m glad to be gone for good, there’s still the long, shared history here. Dwelling on that will slow me down, and I don’t have the time right now. Treating it as a professional load-out gets it done on time, and then I will deal with the psychological implications — in a novel! Because that’s what writers do.

My friend’s very sick cat had emergency surgery last night. She seems to have come through it okay, and should be home on Monday. Phew! My friend’s been through hell the last few days.

Cablevision gets slower and slower — it’s now worse than the Verizon DSL was at its worst. That will be added to the next invoice, especially since it is in retaliation for the complaint against them to the BBB. Completely unacceptable.And to think how wonderful they were for about a year. Sad, how far they’ve fallen.

Onward and boxward.

Devon

Published in: on November 13, 2010 at 7:04 am  Comments (3)  
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Busy weekend. Saturday, I got some paperwork done and some stuff notarized, then went up to Pet Smart to restock cat food, cat litter, etc. The little black kitten was still there — so tempting. Went to storage and pulled out some of the empty boxes I’d kept and put aside. Hauled everything up the stairs.

I yanked all the tins down from on top of the cabinets and inside of the cabinets, washed them — the construction debris is as sticky as tar, as well as being a fine dust. It makes sense for me to have lots of tins because, during the Big Holiday Bake, I usually make about 1000 cookies (seriously), and I put different types in different tins. Then, when I put together the platters, I can set up an assembly line and it goes pretty fast. But when you have to clean them and dry them and set them out and pack them — there are a lot of them. And I took about two dozen to storage after the holidays.

Took out all the cookie cutters, scrubbed them, set them out to dry. The cats then decided they had to play with each and every one of the cookie cutters, which meant they all had to be re-washed and dried. How much do you want to bet I’ll be finding stray cookie cutters all over the place on moving day? I have about 200 of them. I’m storing the cookie cutters in the tins for the move — make sense to use the space. Also found the souvenir spoons of my mom’s — we used to have spoon racks up, but with the construction dirt, they were too hard to keep clean, so we packed them away. Washed all of them — when they go up in the new place, I’ll have to polish the silver ones — but they’re like having a trip log on the wall.

Also found a bunch of candleholders I washed and put aside to be packed with the candle stuff. Hopefully, I’ll have a space where I can store all my candleholders and can use them when seasonally appropriate. Again, I have well over 100. I have to get some more of those glass chimney things, because it’s safer to have them enclosed, even the tapers, unless they’re on a dining table for a meal or something. Otherwise, little whiskers and tails can get into trouble. Olivia, Felicia, and Maude were very candle-savvy, but these two — not going to risk it.

I dread having to climb up there and clean the tops of the cabinets. It’s going to be disgusting. But it’s gotta be done, even though the dirt isn’t my fault, because otherwise the landlords will try to charge me for it. And I refuse to pay for a cleaning service to clean mess caused by the landlords.

I still have the luxury of cleaning, packing, and sorting without rushing. So I’m taking advantage of it. Also, I don’t want to take dirt from here, either physically or symbolically , with me.

Didn’t sleep well Saturday night, had trouble focusing on Sunday morning. Not a good yoga session or meditation session or writing session.

Worked on the lectures, did some internet research, realized I should stop at the library on my way to my friend’s place. The library opens late on Sundays, so that set the whole day back.

I figured, while I waited, I’d pull some more stuff off the old PC and onto flash drives. I was so proud of myself — about 75 floppies copied. How did I ever get anything done on a PC? They’re so inefficient compared to my options on the Mac.

Wanted to check the workshop one last time before I left. No internet. Called Cablevision, whose service I’ve been so gleeful about, and got a huge wake-up call. Not only did he give me the wrong information, he told me it was my fault the internet wasn’t working. Say what? My “fault”? Exactly how is a non-working connection with everything hooked up the way it’s supposed to be my FAULT? And that the earliest a technician could come out was on Wednesday, and he’d just tell me the same thing. That doesn’t get me back online for my courses or anything else. It’s not like I just screw around wasting time on the internet — it’s how I make my living. I was so upset — I’m winding up a workshop, I’m starting another workshop, I’ve got moving stuff and financial stuff and script stuff and other freelance work, all of which has to be done online. I asked to speak to a supervisor, was passed around, the technician called me back with more misinformation, I told him to leave me alone, he kept calling with the same b.s, until I totally melted down.

Completely unacceptable.

When I pulled myself together, I called, asked to speak to a supervisor, got hung up on, called again, got a nice woman who passed me to a supervisor who said she was in customer service, not support — hello, dumbass, it’s a CUSTOMER SERVICE ISSUE, you’re not giving me any frigging SERVICE — and passed me on to yet someone else. She actually seemed to know what she was talking about. She said she thought the cable between the modem and the computer was shot, and I should get one at Staples, and gave me the information as to what kind.

So I lost two fricking hours and was blamed for a faulty CABLE? Their cables don’t last more than a year? Shouldn’t they tell us, so we can switch them out? It’s not like I attack my cable with kitchen knives or tap dance on it in high heels. It sits there quietly as a cable.

Drove up to Staples, the guy was very nice, they actually had what I needed so I didn’t have to drive to another state, I bought it, drove home, plugged it in.

It worked.

So I lost two hours and had all kinds of job-loss stress for something that could have been fixed in ten minutes with the right information.

Not acceptable.

I’ve sent them an invoice for time lost and aggravation. I am done with this B.S.

And maybe I should be GLAD they don’t serve the area to which I relocate!

Skipped the library, went to my friend’s, hung out in the sunshine, and actually had McDonald’s for dinner. And drank about a liter of Coke because, my goodness, that stuff is salty. I hardly ever eat at McDonald’s, and I guess this is my quarterly Coca Cola. Is this what they mean by “emotional eating”? I regretted it, though — felt like crap the rest of the night and this morning.

Came home, wound up one workshop, opened another. Had trouble concentrating last night, was exhausted, then had trouble sleeping.

Up early this morning, yoga, attempted meditation, did not have a good writing session. I may have to go into the city for some business, but I hope I don’t. I have so much to finish before I leave for Philly later this week, and don’t have the energy for any of it. But it has to get done, that’s all there is to it. And I don’t have time, room or patience to put up with anyone else’s screw ups. If I have to be without error, so do those around me who are getting paid. And the landlord’s up to something again — I just don’t know what yet.

Trying to get myself into the head space that I will just deal with each thing fully as it comes up, not get distracted and do things piecemeal. The next couple of months are going to be a challenge, but there’s joy and serenity at the end of it, so it will be worth it.

Devon

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Violet supervises sorting and packing

Saturday, September 18, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Tired. I’ve got a bunch of paperwork to fill out, get notarized, and file today, and may have to head into the city first thing on Monday to take care of some other business. It will all be worth it by the end of the year. Not happy at the latest twist, I’m risking a chunk of my future by doing something that needs to be done in order to make the move happen on time, but it feels like the right thing to do and I’m going to trust it will work out. I can’t hesitate or things will go off schedule.

Colin, why would you think I’d support a bunch of moronic, lying, ignorant, treasonous nut jobs wearing foil hats?

On a happier note, an agent asked for a full manuscript on one of my projects, so that’s a good thing. We’ll see. I got it out as soon as it was requested, got a lovely acknowledgement, so it is what it is. Either it’s what they like, or it’s not. I have too many things to worry about to obsess over it.

Got some stuff done yesterday morning, and treated myself to a chocolate croissant from the French bakery. Spent the afternoon at my friend’s, doing the laundry and talking through this, that, and the other scenario for the move.

Finished the material for Confidential Job #1, sent if off, sent off the invoice. That always feels good.

A producer I worked with has started a company doing old-time radio shows. So I’ve got to pull something together in order to make a pitch.

I’ve also got to work on some short scripts this weekend, and polish the lectures for next week’s deconstruction workshop. i need to get in some more cat food and cat litter, to see the little darlings through when I’m gone next week, and finish packing. Yeah, I don’t leave until Thursday, but I pack early. This time last year, I was in Prague!

I’m going to go by storage and pick up some of the empty boxes I saved from the sorting I did earlier this year. My friend never dropped off the other boxes, and I don’t want to get behind.

Great writing session this morning — about 1800 words. I’m glad that I’m sticking to the morning sessions, even on the tough days. Even on days when I wind up only doing little bits, it’s slowly adding up to a whole, and I’m not losing the rhythm of the piece by putting it aside and working piecemeal.

Lots to do this weekend — I better get to it.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, longhand): 53,250 words out of est 100,00 (53.25%)

Published in: on September 18, 2010 at 7:57 am  Comments (3)  
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Small pressed mold bowl made in July’s workshop

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, cloudy

This weather totally sucks. No thunderstorms as promised for days, just oppressive, cloudy heat and humidity. The cats are trying to learn how to turn on the air conditioner by themselves.

Got some paperwork done yesterday, not enough, but it’s never enough, is it? Got the stuff sorted out for teaching — the admin hadn’t put the materials into the folder when I sent them A MONTH AGO and it was at the bottom of her inbox. Really, not my problem. I was organized and got it in on time, and it bugs the hell out of me when I’m falsely accused of missing deadlines, which seems to be the leitmotif with this particular organization. If it doesn’t change, I won’t stick around. I am way too busy to have this argument over and over and over again, especially when I’m the one on time.

Skipped the museum — will have to make time next week or I’ll miss the exhibit.

Delivered some of the food I cooked to my mom, then went over to a friend’s for the afternoon and an early dinner. I love cooking in that kitchen.

Read Sharon Shinn’s novella “Flight”, which is excellent.

Got some research done in the evening at home, with the air on. Elsa seemed very confused last night — I think the heat is affecting her brain. She woke me up at 5:30 this morning; I say “No way”, rolled over and wound up oversleeping, so I’m having a tough time getting going.

Good first writing session this morning, though. The interesting thing about the Willowspring Grove novel is that I’ve outlined the character arcs for the major characters for the course of the series, but I’m blank-paging this individual book. I know the emotional points I have to hit, but I’m letting the story lead me to them. It’s a different way of working, and one that wouldn’t work with a lot of what I do, but it works here.

I have to go to storage this morning and work through some of the “Misc.” boxes, purging and organizing, then see if more of my pottery is ready. I paid my firing fees yesterday — which were three times more than expected, ouch — so I guess that means most of it survived the kilns.

Also have to get cat food. The never-ending void of the cat food cupboard. Can’t wait until I have the room to buy it by the case!

I’m off to cool down the bedroom for the cats before I leave, so they’ll have sanctuary in the heat.

Devon

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 7:25 am  Comments (6)  
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Up and down day yesterday. More post-death paperwork, and people who are determined to make the process as drawn out, complicated, and painful as possible.

Computer problems also slowed me down. Thanks to everyone for the tips on moving files – it’s going to be a huge help in the coming weeks.

Finished off some client projects in the afternoon, which means I can work on my own fiction and deadlines all weekend.

Sherrie, thanks for your comments. It’s important for us to stay connected to the love we feel for our writing that brought us to it in the first place. But please don’t fall into the trap that you don’t deserve to be paid and paid well for your work. We have a right to make a solid wage doing what we love. Whenever I hear someone comment that they’re “not looking for a fat paycheck or they’d be doing something else” it sends off warning bells. That is why so many content sites are filled with crap – because they can get away with paying writers less-wages-than-fast-food restaurants. Writing is a very specific set of skills, in addition to requiring a type of imagination and creativity not everyone can tap into, and those skills are worth not only a living wage, but a comfortable one. Writers who settle for less than they’re worth not only hurt themselves by digging themselves into the low-pay-no-respect hole, but they hurt ALL of us who do this for a living. Loving what we do for a living is not contradictory to being paid well for it. Again, it’s the myth perpetuated by the cowards who refuse to change their unhappy lives. We don’t need to buy into it.

Good morning on the Billy Root story, and I think I even have a title for it. I’m rolling it around a bit today, and, if it works, I’ll reveal it tomorrow. Worked on the outline yesterday, which means I’m back on track again and focused. Now I have a good idea of where I’m going, and see where I’ll have to revise earlier chapters, once this draft is done. I’m making notes on the revisions, but not putting them in because it will destroy the forward momentum of the book.

Elsa seems better. She still regresses a bit during the night, but her improvement is pretty strong during the day. We head back to the vet on Monday for a follow-up. Thanks to everyone for supporting her so strongly – it’s made a huge difference in her recovery.

Have a great weekend. I’m back to the page, and, maybe, if the weather stays so mild and beautiful, I’ll go out for a bit and play in the afternoon.

Devon

Billy Root Story – 27,567 words out of est. 60,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27 / 60
(45.0%)
Published in: on March 7, 2009 at 9:54 am  Comments (4)  
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