Tues. Sept. 21, 2021: Finding Rhythms

image courtesy of Petra Boekhoff via pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Last Day of the Full Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny and cool

I am happy to say that the weekend was less stressful than I expected. Which is a good thing.

I was in touch with my friend on Friday to find out if he was coming by to drop off the carload of Christmas decorations, or if he needed to move it to a different weekend. First he said he wasn’t; a few minutes later, he was back in touch to ask if he could. So we were back on.

I baked his favorite from my baking repertoire, lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting. I thought the frosting was a little too sweet; I need to work on my buttercream frosting skills. But, overall, they turned out well.

I also baked brownies, because I craved brownies, and, since I had the oven on anyway, why not?  They turned out really well, too.

Saturday, I vacuumed and mopped and did general housework in preparation for my friend’s arrival. He and his family had decided to make it a day trip, but had gotten a later start than expected. No worries. I was caught up with everything and ready.

I worked on GAMBIT COLONY while I was waiting, re-reading the rest of Book 4 and what I’ve written so far into Book 5, making some edits here and there. But, overall, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not the kind of series targeted to a general audience; it’s definitely for people interested in the arts, who can deal with large ensembles. And I want to have the first six books of the series submission-ready before I start pitching them. Those first six books encompass auditions, rehearsals, shooting the mini-series, and then the first season when it’s picked up. At some point in the game, I’ll get back to working on the series website. I don’t know if my publisher would even consider it, or if I should go pure indie.

Anyway, in the early afternoon, I heard from my friend; he had taken a wrong turn, and was about an hour behind where he expected.  Again, no worries. I felt worse for him than for me.

He finally got here, and it only took 15 minutes to unload the car (under Charlotte’s supervision). He’d dropped off his family to do a short hike while he unloaded, and I gave him the cupcakes, which delighted him. They planned to go apple picking, and then stop at their favorite barbecue place on the way home. So they had a nice family day out, off Cape. Sometimes, it’s hard to get over the bridge, even when the traffic’s not a nightmare.

The day had started kind of rumbly and drizzly, but by the time they got out here, it had turned into a gorgeous autumn day. I was delighted for them, and so grateful for the carload of stuff!

My Kindle Fire is acting up; books I buy aren’t necessarily downloading. I believe this is Amazon trying to force me to buy a new Kindle (which they keep sending me emails about), which I don’t want to do, because I like this one. And hate Amazon. Customer Service wasn’t much help. No surprise there.

On Sunday morning, we were on the road by 6:30, headed back to Cape. It was a reasonably smooth ride down, and the weather was gorgeous. We arrived a little after 10, and I rearranged things in the main storage unit so that whatever we couldn’t get into the car would fit, and moved out of the second storage unit. The car was packed, but it was mostly light stuff (and yeah, more Christmas decorations). I also got the trunk full of yarn up, and the giant bin with all our winter coats. Once I empty that bin, I will fill it with the small boxes of holiday decorations, so that they are all safe and protected and in one spot, instead of in dozens of tiny boxes that have to be stacked like a weird Rubik’s cube.

I did the move-out paperwork for that unit, and we were back on the road by 11:28. Over an hour earlier than I’d expected. Unfortunately, the traffic over the Bourne Bridge was a nightmare, but we were still over before noon (the storage facility is just over the bridge on the Cape side).

The traffic was heavy all the way back to the Berkshires, but it moved, except for a messy patch around Worcester.  We made it back by 4, and my leg only hurt a little. The relief at getting it all done is immense.

Unpacked, hauled everything up, and rested. Since the book I bought still wouldn’t download to Kindle, I started reading the next book for review.

Up way too early on Monday, thanks to the cats. But got in a good meditation session, and good first writing session.  The cats were running and playing like loony tunes. But then, full moon, what do you expect? It was pretty funny.

There’s a bunch of new paperwork involved in getting the car registration and our licenses switched over to the new address, and I am frustrated with it. Also frustrated because Spectrum went down again in the afternoon. I fixed the problem myself from this end while I was waiting for the tech.

Got some work done early. Headed over to the college library to drop off books and check out some other books. Headed to the grocery store to get what I still needed for the Equinox dinner tomorrow. Unpacked the oversized bin with all the winter coats, and got those hung up. Refilled the bin with small boxes of fragile winter holiday decorations. I have to rearrange the big closet in the sewing room; I think most of that closet will house decorations.

Unpacked a couple of boxes of general decorations we’d never used in the Cape house. They fit better here. They are from our travels. Some of them definitely have the Deco/Nouveau vibe that works so well here. Stuff that we decide not to use is getting repacked, and will go back down when we do our storage run in spring.

Wrote up script coverage on two pieces, and read three others.

Trying to get into a more regular work rhythm for the fall and winter.

Found my favorite comfy pants pattern, and will make some fleece pants for both of us to wear around the house this winter. I’m looking forward to getting the sewing room set up and getting back to making clothes.

Have a bunch of coverages to write up today, more scripts to read, articles to write. An ex-client wants to talk to me, and I’m not looking forward to it. There are very good reasons this client is a former client rather than a current one.

My keyboard is now all wonky, too. I’m having trouble with all my devices. My Mercury has gone retrograde early. I better back everything up today.

Sigh. It’s going to be one of THOSE days, isn’t it? Hope you, at least, have a good one.

Tues. April 27, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 339 — And the Retrogrades Begin

image courtesy of Kerbstone via pixabay.com

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Last Day of Full Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Partly cloudy and cool

The Retrogrades are starting, which worries me. I’d hoped to get the house hunting resolved before that happened, but no luck.

I had a good, solid writing weekend, which was necessary. I wrote an entire chapter on Sunday morning.

It took me all morning on Friday to complete the paperwork for the second category of the contest, but I did it and sent it off. I made good progress on the final category (I’d already completed about half the entries for this one, too). So I’m on track with that.

Saturday, I was up early, wrote, did laundry and housework. I’ve been craving fast food like crazy the past few weeks. I haven’t eaten beef for months, because it always made me sick. I haven’t ordered/eaten fast food in about two years. But I decided to go up to Burger King, which is about three miles from here, just off the Rt. 6 exit, and hit the drive through. I haven’t eaten from Burger King in at least 3-4 years, maybe longer. I ate at McDonald’s about two years ago, and was as sick as could be after.

But I risked it anyway. I had a Whopper, my mom had a bacon cheeseburger, we split an order of onion rings and an order of French fries, and had chocolate shakes.

I haven’t drunk cow’s milk in nearly a year, either, because it was making me sick.

Basically, I craved things that were bad for me, and I decided to take the risk.

Did the drive-through window – and realized that, in the 10 years we’ve lived here, it was the first time I’d done that. And yes, of course I wore my mask at the window, and the workers were all masked, too.

Got everything home, and we ate. And ate. It was good, hit the spot, filled the craving.

I didn’t feel as bad as I expected after, although I felt full and heavy. Everything was much saltier than when I cook, so I was thirsty as all get out, and drank a lot of tea and juice all afternoon.

Neither of us was hungry by dinner time, so we didn’t eat.

It was pretty nice outside, albeit a bit windy, so we took Willa and Charlotte out in their playpens. However, because that idiot a few streets over continues to run the woodchipper and chain saws all day every day from 7 AM to 9 PM, it was impossible to actually enjoy sitting outside. Or get much done inside, that required concentration. If you need to run a woodchipper that much, you’re either a serial killer or incompetent, and it shouldn’t be allowed.

I didn’t feel great at night, but at least I got some sleep. I felt okay Sunday morning, although it will probably be a few years before I do that again.

Baked biscuits for Sunday morning breakfast. It was rainy and raw.

I got some paperwork done, got out a few information requests on rentals, got out some LOIs. Got some writing done.

I felt pretty discouraged, all the way around.

Spent most of the day on contest entries.

Monday morning, I was up early and wrote, in spite of feeling resistance to it. Once I started, it was fine.

My mother had terrible nightmares. I realized she’d packed her dreamcatcher over the bed; I unpacked another one, hung it up, and she slept well last night.

I headed onsite to the client’s extra early, since the landlord said he and the septic people would be over to go over the plan for the replacement, which starts next week. I got everything done that needed to be done onsite in a jiffy, dropped things off at the post office, got back to the house – and they never showed up and never contacted me. Frustrating.

Got some more packing done, although I’m behind where I wanted to be at this point. I need to pack faster, purge more, and get stuff up on craigslist this week.

But I did the rest of the work I needed to do for the client remotely, so it worked out. I got out a stack of LOIs. I heard back from a couple of rentals – two very nice, one in particular is a house that might work, although it’s small. The other is bigger, but means moving back to NY State, just outside of Syracuse, to a town that has a rather high crime rate. The cost of the move itself might put it out of reach, although the space is terrific, with a garage and a deck. There was one rental, though, for a loft – they want copies of birth certificates for every member of the household. How is that even legal?

I complained to the AG’s office, and I’m having a conversation with my state senator about it. That is wrong. It also opens the door to identity theft. A landlord does not have the right to birth certificates.  That opens the door to all kinds of discrimination and identity theft.

A recruiter wanted to talk to me about an LOI I’d sent. But the “application” demanded dates of high school and college graduation, which is a workaround on the age discrimination laws, so I called him out on it and refused. I got a very nice apology from him, and that he’s taken up the issue with IT to fix it, and asked to have a conversation anyway, so I agreed to have a short one this morning.

Will probably talk to the property manager for the small house this afternoon.

Put together a LOI package for a potential local client who used to work in theatre, and was email introduced by a mutual friend. So we’ll see if that’s something we can work out. I’m always leery of local clients, because they never want to pay, but she’s a washashore and from professional theatre, and understands that work is paid.

Decent first writing session this morning, although it was hard to get started. Will do some client work, get out some more LOIs, have the talk with the recruiter. I expect it will be a waste of time. I haven’t spoken to a single recruiter in the past ten years that wasn’t a complete and utter waste of my time and energy. My experience is that they don’t actually give a damn about any potential employees. They just want names on their sheet to meet quotas. However, this guy responded and claimed he was dealing with a problem, so I feel like I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

The retrogrades have me even more on edge than I already was. I’m ready to fall off the edge.

Deep breath. Keep going. Because there’s no other choice.

By the way, my first choice for the Kentucky Derby this weekend is Midnight Bourbon. I love him. I love his personality. I still have to do some more research on the rest of the field. I think all the horses are more relaxed and have progressed better without fans in the stands.

Published in: on April 27, 2021 at 7:34 am  Comments Off on Tues. April 27, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 339 — And the Retrogrades Begin  
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Thurs. April 8, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 321 — Follow the Damn Protocols

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Waning Moon

Cloudy and mild

I’ve got a post about the garden over on Gratitude and Growth.

The thought that soon, I might not have a garden at all, saddens me.

Yesterday was busy. I had to be onsite with a client, and I actually had to say, “If you kill me with COVID, I can’t finish this by deadline. Please put your mask on.” I shouldn’t have to do that. This whole “I’m vaccinated, so to hell with you” is enraging.

Busy there, got a lot done, have to put in some more hours today and tomorrow, but remotely.

I have some paperwork to fill out with a new client, and then we’ll get started next week. It’s freelance, so it will ebb and flow, but the work sounds interesting, so we’ll see.

Came home, decontaminated, enjoyed Remote Chat.

Did some more client work, looked at rental listings. One of the most frustrating things about the rental agents is that they don’t listen. They don’t pay the slightest bit of attention to any of the information I send them, or any of my needs.

Worked on contest entries.

Today, I have meditation group, and then have to get client work done, work on the paperwork for the new client, and finish my article, so I can get it to my editor. I need to get at least one article pitch out, maybe two. More LOIs, more rental listings.

I’m feeling a little discouraged today. But all I can do is make like a hockey player and dig deeper.

Published in: on April 8, 2021 at 5:19 am  Comments Off on Thurs. April 8, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 321 — Follow the Damn Protocols  
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Thurs. Feb. 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 274/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 22 — A Little Good News

image courtesy of Oliana Gruxdeva via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Incoming storm

There’s a post over on Gratitude and Growth about the quiet and the garden.

Yesterday was stressful.

The good news is that my 96-year-old mother was moved from the waiting list to an actual slot for the first dose of the vaccine.

I swung by the office to do a few things before anyone else arrived, left a note, and then came back home and did some more work before we had to head out.

The vaccination site was on Cape Cod, and not too far away. It was in Orleans. At the dump. They had to set up a vaccination site at the town dump.

Everyone was very nice, and it was well-run. It was a drive-through clinic, so we stayed in the car the entire time. We were guided to our slot. The nurse gave my mom the vaccine in her arm. We had to wait, with the fire/rescue checking on us every few minutes, until we could leave, about 15 minutes later. We drove home.

There’s a ton of paperwork around it all. The paperwork was more complicated than the shot itself.

There weren’t enough doses to give me the “caretaker” shot – I have no problem with that, but it worries my mom.

We drove home, decontaminated. She felt fine; I was wrecked.

I managed to do a final polish and get one of the grant proposals out, though. And I talked to some of my interview sources for two of my articles. Even got out a couple of LOIs.

But mostly, I was a wreck.

My mom was perky until sometime in the middle of the night, when her arm started hurting badly. She’s in pain right now, and can take liquid Tylenol, so let’s hope that helps.

I’m not sure if we have to compete for a slot for the second shot, like we did for the first, or if it’s assigned. The paperwork says we have to compete, but several nurses along the way said we’d be emailed with the next slot.

It should happen right around my birthday, and I can’t think of a better gift.

So why is the headline on this post still about the distribution fail? Because it’s not all about me. There are thousands of people unable to get an appointment because of the chaos. I was lucky and dogged in staying online and trying and trying and trying. Too many people don’t have the resources to do that, or anyone who can help them. Until there’s equitable distribution, this will continue to happen.

This morning, I have to go into the office WITH a client, which I’m not too happy about. But it’s just a couple of hours, what would have happened yesterday. I’m hoping to get home before the snow starts.

I did some good work on GAMBIT COLONY this morning.

I looked at the sample budget for the second grant proposal, and the sample seems way off base from reality. I have to do some more research.

I’m looking forward to meditation this morning. I definitely need it. I’ll probably need another session when I get back home and decontaminate.

I’m worried about the people suffering in Texas, and furious at their governor and the other leaders who are perfectly happy to let them die, to prove their independence. They should all be indicted. Removed. Imprisoned. Hopefully, the federal aid will reach them soon, and not be turned away by the twats in charge.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 6:55 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 274/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 22 — A Little Good News  
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Tues. Jan. 5, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 230 – Riding Into the New Year

image courtesy of Brent Olson via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

11th Day of Christmas (11 Pipers Piping)

Rainy/sleety and raw

Happy 2021! I hope you had a joyful transition into the New Year, while you stayed the F home.

Thursday was fine, although I got frustrated by the lack of room in the kitchen as I juggled the cooking. To think, when we first moved here, this kitchen seemed so big after all the galley kitchens in small New York apartments!

Quiet night, watching videos, burning the bayberry candle for prosperity. We tried to watch the ball come down over Times Square, but the camera focused on the Kia ad rather than the ball drop directly above it, so we felt cheated.

In the years I lived a block from Times Square, it was cool to watch the ball drop from my window. The years I had to work on the Eve and couldn’t come home until after one a.m., forced to go out to an overpriced night after the show, weren’t so much fun. The years I worked a show on the Eve, then had to go up to cut through Central Park to get to Grand Central Station to catch a train, and then spent midnight on a train – not so much fun, either. I like being home and quiet.

Went to bed a little after midnight. Was up fairly early on New Year’s Day.

Performed the Fire & Ice ritual to get us off to a good start, using the last of the jasmine oil on the candle. Will have to source jasmine oil again soon.

Traditional Eggs Benedict for breakfast, complete with hollandaise sauce and prosecco. It was really good.

Wrote a bit, noodling with some ideas and working on the 12 Days of Christmas stories. I’m mostly roughing them out at this point, and then will go back and finish, revise, polish, over the next few months. Letting my mind percolate the idea for a proposal that needs to go out no later than January 18. It would be a big, big project.

Received an invitation to write for 365 Women again this year – any woman I want! I could even write more about Kate Warne. Maybe this will be the right venue for the Dawn Powell-Dorothy Parker piece I want to write. There’s also another woman about whom I want to write, but I’m not sure I can do all that this year and move. I’m thinking about it.

Percolated some ideas for article pitches.

Started reading my first book for the new year, one of Nell Simon’s memoirs. I go into more detail about it over here on A Biblio Paradise. The choice of first book in a new year is a big deal for me.

Went through the paperwork for the contest. The first box of books has shipped. This week, I have to clear old eBook files I no longer need out of my Kindle, so next week, I can download and start reading the first of the entries sent digitally.

Set up 2021 files.

I need to set up information on all the plays that I can cross-reference – the play, the logline, characters, length, submission/production history. It makes the most sense to do that in Excel. Sadly, I loathe working in Excel (although I’m perfectly capable of doing it).

Most of Friday was about giving myself the physical and emotional space to think, to daydream, to allow the internal creative process room to actually create.

Saturday morning, I jerked out of sleep from a dream about someone trying to kill me. So I guess August is going to really suck.

Got work done on several article proposals. My trusty architect lamp, that I’ve had since the late 1960’s blew up – something with the switch. I need a lamp on my computer desk, so I went ahead and ordered another from Staples. It should be here by the end of next week.

Sunday morning, made biscuits, did admin work.

At noon, I joined the Table of Silence Project’s weekly meditation. This week, it was rooted in 12 Repetitive Gestures, that were taught first, and then the company, in their socially-distanced private spaces, led us through them. It was beautiful and powerful. It also made me realize how much I miss working with people dedicated to their craft.

I’m tired of those who are always moaning about “not having time” because they put their “day job” first, instead of remembering that the only function of the “day job” is to make their survival to create art possible. They do so because their art is NOT their first priority. I’m sick of being mired amongst people who won’t make the commitment. It’s fine to have art as a “hobby” but it’s also toxic to perpetuate the myth that artists deserve to starve and shouldn’t be paid for their work. Too many hobbyists in the arts continue to perpetuate that myth, because they don’t have the courage to pursue it full time, and it gives them joy to punish those who do. I made my decision in high school that I would build a life in the arts, that my art would always, ALWAYS come first. It has, and I have no regrets. I also made the choice, back in my twenties, that I did not want fame. I wanted respect in my field, but not fame. Especially around here, the derision aimed at me for that decision (by people who make excuses not to do what they claim they love to do) is enormous.

Apart from that realization (and isn’t one of the points of meditation to gain clarity?), the meditation itself was wonderful and powerful – movement, because it’s a dance company. Movement with meaning, and it felt good to be in my body and ground again. The morning had left me feeling grumpy and unsettled.

In the afternoon, I cleaned out five boxes from the basement, catching up to my goal for that point. I found some really cool stuff that will get integrated into the household (until it’s packed for the move), found other stuff that needed to be repacked, and tossed a good bit Also did 15 minutes on the exercise bicycle. Only half of what my 96-year-old mother does every day, but it’s a start. One of the things I found is one of my favorite patterns for comfortable pants – only three pieces, and it only takes two hours from the time I start laying out the pattern on the fabric to the finished pants. They’re casual pants, but I found some fabric in the clearing-out I did a few months back that I want to use.

One of the late packages arrived: a pair of dusky rose velvet ballet flats, which are wonderful (but I can’t wear in the rain), and two pairs of pants that are both comfortable and stylish.

Sunday into Monday, I dreamed that someone was lying to me, so I guess I need to be cautious in October (10th day of Christmas). The story for Day 10 is centered around Morris Men (Ten Lords A-Leaping). I still have no idea what to do for Eight Maids-A-Milking.

Got my act together, dropped off two bags’ worth of library books at the drop box, went into the office. I was the only one there, which is as it should be, and got a lot done. Also managed to send out all four article proposals I’d written over the weekend.

By the time I got home, one of them had been accepted. Good way to start the first official workday of the year!

Did a curbside pickup at the library, decontaminated, did 15 minutes on the bicycle. After lunch, I did some admin work, got out some LOIs. Wrote some blog posts.

I’d put dinner in the crockpot before I left for work in the morning, and it smelled delightful when I got home. Slow cooker chicken and vegetables, over leftover jasmine rice. Quite yummy.

Watched some videos, did some reading.

Good dreams of baking set up a happy November (11th Day of Christmas), although I have no damn idea what story to build around 11 Pipers Piping. I have a feeling, as I work on the earlier stories, it will start to come clear, since each story stands alone, but is also linked.

If the weather improves by 9 AM, I will do a quick grocery run to Trader Joe’s. If not, I’ll put it off until Thursday. Otherwise, there’s writing, client work, and I’m getting out the interview requests for the article. Then more admin work, and I want to go through at least two more boxes today, to stay on mission for the clearing out.

So much is on the line today in Georgia’s election.  I’ve done what I could; now it’s up to the voters.

The Sociopath should be impeached again for trying to overturn the Georgia results. And every single Congress person who plans to squawk against certifying Biden’s victory tomorrow should be removed from Congress and exiled. Not allowed to set foot in this country EVER again.

It’s time we had some actual consequences for trying to shred the Constitution. There will be no healing, no rebuilding, until there is justice.

Let’s get this done, people.

Fri. Oct. 9, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 142 — All Writing

image courtesy of mozlase via pixabay.com

Friday, October 9, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cold

Yesterday was all about SERENE AND DETERMINED. I worked through it, scene-by-scene, line-by-line. I changed, cut, added. I had my friend’s notes next to me, and figured out how to make them work. I added a scene in the second act, to balance it out more, bringing back an antagonist I’d used in the first act.  Lavinia shows more flashes of temper now, and Gian Paolo has a stronger arc as he takes over the contract negotiations from her father.

I’m awfully tempted to write a play in the future centering around the three noblewomen who gave her so much support. Each of them was extraordinary for their time, or for any time, too, and they’re such fun to write.

I took a break for the Freelance Chat. I’d considered skipping it this week, and I should have, because it was difficult to get back to Bologna in the late 1500s after yapping about Buffer and social media tools.

But I got there. It took all damn day to get this revision finished, but I did it.

I then looked over the paperwork for the submission and realized I had to write a “Statement of Objectives” to go with it. Urgh. So I knocked that out. I might have laid it on a little thick, but the passion underlying the words and the process is real.

Knowledge Unicorns went well. A Twitter pal sent me a fun link for more octopus stuff, and it was Octopus Day, so we talked about both the octopus and the bat. We worked on various assignments. There’s less fear and more resignation and determination amongst the kids now, which I think is a good thing. They know continuing remotely is the best choice in this situation; they also realize that they are privileged in ways other kids who don’t have the support they have from their parents and the Knowledge Unicorns aren’t. Several of them are helping kids in their classes, using techniques we’ve been using in the Knowledge Unicorns. And a lot of their classmates are doing homework in the car, driving somewhere that has a Wi-Fi signal, because they don’t have internet at home.

Their bond with each other is growing, and that helps them when kids who are going back to in-person learning (and the parents of those kids) try to bully them. As I said early on, most of the kids in the group didn’t know each other before – they are scattered all over the country. Most of their parents only met once, that time we all were together and down in the house on the beach waaaay back when the parents were kids.

But they’re in communication with each other regularly outside of our sessions, helping each other, hanging out virtually, and I think that’s a positive.

Keith Olbermann is back as a political commentator. He is one of my favorites. He is so smart, so strong, so determined to call out bullshit. I’m absolutely delighted to watch him again every night. I missed the way he puts together and offers information.

Slept through the night, which was nice, although Charlotte was fussing at me way too early in the morning.

Today, SERENE AND DETERMINED gets a final proofread. Then I finish the paperwork and submit it. I know this conference gets thousands of submissions, but if I don’t try there’s no chance. If I try, there’s a 50-50 chance – either they take it, or they don’t.

So I’ll try.

As soon as that goes off, I have to do a curbside drop-off/pick-up from the library.

Then, I will turn my attention to the short story, and work on that. I plan on working through the weekend this weekend. I want to get the short story and all three articles written, polished, and out before Mercury goes retrograde next week.

Because that, my friends, with Mars retrograde at the same time, will be a bumpy ride.

Peace, friends, have a great weekend, and see you on the other side.

Published in: on October 9, 2020 at 5:16 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 9, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 142 — All Writing  
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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.

 

Published in: on September 8, 2017 at 8:52 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 8, 2017: Finalizing One Book, Moving on to the Next  
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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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