Mon. April 16, 2018: Letting Go #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, April 16, 2018
Waxing Moon
Mercury DIRECT (as of yesterday, thank goodness)
Jupiter Retrograde
Patriots’ Day

Today is that weird day known as Patriots’ Day here in MA, about the official start of the American Revolution. However, I’m not taking the holiday this year; I’m on site with a client.

The Upbeat Authors theme today is “letting go.” The timing is interesting, because I’m in the process of doing that on many levels.

One of the hardest things I had to let go was my career working backstage on Broadway, when I moved from New York to Cape Cod. I was aging out of the work, slowing down, and didn’t have the physically or the mental stamina to keep doing what I did best. I knew I wanted to leave while I still loved it, not wait until I was in pain all the time and bitter. I also knew if I was going to make the commitment to my writing, it needed to be full-time. There’s a saying “the theatre is a jealous mistress.” That is not a myth. It is a reality. I had to choose between working backstage on Broadway and writing while exhausted, or writing (and yet, I’m still often exhausted).

I chose writing.

I let go of tech work backstage on Broadway.

Letting go of that career, writing full time, and moving to a completely different region was a lot. The stress and frustration increased when I arrived here and the expectation was that I would continue to work in technical theatre around here — for free. “For fun.”

And the attitude of “oh, we don’t pay for writers,” yet the constant stream of demands from local strangers that I should write for them without pay and be grateful for the opportunity.

And, how, exactly, am I supposed to earn a living? Oh, yeah, at a minimum wage or less job that has nothing to do with my career, because my career was never a “real job” in the first place., according to the locals.

Uh, no.

I had to let go of the fantasy that I moved to a place full of vibrant, working artists. That was the hardest, more wrenching, and most disappointing part of the move. There are plenty of vibrant, working, WONDERFUL artists here — but they’re not getting paid what they’re worth. Too few of them make their living at it, because the community does not support them as working artists. The community — and the artists — consider the art something to do ” on the side” which has never been my take on being a working artist.

I do not work in the local theatres for free, and the handful of local writing clients I have pay me. The rest of my clients are based at a distance, and we work remotely, or with infrequent in-person meetings (I do not work by phone).

I’ve “let go” of the idea that I’ll convince these entrenched individuals with their mis-spelled materials (which means they’ve lost my business) to pay writers. I’m not even talking about paying me, just, for the love all that is Oxford comma, pay SOMEONE fairly to come up with decent materials.

I get my work elsewhere.

I don’t argue with them. I say “no” and move on. When they try to argue, I add, “This is my business, not my hobby. You get paid to work. So do I.” That’s that.

I’m in the process of “letting go” of a lot of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years. When I moved up from New York, it took two moving trucks to get it all here. I still have a basement full of stuff that I haven’t gone through. I’m in the process of doing it. I’m “letting go” of what no longer works for my life.

I do NOT believe in the “if you haven’t used/worn it for a year, throw it out” or “for everything you bring into the house, throw something out.” During lean times, digging into stuff I’ve kept has sustained me through them, and given me the security to work out of them. As I’m letting go of stuff now, I trust my gut to its meaning, and whether or not I see it in the future I’m building. To me, the above “rules” are a way to get people to throw things out so they buy more things.

I’m even giving away books. I still have 250 boxes of books in my basement. I’m giving way mostly fiction, books I either don’t remember or know I won’t re-read. I’ve built my non-fiction library over the years, and I’m keeping that. With the way libraries weed out books nowadays, I often can’t find the books I need for research. So, when I buy them, I keep them. I end up using them for multiple projects.

“Letting go” of what no longer serves your life allows you time and space on both physical and emotional levels. I like to use the past to build the future, not just eradicate it to start fresh.

You have to do what works best for YOUR life. The best we can do is listen, offer our personal stories, and try to help each other navigate these choices.

 

Published in: on April 16, 2018 at 6:48 am  Comments Off on Mon. April 16, 2018: Letting Go #UpbeatAuthors  
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Fri. April 17, 2015: Trudging On in the Rain

Friday, April 17, 2015
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was busy. Couldn’t get much done, because most of my time was at the desk. Got some programming and other paperwork done, and some promotional stuff. Got periodicals processed and on the shelves.

Wasn’t feeling well, which didn’t help.

I started feeling better in the afternoon, which was great. Went home, sat out on the deck in the sun for a few minutes, then prepared the food for the tango milonga.

Went over, helped set up, danced for a couple of hours, chatted, came home. Fell into bed.

Up early this morning. Feel like I’m coming down with something. We’re still short-staffed at the library, but we’ll do what we can.

I’m supposed to go to a conference tomorrow in Providence, along with doing things like going to the dump and getting in cat food. I’ll see how I feel. Things might have to wait until Sunday.

Monday is Patriots’ Day and the Boston Marathon. The two-year anniversary of the bombing was on tax day – sad day for all. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Those events, like 9/11 – you don’t get over it. You learn to live with it. It doesn’t go away – it becomes part of the fabric of life.

I’m going to work on contest entries, short stories, and plays this weekend.

As part of the Saturn Retrograde, the questions are: what makes you happy? What are you doing now that doesn’t make you happy? What can you do to align the two?

Next week is another busy one.

Vacation in 23 days.

Have a great one.

Devon

Published in: on April 17, 2015 at 8:54 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. April 21, 2014: Boston Marathon and Other Challenges

SEAL TIDES flyer - 2nd version-1

Monday, April 21, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Patriots’ Day (celebrated), Boston Marathon Day

Today will be an intense day for people in this area. While last week was the actual anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, today is this year’s marathon, and, in the state of Massachusetts, a holiday.

Friday, I worked all day at the library (a good day), then headed to Buzzards Bay for rehearsal. Rehearsal went pretty well. We open in two days, so either it comes together or it doesn’t. At this point, it’s up to the actors. They get to run with it. I hope you will either come to support the show in person, or kick a couple of bucks toward it here.

Saturday, I sent a review to my editor, which means I’m ready for the next batch of books. I worked on client projects, I made my final choices on the first of the three contests I’m working on and sent them off, I turned around the final galleys on “Lake Justice”.

In the late afternoon, I had a rehearsal with the understudy for the show, and she was really, really good. She’s put in the work, and it shows.

Did some other work in the evening, but was exhausted.

Easter Sunday was tough, thanks to a client with no boundaries who is now trying to renege on the contract. If I need to walk away, that’s what I’ll do. Since I thought everything was settled and I was booked until the end of June, I’d stopped hustling for freelance projects, but just in case, I pitched for a few.

Tessa and I were out for a bit, but it was a little chilly out there; plus I’m not feeling well, and the last thing I need right now is to get sick — I have work, I have the show, I have a guest lecturing slot next week, the big gala at the library, the writers’ conference, winding up some client projects, the next contest entries, two magazine articles to write, and the release of “Lake Justice.”

Today, the focus is on client projects, the magazine articles, finishing up the program for the show, working on materials for the workshop I’m teaching, and understudy rehearsal.

It will be a busy two weeks and ass-hattery will not be tolerated.

Time to dig in.

Devon

tnLakeJustice
“Lake Justice” — coming soon from Amber Quill Press!

Published in: on April 21, 2014 at 5:40 am  Comments Off on Mon. April 21, 2014: Boston Marathon and Other Challenges  
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

In case you’re wondering why I ignored the apostrophe in my mention of Patriots’ Day, it’s because I wasn’t sure where to put it – I’ve seen it done as Patriot’s, meaning one patriot, which doesn’t seem right; Patriots’, meaning everyone in MA who wasn’t a Tory, which makes more sense; and Patriots, meaning there are a lot of individuals running around, but there’s no possession of the day. I checked with the State, and the correct usage is Patriots’ Day — a day belonging to multiple Patriots (and I don’t just mean the football team) in the state.

Of course, then I forgot it was Patriots’ Day and such a big deal, and tried to take a load of recycling to the dump. The dump, of course, was closed, because it’s a state facility and state workers were off being patriotic for Patriots’ Day! 😉

By accident, I came across a review of GAME OF THRONES written by a local reviewer, who happens to be a woman. She had the exact same response to the piece that I had in regard to the sex scenes, which I thought was interesting. I’m curious to see if other reviews split along genre lines on that aspect.

Trotted around to gardening stores. Got inspired to do something different than I originally planned for the front — once it’s warm enough to put anything in there! Instead of just putting in a row of pansies, I think I’ll mix them with English daisy and candytuft. I’d never thought much about candytuft from the photos, but, when I saw it in person,I really, really liked it.

I also got my Blue Prince and Blue Princess small holly trees, pots, and soil. I’m so excited.

I spent the afternoon repotting the rapidly growing plants inside, starting some new seeds, and cleaning up the front yard. There’s still work to be done, but it’s better. I’ll write about it in detail in tomorrow’s Gratitude and Growth.

It felt good to spend the day away from the computer and immerse myself in physical activity, where I could actually see results right away.

I searched and searched to figure out what the lovely, flowering magenta bush is on the side of the house, but no luck. I’d like to know what it is so I can take care of it properly!

Today, I’ll make up for it. Supposedly, it will rain intermittently today, so no yard work for me. I’ll stay inside and write, which is a pretty good way to spend the day, too! 😉 I’m looking forward to having a few days where my own writing is the primary focus, without other commitments pulling me in all directions.

Devon

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 6:46 am  Comments (7)  
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