Thursday, January 20, 2011


Thursday, January 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Grey and cold

I think there’s a group of Maine Coon cats who live across the way. Yesterday, the big black cat strolled across the lawn, on its way to get something it wanted at another neighbor’s. That cat is at least 25 pounds, probably more, but not fat — just huge and athletic, which is why I’m thinking Maine Coon. Also stops at the street and looks both ways before crossing. I called out to him, he turned, gave me a look that clearly said, “I’m BUSY” and kept going.

Violet hissed.

Which is hilarious, because she’s about an eighth of his size. He shrugged in that way only a cat can, and kept going.

Later, in the afternoon, he emerged from what must be a cat door in the screened porch across the way to lounge on the roof and laugh at us.

By accident, on the drive to Cotuit, found the vet I’m thinking of establishing with here, and it makes sense– close and the place has a good vibe.

The lecture on shipwrecks at the Cotuit Library was very interesting. The lecturer was quite the character in her own right. Some information I knew, some I did not, and it got me thinking, so I took notes. Lots of nice people — and about 40 people turned out for it. Lovely lunch of kale-and-sausage soup, served with a mixed greens salad, excellent bread, and spice cake for dessert. It was made by several of the Friends’ members, and it was really, really good. We were encouraged to have seconds. Something else I love about events here that have food — no one ever skimps. There’s always plenty. It’s never forced on you, but you always know you can have more if you want it. If I was going to be here for the February event, I’d volunteer to cook for it, but I’ll be away. We’ll see when March’s event takes place, and what I’m up to and decide from there. They started serving wine at 11:30 AM — my kind of group! 😉 I had one glass of wine, and then switched to coffee. Met a wide variety of people with a wide variety of interests and jobs. So many people seem to make their own hours and run their own businesses — it’s like being in a very large community of freelancers, which is great.

The library itself is a lovely, lovely building with great collections. Each of the libraries in the region has areas in which it specializes in, so, depending on what you’re working on, you go to different places.

I found PD James’s book TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION, which I’ve wanted to read for a really long time, and Bill Bryson’s SHAKESPEARE: THE WORLD AS STAGE. Since Cotuit is part of the CLAMS system, I could check the books out with my library card on the spot and not have to order them and have them sent to my base library, like i had to do in New York. Much more practical, since I was standing right there with the books in my hand! The libraries here also have temporary cards for “summah people”, which I think is an excellent idea.

Unless you were born here, you’re considered a “wash ashore”, even if you’ve lived here or had a house here for decades. Some people feel that means they’re excluded from — I’m not sure from what. Everyone’s friendly and always inviting me to do this and that, so I don’t feel excluded from anything. I just smile and shrug and say I’d rather “wash ashore” here than anywhere else!

Stopped at the grocery store and the post office on the way home. Bought a small primrose plant, which is adorable, and it’s nice to see what a primrose actually looks like. More books arrived that I’d ordered before the self-imposed moratorium (and, if you don’t believe how overboard I went at the book barn, go hop onto A BIBLIO PARADISE). The box contained the copy I decided I had to own of THE CAPE COD GARDEN (still with its awful error in the introduction and no errata slip), and also THE NOVEL BOOKSTORE, what sounds like a fantastic novel by Laurence Cosse (there should be an accent on the “e”, but I can’t get it to work) and a novel by Kate Morton called THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN.

The following was overheard in the grocery store. The woman speaking was 150 if she was a day, and using a walker:

Woman: Goddamn doctor! Wanted to write me a half a dozen prescriptions. I told him what to do with his notepad! I went for acupuncture this morning! So I can’t play soccer this week. But at least I’m not funding some pharmaceutical executive so he can have a mistress AND a therapist!

Okay, I am soooo using that! 😉

Did three loads of laundry and put a full dishwasher load through.

Where I am over the next few days is entirely dependent on the weather. I need to do another round-trip to CT, but when I do it will depend on the forecasts. It’s going to be like a game of Where’s Waldo?

This morning, along with writing and workshops and the like, I have to vacuum the house and tidy up Just In Case.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Waning Moon
Cloudy and humid

It hit 90 degrees in Central Park yesterday, which is just wrong. It was only 80 out here, but still . ..

Did some good work on the urban fantasy. I’ve written what I outlined, so I’m flying blind for a bit, then outlining more.

Acupuncture was great. The traffic, in both directions, was a nightmare, and I wasn’t in as bad shape as I usually am. She also worked on my knee.

Came back, did a little more on the urban fantasy, but mostly had to let the treatment settle. I’m reading PD James’s book THE LIGHTHOUSE, which is very interesting. She moves POV in various chapters, but is consistent within a chapter, and shows us the mystery through several perspectives. I haven’t read her books in order, so I’m a little lost in the arcs that have developed over the series, but not so lost so that it’s distracting. It’s also set on a fictional island off Cornwall, and makes me miss Cornwall.

I’m learning a lot by breaking down this show on a craft level, so thanks for bearing with me. HUMAN TARGET was on last night, and, I’m happy to say, back on track, at least as far as I’m concerned. i nearly skipped it because the premise required such a far suspension of my disbelief, but I’m glad I watched. The writing and direction were much better this week. The two episodes I had a problem with were directed by the same guy, and this was directed by someone else. Huge difference. His work was really solid, and he let the actors fly, for the most part. Jackie Earle Haley’s Guerrero had the hair that reads well on camera again, AND he got to be very active in this episode, with actions including taking out a sniper and driving an ambulance. This production must OWN that frigging ambulance, because it keeps turning up in episodes. And I have to take a second to praise the crew on this show — the demands of this show means they’re flat out busting their asses at an enormous rate. It’s amazing that the continuity of the show is as good as it is. I’ve been there, I’ve had to watch for continuity, at least as far as wardrobe, so wardrobe and hair continuity and prop continuity are things I tend to notice. And it’s damn hard, especially when you’re working outside and so many factors can’t be controlled. You do the best you can and you hope that, if something doesn’t work, it’s small enough not to notice, or they don’t decide to use the take with the continuity error because the performance is better and the director figures no one will notice. Other than hating the Guerrero hair last week that read so flat on camera (in contrast to the texture it usually has), and that had to have been a much-discussed choice, not an error, I’ve picked up very little continuity stuff that bothered me — and not enough to write about. Script inconsistencies — that’s something else. But even that — they’ve been good about looping references and coming back to follow up on things set up in earlier episodes, and I admire that. As far as last night, Haley had both the writing and direction support to really shine, except for one scene, which I’ll get to later. It was set in New York, and, while the stock footage and art direction were more realistic than, in, say CASTLE (a show I enjoy for the dynamic between the actors, except they don’t even try to get the locations right, and it’s so obviously shot in LA not NY, but they pretend it’s NY and it bugs me), it still was obvious that it wasn’t New York. There were logistical lapses in the script — if Gerard AND Chance had hunted Connor, why didn’t Connor recognize Chance? And once Victoria spouted off about the uselessness of fencing lessons, you knew, in the final fight, she’d come out swinging a sword. Really, that could have been handled better. Not to mention that it was either a broadsword or a claymore in the fight scene, and if she took fencing lessons, she’d have learned epee (accent won’t come in, sorry), foil, and sabre. Totally different fighting styles. I fenced, remember? AND had stage combat training. So stuff like that drives me nuts (yeah, I know, short drive). Loved the actors who played Gerard and Connor — well-known faces, and the actor playing Gerard was just a guest on something or other I saw a few days ago. It might even have been CASTLE. The last Guerrero-Winston scene bothered me — it felt like the producers or someone had demanded it, and it was inorganic to the rest of the episode (and some of what’s been set up in the series). It was written so that what Guerrero said was somewhere between a sulk and a whine. Had the director of the previous two episodes been at the helm, I have no doubt he’d have forced Haley down that path. Fortunately, both Haley and the director of this episode were smart enough not to make that choice. Still, it didn’t ring true to me. Haley’s had to fight the direction in this show before, depending on the director — this was the first time he had to fight the writing. He almost pulled it off — he did the best he could with what he was given, and he’s so damned good that you want to roll with whatever choices he makes. But, let’s face it, once Guerrero sets his sights on something or someone — he’s going to win. Or die. Period. That’s what’s been defined in the character, and to have it challenged with something as weak as the context and content of that particular scene, rubbed me the wrong way. I also felt Chance should have been watched, in that last scene in the graveyard, to put an ominous button at the end of the episode. Next week is the season finale, and it’s supposed to show us Chance’s conversion to good guy Human Target. I don’t know if the creators’ reality can live up to what I’ve imagined, quite frankly, although I’m happy to see the character of Baptiste is back — he was so good in my favorite episode of the season.

Regarding the urban fantasy, I realized I have to go into NYC sometime soon and walk the neighborhoods where I’m setting the story. I’ve set in around City Hall, Tribeca, and the fringes of Chinatown and LIttle Italy. I’ve certainly spent enough time there,and I’ve shot on location there (part of it takes place while a cop show is shooting). But, as I sit here and write it, I’m drawing a blank on some important details. Pulling up the city maps isn’t helping. I have to get down there and WALK it.

I need to see the Native American Museum for another project, and that’s in the same neighborhood, so I may combine the two. The city’s not that far away, but it’s gotten so expensive to go in that I try to combine as much as possible. I’ll take the notebook and the camera with me and get some details.

I’m working out of town for the second half of next week, so it might have to be the following week.

Decent morning’s work on the urban fantasy, but not as good as I’d like. That’s because I’m feeling my way through it, rather than following notes on sections I’ve already figured out. I’ve also got a couple of B plot lines to weave in.

I want to thank Diane Parkin for the Beautiful Blogger award. I really appreciate it. If you don’t read her blog, you should. It’s fantastic, and she’s so on top of her creative life, she inspires me on a daily basis.

Back to the page, and, ugh, the taxes.