Wed. Feb. 7, 2018: So Lucky with My Editor

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Waning moon
Stormy and cold

Challenging week. Even when I try to rest, I’m having trouble recharging.

So, Super Bowl Sunday — congratulations to the Eagles. It was a well-deserved win. I prefer close games, because they are more interesting. I’m not a football fan, so the Super Bowl is usually the only game I pay much attention to all year.

I know people have many reasons for disliking Tom Brady, but I was disappointed and perturbed by the viciousness with which he was attacked. He’s good at his job and has been for years. He’s skilled. He has five rings to prove it. I’m not a particular fan of his, but I respect his skills.

Didn’t like the halftime show. I’m not a particular fan of Justin Timberlake any
way — again, I respect what he’s achieved, but I don’t go out of my way to listen to or buy his music. I disagreed with the choice to have the projection of Prince included. Prince was vocal about not agreeing with that choice while he was still alive. His halftime show in 2007 (I think that was the year) was one of the best performances I’ve seen anywhere. Pouring rain, he came out and did his thing, no muss, no fuss, and he was brilliant. No other halftime show, in my opinion, has ever come close.

Got some decent work on MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I’m taking my editor’s concerns about the outline into account and finding places to simplify, combine elements to drive the narrative better, and to cut things completely. It’s great to be back with Gwen and Justin again.

Figured out why I’m struggling with SPIRIT REPOSITORY. It’s not just that I have the deadline looming. It’s that I made a major mistake in the logic. I have to go back and untangle the mistake in order to move forward. It’s not something where I can put in a placeholder to fix “later” because of the way it affects everything that happens later.

Talked to my editor and got a 10-day extension on the deadline. Now, I feel like I can meet it with something worthwhile. That pushes the start of RELICS  & REQUIEM back ten days — I’m not sure how I’m going to make that up, since the schedule for that is already tight. But I have a solid outline for it, which will help. And scenes with Amanda and Phineas are spinning in my head, and some of the scenes between Bonnie and Amanda in SPIRIT REPOSITORY will plant seeds for R & R, even while driving the plot of REPOSITORY.

Saw yet another agent on Manuscript Wish List asking for diverse manuscripts. I pointed out my own experience and that of other writers I know who submit such manuscripts — the notes that come back are all about whitening it up so “mainstream readers” can relate. Characters described in Starbucks coffee colors, acting like white people, names that aren’t “too ethnic” and the like. Complaints that heroines are “too independent.” Notes that don’t add to the structure or story, but strip out the diverse elements that make a book unique. The elements that these agents and writers claim to want.

When actual diverse books are published, promoted, and hit the best seller lists, instead of “thrillers” about white male assassins who sometimes sleep with a beautiful ethnic villainess who is then killed off, I’ll believe that’s what the agents and editors really want.

Ilona Andrews and I had a conversation about this several months ago — always be wary when they make a point of asking for diversity. It’s usually hollow.

Monday was a long day with clients – wound up being a twelve hour day. Tuesday was long, too, including website rebuilding. Today will be long, too. The weather is bad, so I may go straight home after I work with my client – I’ll have to see how it goes.

But I feel optimistic again about THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and even figured out a way for Phineas to make a cameo in it, ahead of taking his place as one of the central protagonists of RELICS AND REQUIEM.

 

Advertisements

Mon. Feb. 6, 2017: Holding SuperBowl Advertisers to Their Message

Monday, February 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend.

Friday was mostly about research and studying. Saturday, I got some writing done, but there was more research and studying.

Sunday started out very well, writing-wise, and then the power went out around 9:30 in the morning. It had fluctuated a bit earlier, but Autosave had saved most of the larger document on which I was working. I corrected, saved, printed, and then the power went off for the rest of the day, and I lost the next 750 words of a new chapter, which sucks. Especially since I’d gone off the notes/outline and can’t recreate it.

Put a fire in the fireplace, and did what I could to keep the house at a reasonable temperature. It was sunny, so I read. Michael Connolly’s THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, which was very good.

Eversource, as usual, was a nightmare to deal with. It’s illegal in this state to be entirely off the grid; you HAVE to be connected to Eversource. Yet, when the power goes out, their lack of interest in fixing it is insulting, as is their shrug and suggestion, “Go get a generator.” If I need a generator, and add solar panels and a wind turbine, I shouldn’t have to be connected to YOU. We were okay, but I felt bad for all the people in the area who were having Super Bowl parties and had to prep.

A local newswire said it was a transformer fire just up the street, but the “outage map” showed no power outages. I emailed them and told them they were wrong. But, actually correcting an article from a source on the site is not the Cape Cod Way. Far better to have the wrong information up.

I was supposed to go to a political meeting in Brewster in the early afternoon, but there was no way I was going out on the road without traffic lights. Local drivers consider them suggestions at the best of times; no lights and many accidents. No, thank you.

And if you think a transformer fire “just happened” to occur on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re incredibly naive. Either the transformer was tampered with by someone who wanted to mess with game day, or the transformer was tampered with by someone inside who wanted the company to be considered “heroes” for getting the power back on in time for the game. However, they just looked like idiots all the way around — not the linemen, who actually do the work. They’re good, as always. But Eversource Management, which isn’t even located in New England, doesn’t understand the northeast, and doesn’t care. Although, from what I heard today, it was a pretty massive fire, so who knows?

The power went on for about two or three minutes at a time, and then off again half a dozen times between four and six o’clock. They’re lucky they got it up and running again before kickoff or they would have had a riot on their hands.

We need a smaller, local company that actually gives a damn and has an ethic or two.

I’m not a football person, so I didn’t really care about the game one way or another. Usually, I’d root for the Patriots, because, well, I live here. I rooted for the Patriots when I lived in New York because the Jets and Giants both played in New Jersey, so they can say “New York” all they wanted, but they still played in New Jersey, so who cares?

I’ve had less respect for them over the past few months because of the connection to the Narcissistic Sociopath. Hey, you stick by your friends, good for you. Most have tried to keep politics out of the game, good for them. But my respect for them went down. But my neighbors and people I deal with here on a regular basis are ardent fans, and I wanted to see them happy. At the same time, I felt they were going in with a lot of arrogance, and it was a given that they would win.

I always thought “deflategaate” was a crock. You look at the charges, at the evidence, and it was Roger Goodell wanting to give Tom Brady and the Patriots a smack down. There was nothing legitimate in it. I think he thought — and so did football fans all over the country — that with a 1/4 season suspension, even undeserved, the team couldn’t get into the Super Bowl.

They were wrong.

I also didn’t like a lot of the nasty Tweets that were going on, beyond trash talk, especially once the Patriots started pulling it out. To compare it with election night? Get over yourself. This is a football game. Decisions made no matter which side wins don’t change the direction of the country.

The Patriots had an amazing comeback. The Falcons were ahead, 28-3, and by the end of the game, the Patriots tied, and then won in overtime. When the pressure seems insurmountable, Brady and Belicheck dig deeper and pull it out. They did it. The team did it. They deserved the win. Goodell got his karmic return.

I have lots of happy, hung over neighbors this morning!

Lady Gaga’s halftime show was spectacular. Prince’s is still my favorite, but this comes very close. It WAS political, but it didn’t need to speak politics. The show itself was about the positive, the inclusive, the joy of creation. She’s a hell of a performer, and she showed it last night.

The commercials were pretty surprising, too. Corporations gave the people who reject the evangelical, white supremacist trajectory on which this country is headed what they wanted. I mean, let’s face it, Coca Cola has always been good at this. They did the whole “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and the “world harmony” thing decades ago. They gave us our vision of Santa Claus. I was pleasantly surprised by Budweiser, Air Bnb, 84 Lumber. Good for them.

Not that I trust a corporation. Ever. They gave us what we wanted last night. It wasn’t quite a promise, but it was a message of inclusion. Now, we hold them to it. We thank them. We buy their products. We keep track of where they make political contributions. And if they’re backing people who are contrary to last night’s message, we call them out on it.

I did have to laugh at the Tweets responding to the threatened boycotts of Coca Cola, Pepsi (who did the halftime show) and Budweiser by suggesting that those boycotting individuals drink Flint’s water.

Meanwhile, Nieman Marcus (known in the wardrobe trade as “Needless Mark-up”) and Nordstrom’s dropped things in lines made by the Sociopath’s Daughter. I never bought anything anyway by any of the family brands, because I’ve practiced conscientious consumerism for years. Not spending my money on their products is not new to me. But I also didn’t buy any of the designs or products because the craftsmanship was always poor, and, frankly, I thought the designs were tacky. Very Bridge and Tunnel. (New Yorkers will know what that means). I stopped shopping Macy’s when they added that family’s product line to their stores. To me, that was a sign that Macy’s no longer cared about quality.

This morning is cold and sunny. As I said, lots of happy, hung over neighbors. I have a lot of writing to do today, I start my second week of Constitutional Law classes, and I have a few errands. Plus, research. A great deal of the next five months will be about research.

Tomorrow, I spend time in the rented office. That should be interesting.

Meanwhile, another week, another chance go do some solid work. Let’s hope I can, and that there aren’t yet more illegal Executive Orders stripping us of more rights.

In one of the pieces on which I’m working, the architecture is vital to the plot. I used a real house as the inspiration, but then I spent time this weekend drawing blueprints/floorplans to make the story work. I added a rotunda to one side, I changed a few things. My architecture books came in handy. But now, I have to think twice, when I work on the book, and when I think about the house — do I mean the real house who inspired the fictional house, or do I mean the fictional house? Interesting dilemma.

Back to the page.

Published in: on February 6, 2017 at 10:11 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 6, 2017: Holding SuperBowl Advertisers to Their Message  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,