Thurs. June 1, 2017: Adventures in Lowell

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I forgot to post on Tuesday, so that post is below today’s. I was so under the gun on various things that it flew out of my mind.

Check out the article on using Claire Cook’s and Jeff Vandermeer’s books for my recalibration here.

Check out the wrap up for May on the GDR site; I’ll have the To Do list for June up soon.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep, so by the time the alarm went off at 4:30, I was already up. I left by 5:30 and drove up to Lowell, where I had a meeting with an organization for whom I’d like to work. I liked them; we’ll see if I’m what they need right now. The logistics of working there would need some maneuvering.

But I liked the city better than I expected. I like the fact that, unlike here on Cape, they recognize that the arts are a viable profession.

Hit torrential rain coming back, and it was a bad drive. It was also frustrating, because so many people refused to put their headlights on in the rain and fog, even though it’s the law, if the windshield wipers are on, the headlights MUST be on. It was very hard to see other cars when I could barely see the end of my own, and they couldn’t be bothered to turn on their lights.

But I made it home, and I was in bed by 7 PM, and slept 12 hours. I feel better this morning, although I had a passel of errands, including two dump runs (one for garbage, one for cut grass and recycling), a Trader Joe’s run, and a run to CVS to get my mom’s medication. Now, I have to get some work done at the library, and then do yard work and then write and then . . .you get the idea.

Let’s hope June is a wonderful month!

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 10:51 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 1, 2017: Adventures in Lowell  
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Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Dark Moon
Rainy and cold

At least it’s not snow, although I’m getting a little tired of rain. And it’s been so mild that the shrubs aren’t sure whether to stay dormant or to bud.

Got some work done on the short story yesterday, and on two proposals. Had a nice lunch at Captain Parker’s in Yarmouth, which is a fun restaurant with good food. Worked on contest entries.

Worked with my elected officials. We are differing on a couple of things, but are keeping it a civil discussion. Working with my elected officials, I don’t expect to get everything I want just because I ask for it; but they can’t represent me unless they know where I stand on things. When they make decisions counter to what I believe is the right choice, we discuss it. If their decisions are counter too often, I vote for someone else in the next election. But a good channel of communication is helpful. Even when I disagree, at least I know I’m being heard and not just ignored, especially when discussions hit specifics. And that’s the point of public services — you are representing many individuals, trying to make decisions that benefit as many as possible, within the value system of those who want you to represent them.

Walked away from a bad contract offer yesterday with the full support of my agent and lawyer. The offer was unacceptable as presented. Our side suggested changes, as one does. The other side said they don’t make any changes. Well, then, I’m not working with you. The first offer is where negotiations START, at least in the professional world. These smaller publishers who expect authors to sign boilerplates are delusional, and the authors so desperate they’re willing to give everything away just to get their names in print usually wind up regretting it.

A second contract negotiation on a different project walked back the money a LOT. We’re talking about walking back the workload to match. Otherwise, I won’t be doing that project, either. Which is fine, since I’d only even agreed to talk to the person as a favor to a friend. You’re not paying? I’m not working. This isn’t my cute lil hobby on the side.

Worked on a couple of proposals last night and this morning, and feel pretty good about them. We’ll see where they end up. This is in follow-up to Tuesday’s meeting.

Writing to do today, and research. The play I’ve been outlining gnaws at me. The last few scenes are very, very clear in my head. I may have to write them down so I don’t lose them.

I’d like to have the short story ready to submit by tomorrow or Saturday so that I can write a bit of the play and get it out of my head — and my heart. This one will be a gut-wrencher to write, which means I’m probably on the right track.

I forgot yesterday that it was both Burns Night and Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Salutes to both of them!

Back to the page.

Published in: on January 26, 2017 at 11:25 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities  
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Tues. Aug. 27, 2013: Workday

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Waning Moon
Rainy and warm

I had a good workday yesterday. I got a lot of admin done, did a wrap-up document for the Mermaid Ball, got permission to post the Casting Notice for NMLC productions, got out two conference proposals for next spring, resigned from the Centerville Beautification Committee, and un-enrolled from two Coursera courses. They’re good courses, but I’m not putting in the time to do well and enjoy them, so they had to go. It’s not fair to anyone to sit in a class and not fully participate. I don’t allow it in my classes; I won’t disrespect someone else’s class by doing the same thing.

I got some character work done on the book-specific characters for the next book in the mystery series, and some plot and character work done on another piece, while also working out some plot details for the comic ghost story.

Worked with students. I’ve accepted a new year-long student starting in January — I’m excited about her potential. After all the rejections I’ve sent out in the past few weeks, and the arguments from students who don’t want to do the work and can’t be bothered to follow application instructions, it’s great to find someone with whom I’m excited to be working.

Worked on grant proposal stuff for the next NMLC play. I’m putting together those figures at the same time I’m getting the re-casting sorted out for the re-mounting of the play, because grant and play all happen the same week, and I want the grant out the door before things get too crazy with rehearsals.

Read in the afternoon a bit, both for fun and for Confidential Job #1.

Unwrapped the chair decorations from the Mermaid Ball. I have to iron all the navy blue satin sashes today and roll them, but I want to bring everything back tomorrow.

Up at 4 AM because Violet was howling; it was raining, so I put out the buckets to catch rainwater for the garden.

I want to get some work done on articles due next week, and clear off some work for Confidential Job #1 this week, so I can invoice by the end of the week.

Need to do some work on the fantasy novel and the shorter pieces.

To work!

Devon

Mon. April 22, 2013: Earth Day, Mansuscript Prep, and Writing

IMG_1014
All nice and loamy in the front! 😉

Monday, April 22, 2103
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Earth Day

What a weekend!

Friday was mostly about the Boston area being locked down in order to find the terrorist. The news coverage was continuous. I don’t know how it was in other areas of the country, but we couldn’t access the national news, they just keep yapping about nothing for an almost twenty-four hour cycle. The coverage was lousy and irritating. I think the media is over-simplifying things and using slogans and sound bytes instead of giving real information. There’s way too much we still don’t know about it all, and, while I’m relieved that the perpetrators of last Monday’s attack seem to be caught, I’m not yet assured that this wasn’t the tip of a bigger iceberg. I’m as disturbed by the questions that aren’t being asked as by the circus aspect to all of this.

Got some work in the yard done, got some reading done, but it was difficult to concentrate with all the sirens (even down here — suspicious packages, the Sagamore bridge closed for awhile, etc.) and the chaos was not conducive to getting much done. I managed to get a nice chunk of the non-fiction book done, which was a relief. Got a mailing out for an Arbor Day event next week. Sat outside for awhile in the afternoon, just trying to get settled a bit. At least I’m back to my daily yoga practice.

Saturday was a rainy, gray day. I spent most of it writing. Not necessarily on the book I’m supposed to be working on, but that’s what it is. I did about 1500 words in longhand on something that’s been tugging at me. I worked on the non-fiction book. I worked with students. An old screenplay of mine that’s been haunting me lately got dug up. I read it and it holds together. While there’s not much I can do with it as a screenplay, I started adapting it to a romantic suspense/adventure novel. In the prose, I have to adjust some things to deepen POVs, but the story itself and the dialogue holds together. The ending needs a boost, but I now have the plotting skills to do that. It’s an old file, so I’m converting sections of the old screenplay that got wonked in the save, and then adapting each section into prose.

I also submitted a backlog of stories — and one of them was accepted within hours of submission. That’s what I call a good day’s work! It will publish in the fall, and is one of my favorite contemporary pieces.

Finished reading material for Confidential Job #1, and started the next assignment. Polished materials for the conference presentation next week, and now have to start printing stuff out. I need information as to how many to expect — I don’t want to print 200 copies of everything if only 60 people are there, but I don’t want to be caught short, either.

Yesterday, I was exhausted. Read the papers. Worked out in the yard for a bit. Came up with a cool event/promotion for May which I will detail a little further into the post, wrote up the promotional aspect, and also all the content for the three weeks’ worth of material. Wrote another chapter in the book I’m supposed to be writing. Took a walk on the beach. Aren’t these piles of shells fascinating? It was cold and windy, but it was a great day to be outside.

IMG_1025

May is Manuscript Preparation Month

With all the calls for submission and conferences coming up, May is a great month to prepare manuscripts. If you’re doing a consultation during a conference, you need to get your materials polished and in; if you want to take advantage of a submission call, you need to do the same. With events like BEA coming up at the beginning of June, where lots of deals are made, there’s a need to get going on prepping.

For the month of May, I’m emailing a free manuscript preparation tip every weekday from May 1-May 24 (ending at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend). Yup, a free tip to help you prepare your manuscript.

To sign up, send an email to manuscriptprep-at-fearlessink-dot-com with “Tip” in the subject line.

In addition to the free tip, you get a coupon for a 10% discount on a critique of 30 pages, which must be used between now and the end of the year, and you are automatically signed up for the newsletter.

I only posted the information yesterday afternoon, and I’m thrilled and delighted by how many people have already signed up. I hope you’ll join the group!

Now, I’ve got many pages to write today, so I better get back to it!

Devon

Wed. Aug. 29, 2012: 21 Pages and Counting . . .

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Lots of rain yesterday, but we needed it. Unfortunately, poor New Orleans does NOT need the battering they get from Hurricane Isaac, on the 7th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is simply tragic.

Got a short article out yesterday, proofed an ad, worked with students, worked on DEATH SPARKLES galleys, worked on next assignment from Confidential Job #1, worked on the Sustainability coursework, repacked the decorations from the Mermaid Ball and took them back to NMLC. Got to hang out with my friends there for a bit, before heading back.

Last night, wrote 21 pages of the 40 page project that has to go out first thing Friday morning. Will finish the next 19 pages this morning, type it up and let it sit overnight, revise tomorrow, and off it goes on Friday. That feels good. I’m also very excited about the piece. I had most of it written in my head before I started, so once I picked up the pen, it flowed easily.

My students are enjoying their Certificates of Completion — hey, they earned them! Writing for a full year, every day, no excuses, finishing a novel, starting another, completing and submitting a handful of short stories, and putting together a submission package — not for the faint of heart!

Will have to mow the terraced back area later today — ick — and get a bunch of other stuff done. More errands later on, but at least I’m getting more efficient in planning my routes.

It definitely feels like autumn.

Devon

Mon. Aug. 6, 2012: The Conference Begins!

Monday, August 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and humid

I just lost Friday — I was running around trying to get everything done –after going to yoga on the beach in Yarmouth (which was tons of fun). But it was a busy, busy day. Saturday was all about preparing conference materials. Sunday was about clearing off deadlines in the morning.

In the afternoon, I headed over to the Conference Center. Dropped off my books — so much less stressful than at that conference last October! Checked in, yapped with the organizers — and then, two of my students showed up! One had come in from Vancouver, the other from LA. It was such fun! They got settled in their rooms, we had a drink to celebrate meeting after being online together for over a year. We joined the reception, meeting up with old and new faces, and our conversation group kept growing and including more and more — which is how it should be — inclusive. That’s what I love about this writers’ organization.

The President of the organization pulled me aside to talk about something that, if it goes through, would be exciting and an honor. I also met a library director who just moved libraries (she’d done a presentation last year I found helpful and we’d talked about doing something together) — and I may do an event or two with her, which would be such fun! We moved upstairs for the reception, which was lively and fun, and the President of the State Senate gave the opening address, emphasizing the importance of the arts to both the economy and humanity. We’re really lucky in our elected officials around here. They give a damn.

After the reception, my students and I headed out for dinner. We wanted to go to the Black Cat, but it was full; we headed to Siena — 40 minute wait. We wound up at Bobby Byrne’s in Mashpee, which was fine, and we had an awesome waitress — a real firecracker, tons of fun! More good food and great conversation. The three of us have a lot in common and never run out of things to say! Terrific women, and I feel lucky to have them in my life. And they brought me terrific gifts, which was just so sweet!

We stopped at the grocery store on the way back (they have refrigerators in their rooms), so they could stock up.

Home and to bed at a reasonable hour. The cats woke up up just after 4 because it was raining, the windows were open, and they were getting wet. I ran around closing windows and moving plants, and then couldn’t get back to sleep. Wrote thank you notes and followed up on yesterday’s conversations. I’ve got to finish an article and get it out, and also do another pass on my two-page synopsis for the harpy book before I go out the door for the conference.

I’m looking forward to a fun and busy week.

Devon

Thurs. May 10, 2012: Watching the Grass Grow


Compass at the Province Lands Center

Thursday, May 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and mild

Still raining, but we need it.

Yoga was good yesterday — different teacher, and it’s always interesting to mix it up. But I got stuck in construction traffic on the way home, which meant I didn’t get home until nearly lunchtime.

Worked flat out all afternoon, though. Revised 5 chapters of HEART-SNATCHER — fixed (I hope) a logistics error and then moved forward. Worked with the students. The growth in the year-long is terrific, and the Settings as Character people are coming up with some really rich, unique detail in the exercises. That makes it a lot of fun.

Polishing the lectures for the Antagonist workshop this Saturday. Polishing up the presentation for the workshop I’m teaching at the high school on May 19. Still waiting for dates to be confirmed with an organization that promised to solidify things at the beginning of the week.

Getting the next round of visitors sorted out — great thing about living on the Cape, people come see us. And there are tons of events and fun things coming up — so I’m trying to figure out what I can do, and what I have to pass. The thing about events around here is they’re once-and-done — they don’t keep repeating stuff. So, if you see something you want to do, better jump on it. And stuff tends to be scheduled for the same day, so it’s really about prioritizing. Which is hard, when there are so many great things to do!

Getting the car serviced this morning, and then it’s back to work. The good thing about rainy days is I can’t mow, so I have more time to work. The bad thing — I’m literally watching the grass grow! You can see the difference in just a couple of hours. I know what I’ll be doing every spare moment this weekend!

To the page before I have to drive to the mechanic.

Devon

Don’t forget to sign up for Amazing Antagonists on May 12. Registration closes tomorrow!

Published in: on May 10, 2012 at 6:43 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Dec. 8: Spiky Rain

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, windy, rainy, and cold

Meant to get so much done yesterday. Wrote and worked with my students, and the next thing I knew, it was nearly 3 PM. I think I went out to run one errand, somewhere or other, but that was it. The weather was vile. We didn’t get the predicted snow, but the rain was cold and spiky.

Didn’t get the baking done, but got ribbons up around the door frames (and now we want them around the windows), and some more decorations up.

Worked on the book, then did another pass on “Catch Your Breath”, the contemporary short story I did for class, which I’ll get out on submission in early January, along with everyone else. It’s in pretty decent shape, and I really like it. I think it’s one of the strongest pieces I’ve written lately — funny, hits home, uses irony.

Also wrote about 1200 words of another short story, “Nine-Tenths” — using the same eavesdropped parking lot inspiration that set off “Catch Your Breath”. It’s in a very different voice, a very different premise, and keeps surprising me, in a good way. And I want to get back to “Professional Mourner” soon — I don’t want to lose its atmosphere.

I’m off to yoga now. When I get back, there will be errands and then baking. Also have to wrap some packages that need to be mailed tomorrow. The weekend will be busy, but I’m determined to get out the overseas cards.

Devon

Today’s word count (Book 2): 1065
Total word count (Book 2): 7,092

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 7:03 am  Comments (5)  
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

It rained almost all day and night yesterday — which means the lawn needs mowing again! Isn’t that always the way? 😉

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to get introduced to another of my favorite characters, CE Murphy’s Joanne Walker.

Rested as much as I could, once I caught up on student work and dealt with the rest of it. Scaling the Wall puzzles me. It’s a small class, but instead of taking advantage of that, making use of the fact I can give each individual more attention, the majority of the students don’t do one iota more than the minimum requested. A lot of the work is good, but when there’s an opportunity for additional feedback and exercises and the rest, one would think that people serious about their writing would take advantage of it. I made it very clear at the beginning that the more work one is willing to put in, the more one gets out. It always amazes me when people think books write themselves.

It’s very simple. You sit down and you write. No excuses. You get the words down on paper, you look at the story from every possible angle, you rearrange them so they are strong and pretty, and you submit them. Not brain surgery. Dedication and craft. Which are sorely lacking in about 80% of the people who claim they want to write.

Have to finish packing and do a final polish on the presentation for the weekend. It will be fun to be around other writers this weekend, and also have some time away from the normal routine.

Couldn’t go to yoga this morning, because I didn’t want to share the germs, but I’m feeling well enough to be cranky, so I must be on the mend! 😉

Good morning’s work on the book. Happy with the chapter, but some additional work made me realize I need to layer in a clue.

Furious at what happened at the wild animal sanctuary in Ohio. They “didn’t have a choice” in slaughtering those animals. BULLSHIT. There is always a choice. I bet that incompetent boob of a sheriff (who probably landed his job as a political favor) has a dick about a centimeter long and felt like a Great White Hunter, oh, so important, giving the order for the slaughter. There were plenty of other options, and if I know what they are, certainly so-called professionals could have come up with them. It is unacceptable, irresponsible, and immoral. And may forces of Justice much higher than any legal court take karmic action on these assholes very, very soon. May it be both poetic and painful for them.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1584
Total word count: 36,048

Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 9:23 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

As Saturday wore on, I got much more cheerful. I took care of some client emails, I caught up, via email, with some friends. The summer’s booking up, not just with work, but with friends coming to visit. After all, I live in one of the best vacation spots in the country. Why not come visit?

I’m pitching for two huge jobs with two organizations I adore. I have to keep the personal out of it, in order to create a good business deal, but I hope they like the proposals. Of course, I want to land BOTH gigs, which would be enormously challenging, but also, enormously fulfilling. I just have to make the proposals persuasive enough to convince them they can’t live without me! 😉

Most of the weekend was caught up in bird trauma. I kept hearing a thumping noise at one of the windows. A little bird (which I identified as a tufted titmouse) kept flinging himself against the window and yelling. He’d been doing it so much that one side of his chest was all bloody. I tried to make it impossible for him to see his reflection: open the drapes, close the drapes, cover the window with paper, hang my yoga mat over it. Didn’t work. I tried hanging small bells from short threads (so he wouldn’t get caught in them) to make noise. Didn’t work. I was worried he’d kill himself. I couldn’t see a nest in the tree. I went outside to see if there was a nest stashed in the eaves of the house or baby bird on the ground or a distressed mate. Nothing.

I called one agency that’s supposed to deal with this and was told, “ We deal with the land, not the animals on it.” Um, aren’t they connected? I called the group in my former hometown who publicizes how much they care about nature, and was told, “It’s only one bird. There are thousands of them. This one doesn’t matter.” No wonder that’s where the City Council members who sat with one hand shoved up their collective ass and the other for a payout from the scumbag landlords who are driving people out of their homes (my mother included) all met. Typical attitude of my former hometown. I called the 24-hour hotline that’s supposed to handle this, and was told there’s nothing they can do until the bird knocks himself unconscious — which is what I was trying to prevent. I tried contacting local rehabilitators — the ones the hotline would have hooked me up with anyway. Not one of them could be bothered to get back to me. Hypocrites.

Then, some workmen who weren’t scheduled to show up showed up, sending the dog and I into fits. I called the owners of the site to make sure they were who they said they were. She said they weren’t supposed to be there that day — they’d talked about scheduling a day and time, but it had never happened. But, since they were there, they could work. Again, typical of this area. Workmen have no respect for anyone else’s time or appointments, and show up or don’t show up as they feel like it. On the Cape, you make an appointment, they show up when you both agree, they do the work, all is good.

They did the work, the Titmouse went away, the dog didn’t trust them any more than I did, so we retreated to the basement until they were done. Once they left, I checked all the doors and windows, to make sure nothing had been “fixed” to not lock properly. I might not have been so suspicious if the dog (who is friendly and not particularly brave) hadn’t been so adamant in staying between me and any workman at any given time. I’m grateful, and I totally trusted the dog’s instincts.

It was raining, and the Titmouse sat in the tree outside the window, crying and looking miserable, but at least didn’t fling himself against the window anymore.

Again, typical of this area: They pay ridiculous amounts of money at Whole Foods (or, Whole-in-the-Wallet Foods, as a bunch of us call it), but use toxic lawn materials and cleaners.

Caught up on the class (so enjoying this group), watched some TV. Didn’t like the book I was supposed to read, so read some books just for fun. Got a little bit of writing done, but not enough.

It rained hard Saturday into Sunday. But as soon as it lessened, the Titmouse started in again — on a different window. From a different tree. This time, there’s a small nest in the tree, but nothing in it. And he didn’t fling himself against the window, just flew up to it, chattered, and flew away.

All. Day. Long.

When he was quiet, I was afraid he’d knocked himself out and went looking for him. No. He simply did the same at a different window. He’s acting like the entire house is a threat. As long as he’s not bashing himself into anything, I don’t have to worry quite as much.

Read. Caught up on classes. Had a quiet day. Wanted to be home.

Up early this morning, packed and did last minute prep to go home. The bird is at it again, but he seems to be healing. And I found a small feather on the carpet of one of the rooms, but there’s no way a bird got inside, so go figure.

I’m looking forward to being home. It’s supposed to rain all week, so I guess I won’t be mowing (gee, so sad. Yes, that’s sarcasm).

Costume Imp is coming back up for a week in June, which will be tons of fun. Hopefully, I’ll have my manuscript in by then, and know what’s going on with Confidential Job #1.

Someone I’ve known for a long time actually had the gall to say that when this lease is up, I should move “closer to a train station”, so it would be easier for me to travel down to that particular job –which can’t be counted on, changes dates all the time, and is only maybe one week a year. Had we been in the same room, I would have slapped him. Yeah, not professional, but I would have done it anyway. Talk about total disrespect that anyone else has a life. You know what? I’m not “the help” and I won’t be treated like a servant. Period. End of story.

Yeah, I’m grumpy today! It’s not going to be fun to drive home in this weather, and I won’t be able to leave until late afternoon or early evening. There are things I SHOULD be doing, and I don’t want to do a damn one of them. I am In A Mood! 😉

Don’t worry; I’ll get over myself as soon as I scoot across the Sagamore Bridge!

To answer PJ’s question about Saturn Retrograde:
There’s a difference between a Saturn Retrograde and a Saturn Return. The Saturn Return happens once about every 28 years, and lasts for about 2 years. Your life dissolves and reassembles during that period of time. Sometimes it’s painful. A lot of people either get married, or, if they’re already married, get divorced or have a major shift in the relationship at 28. People often change careers, loved ones die, the whole thing. William and Kate got married when they were both in their Saturn returns, to use a pop culture example.

A Saturn retrograde happens once every year for several months — around five or six. I’d have to look it up; can’t remember off the top of my head. Saturn is the planet of life lessons. If you’re on a path that’s counterproductive to whatever you want to call it — your destiny, your higher purpose, your real self — you will encounter more problems and obstacles than usual, especially if you’ve known that there are problems and have made the choice to stay in the situation that’s bad for you. During a Saturn retrograde, the first time you refuse to make a positive change, you get smacked upside the head. The next time, you might get fired or your car might break down and not be able to be fixed or your relationship falls apart — it will be in the area where you refused to change the previous time, and it will be worse. Every subsequent Saturn retrograde in which you refuse to make positive changes, it will get harder and harder. If you refuse to jump, you will be pushed. When you make the choice to go towards something better, even when it’s scary, it will still be difficult, but you’ll start to see things smoothing out pretty quickly.

Then, the next Saturn retrograde comes around, and you’re faced with new challenges. Saturn is the “tough love” teacher. Saturn forces growth and change. So, when you look at the calendar and see Saturn retrograde coming, you can sit down and say, “where do I need to make positive changes?” If you start them before the retrograde, you’ll still feel the push, but it won’t be as painful. If you sit and do nothing, you wind up with metaphysical bruises on your behind and your psyche.

In my own life, I left Broadway a good two full Saturn Retrogrades after I knew I needed to go, and the last few months, even though I loved the show I was on and the people, I was miserable, because I knew I needed to be elsewhere. Had I remained for another cycle, something pretty painful would have happened to force me out, because I was on a truly unhealthy path for me to follow.

Right now, too, remember, that Pluto is also retrograde, which means what is hidden is revealed. If someone’s been lying to you or stabbing you in the back, it comes out now. If you look at an astrological calendar and compare it to when the most scandals (as far as people trying to keep things hidden) break, it’s usually during a Pluto Retrograde.

Too many people use astrology as an excuse to behave badly. “Oh, Mercury’s Retrograde, of course I crashed the car and my computer failed and so-and-so got mad at my comment.” Yes, it’s more likely to happen during a Mercury Retrograde. But, if you looked at the calendar, you could have been more careful driving, backed up your computer so that when it went kaboom it wasn’t a total loss, and you could have kept your damn mouth shut.

The purpose of these calendars is to look at them, see the POTENTIAL influences (because the planet is additionally influenced by where it sits in your natal chart. Me and Saturn? We’re screwed! 😉 Seriously, where Saturn sits in my natal chart causes me different kinds of difficulties than where it sits in someone else’s chart). You look at it, you know the potential challenges/obstacles/problems. You’re more aware. My mantra in Mercury Retrograde is,”stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.” If I am angered by what someone else says, I take a deep breath and try not to respond, because getting involved in a dispute during Mercury Retrograde is bound to take longer to resolve than otherwise. I try, very hard, not to sign contracts. During a Saturn retrograde — or, rather, when I see one coming — I try to look back over the life lessons last time. What did I miss? What did I not implement? Sometimes, I misinterpret, and then get a bit of a smack during the retrograde.

I came into this one thinking it would be easy because I did the move, I’m out of the wardrobe business, I’ve got a writing room, I’ve set up my schedule, etc., etc. I straightened out a lot of things that were problems, and I made choices to let certain things go, instead of acting like that bird I mentioned above.

And yet, here I am, with a bunch of new lessons to learn, this time having to do with the changing vision of my career. I don’t want to make decisions out of haste, anger, or fear. I want to really look at the options, listen to the messages, listen to myself, and then figure out the actions I need to take.

There’s this theory that “doing nothing is a choice.” Well, when it comes to the Universe, and the Universe has been telling you to DO SOMETHING and you ignore it, it considers stasis a vacuum. So, it’s going to fill that vacuum by kicking your butt hard enough to make you pay attention and fill it.

The planets don’t give you excuses. They give you information. And how you choose to use it can make things smoother or easier on the path. Survival is tough enough — I’d rather listen and try to make the choice the first time than put my hands over my ears and sing, “La la la” until my butt is kicked into the abyss.

Granted, it doesn’t always work out the way I think it will (usually quite differently), but when I listen and at least TRY, the results, in the long run, are much more positive.

Devon

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
A Dark and Stormy Morning

It’s raining like crazy, and there’s a flood watch on — let’s hope they’re wrong. I need to get to the acupuncturist today — if I cancel, I can’t get another appointment until May, and I can’t wait that long for treatment. I’m in too much constant pain, which negatively affects my work, and my movements are too limited. Although, this morning, I managed to get the back to release completely in pigeon pose and child pose — finally! First time since the injury. However, because I’ve been working the long muscles on my back so much, now the hip flexors are tightening, so I have to add hip openers back in, although they hurt my back a lot. But the tightening hip flexors are negatively affecting my walking and sitting. I’ll have to get that looked at today, too.

Traffic was bad yesterday, but I had a good time at the Book Barn in Niantic. Visited with their many cats, who like to follow me around and point out books I need (they’re usually right). They didn’t have the third book i need for my May class, but they had a copy of the Tower of London book I keep renewing from the library for HISTORICAL INFLUENCES, and another London book I can use, along with a theatrical diary from the early 1800’s, and a memoir by Sybille Bedford. I’ve heard of Sybille Bedford, of course, but I haven’t read any of her work. The memoir is fascinating. The way it meanders — it’s supposed to appear artless, but, in reality, the tangents are meticulously planned — get irritating after awhile, because I feel like she’s trying to manipulate me, and I don’t like that. One can argue that all writing is a form of manipulation — if you want to take that tactic, fine, then I say I prefer it to be more subtle.

The memoir is very much a reflection of the literary mores and beliefs of its time (from World War I until the turn of the 21st century), and it’s fascinating to have a first person account — even in memoir form, which is, of course, filtered through the present — of the time, in case I ever want to set anything then.

The year-long class is filling up quickly, which is good, and I have no doubt we’ll have a waiting list. A lot can happen between now and September, so I want to make sure that we have a full contingent for the year. I’m working and re-working my other workshops for the coming year, and I also want to put together another booklet.

The play is starting to take shape in my brain, which will be helpful when I sit down on Monday to actually start writing it.

For now — I’m going to get some work done on HISTORICAL INFLUENCES this morning, with one eye on the weather and traffic reports. I’m going to rest after treatment this afternoon, and maybe read some more.

Devon

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 7:08 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

It’s so humid that it feels like I’m trying to breathe underwater. Ick.

Drove to Stamford to use a gift card at the bookstore. That was fun. There was also a lovely farmer’s market in the lot beside the bookstore’s. Got some absolutely wonderful produce, still sun-kissed from the gardens. Which contributed to a delightful lunch with a friend.

Called the acupuncturist recommended to me by the woman in my pottery class. She picked up the phone herself; my acquaintance had talked to her about me, so she was expecting my call. We discussed Elsa for awhile, and she actually has an opening this morning, so, off we go.

Elsa thought we were going immediately, and tried to get into the carrier as soon as I was off the phone!

I really don’t think the new medication is helping her much. So, we’ll see what happens here. At the very least, this practitioner can make her more comfortable, even if there’s not much more we can do for her. And quality of life is more important than length. Of course I want Elsa around for a long, long time, but I also don’t want to torture her. When she’s ready to go, she will let me know. She’s made it pretty darned clear she’s not ready yet — she actually was the dominant cat yesterday, for the first time since we lost Felicia several years ago, bossing the twins around.

Read the second book in that series I’ve been reading. It was much tighter, better plotted, better written. If it wrapped up the story, the first book would have been unnecessary, and it could have all been the second book and been just fine. I read the first chapter of the third book, and it’s not grabbing me. So, we’ll see. If I come across it next time I’m in the bookstore, I might pick it up But I’m in no rush.

I also got Yasmine Galenorn’s newest release, NIGHT MYST, the first book of her new series, and I’m reading that and enjoying it very much.

It’s raining and gross outside. Not the kind of weather I want to haul Elsa around in, especially since the directions don’t really make sense to me, but we’ll see. Somehow, it will all work out. And, if it helps Elsa, it’s worth it.

Good first writing session this morning, about 1200 words. Will try to get a little more done before I have to pack up Elsa and go.

Considered applying for an editing job yesterday, but I don’t want to put that much energy into someone else’s work right now. The business writing and articles are fine, because it’s mine, even if I’m doing it to attract customers to someone else’s work. But working on someone else’s creative work — other than reading the piece for my friend — just not in that headspace right now, and why set myself up for a job I won’t enjoy at this point?

Would like to do some more adaptation on the plays so that I can work on query letters and start pitching them in August.

Well, I’ve been assigned an editor for my new book and sent the paperwork for marketing and cover art — but I’ve not signed the contract, so I’m not yet making any announcements. Guess we’re going forward, though, on what I hope will prove to be an exciting new venture. It also means I have to get started on the next book for them – and re-read this manuscript so that I can come up with blurbs, teasers, etc. I want to get that all turned around in the next few days. And it means the photo shoot needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Today is the 38th anniversary of my father’s death.

Devon

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

I forgot to mention, with all the Elsa chaos, how deeply saddened I was by the death of George Steinbrenner. I’m not a baseball fan, certainly not a Yankees fan, but I was mildly acquainted with him at the track. He was a horse owner — just as impatient with horses and trainers as he was with baseball players. I told him he needed to be more patient with the horses, because horses aren’t as dumb as baseball players (he thought that was funny). In general, he found me amusing because I didn’t care that he owned a baseball team (or, as he put it “THE baseball team”). We talked horses. He was always kind, friendly, funny, and generous when our paths crossed. He was an impressario on par with what David Belasco did for Broadway, and those big personalities are always important to every game.

Happy to see WHITE COLLAR back. It’s a fun show, and the two leads are so beautifully in synch that it’s a joy to watch. It’s like watching two brilliant musicians jam together. The writing is so good and the actors take it and run with it and make it look effortless. COVERT AFFAIRS — sigh and head shake. The lead actress is one of those that the networks love, and she always gets high TVQ ratings, but I’ve never warmed up to her. She indicates too much — she lets us know what she’s going to say and do before she does it or says it, so there’s never a surprise and discovery — and it simply doesn’t work for me. But, like I said, networks love her, and so does the reviewer for THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. I don’t see the appeal. Co-star Kari Matchett is so many levels above her in skill and talent and sparkle, but doesn’t get the buzz. And Christopher Gorham is a lot of fun – nice change from his character on HARPER’S ISLAND. So, yes, I like some of the supporting cast — yes, there’s someone else with whom I’ve worked on B’way! We’ll see. It does not bode well when I figured out the twist the first time the twist showed up on screen as a red herring. And I bet you I know who “the leak” is in the agency — could it be any more obvious? Sheesh. I also hated the opening sequence where they revealed her backstory — I thought it could have been done more cleverly.

We finally had some rain around here. We desperately needed it.

Pottery class was good. I had yet another teacher. I was so far behind everyone, though –it’s strictly a wheel-throwing class, and they’ve been together since June. But everyone was really friendly and helpful, and the teacher took time to show me some variations on throwing and centering — if I keep throwing clockwise, as my Thursday teacher taught, Asian-style, I’ll have problems in North America and Europe, because throwing is done counter-clockwise. While most wheels can go in either direction, some don’t. My Thursday teacher said you have to pick a way and stick with it; I figure I’m so new to it, I’ll adapt to the teacher of the moment.

Now, I would prefer to throw clockwise, because, to me, if you’re BUILDING something in the northern hemisphere, you go clockwise (deosil). If you’re UNDOING it/banishing it/whatever, you go counterclockwise (widdershins). I even make sure that I stir clockwise (I stirred counterclockwise when in Australia) if I’m making batter or stirring soup or whatever. So BUILDING a pot by working counterclockwise just feels wrong on so many levels.

However, since I’m new to the process and have yet to develop a technique, I figure I can still be flexible. Even though I’m told one “can’t” throw both ways, because of muscle memory, well, teach the muscles both ways. Or maybe that will just slow down my throwing even more.

This teacher also lived in one of the areas to which I hope to relocate. She gave me some good tips about the communities in the area.

I really like her, she was very patient with me, and she gave me some helpful hints in continuing my progress. But I squished everything by the end of the day, because, yet again, there was nothing worth saving. I felt frustrated and discouraged.

Except for glazing. We had a glazing intro, and it makes perfect sense. I get it, I love the glazes, I love the possibilities. The glazes “talk” to me.

Of course, if I don’t develop some technique, I won’t have anything to glaze!

I also met someone in class who is one of those people Anne of Green Gables would call a “kindred spirit”. She’s studying holistic medicine, she’s a cat and dog lover/owner, we just got each other. She gave me the number of a couple in a nearby town who do acupuncture (not overtreating, working as holistically as mine does) and also work on cats and dogs. I’m going to give them a call. I may do a session with them for both me and Elsa. The woman of the couple also does Reiki, something I’ve found very helpful.

Everyone crosses your path for a reason, right?

Went grocery shopping — ran into the former mayor again! Also stocked up on pet food, so there’s plenty in the cupboard while I’m gone (I’ve switched them now to ProPlan, which they all seem to like), and picked up some wine.

I checked with an astrologer, and now I’m throughly confused. Diane, and other Pisces, this may be of interest. First of all, she predicted the trip I’m taking next week. Second, she said that the 23rd would be a fantastic day of fun, friendship, and also career opportunities (Lori, that lunch may have more levels than we thought). She also said that we Pisces have had Saturn in Pisces since 2007, and have been going through a particularly difficult time of it. Yes. Between landlord stuff and illness and career shifts, I’d say yes. But, supposedly, on July 21, Saturn says goodbye until something like 2037, and those burdens lift. And Uranus leaves Pisces and doesn’t come back until 2082, when I don’t think any of us need to worry about it, so that takes another level of stress out, and frees up a whole area of creativity. The 26th is supposed to be an especially good day for all of us.

Now, my confusion comes with Jupiter. Jupiter moves into our second house of career and income, and stays there until halfway through 2011, according to this woman. She says money will improve greatly, pay off as much debt as possible between now and mid-2011, because the second half of next year may have a few glitches. However, according to my calender, Jupiter goes retrograde on July 23 until November 18, which means, on the tangible plane, it’s tougher financially (I had to do some sorting out before then to make sure it was as smooth as possible, which gone done on time, thank goodness), things on the home front can get wonky, etc. So, wouldn’t Jupiter going retrograde in my second house mean career glitches until November? To me, those two things are in conflict. She doesn’t seem to think so — she’s not paying much attention to the retrograde in general.

And I’m just confused. So I will proceed with caution.

Yes, yesterday was a day of contradictions.

I got a message from the vet that he put through Elsa’s new prescription. I spoke to the pharmacy — they shipped it out yesterday. It should be here today or tomorrow. If this doesn’t help her, there’s probably nothing that will. It’s quite inexpensive, and is used a lot in people, and now it’s starting to be used with animals.

Elsa was pretty perky overall yesterday — in better shape than I was, that’s for sure.

The vet said he’d call me between six and seven last night. And of course, didn’t. Now there’s a surprise. Not. But at least my little fit gets Elsa her medicine.

Today, I have my last session in my regular pottery class, since I will be away next week. I’d like to stay for some studio time and work on some pinch pots, that my first teacher taught me, and that are still my favorite. The other teachers keep telling me pinch pots are the hardest thing to do, but to me they feel the most natural and the best. I’m going to talk it all over with my first, brilliant teacher, and see what he has to say.

Everyone at the center is really nice and really friendly and really helpful, which makes time spent there well worth it.

I went to bed ridiculously early last night because I was exhausted. I did a good, challenging yoga sequence first to pull out all the kinks from bending over the wheel.

Devon

Published in: on July 15, 2010 at 6:27 am  Comments (4)  
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