Wed. Sept. 16, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 119 — Scattered and Frustrated

image courtesy of HeungSoon via pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Dark Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was just all over the place.

Decent morning, got some work done, prepped for a phone appointment. The phone appointment had to be moved, which is fine – the other person was good about getting in touch.

Signed up for a NetZero online climate conference at the end of October. It has an interesting agenda.

I managed to get in a few hours’ of writing, which was great. The tone of the piece I was working on is lighter and funnier than I expected. Which means it may have to go under a different byline. I was going to put it under the Annabel Aidan moniker, but right now, it’s not dark enough.

I had the phone meeting. 15 minutes of my life, and pleasant, but this gig isn’t going to work out. Third party recruiter again and is not approaching the client in a way that makes me comfortable. AND made the bulk of the conversation about her, instead of about the job. I don’t want to work with third party recruiters. They need to be upfront about it and not wait until I’ve submitted requested materials to tell me they’re a third party. Every single recruiter I’ve dealt with in the past ten years has been a waste of space. It lowers the value of the companies who hire them, too.

Logged into the SBA Women in Business online conference taking place in Western MA. First we had a guy mansplaining how an online conference is run. Not THIS conference, but how ANY conference is run. Since when does he know how every conference is run? Then, the first speaker was a (male) Trump appointee lying about the economy. Both of them inferred that they (men) were giving us “permission” to have this conference. Um, no. I don’t need a man’s permission to have a business or attend a conference.  I “left meeting.” I will NOT sit there and be a party to that partisan crap. That is NOT why I signed up to participate in the Women in Business conference. Why are condescending white men talking at a Women in Business conference?

Every SBA event I’ve tried during the pandemic has been an unorganized, mismanaged, patronizing nightmare. Done with SBA.

Twitter kicked me off – I can’t sign in on any of my accounts or the accounts I run for clients due to “unusual log in activity.” When I finally got back in – now I have to change the passwords EVERY TIME I log in. Which I can’t do on client accounts, it’s not my purview. They’ll let liars and trolls and bots and murderers do and say whatever they want, but I can’t get into my little accounts – or those I run for clients because of “unusual” activity? They can fuck right off. I finally got back into the Devon Ellington account. I’ve sent them several messages – their responses make it clear that they’re not paying the least bit of attention to anything I say.

Losing both Twitter and FB will hurt the social media management part of my business, but, oh well. If that’s what happens, that’s what happens. I survived for decades before they existed; I can find a way to do so now.

I am so done with so much right now.

Deeply disappointed with a second series by an author whose other series I’m enjoying. She used the “witch” slur again as acceptable and normal. So I put down the book, cancelled the other books I ordered, and I’m done with this series. Nor will I recommend it.

I will, however, set up and call out similar situations in my own work.

The book for review arrived, and I look forward to starting it today.

The store from which I ordered the stuff that Fed Ex is sending all over the country and everywhere but here can’t be bothered to respond. Fine. Won’t do business with them again. I can put my money elsewhere. I have a feeling I’m going to wind up sending everything back anyway and asking for a refund. Fed Ex, of course, doesn’t care. Because their quarterly earnings were off the charts.

Theatre Scripts

I read over both JUST A DROP and SERENE & DETERMINED to see if either of those plays are appropriate for a 9-month script incubator project in Brooklyn. I’m sure there are a lot of submissions, but I still want to at least try. Only I’m not sure either of these plays (both of which could use that long development process) are naturalistic enough for the company. They are both set in Italy. The former is set in Rome, around the 17th century poisoner Giulia Tofana and her circle, and borders (intentionally) on melodrama. The second is built around Lavinia Fontana, the painter in Bologna who competed successfully with men for commissions thanks to the circle of noblewomen who adored her work, and the fact that her husband ran the household. Lavinia is on stage for then entire play, flowing from scene to scene. Again, unashamedly theatrical.

They both need work, but I don’t’ want them stripped of theatricality and made more naturalistic. I’m not sure this theatre is the right fit for them. I have to do more research on the company.

But if neither of them is right to submit, then I don’t have anything to submit.  However, it doesn’t make sense to submit just to submit.

My friend Paula is going to read both plays (her notes are amazing) and let me know what she thinks. Both plays need work, but both were structured with deliberate stylistic choices that I don’t want just thrown out. I want those choices strengthened instead of destroyed. Or, as I mentioned to Paula, maybe they’re just bad and I can’t see it. Although they were written for and accepted by the 365 Women Project.

Knowledge Unicorns

We’re still playing with times to find the best one. I have a feeling we’ll be playing with times for the entirety of this project!

More schools are shutting back down as kids and teachers get infected. The school administrations continue to ignore the needs of teachers, kids, and parents. Not surprising when you look at who’s the head of Education in this country – a selfish grifter who doesn’t give a damn.

But we had fun, helping each other with assignments. We came across misinformation in one of the social studies books – whitened and Christianed up. We did some research on the publisher, who is one of those right-wing nut job houses in Texas. They shouldn’t get to rewrite and (literally) whitewash history and then have it taught in school as fact. We found some other sources that have more breadth, depth, and, you know, actual information.

We had our stretch breaks and our dance breaks. We looked through the octopus slideshow on the National Geographic Kids website and learned more cool things.

Looking Ahead

Today is going to be a long, complicated day. I have to go onsite for a few hours. I’m frustrated because Hootsuite’s been down for nearly two weeks, and I’m not sure if I can get into the client’s Twitter, although maybe I can from their computer.

I’m supposed to participate in Remote Chat, but if I can’t log in, that’s not happening.

I have an online meditation session this afternoon with NYU-LA alumni, which should be interesting, and then my friend’s sister’s book launch tonight via Zoom.

Along with the writing and the client work and the LOIs I have to get out.

So it will be a busy day, but I’m hoping it will be good busy instead of frustrating busy.

Peace, friends.

Thurs. Sept. 10, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 113 — Books and Lies

image courtesy of lumix 2004 via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Waning Moon

Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Hot, humid, cloudy

Catch up with the latest on the garden over at Gratitude and Growth.

Yesterday started out pretty well; The idea for my client’s piece worked, she loved it, it went out into the world to draw in business. That was all good.

But I  found out that a client has been lying to me about something pretty major. So I have to gather facts and documentation and decide what to do about it.

Remote chat was fun.

Got out some LOIs.

Spun out some ideas, and I’ll start storyboarding a marketing campaign today.

Found out a colleague is about to go into hospice. She’s been fighting cancer a long time. I’m so sad, and feel so helpless.

Re-read Louise Penny’s THE BRUTAL TELL. It’s lovely and sad.

The second Jane Darrowfield book by Barbara Ross arrived (an ARC). I’m so happy. I started it last night, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

I have to do a run to Trader Joe’s, which will eat up a good part of my morning, but it needs to be done. I also need to get a big chunk of writing done over the next few days.

And I need to do some work on Grief to Art.

I did some prep for today’s Knowledge Unicorns session.

Today is also the 2nd anniversary of Freelance chat!

I am not surprised, but I am angry that the person calling himself “president” has murdered nearly 200,000 citizens, continues to murder, and Congress lets him. There have to be severe and long-lasting consequences for this. And the West Coast is burning, and no one does anything about it.

There’s plenty going on that I can’t discuss publicly; I will share what I can when I can. Not much of a post, is it? Let’s hope a productive day can get me back on track.

At least the pistachio mousse I experimented with yesterday came out well! It’s the little things.

Charlotte and Willa are now genuinely happy. It’s taken them nearly a year to settle in, after being bounced around every few weeks for 18 months prior. But now they are settled and happy. Even Tessa is happier lately. I’m hoping in a few more months, they will all hang out together more. Learning they don’t have to compete – for attention, food, toys, anything – has been a big lesson for Charlotte and Willa. There’s enough for everyone and no one gets shut out.

We need to rebuild our society on those principles, too.

Wed. Sept. 2, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 105 — Keep on Keeping On

flower-3876195_1920
image courtesy of MabelAmber via pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and mild

Yesterday’s oil change was a nightmare in a place that didn’t follow ANY safety protocols – only I couldn’t get out once the car was in the bay until they were done. I am furious. The company lies and the employees are a bunch of anti-mask COVIDIOTS. I will not go back there unless I have no other choice.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they sabotaged the car because I was wearing a mask. We will see, over the next few days.

Home, extra disinfectant protocols (to scrub off the scum),

Admin work, client work, article work, getting out press releases for Grief to Art.

Grief to Art Logo

The allergies are really, really bad. Sneezing like crazy, runny nose, itchy eyes. Finally broke down last night and took anti-allergy medicine, which knocked me out so I could sleep.

Some decent writing yesterday; not sure what today will bring. I have to go onsite for a client, which is always more stressful than it needs to be. I need to replace this client, and I’m working on it.

Read the first book in a series where I’d read the fourth book a week or so ago and really liked it. Unfortunately, this book uses a slur like it’s something common and normal – which, even if people do it, we should know better by now and it shouldn’t be accepted. I felt slapped in the face and so disappointed. I’d gotten other books by this author out of the library; not sure if I’ll read them. I was annoyed by the slur, and the character seemed a little weak to me – although, since I liked this character so much in book 4, maybe it was simply the starting point for growth.

Those “share the first sentence of your WIP” or “give us an excerpt of your WIP” are running around again. No. Just no. First of all, my publisher is very specific about not sharing unedited work on anything that’s contracted, and that’s something I respect. Second, why would I blow first rights on a social media game? Third, why would I “share” unedited work? WIPs are just that – working drafts. As a reader if someone splatters their unedited work out there, it immediately defines them, to me, as unprofessional. Self-published or not. And reading an excerpt that’s a hot, unedited mess is more likely to turn me off an author than be a marketing tool that works on me.

I’m all for sharing work privately with Trusted Readers for feedback — but not splattering it on the internet. Some random read-by opinion is not going to help me shape/fix/hone the work.

Excerpts are great – of edited material that’s about to be or has just been published. But I skip the WIP splatters. Not for me, as a writer OR a reader.

On a happier process note, I figured out how to fix a problem I’ve been having in one of my own manuscripts. I wanted the title to be a pun on a show title. I realized I could do that by simply changing the murder victim’s name, and have his new name be the pun in the title. A simple fix that makes all the difference. Why it took me several months to figure out, who knows? I’d like to blame pandemic brain, but that’s too easy.

A call for submission landed on my desk for a nine-month script development project. I think I will submit one of the pieces I did for the 365 Women clearing house – either the play on Giulia Tofana or Lavinia Fontana. The Tofana piece needs more work; it might not get chosen for just that reason, but the stated reason is to work and develop the piece over nine months, and that’s the piece of mine which would benefit most from a long development process, so I think I will risk it. I’ll do another pass on it this weekend, before I submit.

If I don’t try, there’s not chance at all, right?

Pulling together material for the next few weeks of the Knowledge Unicorns homework group (they came up with the name and a logo and want to study the Octopus as a special project for September). The group officially starts next week.

I wanted to participate in the virtual Spark by the Freelancers Union tonight. The closest meeting is the Brooklyn chapter and that’s full (how can a virtual meeting be full?) and I feel strange about signing up for the DC meeting, so I guess I’m not doing it this time around. Oh, well.

At least there’s Remote Chat today. Then, I need to polish my article to send off on deadline tomorrow, and work on my review.

The weather’s been lovely the past few days. Perfect temperature, low humidity. I’ve enjoyed working out on the deck in the afternoons. Yes, taking the cats out in their playpens.

I have to put in another Chewy order this week. Those little dickenses eat a lot!

Results are coming in from yesterday’s primary. So far, so good. Let’s hope the ballots for the general election arrive on time.

Tomorrow, I have to set up a bunch of medical appointments, and also set an appointment so my mom can renew her driver’s license next month and we can renew the car’s registration. Good thing I have the Llewellyn money coming in to cover it.

Back to the page for me, and I hope you have a lovely Wednesday.

Thurs. Aug. 27, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 99 — Virtual Inspirations

woman-1283009_1920
image courtesy of pexels via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 27, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cooler

I talk about the garden and the garden-planning software experiments over on today’s Gratitude and Growth post.

Day 2 of a Migraine. I’m grumpy.

I’m also angry. We have a catastrophic hurricane about to hit the gulf, and the people who are supposed to be helping their citizens are holding Hate Rallies instead. Not that this is new and different from anything in the past four years, but it’s revolting.

Not to mention angry about the Kenosha shooting and how the white boy terrorist is being celebrated, while a black man was shot seven times in the back. This is unacceptable.

My mom wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so that took up a lot of the day. She’s better today, thank goodness. It seems to be a medication issue.

I went in to the client’s for a couple of hours, but left to come home and deal with my mother and doctors, barely overlapping with other colleagues, which meant avoiding dealing with their ever-laxening safety protocols.

Remote chat was fun.

Got some solid client work done. Not enough done on my article. Have to buckle down today with it. Curbside pickup at the library. Follow-up on a few things.

Signed up for an online meditation session with NYU Alumni chapter in LA for mid-September. I like that there area virtual events we can participate in all over the world. I wanted to attend a talk done by NYU Shanghai, but I couldn’t figure out the time difference. Too much math for me. And the international dateline. So I’ll skip it for now.

Got out a couple of LOIs.

I’m playing with a wacky marketing idea for one of my clients. It combines product and micro fiction. I have to use photos we already have, because we don’t have the resources to get more, and build a story around them. I need to get it storyboarded in the next couple of days and out to the client early next week. It’s fun, but definitely a challenge.

My friend sent me the overview for the series she’s developing. I’ll take a look at that today.

I have to get an oil change either today or tomorrow – not looking forward to that stress.

I will take in my mother’s ballot to the secure ballot box. I still have not received mine, and the Town Clerk, who is supposed to handle these things, is refusing to respond. If I owned a mansion in Hyannisport or Osterville, I would have gotten an answer the same day the first time I contacted the office. But that’s the way Barnstable runs. Unless you’re rich or a tourist, you don’t matter.

I was delighted to attend theMetropolitan Museum of Art’s virtual event last night. Yes, it was a giant, hour-long commercial to encourage people back to the museum in person when it re-opens this weekend. At the same time, I was impressed at their planning and implementation, both during the pandemic, and moving into the phase of re-opening where people can come back to the museum. If our national government had bothered to sit down and come up with a plan, we’d be going about our lives, and without 180,000 dead. But then, the museum has leadership, intelligence, and creativity, which our government does not.

I was also very excited by the five artists in residence as part of the Civic Practice Partnership Artist in Residence program. I want to know more about the work of all five artists, took notes, and will be connecting with their work however possible.

I was a little worried that the Met was getting staid and stuck in the past, but with Max Hollein coming in as director, it looks like it’s moving forward. I hope they continue online programs, because I would love to keep participating and experiencing the museum virtually, since I can’t visit. It would be worth buying a membership.

Their educational programs are also exciting, and I’m going to see if I can incorporate them into my online homework group that starts September 8. That made me decide to check out educational programs offered by the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History, too. I’ll go even further afield, and see if I can find online programs at organizations that are relevant to what the kids are studying.

My main focus today has to be my article and the micro fiction marketing project.

An article I read in YANKEE magazine yesterday about Green Mountain College closing sparked an idea for a story. I’m going to take some notes and then put it aside. I’m juggling enough pieces.

I also want to do more work on the book for NYU’s book club, and finish the book for review.

So I’d better get to it, hadn’t I, and hope the migraine eases?

Please share the information for Grief to Art. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Grief to Art Logo

 

Wed. Aug. 26, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 98 — Mail-in Ballot Issues

survey-1594962_1920
image courtesy of andibreit via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

The Ink-Dipped Advice post will go up later today. I’m still working on it.

Had a fun Zoom meeting yesterday morning. We made it work, in spite of my idiot neighbor across the street deciding he had to start using his bulldozer before 8 AM, making enough noise and vibration to rattle the windows. I’m also tired of the view out of my front windows now being piles of gravel and dirt. If I wanted to live in an industrial area, I would have moved to a city that’s transitioning from mills to living space, shops, restaurants, etc. I shouldn’t have to be subjected to heavy machinery in a residential area 7 days a week.

The rest of the morning was given over to client work and LOIs. I got a lot more done in the space of a few hours than I expected, which was a good thing.

It got progressively hotter and more humid. Even with the fans on, we sweltered. And it’s not like we could keep the windows open with the idiots leafblowing dirt all over the place. I tried to work on the back deck, but then the people on the property behind us had TWO leafblowers going – on dirt, not leaves – sending up clouds of dirt. Plus, whatever fuel they used smelled so strong it reached across 1/3 of an acre and made me so nauseated I had to go inside, and thought I would vomit.

I’d woken up around 3 in the morning, yesterday, thanks to pandemic brain. So by 2:30 in the afternoon, I was wiped out. I tried to take a bit of a nap. It was more of a doze.

Reading a book by a new-to-me author that I like so far, but am not completely won over, because she’s using clichés for theatre people instead of treating them as, you know, real people. It’s not too bad, yet, but we’ll see where it goes. I like the protagonist and the situation and the relationships.

Will finish the book for review in the next couple of days to get that out, and also have a book to read for NYU’s virtual book club (which is fun). The book is very serious, but the virtual club is fun.

I’m not watching the RNC Hate Rally. It’s sickening, but then, the whole administration is sickening.

I still don’t have my ballot, the Town Clerk can’t be bothered to respond to any of my requests (no surprise there), and I’m not showing up as registered on the state’s website. But then, our Village doesn’t show up on the state’s website. The list of towns comes up very specifically (we are one of seven villages as part of the town) with the way it has to be entered in the search (village/town/county), but the village/town doesn’t come up as an option and I can’t type it in, and when I go for the town itself, it comes up as an error. I’ve been a registered voter for 10 years, I’ve voted in every single election, I checked my registration a few weeks ago, and I got the paperwork as a registered voter to request the ballot. What the fuck is going on? And why won’t anyone answer any questions? It’s unacceptable. The state site says I have to contact the Town Clerk – WHO WON’T GIVE ME THE COURTESY OF A RESPONSE!!!!

This is not a major city. This is a small town with very little going on – ever, except developers screwing over residents – and completely incompetent town government.

My mother isn’t feeling well. I think the change in medication she got last week was the wrong one. We have a call in to the doctor.

I’d like to just go back to bed, but that is not an option.

At least I have Remote Chat to look forward to. I have to go onsite to a client’s, which I am NOT looking forward to, as they’re laxer every day in following safety protocols.

Please share the information on Grief to Art with those who might need it. The death toll from the virus continues to climb, and no one in the administration gives a damn. We’re all collateral damage to their profit.

Grief to Art Logo

Thurs. Aug. 20, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 92 — Fairly Godmother Becomes Homework Fairy

child-1845975_1920
image courtesy of Pexels vis pixabay.com

Thursday, August 20, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Lots to share today, and most of it good. Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

Work and Loneliness
Client work was okay yesterday. The client came in early, just to chat. She’s lonely. And truly doesn’t get that going out golfing in groups, hanging out at the beach club, attending a funeral, and going to a ladies’ lunch isn’t “doing nothing and staying at home” which is what she claims she’s doing.

I’m doing an A/B test of a new ad – first a few days in the NY/LA market, which is where I suspect it will do well. Early next week, I’m going to send it national.

I did research on virtual reality/augmented reality platforms to see if that’s something we could try. But the expense and the amount of coding/maintenance is beyond us right now.

It did, however, give me another idea for a story. It might be a novel, it might be a novella. And it has to wait its turn.

We talked about loneliness during Remote Chat, too. I pointed out that I’ve often felt lonelier in a room full of people than when I’m actually alone. I’m someone who needs a lot of solitude. I joke a lot about being a professional recluse, but it’s not really a joke.

I’m also thinking of building a screen to put behind the chair for all these Zoom meetings, so I don’t have to worry about what the rest of the room looks like. The frame and hinges won’t be too hard, and then cover it with a pretty fabric that’s not distracting. The fabric would be the most expensive, unless I can get a good price on it, but it would be something useful.

I’d have to actually GO OUT (oh, horrors) and probably get the lumber and hinges at Home Depot (hate giving them even a penny; only shop there as a last resort). Not sure where I’d get the fabric. Maybe I could venture out to Tumbleweeds and see what’s on sale. This is when I miss being able to go in and browse in thrift stores. I’ve found some great fabrics there. I don’t think I have enough (I need 12 yards) in my stash. Doing each panel in a different fabric (4 yards per panel) won’t work. (Update: No, I do NOT need 12 yards — I was thinking only in terms of length, not width. I can get more than one panel with the width. Time for, darn it, MATH).

My landlord is coming by today to talk about an historical article he’s writing. I get the feeling he’s lonely, too. He’s bringing his own folding chair, and we’re wearing masks.

Slow work on the developing novel, but every day a little bit adds to big bits. I hope that translates later today to another good session on BARD’S LAMENT.

Grief to Art Logo
Grief to Art
If you haven’t visited the site, I hope you do so. And, please share. I want to start posting memories on the Walls of Remembrance, and then getting the word out, so it can help more people.

Wellness and Not So Well
I took my mom in to see her regular doctor (we’d been putting it off). They’re pleased with her progress, although her blood pressure is still too high and they’re changing the medication. But she’s put some weight back on, the exercise is good for her (30 mins/day, 7 days/week on the exercise bicycle), and I’m to be praised for the nutritious meals I create.

That’s the good news.

On the flip side of that, I tripped over Willa going down the stairs to the laundry room and wrenched my ankle. Definitely not broken. I wasn’t sure if it was a sprain or a twist last night, because of the pain and swelling. I have some pain pills left over from February’s surgery. I finally broke down and took one. I slept through the night. It’s uncomfortable this morning, but the swelling is down and I can walk on it. So a twist, not a sprain, thank goodness. I just have to be careful for the next few days.

Decades of living with cats, and this is the first time I actually got hurt from tripping over one.

A Day of Packages
The yoga bolster arrived (via Fed Ex). It’s a narrow one, not the typical wide one. It’s covered in teal, and absolutely perfect. I’m delighted with it.

The baguette pan arrived (via UPS). It’s smaller than I expected, and I’m not sure. But I’ll know once I make the baguettes, right? I hope to make the first set of baguettes tomorrow. I can make three at a time.

The ribbons I ordered from Ribbon Bazaar arrived (USPS) – the red and green I need for the winter holidays, and the black I wanted for Samhain. Organza, and lovely.

My 2021 calendars arrived yesterday (calendar and datebook). They give me hope we might actually have a 2021.

Fairly Godmother Becomes the Homework Fairy
I chose not to have children of my own, but I have 13 godchildren. I’m old enough so that THEY’RE old enough to have kids of their own. I’m not even friends with some of their parents anymore (the friends who originally asked me to be a godparent) because of political and religious divides. Although there were periods when I’ve lost touch with some here and there, at this point in the game, the godchildren and I are in contact (some of them have broken with their parents for the same reasons I did).

We had a Zoom meeting yesterday about schools re-opening. The godkids (and their kids – are they great-gods?) are scattered all over the country, in both blue and red states. We had a long, vehement discussion about school. By the end of it, everyone in the meeting agreed that NONE of the kids are going back in person this year, and they refuse to be forced. It is simply not worth risking the lives of the kids and the rest of the families because of this ridiculous insistence that kids have to be physically in a classroom, even though it’s dangerous.

Since I was one of the most strident about not sending the kids back to school at this point in the pandemic, I offered to host homework sessions. Twice a week, for 2 hours at a time, starting after Labor Day, I’m going to host a Zoom session. The Great-Gods will log in and we’ll do homework in company. I’ll help them however I can if they have trouble with something. If I don’t know the answer, we will research it together. I’m putting together activities that are fun and tie in to learning, such as how plants and baking tie into science; cooking can tie into math, too (fractions, etc.). Sewing ties into math and geometry. Set design ties into geometry (I never understood geometry until I started building sets in theatre – then it made sense). Music has math in it, as well as art. We’ll study paintings and history and literature and, more importantly, the people behind those things, to make it real and relevant. I’m putting together a lesson plan (which is a roadmap, not a prison). The parents are sending me information about the school and the curriculum, so I can pick eras and people and events relevant to what they’re studying. There’s room for what they’re interested in, and I hope they will inspire each other and help each other, too.

Most of the Great-Gods don’t know each other yet, so it will be a chance to meet other kids of different ages from all over the place, even though it’s online. I’m applying for a grant to help with the Zoom fees.

I’m going to encourage them to participate in online programs at places like the National Marine Life Center, and at libraries (our library is doing a lot of great programs online) and museums that will supplement their coursework.

The parents (my godkids and their spouses/partners) and I reminisced about the years (decades) we’ve known each other. Some of them used to call me the “Fairly Godmother” because we talked so much about treating people decently and fairly.  I still have my Karma Fairy Wand built for the Moon Tribe Tales project that I will wave around. We also told stories about way back, years and years and YEARS ago, when all 13 of them were unceremoniously dumped on me in NYC without warning because all the parents had meltdowns at the same time. So there I am, a single woman working in theatre, living a block from Times Square, with 13 kids ranging in age from 1 to 16. In a small NYC apartment.

Within 48 hours, I’d taken off two weeks from my show (thank goodness for swings and understanding management), rented one of those old, panelled station wagons with bench seats (car seats were not required then for kids), and rented a wonky, old house here on Cape, all that I could afford. It was right on the beach, though, and it was in the years before the prices were so out of control. We piled into the car at 5 AM, drove to the Cape, and spent two weeks on the beach, playing and reading and hanging out. We had a jimble jamble of books (we read aloud to each other), there were a bunch of board games and puzzles with missing pieces for rainy days.

I didn’t have much money for all of this (went into debt on it, actually), so it wasn’t like we could go out and go shopping for anything other than cheap souvenirs. But we visited the National Seashore (the rangers were so nice), and wandered through galleries in P-town, and went to the drive-in movie in Wellfleet. We ate a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs and mac & cheese and fried clams those two weeks, and lots of ice cream. But we had a lot of fun, and it’s something everyone involved remembers fondly.

The big rules were: no whining, be kind, don’t wander off. Everyone old enough pitched in to help each other, and help cook and clean up. There were lots of sleeping bags on floors and on the screened-in porch (we used to call them “sleeping porches”). We met painters and musicians and there were bonfires on the beach. I had some rules and structure, but there was also freedom within it.

I admit to being exhausted by the time I handed them all back to their parents, but we had fun. Some of the parents felt there was too much freedom, and I cut them right off. They all dumped their kids on me without warning, without discussion, without any kind of support. I kept them fed, happy, and alive. So the parents could shut the hell up. One father complained I’d turned his kids into “lefty feminists.” I’m rather proud of that.

Anyway, I have a lot on my agenda today, and I better get to it. Or someone will have to hand me a “round tuit.”

Peace, friends, Be kind.

Wed. August 19, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 91 — Survival Takes Energy

bridge-53769_1920
image courtesy of James DeMers via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

If you haven’t checked out the Grief To Art site, please do. Please share the information.

Yesterday was pretty darn productive: work on the novel, client work, 9 LOIs out, work on the article, work on BARD’S LAMENT. I got some reading/research done. Worked with the cats. Worked on promo for the Grief to Art launch. The first press release is live here. I have press releases going out to various media outlets. I’d like to get a few remembrances up on the walls before I send out more, though. I sort of want it to start growing organically, and then do some more press.

But I have to trust in the process and remember that everyone’s grief is different and at a different pace.

The allergies slowed me down, and I had to stop and lie down for a bit in the afternoon (but then, I get up before 5 AM and am working by 5. Why am I so hard on myself}?

Tried to sit out on the deck, but there was so much repetitive machine noise, it was nearly impossible. I’m keeping a log of the leaf blowers and heavy machinery and chain saws – basically every house on the street is using this equipment every single day. It’s not necessary.

This morning was the second morning that I was jolted awake at 3:30 in the morning because a dufus in the neighborhood ran a leaf blower. There is NO reason to run a leaf blower at 3:30 in the morning in the dark. Actually, I don’t care if there is – it’s still unacceptable.

Got a good 3 pages done on the developing novel. I’m in the second chapter of it. By the fourth chapter, I should know if it’s viable, or not going to work and needs to be put in stasis.

Have to go onsite for a client for a couple of hours, which I dread. Then, it’s a few errands, dash back for Remote Chat, and take my mom to the doctor this afternoon. I also have to work on BARD, my article, the book for review, and do some yard work, because the landlord is coming over tomorrow (properly masked).

I ordered two more playpens from Chewy, so each cat has her own playpen. It’s too exhausting to switch them out of the same one. Lends itself to too much kitty drama.

In general, I’m tired of being tired.

But at least the weather is nice – not too hot. We had some rain. Not too humid. But I’m tired of my life being in chaos and upset because other people are stupid and selfish, and their stupidity and selfishness interferes with my life. And could, in a literal sense, cause my death.

It takes so much energy, energy I need for creative work and other life stuff that needs to happen. Yet survival is taking up the bulk of my energy.

I think the schools are out of their minds to re-open for in-person learning. The school administrations should be held liable for all the suffering and deaths this will cause.

Seriously, I should be a professional recluse. That is the best solution.

In the meantime, I’m stumbling along as best I can.

Grief to Art Logo

Published in: on August 19, 2020 at 6:09 am  Comments Off on Wed. August 19, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 91 — Survival Takes Energy  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Aug. 13, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 85 –Hoping for A Quiet Day

sparkling-wine-1030754_1920
image courtesy of FreePhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 13, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid (still)

The promised thunderstorms still haven’t arrived.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

Yesterday was more positive than negative, which was a good thing.

Early on, after watering and the first session out on the deck, I got out some requested materials to a potential new client. We’d talked, a few months back, about a big job, but that was put on hold due to the financial crisis; however, they’re interested in me for a smaller gig between now and November. They needed some materials, which I sent off.

Went on site for a client. Had the office to myself for most of my stint, which is the way it should be. One co-worker was there for a bit, but we followed protocols. Someone else showed up to pick up something – there were some mask issues that were resolved. The client called, on her way back from an illegal large social gathering, coming directly to the office.

So I left.

I am not putting myself and my family at risk like that.

Home, decontamination protocols, got set up for Remote Chat.

Was interrupted by my landlord. We had a good conversation. We are working out a temporary lease extension, so at least I don’t have to stress about pulling off a move by the end of October in the middle of a pandemic. It gives me a little breathing room, to put it together the way it needs to be done to be one move, not a series of moves over several months.

I still have a lot to get sorted out in the coming months, but at least I know we won’t be out in the street in autumn.

There’s going to be work done on the house, and everyone will have to follow safety protocols. We will finally get the new furnace in . . .sometime.

I was relieved, and yet also felt like I’d been hit by a truck and was wiped out for the rest of the day. I decided I could give myself the afternoon off and then get back to it today.

The big check from a big job I did a few months back, where I was chasing the payment, finally arrived. What a relief.

To treat myself, I ordered a baguette pan and a Vietnamese Phin filter. Also got my calendars ordered for next year.

Read the third book in the series by that author about whom I’m on the fence. Didn’t like it. The protagonist behaved like a whiny, spoiled brat for the whole book. So I’m done with that series.

Absolutely loved Kamala Harris’s speech yesterday. I hope they keep attacking the GOP Platform of Death.

Up early this morning, watering by moonlight, because sunrise gets later and later (as it does, during this portion of the year).

I’m still exhausted and weepy – cried twice before breakfast. No good reason for it, just exhausted by the past months.

LOIs, client work, article work, work on BARD are all on today’s schedule. I need to do a drop off/pick up at the library, and put my check in the bank. Need to clean out some more boxes (or, at least one) this afternoon, and maybe cut out a pair of pants I want to sew.

I have a hankering to take another look at MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC. I put that series aside for a bit, because of other, more pressing deadlines, but it’s been calling to me.

Still noodling on the new idea. I’ve figured out some key points and themes. But I don’t know where to set it yet, and that will have so much to do with it. Maine? Vermont? Upstate NY? Western MA? Until I get the setting settled, so to speak, a lot is still up in the air.

Hoping for a quiet, productive Thursday. Peace, friends.

Published in: on August 13, 2020 at 8:09 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 13, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 85 –Hoping for A Quiet Day  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 78 — Less Stress (Yay)

writing-828911_1920
image courtesy of FreePhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Partly cloudy and cooler

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth, to learn the latest goings-on in the garden.

I didn’t feel well yesterday, so I worked from home instead of going onsite for a few hours. It helped me on oh, so many levels. Plus, I got a lot of work done.

I was supposed to sit in for a client on a Zoom session about SBA/PPP loan forgiveness. I was there on time, waiting and waiting for the host to start the meeting. Nothing happened. I finally emailed the organizer – only to get an email back that it had been cancelled. Um, why didn’t you let me know? I’m registered by the email. I’m obviously waiting to get in. You just . . .forgot? I was polite, and it wasn’t that big a deal because I was working remotely, but still. Basic consideration. Stuff happens. Things have to be postponed and cancelled. But communicate. Don’t just ignore the people who have put aside the time to be there.

Moved on from that debacle to Remote Chat, which was fun.

I downloaded GIMP, and now I have to learn how to use it.

Started work on one of the play ideas. It’s coming together nicely.

Did some brainstorming for the next section of GAMBIT COLONY and the next section of BARD. Need to catch up on classwork today.

019 Instagram

The Merry Writer Podcast I recorded about a month ago went live yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. If you get a chance, I hope you’ll listen.

Decided to return a stack of books to the library, some unread. They are all by the same author (albeit different series, sometimes under different names). The only passion or spark the characters ever show is when their white privilege is threatened, and it’s both boring me to death (pun intended, since they’re mysteries) and annoying me. So the stack goes back into the book drop, and that author (with the various pseudonyms) is crossed off my list.

I learn as much from books which don’t work for me as I learn from books that do.

I have to venture off the property to do the two-week shop at Trader Joe’s. We are out of milk, eggs, butter, bread, and a bunch of other stuff.

Then, after disinfectant protocols, I hope to have a productive day working.

Have a great Thursday!

Thurs. July 30, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 71 — Stress and Rage

metaphor-1209691_1920
image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

The latest on the garden is over on Gratitude and Growth. Hop on over.

The less said about yesterday’s client work, the better. All I’m going to say is that I was shaking with rage on the drive home, and made myself a martini as soon as I finished m disinfectant protocols.

I have a few days to consider how I will handle the situation as gracefully as possible.

At least Remote Chat was a lot of fun, as usual.

I was so exhausted from the morning of stress that, when I went upstairs to check on Tessa, I fell asleep on the floor beside her and had a two hour nap. Then, I was disoriented for the rest of the day. I am not a napper.

Of course, Gambit Colony is flowing well, since it is the piece that’s not on hard deadline.

I’m going to try to get the recycling out this morning; we’re supposed to have a grace period until the 1st of August before they charge us, but it’s suddenly not on the website or any of their accounts. I posed the question on their FB page. I guarantee they will not answer until next week that “oops, grace period is over” because that is what they are like. I can just see myself loading up the car this morning and being turned away at the gate. It would be typical here. I’m not emailing them, because they still haven’t answered the email I sent them BACK IN MARCH. Because they can’t be bothered. It doesn’t take four months to answer an email, even in a pandemic. Because heaven forbid the Town of Barnstable do anything for its actual residents. It’s all about tourist dollars and quick turnover.

Client work, LOIs, chasing down missing payments from work done months ago, a review out to my editor, work on an article, work on the Topic Workbooks, cleaning out boxes from the basement, filing and admin – the list goes on and on. So I’d better get going then, hadn’t I?

Have a great day.

Published in: on July 30, 2020 at 7:23 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 30, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 71 — Stress and Rage  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wed. July 29, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 70 — The Anniversary of My Father’s Death

sea-3645572_1920
imsage courtesy of csr_ch via pixabay.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot, but a little less humid

On this day in 1972, my father died. He’s been out of my life longer than he’s been in it, but it’s still a difficult day. He still has so much influence on my life, both positive and negative. He was brilliant, and difficult, taught me a lot on many fronts.

Over on Ink-Dipped Advice, I talk about the myth of the “full-time freelance job” that some companies are pushing.

The elected officials are worried because our numbers are creeping up again, more kids are getting sick, and we’re seeing more long-term complications. Recoveries are running 4-6 weeks, with potential lifelong problems that may never heal. They’re talking about dialing back some of the phased re-opening, which is as it should be. We should go back to Phase 1, clear out the tourists for 6-8 weeks, wear a mask every time we leave the property for the duration, and then maybe, MAYBE, we’d be back on track. But only if they enforce mandates, especially on tourists.

Which they won’t do, because, you know, greed.

William Barr needs to be impeached, disbarred, and then prosecuted for his crimes against this country. He is an abomination.

Yesterday was hot and humid again, and difficult to get things done. I worked in the yard early, before 6:30 AM, then sat on the deck and wrote for a bit.

Did some client work in the morning, until the computer threatened to overheat. Did a few insert scenes for the 4th Gambit Colony book to keep some arcs running through it.

In the afternoon, I read. It was too hot to be very productive, but at least I could concentrate long enough to read.

I also purged a box from the basement. I wanted to do two boxes, but ran out of energy. But I cleaned out one box, and tossed 90% of what was in it. The other 10% gets filed – I think I have the files already set up in my filing cabinets.

Had weird dreams again last night. Stress dreams.

Up early again this morning. Worked in the yard. I need to get some work done this morning at home before I head (early) onsite to a client’s for a few hours, which will contain stresses of its own.

But Remote chat is today, and that is always a bright spot in my week.

I also hope to get some more writing done, and purge another box.

Have a lovely day.

Thurs. July 23, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 64 — The Need For a Good Storm

thunderstorm-3417042_1920

Thursday, July 23, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and oppressively humid

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

Yesterday started out as a pretty optimistic day, but a few obstacles got thrown in the way. Not appropriate to discuss them publicly. I will have to find a way to deal with them like a professional, while still holding my boundaries.

Onsite for a client early; got a good bit done. I was worried about a particular campaign, but it’s started to show results, and that’s a relief.

Swung by CVS to pick up my mother’s prescription. It was packed, but at least everyone wore their mask PROPERLY.

I am so sick of these fucktwits pulling their masks down below their noses. Cover your NOSE AND MOUTH, you fucking morons. The disregard for other people is revolting.

Remote chat was fun.

Solved a client problem remotely.

It was so humid and I wasn’t feeling well, so the afternoon was nowhere near as productive as it needed to be. Will have to make up for it today. Managed to get a few LOIs out.

One client is trying to figure out why payment hasn’t gone through. Another client, a late payer, is ignoring my emails. This is a major publication, now in breach of contract. Not happy about it.

Frustrated with the state of the country and the supreme selfishness and greed that’s allowed.

I seriously want to become a professional recluse.

In the evening, I got dressed up and in full make-up for two virtual Zoom events.

One was a fashion industry event, that I attended on behalf of a client. The hosts did a good job. Some of the guests, however, seem to have forgotten that a Zoom event requires interaction. Yeah, when we were in an actual party room, you could stand there and pose and people would admire you. But at an interactive chat, everyone’s gong to move on to someone who is, you know, actually interesting.

It sort of reminded me of Studio 54’s fading days, when it was trying to be relevant and cool, and failing.

But I’m glad I went. I managed to meet some interesting people and get information that is useful in shaping this particular client’s marketing strategy.

Then, I switched over to another Zoom event, this one literary. That was kind of fun and raucous, very much like the old time literary events in NYC, but virtual. Had some decent conversations with various people about things that matter. I actually got some information relevant to the client for whom I attended the fashion industry event. So that’s 2 for 1.

I’m trying to limit my Zoom time, because it’s so exhausting, but I’m glad I attended these events.

I got a nice compliment on Twitter from someone who likes that I tweet to congratulate and encourage people and wish them well. To me, that’s a big part of being on a social media platform – celebrating the good things, offering a helping hand when I can. Still, it was nice to hear. Because I’m so enraged about what’s going on politically and trying to do something about it, I sometimes worry I’m too negative on social media. I’m trying to keep it balanced.

What I should do is take a break from social media completely for a few days.

Tessa woke me up around 1 AM. She was hot. She woke me, walked over to the fan, looked at me, looked at the fan. I put it in the window, turned it on, she stretched out on the floor in front of it, and went back to sleep.

Fell asleep and had weird dreams. Charlotte woke me a little after 4, although I refused to go downstairs and feed everyone until 5. I wish they’d let me sleep until 5. Waking up at 4 every day is just a little too early.

Horribly humid today. The air is thick and won’t move. It’s supposed to storm, and I hope it does. A good thunder storm would do a world of good.

I have a busy day of writing, client work, course work, and unpacking ahead of me. I hope the humidity eases up a bit so I can actually do it, and not act like one of the cats, lying on the floor in front of the fan.

I had a nice first writing session out on the deck this morning, playing with an idea that might or might not go anywhere. But at least I eased those characters yapping in my head.

Feeling kind of blue and discouraged today, on multiple fronts. I hope a storm will break both the humidity and my mood.

Wed. July 22, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 63 — That 90’s Energy

friendship-2366955_1920
image courtesy of Broesis via pixabay.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Stormy and humid

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice,where I talk about deciding what you want and need from work.

Blood draw wasn’t too awful yesterday. The tech hit the vein the first time, even though it splattered everywhere and hurt. But it’s done.

Home, changed out of the clothes I wore to the very busy lab. Scrubbed down, but not full disinfectant protocols. Ate breakfast, then headed to Trader Joe’s. Very busy there, too many people in the store. Everyone was masked, but not enough distancing. Spent more than I meant to, but stocked up.

Home, full disinfectant protocols. Which means yes, I wore three sets of clothes before 10 AM.

Client work, email, social media, LOIs.

Nice lunch of lox and reading The New Yorker and feeling like I had some of my 90’s life back.

More client work in the afternoon, and then polished three old flash fiction pieces that I still really like. Submitted them to fresh markets. We’ll see.

The copies of the 2021 Witches’ Companion that has my earthing article in it arrived (it’s under the Cerridwen Iris Shea byline). It looks really good. I’m excited to read the whole almanac. I also have to immediately put it in my clip file.

The extra candles Yankee Candle sent as an apology also arrived. I appreciate the gesture, but it doesn’t solve the issue.

Haven’t heard back from Amazon. Guarantee they will charge me again. I rarely buy anything but eBooks from Amazon, but maybe I should disengage from buying on that platform completely.

The spices I ordered from Atlantic Spice Companyin Truro arrived – packets much bigger than expected. Their quality and price is unmatched. I’m sorry I didn’t get to go there in person – I love going to their store. But it’s not safe. No matter how carful they are in the store, the other customers aren’t. It’s not worth the risk.

The note cards from Peter Pauper Press also arrived. I have lots of card-and-letter writing in my future.

Cleaned out a box from the basement. I know, I know, it was only one. But it took more time than I expected. Tossed about 50%. Re-filed a bunch of the rest. Found some old manuscripts that I pulled out. I will decide if I need to toss or re=key into the computer or file any of them. I bet some of them are still on floppy disks. It was emotional to see that energetic woman, involved in getting shows over to Edinburgh, pitching to organizations in the US, having meetings with film producers, line producing a friend’s film, working off-Broadway and starting the transition to working on Broadway, communicating a mile a minute with ideas and plans and projects.

It made me tired! In a good way.

It also made me glad that I didn’t make a long-term commitment to any of the men with whom I was involved with at that time. They demanded that too much of my energy be diverted from my projects to fuel theirs, with little in return.

Have to go in to my client’s today and get a few things solved, and then I can do an email blast for her. The second ad didn’t play as well as the first one, which is disappointing, because it was a better ad, overall, I thought.

Remote Chat is this afternoon, which is always a pleasure.

Then, more writing, coursework, and at least one more box.

I need to get that clearing-out energy in motion!

We’re supposed to get storms and then more humidity again. I have the fans going, to try to get it cooler in here. We’ve been lucky. It hasn’t been too bad yet this summer.

A baby bunny ate his breakfast in the yard while I had my first cup of coffee on the deck. It was adorable!

Published in: on July 22, 2020 at 5:26 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 22, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 63 — That 90’s Energy  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,