Tues. Sept. 8, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 111 — The National Plan is Death

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny, warm, pleasant

image courtesy of Skitterphoto via pixabay.com

The National Strategy is Death

We’ve been thinking that there’s no national plan to fight the virus. But there IS a plan: Let people die. They demonstrate that’s their plan every day. Let people die, and those that are left get whatever scraps the 1% feel like tossing away.

This is not acceptable.

Nor is the dismissal of the massive loss of life.

It was as busy as any Labor Day Weekend here on Cape Cod, with traffic backed up at the bridges for hours on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Usually it would be Sunday with the 6-hour delays getting off Cape, but because it was a holiday Monday, it was yesterday that the traffic was backed up at least all the way to our exit all day, and at times, even further down.

During a pandemic.

I had a few things I had to go off property over the weekend; I did them as early as possible. Except for inside the stores, NO ONE was masked or social distanced.

So all these people posting photos of themselves “on vacation” on the Cape (or anywhere else this weekend) who also claim they’re doing it safely? I don’t believe you, boo. Because what I saw all weekend was reckless endangerment and irresponsible behavior.

You’re NOT “supporting the local economy” by going out to eat in restaurants. You’re putting people’s lives at risk, especially the servers. You’re adding to the problem  by walking in your packs without masks – putting a mask on when you get within a foot of someone else is too late.

I’m sick of the hypocrites, especially the self-righteous ones, who are claiming they’re doing the right thing when they’re so obviously not.

They are just as much a reason why the virus isn’t under control – and won’t be until well into next year – as the anti-maskers.

Social Media Stuff

I definitely needed the four-day break. Not that it was all rest, but I refused to beat myself up about what I “should” be doing, and that made a huge difference.

Staying off social media more than I was on it was also a good choice. There was way too much stupid. I’m also tired of the faux engagement questions like “do you still wear a mask?” I’m actually a decent human being who is trying to protect my family and keep other people from dying – of COURSE I still wear a mask. I’m tired of the “what’s your day job?” from other so-called “writers” – that’s an insulting question, for a “writer” to assume every other writer they interact with can’t earn a living at it. I’m tired of the “wrong answers only” game (which I’ve never understood or played) and the “what’s your MC’s favorite color?” and that kind of thing.

Most of it, I just scroll past, but I’m at the point now where I’m unfollowing and/or blocking people when they really annoy me. It’s their timeline; they get to put whatever they want on it. If I don’t want it to irritate my day, it’s up to me to remove them from my feed.

The whole James Woods-Travis Tritt thing? I just shake my head. I’d liked James Woods’s acting years ago, until we both were on different shows at an off-Broadway company in NY, and I heard/witnessed the level of crazy and mean. I got over my disappointment in him as a human  and excommunicated him from my universe a long time ago (and decided I wouldn’t accept work on anything in which he was cast). That he supports the Sociopath isn’t really a surprise. I had to look up Travis Tritt, and then remember that I didn’t like his work even back when I knew who he was.

I’d rather interact with people I like, have a chance at learning something or actual conversation, and post IG photos of food, cats, and the garden (which is the only reason for my Instagram account – fun stuff as a break from everything else).

Getting Stuff Done

Got December’s surgery scheduled, early enough so that I will have enjoyed Thanksgiving and can enjoy the Winter Holidays. That’s a relief.

Had to mail something certified mail. Everyone at our little post office is so nice.

Saturday was almost a normal non-pandemic weekend day: grocery shopping (very early, masked, to avoid the Covidiot tourists), full decontamination procedure (yes, in “business” journals they’re saying it’s not necessary; they can go fuck themselves, I’m still doing it), changed the beds, did 5 loads of laundry, baked bread, made carrot-ginger soup from scratch, used up the fading vegetables in the fridge to make vegetable stock, backed a brown butter honey cake, roasted a chicken, made chicken stock, read, and wrote.

In other words, a productive day that was almost on par with my pre-pandemic productivity.

I didn’t write much, and it was only what I wanted to, not what I “had” to. I wanted to make sure I actually took a break this weekend.

Unfortunately, my mom had a bad reaction to her new medication, and my lactose intolerance seems to be rearing again, so Saturday night, we were both up most of the night feeling awful.

Sunday, we really took it easy, lots of reading, light meals. We spent a good bit of time out on the deck all weekend, in spite of the neighbors’ constant heavy machinery/power tools/mowers/leaf blowers. We had to take Saturday night’s dinner back inside because the noise and the dust from the property behind (we’re on a third of an acre) was so bad, we couldn’t sit out there.

Once in awhile yesterday, I considered hopping online to do this or that, and then reminded myself that I was Taking Time Off. Time I needed.

The hummingbird visited again, fascinating Willa and Charlotte. Bratty Bird misses Tessa and has figured out that Tessa spends most of her time in my room now. So she comes up to the bedroom window in the morning and they chatter at each other. It’s cute. The bunnies are getting pretty bold and hanging out even when we’re out there; last night, I heard the coyotes run through the yard, so I hope the bunnies were well in hiding. We have some beautiful Tiger Moths, too.

Worked with the cats a lot. Willa is a little dickens, always coming up with something new to try. Charlotte has settled down, and is happy, for the most part. She and Tessa still don’t get along too well, but Willa is really trying to make friends with Tessa. Tessa thinks she’s a loony tune most of the time (and she does often act like a cartoon character), but they are better with each other.

I had weird, disturbing dreams all weekend, but couldn’t grasp enough of any of them to figure them out when I woke up.

Lots of yoga and meditation, which is a good thing. By Sunday night, I was feeling like I’d made progress with everything, only to wake up worrying again at 3:30 on Monday morning.

I meant to clean just one thing on the kitchen counter on Monday, and wound up reorganizing and cleaning everything in the L-shaped counter between the sink and the stove. It was necessary, and now it’s much easier to get at what I need when I cook, but it took up much more time than I planned.

I also wrote some cards for people, and have a letter that needs to go out today to set up RMV appointments in October.

Reading

Lots and lots of reading. Another Gamache book – I’m getting so much more out of the series this time, reading it in order. The head-hopping bothers me, but Penny does it better than most authors, so I can live with it. It’s more like being in one character’s POV, sliding into neutral ground, and sliding into the next POV than “hopping” and is less jarring than the typical head-hopping which can leave one as nauseated as on a badly-run amusement park ride.

I’m officially done with the author whose books I liked, then disliked. I’m tired of her protagonist being a doormat, and she keeps using slurs. The same slur three times in 20 pages in the latest book I tried. I stopped, pulled the other books in that series from the library pile, and they go back today. Done. Read three books in her other series, which I liked better. She used the slur once in one of the books. But they’re a little too cutesy and there are exclamation points all over the place, which give me a headache. Between that and the commitment to white privilege and conformity in both series, her protag being afraid of characters who are smart and unusual because they’re different and that being upheld as positive, no thanks. So yeah, officially done with all of her work. She’s crossed off the list.

Read more in the other series by a different author, where I liked the fourth book, but was upset at the slur used in the first book. I read the other books I’d ordered (it ended up being the first five books in the series) and she didn’t use it again, so I am cautiously optimistic.

I’m curious to see how cozy mysteries will deal or not deal with the pandemic in upcoming years.  I think there will be strong definition between the books that continue to uphold white privilege and conformity and support the anti-maskers, the ones who try to walk the line not to offend anyone on either side of the masking or vaccination spectrum, and those authors who will actually deal with it in a realistic and responsible fashion. There might even be authors who have contemporary series who choose to ignore it.

But then, I’ve become even more aware of the restrictions and fear and white privilege in the genre, especially since I was told to whiten up the characters and their names in the Nautical Namaste series because “white readers won’t understand these people.” Then they can skip the books. I can’t believe editors and agents are still spouting that crap — some of the same ones who claim they want more diverse characters in books. But they get them and try to whiten them up. Too many cozy mysteries have devolved into white people upholding their privilege and not having sex. I just don’t see how this is interesting or comforting. The genre used to be my comfort/brain candy books, but many of them just annoy me now. Yes, they’re fantasy, but they’re not fantasies that satisfy me. There are series that don’t do this, that are trying to be more diverse, inclusive, and intelligent, but there are plenty of series who aren’t.

Continuing to read Volume IV of the Paris Review Interviews. There are so many things I dislike about Philip Roth’s work, but when he talks craft, I always learn something. Maya Angelou’s interview was beautiful, and her quote “creativity is greater than the sum of its parts” resonated with me.

I finally got to see BIRDS OF PREY (yeah, not reading, but it fits in here). Mostly, I liked it. There are some clever bits like “how she’d have time for a shoe change?” and giving Black Canary the scrunchy in the middle of the fight – details that were terrific. The scene where she goes in and shoots all the cops felt off-tone, because it was such casual violence. The other violence was rooted in character or situation, but this felt off to me and bothered me.

Few of the comic book movies really satisfy me – probably because I haven’t invested in the characters before they transferred to film. But I thought there were lots of clever bits in it. I thought the chemistry between the five women was great. The whole roller skating angle was fun, too.

Looking Ahead

Trying to knock out some writing this morning. I’m going onsite for a few hours (I should be on my own, thank goodness) for a client to take care of some things, then home and do more client work remotely.

I need to focus on a lot of writing this week, while also getting some things organized and dealing with purging stuff from the basement. That needs to get back on track.

I should get assigned the next book for review, which is good, and get out a bunch of LOIs. Someone gave me a good lead on a gig that I want to follow up on today or tomorrow.

I have to prep a play to send off to a company and finish another short play to send to Trusted Readers before submitting it.

I should have the final notes on BARD’S LAMENT this week, and then can start turning that around again.

I have to work on the Topic Workbooks, and also do more PR for Grief to Art. Please share the site’s details with those who might find it a comfort.

A networking group whose events I’ve occasionally attended is starting their monthly meetings live in-person indoors at a restaurant again. Are they out of their freaking minds? Totally irresponsible. No, thanks. Bye. Not joining your organization when you’d rather put your members’ lives in danger than, you know, support them and help them through this.

Hope you had a great weekend.

I need to focus and clear off a few things before Mars goes retrograde tomorrow. Really? Now? Jupiter and Saturn are getting ready to go direct. I don’t need Mars getting in my way right now.

But all I can do is the best I can do. I have a feeling I’ll be cutting a lot of deadwood from my life in the next few weeks.

Fri. Oct. 26, 2018: Upcoming Release and Errands

Relics 4

Relics & Requiem, Coventina Circle Romantic Suspense #3
Releases Oct. 30, 2018
Universal Buy Link

Friday, October 26, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

RELICS & REQUIEM releases on Tuesday. I’m excited about this book. I’m very fond of Amanda and Phineas, and their relationship. You can read excerpts and more here on the Relics page of the Coventina Circle Website.

Worked at home yesterday; didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but that’s the theme right now. I’m still struggling with the disappointment I received earlier in the week and trying not to spiral down into a discouragement that won’t help.

Did some yard work; we’ve gotten a good portion of the plants that need to overwinter inside. There’s still other stuff to cut back, clean out, and put away, not to mention one final mow of the season, but that can wait until after tomorrow’s storm.

Watched the second season of the Australian drama JANET KING. Outstanding. Really, really good. I like the complexity of the drama coming out of Australia and New Zealand. It’s not dumbed down and oversimplified.

Had to go to the RMV early this morning to renew the car registration, In and out of there in 5 minutes (and they’re so nice). Stuck in traffic on Rt. 28 for an hour.

It’s off season, and the traffic is just as bad all the time, as it was in summer. I’m sick of it.

Grocery shopping, and a few other errands. Most of today will be spent writing, I hope, but some of it will be prepping for the storm. I don’t plan to do much tomorrow except hunker down, write, and read.

Next week will be a challenging one, with a big event for one particular client. Fingers crossed it goes well. I will be exhausted by the end of it.

And I can’t get any farther behind on my writing than I am.

My mother’s 94th birthday is on Monday. I’m lucky to have her still around.

Back to the page.

Published in: on October 26, 2018 at 9:56 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 26, 2018: Upcoming Release and Errands  
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Wed. Oct. 26, 2016: Nattie Filmore Upcoming Free Release, HobNob, and More!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busy, and, a little frustrating. The RMV renewal office at AAA told me I needed a “sticker” from my insurance company, but couldn’t explain how it worked — electronically or otherwise. I contacted my insurance company, and they sent me something they assured me would work, so I have to hike back out to Dennis this morning and try again.

I critiqued my friend’s short script for NMLC’s participation in Mass Audubon’s “Enchanted Forest” on Friday night — it’s hilarious and adorable. It’s about the dangers of plastic debris to marine life (specifically, in this case, sea turtles). It’s terrific!

I worked on revisions for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’m about five chapters from the end. Then I will let it sit for two weeks and marinate, while I work on the plays, the tweaks on what is now PLAYING THE ANGLES, and the submission materials I need for CHOLERIC. I’d like to get it out the door in November, before the holiday insanity.

Last night was another HobNob night. It was such fun! Someone I had recommended join us showed up and had a good time, and it was nice to reconnect with familiar faces. David Kuehn, from Cotuit Center for the Arts, was our speaker, and it was nice to see him again.

I’d made business-card sized promotions for “The Possession of Nattie Filmore” and gave them out at the event. Most of my fellow HobNobbers haven’t read any of my work yet.

Off to RMV again, and then it’s back to DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’d like to get this draft finished either today or tomorrow.

My mother’s 92nd birthday is coming up this weekend! She gets her favorite: cheesecake.

Don’t forget: “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, a short Jain Lazarus adventure, will be available for free download starting on Friday, October 28, through Monday, October 31. It will contain excerpts from several other pieces. It will also contain a coupon for one of the Ava Dunne shorts, will be good until Nov. 2.

Come back on Friday and get the link!

Devon

Published in: on October 26, 2016 at 8:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. Oct. 26, 2016: Nattie Filmore Upcoming Free Release, HobNob, and More!  
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Fri. May 24, 2013: Stormy Start to Memorial Day Weekend

IMG_1096

Friday, May 24, 2013
Almost Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. Yesterday wound up being kind of a mess.

Yoga was great in the morning, and I stopped by Covell’s Beach, even in the bad weather — it was lovely. Last time I get to go to the beach until Memorial Day — I’ve been going regularly off-season. On-season, even if I get a permit, it will be so crowded, I won’t be able to enjoy it.

So I enjoy my garden instead!

My mother had to get an adjustment done on her driver’s license (in light of her cataract operation), and realized that yesterday was the last day she could do it. So we had to race to the RMW in Yarmouth and wait for nearly two and a half hours to submit a piece of paper, throw some money at them, and get the license adjusted. Don’t get me wrong — the staff is pleasant and efficient. But the institution started a new numbering policy that doesn’t let the workers be efficient. Very unfair to everyone, but especially to the people working there.

But it got done, we made another stop at the beach, and got home. By now, it was mid-afternoon. I tried to get some work done, and didn’t have much luck with it. I tried to work on the proposal, but it didn’t make sense. So I finally gave up and had a mojito on the deck instead. And cooked pork chops for dinner.

One of my lovely neighbors (the one with the great garden), gave me an enormous catmint for the round herb bed, and some spinach, escarole, and romaine plants. I got them into the bed — it looks nice. Can’t wait to eat them.

Blazing migraine, so went to bed early.

Bad storm in the night. We lost some tree limbs (big ones), and one of them hit one of the gazing balls in the garden and smashed it. The two small potted trees in the front were overturned. The buckets were full (good thing), and the power was out (not so great).

The power came back on in a couple of hours, and I cleaned up what I could in the yard. All by 7 AM.

Today was the last day of the May is Manuscript Prep Month tips and they got the regular tip and a bonus tip! Hopefully, people have enjoyed this little foray.

Today, I have errands to run, packing to finish, proposals to get out, working with students, projects to finish before I leave, and things to wind up for next week’s trip. I’ll be working flat out through the weekend, so I can enjoy the trip without anything hanging over me. I also have a good friend’s going away party to attend.

Have wonderful holiday weekend, and a terrific start to the summer!

Devon