Tues. Feb. 9, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 265/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 13 — Ice Boulders

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Waning Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Snowy and cold

Busy few days.

Friday morning, got some writing done on GAMBIT COLONY. Then did a grocery run to Trader Joe’s and a curbside pickup at the library.

Home, decontaminated.

Sent off my review and invoice. Got paid. Got out a few LOIs. Got out a couple of pitches to an editor.

Caught up on box purging, so I was where I hoped to be by the end of the day.

Spent way too many hours trying to get my mom a vaccine appointment. Every other area of the state has appointments to spare. Here, we have nothing. On top of that, there was a secret “pop-up” clinic here on cape, but you had to know someone to get an appointment. How is that equitable? It’s not.

 I’m tired of Baker smirking and lying. He says Walgreens is giving vaccines. Multiple Walgreens locations are up on the state and county websites as vaccine locations. Only “no appointment available.” You know way? Walgreens ISN’T GIVING VACCINES IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. So why are they on the state and county website?

Baker says CVS is giving out vaccines. Multiple CVS locations are on the state and county websites. Only “no appointment available.” You know why? There are only THREE CVS locations giving vaccines in the entire state and NONE of them are on Cape Cod. So why are Cape Cod locations on the state and county website?

On the location list is the Hyannis Stop & Shop. Not only has the website been down for nearly two weeks, now that it’s sort of up, it states that no vaccines are being given at that location. So why is it listed as a location on state and county websites?

The delays are not the issue. The lying and misinformation are.

And if there are so many open appointments in other locations in the state, why aren’t those doses being sent here instead, where there are NO appointments, and a huge population of seniors?

FFS, I could do better using Google Docs to set this up than the state has.

Saturday, up early and did a dump run. Still couldn’t fit all the recycling into the car, but I crammed in as much as I could. Swung by the other grocery store to get a few things before the incoming storm.

Got some work done on GAMBIT COLONY.

Did my quota of box purging.

Found some old love letters. Re-reading them, wow, I’m glad I’m not with any of those guys. One, who I though was so wonderful at the time – reading the letters back, he was extremely manipulative and emotionally abusive. He died a couple of years ago, and I was sad at the loss and remembered the good times. These letters give me a more complete picture of reality. Another, wrote beautiful letters. I’d always thought of him as “the one that got away.” But when I reconnected with him a few years ago, he’s gone all evangelical religious, and we have nothing in common anymore.

I made the right decisions not to be with them. Which is good to know.

Found some more really cool stuff. Threw out a ton of stuff. I’ll be doing another dump run next week.

Read AUNTY LEE’S DELIGHTS, by an author from Singapore named Ovidia Yu. I loved it, and ordered more of her books. She’s also a playwright, and has also been to Edinburgh with her plays, so I’m even more eager to read her work.

Found a bunch of my old articles that aren’t digitized. I will scan them and put them into my clip files and portfolios.

The Goddess Provisions box finally arrived, after sitting in the postal facility in Arizona for over a week. It was worth the wait.

The coffee shipment, that was supposed to be here on Wednesday, made it as far as Westboro, and then went back to CT for some reason. By the time it arrives, it will be stale.

The Wolferman’s order arrived. I had a problem when I ordered it with the promo code. The customer service rep promised to put it through and adjust it. Instead, they CHANGED THE ORDER to something cheaper and sent me what I didn’t order. Not only that, it’s something I WOULDN’T’ have ordered, because it wasn’t what I wanted. I have to find my original paperwork and squawk. It also makes me less likely to order from them in the future, because who the hell knows what will show up?

In other words, Mercury is very retrograde.

Heard back from 365 Women – I’m going to write a Kate Warne play for them this year, AND they’ve accepted the proposal for DAWN AND DOROTHY IN THE AFTERLIFE (I wasn’t sure it would be their thing) AND a play on Marie Collier. So I’ll be busy.

The head of the group just got my email about a quote for the articles – that were published over the past two weeks. She told me I should contact her via Facebook Messenger. I don’t use FB Messenger because of the hacking issues, so. . .it’s an issue. Besides, the articles are up. I’ll be sending her PDFS of the clips – at the email address I have.

The incoming storm on Sunday gave me a huge headache.

But I did write the opening of DAWN AND DOROTHY IN THE AFTERLIFE. It’s kind of weird, but I like it.

Also worked on a grant proposal that has to go out in two weeks. Hate everything I wrote for it. I have to create three 250-word pitches within the proposal. I think I need to write my kind of treatment or Writer’s Rough for each project, and then distill it down. Starting at the blurb doesn’t work. It’s reading flat. So that’s on the agenda for this week: Three treatments.

Got in my quota of boxes on Sunday, too.

The snow started around noon and was so pretty! Lovely, big flakes. We had a fire in the fireplace. The power flickered, and went off once for a couple of minutes, but held pretty well otherwise.

Sunday night into Monday was rough. I woke up every hour or so with intense pain in my knees. I know I’ve been working them hard, carrying boxes up and down from the basement, but this was intense.

Then, I find out, overnight Sunday, the plow guy packed ice boulders into the bottom of my driveway and they froze there. It took me FIVE HOURS to shovel the driveway, get the ice boulders cut down, and the front walk. There was an ice crust, so I had to take the hoe and crack a section, shovel, crack a section, shovel. After twenty or thirty minutes, I had to stop and rest. I’m not twenty anymore, and I spent the past year sick. I can’t, physically, do this anymore.

For the ice boulders, I had to take the hoe and hack at them until I broke them into pieces I could lift and toss.

It was not fun.

My neighbor across the street watched me struggle for five hours (he’s about thirty years younger than I am). As soon as I went inside, he got a bulldozer out of his garage and cleared his own driveway in about five minutes. Really? He could have said, “I see you’re having a hard time; I have heavy equipment and can clear it out for you for fifty bucks.”

It’s not a surprise, though. This is a guy that hasn’t worn a mask once during the entire pandemic.

It’s a far cry from when we first moved here, and all dug each other out. Or the year where we had a series of snowstorms and the town couldn’t be bothered to plow us out, so after nearly a week, we all got our shovels and dug out the street ourselves.

Anyway, after five hours of this, I was wiped out. Funnily enough, my knees were fine, but the left leg and hip that’s been bothering me for the last few weeks were in bad shape, along with my arms.

I spent the afternoon reading contest entries instead of purging the basement.

I managed to get some client work out in between shoveling sessions, so at least it wasn’t a total loss.

Still no vaccine appointments on Cape Cod. Other areas have open appointments and are worried about expiring doses. Why aren’t they being re-routed to the Cape? I’m on EVERY list to learn about when appointments open, and. . .total silence from all of them. Why is the county listing sites as locations that don’t have appointments or doses? The only sites that should be listed are those actually offering appointments. New ones should be added as they go live. That’s basic organization.

But the state and county information remain incorrect. Nobody is fixing anything, or getting anything better organized. Governor Baker is pulled a Jared Kushner on us, and just continues to let us die. He doesn’t give a damn – he hasn’t, or he wouldn’t have reopened back in May, and kept us open when our daily virus numbers were double and triple what they were when we were shut down last spring. I’m sick of it, and I’m at the end of my rope.

My editor at SCRIPTMAG assigned me two more articles. So I’ll get the interview requests out today and get going on research.

I’ll send off my “personal update” for the class reunion later, do some client work, get out some LOIs. Work on the first treatment. I already got a little bit of work done on GAMBIT COLONY this morning, to settle me.

I might sneak in another curbside library pickup this morning, fi the next storm hasn’t started by the time the library opens. Because yes, we’re getting another storm today.

More shoveling.

And, this afternoon, I have to scrub a section of the basement floor, let it dry, and then place some boards down so I can restack the newly packed boxes. That way, once we know where we’re moving, it’s just a case of loading boxes.

It feels good to let go of a lot of this stuff, and the stuff that’s kept is being integrated into the household, even though it will have to be packed again soon.

I’m just so, so tired on so many levels. I’m burned out to a frightening extent. I know there won’t be any rest for me until after the move, but once we’ve moved, I HAVE to take some time off. I just hope I can keep going until then.

Fri. Feb. 5, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 261/MA Vaccine Distribution Failure Day 9 — Red Sky in the Morning

image courtesy of Mabel Amber via pixabay.com

Friday, February 5, 2021

Waning Moon

Mercury Retrograde

Frosty!

The second part of my article “In the Company of (Historical) Women” is up on Scriptmag. I’m putting together the PDF and sending it to those quoted in the article today.

Finished a big web project for a client yesterday, ahead of schedule. It felt good to get that done. I’ll have another such project to do for her in about a week or so.

Got out a few LOIs, worked on my article pitches for my editor, which will go out today. Finished the book for review, and that review (and the invoice) will go out this morning.

A friend sent me information on a grant opportunity, so I will put together the information for that and send it off this weekend. It’s a long shot, but again, if I don’t try, there’s NO shot. I’d rather try.

I felt off all day yesterday, physically and emotionally. I’m so bone-tired and soul-tired that I can’t stand it. I realized, this morning, that it’s almost one year (Tuesday will be one year exactly), when I wound up at urgent care and the cycle of tests/cancer/emergency surgery started. Some of this is my body doing sense memory. I never fully dealt with it all – I was so determined to keep on keeping on, I had to, with the pandemic closing in and trying to get the emergency surgery done, and all of that. I won’t be able to take the time for it until after the move, so I hope I can just hang in there until all that is done.

Polished my “personal update” for the 40th reunion, and scrolled through the posts from former classmates. I didn’t share many senior year experiences with them, because I graduated in January of our final year, spent some time in England and Scotland, and then started college early. I returned for the graduation ceremony, and then went back to college for summer semester. Even before I graduated, so much of my life was in college classes at SUNY Purchase and theatre elsewhere in the community.

That trip, in January of 1980, was my first time in Edinburgh, and began my love affair with the city.

Still no luck with vaccine appointments. Every other area of MA is vaccinating their population, but Cape Cod is being ignored. Even with the high population of elderly. That’s not acceptable. It’s not that we should be first. But we should be included.

Knowledge Unicorns was good. They’ve got their heads down, doing the work. They’re doing such excellent work. They’ve also gotten good at sharing their strengths. They have different interests and different subjects in which they excel, so they help each other. I hope they maintain some of these friendships even when we stop the homework group.

I watched CRITICAL THINKING, the movie directed by and starring John Leguizamo. It’s wonderful. So well done. I love his camera angles. I love his performance, and what he got from the actors. I love that the piece started within the class and the commitment to chess, instead of when the teacher first arrived at the school.  What a terrific piece.

Had a good morning’s work on GAMBIT COLONY. Will send off the review and the invoice, and maybe get out the article pitches before I head out to the grocery store. We need some basics – eggs, bananas, butter, coffee.

I didn’t purge any boxes yesterday, so I have to catch up today to hit my quota. And the weekend is about purging many more boxes, and getting the grant application in. And work on contest entries.

Oooh, it’s just getting light out, and it’s a red sky. Looks like the sky is on fire. Guess we’re getting some more storms.

Have a great weekend, my friends.

Fri. Jan. 29, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 254 — Work at a Steady Pace

image by Karl Eggers via pixabay.com

Friday, January 29, 2021

Last Day of Full Moon

Bitterly Cold

Yesterday’s Zoom meditation group was great yesterday. The leader always introduces us to wonderful techniques and possibilities.

Got an ad done for a client.

Worked on the article, finished it, checked quotes with one source, sent it off. The editor has a few suggestions, so I will turn those around today. I’m glad for them – there were a few problem spots I wasn’t sure how to tackle, and her guidance is a big help.

She also suggested another article, so I’m going to look for some sources and put together a pitch to send her next week.

The first part of the article, “In the Company of (Historical) Women Part I” is up. I want to put together the PDF for the contributors and send them the link, and then I will be promoting the heck out of it!

The landlord and the contractor roamed around the outside of the house in the snow, which seemed counter-intuitive to me, but whatever. The cats did not like it; usually they take a look out the window and then go back to sleep, but they didn’t like this guy.

Got out a bunch of LOIs. Finished reading WICKED AUTUMN, the first of G.M. Malliet’s Max Tudor series and really liked it. I’ve ordered the rest of the series.

Still trying to get my mom her vaccine appointments. One site is still down; the other claims all the appointments are booked. Governor Baker shrugs it off, saying the lack of doses aren’t his fault. Interesting, when the Sociopath from his own party was destroying everything, Baker at least put up the façade of fighting for us. Now that the other party is in charge, he’s happy to pass the buck. Unacceptable.

The short story about the ghost pirate ship was rejected, which made me sad. The letter was very nice – they got over 1400 submissions, and could only take 20. Still, I really love that story. I’ll take a look to see what needs tweaking and improving, and then look for another paying market.

Knowledge Unicorns was good; steady work on assignments. There’s a lot of pressure for the kids to go back to in-person learning, in the places where it’s being done. The parents and I are all united that’s not going to happen until they’re all vaccinated. Some of the kids will remain home-schooled, even when it’s safe to go back. They are doing better in this environment: fewer distractions, less bullying. They’re smart and love to learn, and they CAN do well remotely. The education system was failing them even before the pandemic, because it didn’t have room for their individuality and their intelligence. What I also love is how they have made friends with each other, and are in touch outside of the homework sessions, even though we’re all scattered around the country. And their parents now have each other as a support system, too.

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get a piece ready for that February 1 submission deadline. I don’t think I’ll have enough time to polish. We’ll see how I feel later today.

It’s bitterly, bitterly cold. I was going to do a library run for curbside pickup; now I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow? I’ll see how I feel in a few hours. That pushes a lot onto tomorrow, as far as the dump run and the grocery run. Plus, I need to get more ice melt. I’ll clean ash out of the fireplace later, so we can have the fire going all weekend. Maybe I’ll do some baking, too.

I’m going to do a couple of hours’ worth of work on a client’s website, and turn around the edits on the article. Then, I’ll work on the next article pitch, so I can send it to my editor early next week.

I HAVE to catch up on all the box purging that didn’t get done this week. Most of the weekend will focus on that, along with housework and errands, the book for review, contest entries, and maybe some work on a play.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Stay cozy!

Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 197 — Must. Be. Organized.

Charlotte observes the partially-decorated tree. Photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

I have a post up on Gratitude and Growth about the garden.

Yesterday at the client’s was stressful. That is all that is appropriate to say publicly.

I was glad to get home and take extra time scrubbing down in decontamination.

Remote chat was fun.

Payment arrived from my ScriptMag article, which makes me happy. Offsets what I paid for cat food earlier this week!

Lost too much time searching to make sure an image was in the public domain – it was. I started using it a long time ago and checked. I should have trusted that I did the research properly the first time. Plus, Be Funky, my preferred collage maker, now has all my preferred grids behind a paywall, so I’m looking for another online free collage maker that doesn’t charge you to actually download the image once you’ve created it.

Working on some ads and promo stuff. Should have been finishing the holiday cards. If you’re in the S-Z portion of the alphabet and usually get a card from me, I apologize. I WILL get them out in the next few days, I promise.

I have to dash out early this morning to the grocery store. If the surgery is going through next week (and with 4613 cases in the last 24 hours here in the state, how can it?), I need to start isolating early next week, so today and Saturday are grocery runs to two different stores, to make sure we have everything.

I also want to get the rest of the baking supplies I need, so I can bake cookies over the next few days, and start prepping/delivering the cookie tins as soon as I’m through surgery.

I hope to make it back in time for the Zoom meditation with Concord Library, and then I have to dig down and finish the revisions on “Lockesley” to get it out, and then do another pass at the two Nina Bell shorts.

Along with some client work, LOIs, and other things.

I better be productive today, and stop faffing around, hmmmm?

Have a great day.

Published in: on December 3, 2020 at 6:51 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 197 — Must. Be. Organized.  
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Tues. Nov. 24, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 188 — Too Much (Web) Traffic

image courtesy of Steven Liao via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune & Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

The last few days have been more chaotic than I hoped. It happens.

I have a Very Long Post Full of Context on Thanksgiving Prep over on Comfort and Contradiction. A long post to try to simplify the holidays sounds contradictory, but there you have it.

Yesterday, I also posted on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions about worrying less about the “perfect” holiday and living it more from the heart.

The food post took longer on Friday than I meant it to, and then I had to rush to CVS, where they’d screwed up my mom’s prescription. We got it sorted out and they were nice; it just took time, and I got increasingly nervous having to be around people. I’m doing my best to avoid people right now.

Swung by the library for a curbside drop off/pick up. Came home, decontaminated, was exhausted.

Got an ad live for a client.

Just Jump in and Fly cover

Went through the final proofs for “Just Jump In and Fly” (under the Ava Dunne byline) and signed off on it. It’s coming live for pre-orders slowly – except Amazon doesn’t want to carry it because it’s available through other channels. Amazon is used as a distributor, not a publisher, and I’m not part of any exclusive program with them, so they can get over themselves. Well, they only wanted to give me 29 cents royalty on every sale anyway, which is pretty insulting.

I’m looking at platforms where I can sell mobi files (since I can’t get the WP site to acknowledge the plug-in). Setting up a Square Store would make sense – only that platform can’t do instant downloads. Most of the commerce sites are too expensive – I couldn’t generate enough to make them pay for themselves, much less make any profit.

I absolutely love “Just Jump In and Fly” even after all this time. It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written.

I managed to get Trinity of Teasers up, too, for free download. It contains the first three chapters each of PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. You can download the PDF here.

I started work on the revision of “Lockesley Hall” which is pretty damn funny in its own right, even though it needs work. Didn’t get very far, because I was so damn tired.

Saturday morning, I was all set to get a lot of writing done and promotion, and all the rest.

I received an email late Friday night from my editor that my piece was up on Script Mag. So I had to prep it for my clip file, get it up on Clippings.me, but when I tried to add it to my Fearless Ink website, it wouldn’t save the edit.

I contacted A2. They told me that my websites have “too much traffic” and that I exceeded CPU capacity. Lots of people are finding my work on WOW – Women on Writing, and coming over. Even more are finding me through SEO searches.

That’s a good thing, right? This is what I’ve worked for the past few years, WHY I moved hosts. To have a stable platform and grow traffic.

Only now, they’re trying to force me to upgrade my plan to something I can’t afford right now AND hire one of their “web developers.”  They suggest switching things onto Cloudflare, but it’s out of my price range right now.

Come on, people! My sites are gaining traffic, but it’s just that THAT much.

And, of course, they’re doing this while I’m trying to get the holiday pieces out and doing lots of promotion, such as with TRINITY OF TEASERS, that drives traffic to the sites. They know they have me over a barrel. It makes me so angry.

I looked at some other hosts. Hostinger seems affordable, but then I have to learn a whole new control panel. They’re supposed to be reliable and good, but do a lot of upselling, which I don’t like.

I also think I might have to split the websites on different hosts. The Devon Ellington Work site and its various subdomains might need to be on one host, since they get the most traffic and are ever-expanding. While the Fearless Ink, Cerridwen’s Cottage, and Grief to Art sites might need to be on a different one. If I can find reasonable plans, it will be about the same price as what I have now, which is affordable.

If Grief to Art gains traction, eventually, it will need to spin off on its own host, because it will need a lot of room.

So I lost most of the day dealing with that, which was so frustrating. I was in tears by the end of it, even though A2 was nice and had some good ideas. But every suggestion ended with the upsell.

The bottom line is that the websites need to pay for themselves. They’re doing that right now. But if I upgrade to a plan I can’t really afford, I’m in trouble. They need to show the actual monetary gains in book sales, more article work, etc. BEFORE I upgrade, not putting in the money where I’m not sure it can grow fast enough to pay for itself.

I also don’t want to make a stupid decision out of panic and regret it.

Thank goodness I’ve always kept the websites separate, or I’d be in real trouble.

I ran down to do a curbside pickup at the library. The Congregational Church next door was having a leaf cleanup on their property. Too many people, more than half unmasked, no social distancing. In flagrant violation of state mandates. Why are they allowed to get away with this? Why is nothing enforced around here?

Sunday morning, I was out the door early, early to go to Star Market before too many people were out. I didn’t need much, but the turkey was the most important thing. I found a nice turkey – only 14 pounds this year. Put gas in the car, too. Hauled everything home, disinfected it, disinfected myself.

Sat down and wrote holiday cards. Got all the overseas cards out, except a few where I had to email people for their addresses. Got a good start on the domestic cards. But it took a long time, and I was tired.

Up early yesterday. Off to the client’s, where I worked on my own. Got some orders shipped out (I hate that part of the job; I don’t mind helping out, but I am not a shipping clerk). The postman “forgot” to stop at the office, so I had to run down the street after the truck, waving the packages, even though the flag was up, and I’d put in an electronic pickup request. Got out holiday email blasts; worked on the ad that needs to go live. The ad that went live on Friday is getting a lot of traction, so hopefully it’s converting well into sales. We’ll know next weekend.

Was getting ready to work on some social media posts for the client when a Tornado Warning came through on my phone, followed a few seconds later by a screaming Tornado Alert – Seek shelter! Message.

The building I was in was flimsy, and the car unprotected. I looked outside, and didn’t see any funnels. I locked up and risked driving home. The rain came in, hard. I could barely see the road sometimes. But I made it home, got the car in the garage, before the worst of the deluge and the thunder. We hunkered down for the next hour and a half. It was a bad storm, but no funnels around here, thank goodness.

But I was worn out by then.

Read in the afternoon. Finished reading a biography of Elaine Stritch. As talented as she was, I kept a safe distance from her when we were both working in NYC. She was nasty and manipulative, and I stayed away as much as possible.

Also read my first Kit Rocha book, DEAL WITH THE DEVIL, one of the Mercenary Librarians series, and liked it. I usually avoid dystopia because we’re living it, but this one was recommended by several people, and I liked it a lot.

Gearing up for a round of errands today. I have to make a Target run for some things I can’t get anywhere else and can’t do for curbside pickup, because I have to look at things and make a decision. Then, to the post office to get more stamps and mail an overseas package; to the liquor store and the library; and to the chocolatier to get gifts we are sending to several friends.

Even the thought of it upsets me, being out around people, but I hope I’ve mapped it out and timed it so I’m around the fewest people possible and can whip in and out everywhere with minimal contact.

Major, major disinfectant protocols when I get back.

Then, it’s writing more domestic cards, getting a client ad live, and working on “Lockesley Hall.”

Tomorrow will be stressful, because I have to overlap with other people at the client’s, but it’s only for a short time, so, fingers crossed.

At least that seditious GSA administrator finally signed the transition papers. She needs to go to prison anyway. We can’t let ANY of these corrupt individuals slither away.

Of course, I’ve been sneaking in a few thousand words here and there on GAMBIT COLONY, my major stress-reliever of a project. Someday, I’ll be satisfied with those first six books of the series, that cover from auditions through filming the first season, and actually submit them! Well, I’m hoping to submit them in 2021, so they’ll be out by 2022, but who knows. There are other books that need to be finished first.

Take care, and have a safe day.