Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Snowy and cold

We had about four inches of snow overnight. The roads look pretty clear, so I think I can hold on to my original intent to go to Greenwich Library after lunch to do some research.

Linkage stuff to share: My SDR blog is up “The Intersection of Life and Fiction.” The new issue of THE SCRUFFY DOG REVIEW is out, with my Literary Athlete column on workshops. Kim Smith kindly awarded me a “Prolific Blogger” award last week, and I haven’t had the chance to pay it forward, although I plan to in the next few days.

Acupuncture was great yesterday, and I felt so much better once I was done. Driving to and from Long Island wasn’t all that bad, either.

The writing went very well, so that was a relief. Switching between the long WIP I’ve been working on (tentatively titled POWER OF WORDS) and the dark piece (REDEMPTION KILL) works because they’re very different, and yet, they feed off each other in a weird way. Hey, I’m not going to argue, I’m just going to roll with it.

Two very interesting and different conversations yesterday re: scriptwriting jobs for which I’d pitched. The first really liked my samples, but they need someone local (in LA) to be on-site doing topical revisions — it’s the monologue for a small, daily show. They hired someone to fit that, but wanted to talk to me anyway about future projects. They’re in negotiations for a development deal for some scripted web projects, and wanted to know if they could keep me on file and contact me if and when they had funding for something like that. That project could be done mostly remotely, but, if and when they needed me present, they’d also have the funds to bring me out west as needed, whereas this project doesn’t have the budget. Everything’s an “if”, but they came across as having integrity, and should the opportunity come up, I think we’d work together well. If the opportunity doesn’t come up, at least we had a good talk! 😉

The second conversation was more typical. They like the samples, but wanted me to write a project-specific script for them to “help them make their decision.” Without pay. I refused. I said I’d write a partial at a specially-negotiated rate, but I don’t do free project-specific samples. I know that road — the “employer” sends out different “samples” to different individuals, tells everyone they’ve hired someone else and gets the whole project for free, not paying anyone. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. They also said that, although, in the ad, they’d listed a per-script rate (which I found acceptable but not brilliant), they’d decided that was the rate they were paying for ALL the scripts, not just one. I said no, thank you. These are NOT people I’d want to work with in the future.

So, I watched the premiere of LOST’s final season. I didn’t watch the narrated pre-show explanation — I stand by my belief that if you have to keep explaining things, you’re not telling the story well. I enjoyed seeing old, familiar faces from the first season, the season I liked. I enjoyed the scenes from “the plane didn’t crash” section. I see where they’re going with the rest of it, and I’m just sighing and shaking my head. As I’ve said frequently when I’ve dipped into it once I stopped watching regularly, I enjoy the scene work, but not the overall arc, and I don’t trust the creators to lead me on a fulfilling journey. I’m glad the show gets the support it does, it is truly innovative on so many levels, and I’m glad so many people are fanatically loyal to it — that helps everyone creatively, the show’s creators, the writers, the actors — and, once the knock-offs run out of steam, will hopefully open the door to more innovation. But LOST lost me at the top of Season 3 and never won me back. It’s really well done, and, in spite of it, I feel like they’re over-manipulating the audience. To me, that’s a turn-off. I’ll probably watch it here and there over the coming weeks, and I want to see the series finale to see if my speculations are correct. But I’m certainly not planning my week around it.

Imbolc ritual was lovely, honoring the stirring of what is to come.

Good first writing session this morning. The word count is low, but I’m writing a scene that’s both physically and emotionally complex and I’d rather take my time with it than rush through it. It’s pivotal to the rest of the book, so I’d rather get it mostly right (there’s always room for improvements during revision) than rush through it, blow it, and then not have built a strong foundation for the rest of the piece.

Back to the page for a bit, and then I’m headed off to the library.

Devon

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Museum of American History, Smithsonian, Washington, DC

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Zero degrees in my neck of the woods today. At least I don’t have the 52 inches of snow they have upstate, or the 3 feet of snow the family in Maine’s dealing with.

I’m going to swaddle Elsa’s carrier in a blanket when I carry her to the car.

The webhost problems with 1and1.com had me in tears. Basically, with the inability to do my work and the billable hours I lose trying to salvage what I can quickly to do a host move — since everything has to be done by hand, nothing can be copied or moved electronically — I lose my entire income for January. Because of a fucking webhost who refuses to fix the problems they created with an “upgrade” that’s made it impossible to do anything.

Believe me, there will be consequences.

If you are looking for a reliable webhost, 1and1.com is not it. I’ve had almost daily problems with them for over a year. Not only is the lack of service appalling, the refusal to fix the problems is even more so. They know they’ve got me trapped. What’s involved in moving three domains, two subdomains, and tens of thousands of emails is massive. It can’t be done in an instant. They can just sit there and laugh at me and keep taking my money. And send me the same instructions, time and time again, that I’ve already told them DO NOT WORK.

I was in tears for a good part of the day yesterday. I shouldn’t pay to be upset.

I finally have a reliable computer, but I have an unreliable web host, and, since I’m a freelancer, I need BOTH to be reliable. I understand the occasional problem, but almost every day for over a year? Outrageous.

I need to keep track of the time spent on this, and then invoice them for it. At my normal rate.

I still managed to get my column polished and out to my editor, and write, polish, and schedule the SDR blog post for Wednesday. I wrote, polished, and uploaded the post for Jan. 20, too. I updated my software. I backed everything up on Time Machine. I set up the Submission and Pitch Logs for 2010. I followed up on some pitches from 2009, and did some check-ins with maybe-someday potential clients with whom I promised to keep in touch. I got to storage and brought back the ornament boxes, so I can pack up the decorations on Wednesday (in our family, it’s bad luck to take down the decorations before the Twelfth Day of Christmas. It’s considered a sign of disrespect).

Planning to spend some time at the page this morning, before bundling Elsa off to the vet. It’s at least an hour’s drive each way and who knows how long we wait before we’re seen, and probably 30-45 minutes in the office, so I’ve pretty much lost the whole day.

I planned for it, so I’m not behind in the writing. But I hate being away from the steampunk when it’s going so well. I don’t want to lose momentum.

I think I’m getting headaches because I need to get new glasses. Won’t be able to get to the eye doctor for at least two weeks. Sigh.

Tired, tired, tired. Would like to spend a day in bed, but don’t have that option for awhile.

Off to the vet.

Devon

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing!

Believe it or not, I’m doing research on the history of the ice cube. Because, mush as I love the title “Death By Ice Cube”, it might not make sense in 1933, in the grandstand area of the track, that they used ice cubes in drinks. I also contacted the Queens Historical Society to find out if they have archival material on Jamaica Racetrack, or know who does.

And here I thought this would be a quick, easy story! No such luck!

If you haven’t seen my post on “Time Management” over at the Scruffy Dog Review blog, check it out.

My computer crashed five times yesterday, all directly related to my Demon McAfee. So, if you emailed me and haven’t heard back, I’ll make sure to catch up today.

I wrote a guest blog for a friend, did some research, and turned around the assignment for my client. It was a pleasure. Always nice to get one of those.

I gave the cats a lot of attention. Elsa seems a little better. She usually seems better during the day, and then gets worse again at night.

I’m reading a book on meditation, because that practice has, unfortunately, suffered in the stress of the past few months. Actually, I think I need to change my morning yoga sequences, because I’m having trouble focusing on them, too. The evening yoga practice is working well, but the morning one, the one I need to really get me going, needs some adjustments.

We have about six inches of snow on the ground. Supposedly, Long Island has 10 inches so far, and, instead of snowing only until noon, it’s going to snow all day all the way around. All the schools are closed, etc. I think we all deserve a snow day, don’t you?

I’ll work on March’s To-Do list for the GDR, and post it later today, get out the newsletter, catch up on email, and, hopefully, get some work done on the Billy Root story, Bedtime Louie, one of the plays, and some revision work on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.

Provided I can coax the computer through.

Have a great start to the week, everyone!

Devon