Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunshine-kissed kitty

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

More retrogrades, people! And, technically, the summer vacation-that-wasn’t for me is over, and this gig is nearly over. I needed to write 15K in these past two weeks, here on site. I got 500 done, due to interruptions and the amount of stuff piled onto me that had nothing to do with my job. I can’t write a single sentence without a massive interruption, and I cannot be in that situation. Even if I tried to stay up all night, after I was drained of every ounce of life force from this place, I’m interrupted constantly. Just not acceptable, and I can’t put myself in this situation again. The daily micromanaging has abated, slightly, but now I find out the client’s given out my cell phone number to this one and that one without permission — and I am extremely fierce about who gets that number. Again, not acceptable. Well, Friday, I’m gone.

I got the following sent to me about my former building in NY. Read the article here.

If I still lived there, I’d be in a hotel somewhere — and what would have happened to the cats? I moved at the right time. My heart breaks for my former neighbors. I talked to a couple of them yesterday — they are in shock, dazed, and angry. One expects something like this from the scumbag landlords, but the City is also liable, morally if not legally, for continuing to allow those basement apartments to be rented when they are regularly flooded out and the residents lose everything. WHEN someone dies — and, eventually, someone will — these scumbags will still feel nothing. Because both the landlords and the current City Council there don’t consider the tenants are worthwhile citizens. The landlords consider them an ATM machine, and the City Council doesn’t think they are “good enough” to live in that pretentious Westchester town because they’re renters instead of owners, so the Council doesn’t care

Yesterday was practically productive, if not creatively productive. I got out some questions for a press release I’m working on, to wrap up the Mermaid Ball, four sets of interview questions, and got the last details worked out for the Year-Long Intensive, which starts tomorrow. I got in two good sessions of yoga, and a good meditation sit, which helped a lot.

I thought about what book I want to start working on tomorrow (while I finish SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I simply can’t work on here, because I can’t get enough time in to write more than a line at a time without interruption, and then I lose my train of creativity). I circled back to the yoga mystery, reconnected a bit with it, and wondered if, maybe, that’s what I should work on. I’d be challenging myself within the formula, but not setting up so huge a challenge that I can’t meet it. In other words, it’s a pretty safe choice, which means I’m not sure I should do it. I’m trying to decide if I should do one of the two urban fantasy ideas I was playing with. Both are unique, stories I haven’t seen before, and I’m writing them because they are something I’d like to read. One rotates through three POVs — initially, it only rotated through two, but a character who was supposed to just be in a couple of scenes stepped up and said, “Hey, I’m important to this process!” The other one has a strong base in mythology and an intense central relationship, but never quite handled in this particular way. Then, of course, there’s the urban fantasy comic noir, which I originally envisioned as a series of linked short stories or novellas, but I could turn into a novel. And I need to make a decision — soon.

Today, I have to write the press release, work on the newsletter, and see if maybe I can possibly get any writing done. There will be a cleaning crew in here on site, so, again — constant interruptions.

Two more days. I just have to keep it together for two more days.

I feel very, very lucky and have enormous gratitude for the fact that I am HERE and not where I used to live, and that we had little storm damage and kept the power on. So many are so much worse off than I am, that, in perspective, these irritants are just that — irritants. They are something that I can,ultimately, not let happen again. But you can’t control a hurricane.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Scheduled to post — so it must be still dark!

It’s been a challenging few days, to say the least. By Sunday night, I was completely overwhelmed. I’m packing and packing and packing and packing and PACKING and it doesn’t look like anything is getting done. I painted the window sills. They look better, but need a couple more coats.

Got the car loaded up early on Monday and headed back to the house. Driving through SNOW. Yes, the radio chattered chipperly about “light snow showers” — let me tell you, where we were driving, the snowplows were on the road, and it was SERIOUS. Not fun driving, to say the least. I was having fits because I have a perfectly good snow shovel in storage in NY — which doesn’t do me any good on the cape.

Fortunately, it was raining, not snowing on the Cape, so it was all good. Unloaded, unpacked, had a nice restful lunch. I baked an apple galette in the afternoon (we’d bought a big bag of apples and hadn’t had the chance to use them yet). I made up the recipe, and it turned out quite well, if I say so myself! It was a raw, blustery day, very good to stay inside a cosy house baking and reading, which is what we did. I had the stuff with me for Confidential Job #1 and got some good work done on it.

Had an easy pizza for dinner, some nice wine, read some more. Went to bed early. It was a nice, restful afternoon, and much needed.

Definitely ready for the furniture to get up there, though; camping out is losing its luster.

And, of course, no word on delivery on the split box spring from Sleepy’s. Am I surprised? No. Each day that passes just convinces me not to do business with them again. Everything they’re doing is legal — but it’s not, in my opinion, good customer service. They’re no LL Bean, that’s for sure! 😉

Woke up very early, thinking about the garden, on Tuesday morning. Since I’m renting, I don’t want to put too much inground, but I want it to be very distinctive, very much US, and show that, although we may not have a lot of knowledge, we have a lot of love.

And, of course, there will be lots of herbs!

The still room looks great — I have most of my herbs in place, and the oils will go up today.

Yoga, meditation, even had a couple of hours to read before heading back on Tuesday morning. Turns out the Westie who lives across the street also has a Scottie living in the house — saw them walking by this morning. If it wasn’t raining and I wasn’t still in my pajamas, I would have dashed out to play with them. The Hounds of the Baskervilles were reasonably quiet in the night.

We have dogs all around us — the cats will be the Queens, I am sure, of the neighborhood!

Stopped in Mystic on the way back. Got some great condiments at Franklin’s General Store — I fell for their Fudge, big time, it’s different but equally as good at the fudge in Sturbridge — and beach plum jelly, and a few other things. Looked in the garden store — I want to get a few statues in the spring. Picked up a few crystals and some amber oil at Mystical Elements.

Came back to the usual chaos and drama here — the noise, the dust, the harassment – off the charts. Un-effing-believable. No wonder the cats and I are all wrecks every minute we’re here.

Spent (wasted) the afternoon on the phone with this and that service. The renter’s policy we have won’t transfer to MA — Hartford Insurance, totally useless. Car insurance stays with AllState, because we liked them, and wanted to start renter’s insurance with them, too. The woman I spoke with initially was lovely and got the car stuff set up, and then tried to transfer me to someone licensed in MA to handle the homeowner’s who said she’d call me back and well, one knows how well that goes. IF she ever calls back, we’ll see what she offers; in the meantime, I’m looking elsewhere. Set up the new bundle account with Comcast — my only option on the Cape. Actually, they were very nice, offered me a decent deal, are coming to set up when I asked, I have my new landline phone number, pretty happy about it, great number. It’ll be weird not have the phone number that’s been the “Home” number since 1968, but it’s time.

Cablevision was its usual nightmare. I have to TAKE back my box, router, etc. and the damned place is only open 4 hours a day! They can bite me — their customer service just gets worse and worse. They owe me over $300 and now they’re telling me I will owe them a balance? We’ll see what the BBB and the Attorney General has to say about that. I’ll be glad to be rid of them. And to think, when I first started with them, they were awesome. They grew too fast and stopped giving a damn.

Paid some bills, went back to packing like a madwoman, because this morning, it’s another carload up to the house, an afternoon of errands, and, if the weather permits, raking.

M-Day in 8 days. Can’t wait.

I dread driving up –we won’t be able to leave NY until after dark, with screaming cats and a full car — so it’ll be around 10:30 or 11 when we arrive. I don’t like driving at night, but I’ll just do the best I can. And let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

Busy weekend ahead — I have a job.

Onward and boxward, right?


Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 1:10 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010
Dark Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Still rainy out there, although we haven’t had flood warnings yet. The Health Dept. forced the scumbag landlords to give us heat. It’s erratic, it’s not on a “sensor” as they claim — they give a little heat at 6 AM, and then again, after 5 PM, when “everyone” is home.

The Ceremonies for the Dead are complete for another year. Next year, I’ll be able to do them all from the house, which should be a little smoother. I’ll have the room to really set up and leave it set up for the days. I’d love to do an elaborate Days of the Dead set up around the fireplace.

Finished packing the books (except the stray ones I’m sure I’ll find here and there. Packed magazines I’m taking up, and the set of filing cabinets in the bedroom, and the contents of a nightstand that, like my closet, leads all the way back to Narnia.

I’m going to concentrate on the rest of the living room today — pack a few hours this morning, then head to storage for a few hours to pack the stuff that strayed from its boxes over the years and wasn’t put back properly, then pack some more here. If I can finish the living room except for the CDs (which have to be gone through and cleaned individually because they are stored near the window and are filthy because of the dirt created by the “workmen”, I will be happy. It’s a lot, because it’s the stuff that scatters, hides in drawers and corners, and needs to be sorted as well as packed. The hallway is packed except for one box’s worth of soft goods, which maybe I’ll knock out, too.

I also have to go through boxes that have been stored for X amount of time and are going “as it” — they still need to be taped and marked. Everything in the apartment will be marked with contents and into which room it goes. A lot of the stuff from the storage unit will go into the basement, so I’m making signs for the different categories in which to stack stuff and taping them to the walls there. I’ll also have signs up in each room as to where the big furniture pieces go, and the designation of each room.

Tonight, we take sheets and pack up the clothes from the closets (still on hangers) in what will look like body bags made out of sheets. I think those will be easier to carry down the stairs, through the basement, up the stairs, and through the two parking lots to the car in the morning. We also have the two ceramic statues, a few left over mirrors, and a couple of other delicate things we will tuck in and around the clothes.

Really, the toughest part is packing the car — hauling everything down the stairs, through the basement, up the stairs, and through two parking lots. That’s the toughest on the body. But it’s getting done. We only have four more round trips until moving day, three of them back-to-back starting tomorrow. So the more I can get packed today, the better off we are. When I come back from a round trip, I’m exhausted, and it’s difficult to pack. But I figure every five or ten boxes is a victory, so my goal each night I return for a trip is at least five boxes, preferably ten.

And it’s especially important to pack and mark the current WIPs, because I intend to get back into the writing groove the first day after the movers have come and gone!

The cats stay nearby. They are upset. Once they are in the house, and explore, they will be much happier, but the tumult is tough on them, especially on Violet. Iris lets her do the worrying for both of them, and pretends nothing is happening, but even Iris is having to admit that something is going on.

I promise that, once this is all settled, I will catch up on all your blogs again and start commenting. Right now, I just can’t concentrate — the whole focus is getting this done, keeping my head screwed on straight so I don’t drop any balls, keep up with the work that’s paying the bills, and, of course, fighting the scumbag landlords who, although they want us out, are determined to make it as ugly, unpleasant, stressful, and expensive as possible.

I’m sure the Universe will come up with a much more poetical and intriguing way to getting things back in balance than I ever could. While I will hold my ground and not let them walk all over me, I will leave the details of the karmic return to the Universe.


Published in: on November 5, 2010 at 5:54 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Flood Watch (September 30)

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Tropical Storm NIcole

Like I have time for a flood/hurricane right now. Make an appointment, bitch! 😉

Unfortunately, I checked the brook at 7 AM and we are screwed. It’s got 4 feet before it floods, but that means it gained about 4-5 feet already overnight. I moved the car. I have to run an errand at 10 AM, and then I’ll probably move it up to the train station, which is the highest point in town. It’s not like Metro North is running properly anyway. And I’d rather risk a ticket than lose another car in a flood — especially my blue baby.

Busy day yesterday. Didn’t get anywhere near enough admin work done, or transfer crap from the PC the way I should have. Post office, bank, Trader Joe’s, PetSmart, storage, where, to my horror, I discovered I’ve used up the file boxes.

Back over to Staples (in the same complex as Pet Smart — bought 10 boxes. Used them all, just for “the good china”. WTF? I have that much good china? I’ll just have to have a Very Large Housewarming Party. I’m out of bubblewrap and almost out of tape, so I’ll be going back to Staples in a day or two. Thank goodness I stockpiled so much newspaper.

The cats are not amused by this AT ALL, and are making their feelings known.

Effing workmen nearly smashed my livingroom window AGAIN with their ropes. Local cops gave me a desk number to put on speed dial each time it happens, and they’ll just keep sending someone out. I’ve sent the landlords certified complaints about this and the illegal lease charges they’ve put in, and they ignore the documentation and simply keep charging. And send in more people to get physically aggressive. Thank goodness it’s only the City Council on their payroll and not the cops. The cops and the City Council are at odds right now because the City Council wants to union bust. Here, we have great cops and not enough of them, and the new Council treats them like crap AND wants to cut their pay. I’ve lived places with lousy police forces — I’m lucky to live somewhere that the cops are good and dedicated (and I grew up with most of them).

Packed up all the glassware and the cookbooks. You know I’m getting serious about things when I pack the cookbooks. Ran out of boxes, my friend stopped by with another stack, packed almost all of those. She can get the really good kind, that hold reams of paper, at work, so she’s stockpiling for me, and bringing them over whenever she can.

I’m boiling water and doing flood prep. I’ve got it down to a system by now. I’m hoping that, yet again, I’m overly cautious, but I’d rather be too prepared than unprepared.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

totem pole outside of the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild
Autumn Equinox

Yesterday’s jaunt to the city actually went well. Train was sorta on time, I got a seat, I wandered over to my first meeting, everything went better than expected, I wandered over to my second meeting further on the West Side, that went better than expected, and I got to hang out with a friend and colleague for awhile, catching up. He was my business rep on Broadway, and now he’s shifted over to handle the film and TV contracts, and just one of my favorite people, so it was nice to sit down for an hour or so and catch up.

It was a lovely, sunny fall day and I wandered back to Grand Central. The fall B’way shows are loading in, so I got to stop and say hi to about 110 of the crew guys I’ve worked with over the years on this show and that show, and catch up. Much as I adore them all, it made me realize even more that my life is no longer here. I’ve got years of wonderful memories, I hope B’way continues to thrive, and I need to be doing other things. May we all be happy and successful!

Got on the train at Grand Central, after climbing over a film crew. I’m surprised NYPD let anything film on the East side with all the stuff going on at the UN. Of course, the train didn’t work — two working trains in one day is more than Metro North can handle — so we all had to move to another train. But at least it was before we left the station.

I got home early in the afternoon, took care of some other business. I was worried that I wasn’t as sharp as I needed because of the migraine, but I seem to have held my own pretty well. And I was actually dealing with people and organizations who work WITH me rather than against me, which is a nice change.

The ducks are lining up nicely, and pretty soon, I’ll get them to quack in formation! 😉

I got about 30 floppies transferred to flash drives. It’s slow going, because I’m at the boxes of old material that has to be converted to RTF before I can transfer it, or I can’t open it on the Mac. Just keep going, a little bit every day, because a little bit still gets us further than doing nothing.

I want to repack a little bit for the Philly trip. I’m off to acupuncture today and then dinner with a friend.

The landlords sent me a threat via email right before the close of the business day yesterday. They always do that, so one can’t contact the appropriate agencies, hoping it will ruin one’s day. Um, no. All it did was piss me off. I responded with a very pointed letter cc’d to the appropriate agency individuals that will go out via certified mail. They don’t get to ignore the parts of the law they don’t like and make stuff up when they misinterpret what they do.

Watched some TV last night, hoping my migraine would go away. Excedrin Migraine no longer works, and none of the prescription stuff does, either. Interested to see where WAREHOUSE 13 goes next season. They set up some interesting possibilities. Glad to see that Eric Christian Olsen is now a regular on NCIS:LOS ANGELES. I like his work, and think he adds an interesting dynamic to the group. He makes some interesting, detailed choices in scenes that are so different from the other actors in the show, and they work so beautifully, both as an individual performance and in the larger, ensemble context. It’s sometimes tough to put that kind of detail in a procedural show and have it work.

Decent morning’s writing. Not brilliant, but decent. The piece is taking an interesting turn. It will be hell to revise due to the twists and turns it’s taking, and it will be an interesting challenge to make it all logical within the context of the fictional world, which is modern contemporary, a fictional town stuffed into a real region (me stretching geography again), but with its own odd personality.

Didn’t sleep well last night — odd dreams that might turn into a new script, and also the migraine pain. Thank goodness I’m going for acupuncture today.


Friday, September 17, 2010

The beautiful orchid sent in Elsa’s memory. Thank you, my friends!

Friday, September 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

Yesterday was a bizarre day. I wound up cleaning and scrubbing early in the morning, in preparation for the exterminator, who was supposed to show up around 10. He showed up around 1:30. Sigh. At least he showed up, step in the right direction. And they gave us heat for a full 20 minutes around lunchtime. Someone must be getting high in the office and playing with the switch, because they sure wouldn’t give us heat on a weekday on purpose!

So, in the morning, I did bits of this and that, not wanting to go too deeply into anything that couldn’t get interrupted.

I wound up cleaning out some of those little top drawer things in some of the bureaus. And some of them I hadn’t even opened since I was a kid. Very strange experience. I tossed a lot, packed a lot. My goodness, even as a little kid, I picked up rocks everywhere I went. I’m always picking up stones and rocks. I have rocks and stones in almost every box and drawer. Even then, when I didn’t know what I was doing, I knew what I was doing! 😉

And then I found a notebook given to me by my Dad. He died when I was ten. It had some pages of different ideas and things from him to me, and then something I wrote about two months after he died. Wow.

I found photographs, black and white, too, of my mom at Niagra Falls in the 1950s, of my dad, my grandmother, my dog (actually, I think I was his human, he came into the family before I did), and a little picture of what I think is me. I found a naughty gag gift someone made for me in high school — it was the late 70s, use your imagination — and some boy-crazy notes from someone I used to be friends with in middle school about her latest crush. And medals – Spelling Bee, Honor Society, Music This and That.

So I packed up my past and it’s ready to go.

After the exterminator came and left, I started washing teapots. They’ve been on top of the kitchen cabinets, and with all the construction crap going on here have gotten really dirty and sticky. I don’t want to pack them like that. So I soaked them and scrubbed them, and put them out to dry. What’s interesting is that the oldest, seemingly most fragile teapots — the Allerton and the Steubenware, given to me by my grandmother — were the easiest to clean, whereas the more modern “dishwasher safe” ones were a pain in the —-, and one of them, my snowman teapot, lost most of his red coloring, which means the ceramic teapot wasn’t properly painted and then glazed, but glazed and then some paint slapped over it. It’s still cute, it just has a lot more white.

I didn’t know I had 10 teapots here. I have a few more boxes of teapots in storage.

I really like teapots.

And I feel off kilter with them all packed.

Not that I use them that often — usually I just stick a bag in a mug and pour hot water over it. But I like having the option and looking at them.

Violet played in the teapots as they dried.

And the big excitement — the President’s helicopter (and its companion choppers) flew over the building! I heard approaching helicopters and thought, “Oh, no, must be a bad accident on I-95 for them to fly this low.” Then, I look out my third floor window and it’s the Presidential Chopper! And it’s REALLY cool! He was attending some to-do in Greenwich. I’d forgotten. At least he wasn’t on the ground tying up traffic, right? Anyway, the third floor is high enough and they flew low enough to get a good look and it was really cool. I’m rather fond of helicopters anyway.

We had big weather kerflamma. Wednesday night, the weather folk said, “Oh, we might have some showers during tomorrow’s rush hour” and suddenly we had tornadoes in Brookly and Queens. Up here, it got dark fast, with thunder, lightening, and lots of rain. The cats weren’t too worried, so neither was I. Well, Iris scooted under the bed after a loud thunderclap, but she came out pretty fast. And then they pre-empted the shows to run the same three clips over and over again all night. Give me a break!

Caught up with some old friends online, which was nice. We’re scattered all over the place.

Had a decent first writing session of the morning.

Violet is sneezing again, and it worries me. She seems fine otherwise — she’s eating and playing and all the rest. Of course, I’m coughing up a lung with all the brick dust, too. I’ve measured for the past few days. With the windows CLOSED, between 1/8th and 1/2 of an inch of dust comes through every single day. Yeah, that’s healthy. Not.

I’m having iPhoto kerflamma. I merged some batches of photos, and now I can’t find them. iPhoto sits there like a Zen whatever, saying that, yes they are there, and not telling me where they’re hidden. Guess I’ll be calling Apple Care when they open!

Best wishes to my dear friend Lori, who has surgery today.

Today, I’ve got some business to take care of in the morning, and then I’m going to a friend’s to do laundry. I’ve got to polish those lectures tonight and tomorrow for next week. And maybe start washing and packing the vases.


teapot extravaganza

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

They actually gave us heat for an hour or so yesterday morning. They must have been testing the system, because we haven’t had heat on a weekday after 9 AM since the last snowstorm.

Yesterday was busy. Some was good, some not so good. The nosy, gossipy neighbor stopped me to ask how I was. I told her Elsa died, and she said, “I know. That’s good.” My jaw just dropped. I thought maybe she mis-heard me or just wasn’t listening, but she went on, “Well, she was getting to be more trouble than she was worth, wasn’t she?”

I looked at her for a minute, said, “I sincerely hope no one ever feels that way about you,” and walked away.

I was just stunned. There are very few people I’m going to miss from this town.

Drove to Stamford. Ducked in at Borders, where I found a tarot deck remaindered for $3.99., down from about $30. It was one I don’t have, so, of course, I scooped it up. I got home to find that it has two Queen of Wands and no King, which is probably why this run was remaindered. It’s fine with me — the deck is beautiful, and I simply know that if I use it, I will never get the answer that a cycle of identity is complete! 😉

Went to the farmer’s market beside Border’s. Stocked up on some lovely, lovely vegetables. Had lunch with a friend whose lovely little dog has lost her hearing, and is having a hard time adjusting (the dog). Worked with the dog a little — she’s an affectionate little thing.

Iris and Violet argued most of the morning, but had retreated to their corners by the time I came home. I worked on the materials for Confidential Job #1 in the afternoon, and they approached, sat in front of me, and just stared at me, which made it hard to concentrate. But at least they weren’t fighting.

So I found out why the sound of crickets is so prevalent in the workshop. No one’s bothered to read the damn book. Doesn’t matter that it’s the ONE thing I said in the registration information was a prerequisite, and emphasized in the Welcome message that if you don’t read the book before the class starts, the lectures won’t make any sense. How disrespectful can you get? There’s not even any homework. You sit down for one afternoon and read a book. It’s not that hard. One student admitted to not even picking up the book yet. It’s damn Thursday. The class ends Sunday. Whatever. It’s certainly not going to change the course of the Universe, and if they can’t be bothered to read the material, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m disappointed, because I was looking forward to a week of lively discussion, and I put a lot of time and effort into the lectures, but hey, I still get paid, so let them do whatever they want.

Finished reading the material for Confidential Job #1, and will do the write-up today, and probably get it off tomorrow. If they can send me the next assignment before I leave for Philly next week, I can work on it there.

Didn’t do enough sorting and purging yesterday, so I have to make up for it today. The exterminator is supposed to show up — let’s see if he bothers.

I roasted a chicken, using a recipe from FOOD AND WINE as the inspiration, and then changing stuff. It came out very well, and along with green beans and potatoes from the farmer’s market — wow. What a difference in flavor getting everything from the farmer’s market makes.

And can I just say I want to try about 80% of the recipes in the October issue of FOOD AND WINE? One of their best issues ever.

Am also rearranging some of the exercises for the Muse classes I’m teaching (can’t have returning students get complacent) and polishing the lectures for next week’s deconstruction of the film THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Part of me says why bother, the students probably can’t be bothered to watch it before class, but I need to meet my own criteria and set my own bar. I learn a lot from setting up the lectures, so at least it’s not a waste of time.

Handled the situation of the disgusting corporation trying to take advantage of my mom (again). Yes, I got what I wanted. Got out the quarterly taxes. Have to file a bunch of stuff that got scattered all over the apartment in preparation.

Hopefully, my friend is going to drop off more boxes this week — I need them! and Bed, Bath & Beyond has some stuff that would be quite useful — on sale. Hmm, may have to wander over.

Decent first writing session of the morning. Hopefully, I can get another one at some point during the day. Better jump in the shower and then mop the floors and wipe the counters — the one time I’m not ready early for the exterminator will be the one day he’s here early.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One of my last pictures of Violet and Elsa

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto DIRECT today
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and humid

Pluto goes direct today; not sure how I feel about that. Secrets are revealed when Pluto is direct, and since I don’t really have any, it was secrets revealed TO ME, which is useful in the situation.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read Colin Galbraith’s great essay on how he found a way to keep increasing sales for FRINGE FANTASTIC over the years. Thanks, Colin!

The landlord has started to strike back, at at least one of the other tenants who’s also standing up to him (no thanks to the “leader” of the Tenant Org.). Another tenant is too afraid to make a fuss and just doing whatever they say. This is the tenant who, if I don’t actually do everything and take the consequences of everything FOR her, she won’t do anything. And I’m not a relative, and I don’t have legal authority to act on her behalf. AND I think she needs to take responsibility for her own life. I gave her all the tools — she has to be the one to put her signature on the documents. I’m not going to sign on her behalf and then have her claim I’m the one who broke the law. Can’t wait to see what they come up with for us (yes, that’s sarcasm). And the Buildings Dept. couldn’t be bothered to answer the phone yesterday, because, gee, that might mean someone had to get off a fat lazy ass or interrupt a personal phone conversation to do the job he or she was paid to do. And we can’t let that happen! (yes, more sarcasm).

On the up side, I got out a pitch late night, thanks to a Tweet someone forwarded me, the workshop is going well, and I got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, which means I can invoice them as soon as I’m done.

The cats are grieving, and every time Violet sneezes, I have a nervous breakdown, because Elsa’s illness first manifested as a respiratory infection.

Not much writing done this morning– I have an appointment early in the morning, and then it’s back to the workshop and prepping for next week’s. And I’ve got some more sorting and purging, and go kick some corporate ass — they are trying to screw my elderly mother — AGAIN.

Things were supposed to get BETTER when Mercury went direct!


Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 6:35 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Saturday, September 11, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant
9th Anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001

The hardest part of adjusting to life without Elsa is late night/early morning. As soon as the lights went out, she would climb into the bed and snuggle. It was great in the winter — a purry hot water bottle! And she’d wake me up in the mornings (often earlier than I’d like) purring.

The other two cats are definitely grieving. I’m trying to help them as much as I can, but they are desolate. Elsa was the sunshine in all our lives. Wandering Author, you are absolutely right.

I woke up far too early yesterday, tried to keep to the morning routine, yoga, writing, etc. Got everyone fed. Ran a few errands. The self-styled head of the Tenants’ Organization tried to stop and talk to me; I was pleasant and keep going. I have nothing to say to him. He has not been helpful at all. One of the head A-holes was on the property and tried to intimidate me, so I just stood there and stared at him, completely impassive, thinking, “Go ahead. Give me an excuse to bring in the cops.” He backed down.

I blew right through the workmen’s barriers (they were supposed to reopen that particular walkway last week), suitcase and all, on my way to the train. They all just stood there, mouths open, staring at me. No one challenged me, which meant I had no excuse to flip them the bird as I passed! 😉

Then, on the train, someone else from the landlord’s entourage was in my car! I minded my own business, and I could tell he wanted to talk to me, but didn’t dare. Hey, if he grew a pair, he’d have to work for someone else. I wasn’t about to instigate anything,but if they did, I was ready to bring it.

I got my wish and we actually came in on an upper track at Grand Central, much easier for maneuvering my luggage. Walked over to Penn, where I found complete and utter MegaBus chaos. It was well after 11 AM and the 10:45 (not to mention a slew of other busses) hadn’t even arrived, much less departed. There were no designated lines for different busses, and hundreds of people just milled around, not getting information. Megabus was great when they first started, and they’ve seriously gone downhill in the past few months. My trip in 2 weeks is booked on them (non-refundable), but after that, I will try some of the other companies that run this route.

The 10:45 and 11:45 busses arrived around noon. They just crammed people on the first bus. I waited, because hey, two busses were there, we were all going to get on. One woman beside me said, “I’m getting on that 10:45. I’m not waiting until they load the second bus” and elbowed past. Goody for her.

When they opened the second bus, they had it parked so one couldn’t load luggage, so I just hauled my suitcase up and to my regular seat. There turned out to be only about 15 of us on the bus, so it wasn’t a problem. We got on the road around 11:20, just over a half hour late, but still better than those poor 10:45‘ers.

And we passed their broken-down bus on the NJ Turnpike later on. So much for the woman who elbowed her way on the bus!

I just put on my music, read my book — but couldn’t say I absorbed a word — and sat back for the ride. We hit some traffic, but it wasn’t too bad, and I finally got to the apartment around 3. Considering I left at 9:30 in the morning, and Philly is only 2 hours from NY — typical Mercury Retrograde.

There were a bunch of British teens on the bus, and one of them was upset when we entered Philadelphia because he wanted to know where the cows were. For some reason, he thought cows still roamed the streets of Philly, and didn’t expect a big city. He thought Amish country was IN Philadelphia, not a couple of hours away. No, sweetie, Philly is/was Quaker, not Amish, and this isn’t Cornwall, the cows stay in their fields most of the time. (I have photos of driving behind herds of cows in Cornwall). At first I thought he was trying to be funny, but he was serious. And I thought the American education system was broken!

Dumped my stuff, went to pick up coffee and a fruit/oat bar, and got Chinese food. Ate (hey, I had breakfast at 7 in the morning and no lunch), watched some TV, couldn’t concentrate on anything, went to bed early.

Got a phone call from home that a Very Big Box arrived from the Smithsonian with a Very Beautiful Orchid in Elsa’s memory and in her favorite colors. Thank you so much! And I’m keeping the Very Big Box so I can safely move the Very Beautiful Orchid when the time comes.

After a night filled with weird dreams, the bedside alarm went off at 4 AM (not mine). Not happy. Slammed it off, but couldn’t go back to sleep, so got up, did my yoga, did some meditation, wrote a few pages, then fell asleep on the couch, had more weird dreams, and woke up a little after 7, totally disoriented. Ate, read the paper, showered, wrote some more.

The plan today is to work on lectures and scripts. I’m going out to lunch, but that’s it. I need to have a quiet weekend. I’m doing a 9/11 ceremony later today, too, but mainly keeping quiet.

I head back to NY in the morning tomorrow — hopefully it will be an easier trip. Monday starts the first deconstruction workshop, the fantasy romance. I hope you join me. It’ll be a fun week.

Again, thanks for all your love and support during a difficult time.


First Willowspring Grove novel (handwritten first draft): 48,000 words out of est. 100,000 (48%)

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 8:25 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot, cloudy, humid

Honestly, I can’t remember much of yesterday. I know I didn’t get as much work done as I wanted (same old refrain) because I can’t concentrate on anything except the need to get out of here. For some reason, the “workmen” packed up and left at 1 PM — left their stuff, but packed it the way they do for weekends. I wonder if it’s got something to do with the expected hurricane or if someone somewhere acted on my complaint. Or if our landlord didn’t pay them, which wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’m sure management will blame me, no matter what.

I’m frustrated with some of the other tenants. I’d done some research, shared information with them that could help us — which the head of the Tenants’ Organization should have been on top of, not me. I explained what the information means a half a dozen times, and I’m still getting the “how can they do this? what’s going on? What does this mean?” When I’ve TOLD them over and over and over and over again, provided link, provided background research. I am NOT doing their work for them. I am not the Representative here. They have all the resources. Now they have to APPLY it as individuals, not expect me to do so. It’s like talking to wallpaper. I am the only one, since the problems with the landlords and Evil Developers started, who has EVER taken time off from work to deal with this. We’d have all been out on the street four years ago otherwise. And they still are passive and stupid and whiny. When I have spent two and a half hours with someone going over the paperwork point-by-point DO NOT call me and act like you’ve never seen any of this before. Unacceptable.

The sooner I get out of here and away from them, the better. I’m not giving any of them a forwarding address! That sounds mean, but I’m sick of the passive bullshit. If you want me to do the work, you better be paying me and paying me well. So far, only one person has offered anything along those lines for me — a fellow freelancer who understands that time is money.

I fully expect the landlords to try the eviction notice ploy — they do that to every tenant who fights back, and, as long as the tenant has paid rent regularly (which I have), the judge throws it out. It’s yet another harassment tactic. Fortunately, there’s a form for that.

Yeah, this place is sucking the life out of me. Can’t wait to get out.

Sorted and purged a bunch of stuff. Did some research on a project. Am trying to get the financial ducks in a row. Took care of Elsa. I still have to hand feed her every 1-2 hours (“Two spoons, Elsa, come on, two spoons” is now the refrain here, and every time Elsa sees a teaspoon, she thinks it’s all about her), but she’s slowly eating a little better every day, and she’s fairly alert. We were all pretty languorous when the mid 90’s heat and humidity kicked in, but she’s hanging in there.

I’m anxious and jumpy and paranoid all the time at this point — every time one hears footsteps, one wonders, “What fresh hell do the landlords have in store for us?” and every time footsteps pound up and down the fire escape, I’m ready for a nervous breakdown. This is not the way I want to live my life.

Thank goodness for the yoga mat. At least I can grab an hour or so of solace here and there on the mat. It’s saving what’s left of my sanity.

Decent, but not brilliant writing session on the Willowspring Grove novel. As I mentioned before, I worked out the character arcs for the whole series, but I’m letting each book shape itself. What’s interesting here is that my original vision for the book was about loss, and yet the book is more about warmth and community and hope. I like the direction it’s taking. I’m trusting in my characters.

Back to the work on Confidential Job #1, a script assignment, and polishing my lectures.


Note: As soon as I posted this, I remembered what I did most of the day: feng shui. I don’t want the purging and sorting and packing to interfere with the energy to get the hell out of Dodge – I want it support that energy.

First Willowspring Grove novel (Handwritten first draft): 38,750 words out of est. 100,000 (38.75%)

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 6:13 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mask made in July pottery workshop

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and muggy

Yesterday was a lot of fun. We were out the door early and drove up to Chicopee, MA. I expected Chicopee to be some cute, rural little town. But Chicopee (which, according to the city’s history page, means “river of elms”) dates back to the 1600’s, is much more industrial than I expected (one of their mottos is “Industriae Variae”), including things like bronze and bicycles. Anyway, if you want to read an excellent article on the city’s history in the historian’s words, rather than me telling you ABOUT what this guy says oh, so well, the link is here.

We visited Herbarium, which is a lovely store, and I stocked up on some herbs, oils, and incenses. Very good quality, very nice staff, and I can place online orders in the future.

After that little jaunt, we went round and round to find the Mass Pike (because, like the East Vassalboro, ME story goes, “You can’t get there from here”). Well, you can, but you have to go in circles a few times, because the signs are only in one direction, so you have to go back the way you came, get off the road, cross over it, go back towards the place you’re leaving, and then you find the exit. We finally found the Pike and only headed a couple of exits east (all of 45 cents on the toll road) to Sturbridge.

Ever since Earth Spirits closed, I’ve been looking for the garden center that is supposed to carry a wonderful assortment of herbs and some oils. I think they closed two or three years ago, and I’ve been looking for the center ever since. They’ve got a website. I got the directions the night before the travel. We followed the directions.

Can’t find it.

When I follow the directions, there’s empty space. Fields. Not fields belonging to a garden center, just fields. It doesn’t make sense.

Sort of like when I looked for the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, and, to me, they remained lost.

Instead, we went to the stores at Old Sturbridge Village, which are lovely. The Redware pottery is particularly interesting. I didn’t buy much — some mustard and some fudge — but it’s a place to which I’ll go back, especially in the spring, to stock up on heirloom seeds. Their seeds are supposed to grow exceptionally well.

Then, it was off to the Publick House, where I hadn’t been for a few years. It’s a lovely place, and maybe one day, I’ll get to treat myself to staying there for a couple of nights. As it was, we had an outstanding lunch — terrific wine, I had one of the best chicken pot pies ever. I overate, though, and thought they’d have to winch me out of chair so I could waddle back to the car.

Then, we took Rt. 20 E to Rt. 56 to Rt. 12 to Oxford, MA. I had forgotten that Clara Barton, one of my childhood heroines, was born there. I wasn’t in the mood to visit the site, but passed the plaque (and didn’t stop to read it — note this day in history, I usually stop to read EVERY plaque).

We went to Generations, which is a beautiful, beautiful store with oh, so many things I could have spent money on. But I showed some restraint — more incense, more stones, and some oils. They had some gorgeous jewelry and some gorgeous pottery, which I will save for the next trip.

Back over to Sturbridge, hopped I-84, and headed back home, getting home a little before 5.

Nice day, in spite of the weather, and quiet night, much needed. Elsa is not doing well, but she is hanging in there, and I hope tomorrow’s treatment will help a lot.

The blowback from the filings against the landlord will start any minute (thankfully, I am not the only person filing, for once), and they will be ugly, so I’m trying to prepare, both mentally and physically.

Got a little bit of writing done, but not much, this morning. Will try to remedy that, and get back on track. Have to run some errands this morning, and, this afternoon, will help a neighbor with something.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Small stoneware pinched pot that I made in the July workshop. It’s supposed to look rather like something one finds in an archeological dig!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
It may still be raining

I’m scheduling this to post, because, if all goes as planned, I’ll be on the road to take care of some stuff by the time you all wake up to read this.

Yesterday wound up being a mostly scumbag-workman-free day, due to the weather. But I spent almost the entire day filing paperwork against the landlords, so I was both exhausted and suffering from a raging migraine by the end of it.

It was not a good day for writing or getting much of anything else done.

Elsa improved a bit in the quiet, which was great. She’s such a sweetheart.

I’ve secured the place as best I can. I hope it will rain too much for them to work, but not enough — or that I can outrun the rain enough — so I can get done out of town what I need to get done.

Hopefully, I’ll have all kinds of amusing anecdotes to relate to you tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!


Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 1:24 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

August 23, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

We had some much-needed rain yesterday, and I hope it continues to rain all day today so those bastards can’t torment us again. Most of my day will be spent filing the appropriate paperwork against them. Some things have to be notarized, everything has to go via certified mail, etc. I hate losing the writing time, but the landlords count on people not “having the time” to do the proper filing, and then continuing to strong-arm us. And heaven forbid that the head of the Tenants’ Organization does his job and do anything for any of us unless there’s a camera or a reporter around.

Not much writing done over the weekend. I felt like crap, battling a migraine, which still lingers. Went to my friend’s on Saturday afternoon to hang out and do laundry.

Elsa had a very bad day yesterday, which worried me. She’s a little better today, but not eating much again. She has another Reiki treatment on Thursday.

Most of the work I got done was on the Willowspring Grove book. I have to get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY this week and do some serious work on it. I’m behind where I want and need to be on it. But it’s really hard to concentrate when your home is un-secure (as opposed to insecure) and threatened.

Well, the rat bastards are below my window again. I guess they’re going to torment us, even in the rain. Trust me, you don’t want to know what I wish on them, even though, I guess, ethically it’s “wrong”.

I’m going to go cry in the shower for awhile before I gear up to get back into the fight.


Willowspring Grove Novel #1 –(First draft, handwritten): 30,000 words out of est. 100,000 (30%).

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 6:26 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: ,