Thurs. March 24: Digging into the Creative Work

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Waning Moon

Rain/sleet/snow

Wacky weather this morning. It keeps switching from rain to sleet to snow and circling back through. The grass and rooftops have a glaze of white, while the streets are shiny and wet.

There’s a longer than usual post up on Gratitude and Growth, because I was very busy with soil and seeds this week. And here is the corrected link for Ink-Dipped Advice.

After returning from the laundromat yesterday, I sat down and started the second draft of CAST IRON MURDER. I rewrote the first three chapters and printed them out. Of course, I found errors when I read them over to update the tracking sheets that will become the Series Bible. But it’s a good start.

I used that momentum to do a bit of work on THE KRINGLE CALAMITY. I thought I’d written 50 pages on it. I wrote 5. I guess what I remember is the outline I wrote. So I have to get back on the stick with that.

I did a little work on The Big Project, but nowhere near enough.

Still, it was a solid, creative morning, and for that I was grateful.

I did some admin in the afternoon. I was delighted that the cat grass seeds arrived. I think this time, I’ve ordered enough to get us through the summer.

Moved seedlings back and forth from the porch as needed. I took the laptop out on the porch and did script coverage out there, because it was so pleasant. Pleasant surroundings mean a higher quality of work.

I signed up for the Dramatists Guild’s End of Play event in April. The last thing I need is to add another deadline to my plate. However, this is when the opportunity came up, and I don’t want to pass on an opportunity to work in company with other playwrights via the Dramatists Guild. I have no idea what I will write yet; be it a stage play or a radio play. I could write the next Kate Warne play; If I read the research material on Squire and Marie Bancroft between now and April 1, I could write that play (which I’d hoped to write for 365 Women this year). Or I might write something completely different. I wasn’t planning any playwrighting in April, so I need to adjust my mindset.

Again, as with Nano, I already know I can write a play in a month. I do so regularly. But this broadens my network of colleagues, and makes me sit down and write it. Whatever “it” will turn out to be.

I still have to balance The Big Project, the rewrite of CAST IRON MURDER, the draft of THE KRINGLE CALAMITY, the research for the retro mystery, and the first draft of the anthology story. Along with the client and script work that’s paying the bills.

It should make for an interesting April. I will have to be ruthless and brutal about protecting my time. Fortunately, that’s easier as a remote worker.

I also have to get my initial grant materials out early next week. The grant application and my taxes need to be my primary focus this weekend.

I spent some time trying to learn a graphics program last night. I know how to create the visuals, but I have trouble understanding how to use the program. The way it’s set up doesn’t make any sense to me.

Tessa let me sleep until a quarter to six this morning, which is a luxury.

I wrote two sections on The Big Project this morning, and now have to update my tracking sheets.

Meditation was great. This morning, I will revise the next section of CAST IRON MURDER, write a book review, enter some contest scores, and work on some information for the shared world anthology. In the afternoon, script coverage and client work. I need to do a grocery run, but will probably leave it until tomorrow.

Have a lovely day!

Published in: on March 24, 2022 at 8:09 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 24: Digging into the Creative Work  
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Thurs. Feb. 10, 2022: Flexibility is Key

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Thursday, February 10, 2022

Waxing Moon

Snowy and cold

It snowed unexpectedly overnight, so I guess I’m not walking to the grocery store today! Well, that’s why I freelance and work remote, so there’s the capacity for flexibility. Good thing I ordered in extra Chinese food yesterday!

There’s a post about the first seeds that arrived and my plans for them over on Gratitude and Growth.

I cut myself a break yesterday. I got some blogging done in the morning. I stomped to the library – it was more like skating without the right equipment, because the sidewalks are so bad – to drop off/pick up books.

I made a detour to the college library, because a book I was going to pull through Commonwealth Catalogue is supposedly at the college library, and I figured I’d save us all some paperwork and having it move through the system by walking across the street. Only that book is missing from the library, and because I have a Community Card rather than a college card, they can’t get it for me. So I have to pull it through Commonwealth Catalogue anyway.

Tried to find the college bookstore and couldn’t, which was frustrating. I kept following the map directions and ending up in the Athletic Department. They are supposed to be in the same building, but I couldn’t find a hallway or doorway to elevator or anything to get me there.

In the afternoon, I read and wrote up a script, then gave myself the rest of the day off.

I noodled with some outline notes. I need to spend some serious time over the weekend on Scrivener. I’ve picked two projects to use as learning tools to figure out how to navigate my way around. Neither are on hard deadline, so I can relax and take my time with them. They are all projects For the Future.

Finished reading THE MALTESE MANUSCRIPT and read DEATH WITHOUT TENURE. I really like this series.

Started reading a book by a new-to-me author, and am not sure about it yet.

Charlotte didn’t sleep on the bed last night, and she and Tessa came to wake me up at 5:30, which is just perfect. Of course, reading academic mysteries, I dreamed about research in a library all night, and felt like I’d put in a full day by the time I woke up.

Since I’m not going grocery shopping today (can’t maneuver the cart over the snow and ice until they plow), I can use that time to write, after meditation.

The conference needs a new bio, and they are going to be the first people to get the news of The Big Project (which should be available by the time the conference starts).

I have a lot of email, admin work, and correspondence to do today and tomorrow, so I want to get a handle on that. I have one more script I have to cover today, and then I’ll grab one for tomorrow. I also need to read the book for review and get back to contest entries.

The situation with the car weighs heavily on me, but all I can do is the best I can do.

Have a good one!

Tues. Feb. 8, 2022: Fingers Crossed For the Car

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Waxing Moon

Cloudy and cold

It was a scattered weekend, although I spent most of it at home. Local authorities were worried enough about the ice storm that on Friday, the college campus, the public library, city hall, etc,, were all closed. It kept moving from freezing rain to sleet to snow to sleet to freezing rain and back again all day. Not much accumulation, but treacherous.

I finished the second radio play, give both a good polish, and got them out the door. I received a very nice acknowledgement from the producer, so I’ll know something in a few weeks.

My reward was to buy Scrivener (using the discount coupon I’d earned by finishing Nano). Purchase went through, and I got a complicated, two-page email about how to install it. When not even the first step of downloading it worked. I kept getting a message that it couldn’t be downloaded securely.

I was ready to ask for my money back and to hell with Scrivener.

But two writing friends made a suggestion to download the trial version (which is the full version) and then, when I opened it, enter the license number and I’d be all set.

Which worked.

So why sent the more complicated instructions with a broken link?

By the time support had gotten back to me, it was, at least installed. I have to block off time to learn how to use it, because I hear it takes a while. And since software is a foreign language to me, it takes me longer than most people. Although, a few years ago when I looked at it, it was basically Mac’s Pages on steroids, and I had Pages, so I didn’t bother. But Apple has steadily stripped all the stuff I liked best from Pages, and hopefully Scrivener hasn’t. Plus I’m on PC now, and so unhappy with Word.

Wrote up a script coverage, read another script.

I meant to write up the second script coverage, but got sidelined into a discussion on a collaborative project, and then another work-related thing came up. I missed the live stream of my friend’s play, which I was sad about. But I had to stop everything and create something that was needed within a couple of hours, instead of by the beginning of the week, as I’d initially thought.

By the time it was all done and out the door, I was so exhausted, I couldn’t write up the coverage as well as it deserved to be written, so I put it off until Saturday morning.

The cats let me sleep until nearly 6:30 on Saturday morning. It snowed lightly on and off all day.

I finished reading THE SPIRIT IN QUESTION by Cynthia Kuhn (love this series).

Dealt with some stuff on the collaborative project.

Worked on script coverage.

Which meant the time I’d blocked off for Scrivener tutorials was eaten up by script coverage.

The Goddess Provisions box arrived, which was great, except it was a different mail carrier. Instead of dropping the box at the door because it’s too big to fit in the community mail slots at the curb, he shoved it in from his side of the box, which is wider than the side where residents remove the mail.

Which means I couldn’t get the box out.

I had to come upstairs, get a pair of kitchen shears, go back down, cut it open, take everything out and dismantle the cardboard box while it was still in the mail slot. In 8-degree weather without gloves, because I couldn’t maneuver in gloves.

Not a happy camper.

Anyway, the stuff in the box was good.

The first seed order arrived; I’ll talk more about that in Thursday’s Gratitude and Growth post.

Finished reading the Cynthia Kuhn books I had, and started re-reading Joanne Dobson’s Karen Pelletier series, which I love, starting with QUIETER THAN SLEEP.

Slept in on Sunday morning. Can you imagine? The cats let me sleep until nearly a quarter to seven. Finished QUIETER THAN SLEEP and started THE NORTHBURY PAPERS, which is one of my favorites.

Stopped to do some script coverage, and also start reading the Scrivener manual. It will take a few weeks of poking around to feel comfortable, I’m sure.

Did a little brainstorming on the anthology, but I need to spend less time on that, until we have more information about deadlines and structure, and things. I turned in the material that was needed up until this point, so once we get more information on the overall structure, and start working with deadlines and word counts, I can get back to it. I’m still making my own notes, reading everyone else’s brainstorming, and seeing if/how that affects my piece.

I got one of the rudest rejection notes I’ve ever seen for a short story I submitted last week. Wow. It’s fine not to want a piece, but no need to be rude. I’ve made a note in my submission log, so that I don’t submit anything to them in the future.

Had to get my mom a new phone, because TracFone is being such a dick. Decided I’d buy her an inexpensive smartphone through them, and then, if we decided to change providers a few months down, when the car is fixed, it’s not icy, and we can actually get somewhere, we would. Put the order through, and they stepped up and she is getting it for free. Now why didn’t they just say so at the beginning? That the phones are all listed with a price (even though the offer is a free phone), but when you actually put through the order, it goes through as free?

Anyway, she should have it within three days.

My 97-year-old mother is getting a smart phone. She doesn’t want one, but that’s the only choice she had.

Worked on script coverage; wrote up a coverage, read two more scripts, started one of the coverages. Since I’m taking the car in today, I didn’t want anything due today or too early tomorrow.

Went to bed early on Sunday night. Charlotte woke me up at 1:30, then again at 3:30. Tessa was so happy I was awake that I moved to the couch and fell asleep again, oversleeping, and waking up with a migraine. Weird dreams the whole way through. Not bad ones, not stress dreams, just weird ones.

Got the list of grant possibilities out that I’d promised to a colleague.

Slogged through some emails. Wrote up a script coverage and got it out the door. Bundled up and headed to the library to drop off/pick up books. Mailed some bills. Picked up some wine. Grabbed some fast food to bring home for lunch (brought an insulated bag). Grabbed a few things from Cumberland Farms.

Got back just before it started snowing again.

Poked around Scrivener some more. I have to pick a project not on deadline to use to get familiar with it.

Wrote up another script coverage.

The fast food was good to eat in the moment, but I felt lousy afterwards, so we had fried eggs sandwiches (the old college standby) for dinner.

Finished THE NORTHBURY PAPERS and started RAVEN AND NIGHTINGALE. I love this series. I’m so glad I’m re-reading it.

Stayed up way too late reading, but it was fun.

Charlotte woke me at 4, but I rolled over and went back to sleep until Tessa woke me at 6. Fed them, yoga, writing, reading, the usual morning routine.

I have to figure out how to get the car out of the ice the plow put up against it. I have the morning to dig out, and then hopefully the car will start, and I can get it to the mechanic. They’re going to do an hour and a half diagnostic this afternoon, and hopefully, I can afford the repair. Step by step, right?

I’m taking a bunch of work with me: reading, writing, editing, including the Kindle holding the next book for review. I want to finish it before I start downloading the digital contest entries I need to read. And I want to do a readthrough of the first draft of CAST IRON MURDER, to see where I need to go in the second draft, and to support what’s going on in THE KRINGLE CALAMITY.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I can get back to work on The Big Project. I’m waaay behind where I need to be on that, and I need to catch up.

I have a script coverage to finish this morning before I go to the mechanic. I have two scripts to read (one for which I was requested), but they aren’t due for a couple of days. I can choose to read or not read tonight when I get back, depending on how wiped out I am after the ordeal at the mechanic’s. Hold a good thought for me.

Thurs. Feb. 3, 2022: The Rain Before Snow

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Thursday, February 3, 2022

Waxing Moon

Mercury Direct

Rainy and mild

Today is the rain before the next snowstorm comes in, so I’ll have a chance to dig out the car, since the big snow pile behind it is melting.

There’s a post on Gratitude and Growth about the seed order, and a post on Ink-Dipped Advice about talking about money early in the hiring process.

Yesterday was a rather quiet day. A little frustrating, as I didn’t finish the radio plays as I’d hoped, so that’s the priority for this morning.

I slogged through a bunch of email, got some blogging done, stomped up to the library to drop off and pick up stacks of books. Most of the sidewalks were okay, but some were still bad. And this attitude of shoveling to the property line and leaving the snow mound at the line on the sidewalk irks me. The sidewalk should be clear all the way through.

Finished reading Cynthia Kuhn’s THE ART OF VANISHING. Wow. I usually get ahead of plot twists, but this one kept surprising me. I absolutely love this series. I love the literary conversations between the characters, too.

Started reading THE CHRISTIE AFFAIR, which is interesting and very different, in style and tone, from what I’ve been reading lately.

Put in the order for the Kitchen Garden seeds. I didn’t order much. They were out of both the globe thistle and the grey poppy.

Read two scripts, which I will write up today.

Spent a couple of hours on Discord, brainstorming the Monster Anthology with the other writers. I don’t want to give away too many details, but I’ve created a Playhouse as the backdrop for my characters, and it’s a space that can be used in other stories, as well as mine, so I’ve promised to draw up a floor plan and create some details about the space.

Tessa got me up at 4 again, I moved to the couch, fell asleep again, and got up around 6:30, which set me back for the day.

Meditation was great; Charlotte participated.

I have some bills to pay, and more documentation on the complaint I’ve filed against TracFone to submit, and then it’s back to the radio plays and The Big Project. I have to get the script coverage done and read two more scripts tonight, but I also want to work on the floor plan for the playhouse.

Lots of fun stuff in the hopper!

And Mercury turns direct today, thank goodness. I might even get to buy Scrivener tomorrow.

Have a good one.

Published in: on February 3, 2022 at 9:34 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 3, 2022: The Rain Before Snow  
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Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Waxing Moon

Flurries/rain mix/cold

If you love encyclopedias as much as I do, or wonder WHY anyone would love an encyclopedia, I have a post about that up over on A Biblio Paradise.

It feels weird to have no retrogrades, but that will end on Saturday. Mercury goes into retrograde, and I’m not looking forward to it. I always dread it, but there’s so much that needs to get done; losing three weeks to a complicated retrograde is worrisome.

I would prefer to stay under the covers for the duration, but that is not an option. So I will shut up as much as possible and keep working on purging the basement.

Got an email early Friday morning about a new editor at a publication for which I recently started writing. Sent the introductory email to her, and then buckled down to finish the article that was due at the end of the day. I got it off at 5:03 – but the editor is in California, so it was still her workday, thank goodness. I hate being one of those people, who sends things just after the workday ends on a Friday.

Anyway, I got a lovely email from her about working together. I mulled over ideas over the weekend, and sent her some pitches yesterday, although with my willingness to be assigned articles as well as pitches.

I actually had a positive experience with a recruiter! Will wonders never cease! It’s for a 7-8 month writing assignment at an excellent rate. We had a good conversation, and I signed the representation agreement for this particular assignment. He actually answered my questions, and we had a conversation ranging along several topics, which gave us a good sense of each other.

An old family friend stopped by (on his way from Foxboro to Provincetown). He’d been cleaning out his basement and found two boxes of books from my grandmother and thought I’d want them. We followed health and safety protocols – especially since he had COVID last month, although he was asymptomatic.

And the books! They include the Daphne du Maurier books (one of the reasons we went to Cornwall back in 1999, because of her books), and books by Tolstoy, and more! I’m so excited. They bring back many happy memories of reading at my grandmother’s house next to the bog and the woods, as a kid.

They’re already packed in boxes. I quarantined them, and then took a look through them. I’m just going to seal and mark the boxes, and they’re ready for the move.

In and around the contest entries I’m reading, I’m reading another book for review, and hope to have the review done and out by tomorrow or Thursday. I also read THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs, which was recommended by Deborah Blake. Liked it a lot. I’m reading THE ART OF VIOLENCE by SJ Rozan, and enjoying that, too. Very well done.

In the book about the Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage I read over the weekend, I found a tidbit I didn’t know, but will be useful for a play I’m writing this year. (Not that the play is about either of them). Love when that happens!

Most of the weekend was dedicated to clearing out the basement. I honestly don’t understand how a person can do it in a day. The emotional baggage alone nearly killed me, and I only got ten boxes done. Got another one done yesterday, and want to get at least two done today. If I do a little bit every day, and more on weekends, it won’t be so overwhelming. I’ll have to do a dump run later this week, though, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so every week or two until we move.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2:48, worrying again, like before. I guess sleeping through the night was only temporary. The cats convinced me to get up and feed them at 5 (they were bothering me since 4:12), and then I curled up on the couch again for about an hour. It wasn’t sleep, but at least I wasn’t up and about.

Masked up, dropped books in the drop box at the library, went into the office. I was there on my own for most of it, but there was a little overlap that shouldn’t have happened. I blame the Governor. He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated, which is costing more lives. We need a Democratic governor in this state. At the beginning, he seemed to be doing a decent job of things, but he’s pro-business to the point of unnecessarily costing lives.

Had to stop by the post office on the way home, because the mail carrier at the office route refuses to pick up packages when the flag is up – even when we’ve put in a request for pickup.  He just drives right by. I’m tired of chasing him down the street, and then he refuses to take the package. Not to mention his refusal to wear a mask. I want the guy back who actually did his job. So I took it with me to MY post office, in MY town, where they actually do their jobs, and are nice about it. Also mailed a package for my mom, a birthday present for a friend of hers.

Home, decontaminated, lunch. The landlord had a guy come by to give an estimate for a new septic system (this one is original to the house, which was built in 1962). But they were outside and I was not, so it wasn’t an issue. Plus, they followed masking protocols.

Heard from my new editor, who liked the article I submitted on Friday, and wants the material I had to cut for word count as a “Part 2” so I’m going to do that today, along with getting some stuff done for a client, and getting out more LOIs. And getting two more boxes purged from the basement.

My seeds arrived yesterday, from both Territorial and Kitchen Garden seeds. I was going to order some more from Johnny’s today, but maybe I’ll skip it. I might just make do with what I have, at least until we know where we’re moving and get settled there. Then, I can look around and see what we need.

Once I know WHERE we’re moving, I can get everything else organized pretty quickly. It will be stressful, but it’s do-able. It’s getting the finances in place FOR the move, which will dictate so much of it, that is the main challenge.

Busy day ahead, especially with Mercury Retrograde looming.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on January 26, 2021 at 6:24 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes  
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