Tues. July 27, 2021: Attacking the New Week

image courtesy of Andreas Lischka via pixabay.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Sunny and humid

It was, all considered, a pretty good weekend. I was finished with the work that HAD to be done by noon on Friday, and gave myself time to rest and read. Claire Cook’s newest book arrived, and I settled in with that.

I wandered down the street in the afternoon to visit Cinnamon Girl Apothecary, and introduced myself to the owner. We had a nice chat (both masked because hey, indoors, and we’re not idiots, even though we’re both vaxxed), and I bought a new tarot deck and a blue onyx crystal as my Lammas gift to myself for next week. Not playing with the deck until August 1 is a challenge.

Up early Saturday. Spent a good portion of the day cleaning out the laundry room and organizing it so it’s a workable space. It’s nice and neat and almost where we need it to be; at least it’s useful now, and not just a place to dump stuff we don’t know where to put. Got some more kitchen boxes unpacked. Rearranged some stuff.

Juliet Blackwell’s newest book arrived Saturday, along with our sheets, and my 2022 calendars. As soon as I was finished with the laundry room, I started reading SYNCHRONIZED SORCERY.

Sunday, it rained again, so it was mostly a rest day. We dashed out to Stop & Shop for a few things, which turned into more things. But it was reading and resting, and then I cooked chicken with leeks and mushrooms, and made leek stock with the leftover leaves, et al, from the leeks.

I shouldn’t have tossed ALL my empty glass jars; I need some of them now.

For a decade on Cape Cod, I was so conscientious about recycling. We recycled 80%. And you know what? We were punished for it. Constant rate hikes. Towns should not charge residents for recycling. It should be unlimited and free. Barnstable’s whine that “they have to pay for it” – so the fuck what? We pay taxes.

I’ve been tempted to not make my own stock, etc., here, but the truth is that I LIKE my own stock, and use it. So I made leek stock, which I will use up in the next few weeks.

I also made chocolate mousse, which was pretty darned good.

It’s rather alarming to sit here across the state and watch the Cape’s COVID numbers rise again. Cape Cod’s cases are rising at 7X the rate as the rest of the state, per the BOSTON GLOBE. Well, what the hell did they think would happen? The past eighteen months made it very clear that businesses don’t give a damn if their employees or their customers die, as long as they can squeeze a few more cents out of them.

Glad we’re out of there.

I saw photos posted from a local festival for small businesses. Yes, it was outside, so less need for masking. But it was crowded, and no one was social distancing. In fact, people posed in clumps for pictures. How many will get sick from the unvaxxed idiots wandering around there?

Another article in the GLOBE made me glad I skipped Community Day at MassMOCA last weekend. While in previous years there were 3000 people going through on such a day, this time there were only a bit over 1600. Even in a space that size, unless there’s proof of vaccination required and everyone masked (which MassMOCA is not doing), I wouldn’t be comfortable around that many strangers. While they are saying masks are “welcome”, I don’t feel the museum is taking enough precautions to protect their staff or their visitors. So I guess it’ll be awhile until I visit, or I’ll pick the lowest traffic day I can imagine to wander through – masked.

I was also disappointed that, during the pandemic, they laid off most of their staff. It makes me think less of them. The pandemic was a time for employers to prove that their employees mattered, not cut them loose at the first sign of trouble.

So I need to re-think how I want to interact with MassMOCA. I had figured they would be the anchor of my creative life around here, but what I’m seeing and hearing makes me not trust them.

So many people are posting photos of being out and about in crowded places with no masks and no social distancing, and I’m thinking, “You’re nuts. You really think the variant won’t happen to YOU?”

Heard that a Broadway colleague is in the hospital with COVID, about to be intubated. Fuck all the anti-vaxxers. They should not be allowed in any public space. If they choose not to get vaccinated because they don’t “believe” in it, fine. Then stay home. They do not have the right to put other people at risk. And when they do cause illness in others, they must be held accountable for it.

They’re not “victims” of disinformation. They’ve made the CHOICE of disinformation.

As I’m unpacking and setting up the space here, I want it to be comfortable, inviting, and efficient. Whether it’s due to COVID numbers or bad weather, I’ll be spending a lot of time at home over the coming months, and I want it to be a happy space. Part of me is angry that a minority of ignorant dumbasses have far too much to say about how I live my life through their selfishness; the rest of me just shrugs, because I am fully capable of staying home, and therefore will do a lot of it. I work remotely. I LIKE working remotely. Yes, I’d like to get to know my new community, but if it takes longer than originally planned, that’s the way it is.

A recruiter contacted me over the weekend (red flag 1) about a job that has very little to do with what I actually do (and I doubt they could afford me). I politely declined.

Tessa has started walking the halls and howling at night. I think she wants to re-instate her 2 AM snack. She had her own place for her snack in the other house; if we set it out here before our bedtime, Willa and Charlotte would gobble it up. So we have to re-think how to make Tessa happy so she doesn’t keep us up most of the night, while not providing the resources for Charlotte and Willa to overeat. Last night, I set her up in what we call “Tessa’s room” (the third bedroom), with the door to the porch, which she loves, open. There’s a litter box, and I put her snack and water down. Closed the door to the rest of the apartment. She could relax without Charlotte bothering her. No howling. We’ll see how long that lasts.

I dropped off/picked up books at the library yesterday and dashed into Big Y grocery for a few things. While on Sunday, at Stop & Shop, only about a third of the customers wore masks in the store, by yesterday, at Big Y, 75% wore masks. More people, here, at least, are taking the Delta variant seriously.

The haze from the wildfires out west hung over the mountains, obscuring them for most of the day. It started clearing up a bit at night, enough so we could see some stars.

Mother demanded hot dogs for lunch. We hardly eat beef anymore, because we always feel awful, but I was dumb enough to give in and let her make us hot dogs for lunch. We were both sick as could be for the rest of the day. No more beef franks. At least we both feel better this morning, but yesterday afternoon was lost, as far as productivity. I managed to read the scripts I had to cover, and read some of Barbara Delinsky’s new novel, but that was it.

I’m writing in longhand every morning, playing with ideas, and then having some more word playtime on the computer before I get into the day’s work. I need to shake up my process and reconstruct it in a way that works here.

I’d like to take the rest of the summer off, but no such luck.

Working on my presentation for next week’s class. Working on the articles for Llewellyn. Sending out LOIs. Working on the Topic Workbooks and the brochure. Working on the script coverage.

Packing up stuff it turns out we don’t need here and can take back to storage, and making a list of what’s in storage and should be up here. We’re going to do a few storage runs over the next couple of months, before the weather gets bad.

Headed out to do laundry this morning at the laundromat. Hopefully, it won’t be crowded AND the machines will work without eating my money.

Have a good one.

Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly

image courtesy of Myriams-Fotos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I’m still struggling to get back on my feet after the second vaccine dose. I’m not complaining (exactly). I’m grateful to be vaccinated. But the process of getting my feet back under me after this shot has been difficult.

I managed a good night’s sleep for once, Monday into Tuesday, although I woke up feeling awful. I managed to shower and get dressed and even put some makeup on, and then I had to go and lie down again. The weakness and dizziness and nausea were overwhelming at times.

I considered trying to postpone the Zoom meeting with the potential new client, but I know they need to move forward, and with all the juggling I’m doing, I need to know if they’re going to make me an offer, so I went ahead. If I don’t get the offer, I have no one but myself to blame, both for not presenting well in that meeting and for being utterly myself on social media. And I will live with those consequences.

I was far, far, FAR from my best. I would say it was one of the worst interviews I’ve ever given in my rather long and varied career.  I’m amazed I didn’t pass out during the meeting. There were one or two moments where I thought I would.  On top of that, the landlord had landscapers walking around the house looking at what needs to be done. At one point, they were right up against the windows talking (although I think I only flinched once, and I’m not sure that was caught by the other meeting attendees). Charlotte nearly got into the picture at one point, but I managed to keep her off my lap and off camera. And, of course, the neighborhood tree cutters were out with their chainsaws destroying more habitat.

The work itself? I could do it. I’d be good at it. I have years of most of the skills they need.  I’d sharpen some skills, especially with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite. I’m good at staying on deadline and keeping on top of organizational things, and it’s well within my field. I still might not be who they want and need for the position. And IF they make an offer, I have to look at the numbers and the benefits package and whether or not there’s relocation support.  It’s not just me in a studio apartment with the cats. I have a household to run and family for whom to care. No matter how much the job is in an arena I love (and this one is), if I can’t make the numbers work and need to take on a bucket of extra work in order to survive when I’m already working full time – I have to see how it all balances out.

What I should have said when they asked what I’m going to do about my other clients is say, “With the salary discussed, I have to keep some of them while working for you” but I wasn’t on my game enough to be that straightforward. Which could also kybosh the whole thing, but it would have been a more solid answer.

The likelihood they would give me an offer after that dismal performance today? Maybe 1%.  Possibly zero. I can’t imagine they don’t have better options from what they experienced this morning. When the best element of an interview is that one didn’t pass out, there’s a problem. Would it have been better to wait until I felt better? With so many other variables out there, maybe better for me, but they needed this to happen so they could make their decisions and move forward and stay on their schedule. And I need to know if I’m getting an offer, so I can figure out some of my own moving pieces.

As I said, I made the choices I made, I live with the consequences. Because hey, even if I had been at my best (or at least, better, or maybe even coherent), I STILL might not be what they’re looking for, and that is just the way things work out sometimes.

Still, by the end of the meeting, I was a total wreck.

I sent my thank you email. I got out a couple of LOIs. I sent the test sample contract to the other company who wanted me to go through a series of assessments.

I had an email meltdown with a friend who, because she’s a genuine friend, was very understanding.

I wrote up my next script coverage and sent that off.

I heard back from a few more LOIs who want to set up meetings to discuss upcoming projects. One of them even made it clear that any test samples requested are paid – and the rate they quoted me is more than satisfactory. So that’s an ethical company for whom I’d like to work.

Just for the record — I went back through the requests for unpaid labor/samples/tests as part of the interview process since February. Had I done them all, I would have put in 150 hours of unpaid labor since February. That’s 3.75 WEEKS of unpaid work. This is not counting the requests for one-way video interviews. I have a post on the actual cost of those up on Ink-Dipped Advice here.

And people wonder why I put together a contract for tests/assessments/project-specific samples.

Looked at some other rental possibilities online; got some paperwork to fill out. Will see if I can set up a few virtual tours for later this week.

Read the next script for coverage, and took a lot of notes. Will write them up later today and send them off. Was assigned the next script to cover, which I will read later today.

Tended to the lawn watering. I’m going to have to get the garage cleaned out this weekend, I think. I want to get it done before the landscapers start work, and I don’t think they’ll start work until the grass seed starts growing properly. I also want to put a few things up on craigslist. If I can get the ball rolling on that tomorrow, I’ll feel like I’ve made some progress.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. They missed me last Thursday, although one of the parents covered. The teens are excited that they’ll be able to get vaccinated soon, too.

Watched the last season of WILLIAM AND MARY. That was really a lovely show.

Woke up at 3 worrying. Made the mistake of going on Twitter, where the BOSTON GLOBE has an editorial from a “behavioral scientist” about how working from home isn’t healthy or natural – citing studies from the 1970s. Yet another privileged misogynist who calls himself an “influencer” and was obviously paid by some corporate entity to write this crap. Probably the Chamber of Commerce or some commercial reality place.

Still feel like absolute crap. I have to go onsite with a client today – at least, I’ll make the effort, and if I feel too bad, I’ll leave. I need to get in touch with my doctor and see what’s what. Being under the kind of stress I’m under right now isn’t helping me heal from the vaccine dose, I’m sure; I also want to make sure I don’t make bad decisions while I’m feeling awful.

There’s Remote Chat today, which should be fun.  I need to work on a short story due later this week, and on that article with which I’ve been struggling. A few calls for pitches landed on my desk (well, my inbox) yesterday, so I want to go through and see if there’s anything I should answer.

I desperately need rest, but I can’t right now, even though I know I’ll pay for not resting in a few days. Or maybe hours.

Onward.

Published in: on May 12, 2021 at 4:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly  
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Fri. Jan. 18, 2019: Writing, Reading, Resting, Repeat

Friday, January 18, 2019
Waxing Moon
Snowy and cold

Although I managed to get a few things done yesterday morning, it wore me out and I had to rest in the afternoon. Coughing up a lung the entire time.

Just worn out.

I did finish the book for review and wrote the review. That is off today, along with the invoice for the last batch of reviews.

I plan to do more writing, in and around resting. Write a chapter, rest for an hour, write a chapter, rest for an hour, and so forth and so on.

We’re supposed to get another big storm tomorrow night, through Sunday and into Monday, so that will be interesting. We have wood for the fireplace and groceries and wine, so I think we’ll be okay.

I’ll be writing, reading, resting. Repeat.

Have a lovely weekend.

Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 10:30 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 18, 2019: Writing, Reading, Resting, Repeat  
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Thurs. Nov. 29, 2018: Sick, but Writing

Thursday, November 29, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m still sick, at least as far as coughing and exhaustion goes.

I cancelled out of the networking event this morning, because I’m in no shape to make a good impression.

Work with the client yesterday was fine, and then I came home, exhausted.

I wrote 7 pages in longhand on INNATE POWER, a new fantasy novel that tugs at me (I wrote the outline on Monday, I believe, while I was home sick).

Today’s plans are to write a few pages on INNATE POWER, at least a chapter on the latest draft of BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, at least once scene on the anti-gun violence play, a few blog posts, and some LOIs.

I need to get back to decorating, too. The boxes are stacked all over the place; they need to be emptied and the contents put where they need to go.

This weekend, I plan to dig into the writing, the decorating, and write the overseas holiday cards.

As soon as I’m not sick, I’ll start the holiday baking, because baking when I’m sick would be eww.

Navigating a new friendship with someone very different from me, and we have to learn to communicate on the same plane. On some levels, we understand each other very well; on others, not at all. Mercury in retrograde doesn’t help, either. Patience and caution are key. This person is serving as a muse on several projects, and that gets tricky. Some people like it; some feel used. But the truth is, if you know me on any level, you will be absorbed into the work somehow.

Working on my GDRS for next year, and looking at my list for this month and next month. I wish I didn’t feel such an overwhelming exhaustion, which is worsened by the administrative corruption in DC.

But the next few days are about the writing, so it’s back to the page.

And planning some holiday marketing campaigns!

 

Published in: on November 29, 2018 at 9:53 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 29, 2018: Sick, but Writing  
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Tues. Nov. 27, 2018: Busy Season is Here

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune DIRECT (as of Saturday)
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week.

We drove to Maine, leaving early on Wednesday. We managed to thread the needle through the Big Dig tunnel, avoiding the bulk of the traffic, and getting through it only moments before a breakdown in the tunnel caused problems.

Our preferred hotel in Ogunquit was closed for the holiday, so we found another one, in Wells. It was fine. It had a kitchenette, which always helps, but the space was cramped, and the shower only had hot water for three minutes.

Hit my favorite thrift shop in York, and got some adorable decorations to add to the decoration family.

We got our favorite pizza from our favorite pizza joint in the area, Da Napoli. On the way back, I ran into a snow squall. From clear to whiteout in seconds. It was like someone poured a giant vat of sugar over the road.

Got some writing done, on a couple of different projects. Tried to watch TV, but it was dreadful. The news has a single sound byte and then a half a dozen commercials. There isn’t any actual reporting going on. The shows don’t even have scenes any more, just moments. But at least Comcast doesn’t run everything up in Maine.

Thursday was the coldest in years, although clear. 8 degrees, but it felt like in the minus numbers. We drove up to Gray. We always rent out the American Legion Hall. This year, we had 63 for dinner. I mashed, I believe it was, 108 pounds of white potatoes, and 40 pounds of sweet potatoes. Lots of people I hadn’t seen in years were there, and it was fun to catch up.

I felt bad for my mom. This year, she was the oldest one at the dinner (at 94). All her contemporaries have died. It was difficult for her.

We ate, we cleaned up (everyone helps with everything), we went back to the motel to recover. It was fun, but exhausting. For an introvert, that’s a lot of people.

Friday morning, we hit the road early. Stopped at Stonewall Kitchen in York to stock up on our favorite things, and then headed home. There was a lot of traffic, but it was moving. We made another stop at Market Basket when we came over the bridge, to stock up, and were home a little after noon.

The cats were glad to see us, but they’d coped just fine while we were gone.

Unpacked, and switched out the harvest fabric to the holiday fabric on various surfaces. I felt like I was coming down with something, and hoped I was wrong.

Saturday, I had a sore throat, but pushed ahead. We took 300 gallons of leaves to the dump, then raked up another 330 gallons. We got the tree in the stand, and the lights on it. I hate putting on the lights, but when we took them off last year, I took the time to pack them differently and mark them, and that made all the difference this year.

While raking, sorted out the scenes for the holiday story I want to include in the newsletter this year. It will be short — 3, maybe 4 scenes, inspired by the fireplace at the rest area on the border between New Hampshire and Maine on I-95.

Cleared off one of the bureaus, to set up the Santa collection, and wound up polishing the whole piece. It looks wonderful, so it was worth it. But the Santas didn’t look right there, so they’re back on the behemoth. For now, the carolers are on the bureau and the herd of deer are on the mantel, but it might all move around.

By Sunday, I was sick, sick, sick. Curled up and read all day. Made chicken soup from scratch. Read a wonderful book called THE STRINGS OF MURDER by Oscar de Muriel, set in Victorian Edinburgh.

Yesterday, I was too sick to work onsite with my client. I probably could have pushed through, but didn’t want to sneeze and cough all over my client and colleagues. Dropping off library books and picking stuff up at CVS was about all I could handle.

Today, I’ll be onsite with my client, prepping for her holiday sales. Busy weeks coming up, with the holidays, and all. I need to get the overseas cards written.

I am disgusted by the administration’s policy firing on asylum seekers and threatening to close the border — all while Russia is making a move in the Crimea. I am sick and tired of no one DOING anything about the corruption in this administration.

I need to get back to the page. BALTHAZAAR is going along well, and I need to make sure that stays on schedule. In the meantime, I need to tear apart DAVY JONES DHARMA and fix it, so that it stay on its new release date schedule.

And I have a review to write.

I watched a documentary about Canaletto, one of my favorite painters, and got an idea to write a play about his sisters. Not sure if that will be pitched to 365 Women or elsewhere. But I think that will be the play after the anti-gun violence play is done.

In the meantime, trying to really get well. I’m better, but still get tired quickly.

Onward, and back to the page.

Published in: on November 27, 2018 at 6:49 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 27, 2018: Busy Season is Here  
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Thurs. Jan. 18, 2018: Pushing Through Illness

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Still sick. I feel a little better (although I sound worse). My friend Jenn Mattern suggested oil of oregano and tart cherry juice, and that made a big difference. But it still lingers and slows me down. I’m too sick to go to yoga today, which makes me sad (although I keep up my practice at home).

It’s also slowed me down on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I know what I’m going to write, but it’s harder getting the words on the page.

It was busy on-site with the client, but I got a lot done. My colleagues were worried I’d be upset about a thoughtless gesture; I decided not to be. It’s not that big a deal, although it’s telling in the bigger picture, and is reflective of how much more self-involved people are here than they are in the arts in New York. It amazes me how city dwellers are always portrayed as being selfish and isolated, when it’s really much worse away from cities.

I also have to rework my review. A few weeks ago, I got an email from my editor, citing new guidelines and rates. Okay, fine, I implemented them, I tried to upload my review, and it wouldn’t take. So I emailed her to ask why, and was told that those guidelines aren’t for the division for which I write. So why send them to writers for whom it doesn’t apply? Makes no sense to me. And annoys me, because I’d followed the new guidelines perfectly. Whatever. Back to the page on that one.

The Fearless Ink redesign is nearly done. I’m happy with it. I need to tweak some text, and then we move. I have just over a week to build the other six sites, which scares me, since it took me nearly two weeks to build this one. I’m hoping I get faster as I get more fluent and confident in the web language.

I also have to remember that these sites are living entities. They’ll grow and change all the time, because the content will grow and change. So, while I want to feel good about each site BEFORE it goes live, there are still tweaks I need to do to each one as it does.

I’m terrified of the move of the Devon Ellington Work domain and all the subdomains connected to the different series. I’m probably making it a much bigger deal than it is, but after years of lies and misinformation from my previous web host, I’m finding it difficult to fully trust the new one. In spite of the fact that they’ve been so clear in explanations, so helpful, and completely reliable in this first re-design and move. I need to get out of my own way and just do it.

I’m in talks to go to contract to write again for a series of publications for whom I wrote for many years. I’d stopped because I felt I’d said all I had to say; now I have more to say, and they’re delighted I want to come back. We’re going to talk contract specifics in early April. This is for 2020 — we work two years ahead. But I’m pleased to be back with them.

A writer friend just landed a contract with a great traditional publishing house! As soon as she makes it official, I’ll share. I am so happy for her! She deserves it — she’s an excellent writer, puts in the work, and it’s finally paying off! As I said, when she makes the formal announcement, I’ll celebrate her here with more details. She shot me an email about it last night. Happy dance for her!

Reading contest entries. They run the gamut. The top choices are going to be very competitive. There are some other entries where the author’s message is important and relevant, but the execution is so poor that they’re knocked out of contention. You don’t get a prize just for showing up or because you’re writing about an important issue — you also have to have the craft to communicate it with power.

I started reading a WONDERFUL book last night, in between all the other stuff I have to read. This is something I WANT to read, and I came across its existence reading about it in another book. It’s called POET’S PUB by Eric Linklater, and was one of the original ten books that launched the Penguin line. It’s a delight. I borrowed it through the Commonwealth Catalog from another library off Cape; I’m going to have to hunt down my own copy. I must own this book.

Taking my mom to get her blood pressure checked, sending off the revised review, working on the web redesigns for a couple of hours. Then home to rest and recover, do some client work, and dig back in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I also have another book review due next week, so I’ll dig into that either tonight or tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I need to buy cat food, or there will be consequences!

Onward.

Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Stormy and cold

We had some light snow on Monday, during the day. Just a couple of inches, but enough to make the drive home unpleasant. And, heaven forbid, DPW even come through with sand or salt on our little street. I can understand not plowing, because it was so little accumulation. But the tire tracks in the snow, which then freeze, cause a risk. But, you know, that would mean we actually get services for our taxes. I guess I’ll have to ride the new Town Councilor for this district — the one I didn’t vote for — to see if he lives up to his “promises.”

I went directly home after working with my client on site, curled up in the big chair with hot tea, honey, and lemon, and read while I rested. I felt awful. I was in bed just after eight.

At least I’d written a full chapter on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY that morning!

Tuesday, I was up early. Still felt bad. Wrote another chapter on SPIRIT REPOSITORY before heading out to work with my client.

Also had to write and polish my review, which will go out today. I have another review due early next week, so I’ll get to work on that book either today or tomorrow.

Did some work for another client.

Worked on the Fearless Ink Website Re-design. We’re just about ready to move. There will definitely be some tweaking once it’s live, but until it is live, I can’t do much more.

I’m terribly disappointed that I won’t be able to keep the look for www.cerridwenscottage.com. I love that interior page design look. But my new web host doesn’t have a template that can replicate it, and I haven’t been able to find another template that does. I’m disappointed.

I’ve found a pleasant enough template that will do — very simple, and in keeping with the theme of the site. I will set it up on that, along with the new logo/header, and then keep searching for The Template of My Dreams. The site doesn’t generate enough income for me to hire in a custom design, nor is it meant so to do. So I can’t justify the expense.

The Devon Ellington Work site is the design/move that concerns me the most, because of all the subdomains. I have a feeling I will have to lose all the subdomains connected to the site when I move the main site, and then have to rebuild them/send them live. I don’t see how I can get it all done before the end of the month.

So, I’m going to try to get the three main sites rebuilt and moved by the end of the month, cancel my contract with my former, awful webhost, and then build and go live with the sites for each series as best as I can do it and still do it right.

I can do it fast and sloppy, or I can build something that’s worthwhile, that will actually be a viable tool for my work. I’d rather do the latter.

I’m learning a lot with the Fearless Ink build, but it IS learning a foreign language, and learning a language I don’t particularly enjoy.

But, every profession grows and changes. You can learn the new tools and figure out how to make them uniquely yours, or you can get left behind.

Being sick while being under such deadline pressure doesn’t help.

This morning, I worked on SPIRIT REPOSITORY again (manuscript deadlines are not suggestions, especially when they are contracted). I’ll be working onsite with a client, and doing additional work for another client, before going back to working on my own websites. Hopefully, Fearless Ink will move either tomorrow, or on Friday.

One of these days, I’ll get healthy and can focus for more than a few minutes.

 

 

Published in: on January 17, 2018 at 2:23 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On  
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Wed. Dec. 17, 2014: Recovering

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Hannukah

Well, I got sick on Friday, and wound up going home two hours early. There was plenty of coverage at work, so it wasn’t a problem. My head felt heavy, I alternated hot and cold chills, and was just miserable. So, I went home and went to bed.

Stayed quiet over the weekend, although I managed to get some student work done. Read a stack of books, most of which were disappointing. Finished watching the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY, which ended better than it began, I felt.

Did administrative work on several fronts. Got caught up on some stuff for the Writers Center. Had to go to the DMV — well, it’s called the RMV here — to sort out something on Monday. I expected it to take all day, but I was in and out in five minutes. Love that. Plus, they were very nice.

Grocery shopping, so now I can start baking. But I’m still not 100%, so by the time I got home, I was wrecked. Took it easy on Monday night.

Up early Tuesday, got some writing done. Took my mother to the doctor for her follow-up, and she left feeling worse than when she went in. Now, she has to go to a specialist.

Got started on the baking. I tried a sour cream cookie recipe that sounded good, but turned out rather bland. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have the zing I want for something I give as gifts. The lacy oatmeal cookie with currants, however, was wonderful. I’ll use those. And I made two batches of tollhouse cookies, always a favorite. The kitchen was like an operating theatre, everything was so darn sterilized, including me. Since I’m getting over this whatever-it-is, I wanted to make sure everything was sterile.

Again, exhausted, and can’t seem to get my energy back. Went to bed early.

Up early this morning. Today will be a long day at work. Normally, I’m in early and out early on the third Wednesday of the month, but today I’m in early and then there’s a program tonight, so I’ll just stay through. Tomorrow night, I need to finish the cookies; Friday night I’m going to a party off-Cape. Saturday is my Saturday “on” and then a party at work; Sunday is the Solstice. So it’s a busy time. I’m behind on my cards, too. My mom, of course, has all of hers out! 😉

Last night was the first night of Hannukah — best wishes to all who celebrate!

I think I’ve made decent progress untangling problems in the RED WIDOW; I’ve paid off the immediate threats I set up and set up some more. I need to untangle the beginning of this chapter, and then I think I can progress properly. It was supposed to be something I could dash off quickly, a fun, easy piece, but the characters have different ideas, and have more layers to them than I originally imagined. Which is good, but means that everything has to be planned a little more carefully.

INITIATE is getting impatient, because I’m not giving it enough attention, although I think about it all the time. I just feel so heavy and exhausted that it’s difficult to juggle everything, especially multiple writing projects. But, it must be done. The writing is the priority.

Read the anthology in which I’m included: NEW LEGENDS: MERCENARIES, ENGINEERS, CAPTAINS. It’s a lot of fun. My own story, “Loyalty Strata”, holds up better than expected. I was frustrated because, as I worked on it, I had ideas on how to open it as a novel, but I needed to keep it a short story within word count for the anthology. If I ever do open it up, the plot line will be quite different as it unfolds, but at least this was a good way to explore the characters, and I like these people.

Working on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions questions. I hope to have them up soon.

Have a great week, sliding into the holidays!

Devon

Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

I am still sick. I’m not falling over all the time, but things are still not great in the old GI track. I’m pretty miserable. I need to eat, in order to heal and keep up my strength, but it’s awful when I do. Plus, now I have “the headache” that comes along with stomach issues, and is usually worse than the stomach issues in some ways, but I can’t take anything for it, because anything I take upsets my stomach even more. I had an absolutely miserable night last night, which means I’m not in great shape for today.

Yesterday, I finished both episodes due this week, and sent off the one due yesterday. I finalized a media kit I’ve been working on for a client for awhile, which has had its challenges, and I’ve gone as far as I can go with it, so we need to call it a day on that.

I went to Centerville Library to work for a couple of hours — since Comcast fucked me. Got everything done, and completely ran out of steam.

Soup for lunch, and in the afternoon, went over to the dark side and got a smart phone for myself and a cell phone for my mother. I HATE PHONES. I am not living at someone else’s convenience, and my writing CANNOT be interrupted by the phone. If the phone rings while I’m writing, it’s not an annoying interruption — I’ve lost the work. Period. It’s gone. I don’t get it back. The work is gone and my day is shot. From a single phone call. Therefore, it will still remain off most of the time, and is ONLY for family, friends, and emergencies.

Anyone who has legitimate business with me knows that I do not do business over the phone. If you want to do business with me, you email me or you send me something in writing via post. Anyone who calls for “business” therefore does not have legitimate business with me and can go fuck themselves. The few times I do agree to a SCHEDULED phone conversation (I do not accept unscheduled calls), I charge in fifteen minute increments, like a lawyer. 99.7% of all so-called “client” phone calls are a complete and utter waste of my time, and only consist of the client liking the sound of his own voice. Therefore, he can pay me for it.

I resent that I have been forced into this. Once I’m a few months in, I will see if this plan works, or if I need to change to something else. My mom’s phone is very much like her last phone, but with a different company than the previous ones. She feels more secure with a cell phone, and that’s important.

On the positive side, I watched one of the best movies I’ve seen in years last night. It’s called LIBERAL ARTS, by writer/director/star Josh Radnor. The acting and the writing were superb. It was funny, it was smart, it was surprising. There were times when it could have fallen into cliché and did not. I just loved it. One of the best things I’ve seen in years.

I’m going to attempt to go to work this morning, and see how far I get. I’ll stop at CVS to get some medication first. If this doesn’t clear up in the next day or so, I may have to call the doctor. And you know how much I hate going to the doctor.

One step at a time. That’s the best I can do. One step at a time.

Devon

Published in: on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side  
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Mon. Dec. 30, 2013: How I Develop Material & Juggle Projects

Monday, December 30, 2013
Day before Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Friday was busy, busy, busy. Took the leaves and the recycling to the dump. The place was so busy! But it’s heartwarming to see how dedicated people are to recycling in this area.

Picked up a few groceries, ran some books back to Wheldon Library (and, of course, got out some more), picked up something waiting for me at Sturgis Library, and then headed back. Got out some job pitches, worked with students.

Set up the development notebook for the Stowe-Eliot-Bronte project, even though I’m not really sure what it is yet. Ordered some books for it via the library network. Wrote up the passage that got the wheels turning in the first place, sourced it, and copied out the bibliographic notes.

Dug out the Hedrick biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Using the index, I tried to cross-check the info from the Eliot bio, and didn’t find confirmation. So I’ll be re-reading the entire biography — which will give me plenty of background for the piece in general. Asked a friend who knows a lot about the Brontes if she’d ever heard the reference. Found the Rugoff biography of the Beecher clan, and there’s a reference to the same incident, but not enough to hang my hat on. I hope getting my hands on the volumes of letters will give me what I need!

My friend and colleague Nancy Rubin Stuart’s wonderful book DEFIANT BRIDES was named a Best Book of 2013! I’m so thrilled for her. It’s an amazing book, and well-deserved recognition.

Saturday, I finished and printed out the pilot episode of a one-hour drama. It’s in the editing queue. I started the third teleplay for this packet, an adaptation of one of my novels. Got some good work done on it and fell in love with my characters all over again.

Unfortunately, I was also under the weather, sneezing and coughing, although I didn’t feel that bad. I felt much worse by Sunday, where I ended up fighting some sort of stomach upset. Don’t know why — I’ve been the least self-indulgent during this holiday season that I’ve been in years. Irritating.

Read Donna Leon’s THE GOLDEN EGG, one of her Venetian mysteries, which I love. Also started Kim Edwards’s THE LAKE OF DREAMS, which is quite good, and got some reading done on the Stowe bio. Treated myself to a chapter in an excellent art history tome as background for a different project.

Got some good work done on TRUE HOME, the initial novel in the Sparkle & Tarnish series. I love the way it’s developing. I’m working very differently with this project — developing a section, writing a few chapters, typing them, adapting them to script. The amount of research is enormous, and I’m looking forward to layering in a lot more detail.

I spent hours with Gilded Age Mansion house plans over the weekend, and am about to design their NYC mansion, remembering that they’ve taken over a mansion that was originally built several years earlier by an eccentric, and then having their architect modify it for the Gilded Age. As always the librarians at the New York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, and the JP Morgan Library have gone out of their way to be helpful, and will all be thanked in the Acknowledgements.

Speaking of Acknowledgements, I start keeping a list as soon as I need to ask someone for something when I’m researching a book. Every time someone is helpful, I add that individual to the list, so by the time the book is ready to go through the production process, it’s all there, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting anyone. Again, something I learned the hard way by not keeping track during the writing and then screwing up and forgetting people when the manuscript went to press.

Hey, if you can learn from my mistakes, they’ll have been worth it!

Still a little queasy this morning, but have a lot to do. I have an editing intensive workshop starting on the 6th, and I need to polish up the exercises. Those students are getting a lot for their money, but they’ll also have to put in a lot of work!

I want to wait and run my errands tomorrow, but I will have to run down to Centerville Library later today to drop off/pick up some books. Yes, I go to one of the local libraries ALMOST every day.

I want to get some work done on the novellas, the teleplay, and the airship steampunk piece. I need to get back into the latter — I’ve lost my momentum in it, and that’s a shame. I need to find those threads again and get back on track.

Day before the dark moon is always my lowest-energy day of the month. I’d like to crawl back into bed, but that is not an option.

I can’t believe 2013 is nearly over. It’s been challenging, and I’m ready for a better year next go-round!

Devon

Wed. Dec. 18, 2013: Reconnected for the Moment & Awards

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

For the moment, the Comcast is working again. I realize it could go down again at any moment, but I’m enjoying it while I can.

Yesterday, I got a lot of work done at Wheldon in the morning, came home to frost cupcakes, and then came down with a fever and chills. So no party or festivities for me! I wrapped up in quilts with hot liquids and books on Victorian architecture and furnishings and took care of myself. I feel better today, but still not 100%.

I was awarded a grant to write a play, which is pretty exciting, and I will share full details once I have the logo and all the other stuff I have to put on any and all materials about it.

Lots of work to do today to make up for what didn’t get done yesterday, but I’m having an awful lot of fun with a script caper set in the art world and working on the Sparkle & Tarnish series.

Devon

Published in: on December 18, 2013 at 9:20 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Apirl 18, 2012: Pay now or Pay later?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I’ve got a new post over on Gratitude and Growth about the tulips! I’m so delighted with them.

Yesterday was just frustrating, because I felt so lousy. I kept getting dizzy, which meant I had to keep lying down. Pared back errands to the absolute minimum, and couldn’t even get on line to deal with student work until the evening. I managed to bake a cake for a neighbor’s birthday and take it over, and I got most of the vegetable seeds planted, but that’s it. And a bit of editing. Not much on the creative front though — I realized the last 6K or so I wrote on the second book in the trilogy isn’t appropriate for the book, so I had to cut it and put it in another file for use somewhere else later, if appropriate. Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean the reader has to read it! 😉

Still feel low this morning, but hope I can get it together to get some more stuff done. Want to get a bit of yard work done, have to pay some bills, have to follow up on a big check that should have arrived already, and see if I can get the mower working.

Will also try to rest. There’s always that dilemma — do I rest now to try to make the illness shorter, or push through to get done what needs to be done and pay more later?

Devon

Published in: on April 18, 2012 at 8:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Feb. 17, 2012: Yoga and Anti-Yoga

Friday, February 17, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday wound up being an unexpected sick day. I felt like crap when I woke up, but had to get on the road early. The traffic was awful and I felt worse when I got there, so I did the work I was there to do, and then took the day off from workshops, et al. I figured I could take a day early and take care of myself, or push and lose a week when I got REALLY sick. It means I have to do more work this weekend with my students, but at least I feel better today.

Up very early this morning, and to yoga class at a studio not far from the site job. It was a great class – when I’m in this area again, I definitely want to take from the teacher again. We got to work on some of my big trouble spots, and places where I wasn’t doing the correct alignment and cheating with weight distribution, which threw the alignments off even more. Good stuff to work on. Ran some errands, and am back to work.

Went to Yoga Accessories to order something and had the usual ordering torture from them. Their price and quality are outstanding, but every order is a Major Drama and Nightmare to get through — with no reason. I finally emailed them and said fix it today, or I’m taking my business elsewhere permanently. I realize I’m not their biggest customer, but it shouldn’t take three or four days to sort out placing an internet order, which is what usually happens — the password doesn’t work, they say the “email is in use” — um, yeah, I’m your customer, you have my email and so forth and so on. They ship fast and the stuff is great, BUT getting in the order is enough to send you to the hospital with high blood pressure. This has been an ongoing problem for the past year, and they really don’t seem to give a damn about fixing it, so why should they get my money? We’ll see how the day goes.

Okay, back to my students, who deserve some quality time from me in the next few days!

Devon

Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 11:31 am  Comments (4)  
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