Fri. Jan. 27, 2023: Just Keep Typing

image courtesy StockSnap via pixabay.com

Friday, January 27, 2023

Waxing Moon

A little sun, a lot of clouds

Could that be a peek of sun, before the next storm comes in this weekend?

Meditation was good, and then I wrote 20 pages on the Heist Romance script. I did the entire section in Monte Carlo, and they’re back in Nice now. When I do break the script down into episodes (it’s definitely limited series, not a single screenplay), I think I’ve found the place to end the first episode in Monte Carlo. For this first script, I’m doing One Giant Overlong Script, and then I’ll break it down, once I see what I have, and structure each episode properly. As I write, I’ll keep an eye out for natural stopping points at the approximate page counts.

Not the way one is supposed to do it as a professional (write the pilot, don’t write more until it’s contracted), but it serves this piece better, so hey.

The second episode of Angel Hunt goes live today. I hope you enjoy it.

My lower back was in terrible pain yesterday, so bad I had to take something for it. Stretching helped a little. Figures downward dog, one of my least favorite asanas, is the one that helps the most.

I’m getting more and more frustrated with Twitter. Between one set of assholes just being right wing assholes, another set expecting us to do free administrative labor on their accounts (“tell me if I’m not following you” – no, mofo, look at your followers/following lists and  figure it out your damn self), and another set bullying (“if you follow X, I will unfollow you” – boo, just blocked ya, it’s all taken care of), I am getting sick of it. The same faux engagements questions showing up, over and over and OVER again. Numbnuts “sharing” snippets from an early draft and blowing first rights. Asking for resources, but really wanting perfect strangers to put themselves on the line to get you work when you have no intention of following through. No. Just stop. The other platforms have different focuses, depending on the platform, and there’s nothing, right now, with Twitter’s former reach.

But then, I also have to remind myself, I was on Twitter for 13 years, building community/a following. It’s not going to happen in two weeks anywhere else. I have to put in the work, which is just exhausting.

I managed to hop in for some of Freelance Chat, which was fine, and I did the social media rounds to promote yesterday’s episode of Legerdemain.

I turned around three coverages, and then read the two books for review. One was an absolute delight. The other had some good qualities, but the logic fell apart at the end. I will write up those reviews this morning, send them off, and invoice. I have a stack of scoring sheets, a pitch, and a treatment to read this afternoon. I really don’t want to read over the weekend; let’s hope something comes in for Monday and Tuesday, since Tuesday’s the end of this pay period.

I have a library run to do – plenty of books to drop off, and a stack’s come in since my visit earlier this week. But the priority is to find a place to get the car inspected and the bulb fixed. The bulb was Mercury Retrograde’s final middle finger in the shadow. Bad retrograde for all my tech, this time around.

And I need more ink for the printer, because of course I do. Black AND color.

Did some noodling notes on something in between projects yesterday. It’s turning out to be quite different than I expected from the initial idea (which is something I’ve played with on and  off for a couple of years, and couldn’t get to work). So we’ll see.

Back to the page.

Have a great weekend.

Wed. Jan. 25, 2023: ANGEL HUNT Launch Day

Wednesday, January 25, 2022

Waxing Moon

Virginia Woolf’s birthday

Burns Night

ANGEL HUNT:

ANGEL HUNT launches today, with new episodes dropping on Wednesdays and Fridays. The episodes are intentionally short, usually less than a thousand words. I hope you check it out and follow it. The first three episodes are free, so you can read for free until the middle of next week.

A witch.

An angel.

An impossible task.

A devil calls in a marker, forcing witch Lianna Maplethorpe to hunt a renegade angel. It gets even more complicated and dangerous when the renegade turns out to be Lianna’s own Guardian Angel, who she believed abandoned her. As magical conflicts escalate in 2004’s New York City between differing factions, deeper and darker magic than Lianna has ever faced force her to grow – or die.

Urban Fantasy set in a slightly alt-New York City, beginning in 2004.

Direct Link Here.

Back to the Regular Blog:

The newest Process Muse post, talking about “Mindful Work” is here.

Wrote the loglines for the new LEGERDEMAIN and ANGEL HUNT episodes. Did the social media rounds promoting yesterday’s episode of LEGERDEMAIN. Created a double graphic for LEGERDEMAIN/ANGEL HUNT.

I need to get #28Prompts uploaded and scheduled soon, too. February is just around the corner.

Dug my car out. It wasn’t fun, but not as bad as expected. And I didn’t clear out all the space between cars, either, because I’m tired of being the only one who ever does it. But I made a nice little bowl around the car, so that I can run some errands this morning, before the next storm comes in.

Put up the Valentine’s decoration on the front door. I like having something fun up on the front door all the time, and switching it out every month or so.

Turned around 5 coverages and one score sheet in the afternoon. One of the coverages is for one of the best pieces I’ve ever read anywhere. What a delight! I can’t give more details, because NDA.

Worked on contest entries.

They’re backing off on how much snow is coming in. I might not do errands today, and do them tomorrow and Friday instead, although I need to mail a few things and get eggs. I might tromp down to the mailbox at the end of the street and then hit up Cumberland Farms and see if they have any eggs.

Pulled myself out of a weird dream last night. It wasn’t bad, just busy, and I realized it was the third time I’d been in the same dream in the same sequence (three distinct parts). Once I pulled myself out, I realized I should have stayed in it, because if I’ve had the same exact dream three times in a row, my subconscious is trying to feed me information I’m not getting. Go figure.

Discouraged with all social media platforms right now. February will be dialed back somewhat, focusing on the promotion drops and the #28Prompts. Then I’ll reassess. But I need to get the Topic Workbook promos going again. When I do those properly, they sell steadily.

I also need to figure out how I’m going to do wider promotion (paid advertising) for both Legerdemain and Angel Hunt (once there are more AH episodes live). I’m putting together a giveaway package of Legerdemain, and will probably do a series of bookmarks for it that will be a more general giveaway. I have to figure out what kind of giveaway I could do for AH.

Creating the giveaways isn’t that hard. It’s getting the material and getting them made up. Without the laser printer, I’m struggling. I wanted to do transfers of the logos so I could put them on bags and tee shirts, but this little printer isn’t gonna cut it. Maybe I can get them done at a print shop.

I have to do research for the next section of the Heist Romance script. Some of it is on Monte Carlo, where it takes place. The rest is on old German books containing woodcuts. I know a little bit about German woodcuts, because it was one of the things my uncle the artist was known for (along with stained glass windows, carved altar triptychs, and giant bronze sculptures), but I still need to refresh my memory on some details.

Writing this morning, script coverage, article work, and contest entries this afternoon. And so it goes.

Hope you have a good one, and please check out Angel Hunt. The first three episodes are free!

Wed. Jan. 18, 2023: Trying to Move Past the Lethargy

image courtesy of David Mark via pixabay.com of a painting by Franz Winterhalter

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Mercury goes Direct today

Rainy and cold

The week’s post is up on The Process Muse, and it’s about building the ensemble. It was hard to write, and it still wasn’t where I wanted it when I ran out of time. But it’s there. I have to finish the Ink-Dipped Advice post and get that up this morning.

Because it was sunny, once I got The Process Muse post up, I pulled myself together and did the errands: library drop-off/pickup, pharmacy, grocery store, liquor store. People were cheerful for a brief respite of sun in between storms, and soon after I got home, the sky darkened, and it began to rain again. I bought two small pots of primroses, which made me happy.

Home, got everything unpacked, realized I forgot to get potatoes and orange juice, so I guess I’ll be going out later this week again. Finished the book I’d been reading the previous day. It’s pleasing the writer’s fanbase, but it’s a little too formula for me, in spite of being a page turner. I respect what she’s done, but some of her other books have had a much stronger impact, both for pleasure and in engaging my emotions.

Turned around two scripts and some scoring. One is missing materials, so I can’t finish the coverage and submit until I get the missing material, or am told not to worry about it.

Did the social media rounds to promote Episode 51 of Legerdemain.

I’m spending less and less time on Twitter, because it just makes me sad. The feeds are all screwed up. I’m tired of people whining about the feeds being screwed up and demanding everyone else provide free administrative labor on their timelines. Do your own damn work. If you have “too many followers” to be able to deal with it, maybe you haven’t earned them. I have my hands full adminisrating my own feed. I’m not working on other people’s because they think they’re so important. There are also too many right-wing trolls. My time is better spent elsewhere.

I’m skipping spending time on Cohost until February, when I’ll put up, daily, the #28Prompt posts. And then I’ll probably stop spending any time there. Tried navigating Hive on my poor old tablet (which now has a cracked face) and it’s just so frustrating.

I did not work on any of the scripts, because everything else took too long. Nor did I draft on Legerdemain or adapt any of ANGEL HUNT. Which is frustrating. I was logy and frustrated all day.

Started the next book for review. The premise is interesting, but so far, I’m less than thrilled with the execution. Put it aside to read a book for fun, the second in a series by an author I like, and it’s fine, but I couldn’t concentrate at that point, because I was too tired.

Fell into bed, tired. Slept decently, but was busy in the Dreamscape, everything from attending a writer’s conference to redecorating a house, so I woke up tired. Well, Tessa and Charlotte woke me up, once the coffee started burbling.

Wrote a couple of pages in longhand on a project, and then came up with a working title for the piece whose outline I started (eleven pages’ worth) on Saturday. Went down a fun research rabbit hole about women writing speculative and science fiction in the so-called “golden age.”

We’re under all kinds of weather alerts today, it will switch between snow and rain, although we don’t get much accumulation until tomorrow, where 3-6 inches are predicted. I’m hoping I can sneak out between the switch tomorrow morning to get potatoes and orange juice.

Today, I have to shake off the lethargy and focus. I have a lot on the agenda, both for myself, and script coverages.

I’m glad Mercury is going direct today, but the transition day is always a slog for me. Plus, tomorrow is the day before dark moon, always a low energy day. Still, needs must, and I needs must get my act together and get to work.

Have a good one!

Thurs. Jan. 5, 2023: Crafting My Own Schedule

image courtesy of  StartupStockPhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 5, 2023

First Day of the Full Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Rainy and cold

There’s a new post over on Gratitude and Growth about the garden.

If you’re interested in the first part of my experiments in social media, I have a post about that up over on Ink-Dipped Advice.

I spent the bulk of yesterday working on the new screenplay, and wrote an additional 24 pages. So, in less than 24 hours, I wrote 36 pages, almost to the end of where I’d outlined. It definitely needs work, but I like the flow, and I’m telling the story I want to tell. Making it work for the chosen format will come in the later drafts.

I love working in the Drama Queen software, though. I really, really like it. Whereas every line indicator was a fight with Trelby, Drama Queen does as I ask the first time.

As I progressed on my day, I wondered WHY I was berating myself for working on this. I’m on top of my deadlines. I’m not as far ahead with Legerdemain as I’d like, but I’m also not behind. So, what’s the problem?

There isn’t one, except for an outdated concept of what I “should” be doing.

I have the gift of (mostly) creating my day as I see fit. Why not go with the flow?

One frustrating thing was that I’m almost out of ink on the new printer THREE DAYS after I set it up. Yet another reason to get the laser printer fixed. I can’t buy new ink every three days. I can’t afford it. I’m going to track the ink in my calendar.

The cartridges on the laser printer lasted usually around 6 months.

I did the social media rounds. I printed out the contest sheets (they didn’t send me an inventory) from the judging dashboard. I turned around a couple of scripts.

I read the next book for review. I will write up both reviews this morning and invoice this batch. I’ll start the contest entries this weekend.

Episode 48 of Legerdemain drops today, and I hope you enjoy it.

I have meditation this morning, and then I’m off to the grocery store, before the bad weather moves in. Once I get back, I’ll do promotion for the new episode of Legerdemain, work on the screenplay some more, and, hopefully, write another episode of Legerdemain. Or I might to the Legerdemain episode first. We’ll see where the energy flow is, and work with that.

Tonight is the last night to put on the tree and all the lights. Tomorrow, they start coming down. I have a feeling it will take us all weekend to take everything down and put it away.

Have a good one, my friends!

Tues. Dec. 13, 2022: Busy in the Cold

image courtesy of 0fjd125gk87 via pixabay.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Waning Moon

Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and COLD

It is ZERO degrees F this morning. Brrrr!

I hope you have a cup of your favorite beverage, so we can curl up to catch up.

There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site about “Flexible Gratitude” which is what I’m working on this week, in addition to trying to hold steady and get things done.

Friday, I had the day off from script coverage. I did the blogging, the social media rounds, picked up books at the library, got a couple of things from the grocery store. I had trouble getting going, because I was tired.

However, after lunch, I started baking, and I baked 25 dozen cookies (orange cranberry, oatmeal currant, molasses spice). Once I got going, I had it down to a system, and it went pretty fast. I did two batches of each kind of cookie; if I need more, I can always whip up another batch.

Since I have 7 baking trays, I can prep the trays and just rotate them through the baking while I keep working on the next batch.

Got them all packed up in their tins, once they cooled. But I was definitely tired by the end of it.  I ran out of wax paper while I was packing the tins, but I had parchment paper, so it was all good.

Really, though, it took about 4 ½ hours, that’s all.

And I made more vegetable stock in the slow cooker, too, because I needed the space in the freezer that was taken up with the bits that go into the stock.

Saturday, I was up early. I had to get a few things like more ginger and more wax paper and Crisco for some of the cookies, and a few things I’m stockpiling for the holiday meals.

I made the dough for the coffee spice cookies and for the brown sugar maple cookies. While that chilled in the fridge, I handstitched the holly curtain for the Kitchen Island Cart from Hell, because we must be festive in the kitchen.

Baked the cookies. The coffee spice cookies are from a companion cookbook to Phillip R. Craig’s mysteries set on Martha’s Vineyard. If you’ve never read them, I recommend them. I read them first years ago, and then re-read them (and got the cookbook) when I lived on Cape.

The cookies are good, but I want to bump up the flavor. The next batch I try will split the batch and put some anise extract in one half and some allspice in the other. The nutmeg is a little too subtle.

The brown maple sugar cookies are good, but it doesn’t make a lot, which is a concern. I think I’ll have to make another batch in the next couple of days. The maple glaze is good, too. These will be a good addition to the platters.

I was tired, so I made turkey enchiladas for dinner. No, not from Thanksgiving leftovers. We finished all those!

I was happy to see that all the packages I mailed last Monday were delivered. Whew! Of course a package UPS was supposed to deliver last Wednesday is still out there somewhere, and every day, UPS lies and says it’s “out for delivery” and every day it doesn’t show up. I hate UPS. It’s fine if there’s a delay, but stop lying.

I made a chocolate glaze and put it on the coffee spice cookies. Yup, that gave it enough of a boost to go into this year’s cookie platters, while I work on the recipe. Only I ran out of confectioner’s sugar, and have to make another batch of glaze. So one batch of cookies needs 3 batches of glaze (I made 2, which will get me through the first few platter deliveries).

While the glaze set, we sat down and wrote the domestic cards. Only around 50 this year. So many have died. I’m at that age, plus COVID, means a lot of loss. I also let some names on the list go, when I haven’t heard from them at all for several years.  There were years, in New York, when I wrote as many as 500 cards (it took most of the month).

There’s a whole set of people with whom I only interact during the winter holidays. That’s fine; we manage to keep in touch. Someone, a few years back on social media, raged that if the only time one keeps in touch is winter holidays, it’s not worth it, and I disagree.

But then, the whole ritual of holiday cards is very important to me. Choosing the cards. Choosing the stamps. Sitting down with the list. Writing something in the card. Addressing the card. It’s taking a moment to honor the friendship and connection with each individual. And, while there are definitely times postage is a frightening expense, I believe each of these people is worth spending the cost of a stamp and some time on, once a year.

Some people choose not to send cards, for whatever reason. It’s up to them. Some of those who don’t like the whole card ritual keep in touch in other ways at other times of the year. Which I also appreciate.

But when there’s no interaction over a long period of time, it’s time to let go.

That’s a big change for me; there were people on the list to whom I’ve written for ten or more years and not heard from at all. Ever. Definitely time to let go. My position in their lives is clear (as in “non-existent”). I can retain positive memories and let go of the current connection.

As someone who was always designated “Kin Keeper” of various groups of friends and colleagues over the years, the letting to AND BEING OKAY WITH IT, is a big step.

In the afternoon, we finished decorating the big tree in the doorway between the living room and the sewing room. Because one can see all around the tree, the back of the tree is as important as the front, and it’s fun to decorate in 360.

Added the musical instrument garland and lights to the garland on the mantel. I bought the musical instrument garland for 50 cents in December 1980 in Woolworth’s, Tallahassee, Florida, when I was at FSU that first year (I transferred to NYU the following spring). I love that silly little garland, and have hung it up every year in Florida, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Cape Cod, and now here in the Berkshires.

Put up the lights in the living room window. Set up a shelf full of snowmen behind one of the big reading chairs. Put up the small tree over my desk, behind Seshat, my goddess of scribes, who has pride of place over my desk.

The Santas are still packed; we have to figure out where to put 50+ Santas. All over the house, no doubt.

Once the stacks of cookies are on platters and out the door, I will set up my mix-and-match Holiday Village on the big table in my office. I still have to put up the lights on the front porch, in the kitchen, and on the stairs, along with the garlands.

It started snowing around 11 on Sunday morning and snowed all day. We got about 5 inches. I perched on the couch in the evening, enjoying the candles and lights (3rd of Advent) and reading.

I have a lot of holiday stuffed animals (especially reindeer. I love reindeer). One of them, which I picked up at a thrift store for about 50 cents, has a music box on it. Only I don’t know how to make it work. Charlotte, on the other hand, keeps setting it off. It’s hilarious.

I had weird dreams, Sunday into Monday, about an immersive theatre experience in a stadium-sized theatre. Charlotte woke me up from it.

Slow start Monday, wanting it to be a snow day. No scripts in the queue. I decided to be grateful instead of worried. I could do other things!

I did the Monday blogging, and the social media rounds.

To my absolute joy, the big laser printer which hasn’t worked for the past few weeks, turned itself on and started printing, like nothing was every wrong. Okay, it thinks it is May 17, 2020, but other than that, it’s working. I am so grateful. I guess it needed a vacation?

I haven’t even set up the other printer yet.

I caught up on all the printing on which I’d gotten behind, got some scanning done. I created the Cookie Cheat Sheets to go with the cookies. I figured I should get as much done as possible, in case it decided to stop working again.

I went out and dug out the car. The parking lot was plowed already, and the snow was light and fluffy, so it wasn’t a big deal. The sun came out later on and helped, too.

I edited, polished, uploaded, and scheduled Episodes 47 & 48 of Legerdemain. I wrote their episode log lines, created the episode graphics, and uploaded/scheduled that content to drop on the appropriate days. I’m good through the first week of January, which gives me a little breathing room, since I won’t get to write new episodes until sometime next week. I’ve written through Episode 58, but I need to go further and finish the arc, so that I can make sure I don’t need to plant information in earlier episodes to make sense later.

I put release dates into the January calendar for Legerdemain and ANGEL HUNT episodes (I’m behind where I want to be on that, too), and other deadlines in January. This is in the big calendar. I didn’t use different colors in January, which I’m kind of regretting. Everything is in black ink, and it looks rather dull.

I was about to finish my witchy charm bracelet and my talisman necklace when I realized I need to get jump rings.

The trust paid off and more scripts came in for the week. I have 3 coverages today and 2 tomorrow. If I can pick up a couple more each day Thursday and Friday great; if not, that’s fine, too. I hope to get some coverages next week for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and maybe one on Friday, and then I am on vacation!

Today, I need to do the rounds to promote the Legerdemain episode that’s dropping. I want to work on “Comfort, Then Joy” and I have a tarot reading to set, write up, and post on Ko-fi later. I have to go out and get more maple syrup and more confectioners’ sugar, so I can do another batch of the brown sugar maple cookies, and make another batch of glaze for the coffee spice cookies. I hope to give the batches of cookies to the neighbors in the building later today, and then start delivering the other cookie platters tomorrow. I also need to drop off the cards at the post office. Writing them is great, but if they’re not mailed, it doesn’t mean a whole lot, does it?

A package arrived a week late yesterday, but it’s here, so that’s all good.

There’s another storm coming in on Friday, so I need to figure out if I can get the laundry done today or tomorrow, and all the cookie deliveries out by Thursday, then grab a few groceries to get us through the weekend. I was going to do the stocking stuffer shopping this weekend, but might put It off until next week. I also have another book to review this week, and need to get moving on that.

The Christmas novella wants to be worked on, but that will have to wait until next week. The newsletter story and the Ko-fi flash have to take priority. Then, I’ll mix working on the Christmas novella next week, along with work on Legerdemain, ANGEL HUNT, and finishing THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH.

Fingers crossed the printer keeps working!

On a personal level, there’s some rough work going on. The Chiron retrograde energy presses down, forcing me to face some painful memories and past choices, deal with them, and gain perspective. While making sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. Necessary work, but not easy and often painful.

Have a good one, friends. Enjoy the next episode of Legerdemain! This one wraps up the first large story arc and leads into the second one.

Tues. Dec. 6, 2022: A Richly Busy Weekend

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Day Before Full Moon

Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Rainy and cold

Curl up and get comfy, and we’ll have a catch-up.

There’s a post over on the GDR site about looking back at November and forward to December.

Friday was a lot of fun. Mailed bills on the way out of town, and headed down to Great Barrington. I found a shorter route, which was good. But, because we’d left later than I expected, we stopped at another store on the way down that was open, but wouldn’t have been had we left on time, and picked up something we needed (but didn’t find the bayberry candles we went down to get).

On the way down, we made an impulse stop at the library in Pittsfield, which was having a lobby book sale and found some cool books. Some of them holiday craft books, because I am a sucker for even tacky holiday craft books (especially at 50 cents a pop). And these have some cool ideas in them.

We went only to one store in GB, one of our favorite thrift stores. I found a train station for my Christmas village and the crossing sign lights up! (Which is more than the crossing sign IRL down the street does). Found a couple of small plates in a favorite pattern, a really cool mermaid candle holder, and a silver chain and bracelet with the large links I need for the charms I have for each. I also found a silver-plated frame for my favorite picture of my dad (who died when I was 10).

On the way back, we stopped in Stockbridge, in search of bayberry candles, but no luck. Then it was to a store in Pittsfield to pick up the last gift for extended family in Maine, and a few goodies for us. With a stop at Adams Fresh Market for fish for Friday night supper.

Pizza for lunch. I’m going to have to start making pizza from scratch again. Store-bought pizza tastes worse every time we buy it.

In the afternoon, I turned around two script coverages, and did some admin work. I was tired by the end of it. Really, really tired.

Tried reading for pleasure, a mystery that came recommended. But the writer uses “witch” as a slur against women and the world’s internal logic doesn’t makes sense, placing the characters in the “too stupid to live” category. So that one goes back, and that author is crossed off my list.

In Ellen Byron’s latest newsletter, she posted a photo of gigantic earrings she bought several decades ago in a shop on Columbus Ave. in NYC. I started laughing, because I remember the shop AND the earrings. They were too big to wear, so she turned them into Christmas ornaments. I love that so much. And that’s just so Ellen.

Her next Catering Hall Mystery (under the Maria DiRico name) comes out in March, and I’m excited.

Saturday morning, I had trouble getting going. But I did. And I wrote the first draft of “Net Worth” (which goes up today on Ko-Fi). The bones worked, and I knew I would do some edits. It came in a little over 1K, but hey, I don’t have to fit someone else’s word count. It won’t go too far one way or the other once it’s edited.

I started “Comfort, Then Joy” which was originally aimed to Ko-fi, but which I now feel is better suited to the quarterly newsletter. The story’s in my head; it’s just a case of getting it down on paper.

After a couple of hours at the desk, we hauled out the big Christmas tree from the broom closet and brought it into the living room. I started fighting with the stand, which has never worked well (and I bought this damn tree in 1989, or maybe it was 1990).

I finally decided I had HAD IT. I put the stuff down, wrapped up, got into the car, and drove into the escalating storm to get a new artificial tree stand. I got the last small one in the store, and while I was there, picked up a couple of oversized decorative poinsettias that clip to branches. I had hoped to find a finial topper, but no luck. I’ll keep looking in thrift stores after the holidays. All the other traditional toppers were too gaudy for our tree.

Home. Unwrapped. The new stand snapped together in less than 5 minutes, the tree slipped in and locked, and we could spend quality time fluffing the tree, instead of fighting for an hour or more with the stand. We put the lights on the tree (which actually had stayed coiled properly this year). And moved the tree into position in the doorway between the living room and the sewing room. We use the glass doors to frame it.

Even though this stand is far sturdier than the other one, I tied off the tree to the door hinges, just for added security.

We unpacked all the ornaments from the big bin in the closet in the sewing room and put them on. The shimmery gold ornaments and some small wooden ornaments go on last, after everything else goes on, and we put those aside.

That took most of the afternoon, but we had a lot of fun with it. Each ornament has a story, and we tell and retell our history with it.

The kitty litter delivery from Chewy also arrived, so I got to haul 45 pounds of cat litter up the stairs.

Sprawled on the couch reading in the evening, with candles on and cats on laps.

Willa is so gentle when she checks out the tree. It’s kind of adorable. Tessa circled it a few times, and pointed out where some branches needed adjustment, and then was satisfied. Charlotte watched from a safe distance.

They really are all very good with the tree. But then, we don’t shut them out when we decorate. They’re always a part of the process of unpacking ornaments, putting things up, or packing them. ALL my cats have been good with the trees. I mean, Elsa (tortie) used to climb the bare tree, but she was fine once the ornaments were up. And Iris (Russian blue) used to choose a patch of tree she wanted bare and remove the ornaments. But none of them were ever destructive.

The storm intensified, and we had power outages on and off all night. Tessa did not like it, and roamed the house, complaining, each time it went off or on. I discovered that, while I could report the outage to the electric company, the gas company has no system for outages. WTF? Charlotte and Willa just burrowed deeper in blankets.

By the time I got up on Sunday morning, everything was fine again.

I mean, we live in a city, not a rural area (despite what Staples claims, when they slap “rural carrier fees” onto orders). It makes sense they’d get the power back on pretty quickly.

Sunday was cold and sunny. My neighbor knocked to let me know packages arrived last night. He’d knocked on the door, but, for whatever reason, I hadn’t heard, and he’d taken them in and then brought them over this morning. One was the Goddess Provisions box (which I didn’t expect until Monday) and the other was a gift from a friend in NY.

After breakfast, I revised “Net Worth” mostly for internal logic, and starting to layer in some sensory details. There’s plenty I intentionally don’t explain and leave for the readers’ imaginations.

I did some more work on “Comfort, Then Joy” which is surprising me for all the right reasons. I’m a little past halfway with it. I figure it’ll come in between 3-5K, a little longer than I wanted for a newsletter story, but it’s a fairly short newsletter.

In the late morning, we went over to the Alpaca Farm to pick up a gift for the cousin in Maine, and then to pick up a few things at Wild Oats. They had bayberry candles! And wonderful ones, from Mole HIll in Sturbridge.

The afternoon was all about wrapping presents, packing the packages, writing the cards to go in the packages, taping everything up, mailing labels, etc. I was tired, grumpy, and feeling every bit of my age by the end of it. Charlotte helped, which was pretty funny.

I like the wrapping and choosing things I think my friends would enjoy. But the whole post office prep can be a bit much. But I had the labels and the tape and the Sharpies and all the rest, so it was fine.

Too tired to do much more in the evening except have a glass of wine with some cheese, crackers, and fig/orange spread, enjoying the 2nd of Advent candles and the partially finished tree.

Dipped into a bit of Script Chat, but felt old and grumpy and in pain, so I wasn’t at my best.

To date, I have been invited to 17 different holiday gatherings, none with appropriate COVID protocols, and therefore have said no to all the invitations. Not worth the risk. I’m grateful they invite me, but I’m not getting sick because someone can’t be bothered to wear a mask. So I don’t put myself in high risk situations.

Fell into a very deep sleep. Charlotte woke me around 1:30. When I went back to sleep, I dreamed that I met Dewi Hargreaves, with whom I’m friendly on various social media, in person. We were meeting a couple of others we “knew” from social media in a parking lot somewhere, but they were wittering on about stuff we found vicious and tedious, so we ditched them to go to a book-lined bar and talk about books, which sounds like a nice evening to me. In this Dreamscape, we didn’t have to worry about COVID.

Tessa woke me up around 4, and I told her I was NOT getting up that early, and fell back to sleep. I dreamed that I was at an estate sale, bought 5 vintage suitcases, some books, and lots of women’s gloves. I have lots of suitcases (but love luggage) and I do pick up vintage gloves a lot (at least I did, pre-plague), so that made sense. But there was this other guy there, who kept trying to take stuff I’d already paid for and add it to his pile.

According to dream “experts”, dreams about suitcases mean an upcoming trip, or the need to access personal information about yourself. Dreaming about gloves shows a need for protection. It’s pretty obvious what someone taking something symbolizes. However, in this case, I think it was all more literal than metaphorical. But I’ll use the Rackham Tarot given to me by my friend to dig deeper. That deck works well for dream work.

I woke up late, and felt behind the beat and tired all day.

I got the Monday blogging done, made the SM rounds, sat down and made the grocery list. I took the packages to the post office. Managed to park right in front, walk right up to the desk, and was done in just a few minutes – AND within budget. Everything will be where it needs to be by the end of the week. It was sunny, so everyone was in a good mood (and most masked, indoors).

Went to Big Y to do the Big Shop. I think I’m all set for baking – will probably need to get more eggs, as some point. But I’ve been stockpiling staples for a few weeks, and I think I’m in pretty good shape.

Got a batch of veggie stock made in the crockpot. Did another draft of “Net Worth” so it was where I needed it to be in order to put it up this afternoon on Ko-fi. Polished the next two posts for The Process Muse, chose the graphics, uploaded and scheduled.

Turned around two coverages.

Jeremy’s soup class was great. He taught us to make Italian Wedding Soup, and I learned a bunch of new techniques. Charlotte was delighted, although I had to stop and grate some Parmesan for her, because he used Parmesan and talked Parmesan, and every time he said the word, she got all excited.

Tired. Had weird dreams overnight.

Last night was St. Nicholas Night, a traditional celebration, where one leaves out a shoe, and wakes up to find it filled with chocolate or candy or whatever. Chocolate and cocoa for us, this morning. And we generally put the goodies in either a gift bag or one of the Christmas stockings and put the bag in the shoe, because, you know, hygiene.

Waking up to chocolate is always good.

The coffee filter split this morning, so there are coffee grounds in the coffee. Better than no coffee, and I HAVE to get the new coffeemaker up and running.

Roxane Gay shared an article written by Isabel Kaplan about her boyfriend, a fellow writer, breaking up with her once she had some success. He didn’t like that she kept a journal. He felt it was his “responsibility to take her down a peg” and so on and so forth. It reminded me so much of a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship I was in back in the mid-90’s. I’m so glad I’m not still with that guy. I would be dead, emotionally (and most likely physically; he had a history of dead wives). She talks about parsing out her good news, about contorting herself emotionally until she’s a pretzel and then blaming herself for the hurt. It hit very close to the bone. Too many men in my life have defined “partnership” as me putting my writing last while doing physical, emotional, and sexual labor to promote their careers. No. Just no. The right partner will not sabotage the writing. The bell weather for me, in a relationship is – if my writing improves, sparkles, strengthens with this person, it’s a good relationship. If the writing falters or stalls, it means get the hell out.

And, as someone who has kept a journal for 50 years (there are boxes of them in storage), anyone who tried to keep me from my journal, or, worse yet, violated my trust by READING it, was gone in a heartbeat. My blogs are public. What’s in those handwritten books is private.

The big priority this morning is getting at least some of the next episodes of LEGERDEMAIN uploaded and posted. ‘Net Worth” goes up on Ko-fi this afternoon. We’ll see where we are, timewise, after that. I need to work on “Comfort, Then Joy” and also work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH and more LEGERDEMAIN, but that might not happen.

The baking begins today. I’ll do two batches of one kind of cookie right after lunch, then start my script coverages for the day. That should let me get all my baking done by the end of the weekend, so I can start delivering cookie platters early next week.

No doubt, I will post photos as I bake.

Have a good one, my friends. Peace and joy to you.

The next epsiode of Legerdemain goes live today. Enjoy!

Wed. Nov. 30, 2022: A. Day. And then Another. Day

Charlotte and her banana. Photo by Devon Ellington

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Stormy and cold

Here’s a picture of Charlotte and her banana, because someone should have a good day.

Well, yesterday was A Day.

Sorry this is late, but today is shaping up to be A Day Again.

The transit chart warned me this would be a week of chaos and conflict influenced by the heavens, and drawing the Nine of Swords as my Advice Card for the day was another warning.

On the positive side, we talk about The Right Form For the Story over on the Process Muse.

I also posted a Holiday Mindfulness Oracle Reading over on Ko-fi.

You back? Good.

The worst thing that happened yesterday was that my giant Brother Color Laser Printer, which was expensive and so heavy it needs two men to life it, died. It turned itself off in the morning, and the power won’t go back on. You can tell Twitter is dying, because I posted a request for troubleshooting suggestions there and it was silent. Normally, I’d have a mix of actual help and mansplaining. CounterSocial and Mastodon offered suggestions, but most of it was what I tried, and both that and the stuff I hadn’t tried but then did, did not work. But I appreciated that people saw the post and genuinely tried to help. That’s always appreciated, and I made sure to thank and acknowledge them.

I will be heartbroken if a printer that was that expensive and under warranty at only two years old is dead for good.

Now, of course, I have to fight to get them to honor the warranty.

It’s not like I can load it up into the car and take it for repair. The tech has to come here.

So, no printer yesterday, and research for a small interim printer until we figure out what to do with the laser printer. I was going to buy a small printer anyway, that I could take with me on residencies. I just didn’t expect to get it right now, and lose the big laser printer, which is a necessity for my work.

I had A LOT of stuff I needed to scan this week, along with the regular printing, so it’s an issue.

I did the rounds to promote Legerdemain, and check in and interact here and there. Making the rounds of all the sites takes from 1 ½-2 hours, which I now need to build into the workday. Whether or not I “have” time doesn’t matter. It’s a necessary part of the job. People running around saying they “don’t have time” or “the spoons” to learn these new platforms are speaking from a place of privilege I do not have.

Twitter is mostly screaming right now, anyway. It makes me sad.

I turned around two script coverages in the afternoon. We got an issue with a misplaced synopsis sorted out, which I will deal with today. I have to sit through another “evaluation” soon. My numbers have gone up in the last months, I have a 100% on time rate, and I’m requested 5% more often than the average for readers, so what is there to talk about? Leave me alone to do my work or give me a raise.

I found out that library holds expired yesterday. I contacted the library to ask them to hold them over until I could pick them up this morning, but didn’t hear back. With the library closed for four days over the holidays, we should get a little extra time. All the same, my world will not stop if I don’t get a library book I ordered. I can order it again.

Centerville Library’s staff would just check them out and send me a note telling me they were ready whenever I wanted to pick them up, but then, I built relationships with those librarians over ten years. The turnover at this library is much higher, and while all the librarians know me, sort of, by this point, they don’t really know me. It’s whatever. I will cope.

A colleague asked for recommendations on something, and, having dealt with her requests before, she wants me to do initial introductions and labor on it, which I won’t do. I’ll give her the information. Someone else is nagging me to review her book, which I just received – give me a minute, would you? Paid work comes first.

I’m behind on getting out some other admin stuff that needs to be done this week, and I don’t want to let it slide.

It took me 45 minutes to upload my profile picture on Hive, between my tablet being slow and the site running slow. Hopefully, everything will even out soon.

On a happier note, I received a tax refund from the state. In this state, when there is a surplus of taxes collected, they don’t sit on it. They are required, by law, to return it to the taxpayers. So I got an unexpected refund check. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to cover the little interim printer I have my eye on. That little thing made me feel cared for by the Universe.

As far as writing went, I chose not to work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH yesterday, because I was working on the holiday story instead. However, as I passed the 2K mark and realized how much story there still was, this is not appropriate for the newsletter subscribers. So I have to come up with something else that can be a flash (I already have the idea) and switch over to writing the flash for the Ko-fi page in the next couple of days (that idea is a little weird, but fun. Ko-fi is where I do weird and fun).

This morning, I only did 1151 words on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, but they’re decent. I have to come up with a few more pages tomorrow morning to round out this chapter, and then we are where we need to be for the chapter I wrote last Friday, and that sends us careening toward the climactic sequence and resolution. It will come in short, on word count, for this draft, but as I revise it next spring, I will layer in the necessary period detail so it will hit the count organically (hopefully without info dumping).

I’m finishing NaNo at 59,736 (part of me says, come on, write another 300 words before midnight and hit 60K), but we’ll see.

I did not sleep well, between worrying about things and the cats being impossible.

Up a little after 5. Tessa is doing a Houdini act. I heard rummaging, and found her in a closed bureau drawer (that has not been opened for months). How did she get in there when there are no holes in the back of the bureau? It’s a mystery, but I’m glad I was home to get her out.

My back was spasming when I woke up, but a longish yoga session (under Tessa’s supervision) helped.

I dashed out early when the store opened that carried the printer I wanted. In and out in a few minutes with the printer, a 2-year warranty, and a hole puncher (I can’t find my other one, and Staples sent me the wrong case of paper).

Wolfed down breakfast and headed out again, just as the storm started. Hit up the library – they’d held my books for me, knowing I’d show up when I said I would. I am very grateful. Liquor store (gotta stock for a storm). Bank, to put in the refund check I’d just spent on the printer.

All the errands done in 20 minutes and home. Car safely slotted. Back to work. The winds are supposed to pick up seriously over the next few hours and be high until tomorrow night. The temperatures are in the 40s now, but will drop into the 20s tonight, so the rain might switch over to snow. They are positioning plows and utility trucks around the city.

Lots to do, so off I go. Have a good one.

And hey, all you who busted your ass for NaNo – good work! Cheers to you!

Tues. Nov. 29, 2022: Juggling the Decorating

Front door wreath. Photo by Devon Ellington

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly sunny/cloudy and cold

I hope you had a great holiday weekend, if it was a holiday, or a great weekend no matter what.

Curl up and let’s have a catch-up.

If you missed my post on creating an Oasis on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolution site, you can read it now.

Friday was mostly about switching out fabric: taking the autumn fabric off various surfaces, deciding what Yuletide fabric would go on them, ironing as needed, washing what came off.

Basically, if it doesn’t move, it gets covered with fabric and décor, so the cats keep moving when the boxes come out.

Saturday morning, I realized that the chapter I wrote on Friday needs to be about two or three chapters further into the book, since it sets off the climactic sequence. I renumbered that chapter and went to create the interim chapters. I only got 709 words written, before we really had to get going on our day.

It was Small Business Saturday, so that’s what we did – we small businessed.

First, it was down to Cheshire to Whitney’s Farm to get the wreath. On the way back, we stopped at Adams Fresh Market for a few things. We dropped everything off, then headed up to Bennington, where we parked off Main Street and visited the local small shops and got our holiday shopping done, except for one thing I got in Williamstown on the way back.

All small business/individual artist stuff.

When I got home, the few things I’d ordered (from yet another small business) arrived.

So everything is ready to be packed and shipped this week.

Whew!

We also visited a favorite thrift store up in Bennington. I found some adorable vintage ornaments, including a pair of glittery  airstream trailers that totally fit in with THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. I found a wooden hot air balloon ornament, and a few other things, including a piece of a Christmas village.

vuntage trailer ornaments. Photo by Devon Ellington

I’ve always wanted a Christmas village, but haven’t found what I want within my budget. This year, I decided who needs matchy-matchy? I can create it just by picking up thrift store pieces I enjoy and build something unique.

Because you know I’ll wind up creating stories set in it.

When we got back, I got a few more decorations packed up into the closet in Tessa’s room, and got out the small tree for the porch. It’s together, but without lights and ornaments.

Sunday, I chose not to write. I made a mad dash to a store I dislike, in the hopes they would have some taper candles, and I got the last box of white tapers in the place.

We cleaned off the mantel, put up better hooks, and put some of the decorations we want up there. I also packed away a bunch of stuff that had been there.

In previous years, in fact, since I have a memory of these holidays, we always displayed our holiday cards on red ribbons hung beside the doorframes. It looked good in Chicago, in Westchester, on Cape Cod. I did it when I lived in Florida, San Francisco, Seattle, and Manhattan.

But here, it doesn’t look right. The doorways are tall, and even re-cutting ribbon for the full length looks spindly. These doorways need grand garlands. Which is not happening this year.

So I bought a cork bulletin board. I covered it in holly fabric, with burgundy and gold ribbon around the edges, and we will pin our cards to the board and keep in on the fireplace mantel. It looks nice, and we will build the rest of what we put on the mantel around that.

We got the carolers up on their little table. And the gold bells on the living room door. We worked on the big staircase from the front door up to the actual apartment. The nutcrackers march down one side of it, the tallest at the top, the smallest at the bottom. On the other side, we have the deer going up, the largest deer at the bottom, the smallest on top. We still have to do the garland and the lights, but at least these pieces are in place.

And that’s all that got done. No tree in the stand or decorated yet.

I started to berate myself for not getting it all done in one day (I used to get it all done in one, eight-hour day). Then I remembered how much I’ve accumulated since then, and that we are still trying to figure out what looks best where. Last year we just kind of slapped it up wherever. This year, we are putting more thought into it. If it takes time, it takes time.

I found Charlotte’s banana in all of this, which has been lost for weeks, and all is now right with her world.

I was tired and my back hurt by Sunday night. I went to bed early. In the morning, I had answered some questions that came back after one of the coverages, going into more detail and offering some resources to the writer.

Up early on Monday. Tessa supervised my morning yoga, making sure I didn’t slack off.

I did, however, have a hard time getting it together.

I managed to finish the chapter on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. One more interim chapter, and we’ll be where we need to for Friday’s chapter to happen, and then hurtle forward.

I got the promotions uploaded and scheduled for “Just Jump in and Fly” which always gets a push at this time of year. Since it’s one of my favorite pieces, I like promoting it. I had to do a new graphic for “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” because the ad just didn’t work. But I got it done, uploaded and scheduled. Then, I got the Topic Workbook promotions uploaded and scheduled through the end of the year.

I’m allowing all the promotions, of the above, and of Legerdemain, to run through the end of the year. Then, we’ll see what Yegads Muskrat is up to. If the platform continues its rightwing extremist skew, my audience isn’t on it anyway, and I’ll lock down my account and see where else makes sense. I don’t want to give up the account, but I’ll lock it down. I can’t even do anything with the Fearless Ink account, because if I sign out of the DE account to go to the FI account, I can’t sign back into the DE account. Maybe I’ll sign into the FI account from the library.

I bit the bullet and signed up for Post’s waitlist. We’ll see.

The tablet is running slowly and I’m having trouble doing anything on Hive. I wish they had a desktop app. So many writers and readers are there that it makes sense to be there. But if I can’t do anything on it, it’s just a frustrating waste of time.

There are people running around screaming and bullying about this site and that site, pretending they actually know what they’re talking about and their “deep dives” into the sites are anything but self-serving. The sites all screw with our info, that’s part of the deal. You take precautions, and leave when you don’t like it. And the truth is, no one knows which platform works for what, because it will depend on who winds up where. Twitter was unique in its time and place. That it survived as long as it did is amazing. Now, it’s time to try new things. The whole adapt-or-die thing.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Was too tired to try any more decorating/unpacking. Read a little bit for pleasure. Went to bed pretty early.

Up around five this morning, which was good. I got my morning routine done early enough to get to other things quickly. I could really enjoy the morning yoga, which was nice. And, yes, Tessa was right there to make sure I didn’t try any shortcuts!

The big thing I started this morning was one of the two holiday stories that have to go out this month. I should have written them in August, but, hey. I’ve been thinking about this one since about October. I drafted about 2K this morning; it will need some work, and it will be longer than I’d hoped, but that’s the way it goes. This is the one that will go with the December newsletter. I’d written sections of the story in my head for a few weeks now, so it wasn’t just trying to figure it all out. I’m also writing in my head the flash fiction that will go up on Ko-fi. As soon as I draft this story, I’ll switch over to that one.

Which means this is probably a day off writing THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. Which is okay, because I hit the 50K I needed for Nano. And now I can flow between projects as needed, rather than stressing over hitting 50K.

I have to contact an interview source for the article recently contracted, and get that scheduled. I need to ask my friend when he wants the notes on his manuscript. I need to get to the post office today to mail the last overseas cards and the one overseas package, because I didn’t do it yesterday in the rain. I have to research the artist whose pieces I bought as gifts on Saturday, so I can make a little slip of paper to enclose with the gift (the store didn’t have the info, and not even all the pieces have her name). Note to creatives: At the very least, have a removable sticker with your name and website on the pieces you sell.

I have two scripts to turn around this afternoon. Hopefully, I can do it fast enough so that I have time to work on the decorations. Tonight, I need to start a book I promised I’d comment on for another friend, and I also want to start the domestic cards. My original idea is to write a few every night, but it might be a stronger choice to block off, say, tomorrow night or Thursday night and see how many I can get done.

The Artists Working Group is supposed to meet late this afternoon. A few days after Thanksgiving sounds like a COVID spreading opportunity to me, and I don’t trust that they will mask without being asked.

So I will skip it.

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a good one.

Fri. Nov. 18, 2022: Words, Grief, and Mars Retrograde Influences

image courtesy of Enrique Meseguer via pixabay.com

Friday, November 18, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and cold

Yesterday was just kind of weird and all over the place. Meditation was good, and Charlotte was thrilled and sat on my lap the whole time. Between meditation on Thursdays and soup class on Mondays, she feels very well adored. Because, of course, Zoom is all about her.

I was late getting my Nano words in on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, but managed 2051, with an interesting twist to the story. I’m veering farther from the outline, which is why an outline is a roadmap, not a prison. I’m not thrilled with that day’s work, but it opens up some interesting arcs. I will have to decide if they all need to be wrapped up in this book, or some of them go a few books into the series. I’m leaning toward the latter.

Over 40K now, so the finish line is in sight. About halfway through the book’s sweet spot for the genre.

Did the social media rounds to promote Legerdemain, and to interact. Because they both go hand in hand.

Put in the Chewy order. Ordered the new coffeemaker in a pre-Black-Friday sale.

One of the things I don’t miss about Twitter that I liked about other platforms is that we are more responsible for curating our own feeds. I was so sick of the “if I haven’t followed you back, give me a shout” or “prove you’re not a bot”. No, bitch, I’m not your administrator. Fix your own timeline. I’ve got enough work handling mine. I’m not doing unpaid labor on your accounts.

Of course, the bullies and the trolls are trying to invade the other platforms, demanding what others can and can’t post about and how. Counter Social handles it well. Mastodon, because it’s so many different servers, and each has different protocols, is harder to navigate.

However, one thing I am firm about is not putting “content warning” on something because it’s a project I’m talking about or promoting. While I am more than my work, being on social media is about the work. If you don’t like it, we’ll just do a mutual block and not come up on each other’s timelines.

One traditionally published author was ranting about how writers “have to” put content warnings on anything that might sound like promotion (which is, basically, any time a writer talks about their own work), because she “didn’t want a timeline full of promotions like on Twitter.” Then curate your timeline, you dumbass. Again, don’t expect other people to do your work for you. You don’t want to read promos? Filter, block, mute, or hey, JUST SCROLL BY. Don’t bully others who are trying to keep a roof over their heads because you have a traditional publishing PR machine behind you.

Blocked. Noted the name so I NEVER buy or take one of her books out of the library. I rarely say never, but in this case? Never.

I completely forgot it was Freelance Chat day on Twitter and missed it.

In the afternoon I saw a post asking if anyone knows a video editor to “chop up” a large block of video into chunks.

Bitch, that’s not what video editing is.

How insulting to anyone who is an actual editor. Video editing is about nuance and precision timing, and restructuring the smaller blocks so they stand alone while feeding the whole arc.

Mars Retrograde much?

The Mars Retrograde definitely influences me wanting to punch so many people in the throat right now. And I have to watch myself.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon, not three. One has a problem, which I hope will be fixed. Grabbed a couple more for early next week. I have two very long coverages to do today, but I’ll do what I need to do.

Got the next two books for review.

Twitter is in its death throes. A lot of us were on there last night, saying goodbye. Some people I’m okay with letting go. I figure the ones with whom I’m really tight, we are already connecting through other means.

There’s talk about creating “another Twitter” but I don’t think that can be done. It was unique. For all its flaws, it did a lot for connection and communication. I’ve been on there since March of 2009, for goodness’ sake. That’s 13 years, which is a long time.

Other platforms are different and serve different purposes. Sarah Kendzior pointed out how this is different than other platforms fading away because this is intentional destruction. I’m sad I couldn’t save my Fearless Ink archive (I have my DE archive). But if I sign out of the DE account, I won’t be able to sign back in, and I won’t be able to sign into the FI account anyway.

I’m sad. It’s definitely meant my sales take a hit, as far as the Topic Workbooks, the Delectable Digital Delights, and the serial. But I will figure out other marketing paths and regain lost ground.

There are things I won’t miss, but there’s a lot that I will. But this is what happens when it’s owned by someone else, and why it’s so vital to have one’s own website and space, apart from social media.

With all the grieving, I also look forward to trying to create something different elsewhere. I will probably try and leave several platforms, or have to use different platforms for different things. But the work will continue.

Former clients are contacting me in a panic, wanting consults on what to do next. I’m telling them to hold tight, because entire marketing strategies will have to be re-devised, and we’re all making it up.

This morning, the cats let me sleep until a quarter to six, which was nice. The work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH took longer than I would have liked, but came in at 2831 words. It’s a complicated ensemble chapter, but sets up some necessary dynamics, and I’m pleased with the bones of it.

I was supposed to be part of a state legislative session on the arts this morning, but they didn’t send me the link, and I’m not chasing it down, so there’s that.

I need to pick up a lot of books at the library, and head out to Wild Oats to pick up a few things. Script coverage this afternoon. It’s snowing and not every few minutes, so hopefully the weather won’t be too bad for errands.

I hope tomorrow’s weather is good enough for the jaunt down to Great Barrington. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week.

Have a good weekend, friends, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Wed. Nov. 16, 2022: Snow to Icy Rain

image courtesy of Andreas via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Icy rain and cold

I talk in detail about my process for the Writer’s Rough Outline over on The Process Muse. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m always grateful having control of my schedule, and yesterday was another day for it.

I got my Nano words in first thing. I started to do the social media rounds, promoting Legerdemain and doing all the rest. The snowstorm wasn’t set to hit until late at night. But the pre-storm headache got more intense, and the clouds got thicker.

So I stopped what I was doing, and made the store run to get a tarp and some bungie cords a few hours early.  On a whim, I stopped at the thrift store and found three more cute Santas and some more adorable Christmas mice for my collections. Because I love them.

When I came back, we brought in the rest of the plants and decorations and shelves and stuff from the back balcony. I’ll go into that in more detail in tomorrow’s garden post over on Gratitude and Growth. We tarped down the big bench and the bistro chairs folded on it which will stay out all winter. And rearranged what we had to in here.

I got out all the garbage before the snow started. And then started the social media rounds. Mastodon was down most of the day, which is no big deal. They’re doing the best they can. CounterSocial has a lot of Twitgees coming over, trying to cause drama, and nobody’s giving it to them.  Some are flouncing back off to Twitter; others are getting blocked or banned. I’m pretty sure I’m going to dump Cohost before the end of the year. I’m not enjoying it, and the focus/interests of most of those I’ve encountered are very different from what I want and need from a platform.

Turned around two scripts. I’d almost finished with the book for review, and got an extension. I will get that out today. I also have three script to turn around today, so it’s a good thing I’m home all day. I did well for the pay period that ended yesterday, a little higher than my goal. Hopefully, there will be enough in the queue over the coming weeks to make my nut AND take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off.

Angry that the Narcissistic Sociopath gets to make another run for President. Merrick Garland has failed the country. He had the chance to defend it, and he chose not to. I’m disappointed in him as a professional, and as a human, and enraged that these traitors keep getting away with it.

This whole “oopsie, Russia hit Poland by mistake” is ridiculous. Russia is testing NATO. And these new reports it was a Ukrainian missile gone astray? I don’t buy it.

The snow was lovely. I spent a chunk of time sitting at the window, watching it. But during the night, it turned to an icy rain. Tessa woke me up around 4 so I could put a bucket under the leak on the front porch. Then, Charlotte didn’t want me to go back to sleep. We battled until I finally got up a little after 6. Miss Thing is, of course, fast asleep on the bed again.

I’ve been playing with the idea I had in a dream a few nights ago that would make a good novel or novella. The premise is strong, the characters work, but I’m not sure how to make the plot work. Something to play with, probably in longhand, after Nano.

This morning’s Nano went well. Chapter 17 of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, coming in at 2461 words. I was worried the chapter was a tangent, but I found a way to make the subplot echo certain elements of the plot and tie together. That was a relief.

If the temperatures hadn’t risen and it changed over to rain, we’d be in a serious snow day by now. But it’s hovering around freezing, so it’s yucky, but not snowdrifts.

Back to the page.

Published in: on November 16, 2022 at 9:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 16, 2022: Snow to Icy Rain  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Nov. 11, 2022: Words

(image courtesy of M. Maggs via pixabay.com)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Veteran’s Day

Thank you to all the veterans for all they’ve done in their military service, and what they do once they come home.

Yesterday was decently productive. I mean, as far as NaNo went, hitting over 4K, it was hugely productive, but the rest was okay, too.

I did the SM rounds, promoting Episode 32 of Legerdemain, and chatting, hanging out, interacting. I participated in Freelance Chat. We all had the sense that it might not last much longer, with Twitter being intentionally run into the ground.

I’ve downloaded my Twitter archive, and will probably put it on the external drive (because I have no idea what to do with it). I took the Twitter app off my phone.

Turned around a script in the afternoon, and could actually start my long weekend by about 4 o’clock. Mostly, just played with the cats and puttered.

Dreamscape wasn’t much fun last night. I wound up in some weird dystopia that might be an inspiration for dystopian sci-fi, if I wrote that.

Tessa and Charlotte were impossible this morning, but I fed everyone and hit the page again for THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. Wrote the next chapter, which came in at 2098 words. More of a struggle today, sort of feeling like I’d used up all my words yesterday. But I got there. A character who was supposed to be nice (in the outline) has turned out to be not-so-nice, but it works for the piece. It could create some interesting conflicts down the road. I’m rearranging some of the things in the outline to make it flow better.

The plan for today is to work on LEGERDEMAIN and ANGEL HUNT, and to run errands to pick up my mother’s prescription and go to the grocery store. I’ve got some home-and-hearth stuff to do over the weekend. If it’s nice, we might make a jaunt down to Great Barrington tomorrow.

I’m also going to finish the feedback on my friend’s book, so I can send it off. Somewhere in there, I need to ramp up promotions for The Topic Workbooks, and create a media kit for Legerdemain.

Have a good weekend, my friends, and I will catch you on the other side.

Thurs. Nov. 10, 2022: A Sunny Autumn Day

(image courtesy of Tim Hill via pixabay.com)

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and cold

I’m late posting, because I was busy writing.

The latest on the garden, and last night’s avian visitor, is over on Gratitude and Growth.

I realized I need to rewrite my cover letter template, the one I use as the basis for sending out LOIs. It’s become outdated.

Did some work on future posts for THE PROCESS MUSE yesterday. Did the SM rounds to interact and promote Process Muse. I’m behind reading other Substackers, and need to build time into the weekly schedule to do that. It’s very much about being a reciprocal community. I’ve blocked off some time tomorrow to catch up.

Did a library run, dropping off books, and picking up the eight books waiting for me. Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Made chicken enchiladas for dinner, and they were excellent.

I feel better about the election results. I spent a good deal of time yesterday listening to people whose opinions I respect. I’m still wary, but I feel like I have a fuller perspective now. And, as I said, I’m happy about the results in my home state. And I want indictments to happen. NOW. No more excuses. When you crime in real time on video, there need to be consequences.

I was tired and went to bed ridiculously early. Busy in the Dreamscape, putting a garden to bed in front of what looked like a British cottage, only it wasn’t as damp.

Up early, and at the desk. Got in one chapter of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH before meditation. I was on a roll, with the next scene boiling in my head, so I wrote a second chapter after mediation. My total today is 4007 words, and I’ve passed 25K for the month, so I can take a breath. I don’t want to skip any days, but I don’t have to panic, either. At a third of the way through the month, I’ve hit half the word count, so steady work until 50K will mean I can slow down later in the month around Thanksgiving.

Meditation was good, although Charlotte was a pill until she got settled in front of the Zoom screen.

I have a script that needs to be turned around quickly, today, so once I make the social media rounds, I will do that first, before going back to any other writing or reading. I’m in good enough shape that I can take tomorrow off script reading; I have two scripts in my queue for Monday.

I have house-and-hearth stuff to do in the next few days, along with working on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, LEGERDEMAIN, and ANGEL HUNT, and finishing reading/critiquing my friend’s book. I want to get that out to him this weekend. I also need to get back to the radio plays.

If you’re taking the holiday tomorrow, I wish you a good long weekend. If you’re not, we’ll meet again here virtually tomorrow!

Have a good one!

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it!

Wed. Nov. 9, 2022: One Foot in Front of the Other

(image courtesy of pexels via pixabay.com)

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Last Day of the Full Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and cold

I’ve split the post into Writing stuff and Politics, so you can find what interests you under each header, and skip the other part, should you choose.

Writing/Work/Life

I was happy with yesterday’s work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, but frustrated and worried that I didn’t get anything done on either LEGERDEMAIN or ANGEL HUNT. LEGERDEMAIN is more important, at this point, because in a week or two, I need to upload/schedule the rest of the episodes through December (I’m uploaded/scheduled through Dec. 13). While the episodes are written, the arc is not complete, and I don’t like to upload/schedule until I’ve completed the arc and edited everything multiple times. So this weekend needs to be a big push on Legerdemain. Fortunately, I’m taking the Friday holiday off client work, which means I can focus on LEGERDEMAIN.

I caught up on a bunch of email. I did the social media rounds, promoting Episode 31 of LEGERDEMAIN and trying to build a presence.

Today’s post on The Process Muse is about “Character: The Heart of It All” and you can read it here. I hope you subscribe. It’s free.

Too many creepy dudes trying to get dates on Tribel for my taste so far. One can promote and brand, but there’s a lot of blocking and resetting privacy settings going on for me there. I’m also really on the fence about Cohost. I don’t think it’s the right place for me, but I’ll give it a few more weeks. Maybe.

Ello, of course, is great. Tumblr is getting better, with friendly faces migrating over. I’m enjoying the conversations on Counter Social. There are a few DystopTwitter refugees trying to turn it into another Twitter (the negative elements), but they’re getting shut down pretty quick, and I hope that continues.

I’m surprised by how much I like Mastodon. I’m still learning platform etiquette, but so far, it’s a great mix of finding cool people from all walks of life/interests, and not having to deal with screaming morons. Plus, they encourage artists to promote their work.

While I pulled my information through on Debirdify, I’m taking my time deciding who to follow instead of just insta-following everyone I knew from before. I needed to clean up the Twitter followers/following list anyway, and this give me an opportunity to do that.

I’m making notes and collecting information as I go, so I can make informed decisions by the end of the year as to where I want to stay, for both professional and personal reasons. The two are intertwined with me.

Turned around two script coverages in the afternoon. I have two to do today, and I hope to pick up two for tomorrow, and then be clear until Monday.

Up early, and wrote Chapter 9 of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, which came in at 1983 words. The characters are surprising me for the right reasons. The computer decided to update and restart and took over 30 minutes, so I lost part of the time blocked off for the work, which irritated me.

I should have gone to the laundromat, but I suspect they haven’t yet adjusted for the time change. I have to make a library run later. I have books to drop off and a great, big stack waiting for me.

Election

This will be a short section, since all the results aren’t yet in. I caved and doomscrolled far too long last night on Twitter.

I got what I wanted in my state, so at least I know my votes counted.

I don’t get people acting like the Dems did something great. They lost too many key positions to Republicans and, as I write this, House and Senate majorities still aren’t confirmed.

NONE of these races should have been close. Good people don’t vote for Republicans, not in 2022,  and anyone who still defends family members or friends who do so are delusional.

Even worse are those who chose not to vote. There’s a special circle of hell waiting for them.

Just because the Dems weren’t wiped out and didn’t do as badly as usual in midterms isn’t enough of a victory. We lose either the House or Senate, and we’re screwed. We lose both?

This falls squarely on the shoulders of Merrick Fucking Garland for not indicting the Sociopathic Monster and EVERY member of Congress who voted against certifying the election. I’m tired of Dems without balls.

I’m glad for the wins in the blue column, but there weren’t enough of them.

I need to get back to work and try to survive the coming hellscape. Survive, my friends. Concentrate on survival.