Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Last Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde (say what)

I was up for 22 hours yesterday, from 3:30 in the morning until nearly 1:30 this morning. Feel like a truck rolled over me. I’m not used to that kind of schedule anymore, especially when I’m not paid television rate!

So it seems Mercury went retrograde over a week ago — why wasn’t it in my calendar? That calendar’s starting to get sloppy. It also explains oh, so much.

I struggled with the writing yesterday. I don’t know how I’m going to get this done. I’m happy with the bones of it, the first few chapters thrum along well, but I’ve lost the rhythm of it, and trying to force it back isn’t working. I’m considering doing an all-nighter to finish, but it still wouldn’t be polished. My time should have been planned better, I should have front-loaded it more rather than getting derailed by events I couldn’t forsee, but that’s not what happened.

I also have serious reservations about the place that put out the call for submissions. They haven’t liked my work before, and, frankly, when I’ve read anthologies of theirs from which I’ve been rejected, I’ve felt relieved not to be included, because I thought the stuff chosen was AWFUL. Not just, “oh, it’s to someone else’s taste”, but downright poor writing, storytelling, and cliched characters. If that’s their “house style” — I don’t want to write to that style, so why am I even submitting?

The call to submission sounded unique and fun, and as soon as I read it, I had ideas, that’s why. But it’s silly to think “this time will be different, this time we’ll be a good match.” We’re not. It’s been proven. Either I change to their “house style” — which goes against what I like to read and write — or I don’t submit. I’m not “their” type of writer. And, other than a few pieces written by a friend of mine, which contain good characters and storytelling, everything I’ve read from their house has been a disappointment.

The characters and situations I’ve set up here are really fun and lively and different from anything I’ve ever seen before. I don’t want to give them the short shrift for an on spec deadline. I’ve already changed storylines simply on the basis of word count, rather than what serves the story best. I think part of the reason I’m struggling is that I know this is not a good match for me. Sort of like when I struggled to meet the deadline for OLD FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, knowing I needed to pull the Jain Lazarus series from its original publisher. So I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. If, suddenly, it catches fire later today, hooray for me, and I might get it out the door tomorrow with notes for changes should it come back. Otherwise, I’ll just plug along, and, when it’s really ready, send it to a different publisher.

It would be horribly ironic, though, if I sent out something I felt was weak, and that’s the piece they liked, rather than polished pieces I sent previously!

I have to see how today goes — I’ve got to take my mom on an appointment and do battle – I am sick and tired of corporations who hire individuals taking delight in hurting Senior Citizens, thinking they can take advantage of them because they’re old. Today is a day when it’s a damned good thing I don’t own a gun or have a carry permit, because today I’d use it inappropriately and without remorse.

Last night was wonderful. The trip into the city wasn’t particularly torturous, for once. Read my book, had my music on. Caught the shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square, walked over to the 1,2,3 line. The 2 & 3 Express trains were jam packed and I didn’t want to be squished, so I took the local 1 instead. Much roomier. And I got out a stop early, walking the last 10 blocks up Broadway. I haven’t been in that neighborhood for years. It’s been gentrified, and, on one hand, it’s cleaner, but they’ve taken down quite a few graceful old buildings and replaced them with ugly ones, and the neighborhood’s character isn’t as much fun.

Symphony Space itself is beautiful. My friend was the very first in line, and we had our pick of seats. We sat about 8 rows back, in the middle. The celebration was the 50th Anniversary of Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — held on her 84th birthday. The panel consisted of Kurt Anderson, Libba Bray, Stephen Colbert, Oskar Eustis, Mary McDonagh Murphy, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Isiah Sheffer. Excerpts of the book were read, and themes and meanings — both personal and universal, were discussed, along with some audience discussion. Unfortunately, several of the audience members had a different agenda — not discussing the book, but trying to get Colbert’s attention. He was very skillful and graceful in diffusing such greed and awkwardness and getting the discussion back on track. Everyone on the panel was interesting and engaging and the opinions and discussion were fascinating.

I’d crossed paths with Oskar Eustis back in San Francisco, when he was running the Eureka Theatre. I’d moved to SF to work at the Eureka, which had burned down when I got there. I got a job, instead, at the One Act, where I remained for the duration of my life in SF. But the community at that time was fairly small, and Oskar and I crossed paths a few times. I thought the world of him then, and I was thrilled when he took over the Public Theatre here. He was wonderful last night — I didn’t talk to him after, it was inappropriate with so many people in the building — but I’m going to drop him a note. He’s one of those intelligent, funny, warm, incredibly perceptive people, and the Public’s lucky to have him.

My friend and I went to a local bar for a glass of expensive but mediocre wine and to listen to some mediocre music. The musicians in the jazz trio were good, but the first singer couldn’t discern that “loud” does not equate with “good” and had no finesse in handling the microphone. The second singer, “in from Vegas” — was just that — a third rate lounge singer. My friend and I got the giggles. There was a production meeting from a small theatre production across the bar from us — people who’d once had their shot, but couldn’t quite make it, but still love the theatre. They have day jobs and do small theatre at night, and, as much as they love what they do at night, there’s still a little voice inside that tells them they failed. They didn’t fail — they’re still doing theatre — but the fear rolls off them like a pungent sweat.

Beside us at the bar were a man and woman. He was in his 50’s — an actor whose name I can’t remember, but who I recognize from small supporting roles on TV shows that shoot in NY. I think he was in some of the stuff I worked on a few years back. I was kind of shocked — he looks good, he’s aging well, except he had Botox only in his forehead, so the rest of his face looks normal, while his forehead looks like a shiny baby’s bottom. The woman with him was in her 40’s, and he obviously Had Plans for Her that night. But she was more interested in the conversation my friend and I were having.

Caught the #1 back downtown. The Shuttle didn’t show up and didn’t show up and didn’t show up at Times Square, because, really, to have it work would mean there was some level of competence on the part of the MTA and there is none. So I popped up and walked back to Grand Central, across 42nd St. Caught the 11:10. got home by 12, was in bed around 1:30.

Elsa was relentless, starting at about 4 AM. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, fed them at 6, and went back to bed, but, by 7:30, it was no use. I had to get up. I have a terrible headache, probably from the bad wine (even one glass?).

I’ve got to help my mom today and then run some MORE money up to the vet. I’m getting a little tired of the constant demands for money. They want a credit card number, but the way they’re constantly adding charges, I don’t want to open my bill one day and suddenly see a few thousand dollars’ worth of charges they “put through” without a thorough discussion.

Will try to get some writing done, too, but the leafblowers are on. Ick.

Devon

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am exhausted. I feel like there’s too much going on, and I just can’t keep up.

There was frost on the ground when I went for a run this morning!

Woke up at 3:30 with full-blown anxiety, which is very unusual for me. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Got up when the alarm went off at 4:45, did my yoga, was out the door for the run by 5:15. Did okay on my double circuit. Feel like I’m making a little progress. Great time to run on Wednesdays — very few people out.

Had to make a detour on the way home. A mallard drake was lost, and I was worried he’d get hit by a car, so I shooed him carefully across the road and through someone’s backyard back to the brook. If the people who live in the house woke up and saw me herding a duck before they had their first cup of coffee — poor things! But at least the duck is safe.

Didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted/needed to yesterday, which was very frustrating. Got the grocery shopping. Ran around to health food stores, trying to find the stuff I need for Elsa — ended up having to order it online.

The vet thinks Elsa’s blood work indicates a pretty serious infection. What we don’t know is the cause, which affects how it’s treated. I’m to stop the antibiotics and wean her off the steriod over the next couple of weeks, adding in a supplement. The antibiotics are treating the symptoms but not the cause and weakening her overall system, so when they’re stopped, she gets sicker faster and doesn’t respond to the next round of treatment. It still could be cancer — or it could be other things. But the steriod is buying her time, not solving the problem, and we need to root out the cause. She is a very sick little cat, in spite of seeming improvement.

On better health news, my mom is doing pretty well. Her bloodwork came back in good shape, and her doctor said I’m doing well feeding her with organic, healthy, whole foods, etc., and she’s in great shape for someone who’s 86. (I do all the cooking for her, and, when I’m not around, prepare meals she can just heat up). My cousin in Maine finished his chemo treatments last week. He’s tired, but he’s hanging in here. Hopefully, Elsa will be well enough soon so I can get up there for a few days. I’d take her with me, but the trip would be too much for her.

Today and tomorrow are do-it-or-lose-it days for the novella. Either I get it done and polished and out the door on Friday, or I lose this opportunity, and it will weigh me down as an unfinished project draining creativity. I really want to get back to ANGEL HUNT and CRAVE THE HUNT next week, so I better get in gear.

I got Elsa to sneeze on one swab, and will keep trying this morning, and then run the swabs up to the vet, and take care of paying for that, yesterday’s phone consult, and the radiology consult that still needs to happen with Cornell. While I certainly feel better about Smith Ridge than many of the other vet establishments around here, there’s still an emphasis on money that turns me off. Yes, they deserve to be paid, but I’m getting a little sick and tired of health care in this country, being people or pets, only going to those who have a lot of cash.

Since so many of our heath problems are caused by the actions of corporations who’ve created environmental and other health risks that make it necessary for so much health care in the first place, those corporations need to kick in.

Speaking of corrupt corporations, while I appreciate Congress posturing and scolding Goldman Sachs yesterday, unless there are actual consequences for the actions of these executives, and they are made an example of what will no longer be tolerated by either Congress or the public on any level, it’s all a lot of hot air. Executives who are found guilty of these frauds (no matter what the company) need to be incarcerated for a looooong time, banned from working in the financial industry ever again, and the profits they made stripped from them and put back into the budget deficits caused by their corruption. Anything less makes the Congressional hearings a joke. A slap on the wrist instead of strong action gives Wall Street the permission to do the same thing again. And they can’t be dealt with as entities. Individuals made these decisions and those INDIVIDUALS must be held responsible, and must make amends for the lives they destroyed.

This evening, I attend the 50th Anniversary celebration for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Stephen Colbert will read, and there will be a discussion. I think it will be wonderful.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 5:16 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,