Thurs. May 18, 2023: A Poetry-Centric Week

Clark Art Institute Reflecting Pool. Photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Dark Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and cold

It was 29 degrees F when I woke up this morning, and then dropped to 27. Brrrrr.

The latest on the garden is over on Gratitude and Growth. Once again, Twitter is no longer letting WP post the link. I’m back on it a lot for the WGA Strike news, but then, I need to be done with it.

Today’s serial episode is from Legerdemain:

Episode 86: Bedpan Guy

Brone’s rescuer recognized Brone’s attacker. Sort of.

Legerdemain Serial Link

Legerdemain Website Link

I have to sit down with my long range plan (which is, as always, somewhat of a work in progress) and make some business decisions over the next couple of weeks. This is a good thing, not a bad thing, but it takes time and mental space, and needs to be done. I’d like to walk a labyrinth as I ponder it, but I won’t get to do that until I get to Kripalu later in the season.

Of course, once I make the decisions, I then have to build the schedule to implement them.

Worked on the poem for Sunday. Still need those last two lines to give it a big finish.

Only got about half of a Legerdemain episode written. Had trouble concentrating.

Did the social media rounds for Angel Hunt and for Process Muse.

Headed down to Bear & Bee Bookshop, They are delighted to host the Boiler House Poets Collective reading in September, and we set it for the 30th. So happy about it. Love that place.

Now we can figure out the graphics for the marketing and get that prepped, so it’s ready to go when we need it.

Created a couple of video pieces in the afternoon, two on FlexClip, one on Canva, as a comparison/contrast. I did a promo video for the Topic Workbooks on both. I have to edit out some text on the FlexClip one that I didn’t see when I was putting it together. I did a video promo for ANGEL HUNT on FlexClip with I love. I will let them sit for a few days before I start uploading them.

Of the two, FlexClip is easier for me, and reminds me more of the tools I learned in film school and then used in iMovie. If/when I have to buy a subscription, I’m more likely to do so on FlexClip. I should do both, since I use Canva for promotional materials for the serials, but if I can only afford one, it’s more likely to be FlexClip at this point. Although I bet Canva will change its policies and I’ll be forced to pay for both.

Creating the videos for Legerdemain will be a challenge, because I don’t want to do one per episode.

When I get my new camera, I’ll be able to do photo/video shoots specific to projects, and that will be an improvement, too. I mean, my degree is in film production, FFS.

I did some client work in the afternoon (reluctantly), but it was done and out on time.

I got my word for July’s poem, and am thrilled with it. It aligns with the ideas I’ve been playing with, so I don’t have to start from scratch.  I will work on that today. I have to turn in my segment of the poem by 3 PM.

It’s a very poetry-centric week!

Got the contract back to Llewellyn. I love my editor there so much. We work well together.

Maintenance is coming around late this week/early next week to test smoke alarms, etc. I need to tidy up a bit from the chaos of multiple projects, turning over the apartment into summer fabrics, and the storage run.

I started reading the next book for review.

I had a bad night of stress dreams. I’m so grateful for all the good that’s in my life right now, and annoyed that I’m still having sense memory stress.

On today’s agenda: meditation, for the start. The priority today is the poem due by 3 PM. If possible, I will also finish the episode of Legerdemain. I’d like to finish Sunday’s poem, too. And I have some client work to do this afternoon. That’s probably as far as I will get, along with doing the social media rounds for today’s episode of Legerdemain. The episode graphic is kind of fun, and this is one of the more comic episodes.

Have a good one!

Tues. Feb. 7, 2023: Variety as Spice and Obstacle

image courtesy of Reimund Bertrams via pixabay.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Last Day of Full Moon

Sunny and cold

Well, that was quite the weekend. Let’s sit down and have a catch-up, shall we?

Friday, I did the blogging. I drafted two episodes of Legerdemain. That felt good, and the arcs I have intersecting and weaving in this second big arc are coming together. I’ve adjusted the outline slightly. I know where I’m headed; I’m just not sure how many episodes it will take to get there. I’m also using Legerdemain in the Writing Wonders game over on Mastodon, which is fun.

I took care of a bunch of admin. I finished a script coverage and did a scoring sheet on another project. I did some research on some residencies, and there’s one for which I’d like to pitch, but I have to decide which of my projects makes the most sense to apply there.

I finished reading a book in the late afternoon/evening that was recommended, but I lost patience with the self-sabotaging protagonist who wasn’t very bright and didn’t grow. She wasn’t someone I wanted to spend that much time with, and she wasn’t interesting enough to hold my attention once she lost my respect.

Started re-reading Anne Truitt’s DAYBOOK. If you’re not familiar with Anne Truitt’s work, she was a visual artist/sculptor/painter/writer. I was first introduced to her work through her books, published diaries and musings about her relationship to her art in the 1990s, when working on a collaborative theatre piece about women’s diaries. I re-read her books DAYBOOK, TURN, and PROSPECT regularly. If you do any type of creative work or enjoy others’ creative work, I recommend these books. They will give you a lot of insight into process.

On a trip to Washington, DC, a few years before moving to Cape Cod, there just happened to be a retrospective of her work at one of the museums along the Mall, and I was thrilled to spend quality time within the physical pieces about which I’d read over the years.

It was -10 when I went to bed on Friday night and -17 when I got up. The power held overnight, but the internet fluctuated (which was fine, because I slept through the whole thing).

I made vegetable stock on Saturday morning. I did the rounds putting up the day’s prompt, and then I sat down and drafted a couple of first drafts of short stories inspired by the prompts. Most under a thousand words.

I had three ideas for the first one, at the airport bar. The first two worked pretty well (especially the second one, set in the TWA Sunken Lounge). The third, I literally lost the plot. I had an idea Friday night, and lost it, although I remember the opening. The story for the second prompt used a character from one of the first stories, and had a unique twist, but I haven’t yet decided where I want to do with it. The third prompt was a lot of fun, kind of a sweet story, and the 4th is okay, but needs more of a climax. But that’s what first drafts are for, for me. To figure out what I’m trying to say.

I don’t know if I’ll use all the prompts, but these were fun. If I can take the character in the middle story I wrote for Prompt 1 and used in Prompt 2 and come up with fun interlinked stories all month (aside from whatever else I do), that would be a good challenge.

A lot of paying markets now want speculative and horror, and, of course, none of these so far are that. Oh, well, it just means looking at the markets. The linked stories are action/thriller; the others are contemporary women’s fiction.  They’re under three different bylines, at this point, because the tones of the pieces fit those bylines.

I’m writing all month, then going back to rewriting, and not even thinking about submitting until later in the spring. I doubt I’ll do something for every prompt, but it’s a nice warmup.

Turned around three coverages on Saturday. Read one of the books for review.

Went to bed early, because I was tired. Slept decently, and up at the usual time on Sunday. I went out a did a big grocery shop in the morning, restocking staples we’ve used up, and getting stuff for recipes I want to try this week. Five overflowing bags. That should keep us going for a while.

I read up on Corsica, which is where the next section of the Heist Romance script takes place, with the focus on the romance portion, rather than the heist portion. I realized  that they can’t take the ferry out of Nice, it has to be Toulon. Researching Toulon, I found out about Mont Faron and the cable car ride, and used that as a setting for a couple of scenes. Wrote 8 pages, and they’re on the ferry to Corsica now.

I have more research to do on Corsica (and I watched a bunch of great videos) before I can write this section. I came up with a way to tie it in to the main plot at two points, too, and I might even send them across to Sardinia for a day or two.

Obviously, I am doing this script as high-concept, big budget and not limiting my parameters at all. Which is kind of fun.

Turned around three coverages. Spent some time on Spoutible. When it runs, I have to say I enjoy it. It’s like Twitter without all the screaming and trolling, although I suspect that will change when it opens up to the general public this week. There are still some glitches, and it’s clunky moving between screens, but they fix problems and listen when people bring something up. So we’ll see. And I’m having a lot of fun on the Writing Wonders game over on Mastodon.

As I’ve said before, Twitter mostly makes me sad now. The algorithm hides followers from each other, unless they pay the monthly fee. There are a few people I regularly interact with, and I just go to their feed and see what they’re up to, but it’s even making that more difficult. Of the “writers” that are still there, most of them are posting either faux engagement questions they got off a clickbait list,  or expecting other writers to do their work for them. I’ll have the data by May or June to see if the promotional posts are even driving traffic anymore (I doubt they are), and then I’ll make my decision.

Because, for me, social media can’t just be about hanging out. It’s part of my business. It needs to drive traffic back to the websites, and translate into purchases or other forms of mutual support. Sites that don’t do that need to fall off the daily rounds, because my time and energy needs to be spent elsewhere. I love hanging out and chatting with people on a wide variety of topics, but when it’s all one-sided (as in chatting, and I’m supporting their projects, but they’re not supporting mine), it becomes an unbalanced relationship. Since I”m being far more careful to avoid those in real life, I also need to avoid them virtually.

Started reading the next book for review.

Honored the full moon.

Slept reasonably well, was up earlier than usual on Monday, and had to override the automatic start time on the coffeemaker because I couldn’t wait that long.

Drafted an episode of Legerdemain.

Revised/edited the next four episodes of Legerdemain, with the multi-colored draft, followed by two more rounds of revision and a polish. Uploaded those four episodes, which gets me to the beginning of March. Now I can draft a bigger batch of episodes, and that will help, if, in revisions, I have to plant something earlier than I thought.

Put in a couple of big orders for things I need (cleaning supplies, etc.) shipped. Still waiting for the Midnight City Tarot that should have arrived last week, but the “tracking” doesn’t show where it is; just says “moving through network.”

I hate DeJoy and he should be in prison, not running the post office.

Picked up the stack of books waiting for me at the library.

I got a coverage turned around and was almost through the second when I was hit with a bunch of admin stuff that had to be done immediately. Some of it is tax-focused (a company for whom I’ve freelanced a lot this past year is screwing me on the 1099 – I really need to find a replacement for that client). And there’s other paperwork that’s come through for a big project, and I’ll share details as soon as I’m allowed and everything is signed.

Of course, the printer ran out of ink during all of this.

I was too out of sorts to go back to coverage. I made Eggplant Mykonos for dinner (from Moosewood, of course), using graffiti eggplant rather than the usual dark eggplant, because that’s all that was in the store. I really liked it.

I read more of the book for review in the evening. I couldn’t settle back into coverage, and I’ll pay for that today. It means I have 5 coverages that HAVE to be turned around today, AND I have soup class tonight.

The Goddess Provisions box arrived, and it’s wonderful.

Slept well until Charlotte woke me at 1, then had trouble getting back to sleep, and had stress dreams until the coffee started. Hauled the laundry over to the laundromat and got that done. I did some work in longhand on a project – I’m a little over 50 pages in to that one. I need to type it up and then outline, because I’m flailing, and it needs an outline. Also read some of Victoria Glendenning’s biography of Edith Sitwell.

I have to give tomorrow’s Process Muse post a polish and get it up, work on Legerdemain, and do the social media rounds. Then, I’ll spend the rest of the day on script coverage, and finish the admin work tomorrow.

Hope you had a good weekend, and are having a good start to the week.

Newest episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it.