Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury — What the Hell?
Rainy and mild

Today is Writers’ Worth Day, and go check out Lori Widmer’s blog. You should read it anyway, if you want to make your living as a writer, because she knows her stuff. You need to learn how to value your work and yourself, and, most importantly, if you think writing for content mills constitutes a “career” you need to get a clue as to what it means to be a professional.

So I’m in a Mercury muddle. I hadn’t thought it was retrograde, and then an astrologer friend said it’s retrograde until May 18. My calendar does not say that. In the back of my calendar, I just saw that it said Mercury was retrograde from April 18 until May 5. So now I’m completely confused. I think my Mercury is just in perpetual retrograde right now, so I’ll have to sort it out this weekend with some alignment work.

Drove up to Westabrook, CT to the Tanger outlet center. Shopping is not my idea of fun, unless it’s books, but I had a list of things I needed, figured I could knock them all out in one spot, and, since I mistakenly thought Mercury was retrograde – – –

Let’s just say it was not fun. Couldn’t find anything I wanted and/or needed in THE ENTIRE COMPLEX. Since we’d driven an hour and a half and it was only 7 more exits to go to Niantic and The Book Barn, that’s what we did.

Gorgeous day to wander through the books. I’d crafted a detailed list of everything I planned to look for there, but, of course, since we weren’t planning to go, I had it at home. I kinda sorta remembered, and picked up the works of John Donne and the works of William Blake, both of which I need to read over the next few months for various reasons. I also picked up Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD, a book I enjoy, but isn’t on my writing shelf. I got a couple of novels, including Tim Powers’s DECLARE. I am rabidly wild about Tim Powers’s writing — I still think his book LAST CALL is one of the best books I ever read in my life. I’m going to read it over the weekend — it’s too big to take with me when I travel at the end of next week, and, once I sit down and open a Tim Powers book, the world falls away until I’m done. So it’s my Sunday treat, since tomorrow will be caught up in the Preakness and the pottery class. Once I’ve finished and submitted my Preakness wrap article to my editor on Sunday, I get to read the book. How’s that for a carrot? I also picked up an anthology that sounded interesting, and it happens to have a novella by yet another of my favorite writers, Sharon Shinn, in it.

Was in the mood for a burger, and, on the recommendation of the staff, tried The Niantic Diner, which is across the street from The Book Barn. The burger was good and hit the spot. I rarely eat red meat anymore because I feel better when I don’t — but once in awhile, when I crave it, it’s exactly what I need.

Drove back — way too much traffic on both I-95 and the Merritt. Still a lot of infrastructure work going on from the stimulus money. It’s a pain in the ass, but the parts of the road that are finished are wonderful. I’ve been driving these roads for decades, and it’s the first time the bridges feel secure and the pavement doesn’t rip up the tires. Yes, this is one of the few places I want my tax dollars! 😉

Couldn’t find Iris when we got home, and nearly had a fit. She’d made herself a nest tucked down amongst a pile of cushions and ignored us when we called. I should have trusted that, since the other two weren’t worried, there was nothing to worry about.

Heard from the vet. We’re going to add an olive leaf supplement and then a homeopathic nasal treatment, as though she has the feline equivalent of a sinus headache. If she responds well to that, we’ll also switch the cats’ drinking water to an alkaline water because Elsa’s pH is too acidic, and that could also contribute to the problem. We’re switching her from the synthetic steroid to a natural one, and, in about a month, will see if we can wean her off it or if we need to continue. The natural steroid has fewer side effects than the synthetic, so it’ll be better to use long-term, but we’ll eventually want to get her off it. We’re adding and subtracting things one at a time to see how each bit affects her, and kind of breaking new ground here. She’s definitely responding well to the first portion of treatment — she made quite a bit o forward progress just in the last two days — so let’s go with it.

I have to handicap tomorrow’s race card and get that up, then drive up to South Salem to get her additional medication. Hopefully, I can get some writing done, too. Thought of another issue in the screenplay — we know what all the older characters do and what got them where they are — the mainstay caper that broke them apart — but what do Lucas and Jimmy “do”? Are they still in college? Do they have jobs? Are they unemployed due to the bad economy? I need to figure that out, even if it’s not a big deal in the story. Lucas’s girlfriend has a job, so why wouldn’t Lucas? I can add in a line about him having a bit of bereavement leave, but then, what about JImmy? I have to figure it out. It can be solved in a short line, but it needs to be addressed.

I better get going — busy day leading into a busy weekend.

Devon

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

It was a busy, fun weekend, and it’s going to be a heck of a busy week.

We hit the road by 9 AM on Saturday, and drove up into CT. The first part of the trip was great, but once we had to leave the Merritt and travel up I-95 — nightmare. The entire I-95 was backed up going North all the way through CT for no reason we coudl ascertain. And heaven forbid the news stations gave us any real information. The Boston station is great about accurate traffic information – the NY and CT stations SUCK.

But we finally got to Old Saybrook Recycled Furniture. I walked in a got a chill –there was a trunk identical to the one I wrote about in GOOD NAMES — simple, unfinished wood with some of the original, once-scented floral paper inside. It was even the same manufacturer I named in the novel. I looked at the tag and figured it must be a mistake — there had to be at least one more zero there — but there wasn’t. And I bought it. I also spotted a two-place-setting, 16 pieces of red-and-white Johnson Brothers china and a few stray pieces from the same set — all for just over $20. Since I’m obsessed with Johnson Brothers china, I grabbed it all.

Originally, it looked like it was all one set. Closer inspection, at home, shows that some of the pieces are from the original “Coaching Scenes” set, and some are later replacement pieces. And the two dinner places are from the “Cotswold” set. But they look good together, and I like them all, so I’m happy.

Then, it was off to Niantic and my beloved Book Barn. I had a list this time, and I didn’t want to deviate too much from it. We stopped downtown first, and I picked up three of the books on the list. Then, it was up to the main set of buildings, the houses and outbuildings that comprise the central Book Barn. I found seven more books. Most of them were on my list; a few weren’t. They didn’t have any of the Edith Whartons I wanted, or anything on Carthage, but I still found more than I normally do when I go up there with a list.

The person in line ahead of me complained that the inventory isn’t online and they don’t ship. The lovely staff member explained that they get eight to ten THOUSAND books in per week, and if they were expected to enter them into a database, they’d all quit. I added that it was a good excuse for a day trip, anyway, and you always find treasures you never knew you wanted.

The staff member also mentioned he’s encouraging people to take the Niantic tote bags with them with they travel and take pictures all over the world with them. I promised to take mine to Prague!

We had lunch at our favorite Yankee Clipper restaurant – baked scallops with garlic and mushrooms, mashed potatoes, cole slaw. As always, delicious.

Then we drove south and visited the Tanger Outlet in Westabrook. Now, I’m not one for malls, but they had the only branch of a store we needed, so we bit the bullet. And I have to say, I”m very impressed with the design. Plazas, green space, very wide covered sidewalks — you don’t feel crowded or rushed, and busses kept vomiting people out every few minutes.

We found the store we needed and made our purchases. There was a Wilson Leather Store, and I got the perfect purse for Prague — at 75% off. So now I’ve got the suitcase, the purse, the wallet. And I like my carry-on. So I’m set.

We stopped at the pet store for me to pick up a few things and I fell in love with a boxer puppy. What a doll, and the coat was so shiny and velvety! If he was up for adoption, I’d have grabbed him in a second! He’s going to be big, though — enormous paws! Very loving, though.

Picked up a few other things, and left, impressed with the place. I’d actually go back voluntarily.

Drove down to Orange, to the LL Bean Outlet, which was a disappointment. They had a lot of stuff — just nothing I wanted or needed.

I-95 North was STILL backed up all the way through CT — and going south wasn’t much better. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see the Merritt Parkway in my life!

Home, dinner, rest. The arm is much better. I used the cream at intervals all day, and iced whenever I could. I didn’t take a Benedryl until just before bedtime, and it conked me out.

Yesterday, I didn’t even turn on the computer. I rested the arm. I photographed the trunk and took it to storage, because I wanted to get it somewhere climate-controlled as soon as possible — the humidity would hurt it. It’ll need some TLC when I move. I’m going to do some restoration work on it just so it looks better, not for any value reason.

I tried to work on the 1950’s couch, but it needs a professional. I am way out of my league on it. I started fixing the similar-style chair. That I can do, although I have to do it over the course of three days, to let each repair dry completely before moving on to the next.

Photographed and logged the china, so I can do some research on it.

I’m reading a fantastic book, I’D RATHER BE WRITING by Marcia Golub. She basically gives the same advice I do about writing, revising, creating time to write, etc., only she’s more personable about it!

The cats got me up at 4 and wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. I am not amused. The couch should arrive today.

I finished “Plot Bunnies”, the comic mystery, this morning. I have to type it and then cut about 1500 words to fit the anthology guidelines. I’ll type it and then put it away for a few days while I work on the second story. While I know it needs work, I’m also pretty happy with the overall content and structure.

I have client projects to do this week, work on the article for which I did the interviews last week, and prep for the site job next week. Since I’m staying there, and only coming home every day for about an hour to feed the cats, clean the litter box, and pick up the mail, I have to be very organized.

I also need to bubble wrap some pictures and haul them to storage, once the couch shows up. And pack more so that I can do the furniture swap when I get back from the site job.

Busy time. But it’s all good.

Lara, yes, I’m a total Benedryl lightweight! That’s what happens when you take the occasional Advil, but nothing else! Abby, great idea — I’ve been thinking of joining SCBWI. I didn’t realize they had insurance. I might also be able to get it through the National Writers’ Union. Brandy, the bite is FINALLY better. And the meditation practice even helps me not scratch it to pieces. The minute I sit down to meditate, I get itchy. If I just keep sitting, it subsides. Applying the same thing whenever the bite acts up helps me not make it worse.

Devon