Friday, December 3, 2010

Tree with lights. Our walls look yellow in the photo; they are actually taupe.

Friday, December 3, 2010
Day before Dark Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Finished the blog post and got it out yesterday; the administrator and I agreed to postpone the live chat we were both surprised to find on my calendar for next week, which works better all the way around.

Most of the day was spent decorating. It was more stressful than usual. Part of it is that I haven’t found everything yet, and I like to find everything, spread it all out, and let it gravitate towards where it needs to be. Because this is a new space, nothing really knows where it needs/wants to be yet, so there’s a lot of shifting and re-shifting. Not that everything has to be the same every year, but it still feels off-kilter. Spent time on the tree, but it still isn’t finished. The tables are done, though, and look nice. I wish I had all the boxes unpacked in the kitchen and in my office — it’s still a bit at sixes and sevens, and doesn’t make it look all that great. Also, because this is a bigger space, and a lot of our ornaments are for a smaller space, the proportions are out of whack, and things need to be mixed with big and small so it all works. Unfortunately, it feels like pressure instead of enjoyment this year, because I feel I’m really far behind, and, even working hours and hours over several days, it doesn’t seem to get done. Sort of how I feel about the unpacking. At the same time, I have to juggle work and the yard — which in the storm, refilled with leaves again, so I’m back to square one. I’m going to let them dry out for a day or two before I tackle them again. I don’t want to deal with them when they’re wet.

Had to go out to get ornament hangers and a few other things. Went to Michael’s for ribbon and bows — but the shelves are pretty bare of holiday stuff already, and nothing is on sale. Went to Jo-Ann’s, where I found ribbon for the packages, but not the other ribbon I wanted. I have bins and bins of ribbon, of course, but none of them are quite right.

Redecorated the wreath on the front door. For the third time. I still need a gold bow. I think I want to put up a big garland around the door, so I have to measure to make sure we get enough. I also want to get two small trees in pots for the front stoop, but I don’t want to pay a zillion dollars, and yet, I can’t get something so small it will look silly.

Finished Kate Carlisle’s THE LIES THAT BIND, which I enjoyed, and started the first book of a new series by EJ Copperman entitled NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED. I’m enjoying it thoroughly, and it’s anti-developer, which makes me happy, having spent far too much time dealing with Evil Developers in the past few years.

I’m enjoying the workshop thoroughly and will miss it when it’s over. Of course, I need to start writing the lectures for the Stephanie Plum workshop in January, and polish the lessons for ONE STORY, MANY VOICES, that will run the rest of January. If you’re interested in participating in either one, the information is here and here. The Plum workshop doesn’t have a class limit, but the other workshop does.

Got to pay some bills today, run some errands (including grocery shopping), teach, and keep going with the decorating. I’m hoping that Sunday will be the big push to write the cards. I want to get them out the door. I’m making new return address labels for them, with the new address. That will take time. And, this year, I decided I’m doing a Christmas Letter to go inside the card, instead of handwriting all the information. I’ve got the same thing to tell everyone — the move — and it makes sense. I’ll still handwrite all the envelopes, the greetings, and the signatures, but, this year, for the people already in my life — printed letter. I already have acquired quite the list of new people in the area who get cards, and those will need to be done individually. There are two packages I want to get out, too, one overseas and one for Hanukkah, so I’m not totally behind the beat on it. The post office here is teeny weeny, but very busy and about ten times more efficient than the one in Rye, which was small, but inefficient, kept odd hours, and the workers made it very clear that they were doing you a favor by waiting on you. Here, they are actually friendly and helpful and know most of the customers by name.

Excellent writing session this morning. I’m blank-paging this particular piece, and it’s a lot of fun. No idea where it’s going, but I’m enjoying the journey. It’s nice to be in a regular writing groove again.

Still haven’t heard from my editor about the revisions for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. The deadline is January 1 — I hope she doesn’t think she can hand me a list of “fix this” on December 23. Time to have a little chat with the publisher.

Also working on the article that’s due in a couple of weeks.

I’ll figure out the routine. Eventually.


Violet checks to make sure we haven’t left any ornaments in the boxes

Published in: on December 3, 2010 at 8:19 am  Comments (9)  
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Got a nice chunk of writing done yesterday morning. Not necessarily what I was supposed to be working on, but it feels good to get back into the rhythm of daily writing. It’s kind of an odd little comic/paranormal/mystery, so we’ll see where it goes.

Didn’t get as much done on the blog posts that are due, so have to get back to those ASAP. Didn’t manage to get out to rake the flat back before the rains started. Oops. It’ll be icky to work with those leaves later this weekend.

Went to the small, individually owned hardware store one town over to get some replacement hardware, which had been lost in the move. They were really nice, and helped a lot, although finding replacement hardware for the Christmas tree stand was a challenge. That tree’s been in a box for nearly ten years and moved three times. Somewhere in all that, the bag of hardware I kept taped to the inside of the box got lost.

Anyway, came home, tried to put the stand together, found out that the bolts were just a tad too wide,drove back to the hardware store, got the next size down (why can’t they make it a fraction of an inch smaller instead of WAY smaller? I’m starting to understand why the company that made this tree went out of business). The prices are competitive with the big box stores and the people are really nice, so why not shop there and support a local kid who came back and bought the hardware store he worked in as a teen?

Also went to a lovely independent bookstore (next to the hardware store) called Books by the Sea, introduced myself to the people who work there, and bought some great stuff. They’re happy to have another writer in the area, and eager to be supportive.

Put the stand together — it doesn’t do exactly what it’s supposed to, but the tree is steady, and that’s what counts. With the angel on top, it nearly brushes the ceiling. Yep, it’s a big damned tree. And the ceilings in this house are kind of low. But it looks really pretty and full.

Wrestled with the lights (I am such a cliche when it comes to the lights, and it is my least favorite job). Didn’t have enough, so had to go out and get more. If I didn’t like this tree so darned much, I’d chuck it all and buy a pre-lit one, but this tree is special, so I’m just going to have to shut up and deal for its life.

Haven’t found all the ornaments yet — going on a treasure hunt in the storage area to find the rest of them, because we need to spread everything out in order to figure out what to put where. This tree is double the height and width of the one we put up in the apartment, so it will be fun. How did I ever fit it into my NYC apartment? Oh, yeah, I had to move it if I wanted to get to or from the couch!

Also have to get thumb tacks and ornament hangers. I know I have both, just don’t know where. . .

In the evening, watched some TV. Finally got a chance to watch the new season of HUMAN TARGET (and get my Jackie Earle Haley fix). New show runner, major changes. Yes, now they have female series regulars; I don’t know that I’m sold on them yet. There were female guest stars last year who would have made more sense as regulars this season, and it feels like last season’s arcs have been totally tossed and ignored to go in this new direction, rather than dealt with.

Started reading Kate Carlisle’s THE LIES THAT BIND. I like the series, so I’m enjoying it.

Up early, usual yoga, meditation, first 1K of the day, feeding the cats, etc. I want to focus on the tree today, finish up some freelance work, and find my Rolodex so I can start the overseas cards this weekend.

The animal shelter down the street is having a cat adoption weekend — 100 cats need homes. I don’t even know if I can apply to adopt, since I haven’t established myself with a local vet. And it may be too early to bring in the third — Iris and Violet are starting to settle, but they’re not completely comfortable yet.

Scumbag landlords lost their next round against the tenants, so I’m wondering what their next move will be. We haven’t heard peep from them since we left, but I’m sure they’re planning something. They won’t let us go without an attempt at one final big screw, even if their lawyers tell them they can’t win.

Really enjoying the workshop. The points brought up by the students are insightful and discussions are a lot of fun.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a busy day, but a good one. Got quite a bit of unpacking done — close to twenty boxes in the kitchen. Still have a lot more, but we’re getting there. I need to get more bins for the stuff I’m sorting and stashing in the basement, but may need in the future.

The plan was to get something done in the yard, but that didn’t happen.

However, I baked truffle brownies for tomorrow’s dinner, lemon cake for tonight’s dinner, and the beef stroganoff. The latter took nearly three hours, but I think it was worth it.

I took care of some administrative stuff. Sleepy’s delivered the split box — in and out, easy peasy, and the other bed is all set up. Mattress World will give me the same thing at a better price, half the delivery charge, and next day service, so I’m going to them for the second split box on Friday.

MARTHA STEWART LIVING mailed me a recipe for banana-walnut chocolate chunk cookies as a “welcome to your new home” thing — they look really good. Maybe I’ll try them over the weekend.

The guy came to pump out the septic tank — when he was supposed to, was very friendly, and it was done quickly. I picked up a copy of SHERLOCK HOLMES from the books I got from my grandmother, and started re-reading THE SIGN OF THE FOUR, which I haven’t read in probably about twenty years. Fascinating. I’d forgotten how good Conan Doyle was at evoking sense of place and atmosphere.

Had to use my Borders bucks, so I headed to the store and came back with Kate Carlisle’s latest in her bookbinding mysteries, THE LIES THAT BIND. I also picked up the first of a new series by a new-to-me author EJ Cooperman, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED — which, funnily enough, has a blurb from Kate Carlisle. Usually, the author blurbs on a cover cause me to put a book down rather than buy it, but I thought it was funny that I had Carlisle’s book in my hand and was drawn to something she advocated. Also got Norris Church Mailer’s memoir A TICKET TO THE CIRCUS. She died this past week. I was mildly acquainted years ago with both her and Norman (mostly seeing them at parties at the Chelsea Hotel) many years ago, and she died this past week, so I thought it would be interesting to read the memoir. They spent a lot of time in Provincetown.

I’m signed up for the owl seminar on Saturday. Looking forward to it.

As you can see from the time this is posted, I can leave at a civilized hour for Maine — pretty happy about that. Of course, because of that, I didn’t thoroughly pack last night, so I bet you I forget stuff. As long as I bring up the food, right?

It’s just a quick trip — up and back for the meal, because I don’t want to leave the cats for too long. They’re starting to settle in and define territory. Iris is sneezing a lot — I think she has kitty cold. Usually, she gets over it in two or three days; if she doesn’t, I’ll take her to the vet. I need to establish with a new vet anyway, especially if we bring a third into the house, which I hope to do before Christmas. Violet has decided she may be the smallest, be she is Dominant Kitty.

And so it goes. Hopefully, traffic around Boston won’t be too bad.

Have a great Thanksgiving!