Wed. Oct. 22, 2014: Writing Immersion and Diving Class

Wednesday, October 22, 2104
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Raining

Busy, busy time.

Friday morning, I was up at 4:30 AM and out the door around 5:45 AM, heading for Woods Hole. I couldn’t quite remember how to get to the Palmer Ave. lot for ferry parking, and, of course, Google Maps, Mapquest, AND GPS on the phone were wrong. Gee, there’s a surprise.

I found it anyway, but sort of remembering where to go when I got there, and made the 7 AM ferry. It was cold and wet outside, so I rode inside, and was able to do my 1K on INITIATE.

I had time, when I reached Vineyard Haven, to have a quick snack – coffee and chocolate croissant at Nat’s Nook, on Main Street. Very good, and it seems like a fun place to hang out. That’s one thing I miss about the area where I live now on Cape – a lack of coffee shops where I can hang out.

Arrived at the library. The workshop was GREAT. We had such fun, and it was very relevant to what I’m doing. I love spending time with the Vineyard Librarians, and I love that Martha’s Vineyard has SIX very distinct libraries, all on one island. I keep threatening to make a day trip and visit all of them!

Lunch at the Black Dog, near the water, burger and a beer. Caught an earlier ferry back than I expected, and it was so beautiful I rode outside the whole way. What a gorgeous day. Hard to come back.

Returned to the library/office for the last couple of hours of the day and tried to catch up. Some books came in that I knew had holds on them, so I went back on Saturday (my Saturday “off”) for about an hour to do processing, etc.

Watched PENNY DREADFUL all weekend. Had really mixed feelings about it. There may be spoilers in here, so read on at your own risk. Loved the production design. Would have been nice if they’d use an occasional key light here and there so we could actually see it. There’s dim lighting for mood effect and then there are scenes that are so poorly lit you can’t tell what’s going on, and this series has too much of the latter. And I started in lighting, and have lit theatre, film, and television, so yes, I know of what I speak. I had problems with the final confrontation with the vampires taking place in a theatre where a different storyline focused. It didn’t make sense, and felt like they’d run out of money for locations. If the vampires had nested in the theatre, the Creature (being not entirely human himself) would have known. And the vampires would have attacked the actors and the audience AND the Creature, so the logic set up in the world didn’t make sense. My biggest problem was, yet again, another male creator depicts negative female sexuality. The lead females were a consumptive whore and a woman possessed when she enjoys sex. Yes, those are common tropes of the era; however, when you’re going to take a genre to new heights, explore it in new ways – I expect better. By the time we got to the madhouse episode, I was irritated – yeah, let’s have an hour-long episode JUST about torturing the lead female character and call it “backstory” and “motivation”. And then the possession episode – right, because if a woman appears strong and in control and then loses control in a passionate encounter and wants/likes sex, she MUST be possessed by a demon. I was outright angry by the end of it. I thought there was a lot of depth and humanity in the other storyline, about Frankenstein and the Creature, but suddenly they have Victor as a morphine addict, several episodes in, without giving us an indication of it before? He wouldn’t be able to think, be as precise or as creative if he was an addict addled by drugs. I thought Harry Treadawell, Rory Kinnear, and Josh Hartnett were all very good. I’m interested in seeing what they do with the next season, but if they continue this negative portrayal of female sexuality (no matter how they pretend to justify it), I’ll stop watching. This is an outdated, overworn cliché that, if you’re going to break new ground with the genre, you have to go beyond “women who enjoy sex are possessed”. I realize that there are plenty of religious fundamentalists who still believe that, but the rest of us have moved beyond it.

The rest of the weekend was about writing INITIATE. Wrote a LOT. Typed up several earlier chapters, because I had to make fixes in a few things that needed to be set up in order for the chapters I’m doing now to work. Didn’t do enough work on RED WIDOW – will have to make up for that this week. I was as surprised as my character when he got unexpectedly seduced by a minor character.

Sent of the writers’ center board minutes on Monday. Spent most of Monday and Tuesday writing. Well, Sunday, too. In fact, I was up until midnight on Monday writing. Tuesday afternoon I had diving class in Onset – learning a lot that will help in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have homework, which I’m sure will spur more questions. I put on some of the equipment. It’s damn heavy. Good to get my hands on things.

To the library early this morning; have the annual meeting for the Writers Center, and then I have to bake, because tomorrow morning, I have a board meeting at the Marine Life Center.

Never a dull moment, and that’s a good thing.

Devon

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Thurs. Oct. 16, 2014: Project Juggles and Other Obstacles

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Stormy and hot

Feels very tropical today. I think it will be a pretty bad storm.

Friday was busy at the library, as was Saturday. Just exhausting. Came home, got some reading done, got some writing done.

Sunday, I did eight loads of laundry (turning over the furniture covers and curtains for fall), did some decorating, and read. I needed a break from writing. Monday, I ran errands and wrote. Tuesday, I finished decorating and wrote.

I’m moving back and forth between working on INITIATE and working on the novella THE RED WIDOW. Two different genres, very different ensembles, both on tight deadlines. Wrote 32 pages of THE RED WIDOW over the weekend, and probably about 20 of INITIATE.

I’m having a bit of trouble with the logic post fight sequence – I have to figure out a bit more.

Watched the Welsh detective series HINTERLAND. Liked most of it, love that they shot it in both English and Welsh. A little too many scenes at night, a little too mannered sometimes as far as being a little heavy-handed with the foreshadowing and some of the symbolism. But, overall, I really liked it, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes the next season.

Read a stack of cozies. Some were fun. Unfortunately, one of the best written had so many typos in it that I got frustrated. When you spell the same name three different ways on the same page, and the writer, the editor, and the copyeditor should have all caught it, there’s a problem. Some of the cozies were so poorly written and the characters so unlikeable that I didn’t even bother to finish them.

I was up early on Wednesday, to get my writing done –worked on INITIATE in the morning. The library was closed for carpet cleaning, so we had a staff development day. We drove to Provincetown, and took a dune tour. I hadn’t done that since the 1970s. The shacks remind me a lot of the conditions out at my friend’s island. It’s great that these retreats still exist. The whole no running water/outhouse thing isn’t really my preferred enjoyment, but I think it’s important to preserve the shacks. It’s a part of the local history and of artistic history, in general, that’s important.

We had lunch at the Lobster Pot, which was wonderful (lobster taco) and a staff meeting, to coordinate who does what when and to whom a little better. Definitely a working lunch, but good food and good company made it productive.

Got some stuff at Tim’s Books for some current and upcoming projects. We stopped at Atlantic Spice on the way back and I stocked up mon some stuff, including some pretty amazing oils.

Home. Dinner. Wrote seven pages on THE RED WIDOW. To bed early.

Sad news from a dear friend that one of his cats passed yesterday. She was a darling, and will be terribly missed.

Woke up at 2:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Fretting over several things. Finally got up a little after five. Wrote INITIATE. Got ready for the day.

Went in early to get a jump on all the processing that couldn’t get done yesterday, so that we could actually help patrons once we opened. Short story group met at the library today – always interesting conversation and laughter.

Four boxes of books showed up from Ingram, so I spent a lot of time processing and getting books out on shelves. Helped a patron with the Kindle, have more books to process. There are still a few things that need ironing out, so we’ll see.

I’m at a workshop on Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow. I expect to be back to the library in the late afternoon to finish a few things, but it all depends. I’ll have to get up at 4:30 in order to get out the door in time and make the ferry.

I intend to do some serious writing and research this weekend, mostly offline. I need to make some serious progress on both INITIATE and RED WIDOW, and next week, I get back into the swing with BALTHAZAAR.

Have a great weekend!

Devon