Thurs. Jan. 28, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 253 — The Need for Focus

image courtesy of t mc via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Full Moon

Snowy and cold

Shoveling wasn’t bad at all yesterday. Never thought the day would come when I’d say that, but there it is. Took about a half hour to shovel the driveway (50 feet), the front walk, and the front step. Put down ice melt, too. I shoveled far enough into the street so that, if and when the plow went by, it wouldn’t block the driveway much. Of course, the plow didn’t come, so it was all good, except actually driving on the street. The main roads were fine; the side streets ignored.

Even better, I didn’t feel like I’d been run over by a truck.

I guess that extra yoga and working on the exercise bike is making a difference.

The latest on the garden is up here.

Went to the client’s yesterday. We all overlapped for a bit. The next week or two will be busy for me, on the computer, getting the new collection up on the website. All good.

The vaccine sites have been announced for Phase 2 here in MA. My mom is eligible for Phase 2, since she is over 75 (she is 96).  The appointments, starting next week, were supposed to open Wednesday morning. I called my mom’s doctor, who sent me to the state and county sites. The state site was useless – blah blah blah, no actual links. The county site had the list of vaccinate sites.

Since one has to have both vaccines at the same site (which makes sense), choosing the site is important. There are two sites that make sense. One site had already crashed by 9:30 in the morning and was “unavailable.” The second site made me sign up, and then, when I tried to book an appointment, kept telling me nothing was available. Ten minutes later, the site had taken down the appointment page and said they don’t have the vaccine dosages yet.

As usual, Governor Baker, a Republican, makes promises on which he can’t deliver. If the sites were to be live on Wednesday, then it was up to his team to give them the support they needed and make sure they were ready to accept appointments, not announce it and then shrug and say, “not our problem anymore.”

Which is pretty much what he did in an interview later that day. Shrugged off the disorganization. How much do you want to be his office just announced a date without even checking with the designated sites?

He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated instead of after, he’s been forcing people to die for their employers for 253 days now, and he’s pulling this crap. He did a decent job in March and April, but by the end of May, he went back to pandering to corporations and not giving a damn about individuals.

Stopped by the liquor store for a pickup. Dropped off a package and envelopes at my post office, since the carrier who covers the office complex ignored the business again. But no one was in there, so it was an easy, no-contact dropoff.

Home, decontaminated, Remote Chat, which was fun.

Then, I was wiped out.

I spent some time on the acupressure mat, then worked on my article a bit. I had a discussion with my editor, and will have it to her by end of day today, and then we’ll discuss the next one.

Didn’t get any boxes purged, so I have to make up for all of that today, after my article is done, and I finish up an ad for a client, and put in a couple of hours getting the new collection on the website.

The landlord and a contractor are going to wander around the property later today. We’re supposed to have snow off and on, so I can’t see it will be useful. But it’s not up to me, so whatever, and I appreciate that he always lets me know.

The snow around the trees on the property has melted, which shows just how lively our trees are!

Had a weird dream last night about someone stealing from me. In the dream, I knew the person, but looking at the dream from the outside, I don’t.

I’m looking forward to the online meditation group this morning. Then, it’s client work and article work for what will hopefully be a productive day.

Hopefully, a productive work day will set me up for a productive few hours of box purging.

I have an idea percolating for a story. I have the setting and the conflict, but not the characters yet. So it goes on the simmer at the back of my head to percolate for a bit, When it comes together, I think it will be fun. Not sure what form it will take – short story or novella, I think.

There’s a deadline for a magazine coming up, and I might work up a short piece for them. I have an idea for that percolating, too.

While I work on the contracted tangibles – the article, the client work – these stories can form in the back of my consciousness, and then, when they’re ready, I can write them. Although, when I need one for a deadline, I have to prod it sometimes.

Have a good Thursday.

Fri. April 14, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 86 — Oh, To Escape Into the Forest

forest-483207_1920
image courtesy of loa8320 via pixabay.com

Friday, August 14, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Got out some LOIs yesterday. Got some writing and some admin done, and a little bit of client work, although not as much as I’d hoped. I created a new ad for Fearless Ink, which I like, and I’m working on my autumn postcard. Which, the way the USPS is being sabotaged, might get there around the winter holidays.

Freelance chat was fun. Stefan Palios, one of our group, made an excellent point that will help me in my client negotiations: a freelancer does not have an employer-employee relationship with companies, but a business-to-business relationship. That is phrasing I will use every time a potential client tries to treat me like an employee not receiving benefits.

The whole thing made me more cheerful for the next round of LOIs.

The afternoon was spent working on the Grief to Art site. It’s soft-launched, which means it’s live, and, technically, open to submissions for the Walls of Remembrance, but I’m not going to actively start promoting its existence until the new moon on Tuesday. I’m still tweaking.

I don’t have the art submissions open yet, because I’m still working on guidelines and contracts. I might make the art/visual/verbal aspects by invitation-only at first, because I don’t want the site to be treated as a market for the unpublished. So that has to evolve.

Work on the site always takes a lot out of me, so I was pretty worn out by the end of the day.

I always wonder why I’m wiped out in the afternoon, but I wake up at 4 AM and usually start my workday by about 5 AM (even when that work is watering the yard). So by 2 PM, I’ve put in a full day.

Had weird dreams last night about being stuck in a mountain town with no way to leave. It was very busy and social, with no one wearing masks or distancing. Nothing like pandemic stress dreams to make one wake up exhausted.

Overslept, and was too late to do the morning watering. It kind of looks like it might have rained a little overnight? The asphalt is wet. Who knows.

Realized, in my early morning writing session on the deck, how much I love trees. They make me feel safe. If I was a fictional character, I’d be one of the ones who flee into the woods for sanctuary.

When I first woke up, around 3 AM (pre-weird dreams), it was actually quiet for about 10 minutes. No crazy traffic. No drag racing on the local streets (something I’ve never understood since I moved here, and which drives me nuts). Not even any of the nocturnal birds singing. It was blissfully quiet.

For only 10 minutes, but it was a happy 10 minutes.

I couldn’t do the curbside pickup at the library, so I will do that today. Also have to take in the garbage and the recycling – in one carload, since one can no longer take it in separately without paying twice, and the Town of Barnstable’s mantra is “Screw Thy Residents.”

More LOIs to get out today, client work, article work, tweaks on the Grief to Art site. This weekend, I hope to focus on THE BARD’S LAMENT, cleaning out the basement, and reading the book for review.

Have a good one, friends! See you on the other side
.

Published in: on August 14, 2020 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Fri. April 14, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 86 — Oh, To Escape Into the Forest  
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Wed. March 29, 2017: Tree Safely Removed!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Waxing Moon
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

The Tree Frogs were here yesterday, and got down the damaged tress amazingly quickly. They also said it was a “fun climb” — good for them. I kept them supplied with cupcakes.

I miss the tree, though; it was like losing an old friend.

I had some difficult admin to take care of, and errands to run. Got everything done.

Didn’t get much writing done, unfortunately, but I worked through more contest entries. There was one with the world-building so exquisite, that it would be a serious contender for the winning slot — except for the poor copy editing. Since grammar/punctuation, et al is part of the judging, it loses the winning slot (and I didn’t think any book could even come close to the one I read a week or so ago that was so good).

Copy editing MATTERS.

We’re supposed to get more snow this weekend. Here, I’d hoped it would be warm enough and dry enough to get out there and do some yard work.

I hope to have a few good writing days in a row; the last few haven’t been satisfactory. It happens; what’s important is that you show up at the page and do the work, no matter what.

Published in: on March 29, 2017 at 9:17 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 29, 2017: Tree Safely Removed!  
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Friday, April 6, 2012: Planting and Premieres

Friday, April 6, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I didn’t get online until 4 PM yesterday. When I pulled out the car to go to yoga, I saw a big package lying on the front steps. Turned out to be 7 more bushes. Once I got back from yoga, it was all about running around getting pots for them, more soil, and planting. So, in 48 hours, I planted 8 trees and 9 bushes. I’m a little sore!

Got some editing work done, and a nice chunk on the second harpy book in the writing sprint. I’m starting to like it again, which is always helpful — liking the book you’re writing! There were a few weeks when it was touch and go — I felt frustrated, like I was spinning my wheels, but not getting anywhere.

Juggled appointments for this, that, and the other. Tried to get over my irritation with a client who’s trying to dump more work on me without paying any more. The client has several of us working — most of the others in the organization put in, maybe, two hours a week. I’m putting in a lot more, getting paid the same, and now the client wants to dump things outside of the realm of my job responsibilities on me without compensation. The answer to that is “no.” I am finishing up the current commitments, and then we will part ways. Irritation is a waste of time and energy — I’ve set my boundaries, I need to stick to them. The time/money/energy is no longer working in this relationship. The client continues to want more for less. I’m tired of being exhausted, frustrated, and miserable, and then having to scramble for additional work because the client’s payments are, shall we say, fluid. Therefore, it’s not going to work. These transitions are always tough, but I’m a business person. This is my business, not my hobby. Pay me what I’m worth (or at least for the work I do) or find someone who’s willing to work under your changing business model.

I need to do some more work on “Town Crier”. I like the basic structure, but I need to raise the stakes on a few things.

Watched the premiere of SCANDAL last night with mixed feelings. (Spoiler alert) There’s an actor on it whose work I adore, so that kept me with the show when I considered turning it off. The writing, the acting, the pacing are all excellent. However, I have a problem with glorifying someone who “fixes” the problems of prominent jerks, repeatedly stating that “it’s not about justice.” That’s one of the reasons we’re in the current mess we’re in — because too many prominent people are getting away with unjustified crap. Yes, she has to face her own betrayal and appears to do an about-face at the end, but it came across like a personal desire for revenge, not about doing the right thing. Suddenly, I’m supposed to believe chickie has a moral compass? I don’t think so. Karma’s rightly kicking her butt, and I want to see it kicked a lot harder for what she’s done. I also had a problem with the other story line, about the war hero whose female “best friend” is murdered and the guy turns out to be gay. It’s supposed to be this heartwarming, “be true to yourself” moment, yet it’s made clear that IT DOESN’T MATTER who murdered the girl. Even the “war hero” shrugs off the murder so he can come out of the closet. Points up another problem in our society — women’s lives are not valued, and they continue to be devalued. The girl’s death was tangental, and that angered me. The lead in this is a woman, the creator is a woman, yet both story lines dismissed and destroyed female characters. I have a problem with that. Do people like this exist? Yes, of course. And I think they should face harsh consequences for helping people get away with what’s wrong. I’ll give it one more episode, and if I don’t see any adjustment in the attitude that women are worthless unless they can pay a fixer, I’m not watching anymore, much of a fan as I am of the work of some of those in the show. Like I said, the writing and acting are strong, but the underlying premise and its justification don’t work for me. Much as I like the actress, I’m not rooting for the protagonist of the piece, because I think what she’s doing is wrong and should have dire consequences for her.

We have company coming tomorrow, and I’m behind on everything. I’ll have to work like crazy today and also clean the house from top to bottom.

I better get going, then, hadn’t I?

Devon

Don’t forget the 1-Day Dialogue Seminar
on April 14!

Tues. March 27: Frost and Flowers

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Slow start this morning, and busy day yesterday. I got three trees and the bushes planted yesterday. I still have to find those plastic nursery tubs to put some of the other baby trees into temporarily, because they arrived unmarked, and until they leaf for me and I can figure out what they are, I can’t decide how much room they need and where to put them. Urgh. And, while everywhere sells their stuff in those plastic pots, none of them actually sell the damn pots.

Working on the final galleys of HEX BREAKER, terrified I’m going to miss something huge. This is where trusting my editor comes in — if there was a huge problem, she would have fixed it by now! 😉

Dealt with student work, got some of my own work done, worked on some other business stuff. Picked up a research book the library tracked down for me. Got the interview questions out for an article.

It was below freezing last night, but none of the plants seem upset by it, thank goodness. Overslept this morning, and just didn’t want to get out of bed.

Have a big day ahead, lots of work to do with students, on my own, marketing, proposals, getting out press releases for a client, a meeting tonight. I’m not where I want to be in my own writing, and I have to find a way to get that balance back. Have to go to Sandwich Library to drop off books and pick up a book THEY managed to track down for me. I need to focus, but I really want some percolation time.

Well, the sooner I clear off the have-tos, the sooner I can create space for percolation.

So I better get to it!

Don’t forget the Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions One-Day Seminar on April 14!

Devon

Mon. March 26, 2012: Home to Trees and Updates and Facebook

Monday, March 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am home!

So glad!

First of all, I updated my Workshop page, so it actually has relevant information on upcoming workshops. I’d like you to pay special attention to a one-day online seminar I’m doing, called “Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions”. If you’re just stepping your toe into dialogue, or you want some fresh perspectives, I hope you’ll join us — it’s a bargain at $20 AND you get an ebook of the lectures after. There’s more information here.

For all the complaining I’ve done about 1and1 over the years, I actually landed a couple of techs this time that gave me the help I needed to sort out kinks. It was much appreciated.

The Hex Breaker site has also been updated — check it out when you get a chance. I’ve put the books on a separate page from the short stories, and I think it’s cleaner.

I even (take a deep breath) put up a Facebook page for Annabel Aidan.

Still not sure how it works — I’m having trouble responding to people’s comments and going back to their pages and finding the “like” button or any button that lets me interact and thank them for stopping by. Obviously, I’ve got some learning to do. I will probably put up a page for the Jain Lazarus Adventures, too, at some point.

Worked on HEX BREAKER press stuff, worked on the short story that needs to be ready to go with the relaunch, dealt with student work, did some reading, did the work I was actually paid to do on the site, worked on the novel(s), worked on the new business plan — it was quite the weekend.

Today, I have to interview someone for an article, talk to an editor about another article, get out three proposals, finish a critique for a private student — oh, and 11 trees and 6 bushes showed up while I was away, so girl’s got some plantin’ to do! 😉

My eyes are really bothering me from all the computer work, but, oh well. This is the last week of Sensory Perceptions, and then I have a week before One Story, Many Voices starts, which is good, because the first week of April is where we set up the revision systems for the year-long intensive, and that’s going to be a damn intense week over there. I also start (as a student) a steampunk workshop on the 2nd.

Billy Root’s blog starts on April 1 — which should be a ton of fun, but also some work. I do love writing in his voice, though, so I think that will be a fun way to spread the work about HEX BREAKER.

I’ve also got a handful of short stories to polish and get out the door this week. Busy, busy!

But it’s a good busy.

I’m so happy to be home. I enjoyed my time in CT, but I missed the house, the cats, the yard. The magenta azalea is in bloom, the witch hazel is almost done (and therefore ready to repot), the lilacs are starting to get leaves and buds. The heather is just gorgeous, and soon it will be pansy time!

Meanwhile, I have 11 trees and 6 bushes that need some dirt . . .

Devon