Wed. Sept. 30, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 133 — Furnace Day 2

image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 via pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Rainy and humid

Yesterday was definitely an interesting day.

Cleaned and oiled the bulkhead doors in the morning, swept the steps, did a final sweep of the furnace room to make sure they had space to work.

Tried to get some work done on the computer, but it wasn’t easy. And pretty impossible to be creative.

They showed up on time, early in the afternoon. Of course, they needed access to areas I hadn’t been told about and hadn’t moved stuff away from, because they have to run new vents. And the landlord told me that all the stuff that was promised as part of his loan application: insulation, air conditioning, a front-load washer, a new fridge – wasn’t happening.

So basically, months and months and months of my time was wasted losing billable hours letting this, that, and the other roam around and “assess” — only to find out the ONLY thing happening is the furnace being swapped out.

Which is just dumb on so many levels, since the washer and fridge were free. But, you know, he “doesn’t like being told what to do.”

I don’t understand it around here; people act like no one works for a living, and we can all take off all the time for everyone else’s schedules. And then when we do – it’s for nothing.

Whatever. We’ll have a new furnace.

I did a little ritual thank the old furnace. It soldiered on for the ten years we’ve lived here, and it was an old furnace when we got here.

The guys were fine – had their masks, appreciated the water and a designated bathroom. It’s just, they had to do what they had to do, so it wasn’t exactly conducive to creative work. But I got some admin and some other stuff done. I’d been checking some Google rankings of my own work, and found old pieces getting lots of hits that needed to go into my Media Room and on the Clients and Publications page. So I updated that.

Tessa was fine in my room. Willa and Charlotte had to be confined to their playpens in my mother’s room with her, and they were still having fits all afternoon. Willa has figured out how to roll her playpen like a hamster wheel that actually goes somewhere, and was flipping around all over the place up there.

I was downstairs in my office, trying to work. The guys were in the basement, trying to maneuver in really old surroundings. So we all did the best we could.

Even though it went smoothly and they cleaned up beautifully after themselves, I was exhausted by the time they were done. I scrubbed down their bathroom, and locked the bulkhead, then took a shower, decontaminated, and changed clothes.

I had a glass of wine (needed one), and then it was time for the Knowledge Unicorns. It was our last day on the octopus. I may never eat calamari again. Another family decided to switch from the remote learning model to full home-schooling. And one of the kids, who got C’s and D’s all last year in social studies got his first 94% on a test, based on the studying and work we did in the group. He’s feeling pretty pleased – and so are all of us.

More and more schools were briefly open and are shutting down. Here, kids are back to school – I got stuck behind several school busses on Monday. That makes NO sense, because our numbers are going steadily back up – every two days, we have nearly 1000 new cases. Also, the Health Dept. warned yesterday that our ICU numbers are the highest they’ve been since July.

And yet, people are still acting like it’s all over. Some because they’re bored; others because they’re greedy.

I collapsed into bed early, before the debate started. I didn’t plan to watch anyway. I don’t need to watch the Raving Lunatic call his right-wing nut-job gun nuts out against the rest of us.

I woke up at midnight, wide awake, and didn’t get back to sleep until nearly 3.

Up at 5, getting things ready for the furnace guys. The first one arrived a little after 7 (early) and got to work. Good thing I was up and ready!

I was supposed to go onsite for a client this morning, but I can’t leave until they’re done, and I’m just as happy to work remotely. Because this client claims she’s not going anywhere in order to keep us safe, yet her personal social media page shows just the opposite.

Anyway, going to get as much client work as I can done around all this, and then Remote Chat this afternoon. Hopefully, by the late afternoon, they will be finished with the furnace (just before it starts getting cold tonight).

The guys are as nice and considerate as can be. But as someone who is hypersensitive to sound, especially repetitive machine sounds, this is a challenge. I’m coping as best I can, but this, along with everything else going on, has shot my nerves.

I was joking about needing a Victorian rest cure a few days ago; not really a joke anymore.

Tomorrow is October 1, which means the Samhain decorations start going up (and the spiderweb curtains).

I’ve figured out a way to create treat bags safely that are then set out safely and distanced. I’m working on the assumption that trick or treating is happening around here; if not, I can save the bags and the non-edible treats for next year.

I’m also re-figuring the Winter Holiday treats I always bake.

I admit – I considered not baking this year. But it’s so much a part of the joy of the season for me that it would be hurting myself as well as not giving treats to people who deserve them.

What I am doing is starting to stockpile supplies early, buying a little extra every time I go to the grocery store. Especially when it comes to flour and sugar. I’m ordering bakery envelopes in bulk, and each cookie will be in a separate envelope. Each type of cookie is then put in a separate Ziploc bag with a tag stating what it is. Instead of platters and cellophane this year, I’ll put the Ziplocs into tins (if I can get enough tins) and then bows around the tins (I already bought and have the ribbon from a ribbon wholesaler).

I will be masked when I bake, so I’m not breathing on the ingredients.

But that’s a few months down the line. Right now, I need to concentrate on the furnace installation, getting up the Samhain decorations, and upcoming deadlines.

Check in tomorrow, friends. Have a good one.

Thurs. Nov. 2, 2017: Work Rhythm & Tips for Nano

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS – a cheerleading workbook for Nano. Download 30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS.3rdEd.

Tuesday was an intense day. Good, but intense. Helped me focus on certain things I want to accomplish on multiple levels in the coming year.

We only had two trick or treaters! But they were adorable. Most people on our street no longer decorate because we get so few, but I decorate for all of us, not just the trick or treaters.

I have a lot to clean up, though, from Monday’s storm. Some of it looked good for the holiday, but now it has to be cleaned up and the yard put to bed.

Yesterday, I was with a client for the bulk of the day. Got quite a bit done. Wiped out by the time I got home, though.

I’ve managed to write close to 1K in the mornings before I go to the client site, though, and this morning I wrote closer to 2K. Both on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN. I’ve finished Willow’s first winter section and started on Doug’s.

I’m working on a couple of articles, and on shaping some material for another client. I’ve got another pass to do on SAVASANA AT SEA — it releases on November 15, I’m getting excited. I also have another book to read in the next couple of days to review, and edits on a review to turn around. Plus, I need to get the edits turned around for TRACKING MEDUSA.

Yesterday, the To-Do List for November was posted on the GDR site. Today, there are questions to think about for 2018.

For those of you doing Nano, I have the 30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS cheerleading booklet available as a free download 30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS.3rdEd I hope it helps you, and I hope you have a wonderful Nano! I tried to offer it through the website, but Microsoft claims it’s a “double escape” and won’t allow access via the website, citing “security.” Because Microsoft sucks.

 

Published in: on November 2, 2017 at 9:46 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 2, 2017: Work Rhythm & Tips for Nano  
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Tues. Nov. 3, 2015: Grief & Writing

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Waning Moon
Sunny and mild

Friday was a very sad day for us. Violet died in the afternoon. At least she died at home, where she was loved, and she wasn’t in pain. But we are all heartbroken. We took her body to an emergency care facility in Dennis, where they will take care of the remains.

She was a small, quiet cat, but the house feels empty without her. Iris and Tessa are looking for her. They miss her, too.

There was a lot of cleaning and scrubbing and disinfecting to do, of course. We were already exhausted from the last few days, and there was just nothing left in the tank.

Samhain was sad. It was difficult to pull it together, and I kept the ritual very simple.

On the plus side, the costumes the Trick-or-Treaters wore were delightful. Brought us some joy for a sad time.

Turned back the clocks to standard time. The cats, however, were still on their time, so I was up early anyway.

Sunday was the first day of Nano. I seriously considered quitting before it began. I wasn’t sure I have the heart to do it this month. I’m also tired of Nano and death being so closely associated, year after year. I’m going to be sad for awhile, and I don’t know how I can dig deep enough to work on the books.

But I did it, and felt better for it. I started DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, the cozy mystery set on a fictional island off the coast of Cape Cod. Yup, I stuck in another island near Martha’s Vineyard. Gave the steamship authority a couple of extra routes, too. I wrote the whole first chapter, 2833 words, and felt better.

I then did some work on TIE-CUTTER, getting ready to close out the section set in Hollywood. So my day’s total was 4269. Not a bad start.

The rest of the day was about taking down the Samhain decorations, but leaving up the Day of the Dead items. Again, I kept the ceremonies simple, because I’m just wiped out.

I also baked for the week: cranberry muffins for Monday’s meeting, double chocolate chunk for Tuesday’s Come Write In! session, and oatmeal cookies for Thursday’s session.

I’ve been reading Ted Hughes’s WINTER POLLEN. I know very little of his work. I’m of the generation that fetishized Sylvia Plath, put her on a pedestal, and demonized Ted Hughes. Unfair, but that’s how it was presented — he destroyed her genius, forcing her to have children and subsume her poetry to his, while he catted around. Reality was, of course, far more complicated. The older I got, the less patience I had with Sylvia. But I’d still read very little of Ted’s work.

His essays on Shakespeare are wonderful. I’m not sure I agree with his theories, but they’re interesting, and they certainly give me additional perspectives, next time I go back to the plays. It makes me eager to re-read the plays. I grow wary when I read his writing on Sylvia Plath’s work. He was in an impossible situation. Who knew her work better? Yet who had more reason to protect himself, and, supposedly, the rest of her family? Destroying her final journal — under that same guise of “protection”– is something I don’t think the world will ever forgive. I agree with that. Even if she lashed out at her children and he didn’t want them to read those moments of anger — and it would make sense to resent her children in the moment and write about it in her journal, using that to cure her — that anger or depression or whatever she poured into those final journals is vital to understanding her work. At the same time, I understand the desire to protect self and family (I don’t agree with it, but I understand it), and he’s got a point, that, at the time, she wasn’t the iconic figure she grew into. The sad part is, no matter how good her poetry was, or how much she was likely to improve as an artist, she probably wouldn’t have become the icon she is without her suicide. It’s an impossible, complex situation.

I think I would trust his writing about her work more if it wasn’t in the third person; if he didn’t refer to “her husband” when he meant himself. Again, I can understand the choice in the moment — to keep it sounding more objective. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come across that way. It comes across as cold, and as though the writer has something to hide.

The only one who knows the truth is Sylvia herself, and she only knows her own truth. His truth is different. The children’s truths are different. The rest of her family’s truths are different. They are all parts of the puzzle, and some of those parts are irrevocably missing.

From the outside, though, it remains fascinating. Disturbing, but fascinating.

Yesterday morning, I was up at five. I wrote Chapter Two of CHOLERIC, 2554 words. Difficult words, but words.

I left a little before eight to go to Buzzards Bay for a strategic planning meeting at the Marine Life Center. There’s too much “committee” and “subcommittee’ and yakking in my opinion. Work is not done in meetings; work is done in the space between meetings. I feel like we’re going around in circles, instead of moving forward.

Home, another stint on TIE-CUTTER. Brought my day’s total to 3990 and my full total to 8259, which is decent for two days’ work.

Took down the spider web curtains, put up the winter curtains, did four loads of laundry. Another simple ceremony (these are the days of the ceremonies for the dead). The sadness weighs me down and I can’t shake it. But I also have to give myself time.

We will adopt another cat, but not right away. We all have to adjust to life without Violet. After Thanksgiving, or maybe even after Christmas.

Of course, people keep offering cats now. 😉

Watching the DCI BANKS series. Very well done, although sometimes the second half of each episode feels rushed.

Up early this morning. Wrote Chapter Three of CHOLERIC, 3322 words. I was raring to continue into Chapter Four, but afraid I’d push too far. There’s a COME WRITE IN session at the library this morning, and I want to work on TIE CUTTER there, and have something left in the tank for CHOLERIC tomorrow. We’re getting to a big confrontation scene.

Once CWI is over, we’re doing a test run of the tree for Spectacle at the Library. So, yes, once again I’m going in on what’s supposed to be my day off. 😉

Busy day today. Tomorrow and the rest of the week will be long days, and I imagine that my word count will drop drastically. That’s why I’ve been pushing so hard up front.

Devon

Published in: on November 3, 2015 at 10:53 am  Comments (4)  
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Fri. Nov. 1, 2013: Busy Docket & Why Nano No Longer Serves My Vision

November 1, 2013
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Dia de Muertos
Windy and raw

It was nice to have a day away from the daily work routine. There was plenty to do (like grocery shopping and library), and I had to get online a few times to deal with things I needed for today’s work.

Spent most of the time doing the work I do for Samhain, which was good, and I’m ready for the wheel to turn. This last one was rough, and I want it to improve for the next cycle.

We didn’t have a lot of trick or treaters last night, which was a disappointment, in a way, but the ones that showed up at the door were awfully creative! We have a lot of leftover candy (uh, oh).

Trying to sort out the projects that need attention and prioritize them, along with juggling the contracted work coming in.

I’m not doing Nano. I’m glad I did it for the four years that I did it, and I got some good work out of it. However, I already write more than 50K in a month (or I couldn’t pay the bills), so it no longer serves a purpose.

I’m also sick and tired of the huge lack of commitment and the attitude so many have that “Nano” means doing anything they want. If you “do” Nano, you START a new project today and write at least 50K during the month. If you bring in something you’re already working on or do revisions, you are not following the parameters of Nano — you are writing WITH Nano, and siphoning off everyone else’s creative energy (like a vampire), but you are NOT “doing” Nano. You are “writing with” Nano, but you’re not within its guidelines.

And for those who drop out — if you can’t commit to your creative life for a month, you won’t be able to commit for a lifetime.

I think the premise of Nano is wonderful, but too much self-serving, poor-work-habit-enabling crap has grown up around it in the last years, and it no longer serves my vision for my career. So I don’t do it.

I wish everyone who does it well, though — PROVIDED THEY DON’T QUIT. If you quit. for whatever reason, I have no time or patience for you.

I’m going to the theatre this weekend — looking forward to hanging out with friends.

Got a lot on today’s docket, so I better get going. And the next few nights are taken up with ceremonies for the Dead, so it’ll be a slew of late nights for me.

Devon

Published in: on November 1, 2013 at 7:50 am  Comments (1)  
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