Wed. June 10, 2015: Finding a Writing Groove

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I will be very glad when Mercury goes direct tomorrow. The last few days were tough.

On the positive, delightful side, though, horse racing has a new Triple Crown winner, American Pharoh. What a terrific horse! Not only is it great that there’s a winner, it’s great that it’s this particular horse, because he’s friendly and mellow, as well as being talented, and he makes a great ambassador for the sport. It was a beautiful race. My other pick, Frosted, who I hoped would come in second, did.

Got some gardening done over the weekend, but not enough. Felt exhausted and burned out. Read a lot. After reading a spate of disappointing novels, I was delighted to read some good ones, my favorite being THE HAWLEY BOOK OF THE DEAD by Chryslar Szarlan, which is a wonderful work of magical realism. I also really liked THE GONE DEAD TRAIN by Lisa Turner and THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS by Menna Van Park. Read some memoirs and essays, too — mixed bag, those. I got frustrated with the ones justifying bad choices and hurting others.

I’m also reading an amazing non-fiction book, Tina Packer’s THE WOMEN OF WILL, about Shakespeare’s female characters. It makes me realize how much I miss working on Shakespeare.

I let the executive board of the Writers Center know that I will be rotating off the board at the end of my term in October.

I read over what I’ve got on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, INITIATE, TRUE HOME, and even HEART SNATCHER. Did a bit of work on the third draft of HEART SNATCHER. This revision is more complex than the last, because I’m breaking things apart and rearranging them.

I also broke through the difficulties I’ve had on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, and I’ve gotten it back on track again, writing twenty seven new pages on Monday and yesterday.

Monday is usually my day off, but I went in to work for a meeting for an event we’re doing at the end of August, came home for a few hours, and then went in to help out with Milbilly Idol. I was drafted to be the third judge, and I’d arranged for the other two judges and hired in another friend to do lights and sound. We had fewer kids than the previous year, but they were cute and it was a good event. My friend and I had a beer at Saga Fusion before heading home.

Yesterday, I wrote all morning, working on BALTHAZAAR, and then headed to the Marine Life Center for a meeting on Canalfest. It went better than I expected. Saw the seals, including the new seal pups (they are so darn cute, it just about breaks your heart). It was too late to make the Spectacle of Trees meeting (which I’m doing with TWO organizations this year), so I waited until the NMLC rep got back to get filled in on that for that tree, and then went home.

Up at 5 today, baked for tomorrow’s author event. Then wrote for awhile. It will be a long day at work today — in fact, I have a long days all week, with tomorrow’s author event and this being my Saturday “on”, and then going to a tango intensive in Wellfleet all weekend.

And, of course, keeping up the pace of the writing. So it’s good, but I have to marshall my energy, and not allow selfish people to drain me.

Having Saturn, Pluto, and Mercury retrograde and dealing with a full moon in Sagittarius wore me out.

Hope everyone is having a great week.


Published in: on June 10, 2015 at 9:25 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 10, 2015: Finding a Writing Groove  
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Thurs. June 4, 2015: Working on the Play

Thursday, June 04, 2015
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was a pretty decent day. Masterpiece Book and Film watched the second part of NOSTROMO – the filmmaking reminded me, stylistically, of the 1960s, not the 1990s. But it’s interesting, and I look forward to seeing the final part next week.

I got some periodicals processed and some PR out.

I have to ask some questions on a contract – ran it past both agent and lawyer, and they agree with me. Of course, Mercury Retrograde is the worst time to negotiate contracts.

Got some work done on the historical play this morning. It’s humming along nicely. It feels good.

Today will be a long day, and then tango tonight. Tomorrow will be another long day.

Saturday is the Belmont Stakes. I want American Pharoh to take the Triple Crown. Frosted, to me, looks like his biggest threat. Fingers crossed. Will probably do an American Pharoh-Frosted exacta.



Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 8:05 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 4, 2015: Working on the Play  
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Wed. June 3, 2015: June Blooms

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days.

Friday was busy at work. Picked up dinner from Osterville Fish Market and relaxed.

There was a contractual glitch with one publisher, but we seem to have worked it out. I’m glad I asked questions, instead of assuming the worst and getting angry.

The play submission got out and was acknowledged. I’ll hear by August on that. Either it’s what they want, and we move forward, or it’s not, and it goes somewhere else. I’m still going to work on the play in the interim.

Saturday was all about the garden. Bought dirt, bought flats of marigolds, pots of basil, various and sundry other plants, and NINE flats of petunias. Put together the hanging baskets for the deck. Still have to do the ones for the front of the house. Replanted the small trees in the front of the house and pruned them. Replanted one of the bush cherries in the ground, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the other one. Replanted all 28 tomato plants. Ran out of basil, but had enough marigolds for them. Also replanted some of the Brussel Sprouts, which are getting big. Planted the rosemary, oregano, thyme, and dill.

Sunday, I mowed the front (which needed it again). I kept thinking it would rain, it kept threatening to rain, but it didn’t. I was supposed to go to the Berkshires, but that trip got cancelled.

Then, I was going to go to Boston on Monday and Tuesday, but the weather was so miserable, I postponed it.

Monday rained just about all day. We needed it. It was good. I wasn’t feeling well, and gave myself the day off. I read a lot and tried to get better.

Yesterday, I ran errands and attended a birthday party in the early afternoon, then came home and tried to get my act together.

Did some more poker research, which was depressing. It’s not a game I ever enjoyed or felt affection for, although I admire people who play professionally.

Did some research on circuses and their history. Not sure where I’ll go with it, but an idea is percolating just under the surface.

Doing research on Matta, one of my favorite painters.

Writing wise, I did some work on one of the mysteries, and figured out the opening of the historical play. That was difficult. I didn’t want to start too early and do a lot of exposition, but I still have to make clear the sting operation. But I think I figured it out.

Someone I never heard of or met sent me a manuscript and announced I would edit it. That’s not the way it works, bubbelah. I’m constantly astonished by the arrogance of the unpublished. I don’t sit around waiting for someone to deign to send me a manuscript so I can edit for free and fun. First of all, it’s my business, and you ASK about terms and whether we are a good fit and whether I have time and, secondly, my own work ALWAYS comes first.

There’s enough information out there on how to work with editors and publishers that there is NO excuse for “not knowing”, even when you start out. We’re in the information age. Bother to look up some information.

Today will be a long day at work, with a long list of stuff I need to get done, and, no doubt, hundreds of interruptions.

American Pharoh goes for the Triple Crown this Saturday at Belmont Park, which is almost sold out already. I hope he wins. I’m afraid to count on it, but he looks so good and so happy, and he’s had so much FUN during the races so far that it gives me hope.

Trying to sort out travel glitches on a friend’s upcoming trip, and also prepare for overseas guest who will be staying a good, long time.

Have to change the batteries in one of the carbon monoxide detectors again, in spite of having done so on the Equinox.

Irritated that the gas and electric companies were allowed to raise their rates, respectively, 39% and 27%. If the few people who get raises only get a 2.5% cost of living increase, which has to cover EVERYTHING in life, then the utilities should be only allowed to raise their prices one quarter of one percent. Period. If they “can’t afford it”, they should cut executive salaries and they should be non-profit anyway, with profits going back into improving the grid instead of going to stockholders.

Hop on over to the GDR site for the latest.


Published in: on June 3, 2015 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 3, 2015: June Blooms  
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Racing Ink June 6-7, 2008

The regular “Ink in My Coffee” post is below this one; scroll down if that’s the one you want.

If you want my racing picks for today and tomorrow at Belmont Park, read on here.

Friday, June 6:
I’m betting on three races on today’s card, in spite of what looks to be gloomy weather.

Race 5: The Argentinean-bred horse Harbinger, trained by David Donk, ridden by John Velazquez, because of Donk and JV, and Chobe, the Christophe Clemente-trained horse. Across the board and boxed exacta.

Race 9: Brooklyn Handicap
Sightseeing, with Edgar Prado up, across the board. I loved this horse in his three-year old last year, and I continue to enjoy him.
I’m also going to bet Evening Attire, a ten-year-old gelding of whom I’ve been fond of, whether he wins or not, since he was three or four. I’ll bet him to place and show.
I want to take a look at the Pletcher/JV horse Nite Light for the possible win spot.

Race 10: The Hill Prince Stakes
Spark Candle, who was my pick in the pre-Belmont gossip as the possible upset horse, was entered in this race instead of tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes. So he’s my pick, across the board.

Saturday, June 7, Belmont Stakes Day:

Race 1:
Commandeered, Desert Key, Forest of Dreams, but not sure yet in what order.

Race 2:
Tiz It – across the board.

Race 3:
The David Donk-trained Smart Enuf — across the board.

Race 4:
Teide, Firejack, Forefathers – probably in this order, but may reshuffle them paddock-side.

Race 5:
I’m going to take a look at Too Tough Pete and Benny the Waiter to see how I want to bet them. I also want to put a show bet on a 30-1 longshot called Prince Dubai, because it’s trained by Leah Gyamati, whose style I love, and ridden by Channing Hill, who could get a sawhorse over the finish line.

Race 6 – True North Handicap:

Thor’s Echo – across the board
Probably add in a boxed exact with Benny the Bull (not to be confused with Benny the Waiter in the previous race).

Race 7: Just a Game Stakes:
With fillies and mares, a paddock decision is always best. On paper, I’m looking at Vacare (trained by Clemente) and Criminologist (ridden by JV) first. Sharp Susan is in here at unusually long odds, so I may try to make some money with her if she looks, well, sharp. The French-bred Lady of Venice, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Edgar Prado is also worth a look.

Race 8 – Acorn Stakes:

Indian Blessing, Game Face, and Zaftig across the board. Game Face is my personal favorite horse of the three, but Indian Blessing just might beat her this time out.

Race 9 – Woody Stephens:
I’m going to make win and place choices in the post parade, but my show choice is Majestic Warrior.

Race 10 – Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap:

Shakis is at shockingly long odds, 10-1, in this race, so I’ll try to make some money on him.
I’m betting my nine-year-old buddy Better Talk Now across the board. We’ve had our ups and downs, betting-wise, and I’m not going to abandon him now.
Pays to Dream, the David Donk horse who did so well on Preakness Day undercard, is a choice across the board.
I’m going to look at Shake the Bank for a show spot.

Race 11 – The Belmont Stakes:
Big Brown across the board. I’m worried about him, I think they’ll try to trap him at the rail and trip him up, but I’m hoping he and Kent keep their cool in heinously hot weather and take down the field. I want a Triple Crown winner. And I’d like to see Big Brown be the one.
Casino Drive is also an across the board bet for me. This horse fascinates me, especially since we haven’t had a chance to see much of his personality, just his determination.
Boxed exacta with the above two.
I’m sticking with Icabad Crane and Tale of Ekati for show bets. I might also throw some show money at either Da’Tara or Ready’s Echo.

Race 12:
My Dream Tomorrow – across the board.

Race 13:
Law Enforcement or Ferocious Won for the win spot.
Lights of Broadway to place.
The Truffle Man – another 30-1 shot trained by Gyamati and ridden by Hill to show.

Have a great racing day, stay cool, stay hydrated, and let’s hope all horses and jockeys come home safely.

The wrap-up of this card will appear on FemmeFan next week.


Published in: on June 6, 2008 at 9:26 am  Comments (1)  
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