Tues. Feb. 14, 2017: We Vote So We’ll Be Left Alone

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold
Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. Please know that each of you is valued.

When you live on Cape Cod, your life revolves around the weather no matter what else is going on in the world.

So it was this weekend. We had some storms come through, although not as bad for us as predicted. The family in Maine got about two more feet of snow dumped on them, with more on the way.

But I stayed in, wrote A LOT (I think nearly 70 pages in total), researched the Italian Renaissance, studied Constitutional Law. On Sunday, I had to drive to a designated site to take the quiz. It was not a space conducive to concentration. I did reasonably well on the quiz — two questions wrong. But, for my own standards, getting any wrong is not okay, so I’m frustrated with myself. But when you’re on a timed site and people keep coming up and talking to you, demanding you drop what you’re doing to take care of them — even though it’s not your job, and you’re just there as a fellow patron — even if you say, “I can’t talk, I’m on a timed site”, it breaks the concentration needed to be successful on the material. However, there’s no room for excuses. It was what it was, and I’ll just have to do better next time, no matter what the distractions.

Add to that snow shoveling and power fluctuations, and I’m a little tired.

Add to that the work I’ve been doing with my elected officials, and I’m even more tired.

So, General Flynn apologized and resigned, and now we’re supposed to forget. Um, no. There’s no way he behaved in a vacuum. He knowingly took actions that sabotaged a sitting president and put the country at risk, and I believe he did so with the full knowledge and encouragement of the incoming president. That is not okay.

There needs to be a full and independent investigation, not just of this portion of it, but of the interconnections. Treason is going on. Not a mistake, not jumping the gun — treason.

Every Senator who agreed to the rushed confirmation and voted for this guy needs to apologize to the American people (with additional apologies to their own constituencies) and cooperate in the investigation. I believe that the investigation will find that some of them colluded and others were complicit in their silence. It needs to be untangled.

Supporters of the Narcissistic Sociopath now want David Patreus to take over. Someone who’d have to get permission from his parole officer to travel. Someone who shared confidential security information with his mistress. Just because she was also American doesn’t make it okay.

Anyone who is nominated must be thoroughly vetted BEFORE confirmation. No more of this rushing. The GOP needs to stop ramming both the unqualified and the corrupt down our throats.

Any Senator who continues so to do must be removed as soon as is possible, be it in the next election, or because that individual, too, is discovered to have committed treason.

Treason is not “disagreeing” with the government, or protesting. It is knowingly and willingly working to undermine it, which the GOP has been doing since 2008. It has to stop. Their oath is to Constitution (meaning “We the People”), not party. Anyone who does otherwise has to go.

That’s why, in all this discussion about flipping districts, I’m not blindly supporting someone just because there’s a “D” next to the name. The individual needs to be researched. If I don’t think a candidate is ethical or able to stand up for beliefs, that candidate is not getting my support, no matter what the letter next to the name. Blue Dog Dems need to go — there’s no reason to have someone in there with a “D” next to the name if they’re going to vote blindly Republican instead of Democrat, or at least standing as an individual. The party platforms are now far enough apart so that if you support one or the other, that’s the party you sign with. If you don’t believe in healthcare or Medicare or Social Security, then don’t run as a Democrat. Putting someone in to a slot just to get enough letters in a particular column doesn’t do any good if they disagree with the policies that got them into office in the first place. You can be bipartisan without betraying either party or country. It sounds contradictory — support your party, but don’t be afraid to stand up to them. Some would say that’s what Blue Dogs do. It’s the “why” that needs to be dissected.

It’s great when there are issues that can be bipartisan — let’s hope the Flynn/Russia interference with elections investigation is one of them, and that there can be more. The point of bipartisan is that you’ve reached a consensus that works IN A POSITIVE WAY for the largest number of people possible. You don’t diminish the greater good; you add to it. And yes, you put your constituency and country AND YOUR OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION before your party. But not out of a fear of not being re-elected; out of a belief that what you are doing is right FOR THE PEOPLE you represent. FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS. When you’re getting thousands of calls from your constituency telling you to vote against something and you vote for it because it’s the party line — you need to go. You don’t vote the way companies or special interests want, just because they bribed you, as our Secretary of Education did. Call it “donation” all you want — that chick bought her position and is woefully unqualified for it.

Again, I think we need more than two legitimate parties. Not fringe, foil-hatted parties. But genuine parties with clearly defined positions on a variety of issues. Right now, the bigoted racist misogynists have hijacked the GOP. Let them have their own party, and the GOP can go back to being the party of Lincoln. The Democrats are a hot mess, it’s worse than herding cats, because at least cats have common sense. The DNC is trying to appeal to everyone, and therefore only succeeds at pleasing no one. The party, in general, is just right of center, when it needs to break up to be slightly left of center and far left.

The far reaches of each party need to balance each other. Most of us vote because we want someone to represent our point of view so that we can live our lives and not bother with every bill and worry about every decision and every vote. We want to be left the hell alone to live our lives. There’s a need for extreme on both the left and the right, so there’s compromise in the middle that does the least damage. The most good is rarely done — the past couple of decades it’s been about the least damage. Most of us will live with that — win a few, lose a few, don’t take away my earned benefits or mess with my personal, bodily rights. Go do your jobs and leave me alone to live my life.

Unfortunately, that is not possible right now. The GOP is not only violating the Constitution and supporting the Narcissist in his daily dismantling of it, the GOP is actively interfering in my daily life.

The party that claims to want SMALLER government is determined to regulate women’s bodies, decide who one can love and marry, decide who is allowed to use a toilet, diminish education, force religion into schools and onto people who don’t believe in it, deny others rights because of their religion, take away food safety standards, allow polluters to destroy the earth, encourage the collapse of the ice shelves that will drown a good percentage of the population, sell off our natural resources to special interests who will build condos no one can afford anyway, force the elderly into poverty, force wages down so that people can never climb out of poverty (don’t you fucking say “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” when most people live paycheck to paycheck while the top executives WHO DO NOTHING line their pockets will millions). All of this is being LEGISLATED by the party who claims to want SMALLER government. The hypocrisy is astonishing.

My fellow artists and I want nothing more than to be able to go back to creating full time and not worrying about all the rest, but we take our responsibilities as citizens very seriously. We will keep working against corruption, and to move through the current dystopia to the best possible lives for people, where they have individual freedoms, while also respecting others. We will not shut up. We’re not stupid because we work in the arts. One of the things I’ve learned, since I moved away from an art-centric culture, is how much SMARTER people who make their living in the arts are, in most cases (reality show participants don’t count — they are not artists — they are paid spokespeople).

So, no, artists will not shut up. Art has always changed the world, since the time of papyrus and Greek ritual theatre and Shakespeare and Vaclav Havel. It will continue so to do.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! May a wave of love, friendship, and general good will envelop the world today! You don’t HAVE to spend a fortune – a smile to a stranger in the street costs nothing. And there are all kinds of inventive ways to show your loved ones how much they mean to you.

My story “The Peace of the Night” was accepted for the June issue of THE RANFURLY REVIEW. I’m very excited, for a number of reasons. This is one of a set of loosely connected stories I started writing in Jamieson Wolf’s workshop last October, and I’ve been working to polish and hone them over a period of months. Something about these stories and characters feels very different from anything I’ve previously written and very right. Also, I’ve wanted to be a part of THE RANFURLY REVIEW since it launched, but, until now, haven’t felt I had a piece that suited the particular publication’s vision. Once I started polishing this story, it felt like the right fit. I’m glad the editor agreed!

PJ – the automatic update WON’T turn off on the McAfee. That’s part of the problem. And uninstalling and re-installing didn’t fix the problem. Gives a whole new meaning to “The Ghost in the Machine”, right? 😉

If you haven’t checked out my debut on Sole Struck Fashions, please hop on over and leave a comment!

Nursed my poor little computer through the day, having to turn it off several times. Pitched for nearly a half a dozen jobs. Worked on the proposals. Worked on the brochures. Played with the cats – who were annoyed because they’ve barely seen me for a week. Unpacked and repacked for the weekend gig.

Read a bit in I, TOO, AM HERE, which is a compilation of excerpts from the letters of Jane Welsh Carlyle. I first came into contact with this book as a weekend guest at a family friend’s. Cold winter night by the fire, etc., etc. I searched for my own copy for over 20 years. Recently, I thought about it again and tried to track it down. Then, I opened a box in storage and discovered Strand Books tracked it down for me several years ago, and I own a copy!

I also realize that, although I know of Thomas Carlyle’s work, I’ve never actually ever READ it, a hole in my literary education that needs filling. We stopped at the house on the way to Culzean several years ago, in Scotland. It wasn’t open that day.

Reading Virginia Woolf’s diary yesterday, I came across a passage where she talks about visiting Zennor, in Cornwall. That was one of the places we visited, when we were in Cornwall. I never associated it with Virginia Woolf – I always think of St. Ives in connection with her. Zennor is tiny and somehow mysterious. I wish I could have spent more time there.

Of course, this morning, the McAfee has hijacked my computer yet again. It “updated” for over four hours yesterday – WTF is going on? And why won’t customer service fix it? And what part of “it is unacceptable to freeze, crash, and hijack my computer” is incomprehensible to them?

In any event, I started the revisions on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I didn’t get very far, because, already in Chapter One, there’s huge change necessary. I don’t want it, but in order to fit the genre guidelines of the markets I’m eyeing for this particular piece, I have to make this change.

I also realized, reading over another piece of mine that’s supposed to be an historical, that I either have to radically change the characters and some of the plot to make it true to the time period, or I have to shift it into a parallel universe in order to stay true to my characters. The piece just won’t hold up as a piece of historical fiction. And the changes necessary to make it true to the period gut the heart and soul of the piece. By shifting genres, and picking it up and sticking it into a world specifically built for it, I can solve the problems.

My poor computer needed a rest, so I shut it down. Then, I lay down, planning about a twenty minute nap. However, I woke up completely groggy and disoriented two and a half hours later. Guess I was more tired than I realized!

The fantastic thing was that I woke up with the plot of a comic novel complete in my head. I’ve jotted down most of it. It’s kind of a SCARLET PIMPERNEL-COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO spoof, but with my own odd spin to it. And it’s very different from Lauren Willig’s novels. Don’t get me wrong, I love what she’s done—but this book is very different. It’s definitely something to appear under the “Ava Dunne” name – it’s got that edgy, odd humor, in spite of the historical context – to which I can be true, in this case, because it feeds into the satire of the book.

So I guess the nap was worth it.

Great yoga session earlier than usual last night, gave the cats lots of attention. They are not amused that there are suitcases and bags again in the hall. I’ve got to wind up a few more things online before I leave at 10 AM, and then it’s off to work for the weekend. I won’t be back online until sometime on Monday, which I just realized is a holiday for most people, so I hope I can get a lot done in peace and quiet. I’m hoping that Monday brings a lot of good work on the two plays looming over me and the Billy Root story.

Valentine’s Nights Part One was a lot of fun, thank you very much, and I’m looking forward to Parts Two and Three! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and back to the page!

Devon

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

So, yesterday was the celebration of the 200th birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Both men were typical Aquarians – independent thinkers.

Today is my debut as a contributor on Sole Struck Fashions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t post because of some sort of error, but I sent the post to my editor, so hopefully she can get it up soon. It’s a piece called “Don’t Throw That Out!”

Woke up this morning to the news of that horrible plane crash into a house outside of Buffalo. Everyone on board the plane is reported dead, as well as one person on the ground, in the house into which the plane hit. Those poor people, those poor families, and that neighborhood! What bothers me about the coverage, on every single station around here is they all refer to the “female pilot”. The pilot is the PILOT – stop making an issue of gender. The plane didn’t crash because the pilot was female. We don’t yet know why the plane crashed, but I seriously doubt it had anything to do with the pilot’s gender. We’re supposed to have evolved beyond that kind of casual sexism.

I expect more from people who have the reputation for being journalists with integrity. I guess I shouldn’t.

Brenda, to answer your question, I got my information from The Senator I Trust. New York has two senators, One I Trust and One I Do Not Trust. I had questions for the Senator I Trust and got response. I still want to read the bill in total and make my own decisions and ask more questions. (Gee, you think I’ll have questions or disagreements with pieces of it? ;)) As of last night, when I had to get off line (in the middle of something, no less), it was not yet posted because they’re still working on language. I believe it will be up on the White House Site, but if not, the bills eventually end up on the Government Printing Office site. There are a lot of excerpts that have been circulating and misquoted. When I do have a legitimate link to an unvarnished copy of the legislation, I will post it.

What’s frustrating is that I want to read legislation BEFORE it’s passed, so I can make my opinions known to those I pay to represent me. Sometimes, that means poking around the Congressional Site, especially the pages for my representatives. There must be a site that simply posts bills that are in legislation, before passage, but I’m not sure what it is. YET.

Today, unfortunately, is not the day I have to track it down.

Living in the Land of Just Not Getting It: Someone on one of the boards I frequent mentioned disappointment that her blog wasn’t getting lots of traffic and wanted people to stop by. I clicked over, only to see it posted that this person “doesn’t have time” to blog until April. Um, so why should we come by NOW? And keep coming by if there isn’t any new content until April? Honey, you claim to be a writer who uses your blog as a marketing tool. That means MAKING time to regularly update the blog as part of your JOB if you expect to build and hold an audience.

Work was fine yesterday. Got a lot done on The Lucy Gothic. Had a lot of interruptions all day, as I expected, but it was fine and all worked out.

The wind storms around here were terrible, and resulted in several fatalities. In my location, there was a partially glassed in ceiling, and it was rather frightening to watch the trees bend as far as they did and sway. At one point, I had to drive about fifteen minutes to pick up something and bring it back. The drive took nearly an hour because I had to keep stopping the car to drag tree limbs out of the road. Fortunately, it was all stuff I could move.

For awhile, the sky took on that greenish-gray-yellow tinge that does not bode well, and I wondered if we’d have to scamper into the cellar for awhile. It’s not usually tornado country around here, but the way the air and clouds were moving, it looked like a possibility. Fortunately, it all smoothed out. But it was scary driving home late last night. It also didn’t help that the majority of drivers around here (mostly in SUVs, I might add), in this densely populated area, seem to think it’s fine to use their fog lights in traffic. Uh, no, it’s against the law, and it causes accidents. So that made the drive back even more challenging.

Got home later than I expected, and was too tired to do much except unpack the food that needed to go back into the refrigerator and get to bed.

I have a lot to do today, since it’s my one day at the home computer for the next several days, and, of course, the computer is not cooperating. Typical. The McAfee is the biggest problem – again – hijacking, freezing, and crashing the computer while it “updates” – for about four hours. That’s been the average daily update lately – four hours, with no way to override it. And heaven forbid that McAfee actually provides the customer service to fix it. After all, who am I? Only a customer who PAYS for their service. I’m looking into some of the other virus protectors that readers have suggested – thank you. I’m hoping that, when I get my new computer, it will be close to the end of the McAfee subscription anyway, and I can just dump it. Meanwhile, I’m tracking the time and money they cost me every day.

I’ve got a bunch of correspondence to get out, some pitches to send, and some proposals for workshops to prepare, all of which need to go out today. Then I have to unpack and repack for the weekend. I thought I was leaving at noon tomorrow, but now it looks more like around 10 AM – and no computer/internet access until I get back, so I’ve got to get a lot done.

I hoped to get some work done on the Billy Root story, but didn’t this morning, so I doubt it will happen. I’m having a relationship dilemma about him – he’s supposed to be torn between two women, but I’m not sure how far to take the relationship with each of them – and a completely different woman, who is a fairly important character, seems to emerge as a better choice for him. The only way I’m going to figure this out is to write my way through it and worry about what the editor will think later. The editor’s not every going to see it until a few drafts in, when it will be quite different from anything I’m currently thinking.

I’ve already got the title for the fourth book, and a rough outline. It will focus on Jain and Wyatt, tying up some unfinished business begun in the book about to release and taking their relationship to a whole new level.

With any luck, I can be focused this morning and get some work done on the revisions for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT this afternoon.

I’m back into the groove with The Lucy Gothic, I think, which is good. I was worried I’d lost the thread, there, for awhile. I’m behind in the typing – I’ve got over 110 pages in longhand, I’m well into Chapter Seven, but only have the first two chapters typed.

And somewhere in all of this, the plays need attention.

I really want a day off, but that’s not going to happen for awhile. This is one of those cases where, in spite of being a freelancer, I don’t get to take a day off because I want to. Things need to get done first and THEN, maybe some time next week, I’ll take a day and just BE. I prefer doing that during the week, because everyone’s trapped in their cubicles, and it’s easier to hang out. Then I can stay in and write while everyone else frantically rushes around all weekend getting caught up on everything they couldn’t do all week.

Today, for your amusement, I do my imitation of a Hamster on a Treadmill. Wish me luck!

Fortunately, I LOVE Friday the 13th, I think it’s a fun, wonderful, positive day, so in spite of all the “have to’s”, I intend to have some fun this evening. And how great is it that there’s a Friday leading into Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day, to me, is more than just commercialized push at romance. It’s a chance to say to people that they matter.

So, in case you feel I haven’t appreciated you lately – Hey, You Matter!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Back to the page.

Devon