Tues. June 19, 2018: Stressors

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

Four planets retrograde, with Mars going retrograde next week. Can I please just stay in bed until it’s all direct?

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise for “The Lost Art of Reading Aloud.”

Busy weekend. Most of it was focused on turning around the revisions of MYTH & INTERPRETATION back to my editor. We’re in galleys now. Since it’s a novella, not a novel, and just over 40K, I’m hoping the galley process won’t be as drawn out as with SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Back in the saddle with RELICS & REQUIEM. Going at a good clip with that. I love the way the relationship is unfolding between Amanda and Phineas. It gets my full writing focus (as opposed to revision or proofreading focus) this week, because next week, DAVY JONES DHARMA gets back into the mix. I’m looking forward to spending time again with Sophie and the crew of the Charisma.

Did some work on the anti-gun violence play. It’s slow going. Instead of drafting in a rush, I’m working and reworking each scene, building the piece. It’s a different way of working than I usually use, but this play needs it. You change the process to meet the demands of a specific project.

It makes me shake my head when writers — usually un-published or under-published refuse to try something new because “that’s not my process.” Until you have a published track record, you’re still trying to find your process. And, even then, you have to change it when the work calls for it.

For the anti-gun violence play, all that time I’ve spent in DC working with senators and reps on legislation, talking to various members of Congress and their aides about issues has all come in handy. It allows me to give it texture, to layer in sights, sounds, smells, attitudes.

I’m still in touch with many of the people with whom I worked when I lived in New York, and have added the MA delegations to my contacts since I’ve moved here. Usually about once a day, always several times a week. Just because I don’t post about it all the time doesn’t mean I remain silent. Or uninvolved. Especially now, it’s vital to be immersed in our political process. My mother, who survived Russian prison camp in WWII, is horrified at the way the US is going down the road of Nazi Germany.

I am sickened by separating children from their families and putting them in cages. Every single individual who does this must be prosecuted AS AN INDIVIDUAL. No hiding behind “job” or “policy.” If your job or policy requires you to do something inhumane, you refuse. You fight. Period. If you commit an inhuman act because your job “requires” you to do it, YOU are inhumane. And must face consequences.

I take note of so many people who claim they are “religious” and “Christian” who agree with this inhumane policy of degrading people and putting children IN CAGES. Look at the AP reports. Look at John Moore’s photos. It’s happening. In our country. These people who protest outside of Planned Parenthood, want to deny women reproductive rights, are anti-abortion, delight when doctors who provide health care for women are SHOT, all in the name of RELIGION — they think putting children in cages and denying them basic human rights and dignity is just fine. Not only are they disgusting individuals with no moral compass or authority — they are hypocrites.

I saw a suggestion from a Catholic bishop to deny those implementing this inhumane treatment the sacrament. I am fully on board with that. Go further — excommunicate any individual who does not repent, not only in words, but in ACTION.

Ex-communicate Paul Ryan. This granny-starving sleazeball, who delights in taking away healthcare and other rights, posted a tone-deaf tweet for Father’s Day, while doing nothing to help the situation.

I’m deeply disappointed in Susan Collins from Maine. I have family in Maine; spent lots of time there. Have met with her, in Maine and in Washington. She seemed like a fairly reasonable, rational human being. How disturbing to find it was all a facade.

We are losing a generation of children. Physically and emotionally. It is inexcusable and must be stopped.

For all those who turn away and say they “aren’t political.” They’re coming for you next, you spineless pieces of crap. You won’t be spared. You’re useful to them now, because of your inaction. But you will be tossed away as soon as they choose.

THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS is dealing with some of these issues, as in, when you fight atrocity, how far into similar behavior can you descend without becoming what you fight? Who gets sacrificed? How can anyone come back from it?

Which is, of course, why the piece is pulling at me. Although, I suspect that, once the anti-gun violence play is drafted and goes out to Trusted Readers, I will write a play about this situation.

And, of course, POWER OF WORDS wants attention. We’ve come up with a new series title that we all like. We’ve even named the first six books, and I THINK those titles will stick. Now the question is, how realistically can I finish the material that will be broken into the rest of Book 4 and make up Books 5 & 6, with everything else going on? Books 1, 2 & 3 have been through multiple drafts. They are almost ready to send to the editor. But, because we want to have all six ready at once, I have to finish the rest. I have most of Book 4 done, and part of Book 5 (I skipped ahead). I have Book 6 outlined. But how to fit it in?

On top of that, the Jain Lazarus Adventures must now be factored back in. I need to finish CRAVE THE HUNT, so it can go into edits and be ready to release when HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK re-release. While still staying on track with the Coventina Circle books, the Nautical Namaste books, and the Gwen Finnegan books.

And, you know, client work.

STILL waiting for two checks, one that is now almost a month late. Where the place lied and said it was “sent” and that the accountant wouldn’t be in until this week, and there was nothing they could do about a replacement. You’re a business. You’re telling me that no one can take 5 minutes to write a check? That’s not business.

Feeling pressured and upset and in despair on multiple fronts. All I can do is put my head down and keep writing.

 

Thurs. Nov. 13, 2014: Working in All Directions

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Waning Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Busy few days. Can I even remember back that far?

Been busy at work, been busy at home. Doing a lot of research; working on RED WIDOW. Also went back to a couple of other projects that are in various stages, went over the material, and I’m re-sorting those priorities. Not getting enough yard work done. Getting paperwork done, especially on the home front, contracts, and the like, and preparing submissions.

Got another small royalty check and the payment for the anthology that’s about to release. I’m excited – my first steampunk story in print! That will drop at the end of next week.

Doing my wreck diving homework for the background on BALTHAZAAR – behind where I’d like to be, but it’s getting done, and a lot of it is creative work, sitting on the floor with a large piece of paper, trying to visualize things. Putting together lots of questions.

A project in DC I thought was dead due to the change in Congress is still on the burner – it may be another six months to a year before it’s up and running, but there’s grant writing and proposal writing to be done in the meantime, interviews to be conducted, etc. If it happens (and there are so many “ifs” involved), it will mean going to DC on some of the days I’m not scheduled to work elsewhere. Not that I mind, especially if someone else is making the arrangements and paying for it! It’s a project I really want to be involved with, although I’m a way out of the box choice – which is exactly why the person heading the project, a former professor of mine, is bound and determined that I remain a part of it.

Got a request for a play of mine – a company in Florida is interested in it. That might be kind of fun, adding it to the resume. I’d just license it, not go down and work on it.

Went to see a facility here on the Cape in connection with another project, earlier this week. I was disappointed. I expected more from the location. I’m still glad I saw it, and it made the creative wheels turn, but I don’t see how we can work out the practicalities in the near future.

Yesterday, Talin Bookbindery did a program at the library. It was magnificent, one of the best programs I’ve attended anywhere. I was even more enchanted with the bookbinding process by the end of it than at the beginning. And the process of making marbled papers! A true art. Wonderful.

Spending lots of time on student work. Hopefully, the students are getting something positive out of it. It was the right route to go for the past few months, only working with private students, and teaching groups in one-shot deals, not long-term classes. I’m under too much deadline pressure right now for anything else.

Even though I was “on” last Saturday here, I switched with a colleague for this weekend, who has a commitment. Not a problem at all. And I have to participate in “Taste of the Mills” this weekend, and write up some proposals for new programs. Monday, I’m in the writing cave; Tuesday, I’m spending the day on Martha’s Vineyard. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate!

The webs in RED WIDOW and the novellas connected to it intrigue me. I’m wondering just how far I can push certain elements in this series. Guess I’ll find out soon, huh?

Devon

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Interior, Library of Congress

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde

I’m on the road all day, headed back to NY. I’ve got a post up on Kemmryk about loss, since this is the first anniversary of my grandmother’s death.

I am so sore that I’m almost looking forward to the long bus trip back home!

Hit the ground running early — breakfast at the same great cafe as yesterday. Again, here are the highlights — I’ll be doing some essays to go into more detail in a few days:

Ford’s Theatre — where Abraham Lincoln was shot. Didn’t go in — too many noisy kids. Loved the real gas lights outside. The Petersen House — where Lincoln died — was closed today because it’s getting re-roofed.


Library of Congress — I had no idea that it’s just about the most beautiful building in America. And Jefferson’s “starter collection” library practically made me weep with joy — especially since he read novels as well as Aristotle!


Supreme Court — they were busy and working and tons of security.

Folger Shakespeare Library — lovely, unusual exhibition on the way Elizabethans imagined China.


US Botanic Garden — can you imagine, there are roses still in bloom outside in mid-November?

Museum of the American Indian — stunning and amazing and fascinating and wonderful and somewhat sad. I found some wonderful books and also joined the Smithsonian Institute as a member. It’s worth it — there’s no admission in any of the museums, and I’ve gotten far more out of them than membership cost.


National Gallery of Art — lovely galleries, one of the worst meals in recent memory.

Visits with politicos — very quick and friendly; Capitol HIll was VERY busy today. Good. That’s why we pay ‘em. Unfortunately, I think I’ve developed an allergy to politicians — I start sneezing around them.

Hirschorn Museum — I ducked in to see the Anne Truitt exhibit because I love her TURN so much. And found a book I really, really needed in the store.


“The Castle” — the original Smithsonian building — absolutely gorgeous.

Hit the Macy’s sale on the way back, since the sale was about 75% off. No skirts. Too hot. I lasted 12 minutes, and remembered why I hate shopping in department stores so much, and, until the recent skirt kerflamma, I hadn’t been in a department store other than Target in years.

Back to the hotel, really sore and hurting. Downed a couple of Advil, read the paper (I LOVE the print version of the WASHINGTON POST), and went to a local Italian place for dinner, which was excellent, although I’m not sure why they were playing Spanish guitar music in an Italian restaurant.

Back to the hotel, soaked (this time in bath salts). Tried to figure out how I wound up with so many books to haul back — I thought I was SO careful. Thank goodness I made them ship up all those government reports.

Packed, typed up notes, worked on some writing.

Tomorrow, I have to hit the ground running yet again in preparation for Maine next week and getting the Christmas story finished so it can get out to the printer.

Devon

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde

Still in DC. But I’ve got a post up on The Scruffy Dog Review blog about Nano and Real Life, so go check it out.

I’m also a guest over on Penny Ehrenkranz’s blog, where I talk about organizing writing time.

Enjoy!

I am REALLY angry about the “new guidelines” saying we shouldn’t get mammograms until 50. Yet another way for insurance companies to deny women coverage, as if women’s health care isn’t shunted to the side enough. It’s bad enough that some companies consider being a woman a “pre-existing condition.” This is absolutely unacceptable.

Now, to yesterday — well, let’s just say I did far too much to write it all out tonight. I took well over 200 photos.

Here are some highlights:

Arlington National Cemetery — amazing, astonishing, heartbreaking. 29 funerals scheduled for yesterday. We witnessed 6, without intending so to do. Ideas for stories.

Washington Monument — wow, it’s really tall!

World War II Memorial — gorgeous architecture


Reflecting Pool — so many leaves in it that it couldn’t reflect.


Lincoln Monument — Abe looked tired and kind. Met a lovely woman from Australia.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial — as emotional as the first time I visited.


Women in Vietnam Memorial — I helped raise money and signatures for this, but had never seen it complete and in place. Very emotional.


Who knew there was a huge duck pond?

Meetings for confidential Job #3 — fascinating, rushed, made them ship the massive amounts of reports and paperwork so I don’t have to drag it around. I’d have had to purchase another suitcase.


The Smithsonian: National Museum of National HIstory. So much to see. I didn’t expect Julia Child’s kitchen to have so much STUFF. And I found so many inspirations for the steam punk novella . . .


The Smithsonian: The Museum of Natural History. A statue from Easter Island and a mortar and pestle so heavy I could barely lift it.


The Building of Arts and Industries — Fascinating Architecture


The Smithsonian: National Air and Space Museum. I could have lived here for a week. I mean, I got to climb into and poke around on the back-up model of Skylab. SKYLAB!!!!! And see Apollo capsules and what a Tomahawk missile looks like. I am of the generation where all that actually means something.

The White House: hey, Prez! Hope you’re having good talks in China. The house looks really nice.

A quick cocktail in a Very Upscale Hotel that’s just as big a meat market as desperate singles bar. No wonder a Madam was once based there.

Talked into another Happy Hour cocktail (long story, will wind up in fiction) at a more casual DuPont Circle hangout — not much different except the men and women are closer in age.

Fabulous dinner near DuPont Circle — great fish tacos.

I was so sore that I took a good, long soak in the tub.

Devon

Monday, November 16, 2009

IMG_0301

Monday, November 16, 2009
New Moon
Uranus Retrograde
No idea the weather — hoping it’s good.

I headed off to DC before the break of dawn. Will try to blog from there, so keep checking in. Plus, I have links to all sorts of post scheduled throughout the week.

In the meantime, I’ve got a post up on Kemmyrk, called “Tapped on the Shoulder”.

I’m sure many of you will relate.

Yesterday wasn’t as productive as I wanted. The Christmas story isn’t finished, which means I’ll be sitting up late at night in DC hotel rooms working on it.

Errands done – cats have a new water jug, although it was a challenge to find a good one. Nearly came home with a five foot tall kitty condo as well, but I think that’ll be their Yule gift.

No luck with movers, dang it. I’m not confident enough in Craigslist ads to go looking there.

Cat slave, er sitter, and neighbor will both be on the lookout for the shipments of books that should have arrived Saturday and have yet to arrive.

Plan to read NEVER AFTER on the trip down and listen to music on the iPod. I’m trying to pack about three weeks’ worth of work into just a couple of days, and, frankly, the pace doesn’t let up until mid-January. I’m flat out until at least then. It’s all good, I just have to keep my head screwed on straight and be really, really organized so as not to let any of the balls drop. Because too much is at stake to let anything slide.

Devon

Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 3:15 am  Comments (3)  
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IMG_0626
IMG_0628

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

This is what the bastards have done to our courtyard — cut down all but 3 of the beautiful, old trees, and those will probably come down today. The City stands by and says they can’t do anything — which is bullshit — you can ALWAYS come up with something, if you really give a damn.

It causes me physical pain as well as emotional. I can’t really describe it, but I can feel every cut.

May those who ordered it and yes, those who carried it out — get their karmic retribution sooner rather than later, and may I be allowed to witness it.

Because I’m sick and tired of cowards who hide behind “it’s my job”. If you do something you know is wrong because “it’s your job” — it’s still wrong and you’re as culpable, if not more culpable, than someone who made the choice. Someone who makes a choice is taking action — someone who hides behind the job is a coward.

Believe me, I am not done with these scum yet. I may not have been able to save these particular trees, but I can work to change legislation to prevent these scum from doing this in the future. I would prefer to simply chop them to pieces with a machete, but that is not a sane viable long term solution, so I’ll refrain.

In other words, yesterday was an awful day, and I didn’t get much done on the job front.

I managed to proof the essay and get it to my editor first thing (before the chaos started). I rewrote the story for the other editor — I’m not happy with the requested cuts. The cuts took out the details that made it unique and, to me, the story now reads as though I’m “talking down” to the age group. Part of me almost hopes it doesn’t make the next round of readings, so that I can restore it to what it was (although, the editor was correct and the last line had to be better — so I put what I think is a humorous twist in it — and then re-submit elsewhere. We’ll see. If it’s accepted and published as it, I’ll learn about the publishing side for that young age group — even if I think they’re underestimating the actual readers.

I submitted two other stories yesterday, too, so, fingers crossed. But I couldn’t get any writing done, because I was too upset. I will find a way to shape the rage into a viable piece of writing, but it’s too soon, too raw.

I also received my honorable withdrawal card from the union, which was kind of jolting.

November is filling up with work — good thing I’m sticking to my commitment to skip Nano this year. I’m also determined to hold my dates for my trip to DC. Three days of libraries and museums will set things to rights in many ways, plus I’ll have meetings with both politicians who represent me and activists and writers I’ve gotten to know via Twitter and other writing. I’m going to pack a lot into three days!

On another weird twist in the story of my life, by accident I found a photo of a guy standing with the Stanley Cup who may well be related to me. I had to join Facebook in order to send him a message (don’t worry, folks, no page is going up, and I may well cancel my account soon). I did a little research — he seems to play — and win — in billiard tournaments — my kind of guy. And obviously likes hockey. We’re close in age, so he can’t be a half-brother, but maybe he’s a second or third cousin. The family name — especially that spelling — is very rare.

Delving further, I found another possible ancestor who was a founder in a small town on the Polish-Czech border — he was the town’s butcher, co-owned the inn, and owned a shop — a busy guy — in a town with a population of 483 back in the mid-1800s.

Someone with one letter missing in the last name originated in Russia and emigrated through Ellis Island, and has records in St. Louis. So I’ve contacted the special collection there to see if I can get copies of the records.

This is all on my father’s side of the family, and I know very little about them. My father’s elder brother was a well-known artist in Europe, who died a few years ago. his younger brother is an etcher and art printer. Supposedly, the younger brother has all the family records, but has ignored repeated requests for copies of the information, even though I offered to pay all copying and mailing costs. I’ve only ever met them once or twice, soon after my father died, back in the 1970s.

Ancestry.com was no help. They want me to sing up for a free 14-day trial and then do a monthly payment — bur since they won’t let me see the few records they have, I have no reason to believe their information is useful. I may be better off hunting stuff down on my own. Quite frankly, the information I’ve gotten through the site run by the Mormons has proven much more complete and accurate.

I’ve gotten a good portion of information from my mother’s side of the family, thanks to a project she and her dad did together when she was a kid. I’m kind of stalled there — time being a factor as much as anything else.

Eventually, I’ll need to spend a few months putting stuff together and then plan a trip to Europe that is specifically geared towards genealogical research.

On today’s agenda — trying to catch up on what I didn’t get done yesterday, work on some environmental legislation, and, hopefully, get some writing done.

I helped a friend hone an ad yesterday — he’s certainly had my back enough times in life, so I was happy to do something as simple as proofread and comment on some copy.

Let’s hope today is better, and Gaia starts pushing back against these scum.

Devon

Sunday, September 13, 2009

IMG_0313
Maine

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and mild

I’m over at Sole Struck Fashions today, talking about Fashion Night Out.

I was completely useless yesterday. I ran some errands, got the groceries in, tried to get my mom settled in her new medications, fiddled more with packing, got my watch fixed.

It was rainy and icky, so the cats and I napped in the afternoon (they are such a bad influence on me), and I worked on the proposals. I’m seriously considering sending out at least one tomorrow morning, the one I really, really want. Nothing like last minute, right?

I can’t believe I’m leaving for Prague tomorrow. In addition, I’m planning for the gig on the Cape that will happen 36 hours after I return, the trip to Washington DC in November, and a trip next summer to the Bay of Fundy (since New Brunswick is quickly rising on the list of possible relocation sites).

Thank goodness I cleared off my deadlines early, because I am just a waste of food.

As soon as I get through security at the airport tomorrow, I can relax. But hauling the luggage onto the train and the bus and then, the worst, standing in line at the check-in counter, is what stresses me out.

Well, I’ve got to do the last-minute things to get ready, and make sure I leave everything here as organized as possible.

And I want to get that proposal out.

Devon
IMG_0015
Eastham, MA

Published in: on September 13, 2009 at 8:43 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, August 31, 2009

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The statue in front of the National Museum of Dance, Saratoga Springs, NY

Monday, August 31, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, muggy, cooler

I can’t believe it’s nearly September. Two weeks from today, I’m headed to Prague. Language-wise, I am so not ready, but everything else seems pretty organized.

Yesterday was mostly a writing day. AMENDS has a good natural writing rhythm. I write a few pages, I wander off and do something else, I write a few pages, I wander off and do something else. All good.

I did the write-up for Confidential Job #1. I’m going to proof it and add the page numbers for fact-checking, and then send it off. Then I have to bundle up the invoice information and find a computer with IE on it so I can invoice, probably at the Greenwich Library. Pain in the —-.

And Apple better cough up a solution today. My patience has ended.

There’s a very important article on Shiloh Walker’s site about piracy and ebooks. I hope you check it out. The article articulates the problem very well.

Brandy, you are incredibly talented in so many areas — and not just household management and child-rearing, which are pretty impressive skills in themselves. You’re well-read and articulate, you can do all kinds of crafts, and you have a way with animals, especially cats. You have a wealth of kindness and compassion, and you’re not afraid to share it. All of those are rare and wonderful traits in this day and age.

I found a residency for which I want to apply for next summer, thanks to Hope Clark’s site. It’s an island off the coast of Maine, not a fancy, resort-style retreat, but something where I can actually get a lot of uninterrupted work time in a natural setting. I’m going to apply when I get back from Prague.

I decided I’m going to get my hair cut sometime this week instead of waiting until next week and letting everything pile up just before I leave. I’ve let it grown for seven or eight months now — I haven’t had hair this long in about 15 years. And it’s all coming off, back to my usual short hair, which will be easier to deal with when traveling.

My phone’s not holding a charge for more than a minute (okay, I’m exaggerating, a couple of hours), and I can’t get another battery for it, but it’s a waste of time and money to get it upgraded before I head to Prague. I’ll switch out the phones when I get back.

I have a few pitches to get out to magazines this week, and I want to get a draft of an article done and out to an editor before I leave, so she can look at it and consider changes while I’m gone. I need to do some follow-up on some information for which I asked in order to write it all up.

I’ve got another short article to tweak and get off, hopefully with some photos. I’m hesitant to pitch for any freelance jobs before I go, because the turnaround time will be while I’m gone.

Planning continues for the DC trip in November, and, in and among the various gigs in October, I want to squeeze in another overnight to Saratoga and Lenox.

I have to stay very calm and organized over the next few weeks, and my tolerance for crap is at zero. Should be interesting.

Good morning’s work on AMENDS. The characters are far more complex than I originally envisioned, which is a good thing. I’m going to start typing up the chapters as I write them, and save them on the flash drive, in case this computer goes kaplooey again. I’m tired of being treated like the dumb little errand girl by Apple. I am the customer and they need to fix the problem they caused.

Devon

AMENDS: first draft: 15,812 words out of est. 75,000
21%
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A lovely place to watch the world go by in Saratoga Springs, NY

Washington, DC

I left at 4:30 AM for DC to participate in the Health Care Rally.

I hope they have coffee carts!

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 6:48 am  Comments (2)  
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