Fri. May 26, 2023: I’d Rather Be Reading

image courtesy of  nini kvaratskhelia via pixabay.com

Friday, May 26, 2023

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

Are you ready for Memorial Day Weekend?

I am totally not.

Yet I am.

Today’s serial episode is from Angel Hunt:

Episode 36: Quarry or Guardian?

Is her host a hunter or the hunted?

Angel Hunt serial link.

I forgot to mention that Wednesday night into Thursday night, I had nightmares.

The first was that I was called back to work WICKED, because they were short-handed, only I didn’t have my running notes, and they wouldn’t give me a new set. I pulled myself out of that, totally disgusted with myself because: A) That’s not who they are, they want the show to work, and B) the last time I worked the show was in 2010 and my notes wouldn’t even be relevant anymore.

The second nightmare was that I was back in the Cape house, trying to clean it out and being totally overwhelmed. I pulled myself out of that sense memory stress and reminded myself that I am here NOW. I am in a different reality, and building a different future.

Meditation was cancelled, sadly. I should have just sat on my own, but I went down the Census rabbit hole again. Some Playland information, but also lots of other interesting stuff. There was an author. His English-born wife was an insurance researcher. They had four kids, including twins. Her sister, also an author, lived with them, and they had a lodger who was a librarian. Now, is that a dramedy in the making, or what?

There was the 63-year-old actress living as a “guest” in the house of a laborer at the Amoury, his wife, and their older children. There’s a story there. The teenaged “umbrella boy” at the beach, whose slightly elder brother is an office clerk for a film company, and whose father is a building inspector. The grand opera ballet dancer, born in Switzerland, living with her mother, her stepfather (a gardener at a private estate), her brother (who arrived from Basel, Switzerland and now works as a machine operator at an electric company), her four year old son, and her aunt, who arrived from Paris, and now works as a maid.

There were all the usual stone masons and carpenters and painters and office clerks and bank tellers and barbers and railroad workers. There was an increase in dressmakers and women working in dress factories (mostly Italian), and millinery places, along with more Germans, Poles, and Austrians (getting out before the war), and an uptick in “butcher” as their profession. A German painter and her Polish art dealer husband.  A young artist living with her parents (photographers), and her sister is a stenographer for a soap company. Then there were more unusual professions like gravedigger and religious ornamental salesman and marine pilot.

I heard back from the Archives. They are so excited! They didn’t have the photos I had, but they found photos of the same women , but they’re not named. They’re also pulling payroll books and other administrative records, and are thrilled that someone is trying to put names to these women.

So I need my grant money, so I can get down there and do some research! (Yes, I can use the grant for this stuff).

I also put together a residency proposal for next winter. Finger crossed. I’m using this project as one I’d like to work on in residency. If not, I’ll do it anyway. I worked on next week’s Process Muse post.

I did the social media rounds for Legerdemain, checked on the strike news, and the impending debt default. The fuckers decided the Memorial Day weekend was more important than doing their job. Disgusting. Even more disgusting is that the Democrats CAN fix this without caving to the Republican demands, and they CHOOSE not to. So we are going to default and all the people who actually work for a living, all the seniors, all the veterans, you know the people who actually make things WORK,  get screwed next week. This is unacceptable. The Democrats’ unwillingness to actually get in the trenches and fight is disgusting. All Congressional salaries should be frozen until they reach a deal AND they should be locked into the Capitol building until a clean debt ceiling raise is passed. Nothing else is even faintly acceptable.

In the afternoon, I did two client projects, and something came in for today (no four-day weekend for me). I may work on Monday, if something comes in; or try to just double down on work Tuesday and Wednesday, for this pay period. I’m making my calculations for the worst possible outcome; if I’m wrong and it doesn’t happen, then I can work from there. I’m also seriously exhausted and burned out, and don’t know if I can sustain without a break. However, I may not have the option to rest. We have bills to pay, and they’re not going to pay themselves, and if there’s a default, any owed monies won’t get here, and I have to make up the difference.

This is what happens when you don’t arrest the insurrectionist members of Congress the day they tried not to ratify the election. They continue with the insurrection. This is why you can’t give ANY of these Christo-fascists an inch and EVERY single one of them has to be completely destroyed. We need to stop negotiating with domestic terrorists.

Today’s agenda: upload/schedule the next 8 episodes of Angel Hunt (which will get me into early July). Maybe do some more work on it. Do the social media rounds to promote today’s episode. Go grocery shopping. Pick up my mother’s prescription. Swing by the library, to pick up a few things that came in. Do client work this afternoon.

Over the weekend, I plan to read the next book for review and also read my friend’s book so I can write the blurb and send it off to her next week. I also want to set up at least some of the Enchanted Garden on the back balcony, hang some pictures, and turn over from the winter clothes to summer clothes. And catch up on filing!

Writing-wise, I’ll do some work on Legerdemain, and, hopefully, tackle the memorial scene near the end of FALL FOREVER, so that draft 4 of that script is done. I’ll have to do some episode videos for the serials, too, and maybe some book recommendations. And do a rough draft of the flash fiction for the artist call.

Next week is about keeping up with the serials, getting ahead on The Process Muse, working on the pieces for Llewellyn, and getting back to “Labor Intensive.” I need to sit down and do a short outline on the story. Some of what I have is going too far into subplots that would work if this was a novel, but it’s a short story, so, nope. Keep it focused.

I’d rather spend the weekend in a book fort, but we’ll see.

Have a good holiday weekend, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Wed. May 10, 2023: Good Trellises Make Good Neighbors

image courtesy of Kerstin Riemer via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Waning Moon

Mercury and Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

It was cold enough, again, for frost on the car overnight, and 33 degrees F when I woke up. It’s supposed to go up to 72 later today.

Over on The Process Muse today, we’re talking about showing up and doing the work. You can read it here.

Today’s serial episode is Angel Hunt.

Episode 31: Battle With the Witch Hunter

Lianna fights the witch hunter with some unexpected weapons.

Angel Hunt serial link.

I was worn out yesterday, from the big client project’s finish and the FALL FOREVER reading done. This girl was tired.

I created the episode graphics for this week’s episodes of Legerdemain and uploaded/scheduled yesterday’s promo. I’m trying something different this month; instead of dropping the episode graphics of the week’s episodes every day, I’m only dropping them on the day they go live. On off days, I will post more general promos for the whole series. We’ll see how that works for the rest of the month.

Twitter’s not driving any traffic to anything anymore (partially because I had to lock my account). But the bulk of WGA info is on there, so I haven’t left completely.

The big morning project yesterday was the proposal for the play commission. So, fingers crossed. It would be a great opportunity.

I did a drop off/pick up at the library. Then I went to the pharmacy and got a last batch of home COVID tests from both my mom’s insurance and my insurance. As of tomorrow, we’re on our own and have to pay for them. Which means people won’t test and will go untreated, and more people will die.

I am highly skeptical that my mom’s illness was “flu” even though she tested positive for it. I think she had a variant. She’s still coughing a little. And exhausted all the time. I may have fought off a variant (hence the fever), and I still have the fatigue (which I figure is the fight combined with exhaustion from pushing on the projects these last weeks). And, of course, now we’re in the season of “is it pollen or is it the plague?” I’m worried that the home tests aren’t picking up the variants, which is why I isolated for several days when I came down with the fever.

Other than being tired, I felt okay yesterday, which is why I ran my errands (although I’m still masking indoors). I got the COVID tests. I swung by a couple of stores looking for some stuff I needed, and they didn’t have it. I mailed some bills. I ordered cat litter.  You know, the basics of keeping a household running.

Ran into the maintenance guy. They’re coming around next week to check on a few things in the apartments and test the smoke detectors, etc. ahead of upcoming insurance inspections. And he’s going to take another look at the dishwasher, and maybe replace the outlet.

We unwrapped the tarp from the bench and bistro chairs on the back balcony and got those set up, along with the bistro table. I teak oiled everything. Hopefully, it’s soaked in overnight and I can add the cushions today. I put out the hanging birdbath. It’s still too cold at night to put out any plants, which means I can’t yet put down the rugs. But slowly, slowly, we’re getting there.

The neighbor whose house back is at right angles to our back balcony (the front is on a cross street) called me over to whine about the bucket truck the landlord keeps parked at the back of the driveway here. I was Very Cordial. Now, anyone who knows me well knows that when I go into Very Cordial mode, it’s best to back away slowly, and, once at a safe distance, turn and run like hell. In my mind, I called her “Aunt Bea” because she reminded me of all the negatives of that character from the ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. I’m the tenant; I’m not going to tell the landlord what to do, when he’s behaving perfectly legally ON HIS OWN PROPERTY. And, frankly, it has no impact on her property. She said she doesn’t want to look at it, and she can see it out of her window. She said she called the city to complain and they told her my landlord followed all protocols and she should mind her own business. I suggested that, instead of cutting down all the foliage at the fence line, she grow clematis and hops and make a natural screen. She was not amused.

Hey, not my problem. Also, more importantly, not my business.

I, however, am likely to get some clematis and/or hops and put it on that side of the balcony to create a foliage screen. Getting large trellises around here is not a problem. It’s the pot-sized ones who are rare.

I planted a few things where the seeds had cooled in the fridge and want some cold still before they come up. Supposedly, last night was the last frosty bit, so I can start planting more stuff.

I need to get some black-eyed Susan vine going, or it won’t come up in time. And it did so well last year.

Tomorrow’s garden post will have more exploration of all of this.

I did client work in the afternoon. Managed to finish it before yoga. I’d home tested two hours before class, as a precaution. Negative, thank goodness. I was pretty sure it would come back negative, since I felt fine, just tired. But I wanted to be sure.

I kind of dragged myself to yoga, not wanting to leave the house, and then I was happy I did it, because I felt so much better. My teacher also recommended a local vet, which is good, because I need to get the cats in to update shots, etc.

Home, dinner, then reading Cherie Priest’s FLIGHT RISK, which is a lot of fun.

Up early this morning. Did not go to the laundromat. I’ll regret that next week, but I’ll deal with it. . .next week.

I have writing to do this morning, client work to do in the afternoon, probably more planting. I am going to take Friday off from client work to focus on the serials, the Poets in Conversation piece, the flash fiction piece, and maybe go to the Clark to work on that project a bit. So I need to dig in a bit earlier in the week.

I may start loading more client work early in the week in order to keep taking Fridays off from client work. The instinct is to keep Mondays free (Mondays were often my dark day from theatre work), but my brain starts shutting off Thursday afternoons, as far as client work goes, so Fridays might be a better choice. I may have to do more those early days (which, with increasing my yoga classes over the summer, might be a challenge, since I don’t like to come home and go back to the desk, but we’ll see how it goes).

Anyway, that’s the latest. Back to the page.

Tues. May 9, 2023: Table Read (and Other Creative Work)

image courtesy of Mediamodifier via pixabay.com

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Waning Moon

Mercury and Pluto Retrograde

Partly cloudy and pleasant

Ready for our regular Tuesday catch-up?

We have another week of Mercury Retrograde: hang in there.

Today’s serial episode is from Legerdemain:

Episode 83: A Chat with Jae

Shelley needs answers about Jae’s interactions with Brother Sangus and with Brone.

Legerdemain Serial

Legerdemain Website

Friday was a little chaotic (even beyond things like a lunar eclipse with a full moon and two retrogrades). I didn’t feel great, but there was a lot to do.

I wrote an episode of Legerdemain. Poor Fletcher’s been sidelined for a good bit of this arc, and I need to get him more involved.

I headed for the grocery store. There are some new recipes I want to try (I’m getting excited about cooking again, now that we’re getting into market season). The “experts” say that a grocery list saves money. I always find I buy MORE and spend more with a list. When I go in and see what’s special and make up the meal planning on the fly, I spend less.

I got my cast list for the table read, assigned the roles, and sent off the assignments and the script to the cast. Now, the nerves set in.

I felt like I was running a fever. Tested for the plague, and it was negative, thankfully. But I felt terrible. Which meant no First Friday for me.

For the Kentucky Derby, Tapit Trice was my horse of choice, across the board. I wanted to keep an eye on Mage and Reincarnation, although I figured they’d blossom later in the season. I liked Mage a bit more (even though his odds were longer here). I haven’t really followed this year’s field, and I’m more and more uncomfortable with various aspects of racing. 7 horses dead at Churchill in a week is unacceptable. Every horse death needs more weight, but what’s been going on there lately it out of control.

Oh, by the way? Mage won. At 15-1. It was his day and his race, and he brought it. Good for him.

I felt like crap pretty much all day Saturday. Since I had blocked it off to work on contest entries, I at least wasn’t running around. Since I still had a fever off and on (not a high one, but it was there), I also was staying away from others. Just because I’m testing negative for the plague doesn’t mean I don’t have something contagious.

So I stayed in and worked on the contest entries all day. It’s difficult to winnow down the large final category to just a few slots, but that’s the job. There are some solid books that just missed it, because another book had more craft or a stronger voice or tried something fresh with a familiar trope that made it stand out from the massive number of entries this year.

There was a good batch of strong entries, some which missed by a whisker; then a solid  group in the middle that were fine, but didn’t stand out, and then a batch where the writers are finding their voices and learning their craft. Which they learn by writing the books. And when you think how many people yap about writing a book “someday” and how many start and never finish, the fact that all these people DID it should be applauded.

I made pizza from scratch, and it was yummy.

Sunday, I kept going and finished the final category. Made my decisions on winners and finalists; wrote the winning reviews. Entered in the rest of the scoring sheets, and got it all out.

I finished by mid-afternoon and I was exhausted. I still felt like crap, although my fever had gone down. But staying fairly quiet and reading over the weekend, even though it was critical reading, not pleasure reading, was a better choice than running around and/or doing stuff around the house.

I read a book (you’d think I’d be sick of reading by then, but no) that came highly recommended to me in the afternoon. The book was well done and unique, but I disliked all the characters. They were interesting enough to keep me reading, but it’s rare that I so thoroughly dislike ALL the characters in a book.

When I was finished with that book, I switched over to T. Kingfisher’s A WIZARD’S GUIDE TO DEFENSIVE BAKING, which was a lot of fun.

Went to bed ridiculously early on Sunday, because I was so darn tired. The pollen’s also very high right now, so I’m not having fun with the allergies.

Up early on Monday. Nerves about the reading. Didn’t want to get distracted by anything, so didn’t dare start work on anything.

The table read of FALL FOREVER went really well, as far as the actors and the piece. The Zoom – every 40 minutes it kicked out and we had to sign in again. I let Lily over at DG know; we were first up, so hopefully the glitches we had can be smoothed out for anyone else. Digging into Zoom support (well after the reading), it looks like switching hosts for more than 40-minute sessions means the co-host has to be named BEFORE the meeting starts. In other words, a whole lot of extra admin.

Anyway, I was blessed with a terrific group of actors. It was obvious they’d worked on the script over the weekend, and truly made it a three-dimensional piece. They gave a damn, which makes all the difference. It made me realize how much I miss working regularly with actors. I learned a lot. I can cut a good bit (which is great; the red machete is my friend). A couple of relationships are out of balance, and I want to restructure a dynamic between two of the characters a little. They will still reach the same endpoint, but they can get there better. I want the memorial scene near the end to be more joyful; the lines were a little trite, and I need more of a contrast to keeping the joy of the piece with some of the action happening offstage that three of the characters know about, and are trying to keep from the other four. The radio writing tipped in far too much; too much detail about sound that I don’t need.

I had a suggestion from a good friend about combining two of the characters to raise stakes, and I don’t think I will go that route. That particular character, in the reading, turned out to be a fulcrum, and he’s necessary to be separate from any of the others.

There’s a LOT of work to do on it. I’m tempted to dive in and do another revision immediately, while it’s fresh. If I get the residency in late August, that’s the time that’s blocked off for the major revision.

Once the reading was done, I sent a thank you to the actors. I updated the PageOnStages website and my resume. Because there are pitches and proposals coming up, and this needs to be on it.

Then, I had to switch over and do client work, because, you know, keeping a roof over my head. I did one of the big projects.

I then got the invoice information for the contest entries (another big client project, different client). They’re paying me more this year than in previous years. I mean, I’m happy, I earned it, but I felt weird getting paid for elements that weren’t previously paid. Anyway, I sent off the invoice a little after 4 PM and was paid by 6. That always makes me feel valued.

Dinner was a new recipe that’s okay, but I doubt I’ll make it again. Just not that good, compared to the stuff I’ve learned from Jeremy and Moosewood.

Soup class was fun. I thought it was the last one, but Jeremy’s doing three more to finish us out, before he does the summer cooking camp for kids thing he’s developed. He’s going to be amazing, and those kids are going to have the BEST experience.

Went back and finished another client project. It was a late wrap for me on that, but necessary.

I was both tired and excited from the reading. I need to remind myself that I am aging, and I need more recovery time after things that require a lot of energy and concentration. If I can balance out my schedule properly, I can keep chugging along. If I overbook without enough recovery time, I push too hard and get sick.

Speaking of sick, I’ve been steadily testing negative for the plague. Not sure why I had a fever, but it seems to be gone. It is Allergies R Us around here right now – you can see the pollen float past the windows when sitting on the porch.

An invitation for a proposal to write a commissioned play built around eco-grief/climate change landed on my desk. It’s so intriguing. I put together the proposal and sent it off first thing this morning. I’ve rearranged my writing resume so I lead with stage plays and radio plays, rather than novels. It suits my current focus better. I’ve done missions-specific playwrighting for the National Marine Life Center; let’s hope they like my proposal well enough to make me one of the three playwrights on this project, which would start this year and continue through next year.

It’s 50/50. Either they believe I’m right for the project, or they don’t. If I don’t pitch, I have 0 chance.

There was another call for submissions for short holiday plays. I looked at my Stage Play Tracker and I have. . .nothing? Yeah. None of my plays are built around a holiday. Huh.

Put that in the percolation compost bin, and see what eventually comes out.

I was invited to a screenwriting virtual conference in June. However, I’m not going to participate (or even sign up) if the strike is still going on, and I expect that it will be.

Today’s agenda: Create the episode graphics for this week’s episodes of Legerdemain. Upload and post the promos for Legerdemain and Angel Hunt. Write another episode of Legerdemain.

I have two short-ish client projects in the afternoon. I also have to contact the residency administrator over at MASSMoCA about coordinating the poets’ reading in the autumn.

I should NOT work on the next draft of FALL FOREVER. But I probably will. Or maybe, maybe, since I’m seriously considering taking Friday off from client work again, I will block that day off for work on the project at the Clark Art Institute and on the FALL FOREVER revision.

I also need to start setting up the back balcony, doing some planting, and getting in some painting. On a creative level, I need to work on the piece for Poets in Conversation, which is coming up, and on the flash fiction inspired by an art piece. Both have been percolating in the back of my brain. I want to get some words down, so I can start rearranging them.

Peace, my friends, and have a good one.

Fri. May 6, 2023: Full Moon & Lunar Eclipse

image courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images via pixabay.com

Friday, May 5, 2023

Full Moon

Lunar Eclipse

Mercury and Pluto Retrograde

Partly cloudy and chilly

The rain might actually stop today. Maybe I can start setting up the back balcony and get some painting done.

AFTER I get my work done.

Today’s serial episode is from ANGEL HUNT:

Episode 30: Witch Hunter

An inter-dimensional witch hunter uses Niall as bait to get at Lianna.

Angel Hunt Serial Link

I printed out the reading copy of FALL FOREVER for Monday’s reading, which meant I ran out of ink and had to go to the store to get some more. I also bought more Command sticky hooks – I’m hoping to hang some pictures and curtains this weekend.

I polished, uploaded, and scheduled next week’s Legerdemain episodes. I have to do the episode graphics this week. I did the social media rounds for yesterday’s Legerdemain episode, but not the previous day’s ANGEL HUNT episode; it seemed too much like a conflict of interest.

I did what I could to support the WGA strikers.

I re-read what I have so far of the Heist Romance script. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m starting to see where I can tighten things, raise stakes, build a few comedic beats better. No, it’s not scabbing; I’m not submitting or having any meetings about it, and it’s not on contract, or even represented. The first draft isn’t even finished. It’ll be a long time before it’s ready for anything. And those jerkoffs who attack playwrights? Different guilds, different mediums. The intentional ignorance just so they can attack someone is exhausting. I’ve blocked over 150 asshats since the strike started and will continue to do so.

Posted the serial questionnaire. It will be interesting to see who answers, or who even looks at it. I don’t ask money questions, at least not in this one. I ask about genre, length, number of serials/episodes, etc.

Annoyed that the grant money has been delayed AGAIN. Don’t tell us you’re “prioritizing” payments when you keep delaying delivery. You’re obviously not. Even if only processing 10 payments a day 5 days/week, you’d be farther along by now. And 10 payments a day is only about an hour’s worth of work. So put in a few more hours, boo, and deliver the payments that were promised back in February. (Note: I’ve done this for an organization, back in my nonprofit days, and I know how to actually do it, so I’m not just blowing smoke). I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised, because Mercury Retrograde, but it could have been done before the retrograde. If it’s such a priority, put in some overtime, or hire people for the processing. The budget is there. People were already struggling before this, and they’ve budgeted on the information YOU gave. Don’t keep moving the goalposts. And, of course, the “warning” (aka threat) is if we question anything directly, our paperwork is pulled out and put at the bottom of the pile. This delays things even further. Hmm, punishing people for asking for timely payments on the schedule promised. Sound familiar?

Agreed to be the local point person to help set up the public reading for the poetry residency in autumn. I’ll get in contact with the administrator at the museum next week so we can figure out the details. I’m happy to help; I don’t want her to feel I’m stepping on any toes.

Turned around two coverages.

Didn’t get the paperwork done for the second contest category; will have to do that today.

Worked on more contest entries last night.

Today, I get my cast for Monday’s reading, and the assignment(s) for the play(s) on which I’m helping out. That will all get sorted.

Tonight, I’m going to attend “First Friday” where the stores and galleries are open downtown. I’m going to check out what people are doing, spaces, etc. Get more of a sense of who’s doing what where.

Most of the day will be spent on finishing contest entries and making final decisions in the last category I’m judging. But I’ll need to take breaks to do other things.

I do want to draft at least one episode of Legerdemain. I’m behind, again, where I want to be on that. I hope to draft all weekend, at least one episode per day. I also want to get in a first draft of the poem for later this month, and the first draft of the flash fiction for the call to artists that I saw a few weeks ago.

It’s a planting day today and tomorrow. Maybe I’ll actually get to plant something?

And I have to do a grocery shop today. Not a big one, we still have leftovers. I mean, when my friends came, I bought enough to feed 24 people, not just 4. As one does. I have enough snacks to get me through the summer, I think.

So many people are raving about Bluesky, but the more I see and read about it, the more doubts I have. I may be forced to be on it, for reach. But I have concerns. Well, until I get an invite (IF I get one), I don’t have to worry about it. It looks, to me, as though they are “inviting” names first, and then randomly filling in with regular people. Something else that is a red flag to me. Whatever. It’s not as though I don’t have plenty of other channels to worry about. But I need to build a presence wherever my audience lands, so I have to try everything.

But I don’t have to try it this weekend! I can focus on other things.

Clarence Thomas and his seditionist wife need to be in jail. Not only that, EVERY decision on which he weighed in and had a vote that helped pass a law needs to be revisited. The level of corruption on the conservative side of the Supreme Court is appalling. Not surprising, given who they are. But appalling.

Anyway, I’m off to get some work done. Have a good one.

Thurs. May 4, 2023: Work, Work, Work

image courtesy of Erika Varga via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Day Before Full Moon

Mercury and Pluto Retrograde

Rainy and raw

The latest, very short post on the garden is over on Gratitude and Growth.

Today’s serial episode is Legerdemain:

Episode 82: Multi-Tasking

Shelley lets the thief and the murderer take each other’s measure while she questions another suspect.

Legerdemain Serial Link

Legerdemain Website

I had to prioritize yesterday, once I came back from the laundromat. The priority was FALL FOREVER. I did another pass on it. Not a deep edit, but a clean-up and tweak. I tightened a few things, and made internal cuts that added up to making it shorter by two pages (a good thing). I feel okay about this being the “reading draft.” I have to print out a copy for myself (which means I’ll need to get more ink by tomorrow – I really need the grant money so I can get my laser printer fixed).But this is the draft I can send to the cast on Friday, and feel okay about. Not great about, because I know there’s a lot more work to do; but okay about.

By the time I was done with that, I had to type up a letter to my mom’s doctor. Her new insurance has refused to pay for the medication she’s been on for 10 years. American Healthcare has nothing to do with health. The pharmacist had done a workaround so that I could afford this month’s refill, but we have to do something moving forward. Either the doctor has to send in a request (demand) that the insurance cover it, or she has to prescribe something that’s on their “list.” This is ridiculous.

My neighbor’s dog slipped his leash. He’s not particularly friendly or well-socialized, and the neighbors were terrified he’d either get hit by a car (we’re in a city) or bite someone. They were running after him yelling, and he just ran more. I grabbed a packet of corned beef (leftovers from the weekend’s company) out of the fridge and dashed down the street waving slices of it, calling him. He ran right over to me. I had him sit before I tossed him the meat. He did. He walked perfectly nicely back with me to his people, who got the collar and leash back on him. It was pretty funny. So, I guess, in his eyes now, I’m the “meat lady.” I better start keeping snacks for the dogs in my purse!

I did a library run to drop off/pick up books. Did what I could to support my WGA colleagues in the strike (encouragement, donations to supply coffee and food to picket lines, etc.). I love the pictures posted from the picket lines. I love all the dogs, babies, and kids who are part of it. The writers are fighting for everyone’s creative futures AND for fair wages, no matter what the industry.

The producers intend to wait it out, having stockpiled. They’ll run out eventually.

I have to say, blocking anti-WGA jerkoffs on various timelines has made my life better, overall. Because their anti-WGA stance is just a manifestation of much deeper incompatibility. I have to deal with a certain amount of people who don’t believe a deserve to earn a living in my profession (because it’s not “real” work, you know, although they consume it every day voraciously) in real life. I can CHOOSE not to deal with them online. And I do. There’s no “agree to disagree.” Either you respect me as a human being in a creative profession, or you do not. We can’t disagree on this basic tenet of who I am and then be friends because maybe we both like chocolate ice cream or something.

It also makes me realize how we’re trained to allow toxic people to treat us badly, and how often it’s misnamed “tolerance” or “compassion” or “professionalism.”

Turned around two coverages. Finished the book for review. I will write and submit the review this morning, and then get my next assignment. Finished the second category of contest entries. I need to make my final decision – I know the winner, but I have to look at the score sheets and pick the 5 finalists, although I’m pretty sure I know who those will be. And then I have to write the review for the winner. And enter the scores for ALL the books in the category, because I have not kept up with that.

Then, I’ll move on to finish the final category over the next few days. I’m doing coverage today, but not tomorrow or the rest of the weekend, so I can finish the category and get everything in on time. I’m in decent shape with the category, but usually I have everything finished by May 1, and I didn’t this year.

I could not face leftovers last night, so I ordered Chinese food. Willa snuck onto the porch while I waited for delivery, and got scolded.

I also have to make the rounds to promote Legerdemain and yesterday’s Angel Hunt (which I did not promote). I think I will post the Serial Questionnaire around the different places and start the data gathering.

I need to get next week’s episodes of Legerdemain uploaded and scheduled, then do the graphics and loglines. They’re ready (that editing time at the laundromat is very useful). It’s just a case of getting them up and scheduled.

I started work on the poem for the Poets in Conversation piece, at least in my head. It’s taking shape. I will probably do some noodling on it in the next couple of days.

Off to meditation – have a good one!

Tues. May 2, 2023: WGA Strike (And Other Weekend News)

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Waxing Moon

Mercury and Pluto Retrograde

Rainy and chilly

The WGA Strike began as of 12:01 this morning.

I blocked 47 anti-WGA trolls on Twitter. Before 8 AM. Those who called themselves “writers” are on a list, so I know never to read or purchase anything they do. A lot of those posting anti-WGA material know nothing about how the industry works and thinks all writers are rich and deserve to be denied a living wage because they should go out and get a “real job.” Singing the block song as I block.

There is no “agree to disagree” on this issue. Either you support my right to make a living at my profession, or you don’t and I want you out of my life for good.

Pluto went retrograde yesterday, and will remain so until October 10 of this year. Yup, it’s a long one. This is supposed to be a tough one, with all the squares it goes through with other planets during that time. Pluto is about what’s hidden, so when it’s retrograde, things are exposed, deceit is revealed, etc.

Today’s serial episode is Legerdemain:

Episode 81: The Thief Named Pravin

Pravin’s known for sharing false information. Maybe putting him in a cell with a murderer will get truth out of him.

Legerdemain Serial Link

Legerdemain Website Link

Friday, I swung by Big Y to pick up the last few things, including fresh ciabatta and fresh flowers. Picked up the wrapping paper and gift bag. Went to the liquor store to get Rose Grenadine, prosecco, and beer. Went to Ocean State looking for a baby gate; they didn’t have one, but I found two rugs. A nice blue one to appease Tessa in my room, and one with wine glasses that was just fun. I got a baby gate at another store.

Unpacked, put the flowers in vases, made the pistachio mousse and the devilled eggs.


I thought they were flying into Albany and driving from there, but they flew into LaGuardia and drove up.

They arrived a little before 7 at night. I should have done quite a bit in the afternoon, but I didn’t. I rested and read.

Anyway, they came in, and I met the baby. She’s one, and walking quite well. She handled a long day and a long trip well. Willa was really good with all the company, including the baby. Charlotte was horrified and being a drama queen at first, but got friendlier as the weekend continued. Tessa just stayed in my room.

We had a good dinner and a good catch up. The baby likes her new book (she loves books) and the stuffed dog that went with it.

Slept pretty well. The baby only woke up a few times, and went back to sleep pretty quickly each time. Tessa slept on the bed. I don’t know where Charlotte was, but she came in the morning to wake me up. Tessa didn’t want to eat in her usual spot, so Charlotte ate Tessa’s food and Tessa ate Charlotte’s food and it all worked out.

I got almost a whole episode of REP written on Saturday morning before everyone woke up.

I made Eggs Benedict for breakfast. We had an easygoing morning, and, after lunch (black bean soup and bread), we took a drive around the area to show them Windsor Lake, downtown, The Spruces. We stopped at the alpaca farm to see the alpaca. The dog there fell in love with the baby and it was mutual, so they played together. We all bought stuff (I got a gorgeous all seasons scarf). We drove around Williamstown, and went walking on the acreage behind the Clark.

Pasta with mushrooms and pancetta in a cream sauce for dinner. Plenty of desserts.

Lazy morning on Sunday. I baked chocolate chip banana muffins. We drove over to Hadley – with their GPS, we actually found Trader Joe’s. I wrote out the directions so that I could find it again. Definitely not a quick trip if one has forgotten something! Then went to Holyoke for another store, which was a disappointment. But at least I know how to get there now.

Make chicken enchiladas for a late lunch/early dinner. I went to restorative yoga. We had snacks when I came back. The baby loved playing with potatoes, the cat toys, and the yoga blocks. She loves books. She’s an adventurous eater and had a little bit of almost everything I cooked. She learns really fast – one could see the progress just in a few days, and she adapted well to a new environment.

Monday morning, they had to drive back to New York to fly out of LaGuardia, so we fed them pancakes.

Once they were on the road, we finished stripping the bed and put everything in the laundry bag (I’ll go tomorrow morning). We switched out the red winter curtains with the lace panels.

I hung out on the couch with the cats and read. I read a book that was a lot of fun, but was too easy to get ahead of the characters, plot wise. I worked on contest entries.

In the evening, the Dramatists Guild held an “End of Play” event, which was fun. I’m glad I went, although I couldn’t stay for the whole thing. I have been invited to virtual “silent writing” sessions with the Guild throughout the year, so I’ll check into that schedule and see what I can do.

It was Beltane, but I was too tired to do much.

Didn’t feel well and had a bad night. Was up too often and too long on social media following the WGA negotiations.

Of course there’s a strike. Because producers like to forget that without a script, there is no show. Even “reality” shows have script needs. Having been a negotiator for my union’s Broadway contract, I’ve heard the producers go on about how everyone in the industry is “privileged” to work there – and they basically want US to pay THEM to work. Now, let’s remember that there isn’t a reason for a producer’s job to exist without writers, directors, actors, designers, and crew.

And so many people who don’t know the first fucking thing about working in the business are chiming in, anti-writer, of course. I blocked 47 people on Twitter before 8 AM. Those who call themselves “writers” and boast about scabbing are going on a special list so I know not to ever purchase or read their work. I mean, the Guild will block them from ever joining, but should they write in any other medium, I want to make sure they don’t get a penny from me.

What this means for me personally is no new commissions for radio work during the strike; no rewriters on any film, television, or radio material already under contract; no script doctoring or revision jobs. No pitching scripts.

The whole fellowship/competition arena is somewhat of a gray area and there’s a lot of conflilcting information. Many WGA writers are not applying to contests or fellowships; other committee members are saying, well, the decisions take months to reach, so submit, but if you get it and the strike is still on, you can’t accept/sign/work on anything. I’m still working on a few scripts that I planned to submit in the late autumn/over winter cycle; I’ll keep working (none of it is contracted, so I’m not scabbing). If the strike is over when the cycle comes around, I’ll submit; if not, I won’t (because I won’t submit during the strike), and wait until the next cycle. I can keep submitting stage plays, because those contracts are in good standing with a diffeent union, Serials and novels are not affected, although I would check with the Guild if anything was offered an option, since no one can be hired to do an adaptation until after the strike is over. If anything comes up I’m not sure about, I will contact the WGAE rep and ask.

The other union contracts are coming up soon; the producers are hoping to divide and conquer. Too many of the unions gave up a strike clause (NO union should EVER give up a strike clause, in my opinion), but that’s a different conversation.

People who don’t work in the industry can support writers by cancelling streaming services for the length of the strike AND TELLING THE COMPANIES WHY. Get DVDs from the library instead. Don’t rely on a single form of technology, because it will always fail you.

It’s going to be a stressful summer.

I had some other stuff I hoped to yap about, but the strike is more important, and the other stuff can wait.

On today’s agenda: writing on Legerdemain and REP. Social media rounds for Legerdemain. Work on contest entries. Client work.

The bulk of this week’s focus is finishing up the contest entries.

Have a good one!