Tues. Nov. 17, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 181 – Trying for Survival

image courtesy of cocoparisienne via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Partly sunny and cold

There are some ideas for being creative with this year’s holidays over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions.

Friday was a more productive day than I expected. I revived the cooking blog, “Comfort and Contradiction: Food as Muse” with an initial post re-introducing myself and talking about the direction I see the blog taking.

WordPress frustrated the hell out of me, because the template wasn’t supported properly any more, and I had to put in a new theme and then rebuild the site. What’s up is very, very simple now, but the font is a decent size, so one can read it.

I will keep playing with it.

But immediately, it got a good response. I’m kind of surprised how good a response it got, but pleased.

It will be difficult to only write it once a week!

Wrote quite a bit, mostly food-related. I’ll be able to use the blog as writing samples when I pitch to companies to write about food. Or maybe it’s too personal. We’ll see.

Read the next book in a series I’d liked, for the most part in spite of inconsistencies. Didn’t like this one. The pace dragged, it was inconsistent to previous books in the series without explanation, and it used “witch” as a slur more than once. I’ve already ordered the next book in the series from the library, but I think I’m done.

My friend Paula and I are both semi-finalists in the Body Be Gone Origin Story Contest. The flash fiction pieces we wrote made it to the semi-finalist category. All the pieces are up for vote – blind, so we can’t say which are ours. The pieces are really fun, but Paula’s is still my favorite. She took tropes and turned them inside out.

Even if neither of us wins, we’re both in the anthology, which will be fun.

My first shipment from Atlas Coffee Company arrived, a brew from Rwanda. It’s good, but a bit mild for my taste. I guess I like the darker roasts!

Finished a third volume of this year’s personal journal, and Saturday started the fourth. I guess I’ve had a lot to say.

Saturday was clear and cold. I was up early, and loaded the car with garbage and recycling for a dump run. Everyone was masked, distanced, courteous. The guy in front of me was talking on his phone instead of pulling in to a dumpster, so I drove around him and cut off someone else. I later found the guy I cut off up at the recycling, and apologized.

He was so pleased. He was very nice about it, accepted the apology, and said, “Don’t worry, it’s early for all of us.” But you could tell it made his day that I made the effort to apologize. And it was a real apology. It was “I’m sorry” NOT “I’m sorry IF” which is a fake apology. I was wrong, and I apologized.

If I hadn’t said anything and ignored him, it would have niggled at him all day. But I apologized. His day brightened, and so did mine.

Home, decontaminated. Our numbers are well over 2000 new cases every 24 hours, so I’m trying to stay away from as many people as possible.

Did the last of the online orders for holiday.  One of my mom’s gifts arrived. Did four loads of laundry, changed the beds, basic housework. The usual Saturday chores.

Baked bread from a recipe in THE ENCHANTED BROCCOLI FOREST and it is spectacular. Just basic sandwich bread, but it’s wonderful. I kneaded it by hand instead of with the dough hooks, and it worked better. Of course, now I want a pastry board. . .

Also baked chocolate chip cookies.

Took a quick rest, then made a vegetable chili from THE NEW BASICS COOKBOOK, which was also good, and made vegetable stock with the remains.

Sunday, I didn’t do much of anything. I cleared away the brush the landlord had cut last week, but left, and ended up bruising my hand – some of that stuff was big and hard to move.

Read some of Mary Oliver’s essays. Read the book for review – it was quite beautiful. I did want to slap the protagonist a few times, but overall, I really liked the book. Ordered a couple of eBooks that were recommended.

The tablet has decided it will connect to the Internet again, so go figure. The laptop is being cranky every time I boot it up, which is annoying. It’s only six months old.

Neighbors on both sides had parties. Small ones, but no masks, no distancing. No wonder our numbers are going up so rapidly. I’m just trying to stay away from everyone as much as possible. I need to get some stuff from several local stores for the holidays, but I just don’t want to be out and about.

I have to keep adjusting. I have to let go of the rage and frustration I feel at those around me who refuse to take this seriously. The best thing I can do is refuse to interact with them.

Up early Monday. Wrote my review and sent it off; requested the next assignment.

Was at the client’s on my own for the morning, as it should be. Got a good bit done – three email blasts, social media posts scheduled, spun some holiday ideas.

Quick stop at the liquor store for a bottle of wine, and chose something for a colleague’s upcoming birthday. Curbside pickup at the library.

Home, decontaminated, played with the cats. Noodled with some ideas in the afternoon, worked on some marketing campaigns in my head, and will put them on paper and start implementing them today. Made a list of some things I need to get done sooner rather than later.

We’re eating a lot of leftovers this week and into next week, so that there’s room for the Thanksgiving leftovers!

The cookie sleeves arrived, which is good. Makes me feel better about the baking. It’s safer for everyone if each cookie is individually wrapped.

Got a letter that I can keep my health insurance next year. I am so relieved. I was scared that most of the rest of this week would be spent fighting for my insurance.

This morning, I have to do a Trader Joe’s run for a few things (not a big shop, just a little one). After I decontaminate, I’ll do more client work, and get those marketing campaigns going. I have to prepare a few shorts for re-release, and I need to get Trinity of Teasers up so people can download it and have a taste of the three different series. I need to work on Grief to Art.

I’m going to write postcards for the GA Senate run-offs over the next couple of weeks, and looking forward to that.

I’m looking for a good paella recipe. I want to make paella for Christmas Eve as something new and different, since we’re off pork and beef.

I finally sat down and started writing the Susanna Centlivre play this morning. I’ve got the balance of love and banter and connection between Susanna and her chef husband (Queen Anne’s Yeoman of the Mouth), and just introduced Mary Pix, her friend in. A few pages between them, and the antagonist, the male playwright who’s been plagiarizing  them, enters. I want to get the first draft done this week.

I’m hunkering down as much as possible and just working on survival. I’m trying to avoid as many Covidiots as possible.

Tues. Sept. 29, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 132 — Furnace

image courtesy of dimitrisvetsikas1969 via pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Saturn goes DIRECT

Foggy and humid

I am deeply annoyed that, for the last two weeks, when I schedule posts for Monday, for intent, they don’t publish until Tuesday. I double check them. I’m sick of Word Press making things worse every time they “upgrade.”

Saturn going direct is going to take some pressure off, but Mars still interferes way too much. And, as Saturn is turning direct, it squares the Mars retrograde, which means stress.

One of the fun little things I found cleaning out was a pair of DKNY Absolut Vodka gloves. They’re tiny – just fit the hands, don’t go down over the wrists. Navy blue knit with pink logo. I must have worked some event in NYC during my production days and they were in the swag bag.

I am enraged that Breonna Taylor’s murderers face no consequences. And to all of those saying we shouldn’t protest? We’ll stop protesting when the government stops murdering its citizens – through ignoring the pandemic, through police violence, through refusing to deal with domestic terrorists, through economic, social, and racial inequality.

The first part of the weekend was a lot about socks. I FOUND that big box of socks for which I was looking. And it was even larger than I remembered – a WB Mason box, not a banker’s box.

Washed all those socks and tried to pair. I only got about 30 pairs out of the whole thing – and have about 100 orphan socks. I’m sure more orphan socks will turn up as I keep cleaning out, and those left, the true orphan socks – a Twitter pal said they make good craft projects for puppets, etc., and gave me some ideas. As soon as organizations feel its safe to accept donations, I will do so.

It was hot and humid all weekend, here at the end of September. Almost what used to be called “Indian Summer” but damper.

Sunday is best not talked about. It was a difficult day on the personal front, and not appropriate for me to air publicly. But it will resonate for a long, long time, and certainly didn’t make me feel more optimistic about anything.

The cats know I’m upset, and they worry, especially Charlotte and Willa. I keep trying to reassure them that nothing bad will happen to them, none of this will hurt them, but they remain unconvinced.

Read another of the books on the series I keep waffling about. This one I liked. It feels like it’s moving back into positive territory again.

Also re-read Louise Penny’s A TRICK OF THE LIGHT. That was the first Gamache book I ever read, and is still one of my favorites.

Got a bit of writing done, but not enough.  Having Sunday all day in turmoil set me back even further.

Monday, up early and out to the client’s. I was onsite on my own for most of it, which is as it should be, just overlapping for a bit (as safely as possible) with a colleague to make sure we were both on the same page with a few things, and not doubling the work.

Risked hopping over to Barnes & Noble in person. I got my first three journal books for the year (the private journal) there, matching this year, and need a fourth. They were sold out of what I had, but I found one that’s a close match and also looks a little holiday-ish, so that will work. And bought the first two books for next year – they didn’t have four matching books, so I’ll deal – something more fantastical, because I want next year to be filled with the fantastic, the magical, the wonderful.

Even if the bulk of it is spent at home.

In fact, it will be more magical if I spend the bulk of it at home.

Wherever home may be next year, since everything is being turned into short-term rentals in Barnstable, and those who can’t buy are screwed.

Anyway, the clerk told me that the principal of Barnstable High School was put on leave because he “wouldn’t let students read any books by white people” which sounds like she must have gotten it wrong. Expanding the curriculum to include diverse voices isn’t not letting students read books by white authors. Also, the principal can’t dictate what they read on their own time. So it sounds like she’s being a racist, but who knows? The Cape Cod papers all just said he was “on leave” and the announcement didn’t give a reason. Heaven forbid reporters should actually hunt down information around here. But the clerk told me that supposedly the Cape Cod Times will have a big piece in today’s paper all about the scandal. Of course, if it’s in the Cape Cod Times, which is owned by a “media group” and has gotten more and more right-wing over the years, why would I trust it? An acquaintance complains it’s gotten “too far left” – left of WHAT, exactly? It hasn’t been any more than an overpriced ad sheet with a few bits and pieces about friends of the “reporters” for years.

I’ll look it up and see what they have to say, and then see if there are any other stories on it, by organizations that aren’t controlled by the right. Which, on Cape Cod, is next to impossible to find at this point.

I swung by CVS to pick up my mom’s prescription. Home, decontaminated, and was exhausted.

Then got an email from the landlord. The landlord contacted me on Friday to let me know that the furnace people wanted to come by this afternoon to “take a look” to see what they needed for the new furnace. Which makes no sense, since they spent a couple of hours doing just that back in January, mansplaining and chatting when it could have been done in a half hour or less. Didn’t they take notes? Or were they too busy chatting?

I emailed the company back, cc’ing the landlord, stating Tuesday afternoon was fine, but I needed a time, and anyone entering the house must be masked, or they weren’t coming in.

No response.

Sunday afternoon, I got an email from the landlord, saying he heard from the furnace company that they were coming on Monday. I said they were not; they couldn’t just announce they were showing up. If they wanted to come in the afternoon, they could GET IN TOUCH WITH A TIME.

Nothing.

Yesterday morning, I got an email from the landlord stating that the furnace company had apologized to him for the confusion and the guy would be here today to look around “sometime after 2 PM” – which is just way too fucking vague. I’m supposed to sit around all afternoon and wait?

Talk about the shadow of the upcoming Mercury retrograde already being there.

Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from the landlord saying he heard from the owner of the company, and they have the furnace and want to start the installation today. It’ll take two days, and the heat has to be off, but it’s warm, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

While I don’t like all this last-minute crap and the fact that they refuse to deal WITH ME – and it’s not because I’m the tenant, it’s because I’m a woman, and this is all a club of Old White Men – I’m delighted that it will all get done in these two days, while it is mild, and not prolonged.

They are NOT doing the promised insulation, just switching out the furnace.

I cleaned out the furnace room, to give them space to work. There are still a lot of the empty boxes I’ve been stockpiling in anticipation of moving, but everything else has been cleared out. Swept the floors, gave the laundry table a good scrub. 

I have to clean the bulkhead doors this morning and oil the bulkhead doors. It was pouring down rain yesterday afternoon, and I wasn’t going to let it rain into the basement.

I have a case of water on the laundry table, and I deep cleaned the downstairs bathroom and have rearranged it for their use with liquid soap (lavender, but hey) and paper towels.

The cats will be upstairs in their playpens, and my mom will be up there keeping them company.

Everyone better be masked, because I’m not compromising on that.

Let’s get this done.

I’m not watching tonight’s debate. It will just make me sick to see the Narcissistic Sociopath prancing around up there.

It’s no surprise he’s broke and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Anyone who dealt with him in NY knows he never paid for anything, just used other people’s money. The whole thing is revolting.

I’m going to do the homework group with my Knowledge Unicorns, finish reading Rachel Caine’s INK AND BONE, and try to get some rest.

This morning, once I’ve cleaned and oiled the bulkhead, I will try to get in some client work before they arrive.

The chaos of the next two days is worth it. If we have a new, working, efficient furnace.

Peace, friends, and catch up with you tomorrow.

Fri. March 23, 2018: Anticipating a Writing Weekend

Friday, March 23, 2018
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So, Mercury is retrograde. In Aries. Ick.

Yesterday wasn’t as productive writing-wise as I wanted, but it was productive in other ways. I finished the book I had to review, and will polish the review and send it off today. I worked my way through several contest entries.

The big deal, for me, was that I figured why the contact form wasn’t coding in properly on my websites, and fixed it. Now the websites have contact forms, rather than stating my email or writing out the email so I’ll get a lot of spam.

I cleaned up my new mailboxes. I am in the process of unsubscribing from a bunch of stuff, on all my email accounts. There’s too much crap coming in.

I figured out how to reconfigure my menu bars so I can use drop-down features where appropriate.

I have three different WordPress books checked out from various libraries in the system. In order to figure this out, I had to read the relevant sections in all THREE and then do something slightly different, based on what I read. Because heaven forbid, any ONE of them should have had the complete, correct steps.

I worked on the newsletter. I worked on the updated media kit for TRACKING MEDUSA. I may do the cover reveal for SPIRIT REPOSITORY in the newsletter.

I got ahead on some blog posts.

I’m working on the Writer’s Rough Outline so I can distill it down to a synopsis and get the submission packet for the last big project out in the next couple of weeks. I have another project to get back out on submission, but I will wait until after Mercury goes direct. I want to do another pass on it and make some cuts.

I have a lot of errands to run this morning, then a meeting, and then I’m digging back to drafting the books that are waiting rather impatiently for attention.

And, of course work on the Writer’s Rough/synopsis.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on March 23, 2018 at 9:31 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 23, 2018: Anticipating a Writing Weekend  
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Wed. Dec. 12, 2012: Magic Day Starts with Frustration

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Dark Moon
Sunny and cool

12-12-12. Once in a lifetime, good day. Since the numbers add up to 9, the number of fulfillment, even better! 😉

But wordpress is working my LAST nerve today — hard to get into.

Yesterday was just a lost day. Total chaos. Not bad at all — I actually was in a pretty good mood for the day. Just couldn’t get much done. Got a little bit done with my students, got out a resume, some work done on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. Interacted with people who responded to the guest blog post, and did some marketing. Got some more decorating done. Worked on short stories.

When it was clear that I hit the point where I was a waste of food, I stopped. Rather than get frustrated, I figured I’d just roll with it.

I re-read two of Rosemary Edghill’s Bast mysteries, BOOK OF MOONS and THE BOWL OF NIGHT. I have SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER somewhere and have to find it and re-read that one, too. Loved these books now even more than when I originally read them. They speak so much to my life in New York City during those years (the years when the Nina Bell mysteries are set, actually). Yet, because I understand more and have more life experience, I enjoy both the memories and get a lot of the deeper references. I wish there were more books in the series, although I completely respect any writer’s decision to “be done” with a series or characters.

Today, the noise from the roofers is bothering me more than usual — probably because it’s right outside my office. I think I will take today to run errands. I have to get my overseas holiday cards written – they have to go out the door tomorrow. I got my online ordering done yesterday — not bad at all.

I’m going to spend some time with my students, and then get out of the house, while I still have at least one nerve intact! 😉

Devon Ellington

Check out the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays, featuring Nina Bell and, under the Ava Dunne name, Samantha Wright, in a romantic comedy/fantasy twist on familiar Yuletide myths.