Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was a challenge, and I wasn’t sure I was entirely up to it. Managed to handle all three of my classes, wind up the fourth, and stay on top of that. It was a challenge and having a migraine didn’t help, but it’s done.

Nothing on Biblio Paradise today — I’m prepping for Midnight Enchantments.

The people came to do the Energy Assessment on the house, which took longer than I hoped. It was fascinating, but also a case of running around getting all the storm windows down so they could do the “blow test” — sticking a pressure fan in the door and simulating storm conditions to find leaks — running around getting some of the storm windows back up because we still want fresh air. Testing the furnace, the oven, the hot water heater, the dryer, the vents. Exploring the attic — I didn’t know we had one! It’s not usable, but still. Keeping Tessa from dashing out. The twins hid.

Tessa learned how to open the pocket door in the upstairs bathroom. She wiggled and wiggled and wiggled it until there was an opening into which she could slide her paw. Then she put weight behind it and got the door open enough to escape.

They arrived at 11 and left around 2:30 and I was wrecked. And then had to go back to classes!

When I finally got to bed, well after 11 PM, I thought of something else in regard to a student scene, and went back online.

I woke up feeling like crap and unrested, but it’s another busy day. I do have to go grocery shopping at some point, but I should have time to catch up properly on everything and maybe even rest a bit. I have to finish the prep for the class that starts tomorrow.

It’s a bit of a busy month. It will stretch me in new ways, I am sure, and teach me a little about more sane scheduling in the future, I hope! 😉

Good morning’s work on the Harpy book, which makes up for a lot. My first chapter with one of the antagonists. He’s more interesting than I expected, which is a good thing.



Daily word count: 2025
Total word count: 7464

Published in: on October 4, 2011 at 8:02 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Violet and Iris at the kitchen door

Monday, April 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I spent 16 hours doing my taxes on Saturday. I was ready to kill myself. The Federal weren’t that bad — eight additional schedules, but it all made sense. The NY State — they’re just out to screw people, that’s all. And I’m clueless what to do about MA — had to contact them again. They’re pretty good about getting back to me.

So I didn’t get out into the sunshine AT ALL. Very depressing. And I’m still not done. No, it wouldn’t help to hire someone to do it — I’ve yet to meet a tax preparer who didn’t screw it up so royally it took me years to sort things out with the IRS. Preparers work in offices — they are incapable of understanding how it works for people who don’t.

Caught up on the workshop on Saturday. Did some more edits. Edited on Sunday. The edits are coming along well — my editor is awesome — but they’re slower than I’d like. Instead of dumbing down the manuscript, as I’ve had editors do with my work in the past, this editor has encouraged me to take it farther, to make REAL edits, not just copyedits, change and deepen and make it a better book.

Sunday was a lovely day. I got out early to get the papers, and I put out the table and chairs on the porch, topping the table with the lantern I bought in Old Saybrook a few weeks ago.

I worked on the edits some more, commented on student work, and then, after lunch, we got in the car and drove towards Falmouth, in search of Mercury Retrograde bargains. We found one: a beautiful bench that compliments the table and chairs for the porch — well made, in our budget, and it fit in the car as though it had been custom built for us to transport.

Of course, that called for some rearranging of the furniture, so we did. We now have enough seating so we don’t have to panic this summer. I’ve got some other folding chairs we can use, if we need to. And now, we can look for the arm chairs and/or rocker we REALLY want, and not buy something just because we need another piece of furniture.

In other words, now I can relax!

I did some more work on the workshop last night. Teaching on an email loop is very frustrating, and I don’t think I’ll agree to do it again. I think it works for a lecture with questions and answers, but not for a writing-intensive workshop — the yahoo coding messes with the formatting, there are delays in me getting the materials, I don’t get them when I can work on them, so it gets pushed back even further, and it takes me double the time to read and comment than it should, because it’s difficult to read, AND I have about three times as much admin time attached. Whereas most of the time, teaching invigorates me, doing it on the loop drains me. What I’m paid for the class doesn’t balance the additional frustration. The students are trying, there’s some good work happening, but it’s awfully hard to get to it through the problems caused by the loop. If I diluted the class to fit the formatting problems, the students wouldn’t get anything out of it.

On a happier note, the negotiations for me to teach live at a writers’ conference this fall are going well.

The mainland is supposed to get up to 80 today, but we have 50 and rainy. The ground needs the rain, I need to finish my edits, so it’s fine. I have to return a plant stand that has a broken wheel (I should have seen it when I bought it and didn’t — don’t know if they’ll let me switch it out), return a library book, and get some buckets so I can start digging the extra sand out of the vegetable beds and add in more soil. My neighbor, who’s a wonderful gardner, is out every day; he’s put in his lettuce, but it’s too cold, and it’s struggling, poor thing.

Back to my edits.


Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 7:20 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Partly sunny and cold
Twelfth Night

Tonight is the last night of Christmas, Twelfth Night, Epiphany, etc. Have you been tracking your dreams? Each dream you’ve had on a particular night corresponds with one of the coming months: First night of Christmas = January, Third Night of Christmas = March, etc., etc.

I haven’t remembered many of my dreams in this period, and I should have written down last night’s so I could analyze. Let’s just say I hope it’s allegorical!

I worked in the morning yesterday again while Imp slept in. Caught up on classes, did some writing, caught up on some other business stuff, did some puttering. There are some students who still haven’t posted the first assignment, which is now two days late with the next assignment due tomorrow. Don’t whine at me about time: I’m teaching two classes, keeping up with my own writing, continuing my yoga and meditation practices, turning around a couple of short assignments that arrived unexpectedly, entertaining an out-of-town visitor who’s never been to this area, planning and throwing a party, dealing with continued house-move stuff, and fighting a cold (I’ll let the cold win for a few days next week, after I’m back; right now, there are things I need to do, and I’m keeping it at bay).

We finally got out of the house around noon and ran our errands. Pretty much everything was geared to the party. Picked up a few pieces I needed (and, no, it’s not just because they’re still packed). Stopped at Border’s to use our gift cards and Border’s Bucks — picked up a few things that look interesting, couldn’t find a book I really wanted, but got a new release for my mom by her favorite author. Grocery and liquor shopping — we did very well in both, I must say. We got some more ice melt in because there’s another storm coming, heading to my favorite hardware store in Osterville and catching up with the owner.

Then we went on the Eternal Lawnmower Quest, which is how I’m starting to think about it. Sears has lawn mowers on sale, but not what’s going to really work for me. We had a very nice sales guy helping us, who basically thinks we should wait until March or April when the new shipment of good ones come in, that will only be about $40 more, but be something with which I’ll be more comfortable. They’re trying to get rid of what’s left here, and the dregs of the season aren’t really what’s going to work in this case. Of course, I’m drawn the most to the one with NO engine, but I was convinced that would get real old real fast.

Cooked dinner, caught up on classes, watched HUMAN TARGET. Jackie Earle Haley continues to be wonderful in it — I’m starting to think he can make almost anything work. The scripts are all over the place, very uneven, and the series lost a lot of its internal logic. I understand a new showrunner coming in, wanting to take the show in a completely different direction, etc., but the fact is that the writing this season is very weak, and we need arcs set up last season resolved, not ignored. Even the episode that supposedly resolved a character arc from last year was way off the mark. It feels like it’s got too many cooks in there spoiling the broth during note sessions and meetings. I may not have always agreed with its vision last season — but at least it had one. The female series regulars they added in this year just aren’t strong enough. A lot of it is the writing, but JEH is making some of the weak writing work, so the rest of them need to step up, or they’ll all be going home. There are some really good ideas and action sequences, but the execution is getting weaker and weaker.

Off to catch up on classes, then I have some baking to do for tonight, some food prep, and cleaning. To answer both Lara and Teresa’s questions — yes, I sprinkle dried lavender and dried peppermint on the carpets, leave it for at least 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up. It leaves the scent of mingled lavender and peppermint.

I better get the writing and classes caught up on, because the rest of the day is party prep. The only thing we have to do this afternoon is get ice and flowers.