Fri. Nov. 22, 2019: When Everything Takes Longer Than I’d Like It To Take

Friday, November 22, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Hop on over to the Ava Dunne blog, Affairs of the Pen, where I talk more about Twinkle, Vermont.

Yesterday was up and down. I was fairly optimistic at the top of the day, although everything took ten times longer than I wanted to. I managed to get the proofread manuscript to my editor. Did not manage much work on the “Confidence Confidant” revision or “Pier-less Crime.”

My landlord arrived at two. I showed him the two leaks we’ve sprung, and then the builder came. They walked around the house, talking about the work that needs to be done. The whole thing will be painted, The deck will be replaced. The back of the house re-shingled. The door in the garage replaced. And so on and so forth. A big magilla. My fear is that they’ll start in spring and we’ll never get to use the deck next summer. So we’ll see. Plus, they’re going to rip out the gorgeous pink azalea, the lovely forsythia, and the two boxwoods. I said the bushes should be taken out, wrapped in burlap, and re-planted, but no one seems to think that’s possible. I think they don’t want to take the time and put the care in.

The guy was really nice, though, and answered all my questions.

Then, the furnace guy showed up. He and my landlord know each other from way back, so they had a good natter. They might replace the furnace with a more energy-efficient option, which would make sense — and add air conditioning, which means they have to tear a vent into the back wall. Again, a magilla, and something that needs to be done in the next few weeks. It will take a day to a day and a half. At this time of year, a full day without heat will not be fun.

Again, he was really nice and good about answering questions. He’s also going to get someone in to fix the leaks sooner rather than later.

I keep reminding myself to be grateful that the furnace is replace BEFORE it breaks down in the middle of a snowstorm.

Charlotte was completely calm as people tromped around. Willa kept running up to check us out, and then running away.

I was wiped out by the end of it all, and feeling discouraged and disheartened. Not just by all the chaos that will be going on in the coming months, but because of all the other things I have to accomplish in and around the chaos.

Too bad for me, right? Part of being a grown-up.

Trying to catch up on a flood of emails that came through yesterday, almost a week’s worth, that were stuck somewhere in the ether. Nearly 400 of them. And here I thought it was quiet just because of the upcoming holiday! Silly me! I’m going through them as fast as I can.

Didn’t sleep well. Up early this morning. Errands, then to the library to get some work done there, then more errands. I’m hoping to get the pain patch for my back, to see if that helps at all.

Got a little bit of writing done (not enough, never enough) and a bit of work on “Confidence Confidant.” I am going to do a big push on it.

IF it stays dry, will try to get some raking done later. Then, in the afternoon, I’m going to take some galleys upstairs, open the door to the room, and give Tessa, Willa, and Charlotte some supervised time together. Willa and Charlotte have re-adjusted to each other, for the most part, so it’s time to get Tessa back into the mix. She needs to assert herself as dominant cat, and she hasn’t been dominant enough yet. We got Willa and Charlotte, after all, to keep TESSA company and be her companions.

Will probably be late at the desk tonight with “Confidence Confidant.”

The weekend will be about raking, working with the cats, working on galleys, and finishing the play and the radio play. Next week, I’m onsite early with the client on Monday and Tuesday, and then it’s all about the holidays.

Of course, I’ll be writing over the holidays.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on November 22, 2019 at 11:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 22, 2019: When Everything Takes Longer Than I’d Like It To Take  
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

As Saturday wore on, I got much more cheerful. I took care of some client emails, I caught up, via email, with some friends. The summer’s booking up, not just with work, but with friends coming to visit. After all, I live in one of the best vacation spots in the country. Why not come visit?

I’m pitching for two huge jobs with two organizations I adore. I have to keep the personal out of it, in order to create a good business deal, but I hope they like the proposals. Of course, I want to land BOTH gigs, which would be enormously challenging, but also, enormously fulfilling. I just have to make the proposals persuasive enough to convince them they can’t live without me! 😉

Most of the weekend was caught up in bird trauma. I kept hearing a thumping noise at one of the windows. A little bird (which I identified as a tufted titmouse) kept flinging himself against the window and yelling. He’d been doing it so much that one side of his chest was all bloody. I tried to make it impossible for him to see his reflection: open the drapes, close the drapes, cover the window with paper, hang my yoga mat over it. Didn’t work. I tried hanging small bells from short threads (so he wouldn’t get caught in them) to make noise. Didn’t work. I was worried he’d kill himself. I couldn’t see a nest in the tree. I went outside to see if there was a nest stashed in the eaves of the house or baby bird on the ground or a distressed mate. Nothing.

I called one agency that’s supposed to deal with this and was told, “ We deal with the land, not the animals on it.” Um, aren’t they connected? I called the group in my former hometown who publicizes how much they care about nature, and was told, “It’s only one bird. There are thousands of them. This one doesn’t matter.” No wonder that’s where the City Council members who sat with one hand shoved up their collective ass and the other for a payout from the scumbag landlords who are driving people out of their homes (my mother included) all met. Typical attitude of my former hometown. I called the 24-hour hotline that’s supposed to handle this, and was told there’s nothing they can do until the bird knocks himself unconscious — which is what I was trying to prevent. I tried contacting local rehabilitators — the ones the hotline would have hooked me up with anyway. Not one of them could be bothered to get back to me. Hypocrites.

Then, some workmen who weren’t scheduled to show up showed up, sending the dog and I into fits. I called the owners of the site to make sure they were who they said they were. She said they weren’t supposed to be there that day — they’d talked about scheduling a day and time, but it had never happened. But, since they were there, they could work. Again, typical of this area. Workmen have no respect for anyone else’s time or appointments, and show up or don’t show up as they feel like it. On the Cape, you make an appointment, they show up when you both agree, they do the work, all is good.

They did the work, the Titmouse went away, the dog didn’t trust them any more than I did, so we retreated to the basement until they were done. Once they left, I checked all the doors and windows, to make sure nothing had been “fixed” to not lock properly. I might not have been so suspicious if the dog (who is friendly and not particularly brave) hadn’t been so adamant in staying between me and any workman at any given time. I’m grateful, and I totally trusted the dog’s instincts.

It was raining, and the Titmouse sat in the tree outside the window, crying and looking miserable, but at least didn’t fling himself against the window anymore.

Again, typical of this area: They pay ridiculous amounts of money at Whole Foods (or, Whole-in-the-Wallet Foods, as a bunch of us call it), but use toxic lawn materials and cleaners.

Caught up on the class (so enjoying this group), watched some TV. Didn’t like the book I was supposed to read, so read some books just for fun. Got a little bit of writing done, but not enough.

It rained hard Saturday into Sunday. But as soon as it lessened, the Titmouse started in again — on a different window. From a different tree. This time, there’s a small nest in the tree, but nothing in it. And he didn’t fling himself against the window, just flew up to it, chattered, and flew away.

All. Day. Long.

When he was quiet, I was afraid he’d knocked himself out and went looking for him. No. He simply did the same at a different window. He’s acting like the entire house is a threat. As long as he’s not bashing himself into anything, I don’t have to worry quite as much.

Read. Caught up on classes. Had a quiet day. Wanted to be home.

Up early this morning, packed and did last minute prep to go home. The bird is at it again, but he seems to be healing. And I found a small feather on the carpet of one of the rooms, but there’s no way a bird got inside, so go figure.

I’m looking forward to being home. It’s supposed to rain all week, so I guess I won’t be mowing (gee, so sad. Yes, that’s sarcasm).

Costume Imp is coming back up for a week in June, which will be tons of fun. Hopefully, I’ll have my manuscript in by then, and know what’s going on with Confidential Job #1.

Someone I’ve known for a long time actually had the gall to say that when this lease is up, I should move “closer to a train station”, so it would be easier for me to travel down to that particular job –which can’t be counted on, changes dates all the time, and is only maybe one week a year. Had we been in the same room, I would have slapped him. Yeah, not professional, but I would have done it anyway. Talk about total disrespect that anyone else has a life. You know what? I’m not “the help” and I won’t be treated like a servant. Period. End of story.

Yeah, I’m grumpy today! It’s not going to be fun to drive home in this weather, and I won’t be able to leave until late afternoon or early evening. There are things I SHOULD be doing, and I don’t want to do a damn one of them. I am In A Mood! 😉

Don’t worry; I’ll get over myself as soon as I scoot across the Sagamore Bridge!

To answer PJ’s question about Saturn Retrograde:
There’s a difference between a Saturn Retrograde and a Saturn Return. The Saturn Return happens once about every 28 years, and lasts for about 2 years. Your life dissolves and reassembles during that period of time. Sometimes it’s painful. A lot of people either get married, or, if they’re already married, get divorced or have a major shift in the relationship at 28. People often change careers, loved ones die, the whole thing. William and Kate got married when they were both in their Saturn returns, to use a pop culture example.

A Saturn retrograde happens once every year for several months — around five or six. I’d have to look it up; can’t remember off the top of my head. Saturn is the planet of life lessons. If you’re on a path that’s counterproductive to whatever you want to call it — your destiny, your higher purpose, your real self — you will encounter more problems and obstacles than usual, especially if you’ve known that there are problems and have made the choice to stay in the situation that’s bad for you. During a Saturn retrograde, the first time you refuse to make a positive change, you get smacked upside the head. The next time, you might get fired or your car might break down and not be able to be fixed or your relationship falls apart — it will be in the area where you refused to change the previous time, and it will be worse. Every subsequent Saturn retrograde in which you refuse to make positive changes, it will get harder and harder. If you refuse to jump, you will be pushed. When you make the choice to go towards something better, even when it’s scary, it will still be difficult, but you’ll start to see things smoothing out pretty quickly.

Then, the next Saturn retrograde comes around, and you’re faced with new challenges. Saturn is the “tough love” teacher. Saturn forces growth and change. So, when you look at the calendar and see Saturn retrograde coming, you can sit down and say, “where do I need to make positive changes?” If you start them before the retrograde, you’ll still feel the push, but it won’t be as painful. If you sit and do nothing, you wind up with metaphysical bruises on your behind and your psyche.

In my own life, I left Broadway a good two full Saturn Retrogrades after I knew I needed to go, and the last few months, even though I loved the show I was on and the people, I was miserable, because I knew I needed to be elsewhere. Had I remained for another cycle, something pretty painful would have happened to force me out, because I was on a truly unhealthy path for me to follow.

Right now, too, remember, that Pluto is also retrograde, which means what is hidden is revealed. If someone’s been lying to you or stabbing you in the back, it comes out now. If you look at an astrological calendar and compare it to when the most scandals (as far as people trying to keep things hidden) break, it’s usually during a Pluto Retrograde.

Too many people use astrology as an excuse to behave badly. “Oh, Mercury’s Retrograde, of course I crashed the car and my computer failed and so-and-so got mad at my comment.” Yes, it’s more likely to happen during a Mercury Retrograde. But, if you looked at the calendar, you could have been more careful driving, backed up your computer so that when it went kaboom it wasn’t a total loss, and you could have kept your damn mouth shut.

The purpose of these calendars is to look at them, see the POTENTIAL influences (because the planet is additionally influenced by where it sits in your natal chart. Me and Saturn? We’re screwed! 😉 Seriously, where Saturn sits in my natal chart causes me different kinds of difficulties than where it sits in someone else’s chart). You look at it, you know the potential challenges/obstacles/problems. You’re more aware. My mantra in Mercury Retrograde is,”stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.” If I am angered by what someone else says, I take a deep breath and try not to respond, because getting involved in a dispute during Mercury Retrograde is bound to take longer to resolve than otherwise. I try, very hard, not to sign contracts. During a Saturn retrograde — or, rather, when I see one coming — I try to look back over the life lessons last time. What did I miss? What did I not implement? Sometimes, I misinterpret, and then get a bit of a smack during the retrograde.

I came into this one thinking it would be easy because I did the move, I’m out of the wardrobe business, I’ve got a writing room, I’ve set up my schedule, etc., etc. I straightened out a lot of things that were problems, and I made choices to let certain things go, instead of acting like that bird I mentioned above.

And yet, here I am, with a bunch of new lessons to learn, this time having to do with the changing vision of my career. I don’t want to make decisions out of haste, anger, or fear. I want to really look at the options, listen to the messages, listen to myself, and then figure out the actions I need to take.

There’s this theory that “doing nothing is a choice.” Well, when it comes to the Universe, and the Universe has been telling you to DO SOMETHING and you ignore it, it considers stasis a vacuum. So, it’s going to fill that vacuum by kicking your butt hard enough to make you pay attention and fill it.

The planets don’t give you excuses. They give you information. And how you choose to use it can make things smoother or easier on the path. Survival is tough enough — I’d rather listen and try to make the choice the first time than put my hands over my ears and sing, “La la la” until my butt is kicked into the abyss.

Granted, it doesn’t always work out the way I think it will (usually quite differently), but when I listen and at least TRY, the results, in the long run, are much more positive.

Devon

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Acorns in a pottery dish, symbolizing autumn

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, warm, humid

The “workmen” were especially hateful yesterday, so I took Elsa to the park again. She played with butterflies and sat in the sun and generally enjoyed herself for awhile, and then ate when she got home. She seemed to thrive outside, and just was frustrated when I wouldn’t let her go into the shrubbery. She wasn’t doing well last night, though, or this morning. I’m trying to keep her comfortable and happy, but the stress the noise, dust, and chaos put on her makes it difficult.

Meeting went well, things got loaded into storage, and I did a rough inventory. I’m going to need the truck that ate Cincinatti to get everything loaded. Worked on the lectures, the scripts, and some other stuff. Didn’t get everything I wanted done, but I’m keeping my head above water. Also sorted and purged a pile of stuff. Every little bit, right? I’m getting into the sorting and purging routine, and rather enjoying it!

Today, I have to go up county and I might nip over to the Farmer’s Market in Stamford if I can on the way back.

Maybe the rain will keep the” workmen” away. Here’s hoping. And here’s hoping I have a productive day on all levels, and that Elsa feels better.

Good first writing session of the morning. The murder in the book finally happened on p. 180, which is way too late in the story (in my opinion) for a traditional mystery, so good thing it’s NOT a traditional mystery, but a contemporary fiction piece with a TOUCH of mystery and murder! 😉

Devon

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 6:22 am  Comments (1)  
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I light this candle every morning when I start my first writing session of the day. I love it — I find it very soothing. It was originally a pyramid shape. I don’t remember where I got it, but I hope to find a similar one soon, because I like using this type as my writing candle. I found it in a “Misc.” box as I cleaned out storage.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dark of the Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It’s September, and A Biblio Paradise is gearing up again, for Tuesday posts featuring books, authors, and other writing stuff. Our first post of the new season is an interview with Michelle Miles, whose book SEX. LUST & MARTINIS recently released. Hop on over here to check it out, and leave a comment, so we’ll know you were there!

So, I was thinking yesterday — hey, you, over there. Stop laughing! Anyway, I was thinking, after yesterday’s post, why SHOULDN’T the Hundred Dollar Bill Fairy come visit and leave hundred dollar bills under my pillow?

I just have to figure out an offering! 😉

I’m waiting for the workmen to come back today, making my life hell. I just don’t get why they have to use MY fire escape when they’re working on the other side of the building with fire escapes more convenient to their “work”. Oh, yeah, because they were instructed to make things as miserable as possible for the tenants that the landlord wants to drive out.

Triumphed over the Scary Monster Closet yesterday. It wasn’t as scary as I feared, but it could have been better. But it was scrubbed, purged, organized and packed. At this point, all the closets in the apartment are ready to load. I don’t yet have a place in which to UNLOAD them, but at least I’m getting the energy moving in the right direction.

Hey, any time the Hundred Dollar Bill Fairy wants to send a few my way . . .

Worked on the lectures. I’m doing some restructuring on them, so that will take awhile. I hope you’ll join me. We’re deconstructing my favorite fantasy romance novel from September 13-19 and a steampunk film from September 20-27. You can sign up by clicking on the name of each type of deconstruction. It should be a lot of fun and very useful for both readers and writers.

Took Elsa to the park yesterday. I wanted her to get more sun, so I took her to the baseball diamond, but she felt too exposed. She always eats better when she gets back, though, and she’s eating so little at this point, that any improvement is worth it.

I have a business appointment this morning, and then I’m going to take a carload of stuff to storage and do an inventory of what’s there. I’ll do some more work on the lectures and the scripts this afternoon, and also try to go back to pulling material off the PC floppies and getting them onto flashdrives. I want to dump all the PC behemoth equipment before I leave. I also want to excavate my desk again — my paper reproduces as I sleep, and it needs to refrain from doing so for the next few months. I’ve set up files and envelopes for the important transition stuff that has to be carted back and forth, and I’m packed for the Philly gig this coming weekend. Bills are all written, and marked to be mailed on the appropriate days.

Optimum doesn’t cover the area in which I plan to relocate, which is awful, since now I’ve finally found a decent company. My choices are Comcast (who suck), RCN (who suck even worse) and Time Warner (no idea if they’re any good). There’s also FIOS, but, uh, no, not an option for me. The only thing I want to keep with Verizon is my cell phone.

Well, I don’t need to make that decision quite yet.

I had a decent, but not brilliant first writing session this morning. At least every word I manage to get down is one more than I had before. I may have slowed down, but any steady routine during the chaos is helpful. And little bits add up to big bits. I’m not on a deadline for this – although I am for SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I hope to get back to in a few days.

Onward.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove Novel (first draft, handwritten): 43,000 words out of est. 100,000 (43%)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It’s been back up in the 90’s for the last few days, but low humidity. That seems to be changing — the humidity is rising to meet the temperatures. And it looks like we may have to deal with Hurricane Earl over the holiday weekend. Ick.

Yesterday was tough. The workman/landlord situation was bad in the morning, which of course, stressed me out and made Elsa worse. I spent most of the morning in tears out of sheer frustration and exhaustion.

Got some queries out. We’ll see what happens. Tried to start the assignment from Confidential Job #1, but couldn’t concentrate. Managed to get some research done in the afternoon, with the iPod on to Naturescape, which has to be my favorite app ever. Ran a few errands, put gas in the car, things like that. It cost me $10 more to put the same amount of gas in the car at the place near here with the best prices than it did up in Sturbridge last week.

I’m still eating the fudge I bought up there — best fudge I ever had. Smooth and creamy and rich. I have one little slice every day, and I still have a lot. That’s the way I like it!

Booked my tickets for the two Philly gigs in September. So that’s all sorted out. Even though it’s ridiculously early — I don’t leave for the first until the end of next week — I’ll probably pack in the next day or two.

Made a note the other night as I fell asleep for a story idea. Now I have to decipher it!

Had a lot of trouble sleeping. Well, I GET to sleep just fine. But I wake up completely anxiety-ridden.

Decent writing session this morning on the Willowspring Grove piece. Not a brilliant one, I’m having to fight for the words harder than I’d like, but I’m getting there. I’ve got to get back to SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Even if I don’t hit my goal every day, even a few pages a day would be better than no pages a day. But it’s noisy and dirty and chaotic here, and I can’t concentrate. As it is, I’m having to get up at 5 AM to get anything done before the rat bastards descend. And I can’t flip my schedule completely because I can’t sleep when they’re “working.” And I can’t leave to work elsewhere because I have to be around to make sure they don’t destroy the apartment.

I’m gathering references for the moving packets. Even though I can’t get my hands on the cash for a few more months, I want to have everything ready.

Will head to the museum this morning to see the exhibit before it closes (my mom is staying with the cats), and then come back to do some more sorting and purging. And I have to start Confidential Job #1 — it’s due on Friday.

Elsa is a little better this morning; let’s hope she doesn’t get worse now that the rat bastards are back.

It’s relentless, and it’s hard to keep any energy and focus. I feel like I’m fading and failing. And I have to hold the line until I can get out. Thanks so much for all your support. Sometimes it’s all that keeps me going.

I pitched a piece, never thinking they’d really want it, and they came back wanting more than one. I have to go over the terms and then sit down and get them done in the next 72 hours, provided the terms are acceptable. It would be some quick cash on something fun — if it works out. We’ll see.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, handwritten): 36, 125 words out of est. 100,000 (36%). I’m not sure how I wound up with a lower word count today than yesterday, when I wrote an additional 4 1/2 pages this morning. Headdesk).

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 6:59 am  Comments (5)  
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Oversized mug made in May’s pottery workshop. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the differences in color actually indicate differences in texture where I used texturing tools on the slab before curving it into mug form.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

I’m still waiting for the damn thunderstorm! This humidity just sucks all the life out of me.

Didn’t get much done yesterday — well, that’s not true, I got a lot done, but just not what I intended. I had to retreat the the air conditioned bedroom pretty quickly because of the heat and humidity. Tried to get some work done there.

Took Elsa to her Reiki session. The practitioner is really pleased with the progress, and thinks the work we’re doing at home, along with the crystal therapy, is giving her a boost, so that she’s healing even more quickly than if she just came in for sessions. I don’t have to take her back for about another two and a half weeks. She’s still eating well, and the work done on her sinuses has helped with the mucus. She was lively and playful and funny in the office, and when we got home, she climbed into the kitchen window where the workmen were (on the outside) and fussed until they stopped what they were doing, I had to open the window so they could talk and pet her through the screen, and she just lapped up the attention. Violet hissed at them and ran away, and Iris, little chicken that she is, hid, but Elsa made new friends. As she always does. I should be as outgoing and accepting as she is.

I was late cooking dinner, until after they left, because, even though I’m annoyed with them, if they were hanging out in front of the window when I made dinner, I’d have felt obligated to feed them. Yeah, I know, it makes no sense.

I meant to spend twenty minutes in the afternoon doing some research and consolidating some information. Next thing I knew, it was nine hours later.

I meant to go to a museum today, and then to a friend’s, but it’s too hot to leave the cats. I’ll run the air in the morning, and get caught up on some correspondence that has to go out today, and maybe go to my friend’s in time for dinner.

I spoke to the pharmacy and Elsa’s refill was sent out yesterday — hopefully it won’t take yet another week to get here.

Great first writing session this morning — nearly 2K. Let’s hope it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Devon

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 7:49 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

The storm didn’t hit us too badly yesterday; today’s is supposed to be worse, so I’ll keep an eye on the brook. I didn’t even have to move the car yesterday because the brook was several feet LOWER than usual, not higher.

We had heat, although I wound up being locked out of the building, and walked right through the construction, scaring the heck of the workers when they tried to stop me and I went off. Heaven forbid the locks work properly — oh, and there’s NO lock on the front door now for nearly a week. AND, when I went to the parking lot to run my errands, the workmen are pissing in the parking lot between the cars. In addition to being inappropriate, isn’t the employer required to provide adequate sanitary facilities for the workmen?

Yesterday was all about the conference. I spent most of my time commenting on exercises and answering questions. I put up a really hard exercise for them today — hardest I’ve ever thrown at a group of students. I warned them I’d be sending material back to them for multiple rewrites, and this was the one exercise on which I could read multiple rewrites (with 81 people signed up, I had to set a boundary of reading ONE rewrite per person per exercise, or I’d never catch up).

I’m not taking many workshops in this go-round. For one thing, I don’t want to be pulled into the tangent of new material. I’ve got stuff on deadline, I’ve got outlines stacked up. I tried to participate in some of the more business-oriented and practical workshops, but a lot of the information was stuff I already figured out, or stuff I’d tried and knew doesn’t work for me. Because I usually take workshops that involve more actual writing than I have this year, I feel less engagement from the instructors in the workshops I’m taking than usual, and it could be simply because it’s not as necessary as in this kind of workshop. Also, because I’m at a different place in my work this year, my needs are a little different, and it’s harder to find a workshop that meets them.

I’m sort of in that weird limbo of earning my living doing this, without being a recognizable bookstore name. My needs are different from someone starting out and trying to get published, and also different from someone with a multi-book contract. For over 20 years, I was in the Tribe of Theatre Professionals (and, thanks to the plays, I still am, in spite of the withdrawal from the wardrobe union). I was in the Tribe of Writers Starting Out. I don’t really fit into the Tribe of Secure Lit Fiction Writers (but then, is that ever really secure?). I’m a Working Writer, but it’s hard to find others doing what I do in physical proximity — they’re either only doing business writing or only working on their Great Novel while working a day job. That’s not a judgment, but it’s a different set of challenges and issues. I’ve got great writing friends as all levels of their careers via the internet, but I’d also like more in-person contact. A Nano group’s not going to give it to me; there’s no Meet-up Group around here that can — and I’m not sure I have the energy and commitment to start one.

I’m pretty sure I need to just sit tight until I relocate — in the areas I’m looking, they are more oriented to freelancing and flexible time management than they are around here. I’m in a typical suburb — it’s very rigid. In addition to missing the cultural diversity I had living in the city, I miss the emotional and artistic diversity. I feel more of that multi-levelled diversity when I go farther into New England.

One of the issues we face in the upcoming local elections is whether we keep in the current administration (of which I’m very supportive) that is working on the practicalities of infrastructure issues while meeting the needs of a growing, changing population. The opponents are running on a platform of union-busting (they’re saying our police, firefighters, and teachers aren’t worth the money, when, in reality, we get a return on our investment several hundred times over) and keeping the city affordable for those they deem worthy of living here, while cutting out others — a rise in economic snobbery and segregation that’s been on the rise in the community for the past few years. There’s a segment of the population that wants to run the whole town kind of like a co-op apartment complex, where you have to get permission that you’re “the right sort” to live here, which breaks all kinds of laws.

Honestly, I’d rather live next door to a small organic farmer than a slimy hedge fund manager any day.

Since “Be the Monster” is too big to be an anthology story, I’m plugging along on that while starting the story that’s due, “Lake Justice” — which is going to be both scary and funny.

Working on the grant applications, defining and redefining the work I’d do if I got the grant.

I want to go back to New Mexico to write for awhile, so I looked into residencies. One I found charges a grand to attend. AND expects the visiting artist to lecture. Uh, no. If I’m going to pay, I’ll just rent an apartment for about a third of what this particular organization charges (I found a really sweet one I bookmarked for the future) and be completely on my own schedule. And if I’m going to do work FOR the organization instead of just working ON the grounds — the organization will pay ME, not the other way around. I could have sworn there were a couple of others out there, but haven’t yet tracked them down.

Back to work. Elsa was on medication again for most of the week, but she seems much better. The twins are running around, playing. They just turned nine, but they still act like kittens.

Devon