Wed. March 2, 2022: A Focus on Creating

image courtesy of Willgard via

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

New Moon

Cloudy, slushy, cold

Yesterday was a pretty decent day creatively, in spite of keeping an eye on the news out of Ukraine.

After I got back from the laundromat and we had pancakes for breakfast (because hey, Fat Tuesday), I got down to work. I spent the morning working on the material needed by the anthology on my new characters/organizations. It was more complex and interesting than I expected (which is a good thing). But that means it takes longer to create.

It was still a solidly creative batch of hours. It also involved going back and re-reading a lot of the brainstorming and the material already approved, so that what I’m doing fits in with what’s been established, and builds on it, rather than fighting it.

Shared worldbuilding is very different than individual worldbuilding.

But I can’t jump from that world to the world of The Big Project easily, so I focused on the shared world yesterday (and will finish up today). I will either work on The Big Project first thing, take a break to go to the library and then switch worlds, or finish the shared world today and focus on The Big Project tomorrow entirely. Since I don’t know how long things will take at the mechanic’s tomorrow, I’m not scheduling any script coverage. I don’t want to be under that kind of pressure. Tomorrow will just be about my own work.

I’m probably working through this weekend, because I want to take a long weekend off next weekend for my birthday. We’ll see what my energy is like, and then decide where to place it.

My mom hasn’t been feeling well the last few days, so there was also taking care of her.

In the afternoon, I did a script coverage, which took longer than it should have, because I kept getting distracted by the news. I also felt like I’d hit the creative a wall hard – felt like I left my imprint on it. It was a good tired, and it didn’t interfere with reading and commenting, but I had hoped to go back to the worldbuilding, and there just wasn’t enough left in the tank for it.  In the evening, I read the next book for review, and it was delightful. I’m looking forward to writing the review today.

Charlotte woke me up out of a weird dream around 2:30. I started sliding back into a dream, and realized, “I don’t want to go there” and pulled myself out of it. Felt like stopping myself halfway down a slide. I managed to fall asleep again, because it was nearly 7 when Tessa woke me up.

Yesterday, I also wrote the formal letter requesting a lease extension from the landlord. Fingers crossed he likes us as tenants and is willing to sign us for another year. I will be a bag of nerves until I get an answer.

Knowledge Unicorns had a short session last night, specifically on homework, because it was important that they watch the State of the Union address. It was nice to have a decent human up there, talking to grownups. Too bad the GOP trash aren’t grownups, and didn’t behave with basic courtesy. But then, most of them should be in prison as Russian assets, so why be surprised. And Manchin keeps showing who he is. He needs to be stripped of committee assignments. I didn’t agree with everything said in the speech, but I felt it was a good, SANE, calm speech that hit some important points.

Have a good one.

Published in: on March 2, 2022 at 8:22 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 2, 2022: A Focus on Creating  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mon. Sept. 30, 2013: Learning From the Best

Monday, September 30, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cool

Lots of writing this weekend. I did the pieces for Confidential Job #2 and sent them off; started work on the article for the new editor; worked on the short story for the anthology, worked on the grant proposal.

I also have an idea that formulating. It’s still a bit beyond my reach, like grabbing for mist. The more I work on it, the more I think it’s tied to another idea I’ve been playing with.

The short story is a lot of fun, but requires a huge amount of world-building. I mentioned that on social media and got a snarky message about how it’s not “worth” doing massive world-building for “just” a short story. Of course it is, if I want the story to work.

It’s set in a different world. That world needs to be created. What is normal for the characters has to feel normal, what causes the conflict has to be unique. All of it has to be rendered in a sensory manner to make it immediate for the reader.

And, the more I work on the world, the more I think it’s the same world as those two formulating ideas, although, at this point, I don’t see character cross-over.

Just want to take a moment to talk about the series finale of BREAKING BAD. It was thoroughly satisfying, while not pulling any punches. Vince Gilligan remained true to himself, true to his characters, and fulfilled the promise and the contract he had with his audience. People who want to write good television can learn a lot from this guy. I’m not giving any spoilers — go watch it for yourself. It’s worth it.

A lot to get done today, so I better get going!


Published in: on September 30, 2013 at 7:30 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , ,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Costume Imp and I made it — we hit the window between the storms. I was up at 6 on Saturday, my usual routine, then packed the car with what i needed and sorted out the cats. So, when he got up at 7:30, he had clear sailing, and we were on the road just after 8. It was starting to sleet as we left, but once we hit I-195, it was clear. Although there was a lot of snow once we crossed the CT state line, the roads were clear, and I stayed on I-95 the whole way instead of flipping over to the Merritt (upon hearing rumors it had yet to be plowed).

Dropped him at the train in Rye, tried to avert my eyes from how sad and neglected my old building looks, picked up my mom’s medications, headed to her gig in CT. Unloaded everything I’d brought down for her, considered getting right back on the road and heading back, but I was too tired and, according to reports, it was snowing along the way.

I stayed put, used the wireless to keep up with my classes, did some other work, and read the NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW (the one thing I really miss up here, although the GLOBE’S “Ideas & Books” has a lot of great stuff — and I don’t like to read the NYT BOOK REVIEW online. I like to hold it in my hands).

To bed early, up early on Sunday, out the door by 8 AM. Smooth trip up, although my windshield wipers are driving me nuts. They’re smearing not wiping. I just had them replaced in late October. Not happy.

Along the way, I world-built a new piece. I’m not sure of it’s urban fantasy in a created world or speculative fiction. The protag nudged me a few days ago with, “Hey, I got a story here, you better tell it.” On the surface, she’s the type of woman I can’t stand, so it will be interesting to investigate the layers and see what’s there. Anyway, I worked on creating the world and the supporting cast and getting to know her a bit, and the premise. I’ve got the premise and a bunch of scenes, but I have to figure out the WHY of the piece, or I’ve got nowhere to aim.

And, hey, the CD player wasn’t working! 😉

Got home just after noon. Not too much snow, about 2 inches. The car managed to hop over the snow wall left when they plowed the street and get into the garage, fed the cats, then went out and used the regular shovel (rather than the electric one) to clear the driveway and walkway. Took 30 minutes, tops, it was light, fluffy snow, and not that much of it, plus it was sunny out. Sprinkled down some ice melt, and it was time for my hot shower!

Showered, unpacked, had a snack, spent the afternoon reading the Sunday papers in between doing loads of laundry. There was a really interesting article about scientists mapping the geography hell based on the writings of the philosophers. There were lots of interesting articles — the newspapers up here are miles better with actual articles, ideas, opinions, not just recycled celebrity trash, the way most of the NY papers are now.

The seed catalogs arrived. I made my initial list, and now I have to cut it way down. I’m already figuring I have to double my original budget for the yard this year (guess I better land a few more short-turn-around, quick-pay gigs), but still — I can’t blow my entire garden budget just on seeds. So I have to think it through a bit more. Also, there are some plants who will do better if I buy them as Baby Plants instead of starting them as seed, as I learned during the Holly Walk.

I priced patio furniture and am kind of horrified by the cost. $649 is the low end for a metal bistro table and chairs? Really? I can do better than that. And I can do better than the going rate on Adirondack chairs. I just have to pay attention and repaint a lot.

I do have quite a bit to say about the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords, but it’s going into an article. Why is anyone surprised? It was only a matter of time before this happened. Words have power, and we have irresponsible Snake Oil Salesmen (and Women) inciting this violence, then backpedaling and pretending they had nothing to do with it. In reality, they are dancing with glee on the graves of the dead and are such cowards that they incite rather than take any sort of action themselves. Not that I agree with this specific action, I don’t want to come across as though I do, but those who incited it are cowards and hoped someone else was crazy enough to do their dirty work.

Watched THE CAPE pilot last night, (spoiler alert), and I must say, I liked it better than I thought I would. Writing’s better than I expected, premises executed better than I expected, I like David Lyons in the lead — he knows when to be intense, when to pull back, and when to throw away a line to make it work better. I like that he trains and learns to use both his physicality and illusion instead of being zapped with nuclear something and gaining superpowers. He earns his skills, and uses his brain. I like the supporting cast and the whole carny-as-hiding place/training ground — plus it gives the designers a wonderful canvas. I like the design a lot, although I want better lighting. I understand keeping him in shadow sometimes, but please, could we see the action already? I’m a fan of Summer Glau’s work (hey, she’s from the Joss Whedon Repertory, and I’ve got a soft spot for most of his ensemble), but I’m not sold on Orwell as a character yet. I bet she turns out to be Fleming’s daughter or sister or something. My big problem is the villain. Peter Fleming is rich and greedy, but he’s not all that scary, smart, or creative. He must have inherited his wealth, because the character that’s up there isn’t smart enough to have accumulated it himself. Cain showed promise; I’m on the fence about how I feel about the organization of assassins called Tarot — although it makes sense, because they’ve decided to be Karma-For-Hire. I’d have a lot more respect if they went after bad guys in a way Vince couldn’t stomach rather than just being for hire, since they’re co-opted the tarot. If it descends into ignorant Hollywood cliche about my beliefs and practices, I will shut the show off. But I liked a lot of what I saw, I hope the villains man up (probably won’t until they toss some female villains into the mix), and I’m interested enough to watch a few more shows. The teasers NBC ran made me NOT want to watch it, and I only happened to flick onto it and decided WTH. Glad I did.

Up early, yoga, meditation, writing, etc. Will spend a few hours on the page and then run some errands — next snowstorm set to hit tomorrow night, and I want to make sure there’s enough cat food. I can eat my way through leftovers for a good long time, but the cats need provisions. Also, need to get the MA car title into the safety deposit box — it’s so much fancier than NY’s — I feel like i’ve been given an award or something. Need to get more filters for the furnace — it’s nearly 90 days and time to change the first one, and do a few other dribs and drabs. Then, I’ll start taking down the holiday decorations. A little late, but I want to get them boxed up and put away this week. It will seem very bare, but it’s time to let go of the first holiday season in the new house.

I probably won’t make it to the dump until tomorrow, but I want to get the garbage cleared out before the storm.

Got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, so I can get started on that, too.

The Stephanie Plum workshop wound up yesterday, really fun, great discussions. The One Story, Many Voices stretches for the whole month, and I’ve got a live chat on Wed. January 12 at 8 PM EST about craft — I need to find out some details and do a test hop-on so I’m not locked out during the chat.

We’ve been warned to cancel all plans for Wednesday, expecting 7-12 inches of snow, and then I’ve got a lot to do on Thursday. I wanted to take the car in for its 40,000 mile check-up on Friday — it’s running fine, but needs the equivalent of a spa day — but I might take the cats to the vet on Friday and try to book the car for Tuesday, unless another storm’s coming.

I need to get some pitches out and possibly get a press pass for something early next week.

So much for sleeping for three days! I did four loads of laundry yesterday when I got back, and I’ve got at least one more today. More, once I pull the festive holiday fabric — I like to wash it and iron it before I put it away.

And off we go.