Wed. Sept. 23, 2015: Writing Challenges and Solutions

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Autumn Equinox
Sunny and cool

Monday was a busy day, between writing and meetings, and trying to maintain a stronger yoga practice.

I did, however, work on THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS and also do a rough draft of a one-hour television pilot. Both need a good bit of work, but at least something is on paper. I had trouble finding Quentin’s character there for a bit — I didn’t have a handle on him, yet, but I think I’m getting there.

I also was doing work for the wine event, which culminated on Tuesday when I found the right chocolate vendor.

Tuesday was busy writing-wise. I’m doing a revision of a piece I’ve worked on for several years — love the characters, love the piece, but the point of view is all over the place, and I have to get specific. I have to go, scene by scene, and make sure it’s strongly from a point of view, even when it means losing other material. If the material is important, I’m finding a way to incorporate it into the scene, while still holding the chosen POV. It’s also interesting to see how the writing’s grown since I first started writing this particular book.

I’m still finding my way into SONGBOUND SISTERS, and I’m not happy with the last bit of work I’ve done on that.

Today, it’s back to work. We shall see what’s stacked up on my desk while I was gone, and what’s new.

I’m watching Season 3 of SIX FEET UNDER. While I still really like the cast, I feel the energy is lower and flatter this season. It doesn’t have the drive and momentum of the previous two.

Autumn Equinox — when day and night are balanced. Although the shorter days have been obvious the last few weeks, now it becomes really noticable.


Published in: on September 23, 2015 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sat. Sept. 12, 2015: Preparing for Vacation

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The weight of yesterday was obvious, but it was also helpful to share it. That Budweiser commercial, the one only shown once after the event, gets me every time.

Work was fine. I got a lot done, in preparation for being gone for a week. Everything is set, as far as I can tell, so I’m not leaving anyone holding the bag.

I’m also missing two Board meetings — one would be my last as Secretary of the Writers Center Board, and the other is the Marine Life Center Board. First meeting I missed in my term for both of them, so I refuse to feel guilty. Especially since I prepared notes/did homework/voiced opinions in anticipation of agenda items.

I got frustrated with Amazon yesterday — I’m supposed to be able to use the Coursera app on the Kindle Fire, but it won’t download (it tells me there’s a geographic problem, although the US has designated permissions), and support/customer service was polite, but unhelpful. They’ve just gotten so big, they are no longer interested in solving customer service issues. I’ve got the app on my phone, but it would be easier to work on the Kindle.

“Unethical Decision Making in Organizations” starts next week, out of the University of Lausanne. Looking forward to it.

Dashed home — we had guests up from CT on their way to a wedding. They had to leave just a few minutes after I got back from work. It was lovely to see them again, and the cats had kept everyone busy. Now that Violet is feeling better, she is being demanding! It was funny, though.

After dinner, Part 2 of the 9/11 remembrances, and we could feel some of the grief lifting. We’ll never get over it, but we’re learning to live with it, and perhaps being together really does help.

It will also inform the writing.

I’m watching the second season of SIX FEET UNDER and thoroughly enjoying it. I’d forgotten how much fun that show is.

Packing and prepping for the trip. I’m working until mid-afternoon today, and I want to make sure my desk is CLEAR before I go. I miss Village Day tomorrow, but I worked it last year. Again, I refuse to feel guilty. I’ve earned this time, and I’m using it, free and clear.

In preparation for Kripalu, I upped the yoga practice, doing a full hour now in the morning and at night. I don’t want to be completely out of shape when I get there — although I should probably have started doing this about a month ago! ;)

I’m packing a handful of writing projects, so I can go with whatever moves me the most in the moment — and hope I don’t get too many new inspirations. Or, if I do, that they are for short stories and not novels!

I’ve got a book proposal to send off before I leave, and maybe get out a short story.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be online next week — I’m tempted to blog “from the road”, but I’m also tempted to be completely disconnected.

Have a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful week!


Wed. Sept. 9, 2015: Writing’s Organic Pace, PhoneFail, and Lack of Energy

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and hot

Tough few days. Friday was very difficult. I barely held it together (and sometimes didn’t). But I survived the day, and got home.

Went to bed early. Saturday, I’d do one thing, go back to bed. It was a gorgeous day, and I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

I managed to do some writing, and to get started on a solid fall cleaning, including the living room rug.

I’m playing with a few ideas that take me into a different direction, along with trying to keep up with my regular deadlines. The difference in each piece’s organic internal pace is very interesting, and sometimes the scenes that need the tightest, fastest pacing are the slowest to write.

In the middle of Saturday afternoon, my phone died. Not particularly surprising, considering it’s an Alcatel. It was too late and I was too exhausted to do anything about it on Saturday afternoon.

So, I went to Best Buy on Sunday. They were perfectly pleasant, but, as usual, unhelpful. They sent me over to T Mobile, my carrier. T Mobile was also unhelpful — and, had I bought a new phone from them, they would not have honored the fact that I just paid for the month’s plan, and made me buy it again. The phone, of course, was two months out of warranty — in other words, built to fail.

T Mobile sent me back to Best Buy, where I bought an inexpensive BLU phone that I can use with multiple carriers. I’d planned to dump T Mobile at the beginning of October anyway, and with this phone, I can keep this month’s paid-for plan, and then switch over next month.

Of course, all the photos I took in the past year are lost, as are all my contacts. So much for “tech assistance”. There was an issue with reading the SIM card at first — and I figured it out, not the so-called technicians. In any scenario where I am the most tech-savvy person in the room, we are in big trouble.

Not happy with Alcatel, not happy with T Mobile, not as happy as I could be with Best Buy, although they helped me put a Band-Aid on the situation.

Also, lost a half a day that was supposed to be for writing, which REALLY makes me unhappy.

I resent having to have a phone in the first place — I LOATHE the phone — and I hate the fact that the whole mobile phone industry is, basically, a giant scam.

I do like the new phone, though. It’s much crisper than the other phone, and, so far, runs much, much better. So, we’ll see.

I mowed the terraced back on Saturday, and got the front mowed yesterday. It was too hot Sunday and Monday to really do much. I also started cutting back what needs to be cut back in preparation for autumn, and yanked out some stuff that planted itself where I didn’t want it. Basically, tidying things up. The grass is brown and crisp, since I don’t have a sprinkler system, nor do I use chemicals or rolls of sod. I’ll put down some fertilizer soon, and then some grass seed.

Got some writing and reading done on Monday; a bit of cleaning. Tried to rest up, but I’m just not getting back my energy.

Unhappy that I’m being thrown under the bus on one project when someone else fucked up, but that’s life. Concerned about the direction of another project.

Violet still isn’t healthy. She was better over the weekend, and then worse again yesterday — because she got into Tessa’s food. I’m worried about her.

This will be a very long week, and I simply don’t feel I have the resources for it.


Published in: on September 9, 2015 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015: Just Trying to Avoid Stupid

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday was a busy day at work, but a good one, in spite of a useless meeting in the afternoon, and the fact that we’re all so exhausted, we’re just trying to stay upright.

Home, spent some time on the deck with my martini, dinner, am watching the first season of SIX FEET UNDER. I’d watched it when it ran, but I’m now watching everything in order. Very clever. Also fun to see some of the actors I worked with, both off-Broadway and in television, in the show.

Up early this morning, got some editing done, and headed over to the Bourne Library for a Commonwealth eBook Training. Some good information, some frustrations, still. I’m very excited by Biblioboard and the unusual, quirky things one can find in there.

Reading Claire Cook’s WALLFLOWER IN BLOOM, which is fun.

Finishing up my last few tasks for the Cape Cod Writers Center — I’m stepping off the Board when my term ends this month.

Had a disappointment, which, in retrospect, is winding up to be a blessing in disguise, so I’m getting over it more quickly than I might otherwise. Nothing like dodging a bullet when you didn’t even realize you were in its way.

Working out some other stuff, where the decision makes me sad, but it’s necessary.

If I can just avoid being stupid for the next 26 hours or so, I have a bit of a break. I’m doing a writing/gardening/yoga retreat for a few days, starting tomorrow evening. I think that will be restorative. I don’t want to make decisions when I’m so tired I can’t think logically.

Have a great holiday weekend!


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Wed. Sept. 2, 2015: Trucks, Screenplays, and Tough Decisions

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Still rather feel like I got run over by a truck.

On the upside, Casino Night was a success. We had a good turnout, people had a great time. The dealers were great, the music mix was great, the Milbilly Margarita was a big hit. So, in spite of the stress going into the night, it was terrific.

I was home by about midnight; up early on Saturday. Managed to survive work, although I wasn’t at my best, and am grateful to my co-workers for picking up the slack. No, I was not hung over — I was careful Friday night!

I had to run some errands, and then went to bed early. Slept for nearly twelve hours, but wasn’t much good on Sunday. The entire month caught up with me. I managed to work on some revisions, but that was about it.

Sunday night, we went to dinner at the home of some friends. Came home and fell into bed. Monday, I got the rented glasses back to Party Cape Cod, went home and was done for the day. Managed a bit of editing, but that was all.

Up early Tuesday. Got some decent writing done in the morning. The furnace guy came to do routine maintenance, and after that, I headed to Buzzards Bay for a strategic planning meeting. It was long, but, hopefully, we got somewhere. A smaller group will meet next week to take the next step.

I’ve been watching ENDEAVOR for the past few days. There’s a lot I like about it — the acting, the writing. Some of the direction is a little heavy-handed, but it certainly makes me want to go back and watch the seasons of MORSE.

Finally realized what the Death card indicated, coming up all last week. Difficult, painful decision, but it had to be made. It will be implemented over the next couple of months, hopefully gently, and the fact it has to be done breaks my heart. But it’s necessary, in the long run, for everyone involved. It also means I have to keep a secret for the next few months, while I wind up some commitments, in order to cause the least harm possible.

No one ever said life was easy.

It will definitely be useful in the writing down the line, but it’s not much fun living it right now.

On the upside, this morning, I did a revision of a screenplay. Made a few internal cuts, but feel good about it. Will put in the changes, do the registration paperwork with the Guild, and out it goes.

Hope your September is starting beautifully, and that it only gets better!


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Fri. Aug. 28, 2015: Casino Night is Here!

Friday, August 28, 2015
Day before Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was crazy busy, finalizing stuff for tonight, processing books, arranging for glassware, etc. Party Cape Cod was able to come through for us at the last minute, so I drove over there this morning to pick up the racks of glasses.

Very tired yesterday, but tried to chill out a bit at night, work on some more preparatory stuff, and also watched the pilot of ENDEAVOR, which was interesting. Also did some more work on COLLABORATIVE BIRTH revisions.

To bed early, but didn’t sleep well. At least Violet’s made steady improvement the last few days.

Up early, not much writing done, and not happy with what I got done.

Fed up with a narcissist who tries to make everything about her and get out of doing anything she doesn’t feel like doing, consistently. And gets away with it, consistently.

Well, the Death card has come up every single day this week in the tarot, so a-change is a-coming, as one sings, and I hope it’s a good one.

Today will be a VERY long day into the night, with work going directly into Casino Night. It’s my Saturday “on” tomorrow, so even though I’ll be here late, I’ll also be here early. But that’s okay.

After much mulling of what to wear, I decided to go for funky and comfortable, in the red and black of a roulette wheel.

Monday, I drop off the glasses back at Party Cape Cod on my way over the bridge. Got some stuff to do on the mainland, and then I have to write the rest of the day. Tuesday, I have strategic planning, and then I have to write for the rest of the day, because next Wednesday, it all starts again.

I’m working on some travel negotiations for a few projects – always interesting. And getting the ducks in a row for my vacation in a couple of weeks. I desperately need it.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 9:43 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 28, 2015: Casino Night is Here!  
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Fri. Aug. 21, 2015: This & That & Enough Already

Friday, August 21, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Rough couple of days. Dealing with the recent deaths makes me even less patient than usual with meaningless bullshit. The fact that I haven’t punched several people’s lights out is a testament to my self-restraint.

On the positive side, the library is repainted and looks nice, and now the work of getting everything back on the shelves is ongoing. I managed to process a LOT of books on Wednesday during the painting (once we got the books OFF the shelves), and almost all of them went out on holds. In other words, I made the right choices in ordering! ;)

Collapsed Wednesday night. Watched KINGSMAN, which was clever and fun, although I would have trimmed about 20 minutes total, making a few internal cuts here and there. Colin Firth, as usual, was sublime.

Thursday was another painting day and also trying to get things back on the shelves as they dried. Managed to get PR out for the photography contest, which had to go out yesterday or wouldn’t make deadline. By mid-afternoon, I had a screaming migraine, which only got worse as the evening progressed. Managed to watched some of the final season of SPORTS NIGHT, but that was about it.

The migraine woke me up at 2 AM, and I was not amused with people texting and calling me by 8 AM asking if everything was back on the shelves. Sorry, bubbelah, I am NOT pulling all-nighters by myself watching paint dry and then reshelving. No.

The Meet-and-Greet for NYU Cape/South Shore Alumni is all set for the 28th of September at Mezza Luna in Buzzards Bay. I’m checking out the location for the wine event next week, and I also have the HobNob Event. If I can just get rid of this migraine, it’s all good.

I work tomorrow, and then the ghost hunters are coming back in the evening to do the overnight. Sunday and Monday are writing days.

I’m also investigating new phones and new phone plans. T-Mobile sucks and my phone is already “out of memory” – which is ridiculous, because I have hardly anything on it. Good thing I’m NOT on a contract – I can find something better.

I can’t believe it’s nearly September! Looking forward to the autumn. We’ll be staying in the house for another year, so that’s all settled. I’m cleaning out a lot of stuff and getting rid of a lot of stuff.

Looks like we’re losing almost all our tomatoes to Blossom Rot, which is discouraging. Live and learn. The hollyhocks, cucumbers, lettuce, morning glories, moonflowers, four o’clocks, rose of Sharon, and hydrangeas are all doing very well, though.

Have a great weekend!


Thurs. Aug. 13, 2015: Project Percolation

Thursday, August 13, 2015
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

Yesterday was busy, on many levels, juggling many things. I’m holding the progress made at the Conference close, and not letting it get destroyed.

Got some reading and writing done last night; got some writing done this morning, and finished the mask for the ball, along with the first coat of fixative. Will do the inside tonight. Polish on hands and feet tomorrow, and I’m all set.

The short story is almost written in my head, so getting it on paper this weekend should be lots of fun. For some reason, I’m finding it easier to write short pieces in my head first and then practically “dictate them to myself”.

Also threw out some questions on FB & Twitter to my followers – I’m going to do a fun holiday download piece and asked what they wanted – mystery? Comedy? Fantasy? Romance? Mix? Old characters? New characters? The answers were surprising and fun, and give me lots with which to run. And run I will.

Instead of the usual, wait until the last minute, I’m going to build this piece slowly, starting next week (with the new moon). That will give me time to edit, revise, format, and have a truly fun gift for my readers.

Which advice have I used? You’ll have to read the piece to find out! ;)

Also doing some work on revising the Goals Dreams Resolution site and my various websites.

Have a great day!

TOMORROW is the Mermaid Masquerade Ball. Will I see YOU there? Will we recognize each other if we’re both there? Stay tuned! ;)


Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 8:52 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 13, 2015: Project Percolation  
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Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and damp

I had contradictory information about the retrogrades, but I think I’ve got it sorted. Saturn is direct, thank goodness, because I don’t think I can take any more life lessons for awhile. Venus is still retrograde, which explains several things!

So the Cape Cod Writers Conference ran the past few days. It was the happiest I’ve been in months. What a great conference!

I spent most of Friday trying to get the wine tasting ball rolling for our next NMLC special event. I’m supposed to be “helping”, but it’s pretty much all been dumped into my lap. Therefore, I am assigning tasks and expecting them done. Because I CANNOT and WILL NOT do an entire event on my own. Been there, done that, not doing it again.

Raced to the conference in the evening, got situated, caught up with some people. Marge Piercy was the keynote speaker. I love that she won’t compromise her beliefs for fear of “annoying” potential readers. Everyone is told to be so careful and apolitical on social media — no, we have to stand for what we believe in it, work for it, and actually make change! So, I totally admire that about her. Her keynote was rich, almost too rich. There were so many sections, without transition, that one or two sections would have given us plenty to think about, and also given us a foundation to change our lives. Five sections was a little much. I felt like I missed a lot I could have otherwise absorbed and benefitted from, because I was trying to keep up.

Sat with poet Charles Coe, whom I adore, both as a poet and person. We had a good time. And, because I was going to the prose reading instead of the poetry reading, he recited the poem he planned to open with, just for me. What an honor, especially to hear something so beautiful.

After, there were readings. I had a friend reading in the prose section, which was run by another friend, so that’s where I ducked in. This year’s batch of readings were very, very good, and everyone had the chance to comment on them. It was a good evening.

Several of us repaired to the bar after, for a couple of drinks and a good chat. I was the only woman in the group (not planned), and we all had very different backgrounds, so it was an interesting and long-ranging conversation. It was also interesting that the men wanted harsher criticism. I think you can offer constructive criticism without being hurtful in a personal way.

We were there until after midnight, and, on my way home, I stopped at Covell’s beach to do my homework for the settings class.

Saturday morning, I was up early. I wanted to bring something in to the fantasy workshop. However, INITIATE is in a delicate stage where only someone with whom I’ve built trust can help, and the THREE ROADS is structured tightly in a way that didn’t just let me pull a couple of pages out of context.

So I sat down and wrote something new. It was like the piece was forming for me out of the mist. A pair of sisters is central, as is the idea that art is a threat to the throne. Wrote four pages, rushing a couple of scenes a bit because I wanted to get the twist into the page count. But it felt right — that tuning fork of resonance hit the note. So I printed up copies, and there we were.

Worked the registration desk from 10-1, talking to people, helping them find things, etc. At 1, I had the fantasy workshop, with Carol Buggé, who, in addition to being one of my favorite people in the world, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the luck to study with. The class was great — a small, but lively group, supportive and interested in each other without getting cloying. People distributed their pieces, we learned a lot, and it was over far too quickly.

Chantelle Osman was also there — I took her wonderful screenwriting class last year, and was sorry I couldn’t take her class this year, but at least we got to chat here and there for a few minutes over the course of the weekend.

I ran into Indira Ganesan at the cabana window, and we sat together “just being” (quiet) for awhile. She’s a good one to be with in companionable silence.

She had a 3 PM appointment, and I stayed outside in the beautiful weather a little longer to write, then went in a bought books by both Indira and Claire Cook, the night’s keynote. Claire arrived, and got settled, and then I went in to Indira’s setting class — about a dozen people. We rearranged the room to be more of a circle, and wrote in class, then each read our scenes. There was a lot of good writing in the class, and I was also delighted that my scene, which was both painful and funny, hit home and got a lot of laughs.

That made me realize how much confidence I’ve lost in my work over the past few months, and made me start thinking about where I need to go from here, and what decisions to make.

Immediately over to the ballroom to hear Claire Cook — what a nice person, and what a terrific inspiration. She’s learned how to make the best of everything, and how to enjoy the journey. I can learn a lot from her.

If I ever reach the point where I think I can’t learn from others, I hope someone wallops me upside the head with a cast iron skillet!

Didn’t go to the banquet, because I had a previous commitment. Took care of that, then settled in to do my homework for class, commenting on my fellow students’ work for the fantasy class. I like the fact, this year, so many people are working on things that are different, not just mimicking already published work.

Up early on Sunday, baked cinnamon rolls, tried to relax before going in. We got some sad news about a family member with a long-term illness — hospice is in there now, so it’s a matter of days. That will change many things for a lot of us.

Worked the registration desk again in the morning. I’m happy that the entire Board stepped up for the conference and was a presence, much more so than last year. It makes a huge difference in the energy and morale of the conference.

Carol’s workshop was, of course, fabulous, and the four pages I’d written in an hour went over very well. The feedback was VERY helpful (which isn’t always the case in workshops), and people are eager to read more. So, more there will be. The piece goes into the queue.

Helped clean up post-conference, loaded all the easels into the car for Mermaid Ball, and the big posters for the conference — they wouldn’t fit in Sara’s car and people just stood around like the office was in Puerto Rico instead of Osterville. Puh-leeze. Stick ’em in my car and I’ll get ’em back.

Collapsed at home — no voice, absolutely exhausted. Read a bit and early to bed.

Sad news on Monday morning — my mom’s best friend died unexpectedly over the weekend. They were both in their 90s, and had been best friends since they were 14. It’s tough on my mom. I wish I could do more for her.

Had to go on vocal rest on Monday because of the voice problems. Could feel the bleeding, and it was painful. Carrying around a pad to write everything down, trying not to act like a bad Central Park Mime. Did some work on the wine event, dropped off a note for Mezza Luna to get the ball rolling on our NYU Alumni Event, dropped off the easels at NMLC, put gas in the car, came home and rested.

Let the fantasy piece I worked on in the workshop percolate. I know my anchoring protagonists and have a working title. I know how I’d like to expand the pages I wrote for class into a legitimate opening chapter.

Watched the last two episodes of season 1 of LINE OF DUTY on Monday night. It’s so well done, and, ultimately, so depressing!

Wanted to sleep in on Tuesday, but the cats weren’t having it. Managed to get the posters back to the writers’ center office before the rain started, then came back home to write and sleep.

It amazes me how much I’ve lost in the past months, especially when it comes to my work. The best way I can put it as that my writing has been out of tune, and when the writing isn’t working, nothing else works, either. I know WHY and I have a good idea of WHAT changes need to be made, but the details of the changes are something else altogether. The weekend gave me confidence and perspective, and it’s the first time I’ve been happy in months. Decisions need to be made from there.

Rested a lot, trying to get my feet back under me for a busy week at work, and then the Mermaid Ball. Worked on the world-building for the writing, enriching the environment, because that’s such a huge part of the characters and their conflicts — and their secrets.

Violet, my oldest and smallest cat, was sick yesterday afternoon, so I went out in the monsoon to get her organic baby food. That seems to have settled her stomach, and she’s much better today, thank goodness. I think it was a reaction to the flea and tick medicine.

Started watching the first season of PIE IN THE SKY, which is charming. Thoroughly enjoying it. Lots of gentle wit in the dialogue, yet it’s still a cop show. The structure is amazing.

Also enjoying Claire Cook’s NEVER TOO LATE, her non-fiction book on reinvention. To cheer up my mom during this difficult time, I’ve gotten her a stack of Claire Cook’s novels and a stack of Barbara Delinsky’s novels. There’s a warmth to both of their writing that’s necessary right now.

Mezza Luna is excited to have the NYU Alumni do their meet-and-greet., so that will get sorted, and there’s more work to do on the wine event.

This morning, the family in Maine said our relative wasn’t supposed to last the night, but sat up and asked for breakfast this morning! ;)

Some writing this morning (back on track with my first 1K of the day), then a long day at work. It’s too hard to have the conference and the Ball so close together. If it’s scheduled that way again next year, I’ll have to only do one. Today is always my lowest energy day of the month anyway (being the day before the dark moon), but now, all I REALLY want to do is sleep.

Also working on the questions for the GOALS, DREAMS AND RESOLUTIONS site for 2016. I want to post them in September, or, latest, October, so that we all have time to think about them. I think I might tweak the site a bit, too, with more suggestions and resources instead of everyone just working so much alone.

I need to update my websites, too.

I had a great idea for a short story, a comic science fiction that anyone who knows me well will get a good laugh out of! I’m figuring 1500 words or less, comic, with the last beat being a little disturbing. Got several of the characters and the setting, so it should flow pretty quickly.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying summer, and that this week is even better!


Published in: on August 12, 2015 at 9:15 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff  
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Fri. Aug. 7, 2015: Full Conference Mode

Friday, August 07, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It smells like autumn in the mornings now. It warms up to summer during the day, but you can really feel the wheel of the year turning in the early mornings. About 3 AM – since that’s the time I’ve been waking up lately! ;)

Yesterday was busy – worked on conference stuff, casino night stuff, Mermaid Ball stuff, wine tasting evening stuff, photography contest stuff, cataloging stuff.

Left early to get down to the Conference Center and get my books into the bookstore before the 6 PM deadline. Even though I got there a little after 4:30, it was already closed and locked. So, I got my hands on the key (no, I did NOT pick the lock, that would have been rude, hush, you!) and left them with the paperwork.

Went to the cocktail reception, saw some old friends, made some new ones, introduced people to each other, welcomed newcomers to the conference, tried to get people chatting to each other and integrated. In other words, taking my job seriously as a Board member. Faculty Introductions went fine, we then repaired to the bar. To my regular table, where, when people came in looking lost and unsure, we waved them over, “Pull up a chair! Come join us!”

Because inclusion, along with inspiration, is what this conference is all about.

My friend and fellow (wonderful) author Arlene Kay made a comment that was 10% joke, 90% concern that triggered an epiphany about my unhappiness with both my writing quality and my writing productivity over the past few months.

I’ve unfortunately moved from steady, daily productive work (not that every day’s quality is good, but at least there’s something to work on) to more binge writing because of the extra hours I’m putting in between all the events that are booked for August. So I get frustrated because I’m writing less on some of the frantic days and frantic and pushing too hard to binge write on days I set aside for writing. It’s making things choppy instead of letting it flow. Even when something is one fire and I write a lot in a given day, I’m still happier and it’s better quality when I do a lower word count (1 to 2K/day), but a steady one.

Knowing I have to make changes this coming autumn on many fronts, that was an important realization. Thank you, Arlene! I can always count on her to cut through the crap!

In full conference mode for the next three days – tonight is our first keynote speaker, and then there are readings. And then, of course, the bar. Tomorrow, I’m working the desk in the morning, sitting in on one friend’s class in the afternoon, doing whatever needs to be done in the later afternoon, sitting in on a new friend’s class. The banquet is tomorrow night, but I have another commitment on another front in the evening, but will probably head back to the conference later. Sunday, I’m working the desk, sitting in on a class, and then helping load everything out.

In and around all that will be writing for said classes on which I’m sitting in, talking to people, making sure everyone feels happy and included and inspired, and listening. A lot, a lot, of LISTENING.

Have a great weekend!


Fri. July 31, 2015: End of Another Month; Gearing up for Busy August

Friday, January 31, 2015
Full Moon/Blue Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday turned out to be a good day – productive in the morning. I took the Naproxin later than usual, but, unfortunately, once it kicked in, my shoulder felt better, but my brain stopped working. But at least I got a lot done in the morning.

No tango last night, so I got to go home and relax a bit, and work on stuff for the Mermaid Ball. Watched the rest of the first season of SPORTS NIGHT. Such good writing.

Made an appointment to get the car serviced on Monday in Plymouth – nervous about that; afraid it will need a lot of work.

I have a lot to say on several fronts, but I’m saving it for fiction right now.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, even though August 1 is one of the most important days in my personal calendar; but I have plans early on and in the evening. Weather permitting, there will be yard work in my weekend, a trip to the dump, and, no matter what the weather, lots of writing.

August is going to be a nutty month, with three huge events on which I’m working, each for a different organization. I’m looking forward to it, but I will definitely need some time off in September.

And my deadlines must be met before.

Have a great weekend!


Published in: on July 31, 2015 at 8:18 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 31, 2015: End of Another Month; Gearing up for Busy August  
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Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Challenging few days. On the upside, yesterday, I wrote 39 pages (three chapters) of a fantasy novel — approximately 9,750 words. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Thank goodness the Olympics in Boston is OFF. That was a damn stupid idea in the first place — the city simply does not have the space, and spreading out all over the state — one of the ideas floated — was ridiculous. People need to be able to get to the venues, and even a few miles in Boston traffic is impossible. It would have hurt Boston, not helped us, and cost us (not just financially) far more than it would have earned us.

So, I appreciate Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker’s standing up for the taxpayers. However, I’m still annoyed with Baker for vetoing a $2.3 million dollar funding increase for the arts in MA. Close the tax loopholes for the corporate fucks and fund the arts. We already have a population who’s losing the ability for independent thought. Fortunately, the Senate and House overturned the veto.

The weekend was rather chaotic. This was supposed to be my Saturday “off” rotation. However, I wanted to deal with an issue in a particular way that I believed would be best for all concerned and save face for us; my boss said no. She’s the boss, so be it. Then, at 5:18 that night — when I’m already home on the deck with my feet up and a martini, trying to sort out the writing for the weekend — I get a text saying she shouldn’t have butted in and if I wanted to handle it that way, go ahead. In other words, the answer I needed at 10 that morning.

Part of me just wanted to ignore it — technically, this is supposed to be a part-time gig and when I’m off, I’m supposed to be OFF so I can write. But being petty would only hurt all of us. Believe me, I seriously considered being petty. I’m not trying to present myself as “good” in this situation by any means, because I was angry.

But, I went in on Saturday, and started the ball rolling. I knew it would take several hours to get the definitive answer that would allow me to do all the rest connected to it — what I SHOULD have had all day Friday to do. I didn’t want to spend all those extra hours at work, and I certainly wasn’t going to deal with the public, not on my day “off”. So I left and ran errands, planning to go back near the end of the open hours to find the answers, take care of the rest of the domino effect, and take down last week’s specific event display.

Only there was a major truck accident on Rt. 28, the road was closed, and the cops sent us into a maze of side streets I’d never seen before, and I couldn’t “get there from here”. An hour and a half later, I figured out how to get home.

Which meant I had to go in on Sunday, too. I baked first thing, and then headed in to work, dodging people who are incapable of understanding that “closed” means they can’t come in and do whatever they want, and they have to come in when the place is actually open. I had the answer I needed, I then spent the necessary time taking the next steps, so everything is taken care of. Because it all had to be done by Monday, and certainly before I officially got back to work today.

So it all worked out, but I was still irritated (putting it mildly), because all that extra chaos could have been avoided if I’d simply been allowed to do my damn job, which includes making the decisions that are part of it.

Watched LINE OF DUTY over the weekend, which is well done, and JACK IRISH, which I liked a lot. I think Iain Glenn is great in JACK TAYLOR, but it was a little too consistently dark, whereas JACK IRISH has a better balance, and Guy Pearce is also excellent. Watched MY OLD LADY, which is packaged as a comedy, but is definitely NOT, and needed about 20 minutes of whining cut out of the middle of it. The actors were terrific, the camerawork was good, but the script needed some tweaking. I’m watching POWERS, with Sharlto Copley and Susan Heyward. I like the actors a LOT, and the scene work is terrific. I like the concept. I’m not convinced on some of the arcs yet. But I’ve watched 6 episodes out of the 10, and I’m still watching, which says something positive!

Throughout all of this, I read and I tried to write. I read Lisa Chaplin’s THE TIDE WATCHERS, which I thought was good, but I’m wondering if she’s setting up for a sequel, or just leaving us somewhat dangling at the end. I read Barbara Delinky’s BLUEPRINTS. I read THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET. I read some research books for various projects.

I worked on a couple of ideas for projects. Got about six solid pages done on one. Did seven pages of another, and then, as I was driving around yesterday, picking up things for the Mermaid Ball, I realized that I’d started it in the wrong place. General advice is to start later than you think you should (cutting unnecessary exposition). In this case, I started in the wrong place with the wrong characters. So I let that percolate for awhile.

Met with my editing student and we had a good session. She’s taking her time to learn the craft, which is necessary, and her premise is good. As long as she really LEARNS before she sends this out, she can then apply it moving forward.

Worked on Mermaid Ball stuff, running around picking things up and putting together packages. Amazon delivered three days later than guaranteed — this is the third time in the last two months, and I’m getting sick of it. Guess they’ve gotten so big, they no longer care about customer service. Which meant all the stuff I wanted to deliver on Sunday couldn’t be — not that I could have made it over the bridge anyway in good time, but that was my day to deliver packages.

You’d think Mercury was in retrograde! ;)

Yesterday, I wrote. From about 6 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. 39 pages of the re-envisioned piece. Obviously, it’s working now.

I ran over to pick up something at Cotuit Center for the Arts, then changed and went to Harvest Wine Bar and Gallery in Dennis for an artist HobNob event. We were a small group, but it was enormous fun — spent a lot of time talking to a choreographer, a musician, and a cabinet maker.

Home, dinner, POWERS, percolating some more writing. I have a play I have to work on, and work through the next section of BALTHAZARR. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with this book. It should have been done ages ago.

The whole Tom Brady/NFL suspension is ridiculous. Tom Brady is one of the few players who is consistently a class act, and people want to take him down. When I was on sports journalism gigs, football players and baseball players were my least favorite interviews. Hockey players were consistently interesting, not to mention nicer and more respectful. What’s the most disturbing, to me, is the anti-woman message the NFL is sending. Players can beat up on women and only get 2 suspensions, but because there’s less air in a piece of pigskin, that deserves 4? Totally out of balance. It says that the air in a football is more important that the treatment of women. For an organization that makes that much money and has that many people looking at them as role models (heaven forbid), it is appalling. I could understand 1 suspension, but 4? Aside from the fact I don’t think he had anything to do with it, and the whole “destroyed cellphone” thing — hell, I throw my phone across the room several times a week, not because I’m trying to hide something, but because the phone and TMobile are both garbage. It’s all crap. People — especially women — should boycott the NFL this season, make a point with their wallets. But they won’t, because until someone beats down on them personally, they don’t care enough to stand up for something that matters.

It’s also the anniversary of my father’s death in 1972, never an easy day for me.

On that happy note (yeah, that’s sarcasm), yet another long week begins.

Hope yours is terrific!


Published in: on July 30, 2015 at 7:56 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston  
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Friday, July 10, 2015: Interlude Before Rest

Friday, July 10, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

Yesterday was busy. We had a meeting to plan Spectacle of the Trees (in-house), and there were eight cartons of books going out and six cartons coming in. That kept us busy for awhile!

The painters only got the taping done, but not the painting, so we’ll have to close on the 22nd for them to actually paint.

Processed books, DVDs, periodicals. Finished my report for the BOT. Set up for tango, although I wasn’t feeling well enough to actually go.

Went home, relaxed for a bit, got some reading done. Watched the movie 5 FLIGHTS UP, which was kind of cute, but I kept getting ahead of it.

Up early, usual yoga/meditation routine. Made some notes on the contemporary theatre piece. Ran errands on the way to work.

Today will be another long day. I’m back on bedrest for the weekend. The mowing is caught up, so, hopefully, that won’t be an issue.

Next week will be quite the busy week, so I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done this weekend!

Have a great one.


Published in: on July 10, 2015 at 8:22 am  Comments Off on Friday, July 10, 2015: Interlude Before Rest  
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