Thurs. Nov. 18, 2021: Early Morning Arias

photo courtesy of Isabella Mendes via pexels.com Note: This is not my Tessa, although this cat looks very much like Tessa.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

There’s a post about how the environment is changing over on Gratitude and Growth.

Got my words in yesterday, then switched over to script coverage, and worked on that. Remote Chat was a lot of fun, too.

I managed to book my COVID booster appointment for the Monday after Thanksgiving. It’s Pfizer, so I hope it doesn’t take me down the way the Moderna shots did. I mean, it’s definitely worth it, but I can’t afford to lose a week of work right now.

Ordered cat litter, got in some reading for fun.

Did a crockpot chicken that was really good.

Willa was dancing around in the evening, up and down on the kitty condo, running up and down the hall. I rolled one of balls with bells in it, so she had something to chase and play with. Charlotte later used the condo, too, so at least they’re in it, although they still prefer the Chewy box to anything else, and I left it for them, instead of breaking it down.

Tessa woke me up at 4, singing her version of opera. I moved into the sewing room. She started again, then realized I was there, stopped, and curled up on the couch. Willa came to check on me, and make sure I was still alive, and then Charlotte came to see where I’d gone. Then Tessa and Charlotte started fussing at each other. It was 5 by then, so I got up.

Got in my words on CAST IRON MURDER early, 2339 words. 50K is in sight, as is the end of the book. Although I want it to be around 72K, this draft will come in shorter, and then I’ll layer in the subtext and sensory details in the next draft.

Meditation this morning, and then we’re hoping to go to Great Barrington (if the weather holds). It looks like it wants to storm any minute, but the reports keep saying it will be on “partly” cloudy until this afternoon, and then rain. I’m seeing more than “partly” but go figure.

When we get back, I have coverage to write up, and more scripts to read. I’m going to work through the weekend, so I can take next weekend off. Although I’m wondering if I should work Saturday and Sunday, in case the booster wipes me out for a few days next week.

One day at a time, that’s all I can do.

I have a few things to pick up over the weekend for Thanksgiving (like the turkey), but we are mostly set.

Wed. Oct. 6, 2021: A Day of Cooking

image courtesy of Polina Tankilevitch via pexels.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New Moon

Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Pluto goes DIRECT this afternoon

Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a very go-with-the-flow type of day.

As I mentioned in the post, I had three loads of laundry done at the laundromat before 8 AM, which sounds like a good start to the day.

After breakfast, I paid some bills. Then, we headed out, in the rain, to the post office to mail said bills, and then to the TD Bank in Williamstown to close our account. That bank is one of the few places around here that doesn’t require masks. The staff is masked, although our teller wore her mask under her nose. Yeah, glad to be done with them. Our accounts are now officially closed.

There are a couple of bookstores I want to go back and visit in Williamstown at some point.

Got our grocery shopping done at Wild Oats and Stop & Shop. The latter is definitely having supply chain issues, especially on big, national brands. Some empty shelves, and they’ve been out of certain products now for nearly a month. Very little of it is stuff I actually use; we’re still using up stuff I’d stockpiled during the pandemic, and replacing staples and some of the canned goods as we go, so that we’re always ahead of the game and have a full pantry. We did so last year during the pandemic, in case there was ever a real lockdown and we weren’t allowed out more than once a week; we kept stockpiling once we moved here, because we’ve heard winters are harsh and there will be times we can’t go anywhere.

I’m keeping an eye on things, and making sure we’re extra stocked with certain items, so that if there are problems, be it from supply chain issues or storms, we will be okay for a couple of months.

After we came home and put things away, we had to refold the sheets from the laundry. I’d done a lousy job at the laundromat.

Read a cozy mystery where the protagonist who prayed a lot and asked for guidance wasn’t a very nice person (funny how that works, right?) and, frankly, was one of the characters who’s too stupid to live. So I won’t be reading any more in that series.

After lunch, I used up leftover sweet potatoes to make sweet potato soup (a Moosewood recipe). It’s pretty good, although when I heat it up for our lunches over the next few days, I think I will add a little more salt and pepper.

Found a “classic” radio station that was playing songs from the 80’s and 90’s, early in my career, when I had a lot of all nighters in various theatres or out and about, and the songs all hold lots of memories. So I danced around the kitchen while cooking, which was fun.

The soup took longer than I expected, and then I made a spiced apple cake (another Moosewood recipe). That turned out well, although I miss allspice in it. I like allspice in recipes with apples. It has cinnamon and cardamom. Next time I make this, I’m going to put in allspice, but I’m not sure if I will substitute it for the cardamom, or put it in addition to the cardamom.

That took longer than I expected, too, so it was after 5 before I got the chicken into the oven to roast (with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots), and it was nearly 8 before we sat down to dinner. Late for us.

The cats were very confused.

While it was roasting, we had the Knowledge Unicorns session, which went well. The kids now being homeschooled have adjusted well, and are thriving. The kids who are doing remote learning through their regular schools are having a bit more of a struggle, mostly due to the pressure to go back in person. But we’re doing a lot of supplemental stuff to their various curriculums, as far as virtual museum tours and additional histories/readings and “at home” theatre performances online. They’re definitely learning more and more widely than if they were in-person.

But it also means I didn’t get any script coverages written up. I’m still fine with deadlines, as long as I stay on track today. I also didn’t read, so I have a lot of coverage to write up today, and a pile of scripts to read.

A group of characters arrived in my brain, in search of a plot. I made some notes, and we’ll see.

Although I’m not going into detail every post, I am steadily doing my first 1K of the day in longhand. Sometimes it’s a little more than 1K, sometimes a little less. But it’s happening. There’s just not much to say about it.

Tessa and Charlotte woke me up around 3:30 this morning. I moved to the sewing room and dozed off until about 5, and then got up to feed them, at Tessa’s very loud insistence.

The plot around the characters who showed up yesterday is starting to take shape, so I took more notes.

I’m chained to the computer today, writing up script coverages and working on articles and blog posts and a book review. I plan to take time out for Remote Chat. With the new moon, I upped my daily yoga practice. I lost a lot of progress during the moving months, and I’m of an age where I have to work harder to get it back.

What I’d really like to do is take a nap! Maybe this afternoon, for a half hour or so. At least I have that flexibility.

Have a good one. Pluto goes direct this afternoon, so that eases some of the 7 Retrogrades pressure. We’ll be back down to six. (Eye roll).

Wed. Sept. 22, 2021: Autumn Equinox

image courtesy of Pexels via pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Autumn Equinox (Mabon) in the Northern Hemisphere

Cloudy, rainy, humid

Got some work done early, then headed out to Target to get a pair of white bookcases I need for the sewing room. Normally, I don’t like white anything, but these bookcases will flank the vanity table I’ve converted to a sewing table and hold fabric, sewing books, etc. I have to put them together, and that’s a project for the upcoming days.

What puzzled me was that two guys who worked at the store and helped me get the bookcases first into the cart and then into the car struggled with them. With one guy, I’m thinking, “Dude, I’m old enough to be your grandmother and I can handle them.” I didn’t say anything except, “Thank you.”

Handle the bookcases I did, getting them from the car and up to the stairs to the apartment BY MYSELF.

The afternoon was split with reading script coverage and a phone consultation with an ex-client. I’d worried about the conversation, but it went well. She basically needed an audience for decisions already made, although I pointed out some ethical elements she needs to add in.

Up early this morning, thanks to the cats. It’s the Autumn Equinox, and I’m busy with that, plus I have a lot of script coverage to write up.

And there’s Remote Chat later this afternoon, to which I look forward.

On the writing front, I had a decent first session on the novel, I’m doing research on a couple of pieces, and some world-building for another piece. Not much I can really talk about until I’m deeper in the process; while I don’t mind talking process, if I talk too much about what’s in draft, it loses creative energy. It’s one reason I don’t participate in social media games that ask too many questions about a WIP. That energy needs to be reserved for the actual writing. Speaking too much about a project publicly instead of writing it dilutes it.

Have a lovely Equinox!

Published in: on September 22, 2021 at 8:13 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. Sept. 14, 2021: Getting Back on Track

image courtesy of Martin Winkler via pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and pleasant

Yesterday’s post on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site is about compassionate pondering.

Busy weekend, but it felt like I’m getting back on track.

Friday, I worked on script coverage, and then my mom wanted to come on the big grocery run, so that’s what we did: Big Y, Wild Oats, Stop & Shop. People are masked in the stores, no one is fussing, and it takes so much pressure off shopping.

My reward for all that was to read Deborah Blake’s FURBIDDEN FATALITY, the first in her new Catskills Pet Rescue series. The book is an absolute delight! She takes all the best of the cozy mystery genre, and leaves out the annoying, overused tropes. I’m so excited for the next one, which comes out in November.

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As a former New Yorker, who knew a lot of people who died, the anniversary hits me hard every year. It was helpful to see the Bidens, VP Harris and her husband, The Obamas, and the Clintons offer dignified, respectful mourning.

I watched The 9/11 Table of Silence Project. It is performed at the fountain at Lincoln Center, and this year, there was even a limited audience. It was beautiful and powerful. If you’ve never seen one of the performances, I suggest following the link to watch. I love the way they entwine dance, music, spoken word. The way the musicians move through and with the dancers during the performance.

After the piece was over, I had to sit quietly with it for about another half hour, because it was as filling as a wonderful meal, only for the soul.

Worked on script coverage. Dashed to Big Y to get cashews and butter. Made the Moosewood Recipe for White Bean and Kale soup. It also has fennel, potatoes, carrots, and sundried tomatoes in it. I don’t often use fennel (or kale) so it was an adventure. It turned out really well, and the leftovers will provide lunch for a few days. I’ve made a similar Portuguese version with sausage, and a slightly different version with ham hocks. This was my first foray into the vegetarian version.

I had hoped to go to a gem and mineral show that was in walking distance from me on Sunday. However, when I drove by on Saturday, no one was wearing masks to enter. It was inside, and nothing in the promotional materials spoke to any COVID protocols. There were kids going in. So I decided it wasn’t worth the risk. It’s one of the few reckless, irresponsible events I’ve seen since I’ve been here; people are usually more responsible than that. But why spend money at an even that could kill me? No, thanks.

In the afternoon, I read the next book for review. It was wonderful, and I couldn’t put it down. I rarely give a full 5 stars, but this one gets it.

Read three scripts for coverage in the evening. The college students are out getting drunk and coming home late, being loud again. But it’s only for a few minutes on a Friday or Saturday night, so it wasn’t bad. There was live music somewhere nearby. I’m not sure if it was at the lake, or at the pub down the street. There’s definitely a sense of life around here!

Eggs Benedict again on Sunday morning, and then I made our favorite orange rye bread. The recipe makes a loaf of bread and rolls. I like the way the rolls come out better, so next time I make it, I think I will do the entire batch as rolls.

I wrote up the coverages for the scripts I’d read the night before, and wrote and submitted the review for the book.

Because I lost two days last week (one for the holiday, one for the storage run) and will lose another day before the end of the pay period, I had to work through the weekend. But it was a steady pace, not a crazymaking one, so it was all good.

I made curried red lentil burgers for dinner. Not as bad as I feared, but not as good as I’d hoped. I felt good after eating them, though. My body responded well to the ingredients. I liked using chutney on them.

Yesterday was back to the “regular” workday, so there was script coverage and working on the short Llewellyn articles and LOIs and catching up on email. That deadline is coming up, and I’m behind where I’d like to be.

I’m working steadily on the novel, and, next week, will have a conversation with my publisher about getting the series books back on track. As soon as I’ve made more progress on the short Llewellyn articles, I will go back to steady work on the plays.

Last night, I had to miss the playwrights’ virtual circle I’d hoped to attend, because of script coverage stuff. I hope to make it there next month.

I read the script for which I’d been requested. It was a script I’d really liked, but had a few minor notes. The writer made the changes, and asked that I be the reader again, with comments on the advised changes. It was excellent.

I got behind in the coverage because I got so caught up reading Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek, and I couldn’t put it down. Which is a good thing, but it meant I had to work longer into the evening to make my deadlines.

I need to set up my weeks so I’m not doing script coverage 7 days/week, because that just burns me out. Even with holidays or storage run days, I still usually read, and I just need a break for a couple of days every week. So I have to structure, as often as possible, not to do coverage on weekends. Whatever days I choose as my “weekend.”

But I made chicken chow Mein in the wok, and it was yummy and that made me happy!

 The waxing moon was absolutely gorgeous. I could sit on the front porch and enjoy it.

A busy day ahead, so I’ll get to it. Have a good one.

Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Joys of Local Authors

image courtesy of Yerson Retamal via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy, rainy, humid

I have a new post up over on Gratitude and Growth about differences in air and earth between the Berkshires and the Cape.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that the Knowledge Unicorns are back up and running. Since none of us believe any in-person learning in this country is safe at this point, and all the kids are being taught at home (be it online learning through their school or home schooling), the homework group is back. Most of the kids stayed in touch with each other over our summer break. Two of the families went camping together, and strengthened those bonds. So that is all good. Some of the kids are sad; friends of theirs have died, thanks to the anti-vaxxers. All of the kids are angry, and rightly so, that the systems and people who are supposed to have their best interests at heart are willing to let them die by trying to force them into in-person learning when it’s not safe.

Tuesday’s session was mostly about dealing with all these realities and emotions. Today, we will actually start on their homework.

Yesterday, I was up at 4:30 (so that I had time for yoga), and we were out of the house by 6 AM to do a storage run down to the Cape. In spite of the traffic, we arrived a little before 10 AM, and, even with switching stuff out of the units, unpacking and repacking the car, we were back on the road by 10:14 and home by 2 PM. It was a good day to drive, in spite of the traffic.

Unloaded the car, got everything upstairs, and got us late lunch/early dinner from Burger King, which I knew I would regret, but it was good while I ate it.

We got the new checks from the bank – hand-delivered, no less. So now, I can go about what I need to do to get the old account at the other bank closed. The checks written have to clear, and a refund has to show up. Then, I can go over to Williamstown and shut down the account. The bills I’m paying today will start coming out of the new account. All of this was way more chaotic than it needed to be.

I started the next book assigned for review, and, so far, I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

We were back in time for me to attend the virtual Straw Dogs Writers Guild Annual Author Showcase. They are based in Pioneer Valley, and it was in partnership with Forbes Library in Northampton. So probably too far to get regularly involved, once it’s safe so do to in person. But I was curious to hear local authors read, and there were a dozen authors scheduled, a mix of poets and prose writers and memoirists.

They were wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed each reading. These writers are professional, recognize that this is valuable work, and take the craft as seriously as the art. They don’t shy away from the political implications and responsibilities of their work, either (unlike the right-wing panderers who claim they “don’t do politics” which, in itself, is political by supporting the inequity of the status quo). One author read from one of her older books, a scene depicting an illegal abortion in the days before Roe. She, too, is old enough to remember it, and we are frustrated that here we are again.

Craft matters to all of them. They take time and pride in the craft of their work, along with theme and art and entertainment. They understand that excellent work combines all of these.

I now have a dozen new-to-me authors, whose books I will get out of the library and/or purchase (as much as my budget will allow). I’m very excited to delve more deeply into their work, and I will attend more online events in which any of them are involved.

I’m so glad I attended.

Charlotte and Willa were impossible. Charlotte is always difficult during Zoom, because she wants everyone to tell her she’s pretty. Willa was fascinated every time a poet read. She loved the rhythm of it. So I guess I’ll be reading poetry to the cats!

I didn’t want to read any scripts after the event was over, because I was so filled with beautiful writing that I wanted to bask in it, rather than put myself into the “critical” headspace in which I need to be for the coverage reading.

Read passages in the published journal I’m reading, where the actor worked with someone I knew quite well. It was nice to read affectionate anecdotes about someone I know and worked with!

Got an idea for a difficult short story about a woman who makes a choice out of exhaustion and despair that turns out to be a relief, even though she is supposed to feel guilty about it. No, not abortion, something else.  It needs development and I’m playing with it. It’s one of those that will probably need a dozen or so rewrites to hit exactly what I want with it, and I have to write at least one draft before I can even start making it work. I’m hoping it will be between 3-5K. The premise is enough for a novel, but I really want to telescope the emotion and time frame into that of a short story.

The cats were impossible this morning, and would not let me sleep past 5. Nor would they let me go back to bed after I fed them.

Fortunately, writing in the morning works for me. I got some decent work done on the novel.

Online meditation group was good this morning. There was discussion on ways to break out of the self-criticism cycle, which is something I need to do, since that severely worsened during the entire moving thing.

I have a lot of work to do today, but I’m not planning on going anywhere, so I can focus on the work, and on doing some more unpacking. I put some of the stuff we brought back yesterday away (most of the carload consisted of holiday decorations). But there’s more to figure out where to put, which means more rearranging. Not that I’ve finished unpacking everything else, either.

Back to the page, and to the library and local bookstores, to find the work by these writers.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on September 9, 2021 at 8:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Joys of Local Authors  
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Wed. Sept. 8, 2021: I Have a Lovely Postman

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Partly cloudy and pleasant

Yesterday was busy, but it was a good busy, not a nasty busy.

I had a good first writing session, I got out some LOIs. Still have a lot of email to catch up on which came in over the weekend. Got some administrative work done.

It was a pleasant day, so I walked to the post office to mail bills. More people are wearing masks even outside again, and the laundromat, which was busy, was full of the masked. Which is a good thing, not a complaint. But I’m a little sad we’re back that. However, I’m grateful that people are being considerate, and not fussing.

Mailed the bills, dropped off/picked up books at the library. Found some books on the free cart which looked kind of fun, and also found a bunch of information on local farms/growers/markets and local, independent newspapers, including one that has a lot of arts information and bookstore information for upstate New York, Vermont, and the Berkshires. I am relieved to see how many arts organizations are requiring proof of vaccination AND masking to attend events.

Walked back along Church Street, which is always a joy, because of the beautiful architecture and yards. Ran into my lovely postman, who introduced me to the woman who lives in one of my favorite houses on the street. She is as lovely as her house.

I’m reading the published journals of an actor with whom I was acquainted, back years ago in New York. He died, quite a few years ago now (although it seems recent). I was shaken by his death, because I had respected his work and enjoyed our conversations when we crossed paths. I kind of wish I wasn’t reading his journals, because, bluntly, he’s a selfish shit who treated people (especially the women in his life) badly. He was a parasite in his relationships, finding a woman to be the “backbone” of his career, at the detriment to her own. Yes, it was her choice, but still, that’s not my idea of a partnership. Goodness knows, enough have tried to drain me that way, having me “handle” their careers and their work at the detriment to my own. They got kicked to the curb pretty quickly, because that is not the kind of partnership in which I want to participate.

I think far less of him than I did, and yet, I can’t stop reading. Which shows what a compelling person/writer he was, in spite of it all.

It gave me the idea for a short story, for which I jotted some notes, so I wouldn’t lose it.

Got out some script coverage, read some more scripts.

I have a day out and about today, and will catch up tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be back in time to attend the Straw Dog Authors’ Showcase via Zoom tonight. I’m looking forward to hearing local authors read, although I’m sad I’ll miss Remote Chat.

Have a good one, people. We’re supposed to have some yucky weather tomorrow.

Published in: on September 8, 2021 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 8, 2021: I Have a Lovely Postman  
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Tues. Sept. 7, 2021: Back At It

image courtesy of chezbeate via pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

Hope you had a good weekend.

Thursday’s meditation group didn’t happen, because there was a miscommunication between the organizers and the teacher. No big deal. I sat on my own.

Most of Thursday was about baking and cleaning for me: baking banana-oatmeal-walnut-chocolate chip cookies, regular chocolate chip cookies, orange rye bread, Portuguese sweet bread, Swedish visiting cake, and an apple galette. Making up the guest bed. Vacuuming, mopping, dusting.

Friday morning, I had to go in person to Greylock Federal Credit Union. Our checks aren’t here (they were ordered August 13). I tried to pay the rent online & couldn’t. It would take TEN DAYS to transfer the money from my account to an account at the same bank. Unacceptable. There’s no real office where I could drop cash. So I went to the bank and had them transfer from my account to the landlord’s account, and asked them why the checks weren’t here.

Turns out the check order never went through. The bank apologized and promised to put in a rush order, paying for everything.

I’ll believe it when the checks arrived.

Meanwhile, I was getting texts from my friend, who was supposed to come up for the weekend. Amtrak cancelled all trains, because Hurricane Ida dumped ten feet of mud onto the tracks. Metro North is out. It’s a disaster area.

Of course, they didn’t tell her until she was at the station.

She tried to switch over to a bus, but so was everyone else. She tried to get a bus to Springfield, but that wasn’t working, either.

So the trip was cancelled. We’ll reschedule for October.

Meanwhile, I had all this organic food I’d bought, to show off our local produce, etc. It still had to be eaten this weekend, so that it wouldn’t spoil, so I cooked all the recipes I had planned: chicken in tarragon white wine vinegar and potatoes au gratin (Patricia Wells recipes); Indian stuffed eggplant (Moosewood recipe); Hunter’s pasta with four kinds of mushrooms & prosciutto (from a cookbook specializing in regional Italian sauces). We ate the devilled eggs (not hard).

I spent most of the weekend reading. I read a book from the library that’s gotten a lot of buzz. The writing was strong, the setting was fantastic. But I hated the characters, and by the time they started to grow and change, I didn’t care. I read a book by a new-to-me author, the first in her series, sort of chick lit. I liked the characters, but there’s too much religion (they go to church and pray too much, no thanks, not for me) and disparage black cats. So that author’s off my list. I read a book by another new-to-me author who jumped on the cozy Witch mystery bandwagon, only couldn’t be bothered to do any research into what modern witchcraft actually is all about, had no internal logic to her created world, had no pacing, and a boring plot. Another author crossed off my list.

Read the next two Wonky Inn books, which I enjoyed.

Started re-reading some GAMBIT COLONY, but it felt too much like work, and I promised not to work this weekend, so I stopped. Of course, I went back to it, eventually, but by then, it wasn’t feeling like work anymore. I could just enjoy it.

On Saturday, we drove down to Pittsfield to find the Re-store. I made a wrong turn on the way and found a bunch of box stores, like Barnes & Noble and Michael’s and Price Chopper, so that’s good to know where they are. We went into Michael’s. it’s a good one, very clean, better merchandise than the one on Cape. Didn’t buy anything, though. All the autumn stuff is already on sale.

The Re-store is just up the street from the complex with the box stores, and it is huge. So much stuff that it’s overwhelming. We found a replacement glass bell for the small red lamp. It was a great price to start, and then 50% off, so, even better.

Got home, washed it, set up the lamp. It fits perfectly. The lamp is now all set up in the living room and looks great.

I finished unpacking and reorganizing all my CDs. I have a wide range of music. I need to start playing them again, because there’s good stuff on that rack.

Spent a lot of time sitting on the porch, enjoying watching the world go by. Ate too much, but that was the plan for the weekend, anyway.

I expected to feel much more rested and restored, but oh, well.

This is a busy week. Since I took four days off (of which two would have normally been workdays), I have to make up for it this week. I still have to make my nut by the 15th, in order to pay this month’s bills.

So, then, I better get to it, hadn’t it?

I wrote my first 1K of the day every morning, throughout. It wasn’t always 1K, it waved between about 750 and 1200. But I kept up the steadiness.

I’m trying to work on an outline for a piece. I have a strong catalyst, setting, characters, but I haven’t nailed down the plot yet. Without a good plotline, there’s no purpose to the piece. I have to ponder it.

Hope your weekend was terrific, and that it sets you up for a great week. I love September!

Fri. Aug. 27, 2021: Weekend Work

image courtesy of sujo-foto via pixabay.com

Friday, August 27, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny, hot, humid

Yesterday was kind of a mixed day. I managed to write up three script coverages, so I’m on track where I want to be with that. I have two more to write up today; for the weekend, I’ll only do one per day.

I forgot to mention yesterday that, the day before, my book arrived from the UK, the one on Squire and Marie Bancroft. It’s a 1909 copy published by John Murray, and not in the best shape, but definitely usable and readable. I’m excited. And delighted it was published by John Murray. I am friendly with the current John Murray (yes, an actual man and descendant of the founder), and fond of that house’s long legacy.

Drove to the TD Bank ATM in a Williamstown parking lot to deposit a check, only to arrive and discover I’d left my wallet at home. Drove back, retrieved the wallet, drove to the ATM – only to discover it didn’t accept checks. TD is the worst. I will be so happy when I am permanently done with them.

I will take the check and deposit it at Greylock this morning, instead.

We did a Target run. Got most of what we needed. I was so excited by some of their hardcover Mead notebooks that I forgot to get the yellow pads I use for my script coverage notes, and I forgot to look for the extension cords I need. The old extension cords don’t work in these sockets, or with the newer lamps. And I don’t want to use the thick outdoor cords inside for a basic lamp.

It was terribly humid, which made everything yesterday a chore. It’s still humid today, but not quite as hot, and the humidity is supposed to break by tomorrow. I have to go to the bank and the library this morning, and then I’ll do a run to Job Lot to see if they have the yellow pads and the extension cords.

Didn’t get in much writing this morning, although I worked on the novel, and I did some re-reading/edits on GAMBIT COLONY, whose siren song has been calling. I hope to get some work done on A RARE MEDIUM later this morning.

I’ll be working through the weekend, along with unpacking and preparing for my friend’s visit next week. I want to get ahead on a few things, so I can thoroughly enjoy taking next weekend off.

Have a good one, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Published in: on August 27, 2021 at 7:59 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 27, 2021: Weekend Work  
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Wed. Aug. 18, 2021: Down the Research Rabbit Hole

Photo courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Got the laundry done at the laundromat yesterday. Three loads, but since it was nearly empty, I could run three machines at the same time, so washing, drying, and folding took just over an hour. Brought it all back; headed to Wild Oats for Owner Appreciation Day, and then to Stop & Shop for some other things.

And that was the morning. Those few things took all morning.

Which is why I really need to get up at 5 AM, not 6 AM, much as I’m loving that extra hour in bed.

Heard back from Williams College. I have to pay a fee to access the books I need in their collection. But the collection is only open to Williams students, faculty, and staff due to COVID right now. So I’ll check back with them in autumn, and we’ll see where we are. They were very nice, and I appreciate the information. I’m just not sure I need access badly enough to pay $60.

I searched for the Marie Corelli biographies I need (that are in Williams College library) online via various secondhand bookstores. Most of them are expensive and out of my budget, even second hand. I can get the books she wrote for Kindle either through Project Gutenberg, or through the library, so I can do that. But I can’t see spending nearly $300 on the biographies.

I finally managed to find a copy of one of the biographies, which doesn’t seem to be in great shape, but as long as I can read it, hey, I can afford it, so I grabbed it. It looks like I can access the other two biographies through JSTOR and through Semantic Scholar, so I might be able to do everything in my budget.

Then, I came across the memoirs of Squire and Marie Bancroft. Most of those copies are wildly expensive collectors’ editions, but there’s a copy in questionable condition from a bookstore in Devon, England, and the shipping’s not that bad. I grabbed it. Of course, there was an email this morning, upping the shipping costs, but it’s still less than a fifth of the fancy copies. I don’t need that book until either later this year or early next year, so it can take its time coming across the pond.

Found some other interesting research on Marie Corelli, tied to her home Mason Croft in Stratford-on-Avon, where she was involved in preserving buildings connected to Shakespeare. Not sure if that will be the event around which I build the play, but it’s a possibility.

Wrote up script coverage, read two more scripts, which I will write up this morning. The toner cartridge arrived last night, and I have to put it in this morning and get all the backed-up paperwork done.

My reward for getting the scripts read last night was to start reading the third Wonky Inn book. I’m enjoying that series.

Slept until six this morning. Wrote on the front porch, working on a tricky emotional scene in the book, so it was slower and a lower word count than I’d hoped, but I’m hitting the points I want to hit, so it’s worth it. I’m well into Chapter Four in longhand, so I should start typing soon, or it will be overwhelming.

Script coverage, paperwork, article work, LOIS, reading today. Maybe unpacking a couple of boxes. If it’s not too humid, I can work straight through and stop at a normal time; if it’s yucky, I’ll take a break mid-day, and then work more at night. Which is why I like flexibility in my hours.

I’m looking forward to Remote Chat today.

I had a thought, though, earlier this morning: What if, even when it’s safe again to socialize and network in person, I choose not to? One of the biggest sources of unhappiness the past decade was too often being bullied into pretending to be an extrovert on far too many occasions, just to serve others’ agendas and make THEM feel comfortable. What if I just. . .don’t? What if I choose to stay semi-reclusive?

We may all have to be semi-reclusive through the winter. The entire state is back to being high risk. But at least here, people are masking up indoors without fussing. Takes a lot of stress off.

Something I noticed walking around downtown the other day was that most buildings have a sign on their sides reading “Watch out for sliding snow and ice” so I guess that’s a thing here in winter. I’ll find out, won’t I?

Published in: on August 18, 2021 at 7:04 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 18, 2021: Down the Research Rabbit Hole  
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Mon. Aug. 16, 2021: Intent for the Week — Creativity

image courtesy of Hans Braxmeier via pixabay.com

My intent for the week is to revel in my creativity, in more than one form. Not sure what that will take, in addition to the writing, and part of the fun will be figuring it out.

What’s your intention for this week?

Published in: on August 16, 2021 at 7:21 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 16, 2021: Intent for the Week — Creativity  
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Fri. Aug. 13, 2021: Still on the Heat Wave

image courtesy of JackieLouDL via pixabay.com

Friday, August 13, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Hazy, hot, humid

The photo above captures pretty much what it looks like every morning, front and back, as we peer at the mountains.

I love Friday the 13th.  Only the ignorant and evangelical (one and the same, at this point) are afraid of it.

Yesterday, my brain got mushy with humidity. Still, I got my writing done on my book; I wrote up and got out two script coverages; I read two more scripts and finished the book for review. I’ll have to write up those script coverages and the book review this morning.

Freelance Chat was fun, a good chat about boundaries.

I started unpacking the box of tarot cards we brought up from the storage run. There are three file boxes filled with decks (and some books, and some oracle decks). I have a lot of decks. I reviewed them, at one point in time, which was really interesting. We’re bringing up one box on each run (they’re heavy). The good thing about that is, as I unpack, it gives me a chance to reconnect with each individual deck, and see how I want to work with it, moving forward, rather than staring at the entire bookcase full of decks I had at the other house, wondering which deck to choose.

I have some shelf space for these decks, but when I get them all back up here, not sure how I’ll store them.

The thunderstorm came in just before my client call (of course). The client call was fine, but I got the feeling the interviewer was trying to get a canned answer to a particular question. I knew the answer wanted, but it’s not my reality or my answer, so I didn’t give it. I gave the honest answer. It will either work, or it won’t, so I’m not going to worry about it. I’m not telling companies what they want to hear; I’m telling them my truth. Either they like it, we’re a good fit, and we work together; if they don’t, we shouldn’t be working together.

The cats were so hot, in spite of the fans, that Charlotte and Tessa couldn’t be bothered to fuss at each other, which was a good thing.

Today, I have the writeups mentioned above. Plus, we’re going to the credit union to open our local account, and start moving the finances away from the icky commercial bank. That will take a few weeks.

The friend who found this place for us is coming to visit over Labor Day weekend, so we are making plans. She’s fully vaccinated and so are we, so we’re all comfortable enough to visit in person. She’s eager to see the place and the area, and I’m eager to show her around.

Every once in a while, a notification comes into one of my feeds from the yoga studio I used to attend where I used to live. The one where, when I first got sick and told them I had to stop going last year (pre-pandemic), the teacher wanted me to jump through all these hoops and pay her a bunch of money for a “healing.” When I said it was too much (it was during the week I was pushed around nonstop to all those tests, was feeling so ill, not to mention terrified), I never heard from her again.  Anyway, out of curiosity, I checked the studio’s website. They’re back to in-studio work, without safety protocols. Meanwhile, the studio I’m interested (but still hesitant) to try out up here requires proof of vaccination, one’s own mats/props, and respects it if students wish to wear masks during practice. Big difference.

Deep breath. Let It go and appreciate where I am now. That’s why I keep the Chiron retrograde listed on the retrograde chart. The Chiron retrograde is about deep healing, and that’s what I need to do in this cycle.

I had a good writing session this morning, although didn’t get as much written as hoped. But I will write through the weekend, and focus on unpacking/setting up the sewing room and the rest of what we’re calling “Tessa’s room” while also trying to get more unpacked in my room and in my office.

Today is still supposed to be hot, but it should be cooler and less humid over the weekend.

Have a good one, friends, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Published in: on August 13, 2021 at 7:17 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 13, 2021: Still on the Heat Wave  
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Thurs. Aug. 12, 2021: Hot, Hot, Hot

image courtesy of S. Hermann & F. Richter via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Heat wave: Hazy, hot, humid

There’s a new post up over on Gratitude and Growth, about how I’m adapting to gardening here, on porches and balconies.

Yesterday was kind of a miserable day, weather-wise. I did an early run to Wild Oats and to Stop & Shop, and got everything back and put away before it got too hot. Everyone I saw is masking indoors now. Even better, not fussing about it.

A rather serious issue came up with one of my biggest clients, and that had to be dealt with. I don’t think management’s position on this issue – which has serious legal implications – is strong enough. I’m concerned. I’m in the clear, but I’m still concerned.

Wrote up a coverage; read another script that I have to write up this morning, and have two more scripts to read today. I hope to write up one this evening, when it gets cooler, and the other tomorrow morning. I’m still catching up on email from Tuesday.

I have to finish the book for review today, and get that review out tomorrow. I hope I’ll get another assignment before the weekend.

Today is supposed to be even hotter than yesterday. The cats lounge in front of the fans, and we give them fresh, cold water every two hours.

I had an idea for a fantasy piece that I didn’t write down immediately, and lost parts of it. It had a wry tone to it that I wanted to play with. Some of the ideas started coming back this morning, so I want to take some notes before my brain overheats.

Working steadily on the book. I wrote more than I planned this morning, because it flowed well; nearly six pages instead of four. I’m into Chapter Four of the handwritten draft, so I should start typing, or it will be overwhelming.

This weekend, I need to get back to the book(s) I SHOULD be writing. Of course, the siren song of GAMBIT COLONY has started again.

My check from last Friday’s conference teaching arrived, which makes me feel appreciated. I will take it to the credit union tomorrow to open a new account, so we can switch things over from the commercial bank to a bank that, you know, actually gives a damn about its customer/members.

I’ve been invited to join the Friends group at the public library. I’m considering it, although I don’t want to commit to much volunteer time. Maybe bake for their events (they need people to help with baking). I have to think about it. I may hold off until spring, if it means being around strangers and not being sure whether or not they’re vaccinated.

I already sent regrets to an indoor event to which I was invited, because they’re not requiring attendees to be vaccinated. Nope. Not being around the germy and the stupid, when I can possibly avoid it.

Back to the page, to try to get some work done before it gets too hot. I also have to unpack and put away what we brought back up on Tuesday. Meditation group was great this morning, so that’s a nice start to the day. I have a conversation with a potential client late this afternoon; it will NOT be a video meeting, because I’m wearing as little as possible, and not dressing for an interview today.

Bit by bit, we’re getting there.

Published in: on August 12, 2021 at 8:31 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 12, 2021: Hot, Hot, Hot  
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Wed. Aug. 11, 2021: Another Heat Wave Begins

image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Heat wave & humid

We are in for a stretch of yucky weather. Since we don’t have A/C, it will make work a challenge.

No, I’m not hauling my laptop somewhere else to work. It’s a pandemic. I’m not going to be inside a sealed room with germy strangers. Even masked.

Up at 4:30 AM yesterday, had the car packed and on the road by 6:15. It wasn’t a bad ride down to the Cape. There were pockets of traffic at Worcester and Middleboro, and the Bourne Bridge was annoying, but it wasn’t bad.

We switched stuff out of both storage units and were done in about a half hour. We took the Canal Road on the Cape side from Bourne to Sandwich, because my mom wanted to hit up that Christmas Tree Shop (we don’t have that store here; nearest one is an hour and a half away). We were masked, the staff was masked, but the stupid fucking tourists weren’t. Of course. Because they don’t care if they kill people off, as long as they get their $1 beach swag.

We only found 2 things on our list, but found a few other bits and bobs it made sense to get there instead of elsewhere. I found oval wooden spoons, which are difficult to source now. Most of them are round. The oval ones fit inside jars, and are better for making sauces, whereas the round ones are good for baking. Our oval wooden spoons are well used, from back when we lived in Chicago in the early 1960’s. They are on their last twigs. I will still use them for crafts, but for cooking, I needed other wooden spoons, and I wanted oval. The store had them, they were inexpensive, so I grabbed two sets, and now have 6 new, oval wooden spoons. I doubt they will last the 60 years these other spoons have, but if they last 10, I’ll consider it money well spent. Found the clear shower curtain liners, and grabbed a couple. I love the shower curtain (from my NY life) that we’re using in this bathroom. It looks great. But it’s just a tad short, and the liner will protect the floor better.

Since we didn’t buy much, there was room to stuff It into the packed car. We were back on the road by 11:13 – after a serious bout with the hand sanitizer I keep in the car.

The Sagamore Bridge was backing up, so we crawled back along the Canal Road and took the Bourne Bridge off Cape. Wasn’t bad getting off Cape, but backed up getting on, so I’m glad we timed getting on the way we did.

Sigh of relief once we were back over the bridge and headed home.

To think that sign of relief used to happen in the other direction.

Things change.

I had severe pain in the tendons of my right leg, from hip to foot. It hurt coming on the way down, but going back was even worse. When we stopped at a rest area, I popped into the convenience store to buy Advil that had both ibuprofen and acetaminophen in it, and gulped down a couple with water. That took the pain from excruciating to extremely bad, so I could at least drive home.

A few minutes in Dancer’s Pose before I got back into the car helped, too, although I felt pretentious. But, needs must.

Stopped at Whitney’s Farm to pick up a few things, including one of their dinners (lasagna), because I was too tired to cook.

Got home, unloaded everything, got it up the stairs. We did decontamination showers, just in case, and we decontaminated everything we bought. Not taking any chances.

The lasagna was great. The sauce was more like a vodka sauce than the usual, heavier tomato sauce, which was interesting. However, it was meat lasagna, which isn’t the best choice for me. I didn’t get sick, but didn’t feel as good as I do when I stay away from red meat completely.

New issue of VOGUE arrived, with a great story on First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. She’s so talented and smart, and such a genuinely good human being (and yes, I have actually met and interacted with her, on numerous occasions, prior to her First Lady status). I’m glad other people are realizing just how terrific she is.

I went to bed ridiculously early. Up today, writing, yoga, meditation. It was hard to get started writing on the book again, but once I started, I got into the flow.

I’m doing a quick run to Wild Oats and to Stop and Shop for a few things before it gets too hot. I have script coverages to write, and more scripts to read. I have emails on which to catch up, and a client meeting for which to prep tomorrow. But I will take it easy, within the confines of the weather. The ceiling fans are on, the box fans will go on soon. I hope we do get the daily afternoon thunderstorms these next few days to break the humidity.

Hydration and rest.

The good part about reading being such a big part of my work is that I can lie down in the coolest place in the house near a fan and work.

Be careful out there, friends.

Published in: on August 11, 2021 at 7:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 11, 2021: Another Heat Wave Begins  
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