Thurs. March 23, 2017: Processing (and Activating) Process

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. I had lots of admin work to do and situations to handle, so I did.

I wrote about six pages. That’s not bad, but since there were so many days when I wrote so much more each these last few months, it felt like I was behind.

Re-read and did some editing on several projects, and I’m getting back into NOT BY THE BOOK, which is good, because that needs to get back on track.

Worked on contest entries — reading another darn good one, which is always invigorating. Truly, each time I pick up a new entry, I want to fall in love with it. I WANT them to be good, I WANT them to succeed on every level. It’s not possible to have too many good books out there.

Working on promotions for the Topic Workbooks, mostly on social media. I’m trying timed promotions on specific outlets one at a time, to see which are the most successful. I’m sure “what works” will regularly change up!

Discouraged about a few things, and trying to keep my spirits up. I’m trying to gear up to work on some short stories, but not feeling inspired in that direction. If I’m not excited by a piece, there’s no way I can infuse it with enough passion to engage a reader, so I’ve put aside several potential short stories I planned to work on.

It’s important to get NOT BY THE BOOK back on track, because it’s a fun piece and I’ve also got a target market in my sights; same with SONGBOUND SISTERS (which will need more time and careful attention), and HEART THIEF.

While, of course, working on the never-ending POWER OF WORDS, which is how I blow off steam and keep steady. I’m figuring POWER OF WORDS (and the actual books it eventually breaks down into) needs about another three years before it’s ready for publication. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. It’s not going to be earning its keep for awhile — but I think, once it does get out there, it will intrigue people who are interested in the process of creating, and how it’s done collaboratively (and sometimes combatively), and how one goes off to create alone, and then brings it forward to meld it with other collaborators, to make it work better.

The never-ending first draft is the skeleton, and not active enough. As I rework sections (which often happens as I’m moving forward — it’s a process unlike any other I’ve ever used for a book or series), it gets more active, more invigorating, more engaging. The process about making process active is interesting.

Have to take my mom for a medical check, and then run some errands. This afternoon, I have a meeting a few towns over, and then, it’s back to the page.

I had to cancel my weekend plans, which is disappointing, but that’s life.

Onward, with pen in hand.

Tues. March 21, 2017: The Importance of the Right Match

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Not as productive a day as I hoped yesterday, but I got some writing done, some research done, and worked my way through contest entries. One of the entries got a perfect score — it was fabulous. I can’t imagine any of the other entries being a serious threat in that particular category. It was just that good.

Got a swift and defensive response from the person from whose project I refused to do for free. I’m not entering into an argument. I’m not working for free on that project, nor am I going to work on a project that I believe will run into copyright infringement issues, or with someone who expects me to jump whenever fingers are snapped.

I’m also not happy about the “but I contacted you on Facebook” excuse. Um, social media is just that — SOCIAL. It’s for socialization, information, exchange, events. It is not for business negotiations. You might find a gig or a project via social media, but the actual business/contract negotiations need to go through proper channels. I decided not to go forward with a particular publisher on a project, because they “only” communicate via social media. I am not comfortable with that, I said I wasn’t comfortable with that, I wanted things to go through my agent, but “oh, we’re modern, we don’t do that.” Well, hon-bun, then I’m not working with you. I’m not discussing finances and contract details on social media. Period.

Nor am I on social media (or even online) every day. Business protocol is to respond in two business days; if you don’t hear from someone in, say, two weeks, then you contact again. But pounding someone daily on social media for “not getting back” to you, or insisting on discussing publicly things that should be handled either privately or via agents — not someone I’m going to work with. Buh-bye.

I’m not twenty-two and starting out. I’ve worked my way to a place where I get to choose projects, and get to choose with whom I work. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to move up a tier to the next level of work. But I’m in it for the work, not for fame. Fair day’s pay and professional behavior with a fair day’s work, hopefully on a project that excites and inspires me. Otherwise, it’s a bad deal for everyone involved. Even a twenty-two year old starting out shouldn’t do the above. If you want to be treated like a professional — act like one.

There are also projects to which I’m simply not suited. Not only do they NOT excite me, but I know I am the wrong person for the gig. When I know that, I am upfront about it, and say I’m wrong for the job, you need to find someone who’s a better fit and will serve the project better. It’s not an attack on the project; it’s wanting the project to be the best it can be, and knowing I am not the individual to bring it to pass. Not every individual is right for every project, no matter how professional. That’s part of creativity. You want to find the best match. It’s heartbreaking for everyone when it doesn’t work. It’s exhilarating, when it does.

So go for exhilaration, and don’t settle for less.

Too many errands will eat up too much writing time today, and then it’s back to the page.

Published in: on March 21, 2017 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. March 20, 2017: Trying to Stay Equitable for the Equinox

Monday, March 20, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny, cold, windy
Spring Equinox

It snowed yesterday, although we were lucky enough not to have accumulation. Windy, though, and some hail and wet snow.

Busy weekend, mostly writing, working on contest entries, and researching. Also, doing things like starting the spring cleaning and doing mounds of laundry. Chop wood, carry water, keep yourself grounded. All in all, a productive weekend. I’m hoping it will warm up a bit this week, so I can do yard work.

The tree is still suspended over the yard. Hopefully, the tree people will show up in the next week or so and take it down, because I will be worried until it’s done. Too much room for additional damage.

Angered by a demand that I do substantial work on someone else’s project for free with payment “maybe someday” in the future. Same person who never said “thank you” for the free critique. Not only a demand, but a demand for instant response. First of all, I don’t work for you and I’m not on your schedule. Second of all, nagging gets you a “no”, as if there weren’t a dozen other reasons to say no. When I saw the initial email (on a Friday night, no less — only my agent gets to made demands on the weekend), and then, continued badgering all weekend — not appropriate. I took my time to compose a firm, but still (barely) polite response, which went out this morning. An actual, legitimate offer would have come via the agents, and would have contained a project proposal and a fee schedule. I knew I was angry, but didn’t realize how angry until I’d actually sent the email. But that’s done, and I’m done with this individual.

Had some irritating admin to do this morning, and some other things to take care of, and then it’s back to the page. The Equinox ceremony was nice, but I’m feeling a little under the weather, and I want to get back home and dig in.

So the GOP stance on cutting arts funding is, “You can’t expect a coal miner to pay for the arts.” Why not? First of all, the arts have romanticized and celebrated coal miners through film and song. Second, my tax dollars are going into the pool for services for coal miners, so why shouldn’t coal miners support the arts? They need the arts as much or more than any corporate executive. The whole argument is ridiculous. Gee, there’s a surprise. Not.

There’s plenty of work to do, and only a finite number of hours in the day. Writing time is necessary, but so is percolation time. I’m always surprised by how much percolation time something needs to really come together.

I am having an awful lot of fun with my sketches, though, and now that I have a sense of geography, architecture, how they’re moving through the workplace where they spend about 18 hours a day, how it’s decorated, the contrasts between the choices different personalities make, how those choices affect character, response, plot. The little details that make a piece special.

There is so much cutting and reshaping in future drafts, but it’s fun to go for the basic skeletal structure in the first draft, to set the groundwork, and then hone, hone, hone.

I really do love the craft of writing as much as the art.

By stepping back and taking some time to work on pieces through multi-layered drafts instead of just putting out material to feed the machine, the work is better, and I’m enjoying it more. When contract demands and payments need me to speed up, I will do so, but when those aren’t in place, and I can take the time (though still doing a minimum of 1K/day – I’m doing more like 3K right now) to do the drafts and the re-envisioning that revisions need, the result is much more rewarding on all levels.

Let’s hope we have a lovely soft, warm, spring.

Published in: on March 20, 2017 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. March 17, 2017: Creative Wasteland & Gov’t Plans on Premeditated Murder

Friday, March 17, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold
St. Patrick’s Day

Ran my errands yesterday, got some admin done, wrote. The last few days, I’ve been sketching the fictional studio outside of Vancouver, where a good deal of the action happens. I need the physical geography in order to lay out the emotional geography. Since so much of the characters’ lives are caught up in the studio, moving between projects, meeting people on other projects, etc., and the founders of the studio plan to make it an international creative utopia, the relationship of where things are, and, importantly and unusual for a studio, the amount of green space involved, is important.

I’ve created this amazing environment for my characters to blossom while I, personally feel like I’m in a creative wasteland. I thought I was moving to a creative Petri dish when I came here seven years ago, and I was wrong. Some of it will improve when the weather is mild enough so I can get outside in the yard. Playing in the dirt again will help me feel better about my environment, and I also need to dig in to spring cleaning. Re Feng-shui a few things. Get to work on purging what I don’t need from all those boxes in the basement.

I run into people who talk about creative projects, but I see very little coming to fruition. Art is considered a hobby out here, when, in reality, it is a profession.

It’s frustrating that here, art is what’s done “on the side.” I’m used to being around people whose day jobs only exist so they can do art. The minimum is invested in the day job; when it interferes with art, one quits the day job, does the art, lands another day job, until one gets into the union or pays enough dues learning art and craft, and is paid appropriately so as not to need day jobs. Here, the day job comes first, and the art suffers. The creators can’t position themselves to earn their living by their art, because they’re not willing to risk anything to create their art. The level of art and craft required to earn a living at it can only be achieved when you are willing to put the art FIRST. Not to mention that artists shouldn’t have to have day jobs. Being an artist IS a full-time job, and should be appropriately paid.

Of course, with the upcoming budget, where arts funding is cut, where environmental protections are cut, for God’s sake, where Meals-on-Wheels are cut? Revolting. All so the Narcissistic Sociopath can use the US Treasury as his own personal piggy bank, benefit himself and his friends, and, with Paul Ryan dancing with glee, let’s starve the elderly and the poor. The fact that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell didn’t immediately speak out against cutting Meals-on-Wheels is yet further proof they are unfit to be in any position considered a “leader”. Our government is premeditating murder of the sick and the elderly, and people are doing NOTHING.

Yet his supporters refuse to see reason. They still believe they’re on a “protected list” and only the liberals will lose health care and other benefits. Then, they’re shocked when they wind up dead. Why would they think this fascist faction gives a damn about them? The faction got the vote; now they will do whatever the hell they want. The information was out there, and these morons refused to do their due diligence.

This is what the defunding of education has done, and it will only get worse. Now you have the incompetent corporate asshole who calls himself “Secretary of State” huffing and puffing about military action in North Korea.

The entire administration is made of selfish, self-important morons. They must ALL be removed from office before they destroy the planet. The fact that the so-called “Intelligence Committee” (from whom we’ve yet to see any signs of intelligence or cognitive ability) investigates the Sociopath’s whining that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, finds no evidence, AND YET THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THE LIES , SLANDER, LIBEL, AND WASTE OF TIME, yet refuse to thoroughly investigate the Russian connection, for which there IS evidence, shows how deeply our system is failing.

No wonder I prefer the fictional creative utopia of my characters, just outside of Vancouver.

I plan to do all my errands early today, before the drunks are out. Hope they have fun; I intend to stay safely at home. Writing.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on March 17, 2017 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. March 6, 2017: Writing, Ungrateful People & TD Bank’s Lack of Ethics

Monday, March 6, 2917
Waxing Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. Fortunately, although it was cold, there was no snow. One less thing to worry about.

I wrote all weekend. That’s about it. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. It felt good, although my wrists hurt.

Today, I have admin work to do, and some errands. Grocery shopping, et al.

Then I write some more.

Although I am physically writing, so much of the process is internal at this time, it’s difficult to write about on the blog. Not a bad thing, simply nothing particularly interesting to share. Most of it is first drafting, and I’m writing very, very fast to keep up with what’s going on in my head, which is leaping faster than I can possibly write. Unlike INITIATE, where I could write whatever scenes pulled hardest and then slot them in, this is far more dependent on writing chronologically, because everything that happens changes everything else that happens.

Then, as I rewrite, I need to cut a lot of the boring bits out and make it more active and sensory.

I did a favor for someone trying to break in to the business last week. First, I was nagged about it, because even though it was a favor to this other person, I wasn’t moving fast enough to suit. Then, not even a thank you. I’ve ranted about this before, and I won’t repeat myself, except to say this: If you ask someone farther along in whatever profession for advice and they take time out of their own work to help you, say thank you. Even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear; even if you choose not to follow the advice. Don’t argue, don’t get defensive. Say thank you and make the decisions that are best for your work and your life. But show basic professional courtesy and that you are worth the time. Saying “thank you”, even if you disagree or even if the comments made you angry, doesn’t cost you anything. Not saying “thank you” can burn a bridge you might want when you had some time to cool down.

TD Bank, yet again, let another unauthorized pull be made from my elderly mother’s account. This is not OK. They hassle me with “security” if I try to check the balance in the account, but any random person can remove any amount they wish. This is not okay. And they won’t do anything about it, or even acknowledge they’re wrong. They are unethical and prey on the elderly.

On that happy note, I’m going back to doing what needs to be done, so I can get back to my own work!

Published in: on March 6, 2017 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. March 1, 2017: Whuppity Scourry

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Rainy and mild

Today is Whuppity Scourry — go through the house banging a pot with a wooden spoon to get out the stuck energy in preparation for spring!

It’s also Ash Wednesday, for those who mark it.

Check out my To Do list for March on the GDR site.

My hope is that the renewal of creativity I’ve felt with POWER OF WORDS will translate to the other projects that also need some attention. I’m going to try to spread the attention around a little bit more.

Yesterday, I wrote a lot on POWER. Yes, the series and the books in the series are in the process of a new name; but, for this massive first draft that encompasses all of them, I’m calling them by the original working title. I envision four books at first, with the potential for more. I want all four books to be ready to launch at once, so readers can move from one to the other, and read these years in these characters’ journeys together as a piece.

I also wrote a few pages on a new screenplay. A couple of characters started talking to me, and I wanted to make sure that I got down what they had to say. It’s a contemporary piece, an action/comedy with a bit of romance in it. It’s kind of fun.

Ran some errands. Tried to work at the library, but it was too noisy to get anything done. Having a migraine didn’t help.

Came home, wrote some more, did some edits, and then headed off to the monthly HobNob meeting at Kelly’s on Main in Hyannis. We had a good group — it was nice to see some regulars I hadn’t seen in a long time. There were some new people, there too, with interesting stories, but one or two of them kept trying to make the whole event about them personally, talking while others had the floor, interrupting, taking the conversation away from the quieter people back to themselves, where the point of the group is to support each other collaboratively. It could just be initial nerves at being part of a new group. We’ll see.

Woke up around 1 AM with a terrible pain in my foot. It was swollen and inflamed — no idea why. I got up, put witch hazel on, and took some Echinacea, which kicked in about 20 minutes later. The swelling went down and I could get back to sleep. It’s better this morning, but still have no idea what brought that on.

Today, I go back to NOT BY THE BOOK, and try to get back on track with that. Whereas POWER is a long term project — I’m figuring another year, maybe two before it can successfully launch and start earning its keep — NOT BY THE BOOK is an easier, more traditional sell. I need to hunker down, get the first draft done, put it aside for a few weeks, get revisions done, and get it off to my agent.

I’ve got a couple of plays to get out into the world; hopefully, I can do that today and didn’t miss the deadlines.

I have little to say about the speech to Congress last night. The fact that Swamp Thing didn’t froth at the mouth the way he usually does doesn’t make him “presidential.” Also, our arguments aren’t “trivial” — fighting for civil rights, basic human decency, and the Constitution is not “trivial.”

For those who don’t see the big deal about Kellyanne Conway lounging with her feet up on the couch in the Oval office — it’s not her dorm room, and she’s not there to hang out. She’s supposed to be a professional (of course, she’s not, but she pretends), and she’s in a place that deserves classy behavior (something of which she repeatedly proved incapable). The gesture, in itself, isn’t a “big deal” other than it is yet another demonstration of her disrespect of the Office and the Constitution. She shouldn’t be anywhere near that building.

Always, always, back to the page.

Mon. Feb. 27, 2017: Some “Mistakes” Are Not Okay

Monday, February 27, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

The weekend seems far away, even though it’s not.

Most of it was spent writing. Some studying, some researching, but mostly writing. That is a good thing, and I intend to take advantage of it.

I ran some errands, should have done some yard work and didn’t. I’ve got the edges of a migraine threatening, and I hope it doesn’t blow up full force, or I will be in bad shape.

The weather was unseasonably warm early on, so I did some of my work out on the deck.

I’m reading Alyssa Maxwell’s A PINCH OF POISON, which is a lot of fun.

Also watched the first season of THE LIBRARIANS, which is more clever and funnier than I expected. It’s also structured very well, so I’m watching it for structure as much as for content. There was one episode where you could tell there were just too many writers in the room, but, other than that, I was pleasantly surprised.

Tried watching another show that came highly recommended, but stopped watching. I’d read the books, and wasn’t as thrilled about them as a lot of people. I’d absolutely loathed one of the protagonists in the book, and I didn’t like her any better in the series. The primary protagonist, around whom the story is built, was okay but not my favorite in the books — I found the actor irritating. He was difficult for me to watch, both in the show and in his interviews. There was something about him I didn’t like and didn’t trust, and I found it difficult to go on a complicated journey with him.

So I didn’t.

Diving into a busy week; I have to finish reading and commenting on my colleague’s script, I have to study for Constitutional Law, I have to research both the Italian Renaissance and fashion in 1931 Hollywood. I have to work with my elected officials.

I’d hoped to go to Salem next weekend to see the shoe exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.

Mixed feelings about the Oscars last night. Kudos to the winners — the work was very good. I was glad to see the blue ACLU ribbons and the refusal to bow down to fascism and be silent.

Unfortunately, all the good done and the credibility of the evening was destroyed with the Best Picture Fuck Up. It is inexcusable. It’s not a “simple mistake.” You do not humiliate, in front of millions of viewers, a group of people who worked as long and put as much heart into their work as the LA-LA LAND company did by calling them onstage with the win and then say, “Oops. Kidding. Not yours after all.”

Not only is it being cruel, it negates the credibility of the entire evening, which was the chance to do some good in the world, by showing artists being creative, vocal, and engaged.

There is no room for this kind of “mistake”. There better be some heads rolling this morning.

It’s cruel to the company of LA-LA LAND and undermines the company of MOONLIGHT. Both films are extraordinary in their own ways, and they deserve better.

That’s what happens when you give bean counters too much power.

Back to the page.

Fri. Feb. 24, 2017: Differing Realities

Friday, February 24, 2017
Day Before Dark Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Good writing day yesterday. It’s been good to get so deep into the work. The problem is that the world of the book feels more real than what’s happening when I look up from the page, and the transition between the two is difficult. But I’ve been so lucky to be able to spend such solid workdays. I’m grateful.

Ran around and did errands yesterday, back to the page, then to a friend’s going away party. She got a terrific job in Baltimore, so she and her family are moving down there. I think they’ll love it — Baltimore’s a unique and terrific city. But she will be missed.

It was fun to see people I hadn’t seen in ages. Part of me dreaded going — I wanted to say goodbye, and let my friend know how much she was valued — but just the daily running errands and being around people made my skin hurt lately, so I wasn’t sure how well I would deal with the party. But, you know? Last night wasn’t about me, so I was determined to deal.

And I had fun.

Came home and puttered. Had a dream that I was busy doing all kinds of work, so when I woke up this morning, I was puzzled to find myself in bed.

Errands and meetings this morning, then back to the page. I want to dig into the book some more. I might even do yard work — it’s unseasonably warm right now, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.

This weekend, I have to finish reading and critiquing my colleague’s script, and also work on contest entries. Reading-wise, nothing has satisfied me lately, and I haven’t wanted to impose that on the contest entries, so I put them aside for awhile. But I need to finish them, because the next batch arrives at the end of next week.

Have a great weekend! We are supposed to have gorgeous weather, and I intend to take full advantage.

Published in: on February 24, 2017 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. Feb. 16, 2017: Getting Back to the Creative Groove

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Waning Moon
Snowy and cold

Not much to stay about yesterday. I wrote, I studied, I researched.

I’m in negotiations for several interesting projects; we’ll see how they go. I think I’m going to withdraw from consideration for one — it’s intriguing, but when I weigh in all the factors, I don’t think we’re the right fit for each other. Rather than finding that out when we’re committed, I think I should trust my instincts.

I also have two plays to get out this week — they’re written and polished, but there’s an opportunity, and I’m going to see if these particular plays are right for it.

Happy that the nominee for Labor Secretary withdrew his nomination. We don’t need someone accused of domestic abuse who doesn’t believe in minimum wage heading the Department of Labor.

You want to look back at a great Labor Secretary? Research Frances Perkins. She witnessed the Triangle Factory Fire (those of you who know me know why that tragedy is so important to me), and then, later, when she became Labor Secretary, she actually cared about people who work for a living and implemented policies for them, not just for the employers who are more interested in personal profit than a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

All of these Republicans who are blocking fair and independent investigations into the Russia connections and other security breaches — after relentless investigations into Clinton THAT FOUND NOTHING BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING TO FIND — all they’re doing is raising suspicion that they’re in on the fix and that they, too, are treasonous and need to be investigated. A lot of people need to be removed from their jobs in DC, and a lot of indictments need to be handed down.

I have to work on writing a paper for Constitutional Law in the next few days. It’s short — 500-750 words. But it has to be not just good, but great.

Never short of challenges, which is a good thing.

At least I’m getting my creative groove back. I think I’m ready to tackle the next chapter of SONGBOUND SISTERS later today (after I do some work on WORDS) and maybe even can get back to NOT BY THE BOOK this weekend.

Fingers crossed.

Monday is a holiday, so maybe it’ll be quiet and I can get a lot done.

Published in: on February 16, 2017 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 16, 2017: Getting Back to the Creative Groove  
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Wed. Feb. 15, 2017: Of Words and Firemen

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and cold

Yesterday was an odd day. Dump run in the morning, to get rid of the trash. Errands. Library.

Had a huge craving for fish and chips. My characters ate it in a recent scene, while they were having a production meeting, and suddenly, all I could think of was how badly I wanted fish and chips.

There’s a place just down the street from me, a chain restaurant I usually avoid, but they were close and reasonably price.

As I pull up and get out of the car, three fire trucks pull up. And the guys, my firemen, are busting my chops, because here we all are again. Together.

Turns out the power outages caused problems in the sprinkler system for the whole plaza, and they had to check each pressure point. The fire alarms were going off all over the place, including in the restaurant. They couldn’t cook, but people could stay. Most didn’t.

I hung out, nursing a beer, and about a half hour later, it was all settled, and I got my fish and chips. Worth the wait. The manager knocked 50% off, but I left the waitress a huge tip, because three tables had walked out on her, and she was having a rough day.

So it was all good.

But I didn’t get started on my writing day until nearly 3 PM, and only got 14 pages in. Which is still decent.

I figured, as I was doing my mid-month GDR evaluation, that I’ve written 177 pages so far this month, a little over 44K words. Even though it’s not on the projects I planned, it’s a good pace.

I’m rethinking some of the plot points of SONGBOUND SISTERS, and I hope to get back into that this weekend. I’m not quite sure how I can get back on track with NOT BY THE BOOK, but I’d like to, because it’s high energy, fun, and romantic, and I think readers would enjoy it.

I’m hoping to have a solid writing and research day today, and later, spend some time on Constitutional Law. I’ve also got some material to work on for FIX-IT GIRL.

Back to the page, which is my favorite place to be.

Published in: on February 15, 2017 at 10:11 am  Comments Off on Wed. Feb. 15, 2017: Of Words and Firemen  
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Tues. Feb. 14, 2017: We Vote So We’ll Be Left Alone

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold
Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. Please know that each of you is valued.

When you live on Cape Cod, your life revolves around the weather no matter what else is going on in the world.

So it was this weekend. We had some storms come through, although not as bad for us as predicted. The family in Maine got about two more feet of snow dumped on them, with more on the way.

But I stayed in, wrote A LOT (I think nearly 70 pages in total), researched the Italian Renaissance, studied Constitutional Law. On Sunday, I had to drive to a designated site to take the quiz. It was not a space conducive to concentration. I did reasonably well on the quiz — two questions wrong. But, for my own standards, getting any wrong is not okay, so I’m frustrated with myself. But when you’re on a timed site and people keep coming up and talking to you, demanding you drop what you’re doing to take care of them — even though it’s not your job, and you’re just there as a fellow patron — even if you say, “I can’t talk, I’m on a timed site”, it breaks the concentration needed to be successful on the material. However, there’s no room for excuses. It was what it was, and I’ll just have to do better next time, no matter what the distractions.

Add to that snow shoveling and power fluctuations, and I’m a little tired.

Add to that the work I’ve been doing with my elected officials, and I’m even more tired.

So, General Flynn apologized and resigned, and now we’re supposed to forget. Um, no. There’s no way he behaved in a vacuum. He knowingly took actions that sabotaged a sitting president and put the country at risk, and I believe he did so with the full knowledge and encouragement of the incoming president. That is not okay.

There needs to be a full and independent investigation, not just of this portion of it, but of the interconnections. Treason is going on. Not a mistake, not jumping the gun — treason.

Every Senator who agreed to the rushed confirmation and voted for this guy needs to apologize to the American people (with additional apologies to their own constituencies) and cooperate in the investigation. I believe that the investigation will find that some of them colluded and others were complicit in their silence. It needs to be untangled.

Supporters of the Narcissistic Sociopath now want David Patreus to take over. Someone who’d have to get permission from his parole officer to travel. Someone who shared confidential security information with his mistress. Just because she was also American doesn’t make it okay.

Anyone who is nominated must be thoroughly vetted BEFORE confirmation. No more of this rushing. The GOP needs to stop ramming both the unqualified and the corrupt down our throats.

Any Senator who continues so to do must be removed as soon as is possible, be it in the next election, or because that individual, too, is discovered to have committed treason.

Treason is not “disagreeing” with the government, or protesting. It is knowingly and willingly working to undermine it, which the GOP has been doing since 2008. It has to stop. Their oath is to Constitution (meaning “We the People”), not party. Anyone who does otherwise has to go.

That’s why, in all this discussion about flipping districts, I’m not blindly supporting someone just because there’s a “D” next to the name. The individual needs to be researched. If I don’t think a candidate is ethical or able to stand up for beliefs, that candidate is not getting my support, no matter what the letter next to the name. Blue Dog Dems need to go — there’s no reason to have someone in there with a “D” next to the name if they’re going to vote blindly Republican instead of Democrat, or at least standing as an individual. The party platforms are now far enough apart so that if you support one or the other, that’s the party you sign with. If you don’t believe in healthcare or Medicare or Social Security, then don’t run as a Democrat. Putting someone in to a slot just to get enough letters in a particular column doesn’t do any good if they disagree with the policies that got them into office in the first place. You can be bipartisan without betraying either party or country. It sounds contradictory — support your party, but don’t be afraid to stand up to them. Some would say that’s what Blue Dogs do. It’s the “why” that needs to be dissected.

It’s great when there are issues that can be bipartisan — let’s hope the Flynn/Russia interference with elections investigation is one of them, and that there can be more. The point of bipartisan is that you’ve reached a consensus that works IN A POSITIVE WAY for the largest number of people possible. You don’t diminish the greater good; you add to it. And yes, you put your constituency and country AND YOUR OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION before your party. But not out of a fear of not being re-elected; out of a belief that what you are doing is right FOR THE PEOPLE you represent. FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS. When you’re getting thousands of calls from your constituency telling you to vote against something and you vote for it because it’s the party line — you need to go. You don’t vote the way companies or special interests want, just because they bribed you, as our Secretary of Education did. Call it “donation” all you want — that chick bought her position and is woefully unqualified for it.

Again, I think we need more than two legitimate parties. Not fringe, foil-hatted parties. But genuine parties with clearly defined positions on a variety of issues. Right now, the bigoted racist misogynists have hijacked the GOP. Let them have their own party, and the GOP can go back to being the party of Lincoln. The Democrats are a hot mess, it’s worse than herding cats, because at least cats have common sense. The DNC is trying to appeal to everyone, and therefore only succeeds at pleasing no one. The party, in general, is just right of center, when it needs to break up to be slightly left of center and far left.

The far reaches of each party need to balance each other. Most of us vote because we want someone to represent our point of view so that we can live our lives and not bother with every bill and worry about every decision and every vote. We want to be left the hell alone to live our lives. There’s a need for extreme on both the left and the right, so there’s compromise in the middle that does the least damage. The most good is rarely done — the past couple of decades it’s been about the least damage. Most of us will live with that — win a few, lose a few, don’t take away my earned benefits or mess with my personal, bodily rights. Go do your jobs and leave me alone to live my life.

Unfortunately, that is not possible right now. The GOP is not only violating the Constitution and supporting the Narcissist in his daily dismantling of it, the GOP is actively interfering in my daily life.

The party that claims to want SMALLER government is determined to regulate women’s bodies, decide who one can love and marry, decide who is allowed to use a toilet, diminish education, force religion into schools and onto people who don’t believe in it, deny others rights because of their religion, take away food safety standards, allow polluters to destroy the earth, encourage the collapse of the ice shelves that will drown a good percentage of the population, sell off our natural resources to special interests who will build condos no one can afford anyway, force the elderly into poverty, force wages down so that people can never climb out of poverty (don’t you fucking say “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” when most people live paycheck to paycheck while the top executives WHO DO NOTHING line their pockets will millions). All of this is being LEGISLATED by the party who claims to want SMALLER government. The hypocrisy is astonishing.

My fellow artists and I want nothing more than to be able to go back to creating full time and not worrying about all the rest, but we take our responsibilities as citizens very seriously. We will keep working against corruption, and to move through the current dystopia to the best possible lives for people, where they have individual freedoms, while also respecting others. We will not shut up. We’re not stupid because we work in the arts. One of the things I’ve learned, since I moved away from an art-centric culture, is how much SMARTER people who make their living in the arts are, in most cases (reality show participants don’t count — they are not artists — they are paid spokespeople).

So, no, artists will not shut up. Art has always changed the world, since the time of papyrus and Greek ritual theatre and Shakespeare and Vaclav Havel. It will continue so to do.

Wed. Feb. 8, 2017: Prepping for More Snow

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Waxing Moon
Rainy and warm

Yesterday’s choice to rent office space was a good one. First of all, Cape Space is great. Second of all, I got a lot done. I’ll definitely use them again.

Came home to power outages off and on all afternoon. As usual, Eversource sucks. Plus, my phone is dying. I’m so sick of these phones that only last a year.

Got some excellent work done on a project yesterday – nearly 30 pages. Not what I should be working on, but it has a future, so it’s about reshuffling. I have that luxury right now, about being able to flow with projects that pull strongly. I’ll keep in that groove, while also doing some work on SYMPATHETIC MAGIC, for which I had some ideas as I was running errands this morning.

Out and about early this morning, because we’re supposed to get hit with another foot of snow tomorrow. Groceries, cat food, wood, firestarters, liquor. We’re all good.

I’ll either spend the day alternating between studying Constitutional Law and researching Italian Renaissance paintings, or writing in longhand.

Because you KNOW the power’s gonna go out! 😉

I’ll build a fire first thing, so I can light it as soon as the power goes.

Putting together some additional material from yesterday’s meeting, and doing further research. Hoping I can get it all out on Friday.

Looking forward to a snow day!

Published in: on February 8, 2017 at 10:39 am  Comments Off on Wed. Feb. 8, 2017: Prepping for More Snow  
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Opportunities & Intriguing Projects

Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

I got some decent writing done yesterday morning, and some very interesting Renaissance art books arrived for background research on the play.

I then got sidetracked looking up something in a manuscript I’d put aside, and then got all caught up in it again. So much so, that I spent the rest of the day in revisions for it and worked forward on it this morning. I love the piece – it’s about backstage on a television shoot – but it would have to be very carefully placed and marketed to both attract its audience and sustain it, because, like a series, it keeps going. It’s broken down into manageable books, but the first three (or maybe four) in the series are of a piece. So that kind of placement in the marketplace, to make sure no one feels cheated if they only pick up one, is important.

It’s also something to deal with once the books are written.

I rented office space today, so I could have an interview without interruption (still power fluctuations and who-knows-what at home) and also do some Constitutional Law interactive work.

The meeting was interesting, and I want to dig deeper. The job itself is interesting – the pace would be quick, the topics are those that interest me, and it would be a challenge in the right way to generate exciting content. We’re both going to do more research on each other, I’m going to send more in-depth samples, and we’ll go from there. I could contribute a lot to the organization, I believe, and I’d also learn a lot, which is always key to me in a job. It’s not a place where one can grow stale, which is one of the reasons it intrigues me.

Yesterday afternoon, I got word that a short-term gig wasn’t going to happen. That organization is going with someone with less experience, and therefore cheaper. So it goes, sometimes. There was the “hope we can work together in the future”, but I’ll believe that when I see a contract! 😉

Worked with my elected officials yesterday on several issues. The deeper I get into the Constitutional Law class, the more alarmed I am about what’s going on. But what I can do is to do what I can to contribute, in the most positive way I can. I’m not going to shut up and roll over. Nor do I have much respect for people who think if they can just ignore it, it will all go away. Yes, we have to live our lives, but we have to balance it with the responsibilities that go along with it. That’s why I get so irritated at people who refuse to serve jury duty. That’s an integral part of our responsibility.

But that’s a whole other debate.

Back to the page, and to the Constitutional Law books. The weather’s supposed to be awful the rest of the week, but I’m hoping to get to the law library and spend some quality time with Constitutional crafters.

Onward.

Published in: on February 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm  Comments Off on Opportunities & Intriguing Projects  
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