Tues. July 14, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 55 — Working On Independence Issues

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image courtesy of jackmac34 vis pixabay.com
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Bastille Day

Bastille Day is my own personal Independence day, because that was the day I left a very toxic job situation in the past.

If you missed the weekly intention post yesterday, it’s here; it ties in with the Inner Resources post on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolution site,which also went up yesterday.

Mercury went direct on Sunday, so at least that’s a little pressure off. But these heavy planets are still slowing things down.

Didn’t get as much done as I hoped over the weekend. I don’t do well in heat and humidity, and we don’t have air conditioning. It wasn’t too bad, but it slowed me down. And, mentally, I’m just exhausted.

I managed to finish reading the rest of Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop Mysteries, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I love how the characters grow from book to book.

Most of my own creative work was focused on GAMBIT COLONY, when it should have been focused on BARD, but GAMBIT is a good stress reliever, and my stress levels are skyrocketing.

Tried some new to me recipes over the weekend – a farfalle pasta with zucchini, corn, and tomato, with homemade pesto using basil from the garden; chicken enchiladas. I’d never made the latter before. I was always worried it was too hard, but it’s not. There are leftovers, so I don’t need to worry about much cooking for the early, high-stress portion of the week.

Three Chantal Chamberland CDs arrived over the weekend, and I’ve been playing them a good deal. Sitting and really listening to them, not just having them on in the background while I do something else.

I feel a need to pull inward. I’m expending too much energy on Sliding Mask Skanks and Covidiots. They want to be stupid and reckless? Let them pay the consequences. I’m going to stay as far away from them as I can as much as I can. I have a life to rebuild.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working for more justice and equality across the boards. But it does mean not wasting time with people who aren’t worth it. I am willing to meet each individual as worth of basic human dignity until they prove otherwise. Then, I’m done.

I’m tired of the noise levels around here. I’m tired of these people who can’t enjoy their lovely yards for two minutes without turning on a machine to destroy something. They’re never building something or creating something beautiful; it’s just destruction. Cut down trees, tear out bushes, cut up boards. Someone had a chainsaw going at two a.m. Monday morning. Unless they’re disposing of a body, there’s no reason for it. Tropical Storm Fay barely kissed us. And on Monday morning, the mowers started by 7 AM.

People hanging out in their yards talking and laughing? No problem. I actually love to hear it (outside of pandemic times). Playing music? No problem, whether it’s something I like or not.

But the constant repetitive machine noise seven days a week at all hours of the day or night is infuriating, especially because of the hyperacusis.

And now, the town wants to get rid of residential zoning, so every building can be rented short term. The short term rentals have already destroyed this neighborhood. Tourists don’t give a damn. The sense of neighborhood and community is lost, they don’t follow pandemic protocols, and they throw trash everywhere.

No. Just no.

My Town Councilor got a letter from me to go into the Public Record at last night’s meeting. I doubt he even looked at it, much less submitted it or acted on it.

I managed to catch up, over the weekend, on my coursework for The Miracle of Human Language. The course is a delight, mostly because the professor is smart, quirky, and enthusiastic.

Yesterday, I went on site for a few hours to do some client work. I was completely on my own I the office, which meant much less stress, and I could get a lot done. Not quite as good as working from home, but I’ll take it.

Swung by the library on the way home to drop off/pick up.

Worked on my article, which goes out today. Probably at the end of the day, since there are tweaks I want to do on it. Got out a bunch of LOIs. Heard back on a few – a couple want to go with a writer who has a track record within the industry (understandable, but short-sighted); several like my work, but their expansion/hiring plans are on hold now. However, they want to stay in touch, so we’re setting up a check-in schedule every few months to see where we are and when we can work together.

Managed a couple of hours of yardwork in the afternoon, hacking away at invasives. There’s still a lot to do, but I’ve made some progress.

Charlotte and Willa were both on the kitty condo last night. Not sure about having the other so close. I got some hilarious photos, which are over on Instagram.

The numbnuts are still setting off illegal fireworks every damn night. I wish the town would crack down on them.

I was supposed to get bloodwork done today. The doctor said I could just show up whenever at the diagnostic center. But I checked with them, and I can’t. Which I figured. The earliest appointment I could get is next Tuesday morning. Which is fine with me. I’d rather they took precautions, and the COVID antibody tests have to take priority.

Then, I have to do some client work and some writing. And what ever else comes up. I’m hoping to be more productive today than I was yesterday.

I should do a Target run, but I just don’t want to be out and about. But I feel like I should get in everything we need, because I anticipate things shutting down again in a few weeks, in spite of us being pushed into Phase 3 re-opening.

I’m really not surprised that Disney World re-opened during all of this. I mean, the company’s greed is legendary. But the fact that people are actually going? Putting themselves, each other, and the staff in danger? That is disgusting.

Again, though, I don’t need to waste my energy on these Covidiots. I need to focus on my own life. And work And things that need to happen, pandemic or not, over the next few months.

I have to mull over how to pull inward more. Much as I’d love to be a professional recluse, I need to be visible to earn money. But, even with isolation due to the pandemic, I need to pull even further inward to get some things sorted out, and figure out how to get a few things on track.

 

Wed. July 1, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die For Tourist Dollars Day 44 — Trying to Find Some Equilibrium (Again)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

Please adopt me.

July 1. Normally, there would be a To-Do list over on the GDR site, but that seems kind of silly now, that we’re on the mark to hit 100,000 new virus cases PER DAY in this country.

The New England states that have been doing well are going to get slammed this weekend, because so many tourists are coming in. The Governor says if you’re not from another “safe” state (New England or NY, CT, NJ), you have to quarantine for 14 days, but no one is doing that. People are here for a couple of days, infecting as many as possible because they’re not following masking or distancing protocols, and leaving.

Yesterday, I took the last load of recycling I can take to the dump (along with leaves and other garden waste). No problems dumping the garden waste. But when I pulled into the space at recycling, the Old White Man getting out of the car next to me had his mask down around his neck.

So I slammed the door shut on my car and sat there, glaring.

He laughed at me.

The employee (masked), came to stand there, arms folded, staring at him. He’d parked right in front of the sign saying “Masks are Mandatory,” The guy pulled up his mask and said, “Someone’s a little nervy today.”

“I’M not the asshole,” I replied. “You are.”

“Got that right,” said the employee.

So Old White Man huffed and puffed, but at least it was behind the mask.

I’m not putting up with this shit. Wear the fucking mask, and wear it covering your nose and mouth when you are off your property and around other people. It’s not that hard.

Then, hit a grocery store I haven’t visited in months. Everyone masked, plenty of room, social distancing – but not following the arrows. It’s really not that difficult, people.

I got a few things and came home. Full disinfectant protocols. Exhausted.

Still trying to come to terms with the health stuff. It will take awhile.

Got out some LOIs (thank you, Media Bistro). Did some client work, although not as much as I would like.

Spent a couple of hours on my Miracle of Human Language class. It’s delightful. The professor, Marc van Oostendorp, has such joy in his teaching, and is so smart and so engaging. I love it.

That brightened my spirits.

Got another book review assignment. Looking forward to it.

Also got out a double pitch to an editor for whom I’ve worked before. Hope he likes at least one of them!

Got a little bit of writing done this morning. Not enough, but at least it’s something.

Off to work onsite with a client for a few hours, and try to hash out a new marketing approach. Then it’s Remote Chat, some time with classwork, and fixing BARD’S LAMENT.

And classwork. And boxes. It never ends.

Feeling a little discouraged, in spite of it being a new month.

Tues. June 23, 2020: Pre-Op Isolation Day 1: That’s Writer Bitch To You

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid

That enough retrogrades for you? Not fun.

But it’s a good time for sorting things out, and I certainly need that.

Weekend was good, and productive in ways I didn’t plan.

Got some work done on Friday afternoon. Worked with the cats. Charlotte is making progress, most of the time. Willa is settled in. Tessa still isn’t sure about those two. But most of the time, Tessa and Willa are fine. Willa tries to play with Tessa.

Spent time on the deck, which is always nice. Willa loves her playpen. Che Guevara Chipmunk gets right up in her face, though. She’s learned to chase him in the playpen by making it roll like a snowball. It’s pretty funny.

Our town has decided to add yet another layer of economic segregation by charging for recycling. Buy the expensive sticker; you’re all set. Have a big enough car to load in your garbage AND your recycling in one load, pay the whole thing. Have a small household, a small car, and try to be responsible by recycling? Ha, ha, ha! Too bad for you.

Using Covid as an excuse to charge more and make it harder to recycle is yet more lies on their part. They’ve been trying to do this for years.

Saturday was laundry day. Got some reading done.

I’ve been playing with a couple of ideas. Some twists on the old-school gothic novel (different from what I tried in THE LUCY GOTHC a few years back)

One of the ideas took flight, so to speak, and I would up writing 17 pages on it. It’s sort of fantasy, sort of steampunk, sort of gothic, some mystery, lots of adventure, a few romantic elements, some pansexual characters, explorations of social and economic justice and injustice. The world was very clear to me, and very specific, even though I had to stop here and there to do some research and figure out phrasing, et al.

I had to start the Tracking Sheets right away, so I can keep details consistent. I don’t want to get into info dumps. I want meaning to be clear within context. At least this way, if it does turn out to be a series, I have the basis for the Series Bible.

I outlined the next few sections, and I have a good idea where I want to go. It may stand alone; it may be the first of a series. I’m not yet sure.

Of course, it wasn’t what I was supposed to write.

Played with a few article ideas; still haven’t hit on the right one.

Worked on the book for review, which I need to get done in the next day or so.

Read a lot. Tried to stay off social media, except for a few bouts here and there. I need to be ruthlessly selfish this week and take care of myself.

Satisfying Solstice ritual.

Up early on Sunday. Took some clippings from the big lilac and the puffy pink rhodie. Dipped them in rooting powder and planted them, so, fingers crossed. Got the peas planted.

Che Guevara Chipmunk ripped out some of the lilac cuttings to hide acorns. We had words. I replanted the cuttings and moved the pot where I hope he can’t get at it.

It’s awfully early for all the beasts to be hoarding for winter. It’s not even July.

Took the pressure off myself on Sunday. Let myself read and work on the DRAKECLIFF outline. It was lovely to work on the deck.

Up early on Monday. I hope the guy comes to mow the lawn this week. It’s looking a little raggedy. We’re getting into the fourth week since his last visit. If he’s not here by Wednesday, I’ll have to prod. He’s usually very reliable, and I paid him the day I got the invoice, so. . .

Worked on a survey about Serial Fiction. I miss writing it. I’ve looked into some of the platforms out there and am leery of them. They don’t pay enough. Some don’t pay anything.

A couple of people suggested using Medium as the platform (since there’s a pay scale). I have not utilized Medium well thus far. Not sure if this would be a way to do it.

I mean, first I’d need something to put up. Like a 6 week run of a piece (2-3X/week) that would be complete within the six weeks to see if it would fly. That would mean novella length, about 30K words. And then I’d need a longer piece ready to go if it worked.

I’d considered doing THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS as a serial, but it’s complex with a large, ensemble cast (although the primary protagonists are a quartet), so I’m not sure that would work. Expecting the readers to hold so many characters in their heads over time might not make sense (even if there was a website to which to refer).

I’m curious as to how people view serial fiction and what they’re looking for, which is why I’m developing the survey. Information is always a good thing.

I’ve been encouraged to start a Patreon, but I don’t think I can take that on right now. I’d want to have 18 months of multi-tiered material stockpiled before I started. The time/money ratio doesn’t make sense right now.

Still no bill from Comcast – that supposedly was sent on the 16th and must be paid by the 30th or else. I hate Comcast.

How am I supposed to pay a bill they don’t send?

I won’t be forced into AutoPay. Comcast pulls any amount they want out of the account multiple times a month and won’t return it or credit it. Been down this road before with them.

Had to hunt down the thermometer. For 14 days after the surgery, I have to track my temperature twice a day. Hopefully, hot flashes won’t skew it.

Doing my first writing session of the day out on the deck, which is nice. Charlotte doesn’t like it, though. She wants to be with me for that writing session; but she doesn’t go outside.

Buzzed by the office quickly yesterday morning; got a few things sorted, then ran my final errands before surgery.

Followed full disinfectant protocols, and went back to work for a few hours. I’m working on some ads for a client.

Heard from a colleague at the office – we just missed each other. Phones & internet went down around 11. Comcast has to come out and fix it on Wednesday. So that means everything that has to be done from the office – emails, shipping, etc. – is delayed. Plus, when I checked with the client for some last minute details for tomorrow’s email blast – some challenges have come up, so we’re holding the blast for a few days. I’ll focus on ads instead.

Finished the survey for the serials. I set up the survey on Survey Planet, a platform I’ve always liked. But then, when I tried to make it go live, I was told certain features wouldn’t show up unless I “upgraded my plan.” Why didn’t that come up when I added them into the survey in the first place? Because you think, after I did all that work, I’ll just cave and pay more? Get stuffed.

So I’m off to find another survey platform. No, it won’t be Survey Monkey. They’re too limiting. I might do Google Forms, but I’m not a big fan of them.

Why I thought doing something like this during Mercury Retrograde was a good idea, I’ll never know. Wasted afternoon.

On a happy note, someone on Twitter recommended Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop Mysteries. I read an excerpt and liked it so much that I ordered the whole series from Titcomb’s Books in Sandwich. They’ll be in sometime next week, and I’ll go over for a curbside pickup. I get to support an author AND a local independent bookstore. AND get to read five really fun books.

Makes me happy.

More client work today. All remote, as I’m required to be in isolation today and tomorrow. I have to keep the phone handy, because they will call me to tell me what time my COVID test is tomorrow at the testing center up at the Community College. If it comes back negative, we move forward with the surgery (and I have to take the medication and have a Very Bad Day and then surgery on Thursday). If the test comes back positive, we have to follow a whole different set of protocols.

I find these constant “do you still wear a mask?” questions on social media insulting. OF COURSE I WEAR A MASK, YOU IDIOTS. I ACTUALLY GIVE A DAMN ABOUT OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.

In the general sense of humanity, because I’ve certainly lost patience with “people” in general.

Stop asking, you idiots. We can tell if someone’s wearing a mask or not. It’s obvious. At this stage of the game. You can also tell by their posts.

Let’s dismantle the toxic myth that this is about a “difference of opinion.” It’s not. It’s about giving a damn about other people, or aggressively putting them in danger (aka attempted murder).

I think I will unfollow, and possibly block, people who ask this.

I already unfollow and/or block people who boast about not wearing masks. Why would I engage with people who consider it their right to assault others and attempt murder, while saying wearing a mask – something so basic and simple – is an “assault” on their liberty?

The other truly disgusting question going around is “what’s your day job?” from other people who are supposedly writers.

My day job is WRITER, Bitch. Or, perhaps it’s Writer Bitch.

I’ll be doing more unfollows/blocks on those morons.

Bad enough non-writers run around acting like it’s not a profession. When other “writers” do it? Then they’re not writers. They’re dilettantes. It’s one thing for another job to come up in conversation. We do what we need to do in order to survive. It’s quite another to assume that NO writer makes a living at it, and perpetuate that toxicity. Hey, part-time writing is perfectly valid. Every stage of a career, and every career trajectory is valid. But don’t insult those of us busting our ass and making a living at it. Fuck right off. Stop contributing to the toxic myth that writers shouldn’t get paid for their work.

Will be a tough week on multiple fronts. At this point, I’m just trying to get through it.

While getting a lot of writing done. I hope to get some serious work done on BARD’S LAMENT and DRAKECLIFF, with Gambit Colony as my reward if I do it all. Then, it’s scrubbing the house down in preparation for setting up the living room tomorrow for my recovery.

I’m starting to have some ideas on how to shape the Susanna Centlivre play. I hope to start tackling it this weekend (because I need to turn my attention to the Isabella Goodwin play soon).

The book on harps and their history arrived yesterday, which I need for THE BARD’S LAMENT. So that’s a good thing.

Have a good one. I’m buckling up for a challenging rest of the week.

Wed. June 17, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die For Tourist Dollars Day 30 –Destruction & Pain

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Goes Retrograde Tomorrow

Buckle up, people; starting tomorrow, we have five difficult retrogrades going on.

I’m late getting up the post over on Ink-Dipped Advice. I have a feeling it will be mid-late afternoon.

Yesterday was painful and a lost day all the way around. Woke up still exhausted, still with a migraine, but hoping for a better day. However, THREE neighbors were cutting down perfectly healthy trees ALL DAY LONG.

Cutting down healthy trees is painful to me on an emotional level. But, as someone who suffers from hyperacusis, and repetitive machine noise is one of the worst contributors, I was in agony. All day.

Couldn’t be creative. Did some client work, but not happy with it.

Finally, in the late afternoon, they were done, and, for about twenty minutes, there was some quiet so I could put Willa in her playpen and take her out on the deck. Before, you know, the idiots with leafblowers started.

I moved here because I need quiet. Not just on an emotional level, which is important, but on a physical level, because of hyperacusis. One of the major reasons for moving to Cape Cod was for quiet. Yet it’s regularly as noisy or noisier than it was living on 42nd St. and Eighth Avenue in NYC. Traffic, sirens, repetitive machine noise. And, around here, illegal fireworks.

Crawled into bed early. This morning, I still have a migraine, and there’s a lot of pain still in my ears, but I’ll deal. I’m hoping to get some decent work done on BARD’S LAMENT. An editor asked me to pitch some articles (I’ve written for this publication before, quite often). So I have to come up with something. Or, I should say, I should come up with something. They pay fast, and I’ve used them when I needed quick cash. The least I can do is pitch something interesting when they’re short.

Have to be onsite at a client’s for a few hours this morning. Not looking forward to that, because each week, she pushes more and more to act like the virus is gone and everything’s back the way it was.

It will never be back; something new has to be built.

So that adds another level of stress to my day.

I’m hoping to do a curbside pickup for a library book today, and then make it back in time to decontaminate and settle in for Remote Chat.

And then, hopefully, get some other work done in the afternoon, if my dumbass neighbors aren’t destroying something else (loudly).

Hope your week is going well.

Fri. June 12, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die For Tourist Dollars Day 25 – I Was “That One” Unfortunately

Friday, June 12, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and humid

The writing has not gone well this week, and that’s sent me off-balance in everything else. I have been frustrated and angry and unproductive on too many fronts.

At least yesterday, I got in some decent client work, got out some LOIs, and participated in a lively Freelance Chat.

The two books recommended to me that I bought the other day turn out to be written in present tense, so that’s a no-go for me. Not returning them, though, because the authors should get their royalties. That was me going on a recommendation instead of actually reading a sample before I bought, and on me.

Read a charming book by Elizabeth Hunter called SUDDENLY PSYCHIC. I liked it a lot, especially the friendship among the three women.

I also finished reading Lilith St. Crow’s novella about a kangaroo shifter and a witch, set in LA, which was really fun.

The vendor of the missing package sent the daily email swearing it would be delivered last night. Of course, it wasn’t. I pitched a massive fit and got a refund. Because asking nicely all week to get a solution to this problem did nothing. I hate being “that one” who pitches a fit, but customer service reps just shrug and say there’s nothing they can do. Then they’re not “customer service” reps – they’re representing the business interests, not helping the customer. So I was relentless, until I got the refund. Well, partial refund. This company never gives full refunds.

They told me to go ahead and keep the stuff when it arrives, but it’s never going to arrive, so I won’t worry about it.

Which is fine. It was stuff I wanted, that was both useful and would give me pleasure. It wasn’t necessities.

So let the package sit on the truck for damn ever and not be delivered. My money’s been returned, and I’m done.

UPS has made ONE BILLION dollars in profit so far this year, according to the report TDU got their hands on. They made a killing (pun intended) during the pandemic.

They can damn well drive a package 11 miles in a week.

Hell, with that kind of profits, they could hire a private driver and get it personally delivered.

So, yeah, losing my business won’t hurt them one little bit. But not doing businesses with companies who use them will make my life less stressful.

PS — I got the daily email from the vendor, again swearing the package would be delivered today. I just laughed, and moved on with my day. Never gonna happen. It will never be delivered. At this point, I’m okay with it. I’ll just ignore the emails. Not delete them — I’ll keep them as evidence. But not actually expect the delivery and rearrange my day for it.

The Narcissistic Sociopath is having one of his hate rallies In Tulsa, OK on Juneteenth. The date and location of the 1921 race massacre.

Of course it’s deliberate.

What a loathsome individual.

At the same time, I am not participating in the social media campaign to send him hurtful photos on his birthday. That’s mean to be mean, and demeaning to everyone involved. I won’t do it. Or support it.

Still no local coverage of Tuesday’s processional. The lack of coverage in itself is racist. Typical for this area.

Today, will try to get back on track with the writing. If the storm clears out and the light is good enough, some mending or sewing. By the time I was done on the computer yesterday, the clouds had come in, and the light wasn’t good enough for sewing. Let’s hope this weekend is better. I’m eager to see if I retain any of those wardrobian skills. I was never a brilliant stitcher, but I’m better at building from scratch than at alterations.

Still haven’t found the catalyst for the Susanna Centlivre play. Need to do some more digging. The book I have isn’t helping as much as I thought it would.

Onward, one word at a time. Best we can do.

Have a great weekend. I didn’t do so well with my intent this week. So let’s hope it gets better next week.

June 11, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die for Tourist Dollars Day 24 — Trying to Get the Week Back on Track

Thursday, June 11, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

New post up over on Gratitude and Growth about progress in the garden.

Some stuff going on with a client that is inappropriate to discuss publicly, so I won’t. But it’s causing additional stress. It has little to do with the work itself, but a lot to do with the work situation.

Annoyed that there is zero coverage about the procession to honor George Floyd on Tuesday, that was lead by the head of the local NAACP, but they show the protests led by white people all over the Cape, as if to say, “See? We care.”

The beauty and sorrow of the procession has stayed with me, and gotten me thinking about a lot of things. Including about how what I thought I wanted my life to look like, way back years ago, was deeply rooted in unrecognized racism/colonialism. I mean, even wanting a Victorian house – the Victorians got that architecture and all that STUFF on the backs of people they wouldn’t even let into the houses for tea, unless they were the ones making the tea and bringing it into the parlor for other guests. It’s not that people who like the architecture and want to restore and live in Victorian houses are awful, but we need to look at how and why these houses were built. Then we can turn them into something better.

About damn time the Confederate flag was banned from places like NASCAR. It should be banned everywhere in this country. I never understood why it was ever allowed. Confederates were traitors. They seceded and created their own country because they wanted to profit from unpaid labor and treat human beings worse than work animals. On top of that, they LOST. We’ve allowed their descendants and followers to moan about “northern aggression” and “northern oppression” – to romanticize their inhumanity and play the victim — for around 150 years. It was never “right” to own human beings, and we won a war about it. Any symbols of the Confederacy outside of a history class or a museum should have been banned immediately.

Lousy writing day on fiction yesterday, although fine with client work and LOIs.

Remote chat was fun, as it always is.

Baked an orange hazelnut chocolate pound cake from a Moosewood recipe. I’m still having trouble getting the center to bake through properly, while the outside is getting overbaked. I have to figure that out. It’s still really good, but I want it to be evenly baked.

The package that was supposed to be delivered on Saturday finally turned up, thanks to the USPS, who got it from UPS, who couldn’t be bothered to deliver it because it was a small package.

The quality of the contents was very good, but I still wouldn’t do business with the company again after their condescending response to my frustration.

The other package, which was supposed to be delivered last Friday, and has been sitting in the facility 11 miles away, and been on the truck THREE TIMES and not delivered, still hasn’t shown up. Nor has UPS responded to my complaints.

Companies have pushed for re-opening and act like it’s normal. So now they can’t whine that they can’t provide normal service.

Oh, wait – treating their customers like crap IS normal for UPS. That’s right. I forgot.

Don’t get my wrong, the drivers are great and working their asses off. It’s the administrators who are useless.

Lucy Burdette recommended two books, so I bought them (eBooks) and plan to enjoy them this weekend. Along with reading the book I have for review.

I hope to get in some good writing time today, both on the book and for a client, get out some LOIs. Maybe do a bit of yard work, purge a few boxes from the basement, and get started on my sewing projects. I have a nice, big stack. Since I don’t plan to go clothes shopping in a store any time soon, I might as well use my apparel stash and make some cool new pieces exactly the way I want them. There’s a lovely piece of fabric that I’m going to make up in a simple design (no pattern), that will go well with some basic black pants I want to make from a Vogue pattern. Plus, I found some great fabric that will make lovely new summer curtains for the bedroom, to replace the pair of lace panels that have gotten a bit raggedy.

If there’s decent sunlight the next few days, maybe I can also get the mending done.

While I sew, I can also work on plot points in the books.

Time to turn this stressful week around.

Tues. May 26, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 8

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Foggy and humid

I feel much better after taking some time off. Not that I was sitting around doing nothing. It was a busy few days. But it was a good few days, with fewer external pressures than internal ones, and it helped me get clarity on a few issues I needed in order to move forward.

I have new covers for all six Topic Workbooks. New editions are coming out over the next few months. I’m in the process of updating the information. Instead of uniform covers, each now has a unique cover with a Topic Workbook logo. I am going to take the old workbooks off Smashwords as the new ones are revised, and put the new ones up through a different distributor.

I’m working on the update for the Submission Systems workbook. With the way publishing has changed over the past few years, it needs updating, especially when it comes to things like online portfolios.

I’m hoping I can start rolling them out by the end of June or beginning of July. That will depend on how fast I can update them, because they need two full weeks pulled from distribution before I can release them via the new distributor.

The 99 cent sale is still on for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. That will be on until May 31, and I have promotions up via Tweetdeck every day.

Worked on some fiction writing, but didn’t push. Have to start pushing again this week, because there are deadlines, expectations, necessities. I have to keep the long-term balls up in the air while also pushing harder for short-term, immediate income balls. So it means longer hours and cutting more frustrations out of my life, unless they pay a lot in the immediate short term.

Got out a few LOIs, in spite of being, technically, on break.

It was pretty out on Friday, so I got some flower planting done. Cleaned out some boxes in the basement, got some files organized, tossed a lot of stuff I no longer need or can use. Sat on the deck for a bit.

One neighbor, who’s been sick with the virus, had a party on Friday night. He’s still sick, lost half his body weight, but he had people over, no masks, no social distancing. The wind carried over the part of the conversation about “catching it from those Chinese people” he works with. I’m disappointed in the ignorance.

The neighbors on the other side had company in and out all weekend, too. For some reason, they seem to think if they sit outside in the driveway, they won’t get sick. So they set their cars up like a barrier to the street, and put plastic tables and chairs out in the driveway, in front of the garage, and have people over. Now, they have a large yard and a deck. So I have no idea what the reasoning is. But hey, if it works for them, great.

Saturday, I lost count of the loads of laundry I did – mattress pads, blankets, winter stuff along with the usual sheets, towels, and clothes. Laundry all damn day. It was cold and rainy. I also baked tollhouse cookies. Cleaned out some more boxes. Progress is slow on purging the basement. There’s an overwhelming amount to do, and there’s also the psychological aspects of letting go of parts of my past that have often defined me.

But it’s time I redefined myself.

Kripalu is closed to visitors for the rest of the year, which had to be a difficult decision for them, but the right one. The Edinburgh Festival and Fringe is also cancelled in August. Again, a tough decision, but the right one in the long run.

Did some of my Susanna Centlivre reading, so I can start forming the play in my head before I try to write it down. I have some characters and scenes percolating, but I’m still trying to find a catalyst and a plot.

Read Deanna Chase’s WITCHING FOR GRACE, which was fun. Read two other mysteries, by different authors, which I found sort of “meh.”

Tessa, Charlotte, and Willa all spent some time in the same room without grumbling at each other, which was excellent progress. Tessa and Willa can manage quite well, and Willa and Charlotte are fine, but Tessa and Charlotte still have issues most of the time. But we’re working on it.

There’s so much talk about opening businesses “safely” but it’s just not happening. People are travelling in just for the day or the weekend. They’re not quarantining. They’re not wearing masks. There are no immediate consequences against them for being irresponsible, and it puts the rest of us at risk. It’s infuriating.

So I’m just plugging along, doing the best I can to keep my family safe.

I have a confession to make: I haven’t ordered on Amazon thus far, except eBooks to support fellow authors. But I broke down this weekend and ordered bamboo sheets. We need some new sheets, and I wanted to try the bamboo ones. I also ordered a “playpen” so I can take Willa and Tessa out on the deck (though not at the same time). But the latter was from Chewy, not Amazon.

Scored two absolutely adorable, padded ice cream parlor chairs on Craigslist from a place in Cotuit on Sunday morning. It was a no-contact pick-up. I was geared up and sanitized when I put them in the car, then disinfected them and myself when I got home. They are adorable and a perfect addition to our enchanted deck garden.

Yesterday, got some writing done in the morning. Did admin work, and prepped some paperwork that has to go off today.

Working on a big website project, and also working to update/cleanup/bring in new content on all my other websites. AND do new editions of the Topic Workbooks. AND work on the old Llewellyn material. AND get back on track with the books.

A lot to juggle.

Trying to figure out how to up the stakes on the book I’m working on (the untitled one, in longhand, that’s my first writing session of the day). I’m in the second third of it, and need to raise the stakes and make it more active. I’m trying to keep this book fairly lean. I keep reminding myself I don’t need to put everything in this book. Keep it simple. Deal with the main plot and a couple of subplots that are setting up longer arcs. Originally, I was going to have the plot thread through a long-term piece in which the protagonist was involved. Now, I want to compress the coming action in to the next few days. I think that will help pace.

I have a telemedicine conference with my doctor this morning, and then I have to go onsite for a client. Supposedly, I will be alone in the office today. Let’s hope it’s true. I have a mask, etc. anyway, just in case. Although this client does the whole passive aggressive mask thing “I can’t understand you when you wear a mask.” Well, then, let’s go back to fully remote. There is NO reason I need to be in the office more than an hour a week to download photographs that I then use in the materials. EVERYTHING else I do can be done remotely. If you’re going to force me into the office, then you can damn well wear the mask and not bitch about it.

This week is going to be challenging, on multiple levels. I’m trying to keep my cool, without letting myself be a doormat.

I am so sick of assholes.

 

Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 22, 2020
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a bunch of work done yesterday, client work, LOIs, etc.

Putting together some relevant clips from some fairly old material got me started on a project I’d been putting off for ages. I’m going through all the old Llewellyn material, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name, and seeing what I can do with it. The pieces that haven’t been scanned for the clip file are being put into PDFs. I’m re-reading everything, taking notes on where I want to expand, how to organize, etc. The rights have all reverted back to me, so I can use the material however I want. In eBooks, on the website, etc. There’s a good article about Coventina that I will use on the Coventina Circle website.

My local library will start curbside pickup by appointment next week, and we can start leaving things in the book drop again. I took down two bags of books and a bag of DVDs, and it’s only about half of what I had out when everything shut down, so I will take down another load today and be done. They can only fill orders from their own shelves; most of what I have on order is from other libraries in the network. But I HAVE books from that library, and other people might want or need them, so I want to get everything back as soon as possible. I’m masked, I go down early in the morning when no one is around. Although a whole group of people was hanging out in the parking lot when I got there before 7:30 in the morning. At least they were masked, and keeping somewhat of a distance from each other.

Recycling opens at the dump next week. Maybe by the end of the week, I can take in at least the first carload. Supposedly, everyone must be masked. How will they enforce it?

Two of the local businesses I’d done my best to support during shutdown are now open to customers and have stopped curbside pickup. Well, I’m not going in there. Even if I trust the staff, I don’t trust the other customers. Everyone’s dancing around in groups without masks like it’s all over and nothing ever happened. We will be one of the nation’s hotspots in a few weeks, all because of greed for tourist dollars.

It’s too early to reopen. People didn’t follow protocols during Stay at Home, and they’re sure as hell not doing so now.

Planted some flower seeds. Let’s hope they come up.

Good first writing session of the day this morning (unlike yesterday). I’m gearing up to drop off more books, then have the day off. Yes, I’m going to write, but only what I feel like writing. And maybe the review for the book I read the other day, so I can send it to my editor first thing on Tuesday.

I hope the idiots with their power tools shut the hell up this weekend so I can actually enjoy my deck and my yard. I’d like to do some work on the beds, clean them out a bit more, and write and read outside as much as possible.

Last night, someone in the neighborhood had a fire pit going. I don’t think it was the usual neighbor, because his wood smells lovely and doesn’t give off much smoke. This time, the smoke billowed, and it smelled chemical, so I bet they were burning random painted wood. The smoke filled my bedroom and set off the smoke alarm in the house. Now, the houses aren’t that far from each other here, but they’re not that close, either.

So this morning, my throat is scratchy, and I can’t wait to jump in the shower and get the smoke smell out of my hair.

Have a great holiday weekend. Peace.

Published in: on May 22, 2020 at 5:59 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend  
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Thurs. May 21, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 3 — Frustration and Burnout

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

There’s a post on the garden over on Gratitude and Growth. We’re making some slow progress.

Yesterday was a nightmare. It is inappropriate to go into public detail here, but it was a nightmare. I’m working on the necessary changes.

At least I had Remote Chat in the afternoon, although I had a martini in my hand by 1:30 PM.

Got some writing done, did client work, sent out a couple of LOIs, worked with my editor on an article that needed some reformatting.

Read a book I was sent for review. My editor hadn’t had anything for a few weeks, so I was glad to get it. Even happier that it was delightful, although the ending was sad, and I was Big Weepy Mess for a bit after finishing.

Working on the review today to send off.

I’m hoping my migraine will ease up.

Will do some client work, get out some LOIs, work on the websites. I did not have a good writing session this morning, which was disappointing. But I’m going to cut myself a break, because I’m physically and mentally exhausted.

The sale for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA is still on. You can find details here. Each book is only 99 cents.

The library is going to be open for curbside pickup starting next week, by appointment. That’s good news. We can also bring back the books we’ve had during the StayAtHome. I filled two bags with books and one with DVDs and took them to the book drop this morning. It’s maybe half of what I have, so I’ll bring down another load tomorrow. The pick-ups are limited to what is in that home library, and I’m not sure anything I ordered is actually based there, but that’s okay. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of books to read of my own. And I am happy they are safely easing back into operation. Some of the stuff I had here all this time is based out of that library, and other people might want it, so I wanted to get it back as quickly as possible.

The Recycling Stations open next week at the dump. I will wait until the end of next week to take the first carload in. We have a lot of recycling stacked up in the garage, and it’s getting full. Everyone is supposed to be masked to drop things off; I wonder if they will actually enforce it. People weren’t masked during the StayAtHome when they dumped garbage, in spite of the staff being masked.

It’s supposed to be a nice weekend, and I intend to enjoy it. I have the “out of office” going up first thing tomorrow, lasting through Monday. I’m not answering emails or dealing with anything else. I’m going to enjoy nice weather and only do as I wish.

Because the next few weeks will be difficult, while I work on necessary, long-term changes.

I may do a short post tomorrow morning, before sign off for the weekend. In any event, I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

So, we’ve moved from StayTheFHome mode to DieForYourEmployer Mode. Because that’s all this reckless “re-opening” strategy here in MA is. All the members of the Advisory committee? Employers.

Not workers. Employers. Who are whining because they can’t kill their employees fast enough to make $200 bucks and have to go out of business anyway because no one has any money to buy their stuff because 36 million people are unemployed.

Which tells us all we need to know about how messed up the whole plan is. Especially since businesses are to “self-certify” that they are following protocols and there are zero consequences for not doing so.

The weekend was up and down.

Had to go to Trader Joe’s on Friday. They are letting in more people at a time then they were, and the customers are not social distancing. The staff is burned out and exhausted – the head office has to do more for them. Had to stop at CVS to get toilet paper. The checker was so bored at the register she was reading a magazine and scanning items without looking at them. But at least it wasn’t crowded.

Came home, did full disinfectant protocols and was exhausted. Then, someone we know asked us to run a ridiculous errand that would put me smack in the middle of tourists, and I refused.

The virus isn’t “better” and it hasn’t “gone away.” This attitude people have that everything is fine now and can go back to the way it was is going to get people killed. As a doctor I know said, “The only thing re-opening means is that there’s room for you in the hospital.”

Saturday, I painted four tables, a plant stand, and a plant cart, did 7 loads of laundry, wrote, and read part of a book as background for an essay. I was wiped out by the end of the day.

I felt awful Saturday night into Sunday, and wondered if I was coming down with symptoms. But I took some liquid Tylenol and, as the day wore on, I felt much better. I’m pretty sure it was frustration and stress.

Found out a friend and her husband had the virus, and, fortunately, recovered. I was just thinking about them and planning to get in touch this week.

Sunday, I set up more on the deck. It looks festive now, and is a lovely retreat that I intend to enjoy for the summer. Because I’m sure as heck not going anywhere.

Actually slept through the night Sunday into Monday for the first time in about a week. Wrote, did client work, caught up on some admin and email stuff, got out some LOIs. Did some work on the Cerridwen Iris Shea website. It needs a lot of work.

More of the same today. At least I had a good writing session to start the day, and I slept through the night. I have a lot of work to do today. I’m grateful, and I will keep working as much as I can while there’s work, but I also don’t want to put myself in jeopardy. I want to work remotely. What I do doesn’t need to be done in someone else’s office. The LOIs I’m sending out make it clear that remote in the only option I will consider.

One of the large geraniums on the deck was blown over by the wind. The clay pot broke, and it had to be cleaned up and repotted. The damn PC took 32 minutes to boot up and “update” – I’ve had it two weeks, it doesn’t need any updates. This is why I prefer the Mac.

Now, I’m getting ready to dive into emails and admin before I switch over to client work.

Tomorrow, I have to go back onsite for a client, and not looking forward to it. Trying to change that situation as soon as possible, but not in the position where I can just give it up right now.

There’s a post up over on the GDR site, if you want to check it out.

Onward.

PS The 99 cent promotion is still on for PLAYING THE ANGLES, SAVASANA AT SEA, and TRACKING MEDUSA. You can get all the details and buy links here.

3 Firsts Collage

Published in: on May 19, 2020 at 7:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 1  
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Fri. May 15, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 51 — Discouraged

Friday, May 15, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Yesterday started well, but then quickly descended.

I’m working on a big project for a client. I’d started implementing, earlier this week, the big marketing plan I’d created for this client a few weeks ago. I’ve been doing all the normal hours I usually do per week (although spread out over five days instead of three focused partial days onsite), and, to her credit, getting paid for them (although if she wasn’t paying, I wouldn’t be working). Yet when I said I was taking the Friday before Memorial Day and Memorial Day itself as a long holiday weekend, I got pushback, basically that what I do isn’t work and it’s not like I have anything going on.

First of all, I’ve been doing HER work throughout. She’s paid, so that’s all as it should be. Second, implementing the marketing plan resulted in money for the company. Other than overdue invoices slowly coming in, it’s the only income generated during the shutdown.

But I’m not working? I have nothing going on? What was all of this then, getting results? Self-generated?

Not to mention that she’s not the only work I have, she’s never been the only work I have, I’ve worked flat out since this started, because I’m worried that all the work will dry up, with nearly a quarter of the population on unemployment.

The personal snipes she took were also annoying, but I can shrug them off. The professional ones are upsetting. And the constant digs that I’m paranoid and over-reacting by taking basic precautions and following guidelines so I don’t die or make my family sick are also getting old.

I’m exhausted and discouraged. I also look at the way the Cape plans to open for Memorial Day weekend, talking about precautions but there’s nothing they can or will enforce, and it’s going to get a lot of people killed.

The demand from restaurants that they “have to” open by Tuesday for dine-in is ridiculous. I’m not going out to eat any time soon. Even if the kitchen and the rest of the staff take every precaution possible, the other diners won’t, and too many people are acting like idiots. No. Just no.

Had a martini before 2 PM.

Sat out on the deck for a bit, reading some background material in preparation for an essay. UPS finally found the missing package and delivered it. It had things I couldn’t find locally, for cleaning and house projects, which is why I had to order in the first place, so, if it doesn’t rain all weekend, I can get going.

Charlotte regressed seriously, and we had behavioral issues. Lots of work ahead of us with her again.

I went to bed early, feeling down on all fronts. I did some restorative yoga, which helped.

Still feeling kind of blue today. But I had a good first writing session. I hope to have a decent work day.

I have to venture out to Trader Joe’s. I could wait until next week, but with the Cape determined to re-open before it’s safe, I’d rather stock up now and not have to go out next week or the following week, when the idiot tourists are going to run around contaminating everything.

I’d rather stand in line in the rain this morning.

How did I do on my intention this week? I was dedicated, especially to the work. I got slapped down for it by one client that’s profiting from it, which is discouraging. But hey, Saturn Retrograde, life lesson. Learn from it, build on it, move on.

Peace, friends, and have a good weekend. See you on the other side on Monday.

Published in: on May 15, 2020 at 5:29 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. May 13: StayTheFHome Day 49: Creativity and Exhaustion

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I had a new post over on Ink-Dipped Advice, but I took it down because it wasn’t really helpful. I will try to come up with a better one and get it up later today.

Yesterday was an overly-long work day. I am on the edge of burnout. I’m hoping I can make it to the Memorial Day weekend, because I intend to take some time off and do nothing except sit outside and read, and write if I feel like it.

Not only am I working long hours, but the clients for whom I’m working insist that I’m not working, and they resent paying me to do nothing – even when the results are coming in that prove otherwise. So I’m feeling burned out, overworked, underappreciated.

Too bad for me, right? At least I’m still alive.

Yesterday started pretty well, though. I had excellent writing sessions on two different projects, and I’m happy with the way both are going. The band name “Orgasmic Clowns” turned up, and at first, it looked like they would be a part of one of the novels, but now I think I need to make them their own piece.

I got admin work done, some bills paid, put in another Chewy order. I’m frustrated because an order from Target went astray via UPS and neither entity wants to do anything about it. I’m still having Comcast issues, and the only “fix” they provide is something I’ve done before that only makes everything worse.

But at least my stamps arrived, so I can write more cards!

There’s a new logo for the Topic Workbooks, that needs a bit of tweaking, but I like it. Instead of having all the covers uniform with different titles, I’m getting new covers and using the logo at the bottom. Once I have all the covers, I’m going to pull them off Smashwords and put them through Draft2 Digital. I also want a new cover for 30 Tips for 30 Days. I don’t like it.

I have to get some promotional material posted via Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for the books on sale, and I need to finish the Trinity of Teasers free download that I want available in either mid-June or early July.

A writer friend who misses writing in coffee shops set up a bistro table and chairs in her house, and writes there, drinking from her travel mug and playing music. Sometimes she put the TV on in another room to simulate conversation around her. And she’s grateful not to be in a tiny NYC apartment, where her bistro table was once the only table that fit in the place! I love that idea and that image, and may need to use it in a story.

So at least I’m feeling creative, even if I’m exhausted.

I got out five LOIs yesterday, and go responses back on four. All of which have turned me off to the companies, but best to cut it off now than waste time. This idea that I should be willing to trot into an unsafe office full of germy strangers is simply not happening.

Got a lot of client work done on a big project. Will get a little more done today, but it won’t be ready until next week. By tomorrow, I will have used up the allotted time for the week, and I’m not working for free.

Today, I have Remote Chat to look forward to. I had two excellent first writing sessions this morning, on two different novels, and a frustrating computer update on a computer I’ve had less than a week.

Peace, my friends, and be well.

Mon. May 11, 2020: Intent for the Week — Dedication

dancer-4691954_1920
image courtesy of ImaArtist via pixabay.com

Monday, May 11, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

We have Pluto Retrograde, which is about revealing what’s hidden, which includes the hidden parts of ourselves. We have Saturn Retrograde, which is about life lessons. We’re all in a harsh life lesson period. Since my Saturn Retrograde coincides with my second Saturn Return – ouch?

Venus goes retrograde on Wednesday and Jupiter goes retrograde on Thursday, so we’re in for a rocky few months.

At the same time, I want to dedicate these retrogrades to sorting through past choices and making positive changes, in ways I haven’t really done during the previous retrogrades. Instead of regrets, I want to say, “Well, at least I tried. Now it’s time to try something new.” I think this is a stronger choice than beating myself up for what didn’t work. I wouldn’t pound on someone else for making a choice that didn’t work – the celebration is trying something and learning from it. So I need to stop beating up on myself.

I also want to dedicate this week to work. My fiction, the client work, and pitching for new work. There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site about adaptability, and I’m going to incorporate the adaptability as part of my dedication.

I want to dedicate time to the garden (weather permitting) and even more time to my expanding yoga and meditation practice.

I want to dedicate less time to dealing with other peoples’ stupidity, especially when it puts my life and the lives of family members in danger.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on May 11, 2020 at 6:39 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 11, 2020: Intent for the Week — Dedication  
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