Tues. Oct. 13, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 146 — Covidiots Run Loose

image by Peter Lomas courtesy of pixabay.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars, and MERCURY Retrograde

Yup, Mercury goes retrograde today and stays that way until election day. With Mars retrograde.

It won’t be pretty.

Technically, tourist season ended here yesterday, so we are only expected to die for our employers. But boy, howdy, did they expect us to Die For Tourist Dollars all fucking weekend, because there was NO enforcement of the mask mandate.

To say I am angry about the domestic terrorists that tried to kidnap the governor of Michigan is an understatement. We need Bill Barr impeached. We need the 25th Amendment now. We need that vile SCOTUS nominee removed.

I got SERENE AND DETERMINED out on submission before 8 AM – with a full proofread and some tweaks. Either this place will take it or not. A long shot is better than no shot.

Honestly, until I actually hit “send” I didn’t think I could make the deadline.

Did a few more drafts of the short story and got that out, too. I don’t think it’s exactly what they’re looking for – I think I might have used a slightly wider lens than they want – but I’m  happy with the story, and if they don’t use it, I have a list of other markets to which to pitch it.

Did another drop-off/curbside pickup at the library. As soon as I got back, more books had arrived, so I picked those up on Saturday.

We got our ballots of Friday, so we filled them out, and I took them to the secure drop box in Hyannis on Saturday morning. We’ve voted. We’ve done our civic duty.

It was great to see so many others dropping off ballots, too.

It was not great that I was the ONLY ONE wearing a mask.

Main St. Hyannis is supposed to be a masked zone. NO ONE is supposed be on the street unmasked. No one is supposed to be in any public space in the entire state unmasked.

Yet, there they all were, dancing around in public, no masks. No distancing. Tourists sashaying out of the packed motels, no masks, no distancing.

No enforcement.

I shouldn’t be surprised. Since the pandemic started, I have not seen a single cop EVER wear a mask around here. All the construction and DPW workers – who would normally wear masks and goggles as part of their safety gear – aren’t. And they’re all up in each other’s faces all the time and not distancing. It’s disgusting.

And we wonder why MA numbers are going up.

Broadway is shuttered until May of 2021. Heartbreaking, but necessary. You know the producers are going to try to use this to bust the unions. The unions must hold firm. It’s going to take a decade or more for theatre to recover. But it WILL recover. Hopefully, a lot of these corporate entities will go away from theatre, and old-style impresarios, who actually love the format, will return.

I shouldn’t be surprised by the vicious remarks from snide people saying, “Well, now you have to get a REAL job” – the same people who say that the arts isn’t a real job, and that “no one” makes a living writing.

Nice to know who I can cut out of my life.

All these people binge-watching their streaming shows all pandemic — how do you think those are created? You think they magically appear out of the ether?

I’m reading SENSE OF OCCASION by Harold Prince, and he has a line that resonates: “. . .the theatre has been dying for as long as it’s been living, so its problems are not irrevocable.”

I was lucky enough to work directly with him on one show, at the Public Theatre. The hopes were that it would move to Broadway. It didn’t, but working with him was an amazing experience. The intensity of his joy, his craft, and the way he listened and valued EVERYONE in the company was wonderful.

Didn’t get much done on Saturday other than laundry, taking in the ballots, picking up the candy for Halloween, and doing the library run.

Sunday, I was up early to take the garbage and recycling to the dump. The staff, as always, were masked and great. The fucktards dumping garbage weren’t.  Disgusting. At least at the recycling area, people wore masks as required.

Since I was over in that direction, I dashed over to the nearby Stop N Shop to pick up a few things I couldn’t get at Trader Joe’s.

Home, decontaminated, had trouble with the laptop as I was trying to get work done. This laptop is barely six months old. I shouldn’t be having trouble with the keyboard already, especially since I have a light touch on the keys.

Wrote, revised, and polished the two articles for which I’d been contracted last week by the same editor.

Started the third contracted article, for a different editor, but had run out of steam by then.

Monday was the end of my few days of sleeping through the night. I woke up around 1 AM, again at 2:44, and then for good at 4:36.

I got some writing done, and headed to my client’s. I knew no one would be there. I got a lot done in a few hours, as much as I could get done there. I prefer to work on the ads at home. It’s easier.

Swung by Star Market, because that is the only place I can get the Cranberry-Peach juice and stocked up. Everyone was masked and careful in the store, which was good, since there were more people in the store than they should have let in.

No one outside the store was masked. Everybody’s dancing around the streets, not distancing, not masked. It’s really out of control in my neighborhood, and is irritating. I have made it clear to the neighbors that they don’t come near me unmasked. I am not participating in their insanity and disdain for each other. It’s a shame our neighborhood, which used to be tight and be about people taking care of each other, has devolved so badly.

Home, decontaminated, tried to work on the third article. I wanted to get it out the door before Mercury turned retrograde, but that’s just not going to happen. Switching between the various drafts of the stage play and the radio version to pull the right examples gets confusing.

We are having High Kitty Drama.

Someone on Twitter suggested the catnip banana as a great toy. I bought one for Tessa in this last Chewy order, and other toys for Willa and Charlotte.

Well, everyone wants the banana.

Charlotte tried to steal it and caused arguing and caterwauling and chasing and hissing.

Willa and Tessa now steal it back and forth, but they are sort of friends now, so it’s more playful than nasty.

But I couldn’t stand the drama and ordered two more catnip bananas, so each has her own. They should arrive by Thursday.

I bet the still steal them from each other.

I saw a publication that does both podcast and print. I asked the editor if in the next submission style, I could submit in radio format, and they were intrigued.

The next cycle is in December, which gives me some time to play with ideas. I have a few – it’s fantasy. There will be comedy. I don’t think there will be dirigibles in this one – I think I’m going in another direction. But you never know when a dirigible might show up in my work.

I asked, on Twitter, for recommendations for romance novels where children aren’t the end game, where a healthy HEA involves NOT having children BY CHOICE (not by infertility) and that is treated as a valid choice. I’m so sick of books about supposedly “independent” women who get pregnant by accident (“everything solved by a ‘magic penis’ as one person said on Twitter) and then turns into a puddle of ecstatic goo. Of course those books should exist. But other books, where happy lives without children should exist, too, and those are the books I want.

I got a pile of suggestions, which I wrote down. I ordered some from the library. I bought one, so far, on Kindle, because it’s set against horse racing.  I don’t read much romance (although I enjoy books in other genres with strong romantic elements and love) because too often I find the tropes cringeworthy.  For instance, I can’t stand the whole billionaire boyfriend trope, because I have yet to meet a billionaire who wasn’t a complete ass. That’s how he got to be a billionaire. Not by being secretly a good guy. Yes, it’s fantasy, but it stretches believability too far for me.

Also bought WITCHING TIME, Yasmine Galenorn’s newest WILD HUNT book, and have read about half of it so far.

Got my next book assigned for review. Looking forward to starting that by Thursday.

Today, I need to finish the article and get it out.  I will do client work, and get out some LOIs. I will finish tomorrow’s Ink-Dipped Advice post and schedule that, and maybe get up a post for A Biblio Paradise.

Once the article goes out, I need to turn my attention back to the novel revisions, and work on the Susanna Centlivre play.

I have the Knowledge Unicorns this afternoon, too. We’re starting later than usual, because I’m taking a cooking seminar via Kripalu with Jeremy Rock Smith. I love the way he teaches, and I love his recipes, so I’m excited!

Don’t get me started on the SCOTUS hearings, or I’ll just turn into a rage monster. What an unqualified, unprincipled piece of crap that nominee is.

Off to start my day. Have a good one. Keep your head down during this retrograde.

Tues. Aug. 28, 2018: Design, Create, Purge

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mars Direct (as of yesterday)
Uranus Retrograde

Sorry I didn’t post on Friday. The day got away from me.

But I bought 18 notebooks in the back-to-school sales, so I’m set for notebooks. For the moment!

Thursday was not a good writing day at all, but at least I got some other stuff done, including early morning grocery shopping.

I tried reading a book from a series by an author who’d come recommended. I wound up skimming through the second half of the book I was reading because the protagonist was such an idiot I wanted her to be the next murder victim, there were copy editing errors as in the wrong character name in a scene that made no sense, and some major revelations happened off the page and were told to the reader in a toss-off sentence.

No. Just no.

I tried a book from a different series by the same author; put it down after the third chapter. I’m tired of dumbed-down, silly protagonists being marketed as “cute” and “whacky” and “spontaneous” and “eccentric.” Sorry, they’re dumb and annoying. I know plenty of cute, whacky, spontaneous, and eccentric individuals who aren’t morons.

An author I’ve crossed off my list. Fortunately, I’m not in contact with her on social media or at conferences. And no, I won’t name her publicly. I don’t bash other authors.

I want the protagonists in the books I read to be smarter, more resourceful, and more inventive than the average person. Yes, I like to see characters grow and change during the course of a book and series, but the change has to start soon after the catalyst, not six books down the road. A protag doesn’t learn from mistakes and keeps making the same one over and over? First of all, I want that protag to be the next murder victim (Donna Andrews calls it the “Too Stupid to Live Syndrome” and I agree). Second, it’s not a person I’d spend time with in real life, so I sure as heck won’t waste my reading time with that individual.

I like living books through characters vastly different than I am, but I demand intelligence and resourcefulness from them. Or I just don’t care enough to take a book-length journey with them.

Dumbing down characters so the reader can feel superior (a reality-tv trend) is not something I buy into. Or buy books of authors who do that.

I managed to get some yard work done Wednesday afternoon, which meant I could sit out on the deck with a lime martini and my writing and some books and not feel guilty. I need to mow and tidy up the front again.

By the time I get the yard where I want it, it will be snowing!

Read Yasmine Galenorn’s SOULJACKER and really liked it. Totally understand why she can’t continue the series. But still really enjoy this book (and it does stand alone).

Got out a couple of article pitches. Working on a radio play pitch and a workshop pitch, and a detailed LOI for a company that really interests me. Doubt they’ll go out before the end of this week.

Friday, I got a bit of writing done, and then I had a stack of errands, including getting a new phone. I went to one store — I told the guy my budget, and he immediately tried to get me beyond by double for a phone that he could only sell me that day. Um, no. That’s more than I can afford for a phone I don’t want. So I shopped around, and finally got something at a different store within my budget, and they were nice about it. So I have a phone I like that works.

I’ve been trying to get onto Vero, a social media network that’s only on one’s phone, that’s supposedly far superior to Instagram, Facebook, etc. Only when I download the app and try to sign up, they tell me the email address I use a dozen times a day is invalid. I complained to support, and they respond quickly, but keep asking the same questions and not solving the problem. So, unless it’s solved by today, I’m done and moving on.

One of the reasons I try new social media networks/apps is because, in addition to my own needs, I run social media platforms for other businesses and creatives. I experiment with them, see how they work, and then, depending on the need of the client, I can suggest one or more network.

If there are glitches and problems and a lot of hoops to jump through, I’m not going to recommend it.

I’m still getting a handle on Tumblr. I really like Ello, but that’s for creating, not really promotion. Which is fine, because it fills the hunger I have for connecting with other creatives about creation, not promotion.

I need and want to be around other working creatives who are creating. Not who are whining about “not having time” or only talking about the business side. The whining and the only-market-driven talk is like a disease among creatives, and it interferes instead of enhances creativity.

The last days of the Mars retrograde were tough. I had to take a breath and step back or I would have burned some bridges that really don’t need it right now.

The weekend was frustrating. Saturday was not a good writing day, and I didn’t get enough done around the house, either. I feel like I have no energy, like I’m in limbo. I can’t wait for other people’s decisions, even though they affect mine. I have to do what I need to do and just adjust. But it all seems overwhelming right now.

Sunday was better, especially creatively, although I’m still not where I need to be.

In addition to necessities like laundry, I also spent some serious time working on unpacking/purging stuff from the basement. Stuff that’s sat down there for far too long that I haven’t dealt with.

Time to deal.

It took me two hours to go through four boxes. I’m trying to deal with each item only once. There are a few things which I’m not yet sure about. Everything else was either toss or integrate. Not merely keep. Integrate.

I have a box for stuff to give away, but nothing from these boxes was appropriate.

If I can do a little every day, and more on weekends, eventually I will have gotten through it. But it’s slow going and it means making decisions that I’ve been putting off, sometimes for years. But it must be done.

It was also much more emotional than I expected. I had to confront my past self, and, again, decide what to integrate and of what to let go.

Difficult, but necessary.

Design work on site with a client yesterday and today. It’s fun, but needs a lot of focus.

 

Published in: on August 28, 2018 at 3:42 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 28, 2018: Design, Create, Purge  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Jan. 31, 2013: Finally, A Decent Draft!

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Direct
Rainy and stormy

Jupiter actually went direct yesterday morning, thank goodness.

Worked on getting out audition notices for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL and revising the press release. My partner in press for the Marine Life Center has designed a gorgeous poster — as soon as everything’s finalized, I’ll reveal it.

Now, the play as to live up to the poster! 😉

Worked with an editing client, finished off the work for her. Had to run some errands, and then grabbed Yasmine Galenorn’s newest release, HAUNTED MOON. The fog was incredible — could barely see past the hood of the car.

Did some of my schoolwork (the Astrobiology, Philosophy, and Science Fiction courses all started this week).

Tore apart the second and third acts of the play, and, by late last night, had something I can live with, at least through auditions. What a relief!

My treat was then to stay up too late reading Yasmine’s new book!

I have to rewrite the other play in the next couple of days, one story has to go out today, and another has to be ready for release on Saturday. So I’ve got some long days ahead of me. And my agent and I are doing some brainstorming.

Christian, I do stop and smell the roses, and I grab moments of joy throughout the day. But when deadlines and opportunities loom, I’ve got to do what it takes to deliver. That was the key to surviving on Broadway: Step up or go home. And it’s no different in writing.

Devon

Are you an actor, based near Cape Cod? Come audition for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL. Dates and info here.

Last change to sign up for The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects”, Feb. 4-6. Breathe new life into old projects, or learn how to lay them to rest for good. Info here.

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 9:18 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Wed. April 4, 2012: Head Down & Working

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT — thank goodness!
Sunny and pleasant

Didn’t spend as much time on the computer as I needed to yesterday, but at least my back and eyes got some rest. Ran errands, did some yard work, worked on a few proposals, worked on stuff for classes (both as teacher and student).

I’m moving back and forth between two novels set in (different realities) in NY. It makes me a little dizzy, and I have to be very, very careful not to get the two New Yorks mixed up.

Read Yasmine Galenorn’s SHADED VISION, of her Otherword series, and liked it. I enjoy the series anyway, and the Delilah books are my favorite.

Working on articles, proposals, and the materials for next week’s meeting. We’re having company in from CT this weekend, so there’s also a whirlwind of cleaning and tidying going on!

I’d like to plant the pansies in the urn outside, but I’m worried it’s too cold.

I’m going to teach a short workshop at the Muse Conference in October, just a couple of days, instead of the entire week. That should be fun. As soon as the info goes live, I’ll post it.

Nothing particularly exciting to report — just head down and to work!

Devon

Don’t forget the 1-day Dialogue Seminar on April 14!

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 7:24 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

The weekend was busy. And hot. Not unbearable, and there was a breeze, but still. . .

Saturday, I ran errands, did my hair (back to the preferred shade) and then caught up on student work until midnight. Yeah, there was that much to do. Lots of students, and they are taking the assignments seriously, which is a good thing.

Also managed to sneak in some outline work, here and there, when I had to take breaks from the computer.

Didn’t sleep well on Saturday — too much stimulation from the student work. Up a little later than usual on Sunday, yoga, meditation, which helped. Headed off to Osterville for the meditation walk. It rained on the way there, held off while we walked, and then rained as soon as we finished! Lots of fun. Suffered serious monkey-mind during the walk. The wheels in my head were creaking so much, I’m surprised no one turned around to say, ‘shush!”

Having to stand firm on some personal and professional boundaries. “No” means “no” and I’m not on anyone’s staff, nor am I interested in being in that position. I am not on call to anyone but myself. I’m trying to apply the principles of compassion I’m working on in yoga and meditation, without being a pushover.

After the meditation walk, brought home the papers, caught up on local news, got up the next round of exercises for both classes, commented on work in one of the workshops.

We went to PetSmart to re-tstock the cat cabinet, but the power was down, and no one could check out. So we’ll go back today

Read Yasmine Galenorn’s NIGHT VEIL. I like the way this series is developing, and look forward to reading more. She has an interesting contrast in the fathers in this series and the Sisters of the Moons series; I like watching the way the two series develop simultaneously. She’s turning out three books a year — quite the schedule.

My mom woke up in the night with a terrible earache. I’ve got a call in to the doctor to find out if that’s a side effect from the adjusted medication or something new. And what we can do about it.

Busy day. This week will be brutal, work-wise, because the two workshops overlap, and I’ve got to give the students in the Revision workshop exercises work every single day so we can cram about three months’ worth of work in the two weeks. But then I’ve got August off from physical teaching, and I can focus on prepping the classes through the end of the year — because there are a lot of them.

And focus on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Devon

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
International Women’s Day

Yup, here we have it, International Women’s Day. I wish I’d been able to put together a project this year like I did the year my friend Avonne and I set the creation atmosphere for MOON TRIBE TALES. I say “set the creation atmosphere” because the actresses who spent months developing material for the piece are equally a part of it. It was a wonderful experience for both those participating and those who attended, and I wish I’d been set up to seek funding for it to be an ongoing project. When I look back at the script, little has changed in the intervening years. If anything, women’s rights and progress are regressing.

Actress Allison Scagliotti, whose work I throughly enjoy in WAREHOUSE 13, has a great piece up here about looking for role models in her industry. It’s difficult to find strong, complex female characters in media right now, although I think there are more of them on television than in film. Too often, they simply behave like men would, but they’re played by women. While to a point, a strong person is a strong person no matter what the gender, since biology influences a lot of how we deal with things, I’d love to see a wider range of representations in film and television.

I think women are making inroads behind the scenes — although probably not enough. You look at writers like Jane Espenson and directors like Kate Woods, and there’s progress.

I think the rise of urban fantasy in literature has created some great female characters. Look at Diana Bishop in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES — she doesn’t fit any mold but her own and is fascinating and complex. Look at Camille, Delilah, and Menolly in the Otherworld Series — along with most of the female characters Yasmine Galenorn writes. They don’t fall into cliche, they’re certainly not perfect, but they’re strong, intelligent, and interesting. Or the characters like Ann Aguirre’s Corinne Solomon. These women are all very much women, not girls acting the way men might act in this situation, and they are very resourceful and approach the world with unique viewpoints.

To me, that’s part of what a feminist is — a woman who is strong, intelligent, and interesting, and who won’t keep anyone — male, female, Republican or alien — from allowing her to fulfill her potential to its fullest. Can a man be a feminist? Yes, if he’s willing to support the choices of the women around him to be the best and most they can be, even if it’s inconvenient to him personally! 😉

Got out the write up for Confidential Job #1 and that’s off, and got out my column. Got word this morning that they’ve already sent the next assignment. Caught up on commenting on the student work — some of the comments have been helpful, and they are diving back into the material with fresh enthusiasm, which is what I’d hoped.

MA Dept. of Revenue emailed me my quarterly vouchers, the little dears. Considering the NY State Tax Dept. could never be bothered to provide correct paperwork, nor have they ever posted a payment correctly in the years I lived there, and they generally feel they can remove any money they want from anyone because they don’t have to answer to anyone, the MA attitude is quite refreshing.

Responded to student work. They have a deadline today, so there will be a lot of work on which to comment. Also received materials from a partner for the tele-seminar, so I need to go over that. A big stack of errands to run today, but then they will be done, and I don’t have to worry about them later in the week.

Had a good morning’s work on the play — I’m having fun with it. It wants to have more characters than I’m allowed, so some of the actors may have to double. Or, I just have to keep it lean and cut them in the rewrite. I’ve written for a finite amount of characters before — I know I can do it. Want to do some more work on the play before I switch back to everything else that demands attention. Fortunately, the company wants a piece with high verbal dexterity, and those are the kinds of characters I enjoy writing.

Devon

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I frittered away far too much time online yesterday, although I sent a proposal to one place to pick up some work for March, and I did some brainstorming on another possibility.

Ran some errands, including post office and library. Found a book on local history, about which I was very excited, but it’s so badly written I have to return it. It is unreadable. In other words, I will not be hunting it down for my personal library! 😉

Everything stopped when the mail arrived, because it included a box of books. Within that box, was Yasmine Galenorn’s newest release in the Otherwworld series, Book #9, BLOOD WYNE. Life had to come to a screeching halt while I curled up in the big chair in the living room and read it straight through. Came up for air in time for dinner, that’s it. It’s really good; the series keeps getting better, and it’s wonderful to watch the sisters grow and change.

Also in the box are Susan Wittig Albert’s two memoirs, AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR OF ORDINARY DAYS, her journal of 2008, and TOGETHER ALONE: A MEMOIR OF MARRIAGE AND PLACE. Both will go on the recommended reading list for the Setting as Character Workshop.

I’ve started reading the first, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It should go on the must-read list for every writer. Heck, it should go on the must-read list for every human!

Today, I have to be very focused, and catch up on everything that didn’t get done yesterday. The most important thing is to get signed up for my own insurance. Ick. And catch up with work on the book,which has been percolating. That should make it easier to sit down and write. I’ve also got to tackle the essay and the short story, although I have a feeling the short story might be done all in a burst over the weekend.

Weird dreams, some of which had to do with riding on a new type of triple-decker Amtrak train (which is yet to exist). The start of the journey — a place I don’t recognize from my real life — is a place I’ve dreamed about before, with train dreams. I have no idea where I was going or why, but the train was very full, and I’d just gotten settled in one of the few seats left all the way up top when the Hounds of the Baskervilles woke me up with their howling. So I never found out where I was going, or why I was going there on Amtrak.

I should have a post up at Gratitude and Growth by the end of the day — I’ll post the link tomorrow. I got out the thank-yous, links, and PDF files for the article out to all the contributors. I have to check some dates — an editor of mine is going to arrange for a press pass for a few things around here. My clothes are packed for the trip — I have to pack my writing bag and my reading bag.

Onward and page-ward.

Devon

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Someday it will stop snowing. Someday.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Imbolc
Snowing, sleeting, raining

So far, one groundhog “claims” spring is coming. I’ll believe it when the crocuses bloom! And I don’t have to shovel any more.

I had serious concentration problems yesterday. I was procrastinating, with no good reason. I wound up ordering two of Susan Wittig Albert memoirs and Yasmine Galenorn’s newest, BLOOD WYNE. Yeah, I’m on a book-buying moratorium EXCEPT for Yasmine’s new book until my birthday, and I cheated by adding the Albert memoirs to it. That’s on me.

I was also concerned, because, according to the tracking, a book that hadn’t been delivered was marked as delivered a few days ago. After some backing-and-forthing, I found out that it had been delivered elsewhere on the street; a kind neighbor returned it. Last week, there was a different carrier on the route for only a day, but everyone’s mail got mixed up, and we’re still going from house to house sorting things out. I think he just put all the mail for the street together, shuffled it like a deck of cards, and delivered a handful to each house. Because I know I had at least one, sometimes more, pieces of mail for each person on the street. And they had mine.

Not going to Staples before the storm bit me in the ass. I needed to print out a full novel manuscript and send it out (they want a hard copy, not as a PDF or RTF), and then later got a request from someone else for the first fifty pages of a manuscript, again, hard copy. Have the paper; don’t have enough ink. Not going to be able to get the ink until at least tomorrow. So they will go out on Friday, which is fine. Since they are just as snowed in as I am, it’s all good. But I’d like to get it out the door sooner rather than later.

Terrible time concentrating on actual writing. I need to focus, because I’m negotiating what will be a long-term contract with a client, and that will reshuffle my writing time. It’s all good, but it will mean I either need to focus more when I put butt in chair, or butt in chair will regularly stay there past midnight. What has to get done has to get done, whether I’m in the mood to do it or not. Since I haven’t heard back on the questions I had about another potential job with in the requisite 48 hours to answer business correspondence, I’m assuming it’s a no-go, at least from my end. The red flags I questioned were obviously justified.

All the dicks and ignoramuses who are anti-health care should go though something like this type of experience and/or loss personally, so they can experience how much they hurt people.

It hits close to home, because this could just as easily be me as this lovely writer.

The ONLY reason the health care reform sucks as badly as it does is because the cowardly Democrats compromised with the Republicans on over 160 amendments, all in favor of the insurance companies who perform economic rape and violence on a daily basis, with full permission from the GOP, who are on the special interest payrolls. It is a Republican amendment, not the original bill (the good one) that’s allowed insurance companies to hike their rates this year. The original bill prevented that. I worked on it with my representatives; unlike most of the media and most of the public who only listen to the sound bite crap, I know what was actually in it.

The unpublicized call that came right after the House voted to “repeal” the current health care reforms was one put forward that, until there is real health care reform in this country, Congress should give up THEIR health care — which is among one of the best plans in the world and works similar to single-payer system the Republicans are paid to hate. Fourteen Republicans, the few who are not complete and utter hypocrites, said fine. The rest, of course, did not, because it’s not about health care at all, it’s about pleasing the people who fund their campaigns, who are making money off of the general population like vultures.

You can check any of the votes in the House or Senate at the Government Printing Office site. It’s a good resource to follow what’s not getting coverage in the media, and also via the Library of Congress, which keeps tabs on Roll Call votes. The local papers here are also very good at keeping track of how various MA state and federal politicians vote on different issues, so you can keep track of who’s actually representing you and who’s only representing special interests.

It really doesn’t matter what any of these individuals says during a campaign — it matters how they actually vote (providing they show up to vote at all).

Speaking of which, on Friday, I have to sit down with the agency that helps MA residents find affordable heath care and sign up with someone, or I’ll be hit with a fine. I’m glad that states are challenging the ruling and saying that you are forced to BUY healthcare — what we need is a single-payer system that covers everyone. Insurance companies used to be non-profits — that is what they need to return to. No one, certainly not some damned executive, should be getting millions of dollars in salaries and perks because his company leaves people to die, and his board pats him on the paycheck for saving them the money they are supposed to use for CARE.

Shoveling wasn’t too bad, but still created a problem in the back healing. Not looking forward to today, either, although I think it’ll be more ice than anything else, which means more chance of power loss. So I’m trying to get as much done as possible before it goes out.

Had to take something for the back pain (pretty soon my liver won’t be speaking to me) so I’m hoping it kicks in soon and I can get some writing done.

I managed to get most of the work on Confidential Job #1 done yesterday — the assignment is just as cool as I hoped it would be, and I was so thrilled to be chosen for this particular one. I’m going to wind up getting it in over a week early. Which means I can invoice.

I hear that an article of mine goes live today — will post the link tomorrow for you all and will prepare the PDFs for people who were kind enough to be interviewed for the article.

Back to the page (ow — sitting still hurts).

Devon

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Craigville Beach, about a 5 minute drive from me.

Saturday, January 15, 2011
Waxing Moon
Sunny and c-c-cold

Bitterly cold out. Hopefully, it will warm up a bit before I have to venture out later.

Yesterday was pretty quiet. Got the papers, mailed the taxes, etc. Vacuumed the whole house, put away some more stuff, scrubbed down the kitchen, did two loads of laundry.

Got some writing done (but not enough),commented on the classes, got in some reading. The library book I thought was a mystery (because of its cover and the fact that it was shelved with “new mystery”) is actually a wonderfully-written non-fiction, something I must have on my shelf, so I went and ordered it.

And hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to see why I nearly tossed back a book specific to area gardens because of the kind of typo that makes me froth at the mouth.

I have to have a moratorium on book-buying until my birthday — except for Yasmine Galenorn’s new release at the beginning of February. I have stacks of books I bought at the book barn, and stacks of stuff I got with gift cards, etc. I need to catch up before I buy any more!

Tried really, really hard to watch HUMAN TARGET last night. The writing, the concept, the everything is all over the place. The show is struggling, but one of the reasons it continues to struggle is that it feels like they’re getting too many notes and trying to incorporate them all instead of sticking to a solid vision. There were some great character moments, and Jackie Earle Haley manages to find his way with beats and details no matter what, but I think they’re even diluting his character, and it hurts to watch the show struggle so much.

Did a good chunk of work on the Samantha Light piece. A little over 1300 words, which is good for the first writing session of the day. I’m struggling with the other one, and I have to get it together. That’s the one on deadline.

Did some work on some proposals, and will have to do some more work so I can get them out. I’ve also got some proposals to get out to local places for in-person classes rather than online ones.

Later today, I’m off to see a raptor release at Long Pasture Sanctuary. It sounds fascinating, and I’m looking forward to it.

So, I need as much productive time at the page as I can.

Devon

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Scheduled to post

Roller coaster of a weekend. Packed Saturday morning, went over to the site job for a few hours, came back, packed some more, was in absolute despair by the time I left, wondering how it will all get done. We’re at the point where it’s the weird-sized stuff, that doesn’t really fit into boxes, but the movers don’t want bags, they want BOXES, and large boxes are damn expensive. So it’s sorting what we take in the last carload today and what we can leave for the movers. I feel like I should put a sticker on the car staying “Weird shit” – only, I don’t put stickers on my car.

Went back to the site job, finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and also read Yasmine Galenorn’s HARVEST HUNTING. Loved it. Delilah is my favorite of the three Otherworld sisters anyway, and she just grows and learns so much in this book. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Plus, it was nice to read something just because I wanted to.

To bed early, lots of weird dreams, mostly involving actors (which means they must be anxiety dreams about leaving the NY area and Broadway). Up early Sunday, got some writing done (which felt GREAT, I miss my daily writing). After breakfast, headed back to the apartment.

Finished pulling stuff off the PC, was ready to pull the hard drive and dump the PC, then realized I don’t know what the hard drive looks like. So that had to wait. Packed some more, in absolute despair. Bought a bunch more boxes, mailed some stuff, returned library books, announced to the neighbors and a few local friends who know my neighbors that I’m leaving. We’ll see how that goes over. Can’t say as I care all that much — my friends are happy for me, and those who aren’t — I don’t have to deal with them any more.

Back to the site job. Looked up what the hard drive looked like, so I could pull it when I got home. Took care of some other stuff online.

I’m so sad to be leaving this job. It’s one of the few things I will miss.

Worked on the write up for Confidential Job #1 and emailed it when I got back.

Had to go back to the site because I left my cell phone there. Freudian slip much?

Returned a key to another job. Picked up my mom and returned a key to yet another job.

Packed some more when I got home. Cleaned the oven. Played with the cats, who are beside themselves with stress. Stacked the stuff that somehow HAS to get squished into the car today.

Eddie McClintock’s tweets on the Jets/Browns game were so hilarious I got distracted from my packing. Better than the game! Always nice to know that an actor whose work you admire is also funny and smart without a script!

Pulled the hard drive and dumped the old PC. I am now officially PC-free and totally Mac-converted. As my friend Barb says, “I am of the Cult of Mac, and it is good.”

Up to the house early this morning, with the last carload of stuff before the Carload of Cats. Errands, raking, and I bet I’ll be in bed very early. Everything hurts. I can’t wait to take a long, hot soak in Epsom salts on Friday night, with a great glass of wine, some scented candles, and Valerian root before bedtime. Because I”m taking waaaaay too many over-the-counter painkillers, and, in just two weeks, I’ve built up a tolerance. So, after Friday — no more for a few months — just massage, yoga, and my special stress-release bath salts.

Three days, people. Three days.

Devon

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Dark Moon
Cloudy and cool

Yasmine Galenorn has some great advice on getting it all done as a writer, over on the Witchy Chicks Blog. Check it out.

Colin, to answer your question, I don’t use the iPod on the runs. I can’t stand it when runners in this area don’t pay attention to what’s around them and expect everyone else to watch out for them, instead. It’s too busy, there’s too much traffic and other people and dogs and things for one not to pay attention to what’s going on all around. I want and need to be very aware of the surroundings, even if I’m thinking!

Michael, hope the pilot shoot went well, and I bet you someone sold the DAMNATION ALLEY vehicle on eBay, and it’s in someone’s backyard or something. I’ll check out the film you mentioned — I trust your judgement.

Lara, yeah, can you imagine, the machines were floating around in the basement, in all that sewage and muck. Instead of replacing them, they simply hosed them down. Ick.

My taxes are killing me, and today is do or die, since I start work out of town tomorrow. Every time I think I’ve filled out the form, I find another form to fill out. They’re getting, like 50 pages of material from me. And it turns out books are a depreciated expense, if I plan on using them over time. All I can do is the best I can do. If I screw it up, they’ll let me know. Turbo Tax is absolutely useless, by the way. I looked into it. All those little boxes don’t have enough variation for what I do.

I’ve never been a person who could fit into someone else’s box.

Got my column out, worked on the third chapter of the urban fantasy, got out five queries, worked on the taxes, did the business correspondence. Took one batch of stuff to the post office; another trip set for today.

Did a little bit of work on the urban fantasy. I’ve now hit the point where I have to sit down and plot before I can work on it anymore. I also should put it aside for the next few days and work solely on the novella, which must get out the door next week.

Back to taxes.

Devon

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 6:58 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and (a tad) warmer

I’m having trouble getting going this morning.

Got a little writing done yesterday, but not enough. Took another load of stuff to storage, ran a few other errands. Made ratatouille and a beef stroganoff in the afternoon, reading Yasmine Galenorn’s BONE MAGIC in between the simmering and stirring. I like it a lot — the threads of the storyline are getting more complex, and, at the same time, she keeps managing to surprise. Both as a reader and a fellow writer, I’m fascinated by the way she unfolds this series.

Started another book (by a different author) last night which I don’t know if I’ll finish. Not only is the writing sloppy and expository in the wrong way, but the author writes about a foreign locale and it is obvious said author never visited and only knows through reading the most basic of guidebooks. Very few writers are good enough to set books in locales they haven’t visited in person. Some are imaginative enough, do enough thorough research, and find people who’ve either lived there or visited there who, by being asked THE RIGHT QUESTIONS by the author, can relate specific, sensory information that brings the locale to life.

This author didn’t have those strengths.

The book’s definitely going up on BookMooch, and I won’t be buying any more by this author. The author’s published quite a bit, but the style, the voice, the tone, the lack of research, and the sloppy writing turn me off. It’s hard to make a living in this business, so I’m not going to trash anyone by name, more power to the person for making a living, but I won’t be contributing to the royalty checks in the future. Just not to my taste.

Last night’s episode of CHUCK was much better than the season premiere, and I enjoyed the episode of CASTLE. Nice little distraction in the evening. And I did my workout, which was okay, but not great.

Did a lot of percolating yesterday, which was helpful, and will alternate percolation with writing today. I’ve got to get a few things cleared off, get another load of stuff to storage, check on my mom (her back’s worse), and do basic stuff like vacuuming and mopping the floors. Housework never ceases, does it? But if I can write a few scenes and then percolate while I clean, and then write some more, it should all get done in a reasonable amount of time.

When I’m percolating writing, it’s hard to talk about it, because the process is so internal and mysterious, even to me. It’s like putting a bunch of stuff in a slow cooker. When it’s ready, you have a great meal, but if you take it out too soon, some of the elements are too raw and it doesn’t taste as good.

And preparing to do the webhost move is a nightmare, pure and simple.

Devon

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 9:41 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend.

Saturday’s job went well. I got everything done and had time to work on some writing, too. The environment was peaceful and conducive to creative work. One piece on which I’m working has a “piece with in a piece” and have to figure out the internal logistics in order to write the actual story. I did get home around midnight, though, so getting up at 6 AM on Sunday wasn’t fun.

Up early, out the door, to CT, picked up my Mom, back here (because I live across the street from the train station, so it makes sense to use this one. On the train into the city — it was actually on time, nearly unheard of in the annals of Metro North.

Up to the hotel where my friends are staying, and we met up with them and their great kids. My mom hadn’t seen them in twenty yearns, and for me, it was even longer. I hadn’t realized it was that long, because we always talk on the phone every Christmas. It was lovely to see them and catch up. I have an open invitation to come to Rio, so I very well may take them up on it next year — I can start putting aside some money every paycheck for the “Rio Fund”. 😉

One of the friends runs the first cat-only vet practice in Brazil, so, of course, we talked cats. They have a few cats in their homes, and her practice, next door, is exclusively cats, so to say she’s a “cat person” is putting it mildly. He works for a good company in Brazil — he used to actually work on the oil rigs, but now he’s back on land. We met when we lived next door to each other in a residence club, when I first moved to San Francisco, a VERY long time ago! 😉 And have stayed friends ever since.

It was great to see each other again and catch up. And the kids are great — his daughters are 12 and 4. The older daughter brought a friend over, and his nephew, about eight, was also there. All of them are very bright, self-motivated, and don’t expect the world to entertain them The four year old is more computer-savvy than I am, which is a little scary. They’re in NY for a few days, and then headed to Disney World. I know of very few American children in that age range (unless I had a strong hand in bringing them up, the way I did with most of my godkids), who would have behaved as well and handled a first trip to NYC with such sophistication, and yet still been kids.

The contrast was even stronger on the train back, where there were far too many badly behaved, spoiled suburban children running wild on the train and their parents not paying any attention, or thinking it’s “cute.”

But before we headed back on the train, we stopped at Borders and used our gift cards! I bought quite the stack of books, and didn’t get everything on my list, because I was distracted by other books that looked really interesting!

I bought Yasmine Galenorn’s newest, BONE MAGIC (of course, I’m a big fan of the series). Sharon Shinn has a new book out in the Twelve Houses series, FORTUNE AND FATE, so I had to get that (her first book in the series, MYSTIC AND RIDER, continues to be one of my favorite books across the board). I picked up Monica Ferris’s THAI DIE, a mystery that I’m worried is what I call a “gimmick” mystery (it has a counted cross stitch pattern in the back), but the story sounds intriguing enough that I bought it anyway. Nicole Peeler’s TEMPEST RISING looks good, so I added that to the pile. That’s a case where the cover design completely drew me in — Sharon Tancredi’s illustration is completely unique, especially from the other books shelved around it. So many of the cover designs are so similar — all dark with the heroine in stilettos and a bustier, could we please have a RANGE of fashion choices, thank you very much, and some color? Yes, the covers are often appropriate for individual books, and, for instance, I think Yasmine’s covers are great and unique, but when shelves and shelves of covers on books by different authors with unique voices all look the same, I don’t want to buy any of them– but the colors and the artwork on this were completely unique. And the story sounds good, so I bought it. I also bought Deanna Rayburn’s SILENT IN THE GRAVE, and Karen Harper’s MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE.

A good afternoon’s shopping! 😉

There was one kid on the train, though, who didn’t fit into the “spoiled suburban brat” mode. He was about nine years old, doing card tricks. His mother was at her wits’ end — I bet he’s been saying, “Pick a card” 24/7 for WEEKS. So I let him ply his tricks on me, and he’s actually very good. I gave him a few suggestions on presentation (he takes direction well), his mother had a break, and we had fun. I’ll have to use a character inspired by him in something.

Quiet evening at home. Watched the premiere of CHUCK and was disappointed. To me, it seems meandering, repetitive, and scattered, and lost a lot of its charm. They’re spending waaaaay too much time on the friends in the store — they’s supposed to be B story-line comic relief, and they’re getting equal screen time, and it doesn’t work for me.

I have to comment on the whole Jay Leno debacle. So many mistakes were made all the way around, and, instead of fixing the issue, NBC is closing its eyes, sticking its fingers in the ears and singing, “La, La, La” at the top of its lungs. People want scripted shows in the 10 PM slot. Period. I specifically did not watch the new Leno show, which I understand was basically a re-hash of the old Leno show, but in an earlier time slot, because, as someone who’s worked in the industry, NBC could get away with 5 hours’ less of produced, scripted shows by putting him on, and I protest that, both as someone who makes my living in the industry, and as an audience member. I’d stopped watching Jay awhile back, because the segments like “Jay walking” infuriate me. Why is he rewarding people for being uniformed morons by putting them on TV?

Yes, it costs a lot of money to produce a good scripted show, and to produce it well. But it’s worth it. I definitely have my problems with LOST, but it’s well-scripted and well-produced, and has been a gold mine for ABC. As usual, the network is trying to cut costs the wrong way. Having worked on several NBC shows, unless they’re up against a producer who pushes back, they’re always trying to nickel and dime. All the networks do, which is why it’s so important that the exec producer on a show has clout and is a hardass and pushes back at the network, and trains the producers under him or her on various shows to be the same. The networks don’t care about quality most of the time (example — reality shows). They only look at numbers and gossip about the network. If they widened their view a bit, they’d end up making more money over a period of time.

Okay, it’s back to the page for me for a few hours. I should take another load of decorations to storage and run some errands. Not yet sure if that’s on the agenda. Depends on the writing and what I feel like doing. I’ve also GOT to get a new phone sooner rather than later, although I hesitate to get it during Mercury Retrograde. I’ve also got a lot of correspondence to handle this week, and continue attempting to pull off emails from 1and1.

Ick.

Devon