Monday, May 17, 2004
Cloudy and humid
Cranky day where I need to get some perspective. I’d like to blame it on two more planets going retrograde, but I doubt that’s the real reason. I am simply burning out. I’m trying to juggle many projects so that I can pay my bills, and I’m not replenishing the creative well. I’m cranky and headachy a good portion of the time, but I can’t walk away from the computer and relax because of the pressure of multiple deadlines.
The radio gig for the serials keeps getting more and more complicated. Now we are supposed to pre-record our own serials – oh, and we all have recording studios at home? It annoys me. Renting studio time and doing this better have a big payoff as far as new subscribers. I need to figure out a way to build the subscription base. Getting up the website with the historical information seems like the best bet. Working two days this week in the theatre – how much of an excuse will that be not to finish the site? But maybe the change of pace will fuel me creatively.
Past few days were quite busy, writing-wise. Wrote the first draft of two short articles this morning. Over the weekend, I polished two articles for Llewellyn, the article for Fayth and the first column for Fayth. All those are submitted. I answered some fact-checking questions for Hamptons Family Life, so, hopefully, a check is forthcoming from them. I enjoy working with a fact checker. It makes me feel more secure. I’d rather have someone catch a mistake or misunderstanding than have it go into print.
I need to do this week’s episodes for the serials.
The exciting news of the weekend was Smarty Jones winning the Preakness by 11 ½ lengths. It was spectacular! Rock Hard Ten, the horse who came in second, is also a magnificent horse and I can’t wait to see him run again, but I want Smarty Jones to win the Triple Crown! So far, only Smarty Jones, Seattle Slew and Majestic Prince – the horse who got me hooked on racing – have won both the Derby and the Preakness as undefeated horses. Seattle Slew went on to win the Triple Crown. Majestic Prince did not. I want a Triple Crown winner very much, but after the disappointments of the last few years, I’m afraid to hope for one. But Smarty Jones is an unusual horse, and I’d love to see him do it.
I guess I am doing the Preakness and Belmont articles. Much to my surprise, my Derby article ran in the local paper where we had all the drama about word count (or lack thereof) a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t in the issue we’d originally talked about, but it ran – I guess they lost something they expected in the previous week’s issue and had the chance to run it. Oh, well. I’ll finish out my commitment, and they can print or not print the articles, and then I’m done with that publication. The clip on the Derby will serve me well, so it wasn’t a total loss, but it was a less than stellar experience.
I’m far behind on Periwinkle and need to catch up this week. And a new novel is digging through my brain and demanding attention. It’s not a fantasy novel, but it’s fantastical. And it has to do with horses and racing in a weird way.
The computer hasn’t been behaving well – especially the printer, which has gone back to refusing to print what and when asked, but turning itself on in the middle of the night to randomly print documents I’ve never seen before. HGTV had a piece on a computerized kitchen of the future last night. But it’s a Microsoft operating system, so it wouldn’t work properly 90% of the time anyway, so what’s the point? I’ve been sending at least a half dozen error messages to Microsoft EVERY DAY for the past week, and there’s not even a response. Dumbest thing I ever did was go Microsoft in the beginning instead of Mac. It has cost me enormously, both financially and emotionally. We are not a good match.
I am definitely no fun to be around today. I better shut up, get some perspective and get back to writing. Maybe if I have a few good hours at the desk, I’ll feel better. I should feel good about those two rough drafts this morning, and they simply left me even more frustrated. One of those days, I guess.
Okay, day’s getting better. Two episodes of Tapestry, done and off. Turns out I’d written ahead on The Widow’s Chamber, so all those episodes needed were a polish. Worked on Angel Hunt, but didn’t finish it. Wrote a chapter of Periwinkle. I don’t understand why I’ve fallen so far behind on that one. Once I actually sat down to it, it flowed well. I’m a month behind on it, and I have no excuse.
I did some business – filled out an informational sheet for an upcoming interview, submitted Tapestry to search engines, worked on some other less creative work. I still have to get out a stack of library letters and work on the queries for Dixie Dust Rumours. Those need to go out this week.
Heard from the Eastchester Arts Council – my proposal is “on file”, which means I’ll never hear from them. Oh, well.
I wrote the first chapter of the fantastical novel. And, I got The Tingle. Ooh, that looks slightly obscene up there on the screen, but that’s not at all what I mean. Sometimes, when you work on a project, and you don’t know where it’s going, but you know that something special is happening. There’s no logic involved. You’re working completely off of intuition. And that’s what’s happening here. It is a completely unique piece, unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and it can’t really fit into anyone else’s category. So I’ll just have to ride it and see where we end up.
Bad news: I got an e-mail from the editor/publisher of Fayth that the magazine will be scrapped due to a long illness and subsequent death in the family. Supposedly, the situation has been going on for months. I’m sorry for the loss, but if this was a long-term issue, why weren’t the writers told about it ahead of time? Why wait and pull the plug after the submissions are in? I want to be compassionate, but I’m angry. I certainly need the money from that gig, and it was so specialized it’s not as though I can turn around and resell the work elsewhere. I feel like the editor wasn’t upfront with us. Several other freelancers with whom I chatted think it’s a scam – the person got cold feet or ran out of money or something and made up the story of family illness. Since the publication deals with spiritual issues, I hope that’s not the case, or the karmic return will be especially nasty.
Well, this is all part of the business. I have to accept it, move on, and be a bit more cautious in the future. The least she could do is pay us all a nominal kill fee.
Dwelling on the anger and festering bitterness won’t help. It’s not as though there’s nothing else to work on, right?
That’s Devon, signing off for tonight.
(I kept typing “singing”, but trust me, you don’t want to hear me sing).