Saturday, July 31, 2004

Saturday, July 31, 2004
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot and sticky

Yesterday, I went to visit my colleague who is in hospice. He’s lost weight, but is in good spirits and surrounded by family and loved ones. He was pleased by my visit. I stayed only a short while, so as not to tire him too badly, but I’m glad I went. And I will continue to visit, as long as possible. He deserves to know how much he is valued, and how much we hope to make his transition as painless as possible.

Then, it was off to daywork. I worked in the Men’s Ensemble, with two other people, which was a nice change. And my friend B. was in the Women’s Ensemble. She has a phone account with OTB, so we managed to place some Saratoga bets. I haven’t yet checked the charts – hopefully, we won.

Over the past three days, I’ve read Emily Drake’s lovely “Magickers” series. Unfortunately, it’s being advertised as being in the Harry Potter vein. The blurbs make the books sound derivative, and they’re not. They’re quite inventive in their own right. The characters are unusual and well-rounded. There are actually positive relationships with adults, which is a nice change when the protagonists are teenagers. My only wish for a change in the books is that they end so abruptly, and we never get to take a breath with the characters after they’ve faced their latest challenge. I miss that. But I gobbled three books up in three days. Technically, they’re young adult fiction, but they’re shelved with the regular fantasy, and I think they’re applicable to a wide variety of ages.

I was hesitant to read them, at first – not only because I’m so fussy in my magic/fantasy fiction and get so annoyed at derivative books – but because I was afraid it would cloud my own work on the YA book. However, I’m going in a completely different direction than Emily Drake – although I think we might appeal to some of the same readers. So I could simply devour them with sheer enjoyment and not worry.

Some of the work I’ve been doing on the YA is over thought. I need to change my ideas for the future, because some of them are pushing the present in a way that would force me to make Julia much younger, and therefore not able to be a strong enough mentor to Lizzie, Jonas and Peter. It will weaken what I envision now. Therefore, I will jettison it, and let the characters grow into themselves instead of trying to force certain types of growth.

Finished the mystery set in New Orleans. The plot was tight and fascinating. The characters, especially the protagonist, were not. No wonder the lead character found so much rudeness in New Orleans – she was so rude and abrasive I kept hoping she’d be dumped in a swamp – permanently. Not a series I will continue to read.

Today was hot and sticky. The morning was filled with errands – picking up Felicia’s prescription food, going to the store, going on a bit of a treasure hunt to gather things for tomorrow. Tomorrow is an important day for me – one which I will discuss in depth in the other blog, devoted to that section of my life. And I’m preparing.

The Full Moon is obviously important to my creativity, too. Polished an episode of Angel Hunt, and wrote and polished four more episodes. There are all sorts of possibilities for dark comedy as Lianna goes to meet the Hermit in the Universal Library. And, eventually, she has to meet The Three Fates. I’d rather the meeting was later than sooner, and so would she.

DAMN MICROSOFT! I am sick of these effing “run time errors” even though I save every couple of paragraphs, dumping my work. That’s twice while I’ve worked on the blog. Not acceptable.

I have to find out of Wild Child got the notes for the excerpt from Moon Tribe tales. I bet they went astray thanks to fucking MSN. I'm so sick of companies that don't live up to their end of the bargain!


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thursday, July 29, 2004
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Thirty two years ago today, my father died.  This is always a difficult day for me.
There’s nothing more to say, except that, since I have to work today, I need to make it a day of quiet mourning.  There’s nothing anyone can do to help at work, and it’s unfair to expect them to try.

Of course, the fact that MSN is being impossible and I can’t get at my work in order to pull it off the server doesn’t help; nor will they even talk to me about the problem.  They are now simply ignoring my complaints.  No response via e-mail and, when I call, I’m disconnected.

Time to get the BBB involved.

The college that invited me to teach in spring now acts as though they never heard of me, which is very annoying.  I’ve stuck to every date they’ve given me, and they’re incredibly disorganized.  Not only that, they’re not prestigious enough for me to dance to their tune.  I re-submitted the materials and we agreed that a decision will be made by next week.  I can’t hold open the spring any longer because they’re disorganized.  I have no doubt the decision will be “no” – after all, they’ve strung me along since May – why would they actually come through?  And that’s fine – merely means something better is on the horizon. But I hate having my time wasted.  None of their “teachers” have the writing credits I do – which is kind of sad.  But then, in another local program, their fiction teacher has never published!

And we wonder why the state of education sucks in this country.

Hopefully, if and when Kerry gets into the White House, some educational reforms will take hold along with the economic.  Edwards made a good speech last night.  This is the first campaign in a long time that doesn’t spend its entire time yelling below-the-belt comments about the other side; instead, the campaign is presenting actual ideas for progress.  This way, people can decide if they agree with them or not and vote based on the issue, not on an accusation.  About damned time.

At least I got some work done on Angel Hunt before I had to head in for day work.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Last night’s interview on KIC’s regular radio show for ArtistFirst went well.  Kelli and I had a good time, as always.    We talked about a wide range of topics, and I read from the 25th episode of Tapestry.  Hopefully, it intrigued people enough to subscribe for the three darned months to get there!

I had a blast, and I hope to get to do more segments with her in the future.

I just love radio.  I love it as an art form.  I want to learn more about it, and I want to create opportunities to do more.

I got the paperwork for teaching at Greenwich High School in fall – oh, boy, is there a lot to fill out!  It’ll be worth it, I hope.

Monday, I was not creative at all.  I was having fits trying to pull information off the old ISP and get it onto the new ISP.

I’ve also contacted SUNY/WCC three times, as directed, for spring’s scheduling, and . . .nothing.

I am rather annoyed.  I’m getting in offers for the spring and I need to be able to set dates for different things.  Especially since I had the information to them in May by the date they gave me, only to be told they made their decisions early because the printer was going on maternity leave!  Come on, people, hold up your end of the deal!

So, anyway, I wasted all of Monday too exhausted to write and just trying to get re-organized.

Tuesday, I raced out to daywork early so that I could get back in time to do the radio interview.  I think I’d rather not have to work all day, get annoyed by things that aren’t worth my time, and then have to race back through rush hour traffic.  Just a little bit more stress than I’d prefer.  But it all worked out.

I was loathe to start anything this morning, as the exterminator was scheduled for his monthly visit.  However, he never showed up, and I lost the best part of my writing time.

But I caught up on e-mail, scoured job boards, and researched dates and travel info for the New Orleans trip in January.  I’m going to have to make the trip earlier in the month than I’d planned.  Everything is both booked and highly overpriced the last week of January.  Oh, well.

Must get back to Angel Hunt today.  Not only do I need to catch up, I need to write ahead.  Also have to work on the calendar article and the Christmas story.

The YA piece continues to intrigue me.  I’m writing more and more notes about the characters, who they are and where they’re going. The complexity of their interaction makes me wonder if I’m really writing a YA piece and trying to get the readers to grow with the characters, or if I’m writing a series of adult novels with teenaged protagonists coming of age over a period of time.  Perhaps that’s why I’m having such trouble naming the series – I’m trying to get it to be something it isn’t.  And I’m not giving it or myself the time and the respect to find out what it is.

In other words, I need patience, and that’s never been a virtue of mine.

And the damned Lexmark printer is being ridiculous again.  I’ve had nothing but trouble with it since I got it, and Dell has REFUSED to deal with it.  I’m so sick of these companies breaking their contracts.  I paid money for a piece of equipment to work.  That’s the contract.  It has to work.  Not once every other Thursday and then in the middle of the night spewing out things I’ve never seen before.  It needs to print WHAT I want WHEN I want WHENVER I want.

Time to file a complaint with the BBB.

The purpose of this blog is not to be political –and, frankly, some of the so-called political blogs I’ve read recently are so dreadful why would anyone support the candidates written about?  I dipped into three blogs and the writing was so poor on all of them that I nearly gagged.  I couldn’t even get past the poor grammar and sentence structure to actually figure out whether or not I agreed with the content.

However, the Democratic Convention is on in Boston, and it’s fascinating.  I am not registered with a party.  I refuse that kind of boxing and limitation.  I’ll vote for whomever I damn well please, thank you very much, for whomever I think will do the best for myself and those around me, and, more importantly, for the nation as a whole, not one single element of it .

Both Hilary and Bill Clinton’s speeches on Monday night were excellent. Funny, fact-filled, persuasive, to the point, and scored a few direct hits.  I know my life was much better during the Clinton years than any of the Bush years.

And yesterday, Ted Kennedy, Senator Obama, Ron Reagan Jr.,  and Teresa Heinz-Kerry all had things to say which were worth listening to.  I’m glad Teresa Heinz-Kerry told a journalist to “shove it” the other night.  It’s about time people stopped pandering to those misrepresenting them because they’re afraid it’ll be worse if they don’t play along.  These days, thanks to the publishers so desperate for a scoop, reporters aren’t given the time or the resources to report – which, in my definition is to research the topic, report BOTH SIDES of the issue, back it up, and let me make my own decision.  The majority of so-called reporting is surface, surface, surface.  Not all of it is the fault of the reporters – much more of the blame needs to be set at the feet of the publishers, for whom a scoop is more important than the truth.

Step away from the soapbox and put it away!

It’s too hot to cook, so I’m going to get Chinese take-out and then get back to work on Angel Hunt.



Monday, July 26, 2004

Monday, July 26, 2004
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s been a tumultuous and exhausting week, mentally and physically.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s e-mailed me, concerned that I haven’t updated the blog, and worried that I was sick.  I’m exhausted, but I’m trying to stave off actual illness.  I appreciate the concern.

Monday’s radio interview went well with Artist First, although they called me up just prior, claiming they hadn’t received my materials.  I begged to differ, since I had delivery confirmation.  And, they called on my cell phone, although I sent them the request to call on the landline, with the correct number, in writing, THREE TIMES.  The interviewer also hadn’t prepared at all prior to the interview.

But it was fine, and, hopefully, generated some interest in my work.  I got wonderful positive responses from it all day – with the only criticism being that the interviewer was unseasoned and unprepared.

But it wore me out.

Tuesday, I got up early to get some work done.  I started typing the YA, and, of course, fell into the trap of editing as I go, which I don’t want to do until the first draft is complete.  But it’s easier to refer to what’s happened and continue to plot if it’s typed out rather than written.  So I’m calling the typed draft “1A”.

The Pirate Saga is percolating.  If I can pull it together and get 150-200 pages written by January or February of next year, I may pitch it to KIC.

I’m transferring ISP stuff.  It’s a long and painful progress.  I hadn’t realized how much I kept stored in the account over the course of the years.  I have to stay on top of the e-mail more, printing and filing what’s relevant, instead of keeping it all on the computer – yes, so much for a “paperless office.”  Not in my life.

I worked on the Christmas story.

I had a lovely lunch at Prêt a Manger – organic, healthy food that gave me lots of energy for the afternoon of daywork.  Which was a good thing, because everything was much more difficult than it needed to be.  Dinner at Cosi – not so good.

I stopped at the French Tourist Board on the way to work to pick up information, especially about Corsica.  I hadn’t realized that Brussels is only an hour and a half from Paris.  I’ll have to spend a day in Brussels and research the ancestor who lived there.

The new cast members started tonight, and gave the show fresh energy.  George Hearn, in particular, is a delight.

Fell into bed, exhausted, when I got home.

Wednesday, I worked more on the ISP conversion and the e-mail.

I’m so far behind on Angel Hunt that it’s upsetting.

There were train problems – we sat without moving for an hour.  Metro North makes the trains in undeveloped countries look reliable.  It’s simply disgusting.

But I used the time to write.  I worked on the Christmas story and the YA novel.  So at least I didn’t feel as though I’d wasted the time. 

I barely made it to the show, but did.  Both shows were fine, although I’m exhausted, everyone else is exhausted, and the entire atmosphere is sad due to the illness of our colleague.  He’s been moved to the hospice wing of the hospital now.  In a few days, he may be able to have visitors, and, once that happens, people are encouraged not to wait.

It’s so sad, that the world has to lose such a lovely person so soon.

And everyone grieves differently.  We’re all trying to give each other room to grieve; unfortunately, some people grieve by striking out, and then it becomes difficult to balance compassion with boundaries.

Thursday was a lovely, special day.  I got up early enough to write an episode of Angel Hunt (which made me feel better).  And I traveled in to the city early in order to spend the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My friend and colleague B. met me at the museum.  We started with the Egyptian exhibit, so I could do the research for my article.  Whenever I go to the museum, I make sure that I visit the room with Hatshepsut’s statues.  She named herself King during Dynasty 18, c. 1503-1482 BC.  Her statues in particular interest me because the faces are so expressive.  Most statues, especially sphinx statues, have a mystery to them stemming from the lack of expression in the face.  Her statues contain expression – even the empty eyes communicate, if that makes any sense.  I want to do more research on her.  I think an entire section of my article will be devoted to her.

The colour and texture of the artifacts are so magnificent.  And the craftsmanship is so beautiful – the alabaster jars, the buttons, the scarabs, the carved whip handles, the small toys.  It’s breathtaking.

We moved on to the “Dangerous Liaisons” exhibit.  Pieces from the costume institute were placed on mannequins and set in the furniture collection to create scenes.  The scenes were cleverly portrayed, and, again, the craftsmanship was stunning.  I hadn’t realized how large those hairdos were (hairdressers sometimes had to use stepladders), and how much decoration and ornamentation was used in hair.  It was fascinating.

“The Broken Vase” amused me because the man and the woman are embracing and have knocked a precious vase to the floor, shattering it.  A dog hides under the desk, knowing he will be blamed.

I want to research 18th century card games.  The cards on the various tables looked fascinating.  And I love the small writing desks that traveled with their owners – all the little compartments and ways pieces could expand.

Thursday was, fortunately, a sunny day.  We had lunch upstairs in the roof garden.  It made me laugh – an expanse of concrete and beehive-like structures out of twigs, along with a hot dog cart serving daiquiris and sandwiches.  We had tuna sandwiches and white wine – surprisingly good wine, considering it was served in plastic cups.  The view over the city was magnificent.

We returned to the interior of the museum to wander amongst the paintings.  Our specific destination was the Childe Hassam exhibit, but many other artists distracted us along the way.  I hadn’t realized how starved I was for art until this visit.  Usually, I visit museums regularly, but it’s been far too long.  My soul drunk in the work as though parched.

While Hassam may not have been as polished as some of the other Impressionists, his work shows an interesting range of interests and topics.  He didn’t paint the same thing over and over.  He kept trying new things.  My favorite was “A City in Fairyland” from 1886.  I’d like to get a poster of that one.  “Winter, Midnight” from 1894 was also lovely.  In general, most of his winter scenes are lovely, although one or two were rather flat.  I’m still trying to decide whether or not I want to purchase the catalogue from the exhibit.

We also wandered through a photography exhibit.  B. is a wonderful photographer, and I hope she starts selling her work soon.  She’s able to capture the interior life of her subject in a way that’s both whimsical and thoughtful.

We shopped for postcards, books, and a gift for a friend who couldn’t join us because she was at the hospital with our colleague.

We took a cab to the West Side and picked up some decorations for the person who’s handling the decorating for our supervisor’s birthday tomorrow.  Then, we stopped an outdoor café and had our dinner.  I had Eggs Benedict.  It was good, but not brilliant.  But then, I’m very fussy about my Eggs Benedict.  I’ll order them anywhere I see them on the menu, looking for the Ultimate Eggs Benedict.  I have rarely found it.

Another cab to the theatre.  Tired but happy, we walked into an environment of grief.  Again, it became the intricate balance of compassion versus not letting the person who is having trouble with the grief attack. 

Very, very tired by the time I got home.

Difficult to get out of bed on Friday, but I managed to do so.  I even managed to write another episode of Angel Hunt.

It was pouring today – a true deluge.  I had to go into the city early for another daywork call.  On the way, I stopped at the Italian Tourist office.  They were very nice and had very little helpful information.  I ended up with a large magazine about Sardinia – in German.  I’m not sure my German is good enough to read it.  But the pictures are pretty.

I stopped in at the grand opening of the new Sephora.  Too many people and too much chaos.  But I can get my favorite lipstick matched by the company who manufactured it (a French company, of course) if I bring it in.

Day work was fine.  Show was okay, but everyone’s exhausted.  A friend on the show who returned from a trip to Italy lent me his information on Sardinia.  It’s very helpful.

Marseilles is starting to intrigue me.  The rambunctiousness of the city’s history draws me.  I think it would be a good backdrop for . . .something.  And, of course, the more people tell me it’s dangerous, the more I want to go.  There are plenty of dangerous places where I wouldn’t travel on my own, but Marseilles is calling me.

Some characters started talking to me.  I wrote down their information, and they’ll have to wait their turn.

I wonder if I want to write a pirate story or the saga of a whaling family?  I think these are two separate ideas, and I’m not sure which one draws me more steadily.  They need time to percolate.

It was nearly impossible to get up on Saturday, but I managed.  I got to the show.  I was in a different track in the women’s ensemble, covering for someone else today.  The first show was a little confused, but okay.  The second show was rough.  For some reason, there were certain costume pieces with which I had problems.  I felt badly for the actors.  No one missed an entrance, but I still felt badly.

Read an interesting mystery set in Thailand.  I loved the historical and travel descriptions, but parts of the mystery just didn’t quite work for me.  The juxtaposition with an historical tale foreshadowed the upcoming chapter to such a degree that I got too far ahead of the piece in order to be satisfied.  I want some surprises at least.

Ate dinner at one of my favorite sushi places on Ninth Avenue, then treated myself to coffee and dessert at the Coffee Pot.  I scribbled down some more ideas for characters that squawked at me, and made some outline notes for a story that’s been coalescing for awhile, and may be ready to take shape.  It’s a rather unusual fantasy tale, both explicit and political. We’ll see where it leads.  It has to wait for awhile, in any case.

As I work on the YA, I wonder how much of what I know about the characters’ futures will colour their present.  I have to make choices about where to plant the seeds for their future, and where to place a crossroads where they make a definitive choice that’s different from what I’m setting up.  It’s fascinating, and I hope I can pull off these people growing up.  It will be interesting to see how the piece – because, even though it’s a series, I think of it as a piece – will grow and change.  Further along, I think there will be books where only some of the main characters appear – as they grow and their lives take different directions. Rather than trying to keep track of each of them through every book, I’ll let them branch out and be the center of their own once in awhile.  The early books will be very balanced amongst the three – Lizzie, Jonas, and Peter – but as their paths diverge, so must the books.

Sunday, I was back in the other slot, and more confused than ever.  But the show was fine.  I bought orchids and hydrangea on the way home and had dinner with friends.  Actually watched a bit of television before going to bed early.

Today, I feel about as creative as wilted lettuce.  I spent the morning catching up on business – e-mails, ISP conversion, contacting editors on outstanding or ongoing projects with my new information, making out new rolodex cards, filing the information appropriately.  It’s a lot of paperwork and when I don’t keep up on it every day – which I can’t, or I’d never get any writing done – when it piles up, it turns into mountains.

After lunch, I hope to do some creative work, as well as French and Latin lessons.  I need to do some more work on Angel Hunt, I want to do work on the YA and Widow’s Chamber, and I have to take another look at Periwinkle.  I’m going to Montauk for a few days at the end of September, and I’d like to take a first draft with me so I can do revisions as I sit on my balcony overlooking the beach.

Of course, I’d like to be there right now.

Tomorrow, another radio show:  KIC’s show at 7 PM.  I’m looking forward to it.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Monday, July 19, 2004
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Muggy and rainy

I can’t read the monologue I want to read on the radio this afternoon because of the FCC regulations.  In other words, “Transition Man” is censored.  I’m not happy about that.  So much for free speech, thank you very much.  I considered changing the word “fuck” (used once) – but that particular word is exactly what I mean in the context of the piece – not “make love”, “have sex”, “sleep with” or any of the other phrases that contain similar meanings.  This is what I mean, which is why I used the word in the first place.  I rarely use “that” language in my work, but when I do, there’s a very specific meaning to it.  I also mention sex and use “vibrator” in the monologue – don’t think those words are censored, but not sure.  So that’s annoying.  I either have to change the word or I have to read a different monologue.
I don’t often have a diva fit, but this is a case where I want one.
Perhaps I’ll mention it in the interview.
I’ve been working on the YA novel and the series in general.  The other day, in a flash, a section of their lives as adults in their mid-twenties revealed itself.  I wonder, is it possible, if the series works, to grow up with those characters and present them, many books down the line, as fully perceptive adults?  Can you take characters that started their lives with younger readers and less explicit situations and use them in fully adult novels?  How graphic, how explicit depictions of growing up will audiences allow?  Or do the publishers censor in the same way?  Would a novel dealing with these characters as complete adults, aimed at an adult audience have to be disassociated with the books for younger readers?
I’m sure the Conservative Religious Right would have a fit.
And do I care?
I have to remain true to the characters.  The best YA novels I’ve read deal honestly with actual teenage lives; they don’t merely sanitize them.  Even early books for young readers, in the 20s, 30s and 40s offered a more honest depiction of a fully-rounded life than the novels in the 50s and 60s.  Judy Blume was the one to re-break that ground.
I need to trust my characters and let them be my guide.  And I also have to decide how much I’ve learned about their future will affect the present books.
Terry Brooks brings up an important point in his book about each character integral in moving the story forward.  Charlie Yates and Fiona Mullin will help demonstrate how Lizzie will cut slack to a boy but not a girl and how she has to get past her own gender bias.
I think this story bends some of the rules, but at least I’m aware of the rules I bend, so it’s a choice instead of a mistake.
I already see where I need to rewrite.  I want to get the first draft on paper (words on paper, important mantra).  When I go back in the first rewrite, I want to add the textured, sensory details of what it’s like to be in Scotland.
Libby Coleman has already become Lizzie Calhoun (much to the relief of the Libby character in Dixie Dust Rumours who wishes to remain the only Libby in my landscape for awhile).  Josiah has become Jonas.  Peter Deane remains Peter Deane.  I need to do more research on clan histories of the area.  I found a little book I picked up about odd and interesting historical facts in Ayrshire and I’ll sprinkle some of that in, if it’s relevant.  Plus, I have to create the history of the fictional island.
I’m tempted to type up each day’s pages, but worried I’ll already start the rewrite, and that will short-circuit moving forward on the first draft.  I’m going ahead with writing too many adjectives and adverbs in this draft, and cutting them later.  The unnecessary words will remind me, in the rewrite, of the feel of each scene, and then I can focus on the absolute perfect and concise word as I do it.  If I pause each time to find the perfect word, I’ll never be done.  My Interior Editor gets in the way.
First draft is for story, character and momentum.  It’s the skeleton.
Second draft is for overwriting – overload of sensory details and tangents.
Third draft is for cutting and making it as precise as possible.  That’s the draft that goes to my Trusted Readers.
Fourth draft is revision per comments.
Fifth draft is again about precision.
Sixth draft requires more cutting and then polish.
That’s the first draft to be submitted to the market.
In other words, it’ll be awhile before this book sees the light of day, even as a YA.
I need to find a pithy name for the series.  (Yes, “pithy” – I like the word, I rarely get to use it, and it’s exactly what I mean in this situation).
Time to hunt down a Scots Gaelic dictionary.
I need to get dictionaries in different languages.  Dictionaries provide inspiration when I’m searching for the right word or making up a relevant name.  I have many in storage – which does me no good here.
I read Nancy Lamb’s book on writing for children and young adults.  It has some good information in it that can be applied to any sort of writing.  But it’s still not exactly what I’m looking for.
Working on the switchover to AOL.  It seems to run better with my system, but the transition will be a pain.  It amazes me how much my stress lessens and my overall health improves when my computer runs properly.
I’m also sticking to my yoga and doing more than usual.  It’s amazing how much better I feel when I actually do it every day.  I’m not in as much constant pain from the raked stage, my posture is better, my breathing is better.  So I need to be as disciplined in the yoga as I am in the writing.
Picked out patterns for clothes for fall.  I’m putting together some ideas, and, hopefully, I’ll have the time to make them.
The weekend at the show was interesting and difficult, with three leads leaving.  On the Saturday, one of them began to cry at the top of the second act and could barely get through her song.  It hit her that she was leaving a project that occupied more than a year of her life.  The creation process, the birthing process of such a project bonds people together in a unique way.  The friendships will be maintained, but it’s never the same as being in the trenches with your colleagues every night.  The final matinee was astounding – long time repeat audience members gave it at least four standing ovations – the first in the first number.  They cheered every detail that was tweaked for the last performance (the actors were playing pranks on each other onstage).  Often, when actors do that, the audience has no idea what’s going on, and it remains an inside joke.  But this show has so many people who love it and know every beat and every detail, that they shared the jokes with us, which was good.
That’s what makes theatre so unique and so irreplaceable, in spite of Corporate America taking over Broadway and trying to automate everyone out of their jobs.  It’s the live connection between the creative people on the stage, behind the scenes and in the audience.  It’s different in every performance, and can never be exactly recreated.  It is why theatre is such a potent and magnificent art form.
Had a chance to socialize a bit, which is always a nice change.  Dinner with two friends on Saturday between shows, and a group of us went out for drinks on Sunday after the matinee.  I was concerned about the latter because I didn’t want to spend all my time bitching about the show; fortunately, there were plenty of other topics to discuss and we had a lovely time.  We were in the Pinnacle Bar in the Hilton on 42nd St. – great view of the city.  It’s sometimes difficult to be in my old neighborhood.  It’s turned into such a theme park and is no longer livable.  I’m glad I’m not there any more, but I sometimes miss some of what it was.
Back to work on Angel Hunt  and the YA novel, prepare for the radio broadcast, and maybe spend some time on The Widow’s Chamber.
And the hundreds of other little details to which I should be attending.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Yikes! Switching ISPs has lost my ability to use bold or italics. I tried to edit today's post to put titles in Caps (and I hate to use caps unless I'm yelling), but it wouldn't take.

First time I tried to post the addendum, this didn't take either.



Yikes! Switching ISPs has lost my ability to use bold or italics. I'm trying to solve the problem. I tried to edit today's post to put titles in CAPS (hate to use caps unless I'm yelling), but the edit wouldn't take.

Always something, right?


Friday, July 16, 2004
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

I’m tired of feeling sick, and I’m even more tired of computer problems. I’m sure the latter is the major reason for the former.

I had to give up my four week reading slot for the radio show because the effing MSN corruption has made it impossible to do the sound recording and prepare the files. More lost income, thank you very much, Bill Gates. My entire computer system is trashed due to a forced e-mail upgrade. I’m lucky that I can occasionally get the word processing to work.

Read J.A. Jance’s EXIT WOUNDS yesterday. Excellent book. The first chapter is very upsetting and disturbing and it continues to get even more so as the story moves along, but it is well done. I’m interested to see where she takes the regular characters from here.

I started reading Terry Brooks’s book about writing, SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS. It is brilliant.

On page 6: “The muse whispers to you when she chooses, and you can’t tell her to come back later, because you quickly learn in this business that she might not come back at all.” How true, a lesson I learned the hard way with BTP, and a mistake I don’t intend to repeat with the young adult novel.

On page 7: “We visit our hazy treasure every day in order not to lose sight of it, not to let it evaporate from neglect.” How true, again. And that is why I get so frustrated when I see talented friends who claim they want lives as artists (whatever their art and craft), but use every excuse in the book not to make time and make it a priority.

Every page has important information like this – this is a book every person with a particular passion for anything should read.

Worked on Chapter Three of the young adult novel.

In storage, I have an amazing book about writing for young adults by Jane Edwards. She wrote one of my favorite YA novels, What Happened to Amy? and her book about writing is one of my favorites. Of course, it’s in storage and I can’t get at it. And I need it NOW, not in six months. So I’m searching for it online in order to buy another copy (having scoured the bookstores for it and not found it) . . .and can’t find evidence of it anywhere. I know it exists. So why doesn’t it come up in any searches?
Installed AOL, got myself a new screen name, and am getting the system set up. We’ll see how this trial goes, and if it’s worth retaining. So far, so good, but hey, it’s only been a few hours, and the system is not really tested. At least I can get into my MSN account and rescue as much as possible.


I thought computers were supposed to make our lives easier?

Give me a parchment and a quill pen, or, at least, and IBM selectric.

Will do some chores and then try to get a few more pages done on either the YA or on ANGEL HUNT. The Christmas story is coming along nicely. I know what I’m doing with Nina, why, and who did it. Hopefully, I can keep the piece relatively compact.

Switching ISPs has lost my ability to put in bold or italics in the blog. Please bear with me while I find out how I can fix it. I don't like to use caps unless I'm yelling!


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Thursday, July 15, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and muggy

These last few days have been busy.

The best part is that, after days of feeling frustrated and uncreative, I had a major breakthrough. Yes, it was a semi-new project, but it’s actually the coalescing of ideas that have been whirling around my head for awhile.

How often is it that the plots and characters for six young adult novels explode inside one’s head? That’s what happened on Tuesday, and I frantically wrote it all down. There’s no way I’ll risk losing it the way I lost the BTP play.

I wrote on the train; I wrote on my break during daywork; I wrote during dinner. I wrote on the train home. I wrote on the train to work yesterday. I wrote over the dinner break.

I have all six in rough outline. I have titles for the first three, which will be set in Scotland. Finally, I’m writing about Scotland – and writing about my Scotland, not the Scotland that some of my writer friends depict. Reading the writing that friends have done about Scotland created an obstacle in my writing about Scotland. “My” Scotland is so different from anything they portray. But that’s what so incredible about the place – it’s very personal, and each person’s experience is so unique it’s difficult to accept that we’re all writing about the same area.

Tuesday I wrote the outlines and started Chapter 1 of the first book. Yesterday I finished Chapter One and started Chapter Two. Today I finished Chapter Two and started Chapter Three.

Life at the show the past few days has been okay. People are getting sick – that stomach bug I had last week is going around. Also, several performers are injured. Management is splitting tracks, but can’t seem to comprehend that we need to know the details of the split so that we can figure out where to set the costumes for the swings. There are put-in rehearsals all week for the new people – four new performers start next Tuesday. So everyone is overtired, overworked, and getting hurt.

Tuesday night, my co-worker nearly snapped my ankle when it got caught between two rolling racks of clothes. I called out for her to stop and she just kept yanking on the rack, thinking it was caught on a doorjamb or something, chatting away with someone else, not paying attention. The ankle is only badly bruised, with the ligaments/tendons – whatever it is that keeps the foot attached to the leg and flexible -- traumatized, but it’s not as bad as it could have been. I was more than mildly annoyed. So sorry you’re tired, so sorry you’re bored, but don’t put me (or anyone else) in physical danger. She felt badly about it, and my intent is not to make her feel bad, but she needs to pay attention.

I’m in pain and keeping it wrapped at work, but doing PT exercises and icing and using poultices while I’m home. It hurts less if I don’t favor it by limping – if I keep the weight evenly distributed over the two legs, then the injured ankle is okay, although tired, and the other leg doesn’t start to hurt because I’m overcompensating.

Hopefully, I won’t be in for eight shows next week, and I can really rest it and do slow PT on it to keep it limber, let it heal properly, yet also not let it stiffen or atrophy.

One performer has a rotator cuff injury; another banged up her wrist pretty badly climbing the tower as a monkey; another is fighting a losing battle with bronchitis; another has the flu. The entire company really needs a week off.

Audiences don’t realize what a physical toll shows take, especially when it’s a raked stage.

I outlined the next few episodes of Angel Hunt. Now I have to sit down and write them.

I’m arguing with MSN, who is not dealing with the e-mail problems. It’s about time consumers stopped allowing poor customer service. When I pay for a service, I expect that service.

AOL offered me a sweet deal, so I’m in the process of switching over. If I hate them, I’ll move on, but it’s worth a shot. The changeover will take at least two months. I’m keeping my yahoo address consistent. That seems to be the best way for people to reach me.

Means designing yet another new business card. Here I thought MSN would be the final address, and, obviously, it’s not.

I ordered cookbooks for research (Civil War, American Revolution, Shakespeare) and they arrived within a day. That’s why I love Jessica’s Biscuit. Great service and great quality (hey, they should hire me as a copy writer -- this paragraph reads like a commercial).

The storm yesterday was fantastic. I’d just settled into an Indian restaurant on W. 53rd Street and ordered dinner. I was trying to write about a storm off the coast of Scotland in the YA book. With the atmosphere and music of the Indian restaurant, I was struggling, and thought I’d have to pause until after the meal, then find a coffeehouse in which to write.

There was a groan of thunder that sounded like a series of trucks rolling over metal plates during street construction and a rapid succession of lightening flashes. The skies opened – it was like hundreds of sky janitors all emptied their buckets at the same time.

I thought, “This’ll work” and opened the notebook.

Yes, I’m writing the first draft of the YA novel in longhand. This way I can carry it with me and work on it all the time.

Read another guidebook on Paris that makes it sound like a dirty, corporate, unpleasant, mainstream city. I wonder if maybe I should spend only a few days there and then go to Nice or Marseilles. Or if the person writing this guide was simply cranky.

They’re mowing the asphalt again. I need to take a nap, try to get some work done on Angel Hunt and then cook a good meal before heading back to the theatre.


Monday, July 12, 2004

Monday, July 12, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Muggy and rainy

It was nearly impossible to get out of bed yesterday. Everything hurts and I’m exhausted, both physically and mentally.

For some reason, Sunday tends to be a creative day, so it’s doubly frustrating when I have to give up the most creative part of my day in order to commute and do the show.

I did get some good scribbling in on the train platform for Angel Hunt. I’ve answered some of the questions – or, at least, the answers made themselves known – and they are not at all what I expected. But I think the next section is shaping itself, and I’ll be able to write it soon. I have to – I’m on deadline.

Also had an idea for another story – a rather unusual type of revenge story. I have to think about it some more.

The show was fine. Everyone’s on edge because of the very strong possibility of a strike. Some comments were made at the table that got back to the actors and they were, understandably, enraged. Because I didn’t hear them said first hand and I have a dislike for unsubstantiated rumour, I won’t repeat it here. However, if it is accurate, the actors should go out and stay out for a LONG time. The disrespect the producers (as a unit, not necessarily as individuals) have for those who actually do the work and make their profit possible is disgusting.

Also, one of the performers is leaving – not just the show, but New York – and everyone was sad to see him go. In addition to being a talented performer, he’s also a great human being, and it’s a loss to the company. His replacement is very nice – although very young – but, while you can replace a role, you can’t replace an individual.

So, it was a tough day for the performers.

Couldn’t wait to get home. I was ready to go to sleep as soon as I walked in the door.

But I stayed up and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (for the third time). I never get tired of that movie. It’s so beautifully done. And the three actors who portray Harry, Ron and Hermione are wonderful.

I also realized I’m still in mourning due to the ending of Jane and the Ghosts of Netley Hall. Nice work, Stephanie Barron!

Finished The Sound of Paper. I agree absolutely with her essay on “Creative Equality”. A poet is equal to a composer is equal to a painter is equal to an actor is equal to a novelist. While individuals have different strengths and weaknesses, the art form itself is equal but different.

However, I don’t agree with her insistence on keeping a day job and the over-reliance of structure. I think the over-reliance on structure is a personal choice. Some people need lots of structure in their lives, some don’t. Personally, I hate it. I am much more productive with large stretches of unstructured time.

I agree that, when you’re early in your career and/or have a myriad of responsibilities, you have to work on “stolen time.” But, if this is your profession as well as your passion, you have to make it a priority and demand it be treated with the same respect as any banker or carpenter or teacher. Why should you expect anyone to respect your writing and your time if you don’t? You have to set the standard and the boundaries. And stand firm that it is non-negotiable.

By non-negotiable, I don’t mean it’s okay to become a completely self-centered, irresponsible twerp and say you have the right to do so because you’re an “artist”. But you do have the right to say, “I write in the mornings. I won’t pick up the phone, run errands or be available for anything other than a life and death emergency then” or, “My writing time is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon to three, while the kids are at school. I’ll turn off the phone then, and I’ll do the grocery shopping on my way to pick them up later.”

And then you have to mean it. When the phone rings, don’t pick it up. When someone knocks on the door, or the partner says, “honey, you have to pick up such and such at 11 for me,” you respond with, “I can’t do it then; but I’ll do it at one.”

Very hard to get up today. The knees, the lower back, etc., all hurt. Plus, I’m out of sorts and having trouble getting settled into the day’s writing, which depresses me, which then makes it harder to sit and write. A vicious cycle.

It doesn’t help that one of the members in one of the online writing groups is a Drama Queen. She doesn’t participate in discussions to share information. She doesn’t celebrate anyone else’s success on the board (and our members are having some lovely and well-deserved successes). She repeats back rumours from other forums, attacks those who remind her of the rules of conduct, and then defends herself with claims of victimization on other boards. First of all, when you’re in a bad situation, get out of it, especially on the internet. Secondly, I’ve dealt with stalkers in the past, and, while it’s terrifying, I don’t use it as an excuse to attack anyone else. I’m totally over this person. I stopped replying to her posts several months ago, and, if this pattern continues, I will have to decide if I speak up or if I leave the group.

But even exposing myself for a short time to this unnecessary crap makes me feel discouraged and blue, in addition to being angry.

The continuing and escalating computer problems don’t help, either. I don’t want to waste time and space with the same old moans every day – I’ll just say that it’s getting worse and the MSN e-mail program has basically trashed my system. I need to get a new ISP ASAP, rescue what I can from this, and dump the program.

So, I ran some errands in the morning (since I have an unstructured day, I can mould it to fit my personal rhythms). I got back some of the pictures from Houston and New Orleans earlier this year. It amazes me how, as miserable as I was in Houston, the photos focus on the places of tranquility I sought out, such as the Zen Garden in the park. The photos are truly lovely. Perhaps, with enough time, I can focus on the happy memories.

Got an idea for a young adult novel set in Scotland. Jotted down the notes – it will have to take a number along with everything else.

Jotted down ideas for the Christmas story and did some preliminary research for the calendar article due August 1.

I wish the promised storm would break so it didn’t feel like I’m trying to breathe underwater, and the pre-storm headache would go away.

It’s raining, although not as heavily here as in many other areas.

Wrote three episodes of Angel Hunt.

I had a nice write up in the college newsletter, and a magazine has accepted another review. Have to finish the paperwork and return it so they can process the check. Also received a gift certificate for Amazon – hmm, the possibilities there! Will I buy something I need for research or something fun? Hmmm.

Ordered some cookbooks I need for research from Jessica’s Biscuit. Love that store.

Cooked chicken and herb tortellini in alfredo sauce, with a nice green salad dressed with Silver Palate’s Champagne Honey Mustard Salad Splash. Very simple, but good. I laughed when I first bought the dressing. “Salad splash” seems somewhat pretentious. However, it’s much lighter than most dressings, even lighter than vinaigrettes, so the name fits. And it’s delicious.

Looking forward to watching a movie on tape tonight, and then maybe getting a bit more writing done.

It seems Equity and the producers reached a tentative agreement. I’m glad not to lose any work, but I hope the union hasn’t sold out its members. Well, if the membership finds it unacceptable, they can always vote “no” on the ratification.

I wish I had a few more days off before I had to head back to the theatre. Not due to a strike, just a few more days off. I work so much better on my own schedule than on someone else’s.


Saturday, July 10, 2004

Saturday, July 10, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I’m recovering. Slowly, but surely. I still have a bad headache and everything feels sore, but I’m much better, and I’m even eating a little bit.

By the way, thank you to those who read the blog and sent e-mails to wish me a speedy recovery. I’m sure that has a lot to do with it!

I was very quiet yesterday, sleeping a great deal. The cats were good – angels with slightly tarnished or tilted halos, but very, very sweet. I read a bit and even watched some television. It made me realize I’m really not missing much by working nights!

I’m almost finished with The Sound of Paper. As I mentioned previously, there’s plenty of good ideas and valid information in it, but it’s all been in her previous work. She’s helped a lot of people, but isn’t time for her to take the next leap? Even essay to essay gets repetitive.

And I strongly disagree with the need for structure. She’s a 12-stepper – I realize that structure is her new god. However, personally, I know how much more I get done in an unstructured day because I have the internal discipline to channel my energy when it’s high for a few hours, then step back and recharge, then go at it again. She’s started to get into the trap of “My way is the best way” instead of “this is what works for me; why not give it a try?”

Before I got sick, I discussed my frustration at the lack of information/articles/support for writers who are beyond the Beginning stage, but not in the Acclaimed Writer stage (in other words, most of us who show up to work every day and keep going). I hesitate to use the word “intermediate” because that’s not quite the shade of meaning I desire. And I don’t want it to sound as though I’m disparaging all the information out there for writers in the early stages of their careers. It’s both important for them and an important market for those who have been through it. But there’s nothing out there for me and for many of my companions on this Writer’s Road to help us where we are now and to make us take the next leap. My friend suggested that because this stage of reshaping one’s career is so individual, maybe there can’t be information out there. Maybe part of it is each person figuring it out, and that’s why writers’ groups come in. I know that my online writing groups are a huge part of what keeps me going, and I miss an in-person group, but on a theatre schedule it’s next to impossible to belong to such a group, because my work schedule is in constant flux.

I still think there’s advice and information and techniques to be learned. One of the reasons I love being a writer is that I’m always learning. I wonder if perhaps because the market is so large for those who want to write (and many will simply read beginning magazines and find, when it’s time to do the work, it’s not for them, and that’s fine, too) that no one is gearing anything to the next stage because they don’t think the market is there.

It’s a conversation I think I will have with Ron Kovach of The Writer and get his perspective. I like his work and trust his opinions.

On a more practical level, I need to map out a plan to earn what I need/want to earn/bill on a weekly basis as a writer, and start pursuing that while I’m still on a show schedule. By the time the billed money starts coming in, it will be okay not to be on a show schedule. But, tired as I am, I need to set more groundwork now. I’m using the exhaustion as an excuse to do the bare minimum of my writing commitments instead of actively seeking out more work. And my “want to” projects have fallen far by the wayside. I need to pull them out of their ditches, brush them off and get back to work.

Contacted one of the colleges as requested to set the schedule for spring teaching.

I picked some dates for New Orleans, and I have the regular Tuesday at WICKED, so I want to work around that. I found a decent flight to New Orleans in January – I’ll probably book it soon. And I’m watching a few hotels. When I see the price I want, I’ll jump on it.

Wishing is great, but means little without action to back it up.

Only 9 AM, but I’ve got to finish off some morning chores, eat some breakfast (and hope it stays down) and head for the train. Two shows and a tarot client in between.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Friday, July 9, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I took the train into the city yesterday with a friend who had a job interview. We had time to hit Coliseum books before going our separate ways, which is always fun.

My tarot client never showed up. That happens once. I don’t have time to waste on unreliable people. In this day and age of hyper-communication, you call. I have too much respect for both my time and what I do to allow that kind of treatment.

Show was fine. There are a couple of people who are true energy drains, and I have decided that my energy needs to be devoted to my work, not sucked up by them. It doesn’t affect the way I deal with them or the quality of my work with them. It simply affects how I allow the situation to affect me and my own energy.

I brought in pictures from Scotland and some of the houses I’ve rented in the UK over the years. Several people are interested in more information about renting from the National Trust. I love renting from them from many reasons. The properties are wonderful and well-maintained. For less than the price of a hotel room, you rent an entire property, often with a yard. Part of your fee goes to maintain the property on which you stay; the rest goes to buy up other properties so they don’t get turned into parking lots. It’s a much more civilized way to spend a vacation than being trapped in one small room.

The check finally arrived from the magazine – with late fee. Hopefully it won’t bounce. I’m relieved that’s over.

Stayed up far too late to read Jane and the Ghosts of Netley by Stephanie Barron. The ending truly shocked me. As a reader, I was heartbroken; as a writer, I admire Barron’s guts. Why wasn’t more attention given to this book when it was originally published last year? It is a prime example of a writer standing her ground and not being swayed by popular opinion. She did what was necessary for the good of her series. In order for the full impact of this book to hit, the series up until now should be devoured (this is, I believe, book 7). Although the book works as a stand-alone, the impact of the ending won’t be as strong without the books leading up to it.

Woke up this morning with a blinding headache. I’m attempting to do what I can e-mail wise and start the transition. Plus, there’s a great deal of writing to be done. In spite of the headache, I was ready to face the page.

And then those idiots started mowing the asphalt again.

I burst into tears.

I’ve just had it with them. There is no reason to turn on a mower, leave it running and walk away from it. Not only is the noise unbearable, it’s polluting the atmosphere and wasting resources.

Financially, this was a good week, and I have to figure out how to make at least this much money every week, and then increase it. I need to put myself in a position to buy a house – preferably in an area with strict noise laws – as quickly as possible.

Fairly early in the morning, I got violently sick, and remained so all day. By one p.m., I knew there was no way I could get through the show, even with a bucket, so I called in. I felt terribly guilty. I’m the swing, and it’s my job not to get sick. But there’s nothing I could do. I have no idea what brought it on.

Slept as much as I could in between bouts of sickness. Ate a bit of soup and felt better, and plan to make it an early night.

Needless to say, I couldn’t write, either. Can barely sit up long enough to update the blog.

Will go back to bed and hope for a better day all around tomorrow.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Thursday, July 8, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, cloudy

I spend far too much time fighting with computer problems, especially e-mail problems. I am losing 40-60% of my workday every day.

The newest MSN problem is that, once I get into my e-mail, I can either READ a SINGLE e-mail or DELETE a SINGLE e-mail before I have to shut off the system and start over. Earlier, I could only write a single e-mail, but that seems to have fixed itself.

MSN doesn’t even bother to answer my complaints anymore. They simply ignore them.

I need another ISP.

I e-mailed several of them, told them what I need, why I left them in the first place, and asked them why I should choose them. We’ll see who can offer me what I need, which is:

1. Reliability. If I pay for unlimited access, that’s what I expect.

2. Customer Service. If I’m paying them monthly and have a problem, I expect them to fix it.

3. Honoring my format. Since I sent manuscripts, I expect them to retain my format to non-ISP addresses.

4. Ability to interact with addresses from other providers.

We’ll see if any of them can handle it.

I’m also annoyed with Artist First radio. Now, they’re refusing to play the recorded CDs they demanded. They will only accept MP3 files. I have no interest in buying an MP3. If my computer doesn’t have the capability to record it or convert the file, I will tell them what they can do with it. There is absolutely no reason why I should have to buy new equipment for a promotion. They should be willing to accept cassettes. Every professional sound studio/radio station has capacity for multiple formats.

I had no time to write yesterday or to study my French or Latin, which depressed me enormously. What I did on the walk from the train station to the theatre was to look at things and see if I could name them in French: le livre, le chapeau, le café. So at least I feel that I accomplished something.

I stopped at the bookstore to get another of Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries (she does such a wonderful job with them), and a first book by a writer set in an artists’ colony in New Hampshire. I need some fun reading.

One of my co-workers showed me some gorgeous photographs she took. They are gallery quality. She’s interested in pursuing photography and also do photography/art work for greeting cards. Her work is superb. I’m going to gather some information in the next week or so for it.

Matinee was frustrating. Because people were sick, management did a cut-and-paste of tracks that made it physically impossible to dress the show. God forbid they actually follow protocol and discuss it with the head of our department. If we had enough dressers to actually run the show, it wouldn’t be a problem; since we don’t, and there is no room/time to change any of the tracks without losing a good portion of the show, it can’t happen. They had to revise their list. Stage managers used to actually know what each department did. Now all they’re capable of is sitting on a stool and pointing. It gets old.

Dinner was great. A friend and I went out for Mexican food, and she told me about her recent trip to London, Paris and Rome. She took my advice and visited the Transportation Museum in London. Everyone thinks I’m nuts when I say it’s a “must” – and then falls in love with it. It is one of the most interesting and entertaining museums I’ve visited anywhere in the world. Her stories of Paris and Rome only whetted my appetite for next year’s trip to Paris and a future trip to Rome.

Evening show was a bizarre set up, too, but at least our tracks were taken into consideration. And an understudy went on for one of the male leads – it was his first time on. He was a little nervous at first, but he was wonderful! Everyone was excited, and watching from the wings in between cues. It’s one of the great things about theatre – when you get to see a really good understudy get to go on. It was hilarious – in the end, when he swashbuckled in to rescue one of the female leads from the guards – well, the regular guy is fairly slight, and the understudy is – bigger than the guards. The guards came off laughing – admitting that, had it been “real life”, the understudy could have taken them all on. It was fun.

Exhausted by the time I headed home.

Tired and depressed today. Trying to sort out e-mail stuff -- it’ll take me at least three months to convert everything to a new ISP. So I better start now. Pull and print what I need to save, dump as much as I can, convert the addresses to the yahoo address book – the good thing about a Yahoo address is that it remains constant.

Something else to cut into my writing time. And when I don’t get enough writing time, I get very, very, VERY depressed. I’m behind on a lot of work, and the computer problems not only eat 40-60% of my physical work day, they are emotionally draining.

Must leave for the city early today – I have a tarot client before the show.

Behind on all my writing, articles, etc., and the press releases. It’s very, very, very frustrating.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Finished the Halloween story late last night and did some revision work on it. Didn’t sleep well, and woke up before 6 AM to do another rewrite and then send it off. I wish I could do three or four more rewrites on it. There’s some good stuff in it, but it’s not where I want it. Well, it almost made the deadline, and if it gets rejected, I’ll keep working on it.

Now I have to start the Christmas story that’s due on August 1. I may have that be a Nina Bell story and get her stuck somewhere like New Jersey. If I could work on a first draft this week, it would give me enough time to do revisions.

But Angel Hunt requires the bulk of my attention this week. I still haven’t been able to answer all the questions I need to answer in order to write the next section.

Finished Dawn Powell’s letters. Enjoyed them enormously. Her New York novels are in storage. I’ve never read her Ohio novels, but now I want to.

Started Julia Cameron’s new book, The Sound of Paper, and I’m very disappointed. What she says is good, but she’s already said it in all her other books. She’s rehashing old material instead of taking us to the next level. It’s frustrating.

I have interesting dilemmas with both the work of Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg. Although they get far too touchy-feeling psycho-babbly for me much of the time, there are also very good techniques and ideas in their non-fiction work. However, I don’t like their fiction. I don’t find it works. I find it self-indulgent, often wallowing in description and inner psychology, rather than exploring story in relation to character. It’s a double question: How can they write so well about writing, yet much of their own writing doesn’t work? And how can I trust their writing about writing when I don’t like much of their writing?

Wanting to write and being a writer are two different things. I agree that everyone with the desire to write should do it. It’s important to express oneself; otherwise, it causes illness, both mental and physical. But, if you want it to be both your profession and your life’s calling, you have to take it a step further. It’s not just about writing in the waiting room or on the bus. It’s about making writing your priority. It’s about learning to draw boundaries and say no when people’s demands interfere with your writing. It’s about balancing the writing with the rest of your life, but, at the same time, having enough respect for it so that you don’t let other people’s demands supersede your writing.

Good news: Wild Child will run “The Goddess Green Room” in the August issue and “Horsewomen of the Apocalypse” in the September issue. Both were co-written with my friend Avonne, originally for Moon Tribe Tales. I’d asked her permission before submitting – and here she’s getting a publishing credit under her belt! It’s exciting for both of us. That piece had some outstanding writing in it, and many of the scenes can stand alone as short plays.

Must try to get some Latin and French done before I head off to the theatre for yet another long day.

Researched Albany area hotels for a friend.

The computer problems are getting on my last nerve. I told MSN since I can only access my e-mail 10% of the time, and I’m paying for unlimited use, I expect to be billed only 10% of the fee this month.

Found the guidebook I wanted for Vietnam, and it’s only whetted my appetite. There’s a lot I need to learn about the country and the culture before I even think of traveling there. I wonder if I could apply for grants to do a collaborative theatre piece there. I roughed out the specs, but reading about the government situation, I don’t know if I’d be allowed to do a project like that. Must do more research, and find travel forums and go to Journeywoman to see if anyone there has made such a trip.

Day work was fine. We still don’t know whether or not there will be a strike. A strike at this point won’t have much impact, except on everyone losing pay. It wont’ hurt the producers much. If there was going to be a strike, it needed to be over the holiday weekend. I think many of the actors feel betrayed by their union, and I don’t blame them.

Gave the hotel list to my friend who said, “oh, it’s only a fantasy anyway.” Gee, thanks. When you know that, in order to do the research, it meant giving up writing time, you damn well better not ask me to spend time on doing something that’s a “fantasy.” I’ll know better than to help next time.

Show was fine. It’s a darned good show, and I’m glad to be on it, in spite of the fact that everything is ten times harder than it needs to be.

Still no check from the magazine.

I need to figure out some more promotional stuff for the serials.


Monday, July 05, 2004

Monday, July 5, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

Fortunately, yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day as the Fourth of July.

I found a guidebook for Paris that looks like a good starting point, but nothing yet for Vietnam.

Matinee was fine. There are actors going on vacation and an actress taking a leave of absence – usual continual changes.

I’m still not feeling well, in addition to being thoroughly exhausted, but I managed to get through the show, and I don’t think anyone knew I was under par.

Came home, dinner with friends. Too sick to go to the fireworks at Playland, but could see the fireworks in Port Chester from the window. Plus, someone was setting off fireworks in the street right here, and I could see those.

In bed early.

Overslept today, and feel a bit better. I was awakened by 9 AM by the banging and carrying on downstairs. My downstairs neighbors moved out over the past few days (complete with throwing items out of the second floor window – hello, are we in a trailer park or seventeenth century London? I think not). So now the apartment is being renovated. The cats hate the noise. Between that and the fireworks last night, we have feline nervous breakdowns all around. I’m playing soothing metaphysical chanting CDs to help. Unfortunately, they make me want to take a nap, so I’m not getting all that much work done.

Did my Latin lesson and my French lesson. The Latin textbook has all sorts of interesting historical tidbits and now I want to find a good history of Rome. I seriously doubt there’s a single volume to span so much history.

Caught up on business stuff – updating my writing CV, filling in the submission log. Espresso Fiction rejected three more stories. They really hate everything I do, and I should just stop submitting, but it is yet another market I am determined to crack. I have to say, their rejection letters are among the most condescending I've ever received. One of the stories, “Lady”, might be right for Grit, so I think I’ll send it there. I don’t know what to do with “Unforgotten”. It’s a rather strange revenge story. “Reality” is another odd duck. It doesn’t fit anywhere neatly, and that’s one of the things I like about it. But that makes it difficult to market. Plus, I have to see if I have anything else I can send to Espresso. I haven’t written many new short stories lately. In spite of wanting to write a new story every two weeks, that hasn’t happened in the last couple of months.

Wild Child published another of my monologues from Women With an Edge, a piece called “Men Talk Sex.” It’s one of my favorite monologues in the show, although some people were shocked by it.

I need to work on the press info for the radio slots, and write the commercial for ArtistFirst, and get out some other media stuff. The July newsletter needs to get proofed, run off, and mailed. Plus, today’s the day the Halloween story is due, and I need to do more work on Angel Hunt.

I keep getting ideas for the pirate story and jotting them down. That project has to take a number and wait its turn behind everything else that needs attention.

Finished up the July newsletter, printed it, did the envelopes, mailed it out. The printer decided to throw a fit, tore up an envelope, then spit it out along with some plastic bits. And it’s worked better ever since, although it screams like it’s being murdered as it prints. It’s such a piece of garbage I don’t really care. It hasn’t worked properly since I bought it, two years ago, and the seller refuses to do anything about it. I’m printer shopping and plan to replace it soon with a Canon. At least Canon products both work and have excellent customer service.

Got out an e-mailing about “Men Talk Sex”. Wrote the rough for the July 19th commercial. Wrote cards to two actors I know who are appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream this month in Williamstown. I wish I could see them – they are two wonderful actors and to see them work together would be such a treat! But I can’t, I’m here. Oh, well. At least they’ll know I’m thinking about them.

Serial payment arrived, yippee. That’s always helpful.

Polished radio commercial and sent it off.

Will rest up for a bit, then tackle the rest of the Halloween story. I need to figure out a decent title. Nothing’s quite hit the mark yet.


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Saturday, July 3, 2004
Last Day of the Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

Yesterday’s train ride in was awful. People had to stand, teenagers had their feet on seats, refusing to let anyone use them, the conductors let it go – come on, they’re charging us obscene fares, the last raise was over 33%. Nothing less than perfection is acceptable. And the Stamford line is the worst line of Metro North. Trains show up randomly (sorry, I don’t accept a train being twenty minutes late as being “on or close to schedule), the trains are dirty, people are rude, they’re often short cars or the heating or air conditioning doesn’t work. With the thousands of people commuting each day, there is enough money to make the trains work properly.

I saw the new trains that are running on the other lines, and I’m jealous. They’re gorgeous. Only, because this line runs into Connecticut, and they said no, we don’t get them. Not only that, but the Connecticut commuters didn’t have to pay ANY fare increase. Only the New York commuters on this line had to pay them.

My solution: Have the new trains run from Grand Central to Port Chester. At Port Chester, make everyone going to Connecticut get off and get onto one of the old trains. Enough already.

Anyway, out of sheer frustration, once I got to the city, I went shopping. Which isn’t usually my drug of choice, but today I used it, and bought a designer shirt on sale. I stopped at the bookstore, but couldn’t find what I wanted. I was looking for a good Paris book. None of the books on the rack filled the bill. I want a combination of anecdote and travel guide. The straight out travel guides don’t have what I want (although there’s an entire bookcase of them) and the straight travelogues are either about buying an old house somewhere and renovating and finally winning over eccentric local characters, or about getting over a failed love affair in Paris by screwing anything that moves. Neither is what I’m looking for right now. I really don’t need any more books for awhile – I’ve got plenty, especially for research. And they’re wonderful.

I was upstairs again. I had a rough night getting the poor actor out of the Tin Man costume – basically, anything that could have gone wrong, did. Fortunately, we have time in that change, but I felt so badly for the actor. He was very sweet about it.

A colleague is miserable and is punishing everyone else, and it needs to stop. There is a complete refusal to accept that any other points of view have validity, that anyone knows anything, and that the boundaries set which are complained as crossed are totally disregarded when it comes to anyone else. It needs to stop. It’s difficult to deal with, since it is a person I like and respect a great deal. I know this colleague is dealing with some immensely difficult personal issues, and that has allowed me to cut more slack than usual, but it’s getting out of control.

I’m reading EM Forster’s Aspects of the Novel. It’s fascinating, but not a book to read backstage or on the train. I have to immerse myself in his novels without distraction. This book is the same way.

I think I’ll take the book of garden letters with me today instead.

The writing magazines are frustrating because everything is geared to the writer at the beginning of the career, and there’s very little for the intermediate writer. The needs and concerns of someone in the process of building a career, but past the initial stages of doubt, lack of pay and lack of clips are different than someone trying to figure out if this is the way to go. And I haven’t found anything that speaks to those needs. I know, I know, that means I should do it, but I’m not quite sure what “it” is.

Got some ideas for Angel Hunt. Now, if I can just get them together . . .

What’s going on with Angel Hunt is a prime example of blank paging biting the writer in the butt. Personally, I love blank paging, and it’s been my preferred format for years. The first hockey book was the first time I really had to sit down and plot ahead of time, make charts, etc., etc. to keep everything straight. Because of the complexity of Angel Hunt and the fact that I’ve been learning this form as I write (horror is a new experience for me, and this piece roots its discomfort in upending belief systems rather than flat out slice-and-dice), I haven’t spent enough time answering certain questions that I need to answer in order to drive the piece forward. I’ve hit a point where those questions need to be answered in order to move forward. Although Lianna is most definitely NOT me, some of the issues raised in this piece are questions I have about the order of the universe, and part of the avoidance of answering the questions up until now has to do with my own dis-ease at poking at them. But part of this cycle of retrogrades is handling unresolved issues, so I might as well roll up my sleeves (even though today’s shirt is sleeveless – can you roll up your arms?) and get to work. Since I’m so unfamiliar with this genre, I started with “what scares me?” And, of course, probing those questions is uncomfortable. Probing them publicly even more so. Dealing with fear is always a challenge. My instinct is to fight. However, because this is a piece of fiction and the different characters actually have to cope with these fears, I have to approach it from a more intellectual and fully rounded standpoint than if I was merely reacting to one of my own fears. Plus, because this is supposed to be entertaining, it can’t be about me.

I have some “who” and “why” issues to take care of before I can get the next section to genuinely work. Unfortunately, Drogo’s become far too interested in domestic bliss, and I have to get him back on track as well.

In addition, I have to write a zippy commercial for the July 19 radio spot, and I’m feeling anything but zippy.

I felt a bit odd today, off, sort of sick, but not sure of the cause. When I made my daily deli stop on the way to the theatre, I discovered that, for the past week, they mislabeled their “Berry Lemonade” as “Raspberry Iced Tea.”

I am allergic to citrus.

No wonder I haven’t been feeling well. Obviously, there wasn’t much lemonade in it or I would be in the hospital by now. But there was enough to get me a little off. When I spoke to the manager, the response was, “Well, we’ve changed the signs so you can’t prove anything.” Gee, thanks for the concern. Won’t be using that deli again.

Upstairs for the matinee, and no problems with the tin man costume. The actor hadn’t even remembered we had a problem yesterday, which was kind of him.

Dinner with friends. One is from this show, one subbing on Hairspray, and one is over on The Producers. We ate at Little Saigon, a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant on Ninth Avenue at 46th St. Not only is the food excellent and reasonably priced, the staff is lovely. And, for me, that’s a deal breaker. Even if the food is great, if the staff is rude (the way they are at Thalia), I won’t eat there. We had a good time and discussed the possibility of getting together a big group to take a trip to Vietnam. Some of them want to do it this fall, but I can’t get it together by then – plus, I’m already scheduled to teach. So, I may not get to go with them. But I’d still like to. The country is such an important part of my personal history – growing up during the Vietnam work, working as a volunteer with Vietnam vets as a teenager, getting hired on the Vietnam plays when I was a stage manager, and then, of course, working on Miss Saigon. I’d like to experience the country.

The dinner was relaxing and invigorating. It’s nice to be with a bunch of people who are moving forward in their lives, and excited about the great big world out there.

Downstairs for the evening show. It was fine and low key, for once. I still have trouble with the monkey wings occasionally. I get frustrated because I’ve been working the show long enough now so I shouldn’t, but they’re bizarre concoctions, and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

Too tired to concentrate on Forster today, so I started reading the book of garden letters. The only frustrating thing is that they usually use the proper Latin names instead of common names, and since I don’t know them, I can’t always visualize the plant they’re discussing. So I’m making a list and looking them up.

Happy to receive a check for a review I did a few months ago, and also a check for the newspaper articles that is more than I expected.

The full moon is lovely, but I’m a little tired of getting home at 1 AM.


Friday, July 02, 2004

Friday, July 2, 2004
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, and humid

Yesterday, heading up Fifth Avenue to the theatre, I saw a woman with a Yorkie. The light changed as they were crossing, and his little legs couldn’t go fast enough, so she scooped him up and carried him. He was so interested at being up off the ground, not being almost stepped on, and at close-to-eye-level with the world. It was adorable.

Bought some magazines to learn for what they’re looking, and also bought a French magazine in order to work on my French. Most of the French magazines available here look like gossip magazines, and I’d rather not buy them. Since I don’t enjoy them here, why would I enjoy them in French – even if the words are easy to understand?

When I got to the show, I found out that one of the principal dressers threw out her back, so another principal dresser was moved into her slot, and I was kicked upstairs to Rapunzel’s Tower. I like that track, but a lot of little things went wrong – and some not so little, such as a Flathead zipper breaking and we had to rip the actress out of it in a quick change – and the show felt rocky. But we got through it, it was fine, and there was a paycheck, so it was all good.

Speaking of paychecks, still nothing from the magazine. Big surprise.

I’m very frustrated with the computer. I lose approximately half of every working day because of computer problems. I’m sick of it. Microsoft needs to be held liable for its substandard products.

The steamboat and costume books I ordered already arrived – only two days after they were ordered! I am seriously thrilled. It’s such a help. Now I get Nora et al onto the damn packet and start down the Mississippi.

Finished up the material for ArtistFirst Radio and sent out the packet. Still have to write the commercial.

Spent time this morning on both Latin and French lessons. I need to get both back up to speed. And I found that if I study Latin simultaneously with French, the French comes along much faster.

Polished the three episodes of The Widow’s Chamber and sent them off. Now it’s back to Angel Hunt.

I’m trying to get used to living in a state of perpetual exhaustion, but it’s difficult. I also miss my online writers’ group. I wonder what everyone is up to. Hopefully I can hop in for a visit soon.

And I am so sick of computer problems. With the next big sale, I want to have enough money to buy a Mac, a Mac-type laptop, and hire someone to convert all 15 years’ worth of files to Mac. I’ve had it with Microsoft. I’m done.

Tried to work on Angel Hunt, but I’ve lost the thread of it. I have to think about it for awhile, and then hopefully I can come up with the next six episodes. I left Lianna and Kegan at a crucial point, and I have to figure out where they’re going from here before I actually sit down and write the chapters. Otherwise, there’s nothing driving the piece, and certainly nothing to build the tension and terror. Since it’s an occult/horror serial, you kinda need both the tension and terror.

Shower, cook dinner, maybe, if there’s time, do a few paragraphs on the Halloween story, then back to the train and the theatre. I wonder which track I’ll get tossed into tonight?


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Thursday, July 1, 2004
First Day of the Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Muggy and warm

I’m having all sorts of problems again with the computer and I’m not amused. I’ve started the July invoice to Microsoft. I have to total up the June invoice and send it with the cover letter today. I’m done fighting with them. They sell garbage to the customers, charge them to be guinea pigs and don’t deliver on their promises. From now on, each computer problem has a price and will be so billed.

Staggered out to get the newspapers, etc., early this morning and there were guys with leaf blowers on Purchase St. Of course, there aren’t trees, much less leaves, but hey, they feel like they’re doing something. I wish noise ordinances would kick into effect against these damn things.

I can’t get into my e-mail, which is very frustrating. MSN 9 has done nothing but screw up the computer since it was loaded. I’m tired of paying and paying and paying every month and not getting the service for which I pay.

Far too much of my day was wasted getting in the air conditioner. The writing in the instructional brochure was horrible. Pay the extra $100/hour to get a decent technical writer already! Although the air conditioner seems to run well, I doubt I’d buy another product by Haier due to the poor quality of the instructions.

So tired I can barely sit up, and haven’t been able to get much creative work done. Saw two possible publications to which I should send queries, but haven’t been able to write them. Sent out some of the press mailing, and, with this additional radio booking, another press mailing will have to go out early next week.

Almost done with my informational package for the July 19 radio broadcast.

Trying to get something done on The Widow’s Chamber. I want to get all caught up on that one so that I can focus for a few days on Angel Hunt and get that out.

Plus, there’s the Halloween story to worry about.

May I leave now for Paris, please? And have someone else foot the bill?

Three episodes of The Widow’s Chamber done. And they are damn good, especially Chapter 75, the scene between Matthew and Nora originally conceived on the train platform yesterday. The dynamic between them and the sexual tension is working. He’s a much more insistent and intelligent character than I originally thought he would be. He could even take on Daisy and win.

That is one of the best chapters in the piece, ranking up there with the one featuring Cletus and Elwood. Will polish tomorrow and send off, then concentrate on Angel Hunt. But at least I’m where I should be on WC until next week.

So today wasn’t a total loss after all.

Shower, dinner, and off to the show.


Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Partly cloudy; warm and humid

Artist First sent me a date for my individual radio broadcast. I really want to do it, but I told them I’m also on KIC’s July 27 Broadcast – did they want me to do both, how did they want to handle it, etc.? It can be confusing to be so many people! Do they want to interview Devon or Christy or Cerridwen or . . .?

July newsletter is almost ready to go. I should be able to run it next Monday as planned, and get it out. I’m waiting on the postcard mailings until I know whether or not the strike is on – I might need the money for bills and food, and then the mailing will have to wait.

Got the extension on the Halloween story until Monday, so at least I can do a decent rewrite on it, once I’ve finished it, and submit something good.

There are so many queries, library letters, and conference letters that need to be sent out. If I can’t have more hours in a day, I need to find a way to have more energy in the hours I have.

Filled the large 2004 Desk Calendar – it’s so great to see all the deadlines in front of me. Now I can get the 2005 and start filling in those deadlines.

The next episode or so of The Widow’s Chamber sprang nearly fully formed into my head on the train platform. I frantically scribbled notes so I wouldn’t lose it. It will explore the dynamic between Matthew Darby and Nora a little more closely.

I’m still reading The Selected Letters of Dawn Powell and loving it. She has a great David Belasco story in it. As I’ve worked two shows at the Belasco, and am quite well acquainted with Belasco’s ghost (and fond of it), I love Belasco stories. I wonder if Powell and I would have gotten along.

She hated MacDowell Colony, but enjoyed Yaddo. Considering my previous bad experience even applying to Yaddo, and my desire to apply to MacDowell for next year, it points up even more differences between us.

I made a quick list of what I’d need to bring to MacDowell – should I first apply and then be accepted: computer, printer, paper (reams), pens, notebooks, folders, my journal, my research materials, bottles of water, books for research and books to read, yoga stuff, and at least a case of wine. I wonder if there’s Internet or if I’d have to sneak off every few days to post updates on the blog. It would fill the trunk of the car with plastic bins full of stuff. My friend G. suggested I’d be better off staying home.

Tensions were high in the matinee due to the uncertainty of a strike. There’s also, among certain crew members, far too much territorial b.s. going on. And those who complain the loudest are the most likely to walk all over the others doing the exact same thing.

At least I managed to give my friend The Magical Household as her moving gift.

I had dinner at a Mexican place on Ninth Avenue. The food was good – the burrito was as big as my thigh – but the waitress was rude, and I wasn’t having it, so I ended up with a polite waiter instead.

Reading Powell’s letters from Paris – couldn’t she at least have tried to have a good time? – and reading about the Deux Magots made me suddenly hurt for the Greenwich Village cafes at which I used to spend so much time. Le Figaro, on Bleecker and MacDougall, is a particular favorite. I started going there in college, writing term papers there. A rock musician moonlighting as a waiter soothed me once when I came in, in tears from a Temp Job From Hell. Don’t remember the job, but remember the waiter.

So I stopped off at the Coffee Pot, on Ninth and 49th, a Hell’s Kitchen coffee place I used to frequent when I lived in the neighborhood. (Honey, you can gentrify all you want and call it “Clinton”, but it is and always will be “Hell’s Kitchen”). There were plenty of writers scribbling in notebooks. Some were serious. Some may have posed. But it was nice to be among them again.

I want to go to Paris in the fall of 2005. (Plan ahead much?). I can start working on my French – and my Latin – the Latin always makes the French absorb more quickly. I can research places and prices. I can get some more travel articles under my belt to get paid to go there.

One of my colleagues is very excited about the idea and wants to visit me while I’m there. She’d thrive in Paris.

Second show was interesting because Mrs. Bush and her daughters came to see the show. So we had our very own Secret Service Man backstage. I’ve done a bunch of these gigs, and I enjoy have the Secret Service there. These are men and women at the top of their game, totally on the ball, very alert, very intelligent, usually with wacky senses of humour and very personable (well, as much as they can be, given that they’re on high alert the entire time they’re there). Some people get freaked out having them around; I find it a pleasure. Probably because I love being around people who are excellent in their chosen fields. And this guy had never been backstage at a show before, so it was truly a revelation to him – the organized chaos, the speed, the skill, and the laughter that goes into putting up a show every night. Because, let’s face it, what we do back there every night is pretty amazing, if I say so myself. And I still get a thrill every time I walk through the stage door.

Good stuff all the way around.

Artist First Radio wants me to do the July 19 segment, even though they know I’m doing the KIC show on July 27. I have to write a commercial for them and put together a packet like, well, now. It’s all good.

I am so tired my head’s about to hit the keyboard.