Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2004
Hot and humid
Today is one of those days when I feel like I can’t cope with anything. I don’t know if it’s residual stress from the heightened terror alerts or what. I just feel totally useless. And I’m not very good at being useless.
I didn’t sleep well on Monday night because of the struggles with the calendar article. I got up very early on Tuesday morning and did a rewrite which basically ended up with me tossing most of the article and starting over. The outcome was much better, although the direction surprised me. I sent it off to my editor, who liked it – she’s so good about getting back to me. She knows I fret, I think, although I try not to fret to her.
The 2005 calendar and almanac arrived yesterday – nice irony! My September article looks good in the calendar and I want to send a thank-you note to the artist. She did such a lovely job. The almanac pieces read well, too. I also need to send a note to that illustrator – two of the four pieces have lovely illustrations.
I’m sad that I wasn’t included in the Spell-a-Day or the tarot almanacs for 2005. I shot off an e-mail to the editor of those annuals to ask to be included in the 2006. My pieces in the Spell-a-Day generate a lot of positive feedback, and they’re tons of fun to do. And my tarot background is strong enough to warrant inclusion. However, Llewellyn seems to have their designated tarot people and I don’t seem to be one of them. We’ll see. If they don’t want to include tarot pieces, there are other places to which I could pitch. I’m not on exclusive contract with Llewellyn, after all.
One of my reviews is in the new issue of PanGaia. I wrote it almost a year ago, on a labyrinth book. I’m glad they used it, because I like the book, and I’m happy to give it a boost.
The train into New York was almost empty and absolutely silent yesterday morning. The streets had people in them, but very subdued. I felt perfectly safe once I was in the theatre, but I’m definitely edgy, and I view every truck or van that passes with suspicion. In a busy urban area, that’s a lot of suspicion. It’s a ridiculous way to live. I have high regard for the NYPD, though. Not only are they doing a good job on the protection front, there’s plenty of positive interaction. They truly want to make people feel safe, not threatened. I’ve said it over and over again – with all my traveling all over the world, the New York City Police Department is the best.
Day work was fine. It was hard to go in, not because I don’t like the people or the situation, but because I need to focus on the writing. I don’t know how I will manage a full week next week. But, somehow, I will. That’s the way it goes.
Still negotiating with the college. We worked on a few points, and now it has to go in “for review”. I asked how long that would take. I’m already getting offers for projects into 2006 – I can’t hold open an entire semester indefinitely while a bunch of administrators hem and haw. Either they want me to teach there, or they don’t. They asked for modifications to several courses, which is fine – they know their audience. But I’m starting to regret ever pitching to them. Hopefully, if it works out, it will be a good experience for everyone involved.
More notes on the pirate piece. I have enough of an outline for the basic story – this is a serial that could continue for years, should it catch on. Now I need to do the historical and nautical research. All of that needs to be done before – this is not the kind of piece where I can research on the fly, the way I’m doing with Widow’s Chamber.
The whaling family saga is definitely a different piece than the pirate story. And it will have to wait its turn. But, when I’m in Montauk in September, I can pick up a few whaling books, too, and maybe visit the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.
I devoured P.B. Ryan’s Murder in a Milltown yesterday. It was difficult to put it down for the hours I had to dedicate to day work. Not only are her historical details fascinating, but the complexity of her characters and the delicacy of their interactions is enthralling. I realize that I have to wait and watch the series grow one book at a time, year to year, but each time I finish a book, I’m impatient for the next. I also find her books wonderful to re-read. I keep discovering new details each time I go through them. It’s great to be able to get that excited about a series of books. I want to track down her writing in other genres as well. She doesn’t put in too much detail – she puts in just enough.
Tried to catch up on e-mail, which left me more depressed than ever. I wonder if I’ll ever get on top of it and stay on top of it. I’m frustrated with the web sites – they’re not holding the information, and I’ve been paying the host for a year without getting the help for which I’m paying. I haven’t even been able to get the sites up yet. If I can find another provider to which to switch – that has a site builder I can figure out – I’ll jump. Both sites need to get up before this fall – there’s too much of my work swirling around and the sites are an important tool.
I slept wrong and have a great big knot in my shoulder – the one that was injured a few years back – that hours on the computer only aggravate. I’m trying to stretch it out with yoga, etc., but so far, no luck.
Well, back to the (late) Christmas story and more Angel Hunt. I need to focus on Widow’s Chamber shortly, too.
I stopped keeping a “to do” list because the length of it intimidated me so much I couldn’t get anything done.
I need more solitary time, more time to percolate.
Some work on the Christmas story, worked on Episode 46 of Angel Hunt and started episode 47.
When the shoulder got too painful to work any more, I decided to stop at the store and then go over to a friend’s for lunch. As I drove to the store, a woman driving a Lexus while talking on a cell phone took a wide turn onto the wrong side of the road and came barreling down in my lane directly at me.
Bitch screamed, dropped the phone, and swerved.
Not the smartest thing to do on my part, but I was the ruling chicken player in the county in my teenage years. And I’m sick and tired of Lexus drivers thinking they are above the law around here. I have yet to encounter a single one who drives with any respect for anyone else on the road. And 90% of them are illegally talking on their cell phones. Hope she wet her designer pants. Even though she was in the wrong lane, she assumed I would give way to her because she was in a Lexus.
If I’d been able to get her license plate number, I’d have filed charges.
Anyway, I had a nice afternoon at my friend’s, returned, and did some more paperwork. I’m so tired of paperwork.
There is actually a reality show I watch: Amish in the City. The people chosen actually are multi-faceted, and it doesn’t only show people at their worst, the way every other reality show I’ve ever sampled does. And a jockey friend of mine was on it tonight, when the group visited Hollywood Park. He does what he does best – make everyone feel good about themselves. He is the kindest person I know.
And I’m going to have to bust his chops teasing him when I talk to him next.
Used arnica on the shoulder and took a valerian to try to get it to release.