Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday, November 15, 2004
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

NaNoWriMo Daily Cheer: You’ve reached the halfway point. You can see your finish line. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on what you’ve done so far before setting off to reach your goal.

Premarin. I wonder how many women realize how this hormone is created? From the urine of pregnant mares. The mares are kept cooped up and pregnant in stalls, their urine is collected, and that is the main ingredient of premarin. They are turned out into the fields only to foal and the majority of the foals are sent to the slaughterhouse. The mares are impregnated again and the whole cycle continues.

50,000 foals per year.

Now that it’s been discovered that synthetic premarin is safer than natural, the “farms” are going out of business and both foals and mares are sent to slaughter.

I find the entire practice revolting and irresponsible.

My favorite charity, New York Horse Rescue, buys up as many of the mares and foals as they can afford and keeps them on their farm in Manorville until they can be adopted out. If you’d like to find out more information or work with one of the charities, please visit the sites for New York Horse Rescue and The Exceller Fund.

There are many worthy charities around the world. We can’t all support all of them. We need to find a charity that we care about and that puts the majority of the money back into the organization. Both of the above fit those qualifications for me.

I am annoyed by several charities that mail me on at least a weekly basis with slick brochures and catchy “gifts” asking me for money because I supported friends who participated in events. I write those types of brochures – I know how much it costs to pay the writer, the graphic designer and the printer. I know how much these “gifts” cost, and how much continuous mailings are, even with a bulk permit.

I, for one, would much rather see the money go into the work of the organization rather than weekly mailings. Hit me up once a year and you’ll get money. Hit me up every week, and I don’t think you’re managing the organization’s funds well, and I’ll put my money into an organization that I feel does.

Another pet peeve about charities: All these celebrities and socialites who spend every free moment posing for cameras at charity events. If they paid more for their clothing worn to the event than they gave to the charity, I’m not interested. Yeah, some of them borrow, but I’d much rather see a celebrity find a vintage dress in a thrift shop for $25 and give the charity the $10,000 some of these gowns cost than wear the gown.

I’d rather do what I can for an organization in which I believe and remain anonymous. No one outside needs to know what I’m doing. The recipients of the charity’s work need to receive help. That’s the bottom line.

Hmm. Can you tell I received way too many demands for money over the weekend? :)

In any event, “Driven to Change” was revised yesterday and submitted. I caught some careless mistakes, tightened up a few things, rearranged a few things. I like it. These stories have a different feel to most of the rest of my work, although quick dialogue and sharp minds on the part of my protagonists remain. So, we’ll see what happens with it.

I want to finish “Giving and Thanks” by Thanksgiving so I can revise it and submit it with an eye to publication around next Thanksgiving.

I did good work on Widow’s Chamber. Not as much as I wanted, but the work that was done was satisfying. I’m going to edit and submit the episodes today, work on Charlotte, and maybe do another WC if I can. I’m still quite far behind where I should be on that, and I don’t want to keep falling farther and farther back.

Researching three articles for FemmeFan, but don’t have enough info back on any of them in order to actually write the pieces yet. That’s the problem with having to ask others for information – you have to wait for them to get back to you.

I’ve found references to both Sir Alymere and Sir Alynore at the Round Table. I’m not sure if they are the same person or two different knights. I found a representation of the banner for Sir Alynore – it looks remarkably like the Percy banner. I’ll have to pull out their banner and compare them. The lions are quite similar. Alynore is also Sir Perceval’s brother.

And, yes, I am aware that Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur is fiction, but the text is a jumping off point for much that has been written about Arthur for centuries. Archaeologists, anthropologists and historians all go back to that text. It’s rather like Arthurian base camp.

Tintagel, reputedly Arthur’s castle in Cornwall, was featured in a documentary aired last night. I went up to the top of Tintagel when we were in Cornwall a few years ago. It was a stormy, awful day, and once I’d got up to the top, it was so bad I was nearly blown off. Everyone else had left the premises. I was up there in a typical Cornish storm all by myself. Due to my own stupid stubbornness, I might add. As the weather turned and people came down, I insisted on going up, because I was damned if I’d traveled three thousand miles to Tintagel and then not get up there and take a look around!

Anyway, I found a bit of shelter next to the remains of one of the towers, and prepared to sit out the storm. Hell, it was my own damn fault; I wasn’t going to whine about it. But the guy in the admissions booth sent up some men with climbing gear. We got into safety harnesses and had to clip to the railings in order to make it down the steps in the high winds and heavy rain. I told them it was my own damn fault for getting stuck up there and I fully expected to be left; they just laughed, said no problem, and I bought them a few pints at the pub.

I couldn’t get down to Merlin’s Cave, or I’d have probably gotten stuck in there, too.

Another favorite experience in Cornwall was drinking brandy by the fire at Jamaica Inn (yet another day of rain). Someday I want to go back to Jamaica Inn and stay there for a few days – even though it’s pretty touristy. The lake belonging to The Lady of the Lake of Arthurian myth is a few miles’ walk from the Inn – when I was there, the path was ankle-deep in mud and closed. Had I thought to bring boots to Cornwall, I would have walked it anyway, but in sneakers – no.

I spent most of my days in Cornwall soaking wet.

Okay, back to Widow’s Chamber and Charlotte. I have to figure out how I want to handle breaking the betrothal between Mercy and Frederick so she can marry Walter and Frederick marries . . .well, you’ll just have to subscribe to the damn serial, won’t you? I have a long day of writing ahead of me. And I dread going back to the theatre tomorrow, which is not a good sign.



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