Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday, January 31, 2005
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warmer

After the past week of brutally cold temperatures, having weather in the teens is positively tropical!

The people of Iraq had the opportunity to vote yesterday, which is a good thing. But I want to know how the elected leaders will be protected?

I flick on the television last night and what’s on? A Perfect Murder. I watched a few minutes – enough to satisfy myself that my comments in yesterday’s entry about that film and Unfaithful were on the money, and they are. I’m convinced that both scripts were worked on by the same person – probably uncredited, but well-paid. The speech patterns between the husbands, the wives, and the lovers are too similar. As much of a different dynamic as Martinez and Mortensen bring to their respective roles, there are too many parallels for it to be coincidence.

And I stand by my comment that the characters of the lovers in both movies have a coldness about them (a comment on the writing and perhaps the direction, not the acting) that turns me off. Yes, there’s sex there. But the men are in it for control/manipulation/money while the women are in it for curiosity and that holds for a time or two; but I don’t believe either affair would have had the duration portrayed without more and that more is what’s missing and makes it unbelievable to me.

And while, for once, in both films, female characters exploring their sexuality aren’t punished with death, I still found the characters of the lovers too conveniently disposable. Just kill ‘em off when you can’t figure how to move them out of the picture! It was irritating.

Submitted three old stories for a deadline because I didn’t have new work. I doubt they’ll be accepted, but I wanted to send something. Not usually the best reason to submit, but there it is.

Disappointing news: one of my classes has been cancelled. While I wish it hadn’t been on a professional level, because I looked forward to it, on a financial level, I need to make up the cash. The harsh reality is that, in this shaky economy – thanks to our current administration – a writing class is still a luxury. People have to feed their families and pay the rent and put gas in the car. That’s simply the way it is. I’ve got a matinee this week that will replace tonight’s lost cash, but if the other classes are in danger as well . . .I gave up a lot of work in order to be able to teach these classes. If the classes aren’t a go, I need to make up the money elsewhere, and I’d prefer it not to be in theatre. I may take on some private students during the time scheduled for the class, which would help. And, because I was in the theatre so much this month, I couldn’t pursue the business writing gigs I need in order to make alternate money. It’s a hamster wheel, and I have to figure out how to get off. Perhaps it means a lean February to lay the groundwork. The Doubt Demon sets his piranhas on to me, and I just have to out swim them and come up with a solution.

January Evaluation:
Looking back at the To-Do list and reading through my entries, I figured out the hits and misses for the month.

To-Do List Done:
1 month’s worth episodes of Tapestry;
1 month’s worth episodes of Angel Hunt – actually two months’ worth, because of the calendar, but it all got done;
“Literary Athlete” column done and turned in.
Lindisfarne article done and turned in first go-round.
Outlines to Hereafter
60 pages of Ransagh
Finished preparing course material (at least I’ll have it for the next time)
Devon’s Random Newsletter
Quarterly newsletter

To-Do List Incomplete:
1 month’s episodes of Widow’s Chamber;
1 month’s episodes of Cutthroat Charlotte;
2 short stories (one done, one partially done);
4 articles (only one done, unless you count “Literary Athlete”);
Lindisfarne rewrite incomplete
“Trailblazing” column incomplete

To-Do List Undone:
Direct mailing for serials
Query letters for Elsa’s Sweater, Dixie Dust Rumours, Jill Moves, and Captain Marbury’s Ghost
Re-read Clear the Slot—that’s from sheer cowardice
Copywriting direct mail – lack of time due to theatre work
Build Cerridwen’s Cottage site
Ink in My Kitchen – although I bought flour and sugar!
Library Letters
Update – more cowardice, thanks to computer problems

Beyond To-Do List:
2 months’ worth of Angel Hunt because of the way the weeks fell
Contracted and began work on Glamourous Hearts
More than 60 pages on Ransagh
Ink in My Potting Soil

Non-fiction proposal begun
New marketing idea for self and writer friends begun
Intro for RWA newsletter article
Short story to Maisonneuve
3 submissions to Glimmer Train

Lindisfarne article returned for rewrite
Glimmer Train stories from last Oct. rejected
Old Globe’s rejection of Plateau
Dialogue Workshop cancelled

Landed the gig with Hereafter
Turned down theatre work
“All Souls’ Holding Room” published
“Dishpan Hands” published
Widow’s Chamber named Editor’s Choice
Booked workshop in Sturbridge
3rd place in KIC’s top Authors of the Year 2004
Hit one year mark with Angel Hunt

Follow-Up Needed:
Edo period in Japan to answer question posed on blog Jan. 1
Research on Gwenhyfach/Battle of Camlann
Vietnam Project rescheduled to 2007


Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt. Excellent book about the world in which Shakespeare lived and probable influences on his life and work.

A Book of One’s Own by Thomas Mallon. Very good book about people and their diaries. This is about the thirtieth or fortieth time I’ve read it.

King Arthur: Hero and Legend by Richard Barber. Interesting research material.

Life in a Day by Doris Grumbach. Another re-read. Realized it provided impetus to start the blog.

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson. A fun book about the love of books and reading.

The Bishop’s Tale by Margaret Frazier. Medieval mystery. Well done, but I wanted the murderer to be someone else because I wanted that character to have a second chance.
Dressing Up for The Carnival by Carol Shields. An interesting but uneven collection of her short stories.

Bandbox by Thomas Mallon. A delightful fictional romp through the magazine industry of the 1920’s. I’m telling you, nothing is coincidental.

The Last Templar by Michael Jecks. The first of his medieval series. Strong characters who don’t take the easy way out.

Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See. Good ideas on structuring life as a writer. Some thing work, some don’t. It’s individual.

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. Again, techniques that one has to try and find the personal hits and misses.

Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. The best of her published diaries. A balance of joy and rage, unlike some of the latter ones, which focus primarily on rage.

I did quite a bit this month. It wasn’t all to plan. Some things fell by the wayside. Some things were disappointments. But there were unexpected joys and opportunities and days that needed to be seized when offered. All in all, not too bad. I’m more satisfied than I expected to be. There’s much more work to do to achieve my goals, but the positive outweighs the negative. Situations that don’t work out may be disappointing now, but I’ll be able to look back in six months or so with understanding and gratitude for why things fell into (or out of) place the way they did.

Tomorrow, I will post my To-Do List for February.

Now, it’s a few episodes of The Widow’s Chamber before returning to Glamourous Hearts. I’m going to take a deep breath and work the script backwards for awhile, to see how much middle I’ll need to generate.

For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger Colin said...

So sorry to read about your class being cancelled. I was looking forward to reading about it after your enthusiasm and plans for it all.

I know it is a big loss for all the reason you mentioned, but look at it this way. It is the ONLY disappointment you noted for the whole month....


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Hey Devon! Forgot to mention last post...CONGRATULATIONS! on the KIC honors. d:)

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Eileen said...

"The Doubt Demon sets his piranhas on to me, and I just have to out swim them and come up with a solution."

- - Beautifully said.

What an impressive to do list, as well as reading list.

Keep up the good work!


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