Thursday, March 10, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Fairly productive writing day. Got three issues of Widow’s Chamber written, revised, and out. Then I had to pause to do more costume research for the ball sequence. The Ursulines were kind enough to e-mail a picture of their convent at the time, so that arc can be added in. I re-read pages of Thomas Wharton’s diary for atmosphere.

Typed up Chapter Six of Ransagh, but haven’t written any new pages. There are several reasons for it. The first is that I’ve hit the point where the chronology that should have been figured out early on and wasn’t is coming back to bite me in the butt, so I have to fix it now. The second is because I know I’m approaching the end of Book One and part of me doesn’t want this piece to end. However, there are still Books Two and Three to write, and One needs extensive revisions. It’s that holding on thing.

I’m playing with ideas for the music press releases and plan to send out roughs today.

I paused in the day to bake a Gateaux aux Pommes de la Reine des Pommes from Patricia Wells’s Paris Cookbook. I changed the recipe a bit, adding both almond extract and raisins, and I think next time, I’ll also add a tad of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is still a little to flatly sugary for me. I like a bit of spice with the apple. It was a good dessert for the dinner – thick center cut pork chops with oregano, red cabbage, and pasta shells in a garlic alfredo.

Trying to pull myself out of this funk. It’s not working.

The AOL was particularly uncooperative yesterday, making it hard for me to get anywhere on the internet and hard to send documents or post here. I have to repost three and four times and then try to extricate the partials that loaded because the AOL server failed during transmission. I have no viruses, I cleaned up the disk – there’s no reason I should be having problems, except that AOL sucks. I’ve complained to them every day. Not only do they not keep track of the problem, thereby forcing me to start at the beginning with every call, but they keep giving me the same fixes, which have already proven NOT TO WORK.

The DSL kit arrived last night, although I can’t install it until my “service ready” date – and I’ve been given two different dates. I have to call them and find out what’s going on. The kit is MUCH more complicated to install than they told me it was on the phone, but, hey, give it a shot, right? If I can do it properly and the DSL runs properly, hopefully, a great deal of my ISP problems will be solved. And then, if it runs well, I can give AOL the boot.

I still say a service technician should come with all this stuff when we buy it. We’re paying for it – why do we have to do everything ourselves? It’s not like any of this is free.

Looks like one of the mags to which I contribute will fold. Not particularly surprising. But that means adding to April’s list pitching the columns. I already have a dozen possible columns for each topic mapped out, so it’s simply a matter of query letters. I need to learn more about syndication, too. I had hoped the mag would at least run for a year, allowing me to get a few more columns published, but that’s the way it goes.

I’m aiming for higher paying markets this time around.

On a happier note, Llewellyn contracted me for two articles for next year’s spring annual, and in May we will discuss the fall annuals. I’ve been writing for them for nearly ten years. Nothing like a steady, paying gig, right?

Lost was a rerun last night. I flipped over to watch the scene between Sayid and Sawyer, which I thought was beautifully done and wanted to see again for details, but skipped the rest of the show.

West Wing, however, was brilliant. I wish I’d paid attention in the credits to the name of the writer – it was fantastic. The intricacies, and the ways the characters are growing and interacting, pushing each other, testing each other. The details and the layers that Jimmy Smits brings to the role of Matt Santos are terrific. The way he chooses where he will and will not compromise and his unflinching acceptance of responsibility for his actions – I so wish politicians would watch this show and learn something.

I also wish this country had more than two political parties. I’m not talking about the smaller, fringe parties – I’m talking about five or six legitimate, strong parties with actual points of view. I used to register as an Independent, but now candidates run as “Intendance Party candidates” which to me is a paradox. The point of being independent is not to be locked in to party affiliation. And if a party has formed using that title, what is the point of view? What is the platform? I don’t add my name to anything until I know what’s going on.

So now I’m unaffiliated. And much happier.

This is how I choose the person for whom I vote: Is this candidate actively working to make my life and the lives of those around me better? Does this candidate have the integrity to put the individual ahead of the corporation? Is the person intelligent enough to make thoughtful decisions and also keep the separation of church and state, or does the candidate blindly follow doctrines of organized religion and misname it “faith”? Faith is very important. But I’m tired of religion perverting faith in order to justify cruelty. Does the person listen and respond to actual questions, or merely spin? What is the person’s record? Does the person walk the walk as well as talking the talk?

Unfortunately, too often the answer to all these questions is “no.”

Back to press releases and Charlotte. I have my own spinning to do today.

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


At 6:24 PM, Blogger Ann said...

As always when you talk politics, I really like what you say - it makes so much sense.
I'll always be a Democrat as far as I know, but I think both parties get in Washington and forget their roots -I'll always be furious that Clinton signed NAFTA. What was he thinking?
We need some non-career politicians that don't have big bucks and that are still in touch with real life, and not in it just for themselves.
But that's a pipe dream, isn't it?


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