Friday, May 27, 2005

May 27 Part II

I’m frustrated because I’m fighting with the articles instead of having them flow. The information is all there, but the tone is too earnest and stilted. I’m trying to force my way through them and then let them sit for awhile, before reworking them in a style more enjoyable to read.

Took a break to read Elinor Hills’s Bird Friends of Scorton. What it lacks in polish, in more than makes up for in enthusiasm and affection for the topic. I wish someone edited out most of her exclamation points – even when excited, you don’t need to use them in every paragraph.

According to her, the bird-call sounding like “phoebe” is actually made by a chickadee. I thought that there was a bird called the Phoebe that used the call.

Somewhere, I have a Roger Tory Petersen Field Guide to the Birds of the NorthEast – I hope it’s not in storage and I can find it. I’m fairly useless when it comes to identifying birds, but I need to have at least a basic knowledge for the Salt Marsh stories.

I decided to pass on the residency application for Maryland for next spring. They haven’t bothered to answer a single question for two months; researching past projects was much more difficult than it needed to be: it looks doubtful that what they can afford is even close to what it would cost me to pull up stakes and go to Maryland for 4-6 weeks. Why should this cost me money?

Choosing between an iffy residency in Maryland and a trip to Paris – I choose Paris.

Reading all these gentle, affectionate writings about Cape Cod life makes me dream of what I will do with my house – have rose bushes, lilacs, peonies, and plenty of trees; add a bat house, bird feeders, bird bath and bird houses; plant vegetables and herbs; have a fenced-in area in the back so the dogs can run and play. I want to encourage wildlife – but discourage deer ticks.

Part of my current frustration and sense of being a hamster on a treadmill has to do with the Chiron retrograde. Chiron rules the soul’s purpose. For 25 years, my soul’s purpose was the theatre. Now, that has shifted – yet, I’m still working in the theatre. The last time I agreed to work in theatre full-time during a Chiron retrograde, it nearly killed me. And yet, I’m doing it again. So I dread how the Universe will smack me upside the head. The Universe doesn’t care that I have a three year career transition plan. The Universe cares that I’m not doing what I should be NOW.

What am I supposed to do now? Write full time. Tell stories that might be lost forever. Through both fiction and non-fiction, preserve interesting historical tidbits and celebrate those who would otherwise be forgotten. Send messages of hope and positive change in dark and depressing times. Steward the tiny part of the planet that is mine, caring for the people and animals around me, walking as lightly as I can. Know when to fight and when to shut up (always a challenge).

I’ve made inroads, but there is much more to be done.

Dozens of frustrations today. In proper perspective, they’re all pretty minor, but it’s difficult to keep the perspective. At least, thanks to Colin, I managed to get Open Office working – although the Microsoft program keeps having hissy fits about it.

But I’ve outlined a half a dozen small – I’m not sure what they are yet – creations, I guess, that I can put together in Open Office that people may find interesting.

Gladys Taber’s My Own Cape Cod is a gentle, lovely book. It makes me want to track down and read her other books about her Connecticut Farm. Her love of place is so touching, and her depiction of Cape Cod characters is right on the money.

Unfortunately, she has Cotton Mather for an ancestor – one of my least favorite historical figures. I hope there’s a special hell and eternal damnation for the souls who use and pervert religion to justify cruelty and atrocities to others.

I find I retain the information about the natural world (such as botany, ornithology, geology, etc.) better when it’s presented conversationally in naturalist writing rather than dry textbook fashion. I was actually able to identify several birds this afternoon from the descriptions I read in Elinor’s and Gladys’s work. And I’m too much of a cat person to really be a bird person, if that makes any sense at all.

Bid on an Agatha Christie biography and a couple of Oceanography texts on eBay. I have to stop this eBay thing – although I do need these books for my research. And they’re much cheaper on eBay than anywhere else. Other than someone’s garage sale, and I just don’t have the time to hunt down garage sales around here. I always feel like a vulture.

The next FemmeFan article is in decent shape – a quick revision in the morning and it’ll be ready to go. I’m unhappy with the two other articles. All the information marches across the pages, as boring and pedestrian as can be. Maybe some distance – as in not looking at it tomorrow – will help and I can whip it into shape and add some sparkle on Sunday.

I’m hoping to get some work on Charlotte tonight. I have to do a quick research trip to the library first thing in the a.m. and whip out a couple of episodes of Tapestry before I join my friends.

And two characters have started conversing in my head, which I really don’t need right now.

Yet, I don’t ever want to seem ungrateful when the Muse sends me blessings.

D.

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