Thursday, June 30, 2005

June 30 Part II

Not a bad day, overall.

Did the admin work for 13 Journals. Wrote a release for it. Updated the site. Updated the Devon Ellington site. Worked on the quarterly newsletter, which will be ready to go out next week. Talked with the artist who’s doing three of the four e-book covers and we’re in synch. It’s so nice to have open lines of communication.

The KIC PR person is changing, and I’m cranky because I recently sent a bunch of info to Person A, and some promotions were supposed to happen this week. I do not want to start over from scratch, and I made it clear that I except the transition to happen in standard business protocol, with unfinished project files handed to the new person, etc. I will be fiercely pissed off if all the work I did last week for this person has to be redone from scratch.

This is why I handle so much of my own pr through Luna Jensen. I know it gets done.

Just realized it is the last day of June – oh, my, WHERE did the first half of the year go?

Completed:
Serial Episodes
Belmont Articles

In Progress:
First draft of Elusive Prayers
Second Salt Marsh story

Not Done:
Second novella started
Ransagh
Periwinkle
Prospect letters
Query letters

Dropped:
Nothing I can think of

Beyond Expectation/Achievements:
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
The Place and Space Journal Project

Lindisfarne article rewritten and submitted
New vampire story spun for amusement of colleagues

Disappointments:
Broken toe
Attack of the Rogue Elevator
Too many hours in the theatre taking too much energy


Hmm. I thought I was more productive than that! :) I felt productive this month!

Shortly, I will put up the list for July and compare the first six months to the GDR.

D.

PS Blogger promised they’re working to fix the “Mind the Gap” bug. Your patience is appreciated.

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, hazy, humid, thunderstorms

One Day Only KIC sale: Angel Hunt!

http://www.keepitcoming.net/ebay.html

Just in case you haven’t yet subscribed! ;)

Back to writing:
Everything hurts.

Sore muscles, achy-broken toe, tight in the neck and shoulders . . . welcome to the glamorous world of eight shows a week. People who work on regular schedules don’t get how physically and mentally taxing this industry is; nor do they comprehend the fact that, while you play, we WORK. In fact, your playtime is our work time. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – in fact, often it’s a good thing. Our work is your play. Our work gives you the opportunity to see and experience things you never might otherwise.

But, during and at the end of the week, one is still gosh-darned exhausted.

It’s not soul-sucking work, the way so much of the 9-5 work is. But it still has a heavy toll.

Speaking of sucking, suckers, et al (oh, oh, how will that come up in the search engines? Ha, ha, ha – okay, I really need to catch up on some sleep) – I’m spinning a new story for the amusement of my colleagues. Hopefully, once it’s done, it will have a larger life outside the world of the theatre. I’m working on a new vampire story. When I told the premise to my colleagues, especially the part of what the vampires do for a “living” – everyone howled.

Did a photo shoot for one of The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project entries yesterday in between shows. It was tons of fun.

Shows were fine. One of my actresses got some new clothes – finally! We put in some of them last night; one blouse I had to send back for reinforcement. It’s chiffon, and the first time we tear it open for a quick change, it will shred. So the plackets behind the snaps need to be reinforced. We can maintain the more romantic look of the blouse while still making it strong enough to withstand 8 shows /week of quick changes. I studied up on right and left and got the tin man’s legs on properly.

I’ll attend a going-away party tonight for one of my actresses (the one that’s leaving to go to do the show in P-town), so instead of getting home at 1 AM, it will be . . .later. And I have day work tomorrow.

When I lived in the city, I went out 5 nights a week. For 13 years. Now that I commute, I hardly go out at all after a show – mostly due to the wonky transportation system. So when something special comes up, I try to do it.

I even managed to get some work done on Elusive Prayers, but I plan to get a lot more work done on it today.

The travel editor liked my Lindisfarne piece, but needs something shorter and more contemporary – and yes, I have the shot to do it! I asked if I could turn it in at the end of next week. I’m very excited. This is a mag for which I’d like to write on a regular basis. I’m delighted by the opportunity and hope I can pull it off.

So, off to tackle the e-mails, update the info for The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project, and then . ..it’s all about Elusive Prayers.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

The Widow’s Chamber
Tapestry
Angel Hunt
– one day only sale today at: http://www.keepitcoming.net/ebay.html
Cutthroat Charlotte
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hazy, hot, HUMID

My goodness, it feels like I’m breathing underwater. The weight of the air is astonishing.

I was concerned about all the time I spent on Monday setting up the admin systems for The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project. However, it makes responding to interested diarists and keeping the committed diarists updated much easier.

Now, if I can only apply some of that organization to the REST of my life . . . :)

It was very difficult to haul myself to the theatre last night, and not just because of the weather. Having a taste of my Real Life always makes it harder to go back to my Former Life. Once I was in the building, with people I enjoy, I worked hard to find the small joys in the work. I still enjoy the work. It’s all the crap surrounding the work I can do without.

I made my decisions on the cover art for the novellas, and my trusted circle at the show completely agrees (and, frankly, they were thrilled to be included). That’s something that I like about the journal project as well – I get to include people from my theatre life in the transition. It’s not breaking one life to enter another. It’s using the theatre life as a building block to the writing life.

We also sorted through the photos from the photo shoot. The general consensus for the journal project was an interesting shot of an old map of the world and an open journal – I just have to make sure that, should the entry be blown up, it’s not something I mind being public! :)

I should have mocked up a page for the shoot; instead I used a genuine journal. However, the viewers felt that’s what gave the shot integrity. Interesting.

We all agreed that we haven’t quite hit the mark with the Ink in My Coffee logo.

I’m hoping that Blogger fixes this scrolling problem on this site. I don’t want to switch templates. I like this template for this particular project.

A few minutes before the show last night, an announcement came over the PA: “We are being kept apprised of the situation outside that’s closed Eighth Avenue. Please do not attempt to leave the building. We will let you know if and when we are back on schedule.”

Meanwhile, we’re all looking at each other, going, “What situation? You’re not preventing panic over here; you’re just pissing us off.”

We only went up a few minutes late. Eighth Avenue was closed for awhile because somehow a garbage can found its way into the traffic lanes about a block from our theatre and there was concern that it had been stuffed with explosives. I guess it was all for naught, because it only delayed the show by 5 minutes. And nothing went boom!, so we got off easy. Actually, in relationship to where the “incident” took place, we were as safe as we could be in that space, because of the construction, and, backstage, the lack of windows. Certainly much better than if we’d been herded out into the street.

Life in New York – under the siege of constant terror threats.

Show went fine. I made one mistake – the tin man’s costume has changed, so now the legs are in multiple parts instead of each leg being one unit. And I got the left and right bottom parts mixed up. But we figured it out in time – um, it didn’t fit, pretty obvious—and changed it. The actor thought it was pretty funny, so it was all good.

I’ve got to put together some things for the photo shoot between shows today, and get some work done on Elusive Prayers. I’m so happy that that’s the only writing I have to worry about this week.

Although I heard from an editor on a pitch – she likes my idea, but wants something shorter than I’d suggested. So I said I’d like to give it a shot. Keep your fingers crossed!

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

The Widow’s Chamber

Tapestry
Angel Hunt
Cutthroat Charlotte

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

June 28 Part II

Lots of work on The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project. People are sending in their information quickly, and we are filling those slots! I’m pleased that it’s bringing people happiness.

Got an issue of Charlotte done. These trial issues are difficult because of the research involved and the need to rephrase the material in the transcripts so I don’t infringe on any copyrights. But it’s also fascinating to see how these characters are interacting.

Some good work on the Widow’s Chamber issue. Have to push on that. I need to catch an earlier train than usual to the city because the Tuesday show is an hour earlier than the rest of the week. So I have to stop writing soon (and stop the admin work on the journal project) to cook and eat dinner, and prepare myself mentally and physically for the show.

But a satisfying day’s work.

And once this episode of WC is done, it’s all about Elusive Prayers for the rest of the week!

Advance warning: Angel Hunt is on the one-day special on Thursday.

D.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Spent far too much time working on The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project yesterday, but it was important to set up the administrative systems properly from the start, so that I can maintain them and won’t fall behind.

Managed an issue of Charlotte. Will write another today, and one of Widow’s Chamber. Then I’m caught up and the rest of the week can focus on Elusive Prayers.

I thought I was more caught up than I am, but my editor needed some issues, and the charts I have and she has and that are on my activity page all say something different, so . . .anyway, I’m giving her what she needs, and, actually, it works better because it frees up the rest of the week for Elusive Prayers.

The artwork choices for all four novellas arrived today and they are terrific! I’m so excited. Everything is great. Lighthouse Lady (the Angel Hunt tie-in) is the hardest, because there are six strong possibilities.

The photo shoots for The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project and for this site, Ink in My Coffee, was good, but I don’t think I’ve quite hit it yet. I may play with the Paintbrush function on the computer and try a different direction.

Having a chance to live my real life for a day and a half makes it all the more difficult to return to the theatre tonight. Oh, well, only 8 more shows of full-time, and probably at least one will mean I’m tossed into a track for which I’m unprepared. Whatever.

One of the reasons I’m frustrated in the theatre work is that I’m tired of accommodating people all the time – and that’s the job! In other words, the needs of the job and my needs are at loggerheads, as part of the evolution of my writing process. And, with the retrogrades as they are, it’s even more apparent.

So, you just keep slogging through, try to make the best of what you’re in, and make the changes you need along the road to get you where you need to go. Step by step by step.

Back to writing. The next episode of Charlotte deals with the beginning of Anne and Mary’s trial.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

The Widow’s Chamber
Tapestry
Angel Hunt
Cutthroat Charlotte

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

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mind the Gap!

Apologies for yet the latest Blogger malfunction. Please be patient. I have a request in for tech support.

In the meantime, just keep scrolling.

Thank you.

Devon

Monday, June 27, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

At least I’m AWARE of the lessons of the Universe during these retrogrades. How I can change my life to implement the things I’m learning is something I’m not quite sure of yet, but I’ll figure it out.

A situation at the show has come up which I can’t yet discuss here that I find unacceptable. It is not from my immediate superiors or from the actors. It’s from the producers. And I will not bend over. Plenty of people will. Not me.

Chiron retrograde – your soul’s path
Uranus retrograde – your place in the world

It all makes complete sense why it’s happened now, during these retrogrades. My response needs to be a consideration of all the facts and options, and then to make the best decision for me. I owe them nothing. I have frequently gone the extra mile for them.

What producers, in general, count on, is a sense of misplaced loyalty among their workers – because so many dream of this type of career and so few achieve it, the producers’ point of view is that we should pay them for working in the industry. The reality is that the producers would have nothing without the people who both create the productions and keep them going on a day-to-day basis. There are a few exceptions, but they become rarer and rarer as theses so-called producers step in from other realms without coming up in the business, and therefore having no understanding of it.

As long as I work on the show, I will continue to be pleasant and professional. But I will make my choices with no regrets.

My soul’s path is no longer in theatre. My place in the universe has shifted – the rest of me just has to catch up!

It will be an interesting few months. As long as I approach everything with a clear business head rather than emotion, I will be fine.

On a happier note, everyone was punchy with exhaustion on the show yesterday, and there was a lot of laughter, which is always a good thing. I’m in the other track, and happy to be there. I enjoy my actors enormously; we have a good rapport, a good rhythm. Several more wish to participate in The Thirteen Traveling Journals project, so that should be fun.
Some more contracts from Llewellyn came through – I have to sign them and send them back. I have more time on those deadlines than I thought, thank goodness.

I need to tidy up my workspace, do some work on the serials, do some work on Elusive Prayers, do some administrative work on The Thirteen Journals Project, and set up photos for potential logos for several projects. If I create the logos myself, I don’t have to worry about interfering with anyone else’s rights.

Already went to the market and the store to stock up on a few things. The fruits and vegetables were inspiring today, and I plan to spend a good bit of time in the kitchen today. That’s something I hate about 8 shows/week – too little time in the kitchen, due to the commute.

I don’t have to be at the theatre tomorrow until just before showtime, so I have those extra hours to do another (paid) writing gig.

What a relief.

Devon
www.devonelllingtonwork.com
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

The Widow’s Chamber
Tapestry
Angel Hunt
Cutthroat Charlotte

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

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sunday, June 26, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot and humid

I’m so delighted that people are thrilled with The Thirteen Traveling Journals project. I’ll do a fresh posting on that site tonight or tomorrow with more information.

A new café/bakery opened on 9th Avenue called Fluff. One of my colleagues brought in an enormous piece of banana cake in the afternoon on which we all feasted. It was amazing. After dinner (Chinese food), I went back because there was a chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream frosting simply calling out to me, and how could I not respond?

Of course, when we got back to the theatre, someone had brought in a couple of pies for us – I had a slice of the Chocolate Dream Pie, which is a variation the chocolate cream pie.

Too much sugar over the course of the day, but boy, was it good! I rarely eat that much dessert over the course of a day – heck, over the course of a week!

Someone infused the theatre with Giggle Gas this evening. We were all punchy (the sugar, perhaps?). Hey, if exhaustion is going to manifest as something, laughter is the best way.

Didn’t get much writing done – just a bit on Elusive Prayers. I’m about to write the scene where Eliza digs a bullet out of one of the hired hands whose been shot. She’s going to do it with a knitting needle, which I know was done at the time; fortunately, one of my colleagues has a custom knit business and could fill me in on the type of needle that would be used in 1853.

We did a lot of brainstorming about logos for the different sites, which is helpful. Sometimes, you see things in a certain way and talking about it to others makes you look at it from a different angle, and allows it to evolve to become its best possible self.

The heat and humidity are pretty bad, but the theatre is cool, though for some reason, still humid. I nicknamed the Stage Left Quick Change Booth as the Oz Rainforest.

I switch tracks today, starting the track that’s more demanding physically, but less demanding emotionally. Sometimes, I can get some good writing time, up there on the third floor.

I look forward to heading straight home after the matinee and either getting some writing done or gathering my energy and going to bed quite early so I can hit the ground running at the crack of dawn tomorrow and put in a productive writing day.

Also have to work on a press release for the journal project.

And if I don’t jump into the shower NOW, I won’t have the chance before running for the train, and then everyone will have to stand downwind of me for the performance.

So to the shower it is.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

The Widow’s Chamber
Tapestry
Angel Hunt
Cutthroat Charlotte

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

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Saturday, June 25, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

I’m so excited that The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project is getting such a great response! One of the journals will originate as the theatre – people on the show really want to be a part of it. We’re even scheduling a photo shoot next week for one of the chorus men’s newest projects that will be included, plus links to his site, etc., etc., etc. . . .people in theatre are naturally collaborative, so something like this is quickly seized.

I’ll leave most of my discussion about the growth of the project on its own site, but I’m excited.

Didn’t get much creative writing done yesterday – most of it was business-related. Ran around the city doing errands all afternoon – it wasn’t that hot, but the humidity grew exponentially as the day wore on, so I was a wilted little thing by the time I got to the theatre.

Since I was near Lincoln Center, I wanted to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, up on 68th and Columbus, called World Café. I’ve been going there for years – I’m not often in that neighborhood any more, but I figured it would be a good chance to reconnect. Great food, reasonable prices, a good vibe. Everything real people want in a restaurant.

Unfortunately, it’s closed. Recently. The sign in the window said “The end of The World” and that’s how it felt. They didn’t resign their lease because the rent was jacked up so high.

I ended up back at Vinyl, where they’re always happy to see me and the food is good.

The wheels are also turning for The Place and Space Journal Project, even though I said I was going to launch Thirteen Journals first.

The mind is a mysterious and cantankerous creature.

Show was fine, for the most part. We’re helping one woman choose the clothes to take on vacation, a friend of mine is in as a substitute stage manager for a few weeks (she’s wonderful) and we’re all so tired at this point that we’re trying to laugh as much as possible so we don’t go completely off the edge.

Unfortunately, as I rolled a rack of costumes into the elevator at the top of the second act, the elevator sensor failed and the door zoomed in, catching me across the lower back (I had to lean slightly to get the rack in). It sounded like I’d been crushed (one person actually screamed – and it wasn’t me) and didn’t feel so great, either. I spent the rest of the show with an icepack stuck into the back of the waistband of my jeans, and filled out the accident report, just in case. Although it’s sore and turning all sorts of interesting colours, I think it sounded worse than it actually is.

Yes, two accidents in two weeks, and yes, I’m aware of the psychological implications. As I reminded the universe tartly last night, I understand that they don’t want qualifiers; I know I’m not supposed to be in the business anymore, and I’m working on it, so back off already! For once in my life, I want a transition instead of a leap, dammit!

The ink I ordered day before yesterday arrived yesterday (wow), and I think I need to order another photo flashcard for my camera. I’ll be taking lots of photos over the next few weeks, and, although my cards usually take around 150 photos, I don’t want to get caught out. I don’t download the photos and wipe the disk, because my CD burner is wonky. I just print from the card.

What I’d like to do is learn how to COPY photos onto a CD – so I have the CD and I still have the disk – but I’m not sure how to do that yet.

Believe it or not, in all the fracas, I managed to get a few pages of Elusive Prayers done, although I’m nowhere near having it finished by Tuesday. I need to dig in to that over the next few days. But it’s going well.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
The Place and Space Journals Project

The Widow’s Chamber
Tapestry
Angel Hunt
Cutthroat Charlotte
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday, June 24, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

The Supreme Court has betrayed the American People yet again, by its latest ruling on Eminent Domain. Basically, any rich person can seize the land of any not-so-rich person in the name of “improving” the community. It is disgusting. Thank you, Sandra Day O’Connor, for a strongly worded dissenting opinion. I have often agreed with her in the past, but this time, she is right on the money.

Because my train left at 4:46 PM yesterday, at 4:20, I started to build a blog for an exciting new project. And I still made my train.

I am working on two exciting (to me, anyway), journal-based projects.

The first one to launch will be The Thirteen Traveling Journals project. Click the name for more information.

The second is The Place and Space Journal Project. Again, click the name for more information. I wanted to make sure I got the name (which turned out to be my second choice name) for it and set up the blog. It will launch farther into July, whereas the first project is already underway, and the first journals will go out by the next full moon.

Yeah, I know, just what I needed – more projects!

Both of these projects were inspired by the 1000 Journals project. I’ve been watching that for more than a year now. All their slots are full, believe it or not, so I decided, with their encouragement, to start the above-projects. There was some talk in a journal forum on iVillage about such a project, so I decided to do it. The desire’s been kicking around for awhile, so why not manifest it?

Show was fine yesterday. We’re getting through it. And managing a few laughs along the way, so, why not?

A workshop of a new musical is casting right now. It’s based on a familiar –well, I can’t give more details without giving too much away, and since what I’m about to say is extremely uncomplimentary and an opinion, not THE final word on it, I won’t give too many details. I heard who was cast and my first response was, “Do they want this project to fail?” It’s beyond unexpected casting. Unexpected casting often works. The people mentioned so far as cast are performers who don’t have the chops for it. Very interesting. I look forward to sitting back and seeing how it all spins out. Maybe we’ll all be wrong. But, having worked with some of the people in question and knowing their, um, limitations, I don’t think so.

On a happier note, some fascinating projects are rumored to be coming to town. My first instinct, of course, is to sort out what I want to work on. Then, I realized that by the time they come in, I probably won’t be here or be in the business anymore. And that’s okay! There will always be another show, and always something to catch my interest.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ll never fully leave the business until I move beyond commuting distance.

Must go in to the city early this afternoon, so I’d better knock out a few episodes of . . .something.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

June 23 Part III

Hey! I got a mention in “The Working Writers Newsletter” from Freelancewriting.com in the “Literary News” section regarding the renewal of Cutthroat Charlotte. :)

D.

June 23 Part II

I’m sleepy, but at least I got some work done.

Caught up on email, answered some questions for Mentee #1, did some administrative work for a literary salon, updated the local press list, polished a release, sent out a press mailing, and brainstormed with KIC’s publicity person.

Also, I’m scheduled for an online chat/interview with KIC on Thursday, July 14 at 12 noon Pacific Time (that’s 3 PM for East Coasters). I’ll post the link, etc., closer to the date. It should be a lot of fun.

Also, got two good issues written, revised, polished and sent for The Widow’s Chamber. As of now, I have 167 issues submitted, for a total page count of 705. It’s a serial, it’s supposed to run without end, and that’s certainly what it feels like right now! :)

The entwining with Elusive Prayers goes well – the two experienced in tandem should work well for readers.

Off to pull myself together before heading in to work.

D.

Thursday, June 23, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

New Yorkers had a humorous and welcome respite from living under the constant siege of terror alerts.

Snapple wanted to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, so they created a 35,000 pound strawberry-kiwi Popsicle. The plan was to truck it down to Union Square (around 14th St.) and photograph it, it goes in the book, and there you have it.

Well, the Popsicle wasn’t frozen properly, all the way to the middle.

And it melted.

All over 17th St.

They had to close 17th St.

Cyclists wiped out in the Popsicle mess, and the firefighters, in full turnout gear, brought trucks and hoses to try to hose down the street – as they’re standing up to their knees in strawberry-kiwi lakes.

It was pretty funny.

Especially, as my friend B. says, since we didn’t have to clean it up.

New Yorkers are walking around, giggling with delight and shaking their heads. That’s pretty funny, too. Everyone’s enjoying a Popsicle reprieve from the stress of daily urban life.

Bet you Popsicle sales shoot way up this week.

Managed to get an issue of Widow’s Chamber done yesterday before leaving for the show, which lifted some of the stress I feel.

Shows were okay. Both the passenger elevator and the freight elevators broke during the first act. Fortunately, the racks of heavy clothing were already at stage level. So, instead of bringing them down and switching out rack to reset, we trucked the enormous ball gowns upstairs and hauled costumes needed for the top of the second show down, etc., resetting on the deck instead of in the dressing rooms. It wasn’t that much of a pain – people’s attitudes were more of a pain than the actual work. It was tough on the broken foot, which needed a long session of ice and elevation before the second show, but, other than that, it was fine. It all got done.

Had dinner with two friends at Maison, my favorite French place. As usual, the food was divine (baked salmon sandwich, arugula salad, glass of Merlot).

My two dinner companions are good friends. One of them I’ve known for close to ten years now. They are both dressers, and, like me, they’ve done a good deal of star dressing (taking care of the actor whose name is above the title). Most of their conversation centered on that.

And I had nothing to contribute. I simply sat quietly and enjoyed my meal.

I realized, sitting there, how detached I already am from the business. I may physically still be there, and I’m doing a good job; but, emotionally, I am already elsewhere. I am already in Massachusetts, in my new life, in many ways. Whereas a year or so ago, I would have felt the bittersweet pangs of leaving the business, now I am at peace with it. It’s not that I don’t care about theatre (or my friends), or that I’m not interested in the conversation. It is simply that it is no longer my life. My life is elsewhere, my focus is elsewhere, my energy is elsewhere.

And it’s good.

The physical transition still needs to occur, but at least I don’t feel torn, the way I have for a good deal of the past year.

Elvis has left the building, and I went with him. Who knew?

My colleague was so thrilled with the P-town info packet I provided for her that she told her stage manager to copy it for the company (since their company management people have given them NO information). I’m glad I could help.

Off to the store for a quick restocking of necessities of life: coffee, wine, and cat food.

Then, to write.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hazy and humid


The jury in Mississippi found the Ex-Klansman guilty in the Mississippi Burning case. I’m glad they didn’t blindly follow along behind the mayor.

Managed to get an episode of Charlotte polished and sent. Did some work on an episode of Widow’s Chamber, but, just as I got into the groove of it, I had to leave to catch the train. Very frustrating.

Day work was fine.

Dinner again at Vinyl – the staff is getting to know me, which is always nice. I can just hang out and take my time, really enjoying the good food.

Show was fine. I’m very, very tired, but hanging in there. People were in a good mood because Broadway Bares was a big success. To see photos of the event, click on the link below:

http://www.broadway.com/Gen/Buzz_Photo_op.aspx?ci=514097

Needless to say, they show the, um, tamer side of the event.

This is the last week on this particular track, which is not too bad physically, but draining mentally; on Sunday, I start the other track, which is more challenging physically, but mentally easier.

Got some good work on Elusive Prayers over the dinner break. It’s coming along more slowly than I would like, but at least it’s coming along. And the intertwining with what’s happening in Widow’s Chamber is interesting.

I need to finish the Widow’s Chamber issue and send it before I leave today. Hopefully, tomorrow I won’t be this exhausted and I can get a few issues of Widow’s Chamber, Tapestry, and Charlotte pounded out.

Plus, I need to finish the horse racing essay.

I have to get out another copywriting direct mailing – if I don’t set the stage now for the weeks when I’m not working full-time on the show, I won’t have the writing work set up during those weeks to fill in.

One of the cats pretended she’d never seen me before when I got home last night. Sigh.

Sad news: An old family friend died. I didn’t know her all that well, but she and my mom had been friends for years, so I feel particularly bad for my mother.

I’m reading P-town by Peter Manso. Interesting to see how an historic and civil rights view of the place compares and contrasts to my childhood memories of the place.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Almost Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Summer Solstice
Sunny and humid

Happy Solstice, everyone!

Today is the longest day and shortest night of the year. Enjoy it. And take some time to connect with your community.

Not much writing done yesterday. I didn’t start feeling like myself until the evening, but I was still too tired to get much done.

Fortunately, I got contracted for some more calendar and almanac articles, so that gave a boost to my day. I also rewrote the Lindisfarne article and submitted it. It’s back to the way I want it to be. I read the publication with which I had so many problems with this article. We are not a good match. I find the material in there stiff and boring, and, if anything, it would keep me away from the places featured in it.

Also pulled together some information on the Cape for my colleague.

The news, as usual, has me shaking my head. The Today Show stays turned off from now on – how can they reward that lying racist chick because she walked out on her wedding? People are getting killed in a WAR for crying out loud, and starving and dying and she pulls that stunt because she’s stressed? And now she gets rewarded? Sickening.

Even more sickening is the split jury in Mississippi on the Mississippi Burning case. Of course, you realize the mayor of the town went on the witness stand and called the KKK a “peaceful” organization.

My mentees were pleased with the notes, and Mentee #1 has more chapters for me, which I will read over the weekend. She’s made wonderful progress with her piece, and I’m very, very proud of her.

Another long day at the theatre, so I better see if I can get some writing done first. The foot is a little better – it’s actually healing quite well, but the way I have to compensate in order to walk is throwing everything else out of whack. It certainly makes me appreciate the mechanics and intricacies of the foot in a whole new way!

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Monday, June 20, 2005

June 20 Part II

Fighting a bad case of the blues. Most of it stems from physical pain and from exhaustion, but knowing the logic of it isn’t helping the emotional effects.

Having a fight with my SO didn’t help, either. We rarely fight, although we sometimes disagree. This was a fight.

Got the notes back to my mentees, sent out some requested pitches by return e-mail to one of my editors, and found a new mag to which I’ll try to sell some travel pieces.

Read The Frog Prince by Jane Porter, thinking it would cheer me up, but it didn’t. There’s nothing wrong with the book – it’s quite well done. But it wasn’t what I needed right now.

I re-read both What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! and Death on the Nile this weekend. There’s something comforting about Agatha Christie’s world when one is under extreme stress.

Can’t concentrate on the serials, and I have to, because another long theatre week starts tomorrow and it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get much done. But I’m unfocused and uninspired.

What will make me feel better is to write, but I can’t corral the thoughts in my brain long enough to get anything coherent down. Pain is both distracting and exhausting.

I need to get out a mailing and do some more press work, and I just don’t know when that can happen, along with trying to pull out enough creative work to keep on schedule with the serials. And Elusive Prayers HAS to get done. It shouldn’t be this hard. None of this is brain surgery. I simply feel wrung out. I thought I’d paced myself well theatre-wise, but it still took more out of me than I wanted.

Leaving home at 10 AM and coming back at 1 AM the next day doesn’t leave a lot of time for creative work. And yet, somehow, I still have to find the energy and the discipline to get it all done, because the words won’t write themselves. And the transition won’t happen if I lag on the creative work.

D.

Monday, June 20, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

I overslept yesterday and barely made my train to get to the show. I didn’t even turn on my computer all day.

Saturday’s show was fine. My foot hurts a lot, and the whole leg and back are sore, because, in order to compensate for having to put weight on my foot differently, everything else is out of whack. I don’t want to take ibuprofen constantly, because it’s bad for my liver, so I’m only taking it right before shows.

I had dinner on Saturday with a friend and we went to McHale’s. I mention McHale’s in Tapestry. It’s been around for a good long time in the theatre district. It looks like an old-time bar, and it’s were the theatre pros hang out. Heck, I’ve gotten work from being at McHale’s at the right time. We had a table in the back, ate burgers, and caught up. She’s the assistant wardrobe supervisor on another show, and we hadn’t had the chance to see each other for ages. She and her husband are thinking of traveling to Iceland later this year – good choice!

Shows Saturday and Sunday were fine. Sunday, after the matinee, one of my friends and I went to the Algonquin for a drink. I love the Algonquin – for its history, as the site of Dorothy Parker and the Round Table, etc., but also because the staff is lovely, the drinks are good and the atmosphere is relaxing. In college, I wrote some of my term papers in that lobby, on rainy afternoons, sipping tea and brandy.

Yesterday, we sat in armchairs sipping sidecars and talking about everything under the sun. We both want to go to the new Matisse exhibit at the Met, and to the Pissaro/Cezanne at the MoMa. I’m very fond of both Fauvism and Impressionism, so any chance I get to drink in such an exhibit is something at which I’d jump.

Got home, watched some bad TV, played with the cats, and tried to rest my foot.

Today, I need to finish up my comments on my two mentees’ pieces (yes, I got another mentee), and work on Charlotte, Widow’s Chamber, and Elusive Prayers. I didn’t submit the horse racing essay for tomorrow’s edition of FemmeFan – it needs some more work. It’s too pedestrian now – this, than that, than the other. I need to pull out paragraphs, rearrange them, and add some spice and verve to it. Racing is about intensity, commitment, and excellence. Any essay that conveys the feeling of racing well has to include those same elements.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate issue and download.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Saturday, June 18, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Some damn fool rolled over my foot with a suitcase at the train station yesterday and broke one of my toes. A group of us stood at the train door, waiting for it to open. He was hauling a heavy suitcase, talking on his cell phone. He cut in front of me, literally shoving me into the people behind me, rolled over my foot, and then screamed at me for being in his way.

I had him removed from the train.

He’s not that damn important.

I told the conductor the choices were to remove him from the train, or I’d call 911 and we could all sit here while I filled out an assault complaint (assault with a deadly suitcase?)

There were five 20-something guys on the train. At first, I assumed they’d be typical frat boy asses, but they actually turned out to be very nice and helpful. They had me sit with them; one of them had a soda with ice in it; one had a plastic bag. So we created an impromptu ice pack. The guys go to school in Bridgeport and are big Sound Tigers fans, so we had some common ground – hockey. Good to have something to talk about when you’ve got your foot in the lap of some guy you just met. They were on their way to the Yankees game. They were very nice – asked if I wanted them to take me to the hospital. I said no – they’d just tape up my toe and charge me a lot, and I can do that myself without the high cost. Then they asked if I wanted to go to the game with them – they figured if I drank enough beer, my foot would stop hurting. Reluctantly, I turned them down. Anyway, they were very nice and they had opinions and ideas about the world and intelligence, so it was a fairly pleasant ride.

If they haven’t lost my card and do find their way to this site, thanks very much. I appreciate your help.

I got some first aid tape, iced the toe, taped it, took some ibuprofen, and did the show. What else could I do?

Limped into the walk-in clinic this morning and they confirmed it – broken toe (middle toe on right foot), I taped it well, but it’s a little crooked, and there goes my career as a foot model (yes, that is a joke).

I’m going to stick to ibuprofen for a few days. I was offered Tylenol with codeine, but I get a bad reaction to codeine, so I’ll just take some ibuprofen and hope my liver holds up.

I also had to modify my yoga a bit.

And no cute shoes for me the next few weeks. Darn! I tried the shoes that go with this dress – no way. So I’ll look like a typical New York working woman – well-dressed with sneakers.

It hurts, it’s all kinds of shades of purple, but the swelling is down and it’s not as bad as it could be.

But I’m not getting much writing done.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Friday, June 17, 2005

June 17 Part II

I goofed off today. And I’m not making any apologies for it.

I wrote an episode of Charlotte and I’m happy with it. I’ll have to rewrite it, but at least I won’t have to throw it out. It’s between Anne Bonny and Charlotte in the jail, just prior to Anne’s trial.

I was eager to get my errands done, so, off to Larchmont. Couldn’t get to the restaurant where I wanted to eat lunch because they were putting in a new sidewalk and forced all the businesses to close – the town better reimburse those businesses, that’s all I have to say.

Shopped.

Now, clothes shopping is hardly a favorite pastime of mine, but I was in the mood. I shopped some stores I know in both Larchmont and Greenwich that have good merchandise at good prices. They both had 50% off those prices today. So, I got three designer dresses, three Banana Republic shirts (they’re an addiction of mine), a skirt and a sarong. Final cost: $45, give or take a few cents.

And everything fits me as though it was made for me.

The best thing about working wardrobe on B’way is what I learned about how to shop for clothes. Add that to what I know looks good on me and . . .when I put my mind to shopping, I can kick some serious ass without breaking the budget.

Did a bit of light grocery shopping. Will turn my attention to Elusive Prayers for a bit before heading in to the city.

Howled with laughter at an article in a fashion magazine dealing with “how to tip the help” when you’re invited to the Hamptons, et al, for the weekend: $100 to this one, $50 to the cook, $50 to the laundress – um, excuse me, if I go somewhere for the weekend, I bring clean clothes and do my own damn laundry when I get home! Oh, and bring your host a beach cover-up costing $465. Huh? For that, I can fly to Paris. Paris or East Hampton? Not much of a decision there, if you ask me! It’s hilarious.

It made me realize how much I love the life I live, and how I certainly do not long for a life of so-called “luxury”. I keep reading all these articles about how women past 40 are “invisible”. I don’t feel invisible. I get more attention now than when I was twenty, that’s for damn sure (whether I want it or not, sometimes). I’ve never been denied access to any club or party, and I always get good tables at restaurants. So, what’s the problem? I sure wouldn’t want to be a teenager again – every year just gets better and better!

So I can read articles like the one mentioned above and laugh my head off. Because I don’t want that life. And once I have my house – I’ll have everything I want and need to be happy. The house is really the only outstanding piece of the puzzle at this point. Everything else is on its way to where I envision it.

It’s attainable, and I don’t feel as though I’m running out of time.

That’s a good place to be.

D.

Friday, June 17, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

They actually had the heat on this morning, which I thought was a little excessive.

Tired. I’m trying to pace myself so that I don’t use everything up for the show. But it’s hard. It’s especially hard because there are some people working on the show who really hate their lives; instead of changing what doesn’t work, they punish everyone around them. And I’ve told a couple of them to stop. “I’m sorry you hate your life; don’t take it out on me.” I mean, if someone’s trying to pour a pail of manure on you, wouldn’t you step back and tell them to stop?

Show was okay. Treated myself to magazines while waiting for the train on the way back. I couldn’t find the yoga magazine I wanted, and they were out of the French Elle (it helps boost my French to read magazines in the language), but I found some other stuff I wanted.

I did a good few pages on Elusive Prayers. Got in another shooting (hey, it's a western), got in some good dialogue. Although the plot touches on the plot for Widow’s Chamber, I’m also letting it do its own thing. The two pieces need to be able to stand independently from each other.

My friend Michelle wrote episode #3 of the KIC soap – I’m glad; our episodes will be close together.

Glamorous Hearts is in production – I hope it starts running soon – I can hardly wait to hear what they’ve done with it. And I want to write another script for them. Originally, they’d talked about mounting a new production every month, but that hasn’t happened. I would love to write three or four scripts per year for them.

The artwork for Tapestry is up. Check it out at: http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html. I’m very happy with it. The art for Widow’s Chamber should be up soon.

I was in absolute agony for much of last night, because, suddenly on the train, I wondered whether or not I’d turned off the kettle before leaving. I always have a routine of checking windows, doors, stove, etc., before I leave. I did it, but, because I was still in 1853 Missouri with Elusive Prayers, I didn’t remember the actual awareness of anything within the routine. Thankfully, muscle memory won out and everything was fine. But it was a difficult few hours. I was more worried about the cats than anything.

I made the big decision to raise my business writing rates to be more in line with the fair market value around here. Several friends on the freelancers’ forum did so and got more clients, instead of less, because the clients knew they were serious about their work. I also have to work more aggressively on my prospect list. To make my financial goals in this arena, I need a mere ten billable hours per week. There’s plenty of work out there – it’s just a case of putting myself in contention for it.

I may have landed a couple of articles over the next few months for a publication for which I used to write, but recently haven’t. They publish quarterly, and I have some ideas I think might work well in upcoming issues.

We’re discussing August dates for Saratoga. That means I’ll probably write Lighthouse Lady before But Is She a Betting Man? so that I can actually poke around in Saratoga to check geographic details before submitting that novella.

The trip to Maine has to be pushed back a week because some work came up – my grandmother’s fine with it, so it’s all good. I have to let my friends in Boothbay know and I have to do the preliminary research so I know where I’m actually going in Bath to do research.

Best of all, one of my favorite people in the world will be here next week on business, and I can’t wait to see him.

Today’s agenda: a couple of issues of Charlotte, work on Elusive Prayers, work on the horse racing piece, and then errands before I head back to the city.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

June 16 Part III

Fighting the dark cloud hanging over me, threatening to deluge me with an acid rain of the blues. It’s because I’m starting to feel a writing rhythm, and now I have to stop and do the show.

Yesterday, though, when on the break I returned early because it was too noisy to write at The Coffee Pot, I managed to write in the dressing room, with everyone tiptoeing around me and giving me space to write. I appreciate it so much, and will thank them in the acknowledgements for Elusive Prayers.

The artwork for Tapestry and Widow’s Chamber is finalized, and can I just say that Freeman kicks some serious ass? It’s really wonderful. As soon as it’s up, I’ll post the link.

Wrote the Angel Hunt segment of the KIC soap – it runs around 1700 words. Reworked it a few times, but sent if off and it’s been accepted. So that’s good. It will be Episode 4.

Doing some work on Elusive Prayers – I want to be halfway through the first draft by next Tuesday – that means up to page 50. And I want to finish the first draft by the following Tuesday.

I also need to pursue more business writing clients while I’m so busy, so that when I’m not doing the 14 hour days, I have well-paid writing projects on which to work.

And there are mailings to do and . . .

The article on which I’m working for FemmeFan is an extremely personal look at what horse racing means to me. Perhaps too personal – I might edit it to be a bit more objective.

D.

June 16 Part II

Rough going. I managed two issues of Tapestry (just submitted Issue #100, yippee). Started an issue of Charlotte, but don’t have the energy.

Perhaps I’ll switch to some business work – updating the press lists to send to the new press person, reading the KIC soap info, getting the Charlotte release out to the print media – and then try again.

I need to get two stories printed off properly and in the mail, too.

I just have no energy.

D.

Thursday, June 16, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Ah, the relief of some cool air!!!

Yesterday was a long day. I managed to get some work done on Elusive Prayers -- I’m one third of the way done with the first draft, and I need to move at a much quicker clip. I’m also concerned that I’ve made the plot a tad complicated, but I hope it will work. I can always cut once it’s done, but until I see it all out there, I can’t do much of anything.

The artist for Tapestry and The Widow’s Chamber resurfaced, thank goodness. The cover for Tapestry is perfect, but there were a couple of typos in the other one. I approved one and requested changes in the other. Now, if the artist for Angel Hunt would just communicate . . .

I have a second mentee – I got her e-mail today. She’s worried about bad habits, so I asked if she had a project she wanted to use for our mentoring time together, or if she wanted to start fresh.

21 shows left on this booking. They were fine yesterday. Although, in the evening, one of the girls was nauseated by some medication she’s on, and I started getting dizzy again. I think, in my case, it may be dehydration. I’m not the fainting type.

The plan for the new Yankee Stadium is dynamite – just beautiful. It’s very well thought out in terms of long range use to the community, not just all about the baseball team’s convenience.

The Shinnecock Tribe – who’s lived around the Hamptons for 3000 years – is suing for compensation for land value. Good for them! Back rent since the land was first taken? I wonder how much that will end up!

I want to know the names of the 20 members of Congress who refused to participate in apologizing for the government not taking action to prevent lynchings. I think we need to know who these people are, so their constituents can decide if they are representative of their region. I’m sure some of them are. But I sure as heck would not want someone claiming to represent me who was not willing to make this gesture.

I recently read an interesting, self-published, typed little booklet by a woman who’d lived in Kentucky, Maine, Cape Cod, etc., around the turn of the Century – she knew Louisa May Alcott’s nephew and Emerson’s daughter, etc. While much of it was entertaining and gave me good insight, I simply could not get passed the way she tossed off a mention of a lynching as though it was light entertainment. Whether or not that’s “the way it was” at the time, it does not make it right. A person who found a hanging entertaining would not be someone I could respect, be it 1215, 1895, or now. Too many excuses are made for cruelty by saying it was common in the context of its time. That still does not make it right. And now, we are supposed to have – I don’t know – become “evolved”, “enlightened”, “civilized” – and sometimes, I don’t think we’ve come very far.

And I want those 20 names.

Going to try to get some writing done today. Make that, I HAVE to get a lot of writing done today.

Better get to it.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Yesterday was hot and muggy and disgusting, but we lived through it. I’m glad we have air conditioning. I hurt for the people who don’t.

I took a look at the new Olympic bid plan. It’s so much better than the first one, I don’t understand why it wasn’t the first one. It uses all five boroughs. And, in the long run, I believe it will create more long-term jobs and useful facilities than the West Side Stadium project would. I still think another city should get the games – there is no way New York can secure the games without shutting down the city for two weeks, and that’s unfair to people who live and work in the city.

Michael Jackson verdict: If you’ve ever served on a jury or watched a case sitting in a courtroom, you know that what is experienced in the courtroom is like a completely different trial than what is shown in the media. I’ve served on civil, criminal, and grand juries, testified in a criminal case, and sat in courtrooms watching numerous trials as research for various projects. Anyone who is not in the room can’t possibly judge what’s really going on.

In this country, it is set up that the defendant is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW – not in a court of the media. And the presumption is to be of innocence, not of guilt. Also, only this particular person’s accusations were on trial – not the defendant’s entire life. If the jury believed there was reasonable doubt, they must have had good reason. Even from what I saw at a removal, which, as said above, cannot be the whole story, there was a huge credibility problem. This problem was not created by the defense – it was inherent in the case by those who made the accusations.

Do I believe complete and utter innocence in every instance of this man’s life? I don’t know. I do know that I would not allow my children and I do not allow my godchildren to stay overnight with a middle aged man unsupervised, and if I heard any tales of a “family friend” sharing a bed with one of them I would go ballistic. And probably deal with it one on one myself. But in this particular instance, the jury felt there was reasonable doubt. And the case was about this particular set of circumstances.

It is so important that when you are called for jury duty, you do it, instead of whining and trying to get out of it. It is very important that the intelligent, responsible, ethical citizens serve on jury duty. Because everyone has a right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty, and everyone has a right to be heard before a jury of one’s peers. So come on, people, step up to the plate and show up for jury duty!

I have to say, every time I served, it re-established my faith in the way our justice system is set up. My fellow jurors took their responsibilities seriously, we were a diverse group in age, race, and background – yet all respected each other’s views and found ways to get along and work together. The judges took their responsibilities seriously as well and did not put up with indulgent, theatrical crap from the attorneys.

Back to actual life, now.

I didn’t get anything done on Tapestry. I managed to get some work done on Elusive Prayers – mostly planning work, rather than writing work, and I have to get moving on that. The deadline is looming, and I want to have both Elusive Prayers and But Is She a Betting Man? ready to go by the July 15 deadline. Elusive Prayers is better than I thought it was, it’s tighter (love the novella format), and it crosses back and forth with where I am right now in The Widow’s Chamber in a good and interesting way.

I’m working on a few ideas for forthcoming horse racing articles, and need to get out some requests for interviews.

I received the info for the upcoming KIC soap opera, and I will get to work on that this weekend. The Angel Hunt characters will be the first episode that I write. Later this week, I will also read the first five chapters my mentee’s rewritten on her novel.

Show was fine, thank goodness. I slipped back into the rhythm of the track fairly easily. One of the women that I really enjoy working with is leaving the show to do a new show in Provincetown. I went to P-town for years, and love the entire Cape, so I’m putting together a packet of information. She’ll be working on a show, so who knows how much time she’ll have, but at least there will be options if she’s got a few hours off here and there. I’ll miss working with her on this show, but her new show is an exciting opportunity and she’s so talented – it’s great, and the show is lucky to have her!

23 more shows.

Now, to try to get a few pages done before I run for the train.

The Uranus retrograde sparked a forced look at dealing with some father-related issues. My father died when I was ten, and there’s still a lot of emotion to deal with in that arena. It’s manifested in less than healthy ways in my life – through perusing unhealthy relationships, etc. – and I’m at a point where . . .well, letting go is the wrong phrase, because it’s blood, and you don’t let go of blood. I do know that he did the best he could, even when it didn’t make any sense. He tried very hard, he loved me, and he tried to prepare me for the world. He left via death early in my life – boy, we would have fought tooth and nail for years. It’s definitely affected my writing – so many of my characters are either orphans or have major father-daughter issues. And some of the perceived wounds are just that – perceived. Created situations that never had a chance to be real because there was no father actually with whom to have the conflict (plenty of male mentor figures were forced to stand it throughout the years and fight with me, poor things). The best thing I can do is enjoy the good memories and shrug off the “what could have beens”, both positive and negative. Anger at someone who’s been dead for over thirty years doesn’t do anyone any good. Especially when it’s not based in anything rational.

Read C’est La Vie by Suzy Gershman about starting a new life in Paris after her husband died. I enjoyed the book, but it also makes me realized how spoiled I am by some of the US amenities. I think I’m more suited to frequent travel to Paris, rather than living there!

I’m telling you, Iceland looks better and better all the time!

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Racing Ink:

Belmont Wrap Up here:

http://www.femmefan.com/site/featuredarticles/Belmont%202005%20Wrap-Up.htm

One-Day Only Special:


Cutthroat Charlotte is on a one-day only special. Here's the link:

http://www.keepitcoming.net/ebay.html

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranaus Retrograde
Hot and humid

With the heat index, it’s supposed to go well over 100 degrees today. Yuck.

24 shows. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with the physical, and, more importantly, the psychological drain and still do everything I need to do over the past few weeks.

Looks like the job with the marine biology site was filled, but I’m going to check back with them every few months to see what’s going on. Sometimes, being at the right place at the right time is half the battle.

Got nothing done on Elusive Prayers last night. Too tired to think.

I found six of my old Agatha Christie books, but I have about 30 or more, and I don’t know where they are. That caused all sorts of anxiety, out of proportion with the situation. They are books, paperbacks, many of which I bought at sales for a dime, or on trips for (I looked at the back cover of one) 30p. It’s not the book (or loss thereof) causing the anxiety. It’s what the book represents in my life, which is a time of happiness and security and long, happy hours, especially in the summer, where the only demand on me was to read whatever I wanted.

Elusive Prayers will travel with me to work, and, hopefully, I can get something done on it.

I also need to tackle an episode of Tapestry before I catch my train.

Cutthroat Charlotte was by far the most-requested serial in the First Fifty promotion, with Tapestry second. Good to know.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Monday, June 13, 2005

June 13 Part III


Two episodes of Charlotte written, polished, and off. Charlotte is visiting Anne and Mary in the Jamaican jail at this point.

Approximately 5000 words on the two serials and 1400 words for the article. A decent day’s work.

Dinner’s cooking, and then I’ll tackle Elusive Prayers. I need to get a few pages done on that every single day – the deadline is quickly approaching, and I have the other novellas to deal with as well. Plus, I don’t want to lose the energy that today’s episode of Widow’s Chamber created. A few days ago, in Elusive Prayers, Brother Joseph sent the telegram from Missouri to Nora in New Orleans. In the episode of WC written today, Nora receives said telegram. Hence, tie-in.

I’m reading Gillian Gill’s wonderful biography of Agatha Christie. It reminds me how much I enjoyed the books growing up and makes me want to reread all those I’ve read and read whatever ones I haven’t. I wonder if they’re packed away somewhere on the premises, or if they’re all in storage? Many of the actual volumes have happy memories attached to them because most of them were bought during trips, when I needed something to read. Quite a few are English editions, bought while traveling in Europe.

But now, dinner and a glass of wine, and then some more work on Elusive Prayers. I decided that I want to dedicate it to a friend of mine who is not in the writing business or in the theatre business, but provides a good deal of inspiration.

D.

June 13 Part II

Belmont Wrap-up article out, three issues of The Widow’s Chamber written, edited, polished, and out. I tied it in neatly with Elusive Prayers. I better watch it – if I grow too pleased with my own cleverness, I’m bound to fall flat on my face.

The missing artist has turned up, so I get to keep his work in Tapestry and The Widow’s Chamber. The other artist sent the signed contract back, via the publisher, but refuses to discuss changes. And I refuse to approve the art work until the changes I want have at least been discussed.

Urgh.

Some lunch, and then back to Cutthroat Charlotte and Elusive Prayers.

D.

Monday, June 13, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Oak
Hot and humid

Sorry I’ve been out of touch. Late last week I was knocked out by crippling migraines. Although I managed to pull myself together for the day at Belmont Park, I was then down with heat exhaustion all weekend.

I have ever so much on which to catch up, writing-wise, especially since tomorrow starts the three full-time weeks on the show. I have wrap-ups to write, serial episodes to do, and I need to get some submissions out that have to go ASAP, or I’ll miss getting them in to their slots in 2006.

At least I got the air conditioner in yesterday – that was a relief.

Right now, I’m focused on what needs to be done, and have little to say about the past few days.

Racing wise, although Afleet Alex had a beautiful, gorgeous win, I’m still sad that Giacomo flipped his palate and might have to have surgery, poor thing.

Sent a pitch to a marine biology site that fascinates me. Although I don’t have the scientific background, I think I could communicate the info they want in an engaging way, so I hope I get a shot at the job.

Also found some good leads for new stories while at the track.

Will catch up in more detail here when I’ve caught up everywhere else.


Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

June 11 Belmont Ink -- Undercard

These are the horses I want to look at. What I’ll actually do – remember, we have a heat wave here, and that affects the horses. And it’s hazy – rain will change everything. A major thunderstorm has been predicted to hit immediately before the Belmont Stakes itself.

1st Race:
Skip it and see how the track’s running.

2nd Race:
I’m looking at two long shots here: La Dolce Vita and Flawless Treasure, probably to just hit the board.

3rd Race:
Ice Wynnd Fire across the board.

4th Race:
Storm Minstrel to place.

5th Race:
Pa Pa Da – across the board because he’s smart, sweet, and talented.
Provincetown to place.
I want to take a look at Steel Light, but I don’t know what to do with him yet.

6th Race:
I like a lot of horses in this race, and I’m not sure how I’ll sort them out until I see them before showtime. I’m looking at: With Distinction, Smokume, Wake Up Dreaming, Willy o’the Valley. Key Deputy is still a question mark for me.

7th Race:
Riskaverse across the board because I love her. I’m going to take a look at Intercontinental and Mambo Slew as well.

8th Race:
Lost in the Fog across the board
Egg Head to place.
War Plan to show.
I want to look at Middle Earth and Proud Accolade, but not sure where to slot them in yet.

9th Race:
I think this will be the most interesting race of the day, outside of the Belmont itself.
Gygistar across the board – this horse has always done well for me.
Funny Cide across the board – because it’s Funny Cide – however, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was scratched today due to weather.
Limehouse because he’s a powerhouse.
Spite the Devil to show.
Rogue Agent – like the horse, but will pass on him here.
Evening Attire – I’ve always liked this horse, but he’s disappointed me the last few times out, and I’m wary of betting on him here.
I don’t want to dismiss Cuba, but I’m not sure where he fits.

Race 10:
Artie Schiller and Meteor Storm in a boxed exacta, with longshot Saint Stephen to show.

Race 11:
The actual Belmont Stakes.

As I said in my previous post:
Giacomo, Afleet Alex and Pinpont across the board and in a boxed trifecta;
Indy Storm and Watchmon to show.
I hate to leave Chekov out because watching this horse and his jockey Gary Stevens together is sheer poetry, but I don’t think today’s their day.
And I don’t understand the strong support for Reverberate. Perhaps he will show me today.

Race 12:
Master David, Run the Light, and Lunar Man, but I’m not sure how yet.

Race 13:
Wamp and Heathrow as the serious contenders; a show bet on Sleek Jackal because, at 50-1, how could I not?

June 11 Belmont Ink

Sorry not to have posted Belmont Ink yesterday. I was quite ill on Thursday. I managed to pull myself together to get to the Park yesterday, but not to write about it before or after, and will write about yesterday’s race day shortly.

For the Belmont Itself today:

I stand with betting Giacomo, Afleet Alex, and Pinpoint across the board. I also want to box them in a trifecta. I plant to bet Indy Storm and Watchmon to show. Yes, Watchmon. Take a look at him today. He might have a few surprises up his hooves.

I will post some undercard suggestions shortly.

Devon

Thursday, June 09, 2005

June 9 Belmont Ink

I’m not quite sure why Reverberate’s odds are so low, when he only came in second in the Peter Pan. I’ll have to take an actual look at him in the paddock – maybe I can figure it out.

Shout out to Eileen – Elijah’s Song won yesterday at Churchill Downs.

I’ll be out at Belmont Park tomorrow, with a group, some of who love racing, some of whom have never been to an actual race. I have a list of horses I’ll look at, although I won’t make betting decisions until I see them in the paddock.

1st Race:
Beau Tie. I know and love this horse. I don’t care whether or not he wins. He’s got a great personality.

2nd Race:
These are fillies – always got to check their mood. I’m going to look at Medieval Salute and Sharp Brunette.

3rd Race:
Skip

4th Race:
Will skip unless Winged Valour and/or Desert Breeze look amazing.

5th Race:
Skip

6th Race:
PJ Sully, Tour de Force, and Lex.

7th Race:
Master of Disaster, Beacon Shine, and Tompest

8th Race:
Better Than Bonds
Tinseltown

9th Race:
Big Booster, Broadway View (how could I not at least take a look, with that name?), Chilly Rooster, Sir Walter Rahy.

10th Race:
Charismatic Cure and Starduster.

Hopefully, it won’t be too hot out there, or I’ll be the one wilting.

Happy Racing!

D.

FIRST FIFTY FREE PROMOTION WITH KIC

www.keepitcoming.net, at the forefront of the Renaissance of serialized fiction, offers a special promotion to interested subscribers 18 and older – the first fifty people to respond via e-mail get a full month’s subscription (9 issues) free to one of the following:

The Widow’s Chamber (western) by Devon Ellington. As the clouds of Civil War gather in 1852, young Nora Cavanaugh travels from Concord to Washington to Nashville to New Orleans, fighting to save her brother’s life by discovering the secret of the widow’s chamber. Link: http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html

Tapestry (mystery) by Devon Ellington. What do you do when your boss is dead, the police ant to know why you’re carrying around $10,000, your boyfriend tries to mug you and you’re out of Jack Daniel’s? Find out Nina Bell’s solutions as she navigates these and other adventures in New York’s East Village of the 1990s. Link: http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html

Angel Hunt (magical realism/occult/fantasy) by Cerridwen Iris Shea. A witch hired by a devil to hunt an angel. A tale of liquid reality. Link: http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html

Cutthroat Charlotte (action/adventure/pirate) by Devon Ellington. Follow the adventures of Charlotte Millhouse as she evolves from innocent teenager to notorious pirate to powerful baroness, becoming a key figure in the American Revolution. Link: http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html.




How to enter:
Send an e-mail to (click) with “First Fifty” in the subject line. In the body of the e-mail, name which serial you would like for your free month’s subscription and your year of birth. Please note: Only one entry per participant (i.e., you can’t enter once for each serial, nor can you list more than one serial in your request). The first fifty entrants will receive one free month’s subscription (nine issues) to the serial of their choice. Deadline: June 13. Note: The offer will end as soon as fifty subscriptions have been reached. PARTICIPANTS MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE.


Regulations and disclaimer: Only the first fifty entries received will result in a month’s free subscription. KIC and its authors are not liable for any computer/internet/communication problems or for any age or other misrepresentation by an entrant.

Thursday, June 9, 2005
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Sunny, hot, humid

Migraine today.

Actually, it started yesterday. I managed to keep it at bay to do the matinee, but, by the time I got home, it was full-blown, and it’s only gotten worse.

I survived the matinee yesterday. I was doing one of the star tracks for the first time – and the collar on the dress broke at Places as we got her in to it and then the zipper stuck in the first change and it was not pretty. The rest of the show was fine, but the beginning was awful.

Let’s hope I never actually have to DO the track.

I watched Dancing With the Stars last night again. Even though I don’t really like it, how could I not support a colleague that I do like and enjoy? I don’t know why the judges keep giving the blonde model high marks – she’s vile and not anywhere near as good as the judges say. They see the long legs and not the personality (or lack thereof). And thank goodness that Trista chick was voted off – honey, you stayed around too long anyway, you swore you were done with television yet here you are again, and the general public is SICK of you and your attitude of entitlement! My former colleague did quite well. He and his partner are moving on to next week. I won’t get to see any more shows, because I work Wednesday nights, but I wish him well.

Rolled out of bed this morning and called Scotland. Our fellow writing group member and friend Colin (Freedom from the Mundane), at right, has been out of touch since the 3rd, and we were getting worried. I read back over his blog and saw the Leith Festival was in full swing, so I hoped he was caught up in that. He’d also mentioned back pain, so I hoped it wasn’t that. I searched The Scotsman online, and the only mentions I found of someone under the same name is a professor very involved in the ecological welfare of Scotland. Our Colin has a healthy love and respect for nature, but I don’t think it’s the same guy. I figured if I didn’t reach him, I’d send some of my buddies from the Last Drop and the Oxford in search of him.

“Think you’re Nancy fuckin’ Drew, do you?” one of them asked me. “All right, then. Ye need me to go round the pubs lookin’ for him, let me know. Still think you ought to jump the next plane yerself.”

Ah, if only! :)

(I didn’t even think he knew who Nancy Drew was – hey, the guy’s actually LISTENED to some of my ramblings over the years).

So I dug up Colin’s phone number and called. He’s home, he answered, and we chatted. I’ll leave it to him to fill everyone in on the details when he feels up to it. He hasn’t been well the past few days, but is on the mend, thank goodness. And it was good to hear a Scottish accent again (although it took a few sentences to re-attune my ear).

I, however, was fairly incoherent, since it was before my first cup of coffee.

Anyway, Colin, feel better soon! You are missed!

You never want someone to feel trapped or hounded, but, in this day and age, we all have to look out for each other. And let our friends know we’re there for them no matter what, even if separated by oceans.

My next entry will deal with a special KIC promotion for my serials that only runs from today through June 13. It’s called the “First Fifty Promotion”. Details will appear on the site shortly.

We’re having trouble with the artist for Angel Hunt. He’s not communicating directly with me, not answering any of my questions, not returned the contract, sends slightly modified artwork to the publisher, and then tells her he doesn’t understand why I say he’s not communicating.

She sent him a strongly-worded e-mail today and now we’ll see whether it’s a genuine mis-understanding (due to language or whatever) or if it is simply arrogance.

And the other artist is still AWOL.

Urgh.

The final pre-Belmont article is up on FemmeFan:

http://www.femmefan.com/site/featuredarticles/Bracing%20for%20Belmont.htm

and “Belmont Ink” will run here later today.

Now, to try and get some more business done for the promotion, etc., and maybe, just MAYBE, get some writing done.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

June 8, 2005 Belmont Ink

The tests on the horse at Belmont suspected of having strangles came back negative, as did the tests on the other horses in the barn. The horses are back in training, the sick horse recuperates upstate; barns have been disinfected and repainted.

The 33 horses quarantined at Delaware Park due to strangles worries have also tested negative, and that quarantine has been lifted.

Unfortunately, there’s now a quarantine at Prairie Meadows for equine herpes.

Let’s hope it’s all resolved soon. Belmont has done everything to ensure the safety of the horses on site, and the horses shipping in.

Jeremy Rose is doing the smart thing – he’s riding at Belmont all week, so that by Sunday’s race, he’s got the track in his body.

Is anyone else burned out on the “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” story? Yes, I teared up the first three or four times I saw it/read it. But now it’s the three hundredth time and it’s just too much. It’s a great cause, and I’ll buy lemonade at Belmont (and give it to someone – I’m allergic to citrus), but enough already. At least come up with new material on how the charity is growing. Don’t keep showing the same footage over and over and over and over and . . .

Pinpoint’s odds are 30-1. Fine with me. I don’t mind making some money on Saturday . . .


D.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Sunny, hot, humid


On a NYC street yesterday:

Woman driving a Lexus SUV pulls up to a cop car and asks him to watch the car while she double-parks.

Cop says she can’t double-park, so, no, he won’t watch the car any longer than it takes to give her a ticket.

She starts to whine, thinking she’s cute.

He refuses.

She starts to unbutton her shirt.

He tells her to stop.

I say, “You don’t get special privileges for acting like a hooker.”

She drops the mask and the ugly person she truly is becomes visible as she distorts her face and body (it was kind of like watching a special effect in a sci-fi movie) and she starts screaming, “Hooker! My husband makes five hundred thousand –“

“Then you can afford a garage,” I say, and keep walking.

Ahh, New York City.

Daywork was fine. Chatted with a colleague about the Tony Awards and how much work they are – it’s not about hanging out and enjoying oneself, it’s become working the room and making fresh deals. The conversation gave me the seed of a new novel that I sketched out that would be controversial, but also very funny.

Had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Vinyl. I had a grilled chicken Caesar salad. It was fantastic – and so big!

A group of 20-somethings came in as I was eating. Four girls and a guy. The girls fluttered around the guy, doing nothing but flatter him and try to garner the bulk of his attention. Yet he was annoyed because I ignored him. Get over yourself! He must have had money, because there sure wasn’t anything else going on there, on either the looks or the personality front.

Show was fine. There are some odd things in some of the quick changes, but, hopefully, I can do them, and then I’ll be done with the theatre for the week. A single show and I’m wiped out. It’s ridiculous. How am I going to do three weeks’ worth of shows?

Here’s the link for the Cutthroat Charlotte renewal:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/6/prweb248398.php

Tomorrow, an exciting, limited-time offer will start on the serials. I’ll post the details then.

“Belmont Ink” starts today.

How am I going to get it all done before I have to run for the train?

Oh, the train . . .I reach the station last night for my train back. The platform is empty –as in, there’s no train on the track. The signs are rolling, etc. But no train. So I ask at the booth, “Have you changed the track? There’s no train on Track 24.”

“Yes, there is.”

“No, there’s not. It’s empty.”

“Of course the train’s there. It says so on the board.”

“So, we’re riding the invisible train tonight?”

Twenty minutes late, they pulled a train on the track next to it – where another train was already sitting, and made us walk a half a mile down the platform to get on it. They couldn’t just open the train already there? Or pull the fresh train in to the original track?

The level of incompetence the MTA expresses on a regular basis is astonishing.

THEY should pay US to ride the trains.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.