Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT
Cooler and cloudy/sunny

Metro North’s increasing incompetence is going to cost the unnecessary loss of thousands of lives when there’s a terrorist attack on New York’s transit system. And there’s no “if” about it – it’s “when”, and everyone who lives in the area knows it. The lack of initiative and the inability and/or unwillingness to make the most basic commonsense decisions is not acceptable. Peter Kalikow must be removed from the MTA NOW – not after a preventable tragedy happens. He needs to stop his obsession with measuring the size of his dick against that of the union president and start running a transportation system. Although, in all the years he’s been the head of it, he’s never given a damn about the actual people who pay for the railroad – the customers, so I guess he figures, why start now?

You do not leave a train full of people stranded at midnight for hours with no ventilation, no power, and no information, while other empty trains pass on both sides. You take off the passengers and put them onto the next train immediately and then pretend to fix the problem on your own time. You do not refuse to open the only windows that open on the train because of “policy”. You do not walk back and forth on the train refusing to tell the passengers what’s going on, or giving incorrect information. When I call the customer service emergency number, you do not tell me that the train is running when I am sitting on a train that has not moved for over two hours.

Getting in to the city to get to the show was a nightmare – there were actually people walking that were faster than our train – but getting out was worse.

And I’m filing formal complaints with agencies and politicians on the local, state, and federal levels, as well as sending complaints to all the local papers. The MTA must be held accountable for the increasing daily abuses committed against their customers.

I’m enjoying Assumption. The first few days were tough, and I had to slog. Now I’m eager to see what happens next, how what I outlined comes to life, along with the surprising bits that come spontaneously.

I am getting more and more convinced, however, that it won’t come out under the DE name, but one of the others. The tone and content are different.

Because of what’s happened between Simon and Morag in Chapter 13, the stakes between them are raised in Chapter 14, as it should be. And it hits them even harder due to lack of sleep. I think I’m going to make both characters a bit younger, though – their responses are slightly less mature than they would be at the ages I have currently set.

I want to go back and re-read what I’ve written so far on Assumption, but I’m not letting myself do so. That will only derail me, and I’m too close to my goal. And I want to take what I learned from last year and apply it to his year, not make the same mistakes.

4 and 1/3 pages on “Merry”. A walk-on character who died in the swordfight, Peter, has come back as a ghost – unexpected, but interesting occurrence. I was going to give him a more exotic name, but he insists his name is Peter, so that’s what it is. He’s a petulant little bastard. I decided to lift out a particularly active incident from all my notes on the Merry to use as this one particular short story. It will stand alone, but it will also lead into future adventures.

Fretful and depressed every time I got up away from the page. That’s what I get for agreeing to go in to the show to do one of the most stressful tracks there is when the writing is going well. There’s no one to blame but myself.

Only got about a page and change done on Tokens before I had to leave for the luncheon.

Which, by the way, was a big fat bust. One person had cancelled this morning and the other person just never damn showed up. She later emailed me (I got the email at 3AM, after I’d returned from the Metro North debacle), saying she got a call from work and was late getting to the restaurant. Considering how long I was there and that I had the time to eat a leisurely meal and drink two pints of beer, yeah, I’d say she was late.

Same day cancellations do not cut it with me, nor do no-shows. I am a freelancer. There’s no such thing in my life as “free time”. That means, whenever I make plans with someone, it costs me money – that time could be used on a paying gig. In other words, this two-hour no show cost me a couple of hundred dollars in lost income.

Not canceling within a reasonable amount of time is disrespectful, and I don’t waste my time or my energy with people who don’t respect me. My time is too valuable.

First time, shame on you. Second time, shame on me. I won’t be making plans with these people again. They’re not worth it.

Oh, and, by the way? Just so you know: the “sick” excuse doesn’t wash with me. I’m well aware that 90% of the time someone calls in “sick” or claims someone in the family is “sick”, it really means the person has mismanaged their time and expects me to compensate. And I’ve spent my entire professional life in the theatre, so I can usually spot bad acting. The person who canceled on Tuesday was either telling the truth or should be on Broadway, and is an exception to this rant. Otherwise, until I know you really well, if you use the “sick” excuse, I assume you’re lying. I’ve been burned a few too many times to take it seriously.

My parents always said the only excuse for not keeping your word is death. Preferably your own.

I almost envy people who are on salaries and get to call in “sick” whenever they want and still get paid. Or get to come and go as they please, and it doesn’t affect the take-home pay. I only get paid when I actually do the work.

However, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in someone else’s office again, so I’ll deal.

On the positive side, I picked up the big present for my grandmother and great uncle, and part of my great-uncle’s smaller present. I had a great meal at one of my favorite pubs, and I did a lot of prep work for the next two chapters of Assumption. So all was not lost.

The show went fine last night, in spite of the fact it was a lead track I hadn’t dressed in months and I hadn’t worked with this actress before. She said she was happy with me and wanted me to cover again.

It won’t be tonight, though. Eventually, I’d like to go to bed and get some sleep. I just emailed the show and told them I won’t come in tonight.

And my word count this morning on Assumption was shot to hell – I only wrote 1055 words.


Assumption of Right – 43,992 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
43 / 50

Assumption of Right – 43,992 words out of 85,000 (completion goal)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
43 / 85

Token and Affections -- 22,575 words out of est. 25,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 25

“The Merry’s Dalliance” – 3083 words out of est. 5,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3 / 5


At 11:03 AM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

I can't imagine relying on public transportation to get me somewhere. I've lived in rural and sparsely populated areas for so long that I have no idea of how that would work. The town I live in now (it's a city to me since I grew up in a town with a population of 1600 people) is the first I've lived in that had public transportation.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Public transportion in southern California is a joke. Mostly you can't get from here to there unless you've got five or six hours to spend just riding train and bus.

Anyway...1,055 words--for Nano Assumption--you're almost there! Hugs, d:)

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

Public Transportation here is okay, I guess. I don't use it much - but when I did it usually took about 3 hours to get somewhere that would only take me an hour (at most) if I weren't afraid of driving in traffic. It's switching buses that holds it up. I haven't tried our light-rail stuff. I hope you nail them.

I also hope you got some sleep last night. Nope, it's not always a lot different with people who work in a job with "sick" pay. You have people who have gone through it and then continue to call in with phony excuses - they just don't get paid for those hours.

I really sounds like the writing is going well - good.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ann said...

That's one thing I do miss about working for the government - sickie days! When you work for yourself and you're sick, you start considering the hassle of rescheduling everything, when to get the work done, coming in on weekends to make up for the day, and generally end up deciding you're not all THAT sick.


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