Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back to normal...for me...

Carli's Kills has simplified its meaning into my usual one -- Revenge destroys the innocent as well as the guilty...as Carli finds out. A bad guy named Spit has developed a girlfriend who's kind of mousy and hints at being one of those abused people who never think they're being abused...and she winds up in the middle of the death and destruction at the end. Trying to protect her man...or something like that. I'm not clear exactly how that's going to work, yet.

I'm still working on the outline, but it's made me switch the positions of a couple of scenes -- where Carli realizes Zeke couldn't have helped hurt her sister, and when she connects with him on a more...oh, let's just say...carnal level. And that's when he admits he knows who she is and has a good idea why she's come. And while he understands, he owes too much to the guys he's with to take her side.

Maybe.

I did this while my laundry was underway. Then I did lots of grocery shopping. 4 different stores to get what I want and need -- Wegman's (for general groceries), CVS (to use a 20% discount on some druggie stuff), Dollar Store (for the DP I want), and NoCo gas station (for windshield wiper fluid; mine's out). Tomorrow, I need to hit Tops for a couple things I forgot and something only they seem to carry -- Sandwich Spread; I use that to make my quickie tuna salad.

Tomorrow it's back to work. Hopefully, everything will be okay, again, but I never know. This marks 5 years in Buffalo, now. I landed here at the end of February 2010. God knows where I'll wind up, next.

If I wind up somewhere else; that's not a given.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

More of Cascais...

 An old fort long since abandoned...
The coast just west of Cascais...
 An old fort in the town of Cascais...
Municipal building of some kind...
 Leaving Lisbon...
The Hudson River, frozen over except for one narrow ship channel. This is what I came back to.

Best laid plans...

I got some details going on Carli's Kills and a better outline set up, along with some clarity on a few characters, but I'm nowhere near what I thought I'd have on this trip. I couldn't get the energy up. Or focus. Or whatever. First dealing with the weather screwing up my initial flight then rushing about to get everything done in time so I didn't have to change my flight back...and the usual rack of problems that showed up...I never had the time to work my way into the story.

Flying back, I actually dozed on the plane and watched some old episodes of Friends. I never even broke out my laptop. I've still got issues to handle as regards Holiday Inn Express, in Lisbon (I got lectured at for being on time for the shuttle to the airport instead of being early!!) and the actual shipping of the stuff out of Portugal...as well as a couple other things.

I spent today drifting and staying in my apartment, trying to get my return in order. I was going to go grocery shopping, but instead just made do with what I had. I've got a pile of laundry to do, so I'll just make it an all-day deal and not bother with anything that doesn't have to be bothered with.

Maybe it's the meds I'm on, but I'm in a down mood. I've been here, before, and know it takes a couple days for me to get irritated with my whining and get back to work. Too damn typical.

Oh boy...looks like I'm still headed south in this mood swing...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lisbon...

It's a rich-looking, very busy city for one that's supposed to be on the EU's sick list. I only had a couple hours to look around, but here's glimpses of what the city's like.
Lisbon Castle...I tried to get up to see it; I heard it was open till 6pm. It is, but they stop selling tickets at 5:30 and I arrived at 5:35. Dammit.

Shot of Lisbon's 25 April Bridge, fashioned after the Golden Gate. 

Inside one of Lisbon's more self-deprecating churches.

The Alfama District, near the harbor, to give you an idea of how the old city's built.

Very tight streets.

But there's a square with a statue every 200 feet in that town.

More later; right now I need to sit in a hot bath for the next five years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This was on the way to work, this morning...

What more need be said?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cascais, by Lisbon...

You can't tell, but this is the main entrance to house I worked at, today. And that's the Atlantic in the distance. It's on a steep hillside and you have to walk down steps to the front door. All very cool and neatly kept.

I haven't had a chance to do much looking around the area, outside of getting turned around in my car so often I wind up seeing some very...odd places of the area, with its narrow streets and bat-out-of-hell drivers who don't really understand the concept of staying on their side of the road. But the people are nice, and I've had the best Spaghetti Bolognese ever.

Tomorrow and Thursday I'm back in Lisbon, so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lost in Lisbon

Twice. Once trying to leave the airport to head for Cascais. The street names in Google Maps do not match up with the signs posted. But I lucked out and wound up on the A5 instead of the A16...until I got to where I needed to turn to go down the remainder of the A16. I had to double back to work my way down to where I needed to be. Did it by the number of traffic circles I had to go through then followed a winding street with no name that lead me to my hotel. I now have a decent idea of how to get around in this town, and hopefully back to the client's home.

I've already packed some of the materials but there's another 75% to go. No time to really look around, yet, but the view from the house is lovely. Even my hotel -- which was new in the 60s -- has a nice view of the ocean. Food's only been okay.

Lisbon's a big town that happening. Lots of new construction and new buildings up all over the place. Recently paved roads. Highways as good as anything California has to offer. And drivers who've never heard of a car's personal space. I hoe to get some photos, tomorrow. Tonight I was just too tired.

Missed the Oscars...but I hear I didn't miss much.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don't rush, dammit...

I made it to NYC, but only after waiting...and waiting...and waiting...for the plane to first take off, then land, then get to a gate, then for the AirTrain to come. Turns out the train to Jamaica isn't making the terminal rounds; you have to take the Howard beach train to Federal Circle and transfer to the Jamaica Shuttle train. Are there any signs or is anyone around to tell you this? No. I finally gave up and decided to take the Howard Beach train, even though it meant using the A subway train to get to the F to get to my hotel, which takes twice a long. but when I got to Federal Circle, I heard some guy say that the Jamaica shuttle would be there in 10 minutes...so I got off and got to take the easier route.

That "easier route" wound up taking twice as long, anyway. So I didn't get to my hotel till 1:30am, and got up at 9:30 to finalize my calls to Lisbon to make sure everything was in order. Turns out one hotel I'm staying at is going to be a pain about changing my reservation from 2 to 1 day. Of course, it's an American chain hotel -- holiday Inn Express -- so I'll be mean about that, later.

Right now I'm in Penn Station waiting for a train to Newark's Airport. For this, I'm in no rush; my flight doesn't leave till 8:20 so I'm having lunch here and using the free WiFi. Not even thinking about rushing, right now.

What this trip has done is point out to my conscious mind that I spend most of my life waiting. On the rare occasions where I've pushed to get things done now, I've fucked them up. Wilderness Rule comes to mind. Waiting on people I'd aligned with to get things going for a script of mine also comes to mind. An occasion where I decided to buy a new car based on an ad in a paper without really thinking it through damn near sent me into bankruptcy. I can think of a hundred other times to go along with those.

Maybe I should re-ead Waiting for Godot and find out what it did to scar me.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

United is anything but...

United cancelled all flights out of Buffalo...and didn't bother telling me till I was at the airport. After much strum und drang, I dumped the Buffalo to Newark section and am flying down on Jet Blue...which is about to board. I had to grab my bag, go back through security, and find a hotel to stay in that wasn't going to be $300 a night...but there it is. I'm set, now. Who knows, I may actually make it to Lisbon.

I'll need to call some people in Lisbon to let them now I was delayed, but I can do that later tonight. I've already rearranged my hotels and rental car. I'm still coming back on Friday...maybe. Depends on what United pulls, next.

I should have gone out of Toronto on SAS, Lufthansa or Air France. Needless to say, I will not fly United, again. Don't care what the big boss wants. It cost more than Toronto to Lisbon and is a hell of a lot more trouble.

Oops...they're calling my flight.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Different tone for "Carli's Kills"

I'm digging into CK to figure out what I have that's usable and what needs to be added, subtracted, divided by and multiplied over. The first thing is making sure the structure works...meaning figure out how I'm going to start this book. I know the ending, it's how to slip into the story and keep it running that's hard for me.
So on the plane trip, tomorrow, I'm going to focus on re-outlining the story. Working out what the characters are about. Who did what, when, where, how, and why. I've already got a script version of the story, so it's not like I'm working blind. I just need the back story to make it all work on the page.

I'm already seeing changes in Carli and Zeke. In their stories. Same for Cas, the main guy Carli's after. He's not full evil; he brings damaged veterans into his gang and makes them feel important and necessary.

And I'm throwing in some of the amazingly stupid comments made by elected Republicans about rape -- like it has to be legitimate, and if a girl gets pregnant from it that's a gift from God, and crap like that. You have to wonder at anyone who would dismiss rape so easily.

For some reason, sleep is becoming a leitmotif in this story. Zeke has a hell of a time sleeping...until he meets Carli. Carli's sister, Lara, is in a drugged sleep when she's raped. Someone's going to talk about sleepwalking through life. Haven't figured out the meaning, yet...but I will eventually.

I hope.