Birthday looming large on the horizon!

Yes, that’s right! Tomorrow is my birthday!! 57 years young and on we go to the best years ever.

I know it’s sort of a non sequitur, but here are a few of my cats on the bed last night:

Clockwise from top left: Lucie, Huckleberry (laying flat), Weenie, Daddycakes, Tommy, and Doris!

As always, click to enlarge the image and to see how incredibly cute they are.

Well, patience has finally paid off and it became indisputably obvious that the script re-writes I needed to tackle first, were for the TV pilot (Cleveland’s Burning, aka Untitled Cleveland Drama) (it’ll be so exciting, won’t it gang, when you turn on your TV sets one day to watch the hit show, Untitled Cleveland Drama??!!).  Anyway, the revisions I needed to make arrived Wednesday night, while I was dreaming. I awoke to find all the ideas I needed, fresh in my brain. I had to run to the desk and scribble all the ideas down on paper before I forgot them.

So exciting when that happens! Getting the ideas — that’s more than half of the work right there.

I’m hoping I can get the revisions done within a couple of weeks, and still have plenty of time to tackle the Tell My Bones theater project and have it completed by mid-late September. Life is good, gang. Life is good!

On that happy note, thanks for visiting. Enjoy my birthday tomorrow in whatever way amuses you most. I leave you with another gorgeous gem from South Pacific, in honor of how young I’m getting every single lovely moment.

Okay, see ya!

A terrific Monday underway in the hinterlands

It is no mere coincidence that I am pictured here (albeit with my phantom son) smiling at the bluebird of happiness! (See my post from June 28th — Auspicious Moments.)

I got a text late last evening from Sandra Caldwell, the actress in NYC that I write with/for.  The PR for the Off-Broadway production of Charm, for which she has the lead role, has officially begun! (See post from May 12th – Such Good Things! re: the play, Charm, by Philip Dawkins.)

http://www.broadway.com/buzz/189141/sandra-caldwell-to-lead-nyc-debut-of-transgender-themed-play-charm/

Naturally, reading a text like that while I was already in bed, falling to sleep, immediately shifted the gears in my mind to overdrive. How exciting for Sandra!! It is finally underway! And how exciting for Sandra and me, since it helps enormously with the PR for the other theater projects we are working on together.

However…

It only emphasizes my conundrum around here this summer. Do I focus more on the re-writes of my TV pilot, re-writes for which the production company in LA is patiently waiting? Or do I shift gears and go back to focusing on the re-writes of my one-act play version of Tell My Bones, the re-writes that Sandra would like to have in hand by September?

AAAARRRRRGH. Being so indecisive, of course, gets me closer & closer to NOWHERE.

I decided that I would stop thinking about it (last night), and allow myself to fall asleep, and that as soon as my feet hit the floor this morning and I got out of bed, I would instantly know which project needed my complete attention first! Conundrum cured!

So, this morning, when I awoke and my feet hit the floor — I totally forgot that I was going to make my miraculous decision this morning. I was too focused on how happy I was!

So I’m still sort of floundering here, project-wise. But I did buy a new dress for Sandra’s opening night in New York.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that I already bought a new dress for Sandra’s opening night in New York (see a post below, back in May, I think). I bought one of those colorful Calvin Klein fit & flare dresses, thinking I would depart from wearing my usual plain black sheath…

But, even though the Calvin Klein dress is really pretty, it makes me look like a flower garden floating in from the distance. I don’t like feeling as if I look like that. (I guess I prefer looking like a little slice of the dark void moving toward you, and so you don’t see me until the last second, when I walk up to you on the sidewalk and say, “Hi. Were you looking for me?”…)

Anyway. I’m super happy for Sandra. I’m super happy about my new dress. I’m super happy about the reality I’m currently looking at, and I fully intend to be super happy with all these re-writes I will eventually finish around here.

Meanwhile, I’ll just keep peeling carrots with my son, smiling contentedly at the bluebird in the tree outside my window until everything falls into place.

My finest hour!

Thanks for visiting, gang!! Have a terrific Monday, wherever you are! See ya!

Ah, Hinterlands!

Since my move to the Hinterlands, and especially since the warmer weather arrived a couple months ago, I’ve been blogging a lot about my back patio and about how blissful it is.

I had often thought of taking a photo of it and posting it here, so that you could see how serene it looked, with all its many flowerpots full of outrageously blooming, colorful impatiens and riotously red geraniums.

But I knew that, to outsiders, the back patio would not seem so impressive in a photo. It is rather simple and has only serviceable (albeit comfortable) furniture. It is the blissful peace of a clear summer evening that gives the back  patio all its charm and makes it such a blessing to me. You can’t capture that in a picture.

And yet…

Now I wish I had taken that photo and posted it here for you, because last night, my back patio played host to a wonderful mommy deer and her young fawns who allegedly live under the trees a few backyards up the road, and I awoke to an almost denuded patio! Flowerpots had tumbled over hither and yon, an ancient geranium in full-bloom had been trampled upon, and only a handful of impatiens blossoms were left. The deer family ate them all!

The impatiens that were left, I have since moved to the front patio, which places them much closer to the house, the open windows, the constant monitoring of hissing cats, etc. So I doubt they will be eaten.

The front patio is nice and all, and has nicer furniture, but it also has an overhang that makes it difficult to see the stars when the evening comes. Plus there are less fireflies in front because the front yard is, of course, closer to the road.

I still plan on enjoying my (now even simpler) back patio, with its three herb pots and a thriving, flowerless, poinsettia from two Christmases ago.  Here’s hoping the deer don’t like to eat cheap patio furniture, since that is basically all that’s left…

Okay, gang! Back to the re-writes around here. Thanks for visiting on this truly stormy Thursday afternoon! See ya.

What’s not to love??

Bliss & Miracles Abound in the Hinterlands

The last several days, I put all writing on hold and have been concentrating solely on some Bentinho Massaro  lessons (in the Trinfinity Academy), in order to get a better grip on my reality around here, as 2 major writing projects bottleneck each other in my brain.

It’s been a wonderful break. I wish I was one of those people who could follow Bentinho around and go on all his retreats. My life would be so different. However, I’m not sure that’s exactly the kind of “different life” I want… At least not yet.

Anyway.

Last evening was lovely. After a couple days of torrential downpours and high humidity, it was nice to sit out on my back patio again and watch the sun go down on the peace & quiet of the Hinterlands.

At dusk, when the fireflies were just emerging (around 8:45 PM), I saw a mommy raccoon and 5 (!!) youngsters hurrying across my neighbors backyard and up their pine tree. It was awesome, how many there were.

The other day, over in the park — I was the only person there and a mother deer and 5 young fawns appeared at the edge of the woods. Yes, 5.

This is astounding to me. 5 fawns; 5 raccoon cubs. To me, it shows that life thrives here in the Hinterlands.

I love raccoons, however, back at the old house, they made me nuts. I had a split-level house, which meant I had 2 roofs. One at the very top of the house, naturally, and one that extended over the first level, which was directly outside the bedroom windows on the 2nd story.

This lower-level roof was the delight of raccoons all over the neighborhood. Not only would they race around and play on this roof at all hours of the night, they would tear the heck out of my window screens, threatening to bounce directly into any/all of the bedrooms at any moment. It also gave them easier access to my main roof, in which they were fond of tearing gaping holes and then lowering themselves into my attic, which was a walk-up and right next to my bedroom. The door to the attic was in my bedroom. It was essentially a closet door, with no lock of any kind. The raccoons would race around and play in there, tearing up & down the attic stairs and frequently banging right into the attic door, waking me from a sound sleep and scaring the beejeebers out of me.

I definitely do not miss that.

I prefer watching them from a distance now, as they scurry happily up a tree.

All right. On that blissful note, I have to make some progress here with these scripts (the re-writes of the Untitled Cleveland TV pilot, once known as “Cleveland’s Burning,” and the One Act play version of Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story.) If my mind explodes from all this dual-thinking-creating, I will let you know… I am hoping that by the end of the summer, my life is going to be in a totally different, better, perhaps more-sorted-out place.

In the meantime, as Bentinho says, “Everything already exists, right here, right now,” which means that somewhere within reality exist my finished, re-written scripts and a very contented me. I’m off to go find them!

Thanks for visiting, gang.  See ya!!

PS: To all of you who are downloading my free Ebooks at Smashwords this month, THANK YOU!! (See post below from July 3rd.)

A lovely 4th & South Pacific!

Around here, the “4th of July” happened on Sunday, July 2nd. It was a most perfect day here in the Hinterlands.  Hot but not humid at all, and an absolutely clear, cloudless sky all day long and well into the night.

The fireworks took place in the park at the end of my street, and as it turned out, I had a completely unhindered view of each & every firework just by standing at the end of the driveway.  It was absolutely awesome. Not just because I had such a clear view, but also because it was effortless.

Living in New York City, you had to contend with, literally, millions of people if you wanted to get even a glimpse of the fireworks. For me, someone raised on smaller-town fireworks displays of the 1960s & 70s, where perhaps dozens of people showed up, but never millions, dealing with the Independence Day hordes in NYC  got old fast.  So I stopped going. But I really missed those long-ago 4th of July summers that seemed to have disappeared from our national landscape entirely.  It has now become all about fireworks displays that are “bigger,” more “spectacular,” more expensive and thus in need of luring, yes, millions of people in order to make it worth the expense. It seems that the 4th of July is now all about overwhelming people.

I don’t need to be overwhelmed. I get up in the morning, and then simply discovering that I’m still alive is overwhelming enough, thank you.

However, here in the Hinterlands, it turns out that life is perfect.

This past “4th of July” was probably my most favorite July 4th ever, even though it was July 2nd. Around 8 PM, I took a beer with me out to the back patio and sat and watched the sun inch ever downward across the sky. All the neighbors were out in their own backyards; having cookouts, sitting around fire-pits, playing with their dogs, lighting sparklers, playing volleyball. The fireflies came out in abundance, along with the stars, and it was just like a 4th of July from yesteryear! I wasn’t thrilled about being alone, but other than that, it could not have been more perfect.

Then, when the signal came that the fireworks were ready to begin, all I had to do was walk to the end of the driveway to see all the lights exploding in the sky.

And all the other neighbors were standing at the ends of their own driveways; dark shapes, silhouetted against a sparkling sky. No crime to contend with; no litter, no noisy people, no millions of strangers jostling you for a better position, a better glimpse of a tiny slice of sky; no stress about wondering how long it’s going to take you to get home from there once everything is over. In fact, it was utter silence all along the street, as everyone stared up at the sky, each lost in his or her own splendid wonderment for half an hour.

And to top it off, we could even hear the music from the park; eternal 4th of July treasures like “76 Trombones,” and “America the Beautiful.”

I realize that many, many people seek far and wide to get away from all that is “Old Town America,” but I actually love it. And nowadays it’s “globalized;” everyone’s on the Internet, glued to smartphones; aware of what’s going on in the world; and also, most importantly to me, into all kinds of organic, non-GMO living.  For me, it’s the best of all worlds; rolled into peace and quiet and remote living.

Then, as if it couldn’t get any more “Old Town America,” last night I went to the local summer stock theater and saw South Pacific!! Yay! I love that musical. Not only the anti-racism message of it, but the songs are so memorable and, in my opinion, so lovely.

The production was very well done, some really gifted voices in the cast. But try as I did to stay present and appreciative of what was happening in the moment in front of me, I couldn’t help wondering what it must have felt like, 70 or so years ago, when those first unsuspecting audiences saw South Pacific on Broadway for the first time, ever. With Mary Martin, no less. In the flesh. It must have truly blown people away.

Yes, as always; I was dying to live in the past! (That’s an interesting mixed-metaphor, isn’t it?) All right!!

Thanks for visiting on this rainy Thursday afternoon. I leave you with this really lovely, lovely song. (Unfortunately, I sang it a lot to Fluffy while she was dying last summer from cancer. Now the song pretty much breaks my heart, but such is life. And on we go.)

See ya, gang!

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis