Watch Out! Here Comes Trouble!

I didn’t move much from the desk yesterday,  but oddly enough, instead of having more sentences in Chapter 22, I now have noticeably fewer.

It was just one of those days.

I stared at the manuscript. Read it. Re-read it. Re-read it, yet again and then still more. Stared at it some more, too. Wrote some stuff. Deleted it.  Wrote some other stuff. Deleted that, too.

And then realized that the sentence that had come before it was the real culprit and had to go. And then on & on, until I now have a 5-sentence opening paragraph left for Chapter 22 and that’s it.

10 hours at the desk yesterday yielded less than I’d started out with.

But the good news is that I didn’t fuck up the coffee today! It looks just like coffee’s supposed to look and tastes like coffee’s supposed to taste.  And I’m feeling really confident about the prospects for Chapter 22’s growth this morning. I know the Muse is hanging around. I can feel him.

I just have to make that 20-mile trek into town and buy food and then we’ll be good to go around here.

I had my first quiz in Italian last night! And I didn’t do so terrible!

I did okay, actually. But I think that, for now, most of my correct answers were just subconscious guesses based on the similarities between Italian and French and I know French pretty well. But it was only my first week.  And I have a year to learn Italian. Plus the app is still really fun. I still look forward to doing it every day and feel a little disappointed when the daily lesson is over. So that says a lot right there.

And I worked for a couple of hours on the guitar last night. I still have a lot of ground to cover in the new material before I can incorporate it in to teaching piano.  So I have to sort of absorb it at breakneck speed. But it really is fun.

Sadly, though, I have to confront the fact that I need new strings.  I have been playing guitar for [heavy sigh] 50 years. And I still hate changing the strings. I usually don’t ever pull the “helpless girl” card in any area of my life.  I take care of myself, come what may in this world.

However.

When it comes to changing my guitar strings, I go from this gal:

To this gal:

Image result for vintage illustrations of helpless little girl

And I live completely alone now in the middle of fucking nowhere. Who’s gonna help me change my guitar strings??!!

When I played professionally in NY,  my bands consisted almost exclusively of guys. And I don’t know what it is, but they seem to change guitar strings like they’re in a pit crew for NASCAR or something. They do it so fucking fast, it’s ridiculous.

I would always try to change my own strings, but they would have to just stand there and smoke, like, an entire pack of cigarettes and I’d still be trying to change the one string. Until, finally, one of them would just go insane and grab my guitar and say, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, just let me do that for you!”

And then the string would be changed, snipped, and in tune in a nanosecond.

So I got used to guys changing my guitar strings. Even though, in the rest of my world, I’m perfectly capable of, you know, doing stuff.

However, the time has come where I have had to face the fact that I really need new strings.  Since the guitar store is 20 miles away and (I’ve discovered) really easily avoided, I forced myself to order some Black Diamond silver strings online. They should arrive momentarily.

And if the UPS driver doesn’t happen to play guitar…

Well, all in all, this is going to be a really big year for me, all the way around!

All righty.

Well, I’m learning new stuff every day. And yesterday, I discovered that people in Copenhagen prefer not to post to Instagram in English. So I’m only making an educated guess when I say that they all seemed to love Nick Cave’s Conversation last night!

However, what they do do, is post photos in color! None of this artsy black & white stuff, like the diabolical Norwegians did.  So now I’ve discovered that the very same suit in all these different photos from last night – yes, from one concert – can look either olive green-ish, gray, or beige-ish/tan.

So, clearly, me and this obsession with Nick Cave’s oddly colorless suit, that I don’t even understand how it got started anymore. Well, clearly, since this tour is going to go on for most of the summer, and since I have a ton of fucking stuff in my brain already, I need to stop obsessing about his suit; stop pondering it so intensely on my phone and stop trying to figure out what color it actually is.

Clearly,  that way madness lies; let me shun that!!

Okay!! (Methinks I’m probably still gonna obsess about that darn suit, but we’ll just see.)

Meanwhile, gang, have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with this!! My breakfast-listening music from the past couple mornings. Johnny Cash singing The Long Black Veil. Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys! See ya!

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!

Well, for starters:  the coffee. But I think that’s the only thing I’m gonna screw up today!

I think my mind was wandering when I was setting up the percolator last night because  the coffee came out looking almost like water this morning. Unfortunately, I slept in until 6:15am today, so rather than be patient and wait and make a whole new pot, I opted for those caffeine drops in a glass of water and off we go.

I am so sensitive to caffeine, though, that those drops will either make me hone in on my laptop for hours and write THE most amazing chapter in Blessed By Light today, or I’ll vacuum the entire house and then maybe go outside and rake leaves or something!

Yes, I know it’s the height of Spring! But a heck of a lot of dead fall leaves are still in my front yard and on my front porch and in heaps in my front garden and also strewn heavily about on my front sidewalk. And if you’re curious – yes! I am the only one on the whole block who still has dead leaves hanging around, and quite a prodigious amount, at that.

I do have lawn care guys all summer, but so far it’s only been one guy who’s come this month and he’s had his hands full just trying to contend with the staggering amount of weeds around here that we affectionately refer to as “my backyard.”

The other lawn care guy, who is of Native American ancestral heritage, has been in the wilds of incredibly beautiful Coshocton County at a Pow Wow (which I think means bonfires and a lot of drums and smoking a lot of weed, but I’m not 100% positive about that) and he won’t be coming around to help until next week – wherein, I imagine this place is going to start looking really nice because Memorial Day weekend is when I always plant all the flowers in the flower boxes and the outside of the house starts to look so pretty that all the neighbors overlook my absolute inability to give a fuck about raking my leaves in November when everybody else gets out there and does it.

(Another thing I refuse to do is shovel snow. And the minute it snows, all my neighbors are out there, dutifully shoveling their 2 feet of fucking sidewalk! But I refuse to be drawn in to their guilt trips because I have an enormous amount of sidewalk. Not just in front of my (dead-leaf-strewn) house, but I have a corner lot and the sidewalk along the side of my house goes clear past my barn to the alley in back.  In case you’re curious, that’s far. It’s just not fair. It’s way more work than any of my neighbors have to do so I just refuse to do it. I’ve noticed that the snow always eventually melts anyway.)

Yes, me. Homeowner extraordinaire!

Okay!

Well, yesterday was so cool! Not only am I making actual progress with my studies of Italian this time around, but in an effort to help the guy learn piano without  teaching him how to read music (which is something he doesn’t want to learn), I was investigating teaching methods that rely on improvisation and that dispense with music notes, theory & composition entirely.

(I’m glad I know how to read music. However, Music Theory & Composition, in case you were curious, gang, will just kill you. It will just turn you into a flat dead thing inside. It will pulverize your brain with a heavy wooden meat mallet and it will take a pair of wire cutters to your musical imagination and snip it right off. I took 2 grueling years of Theory & Composition many, many, many moons ago so I know whence I speak.)

But I found a teaching system that is just awesome, gang. I spent a few hours going over it last night. I only spent a handful of minutes (so far) going over the piano stuff, but the guitar stuff was  too cool. It is so different from anything I was ever taught by a bazillion guitar teachers when I was growing up and it was really interesting. I got my guitar out and was practicing that stuff for a couple of hours last night. It’s all just fret work, but it’s a whole different approach to it.

I spent enough time looking over the piano stuff to know that I am going to have a whole new way of relating to the piano, too, when all of this is said and done. So it was just really cool.

Between this new way of learning Italian and this new approach to music, it just shows you that if you live long enough, new things come into your consciousness that erase anything old that was really bad.

But the flip-side of that sentiment… I was also thinking a  lot last night about Nick the hit man for the Mob; still just thinking about all the probabilities and probable outcomes that I had never considered before. And up until last night, my conscience had taken solace in the fact that he would have been about 80 now anyway and I liked to imagine that he wasn’t even still alive.

Until I googled him.

Alas, he’s alive & well and still living in Manhattan. Shit, you know? That doesn’t help my conscience at all. That horrible last time I saw him, when he wanted to have “a little chat with me”, and he picked me up in a limo and we drove about half a block to an “Italian” restaurant in Midtown, mob guys everywhere. I was still just 20 years old and absolutely terrified and he, in essence, tore me a new one for killing his baby.

At the time, even though I was too scared to say anything, it made me angry because it was my baby, too, and it was not a decision I had really wanted to make. It was horrible. When I had come out of the anesthesia in the recovery room, there was a radio playing and – I kid you not – Queen was singing “Another One Bites the Dust.” And they were actually singing the chorus when I came out from under and heard it. I sobbed uncontrollably.  The irony was just so not funny.

I cried when they were putting me under and sobbed when I came out from it, because I really wanted my baby but I thought it was the right thing. I couldn’t in good conscience have a kid whose father was a paid killer, right?

And yet, when I was 28 and finally met my own real dad –  a man I absolutely worshiped… He’d been a Navy SEAL in Viet Nam from 1965 until 1975, when Saigon fell. And he killed more people in those ten years than you and I can possibly imagine. More than he even remembered. And he was paid to do that.

What is the real difference there?

But I totally adored him and he loved me like nobody’s business. More than anyone in my life had ever loved me.

And I deprived 2 people of that potential because I guess I thought I knew everything.

I’m not sure yet how to get my conscience to calm the fuck down, but life does indeed go on.

Okay. I’m gonna get started on the novel here now.  And then I’m gonna practice my Italian, then practice my guitar, and wait for the Instagram photos to come in from Copenhagen, where Nick Cave is having a Conversation tonight. And I’m just gonna let everything be all right. It was all such a long time ago.

Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you, See ya.

A Little Work Won’t Kill Ya!

One thing about Peitor is that once he’s in England , it’s really hard to get him to come home. He really loves it there.

He went there this weekend because of the death of his father-in-law, and we were supposed to do some work over the phone while he was on some sort of airport layover on Wednesday.

All of his plans have changed now, though, and he’s taken an Air BNB in a little town on the English Channel, where he’s planning to go and stay, alone, as soon as all the memorial/funeral things are over.   His husband will be flying back to Los Angeles on schedule, without him.

And so that is where Peitor will be when we, of course, work together over the phone  some time this week.

God forbid we miss an opportunity to work together over the phone.  In addition to the scripts we’re writing for Abstract Absurdity, he also has written a (really cool) book that I’ve been editing for him and we very often do that work over the phone, too.

I’ve done a lot of work with him over the phone, over the years, while he’s been in really gorgeous locations with stunning vistas.  He constantly texts me photos of where he’s calling from while we’re working together over the phone.

It’s really just so weird how much time we’ve spent working with each other over the phone… You’d think that he’d rather just sit there and enjoy the stunning vistas from time to time.

Not that there are stunning vistas at the Algonquin Hotel – it’s in Midtown Manhattan. Still, I’m not planning on working with anyone over the phone while I’m there.

(And in all seriousness, I’m really, really hoping, gang, that I’m going to somehow manage to take care of all the tech rehearsals & any needed re-writes for the play and still make it to both of those Nick Cave shows in NYC without inconveniencing anyone. It’s that show at Lincoln Center that will be the hardest one to manage, schedule-wise, and that’s the one I really don’t want to miss. Not just because I got a great seat; it looks like it’s the kind of theater where you can’t really get a bad seat. But I think the acoustics in that theater are going to be amazing and I just don’t want to miss it, but I also don’t want to seem like some sort of weirdly obsessive person, or anything. )

(YES, I KNOW! I am a weirdly obsessive person! Thank you very much for pointing that out! But I just don’t want people that I’m working with professionally to find that out right away. I want them to get a little deeper in before they find that out…)

But I digress. Parenthetically.

You know, Peitor and I have actually spent a lot of time together, in person, not working. And when we’re doing the “not working” thing, we’re usually laughing really hard. And he has this incredibly good memory, so, often he will text me photos of places in NYC or LA or Palm Springs, where at some point we were together, not working and laughing really hard.

Okay. So speaking of working…

No, I didn’t get any work done on the novel yesterday and I didn’t even try. I could tell my mood was not conducive to writing.

I did do a lot of crying yesterday, though. Throughout the day. I really think it had something to do with that full moon, because I would suddenly find myself thinking about really unexpected things and then just crying. You know, just really short sort of tear-bursts and then I’d stop, but the things I found myself thinking about hurt really deep.

For instance, loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that last August, I wrote a post called Mob Guys, Part 1.  Wherein I talked about being 20 years old and moving to NYC and within about 17 seconds of moving there, getting pregnant. And really, really, really wanting that baby, but then finding out that the father (the 40-year-old man that really, really wanted to marry me) was a hit man for the Mob.

And I was so freaked out by this – that he killed people for a living – that I wound up becoming a killer, too, and killing a baby I really, really wanted. Which then enraged him because he really, really wanted that baby, too.

Yesterday, just sort of by chance, I saw this girl. She was wearing black Converse high-tops and a short black sundress. She was all legs. And had really long, straight brown hair. She couldn’t have been more than 17 years old. And there was just something about her that made me think that my kid would have been just like her.

And it started a whole ball of “what ifs?” rolling in my head. Would I have married my first husband if I’d had the baby? Probably not. Would I have eventually married Nick instead (the man in the Mob)? I doubt it, but he certainly would have stayed in my life. And I probably would have never moved away from NYC.

The “what ifs?” really escalated in my head; all the probabilities playing out in my mind. Probabilities that had never occurred to me before, even though I often think about that daughter I didn’t have & I miss her.

And it wasn’t so much the loss of her last night that really got to me, it was the sudden realization that Nick would have made a really great dad. I was completely certain of it, all of the sudden. And that thought had never once occurred to me  before.

As the decades unfolded for me in NYC, the Mob was in my life to varying degrees, over and over. And not to overlook the very real fact that some of those guys do kill people, they also have families that mean the world to them. It is part & parcel of who they are; their love for their families defines them.

When I was 20, and fresh from Ohio, and the Mafia was terrifying to me, I didn’t know any of that stuff. I made the decision based mostly on the fact that I knew I would be a terrible mother at that age. And also because I had been illegitimate when I was born and I hated that fact about me and I didn’t want to pass it along to my own kid. And then, overriding that, was my fear of the Mob.

So, last night, remembering how angry Nick was when he found out that I killed his baby – a baby he really, really, really wanted (I can’t stress that enough, unfortunately); and when it finally occurred to me: Oh, man, he would have made a great dad; he would have loved that kid to the moon and back.

Well, deciding to judge him when I was 20 years old, and deciding to play God, as it were,  without thinking of anybody, really, but myself – realizing all of that 38 years later; that was the hardest part of last night.

I don’t wish that kind of awakening on anybody, gang.

Have a Happy Sunday, If You Dare!

Gosh, it’s a beautiful day here, people.  Just perfect.

All the windows are wide open, and they were like that all through the night (21 windows here). So when I awoke at 5am, I was already in an erotic swoon.

The house was filled with the sounds of the birds singing. I think I could hear every bird in all of Muskingum County! And there was a hint of a breeze. The sun was just starting to come up.  And the magnificent silver maple that’s right outside my 2 front windows creates a sort of sanctuary for me in my room, so it was just so erotic to lie there in my indescribably soft & comfortable bed, sort of surrounded by the amazing leaves on that tree, and the sound of all those birds. I’m not sure why that’s erotic to me, but it is. All that energy of life was just sort of pulsing through me.

That silver maple is an enormous old tree – twice as tall as my 2-story house. And, yes, it’s very, very close to my house and is very, very old.  I love this tree. It has made an enormous difference in how my mind works, you know? It shelters me, in a way – in a sort of “psychic” way. But it also just engages me with so much life, so much energy. And I am praying that the tree is gonna outlive me.

(Most of the Home Insurance people I contacted, however, did not want to bank on the tree outliving me and most of them refused to insure my home because of that tree being so old and so “right on top of my house”.  But we won’t go there right now.)

[UPDATE: Here is a view from my bed, although it’s no longer before dawn, obviously. – Ed.]

My bedroom windows – the view from my bed. All those leaves are from the one maple tree.

I’m not sure if I’m going to work on the novel today or not. I’m kind of in a dreamy mood here, which usually doesn’t bode well for “focusing.”

It’s just sort of a weird energy day – maybe the full moon is involved, I don’t know. But I’ve been out of bed for 2 hours and I’ve changed my shirt 6 times! I’ve had 6 different shirts on in 2 hours.  (For some reason, I’m okay with the bottom half of what I’m wearing today, but I can’t decide on a tee shirt that doesn’t make me crazy.) (Oh, and I officially have Old-Lady Arms!! I briefly put on a black tank top and there they were; after having been so good to me for nearly 59 years, my upper arms are now wrinkly, old lady arms!! Alas, it’s going to be a cold day in Hell before I put on that tank top again…)

And speaking of clothing that makes me crazy, Norwegians are diabolical!

The first Instagram post from the Conversations with Nick Cave out of Oslo last night was in full color and clearly shows Nick Cave wearing either a black suit or maybe a dark blue suit. I can’t tell for sure, but it’s definitely not the beige-ish one.  However, he’s not on stage, he seems to be maybe outside the stage door? So it doesn’t count. So I waited for other posts to come in from Oslo last night, and every one of those diabolical Norwegians posted their Instagram photos in black & white!!! What the fuck is that, you know? How can I possibly tell what color that other suit is?

It was just too funny. Why the fuck do I have to get so obsessed with this fucking suit?! I was actually doing just fine until I saw all the black & white photos, and then it was, like: okay, you’re doing this on purpose. All of Oslo is just fucking with me…

All righty!

Jack White and the Raconteurs have a new album coming out in a few weeks, and the song they dropped on Friday, “Help Me Stranger,” is really catchy and addictive. I love it! But don’t just take my word for it – try it out on your own wee bonny ears and see what you think!

But, alas, as catchy as that song is, that’s not what I was singing this morning as I was lying there in my little swoon in my tree-protected bed! No, not at all!  I was singing about gamboling lambs and babbling brooks!! So I also leave you with “Breathless”. (I love the little bunnies in this video, gang. They’re too cute.)

And on that happy note…

Have a really happy Sunday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting,! I love you guys. See ya.

What Will I Do with Myself?!

Peitor and I won’t be having our usual Saturday morning conference call to work on the micro-short film scripts today.

His father-in-law in England died. So he’s off to London. But he has some sort of airport layover for several hours on Wednesday, so we’re going to work then. While he’s in the airport.  I don’t know if I will regale him yet with my newfound mastery of Italian.

We’re such workaholics. God forbid we just take a week off. If we didn’t have so much fun working together, we probably would. Plus, I get the feeling that he prefers to not sit in an airport for hours, talking to his husband. He’d rather be distracted.

It’s funny, but even though my second marriage was just bursting with all sorts of dysfunctional issues (and I mean bursting), we always traveled well together. When we were traveling, we always had a good time.  We talked a lot; we laughed a lot together.

Until Copenhagen.

Overall, we had a good time in Copenhagen, but in the hotel room, we were talking about something. He was sitting on the bed, I was standing over by the closet. It was the middle of the afternoon.  I don’t recall what we were talking about, but I suddenly felt buried alive in an avalanche of ennui and I thought to myself, I’ve got to get a divorce.

It was really sad, but at that moment, it was over for me. It took me a couple more months to actually say it out loud. I can fight off pretty much anything except ennui. I can find all sorts of reasons for staying with someone if my mind is still actively engaged.

Of course, in the middle of all that ennui, I had met Mikey Rivera.  And I was trying really, really, REALLY hard not to fall in love with him. Well, I was already in love with him because it was love at first sight for both of us, but I was trying really hard not to do anything about it.

And he, Mikey, was being very restrained and respectful because of course he knew I was married.  But he would call me on my private number and say, “Just coffee, come on. I gotta see you. We’ll just have a cup of coffee.”

And that’s all it would be, just coffee. But always the most intense cup of coffee known to man. Because I was trying so hard to figure out what the hell I was going to do about my marriage, while staring across at Mikey from the safety of my fully clothed cup of coffee. And Mikey was sort of, you know, sitting across from me, patiently thinking: There has never been a woman on Earth who has ever NOT fucked me, so I have all the time in the world.

He was a walking Latino sex machine. And we used to listen to Tom Jones records all the time. His Greatest Hits. We each bought a copy of the same CD and played it constantly when we were apart.

My advice to you is that if you’re trying really hard to not have sex with somebody whose sole reason for being on the planet is to have sex with you, DON’T listen to Tom Jones, for Christ’s sake.

And then it seemed like everywhere I went, a Tom Jones song would suddenly spring from some sort of sound system. When I was in London, getting that award for Neptune & Surf, “It’s Not Unusual” came springing from some sort of muzak in a clothing store and the song literally overwhelmed me and I knew at that moment that I was going straight back to New York to fuck Mikey Rivera…

Which I did, finally. We went to one of those glamorous “fuck motels”, which were all over New York back then – you rent a room for 4 hours and your marriage is pulverized by the time they want the room back.

I totally blame Tom Jones for making Mikey Rivera impossible to resist. (And never mind his Greatest Hits, but his versions of “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Sex Bomb” were all over the sound systems in NYC back then. It was just a losing battle.) (Yes, if you’ve read my novel Freak Parade, then you recognize all of this; this is where all of that came from.)

Okay, well. since I’m not working with Peitor today, I’m just gonna hang out and work on Blessed By Light.

And btw, my obsession with Nick Cave’s suit seems to have subsided. Now I’m trying to figure out if I should give one of those tickets away.  Mostly because I still find it so baffling that I now have tickets to 2 shows. And I’m going to be up to my eyeballs in rehearsals for my play. And I feel like everyone, especially Sandra, is going to think I’m insane.

ME: “Okay! I’m outta here! Just carry on without me.”

THEM: “Where are you going this time?!”

ME: “To go listen to total strangers ask Nick Cave a bunch of questions.”

THEM: “But didn’t you just do that?!”

ME: “Um… yes, I did.”

So I keep thinking I should give one of the tickets away. But there’s no way I’m giving away the Lincoln Center ticket, because not only is it an incredible seat, but the theater itself is unbelievable! But if I give away the ticket to Town Hall then what do I do about my suite at the Algonquin Hotel?  That suite costs 17 thousand dollars a night! Am I gonna just go and sit there?

THEM: “Where are you going now?!”

ME: “I have a suite at the Algonquin Hotel.”

THEM (curious and intrigued; their prurient interests peaked): “Really?! Are you having a sexy rendez-vous?”

ME: “No, I’m just gonna sit there. And be unmarried.”

THEM: “But, haven’t you been unmarried for, like, 17 years already?!”

ME: “Yes, but not at the Algonquin.”

Well, something like that… Anyway. I really, really want that room, you know? So then I think that I ‘ll keep both tickets and go to both shows and have my fucking room, finally.

Plus, I really wanna see Nick Cave.

It’s not like it’s my fault or anything that I have this embarrassment of riches right now.

Okay!! Let’s get Saturday happening around here, gang! I hope it’s a good one, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with this! Something to end your marriage by, if indeed, that’s on your list of things to do today! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya!

Me, again

Well, this is just weird and I feel terribly guilty about it. But it was just too weird.

I wanted to see how that Town Hall theater in Dusseldorf was spelled, so I went to the LIVE section of the Nick Cave web site but the Dusseldorf event was gone, and then I saw, by chance or whatever you call it, that another show had been added in NYC, at Lincoln Center, for Saturday 9/21, when I will already be there in town.

So I clicked on it and saw that tickets were going to go on sale in 3 minutes. So for some reason, I clicked on the “tickets” button anyway, and the tickets were already on sale. And there before me was a little link that said: Get the best seat available, and so, out of curiosity, I thought, well, what is the best seat available? And so I clicked that link, too.

And it was like the best fucking seat. And it was available.  And it was just so weird.  No feeding frenzy. No nothing. Just an amazing seat in the 4th row of the Orchestra, sort of to the side.  And I thought, what the fuck is this? A moment before this, I didn’t even know the concert was even happening.

So I bought the ticket. I clicked the link and they basically said, Here you go! Here’s your ticket.

And it just didn’t seem real.

And now I feel terrible, because some person out there is going to want at least one ticket for either show, and I now have 2 good tickets for both shows.

And I don’t really even understand how that happened.

All the Stars in their Courses

Yesterday was a good day.

I finally finished Chapter 21 in Blessed By Light and also saw the breakdown for Chapter 22 in my head.  It’s going to be another one of those chapters that gets broken down into a/b/c/d. And the titles will be:

  • Sinners
  • Infidels
  • Compadres
  • Diamonds in the Fire

And I think there’s going to be a great big bunch of sex, with his daughters coming to visit unannounced in the middle of that. And, as usual, it won’t go well! Nothing having to do with his daughters seems to ever go well in this book, even though it’s so clear that he loves them. Or he’s trying to.

Anyway, I always get excited when a chapter is completed and I can also see the next one so clearly.

Also! Sandra called yesterday! Yes, when I had finally given up on ever hearing from her again… (not really)

We actually chatted for awhile. And it took a lot of that icky stress off my mind that was starting to accumulate there – you know, stress gathering in the corners.  So I have her pinned down for rehearsals with the director here in August for Tell My Bones, and then a whole week back in New York, with Nick Cave at Town Hall right in the middle of that. And she even thinks that those can be tech rehearsals with the musicians and singers, too.  (I’m of course hoping the director will agree.)

Which also means that my next trip to New York after that will be for the actual performances of the staged reading, and from there it goes to Florida.  So my life just got a whole lot easier, in terms of endlessly driving back & forth to New York.

Except that she also said she’s planning on doing a few staged musical pieces from The Guide to Being Fabulous in NYC (our other play), which I’m going to have to do some script re-writes for.  But it’s at a really high-profile Off-Broadway venue so I’m super excited about that, too. (The Guide to Being Fabulous is the same play we’ll be doing a first-run of in Toronto.)

I’m guessing that all this stuff will happen in early spring, at the same moment that I need to be in Italy, overseeing a writer’s retreat. In Italian.

(I’ll just say here that the folks in Dusseldorf posted a whole lot of photos on Instagram last night of Nick Cave at their Town Hall.  Wow, what a beautiful venue. Just a gorgeous theater. He wore the same suit, though.  Or perhaps he has 17 hundred that only look the same. But it was the same non-color thing.  But the lighting on the stages is always so beautiful, so maybe it’s all just part of the overall lighting/color thing. Or maybe it’s just his new favorite suit and he can’t imagine not wearing it right  now. I actually have no clue.) (I know, I’m obsessing about the suit. Honestly, his suit was the very first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning at 4:40am. I don’t know what’s going on with me and that suit.) (As always, though, the people in Dusseldorf were in heaven.) (Actually, I don’t know if the people in Dusseldorf are always in heaven. What I meant to say is that, like Nick Cave fans everywhere, their response on Instagram to the show last night was off the charts.)

Okay! Enough of the parenthetical intensity.

Monday, I start giving piano lessons! I’m really, really looking forward to that. although he swears up one wall and down the other that he doesn’t want to learn how to read music, just learn how to play the piano. I’ll tell you, though; when you’re just starting out on the piano, it is the easiest time to learn how to read music. It truly is. But whatever he wants, is cool. I certainly don’t want to be one of those Nazi-ish piano teachers.

I’ll say here, though, that most of my piano teachers were wonderful. It was only that one at the Conservatory who was so mean. I actually had a couple of piano teachers who really helped me stay sane, for awhile, anyway. The two teachers knew each other, actually. One of the teachers quit and so the other one took over.

We had a soundproof music room in our house back then, which is where, of course, I had my lessons. And the first teacher, a man, told me, in that soundproof room, that he wasn’t going to be teaching me anymore. And he told me it was because of my mother (adoptive).  My mother was an abusive terror. And he actually told me that he was worried about me being in that kind of household, but that he couldn’t take it anymore and was sorry to be abandoning me, because he thought I was really talented.

That was a very hard thing to hear, and, obviously, it stuck with me. I was 12 at the time.

And then his friend, a woman, took over teaching me. She came into it knowing ahead of time the problems with my mother and so I guess she was able to handle it better. But still, you know, in that soundproof room, she would sometimes say, “Are you okay? You know, if you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m always here for you.”

I was still young, though, and had no clue I was in such an abusive home. I just assumed that all mothers were like that behind closed doors, wanting to smash you down and make you disappear.

However, both of my parents were really supportive of my music. Well, of me playing the piano. They were not thrilled at all when I went to New York with my guitar to be a singer-songwriter.

Anyway. I digress. A little.

I’m looking forward to giving piano lessons. In a small way, it will help me undo everything that ended up being so awful.

Okay, have a great Friday, gang! Wherever you are in the world. I’m gonna get crackin’ here on Blessed By Light – maybe even go so far as to wash my hair today!! You just never know.  Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

Me at age 12. Quite the piano player by then.

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis