FINALLY!! Thank God!!

Wow, gang! Finally!

My erotic novellas, novels, and short stories WILL NOT have pictures of naked women or girls in their underwear on the covers!!

I have literally waited a lifetime for this.

Yesterday, the publisher emailed me a sample of the cover art for “Half-Moon Bride” and I am really, really happy with it. Not only is it pretty, but it actually has SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE STORY!!!

WHEN you read the story, you will see why this is totally a great cover.

Wow. I am just so happy.

Cover art for my new erotic short story, coming in November from Black Lotus Books

And the publisher also said that all of my titles with them are going to have similar covers, in order to get a sort of visual brand for me.

I am really just so happy about that. I can’t tell you how many book covers I’ve had over the years that I have absolutely hated…

I have  had a total of four that I’ve actually liked. And that’s four out of many, many dozens of books published here,  in Europe and in Japan over a 30-year period. So I really have waited a long. long time for this.

(Although, I have to say that I did always like this one!! The first time Neptune & Surf came out in French-translation in Paris. The cover photo references the middle novella in the book, titled The Mercy Cure.)

Neptune & Surf, Editions Blanche, Paris 2001

Other than that, yesterday was an intense day. That phone call I mentioned I had to make wound up being a sort of “phone call from Hell.” And I really, really try to be patient with people. I really do. I even try to suffer fools gladly, when time allows. But yesterday — well, I kept my opinion to myself, but inside I was Mount Vesuvius exploding. And it was sort of hard to recover a decent morning from that experience of bullish stupidity, but I eventually did and wound up having a totally decent day. And by evening, I was actually back to being in a really good mood and really excited about my upcoming stuff!! (The play, my new books, etc.)

And here is something else that made me so happy!

Three months ago, I ordered a strange little sextoy from an online company that I had seen on Instagram.  I was intrigued enough by the post on Instagram, to look up their website on my computer and I saw this strange little — rather expensive — thing. And it was on sale. And it was one of those retail sites that had a “spin the wheel” dial, where if it was your first purchase with them, you spin the wheel to see what your added discount would be if you purchased something right at that moment.

Well, between it being on sale and the huge additional discount I got, I bought the little thing. And was very, very excited. I could not wait to receive it and see what the heck it really did.

And then a few days later, they emailed me to say that my package was on its way!!!!

From fucking Singapore!!

And I was, like — what??!! How did I manage to buy something from a sextoy company clear around the world?? When there are tons of really good ones right here in the United States of America?

So I looked them up on google and there were a lot of US customers claiming the site was a scam. Not a real site, etc. So I thought, oh crap. Not only was it money down the drain, but I was never going to get to try out my little toy and see if it actually did what it claimed it was going to do…

However!!

Yesterday, when I opened my little mailbox, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a rather beat-up little package, sent from clear across the world, 3 months ago…

It had arrived!!! I was so excited!! It was not a scam!!

Right away, I plugged in its USB thingie and began to charge it. It’s red light was blinking merrily, so clearly it was actually going to work!!

However, it is a little bit “hi tech” and most of the instructions are in Chinese so I haven’t figured out yet how to use it. But I feel confident that I will!! Perhaps even later today!!!

But I was just so happy that it actually existed. And now it is mine!

Okay, well. On that happy note…

I’m gonna get the day started here. I hope you are enjoying your Wednesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my post-apocalyptic-phone-call listening-music from yesterday. I hadn’t listened to this album — or song — in a bazillion years, gang. It really did end up calming me down considerably. So I leave you with it today. “Let It Be,” the titular song from The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be (1970) — quite a huge album from my wee bonny girlhood in Cleveland. (And “Mother Mary” is not Jesus’ mother, btw, but Paul McCartney’s mother, Mary, who died when he was a boy. And since I am not a believer in the divinity of Jesus’ mother, I was actually hoping Paul’s mother was visiting me while I was listening to the song… Perhaps she did. I’m not really sure about that. But something calmed me the fuck down.)

Anyway.

So listen, enjoy, calm down, be happy if at all possible. I love you guys. See ya.

“Let It Be”

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when the broken-hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be

For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Yeah, there will be an answer
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow
Let it be

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer
Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

© 1970 Lennon & McCartney

Welcome to Tuesday!

First of all, I just had to share this.

Kevin, the director of my play, Tell My Bones, sent this image out on Instagram yesterday — a wonderful painting by Helen LaFrance. I’m guessing this is about 30 years old.

I just love her use of color, light, and perspective.

If you click on it, you can get a better idea of her amazing details. And in case you didn’t know, Helen was taught how to paint when she was about 3 years old, by her mother who used berry juice and old-fashioned laundry bluing as paints, and twigs for paint brushes.

Beyond that, Helen was a self-taught artist, with next to no formal schooling. She never used “live” models — she always painted from memory. (She is still alive, but she is 100 years old, paralyzed from a stroke and in a wheel chair.)

Anyway, I just love that painting. And when I saw it yesterday, it reminded me of why I needed to write about her life. I just wanted everyone to see how wonderful her paintings are.

Plus, she didn’t get true acclaim as an artist until she was in her 80s, when Gus Van Sant Sr. saw her paintings, fell in love with them and became her manager.

Okay, well. I hope things are good wherever you are in the world. My world is just barely holding together but I am doing a really good job at staying positive and doing my best to make it through every single day.  I know that the fallout from this virus is taking a really heavy toll on a lot of people all over the world, and I hope that a.) you’re not one of them; and b.) if you are, then you are finding ways to hold on until all of this passes.

One thing that actually really helps me disconnect from my urge to panic, is looking at photos of alpacas and baby goats on Instagram. Man, they are cute. Anything to distract me right now, you know? Anything.

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But honestly, if I can get through a day feeling better than I did yesterday, not panicking, and knowing for sure the future holds some really great things, then I feel it was a good day.

Having the staged reading of my play coming up, and the new multi-year publishing deal are keeping me going. Not financially (yet), just in terms of my hope for the future.

I think that even little things like that can have a big impact on our frame of mind and our willingness to keep moving forward. So, if you are having any trouble today, just think of even a small reason to have hope for the future and just sort of dwell on it. And things will improve from that starting point, little by little. They really will.

I have nothing new to report here. I’ll say, though, that I met some older women recently who are just remarkable. And they are the kind of women that I always wished my adoptive mother would have been (meaning, a woman who actually wanted to be a mom). I used to make excuses for why my adoptive mother was so abusive — the primary one being that culturally, she was sort of forced to take on the role of motherhood. It was expected of her by her family and by society, even though she regretted adopting children.  But now I think of it more along the lines that she should of had the courage to just give us back if she didn’t really want us, rather than abusing us for our whole lives…

Anyway.  It is really nice to be around women who love their children and hearing about the harrowing things they went through with raising them, but that love mattered most. And so everyone eventually got through it as a family.

I always, always, always wished for that. But even to be around women like that at my age now, is a sort of emotional vindication for me.

It’s hard to explain. But it means a lot to me.

Okay, on that note, I have to go because I need to make an important and nerve-wracking phone call. Have a really good Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Don’t try to make sense of things if they seem too horrible; just look at the good that is left and the good that is still coming. It costs nothing and it can actually help. I leave you with my listening music from last night. Yet another Monkees song, but this one is from The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees, from 1968, “I’ll Be Back Upon My Feet.” It’s super upbeat.  So listen and enjoy. And take care of yourselves. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“I’ll Be Back Upon My Feet”

Girl, I know the grass is greener, just around the bend.
Got to say, “Goodbye!” but don’t you fear.
Though the road is dark and I might fail to find the end
I won’t disappear.

I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Chase the moon and sun to find my one and only you.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Looking high, I’m looking low.
When I find my boots I know I got to go.

Maybe I will be a star, or maybe just a clown.
Girl, I’ll never know until I try.
Maybe I will meet a girl who’ll try to keep me down.
But you don’t have to cry.

I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Chase the moon and sun to find my one and only you.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Looking high, I’m looking low.
When I find my boots I know I got to go.

© 1968 Sandy Linzer, Denny Randell

Wow, That Felt Good!!

I am talking about the tech meeting on Zoom yesterday for the upcoming staged reading of my play, Tell My Bones.

I just kept in the background, off camera, and listened to everybody, since it wasn’t a meeting that needed me to be there, really. Except to answer one question about one of the songs in the opening scene.  But it was so exciting for me to see these people who are putting on the reading of my play. And to hear about all the really complicated stuff they are coordinating.

Yesterday, I listed here on the blog all the various tech people involved, but I found out at the meeting that there are an additional four people: one in charge of marketing and social media, and 3 marketing assistants. And that the marketing has already gotten underway. (Wow!!)

So this means, 10 tech people and 11 actors to bring this staged reading to life.  (And this is just a reading, not a performance!) That is just really thrilling to me.

There were a couple of things that I found interesting. The main one being that, once the play is written and a director and tech people get onboard, the play becomes theirs, really. Almost a living vehicle that has very little to do with the playwright (which is okay and how it should be, since live theater is a living thing).

Still, I have lived with this play, in its various stages of rewrites, for 8 years now. And suddenly it has taken on an identity that is entirely different — it is so full of life now. It is its own entity. It is really just thrilling to me. (And this isn’t even watching any of the actors yet — all the coordinating that’s happening now is just to get the play ready for the actors to give it even more life.)

The other thing that I found interesting was that, at first, I felt a little “less-than”, watching all these people in this meeting who hold important positions in theater and the execution of it, and they have these amazing higher educations (meaning, at the college level). And while I did go to college as a Theater Major, I didn’t last very long because I hated the college that my parents made me go to.  Even though it had a respected Theater Department, I hated the school and I hated the city it was in. But my parents made me go there because they considered me mentally ill, and while I did live at the college, I wasn’t allowed to be too far away from a parent in case I lost my mind again.

(I wish I was being sarcastic and funny here, but I’m not.)

My parents didn’t actually care what I thought I wanted to do with my life because they expected me to meet a wealthy man before college was even over, get married and become a wife. So, watching these people yesterday on the Zoom meeting, it made me wonder what my career could have been like had I been allowed to go to any of the Theater Colleges I’d really wanted to attend, or to even have my parents’ emotional involvement with my life and my dreams.

I dropped out of college after 3 and 1/2 months, and went to California to live for a really short while. But my point is that, at first I felt inferior to the all the tech people with their great NY-theater college educations and their experiences. But then I realized that they were at the Zoom meeting because they’d decided to get involved with a show that I wrote. And I realized that  that was really cool, regardless of my lack of education. (I did eventually get an Associate’s Degree in audio engineering in NYC, and then I went to Divinity School later in life and became a minister, so it’s not like I just wasted away or anything.)

And once I realized that I had written the play that gave these amazing people a project to undertake and to make their own, I remembered that when I came back from California, I was working at a factory but also working again as a model. And during one photo shoot, where I was feeling particularly unfulfilled — I was lamenting that I had hated college so much because I had really, really loved the theater. But I didn’t want to act. And I didn’t want to model, either.  I hated modeling. It made me feel really stupid but it paid great. What I wanted was to be a playwright and supply people with words to say.  To supply people with ideas.

(And it was right after that tedious photo shoot that the primary agent at my modeling agency told me that if I had trouble being treated like a piece of meat, I was in the wrong business…. That was my final modeling job, even though they called back and apologized for saying that to me.)

As a teenager, I had written one play — about gay ballet dancers in Russia in the early 1900s, of all things. But my primary form of writing back then was songwriting. So, really soon after leaving college, I was in NYC and was a singer-songwriter there for many years. But was also just hugely still in love with theater and many of my friends there were in the theater. (And my second husband, in fact, was a professional Shakespearean actor.)

But, anyway, yesterday, during that Zoom meeting, I recalled the one particular modeling job, where I was trying so hard to give the photographer what he wanted, but inside, I was dying a slow death because I felt so unfulfilled, and I really wished I could have stayed in college and become a playwright…

So yesterday afternoon was kind of an amazing feeling for me, gang. It really, really was. I am so grateful to these talented people who seem to really be in love with my play and with being involved in the staged reading of it.

By the way, I am going to try to have the event stream here on my blog, but you can now register to watch it at the main streaming site, FREE, by using this link:

tellmybones.eventbrite.com

Register at that link. The event is free!

If you aren’t able to watch it in that time zone (USA Eastern Standard Time), it will stream free for a few days on YouTube after the initial event. All righty. I think that is it for today, gang.

I hope you have a great Monday underway, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with something I saw on Instagram very early this morning, that helped me sort of bounce out of bed, which I really needed: Nina Simone, singing a medley from the Broadway Musical Hair, an absolute favorite play from my wee bonny  girlhood — “Ain’t Got No/ I Got Life.” (I was listening to her live version, but the studio version is really good, too.) Listen and enjoy and bounce around your kitchen, if you so choose!! Okay, thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Thank Heaven for Sundays!!

I am really excited because this afternoon, there is a tech meeting on Zoom regarding the staged reading of my play, Tell My Bones (coming up free online November 22nd).

This is the first time I will be listening in and seeing who all these people are who are bringing this whole thing together.  I know the director, of course, but there is a producer, a stage manager, an assistant stage manager, an assistant to the director, a musical director, and a person who manages and coordinates the streaming platform we’re using — called StreamYard. (All of the tech people are based in NY.)

So, that’s a lot of people on board, and it doesn’t even count the eleven actors, of whom I only know Sandra.

It is just all really, really exciting to me, gang. I’m trying to focus on that and not on the state of the virus– although, I am still really grateful that here in Muskingum County we only have one new active case. The statistics were released Friday and while it still makes me really happy, I still find it so hard to believe the county has been relatively unscathed by the pandemic. (Well, in terms of human lives, not in terms of what it’s costing everyone financially & spiritually.)

Well, yesterday wound up being mostly about me laying around in bed, sleeping a lot — stemming from stuff related to the fall I took the other day. But later in the afternoon, I got a lot of housecleaning done downstairs, so that felt really good. So much dust everywhere from having all those windows open for 6 months. And as I was cleaning, I was kind of hoping that my birth mom will come back to visit for Christmas (the last time I really dusted!!), but I’m guessing everything has to be played by ear now because of the virus.

[Flashback to last Christmas with my birth mom, who is a patient and diligent Christmas decorator!!]

The trees, decorated!

I don’t really have much else to say today.  I need to get stuff ready for a phone chat with the director before the Zoom meeting. So I’m gonna scoot & get more coffee.

I hope you’re all having a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning — still listening to Hard Promises here — Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1981. Here’s another really great one from that album, “A Thing About You.” And I mean it with all my heart!!! So, cast your memory back to 1981! Turn it up loud and enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

“A Thing About You”

I’m not much on mystery
Yeah you gotta be careful what you dream
I thought this might pass with time
Yeah I thought I was satisfied

[Chorus:]
But oh baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
Baby let me tell you, I got a thing about you
It don’t matter what you say
It don’t matter what you do
I, I, I, got a thing about you

Somewhere deep in the middle of the night
Lovers hold each other tight
Whisper in their anxious ears
Words of love that disappear

[Chorus]

Baby you hold some strange control over me
Yeah it’s so wild it hypnotizes me

[Chorus]

© 1981 Tom Petty

An Odd But Lovely Little Morning in Crazeysburg!

The good news is that the official publishing contract for 1954 Powder Blue Pickup came through during the night, so it is now signed and returned!!! I am just super excited about that, gang. I really love that crazy little book.

It is filthy as hell, with a minimal story arc — although it does have a couple of character arcs, so that’s pretty cool! But seriously, I absolutely love that book. And even if I hadn’t written it, I would read it and think, Wow, this is the best book I’ve ever read!! And then I’d wonder, Wow, who wrote this amazing book? And then I’d get on Kickstarter and start a fundraiser to make a documentary film all about the obscure writer of 1954 Powder Blue Pickup, the best book ever written.

You know, this is kind of interesting. Many years ago, I wrote an erotic short story, published by an underground zine in San Fransisco, and it was loosely based on a boy I used to babysit when I was 16, who had a serious crush on me. And he was like the horniest little kid, ever.  Which presented a serious challenge to me because I am absolutely 100% not a pedophile. And even at age 16, I was extremely maternal.

The last I had heard about him, back in the 1980s after I moved to NYC, was that he had joined the Navy and I remember thinking how odd it was that they allowed 10-year-old boys to join the Navy — because I simply could not believe he was already old enough to join the Navy. But the story I wound up writing stemmed more from that thought that he actually was old enough to be in the Navy.

Anyway, I found out a couple weeks ago that he is still alive, and still lives in Ohio, although he lives up in Cleveland now — AND — he’s a really powerful State Supreme Court Judge. I found that really just astounding and really kind of amusing. Remembering what he was like as an indescribably horny 10-year-old.

Ah well. Life does indeed go on. But I saw a photo of him and he has all this grey hair now, but he looks really kind and compassionate. Like he is probably a very good Judge.

Well, my dinner last night with Kevin did not happen because the worst storm imaginable suddenly blew in out of nowhere. Torrential rain, thunder, lightning, and really strong winds. The wind was blowing everything, everywhere.  So we postponed the dinner, which disappointed me because I really wanted an update on my play, plus he has those promotional postcards ready for me to start sending out. But the cool news is that I saw 3 rainbows while the storm was in the process of passing over.

Literally, 3 rainbows. And I have not seen a rainbow since I was about 9 years old. It was so cool.

And my other friend Kevin is supposed to fly back from Montana today, although he isn’t planning on staying in Ohio for very long. So I’m not sure when he’s planning to come out here and get his 1965 VW camper van from out of my barn. But whenever he does make it out here, I know he will be impressed with the barn’s new roof, and the new barn door! Plus, it will be really nice to see him.

Well, that’s kind of it around here today, gang. I’ve had sort of an odd morning here.  As usual, I’ve been up and out of bed since 4am, but for the most part, I sat on my bed in the dark, drank my coffee and stared out the window at the wind blowing the branches of the maple tree outside my window. Even with that terrible wind last evening, most of its leaves are still on the branches. So it was sort of hauntingly beautiful to look at.

And while I sat and stared, I listened to “Insider” by Tom Petty (with a supporting vocal by Stevie Nicks, 1981), over and over. I’m not a huge Stevie Nicks fan at all, but I do love how she sounded when she sang with Tom Petty.

Anyway, I listened to that for quite a long time and I grappled with reality — but mostly the reality that other people consider “reality,” not necessarily the reality that I call reality. And I guarantee you, those are two distinctly parallel lines that will never meet. So I either go crazy trying to see the world the way other people see it, or just mind my own business and keep to myself and let life happen and just sit here and write and go less crazy. Even though that version is extremely lonely.

So it’s a weird morning here. But I do hope to spend some time focusing on “Novitiate” (the new erotic short story in progress) and maybe even making some good progress with that. We shall see.

Meanwhile, have a nice Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my sitting-in-the-dark-drinking-coffee-and-staring-out-at-the-tree music from this morning, in those wee hours before dawn! Listen, ponder, enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya.

“Insider”

You’ve got a dangerous background
And everything you’ve dreamed of
Yeah you’re the Dark Angel
It don’t show when you break up
and I’m the one who ought to know
I’m the one left in the dust
Yeah I’m the broken-hearted fool
Who was never quite enough

[Chorus:]
I’m an insider, I been burned by the fire
And I’ve had to live with some hard promises
I’ve crawled through the briars — I’m an insider

It’s a circle of deception
It’s a hall of strangers
It’s a cage without a key
You can feel the danger
And I’m the one who ought to know
I’m the one you couldn’t trust
I’m the lonely silent one
I’m the one left in the dust

[Chorus]

I’ll bet you’re his masterpiece
I’ll bet you’re his self-control
Yeah you’ll become his legacy
His quiet world of white and gold
And I’m the one who ought to know
I’m the one you left to rust
Not one of your twisted friends
I’m the one you couldn’t love

[Chorus]

© 1981 Tom Petty

Some Awesome Memories!!

Today is the 4th anniversary of Bunny’s passing — she was such a sweet cat. I swear that I still miss her every day.

I went looking for some old photos of her to post to the blog, and I serendipitously (which I don’t think is actually a word) discovered a bunch of photos that I forgot I had.

So it’s Memory Day again, here in Marilyn’s Room!!

First of all, I found a wonderful photo of Paul at Christmas, 1996. Paul was my best friend who died, whom I blogged about yesterday.

Paul at Christmas, 1996

He was already really sick here, but you can see that even while he was dying, he was just such a good-natured human being.

Here are two photos of Bunny right after I rescued her and her brother, Buster, from a NYC cat shelter in Times Square. They were a few months old already when I adopted them. Bunny is the larger cat, Buster, was the grey and white cat. I loved both of them so much, it was almost unbelievable.

Bunny and Buster on the dining room table on West End Avenue, NYC.

 

Wayne was not happy that I adopted two cats to replace Kitty after she died. But the rescue place wanted me to have this brother & sister pair, even though I had gone in to adopt a different cat. They insisted that I have these two instead and they wound up being such a joy to me.

Buster & Bunny in the nursery.

When Wayne and I thought we were having a baby, we decorated the nursery.  But no babies came, so it eventually turned into my office. So my office on West End Avenue was half-nursery. This is right after Bunny & Buster were adopted.

Our house from 1964-1966

 

I could not believe I found this photo!! This is the house my family lived in from 1964-1966, in Cleveland. I took the photo decades after we lived there, but this was our house! I have so many memories from this house. I could write an entire book just about that. I found out years later that both of my parents disliked this house, but my dad bought it because it was really close to the school — just down the block. And both me and my older brother started school when we lived here.

The house Mikey Rivera and I lived in together.

I did not even remember that I had this photo!! Mikey Rivera and I were going to buy this house in Easton, Pennsylvania. It was owned by a priest who rented it out. We were “renting to own” when my mom got sick and we wound up moving back to Ohio. We lived in it for 6 months.

My office in that house.

This was my office in that house. The house was really old — well over 100 years old. I edited a couple of anthologies in this office and wrote a few short stories, but didn’t live there long enough to write much more than that.

My office in the apartment in Pennsylvania.

This was my “office” in the apartment Mikey & I rented when we left NYC together, before we moved into that house above. We rented a small one-bedroom apartment in an old Victorian house that was on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. We were less than 2 hours from NYC, so it was an ideal location. I could easily go back & forth to Manhattan to meet with publishers and other writers, etc., and Mikey could go visit his son, who was only about 6 years old (!!) at the time. (He’s now well out of college…).

My “office” was in a corner of the living room. He and I lived there for 3 years. I wrote 3 novels in that little corner — including Freak Parade, which I wrote about Mikey Rivera. I also wrote three novellas and many, many short stories in that little corner. I also edited 4 fiction anthologies. All in that little corner. I was extremely creative there.

Naturally, Mikey and I shared the tiny apartment with Buster & Bunny! And according to my lease, I was only allowed to have one cat. So we always had to hide Buster from the landlord. Luckily, the two cats looked enough alike, that if one would sit in the front window, you couldn’t really tell if it was a different cat. The only problem was to never let both cats sit in the front window at the same time. The landlord only lived a couple blocks away, so I was constantly worrying that he was going to see both cats at the same time. Luckily, my little desk was not far from the window, because I mean it was a constant chore to keep both of them out of that window at the same time. (It was a beautiful bay window, looking out over the river.)

Okay! That’s my little trip down Memory Lane for today.

Well, the podcast recording went very well yesterday, although I barely even mentioned The Guitar Hero Goes Home! We talked about a bunch of other stuff, instead. Mostly the state of the erotica publishing industry now compared with its heyday, when we all first met.  (Me, M. Christian, and Ralph Greco, Jr.) I will let you know when you can listen to it on YouTube.

And today, I am feeling better all the way around. The bruise on my thigh is a hideous mass of vibrant colors now, but almost all the pain is completely gone. And this evening, I’m meeting Kevin, the director of my play, for dinner, so I’m really looking forward to a chance to get out and socialize again. Yay!! And we’ll be discussing all the things that are going on with my play, so I’m very eager to hear about all that.

Nick Cave’s official web site sent out an email this morning, announcing the screening dates for the extended film version of  Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace. To purchase tickets, you can locate your area here. (I think. I might have just given you the link that says you can’t yet buy tickets to see the film in Crazeysburg, but I’ve been assured the film is coming here soon!) (Just kidding, of course. Nothing comes to Crazeysburg!!)

Okay, that’s it!! Have a terrific Friday, wherever you are in the world.  Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with “Euthanasia,” the new song by Nick Cave, which is in that film mentioned above.  Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

How Do We Get Back There?

First, I want to say once again that I love Instagram. I really do. The degree to which I despise Facebook is the degree to which I love Instagram. And beyond.

People — total strangers — on Instagram are so kind. The same young man who has that page that quoted Neptune & Surf the other day, sent me a meditation download early this morning because I’d had a terrible night — mostly because of pain in my leg where I fell the other day, but also just stress. And this afternoon, I’m being interviewed on one of M. Christian’s podcasts, and we’ll mostly be talking about The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

And all the pain and lack of sleep and stress left me feeling remarkably brain dead. And not in the best shape for an interview.

So the guy (he’s very private so I won’t say too much about him), sent me this wonderful MP3 file to help me meditate and get in better mental shape for the interview. It meant so much to me, you know.  He is always so kind to me, and I’m easily old enough to be his grandmother (okay, well, maybe a really young, youthful, incredibly vibrant grandmother with a seriously bruised thigh…).

And we’ll probably never, ever even meet because he lives far, far away. In the Middle East, in a country where American Jews (by birth, anyway — I don’t practice it anymore) are not likely to ever travel to anymore. Ever. Such is politics.

Anyway, his constant kindness means a lot to me. Especially on this particular morning, which is the anniversary of my friend Paul’s death. 21 years ago today. I miss him so much. He was my best-est friend in the whole entire world, from age 17 on. He was always there for me, always had my back, never ever once fucked with my head or played any fucked up games with me.  And he was also the first in line to let me know when he thought I was going down a bad road, or making a bad decision, or being bitchy. He was always just totally honest with me.

And he was so fucking funny. I miss all of it, so much. There is no one in my life who has come close to taking his place.

When we first found out that he was dying, I began spiraling downward immediately and didn’t come out of it for years.  It took him 7 years to actually die. He deteriorated slowly. But I started in with bourbon immediately. Bourbon in my coffee in the morning, bourbon in the afternoon, cocktails at night. And I started smoking with a vengeance, too. And I hardly ate. And I lost a ton of weight, even though I wasn’t overweight when I started. But I only behaved that way when he wasn’t around. If he was around, I tried to act like I was totally brave, you know?

He lived in a beach house on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. And toward the end of his life, he and I walked along the beach one winter morning, and he wanted to make sure I was going to be okay when he was gone.

Of course, I lied. I wanted him to feel okay about dying. But I knew I was never going to be all right.

Well, I take care of myself. I survive. I go on. I create, etc., etc. But in all honesty, it has never been the same.

And this is not the frame of mind I want to be in before an interview you know?? I don’t want to go on record saying that life sucks…

So I am trying to get myself together here today.

Well. Blixa Bargeld released a video discussing his upcoming writing plans.  You can watch it on his web site. Or here:

And you can also support his many projects by being a contributing supporter. (€10 a month.)

Also, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand File today, wherein he discusses catastrophe, suffering, the pandemic, creativity, life on Earth and trying to survive it. (I am greatly paraphrasing. You can read it for yourself here, though. It was quite sobering.)

Okay, so. I need to go over some extensive notes Peitor sent me from West Hollywood yesterday, as we get ever closer to resuming production/writing for Abstract Absurdity Productions. And after the interview for the podcast (it’s being pre-recorded — when it is available to download I will let you know!!), I will focus on trying to make some significant headway with “Novitiate.” (My new erotic short story, in progress.)

And I really, really hope I can salvage this weird, weird morning. (Plus, I am once again trying to come to terms with a decision I have to make — that is only going to break my own heart. But I feel like it’s the right thing to do.  But it is hard enough to keep the color in my world as it is. But onward…)

Okay. Have a really good Thursday, wherever you are and with whatever you might be grappling with out there in the world.  I leave you with the song that helped me survive yesterday. (I take it one day at a time, most days.) Even though it made me miss everybody who has passed away, including Tom Petty, it still helped. “Keeping Me Alive” (1982), from off of his posthumous An American Treasure album  (2018). He is so full of life here. All of it was still ahead of him. So enjoy.  All righty. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

“Keeping Me Alive”

They said love was a thing of the past
That these days nothing ever lasts
This old world is moving too fast

Well sometimes we ride around
She plays her radio up loud
If I was sad, well, I’m happy now

And it feels so good to know
I got you where you belong
Here in my heart, right by my side
Honey you’re getting me by
Yeah you’re keeping me alive

I got a job, I work hard
These days the money don’t go very far
It’s hard enough keeping gas in the car

But sometimes we ride around
She plays the radio up load
If I was sad, well, I’m happy now

Yeah and it feels so good to know
I got you where you belong
Here in my heart, right by my side
Honey you’re getting me by
Yeah you’re keeping me alive

And it feels so good to know
I got you where you belong
Here in my heart, right by my side
Honey you’re getting me by
Yeah you’re keeping me alive
Yeah you’re keeping me alive
Yeah you’re keeping me alive

© 1982 Tom Petty

It Was Just One of Those Days Here in Crazeysburg!

Because I fell and bruised my thigh beyond my ability to comprehend (if you are on your computer, you can see my Instagram photo from yesterday down below, which shows the awesome bruise and just how swelled up it got), I wound up spending a huge portion of yesterday in bed.

Not because I couldn’t walk, but because the pain was excruciating.

But today, even though the bruise is obviously still there and still swollen, the pain is really minimal.

And, while CBD oil did nothing to stop that kind of pain, it did calm me the fuck down and made everything in my world seem manageable. And by “manageable” I guess I mean  “just go to bed and stream The Monkees and forget about everything else in the world. ”

Oh, and I should mention here that I wound up liking that documentary, Hey, Hey We’re The Monkees, which I had started watching the other day. It was very informative and emotional.

Anyway. I also slept a lot yesterday, seeing as how I was already in bed. I didn’t get out of bed until after 5am today, which is later than I’ve been doing for quite a few weeks now.

So nothing new has been done to the new short story “Novitiate.” And at this point, if it is getting confusing:

  • The Guitar Hero Goes Home is now available in print with the corrected cover and the corrected text. (Also eBook — Amazon)
  • “Half-Moon Bride” will be available as a stand alone eBook in a few weeks (with my new publisher)
  • 1954 Powder Blue Pickup will be coming out in print before the year is over,  also with my new publisher
  • “Novitiate” will be part of what I currently call The Muse Revisited Vol. 4, which will also include my more popular “taboo erotica” short stories and novellas from the scope of my career. That will come out in print with my new publisher, as well, but probably not until early 2021 (especially if I don’t quit falling down on my kitchen porch).

So that’s what’s going on there, in erotica land.

In non-erotica land, the staged reading of my play, Tell My Bones, will premier online on Sunday evening EST, November 22nd. It will be free, but you will need to RSVP at an eventbrite link, which I will give to you when I have it. And if you miss the premier, you will have a window of maybe 3-5 days to watch it anyway.

Okay!

So Cave Things announced yesterday that you can pre-order the following really cute picture discs, each have one song on them from Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace, which is being released as an album and also a film in November. Here are the picture discs, drawn by Nick Cave (I believe they are each £30, except that there are only 500 copies in each title, so you need to pre-order right away).

And with that, I’m also gonna close. So have a really nice Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang!! I love you guys. See ya!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wee Bit on the Rainy Side Today

Rainy days in October are really beautiful in Ohio.

When I was six years old, in the first grade in school in Cleveland, our class had a little “field trip.” It consisted of spending part of our lunch hour taking a walk around the block, where there were lots of big old houses and old trees, to look at the autumn leaves.

It wasn’t supposed to be raining for the field trip, but it was. And so we all had on our little rain coats and rain hats, and took our walk in the rain. And I thought that the fall leaves, clinging to the wet sidewalk in the rain, were the prettiest things I’d ever seen. And I never forgot it.

Now, whenever there’s a rainy day in October, and autumn leaves are clinging to a wet sidewalk, no matter where I am in the world, I always remember that moment in Cleveland when I was six.

Another part to that story, though, is that it happened when my adoptive grandfather was retiring down in Columbus, and so there was a big retirement party for him — but only for the adults. And so my parents went down to Columbus for the party and my older brother went to stay overnight with one of his school friends, but I was sent to stay overnight with friends of my parents who lived close to the school and so could drive me there the following day. (The following day was the day of our big field trip to see autumn leaves.) And I remember that my mom had packed my lunch for the field trip in a little brown paper bag and she gave it to the lady of the house I was spending the night at.

To me, it was such a big deal that my mom had packed my lunch because back in those days, we didn’t eat lunch at school, we always came home for lunch and then went back to school for the afternoon. So I just thought that was the coolest thing, that I had a little brown paper bag with my lunch in it and that my mom had made it for me before she went out of town.

I was really scared to be away from home for a night, and to be in a house where I didn’t know anyone. The family had an older girl and an older boy — they were a lot older than me, teenagers. And I was going to be sleeping in one of the twin beds in the older girl’s room, and I remember that she was so incredibly nice to me, because I was crying in the dark, and she told me not to be scared — that my mom and dad would be coming to get me after school the very next day.

But what I vividly recall is the older boy had a butterfly collection down in their family room, which was in the basement. It was quite an extensive collection and I had never seen anything like it before. Of course, nowadays, I would freak out because I don’t like to think of anything being killed simply for a “collection,” but back then, I didn’t know anything about stuff like that, and I just thought the butterflies were quite amazing.

The boy explained everything about it to me, how he caught them, how they were killed, and then mounted. And he explained what each one of the butterflies were named, etc. He must have been extremely patient to spend so much time with a 6 year-old girl who was on the verge of crying the whole time because her parents had “left her there, all alone.” I just remember that he was so nice. He was something like 17 or 18 years old already.

Even though that memory has followed me to places all over the country and in different cities all over the world, it’s kind of poignant that today, I am looking at fall leaves on a rainy sidewalk, back in Ohio 54 years later, but it’s my own house now. (Photo below.)

And I wonder if those two teenagers are even still alive now, you know? They certainly could be, but they’d be over 70 years old.

You know, it really just seems like yesterday. I can’t really believe it.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna scoot. Have a beautiful Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

The rainy world outside my house today.

“Hold On Girl”

I know about the guy who treated you so bad,
He took your love and then just walked away.
I know that you have got a reason to be sad
But help is on its way.

Hold on girl be a little bit stronger,
Hold on girl wait a little bit longer,
Hold on girl, help is on its way.

I know you feel as though your world is at an end,
But you don’t have to live with yesterday.
I promise you the sun is gonna shine again,
And help is on its way.

Hold on girl, now that we are together,
Hold on girl, things are gonna be better,
Hold on girl, help is on its way.

© 1967 Jack Keller, Billy Carr, Ben Raleigh

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis