Such good things!

Only a ten-day absence this time! Pretty good! (Of course, it’s still nothing like the years & years & years where I blogged every single solitary day, including Sundays & holidays! But onward!)

Okay! Remember that great news I couldn’t discuss in my last post? Well, it is now official and so I can share it.  And I am so happy about it.

Sandra Caldwell, the actress in New York City that I write with/for, has just landed the leading role in Charm, a play by Philip Dawkins. It will be having its Off-Broadway debut as the fall season opener at Manhattan’s MCC Theater beginning Labor Day weekend.

(I’m planning on attending opening night and I’ve already bought a new dress for the occasion — one of those Calvin Klein floral fit & flare dresses that everyone is wearing these days.) (Although I might change my mind at the last minute, since I am usually a plain black sheath-wearing sort of gal… We’ll see if I ultimately opt once more for living in the past, or taking a bold leap into being like everybody else!)

I’m excited about this show for many reasons. One being that Sandra is my friend and this is her return to the New York stage after a long hiatus.  Another reason being that her decision to focus again on stage work was made a couple years ago, wherein she hired me to not only help her with her one-woman musical, but also to be the head writer for her production company, with a focus on theater.

Charm was very well received in Chicago and promises to be a real winner in New York, as well, and it looks additionally promising that the one-woman musical Sandra and I have been working on for several years will get produced and find an off-Broadway stage in New York in the near future.

Even though I was a singer-songwriter for many, many years — in my halcyon days in New York, before switching to full-time fiction writing in the 1990s — theater was always my first love, ever since I was a wee bonnie lassie.

I love all kinds of theater: Jr. High and High School theater; college theater, Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway theater; and even the occasional “go down these dank ancient stairs and enter a clammy, dark, hell-hole abyss theater space” to watch stupifyingly experimental theater where none of the actors even get paid. I love it all.

And even while I’m really excited with the progress I’ve made the last several years with my TV Pilot scripts and TV MOW scripts, theater still excites me, probably even more. So with Sandra’s upcoming success (I know she is going to be superb), will come more and more opportunities to write theater projects for her.

Dare I say that I couldn’t be happier?? (Let us return briefly to the unbridled joy of the American Housewife! If my soul could project onto a screen or perhaps a hologram, it would look like her!)

Well, all righty, gang!!

And in terms of re-writes for my TV Pilot/MOW script, The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge — I have made great progress in re-thinking the story. Not the plot, not the characters, not the setting; but the story itself and how it gets told. I’ve been re-watching tons of old Midsomer Murders episodes and getting delightfully re-inspired.  Even though graphically violent & angry police procedurals are all “the rage” now (excuse the pun) (and even the more recent Midsomer Murders have gone more in that direction), the older shows, with their intensely quirky characters interest me a lot more and that’s more in keeping with how I envision the Tea Cozy Murder Club characters. So off we go!

Okay, thanks for visiting, gang. And have a wonderful weekend, whatever you wind up doing! I leave you with this little ditty from Mame, it’s a song that I’ve pretty much lived my life by since childhood, come what may!

See ya!

Better late than never!

I know! How many weeks has it been since I last posted here??? (It’s been so long, that I actually don’t know how many weeks it’s been since I last posted here!)

Yes, it’s all about more & more re-writes over here. Some of the best news ever, though, is that the “final” draft of the one-woman musical I’ve been working on with the NYC-based actress, Sandra Caldwell, is finally complete!! After how many years??? (About 3 or 4.)

I put “final” in quotes because this means it is only the final version of the draft we are willing to send out and let other industry people read. I’m sure it will see other drafts before it finally hits the stage. We are extremely excited about this script/play/musical, and even more-better news is on its way, but I can’t discuss it publicly yet.

Stay tuned to this oft-unposted-to blog for all the current news on that un-discussable topic!! Yay! (Seriously, though, it is GREAT news.)

I think I mentioned (many moons ago, when I last posted here), that I am currently taking the Shonda Rhimes TV Writing Masterclass, while I begin the revisions of my TV pilot, The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge. That’s partly why I haven’t had much free time to post here. The other part is that I also began re-writing my memoirs for upcoming publication by the gang at  SomethingDark.eu. Too many things needing my complete attention. But it’s all good! For a change…

And to those of you who are loyal readers of this lofty blog — may I say that I actually remembered to make a copy of the first draft of the Tea Cozy Murder Club script BEFORE I began re-writing it!! You have no idea how smart this makes me feel!

In non-writing but extremely exhausting news, I also finally managed (with the help of friends & family) to clear out my self-storage unit over the past weekend, and so now all 95% of my life that was in storage 30 miles away, is now here with me, packed in a quite unwieldy manner in the basement.

So now I can say that I am 100% completely living in the Hinterlands. And still loving it, gang.

But on that happy note, I have to get back to work here. I have one more hour left of my daily writing time, so I need to get back at it.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday wherever it finds you and with whatever you’re doing. (Oh, I also want to go ON RECORD that I firmly support Johnny Depp‘s right to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day.  He earned it, folks.)

Okay! See ya!

(Honestly. You can find everything on the Internet!!)

 

 

 

World Wide Fame!!

Yes, of course I’m referring to one of my cats!

Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that I often post photos of Weenie and Huckleberry sleeping on the bed. Well, Weenie’s tummy made it onto today’s Tummy Rub Tuesday post over at Katzenworld in the UK, leading to world-wide fame!!

We couldn’t be more excited!! To celebrate, we’re all hanging out in the windows, staring at birds in the yard!

Oops! Wait — no. That’s what we do everyday! Well, they do; I don’t.

Anyway. I was pleased as punch to see my little sweetie’s face & tummy staring back at me in an email this morning. Yay. Go visit the post and see all the adorable cats showing off their tummies today!

In other cool news related to cats (& dogs):  My long-time friend and collaborator, Val in Brooklyn, has gotten her Paws for Thought Comics strip syndicated online!! She will be publishing a new comic Monday through Friday on the Comx Box Comics Syndicate. Yay, Val!!

In other totally non-cat news… I’ve put my Biblical Hebrew studies on hold temporarily because I’m now taking the Shonda Rhimes TV Writing Masterclass for the next few weeks. I thought it could be cool to take the course while in the throes of re-writing the MOW TV Pilot for The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder At Parsons Ridge. I’ll keep you posted as to whether or not that turns out to be, in fact, a cool idea…

I hope everyone enjoyed a splendid Easter (or a happy Passover)! (Or, if you’re neither Jewish nor Christian, I hope you just felt happy to be alive!) For the most part, we had gorgeous weather out here in the Hinterlands — and perfect driving weather for me and my new little Honda Fit!

You know, yesterday, I parked my car in the parking lot of the Granville Inn, and to my surprise, there were 5 Honda Fits, including mine, in that small parking lot. Truly, there were less than 20 cars parked there. Clearly, the Fit could be the new trend. (Instead of just having a fit, which used to be my fall-back trend. haha) It was so weird.  While I have always owned very popular cars, I always owned them decades after they were popular. To be perched on the absolute leading edge of a trend like this is a heady experience!

All right, all right. I gotta scoot. Time to write. Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you’re enjoying this Tummy Rub Tuesday wherever you’re getting your tummy rubbed! See ya!

 

 

 

Yes, yes, I know…

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been here. So much has been going on and all of it different from what is usually going on! I have been willing to post to the blog, but have had zero energy or focus.

In a nutshell: I accidentally overdosed on aspirin and almost died. I will go into detail about that on a separate post some other time, but I am totally all right now.

Then, 2 days after that, my biological grandfather did die. Not from an overdose of aspirin, but from being 93 years old and having had a full life. It was a lovely funeral and it was bittersweet to see my family again on such a sad occasion but in such lovely weather. My grandfather served in WWII and he had a military funeral, with a 21-gun salute. Very moving.

Here he is in France, at the Invasion of Normandy:

Oh, between overdosing and going to funerals, I did my beloved taxes and they were tryingly complicated this year. So many changes in my life in 2016. However, now the taxes are done and off in the mail and I couldn’t be merrier about that!

Then, more complications lurked on the horizon for my prized 2001 Mercury Sable LS Premium Sedan! So I finally bit the bullet, coughed up more of my savings, and leased a brand new white Honda Fit!

This is not mine, but this is what mine looks like!

2017 Honda Fit

It’s a really cute car, gets great gas mileage, and — unlike my beloved Mercury Sable — actually feels like it will stay in one piece when I’m driving it down the highway…

My storage unit, which is about 30 miles from here and contains about 95% of my life, needs to be emptied out before the first of next month (May) because the rates are going to skyrocket, so all of my belongings are somehow going to be stored with me here in the rental house in the Hinterlands, down in the basement.  Accomplishing this will be an interesting feat, but I also know it will be comforting to have all of my life back in one place, regardless of the fact that 95% of it will still be in boxes, piled down in the basement.

So! Life goes on. I am now back in that head space where I can tackle the writing projects again. Even while I have tried to get some writing done these last few weeks, it hasn’t been truly productive. But onward!!

Easter is fast approaching. I hope you all have great plans for celebrating the anniversary of the Resurrection. (Since I had my own quasi- Resurrection recently, I’ll just focus on that this year! Okay!!)

On that happy note, thanks for visiting, gang! See ya!

Happy Easter, dudes and dudettes!

 

A Brand New Morning!

Yes, finally!

It’s been one week since I turned in the revisions on the Cleveland’s Burning script along with the updates to its show bible, and I am finally feeling like I’ve recouped some of the energy that it had taken out of me for the last 8 weeks.

For me, it’s easier to write a script from scratch, than to tailor revisions of it to someone else’s  suggestions.  I don’t mind doing re-writes at all; it’s just that you have to remain creative, remain true to your initial vision, and above all, be an all-out mind reader:  What do they really want?

All right! So it’s turned in, and we’ll see what the follow-up notes reveal. In the meantime, I have revisions to make on the next TV Pilot script, which is “movie-of-the-week”  length (MOW). It’s also connected to a series of mystery books I’ll be writing, all of it falling under the general banner of The Tea Cozy Murder Club. So I took a week off to just let my brain think about all of it and let all the ideas have free rein.

And while I did that, I spent some time getting off the grid. I’m lucky in that I am in that age range that falls at the very tail-end of “Baby Boomer but Not Yet Elderly”! And because of that, I am not someone who is addicted to being online. I don’t give much of a hoot about social media, I don’t like games or apps, and I don’t have a preference between watching something on TV or streaming it on my iPad. Etc., etc. I turn off my gadgets at night, including the power strip.  I turn off the WiFi, data, and the ringer on my iPhone. Stuff like that. I like peace.  When it comes to technology, I can pretty much take everything as well as leave everything.

However, one thing that does bother me, a lot, is how online tech stuff is leading increasingly to erosion of privacy and to control of information.

My colleagues in England frequently tell me about serious news developments in the UK that are not carried here. And I am beyond indescribably sick of most of the news in the US being about Trump, pro or con. It’s not actually “news.”  Anyone who remembers Cronkite or Huntley/Brinkley, etc., knows that none of this stuff is “news;” it’s subterfuge, sleight-of-hand, gathering of eyes for advertisers, etc. So I spent my leisure time browsing around france24, RT, Al Jazeera, ZeroHedge, AEI, places like that, then comparing what I found covered on those sites with what makes it onto the BBC, and then trying to find any (if not all) of that stuff on the main online news carriers here in the US.

Staggering — what most Americans are not reading about.

Oh, and before I forget! Another interesting “news” source in this country is the National Enquirer!! I’m so serious.

My ex-husband used to be good friends with a woman whose mother was the Editor-in-Chief of the National Enquirer. And because that magazine has been sued in the past for libel and lost millions and millions of dollars, it has to be exceedingly careful about the stories it prints (aka: “the people it pays to give them gossip”). Granted, sometimes it runs stories that use language like “it could have looked like this,” or “it might have been something like that.” Language that is, at best, asking  for a conclusion on the part of the reader! But if you read the NE, or at least the weekly headlines in the grocery store checkout line — consistently — over time , after a week, or a month, or a year, or maybe several years — whoop, there it is! All out in the open. Almost verbatim to some past NE headline.

Hmmm. What’s up with that?

Another thing I wanted to do, was stop spending so much time using Google. I still use it for blogging, for YouTube and an occasional Gmail reply, but overall, I switched to DuckDuckGo. Then I also spent some time on Yandex, to see what I could see. I searched for myself, and was instantly regaled with a pirate eBook site giving away a couple of my eBooks for free! Yay! (Hurry over there, by the way, because I have politely asked them to take my books down. They might even agree to do it so your window of opportunity to steal openly from me could soon disappear!!)

Anyway. It really is interesting what you can find out about your life, your community, your country, your world, by taking a look behind whatever it is they want you to look at!

What are you really looking at? Click to find out! (HINT: I LOVE LUCY!!)

Okay! A word to the wise is sufficient. Thanks for visiting, gang!! Have a terrific Monday, wherever it leads you. See ya!

 

A complete success

As loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall, not only is today St. Paddy’s Day, it’s also the birthday of all 8 of the feral cats who allow me to live with them. The “kittens” are 4 today, and the 3 parents are 5.

This morning they all got toys and a special breakfast. The toys were a huge hit and — judging by the 8 little faces buried in their food bowls until the bowls were empty — so was the breakfast!

Here’s the living room floor when playtime had subsided:

Daddycakes and Huckleberry after the birthday madness had subsided.

Okay. Cannot tarry here today. The re-writes on the Cleveland’s Burning script are complete, however, the show bible is requiring a lot more revisions than I had anticipated, so I gotta scoot.

Oh, and I’m not sure if this is an official announcement yet or not, but SomethingDark, out of Bristol, England, will be publishing my memoirs. We are getting closer and closer to finalizing that, so that is inching ever upward onto my plate. It’s exciting. I’ll keep you posted.

All righty, gang. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

 

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis