Of life, that is!
Or at least that’s how it feels today. I’m just so worn out.
Yesterday was the 4th day in a row that was being beamed to me directly from somewhere beyond Mars. By this, I mean, that I awoke yesterday feeling that I had regained my emotional balance; my delicate mental wiring was somehow back in place. I was looking forward to a productive writing day.
It was not unproductive. I got more done than I’d gotten done in the last several days, but that isn’t really saying a whole lot. I had hoped to have this novel done by the end of the year. At this point, the only way it’ll be done by the end of the year is if someone else takes over the writing of it.
This current novel, which I only anticipate being about 180-200 pages long, was going along at quite a steady clip until I went off to NYC. And then when I came home, I had to focus on the TV pilot, and turn that in, which went great. But then once I was ready to focus on the novel again, I promptly fell in love with somebody.
So then I was caught up in texting deliriously and trying to write a novel at the same time. It wasn’t working out. At all.
And then, suddenly, I have to go to LA and, you know, be of sound mind because there will be witnesses. To my mental state. And then suddenly I’m caught up in this whirlwind of overwhelment of love & confusion and saying, “I have to break this off; it’s not right.” And he was, like, — well, I’m not going to get too private here, but it became 3 days of the kind of texting that nobody wants to do, especially when one of those texting participants is me losing my mind. And then it was like the whole world went splintering off into a million pieces.
Then, back in professional/work mode, I googled myself because I know producers are googling me and I wanted to see what they were going to see – hopefully not some lurid 100% sexually graphic piece of writing of mine from 10 years ago or something like that. But if that indeed was the case (it kind of was, unfortunately) I wanted to be prepared.
When you google me nowadays, you usually get about 1/2 a million links in 44 seconds. Well, yesterday, it was FOUR and a 1/2 million links in 44 seconds. Holy crap. 4,570,00 results. People have been googling the heck out of me. And links from all over the world were popping up. In all kinds of languages. And suddenly I was finding out stuff about myself that I had totally forgotten.
I used to give a lot of interviews – TV, radio, print, and online – and apparently I had the habit of being very candid because there are quotes all over the Internet that are really personal, about me, that are being attributed to me, and apparently I said that stuff because all of it was true. There was some stuff about me out there that was erroneous and not true. But still. I really felt like I was suddenly on the alternate version of Earth, where the past 10-15 years of my career had not yet happened.
It didn’t feel violating at all, just intensely weird. And it totally fucked even more with my stomach because I couldn’t figure out who I was, you know? Who am I? Apparently I used to know every last detail about myself and willingly told it to “the press.”
So I finally took a piece of a little pill in order to calm down, fell dead asleep by, like 8:30pm. Then was awake at 3am and on Instagram, looking at one of Tom Petty’s daughters getting surprised with a birthday cake as she walked into her apartment, fresh from a trip to Paris.
And I thought: as interesting as this seems at 3am in my bed in the dark, why am I knowing this? She’s been alive for 44 years now and I’ve never seen any of her birthday cakes before.
Instagram is so goddamned addicting now that I have my amazing new iPhone that works at warp speed.
But really the only reason I was on Instagram at 3am was because I was wondering why the guy that I had told in an amazingly lush, dense, and indescribably articulate collection of words that it “was over,” was not writing to me.
Yes! I had become that woman! First, in tons of elaborate words that I won’t repeat here, I said: “It’s over.” Then, I said, “Why are you ignoring me now?” Jesus.
But in my defense (which, albeit, is weak), the last thing he had texted to me was “I’ll text you in minute, honey” and then it was 33 hours later and still no reply… On my planet, a minute is 60 seconds. On his planet, apparently a minute is over 33 hours long.
You know that I know darn well I’m out of my mind. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t be an oddly “famous” writer barricaded in obscurity in the tiniest town on the planet, hanging out at the cemetery talking to dead people that I never, ever knew, and writing down the things they’re saying to me so that I can put it in my novel!
After Instagram assured me that my direct messages had not been so much as looked at, and after I watched Adria Petty get surprised with her birthday cake about 4 times, I turned over and went back to sleep. And I awoke at 5am thinking I could handle life, possibly. Maybe. Perhaps. And of course I looked directly at my phone, out of habit, and there he was. Twice. And being very polite.
And I was, like: Okay. Thank you. Now I’m gonna attempt to be sane – or at least do a good job of pretending to be. I’m gonna read up on how the “sane” people look and act and I’m just gonna follow their lead. Jesus. The truly unfortunate part of all this is that I’ve been out of my mind my whole fucking life…
Yes, three years ago when I sold my old house and was expecting to move back to New York, in my zeal to somehow achieve 2 things at once: throw my entire life away and cling tenaciously to things I will never use again, I did something inexplicable.
Okay. I did an ungodly amount of inexplicable things. (I was grieving and it was too much loss at once.)
However, the thing I’m talking about here is that I was closing down a 1700 square foot house, thinking I would wind up in something the size of a peanut shell back in New York. So I had to ruthlessly divest myself of just so much stuff.
And in that ruthless divestiture [you’re probably thinking I didn’t know how to use that word in a sentence – Ed.], I threw out every single solitary – incredibly expensive – piece of luggage I owned. (And mind you, I managed to cling to more incredibly cool cocktail glasses than any single woman should be legally allowed to own and I don’t even really drink anymore, but my cupboards are bursting with fancy barware!)
I did not discover my foolhardiness regarding the luggage until I was preparing to leave for NYC last month and discovered the only things I own that resemble luggage are one very small flight bag and a white, sparkly beach tote. Luckily, that was a crazy-quick trip and I drove to NYC, so I could just throw everything that didn’t fit into one very small flight bag and a white, sparkly beach tote into the backseat of my Honda Fit.
But now I am preparing to fly to LA for 5 days, and I’m only allowed, of course, one carry-on. I have a reputation to uphold in the world beyond Crazyland. I want to be seen as a tall, silver-haired, overly serious woman who thinks too much. And a white, sparkly beach tote is simply not going to cut it. Nor is there room in that thing for even 1/4 of what I’ll need for 5 days.
So, yes!! I bought this cool thing and it arrived last night!
I just love it!! Even though all the fake stamps & postcards from around the world bespeak of someone who loves to travel, and that is so NOT me. I hate to travel. I hate to see new things and meet new people! I hate to get a fresh perspective on the world and hence on my own existence within it! I hate having an expanded frame of reference from which to write my many glorious works of fiction!
I prefer to just stay at home, sit at my desk, look out the window at my maple tree… However, all that other stuff happens to me anyway.
But I’m super excited to have my new backpack/carry-on! I’m gonna try like hell to not throw it away!
I got next to no writing done yesterday, even though I sat at my desk in front of the laptop the entire day. I wrote about 9 lines – and most of those being incomplete sentences that this new novel is becoming famous for. However, I had the little weasel of love scurrying around in my belly all day, really just making me distracted and sick. So that’s my excuse. Today, I’m better, though. Even though it’s sad to be out of love, by my own choosing; no more delightful little pings of loving texts popping up merrily on my phone.
It just has to be that way. So on we go, ever nearing the completion of Chapter 16 in Blessed By Light. And it’s a wonderfully snowy day here in Crazyland, so it’ll be nice to just sit here all day and write.
Thanks for visiting, folks! I hope you have a really good, love-filled day, wherever you are in the world. See ya!
I don’t know about you, gang, but my week has been that proverbial emotional roller coaster. Some seriously good highs, some very disturbing lows, some betrayals of trust, even.
Well, you can’t beat that, can you?
And very early this morning, I had to make a very difficult decision, a difficult break, that indeed broke my heart.
Why do I always feel like I’m better off just sitting at my desk and writing and avoiding the real world at all costs? Of course, you can’t really ever do that, can you?
Onward I suppose.
I hope it’s an okay Monday, wherever you are in the world, gang. And I hope that if your heart got broken – or if you actually had to break your own heart, which I seem to excel at these days – well, I hope you find all the love left in the world to ease your pain just a little bit.
Thanks for visiting. See ya.
I hope everyone Stateside had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty darn good, all things considered.
I was eager for Black Friday to arrive (that’s today, for anyone overseas unacquainted with the American need to shop as cheaply as humanly possible for one day out of the year.).
I needed to buy some nutritional supplements for my many cats and that kind of thing is always expensive. And then there was something specific I wanted to buy for my birth mom for Christmas. And why not buy it cheaper than it might already be?
So, online I went, first thing this morning. Put everything I needed to buy into my Amazon shopping cart.
Allegedly based on my past purchasing habits (and indeed they were right!), they regaled my eyes with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers things that I might not already own.
There are indeed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers things that I don’t already own, but the chances of me wanting those things if I don’t already have them by now are really slim, gang.
Wow. Now here comes something I own as an MP3 download that I never knew was for sale as a CD. In fact, it was a multiple-CD collection – bootleg. I own all of these CDs as MP3 downloads and stream them regularly on my iPad. But suddenly the chance to also play them constantly as CDs in my car became irresistible, so into my shopping cart it went.
But long story short, by the time I got to the checkout – wow, was there a tidy price tag accruing there! Way more than I wanted to spend today because I need to go to LA really soon. And I need to do silly things like eat while I’m there.
So, one by one, items were removed from my cart and sent to the handy “buy it later” file. And – YES! – I bought nothing I’d specifically gone online for today. All of that stuff was in my handy “buy it later” file! And instead, I bought the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers multiple-CD bootleg collection for myself. Yes! Live songs they played somewhere or other around 40 YEARS AGO, gang! And Yes! This is something I already own!! Just in a different format. It’s on its way to me with free shipping even as I type!
Jesus. How did I do that??!! (By being impulsive, that’s how.)
Anyway. Here’s something you can be grateful for this Thanksgiving: Be thankful that the things that you want for Christmas are not on my Christmas shopping list because clearly you’re not gonna get ’em anytime soon!
Okay, on that happy, yet cautionary, note… Have a terrific Black Friday, folks! Wherever you are. Thanks for visiting! See ya!
Yes, if you came here looking for the post I posted here yesterday and found it gone… Indeed.
It’s gone. I trashed it. I had a really fucked up day yesterday – part of it my infamous mouth again – doh!! (think before you speak, or type, you idiot!! ). Jeez.
But most of my fucked-up behavior yesterday stemmed from exhaustion, and that blog post didn’t help much. So out it went!
I’d like to blame all of it on the moon and the planets doing weird things or anything at all celestial, rather than blame my lousy day on any intrinsic faults in my own character… We’ll see how that goes!!
Meanwhile, today I feel worlds better so I’m beginning again.
And except for doing some yoga later, I’m gonna keep my quite comely behind planted in this desk chair and just write.
No, in case you were curious, I still don’t have my notes for re-writes on the TV pilot, and I seriously doubt they’re going to arrive today, the day before Thanksgiving, when pretty much all of LA is already on vacation… So I’m gonna just let it go, focus on writing the new novel, and let everything else somehow take care of itself in plenty of time for my trip to LA in 14 days…
It’s called trusting the Universe. Sometimes I’m really good at that. Other times (i.e., yesterday) not so much.
Ah well. Onward.
If you’re living Stateside, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, gang. If you live everywhere else in the world, just enjoy your day and know that I’ll spend my day being thankful for you. Really. Thanks for visiting. See ya!
I find that those water-enhancing caffeine drops really make my spirits a lot cheerier. So that’s what I did yesterday, around noon, when I saw that my entire day was gonna go nowhere fast if I couldn’t snap out of my father-induced suicidal funk from the night before.
And then, armed with water-enhancing caffeine drops in my brain, I finished writing Chapter 15 of Blessed By Light. Felt super good about that, folks. The whole world got brighter.
However, then my energy just totally crashed when that stuff wore off. Man. I was asleep by, like, 9 PM last night, or some weirdness like that.
But up at 4:30 I was today!! And I’m just feeling better all the way around.
And I’m finally in the mood to do yoga again. I haven’t done it since before I went to NYC, which was 3 weeks ago. But mostly because I had so much writing I had to do the moment I got back home.
So. I think I’m climbing up out of the abyss. Today is full of ice and gloom, but I still think it’s gonna be good.
Hope your day is abyss-free, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting. See ya.
I have been blessed with 6 parents. One of whom (my birth mother) I actually get along with because all she does is love me, just the way I am.
If you also define “getting along with” as including an unbridled amount of passion, angst, confusion, madness, heartbreak and love, then I got along with my birth father exceedingly well until he died.
When my birth mom was here visiting me last week, the subject of Neptune & Surf came up. That was my first book. An incredibly exciting moment for me when that book got published in 1999. By then, I’d been a professional fiction writer for 10 years and finally had my first book published.
It was received really well in England and it sold really well all over the world, for the type of book it was. It broke my heart that most people called it pornography, because I never, ever saw that book in that light. That book was my heart. I still feel I missed the mark with “The Mercy Cure” (one of the 3 novellas in the book) but that book was still my heart. It wasn’t until the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, had me in Federal Court looking at prison time for being a “pornographer” that I finally acquiesced to that label in public. But whatever. Give me a great big scarlet “P” to wear, I don’t fucking care. My writing is my life.
My birth mom not only still has her copy of the original edition of Neptune & Surf, she was really proud of me when the book came out. And she told me last week that she still has my original typewritten manuscripts for “The Mercy Cure” and ” Gianni’s Girl” in the drawer in the night table next to her bed.
That is someone who loves me.
The rest of my family, for the most part, consider my writing more of an aberration than anything else. One relative, at the height of my career pre-John Ashcroft, declared at a family dinner that I was a “hack writer.” Mind you, she hadn’t even read any of my books. You can guess that I don’t attend family get-togethers anymore.
You might find my work offensive, disgusting, disturbing – but I’m not a hack writer. I labor over every sentence, just like anyone else.
Next year, Neptune & Surf will have officially remained in print for 20 years. Twenty years of uninterrupted publication. Trade paper, mass market, hard cover, a book club edition, 2 French language editions, and now Hachette in the UK has had it as an eBook for a number of years. You can even get illegal downloads of Neptune & Surf online without having to look too hard, and I don’t even mind at this point, you know?
As far as some of my other “parents”…
I had one stepmother – a very, very long time ago – who was very good to me. When I met her, I was 14 and she was 27 – an ex-cocktail waitress who had kind of hit paydirt and married my dad. She was sweet, scared, overwhelmed, full of love, and she drank a lot. My (adoptive) dad eventually chewed her up and spat her out. It took him a number of years to do it, but he did. And he did the same to me. But life went on.
And all these decades later, I am – what is the word; misguided enough? compassionate enough? – to try to maintain some sort of civil relationship with him because he is old now.
However, trying to get through even a 10-minute phone call with him, as I did last night, requires heavy combat attire. It requires an amazing amount of self-protective force-fields – none of which I have. I always go into these phone calls thinking, “Oh he’ll be so happy to hear my latest good news.” But he never is. He is so mean.
In 10 minutes, I am completely degraded, demoralized, defenseless. Helpless. And I always very cheerfully end with, “Well, have a good week. Take care of yourself.” (And he’s the adoptive parent that I sort of get along with. We won’t go into the other one. Jesus.)
I’d had an okay day yesterday, work on the new novel wasn’t stellar, but I’d gotten a little good work done on it. I was feeling very, very positive about everything – the theater stuff in NYC with Sandra; the TV pilot re-writes. My new novel, and the new novel in progress that’s right next to it. The chance to re-record a dozen of my songs from my singer-songwriter days with Peitor out in LA.
It had all felt really good.
And yet, there I was, at 9PM, in my PJs with my winter coat thrown over top of them, my Wellies on, standing in my dark backyard in the middle of a wonderful nowhere in the Hinterlands where pretty much no one can find me; and I was listening to Tom Petty really loud in my earbuds, singing “Only A Broken Heart.” Under the endless black sky. And I was crying. So many years of fucking abuse. It felt like the only friend I had in the world was Tom Petty, and he’s dead, gang.
What kind of a fucking way is that to end a good day? I’ll tell you, it’s the kind of day that involves a 10-minute phone call with my dad.
Today is a new day and the morning began with coffee – my very favorite way to begin a day. Hello, coffee! How are you?
Year after year after year, it does not degrade, belittle, or demoralize me in reply. Yay for coffee. I’m gonna try to make this a really great day.
I hope you will do the same, gang. Thanks for visiting!! See ya.
Time for another old demo from my singer-songwriter years.
This one is a 4-track demo made by me and my drummer, in his bedroom. It’s a song I wrote in 1983, called “The Wild Irish Life.”
I wrote it for my good friend, Joe Queenan. Hence, it is written from a man’s point of view. Enjoy, gang!
One of the things I truly love about living in a really old, drafty house is how impossible it is to heat it!! Yay!!
Now that it’s getting below freezing every night, with snow flurries even, my furnace kicks on, and kicks on, and kicks on … And still struggles to get that thermostat up.
Down in my really scary-looking, unfinished, 117-year-old basement, it’s nice and toasty warm! The spiders are luxuriating in all that Florida-like balminess down there. Too bad I have no desire to spend even 60 seconds down there with them. I’d much rather be upstairs where only the hardiest of spiders reside this time of year!
But, man, it’s cold in here.
They still haven’t come to put in my insulation and so all this heat that the furnace keeps tossing up at me is just going right through the walls, out into the great and frosty outdoors.
All righty! That said…
I apologize profusely for my really sarcastic post the other day because the producer did get back to me before he went on his vacation, and he said that my revisions on the TV pilot were the best yet. Really positive. I am so happy, gang.
I will still have some minor tweaks and revisions, but I am just really happy. I made some really significant changes to the script this time, and, honestly, I had no clue how they were going to be received.
So there you have it: trust your gut and just go with it, gang. Write like the wind!!
Okay! Have a terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! Stay toasty! See ya.