Anything is Possible!

I have a sterling silver ring, it’s meant to be a wedding band but I wear it on my right hand ring finger. Engraved on the outside of it, in Italian, it says: Tutto e possibile. engraved on the inside, in English, it says: Anything is possible.

Obviously, I look at this ring every day. Since I’m wearing it, I can’t help but see it. But even after all these years of wearing it, it really does serve as a constant reminder to me that, as overwhelming as my life usually gets, and as demanding as I am in regards to what I expect from my creative life, any of it can happen. It’s all in the realm of the possible.

When I’m overwhelmed (which is frequently), I see that ring. I remind myself. And on I go.

So!! At last!!

I’m happy to announce that the play I wrote last week for Sandra Caldwell, Tell My Bones (the adaptation of my award-winning screenplay of the same name) now has a NYC-based director attached. The playhouse down in Sarasota, FL is expecting our staged reading within the near future. As a trial run, we’ll be doing the staged reading, first, in the wonderful Village of Rhinebeck, NY! (Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that this is the very same town I was planning to move to before I discovered the joys and awesomeness of Muskingum County, Ohio and decided to settle here and just drive to Rhinebeck whenever I had to work with Sandra and that proved to be the most amazingly magical decision I ever made, for so many reasons).  Anyway.

All things going according to plan, we will do a run of the play later this year, first in Sarasota, then move it to NYC, somewhere Off-Broadway.

Yes. That’s right. It’s only taken years for this to finally happen. And now it’s happening at warp speed. (If today is your first day visiting this blog, I didn’t really write the play last week; technically, I did, but it’s been in the works for a while.)

Two years ago, I first saw a play the above-referenced director had directed. And even back then, I immediately thought: He would be a good director to meet so that I could get him to direct Sandra when I finally adapt Tell My Bones.

That’s a lot of “if’s” in the air. However, this past summer, I saw a couple more shows he directed and I was convinced beyond doubt that he would be the perfect director for the project that was not yet entirely conceptualized. But I still just started going for it.

You know, I did that rude thing where, when he and his husband were having a quiet dinner alone, tucked in the corner of a lovely candle-lit restaurant, I saw them and went directly over to them, uninvited and just started talking. Hi. I think you’re a great director. I’m a writer.  I write for this actress in NYC. I’ll friend you on Facebook and text you on Messenger.

And then in October, I’ll drive 11 hours to Rhinebeck and pull off the most miraculous thing ever: I get Sandra to not only agree to come into the city with me and meet someone she doesn’t know for cocktails (the husband of the director), but I also get her to do this on time. We very nearly missed the train… and yet, we didn’t!!

And then it’ suddenly January. Sandra suddenly needs the play to be entirely finished. She was under the impression that it already was entirely finished. This had something to do with something I might have said a few months back that heavily implied it was entirely finished and that I hadn’t started it over completely from scratch.

But now it’s finished. She loves the play. I asked said director, “Would you like to see this play I wrote for Sandra?”  He says yes. Flies in from California on his way to NYC, reads part of it and says “this is pure poetry” and then I say, “Will you direct it?” and even though he’s stupifyingly busy, he said yes. Then I finally get Sandra on the phone down in Florida yesterday, where she’s in the middle of a show, and I tell her the news. She’s in a not entirely good mood, but says, “All right. I’ll trust your instinct on this, Marilyn. ”  And voila!

Two years later.

Tutto e possibile, gang! (And, YES!, I played this song almost nonstop, at top volume, for those 11 hours I was driving to NY…) (Pay close attention to the second verse.)

Okay, see ya! I love you guys. Thanks for visiting!

Oh, People!

Yes!

Yesterday, I did a final read-through of my theatrical adaptation of Tell My Bones and then sent it off to Sandra .

Yes, you read that right! I finally finished it, after many versions, many drafts, many hours of staring at copious amounts of notes and declaring aloud, “What the hell am I doing!?” (This went on for a couple of years.)

It is done. I am intensely happy with it, gang. And the best part was getting a text from Sandra last evening — a text with many exclamation points (!!!) saying how much she loved it.

So, we will either do it in Florida, or go directly to NYC with it. I still don’t know for sure, but it is done. And I am just so thrilled.

Today, I need to really, really, really update the show bible for my CLEVELAND TV pilot, so that I can safely put it on the back burner without forgetting all the many changes I made to the plot, and then I want to focus on one of the new works-in-progress. Whichever one speaks loudest to me right now:

The Hurley Falls Mysteries: Down to the Meadows of Sleep
Blessed By Light
Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse

We shall see, gang! We shall see. I still have 3 other TV projects I’m developing, and 2 more plays with Sandra that we’re developing, and then a play I’m writing that can’t involve Sandra because it’s a one-man play. But all of that can wait.

I hope this finds you gearing up for a perfect Friday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you, gang. See ya!

Another one from Hell’s Kitchen!

You mean there are more??!!

Why yes, there are more! Plenty more! All I used to do back then (in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC) was write songs. (If you’re viewing this on your phone, you have to turn your phone sideways to view this.)

Sadly, this song featured today, LOU, is one of my favorites but this is the worst demo ever of this song! However, it’s the only demo of it that I have in a digital format.

Lou Reed was one of my heroes and I wrote this song about Lou Reed. Back when I wrote this song, in 1984, I was taking a songwriting class taught by another one of my heroes, Jim Carroll. The two men were extremely close friends, and so Lou actually got to hear this song. I have no idea if he liked it or not. All I know is that the demo Lou Reed got to hear of this song was one million times better than this one, and so for that I am grateful!

The one he got to hear was of course made on the 4-track in my bedroom. It was me, my guitar, a bass player and some percussion, which was how I performed it live.

This awful demo posted here was actually made in a huge 24-track studio, wherein my opinion mattered not one iota. Oh, those heady days!! I don’t miss them at all…

Anyway, at least enjoy the lyrics, gang! Thanks for visiting. I love you!! See ya!!!

Lou Reed 1978
Jim Carroll, late 1970s

Today is Martin Luther King Day in the USA

It is so easy to give up, to look the other way, to be hypocritical, to dismiss, to not care, to be lazy, to justify hate and ignorance and  intolerance, to deconstruct, to ignore, to make excuses, to watch TV instead, to let others think for you, to turn over and go back to sleep, to forget to vote, to let fear rule your actions, to walk away.

It is also easy to choose love and see where it leads you.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew, 5:44-45 KJV; Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Quite a precious day!

Yes!!! It snowed heavily during the night and it will remain well below freezing for the next 2 days. Yay!!

All I have to do is sit here in my snuggly (very) old house and write!

My backyard at around 7 AM this morning. These 2 snowed-over slabs of concrete in the foreground are covering up the original well, back before the house had running water.

Plus, I am almost done with my stage adaptation of Tell My Bones, my script about the life of the folk artist, Helen LaFrance. I am really, really happy with it, gang. Finally. It is almost finished.  And I am just so happy with it. It’s only the 5th version… But you know, you gotta just keep on going until it clicks.

Well, the Conversations with Nick Cave  that have been going on in Australia and New Zealand this month are almost over.  The reviews have just been so good — and I’m talking mostly about the people posting on Instagram who have been to see the actual shows.

(I know, all you Americans out there are going, “What the fuck are you talking about?? And why do I want to know this??”)

I’m only bringing it up because I sure wish that I could have a conversation with Nick Cave… I’m just sayin’… Oh well. Such is life in Crazyland, Ohio, where nothing happens but snow… But I will settle for that for now!

I am gonna go back to my writing now. Thanks for stopping in on this snowy Sunday in the Hinterlands! I leave you with this bit of awesomeness!!  (God, I love this song! I could listen to it all day. And sometimes I actually do…) Okay! I love you, gang! See ya!!

I’m just sayin’

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I am a believer in the radical Jesus, and that I am also a minister practicing in that vein, even while my divinity education was conservative and traditional.

Since I almost never wear my white collar and black shirt, even people who know me reasonably well forget that I’m a minister.  I love when people suddenly remember that I am one and they say, “Wow, does this mean you can marry me?!”

Yes, if I love you, I can. Hahaha

But, seriously, yes I can marry you, but I’m only registered in the State of Ohio.

But that’s not what I wanted to post here about today. I wanted to talk about how amazing the Christian Healthcare Ministries are. it’s a Christian healthcare cooperative, which means, we don’t believe in health insurance. We follow Christ’s mandate to carry one another’s burdens, and we voluntarily contribute whatever amount of money we want to help pay one another’s medical bills. Even the catastrophic ones.

And it works. Above and beyond paying our monthly contribution, which is always a set amount (which is a FRACTION of what health insurance costs), the amount we end up contributing each month to pay for the medical bills of other members is just kind of staggering.

For instance, I send in an additional check of anywhere between $9 to $13 each month, to help cover a specific person’s hospital bill – a total stranger, whom I will never know and they will never know me. We all do this every month, until everybody’s bills are paid. We also pray for each other – strangers. (And we go to our own doctors, there is never any “network” we have to stay within.)

This is from December. Yes. What we chose to voluntarily contribute to strangers last month. It just astounds me, the power of Christ in people’s lives.

Oh my goodness!

If you wrote to me re: my erotic romance novel, New Orleans Nights, I’ve lost your email! Please send it again!

No one ever, EVER writes to me about this book, so I would really like to read your email.

New Orleans Nights is an eBook reprint of a novel I wrote in 2004 specifically for Walden Books, which was originally titled In the Secret Hours. It had a really pretty cover back then. It was published by Magic Carpet Books in New York, NY.

Due to a contractual SNAFU with Walden Books, though, I wound up having to write the entire novel in 6 weeks, and the novel itself had been sold on a one-paragraph proposal. This means that, apart from that one-paragraph that I dreamed up in about 15 minutes, I had no clue what the novel was going to be about! I thought I had an entire summer to figure it out. But alas, it turned out that I had only 6 weeks…

What a horror story! Not the book – the book is an erotic romance. The horror part had to do with what a nightmare it was to not only dream up an entire novel in 6 weeks, but then write it simultaneous to dreaming it up. And it had to run for 250 pages; 75,000 words.

Well, okay. The book did not sell well. Erotic romance readers didn’t take to it, however, my “regular” erotic fiction readers actually liked it because it was so off-the-wall!

And to be absolutely frank with you – to this day, I have no clue what the heck that book was about! I simply do not remember the plot of it.

So, upon glimpsing an email in my inbox re: New Orleans Nights that instantaneously disappeared, I went over to Amazon and looked it up. Wow, gang! It sounds like a super terrific book!

I was kinda flabbergasted. I honestly do not remember a single solitary word of this novel. However. Here’s what the current publisher has to say!

Evie had two problems. She was about to turn twenty-one and inherit the DuMaret fortune from her mother, which would make her one of the richest and most sought after women in New Orleans; and her father, who wanted to control every aspect of her life as he already did her inheritance – he even had a husband all picked out for her, the son of another wealthy Big Easy family.

She had a third problem when she met Lucas Cain. Cain was drop-dead gorgeous and all her unfocused physical yearnings centered themselves around him. Before she knew it, Evie was giving her heart and her body to Lucas without reservation. But Lucas was a young man with a lifelong mission: he had come to take over her father’s business, her family’s fortune, the very mansion in which they lived and -when he meets her – Evie, as part of the prize.

As their passionate encounters continue, against the sensual seductiveness of the New Orleans’ Nights and the glamorous French Quarter, Evie little guesses the revelations that lie ahead that will shatter her romantic idyll. [I have absolutely NO CLUE what these shattering revelations are! – MJL.]

Full of vivid imagery, enthralling characters and edge-of-the -seat twists and turns, as well as molten-hot interludes, New Orleans’ Nights, is a book that erotic romance readers will enjoy and remember for years to come. [But writers – not so much!! – MJL] With New Orleans’ Nights, Marilyn Jaye Lewis shows, once again, why she is considered to be one of the best erotic writers in the world. Read New Orleans’ Nights and you will find yourself drawn into a sensual world that only award winning erotic novelist Marilyn Jaye Lewis could create.

Gosh, gang! Buy it today! And let me know what the HECK it’s all about!