Ciao, Bella!

Well, the good news (sort of) is that my little cat, Daddycakes, hasn’t been gone for 2 months already; it’s only been six weeks.  So that sort of made me feel better. Perhaps time isn’t flying quite as quickly as it had seemed yesterday.

The other good news is that the headache is completely gone, finally, and it’s not supposed to rain at all today. My brain feels totally back to normal.

I awoke, though, to the eerie sight of a dense fog covering everything outside my window – for as far as the eye could see. It was too cool. It was almost 4am. Huckleberry was sitting in the window across from my bed – she also seemed quite taken with the fog. One lone bird was already singing in our maple tree – and Huckleberry, being a cat and not an actual berry, was quite taken with that, too.

AND I had once again awakened horny as heck  for some mysterious reason and so that, of course, excited me, too! Where is that coming from? I just don’t know!

AND there was already a text on my phone from Peitor! It was a photo of Mont Blanc. No, not the pen! The mountain! He’s in Switzerland and heading to Mont Blanc today.

I was, like – WTF?  Two days ago, I had awoken to this photo on my phone (a lovely boat outside his window in that Airbnb on the English Channel):

Yesterday, he was finally leaving the UK and I had texted him some work-related stuff, and asked him if he was stopping in Manhattan on his way back to LA.

And instead he texts me from Switzerland today at 4am (my time).

ME (texting at 4am, my time): Wow! I didn’t know you were going to Switzerland!!

HIM (texting right back): I didn’t either but I am having the best time!

And then nothing more… Silence. No further pings arising from the phone.

So I guess we’ll find out eventually how he suddenly wound up in Switzerland, heading for Mont Blanc, when he should have been heading for LA.

(Methinks he was in a train station and, loathe to return to Los Angeles – a city he has lived & worked in for 25 years and which he pretty much despises – saw a train heading somewhere completely other than the airport and decided he liked that idea a lot better and so, answered that clarion call of “All Aboard!!!”… But we shall see.)

Even though  I love their apartment in West Hollywood and would hate like hell to have to pay for an actual hotel in LA, I’ve been selfless enough to mention to him, you know,  that if he hates LA so much now, he should move.

And he always replies with something along the lines of: “I know you’re really happy out in that old house in the middle of nowhere, Marilyn, where it’s so quiet and nobody bothers you and there are only about 3 cars during “rush hour” and your muses are flying all over your room all the time and you’re doing your best writing ever. I’m sure that’s all really nice and that Tell My Bones will win some sort of Pulitzer Prize. However.  Some of us need to be near an airport.”

And of course he’s right about that. I’m near absolutely nothing. But I don’t mind getting into my little Honda Fit and just driving! (And driving and driving and driving… I’ve never done so much driving in my fucking life.)

And it never fails, when I go to the market and I stand there and I study my cart intently and I say to  myself: Think, Marilyn, think! Have you got absolutely everything that you need for the week because God knows you can’t possibly leave your desk again for the next 8 days…

And I study and I study, and I look and I look, and I peruse very carefully the items in my cart and with brave assuredness, I think: Yes! I am ready to checkout!

And then I am on the highway, racing 95 mph toward home, when I almost always realize that I’ve forgotten something. And so, you know, I have to go without it for a week because I am not going back. I am not that kind of gal; I do not “go back.” Plus, it’s really far.

And in Manhattan, of course, there was never such a thing as “forgetting” something at the store because you walked right past the corner bodega 1700 times a day.  If you “forget” something, you just go get it 13 seconds later.

Anyway. Okay.

People in Sweden are already posting to Instagram.  Showing where they are dining before going off merrily to have a Conversation with Nick Cave! So that seems like a good sign! (Of what, I’m not sure really. It just seems sort of good, you know?)

And I am going to get started here because the very real reality of my life is that I need to finish writing this novel. I need to seriously do this and stop staring all the time. So I’m gonna get started on that business of stopping all the staring.

I let the cats choose the breakfast-listening music today and they unanimously chose “More News from Nowhere” from Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! I thought that was pretty cool. So I leave you with that today.

(Even though the lyrics are amazing and I know every wonderful word by heart, I’m not going to post the lyrics here because they go on and on and on and on and on, and would probably end up spilling over into someone else’s blog and I wouldn’t want to get everybody all upset. So.)

Have a great Friday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!

Of Gods & Men & the Undecided

Man, the stuff with the new music material is getting so interesting. I am discovering just how much I already know but that I am now gaining conscious access to in a completely different way.

Everything is getting so much more simplified. (I don’t know – can something get “more” simplified? Wouldn’t it just be “simpler”? You figure it out and get back to me. My brain’s not completely awake yet.)

I cannot wait to see how this material actually works with someone who knows nothing about music. I think it’s going to be extremely interesting, and probably gratifying.

I’m having weird sinus stuff in my head today – well, since last night. I guess pain is the correct word for it. I rarely get headaches of any sort, so when I get weirdly intense, pressure-based ones deep in the center of my head, my first thought is always that a tumor is growing. But some sort of more rational voice (a voice I rarely ever listen to, so I usually don’t give credence to it) is telling me that it’s more likely all this relentless rain and humidity over the last 5 days that’s causing it.

Whichever: Life-threatening tumor or sinus headache; all I know is that my brain is functioning at less than ideal capacity this morning.

I wasn’t even going to blog today. I was going to save my creative brainstuff for the novel, since the writing went so well yesterday. But it seems that I have to get this stream of other words out first, before the Voice from the novel kicks in.

On Instagram yesterday morning, Dana Petty posted the most amazing photo of Tom  that I had ever seen. And he was a man who had thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures taken of him in the course of his 66 years of life. And this one was simply unbelievable to me.

He looked like a Spirit.  He truly did. Like a luminous Spirit. It was taken by Dana in a hotel room in Amsterdam a few years ago. It’s actually his reflection in an enormous mirror, while he’s sitting on the end of a king-sized bed. It looks like it’s the middle of the day. He seems to be intently watching an old black & white movie on a television that seems to be just a little bit above the mirror. It’s hard to figure out in the photo because the TV is reflected on something above and behind him. The whole thing is just ghostly, really.

He looks larger than life and yet not even part of life at the same time. I couldn’t stop looking at it.  All day long, I would go back onto Instagram and look at it – pondering it to no end.

It’s weird to think that I was actually a lot taller than he was, because, in my mind, he really was larger than life. All those rock & rollers from my girlhood that I absolutely worshiped – it turned out that I was a lot taller than all of them. Even when I wasn’t wearing heels, and I’m definitely a gal who likes to wear heels of some sort.

Even Cher, who I’d loved since I was about 5 years old – I thought of her as being the tallest woman ever. And I wound up towering over her, too.  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, too. A woman of mythical proportions, frankly. And she was just a wisp of a woman.

It does weird things to you, when you’re just towering over all these people who, in your private mind, should have been enormous.

Robert Redford. I mean, my gosh. I never worshiped him, or anything close to that, but he was iconic. An iconic actor from my girlhood! And I totally towered over that guy, to the point that I felt like I needed to back away. I simply didn’t want to know that I was way too tall to be standing next to him in public. And I wasn’t wearing heels, either. And I really don’t think of myself as that tall.  It was too freaky.

Thank goodness Keanu was taller than me – even when I was wearing high-heels. I met him at a party once and he was taller than me. Even though Keanu doesn’t actually mean anything to me, personally or emotionally; for some inexplicable reason, I just don’t want to be taller than Keanu.

This height thing I have is also why it’s been impossible for me to ever have any sort of “kittenish” demeanor, you know? Especially when I’m wearing heels. I’m always greeted more, like: Oh god, here comes trouble.

Many’s the time, folks, that I’ve wished I could be greeted more as “kittenish.” For sure. (Of course, part of it is my mouth; no one ever knows when I’ll be in a foul mood and cursing like a sailor. I have a real problem with the “f” word, even on a good day.)

Well!

In addition to the music material being really incredible yesterday, the Italian lessons went up a notch, too. So that was cool.  They are no longer just throwing words at me, with the occasional phrases.  They are sneaking grammar in now, too.

I’m glad that I already did study some Italian a long time ago, and of course, I’m relying a lot on my knowledge of French, too, so none of this is too difficult. Yet. And so it keeps it really fun. It’s not stressing me out, at all.

Which is good, because I have no shortage of areas within my life that heap stress on me if I so desire them to! At any given moment of any given hour of any given day! Or night!

Plenty-O-Stress, if I want it!

And I really do want to learn Italian this time around.  It’s funny, but it occurred to me recently that the reason I was trying to learn Italian 35 years ago was because Peitor and I had become friends and he wanted me to go to Italy with him.  But I gave up on Italian very early on because I found it too difficult.

(And yet I taught myself to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese, so that’s really weird, right? Who the hell knows what goes on in a brain – mine, specifically.)

When Peitor and I met, it was one of those things where we became instant friends – and very good friends. And, obviously, true friends since it is now 35 years later and we couldn’t be closer. We bonded immediately, and not in any sort of amorous way. We came to the conclusion that we were likely brother and sister in another life, since there is no erotic attraction between us at all, but we’ve been incredibly close since the absolute moment we met.

Anyway, all these decades later, I will likely be going to Italy now because of him but not with him, and I’ll be speaking Italian. Isn’t life strange?

Okay.

On that oft-regaled topic here of Nick Cave’s Conversations in Europe… He was in Belgium last night.  For 3 hours. Well, on stage for 3 hours. I’m guessing he was in Belgium a little longer than that, but I guess if all these people are right, and he is actually God, then maybe he’s good at teleporting or something.

HIM (as God): Into Belgium, out of Belgium, 3 hours, total.

I really just don’t know.

I do keep pondering this, though. Because so many people – in Europe, especially – refer to him in some way as God.

I woke up at 3:56am today and my first thought – aside from the aching headache that plagued me with fears of tumors – my first thought was: Does he want to be thought of as God? On some level? Maybe he is subconsciously perpetuating this idea. I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I don’t actually know.

And I don’t actually know that he isn’t God. I have no ready proof, or anything.  But I just keep coming back to this thought that he’s not God. And why would he want to be? It seems like it would surely be hard enough just being Nick Cave. (Or beautiful enough.) (And you are not the only ones I pester with these questions, gentle readers. I pester him with these questions, too.  I leave no stone unturned in my ponderings.)

However, that said. Someone posted another fantastic photo of him last night, again in black & white.  And just beautiful. But most of the postings were in Dutch so I have no clue what anybody said, except for the “3+ hours” part that he was on stage. That was in English.

All righty!!

I’m gonna take a look at Blessed By Light now. See where we’re going with that.  And I hope this headache just goes the fuck away because all I really want to do is go right back to bed.

I didn’t have any breakfast-listening music today because of the headache, but I did have staring-out-the-open-window music from last night. Another true gem (excuse the pun) from The Last DJ:  “Like A Diamond.” I streamed it about 20 times before drifting off to sleep.

And based on that ghostly photo of him that plagued me all day yesterday, it was a fitting end to the evening. It’s such a haunting sort of song about, well, not dying. Ever.

Have a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya.

Madmen crawl
Across the wall
Knight gets away
Kings all fall
And queens chase men
And saints all sin
And good things
All must end

But she goes on forever
She goes on forever
Yeah, she’s gonna shine forever
Like a diamond
In the sunlight

Big full moon
Above the road
I’m a long long way
From tomorrow
Gotta light my way
Down this highway
To get to her

‘Cause she goes on forever
She goes on forever
Yeah, she’s gonna shine forever
Like a diamond
In the sunlight

Deacons steal
And Ma can’t feel
If you’re lonely
And behind the wheel
When the ground gives way
You have to pray
To the unknown
And hope it’s real

But she goes on forever
She goes on forever
She’s gonna shine forever

She goes on forever
She goes on forever
Yeah, she’s gonna shine forever
Like a diamond
In the sunlight

c – 2002 Tom Petty

A Good Day And It Isn’t Even Over Yet!

I guess pressure is good, gang. Knowing that I’ve only got about 4 more weeks now to complete this novel, because my play is going into rehearsals early, is forcing a whole lot of words out onto the page.

I got a lot written on Blessed By Light today and I’m still not done. I can tell more is coming – so much more than those 2 damn words that came yesterday and frustrated me so much.

I am almost done with Chapter 22, which is in 4 parts:

  • a. Sinners
  • b. Infidel
  • c. Compadres
  • d. Diamonds in the Fire

I’m just now starting part d. Diamonds in the Fire, which I think is going to be all-out sex. We can only hope!

I posted some of part a. Sinners, the other day.  Here is part c. Compadres. Approx. 2 pages.

[Excerpt from Blessed By Light, Chapter 22/c. His daughters have left and he's pissed off at them for trying to force him to oversee a memorial service for his best friend, George. He won't have any part of it because he knows it will just be a media circus if he does. Now he's back in the bedroom with his girlfriend, trying to get back to where they were before his daughters came over and interrupted everything. (Both men are/were older successful American musicians.)]

22/c.

Compadres

I know you liked him a lot. More than you let on. It’s okay, honey; he knew that, too. He did. Don’t cry.

We both knew where you were coming from in all this. We put you under a lot of pressure sometimes. And you were always such a good sport.

No - more than that.

Under all those shenanigans - the three-ways, the demons, the complicated stuff and everything we’ve been through together and then with George; under all of it, you are a really good friend. To me.

And he knew that. And he loved you for it. Because he’d been my friend forever. And he saw everything in you – how much you love me, honey.

So don’t you even think about crying.

He knew. All of it. He knew.

✽✽✽

George said to me once, “You gotta watch yourself with all these girls, man.” This was back in the early days, during my first wife. And he wasn’t getting high-minded, or anything, because George knew his way around a Divorce Court, that’s for sure. He knew about getting served – all those process servers finding their ways to him with those divorce papers when he was least expecting it.

He was no saint in the bedroom, not even close.

But he warned me that I was gonna get eaten alive by girls if I wasn’t careful.

I was cute back then, you know.

Don’t laugh, honey. I was seriously cute. (And I know you know – you look at all the old pictures. You still google me all the time – don’t lie.)

He said, “Some girls will drain you. You gotta watch out for that energy. When you’re feeling drained by a girl, just get the fuck away. Because it’s telling you something important about that girl’s soul – it’s quicksand. And if she sets you on fire in bed – be just as careful, because that one’s gonna drain you, too, in the end. When you’re least prepared, she’ll chew your balls right off with her teeth, and then what good are you?”

Of course, he was right. I still learned it the hard way, but I did eventually learn that he was right.

Then he also said, “The ones you wanna find are the angels. They are the ones who are tough, and who will kick your butt a little bit, but they are gonna be there for you when that shit train comes – and, man, it will. It just will. I guarantee you, you live long enough, get rich enough, successful enough, the shit train comes and stops right at your door. At your very feet. The angel will get right onboard with you and ride that awful train until the world starts turning your way again. She will. And it will. The world, I mean.”

He said that. He was so famous; he rode a hell of a lot of shit trains. He found himself a couple of angels, too, over the years. And they kicked his butt in Divorce Court, because angels don’t like to be cheated on any more than regular girls do, I guess.

He thought my second wife was an angel. He saw that right away, even before I married her.

What he said about you was different, though.

He and I were out there smoking cigarettes by his car – after our first three-way with you. The night he told me that I was a fool for not seeing how much you loved me – he said, “She’s in the darkness, that one. She’s dark. But she’s got wings. I felt them flutter a little bit when I was fucking her from behind. But man, when she was fucking you – those wings were in full bloom. Full bloom, man. There is an angel in all that darkness. I guarantee it.”

And he was right. You’re my angel. For sure.
Come here, now. You come to Daddy, little angel.
Just come on over here and show me those wings.

© -2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Me, again! Getting My Sh*t Together!!

I forgot to mention in my post last night that if you’re on your phone and you want to view the photo gallery of Villa Monte Malbe, where the writer’s retreat will be held, you have to turn your phone sideways. The photos are  down below the song lyrics.

My life got a lot better as the evening wore on, btw. Or at least more interesting.

Sandra eventually called and we spoke for about an hour. I can’t really post to my blog the details of what she said, but I’m still not sure if rehearsals for the play are being moved up to July or not. It sounds like there is a very good chance that they are, though. I still have to hear from the director.

But this of course means that I have to finish Blessed By Light really soon. Like, posthaste. This also means that frustrating days like yesterday simply have to stop.

I wrote 2 fucking words yesterday.

But part of that is because I’m starting to stress a little about the play (as well as the other play I’m writing with Sandra), and up until yesterday, I was getting good at keeping each project sort of “compartmentalized” in my brain and not letting them bleed into each other.

However, now I feel like all my projects are starting to look like this in my brain (I’m the strong, capable gal in the middle, soon to be eaten alive by all her thoughts):

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This sort of reminds me that, lately, I’ve been missing my furry little boy like crazy. He died 2 months ago, already. The time just flies. I can’t believe it.

This morning, when I awoke, I truly thought I felt him jump up onto the bed to visit me.  I turned and said, “Hi!” but there wasn’t any cat there. It was so strange. I mean, it really felt like he was physically there.

It makes me want to cry, but, you know, that doesn’t solve anything. So on we go.

After the phone call from Sandra, I worked on the new music material for teaching that guy piano, and the material is starting to go into some very interesting places. They throw out anything you ever knew about Theory & Composition (yay!), and simply distill music down to 7 notes.  (I’m paraphrasing, but not by much.)

I can readily see, from what I’m learning, that if this guy who wants to learn piano, really has music in his head, then he’s going to be playing piano really quickly. He’s not going to have to get bogged down in all the stuff that I got bogged down in straight out of the gate.

I’m not going to waste time regretting anything I learned, especially since I’m still alive and can still learn this new stuff and have a new approach to music myself, even after all these decades. But it sure does feel like I wasted a lot of time on that piano, when it could have been so much more productive for me. Because ALL I had was music and rhythm in my head. And ALL of it wanted to get out. I did not understand what any of what I felt inside had to do with Bach or any of those others.

By the time I was 14, I had maybe written 3 songs on the piano, but I had written about a hundred already on my guitar. Complete songs, too: Verse/chorus, verse/chorus, bridge/chorus/out. I had a 3-ring notebook full of completed songs. Because on guitar, I was not bogged down by Theory & Composition in any way.  For me, guitar was all about the rhythm and that facilitated the melodies and then the lyrics sort of cascaded down and attached themselves to the notes, you know?

I once turned in a song as an English assignment in 7th grade, and my teacher really liked it. And he said, “Do you write a lot of songs?”  And when I told him about my 3-ring notebook, he asked if he could see it and then was sort astounded by it. The size & scope of it. I could not stop writing songs if I tried.

He was a published poet, with a PhD., and after seeing that notebook, he would spend time after class with me, helping me learn how to write poems, which in turn helped me gain clarity in lyric writing overnight. I had access to truly wonderful teachers, so it wasn’t that people didn’t care about my talent.

My songs were my whole life, though, whereas the piano had become the sort of underlying nightmare of my life. I knew how to play what they wanted me to play. And I knew how to deliver to them what they wanted to hear- tone, nuance, syncopation, feeling; but it in no way spoke to the music that was going on inside me.  And I couldn’t understand why it didn’t connect, because I loved the piano, but it became a very stressful, frightening thing to me. It truly did.

And I see now that this current approach to music that I’m learning in order to try to help this other guy learn — it would have saved me 45 years ago. My stress-load would have disappeared. (Well, with that, and if those boys at the high school would have stopped raping me for 5 minutes…)

However! If wishes were horses…. (Yes! Then this would’ve been me! Prairie Rose! Lady Champion Rider!!) All right!

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Meanwhile, on Earth…

I better get started on the novel here, gang. It’s gonna be July in a heart beat! I’m hopeful that I’ll get more than 2 words written today.

Tonight Nick Cave is having another Conversation somewhere in Europe, but in a truly odd turn of events, I can’t recall where!! I guess I finally have too much on my fucking mind… I’m sure it’s gonna be great, though. (And I’ll be darned if yet another person from the Netherlands didn’t post another photo on Instagram yesterday, calling him God….) (Wouldn’t it be funny, though, if, you know, it turned out I was wrong??  And he was God?? I guess I’d have to eat my hat. ) (I’d have to find it first…)

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c- Jon Klassen

Okay! More coffee is on my immediate horizon! I’m gonna go grab it and get to work here.

I hope you have a really good day out there, gang. Wherever you are in the world and with whatever it is that is currently occupying you!

I leave you with this! It was my pre-breakfast-listening music today.  I listened to it while feeding the cats. But then realized that the  musicians who live next door to me were either awake very early or hadn’t been to sleep yet (Methinks the latter!), and they were out on their porch, smoking at 5am. And I didn’t want to annoy them so early in the morning with my music wafting through the open windows… (Although they play death metal and practice out in their garage and are pretty much the champions at annoying people with their music.) (Although they don’t annoy me. I honestly love living next door to them and listening to them practice because they remind me of my fair & bonny girlhood as a musician in NYC and all those wonderful cigarette-smoking musician guys – and I mean that truly, in the nicest way.)

But I leave you with this. A different song about boys, and summer, and everything that they can’t deal with anymore! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

She grew up in an Indiana town
Had a good-lookin’ mama who never was around
But she grew up tall and she grew up right
With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

Well, she moved down here at the age of eighteen
She blew the boys away, was more than they’d seen
I was introduced and we both started groovin’
She said, “I dig you baby, but I got to keep movin’ on
Keep movin’ on”

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told
You never slow down, you never grow old
I’m tired of screwin’ up, tired of going down
Tired of myself, tired of this town

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes
Honey, put on that party dress
Buy me a drink, sing me a song
Take me as I come ’cause I can’t stay long

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

There’s pigeons down on Market Square
She’s standin’ in her underwear
Lookin’ down from a hotel room
Nightfall will be comin’ soon

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes.
You got to put on that party dress
It was too cold to cry when I woke up alone
I hit my last number and walked to the road

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

c- 1993 Tom Petty

Just One Frustrating Day

I have always found Bad Day at Black Rock to be a frustrating, annoying movie, even though that didn’t keep me from sitting through it a number of times.

And whenever I have a frustrating, annoying day around here, I simply call it a bad day at Black Rock and try to leave it at that.

First, though: I finally remembered to put up that photo gallery of Villa Monte Malbe in Perugia, Italy, where the writer’s retreat will be held (hopefully every year). It’s down there on the right hand side. Click on any photo and it becomes a gallery.

Even though it sleeps 60, and has 30 guestrooms with 30 private baths, I am only going to accept a maximum of 20 writers, and probably closer to 15.  Since the retreat will also yield a publication of work that’s written during the retreat, I have to actually meet one-on-one with all the writers several times throughout the week, and then edit everyone after they go home.

And I was thinking I’d like to have a life in addition to doing all that… so, 20 is the max.

I’ve been waiting here at my desk for 2 hours for a phone call from Sandra. She texted: I’ll be home soon, can you chat?

That was the above-mentioned 2 hours ago. However, I know it will be a very interesting chat, so I’m waiting…

I’m also waiting to hear from the director of the play, but he’s incommunicado right now over something that is of great interest to me, so I am trying to be patient there, too.

However, I didn’t get much done on the novel today, so of course, I’m frustrated and annoyed with myself. And when I can’t get other people to distract me (i.e., on the phone), it’s even more frustrating!

And then after mentioning in my earlier post today, that I listened to Tom Petty’s song “Dreamville” about 30 times in a row last night, and loving every spellbinding, beautiful moment of it, as well as the night itself; I played the song again once today while fixing my dinner and broke into tears again.

What the heck is up with that?

I don’t know. Sometimes, I just give up trying to figure out anything.

Anyway, peruse the photos. The retreat is going to focus on sensual/sexual/erotic writing; poetry, prose, memoir, fiction, nonfiction, etc. (Is there an “etc.” or did I just cover all the bases?)

If you are familiar with my book Stirring Up A Storm: Tales of the Sensual, the Sexual, and the Erotic, it’s going to be along those lines, except for men & women, both. Not just women writers.

Plus, it’s still a year away.

Okay, people. I am going to try to see if I can salvage the night here somehow. I refuse to go to bed frustrated. Well, that sounded a little weird, but I trust that you know what I meant.

Buonanotte!!

Baci. See ya!

Summer Can Officially Begin

It only took about 5 hours, but I got it all done.

The mayor came by and posed for pictures on my leafless front walk and, frankly, the whole village was astir. They had forgotten what my sidewalk actually looked like under all those piles of dead leaves. They decided to take some of those photos of the mayor on my leafless front walk and seal it in a time capsule that they then buried on the grounds behind the old abandoned elementary school.

Just kidding, of course. But it sure does look a lot nicer out there. And the statue of St. Francis looks delighted to be surrounded by blossoms again.

And it didn’t rain again until long after dark.

In fact, it was the most perfect evening.

A couple weeks ago, I posted the cover art for one of my books-in-progress, Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. The original photo for the cover was taken from my bedroom window at night – the window right across from my bed.

The view from my bed at night.

The photo was taken in late fall, just as a train was arriving. Since it was fall, though, it doesn’t capture how it feels to be hidden behind all of those amazing green leaves that are out there now, but you get the idea, I hope.

The streets are usually just incredibly quiet in the evening. Except when suddenly a freight train goes barreling past with its whistle screaming. (My whole house shakes then. It can be kind of frightening but I still just love that train.)

And I also just love to lie across my bed in the dark and listen to music and stare out my open window at that view. It’s kind of ancient, you know? The village is nearly 200 years old, and it’s surrounded by old burial grounds that are a couple thousand years old. From before the Native Indians were even here. There’s a feeling, a spirit, that comes through my open windows at night that is palpable. It really is.

It’s sort of an erotic feeling, but then, apparently everything in the known universe is erotic to me.  (And I’m guessing that the unknown universe — once I get to know that, too — is going to feel off the charts for me.)

Yes, it’s safe to say that God, Himself, is erotic to me. It started when I was a little girl.  He was all I had, really. I knew I had “real” parents out in the world somewhere, and I missed them terribly. Throughout my whole childhood.  And in their absence, the feeling I clung to instead was God.  He became everything to me, and, to my mind, everything I felt or thought about was just naturally part of Him.

Anyway. I digress.

Last evening was just beautiful. While I was working on that new teaching material on my guitar, and marveling at how ethereal those new Black Diamond strings sounded, it made me think of Tom Petty’s song, “Dreamville,” and I got sort of dreamy myself.

I eventually put the guitar down and called it a night, even though it was still light out. It’s at that point in the year where it stays light out now until about 9:30pm. I laid across my bed, stared out at those empty streets that are so oddly filled to overflowingwith life. And I streamed “Dreamville” repeatedly until, yes, long after dark.

As I was listening, it occurred to me that it was the last time Tom Petty had that “young Tom Petty” quality to his voice. Even though he was already 52 when he wrote that song, and on the rest of the songs on that album (The Last DJ) he has his older Tom Petty voice. For some reason, his youth is captured once again in that specific song. And it never was again.  I’m guessing it’s because the song is such an exquisite song about his childhood.

I was just in a trance, you know? For a couple of hours. Life just felt so intensely beautiful: the here & now; whatever’s coming; and all the beauty that came and passed. All of it together – I could feel it in the night outside my window. And I was so grateful for all of it. Even the “Tom Petty being dead now” stuff – I was just grateful last night that he had lived.

Shortly after I fell asleep, the rains came like crazy. Thunder, lightning, the works. It woke me, of course. I had all the windows in the house still wide open and I just didn’t care to get up and close any of them.  It was just too perfect, being alive in all of that “God-stuff.” So wild & joyful.

Okay. It’s sunny here right now, but more rain is heading our way.  (Oh, somebody took the most amazing photo of Nick Cave in the Netherlands last night. They posted it in black & white but it was still incredible. He was just standing there, listening, looking up at a guy who was asking him a question. It was kind of frustrating that I could only view it on my phone, because it was really a stunning shot.)

I’m guessing I’m just  going to hang out all day at the desk and work on Blessed By Light, especially since I now might need to have it done & off by July… But I don’t want to stress.  I just want to let life come, however it chooses to come. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever it finds you! I love you guys. See ya.

“Dreamville”

Goin’ down to Lillian’s music store
To buy a black diamond string
Gonna wind it up on my guitar
Gonna make that silver sing

Like it was Dreamville
A long time ago
A million miles away
All the trees were green
In Dreamville

I keep wakin’ up all by myself
With a bluejay in my brain
Flappin’ his wings, makin’ me sing
It was just about to rain

Like it was Dreamville
Where I was born
Light years from here
And the air smelled good
In Dreamville

Like it was Dreamville
A long time ago
Light years from here
And the trees were green
In Dreamville

Ridin’ with my mamma
To Glen Springs Pool
The water was cold
My lips were blue
There was rock and roll
Across the dial
When I think of her
It makes me smile

Like it was Dreamville
A long time ago
A million miles away
All the trees were green
In Dreamville, in Dreamville

Yeah it was Dreamville
A long time ago
Light years from here
And the air smelled good
In Dreamville, in Dreamville

c – 2002 Tom Petty

It’s Just that Kind of Morning Around Here!!

I’m brimming with way too many feelings today, gang!

The good news, though, is that we have a wonderful little reprieve here in the weather! It’s not going to rain again until later this evening. So I awoke to a glorious spring day!

However, I overslept, and woke to that glorious spring day a couple of hours later than I would have preferred, so I feel like half my day’s gone.

I was lazy again yesterday and didn’t do yoga, even though my body was starting to scream for it. Instead, I opted for the shortcut and decided to take Ibuprofen, and I forgot that those pills make me super sleepy. So I overslept today because I was lazy yesterday and so I awoke not super happy with myself for some of those choices I made yesterday, however…

We’re not gonna look back, are we? No! We’re moving ahead!

We have many little flowers to plant today in the pretty sunshine!!!

But this means that I have to go into my barn to get my flower boxes out, and I now have Virginia creeper growing all over that fucking barn door. So I have to deal with that today, too, without winding up in the Emergency Room because of exposure to Virginia creeper, which I am deathly allergic too. We’ll see how that goes.

This whole “Virginia creeper on the fucking barn door” thing makes me so angry.  I’m just so fed up with that gigantic fallen oak tree out there by my barn that still hasn’t been hauled away.

I cannot tell you how many people have promised to come out here with a chainsaw and a truck and haul that enormous dead tree away.  The tree fell over a few years before I even bought this house.  The fallen tree is the reason why I need a new roof on my barn. And everyone I’ve talked to since even before buying the house who  has promised to come take care of hauling that dead tree away has not done it.

It makes it really difficult to get in and out of the barn, or to deal with trying to replace the roof. And worse yet, that old dead oak tree positively loves Virginia creeper. It’s a veritable Virginia creeper magnet.

The tree is actually in segments, but each segment is about as big as a house. So it’s in a massive pile. It’s hard enough to maneuver around it when it’s not covered in Virginia creeper. However, it is indeed covered in Virginia creeper. Already. And it’s still only May.

So I look out my kitchen window, at the glorious spring morning, several hours later than I had hoped to be looking out at it because I was lazy yesterday, and I know I want to get my flower boxes out of that barn that I can readily see from my kitchen window and then I see all that fucking Virginia creeper all over my barn door, and I just get so fucking frustrated with all of humanity for LYING to me all the time!!

Come get this fucking tree already, you know??

And then yesterday evening, two separate things happened, both indirectly relating to my play Tell My Bones that could cause me to be in rehearsals for it as early as July.

Which, on the one hand, seems like a good thing! But I’m trying to finish writing this novel! I seriously want it done and off to the publisher before I have to focus on Tell My Bones.

And if we’re going to be getting this far ahead of schedule on the rehearsals, does this mean that in September, when I’ll be merrily following Nick Cave hither and yon all over Manhattan, that I will actually already be up to my eyeballs in the staged readings that will need 200 million % of my concentration??!! Please don’t tell me this!

And then Peitor texts me, bright & early. He’s now sequestered in that amazing little Airbnb on the English Channel! He has texted charming photos!! With stunning vistas! When can we get some work done on the scripts??!!

It all makes me just want to lean over and smack my forehead repeatedly on my desk and I’ve only been awake for an hour and a half!

Image result for Charlie Brown smacking his head on his desk

And there you have it. My morning thus far.

So.

People in Amsterdam prefer not to post to Instagram in English. So I can’t guarantee you that everyone loved the Conversation with Nick Cave that happened there last night, but the photos have all the earmarks of people loving it.

He might have actually sang T.Rex’s Cosmic Dancer last night! But don’t quote me on that. The bunch of words that came before “T.Rex’s Cosmic Dancer” and the bunch of words that came after it in the Instagram post, were in a language I don’t understand.  So they might have actually said, “I was so angry when he didn’t sing T.Rex’s Cosmic Dancer, that I left in a huff and will never go see him again.”

However, I’m guessing probably not.

The only thing that I saw posted in English was somebody saying that “God was in the house”.

[UPDATE: In a weird twist, I see that Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files newsletter today deals with God’s voice! I haven’t read it yet, though…]

This is of course a play on words, because Nick Cave wrote a truly amazing song called, “God is in the House.” And a lot of people also literally call Nick Cave, “God.”

I am indeed one of those people who thinks that the song “God is in the House,” is a real jaw-dropping song, no matter how many times I hear it. However, I am not one of those people who thinks Nick Cave is God.

I don’t even know what that word “God” means anymore, you know? I truly don’t.  I did when I was a little girl. God was everything to me and I clung to Him and He somehow managed to help me survive years of terrifying abuse. And certainly during the first suicide attempt when I was 14, when people were fighting to save my life, He told me – maybe not in words but in a language I definitely understood was coming from God – to go back down there and stick it out, because it was eventually gonna end well. That it was gonna be worth it and I was gonna want to be there for that.

I don’t really know that God anymore. That voice is sort of distant to me, now.  I hear God now as a sort of continually creating energy, that is always delivering more, more, more, and then still more, and more and more.  As in: Here, this is Life, and I have a limitless supply of it. Make of it what you will.

I am willing to grant Nick Cave a lowercase “g,” you know? “Little god” among half-formed men. But, frankly, the words I would rather use to describe him are so much more magnificent than that because he is human. And seeing him in all of his humanness only heightens how extraordinary he actually is. To call him God, misses all of that, but to call him a “man” brings everything remarkable about him into tight focus.

For me, anyway.

Okay. I really, really gotta get going here, gang. The many tiny flowers await me!! And many dead leaves are begging to be raked and put into those handy dead-leaf bags! And patio furniture wants to be hosed down. And citronella candles want to be placed merrily about! So I’m gonna get started on that.

I leave you with breakfast-listening music from this morning. I went back to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Nobody’s Children.  All the sort of naughty little songs that make me feel frisky!! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya!

WAYS TO BE WICKED

Honey tell me why you smile
When you see me hurt so bad
Tell me what I did to you babe
That could make you act like that
Yes I’ve been your fool before babe
And I probably will again
She ain’t afraid to let me have it
You ain’t afraid to stick it in
Yeah you know so many ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing about love

Yeah I can take a little pain
I could hold it pretty well
I can watch your little eyes light up
When you’re walkin’ me through hell
Yes I’ve been your fool before, babe
And I probably will again
She ain’t afraid to let me have it
You ain’t afraid to stick it in

Yeah you know so many ways to be wicked

But you don’t know one little thing about love

Yeah those cobra eyes
Light with a smile
You take pride
In that devil down inside

I can take a little pain
I can hold it pretty well
I can watch your little eyes light up
When you’re walkin’ me through hell
Yeah I’ve been your fool before babe
And I probably will again
No you ain’t afraid to let me have it
Honey you ain’t afraid to stick it in

You know so many ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing about love

You know so many ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing about love

c- 1985 Tom Petty & Mike Campbell