The Next Era Begins, Gang

Now that the novel is finished, that process of reading it from word one begins.

There’s always that undercurrent of doubt for me, like, Oh man, am I even gonna like this book I wrote?

But the first 19 chapters already went past the editor a couple of months ago. So I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve already read the first 19 chapters; I’ve already made the corrections and did some revisions.

I already signed off on all of that. It’s just the final 5 chapters I need the edits on, so there is no reason to fear reading this book.

I’m hoping to begin the final read-through today, only because I am really pressed for time now. I have to get back to revisions on the play as soon as I can get my mind re-focused because rehearsals begin next month. And that play needs everything I can possibly give it. And more, even.

(And talking about being afraid to read something I wrote — every time I get anywhere near that play, I always  sort of mentally retreat and find that there is something else quite pressing that needs my attention first — for instance, sitting and staring. That play freaks me out — the pressure, mostly.)

Plus, Saturday morning, Peitor and I get back to work on the micro-short video scripts.

So there is no time, and really no reason, to get bogged down in doubt over Blessed By Light.

Last evening was rather rain-filled around here! And tons of thunder & lighting. Just torrential downpours. I sat on my bed and listened to music for awhile. Thought about life.

That new single, “Paradise,” by Tropical Fuck Storm was amazing. I listened to that many times.  The official audio link is here. And then I also listened to the new Raconteurs song, “Bored & Razed,” and I really like that a lot, too.  (Official lyric video is here.)

That album, Help Us Stranger, comes out tomorrow. I pre-ordered it a while back, so I’ve already got most of the songs on that one. I think it’s a really fun, rock & roll album.

Re: London last night and Instagram… At first, it seemed like it was just gonna be Susie Cave’s shoes (And I’m not being catty – if you follow her on Instagram, she does seem to like to take a lot of photos of her shoes). However! Late last night, the photos and videos of the Conversation started getting posted. So clearly, there is something about the oddly rule-following,  law-abiding people of Birmingham

Actually, last evening, someone in Birmingham uploaded video footage from Nick Cave’s Conversation from Monday night, and they even stated, clearly, that they weren’t supposed to be using their phones there but that they couldn’t resist, and I’m glad they gave in to temptation because I watched that short little clip about 5 times. It was so funny!

I, personally, never use my phone for anything, really. I do text, God knows. And occasionally I make an actual phone call. I study my Italian on my phone and tune my guitar with my phone. Occasionally, I check piano scales with my phone. But I’m not a picture-taker.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will undoubtedly concur about my lack of picture-taking.  Occasionally, I take photos of my cats. I take photos of completed scripts and manuscripts. And I sometimes take pictures of the world surrounding my little corner of Crazeysburg.

But I would never go to any sort of public event – especially something I’ve paid for – and even have my phone turned on. I’m way old-school in that I like to sort of just experience stuff. You know, with my senses; not through my phone.

Okay, the moment of truth is gonna arrive here any moment: Will I begin reading over the manuscript and begin that final edit? Or am I gonna collapse on the bed and stare out the window?

The former is what I hope I’m gonna do; the latter is what I’m thinking I will more than likely do instead. At least for a little while. But you never know. I do have plenty of coffee sitting right here next to me and it’s still hot and that’s always an enticement of sorts for me.

(A word of caution, though: If you’re trying to entice me to do something, an offer of hot coffee is probably not gonna do it.)  (I’m not really sure what entices me these days. Certainly, telling me that I don’t look nearly as old as I am will get you way deep into the right ballpark, but too many un- enticing things could still crop up speedily to negate that.)  (Probably, you should just leave me alone altogether.)

(Still, if you feel compelled to entice me to do something, and I have that look on my face that screams: what the fuck do YOU want can’t you see I have a lot of staring I need to do today?  You could try something like: “I know you must hear this all the time, Marilyn, but you’re just so beautiful, and funny, and smart. You know, I was wondering, do you think you could ________[fill in blank] for me? Just this once? I hate to bother you…” Even I’m surprised by how effectively that works!)

Okay! I’m gonna get started here. (I hope.) Have a wonderful Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang.  I leave you with this: [                                             ]. Yes, that’s absolute complete and utter silence for a change. That’s me, sitting and staring, trying to figure out why I am the way I am and, worse yet, always have been. And stuff like that.

Okay! I love you guys! See ya!

Buona Sera!

I’m kind of stunned, gang, but Blessed By Light is finished.

The final chapters are being edited in NYC as we speak.

It feels so weird.  I knew it was ending soon. I knew there was a chance it was going to end this week, but I didn’t think it would end today.

I feel a little sad. I’m a little too nervous to feel happy, yet. Mostly I feel sort of confused, you know? I just wasn’t expecting this after a couple of days of feeling very, very frustrated. And last night, I got next to no sleep. I was kind of worried that I wouldn’t be productive today, at all.

But I was. And then the final 2 lines came out. In fact, I thought the final 2 lines were the title of the next chapter. But then I realized, no wait; that’s it. There is no next chapter.

It sure is an unusual novel, gang.  That much I can say with certainty.  But that’s all I’m gonna say about it for right now.

I’m not feeling hopeful that anything from the London Conversation with Nick Cave is going to make its way to Instagram tonight. There has been nothing pre-show at all. No photos of the theater, or anything. Nothing for me to ponder.

Well, there’s always something for me to ponder, but it probably won’t be on Instagram.

Okay, I guess I’ll just sort of – well, honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do. In the old days, back in NYC, when I was married or when I was living with Mikey Rivera, whenever I finished a new novel, we’d go out to dinner to celebrate.

I’ve already watched episode 3 of Endeavour, and studied my Italian, so I suppose I can sit on my bed and look out the window and listen to Springsteen’s “Hello Sunshine” for the bazillionth time.

(But I’ve been alerted by the a1000Mistakes blog in Australia that a brand new Tropical Fuck Storm single, “Paradise,” has been dropped, which I want to listen to, too. And the Raconteurs dropped another new single this past week for their upcoming album, Help Us Stranger, which gets released Friday. I want to hear that new one, too.) (I downloaded the new Straycats album, 40, the other day. I’m not done listening to it but so far, it’s not “Rock This Town.”… but we’ll see.) (And they’ll never be Johnny Burnett & the Rock & Roll trio, but then nobody can be that!)

Well, okay, gang! I hope you have a wonderful evening underway, wherever you are in the world! And I’m gonna leave you with Johnny Burnette, apparently with my anthem for the evening, a naughty little rockabilly number – “All By Myself”!! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

Little girl, don’t you understand?
I wanna be your lovin’ man
All by myself, all by myself
I don’t need no one to love you
Gonna love you all by myself

Well, meet me in a hurry behind the barn
Don’t be afraid, I’ll do you no harm
All by myself, all by myself
I don’t need no one to love you
Gonna love you all by myself

Well, I got a girl who’s six feet tall
Sleeps in the kitchen with her feet in the hall
All by herself, all by herself
I don’t need no one to love her
Gonna love her all by herself

Well, I got a girl who lives on the hill
She won’t love you but her sister will
All by herself, all by herself
I don’t need no one to love you
Gonna love you all by herself

Little girl, don’t you understand?
I wanna be your lovin’ man
All by myself, all by myself
I don’t need no one to love you
Gonna love you all by myself

c – 1956 (?) Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino

Yesterday! Who Needs It ??!!

Man, I won’t say that yesterday totally sucked, but a great big bunch of it did.

I like to think it was the full moon because I refuse to think that my life just suddenly starts sucking for no reason.

I need the cause to be celestial and wholly beyond my control.

I am, of course, mad at myself because I got no writing done on Blessed By Light. Every time I looked at it yesterday, all I saw were the current pages that were not working and I felt completely incapable of understanding how to make them work. And so, after quite a few hours of that kind of frustration, I focused on something – and someone – else.

My good friend Iris in NYC has another new book out. This one titled, Shame.  I prepared a Q &A with her to post here later this week, most likely.  So at least I managed to do  one thing productive yesterday.

Btw, Shame has just been short-listed by North of Oxford as one of their Top Reads for summer. Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that Iris writes poetry, flash and microfiction. And even though she is one of my closest friends, I am serious when I say that she is an incredible writer. And not just because she’s my friend.

I had a lot of chores I needed to do yesterday, but I put all of them off, thinking that I needed to focus on the novel. So by last evening, I was just really pissed off. No writing got done and no chores got done, either.  All I’d done was studied Italian and watched episode 2 of Endeavor.

And that means that today I have to get out there this minute and run all the fucking errands that didn’t get done yesterday. And hopefully make headway in the novel today.

So I’m gonna scoot now, gang. But I will likely post again later this evening, when (I hope) my mind clears and my frustration subsides.

We’ll see if folks in London post to Instagram tonight. Honestly, it looks like only 2 people posted from Birmingham on Monday night, so this might be the new trend.  (I am of course talking about the Conversations with Nick Cave, if you’re new to the blog and thinking I’m out of my mind…) (I am out of my mind, but it has nothing to do with people in London or Birmingham and their Instagram habits…)

Meanwhile, have a great day. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys.  I will see ya later!

Yes! 3 of My Favorite Things!!

Yes, indeedy! 3 of my favorite things!

I am of course, talking about:

  • Rum
  • Sodomy
  • the Lash

And not necessarily in that order. In fact, if 1 or 2 of those things is going on, I don’t need rum at all!

I am, of course, just kidding – I don’t need the lash, either. (We’re certainly hoping, however, that the sparkle and allure of that 3rd thing goes on forever!)

Yes. Indeedy…

Seriously. I am, of course, actually referring to that incredible Pogues album from 1985, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash.

(And YES!!!!! Most non-NYC-area, non Irish-Americans do not know who the Pogues were, who Shane MacGowan is, nor have they ever heard of that incredible album!!! America beyond the boundaries of NYC can be such a strange place.)

Anyway.

Even though it isn’t my favorite song on the album (mostly because Shane MacGowan didn’t write it), the Pogues still did an incredible version of “Dirty Old Town” that, for some inexplicable reason, I suddenly needed to listen to about 75 times yesterday – really loudly, while going really fast in the car.

I had a really weird day. I didn’t teach piano yesterday because the guy went on vacation.  The day was just sort of mine, but I was extremely tired. Just exhausted from stuff that was on my mind and I was trying really hard not to let it get me down, you know?

It was a very humid day. Extremely overcast all day, but not too hot. Just sort of oppressively grey.

Yet Muskingum County looks incredible in all sorts of weather. Even with an oppressively grey sky, the pastures, dotted with cows, still look intensely green. And the thousands of green trees everywhere. The green hillsides surrounding everything for as far as the eye can see. There are ponds here and there, dotted with ducks and cranes and sometimes even with swans! And now the crops are coming in everywhere – corn, mostly – so all the fields in the valleys are green now, too.

Just getting out on that highway, up hills, down hills, twisty-turny, and then sometimes just really, really straight so that you can see clear to Coshocton County, too; just getting out on that highway becomes entrancing to me.  And there’s nothing here that you can really call “traffic.” You really can just soar.

My heart was going through some shit yesterday. Even though my life couldn’t be better – actually, I’m happier right now than I’ve ever been. And if I can resist the temptation to wish that everything in my past had gone differently, I can’t complain about anything whatsoever.

Even so, I still have those yearnings, those desires that keep me wanting to evolve into something more, you know? Yesterday was one of those days. I was longing for evolution.

Even though I couldn’t be farther from living in a “dirty old town,” the song, the specific way the Pogues do it, was just really helping me feel shit. Just feel it and then get sort of entranced by everything I felt, and then, finally move past it. And I wound up having a really wonderful evening. Everything inside me eventually shifted.

Plus, for a few hours in the evening, the weather also shifted. It became sunny.

I sat at my kitchen table and watched the first episode of season 6 of Endeavor. It was really good. So fucking good. Those British guys can just act the heck out of themselves, you know? So fun to watch all that intensity. And the writing is just really, really good. There were only 2 lines of dialogue, right at the very end, that sort of jumped out as strictly “exposition,” but otherwise, the writing is incredible. So well-paced. It does everything it’s supposed to do; you hate this one, you’re disappointed in that one; you wonder wow, what’s up with her? and you know you’re going to find out before the season’s over. That kind of stuff, woven so nicely into the plot and you’re always, always, always rooting for Endeavor. Needing him to come out on top. Just great writing.

There are 3 more episodes left. I will probably watch them all this week. And then, I guess, wait another year before I watch TV again. (I find this kind of insane – that I don’t watch any TV anymore and I hadn’t even realized it had been a year. But, honestly, I just don’t have time or room in my brain these days to commit to television.)

Even though I was still really tired by evening, I was in the best mood.  I just laid on my bed and listened to all the quiet outside my windows. Birds singing, an occasional car. That was it. The sun stayed out until past 9:30. It was so cool to just lie there and not do a single darn thing except be alive.

I’ve decided that I really love that new Springsteen song, “Hello Sunshine.” It really, really suits where my life is at these days. “Sunshine” of course, for me, being the return of the muse.

There are a handful of songs on the new album that I like, but “Hello Sunshine” is my favorite. So I streamed that a million times, while the sun went down and it started to rain.

And I was thinking about how albums like The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, or Darkness on the Edge of Town, and Born in the USA just blew me away and solidify certain eras of my life for me. From a long time ago, obviously. I liked Born to Run, too, but it was released while I was still in the mental hospital so it has some shaky memories for me.

In fact, when I was released from the mental hospital, a boy I had become friendly with in there, who had been released before I had, came over to see me to give me that album as a gift. He said, “You’re really gonna love this album, Marilyn.”

And he was right, I did. And it was such an unexpected and wonderful gift. But it still was a shaky time for me. I don’t think I found my footing, post-mental hospital, until I was about 25. (10 years later.)

Last night, though, as I was listening to “Hello Sunshine” and thinking how it’s been a long time since an entire Springsteen album could blow me away; I suddenly remembered that boy who’d given me Born to Run. We became really good friends for a couple of years, until we graduated high school, went off to our respective colleges and never saw each other again. (I stayed in college for about 14 seconds before dashing off to find my life instead.)

Anyway, last evening, I suddenly remembered how, when we were about 17, that boy was really, really frustrated with still being a virgin and he thought that if he weren’t a virgin, he could get more dates with girls. I’m not entirely sure what the thinking behind that was, but it is what he believed. And, of course, me being me – exceptionally cavalier about the state of virginity – I said, “Oh I can take care of that for you, if you want.”

He was absolutely stupefied. I mean, we had never even kissed or anything. We were just friends.  But I was serious. To me, it was an absolute no-brainer. It would only take a few minutes, really. Technically.  I wasn’t saying, “let’s have a date, ” or “let’s make love.” I was only talking about doing that one specific thing. So we did it! We went off to my room. Did it.  And he was really happy. And then we went out and rode our bikes.

Too funny. However. What I also remembered last night, was that I did have a boyfriend at that time. A serious boyfriend, too. We were in love. He lived in West Virginia though, and I didn’t get to see him all the time. But we were definitely in love – wore rings and such.

When he found out what I’d done, he was so mad at me: “Why did you do that, Marilyn??!!”

And I was astounded that he got mad.  I had considered myself strictly as a problem-solver in that whole “lose the virginity” thing and could not understand why my boyfriend had gotten so mad at me.

Last night, it really made me laugh – remembering all that. It had been, literally, 40 years since I’d thought about any of that stuff. It’s amazing what I just presume people will put up with from me.

Anyhow.  While I was listening to “Hello Sunshine,” I was also remembering that song  “I’m On Fire” from Born in the USA and how much I used to just fucking love that song. I just loved it. And I had kind of forgotten all about it. So I’m gonna leave you with that one today.

But before, I do, I just wanna mention that people in Birmingham, England are apparently way more law-abiding than I would have guessed. There were not that many photos posted to Instagram from the Conversation Nick Cave had there last night. And at the very start of the evening, someone posted a photo to Instagram showing a sign at the front of theater, that stated how you weren’t allowed to record any of the Conversation, including with your phone.

I guess most people took that seriously, as odd as that seems in this day & age. There were a couple photos of the theater itself, before the show started. It looked like a really cool place.  But I can’t say a whole lot more than that, except that perhaps two people did post photos and said they really loved it. But that was all.

Okay. I’m in such a better space today, gang. So I’m going to make use of that and get some writing done here. I did absolutely none yesterday.  I’m thinking that I might even finish Blessed By Light this week.  So I’m off.

Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!

“I’m On Fire”
Hey, little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go away and leave you all alone?
I got a bad desire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire

Tell me now, baby, is he good to you?
And can he do to you the things that I do? Oh, no
I can take you higher
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull
And cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my skull
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire

c – 1985 Bruce Springsteen

My Favorite New Guitar Pick!

Back in April, I bought a pair of earrings for Blare N. Bitch for her birthday. She turned the big 6 -0.

The earrings were made out of guitar picks and had little silver guitars hanging on them. I really liked them a lot and several weeks later, bought a pair for myself, only in blue. And now I wear them all the time.

Yesterday evening, a guy I know casually out here, who has seen me in the earrings a lot these days, totally surprised me. He made me a necklace out of a Fender guitar pick!

He’s too sweet. I was so shocked, and thrilled and amazed, you know? That anyone ever thinks of me at all, really.

He’s 30 years younger than me. And deaf. Can’t read or write.

I tell you. Life in the Hinterlands never stops amazing me.

Good Morning, Glories!!

Those Welsh people don’t bandy that word “God” about too easily. They seem to prefer words like “man” and “myth.” Which, of course, still means that everyone in Wales loved the Conversation with Nick Cave that took place there last night. Even people who were as “far away as they could possibly be,” seat-wise, said that it was an incredible night.

Yes – same suit, or 1 in 1700 that look exactly the same . This is clearly a “conversation” suit.

My favorite Instagram photo of Nick Cave to come out of the weekend, though, was not from the concert, but taken at a service station somewhere with Paul Weller. I don’t know where they were, I only know that it was black & white there. Or maybe it was just the photo that was black & white… Anyway, I love that photo and I wish that I could somehow get it off my phone and onto my wall.

Yesterday was a really, really good day, gang. Some good news came in over the phone. Unfortunately it was business-related stuff that I can’t blog about yet. But I just felt so happy all day.  It has to do with one of my plays and one of my TV pilot projects. I will, of course, keep you posted.

I did indeed chat on the phone with Peitor for a few hours yesterday, too. Not work-related, however.  We won’t resume working on the scripts until next Saturday.  Just lots of “life” going on there in his world.  Some of which I didn’t even know about. It’s so interesting how you can know someone really well – I would say that Peitor is my closest friend – and still not know a whole lot about what might be going on in his head.

Of course, he is a man who always manages to keep things under control. He never leaps to emotional weirdness, like some people we know (who live alone in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of haughty yet beautiful cats).  He’s always perfectly dressed, perfectly groomed, perfectly been-at-the-gym every day, perfectly gone -off-to-the-meditation-place where they have those tranquil-sounding ringing bowls ; just always perfectly perfect.

So even if he’s disturbed about something, he’s perfectly calm and well-groomed about it.

I, on the other hand, leave grooming to those days when I think I might actually see somebody, you know? (I’m exaggerating, of course; I’m stupefyingly vain.) But my “emotional” stuff – wow, right? You usually don’t have to wonder if something might be bothering me, or if there “might be” something on my mind. You can’t accuse me of being passive-aggressive, either, that’s for sure. I’m not gonna tell you one thing and secretly harbor a totally different feeling.

But one thing I really, really value about Peitor is how even-keel he is, emotionally.  It helps keep me centered; it grounds me. Even though most of the stuff I go through I keep to myself, sometimes,  when I feel like I’m going to explode, usually from exasperated confusion over the entire human race, I’ll text him:

ME:  r u someplace where u cn talk right this second?!!!!

HIM (usually): yes

ME: [punching numbers on my phone]

(phone rings)

HIM: “Hello, Marilyn.”

ME:  [great big bunch of indescribably intense emotional gobbledygook weirdness]

HIM (talking very, very, VERY calmly): “You sound angry.”

I just love shit like that because it stops me in my tracks. It completely derails whatever outburst is going on in me.

Anyway. Yesterday was nothing like that. It was a good day. It truly was, on all fronts.

It’s a quiet, rainy Sunday morning here. I woke up in another one of those erotic euphoria things again — it has been several days since that has happened, so it was really nice. And I hope it’s gonna just set the whole tone for my day around here.

It is, of course, Father’s Day. Here’s a photo I love:

This is, of course, Tom Petty in socks & PJs, playing a harmonica. I don’t know which daughter this is. (He had 2, kind of far apart in ages, and then later in his life, when he re-married in his 50s, he adopted a son named Dylan.)

And here’s a photo closer to home, though from a very, very long time ago:

The photo has no date, but I’m guessing it’s my 3rd birthday, which means my dad is 33 here and that it’s 1963. (My adoptive dad.)  That’s our first house in Cleveland.

Okay, the church bells are ringing right now outside my window, which means that Sunday morning is really getting started here in Crazeysburg.

As the picture way at the top indicates, I am doing laundry here right now and I’m gonna go finish all that up, get more coffee and get the day underway!! I am getting dangerously close to actually finishing Blessed By Light, gang. Hard to believe. But then I have to seriously hit the ground running with revisions on the play.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a blessed and beautiful Sunday, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with one of my all-time favorite songs, gang. Truly. Just one of my favorites. I hope they play it at my funeral really loudly and that everybody is happy about lives well-lived. (It’s one of those songs that makes me think very fondly of Gus Van Sant Sr although it was a favorite song long before I met him.) Okay. I love you guys! See ya!

“Begin the Beguine”

When they begin the beguine
It brings back the sound of music so tender
It brings back a night of tropical splendor
It brings back a memory ever green

I’m with you once more under the stars
And down by the shore an orchestra’s playing
And even the palms seem to be swaying
When they begin the beguine

To live it again is past all endeavor
Except when that tune clutches my heart
And there we are, swearing to love forever
And promising never, never to part

What moments divine, what rapture serene
Till clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted
I know but too well what they mean

So don’t let them begin the beguine
Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember
Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember
When they begin the beguine

Oh yes, let them begin the beguine, please make them play
Till the stars that were there before return above you
Till you whisper to me once more, “Darling, I love you”
Then we suddenly know what heaven we’re in
When they begin the, begin the, begin the beguine

When they begin the, begin the, begin the beguine
When they begin the beguine

c- 1935 Cole Porter

Yes, I Will Endeavor to be There!!

Well, PBS informs me that my favorite show (and now the only show I watch on television – or actually I stream it on my iPad) returns with a new season tomorrow!

That’s right, Endeavor starts up again tomorrow!! I cannot believe it’s been a year already! (Which means it’s been a year since I’ve actually watched TV!)

I have no idea how I’m going to find time to watch/stream it but I will. I just love that show.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that Grantchester was also a huge favorite that I would drop everything for, but I’m not clear on whether or not it’s returning, plus that last season they did (2 years ago now) was not my favorite one. It was really going in a direction I wasn’t crazy about.

Of course, if I had time, I would watch every single British crime/mystery show out there. There are a ton that I have watched & really loved, but these days, I just don’t have time to even watch one show.  But Endeavor is just too cool. I will somehow make time to watch that.

Okay. If you went looking for Chapter 24 from Blessed By Light, I had it up for several hours yesterday (and thank you to those readers who responded to it) and then I pulled it back down because I’m still working on it. Plus, now that it’s getting towards the end of the novel, I have to stop posting it. Because it’s giving away the ending.

I am supposed to work on scripts with Peitor over the phone here this morning, but in a highly uncharacteristic move, he didn’t reply to my text yesterday to confirm. So we’ll see. I know for sure he’s back in Los Angeles, though. He had a birthday the other day and posted lovely, smiling, tanned & happy photos of it on Facebook. So he can’t hide from me… I know he’s out there!

All right, gang. For some reason, I am absolutely exhausted again. I think it could be emotional.  My morning “Inner Being journaling” is revealing some more interesting stuff about how my mind works. And I tell you, it is a full time job trying to change how I react to my own thoughts, you know? On paper, it sure sounds easy. Doing it, however, requires just a constant vigilance. Thoughts come so quickly and just proceed merrily down a familiar groove. Staying on top of it all and trying to herd those thoughts down a new path that is more beneficial to my mental health is like trying to keep track of 2000, 3-week old kittens all day, you know?

And when I’m not actually talking to someone, physically — you know, in person, a living human being and not just texting them  — it’s a lot harder to keep track of all these free-flowing thoughts I have. A lot of them go unnoticed by me until they are well underway and starting to shut me down (emotionally, I mean) because I am always alone.

Texting, though, is just so darn easy, isn’t it? I kind of hate that so many of my relationships now center around texting because I’m not truly interacting with people.  And when I’m not truly interacting with human beings, it is so much easier for my mind to do all that weird shit it sometimes does to me when I’m alone. (I think it’s happening more right now because I’m stressed from so many projects going on at once.)

And yet… Without texting, I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with anyone at all, you know?

I was working on Blessed By Light yesterday while texting with one of my nieces, which made me have to text my sister (her other aunt – my niece is my brother’s daughter) to ask her a question about what my niece was texting me about, and then my sister and I started texting about a woman she is seeing now (my sister is a total butch dyke kind of gal and so her sex life is of the utmost interest and importance to me! I must drop everything if she needs to reveal something lurid!!) And I kept hoping that I wouldn’t accidentally send a lurid text meant for my sister to my somewhat young niece instead. Although my niece is gay, too, and seems to be into butch gals, too – I’m basing this solely on, you know, meeting the gal she lives with. However, I would not want to find out what my niece is actually into by accidentally texting her something I would only say (rudely) to my sister.

And I did all of that while I was, indeed, working on Blessed By Light. I couldn’t possibly have done that if either of those women were right here, talking to me in person. I would be tearing my hair out and shouting, “Leave me alone! I’m trying to write!!” So at least I do have texting. It keeps me sort of in touch with the outside world.

Well, anyway. The point is that I’m exhausted. So I’m just gonna sit and stare and drink coffee for awhile until I see which direction my morning is gonna go in. See if Peitor is gonna call or not.

Have a great Saturday, gang. Wherever you are in the world! I leave you with this odd song. Not that the song is so odd, but it’s an odd choice to suddenly remember and want to listen to.

It’s from the 1991 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album, Into The Great Wide Open.

This was in that little era when Tom Petty was incredibly sexy.  I mean, clearly, I always thought he was sexy. But from, like 1987 to 1991, he was sort of off the charts sexy. He was in his late 30s- early 40s.  Having hit after hit after hit – as a solo artist, with the Traveling Wilbury’s, and with the Heartbreakers.

He seemed really happy in this period, too. So that was probably making him just really sexy.  As the 90s went on, even though his songwriting kept evolving and going into these amazing places – he was really growing as a musician in the 90s – he clearly was getting less and less happy as the decade went on, until he was a heroin addict by the end of the 90s and living alone in that weird chicken shack thing.

Even though I can listen to the album Echo, and I really, really love it even though it’s an intensely sad album; I can’t watch any of the videos or live concert footage that comes from that whole heroin era of his. Even though he sings great, plays great, and the songs are really good, the light is out of his eyes for sure and I can’t stand to watch that. He just looks lost.

Anyway. This is from an album that had nothing to do with unhappiness at all.  That amazing song & HUGE hit, “Learning to Fly” came from this happy album. This particular song is one of those hypnotic ones, rhythmically. A great song to drive around to, as the video sort of shows. “All the Wrong Reasons.” Listen & enjoy!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

All The Wrong Reasons

Trouble blew in on a cold dark wind
It came without no warning
And that big ol’ house went up for sale
They were on the road by morning
Oh, the days went slow, into the changing season
Oh, out in the cold, for all the wrong reasons

Well she grew up hard and she grew up fast
In the age of television
And she made a vow to have it all
It became her new religion
Oh, down in her soul, it was an act of treason
Oh, down they go for all the wrong reasons

Where the sky begins the horizon ends
Despite the best intentions
And a big ol’ man goes up for sale
He becomes his own invention
Oh, the days go slow into the changing season
Oh, bought and sold, for all the wrong reasons
Oh, down they go for all the wrong reasons

c – 1991 Tom Petty

Hello Sunshine!!

Yes, sort of a sunny day all the way around!

The Conversations with Nick Cave resume tomorrow. This time in Wales.  I have never personally known a Welsh person to post anything whatsoever to Instagram, but that might only be because I don’t personally know any Welsh people. We’ll find out, though!

I saw this morning that he’s added some more shows in England (?) and in the Scandinavian corner of things. (I think this was only because someone suddenly realized there were a few days on his calendar where he was not working. And so they had to fix that.) (That guy never stops working, gang.)

But the really good news is that ALL of his Northern American concert dates have now sold out!

And, NO,  it’s not because I personally wrote to every single person who lives in each of those cities, begging them to buy a ticket. Even I have better things to do with my time than that. Plus it quickly became apparent that I didn’t have enough money to buy all that postage and so the lady at the post office turned me and all my many handwritten letters away.

Anyway. Back to the local weather…

It is really sunny here this morning, gang. But oddly enough, it is only 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Quite chilly! I slept with all the windows closed, all over the house. And that felt very weird because it’s June. But I’m guessing that once July & August get here, and the house boils over with heat &  humidity, this wonderful chilly morning in June will suddenly seem lots more appealing.

And now back to musicians who never stop working…

I saw some current footage on Instagram last night of Bob Dylan talking about the Rolling Thunder Review (this is being promoted everywhere because Scorsese did some sort of documentary about the 100th Anniversary of that famous concert tour. Yes, 100 years ago today, Bob Dylan launched his Rolling Thunder Review tour!)

Or 45 years ago, or something like that. I don’t know. I was never a fan of the Rolling Thunder Review tour. Even though I love Bob Dylan.  (And I did love Scorsese’s other documentary on Dylan from about 15 years ago. That one was really, really good.)

My point, though, is that, wow, Bob Dylan got old. I mean, I do know that he’s in his mid-70s now, but on the wall in front of my desk, I have tons of photos of Dylan from 1965-66, and so I’m really accustomed to him still looking like that. But, au contraire. Instead, he looks like he’s in his mid-70s… in a big way. (I mean, I actually thought to myself: holy shit.)

Another old-timer, though not quite as old, but who looks ASTONISHINGLY good — Bruce Springsteen has a new album out as of midnight last night.  Western Stars. I pre-odered it a long time ago, and they’ve been dropping songs for it along the way, but I have not yet listened to the whole album because I’ve only been awake for, like, I don’t know- 2 hours?  And god knows I needed to ponder Nick Cave’s touring schedule first.

I am, of course, just kidding. I spend time journaling after breakfast now, trying to “fix” myself. I am broken in many places.

No, actually, I am only broken in one place, but it affects so many different areas of my life, my consciousness. And you know, every time I fix something broken about myself, I soon realize: no, the problem runs a lot deeper than that. Fix this other, deeper thing.

I’m now, you know, using a deep-diver’s oxygen tank,  that’s how deep it’s running now.

But in all seriousness, I am just so fucking sick of it. I know what my problem is. I have figured it out: I think erroneous, horrible things about myself because that’s what I was taught to think, a long time ago.  I know how to fix that, for real: just stop thinking certain ways and think other ways instead. Problem solved.

But thought-habits are like an addiction. They can be hard to break, but only because I’m so accustomed to thinking a certain way about myself and I can just be already way deep into it before I realize, Fuck, I’ve done it again! You know? And by then, it is harder to pull myself up out of it. It’s a lot “easier” to do the mental work right away and stop it the moment I see it happening: Don’t go down that street, Marilyn. Just don’t do it. Go this way, instead.

It’s just constant mental work.

Oddly enough, it doesn’t affect my other work. I guess because a very long time ago, I learned how to identify myself through my work, my writing, and to value myself that way. Psychologically, that’s not really the healthiest thing to do but it kept me from killing myself. I could at least find a place that was part of me that had value. So overall, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it – to identify too closely with my work. It kept me alive when nothing else did.

But now, you know. I can’t let work just be a giant band-aid anymore. Plus, it’s gotten to the point where I don’t want “them” to win.  I don’t want to end up a suicide even if I somehow manage to do brilliant work before then. It’s not good enough.

I used to tell myself, “they did their best; they were unhappy people and they didn’t really know better and they did their best.” But now I know for sure they didn’t come anywhere close to doing their best. And I also know now that they knew that. And so I feel less forgiving and more angry. (Because rape is also involved there and that is a seriously difficult thing to “get over.”)

But anger over forgiveness is probably good. It helps me stick up for myself.  (Even though all of these dialogues just happen within me because most of my adoptive family – well there are only 2 people there that I even speak to anymore. I’ve gone back into the folds of my biological family. So all of this is just talking to myself.)

Anyway. Yes, that is how I spend my mornings – the very early part of it, after breakfast, after the cats have had their merry little feeding frenzy, when it’s just me and my wonderful new coffee cup that celebrates my never-ending use of the “f” word.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna get started here.  Have a frisky, fantastic Friday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with this, one of the first singles from Springsteen’s new one, appropriately titled (for me, anyway) “Hello Sunshine”. I think it’s a lovely song, but that’s just me. Okay. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya!

“Hello Sunshine”

Had enough of heartbreak and pain
I had a little sweet spot for the rain
For the rain and skies of gray
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay
You know I always liked my walking shoes
But you can get a little too fond of the blues
You walk too far, you walk away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay
You know I always loved a lonely town
Those empty streets, no one around
You fall in love with lonely, you end up that way
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay

 

You know I always liked that empty road
No place to be and miles to go
But miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay

And miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay
Hello sunshine

c – 2019 Bruce Springsteen

Here’s Hoping Today’s Wonderful!!

Because yesterday —  hmm, not so much.

It was another cry baby day. Even though I got good writing done,  I’m just not wanting Blessed By Light to end.

I’ve never experienced these types of feelings before with anything I’ve ever written. Usually I can’t wait for something to get out of me and onto the paper and out into the world. It’s a pretty joyful thing.

However, these last 10 months of writing this novel (albeit, with a ton of other projects stuffed in there, too) have been the most magical 10 months of my life. They really have.

Of course, it doesn’t mean the magical life ends because the novel gets completed. I’d like to think that once the novel is out of me, my life will get even more magical.

I have other projects directly on the heels of Blessed By Light that I will be focusing on next. And they’re all pretty exciting: 2 plays, the string of micro-short videos with Peitor for Abstract Absurdity, my Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, the magic realism murder mystery Down to the Meadows of Sleep (the Hurley Falls thing), and I’m still working on the TV pilot projects.  And then getting together that writers retreat in Perugia Italy for next year.

That’s a whole lot of stuff there. And all of it is exciting to me. It really is.

Still, the whole process of writing Blessed By Light has been so different from anything else I’ve gone through. It has just felt so beautiful and so unexpectedly personal, or intimate, really.

Last evening, after spending several hours on the novel yesterday, I got into my cry baby mode and could feel myself shutting down.

By shutting down, I start rejecting everything, emotionally turning my back on everything. And I really, really wanna stop doing that, forever. (I rarely let those things spiral anymore, but if/when I do, those are the things that lead to those horrific suicidal depressions and I just don’t ever want to go there anymore.  It’s all just old garbage, you know? Garbage that’s attached to people who supremely sucked.  I just don’t have any room for it.)

I finally forced myself to focus on my Italian, which is always really distracting and fun, and then I turned out the light and stared into the space of the summer night outside my open window. It was raining real quietly so that was nice. But I still felt a little like I was losing track of everything; the days are really just zipping by.

I’m forgetting birthdays, losing track of holidays, only remembering to pay bills at the last minute. Stuff like that. Everything is speeding past.  And pretty soon, you know, I’m actually going to be dead.

Not tomorrow or anything (I don’t think), but it’s now sort of being lifted up like scenery on the far horizon: the ending of this life. And I know it’ll be here in a heartbeat, even if it’s still 30 or 40 years away. Years are simply barreling past.

I recall vividly being in my late 20s and realizing for the first time, really, that at some point I would go through menopause and not be able to have children. At that juncture, I was dating 3 different men, each of whom really, really wanted to have a baby with me.  Even though I was attached to each of them in different ways, I couldn’t see myself committing to an actual child with any of them. even though I really, really wanted to have a baby.

And at that point I saw that women don’t just have an indefinite amount of time to make that kind of decision about having children. And it frightened me, you know, to realize for the first time, that time flies and things permanently change. But I was still singing with my band, and just starting to become a published fiction writer. I was poor. And, more importantly, I wasn’t in love.

And then in a heartbeat, a fleeting heartbeat, gang, it was all over for me. I went into perimenopause at 40 and was done with the whole process by age 46. WTF, right?

Unbelievable, how fast that came at me. It was so depressing.

And so now when I look at age 59 and realize that, even though I still feel 12 years old, I’m not. The last half of my life is well underway. And lots of my colleagues died in their 60s.  I don’t think I’m going to die in my 60s, but regardless, time just barrels on. And there are things I want to do in this life. Not just projects, but things I want to feel.

And when I feel myself losing track of so many things, it gets scary.  And I start to feel like the time is as good as gone and maybe I should just give up on everything. That I fucked-up this life and maybe I’ll do better in the next one, and I should just let time fly and not even try to keep up with it and find “happiness.”

And that’s sort of how I was feeling last night when I fell asleep.

Then I had a very interesting dream.

One of those dreams that you know for certain comes from that higher place – the Higher Self, Inner Being, God, whatever label you want to give to that personal Source that sustains you. The dream came from that place. I was with Tom Petty and I was deconstructing the Bluebird of Happiness.

Isn’t that kind of amazing? I mean, just how specific is that?

The Bluebird of Happiness was sort of put together like a wooden birdhouse and Tom Petty was helping me carefully take apart all the pieces so that I could really examine them. Then I put it all back together again and I was very happy with the result, because I knew that my happiness had meaning.

And then an actual bird began singing outside my window and woke me at 4am – which I believe was a way to ensure that I would remember the dream.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that right before I bought this house and moved here to Muskingum County, I was taking a walk in a park over by that house that I rented for awhile from a friend – back when I was trying to decide if I was going to move back to NY or not, and then decided not to.

I had had that series of weird near-death experiences, 2 of my beloved cats had died, I was muse-less and not expecting any more muses to arrive, ever.  I was working on a couple TV projects and 2 plays with Sandra, but I was thoroughly uninspired. I really just thought my life was over. That I was going to just sort of drift in vague contentment and eventually be done with it.

And that day, walking in the park, for the very first time in my life, I saw a bluebird. An actual bluebird. I’d seen millions of blue jays in my life, but had never seen an actual bluebird. It landed right at my feet.

And it was a beautiful summer day. I took it as a sign. A literal sign that this was the Bluebird of Happiness. Not to give up. That happiness could still come.

And right away this strange little village in Muskingum County came into my life and this wonderful old house that, in and of itself, made me so happy. The house and the town were filled with spirits that were so conducive to creating. And then I suddenly started writing Blessed By Light last August. And then in the early fall, BAM, you know? The muse arrived on all cylinders and absolutely took over my life.  Everything changed.

And so I took this dream last night as a sign. A true sign. That my happiness is viable, even up to the very end.

Even if I only live to be 65 or 70 (which I have no clue, I might live to be 117), even so, the years are going to fly. But it’s still important to fill those speeding years with joy and delight and desire, because I’m still here, you know.

I don’t imagine I’ll ever get married again; I don’t actually know. But I’m certainly not going to have children.  And even if all I do is put joy out in the world in the form of projects – you know, whether it’s erotic joy or spiritual joy, depending on the project. It’s still worth it.  And I might even fall in love. It could happen.  My private world could end up being about more than just living with 7 rescued feral cats who wish I would just go away!

All right. Long post here today! I’m gonna scoot now.  I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from today. The original version of “Trailer” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers from 1984 (not the version he did in 2015 with Mudcrutch).

Very upbeat and SO very fun! Addicting.

Okay. Have a terrific Thursday wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

I graduated high school
I bought her a trailer
In a little park by the side of the road
I could’ve had the army
I could’ve had the navy
But no I had to go for a mobile home

Yeah I guess I gave it all for you babe
There wasn’t room in that trailer for two babe

I kept up with my interest
I kept up with my payments
She never said goodbye
I never asked why
Man we used to dance to Lynyrd Skynyrd
Boy she used to look so good at times

But I guess I gave it all to you babe
There’s not room in no trailer for two babe

Well I guess I gave it all for you babe
All for you and your trailer too babe

c- 1984 Tom Petty

Questa Finestra e Sporca!

Yes! This window is dirty!!

I’m probably gonna say that a lot while I’m in Italy. But who cares? It’s fun.

I also know how to say that the floor is dirty. And that we are a large family! (I also learned the Italian word for “parents” (genitori) and it kept making me laugh because it sounds dirty and I’m immature!)

And I’ve learned how to say that I build houses, and you build houses, and she/he builds houses, and we build houses.

I’m not sure what exactly I’m gonna be doing at this Writers Retreat in Perugia, but it sure sounds like I’ll be busy…

Anyway.  If you want to come build houses with me at Villa Monte Malbe next year, and also maybe write some stuff, be sure to let me know!

Okay.

Thanks, everybody, for all the nice comments on the excerpt of Blessed By Light from yesterday evening. I appreciate it.  It’s funny how many of you are awake in the world while I’m sound asleep.

Although, I didn’t stay sound asleep. I was up at 3am and, basically, I stayed awake for 2 hours before just giving up and getting out of bed.

Everything was beautiful, you know? But I was thinking about stuff.  You know, I’ve lived my entire life without a net, and suddenly at 3am this morning, after almost 59 years of doing it, it suddenly felt frightening. All this living of life without a net.

I usually don’t lie awake worrying. Especially in this house, and in this town – and especially in summer, with all the windows open, and all of nature outside having its place in the world of creation, or however you want to say that. And I usually feel like I’m woven into the very fabric of BEING. And I feel safe.

And then lately I usually have this wave of Eros washing over me, too, and that always makes me feel so alive.

But last night, I woke up and felt completely different, isolated; like it was my very first day on the planet and I had no clue what I was doing here. I felt 100% entirely alone. I have no idea why. It was frightening. But I managed to keep my thoughts skirting around it. I didn’t allow myself to dwell on it too much.

But I spent 2 hours , just lying there, trying to go back to sleep.

This is something weird. It just this morning occurred to me that both of my ex-husbands have birthdays that are in June. Don’t you think I would have realized that a lot sooner than today? And I’ve been divorced from both of them for, like, forever. I think that’s so weird. I think about so much fucking stuff all the time, but a simple thing like that – that I married 2 men who both had birthdays in June – escapes my notice for decades.

Some really, really good news from yesterday: the lawn guys are going to start hauling away the enormous dead oak tree starting next week! They say it will take 4 trips (meaning 4 weeks), but they’re ready to do it. I am so incredibly happy about this, gang. I’ll be able to get in and out of my barn! And my neighbors are gonna be flabbergasted.

Okay, the breakfast-listening music today was “Light Years” from the new album I Am Easy to Find by The National.

I really like this song, but I don’t like the video at all. I don’t like videos that force you to see a certain visual story, or to approach a song a certain way. When I listen to the song with no video, I think of this cool imagery and emotions, and stuff. The video doesn’t let you do that.

However, I don’t like the “live” versions of this song that are already on YouTube, so I’m leaving you with the Official Video. I’m not gonna tell you to close your eyes, or anything, because it’s up to you how you want to live your life & listen to your music!!

Okay. I’m gonna get back to Blessed By Light. It’s really winding down. I’m on Chapter 24 and I can’t imagine it’ll go much longer than 30 chapters. Thanks for visiting, gang. I  hope Wednesday is good to you, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys. See ya!

“Light Years”

You were waiting outside for me in the sun
Laying down to soak it all in before we had to run
I was always ten feet behind you from the start
Didn’t know you were gone ’til we were in the car

Oh, the glory of it all was lost on me
‘Til I saw how hard it’d be to reach you
And I would always be light years, light years away from you
Light years, light years away from you

I thought I saw your mother last weekend in the park
It could’ve been anybody, it was after dark
Everyone was lighting up in the shadows alone
You could’ve been right there next to me, and I’d have never known

Oh, the glory of it all was lost on me
‘Til I saw how hard it’d be to reach you
And I would always be light years, light years away from you
Light years, light years away from you
Light years, light years away from you
Light years, light years away from you

c – 2018 Aaron Dessner