Re-Evaluating, Re-Defining, and Life Goes On

You know, it’s one thing when people illegally print & offer my books for sale and then pocket whatever profits they might make. But when they offer my stuff for free — meaning no one makes or spends any money at all, just: HERE, download it! It’s free!

It just blows my mind. Like, this concept that I might want to earn a living just eludes everyone? Or, since it has sex in it, I didn’t spend a long time sitting at my desk, writing it? Trying to make it the best story I could?

And people who do this are impossible to trace. So I don’t even try. And then I’m reduced to feeling like, well, it’s an old story and it’s nice that people still want to read it; guess I just have to write something new…

The Internet can be so frustrating. You know, they steal my entire website and mirror it somewhere in India — beam it out to the whole freaking world. And they upload all my stuff & make it available all over the place, too (if you’re diligent, you can find it, with or without a price tag). And yet the Internet is also amazing; it is my friend!! It brings the world to me!!

What I do try to do is at least keep up with it, you know? So now, as much as I would rather not do it, my erotic BDSM novella Ribbon of Darkness, from 2006, is now posted (for free) up there at the From the Vault link.

Ribbon of Darkness is a partially fictionalized account of what my life was like back when I first met my birth father, in 1989. I wrote it specifically for (the now deceased) Michael Hemmingson, who published it in 2006.

It is graphic, eroticized BDSM sex, with scenes of questionable consent, and will not be suitable for most readers. However, if it’s suitable for you, please read it here and don’t patronize the thieves!!!

AAAArrrrgggghh!!!!!  grumble grumble grumble

You can read it here. Thanks, gang.

Saying Goodbye to October

Well, not a whole lot has happened since I blogged here last night, so I will be brief here. (By the way, that photo of the barn up above is just off the main road here, where the farms begin. All summer long, it is hidden behind tons of leaves. In fall, it begins to re-emerge.)

Mostly, I wanted to post a photo of the last of my impatiens. The ones on the kitchen porch bloomed themselves out several weeks ago, but the ones on my front step are still in their glory. However, over the next several nights, the temperatures will dip into the 20s Fahrenheit, so the impatiens will be gone.

The last days of the impatiens on the front step.

And since I was out there photographing the flowers (in the rain), I thought you might like to see what my sidewalk looks like — a tad bit leaf-strewn! And this is only about 10% of the maple leaves. Most of them are still on the (enormous) tree!

Leaves covering my front sidewalk.

You can see here just how close the front walk is to the windows in my family room.  So when people walk by in summer and the windows are wide open, it really does feel like they are inside my house! (This is why previous owners of the house never opened the front door, and why it is now sealed shut with decades of paint. I, however, would like to get that front door opened, also maybe even put in a screen door for summer because I don’t really mind having occasional people, and various dogs on leashes, suddenly walking through my family room. We’ll see!)

I’m in my second autumn here in the house in Crazeysburg, so I’m guessing that my neighbors know now that I won’t be raking any of these many leaves. I sort of just rely on Nature to disperse them (into everyone else’s yards, I guess). And then I rake up what little is left in the Spring! (In my own yard!)

That’s just how we roll around here — since I must always be at my desk and I can’t bring my desk outside with me while I rake, God knows…

Okay! This is feeling like a really good morning over here, so I hope you have a terrific day, wherever you are in the world!! I’m gonna get back to work on the play now.  I leave you with a photo from Halloween last year — early morning.  (This is the side of my house, outside my kitchen porch.) All righty. Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya.

Last Halloween morning on Basin Street — it wasn’t raining!!

A Most Productive Day

I am almost finished with the revisions to Tell My Bones. Unfortunately, the part I have left is the really hard part! But still, I’m really happy with how it’s gone.

I was thinking about those old stuffed animals on my bed from my post yesterday (by the way, I realized that I had 21 bedrooms in my lifetime, not 19. And then 22 if you count my dorm room at college, although i don’t really count that because I shared it with 3 other girls.)

Anyway, I was thinking about the stuffed animals and wondering how many of my original stuffed toys I might have left. I knew that, in the closet in my guest room, I have quite a few stuffed animals that were all bought when I was an adult. When I went to check, I found my old Raggedy Ann doll from when I was 7 years old. She’s the only one left that’s genuinely from my childhood. I keep her wrapped up because, as you can see below, her legs are badly deteriorating.

But she meant so much to me. My parents bought her for me as a gift and when I unwrapped her, I was so excited. Her face is all blurry like that because I cried on her so many times — whenever my heart was broken or I was lonely or being punished for God knows what. I cried all over her and hugged her to pieces. I remember that I took her to sleep-away camp with me, too. She was quite a comfort to me for a really long time.

I also took a photo up under her dress so that you can see her “heart” that says “I Love You.” Gosh, I really loved this doll. (She’ll be 52 years old at Christmas…)

Raggedy Ann from when I was 7 years old.
Raggedy Ann’s heart

Okay! I’m done working for tonight. I’m gonna do yoga and then call it a (good) day. I leave you with what I’m listening to right this red-hot minute! I think he’s in his early 30s here. It’s a great version of this song, too, even though it’s from television.

All righty. Thanks for visiting, gang. Enjoy your evening. I love you, guys. See ya!!

I tried to warn her that this would happen but would she listen? No. No she would not…

Yeah, well. Remember how, early last summer, when the 2 practically free tubes of expensive cellulite appearance reducing creme arrived from the company in France and I was worried that it would work so well — because everything else under the sun that they’ve sent me either for free or practically free, worked so well that I then was forced to keep buying it because I am so fucking vain?

Well, I was worried that it would be the same way with the cellulite appearance reducing creme — that it would work too well. And it’s just too expensive to justify adding it to the long list of cremes and scrubs and masks and cleansers that I already buy every month from that company (and have been buying from them since 1999) because no one ever, ever, ever thinks I am 59 years old — and it’s not just because I’m immature. Which I am. But still. I’m talking specifically about my skin, here.

Well, as I posted the other day, I finally started using the expensive cellulite appearance reducing creme last week, and it really works. And I don’t know how it does but it does. It doesn’t make anything go away, it just reduces the appearance of it. But since I never go anywhere where my thighs are part of what you can see of me — because I am 59 years old, and even if you think I’m only 42 and a half, I’m still not going to dress in something that has my legs hanging out because I don’t want to look like I think I’m 17 and have an inability to age gracefully. (!!)

But for some inexplicable reason, when I got out of the shower yesterday, I sort of idly wondered what would happen if I put that creme all over my body, even though I don’t have cellulite all over my body. I don’t really know why I did it, frankly, but I did it.

And guess what happened? It made that little wrinkly spot directly at the center of my neck completely disappear. Gone. I now have the neck of a 41 year-old. I mean, it was awesome. I mean, holy shit!!

So guess what else happened??!! Yes, that’s right. I got immediately on the company’s website and bought 2 more tubes!!!! AAAArrrrgh!!! $47 plus $8 shipping for a single 6 ounce tube. And I bought 2, since the shipping charge would be the same. And God knows, I didn’t want to ever find myself in a public situation where that little wrinkly spot in the center of my neck ever, ever reappeared again.

I knew this would happen. I just knew it. The company makes incredible products, and 95% of it is plant-based, and they fix things — most of which you don’t even know you have problems with until they offer to fix it for free (one time) and your vanity is so intense that then you cannot live without the product because it fixed the thing you didn’t know you had a problem with.

They once sent me a free acne-controlling face mask. I don’t have acne and never did. But I love their face masks. So I used it and could not believe how great it made my skin look! So now I always have a tube of that in my medicine cabinet — $17 (plus $8 shipping) for 1 ounce of light blue stuff that fights something I don’t even have.

My medicine cabinet is 4 feet high — it extends up to the ceiling. It has 4 deep shelves, all of which are brimming with my many, many products from France (usually with a 2-3 month back-up for each product, because I wouldn’t want to even imagine running out of something and not being able to get to France).

I’m guessing that when my mom was staying here while I was in NYC, she probably had a heart attack when she opened the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and saw the absolute tidal wall of beauty products confronting her (and quite a few of the products weren’t even there because I took them with me to NYC). I have no drugs at all — except Flonase. I’m a drug-free kind of gal, relying instead on Jesus and my Inner Being to handle any medical emergencies that might pop up. So everything, absolutely everything in my bathroom is dedicated to my skin. (Well, I have a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. But otherwise…)

It’s just un-fucking-real.  And now yet another product has become part of that permanent beauty landscape. (But when I’m one-hundred-and-four years old, and only look 92 and a half, who will have the last laugh??!!)

Okay, so there we have it: Me, up to weirdness in the bathroom again, and another expensive habit is born!! All righty. I gotta scoot. I gotta work on the PLAY. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a wonderful Wednesday wherever you are in the world! I love you guys. See ya!

“Thank Heaven For Little Girls”

Each time I see a little girl of
Five or six or seven
I can’t resist the joyous urge
To smile and say…

Thank heaven for little girls
For little girls get bigger every day
Thank heaven for little girls
They grow up in the most delightful way.

Their little eyes so helpless and appealing
Someday will flash and have you crashing thru the ceiling.

Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all,
No matter where no matter who
Without them what would little boys do?

Their little eyes so helpless and appealing
Someday will flash and have you crashing thru the ceiling.

Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all
No matter where no matter who
Without them what would little boys do?

Without them what would little boys do?

c -1957  Loewe Frederick, Lerner Alan Jay

In My Room

I try not to get on Instagram or check email until my morning is well under way, because you just never know what lies in wait for you online that could just fuck up your whole day. You don’t really want to wade into those dangerous waters until you’ve at least had coffee and meditated…

However, this morning, for some reason, it was about 5:30am, and I was barely even awake, let alone out of bed, and I started scrolling through Instagram and almost immediately found a post from Brian Wilson, where he was quoting something Keith Richards had said and it just sort of happily set the tone for my morning.

Keith was commenting about certain very early songs by the Beach Boys that Brian Wilson had of course written, and one of the songs Keith mentioned was “In My Room.”

I had forgotten all about that song and I used to just love it. It was a “B” side, never a bona fide “hit,” but it was included on the greatest hits double album, Endless Summer. And that’s where I first heard the song, at age 14.

Of course, I got right on YouTube and played “In My Room,” as I lay there in the dark, contemplating getting out of bed.

It is still such a sweet song and it made me realize just how much of my life has been spent in my room. (My various online businesses and blogs have either been called Marilyn’s Room, or referred to my room in some way, for that very reason — my whole entire life seems to happen in my room. Try as I have to always move my offices out of my various bedrooms over the years, it always moves back in. I love my room!)

It also made me think about Keith Richards, whom I seem to have loved my whole entire life, beginning at age 11, when I’d read the monumental Rolling Stone magazine interview with John Lennon (whom I had loved since I was about 9).  Lennon talked a lot about the Stones and Bob Dylan in that interview — and that’s how I really got introduced to the “real” Rolling Stones, not the “evil” ones that the media had perpetuated.

Anyway, from that interview with John Lennon, I managed to find the equally monumental interview Rolling Stone magazine had done with Keith Richards, at his infamous villa in the South of France, earlier in 1971.

Image result for keith richards 1971 south of france villa
Keith Richards, Villa Nellcote, South of France, 1971

You know, it was difficult enough to be 11 years old and try to truly understand John Lennon, a man I genuinely idolized; it was a whole other planet of astonishment being 11 years old and trying to understand Keith Richards, especially since I knew very little about the Stones at that point, and knew only a handful of their hit songs.

It is safe to say he made an overwhelming impression on me. I had to read the interview with a dictionary at hand, because some of the words he used I didn’t even know yet. (I remember that “decadent” was one of the words I had to look up, and it was used somehow in connection to Nazis and it took me a really long time — years — before I grasped what he was getting at there.) I also remember going to the library to find all the books & recordings I could on the Delta Blues singers. I knew most of the old rock & rollers and rockabilly guys by then, but the Delta Blues was new to me.

Anyway, it was cool to lay there in the dark this morning, listen to “In My Room” and think about Keith Richards and realize just how young he’d been when I was 11  (he was only 28!!) — he seemed ancient to me.  Like he’d been alive forever… (this song is actually quite appropriate, isn’t it??!!)

Okay, so here’s a photo of my room from when I was 12.

My room, circa 1972

I was actually taking a picture of my dog, Brindle. However, you can sort of see my room. You can see that great old Zenith radio!! That was the actual radio I listened to, even though it was probably 20 years old by then — a castoff from my parents. (I never had any sort of state-of-the-art hi-fi equipment, ever. Even my record player was a portable, battery-operated thing.)

I still have my stuffed animals on my bed — from my actual childhood. Not “new” stuffed animals. I seem to have been reading A Blues I Can Whistle, which I recall I had to read for 7th grade English class. (I also recall that I loved the book!! Here is the synopsis: A young man, institutionalized after attempting suicide, writes about what happened the summer after his first year of college.)

And there is my little 3-ring binder, too, not only with flowers on it (because, after all, I was a girl), but also photos of Alice Cooper and his band –photos that had come with the record School’s Out — are taped to the front of the binder. (A pair of paper panties also came with that album!) The binder holds all the songs I had written by then. (What I wouldn’t give to still have that binder and look at all those old songs.)

So that’s one of my many rooms. As near as I can recall, I have had 19 bedrooms in my lifetime…

And for no reason at all, here I am at age 2, ten years earlier, at the first house in Cleveland. (I found it while trying to find photos of my room). A bag of Wise potato chips are in front of me, my favorite potato chips, ever.

Me in Cleveland in 1962

Okay. I’m gonna get back to work here. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday.

Oh, wait! Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files newsletter today that was extremely interesting and eloquent — a few words longer than last week’s. About shyness and his wife. You can read it here. (Interestingly enough, when I saw Nick Cave at Town Hall, his wife was sitting a few seats over from me, in the same row. And at one point, when he was talking about his wife being his Muse, he did a sort of impersonation of how nervous she was likely acting over being talked about publicly as his Muse, and she actually was doing that exact nervous thing right at that moment. And I mean, exactly. Sort of fluttery and stuff.)

Okay. So, thanks for visiting!! You know what I’m leaving you with today!! I love you guys, See ya.

“In My Room”

There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday

Now it’s dark and I’m alone
But I won’t be afraid
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room

c – 1963 Brian Wilson, Gary Usher

Darn it, forgot to title this!

All righty. I’m back.

What a cool morning! Still tons of fog here, but it doesn’t look nearly as dramatic as it did before the sun came up. Actually, when I got up around 2am to use the bathroom, it looked really spooky outside. I guess mostly because I wasn’t expecting everything in the world outside my windows to have disappeared.

You know, Muskingum County is so intensely spirit-filled, just in general, that a little bit of fog goes a long way. It can turn cool into creepy in a nanosecond. And I’m not just saying this because I’m some sort of lunatic. Muskingum County — and especially Crazeysburg, with its “stopped in time” sort of feel to it — is unlike any place where I’ve ever been.

The ancient burial mounds all over the place have a lot to do with it, I think. The mounds here are sacred grounds to the Latter Day Saints, in fact. They believe Christ had his Second Coming around here, 2000 years ago. And it’s kind of uncanny, some of the terrain documented in the Book of Mormon that you can easily interpret as being all over this region, with all its ancient burial mounds.

And a couple hundred years ago, when the locals dug up some of the burial mounds on farms around here, they discovered the skeletons of giants — 9 to 12 feet tall. They were not Native Americans — meaning, people who migrated here from the general region of Mongolia and became known as “American Indians.” These skeletons predated that. The ancient people are considered Sun Worshipers.  And they were sometimes buried with stone tablets that have ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew symbols carved on them. So those giants were real old. It does sort of seem they had to have come here by boat, and they just have a number of uncanny similarities with what is documented in the various books within the Book of Mormon. (My in-progress murder mystery, Down to the Meadows of Sleep: The Hurley Falls Mystery, uses all that cool stuff in the plot.)

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus appeared here to the ancient people, as is written. But it does mean that all of it is really, really interesting to ponder.(The Latter Day Saints are really just the coolest people. However, for me, their intense adherence to concepts of “sin” make it entirely unwieldy as a way of understanding life, and they seem even more dedicated to the need for procreation than even the Catholics are — and I think that rigidity comes from an understandable fear born from what happened to Joseph Smith.)

But I digress. And, plus, that’s only my opinion.

I have to say that within my lifetime, I have been all over Ohio, just all over it. And none of it has ever felt the way it feels here in Muskingum County. I’m not opposed to believing Christ appeared here. It seems he appeared all over the place after he died. The definition of “appear” is upon which all of it hinges. You know, even Paul says that Jesus did not go up to the sky as flesh & bone and then reappear in flesh & bone. It was as “spirit.” And certainly the Gnostics had a whole lot to say about the nature of how Christ appears. So that word and how you define it is key.

(And when you’re called to follow Christ, as I was as a 5-year-old girl in Cleveland, it is generally in spirit — for me, it was an aural & spiritual call; not a physical one.)

Anyway. A huge blanket of dense fog settling over Crazeysburg in the middle of the night, makes it all feel just that much more fascinating. My photos with my phone don’t do it justice, of course. (See post below from early this morning.)

Okay, well, I’m happy to report that there’s way more milk still in my fridge this week than there was on Monday of last week, so I’m guessing I’m not drinking nearly as much coffee. And so I guess that is a good thing. And I’m not spending as much time in bed, delaying that getting up & getting started thing. That’s not necessarily a good or a bad thing, just saying that I’ve stopped doing it.

I also wanted to report — if you’ve been reading this blog since early summer — that now that all the intense humidity is gone, I have finally been using that expensive new body creme that I got from the company in France (the company that I buy all of my expensive beauty products from and they do manage to take about 2 decades off my apparent age). Anyway, Kara was after me for ages to try the stuff and see if it worked. It is a creme that “reduces the appearance of cellulite.” (While I wouldn’t say that I struggle with cellulite, my thighs are indeed the cellulite capitol of the world and always have been, throughout all recorded time.)

Anyway, I finally decided to try it and it actually works. I’m not sure how, though. It doesn’t get rid of cellulite, but when you use it, it does indeed reduce the appearance of it.  But if, like, the next day you don’t use it, you still have all the cellulite you’ve ever had. It didn’t go anywhere.

It’s really interesting to ponder and try to figure out how it actually works — and it’s made from plant products. But it’s very expensive so I doubt I will ever actually buy it once these 2 tubes of it are gone.  I’m not usually in a situation where my thighs are the things on me that anyone’s ever really noticing anyway.  I guess you never know what could happen in life, though, so it’s good to know this creme exists. (Although I shudder to think about what would be underway if suddenly my thighs were of intense interest to anyone…)

All righty.

Today is all about the play — well, mostly the play, and a little bit of yoga. So I’m gonna get started here. I hope it’s a great Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! I leave you with an interesting concept: The Mormons singing the famous Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts.” If you have a minute and a half to spare, it’s worth listening to. It’s undeniably lovely. Okay. I love you guys. See ya!

I will be back in a minute, meanwhile…

It’s still really early here. I’m getting ready to meditate and will blog for real  in a bit, but I wanted to share these 2 photos of what it looks like outside in the fog right now. It’s so cool!

I made them black & white. I don’t know if you can really see just how dense the fog is.  But here’s a view from the window at the top of the stairs, and one of my neighbor’s yard, taken from one of the windows in the upstairs bathroom.


A very lovely day

These are the trees in the side view mirror of my car.

I just thought this looked so beautiful.

Plus I like how they’re  also reflected in the outside of my (grown up) car and the car window. Just so much color.

The wind died down and it’s just a  really lovely day here.  The sun finally came out after just tons of October rain.

I’m not writing today. Getting extremely excited about the writing that’s coming this week, though — I can feel it coming. For the play, I mean. I can see it in my mind’s eye.

I guess I’m not really blogging today.  I hope it’s been a good Sunday wherever you are in the world, filled with beauty, insights, maybe? For some reason, my day has just been beautiful even though I’m kind of tired.

I leave you with this, what I’m listening to — just stunning. To go with my mood. Thanks for visiting, gang, brief as it was today. I love you guys. See ya.


I’ve Noticed that Sometimes It Takes Her Forever to Get Her Mind Back

Well, finally. My mind came back.

The rewrites I need to make on Tell My Bones — the direction I need to take and the voices I needed to hear from my characters, are finally arriving.

I’m guessing that by the end of this coming week, I might even have the new version of the play entirely finished.

It is such an incredible relief when the voices you need to hear finally start talking to you. Of course, this means that all the other projects I’m doing will take a back seat for a week or two, but I totally don’t mind. It is just such a relief to finally move past certain difficulties I’ve been having — re: personalities involved in the play — and just concentrate on the PLAY. Make space in my head to allow the revisions to just come.

I’ve blogged here in the past about my singer-songwriter career in NYC, way back in the old days of the 1980s, and how naive I was back then about people’s ability to literally sabotage your whole career. And then how it started to happen again in the early days of my writing career, but at that point, I did what I felt I had to do to ensure that I didn’t get sabotaged again.  I’m not going to go into all of it again here, only enough to say that I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s real. People do try to sabotage you.

You know, even if people aren’t consciously aware that they’re doing it to you, on some emotional level, because of their own insecurity, some people do want to see you fail. It’s up to you, of course, to allow that to happen or not. And because of naivety, I allowed it to happen to my music career, but I’ve never allowed it to happen again. But it’s that feeling of incredible disappointment, when you see it coming at you from someone you had no clue whatsoever there was ever any reason to distrust. However, in these few weeks since I’ve been home from NY, shit happened and continued to happen, so my eyes are open. For sure. Unfortunately.

I guess I really just needed to process that whole thing and find the best way to keep the relationship intact, but move forward with a better understanding of what is really in play, underneath it all.

Peitor’s brief phone conversation with me on Thursday really helped me get back on track and get my head together. (And I guess 3 hours of crying in the dark yesterday morning was the final processing of everything. And I can finally move forward. Allow people to be whoever they need to be, but move forward.)

So here we are.

Well, tickets began going on sale in Europe yesterday for the 2020  Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds tour, supporting their new indescribably staggering album, Ghosteen.

If it weren’t for the fact that I will be up to my eyeballs with stuff for the play in NY by then, as well as overseeing the Writer’s Retreat either in Italy or England, I seriously contemplated the idea of buying a ticket to one of those concerts, just choosing a country I’d never been to before, and going.

But, of course, it is just indescribably impractical. And I feel completely, 100% confident, that they will eventually come to the States and add Crazeysburg to their line-up of venues. (We do have a Little League ball field here, with ample bleachers to hold all 14 of us who live here. So of course it will clearly happen. Patience is key.)

Anyway. Whatever. Who knows what the fuck is going to happen in my life by mid- 2020, right? I should try to just focus on the weekend for now. It is the final weekend of October and I just last night realized that I haven’t set out a single Halloween decoration. I keep thinking, subconsciously, that it’s still September.  Oh well.

I’m gonna close this and get started here. Go down to the kitchen and get another cup of coffee. Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you have a splendid Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with this parting shot of Tom Petty, early 1990s, drinking a cup of coffee. (He was a Maxwell House drinker to the end — according to his second wife, Dana.) Okay. I love you guys. See ya.

Coffee! Always has been and forever will be the beverage of champions!