Oops! Another One That I Forgot to Title!!

You know, I started working out religiously when I was 12 because, culturally, it’s just what you did. You were supposed to stay fit. Not because you needed to be “fit” at age 12, but because you were setting up good habits for the rest of your life. (Seriously.) (And this was before junk food and fast food took over the whole nation. I actually did not know anyone, yet, who was overweight.)

It’s sort of weird, right? How my entire life seems to have been about making sure I look really good when I finally die.

But, anyway. By “culturally” I’m talking about upper-middle-class white Midwestern America, because that’s what we were when I was 12. In 1972.

And I wouldn’t have dreamed of not working out. I was told to work out, so I did. Back then, it was calisthenics.  In fact, when I was 11, I won one of those  President’s Physical Fitness awards in gym class, which was all about calisthenics. The award was a congratulatory letter from the President of the United Sates and a patch that looked like this (mine was a “1” not a “3”). And when I won mine, guess who was President??!! Nixon. (Man, I wish I’d kept that letter!) Anyway, it looked like this:

Image result for the president's award for physical fitness"

So, from a wee bonny age, even the President of the United States, marred as he was by scandals that seem so harmless nowadays, urged me to get off my tiny butt and stay in shape!

And so I’ve just always done that. For a long time, it was calisthenics. And I mean, a really long time. And then, in the 1980s, it was aerobics. That was the craze. I did that for years, and that was actually really fun. In fact, Cher made a couple of aerobics videos that were really great. I loved those.

I also got into “the gym” stuff–free weights, rowing machines, stationary bikes, treadmills. I loved all that stuff. (Except when it came time to get rid of them. That part is never fun.) (And I recall one afternoon, when I was still living in the hellhole tenement apartment on E.12th Street in the East Village, one of my 5 lb. free weights accidentally rolled out the open 5th-story window, and as I was racing down 5 flights of stairs to get to the street, I’m envisioning someone dead on the sidewalk with a fractured skull, and me facing Manslaughter charges and a trip to Rikers Island, all expenses paid by the City of New York… but what I found, thank god, was a little Puerto Rican boy, walking off with it and I had to beg him to give it back, as he loudly proclaimed the “finder’s keepers” rule.)

Anyway!!! Yes. So, I have been doing yoga now for about 13 years. It has kept me sane and it also helped me stop drinking myself to death, back when I first moved back to Ohio to look after my ailing adoptive mother, and then found out that I had made just a horrible error in judgment. Moving back here was just a terrible, terrible mistake.

And since the ill-advised move back to Ohio coincided with the man I loved turning out to have a horrible gambling habit that wiped me out of my entire life savings — including a $9000 check from the insurance company to get a new roof put on my house (as much as you might truly love somebody, you know, think really, really hard about giving them one of your ATM cards. Seriously. Or, if you do, then check your bank balance, like, every 5 minutes.). And that horrible thing happened right when the world economy tanked and ravaged the publishing industry, putting 4 of my primary publishers out of business on the very same day…

Yes, when all of that happened at once, and I woke up every single morning wanting to commit suicide (and I continue to give thanks to the beautiful and gifted writer/publisher/editor Sean Meriwether in NYC — of Velvet Mafia fame — for taking so many of my distraught phone calls back then and helping me not kill myself) — well, I ultimately chose heavy drinking instead. And, you know, that’s gonna kill you, too. So truly, yoga saved me. It did. A couple of my girlfriends back in NYC who were really worried about me persuaded me to at least try yoga, and I wound up loving it on so many levels and it did really save my life.

So I’ve been a yoga-type gal for 13 years now. But yesterday, for whatever inexplicable reason, I decided to buy a 21-day video Pilates-type workout program, called Booty Core. I’m not sure what possessed me to suddenly switch it up — I’m not, like, obsessed with my butt or anything. I’m not even obsessed with working out; it’s just something I’ve always done. But you know what? I’m pushing 60 now, and back around the holidays, I was hanging out with a female friend who is 32. And a pen rolled off the table and down to the floor and then under the bar a little bit. So I got down on the floor — actually knelt all the way down and reached under the bar and got the pen. And she was literally aghast. She said, “How did you do that? At your age?”

I was, like, mystified. “How did I do what?”

“Get all the way down on the floor like that and then get right back up?”

Jesus, you know? I just found that so weird.  And then she said, “I can’t even do that!” And she’s only 32-fucking-years old! It was just so weird. And I guess I thank god for President Richard Milhous Nixon and all the good habits he instilled in me — and trust me, that’s not  a thing I ever thought I would find it in me to say.

So. I’m gonna try Booty Core for 21 days and see if maybe I can pick up a lot more pens from the floor!

On another topic.

Only a couple of photos posted to Instagram last night from the first Conversation in Brussels with Nick Cave. Although there were quite a few posts, but only, like, 2 people actually took photos during the show. But everybody who posted, of course, loved it. And it sounds like maybe he’s doing a few songs from Ghosteen now. (?) Tonight is the last night of the Conversations tour. I’m guessing he will continue to have conversations,  but none that we are invited to attend (even if we pay him!!) and that just sucks!

I’m sorry, I don’t have a photo credit for this. I grabbed it from the ticket sales site in the Netherlands.

I am going to go out on a limb here and encourage you to never attend a Conversation with Nick Cave. Because then you will never, ever want it to end. (And if you slavishly follow the posts on Instagram, as I do, you will see that I am not the only one who says this!!) I imagine that, if for some inexplicable yet heavenly reason, I ever ran into him on the street, I would dig out whatever loose change I could find in my pockets, hand it to him and try to get him to answer a question for me. Any question. (ME: “Here!! I have 14 cents. Will you please tell me what it was like the first time you had –“)

Because his answers are awesome.

Which reminds me, that the very moment I posted to the blog here yesterday, Nick Cave sent out another one of his Red Hand Files letter things. And it was uncanny. Whoa, like, it made me want to go right back to the blog and remove my post. If you recall yesterday’s post, it was all about my trying to come to terms with how fucking strange my writing always is.  And yesterday’s Red Hand Files was all about whether or not you had to be mentally ill to be a great artist…

Anyway… my own fucking insanity aside, it was another really great Red Hand Files, because he is just so eloquent.  And I’m just so frustrated that his In Conversations are going to end. Again.

Okay. I really gotta get moving here. Peitor will be calling from West Hollywood momentarily because we have to work on our micro-script and, of course, now the pressure feels sort of intense. Like, you know, we actually have to finish this darn thing, make the video, then make about 8 more…(!!)

For whatever weird reason, this song was in my head the moment I woke up this morning, and so I played it throughout breakfast and I’m leaving you with it today!! From the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot. (Yes, the very year I was born.) “How to Handle A Woman.” As sung here by Richard Burton. Okay, thanks for visiting, gang. I hope today is good to you, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya.

“How To Handle A Woman”

“How to handle a woman?
There’s a way, ” said the wise old man,
“A way known by every woman
Since the whole rigmarole began.”
“Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer.
“Do I threaten or cajole or plead?
Do I brood or play the gay romancer?”
Said he, smiling: “No indeed.
How to handle a woman?
Mark me well, I will tell you, sir:
The way to handle a woman
Is to love her… simply love her…
Merely love her… love her… love her.”

c – 1960 Lerner & Loewe

A Turn in the Road

I guess my life is getting ready to be different.

You know how you can feel it — that things are changing? The way you’re perceiving your life, or the reality of your life, or maybe what you think is the reality of your life?

I guess I started feeling it the other night, when Peitor began texting about certain new goals he had for Abstract Absurdity — our  production company — and I realized that my perceptions of that part of my life were shifting.  And not just realizing I was going to have to go to LA more often. But realizing the full scope of the micro-shorts that he and I are creating — they are extremely strange. Visually, they’re abstract; story-wise, they’re absurd. And they’re super short.  But they rely heavily on the vision of the directors of New Wave foreign cinema. From 50 years ago, basically.

And I think it’s strange that he and I know all these films. The other day, we were working out a shot of a sexual assault that needs to be viewed from the POV of inside an overturned vacuum cleaner, and Peitor wanted to include the sound of the vacuum cleaner bag deflating/sighing. And I said, “how are we going to get that?” And he said, “We’ll just make it up. Do something ‘Jacques Tati.'” And I said okay.

And then I thought that it’s so weird that I’ve seen most of Jacques Tati’s films, so I knew what he meant. Why have I seen all of those Jacques Tati films? Have you? I mean, really; why? What is my life?

And then the new section of Tell My Bones — if I can use a pun without meaning to —  dramatically shifts the scope of that play.  In one 3 or 4 minute song, I’ve managed to visually push it into the areas of lynchings and slave auctions and the extreme racism of alleged white “Christians.”  I still haven’t heard back from the director but I know he is going to be, at the very least, taken aback by where I took  the storyline, and how I took it there. Where did it come from? The only thing I really know is that it took me a few weeks and a lot of nausea to get it there.

Then yesterday, I spent 9 hours doing another edit of Blessed By Light. It didn’t actually need much real editing, just some punctuation tweaking here & there. And then I sent it off to yet another small press. (I still haven’t heard back from any of them.) But after reading it again, from start to finish, without having read it like that in about 7 months, I was struck anew by how strange it is.

I love reading it. I love that I wrote it. But I still don’t understand what it actually is, besides a short “experimental novel.” Which I guess is just a really handy label for saying: “I wrote this but I don’t understand what it is.”

And I saw that this same small press publishes chap books – of poetry and fiction. And I thought, but my chap book (In the Shadow of Narcissa) is nonfiction. It’s flash-nonfiction. It’s a flash-nonfiction memoir chap book.

You know, leave it to me to be hard at work on something that doesn’t actually have a ready category. Yet again. ( I have done this more times than you can possibly imagine, throughout my career.)

And I have just been working really, really hard for like the last 17 months. Without a break. Going from project to project, and then back again. And I am so incredibly happy with how everything is turning out. But everything I’m doing is so strange.

And when I was pouring my first cup of coffee this morning, it occurred  to me that my writer-friend in Brussels is correct — Blessed By Light is a weird title. No one on Earth will understand what it means and they’ll think it’s some sort of New Age-Christian book. But what it is, is a fictional American rock & roll legend thinking about his life– and doing stuff, falling in love, talking about his life, his career, trying to deal with his family, his best friend’s death, having to quit smoking — in the final year of his life. That’s all it is. (Except that he thinks his life is beautiful.)

“The Guitar Hero Goes Home” is a chapter title, but it’s probably a better title for the whole book — with “home” meaning “heaven” or something like that.

Even though Neptune & Surf has been around now for over 20 years, no one ever related to that title, either. They always thought it was going to be about the ocean and the planets or something. Or mythology. But it’s named after 2 streets in Coney island — in Brooklyn. The French publisher thought “Neptune Avenue” made more sense as a title, and they were completely right. It made way more sense.

Anyway. I don’t want to belabor the nonsensical aspects of my life — of which there are many. I’m only saying that I can feel my life shifting. From the creative process, to the going-back-out-into-the-world process. And all that it may or may not entail.

And thinking about mortality — will I be around next year, ten years from now, forty years from now? How much of my work will I actually get done? What’s going to be my legacy? I had sort of a life from hell and then wrote a lot of weird stuff. And was alone (with cats) most of the time.

That kind of seems accurate.

This morning, I woke up around 4:30am and the strangest song was going through my head — a Paul McCartney song from 1970: “That Would Be Something.” I loved the McCartney album. I was 9 when it came out and I played it nonstop for months. But I hadn’t thought about that album in years.

Whenever I wake up with a specific song in my head, I play it on YouTube, even before I turn on a light or get out of bed. Because I want to see if the song tells me something, before my mind gets cluttered up with regular life.

So I played the song and it was, like —oh my god— my entire 9 year-old life came right back to me. I was such a strange little kid. Music was my entire world. Playing records, but also playing the piano, the guitar, the violin. Music meant everything to me. I think music was my barricade against my mother. I think it protected me, somehow, and helped me survive. (It didn’t keep me sane, but it helped me survive the insanity, for sure.)

Overall, though, I realized this morning that, for whatever reason, I’m just plain strange. And my life is probably just going to be about writing stuff and putting it into the world. And then over & out.

And I also realized — remember a few months back, when one of my nylon stockings disappeared from the washing machine in the space of 20 minutes? It never ever came back.

So I’m guessing that reality is not just about manifestation, but de-manifestation, as well. Certainly food for thought.

Okay. Nick Cave will be Conversing in Brussels tonight and tomorrow night, and then he’s done. I cannot stress what a dearth came out of Nijmegen. Honestly. I think it was worse than Portland, Oregon. I know he was already in Belgium last year.  I don’t remember how it went. (I do remember that Luxembourg’s show looked like it was astoundingly amazing. But I’m not 100% sure how long I plan on remembering all this stuff…)

Anyway. I’m gonna scoot. I have some more boring legal documents I have to go over this morning, and then maybe I’ll just sit and stare for awhile. Not sure yet. But thanks for visiting. Have a super Thursday, wherever you are in the world! You know what I’m leaving you with, but you’re probably not expecting the entire song to have only 2 lines of lyrics…still, it’s a really catchy song. It really is. And for whatever reason, it totally encapsulates my girlhood and makes an uncanny point about where my mind still is.

All righty. I love you guys. See ya.

“That Would Be Something”

That would be something,
It really would be something,
That would be something,
To meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

That would be something,
It really would be something,
Mm, that would be something,
To meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

That would be something,
It really would be something,
That would be something,
To meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Oh, oh.

Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.


Uh, now, meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
I meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Uh, meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

c – 1970 Paul McCartney

Could It Get More Auspicious??!!

My god.

First, I got out of bed at about 4:48am. Stuck my little feet into my cuddly slippers. Opened the Venetian blind and, lo & behold! SNOW outside!! Everywhere!! Yay!!

And just now, when I opened my laptop to get down to the blog post for today, this was awaiting me! Another ladybug!!

A ladybug inside my laptop in the dead of winter.

I am, of course, taking it as another sign! Of what, I don’t know, but it’s probably really good. It really just sort of blew me away. (See my post from a couple weeks ago re: the other ladybug and Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files thingy about signs, from the summer.)

And I’ll say here that I think the city of Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, is one of those places that is full of rule-followers because very few people have posted anything at all to Instagram from the Conversation Nick Cave had there last night. The main person who did post (some great video stuff!!), was also at the previous night’s show in Eindhoven, where everyone posted tons of amazing stuff. So that person doesn’t count as “someone from Nijmegen.”

Of course, if I’m in attendance at a show, I seriously hate when people use their phones during the performance because they get incredibly distracting. However, if I’m not attending, I really want everybody to use their phones!! How else will I know what it was like??

I know.  They say that you can’t have it both ways. However, I am someone who has dedicated my entire life to getting it both ways! In every way imaginable! So this is cause for consternation.

Grumble, grumble.

Meanwhile. Yesterday, I got this:

Ekouaer Womens Seamless V-Neck Organic Bamboo Chemise Lounge Wear Dress (Blue, Small)

Yes, another chemise and  it’s the dead of winter, but it was indescribably inexpensive.  And I loved the color. So I got it, even though I won’t be able to wear it until spring.

And even though it fits perfectly, it’s one of those clingy kinds. I normally don’t like “clingy” because I am still trying to understand how I became a woman who has curves. Honestly. Forever, it seems, I had always been 34B-32-35. Almost straight up & down.

Post-menopause, even though I only weigh 6 pounds more, I became 40C-32-38. It’s just crazy. I can’t get used to it — that gal in the mirror. And it’s not like I finished menopause yesterday or anything. It’s been 14 years already. I’ve had quite a while to get used to this. (I “changed” early — at age 46.)

There are so many things about being post-menopausal that I absolutely love. But this “curvy” thing. Man. I look like somebody’s mom, without the benefit of being anybody’s mom. And it’s weird to look like a mom when I’m only 12…

Anyway. I decided to keep the chemise because it fits and its soft and the color is really pretty. And I decided that I guess this year is the year I will try to get used to having curves. I’m guessing I’m gonna have them for a really long time now. I don’t see this as a situation that’s going to reverse, or anything.

Okay, well!! Yes, yesterday, I finished the character arc revision to Tell My Bones!! I’m super eager to hear what the director has to say. I’m still not 100% happy with a small chunk of dialogue that comes right before the ending of the play, so I know I will eventually want to focus on that. However, yesterday evening, I got an email from a small press in NYC that I am really intrigued by so I want to take all of today and go over Blessed By Light, from start to finish; make sure I don’t want to tweak it at all, or if I do, then tweak it. Then send the novel off to the publisher.

So I have a long editing day ahead of me here and I’m going to get started.

Have a great Wednesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting! I leave you with my breakfast-listening music. Still on Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night, but this time it’s “Sweet Caroline” — probably my most favorite version of this song. All righty. I love you guys. See ya!

“Sweet Caroline”

Where it began
I can’t begin to knowin’
But then I know it’s growin’ strong

Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who’d have believed you’d come along

Hands, touchin’ hands
Reachin’ out, touchin’ me, touchin’ you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
But now I…

…look at the night
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two

And when I hurt
Hurtin’ runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when I’m holdin’ you?

Warm, touchin’ warm
Reachin’ out, touchin’ me, touchin’ you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
Oh, no, no

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
Sweet Caroline
I believed they never could

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good…

c – 1969 Neil Diamond

Those Lucky Fuckers!! Jesus!

Man. That show in Eindhoven, Netherlands, last night seems to have been just incredibly great. The photos on Instagram were amazing (Nick Cave’s Conversation). One person had also been to the show in Essen, Germany (which had also looked really great), and said that the show in Eindhoven was even better.

Well, those photos — I couldn’t believe them.

And someone posted a full minute of him singing “Waiting for You,” from Ghosteen, and I really just couldn’t believe how fucking good it was. And it just means that the Ghosteen tour is going to be off the charts.

Crap — you know?! (I say it like that because I will not be attending any of these events.)

Okay, well, tonight he will be back in the Netherlands, in Nijmegen… And I will be so pissed off if it’s really, really good!

Which reminds me, that the other day, when I posted about pre-orders for the Nick Cave art exhibition book — Stranger Than Kindness — I forgot to post the link, which is here.

I’ve also been meaning to post that, at least in the United States, the MP3 edition of Rowland S. Howard’s incredible solo album from 1999, Teenage Snuff Film, will be available for download in early March. You can pre-order it here. (It’s Amazon US, but I don’t know if that means you have to live in the US to download it or not. I’m guessing it will be available for download from everywhere, though.)

Well, gang. The work on Tell My Bones yesterday was really productive — I’m still not finished, but I am really, really close.

The problem is that this one segment deals with racism, Jim Crow and, specifically, lynchings. It is not easy for me to be creative and artistic about all this. I mean, in a sense, it is easy because I feel strongly about it, but it makes me sick to my stomach while I’m doing it. And it wears me out.

And I’m trying to find that balance between making the point and not bombarding the audience with it. Helen, herself, talked to me in only a very minimal way about the racial problems she experienced in her life; her primary focus was her art and her family. Those were the topics that were of utmost importance to her. Plus, her family — even back in 1919, when she was born — were not sharecroppers. They owned their own farm, did reasonably well, and were definitely much better off than the white farmers around them.

She attributed her family’s well-being to their being devout Christians. Still, they were descended from slaves, and they were living in a Jim Crow State. And I felt that something needed to be said about that.

And in wanting to get a better understanding of what Kentucky was like when Helen was born, and specifically in Graves County, I had to research the statistics of lynchings in the State of Kentucky (which, of course, reveals horrible photos, too). It was all just stomach-turning, you know? Even though they did lynch a number of white men, the statistics document that it was overwhelmingly black.

And the statistics are so precise, too — which is also sickening in and of itself. The names, the race, the sex, what they were accused of (usually rape, attempted rape, or murder), the date they were lynched, and which county it took place in. If you’ve documented all of this, then why couldn’t it have been stopped? But it was mob justice. There were 135 lynchings listed in a 39-year sampling. I printed out a table and it took up four pages. And that was just for the State of Kentucky.

You know, when I was 14, I was raped by a black guy and a white guy. And the very last thing I would have ever wanted was for either of them to be hanged. It is just so sickening to me.

It was a relief, though, to see that in the county that my own ancestors herald from, there were no reported lynchings — black or white. My great-great grandfather was a Kentucky State senator, notoriously on the side of the Confederacy– to the extent that he was booted out of the Senate. (Kentucky was a split State; part Union, part Confederate.) And he owned house slaves. But the county he lived in bordered Ohio, as opposed to Tennessee, where the lynchings seemed to get seriously out of control. Logan County, specifically.

I hate to use the word “ironic” here, because of its sarcastic connotations, but it is ironic that I’m a white woman descended from Kentucky slave owners, writing about the life of a black woman descended from Kentucky slaves. I mean, it is what it is, but it’s still indicative of something that’s out of balance.  Meaning, I can’t imagine any black writers, descended from slaves, ever writing about me. I could be wrong, of course, but why would they?

Anyway, I undertook the project of writing about Helen’s life primarily because she was a woman and, as a woman myself, I understood her life-long drive to find peace, privacy, and enough money to support herself while she did her art. But there are these other racial elements that, sadly, have to be factored in, as well, even though they were not Helen’s primary concern — in her conversations with me or in her journals.

So, all that considered, I am making good progress with the play. I might even finally finish this new segment today. I am just so close. And then we will be ready for the table-reads in NYC.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna scoot. Got laundry to attend to, then gotta get back to the play.  Thanks for visiting. I hope Tuesday is terrific for you, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with that truly lovely song from Ghosteen, mentioned above. All righty. I love you guys. See ya.

A Later Recipe from Hell’s Kitchen

Okay, here’s a demo I haven’t posted before. I wrote & recorded this song in 1993, about a year before I left the music entirely and became a full-time fiction writer. (And, yes, that’s me above in 1993!!) (And I wasn’t actually living in Hell’s Kitchen anymore — I was living with Wayne on the Upper West Side, but we weren’t married yet.)

The song is “Crossin’ By the Levee.”

Remember, gang, if you’re viewing this on your phone, you have to turn it sideways to see the whole post!

Okay! See ya!!

Strange Timing, Indeed!

Even though I couldn’t care less about basketball (or any sport besides Eastern Conference hockey, or NY Yankees baseball games), like most of America, I was really stunned by the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, and all the other people in that helicopter crash yesterday.

And, of course, when it became apparent that he left behind a young wife and 3 more daughters, including a 7 month-old baby — well, that just sort of threw off my energy midday yesterday. All that grief. And all those families. That whole chain reaction of sorrow. I wasn’t able to keep working on the play. It just threw me.

So it felt kind of weird to wake-up this morning and be in this spectacularly happy place.

All of my own grief, stemming from my stepmom’s death 12 days ago, was completely and utterly gone this morning. Just when most of the nation is in this state of mourning, I finally woke-up really happy.

Well, who really knows how these things work, but if I’m feeling happy again, I’m just gonna run with it.

(Oh, and oddly enough, today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.) (Below are those horrible train tracks. Today, I’m really going to celebrate that screaming freight train outside my door that’s not going anywhere awful.) (See a previous post from sometime in December, about me growing up in Cleveland, under the specter of Auschwitz.)

Image result for auschwitz liberation
AP photo. Auschwitz

Okay, so. Yes. I did work on Tell My Bones for quite a while yesterday, but then got sort of derailed — if you’ll excuse the timing of that weird sort of unintended pun.

I ended up watching another episode of Ken Burns’ Jazz, while making myself eat something that looked like a reasonable “dinner.” (Reasonable for me, which translates as “indescribably boring” for anyone else on planet Earth.)

And then Peitor started texting me out of the blue and the entire evening changed.

He texted me about a high-profile start-up in Los Angeles that he wants Abstract Absurdity Productions to supply content to.  And I texted back “ok” but also added that we might have to work a little bit faster, if that was his goal…

You know, like, more than one 8-minute film every 10 years.

Seriously, though. He was serious. And even though I initially proposed this co-production company to him because I love being creative with him and I wanted to make our scripts into actual micro-shorts that we could upload to various online platforms, he has always wanted to aim beyond that. Make the company a financial success.

ME: “Well, gosh, if you’re gonna be that way about it, I guess we’ll just have to be a success.”

Kidding aside, though, I still haven’t gotten the website together. Or worked on the Mission Statement, or our bios, or anything, really. I thought it was really neat that we had a logline for Lita’s Got to Go! (More affectionately known as Lita måste gå!) and I figured that eventually I would find time to get back to work on the website. (We have 3 primary micro-scripts, and then about 5 micro-micro shorts after that, to work on, so we have, like, a lot of stuff on our plate here and we’re really lagging behind schedule. Whatever that schedule might be.)

But last night, it became apparent that I have to speed all of that up a bit, and I also had to start getting a spreadsheet together for our contacts list — even though Peitor is the one involved in looking for the right cinematographer, and the actors & crew and all that, I’m the kind of person who likes to know who’s producing what in the world of micro-shorts and who their reps and lawyers are (and all that). (Although, the one key character, who pulls the whole absurd concept of our film together, the only character in the film with speaking lines, and only about 5 lines, at that — there is an A-list actor that I have wanted from the start, and I am committed to getting him. We’ll see.)

(Of course, winning the Pulitzer will make all this easier! Everyone takes calls from people who win Pulitzers!) (And, seriously, I was looking up the criteria for winning a Pulitzer for Drama and I saw that Tell My Bones fits all the criteria for at least getting nominated, so, you know — we’re still pointed in the right direction!!)

Well, last night, it also became apparent that I was eventually going to be having to spend way more time in LA than I’d thought. Which isn’t a bad thing, because I love LA. Still, my brain and my career have been focused more in the direction of NYC. So last night, the potentialities of my life shifted significantly.

And I realized that my life was a little different from what I thought it was.

Okay. Nick Cave’s Conversations resume in the Netherlands tonight. In Eindhoven.  (I want to add, again, that the photos out of Bremen kept coming onto Instagram and they were just so great.) (Oh, and my suspicions were confirmed re: The Bremen Town Musicians. Here is a statue that I saw posted on Instagram (this isn’t the same photo, though; this is a stock photo.)

Image result for bremen town musicians statue in bremen

Okay, I gotta close this and get back to work on the play. I am just about done with the new (and final) segment. Have a good Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I’ll leave you with my breakfast listening music from today. Yes!! From Neil Diamond’s massive hit album, Hot August Night, back in 1972, “Cracklin’ Rosie”!

You know, my adoptive mom also loved this song (and Neil Diamond) and she also used to drink Crackling Rose wine — the wine this song is based on.  I tried to find a photo of the original wine bottle, but could only find the label:





Anyway, so I leave you with this wonderful song, gang!! Even the cats loved listening to this song this morning! All righty I love you guys.  See ya.

“Cracklin’ Rosie”

Aw, Cracklin’ Rosie, get on board
We’re gonna ride
Till there ain’t no more to go
Taking it slow
And Lord, don’t you know
We’ll have me a time with a poor man’s lady

Hitchin’ on a twilight train
Ain’t nothing here that I care to take along
Maybe a song
To sing when I want
No need to say please to no man
For a happy tune

Oh, I love my Rosie child
You got the way to make me happy
You and me we go in style
Cracklin’ Rose,
You’re a store-bought woman
But you make me sing like a guitar hummin’
So hang on to me, girl,
Our song keeps runnin’ on
Play it now, play it now
Play it now, my baby

Cracklin’ Rosie, make me a smile
Girl, if it lasts for an hour, that’s all right
We got all night to set the world right
Find us a dream that don’t ask no questions

Oh, I love my Rosie child
You got the way to make me happy
You and me we go in style
Cracklin’ Rose,
You’re a store-bought woman
But you make me sing like a guitar hummin’
So hang on to me, girl
Our song keeps runnin’ on
Play it now, play it now
Play it now, my baby

Cracklin’ Rosie, make me a smile
Girl, if it lasts for an hour, that’s all right
We got all night
To set the world right
Find us a dream that don’t ask no questions
Ba ba ba ba ba ……

c – 1970 Neil Diamond

Everything’s Better With A Little Snow On It!

Well, we didn’t get this kind of accumulation, just a dusting on rooftops and parked cars, but it snowed all last evening and on into the night. Just that pretty, swirling, falling snow.

It looks so pretty swirling in the streetlights, too. Makes me wish that my fireplace worked, but oh well.

I’ve had another one of those mornings where it started out as a battle to keep my thoughts in a good place.  But overall, I feel like I’m doing a lot better today.

And my hair, gang — that new stuff really works. I mean, there hasn’t been time for any growth yet, but it does make my hair look fuller without making it frizzy. And definitely less of my hair is falling out. So that’s nice.

Wow, the show in Bremen last night looks like it was another really great show! (Conversation with Nick Cave.) The photos started getting posted to Instagram right away and didn’t stop for a few hours (which is kind of remarkable because it was really late at night where those people were). The photos were all so good!(Black suit.)  And everyone — even though I don’t speak German — was saying it was a fantastic show. Someone posted (in English) that Nick Cave was in a really good mood.

There was a snippet of him singing “Breathless” — I love that song. (I know, I know. I love every song. Maybe from now on I should say that I hate every song, but you will know that it is just my secret code for “love” but it will look to blog-outsiders like I have a wide variety of negative opinions and then the world at large will take me more seriously!)

Okay, anyway. It just looks like it was another really great show. Gosh, I just wish I could be attending these darn things!!!! It’s so frustrating. There are 4 shows left — Netherlands and then Brussels. (And then he’s retiring to some sort of villa in the South of France and he’s not going to work again, ever.) (Oops! I meant to say, he’s just going to keep flying around and working and working and working and working and working and….)


More good work (of my own!) on Tell My Bones yesterday, but I’m still not finished. It’s actually a point in the play where I have to deal with something that truly offends me — racism, Jim Crow stuff, and worse. And so I can’t just sort of sail through it. I have to insert this dark & creepy musical chunk in there and yet still smoothly segue back to what I’ve already written and still end the show at a very high, very uplifting place.

So the process has sort of gone from the ease of “brush strokes” to the precision of “needlepoint” — if you know what I mean. And having to focus so closely on stuff that actually offends me is a little draining, to say the least. But I am almost finished. I don’t know if I’ll finish it today, but if I don’t, I know that by tomorrow it will certainly be done. So that’s exciting.

I love working on this play, but I have these other half-finished projects sitting on my desk (or spilling on to floor, as the case may be) that I really love, as well. And sometimes I wonder, “God, am I ever going to finish all this stuff?”

And they each require such a specific focus, too. Like, In the Shadow of Narcissa is only going to be about 40 or so pages. That’s nothing, really. But it has to be written from the POV of myself when I had a very limited vocabulary and no experience whatsoever of the outside world. It’s sort of like I have to create 40 (meaningful) pages of childhood memories with access to only a handful of words.

And then, of course, basically switch to hardcore sex and jaded ennui for all the other projects.

Sometimes I just don’t understand anything. (Meaning myself, my work, my mind, my life.) Nevertheless, I still think there’s a really great reason why we’re all alive. So I’m gonna push onward.

Oh! Last night, completely by accident, I discovered that I had a YouTube channel. Oh my god. I’d forgotten all about that. According to YouTube, it was 9 years old already.  It was back when my friend Jay was living with me for a few months (in the old house), and I had a nice Nikon digital camera. I was a heavy drinker back then, for sure. Not that I was drunk in any of the videos. Just saying. Those years were not good ones for me. There was some footage of Fluffy, so that was heartbreaking. And my flowers blooming and stuff.  And there were some videos I took in a hotel in Midtown, where my room had a really, really dreadful view. (The Warwick Hotel on W. 54th Street. It used to be one of my favorite hotels and I had totally forgotten about it until last night.)

Anyway, it was a shock to suddenly see all this stuff from my life — online, no less. And also to see that a few hundred strangers had viewed it, and there were even people following the channel. (That must have felt very futile since I had totally forgotten it was even there.)

Well, long story short — I deleted all of it. Let’s just stick with the here & now and move forward, right? Good lord.

Oh, and yesterday I received a FedEx package. It was from Wayne, my ex-husband in NYC. And inside it was a large white (unscented)  pillar candle that he designed, with an inscription on the candle. And the inscription was a parody, or a send-up, of Gwyneth Paltrow’s candle that “smells like her vagina”  but using the name “Mike Hunt”.

Yes, it was in questionable taste. (He had warned me that something vulgar was coming my way, though.) (And he was correct.) (If you’re not grasping this whole thing, the candle is elegantly inscribed: “This candle smells like Mike Hunt” — meaning: my cunt.)

Well, it’s not chocolates and roses, is it? But it’s — I don’t know — the thought that counts? Or at least an indication that I still exist…

Okay! I gotta scoot. I want to get started here. Have a really great Sunday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I was once again back to George Harrison’s “Give Me Love” this morning, so I won’t  post it again. But — oh, here. Let’s do “Breathless.” I just hate this song!!! Okay. I love you guys. See ya.


It’s up in the morning and on the downs
Little white clouds like gamboling lambs
And I am breathless over you
And the red-breasted robin beats his wings
His throat it trembles when he sings
For he is helpless before you
The happy hooded bluebells bow
And bend their heads all a-down
Heavied by the early morning dew
At the whispering stream, at the bubbling brook
The fishes leap up to take a look
For they are breathless over you
Still your hands
And still your heart
For still your face comes shining through
And all the morning glows anew

Still your mind
Still your soul
For still, the fire of love is true
And I am breathless without you
The wind circles among the trees
And it bangs about the new-made leaves
For it is breathless without you
The fox chases the rabbit round
The rabbit hides beneath the ground
For he is defenseless without you
The sky of daytime dies away
And all the earthly things they stop to play
For we are all breathless without you
I listen to my juddering bones
The blood in my veins and the wind in my lungs
And I am breathless without you
Still your hands
And still your heart
For still your face comes shining through
And all the morning glows anew
Still your soul
Still your mind
Still, the fire of love is true
And I am breathless without you

c – 2004 Nick Cave

Another Odd Little Morning

I’m having another weird morning. I guess maybe I’m still grieving and trying to pretend that I’m not.

Every morning this week, it seems the moment I’m awake, I’m already in the headspace of — I don’t know what to call it — damage control? Trying not to crumble to pieces?

In the downstairs bathroom, before I fed the cats, I turned on the bathroom light to see how my hair-growth serum was working (it is, gang!), I was appalled by how my face looked. I looked like I’d been crying all night. As far as I know, I was sleeping all night.

And I was in a great frame of mind when I fell asleep. I’d been texting with Peitor about the “Lita” script we’d worked on during the day. And I was looking forward to the work I was going to do today on the play.

Anyway. For whatever reason, I guess my soul is just crying, for now.

However, I am really excited about today, all other things aside, because I can really feel that whole new segment of Tell My Bones shifting into place.  It’s probably still going to take me a couple of days to get it onto paper the way I envision it, but I can just feel it all inside of me. It’s ready to come out.

I was reading over some pages of the play yesterday and happened to read one small chunk of dialogue that the character named “A White Minister” recites, as he’s having a sort of blasphemous meltdown on the pulpit.  And it read so smoothly and it was so direct and straightforward, even though he’s nuts. And I remembered how long I labored over that one chunk of dialogue. I mean, for over a week. I had such a difficult time with that. And now, all these months later, there it is, just part of the overall play. A handful of sentences. Nothing to indicate that I had lost my mind over it — and I think there was some sort of heatwave going on at the time, too.

It’s just funny.  No one would ever know. But at the same time, those kinds of things (multiplied by years of encountering those sorts of stumbling blocks while I’m working — usually on a novel), have just shown me that eventually the words you need do come and they end up surprising you, in a good way. So now, when something takes a while to hit the page, I know that when the right words arrive it is going to be worth the wait.

(I was just now interrupted by Facebook alerting me that a wonderful old friend from my NYC days has a birthday today. So I popped over to FB to wish him a happy birthday, and I noticed that one of my extremely-intense-mob-guy, super-short-lived-fiance’s from the Bronx is having a birthday soon. But guess what? He’s suddenly 10 years younger than me! He used to be one year younger than me. But he looks good — in a sort of intense, scary kind of way.) (I’m on his shit-list now, in a really big way. He has quite an impressive grasp on four-letter-and-more-letter words, gang (including but not limited to a recent phone call: “You fucking cunt, you come to fucking New York and you can’t even fucking call me? What is your fucking problem, you are such a fucking lying cunt” followed closely by “come on, Marilyn, come back to New York, let’s get married. I fucking love you, even though you are so full of shit, why do you have to be such a cunt?”). I didn’t have a ready answer for all that, but anyway, I doubt I will be wishing him a happy birthday on Facebook this year. Although I’m sure he would welcome a reason to pick up the phone and yell at me again. )

Yes, I digress.

Anyway. This morning, at the breakfast table — it was still dark out. I happened to look toward the sink and saw this:

L to R: Huckleberry, Lucy and Weenie, at about 6:30am.

It was so unexpected. I thought I was alone in the kitchen, since they were all done eating. I was so happy I had my phone on the table. I don’t usually have it anywhere near me at that early hour.

You’ll notice that the spot for the dishwasher is a gaping hole… Two years ago, when I bought the house, at the top of my list was: Buy a new dishwasher. I’m not really clear on what happened to that idea.

Well, I submitted the piece from Blessed By Light yesterday for the Literary Arts Fair (see a post below somewhere).  They have a strict word-limit of 1200 words. So I had to remove 428 words from “The Guitar Hero Goes Home” — and, no, it wasn’t 428 uses of the word “fuck.” So I edited it down and made it “family friendly” as requested, and sent it off to them. But if they end up approving the piece itself, I would still have to sort of audition it, if I’m understanding them correctly. You know, read it in front of the Board members to make sure I’m not some droning lunatic, or something. Actually, I don’t really understand it, but I did submit the piece. So we’ll see.

And on that note, I will close by saying that quite a few more photos and little videos from Nick Cave’s Conversation in Essen, Germany, kept coming through on Instagram well into the night, and all of them were really just amazing. So different from the other two shows in Germany this past week. It seemed like it, anyway. Tonight he is in Bremen, Germany. I always just love seeing what all these various theaters look like, you know? They are each just so different.

All righty, I have decided to leave you with this, today. It was the first thing in my head when I awoke at 5:02am. This is another one of those songs that I adored in my girlhood. I was 7, almost 8, when this was a massive hit on AM radio. I had a little transistor radio, it looked like this:

It had one of those tiny ear pieces, and I would lie in my bed at night in the dark, with that ear piece in my ear, and I’d listen to the radio, and whenever this song came on, I was just in heaven, gang. Man, I loved this song!! And my little 7-year-old pelvic area would rock in time to the — what is this, a samba rhythm? A cha-cha? I don’t really know.

Anyway, I leave you with “Somethin’ Stupid” by Frank & Nancy Sinatra.  Have a great Saturday wherever you are in the world! I’m gonna go wash my yucky hair and then get down to work here on Tell My Bones. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

“Somethin’ Stupid”

I know I stand in line until you think you have the time
To spend an evening with me
And if we go someplace to dance, I know that there’s a chance
You won’t be leaving with me
And afterwards we drop into a quiet little place and have a drink or two
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like “I love you”

I can see it in your eyes
That you despise the same old lies you heard the night before
And though it’s just a line to you, for me it’s true
And never seemed so right before

I practice every day to find some clever lines to say
To make the meaning come through
But then I think I’ll wait until the evening gets late and I’m alone with you
The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and, oh, the night’s so blue
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like “I love you”

The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and, oh, the night’s so blue
And then I go and spoil it all by sayin’ something stupid like “I love you”

I love you
I love you
I love you

I love you

c – 1966 C. Carson Parks

No Hurry, Or Anything…

Don’t hurry or anything, because even the pre-orders for the deluxe edition of Stranger Than Kindness — the book that goes along with Nick Cave’s upcoming art exhibition in Copenhagen — is already sold out.

However, the standard edition from all the other outlets — including, yes, Amazon UK, where, if you’re an American, you get to pay the higher BPS rate and if, comme moi, you live in the middle-of-fucking-nowhere America, you get to pay through your nose for shipping, also at the higher BPS rate (meaning higher than what the US dollar is worth) — all that is available for pre-ordering right now!! So hurry for that part.

And don’t worry — you don’t have to pay now. It’s just a pre-order. You won’t have to pay for it until you’ve totally forgotten you even ordered the thing, and on the very day when something horribly urgent & expensive has befallen your economic world, you’ll suddenly get an alert that 17 million fucking dollars has been randomly deducted from your checking account. and you’re, like: Why??!! What the fuck??!! And you’ll scroll through your checking account in a panic, and then realize — oh. that. I forgot.

And then you only have to wait another 2 weeks for it to get across the pond by some sort of really, really slow boat.

You know, not that I need a deluxe edition of anything, because I’m just not that kind of person. But it is interesting to me that every imaginable known or unknown photo of Keanu can shove its way into my Instagram feed, but by the time I get the single Nick Cave announcement about the book into my feed, over 17,000 people have already seen it and the deluxe edition pre-order is super sold out.

I find that interesting.

Anyway! On a similar note.

Wow. For some reason, that show in Essen, Germany, last night seems like it was really good. (Nick Cave’s Conversation there.) I mean, I’m saying it like that because I can only judge these things by what other people are posting to their Instagram feeds — total strangers, who usually don’t speak the same language I do. And they just post photos or micro-short videos. Still it seems like you can get a feel for these things, even from that. (And also, I guess if you’re me and you ponder every single fucking thing that has come out of every single one of these fucking shows for the last 2 years or whatever it’s been. I guess then you get a feel for it.) (Brown suit, btw. I think. It’s weird how the lighting can change that in some of the photos.)

Anyway, there was something about the vibe coming out of those postings last night that was just really good. And even the micro videos — the songs seemed to have, I don’t know, some sort of vitality to them? It was sort of palpable, even in under 20 seconds. But the photos! Wow, some really great photos came out of last night. I mean, really great.

The next Conversation is in Bremen, Germany (tomorrow), where I think one of my favorite fairy tales from my wee bonny girlhood hails from — “The Bremen Town Musicians”? Do you remember that one? That was an intense story.

When I was little (I actually still own it, but I don’t play it anymore) I had a record by Danny Kaye, where he recited some of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And the “Bremen Town Musicians” was on that. The record was really cool — well, by wee bonny girlhood standards of cool:

Image result for danny kaye record grimms fairy tales
I’m being told it came out in 1964, and that you can listen to the whole thing on YouTube.

All right, well. I seem to have digressed, but now is as good a time as any to just change the subject entirely.

I made great progress on the new character arc in Tell My Bones yesterday. I should have the whole thing finished by the end of the weekend. I am super happy with how it’s turning out, gang. I’m not entirely sure yet how I’m going to execute this final chunk with the new song, but I know it’s coming. And I know it’s going to be powerful and disturbing, which will really bring the whole play together. For some reason, I’m finding it in me to go out on a limb with this final part.

Well, this being Friday morning, I have to get all my notes together now for my phone call with Peitor — he’s back in West Hollywood now, and I am, of course, home from the funeral. We have to continue our work on the micro-short script for “Lita’s Got to Go.” I’m guessing we’ll work several hours and only be at the end of scene 4, which is, literally, about 50 seconds long… it is amazing how long it is taking us to write this script! Just too funny.

But it’s about the journey, not the destination, right, gang? And I just love working with Peitor. I love his mind. We talked at length on the phone last week, right after my stepmom died and I needed someone to unleash my torrent of complicated grief emotions upon and, as always, he dropped everything for me. He was in the studio, doing the final mix of a song when I texted him and said that my stepmom died. He texted right back and said, “Do you need to talk?” and then he dropped everything for me.  He was really helpful. And kind. I felt worlds better after he and I talked. And at the end of the conversation, he said, “I’m sorry to cut this short, but it’s Charo’s birthday and she’s outside waiting for me.”

That just sort of cracked me up and helped me process my grief right there. Actually, Charo’s been through some very tragic stuff lately, so I’m not making a joke. Just that, you know, it just seemed kind of funny — for him to go from an hour of listening to all my grief, to celebrating Charo’s birthday.

Image result for charo on her birthday
The inimitable Charo

Okay. I’m gonna close this. Oh, wait — also, it looks like Mystify, the Michael Hutchence documentary is now available to be streamed on pretty much all platforms. So it’s now on my watchlist.  I know it’s going to be super sad, but I’ll probably watch it before I watch anything else.

Mystify, Michael Hutchence film poster.jpeg

Okay, now I’m really gonna close this. Have a really nice Friday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting.  As much as I’d love to leave you with a snippet of Danny Kaye performing children’s fairy tales, I’ll leave you instead with another favorite record from my wee bonny girlhood! I used to listen to this song all the fucking time! I just loved it!! And I love you guys, too. All righty. See ya!