Bissextile Joy!!

Yes!! It’s Leap Day!! Yay!!!

And even though “bissextile” is a super happy-looking word because it immediately makes us think of bisexuals and how wonderfully exciting & full of possibilities they are — it really only refers to the Leap Year. (Which, of course, is also wonderfully exciting and full of possibilities, but only in that meager way where non-sexually-related things can ever seem “wonderfully exciting” or “full of possibilities.”)

Well, if I may be serious for just 4 seconds… It’s official. I went from pre-crisis to post-crisis without having an actual crisis, even though it took about 24 solid hours of exhausting brain work to manage it. I awoke at around 3am this morning and realized that the anxiety had passed without ever really taking root and that I was actually feeling happy and in a good place.  That feeling that I needed to have a vice grip on my thoughts was over and my thoughts were just in a really clear space.

And what was even better, when I was down in the kitchen feeding the cats, etc., I had a sort of breakthrough thought — the distinct feeling that it wasn’t going to happen again, that something in my brain had finally really shifted. For real. It was a very pronounced feeling. I’ve come through these episodes feeling stronger each time that it’s happened over the last 5 months or so, but this time, I don’t know — it just felt like it was really over. (Meaning that this emotional trigger I have is done, played out, over.)

I still have some work to do on, I don’t know what to call it — “who I am”.  But I just feel totally different today.

And then I switched to my Easter dishes! Already! (At this rate, I’ll be using my Christmas dishes again by the 4th of July!) I doubt I’m actually going to keep using them all the way up until Easter, I just wanted something really sunny and yellow at the breakfast table this morning (it was still pitch dark outside). So I decided to go ahead and use them.

But what I also detected –lurking deep inside myself somewhere — was a desire to perhaps maybe  — yes —  buy some more dishes!! I really want something cheerful and I don’t want to be using my Easter dishes for like, 6 weeks before Easter.

Of course, I could perhaps peruse the 17,000 dishes I already own and maybe discover a set of cheerful dishes I’d totally forgotten I had. God knows that’s happened before! But we’ll see. Something new might be just really wonderful.

Well, the script work with Peitor was very good yesterday, but also very much like that neurosurgery thing.  Where each word, every shot, was under a microscope.  We worked for a few hours and we were still on the same page that we’d started on at the beginning of the session. However, we brought our main character in through the door and across the room and standing where he needs to be standing when he finally says his first line of (killer) dialogue.

But at that point, we came to a little impasse because Peitor was seeing that specific shot (with the line of dialogue) differently than I was, so we had to just totally stop and really think about it.

ME: “We need to keep this completely seamless here or we’ll lose the erotic energy of that line.”

HIM: “No. We need to break out of that POV, just for a moment, create a breath, a space, and then come right back. Something Luis Bunuel.”

ME (thinking this, not saying it because saying it would have only been indescribably petulant at that moment): “Should we just slice the guy’s eye? That’ll create some emotional space.” (Un Chien Andalou, 1929)

But, yes! — you can be proud of me; I did not say that. It would have gone nowhere fast. Instead, I said something like, “I don’t agree with what you want to do here but if you feel that strongly about it, let’s just explore that direction.” (I was really mature for a wee bonny lass of 12.)

And so then we explored it, and we made a little progress but ultimately we left it right at that line of dialogue yesterday and will resume on Tuesday.  (But I did text him at about 6:03am this morning, my time zone, to urgently point out: “We forgot to have him take off that white trench coat!”)

It seems pretty clear, though, that the destiny of Abstract Absurdity Productions is that great & lofty art museums all over the world will one day include our work in their future exhibitions of Little Known Cinematic Masterpieces of the Early 21st Century Short-Subject Film Movement. Because, man, this stuff we’re doing is just fucking insane. And it is taking forever.

All righty. Well. Today will be about yoga, washing my hair, and just feeling happy. Sort of maybe even triumphant — I’m actually getting to that place where I can believe that I’m not only allowed to be alive, but that I can also have more than just the tiniest existence. I can feel that I’m still taking these mental baby steps. Still, it’s all right. I think the idea that I wanted to buy more dishes today was sort of a breakthrough, too. You know, like: I don’t give a fuck that I already have a million dishes; the reality is that I want more. So we’ll see.

And then I’ll also probably write something!

So, have a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world! I hope you have that breakthrough you need– if, indeed, you are seeking one! Thanks for visiting, gang.  I’m still in that awkward listening-space of “Babe, You Turn Me On” at night and “Take Five” in the morning (!!), so you can either scroll over to yesterday’s post and/or the post from the day before and listen to those amazing songs again. Or, I could leave you with this.

When I was about 4 years old, I had the soundtrack to this — the Broadway cast of the musical, Peter Pan. And I loved this lullaby, “Distant Melody”. It made me think of my “real” mother — my birth mom. I was always trying to remember who she was, even all the way back then.

This song used to make me believe that I could somehow remember what she felt like — to be held by her. Even though I was told that I was created by accident — born by accident — I knew, even in my tiny little bones, that my real mother loved me and wanted me back. (And I was right.) All righty. I love you guys. See ya!

“Distant Melody”

Peter? Do you know a lullaby to sing to our children?
Lullaby? Lullaby.
I think so.
Sometimes, late at night I seem to remember…

Once upon a time and long ago,
I heard someone singing soft and low.
Now when day is done and night is near,
I recall a song I used to hear.

My child, my very own,
Don’t be afraid you’re not alone.
Sleep until the dawn for all is well.

Long ago this song was sung to me.
Now it’s just a distant melody.
Somewhere from the past I used to know,
Once upon a time and long ago.

c  – 1954 Leigh/Comden/Green

A Bright Snowy Morning in Crazeysburg!!

Yes, it is a really sunny morning out there today. Here’s what it looks like outside one of my bedroom windows right now:

The intersection of Basin and First Streets at 8am.











Just a really pretty morning here, even though it snowed a little during the night.  (And the birds are still singing, despite the snow!)

You want to know something else that’s really charming that my neighbors know about me? I never shovel the fucking snow!! Yay!! Because I have the longest sidewalk in the entire town. And I am not making that up! I actually have the longest fucking sidewalk in the entire town — the one that runs from the front corner of my house all the way to the back edge of my barn.  So it’s not fair to ask me to shovel that, when everyone else in town only has to shovel, like, a 3-foot long thing. Plus, God does this thing called “melting it eventually” so I choose to rely on that. (It’s similar to that thing God does wherein He provides wind to blow all my un-raked leaves away — or into neighboring yards.)

But, of course, there are those smarty-pants people who like to point out that if someone falls and breaks their back on my snowy sidewalk, I could get sued! But if it ever really gets that bad out there, I will put out my sign that says: CAUTION: ICY!! WALK AT YOUR OWN RISK BECAUSE I AIN’T F*CKING SHOVELING THIS STUFF! And under that, the handy NRA-member logo:

Don’t Shovel!! Make America Great Again!!







I am, of course, just kidding. I am not a member of the NRA. I don’t own any guns at all.  (If you aren’t an American — the NRA is a very powerful political gun lobby here in the USA, and membership in the NRA implies that you own many licensed guns and are more than happy to use them and that your aim is probably spot-on.)

Still,  I’m not kidding about not shoveling…


Life’s good here in Crazeysburg. I hope it’s good where you’re at, too.

This morning is another one of those Abstract Absurdity Productions script-writing days. We are headlong into Scene 5 now. I don’t expect us to finish writing Scene 5 today because that would be really out of character for us — the scene is a good 60 seconds long. But I do expect it to be really fun because it is just a very, very weird scene. It’s the scene that the whole movie leads up to and then gently falls away from as it trickles to its lofty end. (Or “fin” — as they say in so many film-languages.)

In case you’re interested, gang, yesterday was my first day back doing yoga after 3 weeks of doing Booty Core. I could not believe the difference in the strength in my body.

I don’t do any complicated yoga poses, because mostly I just want to maintain flexibility. But I do headstands, and I couldn’t believe the difference in my arms. And also — as I mentioned a couple weeks ago — in my neck. And I love to do elbow planks and I am suddenly really good at that. (Not that planks are part of yoga, I’m just saying that I like doing those.)

So even though Booty Core got really challenging for me, it made a huge difference. So I will keep doing it.

However, I did have a weird pain issue in my legs again last night.  And I’m thinking it’s probably psychosomatic. Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt are aware that I am the kind of person who is always always trying to stay alive. I’ve been plagued by a lifetime of suicidal tendencies — that I don’t believe adequately define who I really am. It’s just that my brain was taught, when I was really little, that I didn’t deserve to exist — that my existence was merely being tolerated, for now — and that it would be preferable if I didn’t exist.

So my brain’s fallback position, when I’m feeling stressed about something, is to try to negate my existence.  I honestly think my brain thinks it’s doing me a favor — or at least, it’s doing what it was taught it was supposed to do. (And I’m making a huge differentiation here between my brain and my mind. My brain is this sort of machine set on automatic, whereas my mind is this amazing, wide-ranging, free-spirited energetic-essence type thing. So it’s a case of my Mind vs. my Brain.)

But I really have been plagued by this brain of mine for decades. And one of my life-long triggers — something I constantly have to deal with in my personality, which involves believing in a lack of love — is hovering out there on my horizon and I just simply refuse to deal with it anymore, you know? I’m just done. I am so fucking done dealing with this shit.

But it means that every single time my brain tells me that “I don’t deserve love, I deserve to die” I have to get in there and replace it with a better thought. It’s a type of addiction — you have to reprogram your brain to respond to something else. And it is fucking exhausting.

I don’t want to spend any additional time thinking about my adoptive parents and how damaging they wound up being to me. I only want my brain to stop doing this. Like, now. I’m so over it. Every single damn day I deal with it, but it only gets really bad when a trigger thing starts happening. And a trigger thing is hovering, so now I’m not only trying to reprogram my brain, but totally eradicate the trigger, too. So that the triggers don’t exist anymore, either.

Anyway, I did really really good yesterday. But by mid-evening, I was just exhausted from it. That feeling, like, why doesn’t somebody just shoot this girl, and put her out of her misery once and for all? Which, of course, goes against everything I was working so hard on during the day!!

And then I noticed the extreme pain in my legs attempting to return — maybe a way for my body to say: we’re going to pull the whole world out from under you, starting with your legs. So, at that point, the only really productive thing I can do is go to bed and start again in the morning. (Meaning, here we are again.)

It’s just so frustrating.  When it comes to everyone else on Earth — for instance, YOU, whoever you are, reading this right now — I completely believe that you deserve to be loved, that you are loved and that you deserve to live. It’s just a given inside me. I believe that about you without even knowing who you are, how you’ve lived, what you do or think about.

But to believe it about me, is extremely difficult. It is a 24/7 job. Or maybe an 18/7 job, because when I’m sleeping, I’m just fine. And most of the time, nowadays, I am sort of fine. I’ve made so much progress out here alone in the Hinterlands. But when I’m facing a trigger point, if it gets out of control, I do actually get suicidal and I absolutely refuse to go there. So then it becomes like a job. And I just feel, like, oh fuck, here we go again.

However, it was really good to notice what my legs did when my thoughts changed last night. So I’m going to keep that in mind.

And I also woke up feeling like I really did make progress yesterday. Because, you know, my life doesn’t have to be some huge tidal wave of joy washing over me for me to feel like living. Just tiny baby steps in the direction of joy is enough. It really is. Because it builds from there.

So waking up to a couple of texts from Peitor on my phone. And opening the blinds and seeing more snow. And going down to the kitchen to be greeted by 7 crazy happy healthy cats. And turning on the CD player — the Dave Brubeck Quartet greeting me again with “Take Five.” A couple of my favorite little pictures of Nick Cave scattered there on my kitchen table. And then plugging in the coffee pot.

Little joys.

That makes for a really good morning. Because then my thoughts can move from there to the larger joys — the plays going into production now, the production company with Peitor, the books I’m still writing, the words going out there into the world, and the best Muse I’ve ever had in my life. And new people I’m meeting. And traveling this year — it starts to turn into a really good day.

So I gotta scoot!! I have stuff to get organized here at my desk before Peitor calls.  I leave you with my listening-music from last evening, before the legs went. I’ve posted this song here before, but I just love it. The imagery. The melody. How it goes to such enigmatic places. “Babe, You Turn me On,” from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus, 2004. Enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya!

“Babe, You Turn Me On”

Stay by me, stay by me
You are the one, my only true love

The butcher bird makes it’s noise
And asks you to agree
With it’s brutal nesting habits
And it’s pointless savagery
Now, the nightingale sings to you
And raises up the ante
I put one hand on your round ripe heart
And the other down your panties

Everything is falling, dear
Everything is wrong
It’s just history repeating itself
And babe, you turn me on

Like a light bulb
Like a song

You race naked through the wilderness
You torment the birds and the bees
You leapt into the abyss, but find
It only goes up to your knees
I move stealthily from tree to tree
I shadow you for hours
I make like I’m a little deer
Grazing on the flowers

Everything is collapsing, dear
All moral sense has gone
It’s just history repeating itself
And babe, you turn me on

Like an idea
Like an Atom bomb

We stand awed inside a clearing
We do not make a sound
The crimson snow falls all about
Carpeting the ground

Everything is falling, dear
All rhyme and reason gone
It’s just history repeating itself
And, babe, you turn me on

Like an idea
Like an Atom bomb

c – 2004 Nick Cave

Yay! More Snow!!

It’s not really snowing that much here today, but it is snowing, and mostly I just love that Louis Wain illustration. It just cracks me up. So there we go!


Yes, it’s another one of those mornings. Taking me forever to plant myself in front of the computer and get started.

Before I forget, there was another one of those really funny, extremely short promotional clips on Instagram today to promote Nick Cave’s upcoming art exhibition in Copenhagen. God, I wish I could go! I was on the Black Diamond site, reading about it last evening and it sounded just so cool. (Actually, I think the link I have there to the Nick Cave website has the same information that’s on the Black Diamond site. But for some reason, reading it on my phone, late in the evening, on another site, made it seem like I hadn’t read it before.)

Anyway. It sounds so cool. And even with my unfortunate marital-memories of Copenhagen (meaning my decision to get a divorce), I do love Copenhagen.

Actually, Wayne & I had a nice time in Copenhagen, all things considered. I had gotten a really nice book advance from a publisher in London and so I was able to surprise Wayne with that entire trip at the last minute — it was my gift to him for Valentine’s Day that year. We always traveled really well together because we were always good friends. We didn’t work well together as married people, but we were always good friends.

And at that specific juncture in my life, I felt like I had totally lost my mojo, you know? It’s a distinct feeling — when the magic is just gone. And I don’t mean from the marriage, I mean the magic was gone from myself. I couldn’t function as a married person. I couldn’t figure out who the fuck I was. My career had taken over everything.

Of course, now I have swung my pendulum in the other direction and my career is all that there is. I’ve been extremely careful to weed out as many actual people from my life as I possibly could.  I’m only being partially sarcastic, really. I mean, I did it for a reason. I had just so much toxic stuff going on in my life because of things I was refusing to look at  involving my adoptive family. And when my adoptive mother finally disowned me, I had no choice but to finally look at it.

And then, of course, you see the patterns — the other toxic relationships you’ve maybe created because it seems to be the only thing you know how to do. Narcissistic mothers are a real trip — the damage they do to your ability to know how to be loved.

I was lucky in that I conveniently had this other mother — my birth mom; who doesn’t have a narcissistic bone in her body, and just loves me no matter what. Like, all I have to do is wake up in the morning and she loves me. However, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I actually know how to be loved yet. I’m working on it, though. It’s taking me a while.

I don’t actually define myself through my work, my writing. But I do love doing it and it’s the only thing I will leave behind, since I have no kids or anything.

This morning, I was lying in bed in the dark, thinking about marriage — what it means, technically. How it went from a strictly legal arrangement — to join property, and to create heirs to the property, to whatever wealth might have been involved.  And then it morphed slightly when the church got involved. And the church only got involved because the priest in any given town was usually the most educated person around, often the only person who could even read, or help anyone navigate the legal documents. The legal arrangements of marriage were overseen by the priest in the church’s front portico — a structural part of churches that was meant specifically for doing business in.

(And churches aside, it used to be that part of the wedding ceremony, after the legal documents were signed, was that the wedding guests accompanied the bride and groom to the conjugal bed, to witness if the bride was actually a virgin, and to witness the loss of virginity thing that sealed the whole deal.) (I’m really glad we don’t do that anymore. I didn’t even know half the people at my wedding to Wayne.) (Not that I was anything close to a virgin at either of my weddings. But I’m just saying.)

It wasn’t until the Romantic era came in, in the late 1700s, that people got that notion that they wanted to be married in the eyes of God, and to even include love in a marriage. At that point, marriages took on a separate non-legal ceremony, deeper inside the actual church. And to have a church wedding became a really big deal. And to marry for love became a very popular idea.

So there you have it. Marriage. But I was thinking of it specifically because the part of Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary that I watched last night was just so sad — about Charlie Parker’s little 2-year-old daughter, dying suddenly from pneumonia in NYC while he was away doing some gigs in LA. His wife was alone when their little girl died. He got back to NY as quickly as he could but the whole thing just devastated him. And he, himself, died soon after that. He couldn’t cope with his grief. His body just gave out. The coroner thought he was examining the corpse of a 50 year-old,  but Charlie Parker was only 34 when he died. A lifetime of heroin addiction and serious alcohol abuse.

This morning, I was thinking about his poor wife — they had a little boy, too, that she had to raise alone. But to survive the death of her little girl, and then the death of her husband? How did she do that? (They interviewed her in the documentary.)  And he didn’t have any money, ever.  Because of the heroin addiction — it took everything. (Like that old John Prine song, “Sam Stone” — There’s a hole in daddy’s arm/ where all the money goes…)

Anyway. I was thinking about marriage this morning and trying to understand why I have always just been so opposed to it, you know? Because I’m not opposed to loving someone until the cows come home or to fidelity or to romance or to the idea that I could, seriously, love a man for a lifetime. It’s just the marriage idea itself that confounds me. (And also, even though a lot of men asked me to marry them in my lifetime, the two proposals I accepted were the weirdest ones, ever. In entirely different ways. I guess that because I was so taken aback, I decided to say yes because it seemed really interesting — like, the marriage was going to be interesting. Who the fuck knows what I was thinking because I was wrong both times. That much I do know. They were “interesting” in just really bad ways.)

I know that part of my inability to know how to be loved has been really damaging to me, and I’ve been working on trying to fix that for a couple of years now. But in the whole act of trying to process it, I’ve shifted almost my entire focus into my work. And this morning, I was just wondering there in the dark: is this really all I’m going to do with my life? Just work, and never trust anybody to love me at all?

I like to think “no” but I just don’t really understand anything, when you get right down to it. Nothing at all.

But on that note — guess what I’m gonna do??? I’m gonna get to work over here!!

I hope you have a really great Thursday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning — a record that was definitely part of my wee bonny girlhood! (I don’t think my parents ever took me to see Dave Brubeck, but I do remember that a couple of times, when I was a really little girl, they took me and my brother with them to see Stan Getz and Chet Baker.) Anyway, I leave you with “Take Five” from their seminal album from 1959, Time Out. Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

Yes, We’ve Had A Fun Day!

All righty! I’m back.

If you saw my post from this afternoon, after I officially finished Booty Core, and my digital instructor instructed us to take photos of our new post-Booty Core physiques  — well, that photo has nothing whatsoever to do with Booty Core because apparently I still never do what instructors tell me to do. And I couldn’t duplicate that photo again if I tried, gang! So hang on to it for future reference, because I don’t actually really look like that…

Well, the new contracts for Tell My Bones are done and off in the mail. Finally. And I’m not going to tell you how many rights I chose to give away, in order to get them to sign that darn thing, but you know what? I really, really just need my play and all things connected to my play (and my previous screenplay that it’s derived from) so I’m good.  It’s all okay.

And I’ve been working on Thug Luckless: Welcome To P-Town. So it’s been a good day.

I’m a little concerned that the IRS wrote to me today and informed me that they took $30 from my 2019 tax refund that I had apparently owed since 2013.

Is that insane, or what? Jesus. Thirty bucks. Seven years later. What the hell? I sure hope it helps improve our nations highways and educational systems. Whatever. It still felt kind of scary. Like, how did you just now discover that? What else is lurking out there for me in IRS land? I should call my accountant and demand answers!! But I won’t. I’m just moving forward. They got their money.

And FYI: everybody wants more money this year! Not only did my new (leased) car payment leap up wildly, but my cell phone went up, my Internet went up, my healthcare cooperative nearly doubled. It’s fucking insane. And according to a new alarming blog post at the Copyright Alliance site today, you’ve got to be out of your fucking mind to be an author anymore because book pirating is through the roof all over the darn world. (As I can sadly attest to, when Ribbon of Darkness got illegally downloaded in a torrent about 3000 times in 10 minutes this past fall. Something horrible like that.) But you know — what am I gonna do? Not write books? So on we go, right?

If you are able to view the music player in your browser (you have to turn your phone sideways, if you view this blog on your phone), you will see that I switched out the music again. I have posted this song before, but in a 1984 demo version. This one is a 1993 demo that I’d forgotten all about! It’s full of fiddles and steel guitar — and a piano! I have no idea who’s playing that. And I’m singing like an angel. Honestly, I have some sort of angelic vocal thing happening there. So that totally shocked me, but I decided to post it here to the blog. It actually starts with a 45-second dobro guitar intro, and then the actual song begins, if you feel like listening to it.

[Update: apparently that dobro intro de-materialized somehow.]

And I also apparently cleaned up the lyrics — no mention of orgasms in this version. We changed “coming” to “dreaming.” So if you’re at all sensitive to stuff that the human body does (and if you are, I can’t imagine how you’ve found yourself at this particular blog), but anyway — it’s safe and sanitized today! We have forfeited our orgasms for the safety of dreams!

All righty. I hope you guys have a great night — or a good morning, if you’re somewhere really far from Crazeysburg! Thanks for visiting! Enjoy, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

Another Favorite Poem

from my wee bonny 16-year-old girlhood!

“A la recherche de Gertrude Stein”

When I am feeling depressed and anxious sullen
all you have to do is take your clothes off
and all is wiped away revealing life’s tenderness
that we are flesh and breathe and are near us
as you are really as you are I become as I
really am alive and knowing vaguely what is
and what is important to me above the intrusions
of incident and accidental relationships
which have nothing to do with my life

when I am in your presence I feel life is strong
and will defeat all its enemies and all of mine
and all of yours and yours in you and mine in me
sick logic and feeble reasoning are cured
by the perfect symmetry of your arms and legs
spread out making an eternal circle together
creating a golden pillar beside the Atlantic
the faint line of hair dividing your torso
gives my mind rest and emotions their release
into the infinite air where since once we are
together we always will be in this life come what may

Frank O’Hara (date unknown)

She’s Sort of A Great Big Blank Today!

I’ve been up for hours already, and I actually got a lot done.  Even shaved my legs, which was sort of a monumental undertaking this time. (I’d been putting it off for days.) (And days.) (Maybe even as much as a week.) (Or two.)

Anyway. Got it done.

It’s a strange , intensely foggy morning here in Crazeysburg, but the birds were singing so rambunctiously while I was meditating this morning, that I finally had to stop and simply lie on my bed and listen to them. So beautiful. So joyous. And this was with all the windows closed, on a sort of chilly, foggy morning.

It brought to mind just how loud it gets when the warmer spring weather finally comes and the windows are open. It’s like you can hear every single bird in Muskingum County, by 4:45am.

And then I thought, So. What am I gonna write today? And I realized I was sort of a great big blank.

Work with Peitor went great yesterday. Even though I have a lot of work to do on the Abstract Absurdity Productions website and the whole production company thing has turned into a  massive undertaking, I am feeling really good about all of it.

And yesterday, I toyed some more with the idea of somehow taking my TV pilot project for Cleveland’s Burning and turning it into more of a theatrical adaptation for the stage. (Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that the one veteran African-American actor who was interested in attaching to the pilot, died suddenly this past summer, so I am sort of still at square one with that.) (And even while the executive in charge of programming at a mega-TV-streaming company out in LA wants to hear my pitch, she has already assured me that she doesn’t care what kind of a great writer I am, she won’t hear the pitch if no one significant is attached yet.)

So anyway, I’ve been sort of turning that project over in my mind (in all my free time) — wondering if maybe it might be better served, for now, on the stage. And I know for sure that there’s a theatrical producer in LA right now looking for this exact kind of project. And even though I have absolutely no clue at this point how I would adapt it, it did seem like a really great idea to take on a new project!! I’m only juggling about seventeen hundred right now.

Then, of course, I thought, Perhaps I should back off of that idea and look at all this other stuff that’s on my plate.

So I’ve been doing that here this morning. Looking at all the projects that are on my plate, I mean. Trying to figure out which direction I want to go in here.

Oh, on another topic altogether — Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds announced yesterday that a show in Milwaukee has been added to the North American tour this fall. Tickets go on sale today, I think. You can see the details here.

Meanwhile, I guess it’s just one of those weird days. I slept great. I feel great.  All is right with my world. I have no chores that need doing. I have the entire day & evening ahead of me, within which to create some sort of masterpiece, and now I just have to figure out what that will be. I have no clue. Nothing is calling out to me — except a theatrical adaptation of Cleveland’s Burning. How wonderful.

Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary is at last winding down. Last evening, I watched the episode that sort of focused on the devastation that heroin wreaked on jazz musicians in the late 1940s into the 1950s. That was really gut-wrenching. The show maintains that a lot of jazz musicians (both black and white) wanted to be like Charlie Parker so they started taking heroin in hopes that they would become more like him. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but that’s what the documentary puts forth.

(Charlie Parker became an addict back in the 1930s, when he was in a terrible car accident in Kansas City at age 17. In the hospital, they kept him on a massive dose of morphine and, apparently, he had some sort of epiphany there about music and his saxophone. He came out of the hospital a completely & utterly changed musician with a changed personality, and also with a drug habit that lasted a lifetime.)

Anyway. It was not a cheery episode. Plus it also began looking at the extreme racial problems in America after WWII and how the militant attitudes of the young black Americans made them turn on the older black jazz musicians, seeing them as Uncle Toms since white people liked their music.

Just a big sad mess.

Not too different from today, of course. America can be just so damn rigid. So racist on all sides, against all races, while there are always people trying, often with equal inflexibility, to fight it. It feels like that’s just a part of America that never goes away.

Still, it’s been a really great documentary. Each episode always gives me so much to think about. As if I need more to think about… For me, just the past decade has been an interesting journey, being a white woman, a writer, undertaking a number of African- American projects. I’ve got three projects right now that are essentially comprised of entirely African-American casts; 2 of them I wrote myself and one of them, I’m a co-writer on. So far, I haven’t had to deal with too many objections about my race — sometimes a raised eyebrow, but that’s it. Still, it’s there — an undercurrent of “but you’re white.”

Anyway. On that note, I need to think about what I’m going to work on today. I hope Wednesday is full of all sorts of interesting ideas for you, gang, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I’m leaving you with this stunning, timeless song. I used to sing this song to Mikey Rivera, back in the days when we were in love, lying together in bed, he in my arms, both of us worn out from life, wondering how the hell we were going to survive in New York City after 9/11.

And talk about racist — man, NYC was brutal to us; me being so white and him being so Puerto Rican. And that was already in the 21st Century. Eventually, of course, we left the city behind.

Anyway, here you go.  A truly lovely version of “Somewhere,” from West Side Story (yeah, written by a white guy) (heavy sigh). All righty. I love you guys. See ya.


There’s a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There’s a time for us
Someday a time for us
Time together with time to spare
Time to look, time to care

We’ll find a new way of living

We’ll find a way of forgiving

There’s a place for us
A time, a place for us
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there

c – 1957 Leonard Bernstein

Another Industrious Day Out Here in the Hinterlands!

Before I go off on a tangent about how magical and wonder-filled my world is here in the wilds of Muskingum County…

Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files thing this morning that was very interesting. It was about his song “Girl in Amber” from the Skeleton Tree album. Plus it includes a photo of his original scribbly lyrics to the song and I always love looking at stuff like that.

“Girl in Amber” is one of the few songs of his that I actually sort of relate to personally.  Even though I love all of his songs (as you have most likely surmised by now), there are only a handful that I feel like I actually relate to personally — that makes me think of things I feel about my actual life, I mean. (“Hallelujah,” of course, is another one.) (And “O’Malley’s Bar.”) (Just kidding about that last one.) (Well, at least right now, I’m kidding — but the day’s still young!)

Anyway. What he wrote about the song  was illuminating and beautiful. It is such a haunting song, You can read his post here if you so choose!

Okay, so today is all about work. (And by way of  my new friend in Switzerland, I am now painfully aware that I work way too much!!) (Oh!! And my ticket to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in Zurich arrived there today!! And even though the concert is 4 months away, unlike Nick Cave’s In Conversation tour, I won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving my ticket here in my room in Crazeysburg because the ticket is already there in Switzerland! Um. How cool is that??) (Very, very cool.)

I digressed. But it was a wonderful digression!!

So, yes. Today is all about work. The laundry is almost done. After I post this to the blog, I’m finally going to force myself to finish those 2 contracts that I had to re-write for Life Story Rights for my play, Tell My Bones. (Yes, indeedy! When I want to avoid something, I can really, really drag it out for days…) But I seriously gotta finish it because people are waiting.

And then I have a few hours on the phone with Peitor this afternoon to work on Scene 5 of Lita’s Got To Go! And this is my very favorite scene. It was actually the whole reason why we decided to write this short film in the first place — this specific scene was the thing that came to us first, while we were sitting at the counter of that French pastry place in one of those farmer’s markets in LA, and we were laughing so hard we almost fell off our counter stools.

(I just want to reiterate that most people won’t find this film so funny that they’ll fall off their counter stools. We are the ones who find it this funny. I’m guessing that most of the people who watch this movie will sit silently for 8 minutes and wonder: What the fuck? But that’s a good thing, too.)

Then after I’m done working with Peitor, I have yet another online seminar, this one about movie financing for short films. (Yes, I try to only take the most uplifting, life-affirming seminars! Because I like to come away from them thinking: Yeah! This is so fun! I love my life!)

So that’s  my day — oh, and Booty Core. Can’t forget that.







Well, yesterday, I had to venture into my barn (shown above there) for the first time since the summer ended and it was immediately apparent that the raccoons have definitely been having a nice time in there this winter, including creating their own little front door to get into it (ripping aside some planks at the bottom of one of the side walls of the barn).  I really seriously gotta do something about fixing that barn. But I really seriously need someone to haul away that enormous dead oak tree that collapsed beside the barn before I can really work on the barn. And all the many people who have claimed they were coming to remove the tree over these past 2 years that I’ve lived here, have never shown up to remove the tree.

Perhaps this year will be the lucky year!! We shall see. At this point, I am willing to buy the damn chainsaw myself and give it, as a happy parting gift, to whoever actually shows up to do the darn job.

And on my journey back from the barn,  I also noticed that the soffit over the eave next to my back door — the one the starlings insist on fucking with in order to build their nests under it every spring — is now completely twisted and destroyed.  It is a colossal mess now because I didn’t take care of it when I could have — last spring, when the baby starlings flew away. I’m guessing that the starlings will be thrilled to death that it is move-in ready for them this year and they won’t have to fuck with it at all this time.

It’s just amazing — what a great homeowner I am. The many birds and animals appreciate me, anyway. My neighbors – not so much.





Oh, anyway. I’m happy. And eventually, it all gets done.

Okay, well, I think I’d better get this day underway here. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang! I leave you with my listening-music from last evening. I’ve posted it here on the blog before: “Time to Move On,” from Tom Petty’s solo album, Wildflowers, 1994. The lyrics by themselves make it seem like a sad song,  but I actually find it sort of empowering and uplifting.  You can, of course, decide for yourselves!  All righty. I might be back to the blog later. We’ll see. Meanwhile. I love you guys. See ya!


“Time To Move On”

It’s time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

Broken skyline, movin’ through the airport
She’s an honest defector
Conscientious objector
Now her own protector

Broken skyline, which way to love land
Which way to something better
Which way to forgiveness
Which way do I go

Time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

Sometime later, getting the words wrong
Wasting the meaning and losing the rhyme
Nauseous adrenaline
Like breakin’ up a dogfight
Like a deer in the headlights
Frozen in real time
I’m losing my mind

It’s time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

c – 1994 Tom Petty

Just Too Much Joy On All Fronts!

You know how some people can’t pass up coins on the ground? If they see a penny, they will pick it up, even if it’s face down? (Which is bad luck, people! I’m just saying.)

Well, I’m the type of person that cannot pass up pens on the ground!!

If I see a pen and it hasn’t been run over by a car or something, I will pick it up and see if it works. And if it works, it’s mine!! (Over the years, I have become the proud owner of a couple of mighty nice gold Cross pens because of this habit of mine.) (I’ve also become the not-so-happy owner of a few truly awful pens — the kind where you can immediately see why its previous owner didn’t even take the time to seek out a trash can and simply threw it, most likely in rage, to the ground.) (However, I keep even the lousiest of pens because you just never know when you’re going to need a pen that at least works or has ink in it.)

Anyway, yesterday, I found the most amazingly perfect pen. And it’s just one of those cheap ball-point pens, too, that’s advertising some business or other and isn’t very pleasing on the eye and yet, when I quickly scribbled with it on a piece of scrap paper — wow. I could not believe my good fortune. It is like the best pen ever. I am so serious.

First thing this morning, I used the pen to write in my Inner Being Journal thingy and it just — I don’t know; it was such a joy. I just love a great pen. I’m a writer — pens mean a lot to me!!

I’m reminded suddenly of the last (and I like to think final) time I attempted suicide. Things were of course dreadful in my life. I was 19. I’d already dropped out of college — I hated college, even though I was majoring in Theater Arts and thinking that maybe I would like to be a playwright. I simply hated the school. But because my adoptive mother felt I was mentally ill, she wouldn’t let me even consider any of the schools I really wanted to go to (to study Theater).  (And as an aside, I did have a psychotherapist at that time who didn’t think I was crazy — he actually thought my mom was crazy and he told me so. But, sadly, it was our little secret for a very long time.)

Anyway. I was really smart. I graduated close to the top of my class in high school — and had I not been constantly skipping school back then (and I mean constantly; I hated the arbitrary rules &  structure of school) I probably would have been right at the very top of my class.  Nevertheless, I was still Valedictorian on Graduation Day — and there were over 800 kids in my graduating class, so that says something about how crazy I may or may not have been (like a fox, I guess).  So I feel pretty sure that I would have been able to get into any school I applied to because they were all these sort of strange, hippy-ish boutique-type Arts colleges. Not Harvard, or anything.

However, my mother wouldn’t let me get too far from home because she thought I was out of my fucking mind.

So I wound up at this god awful, huge, antiseptic, mind-numbing  university that was about 25 or 30 miles from where my adoptive father lived. Like he was going to keep his eye on me, or something.

I hated the school. Drank bourbon almost every day instead of going to most of my classes. I lasted about 8 weeks. Quit. Then went to California to allegedly live with the girl I was in love with, but — as loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall — she was no longer in love with me by the time I managed to get there.

But back in Ohio, looking for any kind of a decent singing gig; really wishing I could figure out how to get to NYC instead but having no money and no real job; I was hanging out in this truly seedy Country & Western bar (called the Wagon Wheel) where they didn’t ID me and let me drink bourbon to my heart’s content all night and I was hanging out with all these criminals and much older ex-con truckers  — and my mom finally kicked me out of the house. Even though I was indeed paying her room & board to stay there, which I thought meant that I could do what I wanted, but she said: au contraire.

So. Out I went. Still 19. I got a waitressing job in a diner-truck stop type place off the Interstate. And I was living in a cheap motel that was one parking lot away from the diner. Sleeping with a much older, ex-con trucker at night in my cheap motel room bed — both of us drunk but still managing to fuck. Yes! I consider this one of those high points of my whole life!

Okay — I am going to cut to the chase of this dreadful story, and say that my best friend’s dad back then was a private detective. And after I had tried to kill myself in the motel room — in the throes of it, still, and vomiting everywhere — I left the motel room and managed to call my best friend on a phone. (We didn’t have cell phones yet — not even close.) I was in very bad straits. I did not want to die. I just wanted a life worth living, which is just so different. And my best friend’s dad managed to find me before it was too late. And afterward, they let me come live in their basement for awhile, until I could figure out something better — like, how to get to New York. And that Christmas, her dad bought me a really, really nice pen because he knew I was a writer. I still have the pen, 41 years later. (And I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve moved since then!)

Okay!!! Yes!!!! I digressed.

Well. Right after I fed the cats this morning, I took the trash out to the garbage bin and lo & behold! Robins everywhere!! Wow. It was so cool. They were in the trees. They were flying around. They were on the dead, brown lawns that will soon be super green. It was so cool to see it.

And then after the cats ate and the sun was really up — there were cats sitting at every window, watching the birds again. They get so tense and alert. I just love when they do that. It assures me that summer will soon be back around, too, and every one of those windows will be wide open onto the beautiful green and very lively world of Muskingum County.

I can’t wait.

So, yes! My upstairs toilet is working again. How cool is that? People are just wonderful.

And also yesterday, a friend of mine — a much younger guy that I’ve blogged about many times in the past. I feel certain we knew each other too well in another life and that we were seriously up to no good in it. Anyway. He’s something like 28 years old in this life. And he just moved to a new place. And I wanted to give him a gift but I didn’t want to just give him a plant or something like that, right? I wanted to give him something that would imply that life was awesome and stars are always exploding somewhere.

So I gave him something of mine that I really loved. It’s a very nice (and it was actually expensive) traveling martini kit. It is really the coolest thing. In a little locked leather case. But it’s meant for two. I didn’t buy it for myself — an old flame bought it for me. A man I had many, many vodka martinis with. Many Chesterfield cigarettes with.  And did a whole lot of the other stuff with him, too.  I took really good care of that little martini kit, though. I used to dream that one day, I would fall in love for real and we would travel first class on the Orient Express to Istanbul, maybe on our wedding night or something equally thrilling, and we’d make really  good use of the traveling martini kit.

Not that I think dreams ever really die, but it doesn’t seem super likely to happen. And I don’t really drink anymore, least of all vodka martinis. And I thought — man, this young guy has his whole incredible life ahead of him. Even if he doesn’t ever want to go to Istanbul on the Orient Express, well, a full moon over some amazing starlit field here in the wilds of the Hinterlands is more than good enough when love is involved. Plus, he drinks like a fish. So hopefully he’ll find some pretty girl to love who also drinks like a fish and, voila! He will already have the suave Martini Kit of Love to bring along with him.

Okay!! I gotta scoot. Booty Core awaits!!! Have a wonderful Monday, wherever you are in the world,gang! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

“The Criminal Kind”

You got a criminal mind
You got criminal looks
Boy you better look out
You’re gonna get hooked

Don’t you ever feel guilty
When you come up short
Man you better be careful
You’re gonna get caught

‘Cause you’re the criminal kind
You’re the criminal kind
Man what you gonna do?
Where you gonna hide?
They’re callin’ you a sickness, disease of the mind
Man what you gonna do?
You’re the criminal kind

Don’t you ever get tired?
Don’t you ever want to quit?
Yeah it’s been a long time, and you still don’t fit
Dog tags on the mirror, hangin’ down from a chain
Give up little sister, this ain’t gonna change

Yeah, and that little girl you used to know
Just don’t come around no more
Now she ain’t there to watch the door
She don’t wanna die in no liquor store

I hope they all made money, I hope they all get rich
Yeah, I hope they give hell, to every son-of-a-bitch
That put a man on the carpet
Or stuck him out on the line
Whatever let him get a taste of the criminal life

‘Cause you’re the criminal kind
You’re the criminal kind
Man what you gonna do?
Where you gonna hide?
They’re callin’ you a sickness, disease of the mind
Man what you gonna do?
You’re the criminal kind

c – 1981 Tom Petty

A Favorite Poem

from my wee bonny 16-year-old girlhood.


Instant coffee with slightly sour cream
in it, and a phone call to the beyond
which doesn’t seem to be coming nearer.
“Ah daddy, I wanna stay drunk many days”
on the poetry of a new friend
my life held precariously in the seeing
hands of others, their and my impossibilities.
Is this love, now that the first love
has finally died, where there were no impossibilities?

Frank O’Hara, 1964

Luckily, I’m Not Going Anywhere!

Man, it’s been another one of those mornings. I cannot seem to focus for more than a nano second on any one thing.

I had already made up my mind last night that I wasn’t going to really do anything today. I was going to just sort of relax (or, at the very least, work on understanding my definition of the word “relax”) and just wait for the guys to come over and fix that upstairs toilet.

I did actually vacuum the whole house yesterday, and that pebble problem thingy had — miraculously — fixed itself.

I am so serious — this is one amazing house, gang. It sort of pitches in and helps you work miracles.

When they enshrine my house after I’m dead, they will rope off that hall closet so that no one can touch it anymore, and the eager docent will explain to the many visitors how it was a magic closet that worked miracles. “She would put her vacuum cleaner in here for many weeks at a time and it would fix itself.”

Then the inevitable questions of visitors to the shrine:

  • “That writer who lived here was crazy, though, right?”
  • “How come they don’t make magic closets anymore?”
  • And one lone woman with tell-tale cat hairs all over her clothes will pipe up: “I knew closets could do that!”

Okay. Anyway.

I woke up in such a sad little place this morning.  I was having another one of those dreadful dreams where my adoptive mother was abusing one of my beloved cats. This time, it was Daddycakes, my little rescued boy cat who died last spring from kidney failure.

Even though he was feral, he would let me pick him up and cuddle him, but he didn’t really like it too much so I tried not to do that to him too often. He did like to sleep on top of me and walk on me in bed and stuff. And he loved to be brushed. But once in  a while, I would scoop him up and force him to endure great big hugs and kisses! And he would look at me with a sort of tolerant dignity and an expression that said: “Please stop. They’re all looking at me.”

I miss him so much. And it broke my heart to watch my mother (in my dream) abusing him. I was finally able to get over to him and pick him up and he felt so real. You know, his body was warm and alive and all furry and wonderful.

So I woke up crying a little bit, I still feel like I failed him by not getting him to a doctor sooner. It just didn’t seem right to try to trap him here in the house, where he felt so safe, and put him through all that terror when he was so sick. And by the time he was docile enough to get him into the car without a trap, and drive him to a vet 30 miles from here, the only one I could find who agreed to treat a feral cat — it was too late to save him. It was just heartbreaking.

But when you’re dealing with wild animals, you have to try to let them live & die by their own rules. As much as possible. But it’s hard not to want to layer your own human perceptions on to who they are. You know, to me, it felt like he was my little baby boy cat. To him, it was probably more like: “No, I was a cat who came to live in your house for awhile and it was time to go.”

Anyway, I realized that probably I was actually thinking about my older brother in that dream (see yesterday’s post) and everything our adoptive mother did to him when we were little that I couldn’t save him from. (My memoir-in-progress, In The Shadow of Narcissa.)

And at the breakfast table today, I realized that she was all about dividing & conquering. My brother and I weren’t allowed to help each other or even to care about each other, because she was the center of the whole universe — we weren’t allowed to focus on anyone else, not even each other. And still, she wouldn’t allow you to openly care about her, either, because there was no way you could ever love her enough. She would scream at us in this truly god-awful way. Just so frightening. I mean, the physical stuff was awful, too, but that screaming was not to be believed. And there was always that undertone that she intended to kill you – literally. She wanted you not to exist. (She had an extreme Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and was likely psychotic, as well. Her mother — my adoptive grandmother — also dealt with various personality disorders and mental illness. Electroshock treatments, dark bedrooms, drugged to the gills kind of thing.)

Anyway. I realized that she instilled in us — and it’s still in my brother, at least — this wall of emotional resistance. As soon as it looks like you’re doing something that’s going to bother my brother, the wall comes down and you’re out.

Up until his second marriage, he used to keep in touch with me pretty regularly over the phone. However, his second marriage coincided with my becoming ” a pornographer” and he had less and less tolerance for me from then on. This sort of, “why are you doing this, Marilyn? Your music was so good.”

I got that from so many of the people I was close to; my writing made so many people feel really uncomfortable; they didn’t know how to process it. I barely know how.  But, you know, I was just lying around in bed one morning, like, 50 years ago, wondering: “Hmmm. How I can upset everybody today? Oh I know; I’ll become a pornographer…”

Jesus. Whatever. It makes me sad that my older brother doesn’t want anything to do with me. But I still feel our parents instilled that in him. It didn’t “take” with me because I am relentlessly empathetic and fear is not going to stop me from caring about people (or animals or insects or spirits in the night).

The last time my brother had anything to do with me, was when our adoptive dad turned 70 and there was a big party for him in a fancy hotel in the city where our dad lives. And my dad was doing another one of his “let’s be inexplicably cruel to Marilyn” things (I know I sound like Jane Eyre, but this is all true), so he had his big fancy hotel birthday party the night before his 70th birthday  — which was my 40th birthday — and then told me I was not invited to the party, even though I had flown in from NYC for it.

Even though I wasn’t allowed to go to the party, I still showed up at my dad’s house the following day to wish him a happy 70th birthday. Because I was always determined to ignore his cruelty.  And that’s when my brother called me, really angry at me, saying, “How could you snub dad like that, in front of everybody, on his big birthday?”

He refused to believe that I was not invited to the party and wasn’t allowed to come.  (And he neglected to wish me a happy 40th birthday, too!) And that sort of convoluted, parental manipulative shit, caused my older brother to not speak to me again.

Oh well. All this divide & conquer stuff — it also has a lot to do with wills & estates & inheritances. And I have no time for it.  Seriously. But it doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t get sad.

And this morning, as I was having trouble facing the idea of getting out of bed, and I was curling into a tighter fetal ball around my pillow, I heard a bird singing outside my window.

And I opened my eyes a little and saw that the sun was coming up in that way that looked like spring. And I remembered that I had put all my spring & Easter stuff out in the kitchen, and hung my Easter wreath on the kitchen door already, so I sort of suddenly felt: Wow, my kitchen looks really pretty. I’m gonna go down there right now and feed the cats and have breakfast!

And so I did. And here we are! The sun is indeed shining, the birds are indeed singing. Spring is sort of right around the corner. And two really nice guys from here in the Hinterlands are coming over to fix my toilet for me!! Without charging me a dime. I asked Kevin last night if he wanted me to buy them beer or something, but he said, “No, it’ll be too early in the day for that. All I want is to finally see one of those crazy cats of yours!”

Well, it isn’t gonna happen, because they always hide whenever he comes over — or anyone comes over, except for my birth mom now. But I went to the gas station last night and bought them beer anyway.

All righty. Have a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning! (Anne Murray is my fall-back gal when my heart is a little bit broken but I don’t want it to remain that way!) Okay. I love you guys. See ya!


Beneath this snowy mantle cold and clean
The unborn grass lies waiting
For its coat to turn to green
The snowbird sings the song he always sings
And speaks to me of flowers
That will bloom again in spring

When I was young
My heart was young then, too
Anything that it would tell me
That’s the thing that I would do
But now I feel such emptiness within
For the thing that I want most in life’s
The thing that I can’t win

Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day
The one I love forever is untrue
And if I could you know that I would
Fly away with you

The breeze along the river seems to say
That he’ll only break my heart again
Should I decide to stay
So, little snowbird
Take me with you when you go
To that land of gentle breezes
Where the peaceful waters flow

Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day
The one I love forever is untrue
And if I could you know that I would
Fly away with you

Yeah, if I could you know that I would
Fl-y-y-y-y away with you

c – 1969 Gene MacLellan