All posts by marilyn jaye lewis

writer, editor, publisher, thinker -- all-around joyful gal!

I don’t think I can stand it

That’s right, I’m talking about these last few episodes that are left of Mad Men!!!

What the heck is going to happen?? And why are they screwing around with Joan? And how come Peggy always, always, always seems to just barely have a clue?  And, as always: Poor Don!!

My body posture when I watch this show is to sit with my legs crossed and my arms folded tightly across my chest. I should point out that this has been my body posture while watching this show since the summer of 2007.  I love all these characters so much and they all just seem like a world full of loose cannons. This morning, when I finished watching Episode 7, I was so relieved to turn off the TV and to go back to focusing on my quiet little life, wherein women are taken a tad bit more seriously — however, I guess if you still look at advertising these days or watch much TV, you’d have to add “but not much.”

Oh well. Only 2 episodes left… Then I hope they release the magnificently designed, boxed-DVD set the very next day.

Okay!!! Guess what I did over the weekend? That’s right. I completed the revisions on my screenplay, Tell My Bones. I was still only able to get it down to about 60 minutes, which is the high end of the time limit they wanted for the staged reading. But we shall see. Maybe it’ll be fine. If not, maybe they’ll tell me what else has to go and I can just chop it off  without even looking because, frankly, I can’t see where/how to cut the script down any further and still have it make sense.  (But then, I wrote it, and I can’t really see where/how anyone would want to experience anything less than its full 105 pages!!) (But perhaps I am a wee bit biased.)

Anyway, it felt great to get that off my plate and officially on to the next phase of the upcoming staged reading. I have to say, I am starting to feel like this reading is going to run smack dab into me selling this house here in Ohio and having to buy a house back in New York and move. I just get the feeling that all this endless waiting I’ve been doing for so many years now is going to culminate in everything imaginable happening at once.

I can just see me flying into Manhattan, attending the reading, applaud, applaud, applaud, then hop the commuter train up to Dutchess County, look at the house I have my eye on, exuberantly say “I’ll take it!! Where do I sign?” Then hop on a plane back to Ohio, take all my possessions and throw them into a dumpster somewhere, load myself and my many beloved cats into my new (used) Jeep Commander, and head straight back to happily-ever-after-ville!!

Or something like that… Meanwhile, yes, I turned in the script, and all my homework is done for school (for today, anyway), I already taught my writing student this morning, so that’s done, and it is a gorgeous day here today, so I’m outta here!

Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you have something wonderful going on in your corner of the world. See ya!

Peggy Olson is too cool!
Peggy Olson is too cool!

Thank you so much, you whackies!!

Okay, again, I have to say I am flabbergasted.  (See a similar post down below somewhere.) (It can’t be too far down there since, as you know, I can never seem to post to this blog in any sort of timely fashion anymore.)

I got an email alert from Amazon Kindle that still more royalties were coming my way from a book I wrote years ago. Yay.  (Published writing — the gift that keeps on giving!) So that was nice…

AND YET…. In yesterday’s snail mail: My ex-husband in Manhattan had forwarded to me a bunch of royalty statements and a “cheque,” in British Pounds Sterling, from Virgin Publishing in London, that amounted to several hundred US dollars, for eBook sales of a very short erotic story I literally wrote 20 years ago. They recently had it translated into German, and apparently sex still sells, no matter how old, no matter how translated!

What a nice surprise, considering that 99.999% of anything that arrives in my mailbox reflects some sort of “payment due.” I have a hard time processing “payment received” these days.

Anyway, it is amazing to me that these indescribably recycled stories are still selling.  As soon as I get back to New York, I will resume writing books in among the screenplays and the plays, but, as I said recently, no erotica, per se. (I say, “per se” because I always found life, in general, to be erotic; it was the publishers who insisted I was writing “erotica.” I didn’t necessarily agree with them all the time.)

Okay, new topic! Yesterday, a friend and I saw the movie While We’re Young and it was really good.  It was a kind of throwback to the 70s storytelling style of film, where the characters have depth and what happens to them gets complicated. I wish it had been on film instead of digital, but I know, that part of life is long gone. Anyway, it was good! A movie ticket well-spent.

Here’s some awesome news that I keep forgetting to tell you about because now that I am back in school full-time, I am a little bit busy… My award-winning screenplay, Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story is getting a professional staged reading in NYC, by professional actors, in a professional venue, with professional wine & cheese being served!! Yippee ki yi yay!! I am so excited!

The tricky part is that I have to edit the 90-minute screenplay down to between 45-60 minutes, tops, and since the movie relies heavily on flashbacks within paintings, you can likely see where the trouble lay:  Coming up with a linear storyline within a seriously non-linear script. Luckily, I am really good at tearing my hair out.  Oops! I meant to say, I am really good at sitting at my desk and staring at a computer screen and going quietly insane. No wait — I meant to say, I am really good at finding the linear flow within the non-linear whole.

However, it does require patience and finding ways to not let your head explode. Sobriety is also key.

zbeer

As soon as I know the date/time, etc., of the reading, I will let you know and if you are in NYC, please be there!!

Okay, back at it over here! Plus I have to create a Power Point Presentation on Christian Grief Counseling for school it’s due Monday. I can only imagine what that is going to look like, gang. But thanks for visiting!! Don’t let my quandaries keep you from enjoying your day and come back really soon! See ya!

zvw

 

 

At long last, a day off!

Well, minus the fact that I was working on the play for a couple hours already this morning (and am now done with revisions on Act 1), I have the whole day off! My first whole day off since school started up again, three weeks ago.

I have no idea what I will do with the rest of my day, but I’m going to try to get out and take a walk before it starts raining. Then play the rest by ear.

It’s been an interesting, quasi-stressful week. Taxes, of course, were due. And I always owe taxes. And that ceiling in my sun room, that I wrote about recently, finally came crashing down. What a colossal smell of mold and mildew! And needless to say, what a colossal mess. As of now, I am just leaving it and keeping the room closed off. Depending on what the realtor says about the current timeline for the developers taking over my house, I will either leave the mess for the bulldozers, or get a mask and clean it up myself. I’m hoping for the prior choice, obviously, but I can’t go all summer with mold taking over my downstairs. So we shall see.

But so sad. It used to be my favorite room in the house. I have so many great memories of spending time in that room and now it is a complete, bona fide disaster. Really just so sad.

But I don’t want to dwell on it. I know that a brighter future is on the horizon.

So, yes!! Act One of the one-woman musical is DONE, gang!! Yay!! And it is terrific. The actress has truly done such an amazing job — and had an amazing life. Of course this also means that a quick trip to NYC is looming large, once again, in my future, because we have to work out the staging of a formal reading with the director and musical director. I have no clue what “looming large in my future” really means. I only know that at some point soon I will have to take off and go. Hopefully, that will happen before my housemate moves out on June 1st. Otherwise, I will have to hire the professional cat sitters and I’d much rather not have to worry about that expense, but I guess we’ll see.  Naturally, for the 3 months that I was out of school and didn’t have homework to do every single day, the trip wasn’t looming large at all…

I’m thinking that I might actually work on some of my own writing today. It’s been a really long time since I had time to do that.  You never know, I might still remember how! (Oh, and the other day, I was invited back to L.A. to pitch my TV pilot to some more producers, but my finances are stalled in limbo until the house sells. However, flattered I was!)

Hey, last Tuesday, my girlfriend and I got a chance to see the Al Pacino movie, Danny Collins. We really enjoyed it. (We were in one of those Fork & Screen theaters, where you get to order dinner while you watch the movie. That was a cool experience! Except that sometimes the waiters talk to you while interesting dialogue is galloping past on the screen and then, of course, you miss it. But it still was fun. If you like Al Pacino and/or John Lennon, I really recommend the movie.) (Not sure why all that became a parenthetical phrase, but there you have it!!)

Okay, I wanna go out and look at the flowers, the sky, the trees — take that WALK before it rains!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you are. I leave you with Al Pacino!! See ya!

 

 

 

 

Happy as a clam can get!!

Wow! Well, I have to say, I couldn’t be happier with Time Warner Cable! My phone chat with them regarding my impending surge in cable fees (see post from the other day, below) couldn’t have gone dreamier!

I will now be paying $6 less per month than before, with twice the megabytes for my iPad streaming. Yay.

Hulloooo, cable!!
Hulloooo, cable!!

And here I had watched Mad Men this morning, solemnly thinking it would be the last TV show I would watch in my comfy family room. I don’t mind streaming shows on my iPad, but the family room used to be my favorite room in the house, and now the only time I’m in it, is if I’ve recorded something on the DVR. So that was kinda making me sad.

(To be honest, pretty much everything about this house makes me sad, nowadays. I used to have this fantastic sun room, but it has now become overrun with mold due to a collapsing ceiling and rain pouring in — this has been going on for years. The collapsing ceiling part, I mean.  But I couldn’t see fixing it if they were just going to be tearing the house down, right? So now I have to keep it closed up. Oh, and the first new franchise to set up business in this new shopping district they’re building around me is Arby’s. Isn’t that weird? To think that my once sweet little paradise could become something like an Arby’s?)

Anyway. It’s very sad. The sunroom had once been a beautiful room.

But, on the upside!! I still get to watch Columbo re-runs and Mad Men. And, speaking of Mad Men — OMG! I honestly think that this final, short season is the best yet. The writing has been incredible, right???

Okay! Have a wonderful, sunny Monday, wherever you are! Thanks for visiting!!

What a glorious spring!

That vintage postcard image of the chick on the telephone was supposed to be my Easter post for you on Sunday, but everything got away from me since I had to be at church for 17 trillion hours that day, and now here it is, 4 days later…

Still, I thought it was a cute image, so I regale you with it, regardless!

Here’s a thought: When I woke this morning, at 5:02 a.m., I had the sudden realization that 34 years ago this very day, I got married for the first time, down at city hall in Manhattan. That’s really shocking, because I always feel like I’m still about 12 years old, so to think that I was even alive anywhere 34 years ago, let alone getting married to a man who has actually been dead now for 20 years, is simply something I cannot wrap my wee bonnie mind around!!

But enough of that! Things right here, right now, are really great so let’s just move forward.

Here’s something else that is really interesting. Amazon brought to my attention yesterday that quite a flurry of folks have been buying my eBooks here in the USA over the past 2 months. This is quite an exciting development, since I haven’t written any books since 2010 (I’ve been focusing on screenplays and teleplays since then).  But I do have several other book ideas on my back burner and it occurred to me that maybe I should set aside some real time and write something new!

To be honest, people all over the world are still buying my erotica (in the UK and Germany, mostly) and those are stories that have been recycled and recycled and recycled since the NINETIES, gang! I am astounded that people are not stupidly tired of them.  (Or perhaps they are, and they only keep buying them in the vain hope that the stories might have new endings or something by now…)

Well, I’m not planning on writing anymore erotica. Not that I think ministers shouldn’t write erotica if they feel moved to do so; it’s just that I wrote erotica for over 20 years. I wrote dark and bleak erotica, I wrote funny and upbeat erotica, I wrote romantic and sweet erotica, and I also wrote just plain literate award-winning erotica. I don’t feel like I have much left to stay in that department! I wanna write about other stuff! Yay!!

Still, it was a real thrill to see the boost in sales when I do absolutely ZERO to promote that stuff anymore.  (Plus, it was nice to see that Twilight of the Immortal is selling again, too, and that’s historical fiction — not erotic at all.) So I really want to thank any and all of you who are feeling compelled to purchase my fiction!! I really appreciate it.

Well, okay!

Today is just a gorgeous spring day and all I have to do today, besides homework, is argue with Time-Warner Cable on the telephone and most likely entreat them to close my account since I really stream everything on my iPad anyway, but we’ll see how it goes. I also plan on taking a walk later, to see what splendid & wondrous sights God has in store for my eyes today. I hope that wherever you are, something similar is going on!! (The “wondrous God on a gorgeous spring day” part, not the argument with Time Warner Cable.)  Thanks for visiting again, gang.  See ya real soon!

"You're raising my cable bill to HOW MUCH??!!"
“You’re raising my cable bill to HOW MUCH??!! But all I watch on cable are old re-runs of Columbo!!”

 

Yes, Holy Week be Upon Us!

Yay. My favorite week of the year, even though “favorite” might not be the best word for describing a crucifixion, let alone the crucifixion of someone so widely missed as, well, you know who…

This is the week that I am more “in” church than “out” of church. I love the solemnity of it, the beauty of it, the pathos of it — and the questions that I ask myself all week long: “How much of this stuff is actually true???!!” Who the heck knows, right? As a minister, I’m supposed to tow the party line & buy it all, but I know it won’t surprise you to know that I question every single solitary thing. But I still love it….

I love it SO MUCH, in fact, that, yes, I am back in school, completing the next phase of my ministry degree. I know I said I was done, but it turned out — I was wrong! I don’t need all this education to be a mionister (that’s Olde French for “minister”), but I still crave that Masters in Divinity, so I am sticking with school, for now. We’ll see how I can manage that once I move back to New York, but for now, I am back in school and loving it.

And also on Spring Break! Yay. Just in time to be at church constantly. So.

Wow, the re-writes of the original stage musical I am working on with that actress in New York City– it is going spectacularly well!! Yes, after several months of pulling teeth, pulling hair — I don’t know; what else can we pull out in frustration? Whatever it was, we pulled it and we are almost done with the revisions of Act One and I still think the show is incredible, gang. It already won one award — these revisions are being done on a grant from the Canadian Arts Council. The play won the actress/writer the Best New African-Canadian Playwright award — something like that.  So the lovely world of Canada is paying my wages and will pay my airfare to NYC soon, to work in person with the actress and the music director, and everyone else.  (I know, I keep saying I will be going to NYC soon to work on this, and it keeps getting postponed, but, naturally, now that I am back in school, the trip is imminent again!) But I am a big fan of Canada now. Yay! Honestly, what’s not to love??

Okay. Since it has been over a month since you last heard from me: Yes, I was glued to every single solitary episode of Empire! Wow, how addicting! I love Terrence Howard, which was the main reason I tuned in the very first night, but then I was hooked on the indescribably unChristian immorality of every single character!! Too fun, wasn’t it, gang? Luckily, the first season is over now — making room in my world for the final season of my beloved Mad Men. (I’m hoping they will soon release some sort of gorgeous Boxed DVD set that I can purchase and display prominently, next to the icons of Christ…)

The other thing I waste way too much time on is Miranda Sings. This is why I had to go back to school, gang. It gives me something to do with my magnificent brain besides binge-watch endless 5-minute episodes of Miranda Sings, laughing myself silly. She is just too funny.  (I don’t know if I can pick an absolute favorite episode, I have so many, but the one where she gives singing lessons to Pentatonix is right up there, along with the What’s In My Pants Challenge.)

On that lofty note, though, I do want to wish everyone a very blessed Holy Week.  Even if you aren’t a big Christ-follower yourself, there is a whole lot about human nature that we can learn from this week. Mainly, that when Christ entered Jerusalem on Sunday, he was already a dead man walking; the same crowds that cheered him on Sunday, had him nailed to a cross by Friday morning… Funny, how the more things change in 2000 years, the more they stay exactly the same, right? Something to ponder, anyway — how the “crowd” will turn on you on a dime.

Okay!! Now that the roof guy has finished patching the enormous hole in my roof and gone home, I’m gonna get my taxes together here. I have a nice little pile of official-looking junk on my desk that I have to make sense out of before I dump it onto someone else’s desk! Yay! (The buck never stops here, folks. Whenever I see one coming, I scoot quickly away!!)

I hope you are gearing up for a fantastic spring. Things simply could not be better over here — I hope it’s likewise wherever you are! Thanks for visiting, gang. See ya!

Spring chickens -- hey, they look a lot like YOU!!
Spring chickens — hey, they look a lot like YOU!!