Hope All Was Festive, Gang!

I hope everyone Stateside had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty darn good, all things considered.

I was eager for Black Friday to arrive (that’s today, for anyone overseas unacquainted with the American need to shop as cheaply as humanly possible for one day out of the year.).

I needed to buy some nutritional supplements for my many cats and that kind of thing is always expensive.  And then there was something specific I wanted to buy for my birth mom for Christmas. And why not buy it cheaper than it might already be?

So, online I went, first thing this morning. Put everything I needed to buy into my Amazon shopping cart.

But then!

Allegedly based on my past purchasing habits (and indeed they were right!), they regaled my eyes with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers things that I might not already own.

There are indeed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers things that I don’t already own, but the chances of me wanting those things if I don’t already have them by now are really slim, gang.

And yet…

Wow. Now here comes something I own as an MP3 download that I never knew was for sale as a CD. In fact, it was a multiple-CD collection – bootleg. I own all of these CDs as MP3 downloads and stream them regularly on my iPad. But suddenly the chance to also play them constantly as CDs in my car became  irresistible, so into my shopping cart it went.

But long story short, by the time I got to the checkout – wow, was there a tidy price tag accruing there! Way more than I wanted to spend today because I need to go to LA really soon. And I need to do silly things like eat while I’m there.

So, one by one, items were removed from my cart and sent to the handy “buy it later” file. And – YES! – I bought nothing I’d specifically gone online for today. All of that stuff was in my handy “buy it later” file! And instead, I bought the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers multiple-CD bootleg collection for myself. Yes! Live songs they played somewhere or other around 40 YEARS AGO, gang! And Yes! This is something I already own!! Just in a different format. It’s on its way to me with free shipping even as I type!

Jesus. How did I do that??!!  (By being impulsive, that’s how.)

Anyway. Here’s something you can be grateful for this Thanksgiving: Be thankful that the things that you want for Christmas are not on my Christmas shopping list because clearly you’re not gonna get ’em anytime soon!

Okay, on that happy, yet cautionary, note… Have a terrific Black Friday, folks! Wherever you are. Thanks for visiting! See ya!

Hmm. The “for you” part — maybe not so much!

Let’s Try that Again!!

Yes, if you came here looking for the post I posted here yesterday and found it gone… Indeed.

It’s gone. I trashed it. I had a really fucked up day yesterday – part of it my infamous mouth again – doh!! (think before you speak, or type, you idiot!! ). Jeez.

But most of my fucked-up behavior yesterday stemmed from exhaustion, and that blog post didn’t help much.  So out it went!

I’d like to blame all of it on the moon and the planets doing weird things or anything at all celestial, rather than blame my lousy day on any intrinsic faults in my own character… We’ll see how that goes!!

Meanwhile, today I feel worlds better so I’m beginning again.

And except for doing some yoga later, I’m gonna keep my quite comely behind planted in this desk chair and just write.

No, in case you were curious, I still don’t have my notes for re-writes on the TV pilot, and I seriously doubt they’re going to arrive today, the day before Thanksgiving, when pretty much all of LA is already on vacation… So I’m gonna just let it go, focus on writing the new novel, and let everything else somehow take care of itself in plenty of time for my trip to LA in 14 days…

It’s called trusting the Universe. Sometimes I’m really good at that. Other times (i.e., yesterday) not so much.

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Ah well. Onward.

If you’re living Stateside, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, gang. If you live everywhere else in the world, just enjoy your day and know that I’ll spend my day being thankful for you. Really. Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Let’s get happier, shall we?!

I find that those water-enhancing caffeine drops really make my spirits a lot cheerier. So that’s what I did yesterday, around noon, when I saw that my entire day was gonna go nowhere fast if I couldn’t snap out of my father-induced suicidal funk from the night before.

And then, armed with water-enhancing caffeine drops in my brain, I finished  writing Chapter 15 of Blessed By Light. Felt super good about that, folks. The whole world got brighter.

However, then my energy just totally crashed when that stuff wore off. Man. I was asleep by, like, 9 PM last night, or some weirdness like that.

But up at 4:30 I was today!! And I’m just feeling better all the way around.

And I’m finally in the mood to do yoga again. I haven’t done it since before I went to NYC, which was 3 weeks ago. But mostly because I had so much writing I had to do the moment I got back home.

So. I think I’m climbing up out of the abyss. Today is full of ice and gloom, but I still think it’s gonna be good.

Hope your day is abyss-free, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

Some Days Coffee is All I’ve Got

I have been blessed with 6 parents. One of whom (my birth mother) I actually get along with because all she does is love me, just the way I am.

If you also define “getting along with” as including an unbridled amount of passion, angst, confusion, madness, heartbreak and love, then I got along with my birth father exceedingly well until he died.

When my birth mom was here visiting me last week, the subject of Neptune & Surf came up. That was my first book.  An incredibly exciting moment for me when that book got published in 1999.  By then, I’d been a professional fiction writer for 10 years and finally had my first book published.

It was received really well in England and it sold really well all over the world,  for the type of book it was. It broke my heart that most people called it pornography, because I never, ever saw that book in that light. That book was my heart. I still feel I missed the mark with “The Mercy Cure” (one of the 3 novellas in the book) but that book was still my heart. It wasn’t until the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, had me in Federal Court looking at prison time for being a “pornographer” that I finally acquiesced to that label in public. But whatever. Give me a great big scarlet “P” to wear, I don’t fucking care. My writing is my life.

My birth mom not only still has her copy of the original edition of Neptune & Surf, she was really proud of me when the book came out. And she told me last week that she still has my original typewritten manuscripts for “The Mercy Cure” and ” Gianni’s Girl” in the drawer in the night table next to her bed.

That is someone who loves me.

The rest of my family, for the most part, consider my writing more of an aberration than anything else.  One relative, at the height of my career pre-John Ashcroft, declared at a family dinner that I was a “hack writer.” Mind you, she hadn’t even read any of my books. You can guess that I don’t attend family get-togethers anymore.

You might find my work offensive, disgusting, disturbing – but I’m not a hack writer. I labor over every sentence, just like anyone else.

Next year, Neptune & Surf will have officially remained in print for 20 years.  Twenty years of uninterrupted publication. Trade paper, mass market, hard cover, a book club edition, 2 French language editions, and now Hachette in the UK has had it as an eBook for a number of years.  You can even get illegal downloads of Neptune & Surf online without having to look too hard, and I don’t even mind at this point, you know?

Original trade paper edition of N&S, 1999. Whenever I see this edition for sale anywhere, it always has a price tag that even I can’t afford. So that’s pretty cool.

As far as some of my other “parents”…

I had one stepmother – a very, very long time ago – who was very good to me. When I met her, I was 14 and she was 27 – an ex-cocktail waitress who had kind of hit paydirt and married my dad. She was sweet, scared, overwhelmed, full of love, and she drank a lot.  My (adoptive) dad eventually chewed her up and spat her out. It took him a number of years to do it, but he did. And he did the same to me. But life went on.

And all these decades later, I am – what is the word; misguided enough? compassionate enough? – to try to maintain some sort of civil relationship with him because he is old now.

However, trying to get through even a 10-minute phone call with him, as I did last night, requires heavy combat attire. It requires an amazing amount of self-protective force-fields – none of which I have.  I always go into these phone calls thinking, “Oh he’ll be so happy to hear my latest good news.” But he never is. He is so mean.

In 10 minutes, I am completely degraded, demoralized, defenseless. Helpless. And I always very cheerfully end with, “Well, have a good week. Take care of yourself.” (And he’s the adoptive parent that I sort of get along with. We won’t go into the other one. Jesus.)

I’d had an okay day yesterday, work on the new novel wasn’t stellar, but I’d gotten a little good work done on it. I was feeling very, very positive about everything – the theater stuff in NYC with Sandra; the TV pilot re-writes. My new novel, and the new novel in progress that’s right next to it. The chance to re-record a dozen of my songs from my singer-songwriter days with Peitor out in LA.

It had all felt really good.

And yet, there I was, at 9PM, in my PJs with my winter coat thrown over top of them, my Wellies on, standing in my dark backyard in the middle of a wonderful nowhere in the Hinterlands where pretty much no one can find me; and I was listening to Tom Petty really loud in my earbuds, singing “Only A Broken Heart.” Under the endless black sky. And I was crying. So many years of fucking abuse. It felt like the only friend I had in the world was Tom Petty, and he’s dead, gang.

What kind of a fucking way is that to end a good day? I’ll tell you, it’s the kind of day that involves a 10-minute phone call with my dad.

However.

Today is a new day and the morning began with coffee – my very favorite way to begin a day. Hello, coffee! How are you?

Year after year after year, it does not degrade, belittle, or demoralize me in reply. Yay for coffee. I’m gonna try to make this a really great day.

I hope you will do the same, gang. Thanks for visiting!! See ya.

The Merry Winds of Winter – On their way!!

One of the things I truly love about living in a really old, drafty house is how impossible it is to heat it!! Yay!!

Now that it’s getting below freezing every night, with snow flurries even, my furnace kicks on, and kicks on, and kicks on … And still struggles to get that thermostat up.

Down in my really scary-looking, unfinished, 117-year-old basement, it’s nice and toasty warm! The spiders are luxuriating in all that Florida-like balminess down there. Too bad I have no desire to spend even 60 seconds down there with them.  I’d much rather be upstairs where only the hardiest of spiders reside this time of year!

But, man, it’s cold in here.

They still haven’t come to put in my insulation and so all this heat that the furnace keeps tossing up at me is just going right through the walls, out into the great and frosty outdoors.

All righty! That said…

I apologize profusely for my really sarcastic post the other day because the producer did get back to me before he went on his vacation, and he said that my revisions on the TV pilot were the best yet. Really positive. I am so happy, gang.

I will still have some minor tweaks and revisions, but I am just really happy.  I made some really significant changes to the script this time, and, honestly, I had no clue how they were going to be received.

So there you have it: trust your gut and just go with it, gang. Write like the wind!!

Okay! Have a terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! Stay toasty! See ya.

Joy of the Enforced Hiatus

Well, first of all, I had a really, really good time with my birth mom. It was everything I’d been hoping for at this stage in our lives. Relaxed, revealing, beautiful.

The hiatus part, mentioned above, has to do with the TV pilot.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I had to write like a motherfucker to get my revisions of the CLEVELAND TV pilot turned in, ASAP, in order to get my notes and feedback in time to revise yet again and send it off to a different producer in LA before my trip there in 3 weeks.

I might even go so far as to say “3 fucking weeks.”

And so I did it. Did the revisions. Was happy with them. Sent them off. They were happy to be received. However. The EVP of Production is now going on vacation and so cannot get me any notes or feedback until just prior to Thanksgiving…

Yes. Yes. Yes. Thanksgiving. 2 weeks from now. Which means I will have a handful of days, moments, hours, to make any additional revisions and send it off to the next guy before I literally arrive in front of him in LA.

Man.

So.

What to do? I guess enjoy these 2 weeks of limbo and happily work on the novel some more. There’s nothing I can do or say that wouldn’t sound heartless, cruel, self-centered, mean, awful, etc. (i.e., ME: “You promised me you would get me notes in plenty of time. How dare you go off and relax somewhere???!!! How dare you imply that you read a ton of fucking scripts every single gosh darn day and that mine is only yet another one added onto the pile of your endless reading nightmare??!!”)

So, I have an enforced hiatus from re-writes and I will simply have to force myself to relax.

I guess, starting now.

Off I go to relax, gang. Have a wonder-filled Thursday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Me and my birth mother in a bar, over 30 years ago! (She does, indeed, make me that happy. It’s not the beer.)

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis