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!!

 

 

 

Snow, snow! Come out in the snow!!

Nothing but snow here today, gang!! Wow. I could not be happier! And the snow is not supposed to stop until much later tonight. So — Yay!!

A perfect day to stay in, get all cozy, and do nothing! Oops! I mean do rewrites!! hahaha. Well, whatever.  Today I have decided to do whatever the spirit moves me to do. I have made a secret pact with myself to BE HAPPY!!

And btw, that book pictured up there (& below) — Snow, by Roy McKie and P. D. Eastman — was one of my favorite books when I was a little girl in Cleveland; where all it did, all winter long, incidentally, was SNOW! Yippee ki yi yay!

zsnow6(P. D. Eastman was the author/illustrator of many of my favorite books when I was really little: Go, Dog. Go! (notice the precise punctuation in that title, gang — doesn’t it just kill you?? Well, it does me, the self-same gal who is frequently wearing an editor’s hat.); A Fish Out of WaterRobert the Rose Horse (although with a red cover in my day); and Are You My Mother?)

But Snow was one of those really early “I Can Read It All By Myself” books that helped you learn how to read. Well, sort of. What Snow did, really, was have really, really, really short sentences that were easy to memorize and recite by heart when you were only two, so it sort of seemed to innocent bystanders (or bysitters) as if you were reading, when in fact you were about six before you could even spell your own name because some brilliant older people who should have known better decided to give you a seven-letter name, like, Marilyn, instead of the mere four-letter name that they had given to your older brother, Adam, wherein two of those letters were exactly the same, so is it any wonder that he could spell a name like that when he was, say, six months old??

Okay, I digress!

Yes, I loved Cleveland. I loved growing up in Cleveland. I loved all that snow in Cleveland. I truly did.  I will never forget the very first time I became cognizant of snow.  I was probably around 2 and a half years old. It was early in the morning, my mother was already up and in the little kitchenette making breakfast. I got out of bed, went into our little playroom-type room, where Shari Lewis and Lambchop were already on the black & white TV set, and I was suddenly spellbound by the sight of all that white stuff falling all over everything outside! I jumped up onto the couch with my mouth hanging open, as I stared out the window. Then, shouting, I hurried into the kitchen to alert my mother, who calmly informed me that all that white stuff falling all over everything outside was “snow.”

Well, I was delighted by the development.  (Which is a good thing, since all it really does in Cleveland for most of the year is snow…)

We had a very small house in those days — a mid-1950s, California A-Frame style — on an unassuming cul-de-sac called Horizon Drive (if you open that link, you can get a street view of it on google and see for yourself that, while bearing a name as lofty, promising, and limitless as “Horizon Drive,” it is still rather unassuming — our house was all the way over on the south corner), but to me, it was paradise. Honestly. We had a big tree in the backyard, which my brother fell out of once (proof that pride-in-spelling-one’s-own-name goeth before a fall); we had a sandbox, and a swing set. And once, we even had a little pup tent that I was determined to spend the night in even though a thunderstorm was on its way, taking with me as my provisions, a little pack of chiclets–

Original Chicklets Tiny Size
Original Chiclets Tiny Size

–until my mother came out and suggested that spending the night over at my Grandma’s might be way more enjoyable than sleeping all night in a tiny little tent all by myself in a thunderstorm.  (Turned out that — just that one time — my mother was right!!)

Anyway, I have wonderful memories of that little house. We lived there until the middle of 1964.

And here is a shot just now of part of my backyard, looking out from the sun room door (something like 8 more inches of snow is due to fall):

zsnowDoes it kill you to think they are going to demolish all of this later this year? It does me, gang, but the upside is that I am going back to New York and will be living much closer to all my friends. Not to mention, Broadway, midtown Manhattan, those great museums, restaurants, etc., etc. Focusing on that helps take away the heartache for me. And one day, all this will be years behind me, just like Cleveland…

So! On that snappy note, I am going to close this and go figure out what will make me happiest today and then settle in and do precisely that. Have a great Saturday, wherever you are and whichever breezes are blowing in your direction, gang, be they balmy or blastingly cold!! Thanks for visiting. See ya!

 

 

An interesting day, on so many levels!

One of the really good things about today is that Lent is just around the corner!! Yay!!

For Lent, the Right Reverend Marilyn Jaye Lewis gives up all sweets, treats, and snacking — and since I currently have some incredibly yummy imported Italian gelato in my freezer, which must go before Wednesday, I feel completely entitled to eat gelato today, and plenty of it (!!), to ensure that it does not end up going into the kitchen trash. Yay!

I also have a bag of those Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips in the cupboard (that “healthy alternative” to potato chips, though they are still deep fried in fat with added salt — just, I guess, a better kind of fat and a better kind of salt!). Anyway, those, too, must go!! Yay!!

So, for me, Fat Tuesday is actually happening on Fat Sunday this year…

Okay, you caught me! That link above there will take you to the Wiki page for a non-New Orleans- Shrove Tuesday, which is still the night before Ash Wednesday, when you basically consume all the yummy good stuff you can’t have during Lent.  However… Shrove Tuesday also involves  “making a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs [we] need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth [we] especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”

I’m thinking this might be a good introspective time for me to figure out what the heck is going on with all these re-writes I don’t seem especially eager to undertake! Aside from working with Kevin yesterday, I got no writing done at all. Instead, I watched Love Story and Pillow Talk — two wonderful old movies.  And on top of it, by the end of the evening, I was thinking that I didn’t want to be a writer anymore at all! I thought, “Why on earth would I want to write for television in L.A., when all I really want to do is move back to New York and frolic among the pines in my friend’s 3.09-acre backyard??!!”

Indeed. I am 54! I don’t necessarily need to be a writer anymore. I’ve done a heck of a lot of writing already. And once this house gets sold, I won’t need to do anything I don’t feel like doing ever again! So there!

And yet… last night I had a very intense dream. I was in L.A., in a TV studio, following the producer around, trying to get her to perch somewhere and give me story notes on the TV pilot. And then, when I’d followed her into the control room (I guess it was a “live” TV studio), another producer (also a woman) said, “Just wait until June, when you find out what we’re doing with your novel, Twilight of the Immortal!”

(And if you go to that link, please do not purchase the paperback edition being sold for $74 unless you are a hard core collector. The paperback edition of that book was riddled with typos! I no longer work with that publisher, and the Kindle edition has no typos and is published by me!! Just a word to the wise, gang. Not that I want your money, I just want you to read the 600-page novel as I actually wrote it, without the inane typos littered throughout.)

Needless to say, I awoke from that dream, thinking: What the heck are they going to do with my novel in June???!!! Is it going to be a highly lucrative miniseries for PBS?? I can’t wait to find out!! But then I also thought that the dream was trying to tell me that it is ludicrous to think that I am going to give up writing. Ever. So, it begs the question: Why am I not writing? I guess because I really, really do want to get this move back to New York underway already. This limbo is very distracting. It is making me nuts.

Yet, on that happy, introspective note… I will tarry not a moment longer on this page, and I will get busy on some writing here. Have a wonderful Fat Sunday, wherever you are, gang!! Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Me, later today...
Me, later today…

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis