Such a Wonderful Morning

Before my Skype session with Kevin, I decided to go out and take a walk. It was a really beautiful morning and I had actually slept a full 8 hours during the night.

It was one of those mornings where I awoke feeling full of energy and happy and singing to the cats.  I don’t know if they prefer when I wake-up that way, but I sure do. It beats being awake at 2 AM and not being able to get back to sleep — a thing I did twice last week.

I took my walk down to the creek and brought some bread along with me in order to feed the ducks. It was only about 7:30, so I was the only person there. I took some photos for you with my iPhone:

Long shot of the waterfall on the creek
Long shot of the waterfall on the creek. The creek is filled with ducks.
Those white dots beyond the waterfall are white ducks
Those white dots beyond the waterfall are white ducks
Mallards in among the rocks
Mallards in among the rocks

All in all, if you would like to actually see the many ducks I was feeding, you should probably just go to the creek yourselves because my ability to take good photos is not that great!

But what a peaceful morning. I walked about 3 miles, then came back home in time to call Kevin in New York and to wake him and tell him it was time to Skype!

Now I am finishing up my final paper for the Church Administration class in school. I am not sorry to see this class end, gang. It has not been my favorite, by any stretch. And after this, I only have two more courses and I graduate. That equals 10 weeks left of school, with two week-long breaks thrown in. I will graduate right before Christmas, most likely Magna Cum Laude.

I had the best phone conference last evening with the actress in NYC — the one I am doing 2, and possibly 3, theater productions with in the coming year(s). Wow, what a great conversation. I cannot wait for this show to be edited and ready for production, because I want all of you to go to New York City and see it!! It is going to be such a great show!

Okay. Back to the final paper for class, then the 2-hour telecourse on screenplay rewrites , then hopefully the rest of the weekend off. We shall see how that pans out.

Hope you are having a terrific Saturday, gang, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Get out there and feed some ducks, all right? Thanks for visiting! See ya.

Apparently cats also feed ducks!!
Apparently cats also feed ducks!!
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Scotland and such

My prediction about Scotland certainly hit it right on the nose, didn’t it?? Assuming that by “right on the nose” we mean that I couldn’t have been more wrong!! But I’m happy with the vote. I am one of those people who really likes to see things stay the same indefinitely…

In that vein, I just came from the eye doctor where I ordered a new pair of glasses for the first time in 8 years. And I got one of those brand new Marilyn Monroe designer frames!! I can’t wait until they are ready.  Nothing like finally buying a new pair of glasses but selecting a frame based on a 60-year-old design! This is the style I chose:

Marilyn Monroe Frames
Marilyn Monroe Frames

Here’s hoping they make me look super smart! Just like Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe looking super smart in "How to Marry a Millionaire."
Marilyn Monroe looking super smart in “How to Marry a Millionaire.”

Well… yesterday.  I said we would meet back here today and compare notes, so here we are. How did it go for you, gang? It was still a little bit strange for me, I have to say. But today I am kind of feeling the energy getting back to normal. Last night, I was up again around 2:30 and could not get back to sleep.  So it’s kind of odd that I feel my energy actually getting back to normal today. I even finished a ton of homework this afternoon.  But I do hope I sleep better tonight. I hate it when I can’t sleep but I also hate to reach for those OTC sleeping aides… Oh ha ha ha, just kidding. I love to reach for those OTC sleeping aides!!

Okay. It is officially Friday evening. I have a couple of conference calls later but, for the most part, I am done, done, done and turning off the computer. I hope you have something fun planned for the weekend, folks! I am going to be Skyping with Kevin in the morning, and then doing this in the afternoon. One of these days, all I’m going to do is relax. Not sure where or when, but one of these days…

See ya, gang. Thanks for visiting!

Relaxing
Relaxing

The world is askew!

I don’t know if you noticed it, too, but in my corner of the universe, the energy was seriously strange yesterday.  Everything and everyone seemed off balance, including moi. It was not a day I feel like repeating so I hope today will be back to normal. I guess we’ll find out.

We’ll also find out if Scotland votes for Independence today, which will be very interesting.  I get the feeling they will vote in favor of it. Not because I can predict things like that, but only because the world is in such chaos right now, why not throw an Independent Scotland into that crazy mix? In the sense that nothing seems to make sense anymore and only the unexpected can be counted on, then an Independent Scotland will fit right in.  Again, we’ll soon find out.

Pam Grout‘s new book, E-Cubed, is out now. I started reading it yesterday and that, at least, gave me some really great energy.  I am one of those people whose life was profoundly changed by A Course In Miracles and I really love her simple, fun, joyous approach to who we really are. So far, I like this new book even better than E-Squared, which was a NY Times bestseller, if you aren’t familiar with it.

E-Cubed
E-Cubed

On the TV pilot re-writing front… I have decided it is time to pull back a bit and try to remember where I was originally going with this thing! I think I want to go back to square one and really focus on the audience I created this story for; maybe  that will help me find that voice again. Because right now, it is based on story notes I got from the producers and that can be a very un-targeted way of writing. (Yes, I created a new word there: un-targeted. Feel free to use it whenever your own writing is simply let loose into the stratosphere with no recognizable purpose.) The results are vague and just sitting there, although on the conference call the other day, one of the producers said that it was “going in the right direction.” However, rocket ships launched into space are “going in the right direction” but if that rocket is un-targeted (!!), not specifically aimed at anything, it has no purpose. So back to square one I go!

Meanwhile, the pages from the play from NYC did indeed arrive and I am so incredibly excited to be working on this project, even in such a small capacity as the editor of dialogue. It is an original musical, a one-woman show — a one-African-American-woman show — and, to me, it feels like a cross between Rent and Hedwig & the Anrgy Inch.

These are the same people that I will be working with on the Pearl Bailey play (as the writer), and perhaps even another musical down the line (as the writer again), and I couldn’t be more excited, gang. Really.  Theater has always been my first love, and musical theater, specifically. In fact when I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be Julie Andrews. I spent many carefree hours blithely dancing around the playroom in the basement, singing  along to the original cast recording of “I Could Have Danced All Night”  from My Fair Lady. At some point — when I was around 12, I think — I realized that if Julie Andrews already existed there was no point in pursuing “being her” when I grew up, so I wound up being me, instead. But I do still have a fondness in my heart for Broadway musicals, that’s for sure. And I am so excited by this unexpected turn in my life right now.

Okay, I am almost done with the Church Administration class — this is the final week. So I’d better get crackin’ on the homework. But I leave you with the video below! (Just picture her as a 5-year-old me, downstairs in our playroom, in Cleveland circa 1965…) Have a great Thursday, gang, wherever you are, and if it winds up being just as insane as yesterday, then let’s vow to get through it together!! We’ll meet back here tomorrow, in whatever shape we’re in! See ya then! Thanks for visiting!

A Nice Respite

The photo today is of my beloved Buster, who passed away one year ago today. He was eleven. I still miss him like crazy…

Okay. So. This is how the “very busy” weekend panned out:

My Skype session with Kevin was phenomenally great.  We had even more breakthroughs in the script than we’d had the weekend before. It felt like finally cracking the code. Eureka! Suddenly we had all the pieces to the main character and everything made sense.

It only took us two hours instead of our usual three or four, which meant that, by some miracle, I was finished with all my homework by 5 PM on Saturday.  Which meant that I didn’t have to do any homework at all on Sunday, which was a stunning a day — just the most beautiful fall-like weather. I went to church early and took a class on Deuteronomy, then went to the church service itself, then was home by 12:30 and had NOTHING I NEEDED TO DO!! This is something that never happens to me.

Act One of the play that was set to come on Saturday from NYC had not arrived yet, although the actress texted me several times, saying it was going to be ready by Sunday night… So I had all of Sunday — a beautiful Sunday, no less just totally to myself. I even drove over to L’Occitane En Provence and bought my favorite bar of soap.  That was exciting to me (!!) because I am usually so freakin’ busy that I don’t even have time to do something as simple as go out and buy my favorite bar of soap. I usually have to just dash in to the grocery store and find a somewhat-reasonable-facsimile kind of soap that really is just never even close.

Gosh it was really just a beautiful day.  I felt so blessed. I rounded out the day by watching Part One of Ken Burns’ documentary on The Roosevelts on PBS. Which I really enjoyed. The end of a perfect day.

Okay! Monday is underway and promises to be nothing at all like yesterday. However, I am attaching the video below in order to share my beautiful Sunday blessings with you, one day late!

Have a great Monday, gang, wherever you are! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

Serious Crunch Time

As I had suspected all along, a time would soon come when EVERYTHING was basically on my plate at the same time.

Drum roll, building to crashingly loud crescendo

It has arrived!

I turned in the revisions of Act II for Cleveland’s Burning on Wednesday.  This leaves Acts III & IV still to revise. The good news is, they are short acts; the bad news is that they must be very powerful emotionally. This means I must concentrate. As tempting as it is, I can not just blithely type gibberish and then declare: Voila! It is done!!

More likely I will have to force myself to stay seated at my desk for hours; figure out at which delicate point drinking so much coffee is only making it worse; hit the delete button a lot; then finally declare: Holy crap, that was hard but I think it’s done!!

To add to that merriment, I still have about 75 pages to read in the Church Administration textbook, and once that’s done, I have 3 papers to write for school this weekend — due Sunday night. All of them on the leadership skills required for Effective Church Administration. I know! It’s so exciting! I, too, cannot keep from falling out of my chair! Then I have to read several pages on confidentiality when visiting people in hospitals– due Monday.

And now, of course, Kevin and I are finally back on track with re-writes for the script we’ve been writing together for nearly two years. We usually Skype on Saturday mornings for about 3 or 4 hours — don’t want to miss that. It is usually the most fun I have all week. Why? Because it involves me talking to someone other than myself and ten cats. And then having somebody, you know, respond. Wow. Human communication! It is in fact one of the leadership skills required for Effective Church Administration! What could be more fortuitous than that?

And, yes!! The actress in NYC who hired me to work on two incredible plays with her, finally shot me a text yesterday to let me know that some pages that need editing and input (also known as ‘all of Act One’) would be coming my way on Saturday…

Yes, tomorrow. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… No, I won’t go there, because that soliloquy is so sad and my life is actually going so great!

And yes, I have to work one of my 8 part-time jobs today, so I have to scoot right this minute.  If you don’t hear from me again ever, it’s only because I’m typing…

Too funny!!!!
Too funny!!!!

Okay, see ya, gang!! Thanks for visiting. Have a terrific Friday, wherever you are!

Yippee ki yi yay!

I just got the official letter that my TV pilot, Cleveland’s Burning, is a Second Rounder at the upcoming Austin Film Festival.  I won’t be attending this time because I need any and all time off to go to New York City to work on the plays. But I am still really excited by the news, and the comments from the Director of the competition were really, really nice.

in 2013, Cleveland’s Burning was a semi-finalist in the Industry Insider’s TV Pilot Competition.  Even though I didn’t win, it still helped me get an invite to Ken Rotcop’s private pitch fest in L.A., Pitch Mart. I attended that in May and that’s where I found several producers who took a keen interest in the project, who are currently helping me to actually get the pilot made.

Yes, the very same pilot that I am forever in the throes of re-writing these days!! If only I weren’t trying to graduate from Divinity School this December…

Yes, it’s all good, gang! Hope things are panning out really sweetly with whatever you’re doing, wherever you are! Happy Saturday! Thanks for visiting.

[This is from last year — did I post this one already? Yes, I was told to euthanize these critters because they were feral an un-adoptable, and would cause me nothing but trouble. What planet are people on?]

Tommy and her wee bonnie babe, Scottie. 2013
Tommy and her wee bonnie babe, Scottie. 2013

 

How it feels to be me!

I took this photo with my iPhone when I stepped into the sun room yesterday. I thought you might enjoy experiencing a little of how it feels to be me: There is always someone watching me!

Twelve eyes...
Twelve eyes…

In the front row are: Lucie, Weenie, Huckleberry, and Beck. In the back row are: Tommy and Francis. (They wanted you to know that they are all flea- free! Yay!)

The reason the wicker settee is upside down is because the cats prefer it that way. It’s like a little fort and they like to hang out underneath it. (One of the legs is broken so it can’t be used like a regular settee by human beings anymore. So, no, I am not in the habit of turning my furniture upside down simply because my cats prefer it that way…)

Things here have been in overload, so that’s the reason why I haven’t written.  I am either working, working, working. Or studying, studying, studying. Or writing, writing, writing. Or cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Or sleeping. And, basically, I do all of that stuff at the same time, except for the sleeping part. But life is still really, really good.

Those of you who have been following this blog since it was hosted on the other site (for 8 years!), know that I have a writing partner in Brooklyn, named Kevin. He and I have been working on a screenplay for “tween-age” girls for almost 2 years now; a very funny family comedy. We finished the first draft several months ago, but have been laboring on the re-writes. Kevin texted me last night that he finally had some breakthroughs! Yippee ki yi yay! We co-write on Skype, every Saturday morning. It’s amazing how easy it is nowadays to work with people who live far away. So I am really looking forward to Saturday’s session because it has been kind of frustrating, knowing the script needed changes but not sure how to incorporate them for several months already.

As much as I have loved being in school, it will be so nice once I graduate and don’t have homework to do every single day and all weekend long, plus the additional class on Monday nights now, until mid-October. Soon, every day will feel like vacation! (I’m absolutely certain of it.)

Oh, I did manage to see a couple movies recently! One of my friends managed to get free passes to a couple different films, so we saw Magic in the Moonlight and Begin Again. Begin Again was so much better than I thought it would be! We both really enjoyed it a lot. And we loved the soundtrack. In my halcyon days, I was a singer/songwriter in New York City, so it brought back some wonderful memories for me. It’s really so incredible that young musicians nowadays can have so much more control over their music and their careers. In my day (when we got to Manhattan by way of covered wagons), we were strictly at the mercy of record executives and radio DJs.

Magic in the Moonlight was uneven, but still enjoyable.  Most of the acting was really just top-notch. And the costumes will likely get an Oscar nod. They were fantastic, as were the sets and the scenery. (South of France, 1920s; need I say more?) Not Woody Allen’s best, but nowhere close to his worst… I guess that’s damning with faint praise, but oh well.

Oscar-worthy costumes & sets
Oscar-worthy costumes & sets

Well, okay. I guess that’s it for today. I have five — yes, FIVE — chapters to read in my heady Church Administration textbook by tomorrow. So I suppose I’d better force myself to get at it.

Have a great Thursday, wherever you are and whatever you do! Thanks for visiting, gang. See ya!

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis