So much stuff going on!

Holy Moly. What a terrifically jam-packed couple of weeks it’s been, and I don’t mean that in the best way. Although, overall, everything is great.

First off — so what did you think of the Mad Men finale? I wasn’t completely sure how I felt, so I watched it twice. I came to the conclusion that each of the characters resolved in ways that were realistic to the characters overall, and that everyone, except Betty, of course, has a reasonably happy ending. More importantly, it felt as if the characters’ lives were going on into a palpable future that we as TV-viewers can only dream about… So even though I felt deflated after watching the final episode, I think that was only because I was sad to see it end.

Although kudos for closing with that killer Coke commercial! I vividly recall sitting in my family room one evening when I was 11 years old and seeing that Coke commercial on TV for the first time. I was blown away by it, as was most of America…

Hands down, the most stressful part of these past couple weeks was when my beloved cat, Doris (photo above) went missing for 8 long days!! She was one of the semi-feral kittens born in my basement 2 years ago and had never been outside in her life. Somehow, she got out and I couldn’t find her and it was beyond stressful and heartbreaking and exhausting.

Through the help of many kind cat rescuers online, I learned how to find and catch a terrified, extremely timid semi-feral cat.  I tell you, they hide right under our noses, but indeed, as I was emphatically guaranteed by the professional lost-cat trappers, we can’t see them but they are there! They’re watching us, but are too terrified to come out of hiding until the wee small hours of the morning. The whole adventure was maddening. I was out in my dark backyard, in my red Wellies and my cotton nightgown, at 4 a.m. for several incredibly humid days running, catching glimpses of her but to no avail!!

But I finally trapped her at 5:09 a.m. this past Monday morning — in a humane trap — and brought her back into the fold.

Other more upbeat things: School is going incredibly great. I still don’t know if I can keep up this notion of being back in school with homework to do every single day, but so far, I am loving it. There’s honestly no reason for me to still be in school, I’m already an ordained minister with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. However, for now, it keeps my mind off this never-ending limbo of “when will I move back to NY?”

Appropriately enough, though, through some “miracle,” I am on vacation from school this week. Just in time to take on a new web content client who needed help with new content “yesterday” (it required a ton of research & writing immediately). That was turned in this morning, and now I have to draft two killer 500-word essays for a writer’s lab I seriously want to get into, and the deadline is June 1st.

The staged reading in NYC of my screenplay Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story is still moving ahead. It is going to happen SOON, gang. As in “the next few weeks.” And — I’ve been asked to be the Narrator, so I will be on stage with the actors, instead of lounging around stress-free in the audience. But I am super excited and I hope all of you can get to NYC and attend!! Yay!!

Okay, well, I guess that’s my update for right now. I gotta get crackin’ on those 500-word essays. I hope you’re having a wonderful month of May, wherever you are and whatever’s been going on in your world. Thanks for visiting, folks. See ya!!

 

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!!”

 

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis