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…

Happy St. Valentine’s Day, Everybody!

I am having the best St. Valentine’s Day, gang! However, I also have a ton of writing to do this weekend, and so far, today is not off to such a productive start… I worked on some screenplay revisions with Kevin in Brooklyn this morning (he is in Brooklyn, not I — we Skyped!) That went well, except for a curious Final Draft snafu that is worrying me… (Sadly, I think I see a mandatory upgrade to Version 9 hovering in my future.)

Meanwhile… now I have to work on the TV pilot re-writes and all I want to do is stay dreamy and look out the window at the snow!

I tried to coerce myself for 2 hours. I said, “Just write 5 pages. You’ll feel so much better if you just write 5 pages.”

But now I am saying, “Just write one page. Even one lousy page. One lousy page is better than no page.”

And then I answer, “Ah, yes, but I still have all of tomorrow to work on this, too. And tomorrow it won’t be snowing. And it won’t be St. Valentine’s Day, either. Tomorrow will be much better…”

We’ll see how it pans out, gang.

Meanwhile, I am such a happy little camper this year. I share this with you as I impatiently wait to get back to New York!

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

Oh no! Now I'm craving chocolate cake!!
Oh no! Now I’m craving chocolate cake!!

okay! Well. Happy, happy, gang!! Make it a great one, whatever you do and whoever you do it with. Thanks for visiting. See ya real soon!

the bliss momentarily disappears!

It’s odd, I know, that now that I’ve graduated and have a lot more time for writing, I seem to have no time whatsoever for writing here.

Partly, it’s because a couple of the projects I have in re-writes have been time consuming and difficult and once I tear my hair out over those, I just want to flee the laptop.

The other part is depression, because the building developers have once again postponed the date for taking over my house and so I am still stuck in this limbo: Living in a house I love that I can’t afford, which is going to be demolished really soon, which is heart-wrenching for me; and wanting to get back to New York already but not knowing when that will actually happen.

The house-limbo has been going on for over two years, already.  It is a really frustrating way to live.  Knowing that, at any moment, everything imaginable will totally change. But which moment?

However. Back to the writing projects… The original musical I am working on with the actress in NYC got unexpectedly difficult. It was one of those stretches where I knew what had to be achieved (cutting 20 minutes of monologue down to 2 minutes, tops), I knew what the high points were that needed to be touched on in those 2 minutes, and yet hours and hours and hours of re-writes, and of listening over and over to a 7-minute digital audio file as a guide,  led simply to madness. (My own, as it turned out!)

I eventually did manage to do it, and then sent it off to the actress, trying to make it seem like I hadn’t, in fact, torn my hair out. She loved it, for some unfathomable reason, so that’s  a relief. And, so, now we move onward to the next segment of Act One. (Yes, those 2 minutes comprise the very first 2 opening minutes of the play. So we only have 73 more minutes to revise…I am currently growing a fresh crop of hair.)

I had a similar experience while doing major revisions to the TV pilot. But finally found my “way in,” as it were, and the opening 7 pages suddenly & finally came (7 pages that comprise about 2 opening minutes, tops, of screen time). And while I have been waiting for feedback from the producer in L.A. this past week, I just this morning read that CBS has placed a pilot order for a TV series whose premise has way too many similarities to the 7 pages I just wrote…

So, back to the drawing board. And I wonder, do I simply go back to my original idea for the pilot and just try to make it better? Or totally tweak the idea off into some other direction? OR (and here’s another brave idea), do I just give up??? And focus on something else.

I’ve never really been the kind of writer who just gives up, though, so I’m not exactly sure how to do that. I am awaiting word from L.A. as I type…

On an uplifting note… last week, I found out from my school that I actually graduated summa cum laude, not magna cum laude, which is really kind of thrilling. So, I guess I really know Jesus, huh?  (But what the school doesn’t know is that I am tossing out about 85% of what they thought they taught me and am starting my own ministry, but I just wanted to know for certain what I didn’t believe and why I didn’t believe it, and for that, divinity school was a unique success!)

On that happy note, I gotta get ready for a conference call here and find out what new hair-tearing rewrites await me for the month of February.  Have a great Saturday, gang, wherever you are and whatever potential terrors you’re staring down!! Thanks for visiting, see ya!

zpanic

 

 

The bliss just gets blissier!

This gift from the gods was added to my world last evening:

Aerolatte!
Aerolatte!

The Aerolatte literally froths milk for lattes and cappuccinos in a nano second! I was so excited when I got out of bed this morning, because I knew that a latte awaited me and that all I needed to invest at that early hour would be a nano second… (I have to say, though, that I was a little free & easy with the cinnamon at 6 a.m., but once I had finished choking from inhaling all that cinnamon into my lungs, I thoroughly enjoyed my latte!)

It doesn’t take much to make me blissful, gang, does it? In fact, I ordered these this morning, in order to train my lungs to handle massive amounts of cinnamon inhalations (or perhaps cocoa) every morning:

Seriously inexpensive coffee stencils!
Seriously inexpensive coffee stencils!

I’m thinking that if I ever used that heart-shaped stencil pictured in the top row, I would need to drink my latte through a heavy-duty surgical mask, a la Michael Jackson:

The late Jacko
The late Jacko

So, probably, I will need to get up even earlier, in order to don my latte-drinking attire, before getting that cinnamon-dosed latte in a nano second…

Chances are I would terrify my cats if I ever showed up in the kitchen at that early hour in an outfit like that, so I guess I better just learn to tolerate cinnamon in my lungs. (Or better yet, give up breathing while drinking latte.)

zscaredy

Okay, gang!! It’s that kind of morning here. I’m going to get crackin’ on some writing before heading off to work for 5 hours (yes, I’m working on this sunshiney Sunday!). Thanks for visiting, though. Hope you’ve got a blissful Sunday ahead of you today, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are! See ya!!

 

 

 

Bliss and more bliss!

Even though I still work 17 million day jobs, now that I’m out of school, life feels like a veritable daily vacation!

And even though I currently have 4 active writing projects going on right now, yesterday I started writing a new novel! Yay!

It’s a project that I’ve been making notes on for a few years already (The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parson’s Ridge —  a cozy mystery), and I even have a producer in L.A. who is interested in the TV-movie version (which I will write afterwards, when I only have 16 and a 1/2 million day jobs and twenty or so other writing projects in the works… ha ha ha). (However, anyone who knows me, knows, that it so ME! As soon as my plate is cleared of one thing, 17 trillion more projects plop down on top of it!) (An additional “‘however”, however, is that I am gradually getting to that blissful place where my life is just plain simpler: cats, writing, nature, trips to the city, ministry, and someone to love.)

But, anyway!

Yes! Life is so good!! I am sure that 2015 will be a banner year for everyone. I have plans to be very peaceful tonight. A few phone calls to make in order to catch up with some folks, but mostly, I plan on just writing, doing a little yoga, hanging out with the cats. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald while making an awesome dinner for myself! (Yes, I do that, too — I love to cook, even for one, although I prefer two.)

Okay, my blessings go out to all of you to have a wonderful and meaningful time, ringing in 2015, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Thanks for visiting, gang! I’ll see ya in the New Year! [And I leave you with this mighty, mighty piece of bliss!! Enjoy it by candlelight with someone you love… See ya!)

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis