Do you ever reach that point where it seems that there simply is not enough coffee in the world to:
a.) keep you alive; b.) keep you thriving; c.) keep you productive; d.) keep you interested in remaining here on Earth when there is simply too much writing to do and not enough coffee with which to support it’s being done; and/or e.) all of the above?
I am absolutely exhausted. And I say this/type this as I contemplate the terrible dregs of my 3rd cup of coffee on this cloudy, humid Saturday morning in the Hinterlands, knowing that making another cup is not going to make life/my mental condition/my prospects for surviving this day ANY better!
I’m thinking only sleep will do that…
Oddly, though, I slept great last night. Had the AC on and the drapes closed and I slept a full 8 hours… When my bare feet hit the hardwood floor at 8 AM, I felt happy. But as soon as I once again remembered that there is simply too much to do, not enough money, no one to ever talk to… ennui times the power of 10 took over.
Loneliness. One of the drawbacks of living in obscurity in the Hinterlands. In fact, it’s the only drawback.
I really do still love living here, and even while I really don’t drink very much (anymore) (people who know me from my halcyon days will be shocked by this declaration and might hurry to click on the “About Me” page to make doubly-sure they are reading the blog of the correct Marilyn Jaye Lewis… haha) Anyway. I don’t drink much anymore but that does not keep me from missing those city days when the writing for the day was over, the sun was over the yardarm, and wine, or bourbon, or vodka martinis (and cigarettes) with friends at the local dive bar awaited! And we could all commiserate and/or celebrate the fruits of our heady days.
Yes, my friends; the Hinterlands is not full of writers… (Examine that strange sentence for its many questionable verb tenses if you dare!!)
Sandra, the actress in NYC that I write with/for, said: “Let me send you a plane ticket and you can come stay with me in Rhinebeck for a few days!” (Her sig-oh is currently in France.) But it isn’t a question of needing airfare; I can jump in my spiffy Honda Fit and head for the great wide-open, blue skies of Interstate 80 and be in Rhinebeck, NY before sundown. However, I don’t know a soul around here who can take care of my many CATS.
Sandra replied, “Girl, you really gotta start meeting people…”
I do meet people. But oddly enough, all the people who are in my age range are generally settled & married, with grown children, and even have grandchildren! I know nothing of this life. And am not likely to start knowing about it anytime soon.
I meet plenty of people around here that I enjoy, who are way younger than I am, and since I am perennially at age 12, I relate to them just fine, but it is not really reciprocal. Not just because I’m old(er), but because my frame of reference regarding life is vast, inexplicable and often strange. I might as well have spent all of my former years, up to moving to the Hinterlands, on Saturn. (Not just Saturn, but an X-rated, crime-ridden, fame-ridden Saturn, at that.)
It gets, well, discouraging is not the best word for it. Probably disheartening is better.
It gets disheartening. And yet, I have to ignore the tidal wave of disheartenment (yes, I know; not an actual word) because I have too much writing — stupefyingly precise and fantastic writing — to do this summer. (This long lonely summer.) But onward, gang.
Hope your 4th of July festivities are shaping up nicely — if you live State-side, that is. If you don’t, then I hope you just have a great weekend. Thanks for visiting, folks!!
(By the way, the next time I get to NYC and have some time to see a show that doesn’t involve Sandra, I cannot wait to see this one!! I am currently playing this song in my car, over & over & over.) I leave you to it!
Okay, see ya!!
The past 24 hours have been just like some sort of dream.
It’s been the most perfect summer weather, ever. In the known history of the world. Sunshine and blue skies, no humidity, cool temperatures at night. Try: 48 degrees when I woke up this morning at 7 o’clock! Sunshine & breezes streaming in through the open windows. Birds singing all over the place. My 1 trillion-thread-count white cotton sheets from Italy felt like nothing less than a cool gift from God. And four happy cats stood on top of me on the bed, eager to have me greet this amazing day.
Before I forget, I want to mention that, last evening, I binged on the Tig Notaro show, One Mississippi (Amazon Prime). I had really, really enjoyed the pilot episode and finally made time to watch the new series (6 half-hour episodes, including the pilot). I really love that show. It’s dark, funny, sad, hopeful, smart, unexpected and has great music. I hope they’re going to go into a second season.
I didn’t do much writing yesterday…
Once I had finished watching One Mississippi, I got hooked into another great show on my watchlist, albeit one for kids (but I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to watch more episodes tonight, yay!): Gortimer Gibbon’s Life On Normal Street.
It’s about 3 best friends who live on Normal Street and the peculiar things that happen there. It’s too fun! (And it was too easy to sit there on the comfy couch and binge-watch it as the sun went down on the Hinterlands and cool breezes came in through the open living room windows and the Newcastle Brown Ales were ice cold…) (Oddly enough, I can’t find Newcastles at my local grocery store so I have to buy them at the all-night gas station in the next town over. Go figure…)
After the binging on Amazon Prime was over, I went to bed and laid there, listening to an old BBC radio drama by candlelight: Agatha Christie’s Murder in Mesopotamia.
Until I eventually fell asleep… and then awoke in the manner mentioned at the beginning of this post!
Even though I have way too much writing to get done before the summer is over, I am having the most perfect life. In fact, a couple of days ago, when I took my morning break and walked in the park, I saw my very first bluebird ever. I’d seen pictures of bluebirds, of course, but I had never actually seen one for real. And on my way to the park, it landed in the grass, right in front of me, and I couldn’t believe my eyes!
The bluebird is symbolic of happiness, in many different cultures both ancient and contemporary, including our own. I thought it was auspicious and perfectly fitting that a bluebird finally found me here in the Hinterlands!
And on that blissful note, I’m calling it a day over here and I’m going to let the evening begin. (Beginning with another Newcastle, as the sun goes over the yardarm…)
Enjoy yourselves wherever you are this evening, gang! Thanks for visiting! See ya!
A brief mid-afternoon conference call with the production company in Los Angeles yesterday revealed that more re-writes than I thought are needed on the Untitled Cleveland Drama (once fondly known as Cleveland’s Burning).
This is actually good news, gang. The brief phone chat showed me just how high they are aiming with this TV pilot (and eventual series). A lot is riding on this single opening episode. They nonchalantly said, “Just take one more pass at it and then we’ll be ready.” (Their confidence in me is staggering.)
The truly great thing about this is that their suggestions are targeted and specific, as to the acts as well as the characters, so half my job is actually done. I know I can make the changes they need and the whole thing is really, really exciting…
Loyal readers of this lofty blog will undoubtedly note that I also need to complete the rewrites on my theatrical version of Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story by the end of the summer, because this is when Sandra Caldwell (the actress I write with/for in NYC) will be handing out the script, along with the other play we collaborated on, The Guide to Being Fabulous, to potential directors, producers, casting agents, etc.
To quote Sandra’s text to me: “It’s about to be off the chain!” (followed by various and sundry far-flung emojis.) Off the chain, indeed.
Yes, life is exceptionally good right now, gang, but the coming summer months, here in the Hinterlands, are going to be chock-full of coffee (!!), writing, juggling my writing hours and general work, and then, hopefully, a few moments spent staring out at the evening, as the fireflies give way to the stars (with or without the occasional pint of British ale!).
Thanks for visiting, and I leave you with this little ditty to keep your spirits high and your blood pumping!! (PS: I love playing this right when I get out of bed in the morning, singing and clapping along; it makes my cats zoom around the house like crazy! Too funny!) All righty, see ya!
Ah, yes, this is me in my latest selfie! I won’t even try to explain how I managed to take this picture of myself without appearing to be holding my phone in any way…
Happy, happy Tuesday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!!
Work on my one-act play version of Tell My Bones, the play I’m writing about the Kentucky-based painter Helen LaFrance for the NYC-based actress, Sandra Caldwell, continues down its inspiring and happy path!
So, of course, pretty much the very moment I knew I had this 2-month deadline in which to write & complete the play, I finally got the feedback from the production company in Los Angeles regarding my revisions to my TV Pilot/series proposal (once called Cleveland’s Burning, now called the more memorable and illustrative, Untitled Cleveland Drama).
The feedback was truly terrific, gang! I was really just so thrilled. I still need to tweak the ending a bit, to make it more explosive, dramatic, etc. Nothing that involves too much labor — however, I do have to suddenly stop in midstream and switch gears completely. But that is A-Okay with me. I simply couldn’t be happier right now.
On another great note, one of my former writing students contacted me yesterday to tell me that a short-short story of his was selected for an upcoming (and first) short story collection for the James Patterson Masterclass! Wow! I am so crazy-happy for him.
It is so gratifying for me to see a former student stick with it. So many would-be writers who have plenty of skill and talent get bogged down in jobs, family, paying bills, rejection letters, etc., etc. Especially when they’re not living in key publishing/media cities like NYC, LA, or San Francisco. So I am just pleased as punch by his good news.
All righty, gang! The trees, the sky, the birds, the endless green fields, the train whistles early in the morning, the fireflies and the stars at night, and the occasional pints of British ale out on the back patio here in the Hinterlands continue to delight me! Things are going so good, gang. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.
I leave you with something I sing all the time now. Hope it inspires you to make the most of everything (and I mean everything!). Sing it loud and sing it proud! Thanks for visiting, gang! See ya!