Vigil for Bunny

Oddly, the day after David Bowie died (see post below in the event you’ve been living in a media-free cave all week), my beloved cat, Bunny, had a stroke.

She is not getting any better or worse, which isn’t saying much of anything, unfortunately. But she can hear, see, eat, drink, use her litter box. She just walks really, really slowly and sleeps 99.9% of the time.  She can get up and down from the couch okay, but not my bed. I have to help her up and down from that. So sad, this process of letting go. She has been with me 14 years now.

I am still not completely over losing her brother, Buster, to pancreatic cancer two years ago. I am just not ready to lose Bunny now, too. But, obviously, if she is contemplating departing this realm, we have to allow whatever is best for her. Maybe being with Buster again holds more of an appeal to her these days. Who really knows?

I am still under 2 writing deadlines, so it’s been a rough week.

Here is Bunny a few weeks ago, just after the Christmas tree went up.

Bunny at Christmas
Bunny at Christmas

All right, gang. Have a good Sunday, wherever you are.

A most wonderful time of the year

Yes, I am under several deadlines at once! Yes, I am sitting at my desk, writing (sort of). Yes, my mind is wandering!! I have no idea what is coming next in this plot so, like any dedicated writer, I get online and start surfing the web, killing precious time…

If you, too, are killing time, waiting for inspiration to manifest, here are some things to look at/listen to! Free of charge!

Last Christmas, I received my degree in Pastoral Ministry. Here’s the song I celebrated with! Followed by…

…the song the choir sang when I took my first Holy Communion as an ordained minister:

And here’s the song I chose for when I was ordained, even though I was ordained in July, and this is an Easter hymn that is oddly very popular here in the USA at Christmastime (the dull organ intro takes about 60 seconds before the hymn begins but it is well worth the wait!):

Enjoy the start of the season, gang! I suppose I will get back to the typewriter now (ha ha)… See ya!

 

I must regale you!

I’m still not clear about how to keep you updated on one of my really fun new ebook projects, since I will be writing it under a pen name that I haven’t chosen yet, but the illustrator will be using her real name… I must ponder that; how to keep you informed without giving everything away. (Methinks it might be too late.)

But in the meantime, I wanted to regale you with some of her sample drawings for the ebook series. (These will be a series of mysteries, where my cats solve the mysteries unbeknownst to the humans around them. The humans think these solved mysteries are ‘miracles’.  The first book in the series is titled The Miracle Cats and the Case of the Purloined Passport.) (But you didn’t hear about it here, because someone under a pen name is writing it…)

Okay, here is Beck, also known as the Right Reverend Daddy O. Cakes:

The Right Reverend Daddy O. Cakes
The Right Reverend Daddy O. Cakes

And here is one of the tabby twins, Sister Frannie McPhee:

Sister Frannie McPhee
Sister Frannie McPhee

(I forgot to mention that all these cats are also secretly in the clergy and live in a mostly abandoned church in an old church graveyard…)

Don’t you think she’s doing an awesome job? These illustrations  actually look just like my cats.

Well, I for one, cannot WAIT to see how this book turns out!! On that note, I must get crackin’ around here and do some more writing. (I’m also halfway through a teleplay/screenplay project for The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parson’s Ridge. I have to keep switching between them. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the two stories straight since they are both mysteries with old ladies and cats in them.) (Luckily, the musical I am working on with Sandra Caldwell in NYC has no murders, no mysteries, no old ladies, and no cats in it. It’s a lot easier to keep that one straight.)

Okay!! So have a great day out there, gang, wherever you are and whatever you’re getting yourselves up to. Thanks for visiting. See ya!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Should I even try to catch you up with what’s happened since I last posted here (2 months ago!!) or simply carry on from today?

I’ll just give you the condensed version:

I finally quit school and that opened up an unbelievabnle amount of time for me to concentrate on my own writing projects.  (This includes learning how to spell ‘unbelievable’.) By my most rudimentary calculations, I’ve written about 210 academic papers on Christianity in the last 3 1/2 years. When I finally quit school and all that academic writing came to a screeching halt, I could not believe how much free time I suddenly had!

I am still working with the actress in NYC on various script projects, although I am still living in Ohio, for now. (A new development company is negotiating to buy my house and tear it down, but the city has to approve their plans first. So this could take either another really long time, or happen overnight. I have given up trying to figure it all out.)

I am working on a series of scripts for women’s TV, based on my cozy mystery story The Tea Cozy Murder Club. I am also still going to be writing the series as stand alone novels. In fact, I am kind of doing it all at the same time. (It wouldn’t be my life if I wasn’t in overdrive.) (I did have one publisher extremely interested in publishing the novels and it was an awesome feeling to see how much they really wanted the series, but I decided to hold out for something different.)

I am also working on a really great series of cozy mystery eBooks that revolve around my many cats, which is being illustrated by my friend in Brooklyn, who also has a ton of rescued cats. She has a daily comic strip about her own little critters, but I’m not sure I can link to it here because I am writing that series under a pen name. Well, once I figure out how to deal with that, I will post a link to her comic strip here.

Since my house is still standing, I decided to break down and buy a new Christmas tree. I had been putting off replacing the old one because I didn’t want to have to pack it up and move it to New York. But since I have no clue now when the move will happen, I bought a new tree and put it up yesterday, so now I have Christmas all over the house again and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been 3 years since I celebrated Christmas in my own home. Yay!!

I don’t know if you were as huge a fan as I was  of the PBS Masterpiece series from earlier this year, Grantchester. I watched each episode about 3 times, and now I am devouring the novels by James Runcie that the series is based on. They are so good. And I have to say, in hindsight, that the script adaptations were really brilliant; they are very much like the novels and yet entirely different. If you only saw the series (which continues on PBS early in 2016), then you should read the books. They are so enjoyable. I am up to the final book in the series:

Sydney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins
Sydney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins

Each of the books is actually dedicated to me, Marilyn. And the fact that his wife is also named Marilyn is only a bizarre coincidence.

Okay, one final declaration of joy before I take the day off and enjoy my Thanksgiving Day with friends downtown…

For literally years I have been searching for a poetry book from my childhood, The Big Golden Book of Poetry: 85 Childhood Favorites.  It was one of my favorite books of all time (aside from my copy of Betty Crocker’s Boys & Girls Cookbook from 1965, which I still have). My mother was not a big saver of books, so my poetry book eventually disappeared. I eventually tracked it down online but the asking prices were more than I could afford.  The prices vary from the 1947, 1949, and 1964 editions — the link is to a great price for the 1947 edition.  1964 editions are the hardest to find at a low price. The prices came down a bit, went up a bit, and a few days ago, I actually found a copy on Etsy that was really affordable so I finally bought it. It arrived yesterday and I simply cannot believe what great shape the book is in. It almost seems like no one ever really owned this copy or ever read it; it seems that ‘untouched.’ (If you read the customer reviews at that link above, you will see that this poetry book had a profound effect on children 50 or more years ago, and now adults everywhere are trying to replace it! Strange, isn’t it?)

Anyway, it is mine once again and it remains a truly wonderful book!

The Big Golden Book of Poetry: 85 Childhood Favorites
The Big Golden Book of Poetry: 85 Childhood Favorites

The illustrations in this book are just great (the cover illustration is from “The Owl and the Pussycat.”). They really fueled my imagination before I had even learned to read. Here are a couple. One from the poem “Moonsong,” and one from “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.”

Moonsong
Moonsong
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Okay, gang, on that lofty note, have a terrific Thanksgiving if you live stateside, and if not, have a wonderful day! See ya!

Home again, happy, busier than ever!

Howdy, howdy, gang! YES, I am back home and YES, it was a most auspicious trip to New York, and THANK YOU to all of you who sent me birthday greetings last week! Oh, and YES (!!) I had CAKE!

First, I want to regale you with the riot of flowers that are blooming all over my yard this year. These are Roses of Sharon — taking over, as they are wont to do — because I have lived the entire summer not knowing when (or if) I was going to be packing up and moving away… Alas, I am still here, and the yard has become a veritable jungle of blooming madness (and also weeds).

The view through one of my garden gates
The view through one of my garden gates

Multiply all these blossoms on the right by the entire yard — back, front, sides– and you get a tiny idea of how crazy it is around here this summer. I went out to water my little herb garden on the kitchen stoop yesterday and discovered hundreds more blossoms blooming where they had never been before. The other garden gate is so overrun that I have to keep the gate open all the time, or the honeysuckle vines will wind all over it and keep it  permanently shut.

Well, it could be worse. I do love flowers.

So! The trip to Rhinebeck was a complete success.  We hammered out the version of the script that we will use for the staged reading of Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story. We also made great progress on notes and a synopsis for the one-woman show I am writing for the same actress “about” Pearl Bailey. (I put it in quotes now because it has become apparent that the Pearl Bailey family won’t release any rights whatsoever for outsiders to use her likeness, so we have to tell her story in a different way now, but it will be even better. Yay.)

My most amazing news is that the actress is forming a production company and asked me to be the writer for it, since we already have 4 theater projects we are working on together, and I COULD NOT be more excited! (Even though Tell My Bones is a screenplay, we are also working on a version of it for the stage.)

The downside is that there was a heat wave in Rhinebeck the entire time I was there and the AC wasn’t working right and there were no fans. Not only did I think I was going to perish in the relentless heat and humidity, I was the only person who was being eaten alive by mosquitoes everywhere we went!!

It’s a good thing so much good stuff was happening. It made it easier to just “deal and get over it.”

Now that I’m back home again, the cats couldn’t be happier. They had to have a cat sitter the whole time I was away and since they are all the proverbial “scaredy cats,” it was not a fun time for them. Hopefully, the next trip I make back to Rhinebeck, they will all be coming with me and we will be moving into our new home…I hope. We shall see.

Okay, on this wonderful Monday morning, I leave you with something wildly upbeat. I dare any of you to have a bad day after listening to this oldies gem!!! Thanks for visiting, gang. See ya!

 

 

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis