It would take a miracle, gang!

Yes, pretty much everything in my life these days would benefit from a miracle, however, the current needed miracle involves an incredible invitation I’ve been extended from the folks at SomethingDark in the UK.

I am the North American editor for that lofty publication. They are preparing an awesome gallery exhibition and official relaunch arts extravaganza in Berlin in early September, to which I am invited to attend.  However, a truckload of money would have to fall on me before I could afford a trip like that right now.

Or, in short, it would take a miracle… But you never know. Perhaps I should start an ongoing Kickstarter campaign to raise constant Miracle Funds so that I can, once again, have a life? We shall see!

In other news… I made homemade cherry-vanilla ice cream in my Cuisinart Fruit Scoop (see a post below somewhere re: this awesome appliance) and it was unbelievable, gang! Just 1 cup of  fresh cherries, some milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste, a pinch of kosher salt, and then 15 minutes later — voila!— ice cream to die for!

[Editor’s Note: I have a long list of incredible things I am planning to die for; sadly, ice cream is way at the bottom of that list. ] But all kidding aside, you should buy a Cuisinart Fruit Scoop post-haste, if you haven’t done so already. The summer is still young!

Speaking of summer…and, by default, of 90-degree temperatures and ridiculously high humidity: This past Wednesday evening, a friend and I did one of those Summer Literary Picnic thingies at Thurber House and we had a truly terrific time.  In spite of the high heat and almost unbearable humidity, we sat out in the grass, had a picnic supper, and were highly entertained by author Robin Yocum, reading from his new novel, A Brilliant Death.

I really enjoyed the book — I read it a couple months ago. And I loved his presentation. He was very entertaining and it made the summer heat much more bearable.

Here are some official photos of Thurber House, of the dining room with the “haunted clock” and of James Thurber‘s bedroom — he grew up in this house, which is now a museum and a literary gathering place of sorts. Followed by an unofficial photo of Robin Yocum giving his presentation that I took with my iphone!

Thurber House
Thurber House
Thurber Family Dining Room with haunted clock on mantel.
Thurber Family Dining Room with haunted clock on mantel.
Jmaes Thurber's bedroom, although it is much more charming than it looks here. It has 2 closets, windows, and a fireplace.
James Thurber’s bedroom, although it is much more charming than it looks here. It has 2 closets, windows, and a fireplace.
Robin Yocum speaking (Luke Feck behind him)
Robin Yocum speaking (Luke Feck behind him)

I will leave you with one more note about Summer… My yard is bursting with flowers this year. You would simply not believe it, gang. Everything imaginable is in bloom. I will try to get some decent photos to post here soon, but I am not the best photographer. But I’ll see what I can do!

Meanwhile, enjoy this wonderfully sunny, mild, flower-filled Saturday wherever you are and whatever you end up doing!! I’m going to spend most of the day hanging out here at the laptop, writing, for a change.  and partaking of homemade cherry-vanilla ice cream. I am happy!

See ya, gang. Thanks for visiting.

My books at the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Just a note to let you all know that I’m once again participating in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.

Three of my ebooks will be available for $1.00 throughout the month of July.

Visit: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/marilynjayelewis

The books included are Freak Parade ( an Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal winner from 2011); Twilight of the Immortal (a novel about old Hollywood in the Silent Screen era); and an anthology of my early erotica, The Muse Revisited, Volume One.

Please note that Freak Parade and The Muse Revisited contain explicit material and are decidedly not for every taste.

Enjoy, gang! Thanks for visiting!

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Beautiful, But Piping Hot, Sunday!

It will be around 93 piping hot degrees around here today and I am totally okay with it!

Yes, gang, 8 HUNDRED dollars later… the 25-year-old central AC in my 60-year-old house was finally fixed.  Alas, no, my home warranty company still would not approve a new & improved, energy-efficient AC for my house, but at least the old one finally got fixed and just in time for all these upper-80s, lower-90 degree temperatures.

So, even though it ate up all the money I had been trying to save to get the AC fixed in my 2001 Mercury Sable LS Premium sedan from yesteryear, I am really, really grateful that my house is cool.

And Fluffy is really grateful, too. Yes, gang, she continues to persevere. I do not know how she does it. She can barely breathe, and she weighs next to nothing, but she is still in there.  Still engaged with her surroundings. Still eating whatever is placed in front of her in her small white bowl.

So on we go! Yippee-ki-yi-yay

New in my world, besides a functioning AC, is THIS:

Cuisinart Fruit Scoop Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker
Cuisinart Fruit Scoop Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker

I bought it because it makes incredible fresh fruit sorbets. The first recipe I made was banana-chocolate chip sorbet. No added sugar, no dairy, very low fat, and it was really, really good.  However, if you visit that link above, you’ll notice that, not only does this ingenious little machine make healthy, nondairy fresh fruit sorbets in around 20 minutes, it can also make “totally rich, creamy, and decadent desserts” in the same amount of time!

What that means is that, once I tried my hand at organic strawberry-chocolate chip ice cream, loaded with sugar and fat and, most importantly, indescribable FLAVOR, suddenly the healthy, nondairy fresh fruit sorbets were no longer quite so taste-tempting.

Whether I find it in me to go back to the healthier recipes (and they are interesting, gang — balsamic strawberry-basil sorbet, for instance), or stick to homemade ice creams to die for all summer long, I am really, really happy I bought this little machine. (Plus, I got it on sale! I paid under $70 !! Yay!)

So, yes, everything is looking up this summer. For the first time in many years. Plenty of homemade ice cream. And the lawn and the gardens are finally getting back to how they used to look 3-and-a-half years ago — before the developers came knocking, saying they were tearing down my house.  The weeds are still a tiny bit out of control, but at least the grass is green and healthy again and there are plenty of flowers blooming amid all the weeds.

It helps a lot with my stress levels — to walk around my yard and see it looking a little bit “organized.” Alas, that also costs a fortune, so I need to sell a screenplay and/or a book, here, really, really soon!!

Okay, gang, on that merry note, have a delightful Sunday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, or not doing, as the case may be! Thanks for visiting. And I leave you with this timeless favorite! Enjoy your Sunday. See ya!

 (For some reason, the volume on the video is not working. Click the link to the YouTube version if you want to actually hear it!)

All this physical fitness must cease!! Pronto!

For the love of Pete!

The producer in L.A. was working out at the gym on Tuesday — yes, the very day of the much-anticipated meeting with the production company on Hollywood & Vine re: my script for The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge — when he tore something in his knee, ended up spending the entire day at the hospital, only to be released on crutches and so he had to POSTPONE the meeting!!

Ay caramba!!

What is this madness for physical fitness?? I’m only partially physically fit and I’m doing just fine. And while I was considerate enough to express concern, to say things that denote “empathy” and not dwell on the totally self-centered elements of this development, I am also searching high & low for a Get Well card that reads:

For Christ’s Sake, Get Better Already!

Meetings, meetings, meetings. When will my lousy knee get better?
Meetings, meetings, meetings. When will my lousy knee get better?

Life is okay!

Yes, folks, life is good okay! Fluffy continues to be a tiny furry little trooper, although that’s really a relative term right now.  She mostly sleeps and her breathing is labored.

Every morning, I wake up and think, “uh-oh, this is the day; she can’t go on like this much longer.” And even though I’d prefer to let her die here at home, I sometimes worry that I will have to have her put to sleep because her breathing is so labored. Then she wakes up and looks at me; really looks at me, like her tiny little self is still in there. Then she’ll jump down off the bed and drink some water and I think to myself, “I can’t kill her; she’s still in there!”

So we continue to take it one slow day at a time.

I should say one slow HOT day at a time. Loyal, long-time readers of this lofty blog (or, most likely, the lofty blog I had before this one), will no doubt recall that the central AC in my 60-year-old house is 25 years old.  I have a home warranty company that refuses to replace my central AC until the compressor literally dies. The unit leaks like crazy and R22 Freon is really expensive.

The tech was here to service it, yet again, on Monday. He put $330 worth of Freon into the unit and then a 25-year-old valve promptly broke and most of the Freon just went right out into the air. Aside from single-handedly affecting climate change state-wide (in a bad way), I basically threw $330 right into the trash can.

Another tech company is coming next week and I have decided to insist they fix ALL the leaks. They can’t leave until every last leak is fixed! This is not only a ridiculous request, it is also an impossible request! I am hoping that by insisting on being ridiculous and impossible, I will finally force the home warranty company to replace my central AC.

When the tech left here the other day, he said, “Don’t try to use the AC until you get that fixed! It could break the unit.”

However, I’m thinking, what sort of advice is that?? I’ve already ruined the ozone, and it’s 93 degrees outside, and I have a tiny cat dying of cancer upstairs who can barely tolerate the heat. The mission is not to save the AC unit, Mr. Wise-Guy, the mission is for it to die already so that I can get an environmentally-friendly new one!

Sometimes people make me nuts.

But on we go, right, gang?

Okay, I’m going to leave you with a little hillbilly ditty from yesteryear. I love this song.  I love Johnny Cash, in general.  This song came up in an email exchange I had the other day with a good friend of mine who works for NASA in Houston.  I hadn’t thought of this song in years. I regale you with it now! (Oh, you have to be drunk on bourbon before you can listen to it. Sorry, gang, but those are the rules.)

Okay, thanks for visiting! See ya!

 

Finally! I really do write!

The final revisions were made yesterday to my TV movie script, The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder At Parsons Ridge, AND I did the highly implausible: I wrote a logline that the producer said was “excellent”.

That’s a first.

Normally, my loglines suck. I usually marvel in awe at writers who can come up with a decent logline right off the top of their heads — or even right after they tinker with it for several days, laboring slavishly. I thought the one I came up with for Tea Cozy Murder Club was serviceable, at best. I imagined the producer would tinker with it until it was better than serviceable.

When he emailed me back and said it was excellent, I was dumbfounded. (“How can that be?” I wondered. “If I was the one who wrote it?”)

This is the logline (drum roll, please): The members of a small town book club that delights in solving cozy old whodunits suddenly find themselves with a very real not-so-cozy murder to solve.

Yes, you guessed it! The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder At Parsons Ridge is a cozy mystery. (So is The Miracle Cats and the Case of the Purloined Passport — see numerous posts below.) Even though everyone the world over knows me for my super-duper killer award-winning literary erotica, I haven’t written in that genre for nearly 10 years, and I only read it now when I’m hired to edit it. Nowadays, I only read religious tomes (this one is jaw-droppingly awesome and needs to be read by everybody you’ve ever known), or cozy mysteries. (I’m currently reading this one, by Louise Penny.)

So, the great news is that the producer will be taking The Tea Cozy Murder Club to a meeting with a production company in L.A. next week! I will keep you posted on how much they love it.

Yippee-ki-yi-yay!

On the Fluffy front (see post below about how my beloved Fluffy has advanced cancer): she is still with us and that makes it a great day! She is quite frail, though. This morning, at dawn, I scooped her up really gently in my arms and took her over to the screen door so that she could see the beautiful world that was awakening outside. It really was lovely out — and cool! 57 degrees! Fluffy was so alert and entranced by the outside world. The greenery everywhere, the flowers blooming and, most importantly, the happy birds chirping like mad.

I just love Fluffy. I will deal with my grief when I have to. For now, it’s just a perfect day.

Well, okay. On that note…Thanks for visiting, gang! Have a perfect day, too, wherever you are and whatever it finds you doing! See ya!

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis