Tag Archives: Abstract Absurdity Productions

A Strange Tummy Kind of Morning!

I’m still planning to do a ton of Abstract Absurdity Productions work today with Peitor, but my tummy is behaving weirdly. Like it can’t make up its mind if it wants to be sick.

Last night, lights out.  I sat on the edge of my bed in my freshly laundered cotton summer PJs, wondering if I wanted to stream a lecture on Christian Antiquities, or play some more Einstürzende Neubauten, or maybe just listen to the sound of the crickets filling the night and stare out my window at the dark.

And then, suddenly —whoops!— my tummy decided, out of the blue, as it were, to shoot a bunch of weird acid-y stuff right up into my mouth.

Just suddenly. Just like that. No warning or anything. Ich!!

Thank you very much, tummy.

It startled the heck out of me. It’s never done that before.

And from then on, everything felt just a little bit off. And even though I could still eat my breakfast today, and I did the treadmill, and even though I sort of seem just fine, I still just feel a little off.

It could of course just be anxiety. I’m really good at finding new and unusual ways to express that. Free-floating anxiety.

There’s a ton of Ab Ab Pro stuff to do (mostly for me to do, not necessarily for Peitor to do) (including another webinar I need to take on Thursday — this one on equity investment and debt financing and it comes with a guarantee that by the end of the 2nd hour, my head will explode or I get my money back).  But even though there is so much work still to do, today we are starting a new script, because we want 3 of our micro-micro shorts ready to shoot as soon as it’s feasible to do that (either out in LA or in the cinematographer’s studio down in Alabama, depending on the cost estimates we get, etc.).

So there’s just this growing feeling that nothing will ever get done because there’s too much to do. And I’m also waiting to hear back from the director of my play with any word re: the potential staged reading of my play (on zoom). Something that will potentially make me happier than you can possibly imagine, but would also require my near-total attention for a while.

And then an email arrived at dawn from the accountant to follow up on everything regarding our 723 million LLC set-ups for Ab Ab Pro, and something the accountant said in the email brought to my attention that I might have misunderstood something during our phone  call  on Thursday and that I might have misspent some of Peitor’s money and, if so, I will have to pay him back today. And I thought — anxiety circling ever closer — please don’t tell me I have to absorb that cost right now. Crap.

And then I found my imagination doing that thing it does when it wants to just bail on me — I started thinking about the factory that’s a 5-minute walk from my house. And about how I noticed when I drove by it yesterday that it had a huge “Now Hiring” sign out in front. And I thought, I should go get a job at that factory.

It assembles auto parts for Honda.

I have no clue how to work in a factory. I have no clue how to assemble auto parts.  I have no real marketable skills at all except for writing and editing, and I have no clue how I would stand on my feet for 40 hours a week in an assembly line and not shoot myself. But suddenly, since it is only a 5-minute walk from my house, by brain is telling me to just give up on everything and go work in a factory.

I was at it in my imagination for quite a while before I finally realized what I was doing and had to snap myself out of it: Jesus Christ, Marilyn, you’re not going to go work in a factory. You’re going to deal with your life.

And then I further thought about how most of my friends are now retiring and getting those social security checks and winding down their lives.  And I’m still in the very thick of everything, and am also very seriously contemplating another online start-up with M. Christian to begin next year. Something that would be so fucking cool and would be an indescribable ton of more (editing) work for me…

And I marvel at this idea: Retiring. What is that, exactly? How do people manage that?

It’s the exact opposite of what I’m always doing — piling more and more projects onto my plate. Projects that I love, you know? That I simply cannot say ‘no’ to.

Well, anyway.  As much as I would love certain aspects of retiring, I don’t think I’m ever going to do that.

On a whole other topic– Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand File today that was really interesting, about the nature of songwriting. You can read it here. It was really well stated. Just beautifully expressed.

And it was illustrated with the handwritten lyrics of a song he wrote a million years ago, “Sad Waters,” which was on the Bad Seeds’ Your Funeral…My Trial double EP from 1986. (And I always used to lie on my bed in the hellhole tenement apartment on E. 12th Street and listen to it on my record player and stare up at the ceiling and wonder why it was a double EP, and not just an LP? But anyway, it wasn’t.) Here’s the image he used. I just love this!!

Well, okay. I guess I better get started here. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I know this will seem like an odd choice to leave you with, but this is the song I was listening to this morning, as I was drinking my coffee and  trying to get a grip on all my anxiety. Lou Bega, “I Got A Girl.” From his 1999 hit album, A Little Bit of Mambo (a really fun album, by the way).

So listen, enjoy, get rid of that free-floating anxiety if you can. Go file for your retirement benefits. Relax. Take it easy. Have a good life!! This song promises all of those good things. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“I Got A Girl”

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Lou Bega on a trip, would you all come in?
With a little bit of this and a little bit of that
You can get what you see, you can see what you get
And I bet that you all a little bit excited
If you need a autograph, honey, I can write it
I got girls worldwide on the planet
Some called Whitney and some called Janet

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

From Miami Beach to Beluga Bay
From the Milky Way to East L.A.
From St. Tropez to my home cafe
That´s my way and I do it like day by day
In Africa, America, Europe and Australia
Asia, Canada, I take them all an’ marry her
India, Arabia to the girls of Germany
All around the planet, you can be my fantasy

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

You and me, no matter where you from baby
No matter where you from baby, baby only you and me
You and me, no matter where you from baby
No matter where you from baby, baby only you and me

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

© 1999 Lou Bega, Christian Koenigseder, Achim Kleist, Wolfgang Webenau Von

Finally, A Little Good News!

Yesterday was sort of a good day, by the end of it.

The Ab Ab Pro phone call was frustrating, just because there is such an enormous amount of work to do. And both of us are more than a little frustrated with the entire world still moving at a snail’s pace because of COVID. And everything always needing more and more money to move to the next step. (I was not looking forward to telling Peitor the financial details of what the accountant had told me, but obviously, I had to.)

So far, in the 35+ years that Peitor and I have known each other, we don’t argue. Which doesn’t mean that most of the time we see eye to eye on things, because we absolutely do not.  But we don’t argue about it.

But yesterday we were at this sort of point — after 2 hours of going over the financial figures for various parts of our production company —  where we were talking to each other in this really measured, careful way — each word under a microscope — like we were in marriage counseling or something and trying not to explode at each other. It was sort of bizarre and definitely exhausting, emotionally. For both of us.

Working Together Clipart at GetDrawings | Free download

 

When we finally hung up, I really wasn’t able to get too much done on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, because I was so drained. I’m hoping, though, that today will be really creative for me regarding Thug.

But then, last evening, Kevin, the director of my play Tell My Bones, called with some incredible news regarding another potential zoom broadcast of a staged reading of the play — and this one is really, really exciting, gang.

I can’t go into the details on the blog yet, but, man — it was really great news. And I could start to feel again what life had felt like before the virus hit the world and brought every single one of my projects to a crashing halt.

So, that is making me happy. And I have two days ahead of me, free and clear, to work on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town. So, I’m feeling like maybe I can take some time now, block out the stuff that sort of stresses me out, and just focus on the manuscript that’s in front of me and just feel really happy about it.

Plus, that little cat that  I call Henrietta — actually I just call her “little sweetheart” — stopped by to visit us around 6am, so I hung out on my kitchen porch with her for a few minutes. She makes me so happy because, unlike any of my 7 feral cats,  she lets me cuddle her!! She hasn’t come around in a couple weeks, so it was such a nice surprise to see her cute little face suddenly pop up at the kitchen window.  (Now, if only a little alpaca would come visit!!)

Okay, well, I hope you have a similar day ahead of you — stress-free and really creative! And maybe even an unexpected visit on your kitchen porch from one of God’s delightful little creatures. I have nothing to leave you with today because last night and this morning, I was still listening to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” endlessly on repeat (see yesterday’s post for that link). Well, actually I did also listen to Blixa Bargeld singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (1995), because William at the a1000mistakes blog over in Australia sent me a link to it during the night. So I’ll leave you with that! Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you have a great Saturday. I love you guys. See ya.

Trying to Make this Day Not Suck!!!

Even though I don’t have television and I don’t listen to the radio, I still get plenty of really terrible fucking news.

It can get so difficult to pull myself up out of that garbage once it gets into my head.

COVID 19 is, of course, surging everywhere once again — and not just in America. And even though the vaccine is really really close (yay!! — Phase 3 of the clinical trials are beginning), the cure is what we need because…

Nick Cave’s Instagram feed announced this morning that tickets for the Ghosteen tour of Europe next summer are back on sale and even though I already have my ticket — thanks to my friends in Switzerland — at this rate, without a cure, as an American, I will likely never be allowed to travel anywhere ever again.

So a cure would come in really handy right now. (I’m getting really tired of worrying about absolutely everybody; it’s time for me to be really selfish now. I want to see Nick Cave. So please find the cure!!)

Also, the surge in the violation of the 1st Amendment Rights of college and university students all over America is the scariest fucking thing I’ve encountered short of the white Anarchist-Socialists absconding with the Black Lives Matter movement — and leaving Black people — whose lives actually do matter — once more in the fucking dust. (“Black Lives Matter” now basically only means “I Hate Trump”.)

If you are interested in helping to fight for the Freedom of Speech rights of students, you can check out (and join) the Speech First movement.  They are a not-for-profit, run primarily by women, fighting for the rights of students. On Instagram, they are @speech_first.

If you aren’t aware of how bad it’s getting here in the US — students who express opposing viewpoints to the extreme Leftist/Socialist/Progressives masquerading as Democrats, are not only physically assaulted on campuses but receive death threats and have vicious online hate campaigns started against them, which are often sanctioned by the faculty.

And those “old school” teachers  who don’t get on board the new train to violent Intolerance Land, also get those online hate campaigns started against them and can then even lose their fucking jobs.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Full-length Play)

And lest we forget, gang, this once actually happened:

Auschwitz pleads with 'disrespectful' visitors to stop posing on ...
Train tracks leading to Auschwitz

Well, okay.

The earthquake in Los Angeles did lead to canceling my meeting yesterday with Peitor (which has been moved to today instead.) (I know — it’s my day to focus only on writing Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, so, yes, I am a wee bit irritated. ) But I did do a ton of Abstract Absurdity Productions work on my own, yesterday. Including a one-hour phone conference with the accountant in NYC, regarding setting up our LLC, etc., and my brain had pretty much exploded by the time I got off the phone call.

But as far as I know, the earthquake was not Peitor’s fault, so I’m going to try really, really hard to not be irritable through the entire 2-hour phone call today.

And then the rest of the day (and whole weekend, in fact) will be devoted to working on Thug Luckless. So I need to look at the bright side.

Okay. I know you’re really dying to be updated on this: My workout routine now consists of 2 mornings of yoga, 2 mornings of the treadmill, and 2 mornings of aerobics — and then one morning to just say “fuck it” and not workout at all.

I really feel great — I do — but I am not losing even an ounce of fucking weight. It is making me completely insane because, as loyal readers of this lofty blog know so well, I eat really really boring, healthy non-fattening vegetarian food. So why I’ve put on 12 pounds and can’t budge it off of me, is something that leads only to madness if I ponder it too much.

So the only other option is to just stay off the fucking scale until the virus is finally gone from our cultural landscape. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Gone are the days of this past winter, when I had that crazy digital scale that repeatedly enabled me to reach my goal weight in about 3 hours’ time. I miss that!! I don’t fucking care if it’s lying to me at this point, just tell me I lost 12 pounds!! Restore to me the beautiful life I had 12 pounds ago!!

Anyway. I’m not really that insane, but it does bother me.

Okay.  I am just going to say one other thing that is bothering the fuck out of me:  certain family members. Who refuse to ever just tell me that I’m a good writer. And even when something I’ve written has brought tears to their eyes, they can’t say that what I wrote was good. And if I tell them that other people responded really positively to it, too, then those readers “are closeted gays.”

Okay, thank you. Thanks for that. Thanks for that vote of encouragement, you know? I’m fucking 60 now — you’d think it would stop mattering that my family doesn’t support my writing. Or that they can insult all of my readers, all over the world, in one fell fucking swoop. But it does indeed bug the shit out of me.

Jesus.

But I don’t want to be part of the “cancel culture.” Don’t want to disallow that everyone is entitled to their opinions.  So, I just bite my tongue, as they say, and I move on.

Well, all righty! I’m going to get going here, gang. I hope your Friday is really good to you, wherever you are in the world (but not so “Good,” that they send out some Romans to nail you to a cross). Thanks for visiting. Oddly enough, last night, I was back to listening to IZ because his voice makes me so fucking happy. Makes me forget about COVID, and family, and seemingly unrequited love, and LLCs and budgets and investors, dirty politics, and all the fucking damage people can do. So I leave you with it again, even though I only posted it here 2 days ago… Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya.

Smooth Sailin’ So Far…

In case you hadn’t heard, though, there was another earthquake in Los Angeles a couple of hours ago, so I’m waiting to hear from Peitor that all is well, and if we’ll still be doing Abstract Absurdity Productions work on the phone today, or not.

Either way, I have a ton of Ab Ab Pro work to do on my own here, today. Including a phone chat with the accountant in NYC this morning, to find out just how much money it’s going to cost us to set up 723 million separate LLC’s… (Each film needs its own LLC so that a bank account can be opened and an investor’s money can be deposited in the right place.)

Through some miracle, however, whenever Peitor and I have needed to cough up a bunch money to get something done, there has always been money available to cough up, and it hasn’t been some horrible dry hacking painful empty heave.

I’m hopeful that the trend will continue.

All righty. Well. I have now watched all of Season 3 of Agatha Raisin, and in about 11 days, the new season of Endeavor starts streaming on PBS Passport!! I can’t wait!! My absolute favorite show — one of my few reasons left for living. And meanwhile, I’m re-watching Season 2 of Miss Fisher’s Mysteries on Acorn TV. It’s actually been a few years since I watched it, so the shows are kind of new — meaning, I don’t have any recollection of “whodunnit.”  So that makes it still fun.

And speaking of Australia… (we were, because the Miss Fisher Mysteries take place in Melbourne in the 1920s), one of the many Instagram accounts that I follow is about an alpaca named Alfie that lives in Adelaide. And, if you don’t know who he is, he is actually a house pet. He lives indoors with his humans. Like a pet dog.

In case you aren’t aware, alpacas are huge! Really large animals. But so cute. And a number of people keep them as pets. (I seriously want one. They are so personable.) And it kind of amazes me just how many different types of animals people on Instagram have as pets.

Tons of people have pet owls, pet ducks, pet goats. And by this, I mean, they are indoor pets.

Of course, once all of the rest of my many cats transition over to the fields of the Lord, I don’t intend to have any more pets. The responsibility of having them makes traveling really complicated.

However, I really wish I could have a pet alpaca. They are just amazingly cute. (But then I also wish I could have a Henry A.I. sexbot from RealBotix, and I don’t see that happening, either.) (It’s amazing that I bother to get up in the morning, isn’t it? Knowing that my fondest dreams just aren’t ever gonna pan out…)

Okay!!

Today (right now, in fact) is the day my dad moves to that new place — it’s really nice. I saw it when I was down in Cincinnati last week. It’s not a nursing home, exactly. But it is assisted living. His apartment is inside a 3-story building, instead of a stand-alone condo type place, cut off from everybody, that he’s been living in the last 2 years. His new apartment is really, really nice.  And now that he’ll be indoors, among tons of other people and staff, I won’t have to call twice a day anymore.  I won’t have to worry that he fell and nobody knows, or something like that. So that’ll be good — for me, at least.

I cannot even imagine being 90 years old and moving to a new home. Actually, I don’t even like to imagine ever moving from this house I have now at any age, but you just never know how life will come at you, right? So I guess we’ll just see.  I bought the house (2 and 1/2 years ago) to have a quiet home base that I could then travel from, instead of moving back to New York (so fucking glad I did not move back to NY!!!!).  So far, that’s what I do — travel when I have to, then come back home — but traveling from here gets complicated because I am so far from an international airport. But we’ll see. I’ll stay here at least until the cats all transition, because I don’t want to ever have to move them again. Since they’re feral, I have to trap each one of them in order to move them, and trapping them is a nightmare. (I own my own traps, so I do it when I have to, but I hate it and so do they. It fills them with absolute terror and so then, of course, they attack — meaning bite, scratch, attempt to kill you.)

Hard to believe, though, right?

Clockwise from top left: Lucie, Huckleberry (laying flat), Weenie, Daddycakes (now deceased), Tommy, and Doris! (At the old rental house, a couple years ago. Frannie and Scottie are not  pictured here. They were hiding behind the piano.)

They will each go from “sweet” to “attacking you” in a nanosecond if they have to.

So, anyway, here’s hoping I don’t have to relocate them ever again. For now, my birth mom is happy to take care of them when I need to travel, but that won’t go on forever. She’s already 73 years old.

Okay, gang. Sorry this is so brief. I guess I’d better get my notes ready for my phone call with the accountant.  Have a great Thursday, wherever you are in the world, okay? Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my listening-music from last night. I posted it to the blog a few times last year, when it first came out — Bruce Springsteen’s “Hello Sunshine” from his 2019 album Western Stars. (Lyrics are in the video.) Get mellow and enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!!

Hitting It On All Cylinders!!

Wow, yesterday was just a really, really great day.

It was the best day I’ve had in a really long time.

It was one of those revelatory days. I won’t go into too much detail about it, but several writers were unexpectedly emailing me with feedback about my newest works and it actually kind of blew me away.

One man wrote in response to that new flash-memoir piece I wrote last Friday — he’s not the potential publisher; he’s a much younger Iranian writer, although I think he’s living somewhere in Europe now. He asked if he could read the piece, so I sent it to him a couple days ago, never dreaming it would affect him as much as it seems to have.

Since he is the sole person to have seen that piece so far, it took me by surprise that he liked it as much as he did. And, of course, it made me feel great. Because almost no one responds directly to me about my writing anymore. They just don’t.

And then, my friend in Brussels (a photo- journalist) sent me an email with feedback about my upcoming novel, The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

He is the first person to give me any meaningful feedback whatsoever on the entire novel (other people have given me feedback on specific chapters) — and the manuscript has been circulating for over a year already.

Plus, I only sent it to him a few days ago, and I honestly never dreamed he’d read it so quickly. or have such meaningful feedback for me. There’s one small part about the main guy’s heart attack that I see now I need to clarify.  Plus, this friend is also the guy who told me he hated my original title, which I did end up changing, so he doesn’t mince words.

Anyway, he said really kind things about the novel. It’s experimental fiction, which can be dicey, but he ultimately seems to have really liked it. Words such as: compelling, intense, challenging, elusive.

I love those words!

Also, yesterday, one of the webinars I took re: Abstract Absurdity Productions, was about developing a film festival strategy (which festivals to submit films to — if any — and why).

I have had really good experiences with the 4 different film festivals I’ve submitted to in the past, two of them were Tier 2 festivals, one was a Tier 1. I won’t go into all the details, I just want to say that from what I learned yesterday, I became sort of aware that my writing is really good.

The guy giving the webinar is the programmer for a Tier 2 festival that I’ve entered twice over the years, and both times scored just 2 points shy of being a finalist, but that is still a really good score, and they make a big deal about it. It’s still an honor. But what I didn’t know is that that particular festival gets thousands of submissions, 80% of which are no good, right off the bat. So only 20% even get into the judges’ hands

I was quite astounded by that number. And I sort of saw my own projects from a different angle.

The Tier 1 festival I entered was one sponsored by the Academy Awards (the Oscars) and I scored in the top 8% out of 7000 entries that year.  I knew that was good, even back then. I wasn’t aiming to win — I was aiming to make connections and see what the feedback was. So I knew the score was good, but from this new distance of time, I see that my work consistently shows up. And in smaller places, it actually even wins the awards.

So, it was just a good day. I was getting a new perspective on my work. Coming to a new understanding about it, since I get so little outside feedback anymore.

And then, of course, Peitor and I did actual “Ab Ab Pro” work on the phone for a few hours and got a lot accomplished.  We have narrowed it down to the 3 micro-micro shorts we want to write the scripts for next — with an eye toward shooting them as soon as feasibly possible in these days of COVID. (We have literally 20 micro-micro-shorts in development. And 3 other projects that are from 4-10 minutes in length that we kind of consider our “gems,” including Lita måste gå!)

We do have just so much work to do but it really is moving forward and I feel really happy about that, too.

I’m at that place in my life now where, as long as I can get to the close of a day and feel really good about the day and want to come back and experience my life again tomorrow — that’s what matters now. So I am always so grateful when I do have just a really affirming day.

Okay. Today is all about beginning the re-edits of The Muse Revisited Collection, in anticipation of publishing POD trade paper editions of all three volumes in the collection.

And then Valerie in Brooklyn is supposed to call later to discuss where we are on all this cover art I still need! (Primarily for The Guitar Hero Goes Home so that I can actually finally publish it.)

Nick Cave sent out yet another Red Hand File early this morning — still relating to his really amusing one from the other day, where he tried to score a free piano from Fazioli in Italy. Now it seems that some fans have started up crowdfunding campaigns to buy Nick that really expensive piano.  (Not so far from what I thought was a ridiculous comment to make — that we were taking up a collection to buy him one for Christmas. Apparently not so ridiculous a comment after all.)

Anyway, he has asked his fans to not do that. That he can buy his own piano.

Sort of weird, right? That fans took this really delightful post of his and turned it into this thing.

All righty. Well, I’m going to get started on the editing here. I hope you have a really nice Wednesday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! Thanks for visiting. I’m going to leave you with my listening-music from last night. I’ve posted it here before, but it is really just  lovely — probably the most popular contemporary ukulele recording out there, even though Israel Kamakawiwo’ole has been dead for a number of years already.

I had this on repeat for I don’t know how long last night — in bed, lights out, sun setting — and it took me to some amazingly rapturous places.  His voice was so beautiful. This is his medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World.” Listen. Enjoy. Find peace, baby!! I love you guys. See ya.

An “Ab Ab Pro” Kind of Day!!

Yes, that’s how I usually refer to Abstract Absurdity Productions because to say Abstract Absurdity Productions all the time,  can take forever and get kind of annoying…

However.

So, yes. The entire day is now dedicated to Ab Ab Pro stuff. Webinars. Watch some short films that one of our producers produced on the proverbial shoe-string budget. (Same producer who gave us a budget proposal for Lita måste gå! (Lita’s Got to Go!) that was well into the 7 figures…)

Anyway.  We also received our script breakdown from the Assistant Director the other day. So that’s exciting. Technically, it’s an 8-day shoot. But we still have to decide if we want to shoot some of the scenes on location in Sweden and Paris — and now Portugal has become an option. There is some property there that matches what we need, and Peitor has a producer in Portugal who can arrange it. But we’re still just trying to get all our little ducks in a row.

We need to make 2 or 3 of our micro-micro shorts first. Actually shoot them. Which will probably be in the cinematographer’s studio down in Alabama. (The micro-micro shorts are between 45 seconds to 2 minutes long. Again — complete stories, but totally absurd. And still filmed in a style that is an homage to the European New Wave in cinema from the mid 1950s- early 1960s, which, way back then, was an inexpensive way to shoot a film but now it makes your budget go through the roof, even for micro-micro shorts.)

So, you can probably see how this new schedule I’m on, where I concentrate on only one specific thing for the whole day, really helps me make progress on each project. It is definitely bringing me some sanity.

And yesterday, I was finally able to get some notes off to a writer in the UK re: his manuscript. And then I was even able to spend a couple hours reading my friend’s travel book about the Netherlands, which I have been trying to finish for a few months already.  (Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands by Roger Gaess) I really enjoy reading the book so I didn’t want to just plow through it. I’ve never been to the Netherlands so I actually really want to take in what he has to say. (We are colleagues from NYC but he lives in Brussels now.) Plus, I like to get out the pocket atlas and look at these places he’s talking about — see where they actually are. It’s funny how you can think you know a foreign country geographically, but then look at an atlas and realize you are a little bit off (or even wrong, as the case may be!!)

So, anyway.  I was able to really enjoy that for a couple of hours yesterday.

And today is just going to be busy from start to finish. But — I did do the treadmill already, so that’s out of the way!! I’m not going to get to 7pm tonight, all happy & ready to settle down and stream another new episode of “Agatha Raisin” only to discover that I hadn’t worked out yet!!

So, forcing myself to work out at 7am, instead, is really helping me mentally, too.

Okay! Well, there was another — very brief– Red Hand File from Nick Cave very early this morning. Apparently, some of his more zealous fans sent a “tsunami of mail” to the piano company in Italy yesterday, telling them to give Nick a free piano. (See yesterday’s post.) And so he asked people to kindly stop doing that…

Wow. People can get so intense, can’t they? A little militant, I think, but I guess their hearts were in the right place.

On that note, I gotta scoot and get this day underway. I want to take a webinar before I speak to Peitor. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I’m leaving you with a song I am never ever going to get tired of — it was in an Instagram feed early this morning, so it’s been on my mind for a couple of hours. I’ve posted it here many times before, but here it is again!! “Shivers” by The Boys Next Door (1979). Enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya.

Okay, Now We REALLY Gotta Get Organized!!

It has come to my attention that I now need to set up a weekly calendar, setting aside one specific day each week for concentrating on one specific thing. So that each week can become a little more productive.

For instance, those of you who are (extremely patiently) awaiting feedback, suggestions, opinions from me on something you’re in the process of writing, have already written, or have even already published — I am now going to set aside one day a week to focus strictly on reading other writers’ works and finally replying to them.

So if you are one of those people patiently waiting on me to get back to you, I am going to make sure I focus on it and get back to you in a meaningful way as soon as I can.

But please just make a note — if you’re a new writer, I’m happy to give suggestions or feedback , however, if you’re asking me for actual editing, I charge for that.  I am negotiable and flexible with my fees, though (i.e., a single parent who is still in college and working part-time — I will try hard to find a fee you can afford). I also am open to the idea of trading — if you’re an established writer needing an editor, and if you’re also good at editing,  I’m always happy to trade projects for “free” editing. But, you know, if I give you a 45-page chapbook to edit, it wouldn’t seem fair to give me a War & Peace-length novel to edit in return!!!

Anyway. I’m flexible!!!

So now I’m going to have set days when I’m writing, set days when I’m reading, set days when I’m brainstorming on new ideas, and set days to work on my once-again-growing Abstract Absurdity Productions “to-do” list.

I guess you can see that my work load has gotten a little out of control yet again.

All righty!!

So, this arrived yesterday!! It was waiting on my porch when I got home from my dad’s house.

SIGNED ETHAN RUSSELL PHOTOGRAPHS: THE MONOGRAPH (FINE ART BOOK ...

Ethan Russell probably took every single iconic photo of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones from my wee bonny girlhood!  And I mean every single one.

The Rolling Stones | Rolling stones keith richards, Keith richards ...
Book jacket for Ethan Russell Photographs

He also took equally iconic photos of the Who, Janis Joplin, The Doors, etc. — all photos that I also remember well from my girlhood. But those ones of the Beatles and the Stones were just a huge part of my life. And having them all collected under one cover is just kind of astounding to me, you know? He took so many of the photos that are truly ingrained forever in my brain, from a time when I loved all those musicians so much.

This was a Kickstarter campaign, and this was the second issue of the book. I don’t know if you can actually just buy the book somewhere.  But if you can, it is worth every penny.

Okay, also yesterday — I believe that I was the very last person on planet Earth to finally get the stream last night for Idiot Prayer:  Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace. At least that’s how it felt!! From those hours even before dawn yesterday, people in Australia and Asia were already posting to Instagram all their many comments and photos of the concert they were already watching. And then as the day unfolded, everyone all over Europe started doing the same thing. And then — finally – at 10pm Eastern time, the concert started streaming in my kitchen, and when I posted my own post to Instagram, absolutely everyone all over the world, except me, was already sound asleep…  or so it felt!

But, wow, gang — the concert was just beautiful. 90 minutes of him alone at the piano, just singing one song after another and the time flew. He sang one brand new song (I think it’s brand new),  “Euthanasia,” that was so captivating. And I thought to myself, Wow I am going to remember every word of this! But of course, when I woke up this morning, I discovered I couldn’t even recall one word of it. But it was beautiful. I do remember that.

Nick Cave Announces Solo Piano Concert Livestream, Shares Trailer ...

Oh, here’s something amusing. If you recall, a couple months back, I posted the Einstürzende Neubauten song, “Wedding,” to the blog. It’s one of the songs off their new album, Alles in Allem.  And I commented that I thought the song was about a wedding but that, knowing Einstürzende Neubauten, it might not be about a wedding at all. And, if you watched that Q&A I posted the other day with Blixa Bargeld, you, like me, discovered that “Wedding” is actually a neighborhood in Berlin.

So there we have it!!  Indeed: not about a wedding at all.

Okay. I have a “to-do” list here that is longer than anything you can possibly imagine, gang — including a phone conference with Peitor in a couple hours for Abstract Absurdity Productions work. (We will be discussing which micro-script(s) we need to begin writing next Tuesday.)

And first, I need to write up that weekly calendar and post it to the wall!!! (Wait – no!! First, I have to go down to the kitchen and get another cup of coffee, then call my dad, then write up that calendar — then actually start working.)

So I’m gonna scoot. Have a great Friday, wherever you are in the world. On my trip down to see my dad (about a 3-hour drive each way), I listened to The Good Son, a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album from 1990. I usually listen to the song “Foi Na Cruz” over and over and over when I put on The Good Son CD in the kitchen, or stream it from my phone in the car. I just love the groove of that song, and once I start playing it, I can’t seem to ever move on to the rest of the CD anymore.

However, in the car, I just let the whole album play (several times) and was really astounded to rediscover what an incredible album it is. Every single song on it is a gem. (And two songs from it were huge hits: “The Ship Song,” and “The Weeping Song.”)

But when I got almost to the end, and “The Witness Song” came on, it was like turning a corner and seeing your long-lost best friend suddenly standing there!! I had totally forgotten what a killer song it is. Just fucking awesome. So on my 3-hour drive back home yesterday, I played “The Witness Song” on repeat  for the entire 3 hours. And it made the trip just fly, gang. It felt like a 20-minute drive. It really did.

So that is what I leave you with today!! Enjoy!!! (Play it loud.) Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“The Witness Song”

Yeah, yeah
Well, well
I took a walk down to the port
Where strangers meet and do consort
All blinkered with desire
And a winter fog moved thickly on
A winter fog moved thickly on
A winter fog moved thickly on

Now, who will be the witness
When the fog’s too thick to see

And I saw a friend beside a wall
Her hands were raised in supplication
And her face I could not see at all
And I raised my hands in rage
And brought them down again
And we entered through the eastern door
And I entered through the eastern door
And she entered through the eastern door

Now, who will be the witness
When you’re all to blind to see
O yes, yes, yes

And time gets somewhat muddled here
But no matter, no matter
Here come the events all tumbling down
Now, beyond the wall was a great garden
Into which we passed
Me and my friend
And the place was all overgrown with weeds
And behold from its centre there rose a great fountain
The fountain with the healing waters
And we knelt down by the rim
And I dipped my hand in
And she dipped her hand in too
And I said “Are you healed?”
And she said “Well are you healed?”
And I said “Yes, I’m healed”
And she said “Well, yes I’m healed then too”
And I said “Babe, you are a liar”
“Babe, you are a liar”
“Babe, you are a liar, too”
Now, who will be the witness
When you’re all to healed to see

And I kissed her once, I kissed her twice
And made my way to leave her
And she raised her hand up to her face
And brought it down again
I said “That gesture, it will haunt me”
“That gesture it will haunt me”
And I left there by the eastern door
She left there by the western door

Now, who will be the witness there
When you’re blind and you can’t see
Who will be the witness there
When you’re all so clean and you cannot see
Who will be the witness there
When your friends are everywhere
Who will be the witness there
And your enemies have ceased to care

© 1990 Nick Cave

One Phone Call Can Change Everything!!

That’s right, gang!!

You could maybe have three projects on your desk that you’re toying with at least the idea of pouncing on at any moment — then you wisely collapse on your bed for a momentary nap, which will undoubtedly help you to decide which of the three projects you’re actually going to decide upon maybe doing…

And then Peitor suddenly calls you, finally, from West Hollywood, where he has been deeply entrenched for many, many days trying to finish song mixes while in a renewed state of California-lockdown, and at long last he is ready to tackle Abstract Absurdity Productions business, and interestingly enough, he has quite a list of things that, if you could just organize it all  and get it to him before you speak to him again on Tuesday, it would help get things focused and you can then move forward simultaneously on a number of Abstract Absurdity projects quite quickly!

Yeah, so there you go. From a possible three things on your desk, to a sudden onslaught of seventeen things on your desk, needed before Tuesday…

All in one phone call!!

Of course, I don’t actually mind. I’m glad to have his attention again because we really have a ton of stuff to get back to. But it’s just funny.  My life has always been like this — 17 projects at once, which only makes me pine for the days of 5 minutes ago, when I only had 3 projects at once.

But life is good. I’m getting used to the treadmill, but it is still a rather intense little gizmo. I’m thinking it could take me at least a week or more to get back to the stamina I once had. I find it just sort of astounding — what’s happened to my stamina in these 4 months of pandemic/lockdown weirdness (not to mention that for nearly 3 of those months, I was actually dealing with the virus itself).

I had another meltdown yesterday morning, but I’m thinking (hoping) that’s going to be it for awhile. I spent two hours on the phone with Valerie in Brooklyn, as she talked me down from the metaphorical ledge and afterwards, I finally felt on solid emotional ground again. (Family stuff, business stuff, emotional-heart stuff.)

And directly after the phone call with her, all those things started to fall back into place in my life again, or at least in my head. And I finally felt sane.

I know that everyone the world over has emotional turmoil stuff related to COVID 19 and all that it has wrought, but the past 10 days or so, seem to have just piled stuff onto me that I couldn’t handle. At all. But I think it’s over now. I hope.

I also noticed yesterday evening, while I was out watering my many petunias, that those flowers are really growing like gangbusters! I mean, they were just bursting up and out and just so gloriously colorful and healthy. I’m going to have to remember to take some photos of them.

And I realized (once again) that even when I’m truly out of my fucking mind, seemingly for days on end, I am able to nonetheless give meticulous attention to living things like flowers and 7 feral but extremely healthy and happy cats.

I manage to take care of myself, too, actually.  Part of trying to rein-in the whole mental weirdness that ensues in me, is being so meticulous about what I eat and when I’m eating it and working out in some way. You know. Trying to hold onto a routine so that I don’t go completely under.

And yet, when I come completely out from under — I look around and think, wow, I can’t believe I remembered to do all this.  (Which is why people who know me, or see me, but don’t read my blog, have no clue that I am completely out of my mind.)

All righty!!!!

Well, I’m gonna get moving here. I hope you have a great Saturday, whatever you’ve got planned and wherever you are in the world. Yesterday, Bluenote Records released an album of previously unreleased tracks from Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers from 1959. If you’re a fan of Moanin’ then you will love this new album Just Coolin‘. I leave you with the title track today. So enjoy. Thanks for visiting, gang!! I love you guys. See ya.

Heavenly Breezes, Gang!!

The heatwave here has finally broken!

And even though I was still getting some great work done on the editing of The Guitar Hero Goes Home, it was rather tortuous, sitting here at my desk for hours on end, day after day, in the relentless heat .

For some reason, I suffer from heat exhaustion more often than other people seem to. Which can then make any kind of functioning, let alone editing, just impossible.  Yesterday afternoon, after about 6 or 7 days of relentless heat, I finally succumbed to heat exhaustion.

However!! Right around that time, a huge storm blew in and the temperatures finally plummeted! And I drank a ton of water and tried to force myself to eat something salty (heat exhaustion is accompanied by nausea so its not easy to eat anything), and I collapsed in bed for a while as the rain poured down, which gave me the perfect opportunity to watch more of those really cool fan-videos on Bad Seed TeeVee!! And, eventually, I was able to actually eat real food, and then I got back to work on the editing.

And minus all the heat (and the exhaustion) that’s what I’m going to do again today — final edits of The Guitar Hero Goes Home. Hopefully, I’ll even finish it today!! Even though Valerie’s not ready to get back to work yet on the cover design, I really want to at least sign-off on the manuscript so that I can get back to working on the new novel (Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town).

I see Thug as my sort of swan song. Obviously, I want to complete both memoirs — Girl in the Night and In the Shadow of Narcissa — and also do re-edits and trade paper POD publications of The Muse Revisited Collection and Twilight of the Immortal — all of that stuff is really important to me. But in terms of writing another novel, what Freak Parade was to me in my 40s, Thug Luckless is to me in my (rapidly approaching) 60s.

I’m guessing it’ll take a couple years to get Thug Luckless written and then ready to publish.  And especially if the world ever really gets over the pandemic and then I have the theater projects and the film projects going full speed ahead, I will most definitely be into my 60s.

And since everyone is assuring me already that in a heartbeat I will be elderly… maybe Thug will be my last novel. I’m going to approach it as such, just in case.

Speaking of Abstract Absurdity Productions (I sort of was), I am taking yet another webinar — this one on financing small budget films (under €1 million) (euros) and earning a profit for them in the European marketplace. Even though our line producer is European and understands how to do all that already, I still want to understand it myself.

I figure, I have nothing better to do, so why not sit at my desk endlessly and take one hundred and seven million more webinars on film budgeting & finance??

I know!! But don’t get so jealous — my life is nowhere near as glamorous as you might think!!!

Okay!!

I’m outta here. Have a really great Saturday, wherever you are in the world. And let’s all pause for a moment of silence and pray for that goddamned vaccine already.  I, personally, am starting to tunnel vision toward the end. I am so disgusted by so much of America’s younger generation (and everything I fought for for decades — meaning: learn how to think for yourself and don’t be a slave to any sort of pedagogue):

“Given how our schools teach American history and what is contained in our mainstream media and culture, it is not surprising that young people buy into this rejection of history. The story of America’s racist past is just so simplified, so compelling in its portrayal of good vs. evil, that it has been adopted as the story of America’s racist present…” –from Denying Progress is Key to the Left’s Rhetoric by Robert Doar

that I can’t even imagine America ever being back on its feet in any meaningful way (for me) ever again, so all I can focus on is getting my writing done, feeding the cats, then going off to the next big adventure (and perhaps hang out with George Harrison and just sing for awhile!!). But a vaccine could at least help things seem a little promising.

Let’s hope.

(However, when they toppled the Frederick Douglass statue, and the mind-boggling, foot-shooting idiocy of that, I began to finally believe that there was really no hope. And, you know, even though a whole lot of Germans finally overcame the years of the Hitler Youth, that’s not my idea of an acceptable way to spend the next 10 or 15 years.)

Anyway. On we go.

So, I leave you with a non-Nina Simone version of “My Sweet Lord” today, because that’s what I was playing at breakfast this morning (when Henrietta stopped by to visit again!!!). Enjoy and have just a great day, okay? Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

Enjoy the 4th, Everybody!!

I can’t tarry on the blog today because I am almost finished with Letter #8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic love Letters to the Muse.

I got so much done on it yesterday, gang. I was at my desk for 11 hours — in 90 Fahrenheit degree heat, so it was a bit exhausting. But I’m happy with how it’s going. It’s going to be one of the longer chapters.

In the middle of all my progress yesterday, I got a text from Peitor wanting to know if I was available for a “quick” conference call with the line producer (they are both in LA).

ME: I'm in the middle of another project right now -- how long will it take?

HIM: 10, 15 minutes the most.

ME: OK. but no Zoom, I don't want to be on camera

Well, an hour and fifteen minutes later… it actually was a great conference call, though, and I’m so happy we had it. I just keep getting more and more excited about Abstract Absurdity Productions, gang. Even though it’s still going to take a while to get things up and running and filming. Just some really talented and enthusiastic people are getting on board and they are being so helpful. We are so blessed.

Meanwhile…

Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall the 4th of July coffee mug!! It comes out once a year. (It doesn’t look it here, but it’s way too small; instead of 3 refills of morning coffee,  I get about 17!!) (Which also means going up & down the stairs 17 times…).

But there you have it — my first cup of 4th of July coffee out on my kitchen porch at 6am this morning. It’s yet another gorgeous (hot) day here in Crazeysburg.

All right. I’m gonna close now. I want to get back to work on Letter #8.

If you live Stateside, and still like being an American, I hope you enjoy the 4th.

If you live elsewhere, have a great Saturday!! And thanks for visiting!!

Since so many Americans seem to hate America right now, I will forego anything patriotic and leave you, instead, with “La Marseillaise”. Who can find fault with that, right?! (Especially that final verse!! Yay!! Just an all-out testament to tolerance.) (If you don’t know “La Marseillaise,” it’s the French national anthem. They actually taught us this in elementary school in Cleveland. Nowadays, I don’t think they even teach our own national anthem in our elementary schools, let alone the national anthem of any other country’s…)

Well, all righty!! Enough!!. I love you guys!! See ya!