Tag Archives: Blessed By Light by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

My Gratitude

I want to thank everybody, even total strangers visiting the blog or on Instagram, who showed love and support yesterday as I tried to cope with the death of Daddycakes.

When cats are feral, they are wild animals. It is so hard to know what to do and exactly when to do it when they are in peril or dying. So these last few days have not been at all fun – watching him suffer but knowing that he still had enough strength in him to attack a doctor.

Anyway, it’s over now and he’s at peace and his little family here is adjusting to his absence, and my friends, as well as total strangers showed me so much love. So that’s how the day is starting out today.

Hopeful.

I haven’t been able to really do too much on the novel since Sunday. But the comments from the editor keep coming in daily and they are making me feel good. Not too much needs changing – negligible grammar things. Yesterday, she said that the writing was poignant and funny like barbed wire.

Since the story is told totally in 2nd person from a man’s POV, and since the woman he is talking to never once says a thing throughout the entire novel, it’s imperative that the man be likable, believable, capable of making you, the reader, feel something. So, comments about how the editor is responding to the character are so important to me.

And so far, so good.  Loyal readers of this lofty blog know by now that Blessed By Light is unlike any novel I’ve written thus far, and it is coming entirely from the realm of the Muse. It’s been a really beautiful adventure.

Yesterday, before everything got horrifically dire with Daddycakes and I had to drop everything and somehow get him situated into the car without the help of any sort of restraint or cat carrying device and drive 30 miles to the veterinarian farther out into the country who was willing to treat a feral cat; before that happened – my new boots arrived.

I love these boots. They are vegetarian-friendly and yet look like leather. They fit perfectly and I just totally love them. And they hardly cost anything because they aren’t made of any sort of dead animal! Anyway, look!!

Okay! On that happy note, I’m gonna get the day underway here, gang. I’m trying like heck to stay focused on the love and just keep going, you know?

The future’s bright and I’ve got nothing but opportunities lining up at my door. I need to stay focused and charitable and generous and loving about the world and being in it. (Although, I have to say that Notre Dame Cathedral going up in flames while Daddycakes was dying was a little more than I could really process yesterday.)

Anyway. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the song I played over & over in the car yesterday as I tried to keep Daddycakes calm. It worked. (On the trip home, though, without him, it only made me cry so I had to turn it off and just listen to the silence.) Okay. I love you, gang. See ya.

Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

But I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

c- 1997 Nick Cave

Me, again

I’ve kept a blog consistently since 1998.

Yes, that was actually years before they coined the word “blog.” I called it my online journal back then, or my way of touching base with my readers.

But in all these years, I have never posted twice in one day. Until today. I am just in such a state.  Watching my little guy die all afternoon. He’s still clinging. The process takes such a long time and at the same time, I don’t want it to end because I don’t want to say the final goodbye.

He’s aware of me, but he’s in his own world.  When I sing to him, his whole body relaxes.

For some reason, it makes me think of my childhood. I have so many memories – stretching back to when I was 6 months old. For some reason, I had many moments of lucidity when I was 6 months old. I can remember all sorts of things.

My earliest memory is of getting onto a plane in Cleveland. My mom holding me in her arms. And for some reason, I remember the stewardess really well. I thought she was so nice. I responded really strongly to her presence. Many years later, my mom could not believe I had that memory. She said, “You were 6 months old! You were screaming almost the whole trip!” Funny, I still don’t remember screaming. I told my mom that I didn’t recall screaming, but that I remembered the stewardess. And then my mom said, “Oh yeah, that’s right. She was able to get you to calm down.”

Anyway, this afternoon, as I laid on my family room floor, next to Daddycakes, I suddenly recalled my first day of kindergarten and how I wasn’t really all that scared of being away from my mom. I recall that I was kind of interested in everything that was going on around me. Which I thought – today – was kind of strange because I was so incredibly shy back then. But then I remembered that I had already been through 2 years of nursery school, and I was definitely not a big fan of that. That was when I was intensely shy.

I remembered that the nursery school sent around one of those VW buses. I remember an older, heavy-set, incredibly cheerful white-haired lady drove the VW. But I did not want to get in it. It pulled up in our driveway in Cleveland and I think I tried to run away. I know my mom had to force me to get into the little bus and go to nursery school. I was crying, I was just so shy and I did not want to be separated from my mom, even for a moment.

It did not go well for me, that first year. The teacher thought I was autistic. Apparently, she was not the first person to say this to my parents. I had a lot of the signs of autism. I don’t remember that they thought I was autistic back then, I only remember the teacher and my mom sitting me down in the empty classroom at the end of a school day, and they both talked to me in earnest about something. They were so terribly emotional about it. I remember honing in on their emotions. I remember them asking me if I understood what they were saying, and I remember saying yes. And I also remember, vividly, that I said yes specifically because I was keenly aware that they wanted me to say yes. I was trying to please them.

Many years later, when my mom was telling me that up until I was 3, they were all worried that I might be autistic, and then she told me about that afternoon in the classroom at the nursery school (which I remembered). Then she told me what she and the teacher were saying to me – about how I had to stop daydreaming all the time, and stop rocking in my seat and singing to myself, and that I had to talk to the teacher more, and to the other kids. Otherwise, I was going to have to leave the school. And then my mom said that I (at 3 years old) said, “okay,” that I would. And she said that the following day, I had completely changed. Overnight. And that from then on, nobody thought I was autistic.

So strange. Not only that I changed overnight, but that I can still remember being 3, and telling them “yes” only because I wanted to please them. And here, my saying yes, meant that I was suddenly never “autistic” again.

It’s funny the things you think about when you’re incredibly sad, trying so hard not to grieve. Grieving a little bit anyway. Thinking about life and what the heck it really is.

I worked quite a bit on the novel today – in between visiting the cat down on the floor.  I got some editing done on it but it’s been slow going. Then I read my online horoscope (Cainer.com, out of the UK — I’ve been reading that horoscope for about 20 years now), and he actually said that even while I have a 5-star Guardian Angel, my Guardian Angel is on a mini-vacation right now. He really said that! So I guess I shouldn’t be pushing too hard for inspiration today…

The only person I spoke to so far today was when I called a male friend of mine and asked him if I could borrow a shovel. Gonna have to bury a cat soon.

Just a sad little day.

Rainy April Sunday

That’s the view outside the window in my upstairs hall at the top of the stairs.

You can see that it is indeed a rainy Sunday morning in April, here in Crazysburg.

My cat, Daddycakes, is still alive.  He stays out in the open now, which is encouraging. He’s no longer hiding under the bed. And he sort of “engages” with us — meaning he stays around us, but he drifts away, eyes open.

His sisters, Tommy and Huckleberry, are kind of spooked by him. They’ll stare at him cautiously and won’t approach him. 2 of his daughters and his son don’t seem to really care too much, one way or the other, that he’s dying. They go about their business, as usual.

But his other 2 daughters, Doris and Lucy, who have been ridiculously attached to him their whole furry little lives, seem to be devastated by what is hanging on our horizon. They don’t show up for meals or treats, preferring to just hide away and occasionally eat the dry food set out for them upstairs.

So it’s sad. Every hour I give him a few drops of water from an eye-dropper type thing. And 3 times a day, I give him 5 drops of this other stuff.  Thank goodness, that’s down from having to give him 5 drops every 15 minutes, which is exhausting when you might prefer to sleep.  I don’t know that it will “save” him, and I do believe that if he’s choosing to go, he’s going to go; but you don’t want to just sit around and do absolutely nothing and simply watch your lovely creature die, do you?

The gestures are never meaningless even if they’re futile.

It’s all sad, sad, sad, and the rain is sort of doing all my crying for me. But oddly enough, I am able to focus on the novel. I guess because it’s my way of planting a sort of tree of life for the future.

Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a good Sunday – in fact, it’s Palm Sunday today, if you’re into that. I don’t like Palm Sunday, even though I’m a minister. To me, it’s just a reminder of how seriously the mob can turn on you within a handful of days and nail you to a cross. To me, I just want it to be a rainy Sunday in April.  I didn’t even take Communion today.

I leave you with what I’ve been listening to. Enjoy! (If that’s the right word for it.) I love you, gang. See ya.

Let us go now, my one true love
Call the gasman, cut the power out
We can set out, we can set out for the distant skies
Watch the sun, watch it rising in your eyes
Let us go now, my darling companion
Set out for the distant skies
See the sun, see it rising
See it rising, rising in your eyes
They told us our gods would outlive us
They told us our dreams would outlive us
They told us our gods would outlive us
But they lied
Let us go now, my only companion
Set out for the distant skies
Soon the children will be rising, will be rising
This is not for our eyes
 c- 2016 Warren Lee Ellis / Nicholas Edward Cave

I’m Afraid I’m Getting Ready

I’m afraid it’s getting to be time to say goodbye to Daddycakes (see post below about the ill health of my sweet cat).

It is always so sad when a creature you love must die. He’s only 7. He is so sick (kidneys) that I just don’t see how he is going to recover from this. So I’m trying to keep him comfortable and let him know that he has been a joy to me every moment that I have known him. Yes, even those times when I was sitting on my bed in my PJs and he came up unexpectedly and pissed on my back. I still loved the heck out of him.

All right.

I know to my American readers, it must seem like I’m on a mission to force you to love Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I sort of am on a mission. However, I don’t want to force feed you or anything.

If you’re interested, though, you can go to the official Nick Cave web site right now and sign up to stream his upcoming film, Distant Sky, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. The free streaming happens Easter weekend. And then the film will have its official launch next year. Go here to sign up.  You can also watch some of the official footage on Youtube. It’s really, really good.

Well, I have to say I am really happy with the feedback I keep getting from the editor of my new novel, Blessed By Light. It’s a bittersweet happiness because, of course, my cat is dying.  And I’m also falling out of love at the same time. (Not with the cat; with the man I’ve been in love with.) So it’s all bittersweet around here. But I keep finding reasons to keep going.

Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a super terrific Saturday wherever you are in the world. I love you. See ya!

Nick Cave in earlier days. What’s not to love, gang??

All the World’s A Page!!

Yes, I completed the revisions for the staged reading version of my play, Tell My Bones, and sent them off to the director yesterday!

And right on the heels of that, the first round of edits for my new novel-in-progress, Blessed By Light, arrived in my inbox from the editor! And the comments are all positive.

Yay. So I’m finally going to be able to get back to work on the book, starting today. I’m excited. I really am not that far from completing it. I’ll work on it until the next round of re-writes are needed on the play.

In sadder news…

One of my little furry guys is not at all well. I’m not sure he’s going to make it. I am indeed very sad about that.

He’s the daddy of the colony of ferals I rescued 7 years ago. Well, I rescued 3 ferals – a brother and 2 sisters. But they were a super incestuous little bunch and the sisters had kittens in my basement after I trapped them. The 3 ferals were about 6 months old at that point.

Due to huge cutbacks in funding for the animal rescue shelters that particular spring, I wound up with a colony of cats that were absolutely feral and unadoptable and no one would take them. (2 of the male kittens were adoptable and found good homes.)

That’s the short version of why I have so many cats in my house that hate people. It has, at times, been difficult to live with a colony of feral cats. But they are beautiful, and usually quite healthy. And the all-powerful Cat God seems to think that these many scampering happy cats are indeed a blessing to me.

I constantly revise what I consider a blessing in this life. So that’s good. Anyway. Here’s Daddycakes in healthier times.

Daddycakes Lewis. King of the infamous Lewis Cat Colony!

Okay, gang! Off I go now to work on the novel.  Thanks for visiting. Have a terrific Friday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys! See ya.

Joy at Every Possible Turn

Well, we are coming up on my 1-year anniversary of owning this 118 year-old house and moving here to this amazing little village tucked into some sort of valley in the gorgeous hills & farmlands of Muskingum County, Ohio.

The old train depot in my town from a hundred years ago

I have never been happier in my life.  This town is magical, on some deep level. And it is an open portal to the most accessible spirits I’ve ever encountered in my life.  It has not only changed the quality of my writing, but it has increased the seemingly unstoppable flow of inspiration.

When I first moved here, my life became so intensely magical that I began to wonder, in earnest, if I had actually died and gone to the afterlife and had not yet realized that fact.  Everything, absolutely everything in my life had finally gotten just so good. And how could that be? I wondered. My life had pretty much always sucked.

I was actually starting to be convinced of the fact that I had died. Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that in the space of about 18 months (shortly before moving here), I had 4 near-death experiences. I began to assume that the 4th one had perhaps been the final one and had been quite a success! That I was now dead and didn’t know it, and that this amazing town was just a sort of weigh-station for me until I figured out that I was actually dead and could then move on to some sort of full-blown heaven or something.

Well, I’m not actually dead. (Unless of course, we are all actually dead and this blogging stuff is all part of the pre-heaven experience for all of us!) Well, whatever.

I actually did begin writing a short story on that topic of my uncertain death, called “Camouflage,” wherein I could not safely determine if I was alive or not, and/or if my dear colleague, the writer Michael Hemmingson, was dead or not.

I had to stop writing it because I am incapable of processing the fact that most people do believe Michael Hemmingson is dead, and I cannot allow myself to believe it. Even though he has allegedly been dead now for 5 years or something like that, I just cannot bring myself to process it. So I had to stop writing the short story, since it pretty  much required that I come to some sort of decision about reality.

Even though I have had to accept and process the deaths of many dear loved ones throughout the course of my near-6 decades on Earth, for some reason, I cannot bring myself to accept Michael’s death, or Tom Petty’s for that matter.

Well,  I am willing to accept that the 66-year-old version of Tom Petty did, in fact, die. But the 29-year-old version of Tom Petty that I fell in love with when I was 19, right before I moved to NYC and became a professional singer-songwriter — I cannot process the fact that that version of him died, too. I absolutely refuse to accept it. It has something to do with that specific juncture, of how he intersected with my life at that particular point in time that I cannot process the overall death of.

However, I figure I’m not hurting anybody by refusing to accept these two deaths, so there is no real need for me to adjust to anything. I just move onward, thoroughly unprocessed, and my life still ends up being pretty magnificent.

I am, of course, referring specifically to the 2 plays finally barreling toward not only being produced, but being produced in 2 different countries, pretty much at once, and at 2 rather prestigious venues.

I began writing my first play when I was in my teens, in high school. And during what would have been a “study hall,” I was instead assigned to work privately with an English teacher who was helping me write my first play.

It was going swimmingly until I “accidentally” (or not so accidentally!) discovered quite eerie parallels between the play I was “making up in my imagination” at age 17 and the actual life story of the ballet dancer Nijinsky and his mentor Diaghilev — 2 men I had never heard of until I began writing my play.

I was so freaked out by the parallels that I had to stop writing the play, even though the English teacher assigned to me was disappointed because she thought I had talent.  But I felt like I was either crazy, or psychic, or being invaded by ghosts. Not sure what scared me most, but I was really spooked. I couldn’t tell anybody about it, I simply stopped writing the play.

In a related “freak-out,” several years after that, when I was living in NYC, a friend told me in earnest that she was reading Nijinsky’s infamous diaries and couldn’t believe how much the diaries made her think of me. I did not freak out because I thought I was Nijinsky in some previous life, but because when someone tells you Nijinsky’s diaries make them think of you, they are in fact saying that they think you cannot deal with your own sexuality and that you are out of your fucking mind.

I digress.

I’m really only wanting to write about how thrilling it feels to be this close to the fruition of 2 of my plays — one that I wrote in its entirety, the other I co-wrote, or contributed to, with Sandra Caldwell.

I’ve known Sandra since 1992; she was and is a really good friend of  one of my ex-husband’s. And he was the one who gave Sandra a copy of my screenplay, Tell My Bones, a couple years back and her response was extremely positive.

From there, she asked me to take a look at her one-woman musical, The Guide to Being Fabulous, and we’ve been collaborating since then.

But the highlight of all that, I think, was when I was visiting her in Rhinebeck a couple summers ago, to begin work on the stage adaptation of Tell My Bones. One morning, around  6am, I came down to her kitchen and discovered that she was awake, sitting alone, still in her nightgown, drinking coffee.

She said, “I’m glad you’re up. I’ve been wanting to talk to you alone.”

At that point, the adaptation wasn’t going so great; we’d locked horns on it several times over the course of the weekend, so I thought maybe she wanted to ask me to just leave and never come back.

instead, she said, “Marilyn, you write like a motherfucker. I’m starting my own theatrical production company and I want you to write plays for me.”

I was so excited, it was ridiculous. Not only was I going to get to stay the rest of the weekend, but she saw some sort of future in our locking of horns!

And now, here we are, with Tell My Bones finally completed, and  a director attached. And The Guide to Being Fabulous on its way, as well.

It’s just so cool to me.  Even though I abandoned the writing of my first play,  and then went on to write a ton of songs, then write and have published 5 novels, edit 7 anthologies of other people’s fiction, have about 60 short stories published in 5 languages, and then have my screenplays do well in contests and in film festivals — all of that was exciting; all of it. Still, nothing makes me more excited than the prospects of having my plays produced and watching Sandra knock them out of the park. Which she will.

I can definitely die happy now, gang. Assuming I’m not already dead, that is.

Related image

Tiny Rejoicing Heart

Okay, maybe my heart isn’t so tiny.  It’s a huge heart rejoicing over the small things.

I got great work done on the new novel yesterday. Chapter 17 had ended on an unexpected note. And I had no clue what Chapter 18 had in store, so when it finally came pouring out after dinner last evening, I couldn’t have been more surprised or happier. It all just came right out.

And, as has been the case with this whole novel (Blessed By Light – my first erotic novel since Freak Parade, which I think was published in 2010), it is writing itself. And usually has no typos, even. Or at most, one or two. The Muse is in complete control of this one, gang.  Dictating every word into my wide open void of a brain.  And it has been quite a beautiful adventure.

Normally, when I’m writing a novel (this is my 6th, and I have a 7th one also in-progress), I agonize over the arrival of every word, over the formation of every single sentence. But for this whole book – well, I do have to sit and wait and wait and wait sometimes. But when it comes, man it’s a deluge. It just comes. Hits the paper in all its glory with, as I said, almost no typos whatsoever. A  very cool experience – to be dictated to by the Muse.

So I am staring at the first page of Chapter 19. No clue what’s coming, but I know it will all turn out all right.

More repair guys came bright and early this morning. That full moon had me awake most of the night, so when I finally woke-up for real, the sun was already up and I had to scramble around to get the cats fed and get myself dressed before the guys came walking in the door at 8am to do some work on my water heater and the furnace ducts.

It’s not how I prefer to start a morning, but started it got, and Diane will be here soon anyway with my newly re-upholstered dining room chairs!! I can’t wait. I know they are going to be so beautiful, even though no one , absolutely no one, goes into that dining room except for me and 8 cats…

Then I have to do a counseling session. I’m not sure what it’s about. I don’t think it’s grief counseling. I’ll just show up and find out.  After what I went through with myself this week, keeping myself alive, I know I am ready to help someone else with whatever comes.

Then, as a Christmas gift to myself, I bought a 90-minute tarot reading with a reader in London. A Skype reading. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been reading tarot cards since I was in my teens (which was in a different century, scarily enough!), but of course I am not so good at reading cards for myself, especially when I’ve been in such a stressed-out state of mind. My stepmom used to read the cards for me and she was really good at it. She did it professionally. But she’s been in a nursing home for 7 years, deteriorating pretty rapidly now from MS. So that is over. And that’s another one of those really sad things that is “transitioning” in my life.

But you have to just sort of keep on going, right? Pick up new pieces and see if you can fit them into the puzzle of what’s left of your world. I think he’s going to be a good reader, though. I’ve been following him on Instagram and watching his live videos there for a few months now. I’m really excited to see what comes up.

I think 2019 is going to be a good year. 2018 has been a really good year for me, but I still haven’t sold anything, beyond just making royalties off sales of my older books. I’ve had some great meetings in NYC and out in LA, and everything is still in process, which is good but is also kind of frustrating. So I’m hoping that 2019 sees some actual sales, and also sees me complete a couple more of my projects. Finish both of my new novels, and then complete that other one-woman show I’m writing for Sandra Caldwell. I’ve already got some producers interested in that show, so writing it would behoove a lot of us!

Plus all those micro-short films Peitor and I are writing and producing out in LA. They are just so funny, gang.  Those little vignettes (they last from 8 to 20 minutes, tops) make us both laugh so hard. It feels so good to laugh so hard. I can’t wait until we have scripts we can start shooting from and sending around to film festivals. They are just a real joy to create.

Peitor and I have been close friends for over 30 years now.  What an unexpected delight it’s been to suddenly start coming up with these scripts together that are – again – pretty much writing themselves. And they are so damn funny. In a very convoluted and unexpected way.  It seemed like everywhere we went together in LA, we wound up in a puddle of hysterics over some piece of dialogue or plot twist that would suddenly come to us.

And, actually, on that cosmic note — he just texted me a bunch of photos from Maui, where he’s on vacation with his husband this week.

So I’m gonna use this segue to get off of here and get back to the novel. Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting and making me part of your day. Take care and see ya, gang!A recent sunset on Maui… photo by Peitor Angell