Tag Archives: Cleveland’s burning

A Brand New Morning!

Yes, finally!

It’s been one week since I turned in the revisions on the Cleveland’s Burning script along with the updates to its show bible, and I am finally feeling like I’ve recouped some of the energy that it had taken out of me for the last 8 weeks.

For me, it’s easier to write a script from scratch, than to tailor revisions of it to someone else’s  suggestions.  I don’t mind doing re-writes at all; it’s just that you have to remain creative, remain true to your initial vision, and above all, be an all-out mind reader:  What do they really want?

All right! So it’s turned in, and we’ll see what the follow-up notes reveal. In the meantime, I have revisions to make on the next TV Pilot script, which is “movie-of-the-week”  length (MOW). It’s also connected to a series of mystery books I’ll be writing, all of it falling under the general banner of The Tea Cozy Murder Club. So I took a week off to just let my brain think about all of it and let all the ideas have free rein.

And while I did that, I spent some time getting off the grid. I’m lucky in that I am in that age range that falls at the very tail-end of “Baby Boomer but Not Yet Elderly”! And because of that, I am not someone who is addicted to being online. I don’t give much of a hoot about social media, I don’t like games or apps, and I don’t have a preference between watching something on TV or streaming it on my iPad. Etc., etc. I turn off my gadgets at night, including the power strip.  I turn off the WiFi, data, and the ringer on my iPhone. Stuff like that. I like peace.  When it comes to technology, I can pretty much take everything as well as leave everything.

However, one thing that does bother me, a lot, is how online tech stuff is leading increasingly to erosion of privacy and to control of information.

My colleagues in England frequently tell me about serious news developments in the UK that are not carried here. And I am beyond indescribably sick of most of the news in the US being about Trump, pro or con. It’s not actually “news.”  Anyone who remembers Cronkite or Huntley/Brinkley, etc., knows that none of this stuff is “news;” it’s subterfuge, sleight-of-hand, gathering of eyes for advertisers, etc. So I spent my leisure time browsing around france24, RT, Al Jazeera, ZeroHedge, AEI, places like that, then comparing what I found covered on those sites with what makes it onto the BBC, and then trying to find any (if not all) of that stuff on the main online news carriers here in the US.

Staggering — what most Americans are not reading about.

Oh, and before I forget! Another interesting “news” source in this country is the National Enquirer!! I’m so serious.

My ex-husband used to be good friends with a woman whose mother was the Editor-in-Chief of the National Enquirer. And because that magazine has been sued in the past for libel and lost millions and millions of dollars, it has to be exceedingly careful about the stories it prints (aka: “the people it pays to give them gossip”). Granted, sometimes it runs stories that use language like “it could have looked like this,” or “it might have been something like that.” Language that is, at best, asking  for a conclusion on the part of the reader! But if you read the NE, or at least the weekly headlines in the grocery store checkout line — consistently — over time , after a week, or a month, or a year, or maybe several years — whoop, there it is! All out in the open. Almost verbatim to some past NE headline.

Hmmm. What’s up with that?

Another thing I wanted to do, was stop spending so much time using Google. I still use it for blogging, for YouTube and an occasional Gmail reply, but overall, I switched to DuckDuckGo. Then I also spent some time on Yandex, to see what I could see. I searched for myself, and was instantly regaled with a pirate eBook site giving away a couple of my eBooks for free! Yay! (Hurry over there, by the way, because I have politely asked them to take my books down. They might even agree to do it so your window of opportunity to steal openly from me could soon disappear!!)

Anyway. It really is interesting what you can find out about your life, your community, your country, your world, by taking a look behind whatever it is they want you to look at!

What are you really looking at? Click to find out! (HINT: I LOVE LUCY!!)

Okay! A word to the wise is sufficient. Thanks for visiting, gang!! Have a terrific Monday, wherever it leads you. See ya!

 

A complete success

As loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall, not only is today St. Paddy’s Day, it’s also the birthday of all 8 of the feral cats who allow me to live with them. The “kittens” are 4 today, and the 3 parents are 5.

This morning they all got toys and a special breakfast. The toys were a huge hit and — judging by the 8 little faces buried in their food bowls until the bowls were empty — so was the breakfast!

Here’s the living room floor when playtime had subsided:

Daddycakes and Huckleberry after the birthday madness had subsided.

Okay. Cannot tarry here today. The re-writes on the Cleveland’s Burning script are complete, however, the show bible is requiring a lot more revisions than I had anticipated, so I gotta scoot.

Oh, and I’m not sure if this is an official announcement yet or not, but SomethingDark, out of Bristol, England, will be publishing my memoirs. We are getting closer and closer to finalizing that, so that is inching ever upward onto my plate. It’s exciting. I’ll keep you posted.

All righty, gang. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

 

Step aside, ma’am!

They said it couldn’t be done!! But, YES, I have finally completed the revisions on Cleveland’s Burning.

That awesome editor in NYC, Iris N. Schwartz, will edit it a final time tomorrow so that I can finally send it back to L.A.

And now I have to step aside and stop tinkering and focus on something/anything else because now when I read over the re-writes that I was happy with only moments ago, my knee-jerk reaction is to think to myself: This isn’t any good. This part here should change. And this part here. And what was I thinking, saying that part over there. I should start over…

That’s when the “Take a Break from Writing” police step in and say, “It’s almost St. Paddy’s Day, lassie. Stop now and have a nice cold one”:

Guinness!!

So I think I will!!

(PS: Ireland Forever!)

See ya!

 

Birthdays on the horizon!

I know, I know! You keep coming to visit the blog and I keep not being here!

That’s only because I am ALMOST, ALMOST, ALMOST done with the re-writes on the Cleveland’s Burning TV pilot script! Hallelujah!!

I did want to quickly mention here, though, that this coming Friday is not only St. Paddy’s Day,  but also the birthdays of all 8 (!!) of my little critters!

No, they’re not getting this:

Cat in the Hat birthday cake!

But they will be getting treats and special presents!! In anticipation of the great day, Weenie got very relaxed! Here he is with his mom, Huckleberry — and his sister, Doris, up there behind the pillow…

Weenie, getting ready to be 4 !!

As always, if you click on the photo, it gets larger.

Okay, gang. More on the birthday stuff later this week. I seriously gotta scoot! Thanks for visiting! See ya’ real soon!

 

New & Improved!

I know, I know — it practically looks the same around here, but for now, I’m keeping my “free” WordPress blog and this was the best I could do, for free.

The banner is a photo of “Parsons Ridge, Ohio” in the fall — a real place, but a fictional name! (It’s here in the hinterlands, about 12 minutes away from where I am currently typing!)

At the “About Me” link above, there’s a drop-down menu for my 3 most popular books. There are other books available, particularly in eBook formats, but I didn’t have time to track down all those links and images, which are all over the world now. (I opted to be lazy and focus on Amazon USA and Smashwords only.)

Unfortunately, this above-mentioned drop-down menu doesn’t seem to work for tablets or smart phones, even though I’ve been assured that the blog has been optimized for mobile viewing…Sorry.

Plus, I can’t get the thumbnail images of the book covers, over at the right, to attach to the appropriate pages where you can read about and/or buy the books! So, don’t click on those little thumbnails unless you enjoy wasting time! (They take you only to larger images of the covers.)

I was going to include a MailChimp sign-up for my monthly newsletter (I don’t have  a monthly newsletter, but eventually will, I suppose), but the free blog only allows me to make it a “pop-up” sign-up, which I find indescribably annoying– and I know you would, too! So the MailChimp sign-up for my non-existent monthly newsletter has been disabled, indefinitely.

All right, gang! I gotta get back to the Cleveland’s Burning script while the coffee is still piping hot. Have a terrific Saturday, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are! Thanks for visiting. See ya!

(Another ditty to help build anticipation for the great Guinness Day! Or, St. Paddy’s Day, that is! See ya!)

So, Whaddaya givin’ up for Lent?

I always give up the same thing: snacks and desserts. (I used to give up alcohol, too, however, I don’t really drink anymore, so it wouldn’t be much to give up.)  But I also add things during Lent. By that, I mean, I always study some new take on the life of Christ that I haven’t studied before.

This year, I’m reading Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. It is a great companion piece to the digital course I took recently, Jesus and His Jewish Influences, taught by Professor Jodi Magness, PhD., of the University of Pennsylvania.

After that, I’ll be reading Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity, by James Tabor — possibly my most favorite author when it comes to anything about Jesus Christ. He’s an historian — a Professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity at the University of North Carolina Charlotte –not a theologian, so his take on Christianity and/or the Bible is always extremely interesting, thought-provoking, and refreshing.

When I first began studying to become a minister, I was  a fan of Pauline Christianity, but by the time I graduated and was ordained, I wasn’t anymore. In fact, I can barely tolerate anything having to do with Paul the Apostle now.  (In fact, the one-man play I’m writing about Caiaphas — In the Days of the Flesh –and his take on the life & times of Jesus is my humble way of trying to undo the influence of the teachings of Paul in about 64 minutes a night, and twice on Wednesdays & Sundays!) (Only partially kidding, gang…)

Anyway. So, Happy Ash Wednesday.

And no, I hadn’t forgotten about my humble blog! In the last week, I’ve taken two, YES, 2 !!, writing/publishing/marketing webinars, and that’s not counting the time I’ve spent taking an ongoing online  history course on the US Constitution and the continuing online course in Biblical Hebrew,  as well as being up to my eyeballs in the never-ending re-writes of the Untitled Cleveland Drama (once known fondly as Cleveland’s Burning).

All that online stuff, and simply being on the computer stuff,  has made it just about impossible to find a free moment inside my wee bonny brain to update my blog until today!

Sorry I left you hanging re: the table  read in Burbank last week, of my TV script, The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge! It went GREAT!! And the feedback and suggestions I received from the actors was really, really helpful and insightful.

It is so frustrating to still have revisions to do on the Cleveland Drama because now all I want to do is tackle the re-writes of the Tea Cozy Murder Club script.  AAaaaarrrrgh! But onward. I am getting there…

And life’s good! I really love living out here in the hinterlands. So peaceful. So beautiful. So quiet.  So affordable. Everything not only could be worse, but, indeed, has been worse — much, much, much worse — more times than I care to remember.  Each morning, I wake-up and count my blessings that I’ve made it out here to the hinterlands in one piece.

All righty!! You know what Lent really  means, gang? It means that St. Paddy’s Day is just around the corner!! Yay! So I leave you with this tidbit of joyful anticipation of that great day. Thanks for visiting, gang! See ya’ real soon!

 

Another touching moment in the hinterlands

I am awestruck anew!

Now that the weather is inching ever Spring-ward, I take a walk in that nearby park almost every day. Today it felt seriously spring-like, once the dense FOG lifted, that is, and I felt like I wanted to spend all morning in the park.  [Do not confuse my early Spring Fever with any desire whatsoever to flee from my freakin’ DESK — Ed.] (ha ha)

Anyway. It was really lovely out there, and I know that as soon as the weather gets really nice, the park is going to get crowded with people. So I’m trying to get as much of that alone-time with nature as I can right now.

To prolong this morning’s walk, I decided to walk up the big hill in the park and go take a close-up look at the Vietnam War memorial at the top of it. (Here is a photo of it that I found online. You need to click on it to see it better.)

Vietnam War Memorial
Vietnam War Memorial

If you are not from a place like Ohio, then the shape of the war memorial might prove elusive to you. However, it is in the shape of a giant stone arrowhead. This whole town is nothing but ancient Indian burial mounds, and Native Indian artifacts, etc. , not to mention Native Indian ancestry among its population so an arrowhead makes reasonable sense. (My own Native American ancestry is, oddly enough, from Montana — a long, long way from here.)

So I walked to the top of the ever-upward-sloping hill and, of course, the view was really lovely from up there. But what really took my breath away was when I discovered that the war memorial had been built to honor 3 soldiers who had died in Vietnam. Three.

I’m so used to war memorials that honor many dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of soldiers, that to find one dedicated to 3 took my breath away. 2 had been Marines and one had been in the Army.

To give you some perspective on that number: about 3,400 soldiers from Ohio died in Vietnam.

This particular war memorial has not only the stone statue, but also has permanent floodlights on it, 2 park benches, 3 flags, and it’s landscaped with paving stones and various shrubbery. It is also meticulously maintained without a single bit of litter anywhere.

That, to me, speaks volumes about how much a town can grieve for the lost lives of 3 young soldiers, nearly 50 years ago, in what became a really unpopular war.

As I was making my way, teary-eyed, down the hill, it occurred to me that every single park bench and every tree in the park, except for the various copses scattered around the edges,  was put there or planted in memoriam of someone beloved who had died. Each park bench has a memorial plaque, and every tree has a plaque describing what kind of tree it is, along with who donated it and to whose memory it was planted. The tree plaques date from the mid-1980s up to a few months ago.  In fact, one Middle School class, back in 1998 planted a tree to the memory of an infant boy named Steven who lived only 7 days.  The tree is mature and strong now and blossoms every spring… No mention of who the parents of the baby were. But what a tribute from the young teenagers — all of them grown now — of such a small town.

I am much more accustomed to living in big cities — and sometimes massively huge cities — where this kind of space just isn’t available.  Most memorials are put in place by rich people, otherwise, it’s just done out at the cemeteries.

I guess this is one of the reasons why this particular park overwhelms me with such good feelings every time I walk in it. And in the summer will come the local baseball games, the volleyball games, the cookouts, and the fireworks on the 4th of July.

Who knows if I will still be living here then, but if I am, I’m looking forward to it.

Okay. Back at it around here, gang.  Plenty of re-writes await. Have a great Monday, wherever you are and whatever you’re up to! Thanks for visiting. See ya!

c - Emily Cooper
c – Emily Cooper