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:
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.
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”:
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:
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…
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!
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!)
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.
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!
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.)
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!
Finally, last night — just mere moments before the airing of the newest episode of Riverdale on the CW — I finished my revisions of Act One of Cleveland’s Burning.
I think I’m happy with it, but I’ll know better once I go over it again here this morning. Last night, however, I was extremely happy with it.
As an aside, I want to say that I really loved how, at least for now, they’ve done away with the pesky problem of pedophilia in Riverdale[Spoiler Aert!!] by simply forcing Miss Grundy to leave town… I guess we’ll see how that pans out. (And, you know, back in the day when I was in high school, they never asked heterosexual teachers to leave town; they basically just told the teenagers who were sleeping with their teachers to “knock it off.” Ah, the 70s! Gotta love ’em!) (If you were a gay teacher, however, your life was essentially over and they would have put you on the front page of the newspaper.)
Anyway. Back to the topic of re-writes. It is a strange phenomenon, and one I go through with every single project I write — I know exactly what I want to say, yet getting it onto the page can take, literally, forever. At first, I go merrily along, typing, typing… And then suddenly, I hit an impasse and wonder how on earth to get words onto the page. I don’t know why that happens, but it always does. It’s not as if I suddenly lose my vocabulary, or my sense of how grammar is structured. I can see what the characters are doing. Yet I just can’t get the words out!
It makes me INSANE.
However, I can look at all my completed, published projects (of which I have many), and see the proof there that the condition is always temporary, so I stick with it, grueling as it is.
What tripped me up yesterday was having my character go into a diner and order a cup of coffee at the counter. It felt wrong. At first, I thought it was the counter attendant’s age — so I changed him from a teenager to a 50-year-old. Then I had my character pay for the coffee with a dime. (In 1963, a cup of coffee cost a dime.) Then I had him leave a tip. Then I deleted the tip because it was taking up precious screen time. But then the neighbor girl puts a nickel in the jukebox! Suddenly all this screen time is being “spent,” as it were, on dimes and nickels. It was really just ridiculous. So I stopped everything and walked away. I flopped down on the bed and read several chapters of Peril At End House, c -1932 by Agatha Christie and all was right with the world again.
So back to the desk I went and I realized that the character is simply at the counter drinking a cup of coffee! For heaven’s sake, just get rid of the counter attendant altogether, along with all the dimes and nickels. And finally, the rest of the scenes came and the act was over! Commercial break time!! Yay.
And last night was a great feeling — to finally finish Act One.
Act One in a one-hour TV drama is the longest chunk. Everything else after this gets shorter and shorter, so I really do feel a great sense of relief. Especially since, this coming Tuesday, a mere 5 days away, the notes for Tea Cozy Murder Club will be coming my way… And the final, final, FINAL edits for the one-woman musical I’m working on with Sandra Caldwell in New York are sitting atop my desk, awaiting my attention…
It’s no wonder I wake-up tired.
Okay!! Have a happy Friday, gang, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing! And, as always, thanks for visiting! See ya!