Tag Archives: Cleveland’s burning

Done & Done! Yippee Ki Yi Yay!

Saturday, I completed the revisions on my Untitled Cleveland Drama TV pilot; Sunday I took one last pass at it; and then Sunday night I saved it as a PDF file and hit ‘SEND.’ Yay!

Done.

I only missed my (self-imposed) deadline by 2 days. And, since weekends don’t count as business days, per se, it was only really one day late!

My only lament is that I have to change the title, and I really actually like the title (Cleveland’s Burning) because it really fits the tone of Cleveland in the 1960s (wherein I spent my wee bonny girlhood!). But I’ll let the gods that be try to come up with a more marketable title.

[Wouldn’t it be great if they wound up filming it in Cleveland?? Then I wouldn’t have to move out of state again. But it would be cool if it filmed in NYC, because if I have to move out of state, I’d rather move back to NY than out to LA.  And the many cats concur.  But we shall see, right, gang??]

[I hope they don’t try to film this in Canada! Because try as they might to find places in Canada that look and feel like various places in the USA, they’re never going to find a place that feels like Cleveland anywhere north of the Great Lakes…]

On that happy note…

Delightful as it would be to take a day off before the summer is over

I now have to leap into the revisions of the theatrical version of my Tell My Bones TV script in order to have it ready for Sandra when I see her in NYC in 4 weeks.

But one of these days, I’m going to have the best summer ever. You mark my words!! (Honestly, though, I did have the best summer ever, right here in the Hinterlands. I am so sad that I have to move, but I know for certain I will find the best possible place to call home.)

Okay! Let me get crackin’ on the next script here, because as soon as the writing is over for the day, this awaits me:

Newcastle Brown Ale!

And I can’t wait!! All right. Thanks for visiting, gang! Have a super-duper Tuesday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. See ya!

Requiem for a Comet

Gang, I simply cannot believe that Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 is being forced to close Labor Day weekend.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog know just how excited I’ve been about getting into NYC to see this show. I had not even had time to post here yet that I had indeed managed to get a ticket for the Sept. 19th show (with much help from my ex-husband, Wayne Lewis) when I go briefly to NYC for Sandra’s opening in Charm, at the MCC Theater.

I had my prized ticket all of 24 hours before they announced that the show would indeed close.

I will not go into why the show has to close. If you are not already aware of everything that coalesced to bring this sudden ending to an unbelievable production, you can google it.

So sad. So disheartening.

The thing about theater, especially the amazing production of a Broadway show — once it closes there is simply no recapturing it. It’s not like a movie, or a TV show or anything you can stream forever.

All right.

If you are a writer, or an artist of any kind, you should head over to the Copyright Alliance website, where I answer 5 questions about the importance of copyrights and my long, illustrious writing career! I did the Q&A several months ago, so I don’t really remember what I said, but I’m guessing it was super lofty!

Seriously, though, if you are a creator, you need to understand the importance of protecting your copyrights, so check it out.

I am almost done with the rewrites of my Untitled Cleveland Drama TV Pilot. I alerted the head of production in L.A. that I should have the new draft to him by the end of this week! (I’m not sure if I’m crazy or not, but I feel pretty sure that I can actually achieve what I’ve promised. By Friday, we’ll all know for certain.)

And did you see that full moon last night??!! Wasn’t it spectacular? I was participating in a world-wide guided meditation last night (online), because there was an auspicious alignment of the star Sirius, the Orion constellation, and the forming of a Lion’s Gate over the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, along with the full moon and a lunar eclipse. It was quite an amazing meditation. (You can google 888 Lion’s Gate Meditation for all the various events that went on and what it meant.)

I have to say, it really was an incredibly powerful meditation for me. Or should I say, I was very deeply into it? And when the meditation was coming to a close, what to my wondering ears should appear, but the loudest train whistle ever. It felt like the train was getting ready to pass through my bedroom! Loyal readers of this lofty blog know how much I love trains and the sound of train whistles. So I took this as a sign that the Universe was chiming in on that amazing meditation.

My cats, however…. Man.  At the absolute very moment the meditation was beginning, they got into a truly horrific cat fight. They have never done that before. It was not only alarming, but they brought it right into my bedroom, under the bed I was beginning the meditation on. It was really too weird. But eventually they settled down.

On other somewhat disturbing fronts… Turns out, I have to move again. This house I’m renting is going up for sale and I cannot afford to buy it. (That is putting it really, really mildly!) I’m going to stay here in the Hinterlands, though, because I love it here!  I have been so happy, for the first time in my life. I mean, really, really peacefully happy. (Except of course for Bunny dying the moment I got here…)

Bunny by Val in Brooklyn

I’m trying to look on the upcoming move as an incredible new adventure. Finally, I will be able to settle down and unpack all the boxes that contain 95% of my life…

Okay. Gotta scoot. I have a ton of re-writes to do around here today!! (Although, I must add that I am really, really happy with how it is all turning out.)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are. Let’s close with this, okay, gang?  Watch it — it only lasts about 1 minute. You will be amazed that this spectacular show is actually closing, in less than 1 year on Broadway and after 12 Tony nominations. Okay. Thanks for visiting. See ya.

Tiny Tidbits and Odds & Sods

Happy Friday, gang! Hope you’re planning to make it a terrific weekend, wherever you are.

I just wanted to give you some quick updates before I dive deep into TV pilot re-writes around here.

The first update is on the Shoshin Yoga classes I mentioned in my previous post. Yes, the  Kaiut Yoga poses that will kill you. The update is that I have survived three 75-minute sessions, interspersed with 1 of my usual, old-fashioned yoga sessions, and I CANNOT BELIEVE the difference it has made in my joints. Already!

This type of yoga is for any level, any age participant, because it is all done on the floor, on a yoga mat. No upright, complicated balance poses. If you are having joint stiffness, or recovering from a surgery or a sports injury thingy, then you might seriously want to try this kind of yoga.

I use online classes and do them in my living room. You have to pay by the month, but they are not expensive. Just a head’s up, in case you are suffering. It has made a world of difference for me and, as I said, results have happened quickly.

Another update: Once again, thank you to all of you who have been downloading my free eBooks at Smashwords this month. The special promotion ends in 4 days. After that, you will have to resort to either buying my eBooks (hence, helping me pay for my life-saving yoga classes!!), or searching out illegal downloads somewhere on the Internet (try Russia first; it will save you time!). (However, avoid any sites offering free downloads of a very old short story of mine, titled The Urge Towards Jo, as this is generally an FBI sting site for pedophiles. I kid you not. Steer clear, unless one of your lifelong goals is to be publicly arrested for being a pedophile.)

Anyway.

Here is a link to my blog page that has all the free downloading info. And thanks again, gang. I think I had more downloads during this year’s promotion than any in the recent years.

Another (EXCITING) update! Although, this one is a little iffy because it involves acting quickly… There is a promising chance that I will get to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 when I go to see Sandra’s new play in New York City in mid-September.  A former husband/current friend-and-namesake, Wayne Lewis, and I are trying to get a couple of tickets for the Sept. 19th show.  There are, like, 4 (expensive) tickets left. I’ll keep you posted. (Meanwhile, if you scroll to the bottom of this blog post, you can hear that terrific, Tony-nominated, 7-minute song from the show, entitled: Letters.)

Okay. I think that’s it for the updates! Gotta get my fingers tippy-tapping on the re-writes of the Untitled Cleveland Drama!!

Thanks for visiting, gang! Be like me: Eat plenty of chocolate and have a terrific Friday! See ya!

Chocolate makes life better! It’s a proven fact.

Birthday looming large on the horizon!

Yes, that’s right! Tomorrow is my birthday!! 57 years young and on we go to the best years ever.

I know it’s sort of a non sequitur, but here are a few of my cats on the bed last night:

Clockwise from top left: Lucie, Huckleberry (laying flat), Weenie, Daddycakes, Tommy, and Doris!

As always, click to enlarge the image and to see how incredibly cute they are.

Well, patience has finally paid off and it became indisputably obvious that the script re-writes I needed to tackle first, were for the TV pilot (Cleveland’s Burning, aka Untitled Cleveland Drama) (it’ll be so exciting, won’t it gang, when you turn on your TV sets one day to watch the hit show, Untitled Cleveland Drama??!!).  Anyway, the revisions I needed to make arrived Wednesday night, while I was dreaming. I awoke to find all the ideas I needed, fresh in my brain. I had to run to the desk and scribble all the ideas down on paper before I forgot them.

So exciting when that happens! Getting the ideas — that’s more than half of the work right there.

I’m hoping I can get the revisions done within a couple of weeks, and still have plenty of time to tackle the Tell My Bones theater project and have it completed by mid-late September. Life is good, gang. Life is good!

On that happy note, thanks for visiting. Enjoy my birthday tomorrow in whatever way amuses you most. I leave you with another gorgeous gem from South Pacific, in honor of how young I’m getting every single lovely moment.

Okay, see ya!

Bliss & Miracles Abound in the Hinterlands

The last several days, I put all writing on hold and have been concentrating solely on some Bentinho Massaro  lessons (in the Trinfinity Academy), in order to get a better grip on my reality around here, as 2 major writing projects bottleneck each other in my brain.

It’s been a wonderful break. I wish I was one of those people who could follow Bentinho around and go on all his retreats. My life would be so different. However, I’m not sure that’s exactly the kind of “different life” I want… At least not yet.

Anyway.

Last evening was lovely. After a couple days of torrential downpours and high humidity, it was nice to sit out on my back patio again and watch the sun go down on the peace & quiet of the Hinterlands.

At dusk, when the fireflies were just emerging (around 8:45 PM), I saw a mommy raccoon and 5 (!!) youngsters hurrying across my neighbors backyard and up their pine tree. It was awesome, how many there were.

The other day, over in the park — I was the only person there and a mother deer and 5 young fawns appeared at the edge of the woods. Yes, 5.

This is astounding to me. 5 fawns; 5 raccoon cubs. To me, it shows that life thrives here in the Hinterlands.

I love raccoons, however, back at the old house, they made me nuts. I had a split-level house, which meant I had 2 roofs. One at the very top of the house, naturally, and one that extended over the first level, which was directly outside the bedroom windows on the 2nd story.

This lower-level roof was the delight of raccoons all over the neighborhood. Not only would they race around and play on this roof at all hours of the night, they would tear the heck out of my window screens, threatening to bounce directly into any/all of the bedrooms at any moment. It also gave them easier access to my main roof, in which they were fond of tearing gaping holes and then lowering themselves into my attic, which was a walk-up and right next to my bedroom. The door to the attic was in my bedroom. It was essentially a closet door, with no lock of any kind. The raccoons would race around and play in there, tearing up & down the attic stairs and frequently banging right into the attic door, waking me from a sound sleep and scaring the beejeebers out of me.

I definitely do not miss that.

I prefer watching them from a distance now, as they scurry happily up a tree.

All right. On that blissful note, I have to make some progress here with these scripts (the re-writes of the Untitled Cleveland TV pilot, once known as “Cleveland’s Burning,” and the One Act play version of Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story.) If my mind explodes from all this dual-thinking-creating, I will let you know… I am hoping that by the end of the summer, my life is going to be in a totally different, better, perhaps more-sorted-out place.

In the meantime, as Bentinho says, “Everything already exists, right here, right now,” which means that somewhere within reality exist my finished, re-written scripts and a very contented me. I’m off to go find them!

Thanks for visiting, gang.  See ya!!

PS: To all of you who are downloading my free Ebooks at Smashwords this month, THANK YOU!! (See post below from July 3rd.)

Life around here for the next couple months!

A brief mid-afternoon conference call with the production company in Los Angeles yesterday revealed that more re-writes than I thought are needed on the Untitled Cleveland Drama (once fondly known as Cleveland’s Burning).

This is actually good news, gang. The brief phone chat showed me just how high they are aiming with this TV pilot (and eventual series). A lot is riding on this single opening episode.  They nonchalantly said, “Just take one more pass at it and then we’ll be ready.” (Their confidence in me is staggering.)

The truly great thing about this is that their suggestions are targeted and specific, as to the acts as well as the characters, so half my job is actually done. I know I can make the changes they need and the whole thing is really, really exciting…

However…

Loyal readers of this lofty blog will undoubtedly note that I also need to complete the rewrites on my theatrical version of Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story by the end of the summer, because this is when Sandra Caldwell (the actress I write with/for in NYC) will be handing out the script, along with the other play we collaborated on, The Guide to Being Fabulous, to potential directors, producers, casting agents, etc.

To quote Sandra’s text to me: “It’s about to be off the chain!” (followed by various and sundry far-flung emojis.) Off the chain, indeed.

Yes, life is exceptionally good right now, gang, but the coming summer months, here in the Hinterlands, are going to be chock-full of coffee (!!), writing, juggling my writing hours and general work, and then, hopefully, a few moments spent staring out at the evening, as the fireflies give way to the stars (with or without the occasional pint of British ale!).

Okay, gang. I hope things are going just as splendidly wherever you are and with whatever projects you’re working on! I’m off to the kitchen for another cup of coffee now, even as I type!

Thanks for visiting, and I leave you with this little ditty to keep your spirits high and your blood pumping!! (PS: I love playing this right when I get out of bed in the morning, singing and clapping along; it makes my cats zoom around the house like crazy! Too funny!) All righty, see ya!

Taking Time Out from My Busy Day to Write!

Ah, yes, this is me in my latest selfie! I won’t even try to explain how I managed to take this picture of myself without appearing to be holding my phone in any way…

Anyway!

Happy, happy Tuesday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!!

Work on my one-act play version of Tell My Bones, the play I’m writing about the Kentucky-based  painter Helen LaFrance for the NYC-based actress, Sandra Caldwell, continues down its inspiring and happy path!

So, of course, pretty much the very moment I knew I had this 2-month deadline in which to write & complete the play, I finally got the feedback from the production company in Los Angeles regarding my revisions to my TV Pilot/series proposal (once called Cleveland’s Burning, now called the more memorable and illustrative, Untitled Cleveland Drama).

The feedback was truly terrific, gang! I was really just so thrilled. I still need to tweak the ending a bit, to make it more explosive, dramatic, etc. Nothing that involves too much labor — however, I do have to suddenly stop in midstream and switch gears completely. But that is A-Okay with me. I simply couldn’t be happier right now.

On another great note, one of my former writing students contacted me yesterday to tell me that a short-short story of his was selected for an upcoming (and first) short story collection for the James Patterson Masterclass! Wow! I am so crazy-happy for him.

It is so gratifying for me to see a former student stick with it. So many would-be writers who have plenty of skill and talent get bogged down in jobs, family, paying bills, rejection letters, etc., etc. Especially when they’re not living in key publishing/media cities like NYC, LA,  or San Francisco.  So I am just pleased as punch by his good news.

All righty, gang! The trees, the sky, the birds, the endless green fields, the train whistles early in the morning, the fireflies and the stars at night, and the occasional pints of British ale out on the back patio here in the Hinterlands continue to delight me! Things are going so good, gang. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

I leave you with something I sing all the time now. Hope it inspires you to make the most of everything (and I mean everything!).  Sing it loud and sing it proud! Thanks for visiting, gang! See ya!