Here’s a shot of Weenie yesterday, saying “Yippee ki yi yay!!”
Plus, right now, things are looking very promising re: the home loan. Still tons of paperwork to fill out, so I will keep you posted! But I might just be able to unpack all of my boxes one day soon and stay put in the Hinterlands for a long time!!
Here are Huckleberry, Weenie, and Lucie, saying: “Yay!! We are so excited, we can’t WAIT!!”
I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it: We couldn’t be more excited around here!
Plus, by some miracle, I still have enough money in the bank to get to NYC for a few days to see Sandra in her show. I have no clue how this happened, however, we won’t:
No! We will just keep moving happily ahead!! Keeping our eye on the prize.
Life’s good, gang.
Now I must take care of those final edits to the TV pilot. I hope you have a really great weekend planned, wherever you are in this world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with this (play it loud).
First and foremost: They should have a response to my recent revisions on the Untitled Cleveland Drama TV pilot by the end of this week!
Wouldn’t it be spectacular if there were no more revisions needed?? After all, eventually the rewrites must cease and the production must begin…
I first got the idea for this particular TV series when I was studying for the ministry at the Ohio Christian University (once known as Circleville Bible College) a small school literally built out in the middle of farmland:
I loved that school and I loved studying for the ministry (I was on the Dean’s List every single semester and graduated summa cum laude) and I loved becoming a minister, even while my views about Jesus are radical and heretical by evangelical standards. (I guess, by most people’s standards, come to think of it.)
Anyway, liberal and far-flung as I am psychologically, I still believe that Jesus himself gave me the idea for the premise of Cleveland’s Burning (now known more loftily as the Untitled Cleveland Drama). After my involvement with 11 various producers in LA came to nothing, I set aside the script for a couple of years, until suddenly another production company in LA asked to read it and now, here we are, on the verge of actually getting the pilot made.
Interestingly, though, one of their recent comments about my script was to tone down the Christian stuff. The pilot centers around a black family in Cleveland during the early 1960s, and most of the men in the family are ministers in various stages of their careers. So I wasn’t quite sure how “toning down the Christian stuff” would work…
But seriously, I wrote the show because it really irks me how, nowadays, people try to position DR. Martin Luther King in a strictly cultural and political sense, when in reality, he was more commonly known for a long time as the REVEREND Martin Luther King; he was a Baptist preacher, completely at odds with political groups like the NAACP.
King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail is the focal point of the pilot episode of my TV series and that letter (addressed to clergymen) is nothing but Christian doctrine — which happens to be all about love, not politics. Hence, it really just irks me that contemporary society wants to sort of erase the Christian influence on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-60s. (Sort of like how early Christians erased as much of Jesus’s Jewishness and of his family life as they possibly could.)
Ah. But I digress. Anyway.
So I developed an entire TV series about the Christian “evolvement” of the Civil Rights Movement so that I might be able to sort of bang you over the head with it…. (Kind of kidding here, but kind of not!) And even though the producers want to focus more on the one non-minister brother who goes off to Vietnam and comes back a Black Panther/Black Nationalist (because I guess violence is more palatable today than any Christian doctrines of love), I am still indescribably excited and still believe wholeheartedly that Jesus gave me the idea while I was studying for his ministry and that’s all that really matters to me.
In other news… I have decided to buy a new house instead of rent. By “new” I am referring, of course, to really old houses, but they will be new to me! I’m still going to remain out here in the Hinterlands, where I have been so happy for the first time in my life. I am waiting to hear how it will go, mortgage-wise.
I want one of those home loans from the US Department of Agriculture, which mandates that I must purchase a home in a rural area, which includes the nearby lake region, which is just fine with me! Me and the kitties might become nautical!! I sure hope so. And I really hope to be re-located by Christmas, if I can. We will see. I will indeed keep you posted. (I currently have my eye on 2 houses: one is an old farm house from 1910; the other an old lake house from 1930. Both have been updated to modern standards, although the lake house, more so.)
Meanwhile, I must get back to re-writes on the theatrical version of Tell My Bones. It is slow-going. Mostly because it is distracting, knowing that I have to move soon and having all that drudgery of moving again hanging over my head.
Okay, thanks for visiting!! Have a great Wednesday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. And if you’d like to hear a computer read the Letter from a Birmingham Jail (and, frankly, who wouldn’t want to hear a computer read the Letter from a Birmingham Jail??) well, here ya’ go!!
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!
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:
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!
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.
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…)
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.
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.)
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.)
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…
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!
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…
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!
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.
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!
Okay! A word to the wise is sufficient. Thanks for visiting, gang!! Have a terrific Monday, wherever it leads you. See ya!