Tag Archives: Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

What Is It About Brides?!

I look good in the dress, you know.

I wear the wedding gown really well. But the moment it goes into storage…

Wow. I just don’t know what it is.

I’m bringing this up because yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Tom Petty’s marriage to Dana York and she posted video footage of their wedding on Instagram and those two looked happier than you can possibly imagine. (Second marriages for both of them.)

I was happier on my first wedding day than I was on my second, but that’s still not saying a whole bunch. (I guess it says that I can be persuaded to do just about anything – twice.)

I awoke at 3:46am today – yes, awash in those wonderful waves of Eros, yet again. But then the first thing I thought of was that video of Tom & Dana’s wedding and of how happy they were. And I began wondering what (if anything) was the matter with me.

I have just never been the kind of gal who thought much about the idea of getting married.  Partly because I was born in that part of the 20th Century where men still owned everything imaginable, and I thought of marriage as ownership. And I have never wanted to be owned. The thought of being an ornament on someone’s arm has always horrified me.

The other part was of course my sexuality. Even as a young teenager (when I started getting raped by guys from the outside world and then men from inside my loving home), I could already tell that my sexuality was more than most people could really deal with.

At least, in Ohio.

When I moved to NYC everything changed. It was so great, so liberating, in the truest sense of the word.  Because  NYC in the 1980s – well, my sexuality fit right in.  Everyone was off the charts. I think Manhattan was not only the casual sex capital of the world at that point, but also the extreme casual sex capital of the world.

Then, of course, most of the people I knew got AIDS and died. I was certainly spared in that regard, but it was just really stupid of me to think that I could squeeze myself down into something that could fit into a marriage.

I always wanted to have kids. Even back as a very little girl, I just assumed I was going to have a lot of children. I really, really wanted children. But I never really wanted to get married.

Instead, I got married twice and had no children.

The only marriage that ever truly appealed to me was the marriage between E.B. White and his wife, Katharine Sergeant Angell White.

E.B. White is probably my favorite essayist of all time. He also wrote children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but his essays are literary gems that struck chords really deep in me and have stayed with me forever. (“Once More to the Lake” is probably everybody’s heartbreaking favorite, but I also really love his essay “Goodbye to 48th Street,” among many others.)

His wife was a legendary fiction editor for The New Yorker when that magazine was in its literary golden age.  They met, fell in love, she left her husband, they got married, moved to Maine and bought a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. And then  seem to have done nothing but amazing things for each other’s literary lives.

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He was, of course, neurotic, and she was often the rudder keeping him pointed in the right direction.  But the part I always loved most about their marriage was that, in their house, they had offices across the hall from each other.  They’d each go into their offices in the morning, write all day, and then both emerge at 5 o’clock, have one martini and a cigarette, talk about what they’d written (or angst-ed over) and then have dinner together and go to bed. (Sadly, I don’t know what they did in bed, besides sleep, otherwise I would of course regale you with all those details here.)

To me, that has stuck with me as the idea of the most perfect (as well as unattainable) marriage.

Another “relationship” that has always really appealed to me was Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett’s. But it seems to have involved tons more booze & cigarettes and a lot of shouting.  I’m not big on the shouting stuff.  And they did not get married, but stayed together for 30 years and wrote various masterpieces. And that appeals to me enormously.

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I guess you can see that I am all about the writing.

It’s not that I am not all about love, or not into love, or a disbeliever in love. Love is everything to me. But love is woven in there inextricably with my writing. I don’t know why I can’t separate it. And I guess it does make me very self-involved, although I don’t feel like I am. I feel like my love is enormous and spills over into everything, benefiting everyone – and yet, more importantly, love helps me write better. And that means everything to me and so I guess it makes me self-involved.

But it’s still all about love.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt painfully aware that I am totally, 100%, thoroughly in love with my muse. He has changed my life – and so quickly, so unexpectedly. Came into my life on all cylinders, blasted open my writing and turned it completely around.

It’s not that he is my reason for being – the kind of thing that maybe people feel when they are wearing those beautiful clothes and having weddings; but he gives me clarity on my reason for being, which has wound up being the most amazing gift I could have ever hoped to receive.

Clarity on my reason for being.

I don’t know that I would have ever realized just how much I needed that if it hadn’t happened of its own accord.

You know, I watched that short video footage of Tom & Dana’s wedding on Instagram yesterday, over & over & over. And I was simply astounded by how happy they were. (Yes, I pondered it!)  And it wasn’t any kind of bullshit – those two were incredibly happy. You could just see it.  And I felt a little bit like a failure because I can only seem to feel that happy when I’m alone, finding the most perfect word.

So I don’t understand myself and my “alone-ness” any better than I ever did, but I still feel happier than I’ve ever been and just so blessed to have the most amazing muse.

It’s probably best to just not think about it too much. Because I think it’s going to end up being something good for the whole world; I really do.

Okay. I’ve got lunch today with the director of Tell My Bones at 12:30. So I’m gonna scoot now and try to get some writing done before that. I think today is going to be just another stunning day out there. I’m so looking forward to it.

I hope your Tuesday is just as splendid, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with this, the song Tom Petty wrote for Dana, long before they were married, back when he was heading towards some real dark times, but (he has said repeatedly in interviews) he was already in love with her & waiting. Okay! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys, See ya.

 

I dreamed you
I saw your face
Cut my lifeline
Went floating through space
I saw an angel
I saw my fate
I can only thank God it was not too late

Over mountains
I floated away
‘Cross an ocean
I dreamed her name
I followed an angel
Down through the gates
I can only thank God it was not too late

Sing a little song of
Loneliness
Sing one to make me smile
Another round for everyone
I’m here for a little while

Now I’m walking
This street on my own
But she’s with me
Everywhere I go
Yeah, I found an angel
I found my place
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late

c-1995 Tom Petty

Excerpt from “Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse”

Here’s a new excerpt from one of my books-in-progress, Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.  (It amounts to approx. 10 pages) As always, gang, this includes sexually graphic material that will be inappropriate and perhaps offensive to some readers, so please be forewarned. Thanks!

***********************************

Plenty Of Rope

IN THOSE DAYS, THE DAYS BEFORE YOU, those days of lesser men long ago, I always had to take a lover on the side. Always. And almost always a woman. Because none but other women could keep up with my insatiable longings.

I was 35, for god’s sake. It was no longer just a question of transcending the scope of my erotic mind; it was hormones peaking. Plain and simple. Hormones at the gallop, trampling that open range in search of whatever else was out there and physical. It had become biological now. The human drive to create life for hour upon hour, out on that magnificent erotic plateau.

It had become a question of stamina. Who can go as long as I can while under this spell of galloping hormones? Whose pumping blood; whose beating heart and breathing lungs; whose bones and solid muscle can keep up with my need?

Who out there needs what I need for as long as I need it when I am 35?

Surely not a husband, who goes in and out of my days, barely glancing at me; he desires only to be left alone; to drink vodka out on the street and to passively admire the passing cleavage of undemanding women who are not his wife. He desires to pass his hours in drunken bliss and to not be trampled.

A lover is the one who sparks instead; she answers that clarion call.

The call to stamina. To unfiltered cigarettes. To a bottle of St. Estephe or St. Emilion. The call of the unholy tryst in the unbridled hours of a free afternoon.

✽✽✽

The phone conversations were brief but sweaty – in the days when telephones were still connected to walls. When every breathless expression of a sordid desire might possibly be overheard by people who trusted other people not to be indiscreet.

Keep it short. Keep it quiet.

When can you meet? Where should we go this time? Which shoes should I bring? Can you get to a hardware store and buy a decent amount of good rope?

In those days before you, the galloping hormones craved the lasso.

Rein me in, they cried in chorus. Force me to be still. To endure your will over the unceasing call of my own.

It was the only rest I could get back then: Rope.

Please, please tie me up with some good quality rope.

Now have mercy, baby.

Stick something in.

✽✽✽

Take my advice, dear, and don’t be deceived by girls. They are ruthless and cunning, hatching the eggs of Eros all their lives. They are fearless, wily creatures who lurk in the depths of women. French wine and cheap American cigarettes usually call them out.

Try it.

Like gangbusters, they will come. Ravening wolves they are, those girls.  Their kisses are not sweet – they taste like tobacco and complex wine.

Kissing the girls who lurk inside of women is asking for trouble. They come out to play with fully-formed vulvas that are swollen with lust. Dripping pussies, overheating, begging for all-comers to come on already. Stick something in.

That’s how an afternoon with a tied-up girl starts out – it starts with that kind of kiss when only her wrists are tied together in front of her and then it leads to that deafening sound –

oh my god, it says.

A breathless sound but overpowering nonetheless, as two fingers finally go up her soaking hole.

Tied as I am, my whole world becomes those two probing fingers.

I cannot push my hole open wide enough for them. They are strong fingers, going deep; feeling around in there as I’m bearing down. She’s very thorough. It feels so good.

“Turn over,” she says.

“I can’t,” I say. “You have to untie my hands.” But I don’t really want to be untied. I just want to lay there naked, flat on my back, with my knees to my tits, and her fingers stuck up me, working in my hole.

“No,” she says. “I wanna see you try. Turn over.”

So I try. I try turning over for her with my hands tied. It is a graceless feat, but I accomplish it. I do it because of her. She urges me on. Her fingers are still up in there, feeling around, feeling so good it’s making my eyes roll up in my head.

But now I’m face-down in the bed pillows, my tied hands are under me – my knees are, too. I’m stuck there, at her mercy, displayed – like some really pretty dog in heat that needs to be mounted in so many unflattering ways. And still I’m wondering how, in this submissive and conquered position, I’m ever going to get another glass of wine.

That’s my hedonism speaking – no, exploding. My hedonism shouts from every pore. It needs wine. It needs nicotine. It needs a pussy that is perilously stretched until it’s stuffed to bursting with anything that wants to get up in there. And it needs something rubbing against my clit. It needs something substantial in my ass – something it can really feel; something that stays up in there and doesn’t just pop back out. It needs to be filled; it needs to stay filled.  It needs all things. I am 35.

It’s the reason I need so much  rope.

✽✽✽

Who am I? I am the girl full of stories. Dirty stories, naughty stories, frightening and challenging stories. I am going to beg you to look at yourself in my stories because I am so tired of this damn mirror.

✽✽✽

We are in a motel. A very, very cheap one off the Cross Bronx Expressway. Not because it’s all we can afford, but because we are being tacky. We are cheaters who are only making it worse and wallowing in the depths of our crumbling vows.

Our shattered vows. Our vows crushed beneath the grimy tires of passing 18-wheelers, going nowhere and getting there fast.

Both of our marriages have an expiration date that is steadily coming towards us on a high wind, but we are oblivious to anything but our pussies. Our slick, soaking, hormone-engorged pussies. No one on planet Earth is hornier than we are, 24/7. Yes, we are both 35. I am married to a man; she is married to a woman. Soon enough, everyone is gonna get wise.

But for now, we light our cigarettes from the same Zippo lighter. We sit naked on the bed and smoke in our cheap motel room that still allows smoking; that allows free bad porn on its Mafia-owned TV circuit. We drink our expensive red wine without savoring it in any way. We have come only for our pussies; to try to get them to calm the fuck down.

In Health class, when you’re still in school – trusting, squirming, not really paying attention – they tell you that girls reach their sexual peaks in their mid-thirties. But in no way do they warn you what that will look like, or how it will feel, or what it truly means.

They don’t tell you to marry someone who can survive that with you or you will tear your marriage to pieces.

They don’t say: “On second thought, girls, just don’t get married until you’re maybe about 42. Oh heck, just don’t get married at all.”

They conceal it – what it will feel like to be a tiny, squiggling, ill-informed girl stuffed inside the bones of a 35-year-old, sex-crazed bisexual woman.

Don’t go gentle into that good night, they’ll whisper instead. But you gotta really listen in order to hear them. They’re telling you to wear some killer high-heels. That they’ll make your already long legs look great. That it’ll be worth the pain. You’ll look so good in the mirror when you’re coming all over some other girl’s face.

Or she’s coming all over yours.

Girls are messy, messy, messy. Their bodies dribble and drip and ooze and squirt.

They ought to warn you about that, too, but only because it’s so interesting. And so unexpected – when you’re that girl.

✽✽✽

In the years before you… Oh my love, I wandered.

Lonely as a cloud? No. Feverish and impatient. Angry and short-sighted. Turning over every rock that sprang into my constantly expanding field of vision. Each rock yielding a new surprise but usually not a welcome one.

You were out there – yes you were. But I didn’t know. I didn’t know I was even looking for you. I only knew: EMPTY.

Fill. Fill. Fill.

✽✽✽

It’s that rope again. I feel so safe.

My wrists are tied behind me now.

It’s a whole new bed. A whole new girl. She’s much older than I am. Not married at all. An executive in TV, fresh from a cancelled show.

Boy, has she got time to kill. And she kills it with me.

I have found these impossibly sexy shoes. Black silk T-straps with a heel that’s straight out of 1922.

I’m slender. So straight up & down that I don’t wear a bra under my black gingham baby doll dress. I don’t need one. And I don’t wear panties, either. Or garters. I wear stay-put stockings that stay put religiously at the tops of my thighs. And it’s Spring!

Yes, I’ve come clear across Midtown Manhattan in a short black gingham baby doll dress and I wore no panties. All I lacked was a good strong wind to expose my final secret and make my whole life go up for grabs out there in the real world of New York City in broad daylight.

Yes, in those years before you, I was out of my mind. Nuts, they call it in the more colloquial fiction.

I once met a short-lived fiancée for brunch at a Polish diner wearing nothing but a pair of black leather flats and a plaid trench coat, buttoned all the way up and belted tight.

I was not an exhibitionist; I was not planning to publically disrobe. No, I’d come bearing gifts. Gifts for the imagination! Gifts of vulnerability! Gifts that promised a sexy good time after a hurried Sunday brunch.

When he learned I was naked under my coat, my gift was not met with merriment and delight. It was met with fear, outrage, disgust: “Are you out of your fucking mind?!”

Well, yes. But that was beside the point.

Today, though, the TV gal meets me at her front door and is overwhelmed by the sexiness of the black silk T-strap shoes. She yanks me into her apartment and pushes me down onto a living room chair, shoving up my dress in full view of the open windows that look out over Second Avenue. Falling to her knees, she spreads my legs and licks my pussy – ardently, all over it; then sucks my clit until I come.

She does not care that I was naked under my very short dress. She doesn’t wonder if I’m out of my fucking mind. In fact, my wearing no panties has saved her the 4.6 seconds she would have wasted pulling my panties down. Time that wound up being more wisely spent sucking on my stiff little clit.

Although it by no means felt little to me.

My clit has always been the hardest thing to ignore in the picture, regardless of how it was framed. My clit is a scene-stealer. My clit is unruly, inciting the mob to riot. It’s as hard as a rock, too. A massive rock. As big as that asteroid that’s headed straight at us and that will one day collide with the Earth. POW! Right smack into everything we thought we knew. Oh the humanity! What a collision!

Or at least until I come. Then my clit is so quiet, you won’t even know it’s there.

But this is the story about the rope.

This is the story about my wrists tied behind me now and about how I feel so safe.

Yes, I’m still married. Yes, I’m still 35. And, no, I don’t mind confessing to you all the lurid details.

The TV gal was a strap-on queen.

She knew her way around a black leather harness and a flesh-colored silicone dick.

She always had me turn over on her bed, my face in her pillows, my knees under me, ass in the air. The rope was my idea but she went along with it because she knew how much it mattered to me to feel subdued. To feel reined-in. To feel choice-less, at her mercy in the matter, as she shoved that huge silicone dick into my slick pussy. Relentlessly. Ruthlessly. Always, always, always driving it home.

She was not satisfied until I cried out, cried out, and cried out: Oh god, it feels so good.

It felt so good. It felt so good to get fucked by her.

And I couldn’t get away. I couldn’t get away. My hands were tied. And that thick fake dick kept coming.

Slamming in. Pounding against that place inside my pussy flesh that simply could not yield another inch and so I would cry out.

Oh god, it felt so good. So good to be helpless to that unremitting cock-force as she held so tight to my hips.

She fucked me hard because she hated that I was married. She fucked me hard because she hated that I was pretty. She fucked me  hard because she hated that I refused to admit I was a dyke and not some lame marshmallow bisexual who always went off in the end with a man.

I didn’t care what she thought or how she felt; I just wanted to get seriously fucked by her.

And so it was written. And so it was done. And the cunnilingus wasn’t bad, either.

She had a perfect pussy.

She was much smaller than me and so always on top during 69. And I loved nothing better than to have her wet pussy in my face, my mouth all over that swelling mess of her slick, soaking lips, her open hole, her clit that tried to fight off my incessant tongue but would yield instead, making her grind down on me, her whole pussy right on my face, on my eager mouth, as she moaned deliriously, her own  hot tongue down there darting in and all over my own soaking hole – until we were two trapped clits climbing toward orgasms, clinging for dear life to each other’s naked thighs as the pleasures mounted and finally tripped the spring-door onto wide open ecstasy, hips bucking, muscles in spasms, cries of relentless female lust that were surely heard all up and down the Second Avenue night.

Her pussy in my face was indeed heaven.

I didn’t think I was a dyke, and I’d given it some very serious thought over the years. I did love women and sex with women, and I did sometimes choose the woman over the man. But I loved men, too and sex with men, too. And when I closed my eyes to the world and strove to find meaning in my being here and a way to connect, to create, to transcend – then there was always a man and only a man. A man of vision, of marvelous words. A man in the clouds. A man with an angry black heart and a streak of pure white joy.

In the years before you, I did not know this man could possibly be real.

✽✽✽

What was it about bondage that I so much needed?

It started in my girlhood, then on into my teens. It plagued my conscience in my twenties. It sent me into rapture in my thirties. Then it hit the fine open road one early morning in my forties; headed steadily past the line of the horizon and, in essence, never really came back.

There were moments when lovers in my forties suggested I be tied up and I went along with it. It was fun, but nothing I truly needed.

Not anymore.

But as a young girl of 12, and then a growing girl, an aging girl, and then a girl who looked in the mirror and realized she was a woman and had been for some time – that girl needed the rope.

Plenty of rope.

I did not really know why. The simple fact of it alarmed me, humiliated me in my own thoughts, degraded me, scared and perplexed me. Until finally I was old enough to meet people who embraced the need for rope in me, who encouraged my need for bondage. And that’s when the lust came home to roost.

That’s when my erotic mind soared and welcomed in whoever it was I really was.

I hated leather restraints. I hated cold metal handcuffs. I hated certain types of unacceptable rope. But when the rope was right and the lover was right, my kisses were deeper than you can possibly know.

You can’t know those kisses because, like a fool, I gave them away.

Had I known you were out there; had I only known…

When I was blindfolded, naked and tied down tightly to the bed – but in a seated position; my legs spread wide, each ankle tied securely to the bedframe, a large dildo stuck up in me. In fact, I’ve been tied as tightly as I am to the bedframe to force me to sit all the way down on that dildo until it can go up me no farther. When my clit aches and can actually feel the base of the dildo that’s wedged up in me, it’s gone in that deep; when my hands are tied behind me and a warm hand finds my breast, gently tugs the erect nipple, sending me into ecstasy, my moans deep as I rock all over the thick fake dick wedged up inside me – at that moment, when he yanks my long hair back and leans over into my blindfolded darkness, into my ecstasy, and kisses my open mouth with his open mouth…

I would not have returned that kiss had I known you were anywhere out there, ever.

I would not have let that kiss be so deep.

I would not have allowed my soul to enter that equation, even though I was married to that man.

Had I known you were out there, I would have withheld. I would have waited.

I would have saved myself, my ecstasy.

For you.

✽✽✽

Now I am grown. So grown that all that is left for me now is to recede.

Now I can stand alone out in the middle of an empty highway, look in all directions, not just ahead or behind, but all directions and I can see the sunrise inching its way up the incalculable distance of that road, from out of the East, from where miracles have always arrived. I can look out in that direction and know you are coming. You are out there. I can’t see you but I know you are there. Finally. You are there.

And I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m not tied down in any way, to anything, anymore. I’m simply waiting, for you. Of my own volition.

Please come.

© – 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Evolving Past This

I dropped off to sleep in very high spirits last night. And then awoke in this sort of “not good” place.

I think it’s an energy thing.

You know how it feels when you know you are evolving past things in your life? Not just outgrowing things, but you can sense that everything around you, the reality you’ve pulled together for yourself, is shifting. Maybe morphing into the next adventure, but you can’t completely see it yet.

That’s how I feel around here.  Things are changing. It’s not a bad thing but for some reason, I’m feeling blue and I’m trying to sort of tune my dial to a better feeling energy here this morning.

A really cool thing happened last night, though, as I was drifting off to sleep.  You know that very early place between awake and dreaming where you can become somewhat lucid? I suddenly realized that I was in a room with about maybe 20 people and they were sitting down, talking among themselves, as well as talking to me.

I awoke slightly and then realized that this is a potential version of that writer’s retreat I’ll be giving. Perhaps the “ghost” version, or the “as yet to be filled in by physical reality” version.  I was talking to an older woman and she was very passionate about something.

It was at that exact moment, while talking to her, that I became lucid and experienced myself talking to her. And quickly after that, I awoke.  And I realized that this is the other side of the equation. Meaning, I want to do things in life. I have dreams or goals. I know they always involve other people but it never occurred to me in such vividness how a goal or a dream that’s in the process of manifesting brings the energies of others to you as it’s in the process of manifesting. The energies, I guess, pull together until  an experience completely fills in and we then experience it as “real.”

I realized that this dream had been a gathering of potential co-creators who are all in the process of manifesting something in their lives that was going to be really joyful.  And that it centered around that writer’s retreat.

Over the years, I have taught some really gifted young writers. Writers who wanted to make that transition into being professional, selling their work, getting book deals or selling a screenplay, etc.  I know what they’re up against and I try to be realistic with them about rejection if only to give them some emotional armor,  but overall, I try to be as encouraging as I can possibly be. Because that part where you do have to be realistic is only the beginning part, and it is completely outweighed by what comes next, when things start to click and you do start to make sales, and get readers and start to develop relationships with publishers or producers or what have you.  It absolutely does happen, especially if you’re a gifted storyteller.  It absolutely will happen, if you stick with it.

And there is always that moment that arrives when, as a teacher, I cut them loose, because I know I’ve taught them what I could, that they need to go out and try their own wings, and that now I’ve become more of an editor than a teacher, and frankly I charge a whole lot more to edit you than to teach you. So off they go into the world.

I know they’re gifted. I know a gifted writer when I read one. I’ve worked with hundreds of writers over the years, and I’ve been blessed to have had so many close colleagues who were or are incredibly good writers. I can tell in less than a page of reading, if someone has the gift. But as far as younger students go, I have seen so many of them let the fear of failure that comes with those early rejection letters,  turn into “I have to have a job to pay the bills and I need to focus on that right now.”

And then I know, sad as it is, that it’s as good as over.  I don’t ever say it, but in my heart I know that they’ve opted for safety and conservatism because of fear. And now they’re going to get bogged down in responsibilities that will make everything about having a life of art be just that much more difficult.

I’ve never been about playing it safe, ever. I’ve always been wildly at the other end of that spectrum. I have lived most of my life in fear, things having nothing to do with my writing, but stemming from physical and sexual abuse, where I learned to feel that I was utterly alone and on my own from an early age. I can look on that as a gift now because it gave me stamina, and helped me develop a relationship with my idea of God that, in turn, taught me all about faith. The depths of faith. And also the depths of beauty in this world, and the blessings of kindness. And of course, underscoring all of that, the beauty of love among people who might not even know each other.

I have a deep appreciation for all those things about humanity because I’ve seen the other side of that and it’s just horrible. And so love and beauty and kindness become sacred, you know?

I really want to be in an atmosphere again where people are already in their craft, in that understanding of what they want to put into the world, past that point of fear or uncertainty, where art can really blossom or flow.  And it was beautiful last night to realize that I’m not the only one who still wants that. All I have to do is set out that beacon and the writers will come.

For most of my adult life, I had projects that involved bringing tons of talented writers and artists together. The advent of the Internet was instrumental in letting that happen so fluidly. Other-Rooms.com, MarilynsRoom.com, and certainly the EAA were incredibly successful ventures in that regard. But they took over my life. They grew to be 24/7 endeavors and I had next to no time left for me.  And certainly with the EAA, I came up against the laws and censorship stuff with this country’s Government. In the past, I had worked for publishers who either literally went to prison for publishing and distributing “pornography” or who’d had to spend a fortune fighting the Government in court. I know that it can happen and that was so much more than I’d bargained for, so I began to step back.

Even though the writer’s retreats will require a huge amount of work for me, since each separate retreat will also yield the publication of a book that I have to basically “curate” from start to finish, each retreat will be bracketed by “only 2 times a year,” at most. And I’ll still have the rest of the year for my own adventures. So I feel really, really excited about that.

Plus, I’m in the process of putting together with Valerie in Brooklyn some initial cover art for 2 of the books I have in progress right now (I do this to avoid, at all costs, any more covers that feature girls in their underwear.)  Here they are as they stand right now.

Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse is a book I began writing in January. This one is graphically erotic,  creative nonfiction. It pretty much is exactly what the title says it is.

Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse

And of course Blessed By Light. This is a novel about an aging, successful musician, grieving the unexpected death of his 2nd wife, falling in love again, revisiting the scope of his life and his career, and the specters of success, love, loss, despair, triumph  and redemption, and what that has done to his family and to himself. It’s almost finished. It has a lot of erotic elements in it, but it is literary fiction. The cover art is still in the creative process. No lettering yet.

Blessed By Light

All right. I’m gonna get going around here and try to turn the energy of this day around, posthaste. I see that there’s a Red Hand Files newsletter from Nick Cave in my inbox and those are always incredibly interesting.  Perhaps it will set the tone for his Conversation tonight in Hamburg, Germany! (Lucky Duck-sters!!)

Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. I tried really hard not to listen to The Big Jangle this morning, in my efforts to adjust to this idea that Tom Petty is in fact dead. It was depressing – that absence of sound.  I’m gonna have to re-think all of it , the whole 9 yards.

But 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.

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