Tag Archives: In the Shadow of Narcissa

Wow, My Apologies

I just now discovered that Edge of Humanity Magazine published my most recent installment of In the Shadow of Narcissa (my memoir about my childhood)  in their online zine all the way back on July 3rd.

I had no idea this had happened because their note went to my spam folder.

Well, I am so appreciative. If you would like to read it, it is here.

Thanks, everyone.

Another Delightful Morning in Crazeysburg!!

So far, it’s been just an amazing summer.  The weather, I mean. And today is going to be yet another gorgeous day!

Before I forget, I did post another chapter yesterday on the In the Shadow of Narcissa website. This one is titled “I See God Everywhere.”

Also, yesterday — remember, a few days ago, I posted that photo of my new Val Kilmer coffee mug, with the Doc Holliday movie quote? I had also posted that photo on my Instagram feed and apparently Val Kilmer saw it, because he sent it out on his own Instagram feed yesterday. (The limited edition mugs are only available until tomorrow — July 1st.)

Well, that was a totally unexpected little thrill, however, it sent quite a number of scammers to my Instagram feed yesterday. Now that I’ve made my account public, anyone can follow me. But I patiently go through every single follower and block anyone that seems like a scammer, and they were coming all day yesterday.

And it was fun to have my picture posted there, too — the cup is sitting on the cafe table out on my kitchen porch:

 

 

 

 

My trip to town yesterday was splendid! I have never seen the Honda dealership so empty. I think there were maybe 5 people sitting in the waiting room (myself, included).  Most people wearing masks, but not everybody. But the seats were all placed 6-feet apart.

I kind of liked it, actually. Usually, it’s a mob scene in the Honda waiting room! And it can take forever for them to finish your car. I was there less than 30 minutes, and they had changed the oil, topped the fluids, rotated the tires, and even washed the car.  So, you know, one of the sort of “nice” things about the virus, I guess.

Tomorrow evening, Kevin (the director of my play) and I are finally going to go have dinner at the Granville Inn. I have missed that place so much, but I’ve had my trepidations about going there while it was easing out of lockdown because everyone has to wear masks. And I’m sort of afraid to see it like that.

Sunday Brunch - Review of The Granville Inn, Granville, OH ...
Those non-mask days of yesteryear…

But, tomorrow, we’re going! I’ve been hearing that it’s crazy busy there — meaning, busy while remaining at 50% capacity. So we’ll see. I haven’t been there since St. Patrick’s weekend.

Then on Thursday, I have a phone conference with my accountant in NYC, because Peitor and I have to formally set up Abstract Absurdity Productions. I always love talking to my accountant because he is always a straight shooter and I get off the phone sort of in renewed & devastating shock over just how fucking much every single fucking business-related thing costs.

Still. It’s better to know than to be surprised when you can least afford it.

And then sometime later this week, Peitor and I have a conference call with the line producer in LA to see just how we might be able to come up with a budget that doesn’t undersell our film but that doesn’t make all of us fall out of our chairs, either!!

Other than that, life is pretty much quiet around here. I’m going to be tackling Letter #8 again for Girl in the Night. I’m hoping that the unexpected detour into In the Shadow of Narcissa will help Letter #8 seem fresh & brand new today!! I do love the 3 and 1/2 pages I’ve written (and re-written and re-written) so far, but I really, really would like it to finally finish itself, you know? It’s dragging on forever.

So, on that note, I will take my leave, gang! I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting.  I leave you with one of my favorite songs from my wee bonny girlhood (mentioned in my new chapter for In the Shadow of Narcissa — I absolutely loved this song when I was little, gang, although a bunch of children were singing the version I knew back then): “This Land is Your Land” by the late, great Woody Guthrie.

All righty!! Enjoy. I love you guys. Have a great day. See ya!!

Gotta Get Tootling Along!!

I’m heading out early today, gang. Have to drive to one far away town (30 miles) to spend some quality, post-lockdown time with those guys at the Honda dealership! My very grown-up car informed me last Monday (the last time I was actually in my car) that it was time for an oil change.

Then I’m going to drive to the other far away town and get the groceries.

It’s a stunning day here today, gang, so it’ll be nice to do all that excessive speeding on the highway with the music blasting! (And just a quick note to those of you who are new to the blog — there are usually only about 3 cars on the highway out here in the Hinterlands (no exaggeration!), and in the Honda, it’s almost impossible not to speed.) (Plus, you can drive these Hondas for 10K miles now before you need an oil change. I find this astounding.)

Okay!

Well, I did finish that new chapter for In the Shadow of Narcissa yesterday, but I still want to tweak it. So that’s what I’ll likely do when I get back from town.

On that note, though, I gotta scoot! Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with a song that I’ve posted here many times, but I just love it. And something I saw at about 4am this morning on Instagram that took my breath away, has had me singing this song all morning!! “Breathless” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, from their double-album with two impossible-to-spell titles from 2004, Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus.

All righty!! Have a wonder-filled Monday, wherever you are in the world, gang! I love you guys. See ya!

Let’s Just Let Life Happen, Shall We ??

What a lovely Sunday here in Crazeysburg, gang! And even though yesterday was mostly about thunderstorms and torrential rain all day long — that, too, was wild and sort of beautiful.

And the skies cleared up unexpectedly by 5PM. The storms were supposed to go on straight through until today. But the skies cleared and then last evening was sunny again and really lovely.

I streamed two episodes of Professor T. yesterday (the Belgian TV crime series on PBS) — I know, I said I wasn’t going to binge watch it, just sticking to one episode per evening.  But the rainy afternoon sort of called out for an episode of Professor T! So I watched an episode in the afternoon, during a thunderstorm, which was atmospheric and wonderful. Then another episode in the evening, when it was just so fucking  beautiful outside the screen door in my kitchen.

I also got a lot of work done on a new chapter for In the Shadow of Narcissa yesterday. I might finish it today. (I like to think I will, since each chapter is well under 1000 words.) Then I’ll get back to Letter #8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.

Things with Valerie in Brooklyn are still exhausting and very emotional for her right now, so any book projects requiring cover art are still on hold.

Oh, and that reminds me. In July, I will once more be participating in the Smashwords Summer Sale. All my eBooks there will be $1.00 and one of the Muse Revisited books will be free. I don’t know which one will be free, I simply agreed to participate and they take care of the rest. (And I think you have to buy at least one eBook this time to get the free one.)

And just a head’s up — once the new cover art is made for The Muse Revisited collection, those manuscripts will be re-edited. The editing in those books right now is not that great. I look forward to editing them myself and completely re-packaging them, not to mention having them available in trade paper for the first time, ever. (The stories themselves have all been in trade paper, many times over.  However, the 3-part collection as it is now has never been in traditional print.)

And Twilight of the Immortal will once again be in trade paper, as well. That one did come out with a traditional press several years ago, but has only been available as an eBook for quite a while now.

So, I’m excited!! Because, God knows, I need more stuff to do here at my desk!!!!!

All righty. On that note, I’m gonna get back to work on this new chapter for In the Shadow of Narcissa. I hope you have a really great Sunday, wherever you are in the world!

I’m leaving you with a song I was reminded of on Instagram this morning. “Cassiel’s Song” — by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. It’s from the soundtrack of a Wim Wenders film from 1993, Far Away, So Close! (A sequel to Wings of Desire.) (The song is also on the Bad Seeds’ album  B-Sides & Rarities. 2005)

And oddly enough, just yesterday afternoon, I had taken Judy Stone’s awesome book from 1997, Eye on the World: Conversations with International Filmmakers, down from the bookshelf and had re-read her Wim Wenders interview from  June 1988.

Eye on the World: Conversations with International Filmmakers by ...

It was a really interesting interview because he talked a lot about when he was young and sort of struggling to not only be a filmmaker but to come to terms with his nationality. (You can still buy the book, even though any filmmakers who became successful after the mid-1990s won’t be in it. And a number of the very well known international filmmakers who are in it have passed on now. But if you love international cinema, it is a real treasure. (And huge!! Almost a thousand pages, with 200 interviews with filmmakers from 40 countries.)

Okay!!  I’m off!! Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya!

We’ve come to bring you home
Haven’t we, Cassiel?
To cast aside your loss and all your sadness
And shuffle off that mortal coil and mortal madness
For we’re here to pick you up and bring you home
Aren’t we, Cassiel?
It’s a place where you did not belong
Were time itself was mad and far too strong
Where life leapt up laughing and hit you head on
And hurt you, didn’t it hurt you, Cassiel?

While time outran you and trouble flew toward you
And you were there to greet it
Weren’t you, foolish Cassiel?
But here we are, we’ve come to call you home
And here you’ll stay never more to stray
Where you can kick off your boots of clay
Can’t you, Cassiel?

For death and you did recklessly collide
And time ran out of you
And you ran out of time
Didn’t you, Cassiel?
And all the clocks, in all the world
May this once just skip a beat in memory of you
Then again those damn clocks, they probably won’t
Will they, Cassiel?
One moment you are there and then strangely you are gone
But on behalf of all of us here we are glad to have you home
Aren’t we, dear Cassiel?

©  1993 Nick Cave

Gotta Love Summer, Gang!!

It’s not terribly hot here today, but we’re going to have nothing but high humidity and rain and thunderstorms all day and on into the night.

The good news (although I actually like rain and thunderstorms), but the true good news is that the problem I was having with my lungs after the virus — catching my breath during days of high humidity — that residual effect from the virus is almost completely gone.

So, apparently, I won’t have that problem for the rest of my life, as I was starting to fear. So that is some truly good news.

I don’t actually have a  whole lot to blog about today, mostly I am focused on my writing projects and the (ever-shrinking!!) To-Do list for Abstract Absurdity Productions.

I might actually try my hand at another chapter for In the Shadow of Narcissa. However, as I’ve stated here on the blog before, I’m not sure if I will keep posting the new chapters to the website or not. I am seeing sings (also signs!!) that it is being downloaded in foreign lands, probably by someone gearing up to pirate it.  In fact, they are probably annoyed that it’s taking me so long to finish the darn book!!!

I do apologize — my brain has not been working properly since something like early March…

Okay.

I checked out the new Tom Petty video yesterday — the one that is a sample of the upcoming Wildflowers Pt. 2 collection that is at long last in the works. (It’s called something else, though, that’s not the official title.) As I said yesterday, the “new song” that dropped yesterday, is a homemade demo he made of the song “You Don’t Know How it Feels” — a hit from his Wildflower solo album (1994).

I have to say that Tom Petty’s homemade 8-track demos (made when he was extremely famous and very rich) sound remarkably better than any 8-track homemade demos I ever made!!

The demo is okay, but the video, gang — I thought it was GREAT. It was created and directed by Ben “Blaze” Brooks and Aaron Hymes. And I just loved it. And I think that Tom Petty himself would have loved it. It’s posted below for today’s listening music!!

BTW, if you weren’t aware — Tom Petty was also an artist. In fact, he went to art school after high school but was quickly expelled for not attending classes because (according to his biography) he was too busy doing a bunch of, well,  sort of intimate stuff with some girl!!  Anyway — he drew, he painted. He was very talented in that way, too. So I think he would have loved the video these guys made because it relies on some of the iconic artwork Tom Petty did during his career.

Okay, on that note, I really gotta scoot!! But thanks for visiting, gang. I hope you enjoy your Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!

All Things Considered, Yesterday Was Basically Perfect

I felt really pretty good yesterday. Well enough to spend a lot of time downstairs at my kitchen table. The breathing issues were hardly noticeable. I was able to have a window open all day and the fresh air really helped.

I even got dressed in order to take my trash bin to the curb and it felt really great to be in actual clothes for a while. I hadn’t been in real clothes since I ran that errand to the dollar store the other day.

I’m hoping today will be similar, but I can’t open the windows because it’s super cold again — and I think that fresh air really helped.

Anyway. Another day is upon us!!

Last evening, I began watching that movie The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers, 2019), starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. The cinematography is incredible and the movie is delightfully creepy. I’m not done watching it yet, but so far so good. It’s streaming free on Amazon right now.

I am sort of a solitaire addict. I play it on my iPad a lot while listening to music.  I find that my brain really processes things well when I’m doing that. I get a lot of thinking done while playing solitaire.

Back before things like iPads or even computers, I used to play a lot of solitaire the old-fashioned way — meaning with an actual deck of cards. Yesterday, while sitting at the kitchen table with nothing to really do, but I didn’t want to get back in bed because the weather was so beautiful and the kitchen was so sunny — I remembered that I had an actual deck of cards in a kitchen drawer, so I got them out and played solitaire at the kitchen table for awhile.

And then a whole slew of memories came back.

When I was a little girl, growing up in Cleveland, a couple times a year, my family and I would go to stay with my adoptive mom’s parents. I believe they meant well, but they were intensely controlling people — especially that particular grandmother. She was really unbelievably rigid and inflexible. (She suffered from mental illness but I didn’t know that when I was little).

They were both Russian immigrant Jews who had come to America in the early 1900s. My grandfather’s mother died in the flu pandemic of 1918, actually.  My grandfather did not have much schooling. He left home and had to start working when we was only 13. But he eventually became a millionaire.

When I was growing up, my grandparents were the first people I knew who could afford a color TV and Central Air Conditioning. Going to visit them was always so intense. We had to dress for dinner and not speak unless spoken to at the dining table — the whole 9 yards.

My grandmother had this weird rule that I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed in the morning until the housekeeper had gotten up, taken her shower, and gone down to the kitchen. I have always had a bladder the size of a mustard seed, and I have always been an early riser– waking up before anyone else on Earth. So to have to lie there with a bursting bladder, for over an hour before the housekeeper got up, took a shower, got dressed, and went downstairs — it was torture for me. Absolute agony. Because wetting the bed was out of the question, too. It would have been like the Wrath of Khan x 2 (meaning first, my grandmother and then my mother, because I would have made my mother look bad).

I honestly don’t believe my grandmother meant to be abusive or anything. She just desperately needed to control everything in her home. Everything. She was afraid of the entire world, and I’m not exaggerating.  (Among other things, she had severe agoraphobia.) (She was also the first person I knew who had a Camaro convertible. In 1967, my grandfather bought it for her, hoping that a sporty little car might help her want to leave the house. It didn’t. It stayed in the garage for decades, until she died and one of my male cousins inherited it. By then it was a highly valued classic car, and it was in mint condition.)

So they had money and they had a live-in housekeeper.  The housekeeper was white, Christian, single, and I thought she had sort of the saddest life. I don’t know how she put up with my grandparents. She worked for them — and lived with them — her whole adult life. She died in her 60s, while still working for them. I was already living in NYC by then.

Oddly enough, the housekeeper was buried in the same cemetery where Greg was buried — my boyfriend who died when I was 14. Once, on a trip back to Ohio from NYC, I made a trip to the cemetery to visit Greg’s grave. I wasn’t 100% sure where it was, but I knew the general area.

I parked my car, got out, and started heading in the direction of Greg’s grave and then suddenly stopped. Looked down. And right there  at my feet was the grave of the housekeeper!! And literally thousands of people are buried in that cemetery. I believe that in spirit, she did that. You know — she stopped me. A way of saying hello.

I always felt like she was a sort of guardian angel to me, even when she was alive. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned she had gotten pregnant out of wedlock while working for my grandparents. She was sent to the same county home for unwed mothers that I wound up being born in a couple decades later. She gave birth to a baby girl that she gave up for adoption. (I heard that the man next door to my grandparents had been the father of the baby but I don’t know if that’s true or not.)

So, I didn’t know of that connection until I was grown and the housekeeper already had passed away. Obviously, she felt connected to me because I was a baby girl who had been adopted into the family.

Her bedroom was at the back of the upstairs hall in my grandparents house. And it was furnished with the bedroom furniture my grandparents had gotten when they’d gotten married in the 1920s.  It was simple but lovely mahogany furniture. And, as was the custom back in the 1920s, it had a vanity with a mirror and a little upholstered bench. When she was taking breaks from housecleaning, I would go into her room and sit on that little bench and talk to her, while she smoked her Belair cigarettes.

She was just so sweet to me. So intensely different from my grandmother (or my mother for that matter — in fact, if you are a reader of my in-progress childhood memoir, In the Shadow of Narcissa — the first time my mother was excessively abusive to me occurred when she was trying to potty-train me. After she did what she did to me, my dad took her away on a vacation, to try to calm her down. And my grandparents’ housekeeper was sent to Cleveland to stay with me and my brother while our parents were gone. And the housekeeper had me completely potty-trained before my parents even returned from their vacation.)

Once, when I was 8, and sitting in the housekeeper’s bedroom, talking to her while she was on a break, she gave me a gold ring. She took it out of her vanity drawer and said, “Here, I want you to have it, but don’t show it to anyone, okay?”

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was real — a 10kt. gold band with real diamond chips in it. I’m guessing she wore it while she was pregnant — on her days off, when she would go downtown and go shopping. It likely kept people from thinking she was unmarried and pregnant, which was incredibly scandalous in the 1940s. (In my teens, one of my girlfriends got pregnant and I gave her the ring for the same reason — so that she could wear it in public and people wouldn’t think she was unmarried and pregnant. But at that point, I didn’t yet know that the housekeeper had ever been pregnant.)

Well, my point is that, during the evenings, when all the dinner dishes were done and put away, the housekeeper would sit alone at the kitchen table and play solitaire for hours, until it was time for her to go to bed. Whenever we’d be visiting, I always liked to sit at the kitchen table with her and watch her play until it was my bedtime. She taught me how to play, in fact.

So, yesterday, sitting at my own kitchen table — almost as old now as she was when she died — playing solitaire the old-fashioned way… well, all those memories came back. She’s been gone about 35 years already. (Oh, and just FYI — each time I’ve been out to the cemetery to visit Greg’s grave since then, I have looked for the housekeeper’s grave again and have not been able to find it!!)

All righty. Well, here’s hoping that I continue to breathe sort of normally today. Two days in a row would be so cool! I hope you have a good Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with my late-night/breakfast-listening music: “Moonland,” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Oddly enough, YouTube told me to start listening to it yesterday. I got an alert first on my iPhone, then on my laptop, and then on my iPad. It was the strangestly persistent thing. So I started listening to it yesterday on YouTube (which is not how I usually listen to it).

But anyway. It is from their 2008 album Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! — another album that I absolutely love. I really, really do. It has some amazing songs on it. (Apparently, the song was also in the second season of the TV show Californication, which I also loved!)

Okay, well, thanks for visiting, gang. Stay healthy. Stay hopeful. I love you guys. See ya!

“Moonland”

When I came up from out of the meat locker
The city was gone
The sky was full of lights
The snow provided a silent cover
In moonland
Under the stars
Under the snow
And I followed this car
And I followed that car
Through the sand
Through the snow
I turn on the radio
I listen to the DJ

And it must feel nice
(It must feel nice)
It must feel nice to know
That somebody needs you
And everything moves slow

Under the stars, under the ash, under the sand
And the night drifts in
The snow provided a silent cover
And I’m not your favourite lover
I turn on the radio

And it must feel nice
(It must feel nice)
Oh, very, very nice to know
That somebody needs you
And the chilly winds blow

Under the snow, under the stars
The whispering DJ on the radio
The whispering DJ on the radio
I’m not your favourite lover
I’m not your favourite lover

And it must feel nice
(It must feel nice)
To leave no trace
That somebody needs you
And that somebody is me

Under the stars, under the snow

Your eyes were closed
You were playing with the buttons on your coat
In the back of that car

In moonland
Under the stars
In moonland
And I followed that car

© 2008 Nick Cave, Jim Sclavunos, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey

All Sorts of Happy Things!!

You know, this morning, in my Inner Being dialogue journal thingy, my Inner Being informed me that there was no actual blueprint for my day.

This probably seems insane to you — that my Inner Being would even take the time to tell me something that seems like a no-brainer to anyone else on Earth. But my days are so intensely structured, day after day after day, that I do not have any clue how to simply relax and do nothing.

I absolutely do not know how to do this. I have no clue.

This stems from years and years and years of battling depression and suicidal tendencies and mental illness. Keeping myself on a productive schedule, forcing my mind to stay occupied with creative things, has literally kept me alive.

However, now that the whole world has come to a standstill, this rigid schedule is starting to have a little bit of an opposite effect — that whole “Groundhog Day” thing, where everything feels exactly the same as yesterday, and so I wake up each day, wondering what Nick Cave is wearing wondering what am I going to work on today, what am I going to have for breakfast, will I do yoga or  Booty Core later, etc., and it all feels eerily the same.

Since I don’t want to inch even minutely in the direction of depression, my Inner Being apparently advised me to let go of the rigid structuring for a change of pace.

So, what might seem crazy to you, feels like a godsend to me!

And it occurred to me that maybe right now isn’t the best time to be working on In the Shadow of Narcissa, since it’s not something I want to post online anymore — or not regularly. And my blog readers really like erotica, so maybe I should just work on something erotic, that I can post online? Maybe something for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse?

So I’m thinking about that — about switching gears for today. (Or maybe even for the duration of the pandemic.)

And I also want to thank you guys who are buying my books right now, even the titles that are not on Smashwords and that are not on sale. I really appreciate that, since these are not new books.

And I am struggling with this idea of whether or not I should continue to self-publish, in order to get my new work in the pipeline sooner.

I honestly just don’t know.  I chose to self-publish Freak Parade, after 5 years of publishers telling my agent that they couldn’t categorize an anti-hero like Eddie Ramirez, so how would they market it? When I self-published Freak Parade, it cost me a good chunk of money to hire someone to design the cover, hire the model, do the photo shoot, and then an editor to professionally format the text. But it did go on to take home the Silver Medal in its category at the Independent Publishers Awards at the Book Expo in NYC that year, so I was really, really proud of that. I was up against actual small presses.

I’m not going to attempt to self-publish if I can’t keep up those types of standards, and then I think: well, if I’m going to invest in that, why not just start my own small press again and publish other writers like me who can’t get small presses to reply to them anymore?

And, of course, the last time I did that, I wound up in Federal Court, looking at prison time and enormous fines…. (Thank God for the ACLU. I really mean that.)

So, as you can guess, it is not an easy decision for me to make, but it’s in my mix of thoughts during the day. And I know it’s simple to format/publish eBooks. I could have Blessed By Light published later today if I wanted only that. But I don’t. I know Blessed By Light is a strange book — it’s just a man talking for 186 pages. But I still think it’s a beautiful book. And I also think it’s a book.

Okay, well, Peitor and I texted a bit last night regarding some Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff and I thought I would share this with you!

No! It is not another new logo — instead, I draw your attention to “our girls.” These are the women who work in our office — they are the power behind Abstract Absurdity Productions who actually get things done!! (We just love these girls!! They lived & loved & worked in Paris in the 1920s. We have no idea who they were, but they live again in our offices!!)

 

Aren’t they great??!!

More good news!! I was informed during the night that, because I had pre-ordered Nick Cave’s new art book, Stranger Than Kindness, on Amazon UK, I actually saved money on the final price. So a book that was going to originally cost me $17 million US Dollars, actually came to just under $30 when it was all said and done! So, pre-ordering the book saved me $16,999,970 US dollars. Quite a significant savings, if you ask me!

(I just can’t wait to get the book! I saw on Instagram that people in Europe began getting their copies in Monday’s mail.)

And speaking of Instagram — whether or not you follow me there, my current Instagram posts are always visible here on the blog. If you follow my blog on a computer and not a phone, that is. That weird photo today is of a bald eagle feeding a baby eaglet in its nest yesterday! I was actually trying to copy video footage but it came out as a still photo and you can’t really see what it is. But it was taken in a park over in Granville yesterday.

I was so excited to see that. The people in Granville have worked really, really hard to bring back the population of eagles in the parks over there. (By the way — the header at the top of my blog, with the autumn leaves and the church spires — that is Granville. Not Crazeysburg.) (Granville is a really beautiful small town — and a very expensive one!! It’s 25 miles from where I live. And even though it is a small town, it is still 5 times larger than Crazeysburg.) (My friend Kara lives there.)

Okay.

Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter this morning. As you can maybe guess, it dealt with the virus and Life these days. You can read what he said at the link there. It is, as always, very compassionately stated.

Today, it is going to be sunny and mild here in Crazeysburg. Later today, I will more than likely open a window or two so that the cats can get a better look at all the many birds flying hither and yon — still just starlings and robins, mostly. But there are a lot of them!

And it’s a Booty Core day, so I’ll be doing that later, too. And then I’ll be figuring out what I feel like writing, because I have been informed by sources who are in the position to know these things — that my day does not have a blueprint I need to follow or anything. So we’ll just see!

Have a very good Wednesday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting! Stay hopeful. Don’t let your mind drift to the dark places. Stay creative, in whatever ways that speaks to you, okay? Or maybe just take a nap. Or four. Or seven…

I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning! One of the few Bee Gees songs that is actually really uplifting and not sad at all! “More than A Woman.” It is a really joyful song that I have some great memories of being a wee frisky 17-year-old girl attached to. (I actually did know some really wonderful guys in high school — crazy, insane, funny, kind.) The song was a huge hit during my senior year in high school, when the movie Saturday Night Fever was the most popular movie at the box office. (I think I saw the movie about 5 times — back then, movies hung around in the theaters and played for months so you could always go back and see them, usually for $1.) Enjoy, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“More Than A Woman”
(from “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack)

Oh, girl I’ve known you very well
I’ve seen you growing everyday
I never really looked before
But now you take my breath away

Suddenly you’re in my life
Part of everything I do
You got me working day and night
Just trying to keep a hold on you

Here in your arms I found my paradise
My only chance for happiness
And if I lose you now I think I would die

Oh say you’ll always be my baby
We can make it shine, we can take forever
Just a minute at a time

More than a woman, more than a woman to me
More than a woman, more than a woman to me
More than a woman, oh, oh, oh.

There are stories old and true
Of people so in love like you and me
And I can see myself
Let history repeat itself

Reflecting how I feel for you
Thinking about those people then
I know that in a thousand years
I’d fall in love with you again

This is the only way that we should fly
This is the only way to go
And if I lose your love I know I would die

Oh say you’ll always be my baby
We can make it shine, we can take forever
Just a minute at a time

More than a woman, more than a woman to me
More than a woman, more than a woman to me
More than a woman, oh, oh, oh

© – 1977 Barry Alan Gibb, Maurice Ernest Gibb, Robin Hugh Gibb

Just Chillin’ !!!

So far, so good over here in Crazeysburg, gang!

The good news of course is that China is out of lockdown now and, as predicted recently by the US showbiz news sites, movie theaters there have begun to re-open. Life is getting back to normal there.

In the rest of the world, now 96% of all confirmed cases are considered mild, and 103,395 people have recovered (as of 3/24/2020).

And even my dad said on the phone yesterday that he’s trying to keep the TV off, so miracles are happening everywhere!

I need to regale you with the new coffee mug that’s on its way to me!! It reads: “I like pretty things and the word Fuck”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just in time for Spring, right??

Also, I was informed over the weekend that my copy of Stranger Than Kindness, the companion book to the currently postponed Nick Cave art exhibition in Copenhagen is on its way to me!! I’m really excited, gang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They sent me a photo of my book on the actual boat it was loaded on to, so I feel very encouraged that it will reach Crazeysburg sometime this year!

Slow boat from China, bringing me my much anticipated Nick Cave art book! You can’t see it too clearly here, but that guy way over to the far left, is holding up my book!

Once more, I apologize if you’re viewing this post on your phone and the images are skewing the text. I really don’t know why it sometimes does that now.

Anyway!

Today, of course, is Abstract Absurdity Productions day. I believe we are working on the synopsis today, perhaps even the pitch deck, for “Lita måste gå!” (aka “Lita’s Got to Go!”). (It actually does have those 2 titles, which is why I always post it like that.)

I have not resumed work on the web site in the past few days, just because: a.) I didn’t have all the information I needed yet; and b.) it was making me fucking crazy.

I still have the handy-dandy “To-Do” list posted on the wall in front of my laptop, though, which lists everything that still needs doing on the web site. But the good news is that I am now able to completely overlook that list, 24/7. My eyes can look right at the list and yet not transfer any of the information that’s on it to my brain. Almost as if the list no longer exists!! Yay!!

I did manage to nail down the structure I needed for In the Shadow of Narcissa yesterday. I’m not sure why it was being so elusive, but I’ve got it now and I hope that now I can just move forward with writing the rest of the pieces for the chapbook.

Sadly, I don’t think I’m going to be able to keep posting the pieces to my Narcissa web site — or, at least, not all of them. The book pirating problem being what it is now, I don’t want the entire chapbook available online before the book even gets published, you know? (I’ve already seen signs that the existing pieces have already been illegally copied overseas.) But if/when I do post excerpts, I’ll let you know about it here on this site.

And you can always sign up for updates directly through the Narcissa site. (Scroll to bottom.)

And just in case you were curious, it has been nearly one year since quite a few small presses have had my query and/or manuscript regarding my novel Blessed by Light, and only one publisher has responded (and that one publisher responded immediately, said they loved it, but that it was too short for them to publish). Not a single other small press has responded at all. Narry a peep.

So different from the old days before the financial crash, when small presses gave you a yay or nay, usually from an actual person, within 6 weeks. (And plus nowadays, you often have to use “submittable” to submit your query/manuscript, which means you have to pay for them to read it and not reply to you forever.)

Meanwhile, on we go!!

All righty, gang! Thanks for visiting!! Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. I hope you’re continuing to find great ways to enjoy your lockdown.  (I’m still streaming re-runs of DCI Banks in the evenings.) Remember to stay fit and eat right and do the things that will help you keep your spirits up!! Keep in mind: just a few more weeks of this and then we’ll all be looking at just another few more weeks of this!!! And then – SUMMER!!!!

Okay. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning, “Get Ready for Love” from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ truly incredible 2004 double-album, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus. (It’s kind of unfortunate, though, that they released a double-album that has two titles that are kind of hard to spell…) But enjoy, gang, and play it loud. I love you guys. See ya!!

“Get Ready For Love”

Get ready for love! Praise Him!
Get ready for love! Praise Him!
Get ready for love! Get ready!

Well, most of all nothing much
ever really happens
And God rides high up in the ordinary sky
Until we find ourselves at our most distracted
And the miracle that was promised
creeps quietly by

Calling every boy and girl
Calling all around the world
Calling every boy and girl
Calling all around the world

Get ready for love! Praise Him!
Get ready for love! Praise Him!

The mighty wave their hankies from their
high-windowed palace
Sending grief and joy down in supportable doses
And we search high and low without
mercy or malice
While the gate to the Kingdom swings
shut and closes

Calling every boy and girl
Calling all around the world
Calling every boy and girl
Calling all around the world

Praise Him till you’ve forgotten
what you’re praising Him for
Praise Him till you’ve forgotten
what you’re praising Him for
Then praise Him a little more

© – 2004 Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey, James  Sclavunos

Let’s Keep Washing, Gang!!

I am definitely not a germ-o-phobe by any stretch, but this virus is starting to push the limits of my non-germ-o-phobia, that’s for sure.

I did three teeny-tiny loads of laundry yesterday, only because I kept wondering which clothes the clothes I was wearing might have touched or brushed up against, even by accident, when I came in from my big trip to town yesterday. (If you’re using google translate, good luck with that paragraph.)

And then I kept washing my hands — did I touch that when I came in? Oh, but now I’ve touched it for sure, should I wash my hands again? Better safe than sorry.

And then: Is my throat sore? Am I getting a sore throat or does my throat always feel like this? I seem fine but my throat feels like it might be getting sore…

All fucking day. I did manage to keep it from getting out of hand, but still. Just that one quick trip into town to go to the market and my mind started to unravel.

Luckily, I am only going to have to make one trip into town each week.

Here’s something I’m going to tell my dad today and I’m sure he’ll be pleased as punch to hear it: the World Health Organization has issued a recommendation that people not listen to the news more than twice a day. I’m sure he’ll point out that he only turns the news on once and then turns it off, however, in the middle of that is the entire day.

Anyway, I’ll give it a shot and we’ll see how it goes.

I did have sort of a rough evening last night. I watched the second half of Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse (BBC, 2019) and I saw why people gave it such bad reviews. I still enjoyed it overall, but the second half had a lot more violence in it, and the ending was so rushed it was almost incomprehensible. It would have benefited from being a 3-part show instead of a 2-part show. And I wound up feeling like the original version the BBC did probably about 15 years ago or so was a lot better, even though it veered widely from the original story.

Then I switched over to the reruns of DCI Banks and, oh my god, the episode that started streaming automatically started out so bloody and creepy and then turned out to be all about rape. Which you can guess, I just enjoy the hell out of. (And it isn’t so much the actual rape stuff that bothers me, it’s the fact that everyone cares so much that the rape happened and they all need to band together to get the rapes to stop because it is just so terrible and it’s enraging everyone; whereas in my own experience, no one at all cared in the slightest bit that I had been raped — and more than once. Culturally, nobody gave a shit about rape back then. That’s the part that is hard for me to handle, even after all these decades.)

I finally made myself turn it off, but I was only 20 minutes from the end of the show. So I had sat there for quite a while last evening (nearly 3 hours), creeping myself out and wondering the whole time: is my throat getting sore?

But I slept great and I am very happy today, and my throat is absolutely not sore and I’m not stressing about anything at all. I’m planning to get some good work done on In the Shadow of Narcissa today, too.

Oh, plus, I forgot to thank whoever that was on Saturday night who downloaded a free copy of Twilight of the Immortal!!!! That was really nice to see. Thank you.

I’m not going to keep posting all the numbers re: the pandemic, but I will say that over 100,000 people have now recovered from the virus, and overall, we are still holding at 95% of the active cases worldwide being mild. So, you know, keep washing, but it’s in the process of moving through. Never lose sight of that.

I thought you might like to see a photo of the inside of my refrigerator.  I had my phone with me at the kitchen table this morning and when I opened my fridge, it was almost too much. it’s just so fucking healthy, who the hell wants to eat anymore?

Inside my boring fridge!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay. On that lofty note!

I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning! Thanks for visiting, gang, and have a wonderful Monday, wherever you are in the world! Try not to get stressed. Stay focused on the miracle of the human body, and on the undercurrent of love that runs throughout our very beingness; let it all work its unfathomable miracles in this crucial time, okay? I love you guys. See ya!

All righty, gang! Here we go!

Ohio is still holding at 247 known cases of the virus, but of course the day is still young…

However, that said, I gotta drive into town and go to the market. My first time actually in and among a group of total strangers in 8 days. So I’m gonna go early and hopefully beat the crowd of Sunday shoppers. (Still no known cases in Muskingum County, though.)

It’s a gorgeous day out there today, but still really cold. But it will be a pretty drive into town.

Confirmed cases are up all over the world: approximately 206,000 now. However, almost 95% of those cases are considered mild: 196,442. And we’re up to about 96,000 recoveries as of right now (3/22/2020).

And now there is that horrible earthquake thrown into the mix in Zagreb. It does indeed keep seeming Biblical out there, doesn’t it, gang?

Here, in Crazeysburg, everything is still normal. The Evangelical Community Bible church here, which is right across the road from the dollar store, has a sign out front now that says: Stock Up On Jesus.

I feel pretty confident that doing that can only help.

Well, today I’m going to continue working on the outline for In the Shadow of Narcissa, since now my main goal is to get that chapbook finished and off my desk by late Spring.

I will likely post again later this evening. Perhaps something amazing will happen at the market in town that you’ll all want to know about!

For now, I’m leaving you with this! A gem from my wee bonny although very-much-disturbed teenhood. I always took the message of this song to heart and I still do! I’m so serious. (If you weren’t aware of it, Kenny Rogers passed away yesterday at the age of 81.) Thanks for visiting, gang. I’ll be back. I love you guys. See ya!

“The Gambler”

On a warm summer’s evening
On a train bound for nowhere
I met up with a gambler
We were both too tired to sleep
So we took turns a-starin’
Out the window at the darkness
The boredom overtook us
And he began to speak

He said, “Son, I’ve made a life
Out of readin’ people’s faces
And knowin’ what the cards were
By the way they held their eyes.
So if you don’t mind my sayin’
I can see you’re out of aces
For a taste of your whiskey
I’ll give you some advice.”

So I handed him my bottle
And he drank down my last swallow
Then he bummed a cigarette
And asked me for a light
And the night got deathly quiet
And his face lost all expression
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy,
You gotta learn to play it right.

“You got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run.
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealing’s done.

“Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep.
‘Cause every hand’s a winner,
And every hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep.”

And when he finished speakin’
He turned back toward the window
Crushed out his cigarette
And faded off to sleep
And somewhere in the darkness
The gambler he broke even
And in his final words
I found an ace that I could keep

You got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealing’s done

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
(When to hold ’em)
Know when to fold ’em
(When to fold ’em)
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealing’s done

You got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealing’s done

© 1978 Don Schlitz