Tag Archives: Kevin

Free at last

Okay, time for a new selfie, since the one of me in the red dress is exactly one year old already…

No, the subject line, “free at last,” does not mean they have given me a date yet for my move back to New York.  It means that I am now living alone again — for the first time in 5 years.  I’d been renting out one of my furnished guest rooms for a while now and my tenant moved out on June 1st. In anticipation of my house being torn down, he opted to go get his own place. I don’t blame him! And as much as I wasn’t relishing the idea of living alone again, I discovered that I TOTALLY dig it!!

First of all, I am somebody who likes to clean. Actually, I love to clean, although I’m not OCD about it, as some of my dearest friends (read: Kevin) are.  But the guy I was renting the room to was young and not on the same wave length as me when it came to cleaning.  However, now my house is feeling like my home again! I can clean it one day, wake up the next day and …. it’s still clean!! Even with all these cats!! So that feels great.

No, I'm not trying to show you the food I eat. I'm showing you how I like my fridge to look when I open it!! Yippee ki yi yay!
No, I’m not trying to show you the food I eat. I’m showing you how I like my fridge to look when I open it!! Yippee ki yi yay!

All right! As usual, I’ve been busy. Some of it, not so good, since a very good friend of mine’s wife died the other day and it has been heartbreaking. He is moving back to the West Coast now, to be near his kids. I am going to miss him so much. I’ve been trying to help him get ready for the move as much as possible since he is elderly and I likely won’t get a chance to see him again once he moves away.  When he needs me for something, I drop everything, but that also means that other work is getting a little bottle-necked.

I’m also starting to wonder WHY ON EARTH I went back to school! Of course I know why I went back to school. And I’m going to stay in school at least until I move back to NY because it really keeps me grounded. But, boy, is it making it hard for me to stay on top of stuff at this particular juncture.

I did manage to get all my application paperwork together for the Screenwriters Lab I am hoping to get into in the fall (for women over 40).  The application involved writing 2 essays that kind of wore me out. But I did it and submitted it, one day before the deadline. I felt good about the final product. That said, though — it’s a really good thing I didn’t know beforehand that they are only choosing 8 (!!!) women to attend the lab, or I would have been too intimidated to bother applying. It’s a very high-profile lab in NY. For some reason, I was thinking it would be more like a conference, with about 30 or 40 women selected. But, no: 8 will be chosen. 8 will go. Since I’m guessing that well over a thousand screenwriters applied, the odds are not super hugely in my favor, gang. But, we shall see!!

Other than that, plans are still moving ahead for the staged reading of my screenplay, Tell My Bones, in NYC. We are trying to pin down actors who are net getting ready to go off and do summer stock all over the country.  So we are falling a little behind here. The reading needs to be done ASAP, since the lead actress, along with the stage manager, are going off to France for the month of August…

I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like there’s all the time in the world and then things seem to be moving at a snail’s pace. Then, suddenly, you’re out of time!! And rushing around. How does that happen?

Soon, enough, though, I will be in NYC, and not only for the reading. I’m going to get to see “my significant love interest,” at least for an evening. And for that, I cannot wait, gang. I bought a new dress and some new high heels… Luckily, he is tall. Because high heels make me about 6-foot-2.

I am so totally, totally, totally into this idea of trying out love again after so many years! All I know for sure is that he makes me really happy. He makes me laugh. He gets my sense of humor. So I am super excited about getting back to New York. Even though, at this time of year in New York City, it’s too darn hot…

Okay, on that happy note… I hope you’re having a great Saturday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!! Enjoy the heat, gang. Thanks for visiting!! See ya!

 

 

So much stuff going on!

Holy Moly. What a terrifically jam-packed couple of weeks it’s been, and I don’t mean that in the best way. Although, overall, everything is great.

First off — so what did you think of the Mad Men finale? I wasn’t completely sure how I felt, so I watched it twice. I came to the conclusion that each of the characters resolved in ways that were realistic to the characters overall, and that everyone, except Betty, of course, has a reasonably happy ending. More importantly, it felt as if the characters’ lives were going on into a palpable future that we as TV-viewers can only dream about… So even though I felt deflated after watching the final episode, I think that was only because I was sad to see it end.

Although kudos for closing with that killer Coke commercial! I vividly recall sitting in my family room one evening when I was 11 years old and seeing that Coke commercial on TV for the first time. I was blown away by it, as was most of America…

Hands down, the most stressful part of these past couple weeks was when my beloved cat, Doris (photo above) went missing for 8 long days!! She was one of the semi-feral kittens born in my basement 2 years ago and had never been outside in her life. Somehow, she got out and I couldn’t find her and it was beyond stressful and heartbreaking and exhausting.

Through the help of many kind cat rescuers online, I learned how to find and catch a terrified, extremely timid semi-feral cat.  I tell you, they hide right under our noses, but indeed, as I was emphatically guaranteed by the professional lost-cat trappers, we can’t see them but they are there! They’re watching us, but are too terrified to come out of hiding until the wee small hours of the morning. The whole adventure was maddening. I was out in my dark backyard, in my red Wellies and my cotton nightgown, at 4 a.m. for several incredibly humid days running, catching glimpses of her but to no avail!!

But I finally trapped her at 5:09 a.m. this past Monday morning — in a humane trap — and brought her back into the fold.

Other more upbeat things: School is going incredibly great. I still don’t know if I can keep up this notion of being back in school with homework to do every single day, but so far, I am loving it. There’s honestly no reason for me to still be in school, I’m already an ordained minister with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. However, for now, it keeps my mind off this never-ending limbo of “when will I move back to NY?”

Appropriately enough, though, through some “miracle,” I am on vacation from school this week. Just in time to take on a new web content client who needed help with new content “yesterday” (it required a ton of research & writing immediately). That was turned in this morning, and now I have to draft two killer 500-word essays for a writer’s lab I seriously want to get into, and the deadline is June 1st.

The staged reading in NYC of my screenplay Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story is still moving ahead. It is going to happen SOON, gang. As in “the next few weeks.” And — I’ve been asked to be the Narrator, so I will be on stage with the actors, instead of lounging around stress-free in the audience. But I am super excited and I hope all of you can get to NYC and attend!! Yay!!

Okay, well, I guess that’s my update for right now. I gotta get crackin’ on those 500-word essays. I hope you’re having a wonderful month of May, wherever you are and whatever’s been going on in your world. Thanks for visiting, folks. See ya!!

 

An interesting day, on so many levels!

One of the really good things about today is that Lent is just around the corner!! Yay!!

For Lent, the Right Reverend Marilyn Jaye Lewis gives up all sweets, treats, and snacking — and since I currently have some incredibly yummy imported Italian gelato in my freezer, which must go before Wednesday, I feel completely entitled to eat gelato today, and plenty of it (!!), to ensure that it does not end up going into the kitchen trash. Yay!

I also have a bag of those Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips in the cupboard (that “healthy alternative” to potato chips, though they are still deep fried in fat with added salt — just, I guess, a better kind of fat and a better kind of salt!). Anyway, those, too, must go!! Yay!!

So, for me, Fat Tuesday is actually happening on Fat Sunday this year…

Okay, you caught me! That link above there will take you to the Wiki page for a non-New Orleans- Shrove Tuesday, which is still the night before Ash Wednesday, when you basically consume all the yummy good stuff you can’t have during Lent.  However… Shrove Tuesday also involves  “making a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs [we] need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth [we] especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”

I’m thinking this might be a good introspective time for me to figure out what the heck is going on with all these re-writes I don’t seem especially eager to undertake! Aside from working with Kevin yesterday, I got no writing done at all. Instead, I watched Love Story and Pillow Talk — two wonderful old movies.  And on top of it, by the end of the evening, I was thinking that I didn’t want to be a writer anymore at all! I thought, “Why on earth would I want to write for television in L.A., when all I really want to do is move back to New York and frolic among the pines in my friend’s 3.09-acre backyard??!!”

Indeed. I am 54! I don’t necessarily need to be a writer anymore. I’ve done a heck of a lot of writing already. And once this house gets sold, I won’t need to do anything I don’t feel like doing ever again! So there!

And yet… last night I had a very intense dream. I was in L.A., in a TV studio, following the producer around, trying to get her to perch somewhere and give me story notes on the TV pilot. And then, when I’d followed her into the control room (I guess it was a “live” TV studio), another producer (also a woman) said, “Just wait until June, when you find out what we’re doing with your novel, Twilight of the Immortal!”

(And if you go to that link, please do not purchase the paperback edition being sold for $74 unless you are a hard core collector. The paperback edition of that book was riddled with typos! I no longer work with that publisher, and the Kindle edition has no typos and is published by me!! Just a word to the wise, gang. Not that I want your money, I just want you to read the 600-page novel as I actually wrote it, without the inane typos littered throughout.)

Needless to say, I awoke from that dream, thinking: What the heck are they going to do with my novel in June???!!! Is it going to be a highly lucrative miniseries for PBS?? I can’t wait to find out!! But then I also thought that the dream was trying to tell me that it is ludicrous to think that I am going to give up writing. Ever. So, it begs the question: Why am I not writing? I guess because I really, really do want to get this move back to New York underway already. This limbo is very distracting. It is making me nuts.

Yet, on that happy, introspective note… I will tarry not a moment longer on this page, and I will get busy on some writing here. Have a wonderful Fat Sunday, wherever you are, gang!! Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Me, later today...
Me, later today…

Happy St. Valentine’s Day, Everybody!

I am having the best St. Valentine’s Day, gang! However, I also have a ton of writing to do this weekend, and so far, today is not off to such a productive start… I worked on some screenplay revisions with Kevin in Brooklyn this morning (he is in Brooklyn, not I — we Skyped!) That went well, except for a curious Final Draft snafu that is worrying me… (Sadly, I think I see a mandatory upgrade to Version 9 hovering in my future.)

Meanwhile… now I have to work on the TV pilot re-writes and all I want to do is stay dreamy and look out the window at the snow!

I tried to coerce myself for 2 hours. I said, “Just write 5 pages. You’ll feel so much better if you just write 5 pages.”

But now I am saying, “Just write one page. Even one lousy page. One lousy page is better than no page.”

And then I answer, “Ah, yes, but I still have all of tomorrow to work on this, too. And tomorrow it won’t be snowing. And it won’t be St. Valentine’s Day, either. Tomorrow will be much better…”

We’ll see how it pans out, gang.

Meanwhile, I am such a happy little camper this year. I share this with you as I impatiently wait to get back to New York!

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

Oh no! Now I'm craving chocolate cake!!
Oh no! Now I’m craving chocolate cake!!

okay! Well. Happy, happy, gang!! Make it a great one, whatever you do and whoever you do it with. Thanks for visiting. See ya real soon!

This could be the last time you see me for a while…

Naturally, now that I am in my final course of school, preparing to graduate, it is clearly going to be one of the most time-consuming courses I’ve taken so far.  So much reading and writing that it won’t be funny, gang. Luckily, I’ll get one week off for Thanksgiving, but other than that, I don’t know if you’ll see me here or not over the next several weeks.

After that, I will graduate and then have time to start going through all my belongings, throwing out what I don’t absolutely need, and then packing up all the rest of it, preparing for my next long-distance move.

The trip to NYC last week got cancelled at the last minute, due to a death in the actress’s family down in D.C. I was disappointed, but soon enough, I will be back there permanently. For now, we are working on Skype until the airfares go back down again after the holidays.

I know I keep telling you how excited I am to be working on this project, but I must say it once again: I am so excited to be working on this theater project!! Yesterday when we were Skyping, I found out that I already know the director (I never worked with him, but I lived in the same apartment building as he and his wife for many years.) And I know the stage manager — to put it mildly. It is my ex-husband! I said, “You’re kidding??!! Wayne is the stage manager?” He is perfectly suited to that role, btw, and he and I still get along really well, so, wow, what a cozy little group. The only people I don’t know yet are the music director and the agent who’s repping it.

Between Skyping every Wednesday now with the actress, and Skyping every Saturday with Kevin (my writing partner in Brooklyn, on a different project), and this colossal ton of homework required for my final class, and my regular ton of part-time jobs… it leaves little brain-space for the re-writes of the TV pilot, but I still manage to squeeze it in. Even though all of this stuff is really exciting, it is stressful and leads to lack of sleep and to depression. I sure do wish I didn’t have to work quite so many part-time jobs.  But the end is in sight.  Soon enough I will be able to concentrate on my ministry and my writing — and my new/old relationship with my guy-friend back in New York.

I just have to keep hanging in there. My depression is very low-grade at this point and I know that as things progress and change and end and new beginnings begin, the depression will evaporate. So, on that happy note, I’m gonna scoot and start reading the SEVENTEEN (!!!!) (yep — 17) chapters in my textbooks that I need to write papers on this weekend.

Oh, btw, here’s my theme song! It gets me through. Give it a try, it might help you, too!!

All righty!! See ya, gang. Thank you so much for visiting!

 

What’s wrong with this picture?

One of my friend’s signed up at oDesk and eLance recently because she needed to drum up more work. Now, I am the kind of writer who always needs to drum up more money; I never need to drum up more work!

But sometimes (okay — frequently) I forget this!

Yesterday, after I came home from a freelance editing job, and while I was organizing the homework assignments I had to write for this week, and after I had talked to the actress in NYC again about nailing down the flight I needed to take to get to NYC and begin working on the original off-Broadway musical, and while staring at the piles of notes I had for my screenplay re-writes with Kevin in Brooklyn, and from the producer in L.A. for the TV series we’re trying to develop, and while thinking about the new book I wanted to write (a fun murder mystery that I think will be a blast! I already have a producer interested in a holiday screen adaptation for women’s television), I thought to myself: You know, I ought to sign up at oDesk and eLance, too, and try to make some more money…

So sign up, I did!That’s right!

But then, as my head hit the pillow last night, I thought to myself: How bizarre! What the heck is the matter with you? When do you think you’re actually going to be able to do anyone else’s writing and still have time for your own???

So I un-signed up this morning.

Why is it that it is so hard for writers to consistently earn enough money to live on and still write creatively (as opposed to hired-and-sometimes-hack work that other people can’t or won’t do)? It has plagued me throughout my entire career, and I’ve been a professional writer now for 25 years. Sometimes the money is great. Sometimes it stays consistently good for a good chunk of time. Then it disappears entirely and you resort to prayer. Then, happily, it picks up again. Sometimes, it even snowballs into more money than you’ve ever seen, but I haven’t experienced that. Yet. (You’ll notice, though, that as a recently ordained minister, I have made resorting to prayer part of my full-time job! I am really, really good at resorting to prayer. However, that said, I have also gotten really good at standing back and letting prayers be answered, left, right, and center. It had a lot to do with this stuff –click link & scroll down– and it took years to master it. And some days, I don’t master it at all.)

I honestly think that you’ve got to be happy. It is imperative. Do only what makes you happy — and you might be surprised at what types of little jobs might make you happy. I know I’ve surprised myself over the years. (4 years ago, I said yes to a 2-hour cleaning job without knowing it meant I would be working for this company and that, as a writer, it would open all kinds of doors for me and turn my life around.) Make yourself happy and then the other stuff that comes to you makes you, surprisingly, even happier. But sometimes you have to really wait.  And that “waiting” part is when a whole lot of people just give up, turn around and go home. (i.e., “do stuff they hate.”)

I don’t think that writers are going to get paid what they’re worth in this lifetime. A small few will — but it’s fewer and fewer all the time. However, you can at least make enough to live a fulfilled and happy life.   And, really, I believe that’s what we’re here for. When we’re fulfilled and happy, we do astounding things that can’t help but have a beneficial trickle-down effect for everybody.

On that happy note, I gotta scoot!! Have a terrific Wednesday, wherever you are and whatever happy thing you’re doing!! Thanks for visiting, gang. See ya.

[One of my all-time favorite films. Who knew it would be part of my destiny, kind of??]

 

 

 

How about that weekend?

I don’t know about you guys, but I had the best weekend.  All my plans seemed to go awry at the last minute (i.e., I was supposed to see the opera the Marriage of Figaro, Skype with Kevin, go to church) and I wound up having the entire weekend to myself, with nowhere I needed to go, nothing pressing I needed to do. My homework was completed by mid-morning on Saturday. A local marathon kept me from going to church on Sunday. I wound up just taking a couple of really lovely walks; I baked a cake; I did laundry; I did yoga; and then spent most of the weekend watching old Harry Potter movies on TV!

I don’t know — what could be better? I so rarely have two days in a row where I don’t really have to do much of anything.  And the Harry Potter movies are such fun time-wasters.  I actually sat in my own living room, in my own easy chair, and I watched television for hours.  (There was a Harry Potter marathon on ABCFamily.) For some reason, I don’t spend much time hanging out in my own living room.  It has become a luxury. Something that symbolizes “free time.”

I had a great phone conference with one of the producers in L.A. yesterday. Last week, I actually let the other producer go.  (Or however you would say that  — it’s not like I fired him.) I came to the conclusion that even though he was a really nice guy and had great ideas, those ideas were taking my own idea in a really different direction that I couldn’t connect with — and because of that, the re-writing process had become tortuous for me.  As soon as he was out of the picture, a veritable flood of great ideas started pouring into my brain. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

And nothing beats having enthusiasm for a project you’re writing, right? Enthusiasm is that fine line between heaven and hell.

The trip to New York City is getting closer. It’s supposed to happen in two weeks, they’re just trying to nail down the best airfare.  It is so hard for me to believe that my life is really this good. The money still needs to be a lot better, but I know it’s on its way.

Yesterday when I was taking my walk, I was getting so psyched about being able to go see Broadway shows again! I can’t remember the last time I got to see a Broadway show, but I think it was about twelve years ago.  You know, New York City has changed so much since the days when I first moved there. Back then, in the 80s, I lived with my first husband on the corner of W. 45th Street and 8th Avenue, in the Camelot Building, fittingly enough!

The Camelot Building, New York City
The Camelot Building, New York City

This was literally just a few steps from every theater on Broadway, and tickets back then cost $15, if you can believe that. I was in my early 20s and a waitress in those days, and I saw every show on Broadway.  Then, gradually, it just got more and more and more expensive.  It got to the point where I could only see one or two Broadway shows a year.

I read an article in the Hollywood Reporter over the weekend that said that 78% of the people who attend Broadway shows are white, and %68 of them are white women, with an average age of 44 1/2 years old, with an average income of $186,500 a year.

I don’t know. Those numbers just sort of made me feel weird. I read them over a number of times, trying to make sense out of what has happened to the world I used to know. Not that it matters. I’m just curious.

All right, well. I have to go work for a few hours, so I need to get crackin’ around here. I hope you have a great Monday, gang, wherever you are, and I hope it’s the start of a super-terrific week! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

[This was the first Broadway musical I saw that truly blew me away. And here I’d thought I was going to be bored…]