Tag Archives: marilyn jaye lewis

Holy McMoly!!

Man, was I sick.  3 long weeks of that garbage. But I finally broke down and went to the clinic over the weekend. They promptly put me on 4 different meds, all of which had to be taken at different times, in different quantities, and that alone can make a sick mind really rebel against the system. But I am finally almost well!

Jeepers, that took forever.

While I was down for the count, I laid in bed and watched a  lot of YouTube stuff on my phone.  You know, I really hate to watch those indescribably “unofficial” videos of concerts  other people make with their phones,  because I know the entertainers really wish that people wouldn’t do that.  There is no quality control whatsoever, and of course there is no way for the entertainer to “merchandize” that.

And yet…

I was not able to resist watching Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in concert in Saint Petersburg Russia last July recorded (not at all well) on some Russian guy’s phone.

And I am talking terrible sound quality. And I am talking terrible visual quality. And yet I am still talking: What a mesmerizing concert. Even under those wretched video conditions. Often, the guy taping it couldn’t keep pace with Nick Cave moving all over the stage and so only God knew what we were suddenly looking at. And sometimes  his phone would drop briefly and he would only be capturing the backs of the heads of the people in front of him. And I would find myself calling out to him in my horrifying laryngitis-infused gasp: “Dude, dude!! Fix your phone!! I can’t see!!” As if I were actually there beside him, watching it all on his phone.

Yes, I feel a little guilty. I didn’t pay the 3 billion rubles the actual tickets must have cost, and the sound & visuals were awful, plus I was hopped-up on various cold meds throughout, yet it was still astoundingly cool. A great show.

And I have to say to all you Americans out there reading my blog; yes, you who steadfastly refuse to listen to Nick Cave — I must say that all those Russians, who speak a language that could not be more dissimilar to English if it tried; yes they were all singing along in English to those lofty Nick Cave songs and you can’t even be bothered to listen to them in your own native language. A word to the wise is sufficient!

Okay!! Onward.

I am hoping against hope to get back at the revisions of Tell My Bones today. I have been so sick that it was hard to even get out of bed, let alone to think in an even remotely creative way. And of course the clock is ticking.  Sandra and the director of the play patiently await my revisions in NYC  so that rehearsals can begin!

Nothing like a  little pressure and a whole lot of stress to get those creative juices churning… But here we go, gang.

I hope all is going good in your part of the world! Sorry for my prolonged absence. Thanks for visiting. I love you!! See ya!

(I know you’re not gonna listen to it, but here’s one of my (many, many) favorites from about 20 years ago or so. Thank god we don’t have to learn this whole song in Russian….)

Please bear with me as I attempt to post…

I’m still sick! But the good news is that I feel a lot better.

I dragged myself from the sick bed in an effort to share with you Sandra Caldwell’s newest photo. I love it so much!!

Sandra Caldwell. The actress I write for in NY.

The only down side to this new photo (there were actually several new photos from this shoot that were just wonderful, gang), is that she is back in NYC now, gearing up for rehearsals for the staged reading of my play, Tell My Bones.

I say “down side” because I have not yet written the staged reading version of my play, Tell My Bones. Because I’ve been so fucking sick.

Structurally, it’s ready to go. I did a lot of work before I got sick. But there is still a whole lot of revising, tweaking, paring down that I need to do to the text of it. And I need to have a truly keen presence of mind to do that, guys. Because everything imaginable hangs on the staged reading being a success.

I got out of bed primarily for Holy Communion today — Ash Wednesday. And felt reasonably good. But as the morning has gone on, I keep sinking back down to feeling not-so-good.  I was up literally half the night coughing my lungs out. In that horrific way where you can’t catch your breath, and you’re pissing into your PJ bottoms, and you’re thinking you’re literally going to hack a piece of your lung out of your mouth — and yet you know that you’re on the mend because you’re coughing up everything that accumulated for the past week. So surely you must be getting better!!

And even though I felt like I was gonna die from that horrible hacking, I was also in this wonderful euphoria because I am so fucking in love with my guy and he had texted me such a cute little string of emojis before I went to sleep and it was still on the screen of my phone. So it just kept making me smile, you know?

ME (all night): Cough, smile. Cough, smile. Cough, smile.

So. I feel happy; I feel pressured to get well enough to work on the play today; maybe even wash my hair, which is truly horrifying to behold. It promises to be an interesting day.

Oh, also. I saw on Instagram this morning that Lukas Nelson (son of the very famous Willie), and Dhani Harrison (son of the famous George), Jakob Dylan (son of the indescribably famous Bob) and Adria Petty (daughter of Tom, who I heard today is no longer dead, thank God — wait, that was probably fake news). Anyway, all of these offspring of hugely famous songwriting men are involved somehow in Lukas Nelson covering a previously unreleased song of Tom Petty’s.

Okay, now. This clearly means that anyone in the Universe could cover a previously unreleased song of Tom Petty’s and I’ll be forced to buy it! Well, I already buy Lukas Nelson CDs, but come on. If Taylor Swift covers a previously unreleased song of Tom Petty’s I will be forced to refuse to listen to it, or to buy it. And how will I stand that??

Hey, though, that reminds me. A fellow blogger from Australia, a1000Mistakes, recently turned me onto Tropical Fuck Storm and I really like them!! And also regurgitator! So I leave you with some new favorite songs: You Let My Tyres Down, by Tropical Fuck Storm, and Weird Kind of Hard, by regurgitator.

Okay! Listen and enjoy, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you so much! See ya.

Variations on a Most Lovely Theme

Do you notice how sometimes when you’re sick, you wake up and think, Hey I feel lots better today, and so you try to do a million things only to make yourself 10 times sicker than you were even the day before?

That was me yesterday. But because of that, I spent a lot of really spacey, sort of drug-induced dreaminess in bed this morning because I was incapable of doing anything else but just lie there for 5 hours, trying to drink coffee.

And I was thinking about my Lou Reed birthday post from yesterday, and thinking about that song Walk on the Wild Side and how much it meant to me when I was growing up, and how songs like that literally  helped get me to NYC – helped me find my way there.

I moved there when I was 20, in 1980, thinking I would stay one year and then move to L.A. But once I got to New York, it was like everything I ever dreamed life was supposed to be, and also a whole lot worse. So I stayed there for nearly 30 years.

I think of those years in NYC as “my life” and everything that came afterwards as basically just the stuff I need to do before I die. Well, I did fall in love recently and that might change things, change my take on the world. It’s too soon to know for sure but I guess we’ll see.

Anyway.  Loyal readers of this lofty blog know that pretty much the very instant I moved to NYC, I fell in love with an older man who turned out to be a hitman for the Mob and then I launched myself headlong into a pregnancy with him that devastated me. And in the middle of all that, John Lennon was killed, and he was truly one of my girlhood heroes.  All of this was, literally, within a month of my moving to NYC. Once you get NYC into your veins like that — and it was so easy to do back then; it was a whole other world then — you just can’t get it out of your system, really. I became a New Yorker, like, overnight.

In the mid-1980s, I joined the Visiting Nurse Services of NY as a volunteer, because of the AIDS crisis going on back then. I went into the homes of people in the last stages of AIDS and tried to help make their lives easier in anyway they needed until they died, which was usually right away. By the time they sent someone like me into someone’s home, it was sort of the death knell.

THEM: “You’re not a nurse.”

ME: “No, I’m not.”

THEM: “Who are you?”

ME: “I’m just here to help you with whatever you need from now on.”

One of my patients was an aging black pimp up in Harlem, who had this amazing apartment straight out of the 1920s, and a wife who was still working as a prostitute, who was part black and part Chinese, who looked & dressed like an aging dragon lady. (Yes, folks, from that slice of my reality, my now classic erotic novella Neptune & Surf was born.) That particular patient – a pimp who kept his wife turning tricks until the final moment – only wanted me to read to him from the Bible, which I did, until he died.

Another patient of mine lasted for quite a few months when they assigned me to him.  I was 27 at the time. You know, this kind of work is very confidential.  However, not only was this over 30 years ago, the patient’s Significant Other mentioned me at the funeral, so that was public, and so now I feel I want to go public, too.

That particular patient was the photographer, Peter Hujar. A gentle, warm, lovely man. A very talented photographer who documented so much of the NYC I lived in — and had gone to NYC to experience in the first place.  He had some truly famous, and infamous, photos framed and mounted on the walls of his modest apartment.

I bring all this up in connection to Lou Reed’s song, Walk on the Wild Side, because Peter Hujar took some iconic photos of men and drag queens from that era, including the men Lou sang about in that song.

When Peter first let me into his apartment that first day, I looked at all those photos hanging there on the walls and was stunned. I said, “Did you take all of these? I know these photos.” They were truly part of my life.

He was already so fragile by then, even though he would live a couple more months. But that day, he said to me, “You’re just perfect, you know that? I apologize for being so sick.”  In the early days of the AIDS crisis, the patients were basically treated like they were radioactive, because the disease was not understood yet but it was killing everybody. Most people back then would not get near anyone who was known to have AIDS. It was hard for the nurses to find enough volunteers. For some reason, I never had a fear of being around them. I saw them as people who needed help while they were dying and that fear was never going to be the right response when anyone needed help while they were dying.

Below are a couple photos Peter Hujar took. Click on them and they get larger. I’m guessing he also took photos of Holly Woodlawn, Joe Dallesandro, and the Sugar Plum Fairy (Joe Campbell), but you’d have to google all that.

Candy Darling on her deathbed. I saw this photo in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Random Notes when I was 14. At the time, I simply could not believe that she was a man. I never forgot this photo and I was stunned to learn that Peter was the photographer who had taken it.
Jackie Curtis at his own funeral in 1985. Another photo I saw long before I met Peter Hujar.
One of Peter Hujar’s self-portraits. This one is from 1976, 4 years before I moved to NYC. He looked pretty much exactly like this when I met him 11 years later, although he was painfully thin by then.

Yesterday, when I posted about how the song Walk on the Wild Side helped shape my life, making me who I am, I meant it on so many levels. Even though I’m almost 60 now, those very early days of mine in NYC seem like they truly happened just yesterday.

I’m not sure why so many gay men, drag queens, heroin addicts, gay alcoholic poets and painters, had such an enormous influence on who I was and who I became as a writer and as a woman, but they really did. A song like Walk on the Wild Side is part of my DNA now.

And I think that when people in Toronto (and sooner or later NYC), finally see the one-woman show I’ve been working on for 5 years now with Sandra Caldwell about her own life (The Guide to Being Fabulous), you’ll agree that the two of us meeting at all was pure destiny from the word go.

I was totally born to do this, to help bring her incredible story to the stage.  My play, Tell My Bones, about the painter Helen LaFrance that I wrote for Sandra, is a beautiful piece of theater that I want to share with the world. But being part of a play like The Guide to Being Fabulous is why I was born.

Better than Yesterday

And sometimes that’s all I can ask for, right? That today is better than yesterday.

I’m still sick but nowhere near as bad as I felt before.  (Plus, it’s good to know that you’re never too old to throw up! That’s sure some good news!)

I’m struggling to at least get my voice back because I have a conference call with someone in L.A. in 3 hours. As of right now, I cannot talk. So we”ll see how that goes.

It would have been Lou Reed’s birthday today, had he remained alive, which he did not. But, hence, the photo at the top there.

I really loved Lou Reed so much. What a songwriter. When I think of all the later songs he did that were just so good, I tend to forget absolute gems like Walk on the Wild Side. I do not want to forget gems like Walk on the Wild Side. I don’t want to be in a world where a song like that doesn’t exist anymore. It helped shape the person I became. And as difficult as that can be for me to digest on some days, most of the time, I really like the person I became.

My daddy cat is feeling lots better today, too. He’s frisky and back to being his naughty self.  So I guess that’s good.

I had better dreams last night, too. And I awoke feeling like I was able to forgive just about everybody. There’s a few key people that I don’t forgive so much as I just sigh and say, whatever, and move on because the degree to which they need to be perpetually forgiven astounds me.

Oh, and I forgave myself. Mostly for being too trusting, and for being too quick to always blame myself.  You know, sometimes other people are wrong. It may seem like a no-brainer for you to figure out, but it’s taken me a lifetime to understand that.  That sometimes the other person is just genuinely up to no good and they know it and I need to just accept that I can be too gullible.

I mentioned this guy back in December – JosephJames.  He’s a professional reader in London and he is just so good. He really helped me again last evening, on Instagram.  He pulled the worst card in the tarot deck: the 10 of swords. I hate that card. But his take on it was so  cool. “It’s time to take the knife out of your own back and put on your wings.”

Image result for 10 of swords

He said this based on the sunrise in the background.  That 10 swords in the back is just overkill already;  get up and start a new day.  He said to put on your angel wings and just be your own angel, and accept the apology for yourself that you were never given.

So early this morning, around 5am, I was finally able to forgive certain people because I decided to accept their apology — the ones they never actually gave me. Just forgive and move on. And I’m gonna try like hell to look at all of this in a different light that somehow sublimates me and takes away my victimhood.

(I’m being alerted that “victimhood” is not an actual word, gang, but whatever. On we go.)

Okay, I need to go back to bed until my conference call. So I’m outta here. Have a terrific Saturday, folks, wherever it takes you.  Thanks for being here. I love you!! See ya.

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody’s darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She sayes, hey baby, take a walk on the wild side
Said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
And the colored girls go,
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City is the place where they said:
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey Joe, take a walk on the wild side
Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin’ for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should have seen him go, go, go
They said, hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side, alright, huh
Jackie is just speeding away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would have helped that bash
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side
And the colored girls say
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Songwriters: Lou Reed
Walk on the Wild Side lyrics © 1972 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Oh Jesus Here it Comes Again

I am, of course, referring to the dawn of a brand new day.

I feel like absolute garbage.  Respiratory gunk and a swollen throat — both stemming from that weird pas de deux that I did with my vacuum cleaner the other day. (See some sort of post below.)

I wish I could just go swim in the sea somewhere.  I have no idea if it’s true, but I always think that submerging oneself in saltwater – the ocean – will wash away everything that’s making it so you can’t breathe.

And of course it snowed again here during the night, so the thought of going swimming in the sea someplace where it’s hot oddly makes all this congestion garbage in my lungs today feel a lot worse.

I’m also wishing I could go down to some river somewhere and get a full-submersion baptism and have that dove of peace fly out of the top of my head, taking with it all the things that fuck me up in this world.

I’ve having so many distressing issues going on in my head at once these days that I just can’t deal with them. (I’m guessing that’s another reason why I can’t breathe right now.)

I had so many frustrating and just plain bad dreams last night, too. By anyone’s definition, my sleep was not restful. I know that I’m trying to come to an understanding about several different things that, frankly, are just plain impossible for me to figure out.

You know, like when you simply haven’t been dealt enough cards. It’s not that the cards I’ve been dealt are bad, necessarily, it’s that I feel I just don’t have enough cards in my hand to figure out how I’m supposed to play this hand — to live a better life right now.

In some ways — the plays, for instance — life is really going good. In other ways, things suck and I’m not sure how to make them not suck.  I know that forgiveness is key, but sometimes I get so darn tired of forgiving people. (ME: Why don’t you just do the right fucking thing for Christ’s sake?!)

I know; I’m a minister. That’s not a good sign. One of the reasons Jesus refuses to give me my own flock to lead around, I’m guessing!

I know that giving myself a break is also key, but I’ve never been very good at doing that. I’m always the first on my list to be merciless with, regardless of what the topic is.

So here we are, with another brand new day to try to get it right this time, and I’m just so fucking angry, disillusioned, frustrated — you name it; it’s not got a good feel to it but I’m feeling it anyway.

And my daddy cat is sick, too, the only cat in the colony that actually interacts with me, so I sure don’t want to lose him. Well, I don’t want to lose any of them. But I’m trying to get him to take his medicine so that he will start feeling better (ME: Do as I say, cat, and not as I do, because I’m feeling like garbage here, too.)

One happy thing. A record I ordered probably 6 months ago is finally supposed to arrive today. I have every single song on this 2- album set, yes I do! Most of the songs, I have on several different albums. But they have included one – yes one – song that was never released before, so naturally I had to buy the whole thing. They dropped the new song on YouTube the other day, but I refused to listen to it. If it’s the only song on the collection that I haven’t heard yet, I want to put it off as long as possible.

Image result for tom petty best of everything

(Another thing I’m really getting sick and tired of is Tom Petty being dead. Enough of that already, okay? Get up, dude! It’s not funny anymore.)

Jesus.

Brain dead but still walking around!

Yes, that would describe moi yesterday.

No, not the gutter girl part — the brain dead part! Thank you very much.

I spent several days writing up some promo materials that Sandra needed for the Helen LaFrance play (Tell My Bones). And as is par for the course, Sandra’s brief text said she needed  something simple, but then it turned out that she needed a whole lot more than something simple, and a couple hours of work turned into several days of work just to create a 3-page promo.

But it’s done now and off, and now I’m back to scaling the play down to a 30-minute staged reading version. Not an easy thing to do.

I’m trying to sort of internalize the director’s notes, and trying to get a feel for his “vision” for the reading. And in the process of trying to do that – a process of psychic phenomena — I realized that I had become brain dead.

I decided that what I needed was some really strong coffee. That brings most brains quickly back from the dead, but all that it made me do was suddenly vacuum the whole house.

I have one of those bag-less vacuum cleaners, where you remove the center thingy and then click open the bottom and empty the contents directly into the trash.

Yesterday, it worked in a different way. I removed the center thingy and the bottom clicked open  on its own and deposited a whole house full of dust and dirt and cat hair and who-knows-what-all filth into a nice billowing pile in the center of my family room carpeting.

When you’re wired on really strong coffee, it’s hard not to lose your mind. Luckily, I was already brain dead, so I looked at it and said, “You’re kidding me, right?” I had to vacuum up the whole darn thing again. I was covered in dust, and I’m allergic to dust. So then I had to drop everything, throw my clothes in the wash and take a shower. By the time I was sitting in front of the play again, I was even more brain dead than before and really only capable of staring.

I’m hoping that today will be more fruitful. I’m steering clear of strong coffee, for one thing. Just let the house vacuum itself from now on.

Life is just weird, isn’t it? The brain works when it wants to work. And stares the rest of the time.

Okay, on that lofty note! I’m going back to bed!! Oops! I meant: I’m gonna get crackin’ around here. See ya, gang! I love you and thanks for visiting.

One More from Hell’s Kitchen

Yes, it’s that time! When I regale you with another one of my songs from my Hell’s Kitchen singer-songwriter days. (If you’re on your phone, you gotta turn it to the side to see this post correctly.)

This is a song I wrote in 1982.  I wrote it primarily for Blare N. Bitch (who was not called that back then, and back then, she played bass) because I was indescribably in love with her, but I also wrote it for all the other girl-musicians around the Lower East Side back then, who all had dark hair, played punk rock, and wore black leather motorcycle jackets. And, of course, played around with all that heroin until it became a really bad habit.

I never, ever touched heroin because I knew I would be a prime candidate for becoming an addict. Plus, heroin seemed to be better suited to the girls who played electric guitars.  I already had a ferocious problem with pills and bourbon.  But I played folk-country music in Greenwich  Village (the lower West side), so pills and bourbon fit in just fine there.  (I’m only partially kidding.)

Once again, this is the only digital demo of this song that I have. It’s not my favorite because I prefer the very first, homemade demos, of all the songs I wrote. But it’s an okay one.  I definitely love the guitar work here, just not crazy about the vocals.

Blare N. Bitch of course got clean, moved to LA, stayed clean – lo! these many decades later – got all inked up and is a truly awesome heavy metal guitar player, even though all of us are now pushing [WHISPERS]: sixty!

Sorry for the disappearing act!

But it was a pretty good act, wasn’t it? You probably couldn’t see me at all — for, like 8 or 9 days!

Except maybe for my quite comely yet furry little ears….

Anyway, yes! I’ve been away from the blog! I’ve been hard at work doing stuff! Like working on a new chapter in Blessed By Light. And working on a new chapter in Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. And having my first meeting with the director on my new play! And now working on some revisions for the play. (The stage adaptation of Tell My Bones.)

And, most importantly of all, I was hard at work taking out the front right end of my Honda Fit by hitting an enormous pothole in the road! Man, what a huge mess. It completely obliterated the tire. Bent the steel wheel rim. Put the whole car way out of alignment. Indescribably expensive stuff.  The only thing that I didn’t have to pay through the nose for was the tow truck.

So that was fun.

But all in all, things are good.  I need that car to get me back & forth to NYC again in the near future — and probably a few times — so, alas, gotta keep the car perfect.

Yes! More trips to NYC are on the horizon.  There will be a couple of staged readings of the play in the intensely beautiful village of Rhinebeck NY, and then probably at least one in New York City itself.  But there will be plenty of rehearsals there before the readings occur.  (Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that for a couple of years, I was planning to move to Rhinebeck, only to end up in the intensely quirky and magical village of Crazyland in Muskingum County, Ohio! So any opportunity to get back to Rhinebeck makes me really happy.)

Related image
Village of Rhinebeck, NY

I’m happy, just overall. Actually, I’m over the moon.

You know, it recently occurred to me that many light years ago, in a galaxy far, far away — meaning, the very first time I went to college, right after high school — I majored in Theater and really wanted to be a playwright. For some inexplicable reason I had forgotten about this. However, what I wanted more was to go to NYC and be a singer-songwriter, which is what I ended up doing once I promptly dropped out of college. But as anyone who knows me knows so well, that once I was living in NYC, I attended every single  Broadway play, and Off-Broadway play, and Off-Off-Broadway play, and plays in the most unexpected hard-to-find venues, etc., etc. I have always just loved theater. So for all of this to be happening now — lo! these many decades later — I can’t even tell you how happy and astonished it makes me feel,  to have it all unfolding like this.

Well, we’ve been working on both these plays for several years (Tell My Bones and The Guide to Being Fabulous), but still. Now suddenly it’s all happening, with prospects at 2 incredible theaters in the US and Canada, and it’s almost hard to believe.

I think the person who’s happiest for me, oddly enough, is my first husband. We have been divorced for almost 30 years, but when we were married, in 1981, we lived in a small apartment that was a hop, skip, and a jump from the theater district in Manhattan and he remembers quite well how much I loved the theater. So he is kinda  over the moon with happiness for me, too.

It’s an incredible feeling. To suddenly come full circle when you absolutely least expect it.

Truly loyal readers of this lofty blog, might possibly recall that for over 20 years, I believed that my first husband was dead.  Two summers ago, he popped back up, in an email, that said, “Hi how are you doing?” And I wrote back, “WTF??!! I thought you had died!! Where have you been for 20 years??!! We were all trying to find you!!” And he said, “Sorry. I was really busy.”

I’ve lived long enough now to know that if a man says that he’s been really busy for 20 years, just accept it and move on. Because you probably don’t really want to know “busy with what?”

But anyway. It’s funny. If you can manage to live long enough, the most amazing dreams come true. (In ways that I can’t even go into here on the blog. It is sufficient to say that I am incredibly happy.)

Well, I must get crackin’ here now and start writing. Thanks for visiting, gang, and sorry for the long delay in posting.  Have a wonderful Wednesday wherever you are in the world. I love you guys!! See ya.

This is poor Yorick. I knew him… 🙂

Lest you believe otherwise!

The Muse did, indeed, return!

We’ve been working at Chapter 19 for several days now, and I believe it is finished and I am very happy and entirely grateful. It was worth the day-after-day waiting, typing, and deleting. The Muse once again simply started talking about stuff that I was not expecting in any way, shape or form; and we were off and running again.  (For you who are new to my blog: on  this current novel, Blessed By Light – the Muse is writing it; I’m only typing it! So I never know what’s coming next. It’s always a complete and utter surprise.)

My Muse is not one to be cajoled; he comes in his own good time. But when he does come, you’d best be awake and at the desk, otherwise be prepared to just speak it into your phone because he’s not likely to repeat himself!!

I jest, a bit. But not entirely. Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall what the Muse put me through this past summer!

First of all, he appeared out of nowhere, basically, on July 16th and turned my creative life completely around. I had been muse-less for about 5 years and thought that it was just over. The writing – or, I should say, the inspired, delightful writing; the writing that was so much fun; it seemed like that part of my long life was simply over and I was just kinda waiting around here until I died, literally. I was working on stuff — TV shows, mostly; developing scripts. But it didn’t feel particularly exciting or anything.

And then, the Muse appeared! A totally new Muse. And a thoroughly interactive one — as in, I could talk to this one and it felt like he was answering me! In English. I could feel him when he was in my room. And for the most part, he stayed in my room (where my desk is); I couldn’t feel him anywhere else in the house.  But in my room – I was bowled over by the palpable energy. Plus, he was almost ridiculously erotic; all that erotic fiction stuff that I thought was behind me, suddenly began leaping to the fore! And posthaste, he began waking me pretty much every single morning, all summer long, at around 4am, in mid-dictation, and I had to type everything down on my phone as quickly as possible, which I kept on the night table next to my bed.

And my memoirs started coming out – Dirty Girl; Beautiful Mind. Which was harrowing because I was suddenly having to revisit some very unexpected places in my turbulent erotic past and a lot of my angst about that wound up on my blog, wherein I discovered that, well, mob guys I hadn’t seen in 20 years were still following my blog!

And then suddenly, the Muse abruptly stopped that in late August and began dictating Blessed By Light. A novel that has been astonishing to me, in more ways than I can post about here on this blog. And of course, he helped me with the revisions of the TV pilot and then the adaptation of the Helen LaFrance play.

But curiously, a few weeks back, I began writing another kind of erotic memoir of sorts, titled: Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, and I was having some recent difficulties with it and I said to him, “What are doing with this? Help me.” And he said, “That one’s your book; not mine.” He was polite and all, not malicious, or anything, but he really said that!

I mean, I don’t hear voices, but I do feel the voice.  And under the circumstances of this particular book, which I won’t detail on the blog because they’re personal, I thought to myself: Wow, now that is very interesting indeed.

So, yes! The Muse returned. No more blank pages hovering in front of me. And I couldn’t be happier, gang!

But there is still plenty o’ stress! With 2 plays now barreling towards actual production, here in the USA and in Canada.  Which means, I will likely have to travel a whole lot and I really don’t enjoy that too much anymore, especially after my unnerving “questioning & detainment” experience with UK airport security in Exeter, England, over my illustrious writing career and my FBI file. Plus, I have these crazy, high-maintenance cats, who dislike people intensely, and I no longer have a cat sitter because of my permanent falling out with my friend, Diane.

So, yes, life is good! Plenty of huge question marks on the horizon! What more could you ask for??

Okay, I’m gonna go make some lunch now and then get back at it! All that Muse-infused dictation!!Thanks for visiting. Have a really good Monday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys! See ya!

The blank page continues…

Yes, I have no idea how many days running this is, but I am still facing the blank page daily on 2 of my works-in-progress, and I am typing & deleting; typing & deleting all day long. It’s making me a wee bit nuts.

I’m hanging in there; showing up at the desk each morning and bravely facing the laptop, the manuscripts, the many blank pages. However… it is getting to me. I’m the kind of writer who measures the overall scope of my validity by my writing (which, btw, you’re not supposed to do! You’re supposed to have value no matter what!). Right.

Well, I slept in until 5:45am and the first thing I did upon opening my quite lovely peepers, was to start crying. Just a little of the waterworks, nothing like serious weeping or anything. But tears, nonetheless. And I told the Muse that I could not take this another day. That he simply had to get back to this novel with me or I didn’t know what I was going to do.

And he was right there (in spirit, you know) and he said: “Don’t create a drama, Marilyn.  We’ve been over this and over this. I’m not going anywhere. We’ll finish the book when we finish the book.”

I respond really well to directness, especially from the Muse.

And so I was able to immediately switch gears away from being a big baby and started thinking about faith instead, and about how so much of my life right now seems to be about that whole concept of FAITH. Just have faith, Marilyn. In people, in yourself, in the process of life.

So I’m going to try to go a little easier on things here today. Focus primarily on the things that are really making me happy and stop all the stressing. And just move forward.

I keep forgetting to mention here that last week, I finally read the book The Death of Bunny Munro. I don’t know why I had a complete lack of response to this book for so many years. I think it was the cover, to be honest. I could not connect with that cover at all. And my brain would just gloss right past it.

Then last week I saw an old interview on Youtube re: the book and Nick Cave mentioned that the book was partly influenced by Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto. Which, of course, surprised me.

I read the SCUM Manifesto back in the early 1980s, and came to the conclusion that probably most women come to upon reading it and that is, that Valerie Solanas may have been extreme, but her underlying assertions made a whole lot of sense. Unfortunately.  I mean, not enough to cause me to want to stab Andy Warhol, although, I’m guessing a lot of people did want to stab him and Valerie simply was the one to answer that clarion call. (When I worked at MoMA in the 1980s, I met a lot of amazing artists, and they were usually so memorable in how kind and intelligent and giving they were – of themselves and their spirits — even to the employees of MoMA. But when I met Andy Warhol there, all I could feel was this sort of incongruous “deep vacuity” in him.  It was not necessarily negative, but it wasn’t positive, either.) [Oops. She shot Andy Warhol, she didn’t stab him! — Ed.]

But back to the SCUM Manifesto

It is a man’s world and growing up female in that world is often not a lot of fun.  I don’t play the woman card, though.  When I’ve come up against male roadblocks in society, I try to find my best way either around them or through them. And frankly, over the years, other women have been more detrimental to my various careers than any one man has. And that is the sobering truth.

However, right at this moment, I am reminded of Tom Petty’s brilliant song, Free Girl Now. Jesus, that’s a hard song to listen to. A whole lotta truth going on in that song. I lived everything in that song at one time in my life or another. And eventually (as the song ultimately celebrates) got past it. I still love men. (The opening lyrics: I remember/ when you were his dog… ouch.)  Anyway. Well, I love that whole album, Echo, even though it is the least popular album by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.  Most of the songs on that album are hard to take, but they are, for the most part, really brilliant songs. Rhino Skin is amazing. Echo is an absolute heartbreaker (if you’ll excuse the sad pun).  These are allegedly songs that were written during Tom Petty’s addiction to heroin, and while he was getting his divorce. Brilliant but intense, dark, sad songs.

Okay. I digress yet again.

The Death of Bunny Munro was an incredible book!! Oh my god.

After I saw the interview, I decided to open the book and actually read it. I read it in 2 sittings, and only had to stop during the first sitting because my eyes were just ridiculously tired. But wow. What a great book.

It’s filthy as hell. It’s incredibly funny. Shocking, demoralizing, insightful, sad, jaw-dropping. And so well written.  Just an amazing look at ordinary human beings, in general, and an extreme womanizing, sex-addicted man, specifically. Wow. I literally couldn’t put it down except when forced to.

But I think that says something about the power of book covers to dissuade… So, I guess, don’t judge the book by it’s cover, okay? (In other words: Do as I say, not as I do!)

All righty, gang! On that lofty note, I will get crackin’ around here and see if anything worth keeping hits the blank page today. Have a terrific Thursday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys!! Thanks for visiting. See ya real soon!

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