Tag Archives: #MarilynJayeLewis

Sunny Saturday in the Hinterlands

First of all, there is a new excerpt from my new novel Blessed By Light at the permanent link above ( https://marilynjayelewis.com/excerpt-from-blessed-by-light/).

This is Chapter 7, runs approx. 4 pages, and includes sexually explicit passages, so please be forewarned.

Wow, I have to say that, yesterday, I really got some great work done on revisions of the CLEVELAND TV pilot. And it took forever, you know. I kept writing and kept feeling like it still was just so ordinary;it wasn’t happening. But after many hours (about 7 hours, I guess), it finally clicked and I have a new beginning to the pilot episode that NOW I really, really love. This amounts to the first 7 pages. Only 53 more to go…

The most difficult part of this process is letting go of the draft of the script that already exists. Reminding myself that it’s not written in stone.  When I first developed this TV pilot, I was aiming it for Christian Family broadcasting, but none of the producers who liked the pilot saw it that way. So, little by little, I have had to jettison these “values” that I had envisioned as being aimed at children. Or perhaps adolescents.

As you can probably guess, when you have children in the back of your consciousness, certain types of content changes seem inadvisable. But I’m starting to really just let it go. It ain’t aimed at Christians, anymore. I can tell you that.

I need to get this whole pilot re-written before I go to L.A., which is in about 9 weeks. It’s totally doable, except that I’m writing 2 new novels, and adapting that Helen LaFrance stage play, as well. So “not going completely crazy” is at the top of my list of Things To Do.

Today is my day to go back to work. Vacation has officially ended.

Oddly, I’m in a better space about it today than I was yesterday, so I guess that’s good. Plus I have my new Tom Petty CD to play in my car while I drive for an hour and constantly remind myself that everything, absolutely everything changes, so just hang in there.

Yep. It’ll probably be a good day. I’m going to try really hard, anyway. Hope your Saturday is terrific, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Yes, God – Why?

I will let the sad, sad picture above do my talking for me!

Except that I will also blog at length and expound on my sorrows!

Yes. My vacation ends today. How can that be??? I know – you don’t really care about my plight because “going back to work” means that I work all of 25 hours a week at an indescribably easy job. And yet…

It still torments me that I must return.

I’ve gotten some great writing done, and some not so great writing done, but at least a lot more words are down on a lot more pages than were in existence before my 5 days off began. (I’m including today, which I am guessing will yield additional new words on additional new pages.)

Yesterday kind of sucked because not only did I wait for hours in expectation of the conference call with Sandra in NYC that never materialized (even though I was still at my desk writing the entire time, I hate when something is hanging around in my mental space while I’m trying to write; i.e., the spectre of an upcoming conference call that just vanishes into thin air and no one replies to my texts  that say, “where are you??”).

Anyway, also, yesterday, I discovered that my garden hose spigot, which has been problematic off & on since the spring began, suddenly decided to start spewing water and refused to be turned off. Right away, I thought: Crap! How long has this been happening? A fucking enormous water bill is looming on my horizon…

But, luckily, I texted Diane and she deemed my text worthy of replying to! She was actually somewhere in a reasonable vicinity of Muskingum County, so she stopped over last evening and FIXED it for me.

Plus, she hung out at my kitchen table with me for awhile and let me blow off steam and listened intently while I got a good portion of my mental garbage out of my system. (Alas, not all of my mental garbage, because then I would cease being the real me and we wouldn’t want a “me” going about her business in this world without some remnants of mental garbage tagging along, would we?)

You know, this is an example of my mental garbage. I hesitate to share it, but I will anyway. I was meditating this morning, around 6 AM. In fact, before I began my meditation, I was really looking forward to it, so I thought I was in a good space. I was doing an old Davidji guided meditation, that takes you to the seashore and then to a  beautiful forest, where there’s  a stream, and just all kinds of really relaxing wonderful, beautiful imagery. And I was doing reasonably okay with the meditation, although I was aware that some negative vibes were creeping in around the edges. But then I got to my favorite part of the meditation, which is the forest part, and suddenly, in the visualization, I pull out a handgun and shoot myself in the head and my head explodes in the forest.

I have a spirit guide who is sometimes in my meditations and sometimes not. And today, he wasn’t there, until I blew my head open and then he appeared in the forest, and he was really angry and he yelled, “What the hell did you do that for?”

I just don’t know.  I tried to piece it together and as near as I could tell, it had something to do with the imagery of the dolphins frolicking in the sea, and suddenly it seemed like there was too much love in the world that didn’t include me and suddenly I shot myself in the head.

That’s my mental garbage. Sadly, that goes on in my head a lot. Although I am really trying hard to work on having a more flexible ego; one that does not always resort to the fallback position of “killing me” whenever the idea of “love” rears its ugly head…

Well, I tried to reclaim my morning from there. I got out of bed and sent Sandra what I hope was a reasonable text, looking to re-schedule at her convenience, but reminding her that I’ve been working on this play with her for 5 years already, and that I want to be updated re: the music rehearsals, you know. Seems fair.

And I also reminded myself that even though I was unimpressed with the writing I did yesterday, at least the words are down on the page(s) and I can begin polishing them today. Life goes on.

Yes, even though vacations end, life does indeed go on.  It’s all still looking really good. Not sure why I felt the sudden need to shoot myself. (But, you know, in all honesty, this is why I don’t want guns in the house. You can undo a meditation pretty quickly, but you can’t undo the real-life version. And God knows, I can come up with some really, really bad ideas in, you know, a heartbeat.)

Greetings from Vacationland!

So far, it’s going pretty good — this first vacation of mine in about a bazillion years.

Today, I’m doing a conference call with Peitor in LA, and then tomorrow afternoon, a conference call with Sandra in NYC, but other than that, it’s just time for me to sit here at my desk and write.

It has been decided that I’ll be going to NYC in late October. The staged reading of the one-woman musical I’m working on with Sandra is finally moving forward again. I want to go hear how all the music is coming together with the actual musicians.  I do have to say that this is taking fucking forever, and I have had to work really hard on my patience and – yes – my mouth. Keeping it shut, that is. Allow people to go at their own paces, instead of at mine, which is usually warp speed.

While I’m in the city, I’m going to go see American Son at the Booth Theater on Broadway. I’m looking forward to that.

I’m also going to be going to LA sometime around early December. I need to go out there and do some face-time type stuff with some producers, but I’ve been putting it off. And Peitor flat out invited me to come stay with him because his husband is off producing a TV or movie shoot, or something like that, in Canada until mid-December. Not that I can only visit Peitor when Graham is away — I actually get along great with Graham. But this will be like old times. Peitor and I have been friends since NYC in 1985. And we can get very, very, VERY silly – which seriously annoys people who are anywhere in our vicinity (i.e., Graham).  Peitor and I can get to laughing so hard about such stupid stuff that we actually have to stop walking, stop moving, and, you know, hold up the whole caravan while we cry because we’re laughing so hard. And I have to try really really hard not to piss myself, which, unfortunately, gang, gets harder and harder now at my delightfully advancing age…

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing him again. Because we don’t just laugh, we talk about serious stuff, too.  He has good insight into what I would call my mental instability.  I called him by accident Monday night – you know, I meant to text him, but hit the little phone icon by mistake, and then didn’t want to hang up since he would see that I was calling him. I figured God was telling me to call him. I was having one of my issues, one of my potential brain crack-ups over my music.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that Peitor, who is a music producer, will eventually be producing a record of about 12 of my early songs as part of my whole memoir thing. And for some reason, I’ve been having some serious emotional issues over my music. Or, more succinctly, over my “past” life, as it were.

I never know when things are going to rear their ugly little heads… It’s good to have a friend who knows how to steer you off of the tracks that trains are barreling down, you know?  I still struggle, sometimes, gang. I still do.

Okay.  On that note! I’m gonna get back at it around here. It is so awesome to just be on vacation. I don’t want to take this alone time to focus on all the wrong things.  Have a good one, gang. Wherever you are and with whatever you’re doing. Stay sane! I need you to set a good example for me…

 

Nothing says “I Need a Vacation” Like….

Why, yes, that was me who showed up at the job yesterday — on my fucking DAY OFF!!

Jesus. You know??? I’ve never done anything like that before.  I was so focused on my official vacation starting today that I was oblivious to my actual schedule.

I’d been there for nearly an hour, when for some mysterious reason, the schedule posted on the wall caught my eye. And even after having taken Holy Communion yesterday morning, the first really, really LOUD words out of my mouth, were “Jesus fucking God! Today’s my fucking day-off!!”

I really feel like I’ve been losing it lately. For real. I am so worn out. I need this vacation time so bad. You know, getting to & from my part-time job requires an hour’s worth of driving, so that’s frustrating, too. And all day yesterday, I had been getting such good work done on both the stage adaptation of the Helen LaFrance script, along with revisions on the TV pilot. But I kept looking at the clock, and looking at the clock, and looking at the clock until it was the absolute minute that I had to close the laptop and dash out the door, do all that driving and get to work on my fucking day off…

Anyway. My vacation has begun. I’m not planning on doing anything but writing, yoga, meditation, and a couple of phone conferences with L.A. and NYC.  I am super looking forward to it.

For the past 10 or 15 years, maybe even longer, all of my “vacations” have actually been trips to various cities, foreign countries, etc., to do readings, to sign books, to do some kind of career-promoting work.

This vacation is a real vacation – by my own definition. No airports, no cabs, no insanity. No schedules. No stress. Just me, my laptop, my wonderful old house in this quiet tiny town.

On another topic…

Even though it’s likely still a couple months away before I’ll be done with this new novel and promoting it (I think I’m going to self-publish it – the new erotic novel, that is, Blessed By Light), I need to upgrade my iphone and start actually using my Instagram account. (@marilynjayelewis). Feel free to follow me there. I have exactly 2 photos of cats posted. Seriously, I never use it, but I’m going to have to start doing that.

Anyway,  I also updated the “About” page here on the blog to include more photos of me at various times in my career(s).  Including this  publicity photo from 1984, when I was very much still a singer/songwriter in NYC:

New York City 1984 – photo c: Scot Gamble

Yes, my hair used to be really long — as well as brunette! I am 24 in this photo. And I was really skinny and tall. I’m still tall…

All righty.  I’m gonna get cracking here, gang, and grab some more coffee. Here’s hoping that if you’re going off to work today, you’re actually supposed to be there. Thanks for visiting!! See ya.

 

How it Happens

Wow, yesterday was such a beautiful day! It made for a great drive along Route 668 to go get Diane’s car.

And since I was no longer stressing about finding the auto body shop — I now knew that I had to just keep driving until I hit the edge of the world, drop her off, then turn around and go back, eternally, the way I’d come — I was able to really just enjoy how beautiful Rt. 668 was.

But, man, does it go on forever. A two-lane highway.  Passing sudden train tracks, tons and tons of farms, an Amish community,  many churches. Hills galore.  Barns galore. Trees, trees, trees, and more trees. And nothing but blue sky in all directions. And, occasionally, houses. Just maybe a house sitting here & there.

I noticed that one of those lone houses – surrounded by acres & acres of just land, not a farm – had 2 Adirondack chairs sitting side by side on the lawn, up close to the house. And I thought, Man, you really gotta love somebody to want to do that – you know? To live alone together  in the middle of absolutely nowhere – and  to want to sit alone with them at night, watching the stars come out, under God’s heaven. Probably doing battle with many mosquitoes. Then wanting to go inside and make love before drifting off to sleep, side by side in the same bed.

Can you imagine that? I tried to. I’m not knocking it at all,  and it would be so cool to love somebody that much. But I personally see a tableau like that and words like this come to me: arguing; annoying; leave me the fuck alone already; must you talk every 2 seconds; why did I ever think this was going to be a good idea?

Words like that come to me… Anyway.

As it happened, I did an hour and half of grief counseling yesterday, for a woman who had a sudden, unexpected death in the family.

I have not done grief counseling in a while. Or any counseling, really, because for the last 2 years,  I have lived at varying degrees of “really far away from everybody” –  who knows I’m a minister, that is.

I think that these last 2 years of going through so much garbage with myself, has really done some good things for my empathy levels.  I felt like I could tune-in right away to where she was coming from emotionally. And I’m not afraid to step on any toes anymore. You know, not handling people’s emotions with kid gloves anymore, but just being forthcoming about the guilt, the anger, the questions, to let people just cry – but replace some heavier-handed thinking by circling back to more self-empowering thinking even while they’re in the middle of crying.

Even over death and loss. Grief is such a  horrible, horrible, feeling to endure.  Just so heartbreaking. And all that guilt and anger, and self-anger. But we can still find that better-feeling thought to grab hold of immediately and pull ourselves out of it a little bit. And a little bit always leads to a little bit more.

So I was surprised – in a good way – by myself yesterday and seeing that I had made progress as a counselor. I was also kind of surprised that I had renewed my vow to Christ just this past Sunday, and suddenly, here was this woman on my porch, 2 days later. Interesting.

I still don’t think I would be that effective with the elderly.  And I have counseled so many elderly people. Without having a clue how to really help them, besides the fallback position of offering that Ministry of Presence, that Ministry of Silence. And I personally think that position is a cop-out most of the time. But I can’t help but feel that the elderly know so much more about life because they’ve been here longer than I have, so what can I really offer?

Of course, that’s when you’re supposed to have faith that the Holy Spirit is going to give you the words you need. And my way of talking to the Holy Spirit in those circumstances, is to stand just outside the door and say, “You better think of something quick, because we’re going in and I don’t have a fucking clue…”

That idea underscores my whole ministry: While I do have my suspicions about stuff overall I really don’t have a fucking clue.

Well, okay! On the writing front.

Man, did I get some good work done last night. Finished Chapter 9 in my new novel, Blessed By Light. I am so happy with this unexpected novel. It’s an erotic novel. The first erotic novel I’ve written since the first draft of Freak Parade in 2005.

I had no clue, and no clear intention, of ever writing another erotic novel again. But suddenly, here it came. And it just keeps coming. It’s in 2nd Person, usually the worst voice to write in, and it’s an overall “love letter,” even though it has distinct chapters that add to the overall story.  It’s more of a flow of thought, in very short chapters, that picks up the plot along the way.

It’s told from the POV of an older man, twice married but now a widower, who takes up with a slightly younger woman, and the entire book is him talking to her – talking about her, about the two of them as a couple, about his previous wives, his family, his early days, the choices he made. And almost all of it from an erotic perspective.

I tell you, in all seriousness, I never dreamed this book was lurking in me anywhere. Even if I say so myself, it is a really beautiful story.

And on that note, I’m gonna get back at it. Have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting. See ya.

2nd Attempt to get Tuesday Right!

Yep, we’re gonna give it a go. Try to see if this week’s version of Tuesday will not be a day from Hell.

Diane is here. She spent the night. Shortly, we will attempt to get in the sporty Honda Fit and go retrieve her car from the auto body shop that is far, far, FAR, so FUCKING FAR away!!! I’m hoping that now that I actually know where it’s located, and since she will be in the car with me, last week’s descent into madness will not return.

You know, also re: last Tuesday (post is below). After giving it some honest thought – because, actually, all week, I couldn’t stop thinking about how mean I had been to my friend – I realized that what I put in my post was not true. It wasn’t that the mean thing I’d said was out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying. The truth was that I knew exactly what I was saying. I knew it was mean and manipulative, and I said it anyway because I was feeling incredibly insecure, and then I only REGRETTED saying it because he wouldn’t let me off the hook and it started this huge bunch of awfulness between us, and by nightfall, he didn’t want to be my friend anymore and I had to beg him to re-think that and I apologized profusely for being such a bitch.  He did forgive me, thank god. But he also did say he forgave me about 20 times before I actually felt like he meant it.

Needless to say, after really looking at it, I did feel just terrible about me and my damn mouth. And my relentless insecurities. And what it started with someone I really love.

Not sure why, suddenly, I’ve started to be so honest with myself. I really like various other versions of myself a lot better. But I guess, in the long run, it’s best to just be honest and try like hell to change.

My conference call with Peitor went so great.  He gave me really good insights into how best to handle the stage adaptation of the Helen LaFrance piece for Sandra.  It will be much more challenging for me as a writer, but it’s a type of writing I’m better suited for. So we’ll see.

But during our conversation, I told Peitor about what’s been happening with me and my mouth (other things happened last week having to do with things I actually did say by accident that were not good, including but not limited to, telling a supervisor at my much-needed part-time job: “fuck you.”  And that truly was a mistake.  I did not expect that to come out of my mouth, I was just so stressed.  And I was, like, “Oh my god, oh my god, I take that back, I take that back, I take that back!!!”) Anyway, Peitor said, “Wow, Marilyn, you’re sort of like a garden hose; fix one leak, and the water springs out somewhere else.” Too funny, and too true.

On Sunday, I not only renewed my vows to Christ in Holy Communion – you know, to try to not be the lamest excuse for a minister on planet Earth. We’ll see how that goes. But I also made incredibly great progress on the revisions I need for the CLEVELAND TV pilot.

In response to all this, though, I am taking all of next week OFF. Just gonna stay home and work on the novels. Get some rest.  Steer clear of all my fellow human beings for a few days.  And then hopefully re-emerge all bright and new.

On that happy note, have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world.  I gotta scoot and go get Diane’s car. Thanks for visiting! See ya.

Image result for vintage images bad little girls

 

 

Still Learning How to be Human

Tuesday turned out to be sort of a day from Hell.

Peitor woke up with a raging migraine, so we postponed our conference call until later today. Disappointing, but it suddenly freed up my schedule to run an urgent errand for Diane.  Her car broke down and the auto body guy wouldn’t begin repairs until she gave him a rather substantial deposit. So off I tootled in my little Honda Fit, to bring the guy a couple hundred bucks.

Well, I could not find the fucking place. One thing about living way, way out here in the Hinterlands, places you need to get to can be several counties away. It took me 2 hours to find the guy. And it would have been a really lovely drive — all full of farmland and hills and lovely green trees and such — but I was getting steadily deeper into this weird mental place, suddenly doubting my ability to recognize chronological addresses because I just could not find this auto body shop . I drove up & down State Route 668 S, a million times, not realizing that I still was not even in the right county yet.

Well, after – yes – eleven (!!) phone calls to Diane, I finally found it. Then I got home, tried to just get to the laptop and start writing, but inadvertently said something indescribably mean to a really, really dear friend. It was out of my mouth before I realized what I was saying, and then couldn’t take it back. You know, he was so pissed off, hurt, astounded that I would say something like that to him. He forgave me but it still, well, you know, I really need to watch my mouth. Then the rest of the day I could get no writing done because I felt terrible about myself. And on into the night I felt like I was on Mars.

Yesterday was really good, though. I got great writing done on both of the new novels. (And I finally felt forgiven by my friend because I asked him probably 20 times if he would please forgive me. And even though he kept saying he forgave me, he finally just really yelled at me and said “don’t ever, ever, ever talk to me like that again,” and at last I felt forgiven. )

And also yesterday, an angel appeared in my yard! By that, I mean, one of the guys who takes care of cutting my lawn.  He’s in his 60s but he looks about 102 years old. Covered in tattoos, long white hair, beard, etc. Overalls. Unbelievably nice. Retired. Used to build pole barns for a living. Anyway, he told me that for $75 he would tear down the old rotting fence in my backyard, saw down all the posts, and haul all the wood away! I was speechless.  I was, like, oh dear God, thank you! That fence really, really needs to come down but it was taking me forever to get the money together to have it done. He also told me he’d scrape & repaint the barn for a good price, then repair the roof on the barn with used tin instead of brand new tin, and it would save me a fortune.

Wow, I just felt so blessed.  I’m hoping to at least have the fence removed before this happens:

The grown woman was my biological grandmother, Louise. She died a couple years ago. We didn’t always get along. You’d never guess, but often my obstinate, stubborn, bullheadedness and unstoppable mouth would get on her nerves. Go figure! (She’d frequently say things to me like, “Missy, you’ve really opened a can of worms this time!” And then follow that with not speaking to me for a while.)

But the baby girl in the photo is Cherie. My birth mother. She’s coming to visit for a few days, once the leaves start changing. I can’t wait. I have not had time alone with my mother in I don’t know how long. (This is not the mother who raised me; this is the mother who was forced by my grandfather to give me up for adoption when I was a couple weeks old, because, sadly, she was only 13 when I was born, and my grandfather finally said, “I’m sorry, but this is just not happening. The baby’s gotta go.” So out I went.)

Over the last several years, I’ve only seen her at funerals, really. Well, not really, but I haven’t spent as much time with her as I used to do when I was in my 20s and 30s, and just getting to know her.

She’s 71 now, retired and living on a farm with both of my half-sisters.  Yes, my mom & dad (she 13 & he 15 when I was born) were both from way, way out in the Hinterlands of Ohio; grew up on farms.  It’s not really that strange, is it? That even though I love NYC, I wound up way back out here, nestled amid farmlands in the Hinterlands, and love it so much. It’s just in my bones, I guess.

My mother and I are so similar, it is almost like we are slightly different versions of the same person. It’s uncanny.  It’s not that easy to talk to her. She’s very quiet. Very private. She’s had a really, really hard life. But I can write her letters and tell her everything. Just everything about myself. Things that confuse me, confound me, upset me about myself. Things it’s not easy to tell anyone else. And she’ll say, “The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree with you. You’re just like me.” And then say nothing else.

But, that actually says a lot, doesn’t it?