Tag Archives: Nick Cave at Town Hall

Sometimes -There’s God – So Quickly!

I know, I’m hopelessly plebeian, but that is probably my favorite line from A Streetcar Named Desire.

I first read that play when I was about 15 and it was one of those lines that seared straight into my heart and I immediately put a lot of faith into those words ;  God was going to somehow manage to be there for me, even if He was gonna wait until I really, really, REALLY needed Him before regaling me with that miracle at the 11th hour.

Of course, in the play, it’s all about a woman needing a man to take care of her and she thinks she’s finally getting one. That’s a concept that has always been, even at age 15, indescribably foreign to me. Why on earth would I want a man to take care of me? Then he would have the power to tell me what to do!

Even though I really love dominant men, I am definitely not the kind of person who responds well to being told what to do. It’s a strange, hazy, jagged sort of line, isn’t it? Not something that can be sorted out in a single, lighthearted blog post, I’m guessing.  (It’s interesting to note, though, that I respond really well when someone puts actual thought into how best to subvert my churlishness by making something sound like a mere suggestion and not a mandate. My enormous ego assuaged, I can then do what you ask and still trot along happily behind you, my merry tail wagging away once more.)

However! Yes! I digress. That’s not at all what I was going to post about!

I was going to talk about Blessed By Light and how inserting a single clause within a sentence yesterday completely heightened the dynamic of what I had been trying to say for 3 days without understanding for 3 days what I was really trying to say!

The clause was “who now embodied everything I ever was in my youth” and it just made everything hit the stars, you know? I really just sat there and stared at the manuscript and went, WhoaWhere did that come from?

Hence, my Tennessee Williams’ line, Sometimes – there’s God – so quickly.  Or the Muse. Take your pick. I lean more toward Muses than God. But it’s still a great line that often comes to me when I’m just really, really happy.

I only got 2 more pages written after that yesterday, because the phone calls that I knew were coming came and dealt with 2 other projects I’m working on and it set my mind off in other directions. Try as I did to reel my mind back in, it just never happened. But I still had just a beautiful night. I am just so happy with everything.

And the weather has been just incredible the last few days. It has made everything almost feel magical. I took a walk to the Dollar Store yesterday (the only store in the whole village except for the gas station across the road from it, where you can buy cigarettes, chewing tobacco, M&M’s and stuff, and nothing but the finest libations: beer and cheap wine, and windshield wiper fluid). And on my walk home, I was looking fondly at my house in the distance as it came ever closer, and I simply couldn’t believe how happy I was.  All of my projects are just going so well.

I don’t define myself solely by my writing, but my writing does account for about 98% of how I look at myself. I don’t care if that’s a good idea or not; it’s just how it is. And when the writing is going well, all is right with my world. I have the best muses ever.

I still have to deal somehow with this explosion of stuff on the Internet, where people seem to be doing renewed projects with past books of mine, and I haven’t seen royalty statements from these publishers in a few years. I posted here recently about the interesting hardcover editions of a novel of mine that never came out in hardcover, but which are selling for $203 per copy. And then I noticed an audio book of Neptune & Surf! In French! How nice! Were you planning on ever telling me you had done that?? Methinks not! (But I have to write that letter en francais! so it’ll take a little while.)

So there’s still little headache-type stuff that I have to figure out how to deal with, but it’s all okay. Everything will work out.

Okay, in about 34 minutes and 44 seconds, I’m gonna get my ticket to see Nick Cave at Town Hall, and then I’m gonna get crackin’ here on Blessed By Light. [UPDATE: I got my ticket, a really good seat in the front of the balcony, dead center, but wow, what a feeding frenzy that was. The pre-sale tickets were gone in about 12 minutes.  – Ed.]

I hope you have a really productive and happy Thursday, wherever you are in the world! (Assuming it’s still Thursday wherever you are in the world!)

I leave you with yet another really cool song from my breakfast-listening this morning. It’s from The Big Jangle – by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1978: Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid). I really love this song. The melody is just great. And once you decipher all the lyrics, it’s so fucking singable! All right. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you. See ya.

There goes my baby
There goes my only one
I think she loves me
But she don’t wanna let on

Yeah, she likes to keep me guessing
She’s got me on the fence
With that little bit of mystery
She’s a complex kid
And she’s always been so hard to figure out
Yeah, she always likes to leave me with a shadow of a doubt

Sometimes at night, I
Wait around ’til she gets out
She don’t like workin’
She says she hates her boss

But she’s got me asking questions
She’s got me on the fence
With that little certain something
She’s a complex kid
And she’s always been so hard to get around
Yeah, she always likes to leave me with a shadow of a doubt

Just a shadow of a doubt
She says it keeps me running
I’m trying to figure out
If she’s leading up to something

And when she’s dreaming
Sometimes she sings in French
But in the morning
She don’t remember it

But she’s got me thinking ’bout it
Yeah, she’s got me on the fence
With that little bit of mystery
She’s a complex kid
And she’s always been so hard to live without
Yeah, she always likes to leave me with a shadow of a doubt

Well a shadow of a doubt
Well a shadow of a doubt

c- 1978 Tom Petty

Alas, Poor Sybil!

Sybil is the girl up there on the book cover. Doomed to come into her hormonal peak in an era when most Americans were more comfortable with women being one-dimensional!!

(And I’m guessing that the author, “Joan Ellis,” was really a guy.)

But I guess it made for some good, solid reading. Yes, indeedy.

God knows, I was no stranger to these kinds of trashy paperbacks when I was young; they were just everywhere in the early 70s. Just everywhere. But I was not their target audience, that’s for sure.

Even though this era in erotic publishing in the US was sort of a “golden era” for the genre, it did absolutely nothing for me. And I was the horniest child imaginable, so it wasn’t that. It was the writing. It was not good! I was only 13 when I read Story of O and that was, like, from some other celestial realm. It took my breath away, it was so erotic.

For me, it all came down to the quality of the writing. It really did. I guess if you aren’t into dominant men (as I am and always have been, since about, I don’t know, age 6?), the quality of the writing might not mean anything at all to you. But I’ve known women who weren’t into dominant men, and women who weren’t even into men at all, who were still blown away by the writing in Story of O.

Wow. Well. that was certainly an unexpected tangent at 6:11am!

What I was intending to write about was something a little bit different. But not much.

Last evening,  I finally did get some energy going. My brain connected. I had Chapter 21 of Blessed By Light open in front of me. I was tweaking some stuff already written there and feeling primed to get some new stuff down, and then suddenly Peitor texted me.

I don’t keep my ringer on when I’m writing but I do keep my phone on the desk, so I saw that he was sending text after text after text. Which always means something important is on his mind, so I looked at the texts. And then suddenly, Valerie in Brooklyn started texting me, too. She’s working on some sample cover art for me and I needed to hear from her, so I was trying to read that, too. And then suddenly my dad called.

All of this happened at once, completely at the same time, at around 7 in the evening.  And no one had texted or called me all day. Suddenly, all my mental energy was re-routed toward my phone, which basically derailed any creative stuff getting written yesterday.

But the stuff from Peitor was really cool. He and a handful of creative people in L.A. (except for Peitor, I think the others involved are all women), anyway, they’re starting an artists’ retreat in Perugia, Italy.

Peitor lives a good portion of the year in Italy and England. And he agreed to take over this property for a friend in Italy and run it. And it’s amazing and really lovely.  And it’s upscale, you know. Really nice. It can house & feed 60 artists at one time.

Peitor is a composer and producer, and he scores films and TV and stuff. And the women onboard are, like, award-winning photographers for National Geographic, and artists in other disciplines, and other writers, as well as TV & film executives. All based in L.A.

They are getting their opening programs together for when the retreat actually opens again, and Peitor texted and asked me if I’d like to try to oversee some sort of erotic writing program there. Not for beginning writers, but more for writers who specifically wanted to write in some sort of erotic vein and the end result is  a book of collected stories or pieces that are erotic in some way and written during the retreat.  So, overseeing a retreat in Italy, as well as a publication. (And, of course,  wine is involved – the drinking of it, not the production of it!!)

And, of course, I was, like, YES!!!! with a zillion exclamation points. We then texted for over an hour, hashing out the details. So you can see why I never got back to the novel last night. My mind went off into this whole other realm.

I’ve taught writing before. It’s not an easy thing to do. And I was very picky about who I would take on as students, because it’s hard enough to help good writers become better writers.  Trying to teach someone who thinks they kinda might like to write…that’s just not even in a ballpark that I know how to show up in.

So, I can see how an undertaking like this particular retreat could require an enormous amount of energy from me, directed at a lot of people at once, and people from all over the world. I speak French and a little Mandarin Chinese, but that’s it.  Everyone’s gotta speak English, otherwise I’ll be useless. Yet, just because a writer might speak English, it doesn’t mean they’re thoughts slide together in the same way that a native speaker’s does, right? Still, I find the whole idea just really exciting, however it turns out.

But I think I totally passed out from exhaustion before 11pm last ngiht and then I was up at 4:11am, all excited about life and unable to fall back to sleep. Teaching that guy piano, and now this artists’ retreat in Italy. On top of all the other really cool projects I’m doing right this very minute.  I was also lying there wondering what seat I’m going to get when the tickets go on pre-sale for Nick Cave at Town Hall tomorrow morning. I know I’m going to get “a seat,” but will it be the seat I want? What is the seat I want? Actually, the seat I want is, you know, on the piano bench right next to him, but I’m thinking that’s not actually a seat that’s being offered…

I finally got out of bed at 5am, went downstairs to merrily feed the many scampering cats. We listened to The Big Jangle by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers all during breakfast. What a great CD. (It’s from the Playback collection.) It has all of my favorites from that period when I was 18-21 years old. Gem after gem, and not one of them longer than 3 minutes.  It’s pretty much: verse/chorus, verse/chorus, bridge, chorus, out. But just wonderful rock & roll songs! All of them infused with that intense attitude he had when he was young.

It all just made for a great start to another sunny spring morning around here.

(Oh, you’ll notice that I reloaded Boy, If You Want into the music player. This is a demo we made in my boyfriend’s bedroom, on his 8-track, in 1984. He was a drummer in a different band. We used his bass player and a lead guitar player that they knew. It’s just a demo, the sound quality on the acoustic guitar is terrible, but I always liked the demo, overall.)

Okay, on that note! I’m gonna get crackin’ around here on the novel because I know for sure I have 2 phone calls coming today that I need to take. I leave you with one of my favorite Tom Petty songs of all time! (Isn’t it everybody’s??!!) Here Comes My Girl, from 1978!!!

All right, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!

Good Morning, Sunshine!

This morning was just one of those mornings.

I woke at around 6am (late for me), dawn was already filling my splendid bedroom. A nice breeze was blowing in, birds were chirping outside. However, I felt like I’d been run over by a Mack truck during the night.

I was unbelievably exhausted. It was almost too much of an effort to even open my eyes.

I felt like I was trying to rise to the surface of life from deep down under some unfathomable ocean. But I knew I was happy. That much I was sure of, although it took a moment to remember why.

Ah yes! The Algonquin Hotel as a single woman! Nick Cave at Town Hall!

That helped me sort of focus. But it still took me about 45 minutes to actually get out of that bed.

I hate when that happens, because I really wanted to just spring out of bed today, merrily feed the cats, have my breakfast, and take my coffee back up to the laptop and get to work on Blessed By Light

I’m still waiting for something remotely similar to energy to kick in, all these hours later. Although I did manage to make the drive into town and back to buy groceries and it is a really stunning spring day out there today, gang.  Just gorgeous. Unbelievably perfect. Spring is barreling toward summer today.

While I was on the main drag in the town, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the most perfect, dark-haired guy in the car behind me. About 20-something. The kind of guy that is nothing but trouble. The kind that I used to be a magnet for, about 45 years ago. And he was driving a vintage Dodge Challenger – the distant forerunner of the Hellcat, my dream car. Wow. It really perked up my tired little brain, if even for a moment.

But now I’m back at my desk, manuscript open in front of me, and the brain is struggling to connect again. What’s funny, though, is that I can feel the muses. They’re swirling all over today. I can practically touch them. You know – with my mind. So it isn’t a lack of that kind of energy,  and so I’m hopeful that the day will eventually yield something really good.

Plus it occurred to me this morning, as I was lying in bed, thinking about the Algonquin and Nick Cave (and myriad combinations thereof); it doesn’t really matter if we can’t pull the tech rehearsals together that particular week. I can make 17 hundred trips to New York, if I have to. And Sandra and I have the other play (the one we’ll be doing in Toronto) that we can work on, plus 2 other plays that we’re working on that are only in various stages of notes. No lack of constant things to be working on in New York.

I don’t want to make myself stressed. I just want to enjoy myself in a wide open world, you know? Come what may.

What I do need, though, is for this novel to be completed and off to the publisher before we begin the initial rehearsals for Tell My Bones here this summer, so I’m gonna get back to staring at Chapter 21 until the brain returns, gang!

Meanwhile, I hope that Tuesday has been really lovely, wherever you are (or Wednesday, if you’re reading this in that part of the world). I leave you, joyfully, with this, gang! (See yesterday’s post).  Listen and decide for yourself if it isn’t the most perfect music to shoot yourself in the head by! Or, I guess launch into some orgasmic frenzy. Your choice!

All righty. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya.