Tag Archives: Nick Cave Red Hand Files

And so it continues…

We’re getting closer to getting this darn novel published, finally.

Although the email that came from Valerie during the night, in response to my email to her regarding the cover design was: “OMG! What are all these words?!?!”

To be fair, though, I had been texting her with many emojis and leaving anxious voice mails, indicating, in a sort of very stressed out way, that I was “having issues” regarding the layout…

However, I’m confident that today, we will get it all figured out!!

And soon — very soon — that novel will finally be published!!

On a similar note, sort of — I heard from M. Christian the other day that one of our publishers was trying to locate me because they had a royalty check for me and had no clue where I was living anymore!

Well, that’s exciting — a royalty check. But it made me wonder how many other publishers have lost track of me? I still get royalty checks at our apartment in NYC, and that has not been my mailing address since 2003. So I was thinking that maybe I ought to do something about updating everybody. One of these days.

Anyway.

Well, as much as I tried to drag my feet on it, I have officially watched the final episode of Endeavour in Season 7. I cannot believe how long it takes to get the new episodes and then it’s over in a heartbeat (3 nights!!) and then you must wait another whole year.

I remember way back in the Dark Ages of my wee bonny girlhood, how different it was! A TV season lasted about 30 weeks, and then went into reruns all summer long, and then in mid-September, shortly after the new school semester had started, the new TV season began!!

OMG, it was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to see the new seasons of I Dream of Jeanie, Bewitched, That Girl; or The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family  — to see how everyone had changed and grown and what kind of new hairstyles everyone had, and all the new fashions. It was so cool. It was just so exciting. (Okay, I was really little.)

I was so in love with David Cassidy (from The Partridge Family) back then that, when I was 10, it managed to practically ruin one of our family vacations for me.

David Cassidy, 1970s teen idol, has died at 67
David Cassidy — what’s not to love??

David Cassidy was going to be the special guest at Cleveland’s Thanksgiving Parade that year (1970),  kicking off the Christmas season in downtown Cleveland, but my family and I were on a vacation in the Caribbean. In the sunshine.  In a private little villa with its own private swimming pool, only a few steps from a beautiful beach and the Caribbean sea…

St. Thomas Beach Shore Excursion with Sightseeing & Shopping

…and I was heartsick because I couldn’t be in freezing cold, snowy downtown Cleveland, to watch David Cassidy ride in a parade and wave for 3 seconds at a mob of screaming little girls!!

Blizzard in Cleveland Ohio - 1950 - Euclid Avenue | Cleveland ohio ...
Cleveland in Winter

Too funny to think about it now — what I wouldn’t give to be hanging out in a private little villa with my own swimming pool.  Even though I had a good time during the day — the beaches were so beautiful, and it was my first exposure to steel drum music and I thought it was incredible; still, I would literally cry in my bed at night, knowing that I would miss David Cassidy in the parade…

(It was not TV-related, but there was another time when my parents forced me to take a really lovely family trip during summer vacation and it caused me to miss The Osmond Brothers performing live at the Ohio State Fair!! You can easily see that my childhood was tortuous…)

The Osmonds (Everything is Beautiful【Grammy 1971】LIve ...

Okay, well that was an unexpected trip down memory lane…

Yesterday, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand File that was really good — all about his take on Cancel Culture and the role of mercy in a tolerant society. You can read it at that link there. It  was really well stated, gang.

Well, I gotta get started here! There is so much work still to do on the publication stuff today. I hope you’re having a nice Thursday, wherever you are in this COVID-infused world. Thanks for visiting, gang! I’m going to leave you with a hit song from 1964 that I always loved.  It’s Calypso, but no steel drums, or anything. “Shame and Scandal in the Family” by Shawn Elliott (this is based on a 1943 song, that had different lyrics, but these were the lyrics I grew up on). It’s too fun! So enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

“Shame and Scandal in the Family”

Woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family

In Trinidad there was a family
With much confusion as you will see
It was a mama and a papa and a boy who was grown
He wanted to marry, have a wife of his own
Found a young girl that suited him nice
Went to his papa to ask his advice
His papa said: “Son, I have to say no
This girl is your sister, but your mama don’t know”

Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family

A week went by and the summer came ’round
Soon the best cook in the island he found
He went to his papa to name the day
His papa shook his head and to him did say
“You Can’t marry this girl, I have to say no
This girl is your sister, but your mama don’t know”

Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family

He went to his mama and covered his head
And told his mama what his papa had said
His mama she laughed, she say, “Go man, go
Your daddy ain’t your daddy, but your daddy don’t know.”

Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family

©  1943, 1965 Sir Lancelot; Lord Melody

A Strange Tummy Kind of Morning!

I’m still planning to do a ton of Abstract Absurdity Productions work today with Peitor, but my tummy is behaving weirdly. Like it can’t make up its mind if it wants to be sick.

Last night, lights out.  I sat on the edge of my bed in my freshly laundered cotton summer PJs, wondering if I wanted to stream a lecture on Christian Antiquities, or play some more Einstürzende Neubauten, or maybe just listen to the sound of the crickets filling the night and stare out my window at the dark.

And then, suddenly —whoops!— my tummy decided, out of the blue, as it were, to shoot a bunch of weird acid-y stuff right up into my mouth.

Just suddenly. Just like that. No warning or anything. Ich!!

Thank you very much, tummy.

It startled the heck out of me. It’s never done that before.

And from then on, everything felt just a little bit off. And even though I could still eat my breakfast today, and I did the treadmill, and even though I sort of seem just fine, I still just feel a little off.

It could of course just be anxiety. I’m really good at finding new and unusual ways to express that. Free-floating anxiety.

There’s a ton of Ab Ab Pro stuff to do (mostly for me to do, not necessarily for Peitor to do) (including another webinar I need to take on Thursday — this one on equity investment and debt financing and it comes with a guarantee that by the end of the 2nd hour, my head will explode or I get my money back).  But even though there is so much work still to do, today we are starting a new script, because we want 3 of our micro-micro shorts ready to shoot as soon as it’s feasible to do that (either out in LA or in the cinematographer’s studio down in Alabama, depending on the cost estimates we get, etc.).

So there’s just this growing feeling that nothing will ever get done because there’s too much to do. And I’m also waiting to hear back from the director of my play with any word re: the potential staged reading of my play (on zoom). Something that will potentially make me happier than you can possibly imagine, but would also require my near-total attention for a while.

And then an email arrived at dawn from the accountant to follow up on everything regarding our 723 million LLC set-ups for Ab Ab Pro, and something the accountant said in the email brought to my attention that I might have misunderstood something during our phone  call  on Thursday and that I might have misspent some of Peitor’s money and, if so, I will have to pay him back today. And I thought — anxiety circling ever closer — please don’t tell me I have to absorb that cost right now. Crap.

And then I found my imagination doing that thing it does when it wants to just bail on me — I started thinking about the factory that’s a 5-minute walk from my house. And about how I noticed when I drove by it yesterday that it had a huge “Now Hiring” sign out in front. And I thought, I should go get a job at that factory.

It assembles auto parts for Honda.

I have no clue how to work in a factory. I have no clue how to assemble auto parts.  I have no real marketable skills at all except for writing and editing, and I have no clue how I would stand on my feet for 40 hours a week in an assembly line and not shoot myself. But suddenly, since it is only a 5-minute walk from my house, by brain is telling me to just give up on everything and go work in a factory.

I was at it in my imagination for quite a while before I finally realized what I was doing and had to snap myself out of it: Jesus Christ, Marilyn, you’re not going to go work in a factory. You’re going to deal with your life.

And then I further thought about how most of my friends are now retiring and getting those social security checks and winding down their lives.  And I’m still in the very thick of everything, and am also very seriously contemplating another online start-up with M. Christian to begin next year. Something that would be so fucking cool and would be an indescribable ton of more (editing) work for me…

And I marvel at this idea: Retiring. What is that, exactly? How do people manage that?

It’s the exact opposite of what I’m always doing — piling more and more projects onto my plate. Projects that I love, you know? That I simply cannot say ‘no’ to.

Well, anyway.  As much as I would love certain aspects of retiring, I don’t think I’m ever going to do that.

On a whole other topic– Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand File today that was really interesting, about the nature of songwriting. You can read it here. It was really well stated. Just beautifully expressed.

And it was illustrated with the handwritten lyrics of a song he wrote a million years ago, “Sad Waters,” which was on the Bad Seeds’ Your Funeral…My Trial double EP from 1986. (And I always used to lie on my bed in the hellhole tenement apartment on E. 12th Street and listen to it on my record player and stare up at the ceiling and wonder why it was a double EP, and not just an LP? But anyway, it wasn’t.) Here’s the image he used. I just love this!!

Well, okay. I guess I better get started here. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I know this will seem like an odd choice to leave you with, but this is the song I was listening to this morning, as I was drinking my coffee and  trying to get a grip on all my anxiety. Lou Bega, “I Got A Girl.” From his 1999 hit album, A Little Bit of Mambo (a really fun album, by the way).

So listen, enjoy, get rid of that free-floating anxiety if you can. Go file for your retirement benefits. Relax. Take it easy. Have a good life!! This song promises all of those good things. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“I Got A Girl”

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Lou Bega on a trip, would you all come in?
With a little bit of this and a little bit of that
You can get what you see, you can see what you get
And I bet that you all a little bit excited
If you need a autograph, honey, I can write it
I got girls worldwide on the planet
Some called Whitney and some called Janet

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

From Miami Beach to Beluga Bay
From the Milky Way to East L.A.
From St. Tropez to my home cafe
That´s my way and I do it like day by day
In Africa, America, Europe and Australia
Asia, Canada, I take them all an’ marry her
India, Arabia to the girls of Germany
All around the planet, you can be my fantasy

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

You and me, no matter where you from baby
No matter where you from baby, baby only you and me
You and me, no matter where you from baby
No matter where you from baby, baby only you and me

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

© 1999 Lou Bega, Christian Koenigseder, Achim Kleist, Wolfgang Webenau Von

Hitting It On All Cylinders!!

Wow, yesterday was just a really, really great day.

It was the best day I’ve had in a really long time.

It was one of those revelatory days. I won’t go into too much detail about it, but several writers were unexpectedly emailing me with feedback about my newest works and it actually kind of blew me away.

One man wrote in response to that new flash-memoir piece I wrote last Friday — he’s not the potential publisher; he’s a much younger Iranian writer, although I think he’s living somewhere in Europe now. He asked if he could read the piece, so I sent it to him a couple days ago, never dreaming it would affect him as much as it seems to have.

Since he is the sole person to have seen that piece so far, it took me by surprise that he liked it as much as he did. And, of course, it made me feel great. Because almost no one responds directly to me about my writing anymore. They just don’t.

And then, my friend in Brussels (a photo- journalist) sent me an email with feedback about my upcoming novel, The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

He is the first person to give me any meaningful feedback whatsoever on the entire novel (other people have given me feedback on specific chapters) — and the manuscript has been circulating for over a year already.

Plus, I only sent it to him a few days ago, and I honestly never dreamed he’d read it so quickly. or have such meaningful feedback for me. There’s one small part about the main guy’s heart attack that I see now I need to clarify.  Plus, this friend is also the guy who told me he hated my original title, which I did end up changing, so he doesn’t mince words.

Anyway, he said really kind things about the novel. It’s experimental fiction, which can be dicey, but he ultimately seems to have really liked it. Words such as: compelling, intense, challenging, elusive.

I love those words!

Also, yesterday, one of the webinars I took re: Abstract Absurdity Productions, was about developing a film festival strategy (which festivals to submit films to — if any — and why).

I have had really good experiences with the 4 different film festivals I’ve submitted to in the past, two of them were Tier 2 festivals, one was a Tier 1. I won’t go into all the details, I just want to say that from what I learned yesterday, I became sort of aware that my writing is really good.

The guy giving the webinar is the programmer for a Tier 2 festival that I’ve entered twice over the years, and both times scored just 2 points shy of being a finalist, but that is still a really good score, and they make a big deal about it. It’s still an honor. But what I didn’t know is that that particular festival gets thousands of submissions, 80% of which are no good, right off the bat. So only 20% even get into the judges’ hands

I was quite astounded by that number. And I sort of saw my own projects from a different angle.

The Tier 1 festival I entered was one sponsored by the Academy Awards (the Oscars) and I scored in the top 8% out of 7000 entries that year.  I knew that was good, even back then. I wasn’t aiming to win — I was aiming to make connections and see what the feedback was. So I knew the score was good, but from this new distance of time, I see that my work consistently shows up. And in smaller places, it actually even wins the awards.

So, it was just a good day. I was getting a new perspective on my work. Coming to a new understanding about it, since I get so little outside feedback anymore.

And then, of course, Peitor and I did actual “Ab Ab Pro” work on the phone for a few hours and got a lot accomplished.  We have narrowed it down to the 3 micro-micro shorts we want to write the scripts for next — with an eye toward shooting them as soon as feasibly possible in these days of COVID. (We have literally 20 micro-micro-shorts in development. And 3 other projects that are from 4-10 minutes in length that we kind of consider our “gems,” including Lita måste gå!)

We do have just so much work to do but it really is moving forward and I feel really happy about that, too.

I’m at that place in my life now where, as long as I can get to the close of a day and feel really good about the day and want to come back and experience my life again tomorrow — that’s what matters now. So I am always so grateful when I do have just a really affirming day.

Okay. Today is all about beginning the re-edits of The Muse Revisited Collection, in anticipation of publishing POD trade paper editions of all three volumes in the collection.

And then Valerie in Brooklyn is supposed to call later to discuss where we are on all this cover art I still need! (Primarily for The Guitar Hero Goes Home so that I can actually finally publish it.)

Nick Cave sent out yet another Red Hand File early this morning — still relating to his really amusing one from the other day, where he tried to score a free piano from Fazioli in Italy. Now it seems that some fans have started up crowdfunding campaigns to buy Nick that really expensive piano.  (Not so far from what I thought was a ridiculous comment to make — that we were taking up a collection to buy him one for Christmas. Apparently not so ridiculous a comment after all.)

Anyway, he has asked his fans to not do that. That he can buy his own piano.

Sort of weird, right? That fans took this really delightful post of his and turned it into this thing.

All righty. Well, I’m going to get started on the editing here. I hope you have a really nice Wednesday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! Thanks for visiting. I’m going to leave you with my listening-music from last night. I’ve posted it here before, but it is really just  lovely — probably the most popular contemporary ukulele recording out there, even though Israel Kamakawiwo’ole has been dead for a number of years already.

I had this on repeat for I don’t know how long last night — in bed, lights out, sun setting — and it took me to some amazingly rapturous places.  His voice was so beautiful. This is his medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World.” Listen. Enjoy. Find peace, baby!! I love you guys. See ya.

An “Ab Ab Pro” Kind of Day!!

Yes, that’s how I usually refer to Abstract Absurdity Productions because to say Abstract Absurdity Productions all the time,  can take forever and get kind of annoying…

However.

So, yes. The entire day is now dedicated to Ab Ab Pro stuff. Webinars. Watch some short films that one of our producers produced on the proverbial shoe-string budget. (Same producer who gave us a budget proposal for Lita måste gå! (Lita’s Got to Go!) that was well into the 7 figures…)

Anyway.  We also received our script breakdown from the Assistant Director the other day. So that’s exciting. Technically, it’s an 8-day shoot. But we still have to decide if we want to shoot some of the scenes on location in Sweden and Paris — and now Portugal has become an option. There is some property there that matches what we need, and Peitor has a producer in Portugal who can arrange it. But we’re still just trying to get all our little ducks in a row.

We need to make 2 or 3 of our micro-micro shorts first. Actually shoot them. Which will probably be in the cinematographer’s studio down in Alabama. (The micro-micro shorts are between 45 seconds to 2 minutes long. Again — complete stories, but totally absurd. And still filmed in a style that is an homage to the European New Wave in cinema from the mid 1950s- early 1960s, which, way back then, was an inexpensive way to shoot a film but now it makes your budget go through the roof, even for micro-micro shorts.)

So, you can probably see how this new schedule I’m on, where I concentrate on only one specific thing for the whole day, really helps me make progress on each project. It is definitely bringing me some sanity.

And yesterday, I was finally able to get some notes off to a writer in the UK re: his manuscript. And then I was even able to spend a couple hours reading my friend’s travel book about the Netherlands, which I have been trying to finish for a few months already.  (Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands by Roger Gaess) I really enjoy reading the book so I didn’t want to just plow through it. I’ve never been to the Netherlands so I actually really want to take in what he has to say. (We are colleagues from NYC but he lives in Brussels now.) Plus, I like to get out the pocket atlas and look at these places he’s talking about — see where they actually are. It’s funny how you can think you know a foreign country geographically, but then look at an atlas and realize you are a little bit off (or even wrong, as the case may be!!)

So, anyway.  I was able to really enjoy that for a couple of hours yesterday.

And today is just going to be busy from start to finish. But — I did do the treadmill already, so that’s out of the way!! I’m not going to get to 7pm tonight, all happy & ready to settle down and stream another new episode of “Agatha Raisin” only to discover that I hadn’t worked out yet!!

So, forcing myself to work out at 7am, instead, is really helping me mentally, too.

Okay! Well, there was another — very brief– Red Hand File from Nick Cave very early this morning. Apparently, some of his more zealous fans sent a “tsunami of mail” to the piano company in Italy yesterday, telling them to give Nick a free piano. (See yesterday’s post.) And so he asked people to kindly stop doing that…

Wow. People can get so intense, can’t they? A little militant, I think, but I guess their hearts were in the right place.

On that note, I gotta scoot and get this day underway. I want to take a webinar before I speak to Peitor. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I’m leaving you with a song I am never ever going to get tired of — it was in an Instagram feed early this morning, so it’s been on my mind for a couple of hours. I’ve posted it here many times before, but here it is again!! “Shivers” by The Boys Next Door (1979). Enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya.

Another Glorious Day in Crazeysburg!!

I know it’s only been 4 days since I started using the calendar method to get my work done every day (meaning, the weekly calendar I drew up where each day, I tackle only one specific thing for the entire day), however, I can’t tell you how much more manageable my life already feels.

On Friday and Saturday, I finally wrote that new flash-memoir piece and sent it off to a potential new publisher. And then I got great work done yesterday on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town.

And even though it made me feel a little anxious that I won’t be working on Thug again until Friday (Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, I have set aside for my own writing), it still felt just great to be able to sit at my desk and write, without having that voice in the back of my mind telling me I ought to stop and work on some of the other tons of stuff on my desk. (Or, actually, in piles on the floor.)

The schedule actually helps my mind feel free.

I also switched my workout schedule to early mornings, right after I meditate. That way, in my mind at least, the whole day ahead is just sort of free.

I’m not sure what it is about self-imposed structure that relieves my anxiety, but it does. But it has to be self-imposed, because when anyone, or anything, tries to impose a random structure onto my day, I really rebel against it. With every fiber of my being!!

Hence, I had real problems with school. Thankfully, I was really smart so I could always keep up with my homework, etc., but I was always skipping out on classes. And I have no recollection of how it happened, but I somehow managed to arrange it so that the signature that the Attendance Officer had on file for my mother was actually forged by me, so my excuse notes from “my mother” always matched the signature they had on file because it was actually mine.

Anyway, I always skipped so much fucking school! And still graduated up near the top of my class and was the Valedictorian on Graduation Day. (There were 2 Valedictorians — one boy, one girl.) So even that was sort of a cool thing to pull off, I guess. There I was, giving the entire Graduating Class (over 800 kids) advice on how to have a really bright future, and I’d skipped more school than all of them combined. Plus, I’d been institutionalized in a nuthouse for awhile. And had been notoriously raped. And was openly bisexual. (And had the leads in the school plays!) I mean, the entire school knew all this stuff about me. It’s just so weird to think that I was the one giving them advice.

I also recall a Home Room teacher that I had (Home Room was where you went first thing, for the attendance check in). She was about 70 years old and taught English, but I never actually had her as a teacher for any of my English classes.  I was working on a poem during Home Room one morning, and I was having trouble with a specific word. I went up to her and asked her about the word or how to spell it, or something like that.  And she saw that I was working on a poem.

SHE: “Do you write a lot of poems?”

ME: “Yes, I do.”

SHE: “I’d love to read them, would you bring some in and show them to me?”

ME (a bit startled): “Okay.”

And so I did. I brought her a stack of poems I’d written and she took them home with her for a few days and then gave them back.

What I actually didn’t know was that she was the teacher in charge of the school newspaper. And a few days later, random classmates were coming up to me in the halls, telling me they loved my poems.

Finally, one of my closest friends (my friend who now works for NASA in Houston and is still battling cancer), came up to me and said the very same thing. I stopped him there in the hall and said, “Why is everybody saying that?”

And it turned out that the teacher had published a bunch of my poems in the school newspaper!! Without asking me…

So weird. The entire school seemed to know every last intimate detail about me. Always. But that same teacher nominated me for inclusion in the Quill & Scroll Honor Society. (Again without telling me.) And I got in.  I still have my little pin. It actually meant a lot to me.  I was already taking my writing really seriously, even back then.

Although I considered myself primarily a songwriter, I did write a lot of poems.

Once, after having read Kafka’s Letters to Milena, I was so moved by it (I was a huge fan of Kafka), that I wrote a love poem about Kafka and Milena — and a train that Kafka never gets on — for my grandma up in Cleveland, and I mailed it to her. When she got it, she called me on the phone and was crying. She really loved it. (She was a Polish-Jewish immigrant who had had family members in concentration camps during WWII, etc.) (Kafka, who was Jewish, died long before the war. But Milena, who was not Jewish, died in a concentration camp in Germany for helping Jews.)

I will never forget that, obviously. Just another one of the reasons why my grandma was my most favorite human being in the entire world — she  seemed to understand me and she always just loved me, just how I was. She never asked me to try to be some other way.

When she died, my family didn’t even tell me. (I lived in NYC at the time and she still lived back in Cleveland.) They didn’t tell me she had died until after she was already buried. Not only did they not want me at the funeral, I think they just wanted to spite me somehow. To hurt me, you know. (And they did. It is truly astonishing that I am able to keep any sort of relationships with even a few of my family members. )

I didn’t get to see my grandma’s grave until 15 years later. I made a special trip to Cleveland (from NYC) to see it. And there it was, her tiny grave — right next to my grandpa’s grave!

My grandpa had died one month before I was born, and I was named after him, in the Jewish tradition. My grandpa’s spirit was a big part of my childhood because I loved my grandma so much and she had loved him. And a framed photo of him that always sat on her coffee table throughout my childhood, now sits here on a bookshelf right next to my desk. I still look at my grandpa every day.

Well, what was so weird about finally seeing my grandpa’s grave, after he’d been dead close to 50 years, was that the entire time I was in elementary school in Cleveland, the schoolbus drove past that cemetery twice a day, every day, from 1966 to 1971, and NO ONE in my family had ever told me that my grandpa’s grave was in that cemetery. No one ever once took me to see his grave.

I find that just astounding. That constant feeling that I was never important enough to matter. I still deal with those feelings.

But onward. I try not to dwell on it.

Okay. Nick Cave sent out an amusing Red Hand Files letter today. You can read it here. It’s about his attempts to score a £200,000 Fazioli piano for free. (We’re now taking up an international collection to get him that piano for Christmas.) (Totally just kidding about that!!) (I sure hope I am, anyway.)

Anyway, the piece was really cute. And it sort of reminds me of myself, in a way.  Because, in the near future, I am going to begin reviewing adult sex toys online. (And I’m not doing it just to score free toys — it’s more about staying au courant in the always expanding world of sextoys.) But I keep sort of fantasizing (no pun intended, actually), about how great it would be if RealBotix gave me a free, top-of-the-line Henry A.I. sexbot to sample and review!!

It would make me so fucking happy!!! But I honestly don’t see it really happening. Even a no-frills Henry is something like $8,000.

Okay. Enough!!!!

Today is the day for me to go into town and get the groceries. And then I am going to be spending the workday, getting caught up on reading other writers’ works that have been sent to me and have begun to pile up. So I feel really good about making some headway with that.

And, in the evenings, I have been thoroughly enjoying Season 3 of “Agatha Raisin”!!! So life is good, gang.

Okay, I am off to town now, in my happy little surgical-grade COVID 19-approved surgical mask!!! Enjoy your Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang! I leave you with Tyler Jarry’s “dad packing the car for a family trip.” This is totally American. I don’t know if it will translate to dads in your country, or not. Perhaps it does!! But enjoy!! It lasts one minute. I love you guys. See ya!

Off I Go Again, Gang!!

Okay, gang! I’m off on my birthday expedition to visit my dad.

I might post photos from the road, if the sun comes out.  Right now, we’re between rain showers, but he lives over 100 miles from here, in another direction. So maybe there will be sun!!

Meanwhile, thanks for visiting!! Enjoy my 60th birthday 🎂 wherever you are in the world, gang.

Oh, Nick Cave posted a Red Hand Files letter today about loss and life and transformation. It was lovely. You can read it at

https://www.theredhandfiles.com

All righty!! I’ll catch up with you guys later. I love you! See ya!!

Just A Real Onslaught Today, Gang!

But the good news is that the special lube for the treadmill belt will arrive sometime today, and I can finally put that treadmill together and start using it.

I actually am really looking forward to it. I love treadmills. And even though I actually really like the current aerobics workout I’ve been doing lately, it’s still a video that I have to log on to. With a treadmill, I can stream anything I feel like watching, or just listen to music, or listen to something more spiritual.  I like having those options.

The onslaught mentioned above, refers to a bunch of private stuff I can’t go into detail about on the blog. I can only say that some of it is family stuff that is truly distressing me, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Some of it has to do with really distressing stuff a business partner is going through, that affects me, sort of by proxy.

And then also just some private affairs of the heart which are just challenging me beyond belief around here, gang. But onward. End-times come when they come, and I just have to learn how to change. I’m actually pretty good with change, once I get past the heartache of it, you know? This one is a doozy, though.

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw that I re-posted the Balladeer’s post of an interesting video of black businessmen discussing on an interview show about how, in his private life, Trump had given the black businessmen private business loans that saved their businesses and he did not make them ever pay him back. And also a black fashion model that Trump dated for several years in the 90s, all out in the open and everything, and she’s quoted as saying that he is not racist, there just aren’t that many people of any color that he actually likes.

I don’t know. I just like to throw everything into the mix and just think about  it, about what a dangerous weapon the press can wield on all sides. (Meaning, there doesn’t seem to be any real reasons to think that Trump is “racist.”)

Okay. Well, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files thing today. You can read it here, if you so choose! He was his usual eloquent self. And don’t forget to buy a ticket for the streaming event next Thursday evening, Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace.

I did manage to get off those review copies of The Guitar Hero Goes Home yesterday afternoon. (Going to long-time colleagues who know my work very well, who will be supplying cover blurbs. So it will be interesting to see how they react to/review something that’s so unlike anything I’ve written thus far.)

Still trying to figure out a name for the publishing company, and still trying to figure out if I will eventually want to publish other writers or not. That decision plays a huge role in how I will format the final manuscript and where I want to house the files to publish the POD version of the novel. That last part is a huge consideration that I need to come to a decision about.

(Meaning, if I just want to self-publish, I can go to CreateSpace and publish the novel by later this afternoon! Assuming Valerie had the cover art completed, which she doesn’t. But if I think I’ll want it to be an actual small press, I need to house it somewhere that gives me better access to international markets.)

So, I guess I need to come to a decision…

All righty, then. I guess I’d better get started here. I had another one of my little meltdowns for most of yesterday so I didn’t make any headway on the flash/memoir piece I want to write.  I think my meltdown for today is already over, so I hope to just get some good work done today, and then get that treadmill put together this evening!!

I’m also hoping the treadmill will help stave off these many meltdowns I’m having. I don’t want  people to feel like they can’t call me, or confide in me, or write to me or need me for something that astounds me. And I also don’t want to have a heart that grows cold & insane and forgets how to love, you know? But when the shit storms come to this house in the middle of nowhere — and they do — it’s always just me alone, now, trying to handle everything without losing my temper or falling to pieces.

Oh, and I want to mention something really weird here. Last night, after the lights were out and I was in bed, thinking I was going to fall asleep, I suddenly, out of the blue, decided to google George Harrison.

I love George Harrison but I know next to nothing about his life. Usually, when I love musicians, I love their music and don’t really need to know anything else. There are a couple of exceptions: That Conversations with Tom Petty book, by Paul Zollo, that came out in 2005, absolutely blew me the fuck away, because Tom Petty was never a man to tell anything personal to the press. So I never really knew anything about him at all. Then that book came out and he was talking about everything under the sun; truly personal stuff as well as his various inspirations behind every single song he ever wrote.

And Keith Richards, of course. Not only because his memoir, Life, from 2010, was astoundingly detailed and wonderful, but because Valerie in Brooklyn used to work for Keith & Patti back when the girls were still really young. And so I know these really personal things about Keith’s life that are delightful but really private.

And then, of course, Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files and then his In Conversations tour, brought a whole lot about his life to light and so now I know that.

But normally, I’m just into the music. So, I googled George Harrison and found out all this stuff about him that I never, ever, ever knew. Stuff that kind of astounded me — because (!!) — as I lay in bed in the dark after reading all that stuff, I was struck by the similarities between him and the character that I randomly named “George” in The Guitar Hero Goes Home.

Long time readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that, three summers ago now, I suddenly began writing The Guitar Hero Goes Home out of thin air (back then, I thought it was called Blessed By Light). It just started coming to me from out of nowhere when I was sitting at the kitchen table one day, like it was being dictated to me and I was scribbling it down while it came. I have no clue where that novel came from or why I wrote it, and it’s not like anything I’ve ever written before. So this “George” character is just so fucking odd. Not that they are identical twins, or anything, But the number of similarities between the character in the book named “George” and the stuff I never knew about George Harrison and now know — it was just so peculiar.

Okay. On that note, I’m really gonna scoot now. Have a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I hope life is being really good to you today. (You know, if God had come to me moments before I was born, and showed me even a general blueprint of my life and how it was going to live, and then said to me, “Are you sure you wanna go through with all this?” I would have said no, and gotten the heck out of that womb…) Anyway. Let’s move on. I love you guys. See ya.

Sorry, But I Gotta be Brief!!

I’m not really going to post a true post today, gang — I am trying to finish editing The Guitar Hero Goes Home because I want to get down to work again on the new novel (Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town).

I just wanted to remind everybody that today, on Bad Seed TeeVee,  they are beginning to stream the original videos that fans submitted! So don’t forget to check it out!!!

Also, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files thing today about Nina Simone singing “My Sweet Lord” in her effort to protest the Vietnam War back in 1972, which was very powerful. You can check it out at that link!

Oh, and my treadmill arrived this morning at 7am! However, they neglected to mention ahead of time that I can’t use it without lubricating the belt first. And I don’t even want to tell you how many various brands of lube live in this house, none of which can be used on the belt of a treadmill!!!!!!

So, next fucking week, the proper lube will arrive. Meanwhile, the treadmill is in my kitchen…

Have a really nice Friday, gang, wherever you are in the world! Sorry for being so brief today, but thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!!

Lube Tube: Standing, From-Behind Manual Stimulation Technique
Sorry, gang! I couldn’t resist!!😂😉😘

Yes, It’s That Kind of Wonderful Morning!!

Here in Crazeysburg, the cocks — excuse me — the roosters are out and about, which is always exciting, and it is yet another incredibly beautiful day!!

(I’m kidding about the roosters, gang. They don’t actually allow you to keep chickens and such here in the Village of Crazeysburg itself. You have to take 14 steps out of the village if you want to do that.) (And I’m not kidding about that part.)

But that reminds me:  A million years ago, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers did a live radio broadcast out of Chicago, where they did just a killer (sexy) version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Little Red Rooster”!

(This whole broadcast is actually really great.  It totally kicks A. I don’t think it’s on an actual album or CD, but there is an MP3 download of it that you can get everywhere.)

Okay!! So!!

Today’s kind of a big day for me. Today is my big foray into Granville, Ohio, to have dinner with Kevin (Director of Tell My Bones) (in some future make-believe land, that is. All theater in NYC is shut down until 2021. I’m guessing NYC will never get back to normal, at this rate.)

Anyway. Kevin and I are having dinner at the Granville Inn and I have not done anything social, let alone been to the inn, since March 14th. I’m not entirely sure that I remember how to behave in public, but we’ll find out. Plus, this will be the first time I will put on my eye make-up in 3 and 1/2 months. So weird.

But I’m excited!! And also nervous. Because life is just plain different now. I’m guessing that if I let go of believing in anything I ever knew before, I should do all right.

Yesterday, I was working on Girl in the Night, and I guess I’ve just been doing too much typing these last few days, because the bones in the tops of my hands started to really hurt. So I took one extra-strength Tylenol and within minutes, my hands felt great but I was so sleepy I couldn’t even sit at my desk anymore! I had forgotten that those darn pills make me sleepy.

So the bulk of the day was not entirely productive, although I did have a nice day, regardless. And the lawn guy came to cut the grass, so the weedsyard — is looking really spiffy.

And of course, by 9pm, I was quite perky and wide awake. And remained that way for a few hours, but I didn’t really feel like working at that point. So, after streaming another episode of Professor T., I just laid around on my bed in the dark — well, with the lights out. My bedroom is never actually dark because of the streetlights outside my window.

But I laid around on my bed in the dark, stared out the window at the truly beautiful night, watching the blinks of the fireflies wane, and I listened to Phoebe Bridgers’ new album, Punisher.

I Know the End Lyrics Phoebe Bridgers | Punisher - Genius-Lyrics

It’s kind of a depressing album, but it’s still beautiful and the lyrics are great. If I were closer to her age and not old enough to be her grandmother, I would likely relate to it a bit more, but I still really love her way with words. (Although the entire album makes me think of the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. So I ended up playing that beautiful, non-depressing song over & over, and then finally fell to sleep.)

But back to listening to Phoebe Bridgers — I was thinking, once again, how incredible it is for young women nowadays to be able to make any kind of music they want to; to write any kind of songs they want to and have them sound however they want them to sound.  Because it definitely didn’t used  to be that way.

Plus there’s room now for so many more women musicians and songwriters and performers. They used to sign about one or two per genre, and then get behind them for about 2 albums, as long as they proved to be massive hits.  Of course, back then, there was so much more money at stake for the various music industry gatekeepers, and all that’s been thoroughly “disrupted” now by everyone wanting so much music for free (and I won’t get political today, I’ll just say, that Socialist tendencies are so great, gang; it helps make everybody equally poor).

However!!

I do genuinely think it’s so great that women in music nowadays have so much more freedom to express what they want to express, however they want to express it. And I think that’s just so beautiful.

And something else that is amazingly beautiful, is the Red Hand Files thing that Nick Cave sent out today. You don’t even have to know his music, or know the album Ghosteen, to be able to appreciate what he has to say about love today. You can read it here if you are so inclined.

On that note, gang, I’m going to get started here.  I’ll leave you with both the beautiful song “Punisher,” by Phoebe Bridgers, and the equally beautiful though very different song “Chasing Cars,” by Snow Patrol. Relax and enjoy!! (Or float off into the stratosphere is probably more like it!!) But either way, thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya!

“Punisher”

When the speed kicks in
I go to the store for nothing
And walk right by
The house where you lived with Snow White
I wonder if she ever thought
The storybook tiles on the roof were too much
But from the window, it’s not a bad show
If your favorite thing’s Dianetics or stucco

The drugstores are open all night
The only real reason I moved to the east side
I love a good place to hide in plain sight

What if I told you I feel like I know you
But we never met?

And here everyone knows you’re the way to my heart
Hear so many stories of you at the bar
Most times alone and some looking your worst
But never not sweet to the trust funds and punishers

Man, I wish that I could say the same
I swear I’m not angry, that’s just my face
A copycat killer with a chemical cut
Either I’m careless or I wanna get caught
Ooh, I’m not

What if I told you I feel like I know you
But we never met?
It’s for the best

I can’t open my mouth and forget how to talk
‘Cause even if I could, wouldn’t know where to start
Wouldn’t know when to stop

© 2020  Phoebe Bridgers

Yay!! Let’s Talk about Film Budgets!!

Well, gang! Today is mostly going to be about Abstract Absurdity Productions work, now that the budget proposal has come in and we need to start hiring key people, bringing other people onboard.

Plus, I am actually planning on getting back to work on that website, if you can imagine that!! I have already been in touch with a “happiness engineer” here at WordPress so that I can quit floundering and, honestly, I really am going to finish that darn site as soon as I can.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m going to set aside Letter #8 for Girl in the Night. It just means that I am going to make more of an effort to get that website finished, because, of course, now we need it.

(And I also have that new film editing software that I have still not figured out how to use and I need to know how to use it for the web site content. However, to be fair, I’ve only been quarantined here at home for over 3 months now, so God knows, there was absolutely no time to sit around, learning new software…)

Pin by Leslea Parrish on Mid-Century: Family & Home Illustrations ...
Hard at work during the entire pandemic…

Seriously, though, I am really excited with Abstract Absurdity Productions’ recent developments and I will be eager to update you all as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter-thing today, about the lack of politics in his songwriting style. As usual, it was very well stated and was very interesting. You can read it here, if you so choose.

Yesterday (June 22nd) was Kris Kristofferson’s 86th birthday. If you do not know who he is, he was an amazingly intelligent Country songwriter, who wrote some songs that became monster hits for Country & Western singers in the early-to-mid 1970s, primarily. He also put out his own albums with his own songs on them, and they were popular, but his songs tended to become just huge hits for other singers.

One of my favorite albums of his came out in 1971, and it was titled, The Silver-Tongued Devil & I.

The Silver Tongued Devil and I - Wikipedia

The songwriting on that album was very inspirational to me as a budding singer-songwriter throughout the 1970s. I played that record a lot. It’s not traditional “Country & Western,” the lyrics run much deeper. He’s more like the songwriters that were coming out of Los Angels in the late 1960s — a sort of Country Rock/Folk mentality. But Kristofferson was definitely embraced big-time in Nashville. (Although Janis Joplin had a huge rock/blues hit with his song “Me & Bobby McGee” before she died, and she was San Francisco-based.)

Some of his big hits for other singers include “Sunday Morning Coming Down” — Johnny Cash. “Help Me Make it through the Night” — every Country music singer imaginable. “For the Good Times” — Elvis Presley, along with many other singers. The list really just goes on forever.

It’s impossible to choose what would be my favorite song off that album because all of them are exceptionally well written, but I will leave you today with at least one of my favorites — this one was a hit on AM radio, at least it was in the part of Ohio where I lived back then: “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”.

I cannot imagine that he is 86 years old now, but I hope his birthday was happy.

And on that note, I’m gonna get some more coffee here and get the day underway. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya!

“Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”

I have seen the morning burning golden on the mountain in the skies
Aching with the feeling of the freedom of an eagle when she flies
Turning on the world the way she smiled upon my soul as I lay dying
Healing as the colors in the sunshine and the shadows of her eyes

Waking in the morning to the feeling of her fingers on my skin
Wiping out the traces of the people and the places that I’ve been
Teaching me that yesterday was something that I’d never thought of trying
Talking of tomorrow and the money love and time we had to spend
Loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again

Coming close together with a feeling that I’ve never known before in my time
She ain’t ashamed to be a woman or afraid to be a friend
I don’t know the answer to the easy way she opened every door in my mind
But dreaming was as easy as believing it was never gonna end
And loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again

© 1971 Kris Kristofferson