Tag Archives: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

It Was One of those Nights

I awoke at 2 a.m. and could not fall back to sleep until 3:30. Primarily thinking about Daddycakes and feeling like I didn’t do enough to save him and wondering if he was somewhere in the afterlife, angry at me for letting him die when he should have been in the prime of his kitty life.

It’s just so different when you’re dealing with rescued feral cats. They make the rules, because they are wild animals, and then you — or me actually; I am the one who has to try to figure out if I step aside and let them have their own connection to God’s world, or do I try to intervene somehow and make a decision about life and death?

Playing God, basically.  It got to the point where the cat was simply suffering too much and my heart couldn’t handle it so I had him put to sleep.

Then of course, by feeling guilty for the decisions I made regarding him, it means I think I am God: I should have known better, or I should have known more about that cat’s life or death and the quality of it or lack of it, and just done all sorts of different things that I can’t even imagine at this point.

Honestly, how can we possibly know those things?  We make those kinds of decisions through whatever filters we have in our brains that tell us we have answers to these sorts of questions and that’s not really saying very much at all. Because we don’t know how to create life; we know how to do away with it. We simply make a decision. And that’s not saying anything at all, in the scope of what is nonphysical, I mean.

Well, I finally made myself stop thinking about Daddycakes, and instead decided to worry about the novel.

I went to the grocery store late yesterday afternoon – always an investment of time because I live in the middle of the country and the grocery store is about 4 towns away.

It was a glorious spring day. It really was. The countryside was turning that tiny spring green.  Birds everywhere. Daffodils blooming in the most unlikely places. (And you know that a person had to plant those; daffodils don’t just spring up in the middle of nowhere along the highway. And that makes me love people, because I know I’m one of the passing strangers for which those daffodils were joyfully planted.) And all along the way, the farms had all their little baby calves out now, finding their footing in the green pastures.

It was just so beautiful. A testament to the renewal of life.

I’m guessing I was listening to something by Nick Cave, but I don’t recall what. It’s always either Nick Cave or Tom Petty. My little Honda fit is overflowing with CDs by either Nick Cave or Tom Petty and one single CD of Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits. (Inside my house is another story. In there, the world overflows with music of every possible stripe and persuasion. But for some reason, none of that makes it out to the car.)

(And to see me getting into the car is ridiculous: “Oh my god, what I am going to listen to?” If I’m going to the Dollar Store, it’s a 3-minute trip and the music is not so crucial. But everywhere else I go to from here in the middle of nowhere, is a journey. It requires a soundtrack. If I’m going far, far away, like to NY, then it’s hands down Tom Petty’s LIVE Anthology, because traveling on Interstate 80 is intensely American and so you need that American rock & roll; 3-minute awesome songs about falling in love or falling out of love, or chasing a dream and that’s basically it. It could not be better or more clear cut.

(But other journeys require Nick Cave, but he can be so dicey because you never know when he’s going to throw you under the fucking bus. Which is what I love about his writing, but it can get harrowing. You can be driving along at 95 MPH, which is what I tend to do out here on these highways, listening to “Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?” and at first you’re thinking, man what a song. Then the next minute, you have to pull over, grab your revolver from out of the glove compartment and shoot yourself because it’s just too fucking horribly SAD.

(Or, I guess, you can just turn the music off. But that’s the dilemma: you’re on a  journey that requires a soundtrack; you’re not supposed to turn it off. So I’ll sit there in the driver’s seat, engine on, looking at all the CDs and trying to figure out which one will not cause me to  want to shoot myself while going 95 mph?  Sometimes I sit there for several minutes, not going anywhere and driving myself insane.)

Anyway, I get to the grocery store, and in the parking lot, I get a message on my phone from the editor in NYC who is editing my novel, Blessed By Light.

She sends me updates, chapter by chapter, because it’s much easier to manage that way. And while all her comments thus far have been very positive, this particular message says: “This chapter kicks ass. Kudos.” Followed by comments on the next chapter: “Excellent chapter. He seems distraught, guilty, tired. Beautifully written.”

And while this made me feel good in the grocery store parking lot, at 3 a.m., alone in my bed in the guilt-ridden dark, all it did was make me wonder about the previous chapters, which were only “good”. Shouldn’t they all kick ass? Shouldn’t they all be beautifully written? Should I start all over from scratch? Am I a total failure now? I used to be a good writer.

You know, I start to doubt my sense of pacing, my sense of building a story arc, my sense of anything at all because I’ve suddenly forgotten what reality is even for. If I ever even knew, I mean.

Death does that to you. Even tiny little furry deaths.

Well, it’s another glorious spring day here in the Hinterlands. I’m going to give it all another shot and see how this day turns out.  As usual, no guarantees but I am tying so hard to be happy.  I have a wonderful novel in progress, that is sometimes good and sometimes it kicks ass.  I need to count my blessings today.

Have a good Wednesday, wherever you are in the world.  Thanks for visiting. I love you, gang. And I leave you with this! See ya.

 

My Gratitude

I want to thank everybody, even total strangers visiting the blog or on Instagram, who showed love and support yesterday as I tried to cope with the death of Daddycakes.

When cats are feral, they are wild animals. It is so hard to know what to do and exactly when to do it when they are in peril or dying. So these last few days have not been at all fun – watching him suffer but knowing that he still had enough strength in him to attack a doctor.

Anyway, it’s over now and he’s at peace and his little family here is adjusting to his absence, and my friends, as well as total strangers showed me so much love. So that’s how the day is starting out today.

Hopeful.

I haven’t been able to really do too much on the novel since Sunday. But the comments from the editor keep coming in daily and they are making me feel good. Not too much needs changing – negligible grammar things. Yesterday, she said that the writing was poignant and funny like barbed wire.

Since the story is told totally in 2nd person from a man’s POV, and since the woman he is talking to never once says a thing throughout the entire novel, it’s imperative that the man be likable, believable, capable of making you, the reader, feel something. So, comments about how the editor is responding to the character are so important to me.

And so far, so good.  Loyal readers of this lofty blog know by now that Blessed By Light is unlike any novel I’ve written thus far, and it is coming entirely from the realm of the Muse. It’s been a really beautiful adventure.

Yesterday, before everything got horrifically dire with Daddycakes and I had to drop everything and somehow get him situated into the car without the help of any sort of restraint or cat carrying device and drive 30 miles to the veterinarian farther out into the country who was willing to treat a feral cat; before that happened – my new boots arrived.

I love these boots. They are vegetarian-friendly and yet look like leather. They fit perfectly and I just totally love them. And they hardly cost anything because they aren’t made of any sort of dead animal! Anyway, look!!

Okay! On that happy note, I’m gonna get the day underway here, gang. I’m trying like heck to stay focused on the love and just keep going, you know?

The future’s bright and I’ve got nothing but opportunities lining up at my door. I need to stay focused and charitable and generous and loving about the world and being in it. (Although, I have to say that Notre Dame Cathedral going up in flames while Daddycakes was dying was a little more than I could really process yesterday.)

Anyway. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the song I played over & over in the car yesterday as I tried to keep Daddycakes calm. It worked. (On the trip home, though, without him, it only made me cry so I had to turn it off and just listen to the silence.) Okay. I love you, gang. See ya.

Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

But I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

c- 1997 Nick Cave

Rainy April Sunday

That’s the view outside the window in my upstairs hall at the top of the stairs.

You can see that it is indeed a rainy Sunday morning in April, here in Crazysburg.

My cat, Daddycakes, is still alive.  He stays out in the open now, which is encouraging. He’s no longer hiding under the bed. And he sort of “engages” with us — meaning he stays around us, but he drifts away, eyes open.

His sisters, Tommy and Huckleberry, are kind of spooked by him. They’ll stare at him cautiously and won’t approach him. 2 of his daughters and his son don’t seem to really care too much, one way or the other, that he’s dying. They go about their business, as usual.

But his other 2 daughters, Doris and Lucy, who have been ridiculously attached to him their whole furry little lives, seem to be devastated by what is hanging on our horizon. They don’t show up for meals or treats, preferring to just hide away and occasionally eat the dry food set out for them upstairs.

So it’s sad. Every hour I give him a few drops of water from an eye-dropper type thing. And 3 times a day, I give him 5 drops of this other stuff.  Thank goodness, that’s down from having to give him 5 drops every 15 minutes, which is exhausting when you might prefer to sleep.  I don’t know that it will “save” him, and I do believe that if he’s choosing to go, he’s going to go; but you don’t want to just sit around and do absolutely nothing and simply watch your lovely creature die, do you?

The gestures are never meaningless even if they’re futile.

It’s all sad, sad, sad, and the rain is sort of doing all my crying for me. But oddly enough, I am able to focus on the novel. I guess because it’s my way of planting a sort of tree of life for the future.

Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a good Sunday – in fact, it’s Palm Sunday today, if you’re into that. I don’t like Palm Sunday, even though I’m a minister. To me, it’s just a reminder of how seriously the mob can turn on you within a handful of days and nail you to a cross. To me, I just want it to be a rainy Sunday in April.  I didn’t even take Communion today.

I leave you with what I’ve been listening to. Enjoy! (If that’s the right word for it.) I love you, gang. See ya.

Let us go now, my one true love
Call the gasman, cut the power out
We can set out, we can set out for the distant skies
Watch the sun, watch it rising in your eyes
Let us go now, my darling companion
Set out for the distant skies
See the sun, see it rising
See it rising, rising in your eyes
They told us our gods would outlive us
They told us our dreams would outlive us
They told us our gods would outlive us
But they lied
Let us go now, my only companion
Set out for the distant skies
Soon the children will be rising, will be rising
This is not for our eyes
 c- 2016 Warren Lee Ellis / Nicholas Edward Cave

I’m Afraid I’m Getting Ready

I’m afraid it’s getting to be time to say goodbye to Daddycakes (see post below about the ill health of my sweet cat).

It is always so sad when a creature you love must die. He’s only 7. He is so sick (kidneys) that I just don’t see how he is going to recover from this. So I’m trying to keep him comfortable and let him know that he has been a joy to me every moment that I have known him. Yes, even those times when I was sitting on my bed in my PJs and he came up unexpectedly and pissed on my back. I still loved the heck out of him.

All right.

I know to my American readers, it must seem like I’m on a mission to force you to love Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I sort of am on a mission. However, I don’t want to force feed you or anything.

If you’re interested, though, you can go to the official Nick Cave web site right now and sign up to stream his upcoming film, Distant Sky, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. The free streaming happens Easter weekend. And then the film will have its official launch next year. Go here to sign up.  You can also watch some of the official footage on Youtube. It’s really, really good.

Well, I have to say I am really happy with the feedback I keep getting from the editor of my new novel, Blessed By Light. It’s a bittersweet happiness because, of course, my cat is dying.  And I’m also falling out of love at the same time. (Not with the cat; with the man I’ve been in love with.) So it’s all bittersweet around here. But I keep finding reasons to keep going.

Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a super terrific Saturday wherever you are in the world. I love you. See ya!

Nick Cave in earlier days. What’s not to love, gang??

Oh, People! Not Again!

Gentle readers and fellow travelers, and loyal readers of this lofty blog!

You no doubt recall that, over the years, I have been confounded by collector’s copies of my various books that pop up all over the Internet at prices that even I cannot reasonably afford.

Usually I find it amusing. But I also find it a little jarring because all those books get snatched up pretty quickly and I cannot understand the perceived value in them or why anyone in their right mind would pay those kinds of prices. (Usually $300-$600 for a trade paperback.)

I can, however, understand people wanting copies of the original French edition of Neptune & Surf by Editions Blanche Paris 2001, because the cover was just way too cool! But those copies only go for around $99. This is what it looked like:I think this cover finally put to rest the very wrong impression that Neptune & Surf was a book about the sea…

Anyway. Yes! I digress!

I can’t remember how on earth I discovered this yesterday, but there are currently 16 copies of When the Night Stood Still being sold on Amazon by outside vendors for $203 – $247 each.

When the Night Stood Still is an erotic novel I wrote 15 years ago. I wrote it exclusively for Barnes & Noble to distribute, which they did. It sold out of its print run (thank you, gentle readers).

But the very curious thing about this current book that’s being sold on Amazon: It’s a hardcover edition. There was never a hardcover edition of When the Night Stood Still. Which I’m guessing is what makes these 16 books so valuable. To the crook who manufactured it, especially.

There is no cover image available for the current book, but this is what the book once looked like:

When the Night Stood Still by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

I don’t understand why anyone in their right mind chose to rob me blind by way of this particular book.

I wrote 3 erotic romance novels in the space of 1 year, all of which made me completely insane to write. I’m not a genre-fiction writer. I write literary fiction , although there is usually 700 million tons more sex in my literary fiction than in most other books of that lofty realm. (Except for maybe The Death of Bunny Munro — you’ve gotta read that book if you haven’t already, gang! It’s fantastic!)

Okay!! I digress!!

I hated writing those erotic romances because I had to turn them around so quickly.  Plus they each had to be 75,000 words and 255 pages. So fucking precise. The worst part was that, for the 2 titles I sold to Barnes & Noble (the 3rd went to Walden Books), I had to periodically turn in chapters to them so that they could ‘approve’ them and they always, without fail, said that I had to put in more sex.

Back then, I had a lot of sex. In my personal life, I mean. Anyone who knows me from back then would attest to this fact about me. Certainly people who were married to me would attest to that fact, and, in fact, a certain Divorce Decree might even attest to the prodigious amount of sex I was also having outside the marriage, outside the confines of connubial bliss, as it were.

It was just ridiculous, the amount of sex I had. However. That said. The Chief Mucky-Mucks at Barnes & Noble did not think my characters were having enough sex. And yet they were having more sex than I was having. It was just stupid, the amount of sex they wanted in those erotic romances. There was no way to make it a believable part of the plot. Although I did my very best to make it seem genuine to the characters. I really did. And that is why each one of those novels was a nightmare to write.

And the worst part, of course, was that back then, when the erotic romance genre was brand new, they would only let me write about male-female vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, or masturbation; 2 participants or solo, but that was it.

My life wasn’t anything like that so that particular mandate felt like trying to keep my imagination in a vice-grip. It literally hurt my brain, trying to rein it in all the time. No anal sex, no questionably-consensual rape, no bondage, no discipline, no 3-ways or more-ways, no nothing. Just two intensely heterosexual people, refusing to admit that they’re in love (until page 255); yet 2 people so ridiculously horny that they must constantly, CONSTANTLY, have the most vanilla sex imaginable.

It really was insane. And of course, I wanted the characters to be likable and realistically well drawn, 3-dimensional, you know. What a year from hell that was! Although the money was good…

The thing I finally decided to do was to simply have the characters have sex in wildly different places. That way I could focus on the atmosphere, the surroundings, the accoutrements, as it were.

I usually chose various showers.  I have a thing for showers, personally. Not that I like to have sex in showers; I don’t. I find sex in the shower a little dicey — not the safest place. And also not the most comfortable place.  But I have some weird fetish about beautiful bathrooms.  Beautiful, opulent bathrooms have always taken my breath away. Or showers that pop up in unexpected places — outdoors, and such. I just love that.  So it was sort of like subterfuge: go into elaborate detail about the bathroom and the shower itself, and make the reader just in awe of my ability to imagine (ridiculously impractical) showers, and then the fact that 2 grown-up heterosexuals are having sex in there becomes beside the point.

Multiply that times 255 pages and, voila!, another Marilyn Jaye Lewis erotic masterpiece is born!

Seriously; do you really think that’s worth between $203 and $247, even with a hard cover added now?  By the way, you can buy the original trade paper of When the Night Stood Still at much more reasonable prices here. It actually is a well-written book, but it’s genre-fiction.

That said, though, if you are into genre erotic fiction, When Hearts Collide is a lot better, but it was much more popular and now it’s much harder to find.  Readers don’t seem to want to sell their used copies, which is really just totally endearing and cool in my opinion. (Thanks, gentle readers!)

When Hearts Collide
When Hearts Collide by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Well, okey-dokey!! Sunday is upon us and I must get back to the re-writes on the play.  I do want to leave you with this, however. This is what I’ve been listening to in my car, over & over, when I’m out driving in the utter darkness of the hills and valleys here in the remote hinterlands of Muskingum County, Ohio. I love the regular “Do You Love Me” and I play that a lot, too, but the “Part 2” version is just wonderfully harrowing and  awesome, and perfect for driving alone and thinking at night in the middle of nowhere..

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

Onward! And Onward! And Onward I go
Where no man before could be bothered to go
Till the soles of my shoes are shot full of holes
And it’s all downhill with a bullet
This ramblin’ and rovin’ has taken it’s course
I’m grazing with the dinosaurs and the dear old horses
And the city streets crack and a great hole forces
Me down with my
soapbox, my pulpit
The theatre ceiling is
silver star-spangled
And the coins in my
pocket go jingle-jangle

There’s a man in the
theatre with girlish eyes
Who’s holding my
childhood to ransom
On the screen
there’s a death,
there’s a rustle of cloth
And a sickly voice
calling me handsome
There’s a man in the
theatre with sly
girlish eyes
On the screen there’s
an ape, a gorilla
There’s a groan, there’s
a cough, there’s a
rustle of cloth
And a voice that stinks of death and vanilla
This is a secret, mauled and mangled
And the coins in my pocket go jingle-jangle

The walls of the ceiling are painted in blood
The lights go down, the red curtains come apart
The room is full of smoke and dialogue I know by heart
And the coins in my pocket go jingle-jangle
As the great screen cracked and popped
The clock of my boyhood was wound
down and stopped
And my handsome little body oddly propped
And my trousers right down to my ankles
Yes, it’s on onward! And upward!
And I’m off to find love
Do you love me? If you do, I’m thankful

This city is an ogre
squatting by the river
It gives life but it takes it
away, my youth
There comes a time
when you just
cannot deliver
This is a fact. This is a
stone cold truth.
Do you love me?
I love you, handsome
But do you love me?
Yes, I love you,
you are handsome
Amongst the cogs and
the wires, my youth
Vanilla breath and
handsome apes with
girlish eyes
Dreams that roam
between truth and untruth

Memories that become monstrous lies
So onward! And Onward! And Onward I go!
Onward! And Upward! And I’m off to find love
With blue-black bracelets on my wrists and ankles
And the coins in my pocket go jingle-jangle

c- 1994, Nick Cave

Holy McMoly!!

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

Jeepers, that took forever.

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

And yet…

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

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

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

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

Okay!! Onward.

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

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

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

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

The blank page continues…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But back to the SCUM Manifesto

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

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

Okay. I digress yet again.

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

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

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

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

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

Related image

Cold snowy winter!

Yes. It’s another really cold, snowy day today!

Yes, that’s how old I am! I still call it a “really cold snowy day” although “polar vortex” is more newsworthy and helps to politicize the glorious Midwest weather… Anyway.

And, yes! I am still in love. I know I don’t talk about it very much these days,  so you’re probably thinking that all my insane efforts to completely sabotage this whole thing were a resounding triumph (see various incredibly insane posts from the last several months…). But au contraire! I am more in love now than ever before. In my actual life, I mean.

It makes “polar vortex” snowy days very romantic, although the snowy romance stuff is kinda one-sided right now, because he is someplace sunshiney. However.

I am just so happy.

And the writing projects are going great.

That said, though — apparently, once I made that Herculean effort to get the adaptation of Tell My Bones completed within a handful of days, I’m a little bit tapped out, creativity-wise. I’m trying to be patient. I try to allow the water in the well of creativity to rise again. I sit at my desk with the laptop open, the manuscript in front of me; I stare out at the lovely snow. And I type and delete; type and delete; type and delete.

This goes on for hours. It gets a bit frustrating but perhaps today will be the day that inspired stuff finally hits the page again. We shall see!

Meanwhile, I leave you with this amazing song that I always sing when I wake up to a bunch of freshly fallen snow — who doesn’t??!! (I know — probably you, but anyway.) Enjoy, gang! And thanks for visiting. I love you. See ya soon!

Quite a precious day!

Yes!!! It snowed heavily during the night and it will remain well below freezing for the next 2 days. Yay!!

All I have to do is sit here in my snuggly (very) old house and write!

My backyard at around 7 AM this morning. These 2 snowed-over slabs of concrete in the foreground are covering up the original well, back before the house had running water.

Plus, I am almost done with my stage adaptation of Tell My Bones, my script about the life of the folk artist, Helen LaFrance. I am really, really happy with it, gang. Finally. It is almost finished.  And I am just so happy with it. It’s only the 5th version… But you know, you gotta just keep on going until it clicks.

Well, the Conversations with Nick Cave  that have been going on in Australia and New Zealand this month are almost over.  The reviews have just been so good — and I’m talking mostly about the people posting on Instagram who have been to see the actual shows.

(I know, all you Americans out there are going, “What the fuck are you talking about?? And why do I want to know this??”)

I’m only bringing it up because I sure wish that I could have a conversation with Nick Cave… I’m just sayin’… Oh well. Such is life in Crazyland, Ohio, where nothing happens but snow… But I will settle for that for now!

I am gonna go back to my writing now. Thanks for stopping in on this snowy Sunday in the Hinterlands! I leave you with this bit of awesomeness!!  (God, I love this song! I could listen to it all day. And sometimes I actually do…) Okay! I love you, gang! See ya!!

A Good Corner Turned

I awoke at my usual 4am nonsense today and discovered that I was in a really good place.  The Muse was even hanging out, sort of hovering around the area of the bed.

I was happy again, and peaceful, and willing to accept and embrace constant change. That’s all life is – just change. A constant pulse. And I’m not a stranger to change and usually don’t resist it.

Falling in and out of love is just more change, really. So now that I’ve accepted that, I’m good.

And now that the holiday  is really barreling straight at us, everyone in LA and NYC leaves their offices so I can just put all the business stuff on hold for a few weeks, and just spend some good, quiet time writing – along with steadfastly refusing to decorate the tree.

My birth mom sent me a really pretty ornament that I will put on the tree, though –  just that one ornament. I’ll be making a statement of some kind, perhaps: Lovely Obstinacy.

She also sent me a bunch of Christmas presents! So far, I have been able to resist unwrapping them. I am usually not very good at waiting until Christmas, though. We’ll see.

She sent me a really beautiful card, too. It kinda broke my heart. I could feel that she meant every word of it. And I loved that it smelled like cigarettes. I could picture her writing it at her kitchen table, smoking a Pall Mall and thinking of me. I liked that a lot.

I won’t tell you what I got her, or why I got it, even though I don’t think she reads my blog, but you never know!

On a similar topic:

A book arrived in the mail yesterday. It was sitting on my front porch with no indication of who sent it to me. I don’t know if it’s a review copy and someone would like a review, or if it was a gift to me? Regardless, if you, or someone who looks a lot like you, or someone you know, sent me the book, please let me know!

It’s a really cool book! It’s called: Rock and Roll Woman: 50 of the Fiercest Female Rockers, by Meredith Ochs.

And as a testament to I don’t know what, both ex-husbands sent me Christmas gifts this year. I was really touched. Really. I love to be thought of enough that someone actually gives me a gift. But I have to wonder – is this a way of saying how happy they are to have me very far away now at Christmas? You know, like, they’re so happy about it they want to give me a gift to commemorate it: Thanks for leaving! It made a world of difference in our home!

I’m kinda just kidding, but kinda not.  I simply cannot imagine surviving being married to me and then wanting to send me a gift on top of that.  For any reason whatsoever.

However.

All righty. Laundry is almost done. Coffee is down to the dregs, so I am going to begin writing around here. I’m on Chapter 17 of Blessed By Light. My guess is that I have about 80 or so pages left to go.

Have a really terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world. Know that I love you! I’m happy you’re here, crossing my path in life. Take care and see ya!