Tag Archives: not writing

A Wee Bit of Promotion! Plus Tommy!

Okay, gang! The promotional Christmas cards for Tell My Bones arrived via UPS today!

Finally, something not cancer-oriented was on my kitchen porch when I returned from town with my groceries!

Since I am 99.9% sure that none of you are on my Christmas list, I’ll share the card with you here. (If for some reason, you’d like to receive one, though, you can email me your address!)

But first things first! A photo of Tommy on top of the record player just now because I thought she looked so cute while I was passing through the family room on my way back upstairs!

Tommy! The rescued feral cat that I thought was a boy until I found her hidden in the sun room with 3 kittens she’d just given birth to!! Boy, was I thrilled about that! And this was only a few days after Huckleberry had given birth to FIVE kittens in my basement…(That was 7 years ago; the rest is history.)


Front of the card — Helen’s painting, “Canning Peaches.” The card is on my kitchen table which has a Christmas tablecloth on it, so it might be hard to see at first.


Back of the card


Inside the card – the opposite page is blank, so that we can all say something eloquent and meaningful!


I think they did a really nice job.

Now all I have to do is sit my quite comely behind down at the kitchen table and address a bunch of these things…..

Okay! I’ve Had My Bath!!

And now I’m thinking about getting into bed and streaming an episode of the old Perry Mason TV show, and just being happy as all get-out.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I never get tired of this TV show — the one from the late 1950s-early 1960s that starred Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. I have seen every single episode of this show more times than I can count, and yet I never get tired of watching it. Ever. And now it’s included in Amazon Prime. So there you have it: Me — addicted to it again!

Okay, well, I have nothing to really report today but I didn’t want the day to end without me popping in here to report that I’m just super happy, for a change, and I had just a really nice day.

And the thing with my healthcare provider got straightened out, even though it was still a holiday weekend. And the potentially huge bit of horribleness I was worried that I had caused to my bills got straightened out, also. So I’m just really relieved about that, and I’m going to try to come up with some sort of — I don’t know what — some sort of way of not being intensely caught up in my head anymore and just pay closer attention to the actual calendar. You know, so that I can be part of the same world that most other people are part of. I really need to get a grip again and stop doing weird stuff that freaks me out.

I am getting so excited about my mom coming — she comes a week from tomorrow. It’s all I can do to keep myself from putting the tree up before she even gets here.

When I packed up all my Christmas stuff after my last Christmas at the old house, I knew I would be in a new home the next time I unpacked it all. I thought I was going to be back in NY, but I never dreamed it would be three years before I finally unpacked everything again, so I’m eager to see what kind of Christmas stuff I actually have.

I don’t really have too much that has sentimental value, because Wayne got rid of all that stuff when I left him. I had asked him to please keep it for me until I could get settled somewhere and instead, he threw it all away because he was angry that I left. I wanted to kill him when I found out. That was all the stuff that had true sentimental value for me and could never be replaced. So the stuff I have now is just stuff I’ve bought since then that I liked. But it will be nice to see it all. Poignant, though, because Fluffy and Bunny and Daddycakes have all died since then.

Anyway, I’m so excited to see my mom again and put up the decorations with her.

Tomorrow’s phone chat with the director has been moved to Wednesday, so tomorrow will once again be just about me and whatever I feel like writing. (I’m trying to sort of storyboard Thug Luckless.) And I’m hoping to get a better night’s sleep tonight! My uncle is on a cruise right now and he texts me almost every day. But this morning, he was somewhere in Israel and texted me at 3:30 in the morning, and it woke me and I couldn’t really go back to sleep.

So I’m really sleepy and I’m going to close this now. I hope you’ve had a really terrific Sunday wherever it took you and wherever you are in the world!!

Thanks for visiting, gang. I guess I’ll leave you with the song Tom Petty wrote for his daughter, AnnaKim, when she was just a baby and he had to leave her again and go back on the road. And I will  also leave you with the song Nick Cave ostensibly wrote for his son Luke when he was little. Feel free to contrast & compare!! I love you guys. See ya!

My favorite photo of Tom Petty and AnnaKim:







And my favorite photo of Nick Cave with Luke:







Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers “It’s Alright For Now”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry”

One More for the Road…

Of course, I was trying to make up my mind about what my Top 5 favorite Tom Petty songs would really be and they just kept shifting around. There were simply too many of them over a 40-year period.

So then I tried to figure out what my Top 5 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds songs would be and that was sort of impossible, too. Although I know that my #1 favorite song of theirs is “Hallelujah” from 2001. For some reason, that’s just my favorite. I guess because that’s the one that feels most like me, inside.

But then the next 4 sort of are in a tie. I can’t really decide what number they would get, but I think they would be:

Brompton Oratory, 1997
Up Jumped the Devil, 1988
Do you Love Me? (Part 2), 1994
Jesus of the Moon, 2008

But then right after that, it becomes just a massively huge amount of songs that I really love by them, so it becomes pointless to try to list them.

You can see that I’ve had a really productive day, all the way around…

I’m a little bit mad at myself over this Thug Luckless development. I really thought that one would be off my plate reasonably quickly. But now I’m not sure I can see that happening, but I guess you never know.

Okay. I guess I’m actually going to go to bed now and think about stuff, and then see what life looks like in the morning. Sweet dreams, gang! See ya!

I’m Willing

You know, it’s been sort of a rough day. And not necessarily “depressing,” because I have this other way of invalidating myself, where I can convince myself that all the negative suggestions I’m giving myself are actually positive. And then I can sort of chip away at a lot of the things that make me happy and then act as if it’s okay to have this paltry amount of happiness left over.

It’s hard to describe.

Of course it stems from my friend’s extremely serious illness (posted below, a couple days ago), which then throws me into the memories of the deaths of so many of my friends — most of the friends I’ve had in my life are now dead. And I’m not even that old (AIDS took a whole lot of them in one fell swoop, though: 13 of my friends died from AIDS).

It’s sort of like a defense mechanism takes over my brain or something — it sends these walls down to maybe protect me from any more unhappiness. I don’t really know. But it starts blocking out everything that could maybe make me happy or could maybe make me believe that there is some sort of “future.” I don’t know how to describe any of this.

But even as it’s been happening, over the past couple days, I could see that it was happening and I was in some ways content to do nothing about it. Just sort of deconstruct myself and float away. Act happy, but just sort of vacate myself. And in this much smaller way, I’m still trying to fight it. Because before I talked to my friend on Thursday night and found out how sick he was, I was pretty much the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

So it’s just rough. I’m trying, though. You know — always trying to survive myself.

I was with Kara earlier and she said, as I was getting ready to go home — I had eaten a ton of chocolate; just a ton of it and I was a little wired. And she said, “You’ll probably go home now and just write like crazy! You won’t be able to sleep.”

And I said, “No, I don’t think I’m going to write.”

And she stared at me and said, “You’re not going to write?”

Like it was the first time she’d ever heard me say that — that I wasn’t going to go home and write. And it probably was the first time she’s ever heard me say that. And I actually heard myself saying, “No, there’s nothing I need to write.”

And she just looked at me like I was out of my mind. And very confidentially, so that no one around us would overhear, she said, “But what about the porn thing — you still need to work on that. It’s good money.”

And I was, like: oh yeah; that’s right. And only at that point, as I was leaving, did I tell her about how sick my friend is and about how upset I am — and she’s met him before, because he’s come to visit me out here in the Hinterlands a few times already.

Then I got in my car, and as I was driving back out to the middle of nowhere in the darkness of Muskingum County, I realized that I was trying to make myself disappear again. Emotionally. And I just really know that I shouldn’t do this, but I’m not 100% sure how to stop it. But by the time I got home, I realized that I was at least willing to stop it. And so maybe that is going to help.

To be at least willing to stop and to believe. So I’m going with that idea for now.

The day is done, baby

It seemed like maybe I wasn’t even going to post at all today.  My mind has been on thoughts outside myself. All day.

Now I’m In bed. And no glasses on, so here’s hoping that this isn’t just chock full of typos.

I just keep thinking that I can’t suddenly become a sort of mother hen to my friend after 47 years of never having been like that with him before. I can’t start texting constantly, saying “how are you?”  Because  I imagine that I’ll make him crazy. Who wants to hear from me everyday?

But then I think, we’ll it’s not like he’s ever been this sick with cancer before, with no prognosis yet about whether he’s going to live a while longer or die really soon.

I just don’t know. I texted him today because I knew he was going to try to drive to his brother’s house to have an early Thanksgiving with his bother and the kids and all that.  He texted back that he had made it and that he was there.

And then I think, we’ll that’s probably enough. I probably shouldn’t ask him what he’s eaten and if he’s holding his food down, and all that. That’s the mother hen thing. I don’t think I should go there. But I just don’t know.

Well I studied my Italian today and it’s gone up another level in difficulty so that was good. Kept my mind engaged. Read some Biblical Archeology stuff and got sort of involved in stuff about Darius I of Persia, back during the Babylonian exile of the Israelites.. But mostly my thoughts have just been miles away all day.  Just drifting.

I was listening to the strangest song today, too. Another old Bruce Springsteen song from 40 years ago that I’d forgotten all about. Not sure why today it suddenly re-emerged in my world, but here it is.

I hope you’ve had a good day whatever you did and where you are. I hope that tomorrow, I’ll be back on track. I love you guys. See ya.


If wishes were horses….

I’d have beggars riding all over this house! For sure.


I found out a little bit ago, on Instragram — after nearly 57, 000 other people found out, I might add. Sometimes Instagram takes forever to get something into your feed that you actually want.

But anyway:

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition opens at The Black Diamond, Copenhagen on 23 March and runs until 3 October 2020.

I sure wish I could go see that. I love Copenhagen, for one thing, and I haven’t been there in a long time. But, more than that, it sounds like such a cool exhibit. You can read about it here.

(Yes, I realize that the exhibit is probably going to travel here to Crazeysburg, and that patience is a virtue and all that. But still… sure wish I could go. )

Don’t I Look Industrious?!

I’m actually still in bed!

You know, some days I just look at my desk and feel the effort it will take to move  everything that’s on top of the desk — a ton of manuscripts in various stages of completion and piles of photos of Nick Cave that I’m always printing off from the Internet and then have nowhere to pin them up because my wall is already covered with stuff. I guess I just want to use up as much printer ink as I can because I enjoy spending a god-awful ton of money on ink…


Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I have the tiniest desk known to man. I always assumed that I would one day have a very grown up desk like other serious writers do! However, my desk was a wedding gift to me from my first husband. It meant so much to me, gang. It turned out, I was never able to part with it.  That was nearly 40 years ago.  I’ve written 6 novels at that desk, and God knows how many short stories, memoirs, essays, novellas. It went from having a typewriter sitting on it, to every stage of computer, and now the laptop. So I’m guessing it is officially My Desk.

That said, though, every morning, I have to unbury the top of the desk to find the laptop, and then put piles of stuff on the floor. Some mornings— such as this one here today— I look at all that stuff on top of the desk and just feel like blogging from bed…

Well, okay!

It is supposed to get up into the 50s Fahrenheit today. Kind of hard to believe because it is only 27 degrees out there right now. But it should be another beautiful day.  I heard from the director that tonight he will have his comments for me re: revisions on the play. So I am very eager to hear just how close to completion we might be! I don’t know, I’m just feeling like a lot of weight is off of me and I’m going to have more time now, in general, to focus on other things.  Regardless, it just feels good.

Yesterday, when I was looking for that photo of Fluffy helping me put up the Christmas tree, I found a couple other photos that I really loved. Another one from the old house:

A bunch of the cats looking out the screen door at the old house.

And several of the cats on my bed at the rental house:

Most of the feral cat colony, minus 2 of them

I love looking at old photos of the cats. Especially the really old photos of the ones who are gone now. I honestly just can’t believe how quickly the time passes and things change.

Okay, well. I guess I’m gonna get going here. Because I need more coffee and so I must get out of bed!! I leave you with another really old song that’s kind of haunting in a way, but made for nice breakfast music today. Have a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya!

A Super Saturday in the Hinterlands!!

Well, for some weird reason, the blog decided to update all on its own after I had typed only a single letter!

(The letter was “A”.) I hope it wasn’t too riveting for you…

Anyway! I woke up really daydreamy this morning and had nothing really coherent to blog about. And as the day has progressed, I find that I’m still super daydreamy. I’m in a great mood. I feel just so extremely happy today. For no specific reason, I just am. And because of that, my mind just keeps wandering.

I’m still not getting a ton of new writing done, although I am focusing on Letter #5 of Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. At least I did get that far.

I’m also really kind of waiting to hear back from the director to see if he has any additional notes on the play, because Sandra will be back in NY from LA on Monday, and she’s waiting to get a copy of the revised play, too. So lots of waiting going on here. (I’m also still waiting to hear back from various small presses re: my queries about my new novel, Blessed By Light. Small presses take forever to reply to you. It’s been 5 months. One of the small presses I queried takes a year (!!) to respond.) So anyway, lots of waiting.

If you haven’t already noticed, I started a little photo gallery for In the Shadow of Narcissa. If you’re reading this on your phone, you can’t see the gallery. It’s only visible as a web page — down on the lower left. The web site where I actually post the segments of that memoir is not very photo friendly, so I’m posting them here instead. The photo of my birth father I will probably switch out for a younger photo. I have to dig something out of storage. But the photo I have posted of him currently is probably my favorite photo of him, just generally. He was in the Navy, on Midway Island, 1973. Still about 16 years before I would meet him.

Well, even though it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet, I am starting to feel excited about decorating the house for Christmas. This will be my 2nd Christmas in the house but my first year decorating. I was indescribably depressed last Christmas and didn’t actually think I would live through it.  I think I have a photo of my tree from last year. A fake tree with built-in lights. But I only had one ornament on it because my birth mother had been here and gave it to me.

The sole decoration on last year’s tree.

And as far as past Christmases go, here’s Fluffy, helping me put up a tree several years ago!! Gosh, I miss that cat. She died just a couple weeks before Bunny did. Those were very sad times for me. Selling the house. Moving away. My little cats dying.

Fluffy helping me put up the tree!

Okay. I also saw this photo from my old house. Summertime a few years ago:

Summers at the old house

If I spend too much more time scrolling through pictures this post will get unwieldy!!

All righty, on that lofty note, gang. I leave you with the breakfast-listening music from this morning, “Jesus of the Moon,” from Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.  I’ve posted it here before, but it was several months ago.  Okay. I hope you’re having a super Saturday wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya!!

Stepping back to re-focus

Sometimes, even when I know that the stuff I’m trying to say is in there — inside my brain— I just can’t get a clear signal. You know, like a radio dial. I’m tuning and tuning, but not landing on that clear signal that lets everything come in crystal clear.

I’m talking about the final page of dialogue for the play— in case I’m not being crystal clear!

It’s not coming. So I’ve decided to focus on my Italian lessons instead. Just get my brain involved in something else.  And then maybe when I shift my focus back to the play, the dialogue I need to hear will be there.

Even though I’m not sure now if the retreats will be held in Italy or England, I paid for a year in advance for the Italian lessons so I’m just going to keep studying it until either the year is up, or I end up needing to keep studying it indefinitely.

I am not very good at Italian.  My mind still wants to shift back into French. And like any language I’ve ever studied, except for Mandarin Chinese, which I was strangely good at speaking, I just do so much better reading a new language than speaking it. So the moment I’m not actually looking at the Italian lessons, I forget everything I just learned. Yet the moment I take another quiz, even if it’s the monthly quiz that goes over everything to date— well, then I remember absolutely everything. So I have no idea why I can’t simply recall all this stuff when the lessons aren’t in front of me.

But anyway. I’ve decided to focus on Italian for awhile. Give the play a wee little rest.

It’s a beautiful morning here. It doesn’t seem to be as cold as it’s been the past few mornings.

The other morning when I was out in my car along the main road, this one group of cows that I really love did something so cute! If you’ve never been around a group of cows— meaning standing right with them or in their midst— they are quite curious creatures. They will all look at you, at the same time, the moment you appear. It’s a strange sensation, because they’re so large.

Anyway, I group the main road here by the animals. First there’s a huge group of cows on a hill. Then a smaller group of cows in a pasture right by the road. Then a group of chickens. Then horses with a couple of cows. Then another large group of cows on a hill. Then more chickens. Then you get closer to town.

Well it’s that group of about 20 cows that are near the road that I just love, because whenever I drive past them, they’re just so close. I love looking at them. The other day, the guy who owns them was installing some new feeders. Another guy was helping him. And all the cows were standing sort of in a circle, surrounding the men, just very curiously watching what they were doing. It was so funny looking! It was just the sweetest thing.

Anyway. I do love animals.

Okay, I’m gonna scoot. Have a great Sunday. Since I’m still in bed, I’ll leave you with a photo of my bedroom door, from the bed just now. I love how the light is hitting it. I’m not sure why I love this door so much, but I do. It’s one of the few doors that are original to the house, so the door and the iron door knob are 119 years old.

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

The view if my bedroom door from the bed just now.