Tag Archives: Peitor Angell

Tiny Rejoicing Heart

Okay, maybe my heart isn’t so tiny.  It’s a huge heart rejoicing over the small things.

I got great work done on the new novel yesterday. Chapter 17 had ended on an unexpected note. And I had no clue what Chapter 18 had in store, so when it finally came pouring out after dinner last evening, I couldn’t have been more surprised or happier. It all just came right out.

And, as has been the case with this whole novel (Blessed By Light – my first erotic novel since Freak Parade, which I think was published in 2010), it is writing itself. And usually has no typos, even. Or at most, one or two. The Muse is in complete control of this one, gang.  Dictating every word into my wide open void of a brain.  And it has been quite a beautiful adventure.

Normally, when I’m writing a novel (this is my 6th, and I have a 7th one also in-progress), I agonize over the arrival of every word, over the formation of every single sentence. But for this whole book – well, I do have to sit and wait and wait and wait sometimes. But when it comes, man it’s a deluge. It just comes. Hits the paper in all its glory with, as I said, almost no typos whatsoever. A  very cool experience – to be dictated to by the Muse.

So I am staring at the first page of Chapter 19. No clue what’s coming, but I know it will all turn out all right.

More repair guys came bright and early this morning. That full moon had me awake most of the night, so when I finally woke-up for real, the sun was already up and I had to scramble around to get the cats fed and get myself dressed before the guys came walking in the door at 8am to do some work on my water heater and the furnace ducts.

It’s not how I prefer to start a morning, but started it got, and Diane will be here soon anyway with my newly re-upholstered dining room chairs!! I can’t wait. I know they are going to be so beautiful, even though no one , absolutely no one, goes into that dining room except for me and 8 cats…

Then I have to do a counseling session. I’m not sure what it’s about. I don’t think it’s grief counseling. I’ll just show up and find out.  After what I went through with myself this week, keeping myself alive, I know I am ready to help someone else with whatever comes.

Then, as a Christmas gift to myself, I bought a 90-minute tarot reading with a reader in London. A Skype reading. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been reading tarot cards since I was in my teens (which was in a different century, scarily enough!), but of course I am not so good at reading cards for myself, especially when I’ve been in such a stressed-out state of mind. My stepmom used to read the cards for me and she was really good at it. She did it professionally. But she’s been in a nursing home for 7 years, deteriorating pretty rapidly now from MS. So that is over. And that’s another one of those really sad things that is “transitioning” in my life.

But you have to just sort of keep on going, right? Pick up new pieces and see if you can fit them into the puzzle of what’s left of your world. I think he’s going to be a good reader, though. I’ve been following him on Instagram and watching his live videos there for a few months now. I’m really excited to see what comes up.

I think 2019 is going to be a good year. 2018 has been a really good year for me, but I still haven’t sold anything, beyond just making royalties off sales of my older books. I’ve had some great meetings in NYC and out in LA, and everything is still in process, which is good but is also kind of frustrating. So I’m hoping that 2019 sees some actual sales, and also sees me complete a couple more of my projects. Finish both of my new novels, and then complete that other one-woman show I’m writing for Sandra Caldwell. I’ve already got some producers interested in that show, so writing it would behoove a lot of us!

Plus all those micro-short films Peitor and I are writing and producing out in LA. They are just so funny, gang.  Those little vignettes (they last from 8 to 20 minutes, tops) make us both laugh so hard. It feels so good to laugh so hard. I can’t wait until we have scripts we can start shooting from and sending around to film festivals. They are just a real joy to create.

Peitor and I have been close friends for over 30 years now.  What an unexpected delight it’s been to suddenly start coming up with these scripts together that are – again – pretty much writing themselves. And they are so damn funny. In a very convoluted and unexpected way.  It seemed like everywhere we went together in LA, we wound up in a puddle of hysterics over some piece of dialogue or plot twist that would suddenly come to us.

And, actually, on that cosmic note — he just texted me a bunch of photos from Maui, where he’s on vacation with his husband this week.

So I’m gonna use this segue to get off of here and get back to the novel. Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting and making me part of your day. Take care and see ya, gang!A recent sunset on Maui… photo by Peitor Angell

Life, Re-writes, Love, & the Muse

Happy as I am with the new direction I’ve taken the past couple weeks with the Hurley Falls Mysteries, I am also still dealing with the theatrical adaptation of my screenplay, Tell My Bones, the life story of the Outsider Artist, Helen LaFrance. I’m adapting it for the stage specifically for Sandra Caldwell.

When I first wrote the screenplay, things like #BlackLivesMatter hadn’t happened yet, although it was getting ready to. And even while the screenplay was well received at film festivals and among producers, the climate Off-Broadway for plays about African-American lives has changed considerably in just a couple of years. So, even while I’m okay with how I’m staging the play, how I’m presenting the music, the sets and the characters, I’m finding that the entire way I present Helen’s life has to seriously be re-framed to fit the tone people want to experience now.

5 years ago, when I went to Kentucky and met with Helen, she was already in her 90s, in a nursing home, and in a wheelchair due to a paralyzing stroke. I walked into the day room of the nursing home, where she sat in front of a canvas, preparing to paint (she’d taught herself to paint with her left hand because the stroke had left her paralyzed down her right side), and I said hello.

She barely looked at me. She knew I had come because I wanted to write a screenplay about her life.  Still, she was not impressed, and her greeting to me, after I’d driven 12 hours to meet her, was: “What do you want?”

After a couple hours of talking, she warmed up and ended the conversation by giving me the rights to write her life story, and after that, I had access to all her paintings, her interviews, and even her private diaries.  In all the research I did, while it was clear she had to contend with racism and the unfairness of how blacks were treated in Kentucky, her art, her diaries, and her conversation were focused more on simply being a woman who was always trying to find enough time and money to do her art.

There was so much beauty in how she saw her life. Just so much beauty. A lot of heartbreak that centered on the people she loved who had died, but not very much about having to rise above oppression.  Just needing enough time & money to paint. And so I told her life story in a very particular way, which now has to be re-framed. Same life, but I have to focus on it in a different way.

My seriously long-time, good friend in L.A., producer/composer Peitor Angell,  is eventually going to be helping me with the musical arrangements for the show, but yesterday he agreed to help me try to re-think the telling of the story, too. So I feel excited about that project again.  You know, the energy of one good friend can turn your whole world around.

I don’t need to have this adaptation done until the end of this year, since Sandra and I will be focused on doing the staged reading of her one-woman musical in NYC this fall. Still it has bogged me down emotionally that I couldn’t make better progress with Tell My Bones, so it feels good to feel encouraged again.

The other thing that has taken me unaware, that is also a really incredibly wonderful thing, is that the Muse has come back into my life! [Muse – noun – a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.]

After having been blessed all my life with the beneficence of a Muse, I haven’t had the energy of the Muse in my world for several years now. It has been depressing. Even though I can still write without a Muse, it’s more laborious, a lot less joyful from moment to moment. And when I least expected it, and had pretty much given up on ever feeling that energy again, in he walked. Right into my field of vision.

I felt like Bill & Ted in their excellent adventure:

I don’t know him at all, although I’ve now seen him a few times. Yet suddenly life in my inner world is 360% not the same. So beautiful. I am so, so blessed. My inner world now is a deluge of inspiration, keen feelings, intensely beautiful images that my mind & heart respond to. And all of that makes its way to the page, to benefit you, gentle reader!

That is simply the very best way to write. And on that note, I’m going to go… get some lunch!! Yay! Have a super Saturday, gang, wherever the Muse takes you. Thanks for visiting. See ya.