Tag Archives: re-writing

Makin’ A Joyful Noise!!

Yay!! The revisions on the play (Tell My Bones) are just about done! Finally!

I should have them completed by the time the director and I are actually in the same room, sometime next week.

I had a brief phone chat with Sandra Caldwell yesterday (the actress I write for in NYC), and I tried to discuss the changes I’ve been making, based on the director’s notes, and she said, “Mm hmm. Well, just let me see everything when you’re done — and don’t get rid of your original version.”

There’s something really invigoratingly enthusiastic about that, don’t you think??!! Ah, well, gang. We shall see!!

It’s overcast here today but it’s gonna go up to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so I’ve already got some windows open, and I’ve got a CAT at every window, listening to all those birds singing like mad.

And at the back of my house, the starlings have indeed returned. They are keeping intact the damage they did to my gutter last year buy building more nests in it this year.

(No, I did not get it fixed last fall because my lawn guy was going to fix it (for free) but said, “You gotta clear out all those old nests first. They’re combustible.  You don’t want to seal that soffit until all that stuff is out of there.” And in what Universe — with all these constant writing deadlines that I’ve been under for the last year — would a gal like me, a ladder-less gal, I might add, have time to clean old starling nests out of soffits over my backdoor? So, no it didn’t happen, and yes, the starlings are pleased as punch and are moving right back in…!)

Anyway. Spring is here!! And as soon as I grab a minute away from my desk, I’m gonna go out there and, I don’t know, appreciate it or something!

Have a wonder-filled Saturday, folks, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting! I love you! See ya!

Life, in General

Except for the fact that I wasn’t a little boy when I was growing up (unlike one of my closest female friends and colleagues), that little illustration above pretty much shows you my entire childhood.

At every possible moment, I was listening to records. And usually on one of those small portable record players pictured there. And even while that is a very isolating — well, I don’t know if that’s the best word; maybe a word like solitary is more appropriate — even though it was solitary, those were the happiest years of my life. Truly.

Even the process  of  “listening to records” nowadays has changed drastically, of course. I have a record player,  but I almost never play it. I usually just stream stuff off the Internet in one way or another.  And I play a lot of CDs in my kitchen or in my car. But it’s just not the same thing. At all.

The way of living life that I used to love is simply long gone.  I’m not trying to reclaim the past, or to live in it (yeah, I know — I bought a house that’s 118 years old, with a really cool old barn that’s 108 years old, and it’s in a tiny village in Ohio that’s close to 200 years old, and I interact with the long-dead spirits here on a daily basis; however, I do not consider any of this as living in the past! I think of it more as “sharing the different levels of reality,” or co-existing in something virtual.).

Anyway. Big digression. Sorry.

I don’t need to live in the past, but I do crave a certain simplicity. I guess that’s why I fell in love with Muskingum County and moved here. Even though it makes traveling a colossal headache.  Just getting to the nearest International airport takes an hour. I realize that when I lived in NYC for 3 decades, it took at least an hour if not more to get to either airport, but here in Muskingum County, if you want a car service to do the driving for you (as I usually preferred in NYC), it’s about $175 before the tip. So life is not quite as “simple,” living in the peaceful middle of nowhere, as it might seem.

I’m bringing all this up because I’m going to have to start traveling again in the near future and probably not stop for a long time. NYC, Toronto, Florida, and LA.  Because of the theater projects, the TV projects, and then the micro-short films and (hopefully) the music projects with Peitor. It’s all good; I’m not complaining. It’s just that there’s something still down inside me that would prefer to sit in my room and listen to records…

However. Yesterday, I continued to make great headway in the revision of the Tell My Bones script. I am almost done.  Which is, like, a really good thing because I need to meet with the director in something like 6 days.

Nothing like waiting until the final moment to get your fucking shit together.  I don’t know why it has been so difficult for me to take a 90-minute play and condense it down to a 30-minute staged reading.  Sounds so easy in the abstract, yet doing it on paper has been unbelievably hard for me. I don’t know why. But I will be so relieved when it is done. Or at least a draft of it is ready to show people.

And next week, I expect feedback on the chapters I have so far in my new novel, Blessed By Light, because I want to get that project completed, too. I really thought I’d have that novel done by Christmas, but au contraire; everything else in the world happened instead. I’m eager to see what the feedback from the editor will be, though. It is such an unusual book for me to be writing – the life of an aging rock star told in 2nd Person, from a male POV; the eroticism of his inner world, of his memories, and then the redemption of his life.

I still don’t know why I’m writing it, but I do really love the book. I can’t wait to be able to really focus on it again.

Well, on that note, gang, I’m gonna tackle the revision of Tell My Bones now. Inching my way toward the finish line.

Have a wonderful day, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with the songs I’m listening to, although not on my record player, as I yearn for that simpler world I used to have:

Sun Kil Moon’s new album, I Also Want to Die in New Orleans

And Grinderman’s Go Tell the Women from 2007

Okey-doke! Thanks for visiting! I love you. See ya!

You Remember THIS Guy, Don’t’cha??!!

Yeah, baby! He’s the little weasel of love!

That cute little furry thing that gets down deep into your intestines and scurries around in there, gnawing on stuff and filling you with anxiety, when all the while you’re wondering , truly, what on earth IS the human race? And more importantly, what IS love?

This time of year, I do the Lenten prayers every morning before I even get out of bed. And I recently began doing the daily lessons of A Course in Miracles again, too. Also before I even get out of bed. These two practices, in some ways, give you polar opposite approaches to the teachings of Jesus Christ, although the Lenten prayers I practice come from the Franciscans, who are decidedly open-minded and philosophical, so there are underlying similarities to the two, as well.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog know that I am an ordained minister; I got through Evangelical Divinity School with a magna cum laude gpa; that I was raised by an adoptive family in Cleveland who were strict, conservative Jews and so I hid my devotion to Jesus until I was 14 years old; that I’m also deeply interested in the history of ancient Christianity, primarily First Century followers of the Jesus Movement. Normally, the history of Christianity and the theology of Christianity make for exceedingly strange bedfellows.

And since I normally sleep in the same bed with myself, you can imagine just how strange I am. All of this is a constant tumble in my head. Sometimes sending me barreling into absolute insanity.

But I take it all really seriously: the human condition; these multiple layers of reality that reveal wildly different suggestions of what’s really going on here. And of course, and more importantly, I constantly ponder the existence beyond this present one — this one that oddly seems so real.

Love is currently side-lining me again, as usual. And so I’ve been pondering the nature of love. I sat at my breakfast table this morning, listening to The Boatman’s Call on the CD player. (WARNING: Do NOT do this if you are sitting alone at your breakfast table at 6am, pondering the nature of love!! Just don’t do it!! Turn it off!)

So I turned it off. A word to the wise is sufficient.  I could not let the situation at hand get so far as song #4 on the CD, which is Brompton Oratory, or I would probably grab a butter knife and saw helplessly at my wrists… (Brompton Oratory is such a fucking beautiful song that I would only advise listening to it when you’re having one of those days where absolutely nothing matters to you at all. Otherwise, you will never live through it. Listening to the song, that is.)

Anyway. I digress.

I came to the conclusion — a conclusion I’ve come to before, btw, but this time it loomed huge and undeniable in my awareness: love is only and always a reflection of what you are putting out there. What you put out there and how you are feeling at any given moment, is just getting reflected right back at you.  Because what you perceive is always filtered through you and always projected through you and always interpreted through you.

So when you love somebody, or an animal, or a pet spider, or an entire movement of some sort, that feeling of love you get in return is really all about how you love yourself. At the very bottom line, that’s what it is. The love you think you’re sending out into the world (and of course, you are actually doing that) is all about how you are loving yourself. It has little to do with the “other.”

What it does have to do with the “other,” in my opinion, is that we are all coming from the very same starting point within the creation of energy itself — once you dig down deep enough, go back far enough, remove enough of the layers of what we consider reality.

So, yes, that means that I believe that to love each other means we are, in the truest sense, loving ourselves.  And that’s why I believe so strongly in forgiveness, too. We don’t really forgive others, we forgive ourselves.

So that’s what I was thinking about this morning.  And I felt kind of good about that; the idea that everything that’s coming back at me, even when I find it inexplicable on its surface, is just telling me a little more about how I love myself.

And yesterday, gang.  I finally made some needed headway on the revisions of the play! (Tell My Bones, which both Sandra and the director are patiently awaiting in NYC.) Thank you, God. I still have a ways to go, but that really troublesome spot I’d been languishing in for a few weeks already  is finally behind me! Yay. I am well into the midway point, but I was at it for 8 solid hours yesterday — and I am talking about 8 hours, primarily focused on 2 pages. And once I finally conquered those 2 pages, I got through 4 more before I had to call it a day.

The backs of my hands were aching and the back of my neck was in spasms from being hunched over this crazy laptop for so long yesterday. But then I did yoga while focusing very spiritually on reruns of the Dick Van Dyke Show and LMAO, and that seems to have taken care of  all the joint and muscle pains. And we will begin the process all over here today until the revision of this play is done.

So I guess life is good.  And thanks for visiting! Gang, I leave you with this, but DON’T watch it if you’re on the borderline of anything emotionally dicey! Otherwise I cannot be held responsible.  Okay, I love you! See ya!

Up those stone steps I climb
Hail this joyful day’s return
Into its great shadowed vault I go
Hail the Pentecostal morn

The reading is from Luke 24
Where Christ returns to his loved ones
I look at the stone apostles
Think that it’s alright for some

And I wish that I was made of stone
So that I would not have to see
A beauty impossible to define
A beauty impossible to believe

A beauty impossible to endure
The blood imparted in little sips
The smell of you still on my hands
As I bring the cup up to my lips

No God up in the sky
No devil beneath the sea
Could do the job that you did, baby
Of bringing me to my knees

Outside I sit on the stone steps
With nothing much to do
Forlorn and exhausted, baby
By the absence of you

c – 1997 Nick Cave

I’m Sorry For A lot of Things, Only One of Which I will Mention Here

Hi gang!

First, let me quickly draw your attention to the cover of the vintage men’s magazine above. Specifically the special book bonus: “NIGHT OF THE NUDE NYMPH”

You’ll note, if you have great eyesight, that underneath that, is says: “Compelling tale of a twisted desire…raw emotions.” –The Record

This means that upon its publication, Night of the Nude Nymph was actually reviewed (!!??!!) [Wow, that ain’t never gonna happen anymoreEd.]

I love how America used to take literary pursuits, of pretty much any stripe, seriously. Of course, this was decades ago, a couple of which I was actually alive in. And then the decades of “images” came along and soundbites, and keeping everything as entertaining as possible in order to promote deep consumerism, etc., etc. And then everything became highly personal (yes, even the nightly news!!), so that if a book gets reviewed nowadays, it’s likely just some person “opinioning” it.

Yes, I love America. I really really do. But in order to maintain this deep love I have for America, I have to move deeper and deeper into the Hinterlands so that I can hear myself think; to be cut off from the bombardment of unwanted extreme opinions, images, proclamations, and questionable definitions of “entertainment.” I also got rid of the television a long time ago.  And while it has nothing to do with my television, I have since learned to fear the extreme liberals in this country as much as I’ve feared the extreme conservatives here all my life.

Meaning that my greatest fear is of intolerance; a thing that an extremist of any variety can master with alarming speed.  A thing that will also quickly “erode our liberty without eternal vigilance” on our parts (attributed to Thomas Jefferson although he doesn’t seem to have actually written that anywhere) . (And yes, that means eternal vigilance for the liberty of the people you don’t like; such is the weighty burden of being an American. “I will defend to the death your right to do that thing I don’t like.” You don’t hear that kind of thing too much in America anymore.)

One of the main reasons I love living here in the Hinterlands is that everyone leaves everyone else alone.  And its not overrun with rules and regulations or high taxes. And no new construction is underway anywhere, at all. In fact, all the old construction remains until it literally falls down and blows away — and this sometimes takes hundreds of years.

At dawn this morning, I stood at one of my bedroom windows (in my 118-year-old house that sat vacant for a few years until I bought it last March), drinking my cup of coffee, and noticing how the guy a few houses down First Street from me, always parks his old Mustang GT horizontally across his driveway.  I love that he does that. I’m not sure why he does that but I’m thinking it has something to do with space; not outer space (although that’s another thing Americans are really eager to incorporate into the things they get to own), but the actual space in his driveway.  He can better utilize the space of the driveway he owns by parking horizontally on it.

I used to live in a town where they would never have tolerated that. If you would have dared to park your car funny, you would have been the victim of relentless neighborly scorn. And it would have escalated if you refused to buckle.

All righty!

Time for one of those things I’m sorry for!

I’m sorry I forgot to wish everyone a happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Even though I was not still officially sick, I was still under the weather enough to not want to get out of bed and deal with the computer until today. So a belated happy St. Paddy’s Day to everyone!

Long time readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that St. Paddy’s Day is also when I celebrate all the birthdays of my many cats . I bought them a new batch of catnip-infused felt mice, which they delighted in for about 5 minutes, and then went right back to playing with their ratty, beat-up, chewed-up, old toys.  So now I have a big bunch of brand new catnip-infused felt mice scattered all over my family room floor, being hopelessly ignored by everyone.

But that’s okay because it’s finally SPRING!! Yay!! And there are also birds everywhere outside all our many windows, keeping our attention occupied and keeping us eager for that warmer weather, wherein we will be able to open all 21 of those said windows and keep them open until October.  (It’s so cute, gang. The cats are practically glued to the windows now that all the birds have returned.)

And on that lovely note, I wish you a wonderful Equinox!! Make some heartfelt wishes today, okay? Because I think that they’re all gonna come true!! Seriously.  And now I’m gonna go make some lunch, then get back to re-writes on the new play.

I leave you with another old song I only recently found out about through that Australian guy’s blog (A1000Mistakes), and I absolutely love it!!! The Beasts of Bourbon singing Drunk On A Train!! It cracks me up! The lyrics are fantastic. Okay!

Enjoy, gang. And thanks for visiting! I love you! See ya!!

Oh Jesus Here it Comes Again

I am, of course, referring to the dawn of a brand new day.

I feel like absolute garbage.  Respiratory gunk and a swollen throat — both stemming from that weird pas de deux that I did with my vacuum cleaner the other day. (See some sort of post below.)

I wish I could just go swim in the sea somewhere.  I have no idea if it’s true, but I always think that submerging oneself in saltwater – the ocean – will wash away everything that’s making it so you can’t breathe.

And of course it snowed again here during the night, so the thought of going swimming in the sea someplace where it’s hot oddly makes all this congestion garbage in my lungs today feel a lot worse.

I’m also wishing I could go down to some river somewhere and get a full-submersion baptism and have that dove of peace fly out of the top of my head, taking with it all the things that fuck me up in this world.

I’ve having so many distressing issues going on in my head at once these days that I just can’t deal with them. (I’m guessing that’s another reason why I can’t breathe right now.)

I had so many frustrating and just plain bad dreams last night, too. By anyone’s definition, my sleep was not restful. I know that I’m trying to come to an understanding about several different things that, frankly, are just plain impossible for me to figure out.

You know, like when you simply haven’t been dealt enough cards. It’s not that the cards I’ve been dealt are bad, necessarily, it’s that I feel I just don’t have enough cards in my hand to figure out how I’m supposed to play this hand — to live a better life right now.

In some ways — the plays, for instance — life is really going good. In other ways, things suck and I’m not sure how to make them not suck.  I know that forgiveness is key, but sometimes I get so darn tired of forgiving people. (ME: Why don’t you just do the right fucking thing for Christ’s sake?!)

I know; I’m a minister. That’s not a good sign. One of the reasons Jesus refuses to give me my own flock to lead around, I’m guessing!

I know that giving myself a break is also key, but I’ve never been very good at doing that. I’m always the first on my list to be merciless with, regardless of what the topic is.

So here we are, with another brand new day to try to get it right this time, and I’m just so fucking angry, disillusioned, frustrated — you name it; it’s not got a good feel to it but I’m feeling it anyway.

And my daddy cat is sick, too, the only cat in the colony that actually interacts with me, so I sure don’t want to lose him. Well, I don’t want to lose any of them. But I’m trying to get him to take his medicine so that he will start feeling better (ME: Do as I say, cat, and not as I do, because I’m feeling like garbage here, too.)

One happy thing. A record I ordered probably 6 months ago is finally supposed to arrive today. I have every single song on this 2- album set, yes I do! Most of the songs, I have on several different albums. But they have included one – yes one – song that was never released before, so naturally I had to buy the whole thing. They dropped the new song on YouTube the other day, but I refused to listen to it. If it’s the only song on the collection that I haven’t heard yet, I want to put it off as long as possible.

Image result for tom petty best of everything

(Another thing I’m really getting sick and tired of is Tom Petty being dead. Enough of that already, okay? Get up, dude! It’s not funny anymore.)

Jesus.

Brain dead but still walking around!

Yes, that would describe moi yesterday.

No, not the gutter girl part — the brain dead part! Thank you very much.

I spent several days writing up some promo materials that Sandra needed for the Helen LaFrance play (Tell My Bones). And as is par for the course, Sandra’s brief text said she needed  something simple, but then it turned out that she needed a whole lot more than something simple, and a couple hours of work turned into several days of work just to create a 3-page promo.

But it’s done now and off, and now I’m back to scaling the play down to a 30-minute staged reading version. Not an easy thing to do.

I’m trying to sort of internalize the director’s notes, and trying to get a feel for his “vision” for the reading. And in the process of trying to do that – a process of psychic phenomena — I realized that I had become brain dead.

I decided that what I needed was some really strong coffee. That brings most brains quickly back from the dead, but all that it made me do was suddenly vacuum the whole house.

I have one of those bag-less vacuum cleaners, where you remove the center thingy and then click open the bottom and empty the contents directly into the trash.

Yesterday, it worked in a different way. I removed the center thingy and the bottom clicked open  on its own and deposited a whole house full of dust and dirt and cat hair and who-knows-what-all filth into a nice billowing pile in the center of my family room carpeting.

When you’re wired on really strong coffee, it’s hard not to lose your mind. Luckily, I was already brain dead, so I looked at it and said, “You’re kidding me, right?” I had to vacuum up the whole darn thing again. I was covered in dust, and I’m allergic to dust. So then I had to drop everything, throw my clothes in the wash and take a shower. By the time I was sitting in front of the play again, I was even more brain dead than before and really only capable of staring.

I’m hoping that today will be more fruitful. I’m steering clear of strong coffee, for one thing. Just let the house vacuum itself from now on.

Life is just weird, isn’t it? The brain works when it wants to work. And stares the rest of the time.

Okay, on that lofty note! I’m going back to bed!! Oops! I meant: I’m gonna get crackin’ around here. See ya, gang! I love you and thanks for visiting.

Sorry for the disappearing act!

But it was a pretty good act, wasn’t it? You probably couldn’t see me at all — for, like 8 or 9 days!

Except maybe for my quite comely yet furry little ears….

Anyway, yes! I’ve been away from the blog! I’ve been hard at work doing stuff! Like working on a new chapter in Blessed By Light. And working on a new chapter in Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. And having my first meeting with the director on my new play! And now working on some revisions for the play. (The stage adaptation of Tell My Bones.)

And, most importantly of all, I was hard at work taking out the front right end of my Honda Fit by hitting an enormous pothole in the road! Man, what a huge mess. It completely obliterated the tire. Bent the steel wheel rim. Put the whole car way out of alignment. Indescribably expensive stuff.  The only thing that I didn’t have to pay through the nose for was the tow truck.

So that was fun.

But all in all, things are good.  I need that car to get me back & forth to NYC again in the near future — and probably a few times — so, alas, gotta keep the car perfect.

Yes! More trips to NYC are on the horizon.  There will be a couple of staged readings of the play in the intensely beautiful village of Rhinebeck NY, and then probably at least one in New York City itself.  But there will be plenty of rehearsals there before the readings occur.  (Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that for a couple of years, I was planning to move to Rhinebeck, only to end up in the intensely quirky and magical village of Crazyland in Muskingum County, Ohio! So any opportunity to get back to Rhinebeck makes me really happy.)

Related image
Village of Rhinebeck, NY

I’m happy, just overall. Actually, I’m over the moon.

You know, it recently occurred to me that many light years ago, in a galaxy far, far away — meaning, the very first time I went to college, right after high school — I majored in Theater and really wanted to be a playwright. For some inexplicable reason I had forgotten about this. However, what I wanted more was to go to NYC and be a singer-songwriter, which is what I ended up doing once I promptly dropped out of college. But as anyone who knows me knows so well, that once I was living in NYC, I attended every single  Broadway play, and Off-Broadway play, and Off-Off-Broadway play, and plays in the most unexpected hard-to-find venues, etc., etc. I have always just loved theater. So for all of this to be happening now — lo! these many decades later — I can’t even tell you how happy and astonished it makes me feel,  to have it all unfolding like this.

Well, we’ve been working on both these plays for several years (Tell My Bones and The Guide to Being Fabulous), but still. Now suddenly it’s all happening, with prospects at 2 incredible theaters in the US and Canada, and it’s almost hard to believe.

I think the person who’s happiest for me, oddly enough, is my first husband. We have been divorced for almost 30 years, but when we were married, in 1981, we lived in a small apartment that was a hop, skip, and a jump from the theater district in Manhattan and he remembers quite well how much I loved the theater. So he is kinda  over the moon with happiness for me, too.

It’s an incredible feeling. To suddenly come full circle when you absolutely least expect it.

Truly loyal readers of this lofty blog, might possibly recall that for over 20 years, I believed that my first husband was dead.  Two summers ago, he popped back up, in an email, that said, “Hi how are you doing?” And I wrote back, “WTF??!! I thought you had died!! Where have you been for 20 years??!! We were all trying to find you!!” And he said, “Sorry. I was really busy.”

I’ve lived long enough now to know that if a man says that he’s been really busy for 20 years, just accept it and move on. Because you probably don’t really want to know “busy with what?”

But anyway. It’s funny. If you can manage to live long enough, the most amazing dreams come true. (In ways that I can’t even go into here on the blog. It is sufficient to say that I am incredibly happy.)

Well, I must get crackin’ here now and start writing. Thanks for visiting, gang, and sorry for the long delay in posting.  Have a wonderful Wednesday wherever you are in the world. I love you guys!! See ya.

This is poor Yorick. I knew him… 🙂