Sandra brought many roses home with her from NYC.
(Rhinebeck 9:07 PM)
Sandra brought many roses home with her from NYC.
(Rhinebeck 9:07 PM)
First, allow me to complain a little bit!
In no particular order:
Other than that, though, the Conversation itself was great. Very different energy from Lincoln Center, yet both were somehow equally great. And even though I was in that balcony with all those fidgety, constantly moving people, I still had a really cool view— dead center. I could see everything easily— except for having to contend with that tall guy in front of me.
I still think it’s better than being on the main floor if you aren’t seated right up in front. And even though Nick Cave himself seemed to be in a different headspace last night as compared to Lincoln Center — where he was sort of more subdued or something— Town Hall is now just a really sucky place to be in the audience after experiencing that specific theater at Lincoln Center, which was just incredible.
Okay, so I’m gonna get a Lyft here in about an hour and try to get through the insane Midtown traffic in time to catch my train out of Penn Station at 10:20am. Sandra is taking a later train but, truthfully, I just can’t get out of here quick enough. I just feel like I need some decent air.
I did spend a few hours with Valerie yesterday afternoon and that was really nice. I have had a ton of quiet time during my stay here in the city, so it was just so great to spend some time with someone who knows me so well, who laughs a lot, and who is such a huge part of the “old” New York. That old vibe— meaning, not militantly-politically correct. And Valerie is a really tall, butch dyke who drinks and smokes and is extremely liberal and has been for 60 years, and yet she, too, has to contend with the constant onslaught of the intolerant zealously-politically-correct hordes. It gets so tiring.
I’m not sure if I prefer the Mongol hordes to this current horde of zealously PC liberals or not. I have to give it some thought. I’ll get back to you.
After lunch, we hung out on the stoop so that she could smoke and we did indeed discuss Mick Jagger’s weird inability to age— how it was sort of spooky. (And I wasn’t the one who brought up this topic, either, so clearly, I am not the only person who’s kind of creeped out by him nowadays.) But I did fess up to my recent discovery that, like Mick Jagger, I, too, prefer the idea of having sex with much younger women over having sex with 70-year-old women, and so I can’t really call that particular kettle black anymore.
And, of course, she concurred. Which, in itself, is kind of weird because we were lovers for 20 years, and now I guess we’re agreeing that even we are too old to seem like an appealing sex option to each other.
(I’m sort of just kidding. However, under our breath, so as not to be overheard by the PC militant zealots scurrying around us, we agreed that when it came to girls, we liked them “really young.”)
Wednesday, I make that drive back to Ohio and I’m not 100% psyched for that trip yet, but I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the day and evening in Rhinebeck and I guess spending some more time discussing the theater projects with Sandra in person.
Sandra works a lot, mostly in television in Canada, and it can be really hard to get her complete attention (or to even get her to reply to a text) when she’s working. So I need to get as much out of her as I can whenever she’s directly in front of me.
That said, though, I’m still not ready to tackle the next round of rewrites on the play. I can tell that all of it is gestating inside me, so I’m not concerned. I just know that I’m not quite ready. I know I will be once I’m back at my own desk, with my Muse suffusing my entire room. Although, Peitor texted, wanting to know when we can get back on schedule with the micro-scripts. So I guess I’m getting ready to be really busy again.
Well, needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, it has been so great to be able to see Nick Cave in the Conversation environment— twice. It really was just the best time and I’m feeling a little misty over having to move on. But on we must all move. Who knows when I will ever see him again in that specific, focused way. But it was just so wonderful. I just love him so much. And last evening— I can’t recall which song it was that he was singing; maybe “Love Letter,” maybe “Shivers,” — but for several fleeting moments, I saw the young Nick Cave coming through in his face, his expression. It was really interesting. Beautiful, I guess.
And now I must open the Lyft app and get that underway. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!
[UPDATE: In the Shadow of Narcissa has updated. You can read it here! Thanks!]
(Now, back to the blog!)
Three nights in a row now, I have slept really great. No anxiety at all, even though all my challenges remain the same and, now that I’m here in Rhinebeck, focusing on both plays with Sandra, new challenges are arising. But that sense that everything will unfold however it needs to unfold is really pronounced.
So I’m good.
I can’t believe that the Conversations with Nick Cave resume tonight in DC. It seems like it came so fucking fast. Then tomorrow night, I see him in the city— and then again on Monday.
I’m doing that thing again — dragging my feet, trying to slow it all down, because it will be over in a heartbeat and life will just go on!
No!! How can that be??
When Sandra asked me who I was seeing in the city, and I said “Nick Cave,” she said, “but who are you seeing on Monday then?”
”Oh, then who are you seeing at Lincoln Center?”
”Wait— you’re seeing that dude twice?”
“You must like him a lot.”
”Who is he?”
Aaaarrrggggh!!!! Oh well. Clearly not every American is oblivious to Nick Cave because all the Conversations are sold out…
Sandra and I had a long discussion last evening re: Tell My Bones and I went over the director’s notes with her, even though I haven’t done the rewrites yet. She was very insightful and enthusiastic. Today, we’re going to go over the whole play, scene by scene, which will likely help me facilitate the rewrites.
I’m feeling extremely good about everything because Sandra’s response to this new version is very, very encouraging.
I have a feeling I’ll be spending most of my time at the Airbnb writing. Both on Tell My Bones and on a new segment for In the Shadow of Narcissa. I’m planning to spend Monday with Valerie. But other than that, I think I’ll just be hanging out by myself, writing.
Yesterday, Sandra and I went and had lunch at this place I really like because it has great vegetarian options. And in there, I swear to you — I’m not lying about this — one of the guys who works there, who looked to be in his late teens, early 20s tops, came on to me!! I was completely taken aback by this because I was in one of those intense moods where I wasn’t even smiling. At first I thought maybe he was attracted to my Tom Petty tee shirt. But, no, it seemed that he was actually attracted to ME! And I was, like, WOW. Now that is interesting, right? It’s like they get younger and younger.
Is it because I’m getting more and more immature?!!
When I woke up this morning, at 5:45 am, my brain was reciting various odd stanzas from Whitman’s “I Sing the Body Electric.” I hadn’t thought of that poem in years. This is that area of the country, where he lived, roamed, thrived, wrote. Really, when you get to the East Coast you can feel the ghosts of all those sensibilities— writers and thinkers who settled here, drew in the Nature that was all around here back then, and then created from that intake. Rhinebeck is just one of those places that retains its history. It’s part of daily life. It’s the reason why I love it so much — but it does come with a huge price tag. It’s really expensive to live out here.
New Yorkers do that to a place: they buy a summer home somewhere up the Hudson, then decide it’s so nice, let’s make it year round. Then everyone catches on and does the same thing, and in a heartbeat, the price of everything goes through the roof and city people are all over the place.
Okay! Well, I hope things are good in your part of the world, gang. I’m gonna grab some more coffee and hang out and think about life until Sandra emerges from the boudoir. I leave you with a shot looking down in the neighbors yard at 6:30 am this morning.
Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.
It seems like today has been full of conversations about marriages that have gone wrong all over town….
A little depressing.
And then what to aim for next. And never get married again. And all that. It makes me sad. I want people to be happy. 🥺
Ah well. I’m sitting on the porch. It’s 5 pm in Rhinebeck. I’m guessing that the future is still my oyster but it takes a lot of effort to be a happy go lucky 12-year-old girl, when all these grownups around me are talking about divorces…
It’s a truly peaceful morning here in Rhinebeck!! Below (at the bottom) is a photo I took just now from the bed.
One nice thing I was able to do for Sandra the moment I got here, was blow out a fuse here in the guest room!! And try as we might, we can’t fix it! So an expensive electrician needs to be called in!! Please feel free to invite me to stay in your guest room whenever you’d like to!!
Anyway. I am doing things the old-fashioned way— relying on the daylight hours to write in my journal. Oh, and of course, using my iPhone to guide me in the darkness! Just like my pioneering ancestors did!!
Nick Cave sent out the best Red Hand Files newsletter yesterday. I’d link to it but I’m not certain how to do all that on my phone while I’m posting to the blog. Anyway, it was a really beautiful newsletter and luckily it arrived right before I took off for my 500-mile drive to NY. It really just helped me have a great frame of mind and I had just the best trip!!
i made it in exactly 9 hours, door to door. Unheard of!! It’s usually close to 10 or 11 hours, due to traffic. But yesterday, everything was just absolutely perfect!! No traffic, no road construction blocking anything. Gorgeous weather! I sailed right through.
And it was so nice, as I was driving away from my house, to have my birth mom standing there, waving goodbye to me at my kitchen door. She just loves me so much. She’s very introverted and quiet, but she is just so sweet to me. When I think of how terribly I missed her all through my childhood, it is still hard for me to grasp that she is now such a part of my life. I located her when I was 25, so it’s been many years already. Still, I am so blessed to have found her.
Saturday, Sandra and I meet with the director in the city re: Tell My Bones., even though I still haven’t even attempted to begin those rewrites he wants for the ending of the play, But it’s just so great to be here with Sandra and have her as a sounding board, too. She does feel extremely positive about the drastic changes I’ve made to the script. So that’s really good.
There’s a lot going on here re: our other play in Toronto. I can’t really go into it on the blog, but we just have a lot on our plate. So it will be some intense days around here.
All right. I’m gonna go downstairs and grab some more coffee. Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya!
You know, I’ve heard from houseguests that my guest room was really comfortable and last night I experienced it for myself!
I got into the bed and it was, like, man — this bed is more comfortable than mine is! And then I had the best night’s sleep I had in ages. It’s a really nice room. It just has great vibes.
Yes, I got lost going to pick up my mom yesterday. A 2-hour trip going there turned into 3 1/2 hours, and included a visit from the Sheriff as I waited there alone at the side of the road in the middle of all those cornfields. Had to get out of the car, show my ID and everything.
My mom spent nearly an hour trying to find me. Eventually we did manage to meet up in a gas station in a little town called Clarksburg…🥺
What should have been a 4-hour trip total, wound up being an 8 hour trip. Plus I got to see my younger brother for the first time in a few years. No one made fun of me for getting so fucking lost, though…
Yeah, so that was fun. Now I have to turn around and drive 10 hours today. But the weather is really just gorgeous so it should be a really nice drive.
My Nick Cave tickets are actually now in my handbag. So there is a really excellent chance the tickets will make it to NYC with me!
All righty, gang! I’m outta here. Gonna meditate. Have a little coffee. Load up the car and then scoot. Thanks for visiting!! I love you guys. See ya!
(oh, and I’m posting from my phone now so the photos are probably enormous…)
Life does indeed go on, doesn’t it, gang?
I have to leave here in a couple hours to go get my mom. She lives on my sister’s farm a couple of hours from here. Both of my sisters actually live on the farm, in different houses, and now my mom is retired and lives there, too. (She was a waitress and a cook.)
I haven’t been out to the farm in probably 25 years. My one sister actually grew up on that farm, then inherited it, then invited my other sister to come live out there with her.
That one sister who now owns the farm is not the sister that I get along with, hence, I never go out to that farm. That sister is 2 years younger than me, but she acts like she’s about 20 years older than I am. Not that she’s bossy or anything, but apparently she also thinks that I am still 12 years old and it frustrates the heck out of her and so she has little patience with me whenever I’m in the same room with her.
My other sister and I are extremely close. She’s 8 years younger than me and also treats me like I’m 12 years old, but in a really, really nice way. For instance, she just this second texted me, saying, I left you gas money on the kitchen table. Drive safe. I just love that!! Because, honestly, I am only just barely able to take care of myself. It’s a wonder that anyone allowed me to have such a grown up thing as a house… let alone this intensely grown-up car.
I was talking on the phone with Valerie out in Brooklyn yesterday, because I had gotten extremely depressed. And I was lamenting having to do all this driving by myself, and even though I’ve made this drive to NY from here I don’t know how many times, I am now suddenly feeling overwhelmed by all the driving ahead of me. Especially the 2 hour drive from here up to northern Ohio, where I then cross over into Pennsylvania — those 2 hours have a lot of confusing highway changes, and now that I have no CD player in my car, I have to listen to all my music on my phone.
She reminded me that I have a grown-up car now and that it has a really good navigation system. I totally forgot!! (This is one of the many reasons why I need a keeper, 24/7.) So now, I have the navigation system; that cruise control thing that slows down & speeds up depending on the car in front of me; it brakes by itself; it stays in the lane; and it drives by itself for 10 seconds — so, basically, I can just hang out in the backseat, chew gum and play records! Yay!
Yesterday evening, I ran into this elderly man (I’ve posted about him on the blog before – his wife recently died from Alzheimer’s and I had told him he could move in with me if he wanted to, and even though I could tell by his expression that he really, really wanted to, he refused to reply. ) Anyway. I saw him yesterday. He said, “You always look so happy!” (Which is just bizarre, since I’m always in the throes of some sort of suicidal swoon, but that’s not the point…) For some reason, I told him I was going to NYC and I told him about the progress with the 2 plays with Sandra.
I usually do not talk about my private life — ever. I just don’t talk about it or myself. I smile. I’m friendly, but I am usually an absolute closed steel door. Thanks to google, as soon as neighbors find out I’m a writer, they google me, and it is usually not too long before people start asking me to come over and have sex with them, their girlfriends, with everybody. (I’m not kidding. I’m actually serious.) Flattering as it may well be, I always politely decline. And then move farther away…
Anyway, for some reason, I told this man about the plays, and of course he didn’t know I was a writer. And it turns out he’s from NYC, too, and moved away shortly after 9/11. Too weird, right? Another New Yorker. (My friend Kara, whom I’ve gotten so close with over the last several months, was also born and raised in NY and I didn’t know this until well after we initially met.)
I guess we have these inner homing devices, or something. Psychically picking up on this signal from “home.”
I am really digressing here, sorry. My point is that this man wants to introduce me to a female friend of his who also writes. And then he said that she now writes full time and added, “well, of course, she has a husband who takes care of her.” And then he back-pedaled and added, “not that that’s a bad thing.”
Just a really interesting piece of dialogue there, you know? Mostly, he was flattering me, implying that I do what I want and take care of myself, without relying on a man. I think I said something like, “oh, I see.”
But I was thinking how this idea that I “take care of myself” is just so loosely defined. It’s just funny, people thinking that I do what I want and I take care of myself, as if I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world, assuming I could actually get along indefinitely with some guy I was in love with??? And then I immediately thought about the endless drive ahead of me, and then the drive back. And always traveling everywhere alone. Always working, always writing. Always, always. Alone. It just got a little depressing.
And I got nothing done on In the Shadow of Narcissa because nothing productive would come to me yesterday. But I might actually write while I’m away. Like, on paper — the old-fashioned way. I will be posting to the blog, though, but from my phone, so it won’t be my usual stuff, but I’m still gonna post!
Okay. I gotta scoot. Gotta leave here in a bit and go make the trek out to the farm to get my mom… Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world and whatever you’re doing!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys! See ya!
(A great favorite from my wee bonny girlhood!! Who knew that the only man I would wind up getting along with indefinitely would be Jesus??!!) (See ya!!!) 🙂
Yes!!! It’s wonderful!!!
I finally made it to the end of the most important segment of the play last night. And I could not be more delighted — even though it’s a death scene, it goes to a tragic place. But it is relived within a dream, so it doesn’t have the same kind of sadness to it that it would have had in “real-time.”
And there is a sense of jubilation woven all around the tragedy, creating absolute (controlled) chaos. Helen is in agonizing despair, crying out Psalm 22, while the choir is in this jubilant refrain of Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?, as Helen’s grandson, who has waited all his life to get a job on the railroad, finally gets that job up in Louisville, and then gets crushed by a train — but he goes gloriously to the sweet hereafter in all that joyous singing, while Helen’s heart breaks into a million pieces.
And all of it takes place within Helen’s dream where she is inside one of her paintings and the ghosts of her family come “alive” again.
I have been struggling with that whole section — 16 pages — for a couple of weeks now. It felt so amazing to finally finish it last night.
As usual, the Muse was working overtime and I could not have felt more appreciative.
Well, I did indeed make the 100 mile trek to get the less-than-10 minute interview for the TSA Precheck yesterday. And yes, I did manage to get a wee bit lost and my iPhone maps decided to stop speaking to me, only wanting to show me images while I was trying to drive, lost, on a strange freeway. Through some miracle of divine guidance, I finally found the darn place and made it right on time for my interview. But, man, what a lot of driving, a lot of gasoline, and then the “check oil” light came on halfway home… all that for a 10-minute interview.
So I called my sales rep at Honda when I got home, and I will leave it to him to let me know if I should come in and trade in the car for a new lease right now. I am so close to being at my maximum allowed mileage on the current lease, and now I need an oil change…
Plus, yesterday, I was trying to book my flight to NY — I want to fly into Stewart International because I’ll primarily be staying in Rhinebeck with Sandra, and as you can guess, there are no flights that come anywhere close to being a direct flight between here and a small airport like that one.
I have a variety of layover choices in Philadelphia, that range from 2 hours to about 8 hours. I’m not exaggerating. I could make about 7 commuter train trips between Philadelphia and NYC in that 8-hour layover. A direct flight between here and Stewart International would be 1 hour. But since there is no such thing as a direct flight between here and there, the minimum travel time is 6 hours, including me having to leave by 4:15am to make the one-hour drive to the airport to catch the first flight out at 6am.
And all of that would cost me 25,000 frequent flyer miles!!!!! (Round trip). I’m, like, you’re kidding, right? I can go to fucking Alaska for that. So now, if I do lease a new car right away, I think I’m gonna go ahead and drive again. It’s a 10-hour drive. And I can leave at whatever time in the morning I want to. But I can’t do it if I don’t have the new car yet, because I’m too close to going over my max miles.
So we’ll see what the rep says when he calls me back today.
Meanwhile, I am at last nearing the end of the play. I have one final section to revise. Between 15-20 more pages, tops. And I don’t have the luxury of it taking me an additional 2 weeks, so I’m hoping to have the rewrites finished here momentarily!! (Or, you know, maybe a week. That still gets the play to NYC a week before I get there.)
A quick update re: the sudden hashtag keanu situation in my Instagram feed — I’m actually finding it kind of soothing. Having my Instagram feed positively inundated with harmless photos of Keanu, night & day. It helps neutralize the somewhat emotional knee-jerk responses that I have to a lot of the other things/people I’m following. So I think I’m gonna keep it. A sort of social-media therapy: hashtag keanu; a new route to bliss.
You know, for many years, I was very good friends with a journalist who wrote primarily for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, etc. — big media outlets. And he interviewed a ton of movie stars in his career (he’s now a talking-head on a sports show). And the only movie star that he had nice things to say about was Keanu. He genuinely liked him.
I met Keanu at a party once in NYC, a million years ago, and I won’t say I actually liked him. He did something that insulted me — he looked down the front of my little black dress. I know it was very funny when they did that to the stepmom in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but I had spent a fortune on that little black cocktail dress I was wearing, and I was in the process of being stood-up by my date because he was stuck in a midtown recording studio and was not going to make it to the party.
And it wasn’t just Keanu who was coming onto me that night while I wore that dress; a number of men were. And some were very nice & polite about it. But when the one guy you’ve gone to all that trouble for, doesn’t show up, then it doesn’t matter if you end up being the tallest, prettiest gal in the room; you just don’t give a fuck, you know?
I’m sure that on any other evening, any other night, any other year, Keanu is indeed very likable.
All righty!! I’m gonna get started here. I leave you with the song I was listening to this morning — another little love letter to the Muse!! I used to just love this song when I was 7 years old. Really, gang. I played this record all the time and sang along to it, too! I woke up at 4am today, thinking about this song for the first time in decades. And so of course I found it on Youtube. I sang along to it as the cats ate their breakfasts and they seemed to enjoy it. Purrrhaps you will, too! Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya!
If you’re feeling sad and lonely
There’s a service I can render
Tell the one who loves you only
I can be so warm and tender
Don’t be afraid, you can call me
Maybe it’s late, but just call me
Tell me, and I’ll be around
When it seems your friends desert you
There’s somebody thinking of you
I’m the one who’ll never hurt you
Maybe that’s because I love you
Don’t be afraid, you can call me
Maybe it’s late, but just call me
Tell me, and I’ll be around
Now don’t forget me
‘Cause if you let me
I will always stay by you
You’ve got to trust me
That’s how it must be
There’s so much that I can do
If you call I’ll be right with you
You and I should be together
Take this love I long to give you
I’ll be at your side forever
Please, call me
Tell me, and I’ll be around
Don’t be afraid, you can call me
Maybe it’s late, but just call me
c – 1965 Tony Hatch
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.)
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.