Tag Archives: Shivers The Boys Next Door

An “Ab Ab Pro” Kind of Day!!

Yes, that’s how I usually refer to Abstract Absurdity Productions because to say Abstract Absurdity Productions all the time,  can take forever and get kind of annoying…


So, yes. The entire day is now dedicated to Ab Ab Pro stuff. Webinars. Watch some short films that one of our producers produced on the proverbial shoe-string budget. (Same producer who gave us a budget proposal for Lita måste gå! (Lita’s Got to Go!) that was well into the 7 figures…)

Anyway.  We also received our script breakdown from the Assistant Director the other day. So that’s exciting. Technically, it’s an 8-day shoot. But we still have to decide if we want to shoot some of the scenes on location in Sweden and Paris — and now Portugal has become an option. There is some property there that matches what we need, and Peitor has a producer in Portugal who can arrange it. But we’re still just trying to get all our little ducks in a row.

We need to make 2 or 3 of our micro-micro shorts first. Actually shoot them. Which will probably be in the cinematographer’s studio down in Alabama. (The micro-micro shorts are between 45 seconds to 2 minutes long. Again — complete stories, but totally absurd. And still filmed in a style that is an homage to the European New Wave in cinema from the mid 1950s- early 1960s, which, way back then, was an inexpensive way to shoot a film but now it makes your budget go through the roof, even for micro-micro shorts.)

So, you can probably see how this new schedule I’m on, where I concentrate on only one specific thing for the whole day, really helps me make progress on each project. It is definitely bringing me some sanity.

And yesterday, I was finally able to get some notes off to a writer in the UK re: his manuscript. And then I was even able to spend a couple hours reading my friend’s travel book about the Netherlands, which I have been trying to finish for a few months already.  (Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands by Roger Gaess) I really enjoy reading the book so I didn’t want to just plow through it. I’ve never been to the Netherlands so I actually really want to take in what he has to say. (We are colleagues from NYC but he lives in Brussels now.) Plus, I like to get out the pocket atlas and look at these places he’s talking about — see where they actually are. It’s funny how you can think you know a foreign country geographically, but then look at an atlas and realize you are a little bit off (or even wrong, as the case may be!!)

So, anyway.  I was able to really enjoy that for a couple of hours yesterday.

And today is just going to be busy from start to finish. But — I did do the treadmill already, so that’s out of the way!! I’m not going to get to 7pm tonight, all happy & ready to settle down and stream another new episode of “Agatha Raisin” only to discover that I hadn’t worked out yet!!

So, forcing myself to work out at 7am, instead, is really helping me mentally, too.

Okay! Well, there was another — very brief– Red Hand File from Nick Cave very early this morning. Apparently, some of his more zealous fans sent a “tsunami of mail” to the piano company in Italy yesterday, telling them to give Nick a free piano. (See yesterday’s post.) And so he asked people to kindly stop doing that…

Wow. People can get so intense, can’t they? A little militant, I think, but I guess their hearts were in the right place.

On that note, I gotta scoot and get this day underway. I want to take a webinar before I speak to Peitor. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I’m leaving you with a song I am never ever going to get tired of — it was in an Instagram feed early this morning, so it’s been on my mind for a couple of hours. I’ve posted it here many times before, but here it is again!! “Shivers” by The Boys Next Door (1979). Enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya.

See, This is Why It’s So Darn Difficult!!

[UPDATE: My new segment of In the Shadow of Narcissa is now available on Edge of Humanity Magazine. You can read it here  if you’d like!! Thanks!]

The photos on Instagram from Nick Cave’s Conversation last night in Cambridge  — photos that, indeed, you’re not supposed to take — look like the show was fantastic. So, like, how am I supposed to not click the “like” button??!! Damn it.

When you’re sitting there, in the audience, and people have their phone’s out and are doing that, taking those pictures or making those little videos, it is beyond annoying. It truly is. It is absolutely distracting and maddening to have that going on around you — privacy issues not withstanding. And yet!! My god, it looks like it was such a great show last night!! (How would I ever know this if they didn’t do that??) (Do I actually need to know this, though? I guess not. I mean, God knows, life would go on. But I sure do love knowing this.)

What’s interesting about the comments from the American shows so far, is that a number of people seem to be going into it with a lot of skepticism. And then, literally, coming away from it saying how incredible it was and how blessed they were to be able to see it, and that they will never forget the experience for the rest of their lives.

I’m not being sarcastic here, either. A lot of people are saying that in their Instagram posts. So interesting — the American skepticism. And then it gives way to this sort of ethereal astonishment.

Well, I think it’s so cool!!


I’m back here in Crazeysburg, in my own little world. And I have acquiesced, finally, to this fact that it is indeed fall. Yesterday, in Rhinebeck, as I stepped out onto the front porch with Kenn (Sandra’s husband – Sandra was sound asleep in the boudoir, so I didn’t see her when I was leaving). But he and I stepped out onto the porch at around 7am and, man, it was totally fall. You know that feeling? It’s really crisp outside, there’s that chill in the air. The leaves are turning. Some leaves have already fallen. There’s dew on everything. The sun is just barely spilling into the sky and all the colors in everything all around you seem sort of saturated with autumnal light.  That’s how it felt yesterday morning. Fall had arrived.

And then during the drive, the leaves everywhere were changing. And as much as I wanted to still believe it was the height of summer, I was forced to face the facts of nature that were staring at me for 500 miles.

So, rather than resist the beauty that was all around me by insisting it was still summer, I relented and looked at all the beautiful trees and had to admit to myself: okay, Marilyn; it’s fall.

And now, here at home this morning, my new fall coffee cup! (This was the cup my mom chose from the cupboard, like, the moment she arrived last week. I thought that was so cool! That she chose the cup that I knew I was going to use the minute I was willing to believe that it was actually fall.)  (Apparently, she figured out that it was fall an entire week before I did.)

First cup of coffee back home! How autumnal!












You will notice that things are actually reflecting on the kitchen counter top. This means that it is clean. I did not do this! My mom is the best!! My entire kitchen is so fucking clean. My whole darn house is so fucking clean.

My room (which I posted a photo of last evening) is so amazingly dust free that I can’t get over it.  What I also noticed, and I don’t mind it, is that it’s evident that my mom read the manuscripts that were in a stack on my desk. I can tell because they are slightly different than how I left them and they smell a little bit of cigarette smoke.

I absolutely don’t mind that my mom reads my stuff.  She’s incredibly supportive of me. She still keeps the original typewritten manuscript for Neptune & Surf in her night table drawer next to her bed. (That’s more than 20 years, gang, because I sent her that manuscript long before it got published.) She’s really proud of that book, and really, everything I write, even though her only comments are always: “You’re just like me.” (Although she’s not bisexual, which is interesting because she has one bisexual daughter, one bisexual son, and one lesbian daughter.)

Anyway. I’m happy that she’s interested in reading my stuff, but then I realized that the three “Letters” from Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse were in that stack and I could tell she’d read them — in particular, “A Beach to His Waves,” because the top page was crinkly, and that really made me kind of sad.

I’m pretty sure I’ve told her that I was raped when I was growing up, but I’m not positive. I might never have told her. And I don’t think I ever would have told her that my adoptive mom’s boyfriend raped me. Any of the things that went so horribly wrong between me and my adoptive mother are very hard for my birth mom to hear. (She never actually “gave me up” for adoption; I was taken away from her by her dad, and she never forgave him for that, for the rest of his life, even though he remained alive for well over 30 years after I came back.)

It’s just doubly hard on her to think that it was supposed to be better for me to be raised by other people — total strangers up north, in the city; educated, married people, who could provide me with all kinds of better things. Aside from the relentless abuse from my adoptive mom specifically, my adoptive parents became extremely affluent as time went on. By the time I was disowned, I was being disinherited from, literally, millions of dollars. I was left with nothing. Zero. Just a ton of really difficult memories and an endless supply of words.

This kind of stuff is very hard on my birth mom. She feels that having me taken from her, and all of her heartache over it, was all in vain. So, when I realized what she read about in “A Beach to His Waves,” I sort of cringed a little. Shit, you know?

I love my mom so much. She’s really quiet; introverted. She’s had a very hard life.  Back when I first found her, I wrote her a pleading  letter, asking if I could meet her. And when my letter arrived, she had just gotten out of jail that day — six weeks in jail for too many DUI’s and driving with a suspended license. And she gets out of jail, comes home to the farm in the Appalachian foothills, and my letter from NYC is waiting for her on the kitchen counter. She read the letter and allegedly threw it down on the counter and said to everyone present in the kitchen, “Well, I need this like a fucking hole in the head.”

So when she does say something it’s usually something like that.

Anyway. I love her. And the simple fact that she even knows my name means everything to me. When she left that letter for me on my kitchen table yesterday, it meant the world to me. Even though she’s not saying anything poetic or anything, she’s just talking about laundry and watering the flowers and borrowing my sweatshirt, and my gardening gloves. But it still meant everything to me.

The fact that she was willing to look after my crazy cats for a week — and then bonded with them? Cleaned my house? Weeded my garden? It means so much to me to just be loved. Really, it felt like it took me a life time to get her back. (I was 25 when I finally found out who she was and where she lived.)

Here’s the note she left for me yesterday. Her handwriting is so incredibly tiny and perfect, isn’t it? And I love how she dots the “i” in my name with a little circle like she isn’t 72 years old now!! So sweet. But I look at this letter and it just fills me with love.

Note left on the kitchen table from my mom — yes, we live in America! In case we are ever in doubt, it is embossed on our notepaper…













(Don’t read the letter! It will mean nothing to you! Just look at her handwriting…)

Okay, gang. I have a ton of Helen LaFrance stuff to gather up from storage and ship out to the director in NYC, overnight express — insured to high heaven because it’s all one of kind, irreplaceable stuff. And then I need to hunker down and get to work on the rewrites of the play.

I hope you have a wonderful, wonder-filled, Thursday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting!! I will cease posting here 4 times a day because now I will just be at my desk writing and that looks the same, 24/7. I leave you with this because I just can’t stop playing it! Okay. I love you guys. So much. See ya.


I’ve been contemplating suicide,
But it really doesn’t suit my style,
So I think I’ll just act bored instead
And contain the blood I would’ve shed
She makes me feel so ill at ease
My heart is really on it’s knees
But I keep a poker face so well
That even mother couldn’t tell
But my baby’s so vain
She is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name
Sends a permanent shiver down my
I keep her photograph against my heart
For in my life she plays a starring part
All alcohol and cigarettes
There is no room for cheap regrets
But my baby’s so vain
She is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name
Sends a permanent shiver down my
She makes me feel so ill at ease
My heart is really on it’s knees
But I keep a poker face so well
That even mother couldn’t tell
But my baby’s so vain
She is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name
Sends a permanent shiver down my
c – 1976 Rowland S. Howard