Tag Archives: Tell My Bones: The Helen LaFrance Story

My Coffee NEVER Arrives Like This!!

I always have to go down to the kitchen and get the coffee myself, and in the process, try not to trip over hundreds of scampering cats who can’t stand me.

Okay. Perhaps I exaggerate – there are only 7 cats here who can’t stand me.

But I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve never had this sort of announcement when the coffee was ready. Least of all, by a guy who wore a seriously nice robe such as the one pictured above! (And I guarantee you; I have had plenty of nightgowns that looked like hers, so that can’t be the issue here.)

I guess it’ll just remain one of those eternal mysteries, gang – why it is that vintage advertisements never seem to reflect the life I’ve lived.

Still awaiting comments & edits from NY on Blessed By Light. In the meantime, I’m trying to sort of urge my mind into the Tell My Bones groove. The play could not possibly be more different from Blessed By Light if it tried, so I seriously have to find a way to steer my mind away from one creative track and onto another.

It feels like that “changing horses in midstream” kind of thing. My mind doesn’t really feel ready to let go of Blessed By Light, but it has to. It is almost July and rehearsals will begin in a few weeks, and the director wants to see all my revisions for the entire play before we get started. (The rehearsals, though, will primarily be for the staged reading version of the script, which is only a 30 minute condensed version of the whole play.)

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I went through a lot of stress, creating that staged reading version of the script back in January/February, and made significant changes to the storytelling at that point that haven’t been incorporated into the overall script yet. So I have to tackle that. And of course tackle it as the heat of July approaches.

But I actually do okay, writing in intensely unbearable heat. Sleeping in it is where I have serious problems.


Yesterday’s post, curiously enough, yielded lots of traffic from Russia that I don’t usually experience – and none of it came through the WordPress Reader. Indeed curious, right?

Freaked me out just a little bit, I have to say. But on we go.

The last few days have yielded another sort of interesting development.

Even while being incredibly happy with finishing the new novel, and really happy with how it reads as a completed book, I’ve had these weird physical things that have started to perplex me. Relentless and usually overwhelming fatigue is an ongoing issue. Now pain issues. And now bruises appearing from out of nowhere that I can’t explain.

Yesterday evening, I found several more bruises. But you know, that sudden out of body experience I had while meditating yesterday morning felt really profound to me.  That idea that it was futile to go on because there was too much “nature” out in front of me, and yet that feeling of peace about being right where I was, because everything was so beautiful right where I was.

Obviously, I don’t like seeing these bruises.  And yesterday, I found 4 more.  I like to believe it’s just some weird byproduct of being a vegetarian and maybe not getting enough of some sort of vitamin. Still, whatever it ends up being, that sense of peace came over me again yesterday and it was profound. I felt totally okay with everything.

I’m so happy that I finished the novel, and I know I’ll finish the play, and I feel certain I’ll finish Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.

I have several other projects that I’ve already started – 3 plays, another novel, and a memoir; and then TV adaptations for 2 of my older novels. But yesterday, it suddenly felt like, well, if I don’t complete those projects for whatever reason, it’s okay. It’s these 3 primary ones that are front & center right now that matter most to me and I know for sure I’m going to finish those.

It’s a type of thinking I’ve never really had before, but it all felt really, really good to me. Like absolutely everything is all right, no matter what path I end up finding myself on.

Plus I think that the people that I love in this life know that I love them. And that’s really important to me.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog know all about Greg, the boy I fell in love with when I was 11 years old and he was 12; and I stayed in love with him until he was killed in an accident the summer I was 14 and he was 15.  And then all sorts of horrible things began to unravel in my world after he died. And I never got a chance to tell him that I loved him. I was a child, you know?  Throughout that whole relationship. Even though we had a ton of sex. I was still a child, really. I was overwhelmed by all the feelings I had for him, but it would never have occurred to me to say “I love you.” It just wasn’t part of my emotional landscape yet.

And I don’t think anything ever felt worse to me than having him suddenly be gone, forever, without being able to tell him that I loved him.

But ever since then, boy, I’ll tell you. I try to express how I feel towards people as best I can. Even though on so many levels, I am a really self-involved person, I do actually care deeply about people. Obviously, readers here know that I have this life-long processing of physical abuse and rape issues that I still deal with many decades later; things that have caused me to have intimacy problems that I try to process in the most productive ways I can. Still, it makes “relationships” very hard for me to maintain. But underneath all the drama, I still care deeply about people.

And I guess in some ways, even though this sounds sort of lame or even like an emotional cop out, my writing is always about human emotions and the emotional complexities of “being here” and the messages we give each other by “being here.”  I do care very much about the human condition, the human heart, and I try to put all of that into my writing and hope that it continues to affect people positively.  Even when there’s a lot of sex going on in what I’m writing, the human heart is always the central issue for me. That struggle for the heart to connect while it’s still here.

Love people. Help them feel loved. Let people know they’re not alone. Life is the same innate journey for all of us, even while we experience it each in our own unique way. I really believe there is an undercurrent to all of it that is exactly the same for all of us, and it comes from love.


I still did not set up the laptop. I have some revisions I need to make by tomorrow to the micro-short video script that Peitor and I are working on, so I will probably avoid the laptop yet again and focus on that today! Or at least this morning. And then avoid the laptop by doing stuff like washing my hair, doing yoga, finding something to stare at and then stare at it. Study Italian. Play the guitar…

I so don’t want to deal with that laptop, and yet I also can’t wait for it to be ready for me to use!! What a conundrum!

All righty!

The Conversations with Nick Cave continue in Brighton for the next couple nights and then will completely disappear from the landscape for a couple of months, wherein I’m certain he will have all sorts of private (lower case ‘c’) conversations and wear whatever he wants to wear! Instagram will somehow survive and continue to get all clogged up with all sorts of things that may or may not mean anything.

As usual, we shall see!

The breakfast-listening music was a little sad today – one of Tom Petty’s many “divorce” songs before he finally got up his nerve (basically) to divorce Jane. It’s a song I’ve posted here numerous times over the years just because I really love the darn song: “Only A Broken Heart.”

(You know, if you like Tom Petty and have never read either his official biography, Petty, by Warren Zane, a really good book and a NY Times Bestseller from 2015; or Conversations with Tom Petty by Paul Zollo, a phenomenally good book from 2006; you should read them. He talks about pretty much every song he ever wrote and why he wrote them and what was going on in his life when he wrote what he wrote, as well as songs that might mean a lot to you that he barely even remembers writing because it meant almost nothing to him. Even his huge hit “Wildflowers,” a really gentle little love song/folk song, he says was actually a song he wrote for himself; because he knew he was unhappy but that he deserved to be happy and he needed to get a divorce… It’s just all very, very interesting if you like Tom Petty.)

Okay, enjoy your Friday, folks. Wherever it takes you! Thanks for visiting, gang. Please know I love you guys so much!! See ya!

“Only A Broken Heart”

Here comes that feeling I’ve seen in your eyes
Back in the old days, before the hard times
But I’m not afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

I know the place where you keep your secrets
Out of the sunshine, down in a valley
But I’m not afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

What would I give, to start all over again
To clean up my mistakes

Stand in the moonlight, stand under heaven
Wait for an answer, hold out forever
But don’t be afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

What would I give, to start all over again
To clean up my mistakes

I know your weakness, you’ve seen my dark side
The end of the rainbow is always a long ride
But I’m not afraid anymore
It’s only a broken heart

c- 1994  Thomas Earl Petty

Voglio andare in biblioteca!!

Yes, indeedy! I want to go the library!

I actually might say this while I’m in Italy, gang!!

We are at long last inching our way into the ballpark of things I can see myself possibly saying while sequestered in Villa Monte Malbe in Perugia.

We shall see! But the important thing is that I’m still really enjoying the Mondly app. It’s really fun. I do real well on my quizzes, which is remarkable. They are throwing so much stuff at me every day,  only a fraction of which I am retaining at this point, because my primary focus is on revisions of Blessed By Light and then, of course, revisions of Tell My Bones. So why I score well on the quizzes is a complete mystery to me.

I guess it means that somewhere, deep down inside me, Italian is making itself known to me and that this time next year, when I step off the plane in Rome and open my mouth, fluent Italian will spring forth!

That’s the goal, anyway.


Gosh, it’s a lovely day here today, gang. Just unbelievably pretty out there.  Last evening we had – yes, more rain! – but it has made for just a really, really nice day today.

I watched the final episode of season 6 of Endeavour last evening. It was really good, although I do have to say that it had some very tidy “happy endings” all the way around, for all the characters. But, still. It was nice to know that everything is back where it needs to be and all set up for a killer season 7 next summer!

It’s amazing how quickly I get addicted to that show. And they only do 4 episodes in a season.  In the old days, back when it first came on and I would actually watch it on a television set, I used to DVR it and re-watch each episode so many times. But now I just don’t have time. I’m lucky to watch it once. But, wow, do I love that show.

For some unknown reason, after I watched Endeavour down in the kitchen last evening, I suddenly decided to wash the downstairs bathroom floor. This is the floor that had Daddycakes’ footprints on it. After he died, I was unable to bring myself to clean the floor because of his little paw prints being there on the tile.

It’s been over 2 months now since he died, and even though there were still traces of his  paw prints on the bathroom floor, what I really actually had, was a very dirty bathroom floor.

So I tried not to get sad and I finally mopped it. I have to say, it certainly looks a lot better.

But I really miss that cat.


Well. Nick Cave is in Nottingham tonight. And, yes, for all you Americans who, like me,  grew up on the story of Robin Hood, it turns out that Nottingham is an actual place.

Of course, I’ve known for a very long time that Nottingham is an actual place, but I remember how strange it seemed, when I first learned that it was indeed an actual place.  It just sounded so intensely mythical.

Plus, there are connections between Robin Hood and some sort of folk-hero bandit  type person who indeed lived in Sherwood Forest.

All that stuff just fascinates me.  How myths, and legends, and stuff get handed down through storytelling.

On my birth mother’s side, I am partially of Scottish descent, and that particular last name on that side is Hood.  On my birth father’s side, as I’ve detailed here on the blog, I have connections to quite a few interesting historical people, including Daniel Boone and Chief Blue Jacket. And I’m also a cousin to Louisa May Alcott.

But, on my birth mother’s side, the relatives were a lot humbler in origin. But I tell people that the family name on that side was Hood, and that I’m a direct descendant of Robin.

You’d be amazed how many people actually believe me when I say that. It’s all in how you say it, you know?  Especially if you’ve been throwing around names like Daniel Boone and Chief Blue Jacket.

Anyway. I digress.

We’ll see how it goes on Instagram tonight, but I’m noticing that people who aren’t supposed to be taking pictures with their phones during the Conversations, wait a day or two, and then suddenly the photos they weren’t supposed to take start getting posted to Instagram.

There was one photo of Nick Cave posted last night, in black & white, from Scotland that was just beautiful. So we’ll see.

I guess I’d better get to work here on the revisions of Blessed By Light. I decided to do a significant overhaul of Chapter Two, so that’s on my plate for today. And for some reason, I’m looking forward to this and not freaking out.

I leave you with this, gang. And, yes, I know, I’ve left you with this before. But yesterday, I drove into town to get groceries. On the way back, I was going my usual 95 mph. No one else on the highway.  A bit of atmospheric rain, making everything intensely green again all over Muskingum County for as far as the eye could see. I was listening to the “Wildflowers” CD for the first time in a long time, and when this song came on, I punched the REPEAT button and totally cranked up the volume.

It’s a really sexy little song, gang. A great groove.  But for some reason, when you’re driving in the rain, and this song is playing REALLY loud, and you’re sailing along super fast because you’re in Muskingum County which means that the Sheriff is never too worried about what you might be getting up to in your going-very-fast vehicle; well, then the sexiness of the song gets amp-ed up and — I don’t know — it just makes you really want to have sex.

(I know. It doesn’t take much to make me really want to have sex, but this is just, I don’t know, I guess, yet another one of those endless things that make me really want to have sex. Before you stoop to mocking me, though, you should get in your car, drive fast through Muskingum County in the rain, and crank this song, and see if it doesn’t do it for you, too.)

All righty! Thanks for visiting, gang! Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys! See ya!

[Come on, now, play it A LOT louder than that or it won’t work! – Ed.]

“Cabin Down Below”

Come on go with me, babe
Come on go with me, girl
Baby, let’s go
To the cabin down below

I got a radio
Put it on soft and low
Baby, let’s go
To the cabin down below

Well, I’ve had my eye on you
For a long, long time
I’m watching everything you do
Baby, you’re gonna be mine

Come on go with me, babe
Come on go with me, girl
Baby, let’s go
To the cabin down below

Time’s been moving slow
Since we both got here
Come on slide a little closer
Let me whisper in your ear

Well I got a radio
Turn it on soft and low
Baby, let’s go
To the cabin down below

Oh, baby, let’s go
To the cabin down below
Baby, let’s love
In the cabin down below

c – 1994 Tom Petty

Easy-Peasy, Gang!

Yes, I am of course talking about the endless editing that I’m now doing to Blessed By Light.

I finally signed off on the revisions to Chapter One (I’m really happy with them, btw; this is the strangest novel I’ve ever read, gang, and I think that’s a good thing). But then I realized that Chapter Two could be more streamlined, so I’m up to my eyeballs now in that.

But, honestly, it’s not so bad now. I got past all the stymied weirdness of the other day. And I know for sure that the whole book doesn’t need editing; it’s just these opening chapters that I want to tighten.


I’m okay with it.

That’s me, btw, up at the top there. 30 years ago. I was at my best friend’s beach house in North Carolina. He has long since died from AIDS. But back then – wow, he was the only person who could calm me down.

Actually, when we knew for sure he was dying, that he would not survive, that was his main concern: “Marilyn, how are you going to be okay without me?”

And I absolutely did not know.  Although I didn’t want him dying while worrying about me, so I told him that I would figure it out – how to be okay without him.

I guess I did; I’ve managed, anyway, even though I don’t have any other “best friend” and that is super lonely. But I can guarantee you there are no other photos in existence of me looking that relaxed.

Anyway! It’s a beautiful day here. I didn’t blog earlier because I slept in until 7 a.m.!! I don’t remember the last time I did that, but it felt good. I woke up happy.  But now that I’ve switched my meditation time back to first thing in the morning, then I do that Inner Being journaling thing, and then I had to get started on the revisions. Then do yoga…

So, anyway, here we are! Day’s half over!

I’m gonna say first, though, that I am hopelessly lost now re: all these Conversations with Nick Cave in the UK. I don’t think anyone in Scotland posted to Instagram last night. Plus, all these johnny-come-latelies from London and Manchester are still posting to Instagram, confusing me, and other people who have tickets to upcoming shows back in Scandinavia are posting things that haven’t even happened yet, and since Nick Cave apparently insists on wearing the same darn suit all the time, I am losing my ability to figure out where the heck he is.

The UK is really decidedly weird, though. Meaning that they seem to be incredibly okay with detaching themselves from their phones and so not posting pictures to Instagram. So they are really just screwing me up.

Oh, sort of on an unrelated note. Right this moment there is an amazing photo of Iggy Pop on Instagram that he posted to his own official page. He’s in concert and, as usual, is only wearing clothes from the waist down. But this photo is an extreme close-up of him from the waist up. He’s in his 70s now and still really muscular, but his skin is an absolute roadmap of lines and wrinkles. It is just jaw-dropping and breathtaking. It truly is.

I love Iggy Pop.

Back in the early 80s, when I was taking that songwriting workshop with (the late) Jim Carroll, one of our assignments was to write some specific lyrics and turn them in. And at that particular time, I was reading Iggy Pop’s memoir, I Need More, from his years living in Germany. So I wrote a song about that.

Here’s a photo of page 1 of my graded assignment – Jim Carroll’s comments. (I treasure this, obviously. Usually we didn’t have to turn stuff in, we went over stuff in class. So I don’t have his handwriting on too many things.) (Oh, I adored Jim Carroll, too, in case you’re new to this lofty blog.)

The song I wrote about Iggy Pop as an assignment for Jim Carroll’s songwriting workshop in early 1984.

Jim Carroll actually terrified me. He was SUPER nice. He really was. But he was also really tall – hence, The Basketball Diaries. And I was really shy. Whenever he would stand too close to me, I would sort of silently panic and freak out. Once, I arrived for class just as he was arriving and so we road up alone together in the elevator (he was usually surrounded by a swarm of students, but this time it was just him & me). He had an intense Bronx accent, and he said, “Hey, so, what’s yer name again – Mary Ann?”

ME: (inaudible reply)

HIM (smiles): “Hm. So how ya doin’?”

ME (just a sort of chirp): “oh. you know. fine.”

I was just terrified of him. It was too funny.

One time, at the end of a class, students still all over the place, he was talking to me about something I had written and while he was talking to me, he was picking at some lint or something on the lapel of my jeans jacket. So, in essence, he was touching me. I have no clue what he was talking about because the blood just went barreling through my eardrums and drowned out everything else. I was so excited that he was, you know, sort of touching me….Anyway.

I’m not 100% positive about this, but I think that Jim Carroll died in the same way that F. Scott Fitzgerald did — had a heart attack at his desk while he was in the middle of writing something.

Well, to switch gears entirely.

After I was done meditating this morning, I decided to get yet another hotel room in NYC for after that first Conversation with Nick Cave that’s happening on Saturday night, 9/21.  I got a hotel room close to Lincoln Center.

I had been planning to maybe ask Sandra if I could just stay that one night in her pieds a terre there in the city, because it’s close to Lincoln Center.

She & her husband now live up in Rhinebeck, which is where I’ll be when we aren’t rehearsing in the city, and I’ve been worrying how intensely rude it will feel for me to leave Lincoln Center and grab that last train out of Penn Station and then arrive back at their house up in Rhinebeck really late and maybe even wake them up.

But then I was afraid to ask her if I could borrow her pieds a terre, because it feels sort of presumptuous to do that – you know, she being an actress and I’m just a lowly scribe. But mostly because I still feel really weird about being in NYC for rehearsals of my own play and then inserting these 2 Nick Cave Conversations in the middle of all that and making myself unavailable for 2 nights.

But, anyway, I finally decided on getting another hotel room and so I’ll just do that and now I feel a little more relaxed about that whole thing.

So life is just working out merrily on all fronts!

And work with Peitor on the micro-short video scripts yesterday was kind of incredible. Extremely intense. It is a shot by shot kind of script that we’re working on right now. So I’m sort of transcribing the thoughts that are in his head – the visuals.  Sort of putting a storyboard into text (before we actually storyboard it), since this particular video has almost no dialogue, and it’s loaded with abstract visuals and industrial sorts of sounds.

I was kinda tired by the time we ended the call. And we only had maybe a page and a half of script. Just intense brain-work for me. But it’s all still so exciting.

Okay, I’m gonna close.  Have a good Sunday, whatever’s left of it where you are, gang! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.


A Jolly Solstice to One & All!

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel worlds better today! Like a real weight has been lifted from me spiritually.

Part of it is because a truly amazing thing happened here first thing this morning: the SUN came up! For the first time in I don’t know how long, it isn’t RAINING!

I don’t mind rain, but it did go on for days. The Wakatomika Creek flooded – it doesn’t take much to flood that creek, but there is seriously a whole big bunch of water all over the place down there on the main road.

So it’s really nice to see the sun.

I had to re-think everything around here yesterday, gang. My brain just had some sort of weird meltdown. I got so stymied in Chapter One of Blessed By Light yesterday, that I knew something had to give around here.

I could tell the opening chapter was going to need re-vising now that the whole novel is finished. Meaning that, now that I know exactly how the novel ends, it re-informs how the novel starts.

However, I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around the changes I needed to make. It was like my mind suddenly decided to just stop working.  And for some reason, I couldn’t force myself to get away from my desk and focus on something/anything more productive. (Meaning, meditation and yoga.)

And so… the more frustrated I got with the chapter, the more frustrated I got with the chapter. And I was magnetically adhered to it.  No power on earth could separate me from the madness of that chapter yesterday…

So I decided that I need to go back to meditating first thing in the morning, when my resistance to everything is low. When my energy is still calm and (usually) joyful. (Which I started this morning.) And then I also need to really, really, REALLY force myself back into my daily yoga routine.  FORCE myself to take breaks from my fucking desk.

Yesterday, while I was in the throes of that immovable weirdness, I was thinking: I need to pay someone in this village to come over here every day and force me away from my desk and tell me that it’s time to do yoga and to meditate….

I mean, it felt that crazy. Like, the only way I can manage it is to be accountable to someone that I’m paying, right? Make someone stand there until I physically get up from the desk, unroll the yoga mat and get started. (Once I get started, I’m fine. I love to do yoga.  Why? Because it makes  me feel so fantastic and calm and it frees my crazy mind.)

It’s just ridiculous how fixated I can get on something until it becomes, literally, impossible for me to stop. Or to even move.  I mean, I could physically move. I did keep going down to the kitchen to get more coffee. As if amping up that nonsense was going to help me redirect my energy. It didn’t.  It just made me more intensely worse.

And I still do that journaling thing in the mornings, too. Those conversations with my Inner Being, right after breakfast.

My Inner Being wasn’t super impressed with me yesterday, either.

However, as George Harrison pointed out many, many years ago: Here comes the sun, little darling!

So I just feel lots better today.  So far, my resistance to everything imaginable on planet Earth is quite low. And I have another new coffee mug. This one is pink and it has a really loving quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald printed on it.

I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. He’s my favorite novelist. Even though I have a lot of favorite writers, for some reason, he is my absolute favorite. I guess because I fell in love with him as a man, not just as a writer, back when I was first exposed to his novels and short stories.

I mean, obviously, he had been dead forever by the time I was first exposed to his work in high school. But I still fell in love with him. Had to find out everything about him that I possibly could. A few of my current cats are named after him & his family – although “Zelli”, a kitten named after Zelda who turned out to be a boy cat, so I called him Zelli – he got adopted out to a good home.

Anyway,  I have a really loving quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald on my new coffee cup, and it feels really good to have my coffee cup love me.

Sometimes I call upon F. Scott Fitzgerald to help me in my moments of insanity as a writer.  “Help me here, please, Scott! What should I do about this chapter??!!  I mean, besides drink heavily and smoke a lot?”

Image result for f. scott fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald smoking

It sucks to not drink heavily and smoke a lot, gang.  Honestly, that was the best part of my writing in the old days – the flipside of a hard day’s work, you know?  Drink and smoke and fucking unwind.

Related image
F. Scott Fitzgerald thinking about drinking.

Since becoming a complete vegetarian many years ago (I had been a pescatarian for quite a while before that), I can no longer really drink.  Because I get drunk immediately. Alcohol goes directly into my bloodstream since the only stuff that’s ever in my stomach gets digested in about 14 seconds nowadays. And even though I was never a serious smoker – I only smoked when I drank. When they stopped making Chesterfield Kings available anywhere where I could actually get at them (apparently they are still sold in Europe but with different packaging that totally sucks), I simply gave up smoking. They were the only cigarettes I really liked.

I just can’t picture F. Scott writing his masterpieces while meditating and doing yoga, though, you know?

I often think to myself, after an endless day of being at my desk, whether the writing went well or didn’t go so hot; I often think, I should go outside on my porch, smoke a cigarette and at least drink a beer. I always have beer in the fridge for the lawn care guys. And I have Pall Malls and Marlboros around here for other people I know who smoke.

But I know I would just make myself sick. So I sit on my bed and stare out the open window and listen to music. And that’s actually really quite beautiful. And I know that next month, once rehearsals start, and my play starts becoming a reality, my whole life is gonna change. (At the very least, I hope I’ll learn how to drink again!!)

Okay, gang! The Rolling Stones have hit the road here in America! They are about 45 minutes away from me, in Chicago (I think).  I can remember the days when that would have meant a lot to me – the Stones being on tour. I saw them several times when I was young and it would cost maybe $15 to see them. Now, it’s just sort of something I see constantly on Instagram.

It’s mostly Ronnie and Keith working that Instagram thing. They are really active on it. Mick is, too, but much more in his endlessly narcissistic way. You know, for him, it seems to be all about looking 35 still, even though he had emergency heart surgery a few weeks ago. I mean, he does look great. But his posts always seem to be about how great he looks.

But with Keith and Ronnie, it’s always about the music and their daughters and wives and art and about how great life is just hanging out in the backyard. That kind of thing.

Anyway.  The Stones are rolling.

Lots of photos posted from Nick Cave’s Conversation in Manchester last night. As usual, one really good one that I wish I get get off of my phone and onto my wall.  But I’ve got enough things to keep me completely insane, I don’t need to fixate on that, too.  (Plus, there are plenty of amazing photos of Nick Cave out there that I can get onto my wall – if I had enough wall space, that is!)

And on that happy note…

I guess I really need to get back to work on Chapter One of Blessed By Light now. I hope I’m on much firmer footing here today, psychologically. I just love this novel, gang. I really do. Even if I say it myself. It just really celebrates what I love about men. It’s definitely not gonna go over too well with feminists, but then they have never really been my readers anyway. God knows.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you enjoy this wonderful Solstice! I love you guys! See ya!

Me in my hellhole apartment on E. 12th Street, 1985! Back when I could drink & smoke & do all kinds of crazy shit to my heart’s content!

Same Question, Answers Galore

Life  does indeed go on, as proved by the fact that I yet again woke up this morning and here I am, blogging.

I’m happy about that, and all.  But one of those situations that began rearing its little head on Friday remains. But it does not flower and bloom into niceness. Rather, it looks increasingly like it goes down that dark alley that leads to a door with a lawyer’s name on it.

And I hate having to do that.

However, it did give me a great reason to call Gus Van Sant, Sr. on the telephone last evening, and since he is one of the nicest men on planet Earth, it changed the energy of my whole evening.

It was actually late at night (my time, anyway; he’s on the West Coast) and I was outside, under the stars, leaning against my car while I spoke to him on the phone.

I think that’s the best way to speak on the phone to men who are amazing and great.  It brings together all sorts of elements that are hard to define but that are nonetheless breathtaking. Meaning: stars, the universe, nights in summer, a voice on the telephone.

It creates an indelible memory; captures a person in your mind for all time.

And when we were done talking business stuff, he told me about a friend of his who was killed the other day. And then he said, “I don’t know why I’m telling you about all this, Marilyn. But life flies by; it goes so fast.”

I loved, loved, loved working for that man. I worked for him for 5 years, until his wife died and he moved back to the West Coast to be near his daughter and his son (the filmmaker, Gus Van Sant, Jr).  (He was his son’s business manager.) I learned a lot about the back end of making movies by working for him at the production company, which was a good thing to learn, but the thing I remember most is that we always listened to the old Big Band music while we worked.  In particular, he loved Ella Fitzgerald.

I love that kind of music anyway, and I love Ella Fitzgerald too, but it broke my heart when he moved away and now one song that I had always loved before became completely saturated with his personality – “Skylark.”  Because of the stories he used to tell me about his life,  I hear this song and think that those memories of his are actually mine now, too. In a way.

Another thing that happened yesterday is that I was looking for an old CD – the 5th Dimensions Age of Aquarius. I really wanted to hear their version of the song, “Blowin’ Away.”  A song written by that amazing & sort of underrated songwriter, Laura Nyro.

I never did find the CD, but while I was down on the floor, looking at the very bottom row of the CD rack, my attention was of course drawn to the bottom row of the bookshelf that was right next to it because I have some Nick Cave-related books down there (collected interviews with him & such) and so why wouldn’t my attention be magnetically drawn there?

But then my eye was drawn to a slim volume of poetry, The Beautifully Worthless, from 2005 by Ali Liebegott. She has since become a well-known writer. But the book won a Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Debut Fiction, back when my friends at Suspect Thoughts Press had published it. (Even though I think it’s still really more poetry than fiction.) (It has long-since been re-issued with City Lights Press, fyi.)

And I thought, man, that was such a good book. And I pulled it out and started flipping through it, and then became so immersed in its beautiful, plaintive voice again that I went back and I started from the beginning, while still sitting there on the floor.

And I read books like this, and I’ve been in the LGBTQA community my entire professional life, so I know the answers to my own question, and I understand the answers to my own question, but my own question still remains and that is: Why do we have to call it “Lesbian” poetry?

Why can’t it just be POETRY? (Yes, I know the “marketing” answer, and the political answer and it has become cultural.) But it still sort of bothers me – these constant, never-ending pigeonholes.  This endless drive toward “diversity” that fractures the unity of Spirit.

I don’t read a book like The Beautifully Worthless and think to myself, Wow, these are such great lesbian poems. No, what I think is: Wow, this book is so good.

I understand that if you placed me against some sort of scale, I would perhaps be way closer to the “lesbian” side of things than maybe you are (I don’t actually know you, so I don’t know for sure); but still.  You know? Can’t an amazing book about an experience of life just be an amazing book about an experience of life?

(When my agent was trying to shop my novel Twilight of the Immortal, publisher after publisher bridled at how many lesbians were in the novel – and these were actual historical figures, known to be lesbians, who surrounded the public & private life of the movie star, Rudolph Valentino. And the publishers said, “How are we gonna market a book that has all these lesbians in it?” It was dumbfounding. And it wound up on the smallest press imaginable because of that, and I eventually pulled it from that publisher and published it myself. It was crazy.  Most readers who’ve read that book, loved it. The few who didn’t love it, took issue with my view on Valentino’s private sex life. But none of them ever said they had trouble reading it because lesbians were in the book.)

Well, whatever. I sure know that you can’t even attempt to fight City Hall unless you want to be gunned down on the steps of it. So on we go with our labels and our pigeonholes.

In fact, when I had to write a recent press release re: Tell My Bones, I was told to focus on the “diversity” aspect of all of it because of Sandra Caldwell’s transgender stuff, which just feels so foreign to me.

I’ve been friends with Sandra since 1992 and now I have to speak about her as a “transgender actor” instead of as, you know, my friend Sandra, who’s been in a ton of films & TV shows & plays.

Plus, I had to speak of myself as a “bisexual playwright.” To me, that is so weird. To label myself as specifically “bisexual” anything. If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you can come to that understanding pretty quickly.  Or if you date me, or marry me, or whatever. I guess, if you just have a simple conversation with me, it might never come up. But the idea that it’s part of the approach to press materials now is so strange to me. If I’m bisexual, does it make you want to see a play I’ve written more, or less?

I would hope it doesn’t matter at all.

However, I do live in reality and I also live in the middle of fucking nowhere because people nowadays make me a little nuts…

Anyway, The Beautifully Worthless is a really beautiful book. (I’m not sure, but I think a lesbian wrote it.)

(Wild Animals I Have Known : Polk Street Diaries is also a really good book, that is also in my bookcase, on the same shelf – and has also recently been reissued. But it’s written by a gay guy – Kevin Bentley.  And it’s all about life and sex and amazing men and the human heart. But you know…it’s written by a gay guy.)

Okay.  I’m gonna scoot and get my Sunday morning started!

And I leave you, oddly enough, with a song called “Thursday” by Morphine. It was my curious choice for breakfast-listening music today!  But anyway. Isn’t everything just a little bit curious? Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.


We used to meet every Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple a beers
And a game of pool

We used to go to a motel
A motel
A motel across the street
And the name of the motel
Was the “Wagon Wheel”


One day she said
C’mon C’mon
She said why don’t you come back to my house
She said my husbands out of town
You know he’s gone till the end of the month

Well I was just so nervous, so nervous
You know I couldn’t really quite relax
‘Cause I was really never quite sure
When her husband was coming back

It turned out it was one of the neighbours
One of the neighbours, one of the neighbours that saw my car
And they told her, yeah they told her
They think they know who you are

Well her husband is a violent man
A very violent and jealous man
Now I have to leave this town
I gotta leave while I still can

We should have kept it every Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers
And a game of pool

She was pretty cool too!

c – 1993 Mark Sandman

A Quick Howdy!

I’ve spent the morning thus far bestowing my heady thoughts and lofty opinions onto someone other than you, and that cut way into my allotted blogging time for today, so I’m gonna be quick.

Mostly, I wanted to point out something about the whole blogging culture on WordPress. For a lot of people, WordPress is an offshoot of some form of social media. I’ve noticed that a lot of the bloggers I interact with at whatever level, are very interested in getting “likes” and “followers.”  And, as loyal readers of my own lofty blog are well aware by now, I have never been about that.  I’m about writing because I go crazy if I don’t.

I love it if you “like” me. And if you choose to follow me, that’s great, but I always prefer readers over followers, and I don’t really understand that whole culture of “liking” and “following.”  I’ve had my “online journal/blog” for 22 years now. It was a whole different culture when I started out and I’ve sort of remained back in that Dark Age because I was always so happy there!

My long-winded point, though, is that most of my readers do not visit my blog through any type of social media. And I’ve noticed that WordPress has it set up so that you can’t actually contact me through my blog if you don’t have your own WordPress site, which, of course, seems to me to be a little invasive and unfair. So, last night, I added a “contact me” thingie up there at the top of my page – in the header area.

I toyed with the idea of adding the built-in WordPress “Contact” form but that looked way too off-putting and formal, so it’s just an email address link. But it’s there!


The lights never did go out last night. The tornado siren went off, though. Briefly, thank god. If you don’t live in an area of the world where you have tornadoes, when a siren goes off, you’re supposed to go down into your basement.

Well, my basement is unfinished and is 118 years old. It’s not the creepiest basement ever, but it’s high on the list of creepy basements and I’m definitely not gonna go down there if the lights go out.  So I just sat on the couch in my family room – cats scampering hither & yon because that siren is LOUD – and I just sort of hoped that the tornado would not materialize.

It didn’t. So I then spent the rest of the evening working on my Italian lessons. And then called it a (rainy) night!

Okay, thanks for visiting, gang. I really gotta scoot. It’s uncanny how, after the meeting I had on Tuesday, everything, energy-wise, is shifting into the realm of Tell My Bones. I really, really gotta start paying attention to that play really, really soon. So I’ve got to get Blessed By Light finished.

I hope you have a great day out there, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!

(PS: There was no breakfast-listening music this morning as I was instead reading an interview with KD Lang in a recent issue of Mojo. But I leave you with this bouncy little gem, one of my favorite songs of hers from Absolute Torch & Twang, “Luck In My Eyes”. Okay! See ya!)

“Luck In My Eyes”

I can feel a mountain rain
that’ll wash away
and shine again
empty my pockets
that were weighing me down
sift through my soul
to see what’s lost and found
gonna walk away from trouble
with my head held high
then look closely you’ll see
luck in my eyes

I can hear a howling wind
that sweeps away
the pain that’s been
take all my sorrow
and I’ll cast away
the worries tomorrow
that I had today
gonna walk away from trouble
with my head held high
then look closely you’ll see
luck in my eyes

all my troubles, all my troubles, gone
with luck in my eyes
all my worry’s all my worry’s, gone

c- 1989 K.D. LANG, BEN MINK

Yes, Well, Update

Lunch was exceedingly interesting (see post from this morning).

Yes, rehearsals begin in late July. Yes, Florida is probably going to get bypassed entirely and Tell My Bones will go straight from staged readings in NYC & Rhinebeck,  to either Off-Broadway or Midtown Manhattan.

Yes, I need to finish revisions on the entire play before late July. Yes, I’m stressed. Yes, I want to finish Blessed By Light before that. Yes, I’m not sure how I’m gonna do that. But yes, I am going to try.

And most importantly – YES!! I have a new coffee mug!!

My new coffee mug!!

What Is It About Brides?!

I look good in the dress, you know.

I wear the wedding gown really well. But the moment it goes into storage…

Wow. I just don’t know what it is.

I’m bringing this up because yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Tom Petty’s marriage to Dana York and she posted video footage of their wedding on Instagram and those two looked happier than you can possibly imagine. (Second marriages for both of them.)

I was happier on my first wedding day than I was on my second, but that’s still not saying a whole bunch. (I guess it says that I can be persuaded to do just about anything – twice.)

I awoke at 3:46am today – yes, awash in those wonderful waves of Eros, yet again. But then the first thing I thought of was that video of Tom & Dana’s wedding and of how happy they were. And I began wondering what (if anything) was the matter with me.

I have just never been the kind of gal who thought much about the idea of getting married.  Partly because I was born in that part of the 20th Century where men still owned everything imaginable, and I thought of marriage as ownership. And I have never wanted to be owned. The thought of being an ornament on someone’s arm has always horrified me.

The other part was of course my sexuality. Even as a young teenager (when I started getting raped by guys from the outside world and then men from inside my loving home), I could already tell that my sexuality was more than most people could really deal with.

At least, in Ohio.

When I moved to NYC everything changed. It was so great, so liberating, in the truest sense of the word.  Because  NYC in the 1980s – well, my sexuality fit right in.  Everyone was off the charts. I think Manhattan was not only the casual sex capital of the world at that point, but also the extreme casual sex capital of the world.

Then, of course, most of the people I knew got AIDS and died. I was certainly spared in that regard, but it was just really stupid of me to think that I could squeeze myself down into something that could fit into a marriage.

I always wanted to have kids. Even back as a very little girl, I just assumed I was going to have a lot of children. I really, really wanted children. But I never really wanted to get married.

Instead, I got married twice and had no children.

The only marriage that ever truly appealed to me was the marriage between E.B. White and his wife, Katharine Sergeant Angell White.

E.B. White is probably my favorite essayist of all time. He also wrote children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but his essays are literary gems that struck chords really deep in me and have stayed with me forever. (“Once More to the Lake” is probably everybody’s heartbreaking favorite, but I also really love his essay “Goodbye to 48th Street,” among many others.)

His wife was a legendary fiction editor for The New Yorker when that magazine was in its literary golden age.  They met, fell in love, she left her husband, they got married, moved to Maine and bought a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. And then  seem to have done nothing but amazing things for each other’s literary lives.

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He was, of course, neurotic, and she was often the rudder keeping him pointed in the right direction.  But the part I always loved most about their marriage was that, in their house, they had offices across the hall from each other.  They’d each go into their offices in the morning, write all day, and then both emerge at 5 o’clock, have one martini and a cigarette, talk about what they’d written (or angst-ed over) and then have dinner together and go to bed. (Sadly, I don’t know what they did in bed, besides sleep, otherwise I would of course regale you with all those details here.)

To me, that has stuck with me as the idea of the most perfect (as well as unattainable) marriage.

Another “relationship” that has always really appealed to me was Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett’s. But it seems to have involved tons more booze & cigarettes and a lot of shouting.  I’m not big on the shouting stuff.  And they did not get married, but stayed together for 30 years and wrote various masterpieces. And that appeals to me enormously.

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I guess you can see that I am all about the writing.

It’s not that I am not all about love, or not into love, or a disbeliever in love. Love is everything to me. But love is woven in there inextricably with my writing. I don’t know why I can’t separate it. And I guess it does make me very self-involved, although I don’t feel like I am. I feel like my love is enormous and spills over into everything, benefiting everyone – and yet, more importantly, love helps me write better. And that means everything to me and so I guess it makes me self-involved.

But it’s still all about love.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt painfully aware that I am totally, 100%, thoroughly in love with my muse. He has changed my life – and so quickly, so unexpectedly. Came into my life on all cylinders, blasted open my writing and turned it completely around.

It’s not that he is my reason for being – the kind of thing that maybe people feel when they are wearing those beautiful clothes and having weddings; but he gives me clarity on my reason for being, which has wound up being the most amazing gift I could have ever hoped to receive.

Clarity on my reason for being.

I don’t know that I would have ever realized just how much I needed that if it hadn’t happened of its own accord.

You know, I watched that short video footage of Tom & Dana’s wedding on Instagram yesterday, over & over & over. And I was simply astounded by how happy they were. (Yes, I pondered it!)  And it wasn’t any kind of bullshit – those two were incredibly happy. You could just see it.  And I felt a little bit like a failure because I can only seem to feel that happy when I’m alone, finding the most perfect word.

So I don’t understand myself and my “alone-ness” any better than I ever did, but I still feel happier than I’ve ever been and just so blessed to have the most amazing muse.

It’s probably best to just not think about it too much. Because I think it’s going to end up being something good for the whole world; I really do.

Okay. I’ve got lunch today with the director of Tell My Bones at 12:30. So I’m gonna scoot now and try to get some writing done before that. I think today is going to be just another stunning day out there. I’m so looking forward to it.

I hope your Tuesday is just as splendid, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with this, the song Tom Petty wrote for Dana, long before they were married, back when he was heading towards some real dark times, but (he has said repeatedly in interviews) he was already in love with her & waiting. Okay! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys, See ya.


I dreamed you
I saw your face
Cut my lifeline
Went floating through space
I saw an angel
I saw my fate
I can only thank God it was not too late

Over mountains
I floated away
‘Cross an ocean
I dreamed her name
I followed an angel
Down through the gates
I can only thank God it was not too late

Sing a little song of
Sing one to make me smile
Another round for everyone
I’m here for a little while

Now I’m walking
This street on my own
But she’s with me
Everywhere I go
Yeah, I found an angel
I found my place
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late

c-1995 Tom Petty

Oh, People! This Astounding Voyage Continues!

Around 2am, the wind kicked up something fierce, so not only had it begun to rain again, but the wind was blowing rain in on my bed. Short of sleeping in some sort of  adventurous, seafaring schooner, having rain blown in on me while I sleep is not my idea of a nice night.

So I got up and closed most of the windows again, and missed the morning bird songs and overslept again.  Awoke at 6:30am to a bright, shiny bedroom.

And to two very intense texts on my phone.

Both texts had apparently been hanging there unanswered by the soundly-sleeping me for hours.

One was from Peitor. We had been texting before I went to sleep last night at around midnight, and I thought we were done texting and so I set down my phone and turned out the light. But it seems I was wrong. Because he texted something intense, unhappy and emotional (he’s in Italy right now, checking in on his elderly mother), and I left him hanging for over 6 hours! I felt terrible.

You know – lurch yourself from sleep, start typing: Oh god, I’m so sorry. I fell asleep!

And the other text was from a girlfriend that I am very close to and we had gotten into an intense conversation late last night, because (like Peitor) she is also going through some intense family stuff. And she looked so tired and so angry and so fed up last night, and  I just wanted to fix that.

I try so hard not to tell people how to live or what to think or what to do.  And I went through all that training in Divinity School on counseling people, and all of that, and I’ve counseled a lot of people. And I can be a remarkably effective counselor if I don’t actually know you and don’t have to get emotionally involved. I’m perfectly at ease with allowing you to find your own way in life and the “f” word does not come flying out of my mouth…

However. When it’s someone I actually know and care about, suddenly I can find myself saying things like: “You need to do such & such!!”, trying to tell her how to live her own life, in an escalating tone… because I am emotionally involved and I want my friends to be happy and I think that “being happy” means thinking the way I do.

Even though we ended it in a good place, I still felt bad about not giving her enough of her own space last night.  And then her text was there from during the night, continuing some of her thoughts from the conversation and I had to force myself (not even out of bed yet) to not let my mind go to that place where I am trying to fix her life for her – even though I know full well she is not asking me to do that.

And even though I didn’t go as far as the “f” word last night, I still felt like I had. Because I truly prefer to allow people to be themselves, and to have their own thoughts and approaches to the world; and yet sometimes I don’t choose to actually do that. I jump in there and try to “re-script” them in a rather emphatic tone.  And then I don’t feel very good about myself. I don’t want to simply paste my own perceptions of the world onto people, it dismisses the importance of how they feel about living their own lives.

And that was all, you know, before I even got out of bed this morning.  I was still just lying there, under the cuddly blanket and my 1700-thread-count Italian cotton sheets, my head surrounded by all my soft expensive pillows – and I was staring at the phone, feeling like a terrible friend.

So I guess maybe it’s going to be an interesting day.

The Conversations with Nick Cave are on hiatus for a couple of weeks. Well, at least the Conversations that have an uppercase “C”. The conversations with a lowercase “c” that he will undoubtedly be having over the next couple of weeks are apparently private and his website is not revealing where he is planning to spend those evenings.  This likely also means that no one will be posting photos of their lowercase “c” conversations with him to Instagram, so I will not be able to tell you what he is wearing. Or if any of those people he converses with in private call him God.

Yes, this means I will have to fixate on other things.

Like, for instance, my own life.

On Tuesday, I’m having lunch with the director of my play (Tell My Bones) so that I can discuss with him what Sandra said on the phone the other night. And move forward. Most likely at a pace I was not anticipating even a few weeks ago. We’ll see.

I still have some writing to do on that play. Revisions, I mean.  But I’m waiting for rehearsals to start before I actually do that. And the pressure on me feels intense because the cart is officially before the horse now – meaning that a bunch of publicity about this play got “out there”  in the world and on the Internet without me knowing it was going out there.

And now people all over the place are using my “award-winning script” as a way to try to drive up the value of Helen’s paintings.

When I first wrote the story about Helen, it was a TV movie script (and it is an award-wining script now and it did well in a lot of the top contests and at the Austin Film Festival). I was working for Gus Van Sant’s production company back then, working for his amazing dad, who was his business manager and who also managed Helen LaFrance’s career and that’s how I got exposed to her truly amazing paintings.

And I wanted to write about her specifically to expose more people to her incredible paintings.  To her life.  In my opinion, her paintings need to be hanging in everyone’s homes.

And so now, to find myself in this position where, you know, the play hasn’t even been mounted yet; you can’t actually go see it anywhere yet.  And total strangers all  over the world are taking it as a given that the play will be great and that it justifies their wanting to make more money off of Helen’s paintings right now

It’s not a bad position to be in, but I am under a lot of pressure here.

Which is also why I want the novel finished and off my desk, because I need to focus on Tell My Bones, even though I love this novel and I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent writing it. I don’t really want to rush through it. But I also don’t want it being shoved to the back burner again.  I had wanted it completed by Christmas and it is practically summer already.

So that’s that. My brain on a lovely Sunday morning.  Still in my PJs and already way too stressed…

I hope that you’re having a super-duper Sunday, though, wherever you are in the world.

I leave you with this. I was actually listening to this song again yesterday, because I came across something I’d written several years ago – about how it had felt to be 12 and to love this song and to listen to it late in the night on a tinny transistor radio, after sneaking out of my house and just walking the dark suburban streets by myself, listening to the local AM hit radio station, thinking it really was going to be incredible – being a powerful woman in the world, living my dreams, making them happen… (I leave it to you to decide to what degree that has worked out for me.)

Anyway. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“I Am Woman”

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever going to keep me down again

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I’ll come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe-to-toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman


Ciao, Bella!

Well, the good news (sort of) is that my little cat, Daddycakes, hasn’t been gone for 2 months already; it’s only been six weeks.  So that sort of made me feel better. Perhaps time isn’t flying quite as quickly as it had seemed yesterday.

The other good news is that the headache is completely gone, finally, and it’s not supposed to rain at all today. My brain feels totally back to normal.

I awoke, though, to the eerie sight of a dense fog covering everything outside my window – for as far as the eye could see. It was too cool. It was almost 4am. Huckleberry was sitting in the window across from my bed – she also seemed quite taken with the fog. One lone bird was already singing in our maple tree – and Huckleberry, being a cat and not an actual berry, was quite taken with that, too.

AND I had once again awakened horny as heck  for some mysterious reason and so that, of course, excited me, too! Where is that coming from? I just don’t know!

AND there was already a text on my phone from Peitor! It was a photo of Mont Blanc. No, not the pen! The mountain! He’s in Switzerland and heading to Mont Blanc today.

I was, like – WTF?  Two days ago, I had awoken to this photo on my phone (a lovely boat outside his window in that Airbnb on the English Channel):

Yesterday, he was finally leaving the UK and I had texted him some work-related stuff, and asked him if he was stopping in Manhattan on his way back to LA.

And instead he texts me from Switzerland today at 4am (my time).

ME (texting at 4am, my time): Wow! I didn’t know you were going to Switzerland!!

HIM (texting right back): I didn’t either but I am having the best time!

And then nothing more… Silence. No further pings arising from the phone.

So I guess we’ll find out eventually how he suddenly wound up in Switzerland, heading for Mont Blanc, when he should have been heading for LA.

(Methinks he was in a train station and, loathe to return to Los Angeles – a city he has lived & worked in for 25 years and which he pretty much despises – saw a train heading somewhere completely other than the airport and decided he liked that idea a lot better and so, answered that clarion call of “All Aboard!!!”… But we shall see.)

Even though  I love their apartment in West Hollywood and would hate like hell to have to pay for an actual hotel in LA, I’ve been selfless enough to mention to him, you know,  that if he hates LA so much now, he should move.

And he always replies with something along the lines of: “I know you’re really happy out in that old house in the middle of nowhere, Marilyn, where it’s so quiet and nobody bothers you and there are only about 3 cars during “rush hour” and your muses are flying all over your room all the time and you’re doing your best writing ever. I’m sure that’s all really nice and that Tell My Bones will win some sort of Pulitzer Prize. However.  Some of us need to be near an airport.”

And of course he’s right about that. I’m near absolutely nothing. But I don’t mind getting into my little Honda Fit and just driving! (And driving and driving and driving… I’ve never done so much driving in my fucking life.)

And it never fails, when I go to the market and I stand there and I study my cart intently and I say to  myself: Think, Marilyn, think! Have you got absolutely everything that you need for the week because God knows you can’t possibly leave your desk again for the next 8 days…

And I study and I study, and I look and I look, and I peruse very carefully the items in my cart and with brave assuredness, I think: Yes! I am ready to checkout!

And then I am on the highway, racing 95 mph toward home, when I almost always realize that I’ve forgotten something. And so, you know, I have to go without it for a week because I am not going back. I am not that kind of gal; I do not “go back.” Plus, it’s really far.

And in Manhattan, of course, there was never such a thing as “forgetting” something at the store because you walked right past the corner bodega 1700 times a day.  If you “forget” something, you just go get it 13 seconds later.

Anyway. Okay.

People in Sweden are already posting to Instagram.  Showing where they are dining before going off merrily to have a Conversation with Nick Cave! So that seems like a good sign! (Of what, I’m not sure really. It just seems sort of good, you know?)

And I am going to get started here because the very real reality of my life is that I need to finish writing this novel. I need to seriously do this and stop staring all the time. So I’m gonna get started on that business of stopping all the staring.

I let the cats choose the breakfast-listening music today and they unanimously chose “More News from Nowhere” from Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! I thought that was pretty cool. So I leave you with that today.

(Even though the lyrics are amazing and I know every wonderful word by heart, I’m not going to post the lyrics here because they go on and on and on and on and on, and would probably end up spilling over into someone else’s blog and I wouldn’t want to get everybody all upset. So.)

Have a great Friday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!