Tag Archives: Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Thank God It’s Whatever Day It Is Now!!

Okay, so here’s something funny.

You know how I can never figure out how to save other people’s Instagram photos to my own private photos on my phone?

Well, of all the photos I have absolutely loved over the last couple  years, and couldn’t save, yesterday I accidentally managed to save this one!! And while I do love it, and consider it a motto to live by, I’m not sure I actually need it on my phone. How on earth did I do it? (And can I repeat it? — is the most important question!!)

I so fucking LOVE this. The best 17 words ever. This saves me from having to actually write my memoirs…

 

 

 

 

 

Okay! On a similar happy note… I got great writing done yesterday on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town. I am really happy with the tone of it and with where it’s heading. I am still only on Chapter One because I am totally re-writing what I had originally written last fall, or whenever it was that I began writing this novel. But it’s like night & day — the difference in the tone of it.

Other good news — the mourning dove eggs have hatched! There are now little chirping baby mourning doves, in the nest that’s in the rafters of the roof overhanging my front porch. And one heck of a busy mom, darting back & forth, and back & forth, all day long, trying to keep them fed.

It’s a rainy day here today.  But, of course, I’m not planning on going anywhere. This afternoon, online, is that fundraiser for Marcus Books in Oakland, CA.  (Noon, Pacific Time/ 3pm Eastern Time.) A live poetry reading. (If you want to attend it, the details are here. They ask you to purchase a ticket, at whatever you can afford, because it is, of course, a fundraiser.)

I also have a couple of private invites to watch some short subject films premiering online today. So I’ll do that, too. But other than that, I’m just going to work on the new novel. And probably do yoga.

Bob Dylan dropped another new song yesterday. This one titled “False Prophet.” And they announced that his new album is coming this summer, titled Rough and Rowdy Ways. It is available for pre-order wherever you get your music from.

I like “False Prophet” but so far, I have only listened to it one time and, once again, while I was doing something else. So I wasn’t really listening that closely to the words. I’m not really sure what it’s about yet. But I loved the feel of it — blues. And the sound of his voice.

Okay, so I just went into my storage closet to find a Neo/Matrix McFarlane action figure from 1999, and instead I found my collection of Olympia Press Paris first editions (!!!) that Richard Kasak had given to me as a gift a couple of decades ago. (Gift meaning, absolutely FREE.)

They are all first edition Olympia Press Paris titles, but a couple are also actually first editions that ever appeared in print, anywhere — and, at the time of publication, were still illegal in the US and the UK. Including:

1959, and 1961

 

 

 

 

Isn’t that amazing?? Kasak was in publishing for so many decades — starting at Grove Press — that he didn’t even care about most of what he had anymore.  Obviously, he knew what Maurice Girodias and the Olympia Press meant to me and one day he just gave me all of those books. I think there are about 10 titles in the collection. And none of them have ever been read.

Well, that was an unexpected little digression!

Okay. I guess I’d better get started here today, gang. I hope you have a nice Friday, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from today. I think I posted it here once before, a few months ago. “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart,” from the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds cover album, Kicking Against the Pricks (1986).  (Oh my god, 700  million people keep texting me. I am so serious. I really gotta close this and get to work here.) Okay, gang. Enjoy!! And thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!!

I knew this chick was a liar, but come on….

Yes, I’m sorry!!

I said I would be back here to post again yesterday but I lied.

But I’m here now, so let’s just move on! All righty??!!

Well, the sad news first: Today is that dreaded day that comes once every 3 months, when I have to go down into my super scary, 119-year-old unfinished basement and change the filter in my furnace.

I can’t tell you how much I don’t look forward to doing that. Even though, once I’m down there, it’s never as bad in reality as it is in my imagination. It’s just that forcing myself to go down those stairs at all is the really hard part.

Well, okay. Just had to stop and have a phone chat with the director of Tell My Bones. I was going to post here today about how happy I am with how the plans for the Zoom staged reading of the play are progressing!! So I will just go ahead and say that right now:

I’m really happy with how the plans for the Zoom staged reading of the play are progressing!!

I really am, gang. I am getting so excited. Even though it’s not the whole play, and all the music is being taken out to simplify the reading, you will still be able to get a good feel for the overall play.  Plus, I personally can’t wait to start hearing actual people reciting the dialogue, you know??

Between the four years it’s taken me to adapt this play from the film script version, and then the few years that I was focused just on the film script version — that’s a long time to have this story in my head and never hear a single other soul speaking a single one of these lines of dialogue. So I am getting really excited.

The other good news, of course, is that they finished putting the new roof on my barn yesterday. And I am so happy, gang!! Unfortunately, the back alley and one segment of Basin Street are now littered with the bodies of neighbors who died from heart attacks yesterday afternoon  because they didn’t think I was ever gonna fix that roof, but oh well. That’s the trade-off, I guess.

Of course, I jest! No one died. But I did indeed notice people noticing it, that’s for sure.  So it is a huge relief for me to finally have that barn looking more presentable. It still needs re-painting, but the worst part of it is now over.

And not only am I starting to make some interesting progress on the new novel, Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, that is making me feel really happy, but I am also coming into a new relationship with Blessed By Light, which is now indeed going to be officially titled The Guitar Hero Goes Home. (So, as of today, I will no longer be calling that novel by its old title, okay? Hopefully, it will not be too confusing.)

It’s really interesting how, having the virus completely gone now, is making my brain work again.

Valerie in Brooklyn sent me a link during the night to an article in a NYC newspaper, where they interviewed people who had recovered from the virus to find out what the virus had felt like. It is the darnedest thing — how differently it affected different people. But there were two people interviewed who had the exact same experiences that I had: mainly, the weight of an anvil on the lungs, inability to breathe, overwhelming fatigue, and inability to think straight. (I also had the loss of the senses of taste & smell.)

Anyway. It just feels so great to be back to normal. And also to be able to work out again. Yoga especially feels so good now.

All right, well, the day before yesterday, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files letter. It was one of the sadder ones, where he replies to people who are struggling with the deaths of their own children and he talks about how he and his wife continue to manage their grief over the death of one of their sons. You can read what he says at the link there. It’s enlightening.

Well, it’s another beautiful day here, but a little chilly. I did make a quick trip into town yesterday to buy more groceries and — YES — to buy yard waste bags in order to start raking up all those dead leaves outside my backdoor.  Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll do it today or not, only because it’s cold out. Not because I’m (still !!!) being incredibly lazy.

I did notice, on the trip to town and back, that traffic is back to normal now around here. A lot of Ohio is coming out of lockdown, though not all of it. (And you still have to wear a mask pretty much anywhere you go.) But there was plenty of traffic. It’s no longer a ghost town anymore. And the gas prices are inching upwards. It felt good to see that. Although in the county where my dad lives, they are getting new confirmed cases of the virus every day. So the more populated urban areas of the State are still having issues. But it was good to see that for a lot of us, we are now entering that light at the end of the tunnel. For now.

Okay, I’m gonna close this because I want to get started on some writing and editing here today.  I leave you with three options. My music-listening from last evening — an old song by Shaggy from 20 years ago (!!) that they play on TikTok constantly and the chorus always just cracks me up. Talk about infidelity, right? “It Wasn’t Me” (2000, from his album Hot Shot): “But she caught me on the counter (It wasn’t me)/ Saw me bangin’ on the sofa (It wasn’t me)/ I even had her in the shower (It wasn’t me)/ She even caught me on camera (It wasn’t me)…” 😂

And then this morning, my breakfast-listening music was from an upcoming new album by Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade: Round Again. The song is “Right Back Round Again.”

And then this one will give you sort of an idea of what some of the music to Tell My Bones will eventually sound like!! This is a vintage recording from Smithsonian Folkways Records of Ella Jenkins and the Goodwill Spiritual Choir of the Monumental Baptist Church!

All righty. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a great Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Enjoy that Super Flower Moon in Scorpio tonight!! Assuming you live with someone you don’t have to stay 6 feet away from, this is supposed to be a very, very sexy full moon, so enjoy those vibes! (Since I live alone and dearly love myself, perhaps tonight I will, I don’t know, take up smoking cigarettes again!! Yay!) (Remember that old joke about cigarettes and sex? HE: “Do you smoke after you do it? “ SHE: “I don’t know, I never looked.”)

Okay, on that happy note. I’m outta here. I love you guys. See ya!

What about just being happy — has she thought of that?!

Well, it’s finally happened. I’ve gone about 36 hours now, being able to breathe just fine. And I know for sure now that the virus is completely gone. All the pressure is 100% out of my lungs.

Yet, I awoke at about 4am, knowing for certain that I was completely well again, after an entire month of dealing with that virus, and all I could do was cry. For, like, two hours. It’s been the weirdest morning.

I don’t know whether it was because my body was letting go of everything — the stress of having to always overcompensate for not getting enough air. Or what.  But it was just weird. Especially since, yesterday, for the most part, I had just the best day.

I know that part of what made me sad, though, is that yesterday evening, when I went across the road to get my mail, there was a letter in there from my dad. And it was a list of all his art pieces and I was supposed to put a check mark next to any of the things I wanted  after he’s gone, or in the event he has to go into the actual nursing home and thus downsize.

It was depressing. There are a few pieces I actually really want but I have no room for anything whatsoever. No room at all. One is a painting of empty boats at a dock that my dad has had forever. Another is a crystal sculpture of the sail of a sailboat — something else he’s had for most of my life. And so I would like to have those things. The other is a somewhat enormous wooden model of a galleon ship, replete with sails. My dad built it and it’s really awesome. However, it’s also really just huge, you know? I have absolutely no room for it. And it doesn’t actually make me think of my dad, because it’s not that old. It actually makes me think of Ghosteen, by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (“Galleon Ship”), and so I want it, too.

Even though I actually really want these things, what the heck am I supposed to do with them? So I know that was weighing on me — the idea that my dad sent me that letter, I mean. That alone stressed me out. But that’s not enough to make me cry for two hours the following day…

I think that, mostly, my writing is weighing on me. Just generally.

I had a great session with Peitor yesterday. We worked for two hours on revising the “Lita” script and we are just about done with that. All we have left after that will be to create the pitch deck presentation.

And I made the decisions to hire a “happiness engineer” to help me put the rest of the web site together.  (It really has just gotten to be too much for me to figure out how to make the most with these “user friendly” web templates. And it just makes me so frustrated. I can’t tell you how simple it used to be to throw together amazing looking web pages, just knowing html and a little bit of java code, you know?)

Anyway. I decided to release that stress and just hire someone at WordPress to make sure it got done correctly. So that Peitor and I can keep moving forward and be ready with everything the moment LA gets back to normal. And he and I are both really excited about the studio in Alabama, too. Just having access to that space, with the cinematographer right there. It’s going to be so much fun.

Plus he and I have never been able to travel much together, but when we do, we really have fun. Once, about twenty years ago, we took a trip to Catalina Island, back when it was still really charming, and we had just the best time. We stayed in a bed & breakfast that used to be the writer Zane Grey’s estate. (And oddly enough, the County Seat of Muskingum County is Zane Grey’s birthplace — isn’t that weird?)

We laughed like crazy that whole trip. In fact, here’s a photo of Peitor in our room at the bed & breakfast — 20 years ago:

 

 

 

 

 

He’s in his 40s here and he looks so young! It’s hard to believe we’d already known each other 15 years by this point. How young were we when we actually met, you know??!!  (We met at the Museum of Modern Art, in NYC, when I was 25 and he was 27.)

So, I’m really looking forward to the Alabama trip.  And the director of Tell My Bones texted again, saying that he was going to call this morning to give me an update on what he and the producer of the staged reading are mapping out. So I’m excited about that.

Not a whole lot of reasons to cry here, right? So I just don’t know.

I sat at my desk and read over what I have so far of Thug Luckless yesterday. I wasn’t unhappy with it, I just wasn’t sure how to proceed with it. And that bothered me.

And then I took a look at the beginning of Blessed By Light (or whatever I’m planning to call it) to begin the final edit of that and as much as I love that novel, it disturbs me that I always manage to write things that are just so impossible to market, you know? And it’s not like that’s ever my goal, or anything. I’m just lucky that way.

So that depressed me a little bit, so I closed the file and, instead, began reading the latest newsletter from the Biblical Archeological Society. There were several really cool articles about the Canonical Gospels. One, specifically, about the Hebrew-language origins of the Gospel of Matthew. And it also examined how later versions of all the Gospels seriously revised the role of John the Baptist, in order to make Jesus seem more like God. And that kind of stuff always fascinates and disturbs me. (Meaning the manipulation of information in order to control people.)

And just as I was deep into reading a section about the symbolic role of Lazarus in the Book of John, I got an alert on my computer screen that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds had just uploaded something to YouTube. So I clicked on it and suddenly Nick Cave is reciting from And the Ass Saw the Angel, saying, “Pa beat the mule to death in Autumn…”

Jesus Christ, you know? (No pun intended.) But I certainly wasn’t expecting that. (I love that novel, but still. Whoa. Thank you for putting that image into my head…)

I listened to the whole thing because it was only 2 minutes long, but then decided to close down the computer for the night. I went down to the kitchen and streamed a PBS special, titled Inside the Vatican. It was really interesting. All the various people who work at the Vatican are so cool; they have such meaningful jobs, you know? But it made me feel like I don’t really know what my purpose is anymore — or if I even have one. I know that I don’t actually need a purpose in order to exist. But it just felt disconcerting.

And I’m guessing the tears this morning stemmed from that, which I know must be connected to my writing in some way. Now that I’m finally well, and what’s left of my life is still ahead of me, what am I planning to do? Right?

And then I was really missing that man who died a couple years ago. He had this really uncanny way of knowing exactly what I should do about everything. And I mean, everything — all the things that mattered to me.  He would just tell me what to do, and he would always be right.

And then he died, and I went back to floating off on my little cloud again.

Well, in other good news: The Amish guys called yesterday to say that, weather permitting, they will be here on Saturday to put the new roof on my barn! And that really does make me happy. I can’t wait. And now that I’m finally really well, I can start cleaning up that backyard — get all the dead leaves raked up and out of there. Get ready for summer.

Okay. On that note! I’m gonna close this and get started on something around here. I hope you have a really good Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. I’ll leave you with “Galleon Ship,” off of Ghosteen, even though I think I might have already posted it here once before. I can’t remember! Anyway. I love this song. Enjoy! And thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

 

Finally!! A Good Morning!!

Guess who woke up breathing today??!!

Not only did I wake up breathing, but I got out of bed and went downstairs and was still breathing. And the morning has officially gotten underway here and I’m still breathing.

I can only hope this means that the virus is actually completely gone.

I even extended the yoga yesterday to half an hour instead of just the 15 minutes I’d been doing for a few days now, and I still woke up breathing.  I didn’t go in reverse at all. So I’m thinking that maybe I’m finally really well, gang.

I can’t tell you how relieved that makes me feel.

I slept with all the windows in my bedroom partially open all night, too. Even though it cooled down during the night, it felt so good to have all that fresh air. So maybe that helped, too.

It’s really just a gorgeous morning here today, gang. I’m in the best mood, too.

Peitor and I are planning to actually work on the “Lita” script today. Just checking the script for typos (there are tons!), and making sure the formatting is as readable as possible.  The script is 98% shots, lenses, blocking — it doesn’t read like a normal script does. So now we’re trying to make it “readable” for the other people involved.

I’m also feeling inspired today in two different directions, finally. Doing a final edit to Blessed By Light (and probably changing the title to The Guitar Hero Goes Home), in preparation for getting it into a publishable format. And also doing some brand new writing on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town.

BTW, I did try to watch another episode of “Dummy” on Quibi (the show about the girl who befriends her boyfriend’s AI sex doll and they go on a road trip). But I just couldn’t stick with it. There are a lot of elements to the show that I like, however, the dialogue just aims way too low. And, in my opinion, it doesn’t have to. It could still be racy and dirty and challenging and funny, without resorting to just being smutty.

(You know, if I was able to laugh out loud over the dialogues between Adolph Hitler and a 10-year-old Nazi boy in JoJo Rabbit, then we ought to be able to move mountains — dialogue-wise — with an AI sex doll, right? I should think so.)

Okay.

I finally finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera. And instead of picking up Rilke (for now), I went for James Merrill’s The Changing Light At Sandover because I really am feeling like getting underway again with Thug Luckless. And I keep thinking that something about Sandover is going to inform the direction of Thug Luckless. (For some inexplicable reason, a few months ago, it occurred to me that the original name of P-Town before the Apocalypse was “Sandover.” I’d like to find out why that came to me.)

So I’m feeling inspired. And it really has been weeks since my mind was clear enough to attempt any new writing. So I just feel really happy.

Oh, and another “btw” — I looked through all the old lyrics & music sheets yesterday and never did find the chords I was looking for to that song! I found chords for everything else. Apparently, I thought the chords to that one song would simply live on forever in my mind. I did see a ton of set lists that indicated the song was in the key of C# — but I guarantee you, I never wrote a song in the key of C# in my life. That has to be something the lead guitar player changed at some point.  But it doesn’t help me. I see something now like the “key of C#” and my brain implodes. (“What the fuck is C#? How do my fingers do that? And what other horrible chords go along with it???” — stuff like that.)

Okay!!! So. Have a great Monday, wherever you are in the world, gang.  (May the 4th be with you, and all that happy Star Wars stuff!) I’m gonna leave you with two options today, both of which I have posted here before. My breakfast-listening music — John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme (1964) (because I was feeling supremely happy about love at breakfast today). And my post-breakfast-listening music, “Little Empty Boat,” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, from their B-Sides & Rarities collection (1997, 2005). Enjoy!! Make it a really great day, okay? I love you guys. See ya.

 

What Could Be More Exciting?!

Yes! I’m doing laundry! Lots of it!

I’m hoping that if I can focus on something besides every single solitary thought that’s in my head, it will help me get better. We’ll see.

I know I don’t have pneumonia, because I feel absolutely perfectly fine except for this inability to breathe normally. If I lie perfectly still in bed, I breathe normally. And in fact, I sleep great. I’m feeling absolutely fine. But as soon as I get out of bed and start moving around, the out-of-breath thing starts in again and I am just so fucking tired of it. This is Day 17 already.

Anyway.

I’m still loving Vienna Blood (PBS) but I am already halfway through the final episode. I hope they are going to plan on making a Season 2.  The writing is a tiny bit uneven, because I feel like they’re trying to cram too much plot from the novels into a 45-minute episode, which means suddenly a chunk of dialogue will happen that is purely exposition and it kind of sticks out from the rest of the story. But it’s negligible, and if you aren’t a writer, you might not even notice it at all. It does make me want to read the novels, though.  (Vienna Blood is based on the Max Lieberman novels by Frank Tallis.)

And actually on a similar note… I am seriously considering just starting my own small press again. I mentioned this in a post a few days ago.  But now I’m actually really thinking about it. First, just to put into Print on Demand my own titles, and then maybe consider publishing other writers who are super fringe. I have to really think about it, though, because it would mean looking into actual distribution and marketing if I published other writers, too. And I’m already — virus notwithstanding — a tad bit busy.

I’ve been wanting to get Twilight of the Immortal back into print with an updated cover, instead of just having it as an eBook. And then publish Blessed by Light, In the Shadow of Narcissa, Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, Down to the Meadows of Sleep: The Hurley Falls Mystery, and  maybe do Print on Demand editions of The Muse Revisited collection, and finally clean up all the typos in those specific eBook collections.

Part of the allure of it is knowing that I don’t have to worry about the content and how it would fit into someone else’s marketing agenda. I can make it as hardcore as I want (without going off into those areas where I’m looking at prison time again, of course…) The main problem with most of my work has always been that it’s both too literary and too erotic.  And now it needs to be one or the other to appease most small presses these days.  (Plus, I’ve gotten just ridiculously tired of waiting to hear back from other small presses who simply just never get back to you.)

So I’m really considering it. The investment is in the cover design, but other than that, the cost to produce each book is negligible. Between my popularity among international book piraters and the state of small presses now, I don’t know that it even makes financial sense to give up a portion of my rights to small presses anymore. Better to give a cut to the actual printer (what’s left after hemorrhaging potential profits to book pirating, I mean) and then just try to arrange readings when I’m off hither and yon doing the various film & theater projects.

Which reminds me that the other play I’m doing with Sandra (with the fluctuating title) that’s being produced in Toronto, has been pushed from this Fall off to the misty glades of 2021. So I’m guessing it will premiere on June 3rd, when I’ll be with my new friends in Switzerland to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds…

(As usual, I sure hope I’m kidding about that.)

Okay. Well. It is going to be a really gorgeous day here today. It was pretty yesterday, but it was cold. Today, it is going to be super sunny and really mild. I can probably open some windows around here, which always makes me so happy!!

And I am hoping to spend less time in bed today. I really am. I so want to be past this virus and start writing again. We shall see.

I hope you guys are all in a good space on this wonderful Monday in Pandemic Land.  I’m gonna go finish up the laundry now, check in with my dad, get another cup of coffee. Thanks for visiting, gang! I leave you with some very fun Ringo Starr music from I don’t even remember when — the 1970s? “The No No Song,” which of course, I can attest to now, but when it was an actual hit, I was quite far from it… (if you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, you gotta listen to the song! The lyrics are in the video, gang!) Okay. Enjoy!! I love you guys. See ya!

See??!! This is Why I HATE this Stuff!!!

Losing that hour yesterday by turning the clocks ahead, and then the super full moon during the night??!!

First, I fell dead asleep for 2 hours — couldn’t keep my eyes open. Then tossed and turned forever — mostly tossed. Then laid awake from about 2:11am until 4:17am, before falling dead asleep again until seven-fucking-thirty. What the fuck is that? And then I had to absolutely drag myself out of the bed — I was completely exhausted.

(Of course, it was International Women’s Day yesterday, so I guess I was just embodying the pure wonderment of being an international woman, which is primarily: Exhaustion.)

And all my usual morning stuff just took forever today because I felt like I was trudging through Jello, and so now I am sitting down at my desk 2 hours later than I normally do. And I hate that.

And I have a lot to do today!! Wash hair, do yoga, make a phone call, sit and ponder the intensely curious nature of Instagram for a very long time — you name it, and I’ve got to do it!

And all I really want to do today is work on Thug because I made some very interesting progress with him yesterday. (New novel-in-progress, Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town)

That part is actually serious — I am really on a journey with Thug now and I just love when a novel unfolds and takes me places I’m not expecting to go.

I’m still in chapter one, where he’s talking about his owner, Mavis, who has already died.  And of course, chapter one is about finding his true voice in my head and figuring out what he knows and doesn’t know, since he’s an AI sexbot. And just how far along has he gotten in his experiences in P-Town before we join him in the beginning of the novel. Stuff like that has to come into my consciousness as it hits the page. So it takes a little while.

But it is such a cool feeling when the words come, and Thug’s personality comes, and Mavis herself becomes a personality posthumously. It just fascinates me. The words come, they’re on the page. I stop and re-read what I’ve written, and I’m sort of amazed that these are characters with emotional depth and a presence. Where does that come from?

Well, because of this extreme lack of time here this morning, I can’t tarry here. I’ve gotta scoot. But I hope you have just a really great Monday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I’m leaving you with a song I hadn’t thought of in a really long time — until last evening, when I was suddenly unable to not think about it. It was a hit for Gene Pitney a million years ago, but Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds did a cover of the song on their 1986 album, Kicking Against the Pricks. All righty! Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!!

“Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart”

Something’s gotten hold of my heart
Keeping my soul and my senses apart
Something’s gotten into my life
Cutting its way through my dreams like a knife
Turning me up and turning me down
Making me smile and making me frown

In a world that was small
I once lived in a time there was peace with no trouble at all
But then you came my way
And a feeling unknown shook my heart, made me want you to stay
All of my nights and all of my days

I gotta tell you now
Something’s gotten hold of my hand
Dragging my soul to a beautiful land
Something has invaded my nights
Painting my sleep with a colour so bright
Changing the grey and changing the blue
Scarlet for me and scarlet for you

I’ve got to know if this is the real thing
I’ve got to know what’s making my heart sing
You smile and I am lost for a lifetime
Each minute spent with you is the right time
Every hour, every day
You touch me and my mind goes astray

I gotta tell you now
Something’s gotten hold of my hand
Dragging my soul to a beautiful land
Something has invaded my nights
Painting my sleep with a colour so bright
Changing the grey and changing the blue
Scarlet for me and scarlet for you

c – 1967  Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway

Quite the Morning Here!

First off, I want to say that Nick Cave’s Red Hand File thing today was wonderful. He replied to a question involving some of his past often intensely provocative lyrics and how he handles them in the year 2020 — a time which has lost “its sense of humour, its sense of playfulness, its sense of context, nuance and irony“.

He wrote just a really well stated reply. And as usual, he doesn’t back down. If you’re a writer, it will definitely resonate with you on some level. You can read it at the link above.

For me, you know, so much of what I have written in my life was never, ever, even for a moment considered politically correct or acceptable in a public way. So I haven’t really had to brace myself for a future audience that might suddenly view it differently. (Unless of course that meant that suddenly my work was acceptable!! Yay! That would be so cool. You know — for my work to not always have to be read in private, or to exist in that segregated place.)

Actually, Valerie and I were talking on the phone about that the other night. How in the next century, after AI sexbots like Thug Luckless had become the norm and everybody owned one, my work would be considered classics of popular literature and they would be adapted for whatever the future form of entertainment would be — you know, 3D-hologram virtual reality streaming TV shows that might takeover a person’s entire living room and the viewer can become part of my overall erotic storyline. Right?

My future might be very bright in that regard. (Someone will find out for sure, but probably not me.)

My future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

 

On a sort of Nick Cave-related note…

Today, the MP3 version of Rowland S. Howard’s acclaimed solo album from 1999, Teenage Snuff Film, is now available for download! Go get it at a (legal) download place near you!!

 

 

 

 

 

Okay. I can’t tarry today. It is once again Abstract Absurdity Productions day. (They seem to come around quite often now, don’t they?) I have to get some things done before my phone call with Peitor.

Have a really good Friday, though, okay? Thanks for visiting, gang. It means the world to me to have you here. I’m going to leave you with a killer song from Teenage Snuff Film — “Autoluminescent.”  I love you guys. See ya.

“Autoluminescent”

I am blinding
Autoluminescent
I am white heat
I am heaven sent
I was a nightmare
But I’m not gonna go there
Again

Into the black hole
The house of no contest
Make mine a meteor
Rise me above the rest
I’m soaring through outer space
There is no better place
To be

I’m bigger than Jesus Christ
I’m greater than God in light
I am dangerous
I cut like the sharpest knife
I’m going nova
And I hope I can hold her
In

Into the darkness
I gave away myself
Slipped on the spiral stairs
Tumbling down the well
I fell on a soft spot
I’m white heat, I’m white hot
Again

c – 1999 Rowland S. Howard

And Then Good Fortune Struck!!

Yes! I glanced out back this morning, as the sun came up, and saw that the cats were out there finally taking care of my yard!!

Gosh, I wish. (Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt aware that there are a lot of homeowner chores that I am always trying to foist onto my cats.) (To no avail.)

What my cats do instead behind my back:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, anyway!!

I had the most interesting day yesterday — for reasons I won’t blog about. I can only say that it was Instagram-related and I about wore out the pondering mechanism in my wee bonny brain.

However, what I will blog about is that I had a very productive time with Thug Luckless yesterday, too.  And at one point, I was trying to find out how AI sexbots get delivered to their purchasers. Do they come fully assembled, standing up in a tall cardboard box? Do they come in responsibly-sourced wooden crates, filled with environmentally safe packing peanuts? I’m guessing they arrive fully assembled, though, right? You wouldn’t want to leave something important like that to hapless (and undoubtedly fully aroused) purchasers who will likely be extremely impatient at the very moment of the bot’s arrival.

Well, I could not find out any of that shipping information, but I did learn a bit more about the male AI sexbots — primarily, that they only manufacture about two males. The rest of them are females.

These AI sexbots are really quite interesting, but still kind of spooky. The eyes, mainly. I was talking on the phone very late last night with Val in Brooklyn (who is not actually in Brooklyn right now, she’s at her mom’s, up the Hudson, so we’ve been chatting more than usual) and one of the things we concluded is that the price of those sexbots will eventually come way down, so that everyone can afford one, but that it probably won’t happen in our lifetime.

But who knows, right?

I personally think AI sexbots are pretty cool. And like anything, I’m guessing that some people will go overboard with them and some people won’t.  And then I told Val that, according to stuff all over Google, the feminists are all up in arms about the AI (female) sexbots because they objectify women. And we both laughed so hard about that. And she, in her Brooklyn accent, said, “Oh — ya think?”

Jesus. Just too funny. Why does it even have to be mentioned at this point?  I don’t think any of us are stupid — not any of us; the world over. Those female bots are lurid as hell. And they are more provocative than any Playboy Bunny that God ever created — Bunnies being one of the most memorable creations in my lifetime that objectified women. And bots can be programmed to never say “no.” Plus, you don’t have to tip them. Obviously they objectify both women and men. Are we really going to write academic papers about this?

[No, we’re going to write experimental novels!! — Ed.]

Anyway.  That whole phone conversation with Val aside.

I eventually realized that nothing whatsoever dealt with realism when it came to Thug Luckless so why be so worried that the way he arrived from the factory had to somehow be based on fact? So I just figured it out for myself and had him arrive fully assembled in a crate stuffed full of environmentally safe packing peanuts — primarily because I wanted him to have psychological vestiges of how it felt to have those peanut-things all over him, even though he was dressed. And the irony of the environmentally safe stuff arriving in a post-Apocalyptic town. And then how it felt to see his owner’s face — that relief as she finally pried open the crate and took him out. The feeling of sanctuary, you know?

One thing I will mention here: Apocalypse is a stupidly hard word to type. And I wrote a 600-page novel called Twilight of the Immortal, about Rudolph Valentino, and his breakthrough movie role was “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” So I was having to type that darn word all the time. It made me insane. For some reason, typing that word just forces me to become sort of dyslexic.

Anyway! I am really happy with my progress with Thug primarily because of that feeling that a new novel is underway; it’s a feeling of adventure and excitement and joy. So I am happy.

I’m happy about a lot of stuff right now, gang. I really am.

And today is going to be about washing my hair and doing yoga, and working on Thug. And, more than likely, thinking about Nick Cave, because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. (I’m of course wondering about that darn coronavirus  and the start of the Ghosteen tour.) (And also this thing in NYC right now where things are getting dangerously close to blaming the Jews for spreading the virus.)

(And speaking of Jews — yesterday was John Garfield’s birthday. He was a famous NY stage actor and movie star and political activist. And he was my adoptive grandma’s first cousin. His dad and her mom were brother & sister. Poor Jewish refugees from Poland. If you keep up with my childhood memoir, In the Shadow of Narcissa, you will no doubt know that my adoptive grandma (paternal) was my favorite person in the whole world. And she loved her cousin, John. Happy belated birthday, John Garfield.)

Image result for john garfield actor
John Garfield (Jacob Julius Garfinkle), 1913 -1952.

Oh, and I also want to mention that the combination of yoga, booty core, and glucosamine seems to be doing some really, really good things to my legs, gang. So we shall see!

All righty, I’m gonna scoot!! Have a really nice Thursday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my very-late-last-night listening music as well as breakfast-listening music from this morning!! “Late in the Evening,” by Paul Simon, from his album One-Trick Pony, 1980.

This song was a hit when I first moved to NYC and I can remember hearing it while on a city bus, heading to see a movie, wondering how on Earth people afforded the price of movie tickets in NYC on a regular basis. NYC was some serious culture shock for me when I first got there. Like being on a whole different planet back then.

I don’t know — this song gave me something to cling to for a little while. And it’s nice to listen to it now because the song is actually really joyful, and all those difficult early days are so far behind me!

Okay. I love you guys. Take care. See ya!

“Late In The Evening”

The first thing I remember
I was lying in my bed
I couldn’t of been no more
Than one or two
I remember there’s a radio
Comin’ from the room next door
And my mother laughed
The way some ladies do
When it’s late in the evening
And the music’s seeping through

The next thing I remember
I am walking down the street
I’m feeling all right
I’m with my boys
I’m with my troops, yeah
And down along the avenue
Some guys were shootin pool
And I heard the sound
Of a cappella groups, yeah
Singing late in the evening
And all the girls out on the stoops, yeah

Then I learned to play some lead guitar
I was underage In this funky bar
And I stepped outside to smoke
myself a “J”
And when I came back to the room
Everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began
to play

And it was late in the evening
And I blew that room away

The first thing I remember
When you came into my life
I said I’m gonna get that girl
No matter what I do
Well I guess I’d been in love before
And once or twice I been on the floor
But I never loved no one
The way that I loved you
And it was late in the evening
And all the music seeping through

c – 1980 Paul Simon

Me, As Usual — Getting My Ducks In A Row!

I’ll tell you, it is really starting to feel like Spring, gang!

The starlings arrived, en masse, this morning. They are out there flying about, everywhere. The cats are very excited! I’m not sure how long it will take the birds to move in under the soffit outside my backdoor and start building nests again and then really making my cats crazy, but I tell you — they are everywhere this morning!

I love that they have arrived. But it also makes me feel a little anxious, because Spring means I need to get to NYC to begin the table reads for Tell My Bones at the Dramatist Guild. And even though I know that is going to go great — I just know it; I feel it in my own bones. It also means that then Summer will be right around the corner and you know that summers are so tricky for me.

I don’t want to set myself up to fail, or anything. But once Summer arrives, it is so emotionally hard for me to let it go. Once Summer leaves, it means I am one summer farther from the man who died. And even though I know for certain that life is meant to be that way — the cycles of the seasons, of life/love/death — it’s still a heartbreaking specter, always in the background for me. I’m never 100% sure how I’m going to handle that kind of stuff until it’s upon me, you know?

I try not to use all this as a reason to throw myself into my work. However, I’m doing it anyway.

Well, yesterdays’ script-writing session with Peitor was actually incredibly productive. We completed Scene 5, the scene of primary importance in the whole (very short) film. I was impressed with us, because we achieved this 2-page scene in 3 sessions, instead of our usual 20 and a half.

And when I re-read what we had managed to capture in the script (4 lines of very brief dialogue and then the shots, the blocking, camera angles, and lenses), I was really pleased with it.

That said, though, wow. Yesterday. I had a wee bit of a bad attitude. And I guarantee you, I was trying really really really hard to keep a lid on it.  First, he showed up late for the call. Not something I actually mind, because I can usually just lie around on my bed, and scroll through an unending cavalcade of Nick Cave photos on Instagram. Not the worst torture ever.

ME (scrolling on Instagram): like, like, like, save, like, save, save, ooh — really like, save, oh my god— like like like [ad infinitum].

Still, it was getting kind of really late and then I remembered that I had yet to figure out how to edit the video that he had sent me on Saturday — a thing we need for the web site. So I got off the bed and sat down at my desk and proceeded to drive myself completely insane because I couldn’t get the program on my desk top to do what I needed it to do.

When he finally called, I was really pissed off at my computer and trying not to transfer my pissed-off-ness to his now being really late for the call. But when I’m in that state , I really need to use the “f” word a lot.  The “f” word is my escape valve and helps me get back to normal. However, Peitor is not really keen on my use of the “f” word — at all. He has this weird reasoning that I have developed an impressive and wide-ranging vocabulary for a reason and that I should use it as a way of communicating without the “f” word.

So I tried to just sort of not be pissed-off and not use the “f” word and not have a bad attitude but I was struggling miserably with all 3.

And as we worked on the script — both of us on speaker, and me getting monosyllabic because I was perched so  precariously on needing to bleat out a long and sputtering “f” word stream — I suddenly hear him moving around his apartment, doing a ton of stuff while we were working. It was distracting, but I was trying to let everything go because I really hate having a bad attitude. I really do.

But then I finally said, “Peitor, what are you doing? It sounds like you’re outside.”

HIM: “I’m driving. I need to get to a lunch engagement.”

Oh my god. A lunch engagement. Tootling around West Hollywood  in his vintage convertible coupe, heading out to lunch. And I’m stuck at my mini-desk, typing away.  I’m not sure yet what I will say in my acceptance speech when I get my Academy Award but I know I’m going to get one because I managed to sound like a reasonable human being for the remainder of that call.

It was not easy. At all.

Because what I really, really wanted to say were things like: “Glad you could fit me in, between the Tibetan singing bowls and a lunch date,” and “So what am I now — the typist?” or get really churlish with: “Does it really matter what my opinion is on this shot? We’re just going to do what you want anyway. We always do” (which is not true, btw).  And then a whole lot of  FUCKS thrown in, too.

I did none of that. Thank god. Because he is one of my best friend’s, and now a business partner, and I seriously do not want to fuck that up. But, wow. Did I struggle with that.

Luckily, directly after that call, I spoke for over an hour with Val in Brooklyn. And we laughed a lot and got caught up on stuff and I got over the Abstract Absurdity Productions call.

And then when I re-read Scene 5 in the script, as I was readying it to send over to Peitor, I saw that we had done a really good job, regardless. The scene was amazing. And I was able to text him during his lunch engagement to say: “Scene 5 is AMAZING.” And he texted back: “Great!!”

So that was yesterday. And I am hoping that today is all about Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town. Because I really, really want to just get lost in my work. We shall see.

Well, late last evening, while sitting at my desk and staring, I made the mistake of listening to Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” a song I really, really love — I love the whole album, actually. But I have always just loved that song. And because I identify perhaps too much with that song — meaning, that if I’d been able to sustain any sort of meaningful relationship with anyone ever, I wouldn’t be the gal that I am.

Anyway, I began to get super depressed. Real quick.

So I closed up shop, went downstairs and watched a little more of the final episode of Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary. (This final episode is primarily covering Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis.) And I actually learned stuff about Miles Davis’s music from the mid-1950s, post-heroin addiction, that I never knew before.  And it was really beautiful. Very romantic — in that big city/cocktails/cigarettes/little-black-dress-on-and-then-off kind of way. Just lovely stuff.

So I managed to survive yesterday. And I am back at it today.

I am going to get started with Thug now. I hope you have a really good Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I’ll leave you with both my breakfast-listening music from this morning — “When I Fall in Love,” by Miles Davis, which brought more than a couple of wistful tears to eyes, as I sat at the kitchen table and watched the cats and drank my coffee — and Amy’s “Back to Black” because it really is just a great song. Enjoy — or just think about life if “enjoy” is asking too much of you right now. I love you guys. See ya.

“Back To Black”

He left no time to regret
Kept his dick wet
With his same old safe bet
Me and my head high
And my tears dry
Get on without my guy

You went back to what you knew
So far removed from all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

I go back to us

I love you much
It’s not enough
You love blow and I love puff
And life is like a pipe
And I’m a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

Black, black, black, black, black, black, black
I go back to…
I go back to…

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black

c – 2007 Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson

Where Is This Day Going To??!!

Well, I am trying to get started here today!

For some weird reason, I was just about to get out of bed at around 5am, when I decided to take mental inventory of the day ahead of me, and voila! — I was sound asleep for two and half more hours! WTF???

The glucosamine is finally beginning to work and I am starting to notice a bit of a positive difference in my legs. That same feeling, like: I hadn’t realized that things were changing and so now that there is the ease coming back into my joints, I am recalling how it feels to  just move really freely. It does feel great, but I still went to bed last night feeling some pain in my legs. I think that disrupted my sleep — well, that and this weird habit I have now of being on Instagram at all hours. Anyway.  I think that’s why I suddenly slept like a rock — the inflammation in my legs finally died down.

All righty!!

So I’m trying to do laundry here. Trying to get ready for my several hours of script work today with Peitor. I’d been hoping to get to answering some emails this morning, too, but I’m also feeling frustrated by the lack of productive time I am finding to spend on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town.

Yesterday, I stared at the file, open in front of me on the desk top, for hours. Literally And only made about 3 changes to what was already there, and then came up with the name that P-Town had before the “accident.” (And that is: Sandover — in honor of James Merrill’s epic multi-volume poem from 1976-1980, The Changing Light at Sandover.)

(In my novel, so far I am only calling the accident: “the terrible accident at the factory.” I’m not sure yet, but I don’t think I’m ever going to say what the accident was or what they did at the factory because everything comes from Thug’s POV and he is an AI robot and only “knows” what people tell him.)

(I’m starting to see very clearly now that Thug Luckless is going to be another experimental novel. Which of course translates into “small press/no money.” But you know what? I just can’t go there anymore. I can’t worry about it. According to international legal resources, the book has already been pirated anyway, and it hasn’t even been written yet!!)

(And I’m not sure why all this stuff is in parentheses, but it is.)

Whatever. If money were the thing motivating me ever in my entire life — well. I don’t even have to explain what the rest of that sentence might look like. (i.e.: My life would look nothing at all like how I live.)

Last night, it occurred to me that my home-ownership priorities are just so strange. I’ve been here 2 years now and I don’t have a dishwasher yet — just a gaping space for it in the kitchen. Or central AC — although I’m not likely to ever get that because I have this love affair with open windows. I still haven’t put the door back on the linen closet in the upstairs hall (the door is out in the barn, so it’s not as if the door is just somewhere handy.) But the light at the top of the stairs went out last night so I replaced the bulb because I have a whole stockpile of energy efficient light bulbs. And then the battery in one of the smoke detectors went out and I got out of bed and replaced that because I have a plethora of batteries around here of various voltages.

I mean, I have so many batteries and light bulbs, and paper towels, and toilet paper and Kleenex. And a stockpile of filters for the vacuum cleaner. And I have just tons of cloth dish towels, even though I only always use the same one. And I have 17 thousand-million dishes, and glassware, and bar ware — including cocktail shakers and ice buckets and ice tongs, etc., that never get used.  And I have so many bed linens in this place that you’d think I was running a dormitory (I even have linens for twin beds, which I don’t even own).  And of course, the tidal wall of age-defying products from France bursting from the storage closets of both bathrooms…

Weird, right? I think that’s weird, anyway.  Such an extreme amount of only certain things.

Including leaves. Even I was forced to sigh heavily and shake my head this morning, as I glanced outside my backdoor window and saw just the enormous pile of dead leaves that had blown into a massive heap outside my backdoor — where my neighbor’s privacy fence meets my yard. And try as they might, all those leaves cannot get up enough velocity to blow themselves up over that really tall fence and settle nicely into my neighbor’s yard.

I have no idea what to do about those leaves.  Because I am definitely not raking them. But I can just see my lawn guy getting right back into his truck when he comes to cut the grass for the first time next month and sees something like that.

Or the gutters. We are not even going to talk about the gutters, although I am at least aware that I need to deal with my gutters.

What I really need, though, is someone to be the actual homeowner here so that I can just wear the title: Homeowner. And then just sit at my desk for hours on end crafting masterpieces of fiction that most people the world over will not understand. (Starting with my father.)

Okey-dokey!!! On that lofty note! I gotta scoot, gang. The morning is almost officially over. I need to get ready for Peitor.  (Who is out there in West Hollywood right now, doing yoga and meditating to the sound of Tibetan bowls and all sorts of spiritual goodness type stuff.) (He’s even a vegan– he recently one-upped me on my vegetarianism.) So I’m gonna get crackin’ here.

Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! (And while I was typing here, a little fruit fly landed in my coffee cup and had all the limp signs of being horribly drowned to death. But I scooped him out of the coffee with my fingertip, put him on the back of my hand, blew on him a little bit and then let him just dry out for awhile. And after several minutes, guess what? He came back to life, walked around on the back of my hand and then flew away! Tiny miracles everywhere, gang. You just gotta know where to look. And you’ve gotta make up your mind that you’re gonna see them when they happen!!)

So! I leave you with my listening-music from last evening!! Turn it up and just smile (or, you know, grab onto someone you’re super  hot for & swing.) Have a great day. I love you guys. See ya!!