Tag Archives: Thug Luckless

Just A Truly Weird Morning So Far…

Well, I’ve been physically awake since 4:30am, and I’m feeling good, you know — happy, whatever. But my brain has decided to go in slow motion, or something. I’m not sure what’s going on with me.

All morning, I have tried to post to this blog and complete sentences have been very slow in arriving. So this will probably be a short post. And maybe if the brain returns, I will post more later on this evening.

Late last night, I got a sudden text from Peitor. He was in an airplane at LAX, getting ready to take off for London. He even sent a photo from inside the plane (it actually looked pretty cool — sort of purplish lighting.) Anyway. Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that Peitor has a habit of suddenly taking off for Europe. Usually London. And usually it means he’s in some sort of a frame of mind. That’s all I can really say about it on the blog, though, because it’s personal to him. But I was thinking, well, okay — will we be working on the script while you’re gone? I mean, this darn script is already taking us forever as it is, and we were supposed to work on it again tomorrow…

Well, I guess we’ll just see. He hasn’t texted again, so I still have no idea why he suddenly took off for London.

I know he was waiting to hear about scoring a film by a director that I absolutely love, who’s based in England. So maybe it was that. I just don’t know yet. But it threw me that not only was he suddenly leaving, but he was already on the plane.

Another friend was acting extremely strange yesterday, too. And since I have so few friends left (btw, I noticed that a ton of you didn’t show up the other day when I was holding open interviews here in Crazeysburg for new friends…). But seriously, I have so few people in my life right now, that when even two of them start acting unpredictably on the same day, it means that 75% of my friends are acting strange at the same time.

Well, anyway. Laundry here is almost done and then I’m heading into town to get the food. My birth mom actually left some deliciously tasty looking yummies in my freezer! Vegetarian lasagna and some sort of spinach phyllo something or other and pumpkin-sage ravioli.  But I’m out of things like fruit and vegetables and my coveted organic Greek yogurt, so I still have to drive into town today.

Here’s hoping that my inability to form coherent sentences has little impact on my ability to drive.

And then I’m going to either work on Thug Luckless or work on notes for the new “letter” for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. Perhaps even a little of both, if the brain begins working by then. (I honestly don’t know what’s the matter with me. If you could see the amount of typos I keep having to fix just in this short post, you’d be aghast!)

I have to mention here (again) just how much I love the new speakers I bought for the iPad. They are hard wired speakers — you know, that you plug into the wall. My last speakers lasted 10 years and decided to bite the dust while my mom was here and we were watching The Polar Express. I had to switch them out for the bluetooth speaker, which is cheap and has a short battery life. But these new speakers — wow. I was listening to Ghosteen this morning and just could not believe the sound quality. Jaw-dropping. And I only spent 20 bucks on them! (Plus, they’re made by the same company that made the old — more expensive — speakers. Incredible what 10 years can achieve.)

Oh, and right after I posted to the blog yesterday, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files reply letter thing.  You can read it here. It was mostly about that song “Deanna.” I thought it was very, very interesting. I read it several times, actually. (But, of course that’s me and I’m a bit obsessive…)

So, okay. I’m gonna scoot and get the laundry done and get to town and back so that I can sit right back down here at my desk and hopefully begin thinking straight. I have high hopes, but we’ll see!!

Thanks for visiting. I’m sure I will return! I love you guys. See ya!

(Me, in relation to my head right now…)

More Merriment Has Indeed Arrived!!

I just couldn’t be happier, gang.

Partly because it started snowing last evening and then snowed all through the night, so it actually built up a bit out there and is still all over everything this morning!

It makes me doubly glad that my birth mom came last week and helped me decorate for Christmas, because if she hadn’t been here, I definitely would not have followed through on it — I would have put everything immediately back into storage because I was too overwhelmed by the past once I’d opened all those boxes.  However, now — here in the present — the tree is up and decorations are scattered about and there’s snow outside! Yay.

I recently discovered that I own the video of Cocteau’s 1950 film Orphée. I knew I had seen the film on video, but for some reason, I thought I had rented it.  Long ago. Apparently, though, I had bought it, long ago.

How fortuitous!  Since I had really enjoyed re-watching Cocteau’s other Orpheus-related film a couple weeks ago (see some other post below) and it, of course, made me think of his first one. So now I’m excited to watch Orphée  again!

I found the video when I was going through all my old movies, looking for the Christmas ones so that my mom and I could watch Christmas movies — we wound up watching Kubrick’s The Shining. Not really a Christmas movie (to put it mildly), but it does have a heck of a lot of snow!

And while going through all the old movies, I was kind of astounded by the number of movies I’d forgotten I owned. The Shining being a case in point. In fact, I discovered that I own a boxed set (DVDs) of Kubrick’s “greatest hits,” as it were: Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, 2001, Dr. Strangelove, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining. Honestly, I had no idea I had all that. All quite excellent movies for watching with Mom (!!), however, the only one we watched was The Shining. Which was excellent enough, thank you.

It’s still such an intense movie, even all these years later. Also intensely long. Probably the only movie in that collection that I actually love, though, is 2001.

Anyway. I’m also happy because my new speakers for the iPad arrived!! They are just what I wanted. (And as an added bonus, I was able to give the empty shipping carton to the cats as an early Christmas present!) (I try not to let the cost of something deter me from giving generously.) (But they do love that empty box. They are already taking turns hiding in it and they are so freakin’ cute.)

So I’m really eager to start streaming a bunch of new stuff over the holidays. My watchlist is really, really long. You have no idea. I’m going to make a serious effort to watch this stuff and not keep circling back to the old reruns of Perry Mason and everything imaginable re: Nick Cave that I’ve seen ten million times. I know for sure, though, that I’m going to watch Charlie Brown and Rudolph over the next couple of days (on DVD) because I just love those movies. In fact, I might even be motivated enough to buy a new flat screen TV just because I love those two movies so much…

Okay, well, we’ll see. I do have to keep reminding myself that I have to go to NYC, Toronto, and LA in 2020 and that will cost me a fortune, when it’s all said and done. A new TV can wait…

So. Yesterday, late afternoon, guess what came to me? Letter #6 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse! I was actually pretty surprised by this. I wasn’t expecting it at all because I’m still just working away on the story notes for Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town. Plus, since my birth mom left, I’ve just been feeling sort of frustrated, angry, depressed. Wanting things to change in my life. Trying to just be patient; knowing that things are coming. Then. Suddenly, the new “letter” dropped into the forefront of my brain and I was incredibly lighthearted and happy. So that’ll be interesting.

All righty! I’m gonna scoot. I slept in really late this morning — 7am!! So I’m behind here. Thanks for visiting, though. I leave you with the breakfast-listening music from this snow-covered morning!! And if these don’t make you stupidly joyful then nothing will!! Okay! I love you guys. See ya!

Separation Anxiety!! Better Late Than Never!!

Yes, the moment my birth mom left here yesterday afternoon, I realized I had separation anxiety! Even at my lofty age!!

And it was real. I felt really un-anchored, frightened, and sort of lost when she left. To the point where I almost slept in the guest room last night, instead of in my own bed, because, you know, that was where she slept for 3 nights. And even while it’s my house and I can sleep wherever I want within it, I convinced myself that I shouldn’t really do that, sleep in the guest room anymore. That it probably wasn’t going to be in my emotional best interests somehow.

But it’s so weird — you know, those are emotional reactions that toddlers have. I was wondering if maybe it was some sort of delayed reaction, since my birth mom didn’t raise me and I certainly didn’t know her when I was a toddler. I was probably just making up for lost time.

When I hugged her goodbye as she was getting into my sister’s car, I said, “Thanks for coming.” And she said, “I’ll be back soon.” It really meant the world to me that she said that, because I think that she saw a little tiny bit of my insanity while she was here, even though I tried really hard to keep it under wraps. However, my insanity is so voluminous that something around the edges is always bound to peek out.

But she did leave some of her stuff in the kitchen, so she really is planning to be back. And it means so much to me — to not be abandoned or discarded. Plus, she’s already planning to be here next year to take care of my cats for me when I have to go to NYC, to Toronto, to Los Angeles.

Something else she did that I just really appreciated — she asked me what I was working on right now, writing-wise, so I told her about Thug Luckless and that whole premise. And she just beamed; she really just smiled and even chuckled a little. And said, “That sounds really good.”

I got the sense, though, that she was trying to talk about Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse — because of the rape stuff. But I absolutely could not go there. I just glossed right over that, along with In the Shadow of Narcissa. I just called them “memoirs” and moved on.

I’m able to say that I was raped, and I’m able to even say that I was raped repeatedly, but I always add that it was a long time ago, and then I drop the subject. For many, many years, I wasn’t even able to say it, or to even think it. I had to keep that information extremely far away from me, and especially from my own ears. I wasn’t able to listen to myself saying it because then I had to claim it somehow.  But that was a long time ago now. I’ve processed all of it. Made art out of a lot of it. I’m okay with it. But I don’t like to “discuss” it because it doesn’t serve any purpose at all. It won’t fix anything or change anything.

Perhaps she wants to comfort me somehow and maybe I’m depriving her of the chance to do that. But  for now, you know, this is how I handle it.

But I do miss her already. Still, it’s back to work over here today.

Peitor is calling from West Hollywood in about an hour and we’ll be working on the micro-script. I also decided that, as part of my need to break out of any isolating routines — I have new hard-wired speakers for the iPad arriving on Monday and once those get here, I’m going to set aside time several nights a week to stream new TV shows and movies. I haven’t done that in over a year. And since I will be helping Peitor develop a new TV series starting in January 2020, I figure I ought to touch base with the current popular writing styles because they seem to change constantly.

This past year has been sort of relentlessly about the outgo of my own ideas, and now I need to make some time for the inflow of other ideas, even while I still have so much of my own writing to get down on paper. But it really did sort of freak me out a little these past few days, to see just how fidgety I got when I wasn’t at my desk, working.  So I want to sort of break up that habit because I don’t want to become completely anti-social, or even a sociopath, which I am fully capable of becoming if I’m not careful…

Okay!!On that chipper note!!

Well, as much as I love Christmas music — especially Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams — it was refreshing to get Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds back into the little tabletop jukebox in the kitchen last evening. However, this morning, I was back to Marianne Faithfull’s Negative Capability. Actually, it was Nick Cave and Marianne Faithfull, because I was listening to “Gypsy Faerie Queen” again, over & over at breakfast. I just love that song, even though it’s not a subject matter that I particularly relate to. I just really love the song. It calms me down. A lot.

So that was breakfast! And now we sally forth into the rest of the morning. Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope this is a happy Friday for you, wherever you are in the world and with whatever you’re up to. I love you guys. See ya!

All Was Revealed, As I’d Hoped!

Now that enough time of trial & error has passed, it turns out that my friend who has advanced cancer — the longtime friend who usually likes to sort of be left alone a lot, and I was angsting like crazy over how not to hover over him like a mother hen now that he’s quite sick…

Well, it turns out that one extremely brief text per week from me is what he seems willing to respond to.  So at least now I know and I can sort of relax into that rhythm. And now we can sort of just move forward.

To me, it feels like there’s a really fine line between letting someone just have their autonomy in life and, you know, causing them to feel alone or ignored.  But I guess when someone has chosen to remain friends with you for over 40 years, there’s evidently a particular quality within you that they respond to and they probably don’t want that to change. And I’m guessing that my ability to really, really care about him all these years but also be completely willing to leave him alone for as long as he wants to be left alone really matters to him.

This is sort of apropos of nothing, but I recall one time, back when I was renting a room in a boarding house on the Ohio State University campus (after high school, I went briefly away to college, hated it, dropped out and went to California to live with this girl I loved who promptly told me, the moment I got there, that it was over between us and so I moved back to Ohio and for a short time before moving to NYC, I lived in a boarding house and worked in a factory). Anyway, this friend of mine who is now so sick, dropped over to visit me at the boarding house and was hanging out with me in my room and he found  it just incredibly funny that I had a copy of Emily Post’s famous book on Etiquette.

I’d actually read it, too, which astounded him even more. I was astounded that he was astounded. I’d been sent to charm school when I was young and then finishing school when I was a little bit older — you know, I was expected to land a rich husband. This was actually, literally, expected of me by my adoptive family, which is why what I actually did with my life completely appalled them. But I grew up believing that I had to know how to set a table correctly, when to serve what during a dinner party, how to address an envelope — I mean, all this stuff. I knew all this stuff about how to run a rich man’s house.

And I remember that at this particular juncture, when I was living in the boarding house, my adoptive mom bought me all these beautiful suits. You know — skirts and matching blazers. Just gorgeous. And I looked really good in them back then because I was tall and slim.  And the suits were for me to wear while attending expensive political functions. Which I did. Alone. Looking stunning and knowing which fork to use… And at one of those functions, the Lt. Governor of the State came on to me. Like, for real. There was only one man in the entire State more powerful than he was, and I was utterly appalled by this predicament that he was placing before me because he was a married man.

I was just so extremely naive. I knew my various forks and spoons, but I had no clue how to respond in that situation. I had just assumed that political men, in power, would not dream of coming onto a girl if they were married men. I was very “experienced” in a lot of ways, yet hopelessly naive about life.

It was an interesting evening. I never attended another political function again, ever. I was so thrown by that whole thing. I had voted for that man, plus he was actually very handsome, too. I thought he was this all-around wonderful, morally upright sort of pillar of the State.

I probably got rid of my Emily Post book on Etiquette around that time.  You know, I was starting to see that the ceremony of  life was sort of a sham. I knew how to set a really beautiful table, I really did — all through my adult life. But I also knew what was really going on at the table most of the time. I got jaded pretty quickly, especially after moving to New York.

I don’t like to blog about politics, at all. But I do remember thinking, back when Trump became President and all these women were seething over his wife perhaps having been a professional escort of some type when the two had met.  I thought these women were probably just angry because it didn’t occur to them that getting a job as a “professional escort” could ever lead to the job of being First Lady at the White House. You know, like they were just mad that they didn’t think of it while living their lives of hopeless political naivete… (Oh, I’ll tell you that the politician who came on to me was a Democrat and the fundraiser was for some Social Justice judiciary thing. So there are no party lines drawn when it comes to any of that stuff.)

Anyway. Life indeed goes on. And now it’s been 40 years since I’ve owned & discarded the Emily Post book!

Okay, I’m gonna get to work on Thug Luckless here. Tomorrow, I have another phone meeting with the director of Tell My Bones, followed closely by a phone conference with Peitor in West Hollywood to work on our micro-short script and he needs me to watch an entire film before that phone meeting occurs. So I seriously gotta scoot!

Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Me, dreaming about place-settings and fine china….

We’ve Got 15 Feet of Pure White Snow Out There, Gang!

Oops! Meant to say 1/15th of half an inch of pure white snow…

Meaning, we got a really lovely little dusting of snow last night. It’s basically all gone now, but it was really just so pretty last evening.

I was on the phone with my father and all the blinds in my room were already closed, so I had no clue it was snowing. In his advanced age, my father seems to have become one of those people who is constantly checking my weather forecast. You know, he always knows what kind of weather we’re expecting out here in Crazeysburg, whereas I almost never do. I’m not much of a weather-checker, beyond sort of glancing out the window and looking at what it’s doing out there and then making a sort of mental assessment. If things are wet, it’s raining. If things are dry, it’s not. If huge gusts of billowing dead leaves are blowing all over the place, it’s windy and all my neighbors are wishing that I’d fucking raked before the wind set in.

And if things are white, it snowed.

So last evening, when the phone conversation had wound down and my dad said, “Okay, well be careful in that weather,” I just assumed he was being weirdly strange and so I ignored it and said, “okay, well; bye-bye” and then I hung up.

A few hours later, when I went into the cats’ room to turn off their nightlight (not that I think cats need a nightlight, I just like the ambiance of it), I noticed that the streetlights outside their window were sort of blurry looking, and it reminded me of some of those Brassai photos of Paris in the 1930s. And I told Huckleberry, who was curled up on the bed, “It looks like Paris out there!” and when I went to get a closer look, I saw that it had snowed! It looked so lovely.

And then I realized that that’s what my dad had meant — Crazeysburg was receiving snow.

I think it’s sort of strange, how my dad has the most minor interest in me that you can possibly imagine, but he always knows what kind of weather I’m having.

My stepmom takes up 99.9% of his attention. She’s extremely ill and in a long-term care facility directly across from where he now lives. He moved into an independent-living facility on the same grounds as my stepmom’s nursing home because he basically spends every single day visiting her. This has been going on for about 7 years already. She’s a wonderful woman, she really is. I love her and it’s heartbreaking to see her deteriorate (she has MS), but even before she got sick, she had 99.9% of his attention and the remaining 1/10th of a percent of his attention went to her children. So I’ve gotten used to him barely noticing that I’m alive, unless of course  he’s in the mood to dash all my hopes about something.

It was like that with my first stepmom, too. But the situation with her had started out really differently. And I was thinking about that last night — when I saw that it had snowed and my dad, who lives 3 hours away, had known it was snowing outside my very windows before I did. But that he could barely care less about anything else going on in my world.

I was remembering what it was like when he used to be interested in me. It was when I was 12.  He became really interested in the things I thought about, what I was doing, what I wanted to do with my life. At that point, he was really supportive of my wanting to be a songwriter. (That changed when I actually moved to NYC and became one, but anyway.) When I was 12, he was having an affair with a 25-year-old girl. At the time, I didn’t know how old she was (or wasn’t), but I did know he was having an affair. I had figured it out and I was the only one who knew. I didn’t say anything because I was cool with it. I was happy for him, actually. I knew that my mother made him insane.

In hindsight, last night, I suddenly realized that he had become interested in me when I was 12 because I was practically as old as his girlfriend. He was probably trying to figure her out because he was in his 40s by then — and back in those days, that was a much older generation from a 25-year-old.

Even though she and I ended up getting along really, really well after he married her, he eventually just found me really distracting. I mean, to be fair, some really, really horrible stuff was going on in my world at that point and I wasn’t able to speak about any of it, so he didn’t know. He just found me really distracting and he wanted to focus on his new wife and so everything between him and me changed. That is a long time ago. It never changed back. Mostly, it got a lot worse. Now we’re just at that point where we acknowledge that the other one still exists and that’s about it.

So I find it really perplexing that he’s so interested in what kind of weather I’m having. And what’s also disheartening is that, in so many key ways, I’m exactly like my current stepmom. I actually am. She and I are very similar and my dad has no clue. He’s aware that I have a play that I have to keep revising and he’s aware of what kind of weather I’m having. And that’s about it.

But rather than get too bogged down in all my various stepmothers last evening, I decided to just look at how pretty the snow was and try to move on from there. It was a little disappointing to wake up and discover it had mostly all melted already. But last evening was really just lovely around here.

Okay. Well, I’m gonna get going here and get down to work. I’ve already spent a good chunk of time this morning trying to figure out if I want a new template for the In the Shadow of Narcissa website. I find the current template just so impossible to use. So unbelievably not user-friendly. But I eventually gave up because all the other templates seem too image-oriented. It’s a little frustrating. But onward.

I have an intense phone call with the director coming up later today, but beyond that, I think the day will be all about Thug Luckless. So I’m excited.

Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning, “15 Feet of Pure White Snow”!! (And even though I’m not a huge fan of videos, I love this video!) From the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds  2001 album, No More Shall We Part (which pretty much has nothing but incredibly great songs on it). And I was also thinking this morning about how much I love the word “mittens.” I really do. Okay! Have a  super Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys. See ya!

“Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow”

Where is Mona?
She’s long gone
Where is Mary?
She’s taken her along
But they haven’t put their mittens on
And there’s fifteen feet of pure white snow

Where is Michael?
Where is Mark?
Where is Mathew
Now it’s getting dark
Where is John? They are all out back
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow
Would you please put down that telephone
We’re under fifteen feet of pure white snow

I waved to my neighbour
My neighbour waved to me
But my neighbour
Is my enemy
I kept waving my arms
Till I could not see
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Is anybody
Out there please?
It’s too quiet in here
And I’m beginning to freeze
I’ve got icicles hanging
From my knees
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Is there anybody here who feels this low?
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Is it any wonder?
Oh my Lord Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord Oh my Lord

Doctor, Doctor
I’m going mad
This is the worst day
I’ve ever had
I can’t remember
Ever feeling this bad
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow
Where’s my nurse
I need some healing
I’ve been paralysed
By a lack of feeling
I can’t even find
Anything worth stealing
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Is there anyone else here who doesn’t know?
We’re under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Is it any wonder?
Oh my Lord Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord Oh my Lord
Save Yourself! Help Yourself!
Save Yourself! Help Yourself!
Save Yourself! Help Yourself!
Save Yourself! Help Yourself!

c – 2001 Nick Cave

And So The Voyage Begins!!

I’ve started all the housecleaning stuff here that I wanted to get to before my mom arrives.  After all, when she left here back in late September, she was leaving a really clean house. I came home from New York to the tidiest house imaginable. It made me so happy.

I wouldn’t want her to arrive next Monday and think, you know: Jesus, doesn’t this gal ever clean anything?

Because, truthfully, when I’m not working on a project (or seven) I’m a bit of a cleaning freak. To the point where I can sort of be annoying. I’m one of those people — I might not actually say it to you, but I’ll be privately thinking it: Wow, did you just move something a fraction of an inch from where I had it?

You’d think I wouldn’t be so — well, I guess anal-retentive is the phrase for it but it sure is unattractive — but you’d think I wouldn’t be like that, since I have 7 cats who usually decide that everything pretty much goes wherever they want it. Still. I do notice when things aren’t exactly where I last placed them.

However… Cleaning is not the voyage I’m speaking of, up there in the title of today’s post!

I’m speaking once again about Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, the new novel that is fully underway in my brain.

It’s exciting. That whole process of writing a new novel — how the ideas begin to just sort of tumble down into my mind. Sort of like clothes falling down a laundry chute or something. Ideas just tumble in and I have to keep running to my notebook and jot down notes. That’s when I know for sure that a full-blown novel is actually in there, preparing to come out. It just really excites me.

It’s such a different process from, like, Girl in the Night, where I have no clue what I’m going to write, or when I’m going to write it. I only know that I want the book to be under 200 pages, so that means about 18 “Letters” total, depending on the length of each one.

Beyond that, I don’t have any clue what the “Letters” will focus on. The book is just a great big blank in my mind, extending before me. Then, suddenly the next title for a “Letter” will emerge, and maybe a color or a tone will accompany the title. But I won’t really know what it’s going to be about until the piece completely arrives, sort of like a mist rolling in at the edges of my awareness. And then, suddenly, the whole piece will sort of “download.” It could be weeks between title and download, though.

In the Shadow of Narcissa is a similar feeling, but it’s a lot simpler, since each of those pieces is only about 600 words. The only difficult part of that book is to try to retain the perspective I had as a toddler, when the inside of our house was pretty much my whole world, and everything about being alive was brand new and I didn’t understand anything.

I still don’t understand anything, but nothing is brand new anymore.

Well, I shouldn’t say that; I still have feelings about things that I’ve never felt before. So that’s cool.

Anyway, it’s a wonderful feeling — to have all these ideas rushing at me about Thug. It feels like it’s going to be a really complex, dark, amusing, intense sort of filthy book.

You know, in the old days, I used to have to write with the voices of my publishers in my head and their financial agendas looking over my shoulder — which also meant that my agent was looking over my shoulder, too. And that meant I had to seriously rein-in some of the things I wanted to write. Even though I seriously miss having publishers, it really does sort of free up my mind. My imagination. Since the small press market has shrunk so drastically, and each press is just glutted with writers trying to get a deal, I just write what I want to write now and then worry about who there might be to publish it after it’s done.

It just feels so good. Really liberating.

All righty. It’s Tuesday yet again, which means I have no food in the house!! So I gotta drive into town and do something about that. For some reason, the main road out of here is closed. So I have to sort of go the back way — the road that winds along where the old Erie Canal used to be about 200 years ago. And it’s a lovely, narrow old road. However, it takes long enough to get to town and back on the regular road.

Meanwhile…Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter thing this morning. He actually touched on some things I think about a lot. You can read it here. Today it’s about grieving — having to grieve publicly, I guess is how you’d describe it.

Okay, I gotta scoot! Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang! I leave you with nothing today because I didn’t listen to any music at breakfast. I just sat there quietly and looked at the cats eating while I ate and I wondered how I got here (to Earth) and how they got into my life and where we’re all going to after this… I love you guys. See ya!

The cats eating breakfast in their corner of the kitchen, 2 summers ago, before Daddycakes died.

Now That I’ve Fallen in Love…

Yes, somewhere during the night, while the back of my brain gestated on what to do about the Thug Luckless novel, he seems to have moved into my heart — lock, stock & teardops, as it were!

I, of course, mean Thug. I am now totally in love with this character, and every single thing I’m thinking about this morning has been stuff that I feel is meant for the novel.

For some inexplicable reason, I took the book Funeral Rites, by Jean Genet, out of the bookcase and started reading it again first thing this morning. It’s been about 35 years since I last read it and it overwhelmed me that first time — in the best way.

Although that word “best” has to be seen through the prism of my own fractured mind because it’s about the Nazi occupation of Paris in the mid-1940s, and homoeroticizing it, as well as eroticizing rape & execution as a way of processing grief. It’s about a young guy Genet had been in love with who was killed by a sniper’s bullet — by a French Nazi-sympathizer sniper. And the young man, as described by Genet, was physically the exact image of Greg, my boyfriend who was killed when he was fifteen.

The book, overall, is about the young man’s death and his funeral and how it colored everything in Genet’s world in Nazi-occupied Paris. And if anyone has read any of Genet’s work, you know that homoeroticism is usually a huge theme, along with emotional alienation .

At that point in my own life, pretty much everything I had lived through to that point had been colored by Greg’s death. Plus, I always had an intense sort of fixation on Nazis, on Nazi Germany, and on Nazi-occupied Paris. I had been adopted and raised by  Eastern-European immigrant Jews, who instilled in me all the horror stories of the Nazis, and about family members who’d been sent to concentration camps, etc.

When I was born, the reality of the Nazis was less than a generation away, really. It had this terrifying undercurrent within my adoptive family –even well into my teens, I would wake up in a full-blown anxiety attack, convinced that a Nazi was hiding in my closet.

Still, by as early as 1974, that intense, erotic Italian film — The Night Porter — which eroticized sadomasochistic Nazis, was extremely popular. As well as the lurid depictions of pre-Nazi Germany in the film version of Cabaret. So there were a lot of mixed cultural ideas going on in my world when I was growing up.

For me, Funeral Rites was just an amazing book. Just an amazing achievement in literature.

And the photo on the cover (I have a hard cover 2nd edition from Grove Press, 1969, translated by Bernard Frechtman) is this wonderful photo of Genet by Brassai — a photographer that I have always just loved:

The writer Jean Genet photographed in Paris by Brassai

And I realized, while looking at the cover photo, that something in Genet’s eyes reminded me of Thug Luckless. And then my mind was off and running.

And I took out that wonderful photo book of Brassai’s from 1976, The Secret Paris of the 30s. And was just getting inspiration upon inspiration for Thug all morning.

And I could see the fictional P-Town (no, not Provincetown…) becoming more like the seedier underbelly of Paris in black & white photos from the 1930s, even while it remains a post-apocalyptic town in the novel.

(You can see I’m calling it “a novel” now, too.)

And even while Thug Luckless remains an AI sex robot, I’m feeling like his inner world is going to be really awesome, and the eras and cultures and time periods are going to coalesce constantly. (I don’t know — can you “coalesce” constantly, or do you simply “coalesce”?)

Anyway. Man, Thug is off and running in my mind and I just love him. I’m guessing it will take me a couple of years to write it since I have to fit it in between 2 plays, the Girl in the Night erotic love letter collection, and the In the Shadow of Narcissa memoir, too. But the whole story, and his character, have really opened up for me, in this really compelling way, and it all seems to have happened while I was sleeping.

I don’t see it as being a novel that anyone on Earth will be willing to publish, though, since it will be literary but extremely sexually graphic, so I’m guessing I will have to publish it myself. I guess we’ll see.

While I was leafing through the Brassai photo book, there was a brief essay he wrote about the photos he took inside an upscale opium den in Paris in the 1930s, and I was really surprised by how similar it was — in its little details — to how I described the opium den in Coney Island in the 1950s in my novella, Neptune & Surf. Although my description was based on what I thought a Hollywood movie version of an opium den might have seemed like in the 1920s  — if this isn’t too convoluted for you to follow!

Anyway, in my opinion, there were some pronounced similarities in the details between the two. But it also made me decide that P-Town has to have an opium den district — perhaps on the wrong side of town: Hookah World, or something like that. You know, Disney World but with opium, and in the post-apocalypse.

Okay. So far, that’s been my day! And I’m gonna do some yoga now and then get back to it.

I leave you with the Thug Luckless theme song. It really just suits him to a ‘T’ —  “Lock, Stock and Teardrops,” as sung by KD Lang. From her 1988 album Shadowland.

Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope Monday has been a wonderful journey for you, so far; wherever you are in the world and with whatever you’re mind is getting up to!! I love you guys. See ya.

“Lock Stock And Teardrops”

Someday I won’t come runnin’
When you call
The way you hurt me
It’s a wonder I’m still here at all

Someday you’ll wake up
And you’ll find yourself alone
Lock, stock and teardrops
I’ll be gone

I can’t go on
The way you make me feel
You make me cry
And every time expect me to forgive

Someday you’ll wake up
To a cold and lonely dawn
Lock, stock and teardrops
I’ll be gone

Oh someday I’ll wake up
And find the strength to carry on
And lock, stock and teardrops
I’ll be gone
Lock, stock and teardrops
Lock, stock and teardrops
Lock, stock and teardrops
I’ll be gone

c –  1963 Roger Miller

She Could Benefit From A Brain Monitor, Don’t You think?

Jesus, you know?

Not only do I need a keeper (and a handyman) but now I think I could use someone who limits the number of ideas my brain is allowed to have in any given year. Or day. Or perhaps every hour.

I’ve been working on Thug Luckless today and feeling like I don’t want him to just be a porn novel. Because I love this character. (He’s an AI sex robot in a post-apocalyptic town full of jaded, sex-starved broads.) And I’m really unsatisfied with everything I’ve written so far, because I want to rewrite it now with an actual story arc and a character arc, even though I want to keep the overall plot the same.

I simply cannot continue with it without making it a better book.

And then, of course, once I realized that, I wanted to bang my head on my keyboard because that means a whole lot more work — meaning brain work — is going to be involved. So, like, what the fuck?? Right? I have so many fucking projects.

But now that I’ve come to this understanding about Thug nothing less is going to satisfy me. So it’s just frustrating, you know? Especially since I live in a drug-free world and have to rely strictly on the adrenaline I was born with — except for caffeine…

Which reminds me that there is this Nick Cave thing on Instagram and I can’t really figure out what it is. (BTW, this sudden segue has nothing to do with drugs, it has to do with ideas.) Every Saturday, it posts a brief audio clip from one of his In Conversations. And even while I like listening to it (today he was answering a question that had something to do with his ideas), but it makes me ponder where this audio recording comes from. (The last several have been from his Conversations in NYC. With one from Helsinki.)

I’m not sure why I have to ponder absolutely everything. I can’t just, you know, accept a thing at face value and move on with my life. I have to bring everything to a grinding halt and look at it and examine it and wonder: Who’s doing this? Where’d they get this from? How come they’re allowed to upload it? How come I’m following this  — how did I find it in the first place? I have no clue; I only know I’ve been following it for a while. And its tag line is “The Secret Red Hand Files” — so what does that mean?

Anyway. It posts every Saturday. And I thought today was interesting in that I, personally, am getting a little overwhelmed with ideas, here, that could easily take me to the end of my life.

So, as I completely re-think Thug and try now to sort of outline it as actual fiction and not simply regard it as “porn,” I find my mind just wandering like crazy. You know, I start just staring at the wall and suddenly wondering if I could name my Top 5 favorite Tom Petty songs. I’ve never tried to do that before and it turns out that it’s really hard. I would need to have room for at least 10. Because, you know, my Top 4 would probably be “Runaway Trains,” “How Many More Days,” “Rhino Skin,” “You & Me,” and then suddenly I need to cram about 6 more songs in the number 5 slot. And then I’d have to cram the entirety of his album Hard Promises in there, too.

And meanwhile, Thug Luckless is not getting re-written, and the director is texting to schedule a chat with me for Monday so that we can get a plan in place for the first workshop in NYC re: Tell My Bones, and Sandra is texting about the Christmas promotion and my brain starts wondering when I’m going to do those final needed revisions on the play?

So this is where I decide that I’m gonna go take a shower…

Okay. Hope Saturday’s been good for you! And if you’re one of those hardcore football fans (which I am not), I hope your team’s winning. See ya.

Can you say 1979?

I Guess That’s Just the Kind of Mood I’m in Today!

Some days you just wake up like this, right? Wondering about all that Action for Men!

(And I sure as heck want to know the “10 Ways to Spot a No Limit Girl,” don’t you?) (I’m guessing, the first way to spot her is that she has to live in Crazeysburg; as for the 9 other ways, I just can’t even imagine…)

I am, of course, just kidding. I have limits. (I have two, actually.)

Okay, truth be told — I did absolutely no writing yesterday!! I just didn’t feel like it. For most of the day, my laptop was actually even closed. And I spent a great big bunch of time getting back into bed. It was really fun. I was reading and stuff.  Things I haven’t had the brain-space to do in a couple months.

Today, though, I woke up back in writing mode. Still not sure if it will be the new segment of In the Shadow of Narcissa, or Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. (Titled “Hymn to the Dark” — I get the impression, that one’s going to be sort of intense and take a lot out of me. Not sure yet why.) And I also still have Thug Luckless hanging out, waiting for more adventures. But that also takes a lot out of me, even though it’s pure porn. For those of you who think (or perhaps know first hand) that writing pure porn is easy — I beg to differ! Writing bad porn is easy; writing porn that people are willing to pay money for in this day & age of nonstop free porn, is a whole other story (pun intended, I guess). It’s just as time-consuming as writing anything else.

Well, my stupid bathroom scale claims I put on 2 more pounds during the night. Apparently, lying around and reading is really fattening. I seriously have to break down and buy another new scale — one that actually works this time. I would hate to develop some sort of weird eating disorder, all because of a diabolically Sadistic bathroom scale… (It is starting to fuck with my head a little bit. I got out of the shower and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror: have I actually put on 9.3 pounds in the past 3 days? It doesn’t look like it, and yet, my scale says otherwise. I guess those 7 almonds have to go. And the 4 ounces of organic cranberry juice; I don’t suppose I really need that…) It’s just ridiculous.

I actually do need the almonds and the cranberry juice! I am a woman of a certain age!!! Every single thing I fucking eat every single day is expertly calculated for aging as seamlessly as possible around here. You would be bored to tears (yes, you would literally cry) if I told you the really boring — and pathetically short — list of indescribably healthy things I eat around here every single day.  I really need to get rid of the stupid scale.

Okay, then. Onward!!

My progress with the cats has been sort of a little miracle around here. After 7 years. I don’t know what’s causing it, but it makes me really happy. Now, when I first sit up in bed in the morning (in the dark — it always has to still be dark out), Huckleberry and Doris now come scampering into the bedroom and then follow me into the bathroom to be petted! I can pet them kind of a lot now, and Huckleberry always purrs. And now 2 other cats are starting to join us in there — Lucie and Weenie. Although, they stay out of petting reach, but they are definitely in there now, too. They are trying to figure out what’s going on, because Huckleberry and Doris do seem to be really, really happy while they’re getting petted. (Weenie lets me pet him once a day,  as I put his bowl of food in front of him down in the kitchen, so he might actually get brave. Lucie used to let me pet her like crazy when Daddycakes was still alive, but only if I was petting him at the same time. Since he died, she has steered clear of letting me touch her.)

Huckleberry, Weenie and Lucie, back when we lived briefly at the rental house and I used to force them to work really, really hard!

I try to just be so patient with them, and go at whatever pace they’re comfortable with, because, sweet as they look, they are still wild animals and the bottom line is that they will attack — become all claws and teeth and draw blood and break skin and such.  But I can’t tell you how badly I want to just scoop them up and hug them and cuddle them, tote them with me in my arms from room to room and happily babble at them… I think they’d rather die than endure that, at this point, anyway. And perhaps even forever. We’ll see.

Okay, well. I’m gonna  get started here.  Figure out what I’m going to work on today. (Next week, I’m back on schedule with Peitor again with the micro-short script, too, so I do have to get back on track here today.)

I’m still in Ghosteen mode around here, and still listening to “Night Raid” over and over, trying to figure it out. Although, at the In Conversation at Town Hall in NYC, someone asked Nick Cave what the song “Girl in Amber” was about and he said that he didn’t know. So, you know, I could be on a fool’s errand here. Who knows. And I do know there is a fine line between pondering and fixating — it’s actually a fine line that I’m quite familiar with! In fact, I guess you could say I call that space between pondering and fixating my home away from home!

But anyway, since I am still focused on “Night Raid,” I will instead leave you with the song that was not only in my head when I awoke this morning at 5:30am, but I actually found myself singing it — which is sort of a tall order at 5:30 in the morning because it’s super passionate. It’s another song from my wee bonny girlhood. It was a hit the year I was born (1960), but I had the record as a little girl, and passionate little girl that I was, I used to love this song.  (And I think, now more than ever, for various reasons that I’m not going to blog about, it resonates with me.)

Okey-dokey! Have a wonderful Friday! Wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“Where The Boys Are”

Where the boys are, someone waits for me
A smilin’ face, a warm embrace, two arms to hold me tenderly

Where the boys are, my true love will be
He’s walkin’ down some street in town and I know he’s lookin’ there for me

In the crowd of a million people I’ll find my valentine
And then I’ll climb to the highest steeple and tell the world he’s mine

‘Til he holds me I’ll wait impatiently
Where the boys are, where the boys are
Where the boys are, someone waits for me

‘Til he holds me I’ll wait impatiently
Where the boys are, where the boys are
Where the boys are, someone waits for me

c – 1960 Greenfield Howard, Sedaka Neil

As Tears Go By, For What It’s Worth…

All right, I’m here.

You know, one thing I ponder is how all the readers of this blog know exactly when I update this, when 99% of my readers don’t come here through the WordPress app, which of course alerts people when I’ve posted here.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I just find it curious.

So here I am. Life goes on. Although you have no idea how often I wish that it wouldn’t. Yet indeed it does.

I’ll be working again on the play today. The full scope of all those rewrites are finally taking shape for me. They aren’t necessarily “rewrites”, they are more “additions” — things that need to be peppered throughout the play so that I can add certain character arcs near the end, ones that only make sense if I plant the seeds of them from the very beginning. Leave intact what’s already written, but add things to it, so that the ending can be more pronounced, extreme, chaotic, beautiful.

I had some serious stumbling blocks with it yesterday (more to do with certain people involved with the play who I feel are undermining me, and when that kind of emotional stuff happens, it can be debilitating for me, creatively). I texted Peitor about it, just a simple line about how I was feeling. And he got right on the phone and called me from NYC, where he’s with family, attending a wedding, and he gave me the most breathtaking and straightforward and  life-affirming pep talk that you can possibly imagine. It was just so beautiful and it meant so much to me. It really helped me get back on track with the play.

Still, I awoke this morning early; was out of bed doing the cat-feeding routine, the breakfast thing, all by 4:45am. Went back upstairs to meditate. Then I sat on the end of my bed still in my PJs, with my little Inner Being journal thing in my hand. In the dark. And instead of  journaling and getting my day underway, I sat there in the dark and cried. I didn’t sob or anything, just cried — about all the people & things that are overwhelming me right now, the things I don’t understand and can’t understand, that I can do nothing about. All I can do is write; it’s actually all I have left. And I mean that in the most profound way.

Eventually all these projects will go into the next phase of the cycle of creation; books will be published, plays & videos produced, and at that point, my life will be involved in not writing, for a while. But for now, writing is all I have. I love it but it feels endless. And in some ways — since I have too many projects underway at once — it feels like several balls of yarn that have unraveled in my lap and I have to untangle them and get them back into tidy, manageable balls — or into scripts and manuscripts that are completed and tidy.

I finally realized that I needed to snap out of it, stop crying and go downstairs and get more coffee. And when I went down to the kitchen, I looked at the clock and discovered that I had been sitting on my bed crying for nearly three hours. I had not even really been aware that the sun had come up. Well, it sort of came up — it’s really cloudy here today.

Jesus Christ. Talk about productive.

Anyway. On we go.

I also spoke on the phone to Valerie in Brooklyn yesterday. And when I told her about the Thug Luckless porn project (because I need cover art and she’s an artist), she was very intrigued. She found the whole concept really funny. And we ended up talking about maybe turning it into either an adult comic book or adult graphic novel. The problem with the latter being that “novel” implies some sort of story and/or character arc, of which there are none. Yet. But she wanted to put that idea into the hopper, so to speak, and think about maybe committing to illustrating Thug Luckless as some sort of adult comic/graphic novel.

It would just be so fun but she usually doesn’t actually commit to those types of long-term collaborations with me. But we’ll see.  (I know — I need another project, don’t I?)

All right, well. I’m going to get going here and look at the play again. I leave you with “As Tears Go By” since I’m still listening to Negative Capability, over and over. (It actually inspires me a lot. Not many women’s records do, for some weird reason.) (I like listening to women, but they don’t usually actually inspire me, in the true sense.) (Emmylou Harris and Janis Joplin used to inspire me.)

Anyway, back in the late 1960s, when I was a little girl living in Cleveland, we briefly had this great music teacher in school. She played guitar instead of the usual piano, and we sang all these rock songs. We were only about  8 or 9 years old. We sang songs by The Doors, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones. We sang “As Tears Go By,” which I had always loved. I was not conscious of who Marianne Faithfull was at that point, I just knew that a girl had sung that song when it had been on the radio. I knew who the Rolling Stones were, but knew very little about their music because they were, you know, the Devil. (I’m not kidding — we were taught back then by the media that the Stones were evil, just really bad people because they took drugs and had been sent to jail, etc.)

So we sang “As Tears Go By” in school and I thought it was a “girl singer” song. And then one afternoon, on the radio on the school bus, “As Tears Go By” came on and this time it was sung by a man! I could not believe it. Why was  a man singing that song? By the time I was 12, I was a total Rolling Stones fanatic (although I had to be secretive about it, since they were so evil; I literally had to sneak Exile On Main Street into the house– I had bought it at Woolworth’s with my babysitting money and then had to hide it outside in the bushes to make sure my mom wasn’t around, then when the coast was clear, I grabbed it and ran it up to my room and hid it there. She never found out that I had it.) Anyway, I eventually learned that Jagger & Richards had written “As Tears Go By.”

I thought (and still think) it was so cool that she sang that song again all these years later on Negative Capability. It just sounds really amazing. And of course, when I listen to her singing it now, I recall who they all were back then, but mostly I recall who I was back then — when I was just a little girl in Cleveland, so in love with music. When I would hear a song on the radio back then that I connected with, it was like it washed over me like a tsunami — it overwhelmed me when a song truly connected. “As Tears Go By” was one of those songs. (Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” is another that springs to mind, from when I was about 7. That song would just stop me in my tracks whenever it came on the radio.)

So I guess I leave you with both of those. Thanks for visiting, gang. Enjoy your Friday, wherever it leads you. I love you. See ya.