Tag Archives: writing

Blissed Out, Baby!!

Even in the intense heat yesterday (at one point, my outdoor thermometer read 99 degrees Fahrenheit but I think the sun was beating down on it),  I still got great writing done on Tell My Bones.

I was so happy yesterday.  Once I was able to finally figure out where the revisions from the staged reading script fit in with the overall play, I made so much progress.

Caffeine had a lot to do with it, but at one point, I tuned into that signal of the Muse and everything came in loud & clear. It was wonderful. It just flowed.

I still have a lot of revisions to tackle before Tuesday, but one of the trickiest junctures is done and I’m just so happy with it.

And even though it was super hot in here last night, for some reason I slept really great. I was up at 5am, did the usual cat-breakfast-furry-feeding-frenzy thing downstairs. Got my coffee. Went back upstairs to meditate. And during the meditation, I realized that I am in such a great space today, energetically speaking. The feeling was pronounced. I was just totally blissed out.

Do you ever just lie in your bed with your eyes closed and try to imagine that you’re somewhere else, but try to get the details so precise that you actually feel that if you opened your eyes, you would be in that place?

I love doing that. It feels so cool. Like you’re actually building a new reality  outside of yourself.

After I finished meditating, I was in such a relaxed emotional space. The sun was just coming up and I just wanted to lie back down in bed, curled around my pillows, and take in the peacefulness of this amazing town.  So tranquil at that hour.  And so many trees. So many birds singing.

And when I closed my eyes, I started imagining one of those high-end glamping-type tree houses. It was screened in on all sides, so it had a 360 degree view of something lovely, although I’m not sure what. But I could feel the breeze coming in, because there actually was a breeze in my room. And I could hear the birds singing around the tree house, because birds were actually singing over here on this end of it. And there was nothing in the tree house but a big bed, and there was a mosquito netting canopy thing over the bed.

And then suddenly it just sprang into “reality” and it felt like I was really there.  And that if I opened my eyes, I would be there in that tree house. It was just so cool. (And the guy in the beautiful robe who brings the coffee — see the post re: I Live Vicariously Through These Twohe was suddenly there, too! Whoever he was. And the robe was only sort of implied, you know, but not on anymore. And he was just as peaceful as I was, and just lying there with me. It was just perfect. And even though I didn’t want him to bring me coffee, I knew that he would if I wanted it.

I have never had a guy bring me coffee in bed. That is just ridiculous, isn’t it? Part of it is because I’ve always been a really early riser and most people are still asleep for several more hours after I’m up and puttering around. The other part is that I’m really particular about my coffee. I take milk in my coffee, but a very specific amount. And I know when the amount is perfect by the color of the coffee.

It seems to me that it would be a simple thing to learn that shade of “coffee with milk,” yet, as it turns out, it is an impossible thing to master. And so I am always politely told to just get my own coffee. And then, sure enough, we are soon well into the “woman brings the coffee” routine while the man stays in bed. And then the “woman makes the coffee” routine while the man is still in bed. And then the woman says “can I make you some breakfast?” routine while the man stays in bed. Etc., etc.

I have no actual problem with any of that stuff, you know. And I can be almost unbearably perfect about it. And why wouldn’t I want to do that, especially if I’m in love with some guy, right? But just once, I would love to just lie there, blissed out for whatever reason, and have the most perfect cup of coffee brought to me while I get to just lie there and love my life.

And yet, it turns out that it is a little too much to ask. I will probably have to get a wife in order for my cup of coffee to be absolutely perfect…

But anyway. I digress!

I was taking in the whole tree house thing in my mind and how incredibly real it felt, and how incredibly blissed out I felt — with or without the phantom guy with the beautiful robe no longer on. And when I opened my eyes, and I saw how beautiful my maple tree looked outside my windows, and how beautiful the sky looked beyond the tree, with the sun coming up. And how much I love my bed and my pillows and this incredible bedroom in this house that I love…

I realized that it doesn’t matter where I am, I am just super happy, gang.

Okay, well! The weather report for my birthday tomorrow has changed significantly. It’s still supposed to thunderstorm, but those storms are now set to begin later tonight, and by tomorrow , the high is only supposed to be 74 degrees Fahrenheit! So I shouldn’t have any trouble sitting all day at my desk and writing. I really need to finish the revisions on the play by Tuesday and I know I still have too much left to revise to get that all done today.

That said, though, I’m gonna scoot now and get started on that.

Have a super blissed out Sunday, gang, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting.  I leave you with a blissed out song, if there ever was one.  From my wee bonny girlhood! I love you guys. See ya!

“Peace Like A River”

Peace like a river ran through the city
Long past the midnight curfew
We sat starry-eyed
We were satisfied
And I remember
Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans were changed
If the plans were changed.

You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can’t outrun the history train
I’ve seen a glorious day.

Four in the morning
I woke up from out of my dreams
Nowhere to go but back to sleep
But I’m reconciled
Oh, oh, oh, I’m going to be up for awhile

c – 1972 Paul Simon

There’s Only So Much You Can Do!

In this heat, I mean.

Besides  flooding yourself with caffeine on ice and doing everything in your power to not light up a Pall Mall cigarette. (I have a whole pack here because that’s what my mom smokes.) (Nicotine makes my brain work GOOD, gang! But makes the rest of me feel like shit later…)

My brain was completely locked down from all this heat by noon yesterday, and it never got better. I could almost think, but not enough to keep switching between 2 different versions of the script for Tell My Bones and try to get a firm grip on the revisions I needed to make to the play overall.

My brain was like a swamp, replete with all the lovely things that swamps  entail.

And that’s not the best way to undertake writing a play that will win a Pulitzer Prize! (Still, if the swamp/brain route is the only available way, then you gotta pray that everything else in the running that year is way, way, WAY less good than your swamp-ridden play…)

It was so frustrating.

However. I did get some really good input from a publisher re: a potential good home for my new novel, Blessed By Light. So that was cheerful!

And this morning, even while Peitor is back in Los Angeles, he still has his hands full with really pressing, disturbing, tedious familial obligations, so we once again cannot work on developing the script for our tiny yet delightful Abstract Absurdity Prods.  Which I guess is good, because I need to have the revisions of the play completed by Tuesday morning.

Which means, of course, that I’m gonna spend my entire birthday working on the play. But it will only be 93 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, instead of 97 degrees. And instead of ungodly amounts of humidity, we will have ungodly amounts of humidity with torrential thunderstorms.

So, you know. Sure am looking forward to that!

Still. All that whiny stuff said. It is nowhere near as bad in here as last summer, before all the new insulation got installed. So most of my histrionics are just for show.

I got a really pretty birthday card from my father and stepmom yesterday. (My adoptive dad — the one who had the profound delight of raising me). It was really sweet. And it said that I was the kind of daughter who brought sunshine wherever she goes.

It cracked me up! I know my stepmom has to have been the one to pick that card out, right?  Even though she is confined to a wheelchair and in a nursing home, and ravaged by years of MS, her mind is still sharp & she is really sweet.  And there is just no way, ever, in a bazillion years, that my dad would correlate me with “sunshine” in any way, shape, or form.

If it was really my dad choosing the birthday cards, it would say something like: I’m Almost 90 and I Cannot Believe I Have Survived All the Joys of Knowing You for This Long; OR, No One Spews the ‘F’ word Like You Do, Darling Daughter! OR, As Another Birthday Comes Around for You, Darling Daughter, I Think Back on All the Years and Wonder What the Fuck I Did to Deserve You, I was Having Such a Good Time ‘Til You Showed Up.

You know, sentiments like that. (I only wish I was kidding, gang.)

Anyway. It was a cute little card and it perked up my spirits in the dreadful heat.

Today, I am going to split whatever energy I can find for my brain between working on the play and writing query letters to 3 publishers. It’s a really interesting adventure this time around, because I love my new novel but I also know that it’s really unusual. So I honestly have no clue with which publisher it will be a good fit.  My queries so far have been, “I have no clue if my writing is suitable for you at all but do you think you might like to see it?”

THEM: “Well, when you put it like that — I might!”

It’s an adventure! A literary adventure. Of which I have had many in my illustrious career.

(Including, but not limited to, on the eve of supposed-to-be receiving a 6-figure advance for my delightful, award-winning novel Freak Parade, the owner of the (large, very well known) publishing house, announced at a production meeting: “We are not publishing this filth and I would never publish this filth, even if my life depended on it!”) (Sadly, again, I only wish I was kidding.)

Okay, gang. My music-listening in this heat has gone in 2 distinct directions. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds when the caffeine is spiking, and then Jr. Thomas & the Volcanos when the heat & humidity swells back up and smothers me again.

So I leave you with those two listening options today!

(And for some reason — methinks a financial one — no lyrics are online for Jr. Thomas songs.) (And of course, I am aware that all these “free” music and “free” lyrics online, robs musicians and songwriters of a ton of royalty money that they used to get back in the Dark Ages. But all the music I listen to every day, is either a CD I paid for, or is something I stream that I also paid for. I can only hope that you guys do the same, but I’m thinking that a whole heck of a lot of people don’t really pay for music at all anymore. Which really does suck.)

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

“Midnight Man”

Hold that chrysalis in your palm
See it split and change
It won’t do you any harm
It’s just trying to rearrange
It was born to live a day
Now it flies up from your hand
It’s beautiful
It’s the one they call
Your ever-loving man

Wolves have carried your babies away
O your kids drip from their teeth
The nights are long and the day
Is bitter cold beyond belief
You spread yourself like a penitent
On the mad vibrating sand
And through your teeth
Arrange to meet
Your midnight man

Everybody’s coming around to my place!
Everybody’s coming around to my place!
Everybody’s coming around!
O baby don’t you see
Everybody wants to be
Your midnight man

Don’t disturb me as I sleep
Treat me gentle when I wake
And don’t disturb me as I sleep
Even though your body aches

Even though your body aches
To serve at his command
Between the walls
She still adores
Her ever-loving man

Close your eyes, sleep in him
Dream of your lost sons and daughters
Me, I’ll raise up the dorsal fin
And glide up and down the waters

I’ll glide up and down the waters
Then I’ll walk upon the land
And call ’em out
The ones who doubt
Your midnight man

Everybody’s coming around to my place!
Everybody’s coming around to my place!
Everybody’s coming around!
Don’t did you see
Everybody wanna to be
Your midnight man

It’s early in the morning
And I don’t know what to do
It’s early in the morning
And I can’t believe its true
As I lay in the moment
And it’s happening again
Well, I called you once, I called you twice
Ain’t I your midnight man

Everybody’s coming around to my place!
Everybody’s coming around to my place!
Everybody’s coming around!
They want you, they love you, they need you
To be, your midnight man

Everybody’s coming here
Everybody’s coming here
Everybody’s coming here
To be your midnight man
To be your midnight man

c – 2008 Nick Cave

A Truly Splendid Day!

I was speaking more about yesterday but I’m guessing that today will be splendid, too!

Splendidly hot, for one thing.

It’s going to go up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit today (again).  But I’ll tell you, having this entire house re-insulated last fall was a really great idea. So far, the house (my bedroom, specifically) is staying a whole lot more tolerable than it did last summer. So I’m finding myself reasonably complaint-free. Even though it does get pretty hot in here.

For instance, you would not want to undertake any sort of amorous adventures in here at night unless you were either in love beyond human imagining, or just stupefyingly horny. Because it does get pretty darn hot in here. (But so far, nothing close to last summer.)

(I am reminded, however, of a lyric from one of my favorite Nick Cave songs of all time, “Oh My Lord”: Now I’m down on my hands and knees/ And it’s so fucking hot!/ Someone screams “What are you looking for?”/ I scream, “The plot, the plot!” — That lyric comes to me repeatedly, throughout my lifetime, and also quite a lot while living here.)

Anyway.

But yesterday — wow. Sandra and I worked for a couple hours on some stuff we needed to clarify in the script (The Guide to Being Fabulous, the one-woman musical about Sandra’s incredible life). I haven’t really focused on any aspect of that script since last October, when Sandra and I finally finished our notes for the ending of the play (after about 5 years of re-writing the ending.)

In fact, here we are in a tavern in Rhinebeck NY, the moment we finished the notes. I posted the photo to our Instagram pages back in October. (We were just about to unleash another one of our laughing jags, where we would laugh uncontrollably for several minutes, until we were crying, and we’d inadvertently annoy anyone who was anywhere near us in the tiny but mightily wealthy village of Rhinebeck, NY.)

Sandra Caldwell, Rhinebeck, NY, October 2018

Anyway! Focusing again on that play just made both of us see it with fresh eyes again, and, gang, it is a really great play.  It’s upbeat, funny, deep, and awesome. And Sandra is a knock-out singer. Plus, she wrote all the songs herself and they are really, really killer. Very “Broadway” good, even though the play is premiering in Toronto, Canada.

It was so exciting for both of us yesterday, to see just how far we’ve come with this play. Sandra has had an incredible life.  I wish I could tell you about it because it would blow your mind. But you should come see the play…

And on the heels of that…. An important meeting in Toronto is looming large and it became horrifically apparent that I have waited too long to get the process of renewing my passport underway and so now I have to pay those ridiculously high fees to get the whole thing expedited. And I need to get it started, like, today, but I need to get the passport photo taken and, as is so very often the case with me, I need to wash my hair.

I am always in a perpetual state of needing to wash my hair.

I made the mistake last summer of renewing my driver’s license without washing my hair and now I have the most horrendous driver’s license photo known to man and I’m stuck with it for something like 4 years. (I’m toying with the idea of telling them I lost my license and need a new one. It’s really that bad. The photo looks like it’s my first day out of prison or something, plus I look about 75 years old.)

Anyway. My advice to you, gentle readers, is: Always wash your hair. And always renew your passport about 2 months before it expires.

That said, though.  Who has time to wash her hair? I need to focus on the revisions for Tell My Bones. And the pressure surrounding that play gets more and more intense every day, gang. People — even total strangers — have such high expectations for that play. So I need to get back to that again right now, before it gets too hot around here.

Have a fantastic Friday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! I’m gonna leave you with this, even though it’s not what I was listening to this morning. I was listening to nothing this morning, in fact. I was a bit brain dead this morning. I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee while staring blankly at the furry swirl of cats in the middle of the kitchen floor, scarfing down stinky fish gunk from cute little cat- shaped ceramic bowls.

And I also noticed, in my brain-dead stupor, that the kitchen table is a fucking mess. My CD player is one of those things that looks like a jukebox from a diner in the 1950s. It’s 2-feet tall. That, and the speakers for the iPad, takes up one end of the table. A ton of CDs are scattered everywhere. 3 issues of MOJO Magazine have landed on the table, unattended. Ditto, several issues of The Hollywood Reporter. Some early birthday cards that have arrived in the mail are propped up in the mess. And the companion hardcover coffee table book to Peter Bogdanovich’s 4-hour documentary on Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Running Down a Dream,  takes up one whole corner of the table and Weenie, my last remaining male cat, has now ravenously chewed on one of the (until recently, pristine) book’s corners, proving that you shouldn’t leave a bunch of stuff all over your kitchen table unattended to for months.

I’m guessing, though, that I’ll probably do something unthinkable like wash my hair before I manage to clear off that table…

All right! So I’m leaving you with the aforementioned “Oh My Lord.” Thanks for visiting, gang!! I love you guys. See ya!

“Oh My Lord”

I thought I’d take a walk today
It’s a mistake I sometimes make
My children lay asleep in bed
My wife lay wide-awake
I kissed her softly on the brow
I tried not to make a sound
But with stony eyes she looked at me
And gently squeezed my hand
Call it a premonition, call it a crazy vision
Call it intuition, something learned from mother
But when she looked up at me, I could clearly see
The Sword of Damocles hanging directly above her
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms around me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

They called at me through the fence
They were not making any sense
They claimed that I had lost the plot
Kept saying that I was not
The man I used to be
They held their babes aloft
Threw marsh mellows at the Security
And said that I’d grown soft
Call it intuition, call it a creeping suspicion,
But their words of derision meant they hardly knew me
For even I could see in the way they stared at me
The Spear of Destiny sticking right through me
Oh Lord Oh my lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh lord
Oh My Lord

Now I’m at the hairdressers
People watch me as they move past
A guy wearing plastic antlers
Presses his bum against the glass
Now I’m down on my hands and knees
And it’s so fucking hot!
Someone cries, “What are you looking for?”
I scream, “The plot, the plot!”
I grab my telephone, I call my wife at home
She screams, “Leave us alone!” I say, “Hey, it’s only me”
The hairdresser with his scissors, he holds up the mirror
I look back and shiver; I can’t even believe what I can see

Be mindful of the prayers you send
Pray hard but pray with care
For the tears that you are crying now
Are just your answered prayers
The ladders of life that we scale merrily
Move mysteriously around
So that when you think you’re climbing up, man
In fact you’re climbing down
Into the hollows of glamour, where with spikes and hammer
With telescopic camera, they chose to turn the screw
Oh I hate them, Ma! Oh I hate them, Pa!
Oh I hate them all for what they went and done to you
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

c – 2001 Nick Cave

I Live Vicariously Through These Two!!

I’m referring to those two in that vintage advertisement above.  I so fucking love that picture. (If you can’t read it, it says, “Coffee’s ready!”)

I would just love to have my coffee announced in that way, and the robe matters a lot, too, gang! I love that robe he’s wearing.

Anyway. I need to discuss that photo I posted late last evening. If you didn’t see it, scroll down to yesterday.

I didn’t do a single thing to the color in that photograph.  I was at the kitchen table, watching an episode of Z: The Beginning of Everything. The rain stopped, and I happened to glance out the kitchen windows at the backyard and I couldn’t believe the light. I never saw it look like that before.  I went and opened the backdoor and just sort of stood there in awe and stared at it. It was like stepping into a movie  from 1939 that was in Technicolor or something. Nothing looked real.

Within a few moments, literally, everything was back to normal and the sun began to set.  Like it had never happened.

Well, gang. More good news happened yesterday. And, no, I still can’t blog about it. This makes 3 really amazing things — related to both plays with Sandra — that I can’t tell you about yet but it’s all just so incredibly good!

Both of these projects have been “in process” for me, in various versions, since 2012. It’s one of those things that, if I’d known when I undertook each of them, that it would take this long for things to finally come to fruition — or that they’d come to fruition at the very same time — I’m not sure I would have been able to stand it.

It’s not as though I didn’t do a ton of other projects since 2012. Still. We all sort of aim for fruition when we undertake anything creative, right?

Anyway. It’s still just a ton of writing that needs to be ton. Much switching of mental gears all the time, but I don’t mind. At all.

One thing about this summer so far that’s kind of sad — it looks like the band that lived next door broke up. They don’t rehearse in the garage anymore, and a few of them moved out. Only the drummer and his wife and their 2 little daughters are there now.

Even though they played that intense Death Metal sort of music, which doesn’t really rank up there among anything I listen to, I loved hearing them rehearse out in their garage (which pretty much took over my whole house so it was a good thing to enjoy it) . And I loved the fact they sat out on their kitchen porch until late into the night, smoking cigarettes and weed and drinking beers and talking and laughing. I couldn’t hear anything they said too clearly, plus I usually stream music at night. But the houses are close enough, and all my windows are always open — it was just that sense of life always drifting in at night that I loved. And they were so young and so full of energy.

They’d go on the road for a few days at a time — I could see all the luggage and the drum kit packed up and sitting on the front porch. Then they’d be gone and the house would be dark. And then they’d be back and all the life returned.

Anyway, all of that stopped. It makes me a little sad. Now the drummer and his wife are sort of living like quiet married people (sort of). I guess it’s better for the 2 little girls, but really boring for me…

Okay, I have a ton of stuff to attend to here because I have an early phone call with Sandra this morning to do some work on the script for The Guide to Being Fabulous. I haven’t even glanced at that script since I was in New York City to work with her back in October. So I gotta scoot.

I hope Thursday is a terrific day for you, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting.  There was no actual breakfast-listening music this morning, because my heart was kinda wobbly and I knew that anything I really wanted to listen to was just going to break it, so I listened to the birds instead.  However, I leave you with one of the songs I wanted to hear –sort of the anthem for my entire life, gang.  Okay. I love you guys! See ya.

“Even The Losers”

Well it was nearly summer, we sat on your roof
Yeah, we smoked cigarettes and we stared at the moon
And I showed you stars you never could see
No, it couldn’t’ve been that easy to forget about me

Baby, time meant nothin’, anything seemed real
Yeah, you could kiss like fire and you made me feel
Like every word you said was meant to be
No, it couldn’t’ve been that easy to forget about me

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
They get lucky sometimes

Two cars parked on the overpass
Rocks hit the water like broken glass
I shoulda known right then it was too good to last
God, it’s such a drag when you’re livin’ in the past

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
They get lucky sometimes

Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
Yeah, they get lucky sometimes
Baby, even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers get lucky sometimes

Even the losers
Get lucky sometimes…

c – 1979 Tom Petty

Is that opportunity knocking??

That’s my bedroom door, btw. I love that door. Both the door and the iron doorknob are original to the house, so they are 118 years old.

Luckily, I’m not OCD in any way, and absolutely love to wonder about all the various people who have touched that doorknob in the last 118 years.

And I like to wonder about all the people who have slept in my bedroom in the past 118 years because, I tell you, this bedroom  has the very best vibes I’ve ever felt in a bedroom in my whole life.

Anyway, the never-ending parade of Marilyn’s Rooms… I’m guessing this will be the final one, but you never really know, do you?

Okay, let me just say this: What the fuck is up with Twilight of the Immortal, gang??!! That novel is probably my masterpiece, as far as my fiction writing goes. And it almost never sells. And I mean, even in the bi-annual free downloads over at Smashwords, it barely gets noticed, ever. People flock to my erotic fiction instead. Which is fine.

However, in the last several weeks, people started buying this eBook on Amazon, and now, suddenly, everyone and their grandmother is downloading it for free over at Smashwords. I mean, what’s going on with that? Why, all of the sudden? The book’s been out for something like 7 years.

I’m happy and all that, but it’s just weird. I can’t help but wonder what’s up. It makes me suspicious…

And a word of caution: Do not purchase trade paper print editions of this book if you see it for sale online (and you will). Those are uncorrected proof copies from when it was briefly published by Anaphora Literary Press. They are loaded with errors and typos. Unless you’re a collector of errors & typos, it’s best to get the eBook, which is the final edition.

Anyway, thank you. I do appreciate it. But I still think it’s weird.

All righty!

I have so much to do around here. Yesterday, I revised what, for now, is the final staged reading version of Tell My Bones. At least until rehearsals begin.

Today, I’ve begun the revisions on the entire play.

Thursday, I have to start focusing again on the other play with Sandra — The Guide to Being Fabulous. This is the one-woman musical about Sandra’s own life that we will be doing in Toronto, Canada next year.

A lot of little tweaks and changes need to be made to that script, before pre-production can begin on that, too.

And I have to renew my passport!!! I’ve only had it sitting out on my dresser for about 4 months, now. Hoping to avoid this very thing: waiting until the last minute and then I suddenly need to use my passport and it then expires.

I’m trying to stay focused.  You know. One thing at a time.

I had a wonderful evening last night. I’m still watching Z: The Beginning of Everything.  Almost done with that. It was a truly humid evening, so I stayed down in the kitchen for awhile. It’s a lot cooler down there than up here in my room. And for the first time in probably two years, I played solitaire on my iPad!

Christ, that is so addicting. I only lost one game, too.  I played until the sky was almost dark and the humidity got to be too much. I needed to take a shower.

But it was fun to just be alone in my house, at my kitchen table, playing solitaire. RELAXING!  I hadn’t played it since I was back at that house I rented and was looking for a new house to buy somewhere and was having such a frustrating time of it. I used to play solitaire to distract myself.

It felt lovely to finally fully realize that all that was behind me, and to be in my house now, in this amazing town that I had never heard of before I moved here. It just felt so peaceful. And of course all the windows were open and so I could see all the fireflies blinking outside, and the train came by (not so peaceful but I still love it).

Earlier in the evening, I had talked on the phone with Valerie for awhile — to officially wish her a happy 60th birthday. And she even mentioned how much happier I sound nowadays, now that I’m in this house, this town.

It’s just so true. I still stress out a little because I have so many projects that I’m juggling, but it’s a whole different type of stress. I’m  totally okay with it.

Okay, well, I have to get back at it now. The clock is sort of ticking. I hope Wednesday finds you enjoying yourself, wherever you are in the world and with whatever you’re doing. Thanks for visiting.

I’m gonna leave you with a very brief excerpt from Twilight of the Immortal.

In it, Rudolph Valentino has just been released from a Los Angeles jail, after having been arrested for illegally marrying Natacha Rambova in Mexico.

Okay. I love you guys. See ya!

********************************

(Excerpt from the novel, Twilight of the Immortal)

It was nearly noon when Rudy walked in the door, alone. My belly was full; Han had come and gone, I was tidying up the kitchen when I heard the front door opening and then five dogs going happily mad.

I ran to the front door landing. “You’re all right?” I said.

He looked dazed. “I’m all right. Just very tired. I have to be back in court in two weeks. Until then, all I want to do is sleep. Did Natacha call?”

“No,” I said. “Not yet.”

I walked him upstairs to his own room; he wanted the big bed, the one he shared with Natacha, not the one that made him feel like a guest in his own home. “Forgive me,” he said. “I think I need a bath, but I’m too tired.” He sat down on the bed and took off his shoes. He removed his tie and took off his jacket. When he began removing his suspenders, I started to leave the room. “Don’t go,” he said wearily. “I don’t want to be alone. Stay.”

I stayed. “I have to say, Rudy; you look terrible. I’m really sorry you had to go through this. Joseph Schenck called this morning. He was ready to pay your bail – every cent of it and then some.”

The news seemed to perk up his spirits, but only a smidgen. “Schenck can come up with the money but Lasky couldn’t? Schenck, a man I barely know, who heads the newest company in town, instead of the man who heads the most powerful studio in Hollywood, whose company I’ve just made millions of dollars for?”

“It would seem so,” I said quietly.

He tossed his expensive shirt to the floor. I retrieved it and set it carefully over the butler chair. “I’m so deeply in debt now,” he lamented. “Do you even realize? I owe Lasky for this house, and the twelve thousand he gave me to pay off Jean, and now I owe my friends another ten thousand dollars…”

“Don’t torture yourself. Just get some sleep. Were you able to sleep at all in that awful jail?”

He looked at me. It was the look of someone trying hard to focus; he was thoroughly exhausted. “They drugged me in there,” he said.

“What?”

“They drugged me,” he repeated; “The man in charge of the cell – the man with the keys?  He gave me a cup of coffee that had something in it. I don’t remember everything he did to me last night, but I remember enough. And everybody watched. It was the Devil’s circus – behind bars.” Rudy laid down on the bed in his undershirt and his trousers; his head sinking into the pillow that was now stained with my dried tears. “Don’t ever let them take you to jail in this town, Rosemary; fight them with all you’ve got. I thought New York was bad – they call it ‘The Tombs’ for a reason – but it was civilized compared to what I’ve just been through.”

“Good God,” I said quietly. “Are you hurt?”

“Just stay,” was all he said. “Keep your eye on the door. Keep them all away from me. I just need some quiet. I need to be alone now.”

© 2012 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Related image
Valentino as ‘The Sheik”, 1921

Don’t just sit there reading this, dust something!!

Yes! So far, it’s a terrific Tuesday! I’m teaching the cats how to use a vacuum cleaner!  (It seems fair, since they shed more than I do and I have way too much to do and they’re always just sitting there, staring at stuff.) (At dust, most likely.)

Oh, before I forget, I uploaded another old song. (If you’re on your phone, you have to turn it sideways to see it.) This is a really terrible demo, which is unfortunate because I love this song. But it’s the only version of it that was ever transferred to MP3.  The demo was made back in 1985 on the 4 track in my bedroom, and then we took it to my boyfriend’s bedroom (a drummer), to his 4 track at his place, and he added some drum & synth stuff.

We had a really fun time making it, but it was only ever intended to be a reference demo to take to the studio. And, alas, it shows! But if you listen to it, try to hear the fun & not the horrible quality of sound!

Anyway! Yes, it’s Tuesday!! And I approach this day knowing full well I have too much to do!

In another brief conversation I had with Gus Van Sant Sr. the other day:

HIM: “Well, who’s your agent now? Who’s managing you?”

ME: “Nobody. I suppose I’d better do something about that, but I just, you know – me and agents….”

HIM: (laughter — too much, in fact)

I won’t repeat the rest of the conversation!! It is sufficient to say, I need to bite the bullet and stop doing everything myself because my life is getting a wee bit unwieldy over here.

Yes! I will indeed be contributing a brief segment of my new memoir-in-progress, In the Shadow of Narcissa, to Edge of Humanity Magazine once a week or so. This will be a condensed version of what will appear on my own site.

Yes! This means I have to be sure to write something new (& publishable) at least once a week, and I am now up to my eyeballs with revisions of Tell My Bones because Sandra will be arriving pretty much any moment now to begin rehearsals.

If you don’t follow EdgeofHumanity.com, they feature a lot of really cool photo journalists from all over the world. I really love the photographs on that site. Plus, there’s poetry, people’s music playlists, and occasional nonfiction stuff.  Which is where my pieces from In the Shadow of Narcissa come in: occasional nonfiction stuff.

I’m excited.  I’ve been following them for a while and it’s a whole worldful of other readers.

I’m not really sure why I suddenly found this memoir of my childhood springing out of me, or why I felt I needed to lock myself into a weekly publication schedule for it. I’m still doing my Inner Being journaling every morning, and re: the new memoir, it said: “To a point, it serves you to examine these things because it is assisting your journey out of the DARKNESS.” (That word actually came out capitalized.)

(You should keep one of these journals, gang. They are  incredible and surprising and illuminating.)

I don’t consider myself someone who is still in darkness. However, by writing this memoir, and facing things about my adoptive mother — I have always tried to focus on the good side of her and block out the bad, but that was part of her narcissism: training me to do that — more and more I see that it is in fact a miracle that I survived my childhood. I did attempt suicide twice, but my will to live, which was always bubbling underneath the nightmare, was just ridiculously strong. It’s sort of startling to recognize that now; to marvel at the odds that I am even still here. So I guess that’s the purpose the memoir is serving for now.

Obviously, I’m hoping that the memoir will be helpful to someone else out there who will read it. Assuming I manage to drag something uplifting and helpful out of that whole mess.

Yesterday, Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files newsletter brought up some really difficult memories for me re: my mother and the death of my boyfriend back in the summer of 1974. (The newsletter was about the death of his own son and the death of someone else’s son.) And I just could not shake the memories for the whole day.

Still, it was good to sort of see it. Not to dwell on it, but to acknowledge it and try to process it somehow.

Yesterday was actually the “anniversary” of me being committed to a mental hospital after my first suicide attempt in 1975. I was put in there right before my 15th birthday. They actually gave me a birthday cake in there. However, I was on “suicide precaution,” which meant that for the first several weeks of my incarceration (I was literally incarcerated – I was there against my will and in a building where we were literally locked in and the windows were covered in this heavy mesh stuff that you couldn’t break out of.  And everything inside the place was locked. Everything.  Every drawer, every cabinet, every door, every window. And any room where you could possibly be alone in it — that was also locked. In that building, we were treated like criminals but it was only because we were all suicidal.)

Anyway! That’s cheery, right? But I digress.

On my 15th birthday, they gave me a piece of birthday cake (the rest of my cake, they gave to everybody else), but I was confined to my room because I was brand new there and on “suicide precaution.” And I was only allowed to use a spoon. For several weeks, I was only allowed to use a spoon because forks & knives were elements of destruction.

Those first few weeks in there were so frightening to me, because I was always confined alone in my room. And of course, everyone outside of my room was “crazy.”  And if I needed to use the bathroom, Security would accompany me. It was a communal bathroom, which in and of itself I hated. Just no privacy at all. Ever. And the Security person (a man) would follow me right in to the bathroom and just stand there while I tried helplessly to just do what I needed to do in there. He was protecting me from myself, I guess. But it was awful because I was only 15, and really shy, and of course my period had come because it always managed to come when it was least wanted.

It was just awful, those first few weeks.

But what eventually sank in was that my mother was not able to get at me in that place — they wouldn’t let her visit me for a long time– and for the first time in my 15 years of life, I had a sense of peace. It didn’t last long, but it did come.

Anyway, I have to scoot. I have been alerted via a text from Sandra that we are having a phone chat in 5 minutes…

Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting. I’m going to leave you with this unlikely song. I actually listened to it last night for the first time in over 40 years. It was the song that was playing on the AM radio when they were telling me to get into the car because I was being taken to a mental hospital, for my own protection or something insane like that. It was a song I associated closely with Greg, my boyfriend who had died. By then he had almost been dead one year. And the song was unbearable for me to hear, even on days when I wasn’t being scurried off to a loony bin .

But I played the song last night, and I lived through it. I’m hoping you will, too. I love you guys. See ya!

“Please Mr. Please”

In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox
With the best of country music, old and new
You can hear your five selections for a quarter
And somebody else’s songs when yours are throughI got good Kentucky whiskey on the counter
And my friends around to help me ease the pain
‘Til some button-pushing cowboy plays that love song
And here I am just missing you again

Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again

If I had a dime for every time I held you
Though you’re far away, you’ve been so close to me
I could swear I’d be the richest girl in Nashville
Maybe even in the state of Tennessee

But I guess I’d better get myself together
‘Cause when you left, you didn’t leave too much behind
Just a note that said “I’m sorry” by your picture
And a song that’s weighing heavy on my mind

Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again

c – 1975 WELCH BRUCE, ROSTILL JOHN HENRY

Happy Birthday, “E”!

Today is my dear friend Valerie’s 60th birthday.

I actually can’t really even comprehend this – that she could be 60 and that we could still be such close friends after all the things we’ve gone through.

We met in NYC, when I was 22 and she was 23. We became secret lovers soon after that, and remained secret lovers for the next 20 years, as she and I both also undertook committed relationships and marriages during that long stretch of time.

About 15 years ago, I wrote the short erotic memoir, “A Picture in a Frame,” that was published in the erotic memoir anthology, Entangled Lives. At the time, Valerie was just entering into another long-term, committed relationship and so I felt I couldn’t identify her by name. I called her “E” in the memoir. But now it’s okay with her to identify her by name. So “E” was Valerie.

I was tempted to post the memoir here on the blog today, in honor of her 60th birthday, but it is a wildly explicit and personal memoir and probably inappropriate for a huge portion of my blog readers, since it documents my life-long BDSM intensity and insanity and bliss and ecstasy – and Valerie’s role in that in my adulthood.

Lucky for you, though, it is included in Volume 2 of The Muse Revisited collection, which is free to download over at Smashwords until the end of this month.  So, if you don’t already have that eBook, and you want to read “A Picture in a Frame”, you can go get it now for free. (Go to the dropdown menu above and you can find a link for Volume 2 of The Muse Revisited up there.)

For me, “A Picture in a Frame,” has some disturbing elements to it, and it’s not the elements you would think. I have no problem at all with my past BDSM stuff, or mindset, or lifestyle, or anything like that. What’s in there that disturbed me is the strange depiction I wrote of my adoptive mother.

At that time in my life – meaning when I wrote that memoir, and literally a ton of other explicit stories, novels, etc. — my adoptive mother and I were on reasonably solid ground. I was trying very, very hard to maintain a long-distance relationship with her, and she read pretty much everything I ever wrote.

The last time I re-read “A Picture in a Frame,” (when I was finally showing it to Valerie last year!), I was really saddened by the stuff about my mother. Not that she was abusive every single day, but I was clearly writing from the frame of mind that I’d had throughout most of my life: protect the abuser because I was terrified of her. And I knew she would read the darn thing.

That fear persisted long into my adulthood. It didn’t leave me, really, until about 5 or 6 years ago, when I was forced to make my final break with her. And the fear left piece-meal; it didn’t just suddenly evaporate all at once.

Now that I’m suddenly writing the memoir, In the Shadow of Narcissa (link to it is on the left side there somewhere), about my childhood years, growing up in the shadow of such a formidable adoptive mother, when I re-read anything I’ve written in the past that tried to present a sort of idealized situation revolving around her, I just get sort of sad.

Since “A Picture in a Frame” documents my first, and only, long-lasting affair with a woman who was a relentlessly dominant sexual Top, who had a super keen focus on Bondage & Discipline, but who, when all the torture was over for the day, was intensely loving and maternal towards me, unlike anything that happened to me in real life – well, clearly, there are some “mommy” issues there for me, folks. Always denying myself love because it seemed like that was what I “deserved,” yet when I did get that love, as an adult from Valerie, it was unspeakably beautiful.

And that juncture in my childhood, where my sexuality began to make itself known to me, and my utter fascination with sexual abuse & discipline came to the fore, and how that might have related to my adoptive mother (I was 5 when my sexuality started to come out of me) – I pretty much glossed over all of that in “A Picture in a Frame” and presented it so differently from how it was.

Still, it was a memoir about Valerie, anyway, so it’s not the end of the world. It just makes me sad to read the part in there about my childhood sexuality and to realize that, without my even knowing it 15 years ago, I was still living in fear and protecting my adoptive mother.

But I guess my need to write In the Shadow of Narcissa will attempt to finally deal with all of that. And I hope in a balanced way. Because there are vivid moments in my childhood where my mother was so beautiful to me; just breathtaking. I so much wanted to love her.  But she was a narcissist, and I could only love her openly when she felt it suited her audience.

If you have read “A Picture in a Frame”, the memoir ends with a description of the picture that was indeed in a frame. “Blind Venus.” It is posted below. It’s a photo of a very old Polaroid.

Valerie is a painter. And this is the painting mentioned in the memoir, back when the painting was still in progress, in an easel. It long ago sold in some gallery in Brooklyn, NY. I’d say about 25 years ago, or so. (And the painting is not just of me; it’s a combination of me and another lover she had who lived in Germany – and who is now a grandmother. Where the fuck does the time go??)

All right. Enjoy her 60th birthday by doing something fun. Eat cake!! Why not?

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

“Blind Venus” in progress; painted by Valerie in the mid-1990s.