Here’s the snippet I was going to share last week on my anniversary weekend. It’s from my WIP, “Short, Broke…& Homeless,” and I’m not exactly sure where this is going to fit into the story. My heroine, Cheryl (Cher) Sylvester, is ten years younger than me, but she’s going through a lot of the same things I am at the moment. Instead of an unsuccessful published author, she’s an unsuccessful folk singer who, like me, suffers from major depressive disorder, complex bereavement disorder, anxiety, etc. In this snippet, she’s remembering her wedding to the love of her life, Jon Sylvester. It’s raw, and probably over the ten lines, but any comments are appreciated.
Everything that can possibly go wrong at our wedding, and on our honeymoon, does. When my parents and I arrive at Shuller’s Wigwam, where the wedding and reception are to take place, the marquee outside says “Live Lobster $6.95” instead of “Congratulations Cheryl and Jon.”
Once inside, I see that the flowers haven’t arrived yet, which makes me a nervous wreck. Once I see Jon, everything will be all right. I repeat the mantra over and over in my head.
I hear my best friend, Jess, his deep voice resonating through the room, singing Longer Than. I walk down the aisle with my mom and dad on either side and I see Jon, with his wavy black hair and intense brown eyes. He looks at me and smiles and everything is all right.
Here’s a poem I wrote (or I’m writing–don’t know if it’s finished yet. I haven’t written a poem in a long time. so bear with me. I’m thinking of including it in my book, “Short, Broke…& Homeless” about a folk singer/songwriter who’s suffering from depression and lost her home and her cat, her mom’s dying and things just keep getting worse. So, in the book, it might turn into a song. My best friend and I wrote a song together (I wrote the poem and she wrote the music). I read the poem the night I met my husband–after I read it, he came up and started talking to me. Maybe that could happen in the book, who knows?
I didn’t see you. Afraid to open my eyes
I don’t want to see what’s right in front of me.
I didn’t see you. Scared for my heart to ache
I don’t want to see the bleak future before me.
I didn’t see you. Frightened to look at the truth.
I don’t want to see the losses facing me.
I didn’t see you. Lives and friendships ending.
Hurts too much to face all of my mistakes.
What do you think? Should I give up poetry? Give up this book? Give up altogether?
Okay, so now things aren’t going so well. I’m suffering from severe depression due to a number of things including the fact that my mom is dying. She’s not eating, and sometimes she doesn’t recognize me. Sometimes she does. It’s a giant roller coaster and it’s making me freeze at the idea of doing things I have to do which has gotten me into some trouble and right now, I can’t even…well, I can’t handle it. I still like listening to music and have played some videos for my mom and most of the time, she’s responded to them.
So here’s the second playlist to deal with my fears and anxiety. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This is also the playlist for the book I’m writing, “Short, Broke…& Homeless” (and the movie–lol). I still don’t think anybody’d want to read it, let alone watch a movie, but while I’m dreaming…
I’ll ask the question now…what songs do you listen to to help with depression, fears, anxiety, etc.?
- “I Won’t Back Down” — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — It’s a good song and most of the time, it makes me feel better except that sometimes I do back down. Someday, I hope to get back to “normal” and be more like the song.
- “It’s My Life” — Bon Jovi — same as above.
- “Laugh at Me” by Sonny Bono — Why don’t I remember hearing this song on the radio in 1968 when I was being bullied by my whole sixth grade class? And today, fifty years later, sometimes I still feel like that scared sixth-grader. This is a great song for people who have been or are being bullied.
- “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day — This is supposed to be about depression and it describes me sometimes when it talks about walking alone. And the title is my life right now.
- “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher — I’d do everything differently. Things would be better now. I wouldn’t keep making all these stupid mistakes that keep getting me in trouble. Of course, Tess (running joke between me and my friends. Tess is my other personality (I stole her name from Jessica/Tess from my favorite old soap opera “One Life to Live.” She sneaks in when I’m asleep and ruins my life). Tess is the one messing up, not me. Right? Wrong. There isn’t really a Tess. It’s all me.
- “Where You Lead” by Carole King (“Gilmore Girls” theme song — my mom and I are the Jewish “Gilmore Girls.” We even had Friday night dinners, and my mom kind of looks like Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore). And she’s still feisty sometimes like Emily. Example: Me: It’s Greg’s birthday. Mom: Well, I’m not sending him anything! Greg: (After he had a meltdown because he thought we were listening to his personal conversations) (We weren’t, Greg!). See you guys next time Mom: We’ll see about that. (LOL!) (Oh, by the way, for those of you who don’t already know, Greg’s my pretend brother so I guess we’re the Goldberg Girls and Guys. So we’re stealing their theme song.
- “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals — I’m sure I do drive some people crazy, (especially my late husband–he used to sing this sometimes. Not to mention my aforementioned pretend brother (just remember the “I didn’t see you” incident, Greg (like he’d ever forget. I know I won’t because he won’t let me). It’s a catchy tune, too.
- “19th Nervous Breakdown” by the Rolling Stones. Gee, is it only the 19th? Lately, it seems like I have one at least once a week. Here it comes…
- “Put on a Happy Face” by Jason Alexander and “Rosie” by Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams (from the 1995 version of “Bye Bye Birdie.” — Sure, I loved the Ann-Margaret/Dick Van Dyke version, but it’s just fun to watch and listen to Jason Alexander sing and dance–he’s “the opposite” of his “Seinfeld” character, George Costanza. He’s a really good singer and dancer. I don’t know where the song “Rosie” would fit in with my movie, though, unless I can come up with a character named Rosie. I probably can. Or not.
- “The Times they are a changin'” by Bob Dylan — They are, and for me, not for the better, but I like the idea that one of these days, it might turn around for me again. I sure hope so. They can turn around for the heroine of this book/movie, too.
This is a snippet from the WIP (Short, Broke…& Homeless) I’m starting. I don’t know how far I’ll get with it but something happened last week that made me want to write this scene. This is the third in a series of stories about three generations of women, one based on my grandmother, one based on my mom, and one on me. This is based on me and some of this really happened unfortunately. This is very raw–I’m trying to write this in a hurry because I only get thirty minutes on the computer.
I hate bullies. I hate bullying. I’m also loyal to my friends, whether I’ve known them forty years or four months. So when my roommate, Kenyatta, comes into the room very upset because she’s being harassed by some of the “ladies” who stay here, I’m not happy.
I try to talk to her, but she’s a Scorpio, like my late husband. She says she’s scared they’re going to come after her. I don’t know why, and neither does she. She’s supposed to be getting her new apartment next week, so they’re probably jealous. So I do what I always do in a crisis. Since I’m a singer/songwriter (not very successful, or I wouldn’t be here), I get out my guitar and start playing and singing “Laugh at Me” by Sonny Bono. It’s a great song about bullying, and I try to adapt it for a woman singer. I get my roommate to smile a little. She has been nice to me from the very beginning. I’m going to miss her when she leaves and since I’ve been bullied, I understand how she feels.
“I’m going to do something and I don’t want you to freak out,” she says.
This is from a book I was working on before all the things happened to me–there will be three books in the series, one about my grandmother coming to America from Lithuania, the second about my mom and dad and how they met and the third is about me, and may be a chick lit story if I add what’s happened to me lately. This is from the second book, which has no title, and I can’t remember the name of the heroine, so I picked another name because the files are on a flash drive in storage right now. I was watching a video of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers last night and thought of my mom and dad–they were very good dancers. So this is a scene from one of their dates.
Goldie sighed as she looked up and into Sy’s brown eyes. He reminded her of Tyrone Power, only much more handsome. His hand was warm on hers as he led her into the Club Royal, a music and dance spot in Newport. The streets and the Suspension Bridge were filled with light and noise. Inside, a singer stood at the microphone and crooned while a piano player tickled the ivories with “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Goldie was sure that Sy said “tomato” and “potato” and not “tomoto” and “potato.”
“Goldie…” Sy’s voice was as soft as a kiss. He leaned toward her and she inhaled his manly scent. “Goldie, may I kiss you?”
She stood on tiptoe so he could reach her. He was a full head taller at six feet. She took a deep breath and waiting, her attraction growing with each second that passed.
What did you think? Any suggestions will be appreciated. It might be a while before I get to Book Three. First I have to re-write Book One from a version I wrote in high school, then finish this. Or should I call the whole thing off?
I know this blog has been more serious lately, so this week since the Oscars are tonight, here are my choices for the 2018 Nutsie Nan Awards. It’s been quite a year, to say the least… And the Nutsie Nan Award goes to…
Best supporting actress in a Comedy/Drama — Jessica Chastain as Vanessa (Van) Brown (Karla), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”\
Best supporting actor in a Comedy/Drama — John Travolta as Frank Finney (Dan–RIP), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Best actor in a Comedy/Drama — George Clooney as Jay Galloway (Greg), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Best Actress in a Comedy/Drama — Cher as Tess T. Rosenthal (Nutsie Nan’s other personality) and Lauren Graham as Nutsie Nan, (moi), “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Best costume design — Jay Galloway’s Sono Bono disguise in the 2017 Greg Appreciation Day Parade (7/19/2017)
Best Soundtrack and Original Song
Soundtrack, “Short, Dark…& Homeless” Original Song, “Laugh at Me” by Sonny Bono
Best set design
“Short, Dark…& Homeless”
The Four Roses Boardinghouse, “Short, Dark…& Homeless”
“Short, Dark…& Homeless”
Seriously, I’d like to thank the (Nutsie Nan) Academy and everyone who is supporting me through this difficult time. You all deserve awards for everything you do!
At the end of last week, I was feeling pretty low, trying to figure out what I could have done to prevent being in my current situation–homeless, no money, etc. A resident here started talking to me because I use a cane to get around due to arthritis in my left knee (had my right knee replaced, but the left knee needs it now). She said she was going to look around at thrift stores and see if she could find me one of those walkers that has the seat on it and the basket to hold stuff. I told her that my friend, Dan, who passed away, had been looking for one for me at thrift stores and yard sales.
At dinner that night, she asked to talk to me privately. I thought I’d violated one of the rules of the shelter, or done something else wrong. It turns out, she wanted to buy me the walker and she had found them on sale. She was afraid I’d be offended, and wanted to ask if it was okay. I said “of course!” and started to cry.
The next day, after I had lunch with my friend, Karla, I came back and she and some other ladies who live here were waiting for me with a brand new walker in my favorite color–blue!
I’m still surprised and amazed that someone who lives here would do that for me. And she didn’t want any recognition–she said it was just something she had to do because she saw me struggling with that cane every day!
So thank you again and thanks to everyone who has been helping me out!