She-Devils, Tarzan Marathon and Political Shriekings, wheee!

alamy
from Alamy. Now, that’s a damn title for the ages.

I watched a movie called Tarzan and the She-Devil. Yes, I did. Why?

Well, it was on TMC, which has been showing Tarzan movies for days now for some reason. I got to see the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan, the Ape Man, and part of Tarzan and His Mate. I’ve seen both already, if we’re all being strictly honest here.

So there it was. With that title. Come on! You’d scroll past that title?

Is it weird 1950’s era porn? It is a horror movie? Is Tarzan facing off against the actual devil, who’s a woman?? What can it be?

I read the synopsis–Lyra wants Tarzan to bring her lots of elephants to kill so she can harvest their ivory, but Tarzan refuses.

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Monique Van Voreen as Lyra, the She-Devil. From Down Memory Lane.

So, in trying to get Tarzan to comply, Lyra has her henchmen [one played by Raymond Burr, who oddly reminded me of the guy who plays Negan on the Walking Dead.] kidnap Jane to persuade Our Hero to do as Lyra wants.

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Raymond Burr as Vargo. from Rare Films.
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Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, from the Walking Dead. For compare and contrast fun.

The henchmen, of course, mess this up! Jane is presumed dead, the tree house gets burned down, Tarzan gets captured. What?? 

SPOILER——–> Don’t worry. Tarzan wins the day.

There’s also, gulp, some tribe of white folks living in the…African jungle, who look like products of actual Aryan breeding, right down to the curly blond hair and Nordic cheekbones galore. And that’s just the manly men of that tribe. Yeah. Uh.

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from Pinterest. See what I mean? Yep. Also– the lack of hirsuteness. ?

My mind went pffft.

And stayed off the rest of the movie, it had to, out of sheer primal survival needs.

This tribe of Vikings gets tapped to do the heavy lifting as the ‘natives’ are, um, lazy and don’t wanna work hard and…PFFFFT.  The men get captured, helped to escape, by Tarzan and then re-captured because…SHE-DEVIL wants her some money-making ivory, baby!

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Joyce MacKenzie as Jane and Lex Barker as Tarzan. From Rare Film

So, Jane fights the same snake and crocodile from all the other movies, gets sick, has to be healed by a guy dressed in straw and beads, and Tarzan allows himself to be gently tortured by Raymond Burr. Whose character, by the way, is the actual villain of the movie.

The she-devil seems oddly caring and concerned about people, especially Tarzan. Who’s this 6’4″ GORGEOUS man with blond hair and Weissmuller’s swimmer build.

I then note this actor, Lex Barker, has played Tarzan about five times. And died in his early fifties. Ah! Sad!

Because, yes, I looked this movie up on IMDB.  I’d never heard of it.

Because it stormed all afternoon so I couldn’t stare at my mini garden, looking for new leaves. Or take a quick peek into the bird’s nest in the privet hedge. Or go look for the dog’s lost ball, which he loves and wants back. It’s been lost for days now.

Yes, actual thunderstorms and some actual rain.

Of course, all the animal stuff, it just jars you. You know good and well animals were hurt during the Tarzan shoots, you just freaking know that. But.

When the editing is off or does those jumps, you notice how the elephant will lie down first and then get attacked and ‘killed’. I also noted that the monkeys, in one of the Tarzan movies I peeked at for a bit…and I watched several because I’m a sad sad little shut-in…were actually people in monkey suits. Cheetah was real, at times. I guess?

At one point, Tarzan jumped on a hippo to escape crocodiles. There was the shot of an actual hippo and then the very fake hippo with Tarzan sprawled across that weird fake back like some sort of human frog.

Oh and my fave. When Tarzan fights not one, but two lions. That was not in the She-Devil one, and was Johnny, not Lex.

We clearly see the fake lion that Tarzan wrestles, mixed in with a real lion that just growls and runs about looking spooked…as if someone had a whip and chair and a torch off-screen to get it to go where the director wants. I don’t know if that’s what they did, but that’s what it looks like.

So, our manly jungle man kills the lioness, then faces off against a lion. Back to back fights with giant felines.

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Weissmuller and lion. from the Film Experience

Tarzan also is seen taking on a gnu, killing it with a small knife after twisting its head about as the animal yells accordingly, and then cutting off a hunk of raw meat from the carcass as yet another lion runs up to drag off this dead beast as Tarzan heads up the nearest tree, one hand full of actual raw meat.

Jarred is rather too polite a word to express my inner WTF screaming.

Was that a real goddamn gnu? It sure looked a little too real. Brain PFFFT. Ah, that’s better.

Okay.

If you’ve seen any of the creaky Tarzan flicks, you know a bit of what I’m blithering on about.

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Johnny Weissmuller. 

Oh my gosh, the rampant racism…can I get an amen? It’s…wow. You just…wow.

And I don’t remember which film this was, but I do remember Weissmuller in it– where I think it was supposed to be pygmies who had a pit with a giant ape-thing in it. Who killed whatever victims the pygmies? children dressed up in weird ways? threw down to it.

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The, uh, Pygmies, from 1932’s Tarzan, the Ape Man. Wikipedia

Now, the monkey monster thing was a man, obviously so, dressed up in some sort of monkey outfit. And oddly more pitiful than scary. I wasn’t scared of that thing. It was deformed and lumpy and sad. I wanted to help it.

Yeah, it was tossing victims around like they were stuffed bunnies, but…still. One of the intended victims was, ahem, Jane. Who got to do the faint and be carried bit. Oh my! That same limp draped in the villain’s or monster’s arms popular go-to.

Oh the pygmies. Or Little People in blackface. Or children. Or…yeah. That was. You just. Your brain stops.

You’re going, am I seeing this? Is that, uh, what is that? What’s happening here? And then you go– golly, so glad we’re in post-racist times! [Sarcasm. That was sarcasm.]

You then switch over to the Hallmark movie where a young couple fight gently to remain in love and save their bed and breakfast and the guy gives up Manhattan for a goat. A goat. He misses the goats. 

So, yeah, I switched back to Tarzan. I’m a sad little shut-in, did I mention that??

Why am I writing about Tarzan movies that today would be rightfully skewered for their KKK-esque treatment of Africa and all that?

I’ve been avoiding a big long political rant for some time because…I’d lose my marbles and not get them back for some time if I did.

SPOILER—————> Political shriek almost here. Look away now if you’re squeamish. 

I also have Handmaid’s Tale, season one, waiting to be watched. For a week now. 

I peek at the American political landscape and it’s almost as if this Hulu series is more of a documentary than grim misery porn entertainment.

I don’t need to watch a television series where a country morphs into some sort of hellish biological prison for women, who are forced to breed for the state. Is that not where American is headed RIGHT FUCKING NOW? Look at Iowa. Look at the Bible Belt.

You have trouble breathing as this shit starts to stack up and stack up and stack up. Is this where dictatorships starts? Of course it is.

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I don’t know who designed this. 

But where is the tide to stop the rising tide of totalitarianism? Where are the check and balances? Where are the loud-voiced pugnacious fighters on the side of common sense, common decency and basic rights for all people, not just the few selected Christian-esque males who make all the laws and hoard all the money?

Right now, it’s comedians versus politicians and actual presidents. It’s people doing satire versus people unable to understand why they are fodder for the satire cannons.

That absence of self-awareness just shines right through there on the Alt-Right. Wheee!!! It’s people greedily hurting as many as possible then claiming they’re the real victims here.

When conservatives and such are called out on their nastiness, their hypocrisy, their crimes and misdemeanors, their schemes and frauds and underhand dealings…they cry and scream and claim they’re the ones being attacked and marginalized.

And it works, it works, it works so very well.

There was an actual New York Times op-ed piece  [by Bari Weiss] on JUST THAT VERY FUCKING BULLSHIT TACTIC. Being presented as if…as if very very true.

As if those conservatives screaming and stomping in so many public places, and on the media lately and gosh, always, have been silenced and not allowed to speak at all…while speaking about how silenced they are.

With no awareness that they are speaking, about being silenced, WHILE GETTING AN INTERNATIONAL PLATFORM TO AIR THEIR ALLEGED GRIEVANCES.

God damn it. GOD DAMN IT.

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An actual sign from Maryland. This is real. 

Ah, mini political rant. Well. There ya go.

Oh and to end this weird mash-up of Tarzan and political shrieking, I got some submissions sent off. A film noir-inspired play for a contest in Los Angeles and three plays for some woman-heavy festival in Detroit. I think I’ve been rejected by both places.

But yesterday, this woman from Columbia [the country!] wants to create a work around one of my short plays, as well as use that same play for some university something or other. The Care and Feeding of Baby Birds. 

Sometimes the universe gives you a small sign that yes, you can sorta write stuff people actually do respond to once in a blue moon.

And then you wonder how Tarzan always looked so shaved and groomed in those old Tarzan movies. No chest hair. Did he manscape, too? Those loincloths don’t hide a lot.

You have to wonder about grooming because the movie itself seems full of fake stuffed animals stalking the latest  version of Jane and people dressed up like some Grand Dragon’s most acid-laced dream about Africans in actual Africa.

And those ‘long ago’ views on black people seem the same as they are right now in 2018…holy fake stuffed lion, ya’ll. 

But gee, Tarzan’s kinda nice to look at if you ignore everything else…

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Douglas P. Whitney, photo credit. 
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May the Fourth

 

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from Neatorama

Hello, May. Something light and frothy. Let’s see. Oh.

May the Fourth Be With You. If you don’t get that…I cannot help you in any way, shape or form.

So, yesterday. I had saved a submission opportunity and actually took a moment to read through it, as I noted, somewhere in my messy mindhole, that I might have something to actually send that way. [The Honest Women, to be honest and frank and factual.] 

Ah, yes! I read through the FAQ, like an innocent little idiot. I saw the requirements were not too weird, absurd or strenuous. I saw the deadline date– May 31, 2018. No entry fee.

I can do this, I thought with real American vigor. I can do this!

So, I tidied up a full-length play, which I’ve written about here a bit. Yep, the rewrite, I finished it! It was just sitting there, pages not numbered, no title page. A sad little full-length that had not yet had my attempt at polishing it up a bit.

So I spent, yes, the entire morning, putting page numbers in, doing a title page, coming up with a synopsis. Coming up with this, that, the other as per the submission guidelines. I even had to PDF it! Oh the horror! No, actually, it’s not, but I added that for dramatic effect. Get it?

GET IT NOW?

Okay, so I magically produce a product that roughly fits the guidelines of this submission opportunity. I email it off, using the email address the FAQ provided. I had a real sense of accomplishment. Oh yes, I did. I knew and know now that my play getting picked is a long shot on the odds of a donkey winning the Kentucky Derby. You know, that ‘not gonna happen’ outlook that I have so cheerfully and sweetly adopted. So that when I do get picked for whatever, I will be truly and honestly surprised.

So, not seconds after I sent off my submission…I get an email back from this crew. Claiming I had MISSED THE DEADLINE, that it was April 30…and they included the link to their FAQ.

I read this over several times, it seemed to be in Klingon. [ Or whatever Wookiees speak.]

What the hell, I thought, honestly and truly bewildered. I then went to check my saved link to this submission opportunity. Nope, it said May 31, 2018. I checked the link the crew sent me. Nope, May 31, 2018.

Gaslighted? Were they playing some weird Gaslight prank on me?

But wait, THERE’S MORE. Can you dig it? Can you survive the rush of adrenaline that just hit your system, fellow babies???

So today, as I write this, I went back to check for that bit that says the right date. And there’s an email from this place, that says, hey, you were right, we were wrong, so sorry.

Happy ending? What??!! Some trickster god went, hey, here, I’ll give you one, you sadsack. Is that what happened?? I’m looking for supernatural elements in a very mundane, boring clerical error story. I must be an American, bwha ha ha. 

The moral of this story is…don’t pet fish.

I have no idea what the moral is here. Other than double and triple check dates for deadlines? I’m careless that way.

I also didn’t just let this go, I went back and rechecked the date and then copy-pasted that into my email back to ‘them’. Instead of sighing and going, oh well. So that’s…um, something. Right?

I was also nice and polite in my email. Nary a cuss word or hint their mom wore combat boots. Not that I regularly send off emails to sub ops cussin’ em out.

It’s nice here today in Eastern Oregon, my mini garden is yet alive and the dove baby I wrote about in One Egg IS STILL ALIVE AND THRIVING , thank you. A beautiful little birdling.

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Me invading this poor young bird’s privacy. Isn’t it cute???

There’s also a nest of tiny babies squawking in the privet hedge.

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Me playing bird paparazzi. Tiny newborns hastily caught with my elderly digital camera

And the blackbirds are back, with their ugly warning shouts. The lilac blooms. The ancient irises persist in throwing up their swordish leaves. Spring has sprung and I have learned not to pet fish. All is well, my darlings, all is well.

THOUGHTS OF AN IGNORED BUT UTTERLY FANTASTICALLY GIFTED GENUIS WRITER GAL

 

texas wildlife control
from Texas Wildlife Control.

I must write something sluggishly wonderful to live up to that title.

So I posted a plea over on Acebookfay. If you read Pig Latin, you know I mean Facebook. Okay. It was a plea for ‘friends’ to go ‘like’ my author page. As the two people who regularly read my blog once in a while, you well know I am TERRIBLE AT SELF-PROMOTION.

Or I’m repulsive and lack charm.

Or I’m a terrible writer and everyone’s too afraid of me or ‘too kind’ to let me know I should slip over into customer service rep, complaints department, for adult diapers. Or maybe Dead Animal Removal Engineer for the Oregon Highways Cleanup Wing.

I honestly think I just have to hold my breath, overcome my near total lifetime of conditioning not to draw attention to myself and JUST FUCKING GO FOR IT. Like. Ovaries out, grinning, trying to sell every last used car [book, story, play, etc] on my writer-lot. Be that aggressive, rhino-skinned used car-esque, religious preacher selling salvation and snake oil, smiling grinner. Always Be Closing.

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from Udemy

Which is not me.

But me is not pushing the Ann Wuehler line of products that well.

I need a spokesmodel, I need a new, brash face of the Ann Wuehler factory line of novels and plays! I need a Shamwow gal with no sense of shame or vocal volume. I can’t do the sales pitch without sounding like a sarcastic monster. It’s not in my wheelhouse. I’d have to take several years of acting classes to pull that off and even then…I’d come across as a sarcastic monster with some acting classes under my belt. And yet, I know very well that’s EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO DO.

Be a pushy annoying rhino-skinned saleswoman pushing against all the other pushy annoying rhino-skinned sorts selling their snake oil. Whee. Oh goody. Yay.

It’s the doing it that…makes me sick. Actually sick, as in nausea and tears.

Hey, buy my books. I worked hard on em. They’re nice.

Does the above work for any of you?? Yeah. I need to work on this area of schmoozing and sales. I do. It’s my Moby Dick. [A giant whale that slaps me with its tail or something. I never read Moby Dick. Should I admit that at all?]

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from Etsy

So, my goal is to make myself start being the aggressive pusher of my own stuff. To crow about WHAT A FANTASTICALLY WONDERFUL WRITER GAL I AM. That people need to part with their pennies for my stuff! PART WITH YOUR PENNIES FOR MY STUFF, IT’S WONDERFUL.

I need rum and cigarettes if I’m going to actually tackle this side of writing…the push it until your sanity snaps side. And then someone else can write a biography of my attempts to sell my own writing, become a best-selling New York Times darling and get a movie deal, with that movie winning all the Oscars ever invented…ugh a bug.

The Disaster Artist, anyone? Anyone? It didn’t win blah blah blah, but that’s what sprang to mind for an actual real-world example.

I might also need to pick up some forms for Dead Animal Scraping, part-time intern with no benefits or pay check expected, too. Just in case. It’s outside, you bring your own shovel and you’re outside. You work with animals, too. That’s a big plus right there.

Yes, that’s an actual thought in my head. If I do dead animal removal, I’ll be outside. Uh huh. Yep.

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Actual photo taken under the local tiny bridge over the Malheur River. There is no hope for humanity or sales, is there? 

Pipes Cleared

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The seed packets were four for a dollar at the Dollar Store. I can’t even! It really is international happy day!

Oh my, I’ve been distracted from finishing Honest Women. It’s raining. Therefore, I will spend moments today composing dialogue designed to tell a story. I do too have a damn story, shut up! Where were we?? Oh yes!

Pipes cleared. More or less. I have recovered from that surreal St. Pat’s Beckett loop a bit. Have not forgotten it, but the inner tide of WTF is Happening Here??? has subsided a wee. Enough to let me laugh at manatees appearing to smooch or a cat making a dog flip upside down when that cat attacks it from around a corner or when a giraffe catches its reflection in a mirror. Tee hee.

I also have a short play [Mystery Meat Molly is the title and I have the tale to go with it, I just need…yeah]  stewing in my head, cooking a bit in the inner casserole pan, as I mull over how to get it from said inner casserole pan to said page. And then clean it up, put page numbers to the pages, polish it a bit, then send it off to await judgment. Where people picking plays for this or that will go LOVE IT MUST PRODUCE FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. It’s my version of playing the lottery. Ooooh!

I bought seeds.

To plant.

I plan to have a small garden and put in some straw flowers as well. [Bachelor-Buttons.] The best laid plans of mice and writerly gals…!

I did find a spot that’s out of the way and within easy reach of water for the veggies. No one will pee on it or throw chemicals on it thinking it just a patch of weeds or throw beer cans among the tender shoots beating all the odds to rise above the dirt at all. It will get some sun but not sun all day. It will also avoid the lawn mower, as it’s between the front lawn and the back lawn, this patch o’ground. I need to get some fertilizer– a small sack of manure. [Dried animal shit. Or some assorted somewhat natural substance that plants like.]

I need to jump back into my full-length and get ‘er dunnn. However you spell that most annoying ‘murican phrase since the last most annoying ‘murican phrase.

Is HW a comedy? A searing drama on the feminist mystique? A take-down of organized religion? A…ah, an homage to other playwrights and writerly sorts who played with structure, time, what a story is, etc? Yeah! Let’s go with that last one! OMG THE AVENGERS FIGHT SOME GUY LOOKS TOTALLY AWESOME…gosh, it really does, all feeble banter aside.

Okay! To sum up. I am partially, not at all, recovered from the relatives and their Beckett Fox News Waiting for Reagan time loop wafflings. I plan to have a tiny garden. I plan to finish my ode to the Avengers, the Honest Women…wait a minute! Sounds good, I’ll let that stand.

Note: it’s not an ode to the Avengers. Sorry. I’d probably get sued and my finances register at about twenty bucks, and I need that to buy fertilizer. And chocolate. Oooh. Or maybe I can buy a baby chick or two, and raise them to avenge my honor. Oooh! I have so many plans in my head. So many!

FROTHY KITTENS

 

. Bilbo the Hobbit riding a Unicorn - iPad Sketch by mystery monotreme
Bilbo the Hobbit riding a Unicorn – iPad Sketch | by mystery monotremeon

I wish to post something a bit lighter this time. It’s March, the ground squirrels in the yard dart about and the moon seems extra bright all night with its ghostly light. I saw a cat trotting down the side of the road. A black and white beastie with a clear agenda. As cats seemed to have disappeared from my area, it was rather like watching a unicorn trot by, with a hobbit seated on its back, both munching toast. It was just like that. That sense of actual wonder and delighted eyeballs and spring about to act like spring, no matter what the snowflakes and feminists claim about global heating.

I’ve yet to re-see that cat. Maybe I dreamed it. Maybe all of life, this life, this life I think real, is a dream. Wah. I’m actually hooked up to a machine harvesting my fluids for lizardlord martinis.

Outer space lizardlord martinis!! 

Oh the horror, the horror…!

I am, yes, bowels deep, in a rewrite of Honest Women. No, am not sharing anything from that other than…INVISIBLE WINGED TAPE WORM. I bet you now wish to sit through two hours of that! Yes, you do!

I note that the kiddies are yet agitating.

Oh those kiddies! Can’t they go back to eating Tide Pods and let the grown ups wring their hands and offer thoughts and prayers in peace?? After all, Jesus will come back soon to clean up America’s border problems and bitchsmack the liberal elite with some common sense non-college knowledge. LOL, kiddies!

Where was I?

Something frothy and light in between the doomy gloomy posts. Um. Oooh.

Today is both Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s birthday and the twentieth anniversary of the Big Lebowksi. That…that cannot be a coincidence. The Dude abides can apply to both of those facts.

Now, it took me many years to accept that the BL was, indeed, a movie I wished to watch more than once. I ‘didn’t get it’ for quite some time. I found that movie annoying as a basket of not-fluffy kittens. I, being a Jeff Bridges fan, just shrugged it off as ‘eh, he’s done better work’. And then I watched it again, on VHS, which I bought for about fifty cents at my local thrift store. True story! I had fifty cents! 

I ‘got it’, gradually. It ‘rang some bells’ in me. That drifting, rather harmless, Everyman, rubbing shoulders with the absurd, the bungled and the botched, the gorgeous and the damned alike and escaping all this intact, with no visible change or journey experienced. This is truly extremist storytelling. It’s rather…radical. It’s a sly slap at writing teachers who tell ya you have to have some kinda character arc, damn it, Janet.

The Dude at the center of this sprawling, very long slow mud-wrasslin’ sorta world…never changes. He doesn’t grow, he doesn’t learn a fuckin’ thing. He isn’t going to clean up his act and fly right. He’s…I tell ya, watch movies on VHS, it’s a transformative experience.

And my VHS/DVD combo player, yes, I still have one…only plays the VHS side these days. I have to keep it cleaned, as the door that drops down over the VHS part broke off eons ago. Frothy kittens, indeed! I have boxes yet of VHS movies. They’re very cheap now. I do mean cheap and…they don’t get scratched.

I am truly a dinosaur in the modern tech world. I don’t do ‘streaming’. I’m not even sure what that is. Sad! I do know what it is, I do. I was making a feeble, shallow jest.

I should just do a post on the Big Lebowski. I, apparently, have ‘thoughts’ about it.

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Jeff Bridges, in a scene from the Big Lebowski. Coen Brothers. 

I have no such Bank of America depths toward Marquez, however. Isn’t that odd? Or truly American. Mm. He is Colombian. A foreigner. We should be reading American authors! Do we have any?? Bring em on! Have some wall, Marquez!! LOL, just LOL all over your bottom!

So!

I am in Act Two of my rewrite. I am just writing. I don’t care if anyone ever produces it. I’m having fun.

And then I start sobbing because no one will probably ever produce it, unless I mount a production somewhere close by and I’d have to find seven women and try and explain that the tape worm is invisible and that the plant is dead, it’s supposed to be dead. Yes, I meant to type those words, no you can’t change them…oooh, yes, change them to that, I like that so much better! Wah!!

Oh look, there’s Bilbo Baggins riding by on Hornio, the neighborhood unicorn who voted, ironically, for Jill Stein in the last presidential election because votes don’t count. Or maybe that’s just a black and white, very busy and important, cat trotting by. It’s all fake news anyway.

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the odd stuff you find while Googling ‘tape worm’. 

THE WINDS OF MARCH

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The actual old cottonwood. 

Oh hello, new month!

Last night, the winds blew. I mean BLEW. Freight trains rumbling through the very air. Thunder going crack crack, lightning, the whole grand cosmic main stage show at play last night in the heavens above Malheur County. I waited for the old cottonwood, which likes to shed dead large branches on vehicle or roof alike with bad-natured tree laughter, to shed a dead bit of lumber atop the house or even to fall over with a last maniacal snicker. It’s a very real fear we share here at Castle Wuehler. When will that old cottonwood give up the ghost and smash us to bits in the middle of the night? When O Lord, when?

It makes life ‘interesting’. Uh huh.

So!! I really have no topic I wish to explore in shallow, easily digested slickness. Gun control talk rages like a Los Angeles wildfire for now and that’s rather surprising. It seems the kiddies have stirred up the giant pot indeed, those kiddies from Parkland. And people think those teenyboppers should stop being disrespectful and go back to selfies and eating Tide Pods or whatever the kiddies are doing nowadays…yep. Because taking actual action after a shooting is just so…selfish or something. Or, it’s all a conspiracy, by the left, to take away guns. Mm. If you’ve been near the newz, of any kind, from America, well. And of course the Big Solution to shootings at a school is to…arm the teachers. More guns! WE NEED MORE GUNS. If everyone is armed! Then! Uh! Whee!

It’s rather funny if you don’t live here in America. It’s funny stuff. It’s absurdly richly funny stuff. And you hope the so-called grown ups are not serious. Except they are. In Pennsylvania, a church had a ceremony honoring AR-15’s. Praying for the guns. I. Can’t. My. Brain. Ooooh. Help. help help…Though, that church ceremony, which puts a gun where Jesus usually goes, might help turn the mighty American Gun-Lovin’ tide. Or not. Or not! Who the fuck prays over a weapon like one would pray over a dying kitten? God damn it! What the fuck is wrong with my country?? I blame Big Pharma, Big Agriculture and lack of Afterschool Specials!

So!! Before I meander into truly dark dystopian waters, waiting for that old cottonwood to crush us all beneath her bug-riddled carcass, let’s whiffle over to PROJECTS.

What has captured my writerly attentions?

The Honest Women. A play. Stop, come back, I am not sharing from it. Calm down. Seriously, excerpts from someone’s play makes people puke a bit. It’s like a learned response. Oh you wrote a play? [Taste of puke in back of throat.]

It’s in rewrite territory. I am reworking it.

For an indifferent set of rascals who will sniff somewhere near it, when I get it rewritten, pages numbered and sent off to various places. Those rascals will then reject it, and might even bother sending the form rejection letter about how many submissions they got and how they’d rather choose someone’s shopping list at the Dildo Store than your ‘play’. Usually, that rejection letter is so generic, they don’t put your name or the name of your submission anywhere in it! Fun!

Or not! Life is a capricious clam at high tide, after all!

I laugh as I type on that play, so that’s a good sign. Ha ha, I go aloud. Ha ha. Spinach wrap. Tape worm. White zombies. There are no zombies in my play, don’t worry. Or tape worms. Not yet, anyway. Not yet.

I don’t normally venture over into vaguely comedic territory, though I’ve been told I’m funny. By people rather off-put by my dark, dismal prose, plays or poetry. You’re funny, you should write more funny stuff, was their vague, damning praise.

Which renders me into a truly sad little muffin.

Trying to please people with my ‘funny’ writing, which goes about as well as you’d expect. As comedy must come from an honest savage raw place, so I’ve been told. By writing teachers who more than likely lied to me about my writing abilities. I also read that in collections of Important Quotes by Important Snots.  [Comedy comes from PAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNNN ARGH]

And that universe of cyclone-strong doubt wallops me. What’s the point of writing anything at all?

And yet I write.

It’s an old moldy habit by now. It’s the only thing I have. I don’t have money or children or a life. It’s the only fucking thing I have that keeps me from slicing my wrists open or swallowing a thousand ibuprofen at one go. I know to take those pills in shifts or you just vomit them up. And then you’re just throwing up and not dead. Another failure!

I have made a bit of a vow to be brave. To write the words that are actually in my head and not censor that awful spewing. Like oh…not admitting I think about just ending it nearly every day. That it creeps across my inner stage like a comforting old friend. To not admit my innards and inner workings always swirl with giant storms and horse latitudes and despair and weird smirkings and that I’m just trying to make it through to the next hour at times. I have been swirling along in a near frenzy of up-ness for a couple months now. And now that’s cross-fading into that down-ness that infects me. Hello, depression, my old friend, have you come to fuck with me again…and bore what few friends I have left. Hurray! Oh those poor not so patient sorts who have to endure my sniveling, I salute you, dear friends still left. 

So, I’ll write. And watch, from somewhat afar, as kids burning with revolution and change, take on adults who’ve dropped the bullet down the rabbit hole. The kids, as they say, are all right.

And isn’t that a bit of hope offered in America’s twisted landscape at this moment? I think it is.

So, I will try to finish Act One today. And maybe submit to a few places, because it’s what I should do. You never know. They might like it. You never know. You never know. You never know. Come on, cottonwood, end it. I’m starting to think you’re just a big tease.

What Next?

 

odyssey
from the Odyssey

I am languishing a bit, waiting for ‘inspiration’ to tell me to…!

I, meanwhile, work on crap and shit, because I have to claim I’m ‘working on something’ or I lose my cool Writer Street Cred with the other growling, snarling Writers that lurk near my part of the forest.

I have a collection of writings I’d never show anyone. And maybe one day publish under a name not mine and make tons of cash because it’s easily digestible fluff and not angsty, vague, endless examinations of why my parents didn’t really love me. [Are we writers all not, pathetically, Eugene O’Neill on his worst and best days?]

Roslyn School District.jpg
from the Roslyn School District

And then I remember someone thought of Sharknado and pitched it and people loved that.

And then howl with despair, inside my head, of course, at the state of my own serious ‘stuff’ and not write anything for the rest of the day. Or feel guilty I’d rather knock out some fluff-n-fold, which won’t advance my career in the least unless I show it to someone who has the power to publish it…if not self-publish it but then I’d have to go back through it all, tidy it up, fill in blanks I left because I wanted to get to the ‘good parts’ and…oh the work load alone. It’s both exciting and terribly not exciting at all.

So!!

I have some options for my next Serious Stuff Project.

I can think of something brand new, based on a short story or something I started. Or something yet in my head.

There’s Aftermath, my zombie short story that grew into an actual novella and now waits for me to finish it or call it a day. I left Hannah staring down into a giant crater outside of Boise, Idaho, with wild zombies closing in. I know. Zombie. I know but…well. And like every other god damn zombie blah ever, it’s NOT ABOUT ZOMBIES. It’s a METAPHOR FOR TENTACLE PORN AND ACID-WASHED JEANS and possibly something about politics and feminism and greyhound racing. Zombies, pfft! It’s never about zombies, is it. 

There’s the Tales of Beastface Bay, my Wind in the Willows meets Modern Societal Wrongs meets the Marx Brothers rompings. No. I can already feel myself just going nope nope not yet in my head.

I can work on my third book in the trilogy of my House on Clark Boulevard fun. I need to read through the first two. Alice in Oregonlandia might need a reworking…ooooh. Maybe.

Work on my Honest Women full length play. Mm.

Curl up on the floor, in utter despair, at what has happened in a very short time, to America. Drink directly from vodka bottle. Eat a taco of leftover stuff from night before. Continue with this list.

Give up writing altogether and slit wrists. Mm. Maybe.

Take up writing fanfic. Either Watership Down or something in the Barbara Kingsolver area. I could really work the hell out of a Bean Trees/Twilight mashup. And all my characters could be badgers who act like British rabbits. Which would lend nicely to my Beastface Bay squrivvels and scribblings. [Made up word, ten points!]

Actually try to make heads and tales of my fluffy, can’t-show-to-no-one, pennings. Arrange them, put them in order, rewrite the truly awful ones. Fanfic…ahem, um, yes. Sparkly vampire badgers who spout Moliere…oh yes, spank me with a gray tie. [If you get that, we can now be friends.]

Start a new blog, under another name, full of naughty stuff. To see how popular that would be as opposed to my dull, proper plodding blog here. Anne Rice and A. N. Roquelaure, for instance. Maybe I’ve already done that! Ooooooh! [I haven’t, for the record.]

Take up knitting or adult coloring because it’s clear my writing is full blown crap on burned, moldy toast that no one outside of my patient, tolerant friends, would go near.

Take an online course in how to have self-esteem and sell your crap to friends and strangers alike for cash to pay things like bills.

Um…yeah. This has been fun. I should go watch the twirly skaters or stare at the sky, waiting for the snow. It still has not snowed here. I’m flabbergasted and hurt.

What about an earthquake full of bears? Bearquako. And then the sequels! Bearquako, Fists of Bees. Samantha Saves the World, Bearquako III. The Son of Bearquako! And of course, Bearquako, the End? And that has to be a question, because sequels…they sell. The marketing does itself. 

Obviously, I have about two maybe good-ish ideas on here for NEXT ACTUAL PROJECT and some silly-Susan kinda wafflings. Wish me luck.

download smithsonian.jpg
from the Smithsonian, article on Ghost Bears.