Jul 20, 2009

So I have been busy writing and writing and trying to finish this mermaid book up here in the Hudson River Valley, in this old farmhouse with Massie and Marcie. I either go to the local coffee shop to write, sometimes all day, or hang out at the house and write in my room or at this old red metal desk in the basement. And Massie and Marcie both work here and work in the big organic garden and run a CSA and they knit and quilt and sew and cook and bake and do other magical things. I came back the other night and Massie was quilting and Marcie was knitting and they were both in front of the television and Mumu the dog was spread out on the floor and they all looked up at me and I said well hello, old ladies, and it was then decided that I need to take up TATTING which sounds good as it involves something mysterious called a BOBBIN. And then there's a big porch out front that you can sit on and watch swaying trees and rain from, and we all sort of collect there a few times a day. And I like this town, Cornwall-on-Hudson, a lot, and am especially fond of the witch store where I've been taking classes now and then, and this beauty spa where they have hot stone massages for 50 dolla and manicure/pedicures for 35. Plus you can get a chair massage whilst waiting for your nails to dry. I mean really. Porches and massages and witches! I am not quite sure what else a girl needs, at least when in book-finishin mode. And the other night I went to see the most gorgeous bellydancing and drumming performance at a local yoga place/dance studio, and it was sort of sponsored by the witch store I think, and we sat on pillows on a wide-planked wooden foor in a room with slanted ceilings, and outside it was stormy, and inside it was all fairy lights and draped fabrics and lit tea candles scattered across the floor. The three dancers were all in white sparkles and the main one, Elizabeth, pale with long red hair, did a whole dance with a simitar balanced on her head across a Persian carpet while the drummer boy cast a spell on everyone. A few days later at the witch store I found out that the two are madly in love and I said well I would think so. I mean, what a romantical pairing.

And then Lisa came to visit this weekend and so both mornings we went out to the very, very beautiful Blooming Hill Farm where on weekend mornings you can get brunch and sit outside on wooden picnic tables next to a creek. I took a little photo with my phone of the store inside which you must admit is some damn charming:

And then here is Massie looking devious and Lisa about to purchase blueberries and sugar plums.

The food was delicious--omelets with fresh herbs and cheese, big mixed green salads--but I was most enamored by the lovely jars of iced mint tea with mint leaves sticking out of them, not to mention the fresh squeezed lemonade with lemon slices floating in it.

We also saw Harry Potter and I almost died of boredom, and LIsa and I went and got manicures and massages. We'd made massage appointments together and when they actually led us into the same room we realized they were giving us a COUPLES MASSAGE and we said well ok, I suppose it is a bonding experience.

Oh and Saturday night I drove mahself up to Annandale-on-Hudson to Bard College where the Labyrinth Theater is having its summer workshop intensive and where my brilliant friend David Bar Katz's new play was being workshopped, and it's a closed thing but as I was nearby and had read bits of the draft, etc., he decided I could just come anyway, and it was really very cool... I mean lots of things were cool about it (and the play, The Atmosphere of Memory, might be one of the best things I've seen of his -- so hilarious and smart!!), but after spending weeks and weeks working so intensively on this novel, which could not be a more solitary process, it was so cool to see this new piece of David's come to life right there in front of me with actors and directors and this whole audience of company members--maybe 100 were there?--all so deeply invested in each other's work, watching. And clapping and hooting and just generally being a theater company. And David had written several characters specifically for specific actors, and to see those actors bringing characters so tailor made for them to life was pretty magical, especially seeing the chemistry between David Deblinger and Michael Stuhlberg, both great but very different style theater actors Id seen act in David's stuff before, and then seeing the very astonishing Ellen Burstyn read the main female role. I should also mention I was in a room filled with actors I recognized from my favorite show LAW AND ORDER, and I'm sure many other wondrous things but what can I say I love me some Law and Order (actually David's last play reading had Eric Bogosian in it and I totally appalled David by being impressed by his LAW AND ORDER CI cred rather than all the other great stuff he'd done), which was cool. Oh and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, of course, and I have to say that in person, in that warm, rich, creative environment, that man was much more glowy and handsome than I ever done seen him on film. Another thing I have to say is that by now, having read several of David's plays in draft form before seeing them performed in workshop/reading and then production type scenarios, it is much impressed on me how lines that seem to work on paper or seem to not work on paper... how much of that is in the actor's hands. A few times I've been critical of lines that David then told me would work on stage, mainly because of David Deblinger, and then lo and behold they totally would.

The end.