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Thursday 11/9/23

The best relationships change, but don't diminish. People often fear this change, or have predetermined that it's tantamount to a lessening. And this is every kind of relationship. They have to change, because one's life changes, and if one is truly living, one is growing, and they are changing. Change is an opportunity for richness to further ripen. It need not be a leave-taking or a scaling back.

Heed is always a good thing to take, even if you're venturesome, which is a good way to be. Heed is a kind of emotional and mental spatial awareness. We can't predict all that may happen when we make a choice to do something, but we certainly can make ourselves aware of assorted possibilities. The wise, venturesome person has done so before they act. They have that cognizance, at least in as far as they can take that cognizance on their end.

Description of a new story in a text. It's just a little something:

"The story is about hell on earth. Hell has ran out of room or expanded as part of its development. No one knows. You have to go through these darkened forests all the time. They're everywhere. On your way to school, to work. In the kitchen. In the corner of your room. Your bed. These two girls used to be sisters and they're not anymore. They're friends now. Later they'll be acquaintances. Someday they won't really care if the other has died. All is diminution and devolution. And they come to the edge of one of these darkened woods. Together. For the first time. All the other times they're alone. And they both know the devil is in the woods. Just lying there on the ground. He might be asleep, he might be injured. And one friend goes in, so the other follows. They get to the devil, and he's on the ground, on his side, back to them. There's a sharp rock at his heel, and one of the girls wants to kill him."

That was 2000 words. I'll get back to it momentarily.

Have been working much on "Big Bob and Little Bob" and "Finder of Views," the first two works in Big Asks: Six Novelettes About Acceptance. They are each 9500 words long. The latter is perhaps the hardest thing I've ever written to read. Not because of the writing--but the content of the story. It's very beautiful, but the amount of pain the work contains is unlike anything I've ever seen. I don't see how you could possibly compare it to anything. Hopefully the former, at least, is done in the next few days.

Got a hot chocolate on Saturday after working on "Bob" and sat in a field and thought. I felt like I deserved the hot chocolate, and I like to get the annual Christmas cup for the first time each year at Starbucks, despite this thing I am in now that is worse than hell. I remind myself to keep going, keep fighting, to have faith that I will get where I am going, in all kinds of ways, and some of them are small, like this way.

The jazz essay on Paul Whiteman is finished. It's very good. I will include it in one of the jazz books.

I had long suspected that the recording released as Nick Drake's The Peel Session was in fact from two different sessions, and can now confirm. That means I need to update the piece I published on the recordings.

I prepared forty pages of Double Tracked: Rock and Roll in Words and Words in Rock and Roll and took that to a couple of publishers.

The cider you want to get will have sediment on the bottom. Just shake it.

The best science fiction--in both literature and film--ages so well. It's not about the predicted technology at all. It's about the ideas. When one understands people, and one understands one's time, and history, that person can see where people--and society and culture--are going. No one who writes so-called literary fiction has a clue about people or any of these things. Science fiction has been like the ghost story--an area of writing that intelligent people who were excellent writers almost felt this need to apologize for liking so much. For instance, M.R. James with ghost stories and William Sloane with science fiction.

Downloaded a lot of Charlie Christian. He's someone I intend to listen to often in Rockport. I just see myself doing that. Saturday nights, with Charlie Christian playing.

Listened to the Beyond Midnight radio adaptation of A.M. Burrage's "Smee." Quite faithful and effective. Beyond Midnight was a South African radio program that ran from 1968-70. The programmers knew their ghost stories. Also listened to a Beyond Midnight adaptation of F. Marion Crawford's "The Upper Berth," which was retitled "All at Sea."

Note to my nephew:

Charles! How are you, buddy? A few words on that book I sent you for your birthday, if that's cool!

So: I was your age when I discovered The Three Investigators mystery series, and let me tell you, I loved it so much. I was hooked!

It felt like I was right there on these fantastic, exciting, scary adventures with Jupiter Jones, who's smart but not super athletic (he's my favorite), Pete Crenshaw, who is good at sports like you are, and Bob Crenshaw, who likes reading and research. I still read those books now, and, if anything, I love them even more.

When I was a kid, I'd go to bed at night and read one of them, and it got to be so late. Then I'd be like, "Okay, one more chapter and then you have to go to bed." In the summer, I'd keep saying that over and over, and before I knew it, it was two in the morning and I was still reading!

Maybe you'll like these books yourself. There are a lot of them, if you do. You might not. Which is also cool! But you might get hooked like I got hooked. And we can talk about them, too, if you'd like. You know how to reach me!

Hope all else is good, buddy. Love you. Colin

Been listening to a lot of late to a Furtwangler record of Richard Strauss compositions from 1950 that features Don Juan and the live premiere of Four Last Songs, which Strauss wrote in 1948 at the age of eighty-four, and sung by soprano Kirsten Flagstad. These have something to do with a Nick Drake project I'm working on. (Also: Furtwangler looks a bit like Herk Harvey, who directed 1962's Carnival of Souls.)


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