I'm about to head out for a quick three-mile run. I have written 11,000 words of a new book, which I began Wednesday. I wrote that day, Thursday, Friday, and then again today. Over the weekend, I exercised, I regathered, I composed in my head, and I wrote and sent out many letters--some to people who hate me and wish me dead, and NPR, among others. I turned in my Guggenheim application on Thursday, and I flat out said that no one deserves this more than I, which is true. On Saturday I walked three miles. Yesterday marked 1554 days, or 222 weeks, without a drink. I walked eleven miles and ran the Boston College stairs ten times. As I ran the stairs, a man I would say was about eighty-years-old walked them. Very slowly. It was cool out, and he clearly was quite cold, and wearing winter gloves. But he was out there doing it. Just the two of us. I realize that I take for granted what it means, for me, to write in my head as I walk. It's quite labor-intensive.
For the sake of this record, I will explain what writing in my head on the first ten miles of my walk entailed yesterday. I worked on a full twenty-five short stories. Some are in progress, some I created as I went. I did the design of a portion of a YA novel I will be writing, and also worked through part of a Beatles-related shot story that I can build up into a novel themed around the Beatles--that is, not the band itself. I came up with op-ideas, I wrote letters in my head to people who will likely not respond when I type up and send the letters. I came up with new pitches. How do I keep all of this straight? It is very easy for me in my mind. I can be working on six different works of fiction at once, in the same thought-stream, or whatever the number is. I wrote Kimball about what we'd discuss tomorrow on the show--three ghost stories this time.
I saw the first season and a half of Norsemen. It's mildly amusing. Very one-note. It's not exactly compelling, is it? There's just not much there. Cute idea. And that's as far as it goes. Or takes you.
I began reading William Sloane's To Walk the Night--yet again--at Starbucks last night, staying until just until they closed. I saw some of the Patriots game--very little--and fell asleep. The thought-stream thing is a little misleading. The image suggests something blurrier, a rush. Rather, it's like I'm high above everything, can see all at once, move what where I wish it to go, install something new, or induce something else to grow up through this ground.
Back. Ran three miles, wrote close to another 1000 words.
This is a part of the NPR letter--the pitch pertaining to Meatheads Say the Realest Things: A Satirical (Short) Novel of the Last Bro:
...It's about the last meathead/bro in a culture that has absolutely passed him by. Because, of course, how could it not? And there's some sport and some fun in laughing at this fellow, who is like this anachronism in some ways, the dinosaur who doesn't know his kind is all but extinct. I was tired of seeing these books that were billed as funny six times on the back cover, as if you needed to be told those six times because you'd never laugh on account of the contents of the book itself. That kind of literary humor that is labeled as funny that hardly ever is.
But something really cool and surprising happens with this book, and I think it's beautiful and important. What has occurred again and again with the people in my life who have read it, people from all walks of life, is that first they cried from laughing. And then they started crying because they were moved by something no one ever could have expected. The book's secret weapon, really. Its emotional wallop. Because as fragmented as our society is, as disconnected as we are from person to person, for all of the issues we contend with now like depression, self-medication, and our penchant for saying someone else is not like us, we have far, far more in common than we usually think. Even the feminist and the bro. And this book brings that out as it progresses.
So a lot can be done with this book. If you don't like this kind of person, it's a Swiftian satire. And I suppose that meatheads themselves could use it as a handbook, ironically. Smart seventeen-year-olds will drink it down for the wit. It's endlessly quotable. It's short--you can read it in less than three hours--and I did that on purpose. I wanted to make it almost like a record, a movie, something you could experience again and again. "Play" it, if you will. It's also a hardcore discussion starter in this singular age of ours. A book to debate, to question perspectives, to inform perspective. I've written so much in my life, I've published 2500 things, and I've never been more proud of anything. It's legit good. I think you'd like it.
I got a pumpkin and some sunflowers over the weekend, too. I await you, Great Pumpkin. Come on, dude, reward me for all of this sincerity.
This is fatigued, end-of-the-weekend C-Dawg, from the infamous Starbucks series. It's not a very good photo. Just a little documentation.
Tomorrow is a day to make a big push.