Putting the finishing touches on Brackets. I feel like I've let Dzanc down in a major way, which is true. I have. I've taken so long. I know that there will be no coverage of this book, given the reality of this historically unique situation I am in, so that has been in the back of my mind. Advance copies are beside the point right now with the embargo, the blackballing. But I don't want someone thinking I'm unreliable. I'm not. I'm anything but. This has been a time of death though, really. Barely managing not to give in and die. To actually be dead. To not be dead I've had to do certain things. I've had to create. What someone gets right now by riding with me is what that will mean in the future. "When this guy was going through what he went through, what we all know about now, we knew, we stood by him, we were the first publisher of this classic that everyone talks about now." It's a legacy thing. A linked-together-in-history thing. I don't have a ceiling. Once I get out of this situation. My concern with Dzanc, too, is that given where things are, I just want to do Longer on the Inside and the Joy Division book with them. Get these signed up there. Have them on the books to be done and come out. But I know I've also been a huge pain in the ass in taking so long with Brackets. The Joy Division book is a literary exercise. That is, it's not a straight up music book. You can't really classify my work in any basic category, no matter what that work is, but the Beatles book, for instance, isn't like the Joy Division book. The latter has more of a personal, memoiristic, philosophical, lived in side to it to go along with the music. And Longer on the Inside I just believe in as much as I could believe in anything in this life, in terms of what it is. It's not "another story collection." It's the invention of a whole new kind of writing.
I hate that Cheer Pack, with all of those great stories from Harper's, Glimmer Train, the VQR, etc., is still out there.
I started an op-ed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I spoke to Bloomsbury about Sam Cooke. Final page proofs are coming in the next few days.
Today I wrote one of the best works of my life. I have written nothing better. I don't believe it's possible to do so. It was before the dawn and I said to myself, "create something, feel like you've done something, get moving, fight." Then, from nothing--I simply make a decision--I came up with this story. 1000 words long. It's called "Buck a Drive." As strong as "Nimbus," "Fitty," "Transitionings," "Jute," "Dead Thomas," any of them. One could read this story 500 times, and it's different each time, there's more each time, and that's after there was already more than there is in anything else right from the first read. I could write a book about this work. I could tie it in to much. That would be a worthwhile exercise later--for an author to write an entire book--so a new work of art--about a 1000 word story he wrote. I could take that book so far and in so many different directions.
I came up with the idea today for a historical novel, set in the 1800s. It will be a very easy novel to write.
Walked three miles.
The Red Sox are playing crisp baseball. A good baseball team plays with a rhythm. I wrote an op-ed about this, in part, last week. Yesterday I saw a bit of the beginning of their game against the Twins. The Twins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, and the Sox came up, and immediately started working the pitcher. They didn't score that inning--Vazquez tapped into a 5-3 double play--but they achieved something that inning. They still had command of the game, were dictating the game, I thought, though they were trailing. That's the sign of a good team. They're doing things that won't show in a box score, that add up. The other night they had a big lead, then the Orioles scored a bunch of runs, and rather than blow that lead or hang on to it, the Sox responded by building it back up and putting the Orioles away. They have that crisp efficiency right now. They look sharp. I wasn't expecting this from them. It's the best ball I've seen them play since 2018.
Was pleased to see that the Bruins left their first line intact. The call was for Pastrnak to go down to the second line, but I don't like breaking up the best line in hockey if you don't have to. Plus, when the offense is stalling, you can move those guys around for a different look. I feel like Pastrnak has actually underachieved this season, which I didn't expect. Bergeron has slipped some, too. Marchand is the constant. The best player on that team. He's been that for a number of years. He'll be in the Hall of Fame later. A fantastic player. I'm not sure people understand how good he is.
I can tell the Bruins believe in this goalie Swayman a lot. I'm not exactly sure why yet. They're treating him like the eventual ten-year starter.
I'm reading Grant's memoirs and Jack Schaefer's Shane. He knows what he's doing.