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Every step counts for something

Tuesday 7/11/23

Will write a piece about the Beatles' July 16, 1963 BBC session. Must get going on it.

I'm not finishing things--individual works, and books--fast enough. I need to go slower faster, if that makes sense. What that means is time and diligence.

I've been working more on "Attic Cantata." It's 8000 words now and it's unlikely to get any longer. Soon it will be done, as will "Big Bob and Little Bob," which are both for The Solution to the World's Problems: Surprising Tales of Relentless Joy. This book is so radical. No one has done a book like this. No one has approached fiction this way. Between those two stories, "Best Present Ever," and the preface, that's 26,000 words, and there are likely to be thirty other stories (with only a few more to go now). Many of them are short, word count-wise, but there are a lot of parts to this whole. I also need to finish "Finder of Views," which is over 9000 words, too, and "A Listener's Story," which is over 7000, though those are for different books. These long stories were being done simultaneously with Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives.

Watched the 1957 British film, Hell Drivers, directed by the blacklisted American director, Cy Endfield. I think about the blacklisted directors and screenwriters from that time period a lot. They either changed their names if they were writers and had buddies give them work under that pseudonym, or they went to another country, like Endfield did.

There was no one who kept their name, stayed, took on the blacklisting, and were able to work again. And this wasn't someone alone. This was someone who was part of a group of people in the same situation.

I had actually never seen this film before, and I was much impressed. Very well done. Tight, efficient, believable, dramatic, well-shaped. I believed in it as I watched it.

Downloaded a number of Radiohead bootlegs and Jesus and Mary Chain gigs from 1984 and 1985, and also Jimi Hendrix's complete studio output from 1966-67, which I thought I had, but it was only 1967. So this is everything he recorded in the studio during those years, not everything that was released, like the full-version of Dylan's The Cutting Edge Bootleg Series entry and which I will be writing a book about.

Listened to quite a few episodes of Escape, among them "The Man Who Loved Dickens"--which Stephen King ripped off for Misery--and "I Saw Myself Running" with Georgia Ellis (of Gunsmoke fame) which is one of the scariest things ever broadcast on the radio and belongs in that category with "The Hitch-Hiker" and "The House in Cypress Canyon" from Suspense and "The Thing on the Fourble Board" from Quiet, Please.

Escape is a better show than Suspense. The latter had its moments, but Escape had consistency. No surprise, given that you often had John Meston from Gunsmoke, and also the Gunsmoke actors with regularity. For single scariest radio program, I think I'd go with "The Hitch-Hiker" with Orson Welles. Suspense did a version of "I Saw Myself Running" a couple years after Escape, but the Georgia Ellis production is the way to go.

On Saturday I ran 5000 stairs at City Hall, then yesterday I did the same and followed that up with three circuits in the Monument. First time I've done both sets of stairs in the same day, which I should do more of. Yesterday it was raining and I did not have the drive and compulsion I should have had and so no stairs were ran. Did better today, though nothing amazing--ran 5000 stairs at City Hall. Choppy. But they got done.

Went to Haymarket for cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemons.

A woman I know lost her mother recently and her father is in the hospital having multiple surgeries. I feel very bad for him and for her. She had asked me for some movie recommendations that they might watch together, and among others I suggested Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale, which truly does the soul good. It's a film that helps you. Nick Drake told his mother that his main ambition was to help people with his music. To make their lives better. I think that's exactly what A Canterbury Tale does as a movie. It helps you.

And this was a little note I sent along, too, which I include here because I think it's something that can be extrapolated into a lot of things in life. I have learned a lot from going up and down stairs. I must write that book. They've meant so much to life and my quest and who I am. That was not anything I anticipated when I began. Stairs are like characters, in a way. They tell me.

These things can feel overwhelming. Man just lost his wife of many years and now is going through his own physical trials. You lost your mom suddenly. Remember, each step is a part of something bigger. Each step counts for something. If I go out to run 10,000 stairs at City Hall, that's 100 times up and down. But each time I do a rotation, I think, "That's a whole percent." Which is kind of a lot, in a way. So it doesn't feel overwhelming. It's different, of course, but the idea is similar. Each step counts equally. Then they are all done eventually.


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