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Everybody knows what's going down

Friday 1/4/19

Good work: First short story of the year is officially composed. It's called "Mission Brick Candy." I was at the Starbucks, where I intended to do some reading for work, when I opted to read through what was about half a story (which was about 2400 words), which I began in the final days of 2018, just to sketch out some quick notes on where I wish to go with it when I returned shortly to it, when the characters informed me that only part of this was their story. The characters always tell me the story. (Even if the characters are not people. Character and what a character is--or can be--is far more complex than most people have it.) The story always informs me of what it is. The story I would write actually began on what was page four, dropped some lines, ran to page five, then resumed with something on page one--in two parts--so now a four-part structure was emerging, with what was going to be at least a fifth, but conceivably more (but I knew it would be within one single whole, with no section breaks) depending upon what I'd learn from the characters and the story.


I honestly don't know at a point like that. But it's done. It's just a matter of sitting down and we do it, because, in a sense, it's already been done--by the characters, by the story. My sculpture is in the marble. And now its exact shape, all of the contours, are becoming more and more clear. So I came home, and sure enough, what then resulted was more than what I knew when at the cafe. The process of revelation plays out. I am both writer and third-party at that point. I experience the work, after, as both, but heavily in the third-party camp, because I'm a reader now. While still always being writer. I guess it's a bit complicated. But you're limited as a writer if you are not a reader after. By that I don't simply that you're reading, because you're reading back. You actually have to have a separate identity. Now you need to be a different human. Ended up being 1100 words. So, a story on its way to likely around 5000 words instead became a story about 1/5th of that. The actual external time to do all of this was, I don't know, an hour and a half, two hours, going back to the work begun in December. But the internal time to do it--that was like hundreds of hours. Internal time is very different from external time, the more so I would say as you develop. How do some artists fit in what they fit in, more than it would seem they could? Because they run on their internal time. Not your seconds, minutes, hours of the external clock. The story has already gone off to the Playboy editor who has ignored me for over a year and a half. I hate when my hand is forced. But eventually, I have to do something. I'm not just going to sit here and rot.


I'm not saying this story is better than what I wrote seven years ago, but I couldn't have written it seven years ago. Probably not three years ago either. You write a work sometimes and then you read it as a reader like in the manner I describe above, and it teaches you much, it makes you wiser, even if you're the one who created it. That was my experience.


NFL playoff predictions for this weekend, which are probably way off: I like the home teams on Saturday, the road teams on Sunday. Why do I have an awful feeling that Craig Kimbrel is going to be back on the Red Sox? Please don't do this. Saw the list of guys up for induction into the football Hall of Fame. Richard Seymour is on there. I think he's a Hall of Famer, but eventually. Not this year. His arrival was crucial to allowing them to do what they wanted to do, as a unit, defensively. Dynasty does not start without him. Ty Law is another candidate. He should already be in. People like to ask the question of who is the greatest Patriot after Brady. I think Gronkowski is the best TE in league history. But Ty Law is the Patriots' second greatest player. He was even more of a game-changer. Dominant. Badass. Super athletic. And he was mean. He was faster than you, and he'd beat the snot out of you. That's if we're talking post-2000 Patriots. All-time, I'd say John Hannah was number two. Andre Tippett is a good sleeper pick.


I will get a latte now and read some more Hugh Walpole.


***


Going to be writing about Yellow Submarine, the album, for The Daily Beast. I can do some interesting things here. I need to get the proper proposal for Same Band You've Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles to Da Capo. An idea for an additional chapter occurred to me a little while ago and I've been developing it. All of the piffle White Album pieces I have been seeing put me on this particular track. I think everyone completely misses the point of the White Album. I have read nothing about it that I find accurate.


About twenty-five NHL players are on pace for 40 or more goals. I counted them up when I was getting Mexican takeout a little while ago. I estimate that ten players will finish with 40 or more. And only one will have 50 or more. That's Ovechkin. I think Pastrnak has a good-ish chance. And while he's not on pace now, I can see McDavid surging to be a 50 goal man, if not this year, soon.


A lot of times in fiction, authors like to say that their characters are in such a hurry or state of excitement that they are going down stairs two at a time. You should not do this. Because I bet you that you can't go more than six steps two at a time before you wreck. Going down. You can't do it. I'd say try it, but you'll break your neck. I know stairs. You can't go down them two at a time. But I see this all the time. You should also not qualify the word "unique." Nor should you refer to a human having instincts. They do not have instincts. They have free will. And nothing should be termed "indescribable." Nothing is. An inability to describe it is on you. It's not a built-in quality of the whatever in question.


***


"No one was awake in the city, no one moved in it. No people visible on streets, no moving cars. Only dim haze like the skeletal-light nimbus of a burnt-out glow stick. Haze sensed before it is seen. His wife sleeping. Extra tired after trying to show him that she loved him by having sex with him in what she thought was a vigorous way. In other words, she rode. He made bad jokes like that, but only to himself."


Good. Starting to move downhill a bit. Keep it going. They're all special now. It's just a matter of which one is next, and when everyone sees it. Bigots gonna big, but ultimately bigots are very small.


By the way: The Publishing Carbuncle of the Week feature is likely to either occur at five o'clock on Fridays--send them into their weekend the right way--or on Sunday evenings, to help start the week.


Sometimes I wonder if you're really living, etc.