Today started with a stressful morning. Awoke to learn that the heat had gone off and is not working. And to see there were new issues with trolls. (I always know who it is, too; and then I have to take it to here; maybe not that very day, but believe me, there is a To Do list, and everything on it gets taken care of. It's just not going to be worth it for you.) I also screwed up the Guggenheim application, or at least didn't do what would have been better. Someone there let me know. Part of the application is that you have a Plan for what you're going to do with the grant, if they give it to you. The project you'll be working on. I said I'd do a Beatles book, a story collection, a novel, which would be a de-acceleration for me, actually, and sounded nice. Compared to what my days are now? Doing a mere three books in a year? That's practically a holiday. But they want you to pick just one thing. I'm so used to doing so much at once, it's hard for me to even conceive of the luxury of just doing one thing, or mostly one thing. I redid that part of the application--picked one thing and made that whole mini-essay longer, and very focused/detailed--and sent it back to them. I appreciated that they let me know. They didn't have to. Then I was late tending to a Wall Street Journal piece on Sam Cooke's My Kind of Blues album. I had to take 100 words out of it, to get it down to their preferred length, so I did that. The Scrooge book is distributed via Oxford University Press in the States, and I saw that they had spelled Alastair Sim's name wrong. Doesn't look good obviously when the name of the main actor isn't correct. Trying to get that fixed.
I feel like I'm being annoying asking my JazzTimes editor where the Sun Ra piece is again, but it was supposed to be for Thanksgiving, and it's still not up. There are always waters to wade into. You never know how to go. You don't want to be a dick, but if you say nothing, you tend to get nowhere or things can fall apart and you can be blamed. I wrote the piece so that the language--the overt reference to Thanksgiving--could be tweaked if need be or something happened. That is, "season of gratitude," etc. is in there and variations on that that work just as well, so that the piece isn't "late" just so long is it runs during the holiday season. Had a Christmas op-ed turned down. Sent a different Christmas op-ed to someone else, and a New Year's Eve op-ed to the person who didn't want the first Christmas op-ed. Then they turned down the New Year's op-ed. Re-tooled a Roger Maris op-ed--he could make the Hall of Fame this weekend. Sent it to someone else. Ignored. They've ignored the last five, I think. One of the better people I deal with, though, so you just leave it alone, leave it out there. Won't always be like this. But for now, I'm playing the hand I've been dealt, and that involves knowing who is better than most of these people, even if most of the time it's pretty, well, awful. But not because they're a terrible person who hate you. It's different.
You see these people in publishing at a Penguin Random House where they'll get a great book from me in, say, spring 2020. They hate me so much they won't even open the email. But they keep it. Experienced this today. They're not interested in writing or what a work might be. No matter how great it might be. If it could change the world, cure cancer, explain the meaning of life, you pick whatever you want. They couldn't care less. Then, they'll hear something about the blog. From the whisper network/gossip. "Did you see what Fleming said? Oh that naughty Fleming, did you see what he did?" All of the gossip that goes around about me. Then they will go to the email. That's what interests them. A year and a half later. And that's the only reason they searched on my name to find it back in their inbox--stupid ass, childish high school shit. That's what matters more to most of these people. That's what you're dealing with, man. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad people. Enjoy it while it lasts--if one can even enjoy such a thing.
Contacted the plumber. Hopefully things get resolved tomorrow, but sounds unlikely. This wasn't a great week for me in terms of fighting and creating, which is what I can control right now. I'll try to do better next week.