* I'm afraid I didn't do very well fitness-wise today. Only walked three miles. Was cold, but not that cold. I'll have to knuckle down through the winter and make those walks out to Boston College. The Monument was a much better option, but I don't expect that to be open again until probably 2022. I become attached to my stairs. Those in the Monument, and now the ones at BC. They are something like friends. I don't have actual friends. You look at the world differently then. Or perhaps I would regardless. I stand at the bottom of my stairs and I think how I never want to come to them, in their unchangedness, as I change, and not be able to partake of them as I do now. There will be nothing different about them. But our relationship will have changed. I don't want that. Which is why I intend to always stay at it with the stairs, until I am no more.
* I'm figuring out the name for the book that will contain "Show Me Your Knees," "Dead Thomas," "Fitty," "Girls of the Nimbus," "Rehearsal Visit," "The Space of the Moment," "Post-Fletcher," "The Roll of Words, "Second Boy," "Crossing Deer," "August Autumn," "Net Drive," "Green Glass Door," "Eede Upstairs," etc. The plan presently is to have the book start with "Fitty," end with "Girls of the Nimbus." That may change. These are longer stories, or, when they are not long in and of themselves, word count-wise, they are beyond the length of the works in Longer on the Inside, which were written with that book in mind. Though, to be accurate, I always write everything now with a book in mind.
* That's a murderers' row times a murderers' row times a murders' row.
* Then again, so was Cheer Pack: Stories.
* The other day on Twitter, I posted a video of what I think is the best cover of the last twenty-five years. The content is spread around. It was not "Ms. Jackson" by the Vines, but that is also awfully good.
* I watched Rudolph the other night. I think it airs again. I got more out of it this year. Which is odd, because a few years ago I saw it on the big screen at the Brattle, where Cambridge hipsters hooted about non-21st century language. That forced hooting. I love Rankin-Bass, have written about Rankin-Bass specials a bunch, and this is the only one that's actually great. The others are normally cheesy. But fun. And they can be super weird almost for the sake of being weird. Druggy. But it's clearly this one special where they tried to get everything right and labored great care. There's that small moment early on when Sam Snowman says, "Ah, youth," that is touching, sweet, bittersweet, real, caring, wise. The lived in view. Meatheads has a very lived in view, as does most of my work, even if the characters might not have a clue themselves. They can have no lived in view at all. You'll notice small touches throughout Rudolph. For instance, when there is primary action or focus, other things are still happening within the frame. Characters are still interacting. Exchanging looks. You won't see that in any other Rankin-Bass special. It repays rewarding. It's rather startling how different it is than all of the other specials, almost as if someone else made it, but with an overlapping aesthetic, given the "Animagic" process.
* I let the day get away from me. Suffice to say, I will have to work harder than ever over the next three weeks, with three major projects requiring completion, the faster the better with each. And that's a sliver of what must be dealt with. I sent out a fairly lengthy pitch today for a piece on masculinity, for funds. I'm seeing all of these internet debates about what a man is, a real push in this sort of back-and-forth. I'm also noticing it on dating sites, women saying they want a real man. You can tell when things are shifting, when you read constantly, are always looking at how people express themselves, process probably 500,000 written words a day. I'm never not immersed in language. Of course I'd much rather never look at a dating site again. I've been entirely romantically alone for five years. More than five years. Alone in every way. But I think masculinity is possessing traits also in line with what we think of as femininity. Having no issue with vulnerability, frankness, openness, not requiring machinations or lies or poses; openly being who one is. Recently I almost came to blows with someone on the stairs at Boston College. They made the mistake of saying something behind my back--cursing at me--and not expecting that I would stop, turn around, begin walking towards them, and say, "What was that you said? Why don't you say that again?" Was a BC professor, who actually fled he was so scared. I'd never seen that before. As he fled, he peeked back over his shoulder a couple times to see if I was in pursuit. I would think he thought I was manly. As someone would with the hockey stuff and the football knowledge and all of that. But I will read Keats and weep, and there is my love of the ballet, the fresh flowers outside to try and do something to allow a trace of light into this hell. I'm okay with those things. I am completely secure in who I am. I think all of the above is what constitutes masculinity. Other people have these weird, prescriptive rules that speaks to their own insecurities. That you can only cry while watching twaddle like Rudy, for instance. Or the birth of your first son. This is a pose. It's how a weak person thinks. A truly strong person has no need to pretend. They simply are. It'd be a nice piece. I could bring in stuff from my own life. There's also the reality that things are so bad right now, why pretend that they are otherwise? Maybe you could--though I wouldn't--if there was a leak in the ship, but my ship has been blasted to atoms. I'm on a board of wood in a squall out in the ocean, and the board is riddled with holes. I also try to believe that later I'll be in a different situation every way. And someone who might look at this life right now and feel awful for me, or thank God they are not me, will look later and think what that person has and what their life is about, and rich in, abundant in, is beyond the wildest dreams of others. And it will even out. Or do better than even out. That's what I have to try and think.
* I could do without Facebook sending me a note that all of eleven people have visited my Facebook author page over the course of a month. It's so bad and bleak right now, that I'd rather not know the numbers. The knowledge does no good. I feel at this point that if I created peace and happiness in the world for everyone, I'd still have 100 people following me on Twitter and twenty people buying books and eleven people at that Facebook author page. I do feel like there's nothing I can do. And I will die like this. But I have to try and press on, change it. Try to have faith that this can't be it. Not with what I am, my ability, what I have already done, the work I have created, the work I create. It's like having faith when you don't have faith, if that makes sense.
* I let "Girls of the Nimbus" sit today. Someone else told me today that Meatheads is utterly unlike anything they've ever read. I haven't even seen a copy, because it depresses me too much. You're creating books that millions could love that no one hears about and which no one will cover because of the blacklisting. I know how special and hilarious and true and vital and relevant and important it is and how impactful it could be. That makes it worse.
* This is another good song by the Vines. Of course this would be on my mind. It's their demo of "Get Free."
*As many moments as it takes. That's what you have in you. Don't let them make you forget even for a single fraction of a single second. They haven't got the wood. But only if you fight. And keep going.