Been reading The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum. He worked hard on this book. That's plain.
I have an idea for another Christmas feature and an op-ed. Different approaches to the same subject. I should be able to get some money for both of them.
Also came up with an idea for a Christmas book. This will be well down my personal line. A lot has to come out first, a lot has to happen, and so much needs to change. But even with these down-the-line kind of books, I make note of them and begin working on them in various ways. What I would like to do is write a book on Christmas art. That is, seasonal fare in literature, film, music, painting, TV, that reaches the level of true art--and transcends the holiday--and present that art as what you might experience over the season. So it wouldn't be an attempt to catalogue and describe everything, but rather a conversational, stylized approach, a guide, an offering of possibilities. The presentation of a program.
I must get that Billie Holiday book proposal done soon--ideally this week. It's a little after midnight now and I'm still working, but I'll put some time towards this tomorrow. It's crucial right now that I move books--Cheer Pack (stories), There Is No Doubt (stories), Franklin (novel), The Root of the Chord (jazz), Longer on the Inside (fictions), You're Up (essays), Glue God (essays)--and get these proposals and/or chapters--the other Beatles book, Billie, British rhythm and blues, a second horror film book--turned into contracts.
I began work on another volume of stories. It's possible I know most of what will be in it. The working title is No Mercy When We Get There: Stories to Put You on Your Ass. It'll likely--or maybe--include "The Parable of the Woodpecker," "Desilva," "Frog Boy Skin," "The Wad," "Coalescences," "Devil Lines," and may well close with "There Is No Young and There Is No Old," a story from three or four months back that I think about all the time.
There's the book of ghost stories to put together, too. The Ghost Grew Legs: Stories of the Dead for the More or Less Living. They are so different from traditional ghost stories. I also love the idea of ghost stories without ghosts. "Post-Fletcher" would likely start this one. "Dead Thomas," which was earmarked for it, was moved back to There Is No Doubt, as part of that whole death push thing of which I wrote earlier.
I may also be writing introductions for several story collections, which I've not done to date.
I need someone to step up and be an ally and make things happen and do--sign--a bunch of books at once. Story collection/essay collection/music book/novel. Boom boom boom boom. Put out one each six months, because they are all so different so it's not like they're in a kind of direct competition with each other. Someone who gets it. Someone who says, "Yeah, you're doing it, you're the one who is here for something else, this is history, I want to be in on this, I want to work with you," and gives me some support, even if that's just doing the books and not putting a lot of money in my pocket to take them. For now. The books are the way out. The money will come when I am in a different spot. And this journal. The revealing of the truth. Those two things, and the constant production, the endless range of what is produced, keeping at it, and that's going to do it. I am at this one place where the person in charge is incompetent. The founders have ceded over all control to this individual, who is also blatantly against me. I have the proof of their glaring incompetence and their obvious animus which I know would shock people if they knew that someone could perform like this, behave like this, and keep their job. They should step up and remove this person, or get them to fly right. I have not documented that incompetence which is so obvious as to be of a nature that you can screenshot it--and believe me, I keep meticulous records of all of that--but if it comes to it, if I have to, I will put it all up on here. And I won't stop putting it up on here. Someone yesterday was telling me about some searches they did on Google, and how the very first thing that now comes up for a number of people is from this journal. It will follow you around, and I am just getting started in so many ways, including in terms of my overall body of work, which sounds crazy--because it's so massive already--but it's true. But something is going to have to happen. For now, I try to get along to go along, but that doesn't mean I'm not prepared to do what I have to do and am preparing to do just that. If it comes to it. I can go in either direction.
I am sleeping very little. Recently I was up for forty hours, then I went to bed at the end of that time--at eleven on Friday night--and was back at work by five yesterday morning.
Also: three slices from a lemon, left in a water bottle, made cool in the refrigerator, equals delicious. So refreshing and good for the liver.
Speaking of which: today marks 2107 days, or 301 weeks, without a drink of alcohol. I was away from these pages for about a week and a half, so I didn't note the 300 weeks last Sunday. But okay. Decent job. That's a pretty good amount of time. I had made mention of it on Instagram, but I am so disliked by everyone that even like family members didn't hit the like button. I get it. It's how it is. I overcome a serious substance abuse problem, and even then, people I've only ever been kind to, won't support that. Because it's me. I get it. Believe me. I live it. It's always like this. No surprises. Exactly what I always expect, exactly what always happens. It's some sick and dark stuff, but I've learned that many people who are themselves awful, and weak, and insecure, can only show any support to other bad people with the same traits in common. I make none of it up. I live my life quite openly here, and anyone can go to any of the social media pages and see for themselves. Of course, I could never treat anyone this way. I'd be the first to sincerely congratulate you, and in a real and touching way. Because that's who I am.