Zero exercise today. Have mostly just been at the desk. I finished what I needed to do on the horror film essay. That's 2800 words. I should add, too, that last week, and deep into the early hours of today, I wrote letter after letter after letter to these people. Offering stories. Pieces. Op-eds. Books. Sending pitches. I would estimate I wrote 200 letters.
Summer, for me, as I measure these things, is eight days old. I have written five short stories, an op-ed, three essays, and these various journal entries, totaling 40,000 words. I have written more than that in this same amount of time to the people of this industry. So you're looking at 10,000 plus words a day.
I have spent the bulk of today working on "Seedless Cherries." I believe yesterday I mentioned that it was 1800 words long, but that I would be hanging more on it. What I meant by that was there it was--beginning, middle, end, the story in place. Someone else could say the story was done. But I knew I'd be adding within what was already there, adding guts to guts, if that makes sense. I still want to go over it tomorrow, but it's very close to done now, at 3300 words. Frankly, the story is so emotionally intense and powerful, that it's almost too much so.
This will sound strange, but this is a long time for me to work on a story of this length. What may happen is I write a section, and then I might not come back and write the next for several months. I have that story in my head. It's not going anywhere. But to work straight through on a story like this, coming back to it over what will end up being three days--I started it yesterday--is unusual. I guess. They can all be different with a different process. But this one feels like I'm doing it straight through, while also building in distance and perspective, as if I'm also simultaneously returning to it following time away. A combo of approaches, but, as ever, in my weird way with how I handle time.
This story destroys everything else out there in the writing world. Destroys it all. And they are not going to let it come out. I know that right now as I do it and I know exactly how good it is. But these people will all fall in time. This industry will fall. And I will be the one who ends it as what it is right now.
I did get out to Haymarket and got peppers, celery, blackberries, raspberries, and bananas for a total of about $12.
Tuesday on Downtown I'll be discussing this 1938 Lights Out radio episode, "Murder Castle," which is well regarded by radio historians. I'll be comparing it to one of the best Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar five-parters, which is akin to contrasting cave paintings with Picasso's Blue Period.
Will also discuss film noir and baseball.
Posted a couple interesting things on Twitter, which merit a mention here. Of course, on Twitter, there is absolutely no reaction, because it is me, pariah of the world, but I did see the other day that here in early June, only thirteen players were hitting .300 or better in MLB. That is nuts. Historic batting ineptitude, framed in a way that shocks. If a person knows baseball, they know how outrageous that stat is. Early June! That'd be crazy at the end of the year. Averages tend to come down, right? You can flirt with .400 in early June, but you'll likely finish at .340 or whatever. I wonder if we'll see a sub-.300 batting champion.
Also, the Grateful Dead--especially in 1974 and 1977--strike me as rock and roll's answer to Duke Ellington's orchestra at its peak. Similar feel with music, similar vibe from the music, similar understanding of place and scope within American musical history. Both units were dance bands that would then segue into metaphysical/Modernist mode.