Up over 16,000 words on the new book. I'll be done before September is over. Awoke in the middle of the night and came up with new story in my head. Also ate taffy from Rockport, which I really should not be doing at three in the morning. Bad C-Dawg. Just pitched something on Satchel Paige. Saw a cute photo of my niece who turns eight months today. Going for a run now.
Ran three miles. I'm seeing the finish line for this book. What needs to happen is I complete it by early next week, and simultaneously, I finally finish the If You [ ] rewrites for Dzanc--which is my second biggest stressor right now, after money (I don't want to damage the relationship there; I'm not some professor who wrote one book over four years and doesn't have to write much; I'm fighting for my life here, I'm working harder than anyone ever has at anything, and I'm trying to change this world, too; I don't want anyone thinking I'm not reliable)--and go through and proof Glue God: Essays (and Tips) for Repairing a Broken Self, and mail that to the publisher in upstate New York who will take a look. I could use a day where I grind for like a full twenty-four hours, but all of this will be done quite soon. Then I will quickly write another book--the film book--and I'll do that in a couple weeks, or a month, and get that to the publisher before the year is out, and conceivably in October or November. That book will be published next fall.
You know what's really strange right now? It's not strange to me, because this is how I have come to be, but I am aware of thirty, forty works I have that will be upcoming masterpieces. They're all in front of me. I know what I have. I know what a major story "Mount Edifice" will be for instance. Another called "Wet-on-Wet." I know what Same Band You've Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles will be. I know what various things are in the process of becoming. Normally what you'd do, if you were that rare person who could create masterpieces, is you'd occasionally come up with something that could make for one. And you wouldn't get that something that often. You'd have that, and that would be it. When it was done, maybe a few years later you'd get another something. While I have all of these somethings that I'm aware of, I come up with others, that then get interspersed in the line. It's like presiding over this magical kingdom, almost, that has this precious, renewable jewel mine that you don't find anywhere else in the world or history. The problems of getting that out there, supported, trafficked, discussed, celebrated, are well documented in these pages.
Another reason Glue God has such utility right now--beyond that most people, truly, are broken in some significant way or ways, and they have no solution on there own for this, and are scared to admit it, to say it out loud, to find things to help them--is that this winter, you are will see an all-time spike in suicide, drink and drug addiction, and mental illness. We're also becoming fatter and fatter as a country. A lot of hearts are going to go before a lot of respiratory systems. COVID will keep people more isolated than ever during the winter. They're not strong enough to withstand that. People cannot be with themselves for a nice, balmy weekend when they can go outside. They cannot handle their own thoughts. Me, I am completely alone, and completely self-aware. This is how I live right now, and it has been for a long time. As I grow. My problems are external--as with the entire industry that hates me because of what I can do. This isn't going to be a pretty time. The losses from COVID from factors I just detailed will ultimately tally higher than anything else the virus has done or would have done if the virus itself had been ignored, and people acted as if it didn't exist. I'm not saying that was the way to go. I'm saying that mental illness is by far the norm in this country; people caving in on themselves and being on the verge of complete internal collapse, or having already collapsed, is the norm. It takes little to get them there, when they are not already there, as they usually are. The way we live--actually, we don't live, we barely exist--has caught up with us. The "likes" and gauging one's worth by social media and the staring at the phone and the death of the individual and the fear of sharing anything real and with honesty, and the constant pretending that all is super duper awesome, and the total absolute nullity that is the world of most people. They have no recourse, no way out. They don't even know how to start to find a way out. They can't even think of terms of finding a way out. What they can do is hate people--the few people--who are self-aware, who grow, who learn, who are truly alive. The more alive someone is, the more someone knows, the closer a person moves to absolute excellence, the more they will be feared, envied, hated, a combination. I have not figured out a solution to this yet. They can celebrate mediocrity, which is why we have a culture where mediocrity rules. Not ability. Not value. We are cooked, we are devolving by the month. That's not how you handle something like this. These silent killers will take a lot of lives. They'll take some of the lives of the living, as well, by which I mean, there won't be death, but there will be that death-in-life. A lot of people are in the process of becoming complete husks. This will help that process along. I have things that you can do to combat that. And move in the other direction. I've lived it. And this book is about that. It's a sublimely valuable book with crucial human utility. From the artist and person with the most to give, who an industry despises.
So. Some of the problems to be solved.
But right now, I'm sweaty, and I'm going to shower. This is a postcard of the fishing shack in Rockport. This shack fell into the ocean during the Blizzard of 1978. It was rebuilt, and it still stands in Rockport. There is a metaphor in that.