1330 days without a drink. Walked three miles. Climbed the Bunker Hill Monument five times. Sent half a dozen letters to people who hate me. Wrote a 2200 word story about a professor, narrated by a professor. Male. Put the first 400 words to another story about a nurse. Female. Emma knocked on the door to show me the new Manga horror novel she got. Also, to tell me I smelled, which I already knew from having just climbed. Read some of Keats' letters from his final months of life. Wept.
Unbelievably sad about Kobe Bryant. I know there were things people did not like about him and his game, too, but he was one of the most competitive people I have ever seen. I always admired that. I understand that. Writers like to do Kumbaya. When I write, if you write--or try to--I want to annihilate you. I want to cut your heart out of your chest, vaporize your will, make you feel like melting into the earth and never come out again. Compete. I don't mean in the sense that you hate and envy me, so you tell other people to hate me as well, so as to keep my work from where it should appear and from people. I mean your work v. my work as work. If it were a basketball game and I was up 100-0 at the half, I'd be seeing red in the locker room to come out and blow doors on you in the second half to the tune of 200-0. Some athletes have their version of this--Jordan, Gretzky, David Ortiz, Tom Brady, and Bryant was this way. I think it's his true legacy as an athlete and entertainer, so I pitched something about that tonight to a couple places. No shot at one of them--those people would happily shoot me in the head if they could get away with it--but I want to write this.
Emma told me the other day she wants to go to BC because she likes the area and the architecture. I am not sure how I feel about this, given my own experiences. But I told her I will take her to another women's hockey game soon out in Chestnut Hill, and I'll show her around some more. Show her the inside of a classroom, where the freshman live, the library.
I didn't even mention this the other day, because things have been really hairy here--ugly, violent, hairy. It's a war. i have to do what I have to do. But the other day I completed another short story, called "Terms We Are Coming," and also another Wall Street Journal op-ed, a sports one. I could pitch them on this Kobe Bryant thing, but I don't want to step on the toes, so to speak, of what they already have by me, because I need that money. There should be at least a couple pieces coming out this week. Does it bother me to know that I have literally written more this week already than most of these people who own my life right now will write, literally, in ten years? Yep. You bet. You can only imagine how much. I sold an essay on the film producer Joan Harrison (one of the first female film producers in Hollywood), but I have to add like ten things to it, which is a pain in the ass, especially considering the money we're talking. I have to figure out what to talk about on Downtown on Tuesday. I wrote my old NPR producer today, and also the producer who is there now who completely abandoned me. This site presents a fraction of what I've published--and, of course, a fraction of what I've composed--which is, I realize, a remarkable statement, but nonetheless a true one, and a massively understated one. But I did update, in full, two of the tabs, at least, yesterday and today, so the On air and Op-ed tabs are now up to date. That is a lot of sound, a lot of opinion. It is crazy that I had never written an op-ed prior to autumn 2017. I thought, "Oh, this is one area you don't dominate yet," so I went out and did that. And, naturally in this industry, was hated more because I could do that as well. I will also proof the meatheads novel this week.
This is a letter from Keats to his publisher John Taylor, who was also John Clare's publisher.