I need some productivity and courage from you this week. No shitting the bed. Rise up. There is a deadly story in Dark March called "In the Chum." Emotionally deadly. When waters are chummed that means entails, blood, guts, fish heads, eyes, are dumped overboard to attract other fish to feed. In story a person, alive, is literally in the chum, that is how destroyed that person is emotionally, that their guts are on the outside of them, anything can eat them, and in the course of the story--by the end--they understand where they have come to be, drifting in the chum. Do not be in the chum this week--get in the middle of a wave of our own making. Know no beach--just roll on, gathering momentum, surging.
Today marks 1421 days--203 weeks--without a drink. This piece on Daniel Defoe and COVID-19 ran in The American Interest. So, that's, what, two lengthy essays on 1660s literature in a couple weeks? Gee, you'd almost think I was an expert on that. Gee, that too? Where does it end? And where does a fair fucking chance start?
Today I composed a new short story, "Asking Back." I'll be honest--these very short works can be harder to write than anything. I need enough of them for this book of them. Significantly--as far as the work goes--I figured out a major new story on Friday. It was a story I had begun a few days before, and I expected it to be one of these very short works, but as I was composing I thought, huh, wait, you're something else, aren't you? I imagine it will be along the lines of a "Find the Edges" from Harper's. I have it all in my head now. A major work. I have to be careful with that term. I don't believe I write anything any better than anything else I write. But certain works just have a little extra for me. "Cheer Pack," "Fitty," "Terry from the Cape," "Post-Fletcher," "Jacks," "Six Feet Away," "Skip Shack." Unusually for me, two such works are being written simultaneously. The second story, "Green Glass Door," I also worked on on Friday, and have worked on it so much in my head and have let it come to me as it has come to me. The other story I don't want to say the name of, but you will know it by the micturating deer. I just want it to be mine right now, because this is just between me and the story, until we are done. Either one of these stories would be the story of someone's lifetime. They are simply things to fit in here, and add to the huge pile of stuff that someday needs to come out, and hopefully will come out while I am still a young-ish man.
Yesterday I walked twenty miles. I had a mask in case the fuzz were called. I kept the mask in my pocket. I find a mask defeatist. For me. It's not the Bubonic plague. There's not hot death on everything. I'd rather have confidence in my health and strength than cower, which I believe makes one more susceptible. I ran the stairs by Conte Forum at BC. There are at least 100, I believe. I only ran them five times. That was the midpoint of my walk.
On Downtown on Tuesday I'm going to discuss various components of radio history, from artful sci-fi and horror programs to New England sports fare to various John Peel sessions from England.
I have a lot to do. I must steel myself.