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Sunday 7/17/22

* I awoke not in pain, but with soreness under my arms from the push-ups. I'll have to continue to do the reps until that is gone. I'll be running stairs and doing these push-ups at eighty-seven, and I expect no drop off at any point. The way you have no drop-off is you keeping doing something and you don't let it slide. Starting is harder than staying.

* Yesterday I ran 3000 stairs and did 200 push-ups.

* I came up with an idea for a sci-fi/thriller last night while I was asleep. I will need to think about it more. The outlines of two thrillers are beginning to emerge. I can do peppy, foamy thrillers. Why not?

* The Billie Holiday outline and the first chapter and an outline for this proposed book horror film book will be done in the next few days, ideally faster. The horror book would be in the same Devil's Advocates series that Scrooge was done for. If it wasn't plain enough yesterday, what I intend to do the book on is 1951's Return to Glennascaul, which is a twenty-three minute film from 1951 directed by Hilton Edwards. It's the lone movie that Edwards directed. He was one of only two well-known men--the other being his romantic, theatrical, and business partner, Micheál Mac Liammóir--who lived openly as a gay man in Ireland at the time. This movie was made during a break in shooting for Orson Welles's Othello (in which Mac Liammóir played Iago) and stars Welles, who directed parts of it and had input in others. It is the only perfect film in which Welles appeared or had a hand in making, including Citizen Kane. The book will posit and situate Welles as a master of horror, and arguably America's greatest multimedia master of horror. No one thinks of him this way.

* Topics in that book will include: the Mercury Theatre broadcasts of "Dracula," "The War of the Worlds," and "The Open Window"; the opening sequence of Citizen Kane; Oliver Onions' "The Cigarette Case"; James Joyce's "The Dead"; the trailer for Citizen Kane; Aristotle; Edgar Allan Poe's theory of horror and his "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"; The Shadow; Black Magic; Macbeth; Val Lewton; "The Most Dangerous Game" on Suspense; W.F. Harvey's "August Heat"; W.B. Yeats; The Twilight Zone episodes "The Hitch-Hiker" and "Twenty Two"; Lucille Fletcher's "The Hitch-Hiker"; Carnival of Souls; coded homosexuality; Micheál Mac Liammóir's Put Money in Thy Purse; Dublin's Gate Theatre; Star Wars; The Wizard of Oz; Miracle on 34th Street; "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; Ambrose Bierce's "The Moonlit Road"; the nature of perfection in art; harps; crossroads; the horror mythos of the hitchhiker; E.F. Benson's "The Bus-Conductor"; Ahmad Jamal and Miles Davis; the Wellesian concept of "one"; ghost story "frames" and narration; the Japanese horror film Kuroneko; the Mexican horror film The Phantom of the Monastery; the literature of ghost detectives; Welles's TV pilot, The Fountain of Youth; horror and comedy; the Wellesian osmosis effect; 1970s porn; the Catholic mass; "Song of Solomon"; whiskey and the supernatural; The Stone Tape; Filming Othello.

* There has not been a book in this series on a short film. How many books have there ever been on a single short film? Are there any? But what is that to me? It's no limitation. As I also have plans someday to write a book entirely about the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever"--wouldn't that be good?--I don't see a reason not to go for this. I am geared up for that "Strawberry Fields Forever" book. That is something I'd really like to throw myself into. That would be a dazzler. It'd look at the actual Salvation Army home, its history and role in the Liverpool community, the relationship between childhood and genius, drugs and music. It'd be wide-ranging, focused, and awesome.

* These are my other ideas for that Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series, with the Thoreau idea having been proposed Friday morning: Beatles, jazz, baseball, mystery, comedy, horror. I am the leading expert on each of these things--as the track record proves--and any of them would work. I'm the person to do each. Right now, I just want to do one.

* Another thing that is especially hard right now is living with the knowledge--and the books stacked high here before me--that I should be reporting regularly on another book being lined up and stating the publication date, with all I have available presently. This is being conservative, but those books are: There Is No Doubt: Story Girls, Just Like Them: A Piece by Piece Guide to Becoming the Ultimate Thinking Person's Beatles Fan, Same Band You've Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles, The Root of the Chord: Writings on Jazz's Essential Power and Artistry, a book on British rhythm and blues, this Return to Glennascaul book, A Kiss Always Tasted: Living with the Art of Billie Holiday, Glue God: Essays (and Tips) for Repairing a Broken Self, Musings with Franklin, this Thoreau Very Short Introductions book, Cheer Pack: Stories, You're Up, You're Down, You're Up: Essays on Art in Life and Life in Art. It's hard because I have eight available books right now, but on any given day, come the end of that day, I should be able to say I have twenty books, here's where those new, next twelve are coming from. On the road to twenty. Twenty officially. One knows what I mean. Then with so much more to follow, which is either done or underway. Then so much to follow that, which is already conceived. Then so much more after that, which I'll think of, am always thinking of.

* I'm not including Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives in that list above as it's still being assembled and has not been seen in full by anyone, and S/He/R/Me: Becoming Story for mostly the same reason.

* Will finish three of the longer stories of late this week in "Master of Romance," "Carlyle," and "Caves and Waterfalls."

* Redouble efforts on Same Band. Work hard, do it right.

* Attention needs to be given to "Up the Sea" and "Pre," which right now are planned for S/He/R/Me: Becoming Story.

* Move forward with The Year of Doing Nothing and Everything. This is a book that could be illustrated, either with old postcards from Rockport, or drawings of spots by an artist I'd take around. Or both.

* I have pieces to write on the Grateful Dead and Miles Davis. Do this Beatles/Vancouver 1964 piece.

* Came up with an idea for a story today. I need to think more. It could be big.

* Listened to about fifteen radio episodes of Gunsmoke this weekend. Also a seventy-five minute amateur radio play out of New Hampshire of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and an odd adaptation from the 1940s. Listened to a Mercury production of "The Hitch-Hiker." The performance Welles gave on Suspense was better. Has a superlative intro, as well, which is useful for this Return to Glennascaul project.

* Enough screwing around: finish Glue God once and for all this week.

* I was watching this documentary on Eagle Pennell, and this guy they interview at the beginning says something that you can apply to writing. I'll tell you something about almost every so-called writer out there: they rarely write. Every now and then, someone like them gives them something. A handout they don't deserve. That can be a Guggenheim. There is nothing in publishing that happens because of merit or the quality of the work. But very few of these "writers" will produce so much as 5000 words a year, and those words they do produce will be bad draft words that get thrown out anyway, when they complete that one thing they do every seven years, which is then praised, awarded, hyped, supported because they're a person of the system. The same is also true for people who are not praised, etc. None of these people write regularly. The guy in the film says that 10,000 people talk about doing what Eagle Pennell did. But Pennell was the one who actually went out and did it. They talk, he walked. Get it? That's a character thing. But it's also--and this is what these people hate as much as anything--an ability thing. Because if you have it, you are doing it every day.

* Went to the Starbucks and read some of a Three Investigators book: The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy. Another weekend all by myself. Same as it has been for over ten years now. It is so hard to keep going. I texted someone today to say that I actually sit here and have to decide whether to kill myself or not. I sit there and I consider. The wall between me and death is paper thin. There is nothing I can do right now. I have made the best art that anyone who has ever lived has ever made, tens of thousands of times over. And it does not matter. The situation is what it is at present. Do you know how hard it is, knowing that, to throw yourself into another week, when you'll work on five books, ten stories, ten pieces? You'll write people who want you to die because of what you can do. People who would prefer never to see their families again than let this one man pass if they can help it, no matter how trivial the stakes, no matter the money it might bring them, the boost it would give a business or reputation. The hate and the envy determines all. That is not hyperbole. That is the reality of this situation. While you are entirely alone. You don't have friends. You haven't been out with anyone in seven years. The more you've grown, the further away you've become from everyone else in a society of constant devolution. No one wants to be around a mega-genius right now. There aren't any others. This impacts only me. People want people like them. Everywhere in life. I am unlike anyone who has ever existed. Other people are in a pool together. I am in a pool of one. And I am paying for it worse than anyone has ever paid for anything. I try to have faith. But I'm going to make like thirty works of art this week that better anything that has come before, by anyone, in any medium since humans have been around. The same as I do every week. It's all real. It's all proven. And it's not not going to matter. Not right now. It's not even going to be properly seen.

* Today marks 2205 days, or 315 weeks, without a drink of alcohol. I ran 5000 stairs today and did 200 push-ups. This entry is the 1700th in this journal, which is in its forty-ninth month of existence.

* Let's get ready to work in the morning.


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