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Tuesday 1/23/24

Moved an op-ed. Have to furnish headshot.

At least once a month I have the song from Rene Clair's A nous la Liberte in my head throughout the day.

More work on "The Ghost and the Flame." Just keeps getting better. There are times when I work on these stories where I sit there and just read a portion for the purpose of experiencing and absorbing its power. I have never seen, discerned, witnessed, felt anything close to the power of these works in anything, by which I mean anything. It's like life, existence, the world, is this mountain, and in the middle of that mountain is the most concentrated, purest power there is. I think that's what these works are. And I think people are going to know that. I have tapped into the middle of that mountain.

Wrote a new story: "Horny Date." How one person wrote all of these things that were so different from each other in every way will be something that people always try to figure out.

You would have to be story.

Did 100 push-ups on Sunday. No stairs. Ran 3000 stairs yesterday and did 200 push-ups. Sunday marked 2751 days, or 393 weeks, without a drink.

Listening to a lot of the half hour Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar episodes with Bob Bailey. He is my favorite radio performer and his Johnny Dollar my favorite character. Also many episodes of Broadway's My Beat, a crime series centered on the one-mile stretch of Broadway.

Downloaded two Bob Dylan soundboards from the Roseland Ballroom in 1994. Also the Stones at the Marquee in 1971 and the Stone Roses' quite terrible performance from Reading in 1996 and at the Ritz in Manchester in 1986.

He's often included as a hard bop artist, but I can't think of Thelonious Monk that way. He was his own thing. A good test for hard bop is to consider if the music would make sense playing on some juke box in a greasy spoon restaurant as you sit at the counter and order a bowl of chili and a cup of coffee.

Every now and again I also think about this letter that F. Scott Fitzgerald sent to Ernest Hemingway. The latter had sent Fitzgerald a story, which was what Fitzgerald was responding to. He had some suggestions and insights that were spot on--Fitzgerald was good at this kind of thing. Hemingway's stated word count was off, too--and this mattered in placing stories for what could be significant amounts of money--and Fitzgerald included the correct word count. Hemingway took that letter and in the margins and between the paragraphs he wrote insults about Fitzgerald and cursed him. That's who Hemingway was, in addition to being a one-trick writer.

How many people do you think you'd have to ask before one of them knew when the Civil War happened? How about the French Revolution? I bet you could easily ask 5000 straight people who wouldn't know when the latter occurred. 10,000. Some might guess the correct answer, but that's not what I'm talking about. I think you'd have to look for a while, though, and the person who knew the answer would be a history teacher or professor.

Today is the birthday of a certain buddy of mine! I will call her later.

What were the Strokes thinking not putting out that live recording from the Alexander Palace in 2003?

Listened to a BBC production called Chekhov in Siberia that was very well done. Chekhov, like Thoreau, understood life.

A lot of writing is how deeply you see into something and then how efficiently you convey that depth. Think of everything there is as a column of the ocean. There are no writers at present who see any deeper than the surface. Further, the sun reflects off of that surface and gets in their eyes, preventing them from even seeing the surface well at all. To see to the very bottom of every last thing is part of what creates incomparable depth in writing. I always see to the bottom.


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