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Week Game plus 1

Friday 5/15/20

It's nine in the morning. It was a year ago today that Buried on the Beaches came out. Today is Emma's sixteenth birthday. Filled out a card for her. Shaved for the first time in two weeks. My sister sent me a razor and I used it for the first time. Took only a minute or two to shave, whereas it had been taking a half hour. I listened to an episode of X Minus One, called "The Seventh Victim," which was pretty messed up--it's about a society that has outlawed war but made killing legal. You sign up for what's tantamount to a killing league. You take turns being the hunter, and being the victim. There are all these rules. It's like a sport. You can join the Tens Club if you've knocked off ten people. There are spotters, etc., It's well thought out. A woman--the victim--tricks this guy, the hunter, who falls in love with her. The tone is jovial, which makes the story darker.


I signed off on edits on a F. Scott Fitzgerald feature for The American Interest, and made a really nice pitch about the state of humor in America in 2020, via a Bob Newhart album that came out sixty years ago. I also wrote a 2500 word feature for Quillette on Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" and his history with the extended talking blues form. Again, it's nine in the morning. And I also did the Twitter and the Instagram, and texted, and all of that jazz, screwed around with the Tinder. I hate when people tell me they have so little time.


I don't even know if I put this up on here--I meant to, so hopefully I did--but last week I wrote nearly 30,000 words, between fiction, nonfiction, the blog. I though I'd just do a version of the Week Game now--the Week Game plus a day, so eight days--as I want to have things like this accounted for in orderly fashion, nice and easy for people to process later. I want to account for it as I do it. So going Friday to Friday, here is what the last eight days look like:


* published Beatles feature in The Daily Beast


* composed 1000 word ghost story, "Under Benches"


* composed 3200 word feature on The Last Dance


* composed 2500 word feature on Dylan's "Murder Most Foul"


* talked on the radio about sports, music, TV


* composed 3700 word essay on a painting from 200 years ago


* published sports op-ed in The Wall Street Journal


* composed 4200 word science fiction short story, "A Problem to Be Solved"


Word count may mean nothing to you--it's the only way I measure, but to give you an idea of page counts, "APtBS" runs to 13.5 pages. (I say this because a writer will think in terms of word count, while almost everyone else thinks in terms of page numbers.)


That leaves out the blogs. The pitches. The letters. That's a pretty typical week, isn't it, if you read this journal? Every week is a variation on that here. And that person is the most loathed individual in an industry. That person is not a person any agent in America would touch. (How would you even handle a client like that, though, when you are used to getting one mediocre book every four or five years from your other clients who each do the exact same predictable thing every time?) Think about that. Every week is a career here, with a system entirely against that person. So what is going to happen when that person has gotten around the system?


Someone who saw the op-ed--or didn't even click on it, probably--said that they'd like to watch me be set on fire and witness me burning to death. That's a sport they'd like to see. That's normal. Nothing unhealthy and insane about that at all. Actually, you know what? It kind of is normal in this culture. We've come to a place as a race of beings where this isn't surprising.


But yeah, don't cook the Dawg. C-Dawg has enough problems without parboiling.


Ran twenty-one miles, walked fifteen during that same period. Read books, watched many films, and was only trying or doing anything (I spend a lot of time crying) for a few hours every day because I am so broken down and bereft of hope at this point. So this is me as I'm barely functioning. And oh yeah--had time to see scores of people in publishing spend their entire existences on Facebook posting about Trump and trying to out-scare each other with coronavirus stuff. If you're like that, of course you're going to despise someone doing this. It's like basic math.


Saw 1951's The Mob last night. Good film, lazy title. One of those movies that is termed noir though I don't really think it's noir. Pretty well plotted, with honest but not forced surprises.



I've been reading basketball books--Dream Team, When the Game Was Ours, The Short Season: A Boston Celtics Diary, 1977-78, Unfinished Business (account of Celtics in 1990-91, so the end of the Big Three era).



And I know I have a number of people to expose on here. I haven't forgotten. I get busy. And when I reveal how certain people in publishing conduct themselves, I like to make sure I am thorough. I'm working on it--but trust me, it's all coming.