The morning was fairly productive. I screened Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, listened to the first two discs of Dylan's Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 (Collector's Edition) for a book I'll be writing down the road, and wrote the first 1100 words of a new short story, "Funny Lines TK." I also wrote some people for work, pitched an idea on Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy to The Daily Beast, sent a story called "Jaw Bones" to London Magazine, and ran three miles. My legs are hurting, for some reason, so I did not climb. All of that is going at a leisurely pace, while screwing around on Facebook and social media, watching The Rifleman, talking to a friend, witnessing assaults on the English language and on sense and decency on Tinder and Bumble, etc. Do you know how much I love begging people who write nothing, who work with twenty other people on a literary journal that comes out twice a year, to do their job and respond to something for the first time in nineteen months? I wasn't even busy this morning, okay? And if I wasn't busy this morning, guess what other people hardly ever are? That's right! Also wrote Rich Kimball about what we'll be discussing this coming Tuesday on Downtown, which will be my New York Daily News op-ed on Laura Ingalls Wilder. Sent a story called "The Effect of Gravity Upon the Tub" to The Strand as well, but I expect that to go nowhere. That story is about two Irish criminals named Padraig and Lorcan--who have turned up in a number of my works--who are in a purported safe house by the sea, when someone turns up who may not be who they think he is at first. There is a severed toe at one point, and an exodus to a sea cave. The new story, "Funny Lines TK," is not the one I came up with last week, which I wrote about in an earlier entry, and which I'll formally compose soon. Maybe, perhaps, even this coming week. "Funny Lines TK" I largely wrote over two years ago at the Brattle, at a morning screening of cartoons from the 1960s through the 1980s, though the story has nothing to do with cartoons. I was just writing it--writing it hard, in my head--when I was there, over the course of the show. And I've kept it in my head since. Sometimes, adding to it, changing bits, letting it work itself out in my mind. And now it was time to formally compose it. "TK" is a publishing term for "to come," basically a placeholder until whatever it is that is going to be entered is entered. That, of course, will be explained within the context of the story. It is damn strong. The first section was sent off to my inner circle upon its completion, plus a couple other people. I picked up work to do a feature at JazzTimes. I still need to sell the Coltrane piece I wrote a couple weeks back to someone. I pitched something on who I think is the best character on television right now--Pennsatucky, on Orange is the New Black--and the Grand Admiral Thrawn character--new book coming out from Timothy Zahn--to The Daily Beast as well. I think Orange is a pretty poor show, largely. The Piper character reviles me. But Pennsatucky is fully drawn, and actually changes. There is a believable and compelling arc with her. You hardly ever get that, and I don't care if you're going to bleat at me that this is the Golden Age of TV. I am convinced that the people who think that have no awareness of television history, have seen very few, if any, great shows of the past, and this is also remarked in part because publishing has killed off literature and reading with the slop it tries to lie to you as being anything but utter tedium and inanity, film is in a dreadful state, music is piss poor, and, well, something has to be arty, right? I really should get my ass to the Brattle now to see a couple films in the Kieslowski trilogy, or else the Kendall for the new Mister Rogers documentary, but I might just read for work at the Starbucks. I started figuring out what Buster Keaton films I'm going to feature in my five-part class at the Coolidge. I have a lot of it worked out. Suffice it to say, between the short stories I'm writing, the novels I'm working on, my deadlines, my radio commitments, the Scrooge book I have to write, the Beatles book proposal I have to get to an editor at Da Capo, the Sam Cooke proposal I have to get to an editor at 33 1/3, the fiction contest I am judging, the film class I am teaching, the pages on an Abbey Road book I need to get to another publisher, and the plugging I am going to do on the behalf of Buried on the Beaches--which really won't matter at this juncture, having an entire industry against me/suppressing me/making sure there is no coverage of my work, let alone support, advocacy, awards, etc.--it's going to be a challenging fifteen or so weeks. And you know what? All of that will take a fraction of the time, will really be like 1% of my total outlay of effort, the rest going to begging people to actually do their job and respond, and act in a vaguely equitable, above board manner and maybe be about more than just hooking up system people and being so threatened by legitimacy and committed to putting out stillborn work that no one actually cares about.
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