My weekends are all the same. I work, I workout to stay strong enough to endure. I start work each of the two days at four in the morning. Most weekends I formally write a lot. By that I mean, I sit at the desk and produce the words on the screen. I do more of this now, over the last year, than in times past, when I was also working all weekend. This weekend, though, I did not formally write that way. I worked in my head on various stories in various stages. I have about forty stories right now in progress. Yes, forty. That's not a hyperbole number. I became annoyed with myself, and forced myself to think up ideas for ten more stories, of the longer variety. I pitched ideas pertaining to Nirvana, Muhammad Ali, Dylan, a novel about Beethoven, and a Sam Cooke op-ed for September.
I sent out a letter proposing a book on William Sloane's 1937 novel, To Walk the Night, which would also be a blow by blow look at how publishing insists on putting forward fiction that absolutely sucks, and how people now only write fiction that absolutely sucks. It would say the truth about writing and the state of his vile industry. It would talk about what actually makes writing good, necessary, meaningful.
I sent the Billie Holiday book idea to a different publisher. I wrote someone who published an essay of mine recently about a letter of recommendation for the Guggenheim--which I don't even know if I'll do, given that I know it's an utter sham--and shared with them some comments someone made to me about the essay. I had pitched a Beatles idea to a place at the end of last week, so I just also sent along a link to the Beatles section on this site. I rounded up a selection of works from what will be There Is No Doubt: Storied Humanness and sent them to two publishers for the first time. These selections are insanely strong. "Fitty," "Girls of the Nimbus," "The Echo Blow," "Transitionings," "Head to Give," "Fetch and Ferry," "The Stopping," "Seedless Cherries," "The Half Slip," "Dot." This is the book where every work has a female narrator and/or protagonist. One of those presses is the most boring, pretentious press in the world, which is saying something, given the competition.
I listened to a lot of music. The Grateful Dead's first record, Workingman's Dead, a compilation of live Yardbirds performances from the likes of Ready Steady Go and Shindig; Mozart's Symphony 25 under the baton of Bruno Walter; the soundtrack to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; Boston Camerata's An American Christmas; the Zombies' Begin Here; Elvis' King Creole; the Who's My Generation. I studied and contrasted an outtake of "The Kids Are Alright" with the official version, with special focus on the drumming.
I watched the excellent 1934 Mexican horror film, Phantom of the Monastery.
I read a lot of Edith Wharton.
On Saturday, I ran 10,000 stairs, and ran 5000 stairs yesterday, which also marked 1869 days, or 267 weeks, without a drink. Of note is how much sweat there is when one runs stairs in the summer. For instance, when I take a break and lean forward, within a minute so much sweat has dripped from my head that there's an actual puddle on the ground. You can splash in it. On Saturday, I had to go home and change my T-shirt, shorts, boxers, at the halfway point. My clothes weigh several pounds by then. Yesterday, while I ran the stairs, this hardcore, fifty-something Southie guy--with the Irish cap, requisite forearm tattoo, taking a big drag on an eight AM cigarette--said, "I'm gonna catch the bastard who adds a stair every day," which is the wittiest thing someone has said to me on these stairs, before adding, "You've been running for a while." I don't exactly look like a fresh daisy. That's 42,000 stairs over the last eight days, which is about twenty miles' worth of stairs.
I posted brilliant things on Twitter about film, music, Markie Post, life, art, stairs, sports, but no one follows any of that or me precisely because it is interesting, smart, insightful, funny, and what the world wants is stupidity, mediocrity, repetition, and sameness and to look at someone else and say, "You're not great and neither am I, this is a real comfort to me, I'm in with what you're doing!"
I started a couple entries on here that I have not finished. I made notes for novels and the Beatles book.
Lastly, I have forty pages of links to my work, and, of course, the Literature writings, Short fiction, Music writings, Film writings sections on this site are horrendously out of date. Blips of what there is. As I mentioned, the host site makes it such that it's not possible to add links in anything but chronological order. If you post fifty links, and you want to put one earlier than the earliest one, you can't do it. You have to start all over or you put that link from 2010 at the top of the pile, which is misleading and confusing. It's a nightmare, a disaster, I need some help fixing this, I don't have help, I can't afford help right now. I can't afford sneakers, and the pairs I have are falling apart. I'm freaking out about paying for the dentist this week. What I started to do was go through the forty pages of links, and separate them by category, while keeping a copy of a master list of everything together. That way, if I have to pull everything down at the above-mentioned sections, I don't have to comb through forty pages to find the links for that given subject as I do the section all over again. But it's also just a better way to keep a record of what I have, given the outlandish volume of my publication history. With an industry against me. Trying to stop and suppress me. This is what I'm doing with complete resistance.