I wrote an op-ed this morning about winter walking. Really nice piece. As usual, I don't know what will become of it, if anything. There are just so many of these op-eds here in various folders that didn't come out. Someone I know told me that they all will, it might just have to be in book form for many of them later. I worry about this, and said words to the effect that what market could there be for op-eds after the fact, and they countered by saying that they would be by me, and my understanding of the times I was in, in my prose, with my ideas, and that changes everything. I hope they're right. There are so many great pieces that just haven't come out. Obviously a lot of them have, but that's still just a fraction of what I've written. There are many vagaries and caprices and moods that factor into the op-ed game, as well, of course, as things like the bigotry and theft that we've documented here with The Washington Post, and other factors that I won't spell out right now, but it's not good stuff. Just doesn't help me to get into at the moment.
I turned in the British rhythm and blues proposal, so that's done. Out of my control now. It's an amazing idea, the perfect idea, I believe, for this nature of book, and the quality of the writing won't be approached. But right now, it's just a line through an item on my to-do list, of which there are really about 500 at present, stashed in all kinds of places (the notes on my phone, notebook pages, margins of books, etc.)
I'm about to finish two stories roughly the same length as "Find the Edges" from Harper's and as good. "Daughter Bear" and "Out Back." Latter is a little shorter. The stories are now writing themselves. It's like I'm barely involved.
I finished "Out Back" and "Daughter Bear" and sent them to you. They're as strong as anything I've done.
I'm working to finish a story called "Complete Set." Poked around a bit with it yesterday. It's about 3900 words long. Last night in bed I worked on a different story called "Apple Culls," which will also be longer like that.
As I continue to formulate a final version of There Is No Doubt: Storied Humanness, the possibilities are endless. Do I want the book to be ten stories long? Fifteen? Twenty? There's just so much material, and it's all of the same qualitative piece, to choose from. I have stories to make a book of everything. Every kind. The ones in this book all feature a female narrator and/or protagonist, as I've said. It's not what any author has ever had. Just this portion of my body of work from the last three-and-a-half years.
Here's Tuesday's conversation on Downtown about music from Bessie Smith, Willie Dixon, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Blind Willie Johnson.
My niece is turning two in a few days. I think I will try and find her stuffed animals of Frog and Toad from the Arnold Lobel book series. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure I got my other niece an Eeyore stuffed animal earlier. Eeyore is often my stuffed animal go-to. He's Eeyore. He's awesome.