What is and what should never be...

Sunday already. How’d that happen?

Fell out of bed earlier than usual, made a pot of coffee, and went straight for the keyboard. Revisions. Revisions upon revision. Funny getting to a page where none are needed and looking at what’s there and thinking, there’s hope. You can do it. Just keep pounding.

Hit the gym mid-afternoon and enjoyed a long, paced workout. Afterward, went grocery shopping.

Read a nice story in Narrative today, and remembered an older piece by Robert Stone that appeared many years ago in the Best American Short Stories. A joint called “Under the Pitons.” Bookmarked it to read tomorrow. It’s a piece that’s haunted me for years.

Gonna watch a game tonight. Or part of one, anyway. Hope to get up even earlier tomorrow and make even more progress on the long piece.

Supposed to be nice Monday, then cold again the rest of the week. February’s not far off. March. April….

There's more to it than this...

Let YouTube roll and it landed on It’s a Beautiful Day’s “White Bird.” The right song, somehow, for a hard week.

Long piece is coming. Worked hard on it most of the day. Short trip to the gym followed by a shorter trip to the grocery store, followed by a bit more work on the keyboard.

Was wrong about the snow. It came blowing down this morning in what looked might turn into a decent fall, but checked up in the end. Just wind now and an overcast sky.

You just don't know...

Slow day.

Pushed a couple of projects out the door, answered a few emails, looked after the baby and did a little reading. Missed the gym altogether, though I saw that coming from two days back so it wasn’t as bad as it sometimes is.

Pretty day today, though I didn’t get out to enjoy any of it. They say snow for tomorrow (or did) but unless the weather changes drastically between now and three A.M., I kinda doubt it. Have a feeling it’s all going to turn to bluster, judging from the wind. We’ll see.

Glad tomorrow’s Friday. Between the cold and everything else that’s gone on this week, I’m happy to bid it goodbye.

Looking forward to working on the long piece again. Get lost in something. Anything.

Looking in...

Another attempt at productivity foiled. Actually, managed a couple of decent edits before the little man arrived, so the day wasn’t a complete wash, literarily speaking.

Long afternoon, but snuck in a trip to the gym and, while I didn’t have much energy to spare after a sleepless night, put in a decent showing.

S passed along the famous letter from Hemingway to Fitzgerald regarding Tender Is the Night. The one that says “we’re all bitched from the start.” Hadn’t read the piece in many years and found it curious on a number of different levels. Hemingway criticizes Fitzgerald’s depictions of Gerald and Sara Murphy as untrue, and suggested it weakened the book. I told S it’s held up well over the years, despite Hem’s dislike of the material and that many a critic believe it’s still Fitzgerald’s best novel. Not knowing a great deal about the Murphys—at least on a personal level— I don’t understand what Hemingway found lacking in the characters of Dick and Nicole Diver. I’d sure like to explore the subject. Maybe it’s just a personal thing. Hemingway was notorious for co-opting real people (himself included) into his work, so maybe he held others who did it to a different standard. Anyway, not sure what makes his “art” and Fitzgerald’s only “marvelously faked case histories.”

Was going to write more, but a bit of dark news just came my way.

Calling it a night.

And we're off...

Well. Things moved forward, so it was better than most Mondays. Thought I was up early, but it was only that the sun had a hard time rising. Made it to the keyboard for some decent work anyway. Revisions moved forward, letters were posted, the Woodward book was (mercifully) finished, and even a trip to the gym got made.

Wrote my first N review of the new year and fixed dinner. Feel like something else should have happened, but have to say I would have been too tired to notice if it had.

M back with us tomorrow. Early. Need to get a jump on the day.

Could have used a bit of Starbucks this afternoon.

Oh, well. On to green woods, as the poet said, and pastures new.

Reorganizing...

Don’t know what’s going on inside this head of mine, but haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in a week. Bad dreams, coughing, more bad dreams. Rolled out of bed later than usual, got a slow start at the keyboard, and eventually gave up and went to the movies.

Did manage to get a letter written to D. I’ll get that in the mail come Monday. Meantime, need to get back at the long piece and start hacking away again.

Haven’t been to the gym in three or four days. Too beat up from the cold or whatever it is. Still feeling pretty punk, but don’t think I can put it off any longer. Makes me crazy, not going. Only exercise I seem to get anymore, and one of the only excuses to get out of the house.

Gotta try and finish the Woodward book in the next two days. Can’t have it contaminating my mind any longer.

Snow flurries coming down tonight. Kinda pretty. Dodged a big snow last week but, who knows, maybe something unexpected will drift in. Be nice to see some white on the mountains. An excuse to snowshoe next week.

Game on tonight. Maybe I’ll watch a little of it.

Yeah. Friday...

Long night, long day.

Up coughing till five in the morning. Bad dreams in between. Managed to get to the keyboard early, though, and finish two projects before three. Felt good to do some commercial work and get away from the fiction for a while.

Picked up the boys a little before four. Brought them home and fed them, then went off to the store to pick up a pizza. Look forward to a quiet night at home, a good night’s sleep, and with any luck an early go at the long piece.

Still bummed about the closing of Glimmer Train. What a strangely unsettling thing to see another good pub go down.

Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s all you can do.

Au Revoir Glimmer Train...

Cold or whatever it is knocked me down good today. Cough kept me up a good part of the night, and I never did recover. Hope I can shake it this weekend.

Put in a little bit of time revising the long piece this morning, then shifted over to a bit of commercial work. Fun to get back to the ad copy after spending so much time on the literary stuff. Deadline tomorrow, but have a good start on things so I shouldn’t run into any problems as long as the house doesn’t burn down or get savaged by floods.

Piece of good news this afternoon. An old story, “Oceans Apart” resurfaced in an acceptance slip from the editors of Mosaic Art & Literary Journal out of the University of California, Riverside. It’s supposed to appear in their next issue. First of the new year, and a nice way to start it off.

On the sad side of things, Glimmer Train’s shutting down after thirty years. Never thought I’d see the day, but I remember thinking the same thing about Story, when it was in operation. Now I have at least a notion of an idea of how my dad felt when all his life-long buddies had passed.

Wish I felt better.

Still behind in my letter writing.

Maybe I’ll catch up this weekend.

Mid-week musing...

Plugging along.

Rolled out of bed later than usual, but got on task fast and put in another good day of revisions. Left for the gym a little after one and got in a decent workout before heading over to the grocery store. Still feeling under the weather, but no complaints given what everyone else I know is going through.

Spoke to Mom this evening. Seems to be doing well. Can’t figure out how an eighty-eight year old can have so much energy at the end of the day, but man, I hope its passed on genetically.

Going through fits and starts with the Woodward book. Kind of hate wasting time reading about idiots I wouldn’t ordinarily give the time to, yet have to admit it’s an entertaining character study.

Speaking of stories, got my first (and what will no doubt not be the last) manuscript of the new season from N. Be good to ramp back up again. Re-reading Johnny Got His Gun and The Sisters Brothers in addition to the Trump book, but there’s nothing like a good piece of short fiction to cleanse the palate.

One more thing. Read yesterday that Ken Burns is coming out with a four hour documentary on Hemingway. If anyone can find something new about the man, maybe it’ll be him.

Ran into my daughter in the grocery store. Nice to catch up.

Need to write a couple of overdue letters tomorrow.

Looking out, looking in...

Still in the process of ramping up. The week with the boys turned things sideways, but I think we’re getting back on track. Slowly but surely.

Up early to the keyboard. Been making some good headway with revisions. Not sure how long this latest cleanup will take, but it won’t really matter if the work is up to snuff. Time off clarified the perspective. Glad I had it. Think I’ll take the same approach when this draft is over. Can’t hurt to let it sit a while, and draft a couple of pieces of short fiction in the interim.

Neighborhood’s been oddly quiet. Guess everyone’s fallen into hibernation. Everyone, that is, but the kind soul who took away the Christmas tree I was planning to haul it out to Rocky Top. (Thank you, Jake?)

Caught up with my buddy S late this afternoon. Good to hear his voice. Spend what was left of the day picking young J up from school and sorting through a menagerie of Hot Wheels.

Tried to get Mom on the horn, but no luck. Maybe she’s out do dinner with one of the kids.

K off to Mexico.

Back away from the table and no one gets hurt...

Woke up free man with the return of the parent(s) last night. Slept long and hard and hit the keyboard early. Felt good, getting back in the flow of work. Made some decent progress. Just in time, too. Think I might be coming down with something nasty. Run down. Coughing. The usual.

Broke away for a trip to the gym none-the-less. May be my last this week if I start feeing any worse. Whatever. As long as I can keep pushing forward with the long piece.

Got a bit of a cloud hanging over my head, but with all the craziness going on, it’s to be expected. Kind of wish it was spring so I could do a little fishing and sort things out. Get away for a while. Lie in the grass and close my eyes and forget about everything.

Gonna hit the sack early tonight.

Been reading B. Woodward’s Fear, and asking myself why. I've spent the past two years living it, and hardly anything in the book has come as a surprise.

Maybe this is a good time to call it.

Yeah.

Goodnight.

A Brief Moment in Time...

Two and half more days of looking after the boys. Been having a good time, all in all, though when things go south, it does take a while to restore the peace. Haven’t counted the actual meltdowns, but there have been a number. Surprisingly, none over the absence of their folks.

S is nursing a nice case of pneumonia, so the going’s even tougher for her. She picked up some Rx yesterday, but as of this writing they haven’t yet kicked in.

Schedule’s been out-of-control crazy, but still managing to get in some work on the long piece. Not sure what sort of progress/damage I’ve been making, but will have time to sort that out when the boys aren’t underfoot.

New Year's Eve...

So. Woke up later than usual after a good night’s sleep. Went to work at the keyboard, finally delving back into the long piece, but not before finishing J. Cheever’s “The Swimmer.”

Boys coming tomorrow for the stretch of a week. (Crickets)

Not into New Year resolutions, but have made a deal with myself to focus as long and hard as I’m able on every given moment. If I’m going to waste time, it’s going to be an extravagant waste.

Want to read more, think less, worry less. Believe in things worth believing in, and dismiss the rest out of hand.

Long year ahead, and here’s to the best of it.

No prisoners.

December 30, 2018...

So here it is, another day in a week confused by the holiday clockwork.

Woke later than usual, read two stories, wrote a little, and went back to revisions on the long piece. Feeling my way.

Saw a movie early this afternoon, then came home for a brief workout at the gym. Pretty quiet all around town. Like everyone’s taking a deep breath. Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but the kids will be in our care soon enough and that should rock the world back into motion all on its own. A week, babysitting. Yow.

Gonna take it easy tonight. Try and get up early.

Between this year and the next...

Catch up day. Mss in the mail, correspondence, revisions, and a quick trip to the gym. In the meantime, made a fresh pot of beef stew, which is currently simmering on the stove.

Still trying to find my New Year bearings. Feel as if I’ve lost touch with things…or people…or both.

I know it’s wrong to say it, but I’m looking forward to some alone time. Or, maybe, quiet time.

Need to get back to work on the long piece. Soon.

The in-between...

Damn. Off the grid so long I don’t know where to begin.

Christmas in the rearview, the new year not far ahead. Had a good time with friends and family. The boys were an education, as always. Many comings and goings, some reflection in between, and now it feels as if we’re coming into something big and new.

A lot of things on my mind. Gonna spend the coming weeks sorting out what I can and finding a way to leave the rest behind.

Supposed to be cold tonight. Colder tomorrow. Glad we’re working our way into the weekend. Haven’t been able to orient myself, what with the holidays and change of schedules, but it won’t be long before the clocks aren’t striking thirteen every morning.

Look forward to that.

Meanwhile, rest.

Lots of rest.