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January 16, 2017:

IF THE MUSE IS HAPPY, I’M HAPPY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, the second batch of pages went to Muse Margaret, she read them, she professed to like them and this time she had some tiny notes that were very helpful, all centered on two pages. I’d written a kind of list of things, all of which, of course, I knew. She wanted me to add a little bit of detail about each thing on the list because there will be readers who won’t necessarily know what the thing on the list is – well, they’re actually places. So, I did all that, adding a little more than half a page of detail, and another few lines of detail about something else a page later. Otherwise, one word in one bit of dialogue didn’t ring true to her, so I adjusted that instantly. But I was very happy with her reaction – she seems to be with the story, likes what it has to say, is finding the humor, and if the Muse is happy, I’m happy. We talked about it and how I managed to do eighty pages a week, and I told her that it’s actually exhausting – I am completely spent at the end of every day, like a zombie, but it’s what I have to do. I’ve actually written more pages a day on other books. But the eleven a day on this book seems just right to me. I don’t take a day off or write less because frankly I’m afraid to do that. The way I work, I create a momentum and it propels me forward. Giving myself a page goal forces me to come up with thing quickly and then to get them on paper. To take days off would totally kill my momentum, and it would cause me to have to completely gear up all over again. I simply cannot interrupt the process, nor would I want to. It’s daunting, but a challenge, and I’m always up for that. We’re also both surprised at what this is turning out to be. When I got the idea and decided to use this title I came up with years ago – in fact in the early 1990s, I really only had an inkling of what it was going to be. I had some notes and that was it. I only thought of the idea and committed to it the second week of December.

But at every step, there’s just been a little angel sitting on my shoulder, sort of guiding me along. I was at sea about who the lead character was and what he’d do for a living – and then just the nature of the plot device told me what it had to be. And then that revelation led to all sorts of great things that just lined up wonderfully. And once I’d given the character’s history and got him to the present, everything else began to fall into place. And there have been a couple of other instances of total gifts just dropping into my head, usually during my showers. And every time I’d worry that something might not make sense, one of these gifts would arrive and solve it. And so, I mush on to the finish line. The next time Muse Margaret gets the next batch of pages, it will be the rest of the book. I’m not at all sure that will be by next Sunday, that depends on how things go this week, but I guess it could be. We shall see.

Yesterday was an okay day. I got eight hours of sleep, was up at ten, and futzed and finessed all the pages I’d written, but didn’t really have time to write any new pages – but I was two pages ahead so that was fine. The helper came by to pick up some invoices, and I printed out the pages, then took them to the Xerox place. Then I grabbed a quick bite to eat – an omelet and an English muffin. After that, I went directly to Muse Margaret’s, then came home but not before I stopped at a Right Aid I’d never been to, which is only five minutes north of here. I picked up a little carton of Thrifty Cherry chocolate chip ice cream – surprisingly low in calories – 140 for a nice serving. Then I came home.

I had to take an hour and figure out the location for the new chapter I was about to write, but before I did that I finished the chapter I was on. Then I figured out the location, went with it, and began the new chapter. By that time I’d written about six pages, then I took a break and sat on my couch like so much fish.

I had two DVDs that had classical pieces by Samuel Jones, the composer whose music I’d discovered a few weeks ago, and who I wrote. He responded, happy to hear from someone who’d enjoyed his work so much, and he suggested two CDs and these two DVDs, all of which I got. The music on the CDs was very good, and one of these DVDs has his violin concerto, which is really fantastic, and the other has his cello concerto, also terrific. I’m going to see if I can get these onto a CDR – I should be able to, at least I think I’m still wired to do that.

Then it was back to the computer and I wrote more pages, for a total of eleven. Then I took a nice hot shower, during which I realized how to fix an upcoming plot point that I knew wasn’t quite right in the way I was going to do it, so that was really good, and then that inspiration led me to add some fun stuff to what I’d just written, so back to the computer I went, wrote it, and the total page count for the day was twelve.

Today, guess what I’ll be doing? Hint: Writing, writing, and writing. I’ll futz and finesse, write some new pages, eat, hopefully pick up some packages (although I’m not sure if it’s a mail day), then I’ll write some more. Depending on how far along I am, I’ll maybe start assembling the commentary, at least the parts that I can cut and paste from shows where we’ve done the repeated songs – I think there are four of them.

The rest of the week is all writing all the time. Tomorrow’s work session has been pushed to Thursday, which is probably better for me. I don’t know that I have any other plans this week, and that’s a good thing. We will get the Kay Cole CDs shipped out, probably on Tuesday, since I do believe tomorrow is a mail holiday. The weekend will be more writing and perhaps the big push to the finish, which is what I tend to do when I’m thirty or so pages away from being done.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, futz and finesse, write, eat, write, hopefully pick up packages (or not), and write. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite humorous novels, comic novels? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a positive reaction from Muse Margaret.

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