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January 2, 2020:

A LOVELY FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR, STARTING A NEW BOOK, AND HAVING FUN COMPANY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this year is flying by, like a gazelle bathing in a vat of Wacky Noodles.  I began the day the way that I’ve begun every January 1 for the last decade or so – writing a new book.  I was up at eleven-thirty after eight hours of sleep and as soon as I was coherent, I began futzing and finessing what I’d written earlier this year.  I’ve been doing that for a while now, starting earlier and getting something down, so that when I open the document on the first, there’s something there and I dive right in.

But the reasons for doing so with this particular book were many – mostly uncharted new territory in terms of the form, and so I wrote more than usual.  And so, I began, futzed and finessed quite a bit, and then wrote new pages.  With previous books, I’ve been thrilled if I get ten pages done on the first day, but with the last couple, it’s been more like fifteen.  Because this one’s non-fiction and because of what it actually is, I somehow managed to do forty-one pages over the course of the day and evening.  Once you know what the book is, you’ll understand why that was even possible.

At two, I took a break to shave and shower and make a batch of Wacky Noodles.  I didn’t know how many folks were going to show up, although I didn’t invite many. But I made the equivalent of two batches, which was a huge mistake.  First of all, I didn’t gauge all the ingredients right for two batches and I couldn’t get it quite right.  And by the time the first folks showed up it was already drier than it should have been, a real shame.  People still ate it, but it was not really the Wacky Noodles we know, and love and I ended up throwing the majority of it away.  The tuna pasta salad, on the other hand, was aces.  The Entenmann’s chocolate donuts were quite popular with the populace.  In attendance were Marshall Harvey, the fellow who rents the back house here, Leslie Young and her two daughters, Robert Yacko, and Doug Haverty and his ever-lovin’ Dorathy – so, a small but cozy grouping.  It was a lovely way to start the New Year and the conversation was fun.  Just before we began all that, I noticed the Internet was down.  I’m not sure when it happened, but it stayed down until everyone left, at which point it finally came back up.  I gotta tell you.

I cleaned up a bit, then wrote more, then finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched one of those Warner Archive DVDs, this one given to me by dear readers Amy and Mark, entitled The Walking Stick.  It’s a movie I’ve always wanted to see – it was a huge bomb and I’m not even sure it played out a week in theaters back in 1970.  I was aware of it because I’d read some articles in film magazines.  And I know I wanted to see it because I liked Samantha Eggar, who was the star (along with David Hemmings) and it was based on a novel by Winston Graham, the author of Marnie.  Sadly, it’s very apparent why it flopped, and a lot of that blame can go to the director, Eric Till, who has no sense of pace, and is so in love with rack-focusing and foreground objects rather than actually succinctly telling the story.  It never quite knows what film it wants to be and it’s more than halfway over before its real point becomes apparent, and then it just meanders along until it’s over.  The actors are all very good, though, and I’m always happy to hear a score by Stanley Myers.  Interestingly, his most famous piece of music, Cavatina from The Deer Hunter, was actually written for The Walking Stick.  But I’m glad to have finally seen it.  The transfer isn’t too bad.

Then I wrote a tiny bit more and that was that.  I listened to some very nice music and then it was time to write these here notes.

Today, I have a noon o’clock lunch meeting, so I’ll try to be up by ten, futz and finesse, then mosey on over to the meeting, which is with a potential set designer. I’ll come right back to the Valley after, hopefully pick up some packages, and then come home and write and try to do at least ten or fifteen pages, maybe more if I’m on a roll.  I’m sure I’ll watch something and I’m sure I’ll listen to some music.

Tomorrow, we resume performances of The Man Who Came to Dinner.  We have our alternate Banjo this weekend, the excellent Michael Gabiano.  I’ll write during the day, then go to the theater to do the pre-show speech.  I’m not sure I’ll stay for the show – we shall see.  Saturday is the same, as is Sunday, although Sunday we’re also having a cast meet-and-greet for Doug’s play, which goes into rehearsal two days later.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, futz and finesse, have a lunch meeting, hopefully pick up some packages, write, and then watch and listen.  Today’s topic of discussion: What did you do for New Year’s Day?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have begun a new book and to have had some nice company over for New Year’s Day.

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