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January 6, 2021:

ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, hoping the rest of this evening and tomorrow will be filled with light and sanity because that is exactly what we need and I believe it is what we’ll get. As Johnny Mercer said, accentuate the positive. Otherwise, I’m listening to volume three of suites from Janacek operas – this volume is my favorite of the three. Such wonderful music. Prior to that, I listened to my second Massenet opera, Werther. I enjoyed it very much – not as much as Thais, but it’s filled with wonderful tunes and I liked the cast very much and the sound is excellent. It’s the album with Frederika von Stade, Jose Carreras, and Thomas Allen, conducted by Colin Davis, a conductor I’ve never liked. He seems fine here, but then again, I have nothing to compare it to. Earlier, I finished Turandot, which I absolutely loved. I used to have the Leinsdorf recording, but don’t remember much about it and can’t find it. It did get an SACD release, but I haven’t found a cheap enough copy yet. The one I listened to was with von Karajan conducting and I thought it was a very good recording, save from some weird balances and near distortion at the beginning. Whatever that was about, the engineers seem to have made adjustments and it gets better as it goes. It was an early digital recording, so that could have something to do with it. The melodies are to die for and so are the orchestrations and von Karajan is just a wonderful conductor. Next, I found a couple of American operas in the garage that I haven’t heard since I bought them and frankly, I don’t think I listened to much of either, so that will be fun. First up will be Desire Under the Elms by composer Edward Thomas (he wrote the flop musical, Mata Hari) and the libretto is by Joe Masteroff. The other one is an opera of Elmer Gantry. Plus, I should be getting another Massenet soon, Manon, and a few other errant and truant things.

Yesterday was okay. I got eight hours of sleep, got up, answered e-mails, forwarded some orders that had piled up, and then I spent ninety minutes futzing and finessing the prior day’s writing. I’d done fifteen pages, and there were the usual additions and deletions and a lot of smoothing out. New characters were introduced, so I picked up where I left off and wrote a page of the new characters. Then I went to the mail place and picked up packages – it wasn’t as crazy today, at least at the time I was there. Then I came home, had a Marie Callender’s frozen dinner for 550 calories, and had two bagels with it. After that, I dove in and wrote about ten pages, so that was good and took most of the afternoon.

Then I took a break, started to watch a screener of the new George Clooney movie, which doesn’t look that good, but realized I had a Zoom test session, and I wouldn’t get very far, so I tabled that, and I’ll probably watch it this evening. Then we had our Zoom session. We tested out the way in which we’re going to film this, and it should work fine, and we talked about wardrobe and such. And so, next Tuesday filming begins. After that, I wrote another five pages for a total of fifteen, and I’ll try to write another page or two after I post these here notes, just because I’ve introduced yet another new character and I want to get into that character a bit more, but I can already tell I like the character and that she’ll be fun to write.

After that, I took a break, listened to the music I’ve talked about, and sampled a few pieces of candy I got online – a little piece of white chocolate bark with almonds, one caramel, one peanut butter patty, one piece of taffy, and a few tiny pieces of the best peanut brittle ever – and very thin so you won’t break your teeth on it. And then it was time to write these here notes. Oh, and we’ll be announcing the first Kritzerland title of 2020 tomorrow night. I was hoping we’d have two ready, but alas that wasn’t to be. So, stay tuned for that.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll futz and finesse, then write new pages, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something very light – thinking about a chicken Caesar from Gelson’s or perhaps a cube steak and a baked potato, or whatever sounds good at the time. Then it will be more writing – hoping to do fifteen more pages and if I do, then I’ll print those out, get them Xeroxed, and get them to Muse Margaret. After all that, I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow and the rest of the week is more of the same – lots of writing, hopefully Muse Margaret will like the new book, and then getting ready to film our little brand-new musical thing, which we’re all very excited about.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, futz and finesse, write new pages, hopefully pick up packages, eat, write more, hopefully print out the big first batch of 100 pages, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like. So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping we can all accentuate the positive.

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