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January 17, 2021:

IN THE HOME STRETCH

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we’re in the home stretch of the new book. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, we’re in the home stretch of the new book. I’d say another thirty pages ought to do it, but I won’t know until I get to the end. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here like so much fish, listening to another elmore recommended opera, this one Russian, baby, because you can’t get more Russian than Shostakovich. This opera is entitled Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. I would say that if you like Shostakovich’s symphonies, this is along those lines, especially the choral symphonies. Since I’m a big ol’ Shostakovich fan I’m enjoying it very much. The orchestrations are fascinating and the vocal effects at times are even more fascinating. It’s not Puccini or Verdi or Massenet – no real hit tunes here, but there are some fun Shostakovichian tunes here and there – but if feels more like a musicalized drama. But I’m truly fascinated by it and will give it a few listens. The recording itself is typical of today – the volume on the soft bits are way too low, but if you turn those up, then the loud bits will blow your speakers out. But the singers are really top-notch, and the band sounds amazing. I did finish The Love of Three Oranges, which was fun, and The Bartered Bride, which was even more fun. There’s one more Russian opera on its way – Boris Godunov – looking forward to that one. And then I guess I’m going to have to delve into some Verdi. Anyone know Bellini? Not personally, but the operas? I think Norma is quite popular with the populace. Should I give that a try?

Yesterday was a nice day, pretty much. It was like summer, actually. I was up at eight-thirty after only five hours of sleep – I really need to catch up on sleep soon – I answered e-mails and did some stuff on the computer, then called in an order for pasta papa. I drove over to Hugo’s and picked it up and then ate it all up in the car. It was excellent. I played my two solitaire games on my phone and managed to kill ninety minutes.

Then I drove to the mail place and picked up a couple of packages, including the Shostakovich opera. I stopped at Gelson’s and got the small chicken Caesar to have later. Then I came home and began futzing and finessing. You may recall what a struggle I was having writing that series of pages – I’d ended up writing fourteen, which was fine, but I was sure they’d suck, but I was very surprised to find they were fine. I did quite a bit of adjusting and making additions and subtractions, but the essence of them felt right to me and they were well paced, so that was good. Then I wrote four or five new pages right away, because I’d begun a chapter and I knew exactly what would happen in that chapter and I knew it would be fun to write. I took a little music break, then went back to writing and did more page and by six I’d done twelve pages. I finished watching Mank, which I really didn’t care for. The Fincher “style” was fun for about ten minutes, but you don’t ever care about anyone and I found it dramatically inert.

Then I went back to Gelson’s because I thought I deserved a sweet treat – I got two of their bite-sized cake things – Parisian and coconut. I ate both and they were good. But now I’m nauseous as can be and I think my stomach is just having issues with sugar these days. It’s why I had to stop eating K’s Donuts – I’d just get nauseous hours later. I don’t have problems with the Entenmann’s chocolate donuts, for whatever reasons, but I can’t do this cake stuff anymore, and the last time I had those mini cupcakes it was the same story.

Then I realized that my approach to one part of what I’d written was too lugubrious, so I went back and rewrote that section – just three pages, but it’s much better now. After I post these here notes, I’ll do another two or three pages.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll check to see if any packages arrive, I’ll futz and finesse, I’ll write new pages, I’ll eat, I will forego any sugar, I’ll take music breaks and perhaps a movie break, unless I’m on a real roll with heading towards the ending – I’ve been known to just barrel through, so I don’t lose that momentum. We shall see. I did start several movies and didn’t last ten minutes with any of them, but I did make it through forty minutes of Her, an Irish movie that’s at least watchable.

Tomorrow, if I haven’t finished the book I most likely will, and if I do, I’ll have a celebratory meal all by my lonesome. I’ll start pushing forward on project two, and I’ll start preparing the next Kritzerland show. And that’s what next week will be filled with.

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, check to see if packages have arrived, futz and finesse, write new pages, eat, take music breaks, write new pages, finish a movie, and then, at some point, relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to be in the home stretch of the new book.

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