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January 4, 2021:

LESSON LEARNED

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, the lesson learned is never to eat four mini cupcakes in one day – two in the afternoon and two at midnight, especially when the frosting is super rich. I learned that lesson the hard way. I got into bed at three, already tired, but I knew those cupcakes were not digesting. It’s like having to burp but you can’t and the build-up of that becomes a problem. I kept getting up and popping Pepcids. At one point, I definitely fell asleep for about thirty minutes, but woke up with bile in the hold throat, which stings like crazy. So, up I got again, had another Pepcid and drank some Diet Coke because the carbonation is helpful in terms of burping. By that time, the stinging in my throat was really irritating me and though I tried to go back to bed, I was not successful. So, after thirty minutes of sleep, I got back up and just sat at the computer, listening to music – finishing Pavel Haas’s Sarlatan, which I enjoyed and will listen to again. I also listened to Konigskinder by Humperdinck, a wonderful recording featuring Helen Donath. It’s really well recorded and engineered. The music has lots of beautiful passages throughout, but it really does go on way too long – two-and-a-half hours and the story’s a bit weird and it doesn’t end well. It’s pretty understandable why it’s not produced very often and why Hansel Und Gretel is. I also wrote a couple of pages of the new book.  I finally got back in bed at eight and thankfully fell asleep quickly and the next thing I knew it was two-twenty in the afternoon. So, that would be about six hours of sleep. I got up but felt really sluggish and kind of wasted. And all that was the result of four mini cupcakes and the lesson learned and I shall not repeat that folly, oh, no, I shall not repeat that folly. Other music I listened to whilst taking writing breaks: Pierre Monteux’s recording of Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloe. It’s a pretty great recording in excellent sound, but for me it does not best the first Charles Munch recording with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the greatest recordings I’ve ever heard, especially in its SACD three-channel presentation. A disc of Janacek, Jaromir Weinberger, and Biedrich Smetana orchestral selections, conducted by Charles Mackerras with something called the Pro Arte Orchestra. I didn’t love the orchestra or the sound, and Mackerras has done some of these selections with the Vienna band and those are fantastic. And then the thirty-minute children’s opera, Brandibar, by Hans Krasa, in an English translation and version by playwright Tony Kushner. The music is delightful, and the singers are fine when they’re singing and a bit amateur when they’re reciting Kushner’s rhymed couplets, which I’m sure would be more fun with good actors. Conductor is Gerard Schwarz, and sound is rather typical for a Naxos recording – fair. But I really like Krasa’s music. I think that was it for listening.

Yesterday, as you already know, I got six hours of sleep and missed most of the day due to the lesson learned. Once up, I had to immediately finesse a track, got that done, and then one beyond that. Then I had to go pick up a package, came home, ordered a pastrami sandwich from Togo’s, which arrived about thirty minutes later. I ate that whilst beginning the futzing and finessing of the previous day’s writing. That took a very long time, with lots of additions, deletions, smoothing out, adding character touches and descriptive details. So, I didn’t actually start new writing until the early evening and that was very slow going, I must say. But I’m in chapter four now, but at the time of writing these here notes, I’d only completed six pages of new writing. So, I decided to get the notes out of the way and then I’m going to take a shower, as I always get great ideas in the shower. After that, I’ll continue writing and definitely try to do four to six more pages. It’s not as many as I wanted, but we’ll see how I feel and if I can do more, I will. But I need to be in bed by two so I can get a good night’s beauty sleep. And I can try to do more pages today to catch up. We’re also trying to decide if we should push our filming date one week – it will put real pressure on our editor but would make our leading man’s life easier. I haven’t decided yet. We can still do it this week, but he can’t start filming until eleven his time, which is eight for us – that’s fine by me but I’m worried about doing that after he’s had a full day. We shall see. And the rest you know.

Today, I’ll need to be up by ten-thirty or eleven so I can go do the banking thing, which I’m praying won’t be crowded or too difficult and that all the branches will be open.  Once that’s done, we only have one more track to finesse and we’ll get that done, then I really can concentrate on writing all day and evening.  I’ll eat at some point, hopefully pick up some packages, take music breaks, but basically, I want a really good day and evening of writing.

Tomorrow, I’ll be writing all during the day, and then we’ll either start filming or we’ll have decided to push a week. The rest of the week will be more of all that and either filming or getting ready to film the following week.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up by ten-thirty or eleven, do banking, finesse the last of the tracks, futz and finesse, write new pages, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and then continue writing new pages whilst taking the occasional music break. Today’s topic of discussion: What have been your biggest lessons learned? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, having had a lesson learned and having learned said lesson, shall not be repeating the food event that led to the lesson learned.

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