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January 8, 2021:

THE FIRST 100 PAGES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to Charles Mackerras do Leos Janacek instrumental music – orchestral suites from the operas, his famous Sinfonietta, his equally famous Taras Bulba and several other pieces that are new to me. So, that’s a pleasant diversion after quite a long day of doing and going and going and doing. I also had the chance to catch up on some other music – an early Janacek opera called Osud, which many reviewers claim isn’t very good in terms of story and libretto, which is why I occasionally don’t look at either and just enjoy the music and I have to tell you, I REALLY enjoyed what I heard. It’s a short opera of just eighty minutes and the recording, originally done for Supraphon but now on Chandos, is excellent, led by Mackerras. And I also heard yet another Decca Entartete CD, this one a chamber music disc, string quartets by Pavel Haas and Hans Krasa, and I really enjoyed all three of the quartets on the disc. But best of all was the Muse Margaret call. I’d given her the first 100 pages of the new book and was, of course, anxiously awaiting the verdict and I’m happy to say the verdict was excellent. She felt the style was really good, she loved the characters and milieu, and she thought the story thus far was good and that there was a good deal of humor in it, too. Of course, that was just the tonic one needed. She had a couple of things for me to look at, mostly on the first page of the book where I’d overused a word way too many times, so that I’ll adjust. Otherwise, it was just a couple of typos, and I had to read her two pages because for some reason they didn’t print out – how that can happen, I’ll never know. And so, I mush on and did mush on and will mush on some more after I post these here notes, which are now, as of right this minute, late.

Yesterday, we finally had some damn light and sanity. That actually occurred before I went to bed when they finally certified the electoral votes. I was up at eleven after about seven hours of sleep. I answered a few e-mails, was not thrilled with the number of CD orders, but that’s the way these Bagley releases go – they trickle in, unlike Lolita, My Love, whose orders flew in. Hopefully, there’ll be more today. After that, I futzed and finessed, doing the usual additions and subtractions and smoothing out, then I printed out the pages.

I then moseyed on over to Staples and got them Xeroxed. I’d made the Muse Margaret appointment for three o’clock and it was barely two, so I went and picked up one little package and came home. Once home, I wrote half of a new page and then listened to the string quartets and did other stuff on the computer. Then I left for Muse Margaret’s house.

I gave her the 100 pages (or 98, since two were in absentia), and she and her ever-lovin’ Richard and I had a fun talk, and they gave me a movie to watch. After that, I drove over to Vitello’s and picked up my meal – spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread, and a side Caesar salad, got home pretty quickly, and ate the spaghetti and garlic bread, which were really great. I saved the Caesar salad for later. I then wrote about three more pages, got the phone call, which was, as you know, very positive, and then I took a movie break and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled God Bless America, a movie I’d never even heard of from 2011, probably because it pretty much was released as a movie on demand and home video – if it had a theatrical release, it wasn’t more than one week. It’s directed by one Bobcat Goldthwaite and is a black comedy satire about a man and a young girl who just begin to kill people they don’t like. It’s a strange film, certainly, but the two lead actors are fun to watch and, like Dirty Harry and Death Wish and Falling Down, there’s a certain, I don’t know, fun in watching the mayhem, just because the people they go after are so horrible. The problem with movies like this, however, is that sometimes the characters are really just spouting lines that are clearly the thoughts of the writer and this particular writer wanted to cram in every cultural reference and everything he hates into each character’s mouth and that’s exactly what it sounds like. But it all moved along and I kind of enjoyed it for what it was.

After that, I had the little Caesar salad, then wrote more pages, for a total of nine, so I’m hoping to do another six before I go to sleep. Or at least I’ll get close to that. The rest you know.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, and then I’ll futz and finesse, write new pages, take some music breaks, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, do more writing, and then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The weekend will be mostly spent writing, and also getting ready to begin filming project two. I must take it easy, food-wise, for the next week, to get back on track with the weight loss program.

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, take music breaks, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, do more writing, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, the rest of this orchestral Janacek Mackerras box (with one CD of Martinu as a bonus). DVD, perhaps The Prom. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had Muse Margaret read the first 100 pages and that it was such a wonderful report on them.

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