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January 18, 2021:

THE THROES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, in the throes of finishing the new book. Not the throws, mind you, no, I’m am in the throes, which is a whole other kettle of onions. I think when I do three or four more pages after I post these here notes, that will leave me with somewhere between ten and fifteen more, but who knows. So, I’ll either finish today or tomorrow, then I have to go back and do the few things that Muse Margaret mentioned, which won’t take very long, and I have to make a few other adjustments here and there. I’ve been asked why I write so fast and wouldn’t it be better to stretch it out and enjoy it. My answer to that is that I do enjoy it, but over this past twenty years I’ve evolved a way of doing it that works for me. The fact is, I get very caught up in the story and the characters and I just barrel forth because I want to find out what happens and when you write fifteen pages a day, seven days a week, the page count adds up rather quickly. But I only write for short stretches over the course of the day and evening, as you know. I take many breaks for music and watching. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and there are no right or wrong ways. Of course, someone like Georges Simenon could write an entire book in three or four days and could write five or six a year. That I could never do. Otherwise, I continue my opera adventures. I finished that Shostakovich opera, which I found very interesting and I even listened to the first half again. I thoroughly enjoyed Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. Next, I move on to Verdi, and I want to find a good recording of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, because I remember liking that one. I probably own a recording, but heaven knows what box it’s in. One of these fine days, I’ll pull the boxes down and find the other operas I own. I’ve now heard operas in English, Eyetalian, French, Czech, and Russian. Are there any Japanese operas? Chinese? Greek? Latvian? Swedish? Danish? Yiddish? Perhaps I’ll write an opera in Yiddish entitled Vos Iz Es, Fish? Actually, perhaps Benjamin Kritzer could be an opera.

Yesterday was a short day due to the fact that I slept for over ten hours, not arising until 1:50 in the afternoon. I really needed the sleep, though, so that was a good thing. Once up, I answered e-mails, and then got right to futzing and finessing. I made lots of little changes, rearranged a few things, deleted a few things, added a few things, then spent an hour trying to write one damn page. I find that incredibly frustrating, when I can’t quite get the tone right or the dialogue right or whatever. In fact, I rewrote three pages about twenty times, but I think I finally got it at least close to being right. I ordered from that Barbie Q jernt and had their incredible pulled pork sandwich with a small side of mac-and-cheese. It was even better than the first time.

Once finished with that, I finally got five or six pages done, but boy was it slow going. Then I needed a break, so I watched the rest of the Irish movie, Herself. There’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it means well, and the characters are good, as are the performances. The leading lady (who also co-wrote the script), Clare Dunne, is terrific, and even better is co-star Harriet Walter. The director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia) does fine, although the pacing could definitely be better. I enjoyed it for what it was.

Then I wrote another six pages, went to Gelson’s and got a tiny bit of spicy Thai noodles and onion bagels, and some tuna and an onion for today’s food, came home and had a bagel and cream cheese and the noodles for my evening snack. Then I took a shower, and then wrote another couple of pages. The rest you know, and you know the rest.

Today, I’ll try to be up by eleven, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll futz and finesse, write new pages, hopefully pick up some packages, eat tuna sandwiches, write new pages and try to barrel through and finish the book. If not, I’ll finish it tomorrow for sure. I’ll try to watch something unless I’m in the throes.

Tomorrow, if I haven’t finished the book I will, otherwise I’ll begin putting together the next Kritzerland show, see what’s what with project two, I’ll print out and Xerox the last batch of pages and get them to Muse Margaret, and then I’m told I may see the first cut of project one by Friday, and let me tell you how excited I am about THAT. Oh, I just did.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, try to be up by eleven, do whatever needs doing, futz and finesse, write new pages, hopefully pick up some packages, eat tuna sandwiches, maybe finish the new book, and then perhaps watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: When you first discovered music, what kind of music was it, and what were your favorites of what you heard? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to be in the throes of finishing the new book.

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