Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Merce Cunningham (1919-2009)

Progress Notes



I have not been spending all of my time designing cryptically worded T-shirts. I have also been working along on my novel, and am now up to 135 pages. I think it is good--perhaps better than good––but assuming I can add 15,000-20,000 words fleshing out the narrative, I will still have a somewhat short book.

I think I need a subplot.

I do have the voices. I have been listening to these characters in my head for a long time, and they are tumbling out readily onto the page.

My diversions have been fighting the Battle of Walden Green (you could have guessed that) and entertaining Hannah and her Argentinean boyfriend Ivan (pronounced "E-van"), who were in town last week from NYC. We had a great time with them, and we very much like Ivan.

I have little hope that Walden Green, under its reactionary, secretive "the Beloved Leader's way or else" form of governance, will be a good place for Liam and Carlos this fall. We will probably start them there in September, but if everything goes as I anticipate it will, we will pull them out and enroll them elsewhere before "count day" in October, when state education money is allocated according to the number of students in each school.

If all else fails, vote with your feet and take the money with you, I always say.

What a disaster.

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Photo of Evan and Hannah, taken Sunday night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Adventures in T-Shirt Design: Redux 3



Adventures in T-Shirt Design: Redux 2



Adventures in T-Shirt Design: Redux



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Adventures in T-Shirt Design



Friday, July 24, 2009

Salary Appeal Day




I couldn't help asking him once what he meant by coming here at all. "To make money, of course. What do you think?" he said scornfully.

- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 1

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Walden Green Montessori School Board Meeting



Last night, sitting in the dark at the Walden Green Montessori School (for some reason, the School Board wouldn't turn on the lights, and the meeting soon grew as dark as the vision of the Board--this is metaphor, alive in the real world), I began to think of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.

The Horror! The Horror!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Frank McCourt (1930-2009)

A Moveable Book?


On the Op-Ed page of this morning's New York Times, A. E. Hotchner has much to say about a forthcoming edition of Ernest Hemingway's A Movable Feast:

BOOKSTORES are getting shipments of a significantly changed edition of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece, “A Moveable Feast,” first published posthumously by Scribner in 1964. This new edition, also published by Scribner, has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife.

The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light. Ten other chapters that roused the grandson’s displeasure have been relegated to an appendix, thereby, according to the grandson, creating “a truer representation of the book my grandfather intended to publish.”

It is his claim that Mary Hemingway, Ernest’s fourth wife, cobbled the manuscript together from shards of an unfinished work and that she created the final chapter, “There Is Never Any End to Paris.”

Scribner’s involvement with this bowdlerized version should be examined as it relates to the book’s actual genesis, and to the ethics of publishing.




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NOTE: The above copy of A Moveable Feast is the 1996 paperback version, not the "restored" edition forthcoming from Scribner.

Another Reason No One Wants to Sleep with Me


I woke up in the middle of the night singing "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" and then couldn't stop laughing.

"Doo-do-unh-doo-do..."

In other news, 122 pages.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Done!



Okay, it's only a draft, at 108 pages.

But it has a beginning, a middle and an end.

The story moves along and the dialogue snaps.

The celebratory cigar is a Camacho Corojo Gigante.

About as close as we are likely to get to Cuba tonight.

Hooray!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

...and When that Fails



We can always head north on a tuna boat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How We'll Make Our Escape



In a 1953 Buick Roadmaster "Straight 8" Convertible.

Update



No, I did not run off with the flower people at ROTHBURY, nor am I dead. I began the past two weeks preoccupied with work and the problems at Walden Green Montessori School ( a novel in itself) and then, dissatisfied with my writing progress, have been on a tear with my novel. I will have a draft finished soon––dialogue, plot and action scene heavy; very little internal development––perhaps before the end of the month (er, week!).

More later.




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Top: Soldiers who fought in Guatemala with the CIA-supported rebel, Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, during the 1954 coup.

Bottom: Actor Peter Lorre.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Rothbury 2009



If you are bound for Rothbury (about thirty miles north of where I live) here's this summer's lineup. Have fun!

THE DEAD • (ONLY SUMMER PERFORMANCE) • BOB DYLAN AND HIS BAND • THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT • (ONLY 2009 PERFORMANCE) • WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY • THE BLACK CROWES • DAMIAN 'JR. GONG' MARLEY & NAS • STS9 • G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE • GOV'T MULE • UMPHREY'S MCGEE • BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE • YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND • THE DISCO BISCUITS • LES CLAYPOOL • COLD WAR KIDS • JOHN BUTLER • CHROMEO • KELLER WILLIAMS • ANI DIFRANCO • MSTRKRFT • MATISYAHU • GIRL TALK • GUSTER • FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE • MARTIN SEXTON • FLOGGING MOLLY • RAILROAD EARTH • THE HOLD STEADY • TOOTS & THE MAYTALS • RALPH STANLEY & THE CLINCH MOUNTAIN BOYS • BRETT DENNEN • ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA • GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS • SHPONGLE DJ SET • SON VOLT • JACKIE GREENE • LOTUS • SOULIVE • MAN MAN • PETER ROWAN BLUEGRASS BAND W/ TONY RICE • KING SUNNY ADE & HIS AFRICAN BEATS • THE COOL KIDS • STS9 (LIVE PA SET) • THE GLITCH MOB • DAVY KNOWLES AND BACK DOOR SLAM • EOTO • PRETTY LIGHTS • REBELUTION • QUANNUM ALL STARS FT. LYRICS BORN, THE MIGHTY UNDERDOGS, GIFT OF GAB, LIFESAVAS FT. JOYO VELARDE • TOUBAB KREWE • SAM ROBERTS BAND • HILL COUNTRY REVUE • LIPP SERVICE (ELIOT LIPP + MEMBERS OF PNUMA) • 2020 SOUNDSYSTEM • BREAK SCIENCE FT. ADAM DEITCH • THE HARD LESSONS • UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA • FUTURE ROCK • THE MACPODZ • STEPPIN' IN IT • THE WHITE BUFFALO • THE PARLOR MOB • GIANT PANDA GUERILLA DUB SQUAD • CHRIS PIERCE • REED THOMAS LAWRENCE • WENDY DARLING • RACHEL GOODRICH • BIG GIGANTIC • ALEX B (OF PNUMA) • LYNX & JANOVER • THE RAGBIRDS • FOUR FINGER FIVE • VAN GHOST (SOLO)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Progress Notes



I am fifty pages into the novel. I've made good progress this week, for as busy as I've been with other obligations.

Writing fiction is quite a different task from poetry (he said, after fifty pages of experience). I am concentrating on plot, character and dialogue in this first draft, essentially following the format suggested by Walter Mosley in This Year You Write Your Novel (Little Brown & Company, 2009).

The largest difficulty has been Mosley's command to work on the novel every day, but I am doing my best.

Once I have a draft, I will go back and rewrite what I have into what I hope will be "art"--or a reasonable simulacrum thereof.

Onward.

Thought for the Day



The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of any thing, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? You may say the wisest thing you can old man,––you who have lived seventy years, not without honor of a kind,––I hear an irresistible voice which invites me away from all that. One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.

-Henry David Thoreau, from Walden, "Economy," p. 13.