Progress Report #49

I’ve finished the first pass through the second draft’s chapter 23, which has the working title of “The Last Wave.” It deals with a portion of the time that I was literally sleeping on the street. Ironically, it was a period of intense discipline—probably the most disciplined period of my life. Some of it was, at least. In this chapter, I do get a brief respite from homelessness, but it doesn’t last long. Tomorrow, I start work on the second pass.

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7 Responses to “Progress Report #49”

  1. Tracy Glomski Says:

    Is your working title a reference to the Australian film directed by Peter Weir in the late ’70s, by any chance?

    I always enjoy reading your progress reports. Thank you for including these tidbits on your blog–they definitely pique my curiosity.

    • markbittner Says:

      I’m aware of the movie title, but there is no reference. Incidentally, years ago, my wife, Judy, won some kind of grant to be flown down to Belize to watch Peter Weir direct The Mosquito Coast. That was back in the days when she thought she might want to direct feature-length fiction films.

  2. Tracy Glomski Says:

    Cool, I was just wondering. I’m glad Judy has gone toward documentaries instead. I generally prefer those, as opposed to mainstream feature films. Whenever anyone asks about favorite movies, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is definitely among my top five. It’s very well done in every respect.

    Good luck with the second pass today!

    • markbittner Says:

      Judy started out making documentaries, but she used to assume that eventually she’d move on to making “real movies,” that is, feature-length fiction films. Most of the other documentary filmmakers she knew tended to think that way. So she tried to get several feature projects off the ground, studying dramatic structure, writing treatments, directing plays, and so on. (She ended up using a lot of that study in The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.) Eventually she realized that her heart wasn’t in fiction, that what she loved was documentary film. So she has stayed with it.

    • Tracy Glomski Says:

      In that case, I’m thrilled she stuck with what she’s always loved! I need to check out more of Judy’s work.

      I’ve never studied filmmaking, but as an audience member, I have trouble suspending disbelief for made-up stories. I don’t know why. I’ve always been that way. I didn’t even cry at Bambi as a child.

      If the movie is telling an actual real story, however, and if that story is delivered with a light enough touch that I don’t feel I’m being manipulated, then I can relax and let my heart be spoken to.

      I’m also not especially keen on novels, for the same reason. I read Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in my 20s and experienced the exact same mixed reaction that you describe at your Street Song webpage.

      Incidentally, I did check out Heinberg’s The Party’s Over this summer on your recommendation, and thought it excellent. I intend to try a few other books on your favorites list this winter, when I should have enough time to settle in with wonderful reading material.

  3. Margaret Says:

    “It was a period of intense discipline”–yes. It seems to me the streets are such an unforgiving environment, you must have needed your wits about you every moment: discipline energized by adrenalin. And the aloneness of it would cause intense concentration, painful and valuable. But perhaps I never earned the right to analyze the dangers someone else went through. I’ve always had a safe home.

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