Archive for June, 2012

Progress Report #80

June 25, 2012

Today I finished Chapter 33 of the 2nd draft. That leaves me just one more story-chapter, number 34, which I start tomorrow, and then a summing-up chapter, number 35. As I approach the end, I find the pace of my work accelerating. But I’m so tired. My intention is to finish by July 22. The day after, Judy and I leave for a ten-day camping trip. When we get back I intend to lay off the book until I really feel ready to take on the final draft, which I currently see taking me around a year and a half.

This next chapter deals with a temporary return to music, not as a profession, but as a discipline, a study. Blue monk. A tremendous feeling of defeat and exhaustion hounds me, but it turns out to be an illusion. If only I’d known… Oh! And there’s fire on the mountain…

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The Coming Election

June 14, 2012

In 2008 I voted for Barack Obama with enthusiasm. This time I’ll be voting for him as the lesser of two evils. One thing I pray that I’ve learned once and for all is that under the current setup there’s no chance of a truly good man or woman getting into the White House and doing good things. I don’t know what Obama’s original intentions were, but it seems to me that as soon as he got into office he was taken aside and told how things really work. He could either go along or be destroyed. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. That’s how empires do business, and this is an empire. Eventually, like all empires, it will come apart. Actually, I think that’s already begun to happen.

I would sooner live in Greece than under another Republican president. That’s not hyperbole. I’ve been to Greece and I liked it. I think Greece will soon be out of the global economy, which would make the idea even more attractive to me. (It’s also possible that it will, in effect, lose its sovereignty and become nothing more than a playground for the rich.) But moving to another country is extremely difficult. So even if the nightmare of a Romney presidency were to come about, I see it as highly doubtful that I’d be able to pull it off. I can’t dismiss the idea entirely, though. Romney keeps making bigger and bigger deals with the devil. (This is the first time, by the way, I’ve ever had the wish that I could leave the country. It’s not something I do every election year.)

What a strange, strange time we live in. I’ve seen strange times that are good, but this ain’t one of ’em. It’s not that I don’t believe there’s any hope. I do. (I know people who believe that having any hope at all is “hopelessly naive.”) But the hope I see is extremely difficult—probably impossible—to make understandable at this point in time.

Progress Report #79

June 9, 2012

I finished chapter 32, Draft 2 (which put me over the 900 page mark) and have started chapter 33. In this chapter the central event is my getting a close look at what I might well have become had I continued playing music. It’s not a pretty picture.

I have one more narrative chapter to go after this one and then a “summing up” type chapter. Then I’m done with draft 2. I intend to take some time off from the book and get a fresh mind again. I’ve been going along for more than four years now hearing the same voice, that is, the same quality of writing, and I am weary of it. The next draft, the last one, is the chapter where I get to bear down, get creative, and find the magical, “accidental” resonances. I’ve been waiting for this for nearly six years. Once I’m into the last draft these progress reports will become far more infrequent. You can’t write a book on stage. Occasionally I will let people know how it’s going, though. It’s pleasing to me that anybody wants to know.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

June 2, 2012

Hosni found guilty