Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Rainy and mild
I’ve been dipping into OUR PRIVATE LIVES: JOURNALS, NOTEBOOKS AND DIARIES, which contains selections from 40 individuals including Paul Bowles, Bill Clinton when he was still a Governor, Gretel Ehrlich, Keith Basso, Tess Gallagher, Gail Godwin, Jim Harrison, Ursula K. LeGuin, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Oliver Sacks, and Stephen Spender. I originally read it in 1990 — interesting to see how perspectives have shifted since, both my own and culturally. And also interesting to see what stayed the same.
Early morning TV instead of early morning writing got me all out of sorts, and the constant leaf blowers didn’t help. I never really got back on track yesterday.
I was nearly forced into an accident while running errands. One of the dumbass leaf blower guys at one of the houses up the street deliberately blew the leaves into my windshield as I drove past, completely obliterating it. He thought it was funny. I couldn’t see anything and slammed on the brakes. Thank goodness I didn’t swerve into the oncoming lane or I would have had a possibly fatal collision with an SUV. I should have pulled over and called 9-1-1 and had the leaf blower guy arrested; to be honest, I was so shaken I didn’t think of it until later.
Got out some submissions and other correspondence; there’s still more stacked up that needs to be dealt with. Started packing for both the site job later this week and the DC trip next week.
Most of the day was spent emailing and tweeting back and forth with family and friends in Europe about the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. It brings up memories and emotions. It brings up memories of seeing someone, in 1973, get shot about 500 yards away from me as he tried to get from East Berlin into West Berlin. It brings back memories of being stuck in East Germany, with the Stasi asking questions and not wanting us — American citizens — to go back through to the West, in spite of our paperwork. It brings back memories of changing trains in the underground at a station that was technically in the East, with armed guards pointing assault weapons at the us as we moved from train to train.
When the Wall went up, one brutal regime was simply replaced with another, only this time with the consent of the world. All of the politicians in this country who so casually toss around terms of “socialism” and “communism” so inaccurately should have to actually experience it before they can use the terms. Unfortunately, politicians don’t have to conform to any standards of truth. They should be held accountable for the numerous libelous and slanderous statements they make the way anyone else is — it’s not a matter of interpretation — there’s way too much deliberate lying going on at all levels of government. The fall of the Wall should be a lesson in what happens when the general population is fed up and revolts.
Decent morning writing session today on both “Digging” and the Blair Holland project. I’m writing the latter out of sequence, which is a weird challenge, but it’s getting words on paper.
I need to get to the grocery store today to stock up on a few things to get me through the next few days until I leave.
My editor’s happy with the copyedits — I’ll see final proofs in January, and the book is on track to publish in April. And my producer let me know that THE MATILDA MURDERS is getting an enormously warm and enthusiastic response, which makes me feel like i’m headed in the right direction with my work.
I want to do some more work on Blair Holland and start the Christmas story today.