DAYBOOK: POEMS, STORIES, LETTERS, INTERVIEWS, JOURNAL ENTRIES. November 16 - December 16. 41,000 words. I drive to Atlanta to sign a contract to sell the house. Go back to Panama City and start painting Wayne's bedroom of Brenda's old home place, so she can move in when we close. We go to look at an extended-stay motel, where she will live from the time we close on the house until she gets laid off from her job, in January. My mother sends me a check, to help with the move, and I hire a mover, to come the day before we close, arrive in Panama City the day after. Brenda comes to Panama City for Thanksgiving, in Santa Rosa Beach, with Balder, and Suzette. I finish writing Southland (cont'd) and start writing Southland (cont'd) (cont'd). DAYBOOK makes 12 books I wrote in six months, since being laid off, and retiring, to move to Florida. I see that Congeries: A Heap or Pile, is a one-book series, to be followed by the three-book series The Great American Art Brew Novel, or Jack Saunders' Memoirs. I take down The Daily Bugle and roman-feuilleton.com and start looking for a job. I had a nice six-month sabbatical. Half a year is better than none, and more than many writers get. The house, I drove to Atlanta, there was a problem with the paperwork, our closing on Friday was rescheduled for Monday. I had to drive to Panama City Friday afternoon, to meet the movers, Saturday, drive back to Atlanta Sunday for a closing Monday at noon. By popular demand (one email from Santa Rosa Beach), I change my mind and decide to keep The Daily Bugle and roman-feuilleton.com up.
PINWORM IN THE BRAIN OF THE MONSTER:. A PETIT/GRAND ROMAN À CLEF. December 16 - December 28. 23,000 words. "Everything in a culture mitigates against the fruition of the individual artist who has been foolhardy enough to set himself aside to answer what he thinks of as a calling." Jim Harrison, Off to the Side. The closing on the house, the money did not come in from the lender and I had to stay an extra day. Then, there was no one in the office to sign the check, and I was late getting away. Typical real estate closing horror story. When the moving van delivered my furniture, in Panama City, the driver backed over the concrete cover of an abandoned septic tank and got stuck. We had to call a wrecker to get him out before we could unload the truck. Balder comes over to help me throw out some furniture, rearrange furniture, so the rooms are not so crowded. I buy a dump truck load of fill dirt for my septic tank hole and a sledge hammer to bust up the broken concrete slab, and drop it in the hole. Owen and Jeannie's baby is born. Ella Blue. We are grandparents. I finish Southland (cont'd) (cont'd). The three pamphlets ran 100 pages. Areas not interested in agenting: poetry. Ha ha, autobiographical fiction, anecdotes and ravings. Saga-novels. A roman-feuilleton, whatever that is. Gerald and Del come to stay with us, for Christmas. Owen and Jeannie and Ella come down, and rent a condo in Blue Mountain Beach. We eat Christmas dinner with Suzette. Owen and Balder help me fill my septic tank, the day after Christmas, at a fish-fry/venison-roast. I was calling PINWORM IN THE BRAIN OF THE MONSTER "an underground-writer procedural novel," and calling I REGRET NOTHING "a petit/grand roman à clef." I switch subtitles. Petit or grand depending on how long the book is. Emerson said "These novels will give way, by and by, to diaries or autobiographies--captivating books, if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly." The key is Jack Saunders is his uncredited stunt double, Art Brew. But what difference does that make: Brew has the same problem writing a true Jack Saunders as I have writing a real Art Brew. I regret making the truth fiction. I see that THE GREAT AMERICAN ART BREW NOVEL, OR JACK SAUNDERS' MEMOIRS is a book in three parts rather than a series of three books, and see that the first part segues into the second when I become a writer, in New Orleans.
I REGRET NOTHING: AN UNDERGROUND-WRITER PROCEDURAL NOVEL. December 28, 2002 - January 12, 2003. 41,000 words. 30-some years of writing and working full-time, when I had a job, writing and looking for work, the houseperson in the home, when I didn't have a job. We babysit Ella New Year's Eve. Going back to Atlanta, Brenda blows a head gasket and overheats, close enough to Panama City I drive to where she is, exchange vehicles with her, limp back home, and put her truck in the shop. Or overheats and blows a gasket. I might have blown the gasket driving home. Anyhow, a bill of $1,793, for a new radiator and a new head gasket, a valve job, a timing chain, a water pump, oil, antifreeze, tax. It's always something. It's only money. No one was hurt. Brenda's last day at her work is January 15. I plan to drive to Atlanta and follow her home, in convoy. My mother, my sister Susan, Susan's son, Rob, and the family dog, Cole, stop by for a visit, en route to Jacksonville. We go to hear Balder play with Duke and Franko at Fermentations.
PARKER BAYOU. January 12 - January 23. 22,000 words. I compare my six-month retirement, in which I wrote a dozen books, and posted ten of them at my web site, roman-feuilleton.com, to Thoreau's sojourn at Walden Pond. An experiment that failed. And yet, Brenda and I, Swiss Family Paranoia-Critical, or Team Wuppie (willfully underemployed professional), are going strong. Soldiering on. We get a HUD $900 refund on FHA mortgage insurance we weren't expecting. Help offset the car repairs. A windfall. Justin is playing fiddle with Balder and Kyle, regularly. Duke starts sitting in, on bass. At New Year's, Owen sat in, and he and Justin played twin fiddle. To live an hour's drive from this kind of music, and fresh mullet in the fish house, is a real treat. Why live anywhere that there isn't this kind of music, and fresh mullet, an hour's drive away? Brenda is laid off. I drive to Atlanta to help her pack the stuff in her motel room, and follow her home. She has more stuff than will fit in my car. At home, she files an interstate unemployment compensation claim and starts fixing up her house, with me helping on the painting and building custom shelves. She is sleeping better without waking up at night afraid she'll have to go to work without a good night's sleep. Anxiety about having to work, exhausted, woke her up, and made her exhausted, at work. Maybe she can break that cycle. I see that THE GREAT AMERICAN ART BREW NOVEL, OR JACK SAUNDERS' MEMOIRS is a book in four parts, not three, and that "Parker Bayou" is followed by "Dean." Oh, shit. Sam Bush reads a write-up of Dread Clampett in The Beachcomber and goes to see them at the Funky Blues Shack, in Destin. Brian, a waiter at The Red Bar, gave Balder a portrait of Bush. Balder brings it to The Red Bar Sunday. Bush comes to hear Dread Clampett again. Brian gets his picture taken with Bush and his portrait of Sam Bush. Balder gets his picture taken with Bush and the mandolin John Lamar made, which Balder is helping Lamar sell, by playing it, and telling people who made it. I continue to explore the relation between, or among, Americana, or roots music, folk art, and vernacular writing, plus working in the hospitality industry to live in a nice place like Grayton Beach, where the dogs are friendly and the people are strange, what would a dog regret? I am getting the word right on the page and the pages out to my coterie of steadfast readers, The Buzzard Cult. Everywhere along Highway 30A except Sundog Books, which sells Dog Fancy magazine, not Big Hairy Possum (Blackberry Blossom). No road-kill-chili writers need apply.
DEAN. January 23 - February 2. 15,000 words. Short for Art Brew, Dean
of Suppressed American Straight White Male Writers, From the South, of a Certain
Age. American because only in America would the entire oeuvre of
a writer, except for independently-published and self-published fragments, be suppressed,
in the name of diversity, where multicultural is not pan-cultural, excluding the
Florida cracker, as it does. A cracker is prima facie a racist. And a sexist
and a homophobe. Brew signs up for an acrylic class at the Visual Arts Center. He
and Brenda continue to paint, build shelves, throw out stuff, and make their house
a home. He pitches three YU News Service columns to The Beachcomber, making
fun of the War on Totoism and the Homeland über alles Security Czar. Not what
they are looking for. But he does get an assignment to write a profile of South of
the Border Imports. $50 for 750 words. He takes Brenda with him as his cameraperson.
On the way home, she picks up a copy of the Dolphin Splash! project dolphin locations,
and he decides to visit them all, in situ, and ask the individual dolphin
sponsors what the public reaction to them has been. He writes Public Art,
and publishes it as a pamphlet, sends copies to the artists he knows who painted
dolphins, the project coordinator, the head of the Bay County Public Library, who
sponsored the project.
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