A STATIONARY FEAST: CHARLES WILLEFORD AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. March 12 - March 21. 17,000 words. I go to the doctor and get a physical. Everything looks good, but I could stand to lose a little weight. I go on a diet, walk an hour a day, and quit drinking coffee. I quit drinking beer. I weigh 280 lb. When I got married, I weighed 190. Bill and Jean and Ella come down to Santa Rosa Beach for a week with baby Eb Hawk. I stay at home and clean the house, so they can spend the night with us, on the way to Georgia, to a pick-in at Lisa and Jimmy's. Just because you are an immobilized hero doesn't mean you can't eat well. Eating well is the best revenge. Hemingway didn't have anything on me, except his life, and I'm content with mine, so that's that. He didn't write what I did. Being the houseperson in the home, or latch-key husband, let me write as I pleased. Book after book. I am living the dream. Ha ha, rat now. How many 69-year-old writers can say that? Better a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and strife therewith. I write about the four Hoke Moseley novels, plus Kiss Your Ass Goodbye and New Forms of Ugly. I add A STATIONARY FEAST to the end of FIGHTING ROOSTERS, call the book The American Dream: Charles Willeford, Myth, and the Practice of Daily Typewriting, and send the manuscript to Dennis McMillan. Also, I see that A STATIONARY FEAST is the first book of a series, Influences. The dream and the life influence each other. Faith without works is dead, being alone. But work without a dream is pointless. It lacks direction. What is its purpose?
MY STACK, DAILY TYPEWRITING, A WEB SITE AND SELF-PUBLISHED PAMPHLETS. March 23 - March 30. 17,000 words. We keep Ella overnight and Rowan for the weekend. Take him to The Red Bar on Sunday to return him to Jennifer and Balder. Eat a hamburger and a bowl of seafood gumbo at The Red Bar. Hear Dread Clampitt play. I see that INFLUENCES is called AS-IS: STORIES THAT BUBBLE UP FROM SUBTERRANEAN SPRINGS, UNBIDDEN AND UNSTANCHABLE. My unemployment benefits run out. After I write MINOR POET I can write LAYABOUT: MY YEAR AT THE HOUSE ON UNEMPLOYMENT.
MINOR POET: CHARLES BUKOWSKI IN LOS ANGELES. April 1 - April 11. 15,000 words. The novels, Barfly, The Bukowski Tapes, Dangling in the Tournefortia and Septuagenarian Stew. Possibly the story collections. I see that AS-IS is Post Office, about underground writing, instead of a job. That is, underground writer is a job, like postal employee. I give myself permission to write it. I egg myself on. I change the name of AS-IS to UNDERGROUND WRITER. Itís Post Office meets New Forms of Ugly: The Immobilized Hero in Modern Fiction. At The Daily Bulletin: A Newsletter On the State of the Culture, or, How To Write World Literature From Parker, Florida. Guthrie Trapp sits in with Dread Clampitt. We meet his parents, Joe and Mary. So many picker friends in common. I remember seeing Alison Krauss play with the Sally Mountain Show in Okeechobee, Florida, when she was 14 years old. Rhonda Vincent not much older. Little Roy Lewis with all them old-maid sisters. Show business. Children of the Dirt setting fire to the woods, like Thoreau and his brother. I change the name of UNDERGROUND WRITER to UNDISCOVERED WRITER. The heavens rejoice when a new star enters the firmament.
BLACK HARVEST. In 91 chapters, instead of by date. 34,000 words. A novella with a murder in it. A couple of murders. Compare Dashiell Hammettís Red Harvest and Derek Raymondís The Hidden Files, about the effect writing black novels like I Was Dora Sanchez has on a writer. You go down into darkness, you might not come back up. I add the subtitle FROM COLUMNIST TO NOVELIST to UNDISCOVERED WRITER. Heap calls his own bluff. Then I change UNDISCOVERED WRITER to UNDERPUBLISHED WRITER.
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