Novel Plans: Diary 3/19 to 3/25/21

Copyright 2021 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{3/19/21}  Weight 213.2 at 3:45 am.  Trivial weight loss.  Insomnia.

Tweets this morning:

  1. Well, now I’m hungry; since checking my weight two hours ago I’ve peed again, so I want to check my weight and register a slightly larger loss, hopefully; but to do that I’d have to take off my sweats; I’d rather go back to bed.

But of course I’ll just eat.  Not a good early AM.

  • I eat words.

I don’t mean that I eat my words, though sometimes I do that, too.

No, I don’t know what I mean, though it has something to do with reading and writing; I just had to say it.

Talked with Nog for ninety minutes last night, on the phone.  Mostly we talked about Pablo (Grr.), but also about J and “ancient history.”

Fynn could take Apple on a camping trip to Yosemite, which he proposes on impulse, then regrets the idea.  Clearly, there will be an evolving relationship.

In talking with Pablo this evening about the Fynn novel, he expressed concerns about overzealous prosecutors who might put him under the microscope; I told him he was paranoid, but publishing a controversial novel is not to be done lightly.  It would be all right to publish under a pseudonym, which I suspect X would prefer also.

{3/20/21}  Weight 211.6 at 7:30 am.  Wow!  Lost 1½, taking me back to 3/15/21.

Reduced HC today, just me an Nog.

“Eighty die in shootout between police and rioters in London” is the dream-thought I woke to this morning.  It came at the end of whatever it was I was dreaming.  Also, I got eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, these days a rare occurrence.

{3/21/21}  Weight 212.6 at 7:45 am.  I suppose I should have expected a big bounce.

Met with Nog at Raising Cain’s at about 10:30.  We sat and talked for a while about who-knows-what, then walked over to Panera Bread; on the way I asked him about a tree, which he said was ornamental pistachio, and another was sweet gum.  At Panera, Nog paid for my lunch of “pizza bread” and a bear claw.  I argued that I had never spent much money on him, but he was determined, so I of course allowed it.  A yellow-rumped warbler hopped around the brick flooring of the patio, pecking at crumbs like any house sparrow; a gorgeous male in full breeding plumage.  We talked about birds, and Cindy Crabb’s book, Things That Help, which I had loaned to him.  He praised the book highly and read a couple of passages from it. We didn’t talk much about Pablo, having done so a couple of times in long telephone conversations.  I didn’t write anything down—it would have seemed odd, since it was just us two and who does that?  Then L joined us and my part of the talk shriveled to almost nothing.  So, the day is mostly a blur of forgetfulness.  At the end we went into Barnes & Noble where I bought a couple of unnecessary novels, including Kate Atkinson’s Transcription from 2018.  I looked first at the philosophy section, though not very long; I was thinking that I wanted some modern novels, since I’m planning to work on the Fynn novel.

A title occurs to me:  The Curse of Lolita, or perhaps Lolita’s Curse, though the latter seems misleading.  Or how about The Blessing of Lolita?  I am not taken with it.  Later thought:  The Lolita Curse; this is the best version.  I’ll live with it for a while and see.  I’m thinking satire, which is not what I had in mind.

For what it’s worth:  “Pedophilic PASAP in sexual fantasies and in real-life sociosexual behavior was reported by 9.5% and 3.8% of participants, respectively.”  https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)33532-3/fulltext.  “This is a report of a cross-sectional study on paraphilia-associated sexual arousal patterns (PASAP) among men in a metropolitan city in Germany, EU.”

It turns out that “I eat words” is a song title.  “The Lolita Curse,” however, is “clean.”  I used the expression in a tweet and thought of using it as the first line of the Fynn novel, which I’m going to call TLC hereinafter.

Reading Pluche, with the original Halloween on in the background, I wrote an occasional note in the BuJo, then this:  Apple picks up his current reading matter, Lolita.  She asks.  He says it’s about a middle-aged man in love with a girl who’s much too young.  “Like you and me,” she says.

Then:  Use wind, rain, leaves, shadows.  (This was inspired by scenes on TV.)  Birds, dust, crumbs.  Where does Fynn eat?  “Huevos Americanos”—eggs, chili, potatoes, cheese.  (A dish I used to make for my family.)  Ambient sounds.  Real environments.  Metaphors for voices, expressions, body language.  “Tell me an interesting thought.”  “Someday I’ll put my head down and never lift it again.”—Ending:  he puts his head down on the sand.  Fynn must be observant—interested in everything and everybody.

Wondering how to fill the evening.  Halloween II comes on in 45 minutes; I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, or maybe once many years ago.  Since reading is generating ideas, I’d do better to stick with it, or try writing.  But it looks like it’s not going to happen, since I just spent fifteen minutes moping through more of the movie, and commercials.

Sort of hooked on Halloween II, which is not familiar, but neither is it “memorable”—so far.

A second pair of cookies likely sets me up for another gain tomorrow.  Fie.  Later, added chips.

{3/22/21}  Weight 212.8 at 6:30 am.

Frustrating dream this morning, in which I’m riding around L.A. trying to get to work and not succeeding.  At one point I see Audrey Hepburn, a friend, in a similar situation; I try to catch a ride with her, but she’s just a passenger, it’s not her car (which was an open-backed Jeep), and so she couldn’t help me.  There was no conclusion to the dream.

I added some to the BuJo last night re TLC; see separate file, “Fynn Novel Notes.”  Feeling an urge to start writing scenes, though maybe I’ll try the dictation again first.

Dictation as inefficient as ever, but the arrival of Pablo around 4:00 stopped any thought of writing tonight.  He talked a lot about Lolita, focusing mostly on Humbert’s crimes and questions of morality and comparing it to The Stranger.  So, the day was not notably successful, though I got in a lot of reading of Pluche, very near the end, finally.

Halloween II is a terrible, boring movie.  I did not stick around for the ending.  Watched Hellboy yesterday with Pablo.  Some good moments, I suppose, but on the whole a big meh.  ’Course, I saw it once before.  Did I mention that I watched Citizen Kane again?  Yeah, I thought so.  G’night.

{3/23/21}  Weight 212.8 at 6:00 am.

COVID shot today, plus a follow-up visit to the doctor.  It’s going to be a long morning.

Watching a movie I’ve already seen recently just to wallow in the beauty of a young actress (Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy) is one of the stupider things that I do.  There are certain actresses (Cooke and Greta Gerwig) that have such sweet, vulnerable faces that the attraction is less sexual than parental—I just love these strangers and want to be with them and mother them while knowing that they come across as bitchy and entitled when they’re not acting—a possibility that I do not imagine, of course.  One wouldn’t want to spoil the warm, fuzzy feelings.

How about Cult Favorite as a title for The Lolita Curse?  “She lived by the wild desires of her untamed heart”—a quote from the trailer of the Bette Davis vehicle, Jezebel which Fynn could quote to Apple.

The dictation app is working again, so I did six pages.

Rev. Lovejoy (The Simpsons) calls the Bible a “2000-page sleeping pill.”  On the episode where Lisa becomes a Buddhist.

{3/24/21}  Weight 212.4 at 5:45 am.

Twelve pages of dictation today.  Bought groceries, took my pants in to be mended, and ate with Pablo at Leo’s, which is now permitting inside seating (but will likely result in a gain tomorrow morning).  Now to bed.

{3/25/21}  Weight 213.4 at 6:40 am.  Damn.

I’ve often said that “I get ideas while writing”; thus, I should be writing TLC if I want ideas for TLC.  “Preparatory reading” could just be a delaying tactic.  On the other hand, in the Prison Diary that I was dictating yesterday, I have this:

{2/27/10} “Forced writing” I think maybe an example of getting in my own way (see Alan Watts on [303]); it doesn’t work and only makes me phobic about writing. When I write from whim or inspiration, as I did last night, it’s fun. Wu wei works as a guide to life! Fritz was saying something about wu wei when he said that the glass of water makes him drink it.

Now, I’d like to keep it fun; but I’m eleven years and one heart attack older than when I wrote this paragraph—I’m running out of time.  That “it doesn’t work” may be incorrect now, even if it was correct then; long story short, I need to be writing now.  I can go back to [Louis] Lamour’s method:  establish a time when I don’t have to write, but I can’t do anything else.  Seems like this worked before.  So, tomorrow.  Or maybe today, after breakfast (which will be delayed because I must go to the VA for a fasting blood draw).  Presumably I can avoid getting phobic; and I have a scene in mind to write:  the discussion of Lolita, or maybe better, an argument.

Made the mistake of watching No Country for Old Men, which I finally decided that I’d seen before.  It may not be as bad as I think it is, though I don’t know precisely what I mean by that—it did win “all” the Oscars, and I suppose that Pablo will say “It’s great,” as he seems to say about almost everything he’s read.  I tried reading the book, I think; if it’s the one I tried, I gave it up because of excess gore and sadism, though I seem to recall that one being a more traditional western, i.e., starting with a scene in a saloon.  The movie reminded me strongly of Fargo; the Coens seems to favor drug money being picked up by a passerby, with a quirky cop on the scent.  No Country had, I thought, Bruce Campbell as a deputy sheriff; coincidentally, I mentioned to Pablo last night that I thought he was in Evil Dead, but what I had on was a remake of The Evil Dead, without the humor.  The remake was complete trash.

How I might make money from the blog:  start publishing chapters of TLC as I write them, behind a paywall, first chapter free.  Sorta worked for Dickens, didn’t it?  This is really appealing; I do well with a “chapter a month” deadline.  The whole Prison Diary could be made available as well, once it’s done.

Watched Frances Ha again; it’s very depressing until it’s not.  Followed by Maggie’s Plan, which is like part two of Frances, because Greta Gerwig, who is so natural that she doesn’t seem to be acting and maybe can’t act at all?  It’s curious that I just mentioned her a couple of days ago in this document.

Copyright 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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