Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bits and Pieces, Ray Bradbury's Head

Tuesday, February 28, 2012—Long Beach, California

A quiet evening. Am just getting up from a couple hour's-long nap (the perfect length: long enough to refresh me, but not so long that it makes me lethargic and stupid). Still feeling a bit out of it overall, a bit lazy. Like I mentioned earlier, my school burnout is what’s doing it—anthropology is dragging me down. Still, I ended up applying for the Irvine job; my application was already nearly complete, so I figured why not. I have little chance of getting it anyway. My writing is about the only thing that’s interesting me these days—it’s my only possible future (and a damn good one, I’d say).

Reworked “Girl in the Orange Bikini” a bit and now I really like it. A false note had crept in near the end that, after several go rounds, I have finally weeded out. I’ve got ideas for several other stories rolling around in my head. I will hopefully get a good start on one of the more ripe ones before the week’s out.

I got the first galleys of Edgewater from Eric yesterday. They’re looking good, just a handful of changes necessary. It’s weird revisiting a book that old, though; I don’t feel all that close to the material. I sense that it will always be that way, since books take so long to hit the shelves after they’re completed. It’s probably good for me to feel thing way, though, in that it means I’m growing as a writer. I mean, if something I finished years ago still seems like me it probably means that I’m seriously stuck in my art and my life.

Things haven’t been very inspiring here beyond the writing. Dull gray weather, a winter storm that’s brought in a lot of cold air (it’s supposed to be in the mid-seventies by the weekend, though). I’m really looking forward to spring: I’m ready to be outside, warm, tanned, and relaxed. I’m basically a summer wanderer, a dreamer whose faculties only work right under buttery sunny skies. Even a Southern California winter is too cold and bleak for my current tastes …

Reading Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999, by Israeli historian Benny Morris. Very good. Very even handed (Jews and Arabs alike come off very badly). Wandering thru The Machineries of Joy too, which is a book of short stories by Ray Bradbury. I seem to be on a Bradbury quest as well. I’ve decided that I want to own copies of the mass market paperback versions of his books that I had growing up, the 1970 editions whose various covers feature a pencil drawing of Bradbury’s head in front of colorful collage paintings of images from the book in question on top of great slabs of basic colors, orange for The Martian Chronicles, white for Something Wicked This Way Comes, etc. (I’ve acquired three of these volumes so far). Nostalgia. But the healthy kind I hope. I want to commune with my past, not to aggrandize or even just relive it, but hopefully to remember some of the good stuff—feelings, attitudes, dreams, hopes—that I've lost track of over the years so I can put them back into my life (or maybe to return it to someplace more front and center).

Spring training has started. Really looking forward to baseball this season. There’s nothing better than a warm night with a baseball game on the radio somewhere in the background. Speaking of which, I picked up a used copy of the novel The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, by W.P. Kinsella, which I remember really liking back in the day. I think I’ll start it once the Angels’ pre-season games begin.

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