gall and gumption

Saturday, May 19, 2007


So I've been a bit -- 'ow you say? -- down in the mouth or possibly just tired the last week. You know I'm working the day job with the hour plus commute (by train, thank God). It's nearly 12 hours from the time I leave the house till I get home in the evenings at which point the dogs and I go out for the big excitement of their day. Well Rommel going out for a walk is very exciting too, yes, but not much use to me. So it can be eight or later when I sit down to do a bit of writing in The Notebooks.

Did I tell you about the notebooks? Did I tell you I hired a typist? My typist is a guy who doesn't really know how to type. Also I think I had the loony magnet turned up when I met him. He is sweet but each installment of pages comes with a little note attached, slightly hysterical, with soem latest drama of his life. Most of these dramas are really small and insignificant but they seem to loom large for him, and frantic apologies for how slow he is. he thought, you know, that he might be able to knock off one notebook in a week. He has just finished one -- after more than two months. He is typing from handwritten manuscript, and my handwriting is quite neat and legible, but occasionally he has to guess at a word or its spelling. Here his subtlety of invention becomes evident. I believe he has managed to corrupt the morals of his spell-checker. He doesn't know what "double-spaced"is. He types in 10-point single-spaced Times New Roman, apparently out of some notion that he is giving me good value for money by cramming tiny type onto the page. He does not know that he has actually earned twice as much money as he thinks he has. I amuse myself with thinking how I'm going to break the news to him. My preference is to just break it to him with a check.

But he now feels it part of his duty to give me comments on what I've written. He once helped a lady avoid eviction by suggesting some touches to a letter to her landlord, and he thinks he can help me too. So a few weeks into this he suggested we could meet for coffee and he could lay out his ideas. But now somehow his vision of this meeting has expanded. He thinks it would be a good idea if I took him and his teenage daughter to his favorite Greek restaurant and we could talk about it there. My vision of this meeting has also now expanded, to include belly dancers and the guy who dances with the table in his mouth. I see no way to avoid this meeting, to tell the truth, so perhaps I should do it soon, before it turns into a bigger event, possibly involving a Bounce House or balloon animals.

But I haven't been able to do my bit of nightly scribble, even. I go to my office (small patch of sidewalk outside) and sit down and feel too tired and depressed. I've written myself into a corner on the piece I've been working on. I know I have to cut things, and I'm not attached to the writing, but I do feel the loss of the time. This is ridiculous, of course. And all the usual -- various family worries and money worries and time worries and space worries and again, I feel overwhelmed. A bit like my typist, I suppose.

Anyway I hope that explains this latest long gap in posting. I have begged a couple of people to do some guest blogging or send me stuff by email. So don't give up yet.


At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

I've been meaning to try this site for Frost tapes, but Susan Arnold also transcribes manuscripts:

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