I've never read anything by Joyce Carol Oates, at least as far as I know. I thought I remembered that she wrote some science fiction novels at one point (which I did read and didn't care for), but I can't find any evidence of this, so maybe that was somebody else (Later: that turned out to be Doris Lessing). If I haven't read anything, I don't think I'll start now. She's written 117 books, after all, and I'm not as young as I used to be.

Anyway, I was just reading an article about her, and it said that whenever she finishes a book, she puts it away in a drawer for a year (or more) before starting to rewrite it. I think this is a good policy, and that's about what I intend to do with the new novel. If I ever stop thinking of more things to add to it.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Dark Shadows on DVD. I hadn't seen it since it originally aired in 1969 or 1970, and at one point a character reveals an artifact that he had found on a recent trip overseas. It was a disembodied head ("disembodied" meaning "without a body," not "non-corporeal" – on Dark Shadows either would have been possible), and the moment I saw it, I thought, "Ah, the head of Judah Zachary!"

So, clearly some little part of my brain has been holding onto that name for over 25 years, just in case I might need it. No wonder I have trouble remembering important things, my brain cells are full of the head of Judah Zachary and the hand of Count Petofi and the staircase through time and the I Ching wands.

Actually, Collinwood (the house where a lot of Dark Shadows took place) is a pretty good metaphor for how I want this novel to work. In Collinwood, you could turn a corner and walk up a staircase you'd never noticed before, and suddenly you were in the past. You could enter a room and find a nursery, but the next person entering that room would find a storeroom. You could go through a door and be in "parallel time" (don't ask).

You could be reading a novel, and click on a link you'd never noticed before, and suddenly you're in a collection of short stories about the same characters.

Another great night of Poco on Friday, out at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore. I got there in one of those fancy new double-decker LIRR trains. I didn't stay for the meet-and-greet after the shows (they played two sets!) because I wanted to get back at a somewhat reasonable hour.

Set lists are below, for those interested.


I've run out of cut-ups to post over at the utownwriting site, so I posted a scene over there. It's not a deleted scene (those are posted here, and there will be another one next week), this is a scene which will be added in rewrites (whenever I start to do rewrites).

According to the logic of the situation, it's something which would have happened, but it didn't occur to me until I was past the point where it would have fit.

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