one big writer's wank
Thursday, August 6 2020
location: southeast shore, Twenty Ninth Pond, remote Minerva Township, Essex County, New York
At some point in the morning, I moved from the bed in the main bedroom (choked as it was with dogs in positions seemingly selected to maximize occupied space) to the bed in the secondary bedroom, which is too high for the dogs to jump up into. There I slept for an indeterminate amount of time before Gretchen woke up and began telling me about a book she'd been reading. It was the Resurrection of Joan Ashby by a Cherise Wolas, and it had been recommended (and given) to Gretchen by a publisher who happened by the Golden Notebook at some point. So then Gretchen felt compelled to read it, even though it came to over 500 pages. Apparently Gretchen hadn't been enjoying the book, though she'd kept reading it, she admitted, partly due to the sunk-cost falacy. the Resurrection of Joan Ashby told the story of a remarkably-gifted author who swears never to have children, only to change her mind (as fictional women always seem to do) after being accidentally impregnated by her brilliant opthalmologic surgeon of a husband. The resulting children turn out to be themselves gifted, with one showing promise as a great writer and the other founding a billion-dollar dotcom. You can probably already tell that the book is one big writer's wank, full of rich-people problems and boneheaded trips to India for the finding of self. Best of all, it contained many samples of the characters' supposedly award-winning writing, all of which were terrible. In was surprised by how much I enjoyed hate-reading it by proxy, and our conversation about it continued into our morning hot beverage ritual at the dock (I've been drinking coffee, while Gretchen's been drinking decaf tea, though she occasionally has some non-decaf coffee as well).
The morning was sunny, but a cold wind was blowing from the north, making conditions on the dock not entirely pleasant, at least not without socks, long pants, and perhaps a light jacket. But the weather improved a lot within an hour, and soon it was just another sunny day in August in the Adirondacks. It was on the cool end of normal, but Gretchen was able to swim and read on the dock, which is mostly all she cares about (she only had about 70 pages left of the Resurrection of Joan Ashby and quickly finished that off.
My supply of a white Bread Alone loaf was running low, so after my morning toast, I ate ciabata roll with vegan mayonnaise, pepper-corn Tofurky, fresh spinach, red onion, and mustard, and it was so delicious I had another for lunch.
This afternoon I kayaked alone down to the south end of the pond to see what the situation was there. Normally this is something of a pollywog nursery, with plenty of pitcher plant growing on the jumble of sun-bleached logs trying to exit the outflow. But today I saw not a single pollywog, and most of the clumps of willow and pitcher plant on the sundrenched logs were high above the water, unable to tap it. There's usually some sort of beaver dam at the pond's outflow, but this year that dam seems to have fallen into disrepair, allowing the pond to lose a foot or so of water.
This evening Gretchen made an Asian rice noodle dish with asparagus, tofu, and some sort of green.
Later we watched the third episode of the Black Lady Sketch Show, and then Gretchen wanted to see the Biance performance movie Homecoming, which was filmed at Coachella. I'm that into elaborate song & dance performances, so I watched it only grudgingly. Biance has a beautiful voice, but I found the beats she sang over excessively artificial and limping. Maybe I'm just showing my age and my whiteness.
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