500 Words or Less

NEW WAY! I usually write a note to myself with that title in sign-style block letters, hi-lighted with at least two colors, a note on paper that usually ends up buried in a box marked “To Do.” If you wait until January 1st each year for your “resolutions,” you're already sunk, and everyone knows that, but there is something about feeling like you're on the farthest north, darkest, coldest apex of the spinning ball that makes a fresh approach to simple things feel actually possible. Though, on this morning, I don't know, it's not the icy 0 degrees it should be, but instead: moist, with Dorothy Gale force winds and no balm-like snow in the forecast (I like snow, okay?)—but still, back to the brutal Monday thru Friday fluorescent office schedule, no day-off holidays until Memorial Day, and I'm officially “pushing 60” but glad, really glad, to be alive. I want to go back to writing fiction, which means up every day at 4am, which means I can maybe go out to dinner some evenings, but I will turn into a pumpkin (only slightly resembling a person) at about 9pm. Making things (drawing, sewing) maybe. We will hope for a new Randy Russell Podcast here, once a week; it's one thing I can do that doesn't cause this intense pain in my hands and arms! (not to mention involves lovely people!) As for the monthly theme (a way of asking to be excused to neglect everything that doesn't fall under the monthly theme)—January is Memoir Month—so I'm going to concentrate on looking back, as well: No Memory is a revealing of journals written just over two years ago, while Notebook Journals is unearthing these same journals that are about 20 years old. Memoir is going way back, to the sporadic days of writing or not, but the next thing there is going to be revisiting “The Garbage Memo”—a document kept during a punk record store lifestyle experiment in 1981. The “jury is still out” about returning to the slightly fictionalized remembrances of The Golden Pineapple, or the new one, revisiting online journals: Blog Day Afternoon (if I can get away with using that title). And, of course, about this “fiction writing”—because “does anyone care” isn't as crucial a question as “do I care”—and in a world of “you couldn't make this shit up,” I guess the question is whether to sit in the tenth row with popcorn, or else: “make stuff up”— and the answer, “we'll see,” comes with no promises except for the promise of (in spite of occasionally being obtuse and confusing) sincerity and love.

Randy Russell, 7 January 2019