First up, the most important piece of news: I’m back in the saddle, having typed some 3,400 words today as things got intense in One on One. How could they not? Take a city, remove enough people that the girders of society begin to collapse, allow innovative demagogues to take power, and see what happens! Suffice to say that my protagonist is not pleased. Too bad! The question about whether this is a Hobbesian world or not is fast on it’s way to getting answered.

Next, I’m on the mend, and have high hopes of being in fighting shape tomorrow. That means going back to work at Educating Hands where I’m functioning in a part time capacity. Interestingly enough I’ve begun brainstorming a new potential marketing plan for them, given that they’re all heart and very little internet savvy. No twitter account! No alumni database! No flyers, etc, etc. The trick is to find ways to market them while retaining the spirit and soul of the institution, one that is so highly regarded across the nation that they just won the Massage Makeover challenge and were awarded over $80k of new equipment. Awesome awesome. If anybody has any great marketing ideas, please send them over!

What else. Finished Saramago’s Blindness & then his Seeing, and hate to say it but Seeing left me a little unsatisfied. The final third finally kicked into high gear as he grounded the narrative in actual characters, taking it from the elevated world of abstract authority figures and their concerns to the streets where real people deliberated and fought for independence and authenticity. Saramago. A modern fabulist, a gentle reader of people, a lover of humanity despite seeing quite clearly how petty, brutal and nasty we can be.

Saw Black Swan recently, and am still haunted by after-images of it, echoes of certain shots that linger like sunspots. What an incredible performance by Natalia Portman, one that was done justice in every facet of the movie, from the immediate, claustrophobia inducing camera angles to the lighting, from the sets to the supporting actors, from the subtle mirror imagery to the fine line it played with between madness, delusion and obsession. Powerful, wracking, frightening than most ‘horror’ movies and truly disturbing. If you haven’t watched it, get thee to a nunnery. Or, better yet, a movie theater.

Heard a great piece on NPR the other day on the relation between language and thought. Impossible to summarize the lengthy and complex show, but suffice to say that a persuading premise was put forth that it is only through the symbols of language that we are able to construct complex thoughts, to connect ideas, to elevate our mental processes beyond the emotional and intuitive. Without names for things, without the ability to vocalize our thoughts to ourselves, we are limited to the level of rats, unable to connect and correlate information. Also, it finished on Shakespeare’s awe inspiring ability to create neologisms, his power to take the words of his time and combine them in startling, different ways that immediately made sense to people as soon as they heard them. For example: eyeball. Thank you, Shakespeare.

Today is the 17th, and I am about 50,000 words into One by One. In less than two weeks I will have to begin my second novel. At some point I’ll have to give that some thought. If my hands hold up, that is. May have to enlist Dr. Frankenstein in grafting on a new pair if they don’t.

How are things with YOU, gentle reader? Anything of note happen to you these past few days? Speak out, comment below, break the fourth wall and let me know that you are out there!