Notebook 3

Continuing my wanderings through some of my old notebooks.

I’ve learned it’s usually best to write down things that strike me as very interesting. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that eight years later it will make much sense to me:

24 March 2000
Use pesticide names for names of villians
Blackberries saved my life

Here are some impressions of the rooms in our house just before we moved in:

31 March 2000
red room — airy light
kitchen — fresh
laundry room — close
right room — dead corner by stairs
left room — open
orange room — light bright
top of stairs — sheltered/safe
blue room — quiet
upstairs bathroom — inviting
downstairs bathroom — mushy, closed in

That same year I was in contact with an actor who did one man shows of historical figures. I saw his performance of Edgar Allan Poe and was favorably impressed. He told me that he was interested in doing a show of Leonardo da Vinci and asked me to write the script for him. The project never worked out, but here is my preliminary attempt at sketching out some details for myself.

15 April Leonardo notes

1482-99 Milan — eye — drawing as knowledge Art & science — together —also, unfinished horse.

1500-1506 FLorence — Borgia — survey to divert Arno — for war — but did sketches for canal that was followed centuries later
Mona Lisa
Studies of body — dissections
bird flight

1506-13 Milan
“Battle of Anghiari” — unfinished
Tomb sculpture of
Trivulzio — equestrian — big disappointment— spent years
— A lot of scientific work —
math, optics, mechanics, geology, botany

1513-19 de Medici put him up for 3 years in the Vatican — but he was out of the mainstream
—other artists were getting commissions he wanted (Michelangelo) — so he accepted invitation from Francis I to go to France with Francesco Melzi
“First painter, architect and
Mechanic of the king”
—Given complete Freedom.
did no more painting.
—Plans for palace and garden of Romarantin — halted due to Malaria outbreak.

Visions of the End of the World
—powerful late works

Melzi was heir

Here’s another errant scrap of an idea:

28 May 2000
A week after his funeral, my father came back home. “Didn’t like the life over there,” he said.

Sometimes I amuse myself by thinking up titles I might use some day:

17 Oct 2000 Titles
Please See Me After the Revolution
Will There ever be a Time?
The Time We Saw the End
Where We Went the Day the World Ended
The Moment of the Rising
My Mother was Late
The Sound of Air Dropping From the Sky

Here’s some advice from a novelist. I must have thought it was usuful when I wrote it down in my notebook. Looking at it now, I’m not so sure, although I do like the last point he makes.

4 Dec 2000 Monday
“How to Grow a Novel” — Sol Stein
—each scene has to affect the reader emotionally
—Dialog should be adversarial
—The germ of a novel should come from something that the writer feels strongly about
—For plotting — put people in a crucible
—Think of the likely logical next step — then do the opposite

And I’ll close today with some trivial word play:

Tuesday 6 Feb 2001
The Plain Nets
More Curry
Vein Vain Nose
A Steroid
Chew Patter
Sat Turn
our Rain Is
Nap Tune
Play Dough

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