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2003-11-02 - 12:17 p.m.

I read something online in a news story, a quote from a fan, that Elliott Smith's death affected her like no one else's had. I felt the same way. I've been listening to his records for days now. What a beautiful and sad piece of human being.

Writing fiction is scary most of the time but every now and then, a little window opens up, maybe at three in the morning, and everything becomes clear and possible and brilliant. I had one of those moments last night. I'm going to see if I can ride it for a while.

I've been getting elaborate, tape-bending phone messages lately. It's kind of nice. Knowing someone is sitting in their chair, phone cradled against shoulder, talking at me (and not with me) for two, three minutes, about their lives, asking me about mine, and not sorry at all that the message is rumbling, rolling, over several different conversations in summary form.

I found out on Friday I'll be teaching a 300-level course in the spring. I can't wait to get students who actually want to be in the class. In my head, I've been going over and over my first day of class, what I'll say. As long as I can get them to laugh, at least once.

`Everyone is gone

Home to oblivion.'

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