Juggling life and work: It’s a problem for young singles, parents (especially moms) of all ages, and yes, for retirees.
In the past week, we assisted my brother- and sister-in-law in packing up to move from New Jersey, and were rewarded by dinner with a surprise guest. We wrestled with a wrecked car, incompetent repairs, crappy customer service, terrible traffic, and other real-life situations that will someday be fodder for fiction.
In my days with the newspaper, these were the things that columns were made of. Today, well, they’ll make their way into essays here, or perhaps into light fiction. I could turn material from my old columns, and recent years, into humorous memoir or James Thurber-style fiction. We will see.
On the long rides between Connecticut and Vermont, we listen to Nicholas Meyer‘s “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols.“ This is fun not only of its own accord but because I have my own Holmes-esque story in the works.
And we’ve been working on a fundraising project involving a trifold brochure, a cover letter, publicity flyers, and a deadline. So that has taken priority this past week.
Still, life works itself into my work in mysterious ways — sometimes ways that I can’t foresee. Although I’m still juggling the two, I still have time to stop and smell the flowers. And cut them for a bouquet. And take a photo to share with you.
In other news…
Observations: In another case of serendipity, this morning the pastor of our church opened her sermon with her experience with shoe etiquette in Korea. (The anecdote starts at about 23:30 and ends around 27:00). I’ll have to send her a link to “Shoes on or shoes off?”
Interaction: The surprise guest at the dinner I mentioned was magician Mark Setteducati, my first introduction to a professional magician and Houdini buff. We chatted a bit about “Harry Houdini and the Witch of Beacon Hill” and he pointed me to some contacts who “wrote the book” about Spiritualism. Many thanks to our friends who hooked us up!
Professional development: Some more episodes of the podcast on writing a novel. Behind the scenes, I cleaned up and practiced with the new Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter. My manual typing is starting to come back!
Next week: Hoping to press on with transcribing more of the first draft of the “Margery” play into the book.
In case you missed it …
Puff and fluff, 1979
Reading Time: 2 minutes Any local news editor understands the delicate balance between what readers and advertisers expect and what you think is important.
In Other Words … Season 2, Episode 19
Reading Time: 2 minutes Many people don’t even have the time or focus for an entire book. The culture of short videos and podcasts has taken over, to our detriment.
Top-of-the-head inventory, 1979
Reading Time: 2 minutes “Items in Stock” was, in truth, a misnomer. Some were complete, or ready for a final draft or a rewrite. Others were ideas or characters in search of a plot.
Award-winning coverage? (1979)
Reading Time: 3 minutes Newspapers have associations, which sponsor competitions. But it’s a long trip from “thinking of sending it” to actually receiving an award.
A dead-end job? (1979)
Reading Time: 2 minutes Now, Howard. Listen carefully. It’s important to be honest with a potential employer. But there’s such a thing as being TOO honest.