Sunday, August 31, 2008

A New Year

A writer friend wrote me, after reading this blog, to wish me the “September Fever.”   

I knew exactly what she was talking about because after all this time I still think of September as the beginning of the year.  A time to start new things.  An excellent time to start writing a new book.

For many years that’s exactly what I’ve done.  But this year, for various reasons, starting a new anything is not in the cards.  It’s out of my control, a state I’ve never been comfortable with.

The worst part of this is that I’m not sure I want to start a new novel.  How many months have I been saying that I’m finished writing?  It’s only in the last weeks that I’ve been suspicious of that stance.

Herbert Gold says, writers never stop writing, are “always on the lookout for the next book.”

“Writers can’t serve 30 years and then earn release to play golf, wear a baseball cap, enterain themselves by negotiating shopping carts down the aisles of the local supermarket.”

I’ve always believed this, but I know I won’t be sitting here hitting the keys on September 2nd.  That’s a given for a reason out of my control.  And after that things will depend on what happens on September 2nd.

For anyone who has been a constant reader of this blog, you know that even if everything turns out all right, I won’t start on September 3rd because it’s a Wednesday.  Whoever heard of starting anything in the middle of the week?

If I’m lucky I might want to begin writing on Monday September 8th.  And if I want to I can only hope that circumstances allow me to do so. 

Saturday, August 16, 2008


“My advice to writers just starting out? Don't use semi-colons! They are transvestite hermaphrodites, representing exactly nothing. All they do is suggest you might have gone to college."

Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My life goes on but my writing doesn’t.  I think it was Freud who said that to have a happy life you need both love and work.  I have one but not the other.  I’ve had both and I was happier.

So sit right down and go back to work, you say.  It’s not so simple.  I keep thinking that I’ll do that in the fall despite my insistence of retirement.

It’s true that I was tired of the routine, but I’ve had a rest and now I feel I want to write.  Perhaps that’s because at this moment I can’t. I may be fooling myself.  Once I can I might not want to.  That remains to be seen.

The point is that at this moment I feel I want to write, feel I would if I could.

Friday, August 01, 2008

One Step Forward

I can read again.  I’ve almost finished a novel.  And I think my not writing might have something to do with a situation I can do nothing about.  The situation will change, but I don’t know when.

It’s not magic and I know it doesn’t mean that when the situation changes I’ll plunk myself down here and bat out the first chapter of something. 

But I do notice that I have a sense of longing.