Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making Time

The newest new rewrite of my novel involves a map. As a child, I spent hours drawing maps of imagined places. I’ve learned I haven’t lost this particular passion.

On my desk (which is really just the dining room table) there sits the phone blinking with the notification of a voicemail. I have no desire to listen to said voicemail. I never have desire to listen to the home phone’s voicemail. The news I care about comes by text or email or cell phone. My home phone is a relic resigned to those people and things about which I care little.

In the town of my youth, they sold no alcohol because they believed this would lead to violence and sin and would ruin the neighborhood. Now, I live in a very nice neighborhood where liquor stores are common. You know what this has led to? Excellent selections of fine liquors. Seriously, the single malts are amazing.

We had a rotary phone growing up. It was in my parent’s bedroom. Even then it was out-of-date and I used to think the time it took to dial was insufferably long. New technologies make so many things insufferably long. We live in an era governed by the millisecond.

And yet, find a good single malt, and time will wait.

What I mean: if I were to draw a map of my desired life, the cardinal points would be a measurement of time and up at the top, where hours linger, there’d be friends and family and books and single malt scotches, and down there at the bottom, where everything moves fast, there’d be voicemails on my home phone and rote copywriting and dental appointments. I’d get what feels like a hundred years to write a novel. Paying bills would seem to go by in a blink.

Ruin, I believe, is only sometimes a product of external influences. Most of the time it’s a product of an error in our internal compasses. So I try to keep directed to what’s important. Like family, and novels, and single malts enjoyed on a November porch.

Of Droughts and Mayors

Got a story up at Hobart called "A Good and Hopeful Man Leading His People Forward. It's here.

I love Hobart. I own a Hobart shot glass and almost every print issue. I don't need to tell you how happy I am to be part of this great publication. But I will.

I'm overjoyed.