Thursday, March 18, 2010


I’ve been re-reading the manuscript, finding things to adjust, small things for the most part. Actually, that’s what I’ve been trying to do this week, but the job intervenes.

This job, like many, involves managing multiple projects, each of which is at a different stage of completion. My mind wants to take them in order: finish one, then begin another. But that’s not the way it’s done.

Instead it’s like a system of country roads. Each project is the big highway, maybe the interstate if that’s not giving it too much weight. So here we are, rolling comfortably toward a destination, when along comes an exit, a state highway that we are compelled to take. If we ignore the state highway, we’ll soon be so far along the interstate that we can’t double back. So we take it and are making good progress, whatever that is, when whoops! Gotta take that farm road. It won’t wait. A few miles after that, we turn onto a county road, and it’s dirt, and it’s looping past fields we’ve never seen before. Other dirt roads veer off from it, too, but if we are, at last, able to stay on one road, ignoring others, we eventually end up back on the state highway, and after that, possibly the interstate again. Now, where was it we wanted to go?

Many people do such work, fielding unrelated emails and phone calls while an important project--or two or three--simmers on deadline and clamors for attention. They do it, moreover, for forty years.


I hope they don’t find it as stressful as I do.

Meanwhile the manuscript waits in its metaphorical drawer. Fortunately (!) I’ve heard nothing from the agent I queried. (It’s much too soon for that.) The weather outside is beautiful and I need to go have a “consent to pool” notarized.

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