Thursday, April 8, 2010

So I’d been working on this book, The School of Night, for something like two years. And as I approached my drop-dead deadline of March 1, 2010, I found myself fantasizing in an almost erotic way about what I would do AFTER I turned in my rough draft. In no particular order:

• Practice piano
• Work on my garden
• Take long walks with my dog
• Take long bike rides around the cherry blossoms
• Lose ten pounds
• Go on school trips with my kids
• Read books. Dear God, books! Richard Price and Don DeLillo and Josephine Tey and pretty much anything less than 500 years old. Book after book after book, read not for research or profit but for the sheer unmitigated sexual pleasure of it.

So that was my plan. And then came:

• My son’s weekend-long baseball tournament in Taneytown, Maryland
• Two nights in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania (with a terrific group of students and faculty)
• Spring break
• St. Patrick’s Day
• Daylight Savings Time
• A long Easter weekend at the in-laws
• My dog dying

And now, three weeks later, the window has closed. An edited manuscript sits on my desk. Revisions have to be made. Another book remains to be conceived. And I seriously miss my dog.
And, on the whole, I still feel pretty lucky.
But I still want to lose ten pounds.