Old Moon

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Everybody remembers the days of having a paper due. How do you deal with that task now? Do you set out to produce an essay, a story, a poem on a topic, a person, an experience that seems to ask to be put on paper? Do you ever consider accepting an assignment from out of left field, so to speak? No problem when it has suggested itself; when someone else pushes it on you, that's a different kettle of fish!

I've just taken on something like that. It's not my cup of tea in general, and many of the specifics being included in the proposal would never have entered my head. Yes, I've always wished I could address a writing problem like the one being proposed, and I've always felt there was no way I might achieve an acceptable result. It's turning out to be a challenge (and I do mean challenge) to try to write something that would be right up someone else's alley. I can't resist trying, even against my more realistic instincts.

With an eye to the comfortable closing in of winter, I'm trying to get some kind of start into a tale that could possibly take off, and if not run with me, at least begin to point a direction. Maybe I should have entitled this post "No Fool Like an Old Fool."

Monday, October 17, 2011

None the Wiser

Nothing to say on the writing front today, but maybe I should follow up on that last post. Six days and three ladies later, I doubt there's a taker in the lot. The principle viewer of our superior community, after finding minor faults with some things that can't be changed (like dining room hours) and some that can (like artificial leaves as part of the mantel decoration) seemed unlikely to be content in any residence that doesn't have unlimited variations in routine and policies. In other words, no place I know of. Then just before departure she surprised me by saying she was favorably impressed, and will consider us--in a few years. After almost a week of lodging and a meal a day (if she and her friends were here to partake), I was not pleased.  Imagine how our Marketing Director feels. A while back, we had a couple who actually spent two full weeks here, demanding a lot of special attention and information, and not just one meal a day, only to depart after letting everyone know that they intended to go to Florida--from day one. They were just "checking" other possibilities. In a store that would amount to shoplifting, wouldn't it?

The older I get, the more amazed I am at what I grew up calling chutzpah. (Sometimes Yiddish has no English equivalent.) It's the kind of nerve that an observer knows immediately is fully understood by the perpetrator as dishonest at worst, and doubtful ethically at best.

So now we go back to the ordinary business of preparing for a winter that seems likely never to materialize. Yes, cool nights, but daytimes at temperatures associated with June or July. If I ever get fall pansies to put in, I don't know if I'll be fighting the dratted hose every other day to keep them watered so they'll still be here in December! Climate change? After fewer than fifteen years here, I don't know yet.

So the next chore is to email my publisher to get at least a statement on royalties (?) I'm scared I've heard nothing because there aren't any to report.

It's another perfect autumn day, though with high cloud beginning to show. Carpe diem is the order of the day--as it's apt to be when you're my age!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Perennial Complaint

Waiting to be picked up for an hour-plus drive to the airport to meet a prospective resident of the community where I live. I don't have to drive,  just be available as a kind of welcoming one-man (woman) committee. The whole enterprise will take between four and five hours if there's no flight delay. The difficulty is that I can't get those hours back.

Is there a non-professional (definition of one who writes without getting paid for it) out there who doesn't feel bothered by these thefts of precious hours? The individual mentioned in my last blog has bullied me into admitting that hours I could be writing but am not, verge on the sinful. Even if he's wrong, that idea is gaining more and more traction in my head along with predictable intimations of mortality (thank you,  Mr. Wordsworth).

I seem often to be asking my readers, if any, for advice. This is another of those times. Wednesday I incurred the barely concealed anger of the president of our residents' association when I refused to undertake a task I've done before. The question is, should I apologize? I've served on that board as an officer, and twice as a representative, and on several committees, some of which entailed months of work (think revision of By-Laws as one example).

I'm actually saying out loud (as my excuse for the things I no longer am doing), "I'm a writer, and I don't have the time." What if I'm deluding myself? Maybe that doesn't make any difference. I'm a writer anyway!