It’s been a while since I posted anything here, but this time I have an excuse! Really, I do… I know, you don’t want to hear it. But the fact is, my life has been in some turmoil for the past few months. I retired from my day job, sold my house and most of my ‘stuff,’ as that famous American philosopher George Carlin put it, and relocated. I and my significant other, after thirty-five years in Jersey and a few more in Brooklyn, moved to God’s Waiting Room, aka Florida. You hear a lot of negatives about Florida when you live up north, but I’ll tell you a secret: you don’t hear much bitching from anyone who lives down here, excepting maybe when they’re bemoaning the fact that so many New Yorkers are headed this way. The truth is, paradise ain’t that hard to get used to.
The downside of all this is that I have missed a bunch of writing time. I used to think that I functioned well in chaos, and there’s some truth to that, but it’s not conducive to getting much writing done, not in my case. And it remains to be seen what effect this new location will have on the stuff I write. I already thought about a story line involving some Brooklyn guy hiding out in the Keys… So there’s that. But when I write about NYC, it’s really not about the one you can see if you’re a tourist. The city I tend to write about, I think, is the one I discovered when I first got there back in ’73. I was nineteen, and Brooklyn was a true shock to the system. The city made a real impression on me and those memories color everything I write about the place. I suppose that’s true of any novelist, I think we write about memories and myths, by and large. So that city is still with me and I have no fear of running out of stories about her. But for me, the mechanics of writing come with some prerequisites. A room without a view is one, which rules out my new living room, because palm trees waving and terns, egrets and herons doing slow circles in the distance don’t do much for my concentration. There’s a walk-in closet in one of the bedrooms, I actually thought of putting a desk in there. My wife thinks I’m crazy but I still might do it. Another necessary element is a certain amount of routine. I need to be able to sit down in the same spot every morning and spend some intimate time with a pen and a legal pad, preferably without construction guys hammering up the tile floor in the room next door. So we ain’t all there way there yet. But I look forward to finding out if having a bit more time on my hands will help me get more writing done.
I’ll let you know.