Monday, May 18, 2009

The hard life of a novelist

'Twas a beamish day for a writer who is once again trying to write while simultaneously enjoying retirement.

Up betimes at five, peed Hogan on the leash (it was just coming dawn, and bears and wolves lurk in the dark woods of wild Porcupine County), had a cuppa, and set to working on Hang Fire for an hour -- and got five satisfactory pages into the hopper.

Then breakfast, and afterward to the fitness center in town for 90 minutes of pushmi-pullyu with the Nautilus and stationary bike.

After lunch, an hour's nap and a couple of errands back in town.

Then to the beach for a spell with the camera and long lens, the fruits of which you see above. Photographing wild geese is not that easy, especially when they have youngsters. They are skittish in the extreme. But one learns quickly about their habits and proclivities, some of which seem weird.

Besides Mama and Papa Goose and their offspring, two other adult honkers lolled on the beach. As I approached, Papa became agitated, flapping his wings and screeching and hissing -- but instead of attacking me, he lowered his head and chased another goose in a fury of feathers. I waited, then tiptoed a few feet closer. Papa erupted again, assaulting the second adult goose.

It was as if he were a schoolyard bully beating up on a couple of innocents just to show an enemy what lay in store for him if he didn't go away. I used to know guys like that.

Later, an hour with the new Donna Leon mystery, About Face. The literate and humane Commissario Guido Brunetti is one of my favorite sleuths.

Then a fine pork tenderloin dinner prepared by the Lady Friend, followed by a ramble with the dog, and so to bed with Jeffrey Toobin's The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Lights out at nine.

Sam Pepys never had it so good.


  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I mostly sat in front of the computer trying to find new and interesting things to do. I failed miserably but here I still sit.

  2. Courage, Jeremy. Remember what Satchel Paige said: "I sits and thinks. Sometimes I just sits." That describes writers, too.

  3. I evny your day; I wondered if there was a replacement for the "Geezer Center" up there. I won't bother to tell you about trying to do this and that while fighting traffic etc. Only redeeming feature - an early afternoon bike ride along the lake. But that is why you fled from this rat race....

  4. Yes, Porcupine City has a fine fitness center, attached to the local hospital. About a third of its space is devoted to physical therapy, and the rest to fitness mats and machines of every description. The personal trainers are exceptionally pleasant people, and one of them, a sweet young thing, possesses an extraordinary talent for making every graybeard think she has eyes for him and him alone. Naturally the ratio of repeat customers is high.

  5. Alas, three of the goslings were missing this afternoon. Nature is red in tooth and claw.