Sand Through the Hourglass


Time is money.

Actually, it’s worth more than that. The longer I live, the more value I place in time. Every minute of every day counts, so it’s important to make the most of each one.

Which is why I spent most of my lunch break watching Robot Chicken: Star Wars III on my iPod instead of drafting this blog post. You’ve gotta stop and smell the roses once in a while, after all…

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yeah. Time.

I’ve noticed that my patience for time-wasters, like standing in crowds or sitting in traffic, has dwindled in nearly inverse proportion to my age. As it is, my commute home from work generally takes 45 minutes on a good day. That’s nearly an hour that can’t be spent on more meaningful pursuits like exercise, hobbies, or doing stuff with my kids. Or writing, for that matter.

Once you have kids, that’s when you really begin to appreciate the value of time. Because believe me, there’s not much of it left once the little shrieking poop machines angels come along. Looking back, you realize that the baby years were the easy part except for that whole no-sleeping thing. There’s nothing quite like being up until 3AM with a colicky baby, knowing you have to get up at 5AM to pull a twelve-hour shift at work.

The time demands really mount as they get older: after-school sports, homework, activities, the not-occasionally-enough ER visits…

So once again, I’ve probably left you with a burning question. Namely, “what’s your friggin’ point?”

Right?

Fair enough. My point is that this is why it can take years for a first-time novelist to finish their work. And it’s a convenient excuse to not have Perigee up on Amazon right dadgum now.

So until someone figures out an Einsteinian time-dilation machine that adds six or seven hours to the day, I’ll just have to figure out how to make the most of the measly 24 that God has alloted each of us.

That means sacrificing any number of pastimes that I previously took for granted: reading other people’s books, vegetating in front of the TV, playing my guitar.

And sleeping. How I long for the sweet call of Hypnos to carry me into la-la land!

As it is, I get maybe six hours a night if I’m lucky. The best time for me to write is very early in the morning, with our dog curled up in my lap and the only sounds in our house are the words trying to get out of my head and onto the page. That’s about 90 minutes a day to create magic. Or something. Hopefully just not crap.

Weekends are for catching up and really diving in for the hard work. Why, sometimes I can carve out a whole four hours on Sunday afternoon…nirvana!

Such is the life, but I can’t not do it. After a few years of magazine freelancing, writing a novel is like building a car when the only things you’ve built before are models of them. There are so many unknowns that simply can’t be known until you roll up your sleeves and get to work.

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