Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I Am One of the Lucky Ones. And I know It.

One of the things that I’m really enjoying about recreating my backlist in e-book format is revisiting work that I really loved and am very proud of, but about which I’ve forgotten some of the details.

Here’s an example. I’m currently giving The Next Ex, the second book in the Madeline Carter series, an edit and freshening. It will be published in the next few weeks. Today I came across this little riff on time management that I remember really loving when I wrote the words. It’s just one of those fun little asides that you don’t think about too much while you’re writing, but that just sort of appear in your work sometimes and that you leave in because they add a human touch and deepen the backstory.

This riff happens at a quiet moment in the book. Madeline is thinking about some of the terrific aspects of the life she has created for herself. She’s congratulating herself, in a way. What she doesn’t know: all hell is going to break loose before very much more time passes.
I am one of the lucky ones and I know it.

A lot of people spend too much of their lives at work. Think about an 80 hour work week. That was a low average for me when I lived in New York. I mean, there's only a total 168 hours in a week. If you take out 42 hours for sleep -- and some would say that six hours a night wasn't enough -- and maybe another five to commute, that only leaves 41 hours for everything else. It's not enough. Forty-one hours a week to brush your teeth, shower, do your makeup, talk to your friends, make love, prepare food and consume it, go through your mail, pay and file your bills, talk to your mom, read a book or do a crossword puzzle, watch a stupid television program or the news or go to the movies, exfoliate, get regular hair and medical and dental treatment, wash dishes, make your bed, do laundry, go to the bathroom. Dust.

When you think about it that way, it's no wonder so many people lose it. It's no wonder that clocktowers can hold such attraction. And all of those antidepressants? Sure: some of them are very necessary. But some people could probably get by with regular naps and the occasional trip to a spa. That is if they could find the time, I guess.

Remember: you don't get to make withdrawals from the time bank. Only deposits. It's not such a great deal.
The Next Ex is scheduled for publication April 26th. In the meantime, if you’re digging on Madeline’s rather odd brand of wisdom, you can download the first book to feature ex-stockbroker Madeline Carter here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice piece. Like it a lot.