Out of Excuses

Dear Readers:

During my working life, I believed the urban myths about starving artists, especially creative writers, who woke at 4 am to pound the keys before grabbing the brown bag lunch and dashing out the door to the day job, which was also the paying job. So I planned my second career around my first one. This meant storing up ideas for the distant future while I finished my 40 years of clock-punching. Fast forward to December, 2006.  My 62nd birthday, the golden day, arrived. I set about devising my retirement income, adjusting my schedule to my marching orders, and setting the alarm for later in the morning. About the only creative writing I did was to compose my retirement “to-do” list. It included writing my book, but a few other things came earlier on the list: cleaning closets, shampooing carpets, tossing junk out of the garage. So it went for several years. Then came the day when I was chatting on the phone with Patsy and she asked just when did I intend to start writing her life story? First, I had her memoir; second, I had her written permission to use any or all of the events we had discussed; and third, if I didn’t start soon, she would be dead before it was ever written. So the excuse perched on my lips that we were busy with dance lessons seemed like what it was: just hot air. Thinking on my feet, I told her I needed time to register for some writing classes and would get back to her. The plot thickens.

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