Finally, April 11, the year of our Lord 2012, it snowed. Or it was more of a cross between snow and sleet. As it began to flurry in full across the street, I walked from the parking garage to the new book store downtown. The store doesn’t open until Saturday, but I was there because I had an interview to be the editor of a small newspaper. When I say “small” I mean it comes out once a month. It does pay $10,000 per year, and if this were 1920, I’d be dancing to the bank.
Still, I’d like the job, as I think it would be interesting, as well as a definite challenge, and I can think of things to do with the paper that I’d like to try. About a year ago I was writing for the same paper, both feature articles now and then as well as a regular monthly health column. As with most interviews, today I had to pretend to be better than I believe I am. I also did not indicate that having this job would be my first step to world domination and free beer for anyone who pretends to like me. I figure first things first.
I should also start working soon at Lowes as a cashier, where, by the way, all the signs in the store are in both English and Spanish. I like that. Eventually I will know how to say “whirlpool” and “guaranteed delivery” and other useful things in Spanish. Lowes is waiting for the results of the drug test to finalize the deal with my employment. Since this isn’t 1980, I don’t think there should be a problem with that. If I also get the editor job, between the two I might barely be able to survive. If someone else takes care of the free beer. If you do that, I’ll pretend to like you.
But what I came here to tell you about is how the novel I’m writing is going. I’ve gotten an idea for the book title. Not an entire idea, that is, just part of one. I’ll use the word “time” in it. Now maybe you’re thinking “Oh! Somebody stop me from falling asleep here.” Which means you just don’t appreciate the subtle and marvelous workings of a writer’s mind, that’s all that is. It took me months to come up with that word, and as soon as I get a few more words to put with it, I’ll have a whole title.
Well, then, moving along. And I am moving along. Sort of. Slowly. I’m now on page 238, although technically page 238 does not exist, as it is still completely blank other than the word “title” to be replaced by an actual chapter title when I think of one. So let’s say 237. That’s not so bad. How many have you done? At this point I can also see more or less to the end of the book. As Benedict and Miramar are traveling west to California, I pretty much do see all the way to the end. They’re now in Winnemucca, Nevada, home to gold mining, casinos, and several brothels that all seem to be tucked off together on Riverside Street. Must be some local ordinance in Winnemucca as to where you can locate a whore house.
Winnemucca is one day’s drive from Sacramento, the end of the novel. But of course they are also traveling east in 1876, and until I can get them into the past again and back on a train, they haven’t gotten beyond Indianapolis. Soon, though, they’ll be on their way, through Columbus and Wheeling and Pittsburgh, until they get to Altoona, Pennsylvania, where Benedict and Miramar’s Big Adventure really steps up. I’m doing this exciting plot feature in Altoona just because I can, and Altoona is right down the road from where I live, where I’ve gone on occasion for diversion. They have a very nice cathedral up on the hill there.
If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ll recall that my literary buddies are trying to get to Philadelphia for the Centennial Exposition. To tell the truth, I’m not sure if they should get there or not, though I’m a little concerned with pissing off the reader if I don’t take them all the way. There is still a good bit to do on the eastward end.
And maybe I should do some of it, instead of wasting time trying to waste your time. Isn’t it time for you to go read a book? It’s time for me to go write a book.