Even at my advanced age, I continue to measure a good week in terms of results. Years of study and, more importantly, hundreds of hours of conversation with friends and mentors (including Anne who qualifies on both counts, though some mentors don’t qualify as friends) have taught me and convinced me that if you must judge a week as good or bad, the only measure is how you use it.
So, here I am returned last Friday from five and half weeks at Drakes Island (ME) with Anne and struggling to find my bearings. Any direction, any organizing principle would do in the effort to sort out way too much to do and way too little time or money to do it. I don’t even recall how I used the week. I sort of did half my level of exercise, half my level of work, half my planned tasks to clean-up and sort out for an orderly re-entry from the weeks away. I ate dinner with Anne every night, and we watched David Whyte and Sleeping Beauty (La Scala ballet, choreographed by Nureyev) and there is no better use of my time than that. Ever.
With one use of my time, I finished a short story I had committed to send to Western Fictioneers by August 1for their Christmas anthology. I worked on it in Maine, and I even wrote about it here on this blog. Slow progress and gulleys and other hazards plagued me. When I took it up at my desk here on Saturday, the trail looked as straight and clear as the one I travelled in 1849. Finished on Sunday. Submitted on Monday. Accepted on Tuesday. Contract signed on Wednesday. Now that makes a week feel good! But it’s a result.
Reflecting something I had used my time, a lot of my time, on a while ago, the Kirkus Review of Forever Sheriff arrived. Being the judge of a review of my own book is a biased effort. Nevertheless. It is a good review. Kirkus, an industry staple and major source of reviews for Indie bookstores, has specific, written rules for attribution. Believe me, we rushed to observe them and you can see the post here.
Sometimes, when you can’t figure out how to make the best use of your time, two good results come your way. I’ll take it. It was a good week.