Instant News

Dear Hildie:

I really want to finish this rewrite of the manuscript Summer panned. I came to the conclusion she was largely right. I hate rewrites, especially this kind of total one. It takes a majopr emotional effort to get oneself into the mood of a book–That is, into the world of the characters and the plot. It’s emotionally satisfying but also fatiguing and when I finish I never want to see it again. That’s what makes going back for a rewrite so difficult. There are other things I want to write and, since I’m not Isaac Asimov, I can only write one thing at a time.

I’m enjoying the nice Fall weather. I hope it makes your work easier. Almost makes me want to go back into the field, but I’ve been in too many mildew-smelling motel rooms, where the 18 wheelers start up at 5 a.m., to want to go back to that.

I know I’m a cantankerous old man, but I am so sick of the information overload in our electronic society. MM signed up for some TV station’s instant news texting. Now, while I’m sitting quietly reading or watching TV, her damned cell phone dings constantly and when you look to see what’s so important, it’s news on the order of: DOG KNOCKS OVER GARBAGE CAN IN CENTRAL; STATE TREASURER SAYS STATE BUDGET SMOKE AND MIRRORS; or MR. MORTIMER FLEAGLE OF SACRAMENTO WAS THE 5,000TH PERSON THIS MONTH TO RECEIVE A SPEEDING TICKET IN THAT 500 YARDS OF THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON, LA, THAT COVERS I-49. LOCAL OFFICER LEROY WHIPLASH SAID FLEAGLE WAS GOING 2 MILES OVER THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT.

Or sometimes, when it’s thundering outside, they end you the news that there’s a thunderstorm on the way. When I was a kid we knew enough to come in out of the rain.

Oh, well, enough grumbling for now. Down to “work.”