"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: Tempus Fugit

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tempus Fugit

I lost a day this week. Yesterday I was under the impression it was Wednesday (it's Friday today). Robyn (the lovely wife) had to battle to right me of this misconception last night until I eventually had to accept I'd lost a whole twenty four hours.
I'm not sure how this happened.

I have my writing week so carefully mapped out these days.

I worked on my new course last weekend and all day Monday - perhaps a little of Tuesday.

No problem.

I spent a day somewhere in the week editing my latest novel again - after Robyn had done an edit/proof run through.

She'd made notes on where she thought I needed to tighten up a couple of logic inconsistencies.

Fixed those, hopefully.

Oh yeah, I spent around half a day sending out hard-copy editions of my books - which sold out - had to contact the printer and get some more done because I'd run out.

Plus of course I spent many hours answering the constant stream of emails that go with having a high profile Net presence...
But I still felt I had a spare day - Thursday - to get some other things done.

Only to discover I'd lost it.

It's now Friday, newsletter day - and I feel like I've slipped feel through some time wormhole.

Or perhaps I fell asleep on Tuesday and woke up thirty six hours later, missing a complete day.

Don't think so.

I'm sure Robyn would have mentioned it.

The subtlety of this sense of loss may not strike you as a big deal but to me, it's a little unsettling.

I know they say time flies (tempus fugit) when you're having fun... but a whole day?

All I can think is that I must be so absorbed in my work that I literally don't know what day it is.

Do you get like this?

I didn't think I was the type.

I remember once when I was musician living on a houseboat in Chelsea.

I was between record deals and I decided I needed a new batch of songs to play to a music publisher friend, Clive Black (the famous Don Black's son).

Much to the chagrin of my then girlfriend I literally locked myself into my recording studio on the boat (not quite as glamorous as it sounds) and didn't come out until I had five new songs composed and recorded.

I lost track of time then because there was no natural light in my recording studio - and no clock.

I emerged after a week looking like Robinson Crusoe, thinking I'd been there perhaps two days and it was in fact a week later.

But that made sense to me.

I'd simply got so involved that time didn't matter.

Plus I used to live on alcohol and chips in those days so I rarely had any normal routines to punctuate the day.

I wonder now why my GF didn't come to check on me...

No matter.

Rock chicks are probably more used to eccentricities than your average housewife.

But that only happened once.

They were great songs by the way and got me a deal with EMI.

So it was worth it.

But now I like to pride myself on being way more organized and mature about hard work.

I have lists of things to do, schedules and calendars - not to mention hour by hour rituals that I like to work to...

So what happened this week?

Who knows?

Perhaps I'm just going senile. Can that happen at forty two?

Come to think of it, maybe I've lost a few years somewhere and haven't yet realized.

I could be eighty two and not know it!

Just like the old proverb that says you're as old as the partner you feel, I think for writers it could be you're as old as your characters.

My latest protagonist is fifteen.

Maybe that's it.

I'm going through a second adolescence - and a carefree sense that time doesn't matter because I have my whole life ahead of me.

I hope so.

Because I've got a lot more to get written - and at least another lifetime's worth of stories!

Keep writing!

Rob Parnell
Your Success is My Concern


"Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation." Graham Greene

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