This past weekend I was dreading being all alone in weird Jersey, where I have a year-long teaching gig (my apologies to anyone from south jersey, but it is a strange and depressing place to me, a small time New Englander—the deep south of Savannah felt more “normal” than this state).

My teaching schedule gives me extra long weekends, which I can use to visit my honey in Savannah, or hole up and write. This was a hole-up weekend. It went like this:

Day One: moped about, walked the dog in the frigid cold, swam in the school pool and tried to work out some plot points while holding my breath under water and splashing about.

Day Two: pretty much the same, except after the swim I started picking at my book like an annoying scab, opening the wound and letting it bleed. It really hurt, and I went to bed in tears.

Day Three: Things got messy. I started wiping the blood up (seriously, that was the day I vacuumed, did the dishes, and waded through the reams of crumpled paper).

Day Four: I wasn’t planning to write on day four—it was reserved for class prep. But the wound was still oozing so I had to attend to it first. I spent most of the day covering the scab with a brand new dressing. By the time I went to bed I was exhausted and worn out, but felt good, like I had actually fixed something. This morning, it’s starting to heal. Now I can go in and teach.


Perhaps being stuck in the armpit of America is not so bad after all.