If you follow this blog religiously (of course you do!), you know that I am currently working full-time as a language teacher, now with adults and not noisy messy kids. Actually, it’s the most interesting job I’ve had…maybe ever. When I was single and lived in New York City, I spent long hours as an editorial drone, sitting at a desk behind a stack of galleys and manuscripts, reading other people’s stuff, and sometimes actually falling asleep. So this is pretty good, though my writing is taking a big hit. But it’s only fulltime till the end of September, so in the rare moments I have to just sit and think—if I give them a writing assignment—I dream of the many projects just waiting for me to burn up the PC with in October.
The other interesting part of this job is that I have become a commuter again, taking the train to work. Thanks to the outrageous cost of parking in the town of my employment, I have taken to the rails, and so spend every weekday morning standing at our hometown station, gazing anxiously up the track. It’s a solid 30 minutes from boarding the train to getting off, so I have resolved to use that 30 minutes for writing. Which is actually quite hard to do; it’s hard to keep from just gazing out the window, as suburban New Jersey flies by; and at this time of the year, it’s a very pretty and green view. I have a little notebook, which I write in, but sometimes this is physically difficult, in these old jerk-y NJ Transit trains. There’s a spot just outside Morristown where I’ve learned to put down my pen before the big ka-THUMP! that always disrupts my writing.
And what do I write about? Good question. It can’t be on any of my big projects, because there’s just not enough time to think then start writing. So I just start writing as soon as I get seated, even if it’s just a description of the weather. It has turned into an interesting sort of journal, basically a look into my state of mind on that particular day. I talk a lot about work (rant about it too sometimes), but also about my writing, and what I’m hoping to achieve with it; and sometimes I rework scenes from my up-and-coming novel, even though I’m not supposed to be thinking about it. It’s writing I don’t ever intend to have published; though I can’t rule out that one day my heirs will find this little notebook in a box somewhere, and maybe published it themselves: “Kathy Cecala: The Train Journal, August 2016” Ha! As if it would be interesting enough to publish! But it is a great comfort, and, I think, helpful in keeping the creative muse close by, as I finish out my sentence of employment.