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.

3 thoughts on “Commuti-cation

  1. Frankly, I kept writing a complete journal from 2009 to 2010, when I was teaching in a remote primary school.

    Here the “complete” means two things. Firstly, I wrote every day and almost everywhere, as long as I had some ideas, and often there are many bizarre ideas buzzing my head, even on the school bus bumping on the road.

    Secondly, I finished filling the entire notebook with no more space left, which was a treasured gift from an American friend who sort of inspired me to write the journal.

    Maybe that was why he gave me that green notebook. It stood for hope. And I still see the hope in the same way.

    Now, I occasionally keep a journal, artistically. Sometimes, I just draw. Sometimes, I just remember the particular image that keeps playing and replaying in my head so much that it seems to urge me to do something about it. And that is when and why I write.


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