Lots of changes this week, so much has been going on. For now, we have given up the search for a house. In our mid-fifties, our life is in transition. I don’t know if this is typical of a lot of people our age, but I do know friends who are still getting laid off, changing jobs, struggling to pay bills, struggling to hold onto their houses. For some of us, this is not our parents’ mid-life crisis and many of us will not be experiencing our parents’ retirement. We are making it up as we go along.
I have also given up my second novel. The first draft is finished but it just didn’t ring true, so I am putting it aside for now. I got trapped in a sequel mentality, don’t ask how but it involved some bad advice that I mistakenly followed. The problem was, The Reverse Commute didn’t lend itself to a sequel. At least, I don’t think it did.
So I started a new novel. I have 15,250 words which add up to 38 pages. The story is pouring out of me, which tells me this is the right thing to do. I struggled with the other plot line, made shit up. This story keeps me awake at night. It rolls like a screenplay in my mind as I drive in my car along the crowded, busy six lanes of traffic that are the neighborhood streets of South Florida.
The idea came to me in May, when I was out west. I actually put aside book two to start it. But I had written so much of the second novel, I went back to it. I felt pressured to get something out. It will be a year this November since I self-published The Reverse Commute.
Lots of people say the second novel is the hardest. The sophomore slump. I would have to say they’re right. But the story I am writing now is not hard at all. It’s another story that is writing itself.
Day 99 ~ The History Teacher’s Daughter Takes a Walk
I worked at temp job #2 in downtown Boca. After work, I once again hit the streets, searching for shade in public parks, under palm trees, and beneath the awnings of empty outdoor cafes.
I went north this time, towards the Boca Museum of Art, then circled back towards my car. I passed the Boca Raton Historical Society. I needed some water and a rest room, so I popped in to see what this place had to offer. I made a small donation and perused the exhibit of Native Floridians: Seminole & Miccosukee Art and Culture.
The museum is in the old town hall. I’ve done this job.
A bottle of water, air conditioning and local history revived me. I hit the streets for a mile more of walking then drove home.
Day 100 ~ Bankers Row
Another day of walking and history. I was in Delray, getting my hair done. I wasn’t scheduled to work until one, so I walked the neighborhood after I’d taken care of those relentless gray roots. I’ve frequently walked Artist’s Alley and Pineapple Grove, so this time I headed in a different direction, Bankers Row, once home to many of Delray’s prominent businessmen. Their houses were modest compared to the homes being built today along the coast. Make of that what you will, but don’t forget, we should learn from history because it often repeats itself.
I’m not far from Artist’s Alley, so naturally I come across some artistic creativity.
One hundred days of walking. I think I’ve missed two days but I’m not really keeping track.
Day 101 ~ Back in Downtown Boca
I was supposed to have an afternoon of work. I planned to arrive at one, work until five then attend the Not Backing Down rally in the park across the street. The accountant is still on vacation, we can’t get last year’s bank statements. I’m done work by 2:30. Frustrated, I walk past more fountains of Boca.
I don’t want to drive back to Boynton. If I do that, I know I won’t return for the gun control rally. Blue Jasmine is playing at a movie theater nearby. I have always been a fan of Woody Allen. Cate Blanchett is amazing in this movie. This is one of those days I love not working in a cubicle. I stop for coffee first at a Bike Shop Coffee Bar. Coffee is everywhere these days.
The movie gets out just in time for the rally in Sanborne Park.
Day 102 – I Find My Way to the Intracoastal
I didn’t find a walking path, but I did find an apartment. If you can’t walk it, you can live there and grill at your pool with a view. Life is a winding road, an adventure, an unknown. As Jean Paul Sartres once said, “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” I’m trying to figure it out. Looks like we’re packing up and move again.