Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #164 - Vonnegut's daily routine

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #164 - Vonnegut's daily routine

Hi Mom,

I wanted to be a full-time novelist. I frame the thing in those words because I am a writer. I write. And if blogging counts as publishing, then I publish, daily, in this second year of daily posts (with a year off in between projects).

With my final exam in PreCalculus this morning (even though I am writing this from the future, so it's actually Saturday morning December 19th as I type these words), I am envious of this schedule described by Vonnegut, with whom I have always felt a strong and special connection.

As he describes his own schedule, and describes his morning "work," I know he means writing. And then, when he describes his "teaching" that's other work, but it's not "THE Work."

I envy his schedule.

I wish to have such a schedule.

But I have chosen to return to school to study computer science, which at times seems very wise and at other times seems very foolish. Or as we know because of Quantum Physics, a thing that is both foolish and wise at the same time and neither as well.

In that year between T-shirts and this blog, I was supposed to take the time I found in my day to write the blog and instead do THE WORK (write fiction). That didn't happen. And, really, this blog project, "Hey, Mom" was not planned. But then, like the T-shirts project, it evolved from an unavoidable circumstance. I had cancer and so I decided to write about T-shirts, and then, you died Mom, so I decided to devote myself  to writing to you every day. What will it take to get me to devote myself to writing fiction with such daily dedication?

And so, Vonnegut's daily routine, copied here from Brain Pickings with credit.

Vonnegut's daily routine - Brain Pickings

As a lover of letters and of all things Kurt Vonnegut, I spent months eagerly awaiting Kurt Vonnegut: Letters (public library), which has finally arrived and is just as fantastic as I’d come to expect. What makes the anthology particularly sublime is that strange, endearing way in which so much of what Vonnegut wrote about to his friends, family, editors, and critics appears at first glance mundane but somehow peels away at the very fabric of his character and reveals the most tender boundaries of his soul.

Here’s a taste: In the mid-1960s, Vonnegut was offered a teaching position at the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. His role as long-distance father and husband was propelled by voluminous correspondence with his family, who remained in their Cape Cod residence.

In a letter to his wife, Jane, dated September 28, 1965, he outlines his daily routine:

Dearest Jane,
In an unmoored life like mine, sleep and hunger and work arrange themselves to suit themselves, without consulting me. I’m just as glad they haven’t consulted me about the tiresome details. What they have worked out is this: I awake at 5:30, work until 8:00, eat breakfast at home, work until 10:00, walk a few blocks into town, do errands, go to the nearby municipal swimming pool, which I have all to myself, and swim for half an hour, return home at 11:45, read the mail, eat lunch at noon. In the afternoon I do schoolwork, either teach or prepare. When I get home from school at about 5:30, I numb my twanging intellect with several belts of Scotch and water ($5.00/fifth at the State Liquor store, the only liquor store in town. There are loads of bars, though.), cook supper, read and listen to jazz (lots of good music on the radio here), slip off to sleep at ten. I do pushups and sit-ups all the time, and feel as though I am getting lean and sinewy, but maybe not. Last night, time and my body decided to take me to the movies. I saw The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which I took very hard. To an unmoored, middle-aged man like myself, it was heart-breaking. That’s all right. I like to have my heart broken.
I will probably write about this link later, but here it is for now, for contrast.


Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 166 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1512.18 - 10:10
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