Without benefit of readers, publisher, or agent demanding and clamoring for my material, I have been writing for fourteen years. After working at various jobs in the fifty-plus years since high school, I am now retired and writing full-time. That’s full-time minus walking the dogs, reading the daily newspaper, walking the dogs, checking my e-mail, fixing the odd meal, walking the dogs, fetching the mail, and, of course, walking the dogs.
If I must explain dog walking, you won’t understand and the dogs will just get impatient. The walks are good for them, good for me, and gives my temper some time to not think about the idiots in the various capital cities.
In retirement, this extra time that I should devote to writing has its own pitfalls. Without a proper job in a work setting I could smoke as much as I’d like. Having no fixed hours, I could call happy hour whenever it suits me. The list goes on: nap time is anytime, movie starts whenever I press play, frequent meal and snack time, etc.
This is the toughest one: Pub opens at 6 p.m. Retirement would allow for happy hour to begin in the morning and my having tried some ‘breakfast stouts’ with apple pie and aged cheddar I’m certain that a nourishing morning meal can be centered around a dark Irish stout porter. However, from my stout, pie, and cheddar experiments I know that a morning nap becomes the dessert of that breakfast.
I resist the temptations by having set schedules. I take the dogs out at six a.m, seven a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 4 p.m. If you happen to be in my neighborhood, wave to us as we meander along.
Now, it is time to take the dogs for a walk.