Opinion

Coasting along

At press time I am frantically preparing for a weekend get-away. I am heading to Cross Lake, MN with my daughter-in-law, Sara, and friend, Judy. Sara and Judy are obsessive scrapbook compilers. They frequently get together with other crafty friends to organize old photos and paste them into beautiful albums. I’m joining them for a scrap-booking weekend.

I know it will be a lot of fun. I also enjoy scrap booking. I’m working on two albums—one chronicling the construction of my house and another of Christmases past. I’m not as compulsively current as Sara and Judy. My house album? I’ve been in the house for about 14 years now. My Christmas album? I’m up to 1993.

Slow as I am, I still enjoy scrap booking. And I’m looking forward to a weekend of no phones, no computer. I’m told there will be opportunities for massages and manicures— heaven!

However, it is always a challenge to get out of town. I would like to leave by noon or so, but it is just about impossible to finish my weekly tasks at the paper by then. So, my more realistic goal is 1:30 p.m.

One of the last things that gets finished each week is my column. It has been especially challenging this week.

I haven’t come up with a good idea because I’ve been distracted by the need to finish packing, to sort through boxes of pictures to see which ones I need to take with me and to fit in some time to sleep!

So, this week I decided to write about writing. I wish I always had time to spare when I sit down to write Unorganized Territory. I love playing with words, stringing them together like beads, rearranging them to be more pleasing to the eye. However, on deadline, that doesn’t work.

I’m frequently forced to speed-write a column. But speedwriting has its own rewards. Instead of casually stringing beads, it’s more like biking uphill. I’m pedaling as fast as I can, trying to catch an appropriate end to the column. And amazingly, words sometimes cooperate and I get there.

I’m cheating a bit—this is a very short Unorganized Territory. Using word count I see I’ve only reached 393 words. But I think I’ve crested the hill. It’s a great feeling to coast past that deadline!

It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.

Jerry Seinfeld


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