As a child growing up in California, we got our news about World War ll from the radio, newspapers, and from what were called Newsreels. The latter were usually sandwiched between double features at the movies and introduced onto the screen by an ominous voice that intoned, “TIME marches on.” I have capitalized the word TIME because that was what the commentator did with his voice. I didn’t think much about the meaning of that phrase then, but these many many years later, it has taken on meaning for me – not new meaning – just the meaning that was there in the first place, including the fact that we can’t control time, or direct it, or know its limits. No matter how we plan a day or an hour, that space of time will have its own dictates and surprises and will not wait for us.(Which reminds me of a popular song of the forties called, “Time Waits for No One.”)
In my novel, “Hidden Voices:The Orphan Musicians of Venice”, Anetta says,“Time. There is never enough of it.” This realization has, of late, caused me to assess any sizeable creative project based on if I will actually have the time to see it to completion.
Presently, I’m working on a novel that promises to be longer and more involved than anything I have written before. It has many complex characters, a great number of twists and turns, and so many interwoven threads that I feel as if I am knitting varicolored socks that need a separate bobbin for each hue. The eagerness with which I began this novel, has been replaced by panic at times, and then amazement when I realize the actual work involved and the lengthy period necessary to finish it, find it a home, and see it through the publishing process. What has turned this from an arduous task into an extremely enjoyable one, however, has been my focus on the process and how delightfully enmeshed I have become in it and how little anything else in my writing life matters beyond that, whether time is marching on or not.