I think it was Einstein who began this whole "time is bendable" thing, but maturity confirms it. What used to be a year feels more like seven months these days, and what used to be a 16-hour day feels like nine-and-a-half hours.

Every night before bed, I tell myself that in the morning I'll write for X number of hours. I plan carefully, carving a block of time out of all the other stuff that's going on. When my nine-and-a-half hours arrives, though, the block becomes a brick and sometimes even a pebble, rounded at the edges by outside factors until it's hardly worth anything.

I'm told that time can expand as well as contract, and I vaguely remember having a job once where it did that. A day at work seemed like three as I sat behind a counter and waited for customers who never came. What I wouldn't give for one day like that now: long hours stretched out before me with no one interested in stopping at my door!

My father always said that time speeds up as you get older, and of course that makes sense. As a child of four, a year is one-fourth of your life, so waiting for Christmas is a huge fraction. At sixty, a year is one-sixtieth, not nearly so daunting. In fact, that year can fly by, as the first two-thirds of 2008 has for me.

This can be a good thing. My next book will be out in January of 2010, which at first sounded a long way off. But with editing, ancillary material, and more editing, with marketing the books already here, and doing everything that a year of life requires, it will be here before I'm ready to believe it. That's time in a pebble.

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