So, we’ve been working on our Principal Speaker speech for PhilCon — which is to say, I took a first swing at it, and now it’s Steve’s turn. Spent a good bit of time last evening — all of my writing time, in fact — staring at a blank sheet of paper. I’m sorry to report that the paper won the first round.
Well. Today’s another round. We’ll catch it on the rebound.
Yesterday brought the news that the Verso Paper will be shutting down the mill in Bucksport by year-end, throwing almost 600 people out of work — about 10 percent of the town’s population. That number does not, of course, include the businesses that depended on the mill and the mill workers, which will also be forced to close.
Verso Paper says the Bucksport mill isn’t profitable — that it simply can’t be profitable. Well. Don’t take my word for it — here’s the article in the Bangor Daily News.
Today’s news run also produced a map of the hardest places to live in the US — here’s the link to the article and the map.
When I posted that link on Facebook, a friend mentioned that some areas of Maine aren’t doing so well. And I agreed that, yes, Maine is a poor state; a fact that encouraged our move here, a quarter century ago. Had we remained in the Baltimore area, both Steve and I would have been working multiple jobs in our so-called “professions” in the clerical and retail fields, just to pay the rent. We would have been no richer, in the sense of having more money, and we would surely have written fewer novels — perhaps only the first three; who would have had the time to write? We would, I think, have had a. . .less joyous life thus far, even granting that parts of the life we have had were Pretty Scary.
So, it’s a funny thing. . .we did sort of choose to be poor, going into the whole writer thing eyes open and knowing that writers often die too young and broke. But, knowing that we would never get rich by staying inside the box, and knuckling down to work. . .helped make the choice to break out of the box and pursue our art much, much easier.
If you’re going to die broke, you might as well live happy.
For the rest of the day, I have some blank paper to stare at, a survey to fill out, and some housecleaning to do. Someday soon, I really ought to drag out the files to be gone through and sent to be archived, but today may not be that day.
Up here in the northland, it’s a cool, brilliant day. The leaves on the tree outside my window have turned yellow, and half of them have fallen already. The sumac is a blazing scarlet.
Hope your day is every bit as brilliant.
Today’s blog title brought to you by Foreigner. Here’s the link to Juke Box Hero.