Old Town

Old Town
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Block 4: Mastering the Seattle Quickstep: Part 2

Makin' it look easy is makin' it look Hot.

Today I raced across town to a library computer in order to fine tune a letter for Elliott Bay Book Company. Like many other small businesses in Washington, EBBC finds itself in a tricky position with the new minimum wage of $15 an hour. Only recently the store had escaped from difficult financial straits by moving to Capitol Hill. And things were looking swell. Now this.

I wanted to fine tune my letter because, in just a single page, I needed to suggest two things: 1) how the new challenge can be turned to the advantage of both EBBC and its staff; 2) how I, with my new funding and schedule flexibility, could help them ace this test.

But EBBC will be busy as hell, so the letter could not be a fox trot or a slow and graceful waltz. I needed to get in and out like the wind without a trace of my own struggles here: cleaning, sorting papers, tossing furniture, preparing to launch a new book while starting on another, working out, working nights, etc., etc., etc.

I kept thinking of a quote about my favorite writer, Ovid: "Like Mozart in music, he posessed...the art of doing difficult things in expression and versification as if they were the easiest in the world."

So, now it's time to rush off with the letter to catch the 3:30 p.m. pickup--every day will count with this and I must be in the vanguard--then I'll hurry back to the library to meet a writing deadline before rushing home to...Well, you get the picture.

The idea is show up at a critical time as a grace note in my letter. Quickly, calmly, I arrive to announce that the crisis might be a cool thing.

If, that is, I'm there to help.

Stay tuned. I'll vary the form of this entry with quick updates through the week. Keep your eyes at all times on the prize. Here is mine:

Action Log:
6/13: With the deposit of the 'alternative funding' on time, I had my laptop and broken fave glasses repaired, then bought a first-rate rain-resistant backpack to enable me to travel more lightly with no threat to Kindle Fire or laptop. Lugged out two more bits of furniture. And I've begun early work my next ebook for December while proofing the formatted copy of my July release.
6/14: With the purchase of the jazzy backpack and my shedding of a second bag with SEVEN POUNDS of stuff, I received a bank shot insight. Just as I'd lugged SEVEN EXTRA POUNDS, sometimes even more, for years there must be other things I do simply because I have done them. And there must be things I don't do...because I don't do them. Today I take time for a rare cross-town Saturday workout, to be followed by a blitz of emails investigating novel ways to promote my next ebook release--instead of relying on Twitter and Facebook alone. Then I'll begin work on a July posting for Craig's List, in search of a temporary roommate when I arrive in Seattle. The new insight is a game changer and I can hardly wait to see what I do or don't do next.

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