Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Writing Nonfiction: Creativity in the Off-Hours

Award-winning journalist Jack Sheedy takes some downtime to refuel his creative juices. Jack's wife is the poet Jean Sands.

AA: As a full-time working writer who also freelances, how do you work writing into your nonworking time, if we can call it that?

JS: I had a golden opportunity this week to get caught up on my writing. My wife took a few days away to visit our grandson in Maine , and, since I couldn't get the time off from my work as news editor at The Catholic Transcript, I had to stay. So, I had some quiet time – ideal writing time. Did I take advantage of it?

AA: Did you?

JS: Well, you know how it is. My wife usually takes care of our cat, Farino, making sure he has fresh water and food and that he has several opportunities to go outside, come back in, go back out, and so on. She wasn’t here. It became my job.

My wife usually prepares the evening meal, or else we surrender and get take-out. Well, I was determined to take advantage of my kitchen privileges to prepare a few dishes I’ve been aching to try but didn’t dare embarrass myself with in front of my wife. One day, for breakfast, I prepared pancake batter from scratch, using a recipe from a copy of The Joy of Cooking I inherited from my mother. I hadn’t done that in years. The pancakes came out just fine. Next time, I’ll make sure I have pure maple syrup, not a two-year-old bottle of corn syrup that was stuck to the refrigerator shelf.

To see more of Jack's work, visit Jack Sheedy. To see Jean, visit Jean Sands.

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