Where has the time gone? That’s what I ask myself when I’ve been writing. I kind of get lost in the work, and the next thing I know, three hours have passed, often with less to show for it than I had hoped. The same thing happens on a larger scale, of course, as weeks and months go flying by at an ever-increasing rate.
I have my own personal theory about why time goes faster the older we get.
It all has to do with your frame of reference. Remember when you were six and it took FOREVER for Christmas or some other much-anticipated event to arrive? A year seemed like a really long time then because it was 1/6 of your total life experience! By contrast, as an adult, a year is constantly being reduced in your frame of reference to a smaller and smaller fraction – 1/40, 1/50, 1/60 of your total life experience – a mere blink of an eye. Now, though I love Christmas, it seems to roll around again all to soon!
Although Jane Austen was only 41 when she died, she was aware of this phenomenon, and I found a couple of fun quotes from Emma to illustrate my point.
Between useful occupation and the pleasures of society, the next eighteen or twenty years of his life passed cheerfully away. (of Mr. Weston, Emma, chapter 2)
Poof! 18 or 20 years gone, just like that. I had to laugh when I read this.
So why this topic? Two reasons, the first being that I’m about to have another birthday (I’ll be 39 again, in case you’re wondering). The second is by way of an apology of sorts, or at least an explanation, for allowing so much time to pass without a new post. When I checked, I already knew it had been too long, but I could hardly believe an entire month had gone by!
“Three-and-twenty! Is he indeed? Well, I could not have thought it, and he was but two years old when he lost his poor mother! Well, time does fly indeed!” (Mr. Woodhouse of Frank Churchill, Emma, chapter 11)
So what do I have to show for all that time? As usual, less than I would have hoped! Life and family must take precedence over work. But I have managed to get some serious writing done too.
I’m now about 3/4 finished with my current work-in-progress, entitled The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen. If you aren’t yet a Persuasion fan, you should be! And the good news is that you’ve got time to read (or re-read) this, my second-favorite JA, before my tie-in novel comes out later this year (August?). To whet your appetite for the new book, sample chapter 1 here at Austen Variations. I’d like to know what you think of it.
BTW, Austen Variations is a newly launched site designed as a place for readers and authors of Jane-Austen-related fiction to connect. That’s a change in the last month. Austen Authors sort of went up in flames and Austen Variations has risen out of the ashes, with most of the same authors coming on board. I hope you’ll take some time to look around when you get there.
So what, besides writing, do I have on my plate next? Income tax preparation! That yearly ritual rolls around all too quickly too, and it’s a lot less pleasant than Christmas! Wouldn’t you agree?