Central Park in New York City. Pink and white blossom all around us. Yellow forsythia. Brilliant blue sky above. Earlier my husband and I had delighted in all the fresh spring colors. Back home there wasn’t seen so much as a spike of crocus or daffodil to be seen.
But now was no time to admire nature. We had to get ourselves across Central Park to our hotel in time to get the shuttle to the airport. I had the map (a paper map!), I knew where I was going…except we somehow kept finding ourselves back on Fifth Avenue!
For the first time ever, I wished I had a smartphone. I was sure an app of Central Park would be able to get us through the maze of winding paths in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, as my aunt used to say.
My sister is always trying to persuade me to get a smartphone. Think of all the things you could do while waiting in a queue, she says. You can read the newspaper, find a book or magazine to read, surf the web.
But now, I tell her, I can gaze into the middle distance and suddenly realize what a character in my story should be doing, overhear something interesting or notice some weird detail that turns up in a story. Just the other day I noticed two people having great difficulty carrying a sofa – that detail got a problem scene moving again.
Waiting is my dreaming and imagining time!
I’ve even created more waiting time by deciding from now on I’ll wait for the red light when crossing the road (very un-Montreal), something I usually only do if there are young kids around.
What I would miss if I had a smartphone!
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YES! Some of my favorite authors are the “oldies”: Austin, Christie, Twain. They wrote in the days before we had so very many distractions and I sometimes wonder if their vast opportunities for ‘boredom’ made them better writers.