Rewind to the summer of 2001. One evening sitting in an easy chair in my living room, I made the decision that I wanted to retire into fiction writing. As a result of this, I negotiated with my boss to work three days a week. This turned out fine for both of us since my primary responsibility at that time was negotiating contracts with customers and suppliers. A number of these entailed night phone calls to Japan, so I could set my own schedule and get the work accomplished in the equivalent of three working days. Then I could spend the equivalent of two working days jump starting my writing.I also had learned that if you’re 55 or older, you can attend any course at the University of Colorado for free with the instructor’s permission. I availed myself of this program and signed up for a fiction writing class that began at the end of August.
Fast forward to the morning of September 11. I got up and didn’t turn on the television because this was going to be my first day to write all morning. I had an idea for a short story for my writing class and was excited to be able to dive in and spend an extended time writing. I had just settled into the chair at my desk in my home office, when the phone rang. It was the president of my company asking me if I had watched the news that morning. Of course I hadn’t. I ran downstairs, turned on the television, and needless to say, I didn’t get one word written that day.