I teach at the University of New Hampshire. I have what most people, including myself, would consider a nice work schedule. I get summers off if I want. Usually, my summer schedule leaves me wondering how I ever find time to work during the spring and fall semesters. My goal has always been to write in the summer, to just dive in a get creative work done. My experience is that this rarely happens in the way that I imagine it will happen. This summer, it did. Today, I finished a rough draft of a novel. It’s longhand and it’s a mess of awful sentences and half-baked scenes and unrealized characters, but it’s a whole and complete story. Also, it’s a very, very strange story. I don’t know why I can’t write a more straightforward story that someone might actually want to read, but I can’t. My wife says if I could write something like that, then I wouldn’t be me. Still, even by my standards, this story is strange. It is six and a half notebooks of strange. Now, of course, the real work of writing begins, but I am satisfied and relieved and astounded that I was able to follow the path of my imagination in just this manner since the end of the semester last May. I’m fond of saying recently that I don’t know what it means to be a writer any longer, but I sure spent the summer writing.