“Woodroof may be a debut novelist, but she’s got a big audience already. As an NPR producer, she’s already launched a ten-part NPR.org Monkey See story on the experience of publishing a book. English professor Tom Putnam lives with vulnerable, withdrawn wife Marjory, whose condition has been aggravated by the knowledge that Tom had a fling with a visiting poet years ago. Things start looking up when Marjory warms to Rose, newly hired at the campus bookstore—but then the poet returns to town with the ten-year-old son Henry never knew he had.” Barbara Hoffert, Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Aug. 2014
3/12/14Microblog | RSS
My first job in journalism was at the now-defunct Houston Post. I was hired as a researcher for “Action Line,” a consumer column. My office was a cubbyhole off the main newsroom – an enormous, window-less space with rows of wooden desks, on which sat black, upright Underwood typewriters, and over which hung a pall of cigarette smoke. My own office, sad to say, puffed when I opened the door.
I was 19 and smoked at least a pack-and-a-half a day.
Well first of all, I was born attached to cigarettes, straight bourbon, and black coffee. All but the black coffee are gone, but I did enjoy the other two mightily for a time. Until, that is, I came to grips with the sad truth that bourbon and cigarettes were, for me, equally poisonous.
Cigarettes in those days, I think, functioned as my think breaks.
Let me explain.
I have always worked in herks and jerks, periods of intense concentration followed by periods of noodling around. Back during my Houston Post days, everybody I knew smoked. And viewed it as a legitimate and pleasant way to goof-off for a minute or two.
Isn’t that the need social media fills today? It certainly does for me. I mean, when I want a reason to put off doing what I need to be doing for a minute or two, I jump on social media?
Facebook as the new smoke break. I like it . . .
You with me, or what?
Of course, cigarettes are highly addictive. Anyone, besides me, ever wonder whether social media might be, as well?