August 20, 2006
I've got a little table -- I've written about it before -- that seems to have a magical capacity to concentrate my mind. It's all the way in the back of a Madison café, not a normal place for me to sit. I like the front, where people move around and talk and give you that real feeling of being out in the world, which seems to be the point of not working at home. But there's something about this table by the window, where the view when you look straight up is a bulletin board: "Stop Israeli Terror Now!" "Help Defeat Bush and the GOP," "Demand Zero Emission Cars," "Demonstrate Against Hate," "Womyn's Coop," "Lay Low and Glow," "The Power to Heal Is In Your Hands," "Depression and Brain Changes Research Study." Something keeps me focused. I sat here once and wrote an op-ed on a 3-hour deadline. Last time I was here, I ran into a colleague who had a writing project spread out on a table. A novel, he revealed. Are all the lawprofs writing novels these days? A week ago, I checked out lawprof Jed Rubenfeld's new novel and noted how he said his agent steered him away from a law book: People want to read novels. But I'm not here to start a novel, even though once, a long time ago, I wrote a novel, I was kind of inspired by an essay today about those summer camps for writers, and I even had a dream last night that I was writing a novel. What was the novel about? I can't remember! And I'm at my little magic table here now because I've got another little law essay to do.