30 November 2015

500 hours on a squirrel

Did a little math today. I'm not good at math. But this wasn't too tough. I estimated that I have spent about 500 hours on the Patchy Squirrel Lit-Serv, the weekly literary mail-out of Toronto events I've been doing, on a volunteer basis, for nearly nine years. For a while, Dani Couture collaborated with me on Patchy, and for a while Carey Toane did. But for most of the time, I have been the sole Patchy Operative.

Every week when it's time to do Patchy, I feel a bit resentful. Have to admit that. I feel bitter. I haven't lived in Toronto for over five years. Why do I bother doing this? But having taken on the responsibility, I have trouble thinking about throwing in the towel. My own presence in Toronto has nearly evaporated. I'm barely ever invited to read there anymore. I'm not part of that community anymore.

Anyway, the 500-hour estimate really hit me hard. I could have written five novels in that time. Maybe more. I could have written a hundred short stories. An awful lot of poems, too. Or I could have done stuff that made me money.

In each Patchy mailing, I ask for donations. I don't know how much I've been tipped over the years. Maybe $500. A dollar for each hour I've put into the project. The donations come every few weeks. Occasionally I get a note of thanks.

But I don't know if it's worth my trouble. I'm getting close to putting a knife in its back.

Over and out.


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