A mind is a wondrous thing. Everybody ought to have one—or two. One of my characters says, "Sometimes I think my mind has a mind of its own." Maybe he's right. Maybe minds are like cow stomachs or something. What I have learned is that my mind has finite capacity. I went to college at Purdue on a Navy program. We took nine and ten credit hours in the summers as well as boatloads of credit hours during the regular school year. At graduation, my head was ready to blow like John Belushi imitating a ripe pimple in Animal House. But I held together—just, at least in my mind, or one of them anyway. After eight years of driving boats and flying, I went to Monterey and an Aeronautical Engineering program. I took the Graduate Record Exam before starting. I was pretty strong in language and mediocre in math and science. When I graduated from there, my GRE scores had flip-flopped. Math and science pretty good, language mediocre. You only have so much capacity. It seems a writer ought to work to keep things balanced upstairs, however many data digesting stomachs reside in the cranium. That's why I do Sudoku, Kakuro, and Ken-Ken. I'm trying to keep my writer mind balanced. If you see my wife, I'd appreciate it if you tell her that's what I'm doing, that it's important for a writer to remain balanced.But, please don't mention that I have two minds. She generally starts talking to me with, "If you had half a—"
John Zerr is the author of four novels, The Ensign Locker, Sundown Town Duty Station, Noble Deeds, and The Happy Life of Preston Katt.
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