Time: A Novel

Time, a novel
Time, a novel

TLDR: Watch this series of videos if you, like me, are obsessed with the theory of time.

Otherwise, read on if you want some history on my early novel-writing efforts and more background on Butterfly, a novel.


So a very long time ago I was a graduate from a mostly prestigious college with a degree in a mostly prestigious field. And when I graduated and the spike of panic over having an English degree subsided and I found a different way to make a living I sat down and finished a novel-in-progress called Time, a novel.

At the time I lived in Brooklyn and worked down on Houston and Hudson St in Manhattan. When I was finished with the novel I printed it out at Kinkos (one across from CBGBs, if I remember right, which I may not), chucked a few copies into envelopes and skulked around the buildings near Penguin just down the street from the White Horse Tavern. Nothing came of it. Probably because the book wasn’t all that good. I should re-read it to verify, but I’m trusting my memory on this one.

It was a story, at its heart, about two young folks trying to get lunch. They get kidnapped, separately and together, by a few different groups, including a cosplay-ish Greek/Trojan reenactment group and the employees of a local tinsel factory, for which the male protagonist works. Or did work. It was set in Worcester, Massachusetts, of the Elizabeth Bishop poem, “In the Waiting Room,” the notorious heart of the Commonwealth, birthplace of my own self.

I moved to other companies, not so conveniently located to harass employees of the big publishing firms, and which demanded, or at least occupied more and more of my time. I moved on to another book project that centered around litter on the streets of Brooklyn that, thank God, I put to rest a few years ago.

An aged manuscript
An aged manuscript

Butterfly, a novel, my latest complete novel and the thing I’m shopping around to agents and publishers now (with less stalking… less *physical* stalking, anyway), just so happens to be set in Worcester, Massachusetts, home of the Holy Cross Crusaders, Rotmans, and Turtle Boy. William Murphy, in his post-hockey career, works a job at a factory, which just so happens to be the same tinsel factory the protagonist from Time, a novel works at. The cabal in this particular book happens to be a collection of blacksmiths from Old Sturbridge Village, everyone’s favorite central Massachusetts school field trip destination; a bunch of drop-outs from MIT living by the seaside on a butterfly ranch are another.

But another central theme is that of time travel and the effects of time. I just spent a few minutes, here and there, watching these World Science U videos on Time and would encourage you to do the same. I’ve only just stumbled across the site, but it looks like it’s got some amazing content to satisfy curious minds.


And I also wanted an excuse to post that Time cover, which uses the image of the Three Fates statue in the southeast corner of Stephen’s Green in Dublin, which we walked past just last week.