For one week in July and one week in August I teach at writing conferences, and the other fifty weeks I am a full-time writer, more or less. No, this is not quite true — the fifty weeks part — because I never get any real work done in December. December is traditionally a bad month for writing. It is a month of Mondays. Mondays are not good writing days. One has had all that freedom over the weekend, all that authenticity, all those dreamy dreams, and then your angry mute Slavic uncle Monday arrives, and it is time to sit down at your desk.