In one hand were books he was reading. One or two were books about Abraham Lincoln, one or two more were about Nikola Tesla or Thomas Edison or some other renowned scientific figure. There would usually be one additional non-fiction work of random selection, merely to provide a visual distraction from the rest. On most days any spectators would notice yet another, some classic fiction dropped years ago but beckoning to be tossed high one more time. Never, never, ever, however, would the fiction be fluff. One needs to balance the weight of books being juggled, and fluff quickly throws the juggling into disarray.
On the other hand were the books he was writing. Often the books in the one hand reflect the needs of the other hand. Lincoln, Tesla, Edison are definitely in the mix, but this hand also attempts to juggle future works in progress, moving up and down in priority as the juggler tosses and retrieves in sequence.
The sequence, of course, changes constantly as books fly back and forth from the one hand to the other, behind the back, under the leg, and, too often it seems, bouncing off walls. The trick is to keep them all moving at once, never quite stopping more than long enough to read a new chapter or write a few pages. New books are tossed in from passing ideas conspiring to distract the juggler from the tasks already at hand. The pace can be wildly exciting.
At times the juggler thinks it would be best to juggle just one or two at a time. Focus on the one, or the few, certainly not the many. It’s more efficient that way, “they” say. It’s also boring, as well as psychologically, hormonally, and genetically impossible for the juggler.
The juggler juggles. That’s what he does.
[Note: The above was a spontaneous moment of inspiration. It is either exceedingly deep, or it isn’t.]
David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.