“Up in the Air”: New Essay for Download

As part of my ongoing quest for ways to make money as a writer in the 21st century, I am undertaking an experiment: offering a new essay as a 99¢ downloadable pdf file. The essay, “Up in the Air,” is  a short one (around 1500 words, the length of one of my New York Times op-eds) but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. It’s about what Kim Stanley Robinson calls “the time without skin”–those in-between times in our lives (between careers, homes, or relationships) when we’re deprived of the anesthetizing comfort of our daily habits or any certainty about the future, and have to confront all the dreadful Big-Picture questions we hoped we’d put behind us for good. It even includes an old, previously-unpublished-online cartoon as illustration.