Writer James Michener, who turns 84 today, says the passage of time doesn't mean he's put out to pasture. It does, however, make him a little tired.

"I don't feel like an elder statesman," said the author of works such as "Hawaii," "Chesapeake," "Centennial," and "Texas." "I am working very diligently. The only change in my life is that I take a nap in the afternoon."James is ending his first winter as a teaching assistant at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Michener and his wife, Mari, moved to the Eckerd campus last fall and plan to spend each October through February here as part of the school's Academy of Senior Professionals.