Consider the following excerpt from an imaginary letter:
I apologize for not having replied to your letter sooner. I have been traveling for the past month and circumstances precluded me from corresponding with you. This time I did spend thinking about our last conversation...
The context is: The author had a weighty conversation with Margaret, after which Margaret sent him a letter. By circumstance, he could only reply a month after reading her letter, but he spent the month thinking about the conversation and composing a reply.
I became confused while trying to construct the bolded part of this. My intended meaning is: "in the month that I was traveling, I didn't just forget about you, instead I spent this time thinking constantly about what to say to you". However, the example I provide seems confusing to read: It sounds like the meaning is "in this instance". Ie. it's a bit of a garden path phrase.
My intention is not to confuse the reader, so I don't want a garden path sentence. I though I could un-garden path it by writing:
This time, I did spend thinking...
But the comma strikes me as an irregular usage, and I'm not sure if it even helps.
There are certain solutions I see, but they strike me as deficient:
- "this month I did spend" - I do not want to specify the timespan.
- "this time I spent" - I would like to emphasize by using did.
Is it possible to do better than this?