Thursday, May 11, 2017

When the bough breaks - Musings on deadlines and other mayhem

All was going well in my little world. Things seemed to be under control, and then… I looked at a calendar. Panic kicked in, along with the tearing of hair, flailing of limbs, and a fair bit of cursing. How did it get to be May already? I had ages left to finish this book. I had a month to prepare for a major software upgrade at work. There was a plan, dammit!

As you may have guessed, as so often happens, my plan didn’t survive contact with reality. I was out on a limb, and that sucker broke, sending me into freefall.

The software upgrade at my day job devolved into chaos and frustration as the work piled up and the promised technical support and training failed to appear. My desk currently looks a tsunami of paper hit it. There are teetering piles of documents, a plethora of sticky notes, and a desktop Zen garden that currently has a frowny face raked into the sand (I didn’t do it.)

As a result of the situation at work, my muse went AWOL. Not really a surprise, she’s a delicate creature prone to fits of whimsy at the best of times. I spend a fair amount of my time cajoling her out of hiding with cookies and long hours spent looking through stock photos staring at pictures of hot guys. (We romance authors like to call this ‘seeking inspiration.’)

My next book, Three of a Kind, will be finished on time with or without the help of my muse. (If she stays gone, that means more cookies for me!) To make it all work, a few things have gone out the window in the last few weeks. Housework went first, and then carefully planned meals. I’m eating take-out in front of my computer most nights, or dining on chips, dips and whatever unlikely combinations of food I can find in the cupboards. I’m even drinking Soylent these days. (No, it’s not made from people…Apparently, it’s vegan!)

So, my condo is a mess, my diet is that of a teenage boy, and my new motto for everything is “I’ll deal with that after the book is finished.” If this is adulting done right, then I would like a refund, please. This isn’t what I was promised in the brochure. Staying up late, eating what I wanted, when I wanted, and wearing pj’s while the sun is still up all sounded a lot more fun than they really are. On the plus side, there is wine. (and when this book is done, there will also be tequila!)

Despite the chaos, stress, and occasional deadline-induced nightmare (and here I thought those would stop after college.) I am grateful. I’m living my dream of being a writer and sharing my stories with the world. My life is messy, magical mayhem, and I wouldn’t change a thing. (Except maybe the nightmares where I show up naked and running late for imaginary appointments. Really, those could go.)

As for my muse, I indulged in a little procrasti-baking at nine o’clock last night and whipped up a batch of chocolate shortbread cookies. The fickle creature showed up by the time they were out of the oven. Now if only I could figure out a way to summon cleaning fairies, I’d be set. Do you think they’d show up for brownies?

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