Monday, December 06, 2010

Deadlines Be Damned - Oops, Did I Say That?

I have a new book due to my publisher in 8 weeks.  57 days to be exact.  The book's working title is GHOST ON THE GALLOWS.  It's the third installment in my Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series.

So far I have 1 page done.  Yes, you read that correctly.  1. Page 1, chapter 1. 

I should be panicking about now, but I'm not. I am oddly, eerily, calm about it.  Last night at the So Cal MWA holiday party, fellow author and pal Darrell James put a strong, comforting arm around me and said he was "scared for me." I told him not to worry.  His wife, Diana James, is my manager. As the days tick off the calendar, Diana's voice will grow higher each time she calls to check on my progress. And each time I will tell her I'm fine. The book is fine. Not to worry. Chill.

I've written each of my last two books in two months time. It seems I write better under pressure.  It's not like I intentionally put myself into these jams.  I really don't.  It's just I have other stuff on my plate - like a day job and editing 2 books and doing galley proofs on a third, all in the last month.  And it's not like I'm NOT writing. It's just that the writing I'm doing does not entail putting new words on a page.

I know it's time to put the peddle to the metal. To dig deep and get the words and plot lines and characters out of my head and onto the page. Time's ticking. Hear it?

But, you see, I vowed this year, for the first time in many years, I'm taking time to smell the holly and enjoy the Christmas season. I'm going to parties and meeting with friends and not letting it whoosh by me like someone else's life watched in film clips. The book will get done. I'm sure of it. But this year, my present to myself is my life back.

Granny is standing next to me, tapping her booted foot, ready to kick me in the ass. And, trust me, you do not want to rile a cantankerous, pig-headed, pioneer ghost. But Granny needs to understand she shouldn't rile an equally pig-headed author.


Mark said...

That sounds like the right attitude. If you don't take time to enjoy the season or friends, what kind of life is it?

(Of course, I do want you to get that book finished. I'll be needing a Sue Ann fix about the time it comes out, I'm sure.)

A.H. Ream said...

I am both proud and terrified, which is not a bad combination really.