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Life Post-deadline is Sweet

By on Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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I love the time just after a deadline. The world seems so lovely, the sky so blue when you aren’t chained to your desk chair drinking coffee and eating Cheetos in your pjs at three in the afternoon, staring longingly out your window at the rest of the (normal) world.

Your family is wonderful, you just want to hug them and rejoin them in the routine activities of daily life that you’ve been missing out on for awhile. Cook dinner? Run a load of laundry? Drive someone someplace? Sure, I’d love to!!

And that manuscript–which you’ve slaved over for months–somehow managed to become a story, with chapters and a title, a beginning and an end. No matter how bad it is, it LOOKS like a book. It has lots of PAGES. And for this, well done! We have to celebrate the little victories in life, right? My friends, whom I miraculously still have after emerging from the writing cave, take me to breakfast to celebrate! Life is good.

It’s so nice to  have an empty brain for just a little while before moving on to the next thing.

As I sit down to start the next story, the current characters are still in my head, talking and telling me everything. “I’m better than she is,” my old heroine says.

“I didn’t think you were catty when I wrote you,” I say back, then I assure her that I don’t love her any less than the new baby, thank you very much.

They’re very emotional, those characters, because the end of a book always is, and everyone (including me) is usually crying and feeling a huge sense of relief that finally, finally, things are going to work out all right! For me it’s equal parts crying for their happily ever after AND part thanking God that finally, I’ve found a way for the book to end that makes sense!

It takes a while for them to settle down, their voices to fade away as they settle into their well-deserved happily ever afters and I go about cleaning up my office.

I was replenishing the pad of sticky notes in my bathroom the other day when I suddenly began laughing out loud. I realized—this is not a normal activity. I have a specific place in my bathroom drawer where the pad of sticky notes gently fits. Right next to the toothpaste and my basket of makeup. There’s even room for a pen. Because…inspiration often strikes at night when I’m getting ready for bed. If my husband’s already in bed, I fear I will wake him if I start rummaging around the house for paper and a pen. And if I don’t write down whatever I was just thinking…it’s lost forever.

Normal people do not keep sticky notes in their bathrooms, do they?

Then there’s the fact that I haven’t been out in public for awhile. I squint from the bright light and stutter as I try to make conversation with people who are not imaginary. Neighbors I haven’t seen in months express relief that I’m still alive. It’s tough, I tell you, to talk with real people!

And then the yoga pants. I’ve spent weeks in man shorts or otherwise stretchy athletic wear and actually getting dressed and grooming myself takes some effort. Matching tops to bottoms, finding the right shoes…yes. Very confusing. Makeup? A whole new level of stress.

The most common question I always get is,where do you get your ideas? And I can honestly say, getting ideas is a complete miracle to me. I’m not one who has ten story ideas in my head at one time. God gives them one at a time, when I can handle them, LOL. Sometimes I wish He would work faster, but I sit here diligently at my computer, my ears tuned like transmitters, waiting for the signals.

I know the heroine for my next story but her hero…hmmm. I keep thinking and thinking. Who is her hero? Where is he? Someone who will drive her crazy like no one else can, and love her like no one else. Maybe if I go take a shower, I’ll find out.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go sit on my porch and watch the flowers grow. Have a lovely summer weekend!


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