• Maggie Shayne

Deadline Dementia

So I’m all, “I can so do this.” And then when a couple of novella offers came up, and I needed the money, I said I could squeeze them in, in between the book deadlines.

So, okay, it was going to be a challenge from Day One, but I’ve been doing okay. Book 1 is done. The outline for Book 2 is done. Novella 1 is halfway done, and I’m working on that now. Another fifty pages before the weekend is out? You betcha! Do I need a day off? Not I, said the little red hen. Err, wait, that’s redhead! Besides, the novella was due this past Wednesday, and I hate being late. (I still need to write two entire novels and one novella by October 1st, you understand, so if I’m going to get a handle on this, I need to do it now.)

Anyway, in addition to that, I was the featured speaker at the Central NY Romance Writers meeting today. Handouts were required. But I got them done on time, and I delivered the workshop, even though my stomach was starting to quease out a bit, a few minutes before I took the podium. And no, it wasn’t stage fright. God, please. I live for attention. I’m the biggest ham I know. Give me a few drinks and a karaoke machine and I’ll shut a place down.

But you know, I was so overwhelmed with stuff to do, and not enough time–a high school concert, company for the night, critique group to host Sunday, which means mopping first and shopping for food, too, and then my night with my guy (which I refuse to give up for anything!) It was all so much that I had one of those dreams last night where I was running late, and couldn’t find any clothes, and people kept calling, and my hair wouldn’t do anything, and the clock was running at warp speed…. You know those dreams?

My guy had a big stomach issue last week. We all thought it was something he ate. He was deathly ill for a day, then really sick for another, and then pretty much over it by the third day.

Okay, so I wasn’t worried, because I thought it was something he ate. But then, today, just before I took the podium, my tummy started doing all sorts of crazy things. And I thought–whooooo-boy. This weekend and all its plans just went right to hell.

I made it through the workshop, and hit my car to drive home, and made it home where I could relax. But then I realized I was going to have to skip the school concert and guests tonight–no point making my grandkids sick. And that I might have to cancel critique group here tomorrow. And suddenly, I realized that meant I’d be able to write–even with a tummy bug, I could write. All the rest of Saturday, and all day Sunday. And maybe finish the damned novella after all.

And the tummy still hurt, but the anxiety evaporated. Suddenly, I felt a ton lighter. Wow. That was what I needed to do all along. I just didn’t do it, so I had to get sick or I would never have done it. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

I wonder if I caught anything from my gorgeous guy at all. Or if I just subconsciously manifested something plausible, that would force me to slow down and do the things on the top of my priority list, rather than spreading myself way too thin.

Next time, I hope I get the message without any aches and pains showing up to drive home the point!


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