This morning, I woke up fast, despite having been up until four in the morning last night. This was because the sound waking me up was not the melodious sound of my wife’s voice, nor the persistent sound of my cats’ voices, but the slightly unhappy voice of the bookstore owner, wondering why, if I was the one opening the bookstore this morning, the bookstore was unopened and I was not present.
Not the best way to get up. It got me up, though.
I discovered with a sick thud, once my brain had turned into a working component and not something I just carry around, that today’s February 12th. That means I have four days to make The Deadline. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that I still have 22,000 words to go. Half of one episode and the full text of the fourth episode.
Normally, when I get this crunched against a deadline, I just go without sleeping much. This is only marginally helpful here, since I’m already up until three or four in the morning.
I’m going to come very close to making it. I really am. Heck, I might still make it. Episode four might come to me as a gift from the gods, pre-wrapped and flowing onto the paper. But the odds are better that I’ll have to stop now and again during writing to figure out where I’m going, and how close it is to where I intended to go. I can’t be quite as free to wander when I’m writing serialized fiction. Or at least, I can wander all I want, but it has to be accounted for, so I don’t wander myself into a corner with no escape. Serial fiction is, essentially, writing in the public eye. I’m less willing to just head off blindly and face the possibility of breaking the whole thing. I don’t want people reading episode 25 and it ends on page 12 out of nowhere with“…sorry folks, I’m out of ideas. Hey, remember episode 15? Boy that was cool! Please do not try to make contact with me. My mail is being screened. Yours, the Author.”
I also discovered, yesterday, that while sitting inside, I had to remind myself that if I stepped outside, it was going to be sub-zero weather with snow on the ground. In my mind, it’s sunny and warm and green, with a gentle cool breeze. This means I’m either going a little bit nuts (a distinct possibility I haven’t ruled out) or else I’ve had enough of Minnesota winters and I’m ready for spring (more likely.)
That’s where I’m at.