Monday, July 14, 2014

10 Signs a Deadline is Looming by Cheryl Harper


Desk cleared for additional inspiration.
Disclaimer: I love deadlines. I invent them for myself, although they never seem to work as well as the real deal. Deadlines make me happy, even if I do prefer them to be a little farther off in the distance.

10. When the deadline is uncomfortably close, everything else decides to loom at the very same time. A big work project blows up, an unexpected baby shower, potluck, party, and doctor’s appointment also spring up. This is called life.

9. My phone calls get shorter. My emails are pithier. And even “Yes” and “No” can devolve into noncommittal grunts. I need all those extra words, thank you.

8. I start to spend a lot of time fantasizing about cutting the grass. I hate cutting the grass. This is how I know things have gotten real.

7. The stack of dishes in the sink gets higher.

6. The Cheetos supply grows much, much smaller.

5. My desk begins to look like an aluminum recycling center because the collection of empty Diet Coke cans builds. And builds.

4. The carhops at Sonic are super nice when they bring me my celebration/consolation Route 44 Diet Coke. I think they are frightened by the state of my hair. I know I am.

3. Sleep is broken into phases of strange stress dreams and wakeful plotting. Always plotting.

2. Suddenly Twitter is more interesting. I can’t look away. I’m desperate to know whether the couple is going to love it or list it. And even the Kardashians can hold my interest if I touch the remote. I dare not touch the remote.

1. The words flow. I love it. Beginnings can be fun. Middles can be tough, but the end, when I’m focused on meeting the deadline and everything else falls away except am I getting closer to the end, that’s when the words come. I think this is self-preservation and maybe just a little bit of the shot of adrenaline that makes it possible to lift cars off of children. Whatever it is, I’m thankful for it.

Yes, I have a deadline. No, I haven’t brushed my hair. Please leave any Cheetos, Diet Coke, and extra words outside my door. This makes me happy. Thank you for your support and kind understanding.

14 comments:

  1. LOL. Wonderful, and so very true.

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  2. Any person who has ever been on a deadline can appreciate your post! We all handle deadlines differently, but you nailed the overall feeling when it comes to writing the end of a book. .

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  3. Cheryl, so funny! I have a deadline for the first time and I'm so happy that some of the things I'm feeling are, apparently, normal. I'm enjoying it, although I have to admit that I love any excuse not to do my hair!

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  4. Truer words were never written. Isn't it good that we writers understand each other?

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  5. Cheryl, I am happy to send Cheetos, Diet Coke and even a hair brush your way. Sorry, but the words I probably need to keep for myself. I know you'll make your deadline!

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  6. Great post Cheryl! I'll send a care-package for sure:)

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  7. Brilliant post Cheryl.its nice to know that everyone seems to stress about deadlines.i thought it was just me!!!

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  8. Cheryl! Two things I love the most about this post - the state of your hair (because I'm the one with hair like a cotton ball in a rage - only it's all the time) and how succinct you become at deadline because you NEED all your words. I always get quiet at deadline time. I thought it was because I'd drawn inside myself to feel my hero and heroine and untangle all the knots - but maybe it's really because I'm saving my words for the book.

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  9. Cheryl, this made me laugh so hard...especially the fantasizing about tending to the lawn but not your hair and desperately wanting to know whether they'll 'love it or list it'. I can so identify with all this lol! Sending you a supply of good writing vibes!!

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  10. Sounds like there are more than a few of us who can relate! *pushes aside the collection of Diet Pepsi cans* I love when it all starts to flow as well. I know I'm always most excited to get to that one scene I've been plotting since the beginning. And to be done is magic! Good luck and hang in there!!

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  11. How funny! I feel your pain. Once thing I notice when I finally make a deadline is that the maid has been slacking on housework. Then I remember, "Oh yeah. That's me!"

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  12. I'm still chuckling. You are soooo funny. I have Diet Dr. Pepper not Diet Coke. And instead of Cheetos, it's chocolate covered peanut, which make me wonder why I don't just drink regular Dr. Pepper.

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  13. All I can say is as a reader I appreciate your hard work and sacrifices because I benefit from the outcome: fabulous books that entertain and delight me. Thank you!! And just so you know, I'm reading A Minute on the Lips right now, and as with the other lovely heartwarming books I've been privileged to read, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. ☺️

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  14. I laughed through your post. Right on!

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