Thursday, January 10, 2008

Deadline Countdown and the Fine Art of Procrastination...

Okay. First off. Let's get real here. The above image is not an accurate depiction of my writing process or persona. Well, except for the overflowing wastebasket. I use a computer not a typewriter. And the last time I wore a skirt anywhere was--well, to tell you the truth I can't remember the last time I wore a skirt. I don't think I even own any skirts other than the denim ones I occasionally wear during summers. In fact, as I type this post I'm sitting in my rather cluttered office wearing a purple and neon green fuzzy fleece set that features the dwarf, Grumpy, on the pants and shirt. On my feet are hot pink and purple fuzzy slippers and I'm drinking my coffee (decaf, remember?) from a Winnie the Pooh mug. So much for the glamorous life of an author.

Authors always seem to be on a deadline. The alternative would be--well, unemployment--so most of us don't grumble about it. Mine is March 1st. It's my seventh book for Dorchester. Now generally I'm not a procrastinator. In fact, I turned in my previous six books ahead of schedule. Some well ahead of schedule. But I'm having difficulties getting the words on the pages this time around. And it's really not my fault. Honest. Let me explain and you can judge for yourselves. And bear in mind these are not 'the dog ate my homework' excuses. It's just the way it is. And the way I am.

First off, I've outed myself on this blog (and others) as a political junkie. I take the role of citizen/voter and Iowa's role in the nominating process very seriously. So, naturally, I do my homework. I check voting records and listen to candidates. That takes time. Time away from writing. I figure since I'm fortunate enough to live in a country that permits me to write and read what I like, I need to do my part to make sure we retain those rights and the many others we enjoy and often take for granted. The January 3rd Caucus came and went but then there was New Hampshire and now we have Michigan and there's South Carolina and Super Tuesday and... Okay, you get it. Note to Kathy: GET HELP!!!

Secondly, as I've also explained, I'm the HOH for my family. I have triplets who just turned eighteen. Enough said on this point.

Then there was the revision from you know where to complete on FIANCE AT HER FINGERTIPS.

Next up? A new college term. I'm what they call a 'returning student' who is attempting to beef up a resume and credentials and make some life changes and improvements. Now, the classwork is one thing. Since I'm sort of anal about this stuff, I tend to do every scrap of extra-credit available even if I don't need to. The classes, themselves, are another thing. I walked into a Technical Writing classroom the other night to find the professor looked about twelve. Most of the students were my kids' age. Or younger. Ouch. Then there's my favorite topic: winter weather. The other night the fog was so thick I couldn't see beyond the hood of my car. Tonight's forecast (and yeah, I have another class) SNOW!

Then there's life in general: illness, grocery shopping, house cleaning,(okay, quit laughing family and friends) and things that suck you in. Examples? I got side-tracked by an on-line discussion of plagiarism recently (and no, I'm not going to delve into that delicate issue here and now). I also made the mistake of picking up one of my Victoria Holt books (I wanted to be Victoria Holt when I was growing up. I still do!) and once I read one, I was hooked, so I've started reading them all again.

There are tons of things that tempt me away from my writing lately. And I'm usually so disciplined. Yesterday 'Saint Kathy' on my right shoulder had a heart to heart with me. 'Kathy,' St. Kathy said, 'you are not going to go to bed until you have written 30 new pages. No arguments and no procrastinations permitted. Deal with it.' So, I grumbled a bit (okay, more than a bit) and then thought, 'I'll show her.' And I did. I wrote two new chapters (and it wasn't crap!) and finished before the stroke of midnight.

And today? Well, today is a different story. You see, my daughter brought me her black work pants to have a button sewed on. It took me half an hour to find a suitable button, another half hour to find my sewing kit, another ten minutes to quit sneezing from the dust accumulated on the sewing box, (Dotty Domestic, I ain't) and another ten minutes to sew the button on. Then, of course, I had to blog.

And now? Now I have this strong craving for an angel food cake with funfetti frosting.

Think St. Kathy will cut me a break today?

I didn't think so either. I can't wait until this book is done and Sinner Kathy can come out to play.

What's at the top of your 'Tempt Me' list?

~Bullet Hole Bacus~


Leslie Langtry said...

OMG Kathy!

I'm on a deadline too and suddenly find myself inspired to do laundry, vacume, etc. My ultimate temptation is Dove Dark Chocolate and I can be persuaded to betray king and country for nothing more than McDonald's French fries and Godiva Belgian Dark Chocolate ice cream. Sad, eh?
Keep fighting the good fight!

Les "Got Bullet Hole's Back" The Assassin

Kathy Bacus said...

Thank goodness someone has my back, Les! And yes! We must fight the good fight together!

While I'll never feel inspired to do laundry or vacuum, those chores, sadly, must be done.

And true confession time here: I gave in to temptation--the angel food cake is in the oven. Okay, so I made a big pan of brownies, too. I figured since the oven was on...

I'm a bad girl.

~Bullet Hole~

Estella said...


Kathy Bacus said...

Here, here, Estella!

~Bullet Hole~

Brenda H said...

It's been awhile. I can always find something else to do. Like going on line, blogging, e mail... this week it was reading Julie Garwood's latest novel Shadow Music. Needless to say today, I had to get to work - it's the end of semester, grades need to be turned in, lesson plans written, classes to prepare for...I guess I have learned that sometimes it has to be about me and what I want, otherwise I'm no fun to live with.

Lucy said...

As I read your post, the thing that most stuck with me was the
as I type this post I'm sitting in my rather cluttered office wearing a purple and neon green fuzzy fleece set that features the dwarf, Grumpy, on the pants and shirt. On my feet are hot pink and purple fuzzy slippers

I want a job where that's a suitable wardrobe. LOL

Oh, and it seems to be a day for blogging about procrastination. I'm a procrastinator too. It doesn't do any good to give me a job weeks and months in advance because, without fail, I will wait until the last minute to do it. Oh, I'll get it to you on time, but I won't start working on it until I have no other options available.

Good luck girl. :-)

Wendy said...

My Tempt Me list -

-Finishing up Lindsay McKenna's Dark Truth.
-ARC of Jordan Dane's No One Heard Her Scream
-Vampire Secret; Vampire's Kiss; Vampire's Seduction by Raven Hart.
- Blogging
- Reading blogs
- TV

But I am being a good girl! I'm writing up my Care Plan and studying for my exam on Monday. :)
(er, so okay right now I'm taking a wee break but I'm 90% done with my care plan!)

Kathy, share the brownies! *g*

Kathy Bacus said...

Wow, you are one busy lady, Brenda! I think you've hit on the secret. It's all about balance.

I absolutely believe I'm a better mother/daughter/friend/worker/
student/writer/citizen for indulging myself from time to time.

Speaking of which, I'm off to snare a brownie while listening to the RNC debate live, writing, and blogging. Can you tell I want it all???

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Lucy! Would you believe most days I'm home writing I get up and get ready as if going to work and then begin my writing day? Today, however, the bathrooms were occupied so I decided to post my blog first. I'm always afraid these will be the days someone will come calling...!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Oooh, I'm SO envious of you having Jordan's ARC, Wendy! I can't wait to read her books! She's such an awesome lady. I'm tickled to death she's having such wonderful success. You'll have to let me know what you think of NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM. I'm betting you'll love it.

And seriously, Wendy. Three kids. One chocoholic writer. One pan of brownies. You do the math.

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

OMG - if I had to write 30 pages before I went to bed I'd still be awake.

Though that wouldn't be a bad deal with a pan of brownies beside me :)

My procrastination normally comes from blogs - mine and others. I get much more accomplished when the internet is down!!

Kathy Bacus said...

The internet becomes my page bandit if I let it, Jenyfer. I finally have to get to the point where I say, "No email/internet until you write such and such pages, Bullet Hole."

I suppose I should use the same principle for the brownies. Five pages=one brownie.

Uh, maybe on the next book...

~Bullet Hole~

Wendy said...

Kathy, I'm on page 97 and so far, love it!!

Haha! keep the brownies hidden so you can eat them by yourself. *g*

Kathy Bacus said...

I suspected you'd enjoy Jordan's book, Wendy. I believe she has two more coming out shortly, as well. Can't wait to read 'em!

~Bullet Hole who has a stash of brownies hidden away~

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know why an 18 year old doesn't have her own sewing kit and cannot manage a button on her on. What's she going to do someday when mommy isn't around? Where I live, many of the stores that sell fabrics offer summer and Saturday mini classes for children to make small sewing projects in one session. (A stuffed animal, a locker organizer for school, a tote bag, fun stuff like that--and each child has a choice of projects, colors, decorations, etc.) The classes are inexpensive, and not all girl. Males in the military are expected to be able to replace their own buttons.
If you have written anything about raising the triplets, I'd like to read it. I absolutely love to read Teresa Bloomingdale's books (library under humor) about raising her 10 kids, and Jean Kerr's Don't Eat the Daisies, about her three.

Kathy Bacus said...

Good point, anonymous. The kids all had to take Family Consumer Science and certainly have the skills to perform the basics. Any big sewing projects go to my whiz of a sister-in-law. On this particular day, however,my daughter was running late and had no replacement button so I offered to scare one up thinking it would be no big deal to find the right sized black button. Wrongo. I suppose it might be a good thing for each of them to put together a sewing kit of some kind before they head to college.

And interestingly enough, I've been considering writing a book on raising multiples from birth to leaving the nest--something with humor, of course. I couldn't have survived without laughing through the tears.

Thanks for commenting!

~Bullet Hole~