Yup. That’s me. I have book due toward the end of July and I’ve got to tell you, until last week, I was deep in a funk and so far behind the eight ball that I wasn’t all together certain I was going to make the deadline.
But then I had what I call an “Aha” moment. An epiphany, if you will, and I suddenly knew what was wrong with my story, my characters, their motivations, etc. and was able to go back, make the fixes and now I’m in a whole new hopeful mode that it’s all going to work. I’m still a long way from the finish line but like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can do it now!
Now it’s confession time. This book (LAST MAN STANDING which is book 7 in my Black Ops, Inc series) was originally due April 15th. Should have known that having a book due on tax day was a bad omen :o(. But then, in early December, I was extended this amazing opportunity to go to Australia to speak at the Australia Romance Readers Conference. Wouldn’t you know it, the fell right in the middle of March which was going to mess with my deadline. I don’t miss deadlines. At least never by more than a week and even that happens very rarely. But, I knew the timing for the trip would be problematic so before I agreed to the trip, I swallowed my pride and contacted my wonderful editor and asked how she would feel about and extension to May 15th. She graciously said no problem.
Fine. We were back on track. And then the other shoe fell.
I got sick. I’m perfectly fine now and I won’t go into the gory details but starting in January, I ended up down in bed with a bug for almost 2 months which included a week in isolation in the hospital. You know where this is going, right? I’m in deadline trouble again. So yet again, I had to bite the bullet and call my intrepid editor to break the bad news: I was NOT going to be able to meet my May 15th deadline. Once again, she rolled with the punches and told me that as long as I could deliver the book by Mid to late July, they could crash production and we could keep the original February 2012 publication date.
So. That’s what I aim to do. Some how, some way, even with a class reunion, a trip to RWA Nationals in NYC and a family vacation all coming up between NOW and THEN, I will finish this book. It’s a matter of pride. It’s a matter of professional ethics. It’s a matter of getting paid :o)
Seriously, I know I’m not alone when I say that while my work does not totally define me as a person, it does say a lot about what kind of a person I am. For obvious gender specific reasons, I wasn’t a Boy Scout, but I have always ascribed to their motto: Trustworthy, Loyal and Brave. I want to be trustworthy in my publisher’s eyes. I want to be loyal to my readers who have been writing and asking for this book. And I like to think I’m brave in the face of all those blank white pages I still have to fill. So it hurt to have to push the deadline the first time because I knew it would have a negative impact on someone else’s job. And it darn near killed me to have to ask for the second extension because it felt like a personal defeat. As the photo says, I was havin’ a sad.
Hurt my pride bad, let me tell you and it made me want to strive even harder to deliver the best book ever so I could justify the 3 month delay in its delivery.
So what about you? Life is often messy and messes with our plans. How do you react when life throws you curves and you find yourself behind the eight ball? Do you want to just give up and throw in the towel? Do you dig in harder and find yourself more determined than every? And lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for all of us who sometimes find ourselves in a deep dark hole with only a spoon to dig ourselves out? Frankly, even though I’m determined to get this project turned in on time, I could use all the words of wisdom (read: cheerleading!!!) you can toss my way!