Behind the Eight Ball

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. 

funk images

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.

deadlineindex

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.

sadindex

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!

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About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at http://www.cindygerard.com
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27 Responses to Behind the Eight Ball

  1. Kylie Brant says:

    I think it’s our Midwestern work ethic. The idea of letting others down is personal anathema. You were REALLY sick though, for months. If anyone has a good excuse, it’s you!

  2. Marta says:

    Cindy, If this is as bad as it gets don’t sweat it.
    Ps. I wanted to go to the NYC conference in NY but fiances are a factor right now and would you believe that I’m going to be right around that area during that time!

  3. Cindy Gerard says:

    I think you’re right, Kylie! Plus, I was brought up on the old axiom: “Can’t never did nothing.”
    So we weren’t allowed to say, “I can’t do it” at our house … at least not until after we gave it our all.

  4. Cindy Gerard says:

    Marta – thanks for that. And you’re right. We must keep things in perspective.
    Sorry you won’t be able to go to RWA! :o(

  5. Kathleen says:

    Cindy, sometimes “Sh#t happens” that we have no control over and it sends into a spin, but things have a way of working themselves out. So go to all these events you have planned in your life and know that your upcoming book due in July is going to be flying off the shelves and the next one will do the same thing.. I have had so much happen to me latley that I have no control over and I just have to use my fav saying ” Just have to suck it up” and go on with life.
    The main thing is you have your health better now and can get back into the groove.

  6. Abby says:

    If I can comment from the other side of the desk, let me alleviate your sad in some small way: you did everything right. Writers, take note! What did Cindy do when she learned about her Australia trip? She told her editor. Right away. And lo, the editor was unfazed. And what did Cindy do when she fell ill? She was honest with herself AND HER EDITOR and thus, everyone at her publishing house was prepared. We understand that sometimes life happens–heck, it happens to us, too! If you give us updates early, we can handle it…the writers who tell us “it’s on its way” or “end of this week, I promise!” and then repeatedly miss their deadlines are the ones on whom we rain curses in the secrecy of our offices!

  7. cindygerard says:

    Kathleen – you are so right. And thanks for that! In the scheme of things, this is a minor blip. I truly have dealt with much more life altering events. But when you’re in the thick of battle, so to speak, every little sword swipe draws blood. I feel like I’ve shed a little blood over this book – and I’ll be a stronger writer for it:o)

  8. I’m a newbie at writing, ms submitted second time, but as far as work..I never give into defeat and if someone says can’t I show them I can and do. My dad once told me that I couldn’t expect to make eveybody happy all the time. But I told him no I know that but I can make a lot of people happy most of the time. I am one who does not like to let anyone down and I usually don’t if it is in my power and I don’t dwell on negativity. You had an illness that prevented you from doing. Glad you are back on track. Good luck!!

  9. cindygerard says:

    Abby – Hey lady! Welcome to the ‘vert. For those of you who don’t know – Abby Zidel is an amazing editor at Pocket (not MY amazing editor but still amazing!!). Thanks for that, Abby. I know how hard you guys work for us and really don’t want to mess with your tight schedules. but it’s so nice to know you guys have my back!!

  10. cindygerard says:

    Sharon – I LOVE your spirit. And your attitude is very uplifting!! Thanks!!

  11. Leanne Banks says:

    Cindy, A, you are way too hard on yourself! B. The book you turn in will be FAB! C.You have to reward yourself a little. Even for small steps forward, you have to pat yourself on the back and try to quit spanking yourself so much. You are an awesome writer and person and you WILL prevail!:) xoxox, Leanne

  12. Cindy Gerard says:

    Hey Leanne. thanks and, ahem… isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black? LOL Right back at cha girlfriend.

  13. Helen Brenna says:

    In the words of Rob Schneider … “You con doooo it!” Hard to put the silly accent in online, but you get the idea.

    Your career is taking off, Cindy, and along with that comes a lot of pressure to produce. You will do it. And your editor and everyone else down the line will understand because of who you are that this deadline extension is an isolated incident. You’ll finish this book and get back on track. Because that’s who you are!

    Don’t kill yourself in the process, though. That would be bad.

  14. Cindy Gerard says:

    LOL, Helen. Yes. Killing myself would be bad. And thanks for the encouragement. You guys are getting me pumped!!

  15. loisgreiman says:

    I agree about the work ethic thing. Sometimes we Midwesterners tend to take it to extremes I think. But hang in there, Cindy. You’ve written so many great book, and you can do it again.

  16. CJ Snyder says:

    Please no killing! Have to say, I’m enjoying the pep talks for myself. The older I get the harder it seems to be to stay focused and plow through. Fear gets huge at times, but Cindy, you gots to write, lady! Whatever would I do without you and Kylie and Leanne’s books to get me through?? 🙂 Seriously, your work ethic is GREATLY appreciated! Love your books and can’t wait for this one! CJ Snyder

  17. Cindy Gerard says:

    Thanks Lois! I think it was our work ethic that sent us to investigate the Chippendale dancers a couple of years ago, wasn’t it? Anything for the cause!

  18. Cindy Gerard says:

    C.J. – glad you’re cashing in on all these words of wisdom and encouragement so many kind folks are sending my way :o)

  19. Mary Louise says:

    Hi Cindy. I am not a writer, just a reader. Actually a new reader to your work. I bought Show No Mercy as a result of reading various reviews and comments. All I can say is WOW. I devoured that book and immediately bought the second Black Ops book. Now I read you are (close to) completing book 7! YEAH!! I love it when I find a writer that so entertains me and I am feel very blessed when that happens. (Honestly, the action genre is different for me, I love funny mysteries (Go Chrissie!!) and I surprised myself I so enjoyed Show No Mercy.) So, between you and me, I have a ways to go to catch up so, please, take your time. Personally, I am a failure at mult-tasking so I prioritize. What do I have to do today? Then I make sure I get it done. I find looking too far ahead can be overwhelming so I focus on short term goals. (Well, that could be the result of getting older, but I digress.) Anyway, when(ever) Book 7 is finished it will be well worth the wait. Mary Louise

  20. MaryC says:

    There’s an old saying – “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
    I know that the finished book will be great – already have WITH NO REMORSE on preorder!

  21. Cindy Gerard says:

    Hi Mary Louise and wow! Thanks so much for taking a chance. and I like your ‘focus on today’ philosophy. I totally agree. you can’t eat that elephant in one big bite, right? You have to take it one bite at a time. That thought gets me through a lot of deadlines!!

  22. Cindy Gerard says:

    Hi Mary C. yea for preorders!!! :o) thanks!!!

  23. You can do it, Cindy! I have some challenging deadlines ahead as well and I try to break it up into small pieces so I don’t get overwhelmed. So…one page at a time!

  24. Keri Ford says:

    First–I yelled out Funk (for some reason or another) in Ohio a couple weeks ago and the whole table thought I dropped the f’bomb–thanks for that chuckling reminder

    and *oh* burning up with this right now. I’m behind, but I had such hard freaking character issues. Wrote some 4k, deleted. wrote 2k, deleted. FINALLY it all came together, but I don’t like being late on it,and I’m def late than what I had initially said.

  25. Cindy, you’re a phenomenon. So many great books in so little time– and on time! Believe me, life interferes and sometimes takes a toll. But you have to cut yourself some slack and let the work simmer on the back burner sometimes. Then, when you DO get a clear space in which to write, the stuff comes out in a fury.

    At least, that’s what I’ve always told myself. And I actually believe it!

  26. Cindy Gerard says:

    Christie and Betina – you two are pros to the max. And I know you’ve both dealt with major issues – many much more life altering than mine. In my heart I know this was just a minor bump in the road and all will be well. Thanks for the props!

  27. Cindy Gerard says:

    Kari – you just keep at it girl! And keep your fingers off that delete key. RECYCLE is the name of the game – whether it’s paper or words :o) I can generally ALWAYS find a place for a scene that didn’t quite work where i initially had it :o0

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