I check the calendar hanging on the wall beside the whiteboard in my writing office. Tomorrow is October.
October? Already? Holy speeding month, Batman!
And how much did I get done writing-wise? Not 50k words, that’s for damn sure. Did I get through my edits? Hell, no. I canned over 50 quarts of tomatoes, and I’ll probably have to do one more batch. I subbed at the library for my daughter twice a week all month. And got her tech registration and Chromebook for school (yeah, almost 3 hrs of standing in line). And procrastinated on my self-imposed NaNo.
A squeak from the desk chair interrupts. I turn. My Muse leans back in my chair, shakes his head. “You’re pathetic, love.”
“Hey, I’ve been busy all freaking month. I’ve got half of my edits done.”
“Your edits, which are minimal. You don’t even know what your editor is going to want.” He gets to his feet, the chair squeaking again in protest. I need to find some WD-40 for that.
“I’ve been doing stuff. I’m starting to plan my marketing and promo. I even registered a web domain. Now I just have to figure out how to switch over from my WordPress domain to my registered one. And I’m going to the local Sisters in Crime monthly meeting next week. My sister-in-law said she’d go to Once Upon a Crime with me. John Sandford is going to be there in a few weeks.” I should read a few of his books before then. I mark the dates on the calendar. It’s the tip of the iceberg.
“I can’t do a whole lot yet. I don’t even have the final title. My publisher might want to change it. And I’m so far behind in reading blogs that my blogging friends probably think I ghosted them.”
He leans against my desk, arms crossed on that fine chest of his. “You need to get your shit together and you know it. Marketing stuff, sure, but what were you going to work on this month? Oh, yeah, the second book in the series.”
“It’s drafted,” I protest. “It needs major work, but at least it’s drafted.”
“Uh-huh. And what about your other book, the one your agent said has potential but needs work? You haven’t even gotten through all her comments. When are you going to work on that one? And you’ve got paperwork to fill out for your publisher.”
“That’s more marketing and promo stuff. I need to brainstorm on that. I’ve got other marketing stuff I’m working on, too. There’s been a lot of good blogs posts lately on promo stuff. And networking. I’m going to do a session on writing mysteries at the Writers’ Institute next spring.”
“That’s not until spring.” He straightens, adjusts the fedora that appears out of nowhere, then sets his hands on his hips. I try not to notice the bullwhip now hanging from his belt. “When are you going to write, love?”
It’s the same question I’ve been asking myself. I’ve had something going on after work almost every day this month. There’s been a little time, but I don’t want my family to think I’m totally disconnected. And sure, I have an awesome writing office in my imaginary writing paradise, but in real life, a recliner in the bedroom has lost its appeal. I’ve started planning a takeover of my son’s room. Even though he doesn’t come home all that often while school’s in session, he’s still got a lot of stuff in his room.
“The tomatoes are almost done, so I won’t have to pick and can those. Tennis is almost over, so my daughter will be able to work her shifts at the library again. I’ll have time.”
My Muse approaches, stops inches from me. “You will make time, love. No more muse pub crawls until you get your shit together, so don’t think I’m going to give you any breaks. You are going to write.”
“I’ve got to do promo …”
His finger poking my chest cuts me off. “You’ve got to write. And my job is to make sure you do it. Got it?”
Gulp. “Got it.”
Yeesh. He’s right, though, as usual. I think things will quiet down a bit; they always do about this time of year. So, butt in chair, hands on keyboard. I can do this. I’ve done it before. Deep breath.
You know what I’ll be doing this weekend. Mostly. I’ve got grass to mow around the garden so I don’t need a machete to get to the raspberries.
“I’m still here, love. Why is your butt not in that chair?”
Dammit. Okay, gotta go. Have a great writing weekend!