Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Talk Thursday: Do-Over

The only thing more boring than writing is writing about writing. That is, to the person outside it. To the person inside it, writing about writing makes perfect sense; after all, it's not like you can talk about writing. Well, I mean, I guess you can, but it doesn't go over very well at parties. Probably because there's not much happening. If y'all could see me now (and one of these days I'll hook up my webcam and blog Live! From Afrah!), all you'd see is a fat chick hunched over a table near the counter, typing like mad on a laptop that's perpetually in danger of having baba ganouj smeared all over it. You'd probably also notice she's one of the few white chicks in the place, and that she's not wearing a hijab, but other than that, unremarkable. Just woman, pita bread, baba ganouj, laptop and much typing. Yeah. That's exciting.

But, anyway, I do like to write about writing. I think the expression we're looking for here is "getting it out of my system." Today in particular I'm practically tearing my hair out because I can't talk about writing. Not to my peeps at work, anyway. I've been working very hard at keeping my working life separate from my personal life, and for the most part I think I've succeeded. I mean, my cow orkers know I have a partner, and that I live in Far East Dallas with some cats and hang with a Buddhist street gang and swim a lot, but that's about it. That I write stuff has not intruded into the office consciousness, at least as far as I know. Course, if it had, I probably wouldn't have noticed; to paraphrase Luke Skywalker, if there's a bright shining center of office gossip, I'm in the cube it's the farthest from.

Which meant there was no one to tell when I got an email from the agent that had requested the first fifty pages of Mindbender. Last week, when I got the first email, I was so busy that all I thought about was where in the world I'd find the time to get together a package to mail and when I'd be able to get myself to the post office. And of course how I'd evict Scaley and Fang, my fraternal twin dinosaurs of anxiety and panic (respectively) from my kitchen so that I could somehow make this happen. But I did evict the dinosaurs and I did get the package together and yes! I even got myself to the post office. And I wasn't expecting to hear anything for a while, but now it's what, about a week later, and here's another email.

It took me a really long time to open this email. I darn near forwarded it to Joan, unopened, and asked her to just read it to me, but that would have been cowardly. I may be crazy, but a coward I ain't. I took a deep breath, stretched my shoulders and my fingers, told myself it was okay no matter what it said, and when I was momentarily convinced, I clicked on the email.

The guy was writing to say he wanted another 150 pages. And I about fell out of my chair.

Uh, what? Another what? He wanted what? I had to do what? How was I supposed to do that? Scaley and Fang immediately materialized in my cube and started making a big mess. Then it occurred to me that this was actually good news and I should be celebrating with the Spirit of Happy, not chasing around the Dinosaurs of Angst. But I couldn't. Celebrate, that is. Because I was at work and no one at work knew anything about this and--then the phone rang. It does that. Often at the most inopportune times.

When I got rid of the annoying insurance adjuster on the phone and the smoke cleared and the dust settled and I'd managed to convince Scaley and Fang they'd be much more comfortable in the conference room, I suddenly realized I was going to have to do it all again. Head back to my kitchen. Get to work. Put another package together. Convince Microsoft Word 2010 to number pages without drawing a cute little border around each one (Whose idea was that? Bill Gates, I hope somebody tattoos a black outline around your face). And do it all in the next couple of days, no later than Monday for certain. Eesh. My first thought was to skip my usual meeting tonight and head home immediately, but Joan (who, seeing as she lives with me, does know about this writing thing) told me no, I'd better go to the meeting. Something about when I get all angsty and start bouncing off the walls, a meeting helps. It's probably safer for any ceramics she might have around, anyway.

So I go forth for a do-over, or a do-it-again, or a same-task-different-pages. Or something like that. Wish me luck. And yes, I know I'm a little manic right now. But be honest; can you think of a better time? And do you think I should take out all that smooching on page 137, or should I just leave it there and let the lips fall where they may? And why am I asking you, anyway? Have a nice evening, y'all.

3 comments:

Cele said...

Wooo whooo girlfriend that is great. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Jen said...

Thanks!
It's hard to type with my fingers crossed, but I'll manage.

angiekmillgate said...

CONGRATULATIONS! This truly IS "good news" and I celebrate with you.
Thank you for bringing me laughter and for sharing here your love of writing.
Looking forward to hearing how it goes!