It’s Tuesday, the beginning of what needs to be an intense work week, and I have treated myself to a cup of Jasmine Pearl tea instead of my usual oolong. We have plotted the finale of the Sweep of the Heart. Now all that remains is to download it from out brains onto the page, so this is my deep breath before the plunge.
When you are writing a novel to a deadline, there comes a point where the world takes a step back. All of your energy is focused on finishing, both because it needs to be done to meet the schedule, but also because you want to be free of it. By now, you have put so much of yourself into the narrative, experiencing the emotions with the characters as you dragged them through the trial of the plot, you just want it to be over with.
Most deadlines are like this, not just writer deadlines. You push and push, and get to the end, you win the race, and then for a while you don’t know how to stop running. An then, as you slowly walk it off, it sinks in: the race is done. You can take a breather, and you realize that while you were running, the rest of the world kept going without you, quietly piling ordinary tasks like deep snow on your doorstep.
Even though we are in the deadline mode for the Sweep of the Heart, the deadline for Ruby Fever has come to the end, and that has given me a moment of clarity. The dining room is still in the sorry state it has been when the mural was painted. Everything is pushed to the side with mail and packages piling up on the table. There is a mountain of laundry in my side of the closet. It is all folded and clean, but it hasn’t been put away. It’s just sitting there in a heap, and I periodically dig through the layers for the right T-shirt. The pantry is overdue for its 3 month clean up. The porch desperately needs to be pressure washed again. There are so many oak leaves in the driveway, they formed their own dunes. A big package of Ruby Fever paperbacks is sitting by the door, because we have no place to put it.
We are hoping to finish the book this week. Normally I would wait for that deadline to be over before starting to tackle this snowdrift, but now that I have noticed it, I can’t unsee it, so I might start working on it little by little. Still, Innkeeper is a priority. I probably sound drained, and I am, and yet life never stops snowing. Nobody is going to show up with a magical shovel to dig me out, so might as well gird my metaphorical loins and get to it.
We have the last drop of promotion to do for Ruby Fever tonight, a Zoom with Houston Public Library. We will see you in the evening, and if not, later in the week with the new chapter of the Innkeeper.
PS from Mod R : You can watch the Livestream on Facebook here , I understand there is a problem with the Zoom confirmations.