Sunday, January 7, 2018

Deadlines, Laundry, and Yowling Cats by Jane Kindred

That’s what my life consists of right now. Book 5 in the Sisters in Sin series, Kindling the Darkness, is due to my editor on Wednesday. I managed to finish the first draft on Christmas Eve, but since 40,000 words of it were written during NaNoWriMo, it’s requiring a LOT of work to get it submission ready. My revision process involves reading through for typos and errors and making comments on the big things that need fixing. Then I take all of the comments and put them in a to-do list. This one had 41 to-dos, ranging from “add more mentions of the weather and time of year” to “why are there no guests at this B&B, ever?” to “what is the nature of the hell beast and what is it actually doing in this town? Delete all of this and try to make sense!”

Mentions of the weather I can fix pretty quickly. The B&B is now a bookstore and café, because guests would only get in the way (which is probably why I forgot to have any). But the nature of the evil that’s hunting my heroine and being hunted by her? Probably should have figured that out on page one. Sigh.

I’ve fixed all but five of these disasters (and added three, because, sure, let’s change the damn bookstore again), but the big one is still looming. I’ve worked out the beast’s nature, but the actions it’s taken are still a problem. That’s okay. I have one last weekend and two day job workday evenings left. I can do this.

But not if this cat doesn’t shut up. Have you ever had a seventeen-year-old, half-deaf cat? This one is bored, clingy, and loud. And he does not approve of writing novels. Or blog posts. Or answering email. He pretty much only approves of being fed and sitting on my lap while I watch television. (No reading Twitter while the cat is sitting, please!)

Despite the feline disapproval, I had a good start on the revisions this morning. But it was laundry day, and with only one pair of clean underwear left, I could no longer put it off. (I seriously envy anyone who actually owns a washer and dryer. I’ve been going to Laundromats for 34 years and I am really, really tired of it. When you reach your 50s, you get tired of a lot of stupid things. Like this virtual doughnut of fat that’s collecting around my middle. But I digress. Because doughnuts. Dammit. Why did I think of doughnuts??)

So I’m back from the laundry, and I remembered another deadline: writing this blog post. How does it always manage to surprise me each and every single month? Well, lucky you, you got to read about how I ended up writing about deadlines, laundry, and yowling cats.

I would like to say that my New Year’s resolution is to write my blog posts in advance, but that would be an utter lie, so let’s just pretend my resolution is not to eat any more doughnuts.

As a bonus, my favorite line from Kindling the Darkness: “Well, actually, hell isn’t really that different. It’s just on another…” He stopped and rolled his eyes. “Oh, for f***’s sake. I’m devilsplaining. Never mind. Let’s eat, drink and be merry!”


Diane Burton said...

What a fun post, Jane. I'm sure you're not having as much fun as the post describes. I can't imagine going to the laundromat every week. I hope you could use the time to work on your To-Do list. It sounds like NaNo worked for you. Some people can't use the "garbage" they wrote in a hurry. I hope you meet your deadline, despite the cat.

Maureen said...

I enjoyed your post. Those dates/deadlines do tend to sneak up, don't they? Good luck with meeting your deadline while keeping the cat entertained :)

Jane Kindred said...

Thanks, Maureen! The cat is currently curled up in a rare moment of sleep in front of the heater. Writing as fast as I can! ;)

Jane Kindred said...

Thanks, Diane! That's why I only wrote 40K during NaNo and not 50K, because I know my limits. ;) Basically, I took two nonconsecutive weeks off of the day job during NaNo so I could triple my normal daily wordcount of 1K and make some real progress. But there were still a lot of [fill in the blank] brackets that had to be dealt with in December.

Francesca Quarto said...

WOW! Are you "world building," or is this really the universe you function in? Well, the cat is only letting you know your constant activity is ruining his nap times, but for the rest of your daily challenges, I for one vote you productive writer of the new year! Thanks for making my own life seem dull by comparison!

Francesca Q.

Nancy Gideon said...

LOL! The problems we have as writers . . . and why only a writer "gets" them. Had a 19 yr old nearly blind, almost deaf cat who was convinced the squirrel statue by my fireplace was real (but then maybe she knew something I didn't!) and yes, they can be needy and yowly (cat, not statue). Power through it with persistence, talent (don't forget you have that going for you!) and a sense of humor (which you also obviously have got covered). Can't wait to read the end result.