I’ve been a bit under the weather the last two weeks. I have the cough, the phlegmy stuff sliding up and down my throat, and I feel perpetually tired. I cannot shake this feeling, and I can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. I might have walking pneumonia. Maybe even Walking Dead Pneumonia. Definitely not Christopher Walken Pneumonia.
I also had a deadline to meet for a project, and not of my own making. It was an actual deadline, where I got paid (in actual U.S. currency!) and signed a contract and all that legal mumbo jumbo. I had 20 days to write 40,000 words. Cake walk, as the young kids say (I think they still say that)… I was flying on it, nice pacing and I had the story in front of me and the first ten days I crushed it, if I do say so myself.
And then I got sick.
And then days drifted into other days, and anything I wrote stunk up the joint. I couldn’t concentrate. It’s hard to write about killing zombies when you cough every eighteen seconds and blow your nose every fourteen. I kept taking naps, even sleeping in my car a few times while waiting for my son after football practice (his practice, not mine).
And then… I had 20,000 words done (yep, half) and only 4 days to finish it. Did I dive right in? Nope. I drugged myself up with Nyquil, Dayquil, Afternoonquil, WhileIAmShoweringquil, and slept a day away.
Three days to write. I also moved from Java Joint to Kokomo’s, still in Flagler Beach, but I like the vibe a little better… I can still see the ocean and it’s closer to the center of town and I get to see more of the locals wandering in and out of the shops here. I love Flagler Beach, and the owners of Kokomo’s are cool to talk with and leave me alone when they see I’m in the zone.
Which I wasn’t until I sat down on Monday morning, sick and with a running nose. I decided to get this story finished because… heck, I had to. I’d been paid for it, and I knew the story and I actually really liked the story. Even though I was contracted to write it, I still felt a massive connection to the characters and the subplots and everything but the initial idea was mine, so I was feeling it.
Monday I wrote 5,500 words and felt good, but I knew I needed to turn it up. Monday night, still feeling like crap, I went to trivia with my friends (Team Bang Bang Lulu came in second!) and then went home and crashed, but felt even worse Tuesday morning because I didn’t get enough sleep.
Tuesday was lots of coffee and 6,500 words in Kokomo’s, and I was starting to see the light. But I still needed 8,000 words. I technically had until Thursday to get this done, but I also had an editor (Jenny Adams) who likes to remind me she is a busy woman and needs me to give her whatever I’ve written ASAP so I don’t freak out, and so she can do the proper job of editing.
Wednesday I kicked ass, plain and simple. I still felt like shit but I found a reserve (and had a great three-cheese panini sandwich for lunch) and before I knew it I was done. 8,000 words in pretty much one sitting, from 8 am until 2 pm. 6 hours and 8k in Kokomo’s.
Jenny had the raw material (she’d been pacing with me, so only had the last 8k to edit), and before bedtime the novella was finished. I woke this morning, blew my nose three or thirty times, took more meds, and hit the Send button to the Powers That Be.
Now, I’m sitting in Kokomo’s in Flagler Beach, enjoying a brisk morning, sipping coffee, fighting the urge to eat a 7-layer piece of carrot cake, and trying to find some inspiration to write something… anything… today.
I know I have Dying Days 3 to finish and I’m only about 12k into it. I have a free short story I want to finish and put up here tomorrow. I have to edit my Chelsea Avenue horror novel and submit it to an actual agent since they requested it, and about 97 other things to write.
Except now I’m looking ahead to Bike Week starting tomorrow, and hanging out with friends and my Special Gal all weekend and playing hookie from this job of writing. I’m hoping by the time Monday rolls around I won’t be as sick and I’ll have another actual project and a new deadline in front of me.
For right now, I think I’ll kill some time on Facebook and Twitter, try to get into the groove of writing something and try not to order a piece of delicious carrot cake.