At exactly 11.11pm last night I hit save for the final time and sent the first draft of my latest Superromance into my editor, putting an end to two weeks of marathon writing. Normally my deadlines don’t require heroic stints strapped to the keyboard, but this book was a toughy. I found it hard to concentrate during the period when I could have been writing a leisurely 4 to 5 hours a day, leaving time for me to live a life (I blame house renovations, getting married, and Christmas - not necessarily in that order) and consequently I didn’t have nearly as many words down as I should have as my deadline began to appear on the horizon in earnest. Usually there’s a little wiggle room in these things - a few days, maybe a week if I really smooch my editor’s you-know-what - but this time I knew the deadline was set in concrete, on a bedrock of granite, with titanium reinforcement. All of which means I have been a Deadline Zombie for the last 10 days and I thought it might be fun to paint a bit of a picture for you of what an average day is like for a Deadline Zombie. So here goes:
Wake up. First thought: is that scene at the party really working? Should I have him say this/do that instead of X? Hmmm. Should go look at that. Roll out of bed, sit in front of computer. Read last scene from yesterday. Correct some grammar. Start writing.
Mid morning. Hmmm. Forgot breakfast. No matter, there are still some of those delicious corn chips I’ve been snacking on for the past two days. I’ll munch on some of those while I keep writing. Damn. Left the bag unsealed and they’ve gone a bit soft. Oh well. There’s not a lot of other food in the house. Soft corn chips it is. Keep writing.
Lunchish. Should probably go to loo. Oooh. Knees don’t work. Probably because I’ve been sitting in one position for three hours. Should I eat? Am not really that hungry, what with the soft corn chips... I really need to remember to go back and add X into Chapter Four, so I’ve set up that later conflict... Where was I? Lunch. Right. Lunch can wait. Keep writing.
Mid afternoon. Delivery man at door. Oooh. Knees still not working. Need to remember to move every now and then. Delivery man stares at me and tries not to laugh. I sign for parcel, then shuffle back into house, blinking against glare of real daylight. Haven’t been outside for days. Or worn anything except pajamas. Check mirror, see reason for delivery man’s amusement - hair looks like home for nesting birds. Big, fuzzy, lopsided. And there are corn chip crumbs on my top. Should probably shower, do my hair... Hey, I know what I should do in the next scene - reference that comment she made in Chapter Six. Oh, that’s a nice idea... I can shower later. Keep writing.
Normal person quitting time. Feel a bit sick. Oh. Maybe should eat something. Forgot lunch. Not much choice in cupboard. Can of mixed beans. Instant gravy. Earl Grey Tea. Hmmm. Should try the fridge. This is better - left over Christmas pudding. Yum. Bit of ice cream. Maybe a handful of chocolates. Technically am on low-carb, but this is emergency situation. All bets are off... Speaking of which, maybe she should bet him that he can’t beat her record. That would be cute. And that would solve the problem with Chapter Seven... Huh. Ice cream melted, pudding cold. Oh well. It’s still food. Keep writing.
Late. Noise in the house. Scared for a moment. Oh. That’s right, I live with someone. My husband. He came home hours ago, kissed me, discussed what was for dinner (me: whatever you like. him: that means take away, right? me: sorry, did you say something?). Plate by computer seems to indicate dinner has come and gone. Huh. Wonder what it was? Feel a bit dizzy. Too much computer time. Maybe I should save for last time and go to sleep. Bang. Walk into wall. Too late to shower? Probably. Will just brush teeth and roll into bed. Mmm. That’s nice... Tomorrow, when I’m writing the big fight scene, need to remember that she told him about X. Key moment in scene. Could be really....zzzzzzzzzzz.
Today, I plan on getting dressed in real clothes. Putting on shoes!!! Driving to the local village to post some competition prizes - if I can still remember how to drive, that is. I might treat myself to lunch somewhere. Then I will come home and clean the house. Ten days worth of neglect. Washing everywhere. Dirty plates and bowls stacked in the sink. When my husband comes home, I will lavish him with attention and gratitude for putting up with me. He is a god, a fount of patience. No wonder my heroes are always such nice guys.
I’d love to hear your own Zombie stories. I’m sure you have some - the all nighter you pulled in college, the first days after your children were born - or whatever sends you into Zombie mode in your life. I’m going to give away a $10 Amazon voucher and a copy of The Last Goodbye, my February Superromance (available now at eharlequin!) as well as The Best Laid Plans and Hot Island Nights ( a Blaze) to one lucky poster. Just comment to be in it to win. And don’t forget I have a FREE on-line read, Worth The Risk, available at eHarlequin right now. (http://www.eharlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1574&chapter=1) This story is linked to my Feb book via the advice column both characters read every day - the author of the column is the heroine in The Last Goodbye. I had a very intense time writing Worth The Risk, so I hope you pop over for a read.
Looking forward to chatting with you!