Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Deadline Tomorrow, Panic Today

I haven't had a deadline in...I don't actually know how long. I haven't had an opportunity to fail in months. Many, many chances to fall a little bit short of my daily goals, but that's not at all the same thing. Yes, I have the full repertoire of mental and emotional skills for handling this, or I would never have survived the doctorate, but I'm a little rusty at using them. I look at my computer screen, struggle to focus my mind on the tasks that remain on my dwindling list of things I have to do to the manuscript before it goes out to the agent, and instead of seeing the task before me, I see an opportunity to fuck up.

Universe willing, life will be long, and I will fuck up many more times before I die, and that will be okay. But wouldn't it be nice if I didn't fuck this up, right now?

Maybe what I really need to do is put on Fiona Apple's When the Pawn and play "A Mistake" five or six hundred times, until I can regard my opportunity to blow it with fey gusto. That usually used to work. Welcome to the Avery Memorial Home for the Musically Obsessed.

Meanwhile, I'm struggling to fix a badly broken scene. The only way to fix it is to put a character on stage whom I had hoped not to give any speaking lines in Volume One. The cast is too big, the draft is too long, and I'm deeply suspicious of the notion that one must always show how villainous the villains are by giving them whole scenes in which to display their villainy. When I read scenes like that, no matter by whom, they always feel kind of gimmicky to me. No cheap gimmicks!

But there Larintul of Imlen is, the bloody bride, the wrong woman writ large, a nasty piece of work who has plenty of villainy left to do after she exhibits the temperament that makes Haldur regard their impending betrothal with horror. Isn't it enough to know that she beats her servants? Apparently not.

Poor Haldur. I'm really running that poor boy through the wringer. It's no comfort that he's having a harder day than I am.

But then, I keep thinking about what jeneralist said last night when I lamented about how stressed out I was that the agent didn't want to wait until I'd fixed up the full manuscript before she got her hands on it. "You do realize," said Jen, "that lots of people would kill to have that problem."

Oh. Oh, yeah. I actually do keep forgetting that part. That's really good, right?

So I keep telling myself that that's really good.

By this time tomorrow, I'll have a different problem.
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