From Pat Rice:
Still running behind and just had a chance to read fellow wench blogs, so instead of daily comments as I usually do, I’ll try to remember everything covered and reply on here. (So, I’m cheating—want to make an issue of it?)
Mary Jo wrote about foreign translations. I have, upon occasion, made the mistake of giving copies of mine to people who spoke the language—Chinese and German come immediately to mind. The echoing silence from the recipients said more than I need to know. I am trying very hard not to wonder if I’ve badly insulted them by giving them pornographic trash. And then I wonder if I really ought to donate all those old copies to libraries per their requests. Could they really want something that badly translated? Maybe I should be more optimistic and hope that the translations are really quite good and people just don’t know how to adequately describe their reaction!
Loretta’s organizational crisis is something we can all relate to. I used to pride myself on how organized I was. I had a place for everything because I’d never be able to find anything unless I did. And then, as I worked less and less with accounting and more and more with writing, I started slipping over to the dark side. Snapshots are no longer placed in neat little albums and labeled. Heck, they’re all on my hard drive somewhere in some disorganized tangle of names that look like AZ24926244224. I see them flashing across my screensaver and wonder where in heck the computer found them because I surely can’t. I have a photo printer, but why add to the chaos by printing them?
When we moved last year, the movers stacked all my paper files in boxes. The file cabinets are still sitting empty in the basement, and all the files are still in boxes. Maybe I should give them a “pull” date, like bad cheese, after which I have to throw them out.
I can’t reply to Edith’s post because she’d probably fly out here and personally kill me if I tell her I don’t get colds. But I will say that I continued working in my accounting office long past the time I needed to just so I could have someone to talk to every day. Working at home can be danged lonely, and I have to make appointments with friends just to get out of the house. I can’t say that I miss the daily commute because I used to walk to work. <G> And I’m a Leo. I rather enjoyed the excuse of work to buy new clothes. Now, I only buy them for conferences. Maybe I ought to go to more meetings and conferences. (Right, after just admitting I’m so far behind I don’t even have time to write a blog!)
Which, naturally, takes us back to Susan/Miranda’s subject of deadlines. I don’t do the traditional deadline hell that Loretta and Susan/Miranda talk about. I stress very badly if there is any danger whatsoever that a book won’t be turned in on time, so when I sign contracts, I make certain that I stretch the deadline date to the full limit I can get away with. And even then, I’ve usually written half the book or more before the contract is signed. There are a lot of disadvantages to this system that I won’t try to explain, but it saves me from the one neurosis about this business guaranteed to push me over the brink and freeze my creativity faster than dry ice.
So when I’m rushed for time, it’s because of deadlines beyond my control—copyedits and galleys that arrive just as I’m leaving town, revisions that never end, family crises, proposals I have to send before Mercury goes retrograde (really, I can’t control retrograde, can I?!), and Tuesdays that insist on arriving before I’m ready.
And because I seem to have all of the above on my desk right now, I’m going to hurry and post this and hope for the best. Before I go, I want to leave the floor open to questions from our readers. We really do run into these time crunches, and questions you’ve asked go into a file for those days (providing we’re organized enough to find the file when the day arrives!). So if there’s anything you’ve ever wished to ask a wench, please do! You’d be surprised at how happy we are to have questions to answer.