Thursday, April 19, 2007


Okay, here's the deal. I'm two and a half weeks from deadline on Amber Morn, fourth and final in the Kanner Lake series. I was doing great until the accident. Surgery, serious inability to sleep, pain, not moving easily, etc., etc. has taken its toll on the ol' brain. I must make this deadline.

Such is my tale of woe. But I'm just one writer in many. We all seem to bewail our deadlines as they approach, as if we didn't know they were coming. Here's your chance, BGs. Bewail away. Tell me the woes of your current deadline, or one of your worst in the past. If you're not published, have you ever set a true deadline for completion of a manuscript? Did ya make it?

Do tell. Make me feel I'm not alone.


Jannie Ernst said...

You're not alone, Brandilyn. I am published (just devotionals and stuff, nothing big), but I'm working on my second novel at the moment. The first one is still in the drawer, too shy to face the world. I have set deadlines for myself, and I'm a terrible person to work for. A real slave driver. I have a conscience like a cat-o'-nine-tails. It hurts when that whip comes down on my back. And I'm permanently running out of midnight oil. SIGH! Are you feeling better already?

Domino said...

I've missed plenty of my deadlines, but for good reason.

Last year, I'd planned to finish Carlo's story. I didn't. I spent much more time on improving craft than I'd anticipated. Being an unpublished novelist, this is a good thing.

This year, I plan to re-edit (again) Dorian's story in order to incorporate what I've been learning. Then, I'll finish Carlo's story. And then Max's, and then my favorite one after that.

I keep re-prioritizing because I cherish these great moments with my elementary school kids. I write until 1AM because the house is quiet and sleep really late on weekends.

I haven't given up, thanks to the "mile-wide streak of stubbornness" gene I inherited. The more I write, the better I become. The more stories I finish in my pre-pubbed state, the less pressure is on me when I'm contracted. Right?

Carrie said...

The BOOK is “Secrets to Drawing Realistic Children,” third in my how-to-draw series. I should have known this was going to be a toughie—the publishers wanted a variety of kids. Translation: I can’t use my blond-blue-eyed nieces and nephews. I need variety. I live in North-God’s Country-Idaho. The kids are all blond and-blue-eyed. Then I gotta photograph the little twerps. Ever try to make a two year old hold still long enough to get a close-up photograph of his/her eyes? LOTS of blurry photographs. Then there’s the lips. What’s with kids that they have to grin like the Cheshire cat when a camera appears? The publisher wants at least 200 illustrations.

I’m already behind schedule.

Soooo, the ink’s hardly dry on the contract when we bought my mom’s house. A small remodel to make it better. What was I thinking??? I’m surprised FEMA didn’t show up and give us a check for disaster relief. Everything broke. Some things broke two and three times. They said it would take four months. That was last August.

More delays.

Then there’s the cancer thing. Yeah, yeah, I know I could have played the C-card first, but this was mop-up. I had stage II breast cancer during the writing of my second book. And my mom was dying. And I was here caretaker. So I wrote THAT book from my chemo-chair. This new book should have been easier. But…I decided I’d get a new boob. It was a great decision, or so I thought, ‘cause they take the fat from your stomach and make a boob out of it. Instant boob-flat stomach. They told me it would be a seven hour surgery—five days in the hospital, six drain tubes, months of recovery…I thought, pshsssss, piece of cake.

I need my head examined. Need I say, more delays?

Soooo, I whimpered and whined and claimed my oncologist said I needed to take it easy (he actually said I was fat and needed to exercise. I’m getting a new oncologist.) Monday of THIS WEEK we put the drawings and final draft into the mail.

DONE. Praise the LORD!!!
Except for the last two drawings….

Kristy Dykes said...

My newest novel, The Heart of the Matter, was just released to Heartsong Presents Book Club members and will be in stores in about six months. When I was writing it last year, I was in a sort of funk. I couldn't seem to pull it together. A lot was going in my life and ministry. I brainstormed with my husband and daughter and then prayed a lot, and finally, the words and characterization started flowing. Now that it's published, I see some things I'd change, but alas...

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

OK, Carrie--your "woe" is definitely worse than mine. You've made me feel better already. :)

You live in North Idaho, huh. Paradise. Sheer Paradise.

Carrie said...

I thought I'd win the prize for biggest oh-no-the-deadlines-NEXT WEEK and we're still scrambling. Paradise, Kootenai County, no less.
sort of Idaho-style neighbors.

Sally Bradley said...

My deadline is a bit different. My agent is submitting my book right now and I'm praying it sells! This fall, when our second child starts school, we'll have some bills that will go above and beyond what my husband's pastoral salary can handle.

So, come fall, I need to be bringing in money. Not a ton, a couple thousand would do it. I'm trying to wait on God's timing. I long to write full-time, I want to be home for our youngest who'll only have half days of school. But maybe God's plans are different.

We will find out!

Brandilyn, I pray you meet your deadline without becoming sleep-deprived. I hope the pain is lessening and your able to move around more and more.

Christina Berry said...

I set a deadline on my first solo book--I usually write with my mother--for halfway done by the end of 2006 and completed by February 28th, 2007. I was up on December 30th after midnight making sure I wouldn't have to be typing as the new year rolled in. Made it! I was plugging right along in January until the flu bug hit our house. Again. And again. My children were putting down roots on the couch in front of the TV, I was frazzled and weak, my husband thought he remembered what I looked like.... With lots of surrending prayer and God-given determination, I finished the last word at 3PM on the last day of February. (Right as the oldest child came home from school and my work day ended.)

Donna Fleisher encouraged me in those last days, saying that the final 10,000 words is like riding a bike downhill. So, see, you're getting some exercise despite your injury!

donna fleisher said...

Christina! You goofy dudette. It was Bette Nordberg who said it was like riding a bike downhill. I'm so totally allergic to anything even remotely resembling exercise, I wouldn't even know what riding a bike downhill would feel like.

When you talked about feeling 20 pounds lighter after "giving birth" to your story, I'm the one who said, "Congrats, lady!! So cool to smack that newborn on the butt and hear it scream, huh?" I remember it as if it was yesterday.

; )

Hang in there, Brandilyn!!! You'll be smacking Amber Morn's butt before you know it.

Pammer said...

Hmmm, don't think I can top any of those. I didn't have a real deadline (except one I'd set for myself because I was SICK of looking at that story) what I had was FEAR. My friend Squirl threatened to send her draft of my book to the editors if I didn't get done revising and send that book in by the last day in February. I couldn't remember which draft she had....there had been so many and she's been with me since nearly the beginning of this book....but I didnt' want to take a chance. And she'd do it too, that was no idle threat, you understand.

I sent that polished puppy in on the 23rd of February...a full five days BEFORE her deadline. Then I slept for five days because I sure didn't sleep prior.

Like Sally, I'm waiting to hear. My nails are gone and I'm working on ulcers. But I am one-quarter of a the way through book 2.

Praying for you Brandilyn.

Peg Phifer said...

My first real experience with the deadline drama came when I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)last November. The goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. It was my third attempt in as many years, but I wimped out the first two trys. Since the rules say you're not supposed to work on a current manuscript, I had to come up with something brand new.

I managed that with a germ of an idea I'd played around with several years ago and had a brief couple of "what-if" notes, so that's what I went with. And, I DID make that 30-day deadline, with 50,501 words. I was ecstacially exhausted.

My next "deadline" came when I decided to take the first two chapters of that 50,000 word draft, fine-tune it, and submit it to the GENESIS contest. And I made that, too - 4 days before the deadline.

Next deadline? Get the rest of that thing re-written and polished before conference in September, just in case God smiles and I actually final.

Brandilyn, praying you'll become mobile quickly now that you've received "the boot!"

Have a great day, everyone.

Peg Phifer said...

Oh, drat it all - I really can spell, honest. That funny looking word up there should be: ecstatically


Christina Berry said...

Okay, Donna, now I have to run off to a women's retreat with a mark on my face from your wet noodle whipping!

You or Bette, either way, you both are awesome encouragers!

But just hit me. You're the one who told me Bette said that, huh? ;-)

Rachelle said...

Last year I had to write a "rush" book. My co-writer and I had six weeks to write it start to finish, plus it was during the holidays (and I have small kids at home). The deadline was Dec. 15th! I had my most stressful holiday season EVER. I had to quit everything "extra" including exercising and even blogging -- I totally shut down my blog for December. As it was, I was three days late on the deadline, although I had arranged it in advance. I delivered the book on Dec 18 which gave me five days to do my Christmas shopping and everything else. It was hard on my whole family! But I'm happy to say I survived.