Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Can I go lie down yet?

By Cornelia

I just emailed the revised draft of my second Madeline Dare novel, The Crazy School, off to New York. That was fifteen minutes early, if you don't count the extra month's extension I was granted to finish it.

I am now sitting at my desk-cupboard in the northern end of our living room, here at the Chateau Ultra-Trashy, and I admit to being afraid of peeking behind me to fully take in the state of the house and my life.

There are probably six buckets of laundry (clean) sitting on the dining room table, with another six of dirty on the floor beneath it. There might be one or two teaspoons in the kitchen that are not crusted with stuff, but I doubt it.

I owe about 50 gazillion emails to friends and family. My children are probably three feet taller than they were the last time I actually checked on their wellbeing. I may still be married.

The coolest thing in the house, however, is the "Author Deadline Survival Pack" which arrived in our mailbox the other day from Heidi Vornbrock Roosa.

The contents of this:

  • A small greeting card, its exterior imprinted with a sepia-toned photo of a distant lobster boat on a placid bay at sunset, below the words, "Believe in Yourself. Believe in Your Abilities. Believe That Things Will get Better." The interior, meanwhile, inscribed with the words "Do you think of vomit when you read this?" in Heidi's own hand, above the officially printed words "I DO. HANG IN THERE."and a list of the rest of the package contents, with an explanation of the purpose to which each item is meant to be put.
  • One Magic 8 Ball-- for all those tough editing questions
  • One pack of caffeine pills--self-explanatory ["Jet-Alert" brand, by the way... double strength and apparently "SAFE AS COFFEE!!!"]
  • One "supporter" [i.e. jockstrap, "Youth - Large/X-Large," not to mention ANTI-FUNGAL PROTECTED] - don't know how it works, but since you might need some support in a time like this, I thought you could give it a try .
  • One Power Bar - for you - let the hubby and kids scrounge in the fridge.
  • One delightful bar of chocolate to congratulate yourself [Ghirardelli "Espresso Escape," 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Finely Ground Espresso Beans].
So I would just like to say that Jet-Alert is great stuff, I am wearing the supporter on my head, and the Power Bar was nutrient-packed--THANK YOU HEIDI!!!!

I have a feeling that if I risked looking in the mirror at this point, I'd find Tom Waits staring back--as photographed by Dorothea Lange. So I think I'm just going to lie down on the sofa now and hope this Jet-Alert wears off sometime before Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, here is the first sentence of The Crazy School:

Halfway to Christmas, Forchetti stated the obvious: “You can’t teach for shit.”

The last sentence is one word long. It starts with an F and ends with a K. It is not "Firetruck."

As for the words between, I'd rate them, overall, somewhere on a scale between "weasel vomit" and "forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race."

Your mileage may vary.


  1. Hurrah! Congratulations! Now go hibernate.

  2. Thank you, Louise!

    I keep trying to hibernate, but this Jet-Alert stuff is still rocketing around my brain. Good thing I didn't have the espresso bar for breakfast today...

  3. Three cheers! And what an awesome survival kit!!!

    Love the opening line. Well, and the last line too. Which I'm sure is fork. ;)

  4. Here are words it is NOT:


  5. Congratulations, Cornelia! I, too, have turned in my revised manuscript today, so we've both experienced a milestone. (Well, I sent mine last night so I was about four hours early, I think between the two of us we even it out somehow...)

    I like that last word. It should always be the last word.

  6. Yayyy, Cornelia!!! Way to go! I'm reading your 'A Field of Darkness' at the moment and I get all growly when I'm dragged away from it for domestic or social stuff. Gad, Maddie reads like my life at the moment. You write more deeply about the human psyche than you possibly realise. And I don't just mean me and my self-identification. :-D
    Should I tell you about the 'Single Girls Survival Kit' that I invented for a friend back in the early 90s? Could be good for Ellis. :-D
    Meanwhile, come down off of the Jet-Alert ceiling, get some sleep and a beg a backrub from your husband - whom I'm sure still loves you very much - even if he has to dig through the clean laundry for a new pair of socks or jocks.
    Cheers (with champagne)

  7. Yay!!!!

    Congratulations - and we all know it is far, far closer to the soul smithy than it is to anything associated with weasels.


  8. Ah, but you didn't say no to fork! ;)

  9. Too much estrogen in this comment thread.


    I am all too familiar with the home office side effects of tilting at creative dragons. Our home today looks like a tsunami came through-- dishes piled high, laundry everywhere, and pretty much every flat surface is buried beneath some form of accumulated paperwork nonsense.

    I feel three months behind on pretty much every aspect of my life *not* focused on writing, yet I look at that side of teh coin and see only... vague optimistic dreams and unrealized opportunities. I feel that I am somehow close, but I also feel that I might feel this way for a long time and never get any closer to the destination which forever lurks possibly inches away in the fog.

    Congrats on the completion-- there are few joys which can rival that trembling excitement of typing "THE END" and knowing you've now brought the beast in for a landing you can at least walk away from.

    And then of course there are few horrors which can rival looking at your just-sent draft and realizing that your final word was "Fukc."

  10. Congratulations! BTW, obvious antidote for Jet-Alert: Halloween candy raided from kids' stash. One pill....

  11. Wahoo! Now fold that laundry and start on the next book.

  12. Hmmm. More items than the Date Survival Kit an old college buddy had when he took dates out of town for the weekend: packet of condoms, a jar of Vaseline, and a couple of comic books in case things didn't work out.

    Congrats on finishing. Take 3 days off and start #3.

    Tom, T.O.

  13. Woot! You did it. Clearly, a nap is in order, but as long as you're on a caffine high, may I suggest some mindless amusement as the next best thing ?

  14. Ooh, I'm famous! I'm so glad the Author Deadline Survival Pack did the trick. Maybe I should stop writing crime fiction and start a Survival Pack company? (No need to comment on that - I was just kidding, heh, heh).

    So, babydoll, sleep the sleep of the Righteously Awesome At Writing Fantabulous Books, and catch up on life when you've caught up on sleep. I hereby grant you an extension on housework at least until Thanksgiving.

  15. Oh, and by the way, Tom Waits is way sexy, in an ugly kind of way. Though I think the voice helps and I'm not sure if the hubby will agree with me...

  16. You have earned an evening with your favorite sipping Tequila. Mazel Tov.

  17. Congratulations!

    A doctor friend of mine once told me a cure for overstimulation. His words, "Smoke this."

    Now quit vibrating so much, you're starting to phase through the floor.

  18. Congrats! I can't wait to read the further adventures of the edgy Ms. Dare.

    Will someone send me an Author Deadline Survival Pack at the end of this damn NANOWRIMO that I have signed up for and am hating and is forcing me to use words like fork and firetruck on a regular basis?

  19. Well, the Single Girls Survival Kit included: a stiff wire brush and disinfectant (you don't know where he's been before); condoms (your choice and comfort, not his); breathmint; massage oil; $20 for a taxi fare in an emergency; a spare pair of pantyhose/stockings if you wear them; a clean pair of panties if you stay the night; and for those inclined, a pair of fake handcuffs. Also a little box with a (fake) glass front painted red and sporting a logo saying: In case of emergency, break glass. The box usually contained a tiny bottle of suitable booze. It you were a goth, then a tiny bottle of holy water and a note that said 'good luck' on it was in the box instead. All of this was modified to suit the personality of the kit receiver - and I've probably left a few things out, it's been way too many years.

  20. Hi Cornelia, I just emailed the first full draft of my first mystery to our writing group - we have begun my reading each other's complete manuscripts. Like you, I'm coming up for air, not sure which of the badly neglected parts of my life to face first. When we last met at BP, you were getting up the courage to read your editor's feedback for book #2 manuscript. Congratulations on beating back the tigers...Susan