Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Joys of Deadlines

By Cornelia Read

What my deadline looks like, from the laptop's point of view:

“A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.”
--Rita Mae Brown

A deadline’s an unnerving thing.
--Marchette Chute

"Somebody was using the pencil."

--Dorothy Parker, On why she missed a New Yorker
deadline, from James Thurber's The Years with Ross

"Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened."
--George Orwell, “Inside the Whale,”

"Without religion we will have only novels."

--Friedrich Von Schlegel (1772–1829), German philosopher

"Write about winter in the summer. Describe Norway as Ibsen did, from a desk in Italy; describe Dublin as James Joyce did, from a desk in Paris. Willa Cather wrote her prairie novels in New York City; Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn in Hartford, Connecticut. Recently, scholars learned that Walt Whitman rarely left his room."
--Annie Dillard

"An accurate charting of the American woman’s progress through history might look more like a corkscrew tilted slightly to one side, its loops inching closer to the line of freedom with the passage of time—but like a mathematical curve approaching infinity, never touching its goal. . . . Each time, the spiral turns her back just short of the finish line."
--Susan Faludi

"One should not be too severe on English novels; they are the only relaxation of the intellectually unemployed."
--Oscar Wilde

"Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top."
--Italo Calvino

"Novels are longer than life."
--Natalie Clifford Barney

"Get a girl in trouble, then get her out again."

-- Kathleen Norris, Describing her formula for eighty-one
“relentlessly wholesome” novels, Time 28 January, 1966

"I am devoted to detective novels. They make such a nice change from my work."

--Richard Leofric Jackson, the President of Interpol


  1. Very nice use of Photoshop.


  2. wonderful. you've brightened up a rainy day!


  3. Miss C. you got way too much time on your hands!

    Just kidding. :-D

    I love deadlines - the sound they make as they go whooshing by. :-D

    Hang in there. You can do it.

    I've recently found new ways to prevaricate by reading research instead of writing.


  4. Heh. Love it.

    Good luck with the typing ;-)

  5. I think you've got a new author photo here for the next book, my dear.

    Back to work!

  6. I would never look at myself from my computer screen's point of view. How terribly brave of you!

  7. Got to love the Warholesque glamour shots!
    Silly girl!

  8. Where can I buy the litho? I hate deadlines. Hate them. Writing would be so much more fun without them. This is how it should be:

    "When is your book due?"


  9. You guys are wonderful.

    I can't believe I forgot the deadline quote from Douglas Adams, Marianne!!!

    And Patty, I have a feeling that when they say "So your deadline is next Thursday, when will you be finished?" The answer might be "Um..."

    Back to my sofa...........

  10. No, my answer is, "Hello? Hello? I can't hear you. Must be a bad connection. Wait! I'm going through a tunnel." Click. Back to my sofa. Keep those fingers nimble, Ms. C.

  11. The problem with "respecting deadlines" is how the nasty lil sumbitches so rarely reciprocate that courtesy.

    Endeavour to persevere, cuz.

    Love the hood, BTW. Tres phat.

  12. Now I know what I want for Christmas - how much for the complete set of Images de Cornelia avec Deadline Angst? Gorgeous.

  13. Hey! Who slipped your 'puter a tab?!

    Hang in there, King Cornelia. You're on a helluva writin' roll!

  14. I'll tell you what I tell my elementary students: No hoodies allowed at your desk; it restricts the brain waves!