I made up that word.
Oh, the life of a freelance writer who’s fitting in these hacked-out words on the exhausted outskirts of her day job. Oh, I wish she was more prolific and had finished at least one of the projects due Monday, but no. It is 6:15 pm Friday as I write this. The morning began by my confusion over the alarm clock (I often think I set the alarm only to find that I have somehow messed up the setting—time off, volume down). Today I apparently thought a.m. was p.m. and in the process set the time a half hour fast. Don’t ask me how. Anyway, I was up. I left the apartment as early as I could manage to write out in public those few hours before work. Got a good desk (it’s a table, a table! I cannot seem to fathom that Starbucks does not provide desks for my own personal usage) after asking a man to please remove his feet from it. Plugged in, man left, open up a window to get started… to find that I don’t have my outline with all the notes on it. You may say: be creative, just go! write! create! And to that I say: the only way I will finish this novel by the October 2 deadline is to follow the outline to a big fat T. Because I’m already five pages over and I’m only doing the scenes I’m supposed to be doing. If I had free rein to go wild and be creative and see where the characters took me I’d be on page 200 and it would only be halfway through the whole book. So. I have no outline. Outline is missing. Where is my outline with all the editors’ notes on it and my own scribbled ideas to fix? What did I do with it? I calmly go through my backpack. No outline. I calmly go through my backpack again. Still no outline. Okay—there is nothing to be done about it now, I told myself. I sure as hell wasn’t walking all the way home with my backpack the size of a small child to see where I left it in the apartment. So I worked on one of the freelance projects due Monday. Then I went to work (taking some moments to search the office for the outline, contemplated asking the editors if they had an extra copy; asked E if he saw it at home, he did not) and proceeded to be swallowed up by work. Hours into the day I learned—haphazardly, off-handedly—that the editorial director had a major edit to my outline. (Yes, the lost outline.) But no one has thought to tell me. Thankfully, the editorial assistant is a good one (I *heart* her) and she gave me heads up so I would know for over the weekend. I agree with the edit anyway (it’s something I queried more than once and was told was fine) so no worries, but listen: I secretly have lost my outline. All the editors’ comments are on there—I don’t even know what they all are yet! (Confession: I only sort of skimmed through their comments.) So I walked around with that panic like when you’ve lost a mitten—but a very, very important mitten—until I decided I had to go back home and find the outline immediately. E didn’t know what it looked like and, besides, he was zombified from a job the night before and an early-morning refrigerator delivery that morning, so I couldn’t call to wake him. (Yes, if I was a more domestic person I would tell you that our fridge broke and now we have a nice new pretty one. It will probably end up only holding water, rice milk, half-used jars of pasta sauce, and old takeout, but it’s a new fridge nonetheless.) Where was I? Okay, I was at work, and in mere minutes I had to leave for a work-lunch with work-people and yet… I would not be able to sit still for those few hours during the lunch if I didn’t know where my outline was! The day could not go on until I found said outline! I told work-people I would meet them for work-lunch at the chosen establishment and booked it home. Walked in, noted how pretty and clean the new fridge was (and what a mega-huge freezer it has) and proceeded to immediately find the outline. It was shoved into a stack of pages it shouldn’t have been among, an action screenplay. So you have this intense fighting scene with guns I wouldn’t know how to describe and—page turn—you learn all about so-and-so’s pretty shoes. It shouldn’t have been there, but there it was. Joy!
I left the work-lunch an hour later than I meant to. I am here at my writing spot now, but I am too tired to make a dent in anything worth denting. I lost the morning. I lost the afternoon. And soon I will lose tonight.
There is always tomorrow. Wish me luck on setting that alarm clock. Please let me remember if the dot means a.m. or p.m.
No it’s p.m.
God, I have no idea.