distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Wrote, Edited, Interviewed, Boxed, Deadlined

Today, in no particular order, I:

  1. Wrote.
  2. Edited what I wrote.
  3. Wrote some more.
  4. Was interviewed on “A Passion for Books”—here you’ll find me talking about the voice of DANI NOIR, my most favorite and least favorite characters, and plans for future novels. (See item #6 on this list.)
  5. Opened a PO Box. When I called to ask what I needed to bring in order to open a box I was told two forms of ID, a pint of blood, and a DNA sample. I could bring a utility bill or a bank statement, but not both, and if I came with both they would turn me away without the box. (I chose the utility bill.) When I reached the window, I was sent back to fill out the form. When I reached the window again, now with the form, a man stepped in front of me and the clerk yelled at him for cutting the line and then let me go first. He took my form, my ID, my proof of address, and my blood and DNA samples, then searched the entire station for a PO Box to give me. Apparently all the boxes he’d said were free on the phone had been reserved online. He had to type in each key number one at a time to find out if the box was free, so he became increasingly upset as each box turned out to be taken because he really wanted to give me a box, seeing as he had my blood and all. It’s all the drug runners, he joked, those booze runners and drug runners taking all the boxes. Cross your fingers, he told me, because you have two keys left. He tried the second-to-last key and, alas, someone had reserved it. Then he tried the last key in all the station. It said 399. I knew it would be mine. I felt it in my bones. And aha! The box was free and signed over to my name and now you can mail me non-contraband items to PO Box 399 New York, NY 10276. I love that post office. (I’m actually serious; that’s my favorite post office in Manhattan.)
  6. Made the *glorious* decision that I would finish my first draft on… DECEMBER 16, one month from today. Now that I’ve written the words down, admitting it to the vast seas of the internet, it must come true. This will give me time to edit it before important people see it. In order to do this, it will take feats of amazing strength, dexterity, and discipline. I might not survive. I might lose an eye. So… Will I make it? Will I beg myself for an extension? Will I drive e crazy in the process? Place your bets. And mail chocolate and/or inspiring words of writing advice to the address above.
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9 responses to “Wrote, Edited, Interviewed, Boxed, Deadlined”

  1. My favorite post office in Manhattan (and the one where I used to have a PO box) moved next door to make room for an Apple store.

  2. Love that interview & wow. P.O. Boxes are more complicated than I ever could have imagined!!!


    You are AMAZING.

    I have spoken. 🙂

  3. Please Please tell me you’re kidding about the blood and DNA samples! It’s a comment on the world today that I actually don’t know for sure. (Also, it’s been said once or twice that I’m kinda gullible but… whatever!)

    Congrats on setting a deadline! You can do it!

    • Thanks! And yes, really all you need to open a PO box in New York City are two forms of ID with expiration dates (one has to have a picture), so a passport and a credit card/debit card is fine. And also proof of address, like a Con Ed bill or a bank statement. That’s it!

  4. Get this: my PO box number is 212.

    Which is the best number in all the world for an author, right? NY being the source of all things publishy!

    (Disclaimer: Heh, although my agent is in San Francisco, and my publisher is in Boston. So. But still!)

    December 16. Got it. I’ll be back.


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