Greetings, Strangers! Five weeks goes fast when you're having fun. It goes even faster if you are ensconced in a shell of miserable illness that no one in San Diego County appears to be able to shake. 2011 is shaping up to be the Year of the Month-Long Illness. Still, hope does spring eternal and so, despite the fact that my daughter is sitting behind me barking like a harbor seal, I remain confident that the white blood cells will get off the couch and do their damn job sooner rather than later. Once that day comes, I will have no one to blame for my lack of literary progress than myself.
Because I am a whore. I'll admit it: An Overtime Whore in the corporate grind. For the past four months I can't go even three days with a stack of projects or jobs blowing up and someone "offering the opportunity to please take care of it by tomorrow, doing whatever I have to do." In a world of 9% unemployment, it is a blessing that many would kill for and I have to give it the respect that such an opportunity deserves... but at what cost?
I am never going to fritter my way into poverty. I know I've got bills to pay. I've got mouths to feed. I have a budget sheet and a checkbook balance that demands supplication. And I'm going on five years now of insisting that "This is the last year I work hard for The Man!" I keep catching a window of four or five months to crank out some quality fiction and just when I feel like a breakthrough is at hand, the OT Gods speak from on high and *poof* there goes the manuscript. Sure, it's another few grand to the credit card or or against a home repair - but it's such an empty satisfaction as The Dream slips further down the time stream to some new and later mythical date.
Any writers with sage advice can feel free to throw it down or just you can just nod solemnly in agreement. I think that being artistic and being responsible are two character traits completely at odds with one another. In some sense then, I feel fortunate that I still get the chance to indulge both, albeit at long and interrupted intervals.
Side Note: Every person who offers a heart felt "You should just drop everything and do the book!" has to make a car payment for me as a sign of loyalty and unyielding support...
And if any scientists are working on a project to make vitamin enriched printer paper to turn failed manuscripts into dinner - I'm willing to join - at a rate of $52.00 an hour.