Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm late, I'm late

Where does the time go? Here it is the beginning of May and I barely remember January. No, I haven't been indulging in mind altering drugs, but at this point I'm not sure that isn't a good idea. At least the time would stop flying by like pages flying off a calendar in some movie denoting the passage of time. Last year was fast enough, but this year, too? I don't know where the time goes.

Oh, yes, now I remember. Work, work, more work, and still more work again. It seems I barely get to sleep and it's time to get up and work again while the laundry piles up and the dishes go unwashed because I am chained to work. Now that the doctors are goofing off again, having taken Passover as carte blanche to forget dictating reports, the work load is slow and I'm working whatever hours I can to get enough dictations so I have a decent paycheck. It's getting harder and harder to meet my personal goals with this dearth of work, so now I have to find other ways to occupy the time while I'm waiting for my computer to tell me "you've got work".

And I have found a solution -- of sorts.

I'm writing more.

I have 16 stories listed to write and sent to Chicken Soup because they want more from me. I can do that. Then there were manuscript submission packages to put together for a few publishers interested in what I sent them about a couple novels.

I do not understand why all publishers can't stick to the same submission guidelines so I don't have to rewrite everything. One wants a chapter by chapter synopsis and outline, another wants a running narrative synopsis -- Just hit the highlights and who gets who in the end. One publisher wants the first three chapters and another wants the first three and the last chapter. (I'll bet they're related to Harry whose dark side demands he reads the last page before he gets through the first chapter -- in case he dies) Then there are the fonts. One wants Times Roman in 12-point and another Courier New in 12-point. One wants 1.5 spaces and the other two spaces. And then there is the publisher who wants it all single space with indentations on the first line with the manuscript but not in the first three chapters and synopsis sent with the initial query letter. Details, details, details. They all need to standardize their guidelines so I don't have to rewrite, redo and reformat the same manuscript again and again and again and...well, you get the idea.

And I still have more writing to do. I finished chapter two of Anything For Love but I can't write anything else on it until I finish what I've already been contracted to write -- and been promised payment for. Then, there's the PPRAA newsletter I have to finish formatting, editing, checking and send out to the printer (with a copy for my favorite anal retentive control freak) and redo some of the newsletter to be transferred to PDF and uploaded to the PPRAA website with working links so those members actually living and familiar with 21st century technology can click and surf for further information. And formatting the newsletter is a bit of a nightmare when I have lots and lots of articles and only 12 pages worth of space, most of which is already ear marked for club and board meeting minutes and the president's monthly column (which is also available on its own page on the PPRAA website and makes no sense to me), leaving me with very little actual usable space, especially with all the disclaimers, advertisements and boiler plate that MUST be in each issue. It's a lesson in logistics just to figure out a font that is readable by the older members of the club without using a magnifying glass and still allows me to fit everything in. Talk about needing a shoe horn.

But I'm not unhappy or even discontented. I have lots to keep me busy but I'd rather have more time to get into trouble. Everyone needs a little trouble now and again just to keep in practice and to shake up the ant farm. Don't want the ants getting too comfortable --

-- or too boring.

The landlady told me last night as we sat on the front porch that changes are coming. First, my windows are about to be papered over. She is having the house painted in two weeks and they have to cover the windows to keep them from being painted over. I guess that means they won't be using brushes or rollers and that noisy air compressors will be forcing the paint into concentrated arcing sprays and their aim with the spray guns is probably about as good as their aim with their own fleshy spray equipment. At least it won't smell nearly as bad when they miss the target and we don't notice until we step into a half dry puddle in the middle of the night -- not that it's something I have to deal with. George is a very tidy and considerate fellow who gave up bodily functions when he died and decided to remain here in my part of this house. Sometimes a male ghost is all the male companionship I can stand and other times...

Well, I just got that "you've got work" message and it's time for me to make a few more pennies to add to the ones I didn't have to spend yesterday at the parking meter near the post office because some lovely generous soul leaving the spot ahead of me let me know there was still time on the meter. Bless thoughtful people everywhere.

That is all. Disperse.

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