I am counting down. I have given myself a timetable and my end date is September 15th. One week to go.
This is the date I have told myself I must be done. I’ve completed nine other revisions on this novel, but this last one is a biggie. New title, new ending, new character names, new motivations, more sex, and another death. I am almost there. But I still have one week to go. So…
No matter how much I love you, don’t expect to hear from me. Unless you have the same number as the Hong Kong Buffet takeout place, I’m not likely to ring you up.
On the other hand, I may contact you if you know anything about boats or sharks or the Windward Isles or what it means to be a Belonger. Or even if your area of expertise is 70s punk or panic attacks or Mormonism or stalking.
If you call me, I am not likely to answer. If I do answer, expect me to sound confused, distant, and disoriented for the first five minutes of our conversation. (No, I have not been drinking…unless it’s after ten pm and I’m writing a sex scene.) When you have been diving in very deep waters, it takes time to resurface, unless, of course, you don’t mind if your head explodes.
If you email me and my answer is shorter and more to the point than my usual emails, understand: brevity is where I live. For the next week, I won’t use two words where one will do.
If I seem testy, don’t take it personally. It is only because I am spending my days looking for any spark of conflict and then cupping it in my hands and blowing on it.
To my friend who has recently had a baby, I’m sorry I haven’t called. I’ve been up at night walking the floors with my own colicky manuscript.
To my neighbor, whose son just left for college, I’m thinking of you, I really am.
To my former sister-in-law who just lost her beloved uncle, I love you and I’m sorry for your pain.
To my children, my mother-in-law, my co-author, my best friend, my editors at the journal, my book club, my sisters, my mother, my poor neglected husband, my cat, my garden, and my yoga mat, I’m sorry I love you all. Please just allow me one more week of being here but being absent. Just seven more days, I promise.