Sunday, March 16, 2014
Lines in the Sand
Yeah.... No coincidence that "dead" is in that word, right?
Turns out it dates back to the Civil War. Prisoners of war could not cross the "dead line" drawn around their stockade, on penalty of death.
Fortunately, that particular penalty is *not* written into my publishing contracts.
Maybe I should go read the fine print again, just to be sure...
All kidding aside, a deadline is a fearsome thing for the creative individual. Delivering art by a specific date can be a tricky thing. Always beneath, like an underground lake of doubt, is the deep, chilling fear that this time I can't do it. Because art isn't something that I can just plan on cranking on with extra time and effort to get it done. It happens on another time scale. On another plane of existence.
One without lines.
That said, I turned in a book yesterday. Right on deadline. The third book in my Covenant of Thorns trilogy, Rogue's Paradise, was due March 15 and I sent it at 6pm.
Also - it's really a coincidence in the best sense, of two things co-occurring at the same time - this week, March 20, sees the release of the final episode of my serial novel, Master of the Opera.
It's another kind of deadline - not the sort I have to deliver for - but one that marks the end of the serial. It started with the release of Act 1: Passionate Overture on January 2, so this has dominated my 2014 so far.
It's a good line to cross.
It's funny how the writing thing works - a book starts with flicker of an idea. Maybe an image or a feeling or a situation. From there it slowly grows, moving through all the stages of mulling, pitching, refining, writing, revising, polishing, editing, (sometimes negotiating), proofing, reviewing, and finally releasing. Even then, it's like having grown children. The book no longer requires such concentrated care and feeding, but it's always yours, forever a part of your life.
It's almost a vast, extended family. No wonder they call it a "body of work."
Still, I'm loving to see this one graduate from college.