Time’s Up

Quote: Tock: Look, son, it’s bad enough wasting time without killing it. — The Phantom Tollbooth

I haven’t written in a while because I wanted to have good news to report.  But that’s dishonest.  So, here’s the painful truth.

I’ve been scrambling to meet the June 30th deadline to submit the first 7,000 words of my novel to a contest.  I’m not going to make it.  And that makes me sad.  Because I hate to give up.  Because I’ve made progress, but it just isn’t good enough.  Because I had a plan that while the judges of the contest were reading this I would be doing more edits on the following 68K words so that at exactly the right moment, I would win the contest, add one more line to the query letter mentioning this initial success and ta-da, requests would come in for the full manuscript.

Today I took the kids to see the movie Brave and then to the park.  I had printed out pages (7K words is about 25 double-spaced pages) to edit. I figured out a reason for a specific nurse to be in a bomb shelter and to have brought her kids.  Then I took out part of the prologue and gave it to a new character.  Undecided whether it works or is an information dump. 

Then Sylvia (real child) had to go to the bathroom.  For a moment I was fuzzy because I could still hear bombs and smell burning sulphur.  And then Evelyn (also a real child) also had to go to the bathroom and could I go with her?  And we couldn’t find their shoes.  At lunch Diana (another real one) had to lay out each placemat and napkin and plastic fork with painstaking detail and I was pulling my hair out.  Trying to be present in the moment and make a summer memory with my kids while still being true to my own project. 

It didn’t work. I wasn’t completely in the moment and I didn’t quite finish the 7,000 words.

So, tonight I’m calling it.  I will not be entering the contest.  Bleep!  That stings my pride.



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