Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The dog ate my manuscript...

Sometimes writers have valid excuses for falling behind on a project. Sometimes not.

I'd lost two weeks when I got sick in April, and more days due to hubby's non-stop traveling. But I was still making progress by following The Plan. Until the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms started. Then all bets were off. I stopped blogging here, looked for advice everywhere and tried to muddle through the best I could.

You'd think that was enough for a writer on deadline to have to deal with, right?


Here's what last week looked like for me:

Monday: kids out of school at 11:45 pm, princess tea party for 12 girls ages 5 - 10 that I donated last year not knowing I'd be on deadline. Writing until wee hours of morning.

Tuesday: catch up on writing missed due to tea party. kids out of school at 11:45

Wednesday: Adoration, kids out of school at 11:45, trying to write on keyboard but not really working due to pain, desperate for solution, Crossfit session with little weight due to hands, call from my closest friend to find out I will not get to see her before she leaves to move to London on Friday. Feel like worst friend ever. Cry in minivan while kids at CF kids and try to write something by hand, go home, put kids to bed, write, okay I will still be able to get this done, hubby hobbles home from his Crossfit boot camp session. His knee is the size of a bowling ball. He can't move let alone walk. I realize I am totally screwed now.

Thursday: Hubby in so much pain. Take Spirit to Animal Eye Doctor and cry the entire drive there and back. Hubby goes to Urgent Care. His knee is too swollen for a diagnosis, but they give him medicine. Kids out of school at 11:45. Typing still difficult so hubby orders me ergo keyboard that a climber recommends. Attend volunteer appreciation dinner at church by myself. Come home and hubby tells me Finn can't swallow. I take his temperature. Yep it's gotta be strep. I'm even more screwed. Off to urgent care we go. Four hours later, I carry a 72 pound sick and sleepy kid to the car. Thank goodness for Crossfit or I wouldn't be strong enough. Write until the wee hours of the morning.

Friday: Up at six to write before kids get up. My throat is starting to hurt. I soldier on, but send an email to my editor saying the ms won't be there the morning of the 16th. I'll get it to her that evening. Kids to school. Hubby to couch. I write. Pick kids up at 11:45. Rose says her throat hurts. Off to urgent care. Yep, she's got step too. My life totally sucks. Why did I ever think I could be a writer and a mother at the same time. Ergo keyboard arrives. Perhaps not all is lost. Cancel dinner on Saturday we had bought at church auction. There goes $70, but time is more valuable plus we have sick kids and I'm coming down with something. Get voice message from friend on her way to London. Cry more. I take healthy kid to Crossfit. I work with Nichole first, then during CF Kids I manage to revise a chapter by hand with no pain. Progress! Dinner with kidlet then drop her at Irish Dance. Write more. Try to get used to ergo keyboard. Stay up way too late.

Saturday: Woken up by phone call housecleaner/babysitter/housesitter extraordinaire. She fell and broke her write and needs surgery. Can't help me for the rest of the month perhaps longer. How many times can a person get screwed in a week? Ergo keyboard is helping. Finish manuscript. Rough draft that is. Write, write, write. Of course, I'm sick now. Write some more. Skip final little league game and picnic afterwards. Yep, worst mom ever. Write more.

Sunday: Wake up and realize I never bought hubby a card or present. Worst wife ever. Should have picked on up when I was getting antibiotics for kid. Church, breakfast out to celebrate Father's Day, remind myself to call my dad. Send hubby an e-card. Write some more. Try to stay awake. I don't feel good and so sleepy. Rewrite chapters 7-10. Print out entire manuscript. Gotta call my dad, but he's on the coast, not at home and I need to find the number. Write some more. Start polishing from page one. Oh, no it's midnight and I never called my dad on Father's day. Worst daughter ever. Stay up until wee hours of morning polishing.

Monday: Sleep through alarm. Barely functioning. Relying on neti pot to see me through whatever bug I've caught. Email from editor. I can have an extra day or two if needed. I'd really like to get this done on time cause the kids miss me. I gotta try. Work all day. Polish chapters 1-9. Rewrite way more than I thought I would. Add a much needed 1500 words to manuscript. Realize I need to get a decent night of sleep or I might collapse. Email editor that I'll take the extra time she offered. Worst writer ever.

So what was your week like?


Marianne Arkins said...

Oh... Melissa... I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I feel SO AWFUL for you.


Dru said...


Melissa, what a week it has been for you. I hope after this is all and done, you can take some time out for yourself and your family and go somewhere and relax.

Amy said...

You are not the worst anything ever, you're human. I'm so sorry everything piled up on you.

{{{{{{{{HUGS, HUGS, HUGS}}}}}}}}

Tori Lennox said...

You poor thing!!! *hugs*

catslady said...

That is way too much to happen at once. I must say though that it sure makes what I thought was a bit of a tough time seem extremely easy now so I thank you for that! (My daughter has temporarily moved back home after 5 years and although I love having her here it's sure changed our routines and added extra chores with the worst being trying to empty her room that has been a storage area for 5 years and my lack of sleep since my other daughter keeps me up 'til 3 and this one noisily gets up at 6) but it still is better than what you are going through.) Take care of yourself!!!!

Brandy said...

O gosh, you poor thing. I wish I was closer and could help. You are a wonderful person, things happen and seem to have stacked up on you this week. I'm sure your Dad will understand. Please take care and know that we care about you! ((((HUGS)))

windycindy said...

I think later on, you might want to write a book about your life! I wish you the best. Take care, Cindi

Dena said...

Hi Melissa, It's good to see you back, but it's sad to hear your having such a hard time. I'm glad your editor gave you some extra time. You are far from the worst of anything too. Hang in there and take care.

Sarita Leone said...

Oh my...life is really coming at you from all sides. You're definitely not the worst of anything...you're a busy woman trying to meet a gazillion challenges.

Thinking of you. :)

Nathalie said...

What a week... Mine was quite relaxing I have to admit ;)

Ergo keyboards... they are a must surely for all authors!

Lily said...

Excuses are always nice... but you had a valid ones. Carpal tunnels are painful and seriously alter your motricity!

My week... the usual student week, work + studies!

limecello said...

Oh Melissa, you poor thing. I'm sorry you felt so terrible and everything happened at once. And I second what Amy said - but I know how things feel different in high stress situations.
So glad that's all over though, and you made it!