So, it's six days until Christmas and the whole world seems to moving humming at a crazy, frenetic pace. Every commercial has some sort of countdown and blowout sale, every ad has sentences like, "THERE'S STILL TIME!" bolded across the front. Every clerk and bank teller asks, "so, have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?" and the lowly writer looks up, blinks, and says, "Christmas shopping?"
Just over a week ago I was released, sputtering and shaking, from the clutches of deadline. It always seems to happen at some odd hour of the night where everyone in their right mind is deep in sleep, tucked away in well-made beds with sheets that have been washed recently enough to hint at the fresh, soapy smell of clean. The non-deadlined writer comes flopping into the world, brand new eyes trying to focus in light that isn't cast by the silver-gray computer screen. We stretch, trying out limbs that have been stifled by the awkward position of constant writing, and we marvel that our arms can reach something more than the keys in front of us, that our legs, once unfolded, can carry us other places than the refridgerator and coffeepot. We step on these shaky legs and move into the world where people--actual people--try and engage us while we watch for them to "suck in a breath," or possibly shift a Christmas package "just enough to see the greasy metal barrel of a gun." They say things to us and we have to think, to react, because the things they are saying come from their own minds, not ours!
We stand, moving slowly, completely awed by the Christmas lights and the bustling outside world, completely flabbergasted that while we were holed up in our writing womb the world kept spinning around us -- functioning, moving, keeping a pace that matched our spastic one as we typed, opened a vein, sold our soul for 80,000 words to get to that brilliant, stunning, life-giving final phrase: The End.
So now, as the world around us counts down our inefficiency, the writer walks about, exposed and awed, then terrified and uncomfortable, only to retreat again to the warm, warm embrace of a new story, a new deadline, a new descent into madness.
It's either that or a fruitcake.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year everyone! Take it easy and enjoy the time you have!