Twelve days of September: Racing towards the finish

I work at an unusual interactive marketing agency. And by unusual, I mean ‘appreciates the staff.’ Our agency offers comp time to the creative team. Comp time is defined as any billable time beyond the 8 hour workday/40 work week. Last Friday, I was informed at work that I have accumulated 213 hours of comp/paid time off.

5+ weeks of vacation. I started plotting immediately.

Our Emeryville project has been pushed back a week or so with contractual and specification details. My other two projects are out for client review. I have my manuscript deadline looming at the end of the month. Things aligned quite nicely. I quietly arranged to take a week and a half off from work, 72 of my 213 hours. When I told Janet I was taking some extended time off, she was elated. She smiled her wonderful smile and said, “Now you can paint the house.”

Frustration abated
I believe I found the end to my book. It’s both plausible more than convenient (a must for me), and, as coincidence would arrange it, opens the opportunity of a sequel. I’d been in a strange way for a week or so after the Emeryville Welcome. I wasn’t sleeping very well. Worst of all, I’d lost focus my focus on the book. It was the slight disruption to my internal task list that ultimately wasn’t very slight. Before we were accosted in Emeryville, I had my plan straight: I’d work on the book after our meetings and such in my room. After we were accosted, I allowed myself to be distracted by the lingering lameness of the three punks. I should have corrected my course at the time; recognized my distraction, let it go, and refocused. But I didn’t. I’m not haranguing myself, just acknowledging the events that have thrown my deadline back by at least two weeks or more.

On the path to completion
Now without the Emeryville Welcome and the fallout from it, I wouldn’t have stepped back from my breakneck pace to see where I was going. Ahem, where they are going.

One of the challenges on the path to completion, is connecting the characters to the finale. As I guide each towards his or her place at the end of the story, the path is never as tidy as I imagine. From the book, life rarely meets expectation, and I’m finding this true to the fictional lives of these characters. I’ll be interested to see how they respond to predestination, or if they’ll pull a Pirandello’s revolt and go wherever they want.

Time to scrape, prime, and paint the house.

24 days remaining (565:44:15)


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