Well, now that I've got your attention with my title, before I address it, I'm gonna indulge in some blatant self-promotion. There's still time to win an ARC of my Red Sage Presents June 1st release, Even Demons Get The Blues.
Contest closes 15th May, so visit my website, click on the Win An ARC link and answer a simple question to be in to win!
Heck, since it's nearly contest deadline, I'll give you the question: What's the release date for Even Demons Get The Blues? (Hint: re-read the second sentence of this post to find the answer.) Leave a comment with the anser and the winner will be drawn on May 16th and notified by email. How easy is that?
Right, now that we've got that out of the way....
Referring to myself as a "bitch-troll-from-hell" may appear overly harsh but believe me, it's a perfect descriptor in certain scenarios. Like the following purely fictional one, for instance.
It's about 10.30am on a weekday. I've been to the gym and wonder of wonders, my body hasn't gone into shock and collapsed from the unaccustomed exercise. I've had my morning caffeine fix. I've cleared my in-box, facebooked and twittered (whilst slurping aforementioned caffeine fix) and I'm good to go. Ideas for my current wip are roiling round in my brain, demanding to get out. I have a clear four hours of dedicated writing time ahead. I'm rubbing my hands in gleeful anticipation. I reach for the mouse to click on my manuscript file and....
The phone rings.
Grrrrr. Instead of letting it go through to answer-phone, I pick it up. Yanno, 'cos I'm just dumb that way. And hey, even though it's my landline and not my mobile, so it's probably not urgent, it might be urgent. It might be the school calling to tell me one of the kids is sick. Or (horrors!) has had an accident and needs me right away. I just can't not answer the damn phone. I suspect it's genetic.
The caller is my mum. Or my dad. Or my grandmother. All of whom I've been "meaning to ring". Or it's one of my sadly neglected friends, whom I've been "meaning to ring when I get a spare moment". (I usually find that spare moment is around 10.30pm when it's too flaming late to ring anyone.)
And as much as I reeeeeally want to, I can't bring myself to say, "Sorry, I'm about to start work. Can I call you in a few hours when I'm done?" You see, they know I'm not really "working". Or at least, that's what they think. Which is why they've rung at this time of the day. 'Cos, yanno, Maree's writing isn't really proper work, is it? I mean, it's not like it's a proper career or anything. Grrrrr!
So because I'm sitting at home pretending to be "working" and I'm not sitting in an office being snarked at by some cranky boss who's not gonna take kindly to me yakking on the phone for the next hour, I feel obliged to yak on the phone for the next hour. I hope I'm coming across as interested in the conversation. I hope I'm not coming across distracted and somewhat distant. But I wouldn't be money on it. Even worse, all the ideas I'm desperate to put down on the screen are slowly being smothered by "real life". I just know they're gonna disappear into the ether and I won't be able to find them when I need them. I want to scream.
It's now 11.30am. My muse--who looks exactly like RT09 cover model Jeremy--has gotten sick and tired of hanging round contemplating his gorgeous navel, and he's gone walkabout. I spend the next hour reading over what I've already written. I tweak that trite term. I delete that dumbass description. I polish my prose to within an inch of its miserable, pathetic existence. And then....
I realize it's 1pm and if I don't eat something, I'm gonna pass out. I rush downstairs and stare into the cupboards, searching for inspiration. Aha! Toast and peanut butter it is. Wait a minute, what's that bloody annoying beeping noise?
Crap! The washing I stuck in the machine before I went to the gym is well and truly finished. Grrrrr.....
So by the time I've stomped around the house and dealt to the washing, my toast is cold. Never mind. I can rise above this latest setback. Peanut butter on cold toast it is!
I rush back upstairs, toast in hand, relieved that my nutritional needs have been met with the minimum of time and effort. Hey, I could have put chocolate spread on the toast but I'm trying to eat healthy. A writer's body is her temple, you know ;-)
It's now 1.30pm. And multitudinous little email previews are going 'ping!' and popping up at the bottom of my monitor. I ignore them and get right back into writing...at least until I spot one email from my husband, who wants me to email him back with some important info ASAP. Grrrrr!
It's now 2pm and frankly, I've done bugger all to add to my wordcount. I need to go pick my kids up from school soon. I frantically type a few more sentences. And next time I look at the clock, it's already 2.30pm. If I don't go now, I'm never gonna find a park near the school. Of course the cat chooses this moment to hide in the house somewhere. And if I leave her inside and she decides to go exploring, she'll set off the alarms. It's 2.45pm by the time I locate the sneaky rotten furbag, chuck her outside, lock up and get into my car. And I'm running late. Grrrrr!
It's 4pm by the time I've completed the school run, nagged the kids about notices, spelling, reading diaries and other assorted homework. Son has soccer practice in half an hour. I've got a 15 minute window to write.....
But my daughter needs to talk about "stuff". I paste a smile (or a sympathetic frown, depending upon the severity of the "stuff" being discussed) on my face. We hash it out. And then it's time to head to soccer. Never mind. I can drop him off, be back home by 4.45pm, leaving me an hour to write before I have to leave to pick him up at 6pm. A whole freaking hour! I'm practically drooling....
At the soccer grounds, I'm caught up in a conversation with a couple of other soccer moms. I don't get home till 5pm. My hour has become 3/4 hour. And I only have myself to blame. I am so pissed. GRRRRR!
I write like a madwoman. It could be utter crap--who knows? At least it's increasing my tragic wordcount. Then it's time to pick up son from soccer. Just five minutes more and.... Crap! I'm running late. Again.
Back home, I mutter something about "having dinner when dad gets home" and rush back upstairs to attack my manuscript again. I am determined to get this section finished. And wouldn't you know it? I'm just getting back into my stride when I hear the garage door opening and then , "Hi honey, I'm hooooome!"
GRRRRR! I take a few deep, calming breaths. "Hi!" I yell, hunched over the keyboard, fingers flying over the keys. I'll just finish this sentence...paragraph...chapter....
And before I know it, I hear those fateful words, "Any thoughts for dinner, hon? It's getting a bit late." I explode. Images of my husband doing a lounge lizard act on the couch, complete with glass of wine resting on his stomach, fill my head. And I bet the kids have left their crap all over the kitchen. I bet no-one's emptied the dishwasher. It's not bloody fair. AAAAARRRRRGH!
I have officially crossed the line from grumpy female to full-on bitch-troll-from-hell mode. We are going to have a discussion about division of labor right now so be afraid, people! Be very afraid.
"Why can't you cook for a change?" I'm saying as I stomp downstairs. "I'm right in the middle of a crucial scene, here. Why is it always me who has to cook? Why am I always the one who--?"
Yes, DH is sitting on the couch with a glass of wine at his elbow. But he has his laptop open and he's working. Worse, the kids' eyes light up as they regale me with tales of how he's helped them with some homework research. Worse still, what he's working on right now is my new website. Very quiet, subdued grrrrr. More of a whimper, actually.
Suitably chastened and guilt-ridden, I rustle up some dinner for my grateful family. Once the kids are in bed, I sit down with a glass of wine. And I heave a sigh because tomorrow, chances are that bitch-troll writer persona is gonna rear her ugly head again. I just won't be able to help it.
This "fictional" story was brought to you by a nice girl. Who, far more often than she likes to admit, becomes the writer's equivalent of bridezilla.
Sound familiar? Cripes, I hope so! I'd hate to think it was just me....