Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Little Something for the Weekend: Cherished Deadlines

PHS Columnist and Harlequin Historical author Nicole Locke asks - Do you cherish your deadlines? 


So it’s Saturday, and I’m to chat about what I like to do besides writing except…. It’s deadline time now and I can’t comprehend anything else I do.  In fact, I’m blinking myopically at this screen wondering how to write this post.

However, I must be doing something besides finishing my story. I haven’t just abandoned my family, right? Yet, I must confess about two weeks before a book is due, I disappear. Oh, I’m here in physical form, but mentally, I’m in 13th century Wales or Scotland or…well, you get the picture.
Yet there’s something I cherish about those two weeks before deadline. It has to do with the word myopic. Because in the urgency of little time, everything becomes short-sighted and yet, strangely clear.

The story never starts that way. I’m writing a series, and when I first begin it’s all sweeping story arcs and infinite possibilities. Two months before deadline, there’s a bit of anxiety as huge procrastination meets huge sweeping arcs. The story (and me) start to collapse as I’m forced to make choices.

Then two weeks before the story is due all the anxiety, frustration and procrastination melt away. I’m myopic, and focused on the moment. I revel in the lack of time; I cherish my lack of choices. The hero has gangrene? Cut off his arm. There’s a beautiful sentence that I’ve been trying to fit? Cut it out. Everything is clear: the story has to be done immediately.

My family life works the same way. You see, normal family life consists mostly of gallivanting around. I’m not much of a stay-at-home mum. I like adventure and seeing new things.  When the deadline looms, I can’t gallivant. My family and I are home. Everything is myopic; everything is urgent. 

Instead of restaurants or market food, my son and I cook together. Since I’m stuck before a screen, my daughter chooses to play her violin next to me. As for my husband? He’s slaying the daily household dragons just as surely as my heroes are slaying their enemies.

I love my family, but there’s something about deadline time that makes me cherish them more. I’d tell them now except I’m finishing this post at 2:30 am on Saturday morning, so I think.... Oh! My daughter woke and asked for a glass of water so I think...I’ll tell her.

Because everything is myopically clear. Deadlines and family are meant to be cherished. Immediately.
-- Nicole (-:

Nicole's third book in the Lovers and Legends series, The Highland Laird's Bride, releases  June 1st!

He wants to amend the past. She wants to kill him.

Lioslath of Clan Fergusson has defended her clan and her orphaned siblings against countless enemies. So when Laird Colquhoun, the man responsible for the death of her father, arrives at the gates of her crumbling keep, she'll fight him all the way!

It's soon clear Bram's famed tactics of seduction and negotiation won't work on this guarded, beautiful woman. But when sparks between them turn to passion, and they're forced to wed, Bram must do whatever it takes to win over his new bride...

To find out more about Nicole Locke, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.


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