Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Deadline

I always manage to have a book due at the end of the year, and this is no exception. So in the spirit of the season, here is a little something for those who are waiting for it.

C.A. and M.W., this is for you.

'Twas the night before deadline, and all through the house,
Was the clickety-clack of my keyboard and mouse.
The book wasn't finished and was due on the morrow,
I stared at the screen with a feeling of sorrow.
The dogs were all nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of rawhide chews danced in their heads.
I wished I could join them -- my pillow was calling,
But the number of pages to go was appalling.
When inside my head there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Then I remembered, my brain was miswired
The neurons inside it sometimes would not fire.
The noises I heard did not come from a sleigh,
Or from reindeer hoofs pawing on roofs far away.
They came from inside me, those voices so rowdy,
I told them to hush, but they wanted to party.
"Play Tetris!" they shouted. "Or maybe some chess!"
"You don't need to write now, you need to unstress!"
I considered their words and thought, "Maybe they're right.
Perhaps I have written enough for one night.
I can get up quite early and finish the rest,
And it's sure to be good -- even better -- the best!"
I looked at my file and counted the words,
I was ten thousand short of the end, how absurd
To believe I could write all of that in one night,
I was crazy to think so, it just wasn't right.
For hours I played Solitaire, then Word Twist,
A little backgammon, some Hearts and some Whist.
When I tired of games I decided to google
The exports of Chile and standards for poodles.
I looked up the name of that kid who played Beaver
And the best way to sharpen a dull kitchen cleaver.
A little bit later I found a neat site
About dermal conditions that turned the skin white.
Although it was late I was stuck in the web
Reading this blog and that blog, not going to bed.
I told myself it was research for a book
I would write in the future that featured a cook
Who raised puppies for show and lived in Santiago
Had starred in a sit-com and had vitiligo.
It would be a blockbuster and sell in the millions,
King, Brown, and Meyer would look like mere has-beens.
George Clooney would option the rights for the screen,
Then ask me to help him with his kissing scenes.
This was a no-brainer, it had to be written
Before someone else with the idea was smitten.
With no time to lose the proposal I drafted,
Sketched out the action and characters crafted.
Inspired by my brilliance I forgot about sleep,
And only looked up when the phone went cheep cheep.
"Is it finished?" my editor asked, sounding worried.
"Please tell me you're done with this long delayed story."
"Not quite," I replied. "But I've got something new.
A great book. You'll love it. I'll read it to you."
"Don't bother," he said as I heard him hang up.
"And send the advance back you miserable schmuck."

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