The Chicken Begins Running With Her Head Off

In eight days, I will be in San Francisco, in advance of a writers’ conference I signed up for last year.

I had good intentions. I paid for the conference back in March. I paid for my plane ticket back in September. I have lined up a rental car using gift certificates, so that’s taken care of. I even have my son dropping me off at the hotel location, because it’s in a very congested and chi-chi area of downtown and parking is $80 a day.

I have toiled at my novel full steam since the first of November. I’ve somehow managed to add an additional 100,000 words since then. There are three, maybe four more chapters to go. I’ve been good, even though I’ve done other things, like work, eat, play the violin, make jewelry, etc. There was the holiday and the extended stay of Ms. MiniD, always a disruptive influence. I’ve even had time to be sick.

Now comes crunch time, and I feel like a chicken with her head cut off.

I have been working with an online business card company that specializes in authors. I had trouble sending in my photograph (actually, the real trouble came finding one that doesn’t make me look like a serial killer) and my emails kept bouncing back. It’s been ten days, and so far no word. In a panic, I emailed again on Saturday. Nothing.

I still need to get with an attorney so I can wrap up the novel. That’s because an attorney plays a prominent part in the ending. I have emailed our business attorney, hoping for some free input. The guy is nice, but he’s one of those super-slick shyster dudes, and his office, in a very trendy neighborhood, likely has a high lease. However, I feel comfortable with him, so I even promised to pay. Hopefully, he’ll be like my other advisors and will take a mention in the beginning of the book instead.

Finally, I have new clothes and have been exercising like a fiend to fit into my old ones. Some writer who sends me newsletters suggested I get a smokin’ hot red dress. I don’t want to look like a hooker, so I bought some red cashmere sweaters instead. After my daughter returned to school (that was the longest six weeks of my life), I found out she raided my bathroom and all my cosmetics are GONE. (I might slap on some make up once in a blue friggin’ moon, so I expect it all to be there when I need it.)

I hope I don’t look like a boob. There’s always the possibility I might laugh too hard, look needy, or become unexpectedly mute.



9 Responses

  1. Breathe!

    I can almost see you, ready to pass out from all the buzzing around!

    Just breathe. It will all me okay.

  2. Ms Pande,

    Good luck and go knock ’em dead. Tell ’em as far as medical or bluegrass references, you can promise accuracy.

    Dr. B

  3. I still can’t believe how LONG this novel is. *shakes head*

    Go to the Kinko’s and have them print you up *some* cards, for just in case — vanilla ones. It’ll be like adopting a child, the ones you’re worrying about will immediately appear.

    Miss Mini-D did you a favor. Old makeup = germs. New makeup = fun. Buy a makeup compact, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.

    You have taken care of everything you have to take care of except relaxing, and you need to make sure you leave time for that. And I DON’T mean on the plane! Make your lists, get packed, get your stuff you need to have together, like pages or whatever, I don’t know, and for Pete’s sake, schedule the last couple days before you go for being lazy and having hot baths and maybe a manicure and facial. Oooh, and a massage.

    They are lucky to have you. 🙂

  4. Oh. OK. Now I understand.

  5. Are you speaking at the conference? I wish I could be there, I’d sit at the front and smile encouragingly and nod a lot. So, when you’re there, you should imagine your own personal cheer squad in the front row 🙂

    And I’m with LFC: old make up = germs. New make up = good.

  6. Go to Walmart; go straight to cosmetics*; get one of the new mineral makeup kits, it has everything in it you need to look good, and takes very little practice to use it well. Go straight to the cashier, and get the heck out*.

    *Walmart has it’s own vortex. It will suck you in and take up your precious time.

  7. I’m not sure I want to know how a lawyer can be a nice guy and a super-slick shyster at the same time.

  8. Get some red lipstick to go with that sweater, I say.

    -charter member, Red Lipstick Mafia

  9. All I can say is: Thank goodness for internet buddies…

    Corina, I am surprisingly calm on the outside. That’s what that airline pilot said he was as he was crashing into the Hudson.

    Dr. B: Thank you, and your package is *finally* in the mail.

    Dear Ms. Kitty, I’m sure a wise editor such as yourself will be able to shave at least half of my epic down. But right now I have so many plot twists that have to be tied up. I was hoping to be finished by now, but I’m finding the need for more words.

    Wanda: Keep nodding. Oh, and I like your do.

    Truce: Are you kidding? Speaking at the conference? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that one! 🙂

    Shawn, I’m on it. But I know about that Walmart vortex, so I went online to shop.

    David: Yeah, I know. Get your red pen ready.

    Jackie, Jackie, Jackie. My lips are too full for red. Gloss will do it.

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