I am trying to finish a book, a big, ambitious book unlike any novel I’ve written before. I love it, but I’m nervous about it because I’ve not done anything like it before. I’m quite close to the end, and usually that means I’m swept up in the sweep of the book’s action and pouring out those final chapters in huge daily bouts of work, but I keep getting sidelined by the world that refuses to let me off just long enough to finish this book.
First of all, I’m dealing with some medical side effects that leave me never knowing whether I’ll be able to do my usual multitasking or whether I’ll be dealing with so much nausea, pain, and overwhelming fatigue that I’ll feel lucky to get one big task done per day.
Then to add to that uncertainty, my husband was rear-ended by a truck when he stopped to allow a fire engine to pass. Our car was totaled, and my husband left with whiplash. This has necessitated a million phone calls (with lots of time being entertained by hold music, the bane of the universe) while trying to find a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, or emergency room that would see him without us having to pay the entire huge bill up front before they’d examine him, all because the injury was in a car accident. This is when we’re covered with health insurance! At some point recently, those companies all agreed to stop covering any injury from accident, and then the medical facilities all agreed that they would demand payment in full upfront. Even with documents from insurance companies showing that two different car insurance companies were committing to pay his expenses, still they wanted money upfront. Fortunately, a friend’s long-time chiropractor would see him and bill the insurance companies, so my husband is finally getting some relief from the pain.
Add to those phone calls the calls and emails to the insurance companies, not only for his medical coverage but to arrange compensation for our totaled car, and then the meetings to show the claims examiner the car and to turn over the car plus keys, etc. After that, there were the visits to the bank to have documents notarized for the insurance claim, and then again, because the insurance company felt the original notary seal was not clear enough.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time on the laptop not-writing but rather looking for good, low-mileage used cars of about the age and for the amount we have to spend and then calling/texting/emailing to make arrangements to see the car and check it out. I’ve gone as far as taking one car that looked so good to our mechanic to be inspected, only to find it had one tiny problem that, alas, was in the dash and would require at least $800 to fix, but it would have to be fixed to be able to register and license the car. Back to the drawing board—and the computer and the car listings and the emails/texts/phone calls. Cross your fingers for us. I’ve got one I’m going to be taking to the mechanic today. Let’s hope it checks out, and I’m done with this nightmare. And into the new one of waiting in line at the DMV, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
As part of my freelance work to bring in needed cash, I’m also supposed to be judging several bins and boxes full of manuscripts for two national contests, and I’m only halfway through as the deadline clock ticks constantly nearer, rather like the clock the crocodile in Peter Pan swallowed. I just finished teaching at a writer’s conference, which eats up days to prepare and three days at the conference, plus at least two to recover physically, and I’m supposed to be preparing for a reading next week.
So my poor book is lucky if I manage my minimum word count several days a week right now. If only the world would stop and let me off long enough to finish those last eight scenes I need to write to finish it!
Do you have those times when you just want the world to go away and let you alone for a while so you can finish what you really need and want to do?