Ever wonder what the last week before a book needs to be finished looks like? This is the wreck of what's left of I will laughingly refer to as our "home" after two years of this, in what has metastasized into my ever-encroaching "workspace." Both of us are now in the "type until 5AM—sleep for 5 hours—stumble out of bed to the desk—type until 5AM" mode that always kicks in the final weeks. It's been a while since I've done this, and I was feeling a bit more chipper in those days. (Although, during the Dummies phase around here, we were also running our full-time business, and I was working freelance for my old boss still shooting commercials, too. Ah, youth.)
Most authors will recognize this phase if they've ever written to a deadline before, but I thought I'd enlighten those who haven't, along with showing my friends, family, and past-due account representatives why I yell and hang up a lot during this period.
This doesn't represent nearly everything that's going into this project, but it's the last of the stuff that hasn't been shelved or taken back to the Library Museum archives yet.
Yes, I can and do work in this mess.
And I know where every scrap of paper is, thank you very much.
Just a tiny portion of Dwight L Smith's 1968-1980 files.
When you know you're going to be stuck
on a shelf next to Daniel McDonald and Dwight,
you'd damn well better go to the source and not just read it in a book somewhere.
Froot Loops, potato chips, Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper,
and a bottle of caffeine tablets.
There's one of those in every room.
Long about now is when Alice starts screaming from the bedroom,
"Why do you ask me to help you, and why do I say yes?"
"But I only asked on the one chapter, honey..."
Six weeks and 17 Amazon deliveries later, she only wants "One more day!"
The really GOOD news is that we still have another three days until the "I hate your guts and wish I'd never met you in my whole entire miserable life" stage of this process kicks in.
The "active" piles.
Just one of the discard or "done with it" piles.
Oh, there are more.
What a "completed" chapter's fact-checked shelf looks like.
Yeah, I went there. It wasn't pretty, but it happened,
and we had heroes along with the scoundrels.
The shelf of last resort.
And for those wondering why they don't see Mackey and a copy of Coils around, there's a reason. They're in the bathroom for regular consultation.
I still need to come up with a damn title. I'm thinking. I'm thinking...