Deadline Schedule

Book is due at the end of the year, which if you’ll check your calendars is six weeks away, and has some annoyingly time-consuming holiday things before it.

What this means: Whatever is a now a secondary priority. Indeed, pretty much everything that doesn’t involve me finishing the book is a secondary priority. Also secondary priorities: Eating, sleeping, bathing, shaving, keeping Athena from playing with power tools, being a pleasant human being to be around. Don’t tell my wife about those last two.

What that means for Whatever readers:

1. Whatever won’t get updated unless/until I have written a certain amount in the book daily and/or

2. You’ll get repeats from the vasty depths of the Whatever archives and/or

3. I’ll figure out some sort of audience participation thing to keep you all amused and/or

4. I’ll do some easily programmable thing that will take me fifteen minutes a day to bang out and/or

5. Some combination of any or all of the above.

I do want you all to be amused, but at the same time, you know. Book. Deadline. Gaaaaah.

Anyway, Whatever is on Deadline Schedule starting… now.

38 Comments on “Deadline Schedule”

  1. Do you want me to dress up in a bear costume and dance? It might amuse my fellow Whateverians. For two seconds.

    ::puts on bear costume::

    ::shuffles from side to side in dance::

    (Hey, the bear costume is *warm* at least!)

  2. Oh goody! We always get the best posts when you have other things that absolutely must be done. :-)

    Seriously, though. Good luck.

  3. 1) Playing with power tools is the best way to become proficient with them. Start her with a drill press and work up to a radial arm saw. Save the router for her 13th birthday.

    2) I still have links to some cool free Photoshop filters. You say when.

    3) Charlie Brown Christmas music is best to work with this time of year. Never gets old.

    Good luck.

  4. I like how you worked in the Photoshoppery at the *start* of this process.

    Good luck! Write like the wind!

  5. WTF. John is going to refrain from entertaining us so he can finish his damn book to entertain us? BAH!

    In light of John abandoning us to our own devices, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce the “Make Nathan a STAR” contest over on Whaterveresque! Its in the Wanton Pimpery section (where else), or you can get there from the link posted here.

    There’s prizes. There’s sycophancy. There’s the chance to screw with IMDB. What more could you want.

    Go there. Go there now. You know you want to.

  6. Ah, the Charlie Brown Book Report Syndrome.

    Can I suggest you have a contest for people to LOLCat the picture of yourself included in this entry. It has all sorts of entertaining possibilities.

  7. Get to work, slacker!

    Did I say that?
    I mean… I’m sure you’ll get it done in NO TIME and then have time for Whatever frivolities and other web shenanigans!

  8. Note to self: Give up book project. Requires loss of sleep, eating, bathing, and shaving, and I’d have to keep secrets from John’s wife. Too much work.

  9. Martyn Taylor – Northumberland – A writer exploring what lies beyond our peripheral vision. Published by various small presses and now considered to be nearly a Proper Author. Can be found lurking around the frozen North of England, happily herding a small family of recalcitrant adults who may once have been children and a woman who may very well be the fulcrum upon which the universe turns. Available for hire for very reasonable prices.

    Go, sir, and write. Your admirers demand it of you.

    Good luck. Good holidays. Have a good time. We’ll be waiting when you get back.

    Oh. That’s what you were afraid of . . .

  10. I choke on deadlines for three-page papers. God only knows how I’d manage one for a book.

    ….That wasn’t encouraging at all, was it? Um… go, John! You can do it! I believe in you!

  11. Uh oh, folks. It’s been hours and he hasn’t done any more photoshoppery. Maybe he’s serious this time.

    Alternately, we could start betting on when he’ll crack and post a LOLbacon or whatever.

  12. Say, John… correct me if I’m wrong here, but aren’t you supposed to speak at the Phila. SF Society meeting on December 14th?

    I hope so, because we kinda have you scheduled…

  13. Jeff is right out about power tools. I still fondly remember my mother teaching me to use and respect the chainsaw when I was ten. She also taught me to drive at the same time in case she cut something off while we were out salvage logging for firewood. Between the damage a chainsaw causes to a log and the implications of the driving lessons I developed a pretty good respect for other wimpier powertools like skill saws and such. So what I am saying teach her to use some really destructive tools. If you do not have a chainsaw (shame on you) A plasma cutter is nice a sparky. Yes I know Athena is not ten but if I had been a girl she would have taught me earlier.

    Sidenote: If you teach your kid to drive when they are ten. Don’t throw the keys at them when they are twelve and sick of hanging out at your friends place and you are sick of listening to them whine. You will end up walking home or having bum a ride from the friend.

    Man it took a while to turn the car around with the headlights off so they could not see me in the window.

  14. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang O.C., by any means necessary

    There’s always plenty of things to PhotoShop when a deadline is looming.

    Cats, dogs, kids, wives…

    I’m waiting….

  15. Ah. And the four-weeks-to-deadline feeling of black panic and despair sets in. See, now that’s entertaining.

    As long as it’s, you know, you and not me.

  16. ..As he answers comments. I guess this is a pot/kettle discussion since I bought an Xbox360 yesterday to help me ‘decompress’ from working full time while in Engineering school…while the semester is 3 weeks from over. I just keep telling myself ‘C is for credit’.

  17. Poor John. He says he’s really serious this time. Just like the last three times. Or was it five? Anyway, John, don’t take it personally if we collectively don’t believe you. The Whatever community is too fascinating to stay away from for very long — which is why I’m here when I should be inputting grades. Oh, look at the time. I should drive home before the roads get icy. Grades can wait til tomorrow. (grin)

    Stay true to your stories, O Fearless Whatever Leader! Write like the wind!

    Dr. Phil

  18. ***sends Scalzi the “get usefully creative FAST!” mojo***

    Because we can’t live without our daily dose of Whatever.

  19. My husband has a book due on November 30 and I have barely seen him for MONTHS. So I think you’re doing pretty well, John. Keep up the good work.

    My husband will have much entertaining to do in December. Except then he’ll tell me he’s on deadline for the NEXT book. Will I be quite so understanding then? Stay tuned….

  20. Brett L. @24: As I tell my students who are facing Cs in the U.S. history survey: Your job is just to move it from the “Remaining Requirements” column to the “Done” column. A passing grade does that. Carry on!

  21. Erik Ordway, when I was in discussing with my doctor why I was gaining weight, and he asked me what I did for exercise, I said I did yard work. He said that wasn’t enough. So then I had to explain that yard work for me involves a gas chainsaw and moving logs in the summer. In the winter I have a 55 foot, two-car wide driveway and a push shovel. He agreed that something else must be the problem (and it was).

    Chainsaws, what did I ever do for entertainment before I had them? There’s just something about a freshly sharpened chain as it goes through red oak or maple like a hot knife through butter that makes the inner boy in me gleefully happy. And to anybody out there that is thinking about getting one, they’re damn dangerous tools, know what you’re doing before starting one up. Also, know you exit routes. Very important that is.

  22. Good luck with the ride in the fast lane.

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