31 August 2009

Can I play outside, sir?

I'm still alive, I think, although a certain touch of the zombie is noticeable ... into the 12th day of 15+ hours of work a day.

There have been hours of phone calls with my editors in the States, at all hours (I'm 14 hours ahead, which makes for a lot of midnight and 6 am calls), daily chat session 'meetings' with my excellent co-author Mark, endless e-mails at all times of the day and night (waking up for the occasional 4 am email 'meeting' is so much fun), reports and plans to write, a huge amount of redoing things, complicated plans and spreadsheets, writing text, creating illustrations, and - oh yeah - 300 puzzles to write, and check, and all this at speed and hopefully without mistakes!

I've only been out of the house twice in the past 12 days. This is pretty much all I'm seeing ...

The spreadsheet keeping track of all the puzzles and hints and so on is on my laptop screen, and the bigger monitor shows the artwork and text files. I've just cleared 190 puzzles, and first draft of my chapter for the first part (the 'How To' section) - Mark is writing the history and background chapter, as well as other important bits!

The official deadline is tomorrow, but it's not humanly possible ... my editors know I'm working as fast as possible. We're taking it day by day. This is a very unusual book, Wiley doesn't normally do rush jobs like this (once I'm allowed to I will reveal the title and reasons for the rush).

Good news on two fronts :

My Project Editor on this book is the superlative Sarah, who was my editor on Word Searches for Dummies - she is utterly brilliant, intelligent, on the ball, funny, and I totally trust her. We get on extremely well, and she and I think in very much the same way.

And late last week the Wiley Sales Team approved the book (PHEW) – this step is normally done first, and then the planning happens, and the contract is drawn up, and then you start writing. On this book we've done everything back-the-front - started with planning and writing, and then Sales approval, and contract will be sorted out this week (last of all!). Yes, there was a chance that we'd have done all this work for naught ... !!

Petal is keeping me company. She got a special package in the mail last week from LittleNeedles (a Ravelry friend), and spent most of her time playing with the packaging, just like a toddler ;)

OK, I must get back to You Know What now - catch you again when this is all done, hopefully by the end of the week!! I dinna think I can take much more, Cap'n ...


  1. don't forget a little bit of sunshine and fresh air is important for your health!! Sounds like you are going great guns, hope the rest of it goes well too!! Very exciting!

  2. Yes! Absolutely. The beauty of laptops is that you can use them outdoors!

    It sounds like you have been working hard and deserve some sunshine and fresh air.

  3. Thank goodness you have Petal to 'help' you!! I hope it all goes swimmingly!! I agree, a little sunshine can work wonders.

  4. BREATHE! I second the reminder about fresh air and sunshine! Hang in there!

  5. I've been thinking of you all week! Glad to hear you're in the homestretch, and can't wait to hear all the details!

  6. Also remember food and sleep. And hug the loved ones. There's no point to all this madness if you don't have time to hug the loved ones.

  7. Wow oh wow - I can't believe how amped up this whole thing is getting with your puzzle book career! It's amazing crazy - but sounds good in that you have great relationships with the people you're working with and that helps so much.

  8. I think I can guess what your book is about and I can understand the rush but the pressure must be enormous - I hope you're getting well rewarded for your efforts!

  9. Good heavens, I don't know how you're doing it! Good luck with the book and the deadline, and yes do get some sunshine if possible :)

  10. Whew! That's quite the Warp Factor Eleventy you are setting there!

  11. This too will soon be over. Can't wait to hear all about it. I see another picture for you coming up. Hugs to you and Petal

  12. keep at it! Summer is on it's way! Finish before it's time to have fun...

    unlike here where leaves are falling and I'm wearing sweaters in the morning...


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