Monday, December 12, 2005


Ticking Clock

Maybe it's the fact that I've come to view World Fantasy Convention as the "end of the year," with the remaining six to eight weeks being equivalent to the "hollow days" the Aztecs used to fill out the empty spaces on their calendar wheel, but the last few weeks of the year always seem like something of a hectic blur to me. Invariably I've committed to completing some number of projects "by the end of the year," sometime comfortably in the spring or summer, when the end of the year is a mythical time, far off in the future, when apes are our masters and we travel everywhere with personal jetpacks. WFC, always the end of October or the beginning of November, is the point where I get to slow down for a few days, reflect on everything that's happened in the last year (read, "since the last WFC"), drink too much and look forward to the future... all secure in the knowledge that I've got a few weeks yet to finish all of those "before the end of the year" projects. Then I go home and work harder than I have all year.

And yet, every year it catches me by surprise. Every year, the fact that December happens kind of catches me by surprise, and then I'm completely flat-footed by the discovery that December ends! I'm convinced that I'm retarded.

So now it's December 12th, and I've officially got 19 days left on the calendar. Except that several of those will be filled with travel and get-togethers with family, and still more on Georgia Patrol, so really I've got just a bare handful of days left until the year actually ends, from a work perspective. So I try to warm myself in the knowledge that I've gotten a great many projects completed in the last few weeks (three short stories and a franchise novel proposal, to be precise), but I've got at least one big committment (and several smaller ones) still to complete, and I can just feel the minutes ticking away. Minutes in which, ironically, I spend a fair amount of time worrying about how little time I have left in the year, instead of actually working. Like now. For example.

Okay, I'm back to work. I've got some fine tuning to do on the Three Governing Virtues of Mechanical Intelligence.

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