News from the Little Room: The Deadline Approaches

Okay, so being tied to a chair isn’t such a bad thing. I have recently heard other writers say that they have resorted to the same extreme measures in order to finish their books on time. And it is clearly working. I have completed a second draft of my new novel with almost three weeks to spare before the deadline. What gets me down isn’t being tied to the chair; it’s the little room the chair sits in. Actually, the little room is not so little. It has four big windows and a view of Salem that is an inspiration in itself. And the old National Geographic maps that line the walls give me ideas of places I might travel to when I finally emerge, though the maps are so old that several of the countries don’t even exist anymore.  What makes the little room seem so tiny are all the things I have filled it with during this writing process, things that are meant to inspire but have become a hodgepodge that now threatens to crowd me out of the space. So I thought, rather than worrying about how much cleaning out I’m going to have to do, I’d list some of the things I have gathered to inspire my story:

All things Hawthorne and Melville.  A carved wooden moose on skis that I brought back from Maine on last summer’s book tour. Two Revolutionary War soldiers that were once in my parents’ house and now stand facing each other from both sides of the fireplace.  Three ships’ models. Several books about pirates. A map of famous New England shipwrecks. Six volumes of romantic poetry. Three envelopes full of Gibraltar candies from Ye Olde Pepper Company. A photo of my maternal grandmother in her wedding gown. A piece of lace carved from an eggshell. Two quartz singing bowls tuned to different chakras. Several books on meditation. A ceramic tree my mother in law sent with Celtic crosses and leprechauns hanging from its branches.  A seagull that flies upside down like a distress flag and cannot be up-righted. Several cups of coffee in various stages of consumption, decaf for writing, full octane for the editing process.

I will have to clean out my office soon. I know that. But, right now, I have a third draft to finish. So I will crowd myself into what space I can find and, for now, I will remain tied to a chair.