It seems I was waiting to round the corner of Christmas to see clearly to March 29. Up until Christmas, that date was a long way away.
No longer. The publication date of my upcoming novel is now almost upon me, and it's suddenly clear to me that I'm running behind (which wasn't true last week.)
I'm sure there are things I should be doing. I worked on this novel (Cobalt Blue) quite a while and I want it to be successful. And therefore I'm taking some time today to imagine how bad I'll feel if it doesn't go well and then I think back to what I should have been doing tonight that would have made that outcome different.
Convoluted? Unnecessary? Pointless? Making my neck and shoulders tense? You bet. Also, please note that it is 2:21 a.m. as I type this.
Earlier tonight, Husband Bob (also a psychologist) suggested I might focus on the present. A good idea.
Another good idea (this one from me): taking action toward solving the problem. So I googled how to tweet better. I still don't know, except that I should be developing thousands of close mutually-supportive relationships. There's a relaxing thought. Instead I got a hot water bottle for the neck and shoulders, a pile of chocolate, and started googling products to make my hair look redder.
It has become a tradition of mine, when things don't seem to be fully and completely under my control, to color my hair red. I did this immediately before a Valentine's dance my junior year in high school (regrettable). I did it again when I was having months of delay getting a visa to go to India to research my previous novel, Sister India. I did this in the fall because I felt like it, but it was a temporary thing and now I know I need some serious red. Red hair makes me feel more effective.
My brother Franc has begun jokingly calling me Pub Date, because I used this technical term on my voicemail message. As nicknames go, not bad. Though Red might be better.
Tonight I also tried exercise as a relaxing technique and found that helped the shoulders some. Watched a Clooney movie and found it pleasantly diverting. Started writing this and found once again that the process is almost as good as hair dye. It's wonderful how tapping out a few lines can soothe the agitated soul. I forget that from one peak of agitation to the next.
What's the moral of this post? Several possibilities:
*color your head red and achieve inner peace
*don't type after 2:15 a.m.
*in a pinch remember to type
*stay in the present
*blog about the problem until it shows itself as patently silly and one can finally call it a night and go to bed