Friday, December 9, 2011

I Owe, I Owe, So Off to Blog I Go!

By Laura Spinella

Panic mode. I owe a blog. It’s two plus weeks until Christmas; I haven’t bought a single gift, and I owe a blog. My regular part-time job at the newspaper stops for no one. Ever work at a newspaper? News staffs endure worse hours than the ER at Cook County Hospital. My beat, while a tad tamer, isn’t much different with two front-burner stories slated for my byline. News stops for nothing, certainly not holidays, and definitely not a blog. But never mind that, I still owe one.

A couple of weeks ago, a dream job that is a dotted line to the publishing world fell into my lap. I’m not at liberty to spill the details, but let’s just say you couldn’t make it up. Hopefully, it will replace the newspaper gig, but in the meantime, I get to do both. Oh, yay! That and I also get to write a blog. So far, the new job is crazy hectic with bizarro hours and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants directives. I’m okay with that. While I wait for the Lifetime people to call, I can busy myself with a cash-in-hand challenge. The perks are kind of cool. Just this week, I spoke with two bestselling authors! Very nice peeps, those mega bestsellers. I get to do the new job from home, which you’d also think would be a plus. Actually, it’s been the bump in the road. Book writing and newspaper work moves at my pace, meaning I deal with interruptions as they pop up. There’s something about a six-month old kitten flying across your keyboard while taking copious author notes that isn’t quite as cute as it sounds. Well, like anything new, glitches are to be expected. In between working the insane and fascinating new job, I owe a blog.

Add to this the endless treadmill of promoting BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. (makes a great holiday gift!)I went on a binge a few weeks back and sent copies to bloggers we’d missed during its debut. I haven’t heard back from all of them, but one did manage to put it on her radar. Happily, luckily, gleefully, she found favor with the book. And while I could have spent a good chunk of this week trading complimentary emails with her, I had zero time penciled in for self-adoration. Two, “I need it yesterday,” jobs, plus, you guessed it, I owe a blog. Of course, strategically woven into the psychedelic tapestry of my day is a WIP. This past Tuesday, I started feeling the stress of my Ringling Brothers juggling act. I was tearing through a late chapter revision, having changed the name of a minor character. I’d decided too many characters’ names started with a vowel. A seared-to-my-mind memory from a book club reader prompted this fear: “I would have enjoyed your book more, but so many of the characters names started with an M, I got confused.” (I’m sure as an author you eventually reach a place where crap like this doesn’t stick. I’m not there yet.) So along with banning the letter M from my WIP, at least concerning names, I launched a preemptive strike to keep complaints about vowel sounds to a minimum. Only after completing the change did I realize I’d given both the character and Isabel’s cat the same name. What a mess. But I couldn’t fix it, as the alarm had sounded announcing the afternoon session of musical jobs. No worries, I’ll get back to my WIP soon. There I’ll spend a chunk of coveted writing time with a 377 page, one-by-one search and replace. In fact, I’ll relish it, because despite cash flow or an incredible opportunity, that WIP is what gets me moving. It’s important not to lose sight of that. A little stressed, slightly overwhelmed, wishing Rudolph would postpone until Valentine’s Day, I’ll still be excited to sit down with it. And I’m going to do just that… You got it, as soon as I don’t owe a blog. 

Happy Holidays to my fellow Stiletto Gang and all our wonderful readers!


  1. Laura, great post! I am not at the point where less-than-stellar reviews don't bother me either; that's why I no longer read reviews. Your life sounds hectic these days; don't forget to take some "me" time even if it's just chanting "Me time, me time" while waiting in line at the bank. Maggie

  2. Laura, I'm so excited for you! It's so cool when opportunities come out of the blue, and you get to do something really fun. So you go, girl! You'll get everything done! I know how it feels to have lots on your plate and then more added to it. Thankfully, things level off as you shed what's not important. Good luck with everything! You are a dynamo!

  3. Thanks, ladies! We'll see what opportunity brings... Might just bring me to a padded room! I appreciate you guys popping in!!

  4. Yay for great new opportunities. Congrats. Breathe in. Breathe out. (I'm telling myself to do the same thing as I type) And CONGRATS again!

  5. congratulations and I do hope that everything works just the way you want it to.