Thursday, May 12, 2005

Greetings & Solicitations

Like a pack of wolves, deadlines eyed me as I strolled to the computer this morning. My priority stack of paperwork threatened to topple. The phone rang like a machine possessed. So I made a rational decision.

I decided to office-clean.

When things get really stressful, sometimes it’s a good idea to do something that doesn’t require brain cells in overdrive. I needed to have four packages, three of them proposals, ready for the afternoon mail. Considering other things that needed my attention, I knew there was no way to get those packages ready and in the mail. So I bumped the proposals to my “tomorrow” list. I’ll attend to them when I return from presenting some awards at a high school ceremony.

I ground some Peruvian beans and made a fresh pot of coffee and began to trudge through paperwork. Why, I wonder, do I keep those direct mail solicitations for every charity under the sun? I did a quick triage, holding onto City Rescue Mission (helps the homeless) and the Salvation Army (all-around good guys). I made a mental note to send a check to Inside/Outside, Inc., a juvenile rehab group that does great work on a shoestring budget with young boys who want to turn their lives around. I made another mental note to try to come up with a fundraiser idea for that last organization.

I plowed through old bank statements, printed copies of flagged emails, and a stack of poems I’ve been revising.

Then I did a really logical thing. I began to draft a poem for my friend, author W. Thomas Smith, Jr. I promised him a poem so I must give him one.

I took out Taylor’s file and made notes on the manuscript I somehow managed to start. I organized the files so that I won’t have to search through so many papers to find items I’ll need as I continue to write.

Then I worked on another manuscript that’s been begging for attention.

Then I dusted. This was an accomplishment. I’m amazed I don’t have sinus problems, what with the nice coat most of my furniture was wearing. And I closed up my day at least feeling that I accomplished something I could accomplish. The organized look that came over my work area soothed me pleasantly.

The wolf eyes on those deadlines are looking more ferocious as I speak.


shoofoolatte said...

Hello Kay,

I am enjoying reading this blog, and finding out more about the inside story of being a writer.

I just finished reading "Killing Earl". What a fine little book! It was informative and gripping, a story that every mother who has nursed a sick child will relate to - that instinctive (and obsessive) need for the physical thriving of our children. I also enjoyed finding out more about you and your family, and your conservative, Southern culture.

As you begin to enter Taylor's world, I suspect you will find a deeper and darker story, more complexly woven into a broader cultural context. My guess is that you will again come to that place of no answers and no solutions, and even no words before you find the voice that can tell his story.

Best regards,


Kay Day said...

Beth, thank you so much for your kind words about my book. I'm getting a lot of email about good old Earl. I think I did the right thing in writing the book.

Always glad to see you visit my writings. I hope one day soon I'll get to meet you.
Best, Kay