Kage Baker, who wisely never kept any daily log whatsoever, could simply set aside her literary tasks when illness or ennui attacked. She actually did write nearly every day – but she didn’t consider it something she had to do, so it never felt like an obligation. It was just something that happened a lot.
Or so she claimed. I think it was true, because when she did have a specific writing job to finish, she wailed and whined about it. Though she met deadlines easily – and only missed one in her whole career – she moaned and complained whenever she had one. She just hated having that gun pointed at her temple.
Me, I rather like deadlines. I like writing in a white heat, racing against the clock or calendar or inevitable liquefaction of ice in sunlight. It gives an exhilarating frisson to the momentum of the work. Or, as Kage described it, I’m an adrenaline junky.
Could be, I suppose. It’s hard to tell these days, when I seem to spend my time caroming between illnesses. I am now fighting some strain of influenza for the second time this winter, despite having had the gummint-approved shot. The gummint lost the reins on immunization this year, apparently, and has admitted the official vaccine missed a couple of the strains now circulating.
I could tell them where to find them …
Anyway. My eyeballs feel like they’ve been deep fried, and all my muscles ache. I clearly have more muscles left in my old age than I had feared, because my arms and legs ache miserably … it’s either that, or my bones are cracking. Maybe I have dengue fever.
I’m sure I’d be catching measles, if I hadn’t had them at the 12th century plague level when I was 5. My sisters and I got measles so badly we all ended up with cast-iron immunity. The highlight of my case was when God took the roof off the house like the lid off a teapot, and said rude things about my suitability as one of His Son’s lambs. Rather put me off Christianity.
In the meantime, I am going back to bed.
I believe it was Duke Ellington who said, “I don’t need more time; I need deadlines”.
The Duke was right, too.
I have had a remarkably healthy life, all things considered. I think the odds are just catching up to me. I’ll be all right.