Monday, May 7, 2012

when winning is losing

So the ponies ran on Saturday.

Who would've thought my horse -- the long shot -- would not only beat the other three authors' horses, but also come in to win the whole race?

Last year, Brian Farrey was the winner. He said then that winning THE BET worked out just fine for him because he was under so much deadline pressure the month of the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

That's pretty much where I am right now, too, although I was really looking forward to writing a short story for this year's THE BET.

To be honest, I am under so much pressure right now that I am probably this close (holds up thumb and index finger) to blowing up. And I'm not even going to talk about it.

I'm not even talking to anyone, as a matter of fact. Devices have been disconnected at El Rancho de Drew.

At the end of this week, my son will become a 17-year-old sophomore at UC Berkeley, as his first year there comes to an end on Friday afternoon. He has until 10 in the morning on Saturday to be moved out of the dorms. I am supposed to help him move out -- which will be a three-day job counting the horrendous drive up there with the trusty pickup truck.

Guess what?

I can't do it.

Surprise!!! I have work I must get back to the hands of an editor in New York, so I can't afford to spend three days off-task.

Attention Aspiring Authors: this is how it is. They don't tell you going into this gig that you will actually find yourselves on honeymoon cruises, family reunions, and maybe even on the operating table having a C-section while working to meet a suddenly surprising deadline.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Suddenly Surprising sounds like one of those trashy brooding-dark-haired-girls-on-the-cover YAs.

Anyway, it's not like my son will be the first Smith in the family to find himself homeless and on the streets.

Suck it up, crybaby!

Where was I?

Oh... so THE BET:

My horse, I'll Have Another (I really thought this guy was a pig with long legs... I was so certain I'd get to write a shortie in honor of his expected trouncing), came in first fucking place in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Maybe the horse will go up to Berkeley to move my son out.

God knows I can't.

So, I get to give author Kimberly Pauley a title for a short story.

Her title is this:

The Flat-Tire Man

In turn, Kimberly gets to give author Catherine Ryan Hyde a title.

Catherine's title is:

Uncle Mo Holds a Grudge

And Catherine gets to give author Brian Farrey a title.

Brian's title is:

All of Nature Abhors a Vacuum

What terrific titles!

And deadlines? The stories will be ready for the world on June 1. They will all be linked here. I can't wait. These are three of my favorite writers/co-conspirators on the planet.

Don't worry. I will be back next year for THE BET 3. I'll be picking the most-likely-to-be-turned-into-kibble contender.

And I better lose, dammit.