So, there are plans and then there are plans.
There was the plan I made, for example, to get my first novel written and ready in time to go for the Terry Pratchett prize at the end of this year. This was a good plan, but then there was a hitch.
There was also the other plan, the one my husband and I made around the same time. It involved planning way ahead for the year or two it would surely take us, on average, at our age (well, mine), to conceive a child. There was a hitch in that one too.
But I’ll start with the novel.
Last January, I holed up in a B&B for a weekend and planned the hell out of my book. I’d never felt so certain about a plot, so confident about what I needed to do and where the whole thing was headed.
The very next day, I spilled the whole thing to our own Rachel Marsh. Her response? “You’re going to hate me for saying this… but you’ve just described a trilogy.” She backed off from the assessment when she saw the terror on my face, but she was right, because she’s Rachel and this is what she does.
Stubbornly I followed my original plan for another month or so, until I broke down and sent her this text (paraphrased): “Oh blast, it is a blooming trilogy after all, isn’t it? Drat and curses.”
Like I said. Paraphrased.
I’d had it all down, before that. A neat little plan for a neat little book, and now the whole thing was spiralling terrifyingly out of control.
And then there was the baby thing.
I had thought that maybe I’d have the book done, or mostly done, before it happened. That I’d have enough time to get used to the idea. But nope.
Technically, it was planned. We’d just planned on it taking a little longer.
So there were my plans, and here is reality and it all feels so… BIG. Like the universe said, oh, you want some of this? Well, HERE you go.
And what do you do when the universe hurls something like that at your face? What can you do?
Back home we call it stepping up to the plate. It’s an image that conjures up a steely-eyed batter, stick poised for the hit, knees bent, maybe a hint of a grin that says to that fastball, bring it on.
The deadline for this novel (first in a trilogy, ahem) is 31 December 2012, if I want to go for the Pratchett prize. This baby is scheduled to arrive about five days after that — not that these things ever go according to plan.
I let myself off the hook for the first trimester, but this weekend, I’m booked into the Balmuirfield House once again. Two nights, just me and my notebooks.
After all, I need to hurry. I’ve got at least two new worlds to create this year. And how many people can say that?