Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Is Me Procrastinating...

So, my husband has taken the kids away for the weekend so I can finally get cracking on Finding Lost: Season 6. I have to admit, I haven't been as present in the comments on my blog recently, and for that I apologize. I'm working on an incredibly heavy fall of TV books, and they always come in late (due to the scheduling of the season) and have to be edited, proofread, typeset, with all photos and captions in place in about a month. Usually that process is more like 8-10 months. So with four of these books in place for fall (FOUR!) I'm dying here.

The first is on True Blood, and with the show starting again on June 13, we have to have that book in stores by June 1, so it's been a mad dash. When I was in the UK, it's all I was working on, during the plane ride there and back, and in my hotel room. The second is on Glee, and that one is coming to me in about two weeks, the same day as a book on The Vampire Diaries (I'll be talking about each of these in more detail when they're out). I'm also editing a book on the music of the Louisiana bayou and a novel by a first-time writer that is incredibly hilarious and awesome.

Then there's my book. The one I haven't actually STARTED. Yes, I admit it. That said, I work best under pressure. I didn't start working on FLS5 until April, and I didn't start writing the episode guides until after the season had finished... and still had the entire thing handed in on July 1. I think things through a LOT before I begin typing, and then once I begin, I'm good to go.

I've been reading some books in preparation for it. One of them is The Stand, a book I'm sure most of you have read already, but despite being a Stephen King nut when I was a teenager (I devoured so many of his books it was insane) I have to admit I'd never read this one. It's taking me FOREVER and I adore every word of it (he is a master, folks... a MASTER) but I just have to find the time to read it on top of everything else.

Funny story: I was on the plane to the UK last week and I had the book with me and was reading while other people were still boarding. I was sitting on the aisle of the middle row of three (I was like Rose, but on the opposite end of that section) and so far no one else had sat in the two seats beside me. Would they stay empty? I thought excitedly to myself. And... they TOTALLY did. I was Thrilled! I spread out my work later when we were in the sky on the seat and tray beside me, keeping my immediate space open for the editing work I was doing. It was glorious. But anyway, then this flight attendant comes walking through saying to someone that there are tons of empty seats, and they need four people to move to the back. I thought, "Right, because those four people will be the difference between taking off normally or the plane trying to go up in the air but the nose is scraping along the ground because of the unbalance." ;)

Anyway, AS he's saying this, I'm reading The Stand and -- no word of a lie -- come to this section where a guy is going on about this statistic on plane crashes (open purse, grab sticky note, pop one on this page for Lost reference) and he says that we all have this innate psychic ability to detect when something terrible is going to happen, and this guy had done stats on plane crashes and realized that every plane crash happened to a plane that was 80% full or less. It's like people woke up and their bodies made them sick so they wouldn't get on that plane, telling them it was going to crash and they didn't want to be on it when it did. So, he says, if you're on a plane and it's not full, hold on tight because that has a much higher risk of being the one to crash. I looked up, looked around me, saw a ton of empty seats and seriously burst into laughter. I couldn't stop giggling. It was so freakin perfect. Oh Stephen King, I love you. You should be required reading on all flights. :)

I didn't tell you guys this, but a reporter from the New York Times called to interview me the other day!! I don't know if anything I said will end up in the story, but my fingers are tightly crossed that it will.

And finally, Damon Lindelof tweeted yesterday that as of the end of this weekend, he and Carlton are putting the final period at the end of the final script of Lost. This is it... by Monday, the last words will have been written, and the actual writing on the show is done. I read that and was filled with a crazy excitement. Other people were more morose and upset and, "Oh MAN that depresses me to no end" but I'm really really excited. This is what we've been waiting for, and why does everyone think the discussion ENDS when Lost does? That's when it BEGINS for me!!

So, in the spirit of Darlton finishing Lost this weekend, I'm going to begin writing the last of my Finding Lost books. Sad, yes. As sad as the thought of no more Benjamin Linus on my TV week after week? No.

OK, SERIOUSLY Nikki, you're already one hour behind on your schedule today and haven't begun. Get OFF the damn blog and start writing!!!

Oh no! My angry interior voice has begun. Sigh. About a month earlier than it usually shows up. Gotta go.

31 comments:

Benny said...

Don't we all know too much about procrastination... myself especially, it's why I took longer to complete my Master's.

But obviously you're up to the job and you'll do great. We all know it. Maybe we shouldn't be commenting to distract you from work?

Side note: when considering weight, also add the 20%+ absentee's luggage, that's an incredible amount of weight missing from a flight and a lot of empty space, cabin and cargo!

Batcabbage said...

Ah, procrastination. How I love to put off until tomorrow...

Glen Bateman. I loved that character in the Stand. Glad to see that, in this case, it wasn't a premonition, and just a lack of paying customers for that flight. Also glad that you're enjoying the Stand, Nik. I think it's my fave of Mr King's books. Actually, the first grown up book I ever read was a Stephen King one. (The Dark Half. I really wasn't old enough. I still can't look at sparrows without getting the urge to run away.)

humanebean said...

Oh, the joy that is yours to read and savor Mr. King's immortal The Stand. I don't know how you do it, Nik - juggling your work and your own writing and family and travel and ... and ...

... I think I need a nap, now. Well, draw strength from the support of your Evil Minions and know that you bring to your audience an experiential joy that Mr. King would be proud to call his own. You go, girl!

Duke said...

Stephen King is a Master. Love, love, love his stuff. I am sure you have read "On Writing". I borrow from it for teaching. Did you see him when he was in Toronto?

Nikki Stafford said...

Ahem... fingers poised above the keyboard, officially about to type the first words of my final FL book.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
No, that doesn't seem right. Delete.


"It was a dark and stormy night..."
Hm... delete.


"Once upon a time..."
Drat, overused.


I think I'll go check my email now.

Jazzygirl said...

I agree, I don't know how you balance everything. And yes, I read a lot of Stephen King when I was in high school and college. And The Stand is one of my favorites. It was one of the first books that scared me so badly I was afraid to keep reading. When he's walking through the tunnel out of NYC. (Can't remember which one, it's been too long) I don't think I can look at the tunnel the same way. Also, The Talisman. LOVED that one. Just great writing. Period.
It also makes sense why you haven't posted on other things. I've been wondering if you watched Big Love this season. Probably not due to your schedule. I would LOVE your reaction at some point. THe season finale was just AMAZING TV. The whole season really...I've never seen so many story arcs in one show!!!
I'm excited to hear more about the True Blood book. Too bad it wasn't "Finding True Blood". ;-p But if your hand is in there I'm sure it will be great!

Blam said...


"Call me Ishmael"?

Ooh... I know:
"And in the end / The love you take / Is equal to the love you make."

Good luck, Nikster!

VW: Exacia — Greek muse of precision.

Courtney said...

Can't wait to read the book about True Blood - I'm a complete True Blood fan! And Vampire Diaries!

Gillian Whitfield said...

@Blam: I was thinking more along the lines of "I've got blisters on me fingers!" or "Love is all you need", but now that I think about it, yours is a better suggestion.
Good luck Nikki, and remember that all you need is love!

SonshineMusic said...

Okay, I seriously need to go get The Stand NOW. You are like the fifteenth person in less than a month to tell me I have to read it. *adds yet another book to her tbr pile*



VW: tride - the method that goes along with true

Hutch said...

My motto was always: "Why do it now if it can be done later?" After 40+ successful years in the corporate world, I found that most of the "do it now stuff" didn't really need to be done at all. So I just concentrated on the "stuff" that was actually important...

Now that I'm retired, I am "nationally ranked" as an expert procrasinator...Just ask Mrs. Hutch

So write away lovely lady, we'll continue to watch LOST, read your blog, wait for the stunning conclusion and then, in the Fall, buy FLS6.

The Question Mark said...

i remember reading that part of "The Stand" and thinking, "Whoa, Nikki is DEFINITELY gonna have somethign to say about this part in particular." LoL Isn't that book awesome! I can't get enough of King (I guess I', like Juliet that way). The next book of his I'm gonna get into is called "The Eye of the Dragon". Looks promising :)

The Question Mark said...

@ BATCABBAGE: What was the Dark Half about?

Fred said...

Wow, Nikki, you must read a lot. In younger years, I took a class in Canadain Lit.. Procrastination? Hell, I just couldn't get myself to read any of the assigned readings. But our mid-term essay was coming due and fast, so I chose Ondaatje's "Coming Through Slaughter" as my focus for the essay. Not having read it yet, I managed to write a 10 page essay based on the front material depicting dolphin sonographs and the shape of the paragraphs in the book. Who knew I was channelling Gerard Genette.

Batcabbage said...

@The Question Mark: The Dark Half was about Thad Beaumont, author from Maine (naturally), who wrote under a pseudonym by the name of George Stark. While Thad's books aren't selling, the George Stark books were VERY successful (they are violent, crime novels starring Alexis Machine). When people find out that Thad is George, he kind of 'kills George off', staging a mock funeral for his pseudonym. Then, a whole bunch of crazy shit happens, and there's murder, and scariness, and sparrows. I won't say more, in cased you want to read it (it's not SK's greatest novel, but I liked it as a twelve year old, and again in my twenties, and it started my long standing relationship with King as one of his 'constant readers'. I probably shouldn't have read it when I was only 12, but I'm glad I did). I hope you like it if you decide to read it!

JS said...

I recently gave a friend the procrastinators organizer, with helpful sections such as "Stuff other people have been begging me to do forever; Stuff I can do after the stuff I have to do sometime soon; Stuff to do that I can probably do tomorrow." It also has doodle pages and tips on reorganizing spices and CD's. It did not have blogging, but perhaps I can suggest that. Now I just have to find that email address.....

I just got a bunch of Philip K. Dick and Stephen King and as soon as I finish Valis I am going to start The Stand.

Nikki Stafford said...

JS: That is brilliant. I love it!! I need that organizer... though I'd probably put off getting around to reading it. :)

Yesterday = unproductive. And by the evening I was too tired (from... um... not working?) to continue so I watched a movie that had these incredible parallels to Lost and so I felt like I was working again. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. And I read a bit of The Stand.

But today I woke up bloody early and now I'm working. And working. And... hm. I should really stop typing here and get back to work.

The Question Mark said...

@BATCABBAGE: That sounds pretty cool! Thanks! I think I'll check that one out.
Oh, and LMAO at "writer from Maine (naturally)". I guess King just can't resist caricaturizing himself every now and then. :P

ashlie said...

@Batcabbage - I was also traumatized by too much SK reading at far too young an age. I distinctly remember sneaking reading passages of The Dark Half whenever I could and then watching the movie. You're right, those damn sparrows haunt me! For our honeymoon this past fall, my husband and I went to New Hampshire and did a day trip to Bangor to see Stephen King's house. It was awesome, I definitely recommend anyone making the trip! We checked out the local SK bookstore too, it was just filled with rare copies of his books. I'm reading "Under the Dome" right now, which is pretty awesome so far - The Stand and The Dark Tower series are on my to-do list...

Blam said...

Gillian: I was thinking more along the lines of "I've got blisters on me fingers!"
Wow... That's a pretty obscure Beatles reference for such a young 'un. Way to go, next generation (speaking as the first post-Beatles generation myself)!

VW: Fornulta — The #1 doctor-recommended procrastination medication.

Blam said...

JS: It also has doodle pages and tips on reorganizing spices and CD's.
Oh, that's funny.

Blam said...

Nikki: I should really stop typing here and get back to work.
The great and terrible thing about the Internet is that it's such a double-edged sword: amazing research tool, potentially fatal (in terms of productivity) time-sucker, good place to recharge your mental batteries if you can be disciplined. Sometimes checking my E-mail or favorite blogs is the perfect break and clears my head, but one has to be careful.

VW: Guelizen — Uh... One who lives in Guel? The verification words suck today.

TClancy said...

This is a bit off-topic and maybe has been addressed, but has anyone asked *why* FLocke tells Richard to tell bullet-in-leg Locke that he must bring all the candidates back? Wouldn't having Jacob's candidates off the island be a benefit to Flocke?

Thanks!

Jennifer said...

I'm so excited that you're reading THE STAND...it is one of my favorite books of all time (I've read all released versions.) It is something that I talk about often in my classes...lately regarding LORD OF THE FLIES (where I also brought in LOST) and my Creative Writing class when we talk about characters.

Looking forward to further posts on THE STAND as well as LOST (and the newest FINDING LOST.)

Verification word: fulari: Mira Furlani (Rousseau)

Beth Skipper said...

Thak you for reminding me about The Stand...it is my absolute favorite King book. Like you I read his work a bit obsessively inmy tees and early twenties, then haven't read anything else he has published in many years. I think it is time for me to revisit The Stand.

Joshua said...

Go, Nikki, go! Write like the wind! We're all behind you, sending radical earthshattering series-culmination vibes of awesomeness northward into the frigid Canadian wilderness, warm gusting thermals of esteem (and allegiance, Matthew -- undying allegiance!) upon which you may glide and rise to new and hitherto uncrested peaks of commentary brilliance!

Anonymous said...

Matthew here - Nikki: I remember sending you some stuff to look at for me and it being sent back, with the most scrupulous editing having taken place and the best suggestions you could hope for.. and in a matter of nano-secnds it seemed like. Your work (writer, editor, blogger) is awesome (and that is NOT a word I use often!). Don't know how you do it, but glad you do.

Falen said...

@SONSHINE - you haven't read The Stand?!?! Rectify that immediately!
Try to read the unedited version. It's longer, but totes worth it.

The Stand is not only my fav Stephen King book, but also in my list of top 5 favorite books EVER

SonshineMusic said...

@Falen: I'm in the middle of a book right now, but I swear I will read The Stand next. *crosses heart*


VW: ackshes - what would be left if the writer of the Ack Attack got caught in a fire :(

Teebore said...

I'll second Falen: the Stand is one of my overall favorite books, period, and the unedited version is worth the extra time.

@The Question Mark: Eyes of the Dragon is awesome. It's like Chronicles of Narnia meets Stephen King. It's a great book to hand to someone who says they don't like Stephen King because they don't like horror (Hearts in Atlantis is another one).

humanebean said...

Unrelated episode observation #42:

Rewatching "Recon", something occurred to me. In the scene where Flocke and the gang return to Cle-ah's Hideaway, Cindy asks what happened to the rest of the people at the Temple. Flocke says they all died. Then, just as Flocke bends down to comfort the tearful Zach, Jungle Hair Claire™ steps towards Kate and slips her hand into Kate's hand.

It's almost as though Claire is parroting Flocke's action ... offering false comfort to a weirded-out-looking Kate. Even the strange grin on her face mirrors the comforting smile Flocke shows to the kids. Then, Flocke finishes talking, straightens up and says, "Let's move out". In an instant, Claire releases Kate's hand, never meeting her eye, and moves away with a "gee, hope that worked" look on her face.

I'm wondering if Claire wasn't compelled to do this in some way, serving Flocke's interest in manipulating Kate. This puts Claire's attack on Kate in a slightly different context, with Locke handily nearby to break it up, slap and scold Claire and then use the opportunity to approach Kate later and try to gain her trust. This might even explain why Sayid sits there so passively as Kate is attacked - Flocke needed to break this up himself as part of his plan.

There just seemed something so synchronous in the actions of Flocke and Claire during that first scene. Then, after Kate and Flocke have had their "Crazy Mama" conversation on the beach, Claire conveniently approaches Kate to apologize and hug her ... while we're all waiting for her to grab the gun. Interesting stuff.