64. It’s Johann!

(let me just begin this post by saying promise: broken)

Everyone, I’d like you all to meet Johann.

Johann turns 11 this year, and she is going to be the heroine of the children’s book that I am working on at the moment. She doesn’t even begin to realize just how much she is about to be put through for the sake of the story. I can’t give too many details here, but I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Johann in advance for everything that is about to happen to her.

(and she thought that the flying cockroach in her room was bad)

I have been working on a children’s book since late August (actually late December 2012, if you count brainstorming as part of the process) for the Scholastic Asian Book Awards, and it is, at the moment, fabulously titled Johann’s Fantastic Adventures Through Time. This is actually the second incarnation of the story, which had first presented itself as Magic Market (which is a much catchier title than Johann’s Fantastic Adventures Through Time, I admit); really an expansion of the idea than a complete rewrite, as elements of Magic Market remains in a chapter of the story.

Today when I woke up (and realized instantly that I was late for the group meeting), a reminder awaited me on my phone: “2 weeks to scholastic deadline”. I have 14 more days to complete the writing of Johann’s fantastic time traveling, high adventure story so that I can have time to have it edited, printed, and mailed off to the Scholastic office in Singapore.

(God only knows how long it would take the manuscript to reach them if sent by snail mail. The current plan is for me to deliver it right to the receptionist’s desk in person. If you want to make sure something gets done, you’ve got to do it yourself, right?)

Out of the 7 chapters that I have outlined for the story, I have completed the writing for 1 of the chapters, and part of the writing for another 3 chapters, which doesn’t sound too bad, until you do the calculations and find that it means I have only completed 30% of the story over the past 1 month or so.

Ah maths, you never lie.

It is now October, and I have got to kick this writing thing into high gear if I intend to complete this manuscript and have it edited to be readable in time for the deadline. The trouble is that October also happens to be the month where deadlines of every kind comes together to mess me up really bad – kind of like a rave party, I guess. Except it’s more like a train wreck, because none of the partying is involved. No involvement of drugs either.

Today, I have just finished a mid-term paper (which was surprisingly easy, thank God). As I write this, I have 2 scripts to complete before I sleep; and when I wake tomorrow, I have a presentation to do and yet another script to complete and send out before the evening. I’ll manage to get some sleep after that until Wednesday, when I will have 2 video recording sessions; and before I can crash, I must remind myself that there is still another video recording session that demands my attention on Thursday.

Before I even realize it, it will be Friday the 4th of October, the day that will determine whether I will get to go to Manchester or not. Please pray with me that I will be able to go over there, and pray even harder that I will get to win the prize.

And in between all these things, I will continue to find time for Johann and the shaping of her story. Wish me all the best, and double of that for Johann, because we’re both in for the ride of our lives.

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