329. Deadlines, Datelines, Dead Lines, Date Lines

At the time of writing, I have completed 5 of 7 submissions. Out of the 2, I only have time to develop 1, and that’s if and only if sudden inspiration strikes.

(where’s the bus?)

While the mystical public bus of inspiration does not show up, I still have pressing matters at hand: a 5,000-word report that needs to be submitted tomorrow. Out of the 5,000 words, I have written… Oh, 2,000. Not too shabby. But remember: due tomorrow.

As much as I’d like to adopt a first-in-first-out system for dealing with deadlines, human nature dictates that I put everything off until the last minute, and then binge-complete all the things that I have to do within the last 3 days in a panicked frenzy. It has happened before, it will happen again.

There’s just no helping it.


A dateline is what you’d see at the beginning of a news report, or an article. It’s the time stamp that tells you when the essay was published. In my case, if by some miracle my lecturer decides that my work is somehow publication-worthy, everyone would be able to see that there were only 2 days between the date of writing and the research dateline.

It’s not a very pretty thing to show, but I can only give what I have.


1 out of the 2 submissions that I’m not likely to complete is called “Mary Marcel’s Magic Mirror”, a tale about a woman… and her magic mirror. It doesn’t get any more creative than that.

These are the days when I wonder if I should just pack and pursue my childhood dream of being an accountant in a bank.

There are about 3,300 written words so far, and I honestly have no idea where the story is heading. I only wish I could be like Mr. Gaiman, who takes his sweet time with every story – some even taking years to complete – but I am only mortal. So the pages are filled with lines and lines of dead words, which pretty much adds up to paragraphs and paragraphs of dead lines. Lines that stay as pretty words strung together, never quite having the energy, or life, to leap up from the page and into the reader’s mind.

I try not to write dead lines. A doctor also tries not to kill his patients. We will both fail.


The international date line is the line that runs from the North Pole to the South pole along the latitude line, and is found between the United States and Russia. This is useful for a number of reasons:

  1. It tells us exactly where does a new day begin, which happened to be Phileas Fogg’s saving grace in “Around The World In Eighty Days”.
  2. It tells us where to split the globe for a 2D representation of the world map, establishing our notions of what is “East” and what is “West”.
  3. It helps the United States stay as far away as they possibly can from Russia. Only virtually, but as they would have you believe it, it’s the thought that counts.

Get it right.

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