Wendy Raven McNair
Author & Artist
State of Shock
(NBCC) South Africa 2012
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The Deadline
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The 'P' Word
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Enter at your own risk! SPOILERS
Common Page
Common Page
November 2011: Welcome
The Deadline

10/3/2011 2:32:30 PM

Deadlines can be intimidating, especially when...
they're close and you think you might not be able to deliver on time. I'm sure it's obvious I'm
thinking of my current project, Ascend, the final book in the Asleep trilogy. As the year end
deadline for its release draws near, my fears of not releasing a quality story on time are
growing. If I allow this fear to rob me of my concentration, it could prevent me from producing
a story at all.

I stay focused by looking back and looking forward. In others words, I draw strength from what
I've already accomplished and hope from what will be accomplished when this is all done.

First, I look back and remember what a struggle it was creating books 1 & 2 (Asleep & Awake).
Asleep was written during a trying time when I was on bed rest and writing provided a much
needed escape from reality to preserve my sanity. Deadlines weren't a problem because I
kept the story a secret from everybody, including my family. I didn't want to be burdened with
constant inquiries on how the story was coming. I also wanted the freedom to drop the story
"guilt-free" if I wasn't pleased with it. The challenge was writing a good story during such a
difficult time. That was a hard won accomplishment.

Awake gave me serious deadline issues because I set an impossible release date not
realizing that marketing and literary events would take up so much of my time. The deadline
was looming over me in no time and I was making very bad choices in my rush to complete
the story in time. One of those choices was to edit drafts while in the tub. I know it sounds
strange but the sound of water, whether nature's flowing rivers, water falls or crashing waves
or  simply expelled from man-made faucet fixtures, there's something magical about the
sound of water that allows me to access that part of my brain where creativity flows.

I'd had several successful tub editing sessions but for some reason as I settled into the tub,
my inner voice nagged "You might drop your printed manuscript into the water." In my haste
to meet my deadline, I overruled my concerns with "I've never dropped it before." So I firmly
gripped my story (just to be safe) and began editing with a red fine tipped marker.

Everything was going fine and I soon forgot about my fears as I lost myself in the story. I was
more than three quarters of the way complete when, without warning, the binder clip holding
the story together popped off and over 300 pages exploded into the air, flying in all directions.

At first I was too stunned to react as I watched pages flutter into the water. Then I was half-
crazed, snatching up soggy handfulls of paper and flinging them onto the bathroom floor.
Over and over I did this until the tub was empty and the floor was littered. I cannot describe
the crushing defeat I felt as I watched the red edits dissolve and run into illegibility. Very
of my edits remained legible. Most, from this major editing session, were lost.

I was heartbroken because I knew I couldn't recapture what had been lost in exactly the same
way I'd written it if at all. I was in no state of mind to write so I took a week off to mourn my lost
edits in addition to my missed deadline. Then I started again, deadline free, and concentrated
on creating the best story I could imagine. It took me nearly a year past the original deadline
before Awake was finally released. Because of that experience, Awake is not the story it
would have been before the tub tragedy. But I believe it's far better than it was going to be.

Looking ahead, I envision finally holding the last installment of the trilogy along with books
one and two. I've already overcome the impossible to publish the first two books and the
desire to complete the third and final book is overwhelming. Just think of it; Asleep, Awake,
and Ascend as a complete trilogy set sitting in somebody's home. I marvel at that image. If
that's not motivation enough for me to persevere then I don't know what would be.

I no longer edit in the tub. 


11/7/2011 11:27:22 PM
Name:  Alexis     Subject:   Water    

I totally understand what you mean about how water can relax you. It does it for me all the time. just like that last person who commented on this blog, we are so proud of you for sticking to this stories. Know I do not know how stressful deadlines can be, since I am only a fan fiction author and I write when i want, but thank you for not giving up. Now another thing that can motivate you is not only see that complete trilogy in someone's home, but think about a girl, a guy, reading Ascend in their living room, bedroom, kitchen table, where ever and enjoying the wonderful book that I know your going to write. Sitting there smiling about something going on between Adisa and Micah. I know that no matter what if you make your deadline or not, if the book comes out at the end of this year, or the spring of 2012, your true fans are going to pick up Ascend the day it comes out no matter what. So if you must, take your time with this book. I know you dont want to rush it and if you can, dont. I see it like this, the longer the wait for us, the better the book is going to be. Thanks again for being you..the great inspiring author that you are.

Your support and encouragement are much appreciated, Alexis;
especially after my November post (
click here). Ascend is going
to take longer than I intended and I'm disappointed about that.
But your image of a reader actually reading and enjoying Ascend
is certainly inspirational and a great motivator. Thank you. ~ WRM

10/4/2011 7:33:13 PM
Name: chereace      Subject:  hello     

Hi, Miss Mcnair,
I believe that I can speak for all your fans when I say that we are proud of you for writing your books. You have accomplished so much and we look forward to reading ascend.

Thank you, Chereace. Your kindness is much appreciated. ~WRM