Friday March 29th, 2013

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the crunch.

Back safe and sound in Osoyoos. I'd say Max's first trip away from home was a definite success. Will share some pictures... once I get around to getting them off my camera.

Mine:

I've had my eye on a short story contest for the last week and half, maybe two weeks. Knowing that the submission deadline was midnight tonight, I was jotting down a few ideas and an opening line in my notebook while Kat was taking her turn behind the wheel this morning (probably did this for too long, as I ended up feeling a little nauseous).

After we got back to the house I double checked the contest page and... oh, look at that: the deadline is midnight Eastern time... meaning I have three less hours than I thought I did.

No worries though, since I tend to do my best work in crunch time: I busted out almost 1600 (lightly edited) words in an hour and a half, sending the submission email with five whole minutes to spare.

9 comments:

Greg said...

I am impressed with your diligence at making notes on the journey back after you'd been driving as well! Even more so that when you realised how close the deadline was you still managed to pull a story out and get it in. Well done, and good luck with the competition!

The crunch
"What was that sound?" asked Sylvestra, not bothering to look up from her laptop. Dr Septopus looked at the Red Lightbulb, who in turned looked at the Green Lightbulb.
"It sounded like a crunch," said the Green Lightbulb. "Did anyone feed Sylvestra's dinosaur this morning?"

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

I really don't like working at the last minute, but I've ended up doing it to some degree or other in the past year or so. Academia has this nasty habit of creeping up and dog-piling you all at once.

Tumblr also has a habit of being really entertaining, but I've gotten that further under control.

But despite all this crunching, I've never had to pull an all-nighter. I don't tend to function well at night; my brain usually shuts down around 930 or 10pm. I am capable of staying up well past that, but I rarely ever get anything productive done.

The one exception was this past Thursday. Of course, it's very difficult to get the hang of Thursdays, and this particular Thursday was especially exemplary of that. I had two papers due Friday, I had them planned out, and had half-planned on waking up at some ungodly hour of the morning to do the papers then.

The Corporeal Department, however, had other plans: over the course of the late afternoon into the evening I got a fairly mild, but incredibly nagging, headache. It sat there for a good two hours or so before I could get home and take an ibuprofen, and to help that start working, despite the relatively late hour, I made up a cup of caffeinated tea and tried to get to sleep, with the intention of waking up as close to 4am as I could to get the papers done before 9.

I managed to doze for about an hour and a half or so, but I could not, for the life of me, properly sleep. It was the tea: it didn't so much wake me up as it kept me from falling asleep. This was about 1030pm or so.

All right, I thought. Since I'm this close I might as well.

All told, I was more productive in the subsequent four hours than I had been in the past two or three days. Both papers got done, I didn't hate them---though the one for my philosophy of language class involved a Matrix-esque case and writing about it felt suspiciously like weirdly-sanctioned night blogging---and managed to fall asleep after that.

Bugger about the dog-piling and the late hour, though.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

completely neglected the four line thing, but this time it was by accident. Not sorry, but I do apologize.

Zombella spookyister said...

The Crunch.

The fitness instructor from hell yells at the class to crunch those bellies. Students cry "My Achey Breaky Core" we can not crunch no more. Our bellies have a mind of it's own. Our bellies rufuse to crunch moan and groan.

writebite said...

The little one's teeth were popping through at a great rate.
Milk was giving way to more exciting foods like rice cereal biscuits and softly steamed carrot sticks, apple wedges and chicken legs.
One day Grandpa opened a packet of Cheezels for the BBQ he was hosting.
Toddler raised his hand for his share - his first taste of packaged food...
"Crunch!"

Marc said...

Greg - I'm sure if I'd allowed myself more time to work on it the final product would have been much improved, but I'm basically happy with how it turned out.

Sylvestra has a dinosaur? No good can come of this. (Lots of entertainment, though)

g2 - heh, in university I used to pull regular all nighters... but then again, I've always been more of a night person.

Zombella - hello and welcome to the blog! Awesome pen name :)

Love the rhythm of your second line. And I'm pretty sure I've been in a class like that... gym class, most likely.

Writebite - ah yes, solid foods. We are on the brink of that around here. Fun times ahead, I'm sure.

MosesMalone said...

It is GO time.
My bags are packed, my forms are filled, and my children are being cared for.
I am suffocating with this overwhelming time crunch feeling knowing my whole world is about to change again and so quickly.
I am about to deliver my 3rd baby; God, give me strength.

David said...

Wrappers littered the crime scene. Half eaten zagnuts and crunch bars lay next to chocolate fingerprints on the blood stained kitchen table. The boy slumped next to the refigerator, naked and filthy. Weariness overcame him, allowing him to sleep for the first time in days.

Marc said...

Mo - yeah, that's some serious crunch time.

David - fantastic scene setting. I want to know more.