Another Sunday, another episode of the Sunday G&T Show!
This week, Nick, Terry and Mike were joined by friend and fellow word-pusher James Swallow, who dished all about his various writing projects, including the upcoming Star Trek mini-series The Fall, in which he and I will both be creating chaos along with David Mack, Una McCormack and David R. George III. That’s comin’ at ya later in 2013, so feel free to pre-order your copies now.
Unfortunately, Jim also had to endure the weekly ”Ask Dayton” segment, though at least this time the question pertained to a topic with which Mr. Swallow has no shortage of experience:
On Twitter you’ve recently mentioned that you’ve finished yet another manuscript. Now what? What do you do when you finish a book and have successfully sent it off to your publisher? Do you celebrate? Do you reward yourself in some way? If so, please share your routine post manuscript ritual.
Weren’t you paying attention to last week’s question? Whenever I finish a manuscript and send it off to my publisher, I walk up behind my wife, smack her on the ass, and tell her, “Okay, you’re next.”
I suppose you can say any post-novel celebration ritual begins the instant I click “SEND” and fire the manuscript into the aether, after which I raise my arms in triumph to signal a touchdown, while yelling “FUCK. YES!” loud enough to wake neighbors a block over. Then I run buck-assed naked into my back yard and announce to the heavens, “I’VE GOT THE BIGGEST BALLS OF THEM ALL.” Depending on the time of year, I may follow that with any combination of “Thank the Ever-lovin’ Flying Spaghetti Monster that’s over,” “Somebody bring me some pie, goddammit,” and/or, “Holy shit! It’s fucking cold out there!”
:: Ahem. ::
I then gather my closest friends and adjourn to the most debauched gentlemen’s club we can find, during which we take my latest advance or royalty check and treat ourselves to the finest strippers and booze in all the land. We’re talking shit which could make the Pope convert; the sort of thing from which warning labels and other cautionary tales spring. Indeed, if we don’t come home without at least one member of our group being listed as missing in action, then our party efforts have failed.
I then promptly treat myself to a coma, with instructions to be disturbed only if the scope of your so-called “emergency” is such that flames are visible from the moon.
Okay, I think we all know that the only part of that which is even remotely true is the “me going to sleep” bit. That, and smacking my wife on the ass. And maybe the backyard thing.
Upon waking from my recuperative slumber, I re-acquaint myself with the other denizens of my household, confirming my hopeful suspicions that the shadows I glimpsed in my peripheral vision from time to time are actual members of my family, rather than ghosts or other figments of my imagination, or the creepy bastard on the wing of the plane from that old Twilight Zone episode. I put names to faces, catching up on all the latest happenings since the previous seasonal equinox.
Once I’m back on speaking terms with the other dwellers of stately Ward Manor, I give myself a varying number of days to recharge before diving into the next project. I devote some time to leisure reading, putting forth an honest effort at making a dent in my “To Be Read” pile. I do some movie-watching, too. As I write this, I have a stack of Blu-rays and DVDs I haven’t yet watched, for movies I didn’t get to see in the damned theater.
“But do you really do any serious drinking?” I hear someone asking from the cheap seats. No, not really. As you might imagine, I do most of my drinking while I’m writing the book. Once that’s done, I like to give my liver a chance to recover, too. I gave up wild stupid drinking parties back in my 20s, having learned the hard way that alcohol overindulgence brings with it a heavy cost, whether in the form of embarrassing moments with vomit during morning P.T. formations, a tattoo of my bathroom tile pattern on the side of my face, or bail money. When imbibing nowadays, I mostly shoot for “even keel, easy to maintain buzz,” unless my mother-in-law comes to visit, or I’m answering one of these damned “Ask Dayton” things.
So, long story short? I like to wind it down a bit once I’m done writing a novel and have submitted the manuscript, giving myself a bit of a recharge before tackling The Next Thing. The process for that book isn’t really over at that point, anyway. There still are editor’s notes to address, copyedits, galley pages, and all sorts of other “these” and “those” requiring attention, after which the book is published and some fuckhead on the internet finds the misspelled word on Page 2 that you missed despite reading the damned thing five times.
And that’s when I start drinking again.
So, there you go. Not very flashy, I know, but it works for me. Speaking of which? I’ve got another coma waiting on the other line. Peace out, yo.
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #76 on January 13th, 2013. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The Sunday G&T Show. Listeners to the show are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
Thanks as always to Nick, Terry and Mike for continuing to make me a part of their show.