Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Friday, October 06, 2006

Cranky writer at work

It's "deadline week" so I've been spending a great deal of time trying to get my SIGNews story done. I didn't get as quick a response to my emails as I had before so I ended up calling to find out what was up. Turns out the people I needed to interview were moving PLUS their email system was down. Oy. Good thing I was able to interview by phone!

But the first thing that happened as far as taking care of this story is concerned is when I typed up a looong email to my editor. I have the habit of hitting "Control-C" to copy long emails because my computer and Internet connection tend to get wonky and I lose emails I'm trying to send. I accidentally hit Control-X and EVERYTHING disappeared! I panicked, having never known what Control-X does. I've always used Control-C to copy.

I was chatting with an editor at the time this happened and after many failed attempts to undo what I just did, I typed into our chat window, "What does Control-X do?" I honestly thought she was going to say, "I'm almost afraid to answer that." LOL But she actually told me that Control-X copies text to Notepad.

WHEW!! Good thing for fail-safe key functions!

I hadn't lost the email. Good thing, because I didn't feel like typing ALL of that again! Ugh....

Then the email exchanges with my sources stopped. I started getting frustrated as my deadline approached. Then I finally bit the bullet and called them. I was worried I would have a hard time getting through, because I use Internet relay, and that doesn't show up on Caller ID. Also, I wasn't sure how they would take to a relay call.

Turns out they took to it just fine. There were NO TROUBLES in using a relay service to call them with, none at all. Yay! :)

But...ugh. Wow. I was on the phone for practically 2 hours, talking to all these different people. Worse, I couldn't copy/paste anything. I had to write down information and ask people to hold so I could copy quotes verbatim into my notebook. I was sure to ask for permission to use their quotes first.

One of the people I interviewed was a judge. I asked the editor "how do you address a judge in oral copmmunication?" because, I swear to God, I've completely forgotten!! I was nervous about talking to a judge and I suddenly recalled the scene from LIAR, LIAR, when Jim Carrey's character is grasping the phone in shock, freaking out and going, "I hung up on the judge!" Well...I had to make sure THAT didn't happen during the phone interview! LOL But the editor told me the CORRECT way to address the judge. Either "Your Honor" or "Sir." But....I needed a little help with the email. So I had to ask my sister, "How do you address a judge in mail? Is it Dear Honorable Judge (lastname) or Dear Your Honor?" (And the former is correct.)

But I tell you....all that time spent on the phone and talking to so many people and trying to copy down everything verbatim had me a little stressed out. Add to this that some pieces of information I needed just weren't there! Some people answered my questions saying "I do not know" and I could REALLY sense that "Don't quote me on that!" kind of sentiment in some responses. My daughter started trying to get my attention to help her with something she was trying to put together, but I was sort of in the middle of a phone interview with an attorney and tried to explain to her I was a little busy right now but she threw a fit and it just added to me being stressed out. My head was also pounding so THAT didn't help, either.

Finally, at some point, I just collapsed in the chair, shook my head and grumbled, "I want a cookie."

My daughter happily bounded into the room, smiling and saying she wanted a cookie, too.

So she ran into the kitchen to get the cookies. I was relieved to at least have some peace while she ate the large cookie so I could finish the interview. I was busy interviewing ANOTHER person when she finished her cookie and asked, "Can I have another one?"

I eyed the package, looking at that LARGE cookie. Ordinarily, I'd say no. Too much sugar. She doesn't need too much junk food. Etc. But, in this case...one more cookie would buy me some more time. Maybe just ENOUGH time to wrap up this interview.

You can bet I told her she could have another cookie.


  • At 7:13 PM , Blogger Millie said...

    lol i think the cookie part is hilarious, especially this : "Finally, at some point, I just collapsed in the chair, shook my head and grumbled, "I want a cookie." lol! you are such a busy bee!


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