Have you ever been jealous of fiction?
Murder She Wrote is an old family favorite in my household. It’s an odd mix of inside joke and serious pastime. I like Jessica, she seems fun, but I’d never be friends with her. People always die in weird ways when they hang out and I’m not really on board with that. I want to go quickly and painlessly, not with an ice pick and broken umbrella. Plus, you have to wear terrible shoulder pads and say things like “You’re a worm, Frederick! You’re a complete louse!” in an overly dramatic eighties voice. I’ve never called anyone a louse in my life, although I wouldn’t mind bringing the term back on occasion.
Anyway, I’m going somewhere with this, trust me. I know it’s absurd, but I realized the other day as we strolled down memory lane with a Sunday evening of Murder She Wrote, that I actually get a twinge every time something happens in a movie, TV show or book. A legitimate twinge, a sinking feeling that makes the entertainment suddenly less entertaining. It’s crazy, but I finally figured it out – I’m jealous! Yes, there it is. I’m jealous of Jessica Fletcher and her deadlines.
Scratch that, I’m jealous of every fictional creature who has deadlines. Do you have any idea how badly I want deadlines? My agent and/or editor would never be hounding me for the next chapter. I wouldn’t be glancing at my phone and rolling my eyes toward my sophisticated friends at their wine and cheese party. “It’s just my editor,” she says. Just your editor?? I want an editor!! I’d do anything for an editor! My editor wouldn’t know what to do with all my chapters!
I’m the Queen of Conscientiousness, the Supreme Empress of Deadlines. I make deadlines like other people breathe, for things I don’t even have to do. I have a deadline right now to finish editing my new fantasy novel that no one will ever read. It’s what I do. I’m a Type A personality with an artist’s soul. Figure that one out.
And I’m insanely jealous of people who have deadlines to do the things I do in addition to my real deadlines. It would be a dream come true to meet deadlines for my passion instead of reorganizing the linen closet.
So stop complaining, Jessica! Stop complaining you fictional characters with your lucky breaks and fancy NYC lofts on an editor’s assistant salary. I will take your deadlines! I will take your deadlines and double them, because that’s what I do. I double things. And then I meet them. And then I won’t hate you anymore and we can go to that posh café and chuckle about stuff.