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What Rough Draft, It’s Hour Come Round at Last

Deadlines make me moody.

This year it so happened that the production deadline for Spellbound landed only a few days after the convention for my regional meeting of the American College of Physicians. I could have played hooky…if I weren’t on the meeting’s planning commit and if I weren’t helping Dr. Verghese teach a CME version of a Stanford 25 session at the meeting. So for the past 80 hours I’ve been driving up and down the peninsula, helping teach physical exam skills, sitting on council meetings, and/or editing as fast as I could. Medicine and publishing and sleep-deprivation, three weird flavors that taste even weirder when mixed together.

I think most people take naps when they’re sleep-deprived. Me, I like to write mash-ups of apocalyptic Irish poems and publishing life. Practical, right? Sometime around 2AM last night the following (inspired by an fbook exchange with Megan a year ago) started bouncing around in my head. Though I’m feeling post-submission light and fluffy now, back then I was a ball of deadline moodiness. Let’s all take a moment for derivative snark.

The Second Book!

by W.B. Yeats B.R. Charlton

Turning and turning in the widening plot
The author cannot hear the editor;
Denouements fall apart; the chapters cannot hold;
Mere action sequences are loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed typos are loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of editing is drowned;
The best lack all punctuation, while the worst
Are full of passionate inconsistencies.
Surely some revision is at hand;
Surely the Second Book is at hand.
The Second Book! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of the PR Department
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the lands of printers
A shape with dragon body and the protag of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow bindings, while all about it
Reel shadows of the internet book critics.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twelve months of my sleepless writing
were vexed to nightmare by internet piracy,
And what rough draft, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards production to be published?


8 Responses to “What Rough Draft, It’s Hour Come Round at Last”

  • Ah! This is funny!

    • thanks, man 😉

      • Dear Mr. Charlton:

        We are an independent bookseller in Bright’s Grove, Ontario, Canada – specializing in current and out of print hardcover first editions and signed books. Spellwright has gone over very well up here and we were wondering if there was any way to facilitate having you sign some copies of it for our customers? We’d also love to get some copies of Spellbound signed next year when it is published.

        We run a regular newsletter promoting the books and authors that we’re working with. It also includes interesting facts, stories, quotes, etc. about the authors and their books. It’s currently sent to over 5600 past/current customers

        We’re happy to cover all the mailing costs of course and have dealt with numerous authors in the past, taking pride in making it easy for you to ship the books back. Just recently we had an author tell us that it was the easiest autograph request to fulfill he’d ever had.

        Thanks in advance for your consideration – it’s appreciated greatly!


        Chris, Sue & Jim Dupee

        p.s sorry if this is a duplicate message. I know I’ve been on your site recently, but can’t recall for the life of me if I actually sent you a message earlier.

  • Amazed you had extra energy to poor into that. Glad you’re keeping a sense of humor though.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by torforgeauthors and Blake Charlton, Blake Charlton. Blake Charlton said: New Blog Post: What Rough Draft, It’s Hour Come Round at Last / Slouches towards production to be published? http://bit.ly/gyNEXj […]

  • This is awesome Blake. I’m amazed you could even put two sentences together after all of the activities you describe above. I think I’d be comatose for 24 hours!

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