You may think this is a clever way of saying I sat back and watched re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while drinking iced tea and eating bon bons, but you'd be incorrect. My writing demons are real and plentiful, and there's no telling who may show up or what chaos they'll bring. Preparing for their Armageddon-esque attack is not to be taken lightly.
To give you an idea of what I've been working on, I provide you with this "demon compendium" of sorts, complete with my plans for how to fight off each of the nasty buggers. Enjoy!
Aunt Fay, the demon house-guest of fatalism
Que sera, sera
(which she says means "no matter how hard you try, you're still going to fail")
Optimism, coffee, idealism, and a little faith for good measure
If all else fails, smoke a cigar (at least that's what Uncle Vex swears by).
Uncle Vex (Aunt Fay's Ex-husband)
aggravate, agitate, anger, annoy, chafe, depress, displease, embarrass, exasperate,
gall, get in one's hair, get under one's skin, grate on, harass, harry, hassle, infuriate,
irk, irritate, needle, nettle, peeve, pester, plague, rile, tease, tick off, and torment
(Aunt Fay told him this didn't qualify as a motto and would never catch on, but he wouldn't listen. It was the primary reason for their divorce. That and the cigars.)
Calamine lotion, reggae music, and chamomile tea
If all else fails, have these administered by Aunt Fay.
Harpy, the demon of perfectionism
It's not good enough.
It's never good enough.
Can't you hear me?
I said, IT WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH!
A formidable mentor who's armed with his own motto:
Perfect is the enemy of the good.
When that doesn't work I cry, which doesn't sound like much of a defense, but it serves its purpose:
Harpy can't stand crying (as you might imagine just from looking at her), so sometimes she leaves me alone for awhile and goes to hang out with my mentor instead.
eMAL, the demon of e-mail
You can't do just one.
Just say no. (Granted this doesn't always work for me.)
Davy Jones, the demon of Facebook
I'll drag you under and hold you there. You'll love it down here, Matey. Argh.
Stay off Facebook. He can't get you if you stay out of the water.
And get some big water-wings, just in case.
Mabel & Ethel, the telephone landline demons
Call your mother. She worries.
Unplug the phone.
Note to self: tell Mom first.
You think I'm kidding? Mabel & Ethel aren't really that scary, but you don't want Mom to think you're not answering the phone because you took out the trash at night by yourself and you slipped and broke your ankle and fell into a drainage ditch and are at that very moment being eaten by a bear. Trust me on this. I've been there. When Mom's worried, she's a hellova lot more intimidating than Mabel & Ethel AND the bear. Combined.
Snickerdoodle, the sweet demon of procrastination
You’ve already blown it for today, might as well put it off until tomorrow.
A 12-step program that includes establishing goals, making lists, setting timers, prioritizing, earning rewards, channeling Popeye, and using lots of Post-it Notes to plaster reminders and threats all over my workspace.
Junk food and other delicious treats that facilitate avoidance of editing
There is no defense. If junky snacks are anywhere in my vicinity, I will find them. It does not matter if they're hidden. When I'm editing, I track junk food like a bloodhound on a scent. Candy stands no chance. Ice cream? Gone in the first day. Cookies never even make it home from the store -- they're devoured in the car. By the end of the week I'm dipping pickles in strawberry jam and drinking Hershey's syrup out of the bottle. Snack foods hear this: resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.
Heartburn. Not the demon of anger or bitterness or regret.
Actual heartburn from all the snack foods and snickerdoodles.
It burns! It burns!
(Were you expecting something clever? What do you use against heartburn, a mantra?)
Creepy Doll Sitting on Typewriter
You're not really a writer. Let's play!
1. Don't ever let something like this in the front door.
2. If it somehow gets in and asks to play, run.
3. Stop watching scary movies about creepy dolls.
4. If you wake up in the morning and find an unfamiliar note in an old typewriter, run.
5. Keep a shoebox and duct tape handy, just in case.
Insidious Sam, the sneaky, poisonous demon of worry
Have you thought of that?
Did you prepare well enough?
Are you sure?
If it can go wrong, it will.
Bad things do happen to good people.
I don't know...
Worry dolls and a healthy dose of denial
(and maybe a little Jack and Coke, if you must know)
Your baby isn't really beautiful. You just think it is.
La-la-la-la-la (said with fingers in the ears)
Spike, the nay-sayer
Everything you write sucks.
Spike isn't really MY demon. He belongs to my friend Bonnie. But you never know who might show up during Editing Week. It's like New York Fashion Week, but for writing demons. Better be prepared to deal with crashers and wannabes.
Bruce Willis in his most intimidating Bouncer mode.
You always need a good bouncer, especially during Fashion Week.
And Editing Week.
And Shark Week.
Joe-Kid, a hungry, lonely, needy child looking for his mommy
Oops. Correction. That's not a demon, that's one of my ducks.
Please strike this from the official record.
(Confused? See the blog post THE DUCK THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK from May 22nd of this year. Then you'll understand.)
Kakorrhaphiophobia, the demon of fear
Whoever said "There's nothing to fear but fear itself" has not met my brother, Terror
Anti-demon spray, and powder, and gel
A three-legged guard dog
Lucky charms, four-leaf clovers and rabbits' feet
Meditations and affirmations
A strong perimeter
My handy-dandy Harry Potter replica wand and a Riddikulus incantation
Old habits die hard.
None. I'm convinced Bruce-baby is on my side. My tenacious hold on my binge-writing habits will serve me well in the coming demon apocalypse. I've got him on speed-dial. On my cell phone.
Hear that, Mabel and Ethel? Cell phone.
This is no demon. This is me after Editing Week.
Yes, I realize I bear a striking resemblance to Kakorr's brother, Terror.
It could be unfortunate for you if you were to bring that up again.