Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day on the Job; Michael Phelps; Jason Lezak

Today is my first day of unemployment. Isn't that grand?

Actually, I'm not unemployed. The official definition of that word is one who has no job but is actively seeking one. I ain't. (And if I speak like that, it's a good thing!) I'm jobless in the sense that I work for no one and no one is ever going to give me a paycheck based on hours of work or give me any benefits. But boy do I have a job.

I'm an author now. It still seems too good to be true. No longer am I an accountant who authors on the side. I am an author. And it feels great.

Normally, switching jobs as I just did, it'd be cool to take off a week in between. But there's no time. My goal for this week is to break my personal record for words in one week. I have to. I need to get this first draft of THE MAZE RUNNER done so I can have a full month to revise and get feedback and revise. Wish me luck. I'm currently at 63,000 words.

My wife is my new boss, I guess. She won't let me become a lazy bum, which is a good thing. Despite this being my first day of freedom, I got up early and jogged, wrote 1,300 words, and now I'm doing my blog (which I consider as important as anything else in my new job!). I hope to complete 5,000 words a day this week. For those of you not good at math, that equates to 25,000 words by Friday, which would blow away my old record of around 20,000.

Now, if I can only make sure they're not 25,000 sucky words . . .

Wanna hear something funny? I quit my job and I still haven't been paid a dime! Not a cent! Isn't that hilarious? I thought so.

Actually, don't think I'm an irresponsible doofus. I have three sources of income coming very, very soon between advances and royalties. But I tell ya, two months ago when I made this decision, I had no idea we'd be cutting it this close. Don't worry, we'll be fine.

Switching gears - last night I experienced one of the greatest sporting moments of my life. I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about. The 4 X 100 freestyle relay at the Olympics.

I love the Olympics. I love it with a passion. I watch it voraciously every time they occur. If I didn't have this huge deadline on MAZE, I'd spend the next 2 weeks doing nothing but. I'll settle this time for just the primetime coverage.

Anyway, last night I watched perhaps the most amazing Olympics moment of a lifetime of watching the Olympics. Well, one of, anyway. Michael Phelps is on a quest to break the record for golds at a single Olympiad, and last night's was the only race in which he was not the favorite. (He, meaning his relay team.)

When it came to the fourth and last guy, the Americans were a full body length behind the French (who'd trash talked and said they would "smash" us). The French dude is the WORLD RECORD HOLDER. The commentators had said the US would need a big lead before getting to that dude to have any chance of winning. And we were a BODY LENGTH behind.

But Jason Lezak performed a miracle. That's the only way it can be described. In only 100 meters, he somehow caught and passed (by 8 one hundredths of a second) the French dude and won the gold for USA, keeping Phelp's quest alive.

I, of course, stood up and screamed, waking the entire neighborhood. And to watch those 4 American swimmers celebrate was just amazing.

This Olympics will belong to Michael Phelps. He just may break Spitzer's record of 7 golds. But I think the name I will remember for the rest of my life is Jason Lezak. Wow. It was superhuman.

I love the Olympics.

Okay, back to work for me. I have a ruthless boss.


Summersfam said...

Congratulations, James!! I'm so excited for you! It's been a long time comin' hasn't it?

And welcome to the world of the self-employed. It's... ah.... fun?

Q said...

Okay, I still can't believe that he beat his OWN record by more than a SECOND.

Get back to work!

J.N. Future Author said...

The Olympics are completely amazing! If only I could have been there for the record breaking run in beijing!

Congratulations on officially being unemployed! I'm sure its pretty hard work getting that kind of status =P. Ok, I'm kidding, i don't have a i need to stop poking fun.
but seriously congrats.

and I'm really REALLY glad you haven't stopped posting on your blog. It really have been the COOLEST thing to talk to an author I admire.

Why Not? Because I Said So! said...

Congrats on your new "job"! I think you are a brave soul who will have success while reaching for your dreams. There are many people that dream, but never way to go!!

I also was going to blog about the men's relay team today, you beat me to it! It was an amazing race to watch! I think I will still blog about it, definately worth talking about.


Fly on the Wall said...

huge congratulations!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Wow...what a huge step! Good luck with all the crazy adjusting and whatnot.

Tamra Norton said...

Congrats, James! It was great hanging' with ya last Wednesday, talking shop and all that. I'm so excited to sit back and watch 2009 unfold for you. I have a feeling it's gonna be a big one.

See ya in Houston next month!

Unknown said...

Wow! that is so exciting that you are an unemployed bum. :) I hope it all goes well for you.
And Lezak is a shark--that was so amazing! My husband and I were cheering too. I just blogged about the Olympics swimming too.

Marcia Mickelson said...

Jobless. Good for you. That is exciting. That is super exciting.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on unemployment, James. Yeah, 25,000 words in a week doesn't even resemble work. Slacker.

By the way, how ambitious is that pacing? What's your normal daily output? And are all 25,000 words going to be new material? If so, a glick ahf dir! (I believe that is a wish for good luck in Yiddish. You'll need it.)

Heather Moore said...

Write. Write. Write. My hands ache just thinking about writing 5,000 words a day. I've done it a few times. Once I even did 7,000. But that was on my non-historical stuff. Good luck!

I just don't recommend driving after writing 5,000 words. It takes an hour or so to come out of the fog. And my kids have to repeat things 2 or 3 times before I process it.

Unknown said...

Way to live the dream, James! I can't imagine how that feels...the rest of us mere mortals have to pay our dues still :-) College and part-time jobs while writing in every spare moment, but right now I wouldn't trade it for the world. Except for maybe to be published on the national market. But again, props to you.

Allyson Condie said...

That race rocked so much. My husband and I were screaming like crazy.

You can totally break your record. Maybe you could ask everyone to call you Lezak for the week?

Geek in the Pink said...

He made Six golds at the 2004 Olympics. Seven golds at the 2007 Worlds. Michael Phelps will enter eight races in Beijing within reach of multiple records, including most career Olympic golds (9) and most golds at a single Games (7).

And now Phelps wins 400m, takes gold and breaks his own world record in the 400m IM.

see Michael Phelps 2008 Olympic Winning Moment Photos

Would he take 8 Gold medals this time?

Dedee said...

Way to be unemployed and yes I think that swim was one of the best moments I've ever seen in the Olympics, ever. Outstanding and Astounding!

Anonymous said...

Jamie, I love reading your blog and we SERIOUSLY need to put together a Georgia party. I love the Olympics too! Also, I made my kids read all summer long and my 11 year old read your first novel and loved it. You ROCK!!

Cheryl said...

Okay, lurker de-lurking here. I had to comment when you wrote:

"Now, if I can only make sure they're not 25,000 sucky words . . ."

because I literally laughed out loud. Okay, maybe it was a chuckle. But I chuckled out loud!

I was given a copy of the The 13th Reality at the BYU WIFYR conference in June, and started lurking on your blog back then. I finally read the book (sorry! I read so much, I have to add new ones to the list and work my way down it) a couple of weeks ago, and I have to tell you I was impressed! Not just with the characters and plots, but with your writing style. Great job!

Oh, and yes, the USA beating France was awesome. So awesome, my hubby and I also freaked out with joy. :)

LaFemmeSimple said...

so now would be a bad time to borrow some money? lol

I have not watched one olympic event....

Does that make me a traitor?

Or just not bored enough lol

Jewel Allen said...

Well, Michael just did it yesterday! Eight...woo-hoo!

Your wife is wonderful. Not only does she have faith in your abilities, she sounds like an awesome taskmaster.

Good luck with this new leaf.

daniel said...

The popular comment layout is common, so it is easily recognized when scanning to post a comment. If the comment section is in a different format, then I am going to spend more time trying to decipher what everything means.

part time job

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