I asked for one thing alone yesterday ("Excuse me, is your CD skipping?" at the cafe where I parked myself for the day to edit the chapter. The barista checked, and it was indeed. Result: calming music restored.) because--
All your encouragements and admonitions have been AWESOME.
What a day. From 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., I've wrote, trimmed and regrouped. Every time I snuck into my email or glanced at the blog and saw your comments, your messages compelled me to hunker back down. Then, yesterday evening, I got a call from La Divina, my Italian cousin, who had read my plea and promised this: on December 24 she will call back to inquire if I've met my goal. If so, she will book a ticket that moment and come visit in March! STUPENDO!!!!
Man. THIS is the way to finish a tough chapter. One that I've been twisting and turning for more than a year (when the rest took a third as long -- sheesh). This is it: my aim is completion, not perfection. This academic deadline is like any professional one. Love those mantras. Here's one more: Basta.
Thank you, everybody.
Plan for the entire next week? Rinse and repeat.
Please keep your messages coming. They are inspiring, and something I'll cherish long after this deadline. More importantly, every time I'm feeling naughty, about to click on the Scrabulous icon on Facebook or glance at Huffington Post, I will read your words and get back to writing mine.