dead·line| ˈdedˌlīn | noun the latest time or date by which something should be completed: the deadline for submission of the manuscript is February 15th.

I have a big one coming up. February 15th, as a matter of fact. That’s the date by which the manuscript for my next book, Writer in a Life Vest: Essays from the Salish Sea, needs to be in my publisher’s in-box. Twenty-nine days from now to have all thirty-six essays, plus the table of contents, a section of resources, and acknowledgments “completed” (in quotes, because the publisher likely will request some revisions to my “finished” manuscript).

I’m reluctant to tell you how many of those thirty-six essays still need to be written and revised; let’s just say it’s fortunate I have nearly a month to meet this deadline. 

So. You probably won’t hear much from me between now and the day after Valentine’s Day (I’ll likely be up late that night, and not at a romantic, candlelight dinner with the Naked Hiker). I expect to be much slower on my response to emails and returning phone calls, too (okay, okay, that’s already been happening since the start of the new year). 

Once the big push for the manuscript due date passes, I’ll have a bit more breathing space until the editor lets me know changes she wants.  There’ll also still be numerous deadlines, though, for cover art and promotional activities before the book is released in the Spring of 2022. 

It’s good I thrive on deadlines, and that I’m quite excited about how these essays are coming together. Yet, I welcome any efforts from you, dear readers, to keep me going—lighting candles, sending cards, delivering chocolates…

Here’s to hoping we ALL have a good month.


  1. Break a leg, er, uh, a finger??? In any case, I wish you well and hope there are unexpected joys mixed in with the inevitable anxieties. I’m having an important February happening as well! A specialist in ‘difficult abdominal issues’ has agreed to take my case and on February 9, at 8:00 am, will perform an enteroscopy and simultaneously a colonoscopy to search out and mend a fistula in my jejunum. I’ve been on an IV nutrition system (TPN) 24/7, nothing by mouth except clear liquids, for over a month now because of this fistula. Now I have renewed hope that I WILL actually get to eat real food again, to actually CHEW again! So both of us have reason to anticipate having MET February goals! Enjoy the process. Much love, Mickey. Sent from my iPad


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