Writing Workshops

A Deadline – I need one!

Today is the last day of February in Louisiana. As I try to finish a short story to submit by the end of the day to a short story publisher, neighbors are watching the last Mardi Gras parade somewhere in New Orleans.
Deadlines are amazing motivators. The closer you get to one, the more prolific you might become. Decades ago, I wrote this poem.


Whatever you set out to do
Firmly place this in your mind.
If you intend to see the task through
You must establish a deadline

Think back on all that you’ve started
With no deadline to meet
How often you have ultimately departed
Distracted by some other you chose to complete

Dreams are built on the tasks begun
And stay mere dreams and defeat
Success is built on the job well-done
The deadline made it complete

I met my deadline today, but I’m convinced my ability to complete my short story had more to do with me deciding it was finished. One more week, or less, the story would still have been finished on time, but, perhaps on a slightly different theme, or ending, or more, or less characters depending on what jumped on, or off the page.
So, this was one of short stories set in 1964 and part of what I call the world of Jesse Hall.
The 1964 World’s Fair follows Jesse and two friends in New York City for four days. It’s the story I just submitted.
Super Hawk is next, about the day that Jesse’s brother teaches him to drive his new Honda Super Hawk Motorcycle.
Story three describes the Funeral of Jesse’s brother. No Title yet.
Story four is the funeral of Eugene who died in 1929 but kept on display for thirty-five years in a small Ohio town. Eugene is a character in the heart of Jesse’s world, Jesse Sings, to be published soon.