You'd think being on a boat in the hinterlands of Alaska without any internet or cell phone access would be a good thing, right? Ok, it was, to a point.
The first two days of the ten day trip, I slept nearly 12 hours/day, thanks to every one of my Ob patients within 5 weeks of their due date dropping into labor and delivery within 72 hours of my departure on said vacation. I haven't had a nasty slog of sleeplessness and emergencies like that since fellowship. Yee haw. Mind you, this is a critical access (rural) hospital. We don't normally see big floods of patients or weird stuff. Emergency c-section? Check. Tachypneic 35 week baby on oxygen, requiring gavage feedings? Check. Shoulder dystocia? Check. Placental abruption? Check. And those were just my own patients, to say nothing of the flaming insanity flowing amongst my colleagues. Could someone tell me what spectacular, sex-inducing event occurred 9 months ago because I clearly missed the memo.
So phew, back to the boat. Yay, no communication. No calls, no emails. Fabulous. On a whim, I linked up to a virus-ridden hot spot in Juneau and….#1) full request #2) contest finalist #3) contest finalist but not winner #4) publication offer. WHAT??!? Hold the all-you-can-eat buffet, Mildred! Yup, offer.
So I'm like, yippie. Of course. And then I'm like, uh oh. Uh. Oh. What do I do now? Well, thank and accept of course, but I've heard there are etiquette things you have to do first. And my spreadsheet of queries, partials and fulls is….2000 miles away. So I ask for time to get back to terra firma a la mi casa, Then I frantically type a note to a lovely editor who has been instrumental in helping me with the novels. (She's also an acquiring editor for stuff I don't write, but she knows the business.) And I said something pithy and erudite like: HELLLLPPPPPPP!!!!
Back home Sunday afternoon, hubby kindly did 3 suitcases' worth of laundry while I tried to formulate an enthusiastic (who wouldn't be?), polite and professional reply to the executive editor who graciously offered publication. I then emailed the folks who were reading fulls and partials, hoping I was doing the right thing, and cringed each time I hit SEND.
Monday morning. Sports/school physical forms, prior authorizations, oxygen certifications, meeting requests (yuck) and double booked patients awaited me. Normally that's plenty. But interspersed throughout the day were all the writing stuff emails to which I needed to promptly respond. I generally only do doctor work at work and writing work at home. Not today. Can't wait for the IT folks to pull up my profile and be like "Dr. Jill's surfing smut." And there's the trip to the CEO's office. Again. WAH Wah waaaahhhhh.
No idea where this adventure will take me, but I can say with confidence that I have no patients due for 4 weeks, and that means...free time to edit!!! Fingers crossed for making the right decisions for the writing future….
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.