Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Office Parties

I ended up re-reading (and doing a little editing on) the entire book so far yesterday, and I think I may be reaching the point where I kind of sort of maybe almost like it. I've worked in such fits and starts that I don't have a good sense of the pacing, but reading it straight through like that helped. I was almost surprised to find that stuff was consistently happening. Go figure.

Now I might even have some enthusiasm and momentum for plunging forward. I'd be almost tempted to skip choir practice tonight and work if I wasn't planning to skip next week because of the Rose Bowl (your university in the national championship is a good excuse, I'd think). Hmm, the church web site schedule hasn't been updated, so I'm not even sure we're having practice tonight.

It's not really my ideal writing weather. We desperately need the rain (especially given the number of wildfires yesterday). But it is cooler and a bit cloudy, which might help awaken the old brain.

I realized yesterday that I never got around to having my office Christmas party. In spite of the fact that I have a company of one, I usually try to designate a day to kick back and celebrate. Since I'm in the middle of a book (and running behind schedule), I can't really do that. I did have lunch with my editor, drinks with my agent and lunch with a freelance client, so I guess that should count. Instead this year, I may have an end of first draft party, or maybe I'll combine it with my laze around at home New Year's celebration.

But it would be appropriate for me to do something, considering the company holiday party plays a pretty big role in Once Upon Stilettos (I'm not saying what, naturally). I've had some really crazy parties in past jobs, so I had more than enough inspiration. When I worked for an ad agency, they prided themselves on doing "different" parties. One year there was the murder mystery dinner, which doesn't quite work in a small company where you know everyone and their dates/spouses. The professional players were rather obvious as the people we didn't know (and theatrical stage makeup for sitting around a dinner table in a hotel ballroom was another clue). Then there was the Christmas costume party at the wax museum. Try finding good costumes around that time of year when all the Halloween shops have closed. And then there was the flashback prom, where I did get credit for actually being able to still wear my prom dress from high school. The consistent factor in all of these parties was the boss getting wasted and stupid (if you've seen The Office on NBC, my boss was very much like that one).

At another job, we tended to have delayed parties after the holidays, when it was easier to book places and get everyone together (at least, that was the excuse. Procrastination could have been a factor). One year we had a square dance and barbecue at a dude ranch type place. They brought up the staff from the Austin and Houston offices to join us, only one of those freak Texas cold fronts hit in the middle of that day, dropping temperatures from the 60s that morning to the 20s by the afternoon of the party, and the out-of-towners hadn't packed for the temperature shift, which made the hayride from the bus parking lot to the "saloon" where the party was a little unpleasant for them (I watch the weather forecast, so I'd brought a heavy coat). The next year we were in transition between bosses, so we ended up with a true procrastination party in late January. Then the economy went downhill, so we got a potluck at someone's house.

I think I like my usual drink cocoa, eat cookies and read holiday parties better. There's no forced socialization with people I get enough of during the week, and I don't have to scramble to find a date. But I have to finish the book before I get that, so I'd better get to work.

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