Monday, August 7, 2017


Good old Merriam-Webster! This is the iconic dictionary’s first definition for deadline:

1. A line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot.

The second definition, in two parts, is just like it:

2a. A date or time before which something must be done.

2b. The time after which copy is not accepted for a particular issue of a publication.

That first definition resonated with me when I finally received a deadline today for my book, From Mountains High. I felt like I was at risk of being shot! Here is a gist of the conversation I had with Glenn, Worship Publications Manager at OCP (my publisher).

“OCP is really interested in releasing From Mountains High at NPM 2018 in Baltimore,” said Glenn, referring to the annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. “In order to meet this goal, would you be able to finish the book and submit it on November 1?”

Like a fool, I said, “Yes!” What have I done??

I think back to a great quote from Star Trek: The Next Generation, in the episode on the holodeck where Professor Moriarty (Yes, from Sherlock Holmes. Don’t ask.) gave the noble crew an ultimatum. If they didn’t complete a task by a specified time, it meant certain doom for the fabled starship.

“A deadline has a wonderful way of concentrating the mind,” said Moriarty with a slight devilish smile.

I’m also thinking of “Seasons of Love,” the signature song from the amazing Broadway musical, Rent.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure, measure a year?*

Well, I don’t have five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. I only have 85 days! Eighty. Five. Days.

This blog is going to be very short. Pardon me while I get to work!

* "Seasons of Love" from Rent by Jonathon Larson 

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