No, not the apocalypse. My book, THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT, which is due on November 30.
1. I wander around in a semi-permanent state of distraction.
For instance, I make a whole lot of mistakes in exercise class. More than usual, I mean. I'll be going along (grapevine, step, step, step) and then I'll be in medieval England and then...whoops. What? It doesn't help that we have a new instructor who doesn't use the same routine from week to week. She "wings" it every class.
And any question posed immediately after I stop work to do something else (see below re dinner and laundry) is liable to elicit a blank look, the sort that once prompted my daughter to inquire, "Are you thinking again, Mom?"
2. The pile of laundry in the basement grows to Himalayan proportions. Undies and socks take precedence. For anything else, good luck!
3. Making dinner becomes a recreational activity. Because I'm not working on the book. But there's also a risk. See Number 1 about distractions.
4. I get ambushed by scenes for the next book while supposedly thinking of the current book. Back, you idea, back! Not yet! Not yet!
5. The stress dreams begin. You know, where you're late for something and can't quite get there? Or you've forgotten something.
6. My fingernails become very, very short.
7. Even my mother starts to ask me how the book is going. She knows better than to ask that any earlier, because it's generally too difficult to explain to the layman ("Well, I think I've got the consummation scene too early, and maybe from the wrong point of view. And I think I need a new name for the villain, possibly his henchman. And that whole thing with the money? It's not working...")
What she's really asking here is, "Are you going to get it done on time?"
Right now, my response is "I think so."