This is your brain. This is your brain on deadline. Any questions?


(A comfortable office painted in soothing greens. Chairs have been arranged in a semi-circle. A THERAPIST sits in a large leather chair with a notepad. Her group is comprised of VARIOUS FICTIONAL CHARACTERS from a book long in progress, THE SWEET FAR THING.)

THERAPIST: So, it’s good that we could all meet today. I understand you’re having some trouble with the author of your book?
MRS. NIGHTWING: It isn’t our trouble. She’s the one who should be cleverer.
THERAPIST: (nodding) Ummm.
ANN: She’s rewritten the ending eight times.
THERAPIST: Must feel very frustrating.
FELICITY: (texting) I think we should do her in.
CIRCE: Second it.
THERAPIST: Gemma? Any thoughts about that?
GEMMA: (smiling) There’s a snogging scene. I’m in it.
THERAPIST: I see. So you feel satisfied with the direction the book has taken?
GEMMA: For the most part. My brother Tom is still a horse’s ass, though.
ANN: Second it.

(Kartik glowers in a corner. He looks exceptionally hot while he glowers.)

THERAPIST: Kartik? Did you have something to add?
FELICITY (texting like a fiend): He has issues.
GEMMA: He doesn’t!
FELICITY: (sing-song) Is-sues…

(Pippa enters ten minutes late and holding the bloody head of a goat. There is blood around her mouth and down the front of her dress. The other group members stare.)

PIPPA: What?
THERAPIST: Pippa, group started ten minutes ago.
PIPPA: I was hungry. I stopped to pick something up. (giggling) It’s yum-my!
FELICITY: You cow! Did you bring enough for everyone?
PIPPA: No. (grinning) But I’ve got berries that will damn you for eternity! Delish!
THERAPIST: Does anyone else think that Pippa is acting out at this moment?

(All hands go up except for Circe’s. Gemma glares at Circe.)

THERAPIST: Gemma, I sense some tension between you and Circe.
GEMMA: She killed my mother.
THERAPIST: So it feels like she’s struck a blow against your foundation, you sense of security, your sense of self.
FELICITY: She means literally.
ANN: Also, she killed several school girls.
GEMMA: And Kartik’s brother.
CIRCE: And a parking attendant in Chiswick. (Everyone stares) I don’t tell you everything, now, do I?
MRS. NIGHTWING: Right. Let’s get on with it. I’ve a school to run and an East Wing to sort out.
THERAPIST: We were discussing your challenges with the author.
MRS. NIGHTWING: There are no challenges to discuss. She should get on with it. She’s only a week to go, and just last night I caught her trying to strangle her computer.
ANN: We’re still stuck in the Winterlands.
FELICITY: And it’s not a pretty place, I can tell you.
PIPPA: (licking her fingers) Speak for yourself.
CIRCE: And then there are these two.

(She indicates Gemma and Kartik who haven’t stopped mooning over each other. Kartik crosses and uncrosses his arms. It only adds to his hotness.)

FELICITY: Oh, would you stop? Glowering and hotness only gets you so far.
CIRCE: (sighing) Really. You have no idea how annoying it gets. (puts a hand to her forehead) “It’s forbidden!” “Kiss me!” “Alright–but no tongue!”
THERAPIST: Kartik, I want to help you express yourself to Gemma. If you could say what you feel to her right now, what–

(Kartik and Gemma leap from their chairs and make out furiously.)


(Simon pops his head in the door.)

SIMON: Sorry–am I late?
ANN: A bit.
THERAPIST: Um, Gemma? Kartik? All we do in here is talk…
PIPPA: (offering the bloody head) Goat?
MRS. NIGHTWING: These are the times that try men’s souls.
CIRCE: I’ve tried men’s souls. Delicious–just like chicken.

(The Therapist pulls Gemma and Kartik apart.)

GEMMA: You’re right. It would never work.
KARTIK: Yes. I must go back to hot glowering again.
CIRCE: I’m so bored. Isn’t it time for someone to die? Can’t we make the author kill someone in a ghastly manner? Where are the Poppy Warriors when you need them?
SIMON: Still in hair and makeup.
ANN: I want to go to the theatre. Why can’t she write me a scene at the theatre?
FELICITY: (still texting) Realms. Me. Partying. Now.
CIRCE: I want to take over the world. It’s a small thing, really.
KARTIK: Sticking with hot, thanks.
SIMON: I’m not sure about the balance of scenes between the realms and London, frankly. I think I need more “page time.”
ANN: I’m not sure about the five-act structure.
CIRCE: I want a monologue. I should have a monologue.
PIPPA: I think she should add the word “scrotum.” Just for good measure.
THERAPIST: What about–

(Miss McCleethy comes in, takes something from a drawer and walks out again.)

SIMON: What the devil was that?
FELICITY: She’s being mysterious.
ANN: (nodding) It’s her schtick.
THERAPIST: Mrs. Nightwing, would you like to talk about your feelings about–
MRS. NIGHTWING: I don’t “feelings talk.” I’m English.

(The group erupts into squawking and arguing about the progress of the book, the character and story arcs, etc. Finally, Gemma jumps up.)

GEMMA: Do NOT make me open up a six-pack of Victorian crazy magic on your asses! I can and I will.

(Everyone settles. Felicity continues texting. Pip goes back to gnawing her goat’s head.)

THERAPIST: Good, good, Gemma. Getting your feelings out can be really helpful–
GEMMA: I can turn you into a large chicken. I swear it.
ANN: (nodding) She can.
PIPPA: (mouth full) I think the author should just leave the last ten pages blank and put in a small sound chip that plays Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
SIMON: (to Kartik) I know, old boy. You could turn to the redhead and say something along the lines of, “We’ll always have the realms.”
(Kartik glares at him.)
SIMON: By god, you ARE a sexy beast. Even I want to kiss you.
FELICITY: Ooh! I know! Car chase!
ANN: It’s Victorian.
FELICITY: Carriage chase? (sighs) Look, she’s got 800 pages to wallow around in. I don’t see why she can’t throw in one little carriage chase.
MRS. NIGHTWING: I think it’s all very, very silly.
THERAPIST: These are all very interesting theories. I’m afraid our time is up. By this time next week, the last draft of the book will be finished. You’ll all know your fates definitively.
CIRCE: HA! Nothing’s definitive with this one. She can’t even order pizza without changing her mind.
THERAPIST: Well, I’m sure everyone will have a lot of feelings about the end, and we can discuss it next week when we meet again.
SIMON: (grinnig at therapist) You are quite enchanting. What are you doing later? Did I mention I’m a Viscount’s son?

228 thoughts on “This is your brain. This is your brain on deadline. Any questions?

  1. that. is. ingenius.
    i’m sitting hear laughing my damn ass off.
    i’m pretty sure my brother thinks i’m going insane.

    you should really put together more of these and make a book out of it.
    it’s rather amusing. 😀

  2. OMG!!!!!!!!!!READ ME! READ ME!!!!!!!!!!

    im in tears, not to mention choking, cuz im laughing so hard! i think that’s th best journal entry youve ever written! itS my favorite at least! you’re my FAVORITE AUTHOR IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaahahahhaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahhahahahahahahahahahhaaaaaaaaaa!!! you made my day! actually i’ll probably be happy forever, now! i can picture myself at a funeral in 80 years still laughing! yeah i’d probably piss of quite a few people… especially if anyone tries arguing with me… anywayz, thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!! i cant WAIT ‘TILL THE BOOK COMES OUT!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Love it!

    This made my day. I could not stop laughing. You are amazingly funny. One of my idols in humor….next to dane cook. what a funny chap. Anyway, i love reading your journals! i wish you would post more often though…*tisk, tisk.
    Love Always,
    Rosanna Lynne

  4. Love it!

    This made my day. I could not stop laughing. You are amazingly funny. One of my idols in humor….next to dane cook. what a funny chap. Anyway, i love reading your journals! i wish you would post more often though…*tisk, tisk. I know you have to finish the book so i wont push it.
    Love Always,
    Rosanna Lynne

  5. Too funny!

    OMG!! I was laughing so hard I was crying! This thing is so funny you should just put this at the end of the book as an extra thing! This is so funny I want to show it to someone, though they probably wouldn’t think it was as funny as I thought it was because they haven’t read your books. No wonder your books are so good, you have such a big imagination. Keep up the good writing

  6. crying my eyes out

    …in a good way. This is too funny for words. I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog and I love you and your sense of humor is just perfect. My favorite parts were

    “GEMMA: Do NOT make me open up a six-pack of Victorian crazy magic on your asses! I can and I will.”


    “SIMON: By god, you ARE a sexy beast. Even I want to kiss you.”

    Im am dying of cruel and unusual punishment–laughter. Just wanted to add I was bored and then a shaft of light broke through the clouds of my brain and the angels sang “Hallelujia…” and “Libba’s Blog !” and I broke out in random and spaztic out-of-key singing. So yeah. I overdid that a little but you get the idea.

  7. Halarious!

    OMG! that was awesome! I can totally see Felicity with a fancy cellphone in her hands and not even looking at the keypad. lol.

  8. hi

    i no what i am typing has nothing to do with the entry you have written but is there a date set for the 3rd book, The Far Sweet Thing, because no other book holds my interest because i have been dying to finish the trilogy!!!!!! please let us no!!!!

  9. Thanks for reminding me of the killing wait i have to endure!!

    Even thoguh i am uttely excited to read this book, I am kinda disapointed i have to wait so long!!But this “seccion” has settled my cravings for Sweet Far Thing…For now any how. Kartik is a Total babe. It makes me very jumpy to have to wait so long!! My favorite part is about how Pippa is freely eating a goats head.It’s sick humor and i hav very sick humor. HAA Mwuahahahaaaa

  10. Group Therapy

    I think this is absolutely hysterical. Wonderful that the author can make fun of her own creations. Heaven knows everyone else will have an opion about them!!

  11. his is your brain. This is your brain on deadline. Any questions?

    Your page should come with a warning.
    I suffered that fate. It was TOTALLY worth it.

  12. What would you suggest to another author to do when they are experiencing writer’s block? I am working on my third book (well, trying to) and I am like completely drawing a blank here.

  13. bah!

    OK so im super excited for your novel the sweetest thing to hit the book shelves of Canada this is totally of topic ahah but please know this, do not ever stop writing you are brilliant! ^_^ Gemma has a kissing scene or as she puts “snogging” hehe im excited is it with Kartik! i sure hope so i sit there yelling at the novel just KISS HIM ahah anywho much love and best of luck in the near future


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