Thank you to Wendy for having me to her cyberplace today! 

I thought I’d give a little insight into the glamorous life of a romance writer.  I should say THIS romance writer because, frankly, I’m pretty sure I don’t live like other writers.  Some of them have Discipline.  Some even have Solitude.  J

Here’s a typical day for me this summer:

8:00am:  Crack open a blurred eye, close it, retreat to FictionWorld.  Where am I in the story?  What parts do I have to write today?  How can I solve X problem in the next chapter?

8:09am:  Smack the snooze alarm and try sitting up this time to stay awake.  Check email and Facebook from phone. 

8:20-8:55am:  Wake younger son (8yo), remind him he WANTED to take tennis, convince him he’ll be too hot in lined athletic pants, find clean shorts for him, throw cereal his way, head upstairs to get self presentable enough to drop him off.  (Which doesn’t include “clean.”)

9:02am:  Drop off son at tennis.  Late. 

9:05-9:55am:  Run to store, pick up sunscreen and cat food to get through 3 days – which is  a lot when you have 5 cats.  Hit dry cleaners with Grown Up Clothes for upcoming RWA National Conference (the clothes that have been wadded up on floor of closet since last conference – yes, I did hang them up but the kittens didn’t want them hung up.) 

10am:  Pick up Younger Son, head home. 

10:07am:  Break up argument #1 between sons.

10:15am:  Sit down to write.  Discuss via IM with critique partner:  daily writing goals, plot dilemmas, wardrobe and dinner plans for upcoming conference, husbands’ latest Stupid Man Acts (in story terms this translates to Non-Heroic Behavior.)

10:50am:  End conversation with both of us determined to rock our goals for the day. Open work-in-progress (WIP).

10:59am:  Ignore screaming from boys’ room.  Figure if there’s blood they’ll come get me.

11:00-11:17am:  Stare at screen:  Chapter Nineteen.  Wonder how the hell to open chapter.

11:18am:  Remember family needs clean laundry.  Sort, start a load, empty dryer, dump unfolded clothes on bed.

11:23am:  Break up fight #2.

11:25am:  Back to WIP.  Check in with critique partner.  Compare laundry notes.  Tell her to get to work, resolve to do same myself.

11:30am:  Write the hardest three paragraphs of my life.  Stomach’s growling.

12pm:  Cook and eat lunch with boys.  Discuss daily chores, ask if they’ve done daily reading yet, threaten to take away video games.

12:55pm:  Make sure boys have books in hands, check mail, find bill, remember I need to pay bills ASAP.  Go to computer, find email that requires immediate action, answer it, check in on the Superromance thread at www.eHarlequin.com, finally remember about bills, go to bank website and pay bloodsuckers who require money. 

1:35pm:  Realize I haven’t showered. 

1:50pm:  Am showered now.  Make self look presentable.  The clean version.

1:56, 1:59, 2:00, 2:07, 2:12, and 2:20pm:  Hear complaints from both boys about what injurious, wrong things the other has done.  Realize I must get them out of house to burn off energy this afternoon. 

2:25pm:  Sit at computer with determination to finish page I started this morning.  Just 14 more lines…Check email, Facebook.

2:55pm:  Drop off Older Son (10yo) at hip hop class.

3:02pm:  Back home with 45 minutes to jam on pages. 

3:04pm:  Younger Son is bored and chatty.  Try to hold up my end of 8-year-old talk, gently remind him I need quiet time to work. 

3:48pm:  Finish first page of day.  Remember spur-of-the-moment plan from an hour ago and tell Younger Son to get swimsuit and towel.  Hunt down Older Son’s swimming gear.  Pack it and my writing supplies – notebook, pencils, notes for next ten scenes, never mind that I’ll be lucky to get through a single page while keeping an eye on the boys at the pool.

4:01pm:  Pick up Older Son.  Listen to his lecture about picking him up late (again.)

4:03pm:  Take boys to public pool.  Scout out chair in shade, settle in for writing. 

4:14pm:  Fight off nap because pool chairs are uncomfortable and sleeping in one would cause me to be bent at odd angle for life.  Plus, drool.  Oh, and daily writing goal…

5:55pm:  Drag reluctant but tired boys from pool, call husband to pick up Chinese take-out.

6-9pm:  Dinner, family time.

9:30pm:  Put boys to bed.  Breathe.

9:35pm:  Check in with critique partner for goal report.  Promise I WILL still make goal.

10pm:  Type in what I wrote longhand at pool.  Realize I’m only up to 2.25 pages.  Buckle down.  Take breaks to:  write blog, check email, have conversation with long-lost friend on Facebook, tell boys to go to sleep (times 7), take phone call from parents.

2:36am  GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!  Celebrate because it’s earlier than day before.  Collapse in bed, read book on iPhone to come down from frantic work push.  Drift off thinking about next scene (amid promises to self to get the pages done EARLIER tomorrow.)

So…as you can see, all glamour here in the Knupp house!  And okay, I totally know I’m not unique as I try to fit too many things into the day…because pretty much that’s what we women do.  My big challenge is balancing kids with writing time and I’m sure anyone reading this has something just as challenging.  So tell me…what do you struggle to balance in your everyday life?  Answer here and be entered to win…I’ll send a signed copy of Playing With Fire to one winner, selected by Wendy. (And if you’ve already read Playing With Fire, THANK YOU!  You can pick a book from my backlist instead.)  Happy balancing to all, and another round of thanks to Wendy! J

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