First off, I have a full-time day job with mandatory OT & limited tolerance for the needs of a fledgling romance novelist to be not at work sometimes. There’s only so much vacation, personal and make-up time to go around. I’m also in three critiquing writers groups. So time management is uber-critical. Fortunately, my kids are school age and can follow directions and do things for themselves – like get dressed, eat, do homework.
So first thing I do in the morning, once I know they’re really up, is check my emails, see if there’s anything pressing I need to get on. Any editing takes top priority, followed by whatever I need to crit for writer’s group. Try to crit 3-4 a week. Once the kids go to school, then I have an hour-and-a-half to WRITE before shower and go to work. Work 10:30AM -7 PM. Usually go for a drive on lunch break, listen to the CD of choice for whatever book I’m working on and try to brainstorm. Half-hour there. I know – the price of gas. But I do it anyway. After work I check my emails again, scarf down supper, help w/homework. After the kids are in bed, I write until I can’t see straight and then I go to bed.
Tuesday nights I have a writer’s group, so homework’s done the next morning. Thursday night is flag football practice. Saturday morning is figure skating lessons and flag football GAMES, but overall I’m in a fairly doable routine!
When I do edit/crit/write, it’s at a too-small computer desk on my kitchen wall. Everything is crammed on top – my keyboard and monitor are squashed between my printer and my hard-drive, and my mouse is on top of my printer. I have a bookshelf of reference books near me, beside the back door. I always play music while I write – every story has a base sound. My summer project was “Marek’s New World,” a werewolf short for a WRP contest. I played R. Carlos Nakai. My current project is “Lycan Tides,” Book Three in the Guardians of Light series started by Duality. For that I listen to traditional Celtic – I rotate between Danu, Lunasa, Clannad and Leahy.
I scrapbook, so I have a display page for each of my books. A friend of mine, Holly, has a husband who likes wood-working as a hobby and made me frames. Duality is full of autumn leaves, Hedda’s Sword is full of snow-flakes, Lycan Tides is full of lighthouses and surf pounding on tall Irish sea cliffs. They each feature the main characters & critters – D & H have white Arabian horses for the war mares & L has wolves, eagles, and seals. I’m also brainstorming for Book Four, “Riever’s Heart,” so I have pictures of Gerard Butler as Beowulf and Michael Fassbender as Stelios in 300 up on the wall.
I never answer the phone. Even my mom leaves a message and I call her back! But I’m slowly getting the books done. I hope to have Lycan Tides done by the end of the year.