The scent of coffee wafts from the kitchen, through the living room, across the three-foot square we call a hallway, under my door, into my fan, and blows the homey perfume into my dreams and wakes me. Stretches, a sigh. I peel off my eye mask and blink.
Flinging back the covers, I jerk open the Roman shades and allow the afternoon sunshine to fill my face and my room. A glance at the clock says it’s two-thirty. Time to start my day.
Note: If you see a link, it probably is an affiliate link–that means I get a small commission if you purchase something. Never fear. It doesn’t cost you extra. I promise. I think. You never know. These places change rules all the time. But as of this writing,… Just sayin’… Oh, and the only reason I’m doing this is because that silly challenge insisted. *rolls eyes*
So…. back to starting my day. What does that entail?
Fresh clothes, my makeup bag, curling iron. It takes about fifteen minutes, but it’s worth it. Trust me. The kids aren’t home—off to drama class today. (Note: written about life during the school year.) So, with beautiful peace and quiet, I grab my yogurt, fill my bottle of water, and begin the day’s tasks.
Bed made, general pick up, my “daily dozen,” and then check the planners—yes, plural. I have one for home stuff, but my editorial planner is just for writing, publishing, etc. Pot pie for dinner. Better go get the crust made while I check emails.
A little kitchen pick-up, a pair of pie crusts made and in the fridge until five o’clock, and voila. Time to answer the emails I skimmed.
And so it begins. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Pinterest. Replies to my emails. Blog post comments. A question on my messenger.
Ashley sends an email—Corner Booth is on sale starting Tuesday. Again. She either loves or hates that book as often as she puts it on sale! A glance at my planner tells me I can shuffle a couple of things to later and do it right now. (This is hypothetical–it really isn’t. I don’t think. Still, it’s good book)
So, I’m off to the blog folder. Skim—there’s one on the food of the Fiddleleaf Cafe. I’ll use that one this time. No! Wait. What about that one about how wrong it is to excuse our words with “I was only teasing”?
It takes an hour, you know—an hour, and that’s if the post is all written, to get the images, the links, the social media stuff—all of that. Then off to the newsletter, but there’s no time.
It’s time to cook dinner.
Kevin comes in just as I pull out the stuff. So, while he puts away his bike, I begin. Leftover pepper steak makes a great pot pie filling. Peas and carrots, onions, potatoes. If I didn’t have a kid sensitive to mushrooms, I’d so do those, too. It takes until 5:30 to get the filling done and the crusts rolled out.
Lorna arrives home—#7 daughter. I hear about how she said her line backward or how the class had to do declarations of undying love for “strikeouts” in drama that day. It’s the teacher’s “punishment” for talking or acting up in class. We laugh over her friend’s mock declaration ripped straight from Mr. Darcy—and the girl didn’t even realize it!
Timer on, I’m back to work in our room, talking to Kevin between organizing bits of that newsletter. But writing anything—impossible. That’s because #2 son comes home, plops on our bed, and tells us about the big argument between a few of his friends and his two cents on the whole deal. His sister arrives with her math book, wondering about this problem she couldn’t figure out. Misplaced decimal. As usual.
Dinnertime comes—usually, we have four out of five home—sometimes only two. And once I’m done, and that newsletter is written, it’s probably right about 7:30 p.m. Nap time.
I wake up around nine p.m. While my husband is getting ready for bed, I’m packing up my stuff to go write all night. I have two places I write now (and a third for emergencies).
First is our local “Prayer House.”
It was called the RiHOP (Ridgecrest intercessory House of Prayer) but when they moved, they changed it. It’s now “The Lighthouse.” Yes, we have one of those now. In the desert, no less. It’s quiet and I get to pray as I work. Sometimes people peep in to see what we’re all about, but so far no one has come in just to pray. Not on my watch. Not yet. It’ll happen.
I’m so inspired by this place that I’m giving Fairbury its own “Prayer Room” and a cast of characters that have little tiny bits of the personalities of those I’ve met here–the woman with the infectious smile and bubbly spirit, the man who carries my backpack to the car each morning, the young man who is such a servant leader, the woman whose presence seems to exude peace… You’ll meet them all, combined into just a couple of characters, in Premeditated Serendipity.
On the weekends, I still go to Denny’s.
I think going there really helps keep me aware of life outside my bubble. I live in a rather sheltered little weird writer bubble, and it’s good to see that not everyone has it “so good.” Then again, they probably feel sorry for me. aren’t we strange creatures?
But for a while there, I spent nights at the home of some friends of ours. The husband has been a friend of our family since he was eight. Now he has little girls of his own and a wife who allows me to work at her table while they sleep. Most nights, he’s at work. But on the weekends, and anytime their family is busy or isn’t feeling well, I head over to Denny’s. Let’s face it. It’s much cheaper to work at a free table or at the Lighthouse than it is to pay for a very large tip and a meal at Denny’s. But, I don’t want to take advantage of my friends, so my weekends I spend at booth 14.
Where was I? Oh, right. Nighttime.
So I arrive there between 9 and 10, depending on how long I slept and how much I underestimated my ability to get ready quickly. *rolls eyes at self*.
That writing time, though? That’s when the fun really begins I lose myself in imaginary worlds. Characters take center stage and laugh, cry, sing, lie—they fail one another and give aid when needed. And as they do, My heart warms. It’s a joy I can’t explain.
At five (a.m.), I head to the gym for my workout. On treadmill days, I listen to audiobooks as I walk to nowhere. It’s fun to disappear into someone else’s world while I “walk to nowhere” in mine.
Then at home, while I eat my half-sandwich and try to cool down, it’s just me, the Word, and the Lord. And then maybe an episode of Midsomer Murders. Like I said. I’m a weird writer.
By six-thirty at the latest, I crawl into bed and sleep! It’s a beautiful life, and I usually get about 8 hours of sleep. I NEED my sleep.
Just an ordinary day in the life of a weird writer… my DREAM life.
Look, my usual days aren’t THAT different—in attempts. But in practicality, I drag myself out of bed anywhere between noon and 3 p.m. I also never wake up chipper. Ever. In fact, if anyone ever tried to wake me up by coming in my room singing this, I’d probably lose the last vestiges of my sanity:
And the makeup/getting dressed bit? Yeah. I do that just before leaving at night–and not if going to our friends’ house. They won’t see me, so why waste the time and product? But, I am kind to the rest of humanity. I have a heart.
For the record, it has nothing to do with my pride. I’ve got a lot of that thing–pride. But I’m too lazy to let it put me through that kind of torture. No, I started because for some reason, the drunks leave me alone if I’m dressed up a bit. If I go in wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and with my hair right out of the shower, they seem to think I am there to chat. And if someone does come into the Lighthouse for prayer, I don’t want to skeer them away. So… yeah. I do something to that hair and try not to look like I’m half-ill.
Dinner? Yep. It works that way—when I remember. When I don’t, then you see something like…
Kevin comes in from work and drops on the bed. Reads his Kindle for a bit. Finally, he says,
“Do we have any idea what we’re doing for supper?”
Me: “Didn’t we eat yesterday?”
Kevin: “The natives are getting restless.”
Me: “Fine. Let’s feed them.”
Kevin: “Okay, what should we have?”
Kevin: (at this point, he’s rolling his eyes. 1. We do it every day. 2. So, that means he knows what’s coming and asks anyway) “Can you be more specific?”
Me: “Good food. Tasty food. Soomething cheap but delicious that arrives ready to eat on our doorstep.”
Kevin: “We’re not the Jetsons.”
For the record. We do feed them. Probably rotisserie chicken from Stater Brothers. It’s cheap, filling, and I can make soup or a pot pie out of the leftovers.
I digress. I’m a weird writer, remember? We do that. We digress. Often.
The email with Ashley? Yeah… I’d forget to check my planner first. I’d just jump in and do it and then regret it if I missed something important. Just keepin’ it real.
As for the gym? I slacked off for a while, and then I sprained my ankle, and there are a million other reasons, but I’m determined. After all, I pay those folks a hundred bucks a month for me… not to go? Yeah. Not happening–not indefinitely, anyway. But if I cancel that membership? Yeah. Guess who will NEVER go back. This girl. Right here.
It’s a good life, but it is a bit chaotic at times—usually when I let myself deviate from the plan. Shocker. Those plans are there for a reason!