Monday, 24 June 2013

A Day in This Writer’s Life

- Guest Post by Patti Larsen

I often have people ask what my normal working day looks like. And I snort. The word “normal” feels like it belongs to someone else.

I like to sleep in until at least 8am or even 9am, depending on how late I worked the night before. I used to be able to sleep later, when I was working at other jobs full time, but now the voices prod me to get out of bed and get to their stories and, because I love what I do so much, I’m happy to do so.

Breakfast is a cup of hot tea as I jump into social media to see what I’ve missed while wasting time sleeping. A quick tally of my sales numbers from the day before—with a huge THANK YOU to the Universe for allowing me to write for a living—and I’m off and running.

Mondays are begun with at least two hours of chin wagging with my amazing editor, Annetta Ribken. I try to schedule meetings with my cover designer, Valerie Bellamy, the same day if I can.

Those done—with a great deal of giggling and only a little work involved—it’s time to hop a ride to another place.

Sometimes to Wilding Springs, where my main character of Family Magic lives with her wacky family. My husband laughs when he asks me how my day was and I tell him I had to spend some time in the Ukraine or Harvard or an Austrian castle full of vampires.

No airplane required.

If it’s a writing day, I schedule hourly bouts with short breaks in between to check the almighty Facebook and update my readers on my progress before diving in again. I like to schedule five or six chapters per day and usually hit the mark.

I’m forced into the odd caterlude by one or more of my five massive cats, mixed with a quick lunch, more tea and a chat or two with friends on Skype or Google Hangout.

Or, at times through the week, I trot off to schools to talk to kids about what I do and how fun it is to be a writer. Meet with emerging authors looking for advice on where to go from where they are. Or have a lovely lunch with a good friend just to get me out of the house.

The days are just packed.

If it’s winter, dinner is cooked for me, thank goodness, by my very patient Boo. The rest of the year, I usually eat alone, my golf-course manager husband gone until after dark. If there’s something interesting on Netflix, it might catch my attention. But I usually unwind with a hot bath and a book on Kindle for at least an hour before tumbling into bed, ready for the next day’s adventures in far-flung places.

Don’t I have the best life?

About Patti Larsen: You’re not looking for my polished bio, huh? You sure you want more? The real dirty, down deep, nitty gritty? Fair enough. Here goes: I’m a card-carrying nerd. It’s taken years to admit it. I’m also a hermit in a writing basement who prefers solitude to people (cats always welcome). I’m a writing fiend who hears the voices of teenagers and blushes at the S-E-X parts. I don’t sleep very well. Ever. My mind is too busy. I am a feline loving married woman who could easily end up a crazy cat lady if my husband would let me. I am a paradigm shifter, a believer in self and my own personal power. I see everything in black and white until the gray is explained to me. I am a fiercely loyal friend, a confidant and a Tarot card reader and intuitive. I am a proud roller derby girl, a total dweeb and can’t dance to save my soul. I am terrified of heights and challenge that fear every chance I get. Oh, and I’m the Creator. The Queen of my own Destiny. I love that.

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