C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Another Day in The Life

Things always take longer than you expect and it’s always later than you think.

My "Seven Swords" Novel Writing Nook

Image by mshea via Flickr

8:00 AM: I’m up and getting the kids off to school. Got to bed early last night, so I’m actually functioning on six-and-a-half hours of sleep. Bonus!

9:00 AM: Kids are delivered unto the local indoctrination centre and nobody’s crying including me. Success.

Coffee x 2. Research some information and loiter over an argument about the merits and sins of book and music piracy.

Autograph a book for a friend who stops by. (This is an event, but I pretend I’m casual about it. “And who should I make this out to?”)

Holy crap it’s 10:30! In my research, someone wrote a blog post on how regurgitating from elsewhere is bad. This strikes me as funny because said article was rescooped via Scoopit! and that’s how I found it in the first place. (I love Scoopit!) Still, I haven’t written an original post on here for a few days, so I fire off a blog post on the virtues that tie the martial art of Hapkido and writing. I wonder where Chang Man Yang, my old instructor is now. After he was terribly impaired in a horrific car accident, I don’t know what became of him or his family.

11:15 AM Post is done and twittered. I follow up with a couple of readers about reviewing my books.

Call Canada Revenue Agency about a tax filing. Despite my misgivings, they are surprisingly polite and cooperative.

Fire off an email to Smodcast about an upcoming ad I’m running.

Lunch. (Nine and a half hours later, I have no idea what I ate. Apparently it was inconsequential. Even to me.)

1:00 PM Revisions to The Novel. It’s going to be good, but my progress is slower than I’d like, though this would be true no matter my speed.

3:00 PM Come up for air. Tend the fire and then grab my script. I’ve already written most of this week’s podcast, so I take half an hour to record what I’ve got. I’m getting more efficient and less tongue-tied on the mic so the podcast is taking less time.

3:30 PM Get a reminder of a writing contest that I had ignored. Inspiration strikes and I grab a couple of old non-fiction pieces to meld together for the contest. It’s all fully formed in my mind so cobbling it together goes incredibly quick…except for the frustrations of getting the files from the old computer (that needs an enema) to the new computer. Also? The main printer is out of toner. Damn.

5:30 PM Contest entry is submitted. I generally don’t do contests anymore, but I’m excited about the possibilities this one presents. Next? Check email, triberr, Facebook, and Twitter. There’s very little I have to say or deal with. Amongst this, the kids and SHe Who Must Be Obeyed have returned with tales of the outside world. It sounds grim out there. I stoke the fire higher and congratulate them for their bravery in facing what, alas, I cannot.

6:30 PM: I’m told to eat. As soon as that’s done, I ask the children to clean up the skinny pig’s cage as I head off into the darkness to Future Shop to get toner cartridges.

6:50 PM: They don’t have all the toner cartridges and I definitely need black. I am instantly reminded why I hate dealing with The World: The couple ahead of me takes more time to complete their purchase than I took to get the sale through on my house. I’m told Future Shop has one black toner cartridge for me. At the other Future Shop. At the other end of the city. While waiting, I have three times picked up and put down a back up drive I’m been debating about for some time. It’s $139.00 but I decide I can’t afford not to have the insurance and ease of the back up. Maybe the slow couple ahead of me work for Future Shop and they’ve just been waiting for me to buy more before clearing the way to the cash register.

9:00 PM Finally back home. Traffic was a bitch, but I have the black toner!

9:10 PM I’m informed the skinny pig’s environs are now poopless. Excellent. If only we could all say that.

I check email. The most important email message is at once reassuring and baffling. Last week I asked BookBaby about getting an ITIN so the IRS won’t hold back 30% from my book earnings. I thought my message had been lost or ignored but it turned out I’m just an impatient dick because they’re very busy at BookBaby these days. I’m informed BookBaby doesn’t hold back any earnings and just gives me the whole nut. Really?! If it’s true, it’s great because it greatly simplifies my tax reporting. I just can’t believe it’s true nor can I divine how it could be true. I will have to confer with my accountant. (INSERT INVOLUNTARY SHUDDER HERE.) 

Bookbaby also informs me that I can easily withdraw my books from all other outlets but KDP Select if I wish, but if I change my mind later, it will be a whole new submission and I’ll be charged again for resubmitting each book to the other platforms. Hm. Okay. My plan is to go with KDP Select for all my books soon and for the long term, so fine. Not great, but fine.

9:44 PM This blog post is done. What’s next? Another chapter to revise or go to bed early tonight? And I do have books to read… Hm.

9:45 PM Decide to throw children in bed at high velocity. Must read a chapter of Eric WaltersShattered to Boy or Boy will become difficult. Will pet the skinny pig briefly and see if I can engage She Who Must Be Obeyed in a taped episode of House before returning to the screen for another go at something or other.

Projected bedtime, 1 or 2 AM, depending. (Do something fun, like writing, and it’s never really work.)

Afterthought:

The writing contest thing was an exception to my regular routine and as I write this post, it is clear to me I must spend at least twice as much time on revisions tomorrow, stopping just before my brain refuses to continue.

I need some time on the treadmill.

And absolutely zero time at Future Shop.

UPDATE: The funny thing is that, after writing today’s blog posts, I googled my old teacher. I had done this some time ago but he was nowhere to be found. The last I’d heard, he was in a terrible car accident driving home from a class with a student. I had heard he was be permanently injured. Tonight, after mentioning him in two blog posts in one day, I idly plugged his name into the search engine again. My old teacher is alive and teaching in Halifax! What a great way to end the day!

Filed under: DIY, getting it done, My fiction, What about Chazz?, , , , , , , , ,

A Day in the Life of a Writer

4 AM: The iPod is still in my ear when I wake from a dream in which She Who Must Be Obeyed tells me I have a “liganda” tumor in my nose.

4 AM plus 20 seconds: Look up “liganda” on the iPod. It’s ancient currency in the form of an iron spear.

4 to 6 AM: Listen to hypnosis recording, listen to Michell Plested’s wonderful Irreverent Muse podcast (great interview with Mike Stackpole on the business of e-publishing). Listen to StoryWonk Daily (a podcast that is new to me but good.) The hosts talk about the humorous potential of Bartleby The Scrivener. When I studied it, it was in an existential angst/philosophy context and I totally missed the laughs. Great discussion on The Princess Bride, though. Shower.

6 AM – 7:30 PM: Edit a typo in the file to be printed at CreateSpace that’s been bugging me. Release print copy of Self-help for Stoners to the world in print on Amazon. Hahahahahahahahahahaha! The people who prefer print can finally order it in paper.

7:30 PM  to 8:45 PM: Make lunch sandwiches and evict children to local indoctrination centre. Make coffee and prepare myself for the day’s onslaught.

8:45 to noon: Inspired by Mike Stackpole interview, I think about what I’ve got in the story stockpile. I dig up Asia Unbound from Dropbox. That’s a good short story I wrote ages ago that’s doing nothing for me where it sits. Resolve to format it and put it up on Smashwords. I revise the short story, format it, find a great shot to use from Morguefiles, run it through a free graphics program (Picnik) so I have a cover in record time (only one sad aborted attempt.) Get an ISBN from Canadian agency online (they’re free and easy in Canada) and insert metadata. Upload. For a change, I price it at $1.99 as an experiment even though The Dangerous Kind is only 99 cents and is much longer. I tell myself it’s a better cover and it’s all still just couch change. I got that done so quickly and without problems that I allow myself a feeling of triumph. The morning went so incredibly well.

Noon to 1 PM: Lunch and watch an old episode of Newsradio on The Comedy Network. I love Newsradio. I mourn Phil Hartman every time. Always and forever.

1 to 2 PM: Let the world know Asia Unbound is available on Smashwords: Facebook, two blogs, three Twitter accounts, Google+. Find several articles of use for research and stimulation. Use Scoopit! to post them to the blog. Check three of the four email accounts. Find some nice reader mail. Ask for some reviews of new and old books. Delete all other email.

2 to 3:30: Rush off to the other side of the city to perform last ditch Christmas offensive while listening to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast to get myself through the mall crowds without using a machete.

3:30 PM: Back just in time for spawn’s return from local indoctrination centre. Debrief/start laundry for this evening’s Christmas concert.

4 PM to 5 PM: Email check. No love. Search Dropbox for more old short stories that are brilliant. I reject three but find four that will be suitable for more Smashwords books. Around 4:45 I begin this blog post.

5 PM: #1 Son announces that he has changed his mind and he doesn’t want a globe for Christmas, which is surprising because he is a cartographical prodigy. I abandon writing this blog post. The boy now wants a saxophone for Christmas. He has a letter for Santa. I inform him that Santa’s surely already packed his order for the globe and the letter will not arrive in time for Christmas. #1 Son announces that Santa is magic and that if he doesn’t deliver, he’s not real and this will be the worst Christmas ever. The boy begins to sob as I realize that the Christmas concert is only one hour away and I’m not wearing pants. The laundry must be switched to the dryer if we’re to get to the Christmas concert in time. I comfort #1 Son as I rush to the dryer. His angst turns to anger. My guttural comforting sounds turn to gritted teeth and a harried quest to boil frozen hot dogs. (Hint: Nuke ‘em first and let the water do only a quarter of the work.) Scream for #1 Daughter to get ready for Christmas concert. Pray for happy asteroid strike.

5 to 5:55 PM: Diatribe escalates. Tears are shed, most of them his. I tell him Santa is made of generosity and that the joy of giving is the essence of Christmas and so Santa can never die. A circular debate on the nature of magic ensues. Boy gets sent to his room. Daughter goes to concert. Boy is scarred for life, though he soon apologizes for being miserable. We hug it out. He’s both sure there’s no Santa and still wants to send his letter to Santa. (Syllogism? Never mind. This is not the time to discuss that.) Pretty sure my mother would have beaten him with a wooden spoon by now. I would never have gotten away with this and I would have been hauled off to the concert by my ear. I understand the impulse but instead hug him harder. Consider choking him out so he has a nap and I leave no bruises. I eat a hot dog in anger and sadness. He still breaks into sobs at his realization that we are filthy liars and the world is not as he has been told. The sweet innocence was what we wanted and it was great. Now? We pay in emotional cataclysm. And he’s not going to the concert. She Who Must Be Obeyed takes #1 Daughter to said concert since I saw the same concert last night.

6 PM: I’m wearing pants that are hot from the dryer. The effect is like morphine and I realize I’ve been up since 4 AM. Sweet oblivion wraps its loving arms around me and I pass out. Just before I lose consciousness, I am so grateful. Boy is anaesthetized by a cartoony video game that trains him for warfare. Good. He’ll need it.

7:30 PM: Awake in time for a Big Bang Theory and note that I’m not getting to the gym today. Again.

8 PM: She Who Must Be Obeyed and #1 Daughter return from Christmas concert. Boy has returned to his human form and is apologetic and resigned to a world without magic or charm. Dying inside, I retreat to the basement to finish this blog post. And hide.

The plan for the rest of the evening:

The children shall be read to and then thrown into bed at high velocity around 10 PM.

Back up plan:

Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

I’m not up to writing another chapter of my new novel, anyway, so that’s a write-off. It must be the top priority in the morning. Tonight shall be for editing the Self-help for Stoners podcast. It won’t take long. The program is improving and I’ve found ways to make the production process go much faster. It will be done tonight and posted Thursday night. It’s Christmas…so will anyone be around to listen to it? I shrug and push forward with the grim determination of that dumb workhorse that ends up as glue at the end of Animal Farm.

Also to-do: Must research Podiobooks. Also, the tech consultant for one of my web pages calls tomorrow so I must make sure I have all my passwords and questions ready. Call Dad. (UPDATE: Forgot to call Dad. Too late to call him since it’s now 10 PM in Nova Scotia. Damn.) Address Christmas calendar envelopes. Figure out an actual schedule for tomorrow so it’s less random and I get some revising and writing done.

Input into iCal and USE IT!

The rest of the evening, the recreational part: Devote self to a book on the craft of writing mysteries which I’ve been trying to get to for days.

UPDATE at 8:38 PM: Boy sneaks past the machine-gun nests and barbed wire and arrives in bunker office to report that his #1 Sister is calling him a Pample Moose. “What’s a Pample Moose?” I correct his pronunciation and inform him that the translation from French means “Grapefruit.” #1 Son collapses in hysterics and I remember why I neither strangled nor chased him around the house (outside and around the house) with a wooden spoon. Still giggling, #1 Son races up the stairs yelling, “You called me a grapefruit, you hoser!”

Projected bedtime: 1 AM.

(Who are you kidding? You slept one and a half hours. You’ll be up till 2 AM at least.) 

Tonight’s post-hypnotic suggestion just before I pass out:

What happens next in my book? Is it time for Legs Gabrielle to meet the deputy who suspects her of murder, or is that rushing it?

C’mon unconscious genius! Roll me a seven!

Tomorrow’s wake up call:

Either the clock radio at 8 Am, or much earlier if I have another dream about fictional nose tumours.

Filed under: publishing, What about Chazz?, What about you?, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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