Congratulations to Kelly who won a copy of Lindsay Harrel’s The Heart Between Us and Jenn Nilsson who won Becky Harling’s Who Do You Say I Am?
Please e-mail my assistant Christen (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your mailing address!
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Lauren K. Denton’s Hurricane Season!
I once read an essay by a writer who talked about how a local university asked if it could send an aspiring author to her house to follow her around for a day to see what a day in the life of an author looked like. She laughed and thought of what it would look like to that poor soul: Make coffee. Sit down at the computer. Open document. Stand up. Fold laundry. Sit back down. Stare at the screen. Type, delete, type, delete. Go get the mail. Sit down and try again.
That’s pretty much what my days look like when I’m writing. These days, however, I’m not working on a new story, which is actually a huge relief. After releasing one (so close to two!) books into the world and turning in the manuscript for my third book (due out in early 2019), I’m taking a few months off to get back to my non-writing life. That includes trying to make a dent in my To-Be-Read list, doing some house projects that have been on the back-burner for, oh, about a year now, and generally trying to give my creative juices time and space to flow again.
For now, a typical day for me looks quite different than when I’m in the middle of writing a book or coming up against a deadline. After several years of near-constant writing or editing, I’m finding it a little difficult to let myself rest and relax, but I’m trying. Here’s a peek at my day…
5:30am. Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
5:45. Crawl out of bed and shuffle to coffee pot. Although I’m not writing in the early mornings as I used to do before my kids started big school, I still enjoy the quiet moments alone before the day starts.
6:30. Wake up daughters. This usually involves any manner of singing, dancing, cajoling, or searching for crucial articles of clothing that must be worn TODAY!
6:45-7:30. Rush to get through morning routines to make it to school (which is all of half a mile down the road, still in our neighborhood) before the late bell rings at 8:00.
8:00. Back home to quiet, empty house. Breakfast, usually some form of toast, scrambled eggs, fruit (if we have any left after making lunches) and a little reading (Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake).
8:30. Catch up on emails—some from readers, several from the girls’ school about various activities, respond to book club requests.
9:30. Exercise class. All the squats, lunges, push-ups, and burpees to counteract all the hours I spend sitting on my rear while writing books!
10:45. Errands—Grocery store. UPS store to print new bookmarks and mail an ARC to a reviewer.
12:30. Lunch. Probably should have eaten earlier. (Teacher of exercise class tells us to “Go home and eat protein!” She probably doesn’t mean “Wait two hours then eat.” Oops.)
1:30. Finish reading critique partner’s manuscript. Make plans to chat later in the day on the phone. She’s in Salt Lake City so we have to work around the time difference.
2:00. Finally take a shower. Whew.
2:45. Pick up girls from school. Home for snack and the backpack explosions.
3:30. Photographer here to take pictures of me and the girls for a local magazine doing an article on my writing and upcoming release of Hurricane Season.
4:30. Go over manuscript with critique partner. Try to put out several fights between the girls over which show to watch on Netflix while simultaneously trying to come across to my friend on the phone as a knowledgeable writer with good ideas.
6:00. Sit down with family for dinner. Made Chicken Pot Pie, by husband’s request. Made grilled cheese for eight-year-old who doesn’t like foods that are “mushed together.”
6:30-7:30. Baths (“Mom, is it a hair night?”), reading, play with Magna-Tiles, coloring, watch an OK-Go video on YouTube with the girls.
7:50. All four of us pile on one bed and we read two chapters of a Geronimo Stilton book. Good-night kisses and hugs. Lights off.
8:15. Husband and I are officially “off-duty.” I win the remote control so I get to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. Check Facebook and Instagram. We make it a whole hour before deciding we’re too tired to go on.
9:30. Husband falls right to sleep. I read for half an hour until my eyes close.
As you can see, not much resting or relaxing going on these days, but it’s still a far cry from spending hours in front the computer or hunched over my notebook trying to create characters that live, breathe, and feel in ways that will touch readers. It’s a hard job, but I really do love it. I’m going to enjoy these next few months of my “no-writing” plan, but I know when the time comes for me to sit down and concentrate on a new story, new characters, and a new setting, I’ll be oh so ready to dive back in.
More about Hurricane Season
Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.
As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.
Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.
When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.