The Life of a Writer

black coffee and a book

The life of a writer is all about the glitz and glamour of the ‘life.’  We all have limos take us to our book signings just as you would imagine.  We all have private jets to take us to Cabo or Bermuda at a whim. Paris and London are just waiting for us to find out about our next book, with bated breath. Paparazzi are clamoring about our personal lives, with photographers waiting to take photos of us at lunch or dinner with the great directors, seasoned actors or Hollywood producers.  My wait staff does my laundry and takes care of my mansion. I don’t spend much time there, I’m always on the go. You would wonder how I have time to write all my books, I’m releasing twelve this year. It a tough life, but someone has to do it. I too was once a simple dime store self-published novelist, only years ago…

5:20 AM. I was laying in bed for two hours after waking from a dream about a kid telling jokes. I tossed and turned until I had to get up for my job, system engineering at a hospital.  I start at 7, but by the time I shower, shave, dress, feed the cat and kiss my girlfriend, I’m on the road at 6:15.

6:30 AM I’m standing in line in the cafeteria, at the hospital. My eyes still haven’t adjusted to the neon lights above and I’ve asked, “The usual.” Yes, I respond and head for coffee. Just the smell has started to wake my brain cells, but the time I return to the line I’ve had several sips and the partial hangover from last nights time “out with the boys” is slipping away. Amen.  I get my western omelet and English muffin (the same thing I’ve eaten for breakfast for the last 13 years here) gets covered in garlic powder and oregano before I pay.  I cover the top with ketchup in a smiley face. The two halves of the English muffin become the eyes.

6:45 AM I’m at my desk stuffing my face and drinking coffee like there is no tomorrow. I’m reading through my Facebook page for things I can post to Online Community Writers and Mifflin Writers Group. Hey, were all writers and we all deserve the chance to succeed. And when I’m famous and rich, I’ll still give back.  I check my email, delete spam. Nothing important to respond to, and I feel truly inferior. I’m planning to work over lunch on my novel, but I don’t even have a clue what I’m going to write about.  This is the scariest of times. Usually, I have some direction, at this point and am chomping at the bit for some free time to write. I’m blank.

7:00 AM – 11:00 AM. I spend time at my day job. I can’t tell you about it without killing you. It’s all HIPAA stuff and I don’t want to go to jail for giving up some protected information. I’ll just say that I’m good, and they are perfect.

11:00 AM I grab lunch as I could down the minutes till I’m planning to write. I create a salad at the cafeteria’s bar, all kinds of greens, carrots, black beans, black olives, a little cheese, croutons, and cranberries.  A scoop of Santa Fe Chicken Salad completes the meal.  Oh, and balsamic vinaigrette.   I pay and head to my desk, finish some work before the bewitching hour.

12:00 I open my draft of Mariline. It’s a good draft and I start reading. I still don’t know where I’m going with it. It’s not singing to me and I’m worried. I put on Radio Mozart and I let his melodies sink in. I’m adding something here and there and suddenly it’s

1:00 PM Make a backup copy of my script. I’m happy I was able to continue, but there is still so much to go. Back to work.

3:00 PM My co-workers and I break for coffee and talk about the things that are bugging us or what new in the cinema.  It’s a refreshing moment to take pause and see the duck that has decided to nest between the buildings on our way to the café.

4:00 PM I’m in my car and I’m heading home. Traffic isn’t too bad. I’m worrying as I speed down the entrance ramp, but I’ve timed it just right, I’m on and heading east.  The windows are down, and the wind is blowing what little of my hair around. 

4:15 PM I’ve gotten the mail and came home to my loving girlfriend. I want to kiss her but with all that coffee my ass will kiss the toilet seat before I kiss her.  I make up for that after I get out of my tie and into comfortable clothes.

5:00 PM Kim and I have been discussing our day and now we are deciding on food or TV.  Television wins out and the ten or so Investigation Discovery Network shows left on the DVR.  Blood, death and murder keep us occupied. I’m pulling out a bottle of Vodka and making a martini while still listening to the announcer talk about more blood, death, and murder.

6:00 PM I heat up some Smart Choice food and make a little side salad, still catching up on those murder shows. 

7:30 PM After all that death, I kiss Kim goodnight, and I go into the bedroom and read for a hour. The book in riveting and I’m really enjoying it. 

8:30 PM I fill my CPAP machine. Kiss Kim goodnight and I try to fall asleep. Audrey, my cat, decides that I’m the perfect shoulder to lay on and sniffs my ear and licks my face. Against her best efforts, I’m out cold.

2:00 AM I realize that Kim is in bed with me as I hear her groan about Audrey jumping across her pillow to get to me. Audrey sticks her bony feet it my arm and side as she settles again on my shoulder. Now she’s licking around my ear, trying, I guess to clean up the hairline around it. I’m trying to fall back asleep but there is something gnawing at me about my book. 

4:00 AM There is a scene that keeps going over and over in my mind.  I have to remember it for tomorrow when I’m working on the book draft.

5:00 AM I fall asleep.

5:30 AM DAMN!  I overslept!

That was the life of this writer not too long ago.

The Interns Are Restless

girl gesturingIn that momentary, abyss between light and light again the next day, some people call it night, there was something extraordinary that happened.  Perhaps TMZ was too busy chasing down Solange and Jay-Z hoping to get another pugilistic exposition between them or they would have covered this ground breaking news here on the home front.   After months of denying any involvement, when, yes, it was painfully obvious that there was some indiscreet meetings, close working, and maybe even some physical contact, whether it involved the old “in-and-out”   is still unclear, but  two of my interns are now officially dating.  Their Facebook status’ have been changed.  There is no backing out now.

The beacon of Facebook blinded me this morning with their cheery notification in the form of a heart and their two names, we’ll call them Miss X and Mister Y and the promise of a commitment, at least until they read this blog, for all eternity.  Just like Ma and Pa Eisman, when they made a solemn oath over a few too many and a high school stick pin, they will be counting on their future grandchildren to be taking care of their diapers when they are old and feeble and drooling onto their bedclothes.

So when did this start?  What magical concoction between the two could ever have brought them together?  Vodka?  Gin?  Jack Daniels?  Beer?  Wine?  Love?  Nah, it could only be chemistry!  Like a bad date from eHarmony.com, they were brought together working for me;  editing, researching, and making bad jokes about each other.  Working close under this high stress, super-heated cauldron of drudgery would have been enough to make crystalized form of zirconium dioxide, but with the proper alignment of each of their charcoal atoms, they have become this diamond in the rough.

Happy?  Of course, I am happy for them.  I wish them well.  It couldn’t have happened to a better couple of insanely good looking people, although I am noting a hint of jealousy from the one remaining, who we will call Miss Z.   Miss Z and Mister Y, all though they didn’t know that I know, but I know, had had something before.  Does that make Mister Y as man-slut?  Yes, absolutely!   She and I knew about Mister Y and Miss X, before they knew, or were even speaking about it, let alone making the great Facebook commitment.    Miss Z had her cry.  She’s let Mister Y go, and now they can still pretend to be friends, although,  I’m sure she would surely put a fish gutting knife in his ribs as much as give him the time of day.  As pleased as I would be to see such a graphic display, I’ve made sure that that all sharp implements are kept under lock and key, or evacuated from the building before they arrived for work this morning.

Two more weeks and they will be free of working for me, so why make such a commitment now?   I’m really starting to think it was as much as a statement of “screw Miss Z” as much as statement of love between Miss X and Mister Y.  In two weeks they will be on to their next adventures as interns as they make their way through the education system.  I wouldn’t even be writing about this.  I’d have to think of another topic, like socks, instead of relaying this juicy bit of workplace indiscretion.  Perhaps it was tempting immortality.  They could have been just a couple of college students that fall in love, and that was it.  By stating now, they have this blog written about them.  When they get old they can show it to their children, and their children’s children, and be reminded about their moment of dedication to each other, and thus making their love immortal, even if their Facebook allegiance is finite.