I wish I could say I live on a ranch in WY and there are handsome cowboys swirling about me at all times—noooo, then I wouldn’t want to write about such things, would I? It’s better to have that kind of thing in your head. And, in a manner of speaking, I do have handsome fellas all around me. I live in a house with three boys, ages 14, 17, and 57. Trust me, the fun never ends.
But what does a typical day look like for me, a Western writer living in the South on a small farm just outside of Pittsboro, NC? Hold on to your boots, partner, it’s pretty dang exciting. Not.
Ah, the nectar of the gods.
First, I am a morning person but I can only get up so early. I mean, let’s be realistic. Muttering sleepy prayers, I crawl out of bed at about 6:30 am, make my coffee, then blow reveille for the eager (not so much) troops. This is great fun and I’m routinely greeted by screams of, “I’m up! I’m up!” Whereupon I remind my near-comatose teenagers awake should not be confsued with up.
Then, because I know I have hours of sitting and staring at a computer screen, I assuage the guilt of my sedentary lifestyle by practicing a little self-flagellation–er, I mean, by working out at the gym. Pittsboro is a small town and we have few local celebrities, but Audry and Kelly at Ladies Fitness Center rank.
We took this picture before class. Funny. We don’t smile much after class. LOL
Believe me, they rank.
I don’t know why I put myself through their infamous torture every morning. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I must be thinking, if I can survive this, I can do anything.
In good weather, I may skip the hellish Bootcamp and opt for one of my other favorite activities: kayaking on the lake. Early in the day, it is serene, quiet, peaceful out there. But kayaking requires more sitting. I should have got a paddle board for Christmas.
But once I’m home, I realize half the day is gone and I still need to pray, shower, and write something. Anything. It’s supposed to be what I do.
Skipping the shower for now (as I do more often than you’d like to know), I spend a little time with the Lord. Honestly, knowing all that I would like to accomplish in a day, it’s tough to quiet down and just be still before Him. God isn’t nagging me for answers to his emails. He isn’t awaiting my instructions for the newsletter or the critique of a new cover. He hasn’t challenged me to write at least a thousand words today.
But, truly, there is nothing more important than spending a few minutes with Him. Prayer is the most powerful weapon in the universe. I really believe that. Like any weapon, it takes practice to master it. I have a quiet place I go and talk to God, read His word, and lift my family and others up to Him.
Few people have seen this picture but here is a corner of my war room.
Sometimes I go straight in after I get home from the gym, but more often than not, I knock out a few tasks, try to clear my head a little, then go to my knees.
But once that is done, I feel refreshed and focused. And I get to work writing (while praying for the strength to resist hopping on to facebook).
My porch. A picture from this past fall–arguably the best season in the South.
In good weather, this is one of my favorite places to work–my porch. Otherwise, I’m stuck at my desk, sweeping cats off my keyboard and trying not to think how close I am to the kitchen.
I love my cats, but they can be such attention hogs. And apparently, they just adore how my desk/keyboard and/or lap feels underneath their bony little butts. They don’t seem to care, really, just as long as they are squarely in my way. Hmmm. Maybe they’re making commentary on my writing?
You don’t need the QWERT side of the keyboard anyway. Those letters are greatly exaggerated.
The day passes, I hope, in a productive manner, and then the boys get home from school around 4. I try to hold off on household chores until they’re around; this gives me a chance to leave the keyboard and interact with my little (supposed) humans.
They’re usually such bundles of joy by this time of day. Even more so than when I first awaken them. They’ve had six hours of school, girl drama, fussy teachers, and homework assignments. They’re closer to grumpy cavemen than happy campers, trust me. I usually try to let them eat a snack and regain some vocabulary (other than monosyllabic grunts) before I try to engage them in civilized conversation. It’s dicey.
Grimace. Snarky smile. Sooo them.
There are days I feel like I need body armor to risk this mission. But I do love them. 🙂 I do.
Usually on Fridays, a whole TRIBE of cavemen appears at my house.
Saturday morning, I often find them slung all over my furniture as if some horrific battle has taken place (it sure smells like it.) Based on this picture, I think they lost.
No drugs were involved in the making of this scene.
Anyway, after greeting the aforementioned cavemen, I may get in another hour of work before tackling dinner. My husband has a tendency to forget where he lives, he gets so wrapped up in work, so I often entice him away from work with photos of food. But I feel like I’m doing false advertising. I’m not much of a cook. Things always look better in the pictures than they actually taste.
Eh. I try. If he wanted good food, he shouldn’t have married a fiction writer.
Eventually, we close the day. I try to put in another hour of Bible reading and work before I relocate to the couch around 9 to sit a little more, watching a movie with the fam. Yep. More sitting. Do you ever think how static our lives are?
Writing. The old-fashioned way.
Well, that’s it for me. Pretty boring. I will be traveling to Deadwood, SD this summer for an author /reader event. You should join me. Get up off the couch and come hang with some of your favorite authors at Wild Deadwood Reads. It’s going to be a spectacular time! Private tours, meet-and-greets, rodeos! Hope to see you there. Thanks for reading! God bless and happy trails!