I got this idea from one of those “101 Things to Write About on Your Blog.” What a load of hooey. Does anyone here really care that I take my one cup of coffee with one cream and one packet of Truvia? Do you care that I weigh myself every morning before my shower on my wife’s grandfather’s office scale from his practice and that for some damned reason (although I have lost 45 pounds in six months) I have hit a damned plateau at 177?
Are you all on the edge of your seats to learn whether I begin writing in the morning or how much time I waste on Facebook (way too much, way damned too much. Working on it.) or are you more interested in my routine? I have none. I sit at my computer and try to drag myself onto a blank page and make something work there. Sometimes the muse strikes and pages flow. More often I have to drag the muse kicking and screaming from her lair (a very dark place in the very far recesses of my brain). More often than not I get to lunch without one word having eked out onto the screen, but never fear, I shall return.
Then it’s afternoon, and I begin to feel the pressure. The day has not ebbed but it is waning, and like my own mortality I sense the death of the day the way a doe senses an approaching coyote.
And so I type.
Surprisingly quite often I later discover that what I have forced out of myself is rather good. Not publishable, but the kernel of something that can be reworked and revised and maybe even salvaged in the end. And I am one of those rare birds who enjoys the editing process more than the creative process. I actually love tweaking the prose, cutting characters who evolved only to lead to dead in plot twists, polishing until it gleams. And after years of working with professional editors I am not surprised or befuddled or chagrined when they come back to me (or quite often my stalwart agent, Peter Rubie, does) with a trunk full of changes. But that’s getting away from my day.
Typically by five PM I am ready to walk away from the day’s social media and writing and editing and get down to what I really love, cooking dinner. Does it shock you to learn that I have been the chef in my family for over thirty-five years or that my daughters once ran up our stairs shouting, “Daddy! Daddy! Come quick! Mommy is trying to cook!”? I can whip up everything from fresh marina with meat balls to ribeye roast with baby potatoes in butter to Coq a Vin, all self taught in order to survive.
Then it’s time for some reading and Jeopardy. I’m not as good as I once was but I’m as good once as I ever was. I know most of the questions. They just come slower to me than they once did. I’m okay with that. Getting older beats the hell out of the alternative.
A couple of stiff martinis or bourbons and it’s time for bed.
See you tomorrow.