[[Welcome to my weekly writer’s diary where I’ll share my “Woot Woot!” moments and the not so “woot woot” moments of my writing world. And, yes, I might even share the occasional musing or two about reading and writing, two of my favorite things!]]
It’s Thursday ~ 02/14/13 ~ and…
I’m wishing you a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from my hospital bed where I’m sporting a brand new knee! I had thought to skip my Diary Drop-In this week since I’m not really online today. I don’t dare try to write anything new with pain meds muddying my brain — who knows what might come out of my mouth! However, it occurred to me that you might enjoy a blast from the past considering the special nature of today’s date.
Valentine’s Day has always been special to romance writers. After all, love and romance is what this day, and romance writers, are all about. So, while I’m untangling my pink feathered boa from my IV, let me give you a peek into the glamorous life of a romance writer.
“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” ~ Epictetus ~
Know what a romance writer’s life is truly like? Just ask around. You’ll get variations on a theme.
We write in an office the size of a small barn. It contains at least one elegant sofa designed for brainstorming comfort, not to mention the leather-bound executive chair where we cheerfully sit and dash off our word count each morning before heading off to lunch with our eager publisher. We’re surrounded by carefully organized, dusted bookshelves displaying our many writing awards, maybe a family photo or two mixed in. Life-sized posters of our heroes, muscular chests gleaming down on us like manna from heaven, hang on our walls providing heroic inspiration.
Maybe there’s soft music wafting from speakers cleverly hidden out of sight, while we leisurely pen our tomes on the uncluttered tabletop of our antique cherry wood desk. There’s the requisite dog or cat sitting at our feet staring up at us with undemanding adoration, and the kiddies make their own snacks when they come home from school to avoid disturbing Mommy’s creative “zone”. And, since all authors live in warm climates we can move outside and write poolside while a cabana boy – okay, an understanding significant other – keeps us fed and watered because we’d surely starve or die of thirst without someone to take care of us.
Hmmm, when did I start writing fantasy?
The reality is most authors don’t live this beautifully organized, bucolic scene of creativity, much as we may long for a smidgen of it. We’re often lucky to have an office. Some of us write at the kitchen table we may have had time to wipe clean of peanut butter. We carve space out of our living rooms, jam a battered desk in the corner, and block out Spongebob’s maniacal laughter as he runs through the jellyfish fields with his butterfly net. [That last sounds vaguely familiar!] We pull out a secretary’s pad in the lunchroom at our day jobs and jot down a thought or, if we’re lucky, a scene before we rush back to work.
We might have book shelves….but dusted? Trade that executive chair for the front seat of a car that carries you and half a dozen ball players to three different fields across town from each other at the same time. And where in hell is that cabana boy when your significant other and kiddies are sitting around the dining room table with empty bellies and expectant expressions on their faces?
I don’t know about yours but mine is scrubbing the toilet while I lounge in the gazebo with my laptop eating bon bons. It’s so difficult maintaining creativity when the toilet doesn’t sparkle, isn’t it?
[Reprint Newsletter, July Musings, July 2009]
See you next Thursday for another rousing entry in Karen’s Diary Drop-In….