A Day in the Life

Posted by: Emily Shaw on Sep 15 2012, 7:42 pm in , , , ,




6:00 Stagger out of bed. Getting an early start. Only 243 words yesterday. Need to WRITE 1000 today.

 6:30 Turn on computer. While computer boots up, eat breakfast, insert caffeine drip, read paper and listen to news. Newspaper headline: “Ponzi Schemer Indicted.” Morning show anchor interviews philanthropist. Story idea: What if Ponzi hero funneled ill-gotten gains to food banks? Hmm. What if the daughter of one of his clients is out to get him but then learns of his philanthropy? Note to self, RESEARCH further.

 7:30 Do breakfast dishes. Start load of laundry. Consider vacuuming but must to WRITE.

  8:00 NETWORK Check email, Facebook, Twitter. Deliver some pithy remarks. Retweet interesting articles with #amwriting. Tweak website. Check Klout score. NETWORK more to raise score.

  10:00 WRITE . . . one sentence. Oh God, this is sooo hard. Maybe if I took it outside. Sunshine = vitamin D = energy = creativity. Plus fewer distractions, e.g. vacuum cleaner. Yeah. Definitely need to move it outside. Borrow kiddo’s laptop. Battery is dead. Search for plug. While laptop boots up, pull weeds and scoop poop.

  11:00 Fingers poised over keyboard ready to WRITE. Oh, wow, look at that woodpecker. I wonder what kind of woodpecker that is. Hurry inside to get bird book from shelf stuffed with RESEARCH books. Flip through it. Hmm, did it have stripes? I really need binoculars to do this right. Ignore vacuum sitting in corner because I am going to WRITE as soon as I identify this bird. Take book and binoculars outside. Woodpecker gone.

  11:30 WRITE half sentence. Lunch time. I’m starving. This will go much better on a full stomach. Prepare healthy salad for lunch. While eating delicious, healthy salad, watch last night’s TV. This is an efficient use of time because I can skip the commercials. It’s also considered RESEARCH because I can analyze dialogue.

  12:30 Hmm, it’s too hot to WRITE outside. Move it all inside. Ignore vacuum.

  1:00 Back in office, ready to WRITE.

  1:01 Email alert. Time to donate blood. Make appointment online. Hmm. Ponzi book black moment. Hero and heroine are donating blood. Bloodmobile blows up. They are the only survivors. RESEARCH phlebotomy.

  2:00 WRI—Oh, wait. RESEARCH Ponzi schemes. Food banks. Lawyers.

  4:00 Already?! Panic. READ and REVISE last chapter of manuscript. This will make that blank page easier to WRITE.

  5:10 Wow, that last chapter sucked. I’m the world’s worst writer. I need to go exercise. That will clear my mind, release endorphins, make it easier to WRITE.

  5:15 Go to gym. While working out on elliptical, read new book to RESEARCH market. Hero is Ponzi schemer who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Heroine is lawyer out to nail him. My idea!!! She stole my idea!!! Skip to end of book. No bloodmobile bomb, but the hero dies. Throw eReader across gym. Ooops.

  6:15 Back home. Order new eReader.

  6:20 Too tired and sweaty to WRITE. Fix dinner. Eat with family. NETWORK on Facebook. Figure today’s word count—62. (At lease I didn’t allow vacuum to seduce me away from writing.) Tweet about how hard it is to WRITE.

  9:00 Go to bed early so I will get up earlier tomorrow and WRITE more.

  Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Characters, birds, salads, books, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual salads, birds, or events is purely coincidental.

Samantha Ann King was born and raised in Houston,Texas. After receiving her BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University and marrying her high school crush (notice she didn’t say sweetheart), Samantha relinquished her “native Texan” status and moved to Baton Rouge where she taught aerobics and weightlifting. She has called Albuquerque, New Mexico home since 1985. The mother of three has volunteered in the community as an advocate for children’s issues ranging from education to healthcare. In 2010, as her nest started to empty, she began writing erotic romance. Thanks to her win in Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight Contest, Samantha signed her first publishing contract in 2011. Sharing Hailey was released by Carina Press in July 2012.

  Learn more about Samantha at www.SamanthaAnnKing.com.





Posted by: Emily Shaw on Jul 8 2012, 1:00 am in , , ,

Two years ago, a friend of mine gave me this purple coneflower for my **th birthday. I kept it in its original pot for a couple of months, but it didn’t seem to like it there. It wasn’t growing. Still, it was so small–only two leaves–I worried it wouldn’t survive if I planted it in my garden. Obviously, it hasn’t just grown but has thrived. It loves its new digs.

I was in a hole on that particular birthday – a really deep, dark hole. I’d spent twenty-odd years as a stay-at-home-mom. My son was in college, my daughter in high school, and I desperately needed to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. There was other stuff going on, but at the crux of it all,  I’d stopped growing. Worse, I was afraid of the changes I needed to make to restart that growth.

No, not just afraid. Terrified!

At the half century mark, I was contemplating what I wanted to be when I grew up. I kept coming back to writing. But even as I kept coming back to it, I kept rejecting it—as editors and agents had rejected me when my children were young and I’d taken pen to paper . . . or fingertips to keyboard. I knew how difficult the writing life was. I knew better writers than I who’d been working at it for twenty years and still hadn’t published. I knew the odds of selling were about as good as winning the lottery, and unfortunately, not nearly as lucrative.

Yes, I’m exaggerating the odds part, but that’s what writers do. Because as it turns out, I am a writer. I can’t not write. Letters, emails, opinion pieces, and stories. Every little thing I write, I pour my soul into. So one day two years ago, I made a deal with myself. If I sat down at the computer every day for five days a week and wrote, and if I did this for a whole year, I would acknowledge that I’m a writer. And maybe in a couple of years, I’d start submitting.

Things went fairly smoothly. In six months I had a novel. I entered it in a contest and started the next novel. That’s when the plan went off course and the changes got really scary. Because the editor who judged the contest wanted to publish my novel. Okay, back to terrifying. I didn’t know anything about the business. I’d been writing, not learning about publishers and contracts and marketing. And could I make the revisions the editor wanted? Could I complete another book? The second wasn’t going as smoothly as the first. I even considered not signing the contract. In my braver moments, I told myself that life was supposed to be like this. You challenge yourself. Deep breath. You meet that challenge. Deep breath. You move on to the next one.

Thanks to those deep breaths and some fabulous LERA members, I met those challenges and moved on to the next one. It’s still scary. Some days are great. Others, not so much. But like my coneflower, I’m not just growing. I’m thriving.

 Samantha Ann King’s debut novel, Sharing Hailey, will be released on July 9 by Carina Press. You can connect with Samantha on Facebook and Twitter.


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