A Day in the Life, 2012

Last year I shared a Day in the Life post.  The dynamic of my work day changes a bit with my son here.  He arrived in January and I took that month off from writing.  He is here until early July this year, when his father will pick him up for the rest of the summer and early fall.  Then he comes back around mid-October to spend the holidays with us. 

Next year will be a tad chaotic, since we PCS back to the U.S. once and for all, but I'm the kind of person who plans in advance, while still leaving myself open to the need to be flexible. 

For the rest of spring and early summer, my days look like this:

6 a.m. Hubby's alarm goes off (on weekends, I still manage to wake up at this time without his alarm).  Groggily reach over to bedside table for thermometer.  Take temperature.  Commit number to memory.  Go back to sleep.

7:30 a.m.  Wake up.  Eat breakfast.  Chart my temperature.  Check email, Facebook, blogs, forums, and open TweetDeck for the day.  Let the caique out of his cage for the morning.  Soothe plaintive kitty mews with pettings (our cats are not allowed in our bedroom at night, because my feline-loving husband is allergic).

9:00 a.m.  Get dressed and let the homeschooling begin: math, science, history, grammar, spelling, writing, literature, nature study, art, music, and French!  I don't teach every single subject every day of the week.  We have a schedule of roughly 6 subjects each day, and Friday.  I think the subject I enjoy teaching most is science - especially evolution, biology and earth science.  It's so hands-on.

11:00 a.m.  Do dishes, clean (I created a chore schedule - makes life so much easier), and prepare lunches for everybody - caique, cats, and humans.  I allow my son to play on my computer for one hour.  Of course, he's a normal 9-year-old who wants to get into games like TF2 and Left 4 Dead 2.  Some parents allow their children to play games geared toward teenagers and adults, but we do not.  He's permitted to play Minecraft and anything rated E and E10+. 

If it's a Thursday, we have a homeschool meet-up every other week.  If it's a Wednesday on the alternating week, we go bowling.  :)

12:30 p.m.  Run errands twice a week, or work out and shower.  We're a one-car family now, so I walk everywhere.  There are some mornings where I've managed to get something writing-related done, but I don't stress about it.  Mornings are fairly relaxed.

2:00 p.m. Let the caique out of his cage.  Settle in to write, edit, beta-read, proofread - whatever needs to get done.  I have a list of goals for the year, and I also handle things as they come to my email. 

3:00 p.m. Send my son outside to play with his friends in the neighborhood or at the Youth Center on base. 

5:30 p.m.  Put the caique back in his cage.  Make dinner.  After 3 1/2 hours of writing or reading, I'm definitely ready for a break.  However, my husband loves to cook, so I only make dinner about 50% of the time each week, which is pretty cool.

6:30 p.m.  Wash dishes while my son calls his father.

7:00 p.m.  Let the caique out of his cage for about an hour.  Back to writing or, if I met my goal for the day, I indulge in some Minecraft. 

9:00 p.m.  Put my son to bed.  Again, my husband handles this 50% of the time, so there are some nights when I get to just stay at my laptop and keep working or playing.

10:00 p.m.  Get ready for bed with my husband, and play our nightly Rummy game.  Our score is in the thousands.  After a game or two, we read for about a half-hour or so.

11:00 p.m.  Lights out.  Close my eyes, relax and get ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Saturdays are devoted to food shopping and D&D.  Sundays are quite lazy, and that's when I tend to focus on genealogical research.

Of course, this isn't a perfect schedule of how our days go.  It's just a very basic idea of what life is like here.  It feels like a pretty healthy balance of family, taking care of myself (getting my exercise and eating well are important to me), having fun, and doing the work I love.

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Balancing Family & Writing

Writing is my work.  It is my career.  I am serious about it and disciplined about it.

I look for a good balance in my life - work and fun.  Unfortunately, we just found out today that my father has cancer.  I'm not quite sure how that will impact my day, if at all.

There are too many unknowns at the moment and the odds of me going home are fairly slim, unless it becomes an absolute necessity.

It was a really rough day, with one loss and then this news.  My husband did try to cheer me up by taking me to the base shoppette.  A shoppette may not sound very exciting, but I gasped, not once, but twice at the book section.  Both Everneath and Born Wicked were there.  He felt I deserved both after my awful day.

For now, all I can do is move forward with my daily routine. 

Admittedly, we are not optimistic about my father's chances.  It's a really long story, but I'll sum it up like this: alcoholic for 40 years (and still drinking heavily), one near-miss in 2008 when his lower colon was removed, and now this. 

When people hear that my dad is so far gone with his alcoholism, they often say, "You turned out so well", as if that's an incredible accomplishment.  I have no idea if it is an accomplishment.  I just know what I want in life: to be healthy in all respects and to do what I love.

I debated sharing something so personal on this blog, which is meant to be a place to talk about writing and books.  It's meant to be a balance (there's that word again) of the professional and the fun.

But the truth is I have a personal life as well.  Writing is but one aspect of that - the aspect about which I am most passionate, after my husband, son and family.

Moving forward with my daily routine - it's all I can do right now until we have more news.  However, if things get quiet here, you will understand what is happening.  If I must go back home to the states for any reason, I will certainly share that.

So there's the messy truth of it.  I have a busy and, at the moment, complex personal life, of which writing is a huge part.  To be quite candid, I am very devoted to my daily routine, which includes writing.  It's a discipline for me.  (I really should have taken up a martial art at some point in my life - I would have done quite well with it.)

The family is there too.  They come first.  The writing is a very close second.

So what I want to do is maintain a healthy balance between the both of them, not waste time worrying about things I cannot control, but make sure the issues pertaining to my father receive the time and energy that they deserve.

I'll take it one day at a time.

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Confessions & Nightmares

So all of you have heard about The Hunger Games, right?   Oh yes, I heard about it at some point last year.  I just thought it was a reality TV show about cooking, like - um - The Iron Chef (do I have that right?) or something like that.  No, I don't watch much television.  >.<

Well, there's my confession.

I've also had two nights of book-related nightmares.  It must be the full moon (aaawooo!), because I don't generally have bad dreams.  Weird dreams?  Yes.  Bad dreams?  No.

The night before last, I dreamed that one of my dream publishers put out the book I am currently querying/submitting, but they had a popular paranormal romance author practically rewrite it.  It still had my title and name, but the characters' names were changed, and the plot was modernized and made "hotter".  In the dream, I couldn't decide if I should tear it in half, burn it or save it as evidence for a civil suit.  Heh.

Last night I dreamed that Heart & Fire was released early (*before* it was edited), and that it received dozens of scathing reviews.

Hmm.  Maybe I need to cut down on the Sweet Tarts before bed.

Any random, odd, weird thing you would like to share today?

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

What I'm Reading, March 2

I'm reading Switched by Amanda Hocking.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for a story with a main character named "Wendy".  ;)

When it was released, I checked the BX constantly - day after day to see if they would sell it.  Finally, I gave up and purchased it from Amazon.

And guess what I saw only a week after receiving it in the mail?  Yeah.  Switched in the BX bookstore on base.  Yeesh.  Now what are the odds they'll carry the next two Trylle novels, or the recently-released Fever by Lauren DeStefano?  I haven't ordered it.


What are you reading?

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan