Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Guest Post: A Day in the Life of an Author

Karen Lenfestey, a Midwest Writer’s Fellowship winner, enjoys reading and writing women’s fiction. Her novel, “A Sister’s Promise,” sold over 25,000 copies and her second novel, “What Happiness Looks Like,” has recently been published. Both are available for e-readers and in paperback at amazon.com. You can read excerpts and enter to win a free novel at www.karensnovels.com

Between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. my meowing cat and my singing seven-year--old daughter wake me up. I rub my eyes and wonder how I could’ve given birth to a morning person. My daughter and I eat breakfast together before she catches the school bus. Then I drink some French vanilla coffee and try to get my brain to start making connections.

No, this mansion is not my home (although I wish!). Since my critique group meets today, I need to get on the computer and write as much as I can in the morning. I refer to photographs of a friend’s Spanish-style house as I write because it’s the inspiration for the fixer-upper in my next novel, “On The Verge.”

I get lost in my writing and forget to eat lunch. I grab something quick and head to the library where my critique group, Scribes, meets.

12:30-2:30 p.m. At Scribes two or three people have the opportunity to read for twenty minutes. Then we go around the table and we offer something that we liked and something that could be improved. Attendance varies from five to twenty people. Finding the right critique group is tough and I feel like I’ve grown as a writer because of their comments. I’m also a big fan of the on-line critique group www.internetwritingworkshop.org

3:00-5:00 p.m. I drive straight from Scribes to my daughter’s school, where I wait for the final bell to ring at 3:30. During my down time, I alternate between reading a Claire Cook novel and working on my story. My daughter snacks on a banana and granola bar as we make our way to the north side of the city for tutoring. Since my daughter is dyslexic, she sees a tutor trained in the Orton-Gillingham method. She has made a great deal of improvement in her reading skills, but I worry that she might not ever enjoy curling up with a novel the way I do.

5:30-8:30 p.m. Recently I’ve convinced my husband that writing is a real job and so he now takes his turn cooking dinner. He makes a mean pot of chili (his secret ingredient is Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce). At this point I consider going to the gym to work-out. I know I should, but. . . . It usually doesn’t happen on Wednesdays. I do enjoy doing Zumba several times a week. Like most women, I’m always battling a few extra pounds.

8:30 p.m. My daughter and I list our daily “thankfuls” before she goes to sleep. (She’s thankful for her stuffed animals and I’m thankful it’s bedtime). I check my e-mails before watching TV with my husband. Much of the time I’m thinking about my story and jotting down ideas on scraps of paper. I will incorporate them tomorrow when I’ll be at the computer all day. Tomorrow will be one of those days I won’t even set foot outside my house. Except, of course, to go work-out.

You can enter to win a copy of “What Happiness Looks Like” at www.karensnovels.com.

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