Day in the Life of a Writer

540A Up. Centered. Sitting. Presence. Back hurts. Lay down. Stretch out. No use. Cat meowing.

610A Daughter’s alarm blares. Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” Loud. She does not get out of bed.

630A Open daughter’s door. I’m getting up, she says.

640A Make breakfast. Lunch. Help daughter get backpack together. Find missing sock. Eat bowl of cereal. See bus pass. Snow outside grey and lumpy.

730A Journaling project. Not real writing. Chastise self for not writing fiction. Continue in journal. Figure stuff out. Say goodbye to wife. She leaves for real job.

830A Leave for coffee with friend. Chat for about 45 minutes. Coffee shop gets noisy due to senior bus stopping. Everyone going to Foxwoods where they have, apparently, a killer buffet.

930A Drive to school to pick up the one thing I forgot to bring home the day before. Return home. Begin grading analytical essays. Grade them and grade them and grade them.

12Noon. Lunch for everyone! Father-in-law has late breakfast. Dog goes out, comes in. Check mail. Nothing. Nada. We still get mail delivery for what? Back to grading. Pause momentarily to worry about not writing some more. This lingers all day. No matter what else. An agent has agreed to look at next book when done. It is not done. Back to grading.

220P Daughter arrives home. Doesn’t feel good. Talk with her. Ask her about day. Forget about writing for a while. Totally and completely forget about analytical essays. Help daughter feed chameleon that she is watching for a neighbor. Notice how slowly it moves across the plastic leaves and how quickly its tongue darts out to snag a very tiny cricket. Back to grading. Daughter takes nap, surprisingly.

500p Make dinner. Mac and cheese comfort food for daughter. Fried brown rice, chicken, onion, old bay, peppers, peas, carrots, salt, shallot. Good stuff. Wife comes in only briefly. A crazy week. So much work. Eats, then out the door for another commitment.

700p Grade paper. Discover that one student has, almost certainly, either plagiarized a paper or taken a paper written for another class. It’s just too obvious. Grow frustrated. Could be using this time to write. Shake fist at sky. Write student long note explaining position and outlining possible actions. Hold off sending till tomorrow.

830p Hanging with daughter. Wife comes home. Fleeting seconds of talk in which the coming week is discussed. She has some time off. I’ll be at work, though. Try to find balance.

900P Back to grading after daughter is in bed. Three more papers and they are done.

1100P Finish papers and prep the next batch for tomorrow. Be grateful they are stories from the fiction class, not analytical essays. Think: I’ve challenged myself to blog something nearly every day. Wonder why fiction writing is impossible. Remind self that a good novel is brewing. Very good. With Zombies. Something new, risky. Think that these zombies will kick the crap out of Justin Cronin’s vampires. Plot future writer feud with Cronin. Think: he’s probably a nice guy, but he’s going down.

1148P Close computer. Get ready to soak in the tub for a few minutes. Wonder why back feels like a spike has been jammed through it. Then, sweet dreams.

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