In case you’re wondering.
1. Write thrillers. This involves: thinking up ideas. Outlining. Throwing away outlines 1, 2, 3, and 4. Spewing out a rough draft. Attacking that draft with a flamethrower. Putting lipstick on the charred remains of the rough draft. Throwing water on the still-smoking draft to revive it. Rewriting that draft. Revising the rewrite. Tweaking the revision. Reviewing editor’s and copy editor’s remarks. Addressing requests for further changes. Proofreading the typeset galleys of the novel.
2. Work with my publisher to get the word out about the novels I have written. Guest-blog, write articles, tweet, update my website, attend conferences and conventions and give talks at libraries and bookstores.
3. Read: the International Herald Tribune, the Guardian online, blogs on current events, politics, and publishing. Then random articles I find intriguing and possible fuel for plot strands in thrillers — from Scientific American, the Economist, and the Kitsap Sun.
4. Check in on smaller projects: an article on thriller writing for the upcoming Arvon Book of Crime Writing, an essay for an anthology on books to die for, and a short story.
5. Apologize to the Husband for acting put-upon about having to dig out the business receipts I left crumpled in the bottom of my backpack — when he is in fact being a mensch and helping me put together my tax return. I do realize that if it weren’t for his help and organizational skills, I would be living in a storm drain with a bunch of stray cats, storing my belongings in a rusty shopping cart.
6. Work on recovering from a partially torn Achilles tendon — an injury I suffered while attempting to win an epic game of kick the can against my children, siblings, and small nieces and nephews. My son says, “Mom, something’s wrong with our family. We’re way too competitive.” To which I reply: “Yeah, and I win.”
7. Listen to the Husband’s latest suggestion for a blog post: the impending solar storm. Should I mention that (a) he thinks it will be funny if I warn people that birth control doesn’t work during coronal mass ejections, and (b) he’s up on the roof stripping the lead from the gutters, so he can fashion himself a pair of cosmic ray-proof boxers?
8. Stare at the walls, ceiling, and out the window, trying to figure out what fresh hell I can put characters through in my next book.
What a life.