Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Day in the Life by A.M.Westerling

When I first saw the title for this month’s post, the first thing that came to mind was The Beatles’ song, A Day in the Life *, from the album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
 Yes, yes and yes.
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,  Yes and yes
And looking up I noticed I was late. No. I’m happily retired and too busy to work, thank you very much!

Found my coat and grabbed my hat No and no
Made the bus in seconds flat No
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke, No and no
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream. Yes. I am a writer, after all and inspiration strikes me at the weirdest times. Which is why I always carry a little notebook and pen with me.

Anyway, the first three lines fit my life perfectly, because that’s how I start every morning, I don’t do anything until I’ve had my coffee and toast (I make the toast, my sweetie is the beverage boy as his coffee is way superior to mine!) and read the newspapers. We have three delivered every morning which always leads to a lively discussion. After that, I’m ready to start the rest of my day.

Mondays and Wednesdays, I go to the gym at lunch for spin/yoga/weight group classes, otherwise I will go for a brisk walk in the morning, 2 km or more. Then it’s time to get on with the business of writing. Almost every day, I start with the writing related activities, ie, posts on Facebook and Twitter, updating my website, blog posts, checking emails, etc. etc. That can take up to an hour.

I don’t write every day but if I’m in the middle of a project, I’ll spend at least three days a week at the keyboard after I’m finished with the social media stuff. My daily word count is 1000 words so I’ll write for however long it takes me to reach that. Usually it’s 2 -3 hours and it can be any time of the day, especially the evenings when my husband is out and I have the house to myself.

On days I’m not writing, it’s the usual things we all have to do – laundry, house cleaning, paying bills, running errands. Or you’ll find me out in my garden. 

I really enjoy geraniums and I've discovered if you keep them overwinter, they become the size of small bushes. (Left)

(Right) Hostas in my shade garden. I love the foliage although they can take a bit of a hit during a hail storm. I've been known to run out with sheets to cover them up!

 I also enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes although I will admit I have my favorites and they seem to pop up on the menu frequently. We’re on a bit of a Greek kick right now so lots of Greek salad, youvarlarkia, keftedes, souvlaki and tzatsiki sauce. My favorite recipe for Greek Salad is from Diane Clement's Chef on the Run, Copyright 1982, Sunflower Publications Ltd. 

In the evenings, we’ll either do a bit of shopping or relax with a movie or whatever series that has caught our fancy on Netflix or Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. I adore costume dramas and currently we’re powering our way through Agatha Christie’s Poirot. 

*Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
A Day in the Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Day in the Life by Katherine Pym

 Due to be released July 1, 2017

Being an author is hard work. Alone work. One sits for hours and transfers their thoughts to paper or the computer. (Don’t forget to save that! Or, don’t let the paper fall to the floor where the dog finds something new to maul.)

Me, if I lived in London during the 17th century

As a result, health problems arise. Stiff neck, sore back. I have to force myself to get up and walk around, return from the 17th century and look out the window. Go back into my office where the washer and dryer are. Bend over. Try not to gasp when my back twinges. 

While my head’s down at my knees, I think of the main character in Romancing the Stone

There’s a pile of laundry at my feet that would rival Mount Rainier. Husband says all he can find are mismatched socks and there are no boxers in his underwear drawer. He’s been wearing the same pair of jeans for a week. The toilet paper is close to the cardboard roll. Should probably change the towels in the bathroom, do the dishes, pick up doggie toys from the floor. Then I hear the garbage truck rolling down the street. Did we put the tubs to the curb? 

The dunking of a scold. Hope she doesn't drown!
I would like to write a parallel universe story, but then I think: I’m living it, now. For hours, I’m in London’s past. Only a jolt of reality swoops me back to the present but here, it’s cold and raining whereas back in the past, the skies were bright with a lovely summer sun filtering through coal smog. 

Blinking, I again see chores to do. But then, I consider doing them equivalent to moving about. Exercise. After all, they say ‘sitting’ is the new smoking. I must keep my body in working order to disappear into the past. Don’t want to turn into stone, with only my eyes moving in the rock face, as if another head – mine – has popped up on Mount Rushmore. 

I let the dog out and follow her since the rain has stopped for a moment. I breathe in the fresh air, so unlike London in the past. The pup runs back to where I stand, her eyes bright. “I’ve done what I needed to do. It’s cold out here.” 

So I let her back in and find my way back to the computer. The laundry is still piled on the floor and the dishes are still in the sink. I sit down to my parallel life in 17th century London. 

Maybe, I should write a story about the Duchess of Newcastle and her book, the first science-fiction novel ever written, and by a woman, no less. Then, I dismiss the duchess and place my fingers on the keyboard. Soon, I'm lost in 17th century, walking over uneven paving stones or cracked cobbles. Someone in the distance cries, "Sweet tobacco for sale. Fresh from the West Indies. Will keep thee safe from plague and the clap..."

Many thanks to Wikicommons, Public Domain for the pictures.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Day in the Glamorous Life of a Writer by Diane Scott Lewis


Due out in 2018

Here's my typical day. I wake up around seven in the morning, crawl out, stretch and grumble, then hurry to my computer while my personal Barista (a.k.a. my husband) brings me my first cup of coffee. Nirvana!

I go through my millions of emails, most trying to sell me something because I might have purchased an item in the slight ballpark of this item. Especially, it’s books that are pushed in my direction, usually from famous authors already making too much money, so they don't need my help.


I critique in my stellar critique groups, (and I appreciate them dearly) and add their critiques to my current WIP. Many give me contradictory suggestions, leaving me so confused—I need another cup of coffee.

 My husband pokes in his head and discusses whether I’m ever going to get out of my pajamas.

 I write on, rush through breakfast, just a protein bar sometimes, since I’m deep in New Brunswick history and don’t wish to leave. I also need to exercise before eating anything, but that’s another story.

 Heading to the kitchen for coffee number three (how dare my Barista have a life of his own) I disparage the dust on my furniture and wish I could afford a maid. When will they invent a self-cleaning house?

The dog stares up at me with pleading eyes, and I call to someone-anyone-to take him out.

Back at my computer I surf the web for info on the many cultures that make up New Brunswick. How do I pack these details in without overwhelming the reader? I love my research!

I email with friends, (some I've actually met face-to-face) fellow writers, discussing POV, history, the state of the world. On Facebook I write about how cute my granddaughters are.

It’s afternoon by now and I should eat lunch…and get dressed. On a good day, I manage to do both.

I also write blogs. While trying to add graphics to this one, my computer tells me I don't have the authority to copy the graphics, and to ask the administrator. Clue to computer, I AM the administrator. And I've done this many times before. I Google how to fix the problem; sounds way too complicated and something mechanical might blow up. I'll call the Geeks in the morning. If you see no other graphics: computer won, Diane still scratching her head.
Update: Geeks can't remotely fix the problem. I have to drop my computer off at the far faraway store where they will hoard it for days. How will I survive?
The later afternoons are reserved for reading, either research or books for review. Okay, I admit to watching my DVR’d episodes of Law and Order SVU, or anything on PBS.

 If no one is around, I really have to let out the dog.

 Now, mind you, this is a perfect day. On non-perfect days I have to go to doctors’ appointments, renew my driver’s license, pick up drugs at CVS, take the beleaguered dog to the vet, and so on.

 Oh, yes, and give my wonderful husband attention. I’ll make sure he reads this.

I find out from the Geeks that I have to download a new graphics program, mine is too ancient. We'll see if that works on future blogs.

 My chef (who also looks suspiciously like my Husband) serves dinner. He's retired and loves to cook.
As night closes in, with a glass of wine, or two, on my dust-covered side table, I think of all the things I need to add to my story the next morning. I'll never get to sleep. The writer’s mind never rests.

For more information on Diane Scott Lewis' books, visit her BWL Author Page.
Or her website:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Day in the Life of Kathy Fischer-Brown

photo © Janice Lang
I suppose I take after my father. He was a “night owl,” even when he owned a printing business and spent long days in the car visiting clients and providing personalized service throughout the tristate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area, often getting home well past the time my sisters and I were in bed. Long past midnight, Id lie in a haze of semi-consciousness, the sounds from his state-of-art stereo system drifting through the silence of the house as he unwound from his torturous commute. Strains of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Haydn often lulled me back to sleep. Even after he retired, you could find him in the wee hours at his computer, designing posters and greeting cards, or sitting in his recliner dozing off to his favorite music, an open book in his lap.

Maybe it’s in my DNA. I can’t get to bed at what most people consider a “reasonable hour,” and for the past few years I’ve even stopped resetting the clock in my office and work year round on Daylight Saving Time to get that extra hour in :-) I’m most productive and often do my best writing at night. My brain is just hardwired that way and has been since I was teen. Even then, I’d sit in my bed, pen and notebook at the ready, scribbling stories and crummy poems well into the early A.M.

These days, long since my kids have grown and my life is no longer ruled by an alarm clock and a nine-to-five job, I find myself sitting here late at night. Sometimes it has nothing to do with my muse and everything to do with aches and pains that (so far) nothing can relieve. So, instead of tossing and turning and keeping my husband awake, I research online for whatever I’m working on at the moment, or I read…or force myself to write until the pain subsides.

Aimee, aka Munch
A usual day for me starts when most people have already put in a few good hours at their jobs. I don’t caffeinate, but I do like to begin my day with a small pot of decaf coffee (which my husband thoughtfully leaves ready to switch on), a half a bagel, or a cup of yogurt and fresh berries; sometimes, in winter especially, I’ll have a cup of homemade soup or slice of a frittata I’d made the night before. This, while I catch up on the news online, check my email and Facebook. Then I let out one dog into the yard (protected by an invisible fence, or as my grandson calls it, the “magic fence”), and walk the other, our 17-year old, blind cairn terrier, around the block. When I get Aimee re-situated after she’s done her business and we’ve visited her neighborhood friends, I’ll play ball with Evie (our almost 7-year old mutant springer spaniel) until either her tongue is hanging out, or mine is after shlepping around the yard for the tennis balls she refuses to retrieve.

From that point, I usually have a few solid hours to work. Writing, editing, doing research, drinking lots of water. Often Evie gets needy, and she’ll whine or whistle at me, and I’ll have to drop what I’m doing to toss a few more balls and fetch them for her. My husband, a recently retired teacher, keeps himself busy substitute teaching a few days a week at one of the local elementary schools. When he’s home, he’ll take care of the pooches and even do the grocery shopping, which used to be my late afternoon job…that and getting supper prepared. Sometimes he does that as well, giving me more time to do what I do, especially when it’s difficult to stop in the middle of something.

After supper, my husband and I usually watch something together on TV. “Nova” or “Nature,” a few innings of a Yankees baseball game, or a show we’ve DVR’d. Then it’s off to bed for him, and back to work for me.

Evie, aka Evila Monster
I’ll write, edit, read, or research until around 10:30. Then it’s time to take Evie out for “last whiz.” (Aimee is cared for by my daughter and her boyfriend in the evenings and early mornings.) For about an hour or so after that I’ll try to complete the NY Times Crossword puzzle (which I do online), read some news (if I can bear it), some sports news (ditto), check email and Facebook. Then then it’s back to what I was working on until around 2:00-or so. 

Sometimes, when I’m on a roll and my muse is inspired, I’ll lose track of time. Before my husband retired, it was not unusual to pass him in the hallway as he began his day and I ended mine.


Kathy Fischer Brown is a BWL author of historical novels, Winter Fire, Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Courting the DevilThe Partisan’s Wife, and The Return of Tachlanad, her latest release, an epic fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers. Where the River Narrows, a BWL Canadian Historical Brides book about Loyalist refugees in Quebec (with BWL author Ronald Ady Crouch), will be published in July 2018. 

Check out Kathys Books We Love Author page or visit her website. All BWL books are available in e-book and in paperback from Amazon, Kobo, and other online retailers.