Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day in The Life of CL Parker

Day in the Life is an author feature here on Ali's Bookshelf, its where I feature an author that shows us what their life is truly like.  So today, we have author CL Parker showcasing her day with us.  

A Day In The Life Of An Author

I thought this was a really important one because readers need to know what goes on behind the scenes to really appreciate the amount of work that goes into writing a book.

The first thing you should know is that I’m not in this for the money. I’m an entertainer by nature with a vivid imagination. Okay, so maybe I’m a little on the insane side. After all, non-existent people talk to me from a non-existent world, and then all these moving pictures flash through my mind. The ability to paint those pictures through words for others to see is apparently a big neon sign screaming for me to call myself an author. That’s what I’ve been told, anyway, so that’s what I do. Hey, I’m just relieved that I’m not actually schizophrenic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I work what “they” call a “real” job to bring home the bacon, and I’m now a single mother carrying the load of all the daily functionality of my family, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for writing. What it does do, however, is really pile on the stress. Because guess what? I have a contract and deadlines associated with that contract. *gasp* It’s cool, though; the tick I’ve developed is only a teeny tiny one, but I’m working on making it a full-blown spasm because my motto is the bigger, the better. Yeah, baby. *waggles brows* Just check out the descriptions of the men in my stories. But I digress.

To give you a better understanding of my life, let me bore you with the details of how my day goes. I wake up at five in the morning from Monday through Friday, get myself ready for work, and then wake my boys up to get them ready for school. Then I make lunches for everyone, sign off on daily charts, feed them breakfast, and then get them off to school. Sounds just like any other mother’s morning, right? (Oh, wait . . . I forgot to mention that I shower and brush my teeth. That’s an important detail. Wouldn’t want you to think I’m a skeez.)

Then, I take myself to work, where I am a retirement counselor (by phone) for eight hours a day. *cue cracking whip* Yes, ma’am . . . May I have another, please? After that, I pick up the kids and head home – do not pass go; do not collect $200. This is the part where I should prepare dinner, go over homework assignments, straighten the house, do the laundry, pay bills, etc., right? Wrong. What happens at my house is that I go straight home, ask my boys how their day was, cut them off mid-sentence, and hurriedly whip up whatever they want for dinner. Surprisingly, these are fairly healthy choices. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are healthy, right? Then, I plant myself behind yet another desk and yet another computer. You should know that I’m OCD like a mofo over my desk. Okay, so maybe not this week because it’s been a madhouse around here, but any other time it’s “a place for everything, and everything in its place.”

Once situated at my desk with a glass of iced tea (to chase the shots of Patron) and a pack of cigarettes (for those really hot scenes I lurv to write) – yes, I smoke; don’t judge me; I swear I’m going to quit someday – the real work can begin. Emails have to be checked and answered, because I’m in demand like that, and the whole world is going to come to an end if I don’t resolve whatever crisis developed since I checked my account from my phone just ten minutes before. Besides, maybe . . . just maybe, Jensen Ackles decided to send me nudie pictures of himself per my request. No, I’m not a stalker. Okay, maybe just a little.

Social networks have to be checked and responded to because my readers are the bomb-diggity and they deserve my undivided attention. I am being completely serious here. I adore my readers, and I dare anyone to ever say otherwise, ‘cause them’s fighting words and I can get downright scrappy if I have to.

Once that’s done, then I get to write. Whew! Long-winded, aren’t I?

Currently, I’m writing about eight thousand words a week, while trying my best to get the news out about my published work, attending scheduled signings and interviews, and trying like hell to still meet my deadline. Oh, and those “Mommy, I need . . .” moments are a’plenty as well, which is just perfect for those times when I’m in the writing groove. I’m absolutely being facetious here. There’s just nothing like writing, “He unbuttoned his pants and pulled out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” to really throw you out of the mood. Can I just say that I hate that song, It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time? Because I really, REALLY do. Great, now it’s stuck in my head again. *head-desk*

As for a social life? Hah! I have none. My family and friends have all but given up on me. They understand my hectic schedule though, and most times, they even call to remind me to eat. Yes, I forget to eat, which doesn’t quite explain why I have more curves than that road in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Ah, yes, I remember . . . I’m sitting on my bodacious booty for about twelve hours out of the day. Yep. That’ll do it. Well, at least it’s properly cushioned, and you know what they say, “More cushion for the pushin’.” *snort* Right, like that ever happens.

I know how this sounds, but trust me, I am NOT complaining. I love my life as an author. I’m just getting nekked and sharing my life with you, beautiful people. Ha! Now you’re not only humming It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time, but you’re also imagining me naked, aren’t you? You’re welcome.

But one might ask, “Shazbot, C.L.! Is it really worth it?” The answer to that is, yes! I really do believe it’s worth it. Why? Because I believe in my characters. Because I believe in the story they have to tell. Because I believe in the message behind that story. Because I love what I’m doing, and I don’t know how I would ever survive without doing it. For those few hours of writing time, I can forget all about the hustle and bustle of life, the mounting responsibilities, the heartache of the losses I’ve endured, and just live vicariously through a make-believe character’s eyes in a make-believe world.

Besides, if I don’t purge them from my system, they’re just going to sit there and fester until I’m strapped up and rocking back and forth in a padded cell. Now, we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Until next time . . . Have you hugged your author today?


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