Back When I was dreaming of being a writer (all my life) I imagined. And My imagination can really roll out a good one, it could have looked different. As a little girl my favorite book that I asked Mom to read over and over and over was Four Little Kittens. In the book the Mother cat who 'half-closed her green eyes' sat up and told the kittens exactly what kind of cats there were. A Ship Cat, An Alley Cat, A Farm Cat - and much later in the story after many hijinks we found out that the forth little kitten was really a House Cat. Well, I really, really am a Writer Cat Since I spent a lot of time in my room writing stories and daydreaming, time at the beach on a blanket getting sun and further daydreaming, time hunched over the typewriter keys (oh, yes, I SAID typewriter) and daydreaming. I had plenty of time to imagine what the sexy, sassy, lifestyle of a real writer would look like.
The way it Could Have Been . . .
8:00 -9:00 Wake up in Milan, Paris, Cairo - stretch and open to the door to room service which has delivered strong, fresh, pressed coffee and crepes.
9:00 - Stare off the beautiful balcony of said foreign city into infinity gathering the inspiration of the ages from the smells and sounds and open vistas
At Some Point - Write beautiful words of inspiration that move the souls of readers everywhere to cry and laugh and exclaim yes! yes! this is it~ (Whatever their 'it' may be)
Evening - Have a lovely dinner out with locals and writer friends also living and traveling on foreign shores and lands and experiencing the good life
And later that Night - Walk casually back to great old, hotel in the heart of the city.
True Nightynite - Order a nap cap and massage from room service
In the wee hours - read until the book hits me in the head
The Way It Really Is . .
6:00 Wake up with cat meowing in my face
6:30 - Stumble to coffee maker with strong, cheap coffee
7:00 - Let out the Big Dog
7:03 - Let in the Big Dog
7:30 - Clean Up Hair Balls
7:40 - Try to settle into a little Prayer Time. Prayer is good. I like prayer.
7:45 - Walk Big Dog
8:30ish - Answer emails
9:00 - Stare at list of unfinished projects
10:00 - still staring - think about working on Novel
11:00 - Stare at pile of dirty laundry - think about doing laundry
11:05 - Read Facebook posts from friends - post 3 comments
12:00 - realize it's lunch and I should take a break
12:05 - find can of Tuna from the road
1:00 - Think about novel while having press meetings on phone
2:00 - Look schedule for the year
2:15 - Feel like I am forgetting something - IMPORTANT (LIke, should I be out of town?)
2:30 - Talk to Shellie about strange and wonderous ways to increase Book Sales
3:00 - Think about writing novel while returning emails
4:00 - Finally put on a load of laundry and clear dishes
5:00 - Wonder why room service hasn't delivered dinner
5:05 - Oh yeah, realize room service isn't coming
5:15 - Take something out to thaw
5:30 - Realize food is frozen solid - which reminds me of novel
5:35 - Order take out from Mexican Restaurant
5:40 - Let out Big Dog
6:00 - Drive to pick up food with Big Dog
6:30 - Answer emails
7:00 - Talk to sister on the phone
8:00 - Get out laptop to work on novel
8:05 - Let out Big Dog
8:08 - Let in Big Dog
8:15 - Watch PBS Special on National Parks (and then turn channel to watch 4 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle reruns
10:00 - Let out Big Dog for Last Bark
10:10 - Let in Big Dog
10:15 - Clean cat pan
10:30 - Read until the book hits me in the head
Obviously, at some point I have written a few words down. I've completed four novels, a small collection of essays and this wonderful collection of what I actually consider other peoples stories in Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit. The fact is that my real writer's life is so different than I would have imagined back in elementary, middle, or high school that I don't know how I've managed to write a single word down. Ever. (Except for the blessed friends who have tossed me keys to remote rooms, houses, and cabins over the years and said - stay - Write!)
The glamour of my life is missing. No matter what the smoke screen of the website may look like on any given day. I'm trying to remember if I Paid the 'light bill' as we are hit by a power outage and I immediately think it's my fault. At some point I juggle producing and hosting Clearstory Radio and getting to talk to so many of my author friends on the air. Somehow, they are managing to write, eat, walk, talk and chew gum all at the same time. Me - not so much.
I'm still staring off into space. (Is that the middle distance I see?) and thinking about that novel in the works and how many words behind I am. The City of Truth it is called. And someday in spite of the odds, the business, the money (or the lack thereof), and in spite of mostly myself - I will write every, blessed word of that story. In the real world.
(Formerly posted at, A Good Blog is Hard to Find which has currently gone underground.)
River Jordan is a real writer in the real world whose imagination can take her to far away places where room service never ends and the hotel bookstore is always open.