Characters, Dating, and Bovine Jedi Training

The only time my daughter’s yappy and active body is blissfully silent and still:

I typically slice off three hours a day for myself.  I get up at 5 am and go for my morning jog or, should my teen stay elsewhere for the night and I’m stuck at home in the morning, I do a strength workout.  I brew my coffee, take a shower, and then meditate.  After that, I write until I have to wake my darling stinker at 7 am.  From there, we’re off.  Nonstop action until 9 or 9:30 pm when the chatterbox crashes.  By then, I’m exhausted, but I usually write nonetheless.  Unless Josh, my other chatterbox, is excited about a project or video game and wants to talk it out.  My motto:  Kids first.  The story will always be hanging around, but my kids will not.

My morning writing session differs significantly from my night session.  I am far more prolific after dreaming the night away and revving up my system with chunk of exercise and some java.  I pluck away at bits of visions from my dreams and jot them into my “random” file, which has come in handy numerous times.  On a good day, I can knock out around 1000-1200 words in that morning hour. The day is bright and full of potential.  

Then the day goes on…

And night arrives…

And I am beat.

My night writing session is far more loosely structured.  I’m not concerned about plot.  I’m not thinking about what the reader wants to see on the page or what I want to divulge.  I let the characters do the talking because I am in no shape to complete serious writing.  I am nearly brain dead.

I let the characters out to play and they supply fine material for the novel.  I have to supervise their “playground activity” because they can be a rowdy bunch.  One time I failed to monitor their shenanigans, and they coaxed Sigmund through one of the chalkboard doors, telling him that the bovines on the flip side were prepared for their Jedi training.  Siggi believed this was his great opportunity, but all the poor bull did was lead a group of cows down Hafen Lane.  However, now he believes he has a mission on the flip side.  I have to keep a close eye because his “training” frequently ends up in the police blotter:

  • Traffic Problem 9/13/11:  Large group of cows on public road
  • Animal Complaint: 10/17/11:  Black cow with horns on the road way.
  • Traffic problem: 10/21/11:  Report of a live cow on the freeway.

There are dozens of instances.  He is a persistent bugger.

In my world, day is for work and night is for play, in both my real life and my writing life.  Unfortunately, my playtime generally consists of chatting with characters, not mingling with the males of my species.  Priorities, I suppose.  Thus far, my characters have proven far more trustworthy, dependable, and interesting.  I’m sure there are many people out there who feel the same way.  Sometimes you have to be careful not to lock yourself away with your lively characters so that you avoid the possibility of falling into yet another bad romance.  I know I’ve been guilty of it.  Funny thing about those failed relationships: they lend plenty of writing material.

I’ve felt a shift in the atmosphere though, so maybe there’s some change heading my way in my writing life and my (lack of) love life.  We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep clicking on…


8 thoughts on “Characters, Dating, and Bovine Jedi Training

  1. I’m very similar to you Michelle. I get up early too and feel refreshed after a few hours sleep. I feel motivated!

    The main difference is I haven’t yet structured a working system for my writing. Sometimes I write in the mornings and sometimes at night (evening). I need to sort this out…for my own sanity. I ‘like’ structure 🙂

    As for the romance bit, I too am single…and am in no hurry to find someone who can fill the empty hole that exists. For it does exist, but I am quite comfortable with the way things are currently.

    Fictitiously I will ask however, will you join me for dinner one day? 🙂

    Kind regards…Torbs (sometimes known as Slapppshot)


    1. When it was just me and the teen at home, I was prolific at night. My ability to focus during the evening hours diminished after Maya came along. After she goes to bed, my mind wanders. I can’t seem to keep my thoughts from tumbling into the gutter. Pathetic.


  2. “My motto: Kids first. The story will always be hanging around, but my kids will not.”

    Nice motto, I really respect your thoughts and the fact that you get up at 5 (!!!) just to be able to be there for the full 100% for your kids.


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