Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Transition

Today is not only launch day for Falling for Love. It also begins the third week of what I'm calling the "new life," or life as a full-time author with no day job, and I've got a few observations from the trenches. First, even though I've worked from home for thirteen years on the day job, I'm not doing the same job, so it's different. I didn't expect anything to be different, but when you think about it, of course it's different. For one thing, I don't have 27 coworkers to interact with anymore, which cuts the daily email total WAY down, from 300 to about 100 a day. I don't have any of those 27 coworkers or the thousands of members we worked for checking in, asking for help with various things, deadlines, publications to produce or a quarterly magazine requiring my attention. Rather, I have a website and books and readers and Facebook and Twitter and this blog to manage, and none of those things are as demanding as the job was. Each of those things is FUN! And this is WORK??? Pinch me, please!

I've talked to a few people about this odd transition stage I find myself in, and every one of them has said and done the same thing. First, they laugh at me, and then they remind me it's only day 17 since the "big change." I've decided I'm in "adjustment mode," and eventually I'll get used to my new routine. Even though I "work" all day, I'm doing something I love so much it never, ever feels like work. During these transition weeks, we've been having some work done on our house. Paint that requires everything off the walls and carpet that requires everything out of rooms, all of which equals chaos around me for weeks now, which is NOT conducive to creativity. This is stuff we've needed to do for a while now, but I just didn't have the mental capacity to manage home projects on top of two full-time jobs and two teenagers.

I've also been aiming to get to the gym more often, and at times other than lunchtime, which is when I went when I was "working"—for someone else, that is. Finally, I've been dealing with some business matters that require my full attention. Is it any wonder that I don't feel like I'm writing enough? LOL!

Without the big busy job framing my days, I've decided I need some sort of accountability system to prove that I'm actually getting stuff done and started keeping a log of what went on in a given day. The more I thought about that, the more I realized it would be fun to share the log here on the blog (that rhymes!) So here is what I've got so far. I'll share the future updates here as we go forward into "new life."

Jan. 8
Fun book club meeting at the home of Karen Medeiros, a reader friend I've gotten to know through email and Facebook. When I got home, after being gone five hours (including driving time), I asked my husband if I was allowed to take a half day that week since I "worked" on Sunday. Did I mention how much FUN the book club meeting was and how GREAT Karen, her friends and family were? Sure, this is work. Uh huh! They read Georgia on My Mind and really seemed to love it. What I loved about the group was that most of the 15 or so women there said Georgia was their first romance novel. A couple of them said they were now hooked and would never read anything else again. LOVED that I flipped them! :-)

Jan. 9
Today would've been my mom's 75th birthday and my 16th anniversary at the day job. I always thought it was cool that my work anniversary was my mom's birthday, especially after she died in 2004. I like to think she'd be proud of me and what I'm doing now. She fostered my love of reading, and I have no doubt that she's the reason why I became a romance writer since she was the first to put a Danielle Steel novel in my hand when I was a teenager. I was hooked. I did another book club meeting via Skype today, with reader friend Karen Lawson and her friends in Ohio. They read Love at First Flight for their meeting.

Jan. 10–11
Interviewed a couple of candidates to figure out who will be my new editor for the Fatal Series at Carina Press. It was fun to talk about the series and my plans for Sam, Nick and the gang and try to get a handle on who would be the best editor to help me take the series forward. I made a choice I feel good about, and I'm looking forward to working with my new editor when I hand in book 5, Fatal Attack, later this year.
Wrote 2,100 words on Fatal Attack
Wrote 2,000 words on Hoping for Love
Formatted Falling for Love and reposted the new cover
Went to the gym

Jan. 12
The basement carpet was installed today, so the house is still upside down, which makes productivity difficult. However, it was a dark, stormy, rainy day—my favorite kind of writing day.  Wrote 2,000 words on Hoping for Love.

Jan. 13
Wrote 1,300 words on Hoping for Love
 Promoted The Fall as a freebie
Went to the gym
 Went to Apple store in Providence to return defective laptop cord, buy a backup hard drive and get my daughter's iPhone fixed. Shocker—the phone can't be fixed and had to be replaced. While we were there, the guy waiting on us tried to convince us that Apple screens aren't fragile. Um, okay. WHATEVER! Why does everyone I know have a broken screen on one of their Apple devices? Despite the screen issue, I'm a huge fan of all things Apple.
Went to dinner for the last time at my favorite restaurant in Newport, which shut down Saturday night after 60 years in business. Sadness.

Jan. 14
Worked on the website
Wrote 2,000 words on Hoping for Love
Drove the boy to hockey, went to his basketball game and hosted a small party to watch the New England Patriot's game. Tom Brandy was UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE against the Broncos. Tim who? :-)

Jan. 15
Worked on the website all damned day. Every time I thought I was done, I discovered another disaster that needed to be attended to. It's like a sink hole! Watched the Golden Globes, which I thought were unusually dull this year. Watching George Clooney ham it up all night was a highlight. He is so damned dreamy!

Jan. 16
Continued to work on the sink hole website. Wrote some more on Hoping for Love, but didn't count the words. Enjoying Evan and Grace's story so far! Did some story brainstorming with my friend Ronlyn who had some great ideas for ways that I can torture poor Evan. LOL!

Jan. 17
Launch day for Falling for Love! Lots of Facebooking, Tweeting and interacting with readers. SO much fun and such a great first day for the latest McCarthy story! Wrote a couple thousand on Hoping for Love, the next McCarthy book, bringing the word count to 30,000 as of today. I usually aim for 65-70K on the McCarthy books, so that brings us to about the halfway point. I hope to finish it before the end of January. We'll see! Had lunch with my Aunt Betty and her friend Alice, who is learning all about the Kindle and was so excited to start e-reading on her new toy. I love that my books have helped to bring me closer to my aunt, who is one of my biggest fans. She is always so cute introducing me as her niece the AUTHOR when we are out to lunch together. After lunch, I went to my son's science fair and let him show off the great projects he and his friends had done. As I was getting ready to leave, he said there were 20 minutes left in the period and would I stay to keep him company? Since I'm now self-employed and can do whatever the heck I want, I took off my coat, sat down and spent 20 more minutes with my son. We had a nice chat with the mom of one of his friends, and I was glad I stayed. I think he was glad, too, even though it's not cool for a 7th grade boy to act like he LIKES his mom! God forbid! Hubby and I picked out a new mattress tonight, which is a truly ridiculous process since you have to make this huge decision based on 15 whole minutes of lying on a mattress in a store. I think we found one that will work, but I guess we'll see. Good news is we can return it within 60 days if it's not working for us. Much speculation tonight about what happens to the "gently used" mattresses after they are returned. Decided we don't want to know!

In conclusion, random thoughts by Marie Force:
  • The images from the cruise ship disaster in Italy continue to horrify me. HOW in the world, in 2012 with all the technology at their disposal, could this possibly happen?
  • I'm totally addicted to Adele's voice. "Someone Like You" haunts me. I may, for the first time ever, download an entire album onto my iPod: 21. I really hope Adele's recovery from throat surgery is progressing. The world needs more of her incredible voice.
  • I'm totally bored by this season of The Bachelor. Ben seems like a perfectly nice guy, but he's too nice to be The Bachelor and far too nice for the crazy women they've paired him with.
  • Totally psyched for the new season of American Idol! Thrilled that JLo and Steven Tyler are back for another season.
  • I remain addicted to the show Parenthood. One of the best shows I've ever watched. Ever.
  • I can't believe my oldest kid is taking mid-terms in her JUNIOR YEAR of high school. I can't believe she'll be driving at the end of next month. I'm so not ready for all of this.
More to come!

6 comments:

Bex said...

Hi Marie! I loved reading about your new days at Author, Inc. It sounds like the new job is working out for you! You are an inspiration and a role model and I look forward to tuning in to see what life on the other side is like. Keep up the great work!! xoxo

Marie Force said...

Thanks Bex! I am glad to have you as a friend at Author, Inc. :-)

Marie Rose Dufour said...

Congrats on your new life. I like your accountability system. I need something like that to keep on track. We have to do dinner again soon. Now that you have all that "free" time. LOL!!! I'll say it again. You are a writing inspiration!

Marie Force said...

Yes, Marie! Let's do dinner again soon! I'd love that!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marie. Loved reading this post, like an inside peek into the life of an author. And being a very unprolific author as of late, I need the ideas of how to squeeze that writing time in. Next week, I will be writing before anything else. That's just they way it has to be.
Janet Louise Campbell

Marie Force said...

Thanks, Janet! Good luck with making time for the writing. It's not as easy as it should be when you consider we LOVE to do it! :-)