June 26, 2006

Ah, the GLAMOROUS Life of a Published Author!

You’d love to know what it’s really like, wouldn’t you. Ah, the life of an author. Press conferences. Calls from publishers and agents who are trying to steal you away. Champagne. Caviar. Designer clothes. Flights across the country accompanied by a personal handler who takes care of everything.

Appearances on the Imus in the Morning Show and Good Morning America (in that order, otherwise Don Imus gets his knickers in a tangle and he might say you’re fat after you leave the studio).

Lying on the sofa eating healthy snacks while you dictate into a machine, which your secretary will transcribe into Pulitzer-winning literary masterpieces.

Right?

Not even close.

As her alter ego who knows everything she does, allow me to describe Beth Anderson’s typical morning for you:

She wakes up far too early because the cats are hungry and walking on her head.

Gets up, slips on sweats and socks if it’s hot and the air conditioner is on. Slips on sweats and socks if it’s not hot and the air conditioner is not on.

Makes coffee, then feeds the cats. To give them and her credit, they’re trained to sit there with their bibs on, holding their forks, while she gets the coffee going.

Maybe watches fifteen minutes of Imus on MSNBC. Loves it, but she has too much to do, can’t spare the time today.

Notices that Beemer, her boy cat who has a finicky stomach, isn’t eating. He’s lying by his food bowl looking completely disgusted, not to mention mortally wounded that she would even *think* of giving him this horrible stuff to eat.

Which he loved three days ago.

Cleans out his food bowl.

Opens a different can of cat food for him, dumps it in his bowl. Watches to see if he’s eating.

He is–this time.

Puts away clean dishes from previous day.

Washes dishes from last night, after she drains the water she put dishes in last night, intending to wash them right away. (Yes, she has a dishwasher but doesn’t always use it. Right now it’s full of water from her most recent plumbing disaster and she *can’t* use it. In fact, it’s dead.)

Thinks about what brand of dishwasher she wants to buy to replace it after she drains the water out, which will consist of three huge bath towels and an industrial-size mop.

Mercifully puts that out of her mind.

Vacuums all floors because her critique group is meeting here tonight, but first picks up two paper clips and a milk bottle ring the cats have been playing with overnight.

Cleans out the cats’ litter box.

Sweeps floor around the litter box.

Dodges while they all head for the litter box and watches while they all take turns, then drag more litter back out on the floor.

Cleans out the litter box again.

Sweeps around the litter box again.

Thinks about the cat pound for about thirty seconds, until one of them walks past her and thanks her for breakfast and the clean litter box by wrapping its tail around her leg and giving her a hug. She really is a sucker for cats.

Sits down at the kitchen table with her first cup of coffee to hopefully read at least a few pages of a highly recommended book by Lisa Gardner–excellent book, by the way. She’s dying to finish it. It isn’t happening today.

Stares at arc of a 105,000 word book sitting on the table that she has promised to review this month.

She’s a very slow reader. It won’t get done *this* month. Sometime in July, though. Good thing she works well under pressure.

Stares at another book, this one by Chris Roerden, that she’s dying to read, but which has just been moved to third place.

Stares at three-foot-high stacks of books by her friends she wants to read and at the rate she’s going, may never get to.

Gets up, goes to her computer read email.

On the way there, stares at bookshelves full of books she plans to read when she has time.

There isn’t much email yet except three bulletins from three major online news websites announcing that some prime minister in some obscure country she never heard of may resign.

Delete. Delete. Delete.

Checks her website stats. This is a three-times-a-day deal. The woman is obsessed, but something’s working, her stats keep rising fast. Undoubtedly because of my blog.

Looks longingly at Yahoo Games’ 13 Solitaire Favorites link. She has yet to win more than once every three days or so.

Reluctantly passes for now.

Shuffles papers around for something she was supposed to have done in April, but forgot. (Now she’s waiting for information from several writers’ club members so she can get it done.)

At the rate they read and respond to their emails, that may never get done either.

Listens to see if husband is up yet. He’s not.

Good.

Time for more coffee while she opens manuscript she’s doing revisions on.

And all this is before 7 a.m., which I think is disgusting because I love to sleep late. She doesn’t, she often hauls me up early anyway. I have no idea why she puts me through this torture, unless it’s just that she likes my sparkling conversation.

I ask her what keeps her going with her writing, with so many interruptions all throughout her day.

She tells me this: “I love to write. I want to find out what happens in the story.”

What’re you gonna do, eh? I think she keeps hoping she’ll finally find the glamorous life of a writer she thought was going to happen, once upon a time, long, long ago in her fantasyland.

Far be it for me to discourage her, although I know better. I’m not saying a thing.

But I am heading off this morning on another trip with Count Babalallapaloozo, who has forgiven me for my temporary lapse with Kinky Friedman. After all, a trip to a Greek island and an $8,000 ermine and leather sports jacket to protect me from the Chicago winter weather is nothing to sneeze at, right?

Ta ta for now, folks. Love y’all, and thanks so much for stopping by!

The Hotclue

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  1. Gee, that sounds like one very glam life Beth’s got going there. Hotclue, I’ve been away myself and am just catching up. As if. Hemingway had it easy, drink and write. Unfortunately the depression and firearms thing got in the way. I too thought writing would be glamarous, in a Nora Roberts, Terry MacMillian kinda of way. This is hard work, but we can dream while we clean the litter box, vacuum and play solitaire. I’ll bet even while Beth is performing these every day chores, she’s plotting in her head her next book, so beware when you return!

    Reply

  2. She is plotting a new one for sure. I just found her ass-deep in her newest stack of research books.

    Cheesh! All she DOES is work!

    Good thing she does. I hate cleaning out litter boxes.

    Hugs, Hotclue

    Reply

  3. cool, Thanks very good for report,I follow your blog 😉

    Reply

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