Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Writer

by Richard Alan

After an education in mathematics, a 17-year career in manufacturing engineering and a 22-year career in software engineering, I started a career as an author.   Writing has become my fulltime job and avocation.  My wife, Carolynn, was forced into retirement by the lousy economy, has joined me in my efforts to establish Village Drummer Fiction as my self-publishing imprint.  We work at home, each having our own office.  It’s wonderful knowing that my partner is nearby and we can easily consult with each other, take breaks together, and sometimes (rarely) play hooky together.  Publishing is a family business and joint effort for us.   Our three sons are grown and only one lives in the area.  We have lunch with him weekly, frequent dinners with him and girlfriend, and we take time off whenever our other boys and their fiancĂ©es come to town.   Family is paramount to us.  We balance family and writing well because we know where our values lie.

                Last Monday was a typical day for me.  The start times vary, but the gist is the same.  It started at 4:00amwhen I woke up with a storyline in my head that I had to write down.  I spent the next three hours writing and polishing the brief scene.  At seven, when my day usually begins, I headed to our exercise room for a forty-five minute treadmill session, followed by fifteen minutes of weight-training.  I watched the news while working out but another storyline was emerging from the cocoon of my imagination.  While I showered, it continued to take form and as I ate breakfast, it appeared as a fully formed story, as beautiful as a fully-grown butterfly.  I eagerly began adding this plotline to my book.  Ideas don’t always happen like this.  Occasionally, I get an idea for a storyline that, when written down, has all the grace and beauty of a grey moth.  
              At eleven o’clock I took a few minutes to check email.  A fellow Vietnam army vet sent me a note asking for advice.  Someone he was aware of was making obviously untrue (at least obvious to us) statements about that person’s experience in Vietnam.   I advised him not to be upset. No way did his lies diminish what we had done when our country called.

                “Sometimes some sad individuals need to use confabulation to flesh out their baggy jock straps,” I advised.
                At noon, I took a break for lunch and continued writing while I ate.  I had created some new characters for my fourth book and as usual, loved writing about them.  They were both in sixth grade and gifted in the area of mathematics.  They take a class together over the summer.  He is crippled since birth but this doesn’t get in the way of the girl’s ability to appreciate who he is.  A young romance buds from the seed of their doing simple things for each other and begins to bloom as they overcome various struggles as good friends.
                At five o’clock I realized that I had added another thousand words to my manuscript.  I stopped, as I do nearly every day, to watch a daily show of news and political opinion.  Some days I’ll DVR the show to see later in the evening if I’m worried about not completing an idea.

                At six o’clock my wife and partner in all things, Carolynn, servedus a lovely dinner.  During dinnertime, I read her one of my new storylines that had a particularly funny bit of dialog.   She laughed heartily upon hearing it, so I knew it worked.   She would tell me if she doesn’t like something I wrote.

                I returned to writing after dinner to edit that day’s writing.  I ended the day working on a couple of Rosetta Stone language packages.   I’m learning German and Hebrew.

                As I prepared for bed I looked for the off switch to my imagination so I could get my much needed sleep.  I did not find it so I was up again at 3:00am with another great storyline.  I’ll nap later and the cycle continues.

Richard Alan lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife, Carolynn.  They are the proud parents of three wonderful adult sons. He is a Vietnam combat and 101st Airborne Division veteran. After careers in manufacturing management and firmware development, he has started a career as an author.  Richard writes fictional novels about people trying to find their life-partner, soul-mate, the person they are meant to be with for life.  His other interests range from mathematical analysis and photography to anything with an engine.  His current projects include writing the third and fourth novels in the “Meant to Be” series, and discovering the properties of functions of p-adic numbers.  Having completed a potting bench for his lifepartner, Carolynn, he is busy driving her to watch salmon runs, visit National Parks, and anywhere that provides an opportunity to view her avian friends.

His latest books in the Meant to Be Series are Meant to Be and The Couples.

You can visit Richard Alan’s website, VILLAGE DRUMMER FICTION at www.villagedrummerfiction.com.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Kindle Store (Meant to Be) | CreateSpace (Meant to Be) | Amazon Kindle Store (The Couples) | CreateSpace (The Couples)


Meant to Be: When four year old Meyer met five year old Joan, they had no idea that the two of them would be spending a lifetime together. Three generations of friends and family would help them celebrate the good times and help get them through the tragic times. A new book about love and life from author, Richard Alan.

The Couples: This novel follows seven couples as they explore their relationships to determine if they are meant to be together. As the couple’s lives intertwine we learn how the world around them helps or at times hinders them. Their story comes alive with carefully crafted characters that the reader will identify with and want to know more about. Their struggle to move from individuals to couples to families is richly depicted in this work.

Richard Alan’s second book in the “Meant to Be” series further explores relationships, love and life.

Follow along on The Meant To Be Book Tour 

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