It’s All About The Mornings

A Day in the Life of…
Elizabeth Myrddin 

I work a full time job. Thus, my writing must be scheduled so that it becomes part of my regular daily routine. A work shift of 11:30am to 8pm enables me to write in the mornings. This early-to-rise habit is easily applied to weekends and holidays, whenever feasible.

I attempt creative productivity in the mornings at least five days per week. Some weeks it is less. In other weeks, I go into the zone and amass a nice chunk of chapters, or, in the case of short stories, some workable drafts. A typical day in the life of this author goes something like the below:

6:30am: The alarm goes off. I shut it down and ignore the morning for about fifteen to twenty more minutes. My cat starts acting noisy and mischievous around the apartment because she has also heard the alarm and wants food.

7:00am: The cat has been fed. A pot of coffee has been started. As I wait for the pot to brew, I open my laptop and review the most recent section or chapter I’ve written. And only that chapter or section. This helps shift my focus from a sleep-daze into a creative headspace and also prevents me from entering the dreaded “endless re-read and re-edit” cycle.

Does that cycle sound familiar? It was so difficult to train myself to refrain from a complete re-read of the WIP each time I sat down to write. My attention would fixate on previous chapters in a vicious circle of re-reading and re-editing, over and over. Time drifted by and no new sections were tackled. Now, only the most recent section of writing from the previous session is allowed a review for modification. Then I get a cup of coffee (or a second one, if I’ve already downed a cup) and begin a new section of the novel or current WIP.

For the next two to two and a half hours, I write.

After that, breakfast, shower, time to get ready and leave for work. On weekends, the same routine occurs before I leave the apartment for the day. I rarely write at night. I’m usually busy with other things.

What about the rest of the day? Well, if ideas for scenes or plot points or story arcs come to me during the day while at work, or just out and about, I carry a notebook so I can jot notes. These are then added to or outlined in the manuscript later. If I like them, they are expanded upon or merged into the piece.

In addition to a full-time job, I have an active social life. Over the years, I learned to limit my diversions to prevent the creative output from becoming fallow. The active social life is a tricky area for me because I am inspired and receive many of my ideas for storylines and characters through my real world interactions and social activities. To stay home, seclude myself, and focus only on the WIP would cause the well of inspiration to dry up. The stimulation required to motivate me would short-circuit, and my enthusiasm to get the words onto the paper (or onto the laptop screen), would shut off.

A balancing act. That is essentially what a day in my life is like. At the moment, I am about six days behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. (I am drafting my second novel in the Naked Eye Series using the NaNoWriMo method). That is atrocious! However, the Thanksgiving holiday looms. I intend to use those extra days off to immerse myself – to partake of the very seclusion I tend to avoid, to make the strides necessary to finish at least a 50,000 foundation draft for my current WIP.

Mornings are my creative high tides. When is your creative high tide and how do you tailor it into your everyday life? 

Fun is for Shallow People
Parlors, petticoats, and poison! 

A half-empty bottle of absinthe and a dead man in costume are found in a drifting rowboat. As Detectives Ted Rose and Alexa Sheldon unravel intrigue and ferret out motive, they bump up against the heaving bosom of theatrics that is the Laurel Bay Costume Society. Soon, a group of suspects emerge from the clique of unconventional people. 

Two beautiful women seek to influence the proceedings. One is Trina, the blond, wanna-be femme fatale. The other is Yvette, the cunning, red-haired scene queen. Yvette and Trina turn their battle for social standing among peers into an extreme sport as they try to sway the investigation. 

Ted and Alexa are determined to out-maneuver the manipulators in order to crack the case.
Elizabeth Myrddin

Elizabeth Myrddin works, lives, and plays in beautiful San Francisco. She writes for enjoyment and because the individuals and experiences that pepper her life, for good or for ill, inspire her. Although her writing tends to lurk on the darker side of storytelling, she finds the soft-boiled pulp mystery subgenre appealing. Fun Is For Shallow People is her first full-length novel. The penning of Part Two of the story is already in progress.

Excerpt One (300-500 or so Words): From the opening chapter/scene.

Detective Ted Rose sat on a bench on the dock and tried to ignore the chill mist that swirled around him as he entered notes using an iPad.

adrift rowboat on lake pulled in by mgmt. contains one dead adult male in costume.

His work partner, Detective Alexa Sheldon, studied the boat and he heard her remark, “Interesting.”

She joined him and by way of greeting said, “So we have, apparently, a dead fop. Or rather, a man in a foppish costume, but still very dead.”

Ted glanced up as she pulled on a black wool beret and opened an umbrella. He resumed typing after acknowledging her presence with a faint smile. Ted had worked with Alexa for eight months. The early weeks of their partnership had been tense. His reserved, aloof demeanor frustrated her, he knew, but he had eventually relaxed his guard. They were finally getting know each other a little better. Or rather, Ted allowed himself to be more communicative.

Alexa held out the umbrella so that it sheltered them from the sprinkling rain. “What’s the word on this situation?”

Ted felt her lean over his shoulder to read the screen. He shrugged. “I don’t have much yet. I met the owners, Martin and Eunice Caldwell. They’re married and Parrot Lake Boating has been their business for thirty years. Martin said a bunch of costumers held a gathering in the lake area yesterday. After the party, they left the park. At least one individual stayed behind with a rowboat and a bottle of absinthe. The guy was found dead in the drifting boat this morning. That’s all I’ve got except for the name of the group that reserved the gazebo and rowboats for their event – The Laurel Bay Costume Society.”

“Suicide ruled out?”

Ted tapped, half-empty bottle of alcohol. smells like absinthe. empty glass with absinthe residue. to lab for analysis. He powered down the device and stood. “Nothing is ruled out yet. The coroner’s office will take care of things and get back to us. Let’s finish with the owners.”

As Alexa followed him to the reservation office, Ted zipped shut his black, hooded fleece jacket. The drizzle of rain had eased and the weather was again a dense mist. Jesus, the clinging damp was more annoying than a full-on rain.

He entered the boating office and Martin, a lanky, older man with steel gray hair worn in a short ponytail, stood behind a counter writing in a ledger.

Martin looked up as the detectives approached. “All done out there or do your people need more time to do what they do with the boat and the body?”

“They’ll let you know when their work is complete,” Ted responded. He gestured to Alexa. “Martin, this is my partner, Detective Sheldon. We’d like to ask you and your wife a few questions, if you don’t mind.”

(function() {var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0],rdb
= document.createElement(“script”); rdb.type =
“text/javascript”; rdb.async = true; rdb.src =
document.location.protocol + “//”;
s.parentNode.insertBefore(rdb, s); })();

2 thoughts on “It’s All About The Mornings

Anything you want to say about this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.