Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Fricassee

Oh, dear ones!  Sometimes I think I've shared everything--absolutely everything--that I could possibly share with you.  And I come to Friday and think, "What do I have to offer?  What can I say that will encourage/edify/inform/amuse/butt-kick?"

And words are dried bits at the bottom of the oatmeal pot.

So let's talk about dreams.  Yes, we all have the "normal" dreams of aspiring authors (the dream agent, the dream editor, world dominion).  But what about all the nuances that are hard to put into words?

What about Things that no non-writer would ever understand?

Things like, "I wish I had two hours straight every morning to talk to my dog in a loud voice with various foreign accents, because that's how I get my best plotting done."

In short, aside from the obvious I-wanna-be-published, what does your Dream Life look like?

What does your Dream Day look like?

How many more hours would you devote to your craft, if only you could?

What are your thoughts on the Amtrak Writing Residency?

My dream day:
  • Wake up early to freshly brewed organic coffee with local cream.
  • Walk along the beach (because of course I will live by the ocean).
  • Quiet time with coffee and cat.
  • Write.  Until, like, lunch.
  • Which will then be served by my personal, organic chef. And cleaned up, too.
  • Practice my piano.  Go to dance classes.  Work on various other creative pursuits.  
  • Eat dinner, which will be served by my personal, organic chef.  And cleaned up, too.
  • Read until bedtime.  Or watch a good movie.   Or read.  Or maybe read.
I left out the boring stuff like "put in a load of laundry" and "go to Walmart", because, really that's not the language of dreams.  Having a personal chef is one of my Ultimate Luxury dreams, because I hate cooking (but I love food).  Probably I'll want someone to clean my bathrooms, too.  But I'm okay with, yanno, throwing the dirty clothes into the washer and whizzing around with my beautiful ostrich feather duster once a week (yes, it really is beautiful, and rather romantic in a housecleaning sort of way).  In all other ways, though, I would like to live the life of an artiste.

Okay--your turn!  Our dreams keep us fully alive, so don't hold them back.  Looking forward to reading yours!


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  2. I prefer my chef's inorganic. Rock Men make the best soup and robots can always perfectly boil an egg.

    Okay, here's mine:

    1) Wake up and check email to find 1) Letter from agent/publisher telling me how much they love my manuscript, 2) Letter from fan gushing over recent work, or 3) Other good news (email has been depressing lately).

    2) A cup of coffee the size of my head

    3) One-hour motorcycle ride with friends on nice, clean, curvy roads with no car traffic.

    3) My book title is trending on twitter

    4) Write for an hour or two

    5) Lunch (more coffee)

    6) Rock climbing. I send my project.

    7) Kids get home from school and instead of fighting over which Digimon is the best, they fight over who gets to clean the toilet and who can straighten their room the fastest.

    8) A new XKCD What If?

    9) Cook some dinner (I love cooking). Something Korean or maybe Malaysian. All three kids love it (for once).

    10) Wife gets home from work. She had a great day.

    11) It's a beautiful evening so we all go outside and enjoy the weather. My neighbor brings me a beer just because.

    12) Kids compete on who can go to bed the fastest and hug daddy the hardest.

    13) ...

    14) Wife goes to bed, I stay up and write for a few hours.

    15) Watch the new episode of Firefly ('cause it was never canceled because there is justice in the universe) while eating ice cream or Cool Ranch Doritos.

    16) Bed.

  3. What a great post! One big one for me is to be able to stay home and write. Right now I'm a stay at home mom, and the plan has always been I'll go back to work when kid #4 goes to kindergarten. But part of me really hopes I'll be writing enough by then that I can afford to stay home and focus on my craft.

  4. I've thought about this at various levels. Like, what if I had a sudden influx of funds permitting me to quit the day job, but I'm not yet an established author and maybe still not yet agented, vs. I'm one of the outliers who gets a large enough advance to quit the day job, but nothing's published yet. (Yeah, all my ideal scenarios have me no longer working at the day job.) Basically, I've tried to envision the smaller, "between" moments. So my ideal day would look something like this:

    -Wake up early, get in a workout or dog walk.
    -Eat breakfast around 7:30
    -Writing by 8:00. Get in at least 2,000 words.
    -Break for another possible dog walk at 11:00
    -Lunch at noon.
    -Take care of social media duties and any business issues (reviewing contracts and whatnot).
    -Rest of afternoon is spent running errands, taking in a movie, visiting a museum, etc., (my free/"fun" time), unless I'm under a deadline. In which case, I'm writing (and yes, that's still part of an Ideal Day, because being free of the day job would be fabbo).
    -Dinner at 6:00. Watch a movie/TV or read a book in the evening, then bed.

    I'd sooner outsource all my cleaning duties than cooking. I don't mind cooking when it doesn't interfere with writing time.

  5. My day is nearly identical to yours. :)

    Two differences:
    1. Quiet time with coffee and dog.
    2. Instead of practice piano. I would ride the horse that I do not have right now because I live in NYC. In my dream life I live someplace with stables.

  6. My dream day much like yours, and my life is very, very close. Except there are more demanding people cluttering up real life. I guess I really want it that way.

    So what's left? Banishing self-doubt. Forever! No more second-guessing! Also, a bidding war for my first ms, and an agent who shields me from outside stress so that my awesome talent can flourish.

    Gotta go walk the dog!

  7. I like your list too...however, I'd substitute cat for dog and nap for piano. Love the chef idea. Couldn't he clean the toilets too as long as he washed his hands well? No, I'd leave him to the cooking and add housekeeper in there somewhere. P.S. That Amtrak residency sounds like an awful lot of fun. AND love your post-as always.

  8. As a Firefly fan, I applaud your post, Tom.

    My dream day:
    1. Get up to have personal chef (not organic just fabulous and hawt)to cook me an equally fabulous breakfast with bacon (because it's found by 9 out of ten doctors to be actually good for you) and coffee.
    2. Cuddle with cats and celebrity S.O. (Sam or Dean, no CAS!)
    3. Shower and dress in comfy clothes.
    4. Go for walk on beach (second living by the ocean)and enjoy the morning.
    5. Write for several hours.
    6. Lunch by personal chef.
    7. Go with celebrity S.O. to set and get on camera as an extra or maybe with a few lines).
    6. After shoot wraps up, we have a dinner at an up and coming restaurant (that serves bacon)with a view of the ocean.
    7. Go home and change into Red Carpet clothes because it's Emmy night and we're invited. And, yes, Supernatural wins. Again. I am pulled on stage by my S.O. and he kisses me in front of millions and tells everyone I am a famous writer.
    8. Go to after party and Joss Whedon asks me to collaborate on his fourth Avenger film and hires me to write his next hit TV show.
    9. Go home exhausted to find an email from my dream agent who saw me on TV and wants to rep me and my books. In fact the agent already has a book deal ready. I tell said agent about the Joss Whedon offer and the agent is on it.
    10. The next morning I wake to another fabulous breakfast and the news that Supernatural is being made into a movie and I have a minor role in it thanks to my S.O. (thanks, sweetie).

    Of course you could substitute Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch or David Tennant into the S.O. slot and I'd be happy. In that case, I'd be living in London not LA and I'd either have a role in Sherlock, The Avengers or Doctor Who (because Steven Moffet hired David Tennant back as The Doctor and I'm his companion).

    And that's my dream day.

  9. You've pretty much captured the perfect routine there. My chef would definitely provide organic, GMO-free meals and clean up. I'd have to include a cleaning person twice a week.
    I used to go to Duluth once year and get a room on the waterfront to write in peace. No laundry, phones, family, etc. It was the best way to get into a project.

  10. I love your Dream Day. ^_^

    Hmm, I would wake up and do yoga or some other kind of exercise. Then I'd have breakfast, something cage-free, organic, and whole grain, unless I'm eating rice, then I want organic white basmati rice. ^_^

    Then I play on the internet until lunch.

    Then I play piano because I'll be a full time writer and will have the time to practice and get fairly decent at songwriting.

    Then I'll get some fresh air and do some reading until I'm hungry.

    Then I'll eat dinner in front of the TV.

    Then I'll write until I'm sleepy. ^_^

  11. 1. Alarm goes off at about 8:30. I, however, have the total luxury of time, so hit the snooze alarm for a solid hour (I love that half-awake state where you can just stare at the ceiling in the dark and think).

    2. Breakfast of homemade muffins. Bran muffins and chocolate chip. With a tall glass of milk.

    3. The webcomics I'm addicted to-- there are some with amazing plots-- will all have updated, and I'll spend a good half-hour checking those and laughing.

    4. It will be 60 degrees and sunny with a gentle breeze, so I will go on a walk with my dog.

    5. Editing. Not schoolwork. Not laundry. Not cleaning the toilet. Editing, or if there's no editing to do, writing. A good hour of it, with no phone calls or interruptions except for the occasional dog-demanding-pettings. That takes things to noon.

    6. Lunch with the bestie at that awesome cafe. Except in this reality, it has outdoor seats and doesn't mind if you have a pet when you sit outside, so I can walk to it and spend an hour just talking and laughing and eating good food and drinking hot chocolate or soda.

    7. Check e-mail.

    8. Write! But only for a half-hour or so.

    7. Gaming group! This is my reality, so I'll have a well-established one, not just be looking for one. And they'll be as fond of board games and card games as video games, so there'll always be something different and new and fun to do and talk about for games. And instead of meeting in the evenings/late into the night, like most gaming groups do, we'd meet at about 2 PM and play through until 7 or 8, having Pizza or Chinese or both delivered.

    8. half-hour nap.

    9. My writing time. I'm most creative, most alert, and best feeling from 9 PM-midnight. But I won't go straight; fifteen or twenty minutes, then a ten-minute break to talk with my online writer's group. Another 10-20, and I'll work through a plot problem. Etc.

    10. Midnight. It will be a clear night, and beautiful, and a safe area. I'll have to zip on a coat, since it's gotten nippy, but my dog and I will go around looking at the stars on a nice, relaxed wind-down.

    11. Bedtime at 1. Okay, realistic: 1:30. E-mail and facebook would happen somewhere in there.

  12. And I just realized I can't count. Woops.

  13. I've heard some frightning things about the amtrak writing residency, regarding their terms and conditions. Something about them having the right to publish anything you write on it, with or without your permission, with or without attributing it to you. It sounds like a trap.

    My dream day though, having a hangar in my back yard for a fabric taildragger plane that I take out flying in the morning before I go back in to get some writing done.

  14. Well, I like cooking, so maybe one day I will cook for all of you. I make a mean potato cheese soup!

    Get up to tea, exercise, write, sandwiches galore for lunch with radish sprouts, practice my guitar and piano, go for a hike, come home and cook dinner and read or write. Not to mention that I love going to dances. I model for artists part time on the side so throw that in my dream week somewhere.

    I have not had cable television of any kind for years. Every once in a while I plug in a good movie that I still have on VHS. DVDs are great too. Yesterday I watched The Avengers, ha ha.

    Repeat the next day.

  15. 1. Wake up; read the paper; since I do not find my name in the obituary, I continue my day with a smile.
    2. After grooming and food, I write to my heart's content.
    3. I take long walks on the beach (I live within a mile from the most beautiful beach in the world.)
    4. I go home, relax, read, and spend time piddling around the house.
    5. I write some more.
    6. I edit and critique others' work.
    7. I sleep.
    (Oh wait, I do this already.)

    Heck, this is my daily list, not my dream day.

    1. I wish I could finish the novel I'm writing and get published.
    2. I wish I could be immortal and never have a need for sleep and food so I can continue to do my daily list for eternity.
    3. I wish a 24-hour day was longer.
    4. I wish that wishes would come true.

    Actually, don't believe anything you have read in this comment. Your eyes have deceived you once again.

    The truth is, I am so busy I don't have time to finish my writing. I'm too busy blogging, emailing, editing, and spending time running a home, and tending to family needs.

    My time is coming! Wait for it, wait for it; never mind. It'll happen someday.

  16. Love reading what everyone's perfect day consists of.

    I have the same hope as Rachel above, to earn enough (anything) from writing my before my youngest start kindergarten so I don't have to get a *real* job. If that happens, I think my ideal day would go something like this:

    1. Wake up before everyone else, exercise, have coffee & breakfast and check email/social media, etc.

    2. Get everyone else up, fed, dressed and out the door to school.

    3. Write until lunch (I'll cook it myself, unless I'm feeling lazy, in which case I'll grab some pre-made food).

    4. Chek back in with email/social media while I eat.

    5. Write again until time to pick up the kids.

    6. Basically what my day is now: play with the kids, make & eat dinner, clean up, put them to bed, enjoy quality time with the husband, read, go to bed ridiculously early.

    Maybe not glamorous, but it's my dream.