Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Day in the Life of. . . by Victoria Chatham

The days when I would leap out of bed at the clarion call of my alarm clock are long gone. Now retired from a life of formal employment, I savour the fact that I rarely need an alarm clock. Does that mean I loll around in bed until half the morning is gone?

Between a remarkably raucous crow currently in the neighbourhood, which starts his racket outside my bedroom window soon after dawn, and a six-month old kitten demanding attention soon after that, not likely!

However, it does depend on what I have on my calendar as to how I organize my days, so no two days are the same. When I am in the planning stages of a book, I’ll read a lot for reference and spend time doing research on the internet. I start a new notebook for each project, listing my characters, lines of dialogue, and anything else that comes to mind. I neither use my notebook or my laptop exclusively for this – it just depends on how the mood takes me. That may sound particularly disorganized, but somehow it works and I always know where to find what I want. When I start writing the book, I become much more focused and organized, and plan for at least four hours of writing time a day.  

But all work and no play makes Jack or Jill a dull boy or girl, so I make sure I have plenty of down time, too. One of my biggest delights is going to the movies, which I have done since I was old enough to go to Saturday morning matinees back in the UK. I loved those old movie theatres, with their ornate décor and red velvet drapes with gold fringes in front of the screen. From Laurel and Hardy, especially this clip from Way Out West, which is so sublimely ridiculous that it always makes me laugh, to the Marx Brothers, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy, those Saturday mornings set me up for the whole of the next week! There were usually two movies, an A and a B feature as well as the good old Pathe News.

I’ve always been an active person, and still go to yoga for seniors, walk, help with the yard work, trail ride at least a couple of times every summer and snowshoe in winter. In between times I’ll meet with friends for writerly get-togethers and brainstorming sessions. I volunteer with CaRWA, the Calgary Association of Romance Writers of America, and this year I’ll be presenting for the first time at a writer’s conference.

Time seems to go by faster than it ever did but I enjoy each day as it comes, regardless of crows and kittens.

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