by Lori Handeland
I used to go to work wearing make up, with my hair “done,” wearing skirts, hose, heels. I had manicured nails. Those days are done, and truthfully I don’t mind. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people upon hearing what I do comment, “What a glamorous life!” after which they usually ask my husband why he’s still working for a living.
My day always begins at 5:30 am when I roll out of my canopied princess bed, complete with filmy harem curtains—ahem—I mean my king sized bed, of which I sleep on about ¼ because my husband and his dog hog the rest, and hit the shower. In my mansion there is only one shower and if I don’t get it before the teenagers, forget about hot water.
For the next hour I masquerade as an alarm clock, routing teenage boys from their rooms, pounding on the bathroom door so the next guy can get his turn, feed, clothe, find lost homework, books, wallets and cell phones. By 6:45 I shove them out the door and say, Whew! The mansion is mine until 3 pm—in theory.
Since I am the queen of my castle, I do not wear make up; I do not do my hair. For work I wear flannel pajama bottoms and sweatshirts, no shoes, just slippers. It is heaven.
Until the doorbell rings and the Fed Ex man asks if I’m home sick. Is that a comment on my appearance or just that I appeared?
Next I grab my coffee and sit at my computer to read over what I wrote yesterday on my latest work in progress. I make some headway before my husband returns and sets up shop at the kitchen table. His phone rings, the fax machine buzzes, the doorbell blares and his employees tramp in and out dropping off time cards and picking up materials. I slam the door to my throne room and put in my ear plugs.
I return to the world of the Nightcreatures where kick ass heroines fight deadly monsters and survive. Someone taps me on the shoulder and I shriek. Luckily I can’t hear the shriek because of the earplugs.
My husband has just taken the new puppy for a walk. He hands me the adorable ball of fluff. As soon as I’ve enfolded him in my arms hubby says, “He rolled in poop. Gotta go.”
Puppy and I take a shower.
Since I’ve been torn out of my imaginary world for the time being, I run to the drycleaners figuring no one will be there in the middle of the day. The clerk says, “I’ll be right with you, Mrs. Handeland.” The customer in front of me turns, looks me up and down and with a wrinkled nose says, “You’re the writer.”
Uh, no. That would be another Mrs. Handeland.
When I get home, it’s time for lunch. But the cupboard is bare. The servants are really slacking off. I partake of the last few grapes in the bag and some cheese. That should get me through until the chef makes dinner.
The cover for my next book arrives via e-mail attachment. “How do you like it?” my editor asks. I stare at the beach scene they’ve put on my jungle book and wonder if I got someone else’s cover. I point out that there is no beach in this book. “Can you put one in?” my editor asks. I spend an hour creating a dream sequence for my heroine, complete with a walk on the beach. By the time I’m done, they’ve changed the cover to a jungle. But they like the beach scene so much, they leave it in. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad.
I manage a few more pages in the Nightcreature world before my younger son calls to be picked up from school. I drive there in my work clothes, then spend the return ride hunched over like a crone wishing I had long hair to cover my face since my darling son neglected to mention I was also giving 6 of his friends a ride. “Dude, is your mom sick?” one of them asks. “No,” he answers, “she always looks like that when she’s writing.”
Like what? I think, but I know better than to ask.
At home, the chef has not shown up. The servants have not returned from the grocery store and the dusting fairies haven’t arrived yet either. I mix a casserole with noodles and whatever is left in the house—noodles will cover a multitude of sins around here–then return to Nightcreature land where my heroine never has to make dinner, run errands or pick up a truckload of teenagers. Her puppy doesn’t poop (because she has no puppy, although werewolves are another story) and if someone recognizes her when she’s out and about it’s usually to say “thank you for saving my life” unless of course, that person, or creature, has been sent to kill her.
Come to think of it, even with the puppy poo, I like my life so much better. I get to visit other worlds every single day, and in my imagination I can be anyone and still return to my glamorous life whenever I want.
So tell me, what’s the biggest daily interruption to your glamorous life and how do you cope?
For more information on my paranormal romance series, The Nightcreature Novels go to:
You can listen to the audio from when Lori was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Ghost in the Machine podcast here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WrNnPlDk