I decided to eat breakfast this morning. No, it's not a NY's resolution. It's just something I don't always do, but I woke up thinking about an egg-white omelette. I also thought about my manuscript, replied to text messages, talked with Las Vegas about a conference for Blushing Books, and frowned at hammers banging away - before I physically got out of bed this morning. So there I stood in my cotton night dress: the one with the stupidly adorable little puffed sleeves with lace on the hem and the sailor-like bib that falls at the back. Yes, that one. I forgot to put on my slippers, so my feet were really good friends with the slate tiles in the kitchen. And freezing. As I started to dice the spring onions and saute them with garlic in the cast iron skillet, the words 'an author's breakfast' popped right into my head. It certainly wasn't a book title. It was a blog post title. As is my normal practice, I get a line in my head, and then shortly after, I show up to write about it. So, here I am.
As I'm pouring the egg-whites into the griddle, I was thinking, 'this is quite a healthy breakfast for someone who never really eats breakfast.' And that's when I made the connection between the title and what I wanted to say. As an author, there are many stereotypes that are assigned to us - by us. And by others. All of them are amusing. I've heard some of my sister authors (sister wives. sister authors. you like?) say things like, 'I needed to not smell like an author today, so I showered.' Or, 'my husband came home and saw me cleaning and just said, 'writer's block?" Hilarious. But it's true. It's all true. My job is a desk job whether I'm sitting at a desk, at a table, in bed, or at a coffee shop. I don't move, sometimes for hours. Healthy eating is important for everyone, but especially for those of us weirdos who Google things like, 'how long does it take Strychnine to work?' and call it research. Because it is. We need to know if whalebone corsets were favoured in 18th century Europe - or if they were just popular because they were fashionable. We're people who's only friends in a given week might just be our characters. Or the little corner of Facebook we've claimed: to ask questions, encourage one another, talk writer stuff, or talk nothing in particular at all - maybe just to connect. My breakfast for one this morning might sound inconsequential, but it's really rather representative of 'arriving' to a place I've always wanted to be. If I were back in the corporate world, where I started nine years ago, at age eighteen, there would have been no egg-white omelet. I wouldn't have time. I wouldn't make time, either. This is another world. It's a world of deciding where I want to work from one day to the next, and deciding how much of it is going to be spent on my whole package - am I writing today? Editing? Replying to fan mail? Blogging? Half and half? Cream and sugar? Joking.
As a result of being a full-time author, though, I don't always see daylight, or outside, or other humans. If it weren't for my twice-weekly violin lessons, I would see one less person until the weekend. Also, my violin teacher comes to my house. I don't go outside. My lessons are my 'lunch break'. I see our social circle on the weekends when we have dinner parties, breakfast parties, etc. We love hosting people at our house for meals, chats, coffee, and as a means of deeply connecting with them. That is so important for me, and for us in our marriage. We may be young, but we have been married five and a half years, and have a lot of life experience and wisdom to share with friends who love and trust us to speak good things over their life. But when it's back to the work-week, I am an introvert. I may text a few people, and reply to always-gracious fans who make me smile or giggle or blush with their seriously adorable or uplifting emails, but I am otherwise, in my own world. I have to be. Husband and I also share his company car/small SUV/whatever, so I couldn't go anywhere unless I phoned a friend. I have one coffee shop and one bakery shop that I walk about half a mile to, once every few days or weeks (depending on my workload and my mood) to work. I could write in a crowded room with a lot of noise, in a train, or on a plane. All of which I've done. But right now, I'm editing, and on book five, I'm finding editing to be an entirely different thing for me. It's only after being an author for an entire year that I've started to understand myself and my working habits. I'm eccentric. I don't have untidy hair or wear over-sized bow ties at my collar, but I like beachy curls and hair ribbons. There are certain things that must align for me to concentrate, and everything else can be whatever it wants. I like immaculate tidiness that can be seen, but behind every wardrobe door in my house is chaos.
This morning, I absolutely had to have an egg-white omelet on a spinach tortilla with fruit, yogurt and coffee.
So, I did.
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