My Not-So-Glamorous Life

Readers think I live this enchanting life.  Years back, one reader said she thought of me as a princess.  I choked on my soft drink, and I’m pretty sure some of it spewed out my nose.

Actually, I had planned to become a princess, but I couldn’t find a prince.  Yup, you guessed it:  They were all frogs.  So I ended up becoming the farthest thing from a princess.  I became a writer.

My day starts out with gallons of coffee.  Thank God for Starbucks French Roast!  I have time to chug back one cup before my three dogs – yes, three! – inform me it’s time to go potty.  So there I am, out in public, with three dogs, three tangled leashes, and a pooper scooper.  No makeup, of course, and my hair is all over the place.  I look like I should be on the cover of a book entitled “Beauty Secrets of the Damned.”

Since I’m self-employed, I’m sort of like the CEO of my own company, which means that I can work in my pajamas.  I’m usually at my computer by 8 AM, where I spend the next hour answering E-mails and checking to see if Pottery Barn is having a big sale.

Because I work alone, I sometimes miss having coworkers.  There are no Christmas parties, getting together for lunch or office affairs.  All I have are two dogs lying at my feet, one of which has a serious problem with flatulence.  It can get lonely, especially for the extrovert in me.  But the moment I start feeling sorry for myself I remind myself:  I don’t have to wear pantyhose!

Like some writers I know, I procrastinate.  I do more rewriting and revising than most.  I don’t know if that’s because my writing sucks or if I’m obsessive-compulsive or if I just dread beginning the next chapter.  About one-fourth of the way through the book, I’m convinced it is crap, and I’ll never write again.  Yes, I’m still doing it after 40 books!  To get my mind off what a terrible writer I am, I take on various projects.  I clean out closets, organize my attic, and call friends I haven’t seen or heard from in years.

I mess around until I realize, holy hell, my deadline is getting closer!  The last month before my book is due I seldom leave my office.  I still pull 18-24 hour stints; then crash for a few hours and head back to the computer.  My beauty regimen (like I have one, right?) is pared down to a quick shower on an almost regular basis.  I eat lots of chocolate and take-out, and I practically mainline coffee.  Trust me; this is no way to live.

Once I hand in my book, I crash for a couple of days.  It’s my body telling me there has to be a better way to write a book.  I promise myself I’ll never do it again, but, lo and behold, I repeat the same thing on the next book.

I should have kissed more frogs.




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Book writer and romance / mystery author Hughes