Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Day in the Life of... - Ashley March!! (& Giveaway!)



Welcome to the debut of Knit Purl Stitch Read & Cook's new weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of..


This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the typical day of some of our favorite authors!

Our first guest is the lovely Ashley March!


About Ashley:


After spending countless hours memorizing both traditional and simplified Chinese characters, perfecting her tones, and practicing her speaking with any Chinese native she could find, Ashley successfully graduated with a degree in Mandarin Chinese. She was determined to be the next best Chinese translator in the world...

Then she discovered writing historical romances was as much fun as reading them, and her Chinese capabilities have never been the same. When she isn't writing sexy, emotional historical romances set in the Victorian Era, Ashley stays busy trying to entertain her two young daughters, attempting to do housework, and hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado.

Ashley's debut novel Seducing the Duchess got fabulous reviews!  Look for her second novel coming later this year - Romancing the Countess!



First of all, thank you to Aislynn for inviting me to take part in this very fun series. I can’t wait to read about the other authors she has lined up!

My life is pretty crazy. I always feel like I’ve left part of my brain somewhere…and because the baby is, well, still technically a baby, I also tend to blame her and call it baby brain. =)

For example, I really meant to take pictures throughout my day so I could really show what my day looked like through a camera lens. But I kept forgetting my camera at home. Then when I did take the camera, the SD card wouldn’t work. So instead, I’m including a few gratuitous March Toddler and March Baby photos.

And now, please allow me to pull from one of my typical days last week…

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6:00am
Alarm clock goes off. I immediately lurch for the button to turn it off because it’s truly a soul-wrenching sound. I fumble, of course, and it takes several seconds before the shrill beeper goes off. I groan and glare, wishing that I could afford a few more minutes to sleep in. I can’t, so I get up and wander to the bathroom where I put my contacts in. I say good morning to the family, which consists of a husband, a 2-year-old toddler, and a 7- month-old baby. My patience with the dog has disintegrated since having the baby, so she’s lucky if I say hi to her.

6:10am
I get dressed. I fix my hair and make-up. (My family always took showers at night; it seems weird to me that some people take showers in the morning, but because I know some do, I wanted to explain that I take showers at night lest you think I’m a dirty, stinking cave-woman.)

6:25am
I may or may not have time for breakfast. I may or may not have time to fix my lunch for the day. Usually the only breakfasts I eat are the ones my husband makes and the only lunches I take are those he fixes. (He’s really awesome.) I take the last five minutes to hang with the family and get my hugs and kisses in for the day.

6:30am
I leave the house northeast of Denver and drive to my job at CU Boulder which is northwest of Denver. It takes me approximately 45 minutes on a good day. Music I’ve listened to recently (always CDs, no radio): Sara Bareilles, Foo Fighters, Jeremy Camp, Hootie and the Blowfish, Pavarotti, Taylor Swift, Michael Buble, Boyz II Men.

7:15am
I check my writing email and social media before summer hours start at the day job.

7:30am-4:30pm
I work at CU Boulder, the place where I actually graduated from with a degree in Chinese Language & Civilization. It’s a beautiful campus and I work with truly nice people. It’s a great environment, yet I continue to look forward to the day when I can become a stay-at-home-mom. During my one-hour lunch break I try to get caught up on writing business. This may include emails, social media, critiques, phone calls, etc. I also
eat the lunch I’ve brought from home or sneak over to one of the campus dining halls for a mini-pizza (bad Ashley!).

4:30pm
The drive home. I listen to music while checking Twitter (I know, I know. It’s terrible and I always criticized those who looked at their phones while driving, but I do it now. I’m not proud; I’m addicted.) Or I might call a family member or friend, as this is my only free time to catch up.

5:30pm
Arrive home, eat the scrumptious dinner my husband has made. Actually, I end up feeding March Baby first while husband and March Toddler eat. Or rather, I end up feeding March Baby first while husband eats and March Toddler alternates between crawling beneath the dining table with the dog and begging for the same baby food that March Baby is eating.

6:00pm
Family time. Now that summer’s here (finally, finally, yay!!!), we like to go for a walk around the block with March Baby in her stroller and March Toddler either walking or riding in her new purple tricycle that she got for her birthday. (Notice I said riding “in” as opposed to riding “on” because we’re at the guiding stage right now.)

6:30pm
Husband and I divide and conquer. I get March Baby ready for bed and he puts March Toddler to bed after the usual routines of bath time, teeth brushing, diaper changing, pajama acquiring, doll finding (March Toddler’s doll is ALWAYS missing), devotional reading, praying, and kissing.

7:00pm
My MIL has been having health issues recently. While my SIL is out of town on vacation (MIL usually lives with SIL), husband and I have been taking turns visiting her from 7pm-8pm each night in nursing home.

8:00pm-12:00am
Ordinarily, this would be my writing time. However, I promised a couple of critiques to people from the 1st Annual March Madness Blog Party, and I have been working like mad trying to be thorough yet still get them done in time (sadly, with MIL issues, I think they’re going to be a few days late). So I’ve been critiquing at this time, but I also respond to emails that need immediate attention, as well as checking in on social media to interact with fellow authors and readers (which is my important as a published author—and honestly, a lot of fun).

If I were done critiquing and assuming my MIL’s health gets better (thinking only positive things), then I would respond to emails and check in on social media from 7pm-8pm. After that I would block the Internet using my Freedom software (because apparently I don’t have the willpower to stay away from it) and turn on my Write or Die software which helps me to get my word count out without obsessively editing as I write.
On an ideal night I’ll reach my 4,000 word count goal. On a typical night I get about 2,000 (because I still don’t write as fast as I’d like). On a bad night Write or Die doesn’t work for me at all and I manage a measly 500 words.

12:00am
Take a shower (if I didn’t squeeze it in earlier before writing time) and either get some more writing business out of the way (blogs, emails, etc.) or really indulge and read a new chapter in the current romance novel I’m on. When the March Madness Blog Party was going on I’d stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning. Now I usually get to bed no later than 1 or 1:30.

Sometime in the middle of the night Baby March or Baby Toddler wakes up and I go in, change diapers, and put them back to bed.


6:00am
Alarm clock goes off. I groan and glare at it once again.

_____________________

I’ve had people tell me that they don’t know how I do it all. To be honest, I don’t know how I do it, either. But I think the only reason I’m able to get up each day after having less than 6 hours of sleep is because I enjoy my life. I enjoy writing, I enjoy engaging in a community of kind and generous romance readers and authors, and on top of these, my greatest motivation is my family. My husband’s love and my daughters’ smile keep me going every single day.

And there you have it. A typical day in the ordinary life of Ashley March.
(I may or may not have left out my jaunts around the world in my personal jet. ;) )

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As a special treat, Ashley is offering up a copy of her debut novel Seducing the Duchess to one lucky reader!!! All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address to enter!  Open Internationally. Giveaway will be open until Monday June 20th - Midnight EST.  Winner Announced on Tuesday.

-~-

18 comments:

  1. Great first post! I think this new feature is going to be amazing. And Ashley - I guess I always thought authors just wrote full time once they have been published, but I guess that's no the case. Silly me.

    chrystal(dot)mclean@yahoo(dot)ca

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  2. Sounds like a busy day and mine is something similar except that at present the work bit only ends at 6:30 pm as we are busy installing a new computer program and I have to teach people. So now I am on 12 hour workdays. It sucks.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  3. Thanks for commenting! I suppose some authors do, but I believe the majority still work full-time or part-time day jobs. The thing with publishing is that the checks are never steady; unless you get enough money to make it for six months (usually), you have to have some kind of backup plan. Glad you enjoyed the post! =)

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  4. Carol, I think we both need a vacation. =) I also don't envy you on having to teach others a new computer program. I'm the kind of person who would just stare at you with a glazed expression. Hope it goes smoothly (as much as possible)!

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  5. I bow down to you Mrs. Ashley. I don't know if I could do what you do. You are simply awesome. I think it's great to be able to see what happens in your life on a daily basis. I totally agree, Twitter is very addictive! I have my fingers crossed that you are able to become a stay at home mum soon! You definitely need more sleep!

    -Don't enter me. I already have a copy. =)

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  6. Love this new feature, Aislynn! And, Ashley, I'm super impressed with everything you do. I can see how having a fabulous husband and two little cuties at home can make it all worthwhile, though. Who knows? Maybe one day soon you'll get a six-book deal with movie tie-ins and then you can take a long, well-deserved vacation! :) sarah(at)brazenbookworm(dot)com

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  7. Awesome new feature, Aislynn! Thanks for starting it.

    Ashley: We do it because we HAVE to, right? With work, children and other commitments, it seem pretty amazing that sleep gets to be part of the day. :) Thanks for showing us a piece of your life.

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  8. Thanks everyone and thank you Ashley for being the first author in the new feature!!

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  9. What a great feature Aislynn! Now we see that the writing life isn't as glamorous. They're every day people like us. LOL.

    Ashley: The March children are ADORABLE! And your husband is all sorts of amazing. =) When do you find time to eat Blue Bell ice cream?

    P.S. Can't wait to read about Sebastian and Leah!!!

    romancingrakes AT gmail DOT com

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  10. Love it! I wish I were half as motivated as you, Ashley, but then again I don't have an amazing husband to make my breakfast or adorable kids to parent- so my mornings are doomed for at least a few more years! lol

    Awesome feature, Aislynn! Looking forward to many more!

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  11. Hi Danielle!

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Maybe I'll dress up as Super Woman this Halloween. ;) And to be honest, I think anyone could do what I do...I think the greatest key is finding out what your passion is. Without passion/motivation, I definitely wouldn't be able to keep going as I have. I love my sleep! =)

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  12. Sarah, I love your optimism. If both of those come true, I sincerely invite you to come with me to Bali...although you'll have to stay in your own beach house. ;)

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  13. Hi booksNyarn! Yes, absolutely. However, I'm also pretty fortunate that most of what I HAVE to do is what I WANT to do as well. For example, this blog post. It's so much fun being able to connect with others in the romance community and sharing a little bit about myself...Even if I do always get jealous when I visit Aislynn that I don't know how to sew, knit, yarn, or anything. ;)

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  14. Aislynn--thank YOU for inviting me. Have I told you that you're a genius? I love this new series!

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  15. Lol, Kati. I've had this conversation actually with several different people. To me my life is pretty normal and not that interesting--I guess because I do see the day to day, even if I have to admit that holding a book in my hands of something I wrote is pretty amazing. And thank you for the comments on the children and husband. You are now on my good list. ;)

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  16. Rita--you'll notice I'm doing all this while I'm not in school. College just about sucked the lift out of me when I was doing an online master's program. And take advantage of all those mornings while you can--sleep in for me, too! =)

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  17. Hi Ashley. Love the covers of your books....& are you planning to add #3 to your family soon?! :)

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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  18. wow! you are a really busy lady. The books look like my kind of reads. Thanks for the giveaway.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

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