Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Day in the Life of.... Stacey Kade!

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!
A Day in the Life of..

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


As an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

From her first childhood scribbles about a magical necklace that would turn people into cats, Stacey has long been fascinated with what happens when the “ordinary” bumps up against “out of this world.” What if aliens landed on Earth? What if the afterlife is really just another dimension?

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their three retired racing greyhounds, Joezooka (Joe), Tall Walker (Walker) and SheWearsThePants (Pansy). When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television with her Roswell DVDs, staring rapturously at Jason Behr.

THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, Hyperion Books, Available Now
QUEEN OF THE DEAD, Hyperion Books, Available Now

A Day in the Life of...Stacey Kade

All right. First, I have to warn you: there's a good reason why they haven't made a behind-the-scenes reality show about an author. Frankly, you can watch only so many hours of someone sitting at a computer in her pajamas, talking to herself, before it gets boring. Okay...only so many minutes. Milli-seconds?

So, I guess what I'm saying is...Get ready for a look at the glamor-filled, thrill ride that is...oh, wait. :) I'm sitting here in my pajamas at the computer, talking to myself.

All joking aside, I love writing stories, and I feel completely blessed and utterly grateful to be able to focus all my attention on that endeavor. It's just that writing is not very exciting to witness. Unless you can see what's going on in my head, which you can't. (Can you??!?)

So with all that said, here's what my normal day looks like. (Caveat: A lot of my daily activities depend on where I am in the process of writing a book. Drafting is different than revising, for example. Right now, I'm starting revisions for the first book in a new series, THE RULES, so this is an example of a day in revision mode.)

8:00 am: In bed. Mumble goodbye to the husband as he leaves for work. Pull a pillow over my head and contemplate taking a sick day to watch King Tut documentaries on the History Channel all day. (I'm completely fascinated by mummies.) But nope, my brain is already spinning with the details that need to be added in this revision and the potential paths I want to explore to further flesh out the story.

So, I'm up.

8:07: Stumble downstairs to let all three of my dogs out. Discover we are down to the last seven squares of toilet paper in the whole house. Make a mental note to go out and buy some TODAY. 

8:30: Eat breakfast, drink tea, check for urgent emails from agent, editor, and friends.

8:31: Feel sad about the lack of urgent emails from agent, editor, and friends (though I now have an awesome Groupon for water skiing that I'll NEVER use). Realize this means I actually have to get to work now.

8:32: Check Twitter and Facebook for urgent tweets/messages from agent, editor, and friends. Realize this means I really, really have to get to work now.

9:00: Drag self into workout clothes and head to the spare bedroom where the treadmill lives. (What? Exercise is good for you. I'm not procrastinating. I'm...being healthy.) 

9:15: Call mentor and friend, Linnea Sinclair, while on the treadmill so we can chat about writing, the craft book we're both reading, and other very important author-y stuff, like last week's episode of The Big Bang Theory.

10:15: Check for urgent emails/tweets/messages again. Still nothing. Decide to shower. I can't work in these sweaty conditions.

10:16: Remember lack of toilet paper. Make another mental note about going out to buy some. 

10:45: Now I'm showered, dressed and at the computer, ready to...check my email/Twitter/Facebook again. Seriously? Still nothing?

10:46: Check spam folder to make sure nothing got caught in there. Double-check friends' statuses and latest tweets to see if something catastrophic has happened, like they were all somehow hit by the same bus and are therefore unable to contact me.

11:00: Attempt to craft a clever tweet that will attain maximum re-tweetage.

11:02: Give up and just write a pseudo-literate sentence or two about last night's Walking Dead. "What is up with keeping the walkers in the barn? EW."

11:15: Answer reader emails, write responses to interviews, let the dogs out 87 more times.

1:00pm: Time to get serious. Pack up my notes, my manuscript, and my iPad to head out to Starbucks. It's much harder to procrastinate there. People stare if you don't look busy. Of course, randomly clicking things on my iPad with a deep frown of concentration *looks* productive...

Remind myself to buy toilet paper on the way home.

1:30-5:30: At Starbucks. Keep my head down and focus on my work, mainly so as not to stare at the weird dude in the corner who doesn't look busy enough (unless, of course, he's quietly contemplating his next attempt to take over the world while sipping his mocha latte). Reread my edit letter. Make notes to myself about possible ways to strengthen the manuscript in the areas where my editor has correctly and brilliantly pointed out room for improvement. Note the chapters where these changes could fit. Keep a running list of research questions for friends who are smarter than I am (ex: Did stem cells play a role in my main character's creation? How does that work? Are there cloned sheep involved?) 

5:45: Stumble out of Starbucks in a daze, most of my brain still stuck in storyland. Pull out of the parking lot and start to drive home.

6:00: Pull into the driveway at home and remember...toilet paper! Damnit. Turn around and head back to the shopping center.

6:15-6:30: Buy toilet paper and go home. Again.

6:45: Let my dogs out (again). Feed them and give them water. Play a few games of fetch featuring a soggy and well-chewed toy. Take a half-hearted look into the pantry and fridge for dinner fixings before reaching the inevitable (and frequent) conclusion that we have nothing edible or appetizing and eating out is the only option.

7:00pm Husband arrives home. Quitting time! Well, sort of. Writers never really stop working since we carry the work around in our heads. Post-dinner, I'm settled on the couch with my iPad and pen and paper (yes, I know that's both old-fashioned and redundant, but there's something about ink and paper that helps the ideas flow). I'm talking to my husband, tweeting about what we're watching on TV, and jotting down notes about the revision or future projects or generally amusing myself by talking to myself on the page just a little bit more.

Writing is one of those things that happens a little bit at a time. I wish I could sit down for eight straight hours and pound out 200 pages. Dude. That would be awesome! And there are probably writers who do that. (No, I do not wish to meet them and feel even more inadequate, thank you.)

But I prefer to think of myself as following the Brett Favre theory. (NO. Not that one.) There's a quote from him that goes something like this: You don't focus on throwing touchdowns. You concentrate on moving the chains ten yards at a time.

So, that's what I'm doing. I'm moving the chains. And okay, yeah, some days I move them a little farther than on other less productive days. But hey, at least I remembered to buy the toilet paper...eventually. All is right with the world.

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