Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Day in the Life of… Lisa Becker

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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!

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Lisa Becker had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story. She is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for you!

 


A Day in the Life of Lisa Becker, author of Click: An Online Love Story

6:30 am

Alarm rings; hand smacks snooze button for an eight-minute respite from waking. SLEEP! DREAM! SNORE!

6:38 am

Alarm rings. Slowly wake up and immediately check phone. Did my agent call? Just kidding on that one. But, I do check to make sure I don’t have any urgent emails or voicemails.

6:40 am

Quickly get ready before the girls (Olivia, age 7 and Marlee, age 5) wake up and we’re plunged into our school-day morning routine

7:00 am

Wake the girls if they aren’t already up and rush through our morning routine:

  • Dressed
  • Teeth brushed
  • Hair brushed
  • Beds made
  • Breakfast
  • Kiss my husband goodbye
  • Out the door and off to school

8:05 am

Relish in the fact this will be my only quiet time for the entire day. My girls DO NOT STOP TALKING.

8:10 am

Meet dear friend, Tracey, for our weekly power walk along the strand in Manhattan Beach. It’s much easier to exercise when you can watch the ocean crashing against the shore and gossip with a good friend. Our chat this morning includes a recap of my vacation to Maine, updates on children’s soccer games and minimal complaining about how our husbands don’t help out around the house as much as we would like. Follow up our walk with a reward at Noah’s bagels. Order my usual – great grains bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. My tummy’s rumbling right now just thinking about it. Shower and change. After the walk on the beach, I’m a sweaty mess.

10:15 am

One hour to work!

  • Check and respond to emails
  • Send pitch letters to book bloggers requesting a book review
  • Contact video producer about my book trailer
  • Send out pitch letters to blogs and newspapers that are conducting holiday gift guides

11:15 am

Pick up my kindergartner from school and wonder, “Where the %&@! did my morning go?”

11:30 am

Do “homework” with my little one, which consists of an online reading program from school and a workbook I picked up for her from the bookstore. She’s incredibly bright. She had a board game about learning her letters when she was four. I tried convincing her that we could give it away because it was too easy for her. She picked up a playing card and read “Match the lowercase letter r with the uppercase letter on the game board.” Then she proceeded to pretend like she couldn’t find the matching capital letter. I explained that if she could read the directions on the playing card, she probably didn’t need the help learning the letters. She finally acquiesced and we gave the game to a younger friend. Spend the remainder of our time together eating lunch, talking about her day, playing go fish and doing puzzles.

2:00 pm

Pick up Olivia from school and race home to do math homework before leaving for art class.

2:45 pm

Take the girls to art class. Both are very talented little artists. It seems to be a passion for both of them.

3:15 pm

Prepare dinner. Black bean and cheese quesadillas with olives (my girls LOVE olives) for the girls and stuffed mushrooms on a bed of lemon farro for me and Steve. I converted to vegetarianism about eight months ago and have never felt better. It’s a fantastic recipe. I have one for a jalapeno artichoke dip which I never give out. It’s my secret. But this one, I will gladly share.

Ingredients:

6 4-inch-diameter Portobello mushrooms, stemmed
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 leeks, white and pale green parts thinly sliced (2 cups)
6 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbs.)
1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb. fresh baby spinach
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
2 Tbs. pine nuts
1 cup farro
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Spray mushroom caps with cooking spray, and sprinkle gill sides with salt and pepper, if desired. Arrange mushrooms gill-sides down on prepared baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to soften. Turn mushrooms over.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, and thyme, and sauté 4 minutes, or until leeks are tender. Add 2 large handfuls spinach at a time, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and most liquid has evaporated, stirring often.
Stir in goat cheese and pine nuts until cheese is melted. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Fill mushrooms with spinach mixture, mounding on top and packing filling down with hands. Bake 25 minutes, or until filling browns on top and mushrooms are fork-tender.

3. Cook farro in large saucepan of boiling salted water 20 minutes, or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. To serve, spoon 1/2 cup farro mixture onto each plate; top with 1 stuffed mushroom.
4. ENJOY!

4:30 pm

Homework with Olivia. Practice distinguishing between they're, their and there. There are some adults who still haven't figured this out. One of my pet peeves is poor grammar. We all make mistakes sometimes, but let's try our best to proofread. I recall being a teaching assistant for an undergraduate communications course while in grad school. I once had a student who turned in a paper that kept talking about the porpoise of things when he meant to say purpose. Spell check doesn't take the place of a proofread, people! With that being said, apologies in advance if there are errors in this run down of my day. If you haven’t gathered by now, I’m tired!

6:00 pm

Dinner!

7:00 pm

Jeopardy. We watch as a family and pause the TV if we think there’s a question the girls might know. They love getting answers right.

7:30 pm

Bedtime routine – jammies, brush teeth and bedtime stories. Obviously, as a writer, I have a strong belief that reading is one of the most important skills and greatest pleasures we can have. So, we spend a lot of time with books in our home.

8:00 pm

Begin edits to Double Click, the Click sequel. Become interrupted with emails about upcoming Brownie Troop meeting. I’m fortunate to have had a series of wonderful careers outside of writing including being a wife, mom, PR professional, college professor, volunteer and Girl Scout troop leader. Somehow, these always seem to take precedence over the writing. I supposed it’s a good way to avoid staring at a blank computer screen or making my way through notes scribbled in red ink by my editor. But, I’ve always wanted to learn to professionally decorate cakes. Not only does it look fun, but really yummy!

9:00 pm

Visit with Steve. This is the first chance we’ve had to really talk to each other all day. Hear about his hilarious patient Mrs. Buck. She’s a sweet 75-year-old woman who has a crush on my husband. Several months ago she came in to see him. The nurse roomed her, took her vitals and told her Dr. Becker would be in to see her shortly. Steve went in a few moments later and after examining Mrs. Buck sent his nurse back in to give her a prescription. The nurse said, “Mrs. Buck. You weren’t wearing all of that make-up when I roomed you.” Mrs. Buck blushed. She had gotten all dolled up for Steve. Good thing I’m not the jealous type.

10:00

Prepare for bed and watch a rerun of Seinfeld. It was the episode about being “Master of your Domain.” Shelley, a character in Click: An Online Love Story, would no doubt approve.

10:30

Sleep and prepare for tomorrow’s adventure, grateful for the life I have.

Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles.

The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical "B" celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates.

Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

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