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A Day in the Life of.....
Shannon Richard grew up in the Panhandle of Florida as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book, and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s in English literature and still lives in Tallahassee, where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she’s a pretty big fan of the whimsy.
I’m not your typical military brat. I was born in the Philippines where my family lived until I was about two. Then we moved to Tacoma, Washington where I’m told I got to play in the snow. I have no memories of this supposed snow. Our days in Tacoma were numbered, and right before my third birthday we moved all the way across the country to Florida, where I’ve lived ever since. My parents still live in the same house that we moved into twenty-four years ago, in a town right on the beach…seeing a common theme here? Though my hometown is on the smaller side, it’s not nearly as tiny as my fictional town of Mirabelle, Florida.
I migrated east to Tallahassee where I went to college at Florida State University (Go Noles!). After I graduated I spent some time over in Europe volunteering (with nuns). I was in Italy for a few months working at a preschool, and not knowing a word of Italian…let me tell you, conversations were few and far between. When I came back to the States, I moved back to Tallahassee and got a day job to pay the bills. All the while, I continued pursuing my dream of writing.
I’ve always had stories running around in my head. I’d jot down a scene or two every once in a while, but I never really went anywhere with those scenes. That is until my senior year of college when I started writing a string of scenes and then I put them all together…though that book is still unfinished. I’ve read that the only way to learn how to write a book is to actually write a book. That first one sure was a learning experience. Something I discovered was that I needed to write in order, from beginning to end and no jumping around.
In November of 2011, I decided to do the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and start fresh with a new novel. And with this marathon writing whirlwind, Undone and the Country Roads Series was born.
So a day in the life of me? Let me try to make this more entertaining than watching paint dry…
7:00 a.m. – My battle with the alarm clock begins.
7:30 a.m. – If the alarm clock wins (after about three hits of the snooze button) I get up (grudgingly) and go to the gym and read while I spend an hour on the elliptical. If the alarm clock looses, I stay in bed for another hour.
9:00ish a.m. – I check my email and drink a cup of coffee. I’ll usually have a virtual water cooler session with fellow author Jessica Lemmon. We talk about politics, global warming, and the price of tea in China…just kidding, we send each other inappropriate pictures of barely dressed men, discuss the dent in Henry Cavill’s chin, and the devastation that a certain Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam’s character in Sons of Anarchy) continually leaves us in.
9:30 a.m. – I start getting ready for work. I have curly hair, and whenever people say to me: “Oh, I’m sure it takes you no time at all to get ready with that hair.” FALSE. Doing my hair is a process that involves about seven different hair care products and about fifteen minutes with a diffuser that constantly falls off of my blow dryer.
10:30 a.m. – I head out the door for work (with a fresh cup of coffee in hand). The car ride usually consists of the music turned up to the max and me dancing around in my car at red lights (safety first). I’m sure the people stopped next to me think I’m crazy…they’d be correct.
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Work…otherwise known as checking my farm on Hay Day (you can judge me), checking my email again, going on Twitter, stalking my Facebook newsfeed, going on Pinterest, and occasionally answering the phone to help customers who are in need of some customer service.
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – My lunch break is sometimes spent in the break room watching a movie or some episode of a TV show (I’m currently watching Sherlock. I have a growing crush on Benedict Cumberbatch). Or, I’ll run errands, otherwise known as shopping at Target where I buy another cardigan (What? It was in a color that I didn’t have), check out the entertainment section where I see if there are any new movies/music I need to know about, and covet all of the pretty, pretty books.
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – I attempt to get in some writing. I’ll work on blog posts or try to pound out a few pages. My job has a lot, and I mean A LOT, of down time. I’m very fortunate to have bosses that allow me to write at work (that is, when all of my other job related tasks are done). If I’m not in a writing frame of mind, I’ll read.
8:00ish p.m. – I have another music session in the car where I plot out more scenes as I sing very loudly (and more than slightly off key).
8:30ish p.m. – Get home, pour myself a glass of wine, and unwind. I’ll watch an episode of TV (Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Parenthood, etc.), read a book, work on a blog post, or finish writing that scene that I was in the middle of when I left work.
11:00ish p.m. – Turn the lights out and stare at the ceiling for at least thirty minutes as I try to work out the next scene that I need to write…sometimes I do this for an hour before sleep blessedly takes over.
Honestly, every day is different from the next. Sometimes I get in a lot of writing, other days I stare at the screen for hours and wonder how on Earth I’ve managed to finish any books at all. A lot of it is just figuring out how to manage my time, and this is something that I’m learning about daily.