It’s 8:30, and the phone rings. It’s reminiscent of one of those old-fashioned tellies most people only see in museums nowadays. If I wasn’t already at least a little awake, the sound would’ve had me sitting up groping around to answer the phone, only to realize it’s my alarm. What can I say? I have to trick myself into waking up in the mornings.
Usually, though, I beat the alarm up by five or ten minutes, sleepily checking my email for any new stuff from my editing clients. I have roughly an hour to wake up, and I tend to spend most of it addressing little things I can do on my phone while half asleep.
By 9:30, I’m mostly conscious, and have sent my husband off to work. Then, and only then, can my real work begin.
First up, I have client work to address. This means I’m reading through manuscripts trying to find ways an author can improve their novels on a structural level. Some days, this involves picking at writing on a sentence level, making recommendations on style improvements, tension and pacing improvements, and even general improvement of English-language skills. On other days, I’m picking apart character arcs, plot arcs, and the general tone of a novel.
Once I reach my benchmarks for the day, I’m drafting or editing my own novels. This can be rewriting scenes I think need a lot of improvement, tweaking sentences, or addressing problems my editor(s) have pointed out.
During this, I’m dealing with household emergencies, bills, making sure my four cats don’t try to eat me, you know, the usual. Sometimes, I flake out and do things other than what I’m supposed to be doing. One of my favorite flaking-out activities is drawing maps of my world. I used to sketch them on my computer, but now I do them on imitation parchment paper and scan them into the computer. Sometimes I sketch things like dragons. Other times, I’ll crochet something (badly) or try to knit.
Mostly, though, I work and try to pretend that I’m not falling behind on the house chores again. One of these days I will get a maid. Of course, one of these days will probably never come, but a girl can dream, right?
At night is when things get really weird. On the surface, I look like this responsible and serious editor-writer person. Then, my husband comes home. If I owned the proper attire or felt comfortable in that sort of thing, I’d probably get into a catgirl suit, find some daggers, and try to play my computer game character. My fellow gamers just call me StabbyStabby. I play a rogue, and I’m prone to saying StabbyStabby before it’s time to kill something in the game.
I guess all work and no play for a few years made me a kind of crazy person. I raid in Everquest with my husband a few days a week, which gives us time to spend together doing something we both enjoy. Rogues are great therapy characters. If I have a bad day at work, it’s no problem. I can take it all out on some unsuspecting monsters in Everquest. Stabbystabbystabby…
Whenever I find time, I settle down and read books. I usually try to review the books I read, because I enjoy the process of explaining what I liked and didn’t like about a story. I also find it useful for readers who are potentially buying a story.
To sum it up…
A day in the life of RJ Blain: Busy but rewarding.
Here’s to tomorrow.
Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
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Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
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