Day by Day

J’s Day

5:00 – Alarm goes off.  Regret staying up late to get that extra hundred words in.

5:05 – Shower.  Try to remember where I left off in the WIP.


5:30 – Sit down to write.  Mutter barely-coherent thanks to whoever invented the programmable coffee maker.

6:30 – Crowbar surly teenager out of bed.  Crank out a few more words while intermittently hollering up the stairs until I hear him stumbling zombielike toward the shower.

7:15 – Hold a mostly-one-sided conversation with surly teenager over toast and generic Lucky Charms.

7:30 – See surly teenager off to school.  Answer as many of All Of The Emails as possible before it’s time to punch in at the Day Job.

7:45 – Fire up the Day Job laptop.  Turn my brain over to spreadsheets and industrial supplies.

10:15 – Take a five-minute Twitter break.  Envy writers lucky enough to write full-time with the white-hot envy of a million suns.

12:00 – Spend lunch at my desk answering more of All Of The Emails while nibbling corn chips and carrot sticks.

2:10 – Tea and candy.  Pet the writing laptop as I pass it by.

4:45 – Log out of the Day Job laptop.  Sit outside for fifteen minutes doing absolutely nothing.

5:00 – Cobble together an edible meal while insisting to the surly teenager that generic pop-tarts are not an appetizer.

5:30 – Consume edible meal while holding a somewhat-one-sided conversation with the surly teenager about our days.

6:30 – Interact with the family.  Perfect my turns in Mario Kart or soak in a little Downton Abbey.

9:00 – Enforce the unpopular doctrine of bedtime.  Smile politely at surly teenager’s mumbled accusations of fascism.

9:30 – Read a chapter of something that I haven’t written.

10:00 – Scrawl down an idea for the WIP that comes to me as I’m falling asleep.  Realize it’s a whole scene.  Get out of bed, find a notebook, scribble down just a hundred more words…


WJ 150x275

Cecily’s Day

Prime – Rise with the dawn, wash and dress.  If I’m speaking to my father, bid him good morrow.

Tierce – Supervise Mistress Tipley doing the marketing, even though it is rightly my task.  Consider ways to be rid of the crone.

Sext – Endure a seemingly endless browbeating by the lady de Coucy about my manners and demeanor while smiling politely and pretending to listen.

Nones – Weed and water my garden.  Check the sturdiness of the baby fence.

Vespers – Listen to an account of my father’s day as he went about officering the town mills over bread and ale before the fire.  Tell him about my garden and Salvo catching a mouse.  Leave out how the Glover boys next door threw mud at the laundry – again.

Compline – Bid my father goodnight and tuck myself into bed.  Try not to remember how my mother used to do that for me.

Matins – Wake up just slightly when I hear the bells in the blackest part of night.  Consider how glad I am for the walls that keep most of the bad things outside where they belong.


Gwenhwyfar’s Day

Not-quite-dawn – Make my way toward the brat’s.  If it’s a good day, I’ll not even see her.

Dawn – Dish up breakfast pottage.  Sneak myself an extra portion if the chatelaine isn’t looking.

Midmorning – Sweep.  Scrub.  Haul water.  Cobbles are getting hot underfoot.

Dusk – Plow out of this stone-and-mortar eyesore as quick as I can.  Get home, tend Mam.  If Gruffydd is home, sit shoulder-to-shoulder with him as we watch the fire.  Eat, if there’s food.

Dark – Drink water enough to wake me early so I can make my way to the brat’s.  Sleep, if there’s peace.

About J. Anderson Coats

J. Anderson Coats writes historical fiction for young adults chockful of name-calling and petty violence. THE WICKED AND THE JUST (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) is about teenagers behaving badly in thirteenth-century Wales.

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