Cara starts her day off early, typically sometime between 5:30 and 6:15, and she goes directly to the kitchen to make coffee, French pressed from some exotic coffee beans she’s recently discovered at Starbucks. After two cups, she goes to her downstairs office and exercises on her Fluidity Bar. (The Fluidity Bar is a recent purchase from a TV infomercial, and it’s guaranteed to give whoever uses it a dancer’s body. The trick, as Cara sees it, is that one has to actually perform all the movements, and there are some that her body seems to be incapable of doing. Truth told, Cara can’t seem to do a sit up or a crunch to save her life.) On alternate days, she slips an audio book into her CD player and heads outside for a brisk walk. (This experience is always more positive than the Fluidity Bar. Cara can still walk.)
Once she’s finished with exercising, she makes one final cup of coffee and heads for her upstairs office, settles herself on a comfy leather sofa, boots up her laptop, and begins her writing day. Usually, Cara writes from 8:00 AM until between noon and 2:00 PM. Lunch is usually a quick snack she can eat in her office—while she channel serfs on her TV. By the time she checks all 350 plus channels and reassures herself that she’s not missing anything, it’s back to writing. Or maybe a quick power nap. (Lately, the power naps are becoming more frequent. She suspects it has something to do with that Fluidity Bar.)
What is her writing time like? Usually, she begins by going over what she wrote the day before. After revising and polishing that, she brainstorms the next scene on a legal pad. The dialogue usually comes to her first, then when she begins to word process the scene, she “paints” in the scenery and adds narrative. How many pages will she write? A minimum of seven to ten pages is what she aims for—but that doesn’t always happen. A love scene (3-5 pages) may take a day or two.
Sometime after lunch (or the power nap), Cara will go to her downstairs office to check her email and do “writing business’ things, such as check her website, answer emails from fans and/or her editor. (Notice that she does not allow checking her email to interfere with her morning writing time.)
Three days a week, Cara teaches college level writing classes in the afternoons or evenings. On those days, she’ll stop writing at 1:00. Two days a week, she’ll continue writing until dinnertime—which she actually cooks and sits down to eat—and not in her office. On the days she doesn’t teach, especially if a deadline is pressing, she’ll sometimes continue to write into the evening. But most evenings, she turns into a couch potato and tries to find something interesting to watch on TV. Her favorite shows in order are The Closer, NCIS (totally because Mark Harmon is great eye candy), House, Bones, Monk, 24, and CSI Miami. She’s also been known to watch Gray’s Anatomy (again, totally for the eye candy) and she’s recently started watching The Starter Wife. (Note: the TV watching is often interrupted by phone calls from her three sons.)
Does Cara do anything for fun? Absolutely, when she’s not chained to her laptop or doing battle with her Fluidity Bar, she roller blades at a nearby park, drives around in her 1990 Miata with the top down, and she flies frequently to Florida to visit her two grandchildren—Marian who is five and Andrew who is two and one half!
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