Unfortunately my husband is not telepathic, so he turns off the alarm and gets up at this ungodly hour. At this point I have two choices – close my eyes and feign sleep, or be a good girl and hop on the exercise bike. If my brother weren’t getting married in a few months and expecting me and my abundant boobage in a strapless dress to be in the wedding party, I’d opt for sleep.

The stationary bike starts whirring, and in a few minutes my eyes open. I scour the shelf next to the bike for something to keep me going – Blaze, Presents, RDI, a book on writing, and Why Do Men Have Nipples? Why do men have nipples? I couldn’t tell you, I need the decadence of a Presents this morning.

By the time my husband emerges from the bathroom I’m glistening with sweat. Ladies glisten. We don’t drip and reek. I doubt Hubba agrees with my theory, since he never tries to kiss me before he rushes off to work. After my shower, I try to coax my curly hair into compliance and hope for ten minutes to check my email. No such luck. Two-year-old BabyBoy was wakened by the garbage truck.

A half dozen books later, four-year-old BigBoy joins us downstairs. While making breakfast I talk with my mom on the phone to quell my nerves about chatting up my new editor tomorrow. After breakfast, there is a slight scuffle when I have to de-syrup BabyBoy, and another when I explain that he cannot spend his day naked. By nine-thirty we’re all dressed and ready for our day at the zoo with Grandma. It’s not until we’re in the car that I wonder if I have enough gas to make it there and back.

My mother-in-law and I each focus on one boy as we trek through the zoo. While the boys inspect bugs, I try and think of a way to roll three scenes into one in the book I’m revising for my agent. Before the elusive answer solidifies, we are on to the wilds of Africa. The giraffes are no help. Zebras either. The fornicating bats present an interesting option, if a bit gratuitous.

The tangle didn’t unsnarl as we made our way to the boys favorite salad bar buffet restaurant for a nutritious lunch of croutons, pizza, and honeydew melon. Surely I’ll make parent of the year. Back at home, I put the boys down for a nap and fire up the computer, and proceed to spend two hours on the internet. Two hours? I’m coordinating a workshop on Romance Divas, blogging, keeping up with forums, entering recipe contests…and guess who’s awake?

Naps are over before I get any actual work done, so I vow no distractions tonight while I work. Egad. Survivor is on. I’ll have to be strong. The afternoon is a walk to the park with the boys and my Presents from this morning. But I don’t read it – other moms are there so I opt for adult conversation. After two warnings and a time out, we head home. I politely suggest the boys play in the backyard while I make dinner. BigBoy not so politely declines, until BabyBoy finds a slug. I add slug bait to the grocery list and grill salmon to top our Caesar salads for dinner. I make a mental note to try a salmon salad pita sandwich for lunch tomorrow with the leftovers. I’m always developing recipes which have appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Cooking Light & Sunset.

After dinner we take a walk as a family, and the knot of a problem in my story finally yanks free! Back at home I attack my computer, one eye at the clock in the corner, mocking me that Survivor starts too soon. I revise twelve pages before I give in and flip on the TV, swearing I will work through the show. When a contestant is taken off the island by helicopter for a medical emergency I stop, but get right back to it at the commercial.

Survivor is over and it’s bath time for the boys. Hubba earns his place in my heart every night by handing the bath and bulk of the nighttime routine. I’ve revised thirty pages before my exceptional story reading, prayer, and hugging skills are requested. Once the boys are tucked in, I work in earnest, trying like heck to finish these revisions so I can ship them off to the agent and concentrate on the revisions the editor requested on another book.

My husband tried to speak to me around eleven, but gives up when I merely nod and stare at the computer. I work on a laptop on our bed, so he’s forced to pull the covers over his head and try to sleep while I wrestle with my ending. I finished. Just before midnight. Knowing a call is coming from England in eight hours I email the revised book to my gmail account as backup and power down, glad my editor won’t be able to notice my dark circles over the phone. Because I work so close to the time I need to sleep, I brush my teeth and meditate before attempting it, But by then, it’s tomorrow. Another day in the life, and you only asked for one.  

Jenna Bayley-Burke’s Web Site

The Reviews are in:

Cooking up a Storm How about Tomorrow Dream Ring
If We Listened Just One Spark In Silhouette

Jenna has a copy of Cooking up a Storm for you to add to your private library.  Enter below for your chance to win!

Find out more about Jenna at The Pink Heart Society


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