If Only All You Had To Do Was Write

Ah, for the good old days when I thought being a writer meant holing up in a garret with a Smith-Corona and a bottle of bourbon.  (Sorry.  I’m showing my age.)

In reality, that’s just the start.  For example, my latest book, Queen Ferris, came out two weeks ago, on Oct. 30th.  What follows was my schedule through yesterday.

10/31.  Up at five in the morning to drive to New Haven for a school appearance.  Spoke for an hour apiece to the fifth and sixth grades, then signed books at the school’s book fair for four hours.  Drove home in traffic.  Crashed.

11/1.   Up at six to get ready for WFC.  Drove to Albany.  Unloaded party supplies for that night’s Zombies Need Brains party hosted by Josh Palmatier, Patricia Bray, Jennifer Dunne, Barbara Campbell, C.E. Murphy, and me.  Did the first reading at con (with Diana Pharaoh Francis doing the same thing in the next room) at 3:30.  Back to setting up party.  Schmoozing and partying till…

11/2.  …one in the morning.  Party teardown.  Crashed.  Same schmoozing and crashing schedule for the rest of the weekend, only with later nights (and wakeups) each day.

11/5.  Spent the day talking with agent and editor about great new marketing and schmoozing ideas picked up at con.  Real life event that evening.  Crashed.

11/6-7.  Tried to do some writing as it was the only chance I was going to get all week.  Crashed.

11/8.  Up at five again to drive to Northern Jersey for another school appearance.  Similar schedule to 10/31.  Drove home for premier of daughter’s school play, then back in the car to drive to Boston for more real life meetings.  Reached Boston at…

11/9.  …one in the morning.  Crashed.  Up at six for all day meeting.  Drove back to NY in rush hour traffic.  Crashed.

11/10.  Thought this was going to be the day of rest.  No such luck.  Sewer backs up in basement sometime around 2:30.  Since office and bedroom are in basement, this is a problem.  Frantically try to find a plumber on Saturday afternoon.  Fail.  Stop showering or going to the bathroom.  Wish desperately for a bottle of bourbon.  Crash.

11/11.  Find  plumber.  Crash.

11/12 .  Try to write while entire house shudders under the efforts of plumber to dig eleven foot deep hole out front.  Consider throwing self from roof.  Crash.

11/13.  Wonder whether I’m ever going to write again while trying to persuade plumbers not to bring jackhammers into the house.  Prepare for reading that evening at local bookstore.  Read.  Sign books.  Crash.

11/14.  Plumbers still here.  Reaching for bourbon, but not Smith Corona.  Crash.

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There are 7 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. Kelly McCullough

    Oh man, Sam. Ouch! You have my complete sympathies. Book lunch plus plumbing problems. Makes me want a sip or two of that bourbon just thinking about it.

  2. 2. S.C. Butler

    I’d offer you some, but the bottle’s already empty.

  3. 3. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Oh! Forgot we were reading opposite each other. How’d it go?

    And on 11/12, it isn’t clear whether the Crash is from throwing self from roof, or just, yanno exhaustion. Both?

  4. 4. S.C. Butler

    It’s been all crashing all the time for the last two weeks.

    My reading went well? A few folks I didn’t even know showed up. And yours?

  5. 5. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Mine was good. About 20 or 30 people. Some I didn’t even know :)

  6. 6. Patricia Bray

    I must admit, my visions of the writing life included minions who would deal with the mundane realities of life, freeing me up to create.

    Sadly reality has yet to live up to that vision.

  7. 7. Thomas

    I’m new to this blog and am by no means a published author, but I thought I’d chime in anyway and offer a comment.

    I also thought when I was younger that being a writer meant being dressed in your jammies and hammering out story after story on your typewriter. Since becoming addicted to C-Span’s Book TV and seeing the trails and travails of authors being dragged across the nation to sign books, I found that I was sadly wrong. Ah, well at least it was good fiction while it lasted.

Author Information

S.C. Butler

Butler is the author of The Stoneways Trilogy from Tor Books: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, and The Magician's Daughter. Find out what Reiffen does with magic, and what magic does with him... Visit site.

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