Well, I’m a creature of habit, so at least four days of my week go like this:
I rise at four o’clock in the AM (yes you read that correctly) throw on some workout clothes and either run on my treadmill for thirty minutes or do warm-up calisthenics, followed by some light free weight work. I then go out to the dojo and do some bag work, generally punches. Then I kick the heavy bag around some. If my partner is up (about three days out of seven) we do a little sparring, sometimes he drills me on a new or a particular skill. For those of you who don’t know this, my partner is my Sensei.
By six o’clock I’m in the shower wondering if the stuff I wrote the previous evening is any good. By six-thirty, I’m dressed, grab the bowl of oatmeal that my guy microwaved for me and seat myself before my iMac and check said stuff, out. Generally I’m surprised, it’s not as bad as I thought, but the errors are glaringly obvious.
After I munch down the oatmeal I start to make the changes as my partner tells me information relative (not) to my day… the weather, world disasters, what Obama said… you catch the drift. By now I’ve got my Thesaurus up and I’m probably on Wiki researching some information that I want to use in my story. Shortly after, I’m checking my email, answering it and if possible sending out a Tweet or checking FB.
During this process I am also rigging my iPod to my person. I have to be at my real life job between seven-thirty and eight o’clock. Okay I’m supposed to be in at seven-thirty, but I’m head of the design team, so they don’t really care if I’m late. Generally by seven-fifteen I’m saving whatever changes I made in my writing, shrugging into my scarf, grabbing my supplements and a protein bar to hold me over until I return home. After kissing my partner, I jump in the Jetta, crank up my music and drive the short four miles to the design studio.
Once I enter the studio, I turn on my iPod, make myself a hot drink, (coffee or tea) suck down my supplements and check out what design work I’ve got lined up. I design giftware, accessories, jewelry and other stuff for a long standing firm that sells in the UK and America. It’s not rocket science, so generally I’m on automatic and am working out some feature in the story I am writing. The music coming though the iPod helps me isolate. Although no one is supposed to wear earbuds at the studio, when I was hired I made it a point in my contract … no iPod, no Alex. Plus everyone knows to “leave Alex alone.” They get better designs if they don’t interrupt me.
By two o’clock the protein bar I ate at noon is waning and I’m readying myself to go home. Two thirty is my official quitting time, but if I’m done, I’m done. I get in my Jetta, switch off the earbuds, switch on the cd player and return home.
Once home, I strip, throw on something more comfortable and if I didn’t have a coffee, I make a cup. If not then it’s tea and some kind of snack like banana chips, both of which I take over to my iMac. I’m home alone in one of two ways, either my lover is sleeping because he’s working the night shift or he’s already left and I’ll see him after eleven.
So, this two-thirty and on time, is when I get most of my writing done. After bringing up iTunes or Pandora, I put my other headset on. Then I grab all the little post it notes I’ve scribbled on all day, sort them and add the prevalent information to my outline, timeline or appropriate place. I’ll generally take a quick look at what I worked on in the AM, maybe make some additional changes and then I’m checking my outline to see what passage(s) I think I can work on. I select the appropriate music for which character or scene I’ll be working on and lose myself in the story.
I’ll work until about five thirty, then take a break and fix something to eat. Generally steamed veggies or yogurt and fruit and sometimes soup. While I eat this I check my email, Twitter and maybe send in that book review that is due. Afterwards I’ll wash the dishes and then bundle up, pod up and go out for a walk-about or sometimes jog-about. This clears my head and since I live in a college neighborhood, I reenergize as I walk/run among the students on campus.
By seven or seven-thirty I’m back at my keyboard, either writing or researching. Sometimes I go into Photoshop and work on a cover illustration or a book trailer image. If I’m researching, I’ll put up another window and watch some MMA fights while I research for a couple of hours. If I get inspired, I’ll take a break, try some moves, do sit ups or some type of movement for a half hour, before sitting back down to resume writing/researching/drawing.
At about ten-thirty or eleven, I hit the shower, grab my Kindle and retire to the bedroom, where I’ll read to review whatever books are on my list. I keep my notebook nearby, because I am still fine-tuning my WIP, if anything comes to me, I make a note. I generally fall off between twelve-thirty and one-thirty, depending on if my partner comes home and we make happy.
So that’s pretty much it, a winter day in the life of Alex A. Akira.