My time in the morning breaks down like this. At slightly before 2 am, my subconscious, which is rising towards wakefulness, is infiltrated by the sound of my dog Jeter’s chuffing. It’s basically an old dog’s soft, fuck you grumble that he knows will get me out of bed so that Lisa is not woken too early. He literally stands right beside my side of the bed (he always starts off on my bed at night but chuffs to get down so he can get some water) and when he knows it is about 2, he starts to grumble. Fully awake, I slide out of bed, lift him up and carry him downstairs to the main floor.
I stop in the main floor bathroom and swallow my packet of Relief Factor, then go into the darkened livingroom and dress in the clothes I left by my recliner the night before, again so I don’t wake Lisa.
Then Jeter follows me down to the basement level, where I swallow my growing handful of Old Dude supplements, start up my Keurig, and take today’s horse and dog goodies from the fridge and cabinets, where they have been prepped and stored for the week at some point yesterday.
The separate bags of medallion carrots, chopped celery and doggie treats go into my cloth sack to accompany me on my rounds later in the morning. One gallon-sized bag full of mixed carrots, celery and apples comes off the doorshelf and goes with me out to feed Claire and Honey.
But before that, I open a can of Blue brand dogfood and dole out 1/4 to Jeter’s bowl and 3/4 to Blue’s bowl. Blue hears me pop the can open all the way upstairs and then slides out of bed from her spot next to Lisa and comes down where she joins Jeter at breakfast.
With the coffee brewing, I slip on my muck boots and pull on a hoodie, then take the mixed bag outside and down back where Claire and Honey are standing in the shadows, usually by Gipetto’s studio. Blue always comes with me out back – which I appreciate, because you never know what you will find in the darkness and an 80 pound Bronx Pitty is a wonderful deterrent of nocturnal feral creatures. Blue is fearless.
While we are gone, Jeter just putters around in the back yard area, doing his business and marking his territory. He likes to piss on the bench back by the rabbit warren underneath the workshop, just to let the bunnies know he stopped by.
Sometimes Honey will be lying down sleeping while Claire stands watch. But Honey always gets to her feet when she sees Blue or hears me shake the breakfast bag as I approach. I always let the mules know I’m coming that way because you never want to surprise Claire in the darkness. I locate their large rubber bowls (they like to drag them around the area) and split the bag evenly for their early morning feeding.
Once they are eating, I check the barn to see if there are any large piles of mule muffins that need to be removed from the stall area, and if so, do so.
By the time I return to the basement, its about 2:30 and I grab my coffee and go to my office.
Now if I’m actively writing I sit down before the screen and zone out. Elves step in and Voila.
If I’m not actively writing, I sit down and go on Twitter to interact with my wonderful writer friends from all over the world. What a great bunch. I personally believe that a lot of my success with The Claire Trilogy has come as a result of the word of mouth I have experienced with these writers. They are the best. So supportive. I always try and return the favor.
I do try to reach out each day to my regulars just to check out and respond to their feeds and say good morning. By the time I am finished it’s after 3 am, and I open up to my blog and ask myself, “What will be today’s topic?” It’s usually something that lodged in my brain over the prior 24 hours.
Now I started this blog just before TWA first dropped in February 2021. It’s been two years, yesterday, since that life changing day. Happy Belated Birthday The Wise Ass. Love you Claire.
I started the blog because I was told I needed to develop an on-line presense, and since I had no social media, I set up my website and started writing. My dear friend, Colin Broderick, was generous with his tips and suggestions on how to handle it all. Thank you Colin.
First thing he told me. “Write about Claire.”
I was a huge fan of an Aussie TV show called 800 Words. It is about a widowed father who transplants his two children from Sidney to NZ, and then writes a regular column about his life – 800 words exactly every posting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/800_Words. I highly recommend the show.
I thought that would be so cool to do something like that. So when I started this, I decided to treat my blog like a daily diary, and write whatever came into my head each morning. Instead of two teens, I have two mules to draw upon.
Well, anyway, over the two years I have taken brief hiatuses from my blogging only to write the next three novels. Even then I have tried to pop on to provide updates on my writing progress. I find that the blogging has helped me as a writer, because it forces me to write on demand each day and requires me to expand my mental reach to memories from way back in the day. And that has been really helpful, especially for writing Finding Jimmy Moran. Again, the book is entirely fiction.
Anyway, I usually check my books’ standings each morning because I’m addicted to the ranking Amazon sites. I didn’t know they existed until my frenemy, BC, mentioned it one day, knowing that I would become instantly obsessed. Bastard. Thank you BC.
I have become better at handling those days when the books rankings start to fade. There are always valleys between the mountains. Got to take the bitter with the sweet.
But some mornings I am thrilled when they all show up together some where. A family reunion. Nicer if it’s towards the top.
Today was a banner day.
Now I wish I could fully explain why the books end up where they do. I’m certain it has a lot to do with the marketing support provided by my publisher Reagan Rothe at Black Rose Writing. He is quite brilliant at his job. Thank you Reagan. I’m also confident that putting myself out here with almost shameless abandon develops some name recognition and causes some casual obeservers to wonder if I am really full of shit enough to take a chance on a Kindle purchase. And I thank all of you of the five, fine readers who did that.
But the absolute truth is that it is all down to the luck of the Irish. And Blarney.
This morning, I’m the luckiest Mick in town.
I won’t go back and check the Amazon standings for a couple of hours because I want to keep TCT’s tight cluster at the top floating around happily in my brain.
Thank you, my fine, five readers, for accompanying me each morning on my little blogging adventure. Somehow, I feel you all around me as I write these words. And that feels wonderful.
Sunday awaits. And while it is not a workday, there is plenty of work to do around Casa Claire.
But first, a kitty cuddle, my rounds and the treadmill.
I hope you fine, five readers all have a chance to sleep in today. Although I’m really not sure what that would feel like. But I have seen it in movies and it looks awesome.
And when you all do get up, have an extra cup of coffee/tea, and then relax. Go to church if that’s your thing and give God his/her due. If gathering somewhere to collectively pray is not your thing, that’s fine, just take a moment and thank the Universe for all of your blessings. Then do something fun. Something family related. We need Sunday for just that reason. To be thankful. I certainly am.
But most of all, make today a great one.