Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Day in the Life*

When people find out that I write crime fiction, they often ask what it’s like being an author. And I’ve been asked more than once what my “day job” as a professor is like. I’m usually reluctant to talk very much about my personal life. After all, this is a blog about crime fiction. And if you’re kind enough to read this blog, you know that that’s how I think – crime fictionally ;-). So I figured that the best way to share what it’s like to do what I do is to tell you about a typical day – crime fiction style. So here’s my day in crime fiction:


4:00am – Wake Up Dead (Roger Smith) – Yes, you read it right. I get up at 4. That’s when it’s most peaceful and quiet around my home. I don’t get very far into the day before I need to have some Black Coffee (Agatha Christie). Plenty of it.

4:15am – Time to read my Fan Mail (P.D. Martin) ;-) – or at least blog comments and Email. This is when I do my morning “blog rounds,” too. I also work on The Murder Book (Jonathan Kellerman) I’ve got in progress.

After a shower and breakfast….

6:00am – I Started Early, Took My Dog[s] (Kate Atkinson) out for their run and give them breakfast.

7:30am – It’s off to work for An Advancement of Learning (Reginald Hill). After all, I want to make sure my students are Well-Schooled in Murder (Elizabeth George) ;-).

Sometimes, of course, I tele-commute. I like doing that because then I can avoid Road Rage (Ruth Rendell) and rush hour (such an oxymoron) traffic. And it’s efficient and “green.”

Between noon and 2:00pm, depending on the day and my obligations, I have The Coroner’s Lunch (Colin Cotterill), or at least, my own lunch ;-). I also post to my blog, catch up on some other blogs, and work with some of my online students. When there’s time, I work on my writing, too.

4:00pm – 5:00pm – If I’ve been at the office, I head home. If I’ve been tele-commuting, it’s time to wrap-up my Foul Deeds (Susan James) ;-) for the day and start thinking domestically. And have some tea.

5:00pm – Time to feed and walk the dogs and plan something Delicious and Suspicious (Riley Adams – AKA Elizabeth Spann Craig) for dinner. Dinner and the early evening is usually A Family Affair (Rex Stout).

After dinner is finished and the dishes cleared, I work with my online students, read, and work on my own writing. And then it’s time for The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler).


Of course, I’ve just given you the Bare Bones (Kathy Reichs) of my day. There’s lots more to it than that, and my days are certainly not all like this. But I didn’t want to go on and on about it. Still, there you have it – my day in crime fiction. What about you? Do you have crime-fictional days? Maybe your entire day is a mystery ;-). I know some of mine are ;-).

And yes, I just thought I’d do this for fun. It’s not an “official” meme (if there is such thing). You can play along if you wish…. Or not.


*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a Beatles song.

26 comments:

  1. Great post Margot. No wonder, you have a great imagination. Just love it.

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  2. LOL!

    I am sure that after three years in my class, my students also feel they are well-schooled in murder.

    I am not sure I can do this; there are not enough crime novels about sleep & rest to describe 24 of my hours ;)

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  3. Oh my God - 4.00am - are you insane?!!!!!

    That explains why you respond to my blog comments so quickly, because you're awake when the rest of the country sleeps!

    Great post, Margot.

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  4. José Ignacio - Oh, thank you so much :-). And thanks for the kind words. I am glad you liked it.



    Dorte - LOL! I'm sure your students are frighteningly well-schooled in murder ;-). You are, I'm certain, an excellent teacher.

    And trust me...there are many days when I wish there were more sleep and rest in my day... ;-)

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  5. Vanda - Why, thank you! And yes, I am insane ;-). But don't tell anyone, will you? It makes my life easier that way ;-)

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  6. Great fun! I know your schools seem to start much earlier than ours in the UK, so that's when your insanity started. ;o)

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  7. Norman - I'm glad you enjoyed it :-). And you could be quite right about when schools start. That could very well be when it all started for me... ;-)

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  8. I thought I was barking mad to be getting up at 5:00am most days - but I have always been a morning person, even as a kid apparently. Most days I walk to work and I Pray for Silence (Linda Castillo) to start the day :)

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  9. Bernadette - LOL! Now that's a very understandable prayer! It's funny; I've always been pretty much of a morning person, myself. Oh, not the annoyingly cheerful kind of morning person, but a morning person. And if you're barking mad, I'm completely certifiable ;-).

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  10. Well done! My day is so different that yours. I really admire you for getting up at four. I should start that habit. It's hot in the afternoons, I should work while it's cool.

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  11. Clarissa - Thank you :-). What I like best about getting up really early is that it's so blissfully quiet at that time of day. It's so much better than waking up to chaos. I get enough of that as it is ;-). And I know what you mean about heat; when I've been in Mexico I've found that it can get almost intolerably hot in the afternoon, especially in the summer.

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  12. Now that's an imaginative post. Loved it. Too bad you couldn't work in a Colin Dexter title. Four a.m. God, I don't envy you that.

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  13. John - Why, thank you! I'm a Dexter fan, too, so next time I do something like this, I'll include one of his titles. Just didn't happen this time. And really, 4am sounds ridiculous, but it really does give me some oh-so-welcome quiet time.

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  14. Another title of a Beatles' song is "Paperback Writer" - I wanna be....

    Nice to have found your blog, Margot! I'm also a mystery writer, agented though not yet published. I'm going to post your link on my blog roll of mystery sites for my readers!

    Thanks,
    Kathy
    kbowenmysteries.com

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  15. Kathy - Thanks for stopping by :-). I'm glad you've visited, too! Congratulations on getting agented - that's a big step!! And thanks for adding Confessions of a Mystery Novelist... to your blog roll.

    And by the way, I like Paperback Writer an awful lot! :-)

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  16. Margot: Is sleep actually a part of your day? You have so many busy hours it is hard to see when you get to sleep or are you one of those amazing persons who sleeps but a few hours each night?

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  17. Great post, Margot, I love the book titles! I shall now have to stop moaning about getting up at 6 am every weekday, I can see ;-). I am glad that Hypothermia, at least, does not feature in your day ;-)

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  18. Bill - Yes, I do actually sleep. I very often wish I were one of those people who could get by with very little sleep, but unfortunately, I'm not.



    Maxine - Why, thank you :-). It was just a bit of fun - or madness, perhaps ;-). I'm glad, too, that Hypothermia(Arnaldur Indriðason)(love that choice!) doesn't feature much in my life. It almost never gets really cold where I live, and when it does, I keep a spare blanket in The Darkest Room (Johan Theorin), so it's not a problem ;-).

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  19. Very clever! I enjoyed learning a little more about your day, too (and I thought *I* got up early...at 5!) Thanks for the mention, as well. :)

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  20. Elizabeth - Thanks for the kind words :-). It was just one of those things-to-do-for-fun to get some creativity flowing :-). And trust me, it's my pleasure to mention your terrific Memphis BBQ series :-).

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  21. A great post. I'm both amazed and laughing. I'm amazed that you start at 4 a.m. and all that you accomplish during the day. I'm laughing because of the clever way to shared your day with us, true crime fiction-style. Your post are always a joy and inspiration.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  22. Mason - Awww... thank you :-). I often wish I could accomplish more. There's always a long "undone" list at the end of the day... Thanks, too, for the kind words about my blog!

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  23. Hi Margot .. crumbs - can you give me an alarm call please! I really need to get up at that hour .. but seems to be my best time for sleep?!

    Just unpacked masses of murder mysteries .. penguins til they come out of my ears .. must dust them off and get them out & then start reading when I'm at my mother's bedside .. crimes to unravel ..

    Love the take on your day .. especially Elizabeth's Delicious and Suspicious .. fun post - thanks - Hilary

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  24. Hilary - Hmmm...you've given me a new idea - I could provide a wake-up service. I'll have to think about that ;-).

    How fun that you've gotten all of those great Penguins to read. Such a treasure trove you've gotten. I wish you well with your mother, too...

    And thanks for the kind comments about the post. And Elizabeth's titles are always great. Hey, Elizabeth, do you think of those titles?

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  25. What a fun post, Margot! I don't which I admire more; that you were able to come up with titles for each step of your day or that you start your day at 4 a.m.

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  26. Elspeth - Why, thank you :-). That's so very nice of you. Of course, the real fait accompli would be coming up with titles at 4am. That I didn't do.

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