Thursday, 17 September 2015

Keeping Office Hours

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m an efficiency expert. But I have my short cuts, lots of short cuts. And I’m always finding new and creative ways to make more short cuts. My biggest Suzie Homemaker tip: if at all possible, ignore it. My biggest shopping tip: if at all possible don’t. My biggest cooking tip: if it takes more than thirty minutes, don’t make it. Let me see, what have I missed?

I’m the master of the three-minute shower and the no-fuss hair style. I can fly through the necessary ironing while my brain is planning the next chapter. I can disengage completely with the outside world anytime, anyplace, anyhow if it’ll give me just five extra minutes of writing time, and it’s amazing what I can write in five minutes.

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say all of us Brit Babes are efficiency experts when it comes to eeking out just a few more minutes at the keyboard, just a couple more seconds editing, just a little more time promoting. In fact, I’m betting almost all writers are. Most of us have day jobs to pay the bills and families who demand our attention. Those of us lucky enough to be able to write full time learned a long time ago that nine-to-five doesn’t exist for a writer. I downed tools last night at 11:15. Then I thought about what I’d written and what I had to do the next day for another hour before I finally drifted off.

The office hours of a writer involve squeezing out a little more time, just a little more time – all the time. We write on the bus, in the tube, on the train. We write before the other people we live with have gotten out of bed, and we write into the night long after they’ve gone to sleep. Some of us even get up in the middle of the night and write when the Muse nudges us out of our comfy dreams. Some of us write while we’re eating, some of us write while we’re waiting for the dinner to cook, and those of us with Blackberries may very well write in the queue at the grocery store.

With writers, it’s not just office hours that are very flexible and greatly extended whenever possible, but the office
itself is a permeable place. When I’m home, my office is a recliner with a buried stack of nesting tables next to it for tea, books, paper, pens, sandwiches, Blackberry and other essentials. Though I agree whole-heartedly with Virginia Woolf about the need for a room of one’s own, the only room where I can look out and see the birds and admire my veggie garden is the lounge, and the recliner is, well comfy.

Lots of writers write in coffee shops to limit distractions, but since modern bag-lady might best describe my dress for success look, I like to keep the creativity at home whenever possible. Fuzzy slippers and sloppy trainers in a Surrey coffee shop might cause the other clientele unnecessary distress. However in my minds eye, I’m all dressed up in stilettos and a power suit with a sexy pencil skirt. And in my mind’s eye, I actually pull off the look
with grace and aplomb.

Never mind that. My office is very portable and the dress code is very loose. I can write sitting in the grass looking
out over the Downs. I can actually write while I’m walking. Okay, maybe not in the physical sense of writing, but the creative process goes on and on with every step I take. I’ve been known to walk whole stories before my hands ever touch the computer.

Some writers write in the bath, some writers write on the kitchen counter. I read about one young mother who takes a legal pad into the loo and lingers on the throne because the bathroom is her only private place. Extreme writing? Perhaps, but the Muse doesn’t really care about creature comforts or silly physical needs like sleeping and eating. The Muse cares about getting the story down, making it shine, making it the best thing ever put into words. It doesn’t matter where, when or how it happens, but it absolutely MUST happen.

Let’s not forget that life goes on. The shopping has to be done, the house has to get cleaned, meals have to be made, and we do have to make the occasional social appearance so that no one thinks our significant other killed us and buried us in the back garden. (Oh, sorry, that’s another genre.) Some of us are really quite good at pretending to have a normal life. Though most of us are convinced we’re special snowflakes, we can usually pass as ordinary if we have to, and most people will never know the difference. But even when we’re shopping or having dinner with our friends or taking the kids on the school run, we’re really in our office, and we’re really working away planning and scheming and preparing for those unexpected drop-ins of our boss, the Muse, who is actually quite a slave driver -- in a yummy BDSM-ish sense of the word.

INTERVIEWING WADE: An Executive Decision follow up novel (Click Here for Book One | Book Two | Book Three)
The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pneuma Inc. But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives.
Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.

Excerpt Interviewing Wade:
She popped the last of her bacon into her mouth and spoke around it. ‘So tell me, is Fort Flannery as unassailable as my father assured me, or are we in need of an upgrade?’He drained his glass of orange juice and pushed back from the table. ‘Your father did a good job. I didn’t have to do hardly anything.’
‘He’ll be glad to hear that,’ she said. ‘Sorry you had to waste your valuable time in the wee hours. I know how busy you are.’
‘Yes, well, it was on my mind. If you’ll let me see your Android, I’ll give it a little upgrade too.’
‘Will I be able to watch Russian porn on it?’ she asked.
‘Japanese and Chinese porn as well, if you like.’ There was that quirk of a smile that she really would love to eat right off his face.
‘And I’ll assume you’ve given it a test-drive.’
To her delight, the smile didn’t disappear, even though the blush was hot on those chiselled cheeks. ‘I’m my own best guinea pig.’
‘Wade Crittenden, that borders on too much information, but in the interest of consumer protection and all, I thank you.’ The blush grew, but the smile stayed put as she offered him a salute and went into her bedroom to get the device.
She returned to find that he’d shed his hoodie and was filling the sink with soapy water, his broad back mantling the counter like a giant bird of prey. For a second her stomach bottomed at the sight of Wade Crittenden doing dishes at her sink. She stood, Android crushed to her chest, feeling flushed and slightly off-balance. His t-shirt was a loose fit, misshapen and short in the back from too many washings for something that should have migrated to the rag drawer some time ago, and when he reached across the sink to add still more soap, the shirt rode up to reveal the slim line of his back and the muscles where his hips joined his torso just above the swell of his buttocks. The baggy jeans gave enough of an intimation of that swelling to leave Carla breathless and hot enough to want to throw off her own hoodie and splash herself with the soapy water in which he was nearly elbow-deep.
As though he sensed her watching, he turned, slopped water down the front of his shirt and onto his jeans and uttered a surprised curse.
Without thinking she rushed to his side, dropping the device on the table. ‘You don’t have to do that,’ she managed, in a breathless gasp. ‘Sometimes I go for weeks without ever washing so much as a coffee cup.’ She stretched around him, grabbed for a dish towel and offered it to him instead of patting him dry herself, which was what she really wanted to do.
He reached for the towel, holding her gaze. ‘You cook for me, I do the clean-up for you. Fair’s fair.’ His hand slid into the cloth and around her fingers as he drew it to his chest. His breath caught, his lips parted as though to speak, and God help her, she couldn’t resist, she leaned into him on tippy-toe and planted a kiss firmly on his mouth. She only meant for it to be a friendly peck, a way of saying thanks for checking up on her and for doing the dishes, but his other hand, covered with soapy water, swooped in and grabbed the front of her hoodie reeling her to him. Then he curled his fingers in the tangle of her wild hair and cradled the back of her head, pulling her still further up on her toes. ‘Oh God,’ he whispered, his tongue darting deep, his lips, soft and hard and bruising all at the same time, meeting hers in a clash of wills and a heroic effort to get closer and deeper. ‘Oh God, Carla, why did you do that,’ he gasped against her mouth.
‘Just being friendly,’ she managed, before the tongue sparring got serious. He gave the towel a toss and yanked down the zipper of her hoodie, shoving it off onto the floor, his hands skimming her breasts in his efforts, thumbs lingering to rake her nipples that were already painful in their peaking. His jeans might have been loose, but they were not loose enough to disguise his erection, and he didn’t seem to care. Both hands slid to cup her bottom and he lifted her, settling her onto the kitchen table, pushing her legs apart with his knees and moving in between her thighs as she went to work on his fly.
‘I have lots of friends,’ he breathed. ‘None of them do that to me.’
‘How about this,’ she said biting his lower lip and sliding her hand down inside his boxers. ‘Do they do this?’
‘No,’ he returned the nip. ‘Never, none of them.’ For a second he faltered. ‘Carla, I –’
‘Shut up, Wade. I don’t wanna hear it.’ This time she bit his tongue before she took his hand and guided it down into her baggy sweat bottoms and into her own boxers.
Available from:
“Take one part of tall, dark and reclusive millionaire who likes to go bowling alone on Monday mornings, stir in another part in-your-face intrepid female reporter who never gives up until she gets her story and shake it up with a killer who has a score or two to settle. The result is a steamy and suspenseful tale that takes you on a fast-paced ride and keeps you turning the pages. The suspense is well done and really kept my interest. The book is easy to recommend. You won’t want to put it down. Go and grab your copy.” 4.5 out of 5, Love Bites and Silk Ties
“The story is well paced, with only inklings of the stalker’s identity showing up, after all kinds of computer searching, and old-fashioned footwork. The climax is shivery scary, and I couldn’t put it down.” 5 out of 5, Manic Readers


  1. Very well said Kd and I'm definitely an efficiency expert when it comes to eeking out a few more minutes at the keyboard! Great book hook too, I love Interviewing Wade :)

  2. Ah Wade, how do I love thee, let me count the ways....

  3. great blog KD! and I have to agree with Karen!


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