A Day In The Life of…
Joanne Valiukas, author of:
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A big thank you to Theresa for offering me this guest blog. I thought I might share a little of myself, being an Aussie writer from Melbourne and introduce to a day in my life. Firstly, I am so NOT a morning person. If I could start my day at 12 noon the way others start at 6am, I would be a very happy girl. Unfortunately for me, the world doesn’t operate that way. However, given that this blog is about a day in my life, let’s take today.
It’s school holidays here in Australia, well, in Victoria at least…my home state. My kids and I (I have a boy of 11 and a girl of almost 9) have been, over the last 4 days, watching the first seven Harry Potter movies. The reason? Tomorrow, we are going to the cinema to see the last movie, part 2. Not just any cinema either, we are going Gold Class. From what I understand and feel free to tell me if I’m wrong but I’ve been told that Australia is the only country to have this type of cinematic experience. Basically, you enter a large, standard size cinema that has only 32 seats. Yep…32. 32 Jason electronic Jason Recliners. Each pair of seats has a table between them and they serve hot and cold food as well as waiter service throughout the film. We only go on very, very, VERY special occasions and the last Harry Potter movie seemed to be just the thing. So yes, we’ve been preparing.
This is not for me however, without its difficulties. I find these days, that no matter what I’m watching, I often find myself inserting my own characters into situations that I am watching. This then leads to further fantasies about what the movies of my own books would be like. I while away hours lost in my own fantasy world where Sir Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) comes banging on my door, just begging, BEGGING, I TELL YOU, for the rights to my books. (Heavy sigh)
Well you can see just how much I digress, my mind goes off on tangents since becoming a writer. So anyway, because we were up until 2am last night watching movies, the kids and I slept in until noon. (Yes…lucky me.) Forget breakfast, we popped right onto lunch. It’s Winter here so the heating was cranked up and we stayed in our pyjamas, luxuriating over what my kids call ‘a feast’. I feel a bit guilty over this because they actually think it’s a treat. A selection of crackers, cheeses and cold meats. Very healthy for a holiday treat but they don’t know that.
From around 7.30am this morning when my poor, long-suffering but indulgent husband got up to go to work, I dosed (Yes, all the way to noon.) What did I doze about? Well…I actually had very little control over that because my mind is invaded by the characters of my latest book. They burrow into my brain and twist and turn, complaining until I do something about their problems. I play their dilemmas over in my mind offering solutions which they either accept or reject…I actually have very little say in the matter. When they make their decisions about what they will or won’t do, I get up and snatch a few minutes writing.
I write at a small computer writing table that my husband bought me, which is situated in the family room. I am scared the kids will hear me and what little time I have will be eaten up with early morning cuddles and requests for food. I know, I know…I’m a terrible mother. I normally love those things but Morgan and Lily are complaining and whinging and whining at me (my characters) that just a few more minutes would be so good, then I could try to get them to sleep for a few hours.
Not to be. Out comes my son, all snuggly warm and cuddly. Not long after, his little sister follows. I smile and open my arms…there’s nothing like a hug from mum. I know this because I lost my own mother when I was just seventeen, so in reality, I am a very ‘hands on’ mother.
I soon lose the notion that I may be able to write shortly after lunch when my son suggests that ‘we get back to our game’. Yes… I confess…I am a Nintendo freak. I have them all, the original console, the super, the 64, the gamecube and the Wii. My all time favourites are the Zelda games. At the moment, we are playing Ocarina of Time Master Quest. We spend the next few hours with Link and Zelda, whilst I picture my hero Morgan riding Link’s horse and rescuing Lily in the same manner as Zelda. Tragic, I know.
About 3 o’clock, there’s a knock at the door. It’s one of my best friends and her daughter. I am delighted to see them but find myself smiling ridculously because I am finally coming to realise that…I’m not going to be able to write today. I make nice and we do coffee for three and half hours before she leaves to go home and cook dinner.
I look around, it’s cold outside and getting dark, there is little time to have dinner on time so I cling to the notion that we can have take-away tonight. Not true, of course…I could cook but I am tragically exhausted and all because I couldn NOT find the time to write today. I have given up…completely.
I ring my husband and he stops by McDonald’s on the way home. I would prefer Chinese but stupidly defer to the kids preference…they don’t get to have it often.
After dinner, I snatch a few minutes to check my mail and discover a great new review for my latest book. It makes my day, someone gets me…though not totally. She gave book one 5 stars and book two 4 stars because ‘it could be edited down’. She doesn’t say how and I am dying to know. I want to know what my readers think and why but I have to come to terms with never knowing. That is the hard part…I can’t ask. I’m getting used to that, though…it’s taken eighteen months but I am getting used to only ever knowing so much about what people are thinking but I realise that I am lucky. I treasure her comments because she has taken the time to share them and they burrow their way into my mind, helping make tiny adjustments in my thinking.
It’s tax time, so when my husband finally finishes and we’re all signed up, I take a minute to check Facebook. There is Theresa, wondering if anyone wants to do a guest blog and so…here I am at 1.30 in the morning, all excited because I can write something. It may not be my book but at this point, writing is writing at the end of a laughably long day. Uh-oh…Morgan is yelling at me. He wants to fix something for him so I’d better say goodbye and switch from the internet over to Word. If I don’t, he’ll be at me all night and sometimes…it’s easier to give in.
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Thank you so much for letting us glimpse into your life, Jo! It’s always so much fun to find out what an author’s daily life is like.
Lovelies, if you haven’ t checked out Joanne’s books yet, I highly suggest you do! You can see my reviews here on the blog, (where both books received a 5/5 rating, btw). I hope you all enjoyed Jo’s post and thanks for stopping by!
- Book Review: Danann Frost Embraces The Darkness by Joanne Valiukas (fadeintofantasy.net)
- Character Interview with Seth & Danann from “Danann Frost Falls From Grace” by Joanne Valiukas (fadeintofantasy.net)
- Book Review: Danann Frost Falls From Grace by Joanne Valiukas (fadeintofantasy.net)
ABOUT THERESA (a.k.a. Fade Into Fantasy): As a part time book store employee, editing intern, and the mastermind behind BLB Book Tours, Theresa is able to surround herself with her favorite things, BOOKS. When she isn’t working, learning, or attending her sons’ sporting events, she’s lost between the pages of a paranormal novel. Her hope is to someday earn a living editing books, but until then she’s happy to help spread the word about the fabulous books and authors she encounters along the way.