Friday, May 30, 2014

A Day In The Life... GUEST POST by AJ Aalto + Giveaway

By A.J. Aalto: Author of The Marnie Baranuik Files

4 A.M. -Turn off phone alarm and squint at the alert, which reads, “Reminder: Don’t kill anyone today.” Picture Jude Law naked for a solid five minutes to stir the blood. Ask myself if I am determined to be a writer, or whether I should sleep like a normal person. Take a vote inside my head. Decide to be a writer. This vote happens every day.

4:10 A.M. -Things go on in this order: computer, kettle, Songza, headphones. Teapot is prepared for a long day of abuse. Stereo volume is adjusted to rattle brain cells.

4:15 A.M. -Inform editor that I *am* in fact awake and working as promised, as part of accountability. Open Dropbox and begin writing where I left off yesterday.

4:20- A.M. – Stop to wonder what having sex with a troll would be like. Are trolls hairy? Smooth? Is their skin bumpy like toad’s flesh? Marnie might need to know! Get lost in the weird part of Youtube until I am frightened enough to return to writing. Write “<research troll sex. Eww!>” and carry on.

5:30- A hankering for tea and murder breaks my concentration. While kettle boils, scan articles about poisons you can hide in hot beverages. Get placed on a watch list (probably).

5:45 A.M. - Remember I’m trying to be a writer. Drink all the tea. Stare at Marnie’s last bit of dialogue until it reads as so stupid that I want to smack her. Reread entire page. Reword and rediscover. Fall back in love. Return to writing.

6:00 A.M. -Super serious, now. Chortle at some dirty thing Marnie said, as if I didn’t make her say it. Almost backspace over it. Decide to trust editor to make that call.

6:50 A.M. - Sit back, confused by an unexpected plot turn. Stop writing to shuffle through plot note cards to make sure the shift works with the rest of the outline. It does not. Sigh. Crave cookies. Resist.

7:00 A.M. – PIRATE ATTACK! If by “pirate attack,” you mean me, stuffing my face with cookies in the pantry in the dark, fully prepared to lie about it later and blame the empty bag of cookies on the puppy. BAD DOG!

7:10 A.M. – Back to the grind. Marnie needs to sound smart for this part …Major brain strain. More tea. Consider coffee. Instead, I type “<insert scientific things with super-impressive names and stuff>” and skip on to the action. My free time is quickly running out. Decide to skip morning porn break.

7:30 A.M. –SASQUATCH SIGHTING! Nope, that’s just the husband emerging from the cave on his way to the shower to start his day. Attempt to amuse him with colorful and completely fictional anecdote. He growls something that might be English and waves me away. Return to writing. Consider throwing a yeti into book so I can title the book “Spank the Yeti.”

8:00 A.M.-3:45 P.M. – Reserved for Mom/Writer Stuff, including but not limited to: getting youngest to school, home schooling the oldest, blogging, answering interview questions, writing guest posts, researching, meeting with cop buddy for brainstorming, science chat with science buddies, checking on my beloved Writers Without Borders, cemetery walks, harassing editor, preparing notes for future work, watching son play soccer, stealing candy from my kids and blaming it on goblins (I’d like to see you prove it wasn’t.) .

4:00 P.M. –Back to work. While kids clean their rooms and do homework, and before I have to cook supper, I sneak a bit of writing in, provided I can focus.

5:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M. – cooking, eating, clean-up while mentally reviewing the day’s work. Print out chapters to edit on the front porch with a glass of wine or a cocktail.

8:00 P.M. - Ritual bath with plenty of staring-at-tiles time to think about plot, characters, and how on Earth I’m going to find the strength to make it through tomorrow without indulging in my eight million hedonist vices.

8:15 P.M. -Sleepytime tea (or Fireball whiskey, depending on how bad the day was), melatonin, catch up on TBR pile. Review day with editor, bookending accountability. Report word count to journal. Resist temptation to embellish. Yes, even when I tell myself the truth, 85% of the time it’s fiction. What my shrink calls “pathological lying,” I call “unleashed creativity.”

8:30 P.M. -Drowsily make promises I can’t keep, mostly to myself. Jot down some ideas. Forget most. Close my eyes, lulled by the voices of my characters, slipping off into the lies I’ve spun. 

WOW! Um… that was frightening  enlightening. Not sure what I was expecting A.J. but… well… WOW! You are one busy woman living a concerning entertaining life! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into all that hard writer-ghoulie work.

I hope you all enjoyed sharing in A.J.'s typical day. Although, the troll sex is a bit concerning. 

Coming up next week: DREAM CAST FOR LAST IMPRESSIONS by Ms. A.J. Aalto herself! Trust me, you DO NOT want to miss next week's post. Here's a hint of what's to come next week... 

Check back next Friday for the full reveal of just who A.J.'s dream cast is for a Last Impressions movie! And don't forget to share this post with your friends and enter the giveaway! We're giving away 7 (that's right, 7!) e-copies of the entire Marnie Baranuik Files! So, if you have friends who haven't read the series, or heaven forbid, you haven't read it, make sure to get entered!

Missed something? Here's the links to the KICK OFF and AN INTERVIEW WITH MARNIE!


  1. Not one moment of this entire day came as any sort of surprise....I love you AJ!!!!

  2. Thanks for having me, folks! I now return to my general kookiness.

    xo AJ