My Modus Operandi

I’ve been involved in the writing world for about twenty years now, and when I talk with other writers they often share their writing habits.

And I have my own habits. Here’s how my writing days  (Mondays through Thursdays) begin:

After breakfast, fix a large mug of half-caffeine coffee. (Swallow some supplements some time during this sippy session.) This is my coffee mug. It’s big. (12 oz.) (Note the pretty granite that we just installed in our kitchen!)


Sit in my usual sofa by the fireplace and the large window that overlooks all my trees and my bird feeder. Open my Bible and read a big section out loud. Out loud? Yes, out loud, with lots of expression, in a big, dramatic voice. Then do lots of praying.

Make my second cup of liquid.


Note that this is a different cup. It’s my favorite small cup, given to me by my daughter for mother’s day. And here’s my latest favorite brew:


Put on appropriate music.  This helps me stay on track with the mood and trajectory of my current writing project. For the Hunting Haven series, I played two CDS: Josh Groban’s, Awake, and Elmer Bernstein’d Guitar Concerto for Two Christophers, played by Christopher Parkening. I call it “yummy music.”

Write on my latest manuscript. Get up half an hour later  to get dinner started in the crock pot or pull out something from the freezer that needs to be defrosted.

Go back to writing. Half an hour later, get up and clean something, or make some phone calls, or order stuff, or, whatever. Return to my laptop. Write until noon.

Have lunch. Or meet someone and do lunch.

Go back to writing. (Have another cup of something.) Play appropriate inspiration music. For my romance novel, High Country Dilemma, I played Cary Brother’s music. (Sometimes, I drive west and park by the bay and write there, for inspiration.)


Later, Do errands in town and/or take a brisk walk.

Come home. Write a bit more, or do research for something in my book. Lately, my afternoon writing has involved final clean-ups on the novel that’s coming out in a month, (Haven’s Fire) plus composing all the little things that go in front of and at the back of the paperback: the dedication, the acknowledgements, the bio, the letter to my readers.

I’m usually done writing by about 4:30 or 5:00.

For my current young adult novel—almost complete!—I play lots of alternative music, something millennials listen to.

This probably seems boring. But in my head all sorts of good and bad people are fighting each other, or running away, hiding, winning, learning, changing. It’s never dull. and when the final version is in your hands, I hope you’ll find it just as exciting!

Have a great day,




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