A GLAMOROUS DAY IN THE LIFE OF THIS WRITER
I am awakened too early—much too early—by the dulcet sounds of the cat throwing up. It’s her signal that we should rise and feed her, but give better food than the last time. I decide to malinger, feign sleep. My husband, writer Bill Pronzini, gets up, tends to the cat, makes coffee, and fetches the newspapers. He enters the bedroom, sets coffee on my nightstand, puts his lips to my ear, and whispers, “I know what you’re doing.” I sigh and flop over onto my back. Another day has begun.
There’s been a sprinkle of rain the night before and both papers—the San Francisco Chronicle and Santa Rosa Press Democrat—are a little soggy, in spite of their plastic wrappings. We both plow through them quickly. I start to do the Sudoko puzzle, my daily guilty pleasure, but the page it too damp to write on. I grumble and check my laptop.
Lands End and L.L. Bean really love me.
I noodle with my next book a while, but then the phone rings. Another family crisis. (I won’t share these with you; you’ve probably experienced them, or will shortly.) I resolve it, and then Bill calls from below my loft/office, “I finished the book! Let’s go celebrate!”
I’m happy for him, I really am, but I’m sure wishing that this albatross (as I’ve begun to think of my book) were done.
Lunch is Mexican, served outside under a canopy of trees. The breeze stirs their leaves, making the day seem cooler. Ceviche, enchiladas, a Margarita.
Once home, I fall asleep in my big chair. (And drool.)
I miss both reruns of “The X Files”.
Feeling groggy from too much afternoon sleep (to say nothing of tequila) I go up the spiral staircase to my office. I imagine that my computer is glaring at me, but I notice that my plants need water. I go downstairs for the watering can, reminding myself that if it wasn’t for these stairs I’d probably weigh 800 pounds by now. The plants happy, I settle down to write.
The first of the political calls comes half an hour later. Then the telemarketers join in. I screen all my calls—I’d probably screen one from my long-deceased father—but the intrusion is there nevertheless. I soldier on until nine o’clock.
There’s a great aroma coming from the kitchen below. What…? Oh, yes—Bill’s signature dish—garlic bread.
Later that evening, I find Bill has taped the X Files episodes I’ve missed. We watch them. Then we go to bed (the interim of this is none of your business) and sleep well. But in the middle of the night, as so many writers do, I awake and mentally write this explanation.
A professional writer’s life is not easy, no matter how high you climb on the best seller lists. For one thing, you work for yourself, and that self is the most demanding boss you’ve ever had. I don’t know about non fiction writers, but those of us who deal in fiction are never left alone by our characters. They haunt you, they tell you what to do. There are times when I feel my detective, Sharon McCone, is sitting on my shoulder, saying, “No, not that. Do this.”
Usually she’s right. But I’m waiting for the day I’ll prove her wrong.
Someone Always Knows (2016):
Fully established in their new shared offices and finally settled into their home after losing their previous house in a fire, private investigator Sharon McCone and her business partner husband Hy are starting to feel comfortable. That calm is shattered when Hy's former colleague Gage Renshaw - a shady troublemaker who they had presumed dead - reappears, and it's unclear what he wants from his prosperous former associate.
Meanwhile, Sharon has a new client with a desire to rid a derelict house he's just bought in the city's notorious Western Addition neighborhood from intruders, drug users, and thugs. However, the abandoned house holds its share of secrets, and soon Sharon is contending with more than a simple eyesore as she searches for the individual who is obsessed with destroying her life...