When asked, I inevitably hem and haw. "Well, the amount of time varies from day to day. It really depends..."
The inquisitor presses, trying to extract more information. "What does your typical writing day look like?"
I sigh. For a long, long time.
"Monday morning, I get up around six-thirty and get the kids ready for school. I pack lunches, make a pot of coffee, unload and load the dishwasher. I do some promo stuff for my blog--Facebook, Twitter, emails, Google+. If there's time, I might start a blog post. Oh, and I feed the cats."
(Mr. Snark shoulders some of the burden and feeds our fish, Jackie Chan.)
"I get both of the boys out the door so they'll be to school on time. Then hubby and I load Miss Bear into the car and head over to the gym. We check Miss Bear into the kids club, work out for an hour, collect our child and head home to shower. Miss Bear takes a bath."
"Around the time Mr. Snark heads to work, I have an opportunity to review and answer emails while Miss Bear vegs for an hour in front of The Micky Mouse Clubhouse or Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I answer comments on my blog, respond to Facebook and Goodreads messages, return phone calls, start the first of three daily loads of laundry."
"At Noon, Miss Bear starts to get hungry so I take a break and we eat lunch. Then, it's time for an outing. Sometimes we run errands. Other times, we head over to the park to play for an hour. From the grocery store, we call Mr. Snark to ask if he needs anything. From the park, we call Mr. Snark to say hello because it's been two hours since we last saw him."
"Around 1:30PM, we return home and put away groceries. The front yard needs to be watered. Laundry goes from the washer to the dryer and a new load into the washer. Miss Bear drinks a glass of milk and then heads down for her nap at 2PM."
"Approximately fifty percent of the time, I crawl exhausted into bed and
grab a quick nap that lasts until the boys arrive home at 3:30PM. They eat snacks and do homework. A half hour later, Miss Bear awakens and needs a snack prepared. More dishes, more laundry. Sometimes, there's a second trip to the park."
"If I'm cooking that evening, I start dinner prep. The kids almost always eat around 5:30PM or 6PM. Mr. Snark doesn't arrive home until 7PM most nights. We eat together. More dishes and kitchen cleanup. At 8:30PM, we begin the forty-five minute ordeal that is the Miss Bear bedtime--teeth, pjs and story time."
"Then I take my clean baskets of laundry and fold them for about an hour, usually in front of "Chopped" or some other brainless video entertainment. I put away laundry and then take a quick shower and head to bed. If I have the energy, I read for about an hour."
"Wake up, repeat four more times."
"Weekends are basically the same, except there are more chores, errands to be run and kid functions to attend. The rudimentary social life we enjoy always takes place on Saturday. Mr. Snark's PROJECTS typically happen on Sunday, which means a couple trips to Home Despot. Sometimes, we make day trips. Weekend activities tend to be seasonal. Holidays are even busier."
Winded, I pause for breath.
The bug-eyed inquisitor stares, mouth agape.
"That," I say, "Is my typical writing day."