Thursday, September 8, 2011


Last Sunday I sent my steampunk book "Verity Hart Vs. The Vampyres" to my agent. I wrote and edited this one in five months, a new record. And during that time I was also working on lining up publicity for "Mind Over Monsters," entertaining family members, doing NASCAR research, and trying to have a life (epic fail on that last one). So for five months I've been working six days a week, usually for ten hours a day. I'm not complaining, I love what I do, but tend to get lost in the work.

Hello, my name is Jennifer Harlow and I am a workaholic.

When I was a teenager I had this evil teacher who loaded us down with homework. The only time my parents worried about me as a teenager was that year because I locked myself in my room doing homework all the time because I COULD NOT LET THAT BASTARD WIN! (Sorry. PTSD flashback. Continuing.) I had to get an "A" come hell or high water. (I so did.) The same thing happens when I'm working on a book. Other people have to force me to stop working. So since I am a starving artist and went like seven places last year even Canada, I took a much needed few days off at home. All two of them for what will soon be obvious reasons.

My schedule was as follows:

8:30-Wake up, check e-mails
9:00-Tabatha's Take-Over Salon
10:00-drive to gym, find is closed for a week (Yipee!)
10:30-go home, change, check e-mails again
10:45-none. Now what? YouTube of course
12:00-okay, watched way too many cute cat videos. Never again.
12:15-check fridge, no food has materialized
12:30-flip through 600+ channels, nothing on
12:45-check online again, nothing new, realize I am very unpopular, reflect on that, realize don't care
1:00-more You Tube cats
1:15-no food materialized again, fall on couch and stare at ceiling. Lots of spiderwebs, realize don't care.
1:30-Netflix streaming, start and stop five movies because all boring
2:30-No new e-mails, hit head against wall for something to do
4:30-wake up from concussion, realize haven't eaten anything, go to McDonald's
5:30-Stuffing face while watching "The Town" for millionth time, OD on eye candy
7:15-climb into bed as so tired from long day
7:30-start and stop three books that all "suck"
8:00-Law & Order, seen them all but nothing else on
10:00-Oh, thank God I can go to sleep without feeling like I'm
11:00-can't sleep, too bored
12:00-can't sleep, too bored. I hate vacation.
2:00-fall asleep

Repeat next day.

I am not meant to be idle.

Luckily in exactly a month from today my book, MIND OVER MONSTERS will be out(!!!!!) and I will be crazy busy with guest blog posts, radio interviews, and signings among other things. Still putting the schedule together so keep checking for updates. Also, the soundtrack to the book will soon be up.

What about y'all? Did you have a better vacation than me?

Jennifer Harlow


Beth Groundwater said...

Too funny, Jennifer! My next vacation, in 8 days, from writing will really be a working vacation. My husband and I are traveling for 2 weeks, one in the Moab, Utah area and one in Estes Park, Colorado. 5 days of the first week will be spent on a whitewater rafting trip through Meander and Cataract Canyons on the Colorado River, to research the setting for the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventures series. And while we're in Estes Park, I hope to incorporate some of what I learn into the portion of the rough draft I've already written, so when we return, I can plow into finishing it. That'll be in the evenings, so I'll still have time to focus on hiking some Rocky Mtn. National Park trails during the day. We writers have a hard time getting away from our work, don't we? :)

Lois Winston said...

As I've asked before, what's a vacation?

Keith Raffel said...

Keep pumping out those books, Jennifer.

I took a day job at the beginning of the summer. Part of the deal of accepting the offer was to get to go to Thrillerfest -- which I did. So I guess those 3 days were my summer vacation.

Sebastian Stuart said...

so funny. a big day for me is a trip to the corner mailbox. then I need a nap.

Jennifer Harlow said...

Beth, your vacation sounds awesome. The coma was the highlight of mine. :P

G.M. Malliet said...

I consider going to Bouchercon this month a vacation. Leaving the manuscript at home. Taking with me the 2 latest Vanity Fairs I don't have time to read now. A most welcome break!

Deborah Sharp said...

I laughed out loud, Jennifer. Very funny post. I am unfortunately quite accomplished at being idle, and could truly not move from a chair on the dock over the river behind my house for a full afternoon. I am not easily bored, I guess. That, and lazy.