I’m so pleased continue my ‘Day in the Life of…’ series by welcoming Carol Wyer onto the blog. From the moment I first laid eyes on Carol’s fabulous blog Facing 50 with humour (He who laughs…lasts) I knew I’d love her books and I was right. Life Swap, the story of Polly and Simon is hugely entertaining and there’s a brilliant, unexpected twist, but as well as the quirky humour there are also moments that made me think about my own life and realise how grateful I am for what I have. The grass isn’t always greener. So how does Carol spend her days? I was expecting something a little bit bonkers and I wasn’t disappointed!
My life is a little odd as I am somewhat reclusive and live in the country on a windy hill with my retired grumpy guts.
We travel a lot but when we are at home, life begins in the grumpy household as soon as Mr Grumpy gets up, usually about half past five or six o’clock. The chances are I’ll only have had a couple of hours sleep as I suffer from insomnia but he is mindful of that and tiptoes about trying not to disturb me, clutching his clothes and creeping downstairs to get dressed. Of course, I wake up and my brain goes straight into plot mode. I use the time in bed to “get into character” if I am writing a book. Like method acting, I try to imagine all my characters lives and their backstories. I want them to be as vivid or real as possible. It occasionally gets me into trouble like the time when I was trying to get into the mind of a psychotic husband murderer who was plotting to kill her husband by putting glass in a McDonald’s Happy meal.
After half an hour, Mr Grumpy will begin whistling tunefully downstairs which is actually code for “Are you going to lie there all day” so I get up and after a cup of tea with Grumpy, I’ll spend time on marketing and media. That involves scheduling tweets and blog posts and answering my emails or organising radio interviews. If I get through them quickly enough, I’ll begin working on my book.
Mornings are given over to housework, washing, ironing and housewifely duties. I’m ridiculously house proud and can’t bear clutter or mess so the house gets cleaned every day whether it needs it or not. My writing desk is the same. I can’t write until I have cleaned it and lined up my notebooks. I even line my pens up in order of size. I think I might have a slight OCD problem.
In spite of me being rude about him, Grumpy and I spend a lot of time together and we go out every day, whether that’s walking, taking up a new activity or trying out something new such as racing cars around a track. I always try to experience the things I write about which explains why I dived with sharks, ate locusts, went zorbing, took up stand up comedy and had a go at a zip wire and have been on television game shows. My writing has certainly led to some interesting times.
What’s left of the afternoon is always used for writing and I shut myself away in my office typing furiously until it is time to cook dinner. I’m not a great cook but I love my slow cooker. I throw in a load of vegetables and a piece of chicken equivalent and six hours later I have something that Mr Grumpy likes to eat with the minimum of effort.
Mr Grumpy goes to bed at about nine o’clock to listen to the radio and I head back to my office where I’ll hunker down for the night. This is my time. There’s no noise to disturb me; only the odd owl hooting and I can work until I am ready to grab some sleep. My office is on a separate staircase to the master bedroom so I don’t disturb him with my typing.
I’ll work all night or until I feel my eyelids drooping. When we are away I don’t use my laptop at all. I stick to the tried and tested method of writing all my ideas in my notebook. They get transferred when I get home.
I love writing. It keeps those little voices in my head quiet!
Thanks so much for sharing, Carol.