In no particular order…
1. E-mail. A lot of online interaction has moved to social media, and I spend my fair share of time on Facebook and Twitter, but e-mail is still alive and kicking, and I spend time every day reading and responding to it. Especially when I’m working, I’d rather use e-mail than to have constant interruptions by phone during the day.
2. Electricity. Seriously, where would we be without it? We need it to run everything in the house, including my all-important air-conditioner. Seriously, I love my central air!
3. Editing. Probably one of the most important parts of writing a book in my opinion. Creating is essential, of course, but the magic happens for me during the revision or editing stages. I also help other writers by offering an editing service to help them catch the things they can’t catch on their own. Nobody can write a book perfectly. We all have our blind spots and preconceived notions. Two sets of eyes are better than one.
4. Enchiladas. Cheese in flour tortillas. From Lorena’s and/or La Frontera. M-m-m-m-m!!!!! Probably my favorite thing to order when I go out for dinner in Utah. I haven’t found a single restaurant here in Florida that makes them the way I like them, so it’s a rare treat indeed these days. I love Lorena’s (and La Frontera’s) cheese enchiladas in flour tortillas so much, I snapped this picture last year when I was in Utah, having dinner with my long-time critique partners.
5. Epiphany. An integral part of any book, but also a fantastic part of life.
6. Exercise. Not that I actually do any, or much, but I’m supposed to, and I need to. It’s moved beyond just wanting to look good. Now, it’s necessary to help my body work the way it should. I still don’t do enough.
7. Exhaustion. This has been a constant problem for years, thanks probably in large part to my long-undiagnosed case of Type 2 Diabetes. Now that I know what’s going on with my body, it’s getting better, but there are still days when it gets the best of me.
8. Ex-husband. I had one for many years. He passed away in 1999, but before he died we’d patched up most of our differences, talked about where we both went wrong, and had become friends again. That was nice, not only for the two of us, but for the kids. Since his death I’ve thought a lot about our relationship. I’ve never once regretted that we put our issues behind us.
9. Extortion. Way back when I was about 20 or 21, a couple of idiots decided that my ex-husband and I must have had money. I guess they thought this because my ex’s family owned a business that seemed to be doing very well. Late one night, my husband got a phone call telling him to check the gas lamp in our yard. There he found a letter threatening my life if he didn’t pay up. My daughter and I went into hiding while the police set up a command center in my (very messy) living room. Eventually, the bad guys were apprehended and my daughter and I were able to come home again. Too bad the extortionists didn’t realize that my ex’s family kept us poor as church mice. It could have saved them 10-15 years in the pen.
10. Eyewitness. I was the eyewitness in a hit and run accident a few years back while driving home from a book signing at one of my local bookstores. A man was walking across the street carrying a couple bags of groceries. A car full of teenagers pulled out of a parking lot going pretty fast. The driver didn’t see the pedestrian, hit him, and sent him flying. I never did hear whether the poor man survived the accident or not.
11. The Edgar Award. Presented annually by Mystery Writers of America and considered one of the most prestigious awards in the genre. No, I don’t have one, so this isn’t really part of my life, but I would love to get one some day. Dreams count, right?
12. Eyeglasses. No, I don’t actually call them eyeglasses, but I’m stretching here.
13. Editors. They’ve been a very large part of my life for almost three decades. I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best in the industry, and every one of them has taught me lessons about my craft and the industry that have made me a better writer.