November 12, 2013

a one-of-akind writing scarf

Blogger's Note: Author Jayne Denker is on tour with Chick Lit Plus for her novel, Unscripted. I asked her to share one of her writing rituals, but first, here's the scoop on her novel:
One of Hollywood’s hardest working women is about to discover there's a lot more drama behind the camera than in front of it...
Faith “Freakin’” Sinclair probably shouldn’t have called her boss a perv…or grabbed his “privates.” But as creator of the hit dramedy Modern Women she’d had enough of his sexist insults. Now she’s untouchable in the industry—not in a good way. The only way to redeem herself is to convince Alex the wildly popular wildly demanding former star of her show to come back. But there’s one obstacle in her way—one very handsome broad-shouldered obstacle…
Professor Mason Mitchell is head of the theater department where Alex is studying “real” acting. The only way he’ll let Faith anywhere near Alex is if she agrees to co-teach a class. It’s an offer she can’t refuse—and as it turns out the professor just might end up teaching Faith that there’s more to life than work—and that real-life love scenes are way more fun than fake ones…

My One-of-a-Kind Writing Scarf

By Jayne Denker

Guest blogger
It’s seven o’clock on a weekday morning. I’ve managed to rouse my son (no mean feat), and I’ve made sure he’s accomplished all the necessary morning tasks: Dressed? Check. Fresh underwear? One can only hope. Groomed? Check, although I take another couple of swipes at his mop of hair with the brush, just for good measure. Fed, watered, jacketed, tromboned, backpacked? Check, check, check, check. Forty minutes later, I try not to appear too eager to fling him out of my Fiat at the front doors of the elementary school, try not to pull away from the curb too quickly.

Why am I so antsy to get rid of my darling, my pride and joy? Because it’s time for me to start my day job as a writer. Now that the house is empty and silent, I can begin. Right? Er... Well, first let me check Facebook. And Twitter. And my three e-mail accounts. Then I should take a look at my published books’ ratings on Amazon. And Barnes and Noble. And iTunes.

Wait. Let me put my son’s cereal bowl in the sink. Make my coffee (of course!) Catch just one DVRed TV show while I have my breakfast. Oh, I should call my mom, take a shower, maybe vacuum a little.

No, no, no. Really, I must write. I stretch out on the sofa, open my laptop, and pull up my work in progress. Just as I start wondering if it’s too early for lunch, I’m busted.

My cat, Jasmine, having woken up from her third nap of the morning, slinks into the living room and stretches, her black behind pointing skyward, her green eyes squinched shut for a moment. She yawns, assesses the situation, and heads straight for me. Uh oh.

She sits beside the sofa and stares up at me accusingly.

“I’m writing! I swear!”

She’s not buying it. She crouches, and I hastily wonder if I need anything—water? a snack? a bathroom break? Too late. She springs.

I adopted Jasmine from a local vet’s pet rescue service when she was about six months old. She’d been picked up as a stray, with her mom and sibling. One of the vet techs had kept the mother, and her sister had already been adopted. Jasmine was hanging out in a cage, alone, staring up at me. When the assistant handed her to me, she reclined in my arms like a baby and started playing with my hair. It was quite clear she’d chosen me.

She’s been my little girl ever since, my buddy. Oh sure, she likes the rest of the family, but she sees me as her responsibility. When I’m unwell, or sad, she headbutts me to remind me that she’s there to keep an eye on me. If I’m lying in bed, out of sorts, she perches on my pillow, up against the top of my head, and starts up her powerful, healing purr.

And when I decided to write novels full time, she became my Writing Scarf™. If I’m on the sofa (and I usually am, because I don’t have a desk) and typing, she appears out of nowhere and lies on my chest, her tail wrapping around my neck, pinning me in the most uncomfortable position imaginable. For hours. It’s kind of nice in the winter... not so nice in the summer, but I’m not going to argue. She’s doing her job.

You know those clever computer programs that lock out everything but your document for a set amount of time, to make sure you write without distraction? Never mind those. And never mind fellow writers exerting peer pressure, looming deadlines, nagging editors, expectant beta readers. I can do end runs around all those things. But I can’t get away from the sandbaggy weight of my furbaby when she has a job to do.

She never thinks it’s too late, either—if I’m writing in bed at one o’clock in the morning, she arrives and settles in, usually as a weight on my forearm (which makes typing fun) until I shut down the laptop and turn off the light. Then she wanders off to patrol the house and keep it free of monsters.

All authors have their little rituals and specific items they need to get them settled enough to focus on writing, whether it’s music, coffee or tea, snacks, or even (shudder) some pre-writing physical exercise. But all I need is my ol’ fuzzybutt. She keeps me in line.

Jasmine is getting pretty old now—the vet guesses she’s seventeen—and although she’s in good health, I know she’ll only be with me a few more years if I’m lucky. I can’t really bear to think about what it’ll be like when she’s gone. My son wants a kitten, a pet who’ll like to run and play. I get that. Sometimes I feel the same way. But there’s no replacing my favorite Writing Scarf. It sure will be cold writing without her.

About the Author
Jayne Denker is the author of three contemporary romantic comedies, By Design, Unscripted, and Down on Love, and is hard at work on a fourth. She lives in a small town in western New York, USA, with her husband, son, and one very sweet senior-citizen basement kitteh who loves nothing more than going outside, where she sits on the front walk and wonders why she begged to go outside. When Jayne’s not hard at work on another novel (or, rather, when she should be hard at work on another novel), she can usually be found frittering away stupid amounts of time online.

Connect with Jayne
Twitter: @JDenkerAuthor

Buy the Book
Barnes and Noble:

(Also available on iTunes)  

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