Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Long distance writing? But how?

People read our author notes and must wonder how Jeff and I accomplish the task of writing books together. In the notes, we tell our readers, that since 2011 we have written books together via text, email, and phone calls. Sounds unimaginable doesn't it? Here's a peek into a typical writing day for Jeff and me.

I awaken around 6:00AM. I slip a k-cup into the brewer, slide my favorite mug underneath and while the coffee drips, I wake up the computer and get the cream from the refrigerator. The coffee's aroma is earthy and the cream naturally swirls and sinks slowly to the bottom, stirring itself. 

Once I am seated at the computer, I open my emails and check to see if a chapter has arrived from Jeff. As always, the chapter comes with an annotation attached.After a sip or two of coffee, I am prepared for the read.  I read each chapter three times. The first time is to become familiar with the characters and the action that takes place within. The second time, I read with my senses. I am exquisitely sensitive and always affected in some way by Jeff's words. When they have the effect on me that he is hoping for, we both feel successful. The third time that I read the chapter is when I respond to Jeff regarding what I have just read. I may have a question or a suggestion. I always share how I felt while reading him. My responses are sent for him to read later.

Mind you, Jeff and I are 3000 miles apart, so 6:00AM for me is 3:00AM for him! I look at my watch near 11:15AM and know that Jeff is waking and will text a morning hello before he begins his day. We chat via texts for about a half hour and go over what the day will be like and what we will be up to in our writing. We call it a drive-by when we send quick texts through the day. I catch up with him when I arrive home. There may be another chapter waiting for me, or I may have sent him a chapter, and he will respond to my words.

Jeff's full time work now is his writing. He writes throughout the day and into his evening, while I work where I am employed, and then write until about 11:30PM. Throughout the evening we text, email, and often have a chat on the phone. I say my "Good night" and then I crawl between the sheets for some slumber. We spoke just recently about how we often go to sleep with the book, the chapter, or an idea on our minds and we wake up the same way.

Though we are so distanced, we are also unbelievably close. It's the passion, the love affair with the writing that keeps us fresh and alive. When we write, we sit at the virtual desk, side by side, sharing our words and our time together. We will meet face to face when the time is right for us. For now, 3000 miles is not so far apart. As we say to one another in our drive-by conversations,

"I am right here."

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