A Day in the Life: Emily

Emily leads a life similar to Chance and Kye, but she doesn’t usually stay out quite so late nor sleep as long. She is usually up and about fairly early.

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Emily usually eats a light breakfast before she embarks upon her morning chores. As a proper lady, she is expected to oversee the duties of her servants and put her stamp of approval on the work schedule and on the day’s menu. Emily also visits with her mother and sisters in the morning, on several days every week. On two or three days, she remains “at home to callers,” as a gentlewoman should.

After another light meal, Emily occupies her afternoons reading, writing one of her newspaper articles, or trying her hand at sketching or painting. She might send a note to Kye and Chance, requesting the pleasure of their company in the evening.

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Women of this era were expected to be “seen, and not heard,” but Emily is eccentric in more ways than one. She is quite capable of attending the theater alone if none of her friends is planning to go. She also enjoys a solitary ride in the park with only her driver as company. However, she would much prefer the company of one or both of her dear friends.

After a large evening meal, Emily is ready for a night on the town. She generally prefers to return home by midnight, though sometimes Chance can persuade her to stay out later … perhaps to stroll along the beach under a full moon.

A Day in the Life: Chance

No one day in Chance’s hectic life can be considered ordinary, but we can make some generalizations.

A handsome young fellow from the 1800's

A handsome young fellow from the 1800’s

Chance generally rises later than his partner. His active mind often makes it difficult for him to get to sleep and stay asleep, so he frequently dozes off around the time Carmela is starting the kitchen fire. Once up and moving, he’ll stop by the kitchen for a light breakfast with plenty of strong coffee. Before that, however, he must shave and make certain he is the epitome of masculine fashion.

After breakfast, he and Kye usually read through the morning newspaper in search of entertainment. Chance usually spends the afternoon working on whatever project he’s got going, whether it’s collecting information for their next job, practicing his card games or lock-picking skills, or writing the next installment in the Devon Day and the Sweetwater Kid dime novels.

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If left to his own devices, Chance might forget to eat lunch. If he’s at home, one of the servants will remind him to eat, or if he’s with Kye, he’ll get dragged into whatever restaurant is closest. Chance tends to have his heaviest meal in the evening, and he likes fine dining. If not dining at home, he’ll choose one of the best restaurants in town and be certain he has reservations for the evening.

He and Kye usually spend the evening in search of entertainment. Chance prefers more excitement, while Kye is more comfortable with a few friends. Chance is likely to be found at any large social gathering, at the theater or a lecture, or anywhere people gather. He’s just as likely to be found in the “bad” section of town, too, though he’ll wear his oldest clothes in that case rather than dressing to the nines.

Lick House restaurant, San Francisco

Lick House restaurant, San Francisco

Chance enjoys strolling the streets of San Francisco, and often doesn’t stroll back home until early morning. He might have a pocket full of cash from a poker game, or he might just have spent his time exploring his city.

5 Habits of Successful Writers

Everybody knows the names of the current best-selling authors, right? But what about the writers who are successful, but not household names? How do you become successful, even if you don’t sell a million copies of your book?

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Here are some tips:

  • Forget success – yep, the Number One way to become successful is not to try to be. Focus on bettering your craft and writing the best work you can, instead of spending effort dreaming about the future and imagining your possible kudos.
  • Keep it going – once you finish a work and send it out, don’t just sit there waiting to hear back. Start on the next project and keep working. Again, focus on the quality of your work and concentrate on sending more of it out there.
  • Risk it – write outside your comfort zone. Try a genre you’re unfamiliar with. Write dialogue if you’re more comfortable with exposition. Experiment with a short story if you’ve been writing novels. Challenge yourself to stretch your creative muscle.
  • Set boundaries – learn to say “no” to anything that will get in the way of your writing. Turn down interruptions. Stop letting the wrong people read your work-in-progress. Avoid friends and family who try to divert your attention. Focus on your craft and stand firm in your decision.
  • Make your own path – some of the most successful authors are ones who didn’t follow the accepted advice, but did things in their own style. Maybe you can self-publish first and then sell to a traditional publishing house. Maybe you can finagle a book from that blog. Don’t just follow what “everyone says.”

What is your best advice for becoming a successful author?