Monday, April 30, 2012

A day in the life of Lisa Mondello

Hello to all you Craftie Ladies followers from Lisa Mondello!!  It's good to see you again.  

Too often people have a wild view of what the life of a romance writer is like.  While I'd love to think of myself as living a life of luxury, enjoying having a maid clean my house, do my laundry, do my grocery shopping and put it away, and then carting kids around, I don't.  The only difference between me and my readers is that my day job allows me to work in my pajamas instead of pantyhose.  Don't get me wrong, I see that as a major perk to being a full time writer.

So today, I decided to give you a little glimpse into the world of a full-time fiction writer.  You can decide how close to your own life my life is or how "glamorous". 

You know how it is. We all have housekeepers who make our houses spotless while we sit in our huge beautifully decorated offices (boa wrapped around our neck) drinking Manhattans and eating chocolate as the words just flow from our fingers right on the computer screen.

Get real. THAT only happens in the movies. If you’re lucky enough to have a housekeeper, my hat is off to you. I wish. If the kids drop dishes in the sink, or the counter…or the kitchen table…they’re staying there until my scene is written, which may or may not happen before Project Runway is on, depending on how busy the day is. Thank God for the DVR!

I don’t own a boa and would hate one wrapped around my neck as I type.  It would tickle my nose and distract me.  In truth my writing day looks more like this…

6:00AM Get up with the kids, put on coffee, make sure every has what they need before they head out the door.

6:30AM Kids are on the school bus. I’m searching the house for “hairball presents” the cat left me during the night. Then check the front porch for any “other” cat presents. (Oh, joy, the dead rodent is the reason why my daughter screamed on her way to the bus.)

7:00AM I’m cleaning breakfast dishes (which means the kitchen will be clean until 2:30 when the kids get home), picking up the pile of clothes my daughters decided not to wear after 10 wardrobe changes and straightening the bathroom sink of makeup, hair products and electrical hair appliances. (Yes, that’s plural!)

8:00AM Sitting at my computer and drinking my first cup of coffee which is already getting cold and bitter because I made the pot at 6:00AM.

9:30AM Done with emails, Twitter, Facebook, and putting out any fires that need to be put out. Make a second pot of coffee.

10:00AM Deep into my WIP.

11:00AM Letting the dog outside because he’s whining at the door.

11:15AM Letting the dog back in because he’s whining outside the door.

11:30AM Yelling at the cat because I can hear him scratching the couch.

12:00PM Making my bed because the dog AND the cat want to sleep on it while I write. (Did I mention my “office” is in my bedroom? No glam office for me.)

12:30PM Having a fight with the cat because he insists on jumping on my desk and sleeping in front of the monitor. I lose, so I take a break for lunch.

1:00PM Cat is snoozing under my desk and dog is snoozing by my feet. I am writing.

2:05PM I jump in the shower. (Unless I’m on a deadline. Then all bets are off. Can’t waste precious time before kids get home.)

2:30PM Kids get off the school bus and start asking me to take them (Fill in the Blank).

The rest of the afternoon is usually a mix of driving kids to work or boyfriend’s houses and then picking people up. I make dinner, that is if I wasn’t smart enough to put something in the crock pot that morning. Have dinner with whichever member of the family happens to be home at the time. Clean up and then sit back down at the computer to get whatever writing time I can squeeze in before tackling laundry.

I can almost guarantee your life is more glamorous than mine. No? Make me feel better and tell me what your glamorous day, writing or otherwise, is like!

I love hearing from readers so you can email me at, visit me at and find me on Twitter at @LisaMondello.


  1. LOL, Lisa!!! Your day sounds so similar to mine I could almost copy and paste! :) Well, except I'm dealing with two dogs and no cat (my cat only likes my son).

    Thanks for sharing, and for the laugh. :)

  2. I got stuck on the kids on the bus at 6.30am! What time does school start?
    here primary school was 9am, high school 8.45am. I did see they come home at 2.30 so thinking early. we finished at 3.30.

    Oh Im the cleaner! I actually clean for a few people. Oh I do love your pets. they sound like they have character. Thanks for the insight.

  3. Missy your cat only liking you son reminds me of the cats where I cleaned today. as much as I want them to like me they run for the hills when they see me. starting to get a complex.
    I will admit my first cat was a one person cat. it followed me everywhere, when I went to school would follow me to the gate and mum wouldn't see him again till just before I got home.

  4. Jenny, that's so cute! You know, we used to have a cat that did something similar. She'd follow my son to the bus, then walk back inside and hide for the rest of the day. Her name was Sheba, and we called her Sheba-dog because she acted so much like a dog! :)

  5. My morning starts at about 5:45. Usually one of the three dogs is whining to be let out. Make hubby breakfast and send him on his way at 6:15. Kids are grown so no more homeschool. Usually one of the 3 dogs has lagged behind so at some point I have to let her out and the others usually follow even though I had just let them in. I may go back to bed as I was probably up reading until 2:00am. I use to have about 30 birds to take care of but since January I'm down to two. And than I read. Hubby roasts our coffee and we have a special machine so coffee is always freshly ground but I do forget to drink it so it's usually cool too soon. Did I mention I read then? Lately I have been doing final proof reading for some Indie authors and now I'm trying my hand at editing as well so...I'm still reading but with more purpose. I'm glad I don't have the getting kids on the bus. And no cats to push away from the computer but our latest puppy...which is a rather big 9 month old dalmatian pup...likes to jump behind me on my recliner while I'm at the computer, which is also in my bedroom. Nope my days not as exciting or glamorous as your life is Lisa!

  6. Lisa, you're so right. The life of a writer--at least, this writer--is very ordinary. I'm usually trying to write between all the other things that need to get done...laundry, dishes, visiting a sick friend in the hospital, grocery shopping, cooking. You get the idea. Reading over the list, it seems food plays an important role in my life. :)

    Left-over grilled chicken breasts for dinner tonight so I can write late into the afternoon and still have dinner on the table by 7PM.

  7. So true, Lisa! It annoys me how people think all writers do is sit around getting massages and eating bon bons. I actually had a man ask me if all I did was write all day with a glass of wine in one hand and a pen in the other. In the immortal words of Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, "As if!"

    Your day is just as hectic, if not more than, someone who works a 9 to 5 job. I don't have children yet, but I do have a house to maintain, a dog that needs to be walked 3 times a day (no back yard to do his business), and life events that clash with writing. On top of that, I have a husband that is deployed to Afghanistan. People who make comments about writers having an easy life just don't know, lol!

  8. Lisa, what a fun post! I enjoyed reading about your day. :) Mine is somewhat similar-definitely NOT glamorous! My office is in my bedroom too. But my kids are homeschooled, so I usually get up at 6 to squeeze in writing before we do their lessons. We do take periodic breaks throughout the day when I squeeze in more writing. It works for me cause I don't do long stretches at the computer very well. :)

  9. OH, and I drink hot tea instead of coffee. (If I'm having a really bad day, I pile the kids in the van and make a drivethru Starbucks run for a cafe mocha.) I wish I had a cat, but the hubby is allergic. We have a parrot who has recently morphed into a truly angry bird. Trying to avoid him (or her?) right now. lol

  10. Hi Brandi,
    I'm a military wife, too. I know all about deployments. Hope your hubby is coming home soon!

  11. Lisa, I do most of my writing at night unless I have a looming deadline. Your cat sounds just like mine. He loves to get in front of the monitor.

  12. Brandi and Karen, I'm a military wife as well. Hugs to both of you!

    I pray each day for the safety of our deployed military. Adding your hubby, Brandi, to my prayer intentions.

  13. I think the problem all you authors with cats might be having is...that there is a mouse by the computer :-)

  14. LOL Judy, you're a riot!

    Jenny, yes the kids get up at an unearthly hour to make that bus. And sometimes they don't make it. But they're home early and it gives them the opportunity to have after school jobs, so it's cool.

    Brandi and all of you who loved ones deployed, my heart goes out to you. I'll keep you all in my prayers!

    As for the rest of you, it's good to know I'm in good company!!

  15. Lisa, your post made me smile! Although my kiddos are now all college age and/or married, there are still similarities in our "glamourous" days, LOL (except since I'm not pubbed yet I don't have real deadlines). I especially could relate to your cat comments. I have 6 (my toddlers in fur) and also take care of my son's rabbit and bird (while he's at college). Oh yes, there are also 2 "stray" kitties outside who insist they belong at my house (so I'm obligated to feed them *grin*). ~ Thank you again for sharing, and blessings on your writing ~ Patti Jo

  16. Fun post. Thanks for sharing your glammorous lifestyle.


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