Wind Me Up And Turn Me Loose

linda-sig.jpgSometimes I feel like I’m one of those windup dolls. In fact, just pretty often. I’m not one of those people who wake up raring to get at the world. Takes me a while to get going. I have a routine though and if I don’t follow it, I’m disjointed the rest of the day.

When I crawl out of bed, I stumble into the shower to wash the sleep out of my eyes and give me the jolt I need. A shower always helps to set the day to rights.

coffeeThen, it’s coffee time. A fresh, piping hot cup of coffee finishes the job the shower started at getting me going. The good old cup of java. Nothing fancy. The smell of ground coffee makes my taste buds sit up and take notice. I love my coffee and it doesn’t have to be Starbucks either although I do splurge on a cup from there occasionally. It’s a special treat.

But I also need my newspaper while I sip on my coffee.

newspapersI have to find out what’s happening and catch up on the news. I need to know the things that are taking place around me. And I don’t want to read it online. That seems really weird to me. No, I need the newspaper in my hand and be able to smell the ink. I read it all from start to finish, ending with working my puzzles. I do the Word Jumble first where you have to sort out the jumble of letters to form words that make sense. After that, I move to the crossword. I’ve even recently started working the Sudoku puzzle. And sometimes I do the Word Find. It depends on how much time I have to kill. Of course, if I’m in a hurry for some reason, I might skip the puzzles altogether. But I always read the newspaper articles. I want to be informed I guess.

crosswordOnce I get the newspaper out of the way, I eat breakfast and then move to the computer.

I might start writing first or I might check email before I get into writing. After an hour or two of working on my story in progress (it depends on how deep I get into it; if I get deeply into it and the words flow, I keep typing away) I go to Petticoats and Pistols to read the post for the day and leave a comment.

That’s my routine for mornings.

Like I said, if something happens to disrupt my ritual, my day gets off to a rocky start. I think we’re all creatures of habit. We draw comfort in having a set schedule. We want to have our day lined up like so many dominos and knock them down one by one. That gives us a sense of accomplishment, no matter how the day ends.

The holidays really got my routine out of whack. Nothing like a houseful of company to get off kilter. But that’s behind me now and I’m relishing my old routine that fits like a pair of comfortable jeans.

How about you? Do you have a set routine that you follow every day? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Or even if you don’t.

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

34 thoughts on “Wind Me Up And Turn Me Loose”

  1. good morning Miz Linda!

    So good to be getting back into the swing of things, isnt it??? My oldest goes back to school today, so…we got back to our usual routine over here!

    I get up at 7am, go turn her light one and radio off, make her breakfast-she comes to eat-I make sure she has her homework in her bag-she brushes her teeth and her hair-gets her shoes on-I check the lunch menu and then sometimes I have to pack a lunch and sometimes I dont (depends on what they are having that day)-have her ready to walk out the door at 7:45am!

    Now-a friend and I rotate weeks on “bus duty” LOL-this week Im driving our girls to school and then next week, she’ll do it! So-when I have to drive them to school-I also have to get my 2 yr old up, changed and fed so that I can take her with us!So-my morning routine sort of changes week to week!
    Oh-and somewhere in there I eat breakfast while Im checking my email!

    On a dreary note-it’s pouring down rain this morning and It’s my week to drive the girls, which means-I’ll get drenched going out to the van to get the umbrella that was left in there and coming back in so that I can haul my 2 yr old out into the rain too πŸ™ however, my oldest will be in school and that makes us both happy, because she loves school and was starting to get very bored at home! πŸ™‚

    Hope you have a wonderful day/week, Linda!

  2. My routine has been off kilter through the past couple of weeks due to the holidays as well. My regular routine is:

    Up between 4:40 and 5 AM. I fix the kids toothbrushes and then I wake my daughter, who’s six. My stepson (10) will already be up with his alarm and getting dressed while I’m waking my daughter up. Once I do get her dressed, or get her up to the point she’ll dress herself, I fix them both breakfast and pour myself a glass of tea.

    I turn on the local news channel as well as the computer. By 6, the kids are generally done with breakfast and have brushed their teeth and combed their hair. I wake my husband up and by a quarter after, he’s headed off to work. By 6:30-6:40, the kids are on the bus headed to school and I have the house to myself.

    That’s when I can finally settle into my own routine for the day because up until then, my mind is racing with all the things that need/have to be done for everybody else.

    I settle in my chair here, check email, blogs, etc. Sometimes if my mind is still racing, I might play an online game, but usually I turn off the television, turn on some music- if I feel it won’t interfere with my train of thought- and open my current WIP file.

    Of course, starting yesterday I added my exercise back to the routine, too. So today I’ll check a few more messages online and then pull out my Tony Little’s Gazelle and “walk” a mile and then shower before I get start writing, editing, revising, etc.

    Yesterday, things fell right back into place after the holidays and I truly enjoyed it. It felt “normal” again and I did make my one mile and added almost 3,000 words to my novel I started in November during NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping it won’t be long before I’ll be finished with it- another 5-10K to go.

  3. Linda yes I think we all have been off track with the holidays. I have to get straight out of bed and into shower if I don’t take the shower right away my day just doesn’t go right, and with the holiday’s I had a few days off here and there and I didn’t take my shower right away a few days and it didn’t go right the whole time I felt like I always running late. So I guess it is good that we have a routine, I even slept late a couple days and that was strange I don’t even do that on the weekends.
    I wished I could say that I write books, but I don’t I just love reading them all. I have to go to work and if there is something out of place when I start the day it is not going to be a good one and last friday was like that a ton of things were out of place and the whole day I was wishing it was over..

  4. I stumble out of bed at the last possible minute, get dressed, make a peanut butter sandwich. Pack it, two diet cokes, a bottle of water and an apple in my lunch box and get in the car and head for work.
    Eat the peanut butter sandwich and one diet coke for breakfast while I drive. Save the rest for my wild and exciting LUNCH.

    I’m usually about ten miles down the road before I fully wake up. πŸ™‚ Not that scary because I live way out in the country. Not THAT many people to crash into.

  5. I usually awake between 4-5am – make coffee (3mins) & pour mug (huge 12 oz mug), read devotionals while email loads, check email, do what MUST be done, then on to current WIP until 7am – Walk & brush dog, shower and get ready for work – leave for work @ 8am. I usually squeeze in at least 15 mins visiting with hubby every morning too.

    That’s my morning routine πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Melissa!!

    Yes, it’s great to get back to a normal schedule here on P&P. I’ve missed chatting with you and the other readers. I hope you had fun over the holidays though.

    My goodness, girl! You have a ton of stuff to do first thing in the morning. And men say stay at home mom’s don’t do anything! Just let them try it for a day. Bet they’d be really happy just to go to their jobs. πŸ™‚

    You’re such a great dedicated mom and your girls are lucky to have you. I hope you didn’t get too drenched taking your oldest to school. Rain is nice but sometimes it really throws a kink in things.

    Wishing you a fantastic day!

  7. Hi Taryn Raye!

    Isn’t it nice to have things return to normal again? I think all humans need some sort of routine. But there are always catastrophes that come along and our schedules go right out the window. I hate when that happens. Sure does make me feel disjointed and a bit lost.

    Children really need daily routines even more than adults do. They miss school and their friends when they’re out for a holiday. My grandson was itching to get back to day care. He asked my daughter every day if it was time to go back yet. He didn’t much care for staying at home all those days.

    Great that you got right back into your writing!! That’s wonderful. I know when I miss some days it takes me a while to get going again. But boy, you’re right at the end! That always makes me giddy when I see the finish line.

    Wishing you lots of luck with your story!! πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Brenda!

    You’re a creature of habit too I see. I think routines play a big part in keeping us sane. We need structure in our lives and when we don’t have that, it sure plays havoc with our day. It’s always nice to have the holidays behind us and we can get back into our normal flow.

    Don’t worry that you’re not a writer. A reader is a very important job!! πŸ™‚ If it wasn’t for readers they’d be no need for books and a ton of people would be sitting around twiddling their fingers. So, just be who you are. Everyone has a spot to fill. πŸ™‚

    Good luck on keeping to your routine!

  9. Hi Mary!

    Peanut butter sandwiches are yummy! Makes me want one.

    You’re set in your routine too. If we didn’t have so many dominos to knock down, I’m sure we’d forget half of the things we need to do. For some reason our brain seems wired to our routines. Very interesting I think.

    I’m glad you live in the country or heaven help the other person on the road with you. lol Not good to drive with a person sleeping at the wheel! Just glad your breakfast gets your eyes open. Those diet cokes are wonderful!

    Hope you enjoy your day! πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Pamela!

    I’m impressed that you’ve incorporated your writing into your schedule. A lot of writers just write whenever they find a spare minute. It’s good to get it cemented into your daily routine. That way it’s just something you get into the habit of doing regularly like brushing your teeth. πŸ™‚

    I’m glad you fit in a little time to talk to your hubby. lol That’s important!

    Good luck with your WIP!

  11. thank you for the encouraging words Linda-it’s nice to get a positive comment on being at stay at home mom every now and again…..

    and yes-Id love to see more men try and do the things moms have to do-it would very interesting and Id want to catch it all on video! LOL

  12. Melissa,

    Wouldn’t that be hilarious? πŸ™‚ Most men aren’t built to handle the stress of motherhood.

    What impresses me about you is that you go to extra lengths to make sure your two girls have a solid foundation under them. When they’re grown, they’ll look back at their childhood and see all the little wonderful things you did for them. It’s a great feeling for me to have my children acknowledge the extra effort I went to. Sure makes the lack of sleep and sacrifices worth while.

    And yet, you manage to find time for yourself. Very good! πŸ™‚ It’s great to have time to read your favorite books!!!

  13. hi. . My routine is, like Linda’s, always the same. I usually get up around 7 a.m., let the Wild Indians (Austalian Shepherd sisters) out and walk the the elderly Shih Tzu. Then it’s coffee and the newspaper. A former newspaper reporter, I can’t do anything until I’ve skimmed the paper from beginning to end. Then — another cup of coffee in hand — I go up to my office, check mail and a few news site, then work until two p.m. Usually have lunch/dinner, then go back to work until time to visit my Mom.

  14. What a fun blog. Some of you ladies are so well organized. I’m a morning person. Wake up rarin’ to go. But by about 9:30 pm I’m a zombie. My clock radio goes off about 5:30. I lie there and listen to NPR until my kitties coax me out of bed to feed them. Then it’s coffee and email and writing. At some point I break to shower and get dressed, but I’ve been known to spend the day in my jammies.
    And yes, it’s great to be back in touch with my friends at P & P!

  15. My desire of life would be to wake up on my own at my leisure without an alarm, which is what I SHOULD be doing, but since I once again have a child to care for, I get up and wake him (his mom is already gone to work), then keep calling him to get up while I brush my teeth and fix my hair and get dressed. I turn on the computer in my office so it’s ready later. If it’s a good day, he’s up by the time I get to the kitchen, otherwise, I’m still calling from the kitchen as I get his breakfast. I unload the dishwasher from the night before while he eats and gets ready and then we head off to school. If I need groceries or have to mail somethng, I do it before I get home and start to work.

    Once I’m home I make a pot of tea or a pot of coffee and get settled to read my mail and eat something. Once that’s done I’m ready to work on my story. I have my planner at my left side so I can mark off progress. I break for lunch and watch a little something–usually a movie channel–and then back at it until time to pick him up at 3:30. My days are so much shorter now, but he knows I’m working, so if I need the time to make my page count, he does homework and kicks back with a game or a book until his mom gets here and then I fix supper. I usually cook and she cleans up.

    Some mornings I make a chiropractor stop in there and that throws me all off. I work best with a firm routine.

  16. Hi,

    I have two routines, one on a work day and one for my writing work days. On those days I’m up at 7a, take the dogs out and go to the Fitness Center for about an hour. Then I take a shower, grab some cereal and go through my e-mails. One or two days a week I also try to check out my list of favorite blog sites. From one to four I try to write, research, whatever, then take the dogs for a walk, come home, throw in some laundry, vacuum, start supper etc. Family stuff in the evening. My husband reads the paper. I never have. I don’t have to. When he’s home he yells to me wherever I am in the house, “Hey, did you see this in the paper today?”

  17. Hi Pat P.,

    Those dogs of yours are so precious. I knew they’d have to be a part of your routine. They’re just adorable and I’m sure excellent company for you. Sometimes I wish I could get another dog.

    Yes, we do love our newspapers don’t we? I can’t imagine people who don’t read them but I know they’re out there. And reading the news online really isn’t the same. I need the paper in my hand and I need to smell the ink. I think I remember you telling us you once worked for the newspaper. That’s great! Can’t think of a better job to have unless it’d be writing books. πŸ™‚

    Glad you fit a visit to your mom into your daily routine. You’ll never regret it.

  18. Elizabeth–

    I’m glad you enjoyed my blog today. With the holidays over, routines are nice to return to. Makes everything seem normal again. πŸ™‚

    Boy, you’re an early bird! I couldn’t function if I had to get up that early. I need my sleep. Don’t blame you for lying in bed a little bit after you wake up. Anything to get those eyes open!

    And there’s nothing wrong with staying in your jammies the whole day. Good for you! That’s the perogative of a writer!

  19. Hi Cheryl,

    You really have your routine down pat! It’s amazing how much we get done when we’re organized instead of rushing around willy nilly. I honestly don’t think I’d survive without a daily routine. I would be lost.

    Say hello to that grandson! He’s a sweetie.

  20. I apologize for having to leave you for a bit. I have an appointment but I’ll be be back in an hour and ready to respond to more comments. I’m sure enjoying seeing what your lives are like and how similar you and I are.

  21. Linda, I so agree about the comfort of an old routine! Christmas was fun but I’m so happy to return to my regular writing routine. I’m a morning person, but it takes me 20-30 min to get out of bed once my alarm hits. Then I carpool kids to school, get my drive-thru cup of tea and settle down to writing. ,

    It’s nice to see everyone again at P&P!

  22. Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for stopping by to comment and share your routine with us. You really cram a lot into your day! You’re a busy lady. No wonder you don’t read the newspaper. You don’t have time. I’m glad your hubby keeps you up to date on the events. At least you somewhat know what’s going on.

    Wishing you lots of inspiration with your writing!

  23. Hi Estella,

    You’re an exception to the rule, girl! You’re the first one today who says she has no set routine. I don’t know how you manage that though. But whatever works is a good thing. πŸ™‚

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  24. Hi Kate,

    Yes, I agree it’s great to see everyone at P&P. I’ve missed that these last two weeks although it was nice to have a vacation.

    Sounds like you have a teensy problem getting out of bed. πŸ™‚ Not one to hit the ground running. But once you get going you’re fired up. Kinda like me. I just hate for the alarm to go off. That’s a horrible noise.

    Good luck with your WIP!

  25. This is a great subject, Linda. Now I know why you growl at me, if I call before 9:00 a.m. with some silly drivel! Hats off to all you ladies who so skillfully juggle family and personal schedules to meet the demands of the 21st century woman. Your posts brought back fond memories. Since I’m no longer in the formal work force (sound more savvy than using “retired” when I’m anything but…), I can pretty much do what I want, as long as it’s done by the end of the day, week or month! LOL I’m an early bird by nature, and thoroughly enjoy watching a Texas sunrise over a cup of coffee. I try to stick to a specific writing schedule, although I change it from time to time due to demands. By far, the best part of the day is when my first grade grandson gets here after school and we spend time together before Mommy gets off work. I look forward to sharing his favorite snack, and finding out how his day went through his six years old eyes. Then at 4:00, we do homework together. That has become such a big part of my routine that I miss it when he isn’t here. Thanks for sharing all of your schedules…sure did make me tired, so guess, I’ll go fix a cup of hot cocoa, sit by the fire, and enjoy my memories! Hugs, Phyliss

  26. I don’t think of us as having much of a routine, but since the kids are in school, there’s definitely more of a set schedule when school’s in session! We all enjoyed the couple weeks off over Christmas, and the last couple days of re-entry have been a bit rough on us all πŸ˜‰ Herding the kids to bed earlier and trying to get up in time in the mornings is not so fun! πŸ™‚

  27. I remember if one of the kids was sick or missed the bus it left me totally frazzled. They’re grown now but I take care of 6 inside cats and 6 ferals outside. So they all get fed first and then I get my coffee and yougurt. Then it’s the litter boxes lol.

  28. Hi Phyliss!!

    How great that you stopped by! I’ve missed seeing you, ladybug.

    Yeah, if the early bird gets the worm, then it’s yours! I won’t ever see it. LOL But, we do have our coffee in common. A fond memory I have is sitting in that condo in Red River, NM drinking a wonderful cup of coffee while we watched the ducks swim past. You’re an excellent coffee-maker. I look forward to sharing more cups with you.

    Bless you for hanging out with your grandson after school and asking about his day. That’s so special and it’s something you can never get back once it’s gone. I’m glad you’re taking advantage of the beautiful gift you’ve been given. He’s a wonderfully bright kid.

    Stay warm up there in the Panhandle! πŸ™‚

  29. Hi Jeanne,

    Twelve cats? My goodness! I can’t imagine taking care of that many. It must be a full time job. And how sweet that you see to their needs first before you do your own! You know, animals need routines too just like humans. I’m sure they expect their food at the same time everyday.

    Take care and have a wonderful day! πŸ™‚

  30. I am not a morning person. I can hit the snooze over and over. Once I crawl out, I haed groggily to the shower. Shower, make-up, hair, dressed, I head for breakfast. Now I am LATE so I grab something to eat, grab my stuff and head for school. Over vacation, I slept, ate, woke at my leisure. Can’t get back to a decent schedule. I have tried setting my alarm earlier, setting two alarms, setting an alarm in the hallway, and having my husband push me out of bed. Nothing works, I just don’t do mornings well.

  31. I used to be on a strict routine when I was in the military and then later when we worked our greenhouse operation.

    Even a couple years ago, I’d get up at 6, get the kids up, make their lunch, and once they were off on the bus, I’d sit down to check email and then write.

    However, when teen daughter hit 16, she decided she didn’t like me making her lunch, ‘nagging’ at her to get dressed, etc. Younger boys decided they didn’t like sandwiches anymore and would bring them home uneaten. I gave up.

    These days I’m kinda on a semi-routine. Now on school days, my awake time is varied depending on when I went to bed. I’ve always written better/easier/more imaginative at night. So, once they get home from school, I stop writing but start writing again around 9 pm when they’re heading to bed. Sometimes I write until 12 and other times until 2 or 3 am.

    Then, I awake when I’ve rec’d enough sleep or the phone rings. πŸ™‚ Sometimes I’m up at 6, sometimes I wake up when the door closes behind the kids. But once I’m up, it’s always the same after that with the email, blogging, critting and writing…

  32. Linda,
    I swear you and I are related! My routine is similar to yours, only I never shower until I’m off the computer. I have to make coffee and bring some food to the computer first. I’m so curious as to what my email will bring, I go there first, then I set out to write for several hours. Like you, if it’s going really good, I’ll postpone my errands or make other arrangements … I’d prefer to stay at the computer when the words flow.
    Coffee and my kitty are always by my side.

    Cheryl St.John – you are a great mom and grandmother!

  33. Anita, I love “semi-routine”. That’s a great way to describe my life … semi. Love it. Linda, now, the coffee and watching the ducks kinda sounds more like fun than work! But we do get a lot accomplished plotting our way towards the condo, don’t we? Cheryl, my kitty likes to help me, too. Not long ago, a friend received an IM from me where Miss Kitty walked across the keyboard when I was in the middle of a message. I stepped away a minute, and I don’t know how she did it but she stepped on send, so sent Molly a message. Not quite x’s and o’s either. I’ve enjoyed the chat today and plan on making it to Wildflower Junction more frequently now that the holidays are over. Hugs, Phyliss

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