Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Day in the Life of Nikolas P. Robinson (+ International Giveaway)

Hello and welcome to "A Day in the Life of..."©, a featured guest post exclusive to my blog that's published on Mondays and sometimes, on Thursdays. On these two days, a spotlight guest will share a normal day in their lives, giving us insight on their thoughts, projects, interests, obsessions and more. Occasionally, and if we're lucky, they'll even throw in a giveaway.

And now on with the show...

About Nikolas P. Robinson
Nikolas P. Robinson (1978-Present) was born in Saint Paul, MN but spent most of his life in and around Rapid City, SD where he still resides with his children, a beagle, a cat, and two ferrets.
A former musician, some of Nikolas' non-literary artistry can be found with the relatively unknown musical project Alter Noctvm...Alter Idem (roughly translated from Latin into English as Another Night...Another Identity) where he provided vocals, bass, percussion, and some synth/programming.
"A Wreck In Progress: Assorted Poetry" was his first published work, a collection of poetry that he compiled from years of material that he had previously accumulated.
In addition to poetry, he has written a couple of novels (all but one of them, Unspoken, at this time unpublished) and is currently in the process of further writing as well as again working on music (with an as yet untitled project).

Connect with Nikolas P. Robinson

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A Day in the Life of 
Nikolas P. Robinson

*This is detailed under the assumption that I am actually at home the night before rather than having stayed the night at my fiancé’s house like I do Wednesday and Thursday nights.

6:00 – My alarm on the cell phone goes off. I routinely hit snooze once or twice, allowing me to sleep for another 20 minutes.
I get out of bed and usually pour myself a bowl of cereal and sit down at the desk in my bedroom to eat it. After finishing my breakfast I throw on a pair of gym shorts or track pants, slip on a pair of socks, put my pair of Skechers on my feet, and typically put on a t-shirt or wife beater. Depending on the day I either begin lifting weights or power on the Xbox 360 in my bedroom and start up YourShape: Fitness Evolved 2012 or UFC Personal Trainer to complete my first workout routine of the day.

7:30 – I collect the kids together and make sure that they are ready for school. We go outside and get into the car. I drop my two oldest children off at the high school they attend first and then drop my younger daughter off at the elementary school she attends.

8:00 – I return home, shower, and get dressed for the day. I usually check out what’s going on online, perusing newsgroups and Facebook.

8:40 – I drive to work along the same route that I always take.

8:55 – I log in to my computer at work and begin getting the respective systems that I will need during my shift up and running.

9:00 – My shift begins and I start taking technical support calls from DirecTV customers. During the interval between calls I jot down ideas or story segments in the notebook that I’ve brought with me.

11:30 – I take a 15-minute break, during which time I check text messages, emails, and all that jazz on my phone.

11:45 – I return to work and continue taking technical support calls and writing wherever I can squeeze it in.

13:00 – My first shift of work is complete and I drive home again. I often put on a television show that aired during the week, something that I missed during broadcast. Sometimes I heat up a Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice meal of some kind to enjoy while I’m watching whatever the television show happens to be. I swallow my vitamins and supplements for the day.

14:00 – I begin my second workout routine of the day. The second workout consists of either weightlifting or additional video game-oriented exercises. Depending on my mood at the time; the routine might be P90X, Insanity, or something of the sort.

14:50 – I leave the house to pick my daughter up from elementary school.

15:10 – My daughter and I drive across town to the high school where we wait for the next 20 minutes or so to pick up my older two children.

16:00 – I typically relax for a little while, watching something on television or reading a book.

16:40 – I leave for work.

16:55 – I log in to my computer and work-related applications again.

17:00 – My shift begins. Just like before, I squeeze writing in wherever I am able, between technical support calls.

19:30 – I take a 15-minute break and make phone calls, check text messages, emails, and whatnot.

19:45 – I return to work and everything continues as before.

21:00 – My shift (and work day) is over. I return home.

21:30 – Depending on how my energy levels are I will sometimes squeeze in another workout routine, eat something, and wind down.

22:00 – Depending on the day of week I either get into bed with my notebook and begin writing again or get in my car and drive out to my fiancé’s house to spend the night with her (where I also sometimes do some writing). There is occasionally a movie that I feel inclined to watch or a book that I want to read.

00:00 – 1:00 – I finally decide that it’s time to go to sleep and consider doing so.

Throughout the course of the day I am on and off my computer, sometimes incorporating the playing of a video game or another into my routine, and fiddling around on my phone for one reason or another. The routine fluctuates here and there depending on the day of the week, especially during my Thursdays and Fridays because I don’t work on those two days. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays I don’t have to take the kids to school and will typically have an alarm set for 6:45 instead of 6:00. During the break between shifts on Saturdays I usually drive slightly out of town to the bar where my fiancé is working and visit with her for an hour or so.

That’s really about it. My life, broken down into a simple itinerary, is a terribly boring thing.

Thank you, Nikolas, for sharing your day with us and thank you, readers for taking the time to stop by. I hope that you've enjoyed today's 
"A Day in the Life of..."


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Hiya! I've been getting a lot of requests for signed copies of Creatura, and I wish I could send one to every last one of you. But it's impossible for me to mail so many copies worldwide with the cost for shipping being so high. I can't bring myself to choose only a few people to give copies to because all of you have offered me so much support.  In my mind, it just wouldn't be fair to choose one out of so many. Hence, I've decided to hold another giveaway and leave it to Lady Luck to choose. I hope you have fun with the 25 point entry option. I can't wait to see your fan art, videos and crafts. In the infamous words of Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Good luck, lovelies! ~Nely

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Day in the Life of L.A. Cadieux (+International Giveaway)

Hello and welcome to "A Day in the Life of..."©, a featured guest post exclusive to my blog that's published on Mondays and sometimes, on Thursdays. On these two days, a spotlight guest will share a normal day in their lives, giving us insight on their thoughts, projects, interests, obsessions and more. Occasionally, and if we're lucky, they'll even throw in a giveaway.

And now on with the show...

 About L. A. Cadieux
L. A. Cadieux is the writer of ONE LIFE: A Teddy Owens Story. ONE LIFE is currently on submission with publishers. She lives in Calgary with her husband and two children. When she isn’t busy working on a manuscript, L. A. enjoys watching her favorite television shows and traveling.

Connect with L.A. Cadieux

A day in the life of L. A. Cadieux: 
children, dirt, coffee, and writing.

 “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.”
Phyllis Diller

*A day in my life tends to change depending on the time of year. My oldest child is active in dance and soccer in the fall/spring. Occasionally we fit in time for swimming lessons or a play date.

7:00 AM:                  
My husband is up and preparing to leave for work. My eyes need pliers to be opened.
“Mommy, what are we doing today?” My daughter bounds into the bedroom. “Who are we going to visit?” she asks. “Do I have playschool today?”
I pry an eye open as her fingers dig into the mattress—giggles are my alarm clock. She climbs up to cuddle.
“Mam!” a little voice calls from outside the bedroom. “Mam!” the voice calls again.
I toss back the comforter. “I’m coming,” I mumble, rolling out of the bed.

Up and at em, our day is started.

7:15 AM:
“Mam—shirt!” says a wide-eyed toddler. He looks up at me like the Puss in Boots from Shrek, his eyes simmering with intensity. He tugs on my hand.
“Okay, okay.” I open his closet doors. He hugs my leg while I search for his shirt and pants. I change him out of his pajamas. He wiggles and tries to run away.

7:15 – 7:50 AM:
I check my email and Twitter, then ensure my daughter is also dressed. Throw in a load of laundry.
“Are you done yet?” My daughter asks, after spending 15 minutes deciding what she wants to wear. I’m trying to gather her waist length hair into a ponytail.
“Not yet.” I lean over to snatch up the shampoo bottle my son had tossed into the bathtub. “Shampoo isn’t for playing with,” I say (inside I’m secretly smiling at the little rascal).
“Almost,” my voice is muffled. I have a hair tie clenched in my teeth.
After the ponytail is securely tied in place, my focus switches to the next task: brush the kid’s teeth.
“Mom, what is for breakfast?” my daughter asks, handing me her toothbrush like it’s a trophy. She shows me her teeth. I give her thumbs up.
“What do you want for breakfast?” I ask. She shrugs and disappears into the other room. The theme song from Disney Junior’s Special Agent Oso blares on the television. “I’ll make breakfast soon,” I shout from the bathroom, where I’m still trying to brush my hair.
“Mom!” my daughter calls out.
“I’ll be done in one minute.” I spit toothpaste into the sink. My son is wrapped around one leg, so I’m careful to dodge his toes.

8:00 – 9 AM.:
“Have a good day,” I say. My husband pulls on his shoes in the entrance. I’m in the kitchen making breakfast. We say our goodbyes.
The kids finish eating. Clean up #1 time.

9:00 - 10:00 AM:
Check Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Respond to any messages.
“Hey, you two stop fighting.” I twist around as a child cries out. My hand actually closes around my e-reader in passing. Yes, it is my intention to spend a moment reading.
“I had it first!” My daughter shouts as my son rushes past…waving a toy in the air.
Sadly, I don’t end up reading; instead I turn into a referee. Over the course of an hour I break up a fight—or three.

10:00 – 10:30 AM:
Throw the laundry in the dryer. Get dressed and do my makeup—if I haven’t yet.

10:30-10:50 AM:
Get the kids ready to stop in at Tim Hortons.
“I want to bring Dolly!” my daughter cries. My son pulls on his Calgary Flames baseball cap (backwards of course).
“Put your shoes on, please. Where did you put your doll?” I ask. The next few minutes are spent madly searching the living room for her beloved doll. I end up finding it stuffed in-between two cushions on the sofa. “Found it—did you put your shoes on?”
“No,” she says, holding a shoe up. “Can you do it?”
“I can help.” I hand her the doll, then help with her shoes.
The kid’s shoes and jackets are now zipped or laced. I slip on my flip flops.
We head out to the vehicle. I strap both kids into their respective car seats. “Where is your sippy cup?” I ask my son.
“Cup!” he says, but it sounds more like ‘cub’.
“Oh no,” I say to myself. My son must have dropped it on the way out of the house. I end up finding it stowed in a flower pot…or discarded on the sidewalk.

11:15 AM:
We are on our way. Coffee time!
“Mom, can I have chocolate milk?” my daughter asks. I power down my window to order at the drive-thru.
“Juice!” my son says, raising both fists into the air.
“Good morning. What can I get for you?” a friendly voice emits from the order microphone.
“Hi. Can I have one double-double? One small chocolate milk—and one orange juice? Please?” I order breathlessly, turning around twice to shush my daughter.
“Don’t forget my chocolate milk,” she adds…one last time.
We park for a minute. I stick straws in the kid’s milk/juice. We drive home. I take a moment to turn up the music and cherish a sip or two of my personal ambrosia.

11:30 – 12:00 PM:
“Can I play in my sandbox?” my daughter asks. We’ve pulled into the driveway.
“Sure,” I say. Yes, my life involves answering children’s questions. I release the kids from their seats. They take off running and open the gate into the backyard. I recycle their beverage containers—if they’ve finished their drinks.

12:00 – 12:50 PM:
“Okay, time to head inside to make lunch,” I say, gesturing for the kids to follow me. They stop kicking around a bouncy ball to come inside.
“Can I have a cookie for lunch?” my daughter asks. They climb the back steps.
“No, cookies aren’t for lunch.” I hold the door open for them.
“Can I have pizza?” she asks, trotting past. We all head inside to wash up. I prepare lunch (probably not pizza). We eat. Clean up time.

12:50 PM:
I change my daughter into clean clothes—because she’s covered in dirt now. We pack up her backpack, and then the process of re-putting on shoes and jackets begins.

1:00 PM:
I strap the toddler into the wagon. We head down the street to drop my daughter off at play school.

1:15 PM:
Return home. I let the toddler play for a few minutes.

1:30 PM:

1:30 – 2:45 PM:
I sit down at the computer and open up my manuscript. I’ll either start to write/edit or check social media.
If my son naps for 15 minutes—he often does this—I’ll take him for a bike ride, park, etc.

2:45 PM:
What should I make for supper? I stare blindly in the refrigerator. I usually end up taking food out of the freezer. Vegetables won’t need to be sliced and diced until later.

2:50 – 3:15 PM:
Head outside to water the garden. I pick a few weeds…and listen for my toddler to wake.

3:15 – 3:50 PM:
“Mam!” Toddler is up. Complete various duties around the house; fold clothes, organize bedrooms, etc. Clean out the dishwasher.

3:50 PM:
“Time to pick up your sister,” I say. A few minutes later I’ve packed the little boy back into the wagon. We depart to pick up his sister from playschool.

4:15 – 5:00 PM:
Return home. Finish making supper.

5:00 – 5:30 PM:
Kids eat.

6:00 – 6:50 PM:
“Daddy!” two little voices shout in unison. My husband has arrived home from work.
“Daddy, guess what?” my daughter says, clutching a crayon.
“What?” he asks.
“I can draw the letter R now,” My daughter says proudly. She goes on to show him.
The adults eat and hang out with the kids. Talk turns to everyone’s day.

6:50 - 7:30 PM:
We work together to prepare the kids for their bath. After bath time we dress them for bed and brush teeth. One of us throws another load of laundry into the wash.
The toddler goes down to sleep.

8:00 PM:
Read my daughter a story of her choice. Tuck her into bed.
My husband and I sweep/wash up the main floor. We pile the dishes into the dishwasher—taking the opportunity to have adult conversation.
We sit down to view our favorite recorded television show (we are both fans of reality television). I’m a big fan of HBO and the CW.

9:30 PM:
Return to my laptop. Check social media. I tend to write better while music is playing.

10:00 PM:
I’m full on writing/editing a manuscript.

11:00 PM:
Take a break to hang out with my husband.

11:30 PM:
Husband retires to bed. I’m back to work on my manuscript.

12:00 AM:
I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer!

12:30 AM:
Head upstairs to transfer the laundry to the dryer. I look at my phone. Where does the time go?

12:30 - 1:00 AM:
Shower! (This does occur in the morning, too. I switch it up). Complete my typical bedtime ritual. Look longingly at my e-reader…it would be amazing if I could finish reading a book. Rest my head against my pillow. I continue to contemplate reading a book—and sometimes I do!

~Sweet dreams~

I’m headed back to work this month! A day in my life will change drastically, but I’ve sure enjoyed the time at home.

 Thank you, L.A., for sharing your day with us and thank you, readers for taking the time to stop by. I hope that you've enjoyed today's 
"A Day in the Life of..."

L.A. Cadieux's

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