My mourning routine:
I wake up while it’s still dark, make coffee for me and Jolene, prepare lunch for her and Eliyah, and then I sit in my chair and read a poem or an essay until they leave for the day. I kiss them goodbye at the door, hand them their lunches like a TV mom, and then I take a run.
When I get back sweaty, stinky and feeling good, I write fiction.
Like all fiction writers, I enter landscapes of the imagination, and each morning when I walk into the novel I’m writing or I’m sucked into the loops of a short story, I lose myself in that world, as if it were real.
Some mornings, I can stay in my fictional landscape for up to two hours, running down the hallways of old houses, browsing through an ancient library, but even if I’m only inside of there for a half an hour, I’m satisfied.
I designate the morning as writing time, but I don’t mean what Paco Taibo III calls “ass time,” sitting at my desk writing on my machine.
Sometimes I’m reading or thinking or playing with my cat or staring out the window at three cypress trees facing our house. Sometimes I wave at them. Sometimes they wave back.
Until 11 AM.
Then I’m ready to start my day of human interaction .
I’m a professor at the University of Texas El Paso, and the chair of the Department of Creative Writing.
I go to my office at UTEP, have conversations with humans, and generally use my Creative Energy to bring about the goals that are important to the writers, that is, the students and faculty in our department.
I also try to spend at least a little time taking care of my books, to see that they stay alive.
Published books die fast.
I know, it’s cheesy to use two exclamation marks, but, wow…
That’s a lot of books nobody’s reading!!
Only one percent of those published books will ever make it to the shelves of any bookstore.
I am the author of five books of fiction, and although I would love to write a book and then find a secluded island and write the next book, I am responsible for the lives of each of my books, all of which are still in print.
Sometimes we hear people say that every book a writer publishes is like a child, and although I don’t fully agree, I think a writer must be committed to her books once they are published. We must raise them, make sure they have long, productive lives.
I’ve also heard people say that parents shouldn’t have a favorite child but that they do anyway.
If I had to choose my favorite book, I would say my first novel, and the shadows took him.
The boy, Joey Molina, although not me, is a parallel version of me.
I know that somewhere in the multi-verse, I’m Joey Molina.
Anyway, back to my daily routine:
In the evenings, after doing my teaching and department chairing and book business, I like to have dinner with my family. I usually cook.
This isn’t always possible.
Routines are great, but they are not sacred rituals.
So welcome to my homie home page.
Take a look in some of the rooms, walk some of the hallways, leave me a nice message now and then.