This morning I was visited by my lovely friend, Renae Kaye. She satisfied my curiosity by giving me a little glimpse of her life as a writer (and a wife and a mother and everything else!). I thought I’d share here to that everyone can see what she gets up to. Don’t forget to check out her new book, The Shearing Gun, which was released yesterday.
When Nic Starr gave me my blog topic, I sat and scratched my head. Which day? You see because each day for me is different, and this is why writing works so well for me. I can fit it around my life.
Let me introduce myself to you: I am Renae Kaye. I write m/m romance. I have two primary school aged children. I have a husband. I’m a stay-at-home-mum. I have three cats, three chooks, 20+ canaries, fish, worms, crabs, and now a budgie to take care of. I love to veggie garden and have a large suburban block full of fruiting trees and vines. I have a widowed mother. I have 8 older siblings. I have friends.
So, depending on what day it is, then my schedule changes to fit. My youngest only attends school two-and-a-half days a week, so I only have two days a week where I get “a rest” <cough, choke> from the kids.
I write around the kids and the housework and all the necessary obligations of life.
But a typical Tuesday, would go something like this:
7am: Stumble out of bed. Renae is not exactly a morning person until you get coffee into her. Seven o’clock starts are murder on her, but that’s what time she gets up each morning.
The 7yo would’ve been up for an hour by that time. There is a rule: he is not allowed out of bed until 6:00am. She had to buy him a clock and teach him how to tell the time when he was three because he’s a constant early riser. The 5yo will still be in bed. The irony of Renae’s household is her “Day/Night Children.” If they tried, her kids couldn’t be more different. One is an early riser, one sleeps in. One is a good eater, one struggles with food. One is a daredevil and needs to be restrained, one suffers from anxiety and needs to be coaxed into everything. One was an early talker, one was a late talker. One lost their teeth late, one lost their teeth early. One was easy to potty train, one was not.
7:00-7:30am: Breakfasts for the kids, lunchboxes packed. It may be a strange custom to other countries, but the kids eat a homemade lunch most days at school.
7:30am-8am: Renae eats breakfast in front of the laptop while catching the morning news headlines, checking her emails and having a quick peep at social media. By 8am the coffee is starting to chug through Renae’s veins.
8:00-8:30am: Switch mental tracks. For Renae, she has two modes: Running and sitting. Either she is sitting and reading/computer/TV, or she is running fast. The kids have learnt this (hubby has not). Renae’s greatest frustration in life is that her husband moves slower than an avalanche of molasses on a cold day.
At 8am, she jumps out of her chair and starts bellowing directions. “It’s Library Day. I’ll get your library bag and you can get your book. Did you finish your homework? Come on, let’s move. Let’s get dressed. Did you do your teeth, and yes, you have to do your hair. Here, I’ll help you put those tights on. Can you go and feed this to the chooks? No, you can’t take that to school. I think I saw your shoes under the lounge. No, you can’t wear those socks. Did you make your bed? Go back and brush your hair again. This time remember you have hair all over your head, not just at the front. Can you grab the towels from the bathroom and put in the washing machine? Smack that cat if he’s on the table. Who didn’t take their breakfast bowl to the kitchen? Did you remember your teeth? Why haven’t you put your lunch in your bag?”
During this, Renae dresses in her “Mummy” uniform of jeans, T-shirt and flat shoes. They’re quick. They’re easy. They’re cheap. They can hide a lot of dirt. She can be ready in less than 5 minutes if she needs to be.
8:30am: Drives the kids to school. Walks them to the classrooms. Has chat with the 7yo’s teacher. Goes in with 5yo and helps her practice writing. The little smarty-pants is already writing sentences. Renae died when she wrote in her pad “My mum does washing.” Thanks, sweetie.
Clucks over the newborn babies she finds. Quick chat to the various mothers and fathers she sees, “How is Daniel today? Over his cold? No, I didn’t hear about Italian Day. No, I’m not helping out on the P&C stall. Yes, I will be there for the school carnival. How’s work? Did your husband get the job?”
9:00am/9:30am: (depending on how long she chats) Leaves school. Errand time. Back home.
Between 9:30am & 2:30pm: Types 50 words. Answers telemarketing call. Types 150 words. Coffee time. Types 180 words. Puts washing on the line. Types 60 words. Spends 30 minutes in the garden stewing over plot problems while picking weeds. Types 430 words. Vacuums house while working out character’s next move. Types 35 words. Pays online bills. Types 80 words. Emails friend. Types 40 words…. You get the picture.
3:00pm: Picks up kids from school.
3pm-6pm: “Yes, I’ll make you a sandwich. Yes, I remember that you like peanut butter on yours. Please don’t tie balloons to the cat. I don’t care what Brody’s mum lets him do, you can’t do it. If you’re still hungry then have a piece of fruit. Please share the iPad or I’m putting it away. I told you to have fruit, and biscuits are not fruit. We’re having spaghetti for dinner. Please don’t throw balls in the house! How many times do I have to tell you that? Can you please go and check for eggs? I told you, we’re having spaghetti for dinner. No, you can’t play Wii, it’s a school night. Have you done your homework? I’m sure that your sister can be a mermaid and have a sword. That’s fine to be a fighting mermaid. No, you can’t have another sandwich, it’s nearly dinner time. Spaghetti. We’re having spaghetti, the same as the last two times you asked. Okay! I’m coming to change the toilet roll. Who left the door open and let all the flies in the house? No, you can’t get the painting stuff out because it’s nearly dinner time. Spaghetti. Yes, I know that Cassie’s party is coming up. Spaghetti. That’s a brilliant lego house! Daddy’s home! Can you please make sure these dirty socks make it to the hamper? Spaghetti. Wash your hands everyone. The spaghetti’s ready.”
6:00-7:30pm: Dinner. Baths. Storytime. Relax.
7:30pm-8:30pm: Sits in cold hallway with laptop where youngest child can see her while falling asleep. Repeatedly googles “separation anxiety” and chats on social media.
8:30pm: Gasps at how late it has gotten. Vows to write like crazy in the next two hours.
11:00pm: Slips into bed. Curses that social media is so addictive.
Renae’s newest release The Shearing Gun was released yesterday (19th of September) and can be purchased at the following links.
At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.
Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.
Renae’s contact details: