In Times of Trouble
by Yolonda Tonette Sanders
Monday – Friday: A Typical Day in My Life
“I envy you,” a friend once said to me. “You have the freedom to do what you want during the day. I have to go to work and stare at four walls.”
My friend severely disliked her job and I kept this in mind while I thought about her comment. I certainly would not want to trade places with her. I also wondered if she had the misconception that just because I do not “go to work” it meant that I do not work. “One advantage you have over me,” I replied, “is that you know your work day is over when you leave the office. Mine can be never-ending.”
I find this is true any time I am working on a manuscript. Why? Because my characters don’t know how to shut up until I’m finished with their story! Here’s the run-down of a typical day in my life.
5:30am – the alarm sounds and my husband begins to get ready for work. Sometimes I get up as well; most times I go back to sleep until six when he becomes my human alarm. Like you, the first thing I do when I rise is go to the bathroom. (If the bathroom is not your first stop, then your bladder is much stronger than mine! J) After making the bed, I head downstairs to fix my husband’s coffee and lunch.
6:30am – 7:00am – I read my Bible and/or do a morning devotional.
7:00am – I exercise, generally to one of the many Beach Body DVD programs I have acquired. (I need to buy stock in that company!) Ninety percent of the time, I exercise alone. Other times I am joined by my neighbor who fusses about me having her up too early and the DVD being too hard.
By nine, I am usually at my desk after I have eaten breakfast and showered.
9:00am – 3:00pm – These hours involve a combination of doing research for my current story, writing, running errands, checking on my mom (who lives with us because of health reasons), taking my mom to any scheduled appointments, answering emails, making phone calls, creating a “To Do” list, revising my “To Do” list, and finding time in between for snacks and lunch.
3:00pm – 6:00pm – I cook (or buy) dinner, ask my family about their day, share funny or frustrating stories about mine, jot down notes about anything a character is “telling” me, or do whatever else is needed of me during this time.
6:00pm – 10:00pm (or midnight, depending on my energy level) – I combine all activities from 9:00am – 6:00pm, particularly doing research for my story, writing, talking to my family, answering emails, making phone calls, jotting down notes from my characters, and revising the ever-changing “To Do” list.
Some days are more stressful than others, but each day is a blessing. If I happen to have a “bad” one, I know that when I wake the next morning, the process will start all over again.
About The Author:
Yolonda Tonette Sanders took a leap of faith in 2004 when she resigned from her job with the State of Ohio after only three and a half years to focus more on writing. It was a leap that she has never regretted. In 2005, her debut novel, Soul Matters, was published by Walk Worthy Press and Time Warner (now Hachette Book Group). In 2008, her second book, Secrets of a Sinner, was published by Harlequin/Kimani Press. That same year Yolonda started Yo Productions, LLC, a Christian based literary services and theatrical entertainment company, which she used to launch and create her first stage production. The theatrical version of Soul Matters debuted successfully in September 2009 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Since then, Strebor Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, is planning to release four of Yolonda’s titles by April 2015. Currently, Yolonda resides in Columbus, Ohio and is the loving wife of David, proud mother of Tre and Tia, and joyful caregiver of her mother, Wilene.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Strebor Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Divorced, single mother Lisa Hampton is grateful for a fresh start after a humiliating scandal forced her to relocate from Maryland to Ohio. Her biggest issue nowadays is dealing with her rebellious teenage daughter, Chanelle, who is one smart comment away from being toothless!
Other than the stress of dealing with Chanelle, life is perfect. Lisa has a new beau and a steady job that allows her the opportunity to rub shoulders with very wealthy and influential people. She is best friends with Isaac and Olivia Scott, an extremely rich and powerful couple.
When Chanelle accuses the Scotts’ son of rape, Lisa learns how quickly her friends become enemies as Olivia and Isaac use their wealth and power to manipulate justice. The Scotts prove that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their son, even if it means destroying both Lisa and Chanelle in the process.
Hearing the sound of her mother's footsteps descending the hardwood stairs, Lisa leaned back on the sofa so as not to appear overly anxious.
"Chanelle still hasn’t made it home?” Her mother’s wire-framed glasses rested at the tip of her nose while a large green robe concealed her body.
"Nope. . ."
"Did you call Jareeka’s?”
“Yes; her father said that she and her mother are away for the weekend.” She felt herself tensing with every word.
“What about RJ? Have you called him?”
“He hasn’t seen her either.”
“Well, don’t come down too hard on her. Maybe she didn't know Jareeka was out of town and when she found out, she decided to hang with one of her other friends instead. Now she should’ve at least called and told you, but she was probably so happy to get out the house that she forgot. Poor thing; it seems like she’s always on punishment. Sometimes I think you’re too hard on that girl. I don't want to meddle—"
"Then please don't," the thirty-eight-year-old interjected in the most respectful tone that she could conjure up with a clenched jaw.
"All right. I'll keep my opinion to myself, but I was merely going to say that you may want to consider extending Chanelle's curfew. She’s practically an adult and it’s time you start treating her like one. Maybe then you’d be less likely to run into this problem."
An electrifying jolt shot through Lisa’s body. The way she disciplined Chanelle had become a constant point of contention between her and her mother. Thank goodness Hattie would soon be moving into her own apartment! Lisa could not wait!
“That makes absolutely no sense!” she fired back. “What she is, is irresponsible. Why should I reward her for not being able to honor her curfew? And anyhow, she wouldn’t have been on punishment recently had she not been so smart at the mouth.”
“I wonder where she got it from . . .” her mother replied cynically, quickly disappearing into the kitchen and returning moments later. “Good night."
"The same to you,” Lisa replied, continuing to stew as the clock read 1:21 a.m. The only other noise she heard was the emptying of the automatic ice machine until ten minutes or so later when a car pulled into the driveway. Lisa’s heart began racing when she saw flashing blue and red lights from the window. It wasn’t her car as she had thought, but a police cruiser. A gut-wrenching fear fell over her. Had something horrible happened to Chanelle? She felt guilty about being so angry and the missed curfew was now a minor issue compared to the concern that her baby might be lying in the hospital somewhere. Lisa was horrified by the unlimited possibilities of things that could’ve happened to her daughter. The pit of her stomach knotted as she sprang from the couch and raced to the front door.