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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Payne Hawthorne, A Day In The Life Of...
Day in the life of:
When this topic came up, I asked, “Which
day? Mine are all so different.”
I wear many hats, and being a writer/author
is only one of them. I gotta survive and hence I must persist at living in
reality, which means working. But I have strange and odd ways of making a
living—always have. The writing doesn’t really bring in anything and in all
point of fact, I have to pay to be a writer.
On writing days, (I call them pirate day),
I usually stay in my jammies, stumble to the coffee pot, plop down and get
going. I can vegetate in this state for days upon days. It’s not pretty,
sometimes it forgets to eat, or go to bed. Tooth brushing only happens when the
fuzz is too much to handle. But, when I focus, I can crank out the words and
usually get in 20K a week of almost publishable, polished material.
When I’m not writing, one of my many hats is
that of horse phycology expert, which translates to teacher/trainer of not only
the prey animal in question, but the predator, (human), said prey animal
belongs too. I earned a good living as a
teacher/trainer/clinician/colt starter and competitor, for over 20 years. Since
that ‘job,’ is all about the reactions in the animal, sometimes it’s an all-day
thing and exhausting. Other times it’s twenty minutes and entirely satisfying.
Its outside however, so I am always subject to whatever the weather is doing
and I have no choice but to go out in the wind or fog, or the blazing sun and
heat. I rarely push hard enough to go out in the rain, but it’s been known to
My other job is one I’ve been doing since I
was seventeen, thirty-plus years, and its Pet/House sitter extraordinaire. I
have some of the most excellent references on the coast, (where I live in
Northern California is remote and exclusive).It entails taking on the lives of whomever just left on a vacation, and
making sure their pets are loved and well cared for. I take this job seriously,
and it often means my own life gets put on hold for however long I am living
I never know where I’ll be sleeping, I
often wake up and wonder where I am. Some of my homes are just cats, who snuggle
and purr next to me all night. One is five dogs. Another is entirely taking
care of their flock of egg laying chickens.
Some are horses and lots of labor each
day—feeding, mucking, turnout and bring in, blankets, supplements, sweeping,
fodder machines—the list goes on. Horses are a ton of work, but also pay the
best because of that fact.
I’ve tended to just about every kind of
animal you can think of. One of my favorites is an Amazon parrot named Hopi,
who not only whistles a perfect rendition of, Bridge over the river Quai, but
also says, “I love you Birdie.”
Often I have what I call, ‘drive-byes,’
which simply means there is no need for me to sleep there, but I still go by
morning and night to feed or pick out potty boxes etc. Lately I’ve had as many
as four different houses going at once. Lots of driving to and fro and back
again. I never get any writing done on those days either, and pretty much collapse
at the end of them.
I also try and walk or swim a few times a
week. I live on a fairly large piece of land and there are many duties here.
Watering, gardening, my pets and my fish/turtles. Keeping water tanks full
since we are on a well and it’s a drought year. Cooking and cleaning are also
part of how I pay my rent. I love to cook am a bit of a foodie.
I don’t have kids, and I don’t have a
full-time, nine to five kind of job. I have no idea how anyone with either one
or both handles anything else to do with life, including trying to write. Mad respect to anyone juggling all of this who
still produces words and stories.