Meg Mitchell Moore‘s new book, THE ADMISSIONS, came out from Doubleday in August. Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand said of THE ADMISSIONS, “This book was brilliant and enjoyable on every level. I LOVED IT! It’s my money-back guarantee of 2015.”
Today we’re following Meg through a typical day in her life as a writer in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where she lives with her family. On deck is writing time, of course (check out the gorgeous writing space she rents downtown), and a book club event at the Reading Public Library, proof that getting involved in your community is a win for both writers and readers.
After the usual rush of do-you-have-your-homework and did-you-brush-your-teeth and where-is-my-other-sneaker the three kids are out the door. The middle schooler goes first (6:55 bus but today her nice dad gives her a ride so she has a few extra minutes) followed by the fifth-grader and third-grader on a later bus. By 7:40, they’re all gone. Whew.
My running partner and good friend Jana arrives for our usual run. It’s a beautiful fall morning so we run around the reservoir near my house, which lights up with autumnal color around this time of year. Distance: 5 miles. Pace: a hair under 8 minutes a mile. Times I had to ask Jana to slow down on the hill: only once. So, a good day.
This is the office I rent in downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts, where I live. (This photo is a little bit of a cheat. I took it the day before. Normally these mid-morning to early-afternoon hours are when I settle down to work, but on this particular day I have to wait for the dishwasher repair guy so I don’t go in. I hope you can forgive me.) Here is my oldest daughter trying out my new (and embarrassingly mammoth) beanbag chair. The office is in a lovely old building housing mainly attorneys who wear real work clothes and don’t sit in beanbag chairs, but they tolerate me. Recently I told them I am working on a thriller about a body hidden in a beanbag chair. They laughed uncertainly.
Lunchtime! I would like to say that I often lunch with other writers and hob-nob and catch up on industry gossip but the truth is I have only one other author in my day-to-day life, the novelist Katie Schickel (read her debut, Housewitch, published earlier this year by Macmillan! It’s really good!). She happens to be out of town, but luckily two of my non-writer friends, Jenn and Colleen, have asked me to lunch at a burrito place near my office. These women both have demanding interesting jobs in other fields (geriatric care management and nutrition, respectively) and I love hearing about what’s going on with their careers. Also, this place serves an excellent salad.
Once the kids are home from school I usually consider myself done writing for the day, though I’ll catch up on reading and social media at this time. This photo is one of my posts for the day. My husband recently became as infatuated with J. Ryan Stradal’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest as I did when I read it earlier in the summer, so he undertook a bake-off where he made from scratch the bar recipes two of the characters in the book create to compete at the county fair. I can’t take credit for making these, but I can take credit for eating a lot of them. (Read this book too if you haven’t.)
Regular afternoon activities in our house: soccer practice for two kids, Irish dance practice for one. Luckily a heavy rain has started to fall so soccer practices are cancelled. This gives me more time to prepare for my event this evening. I have been invited to be the guest speaker at the Reading (Massachusetts) Public Library’s Book Club Night. Yay!
I arrive at the library, which is a makeshift library for now while the regular library is undergoing renovations. It’s amazing what they did with the space, a former Frugal Fannie’s discount clothing store. This is me standing with librarian Kathleen Miksis in front of the display she so kindly put together in advance of my visit. She even added a beret! Don’t be alarmed at all the empty shelves. That’s actually a good thing. Once they started promoting the event, many of the copies of my newest novels as well as my other two were checked out. My mother-in-law worked as a public librarian for many years and my mother worked in trade and university libraries so I have a soft spot for librarians. I speak to the group, a wonderful collection of fortyish men and women (I mean I think there were about forty people there, not that they were all forty years old). Don’t you like how Wonder Woman on the wall behind me is about to jump on my head? Hi, Wonder Woman! This was a great audience with tons of insightful questions. I could stay here all night.
After the event, I repair with my sister (who is nice enough to attend my events whenever she can) to a nearby sushi restaurant before heading back to hearth, husband, and home.
Meg Mitchell Moore is the author of the novels The Admissions, The Arrivals, and So Far Away. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and three daughters. Connect with her via her website, Twiiter, Instagram, and Facebook.