My current work set up – including my home PC telling me what I SHOULD be doing.
My current work set up – including my home PC telling me what I SHOULD be doing.

Sheltering In With Amanda Jayde

Day 1,695 of March – well, it seems that way anyway. I suppose there are worse ways to spend your days than being home all day, as a self-professed introvert I really haven’t had much trouble adjusting. That being said, I also have a regular 9 to 5 that I miss going to. I live alone, so my coworkers were my social circle on a day to day basis, and I do miss that interaction. Luckily due to technology, I’ve been able to keep working, and joining video meetings a couple of times a week helps with that desire for a little outside contact.

My new home office coworkers, though have also needed to make adjustments, having their food provider home all day means they get a little confused about their feeding schedules. Many arguments have ensued the last couple of weeks about when it’s Oreotime to eat. Yes, I argue with my cats, doesn’t everyone?

The toughest part about quarantining has been the weather, its GORGEOUS here in central Florida and has been for the last few weeks. Usually, I’d have been enjoying the pool, grabbing some sun and relaxing. I also come from a very tight-knit family, and we regularly gather for dinners weekly. I have elderly parents (though they refuse to believe they are), and not being able to spend time with them is very difficult. However, my brother has now shown my mother how to use WhatsApp to video message with us much to her enjoyment – she is also very proud of herself, LOL.

OnyxSo now how to juggle the day job with writing. It used to be so easy. My home office was my writing cave. It was the place I came to when I wanted to get away from “real” life and lose myself in the worlds and friends I created. I have to say that it is a little difficult now to separate the two since the office has become my all-around office. I think a lot of writers are struggling with the changes happening so quickly around us, but we as a group are pushing through trying to get more content out to everyone. I try to get back into my creative groove with MUSIC! I’ve always found that writing to music helps, maybe it’s the background noise or whatever. I make soundtracks for each of my books and write with those playing in the background. So putting on my writing playlist helps to get me focused on my creative self. 

Meanwhile, while I am working on my day job duties, I have realized that if I play Broadway show tunes and movie soundtracks, it makes the day go a little faster – I start with 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton every morning then shuffle everything else. And yes, I sing along – sometimes to my furry coworkers, sometimes to the squirrels outside, mostly to myself. In my mind, I could have won several Tonys.

In the early days of working from home, I was editing. Well, I was supposed to be. I found myself getting distracted easily, especially since my office mates would wait until I was seated at the computer to decide they wanted attention. But I got my revenge. I mean, if they were going to demand attention, I would give it to them (Onyx on the left, Oreo on the right).

I did manage to get the editing finished eventually – but look at those faces, it was pretty tough.

Beguiled CoverWith March behind me (It IS over right? Longest month EVER), I look to April, where I will begin the third book in my Boudoirs and Broomsticks series. The series takes place in a small town in Massachusetts and features witches. If you like small-town romances with a little bit of a paranormal edge and lots of sexy times, this is definitely a series you should check out. The first book, Beguiled, was released this past October. Book 2 Bewitched, will be released in mid-late June (Cover reveal for that book in May).

When not working, I find that the best thing to do for an hour or so a day (and this is something that I cannot recommend enough) is to disconnect. Shut off the laptop, get away from social media and the news, and try to reconnect with yourself or your family. Meditation is a great way to do this. Apps like Calm or Headspace can assist with this. Self-care, especially now, is so critical. Also, find something to do that you enjoy and do it. Love to read? There are LOTS of books you can borrow from your local libraries without having to leave your home. Several authors have their books discounted right now as well, or maybe you have a TBR pile that you can tackle. Puzzles are a great way to pass the time, and there are puzzle apps you can download if you don’t have any, same for coloring apps (I love these). Want to learn a new hobby? Now is the time to do it. Youtube has lots of tutorials. When you’re done with all that, you can always catch up on that series you’ve meant to watch.

Whatever you do, I hope you all stay safe and healthy. We’re in it together, and we WILL get through it.


Jocie McKade
Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.

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