Today I’m handing my blog over to Keira Des Anges with her wonderful post about balance. Make sure to leave a comment because one randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN gift card.
We live in a fast-paced world where things are due yesterday, or preferably, the day before that. Smart phones are connected to our hands, information is updated by the second and life changes in a minute. Besides living in the matrix many writers, like myself, have families, day jobs and other responsibilities that lure us away from finishing a chapter or starting that next novel. But with vigilance and discipline, we can get the job done!
Set Family Boundaries: My family is given my writing schedule at least 2 days in advance. I generally do a lot of writing on the weekends because work and my children’s after-school activities keep me super busy during the week. So I tell them, “Hey, I’m writing on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. If you need anything let me know, because I’m off-limits during this time.” They respect this. They tell me their needs in advance and I meet them. In return, they respect my request for time and space. It’s a win-win situation.
Have a Game Plan: Think about what you want to accomplish. Instead of sitting down and staring at a blank computer screen or thumping a pen against the desk for an hour, it’s easier to already have an idea of what it is you want to do. Perhaps it’s simple editing, or a complete rewrite of your latest masterpiece. More work will get done when you have an agenda.
Avoid Burnout: Sleep is important and ‘me’ time is invaluable. Don’t burn yourself out in a mad rush to finish that next sentence or chapter. You may have a job to get to in the morning, children to get ready for school, or errands to run. You need to remain fresh and alert for every area of your life. When you feel yourself winding down, listen to your body and step away. Don’t worry – nine times out of ten you are going to get back to whatever you are working on to edit, rewrite and repeat.
Writing is a job and a tough one. As with any job, there are schedules, breaks and deadlines and this takes discipline. If we integrate writing in our lives in a healthy way, our families, careers and writing will be the better for it.
Leanna Matthews enjoys flying below the radar. She does well in school, has a few close friends and hides the fact she’s an astral-traveling telekinetic. But there’s no escaping her creepy dreams or Simora, the bizarre little spirit lady, that suddenly pops out of nowhere to warn her against keeping secrets and predicts an encounter with a sinister evil. For the first time in forever someone…or something…is on to her.
But life turns around when Leanna meets Piper one sunny afternoon. She’s inexplicably drawn to him, almost as if she’s been waiting for him to come. Forbidden to have a boyfriend Leanna throws caution to the wind, lying to her family and friends to be with him, while ignoring Simora’s ominous message.
Yet Piper has a secret of his own. He is on a mission and Leanna, unwittingly, is the key.
One of the fringe benefits of astral traveling is never using doors, and when Leanna walked straight through the wall into the brightly lit hallway, the hustle and bustle of the day seemed all but forgotten. Various medical personnel marched determinedly to their destinations and Leanna quickly dodged a team of doctors rushing down the corridor and the hysterical woman behind them. She moved out of habit really; even if they bumped her they’d simply melt right through.
She stopped by the nearest nursing station hoping to hear news on her aunt. But to her disappointment, the staff proved useless. They were more interested in Nurse Johnson’s fling with the new anesthesiologist than discussing their charges. Her mother was a medical professional; Leanna knew nurses were an integral part of the medical team. But these guys were worse than an episode of Grey’s Anatomy! Eventually bored of their gossip, Leanna made her way to the opposite end of the floor.
“Hey, Leanna!” Her name rang out clearly as she passed by the waiting room door. “Over here!” said the voice.
Startled, Leanna turned around to peek inside. Three people sat in the small, blue waiting area. Two women whispered animatedly to one another and a stoic looking man held a magazine, although his eyes seldom moved across the page. They didn't see her, so Leanna wondered who just called.
Then she saw her.
A little Indian woman, no more than four feet in stature sat in a green and purple, wing-backed armchair in the middle of the room grinning and waving madly at her. She looked no more than thirty years old and was dressed in shimmering gold from head-to-toe with a sheer, golden scarf draped over her bright, oval face and jet-black hair.
Tiny glittery shoes peeked out from beneath the frock and sparkled as brightly as Dorothy’s red slippers in the Wizard of Oz. Leanna thought she even resembled a munchkin, in a cute sort of way. Like Auntie, she seemed more real than anyone else in the room and her smile grew larger as Leanna approached cautiously.
“Don’t worry sweetheart, I don’t bite,” she said. The little lady patted a second green chair embossed with bright purple and orange polka dots, which mysteriously sprang out of nowhere, and Leanna sat down.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she beamed, greeting Leanna like a long-lost friend and clapping her hands excitedly. “I’m so glad you finally came!”
“Waiting for me? Why? Who are you?” Leanna asked, not quite sure she should be talking to her in the first place.
“Oh my! You don’t know me do you?” she giggled childishly. “I’ve been with you so long I sometimes forget you don’t remember.”
“Remember?” Leanna asked now thoroughly confused. “I’m sorry, what are you talking about? We’ve never met before,” she said apologetically.
“Oh Leanna, trust when I say I have been with you all of your earthly life, before and beyond,” the lady corrected. “Until now you haven’t seen me because it wasn’t time. But I have been with you as promised and kept watch over you. Which, I might add, has been quite a task considering your little adventures,” she said smiling again, taking some of the sting from her words.
Leanna frowned, studying the peculiar, little lady in the shiny clothes. She didn’t know why or how, but she did look vaguely familiar, like she might’ve seen her around; possibly in a dream. Somehow, Leanna sensed there was more to the story than that.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
By day, Keira des Anges has the distinct pleasure of assisting teenagers with disabilities find employment, empowering one life at a time. By night, she is a chew toy for her dog and cat and avid reader of anything spooky, magical and totally out of this world. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband and two kids.
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