Balance? What an incredibly apt word for someone whose life hasn’t been balanced since I wrote my first book. That’s me, author of the Vicarage Bench series – Mimi Barbour.
In the early days, before I signed my first contract, everything was great. I’d get up in the morning (not early), have a leisurely breakfast, and then take a morning stroll with my husband. Then, maybe do a few chores, go for lunch with friends, and hope to make it to my computer sometime that day. (Did I mention that I was retired?)
Now that I’ve been published, I get up much earlier, run on my treadmill, gulp down my cereal in front of the computer, and wish that darn clock would SLOW DOWN! If all I had to do was write, it would be wonderful. Visit with the characters, do a bit of plotting, maybe even edit some of the work from the day before. Easy-shmeasy!
Not anymore. As soon as my first book got released, life as I knew it changed. Instead of one career, I’ve taken on multiple ones. Publicist, promoter, workshop giver, blogger, newsletter editor, contract lawyer, all on top of producing the article to sell. So there are pitfalls to this career. Today, unless you’re contracted by one of the New York houses—and even then—if you want the public to know you’ve written a book, someone has to tell them. And guess who gets that job by default? Uh-huh! You got it! And I mean that literally.
I guess in years gone by, authors would do book launchings and book signings and try to promote their books in a personal way. Today, not so much! We mostly depend on the social media to broadcast to the world that our new baby has arrived and is available. And in my personal experience, that route takes hours and hours because there’s a never-ending list of choices for us to turn to. Do they make a difference? Is all that time and effort paying off? I can only pray it does. I know personally, while I’m out there pitching my books, I constantly come across others that interest me and so I buy. I guess I’m pretty average, so if I’m doing this, I’m taking it for granted others are also.
I have to admit to having a certain fondness for visiting with unseen readers rather than putting myself physically in the limelight and praying I’ll not be ignored. I visualize people who read my blogs and interviews or visit my website as personal friends that are interested in me, and what I have to say. A bit presumptuous maybe, but it makes it far more interesting for me to pour out my feelings when I take it for granted everyone reading the words are sweethearts who care. Therefore, I spend a lot of time trying to write something I hope they want to read.
Did I mention time? See…it’s become a precious commodity. I have a new book to edit, another to write and …gulp…they’ll all need to be promoted.
I should mention here before I depress you all to the point where you burn your manuscripts and decide to become songwriters, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. I love each ‘short’ day, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m managing to grab whatever time I can from my regular routine and fill those hours with writing-related jobs. I’ve become quite adept at re-arranging my schedule so that I keep open the days I need to be available for RWA meetings and so on. I wake up each morning anxious to get started. Somehow I think writers are born to do what they do. Otherwise, why would we torture ourselves with the overwhelming workload we have to handle?
P.S. I’m sure there are many people out there reading this who’d love to say You think you’ve got it rough? Try adding a couple of kids and full time job into the equation. All I can say to those people is—God Bless and keep you sane. You have my total awe and respect.
I’d love to hear your stories about what you do to help keep balance in your life, so please leave a comment. And thanks for stopping by. Please come visit with me at my website http://www.mimibarbour.com/ and join my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of my latest release. Or follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Mimibarb Or on Facebook…http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mimi-Barbour-Fan-Page/203964072966134
Check out Mimi's books. Mimi Barbour’s new release is called
Traveling ten years forward in time, Dani Howard's spirit becomes magically united with reporter, Troy Brennan. He's everything a girl could want in a man, and during their time together, she falls deeply in love. Though she must return to her own pregnant body, she gains his promise to come to her birthday party in seven days time where they will meet in person and continue their romance.
Troy can't believe he's fallen for a sixteen-year-old spirit invader. He's so infatuated that when renowned author, beautiful Ellie Ward, comes on to him, as attractive as he finds her, he's honor bound to stay true to his young love—or is he?
“So this is what the inside of the pub looks like. I’ve wondered.”
“Why would you care?”
“Being it’s a sanctified adult area, all kids want to know what goes on here. Some of my mates got phoney cards and have tried to get in, but they were I.D.ed and thrown out.”
“And so they should be. It’s no place for youngsters.”
“I’m a youngster. I’m here.”
“Yeah! But you’re with me, and if there’s any nonsense going on you shouldn’t see, I’ll close my eyes.”
Erupting giggles tickled him. He lowered his head and stared at the beer-foamed glass in his hand so no one could see the silly grin fighting to appear on his face.
Dani, the bane of his existence, made him laugh more than anyone else he’d ever known. And she was only sixteen years old.
“I’m not a child, you know. And I’m almost seventeen.”
“So tell me, Miss Methuselah, how did you get inside me? Are you ever going to explain? I’m thinking to take out a long-term lease if you’re planning to homestead.”
She teased right back.” You’ll have to co-sign for me, ‘cause I’m underage.”
“Whoa! I’ve never met anyone who can play the age game better than you. You’re an adult when it suits you, but reverting back to childhood when you feel the need doesn’t bother you at all.” He loved hearing her cheeky laughter, but not nearly as much as he liked the warmth flooding over his internal self. Exuberance filled him, and he had to admit to getting hooked on the high.
“You are so easy, Troy. I’m gonna hate to leave you. But I guess I’ll have to, since tomorrow’s Saturday, and that’s the day we’ll be able to undo the switch. Right. Here goes—and don’t interrupt, no matter how silly it seems. The fact is – well, it really is the rose bush.”
“You’re still trying to feed me that baloney. The rose bush! I thought we settled that subject. Next you’ll be saying it’s magical.”
“It is.” Her voice strongly emphasised the last word.
He filtered through his senses systematically. And was forced to accept one thing. She was telling the truth. A magic rose bush! “Holy cow!”
“According to my uncle’s notes, if I understood them correctly, and I think I did, I read them twice and—”
“Right! He’ll have my body near his rose bush—the one I pricked my finger on, at precisely twelve noon each Saturday until the changeover occurs to get me back there. He’ll prick my finger in hopes that you will also prick yours at the same time. He knows I’m aware of the magic and how it works, because he’ll know I read all his notes about a similar case he investigated last year. I accidentally knocked them off his table, the notes that is, and probably didn’t get them back in their correct order. It’s what started this whole thing.”
“And you’re sure it’ll happen?”
“No. But it’s what I gathered from going through his papers, and it worked for two other women who had the same experience.”
“Great! Tomorrow! We’ll be there early.”
He had hurt her feelings.
She shut herself off, hiding away so he couldn’t feel the devastating ache that clutched at her and made her gasp. Tears, a physical reaction to release overwhelming pain, weren’t available to her. Emotions too advanced for a young girl tore away rose-colored glasses, wounding, maturing. Her almost seventeen-year-old psyche had started connecting to him in a way that confused her. Every moment she’d shared his life, little bits of her soul had shifted to him until there wasn’t much left he didn’t own.
Mimi Barbour lives on the beautiful west coast on Vancouver Island and writes her paranormal romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. Asked why she prefers paranormal, she answers, chuckling, “Because it’s fun! Imagination can be a lot more interesting than what happens in real life to so-called normal people. I love my characters, and my goal is to make the readers love them also, to care about what happens to them while the story unfolds. If I can steal my booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”