Over the last few weeks, I have found myself thinking more and more about balance and how to maintain it while traveling. I took on a new project that had me working regularly till midnight and I didn’t want to lose momentum on my writing so in spite of that I have been keeping up a schedule of writing 600-1000 words to keep my current project (THE AHRIMAN LEGACY, Book 2). With all of the project work, my writing, some follow up work on other projects, and keeping up some semblance of a workout schedule, I’ve been feeling more exhausted than I have in years. On top of that, I am lucky enough to have started touring with the Book Divas (https://www.facebook.com/BookDivasOnTour) and after a great event together last week, we are scoping out many more. Still, my adrenal glands have been pumping and I’ve been chugging through it. This weekend reminded me though of just how important it is to give your body (and mind) time to recuperate and recharge.
My husband and I spent the long weekend visiting his great-aunt and uncle (Margie and Stanley) in a small town outside of Charlotte. Spending time with family can sometimes be very stressful, but this visit was exactly the opposite. I slept over ten hours a night and spent the days on a couple of relaxed activities that included some easy hiking on Grandfather Mountain and a long boat ride around Lake Norman. Overall, it was just what the doctor ordered. Bot of the days had enough activity for us to be anything but bored, along with enough relaxation to enable a nice recovery from two hectic weeks on the new project. Spending time with Margie and Stanley also made me pretty emotional, in a very good way. My husband’s grandmother (Margie’s sister in law, whom we call Nana) passed away before I had the chance to meet her. I’ve spent a lot of time, with his grandfather (Papa), but have always wondered what it would be like to see both of them together. Sitting around and exchanging stories with Margie and Stanley gave me a glimpse at what it would have been like to visit with Papa and Nana together. Other than when I was fast asleep, I don’t think that I stopped smiling for the entire weekend.
Along with some of the fun stories they’ve been through with the family, I was really impressed by some of the values and wisdom that Margie and Stanley imparted upon us. As a couple who have been married for over sixty years, they told my husband and I (who were just married within the last year) to “just have fun together” and to “be kind” when we speak to each other or even just when we’re talking about the other outside of our relationship. Both of those pieces of advice will serve as good reminders for us in the years going forward.
Beyond that, one of the other things that impressed me so much about both of them (and frankly, that generation) is their work ethic. In his 35 years at one company, Stanley was late to work all of one time, after shoveling his car out of the driveway after a snowstorm. That level of discipline is something that I want to take back to my writing. Every minute of work ethic that I devote toward my craft will pay back in dividends. At the very least, that kind of discipline will remind me that life is about the journey and not a destination. I didn’t write my first novel, AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L1ISEUS), to get to some sales result or to become “rich and famous.” I wrote it because I had a story in me that was aching to come out, results be damned. The same philosophy will carry me through every book (or piece) that I write for the rest of my life. The work process that will allow me to work toward that in a sustainable way includes many weekends with people like Margie and Stanley. Thanks to both of you for a wonderful weekend of rest, wisdom, laughter and relaxed exploration!
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My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at all major retailers and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L1ISEUS.