Balance in Life

My husband often asks me to balance my time. To prove his point he showed me an article about the value of balance. According to that article, most of our troubles are due to imbalances.

We should divide our day in such a way that we can balance work, family time, socializing, exercise, spiritual time, and fun time. If a person works eight hours a day, drives half an hour each way to work, breaks at lunch for an hour, exercises for an hour, and sleeps seven hours, this adds up to a total of eighteen hours. I assume the remaining six hours are used for family time, fun, socializing, and spiritual time.

I am not sure in which category I can fit cooking, dinner and dishwashing time. Reading should go under the hour or two of fun time. And what about writing?

I retired from my day job years ago and write full-time—or to be more accurate I sit in front of my computer full time. I can manage an hour to exercise or walk every day. I can cook twice a week and eat leftover or eat out the rest of the week, socialize two or three times a week. I consider this to be a perfectly balanced life.

Except… Around Christmas time, I deliberately put work aside. With the kids visiting it’s impossible to reach my computer, considering there are always a couple, or more teenagers sleeping in my office who can never sleep early or wake up early. So I graciously relinquish my work area and remain in the kitchen where I’ve already spent two weeks cooking, baking and preparing for the family gathering and a happy holiday. Call it family time, fun and socializing,

Yes a perfectly balanced life. Except on the two days I have to take care of the grandchildren, picking them from school, driving them to their various after-school activities and waiting for them, cooking and serving dinner—all of that goes under work and family time. Let’s not forget their adorable Cocker spaniel, Bosty, that I have to walk—call it exercise and fun.

Quite a balanced life. Except on the weeks where I have a deadline for a book and write nonstop to finish my story and edit, or format a multi-author box, or promote a new release… The eight hours of work morph into twelve or fourteen hours of non-paid overtime. Forget exercise, except running to the bathroom, forget family time, my husband swore that I become deaf during this period and never answer with cohesive sentences.

Considering there is so much I want to do, I’m still faced with the same problem of balancing my time.

I think balancing one’s time is wonderful. In theory. I always learned that to be successful you ought to give your main goal your 101%.  So how can you divide your time in multiple activities and still be successful?

Yet some people manage to multitask and be successful at everything they do. If you are one of these fortunate people, how do you do it?

Don’t forget to check our two new boxes:

Unforgettable Passion – Unforgettable Charmers (The Unforgettables Book 10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Sassy in the Snow: Find Your Winter Romance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Modern Princes Series:

A Bride For Prince Paul: She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!
A Bodyguard For The Princess: A murder at Harvard in Princess Chloe’s student building.
Jingle With My Princess: The doc and the princess… He saves lives but Princess Charlene may save his heart.

Word Spinning on the Road!

Last weekend, my husband and I took a day trip (from Oregon) to Washington. He was driving, so I figured I’d work on the two novellas I have due in March. Of course, my brain split focus and distracted me with ideas and scenarios for a third story! The more the merrier, I guess.

I opened a file (turned to the first page of notebook paper in my dollar store binder) and started entering data (writing with pen). When my inspiration evaporated, I fast-forwarded (dog-eared a dozen pages or so) and wrote the title of my next WIP (Work In Process), automatically date stamping, titling, and page numbering each sheet.

I realized a few interesting things during the trip. First, my cursive writing has degenerated. I could barely read it! I switched to printing. Not too bad, but not neat and consistent as it was in high school or my early invoice-writing days. I think typing has atrophied the fine motor skills required to produce the round and rhythmic script my elementary school teachers worked so hard to get me to master.

After penning my first blast of ideas on paper, I did something I had to laugh at. My ring fingers automatically reached down to hit control and s keys at the same time: the shortcut to saving a file. Not a keyboard in the truck other than our smartphones, but my well-conditioned (experienced?) brain wanted to make sure data wasn’t lost. Backing up my work? That would have to be a quick snapshot of each page, just in case I lost (as in misplaced) the in process manuscript before transcribing it to Word and saving in Dropbox.

And that’s how this author writes on the road.

How about a sweet romance with a surprise ending? Check out THREE ARE ONE, part of SWEET AND SASSY BRIDES.

 

Looking for a few great books for this weekend? I have loads of stories Free to Read with Kindle Unlimited or you can download one or both of these Single Daddy Club stories by Donna Fasano. I’m curious to know if Team Jason is more popular or do readers favor Team Reece. Either way, once you’ve finished reading, remember to write a review: the best way to thank an author and let her know what you like about her work.

*Remember: Book Bites are always FREE! Enjoy the first chapter of scores of stories by The Authors’ Billboard writers. A comprehensive list of books is here but the books are also available on Nook, Kobo and Apple.

Are you Superstitious? #Inspiration #amwriting #mgtab @jacqbiggar @mimisgang1

 

I was recently a guest on author, Teri Polen’s blog and shared some of my superstitions with her readers 🙂

If you’re not superstitious, this featured author may change your mind.  She also confirms why basements in haunted houses aren’t a place you want to hang out.  Welcome Jacquie Biggar!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I would be the skeptic saying, “Yeah, sure that’s a real chainsaw with blood dripping all over my clean floor. When you’re done goofing off, I hope you plan on cleaning that mess up!”

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

We lived in a haunted house when I was growing up. My bedroom was in the basement and normally the streetlight would shine through the three windows and provide plenty of light. But, once in a while I’d wake up and literally not be able to see my hand in front of my face. There’d also be a strong, malevolent presence (or maybe that was because I was scared witless!). I’d bang against walls and furniture to get upstairs, my heart drumming right out of my chest, and the light would be on outside. I could see it through the bay window and its glow lit up the kitchen.

Most scared I’ve ever been.

Are you superstitious?

Isn’t everyone? J I won’t walk under a ladder. If a black cat crosses my path, I’ll figure a way around it (tricky since we owned black cats!). If I spill salt, I don’t just throw some from the shaker over my shoulder, I scoop up the spill and throw it too. (Sorry, guy in the next booth!) Friday the 13th is the worst. I’m always waiting for something bad to happen. Some events from history include: Buckingham Palace bombed Sept 13th, 1940, a thirteen-year-old was struck by lightning Friday the 13th at 13:13, a cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy, and Flight 571 crashed in the Andes leaving its survivors to commit cannibalism.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Focusing!

No really, between social media, my pets needing attention (I have a calico and a German Shepherd), watering my plants because we’re under drought conditions and I can’t stand to see them die, visiting my mom each day, cleaning the house (if I have to J), making DH dinner and packing his lunch, and watching my favorite TV shows (There’s at least one each night) I have to force myself to sit down and concentrate on the book. And that’s not counting promo stuff.

Writing IS a full-time job and it’s important to slot out a timeframe that works- for you. Just because Betty-Lou has great success writing at 5 am (Oh, my gosh!) it doesn’t mean that will be your productive time. Heck, I don’t even function until I’ve downed three or four cups of coffee. Some write every day, and others only on the weekend. It’s all about finding the lane that works for you, and then sticking to it because you’re the only one who can create the magic.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

My critique groups have changed my way of writing. I belong to two fantastic groups. A local one where we share our work via email and meet once a month for an exchange of ideas, industry information, and gossip. J And an online group through the Kiss of Death RWA Chapter called Lethal Ladies. I’ve been the coordinator there for two years and value their insights immeasurably.

I feel critique groups and beta readers together make for stronger, cleaner storylines. After all, you want your book baby to be all that it can be, right?

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I’m lucky enough to be able to work full-time towards a successful writing career, which means I can spread my jobs throughout the day. I start by reading and commenting on my blog and those that I follow (don’t take this lightly, the blogging community is huge and they can help you if you’re willing to put in some effort), then I move on to Facebook, Twitter and my emails. After that, I take a break for family and pet-time.

The bulk of my writing takes place in the evening. The house is quiet and I can concentrate on my work. It drives me nuts to have the television on while I’m writing. I guess I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, lol.

 

 

Now on #Audiobook https://www.amazon.com/Beast-Within-Mended-Souls-Book/dp/B07BX446YX

 Haven’t joined the latest craze yet? Join here and get a free book- https://www.audible.com/pd/B07BWTYQK2/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-112815&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_112815_rh_us

And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG

 

The Beast Within

Book 2 Mended Souls Series

She didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.

Can two displaced angels save a woman from the clutches of a vicious psychopath?

 When Julie Crenshaw is offered a news reporter’s job on beautiful Vancouver Island she didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.

Connor O’Rourke has seen his share of human depravities during his fourteen years as a homicide detective, but is still sickened by the murderer terrorizing his island shores.

And threatening his key witness.

As the stakes rise, can two people get a second chance at love?

Or will a killer be the winner?

Excerpt

Julie pulled into the paved driveway and parked in front of the single car garage just as the school bus stopped down the street and let off a rag-tag bunch of laughing, talking kids. All except her boys, last to step down from the vehicle. They barely glanced up from their inspection of the sidewalk when the doors slid closed and the bus signaled away from the curb.

She sighed and waited while they trudged the half block to their front gate. There were no waves or yelled plans to join the other kids in a game of street hockey after their dinner. No suggestions of an impromptu basketball match using the hoop above the garage door, or a bike ride to the nearby park. Nothing at all. In fact, Dustin looked like he had another of his perpetual mad-ons happening, with hunched shoulders and downcast expression. Meanwhile, Freddie tagged along behind, casting envious glances at the neighbor boy running down the street toward the others setting up for the hockey game.

“Why can’t we, Dusty?” Freddie tugged on his older brother’s jacket, barely slowing him down. “I want to play.”

Dustin stopped short, glaring at the laughing kids down the block. “They’re a big bunch of dummies.” He kicked at a stray pebble, sending it skittering down the walk.

Julie hiked her satchel higher on her shoulder and closed the car door. Dustin glanced her way, then trudged into the house without a word.

Julie’s welcoming smile flat-lined, her son’s continuing anger creating a hard ball of tension in her gut. She’d taken him to counselling after his father’s death, but it hadn’t done much to alleviate the guilt he carried. He felt the accident was his fault and nothing Julie could say would change his mind.

“Mom, can I go play?” Freddie giggled as the neighbor’s dog dropped a beat up ball glove at his feet.

She forced a cheerful expression and held out her arms. “Do I get a cuddle first?”

Young enough not to care who might be watching, he ran into her embrace, his chubby arms wrapping her waist in a bear hug. She held on a moment too long, reluctant to give up the scent of bubblegum and sun that clung to his soft skin.

“Mom, you’re squeezing me to death,” he laughed into her chest.

She gave one last clench, half teasing, half desperation, and let him go. “Be back in an hour, and watch out for traffic.”

“Okay, love you, Mom,” he said, grabbing the glove and heading for the street, his attention already half a block away.

“Love you, son,” she answered, and he was gone. Leaving her alone. Deflated.

She turned for the house, coming to a halt when she noticed Dustin standing on the other side of the screen. There was that knot again. Much as she loved her eldest son, Julie hated the undercurrents that ran between them like a tide of noxious gas. He’d been daddy’s boy, had followed Mike wherever he went, questions flying a-mile-a-minute. They’d often joked that the only time Dusty was quiet was when he was asleep.

Mike.

She missed her husband every day.

 

 

 Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQEVI55

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32879778-the-beast-within

International linkhttp://books2read.com/TheBeastWithin

Also available in

Dangerous Temptation – Dark Passion

SEVEN Paranormal Romances to feed your appetite for danger!

Step into worlds with exotic and extreme beings, where emotions are heightened with a mixture of fear and passion. Become one with the Dangerous Temptations as you get to know the werewolves, vampires, faeries, shapeshifters, and nefarious ancient pharaohs who sneak into your mind, teasing and titillating, building your hunger for paranormal lusts that mere humans cannot resist.

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Temptation-Passion-Rebecca-York-ebook/dp/B07HCRFPJT

International Link: http://books2read.com/DangerousTemptationDarkPassion

 

Author Bio

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:

http://jacqbiggar.com

You can follow her on at http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggarhttp://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar

Or email her via her web site. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

You can also join her street team on Facebook: Biggar’s Book Buddies

Or her exclusive Review Crew: https://jacqbiggar.com/join-my-review-crew/

And sign up for her newsletter-

http://www.subscribepage.com/jacqbiggar

When the completely unexpected happens while writing…

I’ve always considered myself a plotter. There are certain things I HAVE to know before I can start writing. Usually, my process starts with an idea. Sometimes it’s a plot driven idea, other times it’s a character driven idea. This sets me up with the inciting incident and story question. I then jump to the climatic scene. Without that, I have no idea where the story is going. It’s like getting in the car and driving to the store without having any idea of where the store is and refusing to look at a map.

My next release, THE LOST SOUL, is the third book in my Raven Sister’s series. Each novella has it’s own storyline, however, one is dependent on the other. There is an arch that spans all four books and each one ends in a cliffhanger. This is a different kind of writing for me, since most of my series are all stand alones. When I finished writing THE LOST SOLDIER, wrapping up one piece of the puzzle, I left myself in an interesting situation. I had written myself into a corner, or so I thought.

Not to give too much away, The Raven Sister’s series is a paranormal/fantasy about 4 sisters destine to unite with quadruplet brothers separated at birth to form THE COLLECTIVE ORDER, a group of psychics who were once hunted as witches and burned at the stake in the past. In the present, each sister finds their soul-mate, their psychic abilities increase, as do the brothers. I ended the 2nd book with the hero of the 3rd book basically in a coma and the heroine needed to find him in the space between this reality and the past.

Wow. It still gives me a headache, lol. I knew what the climatic scene was, but all of a sudden, I had no idea how to get these two out of the past and into the present. And healthy. It took three false starts and a lot of phone calls to a couple of writer friends to come up with a solution. The funny part, was that the inciting incident was always right there in front of me. I had planted the seed in the first 2 books. All I really needed to do was step back and take a look at it from a different angle, and that’s when the surprising stuff happened.

This story took a very unexpected turn, but OMG, I had a blast writing it! Check out this link to an excerpt. Please follow me on Book+Main Bites Romance. I will be posting excerpts there of all my books! Also, please follow me on Amazon as well as Bookbub, so you never miss a new release or a special deal! Feel free to join me in my Facebook Group, The Talty crew, where I often give away ARC’s and run other contests!