Thursday, February 05, 2009

Annette Blair GuestBlog: Balancing Act

CONTEST TODAY!!! 2 LCBs each win a copy of "Gone with the Witch" from Annette!
From Michelle: I became a fan of Annette Blair way back when RBTB wasn't even a blog. Today, it's a treat to make her part of our busy day, as she tells us about her busy days -- smack dab in the middle of the release of her hot new read, "Never Been Witched" and writing ten books. Please give Annette your warmest "Witch Way to the Weekend?" Bella buongiorno...

From Annette: Hi, Bellas! Well, here I am, stuck in my cubicle striving for balance Well, my office is really the master suite den. But sometimes I do need to get out of here, and just be me. This sounds easy, but the thing is, I have three 2009 releases and three in 2010, as well. This spells BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keys.) I have no life.

Exercise is calling, according to my doctor. Me, I don’t hear it so much. I’d love to travel or go antiquing. But more than anything I want to be with the three little ones who call me Nana and Gigi. If you’ve read my books, you know that I love children, but I learned a lot about myself when my niece invited me to be Nana to her unborn first, after her mom passed. I was
honored though still grieving that loss, but I never knew how hard I would fall.

Travis is now 5. Kelsey is 3. And last month, my daughter married a man with a granddaughter, Laura, which turned me into—ahem—Gigi, because I’m much too young to be—that other word. I called my daughter yesterday and said, “How’s my baby?” She chuckled. “You’re not talking about me anymore, are you, Mom?” I wasn’t.

I want more time with all of them. I saw Travis and Kelsey Sunday, first time since Christmas, and Travis comes running into the house yelling, “Nana, Nana! We saw your books at the Hope Library.” Oh man, so melt my heart already. I get down on the floor to play and read. Screw the writing, but I can’t do that too often. Laura is 4 hours away but fortunately, she likes to chat on the phone. She calls me. Speed dialing at 18 months.

How can I strike some balance in my life? What am I doing wrong? How do you do it? What’s your struggle for balance?

Here’s hoping we all find balance in 2009,
Bright Blessings

Annette Blair
Oh, the releases:
A VEILED DECEPTION, A Vintage Magic Mystery, Jan. ’09. NEVER BEEN WITCHED, 3rd in the Triplet Witch Trilogy, Feb. 3, ‘09 LARCENY AND LACE, A Vintage Magic Mystery, Aug. ‘09 THE NAKED DRAGON, Supernatural Employment Agency, Jan. 2010 DEATH BY DIAMONDS, A Vintage Magic Mystery, April 2010 2nd in Supernatural Employment Agency Series, date TBA
Suz Brockman GuestBlogs Friday 13th. It's y
our lucky day.

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Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and welcome, Annette! Congrats on your new Triplet Witch Trilogy book, "Never Been Witched!" Hope you'll give us a little inside dish on it today to tempt anyone who's not got the skinny on how cool the series is.

Balance, Annette? I'm the wrong girl to ask, being a kind of all-or-nothing kind of person. I just work really hard, then crash for a while and do nothing but stuff I like, or hang with family. While I'm working, I do the daily family stuff, of course.

But I will say that I've gotten much better about noticing it's more fun to take time for the little pleasures of family, (especially) friends, etc. I've found the big stuff still gets done.

That was the biggest lesson I've learned in the past few years. You can sacrifice a lot, but you still can have fun and get the work done.

Stacy~ said...

Morning Annette :) Happy Friday Bellas.

Though I'm a Libra, I'm not much on balance. For one thing, I'm a total klutz. For another, it's all about Me, Me, Me. I'm definitely tipping the scales in that direction on a regular basis. I don't know how women do it - hubby, kids, job, house, friends, boggles the mind. And so many of my friends who have it all don't take enough time for themselves. Everyone or everything else ends up coming first. I don't think I could never be that sacrificing.

Anywayz, it's great to have you here, and I second Michelle - spill some witchy beans for us today. How would you describe the balancing act of your heroines?

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Annette! Lovely to 'meet' you here!

Wish I had some suggestions to impart on the subject of 'balance' but I'm one of the last people to ask...

I have no children and no grandchildren. There's just himself and me and the cats, and we lead a very quiet but cheery life, mostly reading and watching the telly and foofing about on the internet... and I *still* find it hard to balance that with my writing commitments! LOL

I suppose like most women, and most Bellas, I just muddle through the best way I can... :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

ooo, Stacy, great question re the heroines. And, I'd never caught on to the 'me,me,me' thing with you.

But about the hobbies? I never get that one with women who do it all. I never figure out when they have the time, and kinda think it becomes a second job, or another way they have to prove something to someone.

P, muddling. Good strategy.

ev said...

Now that we are empty nesters, I am finding lots of me time. Probably too much me time!

Of course I could get up and actually do some of the projects I want to get done, but then the lure of a warm blankey, a puppy pile and a book are heard and I forget what I was going to do.

Janga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janga said...

I'm awed by that publication schedule. Do you write in your sleep?

I confess that when the Grands are here, everything else moves down a notch on my list of priorities. That stage of hugs and kisses and cuddles and storytelling is all too short. I don't want to miss a minute. Time with them renews me to tackle everything else, even the writing. Listening to a story in which Dora the Explorer, a dinosaur called Pierre, and a dog named Boomer assist a new superhero called Jax reminds me that the imagination knows no linits. :)

amy kennedy said...

Oh, Annette, if we can find the answer to that we'd be rich, no? Sometimes I'm super organized and on the ball--I make up a monthly menu, plan my grocery shopping from that make meals ahead and freeze--do a little writing every day and knit a scarf.

And then there's the other 11 months of the year...I will say I am so much better at prioritizing and I so get the grandbaby thing, when she's with us nothing gets done except tea parties and dress up and book reading...

Hey, I am so looking forward to your Vintage Magic Mysteries--sounds cool.

Annette Blair said...

Thank you Michelle for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.

What can I say about the triplets? They're psychic witches with attitude. Harmony sees the past. Storm sees the Present and Destiny sees the future, and that's how I wrote them. They're kick-butt heroines whose super yummy heroes happen to be best friends. Together they buy mansions or castles fix them up and flip them--obviously not in this economy. :)

In Sex and the Psychic Witch, Harmony's King is a stern contractor with a bad life experience and military school training. He won't slip and fall for someone ever again. Since she can read the past through old objects and meets him fixing his own haunted castle, she can read HIM. And what an mindful she gets, like what he'd like to do to her, if he let himself.

In Gone with the Witch, Storm's Aiden is a rebel, as is Storm, the Goth Bad Girl, but he's also a hermit/nomad who lives in his motor home and wont' be tied down. Oh, and he has a BIG secret. Storm hears a baby cry whenever she's near him. His baby, she believes and he denies. Can anything make that man plant roots?

In NEVER BEEN WITCHED, Destiny's Morgan is an architect who's also a paranormal debunker on the side. Manipulated into sharing a lighthouse by their families, they are also there with two ghosts and an angel. And they have to face their pasts to make way for their future.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Annette!!

Struggle for balance, thy name is Julie. Between the job, hubby, three active kids, two dogs and a cat, I'm lucky to get a moment to do laundry let alone a minute for myself. However I find that the more I can make the kids do for themselves, the more time it gives me for other things. Also dedicating at least one night a week to McDonald's is a tremendous help.
The hubby, I've given up on trying to train. ;p

Good luck with that writing schedule. I see alot of take out in your future. =o)

Annette Blair said...

Oh, Stacy, good question. Balancing act of my heroines. Hmm.

Harmony in SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH is ostensibly looking for vintage clothing in King's castle, because she's seen the future in an antique gown and ring and knows there's a ghostly evil there, which King wouldn't believe if she tried telling him. His family have been living with the wailing wind and constant bickering of any occupant for a century, and in walks Harmony and the wailing and construction workers' arguing stops. King throws her out and it all starts again. King tests his foreman's theory that she can bring peace to the castle, and decides she can stay to look for vintage clothes but she has to live in. Working overtime may get the place fixed on time for a buyer. Harmony's balancing act is to find clothes, understand Gussie the ghost, and get her the heck out of there, while pretending that King is seducing her.

In GONE WITH THE WITCH, Storm wants to follow the sound of that crying baby, but Aiden refuses to go on a trip with her, so she nearly seduces him in his motor home, ties him to the bed...then gets in the driver's seat and drives toward the sound of the crying baby. Lots of balancing being done there, especially in overcoming his fury, but seduction is always a big help.

In NEVER BEEN WITCHED, Destiny has to strike a balance between her need to find her psychic mandate, the two ghosts and the angel who appeared the night she arrived, and the grumpy debunker who tries to throw her out, but she cut the boat free of its mooring and settles the issue of leaving, at least until the water taxi is set to pick him up later in the week. So she's talking to people who aren't there and he's trying to debunk her and them--talk about a high wire act. There's also only one bed in the place (they use the rope with a blanket over it) and he happens to be a recent ex priest who's had the hots for her since he met her but he's a virgin and hasn't done all his research yet. Oy, does she have her work cut out for her, and it's fun too, except for...well...I'll let you read it to see what happens.

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas! Welcome, Annette!
Balance? Moi? Not in my vocabulary, unfortunately,hehe. I definately don't understand the women who seem to have all the time in the world to do everything. I find it an everyday struggle to balance family, friends, work, and my romance novels and I'm single, hehe. Gotta give em props. I just conclude they never sleep. And I must have my sleep, hehe. Just hire me a maid, Bellas, hehe

Annette Blair said...

Portia, great phrase "foofing around" LOL. It's just me and hubby here too and no one to pull me out of my hole unless my sister drives over and yells, "Out!" The people I used to work with email often to invite me to group activities like the old days but I don't take them up on it as often as I suppose I should, since I miss them like crazy. 21 years I spent with them. How can I not?

Annette Blair said...

Obviously, Ev, I'm an empty nester, too, but for years I had two jobs, raising money and writing. Now it's only one, so what do I do? Write three to four books a year instead of one. Love the puppy pile and warm blanky picture. Wish I had me one of those right now. Dont' know about you but it's FREEZING in Rhode Island.

Annette Blair said...

Ah Janga, you speak Nana. LOL. Isn't it the most wonderful thing. I'm angry at myself for letting a month pass. I shouldn't go more than two weeks for that wonderful experience. They won't be this small forever. Kelsey loves Dora. Travis has left the Thomas the Tank and Cars stage behind. He just loves learning anything. He's a sponge. Enjoy yours when you see them.

Annette Blair said...

Amy, you have a little French Canadian in you, no? That's how we talked in my house when I was growing up like: Donnez moi le dishwashing liquid, s'il vous plait.

As far as planning menus, I don't. I'm a little spoiled but don't tell the hubby. He shops, cooks and does laundry. He works for himself out of the house and he CAN'T stand more than an hour at his desk at one time, lucky for me. I pull all nighters and only get up because I've learned if I don't I get a UTI. :0

Annette Blair said...

Janga, I meant to respond to your first question. Yes, I do write in my sleep. Some of my best plots were dreams. I get up often during the night to jot down notes. If you've read any of the triplets, King's castle was a dream that took me from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to write down, and the castle and the island played into all three Triplet books.

Annette Blair said...

Julie, reading your note made me tired. LOL. See, you have more scheduling problems than I do. I may have too much time on my hands, which is why I write so much. But I gotta get out more. Hard to do with a deadline looming though. I asked Suz Brockman once what her secret was and she said she was obsessed. I figured that since I was, too, I'd be okay.

Lis said...

Hey Annette! Okay, I've put these 3 books on my TBR list - hope I can make it to the booksore this weekend!, work, home, hubby, teenage son, dog - 'nuff said! Between activities, school trips, events, it's a never ending chauffering cycle! I try to get my girl time in with lunches with friends, or quick bite to eat before heading to said bookstore. Don't let those contacts with friends get away from you - they'll pull you through in the end!

Annette Blair said...

Hello Princess Bumblebee. I'm as surprised by you at the women who seem to do it all so flawlessly. But I need sleep, too. I got very little sleep when I had a full time job as a development director and another as a writer. I've been a full time writer for nearly 3 years, and I need those eight hours, even if I've written all night and they start at 7 a.m. after a night of writing.

Annette Blair said...

Thanks, Lis, for reinforcing my need to keep in touch with my work friends. I do go to the occasional writers' meeting and I have two booksignings in two states this weekend, Farmington CT and Spender MA, so that'll help inspire my muse. Don't let your schedule get you down.

Annette Blair said...

Oh, Lis, forgot to say: ENJOY THE BOOKS!

dbrown3400 said...

Annette, three new books in 2009 and more in 2010, YUM! And congratulations.

I'm retired and know what you mean about having too much time on your hands. It's much harder to schedule your time that way. I find I spend too much time on my computer, leaving less time for other things I want to do or should be doing. There's a balance I haven't quite achieved.

You're so right when you say the little ones won't be that way forever. Perhaps you could squeeze in a visit every three weeks instead of four to watch them grow up?

ThatBrunette said...

Hello Annette! I seem to find you on all sorts of blogs.

My mother proudly calls my son *her* baby. Occasionally, I get introduced, too. I love it! I enjoy watching her enjoy her grandma-hood. She wears him like diamonds!

As for balance, I try to find 'me-time'. I do things at my pace and go where the spirit leads me. Thrift stores are a fun place to wander.

Thrift stores have an odd collection of items from all walks of life. Sometimes, it is nice to browse not for buying but for looking. "Who would buy that?" vs. "My parents had that when I was growing up!". I feel oddly refreshed after a visit.

This can also answer your other blog, Annette. Didn't mean to do both, it kinda happened. :-)

Tanya Hanson said...

hi Annette, I think I'm meant to be unbalanced LOL. I try schedules but have way too much ADD.

I love being a gramma. He just turned two, I call him "my baby" (his mommy doesn't mind) and he's the newest love of my life.

Congrats on your books and family.

(myspace said the other blogspot was "naughty" and disabled it? But I'll try to cut and paste the url.)


Annette Blair said...

Hi dbrown, thanks for the Yum. Makes the hours worthwhile. :) You may have hit on a good solution. Every three weeks to see the munchkins, instead of two or four. Smart girl.

It's definitely more difficult to schedule when you can write all night and sleep all day, but then you don't get to see the hubby when you're both awake. :) I have tried to keep a reasonably normal schedule, not allowing myself to sleep past noon, even if I only went to bed at 7 a.m.

Annette Blair said...

ThatBrunette, I'm so glad you dropped in a both blogs today. I call the munchkins my babies, too. I agree with you about thrift stores, not to mention the rare bargains like the occasional big name handbag for a song. I find research books in thrift stores, too, like sewing and fashion books for my Vintage Magic Mysteries.

Annette Blair said...

Tanya, I wish I thought I was meant to be unbalanced so I wouldn't stress over it. But I do need balance and badly, though I've gotten great ideas, here.

Really, myspace said the witchy chicks blogspot was naughty? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Great interview!
Looking forward to reading the new book.
Love the Vintage Mystery too.

Ka Wai said...

Hi Annette!

First of all can't wait to read you're new book but I'm upgrading to ebooks so hopefully I can get my reader and find a copy Never Been Witched.

As for balance, I'm always trying to look for that. Nursing school is really crazy and I'm thinking about changes majors (English?). But yoga really helps me. It's exercise and balance all at the same time. Maybe you'll give it a try.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buona sera, Bellas and Annette and Friends! Just got back in from giving little Chinese New Year celebration for my daughter and her class. So cute.

Reading through posts. I'm hoping I'll get some great restructuring hints. :)

Annette Blair said...

LeliaSky, Thanks for the compliment. Enjoy.

Hi Amy, I know that they're in Kindle format, and I thought I read somewhere that they were ebooks but that doesn't show on Amazon or B&N.

Good luck with school and changes majors. Everything I see about Yoga seems to require one to turn into a pretzel. Is that true?

Annette Blair said...

Of course I meant CHANGING majors. Sometimes my fingers take over and bypass my brain.

Estella said...

Balance----we're supposed to be balanced? I don't think my life work that way.
Am looking forward to reading your new book.

Annette Blair said...

LOL, Estella. Enjoy your witchy reading!

cindy said...

Hi Annette, this is Cindy Mac, writing to you from crappy Ft. riley Kansas.... Anyway for me balancing everything in my life from hubby being deployed, to raising my 3 and now stepdaughter, and everything else can be interesting to say the least. Now on top of everything I am going in for hand surgery (right now hunt and peck method is my best friend) and they told me we are moving from my current house to a new house here on post by april.... So I get to do all of this with just me and the kids to pretty much help. Wow that sounds aweful now but I do it all the time. Such is the life of a Military Spouse, it seems like I have to shoulder the world cause not only am I worrying about my kids but I have to think of the other soldiers families who are in my husbands unit.
Funny thing is god I dont think that I could live any other way. I guess I am just a gluton for punishment......
So that is everything about me and yet still I keep trucking.

Cindy Mac

Annette Blair said...

Wow, Cindy, your story makes me feel like I can do anything. I guess it's just a matter of juggling. Good luck with all you have to accomplish and with the hand surgery. You must have great kids. Moving sound totally overwhelming. Best with that, too. Hugs!

Linda Wisdom said...

Yay Annette! And if you find a way to balance please let us all know!


Jane said...

Hi Annette,
I try to balance my work and private life by managing my time better. It's hard trying to fit all your chores/errands into your schedule when you have your work life to consider first. I try to map out my day the night before so I know what must be done.

Annette Blair said...

Hey, Linda, thanks for stopping in. I'll be sure to impart the wisdom I learn here to all the Witchy Chicks.

Annette Blair said...

Jane, mapping out my day in advance sounds like a great idea. I just might try that. Thank you so much.

Libri Vermis said...

Hi Annette,
It's been lovely to read all of the comments tonight. This is my escape from "reality". I wish I could tell you how to strike a balance with your life, but since I seem to suffer from the same problem, I think I'll to try some of the advice you received! I find that I take one day or at least half of a day and just "punt". Which usually involves curling up with a good book and letting everything else wait for a while.
Have a good night. Janice

Annette Blair said...

Janice, thank you for stopping in. I hope that all this wonderful advice helps us both. Someday I hope can learn to curl up with a good book a punt, but first, I have to meet those deadlines. Have a good night, yourself, Janice.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ah, Janice, let's hear it for the punters!

Cindy, you go!

Yeah, Estella, like somebody further up said, we're mostly just kinda unbalanced. :)

Thanks so much, Annette (and new friends) for joining. It was great of you Annette, to take so much of your time to stop in today when, clearly, you have lots of other stuff to be doing. :)

We're looking forward to all your upcoming books, and to seeing you back here at RBTB.

Buona sera, Bellas! Ciao!

Playground Monitor said...

Sorry I'm late posting here. I've been battling a cold all week and doing nothing much besides sleeping.

I totally get the grandma gig. I only have 1 granddaughter but like Amy said, when she's here, I do nothing else. Of course, she's two and a half, so I can't turn my back on her cause she'd paint her face with lipstick or wander out the front door.


Laurie G said...

I try for balance but it sure is difficult when you have:a husband, kids, a job and you want a life for yourself!

I like the premise to your witch trilogy. I will look for them.

Best of luck with your adorable granchildren!

orannia said...

A little late I know, but I really like the song :)

As for balance - I wish I had even a little...

Annette Blair said...

Playground monitor, I hope you're feeling better. Enjoy your little Amy.

Laurie, so glad you like the premise of the witch trilogy. Thanks.

I wish I had a little, too, oriannia. We just have to keep trying.