Friday, September 11, 2015

The unachievable work-life balance when you work from home.



I'm driving two out of three kids to school. My youngest has managed to get Influenza A and in between sniffing and coughing while we all shield our faces from the inevitable spray, she cries. She's totally miserable and I'm not even sure she knows why she's crying just that it seems like the thing to do when you have the flu.

I'm mentally compiling a shopping list on the drive to school which I will promptly forget once I reach the supermarket. I'm thinking of what I need to post to my FB page, how many words I'm going to try and write today, how much time I'll have to write it in and didn't I have some appointment for someone today...?

It's exhausting being pulled every which way and needing to have eight arms, two brains and maybe Inspector Gadget's special coat to go with the extra inpediments.

And you know... all I really want to do is write. My story hangs from a fullstop buried in a computer screen. It calls to me. I want to answer but I can't. I'm trying to keep a balance between work and life but I'm starting to realize it's some unachievable, unquantifiable entity like reaching the end of the rainbow.

Kids come first. So if something goes wrong, as it inevitably does, everything else takes a back seat. And then all the other stuff you do that keeps the house from sinking into the ground from the weight of general crap that has accumlated when you don't tidy, clean, empty, wash, flush etc etc, lines up behind the kids.

At the very end of that line is the writing, the work I'm supposed to be doing. From home.

Yes, I work from home.
No, that doesn't mean I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.
Yes, it means I can be more flexible.
No, it doesn't mean I can watch your kids at the drop of a hat.
Yes, I can help out from time to time.
No, I don't work in my pyjamas...but I could ;)
Yes, I love my work
No, it's not easy.
Yes I wish I had more time to work.
Yes sometimes I wish I worked in an office.
Yes sometimes it's isolating.
No I don't spend 95% of my time wathcing TV, or playing around on Facebook.
Yes it is nice, but I hate it when you say, "Oh it must be nice to work at home." Truth be told it kinda makes me wish I had laser vision and could zap you to dust with my death stare.

I have no work-life balance. It all leans dangerously close to tipping point with all the 'other stuff' aside from writing, sitting on the opposite scale. And if I keep trying to find this balance, I think that will throw me even further out of whack.

So I've decided: I will write when I can, as much as I can, and throw those scales out the window, maybe run over them and then light them on fire. The kids and I might even dance around it, Lord of the Flies style...

I guess my point is: Adding the extra stress of trying achieve this work-life balance on top of everything else just adds more weight to the wrong side of the scale.

Do what you gotta do. Don't beat yourself up about it. No one feels like they're on top of everything.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FIVE REASONS WHY I SHOULDN'T BE AN AUTHOR



I love it but here are a few reasons why I shouldn't be an author:

1. I am extremely impatient. I find it hard to wait for anything. I want it now!

2. I can't sit still. So sitting in a chair for hours on end should drive me bonkers.

3. I'm shy.

4. I am not good with compliments. 

5. I have three young children!

But then there are few reasons why it suits me well:

1. I work fast because I'm so impatient.

2. I have a bad back and forcing me to be still once in a while is good for me.

3. I'm shy. Writing brings me out of my shell (a little).

4. I expect criticism.

5. I have three young children, so working from home is perfect for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NORA & KETTLE BOOK TRAILER





Woohoo! I've finally finished my book trailer for Nora & Kettle!!!

It took forever to do the animation but I'm pretty happy with it :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

COVER REVEAL!!!! NORA & KETTLE by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

NORA & KETTLE COVER REVEAL

Welcome to the official cover reveal for NORA AND KETTLE by best-selling author Lauren Nicolle Taylor. Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.
NORA AND KETTLE will release on February 29th, 2016, through Clean Teen Publishing. Be sure to add this to your "to be read list" as this young adult historical fiction novel is a must-read for 2016. NORA AND KETTLE is written by the award winning author of THE WOODLANDS SERIES. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of this upcoming novel and the cover. We love to hear reader feedback.
Ebook - Nora and Kettle 2  

GOODREADS / iBOOKS Pre-Order Special / AMAZON

What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having "one drop of Japanese blood in them"—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to na├»ve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they've lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Facebook Banner - Nora and Kettle

Thursday, February 5, 2015

NORA & KETTLE - CHAPTER ONE

Gulp! Here you go:



1. WINGS
NORA
If I had wings, they would be black, thin and feathered. Not a flat color…iridescent. Shining with hues of purple, green and blue. Catching the light with the barest fingertips. And when I needed, in the darkness, I could fold into the shadows and hide.
This time, between the dark and the dawn is mine.
I roll from my bed and slip quietly across the floor, avoiding the creaks in a shadowy dance no one will ever see. My ears tune to the non-existent noises around me and I sigh, ghostlike, with relief. Because in this time he sleeps.
It was sharp and short cracks this time. This time.
I ease my drawer out, holding my breath as tiny splinters catch the sides, and reach underneath the lace and silk to the sturdy pants hidden beneath. Quickly, I slide them on, my bruises protesting as I bend to fasten them. I tuck the ends of my nightdress into the waist and pad to the window.
Across from our four-part brownstone, I see one light shining dimly through a dirty window. Someone leaving for or returning from a shift. A refrigerator light. Something simple and easy. I crinkle my nose, thinking, of all the hundreds of people that live in that apartment building, how is it that only one solitary light shines. I quirk my lips, a new split stretching apart stings. This is why it is my time.
Bending and flexing my legs a couple of times, I take a deep breath and push the window ajar. It protests a little, groaning as I push my torso out and use my back to push it up. Settling on the windowsill, I close it down, pulling a small comb from my pocket and wedging it under the window so I can get back in. My eyes dart to the corner of the building, to the rickety fire escape that would be easy to climb. A car light bends over the gaps in the iron and fans out like the punch in a comic book. Wham! I snigger to myself, the laugh seeming not my own. I’m not supposed to laugh. I’m a sad girl, with a sad life.
But it is my life, and tonight… I’m going to fly.
I turn to face the window and grasp at the drainpipe that runs the length of the building. Staring up at the sky for a moment, I search out my destination: The error in the building, which grates on him, but invites me. One beam they forgot to trim, sits out from the wall like a pirate ship plank. I dig my bare toes into the worn spaces between the bricks and climb.
I’m a shadow taped to the wall, scaling the pipe in solid but fast movements. Breathing hard and forgetting everything. The sky, the stars are hanging around for me, clinging to the fading darkness and I let them fill my senses. The night air closes in like the wings of crow, folding over, protecting and gifting me something I lack. I pass the window of our sleeping neighbours and shake my head. They won’t hear me.
I breathe in deeply. Car exhaust films the air but it lightens, sweetens as I climb. Overhead, the plank casts a cool shadow over the building, lengthening as the moon starts to dip away and the sun coaxes the sky into pinks and oranges. My time is only minutes. My mind is only on the hands pulling me up and the legs stabilizing me.
I dig my toes into the brackets that hold the pipe, it cuts in a little but my skin is toughening. I throw my head back, my hair wisping and sticking to my cheeks. Sweat makes my skin slippery, it takes more concentration, more strength to hold on, but that’s why I like it. This risk sends sparks through my heart. It keeps something beating that could be dead, should be dead. But I can’t let it.
I won’t.
The pipe trembles under my weight, the screws wriggle in the brackets and I dig in. Moving faster up, up, up, until I reach the beam and wrap my hands around the timber and link them together, the dry wood soaking up some of my sweat.
This part, the upside down part… I love.
I hug the beam and creep my feet up the wall until I can wrap my legs around it, swinging like a raccoon on a telephone wire. I hang my head down and stare out at the inverted city, the skyscrapers hanging from the earth like stalactites, dripping their lights into the clouds and piercing the sky. One shake and the people would spill from their locked-in positions and sprinkle like pepper into the atmosphere. Just float away. Light as air, I want to be a speck carried by the wind. My hair swings in coils and clumps on either side of my eyes and my head starts to beat like a drum full of water from too much blood. I work my way around until I’m lying stomach to beam.
I push back to sitting, my legs dangling, my chest filled to bursting with cleaner air, the flames of sunrise singeing the top of my head.
If I had wings…
They’d need to be strong enough…
I close my eyes as the round edge of the sun pokes above the horizon, and spread my arms wide.
I let the small breeze flutter under my limbs, cool my skin and free my hair.

If I had wings I could fly.