Friday, May 25, 2012

On Write Support: Learning to Breathe

This month columnist Donna Alward is back to chat about the month that was May - and how beneficial is it to breathe again.

Sometimes, especially in the last several months, I've gotten so busy that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to breathe. Kid rehearsals, practices, concerts, track meets, orthodontist appointments; a surfeit of dandelions and dust and mounds of dirty laundry are truly enough to keep any mom fairly busy. Fitting it in around writing and promotion means there are times when I simply move from one task to another without taking a deep, fortifying breath.

Well, a person can only do that for so long. I was due a break.

It is a sad but true fact that other than a single night on our 15th anniversary, the husband and I have not had a trip away from the kids (and our oldest is a teenager!). We snuck off for a romantic weekend this month – exciting! My niece and her husband came and stayed with the kids while we hopped on a plane (a plane!) and jetted off to Niagara Falls – honeymoon capital of Canada and a place neither of us had been before.

Niagara Falls is beautiful. And because we had no dog to let out, kids to feed, laundry to do…we got up on the Saturday morning, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, and walked down to the falls. It was a gorgeous morning – sunny and warm, and about 2 weeks ahead of our growing season so all the leaves and flowers were out. We walked  from the top of the falls down to the bottom (across from the US falls) to take a ride on the Maid of the Mist – and got utterly soaked! It was soooo fun! Afterwards we went back to the hotel and headed to Niagara on the Lake for lunch and a trip to a few wineries. We wound up the day by taking a ride on the SkyWheel, looking down at the falls from above.

And both nights we were able to kick back in our room and enjoy some local wine. No interruptions, no nothing. Just the two of us, catching up and enjoying some time together.

I came back SO recharged. I launched into the last pass of my single title, wrote the synopses for the trilogy and sent it all to my agent. What is so great about that was that I was able to breathe EVEN MORE because this project has occupied so much of my energy. In a good way, but finally hitting send felt like a weight being lifted.  

It’s also been a release month for me, so there’s been a fair amount of promo and guest blog writing etc. to do, especially as I have back to back releases. Because of an upcoming signing and a press release my awesome friend Deborah Hale did up, I’ve had an interview for a local paper (with Deb – I’m so glad she’s doing the signing with me!) and a spot on a local radio program.

But it’s the end of May. After next week, all extra curricular activities are done for the year. My eldest is already done.  The weather is gorgeous, the flowers are out, the pool is currently at 23 degrees and I can see summer just around the bend.

I can breathe.                                                                           

Never, ever, underestimate the best medicine of all – taking a well-deserved break. It gave me a new energy and a taste of what’s coming in just a few short weeks – some time off to just hang with the family.

Until then, though, I have a story to finish – due end of June.

Donna’s latest release is THE LAST REAL COWBOY, the first book in her Cadence Creek Cowboys duet.  Contemporary Romance Reviews calls it “an engrossing and an enthralling story”. The second book in the duet, THE REBEL RANCHER, is out in June.


  1. Love your pictures donna and it sounds like a fabulous break. Jane is the nightmare month for me, it's the last month of school for the kids with something on nearly every night and weekend. Thankfully, my book due end of June is finished and just needs a final read through. Phew!

  2. Yay on being ahead, Scarlet! June is our last month as well. I have 2 band concerts to attend, and my eldest has her end of the year dance which will be a rather high maintenance few hours getting her ready. ;-) But sports are done, and after next week the youngest's Choir season is done as well. It's such a relief.

    Niagara Falls is pretty. Niagara on the Lake - and the drive to it (it's only about 20 min or so) is some of the prettiest country I've seen in my life.

  3. No one works as hard as you, Donna. Glad you had such a great trip. Just reading about it made me breathe a little deeper. Thanks!

  4. Aw, thanks Bev. :-) It can be hard to balance effiency with down time, but I feel like I've done a better job of that this year. And I can also see the signs when I really need a break. This trip was perfect timing!

  5. Efficiency. In my past life, I could spell. :-)