By Joanne Lewis
I learned how to juggle when I was in high school. My brother’s girlfriend was over one New Year’s Eve and while waiting for the ball to drop she taught me the art of keeping three balls in the air at once. I spent the next few hours perfecting my hand eye coordination and becoming talented enough to amuse my friends but not good enough to join the circus. What I didn’t realize that evening was how invaluable learning to juggle would be.
Today, like all of us, I use my juggling skills to juggle work, play, family, friends and writing. Typically, I’m editing a book while writing a new one but for the first time I’m working on three books at once. Forbidden Night is a prequel to my best seller, Forbidden Room, Miriam’s Timbrel is a fantasy novel, and Sleeping Cupid is the second book of the Michelangelo & Me series.
I have realized that while we all juggle different things in our lives, some juggling is good and some is bad. Good juggling for a novice like me: tennis balls, silk scarves and beanbags. Bad juggling for a novice like me: fire, cleavers and hand grenades. Good juggling: editing one book while writing another. Bad juggling: writing three novels at once.
Yet each of the three novels I am writing has captured a piece of my heart for a different reason. Forbidden Night is forcing me to explore my vulnerability as a writer and to ask myself, how do I get my raw emotions on the page to move the reader, as I’ve never done before? Sleeping Cupid allows me to continue my love affair with Michelangelo. Miriam’s Timbrel is a fantastical novel that explores alternative universes and asks questions we may never know the answers to.
Sometimes I’m successful at keeping three balls in the air at once and other times one or two or all three fall to the ground. Then, I pick them up and start over again. My juggling skills might not be circus worthy but they’re enough to keep me amused.
Joanne Lewis is a devoted FWA member and the author of murder mysteries and historical novels. She is also a writing and publishing coach. Visit her website at joannelewiswrites.com and email her at email@example.com