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May 19, 2014

By Joanne Lewis

photo 1I 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 and email her at

One Comment
  1. May 20, 2014 8:40 am

    Nice post, Joanne, and timely for me. I find myself, for the first time, juggling things in my life. I have no idea how to juggle, so I don’t even attempt it, both metaphorically and literally. Unfortunately, at this time in my life, I have no choice. My husband had a serious accident, and in between his care, plus regular life’s daily chores, I’m trying to write. I think the universe is trying to teach me how to juggle. If only I had an expert, like yourself, to show me. Anyway, I struggle with writing most everything, except raw emotion. That’s my one good area, and my writer’s group comes to me for help on that when they need it. Which is another thing I’m juggling as leader of the group. Didn’t mean to go on, but guess I needed an outlet. Thanks for the good post and good luck on your three novels.

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