Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Balancing Parenting, Publishing, and Dog Rescue! #TBSU

Today's post is an emotional check-in for me. Perhaps your feelings will resonate with mine.

Publishing Novels

Carole Remy is a writer, and I created this blog to sell her novels. Sometimes I feel like I really am Carole Remy, the alternate me. Other days I can write about her in the third person. Today is one of the 'other days.'

photo by Anita Peppers
Carole has repeated many steps of the writing process over the past several years. Here's her curve. (Skip the list if you want. It's here as an encouragement to hang in.)

write Beauty of the Beast
quick success with a well-known publisher
write Fantasy Impromptu 
get scared and wait a year to show anyone
more success with the same publisher
write Twelve Nights
do other stuff
write Who Is Candid?
live life
write Ophelie
write the sequel to Ophelie (as yet unpublished)
several years of other stuff
three novels published with indie publisher
ten year gap [meanwhile, Mary Carol Moran, the other me, is writing and studying poetry] 
many poems and two collections nicely published
along comes Kindle! wait several years...
Kaboom! five previously published novels now available on Kindle

What It Means...??

Though seven of my books (novels and poetry collections), have found generous and helpful publishers, mostly I've lived my life doing other things than writing. I'm a binge writer. Maybe some of you can relate. When the mood hits, I write a novel flat out, sometimes in as little as two weeks. Editing takes forever, but I'm one of those lucky writers who actually loves every step of the editing process. Maybe I should thank all those years of revising poems, word by word.

The past has given me enough confidence and life-cushion that, while I love and get excited by book sales, they don't define me. Separating your ego from your artistic creation is almost impossible; I'm nowhere near there! A benefit of having a pseudonym, perhaps, is that Carole Remy's success is a little bit separate from the joy of day to day life.

I figured out early on that writing wasn't likely to bring in a lot of money. [From a Law of Attraction perspective, I have a limiting belief that writing won't bring me the big bucks. Naughty me, but I can live with it. There are worse beliefs.] Over the years, I've made way more money teaching and coaching other writers than I've made from my own books. The fact that Amazon sends a sweet little check every month is a pure fun bonus.

The Power of Distraction

Maybe I'm not really a dedicated writer, or maybe I'm living a balanced life.

Me with my two amazing and lovely daughters!
Raising my children never slipped from being my top priority. As a single mom, that meant finding a job that I loved AND that paid enough to keep us going = teaching. Writing took a back seat. A nice big comfy armchair back seat, but still not in the front row.

For the last six months, I've put the Kindle novels not only in the front row, but in the driver's seat. I've lived, eaten, breathed Amazon, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, book blog tours, and every other method of building a social platform. It's fun and I love it. But a part of me still understands the value of diversity. My Mom always used to say, "Make sure you always have more than one string to your bow."

With a friend, Marissa Lepe Preciado, and lots of supporters, I'm moving more and more into the consuming realm of dog rescue. Just as dog rescue keeps me from focusing exclusively on book promotion, so the books keep me from submerging tooooo deeply into rescue. Either can easily become all-consuming to the point of burnout. As kids and writing did in years past, now dogs and writing will help me keep life in balance.

I love blogging!

The greatest lesson for me from the last six months is the realization that I truly love blogging! Thank you to every single reader for sharing my life, hopes, depressions, elations, and occasional aha moments. The immediacy of blogging offers satisfactions that even novel-writing lacks. Each genre has its seductions: the world-building of novels, the joy of expressing a precise emotion in poetry, and the back-and-forth instant readership/response of blogging.

by duane j

Yesterday I began a new blog, Friends of RCA Colima, to chronicle the building and ongoing operation of our dog shelter, Refugio Cachorros y Abuelitos (Safe Haven for Puppies and Good Old Dogs). I'll provide links here on this blog, as well as occasional direct updates.

My goal is still to publish at least ten articles a month here on Carole Remy. The focus will shift a little more toward writing, editing, publishing, and building a platform. If you are interested in animal rescue, I invite you to follow my blog Friends of RCA Colima. I'll try for ten posts a month there as well. Another four posts a month, focused mainly on emotional issues, appear every Saturday on Skelations. Lastly, if you prefer or want to brush up your Spanish, the Facebook page for all our animal activities is Amigos de Perros y Gatos Colima.

Thank you!!

Once again, thank you so much for including me in your world. Giant group hugs for everyone! Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments! What is your writing arc? Are you more a binge writer, or a steady writer? How do you balance different worlds? I look forward to a lively discussion.


  1. I'm the same way. Writing is just one small part of what I do with my life. I don't make excuses for that.

    I write when I can, but I spend time with my family (including the 4-legged family) first.

    When I die, I don't want to lament that I didn't spend enough time with the people I love.

    1. Hi Maria,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! I'm with you that write is a small but very important slice of my life. I've managed that by writing in spurts.

      I love reading your blog with all your adventures with four-legged creatures!


      Carole (oops, I see I'm logged in as MC, but you know who I am...)

  2. Hi Carole. Great piece. I find the struggle between work, writing and family can be overwhelming sometimes.

    I've really refocused my priories recently. A friend told me tonight that he's never heard a person say they had wished they had worked harder when at work.......though regrets about time spent with family are common. :-)

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words. You are right — Family is number one. The older I get, the more I realize that. Your blog and all the work you do letting people know about military working dogs is fantastic! I admire you very much.


      Carole (posting as MC)

  3. I am with you on this journey MC and you have made amazing strides since you wrote the most popular blog post on Melody's website, Deliberate Receiving!

    It's hard balancing everything. I would feel guilty if I neglected anything myself. Except maybe partying, since I did plenty of that to last a lifetime, but maybe not, as according to LOA, one can't get enough if that.

    It's all a matter if focus and inspiration and vision and visualization. So glad to know you, even if via cyberspace. You definitely inspire me.

    1. Hi A,

      Nice to see you! I'm glad to know you too! Thank you for your kind words.

      When we give each activity our total focus in the moment, it's possible to "balance" without feeling quite so stretched. I think the problem comes when time with family is spent worrying about work, and vice versa. I try to let everything else go when I'm with the dogs, and when I'm writing (like now), I'm not thinking about the gazillion things to do tomorrow for the shelter. Give each moment its measure.

      Huge hugs, A! It's always such a pleasure talking with you!

      Carole (aka MC)