Friday, June 20, 2014

TAKE THE TIME TO BE HAPPY



My guest today is best selling romance author, Marie Harte. She's worn quite a few professional hats in her career including being a former Marine Corps Communications officer (and we thank you for your service Marie), before fulfilling her dream of being an author. 
She talks about the importance of allowing oneself the time to be happy. Sometimes it a hard lesson to learn. J

Sometimes it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the flowers. Not me. I've been smelling them for a while now, but I had to teach myself it was okay to slow down and indulge.

I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I never thought about being happy. You don’t think about life as you’re living it. You just do. That is, until you realize you’re not smiling or laughing like you should, and somehow the years are passing you by and you’re not where you thought you would be in life.

Back in 2003, I gave birth to my first child. Before that, I’d been working for a trucking company managing drivers. (Boy, do I have funny stories about my time with that company!) Anyhow, that year before I gave birth, I started seriously writing. I’d spend my lunch hours on my laptop and often had to be reminded to come back to work.

I've always known writing would be my calling, from way back in my childhood when I’d write stories for fun. I continued to write through high school. I attended college and graduated with a major in English, creative writing. But I never figured I’d make a living doing it. That was just a dream.

So fast forward back to 2003. I loved my son like crazy, but I was exhausted with my little guy and family responsibilities. Then in 2005 I had another child. Terrific. A wonderful little boy. Yet as my family grew, my unhappiness with life increased. My husband and I had problems. He was and is a wonderful man, but together we just weren't right. I knew it deep down, but I tried very hard to make my marriage work. While doing so, I got out of shape. I spent A LOT of time reading, escaping into my books in an almost unhealthy way. Oh, and I snacked like crazy, adding on another ten, then twenty pounds.

Years passed, and I stopped being so self-destructive and turned to writing as a form of therapy. When I wrote, I felt better about things. (And I still do. A good writing day is better than anything.) My life might not have been so pleasing to me, but my characters were living the high life. My heroines had great sex and perfect communication and alpha yet understanding heroes. They had happily-ever-afters.

I continued to write.

Then in 2004, my first book, an ebook, was published. I was thrilled. The writer group I belonged to didn't consider me a real author, unfortunately. And it was even worse because I wrote erotic romance. Oh, the horror! *grin* It took several more years before folks began to look at electronic publishing as a real source of making money.

I still wasn't the happiest of individuals, but I loved my children and my life was good if not great. My relationship with my spouse went in huge uplifts and even bigger downward spirals. I kept trying, but it just wasn't working. The thought of leaving became more and more appealing…and scary. I had quit the regular workforce years ago. How would I survive on my own? Would I be ruining my children’s lives if I separated them from their father and family? What was my happiness worth?

I wrote faster and harder. Threw myself into my characters and their worlds. I could be happy through them. And then slowly, I started seeing a financial return on my creative endeavors. By 2008 I was making poverty wages, but still wages! And each year after I made more. Enough to live off of.

Finally in 2011, I knew I’d come to that moment when it was time to make a decision. While visiting my mother in Seattle, I made a difficult choice—to stay out west and split with my spouse. To say it was hard is a putting it mildly. A lot of tears were shed. And this right in the middle of having to write an erotic romance where the heroine gets two loves of her life. I wasn't feeling romantic or loving men at the time—LOL—but the work had to be done. Deadlines had to be met. I never miss deadlines.

I got through it, moved out to Central Oregon, and learned to really appreciate every day. My ex is a wonderful person doing very well, and I’m finally a truly happy person living my dream. I’ll keep living the dream for as long as I can. But I always make sure to stop and smell the flowers, because life is too short not to.

  • What about you? Is it easy or hard for you to take down time? Do you take the time to savor the happy moments?


                                                                                                                                                                
INTRODUCING...THE McCAULEY BROTHERSWelcome to the rough-and-tumble McCauley family, a tight-knit band of four bachelor brothers who work hard, drink beer, and relentlessly tease each other. When three independent women move in next door, all hell breaks loose.

SHE'S SWORN OFF MEN
It's been the day from hell for Maddie. Instead of offering a promotion, her boss made a pass. She quit, then got dumped by her lukewarm boyfriend. As the fiery redhead has a foul-mouthed meltdown, her green-eyed neighbor Flynn McCauley stands in her kitchen...completely captivated.

UNTIL HE THROWS A WRENCH INTO HER PLANS
He was just there to fix the sink as a favor. He's not into relationships. She's done with idiots. But where there are friends...sometimes there are benefits. And sometimes the boy next door might be just what you need at the end of every day. EXCERPT



                                                                                                      


USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte writes erotic romance and has over hundred titles in print and digital format. A caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, Marie is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for Fortune 500 companies before becoming a full time writer. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. Find Marie: Website, Facebook, Twitter.

9 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Marie welcome to Over Coffee. I loved the be happy pic you sent but I couldn't down load it. :-)

There have been times in my busy life that it was hard to let go and take down time or indulge in happy moments.

I learned that to be balanced and happy I have to take the time to celebrate the happy moments. Revel in the moments of contentment. See the beauty around me.

Like my mom has always said, task x or y will be here tomorrow. Moments to appreciate life may not be.

Brooke Bumgardner said...

As a mom of a tween and a toddler, it is really hard to have down time. I am constantly multi-tasking, so it seems if I get a break from one task, I am still doing several others!

brooke811 at ymail dot com

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Happy Friday Marie and Sia!! Well since I don't have children it's admittedly easier for me to take down time, but now I am planning an international move so the down time is a little harder to come by these days lol.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Making the decision to separate isn't easy, especially with kids. But living a life of misery is never worth it.

Jo said...

Well, I've been retired for years so take all the down time I want. A good thing to learn to stop and smell the roses.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Over a hundred titles? I think she's finally found her joy.

cleemckenzie said...

Lots of ups and downs. Guess this author's living life to the fullest and learning how to make hard choices.

cleemckenzie said...

Lots of ups and downs. Guess this author's living life to the fullest and learning how to make hard choices.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Good advice Marie. It's important to slow down sometimes. I don't get enough down time, so I'll have to work on that. Have a great weekend guys!