Tuesday, May 12, 2015

~Aerisia by Sarah Ashwood ~ Guest Post

Date Published: April 16, 2014

The mystery of other worlds is not one Hannah Winters ever thought she’d solve. However, the day she spots a brown-robed stranger with a magical staff in a neighbor’s field is the day she also discovers Aerisia, a magical land beyond Earth’s sunset.

Here in Aerisia, Hannah is believed to be the Artan, a legendary heroine prophesied to deliver Aerisia from the Dark Powers. Plenty of people, including the Simathe, a race of immortal warriors, and the Moonkind, people of the Moon, are willing to help her discover her true identity, but Hannah’s just an ordinary girl from Earth. She doesn't have any latent magical abilities and she’s not the Artan. However, her allies aren't seeing it that way. Neither are her enemies. In fact, Hannah’s life is in jeopardy nearly from the moment she arrives in Aerisia. And becoming the Artan may be the only way to survive…

Guest Post:

                                                         Writing, From a Mom’s Perspective

            Are you a mom who’s thinking about writing, but you wonder how you’ll fit it into your busy lifestyle? Welcome to the club! My name is Sarah Ashwood, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. My husband works very long hours so I’m able to be at home with our two children. I am so thankful for him and all his hard work, and I’m also thankful for this opportunity. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want a life outside being a mom. My roles as a wife and mom are the two I cherish the most; nevertheless, I have a problem. I have all of these characters, settings, and stories inside my head. They won’t go away, they won’t leave me alone, and more are constantly being added to the mix. If I want to appease them, I have to put them down on paper. This keeps my mind fresh. It keeps me sane. It’s my other life, my secret life, brought into visible form.

            So how do I balance being a wife, a mother, and a writer? It’s not always easy. Any mother, be she a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside the home, will probably tell you motherhood is the hardest job she’s ever had. It’s just hard. You have a little somebody (or somebodies) demanding your love, time, and attention at all hours of the day, and, often, night. You’re a judge, a nurse, a doctor, a teacher, a psychologist, a drill sergeant, a caregiver, a cheerleader, and a taxi service. You often get overwhelmed by all you have to do. You get overwhelmed by the huge responsibility on your hands. You get overwhelmed by the love for these little beings you’ve helped produce, a love that makes you willing to give up anything for them. Still, even though the kids do and should come first, that doesn’t mean you have to lose your complete identity in them and their needs. 

Let me reassure you: it’s okay to explore a personal interest. Lots of women take up hobbies or crafts: painting, reading, sewing, cooking, fitness, running, DIY crafts and projects, writing. For me, it’s fitness, running, and writing. (If you follow me on Instagram, my handle is @runnerwritermom. Yeah, that pretty much says it all.) Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing if you’re a mom who chooses not to have any particular hobby outside your kids and/or job. It’s your family, and that’s your choice. However, I also don’t think being a wife and mom means you can’t follow other pursuits. The trick is to balance your time and energy as best you can so you can enjoy your husband, kids, and interests. It’s not always easy to find that balance: I admit, some days I put on cartoons to entertain the kids so I can work on a project. (Okay, like now, while I’m writing this post.) Other times, rewrites may be calling my name, but so are the kids, wanting me to go outside and play with them. It’s hard for me to resist the laptop’s siren call, but I want my children to remember their mommy going out in the backyard and horsing around with them, so I shut the laptop and go play.

Thankfully, I usually manage to get most of it done. I write while my kids nap, or have “quiet time,” for those too old to take a nap every day. I stay up late at night and write after they and my husband have gone to sleep. Yep, I don’t always get as much sleep as I should, because I have to get up again with my kids the next morning. Still, running on insufficient sleep—that’s all in a day’s work for we moms, right? I also write on weekends, when my husband is off. He’s great about taking the kids to run errands, or playing in the back yard with them, or letting them follow him around his shop while he works on his latest project…anything to give Mommy a short break. Those are opportunities I try to take advantage of. 

I confess, I don’t write every single day, even though I try to. Sometimes, life simply gets in the way, and my husband and kids do have to come first. Yes, there are days when I feel like I’m drowning from the pressure of it all—being a wife, a mother, a homeschooling teacher, a runner, and a writer (and now looking into going back to school and finishing up my B.A.). That’s a lot of hats to wear. Nevertheless, for every stressed out day, there’s usually several that are fairly productive. I don’t keep up with all the latest TV shows, I am only able to read a few books a year, and I may not get enough sleep, but if I have a day where I’ve kept my house reasonably clean, cared for my husband and kids, did a little writing or re-writing, did preschool with my oldest, and got a run or workout in, I consider it a successful day. A really successful day. Maybe those are only small things, but it’s the small things that add up to the big things. Big things like someday making enough money off my writing to hire a cooking/cleaning service so I don’t have to worry about those jobs anymore. Ha!

But seriously, whatever your interest is, be it writing or anything else, don’t shake it off. Embrace it. Work with it. Find a way to give it a few minutes as often as you can. You’ll undoubtedly be a happier, better-rounded, and saner person (and mother) because of it.

Sarah Ashwood grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma. Sarah is author of the Sunset Lands Beyond Trilogy, the poetry volume "A Minstrel's Musings," and the novella "Amana," along with numerous other published works. In her imagination, she soars effortlessly through historical and fantastical worlds. In real life, she lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and sons. 
Find Sarah on her Sarah Ashwood Facebook author page, on her Sarah Ashwood Goodreads page, or on Instagram where she goes by 


Instragram: @runnerwritermom

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