Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 series. You can find out more about her on her website www.margaretmizushima.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and buy her books here.
Last time I posted on our Blackbird Writers blog, I wrote about my husband and I moving from a small ranch in Colorado to a rented apartment in a Washington state river valley. After forty years at our Colorado home, reducing our belongings to one container and a horse trailer was no small task.
We’re grateful that our landlady shared her beautiful property with us for several months while we searched for a place of our own. And I’m so happy to report that in October, we found the right spot for us on the Olympic Peninsula and we completed the final stages of our move. Whew!
Year 2022 was a grueling challenge for us, both emotionally and physically. It was hard to leave the home where we’d worked, raised our children, and cared for a multitude of animals, not to mention the physical work of sorting and packing. Now…after settling into our new home, I’m grateful we’ve completed this step in our journey. And this view from the window of my new office fills me with joy.
During our two year moving process, I needed an extra six months between books, but I managed to complete my eighth Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. Standing Dead comes out March 7 and is available for preorder now from your favorite bookseller. I’m grateful for the support of my publisher and agent during these stressful times.
I bet you’ve recognized the theme of gratitude that runs through this post about my life and writer’s life. The two meshed as I worked with my editors during this period. We finished up the manuscript’s developmental edit before my moving date the end of June. A couple weeks later, after I had settled into our apartment, I received line edits to work before sending back a revised draft; then came copy edits; and then we finished up two rounds of proofreading. My publisher’s editorial assistant kept us on track, and we met all our deadlines. How wonderful is that?
Around the turn of the century I found a book by Sarah Ban Breathnach that helped me transition from a career in speech pathology, which focused on the science of language development and restoration, to a career in fiction writing with its focus on the creative use of language. Called Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life, this book was originally published in 1995 and remains a touchstone for many folks today. It helped me develop an attitude of gratitude, focusing on the joys of the here and now, living in the present moment, and practicing gratitude for what we have in our lives even during times of chaos.
I must admit I’m a work in progress. I can still get caught up in the hubbub of striving to keep up with too many things to do. But now that my husband has retired and we’ve finished our move, I’m focusing on taking stock and making changes during 2023 to achieve a healthy and happy work/life balance. What do you do to maintain happiness and balance in your life?