Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Foot on Land, One in a Kayak ~ by Angela Couch (+Giveaway!)

One Foot on Land, One in a Kayak.

This about sums up my life for the past year. For the four years leading up to last September, both feet were solidly planted on land—my marriage, my children, responsibilities at church, and so forth.

So what is the Kayak? Let’s flash back five years.

If you wanted to find me, I’d be in a kayak of creativity, rushing down a river of romance and adventure. I rented a bedroom in a house with five other girls. I had a part-time job so I could feed both myself and my passion for writing. Other than that, I hid in my room turning out manuscript after manuscript. One of my fondest memories of that time was one Christmas I visited my family for the day and then returned to my house for the rest of the Christmas Break (break meaning that none of my roommates were home!). I spent the next ten days living and breathing a story, only leaving the house once when I was dragged to a New Year’s Church Dance. What can I say--it was one of those books you just can’t put down.

Around 50,000 words later I reappeared in the land of the living. I wrote five or six manuscripts that year. And then I met the man I would marry. After we started dating, I never wrote another novel again. I was too busy living my own love story. We got married and nine months later we were blessed with an addition to our family. Two years later came another. I’ve been living life and loving it, with both feet solidly on the ground. I edited a bit. I did some rewrites. But never really wrote.

Until last fall. I was blessed with a reality check (involving a funeral for a close friend) that rocked me back on my heels. I was reminded The Lord does want me to write and to share my stories with the world. I finally took a course that I’d been eyeing for years at the local college and dove back into one of my manuscripts.



I joined ACFW and started writing queries and proposals. Throughout March and April, I wrote the first draft of the first book I’ve written in five years. Wow, it felt good! I wrote a short story in May that will be published in an Anthology in Feb 2015, as it was a finalist in the Storming the Short Story contest. I have since rewritten a second manuscript that is now making its way through my critique group, and even pounded out just over 40,000 words in November.

But things have changed a lot since I was single and had no greater priority than writing. I now have a husband and a marriage I cherish and want to continue to strengthen. I can’t write every evening & weekend. I have a four year old and a two year old who like to read stories and play with Mommy—plus they need to be fed and watered on a regular basis (among other things). They get sleepy and grumpy and sick. I also have a third gift from God who needs a well-rested, well-nourished momma so he/she can grow and develop properly.

My personal theme for the year has become Balance. To make sure my house is in order--I don’t mean clean, because sometimes that simply doesn’t happen--and to make sure I remember what my priorities are. My relationship with God. My Marriage. My children. My health. My writing and so forth. (Somewhere down the list is cleaning my house, but don’t worry, it does get done.)

As much as I love writing, I am grateful it is not the only mission The Lord gave me. It’s definitely not the most important to me or to God. Nothing is more important to our Father in Heaven than His children, and nothing should be more important to us than the ones He places in our lives. Even if the fictional ones are more fun sometimes ;)

While I know The Lord wants me to write, He also wants me to live.


*Leave a comment on how you maintain balance in your life and you'll be eligible to win an ebook version of Out of the Storm.  See below for more information.

Angela K Couch is a writer of historical romance from Alberta, Canada. She grew up listening to her father read chapters from his novels and decided young she would follow his path. As a teenager she began her first novel, evolving from her curiosity about World War II, and her interest has since spread to history in general. Angela has trained horses, earned her second degree black belt in martial arts, learned to paint, spent time in eastern Russia spreading Gods love, and finally found a wonderful man to start a marriage and a family with. She is now the mother of two sweet munchkins, and still making time to write! She can be found at www.angelakcouch.com, or followed on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/angelakcouch?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark, or blog: www.howgrandmadidit.wordpress.com.

Fire in a Storm by Angela K Couch
USSR 1935

“He was secret police and he knew his purpose. Religion was the enemy and God, the deception. Then a glimpse of gold and silver, and the woman who wore it, threatened everything he trusted.”

Fire in a Storm is a short story that will be released February 3, 2015 in an anthology of twelve stories: Out of the Storm.
*Remember to leave a comment and you might be selected to win an ebook version of the fantastic short story anthology Out of the Storm!

12 comments:

  1. Oh, I crave those days of being single and free, too! But you make a good point. It's about finding the RIGHT balance in life and that means getting our priorities straight. My top priorities are also Faith and family, and though I might long for the freedom to write day after day, I'm right where I've always wanted to be, a mom to two beautiful boys. I might as well slow down and enjoy it! After all, that's the best way I can show my faith in God's plan.

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    1. I think especially with kids. I plan on writing as long as I'm alive, but babies grow too fast. While I feel it important to write even at this stage in my life, I remind myself constantly that I won't get these moments back to make memories with, and impact the lives of my kids. But it's the same with anybody in our lives.

      My house and laundry aren't going anywhere, though ;)

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    2. I was touched by your story. I was once told never to think you weren't doing what God wants you to do, because you are doing what God wants you to do.

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  2. atta girl!! The best part is that someday...you'll have more time to write. And your photos really make me want to hit the Petawawa River...

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    1. Here's hoping there's more time someday, but it will definitely get worse before it gets better! I plan to home-school my kids. But someday...I'll get out on the water more. It's been a few years since I've been kayaking, but we did do some canoeing on a lake this summer--a little more kid friendly :)
      .

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  3. Love this Angela, thanks for sharing. And just for the record, my husband and I went on "retirement" nearly 8 years ago and life is just as busy. My three kids have been fed, watered, and released into the wild with our lovely son- and daughters-in-law, and have produced the next generation . . . giving us fresh priorities. :-) So it's still a question of balance and finding time to write. (Sorry for any disillusionment here. But if it's worth doing, it's worth finding the time, right?)

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    1. Oh oops! I forgot my email address. I'd love to read this book, and I often can't enter for these book offer as I live in South Africa. I'm at shirl.corder@gmail.com.

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    2. It's definitely worth finding the time for! I think too often we put things like writing off, thinking tomorrow there will be more time, but there are always people, big and small, who will need us, and our time. My dad taught me it's amazing how much we can accomplish even just a few minutes if we do it every day. It's either writing or wasting my "down" time on Facebook or watching movies ;)

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    3. So right. Trouble is finding the balance. Too little of either and we lose touch!

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  4. Angela, great post! I didn't write when my children were small and I'm in awe of my writing friends who can write in a sleep-deprived fog. It's helpful to keep our priorities straight and they change as we move through different seasons. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your upcoming release :)

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    1. Thank you! Life is definitely full of seasons.

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