In my twenties, I had so much energy that I only needed 4-6 hours of sleep a night. Granted, I worked outside the home for only 5 years when my three daughters were very young. But my husband wanted a stay-at-home mom for our girls. He was a latch-key kid, so his request made sense.
So what did I do with all that extra energy? I sewed clothes for my daughters, work shirts for my husband, clothes for me, did cutsie craft stuff, and read romances like a maniac. I cooked lasagna, meatballs, sausage, stuffed pasta shells, peppers both stuffed and fried with potatoes and, well, you get the picture. Being Italian, I cooked a single meal that could have fed an army. Of course, I cooked much more than just Italian food. By 28, I had begun my journey as a romance writer. So, I was back in that cycle of “work” as well as everything being married and having kids entails.
But then life has a way of knocking you back a few steps. At 32, I found out I had a very serious illness. It took years for me to recover, most of it mentally and emotionally. It also sapped my energy because the depression I was able to hide in my twenties could no longer be suppressed. After physically recovering from that ordeal, my creativity battled with my depression. I honestly don’t know how I wrote two 100,000+ word historical romances a year, which included extensive researching.
I think as women, we are born survivors. We were made to multi-task. The world doesn’t revolve around us. We adapt. As writers, we also adapt. Many women have jobs outside the home and families and a writing career. We have a knack for time management. And that’s a good thing. Without it, we’d be men and would have difficulty balancing life and work.
Now as I’m heading for the big 6-0, I wonder what life would be like if I still had all that energy from my twenties. Oh, I’m no slouch. I have more energy now than I did in my 30s, 40s and most of my 50s thanks to a lifestyles change. Can I write two 100,000+ word novels in a year? Nope. Do I want to? Yep.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I cannot compete with my much younger self. Those days are long gone, and my priorities have changed. I’m still focused on a writing career. But somewhere along the way, my mind-set went down a different road. Some things aren’t as important as they used to be. There’s one thing I know for certain: I will write as long as my brain functions and my fingers work because there’s nothing more I’d rather be doing that creating stories for others to enjoy.
Jannine Corti Petska was born in New York but raised in Southern California. Her parents' first language was Italian, and Jannine was raised in an Old World environment. She began writing romance novels when her three daughters were young and she was a stay-at-home mom. In-between writing and caring for her family, she tutored Italian, Spanish, German, and English as a Second Language at a local college. Although she loves placing her stories in medieval Italy, she has also written romantic tales of the cowboy in the American West. To find out more about Jannine, please visit her website. http://www.jcortipetska.com
Prima Ranieri seeks retribution for her family's death and loss of home and land. Her plans go awry when the heir to the powerful Massaro family returns home. After only one glance, Prima's attraction to him undermines her furor toward those she blames for her plight.
After a fifteen year absence, Antonio Massaro returns to Palermo to find a war raging between his family and the evil Falcone. His refusal to accept his rightful position as the head of the Honored Society carries serious consequences. The welfare of the people of Palermo is at stake. But one look at the beautiful woman Prima has become costs him his heart. She's a deadly distraction...one that jeopardizes her life as well as his own.