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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guest Blog: Jannine Corti Petska: I Used to Be Superwoman

There’s a time in every woman’s life that she feels invincible. You know her. She can multi-task like a demon heading for hell. She has a full-time job, kids and their lessons, shopping and cooking, laundry, a house to clean, and so on. I’m sure we all know a woman like her. In fact, you were probably that woman at one time in your life. I was.

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.

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 that jeopardizes her life as well as his own.


Tina Donahue said...

Wonderful post, Jannine. None of us are superwomen. Who'd want to be? I love the cover of your book, it's gorgeous. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Inspiring post, Janine. I never was a superwoman although I tried to had at one time. Great cover and excerpt.

Mary Corrales said...

Great post, Jannine. You're so right that sometimes we have to be superwomen. What's nice is that as we grow older, we're better able to appreciate the quiet times in life.

Keep up the amazing writing. Your books are fantastic.

Jannine said...

Hi Tina:
The post was timely as I try to balance my WIP, judging contest entries, and everything else thrown in with the new year.

I love my cover artist. Thanks for he compliment.

Jannine said...

Thanks, Jean! So kind of you to stop by.

Jannine said...

" we grow older, we're better able to appreciate the quiet times in life...."

Mary, you're so right, lol.

Thanks for commenting.

Denise said...

What a great post! I totally feel you in this. I am now 30 and find myself really tired, I wish I could back and get all of this done so I'd be ready. Alas, we must do what we must do. I hope your feeling better. Love your books.

Roni Denholtz said...

Great post Jannine. I was JUST thinking that I wish I had the enrgy I did as a teen or in my early 20s...I never got tired until bedtime, I slept well, and woke up refreshed. Wish that would happen now.
I just keep plugging along at life and writing.

Cara Marsi said...

Wow, Janine, I'm tired reading about all you used to do. You did have loads of energy. And two 100,000 novels in a year! That's outstanding. I worked full time for 43 years without a break
except for the 5 months I was home on pregnancy leave. So I know about being busy, and I know about priorities changing. I love to write and hope to do it for many years. But I no longer lust after that NY contract or big agent.
Your book sounds great. Italian was my parents' first language too but unfortunately I can't speak it. Since your book is set in Italy, I have to have it.

Annie Marshall - Celtic Paranormal Romance Author said...

Great article, Jannine! Perhaps we all need an "S" on our shirts. LOL xoxo

Denise Pattison said...

Great post, Jannine. So very true. My stoplight came when I was in an accident in '94. I was 33 and it ended a career. I had to learn how to slow down and let other people handle things. As a control freak that was one of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn.

Gerri Bowen said...

That was a great post, Jannine. I well remember all that I could do in my twenties, thirties... Knock out those stories in longhand,not missing a beat with childcare, house, cooking, gardening. We are multi-tasking superheroes. Car accident in 2008, not so great anymore. Still, I believe the creative urge we have forces us to rise above the muck that sometimes surrounds us. Having reached the 6-0, I tell you it sucks, but only as bad as the 4-0 and the 5-0. Which we can rise above.
Wonderful cover and excerpt.

Toni Noel said...

Janine, Love your cover, and your new, laid-back attitude. Sometimes life gets you by the throat and keeps on squeezing. Looks like you've found the antidote.

The best of everything to you,


Lani said...

I'm always so impressed with those superwoman. I remember reading when I was in my twenties that Virginia Woolf recommended that women kill their "angel of the house"--that part of us that tries to keep the house clean, cook great food,etc. I still try to keep the house clean and love cooking, but most of my "angel of my house" is dead so I can get everything else done.

Great post, Jannine!

Susan Blexrud said...

I gave up being a superwoman when I learned to accept that I am more than what I do. I still have to remind myself that the essence of my being is deeper than what I accomplish.

Jannine said...

Wow, ladies! Thank you for all your wonderful comments. This certainly was a subject every woman can identify with.

I wish you all great writing and reading.

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