Hola, Jolene Navarro checking in from the Texas Hill Country. The colors from my back porch are stunning as we head out for our walk.
It’s early morning and my summer is coming to an end. In two weeks I will be driving to my art studio in San Antonio, helping students with their dream of graduating.
I’m blessed to love both of my jobs, teaching art to inter-city kids and writing romance novels.
Sometimes I wonder how this became my life. It seems a bit surreal. When I approached forty I knew I wanted to make some changes to my life, so I took a risk, quit my job and went back to school to finish my education to become a teacher. With extra time on my hands, I also decided to try something I had only dreamed of doing, publishing a book. I found a group of amazing people, San Antonio Romance Authors (SARA) and they showed me the way. Ten books later I really can’t believe this is my life.
There is a couple of things no one warned me about when I became a professional writer.
One. I lost all my reading time. I was an avid reader. Anywhere from three to six books a week. When I started writing I didn’t have the time to sit and read. If I was sitting I needed to be writing. Deadlines do that to you. Lol.
Two. I was sitting a great deal. Those wonderful words might float around in my head all day, but I have to sit and organize them.
Sitting was not good for my health. I found that out the hard way. Three years ago, I had to make some changes and I didn’t, couldn’t give up writing. The one thing I loved but had not made the time for was walking. I love exploring our town, countryside, new places by walking the streets or land as the case might be depending on where we are walking.
I also invested in a desk bike on the days I can’t get out to walk. Peddling while writing has turned out to work will for me. (I couldn’t do the treadmill desk).
I love music, but every day makes it was harder to find new music that inspired me. I was also dancing so I needed to find something else to walk too.
Then a friend gave me an audiobook as a gift. She knew I was doing more walking, so she thought I would enjoy listening to a story.
Boy, was she right! Now I’ve gotten addicted to listening to books on my phone. I have found new authors I had never heard of and whole collections of some of my favorites.
The problems my writing had created in my life have been fixed. At home, we are now walking two to three hours. Three years ago I could hardly do 15 minutes. Part of the long distance is the desire to hear one more chapter. LOL. During the school year, I drive about an hour to work, I get there early so I can walk for about an hour. That is two hours of story time before I start my day. When I get home I walk again. Now that I’m listening to books I walk longer. A side benefit I did not see coming.
And it’s not all fiction (even though that’s my favorite) I have listened to Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge at least three times. I had loved the book when it was released about ten years ago, but the audio is even better and the husband and wife team are the narrators too. It just seems so personal, like they are having a discussion with you.
I am having a hard time finding Christian Romance, not sure why. The nonfiction Christian section has a wide variety to pick from.
So I’m the hunt for more inspirational romance writers that have audiobook available. Do you have recommendations? List them here, even if it’s your own. I would love to find new authors in the Inspy Romance genre.
Happy trails and if you get a chance check out the third book in my latest series.