Monday, November 08, 2010

Please Welcome Children's Book Author, Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Please welcome Cheryl C. Malandrinos -

I'm so happy to welcome Cheryl C. Malandrinos to my blog today. I've known Cheryl for some time now through the Internet, and feel like I know her in person. She's very giving and very professional.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.

Cheryl Malandrinos is also a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Cheryl is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

As you can tell, she's a very busy lady. Here's what she has to say about how she performs her juggling act -

Juggling It All by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

There are days I feel like I belong in the circus. Not because my family is a bunch of freaks—okay, maybe we are, but that’s a story for another day—but because I am constantly juggling a menagerie of items, some of which are dangerously sharp or laden with fire.

When I left the corporate world to stay home with my children, it was as thrilling as flying through the air on a trapeze. Here was my chance to enjoy motherhood, be a good wife, and focus on my writing.

Six years later, I’m wondering how the heck I got all the necessary stuff done when I was working outside my home.

In case no one has ever mentioned it before, writers don’t make a ton of money. Well, Stephen King does, but how many of those did God make?

The average writer—especially those newer ones like me—supplement their income in some way. For me, it’s been as a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book. I love my job, which is a darn good thing because my family is convinced some days I am married to my laptop.

Then when I started promoting my first children’s book, Little Shepherd, it was like adding an elephant into the mix. Have you ever tried juggling an elephant?

Luckily, I’ve always been an organized person who manages her time wisely. I couldn’t cope otherwise. Here are a few tips that can help:

• Track your time to see where time is wasted. We all do it: surf the Net instead of write; get lost in research; allow distractions to steal your writing time. By tracking your time, you’ll be able to identify those areas and develop a plan on how to use your time more wisely.

• Use timed writing sessions. Set a timer for 10 minutes and do nothing but write. You can do this throughout the day to keep you focused.

• Set deadlines—even if they are fictitious ones—so that you have a goal to strive for. I used this strategy and was able to complete a first draft of a manuscript in three months.

• Cut out trade journal articles and keep them in a folder so you can tuck them in your briefcase. You can read them on your lunch hour or while you are in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

• Don’t be afraid to say no.

• Try to create a schedule that takes advantage of your most creative time. I’m not a morning person, so I tend to write in the afternoon or after the girls are in bed.

• Leave room in your day for the unexpected.

I don’t believe there is ever a perfect balance. One hand will often be handling a heavier load than the other. I’ve put together a schedule that I can live with 8 days out of 10. Some days my family needs the majority of my attention, other days it has to be work and writing. Some days I feel fortunate to blend the two well.

Finding a balance you can live with the majority of the time will help you achieve your goals. You might even find that you can become a master juggler. Just watch out for those elephants!

You can visit Cheryl online at or the Little Shepherd blog at

You can purchase Little Shepherd at:

I've already got my copy. It's a very cute, sweet book, perfect for a Christmas present.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Cheryl.
What about you? Are you a juggler too? Please leave a comment for Cheryl about her post, her book, or whatever else you wish.


  1. Welcome to Double M, Cheryl, and thanks for all those great time management tips. I can sure use them!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Great management tips and I have to admit, I employ several of them from time to time. Little Shepard looks to be a great Christmas book.

    Good luck with sales.


  3. Thanks, Cheryl. I've got a husband and a dog (no kids) and it's still hard. I find that if I schedule my day by the hour, I get more done and waste less time.

  4. I've got 4 young adult kids, two of whom are in college, and one is a senior in high school planning on going to college next year. I work part-time as a substitute teacher, and am looking for a retail gig for the holidays again. I write, judge books for contests, and edit. I have complete POA and care of my widowed mom who is under hospice care for dementia. And my husband likes to say "Hi" every now and then. He's just been told he's getting laid off soon, so I may need to pick up yet another job. There aren't enough hours in the day, so sleep is what usually suffers. Warren Zevon said, "I'll sleep when I'm dead"...I'm not sure those are words to live by, because he died last year. But I've been trying!

  5. Hi, Cheryl, good post. Managing time is always difficult for authors who have families. My family is grown, but still have some hanger-on. Little Shepherd is a delightful book.


  6. Hello all,

    Sorry I am so late in stopping by. It was one of those days when the unexpected crept up.

    Morgan, I love your blog. You always have something interesting going on.

    StephB, Jackie I'm glad you found these tips helpful. Honestly, I don't know how I did all I do now, when I worked outside the house.

    Fiona, keep the faith. Try to make sure you go to bed early at least a couple times a week. Grumpy writers are usually unproductive ones. May God bless you in all that you do.

    Marilyn, you're the one who should be giving time management tips. You're amazing.

    Thanks again for stopping by everyone. It means a great deal to me.


  7. Yay Cheryl & Marilyn! :)

  8. Hi Nicole,

    Great to see you here.

    Hope everything at Tribute Books is going well.


  9. Thanks for posting a link to such a large version of the cover, Morgan. I always like to be able to see the illustrations up close!

    I used to be able to juggle scarves, but now I just juggle my personal and professional lives (poorly).

  10. Good advice. My favorite and one I'm going to implement is cutting out articles and saving them to read in waiting rooms and such. Love that one!

  11. It's nice to meet you both Cheryl and Morgan. The book looks delightful and the advice is superb.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  12. I like this post great work indeed well don keep posting.
    Double Beds


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