We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Morse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Ahhh, balance. I wear many hats in my life, so balance is very important to my sanity. I have to exercise even if it’s just a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood. I also love spending time with my family, of course, but really need my friends. I have a great core group of friends who keep me grounded and inspire me to keep dreaming; they play a large part to feeding my soul. Finding time to write can be really difficult since I work full time and have two boys (13 and 10). Luckily, I have different chunks of time off due to being a high school English teacher. That being said, I often will get ideas in middle of the night for my stories, so I always keep a pen and pad handy, or I type it in the notes on my phone. Over time balance has changed quite a bit due to different events in my life. I have learned that I have to say “no” sometimes. It can be very difficult to tell people “no,” but it’s also very freeing. Doing something out of obligation doesn’t feel good to me, so I don’t do that anymore.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am entering my 22 year of teaching high school English. I have always loved writing and wrote many stories as a young girl. It has been my dream to become an author. I do work full time as a teacher but am lucky to have so many days off during the year when I can focus on writing my stories. I have started a few novels that aren’t finished. I finally finished my novel, The Road to Fall, two years ago, and it’s now available on Amazon. Prior to my novel, I wrote two children’s books also available on Amazon: There’s a Tornado In My House and There’s a Picky Eater In Our House. My illustrator, Jodi Hill, just finished the drawings for my next book in the series, There’s a Night Owl In Our House. I hope to have it available for purchase by the end of the year. I had planned on the last book being finished earlier, but hit some writer’s block. I am very proud that I have published the books and hope to keep doing it. I am working on the sequel to The Road to Fall now. It’s not flowing as easily as the first book, but it will happen. One of the lessons I have learned along the way is not to promise my readers that a book will be finished by a certain date or time. I had hoped to have the second novel complete by now, but it’s taking longer than I anticipated.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting San Diego, there are many places that I would take her. Some of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking Cowles Mountain or walking at Lake Murray. I also like renting paddle boards at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center. If it’s the Fall, I would take her to Julian for the day and eat some apple pie! There are a few restaurants I really enjoy. C Level on the bay is one of my favorites for the food and the view. I also love going to Little Italy; any restaurant there is delicious. I also love the new courtyard for sitting, drinking some wine, and enjoying the fountain. Italy is one of my favorite places to visit, so I can daydream that I’m back there sitting on the Spanish Steps in Rome. I would also take her to Poseidon in Del Mar. The restaurant is very close to the ocean and just beautiful. If it was summer, we would spend a day at the races at the Del Mar Race Track. Dressing up and betting on horses is exhilarating. I would finish her trip with a visit to the Hotel Del. Of course we would look around the hotel but then enjoy some dinner out on the deck and watch the ocean and the people enjoying the beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a very special group of people who love and support me. My husband, my parents, my close friends, and other family members are super encouraging. I sent multiple drafts to my mom to review. She was great about it, and made great suggestions while always being supportive.
Instagram: Erika Akers-Morse
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Image credit to Jodi Hill and Pam Akers.