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Balancing work and family? Get some inspiration from mother/Harry Potter author

If you're a parent struggling to make ends meet, chin up: consider the real-life fairy tale of Joanne Kathleen Rowling.

After a brief marriage, Rowling, of England, found herself a single mother to a baby daughter. She battled the work vs. family conflict typical of many new moms, especially those forced to live with meager means. Rowling had a college education: She was a graduate in French studies. But she also had a baby to care for and a new life to forge for the two of them. Money was scarce and she turned to public assistance to make ends meet. Her need to generate income clashed with her need to take care of her infant. Sound familiar?

Well, struggling moms everywhere can cheer for the now well-publicized end to Rowling's hard-luck story. She turned to her inner self, to something she'd loved since she was a child: writing. She decided she'd take a job as a French teacher, but she has said she first she made a commitment to herself to finish a children's novel she was writing about a boy who went to a school for wizards. She wrote the story in long-hand, often working at a café while her daughter napped.

Sources say she sometimes took part-time clerical work to supplement her income. Later, she got a grant to finish the novel. When it was done, it was rejected by a handful of publishers before one bought it. The rest is history: the book,
"Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone,"
has taken the world on a magical ride of overnight success, literary acclaim, a popular movie and, perhaps the best of all, a renewed interest in reading by young people around the world.

Rowling, who uses her first two initials for her pen name, J.K. Rowling, has churned out four more books since her first success. The last, "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix," broke sales records when it was released in June. In between were:
"Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets;"
"Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban;" and "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire."

"I was very low," Rowling has been quoted as saying about her early work on her first Harry Potter novel. "I had to achieve something."

Rowling won't have to go back to wondering how she'll balance work and family anymore. She has plenty of work-at-home business waiting for her: Two more novels are planned in her series.

So if you've wondered how you'll make ends meet and still have quality time for your kids, take heart. It's not impossible. You may not reach the stature of Rowling, but you may be able to find a way to balance both needs if you work hard and remain true to your own talents and desires.
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Have you read J.K. Rowling's latest novel? Pick up a copy of "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix."

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Children's Book Review --- "The Magic Box: When Your Parents Can't Be There To Tuck You In."

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