Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SPRING HAS SPRUNG, BUT THE ICY FINGERS OF WINTER STILL HAVE A TIGHT GRIP...

Hi, All,

I hope everyone is well and you are enjoying the WARM weather... 

We did for about two seconds over the weekend, but yesterday the temps dropped back down to the 40's and an icy fog clung to the city like a cheap dress. Will it ever end? 

Like the Dementors in the Harry Potter tales, this weather is certainly sucking out the happiness of me and many other Chicagoans. But tomorrow is another day and hopefully some wizard will scream "EXPECTO PETRONUM!!!!!" and send those vial creatures away from here.

I'd like to thank all of you who had dropped by yesterday for your words of encouragement and support. I REALLY needed them. Sadly I received bad news shortly after I had posted, my mortgage broker screwed up the numbers on my paperwork and it looks like I may not be able to buy my new place after all. Of course, I'm angry. They put me in a very bad position. I have already paid for several flights and have ordered my things for the remodel. Not to mention setting up the electric, cable, and internet accounts. ALL with deposits... I will be spending most of today canceling everything once I get the official news. The lender is still trying to crunch numbers, but I'd have to put down another 10K, and that would eat up most of my remodeling money. So I'm not sure if I want to move into a place that is incredibly dated and not functional. So we shall see. I will keep you all posted.


Today is also the first Wednesday of the month and all of us know what that is. It's the Insecure Writer's Support Group or the IWSG... founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh... 

Are you insecure? Do you have soothing advice to give for those of us who are in distress? Then please hop over the Alex's site to sign up. Or just to visit other amazing bloggers who may benefit from your comment or whom may help you...

Funny, my situation does not make me insecure at all. This is BEYOND my control. Sorting things out does help. If you feel overwhelmed by a problem. Take a step back... clear your head... is there anything you can do to change your situation? Ask yourself this question. If the answer is "No," then take a deep breath and move on. It's all you can do. Focus on how to make your situation easier for you to get through it.  

On the plus side, my new client is a total delight. She is fun, openminded, and truly ready to bring her space into the 21st century. I love clients like her. Because by helping her create a beautiful and functional space, I will be bringing joy to her life. A home is a haven to be cherished and loved. It is where we feel safe and SECURE. And if our home life does reflect this, then it will give us to strength to hit, head on, any obstacles in our way.

So in the celebration of Spring, why not brighten up your space with some lovely Spring flowers. Maybe throw some colorful pillows onto your sofa or favorite chair. Clean your windows to let in all the beautiful sunshine. Or just don on a colorful sweater or shirt.... It may put a SPRING into your step.

Have a wonderful day everyone! And thanks again for always being here for me and for each other!

UPDATE: Loan fell through... time to scramble!



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

LIFE'S FULL OF THE UNEXPECTED....

Hi, All,

First, I'd like to offer CONGRATULATIONS to all the bloggers who completed the A-Z CHALLENGE! You guys rocked it this year!

I did bounce around and read several posts and some wonderful themes. This year it was fun to be just a voyeur... 

Give yourself a BIG pat on the back! I hope to drop by and read some of the amazing reflections posts. That was always one of my favorite posts to write when I joined in on the challenge for the previous four years.

Life is crazy for me as usual. I leave for South Tampa in a few days to close on my future home. I have many months of rehabbing my new place, and I was ready to jump right in, but as fate would have it, I must return back to Chicago after a month or so. Today I sign a new client in Chicago. 

For almost four months my income slowed to almost nothing, no prospects at all. So while in Florida, during my stay in March, I had networked like crazy in South Tampa making connections for future work and forging new friendships. I am so ready to start my new life, but it seems my old life still haunts me...

Has this ever happened to you? You are ready... and then wham ...

Since I still have a lease on my place in Chicago until November, this job will certainly help me financially, but I really want to leave. 

So we can plan all we want in our lives, but there is always another force pushing us in other directions. We may have the freedom of choice... but do we really?

I believe in a higher being for sure, but the frustration of life sometimes seems unbearable. My patience is worn and I'm tired of living in a place I've been wanting to leave for so long... Okay, I'm done...

Now for the positive...

As most of you know I strive for positivity in my life, and although this isn't in my plan, I will be creating a new home for another person, changing their lives, and the satisfaction of seeing a very happy person does my heart good. 

A home is our haven and to help someone transform their space is very satisfying. 

So when life hits you with the unexpected, try and think of the positive aspects of the situation.

I hope everyone is well and that you are enjoying Spring!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

LADIES TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR ROMANTIC LIFE...

Lyssa Bates snaps her journal closed. Her brow twitches. "Not again," she spouts. "Typical...so typical." The words seep out like a noxious fume, leaving a bitter taste in her mouth.

A fuchsia cord dangles from her nightstand. She glances at the attached long, sleek case."Ah, Vibrizzio. At least you know how to treat a lady. In a swift movement she loses herself under the covers...

She is greeted the next morning by an unexpected surprise at work. Hayden King. "Just when I've given up on men," she mutters under her breath as a delicious chill tingles down her spine. She shakes his hand. His pitch eyes blast away the un-penetrateable wall she had spent the past six months building.

She pulls her eyes away from his. I have Vibrizzio...he's never disappointed me. Not once.

As fate would have it, Lyssa and Hayden spend the next few months touring around the Midwest for their company. Their flirtatious relationship turns into something more...

Will Lyssa cut the electricity between her and Hayden, or will she cut the cord?

Time can be breathless....


VIBRIZZIO by Nicki Elson



What a fun chick lit, story.... Sometimes we just need to read for pure entertainment and Nicki has supplied us with a fresh spin on a woman who takes charge of her "Romantic" life.  Sometimes it's just easier...

Today is the debut of Vibrizzio... if you need a fun read and moment to escape your tense world, why not pop over to Amazon and by your copy!

Congrats Nicki! All the best!

Amazon: Link

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

EA'S ARE NOT OF THE PAST...THEY ARE ALIVE AN WELL...

Hi, All,

It's been many months since I have posted about an Earthly Angel. This very rare breed of human thankfully still does exist, however they are getting much harder to spot these days with all the unhappiness in the world.

Today's Angel hails from Chicago. Yes, imagine an EA gracing one of THE MOST DANGEROUS and CORRUPT cites in the country. But, she does...

Her story was told to me by a close friend. Imagine working all day on your feet. Your ten hour shift is up and you drag your tired body to the bus stop. The chilly wind whips around your face and neck sending shivers to your already trembling body. The beacon you've been waiting for screeches to a halt. You hear the familiar ding of your chariot as it lowers itself to accommodate the bedraggled mass of bodies. You are fourth in the queue, anxiously waiting to hoist your exhausted body onto the already overcrowded bus.

A small miracle occurs. A seat opens in front of you. Always the gentleman, you look around to see if a senior's needs are greater than yours. You hold your breath. Everyone around you is at least two decades younger. You drop hard without pocketing your wallet. Eyes closed you drift.

On occasion, your slitted eyes open briefly. A few blocks more. Your stop is announced, and zombie-like, you rise from the dead. As you step down to street level, the doors slam shut,  and you take your first step as the fumes from the departing vehicle assaults your nose.

Instinctively you pocket your phone. You realize something is missing. No familiar bulge. It hits you like a runaway freight liner truck. Your wallet. With eyes popping open to three times their natural size, you rush into your building. You frantically push the call button for the elevator an uncountable amount of times.

It comes.

You pace.

Each floor taking longer than the previous.

You curse under your breath that you live on the seventeenth floor.

It stops.

You rush to your front door and fumble with your keys....

Then the real terror begins. Canceling out your life.

The next morning, all but one fragment of your former existence is left to cancel: your driver's license. You grind your teeth just thinking what you had to do to replace it. Hours at the DMV.

After a few hours working, the time ticks closer to 9:00 am. You pick up the phone at exactly 9:01, but don't place the call. I'll do it later.

An odd thing happens within a few minutes. Your cell rings. Raising a brow you glance at the unfamiliar number. No one ever calls you at this hour. But despite your hesitance, you answer it.

Your jaw drops.

You hyperventilate.

You catch your breath and mumble, "Thank you. I'll be there as soon as possible."

A transit worker found your wallet.

You breathe normally for the first time in seventeen hours.

When my friend retrieved his wallet, he was shocked and DELIGHTED to see that everything, including all his cash, was still in tact. Of course he offered this lovely woman a reward, but being the Earthly Angel that she was, she smiled and said,"No thank you, Sir. This is part of my job. I was just happy to be the one who found it."

When my friend returned home, he found several messages left on his voicemail at home. Apparently she went to the extra trouble to locate his cell number, so that he wouldn't worry all day.

He, as well as I, will never forget the kindness of this honest and sweet woman. I said a prayer for her when I learned of this story and my friend plans to make a small donation in her name to a worthy charity.

So friends, whenever you get tired of hearing about murder, robbery, etc. on the news, REMEMBER there are still Earthly Angels among us. Thank God.

It felt good to write this post. It certainly put a smile on my face and I hope it brings some happiness your way....




Wednesday, April 1, 2015

FOUND MY HOME.....

Hi, All,

I hope everyone is having BEAUTIFUL SPRING weather today. It is a lovely, sunny 82 degrees today here in South Tampa...

I only have a few more days to enjoy before heading back north to Chicago where it is currently in the chilly 40's! I am NOT looking forward to going back.

BUT... I do have news. My offer was finally accepted for the place that I have been wanting for six weeks now. The carriage house/condo is MINE!!!!!! We signed the papers yesterday and I hope to close in five or six weeks!

As all of you had said. HOLD OUT and I did. I am even more thrilled to discover that there is a FULL attic that I can convert into another bedroom, loft, and storage room. So my DESIGN mind is buzzing! It will be the PERFECT space to write my next novel.... HA... if I even have the energy to write another one. LOL. I'd just like to finish the 40's film noir novella I have set in Chicago before I leave there for good.

Anyway, I just HAD to share my HAPPY news with you all! Thanks for all you support over this and as soon as I can I will post before and after pics. It will take a while though, the remodel may take until Christmas. There is SOOOO much to do to this place, but it is worth it.



And since this is the FIRST Wednesday of the Month.... I have NO INSECURITIES today... My advice to all is to keep at your dreams whatever they may be. It's all about timing. When it's right, it WILL happen!

Have a GREAT WEDNESDAY everyone and I'll drop by and see you guys soon! Don't forget to visit all the other Support groupers..... I know that the A-Z starts today, I ADMIRE ALL who are involved. I will pop around as soon as I can.





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TIME FOR A BIT OF EMERALD TO MAKE THE SPRING POP! ....

Happy St. Patrick's all!



Even if you are not Irish a little bit of green goes a LONG, LONG way. With Spring just a few short days away, it may be time to strip away all those dark colors you've been sporting and add a touch of color... Green is fresh, neutral, and lively. We all need a bit of spring in March!

After a STUNNING 70 degree day yesterday here in Chicago, our temps dropped over 30 degrees! Yes, sadly, winter is back. BUT the sun is shining and the ice and snow are gone. As I look out my window there are patches of the emerald stuff stretching toward the blue sky. Yes, there is hope for Spring.

Life renews itself once more and this is THE PERFECT time to dust off all those old stories and put a bit life back into them. I spent all last week doing that to my novel and I am HOPING that this will be the last. Later today I plan on sending out a few queries. It's time. This will be the last chance I can query the agents/publishers from the SCBWI conference. They only allow six weeks. And I am certainly cutting it close. Hopefully I will make it just in time.

I've missed all of you. As you know life is insane as usual, trying to settle down into a new home. I'll be returning to Tampa next week HOPING to finalize my place. WE are still in negotiations. Both of us standing our ground, but neither party willing to move on. They want to sell and I want to buy, but we are still haggling over the price. It's too much. The place needs TONS of work, but they are banking on the neighborhood. Yes, it is AMAZING, but I don't want to fall into the same trap. I way overpaid for my condo in Chicago and put THOUSANDS in upgrades. I lost a ton when I sold it, so I don't want that to happen again.

I'll keep you posted for sure. Waiting on a few other things to tell you about. Spring is my favorite time of year and that is when all good things happen to me. SO I am keeping VERY positive that all works out.

Please let me know how you guys are doing! Any fun SPRING projects? I know many of you are debuting cover reveals and novels. I hope to catch all of them. I will try to make myself more visible. It's just so overwhelming sometimes when your private life is in upheaval and you are living in boxes. I decided to leave my rental half done. It's a waste of time to finish doing it. I hope to be out of here and in South Tampa SOON...

Take care everyone and HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

THREE MONTHS INTO 2015 AND WHERE ARE YOU?...

Hi, All!

Hope everyone is managing to get through our insane weather patterns. I just arrived back to Chicago yesterday afternoon after driving through five hours of fog in Florida, misty rain through Georgia and Tennessee, and on and off torrential rains through Indiana. Surprisingly, Chicago weather was't too horrible: 36 and cloudy.

At least I woke up to the sun streaming through my windows... a nice way to start the day.

I can't believe we are in MARCH already. Didn't 2015 just begin? Time is fleeting, and it seems that I am only one step behind the world. Don't you just hate that? No matter how hard I try, I am missing out on something important.

Will we ever catch up?

That is my theme for today's IWSG post. Playing catch up...

Am I just fooling myself? Are any of us? We are always tenacious, focused, and forever trying.
I've learned so much about myself these past six weeks in Florida and NYC. I left Chicago, bright-eyed and full of hope. I would do GREAT at the SCBWI conference in NYC, and I would find my perfect home in South Tampa. That was the plan...

As we know, life always has its own plans for us. WE may push ourselves toward our goals, but obstacles can and WILL pop up just as we are sailing along effortlessly.  Always remember the detours will push us into unknown territory WHICH is NOT NECESSARILY a bad thing.  God has his own plans for us, hopefully we are on the same track, but not always.

The conference was AMAZING as I had written about in my previous post. Now I need to buckle down, review my notes, and brush away all my insecurities about querying those amazing people I had listened to and learned from at the conference. Push away all my fears and jump right in!

Not so easy after the stress of looking for my future home for over a month. I racked up more miles in that short time on my poor 13 year old Saturn than I had in ten years in Chicago. I found three residences that were perfect for me and SADLY all of them fell through for one reason or another. By February 28 I had enough, ready to get up at 4:00 am Sunday morning and drive home, defeated. I felt so bad for myself and my realtor. She was amazingly patient and supportive. Telling me not to settle for something not right...WHICH I almost had. Even put an offer on this property and just needed to counter and leave the escrow money. But...I didn't. I decided to look one more time at the MLS. And, I had found my place!

I submitted an offer and I am ANXIOUSLY waiting for the acceptance or counter today. This was the LAST place I looked at, too. It is meant for me. I just know it.... After three let downs, can this be the fourth? I am hoping not. Sometimes we have to WAIT for the right moment for our goals to be achieved. SO, KEEP AT YOURS. I know I intend to. I looked a the MLS again last night and found "Backup" condos, JUST IN CASE. I'm not giving up. AND, neither should you on your goals and dreams.

This is my advice to all of you. Our writing lives and personal lives often share the same road. Keep trudging along and you will be led to your destiny. Keep and open mind and if the obstacles are too great, get yourself a pair of spiked boots and DIG IN. STAND YOUR GROUND!

Please drop by the rest of the IWSG members here   at Alex J. Cavanough's site, for inspiration and advice. Remember we are not alone in our insecurities....