Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A NEW MONTH... AN NEW BEGINNING...

Hi, Everyone,

Thanks for dropping by on Monday for the return of the WEP. If you haven't heard, WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH is back. So for those of you who LOVE Flash Fiction drop down to my previous post.

Once again it is the first Wednesday of the month and thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, we can post about our anxieties about life, writing, and our deepest darkest fears. As well as lending support and advice for those who need a lift. Such a great way to start the month. Don't you think?

So please pop over to Alex's "List" and visit those who need encouragement or to read about some wonderful advice from others.

Today I'd like to talk about timing and new beginnings. How often have we started over, changing our course or direction. Even the best laid out plans can crumble. I should know. Spending six months planning my move only to end up with frustration and back to to where I started. It happens to all of us. 

But you can learn from this. I have always believed in timing. If the timing is off, then this course or journey is not the right one. So we have to pull ourselves back up off the ground and continue. Mull things over and plan a new direction. It's the same for our writing. You can outline plots, characters, scenes, etc. and then begin to write. It may be smooth sailing at the beginning and everything seems to fall right into place...then...WHAM! You're knocked on your butt. 

What do you do? 

Giving up is NEVER an option. So, you pick yourself up and start over. Eventually it will run smoothly again. IF not, CHANGE your course completely. Maybe focus on a different character. Change the tense, or simply put the project away for a while. Take a walk. Clear your head. Have lunch with a friend. OR... reach out to you blogger pals. Shoot an email to a CP. It may help TWEAK the situation to your favor.

As for me. At this time, I am concentrating on other things. Leaving my "HOME" worries behind and delving back into our FINE community. Re-aquanting myself with my blogger buddies, and psyching myself up for the SCBWI conference at the end of this month. I have LOTS of revisions to do on my first novel, which is now the time to do it.

Keep your minds and hearts open and all will work out. Always believe that everything happens for a reason and how we REACT to it shows us how strong we really are and gives us character. Life's experiences strengthens us and not to mention we have some great stories to write about!

Have a wonderful day everyone! Celebrate Life and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH... THE W.E.P. BLOG HOP IS NOW RESURECTED!

Hi, All!

Hope everyone enjoyed one of the first weekends of summer! I did. We actually had a lovely weekend weather wise. Of course it didn't last. Once again the rain returned....

Today I have the pleasure of announcing that the WRITE... EDIT... PUBLISH Bloghop is now returning. YAY!

For all of you who love Flash Fiction, photography, art work, poetry, non-fiction, or play scripts created to a specific word count to keep is fast and FUN!

Open to ALL Genres: MG, YA, ROMANCE, and ADULT.

So why not get those creative juices flowing now that summer is here and we are all in happier spirits. LET'S CREAT TOGETHER, by starting with a fun and exciting HOP...

Your hosts are my close blogger buddies, DENISE COVEY and YOLANDA RENEE! I know many of you know these amazing ladies, so you know you are in for a fun and quality HOP! I"m certainly looking forward to the first Prompt!

Why not drop by Denise's blog... here is the LINK to her intro... Happy HOPPING everyone. 

I hope all of you have a WONDERFUL Monday and be sure to drop by here on Wednesday for yet another IWSG POST....


Thursday, June 18, 2015

SUMMER SIGHTINGS....

Hi, All,

First I'd like to thank all of you for all the amazing blog love I have received over the past few months concerning my housing issues. Although nothing has been resolved, I plan on enjoying the summer and "DEALING WITH LIFE" in September. It's all about reconnecting with my blogger friends and the writing community.

And now for the sightings.... are you intrigued? I hope so!

Last week, I met 80's guru, and chic lit author, Nicki Elson for coffee in the Printer's Row section of Chicago. such a fascinating neighborhood. Imagine strolling the streets where MILLIONS of books had been published and printed! On historic Dearborn st, there's still a charming bookstore. Thankfully this gem is still in business. With the whirlwind of Amazon books, so many of our historic and treasured book stores are fading from cityscapes all over the country.

After a two hour chat at the local Starbucks, Nicki and I strolled north to the riverfront to meet fellow author Jennifer Lane... She and Nicki had planned to meet for dinner. I stayed for a quick iced tea and left the ladies to catch up on their chosen genre...

This Saturday, June 20th, from 12:00-3:00, at the Barnes and Noble, at 9891 Waterstone Blvd. in Cincinnati, OH., our blogger pal, Tara Tyler is having a book signing! I'm so excited for her! So I decided to leave Chicago, which just happens to be over populated with breeding dementors (Harry Potter fans will know what these creatures are). Yes, although the city is celebrating the Stanley Cup, fog has socked in all over the city and the cool, wet weather is sucking all the life out of this blogger for sure. A road trip to escape is much needed. SO, why not visit a blogger pal. Right?

I'll also be meeting another close blogger pal, and amazing author, Julie Flanders. She also lives in the Cincinnati area. So if any of you would like to join us at Barnes and Noble and grab one of Tara's incredible stories, a coffee, tea, or iced frappaccino at Starbucks, I'd LOVE to see you!

Later in July, this blogger is attending the SCBWI Summer conference in LA!!!!!! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be going. It's something I had wanted to do for many years. I have been fortunate enough to attend the Winter conference a few times in NYC, and had the most memorable experiences. But now, in LA, it will be UBER AMAZING. There, I will be spending the event with super fun, vivacious red head, MORGAN SHAMY, who's infectious personality lights up the blogosphere! How cool with this be?!!!! BEYOND COOL! Not only to learn so much at the conference, but to also connect with a close blogger friends. It will be MAGICAL. If any of you are going PLEASE let me know! I'd love to meet you there!

I will be posting pics from Saturday and of course the conference. Summer season is about to begin and it can't come soon enough for me!

Do any of you have some amazing plans to meet our fellow blogger buddies this Summer? Why not host a small gathering in your neighborhood. It's worth the effort.

Well, that's all the sightings for now. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend full of exciting surprises!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

LIFE VS ANXIETY...WINNER TAKE ALL...

Hi, Everyone,

I hope all of you are well and life is treating you with the love and respect you deserve. With all the troubles in our lives and in the world, we need to hold onto the simple pleasures in our lives: family, friends, and what makes us truly happy.

My last month's post featured the trials and tribulations of trying to buy my home in Tampa, Florida. I had left Chicago a mere two weeks ago ready to start the next journey of my life. Heart pounding and my excitement building, I was ready for a new phase...a new challenge. 

Since then, much has happened and I have learned how cruel and unfeeling some people can be. I am not naive to human behavior and I have experienced a great many things in my life. But nothing affects me more than senseless cruelty by the hands of another human being.

I'm sure many of you have experienced this first hand and my heart goes out to you. I suppose this is, yet again, another obstacle we as humans must face in life's journey.

As you recall, I had lost my mortgage, but the owners agreed to a lease the property to me with the option to buy within a year. All seemed well. The realtors were hashing out all the details, and I drove down to Fort Lauderdale to collect all my things that had been in storage there for the last eleven years. The movers loaded up the seventeen foot Uhaul truck, and I was on my 280 mile drive to Tampa. As I crossed Alligator alley in the torrential rain, my phone rang. Glancing at the name, I had to answer...it was my realtor. The deal was off. Shocked, I pulled the truck over to the side. Anger flooded each and every nerve of my body. "WHAT!" I had the Tampa movers scheduled to unload the truck in less than twelve hours. "How could the sellers do this?" They could, and they did. They had never signed the revised contract. 

So there I sat. Pouring rain assaulting every inch of the truck. I could barely hear my own heart beating. Think and pull yourself together... was what I kept telling myself. SO... I did. I picked up my cell and called the Uhaul center where I had planned to return the truck. An "Earthly Angel" answered and she was able to assist me in acquiring the space I needed to store my life...again. 

Three hours later I had arrived. I was able to leave the truck there overnight. A friend picked me up and was kind enough to take me to my B&B.

It's amazing how much one can endure. The human spirit can shed intense anxiety when needed to focus on the task at hand, but the aftermath is another story. Just like surviving an earthquake, but what of the aftershocks? 

I had planned a six-eight week stay, begin the remodeling of my new place, and toget the wheels in motion for my future in a new city. I had it all set up beautifully... but it took only one cruel person to knock over the first domino and send the rest of the delicate wall crashing all around me.

It took me about a week to tie up all the lose ends in Tampa before returning back to Chicago. Not only was this an emotional hit, but it was also a financial one. But throughout this whole ordeal, amazingly I remained calm or was I just numb? I'm still not sure. But I believe deep down all of this happened for a reason. As all things do.

During my two day drive back to Chicago, I had many hours to think. My earlier plans to move to NYC had fallen through when the seller of a condo I was about to buy broke our contract and accepted a higher bid. Then, I had thought that perhaps that was for a reason and I should move south. Now this... Funny how life is. Another condo very similar to the one I had lost in NY has come on the market. It is larger, on a higher floor, and with a terrace! So maybe... It's an office like the former and I can create a fantastic 2 bedroom 1.5 bath in this space. It could be amazing...

Now the anxiety has hit... Do I return back home to NYC or move to South Tampa? NY will always be home to me, but it is cold, and after ELEVEN winters in Chicago, I'm not sure I want to endure another. (Chicago is still in the 40's in JUNE! Only a high of 55 today) I have grown to really hate the cold.

Tampa has it's good points, but I have such a bad taste from what had happened. It had taken me six months to find the condo I had wanted to buy and to start all over again.... it's difficult. Tampa is very pricey in the neighborhood I wish to live in... properties are scarce and what is for sale is way out of my price range. 

Time is whirling by at a fast pace. 2015 is six months gone. I had so many goals for this year: a new home, a contract for my second novel. Neither has happened. Yet, they almost did. Still waiting on the agent who has expressed such interest in my story... and yet, nothing. So here I wait. Like so many of you...

Today was a bright an sunny day. Cool, but lovely. I worked with a client who has hired me for years to update her space. She acquired two furry friends and needed to "kitty-proof" the house. Watching them scamper and play certainly put a smile on my face. Something so sweet and simple washed away much of my tension. I may not know where I'll end up, but I am glad to know that I can still appreciate the simple things in life. The purr of a kitten, the sun streaming through an azure sky, spring flowers bursting with color, the wafting scent of lilac, and the hug of a friend...

I wanted to share this with you because we all experience very traumatic things in our lives, but always remember to keep breathing and keep you eyes open wide. You don't want to miss out on the simple, yet beautiful things, in life...

Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh for giving us all the opportunity to share the ups and downs of our lives. Please visit the other writers posting for the IWSG today. You never know who you may help or how someone may help you...

Have a wonderful day everyone!

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