How many times can you reinvent yourself?

I knew I liked to shake up my life, but this year has been amazing!

It’s almost 2020, so I’m taking a moment to look back and do the proverbial: how did Lynda do in 2019? But today I’m going one step further, I’m going ALL the way back. How many times can I re-invent myself?

I was a good girl, a Canadian army brat. We moved every three years. You packed up your things, said goodbye to your friends, and moved on with your life. Didn’t everyone live like that?

In my teens, I thought I’d be a Catholic nun. I entered a convent of missionary sisters straight from high school. I was religious. I wanted to save the world, look after orphans, feed the poor. Instead, I recall days of washing floors and stealing cookies from the kitchen after lights out! Less than a year later, I left the convent, returned to Ottawa, and married my high school sweetheart. A year later, I was divorced.

I look back on my life and see the characteristics and events that define the woman I’ve become. At the time, I couldn’t see it, but as Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “I can see clearly now.”

First, I’m a loner. It turns out that’s a good thing because change is easy, maybe too easy for me. I don’t form the kind of attachments others form. As a result of my upbringing, I don’t have childhood friends. When people ask me where I come from, I never know what to say. I lived in Petawawa, Toronto, Lindsay, Edmonton, Montreal, Whistler—all in Canada. Then Puerto Vallarta Mexico for the last 17 years. What do I say Canada or Mexico? And now I’m in Istanbul, Turkey!

I could live anywhere in the world because “wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

I did the same thing with my various careers and in my own businesses.

I started in sales part-time over the summer in Ottawa when I was 18. Then I taught myself how to type and assisted the GM of a stock brokerage firm. I moved to Toronto and began a short-lived modeling career that led me into fashion. I opened a store and sold ladies’ clothing. I built that into a chain of stores. Unfortunately, husband number 2 was a gambler, and he stole money from the business. And “the rest is history!” 

The next stop was Montreal, where I began a career as a women’s clothing buyer for retail businesses, importing, designing, and creating. I woke up one morning and said to myself, “If you can make money for someone else, why not do it for yourself.” I opened a manufacturing plant. 

Several years later, I now had two young boys. Quebec was in a recession. So I moved from Montreal to western Canada and began a career in resort sales that lasted 25 years! “Why invest money for inventory, rent, retail, and wholesale, when you can make just as much money using your sales skills without the financial risk?”

Witness the evolution of a woman:

“I can see clearly now.” 

“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

“The rest is history!” 

“If you can make money for someone else, why not do it for yourself.”

“Why invest the money for inventory, rent, retail, and wholesale, when you can make just as much money using your sales skills without the financial risk?”

And this brings us to the year 2019. After 54 years of working, 9-5, 8-midnight, and 3, or 4-hour days, I retired! Well, my version of retirement. I sold everything and bought an airline ticket with multiple destinations—precisely the way I’ve lived my life! I celebrated my 72nd birthday in Tel Aviv to the sound of air raid sirens. And from there, I traveled to Europe, India, Thailand. And along the way, I found Istanbul.

The one constant in my life is my love of books. I think my first memory of a book is Little Women. I will reread it someday. In my teens, I started to write poetry and journal. And in my 20’s I wrote my first novel. I never published it and lost the manuscript in one of my moves. But that’s fine with me. It was never meant to be published. I never even tried. But in 2008, I was diagnosed with incurable heart disease and told I had 6 months to live.”  

This time I not only had to re-invent myself but re-create myself. “And that has made all the difference.”

Now the promises to self kicked in, and I began to write in earnest. I published three books of poetry and wrote several books of fiction. I waited for years to write and publish my journey to healing because I wanted to be sure that I actually survived what I call my miracle. And now I’m almost on the eve of publishing my 16th book on Amazon, The Istanbul Conspiracy! The 7th in my Code Raven Series.

THE ISTANBUL CONSPIRACY https://amzn.to/34Hzh0z

So far, it’s been and wild and wondrous journey. I’ve managed to stay retired all of 2019 and finally returned to writing to gather my plots for this new release. Yes, I call this retirement even though I am super busy with writing novels, blogs, Quora, FB, IG, Twitter, yoga, traveling, and living my beautiful creative life. I love Istanbul and I think I will stay for a while. It’s been 8 months so far. I’m researching for my books, learning to cook Turkish food, wandering the streets, doing photography, and now I’m back to full-time writing. I finally have time to keep in touch with friends I’ve made along the way in Mexico and in Turkey and all over the world. 

So, tell me something. How many times can you reinvent yourself? I say, as many times as it takes!

“6 months to live.” LOVE The Beat Goes On 

I believe in miracles because I am one!

The Convict and the Rose

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The Convict and the Rose  On Amazon or through Jan’s website at the bottom of the page.

Imagine an existence behind bars in Leavenworth Prison, and turning your life around so that you are able to create art and a musical legacy. This is an extremely personal, beautiful, sometimes very sad and yet uplifting memoir that reads like an edgy, intriguing novel. I wasn’t aware of what I was reading when I began the journey into the lives of a Convict(Rick Sikes) and his Rose(Jan Sikes.) I hadn’t read much about the book, all I knew was the reviews were all 5 stars! And everyone raved about the talented Jan Sikes, and that says it all. I can tell you that it’s not easy putting yourself out there in a memoir–imagine someone critiquing your life! But Jan has done it in this fascinating series.

I first met Jan Sikes through my association with RRBC an amazingly supportive group of writers. We interact through Twitter, online events, and the RRBC website. Today I want to introduce you to this very special woman who will share with you how this book came together.

Award-winning Biographical/Fiction sequel to Flowers and Stone. Luke and Darlina find their love severely tested as they struggle to overcome enormous odds.
When Texas veteran musician, Luke Stone, finds himself behind bars with a seventy-five-year sentence, he is filled with hate, anger, and rebelliousness. He’s lost everything that he treasures, including the woman who holds his heart.
How has it come down to this? He’s spent his entire life writing songs and making music, filling dance halls and bars from Texas to California. But, when he refuses to tell the FBI what he knows about certain bank robberies that he possesses knowledge of, they make sure he pays dearly.
Broken and alone, in a prison of her own, Darlina Flowers struggles to find a way to live without the man she loves so completely.
Over the next sixteen years, Luke and Darlina each search for ways to somehow survive the fate life has hurled them into.
In an effort to dull the pain of living with only half a heart, Darlina gets involved in drugs, then follows a guru and tries different relationships, but nothing fills the void.
Several years pass before Luke makes up his mind that prison will not break him. He crawls up from the bottom one tiny step at a time, determined to be and do something worthwhile and discovers artistic talents he never realized he had.
The Convict and the Rose inspire hope and show how anyone can turn a negative dark situation into a positive one. But more importantly, the story portrays a love that goes beyond earthly confines and proves how persistence and faith come with their own sweet reward.
Join Luke and Darlina as they continue their epic journey with love as their constant North Star and freedom as the driving force.

WHY I WROTE THE CONVICT AND THE ROSE    by  JAN SIKES

The simple answer to the question of why I wrote The Convict and the Rose is that it was the next segment in my series of true stories.

The complex answer to the question would be that I wanted to write the story in hopes that it might inspire others to think positive in negative situations and show them how one man did it. I also wanted the world to know what amazing things a person can accomplish when they set their mind to it.

There were many challenges to writing this book. The biggest challenge I faced was that I was not ever in prison. So, the prison scenes had to be constructed from writings Rick Sikes (aka Luke Stone) left behind, stories he told me and letters he’d written.

The second challenge was keeping the timeline straight and going back and forth between Leavenworth Prison and the outside world where his love, Darlina Flowers (aka Jan Sikes) struggled with her issues and the hurdles she faced.

There was a lot of research involved in writing this segment of the story, and part of that included contacting officials at the Prison to determine whatever become of the recording studio. It met it’s demise a year after Luke’s release.

I also had to get permission to tell parts of the story that involved Willie Nelson, and I made sure I kept all the written correspondence.

All-in-all, it was a growing and learning experience, and it is super special to me because it is the first book that won a literary award. 

Thanks, Jan, for sharing your life and that of Rick Sikes. I LOVED your story!

You can find Jan Sikes at:

http://www.jansikes.com

http://www.ricksikes.com

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.facebook.com/RickSikesMusic

 

 

Wine, you say?

 

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TBR List!

We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

“searing and powerful” (Washington Post)

“[Gabrielle Union’s] written a book of essays as raw and honest as anyone has ever produced. In this fantastic book, she discusses everything from sexual assault to the complexity of money in relationships to infertility (plus all the extra gossip you crave). Gab has not only excused the demons of her two-decade career, but she’s turned the exercise into primal scream therapy for her fans. As witty, warm, and assured on the page as she is in person, this book lives somewhere between Nora Ephron and Eve Babitz, with a touch of Audre Lorde’s radical awareness.” (Lena Dunham, Lenny Letter)

“A hilarious and moving memoir from a natural storyteller. Gabrielle Union explores love, family, trauma and racial identity in a book that somehow manages to be both heartbreakingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny.” (Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers )

 

In this moving collection of thought-provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.

Read the rest of the blurb on Amazon!

 

 

Iconic… Oprah & JK Rowlings

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The world’s first billionaire author.

“This was a children’s book. It shouldn’t have happened. I’d been turned down so many times. I was told it was not very commercial.”

“The truth was, there were times when I was barely holding on by a thread.”

The voice said to me “The difficult thing will be to get published. If you get it published, it will be huge.”

“I’m very frustrated by the fear of imagination.

12 publishers rejected her first book.

“You’ll never make money writing children’s books.”

She still worries about money. OMG! “I’m talking rubbish, aren’t I???”

“No I never told my mother I was writing before she died. But her death is on at least every other page. Death, the journey, what it means to die. It’s all there.”

Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It’s impossible to live without failing at something. Unless you’ve lived so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.” Harvard 2008

Be ready, you know Oprah interviews better than anyone else in the world.

 

 

AKA Honesty Can Be Brutal

VISION BOARD 2016

Honesty can be brutal. And it can be scary. But it can also save your life.

When I sat down to write LOVE, The Beat Goes On, many habits that helped me achieve my life goals came back to me. One was the vision board.

In the early nineties, I was living in Montreal, worried about the recession, my future and that of my family. I started thinking about what I wanted in my life. I had two photos on my wall in my office. One showed incredible majestic ski home in Vail. The other photo was the turquoise water of the tropics. I wanted that life. I’d forgotten about both those photos until this year.

When I decided it was time to write LOVE–actually it was Dr. Wayne Dyer who reminded me it was time–I started writing down the habits I’d developed the things that helped me heal from incurable heart disease. Envisioning was a big one. And I remembered those photos.

Have you ever made a vision board? If not, it’s a great way to gather your thoughts on what precisely you want out of your life. Over the years I’ve cut and pasted photos on my cork board, written lists and notes to self. Last year in the fall, I was feeling restless and my dreams were begging me to pay attention. I’ve always been in tune with my heart, so I knew I needed to make changes in my life. I used Canva—a free online website dedicated to graphics—downloaded photos from the Internet, and designed a composite poster of the life I really wanted for myself.

In January events transpired that I could say were out of my control. But, were they?

I envisioned a life that would leave no room for the emotionally draining work I did at that time. I had what I thought was the perfect timeline stretched out over two years. I assumed I was in control. Major changes would have to happen for this life to occur. And they did. Quickly.  And then I woke up one morning saying “Oh my God!” It was clear to me. I knew I had created/envisioned the life I was meant to live.

It’s been a very busy spring. Two months ago I published my first non-fiction, a memoir/healing book LOVE The Beat Goes On. Six weeks ago I began a daily Yoga practice. It has turned into a physical commitment to gratitude for the extraordinary health and life I’ve been blessed to live. I’m writing full time now although Oprah hasn’t yet discovered my book. I’m traveling to Paris this summer to visit family. And my current work of fiction features this amazing home on the water in the PNW. All of the above are on my vision board, the one I created last summer.

Never, ever underestimate the power of your mind.

And by the way, that amazing ski home in Vail, I custom built something even more spectacular in Whistler B.C. in the late nineties. After I sold it, I found that tropical getaway in a coastal town in Mexico.

What inspired this blog? I was standing having lunch in my kitchen looking out at the swaying palm trees and thinking about the newest Jet-Displaced book 4 I’m currently editing. I wondered about my grandbaby in Paris and hoped he was enjoying his first airplane trip to Italy. I’m so excited to be spending a month with them in August. I had the sudden realization that I was truly living The Life I Was Meant to Live.

If it’s to be, it will always be up to me.

Ask yourself the question: do you deserve to live your dreams?

 

 

 

Meet Author Lynda Filler

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Hello lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author Lynda Filler

“The author’s style is reminiscent of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILDS or BALDACCI.” N. Huff

Lynda Filler makes her home in sexy, sultry Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and writes both novellas and fiction. She’s been accused of writing autobiographical stories, but so far no can get her to admit it! She’s been writing her whole life but only started publishing with the encouragement of NYT/USA Best Selling author Russell Blake of the popular JET series. When she is not in Mexico, she travels to the Pacific Northwest or Paris, France to visit her children. She loves to hear from her fans on Face Book where you can find book news, crazy fun quotes, and photographs of both Mexico and Lynda’s travels. LOVE The Beat Goes On is her first non-fiction book.

Check out this sample: LOVE The Beat Goes On

Lynda Filler knows how it feels to be told you’re not healing, or your condition is incurable. She will tell you her story, how she walked around for months in denial with Congestive Heart Failure. She will explain the powerful, yet simple concepts and beliefs that she practiced that led to her healing. She is not a medical doctor. At no point will she undermine anything your physicians tell you to do.

Most of all, she will show you how she used these simple principles to design and live, the fully healed life she now enjoys in 2017.

You will shake your head in wonder, laugh, and maybe cry too. If you want less pain, worry, and stress about dis-ease and life in general, you will want to read this simple yet powerful story.

What is the current book you are promoting? Which writer inspired you? The current book I’m promoting is called LOVE The Beat Goes On. It was started in 2009 when the life I now live began. But the manuscript is very different from its original memoir format because of circumstances that remain ambiguous in my life. I talk around certain things. But in the story you will be able to read between the lines.

In the summer of 2015 when Dr. Wayne Dyer died, an event occurred that made me realize I needed to get my story out there sooner not later. In 2016 while reading Dr. Dyer’s book I Can See Clearly Now, I started LOVE.

I dedicated my book to him and my new grandbaby Félix.

 

 

 

https://mercedesfoxbooks.com/meet-author-lynda-filler-2/

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