How to be unforgettable

How did Toni Morrison influence your life?

At this time in my life as I’ve allowed myself to fall in love againI would say her words on love touch my soul in profound ways.

Every great author and some who never achieve world-wide acclaim has affected our lives in a multitude of ways. Toni Morrison’s work is in a class by itself. Maybe right up there with Maya Angelou.

I will let her words speak to you in honor of her memory.

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

“Something that is loved is never lost.”

“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose, not to need permission for desire, well now that was freedom.”

“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind.”

It is the courage of authors like Toni that have opened their hearts and bared their souls, that gave me the guts to write the stories that I write. My memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On is so personal and revealing it took me years before I would publish it.

“Make up a story. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” Toni Morrison

So I went on and wrote about a 50 year-old-woman and her 20-year-old lover in Target in the Sun. And then I exposed the lives of several male prostitutes in Mexico writing in the first person as Layla, in Lie To Me, again opening myself to major criticism, but also an award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues.

It’s not easy to reveal yourself because that’s what I do when I write. Yes, my books are “fiction” but as in the current Daniel Silva book The New Girl, our stories are often based on fact. Some hide it better than others.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Toni Morrison

This sums it up for me:

Lynda Filler photographer

Answered on Quora

France’s World Cup win is a victory for immigrants everywhere!

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I’m sitting at my computer this morning in Paris, France thinking about how life often gives you exactly what you need to follow your life’s purpose. If you are a follower of my blog or a first-time viewer, let me share with you that I’m passionate about social issues.

When I had to choose a direction for my University degree in Ottawa, Canada, I chose social work. I remember the textbook, of all things. It was huge and thick and hardcover. Lugging it around seemed like I was carrying the issues of the world with me every day. But in essence, at that time, the issues were swept under the rug. We didn’t have social media to shine a light on racism, immigration, #MeToo, workplace inequality, wage disparity, universal healthcare, poverty, sex, and child-trafficking. I could go on and on and on.

I came to the realization this year after publishing many books and novellas, that in my action series or even romantic thrillers, I find a way to build my stories around world events, social issues. I shine a light on the problems in ways that keep my fans engaged, but I also humanize things like racial or gender discrimination, exploitation, government corruption, immigration, the Mexican people, and many more subjects.

I never completed the degree in Social Work. One day I put down the book and cried. I’d been reading about prostitution, and never opened it again.  I felt I could work for years as a social worker and never make a difference in peoples’ lives. I’ve only recently been thinking about this with the event of the World Cup. Each book in my Code Raven Series reflects on things happening in the world and how Luke Raven uses his vast personal fortune to deal with things in ways the governments never could. The issue closest to my heart, partially because I live full time in Mexico, is the racism experienced by the Mexicans in the United States. I know discrimination, illegal immigration, separation of parent and child–these are very real challenges the world faces today; and it’s not only in the United States of America.

I have a son and two-year-old grandson in Paris. I look at my darling Félix and wonder about the world he will inherit. When I made my plans for Paris, I had no idea the World Cup was being played. I can get caught up in writing and forget the world around me. I’ve written about Paris, France and it’s racism and the migrant camps. The violence of terrorism and the migrants living in tents, trying to find a country that will and can accept them is, unfortunately, a worldwide issue. Next month DISPLACED will come online with Samaar-codenamed Luci. I worked hard on that plot, and by its title, you know that the novella centers around immigration; but the story is a fast-paced action/thriller with a strong human interest element. I cried in sections during the writing of that book. Being in Paris while France won the World Cup is my reward for writing this story!

Why? Because I am here, walking the streets, feeling a tremendous collective and inclusive energy. When France won the semi-finals I was out in the streets wandering past the cafes, it was totally incredible! I shared the passion, the excitement and the pride of the French people.

Now it’s up to all of us to learn from this and carry the love for our fellow man into the world. After all, only WE can be the difference that can change the world.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/15/opinions/france-world-cup-win-immigration-diversity-joseph/index.html