If good girls are bad girls that haven't got caught…

Are you afraid of getting old?

I’ve obsessed over my body my entire life. Until I found a very special kind of love.

Here’s a photo of me at 9 years of age. I think that’s around the time I became aware of how important body image was to me.

I never thought I was beautiful. But I can see in this picture I was cute! This photo was taken in 1956, I was 9, well before the internet. I don’t remember any body-shaming or certain ideals that we had to conform to in our era. The insecurity was all inside of me.

I’ve never been an athlete although I danced when I was young — you can see from my ballerina stance. So the physical things that many might miss as they age have never bothered me. But I’ve always been ‘on a diet’ which is a pathetic way to go through life. I’ve never been fat! But again, it’s the feeling of never being enough — pretty enough, skinny enough, talented enough — a woman’s insecurity for sure.

At some point in life, I realized I had to find that confidence inside myself to understand and love myself exactly the way I am.

1994 driving across Canada from Montreal to Whistler, BC after losing my fashion business and declaring personal bankruptcy. I have a Ph.D. in Starting Over.

I am not my physical body.

I’m a woman of many talents and lots of heart. I would say that since I was given 6 months to live in 2008, I’ve finally got a grip on my physical selfI stopped angsting over whether I could ski from the top of Blackcomb mountain to the base without stopping — who cares? I stopped worrying about old age because I might not live to experience old age. And I vowed to get a grip on my emotional insecurities and do the things I’d always wanted to do! I made a promise to myself to publish my poetry (the way I journaled my life) and then moved on to write and publish novels. In other words, I made a decision that I would not allow the physical parts of aging to define me. Instead, I would go deeper into what I was born to do, to inspire and motivate myself and others, to spread love and compassion — to make a difference in the world, no matter how small.

People tell me all the time that I am beautiful. I will be 73 in 3 weeks. I hear this more today than ever before in my life. Why? I believe it’s a smile that’s sincere, and a life purpose that shines through my eyes. These are gifts that I’ve earned through years of mistakes and disappointment.

I refuse to dwell in that place of “my body is aging” instead I say “I’m so grateful for second chances.” I’m happy my instincts send me to a doctor when something physical needs attention. But most of all, I give thanks daily for my outlook in life.

I will not allow the actions of others to define my emotional well-being. I’m not saying that’s an easy thing — I’ve worked hard to overcome past pain and current disappointments. I still have a child-like wonder and joy of a world that still has so much to show me, and people I have yet to meet. I will always have places I have to visit even if they are only blocks away from where I live. And I have a curiosity about everything and continue to learn new things daily.

I finally retired from my day job at the end of 2018. I sold everything I owned and bought an airplane ticket with no return destination. I left Mexico where I’d lived for 18 years, celebrated my 72nd birthday in Tel Aviv, and after I’d traveled for a few months, returned to Istanbul where I am today. Eighteen months ago I didn’t know where Turkey was on the world map!

Curiosity and attitude will truly sustain me and keep me off the ‘pity-party’ wagon as my body ages.

And if my mind goes, so be it — I won’t know what I’m missing anyway!

I only have one question:

If good girls are bad girls that haven’t been caught, where will the good girls go when we die?

Istanbul 2020.

As a creative writer, what is your day like?

Major procrastination.

Like right now! I should be working on a new Memoir. But, I’m checking out Quora, eating breakfast, trying to make sense out of World Politics and man’s determination to kill. Sometimes I wonder if as a society we’ve progressed at all.

I retired from a full-time career a year ago. And traveled for months to all parts of the world. So I haven’t quite fallen into a routine workday. I love this newfound freedom and the 10 extra pounds that go with it. And the decision to live in Istanbul for the foreseeable future.

I’ve given myself permission to LOVE my current lack of schedule. However, I have a new release The Istanbul Conspiracy, that came online at Amazon Christmas Day. I purposely gave myself a deadline and the pressure of making sure I was ready.

Now I have fallen into a schedule that looks like this. I have 3 distinct projects every day.

  1. Yoga for 30 minutes the moment I wake up.
  2. Coffee, Breakfast, World news, Q, FB and I limit that fun to 1 hour
  3. Write. I have 2 Code Ravens to publish this year. And another memoir. I’ve already published 16 books on Amazon. I’m doing the memoir first. But if I need a break, I will work on the two plots for the CRaven series books 8 and 9.
  4. I take breaks for WordWars—I admit I’m addicted to the game even with the new site full of advertisements that drive me crazy!
  5. I allow myself the indulgence of Prime Video or Netflix but more than likely this pastime is saved for late evening.
  6. I have a boyfriend who is low maintenance so every couple of days he shows up in my world which is great. I get a break. Plus he loves food and takes me to all his favorite Turkish restaurants.

My body refuses to adjust to Istanbul time or a work schedule like I might have maintained when I lived in Mexico. That means my body believes bedtime is around 2–3 am and wakeup somewhere between 10:45-11:30 am.

It’s not unusual for me to write or do marketing in the evening and I will work sometimes up until midnight. (I’m self-published and marketing is a large part of my job.)

I LOVE my life! I’m living the dream.

My New Years’ resolution is to have more DISCIPLINE! Hah!

If you play by the rules, you miss all the fun!

I LOVE that I am fearless and refuse to live my life the way society dictates. Every morning I find joy in my love of life that has led me to adventures beyond what I ever thought possible.

Istanbul 2019

I woke up this morning and hit the yoga mat. I have immense gratitude that at 72 I am able to move every single part of my body without pain.

I sat down at my desk and finished editing my latest book, The Istanbul Conspiracy. I LOVE that I’ve been blessed with the gift of imagination and the ability to entertain and inspire.

When I take a my medications for heart/blood pressure, I give thanks to a world that has created drugs that have allowed a woman like me to continue living and loving even though I was given “6 months to live” in 2009!

And I take joy from my attitude in life: everything amazes, surprises, and delights me…simple things like the Istanbul cats, Starbucks coffee, caramel waffle cookies, and finding fresh lettuce for my salad at the corner store.

And I find joy — endless joy, in creativity: photography, writing my novels, reading, graphics, fashion, music. And style, like my new hair color. This is what happens when you don’t speak Turkish, your hairdresser doesn’t speak English — but he gets me!

I take joy in knowing I have two amazing sons in my life. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but that’s okay. They are both just like me: strong-willed and on their own paths.

I’ve been through bankruptcies and divorces — make no comment about the plurals, please! But my stubborn determination to succeed means I’ve bounced back from both more times than I can remember and refuse to become hardened or bitter.

And at this moment in time, I have a very loving relationship with a guy who makes me laugh-out-loud and reminds me that I’m beautiful inside and out. He says that age is just a number to be ignored — ”It’s what’s in your heart that counts.”

Finally — although I’m sure I can come up with a lot more — I have a philosophy in life — many, actually, but I will share this one:

Do you have any thoughts on Loneliness and Aging?

I believe that loneliness is a direct relation to self-love and self-worth. Let’s face the fact that aging is a subject that’s on every woman’s mind once she reaches the age of 30. Why is that? Why do we worry so much about getting older and being alone? I think it has to do with self-love. We just don’t love our selves enough.

We can blame it on the society we live in as aging is a first-world-obsession. All we have to do is look at the media to see that once a woman hits 50 she begins to become invisible. But mostly, this same woman is allowing society to create the fiction that there is something wrong with aging.

I know this might be a rambling comment, but it hurts my heart to hear talk of loneliness when I believe that within ourselves we are whole and complete. I’ve always been a loner—I’m a poet, a memoirist—LOVE The Beat Goes On—a novelist, a whole new career that began in the last decade.

I remember a time when I wouldn’t go to a restaurant and dine alone. I didn’t always have the confidence I have today. I had to work at it.

This photo was taken on my 70th birthday. I spent it at a high-end restaurant on the beach in Puerto Vallarta—a sunset dinner ALL BY MYSELF! It was a first. And it was amazing.

It took me until I was 72 to begin an amazing journey to many countries in the world, not on a tour, not with a group—all alone. And it’s been life-changing.

WE create a situation called loneliness. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve always believed that happiness, contentment, love, health, all these things are related to how much we not only like our self but LOVE ourselves.

I love to say I live in my own little world, they know me there. I could also add, they—all the different aspects that make up the person I have become—LOVE me there. I don’t need other people in my life and yet, I meet new people everywhere. I met my current boyfriend at a touristy spot in Istanbul seven months ago. He was studying English and wanted to practice with someone. It was cold and rather rainy so I accepted the offer of Turkish tea. I took a chance and said yes to dinner later that evening. And here I am, living in Istanbul—for now.

Loneliness is a decision and a choice. You can meet people in a coffee shop, at an art gallery, at the museum, standing in line at the grocery store. I met a woman who has become a friend in a restaurant in Istanbul. She was dining alone and asked me to join her. I had a cold and didn’t want the company. But she asked again when her dessert came and you can always bribe me with “this is too much for me, please share my baklava!” She’s from the Philippines, lives in Florida with her sister, and is currently doing some freelance writing in Rome! She fell in love with Turkey at the same time as I did. Now she’s organizing a religious tour around Turkey next year!!

In today’s world, it’s easy to make friends if you want to. But you need to have the strength inside your own heart—self-love and personal happiness—to make it through the ups and downs of navigating the world.

It all comes back to self-love. And it’s never too late to learn to love yourself.

Survival tips:

  1. learn something new every day
  2. Read, voraciously. Choose new genres, expand the mind
  3. Travel, even if it’s to a new neighborhood—take risks, step outside your comfort zone
  4. Take up a new hobby—everyone has a cell phone—take photos, have fun with them, join Instagram, connect with old friends.
  5. And if you’re my age, do something crazy, like color your hair—okay, not this bright (I manipulated the brightness for the fun of it!)
  6. And take care of your health, take your meds, do some yoga—you don’t have to leave home to find a great yoga video online
  7. And try writing. I know you already love reading or you wouldn’t be here.
  8. And most of all, take risks.
  9. The Best Things in life begin with YES!

Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


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

How do you see the world around you?

I always find find photography to be an inspiration in my writing. I use places and people that I meet along my way to create characters and locations for my stories. My walk in Istanbul yesterday morning and the tram ride to Sultanahmet Square in the afternoon, are great examples.

I’m currently working on Code Raven 7 which features Turkey and the Middle East. One of my key characters in this book is a DJ named EM+EM. He’s currently on the trail of terrorists after a horrific event during his wedding the night before. He is taking a jog from Kariköy to the Blue Mosque and these are photos of things he would see during his run.

I hope you enjoyed a slice of my life. If you wish to see more, please join me on Lynda Filler Author and/or Lynda Filler Creates on Instagram

Code Raven 7 is untitled but will be out late fall. In the meantime, don’t miss the fun! LYNDA FILLER AMAZON Code Raven Prequel it’s $.99 and gives you the background on who is Luke Raven?

I’m Alive!

 

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It’s that time of year, again! Happy Mother’s Day! I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy in early 2008! After many months at 28% EF, there was no improvement although the shortness of breath and what felt like heart attack seemed under control with meds.

The doctors told me at best I’d need a transplant but basically the last words were “get your affairs in order.” This photo was taken a few days ago in Istanbul Turkey. This year I sold everything and decided to travel and visit all the places I write about in my books! I’m now in my fourth month!! I’ve written my personal story it’s available on Amazon LOVE the Beat Goes On, and has inspired many! But I’m writing this to let you know not to give up hope!!!

I went to work with a shaman in Arizona in 2008. I never had a transplant nor any operations. The last thing I did before I started this trip was to visit my cardiologist in Puerto Vallarta where I lived. He said “you will always have some left bundle blockage but your heart is functioning at 86% normal! And it’s been that way for several years! Live and enjoy your life!”

This is what I wish for all of you!

 

These Are The Heroes Who Chased Off The Poway Synagogue Gunman

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The words of the Rabbi are riveting and stunningly beautiful in the message he delivers to the world. Please watch the video link for the message it delivers to all of us no matter what faith we practice.

An Army veteran, an off-duty Border Patrol officer and an Israeli war veteran are credited with coming to the rescue during the deadly California shooting.

An Army veteran, an off-duty Border Patrol officer and an Israeli war veteran are credited with coming to the rescue in Saturday’s deadly shooting inside a California synagogue that left one woman dead and three others injured.

 

The three men were attending services inside the Chabad of Poway when authorities say 19-year-old John Earnest, armed with a rifle, entered the lobby and opened fire, fatally shooting 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye in front of her husband and daughter.

 

“I turned around and I’m face-to-face with this murderer ― terrorist ― who was holding a rifle and looking straight at me,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein recalled on NBC’s “Today” show. “And then as soon as he saw me, he started to shoot toward me, and that’s when I put my hands up and then my fingers got blown away.”

 

Video here. Huffington Post

 

 

Inspiration, where does it come from?

I’m often asked this question.

I have a love/hate relationship with my Muse.

My inspiration comes from all kind of places. It depends on what I’m writing at the time. Right now I’m deep into the theme/plot process that I need to follow before I can begin to write a novel. But two books are vying for my attention and that’s like having twin babies that both demand to be fed right now!

Music inspires me. Current affairs get my creative juices flowing. And dreams. Oh how I love my dreams.

Lately I’ve been watching Netflix thriller series and wondering if they have invaded my senses and taken over my mind. Theme after theme competes with ideas that I keep writing down for Luke and Samaar to explore.

Then last night I watched/listened to Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour. That feeds my Muse for my Contemporary Romance series, “Lie to Me.” That upcoming novel already has a theme song The Essence of Us. I play that song non-stop while I’m working through what’s going on with Layla’ life. The emotion in Taylor Swift’s songs, and the outpouring of love from her fans is so inspiring.

A friend asked me recently if I still write poetry. The answer will always be, yes. I remember my first published poem. I think I was 25. I wrote it for my sister’s 21st birthday. I did a photoshoot with her and had the black and white image placed on a wooden plaque and superimposed the words to the poem on top. The first few lines were: One day, when I know who I am and where I am going and what I want will you still love me for the woman I am... I often whisper those words to myself…

Today was a strange day. Late to bed last night, early to rise, and back to sleep in the afternoon. I’ve got a lot on my mind. I think I already told you I’m leaving Mexico for a while or permanently, and traveling to the Middle and Far East. Whenever I make a major change in my life, my dreams change. It’s rather exciting. It’s like getting a coupon book for free movies, only they turn out to be foreign films with Spanish subtitles. I know I’m weird. Just go with it. I decided to share this afternoon’s dream with you.

By the way, my first novel award-winning Target in the Sun is FREE, an exciting Contemporary Suspense story on Amazon Download today. If you’ve already read it, thanks. Why not gift one to a friend?

I LOVE that story. I hope you will too.

Thanks for following my work.