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.

Make something every day.


Seth Godin sent me to my blog! So here I am!

“My work is to figure out how to share emotions and stories with people to turn lights on for them. And the part of it that scares me is wasting the privilege, wasting the leverage, wasting the opportunity. So that’s why I keep pioneering and pushing new ways to do it encouraging people to copy me.”

“After you innovate, you have to keep pushing forward, coming up with new ways to move things forward.”

Writer’s block is a myth. Being a professional is showing up everyday and making something despite how you feel. The world needs more artists, who love what they do, and do it despite uncertain outcomes.”

Whoever fails the most, wins. Now if you fail too big, you don’t get to play anymore. So we have to learn how to fail, just the right amount to keep on going. Make small calculated risks so you can be in the game long enough to succeed.”

“If I come to your barbershop for a haircut. I don’t care if you had a fight with your girlfriend and don’t feel like cutting my hair. I came to you for a haircut. Cut. My. Hair. That’s what it means to be a professional.”

I think I’ve given you a few key notes to think about. Sometimes I’m asked questions on Quora about writing. Often times it centers around story ideas or writers’ block, or ‘what should I write?’ The reality is if it’s your job to write, don’t talk about it, write something! And don’t waste your readers time. If my reader expects to learn something or be entertained on my page, then it’s my job to deliver that to you/him/her each and every time. No excuses. The same when I write a novel or a non-fiction book. You are trusting me to deliver what you are paying for…entertainment or ideas and knowledge. 

It’s become a habit that even when I am working on the marketing and sales of my books, I will not go to bed without writing something. It might be a blog like this or a few fun things on FaceBook, but if time is limited, I go on Quora and answer questions. A writer writes. No excuses. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed a few ideas I picked up on You Tube today. I love to share with my readers and will answer anything and everything you throw my way. If you have any questions about any of my areas of expertise, feel free to send me an email or drop a note in the comments. And remember, I spend far too much time on Facebook so feel free to connect with me there and get my latest news. 

And speaking of news: I have a free prequel for you. 

Drop by Amazon and download a free copy of Luke Raven and Code Raven, how this exciting and fun series began. 

https://amzn.to/2QuCgnf

CODE RAVEN PREQUEL free!   

https://amzn.to/2QuCgnf

What can older women say to younger women to help them mature faster?

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Thanks Pixabay!

I can keep it simple or make it complicated. Let’s assume that so many have answered this question already so I will keep it short and sweet.

LEARN to love you, yourself, first. Get rid of your stupid insecurities and focus on your amazing inner beauty. Don’ t let any guy/girl take away your confidence or tell you who you are/should be/should do! The sooner you learn your self-worth, the happier your life will be.

If you don’t believe that love is an inside job, look at the divorce rate. If we knew how to love ourselves, we wouldn’t get into some of the stupid relationships we choose when we’re young. And for some of us, we continue with the age-old definition of insanity: repeating the same action over and over again and expecting a different result.

The more confidence and self-love you have, the more likely you are to choose or be chosen by a man/woman who has the same thing going on. Likes attract.

If you spend your life looking for your soulmate you miss the opportunity to really connect with the soul-mate-that is-you!

I want you to remember these words forever: you should be your first and last love. You are the only one that can truly keep you safe and warm at night. LOVE yourself first.

 

as answered by Lynda Filler on Quora

And pick up a copy of LOVE The Beat Goes On, “When your doctors give you six months do live, what do you do?”  Lynda Filler’s memoir on healing.