What is something that needs to be written?

QUORA: What is something that needs to be written?

Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2018 Readers Favorite at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

My best friend J. was a showgirl in Vegas, married a famous Hollywood photographer, made a trip to the Far East to smuggle drugs, and brought up three grandchildren because her daughter is addicted to meth! J. has a story to tell.

A fourteen-year-old Muslim boy in Istanbul is learning English in Sultanahmet Square. He comes to the Blue Mosque every day and makes friends with tourists from all over the world. He wants to know everything about their lives and gets to practice the language. He also speaks French, German and Turkish. He’s outgoing and absolutely delightful. He has a story to tell.

A friend of mine has been confined in a hospital for years. He was working for a group he can’t talk about, doing things in countries that don’t show up on his passport, and he is a patriot. He can never tell his stories. But I immortalized him as Luke Raven in my Code Raven Series. His story would be too dangerous for anyone to know, never mind tell.

My friend’s son was the most popular kid in school in Whistler, a ski resort in Canada. He was a star snowboarder and taught kids younger than him just because he loves little kids. He thought he could handle smoking pot, hanging out on peoples’ couches, and dabbling in heroin. He’s 35 now and been jailed twice, or more—I’ve lost track. The last I heard he lives on the streets in Vancouver. My friend cries herself to sleep at night because she knows no one can save her son but himself. They both have stories to tell.

I was approached recently to help a woman tell her story. Her ‘daughter’ is actually not hers by blood but belonged to a drug-addicted boyfriend. He abandoned them when the child was very young, and my friend loved and cared for the child as if she was the birth mother. Throughout the years, the authorities tried to take her daughter away from her because she not only had no legal right to the child, but they were both from different cultures and different countries. My friend fought the system and by some miracle, she managed to hold onto her daughter. Her daughter graduated high school this year. Momma is very proud! And Momma wants to share her story.

When I wrote my first memoir, LOVE the Beat Goes On, I came across a quote that I’ve never forgotten. “When you write a memoir there is nowhere to hide.” I wrote my first memoir. But I too, have life stories that need to be told. And I will continue to write them.

There isn’t a human being alive that doesn’t have a story to tell. Including you. And your story needs to be written because there will always be someone who needs to read it.

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!

 

How do you do that thing you do so well?

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It’s a common question asked by those who want to write a novel. I hear this all the time on Quora. Where do you begin? How? Where do you get your ideas? Do you plot? Do you ‘wing-it?’ How do you do that thing you do–so well?

Let’s talk about my latest release, SILK ROAD Code Raven 6. It’s a great example of my personal writing process and may help you to get started on yours!

It starts with a word. I asked a friend, fellow author, to give me a country. In this case, it was Kyrgyzstan–a country that had no meaning to me. If you’re familiar with the Code Raven Series, you would know that not only do I love my characters and develop them further with each story, but I also love to take them to different countries around the globe to get into–and out of–trouble!

In my research about Kyrgyzstan, I came across the history of how this country was once a part of the Soviet Union. I already had a rough idea of the Russia/Asia part of the world but didn’t know much about the terrain. If you are anything like me, once you go on the world-wide-web, one search turns into another, and another, and before you know it, you’re off on a tangent for no particular reason. In my case, my interest was piqued by the crime lords who moved in to fill the void of a legitimate government. Corruption of all types runs rampant in this predominately Muslim country.

At this point, I became intrigued by the historical implications of this centuries-old area and the original Silk Road–the trading route moving through Asia from the East to the West.

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Without giving away the plot, let’s just say that I became intrigued by the human condition and in particular how turmoil and greed affect women and children around the globe.

HERE’S MY PROCESS:

  1. Out comes the excel spreadsheet. 
  2. Usually, I reprint the Characters names across the top of the sheet so I don’t mix up attributes, history, or activities, timelines, etc. This is important when writing a series. You would work the same way as you introduce new characters in your novel even if it’s a stand-alone book. I also used this process on my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On
  3. Chapters numbers down the left side column.
  4. Next column a key phrase to summarize what will happen in that chapter.
  5. The next column will give more detail, possibly a paragraph of key events.
  6. In the planning stages, I might color code the chapters. If it’s fiction and action, I might color code an action event RED, something that moves the plot along in YELLOW, and a relatively soft aspect, emotional, resting chapter might be soft green. This way you can make sure you don’t lose your reader by dropping the pace. Inevitably all my reviewers say this series is ‘fast-paced.’ You want that when writing a mystery. Otherwise, your fans will get bored and put your book down! We want them to read it in “one sitting!”
  7. The chapters continue down the page until the end.

Why a spreadsheet?

I use this concept if I’m writing Action/Adventure/Mystery or Contemporary Romance or Non-fiction like my memoir. Why?

  1. It’s easy to cut-and-paste therefore changing the sequence of events, or slotting in a new chapter!
  2. You can see the entire story in one place. 
  3. The spreadsheet allows you to edit the events along the way inserting, expanding where you find your plot to be weak.

My process is always fluid. I never set a rigid plot.

Sometimes I start with one idea and watch the following events move down the page. The thoughts, ideas I have may never make it to the final story. But here’s the key: one idea leads to another, and another, and another. And my story starts to take shape from that original one word. Example:

Silk Road. Trade. Smuggling. The new Rail service from the coast of China all the way to London, England! Think about the potential here. Imagine all the events that could happen along the way! And that’s how the story moved along. And then I found activities in the Maldives that I decided to connect. And one of my main characters, Zach was summoned to Washington DC by the frightening pleas from a SEAL friend he served with in his Afghanistan/Bin Laden days.

Here’s a couple of teasers so you get a feel for the final story:

A former Navy SEAL gets a terrifying message from his estranged daughter. “I’m desperate! I need your help, Dad. Bring your friends!”

“They stole my baby Daddy! They’ve got my boy!” Will a team of ex-SEALs break US law to exact revenge?

A teenager is abducted in Kyrgyzstan. Has she become one of many kidnapped brides? Or is something far more frightening going on? The corrupt authorities ignore the parents’ pleas for help.

A new Silk Road train stretches from the eastern shores of Yiwu China to London, England. Its precious cargo is not what’s written on the manifest.

When two young children are abducted in the middle of the night from Raven’s sanctuary in the Maldives, Luci, Luke, and the Raven Group will stop at nothing to get them back.

Are all these horrific events linked?

If I’ve peaked your interest and you want a great read, written in the style of Lee Childs, David Baldacci, or Clive Cussler, get your copy on Amazon: Silk Road

 

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Books! Thoughts, cells and science.

 

If I’m not writing, I’m reading, or watching NETFLIX or videos on Amazon. I love to learn new things about our bodies, how our minds work, culture, and other countries. This year I seem to be fixated on India, the Middle and the Far East and will be traveling there next year.

I might be reading the latest in the top 10 in Mystery, or watch a video recently recommended by a friend from India like this stunning musical message.

This made my heart sing.

 

Or the wise and quite stunning information revealed in the Medical Secrets from Dr. B M Hegde. His theories are not new to me as this is how I healed my physical heart, and wrote to tell the story about it in LOVE, The Beat Goes On.

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And all this beauty and enlightenment takes us places we have never been. Maybe it spurs the desire to travel to far-away places. Or read about the world, and gain a better understanding of the Universe. I wrote down two titles that Dr. Hegde recommended and have started to read the following one.

All of this made me think about the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program! When you think about it, one month’s membership. $9.99, pays for one book! Everything else you read is free! I love it as an author also because I know I have dedicated readers: they win by not paying every time they want to indulge in their passion to read, and I gain a new reader too!

Here’s the book I recently began reading from Dr. Hegde’s suggestions. 

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This 10th-anniversary edition of Bruce Lipton’s best-selling book The Biology of Belief has been updated to bolster the book’s central premise with the latest scientific discoveries—and there have been a lot in the last decade. The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of new biology. Former medical school professor and research scientist Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., presents his experiments, and those of other leading-edge scientists, which examine in great detail the mechanisms by which cells receive and process information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life, showing that genes and DNA do not control our biology; instead, DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts. This profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics has been hailed as a major breakthrough, showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking.

And why not read it for free?

Join Kindle Unlimited and you can download any of my titles for free!

 

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Enjoy, and don’t forget to sign on to my News Letter and received notice of New Releases, FREE books, and so much more!

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ALMOST EVERYTHING by Anne Lamott

I want to share this with you. I received an invite to listen to a Podcast, an interview with Anne Lamott. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, she’s predominantly and non-fiction author of the most memorable Bird By Bird, a must read if you have ever thought of writing a book or doing anything creative at all. 

By Stacey Camp on Goodreads

5 Stars:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

“Haters want us to hate them because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can’t operate from our real selves, which is our strength.”

Oh Anne Lamott, how do you manage to rip my heart into pieces and then mend it ever so carefully back together? This is what Lamott calls a paradox or conundrum, that life brings both immense joy and heart-wrenching pain, pain that, at times, is unbearable. Take her discussion of having children:

“We are consumed by the most intense love for one another and the joy of living, along with the grief and terror that we and our babies will know unbelievable hurt: broken bones, bad boyfriends, old age…Every day we’re in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it’s over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it’s going to be okay, no matter what.”

Lamott’s Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is meandering and rambling in the most poignant way, a method of writing only Lamott can get away with. It is structured around themes that she wants to share with her grandchild, stories she wants to pass on that she deems critical for one’s survival in a brutal world.

As with Lamott’s other books, I highlighted nearly everything. So many beautiful passages, so much wisdom that has come from the pain that Lamott has known well. This is not a pain she monopolizes. Rather, this book is about how pain is part of the human condition. And because it can happen to any one of us, Lamott believes that we must find peace and happiness every single day. That joy cannot come from a number on a scale or your paystub, though:

“Could you say this about yourself right now, that you have immense and intrinsic value, at your current weight and income level, while waiting to hear if you got the job or didn’t, or sold your book or didn’t? This idea that I had all the value I’d ever needed was concealed from me my whole life. I want a refund.”

“The opposite of love is the bathroom scale.”

Lamott argues that happiness is not found in materiality but something that is omnipresent, waiting to be found in the most mundane places. There is also beauty in grief and beauty in tragedy, though she certainly does not argue that there is a rhyme or reason as to who gets saddled with grief in this universe. Grief is not a lesson to learn, forced upon those who have sinned.

“We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong, eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of a devastating fire, the sun rose red. To pay close attention to and mostly accept your life, inside and out and around your body, is to be halfway home.”

How do we cultivate this love of the quotidian? Through play, observing the world around you, through helping others, and, of course, through reading:

“Books! To fling myself into a book, to be carried away to another world while being at my most grounded, on my butt or in my bed or favorite chair, is literally how I have survived to be here at all. Someone else is doing the living for me, and all I have to do is let their stories, humor, knowledge, and images – some of which I’ll never forget – flow through me, even as I forget to turn off the car when I arrive at my destination.”

As always, Lamott also has some brilliant things to say about writing:

“Write because you have to, because the process brings great satisfaction. Write because you have a story to tell, not because you think publishing will make you the person you always wanted to be. There is approximately zero chance of that happening.”

“We have to cultivate the habits of curiosity and paying attention, which are essential to living rich lives and writing. You raise your eyes out of the pit, which is so miserable and stifling to be in and which tried to grab you and keep you there, until something sneaky hauled you out and changed you.”

Lamott won’t give you easy answers about life in this book, but she will give you a lot to chew on. She challenges you to be reflexive, to examine what’s holding you back in life and what you need to move forward – that these things are not a one size fits all sort of solution. We need to dig deep and find that with which we struggle: confront it and learn to live with it the best we can.

Above all else, she asks her reader to sit with the world: watch it, learn from it, listen to it, breathe it in. For “God is often in solitude and quiet, through the still, small voice – in the breeze, not the thunder.”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I loved this book. I love nearly everything Lamott writes ( Bird by Bird is one of my all-time favorite books!). Thank you to Edelweiss, Anne Lamott, and Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House for an advanced reader copy of Almost Everything.


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And let me add this NUMBER 1 Best Selling book by Anne Lamott. This is every author all time favorite handbook. It’s been described by many as a book with advice on writing and on life in general!

 

BIRD BY BIRD

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I should be dead!

 

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Will I die from a broken heart?

I know I’ve caught your attention with my double entendre. But that’s why I wrote it.

What would you do if your doctor gave you six months to live? I’ve heard many answers to this question. Some say, get a second opinion. Well, the second and third and fourth opinions were more depressing than the first!

In 2007 I was experiencing symptoms of heart failure but being the know-it-all that I am, I was self-diagnosing instead of immediately visiting a doctor. I walked around basically having mini-heart attacks without realizing what was happening to me. Women, in general, are neglectful of their health. We tend to be the nurturers and rarely allow ourselves to be nurtured.

For several months I experienced shortness of breath and I decided–after much research on the internet–that I was allergic to sinus medications. Well, in a way I was correct. The “D” in the meds was setting off my already dilated heart. But I had no idea how lucky/unlucky I was. The fact that I lived through that year having mini-heart attacks (layman’s language for your benefit) is its own miracle. And yet, here I am to tell the story.

All this was happening throughout the summer of 2007. In mid-October, I decided to accept an offer to work in Whistler for the winter. After living in Puerto Vallarta full time for several years, I was ready for a change. I packed my red Jeep Liberty and drove by myself from Mexico to Canada. It was amazing. It was exciting, dramatic, stunning and liberating. I did photography and wrote poetry, and stopped at cafes and lived along the sea for two weeks. It was the trip of a lifetime.

Upon the arrival in Whistler, a mountainous region in British Columbia, I was experiencing shortness of breath again. I had a new excuse: I blamed it on the change of altitude!

But all that changed in January of 2008.

I’ve written my memoir of this time, the things I did, and the reasons I believed I had this disease. But, I will tell you one thing. In 2008 the London Cardiomyopathy website online had over 5 million followers. The medical professionals stated emphatically that there was no cure for Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy. After six months of treatments, my doctors concurred. The specialist told me to get my affairs in order. 

I waited until 2017 to write my story. I was been ‘cured’ completely since 2012. “What if you die,” one friend said. But I wanted to share my story. After all, we will all die eventually. If I’d given into depression and not done the things that made the difference, I wouldn’t be here to write this story. Think of all the experiences I would have missed, the people I have loved, the birth of my grandson, the books I’ve written and the love I’ve received in my life.

No matter what is going on, this memoir will change your life and remind you to never give up and always believe in miracles.

LOVE The Beat Goes On is on sale on Amazon for downloads at $.99 cents. If this is not affordable for you, I understand. Please contact me on FB Msn and I will gladly send you a copy for free.

Thanks for your love and ongoing support of my passion to write stories for you.

 

You can literally control your mind.

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It’s amazing the conversations and exchange of ideas and philosophies we can have with strangers from around the world if we only open to the connections. I LOVE this video. It’s so simple and explained so beautifully.

Thanks, Rohith, for bringing this video to my attention.

Have a week filled with wonder, joy, and happiness. My gift for you to begin your week.

 

Has anyone ever been in love with a man/woman 27 years younger than​ themselves? How did it work out?

I came across this intriguing question and answer. With permission from the person who wrote the response, I’d like to share her answer with you.

What do you think?


It rocked my world completely.

It threw my life into great chaos. I was in a ‘challenging’ marriage that I didn’t want to leave because of the children. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t work it out.

And then, out of nowhere, a young man came into my life and saved my life. We met over books–the reading of them. We talked from 1 in the morning until I boarded an airplane at 3 in the afternoon. I cried for the entire journey. It was not love at first sight—it was a conversation, a meeting of two very lost people. And then I realized that it was love. I never thought I could fall in love with someone so much younger. But I did. And he did. And yes, we had our challenges for sure. But they had nothing to do with age.

This is what I took away from that relationship that lasted several years.

1. Age is just a number.

2. Souls meet when they are supposed to, for a reason.

3. Don’t make excuses to friends or family because the world will never accept or understand you and your lover.

4. Most everyone will believe it’s some kind of financial arrangement. Ignore the chatter, it will only hurt you.

5. Souls have no age, do not exist in time. They just understand that when they meet, they’ve found a connection that both of you have been waiting for your whole life.

6. He saved my life and rescued me from drowning.

7. Accept that eventually, you will need to move on—more than likely.

At a point, I had to ask him to go. It wasn’t about our relationship, but about a healing journey, he needed to take.

If I ever needed anything, he’s the first person I would reach out to for help. And he would be there for me in a heartbeat.

© Reprinted with permission

 

For Lynda Filler’s latest release please visit Amazon  Lie To Me an exposé on sex for money

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Taking the decision to follow the light, Coelho



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As we all know, I’m a great reader of all things Coelho. My number one value is #love, it shows itself in my poetry and even in my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On. So here’s something I’d love to share.

Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of the light had begun to believe that it is better to follow the light. He had already betrayed, told lies, strayed off his path, paid court to the darkness. And everything continued going well – as if nothing had happened. Now he wants to change his attitudes.

When taking this decision, he hears four comments: “You always acted wrongly. You are too old to change. You are not good. You don’t deserve it”.

He looks towards heaven, and a voice says: “well, my dear, everyone has made mistakes. You are forgiven, but I can’t force this pardon. Decide for yourself”.

The true warrior of the light accepts the pardon and then takes some precautions.

 

What things should one be good at in order to become a good writer?

Lynda Filler
Lynda Filler, Top Quora Writer 2018 Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

Be Brave. You have to be able to open your heart and pour out your feelings. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re in. Let it flow. Be Brave.

Be Bulletproof. Some people choose not to read their reviews. I read them and on Goodreads thank the writers. But I still remember words used to describe my first JET, an action ex-Mossad female assassin. A reader said I’d turned her into a “horny slut.” Today I laugh, then, it wasn’t funny. I thought I “humanized” her. Don’t let the haters get inside your head.

Be Curious. It doesn’t matter what. It’s curiosity that has kept me traveling the world in my stories. I LOVE taking my characters to different places in my work whether it’s action or contemporary romance. They live in my mind and I live in their worlds. It’s great fun and takes me to places I didn’t know exist. My current WIP starts off in Kyrgyzstan, moves to Paris, then the Maldives… and on and on. Research, photos, travel, it’s all part of my curiosity about people, places, and issues.

Be Passionate. Don’t write it if you aren’t enjoying the words and the process. A friend recently told me he trashed 87 chapters. Now for me, that would be 100k but for him, it could be 250–300k words. That’s a lot of work and love to decide it’s not worthy of finishing.

Be Gentle. Writing is not for the faint of heart. Believe in yourself. Love what you do. Let no one be a bully to your talent or your belief in you. Self-talk is key in any work/game/sport/job.

And most of all, remember the Little Engine That Could, if you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t…you’re probably right.