It's all my fault…

This afternoon I was on the tram on my way to Taksim Square in Istanbul. I had a meeting in a place I’d never been to and I had to do something I’ve never done before. I was nervous and focused on the task.

I arrived at my location and suddenly, in the midst of hundreds of people coming and going, I stopped. I panicked and pulled out my cell phone to make notes.

I could see the scene. I could hear the screams and watch the tragedy unfold. The horrific event was happening in the middle of a face-time video conversation between one of the members of my Raven Group operatives. I even caught the conversation. I have no idea what any of it meant but I knew it was the opening of my next Code Raven 8 book!

The thing is, I’m in the middle of writing a second memoir. It’s going so well and I’m caught up in Rumi, and Turkey and how a nice Catholic girl ends up living in the Middle East. The absolute last thoughts I’m having are of a world-wide disaster that will require my Raven Group to get to the bottom of this brutal act.

But there it is. What can an author do? I’m powerless to the magic that unfolds when this happens. And it’s all my fault. I’ve allowed my Muse to have her way with me far too often. So she thinks she can interrupt my lovely non-fiction project and my very busy afternoon at a government office to insert a new thriller/suspense plot in my psyche!!

My writer’s day is never done—my Muse sleeps with me too!

https://amzn.to/36G0KkY

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!

Christmas Eve (for an non-traditional girl) in Istanbul. A photoblog

One must start the day off at Starbucks, and yes, Cats are revered in Turkey, in the Islam religion, so this beauty was saying hello to everyone before she went on her independent Christmas Eve day.

I sent Santa this above message and followed it up with the one below, because last year I was in Mexico, and I didn’t want him to worry about trying to locate me in Istanbul–the city has 17 million people!

Although there are no signs of Christmas in this Muslim country, colorful lights decorate every street in this intensely lively city!

And the weather feels like spring, not winter. I don’t really need to wear my winter coat just yet!

This week my boyfriend bought me chocolates from the Spice Bazaar for absolutely no reason! Well, maybe he realized Christmas was coming and I was feeling … lonely? I knocked them off in 48 hours!!! And two days later he came over with another box of the same. He adores me and thinks I look amazing even if I’m sure I’ve put on 10 chocolate pounds in the last week.

The mosques still fascinate me. I love to listen to the call to prayer. Last night I couldn’t sleep–maybe memories of Christmas past and family that is no longer with us. So I listened to the call to prayer well before sunrise. There’s something comforting in this age-old manner of professing a love of God. It’s one of the things I find special about this culture.

My hairdresser decided it was time to change my hair color for this festive time of year, He added blue!! If he had asked me first, we both would have had to use Google Translate! I laughed out loud when I saw it. It’s absolutely perfect for me.

And to top off my evening–because soup alone does not cut it on Christmas Eve–I had a lovely glass or two of Blush Shiraz from Turkey. Then I chatted online with people I love from all around the world.

And I almost forgot!! Today I released my latest Code Raven book 7 The Istanbul Conspiracy! https://amzn.to/2PSAApg My Christmas gift to you! It’s available in download and in print.

The wedding of DJ Turk and the daughter of the Minister of Defense is about to take place on a mega-yacht on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Hours later the much-anticipated photos show corpses lined up along the dock and a bride covered in blood.
Was this a random act of terror, a targeted assassination of the Turkish political elite, or an attack on DJ Turk who leads a double life?
Luke and Samaar of the Raven Group have their own wedding to attend but it’s called off at the last minute when they uncover a breach in their security. Instead of returning to Paris, they come to the aid of the Turk to get to the bottom of this horrific event.
The conspiracy they uncover must be prevented before the balance of power in the world is perilously reversed. Get your copy at https://amzn.to/2EQdpWf

Thank you for your support in 2019. I look forward to continuing to cause trouble, shock, and entertain you in 2020!!

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