What does it mean to be a Creative? Tel Aviv Street Walk

What do you mean by creativity?

That’s a perfect question for me because I live my life ‘creatively.’ My main creative pursuit right now is Writing, however, I’m traveling. And that’s something I cannot do without sharing how I see the world around me. Everything inspires me. Language, people, clothing, textiles, architecture, online news stories, food. It all inspires me. I was just about to post this when your question came up (Quora), basically to show you that creativity expresses itself in many ways. There is no right or wrong, it’s all art.

I have a passion for #streetart #streetphotography and because I post to InstagramLynda Filler Creates, and FB on my fan page, I consider all that Creativity! Drop by and join in, or stalking is also acceptable!

Tel Aviv, Israel

Why am I so scared to say “I love you” to my boyfriend?

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For me, the answer has always been simple. I would be afraid that he is not going to say “I love you” back to me. I wouldn’t want to get hurt if his feelings are not as strong as mine.

However, I think my answer and my thoughts on this issue are stupid! I bet that surprises you. Look how quickly we say we don’t like something or someone. When you get into arguments you might even say you hate someone. So why are we so stingy with the word love?

I’ve worked at getting over this stigma or foolishness I have with this word. There are all kinds of love. Give it freely. It will always come back to you even if it only comes back to you in loving yourself. You will love yourself more because you are not afraid to use the word and share your love unconditionally.

And what do I mean by unconditionally? It took me the loss of a lover to understand what this word meant.

Let me explain. I was involved with a man that I loved and wanted to be with. Instead, he chose a higher calling. He retired from the SEALs and went to Africa to work with orphans. I was devastated. This man and I had an intense emotional relationship and there was no doubt in my mind that he loved me. But he had a calling that was so much bigger than ‘us.’

I remember this event like it happened yesterday. It was the time in my life when I learned what it really means to say “I love you.” It means my love for you surpasses your choices. It is above my need for you to return it back to me. I can love you even if you are not able, or have the same need, to give me back what I want or think I need. I still love you. I had to decide if my love for him was about ME or about HIM.

I value that time in my life. It took me two weeks to understand that this was truly the first time in my life when I really loved someone. I had to let him go physically but I kept my relationship with him. We communicated daily. It was intense and beautiful. He shared his journey, his love for me, photos of the events in the orphanage in South Sudan. His daily challenges were immense. But he was happy doing this work. It fed his heart and his soul. He had spent years in and out of the tunnels in Afghanistan and his soul was fractured and needed to heal. I would never have been enough for him.

And four months after he left to go to Africa, he was dead.

So never ever miss an opportunity to say I love you. You are saying it for yourself. And celebrating your love, vocalizing it is a beautiful thing. And if it’s not returned the way you want, who cares! It’s not about the one you love, it’s about you, how you feel, and how you have shown up in his life. If he loves you back that’s great. But if he understands that there are no conditions attached to your love, I think it will be fine.

Don’t be afraid to show the best emotion that life has to offer. You owe it to yourself.

 

Shared from my answer in Quora 

Read more about Lynda’s philosophy on life in her memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On

Love front with quotes

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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Lynda Filler Amazon Books 

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What aspect of your life are you the most unwilling to compromise today?

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I would love to know your answer to this question. What aspect of your life are you most unwilling to compromise today?

Many of you know I’m a Quora writer. Every once in a while I stop in to answer questions. I thought you might enjoy my answer to the above question. It’s a glimpse into what I put into my writing I think.

 

“Let me count the ways…”

  1. I refuse to compromise on friendships. If I don’t love you with all my heart, we can’t be friends. My time is precious, life is short… and friends who are in our lives should be like chosenfamily members vs the ones we inherit by birth. So my friendships are few but they are absolutely the best.
  2. I refuse to compromise on my peace of mind. There is nothing in your life that will be more important than peace. If your mind is troubled, or your life is all f++k’d up, you only have yourself to blame. I choose peace over drama every single day.
  3. I will not compromise on my health, so 90% of the time I eat well, exercise, and watch what and whom I allow in my head and heart. All those things keep me healthy and young and excited about every single day of my life.
  4. I will never compromise on love. If I love you, you’re in my heart forever. Yes, we can be sexual, then with time, if that changes, we will still be friends. If I loved you once, I will always love you. It’s not about falling in love it’s about unconditional love. If we’re friends or lovers, I’ve chosen to have you in my life. No one’s perfect including me. We all make mistakes and do stupid things. But in the end, if I love you, you will always have a place in my heart.

Why do you enjoy writing romance novels?

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I was asked this question on Quora today. It made me think about who I am as an author, and what exactly I write!

I LOVE this question. I never thought of myself as a romance author. But, when I wrote my first published novel, TARGET in the Sun  I received an award for Best in Contemporary Fiction. I had to look up what that meant!

I write from the heart. And there is romance in all things in life. It’s the natural progression of our natures. TARGET was about a relationship between an older woman and a younger man. But it was more about his past, his cartel family, his life growing up on the streets of Mexico, and how he did what he needed to do to survive. I would say that falling in love with an older woman may have been secondary to the story, but that wouldn’t be correct neither. What reviewers say about my work is that I write romance from a different angle.
I’ve since gone on to write Action/Adventure like XPOSED (with romance in it) and Suspense (yes, relationships as well) and am about to embark on the first true romance novel that I’m co-authoring.

The challenge I have with romance is that I’m not sure I believe, wait I KNOW I don’t believe in Happily Ever After or HEA; but, I’m great at HFN, Happy For Now.
Having said all the above, I also live in total denial—according to my friend Lisa. She says I do believe in HEA. I just haven’t found it yet for myself.
So why do I write about love? For the same reason that 28–32% of the male market reads romance! Deep down we all want to be loved. And some of us only find it in books.

 

You’ve got to be kidding me!

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Lynda Filler
Lynda Filler, Writer, Novelist, Top QUORA Writer 2018 at Lynda Filler Author (2009-present)

Interesting assumption. I think you might have missed the point of the investigation. As of his entry into the Manhattan Court House yesterday, he had something like 50 accusers. Personally, I watch, read and try to forget what’s going on. If you read my profile, I’m from the generation before all this happened. And believe me, it happened in my generation all the time. No one talked about it.

Most of the women who have spoken up were actually in a forced situation. Yes, some went ahead with it and I will explain that in a moment. But many ran away. Many left in a hurry. Many were backed into a corner by an extremely large man. How do you think you react to 250 lbs of aggression against 116 lbs? Power against a nobody, someone who’s career stands at the mercy of the MOST powerful man in Hollywood. Do you give in? Or try to run? When the thought runs through your mind that his enablers know exactly what is going on, so if you scream NO ONE IS GOING TO HELP YOU. And if you fight back, you’re banned forever from following your dreams. Just think about what kind of “consent” that entails.

The first time for me I was on a double date. We got separated as couples and my date and I were at a park ‘talking’. It was midnight. He tried to rape me. Thank God he believed my story (I said I had my period) and the promise to meet up the following week. I was 18 and he was a police officer of 24. It was in Ottawa Canada many many years ago. If something had happened, who would I complain to?

The second time, I was a very sad and frightened about-to-be-divorced 22-year-old woman at her lawyers. My ex had tried to smother me in a fit of anger. We were married for 6 months. But I saw a pattern and I ran out and never returned. That was traumatic enough. But when I went to sign my divorce documents, my divorce lawyer had his brother with him (another lawyer). It turned out that “I” was part of the payment for their divorce services.

I can go on if you’d like. My generation did nothing, said nothing because nothing would have been the result of a complaint. Imagine me accusing a police officer or two lawyers, or a photographer when I started modeling, or a business owner when I worked as a buyer for his 10 stores…

Do you want to know where I was for the year before I married? I became a missionary nun! I was Catholic and very religious. But the contemplative life was not for me for several reasons. There was no #MeToo movement in my day. The last thing any of us would have done was file a complaint.

So don’t tell me about consent, or partial consent or culpability. Tell me about compassion, and understanding and love. Tell me you can understand and for one single moment imagine that you have a daughter forced into a sexual act. There is no love, no desire, no agreement. There is absolutely fucking nothing except ‘get it over with and let me go’.

And that’s all I can say about the whole thing because I refuse to live with the anger and pain it caused in my life.

Although I do believe it led to a series of painful and worthless years of emptiness and a lifetime of looking for real love.

 

LOVE The Beat Goes On  If you are curious about my life and why my one word is  #LOVE

How did your marriage end?

 

Which one?

I’m the eternal optimist. I tried 3 times to get it right. All I got right was that happiness is more important than success, prestige, or money.

The first time I married because my very first boyfriend waited for me while I ran off to become a missionary nun—stop laughing, read my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On . Yes, I felt guilty. When I returned a year later, I married him—I do remember a fight in the parking lot where I threw my engagement ring across the pavement. That was probably a big clue that I chose to ignore.

Six months later, we were having one of our frequent arguments. He tried to smother me with a pillow. I was 20 years old. I left with my suitcase the next day. Divorced at 21.

My second brilliant choice was a man 15 years older than me, suave, handsome, a traveler, sophisticated…and a gambler, and a control freak. Yes. I didn’t throw that diamond ring anywhere—he stole it and pawned it presumably because he needed the money to gamble. I left him several times, but he kept finding me. He got me fired from a job, evicted from an apartment, actually broke into my apartment telling the landlord I was a drug addict and not answering my phone! I’ve never even smoked a joint although my friends tell me I don’t know what I’m missing.

I left him in the middle of the night, with a suitcase, and my Old English Sheepdog. I definitely loved the dog more than the man. He’d threatened to kill the dog if I left him.I had to leave the city and the province to hide from him. My mother called me one day a few years later and said I better divorce the guy. He’d just been arrested for bank fraud and probably forged my name somewhere along the way.

The third one lasted a long time. He’s the father of my children and we are still friends. But one night at the end of a very unhappy relationship where we kept trying to make it work, I fell in love. I packed a suitcase and got on an airplane and moved to a new country. I’d like to say I lived happily ever after. But that’s not the way life is. That journey called life/living/ is filled with ups and downs. Some of us get lucky and find Mr. Right and others only ever find Mr. Right Now.

And then, when you think that part of your life might be passing you by, someone comes into your life, a totally inappropriate relationship, not from a different city, or a different province, or a different country but a totally different continent and reminds you that life is short. We have to take our happiness where we can find it.

The moral of my story is I still believe in LOVE.

I love you. I hate you.

 

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Elle MacPherson, Instagram  aka: The Body      ellemacphersonbody

I was asked a question on Quora tonight. “As a model, did your body image worsen or improve when you began modeling? Why?

At first I hesitated to answer. And then, I thought back to the conversation I have on a daily basis with myself. I come from a generation of women who grew up with role models who had perfect bodies. Supermodels were tall, slim, sexy stunning faces, perfect bone structure, and wore their clothes like they were custom designed for them. And of course they went on to marry the super wealthy, influential, high-profile perfect alpha males. The only challenge was, the average woman was created with “imperfections.”

I also came from the generation of women who were told we could have “it all”–the perfect marriage, career and family. Yet we constantly compared ourselves to the cover girls of our era. The pursuit of perfection became our goal in all aspects of our lives.

So this is what I answered. And it immediately set off a series of “upvotes” on Quora and surprisingly to me, from young women.

I attempted to model in my 20’s. I was attractive for sure, but never skinny or tall. I think the experience might have contributed to my relentless pursuit of the perfect body weight—which I can say with certainty, I’ve never achieved. In other words, I never thought I was pretty enough, slim enough, and always quietly obsessed about what I believed were my body faults.

It saddens me when I see young women who are gorgeous and still think they aren’t enough. All that leads to a constant obsession with perfection. Guys don’t have this problem. It’s quite acceptable to be imperfect if you’re a man.

I moved on from modeling after a short period of time. I did do shows and fashion showroom modeling but I knew it would never be a career for me. I went on to start retail stores, then became a fashion buyer and eventually manufactured clothing. The industry allowed me to live my passion-for-fashion quite successfully.

I never lost that stupid obsession with body image. Even now. I routinely announce: I love you. I hate you. And I’m way beyond the age when I should care. But I still do.

 

What is life’s​ most important lesson?

 

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The most important lesson in life is to learn to be happy. In order to do this, you must find a way to fall in love—with yourself.

The movies, books, TV, social pressures all tell us that happiness is about money, success, prestige, finding a mate, having children. I will tell you that if you are looking for those things to make you happy in this lifetime, you will always be searching.

So look for peace and joy in the simple pleasures of life. Learn about the things that interest you. Be a loving daughter, mother, father, son, or friend.

Find your passion, the things in life that make your heart sing. I write, sometimes paint, love to read, love to travel, discover new things, people, food. Find your passion because no one can ever take your inner happiness and peace away. Learn this lesson early by asking the question you have asked me; and practice what fulfills you and makes your heart sing.

And if anyone tells you you’re selfish, so be it. In the end, we come into this world alone and we exit in the same fashion. But along the way, my friend, learn how to love yourself and you will never be lonely.

3:00 am thoughts…emotional intelligence…

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I’ve been accused of being a Pollyanna. If you’re young you might miss the reference. It basically means I always see the glass as half-full not half empty. That’s my attitude towards life and living. So depressing thoughts rarely last long in my mind.

I live by the theory that we are a product of our thoughts—our emotional intelligence possibly. So if we constantly live in fear of the future, resentment of past hurts, or our story of all the bad things that have happened to us, we can never be happy. I don’t allow my heart or head to hold depressing thoughts. It takes work. And sometimes it will take a lifetime to achieve this sense of peace and balance that I have. It’s a challenge. If you’re aware of when you go into that negative place, you stop, catch yourself, and pull yourself back. Then depression never has time to take a hold of your mind.

The reality is, the last time I had a depressing thought was when I was given 6 months to live in 2008. LOVE The Beat Goes On is the book I wrote and all the things I did to clean up my thoughts and heal my broken heart. I truly believe we are made up of our thoughts, and our mind can heal just about anything… But then I also believe in miracles!

So there you go, my philosophical thoughts for 3:00 am on a Saturday morning. I apologize in advance if I’m not coherent.