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

On how to improve your writing skills

 

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I’ve been asked on Quora how I improve my writing skills. A good question don’t you think?

 

  1. Writing is learned by reading—and writing. So the first thing to do would be to read more. This month I will produce a 25000-word novella—I’m at 8000 words today, and I will probably have read 6 novels or more before year-end.
  2. I have over 650,000 views on my Quora answers. I started writing on here a few months ago, I think in the summer. I always write my answer on this page, then copy/paste to Word to check grammar and spelling. As an author I have certain mistakes I make over and over again—a stubborn slow learner. Then I correct the essay and copy/paste back. In these last few months, my organizational skills have improved, my sentence structure and grammar have advanced. Now I can write an answer and if I’m in a hurry, I post. Quora has definitely helped me work on my writing skills.
  3. If you have a style like I do, or your writing has been compared to certain authors, hone your style and do so by reading everything the other mentor/authors have written. For example, with the release of my first novel I was compared to Lee Childs, David Baldacci, and Clive Cussler. Not too shabby. I read the latest Childs and Baldacci books over the past two weeks. So find your style and get better and better at it.
  4. If you are published as I am on Amazon.com: Lynda Filler: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle read your reviews. And not just the good ones. I struggled with an aspect of one of my books, the readers picked up on the same challenge. So although my reviews are high 4.4/5 I recognized an issue and I eliminated it in the next book. So fans may love your message but are quick to let you know where you can improve. They will let you know what you do right and what you do wrong. They offer invaluable feedback.

You “Reach” Me

Do you have authors that you love? You’re so obsessed with their work that you’ll read anything they write? These authors are my Saturday-night-dates and my all-nighters. And they are the only guys occupying my bed these days–by choice!

#1 is Lee Child #2 Daniel Silva #3 David Baldacci #4, Russell Blake. I could go on but you can see I have a type.

I published my first novella JET-Exposed, fan-fiction for Kindle Worlds in 2015. I have four novellas now based on the USA Today Bestselling author, Russell Blake ‘s JET Series  One of my first reviewers wrote:

Lynda Filler: “The author’s style is reminiscent of Clive Cussler, Lee Childs or Baldacci.” Her words motivate and inspire me to do a better job with each book that I write. 
I answer questions on Quora. The number one question to show up on my page every other day is: How do I become a good writer? And the answer is: READ! And of course, WRITE. Read anything that appeals to you. I inhale my books. They become part of my writing DNA. I write what I love to read. And when I can’t write, I get that craving… like something’s missing in my life.
I started the latest Jack Reacher (#22) last night. I will finish it today. Usually, I go right through it in a day. But I wanted to savor this one. It’s his best Reacher yet! Others may not agree. But I’m sure you never think of highlighting a fast-paced mystery/suspense book…but this one is all (kindle) marked up. The Midnight Line does all the things I love. It addresses a serious social issue: the opioid epidemic. And another cause, obviously close to Lee Child’s heart–what happens to our veterans when they return from war zones and get out of the military?
This novel reached out to me, grabbed my heart and had me in tears. There’s something so much deeper than mere entertainment going on this novel.
It’s the best Reacher yet!

 

Meet #RWISA Author Wendy Scott

 

Navigator by Wendy Scott

Luke’s body whirled through the portal in a kaleidoscope of starlight and rainbows. Burnt ozone stung his nostrils, and his stomach roiled as if live dragonflies flitted inside. He clutched his grandfather’s palm tighter, the only connection anchoring them together while they spun into the void, guided by the compass in his grandfather’s other hand.

“We’re here.” His grandfather’s words whistled with wheeziness.

He released Luke and turned away, pocketing the compass, but his old man’s movements weren’t quick enough to hide the tremors or his shortness of breath.

A mountain breeze, tinged with smoke ruffled the tussock grasses underfoot. In the valley below, Luke pinpointed a chimney on a cluster of shacks beside fenced paddocks. Had the old man’s sense of direction faded and cast them adrift?

“Follow me.” His grandfather rolled his shoulders back, lifted his head high, and led the descent.

Mindful of their journey’s mission doubt dragged at Luke’s feet. At only twelve, would he be found worthy? He didn’t want to think about his grandfather’s declining health if their bid was rejected.

Metallic scent tainted the air as they skirted past the dwellings; a one-room cottage, barn, and a smithy. Orange coals smoldered on the forge, hammers, and tongs lined up in military precision, but the pockmarked leather apron hung empty from a hook on the open door.

Without pause, his grandfather guided Luke out the back to the horse corrals. A bear of a man with arms like anvils leaned against the fence. Leather pants and knee-high boots sheathed his legs, but his chest was bare except for a star patterned tattoo, staining his chest muscles indigo and cobalt. At their approach his head swiveled, snaring the pair with a deep ocean gaze. Dryness etched Luke’s throat.

“Navigator, so many years have passed, I feared you would not return.”

Luke’s grandfather bowed his head. “Farrier, events have been unkind, but I keep my promises. My grandson had agreed to assume the responsibility in the place of his father who died when he was a babe.”

The men spoke as if Luke were a phantom, but he remained silent, remembering his grandfather’s instructions only to speak when asked a direct question by the otherworld farrier.

Grass scented warmth huffed through Luke’s hair. A midnight coated horse towered above his head. A white star marked the stallion’s forehead.

Luke clambered up the railings, but he still had to stretch to trail his fingertips along the horse’s snout. His breath caught when he gazed into the depths of the creature’s starlight eyes.

Firm fingers clasped Luke’s shoulder, and the farrier bowed towards the steed. “Kasper approves of you. Come inside.”

The temperature in the smithy scorched the hairs inside Luke’s nose, and sweat trickled beneath his tunic, but the farrier worked the bellows until the coals combusted into flames. Next, he sprinkled a handful of sand into the hearth, and the fire danced into violet and malachite hues.

“You understand, old friend, without the enchantment your life span will be reduced to mortal years?”

My grandfather nodded.”These old bones grow weary, and the pathways are becoming muddled. My time is past. Luke is young, but he is pure of heart. ”

The farrier studied his friend for a moment before he reached out with his palm. “Navigator, of your own free will do you relinquish your powers to your grandson?”

The old man answered by dropping his compass into the farrier’s outstretched hand. “I do.”

The farrier’s otherworld stare scrutinized the boy, and although the being didn’t touch him, a prickling sensation rippled up Luke’s spine. After several heartbeats, the farrier inclined his head. “Your soul is free of darkness, but perhaps you are too young yet for any temptations to have challenged your values.”

“He’s a good lad. I vouch for him and will guide his path.” His grandfather squeezed Luke’s shoulder.

Calloused fingers gripped Luke’s chin. “Are you sure you want this? It’s not too late to back out and live a normal life. Be warned, once you accept you are bound for life. Each time you enter here seeking my help a non-negotiable toll must be paid.”

Before crossing over doubts had plagued Luke’s thoughts, but after tasting magic, he couldn’t settle for a dull life on the farm when his world had been opened to the lure of other realms.

Luke moistened his lips. “Navigator blood runs in my veins. I’m young, but I’m ready.”

The farrier released him. “Do I have your solemn vow you will only guide your passengers by the way of the light?”

Heart thundering, Luke focused on the compass. “I swear I’ll follow the true pathways.”

Light glinted off the chain as the farrier dangled the compass into the sparking coals. “Hold out your hand.”

Luke flinched, expecting his skin to sizzle when it touched the metal, but the compass was cool. He didn’t feel any different. Had the transfer worked?

The farrier clasped forearms with the older man. “You owe me one last favour, but I will redeem what’s due at another time.”

“As always it will be an honour to serve.” Luke’s grandfather stepped away.

“Navigator, peer into the fire.”

Several moments passed before Luke responded to his new title. Within the flames, he spied a young woman’s face, whose striking features seared into his memory.

“One day she will seek your skills, and when she does you must bring her to me.” The farrier crossed his arms.

Questions burned in Luke’s mind, but he’d been schooled on the protocols, so he suppressed his curiosity, and lowered his eyes. “As you command.”

The farrier ushered them into the yard and bid them farewell. “Keep your promises, follow the light and your direction will always be true.”

Outside Luke paused, blinking. A glittering path lit the way up to the portal.

Unshed tears gathered in his grandfather’s eyes. “The navigator’s sight is now hidden from me.”

Grasping the compass in one hand, Luke held out his other hand. “Come grandfather, I will guide you home.”

***

(Navigator is a prelude and companion scene to Fire Hooves – yet to be released by Wendy Scott).

 

 

 

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:  Wendy Scott

 

Broken Hearts & Naked Selfies

 

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I LOVE that scientists have been testing the theories I’ve known in my heart to be true! The article referenced below is a study done in the UK about the effects of sudden loss on the physical heart.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/18/time-does-not-mend-broken-heart-scientists-find-condition-causes/

But… LOVE can heal it. Let me tell you why. I am my own study or WIP. And have my own theories as to why a heart given six months to live in 2008 still functions, quite beautifully I might add, in 2017! One of the things I stress in LOVE The Beat Goes On, my book on healing from Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy, is LOVE.

 LOVE in all its forms can both damage and I believe heal a physical heart.

When I was guided to write my story in 2016, I wrote it out with trepidation. It’s sort of like taking a naked selfie and looking at all the flaws. The real deal is the photo is meant for someone who loves you and only sees your beauty. It turns out that my “story” has been received in the same way. Those who’ve read the book see it for it’s love and honesty and ignore the author’s naiveté.

I cover the journey, not just the diagnosis and healing, but how I think I became ill  in the first place. “Idiopathic” means the doctors have no idea “why” my heart was functioning at 28% EF—that means pumping blood at about half it’s normal rate… swollen…stressed to the max. Sometimes it’s childhood trauma, or alcoholism, or smoking, or whatever… But the doctors couldn’t find any specific cause.

I have a secret: I’d been walking around with a problem heart for years. I kind of knew it from an EKG in the nineties that showed an irregular heartbeat. I had an appointment with a specialist right after that EKG and he said I was in good shape “for a 70 year old” when I was under fifty! He made a follow up appointment for months later. I felt okay; and in Canada appointments with specialists can be months apart, and I was working, and, well, you know what happened. Until I literally had the heart attack in early 2008, I forgot about that EKG and never went back to see a heart doctor.

I believe your journey, or your “story” is often what triggers dramatic illnesses in the body.

I think that’s something that more and more of us, and even the medical profession, are beginning to understand. Your story might not necessarily entail the loss of a loved one. It can be anger you carry around against an ex or parent or abusive adult. It might be the loss of a marriage, a cheating spouse, a money issue, a bankruptcy, the loss of your career. All these things if you allow them to build up trigger emotional and often physical damage to your body. The scientists are doing studies and lending credibility to my theory; but if you wait for the science to do something about it, you could be dead.

 

 

LOVE The Beat Goes On     Lynda Filler

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