Warning: This will blow your mind.

You know I love to write for Quora. Yes, it could very well be my guilty pleasure. But seriously speaking, today is a very sad day for America. In the last 24 hours there have been two mass shootings reported. My heart hurts for those whose lives were cut short, and the loved ones whose hearts are breaking in this very moment.

But the sad part is, it will all be simply a news bite, a politician’s rant, and a forgotten by the end of the week.

The following is the piece I posted in Quora. I’ve been living in Istanbul for almost five months now, and this question comes up all the time. I won’t say enjoy this piece, rather it’s time to wake up to the reality of the way the world is changing.

Is it safe to travel in Istanbul?

Lynda Filler, lives in Istanbul (2019-present)Answered 4m ago

The El Paso Shooting Is The 249th Mass Shooting Of 2019

There’s a tweet that will trend on Twitter today about Mass Shootings around the world.

I googled mass shootings and the above is what showed up. Imagine if the USA reported every single mass shooting that occurs throughout the USA? What are the chances that you will be close to/a victim of/know someone who/or are friends with a friend who is a victim of Domestic Terrorism?

I lived in Mexico, in a lovely town called Puerto Vallarta. From 2002 until 2019 when I decided to sell everything and travel the world. I used to get asked this question all the time about Mexico. I never had nor witnessed any violence all my time living in Mexico. Not that it didn’t happen. I would answer people in this way: If you’re doing something illegal, or looking for drugs, then you are opening yourself up to unsavory individuals in any country. But shootings? In Mexico, the killing is between rival cartels. And even that I’ve not witnessed.

I’ve been living in Istanbul, a city of 17 million people, for five months now. I’ve never even seen a fight or argument on the streets. I walk the hills and come home from late-night dinner through the city neighborhoods and feel safe.

I will tell you what the biggest danger in Istanbul is for a woman: falling in love with a Turkish man!!

My Istanbul and my life today

“I feel we owe Stormy more for her moxie than handfuls of sweaty singles.”

woman-1948939_1280

The Stormy Daniels (And Melania Too) Effect  as published on HuffPost.com 8/26

Sex/human trafficking and the sex trade are themes I deal with in my Code Raven Series and particularly in my recent publication of Lie To Me an exposé on sex for money  I thought you might enjoy this provocative and witty article by Lily Burana, a feminist and fellow author, published in HuffPost today. 

 

Tucker Carlson (he who has crafted a lasting brand from bowtied White Male Grievance) was fuming on air the other night, Now that Stormy Daniels is part of the resistance, porn is noble!

Or something like that. I didn’t hear the exact words because I was too busy cackling smugly.

The statement seems to indicate that Carlson, prima facie Right-Wing Outrage, is heated up about not being able to make a partisan bitch slap out of a woman’s employment in the sex industry because she, apparently, is showing social (and political) capital above and beyond her lowly “ho” status. Baby boy angry cuz baby boy can’t slut-shame right now! You stay mad, Carlson!

Meanwhile, over here in feminist ladyland, I’m thrilled.

When it comes to how we talk (and joke) about women who’ve worked in adult entertainment, times are changing. Even stories in The New York Times are changing. Certainly, the courage that Stormy Daniels has shown in the face of incredible antagonism can be credited for this shift. Think what you will about her line of endeavor, but my God, her chutzpah in taking on Donald Trump is commendable.

But she’s not the only game-changer here. Melania gets a nod for this shift as well. She’s a woman who modeled nude (sometimes with other women in a hotsy-totsy, clearly-for-titillation configuration), and then, boom, there she was, years later, wife of a Republican magnate and devoted mother.

This has created a bracketing effect ― leftie porn star, right-wing former nude model ― that has muted the impulse to couch a political dig in a bimbo-bashing wrapper. Yes, the hypocrisy of Donald Trump being the head of a party that waves the “family values” flag while being such a creep himself has made its way into late-night monologues and political cartoons: I can’t believe Trump has the NERVE to work the CHRISTIAN ANGLE after he had AN AFFAIR with a PORN STAR. (Because it would’ve been a lesser betrayal if he’d bedded the local chapter president of the Junior League? Help me out here.) But it’s not as sticky of a comedic gambit as it would’ve been even 10 years ago.

I feel we owe Stormy more for her moxie than handfuls of sweaty singles.

Stormy and Melania having both created prurient adult material has, oddly, engendered a bipartisan truce around using sex workers as punchlines or moral lancets. Neither the right nor the left can slut-bash the other side, because each side has its own major presence who is, or was, working en dishabille. Thus, we can’t use that to make political hay. Between Melania’s nude girl-girl photo shoots and Stormy’s turn on the strip club stage and porn set, we’ve eased away from political slut-shaming.

Hallelujah, and may it ever be thus.

Melania, fused in marriage and image with all things Trump and silent as a cipher herself, is something of a suspect blank slate. There’s not much for us to attach to her except guilt by association. But the fact that she hasn’t issued some sort of mewling public apology for her nude modeling photos should be taken as a marker that she ― and the country of which she’s first lady ― is not convinced that any renunciation or mea culpa is required.

Then, we have the volubly sassy and articulate Stormy Daniels. She’s curiously sympathetic folk heroine: She seems to have accepted her lot in life with an admirable blend of pragmatism and good humor, and she has been presented in full 360-degree “actual human being” format in mainstream profiles. She’s a working wife and mother, protective of her child, and incensed by the hypocrisy and corruption of this administration. Add to that her appealingly curvy mom-bod and the pleasing softness to her facial features and you’re like, “You know what? I don’t need to be a jerk about her being a porn star. She’s flesh and blood like us, trying to keep it together while the country goes mad along with everyone else out here.”

Think what you will about her line of endeavor, but my God, her chutzpah in taking on Donald Trump is commendable.

The feminist view of how to treat and discuss women primarily known, willingly or not, for their sexual exploits has also shifted in a far more charitable and sympathetic direction. To have a roundtable of prominent feminists assemble to run down and ridicule such a woman in a major publication like they did with Monica Lewinsky in The New York Observer back in 1998, seems unthinkable now. Bimbo-baiting and shaming are entirely passé, as they have been revealed to be part of the patriarchal dictate to police, and even damage, other women’s lives through judgment. This type of censure through mockery is not a good look for women on either side of the so-called madonna/whore divide ― or either side of the political aisle.

Even normally censorious, socially conservative writers are taking heed and resisting the urge to make the character-assassinating, tongue-clucking cheap shot. Case in point: Professional scold Caitlin Flanagan laid off her usual troweling of disapproval in a May article in The Atlantic. The biggest arrow she dared fire was referring to Daniels as “an aging sex worker,” which from our stern, “the best birth control is holding an aspirin between your knees,” Catholic auntie CaitFlan is practically a pat on the head.

Historically, there has been so much unmitigated hostility toward any woman who does any form of sex work, at any level and for any reason, that if it takes a sense of partisan loyalty to stem the tide of vitriol and low blows, I’ll take it.

We seem to be growing up a bit, able to see now that on the grand continuum of moral “crimes,” female sexual adventuring is on the tame end directly opposite from, say, cratering an entire democracy through, you know, actual crime.

As for what the future holds for these two iconic women who’ve had the audacity to be both naked for money and fully human, I hope Melania has her own escape plan in place, to implement if and when the time comes.

For Stormy, it’s hard to say. In days of yore (you know, like in the 1980s and 1990s), a woman caught in the center of a sex scandal would be offered a royal sum to strip off for a major men’s magazine. Amidst the dwindling readership ― and budgets ― of skin mags, I doubt such an economic rocket boost still exists. However, if anyone deserves the million-dollar post-scandal pinup retirement package, it’s Stormy Daniels. In the absence of that opportunity, maybe she’ll get a big publishing contract for a book in which she can thoroughly examine her side of things (mama, if you need a ghostwriter, you call me).

Even normally censorious, socially conservative writers are taking heed and resisting the urge to make the character-assassinating, tongue-clucking cheap shot.

Regardless of the manifestation, I hope there’s a payout and I hope it’s plenty big. She’s out there capitalizing on her notoriety with her “Make America Horny Again” dancing tour at various strip clubs (and getting set up for arrest at one appearance), but I feel we owe Stormy more for her moxie than handfuls of sweaty singles.

This isn’t to suggest that we all now view adult entertainment as a job like any other job (it isn’t) or that speaking of the workers in the business with civility will transform porn into some amazing cool job that teen girls will choose instead of working at, say, Piercing Pagoda (it won’t). All it means is that we’ve been able (in this case, anyway) to realize slut-shaming is a zero-sum activity and that a hearty chuckle at the rich irony of the situation need not escalate into sick burns on the naked ladies involved. It means that where female sexuality is concerned, we’ve decided, collectively, to not be freaking mean for once.

Yes, there are plenty of bawdy laughs to be had in this trash-fire Trump administration, and let us take our delight where we may. Hit “share” on those “Trump’s Pecker Problem” headlines and the meme of Snoopy at his typewriter atop his doghouse, tapping out “And then, America was saved by a Porn Star. THE END.” We’ve been wounded and anguished for months, so we might as well yuk it up while we’re able. So yes, let us continue to find the humor ― just spare the usual (female) suspects the humiliation of being the butt of the joke.

These are strange days indeed, and we are finally seeing some glimmers of hope that our long national political nightmare may soon end. How wonderful it is to think we might just have the last laugh at an administration that’s a total joke. And how novel that an ever-so-slight uplift for so-called fallen women — of any political affiliation — might be the end product of misogynist folly.

 

Lily Burana is the author of four books, most recently Grace for Amateurs: Field Notes on a Journey Back to Faith (W Books/Harper). Follow her on Twitter @lilyburana.

 

If you build it they will not come!

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 12.49.03 PM

I enjoyed an interview with Ryan Holiday today.  He talked about the creative process. We all love to create, but the marketing, not so much. Just because “you built it” doesn’t mean “they will come.”

His take is: Making the Work is 50% Marketing the work is 50%–Two separate marathons. 

When we choose the life of writing, we want to write. We have to write like we have to breathe. Marketing is a time-suck and we resent it. But when we become authors, we also become authorpreneurs. 

He quotes Elon Musk: Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death. 

Every day I sit down to write/market/blog/learn/improve my skills, I need to organize that day. I need to watch the time sucks–we all know what they are–FB, Twitter, Huffington Post, email. I write the schedule and set a timer to make sure I’m following it!

I’ve added a few more Elon Quotes.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 12.49.46 PM

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 12.49.25 PM

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 12.50.13 PM

Do you agree?

Let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to share.

#amediting a JET-Reborn. New Release January 2018

 

 

 

113 Earthquakes in the past 7 days in OAXACA and CHIAPAS. Please help.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 12.01.52 PM

The Earthquake in Chiapas/Oaxaca was 8.1! It was larger than the one that devastated Mexico City in the 80’s. Mexico City felt this one and had damage but nothing like the last major earthquake in the city.

However, the people of Chiapas and Oaxaca have lost everything. 65 Dead so far. And what the world doesn’t realize is these stats:

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 12.07.30 PM

After–and before–the 8.1 hit, Mexico was experiencing heavy earthquake activity in this bay and region. And since the 8.1, this region is taking one hit after another that doesn’t get reported. These are the stats for Mexico and the surrounding area.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 12.05.10 PM

This region is known to be amongst the poorest areas of Mexico. So you can be certain no one has insurance, or extra savings to rebuild their lives. Shattered dreams, extreme poverty will persist without help.

In Mexico, we can donate easily in pesos on PayPal to https://www.cruzrojadonaciones.org

I also donated to the RED CROSS  on this site if you are from outside Mexico.

http://www.redcross.org

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 12.01.09 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 12.00.47 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 12.00.40 PM

Every peso counts!

And thank you TEXAS for coming to help our people.

 

YOU ROCK MY WORLD!

 

The last day my lovelies… I’m so grateful for all the support I receive for my work from friends, family, fans, #twitterverse #RRBC #IARTG and almost 19K followers on #twitter and my Quora world, Face Book Author page, LOVE The Love Beats On page, #Instagram #KindleWorlds #Amazon and on and on. This has been my best promo yet! YOU ROCK MY WORLD!

Enjoy VANISHED in the Sun  Last day FREE

1

 

Why do you do that thing you do?

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.51.27 AM

What’s your Outlook junk mail file look like? Mine is easily 100 unread messages at a time. I really don’t want to delete them, but there’s so little time. I can’t read it all. Everyone has a message and many of them are amazing and heartfelt and helpful…but time…there simply isn’t enough time.

 

Do you multi-task? If you’re a woman, you do for sure! I can’t get my nails done without reading a book, or have lunch without checking and responding to Face Book or Twitter. I cook listening to a podcast or motivational You Tube video. That’s how I roll.

 

I tend to write in sound bites. My blogs are short and sweet and hopefully entertain, inspire or motivate. Or make you smile and laugh, that’s good too. But most of all I respect the time you take to read my post.

 

The point of this is I came across a great free download in one of my emails. It’s from Liz Dennery Sanders called 101 WaysPowerfulBrand. She’s great by the way http://shebrand.com. Liz offers a succinct 20-page workbook to help you organize your brand, to define who and what you are in your marketplace, who and what you want to be to your customer/consumer/client/reader.

 

Here’s what I learned about my Why.  In everyone of my fictional works I tackle a social issue, something important to me—something that touches the core of who we are as a society. I fight my battles—literally, in writing—with the JET series, Target in the Sun, Vanished in the Sun and even in LEI Crime World… The titles like Narco Orphans, JET-Abducted, drop clues.

 

That simple realization about my work was a powerful ah-ha moment. In my own way through my books, I’m tackling war, the sacrifice of the military, human trafficking, cartels, drugs, sex: both good and bad; and with my current wip JET-Displaced, bio-weapons and the world’s refugee crisis.

 

Do you know why you do that thing you do?

 

Thank you to my constant readers. I hope those of you who relate, find both entertainment and your very own ‘ah-hah’ moments in my writing.

 

p. s. Target in the Sun will be on Kindle Countdown Deal Friday June 2, 2017 $.99 cents!! OMG don’t ask me why I’m doing it.  https://goo.gl/PPLaF9