Follow Your Bliss

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© Lynda Filler Photography    Porto, Portugal

 

Follow Your Bliss

 

flaming amber mane

flying over banisters, ledges,

stairs you climb in your haste to kiss me

 

I smile

eager for a nuzzle

books lined up in doorways

“this shop is mine!” I cry

“you can’t fly, you silly ninny!”

I giggle as your chocolate eyes look solemnly into mine

 

I stroke your horse’s head

you shake your body, stand your ground and neigh

 

only in my dreams

do I make books,

and passionate horses fly

 

but why, dear girl,

do you deny flight light?

surely you must know

limitations exist

only in the confines of your mind

 

© Lynda Filler

 

Do you ask yourself: am I good enough?

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“But I think talent as a writer is hard-wired in, it’s all there, at least the basic elements of it. You can’t change it any more than you can choose whether to be right handed or left handed.” Stephen King

We spend our whole lives always chasing something, always telling ourselves we’re not good enough. But is it really true? I think major accomplishments in this world have been made by people who never believed they were good enough but sucked up the fear and did it anyway.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. When my sister Cathie turned 21, I wrote a poem for her and superimposed it on a beautiful photo I’d taken of her. I had it placed on a wooden plaque because that was the style “in those days.” I know she still has it, hopefully hanging on a wall where she can be reminded that I love her.

“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings–words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.” Stephen King

My sister also typed my first handwritten manuscript for me. I lived in Montreal and I’d send chapters to her in Ottawa. Then she’d call me up and ask me when the next one was coming. She couldn’t wait to find out what was happening next! My sister was my first reader 40 years ago. And today, she was the first person I told when it was announced that I’d won this amazing award!

Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 Blog Talk Radio Club for TARGET in the SUN. Without her love and encouragement so many years ago, I know I would have thought I wasn’t good enough to continue writing.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” Stephen King

I went on to have a successful career in design, fashion, sales, and management. But through the years, I continued writing. It wasn’t until an author friend, Russell Blake, invited me to participate in his JET Kindle Worlds, that my desire to write and entertain overcame my fear of failure. I published my first novella JET-Exposed–now there are 4–for Kindle Worlds in 2015. And I haven’t stopped publishing novellas, novels, and non-fiction, since then.

This year I finally published a memoir of a life-changing period in my life called LOVE The Beat Goes On. It was chosen for Book of the Month in October 2017; and more importantly touched hearts, and been as much a healing journey for me as for the many readers who’ve contacted me and shared their personal stories.

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” Stephen King

TARGET in the SUN, VANISHED in the SUN, LOVE The Beat Goes On and my soon to be released Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money all taught me one thing: if there are no paragraphs or pages in my books that bring tears to my eyes or take my breath away, then my writing is not good enough.

That will always be my promise to you, my readers, and will continue to be what motivates me to let my little light shine.

 

What are the top five best decisions you ever made?

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  1. To leave my verbally abusive husband in 2002.
  2. To move to Mexico, find my soul and learn “I am enough.
  3. To start publishing in 2009: the musings of my heart. And the wacky creative stories that allow me to entertain thousands of people. Amazon.com: Lynda Filler: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
  4. To put myself out there this year with my personal story of healing when I was given 6 months to live in 2008 LOVE The Beat Goes On.
  5. To answer an ad on a dating website placed by a 17 year old girl for her father. And making the decision to continue to love him even though he lives in a hospital and is considered terminal.

Syrian Government Used Chemical Weapons Dozens Of Times On Own Citizens– JET-Displaced.

Syrian Government Used Chemical Weapons Dozens Of Times On Own Citizens, UN Investigators Report

GENEVA, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Syrian forces have used chemical weapons more than two dozen times during the country’s civil war, including in the deadly attack that led to U.S. air strikes on government planes, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Wednesday.

In the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into chemical weapons attacks during the conflict, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said a government warplane dropped sarin on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province in April, killing more than 80 civilians.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syria-chemical-weapons-attacks_us_59afcc7ce4b0dfaafcf3e91a?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

READ my version of this brutal war in JET-Displaced  $1.99 on Amazon

What is something you find easy that most people find hard?

 

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I have many things I think I find easy but the first word that came to mind is Entrepreneur.

When I was young I think I was shy. Everyone laughs at me when I say that. I was/am a military brat. It’s a lonely world out there if you’re shy and don’t make friends easily. I learned very quickly how to introduce myself and make new friends every three years.

I started selling clothing from my home at twenty. It took guts. But I never thought twice about it. It came naturally to me to go for something I wanted. Later I moved to a retail location in Toronto. I found three small investors and it never crossed my mind that they wouldn’t invest in me! When I moved to Montreal and began a manufacturing company after working as an International Fashion Buyer for the largest company in Canada. I had no formal training but I had confidence and I was innovative and good.

Over the years I’ve learned countless skills—all self-tough—that have allowed me to be fluid in career choices. I’ve always been successful. That doesn’t mean it’s always been easy. Absolutely not.

I love to make money and spend it! I’m creative and have a gift for business. Now I’m following another passion. I’ve been writing for years. Now I write full time and have 12 books on Amazon.

I think most successful people will tell you it’s more than one thing that accounts for their success. I think most successful people will tell you it’s more than one thing that accounts for their success. I’m also a great leader. People will follow me and success is not necessarily a solitary journey.

I’ve given you a path but you can be sure I fell down, lost my faith in myself countless times. But I’ve always believed in myself and that has made all the difference.

On Writing My First Novel

Quora

In my lifetime I’ve written 4 complete novels, published two of them. The first I lost. Don’t laugh! I must have thrown it out by accident thinking it was previously published poetry work! I wrote the first book over 6 months and consequently if I can focus on it, 4 months seems to be my period to write a book. But the editing can take at least another month with back and forth.

Thoughts to make yourself more efficient:

  1. Know where you’re going when you begin, otherwise you could be writing that novel for years
  2. Plot it out even it its not a mystery—I use Excel
  3. Be open to surprises that will throw your plot off—visitors who show up in your mind and jump onto the page without warning! This happened in NARCO ORPHANS   https://goo.gl/vTz1oP   and altered the book completely
  4. Write, write, write—try not to go back over what you’ve written and edit. It’s hard to do that but all writing teachers will say write that first draft and then go back
  5. My personal challenge: be aware of plot holes.
  6. Have fun!!

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https://www.quora.com/profile/Lynda-Filler

 

Welcome #RWISA Author Linda Mims!

 

You Take the Blue Pill, the Story Ends. You Take the Red Pill …

By Linda Mims

I was sixteen when I first suspected that I might be the one. I’d seen people in my family striving for excellence all my life. My parents’ friends were creative types who often took time to quiz me about my goals and what I was doing to achieve them. I had been persistently pleading with a leader at my church who had the power to make one of my goals a reality.

This woman headed the Womens’ Ministry. Everything from church announcements to annual celebrations fell under her domain. I wanted to be the youth announcer on the weekly, hour-long radio broadcast that emanated from our church, but she was speaking a language that I didn’t understand.

“Take some speech lessons and come back to me.”

Where in the world was I going to get speech lessons and how would I pay for them? My family knew some people, and the house did overflow from Friday to Sunday with weekend guests, but that didn’t mean we had money. A party costs maybe $25 back then—especially if everybody brought food and drinks.

Bottom line, we didn’t have money for speech lessons. Still, I wasn’t going to give up. I was a spiritual youngster, even before I knew what spiritual meant. I told the Lord what I wanted and then forgot about it. While I was waiting, strange, but wonderful things were happening to me. I was voted vice president of my choir and I was chosen to deliver the Youth Day Address. Go figure!

One Friday evening, my mother received a phone call. The church maven and her assistant had gone on strike. I was too young to understand everything a strike entailed. I just knew that I was being asked to fill in as the main radio announcer for the broadcast; the very thing I’d wanted in the first place. That broadcast went out to hundreds, maybe thousands in the Chicago listening area.

When she returned from her strike, Ms. Maven kept me on as a junior announcer and she became one of my most revered mentors. That was the year I discovered that I was tight with God. I could get a prayer through! Was I the one?

I’m every woman. It’s all in me

While in college a few years later, I watched a bold, beautiful young woman, with a voice as big as a brass saxophone, sing on a makeshift stage. It was an impromptu concert behind one of the lecture halls on my university campus. The day was balmy and the sun was bright. We shaded our eyes as we stared straight into the golden orb that bathed her in its light.

She looked like a woman and a child at the same time. She wore very few clothes. Just a band around her breasts, a pair of short shorts, ankle boots, and a tall feather stuck in the crown of one of the biggest afros I’d ever seen.

We were fascinated, and her voice held us captivated. After the performance, members of the group handed out bills that said their name was Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan. They would be performing at a local club that night.

We showed up to the club, but a multi-ethnic crowd had filled the place to capacity. You don’t need to ask for racial diversity once everybody realizes you have something we all desire. Anyway, we couldn’t get in. That day would be the first and only time I’d hear Chaka Khan sing for free. At the time, I wondered if she was also the one!

In 1978, Chaka Khan recorded her first solo album, Chaka. One song from that album would define the rest of my life. In it, she sang my truth! I’d always felt that I could do anything, but it wasn’t until Ms. Khan sang the words, that I knew how to describe what I’d always known.

“I’m every woman. It’s all in me. Anything you want done, baby, I do it naturally. I ain’t bragging, but I’m the one. Just ask me and it shall be done.”

I had a theme song!

You may not know the purpose, but know that there is a purpose.

In The Matrix, one of my favorite movies of all time, there’s the scene where Morpheus gives Neo a choice between the red pill or the blue pill. Neo has been searching for information about the matrix. Morpheus has to convince Neo that he isn’t looking for the matrix, but what he’s really looking for is more. Morpheus believes that once Neo has answers to his questions, he will come to accept what Morpheus already knows. Neo is the one.

Being the one is about knowing that you want more. You want to change things. You may not know what your ultimate purpose is, but you know that there is a purpose. You’re so absolutely self-motivated and focused, that God himself delights in your purpose. I told you I’ve always been spiritual, so, I’ll say that I believe when God and the universe delight in your purpose, there’s no stopping you.

The Matrix is fiction, so let’s take a look at real-life people who wanted more. One such person was the late author, Janet Dailey. A prolific writer, Dailey thought she could write better than most of the romance writers she was reading. She knew she was the one. When people referred to her as “just a secretary” who writes romance novels, Dailey said the following, and I quote:

“One of the things that to me is the biggest compliment any writer can get is hearing from the ones who say, ‘I used to think reading was boring until I picked up one of your books.’ ”

Between 1974 and 2007, Janet Dailey sold over 300 million copies of more than 100 titles. Not bad for “just a secretary”.

Then, there was Steve Jobs. Steve dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon after six months, but he stayed there and audited creative classes over the next 18 months. A course in calligraphy developed his love of typography. Apple and Macintosh computers would be the first to offer creative fonts, including calligraphy, for the consumer’s use.

Steve Jobs partnered with his friend, Steve Wozniak, to start Apple Computer, in the Jobs’ family garage. Steve Jobs said, “I want to put a ding in the universe”.

I guess he knew that he was the one!

Being the one comes with certain responsibilities

Many of you have already realized that you are the one; you just haven’t taken the red pill yet. When you’re ready, there are some responsibilities:

1. Toot your own horn

2. Don’t give up

3. Throw away false humility

First, toot your own horn! You can’t be afraid of appearing to be too much of a showoff. Waiting patiently for others to give you the rewards you so richly deserve, may yield nothing but hurt and disappointment. Individuals will slink away with your destiny in their greedy little hands without so much as a backwards glance for you.

A few times, I spoke too quietly in meetings or waited until it was too late to claim my own ideas that I’d shared with others in private. I watched, stunned, as another, bolder individual stole my idea, shouted it out, and received my praise. I had to wise up quickly and realize that there are differences in the way that leaders and achievers talk and present. First, leaders declare that they have something to say. Then, when everyone is focused, they speak. They make sure their ideas are credited.

Don’t give up, opportunity does knock more than once.

I’ve learned that opportunity knocks more than once. Heck, when you’re the one, you create opportunities. When one door closes, another door really does open. If you weren’t ready the first time, the truth is, you can keep reinventing yourself until your moment comes or until you’re tired of trying.

“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” —Steve Jobs

Throw away that false humility! It’s okay to hang back while you formulate your plan. Go ahead! Get the lay of the land. If you are confident in the knowledge that you can do anything, take as much time as you need. Just don’t overdo humble. That’s almost as bad as having too much pride.

It’s permissible to show pride in yourself and your accomplishments. The 21st Century is begging for your stories, calling for your experiences, and expecting you to step up and lead, in every way imaginable. Women like Oprah Winfrey—women like Taylor Swift—they are leading change with their out-of-the-box ideas and sweeping changes to the status quo.

Men like Barack Obama are stepping out of obscurity and into the Senate and the office of the President of the United States. Have the audacity to dream! Wear your mantle of distinction with pride. Step-up, speak-out! You are the one!

 

WOW! Thank you Linda Mims for your incredible words of wisdom!  Lynda Filler

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: Linda Mims

 

 

Wow! A Must Read Book 5 Stars +

Amazon, there should be a button for 5 STARS +
It’s impossible to explain why this book is so well done. You must read it.
I live with a very positive viewpoint and don’t like to relive the past. But if we are going to heal, and help others know they are not alone, we must write our stories. I read this book on a flight from Paris to Mexico City. It was rather embarassing to keep wiping my eyes for most of the book.
Thank you Gwendolyn M. Plano. I know it’s difficult to write such personal things. But as I said when I wrote my story, if we can help even one person then it’s very worthy.
If I could give more stars, I would.
Yes, it’s a story of abuse…but it’s a story of our “collective abuse” and a must read by everyone.
Letting Go Into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary after abuse.
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My linking isn’t working this morning… It must be my jet-lagged-mind!

Meet #RWISA Author Joan Curtis

 

 

A Gift of Silence

By Joan C. Curtis

The man stood outside the store window, shifting from foot to foot. I’d have probably gone right by him, but as I passed, he looked me straight in the face, sending a chill up my back. Mystified, I found a place in the shadows and watched.

He wore a black golf shirt with a Nike swoosh. His black slacks were neatly pressed, but scuffs covered the toes of his dark shoes. As he paced in front of the store, as if waiting for something or someone, his left foot dragged. Maybe that was where the scuffs came from. A girl passed by him without so much as a glance. She wore flip-flops and short shorts. He turned away from her. Why look me in the face and ignore this young girl with long flowing blond hair?

After an interminable twelve minutes, he entered the store. I crept to the side window to get a closer view. A saleslady approached with a big hopeful smile. He jerked away as if he might flee, but she persisted. Probably learned that in Sales 101.

Peering inside, I could make out the blurry image of the saleslady as she crouched down to retrieve a box. While she bent, the man grabbed an item off the counter. He pocketed it so fast if I’d blinked, I’d have missed it. Gasping in surprise, I nearly collapsed into the window. So neat. So fast.

While I recovered from the shock of having witnessed a theft, the man exited the store. He hurried in the direction of downtown. Hands tucked in his pockets and his head lowered, he wove along the sidewalk, avoiding moms with kids, students with backpacks, and cyclists. I followed. What did he plan to do with his ill-gotten gains?

My friend, Rose, would give me a lecture. Why didn’t you go inside the store and raise the alarm? What were you thinking, watching, witnessing, and doing nothing? No wonder we pay so much money for our trinkets. Thieves get away with it, and it’s all because of people like you. But, I never intended to tell Rose about this. Not if I could help it.

Instead, I hastened to follow the man, avoiding other shoppers and site-seers. My sole purpose was to find out what this strange person was up to. My watch read two-fifteen. I had missed the coffee date with my cousin. She’d forgive me. I’d have to make up an excuse about traffic or something equally lame, but I couldn’t think about her now. I had to see where this man led me. My curious nature would never let me rest otherwise.

Moments later he entered the parking deck. He was going to his car. Darn! Once he got in a car, I’d lose him for sure. My Honda was parked here as well, but on the top level. With my luck, his was probably on the first level. It was impossible to imagine we’d be parked close enough for me to follow him.

He entered the elevator. The light flashed up to level 4. I raced up the stairs like a madwoman. Huffing and puffing, I reached the fourth level just as the elevator doors opened. I caught a glimpse of his black form walking to a red Kia. I made a quick turn and hightailed it up to the fifth floor to retrieve my car. Then I plowed down toward the exit, round and round, hoping, praying. Eureka! The red Kia was just in front of me, waiting to pay. The Universe was on my side.

Mr. Thief drove with caution, obeying all the traffic rules, making it easy for me to keep him in sight. Nonetheless, I stayed one car back, not wanting to risk him seeing me. Maybe he’d remember me from the street! A shiver ran through me. What would he do, this thief? Stop his car, jump out, and murder me? Absurd.

The light changed. We moved down the road. A strange thought filled my head. Had the Universe wanted me to witness this thievery? Everything seemed to be falling into place. “Don’t be stupid.” Rose would say and would add I was being melodramatic.

We turned into the parking lot for the Hermitage Nursing Home. This made no sense. Why not a pawn shop? Didn’t thieves go to shady establishments on busy street corners with flashing neon signs to hock their merchandise? Not to a nursing home. Maybe he worked here? Maybe he was some sort of klepto and couldn’t help himself? Maybe he had no intention of hocking the stolen article? He pulled into a parking place a few steps from the entrance. I chose one farther away. From my rearview mirror, I spied him getting out of the car and entering the building.

Once he disappeared, I made my way inside and approached the information desk where a girl of about twenty had her head buried in a People magazine. When she finally looked my way, her eyes filled with wonder, as if I’d dropped from the sky, “Can I help you?” she said.

“The man who just came in. He dropped a five-dollar bill in the parking lot. I ran after him, but I missed him. Do you know where he might be?”

“Oh, that’s Jerome. He’s visiting his mom. Comes every day at least once. Want me to give it to him?”

I hesitated. She blinked. “Well… I guess it won’t hurt for you to go down to room 212. It’s the last room on the right, down that corridor.” She pointed the direction.

I moseyed away as if I had all the time in the world. Once out of her view, I picked up my pace. Conversation came from room 212. Mr. Thief was talking very loudly. Apparently his mom had hearing issues.

At the door, I peered inside where Mr. Thief perched on the edge of the bed near an attractive woman with cottony white hair.

“You shouldn’t have, Jerome. I know how much this place is costing you,” the woman said.

“But, Mom, it’s your birthday. I wanted to give you a little something.”

“Just having you here is enough. But, I do like bracelets. You know how I like bracelets. Remember when your dad gave me a diamond bracelet—of course, I didn’t know it wasn’t diamonds then. It wasn’t till later. Remember? After he died and left nothing but bills and debts, I tried to sell the bracelet and found out it was worthless. I flushed it down the commode.”

“I remember, Mom. You told me that story. I wanted you to have a real diamond bracelet before… well, you know.”

She hugged him. “This is the best gift ever.”

I backed away from the room, my heart racing.

Back in my car I didn’t wait for Mr. Thief, a.k.a. Mr. Nice Son, to come out of the building. I started the engine and drove home.

 

 

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: Joan Curtis