What was your biggest culture shock going to Turkey?

I LOVE this question! But I can’t answer with only one thing!

I’ve been on a long journey that started the beginning of February 2019 and spanned many countries and cities: Dallas, Tx. Paris, Fr. New Delhi, Agra, & Goa, India, (Istanbul, Turkey for 2 nights) Jerusalem and Tel Avi, Israel, and finally Bangkok, Krabi, Thailand.

But let me go back to last year when I said jokingly: “I could live out a suitcase!” And that’s a big thing to say when you are 72!

I decided to take myself seriously and after decades of working full time, I liquidated my life, put my photos and important papers into one suitcase, grabbed my knapsack with my computer and my iPhone X and took off! Turkey was not on my list when I planned this amazing voyage. But, I planned all this through a company that specialized in long trips (mine was over 4 months) and Chris said, “Lynda, layovers are free. Stop in Istanbul.” He and Istanbul changed my life.

Why do I LOVE Turkey and what shocked and surprised me? First. two days were not enough. So I came back to Istanbul after Thailand loved it so much I recently applied for a long term visa!

YES, I was shocked in an amazing way, with Turkey. Let me share the reasons why:

  1. The #1 Country for the Sexiest Men in the World is Turkey Yes, it’s true. Just walk through Sultanahmet Square where the Blue Mosque is and you will see what I mean!
  2. I LOVE the call to prayer. Do you know that there are over 81K mosques in Turkey? Over 3100 are in Istanbul. I was brought up Catholic and spent a year in the convent. But I don’t truly identify with any organized religion. The call to prayer happens through loudspeakers at every mosque, 5 times a day. I find it soothing and very special.
  3. Islam. Turkey is a Muslim European country. Of the 17 million people of this thoroughly modern and gorgeous city, 96.4% practice Islam. And from what I’ve learned since I arrived here, the religion is not anything like what we learn and hear about in the West.
  4. The people are genuinely kind. I’ve never experienced any violence whatsoever—not that it doesn’t happen, I’m sure—but I walk the streets at night, take the trams, wander endlessly, come home from dining through the city, walking down the hills from Taksim, and never once have I ‘felt’ unsafe. Btw, it helps to have a built-in-danger alarm.
  5. And if all of these things alone didn’t surprise me, I must say the language drives me nuts!! Hah, I walk around with google translate, although most people involved in tourism speak English. I feel so stupid. I can’t wrap my tongue around the words. I can’t relate them to anything—I have some French, Spanish, and of course English. I can even understand some Italian! But Turkish, even though I watch Netflix Turkish cop shows, I still don’t get it!
  6. Food! Don’t get me started! If you haven’t tried Turkish Ice Cream—it’s so creamy—you have not lived!The food is so good and so plentiful. And do try the varieties of baklava, and chocolate, and Turkish Delights!
  7. The night. Istanbul never sleeps. You can find restaurants open at 2 a.m all over the city!

My “shocks” have all been positive—except the damn language!! haha.

Answered in Quora!

Lynda Filler is the author of 15 published books on Amazon. Award-winning Target in the Sun is .99c today.

Please read this…it might save someone…

Do you believe in miracles?

I got another message today on one of my videos on my Heart ❤️.

Some of you who are new to my world don’t know that basically I was supposed to die in 2008-9. I had a dilated heart that was barely functioning and having heart attacks for months without realizing what was happening!! I dumb down the explanation because it was such an incredible and life-altering time that I can barely write about it without crying! Anyways I told very few people but one of the people who helped me at that time was Jay D Davis who has been a great supporter of my current journey.

You see, every single breath I take since that time is a miracle. That’s why I’m doing this trip! That’s why I left my life in Mexico and am traveling to places I’ve only dreamed of seeing… And that’s also why I have no set destination. Every day is a gift.

That’s also why I choose happiness over sadness no matter what goes on around me. I choose LOVE as my highest value, and love my life so intensely—-every single moment is a miracle. Yes, I wrote the story and from the comments I receive I know it has helped thousands. Maybe you, or someone you know needs to hear my story and know in your heart ❤️ to never, ever give up!!!

Yes, I believe in miracles because I am one.

Here’s my story. If you’re reading this, maybe you or someone near to you needs to hear my story. LOVE the Beat Goes On You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

WESTERN WALL JERUSALEM MARCH 2019

The Convict and the Rose

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The Convict and the Rose  On Amazon or through Jan’s website at the bottom of the page.

Imagine an existence behind bars in Leavenworth Prison, and turning your life around so that you are able to create art and a musical legacy. This is an extremely personal, beautiful, sometimes very sad and yet uplifting memoir that reads like an edgy, intriguing novel. I wasn’t aware of what I was reading when I began the journey into the lives of a Convict(Rick Sikes) and his Rose(Jan Sikes.) I hadn’t read much about the book, all I knew was the reviews were all 5 stars! And everyone raved about the talented Jan Sikes, and that says it all. I can tell you that it’s not easy putting yourself out there in a memoir–imagine someone critiquing your life! But Jan has done it in this fascinating series.

I first met Jan Sikes through my association with RRBC an amazingly supportive group of writers. We interact through Twitter, online events, and the RRBC website. Today I want to introduce you to this very special woman who will share with you how this book came together.

Award-winning Biographical/Fiction sequel to Flowers and Stone. Luke and Darlina find their love severely tested as they struggle to overcome enormous odds.
When Texas veteran musician, Luke Stone, finds himself behind bars with a seventy-five-year sentence, he is filled with hate, anger, and rebelliousness. He’s lost everything that he treasures, including the woman who holds his heart.
How has it come down to this? He’s spent his entire life writing songs and making music, filling dance halls and bars from Texas to California. But, when he refuses to tell the FBI what he knows about certain bank robberies that he possesses knowledge of, they make sure he pays dearly.
Broken and alone, in a prison of her own, Darlina Flowers struggles to find a way to live without the man she loves so completely.
Over the next sixteen years, Luke and Darlina each search for ways to somehow survive the fate life has hurled them into.
In an effort to dull the pain of living with only half a heart, Darlina gets involved in drugs, then follows a guru and tries different relationships, but nothing fills the void.
Several years pass before Luke makes up his mind that prison will not break him. He crawls up from the bottom one tiny step at a time, determined to be and do something worthwhile and discovers artistic talents he never realized he had.
The Convict and the Rose inspire hope and show how anyone can turn a negative dark situation into a positive one. But more importantly, the story portrays a love that goes beyond earthly confines and proves how persistence and faith come with their own sweet reward.
Join Luke and Darlina as they continue their epic journey with love as their constant North Star and freedom as the driving force.

WHY I WROTE THE CONVICT AND THE ROSE    by  JAN SIKES

The simple answer to the question of why I wrote The Convict and the Rose is that it was the next segment in my series of true stories.

The complex answer to the question would be that I wanted to write the story in hopes that it might inspire others to think positive in negative situations and show them how one man did it. I also wanted the world to know what amazing things a person can accomplish when they set their mind to it.

There were many challenges to writing this book. The biggest challenge I faced was that I was not ever in prison. So, the prison scenes had to be constructed from writings Rick Sikes (aka Luke Stone) left behind, stories he told me and letters he’d written.

The second challenge was keeping the timeline straight and going back and forth between Leavenworth Prison and the outside world where his love, Darlina Flowers (aka Jan Sikes) struggled with her issues and the hurdles she faced.

There was a lot of research involved in writing this segment of the story, and part of that included contacting officials at the Prison to determine whatever become of the recording studio. It met it’s demise a year after Luke’s release.

I also had to get permission to tell parts of the story that involved Willie Nelson, and I made sure I kept all the written correspondence.

All-in-all, it was a growing and learning experience, and it is super special to me because it is the first book that won a literary award. 

Thanks, Jan, for sharing your life and that of Rick Sikes. I LOVED your story!

You can find Jan Sikes at:

http://www.jansikes.com

http://www.ricksikes.com

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.facebook.com/RickSikesMusic