Yeah, I heard it before (Worse writing advice this #MFRW author heard)

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If you are anything like me then you have received a great deal advice in your life—Some of it good, some of it bad, some unwanted and others much desired. One piece of writing advice that was the worst for me was “write what you know.

NO! I do not want to write what I know.

Writing for me is about escape into another life, world, person. I read that way too. I want to experience so many lives—the hopes, the loves, the aches and the dreams.

What I know is my everyday life and while some people love to explore everyday reality,  that is not my thing. I want to fall in love with the handsome duke, dance at the ball, and be a lady-in-waiting to a Tudor queen.

What is the worst advice you received? Do share so we can complain about it then stick out our tongue at it.

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The Outrageous Wishes of This #MFRW Historical Romance Author

dandelion-nature-flora-white-51426.jpegIn case you do not know, I am a fan of Outlander both the novel series and the TV series. As a fan, I follow both Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan (on social media not in some stalker way). Well, Sam is an outdoorsy kind of man who climbs Munros (Munros are mountains in Scotland that are over 3,000 feet). The view from them is spectacular. One of my wishes is to climb or as they say, bag a Munro with Sam Heughan and raise money for charity. 

You see that wish isn’t crazy because of the company I want to have on the climb but the fact that I have fibromyalgia and arthritis. For me, walking from my bed to the kitchen in my NYC apartment is like a trek. I have to nap after I take a shower. I feel as if I have the flu every day of my life. So, climbing over 3, 000 feet is a test and a wish that seems an impossibility.  But oh, to see Scotland from that view…Heaven, Paradise…

pexels-photo-54300.jpegDo you watch late-night tv? I do. My favorite host is Conan O’Brien. I have loved that lanky, red-head since he hosted the Late Late Show. Conan has whole episodes where he travels to a country or region. A recent one was his trip to Israel and Palestine.  In one segment, he went to the Dead Sea and just floated in the milky blue waters. And I was so jealous. The water is so dense with salt that you cannot sink. People say the waters and salts are great for aching joints (that’s me) and for the skin (also me since I have skin). So, the next wish is to swim in the Dead Sea. 

Another love of mine is fashion. I love —haute couture—the skill, ultra lux fabric, and the designs…I think I need to fan myself. Naturally, that moment to don a creation has to be a high-fashion, Vogue-esqe fashion shoot.  I can see it, me posing with my hair perfectly styled, make-up flawless and diamonds and precious jewels shining under the lights and complimenting the most fabulous haute couture gown with a swooping train that cascades down the Grand staircase in the MET Museum.   Fashion Heaven.

After those three wishes come true, I’m flying to France and to Versailles. My mother had this porcelain doll dressed in 18th-century fashion, she had blonde hair and I just knew she was Marie Antoinette. I fell in love with Versailles (much like other people have) But I do not just wish to visit. I wish to stroll through Versailles by myself. As a child, I love to lay on the floor as an adult I still do. Imagine laying down on the floor in the Hall of Mirrors…or strolling through the rooms with the sounds of your footsteps and creaks and groans of the royal palace and no other noise. No one to distract you as you wander from room to room, up and down staircases or through the gardens with the sweet scents and soft air carrying the buzz of insects.

My last wish is a simple one and one of two that will come true one day. I wish to sit outside a home that overlooks the  North Sea on one of the Shetland Isles and look out to the horizon and become hypnotized by the surroundings.   Nothing more than that. 

Simple wishes I hope are fulfilled in my life. What about you? Do you have anything you wish to do? ♥

Don’t forget to visit other blogs. Maybe you’ll be inspired.

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Tea, Books and Five Great Authors

  1. Tea books.jpgEdith Wharton.

    When I first read The Age of Innocence, I was a pre-teen girl who hid the book from others. I really don’t know why I did, exactly but I remember feeling as if the book was my own secret world that would be shattered if I shared it with another. As I read those words, I melted into that book. The words scratched at me, leaving me bloody and exposed. And once I closed it, I looked at everything different, felt everything different. New York City (my hometown) was different to my eye and finally, I understood the stirring emotions within me. I was changed.

    Jackie Collins.

    I read Jackie Collins long after I knew who she was. I knew she was Joan Collins sister but to me she was the cooler sister. She was everything Joan Collins was and what I in my imaginings wanted to be but Jackie was more–she was a writer. I always thought she could teach something–what that was I never knew and will never know. Maybe I’ll see her in heaven.

    J.K. Rowlings.

    Sure, I love her tweets. But I love the truth she always shares. She has a great talent but I love the strength and bravery she has displayed in her life. I’ve had my hard times too but she doesn’t use them as an excuse or a reason to pity her. She turns it and says what I do is not unknown and isn’t certainly lightning in a bottle (though Harry Potter certainly is). I love her realness.

    Mary Shelley

    I cannot say why exactly Mary Shelley made my list. Of course, she is interesting in her own right and that certainly adds to it. But she has always intrigued me. Everything about her feels…compelling but there is more. I just know that there was so much more to her that we know. We could learn something about her and pull back the layer and there is much more to intrigue us. I would like to know that.

    Agatha Christie

    Mrs. Christie had an eventful life in a time where women were not much more than wives and mother (though she was both). She was a nurse, best-selling author of all time and she traveled the world. She even disappeared for a short while and no ones know what exactly happen. But if you are a Doctor Who fan, you know the answer. I would like to see her strength, learn to have more of my own and how to keep going during those moments when I’m sure that I suck.

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My Tele is British but this Author is American…

As a writer, I love books, movies, TV shows—anything else that tells a story. Also being a writer, I cannot always watch the TV shows at the moment they premiere so I binge, stuffing myself with entertainment and fun.And they are so many great shows that have me bingeing like a 21-years-old’s first time at the bar.

These are the ones that I am loving… 

The Crown:

This award-winning Netflix’s series is set during Elizabeth’s first years after having the British crown placed on her head. The man who wrote The Queen, which starred Helen Mirren,  also wrote this series. The Crown is the most expensive series produced, costing $130 million (that’s 100 million pounds). Understandably since this show is rich in every way.

Birds of Feather:

This British comedy series centers around two sisters, Sharon and Tracey, and their friend Dorien or Foxy Cohen (her pen name for her novel Sixty Shades of Green). This series first aired in 1989 and returned in 2016 (and feature the original cast.) This series is a great way for me to unwind. They are three friends that take jabs at each other, laugh when they fall but when it truly counts, these three women stand by each other.

Good Girls Revolt  

This Amazon series is the fictional account of the female researchers of Newsweek (the lowest-level positions) who sue for gender discrimination and changed America’s workplace. Sadly, this show has been canceled. But if you can see the first and only check it out. The details and setting are rich and transport you to 60s NYC and it sparked the go-get’em feel in me.

Agatha Raisin

Another British series (I watched a lot of Brit TV) set in the Cotswolds. It’s a cozy mystery series about a London PR agent who sells everything, purchases her dream cottage in the Cotswolds and finds herself accused of a poisoning someone. Agatha finds she has a talent for solving murders. I just lose myself in the story, characters and oh the scenery–Agatha’s home is my dream cottage.

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

We all must have heard the stories about Scientology. This series speaks to the previous members of this group who share their horror stories of abuse at the hands of this organization. Whatever your personal beliefs toward Scientology, this series is gripping, heart-wrenched and at times, leaves me wondering how people find themselves part of groups like this. Though, non-fiction it is a great way for you to learn more about character and motivation because you see it in weekly episodes. 

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

An Aussie show set in 1920s Sydney. Miss Fisher is a private detective who has a great eye for fashion, a smart, quick mind, a heart for adventure and a steady hand to shot her gun but most importantly, the soul of a crusader. When I go back in time I want to be Miss Fisher.

Happy Valley

This Netflix series is about a female Police Sergeant named in Catherine who is raising her grandson after her daughter’s suicide with the help of her recovering addicted sister. Catherine is a strong woman who is dealing with life and doing her job. I can’t tell you much without them you all. But I love a strong woman living her life.

Outlander

If you are reading this blog, you most likely read romance novels and probably have heard of the Outlander books and series so I do not have to blurt out the same description you already know.  I enjoy the tale of Claire and Jaimie. Yes, Sam Heughan is damn hot. In the first season, I felt Claire’s struggle between staying with Jaimie and returning to Frank. I love both those men. And I hate Black Jack— oh the emotions, I stir me with the both the show and books.

Besides, being entertained by a wonderful story with talented actors and the beauty of Scotland, I see how the novel’s story is translated to TV.

Versailles

French Royal soap opera with the Sun King–Louis XIV. It’s about lust, power, and the fate of a royal family. Watching this series, you see the grandness of the French court as Louis moves the royal court from Paris to Versailles. The royal hunting lodge located in swamp land that becomes the grand house that still awes the world. Louis and Philippe (the king’s brother) deal with the intrigue of the French nobles and led to the French nation through history. As a viewer, you know how the House of Bourbon ends.

 

 

 

 

 

How Does She Do it All…Writing Style? A MFRWAuthor Tells You How She Deals.

Since I started pursuing my writing as a career, I’ve heard many authors talk about the challenges of writing and family. See, I don’t have that problem. I have no husband or children. I have a lovebird. My time to write is all my own. 

My family has always supported my desire to be an author. My mother brought me books, notebooks and never bothered me when I was writing. In fact, she encouraged me, telling me to go and write when I complained that I was bored.

But wait a minute–Don’t think that I am sitting at my computer all day long, pounding out stories and doing whatever I want whenever I want. That isn’t my life. You see I deal with chronic illness–Lupus and Fibromyalgia, to be exact. My body rebels against what I want it  to do. Either I’m too tired or stiff or I just feel beat up, tossed about and thrown to the wolves to be gnawed on. A thought pops into my head then explodes into nothing before I can capture it. My hands and fingers feel like they are wrapped in tape and can’t bend.

So, what does this have to do with family surviving your writing? I’m sure you heard that term life-work balance. I learned that that concept is utter crap. Life is about priorities. Maybe your child is ill with a raging a fever. You focus on that. Perhaps, your husband has vacation time. You focus on that. Maybe your elderly parent is ill. You focus on that. Having your family survive your writing is about priorities. You do what you can when you can.

Having your family survive your writing is about priorities. You do what you can when you can. If you make your writing one of your priorities, respect your writing time (even if it’s for 15 minutes) then your family will too.

But that isn’t the only thing you can do to have your family survive your writing–the next thing is to ask for help. Share what you wish to accomplish with your loved ones, let them know you need help. Remember that isn’t a weakness.

My advice–make a list of all your responsibilities and another list of what you wish to accomplish. For a week, jot down how long each task takes you. At the end of the week, determine where your time went, what was a waste and what could others do to help. Then use that time for writing.

Because you are not a writer if you don’t write. And I want you to write.