Thursday, December 13, 2012

But I don't have time to write a book!

WHAT WAS I THINKING????  I don't have time to write a book!

After a great night laughing and brainstorming with Denise in January 2010 about my idea to write a funny novel, I woke the next morning to reality. How on earth was I going to find time in my life to write a book?

I was working eleven short sale cases at the time, not knowing if the time and effort I was spending would pay off in a commission check in end. I was still trying to help my husband find a way for his company to survive the meltdown of the mortgage industry. We still had one daughter in high school and another in college - both still requiring mommy's time, attention and energy. And we had just found out our dog would suffer from seizures the rest of her life. My plate was full.

But my mind now cranked in a new way. I couldn't stop thinking about my story. The overall plot was there, just like that. And every day I would think of another funny scene I could create to fill in the blanks. I began to constantly think about the characters I could create: their names, personalities, back stories. It was all so exciting. Their stories were becoming real to me so I had to find time to write it all down.

Knowing I would now not stop until my story was in print, my husband bought me a small, 10-inch notebook computer (which I'm typing on right now) making it more convenient for me to write anywhere at any time. I started carrying it with me everywhere I went (and learned fairly quickly to carry the power cord too). I also learned very quickly that I WOULD NOT REMEMBER my ideas later when it was more convenient to write them down so I bought a small voice recorder and threw that into my purse along with my computer (I bought a new purse large enough to accommodate my new writing toys).

Over time, I developed a schedule that worked for me. Each night after dinner, kitchen clean-up, some family time with my husband and daughter, and real estate work, I would write. Some nights I may not even get to turn on the computer until midnight but I didn't care. The story was now thick in my brain and I had to get it out. I actually didn't care about - or pay attention to - the time.

"Gladys, do you realize it's two am?" Robert would often point out. (He calls me several different names and I answer to them all. Gladys seems to be his favorite). "We need to go to bed." Fortunately for me, Robert is a night owl as well so he would always stay up with me doing his own thing to pass the time until I ran out of speed. (BTW, it's now 1:06 am as I write this post.)

I didn't care about the time or place to write. I just wanted to write.

I was discovering a passion I never knew I had !! 

I'm so thankful that The Great Recession of 2008 helped guide me to my new life path. Who knew? I guess the old saying "Where there's a will, there's a way" is actually a truism.

If you are passionate enough about something, you will find a way to make it happen!

Friday, November 30, 2012

I CAN DO THIS! What the heck, it'll be fun.

The first night I seriously thought about writing a book, my dear friend Denise was in town attending her son's soccer tournament. 

We met for dinner at a very popular, busy hang-out near the ASU campus in downtown Tempe -- they have the best garlic frys ever!  After talking about, and laughing about, my potential book project for over two hours, we got the hint from the waitress that she'd like to turn the table (she spilled a glass of water on Denise's head -- just kidding -- but I'm sure she considered it), so we moved our ideafest to Denise's hotel lobby.

After embarrassing her son - and his entire soccer team - by laughing too loudly in the hotel, we nearly got kicked out of there too. 

But before I left at 1 am, Denise helped me realize I could write a funny book and it reinforced how much I love to laugh!
Every time I'm with Denise, it's PMP (pee-my-pants) funny.

By the end of the evening, I was clearly convinced that I could - and should - write a comedic mystery novel, and I invited Denise to chose the name of the character I would model after her. 

If you read my book, you'll probably figure out which one she is :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My New Business Plan

In 2007 I was scared to death about how my husband and I - he owns a mortgage company - were going to survive the eminent real estate crash.  We've both been in the business for over 30 years (me 35!!) and had ridden the waves of many tides before. BUT NEVER ANYTHING LIKE WE EXPECTED NEXT. We had survived waves, white caps even, but we knew a Tsunami was on the way!!

We were watching 60 Minutes one night and saw a short story about a call girl madam who had just gotten out of jail. She did a few months in a country club facility - probably spent her time playing tennis and crafting - and she was now out and on the book circuit tour.  Her story caught my attention.

"As real estate agents," I said to Robert (my husband), "we are all prostitutes so maybe I'll start a call girl business and only hire other broke agents. I'd be helping out my fellow agents that way too."

He smiled but said nothing.

"Seriously, I'll only solicit rich old men that are blind so the women won't need to worry about what they look like naked and the guy probably won't be able to have sex anyway. It's a brilliant plan."

"Yes, honey," was his only response. He was engrossed in the next 60 minutes story.

"I'll run it for a few years before getting caught and will then go to jail for a few months in my own country club facility.  Hell, by then I'll be ready for a vacation!  While I'm in jail, I'll write a book about my plight, they'll option it for a movie and I'll retire a rich woman - and then it won't matter that I'll also be a convicted felon."

I continued to tease about my new business plan for a couple years until one day I was speaking with an acquaintance who happens to be a published author and national speaker. When he asked how Robert and I were doing trying to survive the now very real economic meltdown, I told him my call girl business plan.

"You need to do that," he directed at the end of my story.

"But Jeffery," I replied. "It's illegal."

"I didn't mean start the business, I meant write the book - as if you had run the business. Everyone is struggling to survive the mess our country is in. Keep it funny and give them something to laugh about."

Two years later, that's what I've done.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PMP Funny!

Two years ago I posted on another Blog I started - which I called the Mangosteen Madam - about how I was tired of sucking wind during The Great Recession as a Real Estate Broker and teased about starting a call girl business for other broke real estate agents, selling fornication instead of foreclosures.  The income had to be more steady! 

Since running a call girl business is illegal, I decided to try my hand in the multi-level marketing arena by pimping out a health juice drink I had been taking instead of pimping out women.  Hence "The Mangosteen Madam." The health juice was great - me trying to sell it was not.

During a phone conversation with an acquaintance who happens to be a published author and national speaker, I mentioned my call girl business idea as my way of "thinking outside the house" to get through the nose-dive of the real estate market.  I laid out my expectation that I would probably only get away with running the business for a year or two before getting caught, I'd then go to jail where I would pass the time writing my story, would have my story optioned for a movie when I got out and would then retire.  It was a great plan! 

He said I should do it.

"What?" I asked, "Are you aware it's illegal to run a call girl business? And just because most real estate agents are prostitutes in doing whatever they have to in order to get a deal closed, doesn't mean I'm experienced to become a madam."

"Noooo," he corrected me. "I didn't mean start the business. I meant write the book. It's a funny story and people in every industry these days are still looking for ways to get through this recession. Give them something to laugh about."

So . . . two years later, my book is done.  I'm in the final editing stages and hope to have it available for sale within a few months.

I've just released my first edition to two of my sisters as my first official critics. So far, they tell me it's great.  In fact, my younger sister has labeled it "PMP Funny!" (For those that are younger, you may not get it, but it stands for Pee My Pants Funny).

My goal is that you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

As I build my blog, I'm going to share how I've gone from never writing a book before, to becoming a published author - I think something the majority of people dream of doing. So many times when I mention to others that I'm writing a book, their response is "I've got an idea for a book!" And I want to encourage everyone of you to do it!

Follow me as I backtrack on my journey of making my idea of a story into a reality.