Thursday, April 24, 2014

So You Want to Write a Book??!!

Have you thought about writing a book?? This Saturday I'll be speaking at a FREE writers workshop in Scottsdale! Come out and join the fun and learn how you can write a book too!

The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter is sponsoring the 4th Annual Mystery Writer’s Workshop: “So You Want to Write Crime Fiction.” This event will be held April 26th, 10 am-5 pm, at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, located at 3839 N. Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, Arizona.
When I decided to challenge myself to write a novel, who knew that just four years later I would be announcing myself as a speaker at a Writer's Conference!!
What a difference a decision makes :)
I'm thrilled that I pushed myself through the learning process (which is still ongoing and will continue forever) of how to write a book (my first book, Cat House: Adventures of a Real Estate Madam came out in July, 2013). I read 100 books on how to write a book and I joined various writing groups in order to interact with other would-be and published authors. I forced myself to write late at night and early in the morning, when I would have loved to stay in bed. For me, writing is like exercising. The thought of doing it can be exhausting, but once I begin, it's exhilarating!!
I encourage everyone I meet who says "I've always wanted to write a book," or "I'm writing a book," or "I have a great idea for a book," or "I should write a book," . . . TO JUST DO IT!!
With the help of various on-line publication programs, one no longer has to spend years trying to get a publisher to take notice and agree to publish their story. YOU CAN DO IT ALL YOURSELF!!
You can write, edit, format, publish and sell your books yourself. Times have changed. Self-published authors (or "indie" authors) are not only making money immediately with the sale of their books, they are becoming more accepted by not only the readers, but by other traditionally published authors.

Check out author Hugh Howey, known for his popular series Wool, which he independently published through's Kindle Direct Publishing! His novel, Omnibus ,has been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film!
You may not end up a top selling author. Truth is, most authors never make enough to give up their day jobs, but you can say you are a published author! I considered my book project a success the first time someone I didn't personally know read it and enjoyed it! That's why I'm doing this. I have fun writing stories, and I now know others enjoy reading my stories!
I'm now working on Book #2, Beach House: Continuing Adventures of a Real Estate Madam. I intend to write several more in the Niki Brooks series. I also intend to continue reading books on how to write books and I will remain involved in my writing groups to continue learning from other authors. I also intend to continue encouraging others to write their stories!

Whatever your motivation and whatever your measure of success might be, I encourage you to just do it!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Are You a Crooked Tree?

One of my favorite ways to balance the demands and stress of life is to go for a brisk walk every day. I find that the quiet time alone with my thoughts, or listening to my playlist, gives me an opportunity to think, rejuvenate, or cry . . . depending on what is happening in my life at that particular time.

Every day on that walk, I pass this crooked tree. I walked by it for months, always noticing its unique formation, before it really hit me about how life is similar to this less-than-perfect tree. Although the tree is crooked, it is still very healthy and it still reaches for the sky.

I certainly feel that way about my life.

Many of you know a bit about the medical situation we are dealing with regarding our oldest daughter. After 22 years of leading a very normal, healthy and active life, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and has now had two emergency open heart surgeries within the past year. Her plans to leave for law school were put on hold as a result. The challenges we have faced as a family have put us on a crooked path for sure.

My daughter and this tree are now my inspiration to always be a fighter
and to always reach for the sky!
We may still lean a little and because of that some problems may feel heavier than usual, but we must always stay strong.
Just like this tree.

My daughter is now eight weeks post op her second surgery and receiving admission offers from top law schools all over the country! Instead of wallowing about her heart disease, which will now affect her every day of her life, she chose to embrace it and to focus on it as the topic of her application package personal statement. She wrote about how the challenge helped her to discover that she is much stronger than she ever knew before. She is just like the crooked tree, still reaching for the sky.
As a result of her medical challenges, I too had to put my life on hold and have therefore not been very active lately in my new writing career. But just like my daughter, and my crooked tree, I choose not to let things weigh me down. I am anxious to get back into the world of Niki Brooks and continue writing her latest adventure!
Whenever life throws me future challenges - and it will - I will forever think about my crooked tree, and my daughter,
and will continue to always reach for the sky!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh wait . . . that's Kristen Wiig . . . and I love her even more!

I've been a Lucille Ball fan since I can remember anything in my life. I watched her I Love Lucy show as a little girl with my mom and dad, as a teenager with my friends and now I watch it on DVD with my daughter! I'm sure I've watched every episode at least ten times! Lucy was by far the most talented comedic actress of her time - if not of all time. Perhaps until now . . .

Without sounding too creepy, I cannot get enough of Kristen Wiig! She is our modern day Lucy. 

What other 40-year old actress could pull off - with such ease and charm - impersonating a 20-something British boy band wonder??

I'm not even sure if Kristen's ignorance about Harry is sincere or planned! That's how good she is. Either way, the skit with Jimmy is hilarious and once again, showcases her comedy genius!

Like Lucy, Kristen has starred in both television and big screen productions. Like Lucy, she has a natural talent for clowning and physical comedy. Like Lucy, she will probably one day run her own major television or film studio!

BUT . . . Kristen is Kristen.

She has introduced us to her own unique characters who make us laugh - actually who make us pee our pants - have you seen her SNL skit playing Denise Von Trapp from the Sound of Music?! - and yet she brings warmth and sincerity to some of her more serious roles.

Kristen is just Kristen.

Who doesn't love to laugh? Laughter is the best medicine, right? That's why I wrote my book, "Cat House: Adventures of a Real Estate Madam." I want people to have something to laugh about at the end of stressful day. It's not a literary work of art. It's a story that will make you giggle. Hopefully, a lot.

So now I'm trying to introduce my book to Kristen. It's a perfect match.

If you haven't yet viewed my videos on You Tube "Six Degrees of Separation to Kristen Wiig," (or you can watch them right from this blog on my "Kristen Wiig" page) please do so and then tell everyone you know to watch them! I need her to read my book, write the screen play, and star as Niki!!

Not even because I want to make money, although that would be nice, I just want to see what she would do with it. Of course I think the story is already funny because I wrote it, but I'm sure Kristen would turn it into something uproarious! Ever watched Bridesmaids??

In fact, I think I'm going to go watch Bridesmaids right now. I've not kept track, but I think I've watched it (just in the past few years since it was released) as many times as I've watched the entire I Love Lucy show - during my lifetime!