Anne R. Allen provides us with an experience no author ever wants to make. Read the blog post and you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Anne.
Recently I got a furious Facebook message from a stranger who accused me of “using her life” in one of my books. It’s amazing how sometimes life imitates fiction.
She had apparently been a Facebook friend, and she dramatically unfriended me after sending a distraught DM describing the traumas in her life that I’d “stolen”.
Since she’d blocked me, I wasn’t able to assure her that Leona Von Schmidt, one of the suspects in The Queen of Staves, is an entirely fictional construct—a comic character who is not meant to resemble any real inhabitant of Planet Earth, living or dead.
When I wrote the book, I’d known nothing about the details of the Facebook woman’s life that she accused me of revealing. (Although of course, I know them now. Some things can’t be unread, alas.)
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.
– Lao Tzu
Thank you all, authors, readers, followers, visitors, and friends, for making blogging and writing to me an exciting and thrilling adventure, for being a part of my life and for supporting and encouraging me!
Let me wish you and your loved ones now
A successful, exciting, thrilling, enjoyable, positive and amazing NewYear!
Today I found this really wonderful, heartwarming story about Doris Day and Mary Hartmann – written By Darlene Craviotto. I was weeping when I read the blog post and I thought I needed to share Darlene’s Memory. I’m sure, it leaves you with a smile – and tears in your eyes, just like me.
Doris Day died yesterday and that’s why I’m writing this post.
I wasn’t a friend, or a member of her family; just like everybody else, I knew her from the movies. I used to be a tour guide at Universal Studios, and I got to meet a lot of big movie stars there, from Lucille Ball (who hated it when the tour guides leaned on her Rolls Royce to talk with her) to Paul Newman (whose piercing blue eyes locked with mine one day at the studio commissary, and my knees have been weak ever since). I never had a chance to meet Doris Day on the Universal lot. But one rainy night in Hollywood she was a good friend to me and a beautiful Golden Retriever named, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”
It was long ago, when I was a member of a struggling group of actors who worked all day at the tours at Universal, so we could work all night (for free) performing plays at a little theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Seven nights a week, one block down from the Weird Museum, above a toy store and Fredericks of Hollywood Sexy Lingerie, overlooking the stars of Ann Margret, Gene Barry, and James Cagney, we practiced our craft and shared the Hollywood dream.
I found a great blog post, written by successful author Jamie Fessenden. (Around Christmas time last year I read his novel ‘Tomte’ and loved it.) Thank you very much for your writing advice, Jamie! I don’t doubt I’m the only one who appreciates your post.
So my latest novel, Small Town Sonata, was contracted for publication by Dreamspinner Press, and I’m very happy. Hopefully, it signals the revving up of my writing career again.
So, in the spirit of that, and because someone asked about it in a Facebook group, I’ve decided to offer some Writing Advice (capitalized, to show how pompous… I mean “important” it is). Seriously, this is just some stuff I learned over the years. Take it or leave it, as you like. It’s less about writing than about some practical concerns.
In July 2017 I published a blog post about my good ol’ desktop getting tired and that I’m looking for a new computer. I did look for a new computer. Unfortunately, life got in my way, and it took me somewhat longer to get there.
Finally, 15 months later, my old computer had to be replaced. It was time. The desktop took up to 18 minutes to properly start, and sometimes it needed a few tries.
Months ahead I had gotten all possible information I could get to compare different laptops for writers and asked the most stupid questions to computer experts to get the answers I needed.
Armed with all that knowledge, I decided on an ASUS laptop and went to the store, meeting a very patient, very polite, humorous and friendly young man who obviously knew what he was talking about and who did not try to convince me to buy something else when I told him what I was looking for. He just recommended me a particular model and explained exactly why.
That day I got a laptop, software, a mouse and a keyboard and took everything home. It took me nearly two months to move all data to the new computer, occasionally peek into the old one to check how I did this or that or how the settings were in that or the other program.
About a week ago I eventually said ‘goodbye’ to my old desktop and took it to the store where I originally bought it, over eight years ago! (Thank you, Fujitsu!) The store will take it in for species-appropriate disposal. May it rest in peace.
To the interested parties: I got an ASUS 2-in-1 Q525UA, laptop. ASUS calls it ‘The Powerful And Elegant Convertible,’ and I admit, they’re right.
It has a keyboard as well as a touch screen, display and sound are incredible, it’s 15″ display has an unbelievable quality, and the entire laptop is light and easy to transport. Of course, there are many more features, but let me tell you: It’s easy to work on and doesn’t need much space. I’m very happy with my choice.
Should anyone be interested in knowing more about the ASUS Q525UA, check out the ASUS Website HERE.
I’m not paid to promote my computer. I only published this post because I think it is an amazing laptop for writers – and I promised in my July 2017 post that I would be informing in a blog article what computer I bought.
When I read this quote, I thought back to my life and was surprised I found nearly everything I thought “happened to me” that was painful, devastating, hard to take or heartbreaking (at least when it came to relationships) I had to go through all this to walk on a different path.
Most situations I was in, which I thought made me happy, were only a short illusion and neither one of them was good.
Now, each one of us, I think, has a different way to think “who” did change my/his/her situation. Some might think, it was ‘Karma,’ some may think it was, what it was, some may think, our life follows a certain path, and some others, including me, might think, God decided to show me a better direction.
One of my best friends once told me several times already: “God might have other plans with you.” And I think she’s right. However, it seems He’s quite busy keeping me on the path He has designed for me. My sense of orientation must be extremely lousy when He had to lead me back to the road ever so often.
I’m curious when I need to be saved the next time. But how do I know I’m going in the wrong direction, or I’m walking off the path that was created for me? Is this the ‘sense of life’ everybody speaks about? To know when to walk in the right direction, the one that takes you where you need to go? The one path that takes you directly to the Stairway to Heaven?
I sometimes wonder, what the future holds for me. But then: If we knew it ahead: Wouldn’t life be boring?
Charles Rozell “Chuck” Swindoll (born October 18, 1934) is an evangelical Christian pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher. He founded Insight for Living, headquartered in Frisco, Texas, which airs a radio program of the same name on more than 2,000 stations around the world in 15 languages. He is currently senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church, in Frisco, Texas. (source: Wikipedia.com)
I heard from three writer friends so far that they’re currently writing their autobiography – or memoirs… I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t consider writing my own after getting the idea. But I had to see that this won’t work.
We all know the saying when a writer has the idea for a story in his/her head, it needs to get out and be written. It is a true saying. And that’s why after I got the idea of writing my memoirs two minutes later the idea had been disappeared out of my head again. I figured this meant that this story doesn’t want to be written.
There are many reasons for not writing my autobiography: I always considered great minds, great personalities, famous and respected people do have an autobiography or biography… but me? Who would want to read about my life? It has been normal! In fact, it was extremely normal I think it would be boring to read about it. Yes, there were struggles, so many that it wasn’t an easy life – but these struggles are only important to me! Compared to other people’s problems and challenges mine were so minor.
I understand there are people traumatized as children or young adults and writing down their story might help. I heard about an actress who wrote her memoirs when she was 18 years old. Come on! 18? At that age, you discover that you are legally an adult. Was your life so freaking bad as a teenager? If yes, fine; if no, would I have to read about 15 years of overly dramatic boredom? With me, it’s different!
And I won’t write about a life that is so full of happiness, greatness, adventures and fantastic pictures, which would paint a completely wrong person. Like people who live their life on Instagram. Their lives are full of fantasy, greatness, fun, happiness and impressive pics. How many times do I see some friends of friends posting pics of their vacation in Australia! All people with Koalas on their backs! They all are happily beaming into the camera (except the Koala, whose 400th pic it is that day). One could almost think Australia was only built for Koala vacation. And yes, I’m just kidding.
But I refuse to write about a colorful life that I never had. I don’t need to impress anyone; I don’t need to publish my mistakes and wrong decisions in my life. I only need to make sure one person is going to be good with my life – and that’s my former child-self.
I want that little AJ looking into the future and saying: “Okay, this is the AJ I want to become later. She might not always do what society tells her to. She might not always have decided for the best, and sometimes she’s clumsy and a bit helpless; she trusts people too easily and when she was younger. occasionally she was blind when it came to guys. But hey – she is herself. She’s always been herself. She still has jokes in her head and has incomparable humor. And even though when she’s on the ground, flat on her belly, she gets back up and fights. With pride in her heart and her chin high.”
And then there’s another reason: Writing my autobiography or memoirs, wouldn’t that mean, I never want to be forgotten? I want people to remember me. I figure, to the ones who have me in their heart, they’re going to keep me there. And I doubt I would ever find the impertinence to expect the entire world to keep me for eternity.
What IS eternity? – Yes, I know. The definition of eternity can be read in every dictionary, right? But that’s not what I mean.
From what I hear a priest has described eternity like this: “You see a dove picking up a sand grain at the beach, taking it into its beak, flying up to the moon, letting the sand grain fall. Then the dove flies back to the beach for centuries, picks up the next sand grain, flies up to the moon for centuries, lets the sand grain fall. And again it flies back to the beach, picks up the next sand grain, flies up to the moon, and so on; until it has transported the last sand grain of that beach up to the moon. By then – eternity has just started!”
Would I ever want to be remembered by people – in all eternity? (Or until the Earth explodes, but that’s another story). No, I don’t. I’m going to be at a place, where heaven is surrounding me. I wasn’t great; I wasn’t the best thing humankind has ever seen. Shoot the damned bird. LOL
I think you know what I mean.
Yes, my loved ones, my friends, and my family. Keep me in your hearts. But don’t expect me to write down all my life for people to read it. I keep secrets. At one point, let me go.
Do you write your autobiography or memoirs right now? What is your reason to write it down?
This is a special Day for each of our hearts. In my heart I carry my friends. The ones who love me unconditionally, the way I am. The ones who stick with me, always! The ones who encourage me and support me. Each one of my friends does have a special spot in my heart.
Thank you for making this world and life a wonderful adventure.