Wake Me Up When It’s Over

After way too much “exposure” to “The Bob” as my writer friend Pat Bertram calls this current situation, I’ve decided to take a break from social media (for me, that means Twitter and LinkedIn) for the rest of the month. Or longer. Okay, then, just wake me up when it’s over – lol!

I’ll be writing, producing music, and blogging. I’ll be far happier and productive. I just can’t stand the many layers of stupidity and politics everywhere I turn.

“Miss You” by the Rolling Stones has been playing in the jukebox in my head for several days now. Maybe because I do “miss you,” meaning I miss the world doing so many interesting things, I can’t even begin to know about them all. Because it’s obvious too many are doing nothing. Hiding under their bed. Counting meaningless numbers. All to prove something I don’t need proven in order to live my best life. It’s serving somebody else. Not me.

Listening to and creating music, reading and writing stories, and visiting places – that’s what home is to me, that’s what family is to me. And I miss them all.

Or maybe this song is apropros today.

Chasing Moondoggie (Real Women Sing the Blues)

I was thumbing through my Southern Califiornia beach videos this morning and thinking about my childhood and the movie, Gidget, I created a video of some of that footage. Gidget was one of my favorite movies (definitely swooned over Moondoggie), so inevitably, one of the storylines in Real Women Sing the Blues is a new character, Robin, joining the characters of Real Women Wear Red, to chase after her Moondoggie.

REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES

“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship.

Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues. This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.”

Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie.

Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle and Paperback.

If You Can’t Cruise (or Travel), Do the Next Best Thing…

I love to travel through reading and that seems even more important during this lockdown. And I know that the cruise community is anxious to get back to cruising. So until we can, why not check out novels where you can travel vicariously (location/setting is listed in parens) and even cruise:

NOVELS:

REAL WOMEN WEAR RED (Caribbean Cruise)

rwwr_cover_flops_150.jpg“I may dye my hair blonde, I may drink pink drinks, but I am not doing pink toe polish. Red, that’s my color. After all, real women wear red.” – Cyn

When 40-something Kate “Cyn” Francis changes her name, her hair color, and her age in order to snag a younger man on a Caribbean cruise, the last thing she expects is to fall overboard for a Cary Grant look-alike. But this is not your ordinary cruise.

AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle and in Paperback.

REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES (Hawaii Cruise)

RWSB_new_cover_125

“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship.

Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues. This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.”

Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie.

Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and NEW for Paperback.

THE TOM JONES CLUB (Las Vegas, Nevada)

cover_tjc_150“I can tell what kind of man he is by the wine he drinks.” – Lucky

International wine director Lucky Stryker, the “Lucky Lady,” is lucky in the boardroom, but unlucky in love. But when Lady Luck throws the red hot dice, Lucky cashes in on a red hot sizzling romance. But when her past catches up with her, she is forced to answer these questions, “Can her heart keep the promises her body has been making?” and “Will she finally get lucky in love?”

AVAILABLE NOW at amazon.com in Paperback and on Kindle.

LETTERS ON BALBOA ISLAND (Balboa Island, California)

bi_cover_final_150“When I was seventeen, I knew two things that were true: (1) You couldn’t help but meet a man in a military uniform in southern California in the 1950s, and (2) Sooner or later, men would leave. ” – Rosalie

When Rosalie Martin chooses to spend her life with a military man in the post Korean War era of the 1950s, she can’t forget another she met during the war. And when letters surface on Balboa Island years later, she realizes she may have chosen the wrong man. So when fate offers her the chance to make a different choice, will she? Or has she lived a life of lies for too long?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and in Paperback

FRENCH MARTINI (Las Vegas, San Francisco, Mexico Cruise)

FrenchMartini_coverNikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her husband behind at the Blue Diamond Saloon to build a new life. So when the perfect Dr. Mike Fischer proposes, she accepts. But when her new Mr. Right begins to transform into a guy just like her ex-husband, she begins to question everything, including her sanity.

Nikki longs to trust Mike, but with an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, Nikki’s fear propels her into discoveries of betrayals and underworld connections that will send her running for her life again.

BUY NOW on Amazon.com in Kindle.

NOVELLA

RAINING MEN (Pacific Northwest)

rainingmencover180When California girl Brooke Slade, looking for love in all the wrong places, is presented with an opportunity to move to the Pacific Northwest, she turns it down, refusing to leave her life in Sunny California. But when she loses her job, she decides to give the Northwest a chance for thirty days and discovers it’s raining more than the wet stuff – it’s raining men. Wading through so many Mr. Wrongs, can she find Mr. Right?

BUY NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle.

FRENCH MARTINI Available on Kindle Now (#Novel #Fiction #Cocktail)

FRENCH MARTINI*

FrenchMartini_cover

Nikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her husband and French Martinis behind. So when the perfect Dr. Mike Fischer proposes, she accepts. But when her new Mr. Right begins to transform into her ex-husband, including his love for French Martinis, she begins to question her sanity.

Nikki longs to trust Mike, but with an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, Nikki’s fear propels into discoveries of betrayals, questioning her ability to ever trust love again.

BUY NOW on Amazon.com in Kindle.

French Martini recipe available here.

Adventures through travel and cocktails video on YouTube..

(*Originally released as Déjà vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon).

Juggling the Arts During #Covid-19 #AtHome

Before Covid-19, I pretty much spent most of my time in my home studio/office, so staying at home isn’t that new to me. But I felt like I had to make a choice between pursuing music and writing fiction. They seemed to use different parts of my brain, and I felt like I couldn’t juggle them all that well. That I *must* choose one in order to be successful.

Now I’ve realized during this time that it’s too difficult to focus on just one. My brain is more scattered right now. So how do I turn this into something good? Well, I’m not only pursuing both writing (brain) and music (ears), but also creating videos (visual), embracing three of my senses, instead of just one. Besides, how do I know which one might take off more than the other? Diversification seems wise to me now.

So, how do I determine which one to work on when? I suit up and show up. I let the muse decide.

What projects am I working on in particular?

  • Editing my manuscript in progress
  • Gaining skills in music production through classes
  • Producing my FAWM album and writing music for TAXI listings
  • Creating videos from a variety of trips to Disneyland, Disney World, and Cruises

The latter idea was spurned on when I noticed our 22-second video of Oasis of the Seas started getting crazy views (at least for us with a brand new channel).

At last count, it’s over 15K. You can check it out here. While you’re there, please subscribe. 🙂

Also, check out our Travel Adventures blog, including our adventures in moving/house building.

Anyway, just uploading that one video started me thinking about creating/uploading more videos and I’ve discovered I really enjoy it because I’m also a visual artist, not just audio and cerebral.

What have you discovered about yourself and what you enjoy that took you by surprise?

 

Morning Jazz with Dad

Now that I’ve reclaimed my sacred space, writing fiction and music in my casita, I sip my morning coffee and play a curated Jazz playlist on YouTube Music with a photo of my dad standing in the background. I feel his presence and it comforts me.

Working on my music will have to wait, because my ears are for sharing Jazz with my dad. Jazz was his music. Listening to the Diana Krall album I shared with him, he said, “I’m in love!” Always a romantic, that was my dad.

He read everything I wrote (even if it wasn’t exactly his genre), and he said to me, “Keep writing. You must fulfill your destiny.” So I am torn as I juggle both music and writing, but I can’t leave either behind. So I go with the muse. Today feels like a writing day.

At a time like this, when the whole world is stressed about this current situation, it’s good to remind ourselves of other tough times we’ve lived through. And if you’re young enough that this is your first tough time, well, know this, that you will later recall how you got through this and it will help you undergo whatever you need to get through in your future.

For me, one of the toughest things was growing up without my dad, being told my step dad was my dad, and later discovering he (dad) wasn’t the bad guy, and he (step dad) wasn’t the hero she tried to make him out to be. During my search for my father, I uncovered secrets and why they purposely kept my dad (and his family) out of my life. Part of the story was told in Myths of the Fatherless, but I’ve been thinking about revisiting the story and telling the whole story.

My dad is gone now, but I’m thankful for the time we had together. This photo is the gift I was given after he was gone.

My Isolation Has Been Invaded by Everybody “Self-Isolating”

In the artist world, “Isolation courts the muse.”

As a writer and music producer, isolation is my normal life and one I love. I’m in my element here.

EXCEPT now that the world is forced into isolation, the wrong kind of people are doing it. They can’t stand the isolation so now everywhere I go electronically, there they are making a BIG noise about creating more online communities, live-streams, growing by the hour! Writing groups, music groups, cruising groups, Disney groups, groups from every direction. Anything to break their isolation. My email is FILLED with these announcements. The pressure to join in is great!

NOW that churches are online only, they are also creating a large number of live-streams of sermons, masses, liturgies, readings and prayers. I love them but a little goes a long way. My email is FILLED with announcements. The pressure to join in can’t help be felt just because they exist.

Their numbers are growing on a daily basis because the world can’t do anything unless it beats a good idea to death.

And now they’ve invaded my SACRED space.

I can’t wait for the world to get back to work and going about their noisy business and leaving me to my artist life. I can’t wait to drop in at church once a week and spend my own private prayer time alone at home. Having the world in your virtual space is too much for any introvert.

Truly, I hope that more opportunities/acceptance to work remotely will grow moving forward but only for those suited for it. We need to honor who people are and how they work best. This can only benefit their employers, spyware not needed.

Staying Upbeat in the Writing, Travel, Disney, and Cruise Community

During this difficult time, I noticed that writers are actively seeking out other writer’s books, asking where to buy them, and cruise/Disney vloggers are actively uploading vids that are uplifting. I love this.

One of the cruise vloggers (Scott Singer Cruises) I subscribe to uploaded a vlog from his 2019 Alaska cruise this morning. I noticed it really picked people up. For me, too. So I started sorting through some of my travel and cruise videos and uploading them.

And why not combine both – my love for travel, cruising, and writing books set on cruise ships and other touristy locales. Here are some links you night be interested in:

Travel Blog (Two4Disney) – Covers Disney, Cruising, Las Vegas, and other Travels with a link to my novels, too.

Two4Disney on YouTube – A few of our travel adventures uploaded in small bites. More to come. Not much of a channel yet, but why not subscribe and let’s build this thing together.

Screamie Birds Studios – My writing/music web site where I keep you up-to-date on my latest music and fiction creations.

 

Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon, the Book, the Poem, the Tour, and Now the Song (#FAWM)

You may recall that I’d just finished a publicity tour for my psychological suspense novel, Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon at the end of 2019 before starting FAWM on February 1st. Well, during the tour, I’d written a poem about the book here.

So, naturally, I turned that into a song for FAWM 2020. Check it out. I hope you like it – the song, poem, the tour, and the book. 🙂

Little Red Riding Hood (#amwriting)

Now that FAWM 2020 is over, I can get back to some blogging and even some writing – oh yeah! Scenes are already coming to me for one of my wips I’m just beginning.

And then, of course, the accompanying song, which happens to be “Little Red Riding Hood,” one of my Uncle Ron’s favorite songs to play back when he was touring. He’s definitely inspiration for one of the characters I plan to write today.