Category Archives: Writing

Finding God on West Cliff Drive

It’s appropriate we should spend time at the Shrine of St. Joseph because St. Joseph is the patron saint for fathers, men, anger, families, and step families to name a few. Ever since we worshipped at the St. Joseph parish as part of Mission San Jose, I’ve been drawn to St. Joseph. As Catholic converts, we continue to discover the power, strength, and beauty of the Church.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve had very special spiritual experiences at Shrines. In Orlando, spending prayer time in the chapel, we were reassured that Rich would survive his hospital ordeal last year in Florida and we hung onto that for dear life.

When we look around the Orlando Shrine and see so many on vacation attending Mass or spending time in the chapel, well, we’re quite impressed that so many of the Catholic faithful do this on vacation. We love being a part of that! Orlando will always have a special place in our hearts – the Shrine and WDW – what a combo!

Recently, old family issues have caused some new upset in my life. But, as part of my prayer time in the chapel, I realized I could reach out to the Holy Family as my family. We began a quest for healing on this weekend’s trip to the beach, and it resulted in our visit to the Shrine. It was such a blessing and one we’ll recall for years to come.

Finding God on West Cliff Drive

It’s appropriate we should spend time at the Shrine of St. Joseph because St. Joseph is the patron saint for fathers, men, anger, families, and step families to name a few. Ever since we worshipped at the St. Joseph parish as part of Mission San Jose, I’ve been drawn to St. Joseph. As Catholic converts, we continue to discover the power, strength, and beauty of the Church.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve had very special spiritual experiences at Shrines. In Orlando, spending prayer time in the chapel, we were reassured that Rich would survive his hospital ordeal last year in Florida and we hung onto that for dear life.

When we look around the Orlando Shrine and see so many on vacation attending Mass or spending time in the chapel, well, we’re quite impressed that so many of the Catholic faithful do this on vacation. We love being a part of that! Orlando will always have a special place in our hearts – the Shrine and WDW – what a combo!

Recently, old family issues have caused some new upset in my life. But, as part of my prayer time in the chapel, I realized I could reach out to the Holy Family as my family. We began a quest for healing on this weekend’s trip to the beach, and it resulted in our visit to the Shrine. It was such a blessing and one we’ll recall for years to come.

Real Women Sing the Blues Excerpt

In Real Women Wear Red, you meet Cyn, Sandy, and Millie on a Caribbean cruise. But in the sequel, Real Women Sing the Blues, Robin joins the women in Hawaii. To receive news of this release, please fill out the Newsletter form.

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter, introducing Robin.

1
As The World Turns
Robin

I remember the exact moment when my world shifted. The air in my SoHo loft felt chilled and too hot at the same time when moments ago the gas fireplace had warmed the coolness of the black and white furnishings to the perfect temperature. The neon lights flashed the name of the latest theatre performance; one I’d seen two or three times and every time, wished that I was starring in it.

In that moment, I knew I could no longer continue to be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there the blues were calling my name.

My mother, Millie Evans, had just returned from a nonstop round of winter Caribbean cruises, followed by weeks of summer Bermuda cruises, and a short season of fall New England cruises. That was Millie for you—she always knew what to do when.

So, I was surprised when she called me and said that she was two blocks from my loft and asked that I meet with her. At first, fear landed in my belly as my mind immediately shifted to worry. But she reassured me it wasn’t serious. “Well, not serious like death or divorce,” she’d said. Why would she bring up death or divorce?

When I opened the door, she hugged me tightly, tighter than usual for her. I noticed the red outfit she was wearing with such panache, and smiled because I knew it was her favorite color. It was eight p.m. and I’d only been home briefly after sharing a couple of cocktails with friends downtown. I’d changed into my blue sweats and a t-shirt, because blue was my favorite color. It relaxed me, calmed me, chilled me to a more normal temperature that my heart rate preferred over the red-hot days of life on Wall Street.

After inviting her in, I offered her a glass of wine, and she turned it down, which surprised me. If it was one thing I knew about my mother was that she rarely turned down a glass of wine or cocktail. It was ubiquitous with Millie Evans. Had she been taking the doctor’s advice to give up smoking and drinking? Somehow, I doubted that. I was more convinced it had to do with the news she had to deliver and my spine stiffened, preparing me to hear the worst.

I poured myself a glass of red wine, and sat down on the white leather sofa, encouraging her to do the same. Instead, she started pacing the room, stopping to stare out the floor-to-ceiling windows. Suddenly, she turned toward me, her hands wringing like a nineteen fifties sitcom mother like Margaret in “Father Knows Best.” Although, in this case, the show in our house would be “Mother Knows Best.”

She cleared her throat and said, “Robin, dear, there’s something I must tell you.” I could have predicted that. Wasn’t that why she was here?

She sat down next to me and surrounded my hands with her hands, which were ice cold, unlike the usual warm, comforting hands I remembered all throughout my childhood. I’d always loved that about her, that no matter how crappy my day had been, she’d greet me with those warm, comforting hands and my whole life got better just by her touch. This was not happening now.

“Robin,” she began again, “your father…” Her voice trailed off and I wondered what she could possibly tell me about my father who had died a few years ago. What could be this upsetting? The family fortune was no more? Or a new surprise heir was claiming the family fortune?

I Was a San Francisco Mad Woman

My tagline was inspired by following a guy on twitter called FrankAdMan from San Francisco. Apparently, he’s some kind of character from 1963, Mad Man-style. And that reminded me of my own San Francisco (M)ad Woman days, albeit a bit after that era, when I worked in the historic James Flood Building on Market and Powell where the cable cars turn around.

I miss those heady, creative days as a freelance production artist working on ad copy, books, brochures, etc, for ad agencies, publishers, and printers (before my high-tech Silicon Valley days). Some of my most well-known projects were for clients such as the Orange Bowl, the Grand Nationals Rodeo at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, and a biographer for The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia.

I’ve loved all aspects of publishing for as long as I can remember – from the first words I called my own when I penned my first piece of fiction in childhood to the first time I entered a print shop one sunny October day in southern California with my junior high journalism class. To this day, I can’t walk inside a print shop and inhale that scent without flashing back to that day.

So when a writer friend said, “They say that when you move to Paris, you’ve become serious about writing,” I thought something similar about Las Vegas. “When you move to Las Vegas, you’ve become serious about music.” After all, it is the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”

When we moved to Las Vegas, I interviewed with a client for a technical writing project and they asked me to sing in the interview.

I took voice lessons with a Broadway performer from “Mamma Mia!”

My husband bought me a keyboard for Christmas one year, and one of the most exciting experiences was entering the music store to pick out some music – I hadn’t done that since I’d sung in high school.

Watching Nashville, I started doodling with lyrics, thinking about songwriting, my musical family, and my agent’s words about my writing having a “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm.”

The summer of 2014 was the “summer of Elvis.” I stood on the stage where Elvis performed over 800 shows in the former International/Las Vegas Hilton, held a microphone, and felt so comfortable up there. This surprised me because I only felt intimidated when I stood on the stage of the Ryman.

I held the microphone in my hand and felt very comfortable up there and that surprised me because I felt intimidated when I stood on the Ryman stage.

Was I more comfortable because it was Elvis or because I’m now paying attention to my music? Whatever the reason, I’m now inspired to give my music classes all I’ve got. I have a feeling it’ll spill over into my writing, too.

After all, writers must write. And until you do, you’ll sidle up to other writers and writing tools just like I sidled up to the keyboard on the Elvis stage – my inner musician was screaming at me to get busy.

So I enrolled in the “Modern Musician” certificate program with Berklee College of Music, joined NSAI (Nashville Songwriter’s Association International) and became an NSAI-certified songwriter at the end of 2014.

My goal for 2015 is to determine which path I want to follow – that of commercial songwriter or singer/songwriter, performing songs I’ve written just for me. Or something I do while I sit at my desk pondering life and writing.

Whatever happens, I must say, my biggest musical passion is singing. So I’ve been recording some of my rehearsal vocals, as I work on tuning the vocals, practicing the keys, and working on my next song.

Myths of the Fatherless Interview

Carine Nadel interviewed me for her article in the Orange County Register – also picked up on MSNBC – about my search for my father and book about this subject, Myths of the Fatherless.

MYTHS OF THE FATHERLESS

Every little girl loves her daddy. But what happens when that daddy is missing? Or another man steps into his place? Society has accepted many myths about what that means to a child.

MYTHS OF THE FATHERLESS attempts to dispel those myths by sharing the author’s story of her search for her father and eventual reunion with him. Throughout her journey, she discovered she was not alone, and despite her denial, fathers are very important to a woman. And whatever the reason the father is missing, not knowing him affects a woman’s relationships with men and her entire life.

Available in Print, E-Book, Smashwords, and on Kindle.