This One is for the Indie Writers!

To be a good writer, they say you have to be a good reader first and find inspiration in stories that move you.  I’ve been a lifelong lover of books and I admit to devouring a few of them a month (and that’s during a slow month).  And, when I started writing my own books, I found tons of inspiration in published authors that weaved stories I felt connected to because they wrote about characters who were just like me,  only thinner, smarter and living in a great one bedroom apartment in the city, one that I could never afford in my lifetime.   I came to know and love such authors as Sophie Kinsella, Emily Griffin and Jane Green, just to name a few, because I found my laugh in between the pages of their novels.

Now that I’ve been an Indie writer for almost a year (it will be  official in May), I have come to know another group of exceptionally talented writers who have taken their dreams of being published and made it happen on their own.  These are people I have come to admire as my colleagues and who understand the struggles (the highs and lows) of being a self-published author.  They are a great support system too (think AA but in this group, we do drink!), forwarding over resources and information, sharing and celebrating in your successes and talking you through (and off the ledge sometimes) the inevitable hiccups happening along the way.

And, more importantly, I have myself become a fan of their writing.  They make me see that it can be done.  You can write a good story and, eventually, someone will read it and like it.

So this blog post is dedicated to all of the Indie authors out there who are working so hard right now at making their dreams become realities.  They are sitting at their desk at home (in the basement, den or bedroom) or at the office and typing away on their computers, writing another chapter of their novel, a few more pages closer to the finish line.  They are up at all hours of the night or get up an hour earlier in the morning to get in some writing.   They breathe, eat and sleep the dream and, in the process, they are giving us some unforgettably good novels.

All I can say is: keep up the good work! I’m proud to be a member of this club.  And, as someone who is a reader first, writer second, I want to say thank you for giving me so many good stories to enjoy!


Mirror, Mirror On The Wall


Every once in a while, I wish I had a magical mirror.  You know-like the one in Snow White’s fairytale story.  Why?  Well, I could say it’s so that I’d have someone every morning tell me how beautiful I look-(and hopefully, how thin I am or do I need a magical scale for that one?) – even if it were a lie.  I can also say that I could definitely use the fortune something like that could fetch at an auction.  I’m thinking Christie’s or Sotheby’s and I’m thinking enough money to buy my own 500-foot yacht or a private island (I like the sound of Erin’s Tropical Oasis).  I can weave you a story about how I’ve always loved the circus since I was a little girl and with a mirror like that by my side, my dreams of joining Barnum and Baileys would finally come true; either that or a show in Vegas a la Criss Angel.  But all of those reasons, which are, by the way, all excellent reasons to have a magic mirror would not quite be it.

As I get older (and I’m not talking old, old yet) and wiser (no wise cracks for those of you who have already read my books), I’ve learned a few things as I’ve lived this thing called “my life”.  And I only wish I had a magic mirror so that I could somehow talk to my younger self and give her some serious advice I hope she would have enough sense to follow; I mean if you had your older self talking to you through a magic mirror, wouldn’t you listen?  True you’d be a little freaked out   but you would listen.  If I had that mirror, I would have saved my younger self so much pain and worry as well as a few wrinkles and grey hair!

So if I did have my wish of a mirror and I was able to talk to my twenty one year old self, here are a few things I would say to her:

(1) Stay out of the sun.  Sure, you may look great with a suntan now but trust me, those age spots do pop up sooner rather than later and cover up can only go so far.

(2) Don’t think twice about having that ice cream cone.  Trust me, you don’t even know yet what it is like to watch your weight so enjoy it while you don’t have to!

(3) Don’t wait by the phone for him to call.  If he really likes you, he’ll call,  If not, don’t sweat it.  Believe me, you’ll find the love of your life and he will be so worth the wait.

(4) Take the time to smell the roses.  I know it sounds cliché but time does go by fast, so enjoy it.

(5) Appreciate your stomach and wear that bikini if you want to.  Believe me, you don’t want to see what goes on there after you have kids.

(6) Don’t go for that perm you’re thinking about.  You’ll regret it and you’ll have the pictures to prove it (some of which your kids will eventually use to blackmail you or make fun of you).

(7) Laugh with your friends and appreciate them.  The good ones you have now really stick it out with you later.

(8) Write as much as you can whenever you can.  Trust me, it’ll come in handy later.

(9) Don’t stop wearing high heel shoes and save some of your favorites.  What’s out of style now won’t be later on.  It’ll be vintage and you’ll be glad for it.

(10) Buy Apple stock (you’ll thank me for that one later)

(11) Don’t stop yourself from falling in love.  The heartbreaks will happen but it will teach you to spot the real deal when it comes along.

(12) Travel as much as you can even if it’s to the next town over.

(13) Don’t be afraid to try different foods.  I know you won’t believe me but you really can like octopus!

(14) Don’t do anything just for the money.  Sometimes the things that don’t make you rich will give you the greatest joy.

(15) Don’t put so much makeup on.  The natural look works.

(16) Brace yourself when you try a Brazilian wax for the first time (I would drink a few glasses of wine and top them off with two or three Margaritas before you go)

(17) Try something new everyday unless of course it’s spinning and then I’d say run the other way as fast as you can.  (And no it’s not some cute needlepoint class, in case you’re wondering.)

(18) Do not watch the Blairwitch Project ever.  I’ve just saved you a few sleepless nights.

(19) Look to your parents for advice.  I know they may be annoying sometimes but they really are the only ones who truly have your back-even if they have no idea what a Sony Walkman is good for.

(20) Don’t throw out your Cabbage Patch or Rainbow Brite dolls that are still in mint condition.

(21) Neon shirts and black fish stocking will never come back in style.

(22) The Internet is not a fad.

(23) Leo DeCaprio dies at the end of the Titanic movie.

(24) Don’t be afraid to fail.  Go for your dreams even if it means falling down on your face a few times.  You’ll get up-trust me.  You are made of strong stuff.

I could go on but (sigh) unfortunately, I don’t have a magic mirror at my disposal and I never will.   But wait!  What if I had the Pensieve basin from Harry Potter and I can go back to the past. . . now there’s something I can use. . . .