Thursday, October 31, 2013

I made contact with an awesome editor a few months ago who reminded me to keep writing.  So I did.  Boyfriend is still in traditional publishing limbo but in the mean time, I have decided to self publish a new series of short stories called, Dani's Belts.  The stories follow Dani Thomas, an unlikely protagonist of the zombie apocalypse. 

White Belt kicks off the series introducing Dani, a young college student on a road trip with her boyfriend, Rob, to see his favorite artist in concert.  When a short stop at a rest area turns into ground zero of the zombie apocalypse, Rob flees, leaving Dani, a self-proclaimed girly girl with no survival skills, to fend for herself among the growing population of flesh eating zombies. 

Download WHITE BELT here.  It's FREE today only for Halloween!

Look out for the next story in the series, Yellow Belt in January 2014.

Love and Light,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A college student ditched by her boyfriend braves ground zero of the zombie apocalypse in BCBG platform wedges and a sundress.
Order my new short story, White Belt on Kindle for FREE on Halloween!

After that, it's not free (but it's $0.99 which is practically free!).

Don't have a Kindle? Click here to get the FREE Reading App for your PC or Smartphone!
Love and Light,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Four years ago today, I woke up with my face smushed inside my elbow on my mother’s light oak kitchen table in Queens wondering if the previous ten hours had been a dream.  My head hurt and old tears stained my face.  There was a knock at the door.  I wiped the residues of my hour of sleep from the corners of my mouth and answered.  My aunt had bagels and my older brother was still gone. 
My brother, Tommy and I on a family vacation in Mystic, CT in 1987.

My brother, Tommy died on October 22, 2009. He lived 38 years, 4 months, 22 days and 3 ½ hours.  I was born when he was 10 years old.  Here is what I learned from the 28 years I witnessed his life. 
1.       Remain amused.  No matter what you may go through… no matter how hard life tries to break you down or what someone else might say or do to make you stumble, put it in perspective and find the humor. Tommy could have patented his signature smirk.  He was always in on the joke so he always won.
2.       Never let a freshman take yo’ spot.  This lesson was also taught by Sidra from Love and Basketball.  My brother was the baby for ten years before I was born.  If I was going to out-cute him, out-smart him, or out-sweet him, I had to work for it.  Always make them work for it.
3.       Gloat when necessary.  Even when beating your seven-year-old kid sister in Street Fighter, gloat.  Enjoy every win.  You earned it.  Just be prepared for the blow back. 
4.       Never trust a big butt and a smile.  Literally. This one is tucked away to use with my sons one day. Know the difference between the brain between your legs and the one in your head.  Act accordingly.
5.       Never beg someone to love you.  Loving you and being loved by you is a privilege.  I’ll never forget crying my eyes out after finding out an ex-boyfriend was cheating on me.  I wondered if I should forgive him and take him back.  Tommy looked me square in the eyes and said, “You’re my sister, don’t be desperate.”  Ha. He was right. 
6.       Get it. Even when no one else does.  Especially when no one else does.  Understanding the subtext is often more important than understanding what is actually being said.
7.       Love is an action.  Tommy never told me he loved me but he sat with me when I was afraid of the dark, brought me milk when I cried, and made all my battles his battles.
8.       It’s always sunglass weather. Tommy’s shades were almost as signature as his smirk.
9.       Listen more than you speak.  I remember Tommy’s quiet observance more than I remember his words. When he spoke, (most times) it mattered.
10.   PRINCE is EVERYTHING.  If you don’t know, ask someone.
11.   Always check on kids who are alone in a basement.  I’ll just let you use your imagination on that one. 
12.   Dowhatyoulike.  If you’d rather sing to Frank Sinatra than dance to the latest hip hop single, do it.  Put your own smile on your face. Ultimately, you hold the key to your happiness.  No one else does.
13.   Flirt shamelessly.  There are far too many good-looking people in this world not to.  Just remain mindful of boundaries.
14.   Drive fast with the windows down and music playing.  Ride a note and feel weightless… but don’t hit pedestrians.
15.   Pose in the mirror. Because you are fucking sexy at every angle.
16.   Don’t always pick up your phone.  Most times, it can wait. Sometimes it is better to let your own voice be the only voice in your head.
17.   Believe in the impossible. Because nothing is.
18.   Show up.  Always be there when it matters.  Every time I needed my brother there, he was.  From moving me into my first apartment, to wheeling me up to NICU after an emergency C-section to see my son after he was born,  to driving to Virginia to pick me up when I just needed to get home.  He always showed up, even when I didn’t ask. 
19.   Protect your space.  Not everyone is worthy of coming into your space.  Your home is your sanctuary. Discriminate. 
20.   Be a hero… within limits. Tommy was a Detective with the NYPD.  He was a 9/11 first responder and saved countless lives during his 19 years as a police officer.  He acted on instinct not impulse. 
21.   Ask questions; doubt the answers.  You’ve been lied to.  Never stop wondering why.
22.   Never stop believing in love. It’s what we are here for. 
23.   Love your parents without condition.  Their humanity is no less stainless than your own.  Don’t be naïve but forgive their sins.  They gave you life.
24.   Childhood is precious. Protect yours, protect others.
25.   Get lost in the sky.  Be quiet and look up.  You will feel large, small, significant, and insignificant all at the same time.  It’s magic.
26.   Guard your health.  If you have reason to question your health, go see a doctor. 
27.   There is never enough time. Don’t hold grudges.  Don’t put it off. Remain present and regret nothing. Make the journey count more than the destination.
28.   Everyone dies.  So get to living.

My eldest brother, Marc (on the right) and Tommy and I hugging after their big brother speech at my wedding in 2006.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

11 days to my short story debuts on Kindle, woot, woot!
If you happen to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed I have been oddly quiet.
No worries... I am not lying face down on my keyboard (most days).
I have been typing away, hoping to have a quality product ready for October 31.  I was also furloughed along with thousands of other federal employees due to the shutdown AND I was taking care of my youngest because our day care plans unexpectedly fell through.  What's that they say about God and plans?! 

But - I've made the best of it.  Despite not knowing where my next pay check would come from, I am blessed to have a working spouse.  I also have a helluva kid.  Although I missed doing my fancy lawyer lady dance the past two weeks and I could have done without the anxiety of the televised Congressional-will they/won't they, hanging with him by day and writing by night was all kinds of awesome.  Mom/Writer has a ring to it, doesn't it?

My littlest painting on the front lawn.

But, the horn has sounded and I'm back to the work and we are back to our regularly scheduled programming.  For now...

Talk soon!

Love and Light,
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