OMG—oh my galaxy! I have a feeling I’m not in Andromeda anymore. A starbeing was supposed to travel light-years across the universe to help humanity by working in Washington, D.C.—but she accidentally lands in a small Kansas town in the body of Missy. She has come to help humanity, but maybe it was Missy who needed the help. Join her on this whimsical journey as she discovers the beauty of life and love on Earth. Author Ann Crawford’s trademark optimism brings us a witty and wise book filled with memorable characters and insights into what makes us all so very human.
This book was so much fun to write. A friendly alien was supposed to land in Washington, DC, where she was to help humanity on a grand geopolitical scale, but she got diverted to...Kansas! In the diversion she lost all of her training for Earth. So everything's new. It was just delightful to try to think up how a first shower would feel, how a first bite of Starbucks cake pops would taste (those are my favorite treats), making love and the whole human enchilada--as an adult, not having our usual human childhood to get used to the neighborhood.
This book was so much fun to write. A friendly alien comes to Earth; she was destined for Washington, D.C. where she was to help humanity on a grand geopolitical scale, but she got diverted to Kansas! In the diversion she loses all of her training. Plus, everything--from a bite of oatmeal to a Starbucks frothy drink to a shower to, well, all of this human stuff--is a brand new experience for her. The alien takes over Missy's body, and Missy's family just thinks she has amnesia from a car accident. But trying to imagine and then describe everything we humans do as if it was the very first shower, etc. experienced was really, really fun. We do have quite a life here, LOL.
In this book, Missy is a friendly ET who was supposed to land in Washington, DC, where she could've helped humanity on a grand geopolitical scale. Instead, she lands in...Kansas! Talk about having to accept what you weren't expecting -- like all of us, right now. My husband is a musician and on top of being an author, I perform comedy. There hasn't been much of any of that lately. Instead of dashing out to rehearsals and performances, we...sit in the backyard, quietly pondering life and chatting. It's become such a gift to be out there with the brook, critters, flowers, sunset, each other, and the peacefulness. I call it eventide, to hearken way back. I'm so very grateful. I hope you and yours are safe and well and have something unexpected to be grateful for. I posted our view on my Insta: @anncrawfordauthor
There's a line in the movie Starman: "You [humans] are at your best when you're at your worst." Yep. That's us. Here we are in a global pandemic, suddenly deciding that ways of the past no longer work. I heard a bakery owner talk about how many people just send her money to make bread and give it to those who are going without. Anyway, ever since I heard that line, I've wanted to write a story about a starbeing who awakens in an adult human body and gets to experience this wild (adult) life of ours, without first growing up in it. It's a magical ride! This fun, feel-good book won an award for visionary fiction.
...in quarantine are 1) that my husband and I adore each other and make each other laugh...a lot. 2) my backyard. We live in a townhouse complex and there's basically a small park in and as my backyard. I'm out there just about every day, with the ducks in the brook, rabbits, and myriad birds. We're expecting little ducks and rabbits any day now. Here's chapter 1 of my award-winning book for you to enjoy. It and Angels on Overtime and Life in the Hollywood Lane are 99 cents for a quarantine special.
I remember right after 9/11 some comedians expressed regret that they weren't doing more in the world, like the first responders. "Oh," I thought, "but your gift is so important and so needed, especially now." And again now. When people ask me my books' genre, I say, "Deep and funny." Funny is often how the deep gets in. A few years ago I started doing improv and about a year ago I started doing standup. Being able to laugh and make people laugh is one of the biggest gifts I've experienced, of both giving and receiving. I'm so grateful. This book is still on a 99-cent special and will be through our together-at-home time.
Oh, the simple things in life -- like a bath. I have so much appreciation for those simple things and definitely for my weekly hours-long soak in the tub. But what if you woke up--for the very first time--as an adult in a human body? Wouldn't this body you're in be a miracle? This ebook is still only 99 cents for a quarantine-time special. I am so enamored of everyone taking this in stride, the grocery-store workers who are staying so upbeat, and most especially the health-care workers, first responders and everyone dealing with this virus first-hand. My love, appreciation and admiration is with you.
One of the main reasons I wrote this book was to explore how wonderful this being-a-human thing can be and how special life on Earth is. In this bubble, someone just asked the starbeing, parading as Missy, what it's like where she comes from. This is my favorite section and I hope you find it uplifting, even--or especially--given all that's going on right now. This book is a romantic comedy, along the lines of the movie Splash, but still deep. I hope you enjoy it.
My husband and I were thinking of traveling for a bit and working remotely on the road. So much for that idea. We're in a wait-and-see about any future plans for the moment, due to the coronavirus and travel restrictions. I'm just mildly miffed. Meanwhile, my heart goes out to anyone directly impacted by the virus, along with their families. On a lighter note, Fresh off the Starship is entirely about when plans are rearranged--Missy was supposed to land in Washington DC where she could help humanity on a grand geopolitical scale. She ends up in...Kansas! Like we all have to when the unexpected arises, she makes the most of it. Even oatmeal, LOL.
#1 Amazon bestseller! Quirky, heart-opening, funny, poignant, up, down, and everywhere in between—that’s life and that’s Life in the Hollywood Lane. Trish, an LA actor, is bereft with guilt after her best friend commits suicide. Glamorous yet tough-as-nails Hollywood is Trish’s backdrop and a reflection of her life as she stumbles on through an actor’s life of casting calls and premieres, rejection and acceptance. Slowly Trish releases the idea of how her life should be and embraces the messy, flawed, yet stunningly beautiful truth of how it is. Trish’s humorous resilience and acceptance lead to transformation, surrender, and ultimately love. Author Ann Crawford’s trademark optimism for life and love shine through in this inspiring story that reminds us all that no matter what the question, love is always the answer. Life in the Hollywood Lane is chockablock with LOL and aha moments. Also, know any folks who’ve been chasing a long-held dream? Do them a favor and gift them this book!
The really fun thing about writing fiction is I base a lot of things on real-life happenings, but since it's fiction no one ever really knows if something's real or not. This castle in the hills is a real place and I went to a party there one night -- a night I'll never forget. A friend lived there for a little bit and I stayed over one night, and I did wake up to those coyotes at 5 AM. And Claude is based on a friend of mine, who had many parties at his house and I went to a bunch. And Trish and Cyndi are based on real people, too. I worked in talent management in LA for a bit and one of our actors committed suicide, which shocked everyone who knew her. She was so talented, gorgeous, outgoing, funny. I still miss her very much. This book came to me over the next couple of years, and I wanted her to be the shero of her journey, no matter how it ended for her.
I've been doing a number of author interviews for this book lately, and I love to say this book is a result of a perfect meandering. That's a term used re permaculture, but it's also a good term for my life, too, LOL. So many things I've done--all the traveling, film making, talent management, being in movies large and small, improv, living in LA for a bit, visiting family in Wisconsin so often--have been a perfect meandering for this book to be written. I like to tell people that I have my own genre: deep and funny. All the highs and lows of my life go into my books as well, to make them deep and funny. Every step of Trish's journey through grief after her BFFs suicide--a journey that's quirky and funny as often as it's deep and touching--is a meandering that's perfect in its own way.
Hi, beautiful friends. This book is about two actors who are trying to make it in Hollywood. Because this is a town that's very tough on aging actors, one committed suicide the night before her fortieth birthday. But what is success, really? These two thought it was having their names in lights, walking the red carpet, that whole thing. Maybe success for an actor does include all that, but if the feeling inside doesn't match that outside glamour, has success been reached?
In his inaugural speech in 1961, the year I was born, JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Today on Instagram (@anncrawfordauthor if you're on there) I posted this: "You need to understand life isn't what you're given; it's what you create, what you overcome, and what you achieve that makes it beautiful." Either way, it's what we give that determines what we get. I love that. This bubble doesn't directly refer to that, but this entire book does as it explores dreams coming true...finally, LOL! I hope you enjoy your long weekend for our nation's birthday and that you and yours stay safe and well.
My brother is nearing the end of his life. It could be a few hours; it could be a few days. He's had a neurological disease similar to Parkinson's or a slower-moving ALS, so the true grief really happened years ago when the disease stole his vital, vibrant life. The main character in this book loses her BFF to suicide and lost her brother to a neurological disease. Someone once asked if I'd ever write my life story. "Well," I answered, "my life story goes into every book I write, in one way or another." And my main hope is that by sharing my journey, I help others continue on theirs, knowing they're not alone with grief, the spiritual search, working hard to make dreams come true, and many other aspects of living. I also know that happily ever after comes in spurts, intermingled with the heavier moments that all lives have.
"An author starts her path to being an author by writing down the very first word of a book. A pro actor starts his path to being a pro actor with, perhaps, getting his first headshot." That's what I said the other day to my adult stepson, who isn't quite sure what he wants to do with himself, and the pandemic isn't helping. The raindrop is from a quote by Mother Teresa, where she tells us that one person, one raindrop, is a necessary part of the ocean, of the whole. The thing about one raindrop is it could be the sign of a coming storm of change, a whole career, a whole new way of being. This bubble is about holding on to the dream.
Is that what I like to read or what I like to write? Yes! I love reading books that make me think and consider things in a new way, books that impart wisdom, and books that make me laugh and feel all good inside. That's what I love to write, too. Speaking of wisdom, I had an author interview today, and he read this section. I do think clarity is the #1 thing we need for any dreams to come true. The footwork comes second, but only after we're crystal clear about what we want. This ebook and Fresh off the Starship are on a 99-cent special. Enjoy! I hope you and yours are well and safe.
This book and my Fresh off the Starship are at a 99-cent special for a while--both are funny, feel-good books for this wild time we're in. Speaking of that, I had a delayed reaction to this wildness. I was really focused on revising my latest book. Plus I'm a writer and an introvert, so I appreciated having a time of no social engagements. Then this week happened and it all hit me, like it hit my extrovert friends 7 weeks ago. Whaaaaat! I'm so grateful my husband and I can easily work at home. We're even doing a special exercise video and are getting buff! Well, he was already buff. I'm getting there. I hope you and yours are safe and well.
Here's to dreams coming true. In this section of the book, Trish talks about how much it takes to even just hold the dream of making it in Hollywood. And the ebook is only 99 cents since I know many of you, uh, have more reading time than you were expecting. I hope you you and yours are safe and well. From my heart to yours.
All of us, no matter who we are and what we're doing, travel the shero's or hero's journey...especially now! These times were not made for the faint of heart and as some people have said, we were made for times such as these. Regarding my book here and not our global pandemic, I worked in talent management for a bit. One of my actors committed suicide. Over the next couple years, this story came to me. I wanted her to be the shero of her journey, no matter how it ended. When people ask me what I write about, I say, "I go deep and funny." So while this is a journey through grief, it's also quirky with many LOL moments.
I'm leaving for LA tomorrow, and this weekend I'll see the man who inspired the character of Claude. He didn't live in the Hollywood Hills, but still in Hollywood. I did go to a party in a castle in the Hollywood Hills, complete with a moat and knight in shining armor, so I just combined the fella and the location for this scene, one of my favorites in the whole book. Thank you for reading and enjoy!
Hi, everybody. This book made it to #1 in several categories yesterday and today. I'm so happy! One time a friend said, about my writing and finally coming into some success, "You just kept going." I replied, "There was nothing else to do but keep going." And going. And going. And going. I've been writing books for 30+ years and have even been published traditionally. It just takes a while sometimes. But for me there was nothing else to do but hang in there...end enjoy the ride in the meantime. This is one of my favorite parts of this book, where my shero describes some of the characters she's dated while working for 20 years to make it in Hollywood.
I wanted our first Christmas together (13 years ago) to be a beautiful experience for my new husband and stepchildren. They'd been through a horrible family tragedy and I wanted that Christmas to be special. This book bubble is about when life imitates art...I do love Christmas and, unfortunately, there was one when the dog ate the guinea pig. She didn't actually eat her, but did sink her teeth in enough to shock the poor little animal, who had been a Christmas present! When we went to get another guinea pig the next day, we told the pet-store guy what happened. "On Christmas?" he exclaimed. So much for the specialness of that holiday. All four of us still love Christmas, though, and make each one ever more special and beautiful. For that I'm so grateful.
I did a book reading the other night and read this section -- one of my favorite parts of the book. The audience always laughs a lot when Trish starts talking about one of them in particular. Bet you can guess which one, LOL. Enjoy!
Hi friends. I need 2 more reviews of this book in order to do something special with it. I'm happy to send a free PDF copy to the first few people who contact me at email@example.com. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Thank you and cheers!
I've been winning book awards lately and other things have been moving along in my writing career, as well. A friend of mine said, "You never gave up!" My answer? "There was nothing else for me to do!" There was nothing else for me to do except write, I meant. And if we keep on keepin' on, that dream will come alive. Blessings on your dreams, too, and may they come alive soon!
I love this book. Sigh. I love all of my books, of course, but this one has a special place in my heart. OK, yes, they all do. This one is extra special, though, because it's kind of based on someone I know who killed herself, and it's a tribute to her. I wanted to celebrate her journey no matter how it ended. Also in tribute to her, the book is quite quirky and funny, as she was.
This book is a quirky journey of an actor trying to make it in LA, and this section is about how her childhood shaped her. August is one of my favorite months of the year, because my family would go (upscale-ish) camping at the beach for a couple of weeks, and these were our best times together. Vacation would always come right after one or more of us five kids would perform in our town's Shakespeare Festival. As I sit here writing about these two wonderful, formative annual events, all the sad parts of my childhood fade away (at least for now) and I'm so grateful.
Authors don't get that instant feedback that other performers get. We get letters, which is always nice, but we don't often experience laughter and applause that comedians, actors and musicians get. I did a book reading last week and I read this section, which is one of my favorites. I loved hearing the laughter from the crowd. I don't write for the feedback, of course, but it's always nice to get it. Here the main character, an actor in LA, talks about how the characters in that town are not all in the movies. The book is about how she deals with the grief after BFF commits suicide, but it's also quite quirky, with many funny moments along the way.
I lovelovelovelovelove making the audiobooks of my books. I love hearing the books come to life and have the characters speak the way I heard them when they first spoke those words in my head. Today I got a big surprise. I was reading the acknowledgements, and I got to the part that starts "To my friends who have committed suicide...." I couldn't speak for a few minutes--I was totally lost in love and appreciation and grief for them. They're the reason I wrote this book....the main character's BFF kills herself, and I wanted her to still be the shero of her journey, no matter how her journey ended. The rest of that part goes "I look forward to the time and place where I get to see you again. I love you so much, and I honor your courage, your decision, and your journey."
I actually know a guy like Claude and he actually had a jungle room. I also went to a few way cray parties at his house. So it wasn't hard to create the mood for this disjointed meeting, in the midst of mermaids and many other wild characters. I love creating mood...almost as much as I love writing the scene when "she" first lays eyes on "him." Enjoy!
Kathy at Bublish asked us to talk about times we've made tough decisions. Oh, I've had many in my life -- whether to divorce my previous husband, move from California to Kansas to be with someone I just met (!), pursue a degree....actually, that last one is a good example because the other 2 examples were just inevitables. I was thinking about getting a Masters in Social Work, but it wasn't quite coming together. I'd spent several years taking lots of classes, including statistics (for psychology)--me! I even got an A. After a while I "tried on" (like a garment) one decision -- not to continue -- and the relief that flooded my body told me that was the right answer. Here Trish has talking about how she decided to go to Hollywood.
As the title says, I've been to 70 countries, plus all 50 states. I seem to have been born with an innate urge to see the world...and then bring the messages I received and experienced that've enriched me so much home and into my books. This scene actually happened. And this is where my main character is just like me...which happens from time to time in my stories, LOL.
I lived in LA and worked in talent management for a bit. It was one of the most fun times of my life. Shortly after I left, though, one of the actors I worked with committed suicide. Over the next couple of years, this book came to me. I still wanted her to be the shero of her journey, no matter how her life ended. She was such a beautiful, talented, amazing person. Right now I'm sitting in a cafe in LA being reminded of all the things it took to write this book...all the work around movies that I've done, all the aspects of talent management that I reveled in, and all the characters I met...and even am looking at right now, LOL.
I love reading books of all kinds -- fiction, non-fiction, silly things, serious things, women's lit, bios...you name it. Maybe not thrillers or mysteries so much, unless they're by Dan Brown. As a writer myself, I'm a pretty tough customer and I'll really only finish a book if it's truly exceptional. Life's too short to read a book that doesn't float my boat! My favorite thing is when authors can create new (to me) worlds that I can completely immerse myself in. I also love wacky characters I've never encountered before. This book bubble is about a world I've been a part of that most haven't -- Hollywood -- and a true character. Believe me, the most colorful characters in that town are NOT just in the movies, LOL.
Writing books about 'em! Yes, when I was little people would ask me where I got my read hair; yes, I finally started saying, "From my head." Yes, people in Southeast Asia rubbed my arm to see if my freckles are lumpy, I guess. So much of what I write about is true. And so much more is from the energy of everyone I've ever known -- not that I'm divulging secrets, but they're with me through all these characters I write about. This week I dedicated my blog (anncrawford.net) to my mom, who died 40 years ago on the 9th...and was probably the main reason I started writing.
I had the honor and fun of working in talent management in LA for a while. One of the actors I worked with committed suicide (as did a dear friend of mine years ago). She was so beautiful, so funny, so vivacious, so talented, so smart, so....... About a year after she died this story came to me. I wanted her to still be the shero of her journey, even in how it ended. Life in the Hollywood Lane is a tribute to her and to all the amazing, wonderful people I worked with. Actors often make it look easy. It's not. Kudos to them and to everyone who works toward their dreams.
Now and then my alma mater sends an email asking if I’d like to give some career advice to a senior. About that…. I started out in English, which makes complete sense to anyone who knows me. After a part-time job in an ad agency, I switched to business with an emphasis in marketing. That kind of makes sense. Advertising was the start of my after-college work life, but it wasn’t really for me. Then followed sooooo many different jobs—working for a holding company, editing, marketing, editing, the financial industry (three times!), more editing, talent management, then more editing. I’ve even made a couple of documentaries, including one that won a very prestigious award. But in my heart I’m a writer. I’m grateful for all the jobs I’ve had and the long list of characters I’ve met over the years. All the people I’ve met at every workplace gave me such gifts. My favorite job outside of doing my own thing was being a talent manager in LA. I fell in love with my actors and gained tremendous respect for them plus appreciation for how tough the movie industry is. That was the impetus for this book. Here’s one of my favorite clips (I still talk in movie language a lot) about the many forms success can take:
I went to see the medium James Van Praagh near Denver once. This scene in my book, which is about a woman's journey through grief after her BFF commits suicide, is based on that. A son spoke through him to tell his heartbroken parents that there wasn't a single thing they could've done to stop him from committing suicide.
As I mentioned, if I write a book, it has to be a love story. This is where Trish finally surrenders to the love that's been looking for her.
My book features an actor, but it's really for any artist or anyone who's been pursuing a dream and would love to see it come alive. Know someone who has a long-held desire? Do him or her a favor and gift them this book!
The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have many people talking about suicide. I was in talent management in LA a while back, and one of our actors committed suicide, as did a very dear friend many years before. So I've thought about it a lot. A story came to me where the one who committed suicide is still the shero of her journey, no matter how it ended. Here her BFF Trish is first grappling with it and then looks at it from many angles, including why the famous might do it--relying on her ever-present humor.
If I write a book, it has to have a love story in it.....here's the start of that part of my book.
Here Trish, my shero, is talking about how the wild characters in Hollywood are not just in the movies....they especially show up in her love (not so much) life.
Introduction to one of my favorite characters I've had the pleasure to write about. She's quite the character!
The untold love story between the Bible's two most powerful characters. In history books, Mary of Magdala has been described as a common prostitute— a person of low moral character and little consequence. In reality, she was a powerful healer and priestess of the cosmos. She was commanding, intelligent and fierce... and deeply in love from the moment she met Yeshua, also known as Jesus of Nazareth. This insightful telling of the untold love story between the most extraordinary woman and man in the universe will make you reconsider biblical history and contemplate the divine forces that shape all of our lives.
One favorite part is the moment I finish a book. Oh, does that feel good! Another favorite part is when I get letters from readers telling me about how my book moved / affected / uplifted them, made them think of things in a new way, etc. This book is about Mary Magdalene, an alternative version of the story we've come to know. I probably get more letters about this one than any other. Spellweaver would be second. Writers write because they have to. We'd write even if no one else ever read our words. But when we can give a gift (like a book), have it fully received and appreciated, and the recipient lets us know, the gift is given back. It goes full circle. I'm beyond grateful.
I was raised Catholic. Every time I heard the priest talk about Mary Magdalene being a "bad" woman, I had a wild, visceral reaction--very unusual for someone so young. Somehow that version of her life didn't sit right with me, and I couldn't wait to grow up and write a different story for her. In a recent author interview, I was asked what 3 books I'd want with me on a deserted island. I said, "The latest book by Dan Brown, the latest book by Kathleen McGowan, and my own Mary's Message." The words in there still surprise and uplift me--and I wrote it, LOL.
I spent a chunk of my childhood in the hospital -- not for me but for my mother, who was very sick for many years. She died when I was 17, and I've already lived longer than she did. Naturally, this has affected my life in so many ways. Because life can be shorter than we expect, I really want to do the things I set out to do--most especially write. One thing I did do with my mom was go to church. I was raised Catholic, and I developed a very deep connection with Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Mother Mary. My beliefs have shifted over the years, but my connection to them has only deepened. This is an alternative to the story we've all heard. I hope you enjoy it.
I've made 2 documentaries about peace. For one I traveled to Viet Nam with a group of vets and filmed them doing a humanitarian project and going back to where they'd been stationed. That film won a very prestigious award. For another movie, I traveled the world asking people how we can come together and make peace. These 2 experiences were such a great honor, and the mission of peace fills my writing. Every book I write is about peace, loving each other, and making the world a better place. In this bubble from Mary's Message, Mary Magdalene talks about making peace.
I was raised Catholic. My mom even wanted to be a nun, but my dad talked her out of it. A whole lot of people wouldn't be here and you wouldn't be reading this Bubble if she'd gone ahead with that choice. But, very surprising for a woman who wanted to be a nun, she would tell me alternative ideas to what the priests were saying. I remember them mentioning Mary Magdalene and always having a feeling that there was more to the story. So I wrote more to the story.
A reader once told me that my book MARY'S MESSAGE is his favorite book of all, ever. He's highly educated, very philosophical and discerning, and not at all easy to please when it comes to books. So learning that this is his fav book certainly made my day! One of the reasons he loves it so much--aside from how well it's written (hehe)--is that it really touched his heart and opened new worlds for him...and that's what I'm here for: to touch hearts and open new worlds for readers. I love hearing about when I've been successful in that, and hopefully each days brings a new touched heart, a new opened world.
Crazy times then, crazy times now. Our only job is to rise.
She died at the stake forgiving those who betrayed her. Young Catriona, a beautiful and kind Wiccan healer with an uncanny knowledge of natural and herbal remedies, is trusted and beloved by all in her small Scottish village. As her power grows, a jealous witch hunter begins to spread hate-fueled lies. He paints Catriona as an evil sorcerer. As fear takes hold, the people Catriona once trusted and cared for now accuse her of being a Spellweaver and call for her to be burned at the stake. Told from five different perspectives, this mesmerizing narrative shows the disastrous consequences that occur when compassion is trumped by human fear and deception.
Authors often joke about how we'd be looked at if anyone could see our browser history. "It's for research for a book -- I promise!" we'd say if anyone ever saw it. (Yikes.) I think my strangest search would be torture devices used in the 16th century. I'm all about love, light and laughter, but this book about a witch burning did need to include a few of those, uh, devices. Yuck. On the other hand, we also spend a fair chunk of time on baby-name websites, LOL. Or Scottish name websites, in this case. I was going to change Catriona's name because of Catriona Balfe's and Outlander's popularity, to be different. My Catriona spoke to me in no uncertain terms: "Don't you dare change my name!" Okay, okay. Gotta do what they say -- it's their stories, after all.
The title here is from a poem by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. There have been so many times throughout history when people needed to stand together for change that will drive us all forward. These are certainly those times. This book was about one of those times, as well: the witch hunts. It examines what happens when society, or a village in this case, comes under the influence of people who want to hurt...because underneath it all, they're scared. But special people--like you and me--can rise up and hopefully help make this world a better place. We can do it in so many ways...raising our children to be extra loving, creating art that opens hearts, forming relationships that are more than the two people would be without it, and so much more. Blessings to you and all that you do.
...to write, of course! What were you thinking? LOL. Our topic this week is how we get creative when the muse is off visiting some distant shores, and I chose this book because it was by far the hardest to write. A witch burning? I'd rather write about achieving dreams and finding new love, although that's in here too. The way I finally finished this book was to chunk it waaaaay down: "Okay, I'll work on it for 5 minutes." Of course 5 minutes always stretched into more--the important part was starting. I also meditate for about 15 minutes before each writing session; I don't think I can write without that. I have crystals specially placed on the table next to me and little lights all around my writing nest. By the time all this is arranged and I've meditated, the words are ready to jump out of me. FYI Hollywood and Starship are still at 99 cents.
I dedicated this book to "my sister by birth and by heart." We have lots of sisters in this lifetime of ours, and sometimes we're lucky that our blood sisters are sisters of the heart, too. I came up with the idea for this book and told my sister about it; she had the exact same story in her head from the main character's sister's point of view! How uncanny is that? I love writing all my books. This one was special for this reason. I'm staying with my sister in California for a few days, so this is really fresh on my mind.
I remember writing this passage one day as I watched the snow fall right outside the window of my writing nest. It was such a swirly feeling inside as the snow swirled outside. As it piled up, I felt shorter, LOL. I imagined I was Catriona in her cave, watching the snow fall outside. Here she was pregnant and freezing cold; here I was doing one of my favorite things (writing) all snuggled up and warm, with myriad Christmas lights around me (they stay up year-round). Catriona was a very special woman and had her own inner light and warmth, no matter what her circumstances.
Kathy from Bublish asked us to write about light this week. I love light. I have Christmas lights up all year long, circling a big painting, sitting in large, glass jars in the fireplace, along a few walls. I have solar-powered garden lights around an indoor tree. Did I mention I love light? Spellweaver is about a light worker who lived during the Burning Times. Some lights you just can't extinguish.
Kathy's general suggestion for this week of "what if...." and the particular question of "what if you could start your writing career over" really struck me. I'd love to have had more success earlier on. But then I might not have made movies...or gone to Hollywood...or moved to Kansas to marry the love of my life...or.... So many of the experiences of my life end up in my books: like seeing that woman on the street of New Delhi carefully sweeping out her tarp tent with such reverence for her little home and few possessions. Or the veterans' war experiences they shared with me on the their back to Viet Nam 20 years after the war ended, which ended up being an award-winning documentary. Or.....
I'm recording the audiobook for Spellweaver, and I read this passage yesterday. It brought tears to my eyes...and I wrote it! LOL. This is after the heroine makes love to her soulmate, and her heart is cracked wide open. I adore how structuring words just so can convey the sublime, the ecstasy of life, the union with all things.
The whole story of Spellweaver came to me as I was on a bus going across the Island of Mull, on my way to the ferry to the Island of Iona--both off the west coast of Scotland. I looked over across the waters to the hills and mountains, and the story just came to me. So the setting was easy. Every time I wrote about the scenery, I recalled that day. Of course, watching Outlander certainly helps, too! LOL
From time to time throughout history, we see communities get drawn into heinous acts...like Germany in the 1930s and 40s, like the US and other countries with slavery, like so many examples. During the witch hunts, regular people could be put under the spell of fear. Spellweaver is the story of an amazing healer, but whose small village falls under the spell of the witch hunter. But, no matter what, love is what matters.
I'm generally pretty funny in my books, so it was really hard to write this one--about a healer during the witch hunts. The story came to me while I was on a bus in Scotland, and it wouldn't let me go until I'd written and published it! Our bubbles this week are about how we draw readers in, and hopefully this first line does exactly that. And, yes, she was a very good witch...although in this book's definition, a witch is a healer.
I am one of the lucky ones: to be living a real-life love story that gets even more wonderful as time goes by. I love writing about love -- especially the moment when two hearts meet for the first time. In this story, one was a wanderer who wanted to sail the seven seas and see the world; the other wanted to stay put and listen to what the world had to tell her, right where she was. This is the moment these two vastly different souls came together.
Spellweaver is about a gifted healer back during the witch hunts. This section includes thoughts from someone from her little village in Scotland wondering aloud how they allowed the witch hunter to take their special woman from them....and it was because the witch hunter cast them under a metaphorical spell, not the witch--her only (metaphorical) spells were for healing, love, and light.
Women were burned at the stake for being...healers. Witches were actually healers. At the time, the church did not want any competition in the healing department. When the witch hunter came to this little village in Scotland in 1597, he cast his spell on the villagers and they turned against their favorite daughter. This was the hardest book of mine to write. But the darkness of the past makes it all the more important to shine our light now.
I love writing about love and its magic and majesty. All of my books are about love in one form or another. Spellweaver is about a very special woman during a very dark time...and this excerpt is from when love literally came to her town in the form of a traveler and allowed her to take her sublime love of life and wrap it around a human being. It doesn't hurt that he was handsome and mysterious, too!
This weekend's subject is about extremes....the witch hunts were certainly a time of extremes, too. But in the midst of darkness there can be much light. And, since I wrote this, you know two people will be falling in love....
Angels Brooke and David work hard to support their wayward humans, Jack and Emily, encouraging them to become their truest selves. Even though their humans seem to have given up on life, Brooke and David relentlessly coach them to find love and joy as well as to follow their dreams. It’s exhausting! As these two devoted angels work overtime to put things right, they discover they, too, are guided by higher beings…and a growing, mutual attraction. Will love conquer all in this fun, offbeat romp through the unseen forces behind our lives? Find out as this romantic comedy offers readers as many funny twists and turns as it does profound moments.
My brother passed away last weekend after a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was a loving family man, a very successful business man, and loved by thousands. I picture him meeting up with our parents, his son who died of SIDS, and the many others who have gone before him. Whatever it is, for a man who made this life here so spectacular, I'm sure that spectacularity (I like making up words) continues on the other side. Of course we all wonder what it'll be like when we leave here. This is my picturing of what a person who wasn't at all very successful in this life met...love and forgiveness.
Around the time the man who became my husband wrote out a list of 40 things he wanted in his next (and last) wife, I suddenly started to have strange conversations with no one in particular in my bedroom. I was married, but my former husband and I had outgrown each other. And about this list my current husband wrote out -- I was almost all of them: intelligent, blue eyes that sparkle, at peace with her world, things like that. So this part of the story is true. We joked about the possibility of a group of angels tasked with the tough job of getting the two of us together...and this book was born.
I've had Valentine's Days where I didn't have a special Valentine. I'd usually go get a massage or something like that to pamper myself. But love is always there, no matter who's in our lives. This little excerpt is my favorite part of this entire book--love is who and what we all are. So Happy Valentine's Day to you and the love that you are.
OMG, where do I begin? I think my craziest story ever started with being born, LOL! I've had so many crazy adventures. I've been to all 50 states and 70 countries, including 2 complete circumnavigations of the planet. But here's what most people would probably think is the wildest: I met my husband online on 6/21/06. We met face to face on 7/14. We were engaged on 7/16. I moved from my little hippie surfer town in Northern California to...wait for it... Topeka, Kansas, on 7/21. We got married on 12/21. And did I mention he had 2 teenagers? :o We'd often laugh about the challenges our hypothetical angels must've had in getting us together, which was the impetus for this book.
This multiple-award-winning book is on a 99-cent Kindle special this weekend. For New Year's, my husband and I each made a list of old grudges we've been stubbornly holding onto, and burned the lists. Done! Gone! I feel 100 pounds lighter. Actually, everything that's ever occurred has brought us to this very moment, so we're both very grateful for all that has transpired...even if it wasn't the most fun thing in the moment it was happening. In this bubble, Jack actually thanks the fellow-cleverly-disguised-as-a-jerk who, by being a "jerk," helped him to turn things around and accept a far better life than he was living.
This has been an especially wonderful year for me in many regards -- one special area has been in my author life. This book won two awards for inspirational fiction and another book won an award, as well. Other things have transpired that I might be able to share with you at some point. There's a meme going around that says something like, "May December bring you the plot twist you've been waiting for." My November was quite awesome, but I'm always open to pleasant surprises. I hope December and the new year/decade are full of pleasant surprises for you, too. Blessings!
Kathy's suggestion this week was to talk about homecomings. I've had soooooo many because I've traveled so much. But this excerpt is what our ultimate homecoming--after we die--might look like. This book recently won the Readers' Favorite award for inspirational fiction.
A friend of mine has just joined a writing group and is starting her first book. It's such a huge deal for her -- like it was for every author. Ohhhhhhhhhh, I thought, though...the book is only one part of it. There's the website, the social media posts, the requests for reviews. The work of an author is endless. Long gone are the days when we can just write a book and turn it over. Even authors who are traditionally published need to hire their own publicists. But allllllllll those milestones have added up to having a bunch of books out, that website, the platform, the myriad other bits and pieces, and, most of all, the desire to tell a story (fiction or non-fiction) and have it touch people.
This book won the very prestigious Readers' Favorite award in the inspirational category, and Fresh off the Starship won for the visionary category. RF is one of the most popular and competitive as well as largest book-award contests in the world. I'm beyond honored. The Kindle version of both books is 99 cents for the time being. I know we're supposed to write about weather this weekend, but I just had to share this with you...my personal weather is a beautiful, sunshiny day and I hope the hurricane zone returns to the same quickly. Blessings to all and may all be safe.
Kathy at Bublish suggested we talk about bold moves we've taken. OMG (oh my galaxy, if you've read my book Fresh off the Starship, LOL)...I've taken so many bold moves: Traveled to Europe by myself at age 20. Circumnavigated the globe twice. I can scuba dive and fly a plane. But the boldest move of all was when I met my husband online, got engaged 2 days after meeting face to face, and moved to Kansas from California a week later. And did I mention he had 2 teenagers at the time? That was 13 years ago and every day we're even more in love. So this chapter actually happened, pretty much. He did have that list and so did I.
My promise to readers is that my writing will be about love, shine light in darkness and on tough situations, and make you laugh. (Well, usually -- I do have a couple of serious books, but even those have moments of levity in them.) My tagline and "author brand" is Love, Light and Laughter. That line came to me many years ago when I was calling in my current husband. I told everyone I could, "I want a husband, a family, and a home filled with love, light and laughter." Check, check, checkcheckcheck. When I was thinking about my author brand and tagline, I realized that those three words are what my writing and I are all about. May all three fill your day.
This book recently won a prestigious award in the spirituality category. As our bubble topic for this week is about our hopes and aspirations, I have to say that winning an award for my writing is definitely part of my dream. I love writing, and I love it even more when my writing touches hearts. This is one of my favorite scenes from this book, for one because it really happened with a little boy once. Enjoy! Blessings to you this day and every day.
I write because I have to. It's what I do. It's not an easy path to walk, and there have been times where I tried to choose another path. Ha! No chance. So I write not for accolades or awards (this book just won an award, BTW)...but it would be an even harder path if this gift I give wasn't received well--i.e. "Oh, thanks for the books, Ann. Have you thought of becoming a veterinarian?" The notes and reviews I receive from readers telling me how my books have touched them, lifted up their day, made them laugh, eased a problem, helped them look at a situation from another perspective are the true gifts of the writing process for me.
None of my books seem to share my enthusiasm for Christmas! In fact, Christmas only appears in two of my books. One (Life in the Hollywood Lane) focuses on what a drag Christmas can be while struggling with new grief while the other (Fresh off the Starship) has a starbeing discover her super-tracking powers on Christmas. Nice, but it doesn't exactly celebrate the Christmas spirit. I'll have to fix that in one of my next books. Meanwhile, angels are always a fun part of Christmas, and here's a fun section about them.
You know those Facebook questionnaires that come around—the ones that ask if you have a tattoo, been to Africa, spent a night in jail, that kind of thing? A recent one (to me, anyway) asked if you’ve had a near-death experience. No tattoos (ouch!), yes to Africa, no nights in jail, but perhaps a near-death experience has crossed my path. No, I didn’t get seriously sick or injured where I flatlined and saw my long-gone parents or my dog Mystic or anything like that. I was driving down the 10 freeway in LA one Sunday morning. And that—plus thinking about the possible scenes behind the scenes—lead to this chapter....A lot of this actually happened.
I had a death experience once, a long time ago....no, I didn't flatline and see my mom; it was under something similar to hypnosis. I felt more love in that moment than I'd felt in my entire life before that, which'd had a fair share of love. It was a moment I'll treasure for the rest of my life. That was the impetus for this scene (as well as many more in this book and my others).....
True story: On the day my husband’s divorce from his first wife was final, he sat down and wrote a list of 40 things he wanted in his next—and last—wife. The list was one-third physical, one-third emotional/intellectual and one-third spiritual...and he was specific. “Between 5’10 and 6’.” "Spiritually aware." "Intelligent." “Blue eyes that sparkle.” “Well-read.” "Long, long legs." “At peace with her world.” At the time he wrote out this list (in the Midwest), this very spiritual 5’11”, blue-eyed, 36"-inch inseamed author / filmmaker / peacemaker suddenly started thinking of leaving my husband. I was practically all 40 things. The last thing on his list was “she has her own list and I meet all of her criteria.” I did and he did and still does. We’d often joke about how there must’ve been a team of angels that pulled us together across the miles. “Well, there’s a woman in California who meets all of his criteria, but she’s married.” “Oh. That’s not going to work.......Well, how married?” “There’s still a lot of love there, but they’ve outgrown each other and it’s time to move on.” And that’s how ANGELS ON OVERTIME was born. There’s a lot of fact in this fiction.
Even those of us cleverly disguised as drunken rascals receive a beautiful homecoming when we/they die......
“[Visioning] speaks to our hearts, mind, and spirit with a delightful, lyrical, and wise guidance to help us shift from the separated to the divine self that we really are.” ~Barbara Marx Hubbard. We can create the life of our wildest dreams, a life that serves ourselves and humanity, the life we were born to live. Do you have a great dream but it never gets beyond the dreaming stage? Are you being called to do great work but are frustrated that it’s not happening? Visioning shows you that yes, it’s really true – you are being called to fulfill yourself and better the world at the same time. And you can. By mastering the art of visioning, you can live your dreams. LEARN: How to use the power of the Law to create what you want; the five steps of affirmative prayer; the six steps of visioning; how to strengthen your commitment to your vision; how to set your intention; how to create sacred covenants. Our soul yearns for expression. It’s time to soar.
My friends consider me quite a manifester, a term I'm very honored to be called. I do something I call Visioning (something I learned from Rev. Michael Beckwith), and I wrote a book called exactly that. Part of the book talks about how we MUST create, no matter what's going in our lives. It's what we're here to do. I have to admit, though, when I'm in extreme fear the writing juices do dry up. But then the creativity comes in other forms: problem-solving, finding a new job, looking for a solution, whatever the moment calls for. I sincerely hope that you and yours are safe and healthy and weathering this storm well. From my heart to yours.
I'm writing a book about finding the love of your life, because that's one thing I happen to be very good at! I've been reading a couple of other books on the subject to study what the masters say, as good writers often do. The book I just read was adamant about making a list of what you want in your love. Here's how my husband and I did it. And more will be revealed in the book I'm writing! Enjoy....
So many books have had a profound impact on my life that I can't list them all here. Books have opened my mind and heart, given me new ways of looking at things and vistas of what's possible, and made me know what I wanted to do with my life...create more of these magical, mystical wonderlands of possibilities. I'm beyond grateful for books and the ability to write them. My excerpt is about how gratitude gives us more to be grateful for!
I've wanted to write since I could hold a pencil in my hand. My mom was very, very sick when I was child (and died when I was a teenager). My favorite times with her was when she'd (have enough energy to) read me a story...and I always knew I'd write stories someday. But it took an amazingly long time to get there. Life gets in the way of our plans sometimes, LOL. Well, Life is the plan, really. And sometimes it just is staring us in the face all along.
Doing our inner work has often been compared to peeling layers of an onion....just coming back to the same place over and over. But it's not the same place at the same level. And that's what we're here for -- to do our work to give our gift.
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