Thursday, May 19, 2016

Here it comes again


photo credit: migraine-headache-pain.jpg via photopin (license)


I have, over time, eliminated a lot of the junk that causes migraines. I stay away from most dairy, I don't drink juice because of the tannin, no wine or beer, and I absolutely stay away from artificial sweeteners, which can be found on the coating of most pain relievers (picture me washing it off by hand before swallowing, rather a pain when my head is throbbing at 4 a.m.) I don't smoke, don't consume food with high levels of MSG. I stay away from too much chocolate and sugar. Basically, I eat boring and safe. When I get a migraine it's usually due to monthly hormones, but I'm not perfect, sometimes I ate the chocolate and the sugar . . . and some of the other stuff.

They always come in the morning: I wake up and feel that acidic, creeping pain—usually on one side of the face—and force myself out of bed and to the nearest bottle of Excedrin. Then the coffee. Then I wait. No bright lights, no loud TV or talking. No perfumes or spicy foods. Everything has to be bland and balanced or the pain will grow, or worse, I'll vomit.

If you look at the post before this one, you will see what it's like to write under the duress of a migraine. Honestly, I thought I read through that post and thought everything looked fine, but this morning I see there's an entire section where the sentences are completely ineligible. Try writing a whole book like that, or editing like that. And it's not just writing, it's everything numbers and letters. Yesterday, I had to type in my Facebook password numerous times. When you have a migraine, the world turns upside down and you grasp at things; you think you've got them, but you don't. All you want is for the pain to stop, and when it does life is so sweet, so beautiful. Food tastes good again, music is bliss, you appreciate being alive. Ironically enough, but I've done some of my best creative writing while under a three-day migraine. Maybe it's the Excedrin, I don't know, but the muse shows up and says, "Let's roll." Maybe I'm in crazy zone . . . Whatever it is, at least there's some kind of reimbursement for this pain. So anyway, I'm leaving yesterday's post as-is because it's just such a perfect example of my brain during one of these episodes.

Thanks for reading. I wish you a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Connect the dots

I posted these on Facebook, but it's been awhile since I've shown my face around these here parts. Just having fun on the day before the last day of school. Sigh. I will love having the kids home, but this peace and quiet will soon be gone . . . Been trying to get my a$$ in shape for swimming suit season. It was rainy last year perhaps and if we have the same there won't be any need to worry about it. I'll build an ark instead.




New Arrival!


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From New York to Paris, and all the way to Aspen, Colorado, Emma is haunted by the secrets of her past.

It’s 1981, and Emma is a rock star wife and mother of two in an Aspen mansion protected by iron gates. On the side she’s Madame Alexandria, phone psychic. When strange calls start up, she’s unnerved. Who are they, and why won’t they say anything?

Emma, desperate to escape the calls, purchases a decrepit building in town—similar to the library where she met her first love, William. When a man in black arrives, there’s something familiar about him. Maybe it’s the mountains, or the isolation, but Emma can’t resist the pull of attraction.

And Jesse? He’s hell bent on keeping Emma for himself, even if it means dragging her back to the place where it all began.

 Now available for Kindle purchase here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Love Seekers—Advanced Reading Copies

Hey, good people! I have free advanced copies of The Love Seekers in pdf and epub format provided by my wonderful publisher for you to enjoy! If interested, let me know in the comments below or feel free to email me at: amysaia79 at gmail.com. This continuation of Emma's life is part romance, part paranormal, time-travel, a little bit of mystery, but mostly it's about relationships—the good and the bad.

Of course, I'd be so grateful if any of you could write a review! If you love 80s rock or 80s anythingthen you will enjoy reading this book. Even a one-paragraph review would be helpful. Most of all, I hope you enjoy the story. 

For anyone wishing to purchase The Love Seekers, the Kindle version will go live over at Amazon starting this Monday. I'm so excited! As you know, it's been a real journey getting here. But it was worth it. I truly love this book and am proud to have you guys as my first readers and as real-life friends. Thank you. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

When your character is a brat




photo credit: Winter is coming via photopin (license)


Hello there, beautiful people. Today I thought I'd write something about the writing process, and one of the struggles a writer goes through when creating and molding their characters. From the beginning, I had trouble with the way Emma came out. Was she too wish-washy, too bold, too aggressive? Did she even come across as anything at all? I never had trouble with Jesse or William—somehow they established themselves in my mind exactly as they appear in the book. But Emma, being the go-between, gave me trouble because she was the one who had to react, and her reactions had to draw the reader in, not push them away.

Mind you, I liked Emma from the start. I understood her, sympathized with her, but early responses from some of the first drafts left me worried. She was bland; she didn't react enough, didn't do anything. She just sat there and let things happen. Boring. Then she turned into a bitch. She talked back to her mother, acted incredibly stupid sometimes, was reckless, bitter, and most of all, angry. One agent called her mercurial. Truly, I was furious at myself because deep down I knew what I wanted her to be, but my fears of rejection had gotten in the way and twisted things around. So, I said, forget everyone. I'm rewriting this, and Emma is going to be what she is: good, bad, or stupid.

In the second book the same thing happened, and in the third—the last part of the series. I asked myself, why does Emma keep showing up so harsh and bitchy for me? What am I doing wrong?? Nothing. I just finished the proof edits and there's something magical that happens when you read your novel start to finish with a critical eye—you give up the ghost, so to speak. You stop fighting what your intuition is telling you to do. It's okay for Emma to be a brat, just like it's okay for most of us in real life from time-to-time. It's allowed. Why? Because we change, we evolve. Life molds us into a better person, but in the beginning, and sometimes throughout the middle, we're total brats. Sometimes we suck. Emma transforms and becomes a beautiful woman who wants to make good choices for herself and others, and just like the rest of us, she doesn't stay in one mode forever. I'd call that awesome. I love that she's allowed to be her worst self, because later on we see such a beautiful girl—a girl I created years ago and love now like a child.

Have you ever acted like a brat but it taught you a lesson? Or, did someone else's bad behavior teach you something about yourself, even if it hurt to admit it? Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Janis





Tomorrow night, May 3rd, PBS will air a documentary about one of my favorite singers, Janis Joplin. If you can get it in your area, I highly recommend watching it. Janis and I go a long way back, starting to when I was about 18-years-old. I had dropped out of everything and was living a nothing existence—I'd even quit my crappy retail job—and was feeling letdown, lowdown and very, very lonely when my friend's mom looked at me and said, "You know, you remind me a lot of Janis Joplin." At the time I wasn't happy about it. Why? Because Janis had never exactly been considered 'attractive,' in society's often short-sighted viewpoint, that is. Another thing is that over time she had been relegated to a dirty sect of the music world which consisted of hippies and hard-livin' drug addicts. I didn't want to be like her, I wanted to be all the things stupid young girls think they should be, so I brushed the comment off my shoulder and left it behind like an unwanted candy wrapper. Stupid me.

One night I was up late watching a news program when a story came on about Janis's old town of Port Arthur, Texas. A group of fans wanted to erect a memorial commemorating her life and, sadly, her death, but the townspeople said they didn't want it because Janis wasn't exactly what you would call a role model. My jaw dropped. I was in shock, total shock, and I literally started crying. Looking back, I can see so many parallels between Janis and myself. We both grew up in an environment where our quirky artistic ways were often teased and misunderstood; and we often felt alone and were often made fun of for our looks.

As soon as she could, Janis left Port Arthur. She traveled twice to San Fransisco in search of a freer lifestyle, taking Kerouac's On The Road as a lifestyle choice, not just a literary adventure. For her, life was an adventure: all to be tried, tasted, loved, sung about, and moved on from. She was a beatnik, not a hippie. And, oh my God, could she sing. Janis possessed a voice that could harmonize all by itself—she had the rare gift of being able to sing three notes at the same time. This gift led her from a life of great unhappiness to being hailed as one of the greatest singers ever born. All it took was a lot of determination and a balls-to-the-wall attitude. And boy did she have attitude.

And yet Janis remained insecure and stayed that way. Those close to her often comment on it, saying how much they wished she could reach some kind of inner security, I guess you would call it peace. Another thing I identify with. Janis's downfall was letting those demons lead her to alcohol and heroin, and mine has been allowing others to control me for their own needs because of my fears of not being good enough. I feel like Janis can teach us all a lesson about tenacity and self-reliance. People hurt her, but she didn't let them stop her. Her life was hers to live, and she carved it out every inch of the way.

Sadly, her addictions proved to be too powerful. Saddest of all was the fact that she had 'cleaned up her act' for nearly six months before once again succumbing to heroin. It was a freaky thing that happened, her usual drug dealer was out of town and Janis, alone and with too much time on her hands in an L.A. hotel room, went ahead and bought an untested batch of heroin from a trial dealer. Had she known a group of other users would overdose from the same dealer that weekend, she might have held off for a while longer. Janis died alone and was found hours later, too late to save. It is heartbreaking, and yet I guess it was meant to be. In time and all things of the Universe, it must have been part of the plan, but, seriously, what a shame.

A few weeks ago I was belting out Janis songs in my house and out of nowhere I 'felt' her voice sing through mine. It happened again a few minutes later.  Then a few days after that I felt a cold wet hand touch me on the shoulder and I thought to myself, it's Janis. I'd like to think I had spiritual contact with the beautiful rock star (and she was beautiful!). But, who knows? What I do know is I love her, and every day is a monument to the insecure girl with a voice of primal joy and and tenacity and hope and fire. God rest her amazing soul.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Cover Reveal: The Love Seekers

Finally getting to see the cover artwork for a new release is truly one of my favorite things on this earth to have happen. It never gets old. All that writing, the editing, the query letter, more edits, really difficult edits . . . it's all worth it to arrive at this day. My wonderful publisher WiDo has been producing some serious eye candy when it comes to their new releases, and I'm thrilled to be among their group of writers. So, without further ado, here is the new cover for The Love Seekers, last in the Seeker trilogy. It shows lovely Emma, and the snow encased Aspen mansion she finds herself trapped in--memories of lost love, children, ghosts and all. I hope you like it.

To carry along with this topic, I'll ask you this: What is one of your favorite things in the world that happens only every once in a while, and do you do anything special to celebrate the happy occasion?

As always, thanks for stopping by!