Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

When it comes to bombshell beauties, one needs to look no further than to the great Marilyn Monroe who set the bar stiletto-high for starlets and women everywhere who donned lipstick and eyeliner in hope of achieving even an iota of the sex and glamour that defined her. When it comes right down to it, I believe that there is a little bit of “blonde” in all women; a desire, however small to push the boundaries and to strut one’s stuff across the world stage. Why not?

For the most part, people have always admired strong women and they certainly come in all shapes and sizes, but the type who tend to shock and delight us the most are the boldest, most brazen, and beautiful. They’re the real housewives we can’t get enough of; the Hollywood elite, the spoiled and outspoken on the talk shows and in the tabloids. They are “the women we love to hate” regardless of the color of their hair. It’s the attitude that draws us in; a vicarious thrill we all feel when imagining to live in their world and walk in their mile high shoes.

What could be more delicious? This fascination with media, entertainment, and gal-pals who live on the other side of every day reality inspired me to write, The Secretes and Stilettos Series featuring four self-made women, each one’s sizzling story told in a separate page-turning novel.  Blonde Up! is the first in the series and promises to deliver. Download it today – if you are in the mood for a wild ride with twenty-something CASEY SINGER, who lives life by her own rules and makes no apologies for her unorthodox climb to stardom.

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B-Actress and model CASEY SINGER is a brat who uses her body and brains to obtain superstar-status. Aspiring from The Windy City of Chicago to the glitter and lure of Los Angeles, Casey is far from an overnight success. After a walk-off stint as a TV weather girl in Kansas, Casey is struck by love—literally when ROE EVANS, a handsome and mysterious record executive with soulful eyes accidentally hits her with his car on an icy pavement. Casey literally falls for him, but in addition to having a heart-stopping smile, he appears to have a secret life that keeps him just out of reach.

Casey’s broken leg is no match for the broken heart she attempts to cover with make-up and stage lights in order to claim her place in the spotlight. After all, Casey is no stranger to disappointment and is highly skilled at shutting out the world and it’s myriad of set-backs and calamities.

But Casey soon learns that a stubborn spirit and lust for fame are no match for the desires of the heart, carrying her quest for answers clear across the Atlantic. When the ultimate moment of truth arrives, Casey is forced to make a crucial and impossible choice—her career . . . or the toughest role of her life?

Hope you enjoy reading Blonde Up! and the series to follow. I would love to hear what you think. If nothing else, take the time to get YOUR inner blonde on . . . and be fabulous! Do blondes really have more fun? You tell me!

Enjoy ~

 

 

 

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The Blank Page

The beauty of the new year, obviously lies in the incredible gift that turning the page brings. It’s  a fresh new start; a chance to reconnect, reorganize, to re-dream. Another chance, so to speak, to get it right. This of course, could apply to anything. A commitment to a fitness routine, a diet, a pledge to stop smoking; to finding the right house, or soulmate, or recipe for happiness. It can be a time to drop old habits, re-define relationships, or to pick up a new hobby or passion. Why not? By virtue of the fact that it is early on in a long year ahead, one can set their sights on any goal or desire. Ah, if it were only that easy!

Why are we humans so prone to high aspirations and ambitions…only too often to find ourselves losing steam well before the month of new beginnings ends? Call it human nature, but life is messy and things are always certain to get in the way. That is why most people’s  best laid plans often don’t make it to February when the heartfelt resolutions declared at the turning of year become but a distant whimper. “Well, I tried” one might say. “Maybe next year.” It is so easy to fall into this rut. To claim a “messy life” for one’s inability to conquer, to pursue, to persevere. Of course it’s not easy to take care of oneself and one’s family and all of the million moving parts that cause us to dance and juggle the personal with the professional and the plausible with the impossible. Life can be hard and with responsibilities mounting higher every day, sometimes it’s all we can do just to fool ourselves into thinking that we are trying. Of course, I am going to say it — nothing worthwhile comes easy. So, if your dream is to write that “great American novel” maybe it is not realistic — right now, but can you carve out a few minutes a day to at least journal, or better yet, write one page? That is how a book is written:  one page at a time.

This motivation could apply to anything. One day at the gym or one dessert passed upon will not make you into a supermodel or Olympian athlete, but it goes a long way in setting your mind and your body up for a new habit — a healthy one. Sacrificing a designer cup of coffee to toss a few dollars in the bank is going to give you more than you started with, and hopefully, the reward of accomplishment is worth repeating. It is too easy to give up on something before you even start, imagining that it is just too daunting or to scary to even bother. Everyone has dreams, potential, and the ability to act. Choosing not to do something that you are on some level longing for — is cheating yourself of the opportunity to shine and to stretch and to ultimately fail. But, think about all the people in this world who rode many failures to one great victory. They did it. How? One page at a time.

My wish for you this coming year is that you dare to face your demons and the obstacles that are merely opportunities in disguise. You don’t need a calendar to schedule your dreams. Make the decision to embrace them — now.

~ Jamie

 

Where Do You Write?

I once wrote an entire novel on a commuter train from a western suburb of Illinois heading to downtown Chicago daily for a year and a half. It was a part of my morning ritual, as I commuted to work and then back again at the end of the day – Monday through Friday. There I sat, note pad in my lap, and pen in hand, breaking into prose before the train doors closed and the rails started clacking beneath me. It was easy to know what came next. Writers know this magic. It’s when you live with a story in your head. When you wake up with it in the morning, and go to sleep with ideas dancing in your dreams at night, waiting for the time when they can make their way to the page. It was my ritual and it worked. Within a year, I had 1200 unwieldy pages of…something that I didn’t have before – a finished novel. I loved the thrill of it. The motion of the train car, my ideas streaming as I wrote frantically across the page, in the margins, and sometimes past my stop. Now, that’s dedication!

My point is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Write where you work best and/or adapt to what you have to work with. In college I majored in – what else? Fiction Writing. The protocol was for all of us students to write on top of our laps (before laptops!) with a pen on a steno pad. That was it. Writing on command, in a very uncomfortable position, for hours at a time. We sat on hard folding chairs, which were arranged in a semi-circle, with the sides touching the chair next to yours. We were jammed in like jigsaw puzzle pieces made to write longhand for the four-hour duration of the class. Talk about boot camp! It seemed crazy then, but so does sitting at a computer for six to eight hours a day pounding out War and Peace. You just DO IT.

So, as to the question posed, where do YOU write? I would love to know. Tweet or FB me and tell me where you do your best work. For starters, I have compiled a list of some very inspiring places where you just might find your muse hiding. Why not give one or more of these a try – and let me know how it goes! You never know what magic waits…at the end of a long grocery line, or on a seat on the 5:10 westbound train.

Places to Find Inspiration:

  • A dog park
  • A sporting event
  • A birthday party
  • Church
  • The dentist’s office
  • The DVM
  • The grocery store
  • A bookstore
  • A fire drill
  • In the dressing room at Nordstrom’s
  • A polling booth
  • Beneath a hair dryer
  • A café
  • A concert
  • A library
  • A cemetery
  • On a train/cab/plane
  • A page in a magazine
  • An old movie
  • A TV sit-com
  • A stormy night
  • A sunny day
  • Christmas
  • Online
  • Off-road
  • Uptown
  • Home

Happy reading, writing, and reigniting the fire of inspiration in you!

~ Jamie

There’s Always Time for a Good Read!

Time. It is something that we all wish we had more of. It runs constant, but depending on the circumstances, can catapult us into oblivion, or hold us in a state of suspended idleness that stretches minutes into lifetimes. We work to amass enough to buy a retirement of sweet long days and lazy nights. What would you do with more time? Spend it? Waste it? Share it? In a world where multi-tasking is the norm, we have come to do more with less time – and by accomplishing more in a day, we in some strange way feel better about ourselves. We strive to make time to meditate, to pray, to go within in order to not get swept away in a meaningless series of events that define our day. I say, take back your life and defy time – read more. When you are on the move; on the run, take the opportunity to dive into a story. It will never leave you behind.

I have written Quick Lit – a collection of short stories for people who value the power of a great story and who can see their way to reading anywhere, anytime, anyplace. That’s the idea – good, quality literature for people short on time. It is the perfect thing, a little story, ready and waiting in its little digital portal, ready to be propped open on a lap or table top to transport you far away from your present locale. Ideal for the long commute, the pedicure chair, or the waiting line. When you have your literature to go – you are never left wanting, or wasting precious time.

Buy Now -- on Amazon Kindle
Buy Now on Amazon Kindle

Click HERE to Buy!

Who knew how addicted we would all get? We are fixed to our devices and endless means of social media news feeds that constantly roll like ticker tape across our phones and tablets. We carry the world in the smallest space and tune in and turn on to it at will. Not everything is worthy of our attention. I would hope though, that a few minutes with a good short story is like a visit with an old friend; or a new one if you prefer. I never get tired of seeking out the truth and hope that you would agree that in a world where there is much to turn away from, there is much to turn to as well. Download and uplift your spirits by endorsing the hundreds of eager story-tellers who are ready to share their truths – take a book, a character, a memory with you and you will never be alone. A good read however short or long — will reward you in ways that are timeless.

A Higher Calling

Inspiration comes in many forms and is uniquely personal. What stirs one person’s creative soul or moves another to action is purely subjective. Writers know this and most importantly, they know what works for them. They know what brings the words to the page and continually seek to reconnect to what ever it is that keeps them cultivating the next big idea. In a very real way, this hunger drives their passion.

I couldn’t help but think about the magnificent power of inspiration this week when witnessing the visit of Pope Francis and seeing the indelible mark he made on the hearts and minds of the millions who were drawn in and impacted by his presence. Here was one man; one very special human being who held a banner of kindness, modesty, and humility and quietly moved a nation, if only for a few minutes, hours, or days. His mere presence conveyed a powerful message and his actions and words, no doubt not only ignited inspiration, but most likely has changed lives.

Who would not be inspired by someone with humble beginnings who has risen to such stature? It is reported that the Holy Father was once a chemical technologist and even worked as a bouncer before he went into the seminary. He later became an Archbishop and soon after that was appointed cardinal by Pope John Paul II. His calling to become the 266th pope of the Catholic Church was a plan of divine design. What he gives to the world will be a legacy that brings awareness to global warming, the evils of consumerism, and reverence and support for family life. Not least of all, Pope Francis has been integral in restoring diplomacy between the U.S. and Cuba. Also he gives hugs, kisses babies, visits prisoners, feeds the hungry and asks for our prayers.

How hard do you have to look to find grace? Inspiration?

When you think about it, this is really not all that different than the shift in consciousness you experience when you witness that perfect sunset, or wake up with the idea for a perfect ending to a story that had been locked away in your mind for weeks, now fully formed and shinning in the light. It’s like a perfect song that pops up on your iPod when you plug in; it’s the phone call from an old friend out of the blue. It’s poetry. It stops you in your tracks because it is so stunning and simple and true.

This is Pope Francis. This is what he is and what he has done for us. He is a simple man with a simple message. This once ordinary man who has been called to do the most with the least of things — has manged to get our undivided attention and to stir our hearts and imaginations. The fact that anyone or anything can have this impact is inspiring. All we are called to do is to find the humility and truth within ourselves…and to pass it on.

~ Jamie

A Tribute to Jackie

The news of Jackie Collins’ death has left me stunned, shocked, and saddened to the core. Without exaggeration, she was, in my opinion, one of the most influential and relevant contemporary fiction writers of our time. I can remember discovering my first Jackie Collins novel as a young teen. I found myself quickly transported into a world so different from my own.  It was a first for me to read about people and places I had never seen in my everyday, Midwestern city; or in my everyday Catholic school-driven, sheltered and censored life. It was a little raunchy and racy; addictive in its power to seduce and surprise. The language and the characters instantly drew me in and the scandal — oh, was I hooked! Moreover, from the moment I closed the first of many sizzling Collins novels to come, I knew with certainty that I wanted to some day be like Jackie.  I wanted to write such pulse-tingling and insatiable stories. I wanted to be a bestselling author, like Jackie.

Jackie Collins’ remarkable career spanned four decades in which she sold over 500 million books worldwide — every one making it to best-selling status. The accolades go on and on. Her novels have been translated into 40 languages with eight of her books adapted to the screen. She even wrote five books since her diagnosis of breast cancer six years ago, during a battle she kept hidden from the world of faithful readers and fans. What Jackie has given to the world cannot be measured in statistics or sales. It lives in the hearts and minds of those she touched with her work and continued to entertain right up until the end; an end that has come all too soon.

Jackie was flair and style and punch. She was a force; fearless and bold; beautiful and brave. She defined the genre that put her in a league of her own. Her spirit, no doubt will live on in her unforgettable characters and novels. Rest in peace, stunning, talented, and fierce, Jackie.

We will see you in the words and hold you in our hearts…forever.

Reality vs. Fiction

I admit it. I am addicted to reality TV– some of it anyway. I find that certain shows hold the same hypnotic pull over me as that of a good juicy novel, without the work. Of course, Real Housewives of “anywhere” should not be a substitute for a genuine good read, but it does make for some interesting insights into human behavior. And for me, that makes such viewing not just a guilty pleasure, but a great source of inspiration.

What better way to study nuances of characterization, plot arcs, and dialogue? Watching these shows is like having a window into the minds of some of the most interesting characters never written. Not to mention, look at all the things you learn about pop culture and vernacular by just “hanging out” with your not-so-real gal pals; and the places you can go vicariously tagging along with these fictional vixens is a bonus. You get VIP inclusion into an exclusive clique that you would never otherwise be granted entry. Again, it’s like curling up with a good book in the pedicure chair and letting yourself get caught up in the drama and the dish. I for one, use these little binge morsels to feed my author habit. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this is the world that I write about in my novels. Such shows speak to my fascination with wealth and celebrity as it pertains to how I serve this genre to my readers.

Reality TV comes in many forms and categories, for sure. There is something for everyone and any writer worth their words can find inspiration in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. News and information constantly stream into our lives via social media, television, print, and/or water cooler talk. Anything is fair game. If it interests you, it would probably interest your readers. I once wrote a short story based solely on a Bruce Springsteen song. Inspiration abounds in artistry and outlets that already exist. Your job is to take it to the page and create a fabulous, riveting, unique story, or poem, or screen play.

When I watch the news, I am often shocked at how some of the top stories unfold, proving that truth can be — and often is, stranger than fiction. There is so much to be gleaned from world events, natural phenomena, and challenges of humanity from the subtle to the profound that speak to the human spirit and tap into the fears and dreams of all humankind.  It is worth a close or second look really, if you find yourself reaching for a glint of inspiration. When I tap into the REAL reality that is spinning around us right now…when I see people risk their lives in tiny boats to cross the raging sea to freedom; reality stars run for president; and brave souls like Caitlyn Jenner transform from being lost to finally being found, I wonder if indeed truth “trumps” (pun intended) the dreams of poets.

~ Jamie