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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Soaking Up The Rays In 70% Deficient Arizona

I believe in Kharma. I have to say that if there is one thing I'm a little afraid of ... it's being bitten in the ass by my own energy. I know I've written about "My Strong Feelings About Nothing". Well, I'm here to confess that I've been attacked by MSFAN!

For over a year I've been on the What The Heck!? kick regarding Vitamin D. Because all of a sudden, out of nowhere Vitamin D was all over the news. Couldn't get away from it and I had to question ... who's making money on this?

In December I went to the doctor to have blood work done - the doctor (my first visit - referred by a friend) asked me if I wanted to include the Vitamin D test. HA! I said NO! (Not Hell No but still a forceful rejection). He proceeded to tell me that 70% of Arizonans were D deficient. So, I had to say that if that were true and it was so important then ... the poor people in Wisconsin must be falling over dead. I was going to further express my feelings but I said to myself - "Kate, stop. You aren't ever coming back to this guy," there were other reasons and this was obvious from the get go. "Kate, let it go. Just say no and be on your way." It doesn't always happen, but this time I followed my own savvy advice.

When I got my results back guess what was there! BINGO - Vitamin D results! And further guess what - my insurance doesn't cover his curiosity! $250 - Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars! US Dollars!

Took months to get him on the phone and then when I did ... he said he couldn't do anything. I said he could do the right thing and pay for it! That didn't go over well. He was appalled that I should suggest an 'irrational' idea.
More than one of his staff had told me that he gives this test to everyone. So, I told him that and he admitted that he gives that test to everyone! Everyone? Why? Research study? I don't know. It sounds like an ethics problem to me.

Kharma has hit me with a brick of sunshine.

Let me tell you Stephen Vig I am not done with this crusade! Not until everyone knows the truth and we rise against unwarranted, unnecessary tests! It's what's wrong with the medical field. Bad doctors!

So, readers beware - beware and make certain your insurance covers the flighting fancy of your doctor!

Let us take off our hoodies and raise our faces to the sun!

Best wishes,

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Movies, New Books - An Awesome Combination

Paying tribute to the Hunger Games. 

It seems as if Hollywood is finding it profitable to turn my favorite books into blockbusters! And so, I'm sitting here by my phone waiting for the call regarding Living Lies! I'm waiting patiently, staring lovingly at the rectangular,  mustard yellow, long, curly corded phone attached to my kitchen wall. 

Oh, I have to say I've been working at finishing up book 3 and ... la,la,la ... some great things are in store for Melanie! Sometimes I get stuck in a rewind rut. I keep imagining the same scene over and over - it's annoying like a broken record. Yes, I still listen to my music on vinyl that are loaded with scratches. But anyway, last night my mind was freed and I moved along at a rocket pace.

Enough about me ... back to Suzanne Collins. I have to say that I really enjoyed her Gregor the Overlander series. We spent an entire summer one year reading over Gregor's adventures. Love that authors are getting credit for their work and major movies are not changing the screenplay but holding true to the story. Who will be next? Hmm.

Well, have a great spring - grab a new book and pay homage to the groovy sun! 

See you on the flip side,

Monday, March 19, 2012

What Do You Want For Lunch?

I want to know why the most difficult decision is ... Where are we going for lunch? Why?

All morning we work with this question looming in the foggy recesses of our brains - we feel it on the back of our necks knowing that each ticking moment is leading us closer to a deadline. We even share our concern by asking our co-workers ... where do you want to go?
How much easier would life be if there was a simple answer? I'm not saying that we take away choices or involve the government. I'm not even suggesting that a prestigious university be paid millions of taxpayer dollars to investigate the problem – though I'm sure money has been spent in more foolish ways.

But I for one want all my hours back! Everyday! Lunch. Diner. I know this sounds extreme but I'm about ready to FAST! That's right. You heard me. I'm going to walk away from the time consuming act of deciding where/what to eat by ... not eating!

All right, I'm ready for my next issue (right after I have a quick snack - all that aggression has made me hungry).

Love all,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mastering The Power of Zen

This weekend I was part of a panel that discussed indie vs. traditional approach to publishing your book. Since I have no personal experience with traditional I think this was the wrong spot for me. I think that there is still a stigma regarding self-publishing, though lessening daily. During this panel the idea that indie published books weren't held to a 'standard' was brought up. Meaning they lacked the quality of a traditionally published book. First the term 'standard' is so broad and has no actual value - it isn't a pound or an exact measurement - and to bulk an entire group I felt was a bit unfair. It is possible that I misunderstood him because so many great, fresh stories are being told by indie authors. 

But no matter which way you decide to go - you have to put out a solid product that you're proud of - one that people will want to buy and promote to their friends. Standard is such a unmeasurable word - he didn't hand out business cards to a room filled with potential clients - that might not reach to the standards to some but it met his. 

I think we have to be careful when we criticize. And ask ourselves why are we putting someone else down? What is it about me that I feel the need to interject my negative opinion? At the moment I am feeling very Zen and open to the powers of the universe. I am ready to curtail my critical thoughts and realize that that's just another person over there - trying to do the right thing - even if their right is my wrong. 

I lost a bet with my 12 year olds - I thought a song title was Stereo Love, it's Stereo Heart. Still think my title works but now I have to make their beds for a week. Bummer. Well - still love Stereo Heart but will continue to call it Stereo Love!

Love all even when you lose a bet.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Finding The Qualities To Love - From A Prince To A Killer

Ever wonder what makes a person likable?

I've been thinking about personalities and character traits - it's research in human development and also very helpful in writing.

I've come up with two very different examples of people that are likable - at least in my opinion.

First I'll go tame. Prince Harry. Dancing in Jamaica with his blue suede shoes. He seems to know how to have a good time. Not shy or timid but putting himself out there and having fun doing it - like someone you'd want to hang out with. Likable. Just when you think he hasn't a care in the world they cut to him giving a speech in a tux and then in one of his military uniforms ... now, I'm not saying I have a crush on Harry but he does seem to represent my idea of multi faceted man. I like that he drinks, dances  - wouldn't any one of us hand over a problem or two to live like that kind of prince?

Second is a bit darker and that's why he's fascinating. Dexter Morgan. Okay, so he's not a real person but  between the writers and the actors they do a fantastic job manipulating me into rooting for a guy that does bad things. He's a killer and by the end of each episode I'm out of my seat, pacing and biting my nails dying to know and not know what will happen. I love the show and the love is genuine. Dexter isn't having fun or carefree, he isn't faultless but there's something noble in his plight. Whatever it is, I'm hooked.

How did the writers of Dexter do that? What an amazingly powerful gift - to manipulate people into accepting the unreasonable. Something to think about and learn from.

Love it, love it, love it. If you like to write try watching people and figuring out what makes them annoying or funny ... what is it about people that we gravitate toward? Or away from? It's fun to do.

Is that sad to get your jollies by watching people? I think there's a entire industry built on that concept. Oh, well, for now all the people I watch usually keep their clothes on. Maybe someday (with different books) that'll change.

For anyone in Tucson this weekend March 10th & 11th -- I will be at the Festival of Books. I'll be at Mostly Books booth on Sat. 4:30 with JA Jance
2:30 on Sunday in the Integrated Learning Center
4:30 on Sunday speaking at the Alumni Author's tent on the mall.

Hope all is well in your world,

Friday, March 2, 2012

Blogs That Matter And Change The Whole World

A couple of things.

First I've been wanting to do a better job at writing these posts. So, today I spent 1.5 hours of my life listening to an online blog-guy ... only to learn that I will never be a successful blogger :(

Apparently, there are 9 steps to success and I could only find two that looked like fun. The first was to find a topic that I loved and B. I like the idea of Branding. But blogging 30 times a day sounds unreasonable and ... do I even think 30 worthwhile thoughts in a day? Another bummer was that I have to leave the personal stuff out. This isn't my 'diary' - Anne Frank wrote a diary.

The part that lost me was that I'm supposed to write stuff that matters and changes the world. While dozing ... I mean listening I thought to myself ... do I have to change The Whole World or just a small piece? Maybe just the parts that are broken. What about the parts that are underwater, how do I reach those?

I don't mean to make fun, I just can't help myself. Why is it all so serious, where's the laughter? Where's the love?

Another thing that started to bug me about 27 minutes in was ... I hate it when people start name dropping, number dropping and motivating by saying "it's not too late for you to start".

I don't want to be a professional blogger, anyway. It's supposed to draw people to my books - to quote the movie "BIG" ... I don't get it.
But I don't get a lot of things. Such as, why does the media keep saying Lindsay Lohan is talented. Every time I hear that, I search my memory for something other than Freaky Friday and Parent Trap. What else did she do?

On a violation note - I'll go personal.

My problem is that I am a terrible salesperson. I hate to ask people to LIKE my page or to write a review - even after they've left me an awesome email. I know I should but ... I can't. Others do and I realize it makes me a loser but I'd rather be a loser than a beggar. People get sick of both and I figure if they like the book ... maybe they'll think of it themselves and LIKE me on their own terms. It must mean more. I've earned every single one of my 24 LIKEs.

I'm going keep writing and keep thanking those emailers - and maybe one day I'll grow a set and ask someone to help out with a 5-star review or a click on the LIKE button.

Hope all is well in your part of the world.

Love all,