On Hiatus

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Happy Friday to all of my readers, writers and creatives. I hope you have a safe and lovely, memorable Fourth of July! I will be extending my hiatus as I am off somewhere chasing rainbows of passion and purpose:)

See you in August.

Peace and blessings.

A Spartan Up! Review

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Hello All! I trust everyone is enjoying the weather? Here’s my Amazon review of Spartan Up! By now you know what the cover looks like:) I hope you are encouraged to make fitness a part of your daily routine maybe not under such extremes? Your choice.

Spartan Up! A business brand that, according to its founder, offers challenging twists to running marathons and triathlon that are more beneficial than the ‘norm’. Before you can even participate in a Spartan Race, you have to sign a waiver indicating that you are knowingly and freely putting your life at risk in order to push yourself beyond your limitations and ultimately bask in the aftermath of accomplishing your goals, and get physically and mentally strong in the process.
These races are based for the most part on the Military modules of training and follows treacherous and calculating obstacle courses in order to test a participant’s endurance under pressure. The Spartan races are not just for men. Women and children participate in these events as well, only they are less challenging for children.
Joe De Sena is the author and founder of Spartan Up! He states he’s probably been called everything from maniac to sadistic to suicidal. I didn’t read anything about his being called slightly egotistical, but that was probably an oversight.
The benefits to becoming a Spartan are detailed in the book. The objective of the race is to get people off their butts and away from their comfortable and sedentary lives of `normal’ everything, including food and technology.
And, to push them to experience the real world through becoming a Spartan and obtaining fitness and optimum health through the wilds of Mother Nature and treacherous obstacles courses you never see coming.
The book is informative, encouraging, motivates the under-motivated and it has a great section on the benefits of consuming organic and nutritional foods.

Recently, I was in the Author’s Chair at Patti Smith’s blog. You can see it here: http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/2014/05/have-seat-clara-freeman.html#comment-form

I will be on hiatus for the month of June. Thanks for visiting:)

Upcoming Review of Spartan Up!

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Alright, I have to be honest. I’m in the process of reading Spartan Up! for clara54’s next book review and I’m hearing a little birdie going , “Is this crazy or what?!” According to the author and founder of this obstacle race, people have undoubtedly called him sadistic, crazy and even suicidal but every weekend thousands of people participate in this race.

This is the book of Joe De Sena, founder of The Spartan Race and I hope to finish it for review (fair and impartial one) for my readers. In the meantime, I leave you with this bit of digestion; all participants in the race must sign a waiver acknowledging fully, knowingly and freely that they accept all risks, both known and unknown before they’re allowed to join the race. Hmm- is there a method to this madness?

Have a safe and memorable Memorial Day weekend. I hope to see everyone on next Friday for my review of Spartan Up!
Feel free to stop by and share your comments about the author, the race and the book.

My Purpose For Writing-Blog Tour

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When I was growing up I read everything I could lay my hands on, including true story magazines (kept hidden underneath my mattress, along with a copy of Valley of The Dolls)) harlequin paperback romances and literary school assignments from books such as David Copperfield, How Green Was My Valley, Wuthering Heights and The Good Earth.

I was nominated by Audrey Chin to participate in the #My Writing Process Blog Tour, a global blog tour where writers and authors talk and answer questions about their writing process. I’m honored and humbled by her recommendation. When I told Audrey I was feeling a bit intimidated at the awesome company she keeps, she simply reminded me that I am also a part of that company:)
I reviewed two of Audrey’s magnificent books, Learning to Fly and As the Heart Bones Break at the site and for Amazon .com. Visit Audrey Chin’s blog, Sometimes Words Help at http://www.audreychin.com.

What am I working on?

I have two untitled WIP that I am absolutely comfortable talking about. I quietly revisited my memoir in December of last year, after numerous failed attempts, due to an admitted lack of discipline, focus and motivation. I have been a creature of habit in the past that is reluctant to sit down and actually write what’s brewing in my head but I’ve learned to shift my mindset to stay productive.

My story is basically a coming of age memoir where a young girl of color searches for hope and beauty, in a dark place during even darker times of racial divide, hatred, and killings, in the underbelly of a segregated south. It is a recollection of how people came into my life at pivotal points in my life and made an indelible impression that either touched my heart, changed my thoughts or allowed me reason to hope. I suppose it’s one of those coming of age true stories where life, love and loss mesh into a memorable work that’s written with a southern flair.

The characters in my romance /mystery novel serves as a distraction from the seriousness of the memoir and something I’ve always envisioned doing because I’m a romantic at heart. It’s interesting to note how the protagonists in the story have decided to take the lead in the telling of it and I’m not pig-headed enough to insert my objections. I understand that when the characters want to have their say, then the writer might want to listen.

The book follows a forty something year old journalist who have seen her share of heartbreak and troubles. When she is assigned to do a story on the upsurge of fraud and embezzlement in the gambling Mecca of Las Vegas casinos, she meets the son of a casino mogul and becomes smitten. Of course, at some point, the woman finds herself in a world of trouble when she is entrusted with a secret that leads to death.
I refer to both books as “a process to progress” and I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far.

Why do I write what I do?

Writing for me is a prescription the doctor hands you and says, “Here take this and you’ll feel better in the morning.” I am healed when I write. It’s the essence of all that I want to be or become, no matter the genre, and I have dabbled in many. There have been so many theories on how writers come to call themselves “writer.” Are we born or taught this innate gift of expression?

As one who loves to write and have always written something for as long as memory serves me, I don’t ponder how it came to be. I just know I’m doing what I love and if my writing touches another, however big or small, it’s thrilling and humbling at the same time. Writing is as important to me as breathing and I will continue to breathe life with my writing in every aspect of my creative ability.

How does your writing process work?

I look forward to writing in the early mornings before a world awakes, where I’m alone at the keyboards with my delicious cup of Boston java (half cream half coffee) amid the silence of the universe peering over my shoulder.
I once wrote a poem about my love of waking up to greet the ambiance of the mornings, called “Before a World Arises.” It placed in the Illinois Vanderpool Poetry Competition back when I only dabbled at my craft.
I could go on and on about this wonder of expression, but there are so many writers and authors I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and whose works always add value to my writing life. Here are three of them:

Kathleen Pooler- Kathy is a retired family nurse practitioner whose work references the power of hope through faith in God. Her words are gifts of cathartic healing to everyone who reads her blog. Kathy also invites guest posts from other writers and authors who want to share their writing insights and recently published her memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.

Kathy blogs at http://www.krpooler.com/blog

Pauline Haynes- Pauline is a life coach and when shift happens on your journey of living and learning from life experiences, you’ll want to know Pauline Haynes. Her positive, upbeat message takes folk from where they are to where they want to be in every aspect of life.
I often visit and email Pauline when I need an extra dose of courage and inspiration. She is personable, gifted and authentic in her mission to make a difference in the lives of others.

Pauline blogs at http://www.paulinehaynes.com

Sue Mitchell- I met Sue through an interview I was conducting at my blog on the how-tos of memoir writing. She had kindly left an encouraging comment on the lessons of memoir writing and who better to offer advice? Sue is a memoir writing teacher and creative writing coach. She recently returned from a blog hiatus and was happy to participate in the blog tour.

Visit Sue Mitchell’s blog at http://www.anuntoldstory.com/blog.

Author Spotlight: Chris Thrall

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Good Morning everyone! I hope your day begins on a high note of joy, awesome opportunity and the sheer possibility of a thing. In October 2013, I wrote a review of ‘Eating Smoke,’ the breakout memoir by author Chris Thralls and found it to be a fascinating read. (apparently the big boys in movie-land do as well) This morning I want you to join me in welcoming Chris Thrall to the author’s spotlight.

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Happy 2014, Chris! I did a review of Eating Smoke for Amazon. Com and Good reads. com back in October 2013. I always wanted to interview you about your book, because it made quite an impression. Before we discuss the book, please share a little about yourself, as you clearly didn’t start out a writer. What made you want to pen stories? And what were some of your earlier works before Eating Smoke?

They say everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame. At 38, I knew I wasn’t going to top the charts in a rock band or walk the red carpet in Hollywood, so I decided to write a book, figuring ‘Eating Smoke’, my Hong Kong experience, would make a good one. With the exception of university essays, it was the first thing I ever wrote, so there were no earlier stories.

Secondly, having traveled the world ticking items off my bucket list – volunteering in children’s school Mozambique in Africa, skydiving, and earning my pilot license, for example – I saw having a book published as a final goal, something I could feel pleased about and everything else in life a bonus from that point forward.

Reading about your drug addition and your eventual ‘psychoses’ really rattled me (former nurse) and almost had me believing your experiences in Hong Kong were the reality. Were there moments of clarity where you were told by concerned parties or became aware that, “hey, it’s the drugs?” and did you even consider trying to quit or seek help?

My experiences in Hong Kong were more real than you might think. They were just pretty surreal so many readers put them down to the drugs. As for psychosis and addiction, you don’t realize you’re in either at the time. Addiction is a psychological condition where your mind tells you if you keep taking the drugs, which fool the brain’s reward mechanism, then everything will work out alright. It’s only by hitting rock bottom and wallowing in deprivation for a time that you’re forced to face the fact the drugs aren’t working anymore and your life has spiraled out of control. I never sought any help. When you’ve lost almost everything it becomes increasingly obvious you have to make some changes, and you know only you can make them.

Is there a message you want readers to take away from Eating Smoke or did you write it primarily as a personal release of sorts?

The reason I chose to write Eating Smoke was because I thought readers would be fascinated to hear about the Foreign Triad – the secretive group of expats that worked hand in hand with the Chinese gangs. There’s no intended message in the book. If there was it would be to live your life to the full, take what’s thrown at you on the chin and try not to feel sorry for yourself!

Your dad was my hero and I’m sure other readers would agree. Share your feelings on how he handled such a precarious situation with you needing him from so far away.

I made a couple of what must have seemed bizarre and rambling phone calls to my dad while in Hong Kong, telling him I worked in a nightclub run by the triads and that things weren’t as they seemed. He was obviously shocked, frightened and confused, and made contact with the Hong Kong Police, who said they were ‘well aware’ of me … which didn’t do anything to calm his fears. But, without ruining the ending of the book for people, he did what a father should and continues to do so to this day.

Where can readers find all of your works and what are you working on now?
Eating Smoke is available through all the usual channels, Amazon, etc. I’ve recently signed a new publishing deal which will hopefully get the book the worldwide exposure it deserves. I’ve been approached by Hollywood several times for the film and TV rights and am co-writing the screenplay with Dean Mitchell, who is producing on Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film, ‘Tomorrow’. I’m now writing the second novel in a unique fictional thriller series, really good fun, and am currently seeking an agent to represent the work.

For more information on the author and his work you can also go to his social media sites:

https://www.facebook.com/christhrallauthor
http://www.christhrall.com
http://www.facebook.com/eatingsmoke
http://www.twitter.com/chris_thrall

Doesn’t this interview make you want to purchase a copy of Eating Smoke?
Read it already? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Writing Outside of Your Niche

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Happy Friday readers and creatives. What a glorious morning to be doing something productive!

What do you do when your muse calls you to write outside of your niche? Are you fearful that by tackling another genre that you might forget to focus upon your calling? I used to struggle with this creative dilemma in the beginning of my writing career, until I realized that what God gave to me shouldn’t be kept boxed in fear, but opened to explore in every aspect of my creativity.

Life writing is my purpose and my brand. Becoming a voice that empowers women to passion, purpose and living their truths became my mission. In this instance, I make a life with my writing, rather than a living. Writing is looked upon these days as a trade rather than a calling. I can see how simple economics adds to this popular train of thought.

As a freelance writer and creative entrepreneur, I use my talents, skills and gifts in other areas where my creativity continues to educate, inform, and entertain, while paying penance to my economic sustainability.
Genres that I’ve written for and found a bit of success in, includes:
Short stories of fiction and nonfiction
Book Reviews
Song lyrics
One Act Plays
Celebrity News and Entertainment Features
Poetry
Slogans
Magazines
Blogs
And Content Writing.

I believe writing is a calling whose logistics can be improved upon as one sees fit to garner acceptance and or publication and validation. Your purpose is defined as that thing that nags at you to do what you must to make a difference in the lives of others and becomes your brand or niche.
Do not fear your gifts and abilities beyond your passion and purpose. How will we grow if we never expand our creative horizons?

How do you feel about writing beyond your comfort/niche? Share other genres you enjoy.

“Ten Lessons My Mother Taught Me Before She Died” By Faith L. Walls

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It takes courage and a spirit filled life to continue to live joyous and productive in this great big world without your mother. Faith L Walls wrote a moving tribute to her dear mother who passed away in 2007. Her book serves as an inspiration to all “girls” without mothers.

I am one of those ‘girls’ and I’m reading “Ten Lessons My Mother Taught Me Before She Died” by the author and educator, Faith L. Walls. You can go to http://amzn.to/18Wo3AE to pick up a copy for yourself or for a “girl” you know who is out here living life without her mother.

Peace & blessings

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