#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!
One of my favorite jobs of my life was working in talent management in LA. Unfortunately, one of our actors committed suicide. Her story came to me a few years later, and I wanted her to be the shero of her journey, no matter how it ended. That's how Life in the Hollywood Lane came about. I specialize in deep and funny, so even though there's a death involved, there are lots of laughs and lifts, too. Here's the Christmas scene from that book. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous 2023.
I write women's fiction, and there's always a moment when she and he meet...although that's not the case for the book I'm just finishing and the book I'm just starting. But that moment is always one of my favorites of the books I've written before. I suppose it's because it reminds me of one of my favorite moments of my life -- when I looked up and saw my husband's eyes for the first time, after being matched on eHarmony. I swear it felt like I was looking into the eyes of an angel. A very handsome angel, LOL. I like to share that feeling as often as possible. When Trish and Jeff remeet, since they'd known each other in high school, it's not exactly like looking into the eyes of an angel, but all kinds of possibilities open up.
For some reason, my mouse just kind of led me to this section of this book. I've mentioned that I worked in talent management in LA for a bit, and one of our actors committed suicide. Over the next couple of years this story came to me. I wanted this beautiful, talented, brilliant, funny woman to still be the shero of her journey, no matter how it ended. I'm no stranger to grief and a dear friend committed suicide 20 years ago, so the feelings Trish (her BFF) experiences are real. But, just like life, the book is funny and quirky, too. Our tough times make us rise higher. We're in some tough times right now, but like other generations who've faced hardships, we'll rise, too. See you at the top!
I've always been a little quirky. Case in point: I went to the West Coast 5x (from my home in Colorado) during the pandemic -- 3x for vitally important business and 2x to be a caretaker for a friend who had brain surgery, which was even more vitally important business. Now as the country is opening up and people are going places, I just want to sit tight, stay put, watch the grass grow. Okay, maybe not that last one so much. My husband and I do have a trip in September: my brother's memorial service. He died a year ago, but...you know. The pandemic thing. Regarding this bubble, I'm no stranger to grief, and a couple of friends committed suicide. So Life in the Hollywood Lane is loosely based on a true story and tightly based on true emotions. But it's still quirky, like most of my books. And me. And life.
A friend of mine told me that when she was in grade school, the other children laughed at her when she'd raise her hand because she always knew the answer to the teachers' questions. She told her mother about this. Her mom's response? "Raise it higher." What a great answer to....everything! Sooooooo, I'll take your dream and raise you two more dreams. And when those come in, I'll raise you three more. That's what we came here for. And we do know the answer. Life in the Hollywood Lane is about a woman pursuing her dream of being a Hollywood actor. I had the fun and honor of working "in the industry" in talent management for a while, so much of this book is based on what I saw as I watched very brave (Hollywood is NOT easy!) men and women pursue their dreams. Here's to yours. And maybe even raise it higher.
I've come to believe that everyone's favorite time of year is around their birthday. Is that true for you? I love spring and, yes, that's when my birthday is. But I also love the fruit trees blossoming, the flowers blooming, the days getting longer, the temperature getting warmer. This birthday has a zero, so it's a biggie, as all birthdays with zeros are. I tend to do a major life review around my birthday, and even more around the birthdays with zeros. Yet then comes the spaciousness of a whole new decade. Every year brings more dreams to life, and certainly every decade allows many of those dreams to really take flight. This bubble is about not giving up on those cherished dreams.
I had a writing teacher once say to never start a book with dialogue. She said that people will automatically start asking questions: What's this about? Who's talking? Why are they saying that? Well, I love starting a book with dialogue, both as a reader and an author. All books starts with questions (metaphorically) and the whole rest of the book is the answer to those questions. This book, Life in the Hollywood Lane, kind of starts with dialogue, in that the narrator is asking the reader a question. I think just about anything is a very good place to start (remember that song from the Sound of Music?). Just start, is what I'd say to any author. Just tell me the story with as few words and as much color, texture, taste, smell, feeling as possible. Here's to your reading!
I've been to 75 countries and all 50 states. I can jump in the car for a 3-week road trip as easily as some people go to the corner store. The pandemic has slowed me down, of course, as it has for just about everyone. It's making me appreciate my neighborhood, including the prairie dogs I go visit frequently. (You can see a pic of their adorableness on my Instagram @anncrawfordauthor.) I appreciate my writing nest so much. A few people have asked on FB lately, "What do you own a ridiculous amount of?" My answer is Christmas lights! They fill my house all year 'round, especially my writing nest. (Pic of that on Insta, too.) This bubble is about Trish's travels, which are my travels, of course. I will certainly appreciate them even more next time around.
A lot of my writing is based on real events, but fictionalized. There really is this castle in the Hollywood Hills, those coyotes do howl at 5 AM and sound like souls wailing at the gates of hell, and my friend who Claude was based on did have a lot of wild parties in his crazy house in LA. That creepy clown really did smile down on me in the bathroom. (Shudder!) I guess one interesting part of my writing may be trying to figure out what didn't happen in real life, LOL. I worked in talent management in LA for a while (favorite job ever!) and one of our actors committed suicide. I wanted her to be the shero of her journey no matter how it ended...so here's her story, with lots of laughs and some tears along the way.
I love that line from Star Man where the, well, Star Man says, "You (humans) are at your best when you're at your worst." This year has been a great example of that. Despite all the craziness, lives turned around, explosions (not all bad, but for a better good), we've really come together and done our part (mostly). We wear masks (mostly); we social distance and wash our hands frequently (yes, mostly). We do what we have to and we're doing it with good cheer and we're being good sports about it (mostly). That's not exactly what I expected to write when I chose this excerpt, but there it is. Back to being tender creatures...sometimes the loudest are the most tender. Sometimes the super quiet ones are the real powerhouses. What interesting creatures we are, too. Happy Thanksgiving! My husband and I are having lots of yummy food that don't require half a day in the kitchen and are making a bunch of Zoom and FaceTime calls. I hope whatever you're doing you can gather (virtually, etc.) with those you love. Big hug.
I have so many friends who are actors, musicians, and comedians, and they're not able to do their art these days. What with all the craziness in the world, in addition to two recent deaths in my family (not due to Covid, although I've lost several friends to that), I'm soooooooooo grateful I can still write. This book is about a semi-successful actor named Trish, and this bubble highlights one of the bright and shiny parts of being an actor in LA. I hope you and yours are well and safe and that you can follow your dreams too, even now. Especially now.
Someone really did say, "Grow up!" to me, about becoming an author. And...he happened to be someone who's supposed to encourage talents--my therapist. Ugh. I ended up writing him a very long letter about how no one has the authority to deny others their dreams. That letter actually turned into my first book, Visioning. In this scene in the bubble, someone has told Trish that and you can see her response. As she says, "People can turn into pickles when their creative juices are not allowed to flow." She sure wasn't going to let that happen to her, and I sure was wasn't going to let that happen to me. She became an actor. I became an author. Boom!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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.
What would you imagine a friendly alien waking up in a human body would think if they saw our traditional Thanksgiving? It'd be quite the experience. Enjoy this bubble and Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
You know the first part of the line -- what doesn't kill us.... In this story, Missy is a friendly alien who came to Earth to help humanity, but woke up in the wrong place. And wrong body! One thing she learns quickly is how much pain humans have to deal with, just in the course of a usual life. We're superstars, really.
In all the books I've written, I don't have much that takes place during the holidays. But here's one Thanksgiving scene in the bunch. Can you imagine seeing Thanksgiving for the very first time, as an adult human—or as a friendly alien who just woke up as an adult human, anyway. It would certainly take some explaining. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. My life has had loss lately, as so many of us have experienced, but I'm so thankful for so much...especially the people in my life, having the gift of living my lifelong dream of being an author, and you, my precious reader peeps. xoxoxo
I mentioned in my last bubble for this book that I had Covid last month, and I should've mentioned it was a breakthrough case. Thanks J&J....not. :/ My husband thinks he picked it up at a funeral for a friend of died of...Covid! Our cases were very mild, thankfully, but we're both still a little fuzzy brained and get tired easily. OMG, it certainly makes us appreciate health, strength, each other, and so much more. This whole book is about appreciating the human journey -- a very good topic for Thanksgiving time. I certainly appreciate you. xoxoxoxo
Hi friends. I didn't do a bubble last week because I happened to be in bed with Covid! Thankfully it's been pretty mild. And then over the weekend my nephew and his wife lost their 2-month old baby Amelia to SIDS. We're devastated and heartbroken. Sometimes I wonder how things like that can even happen 2 million lightyears from the word "fair." But I wrote this section of this book to address that very thing, and I like to read it sometimes and remind myself of the good we have here. I send you all love and hope all is well with you and yours.
I had the honor of going to Viet Nam with a group of vets and filming them doing humanitarian work and going back to their Areas of Operation. One time a whole town came out to greet us, and one man chatted (through an interpreter) with one of our guys -- they'd been fighting on opposite sides all those years ago and they ended up shaking hands. That kind of beautiful event happened over and over. The vets suffered from PTSD, and I included several of their stories in this book about a friendly alien who comes to Earth, but which deals with some major social issues. I think of those vets often. My admiration for them and everyone who deals with mental anguish is unbounded. The pandemic is not an easy time to live through, so my admiration for all of us is unbounded, too. Much love.
I say this every time I put up a bubble for this book -- this one was SO much fun to write. Trying to imagine experiencing everything for the very first time (waking up here as a fully adult human) was so enjoyable. I've also mentioned that ever since I heard that great line from the movie STARMAN -- "You humans are at your best when you're at your worst" -- I wanted to write about a starbeing coming to Earth. I think many of us are being at our best as we're living through these rough times. I just attended a celebration of life for my brother last weekend (it wasn't Covid), and that has me looking at the brightness and beauty of life a whole lot more. If you'd like to see it, I posted a picture of my brother and me on Insta @anncrawfordauthor and Facebook ann.crawford.731. I wish you and your loved ones health and happiness. xoxoxo
I keep saying that this book was so much fun to write....pretending I just woke up in an adult human body for the first time and how amazing everything would be -- a shower, coffee, making love -- and then writing it down. Missy is a friendly alien who was sent here on a particular mission to help Earth, but she got diverted. So her mission became other endeavors altogether. The family of the former Missy doesn't know she woke up from a car accident as another being altogether, and the charade gets harder and harder. But more and more interesting. And fun.
I was a guest on a podcast earlier this week and talked about all my books, but this one in particular. It was sooooooo much fun to write this -- to imagine what it'd be like to wake up in an adult human's body, without the decades of experience we humans have, and experience showers, making love, a Starbucks caramel macchioto for the very first time. I also put some social issues in here, including PTSD. I went to Viet Nam with a group of vets and filmed them doing humanitarian work, going back to their Areas of Operation, and healing their wounds of war. It was one of the honors of my life to be with these men as they transformed their lives and to make that movie, which won a very prestigious award for educational documentaries. I put a few of the vets' stories in here to honor them even more and to never let us forgot the lifelong effects of fighting in a war.
This book was so much fun to write. I've mentioned before that I love the line from the movie Starman, when the starbeing says, "You humans are at your best when you're at your worst." Ever since I heard that line, I'd wanted to write a book about a starbeing. What would it be like to wake up as an adult human, without going through any of the training that we do, what with that whole childhood thing we go through? What would Earth look like to us if we were just dropped here? How exciting would orange juice and oatmeal be for the very first time, a la this bubble? Let alone a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato and cakepop? That comes later, and the response is much bigger than the one to oatmeal. It's not just fluff, though, as this starbeing helps people through PTSD and grief, as well as realize the body she's in suffered from abuse. But, as she discovers, we're "at [our] best when we're at [our] worst." And this Earth place? There's nowhere else like it.
When folks ask me what my genre is, I answer, "Deep and funny." I wish there was an actual title for that genre. Maybe "Quirky" comes closest, but that one doesn't show up in too many Amazon searches. Someone whose opinion I respect a whole lot once told me, "Your use of humor is majestic. It drives home deep points with enough laughs to let the point sink in rather than being deflected because it's too much." I love that. This book bubble opens Fresh off the Starship, a book about a friendly alien who was supposed to be sent to Washington DC where she could've helped humanity on a grand geopolitical scale, but ends up getting diverted to...Kansas! Where there's just as much work to do, apparently. Oh, and she can't let anyone know she's not the person they think she is.
"I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp." ~W. Somerset Maugham I love this because that's when my inspiration strikes, too -- 9 AM. On weekdays I get up around 6 or 7, eat breakfast, drink coffee (very important), read the news, and play on social media for a bit. The kids are grown and my husband adores me and leaves me to my routine, so I'm able to do this. And then I sit down right around 9 -- in my special writing nest that overlooks the backyard and garden, with a playlist I've developed for that particular book -- and write. The great thing about having a routine and a special place is that when I sit down to work, the writing flows easily because I'm so used to doing that. It's practically Pavlovian. On the very, very rare occasion that the creativity is hiding, I do research. There's always something to do. It does take discipline to write book after book, and thankfully I've got plenty of that after a lifetime of crafting it. Onward!
I'm choosing "Fresh off the Starship" this week because I dedicated this book to this dear friend (and our other bestie), long before anyone knew she had a brain tumor. Surgery is in a month, and the prognosis is very good. But it certainly has pulled me up short. This woman is young, so alive, so lit, so full of life. She has 2 amazing, totally lit daughters, ages 15 and 19. I lost my mother at 17, so I kind of have a sense of what they're going through. But one day, everything's fine; next day, everything's changed. A lot of families have had that in the past year. I chose this passage of the book (once again) because it's about the best of life on Earth. I hope you and yours are doing well. Loving blessings to you all.
One of my favorite parts of being an author is receiving letters from readers. Very often, they start the same way: "I read one of your books, and then another, and then another." That is the highest praise and I'm beyond grateful. Some people says that authors should just write for themselves. Bah! I mean, we could but it'd get kind of lonely. A gift is only given when it's received. A singer's applause is the sign that their gift was received and appreciated. A letter from a reader is a sign that the gift was received and appreciated. I'm so beyond grateful for that. Wait, I said that already. But I truly mean it! This bubble is the beginning of this book, where my friendly alien is waking up -- as an adult human woman -- on Earth for the first time. How discombobulating would that be? That situation does make for quite a few hilarious moments.
I'm in the mood to share the best of life here -- on Earth, that is. This bubble is about that. Missy is a starbeing who came to Earth to be of help on a grand geopolitical scale, but got diverted to...Kansas! The mother of the woman whose body she took over (that woman was dying) has figured out Missy isn't her real daughter and asks her about where she came from. Much love to you all.
That's the answer to one of my most frequently asked questions by author interviewers: "How long have you been writing?" My mom was very sick throughout my childhood (she died when I was a teen), but she did have enough energy to read to me. Those times of sitting on her lap and hearing her beautiful, lyrical voice read those sweet stories are forever in my heart. I wanted to pass along the magic of those moments to others, so I started writing at a very, very young age. Like, three. Really. Years later, I saw my pencil markings and pretend words (before I could even spell) in some of those books where I'd wanted to continue the story. I'm so thankful to still be continuing the story. Thanks, Mom. This bubble is the first chapter of my most recently published book. Another is done and is being shopped with the big NY publishing houses. That story is definitely to be continued! xoxoxo
How would you describe Thanksgiving to someone who'd never experienced one, and didn't even know what the foods were called? This friendly alien found herself in the wrong place but at the right time -- in Kansas, at the holidays, with people who needed her...although they had no idea of that. I love the holidays but I've never really written much about them until I wrote this book and the one I just finished. This year it'll just be my husband and me and a lot of Zoom calls with our grown kids plus friends and family coast to coast. We usually put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving, and this year it's already up. We figured 2020 could certainly use some early Christmas cheer. I wish you and your loved ones a very, very happy Thanksgiving. I love that meme going around that says 2020 isn't the year to get everything we want; it's the year to appreciate everything we have.
I've traveled the world and I usually head out of town every other month or so. Not so much lately. What I've taken to doing since the pandemic slowed us all down is visiting the prairie dogs who live in a huge field around the corner from my house. I love hearing their high-pitched barks as they play and how they seem to hug each other. When I visited last week, I noticed they'd fattened up some for winter--maybe like a lot of us, LOL. These days we have to find inspiration on its own terms. Not in a sunset in Hawaii or on a stroll down Fifth Avenue, but in the backyard, the living room, the field of prairie dogs around the corner. I chose this section for my bubble because it's one of my favorite parts of the book -- celebrating the human form and remembering what it was like to describe a first shower. Speaking of showers...of all the places in the world, that's one of the places my inspiration shows up the most. There and driving and doing the dishes. No plane ticket required.
My Twitter (@acrawfordbooks) and Instagram (@anncrawfordauthor) post today says, "One of my favorite bullet points in the author job description: exceptionally skilled at staring into space." Ha! I knew all that staring-into-space and other-world-building moments would come in handy. My favorite part of writing is coming up with worlds my readers might not have explored, introducing you to people you might not have met, and telling of adventures you might not have experienced. This book is one adventure after another for a friendly alien who wakes up in an adult woman's body and has to pretend she's her. It was so much fun to look at this life we have here as if everything was being experienced for the very first time. Looked at that way, everything could be considered a miracle.
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.
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.
I've been to all 50 states and 70 countries, including 2 complete circumnavigations of the globe. I've seen so many things, done so much, met so many people. But one of the top moments of my life was driving across Kansas late one night. The wind had swept away any dirt and dust in the air, and the stars were brilliant in the firmament. It was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life. I wondered what it'd be like to come to this planet from somewhere else in the universe. It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. And this book was born. Like that line that's said several times in the movie Contact, if we're the only ones here, that'd be an awful waste of space.
This has been an amazing year for me in many ways, including career-wise. I'm so very grateful to spend my days writing, something I've been dreaming about for 30+ years. This book won a Readers' Favorite award, as did another book. I would write even if no one read my books, but having readers enjoy them makes giving the gift all the better. I wish you all the happiest of New Years and may 2020 be everything you want it to be. Our stories are to be continued!
At least in this section of this book. I hope you enjoy the view of how big we humans we really are. And Merry Christmas!
How would you describe Thanksgiving from the point of view of someone who is a brand-new adult on Earth? Here's the start of my description for starbeing Missy. This book is a 2019 Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner. I'm so thank-full for everyone who made this book possible: all the people I've met who made their way into the storyline, my favorite cover designer, all the folks who've helped with marketing, I could go on all day. But thanks especially to you -- the readers -- who make it so worthwhile. I'd write even without readers, but you do complete the giving-and-receiving process and make it a whole lot more fun!
I am so honored to have won not just one Readers' Favorite award, which would've been phenomenal, but two, which has put me over the moon...and maybe rocketed me onto a starship of my own. Fresh off the Starship won in the visionary category and Angels on Overtime won in the inspirational category. I couldn't be happier if I were going to the Oscars! I'm so honored, as are my characters, LOL.
....and a couple other underrated pleasures. One piece of feedback that keeps showing up in reviews is how this book helps to remind of the pleasures in life--and not just in oatmeal! Speaking of (or at least using) ellipses, please see my FB post about how Millennials view them and how older generations (including Gen X) view GIFS and emojis. Fascinating! https://www.facebook.com/1476639205/posts/10220299318221216?sfns=mo
Kathy from Bublish asked us authors to remember a time we were completely unprepared for something. The only thing I could think of was back in high school when I was in band, and we went to play at a big football game, and I just brought along my piccolo...case! I also remember not bringing along enough warm clothes for this or that trip, especially Maui a couple of years ago. It was quite nippy, and no one sold sweat pants so I had to abscond with my husband's. He's used to it -- I abscond with many of the funny quips he says, and they are immortalized in my books. Lucky world...I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets to enjoy his beautiful humor.
This book recently won an award from Readers' Favorite, a highly competitive book-award contest...enjoy!
I wish I knew who said that, so I could thank him or her. I write because I have to....the words just jump around in my being until I put them down on the page. But writing a book is a true labor of love. It's not easy--but then few creative endeavors are. It takes a long time for musicians to get to the point where they can make playing look easy. I don't know if writing will ever get easy. But I absolutely love it when the book is done and I've created a world that didn't exist before. Figuring how to write first human experiences for this starbeing--such as sipping water, taking a bath--was the most fun part of this book to write.
My promise to readers is that my books are filled with love, light and laughter. My life is filled with that, too. When I was calling in my husband, the love of my life, the phrase I'd use is "I want a husband, a family, and a home filled with love, light and laughter." Check, check, checkcheckcheck. That last part has become my author tagline and how I live my life. When I came up with it, I had no idea I'd start doing improv and, as of just a couple of months, standup comedy! The video of my first attempt is at the end of my most recent blog, at anncrawford.net. I think laughter is one of the most healing elements we have, along with love and light.
I've studied so many things in my life, including taking ground school to be a pilot. That where I learned about those clouds that look like spaceships and why they form that way. I've also driven that Interstate through Kansas many a time, and often at night. Those lights are mesmerizing. I love studying, lots. I love writing, lots. I love it when they come together, lots. I love comedy, going deep, sharing wisdom, making people laugh--especially when they all come together..lots.
Many people ask me what the inspiration for this book was, and part of my answer is this quote from Starman: "You're at your best when things are at their worst." I never even watched that movie until very recently, but a friend told me that line decades ago. Since then, on and off, I tried to imagine what we humans would look like to a visitor...and what it'd be like to wake up in this amazing human body...and how beautiful we are, even with all our foibles. That's how this book was born.
Kathy from Bublish asked us to talk about gatherings this week. I have lots of gatherings in my life and some in my books. The gathering I chose here is for Thanksgiving, but imagine what it'd be like if this was your very first Thanksgiving--as an adult human--and being introduced to all the interesting foods and strange traditions. What would it be like if you suddenly woke up...human? Yes, you do it every day and you've gotten quite good at it! But what if you were from another world? This was such a fun book to write, as I got to relook at so many things to describe them as if it was the very first time an adult human was experiencing them, not slowly getting used to them as we do coming in as infants and growing up in this particular world. Enjoy!
It seems to me that everyone's favorite time of year is when we were born. Is that true for you? My favorite time of year is definitely spring, and I was born in May. This section of Fresh off the Starship is Missy's first experience of spring after enduring a Kansas fall and winter. I probably wrote this part of the book (in my head, anyway) first, because I have to say Kansas springs are amazing after those long, dreary winters. I hope you enjoy your spring, wherever you are.
This book is a finalist for an award -- I find out next month if it actually won the award, but being a finalist is still wonderful on its own. This week we're supposed to talk about some of our fav tricks of the writing trade. My favorites are alliteration, simile and metaphor. This passage shows some of these. I hope you enjoy seeing them in use. Another thing we can tell you about is times we've heard books aloud. My mom was very sick when I was a child, but she still read to me...and that's when my love of books came into being. I'm forever grateful for those magical moments. (Like that alliteration there?)
One of my favorite things to do is make audiobooks of the books I've written. I hear the characters so clearly in my head, and I love being able to put that tone out in the world and bring them to life, even more than they are on the page. Sometimes I can't get it quite right though. In this except, Matt figures out that Missy's not the woman he's been married to -- she's someone else. Who is she? I had to say "Yer not her" at least 25 times before I got it the way I've heard Matt say it in my head all these times.
Kathy from Bublish asked us to talk about the times we've had to throw out sections, chapters, characters, etc. One time I had to throw out a book -- my very first. I got a rather successful agent for that book who said, "I'm going to sell it this summer!" That never happened, and that was before self-publishing was a big thing. But I wrote another book, and then another, and then.... This latest one is the ninth book I've written. Just that first one never made it out into the world. I'm so happy I just kept on writing--although I didn't have a choice...it's who I am!
What would it be like to wake up in a human body -- as an adult -- for the first time? It was so much fun trying to imagine that and even more fun to write such a scenario. A starbeing from another galaxy wakes up in the body of Missy. This book bubble is about the first time she could see this body she's in as well as experience things we might take for granted, such as a bath. Mmmmmmmmm....actually, I never take those for granted! :)
Trying to describe things from inside a being who's never seen things like Thanksgiving dinner, never experienced things like a shower or a Caramel Macchiato, or never kissed before......was a ton of fun!
I love books that are uplifting, are fun, make me laugh, cause me to think about things in a new way, are a great story, and maybe bring a tear to my eye--from happiness. So that's what I write! This is one of the fun sections, when Missy (a starbeing new to the planet) has her introduction to Starbucks.
I've written seven books now, and what made this one especially fun to write was having to think about describing things as if it was the first time I'd ever done them in a fully adult body -- how would that very first sip of water feel? How about a shower? How about a Caramel Macchiato? LOL. I hope you have as much fun reading these as I did writing them.
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.
My grandmother has been on my mind lately. She would have been at mass every morning this Holy Week and then making us smile with her delightful laughter as she regaled us with stories about the priest, the attendees, whatever and all-ever. She died when I was 13 (then my grandfather when I was 15, then my mom when I was 17--it was quite a bunch of years there). I'm grateful I grew up Catholic. One of the characters in my latest book (due out soonish) is Catholic and an editor made a comment, "You better have some experience with this." Insert raised-hand emoji here. This book, Mary's Message, is from the information I learned in Catechism and Sunday mass, but it veers off from there. I wish those of you who celebrate Easter a very happy one. Much love to you all.
Today is my mom's birthday...she died in 1979 when I was quite young. She studied at a Catholic college and became a librarian. She also wanted to write, but was too sick to do much of that. A therapist once mentioned to me that children often carry on the unmet desires of their parents. That could be true, but as I've mentioned in recent bubbles, this writing desire of mine started before I could even form letters with my pencil. I do feel my mother with me a lot, especially with every leap forward in my writing career. She also took me to mass. Sometimes we'd sit in the back of the church and she'd explain the different segments and what they meant. She also told me about Mary Magdalene, and even as a young child I had a strong connection to her and felt that what we were being told wasn't the full story. This book could be another part of the story.
I mentioned that I gave an author interview a few weeks ago; in it I was talking about how the story of Spellweaver came to me while I was sitting on a bus traveling across the Island of Mull headed toward the Island of Iona and looking out on the hills of Scotland. Mary's Message came to me while I was in the Old City of Jerusalem. There are no cars allowed in there, so the cab driver dropped us off at the gate and we had to walk to the hotel. This happened to be at, yes, 3 AM. As we walked the old, winding lanes, I felt transported back 2,000 years...and over the next few days this story came to me.
I'm still in California helping my friend who had brain surgery -- assisting her, arranging all the details of running her household, doing things for her kids, all while still getting some of my own life and work done...I'm exhausted. But she's healing well and doing amazing. Hug your peeps, peeps. Hug 'em tight. Life is so precious. Someone once asked me what three books I'd want on a desert isle, and I said the latest by Dan Brown and Kathleen McGowan along with my Mary's Message. Here's a snippet from it. Big hug to you.
This morning I posted on FB a really sweet video of some nuns and priests in Ireland dancing to cheer people up during lockdown. My mom was thinking about being a nun. My dad persuaded her to take another route. Otherwise, you'd be reading another bubble right now, LOL. My mom brought me to church a lot, and I so appreciate the connection I got to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. But even as a child, I thought there might be more to the story. So I wrote that story.
Someone asked me recently what three books I'd want with me if I were ever stranded on a desert isle. I said a dictionary/thesaurus, the latest book by Dan Brown or Kathleen McGowan, and my book Mary's Message. When I was recording the audiobook 10+ years after I wrote it, it was like I was reading it for the first time and fell in love with it, as if I hadn't even written it. Mary Magdalene and, indeed, so many women, were shuffled to the sidelines for millennia. This is her story of power. As I watched Kamala Harris be our new VP yesterday, I knew that a new day had truly dawned. Love, blessings and power to us all.
And picture a 150-year-old nun with a ruler. That plus the title is my new favorite meme. "I remember her!" I wrote as I posted this on Facebook. Actually, I'm the youngest of five and by the time I got to school age, everyone else had complained so much that my mother just skipped Catholic school for me and put me in public school. I still had to go to Catechism every week until I was confirmed, though, and I met more than one nun like that. But I'm exceedingly grateful for my religious upbringing and all that training. It brought me very close to Jesus and Mary, as well as Mary Magdalene... but I did some additional studies later on and came up with this book from my heart.
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.
I posted one of my favorite photos on Instagram this week (@anncrawfordauthor). Part of my repertoire includes being an award-winning documentary filmmaker. The movie I made that won a prestigious award was about Viet Nam vets returning to Viet Nam. Then in 2000 my then-husband and I traveled the world to make a movie about peace. The photo I posted is a double rainbow over one of my favorite places on the planet: the Island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. To get there took a train from London, a crazy cab drive (the driver pointed to a cab in a ditch and said, "That's what happens when you don't know where the turns are!"), a ferry to the Island of Mull, a bus across Mull, and then a ferry to Iona. It was on that bus on Mull that the story of Spellweaver came to me. This book has an average review of 4.8 on Amazon -- and, yes, it has more than 2 reviews, LOL. It has quite a few.
It's snowing, which makes me think of when I was writing this chapter on a snowy day a few years ago. If it hadn't snowed today, the Denver area would've had its longest snow drought in recorded history. But with this snowfall, we tie a record set back in the 1880s. I love snow—at least at Christmastime, LOL. In April? Not so much. I hope you're enjoying your weather, whatever today is bringing you.
Alternate title: When Reviews Go Bad, LOL. I get reviews of all kinds for my books. I got a 1 on another story once, and the woman said something like, "Piece of garbage, sorry I wasted my money on this." Alllllllrighty then -- clearly, that book (which won a couple of awards for inspirational/visionary fiction) wasn't her cup of tea. A friend shuddered when she heard that and asked how I deal with such things. "The first bad review is very hard, even heart-crushing, but then you're over it and the others don't hurt as much," was my answer. Spellweaver has an average of 4.9, which surprises me because it's about a witch burning...not the most uplifting topic in the world. But the burning part is very short and the rest of the book is uplifting, so that must be what's doing it. Love wins. xoxo
I mentioned last week that I had an author interview, and I mentioned in the author interview that this book came to me while I was sitting on a bus crossing the Island of Mull, going to the Island of Iona. I gazed out at the hills of Scotland, and this entire story was downloaded into my head and heart. A similar thing happened in the Old City of Jerusalem, where much of the story of my book Mary's Message came to me. I've been to 75 countries, but I didn't have 73 other downloads like this, LOL. But I'll take these 2. When I say downloads, I don't mean to make writing sound like it's easy; it's not. But it'd be harder to do anything else.
If I told you how beautiful you are, would you believe me? If I told you there’s no one else who can do what you came to do, that you’re a vital piece of the puzzle, would you receive that deep inside your heart? If I told you you’re a cherished, long-awaited gift, would you unwrap your love and give it to us? If I told you your touch heals, your smile uplifts, your words ignite, would you lavish them on us? If I told you you’re a promise fulfilled, would you share that consummation with us? Would you sing us your song, write us your sonnet, play us your symphony, show us your magic, share with us your radiance? Thank you for all that you give all that you do all that you are all that you shine Catriona is the heroine of Spellweaver. And she's still around. :)
My husband and I were matched on eHarmony on June 21, met face to face on July 14, and got engaged on July 16. By July 21, I had my little green Prius packed up and was moving from my tiny hippie surfer town on the Northern California coast to....Topeka, Kansas! And did I mention he had two teenagers at the time? We got married the following December 21. This all happened in 2006, so, yes, it worked out, LOL. This month is our 15th anniversary of being matched. Every time I write a coming-together or love-at-first-sight scene in a book, it's based on us. Even though we'd been put together in a very 21st century way, when I met him, I remembered him--like we were always meant to be together. It was definitely love at first sight and is the stuff dreams and books are made of, literally. It's my favorite thing to write about.
This year my family has experienced a lot of pain, which actually had very little to do with the pandemic. Sickness, death, major surgery, struggling with this and that (although none of this had to do with Covid)...we've been through it this year. Workwise, I've mostly been rewriting my latest book per my agent's specifications. So it was a year to kind of hunker down anyway. This bubble is from a book about a woman who lived from her highest place and found joy even in the roughest of times. Some days I can be like that; other days not so much. I think to make it through this time to the best of my ability, I had to focus on eating well (not too much, low carb) and working out, so I'd feel as good as possible. I also meditate almost every day, especially right before a writing session. Keeping these three touchstones kept me in touch with myself and got me through this year despite everything. Last week I sat at the cafe counter at Whole Foods, not to eat but just to feel a little "normal" again." It worked, and I couldn't believe how grateful I was for such a little thing. If you had a tough year, my heart is with you and yours.
I mentioned last week that one of my besties is having brain surgery tomorrow. Today I posted a pic of her with her two daughters on my FB page, and it's been flooded with good wishes, love, and prayers for all three of them. Got me all teary, because these folks don't even know her. It's amazing how life can take a turn so quickly. It's a good reminder to live as much and as well as we can, every single minute. I chose this excerpt from Spellweaver today because the shero, Catriona, is someone who lives fully and well every single moment (almost), despite the hardships of her time and being pursued by a witch hunter. I loved writing about her, since that reminded me to whirl around on mountaintops, roll in the grass, gaze at the sky in wonder...as often as possible. My friend is very much like Catriona in that she lives so fully, so present in each moment, and she's reminding me to do that, too. Much love to you and yours.
The other day I posted a meme on Instagram*: "I Googled my symptoms. Turns out I just need to go to Scotland." That got a LOT of laughs and comments, and I got chatting with someone about the islands off the west coast. My favorite is the Island of Iona -- oh, so amazing! I told her that I got the story idea for Spellweaver on a bus crossing the Island of Mull. The whole thing just came to me in one giant download as I was looking out the bus window at the greenish-brown hills. *@anncrawfordauthor -- c'mon over and play! I'm having so much fun there.
This week I posted a pic on Instagram (@anncrawfordauthor -- if you want to play over there too) of our woodsy backyard full of snow. "Always and for the rest of ever," I wrote, "a scene like this will remind me of Narnia." "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was one of my favorite childhood books. It wasn't necessarily a Christmas book, but I especially loved reading it then. Perhaps it made me want to write about a good witch -- a healer -- to counterbalance the White Witch of Narnia. And so I did! The scene in this bubble was written as I sat in my writing nest watching the snow fall. I did feel like I was rising. And snow always does make everything feel fresh and new.
My husband and I were matched on eHarmony. We met face to face in July 2006, got engaged 2 days later, and got married 5 months later. (And did I mention he lived in Kansas and had 2 teenagers?! And that I lived in California!?!) He'd sent a picture, so I knew kind of what he looked like, but nothing prepared me for looking up from the book I was reading and seeing this gorgeous angel standing over me. That is one of my favorite moments of my life, and I try to replicate it in books as often as I can. I love love. I love when love meets face to face. I love writing about it and letting readers know that such beautiful possibilities exist.
I didn't want to write this book. A witch hunt? I love frolicking in love, light and laughter--my author tagline. At one point I said to myself, "Okay, I don't have to finish this one." Ha! One of my best traits is that I have to finish what I start...within reason, that is. The story ended up being infused with lots of love and light, however, and some laughter. Here's what one reviewer said about it: "Spellweaver radiates positive energy, in a sort of way that makes you want to keep fighting for your dreams." I love that.
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.
Spoiler: you are love. This bubble highlights one of my favorite paragraphs I've ever written. Happy Valentine's Day, you amazing emanation of love, you! xoxoxo
The news would have us think it's all bad out there, but I think the good is growing, too. Many things are bad, no doubt about it — I'm not going to sugar coat it. But as bad as they get, the good steps it up even more. We just don't hear about it as much. We're in crazy times, but we have communities coming together, folks supporting each other more and more, and so many people deciding to be their own bright light instead of looking for one.
Many of us have been losing friends and family members at a higher rate than usual lately, which has me thinking about what comes next. I suppose those folks who've had near-death experiences could tell us, but even then a theory is their brain might be getting deprived of oxygen and therefore fabricating wonderful things. Or they remember what they want to remember. The author Anita Moorjani died and came back, though, and she overheard conversations taking place down the hospital corridor that she couldn't possibly have heard if she hadn't been floating through the ethers. And then when she did come back, her cancer-ravaged body spontaneously healed over a few days. So, while I do like to ponder what's next, most of us won't know until we know. This scene is how I picture it.
This whole book is about the scenes behind the scenes of our lives. And what's behind those scenes? I love exploring concepts like karma, right timing for leaving this plane, and so many things like that. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you. My website is anncrawford.net.
had a group of angels that kind of oversees what we do, and ultimately helps us progress along our path. Would that be good? Maybe. But where would our choice be in all this. Well, we're always at choice. And who's in charge, anyway? This multi-award-winning book will help you laugh your way to woke.
I grew up just north of New York City and the World Trade Center was a big part of my earlier life. A dear friend worked on the 89th floor of the north tower. That morning, my then-husband rushed into the house and told me what’d happened. I started screaming, thinking of my friend and his wife, one of my besties, who was now probably a widow. Then I said, “Maybe he wasn’t there!” My wasband had that expression—oh no, she’s being delusional. (He’d get that from time to time, LOL.) I called…somehow got through…and my friend answered. He hadn’t gone to work yet. My heart goes out to all the people who wouldn’t hear their person answer their phone ever again. Just wanted to share that. xoxoxo
Someone asked me this week what my favorite poem is. That's easy: And still, after all this time, The sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me." Look what happens with A love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. ― Hafiz......... Those words are so simple, yet so powerful. It made me think what's my favorite line or paragraph that I've written? There are a few contenders, but this one from Angels on Overtime is my fav. Just sayin'. xoxoxoxo
I'm finally getting somewhere with my writing career, and a friend recently said, "You never gave up!" To that I said, "There was nothing else to do!" This is what I do. Some people operate on brains, others design buildings or gardens; I write. I've found books from my childhood with my three-year-old's pencil scrawl trying to continue the story after it ended, so this thing I have started early. I tried to "be practical" and got a degree in business and got sidetracked with a few other things along the way, but writing was always patiently waiting for me to come back to it. Nothing's a wrong turn though...everything is fodder for yet another story.
My husband (before he was my husband -- and on the day his divorce from his previous wife was final) wrote out a list of 40 things he wanted in his next (and last) wife. I was practically all 40 of them. 39-1/2, to be exact. He was specific, like "intelligent," "at peace with her world," "between 5'10" and 6'" -- I'm 5'11" and intelligent and at peace with my world. 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. He lived in Kansas and I lived in California. We pictured a fun-loving team of angels diligently trying to get us together, and that's how this book was born. It was really fun to write and more of it is true than you might think.
This highway scene actually happened. I was driving along I-10 in LA--by myself, or so I thought--when someone whispered in my ear, "Change lanes." I looked in the rearview mirror and a car was barreling down the lane next to me, so I was going to wait until they passed. "Ann," the voice said, "this is not the time to be polite." What a great sense of humor! "Change lanes right now." So I did. And the van that'd been in front of me stopped short and the pickup that'd been behind me slammed into it. You'd be reading another bubble right now if I hadn't listened to that voice. I've had so many discussions with people over the intervening years about who was talking. My higher self? An angel? Someone was. That's part of what inspired me to write this whole book. Here Jack and Emily's angels have been trying to get them together and the best-laid plans sometimes need a quick change. Just like life.
I first published this book eight years ago. A young woman read it back then, and she still writes to me regularly to tell me how much this book has impacted her life. She heard about the book through a mutual friend of ours. My books aren't for everyone, of course, but they are for people who like to chuckle as together we explore the deep and remarkable truths about this wild and wonderful life we're living. You could say we're skydiving/ looking at the big picture, and spelunking/ delving into caves to see what makes us tick. Isn't that what life is? The macrocosm and the microcosm, woven together to make us think about things in a different way than we had before. Authors give us glimpses into other worlds and into the individual world, and I'm so happy this is the work I get to do.
I became a mom in 2006. My kids were just turning 16 and 18. So, yes, I became a stepmom. But they've called me "Mom" since I moved in with them, and I've loved them since before I met them. There's a line about being a stepparent that goes something like this: "Stepparents are very special people who promise to love another's child as their own." Watching these two grow in the amazing adults that they are has been such a high honor for me, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. A lot of people and events in my books are based on real life. In Angels on Overtime, Emily eventually becomes a stepmom to Ben and Chelsea, who you get to meet here.
I'm heading to California tomorrow to take care of my friend undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor. She's been "getting her affairs in order" and relishing the time she has with her amazing daughters. Chances are she'll be fine, but there's always the possibility she won't be. I often think of life and the afterlife, even more these days. I don't think life ends when we die -- we just embark on another journey. I loved writing this book because it gave me so many opportunities to explore these ideas. Life has been harder than usual for so many of us lately. I hope you're doing well and enjoying the coming of spring. Life is certainly amazing...here and after here.
Well, the part about driving down the freeway and having to change lanes happened. I was driving down the 10 in LA, right behind a big green van and in front of a white pickup truck. Somebody whispered in my ear, "Change lanes." I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a car barreling down the lane I would've been moving into, so I figured I'd wait. Whoever it was who was talking to me had a great sense of humor because they said, "Ann, this is not the time to be polite. Change lanes right now." So I did. The green van stopped short for a crate in that lane and the pickup slammed into the back of it. My little green Prius and I would've been smashed to smithereens. I love whoever was talking...and I wrote a whole book about the possibilities.
These are my favorite lines of this book, maybe of all my books (or at least tied for first place with some from Mary's Message): You don't need to look for love. Love is what you look with. It's all that you are. This bubble is a graphic on my Instagram page -- @anncrawfordauthor. This week has been devoted to...yes...love and hearts and all things Valentine's Day, even when your special Valentine is yourself. I wish you so much love on that day, this week, and always.
Hi, friends. When my husband's divorce from his first wife was final, he sat down and made of list of 40 things he wanted in his next -- and last! -- wife. He was very specific... even saying things like between 5"10 and 6'. I was 39-1/2 of them. And just for the record, I'm 5'11', LOL. I was married at the time he made out his list, but I suddenly started having strange conversations with the air in my bedroom, about the possibility of my then-husband and I splitting up. There was still a lot of love there, but we'd outgrown each other. My current husband and I always joked that some group of angels must've taken his list and went searching for me. And that's how this book was born. So... this really happened. At least the list-making, being married at the time (but kind of done, too), and eventually finding each other did.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and will have a very Happy New Year. I’m so honored that my multiple-award-winning “Angels on Overtime” is included in a short list of transformational books compiled by professor and author Harvey Bishop. In his review of “Angels,” he called it the “It’s a Wonderful Life” for a new generation. I thought, "Well, that's sure nice." Then I come to find out that Harv interviewed Frank Capra, the movie’s director, and the film had been a very important part of his life and career. So that’s some high praise! The Kindle version is on a 99-cent special.
Merry Christmas, my beautiful friends. I just heard that a well-known editor reads my multiple-award-winning Angels on Overtime every Christmas. I'm so touched. This bubble is one of the sweetest scenes in the book and was one of my favorite to write. The Kindle version is on special for 99 cents. I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, whether you're near or far from each other. Mine is all over the country. My 3 sisters and I are in each continental time zone. So we'll be Zooming and FaceTiming a chunk of the day. Merry, Merry Christmas!
In the writing community we talk about being a plotter or a pantser. The first writes outlines and follows a plan; the second writes books via flying by the seat of her pants. That's definitely me. I write whatever wants to come that day, and then I put the pieces together like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle. I love puzzles, so that makes writing books so much fun. In this book I have a group of angels going back and forth between their "great hall," where they work when their human charge is asleep, and Earth when their human is awake. This was an unusually enjoyable book to write and readers tell me it's quite enjoyable for them, too.
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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