Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

11/11/19, No Excuses

Posted on November 11, 2019

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week. I had a good one with interesting meetings, some rewarding work, some nice conversations with my kids, a friend I love whom I got to see which warmed my heart. And a manuscript I was waiting to edit was delayed in the mail, so I actually got a few days off, and even got to read someone else’s books for a change!!!

 

Among the books I particularly love are those by Joel Osteen, whom I am lucky enough to know and consider a friend, with his wonderful family, whom I’ve also met (mother, brother, sister, wife, kids, they’re a terrific bunch!!). Joel is a truly extraordinary person, warm, humble, incredibly bright, modest, kind, compassionate, he’s a minister and delivers his powerful positive message in a palatable, accessible way, even for people who don’t consider themselves religious. He’s written about a dozen books (#1 bestsellers on the NY Times list), and his books ALWAYS open my thought to new ideas, and leave me feeling stronger, better, more hopeful, happier and more positive about life. He has a tremendous gift. And the one thing I think our books have in common is that we try to share hope with our readers. I think hope is one of the most important things in life, as important as love, and sometimes even more so. We cannot live without hope. Many times, Joel’s books have given me hope when I thought things were looking pretty dark. And there is always some major thought or theme in his books that wakes me up to see things around me in a new light. They are like a burst of sunshine and fresh air for me.

 

On the back of one of his recent books, that I read last week, is an excerpt from the book: “Nothing will change until you make up your mind that you are not going to accept mediocrity. Why don’t you take the limitations off yourself? You have so much potential. Break out of that box and try something new…You are not limited by your education, by how you were raised, or your current situation. You are destined to rise higher.” He not only gives his readers hope, he shares his faith-driven energy with them. It works for me. What resonated for me in that excerpt was not being limited by our history and circumstances. Inside the book, he talks about “Getting rid of the excuses” and “remove the shame.” Wow!!! Those two thoughts really stopped me and made me think.

 

We all have ‘excuses’ for why we aren’t doing something or moving ahead, why we’re not pushing ourselves harder than we are: an accident, health, an injury, a terrible divorce, the loss of someone we love, a bad break up, losing a job, or as Joel said, a limited education, an abusive childhood, or maybe a bad relationship we allow to continue and don’t feel strong enough to get out of. At different times, we put up with some terrible situations and extreme emotional pain—-sometimes leaving the bad situation and being alone seems worse (which most of the time is not the case. Alone is better than abuse!!! Sometimes we get used to some really awful situations, and settle for them rather than risking the unknown). (I was in a therapy group once where a woman shared the incredible abuse her boyfriend was inflicting on her, cheating on her, beating her, taking her money, being nasty to her. It was a list an arm long, and someone asked why she didn’t leave him, and she said “But how do I know who I’d meet if I leave him, I might meet a really bad guy”. A REALLY bad guy? Are you kidding, Frankenstein, Dracula, or Adolf Hitler would have been better than the guy she had. It took a long time, but she did eventually leave him, and was a LOT happier.) Fear of the unknown paralyzes a lot of us, and keeps us in a bad spot. We also feel unworthy at times of anything, which is where Joel’s message is so strong: Remove the Shame. We all feel ashamed of things we’ve done, and where we’ve fallen short, which sometimes leads us to believe that we deserve to be punished and treated badly. If you take away the shame, and give it up (and figure you’ve already paid enough penance for it), it opens up a whole new vista of positive opportunities, and even happiness. Getting rid of the shame, and letting it go opens the door to a wealth of possibilities we ALL deserve. (Nobody is perfect!!!)

 

What resonated for me in his recent book was ‘Getting rid of the excuses’. Some of the excuses are buried deep, where others don’t see or hear them, but we use them for ourselves, the passes we give ourselves for why we can’t reach a better life (or attitude). When I read that line in his book, it woke me up, with a real jolt. I think the greatest (usually unspoken) excuse in my own life is that my mother left when I was 6, and I grew up alone with my father. (Which has its convenient sides—-I know more about cars than I do about makeup, which I wear very little of). I missed out on all those mother-daughter moments that most people have. It is also a brutally powerful message when your own mother leaves you. What does that say about you if your own mother rejects you? I know others it has happened to, men and women now, and it is a big deal to overcome. A HUGE deal. If you let it, it can set you up to be rejected, abandoned, or treated badly forever by others. It has been my excuse for being overprotective of my own children, too dependent on the men in my life, the message being “my mother left me, so please don’t you”. That’s a hell of a burden for another person to live with, and to put on them—it’s not their fault my mother left—nor mine. That’s the point. I wasn’t responsible for her leaving, so I shouldn’t have to carry the weight of that forever. And it SHOULDN’T be my excuse for being a burden on someone else, nor should I expect others to abandon me because she did. And if they do, it’s a brand new account, and NOT a replay of the past. But in seriously  introspective moments, I realize that privately I have used that as an ‘excuse’ for not trusting people, hanging on too tightly, or accepting bad behaviours from them that I shouldn’t (so they don’t leave too). Today is a whole new day. A new life. EVERY day.

 

The other excuse I could use, but don’t usually, or as much, is that I lost a son (to suicide). Losing anyone you love is agonizing, and losing a child is a special kind of excruciating pain——–but it’s still not an excuse to stop living yourself, to pay less attention to your other children, or be depressed for the rest of your life.  It was a terrible blow, there is no question, but I have fought hard not to let it be an ‘excuse’ in my life for sitting in a corner and feeling sorry for myself. I still have tough times with it at times, but I have tried not to let it define me or my life. (“oh the poor thing, she lost a son”. Yes, I did, and it’s a terrible loss, but I don’t want to be a poor thing or have it be my ‘excuse’ for staying frozen in that place. My son Nick would have hated that, he expected more of me than that, and so do I). I think I was lucky that a woman I’ve never liked came up to me at his funeral, looked me in the eye and said “You will NEVER recover from this.” Holy Sh**#@@”, what an awful thing to say to someone, like a life sentence. When she said the words to me, even in my fog of grief, I thought “Oh NO!!!” I’m not going to let that happen, and I fought hard not to let that happen (We started two foundations in his name to help the mentally ill, I worked on the streets with the homeless actively for 11 years with one of our foundations, I wrote more books than ever, was closer than ever to my kids, and 5 years later I started an art gallery which gave me endless joy for almost 6 years. I did everything I could not to let his loss crush me and destroy me. I did NOT want that to be an excuse for no longer living a full life.

 

A bad divorce can be an excuse for no longer living a full life, or a limited education—-there are so many people now who have done outstanding things, and even made fortunes with poor educations, or have had bad lives before that. (In another therapy group I was in, dealing with grief and loss, a woman talked sobbing about how her husband had left her, and she had stopped her life completely. Gently, I asked how long it had been since he left, assuming it had been weeks or maybe months. She answered “26 years”…..that’s a long time to grieve a bad marriage and not move on.

 

 

I am not dismissing or minimizing the terrible things that can and have happened to all of us. But it seems as though we have two choices, to let it beat us, or not let it beat us. And we sometimes do use excuses to give ourselves a pass to not lead a full life after something hard happens. Reading Joel’s book made me want to throw those excuses away. Yes, my mother left me at 6. But I don’t want to let that rule my life or affect me today. And I was ashamed then and later that my own mother had left me. That shame is someone else’s and doesn’t belong to me. Ashamed too that I got divorced, which I saw as a failure on my part that I couldn’t convince two husbands to stay. But I’ve had a very good life in spite of that. I don’t want to use those excuses. I don’t want excuses to limit my life.

 

I don’t like age as an excuse either. I want to cheer every time I hear about old people who are working fully, or doing something remarkable, and there are many, many, many older people leading full, productive lives. I heard about a woman yesterday who just got married at 99, she married a 73 year old man, and I thought Good For Her!!! (And Bravo to him, for seeing her value as a human being and her beauty). And I know of two 107 year old women, in Italy and Japan, who are in remarkably good shape. These days, it happens.

 

I always find Joel Osteen’s books life changing. Those two simple phrases, among some very very valid points throughout the book, about “Get rid of the excuses” and “Remove the shame” really spoke to me, and maybe to you as well reading it here.

 

In any case, I don’t want any excuses Not to lead a full and happy life, and I’m all for getting rid of anything that stops us, or blocks us, or brings us down!!!

 

Have a great week, and I hope WONDERFUL things happen to you!!! You deserve it!! We all do!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

 

11/4/19, Forgiveness Before Thanks

Posted on November 4, 2019

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week, and maybe even some fun on Halloween, with or without children. My children have always dressed up on Halloween, even into their young adulthood, and gone to parties, but they all work so hard at their jobs now, that I think most of them stayed home that night. My youngest son sent me a photo of a very elaborate pumpkin he carved, so he paid tribute to Halloween after all. And I gave a dinner for my God Children, with black cats, a black owl, and glittery green rats on the table, and lots of candy. It’s a fun day. And now my thoughts are turning to Thanksgiving, which is a holiday that always makes me think. It’s really all about friendship, gathering friends around you, and being grateful for whatever you can think of. On hard years, that can be a real challenge, but it’s an important thought. Being Grateful, giving thanks. Sometimes being grateful for even the smallest things can make a huge difference. It’s a lot easier to complain about what you don’t have, than to be grateful for what you do. But being grateful, even for a minute is so important.

 

When I have time, I like reading the Bible at times. I know that sounds corny, but I often find some thought that helps me. I get lost in the ‘Begats’, about who is related to who. But there are simple phrases that jump out at me that have meant a lot to me. “Love never fails”, I love that one. “Nothing is impossible” has brought me a lot of comfort, and there is a phrase that meant a lot to me one very lonely Thanksgiving when I was alone years ago, “God places the solitary in families”. It proved to be true that year, I was invited to spend the holiday with friends, and years later, surrounded by my own big family, I remembered that phrase and it touched me. I also find guidelines sometimes about rules of life and ethics that make sense, and I’d either forgotten or tried to ignore. One of those was about forgiveness. A big subject.

 

Somewhere in the Bible it says about how many times you’re supposed to forgive—-and the answer is 70 Times 7. Holy Moley!! That’s 490. I’m supposed to forgive someone 490 Times??!!! Arrghkkkkk….I was thinking more like maybe 2 or 3. Okay, maybe 4. But 490? THAT is a VERY tall order. I guess that’s an ideal, and I’ll never get even remotely close to that. And somewhere else it says (loosely translated) not to show up all cheery and dressed up, when you haven’t forgiven the people in your life. Forgive them first, and THEN show up. Hmm, that’s also a good point. And not always easy to do. So it seems like before Thanksgiving comes forgiveness, which actually seems like good advice, —how can you be really grateful, if you have a long list in your heart of people you’re mad at and don’t want to forgive? That is a real philosophical challenge, and a human one. Forgiveness is important, the weight on one’s heart if one doesn’t forgive is heavy. And some things are very hard to forgive. Big betrayals, big hurts, really bad things people have done to you.

 

I’ve had my share of big things to forgive, and I’m sure you have too. If you live a full life, at some point, people are going to hurt you. And then it’s your decision how you feel about it. One of the biggest in my life was an embezzlement I experienced, it went on for 16 years before I discovered it. It was very cleverly done, and took an enormous toll on me, for a lot of money. Once discovered, I had to sell a beach house I loved, close my art gallery which I really loved, and close down the street outreach program I had for the homeless, which nearly broke my heart (we served 4,000 people a year, and gave them direly needed supplies). I had to do all those things to ‘right the ship’ again financially, and I have a family to support. It was a terrible blow. And because of the statute of limitations, the embezzler was only punished for the last 3 years of the crime, and couldn’t be prosecuted for the other 13 years of embezzled money. It was a terrible experience for me, and everyone affected by it (like the people who worked at the gallery who lost their jobs when I had to close, and the homeless we could no longer serve). The embezzler went to prison, but not for long. How do you deal with something like that? Do you stay mad forever, do you hate someone for what they did? (Someone I knew well, trusted, and saw every day for 16 years, a trusted employee). You can’t stay mad and hate them, or it poisons you. At some point you have to let it go. That was one of my greatest challenges for forgiveness, and I still think about it at times. And there have been others, not embezzlements, but people who have hurt me. And surely people who have hurt you too, maybe even in your family, at work, or among your friends. I had very unkind parents, which is a lot to forgive too. This year,  “friends” (a couple) set me up, invited me to a dinner party, and exposed me to 2 journalists (without warning me), one of them apparently famous for writing vicious untrue things about famous people in the press. I never met them at the party, didn’t talk to them, and didn’t know they were there—–until a very nasty false “interview” appeared in the press, which was hurtful. And I was very angry at the ‘friends’ who set me up, and I’m still wrestling with it in my head. (The article was withdrawn, because it was proven that there had never been an interview, and what was said wasn’t true). I probably won’t see the ‘friends’ again, but I don’t want to carry that around with me, so sooner or later, I will have to forgive them, even if I don’t see them again. Forgiveness can be a MAJOR challenge. And 490 times??? Wow!!! You’ve got to be kidding!!! How about 489? or 2?

 

But it’s a good point, how grateful can you be, if you are lugging a heavy sack of anger around, at the people you haven’t forgiven.

 

Forgiveness is a work in progress for most of us. Sometimes it comes easily, especially some small slight, but sometimes it’s really hard to forgive.  So before I show up for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, and delicious stuffing (my favorite!!!), I know I’ll have work to do, to forgive the people who have hurt me past and present. And the more I can forgive, the better the pie and the stuffing will taste, and the more joyful the occasion will be, being with the people I love, and not dragging the ‘unforgiven’ people with me like a weight on my heart.

 

It’s something to think about, and it is a big subject. We all have people we need to forgive, for big and small hurts and ‘crimes’ against us. And when we are finally able to forgive them, and set that burden down, the thanks and the gratitude are that much sweeter…..and I’m VERY grateful that there is no one on my list that I need to forgive 490 times!!!! Once or twice will do me just fine,thanks!!!

 

Have a wonderful week, full of peace and joy, and happy things. Lots of happy things, and may all your burdens be light!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

 

10/14/19, Barnes and Noble Q and A

Posted on October 14, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you and that you’re busy and happy and things are going well.

 

I recently did this Q and A for Barnes and Noble, about my work, and my new hardcover “Child’s Play” which came out last week. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview too!!! Click here to read the interview.

 

Have a great week!!! love, Danielle

 

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9/2/19, Labor Day and Writing Elves

Posted on September 3, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week and are enjoying the Labor Day Holiday. It’s always a little bit of a bittersweet day, because it marks the end of summer. So no more vacation for a while, the warmer weather will end soon, and we all go back to work or school, and will have a long winter to get through before we can enjoy our summer holidays again!!! I hope you had a chance to enjoy a long weekend, for these final days of summer.

 

I thought of an odd topic the other day. My agent mentioned it to me recently, and I’ve seen the subject brought up on the Internet once or twice, about me. So I thought I’d answer you directly, and let you in a little more on how I work. The question is “How do I write so many books?” and Does someone help me write them, or many someones??? The fast answer is that No, No one writes them for me or with me or helps me. I do all the work and all the writing myself.

 

Amazingly, many very famous writers get help with their books now. I can think of two very well-known authors who literally have a “group” of writers they assign the work to, to write the story with them, or for them. I guess they give them directions. I’m not sure how it works, because I’ve never done it. I’ve heard that one of those authors assigns one chapter to each person, and they write it for that writer. Personally, I don’t see how you can call yourself a writer, if someone else writes the books. Also, if you know the author of a book (or maybe even if you don’t), when you read the book, you hear that author’s voice in your head, almost as if they are reading it to you. Every writer has a distinctive voice, and you “hear” them when you read their work. So how does that work if 3 or 4, or 10 different writers have created the book? I would think that it creates a jumble of voices telling the story. And every writer’s style is different, so that’s a lot of styles in one book. And many authors now aren’t embarrassed to admit that they don’t write the books themselves. I think that’s kind of sad. (And I would hate having anyone co-write a book with me. I want to do all the writing, and the concept myself. I am not a collaborative writer. I work alone. I have a researcher who helps me dig out research and facts on a subject, and an editor who corrects my work when I finish a book, to make sure I haven’t made some glaring mistake. But I write the entire story, and the entire book myself. ALL by myself!!!

 

My process is that I get an idea, sometimes just a little piece of an idea, a theme, or something I’ve seen or heard about or read in the news. I then begin to make notes, and jot down ideas for a book. That part can go on for months, and often does. And eventually I write an outline for a book, with all the details. I outline it chapter by chapter. And I make a list of research I need (about an industry, or an illness, or historically, like a war or a famous battle.) After my editor reads it and tells me if the idea makes sense and sounds good to her, then I sit down and prepare to write it. It’s always a very anxious moment when I start a book, wanting to do it justice, hoping I will get it right. I continue to make notes on the outline while I write the book, to fine tune some of the details. While I’m writing, I don’t see or talk to anyone (except my kids), I don’t go out, I don’t see friends. I work 20 or 22 hour days, sleep for a few hours and go back to work, so I don’t lose the thread of the book. It’s a long, hard, slow, intense process. (Most of my outlines are 35 to 40 pages, and the first draft of a novel is 300 to 400 pages. When I finish the first draft, then the book goes to my editor, who eventually sends it back to me, with notes all over the manuscript, with suggestions of things she doesn’t like or I need to change, because it’s too confusing, or too fast or too slow, or the emotions between characters aren’t clear.  When I get the manuscript back with her list of suggestions and polite critiques, I then correct the manuscript, add whatever research is needed, and it becomes the Final Draft, and I send it to the publisher. I see it one more time about a year later, which is my last chance to make corrections before it goes to the printer to become a book. (It takes about 2 years from when I write it to when it comes out as a finished book.) It’s a slow process in writing and in publishing.

 

One thing is unusual about my work is that I often work on 4 or 5 books at the same time, at different stages of the work. I work on a whole book and then move on to the next one (I don’t do a chapter here in one book and a chapter there). It’s a great advantage being able to keep track of several books at once, and I can work on several books at the same time, to finish for you.

 

I LOVE doing what I do, and I work hard. I love writing, it’s rewarding and fun and exciting at times, and drudgery at other times. And if you hit a dull spot, or a dead spot, you just have to keep on going until you find a way to make the “dull” spot better and more exciting.

 

My kids and my writing are my life, and fill my nights and days. And I can promise you that I am the ONLY person who writes my books, or even edits them. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would share the work, or collaborate on a story/book/ or manuscript. Writing is so ENTIRELY personal. It’s what comes out of your head or your heart, it’s what you want to say to your readers, and what your soul wants to say. I talk to you through the books, and I can’t imagine letting someone else share that conversation with you or “mess with” my books. My books are sacred to me. And I hope that they are meaningful to you. And it’s just me sitting here 20 or 22 hours a day, No elves. No gnomes. No little fairies with pens poised over the page.

 

I just wanted to clear that up with you. Rest assured, I am totally dedicated to the work, and as long as I have breath, the books will be as good as I can make them, and I will be here all by myself, pounding away on New Books to show you!!! Happy Reading!!!

 

 

Have a Great Week! love, Danielle

 

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7/3/19, Summer Break…

Posted on July 3, 2019

…catch you next week

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5/21/19 Gone fishing….

Posted on May 21, 2019

Busy writing… See you next week!

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5/13/19, Wake Up Call:Real Life

Posted on May 13, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week and a lovely mother’s day, whether you’re a mother, or a son or daughter, a grandchild, or just a good motherly friend to someone who looks up to you.

 

Sometimes I have something I can’t wait to share with you, something I’ve seen or done or a pet peeve or immense joy. At other times, I grope around and can’t think of a single interesting thing I’ve done all week that might entertain you. There are always the fashion shows at certain times of year, the holidays, or a new book out. And I DO have a new book out, “Blessing in Disguise”, which came out last week, about a woman with three adult daughters, each one with a different father, and how very different they are, and how separate and distinct the mother’s relationship is with each of them. I hope you love it!!!

 

But since I spend about 95% of my time writing, there are times that I just haven’t seen or done anything except work, which gets boring for you to hear about. Sometimes I don’t leave my house (or office) for weeks at a time if I am working intensely on a book. And at other times something I want to share with you just leaps onto the page. I was travelling this week, which gets more and more complicated with increased security measures, and less and less fun, and there isn’t much to say about it. I didn’t do anything exciting this week, and then yesterday I got an email updating me about my incredible, remarkable, wonderful niece, Bea. And there it was, real life, staring me right in the eye, putting everything else I do or worry about into perspective.

 

Except for rare instances, we all share the same problems and deal with the same challenges to varying degrees in daily life. Worrying about our kids, the petty aggravations of daily life, (I am currently dealing with 2 winter leaks, hardly fascinating for you to hear), or we have a falling out with someone, or get irritated with our kids (the same ones we worry about!!), or just when you get your budget in semi-control you get a whopping bill from the plumber, or for your car, or from your dentist, and it blows your budget all over again. Whatever it is always seems monumental at the time (or really is with health or job or money or kid worries). And then suddenly you hear of something, or see it, which puts it all into perspective and reminds us of how small our problems are compared to that.

 

For those of you who don’t know, 3 years ago, my then 17 year old niece Bea was at the Brussels airport during the terrorist attack. You read about those events in the papers, and you never expect them to come close to home. She lost both her legs, was badly burned, her body filled with shrapnel. She was one of two survivors of one terminal, and was thought to be dead when they found her. She spent 7 months in a military hospital, and underwent more than 40 surgeries, and she will always have shrapnel in her body from the bombing. Unimaginable. She is an astoundingly brave and remarkable girl, with wonderful parents who got her through it. And she has more courage and guts than anyone I know. When she got out of the hospital, she finished high school and graduated. She did over a year of rehab with the Navy Seals. (She is half French and half American). She is now in college in the States. Her passion was horseback riding, and she was hoping to be in the Olympics. She is now training for the Paralympics, and sat on her beloved horse Deedee before she was even out of the hospital. The reunion of her and her horse was heart wrenching. Her horse Deedee was led out of its trailer, as a surprise for her, on the first day Bea was allowed to go out to the hospital garden. Deedee raced across the parking lot, and into the garden, went straight to Bea in her wheel chair, put her head on Bea’s shoulder, and licked her face. Bea began making a strong recovery from then on, and the love affair continues, as Bea now attends college and trains daily for the pre-Paralympic qualifying competitions. She had a recent setback for two months, which required more surgery for an infection. She’s on the mend now, and will be back in training again soon.

 

When I got the family update on her yesterday, it woke me up again. What Bea deals with every day is unthinkable to the rest of us, to come through something that immense and turn it into a positive life, and refuse to be defeated by a catastrophic, cataclysmic event so huge we can’t really even imagine it. It makes all my daily problems ridiculous by comparison: the suitcase that didn’t make it onto the plane with me 3 days ago (but eventually did turn up), the car repair, the bills that seem to multiply before they get to me, the harsh words exchanged with someone when I was tired, some minor disappointments. It shrinks to nothing when I am reminded of what Bea faces every day, and how brilliantly and bravely she has dealt with it, and her determination to lead an amazing life, and she surely will with her positive attitude. She is 20 now, and truly an extraordinary person.

 

So I’m sharing the wakeup call with you. Some people are dealing with such enormous things, and so successfully, that it shrinks my ‘problems’ to nothing. Bea is an inspiration to all who know her, and many who don’t. It makes me grateful for every waking moment. She is a blessing to us all. She didn’t just survive the attack, she met the challenge positively with immeasurable strength in every possible way, and still is. She is the definition of courage, in one totally amazing young girl.

 

Have a fantastic week—–and may all your challenges be small, and easily overcome!!!

 

with much love, Danielle

 

Bea’s Website:   https://www.beaparathlete.org/

 

 

Ps. And to Mary Dixon, who asked if I’ve written any short books. The answer is yes. About 20 or 25 years ago, short books became fashionable for a short time (under 200 pages). They were VERY challenging to write, much more so than longer books, because in short books you have about half the time and space to tell the entire story in depth. During that time, I wrote a number of them: among them, “The Gift”, “Five Days in Paris”, “Second Chance”, and “Special Delivery”, and a few others. You might want to check them out. love, D.

 

3/18/19, Dazed but not confused

Posted on March 18, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, which I can lay no claim to, having no Irish relatives at all.  But if it’s your holiday, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

 

The riots in Paris are continuing and getting worse again, with stores destroyed, vandalized and looted—innocent stores like women and children’s clothing stores and the Disney store on the Champs Elysees. The city continues to live in fear on Saturdays, and the destruction continues. Violence is never the answer to anything and is disheartening to see.

 

I have done nothing but write for the last 10 days, and I’m happy with what I’m working on. I was working very closely on two books, and have really had fun with them. I hope you’ll love them too once they’re out.

 

My new book, Silent Night, is out and doing well, about Brain Injury. I hope you’ll read it and love it too, there’s some very good research in that book.

 

And when I work this hard writing, I work straight through most nights until 5 and 6 am, then I don’t do much else and am just on a constant cycle of writing, a few hours’ sleep, and then more writing—-so I’m not very interesting when I come up for air, and am a little dazed.

 

I saw my God children last night, which is always fun for me. And I hope to see some friends for lunch and dinner this week—-and to catch up on some fun things to tell you. In the meantime, take care, stay safe, work hard and have some fun!!!

 

much love, Danielle

2/18/19, Breaking Point

Posted on February 18, 2019

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a great week and Valentine’s Day turned out just the way you wanted it to!!!

 

I’m always fascinated by new forms of our social phenomena and culture. And since I spend time in California, I’m never sure if some new form of entertainment or behaviour is particular to California—which is not the norm!!—-or if a trend has spread to the rest of the country. California has a culture all its own.

 

The last new ‘wave’ I heard about were “Gender Reveal Parties”, where the couple discovers their unborn baby’s sex at the same time as their friends. Apparently that’s a common thing now, although I’d never heard of it before. That was news to me!!! Personally, it seems to me that it lacks intimacy, and turns a very private moment into a major social event. Learning a baby’s sex with your entire bowling team somehow lacks intimacy to me, but it seems to be a major trend!!

 

Now I’ve heard of another new trend—- Break Rooms or Destruction Rooms—- It’s apparently new but common in California—I have no idea if the rest of the country is setting them up too. It’s a form of ‘entertainment’ or stress release where the people who run them set up a room with old out of date computers and large television sets, plates, bottles, and assorted breakable objects. You rent the room for an hour for somewhere around $100.00. They are supposed to give you protective clothing, like some kind of protective cover all, goggles (gloves might be a good idea), they hand you a sledgehammer and some other form of ‘weapon’, like a baseball bat, and tell you to have a ball, and you can destroy whatever/everything that is in the room. Everything!!! There’s lots of broken glass, so you need to be protected. And you get to take out all your hostilities and aggressions, and your frustrations, and get to break everything in sight. My youngest son is very adventuresome and loves doing new things—he recently went to feed a giraffe and loved it—-so he drove an hour to where several of these Break Rooms were set up, and he thought it was an amazing way to let off steam. He’s normally not a destructive person, and he said it was kind of daunting at first, and then he decided to get into it and slammed away. He took his girlfriend who cautiously broke a few CD’s at first, and then got into it, and hammered a TV to bits. It’s certainly a novel and different form of entertainment and relaxation than swimming or taking a painting or yoga class or roller blading. But whatever works!!

 

In these days of high stress jobs, high pressure corporate life—no matter where you are on the ladder, or what kind of job you have, we all have daily stresses—just calling the phone company to report your phone out of order, or being put on hold for an hour when you try to call your insurance company—–this is certainly one way to deal with your frustration and hostilities. And you can channel it all in one safe room, break everything in sight, and go home to relax and watch TV. So that’s the latest trend I’ve heard about.  As a business enterprise, it’s intriguing too. All you have to do is get a bunch of old non-functional equipment, a sledgehammer, a baseball bat, set up a safe room, and collect a hundred dollars for people to come for an hour and break everything.  Amazing.

 

A while back, laser tag was new, and I gave a couple of really fun parties taking over a laser tag place, with my friends on teams, and they went nuts playing war, and ‘killing each other’ for a couple of hours. It always fascinated me that the meekest people became the most intense and the fiercest in laser wars. It was really fun though.

 

So if you’ve had a tough week, and you’ve had it with your kids and your boss, stood on line for two hours at the DMV or the post office, or couldn’t get anything done that you wanted to do…..head for a Break Room, and hammer away.

 

I occasionally have slow or hard days writing, where it just doesn’t go the way I want it to, or I get interrupted all day, or the words just won’t come….but I will NOT be taking a hammer to my typewriter!!! The Break Rooms provide controlled destruction—–definitely a novel idea.

 

Have a great week—-and some fun!!! love, Danielle

 

Filed Under Uncategorized | 3 Comments

1/14/19, Gone fishing…

Posted on January 14, 2019

Buried under work this week,, see you next week!