Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Online Friends & Writers Series — Robin Spano

Please welcome Robin Spano to our online community. This is what you’ll find on her bio: Robin grew up in downtown Toronto. She loves books, poker, politics, and exploring on the water. She also loves her motorcycle, a 1987 Virago she bought with waitressing tips when she was 21. Her historical role model is Winston Churchill, more for his independent thinking than his drinking. Her secret dream was to be one of Charlie's Angels, but since real life danger terrifies her, she writes about it instead.

Robin’s a beautiful generous person and I’m grateful she has visited today.

Please tell us why you love writing, and sell your books/yourself to us.

I love writing because it makes me feel solid, like the world stands a chance of making sense. I also love the exponential potential for growth.

Writing Dead Politician Society, I didn't know anything about how to write a book, but I knew I loved writing and wanted to make it a career. So I kept things simple: I tried to plot well and write a clean, entertaining story. (Think Nancy Drew meets Charlie's Angels - not too deep, but hopefully you'll want to turn the pages.)

My protagonist, Clare Vengel, is at a similar place: she's a novice beat cop who doesn't know anything about undercover work, but she craves the excitement and really wants the job. Needless to say, she makes a lot of mistakes.

With each new book in the series, I'm pushing myself and Clare a bit further. Death Plays Poker (coming October 2011), challenges Clare's cop skills and emotional strength a lot more. We can see her learning, growing into her high-risk job.

The third book (untitled, in progress) is more emotional still. The death is more tragic, the motive colder, and Clare is forced to confront her own emotions like she hasn't had to before. The book is still fun and fast - that's the tone of the series - but as I push myself as a writer, I'm pushing Clare as a character, and I can feel both the series and Clare expand at the same time.

If you could travel back in time and talk to yourself, what age would you be and what would you say?

I'd go back to my 13-year-old self and tell her not to be such a bitch.

If you had the opportunity to talk to high school students, what would you talk about and why?

The power of positive thinking. In high school, it's cool to be jaded and negative. A bit of cool is fine - it's fun to try on different faces. But too much negativity thwarts growth, and can limit people's options if they're down on their skills when applying to university. So I'd try to figure out a way to show students how to grab control of their destinies by being positive about them.

There are moments in my life that I’ll never forget, the images are fixed in my mind and the emotions are vibrant and telling. It’s these moments that define who I am, can you share a defining moment in your life?

Seeing my husband smiling out from under his bandaged head after a precarious brain surgery.

What’s on your bucket list that would surprise your family and friends?

It would probably surprise them how little I have on the list. Yeah, I'd love to skydive one day, and travel to South America, and learn to fly a plane. But I can die without doing them. I'd love to have children, but I can't put something on my bucket list if it's out of my control.

What I'd really like to achieve before I die is total inner strength - acting out of compassion all the time, not letting other people's negativity drag me down. Wouldn't it be amazing to reach the end of your life knowing you were the best person you could be?

And, because we love them, do you have a ghost/supernatural story to share?

Tons. But those are better shared in person. Maybe if we're ever on the same continent and we have a bottle of wine, we can talk …

Where’s Robin?

You can follow Robin on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Thanks Robin! In my dreams you'll always be an angel. Please leave a comment and say hi, or follow Robin online.

Disclaimer: Robin hasn’t taught me to count cards, she didn’t give me a ride on her bike, and we didn’t stay up all night drinking wine and telling ghost stories (or did we?). She’s cool, and I wish her lots of success.

For more Soul Healing, visit simonhay.com.au
Before booking a healing, please read the disclaimer

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Online Friends & Writers Series — Lacey Boldyrev

 Today I have the Viva Las Vegas hip shaking pleasure of introducing you to Lacey Boldyrev. This is what you’ll find on her bio:

L.J. Boldyrev grew up on a horse ranch in Pennsylvania and spent most of her teen years on the beaches of North Carolina. Now she resides in New York with her family.
She has a passion for all things vintage, loves Elvis Presley more than chocolate, and writes things for teens.
L.J.'s short fiction, PARALLEL, was published in the UK by Rebel Books. It can be found in REBEL MOON: An Anthology of Supernatural Tales and purchased via the publishers website, amazon, and a number of other online retailers.

That’s very cool.

Can you tell us why you love writing?

I love the art of threading words together to create something that causes a reaction, triggers a memory, induces a feeling, anything. Whether it’s a short story for Tangled Ficition, or my pre-published novel(s), life is better when I’m writing.

If you could travel back in time and talk to yourself, what age would you be and what would you say?

I’d go back to the age of twelve. Where I grew up, there was no middle school. When you were twelve or thirteen years old, you went straight to high school for 7th through 12th grade. I know this is the boring answer, but I don’t have regrets in my life. Not anything that was so detrimental that I wish I hadn’t done it. The one thing I would go back and tell myself is to be more confident. I think I still would have made the same decisions, but I would’ve had an easier time dealing with the consequences if I had had more belief in myself.

If you had the opportunity to talk to high school students, what would you talk about and why?

Enjoy it.

I wouldn’t say, “you’ll miss it when it’s over” because not everyone does, but a lot of high schoolers are so focused on growing up, on getting out of high school, that they miss a lot of great experiences. Be responsible, but party your heart out if that’s what you want to do (you know, as long as your parents are okay with that). Spend a whole summer sitting on your porch reading. Hang out with your friends. Go see a movie or watch a band play. Date. Flirt. Respect yourself. Be true to your friends because sometimes they really do stick around, even when you’re grown and find yourselves hundreds of miles apart. Sheena, I’m looking at you. LYLAS.

There are moments in my life that I’ll never forget, the images are fixed in my mind and the emotions are vibrant and telling. It’s these moments that define who I am, can you share a defining moment in your life?

I met my husband under interesting circumstances and the decision I made to be with him was monumental. It required a lot of courage and a huge leap of faith. I knew that with him it would be a forever thing. Was I ready for that? Could I do it? Could I move hundreds of miles away from home? Could I completely change and adapt to a drastically different environment? It was the first time in my life that I really had to consider a relationship at an adult level. I had to use my head instead of just following my heart (although my heart had a major influence on my head). Was it worth it? Totally.

What’s on your bucket list that would surprise your family and friends?

I’m actually a pretty simple person. There’s nothing I want to do that would really surprise the people in my life. I want to visit Graceland, I want to travel from one side of the USA to the other by way of motorcycle, and I want to backpack through Europe. And I want to do it all with my husband.

And, because we love them, do you have a ghost/supernatural story to share?

My family could give you quite a few minor accounts: an old sewing machine that refused to leave it’s place by the fire even after it was locked in the attic, strange smells—my mom smelled something weird in our house when I was a kid and she found out later that at the same time she was searching for the smell, a woman she’d cared for had passed away-- lights turning on and off—again, Mom got mad and the lights blew out. A character in my WIP is based on my mom, I’m sure you can gather why.

I personally remember one incident, staying in the house of a family friend. The room I was in was connected to this big round empty floor space. In the middle of the night, we heard footsteps walking around out there. The dog growled at the door and when the door was opened, there was, of course, nobody there.

Where’s Lacey?

You can find more about me and my writing at my website. I have information there on the anthology my work is published in, as well as links to Tangled Ficition, the fiction blog I share with two other YA writers, Valerie Kemp and Natalie C Parker, where we all work on one three-part story a week together, with no behind the scenes collaboration, and the forth week of every month we post individual short stories. I also post weekly at Sisters in Scribe, the blog I share with my critique partners, Valerie Kemp and Kristi Helvig, and you can find me on twitter @ljboldyrev and facebook.

It was a pleasure, Simon! Thank you!

Lacey, thank you! Lacey is a talented writer, a beautiful person, and I’m grateful she has visited. I wish her all the best in the future. Please leave a comment and say hi, or follow her online.

Disclaimer: Lacey didn’t teach me to break in wild horses, body surf, or give me an Indian name, but that's all right mamma, that's all right for you, that's all right mama, just anyway you do.

For more Soul Healing, visit simonhay.com.au
Before booking a healing, please read the disclaimer

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dear God Please Give Me Abs Like My Dad

While I’m away from home I’ll have little time to post articles on my blog, so I thought I’d post some old photos every Monday to give you a glimpse into my life. For many years of my life I’ve been unable to remember my childhood. I could remember the confusion and anger during my teenage years but everything before that was a blur. My son Jett has been the gift I needed to remember who I was. I look at him and I remember me.
My parents separated when I was thirteen (?) years old, but it had been ugly for a couple of years before then. It’s nice to see that they were once happy. I feel peaceful when I see these old photos. My mother has been an alcoholic for more than half my life and I’d like to think she wasn’t when I was a child.
 
There have been lots of coincidences in my life and this old motorbike may have been the first. Before my parents were married they had an accident on this bike. Many years later (I was six (?) years old) they brought the house they’d had the accident in front of. My dad has a half moon shaped scar on his butt cheek from the headlamp of the bike.
 
Richard, my brother, is sixteen months older than me. He came to Australia in 1982 and joined the army; I left school, stayed in New Zealand, lived on a dairy farm, and milked cows. He’s the chubby one :)
 
Check out my dad’s abs! This gives me hope — come on baby abs! My dad doesn’t talk about the past, and I discovered he’d been selected for the New Zealand basketball team only six years ago, but he didn’t get to tour because of the civil unrest in Malaysia. I was dumbfounded when he told me. How’d I not know this?

Talk soon :)


 For more Soul Healing, visit simonhay.com.au
Before booking a healing, please read the disclaimer

Monday, March 7, 2011

CWSS — Episode 13

In this CWSS I answer the question, are our spirit guides and spirit part of our subconscious mind? If you have a question about healing or spirit you can ask it here. Talk soon.

For more Soul Healing, visit simonhay.com.au
Before booking a healing, please read the disclaimer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CWSS — Episode 12

Cath from the UK was given a soul reading by a medium and was told that she had given parts of her soul to relatives in a past life so that they would remember her. She was also told that she doesn’t have spirit guides. I drag out the soapbox in this video.

I don’t watch these videos and I can’t remember exactly what I’ve said, but I’d like to add this. Soul and God are words that describe the indescribable, and have more to do with morality than evidential fact. I’d like to be proven wrong. I’d like to walk in my community and see souls, but I’d be happy to see compassionate people.

For more Soul Healing, visit simonhay.com.au
Before booking a healing, please read the disclaimer