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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Five Ways to Win My Heart



1.   To enter the golden gateway to my heart, my lady love must be considerate, thoughtful, compassionate and generous.  Respect and self-love should be enviable parts of her innate make-up.  No pretending or sending a representative to be a "model" soul, until she unsheathes her true self.  I don't want her to lose herself in trying to please me.  She should know herself.  I desire a gentlewoman, one who is not only gentle with herself but with me, others and definitely those who can never repay her kindness.  I'm no longer in a combative mode thinking the worst about a person or a situation.  I'm faithful, and want her to be the same.  I trust that everything is already just fine, is as it should be, and if it isn't, it will be when I bring the quiet stillness of spirit to any uncertainty.














 2.  My lover has to match my adventurous spirit and want to see the world with me, whether that world is the beauty of discovering American states and cities or the mystical wonders of the globe.  Beside her, I want to taste the cuisine of life, to smile and shimmy at strange, new dishes and pucker our faces and words when those dishes are discordant melodies of yuck.  She's got to be game, not squeamish, for the unknown.  A trailblazer, not a complainer.  Filled with a joie de vivre, my lady and I will cultivate oneness in love to encourage one another to great heights.




3.   I want passion.  Give me, Universe, a deep-running river of "you satisfy a visceral place within me, Baby, and together, we can accomplish the impossible dream."  Our passion will fuel our every day experiences, and nothing will ever be the same.  The simple art of reading, when we read to one another in the middle of the night, can be foreplay with passion.  I want to be passionate about everything about her, and she me; I can already appreciate her voice, her excitement at what makes me shiver in the reading, the revelation of story, and what types of stories take me their and appreciate what happens when two experience life and stories together.  In all that we undertake in our love affair, I want the two of us to become one in more ways than being engaged in glorious sex.  She should hypnotize me with her walk, her thoughts, her touch, her stare.




4.   Humor is a mainstay, a balm, a bridge over troubled water.  If she can make me howl with laughter, she can melt my heart, even if it's iced over from something she did or something out of her control.  Laughter has the medicinal ability to turn tides and to win wars.  Humor requires a certain charm and natural intelligence and a captivating way of seeing the world.  Possessing these qualities, my lady love will be able to stand with me in any wind, in the lee of our love, and bend and sway like a tender tree.  Humor will allow us to experience life with a heart beating with optimism.




5.   She must love music, especially the music from the 60's, 70's and 80's.  With the love of music must come the joy and bliss of dancing and dancing with me.  Life is too fabulous to dwell in the doldrums.  I want her to know the power of music and dance to fall deeper into the Present, to lift us and transcend us to other worlds and times.  This love of music and dance can also include learning to appreciate these arts from other countries.  She should understand the language of music and dance to make love vertically, to be sensual foreplay that leaves us sweating and wholly captivated with the other long before we recline in the others embrace.





Living a Golden Life,

TheGoldenGoddess

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On Claude Moss, Sr. retiring...

On Tuesday morning, June 26, 2012, in Patterson Hall Atrium in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, & Allied Health, at 11:30 a.m., my beloved, hard-working father, Claude Moss, Sr., 80 years young, retired from Tuskegee University.  He is 80 years young, lively, sharp, witty, spiritual, intelligent and a dynamic orator.  My father began his Tuskegee University experience on June 17, 1975, as the Necropsy Technician in the Department of Pathology & Parasitology (now Pathobiology).  He served with "dedicated excellence" in this position for 42 years. 

As a sidebar, I graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School in 1976.  My father's position allowed me to attend Tuskegee Institute (the school's name at the time) for half price, which was a blessing to me and our family.  The other half of my tuition was covered more than adequately by scholarships I won for maintaining a 4.0 academic average throughout my studies, which culminated in me matriculating with Highest Honors in the School of Education as an English Education major. 

When I look back on my life, I realize how invaluable and instrumental my father was for a major part of my success.  He possesses "stick-tuitiveness," resolve, fortitude, honor, dedication and long-suffering.  Claude Moss, Sr. is a man who did what was before him to do, no matter what.  And I am grateful to be his daughter, a twin to my brother, Claude Jr., who is seemingly a polar opposite of me yet we are one.  My father named me Claudia.  Wanting me to be named after my great-grandmother, Claudie, yet desiring to up-dated the treasured name, he settled on the name Claudia, a classic, spit-shined version of Miss Claudie!

My mother, Clementine Young, married my father after her graduation from Tennessee State and their union was blessed with 6 children.  She made her transition when I was in the ninth grade at Tuskegee Institute High School.  Later, my father took Gladys Levett as his wife and was blessed again with three more children.  From my 9 siblings, my father has 20 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren...and counting!  My siblings are Diane, Claude, Jr., Bernadette, Glenda, Athera Everlener, Lorenzo, Delton and Katarina.

Daddy served in the U.S. Army from 1953 until 1955, after which he was honorably discharged.  While serving his country, he fought in the Korean War.  During that time, he had his fill of water and will not cross it to this day, which postpones our fabulous foray into Hawaii!  Yet we remain hopeful!

Educated in the Macon County School System, Mr. Moss is a faithful, beloved member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, where he serves on the Deacon Board.

He is an inspiration to me, my family and a plethora of others!


(L to R) My sister Bernadette "Chicken or Bernie" Stitts, my Aunt Marion and my older sister, Diane Moss

(L to R)  My lovely nieces, Whitney McCall and Dr. Jeannette McCall, Dr. of Physical Therapy, Diane's two daughters.  They have a brother, Kenny McCall.

( L to R)  Entrepreneur Glenda P. Halcromb, Whitney, Bernadette, Jeannette, Diane and Aunt Marion 

Sister Glenda snapping IPad pictures at the Tuskegee Institute retirement celebration.

Gladys and Daddy enjoying the distinguished ceremony.

Diane smiling for the camera!

Me!!  Claudia posing for the flash!

Mikyla and Mann, my adorable niece and nephew, behaving themselves at the ceremony!  They are my baby sister Katrina and her beloved Q's children.

Dr. Fredrick E. Tippett, Head of the Department of Pathobiology, honors my father with gifts.


 My father was honored with June 26, 2012 as Claude Moss, Sr. day in Tuskegee Institute, AL.  In addition, he received Keys to the City.  The only other family member I know of who received such an honor was my cousin, Douglass Moss, who, posthumously, received a day in his honor in Massachusetts, when he was laid to rest last year.


 Claude Moss, Sr. delivers a moving, humorous and loving presentation to say THANK YOU!  I am a speaker today, because my father is one of the most outstanding speakers I know...outside of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sisters Glenda and Bernie and Auntie Marion smile for my cell phone!!


My sister Stephanie gives us a pretty laugh along with my adorable niece!


WE LOVE YOU, DADDY!!!  THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR PROTECTOR, MENTOR AND FATHER!

Living a Golden Life,
TheGoldenGoddess

July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Fairy Tale Love of Terri and Cynthia....

I am blessed that the Divine has seen fit for me to witness the conjugal bliss of two very special ladies, two beautiful brides, Terri Holley and Cynthia Philips.  I photographed their love in a ceremony I shall long remember.  The love they share is timeless, awe-inspiring.



Terri's smile brightens any space, brings warmth and beauty and rivals even sparkling, ornate chandelier lights.  Cynthia gazes upon her face and suddenly love is defined...without words.




I call this shot "The Cake Kiss," for any morsel shared on the lips of lovers is by far sweeter and more sacred than light piercing the darkest night.



This one is "The Embrace," for how could it be otherwise?  To hold and be held takes on a whole new meaning when no one loves you better than she....


Every story is a love story at heart....including theirs, including yours and including mine.  And so it is.  When I see this picture and others, I think if Celine Dion's song and her words about being in a space where dreams and shadows play.



Today and always, I will live the love in my heart, speak the words in my soul and walk where the fearless refuse to go.

Loving Terri and Cynthia~~


Living a Golden Life,
TheGoldenGoddess


Monday, July 2, 2012

My sister's new store, Embroidery MossWear International

My knee-baby sister, Miss Glenda, is a whiz at making something out of nothing!  She's creative, hilarious, intelligent, generous, sweet and business-minded.  The chick has always been an entrepreneur, discovering many years ago that she simply wasn't one for punching another's clock.  Glenda Pearl is the first person in our immediate family to open her own store.  If you are ever in Stockbridge, GA, go in and tell her TheGoldenGoddess said HELLO!

She is the person to know for all of your embroidery needs.  With a visionary eye, she can create any art you can clearly describe.  Need school or workplace uniforms?  She's got you!  Need screen printing on family reunion shirts and other paraphernalia?  She's got you!  Got a Stepping or Motorcycle Club and need a unique logo on your gear?  Miss Halcromb has YOU!  And I know I am overlooking the 1,000 other services she provides, but I'm just her writing sister, giving her a SHOUT-OUT on my blog!  I mean, really, what do I know?



This is a view inside her store!



When you visit, you will be greeted by Debra, her fabulous assistant, who provides SUPERB SERVICE with a smile!



Here is Glenda Pearl and our sister Bernadette, our entrepreneur/beautician/barber sister, who is a  MASTER BARBER!



Miss Glenda is the epitome of fun!  She will have you laughing throughout your visit to her store.



Miss Glenda P. on a cruise last year!  Goodness knows, they should have paid her!  She was the LIFE of the ship!




                                                    Embroidery MossWear International


                                
                               Step out on FAITH and live the Golden Life you were meant to live!

TheGoldenGoddess

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Two Retirement Gifts...a poem and a quilt...














This is the gorgeous quilt that my sister made as a retirement gift for our father, Mr. Claude Moss, Sr. A version of my poem is in the middle of the creation. Pictures of my family and our siblings come before and after the poem.



***



The Measure of a Man

Retirement is a time in a man’s life when the world dictates

We measure him by the life we think he’s led,

So we say

The true measure of a man is how tall he stands

Above his peers

How many treasures his storehouse holds

To determine his weight in riches

How many bonds and funds his accounts boast

How many possessions he’s amassed

Yet others argue his credibility

Lies in the races he’s won and the places he’s been,

Who he knows and the brands he can afford and recommend.



Be that as it may,

Truth rises like mist before us on a steamy summer day.

The true measure of a man is what he believes

How he opens to the Divine manifesting in his every day.

It lies in who he gives a helping hand

Because he knows the poor, dubbed the least of us,

are among God’s chosen too.

Yes, the true measure of a man lies in whether he leaves the world

Better than he finds it

Whether he walks up to fear and embraces those deeds

That buckle his knees.

The true measure of a man is whether he allows

His Heaven Within to guide his steps without.

When judged by a spiritual yardstick,

A man knows the world’s judgment is tolerated

But never needed

For if he has walked by faith

The greatest part of him, as unseen as breath,

Whispers, “Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant,

Well Done,”

And that man walks among men showered in a Grace

That springs not from this place.


©   Claudia Moss   6/29/2012






This is a lovely quilt that my knee-baby sister made for a customer to commemorate the love of a mother, grandmother and great grandmother!

The quilts can be purchased at my Glenda P. Halcromb's store, EMBROIDERY MossWear International in Stockbridge, GA.


Live a Golden Life
TheGoldenGoddess

July 1, 2012





Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jo Linsdell: In the Book Spotlight



About the author:


Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer, author and illustrator. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Rome, Italy with her husband and their two young sons.

Author website: www.JoLinsdell.com
I am delighted to welcome the lovely author, JO LINSDELL, to the blog home of the Golden Goddess.  It is my pleasure to spotlight her latest release, OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO.




A multi-talented writer, Linsdell has not only written a fabulous read for our little angels, bus she has also illustrated it with warm, sweet-faced characters children are bound to love!


What better setting in which to charm the little ones than at the zoo!  When my son was young, he adored our trips to the Atlanta Zoo, and your little angels, be they your children or the grandchildren or the neighbor's children, will love the memorable animal pals in the pages of this bright book.


Rhyming text and colourful pictures accompany this fun day out discovering different animals at the zoo.
Release Date: 1st June 2012
Product details:
 
ISBN/EAN13: 1477446591 / 9781477446591
Page Count: 32
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Language: English
Colour: Full Colour with Bleed
Related Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse
 
Purchasing links:
 
 
Contact details:
Email: webmaster@jolinsdell.com
 Reviews:
5 Stars
"This is a fun, short book for the grandkids! If you love reading to your children or grandchildren, this book will become a family favorite quite fast. The simple wording and bright interaction of characters makes it easy for very young readers and exciting for toddlers still listening.

Jo puts some serious thought into toddler reactions and includes those in the book. My favorite part was the last page, because my toddlers decided immediately that we needed to take a trip to the Denver Zoo. "Yay!!! I get to see the elephants!" (Okay, that part was ME not them.
But they get to go too.)"

 
5 Stars

"Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell is a delightful story set in rhyme about a boy and his mum. The two spend the day at the zoo and meet many animals along the way. Your child will enjoy reading this book time and time again. The colorful illustrations make this book a joy to read. Pick up a copy of this book and share a day at the zoo memory with your little one".
By Kate Mueller, Author of Bella's Birthday Surprise
5 Stars 

"Out And About At The Zoo is a cute book that describes a child's memory filled trip to the zoo. Are you heading to the zoo and you would like to tell your kids what animals they will see there and what they might be doing? Then Out And About At The Zoo would be a great choice. Easy to understand and easy for children to read along with. It is filled with simple yet colorful pictures that even held my one year old's attention!

Would also make a good gift for young readers who are just beginning to read!"

5 Stars 
"What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?  Author and illustrator Jo Linsdell both describes and pictures a fun day at the zoo that a young lad has with his mum.  They get to look at colorful parrots, tall giraffes, screaming monkeys, meat-eating lions and tigers, striped zebras, scary crocodiles with big teeth, hopping kangaroos, bathing hippos, and huge elephants.   But how does the boy feel when it’s time to go home?   How would you feel?
Children love to visit the zoo.  Our two boys certainly did when they were little, and we still do even today.  Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and artist who is originally from the United Kingdom but now lives in Rome, Italy, with her husband and their two young sons.  The rhyming text and colorful pictures in Out and About at the Zoo not only make a truly fun story for children to read or have read to them and imagine what it’s like, but will also help to familiarize them with the different kinds of creatures that they will discover at the zoo when they do go".
By Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review

4 Stars 

"I enlisted some help from my daughter who turns three next month to write this review.
 
After reading "Out and About at the Zoo," to her, I asked if she liked the book. Her response: "I YOVE it." (she can't pronounce "L's" very well yet but you get the drift).
Caitlin has summed up everything you need to know and there's not much more to add to her comment. Jo's book is fun with cleverly rhyming text and is brightly illustrated. Your littlies will love "Out and About at the Zoo."
Strive to live a Golden Life each day,
TheGoldenGoddess

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meet Me and Enjoy a Reading/Discussion in your own Home

We are all curious beings!  We want to know how the other half lives and how they do what they do!  I'll be honest.  Peeking over into another person's life is enchanting to me.  And that is exactly what I'm inviting you to do on the last of this month.  Come peep into mine!  I'm calling this gala: "Meet Author Claudia Moss and Enjoy a Reading/Discussion as She Introduces Ms. Wanda B. Wonders!" 

It all happens on www.Tinychat.com, a website that will allow you to view me, if your computer is relatively new and comes with built-in camera capabilities.  I will be unable to see you, although you will be able to hear me and communicate with me by typing messages and comments in a box at the bottom of the video screen.  How exciting is that!

The entire process has been streamlined for your convenience.  Please follow these steps.  First, on Thursday, May 31, 2012, at 7 p.m. EST, type the following web address into your browser,  www.Tinychat.com/claudiamoss.   Once there, please type the password Clementine to enter my chat room.  Next, you will be asked to select a method of sign-in authentication.  Feel free to select Guest or one of the other methods, i.e., Facebook or Twitter.  And that is all to it!  No joining for the event.

I'd love for everyone to have at least 2 questions and comments!  That will make for a satisfying discussion.

During the gala, I will raffle off a copy of the Wanda B. series!

Isn't this an extraordinarily fabulous way to host and attend a reading/discussion within the comfort of your own home?  It speaks to the magnanimity of technology and the possibilities that exist in an idea.

For those on Facebook, you can RSVP to attend the gala by going to my wall and accessing the event.  Or leave me a comment on my fan page.


PHOTO CREDIT FOR THIS PICTURE RESIDES WITH AUTHOR FIONA ZEDDE



I'd love to meet you on May 31, 2012!  Drop in and let's appreciate the beauty of an online or virtual reading!

Living the Golden Life,
The Golden Goddess

May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I've Been Up To Lately...

 





Wanda B. Speaks Her Mind

Greetings, Everyone!  I know it's been a while since I've visited my beloved blog and I know that is one of the cardinal poohs of any self-respecting writer but I do have fairly good reasons for my absence.

I've been preoccupied with my Thing to Do list!  A good thing for anyone forging ahead with sincerity and intent.  At the top of that list, for a while now, has been my goal of getting my Kindle books arrayed in professionally fascinating covers.  Indeed, tis true!  A book is judged by its cover.  That is probably one of the first things e-book browsers judge on their way to determining whether or not they will read the work's description behind a quick peek at the price.  At least that's what I do!


What about you?


I want to make sure Ms. Wanda B. gets her fair share of e-book appreciation.


Thus, my time has been spent consulting with my fabulously talented young Los Angeles-based artist, Mr. Lincoln Jude.  He can be reached at www.parcstudyo.com and info@parcstudyo.com.  I assure you he is well worth your time and investment, if bringing your vision to a fascinating cover or website is what you desire.


Not only am I having all of my e-books' covers redone, but also I am yet finishing the first draft of my latest romance novel, "Not Without Passion," in a rather inconsistent fashion although I watch it play out in my head continuously.  More on that later!


I whittle away at the chores across my Bombay, glass-topped writing desk, a lovely something at which to complete any chore.  I'm one of those writers who makes Mary Kay type lists that spawn other lists, until eventually I tick everything off....however many months that may take!


Lately, I've been able to appreciate the top.  Right now birds are tweeting outside my office windows.  Their music is refreshing, nature's opera, a performance I'm usually too busy to appreciate at other times in the day.  It's Sunday, 5:24 AM according to the clock on my computer screen.


I'm writing this entry and enjoying the dregs of a cartoon Blue Bell Peaches & Homemade Vanilla ice cream.  Yummy.


Sleep is summoning me down the hall to my boudoir so I shall obey!  Until next time...MUAH!

And check Miss Wanda B. out, if you haven't already!  And leave a review on Amazon, if you've a mind!  Mira!  I've got a fabulous delight planned that will bring you into my office to meet the infamous lady!  You will be able to see me as I read and share your questions and comments, which I will see on the computer screen.  Don't want to give all of it away at one time, but I'll be back soon.  Te prometo!  I promise!


Living a Golden Life,
TheGoldenGoddess














 



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FREE GIFT of My E-book, WANDA B. TAKES THE CAKE

Saludos, Beloveds!

Welcome to the Author Home of Claudia Moss, the creator of Ms. Wanda B. Wonders!

To introduce Ms. Wonders to the world, I am elated to offer you a golden opportunity to meet her in the second book of the Wanda B. Wonders series, WANDA B. TAKES THE CAKE.  The feisty Miss is available as a FREE e-book on Amazon from Tuesday, April 17, 2012, to Saturday, April 21, 2012.

This is the cover of the paperback version!  The Kindle cover is very similar!


Make sure you download the little lady, and don't forget to tell a friend to do the same!  Then, if you've a lovely mind, please leave a review once you finish making Ms. Wanda's acquaintance.  And please don't forget to "like" the book while you visit Amazon.  Gracias!

I am grateful to a host of sensational writers who have helped me share the opinionated Miss with the world.  My interview with the beautiful Jolie Du Pre, a sensational writer, editor and blogger, appears on her not-to-be-missed SheWrites blog.  Click this LINK to relish our exchange, and learn more about Wanda B.  Thank you so much, JOLIE!


And a sincere thank you is extended to the lovely Dori Thomas Peaple for consenting to read and review Ms. Wanda B. and share the review on her blog, http://fromayellowhouse.blogspot.com and on Twitter @AYellowHouse.  Please mark your calendars and return to look for the lively read!  Thank you, DORI!!!


For those readers without a Kindle, who do not wish to download the FREE Kindle App from Amazon, I will send you a FREE pdf of WANDA B. TAKES THE CAKE.  Please send me an e-mail (MissClaudiaMoss@gmail.com) indicating your preference, and I will zap the pdf to you.


Much love and countless blessings to all,


TheGoldenGoddess





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fiona Zedde's Latest Bad Girl, Wynne, In Her New Novel, NIGHTSHADE

Award-Winning Author FIONA ZEDDE Releases New Novel



Five questions answered about Fiona Zedde’s latest Bad Girl character, Wynne, from her new novel, Nightshade:


1)      Boxers, briefs, or bare?

This woman loves to go bare (or wear a soft pair of barely-there thongs for pleasure and play) as she goes about her killer business. For her, being an assassin is serious and elegant work. The last thing she wants to do is ruin the look of a pair of steel gray trousers with panty lines.

2)      What’s Wynne’s favorite sexual position and why?

Despite her intense and sometimes harsh line of work, she loves the Mandarin Ducks a.k.a. spoon position. When she has the pleasure of waking up with a woman in her bed, she loves to scoop in from behind to tenderly touch and stroke her lover to wakefulness, caressing her body and whispering morning greetings in her receptive ear. And most importantly for that position, she doesn’t like anyone to see her coming.

3)      Sushi, hamburger, or tofu stir-fry?

All of the above. My favorite assassin has an unlimited appetite for most things, whether they be food, women, or wine. If it’s delicious or different, she’ll try it at least thrice.

4)      What is her greatest regret? Her greatest joy?

Her greatest regret is that she was not there to save her parents from the fire that killed them when she was a child. Her greatest joy is the love she has for her four god-children. They will appear in a later story where she is put in the position of having to choose between them, true love, and her life as a killer for hire.

5)      Where did her name come from?

Her name means “dark and pure.” Her mother, a professor of Celtic Literature and History at the University of Toronto, found the name in an old manuscript in Wales as a young woman and immediately fell in love with it.


Plus a bonus question from a long-time reader and all around awesome woman, Starlita Johnson

After you finish writing your books, do any of them change during the edit process?      Do you have an example story line change?

_Yes, it happens every once in a while. The first time was with Bliss—in the original version, Sinclair returns to the United States at the end of the book and Hunter follows to win her back—and the second with Every Dark Desire. In Desire, the book initially ended with Chapter 30, Kylie did not return to Belle as a vampire.


Want to enter the drawing to win a free e-book version of Nightshade? Log onto Fiona’s Facebook author page, “LIKE” it, and leave the comment “Enter Me” on the page. Winners will be announced via my newsletter, Facebook page, and blog on May 1st.


                                                              
                                                                       Fiona Zedde
                                                   Author Pic By SheDriven Photography


Bio:

Jamaican-born Fiona Zedde currently lives and writes in Tampa, Florida. She is the author of five novels of erotic lesbian romance -- Bliss, A Taste of Sin, Every Dark Desire, Hungry for It, and Dangerous Pleasures -- two of which were finalists for the Lambda Literary Award. Her latest work, Nightshade: A Novella, is available now as an ebook and in print. Find out more at www.fionazedde.com

Guest Blogger Russell Blake Shares His Writing Journey...

                                               
                                                                      Russell Blake


My Writing Journey


As a long time resident of Mexico, I know it probably strikes my neighbors here as odd that I write thrillers for English-speaking markets, most notably the U.S. and U.K. I can appreciate that it would be a little weird - writers in Mexico, as in the U.S., are largely unheard of. The few fellow writers I've met make a few dollars here or there at it, but nowhere near a real living. Fortunately, I'm the exception, and this blog will seek to shed some light on how that came to pass.

First, let's address Mexico. Why live here, for almost a decade, and not in the U.S. or somewhere equally "first world?" Well, for starters, because the perception that Mexico is not first world in many of its cities is a false one. Perhaps twenty years ago that might have been true, but not so much now. I find that every year, Mexico increasingly resembles its neighbor to the north, with all the creature comforts, consumer goods, health care, and hygiene one would find in many mid-sized American cities. Perhaps some areas will be run down and poor, just as some areas of L.A. or Pittsburg will be less than pleasant, but on the whole the areas I frequent are filled with Gringo tourists who have paid thousands of dollars to spend a few days soaking up the sun on a quiet beach sipping cold beer or margaritas. 

When I sold my business, I decided to spread my wings and live abroad for a while. I was tired of the hyper-competitive marketing and consumption machine that was my view of American life - everyone needs a new car every three years, a new house every five, and the population seems unhappy and frazzled with the pressures of keeping up on this rapidly moving treadmill. I sensed that life didn't have to be like that, so I spent 6 months traveling around Mexico and Central America looking for a place to settle down. I wound up choosing the Pacific coast due to the combination of weather, price, and lifestyle, and I've never looked back. My friends thought I was nuts, and everyone told me I was very brave (shorthand for crazy). Now, they come visit, and they're the ones eying my existence with envy. I want for nothing, work as little or as much as I like, and spend many days at the beach for a few hours, walking my dogs or sipping something cold. I have no interest in or plans on returning to the States. I'm not missing anything that I can tell. If I want to follow the latest exploits of the Kardashians or hear the rationalizations of bankers explaining why the taxpayers have to subsidize them while they steal billions, I can do it from afar. No need to be in-country.

As to how I came about writing, it's been a long process. I've written for a long time. I just never though the work was deserving of anything more than being shredded. I've spent thousands of hours writing both fiction, non-fiction, ad copy, blogs, product brochures, etc. in a past life, but it was crap, and I knew it. Maybe not as bad as it could have been, but not good enough to want to charge people to read it. But a funny thing happens when you write thousands of hours. You get better. Or at least, the hope is that you do. Still, I was resigned to never being anything more than avocational. I didn't have the interest in doing the big publishing company dance, working very long hours for a pittance. Life was fine without my books out in the world.

 Then the Kindle happened. I got one, and I almost instantly recognized that it had changed everything about reading and publishing. I devoured articles about self-pubbed authors doing well absent participation in the traditional machine, and last June I decided to publish my first book: Fatal Exchange. Since then, I've released a total of 13 titles, with another coming out in April, and yet another in May. I've written well over a million words since last May, and 2012 will probably see nearly that many again.
My process is simple. All I do is write, 12 to 15 hours a day, when I'm in the story. The last book and this new one I'm trying something different - only writing 6 hours a day. If I can generate 5000 quality words per day, I can turn out a respectable novel ready for polish in three weeks. Before, I was shooting for 7000 - 8000, but it's exhausting, and now, unnecessary. I think one book every six to eight weeks is plenty. But the quality has to be there, and I won't write until I've got a compelling idea that needs telling. I also invest in an editing team - an editor, a copy editor, and a proof reader. My work should compare favorably to the big company offerings, and I think the biggest mistake indie authors make is to somehow believe they can do it on the cheap, and compete. They can't, which is why so many self-pubbed works are miserable reading experiences. It hurts the authors, as well as the entire indie movement, because like it or not, most of us are relegated to the amateur/illiterate pile due to sloppy offerings from our peers. Not all are guilty of this, but enough so that it is a problem. And that's a shame. It's entirely preventable.
 I'm making a very good living writing. Even by U.S. big city standards, much less by Mexican standards. And I'm excited, because my sales are growing in fits and starts, and the future has never looked brighter. After 10 months, I'm seeing sales in the 10K books a month range, which is unprecedented given that none of my offerings are of the .99 variety. Folks are paying $4 and $5 to read my work, and generally liking it. That bodes well for 2013 and beyond.
 My message to fellow indie authors would be simple. Plan to work extremely hard, perfect your craft and demand more out of yourself than anyone else would, be your own brutal critic, and do this for real if you want any chance of success. I've read that there are only 200 authors in the country who make the kind of money writing where they could be considered to be vocational authors. It's surrealistic, but for whatever reason, it's now 201, although I don't actually live in the country. But the point is, I've achieved this with no help from any corporate interest, in a business that is impossible to break into, and where I'm competing with John Grisham and Stephen King for reader dollars. And while I'm not seeing their kinds of numbers, I'm seeing enough to be fat, dumb and happy down Mexico way. For that, I'm extremely grateful.


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Russell is the international bestselling author of Fatal Exchange, a groundbreaking genre-blending thriller set against the counter-culture backdrop of New York’s gritty underground, The Geronimo Breach, an action/intrigue/thriller set in Panama, the bestselling Zero Sum trilogy of Wall Street thrillers – Kotov Syndrome, Focal Point and Checkmate (which hit #15 on Amazon’s top 100 free books), The Delphi Chronicle trilogy (The Manuscript, The Tortoise & The Hare and Phoenix Rising), the epic assassination thriller King of Swords, and its prequel, Night of the Assassin, and The Voynich Cypher.

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Muchas gracias a Russello!!!  Thank you so much, Russell Blake, for making a spectacular visit to my blog as a GUEST BLOGGER sharing your WRITING JOURNEY!!!  I truly appreciate you!!  What a delightful, informative read, one I'm sure to revisit!  You are not only resourceful but generous and hilarious.  In short, awesome!  I am wishing you continued success in your writing career and plenty of happy, exciting, sunny, blessed, peaceful, writerly days.....
TheGoldenGoddess
Living A Golden Life