Hello my amazing fans! Yes, I realize it has been more than a year since any blog! I am sorry….Yikes, I am supposed to keep up with social media but of course, social media gets lots of people into trouble. I don’t need to look for trouble as it finds me always… even when I want to avoid it….So why add to it by blogging all of the time? Who wants to hear what I really think anyway? You write the wrong thing, wear the wrong hat and …like super-dang…. You are mobbed by people.
OMG….Just for being you. Just your very existence. People sometimes don’t like who you are. Hey and having been at the receiving end of bullying many times as a child…why not just stay away from expressing thoughts and ideas right?
We should all love and have an open mind about everyone…that is what I learned when I was a little girl.
I once asked my mother when I was small why there were white people, brown people and Chinese? She said, “God thought of people like ice-cream…he wanted every flavor and loved them all”. That is how I grew up, that thinking. That is what my mother taught me. But lately it seems an advantage to keep like minded people apart.
Of course, my mother loved Elvis and Ronald too. We were dirt poor, we got roughed up a lot…. but she managed somehow. One thing she always said to me was that you never take one dime you didn’t earn. She said welfare was its own evil form of slavery. Once you took money you didn’t earn it took away your pride and everything you were.
Hence….I had a number of interesting offers as a young woman. Went through a lot as a girl. I worked since I was 16 and my mother was so right. There is a beautiful self-actualization that comes with earning your own money and making it. No, it doesn’t mean you have to be rich, it just means you feel the satisfaction of your own two hands working and making it.
When did that become unfashionable?
So, you see, as a writer….I want to express my free thoughts, share stories and ideas. For my fans, you know that my books always have these hidden messages.
How can a dumbass like me blog when I certainly would end up saying (or wearing) the wrong thing at the wrong time and being mobbed? I am always very awkward at parties. I don’t have straight teeth.
I am serious when I say all these recent events are making me rethink my next Derby hat. Are there going to be rules at the Derby about hats too? Will someone attack me if I wear a hat of the wrong color? Yikes….Well, thank God the Derby is still in Kentucky. The worst thing you have to worry about is a wild cat or being attacked while mowing your lawn. Seems quite civilized compared to DC…giggles.
But then, I guess that is what bullying is all about… isn’t it? And just like when I was a child, the “example” set by attacking people who just put forth an idea …well, it is bullying….making people afraid to speak out…making people afraid to do what is right. Making people afraid to just be honest and talk from the heart.
But my revolutionary war ancestor was Thomas Hale. He served four years in the Continental Army before retiring to his farm. Where he had a son he named Francis Marion Hale. Who had a son named William Jackson Hale. And it went on from there. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. They fought for freedom and rights. They were not cowards and neither will I be.
So, I have an idea to share. Like a story. I am a book writer, right? Perhaps raw and independent which makes it even better….
OMG…yes, it is true that Star Dragon has had little work..I know I promised to finish. I am so busy working but I love my work so much…and apparently, we could soon be taxed on what we own. I own intellectual property, which is property of the mind, my books. So why even write another one that will be taxed?
Soon we may be taxed on our engagement ring, or the necklace that our granny gave us. The one-time purchase of lovely bedroom furniture. Dangerous things are afoot. Very dangerous. And the poor girl that I once was says that she never wanted a dime she didn’t earn and now, whatever she earns at the end, she wants to keep and give to a granddaughter or grandson.
I just want to float an idea. Just thoughts.
Let’s say that we get the new proposed taxes by the upcoming candidates, you know where we are taxed again for things we own? Oh, and let’s add in taxing the super-rich. I have never been one of those people and I do not hold ideas based on some concept that it could be me. That is so laughable. I am intelligent enough that I think like the founders. I believe that all people are equal. I believe all people should be taxed equally. I don’t believe in punishing people for being smart, or working hard. I am pretty darned sure I am never going to be even close to rich. I am okay with that. I don’t envy anyone, nor do I feel that someone else’s money belongs to me. I guess it started with my mother. Her ideas of never taking anything for free. Free is never free, not really.
So, back to the story. Let’s say the IRS taxes me for a few things that I managed to acquire through hard work over the years…not even money…my granny’s necklace or my anniversary ring. I guess they will confiscate it when I can’t pay the tax because I am old and everything right?
What about the rich people then? You might say. Those hated creative people who changed the world. Let’s say we take everything from them. Now, I am poor (because I guess I am going to be taxed for owning my own house). They will be taxed for owning art, and lovely things…. fine cars, fine furniture etc. So, once it is confiscated, who is going to buy it? Russia! Giggles…I couldn’t resist that.
But seriously…so, all I can picture is people who run our government being awash with belongings that they taxed us for that we own and then when we can’t pay the tax, they come and take it. Yes, they will live behind walls, protected by guns that we no longer can have, of course, eating with our mother in law’s confiscated silver…..
Okay, so then there will be equality, right? Now I am poor, so that means I get free stuff, too right? Although, if I am wearing the wrong hat, probably I don’t get healthcare or anything.
The rich guys will finally pay their due! They created jobs and bought fine wine (making winery jobs), fine cars (jobs there too but even average me can’t afford a car because I am paying taxes to keep my engagement ring or my mother in law’s silver), and (do I need to go on here?). So, fine, perhaps some people don’t care if there are lovely cars, or art, or wine. Those rich guys need to pay right? For what? Working hard? Or pay for being smart and innovative?
So, we tax them. We tax average people for stuff they own, or inherited. Near me people own farms. They grow food and yes, horses…so all of that is gone. If you take away money and tax people to poor, all that goes away.
Is that then equal justice? Okay…fine….if you think that is fair, let’s keep going.
Yes, in socialism the government owns it and we all live in huts equally. Right. Or factory tubes like in Japan or China….
But the people who rule live behind walls, with guns to protect them, with all of the things they took from us, no matter how poor we were when we started or ended. Oh, but that is fine as long as the rich guys pay too right?
Here is what to think about. Yes, many people will get free stuff for a while, but probably not for very long. Everyone likes to talk about sustainability! Even if you took every dime every rich person had in this country, in the end, it would not last to give people a free life. It would only last a few months at best. Only jobs, investment and free trade sustains any and all. We would all be poor and less stupid countries would live well and be rich on all that we gave them in trade deficit or when they come marching in.
The reason that many more socialistic countries can afford free healthcare is because they have been subsidized for many years by US. And our capitalism.
So, guess what? Margaret Thatcher, a woman I admire so much, said the most amazing thing. Socialism (social welfare) is great (or works) until you run out of someone else’s money. The money will quickly run out and then there is nothing for anyone.
One of the best modern stories about socialism is a movie called White Knights.
Now, I am not young and pretty. I am not that smart. I write a decent story in books. I work hard and I have a big heart.
Writing political things brings you bullying and bad things. But, then, I have never been truly afraid of trouble. Hells bells….I have been poor as dirt, homeless, afraid more times than I want to count, I have been hit very hard many times as a young girl…but yes, I still love men…not that kind obviously, but I still love men of true strength, yes, I like masculine men...obvious from my books...
I have always worked hard and done my best. I’ve never been rich and never will be. However, I am not jealous of those who are rich. I think I am a modern American woman. Unafraid, not a snow-flake, not a man hater, I love being a woman, lace, roses, and all pretty things girls just like….
So there we are…my blog took more than a year to get to. But it always comes from the heart. So, come what may. In May I will be at Derby…wearing a pretty hat of my choice…and the scene will be just like Once Upon a Misty Blue Grass Hill.
My books all have stories. They all reflect my values and who I am. This is as crazy as I am going to get in social media. But you, my dear fans will keep my secrets… no matter what hat I wear at Derby…. I’ll probably sneak to Keeneland too…for opening day with my best friend for all of my life (one of them). Working on that.
I am headed to DC for a visit too…before all of that.. In March. Very excited about that! No details about where I am going except one place I will share. I am going to Arlington Cemetery to thank with all my heart the men and women who gave all to ensure our freedoms.
The ghosts will rise to greet me to remind all of me and all of US of why they sacrificed…it was not in a place where people are jealous and mean because someone worked hard and earned more than us. They fought for ideas where people could speak their mind and heart and not be afraid. A place where old men will not be taken from their home at gunpoint for reasons nobody ever understood to start with.
So, my wish in between this and my next blog unless I get shut down for saying what is in my heart, is that in between we all reflect our blessings and this amazing country. Let’s take this town back and make it amazing again for everyone.
Because after all, my mother said that God loved all flavors of ice-cream…I am sure that includes the ones that were not around at that time…I love rocky road after all and she knew nothing about it at all. Like pralines and cream. I am sure she never heard of that! Point is….I want it to be the world like that. People who love one another and celebrate ideas…let the best idea win.
I miss all of you. I am working hard. I will have time soon for my next book. I have this dream of an RV with all of my books’ names and a symbol for each of them and a desk in there. I want to drive all over the country and celebrate America…all while working as a paralegal….for the most amazing law firms in California. I want my RV (or hippie van) to have a huge American flag with a peace sign and flowers, just like Summer Beck in my book The Medici Prince -Glass of Obsession.
For now, I have to work my business and do my best. Why even have a retirement because now talk is of just taking what people earn?
I am never going to be rich. That is okay…perhaps I’ll just become a gypsy…. travel the country writing books and practicing my legal craft. We all might as well not save for retirement. I am sure in the new world order, that is taxed too.
Which only proves one important thing. My granny lived in Greenup Kentucky. I know one thing about that place, there was certainly moonshine and wealth hidden in ball mason jars. They were darned smart in the end.
One thing about the truly “poor folk” is that they know how to go back to being poor, not with a hand out, but hard work and ingenuity, so much pride.
Wild eyed girls getting excited on power and taking away things they didn’t earn… well… they might overtake New York…or Washington, but down the long country roads are still people who believe in equality for all, yes, even those horrible rich people! And ideas that serve everyone, not just the few. Always those people... people like me...their values deal with hard work.
Those ideas always stave off the winter chill that has visited us. Yep....there is a winter chill upon us…but soon, spring is coming. I saw sprouts of the daffodils a week before the big chill. The earth changes. There are reasons. I think that perhaps in one year it rains so there is a lot of mold or something that would hurt crops. Then a cold comes and freezes everything. Some years it is hot… natural things have their own ways. They change.
I am going to grow more lettuce this year and I am expanding my garden for the tomatoes and peppers.
I am hoping my roses will make it through the frost. I will be planting soon. The winter chill will be gone soon leaving behind daffodils, roses and spring. Keeneland will open followed by Derby Day…and I can’t wait.
Yes, I am rethinking Star Dragon. These things take time. But I promise, it will be better than all of the books that came before…even if Liz thinks The Letter is the all time best.
Blessings and love to all. As always thank you for buying my books. Thank you so much. This goes unedited so don’t judge me. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. I am going to try and blog sooner than a year….maybe in the spring. Highlights of Keeneland Opening Day...or perhaps Churchill Downs Opening day...the cool mist rises off of the green, green grass and the horses emerge from the fog to show us all beauty and grace and the will to win.
Thank you so much to all of you.
Merry Christmas and Best New Year ever to all of my family, friends and fans! Yes, finally released The Medici Prince – Glass of Obsession! Edgy for me, very erotic, but I love it and so far it is doing fantastic.
Other exciting news is that all of my books are now released in paperback! From the first book The Letter to my latest book, Medici Prince! Some of them went through a slight revamping and that process is continuing. That is the plight of an Indi-Author.
So, though I have not kept promise to blog regularly, I am getting to that finally too. I am sorry! It is hard when you have a day job!
So....It has been a really fun experience to be back at Finnegan’s Run and writing from my office which overlooks the land. I also started my paralegal remote support business E-Global Legal Support Services, LLC. More on that endeavor later.
I live on 10+ acres and my house sits back from what is a country road anyway…so I see no people most days. I love people, but it is fantastic for writing and my business to live out and away. Love it!
Moving my things back and decorating the home space took up the first months of my return. Settling in all of the things I love that I brought back from my time in San Francisco and incorporating them with the home décor…was interesting. My home blows out the word eclectic when it comes to décor….but I think I did well.
My office has San Francisco theme and photo collage of my life there. I have my Thomas Kinkade prints to round it out (favorite painter of all time besides Leanardo).
I have Venice in the kitchen, medieval in the bedroom, Paris in the master bath and a lot of mix-up in between…Napa and wine are in the entry (along with my wine cabinet and racks).
Guest room is all about horses, racing and I have some framed photos done by a local artist.
My “windowless room” is all about the Space Center where my granddad worked for over 50 years putting up rockets in the early days. My husband’s father also worked there so it features a lot of memorabilia from that time. Really cool. I follow Nasa and other space oriented organizations on Twitter.
It would be dishonest to say I don’t miss the Bay area at all, I love it there…However, I don’t miss the crowded, tedious commute on BART after long grueling days working as a paralegal ….nor do I miss the masses of homeless in the city that chase you around.
So, I traded in my high heels and the city race to return to Finnegan’s Run. However, I didn’t give up my passion for legal work in California which is complex and interesting and I happen to be one of the best. So, I officially opened E-Global right here (many large firms in California are outsourcing globally so, I decided, why not give an amazing service and skill at an affordable cost right here in USA?) and so far am seeing some modest but promising results building on my client base.
Overcoming the stereotype that might be associated with being from Kentucky in the eyes of San Francisco clients has been my largest challenge. I may have worked in San Francisco for 15 years, but being in Kentucky is a bit of a strike against me. Some law firms want a remote worker, but not one from Kentucky….Don’t worry! I have some fantastic clients and some promising ones in the pike. I offer superior skill at a very affordable price. Of course, I keep the romance novel writing off of my resume! Giggles.
This is what home life has been like. I ride my California pink bike down my driveway to get mail (about 1/8 mile!). The freedom and feeling of just being in open space is exhilarating! I have time to work out, as my business doesn’t rev up until noon (9 pacific time).
Running with my dogs again has been pure pleasure. They are collies and somehow are under the impression that I am a sheep, to be herded… and sometimes act accordingly. They are the most loyal and beautiful dogs. They chase away the coyotes and such…
Wildlife is abound. I saw a huge buck the other day in the area of my land that I have let go back to forest. I have expanded my forest tree lines and have a decent forest area that I have allowed nature to reclaim. Love it. I believe I have seen the quail that I released some years ago, or at least perhaps their ancestors.
It was fun and amazing to plant my veggie and herb garden again this past spring. I had missed my gardens so much while in Cali.
Had time to work with my husband on our nearly 70 fruit trees. That was fun…except... There are these beetles that are astonishing in their ability to clean off leaves of trees. My husband had these interesting beetle traps that attracted them, seemingly in the millions …I often had to change those beetle-filled bags. Millions of beetles in a bag is not very fun to take off of a pole. Just saying. Yuk.
I actually had time to bake for Thanksgiving, something I so love to do! My son was home with us so it was really a beautiful family gathering. It was the first time in a few years we broke out the china and silver. Very memorable.
Planted tobacco plants this past summer, that got huge…I don’t plant them because I smoke, but they are beautiful! While real growers have long since processed them, mine were killed by frost. Now, they are tall stalks with limp tobacco leaves.
Then there are the horses all around me! I don’t have horses, but so many horse farms around me that are just so beautiful. I love to drive by them and see those magnificent animals. Truly a gift.
Returned to SF this past week to meet up with several potential clients. Had the chance to go to the Crocker and Starr winery holiday event which was totally amazing. Wine was stunning as usual. “1 Post”, a new release, is out of this world. Of course, Casali is a personal blend favorite of mine. It is unlike anything you can imagine.
As part of E-Global, I have been working with a lovely client that does filmmaking and some film festivals etc. I have learned a whole lot about filmmaking. He thinks I need to attend a festival and get someone to make a movie out of one of my books. Maybe. Check out Chandler Film Festival, The Film Guru and IMPA.
So, I turn to you my family, friends and fans. I hope this year brings amazing and beautiful things. We are so lucky if we have our health. I lost my brother Robert Bruce recently. I had the guilt of wondering if I had done enough, if I had been too selfish in my personal journeys. Undoubtedly, in retrospect, I should have done more. I dedicated the book Silent Magic Music to him and it came out in print just before his death. I was saving it for his Christmas present. Just proves that we should never wait on such things. My mother warned me to live each day as if it was my last... I have always done so... but sometimes it comes upon us so swiftly.
Robert Bruce was a dedicated artist. His album is called Lost Roads. Robert Bruce Andrew. Undoubtedly, he now lives fully within his music and is, I am certain, singing perfect notes, in eloquent timing, with the Angels.
In Robert's relentless pursuit of his art, against all odds, he has inspired me and I have resurrected one of my first attempts at book writing. It is called Star Dragon. It needs a lot of work, but book 8 might be just around the corner.
Blessings, Merry Christmas and a healthy, wealthy and happy New Year to all of you! Oh and Thank you so much for buying my books! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hello to All!
Are we ready for Belmont Stakes? I will be hosting a small party…very small….but the horses and the race will be gigantic and so exciting.
I was at Keeneland for Opening Day and at Churchill for Opening Night. Yes, this means I am back to Finnegan’s Run in Paris, Kentucky. Anyone that knows anything about horses knows something about Paris, Kentucky.
Anyway, I did win at Keeneland for opening day…on War Eagle Returns, or maybe Return of War Eagle…if I remember his name correctly on the fly. It was my only bet. I had lots of fun and was happy to win. My bets were small and it was, I think, just the fifth race. Keeneland was packed and it was so enjoyable. College kids from UK were there in droves and dressed quite dapper and pretty. It is nice to see the new generation getting fully into the spirit. Though, I think we need to move more Keeneland attendees to hats….There were a few (including me) but then I am always fully into the spirit of things.
Kentucky Derby was spent at a lovely house party hosted by friends (Mary Jane and Michael) who also have a home in Sonoma. They live up the country road from us. There was betting and we did pick out names from a “hat”. I won on place. The wine flowed from Napa to Kentucky and it was an utterly beautiful gathering of extremely nice people.
Yes, I know, this blog is supposed to be about writing. My editor and friend Liz is still onto me even all the way from San Francisco about my latest book…book number 7. The Medici Prince - Glass of Obsession. Where the hell is it (she says)? So I am working and I promised Liz and my other editor and friend Debbie….the book will be ready very soon.
Yes…I am back at Finnegan’s Run to finish book number 7. All of my books were written here except Wine Prince – Vine of Obsession. It is obvious that one would have been finished in California…it needed to be.
Book number 7, The Medici Prince – Glass of Obsession is not exactly a sequel, but there is a connection. Liz is going to get the sequel to Wine Prince and a real sequel to The Letter, her absolute favorite book of all time, of mine. She says that she can’t decide if Shades is better or The Letter. I know she is being nice and I see nearly no parallels between them at all.
Liz can recite passages from The Letter that I don’t even remember writing. Writers do go into a zone and I certainly find myself often totally lost in the story. However, she is truly a fan of my books, so she is going to be the first person to see the book and redline it for me (let’s hope that it is not too red by the time she is done!). It has been a few years in the making, so, Editor Liz has truly been my best backer and fan. My childhood friend and also editor Debbie has also been one of my biggest supporters. Someday, I am going to be able to hire Liz (and perhaps Debbie) full time and we will go everywhere doing book signings and making appearances. Maybe she will see her first real Kentucky Derby. Debbie has already seen Kentucky Derby....fell in love with Calvin the jockey.
Okay, so what have I been doing since I moved back to Kentucky…to Finnegan’s Run? A lot of work. Estates of 12 acres require a great deal of work. I have gardens and trees and loving every minute. Besides that, I launched my company E-Global Legal Support Services LLC which, basically, is me supporting California attorneys for a fraction of what they pay in California. Hey…I might write romantic and erotic romantic novels, but, I also have a fantastic legal mind.
Besides that, I have over 15 years experience as a paralegal and litigation secretary...worked with the best of the best lawyers and law firms in SF. I figured lawyers in California would just as easily covet my skills as I work remotely from Finnegan's Run and give them a huge break in doing contract work at a fraction of the cost. (Everything is efiling in California so does it matter if you are in another state?) So...I still have my day job as a paralegal/legal assistant for California attorneys, but no commute and am far more efficient....thus time for dogs, land and most importantly...writing.
I know it is hard to imagine but yes, ... I can efile in Federal Court and California State Courts…well…anywhere they have efiling I can cover. I also am quite apt at legal research and writing briefs. No bit of fluff am I, even if I might seem like it from my blogs and twitter…let alone the steamy books.
So, my dear fans, I am sorry to take so long to write a new blog. I had a big move and launched a business. I have been writing a lot also. I have been burning candles on both ends. I love every minute.
I am finding great inspiration on the land, lots of beautiful trees, roses, my dogs…Some grapevines from Crocker & Starr that I won at Carnivus in the last few years (I will be celebrating the release of my book and conducting business in San Francisco and attending the Carnivus at Crocker and Starr in late August early September....soooo…if you are there I’d appreciate a good-will toast to the new book and if you have read it you can be a kind critic). When I am there at Crocker and Starr, I am with my best friends besides my family.
I am very lucky and blessed to have the time between my business and gardens to finish the book and I am now just adding the magic fairy dust. My husband and son are amazing supporters… making it all possible.
Down a country road of green rolling hills, I have returned, and I write again. I could not write on BART… the commute and the craziness were a little too much for a girl who loves the City and Bay Area ... but is a country girl at heart…. My heart is always in San Francisco…but it is also down a country lane to a place called Finnegan’s Run…named after a California Collie from Palm Desert.
It is exhilarating to go days on end without seeing anyone other than family members and your dogs. Yes, that is how remote I live and I love it. I have visited Shakespeare and Co. which is really a neat little place in Lexington…I have gone to the local fish fry restaurant in Paris called, Bourbon Barrel. I think they can tell I am not from here…but they are nice anyway. I have also been to Thyme on the main street and taking care of car registration at the local courthouse. All of it so lovely. I feel so blessed and have met so many nice people. Soon I am going to investigate where California Chrome is stabled. I think it would be fun to visit him. Maybe American Pharaoh is here too. He has been here I heard. After book is done, I will take adventures locally....
The most famous horse to live here so far was Secretariat. Paris has a festival for him. Pretty amazing. My kind of place. No, I am not going to win the biggest pumpkin award at Secretariat Day…in Paris…but it will be pretty amazing to see who does. I can fully appreciate it having taken care of my own gardens…
Now…I will be inspired by the colts and fillies, new around me, the little forest I began on my land, the butterflies, (and the insects…many they are that sting me!) the quail I released four years ago that I saw today, that still return, running with my dogs Merlin and Oliver…and to begin the dreaming of the next book...book 8 is going to take us...to another country...again.
Hopefully, I will have more time for blogging. I am sorry to take so long. Some of you are quite upset with me.
Woohooo….one last thing. I can’t bypass the possible new changes that might be on the horizon in Saudi. Who predicted that in her book The Chosen One…still my all-time best seller. Who knows if a book inspires change? I think it could. It has sold in thousands all over the world…so…I will take credit for what I am going to call “Arab Women’s Spring”…(instead of Arab Spring I will call it Women’s Spring). Only possible because of open minded and gallant Arab heroes willing to move to modern times (if you have read The Chosen One, written by me, you will understand this comment).
My first readings of romance novels had many Arab heroes. I found them again in my book and now, perhaps on a world stage. Things are changing. I am excited for my sisters. Hopeful and scared but I believe soon there will be no more slavery for anyone... after all... little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice... they should never be slaves. So, I am very excited and feeling liberal in this movement... but ideas like freedom are ideas of everyone. The world has become a better place with the possibility of these new changes on the horizon for little girls and moms and aunts and sisters! All sisters.
It only shows that real life is better than fiction. And sometimes fiction can predict the future…in a way..my book was way before its time...but I am so excited that the things I dreamed about within it, (and wrote) might be actually happening in my lifetime! This is so utterly amazing.
So…I am posting this haphazard blogging and it goes unedited…I need to get in two chapters of edits to have this book ready by July for my editors.
I am also working very hard. Which is why I am not editing this … just going raw. But that is what an indie writer does. She writes raw.
So away....to finish my work and run the land with my dogs.
All of my best wishes, love and thanks to my fans. I am grateful and humbled. I am working hard. I have finally fallen in love with book 7. I am just a little nervous about the erotic part...I read it later and go.."who wrote that?!!" Well...we will see what you my fans think.
Hugs from here,
Cheers to all –
Yikes, I know! I should have blogged long ago! Unfortunately, my life took rather complex turns and twists, which is, undoubtedly, the story of my life. Maybe that is why I write such unique books.
This blog was supposed to be another interesting past story, however, instead, I do need to give an update on next book…and my move.
So….I have had emails… “Where is the next book?” Yes, actually, the book is finished.
The book just bloomed late last month. I took a train ride through Napa, then a subsequent drive to stay down in Carmel and suddenly the book just came together. I am now just really adding the fairy dust.
One always has doubts mid-way through a book. I thought, so many times (as I was stranded on BART packed in like a sardine with no place to sit down and work…though I have carried my computer diligently) that I was not sure if I would ever finish this book. If I did finish the book, I just felt it wasn’t what it should be. It was missing the magic. Well, I found the magic. Now, I am in final stages.
Book writing is not an exact science.
However, final stages of book have been and will continue to be delayed by life events. Blogging, obviously has totally taken a back seat. My sincere apologies.
However, truly, the things that happen to me in real life are novels onto themselves. I will not share, as those are for my memoirs and not for a blog.
In short, someone like me quickly gets into loads of adventure and sometimes trouble without even trying. I try, in fact, to avoid the trouble part. It doesn’t always work to avoid it. I often think of myself as a tiny frog jumping from lily-pad to lily-pad escaping crocodiles…and sometimes I barely escape and ….sometimes I don’t escape them. Giggles.
However, I am still alive. So far. Then there is BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which is like a jungle filled with various kinds of wild animals…all pushing and shoving for some tiny space to stand in (and it is so expensive). I wish they had a wine car…but then, you’d never be able to get to it. Most likely there would be a stampede situation with casualties. You can’t even get into the car during rush hour to go home even with the daunting prospect of being packed so tight you can’t move…I can’t imagine the mob scene if wine was involved….more giggles.
To sum all of that up...writing was slow because of all of that, working in my day job and jumping from lily pads before being eaten.
However, I am excited to say, and yes have been hinting on Twitter also…I am returning home to Finnegan’s Run, my home. (Paris, KY outside of Lexington).
Depending on events, February 28 is my absolute last day of commute like a sardine for work.
But what am I really going to do besides write there? Well, I have my family (the two Joes). My plan is to freelance my California paralegal skills and work for attorneys in Cali at a Kentucky rate. Husband Joe is going to get me satellite internet so I can efile legal documents at flash-speed [Company officially opening at Finnegan's Run on April 17 called EGlobal Legal Support...egloballegalsupport.com.]
So, I am going to have a global operations center (me) to do contract work for attorneys in Cali who don’t need a full-time, in house office staff person...or need overflow work for a fraction of what I am paid here. I am a certified California paralegal who will have global operations center in Paris, KY. Hey, if all goes well, I might hire other Parisians to be my helping staff!
Yes, I am very excited. The time that I would have spent stuffed on BART like a sardine will be time with my writing of novels, gardens, seeing the lovely fillies, colts and big horses around me….not to mention Ferguson the Fox, the deer, my reforest project, my fruit trees and my lovely neighbors. Plus, there is a rumor that American Pharaoh is stabled somewhere around my farm….so…maybe I will manage to get a pet on the nose of an King.
Cheers also to California Chrome and I am so excited to learn that he is returning to a farm very close to me called Taylor Made Farm! How exciting is that? He is, like me, taking a ride down the country road home...two Californians going to Kentucky. Pretty cool. So, I will live near another King. Horse heaven. Welcome Home Chrome!
When I get home…..
I have tickets to Opening Day at Keeneland, already, with my husband and son (both Army men..Vietnam and Afghanistan…so call before just showing up at Finnegan’s Run).
Back to Opening Day at Keeneland….Keeneland has dining rooms. I got the LexKY room for Spring Meet on April 9. I just can’t decide what dress to wear…or which hat? We will see….But I am so, so excited.
First line of business when I return is walking my 12 acres with a ball mason jar filled to the brim with Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale with my two puppies, Oliver and Merlin. I will see how my reforest project is coming along. I will, at some point see Ferguson the fox, now grown (who used to eat my chickens from time to time, I suspect), the many deer that like my newly filled-in tree lines and reforest project, my fruit trees….and everything else on my land in Paris at Finnegan’s Run.
Finnegan’s Run is very much tied to California, like I am. It is as if there is two Rebeccas. One loves San Francisco, Napa/St.Helena, Carmel….I love the Palace Bar, Big Four, Top of the Mark, Walking Nob Hill, China Town, The Crocker Galleria where I have lunch nearly every day with the lovely dome and flowers, the view of the Bay from the Ferry Building…all of it…all of it. The America’s Cup was the most amazing sporting event besides the Derby I have ever experienced or would hope to….
I can, when I really try, be sophisticated at a wine party, or at the palace bar…San Francisco and the Bay area is an amazing place to me. But in the end …I am simple (not as sophisticated as the people around me). So, the “other Rebecca” is a very simple country girl. I long for the land and days where I see no people on my 12 acres. Horses and dogs, undoubtedly, are often better companions than people. I want my gardens again and to see the fillies and colts kicking their legs on the farms around me.
Yet I love people and this city of San Francisco…though lately quite hostile to the likes of me…if they knew me truly…but I love this place. So, I will leave my heart in San Fracisco, Napa/St. Helena and Carmel. My next book, as is the case with most of my books, largely takes place in SF Bay Area, but it goes exotic. Those are my only clues to that book.
Without question, the book will get more exotic in its final stages when I walk the land again with Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale in a Ball Mason Jar! Even more giggles.
Anyway, I am not leaving California truly. I am bringing California with me to Kentucky because when I work for California attorneys remotely…assuming a few of them hire me to be a global operations person….and advance the law in California, practicing my other craft (besides writing) while in Kentucky ….of being the best paralegal (the third Rebecca)…then I have not left California at all. California gets in your blood and you can never quite leave it behind. Though I would, most assuredly, like to leave behind the angry and quite out of control, protestors…who don’t seem to have jobs.
Besides that, when I walk the land in Kentucky I will be thinking of Carmel and Napa/St. Helena and San Francisco. However, I am so excited to go home to Finnegan’s Run.
Finnegan, himself, was a California collie. (Namesake of our farm). My son Joseph drove all the way to Palm Desert to pick him up for me. Then he rode all the way from California to Kentucky. He lived only a bit over a year. But in his last 6 months of life in Kentucky, he learned about snow, about grass (he had grown up in the desert)…and he ran the land with me. He died in April just after his first birthday. A California collie who ran the land in Kentucky and he is the namesake of Finnegan’s Run.
When I hear the mocking birds now in early February in California, they sound just the same as in April in Kentucky. Come St. Patrick’s day, I’ll be moving. Don't worry California, I will always return.
Thank you so much to my friends, family and to my fans who keep after me about this next book. I’ll put it out for free the First Saturday in May to celebrate the Kentucky Derby.
Thank you to everyone who purchased my books this year. Thank you so much. Iron Horse King has emerged as top hit (the story of how San Francisco was built, in fact the whole country changed…but this is a romantic interpretation), The Letter - second, Chosen One - third….but you have all been so good to me with all my books, Once Upon a Misty Blue Grass Hill is my "girl and horse" story who meets handsome Irishman. My attempt at light erotica, of course, was my last book The Wine Prince, Vine of Obsession....book after current one in works is going to be a sequel to The Letter but very much related to Wine Prince....
Now, this has gotten long winded...to both all who buy my books in the US and outside in countries all over the world…thank you …thank you to all of you so very much from my very humble heart. Blessings to all…2017 is going to be a very amazing year.
Meet me in Paris. Because Paris, after all, “is always a good idea.”
As promised, I am going to start telling life stories. I think people who are artists and writers live rich lives because of their deep passion. In my case, it gets me into lots of trouble at times, but at others I think it brings miracles and amazing things are accomplished. I always say that our hearts, believing so much in something that you throw yourself into it passionately, drives the most amazing things to happen. I am going to tell this story through a book eventually and it is started, so I hope I am not giving away ideas to other unscrupulous writers.
However, I decided that this was the time to tell the story because of the event. Book with details to follow…someday when I have time to write. Right now I am a pretty good paralegal and our small but mighty firm has won in trial (making my two 24 hour days pay off in my heart) and to continue on this winning streak requires me to focus on work and less on writing. I am still working on next book but only in pieces and parts. I will get there. So the story of saving the beer.
This story starts in the summer of 2008. I had gone to a West Point football game and Budweiser had sponsored it. They had brought those magnificent horses there in the most beautiful horse coaches imaginable. They were huge, like rolling barns only, they were red, white and blue. Those horses, by the way, are huge and utterly breathtaking. They actually took them out at the game and just like in commercials, they drove with beer boxes and a spotted dog. It moved me to tears. But of course, being there with hundreds of West Point Cadets was pretty amazing too.
(So many of my stories revolve around horses, yet I do not ride. Anyway…..)
Being the Patriot I am (I am not just a daughter of the American Revolution… meaning not in the club but meaning that my ancestor Thomas Hale, who has a Revolutionary War number, served in the pre-war militia and the Revolutionary War. Also, my birthday, ironically, December 16 falls on the anniversary date of the Boston Tea Party), I was so moved by their support of the military schools and generally support of soldiers.
I decided to drink Budweiser then and there.
I did drink it, religiously, from that day on. I often ordered it at upscale bars in San Francisco and drank it right from bottle to be funny and scandalous! It was fun. Sometimes I would do this and others would order it too when you just know in sophisticated bars in San Francisco, no one but no one is ordering a Bud.
Then, one day Budweiser, in what appeared to be a hostile take over, was about to be sold to InBev. A Brazilian Company. They make a notable beer called Stella Artois.
I was very upset. So, I started my campaign in a fight to save the beer. I wrote faxes not just to Mr. Brito (the then CEO of InBev, maybe still is, not sure, haven’t checked) and the board of Anheuser and August Busch IV.
Being gifted in law, I laid out a number of things, mainly dealing with anti-trust issues. August Busch and the board then did pull up and tried to fight back.
InBev made an offer for more per share and it was a lot more. That rather sealed the deal as they say.
Still, I continued the fight. I threatened to write the Justice Department, which I did. I started researching it and was convinced it was an anti-trust issue.
I wrote my comprehensive letter to the Justice Department and mailed it on August 27, 2008. The very next day, as I left for lunch at work, I was hit by a car going 30 miles an hour, bounced off of the hood, cracked the windshield of the car, took out a headlight, dented the hood all before flying what witnesses said was 30 feet to land on the pavement.
Thankfully, I was knocked out immediately and have no recollection of this other than initially realizing I was being hit and knowing I was going to die.
It all happened, very ironically, under a very large Stella Artois sign. It really did. I was saved by a backpack my son had pulled from dumpsters in basic training when he entered the Army. It had some defect so it could not be used. It is called a camel back and it has a hard shell. He thought I would like it and I did. It saved my life because it blunted the impact of the car and then I landed on it. I was hurt very badly, but alive and walking because of that backpack.
For reasons, known only to him, Joseph Alioto, an attorney in San Francisco that I have never met, filed a preliminary injunction brief in St. Lewis Court to stop the sale. I wrote a “friend of the court” brief on my own behalf and others similarly situated. Many of the things I had raised in the Justice Department letter were in Mr. Alioto’s brief and he had thought of a lot of other neat stuff I had not considered.
We did win that injunction. There was, in fact, an injunction and the sale put on hold. However, there was a major problem in this victory. To keep the injunction, there had to be a million dollar bond posted. I certainly didn’t have that kind of money. Therefore, we could not prevail in the injunction because we could not keep it without the million dollar bond.
The Justice Department did write me back. They investigated the anti-trust issues and determined that there was one anti-trust issue. InBev had to sell one brewery somewhere in the northeast.
I was very sad but still determined. I am such a deeply passionate person and once I believe in something, I never give up. My last chance to save the beer was at the shareholder meeting.
There I arrived still dragging my leg around from the accident but nevertheless wearing red, white and blue (looking like an airline stewardess). One person who worked for Anheuser-Busch and who undoubtedly was an insider who sold out on the company, came up to me and said, “You need to let this go.” Like really?
Well, I had my passionate speech prepared. I saw August Busch, I could not imagine his heartbreak of losing everything his family had built. He looked pretty brave for a man in that situation and was almost flamboyant really in some subtle sarcasm. I gave my impassioned speech and it was very good. I reminded all about the things the company had done for the country and soldiers. People clapped.
But the beer was sold anyway.
Several shareholders approached me. They told me my speech was so beautiful and that they were sorry, but it was too much money to pass up. I thought that they were nice but they cared more about money than America. I’d not have sold at any price.
The most beautiful thing that happened was that the employees came to me after the meeting. A group of them attended the meeting. They came to me post-meeting thanked me, very emotionally, so much for standing up for them. They were older and figured their days were numbered anyway and they were going to retire in the aftermath.
However, they presented me with a beautiful coin. It was a numbered coin dedicated to the troops serving in the middle-east and it had a number and everything. The company gave them to soldiers. They gave one to me. I have it now in a safe deposit box in the Crocker-Wells bank on Montgomery Street in San Francisco. It sits with medals of my son who served in Afghanistan (yes he is alive and well) and medals of my husband from his service in Vietnam.
Needless to say, I never drank Budweiser again. I went to other beers, including my favorite Kentucky Bourbon Barrel which I cannot get in California for some absurd reason. My husband brings it to me in his suitcase and last trip one was missing. Pretty funny.
I saw in Walmart once a few months ago that Anheuser-Busch had cases in red, white and blue and it said for every case bought, money was given to the soldiers. So, I bought one. I started softening a little on my stance against Mr. Brito and his InBev.
I heard the horses were sold. I have not investigated. I hope I am wrong.
However, I was sitting in the Palace Bar in San Francisco this past week, sipping on bubbles and talking to my husband after a very difficult day at work when I saw the commercial about America in Your Hand.
There is no way I can ever confirm this in any fashion, but I know in my heart that it was inspired by that fight long ago now and an impassioned speech in the final meeting when America’s beer was sold. The heart of a Patriot, millions of soldiers, a group of employees and a lawyer I have never met, Joseph Alioto, who for reasons of his own helped me, at least for a time, stop the sale of the beer, were all inspirations for this beer name change and commercial....I just know it.
When I saw the commercial and just knew it was inspired by the passion of me and undoubtedly others, I reflected on many things. One is, what power one person has if they truly believe in something with passion and act upon it, never giving up.
I also reflected on something else. I always say that Freedom’s Front Door is for everyone. In that commercial and in the change of the name, it is obvious that InBev and possibly Mr. Brito and others found Freedom’s Front Door and embrace it AND more importantly, have reminded all of us what America is really about. Now all of us can hold its name, its power, its meaning in our hands and be Patriots. America, after all, belongs to all of us because it is a beautiful idea where all people live free, with liberty and equalality and are able to chase any dream they wish.
You can bet, if it is available, the next time I am out and order beer, I will certainly hold America in my hand. I think a lot of other people will too. Here is the link to the amazing commercial and the final chapter in the story of saving the beer.
I did not lose the war after all did I? Perhaps it shows that in life winning is not always the battle you think you need to win. Yet, had the war not ensued would you arrive at this? Undoubtedly not.
I never surrendered, Patriots never do. We didn’t lose the beer after all either, we just made America bigger. I and others, undoubtedly convinced Mr. Brito and his company to come to our side. Allies are Americans too.
Now we can all hold the dream in hour hands, literally by holding its name, and by doing so, advance the dream of America and its ideas. Cheers Mr. Brito and InBev, you finally won over the last Patriot standing in the room fighting in the final meeting when the beer was sold...happy ending, amazing ending....so cheers again.... this America is for you.....
PS. I wonder if I could talk Pierce Lyons into changing Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale to "Patriot Ale".....hey...anything could happen to a girl who saved the beer.
This went unedited.