fun

Is it worth admitting you made a mistake and trying to fix it?

Marilyn

Have you ever noticed most people are far quicker to criticize than to praise? I know it’s probably human nature, I even do it myself sometimes without wanting to, but since I was subjected to this treatment more than the average person, I learned not to be so quick to judge.

I became a writer six years ago, and like in any other job, I learned along the way. Even Nora Roberts and Stephen King have bad books. Nicholas Sparks admitted he will never publish his first two novels, because they were not as good as his later work. Unlike him, I published nearly everything I wrote. I don’t know if that’s unfortunate or not, because I learned everything I know about writing from actually making all the mistakes in the business. Sometimes I made them more than once, just to be sure I learned my lesson.  😒 But some readers don’t understand that one can become a better writer only with time and practice. Writers are human, like any other people, and no book is perfect. I’ve managed to revise most of mine, and among them is Unabridged, a romantic comedy that was a bestseller at the time of its release in 2015. Back then, the first edition received mixed reviews, and while it got a lot of five-stars, there were plenty of one-star ratings and comments from readers. Some of them were mean for the sake of meanness, but others raised valid points, which in the end helped me make Unabridged a better book.

This year I have finally managed to rewrite it with the help of my great editor, Susanne Matthews, and republished the new edition with a new cover to match.

I was happy about my accomplishment, and naïve enough to talk about it in one of the author groups I am part of. To my surprise, one of the members asked me in a somewhat harsh tone why I had published Unabridged in the first place if I thought it wasn’t that good. Her question took me by surprise, especially since this is an author of average romance with terrible cheap-looking covers (see, I have a mean streak too, but I try to keep it tamed! 😜 ). Anyway, I answered frankly, the way I always do, and told her I published the book because at the time I was proud of my accomplishment, I wanted to share it with the world, and yes, I needed to make money from my writing—because the damn bills won’t pay themselves, no matter how much I sweet talk them. What shocked me the most though was that no one in that group thought of saying a nice word about the fact that I admitted my mistakes, and that I cared so much about what readers thought I decided to rewrite my book.

Some of the reviewers said Unabridged was mean and judgmental, yet here I was, in the real world, among real people, on trial for admitting and fixing a mistake I made. WTH? I certainly did not expect any medals, but I hardly expected to be judged for being less than perfect.

In the end, this was a good lesson regarding the way people think. And although I have read several terrible books lately, some of them from my favorite authors, I decided not to leave any bad reviews. Because I know that writing a book, even a bad one, is a tremendous effort, and I’m in no position to cut off wings I haven’t built. Life is too full of drama as it is, and I agree with Marilyn Monroe: imperfection is beauty. Who wants to be perfect? It must be boring as hell.

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Are you in on this Top 5 favorite TV shows?

Hi guys!

Summer is here, holidays are the lights at the end of the work tunnel, and some of us might actually have some free time for relaxation soon. 😍

As most people, I enjoy a good TV show, but since my hubby and I have SUCH different tastes (he likes the typical guy thing: crime, drama, things blowing up, blood and gore all over, and I prefer rom-coms and chicklit), we have some trouble choosing stuff to watch. Nonetheless, we both enjoy family shows, and those are the winners in my Top 5 favorite TV shows. 

So, let’s start with

#5: TWO AND A HALF MEN – the CBS show that basically paid Charlie Sheen to play Charlie Harper (which is 100% Charlie Sheen), and get awards for this! Not your average family show, but it certainly teaches us a thing or three about family, and how disfunctional things can get. Sick at times, rarely serious, always lough-out-loud funny!

Two and a half men

#4: SIREN – a new show from Freeform that–well–shows promise, not because of the newbie actors who are sometimes quite bad at it, but because the storyline is super original. At least, it’s nothing I’ve seen/read about before. I can’t decide if this show is horror, fantasy, or just an unlikely romance between man and mermaid, but so far I am hooked by the gorgeous settings and eerie atmosphere. The downside is that the first season, which just ended, had only 10 episodes, and the next season is scheduled for 2019. 😦

Siren

 #3: OUTLANDER – the rising star of Starz, which is already 3 seasons down, with season 4 expected this November. I was in love with the books loooooong before they became TV material, but at first I wasn’t sold on the show. However, the exceptional actors and incredible settings bring to life beautifully the powerful love story of Jamie and Claire, as well as their adventures while they try to change history. Diana Gabaldon certainly did!

Outlander

#2: THE MIDDLE – No wonder the first episode starts with Frankie dressed as Wonder Woman. Anyone who raises even one kid — not to mention three — is a hero! This is a perfect family show about your average imperfect family. For someone who doesn’t have kids yet, I wonder if I should take parenting lessons from this show… 🤔 Probably not, but it’s still fun and cozy.

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And now drum rolls please…

#1: THE KING OF QUEENS –  another winner from CBS! When I first saw this show I told my husband “We have to sue somebody. These people stole our life story!”

You guessed, the resemblance between this show and our life is so uncanny I could swear we served as inspiration, except the show started airing in 1998, and hubby and I got married in 2006. Still, I can’t believe there are three people in this world to resemble us so much, from funny, good-natured Doug, to loud-mouth, pushy Carrie, and… Arthur.😑 The only difference is that he isn’t living in our basement. Other than that, the similarities are downright spooky. Hubby gets an eye twitch whenever we watch it. 😀 Whether or not you have an Arthur too, this show is definitely one you have to watch at least once in your lifetime!

King

I hope you guys liked my Top 5 fav TV shows, and if you’d like to help me expand my list do let me know in your comments what shows you like and why. ❤

 

Funniest love declarations in books

Howdy, everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’m working on several projects at a time. I must say, trying to build a bilingual career on two continents is unexpectedly exhausting, and the rewards are slow to come!

Anyway, the idea for today’s post came to me – as most brainstorms do – last night, when I was about to fall asleep. I’m just rereading (for the 7th or 8th time) Nora Roberts’s “Angels Fall”, a book I particularly enjoy, and the excerpt I’m about to reveal made me laugh out loud, as it does every time. The story’s main characters are Reece – a troubled woman who’s trying to escape some deep traumas, and Brody – a man who’s apparently an unfeeling jerk, but who develops a soft spot for the heroine in which many women will find themselves.

Love you worse 2Unlike the typical, syrupy love stories, their romance is more interesting and unusual. So, with this in mind, here is my Top Three Funniest Love Declarations in Books:

#3 is a scene from the very Queen of Comedy, Janet Evanovich and her well-known screw-up heroine, Stephanie Plum, forever torn between the love of two men, Ranger and Joe Morelli:

“How could you be tired? It’s eight o’clock. It’s time to get up! I’m leaving. Don’t you want to kiss me good-bye?”

Nothing. No answer. I whipped the sheet off him and left him lying there in all his glorious nakedness. Morelli still didn’t move.

I sat on the bed next to him. “Joe?”

“I thought you were going to work.”

“You’re looking very sexy . . . except for Mr. Happy, who seems to be sleepy.”

“He’s not sleepy, Steph. He’s in a coma. You woke him up every two hours and now he’s dead.”

“He’s dead?”

“Okay, not dead, but he’s not going to be up and dancing anytime soon. You might as well go to work. Did you walk Bob?”

“I walked Bob. I fed Bob. I cleaned the living room and the kitchen.”

“Love you,” Morelli said from under the pillow.

“I l-l-l-like you, too.” Shit.

 

 ~Eleven On Top, JANET EVANOVICH

 

#2 presents Claire and Jamie Fraser, the famous characters from “OUTLANDER”, the equally famous odyssey written by Diana Gabaldon, which has inspired Starz to create the TV series with the same name. This is when Claire first declares her love to her new husband:

“Oh, Jamie, I do love you!”

This time it was his turn to laugh. He doubled over, then sat down at the roadside, fizzing with mirth. He slowly fell over backward and lay in the long grass, wheezing and choking.

“What on earth is the matter with you?” I demanded, staring at him. At long last, he sat up, wiping his streaming eyes. He shook his head, gasping.

“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and you say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.

“You’re not verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let’s go.”

 

~Outlander, DIANA GABALDON~

 

And now…Periods love

 

#1, the excerpt that has started this post, and one of the many reasons I love Nora Roberts’s books, full of edgy humor, among other things:

“I love you. I’m in love with you.”

She heard absolutely nothing for ten full seconds. And when he did speak, she caught the faintest trace of fear mixed in with the annoyance.

“Hell. No good deed goes unpunished.”

She laughed, rich and full and long. And the warmth of it soothed her raw throat, her raw nerves. “And that’s why, I must be out of my mind. Don’t worry about it, Brody.”

 

~Angels Fall, NORA ROBERTS~

 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if it put a smile on your face, as it was intended, feel free to share the fun! 😉

30 Pieces of Honesty

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?chocolates_03

A: Liqueur chocolates.
2. Where was your profile picture taken?

A: In Brasov, during our holiday in July.
3. Do you play Pokemon GO?

A: NO!
4. Name someone who made you laugh today.

A: Same person who makes me laugh a hundred times a day: my hubby.
5. How late did you stay up last night?

A: Midnight.
6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be?

A: New Zealand or some tropical island without poisonous creatures.
7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?

A: No.
8. Which of your friends lives closest?

A: Costina.
9. Do you believe ex’s can be friends?

A: Depends on the reason of the breakup.
10. How do you feel about Dr. Pepper?

A: Never tried it.
11. When was the last time you cried?

A: Yesterday.
12. Who took your profile picture?

A: My husband.
13. Who is the last person you took a picture of?

A: Again, my amazing husband. ❤img_20160612_210139
14. Was yesterday better than today?

A: Not at all.
15. Can you live a day without TV?

A: I don’t watch TV. Ever.
16. Are you upset about anything?

A: My current book is taking longer to finish than I hoped.
17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?

A: Relationships are the main reason that makes life worth living.
18. Are you a bad influence?

A: Maybe to small children. I tend to swear a lot. :-/
19. Night out or night in?

A: In is always better.
20. What items could you not go without during the day?

A: My laptop. It was in the repair shop for two weeks. I thought I would die, honestly.
21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?

A: I can’t remember.
22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?

A: Which inbox? I have loads of them!
23. How do you feel about your life right now?

A: Going up, wish it was faster, but all in all, happy.
24. Do you hate anyone? Hate is a very strong word. I dislike a few, but hate?

A: No. I’ve never really hated anyone in my life.
25.  Has anyone ever called you perfect?

A: My husband, all the time. Love must be blind! 😀
26. Someone knocks on your window at 2AM, who do you want it to be?

A: Since I live at the 5th floor, if that happened I’d probably have a heart attack first, then shoot the intruder, then ask what the hell he’s doing there.
27. Name something you have to do tomorrow.

A: Grocery shopping.
28. Do you think too much or too little?

A: Waaaaay too much!
29. Do you laugh a lot?

A: Yes. To quote Chaplin, a day without laughter is a wasted day.
30. Do you have any fears?

A: Many of them. Most of all I fear to ever be forced to live without my husband, who is truly my soul mate. Whatever else might happen, together we can face anything. ❤

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To be or not to be … mysterious?

Good Saturday morning everyone! I hope your weekend is relaxing and fun, as I try to make mine every week. I’ve been thinking about today’s post topic for some time now, and now I actually have a few minutes to tackle the question: do readers prefer to know their 3 sidesfavorite authors better, or do they prefer the aura of mystery that envelops some of them?

Opinions are of course different. Some authors think that hiding behind a curtain of mystery that separates them from the rest of us mere mortals makes them more intriguing, and attracts readers. However, most publishers encourage authors to be in as much contact with their fans, a theory with which I tend to agree.  Being an avid reader, I often find myself researching my favorite writers. I like reading about them, their biographies, their writing experiences, their personal lives. Knowing them as persons does not diminish in any way my interest in their work, but actually makes me respect them more, along with everything they have accomplished.

So, following an older post called Alpha-Me from A to Z, here are a few more personal things I’d like to share with my readers and fans, which I generally refer to as friends.

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  1. Definitely cats. Though I adore almost all animals—except for snakes, big lizards, and other such creatures only a mother could love—cats are my favorite companions. Having owned dozens across the years, I think they are loving, intelligent, classy animals, and numerous studies have proved they can be a true form of therapy for everything, from depression to rheumatism.
  2. Tea. I never drink coffee, because I’m a jittery person by nature, and coffee makes me literally climb the walls. Not a pleasant feeling, although my husband finds my nervousness and OCD fits very entertaining. :-/
  3. If I have to choose, I’d say music, although it’s ironic, because I’ve been a professional athlete for more than a decade (target shooter). However, I don’t follow sports (yes, I should probably be flogged for this, I know).
  4. BOTH! I’m a lover of any form of art, and both books and movies are at the top of my list. In fact, I’ve just finished watching one of my favorite duology, The Addams Family, for probably the dozenth time. After that, I’ll start The Jurassic Park quadrilogy, also for the dozenth time.
  5. Each has its charm, but generally I’m a person who loves words that start with S: summer, sun, sand, sea … and of course, sex. 😛

I sincerely hope you liked finding out these facts about me, and that I’ve offered you even a moment of entertainment on this lovely Saturday. Have an awesome weekend, my friends! ❤

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Mindless eating? Hell, no! FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

The idea for this post came to me just minutes ago, when I was working on my new book. Well, actually I realized I was eating, writing a sentence, then eating some more. That’s when it occurred to me that, in my case at least, creativity is directly connected with food.

OreosBelieve it or not, I am a sweetaholic and I simply cannot live without sugar. Nor fat and salt, for that matter. I actually have a permanent stash of snack treasures on my desk (and on my nightstand, and in the kitchen, and okay, in the pantry too). My favorite treats of all are Oreo biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, glazed peanuts… Pretty much everything that tastes good and crunches.

So why is it that most of us have an acute need to eat while we work? Whether it’s writing, making calculus, writing reports or studying microorganisms, food is the fuel of creativity.12508748_947310118728528_7102832119757100655_n

And I even came up with a scientific explanation of sorts. It’s been proven that intellectual effort can be even more demanding than physical strain. Therefore, it is in our nature to need food while we concentrate on something.

Now, I know I’m supposed to advise people to eat healthy, fear carbohydrates and sugar more than they do the Devil, and so on. The thing is I am all for healthy living too, but I’m fortunate enough to have a good metabolism and to be able to eat anything I want (I know this is the point when most women start cursing me, and it’s okay, I used to do that to women with perfect breasts).

Anyway, personally I try to eat a little bit of everything and have a balanced diet. Most of the time. Both my husband and I have tiny problems with cholesterol, so I try to cook healthy at least three-four times a week. We eat just about anything, but avoid fats, too many eggs and fried food. Other than that, we are both food fanatics living on snacks and Pepsi.

Kung Fu Panda

So, now that we’ve uncovered the mystery of the so-called mindless eating, I hope you are relieved to know that it’s your brains demanding food while you work, not your stomachs. And even when you’re not working, you’re thinking of working, so you still need food, right? Just don’t blame me if you end up getting fat, okay? 😀

Have a great week everyone! ❤

Alpha-Me from A to Z

Good afternoon on this lovely December day! I was tagged by my friend and fellow author Susanne Matthews to fill in an A to Z set of questions, which seemed fun, so here’s my personal alphabet:

A- Age: 29.ABC
B- Biggest fear: Heights.
C- Career of choice: Writer.
D- Drink you last had: Cocoa.
E- Every day starts with: Pilates.
F- Favorite song: Always-Bon Jovi.
G- Ghosts, are they real: Of course they are! I proved that in my very first novella, Rendezvous.
H- Hometown: Alexandria, Romania.
I- In love with: My husband, books, fashion, shopping, cats, good food, chocolate…
J- Jealous of: Nothing and nobody.
K- Killed someone?: Not yet, but I have a long list…
L- Last time you cried?: I’m not telling. You’ll think I’m a pussy 🙂
M- Middle name: Melinda
N- Number of siblings: One brother.
O- One wish: To be a #1 New York Times bestselling author.
P- Person you last called: My husband, Coly.
Q- Question you’re always asked: When will you have a baby?
R- Reason to smile: Life is beautiful.
S- Song last sang: Let it Snow – Dean Martin.
T- Time you woke up: 10:20 a.m. It was an early wake up.
U- Underwear color: I only wear black.
V- Vacation destination of your dreams: New Zealand, to visit my darling friend and fellow author Susan Tarr.
W- Worst habit: I’m a born pessimist. Actually, I think I’m a realist, but people around me call me a negativist.
Y- Your favorite food: salty. 🙂
X- X-boyfriend you hated the most: the one who wanted to be a porn star, looked great but had the intelligence of a cabbage.
Z- Zodiac sign: Cancer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and I invite you to do it too. Have fun! ❤

Happy holidays