My FIRST BLOG

The purpose of this site is to find a larger audience for the ridiculous amount of writing I do. How ridiculous, you ask? In just one year I wrote four novels, nearly completed a sequel to the second novel and collaborated with my friend Laura Hall (best known for her piano skills on Whose Line Is It Anyway?) on a musical “Room to Grow” that is, quite frankly, brilliant.  I have since written a screenplay, a sitcom pilot and a few more novels. I am nothing if not prolific. All the while, I have been raising my two daughters and Laura and I continue work towards mounting a professional production of the aforementioned musical.I also like to draw and/or paint.

My immediate future needs to be about marketing, while continuing to do what I love, and what better way to go about it than to write? The fact that pen and paper is my favorite medium may serve as a hindrance to my computer-impaired brain, but I am determined to get past that, and lets face it, if this has been posted then I am well on my way.

All of my novels, Searching for My Wand, On a Hot August AfternoonThe Salacious Marny Ottwiler and Crashing Into Us, are all available for purchase on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Bridget-Straub/e/B006KEG0KE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 Go check them out!

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A Post Before I Go

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We are hitting the road tomorrow for a much needed spring break. As hopeful as I was for this year at the beginning, it has gotten off to a shaky start. There have been highs, such as the births of new babies, getting to attend that King’s game and a friend’s CD release party, but there have also been some real lows. My brother was diagnosed with cancer, (he’s doing well), I broke my toe, the girls school has been in major upheaval all year, and of course, our finances continue to be a constant struggle. I am hopeful that with this break we can refocus and come back inspired and ready to turn things around.

Okay, well, let’s be honest, I’m ready to turn things around right now, but I need to figure out how I can best do that. Wish me luck, and I will get back to posting when I get back.

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A Beautiful Path

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I took this picture on my walk today and can’t help but think it screams symbolism. It is a beautiful stairway to nowhere. It literally runs into a wall. This is my 470th post on this blog and I have to say, this feels appropriate. I had such hope at the beginning of this journey and there has been some beauty, but lately I’ve hit a wall. I think I have some serious rethinking to do.

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Calling Sandra Bullock

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I have been trying to refocus on marketing again, and therefore I have been reading and listening to everything I can on the subject. It’s difficult because there is very little new information out there. It makes me crazy when you read advice such as; Write a good script. Really? Is that helpful to anyone? Are there people scratching their heads in astonishment, saying “By God, I never thought of that!” It’s silly, and more often a waste of time.

Recently, however, I was listening to a webinar in which they said one of the first things you should do is decide who you wish to emulate. My initial response was that I don’t want to emulate anyone. I want to be myself, and unique. Then I thought about books and films I like, and it became a little clearer what they were saying. So okay, I can think of various people who tell the kind of stories I do, what’s next? Well, apparently I should work with them. Sure, no problem.

In this particular webinar they made everything seem so simple. Gather fans in the industry so they will promote you. Right, and I would find these fans where? I suspect at big expensive seminars and conventions that these people are paid to speak at. It’s enough to make a girl hit her head against the wall, at least metaphorically speaking.

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep and decide if a friend is right that I should turn Crashing Into Us into a play, Sandra Bullock came to mind. She could play the lead in this, be it a film or a play. I guess I should just work with her. So, Sandy, babe, give me a call.

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Fascination

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A couple of weeks ago I received an urgent text from my daughter that the LA Kings were hosting a couple of Business of Hockey seminars, and she had to be there. I made calls and pushed to get her in as it wasn’t geared towards sixteen-year-olds, but college students and older. One of the ways we got her in was by offering my sister’s skills as a professional photographer. Along with the ticket to the seminar, each attendee was given a ticket to the game after. It was a great deal.

So last week my daughter and sister both got to attend the first seminar and game, and they came home with lots of stories. They also came home with a ticket for me to attend this weekend, as an added bonus for some additional pictures they wanted my sister to take at the next game.

As the mother of a child who wants to go into business (preferably with the Kings organization) as well as an author, I found the seminar fascinating. I loved hearing from people at the top of their fields who didn’t all start off with so much promise. It was both inspiring and a little discouraging to hear that, just as with a career in writing, it’s all about connections. It was repeated again and again that as important as résumés are, it’s personality and connections that are going to propel you to the top. I also enjoyed watching my daughter take the opportunity she was given so seriously. Over the two days, she took more than eight pages of notes. She has come away with a clearer idea of what she wants to pursue and how she needs to proceed.

Lastly, there was the hockey game, and we were given tickets to a private VIP box which may have spoiled me, because it was the ideal spot to watch the game. We were close enough to see everything, but we did so in absolute luxury.

Later this week they are doing a third seminar, Women in Hockey. I want to go.

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The Breakdown

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The breakdown came at ten in the morning. I have been frustrated for months now by the slow recovery of the broken toe I incurred at the beginning of the year. Gradually, it has begun to heal and I have been forcing myself to get back into walking every day. The fact that I need to take the dog with me so that she can get out has been a challenge. After all, she’s still a puppy, albeit a fairly big one, and keeping her from stopping to play in every set of sprinklers, or to chew every stray berry or discarded piece of trash is a battle. Don’t even get me started on the fact that she would rather run than walk, and is desperate to play with every other dog we pass.

On this particular day there was the threat of rain, so although I was feeling less than motivated to pull myself off the couch, I did so, both for my health and for the sake of a puppy stuck living in an apartment. It seemed the right thing to do. Yep, the right thing to do… This is where it all falls apart.

You see, I took her out and right off the bat a garbage truck pulled up to the building next door. Charlie is afraid of big trucks. I hoped to rush her by it but she freaked out so I turned back and tried to calm her. There was no way. She went nuts, and being on a busy street, I had to fight hard not to drop her leash. She literally pulled so hard that I fell and slid across our front grass face first, like some overdone sitcom character. And that was when I lost it!

It has been a rough week of doing the right thing only to have other people screw us over. Charlie’s dragging me through the mud was like a culmination of all of the lousy things that have happened of late and I couldn’t take it. I told her I was done and took her back inside (which let’s face it, she was happy about) and I stomped off to my room, where I silently raged and cursed before collapsing into a fit of tears. I’m tired of being disrespected and taken advantage of. I don’t do that to others, so what gives them the right to do that to me and/or members of my family? I was raised to treat others as I would wish them to treat me. Am I the only one?

And then there’s man’s best friend! Not cool, Charlie, not cool at all!

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Lessons? I’ve Learned a Few…

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I was talking to one of my sisters yesterday and we were both venting our frustration with where we are in our lives. Suffice to say it’s not where we want to be, and neither of us knows how to change things. My sister said whatever the lessons are I’m supposed to be learning, I’m not,” and I thought, “Exactly!”

We are told, whether by religious leaders or just spiritual leaders, that we are here for a purpose and that all will be revealed in the end. Well, guess what? My sister and I are sick of this. Send us a clue at the very least!

I accept that life is full of disappointments, and so long as those disappointments either serve a purpose – aka, to teach us a lesson, or at least are balanced out with the good, then fine, I can accept that. It’s when you can’t get over certain hurdles that are teaching you nothing, with the possible exception of bitterness, that I have a problem.

I don’t want to end up as I have seen others end up, namely dying due to overwhelming depression. I’m not talking the crying all of the time, chemical depression that we commonly assume those who end their lives are experiencing. And no, I’m not saying I want to kill myself. But I have seen people die of diseases that clearly come from the stress of dealing with the sadness which comes from being stuck.

I am insanely grateful for my children and for my family and friends. I know things could be worse, but as my sister and I discussed, does that make everything okay? No, it does not.

Life is challenging and that is okay to a point, but the lessons to be learned by being broke and/ or stuck in my career are evading me and they have my entire life. How about you? Do you feel as though you are being continually hit over the head by something that you just can’t figure out?

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How Did This Happen?

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I am up way too early on a Saturday, and the reason is kind of stunning. My baby, my little girl, who is actually my middle, is attending a business seminar this morning, and I am up because… say what? My child is growing up too fast, that’s what.

She is only sixteen but already a junior  in high school, and the pressure to know what you want to do with your life is intense. She has begun applying for summer programs at various colleges, and meeting with her college counselor. She has been told that she has to get a job this summer, and do community service. She has also been told to expand her interests outside of school, because her incredible GPA won’t be good enough when it comes to getting into some the schools she is thinking about.

It is mind blowing. There is no time to do all that they say she has to do, and it’s hard to believe that the college administrators can’t do the math to figure that out. They are expecting superheroes instead of kids who are simply motivated to make a better life for themselves. It’s completely overwhelming for both the kids and their parents. As I told my brother last night when discussing something else, you can’t get around it, so you have to go through it. I know this child is destined to do anything she sets her mind to, and that somehow whatever is meant to be, will be, but wow! It is a lot to take in, and sleep? Yeah, I suspect that is a thing of the past.

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