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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You Seem to Like Pictures

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I’ve noticed that sometimes I get the most views from my pictures posts, which to be honest, can be kind of frustrating, being a writer and all. Still, you know what they say, give the people what they want.

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I love this one on a personal level.

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And this one is just pretty in it’s simplicity. So enjoy and then go buy a book for goodness sake! Remember, I have six of them on amazon! Here’s a link to my latest novel right here! Beyond the Cracks

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Sunday Excerpt 16

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This excerpt comes from my latest novel, that to be honest I feel as though I have shared before, but going through my posts of the past several months, I don’t see it, so I must be crazy, right? It’s called On Our Way Home, at least for the moment. Let me know what you think of the opening and if you have any suggestions as to what the cover should be. And, Enjoy!

Chapter 1

 I haven’t been back in the states for almost three years, and up until last night I had no intention of going back anytime soon. Matt and I have carved out a very nice life for ourselves, living about an hour outside of London, in a small renovated cottage that belonged to his dad up until his passing two years ago. The cottage, as well as the two acres it rests upon, was left to Matt and his sister Charlotte to do with whatever they saw fit.

Happily married and living in London, Charlotte suggested Matt and I take the cottage for ourselves. After all, it was paid for, and with minimal repairs would save us a fortune in rent, while providing a serene and tranquil spot for us to be creative. Matt is a playwright on the cusp of hitting it big, while I’m a novelist who has so far had only mediocre success. Moving out to the country has taken away all of the stress we were under, struggling to make ends meet in the city. We are perfectly happy living the life of recluses. At least we were until Matt climbed into bed and sighing, told me we had to return to San Francisco.

 “That was Barb on the phone,” he informed me.

 I ignored him.

At forty two, Barb is my oldest sister and generally a bossy pain in the ass. There are five of us girls, of which I am the second youngest, and although I love my family, I don’t really have much in common with any of them. Our parents are both highly successful surgeons, my mother in orthopedics, and my father specializing in cardiology. Barb is a shrink, Carolyn, two years younger than Barb, is a pediatrician, and Katherine, three years younger than Carolyn, is a biochemist. Then comes me, and then my younger sister, Lisa.

I am two years younger than Katherine, and Lisa is three years younger than me. Lisa is a lawyer, or at least she was until the birth of her son Dylan, five years ago. She and her husband Eldon, a psychologist,  have since adopted a baby girl, Sunny, from his wayward cousin, a heroin addict unable to care for herself, let alone a child. Lisa, like me, is considered a bit of a black sheep in the family. You see, she was sailing through law school, the apple of my father’s eye, right up until she met Eldon. That’s where things changed. Eldon is black, and although my father insists he has nothing against anyone of color, he doesn’t believe in interracial relationships. He feels they are unrealistic, and only serve to cause pain and suffering to all involved,. He spent three years doing everything in his power to sabotage their relationship, and although he adores his grandchildren, last I heard, he still disapproves of Lisa and Eldon as a couple.

 “Allie, did you hear me?” Matt asked, shutting out the light and pulling me into spooning position.

“I’m sleeping.”

“You most certainly are not.”

“I could be if you’d let me.”

“Be that as it may, your father has taken ill and we have been summoned.”

“Shit,” I said, my heart sinking involuntarily. “What kind of ill?”

“Somewhat ironically, it would appear he’s had a heart attack,” he said, in his most British of ways.

“Don’t make me laugh,” I said, fighting back a combination of tears and a chuckle. “Is it serious?”

“Well, as I said, we have been asked to get on a plane first thing tomorrow morning, so I can only assume it is, although Barb did say it was your father himself who has requested we fly over.”

“We? He requested you come, too?”

“So she said.”

“No offense, but that doesn’t sound like my dad.”

“None taken, as I found that to be rather odd myself. I even double checked to be sure I had heard correctly. However, Barb insists she has bought us both tickets as per his request.”

“That’s so weird.”

“Agreed.”

“Was Barb upset?” I asked.

“Can Barb show emotion?” he inquired.

“Annoyance, disapproval, ” I said, considering.

“Well, she was neither of those. Just very stern and seemingly in a hurry. She says it’s all been arranged and left no room for any objections. I offered to get you up but she was in too much of a rush. We fly out at eight tomorrow morning. I’ve set the alarm on my phone,” he informed me.

“It’s so weird,” I repeated.

“Get some sleep,” he advised.

“Right, like that’s going to happen,” I said, sarcastically.

 Needless to say, I tossed and turned all night, until Matt’s alarm woke me from the five minutes rest I had managed to get. Now we are on this full and uncomfortably cramped plane, heading towards a reunion I am kind of dreading.

 

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Friday Visual

I was considering writing a post about weird reviews, but I’ve decided to just send some pretty your way instead. So, enjoy. Here’s to a great & beautiful weekend for everyone.

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Anxiety

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Anxiety is going to be the death of us all! Today is the first day of school for many people, and all that I know are borderline psychotic about it. The stress level is off the charts, and I don’t get it. When did school become this huge pressure cooker?

I hated school a plenty, but at least the first day was filled with excitement. Granted, by high school it was probably mixed with a little anxiety, but now a days even my 28 year old niece is nervous and overly anxious about a course she is beginning. Both of my daughters, as well as my niece, are getting A’s, and have been for awhile. They are intelligent, beautiful people who should be able to breeze through this.

I sincerely wonder if a part of the problem isn’t all of the reality TV that theses guys have grown up with. After all, they have watched as lives have been recorded and dissected in a manner that simply did not exist fifteen years ago. Now, not only are they bombarded by this, but I think they feed off of the drama. A theory that makes at least one of my daughters annoyed and insulted. If that’s not it though, then what the heck is it?    

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Excerpt Sunday 15

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I’m posting early again this week because I won’t have time to do it in the morning. This excerpt is from a book I began a while ago and will one day get back to, although with every passing day I question what I am doing more and more. This has been my worst month to date. Somehow I have become invisible. I’m choosing to delude myself that everyone is on vacation and will be back next month. At the moment however, I can’t sell a book to save my life, nor is anyone reading this blog. Perhaps Fall will re-inspire me, or perhaps I’ll just disappear completely. Only time will tell.

Something New

 Chris looked up from his phone conversation and stared at me in disbelief.

 “I’m sorry, you did what?”

“I know. Crazy right?” I asked shaking my head and disappearing into the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face.

 I had woken earlier than usual that morning and not wanting to disturb him, I had slipped out of bed, put on my workout clothes, (leggings, a t-shirt and running shoes) and embarked on one of my marathon walks. Climbing up into the hills above our Los Angeles neighborhood, I’d come across a vacant lot for sale, and needing to catch my breath, had sat down on the crumbling wall lining the driveway, to look up the listing. According to Zillow it was estimated to be worth five hundred and ten thousand dollars. I immediately called my realtor Natalie, and told her to put in a bid at five hundred thousand, but to be sure they understood that had to include closing costs. I said I’d pay the five hundred thousand but not a penny more.

She didn’t even question it. Natalie was becoming accustomed to the way I worked, thus the reason I had her cell number in my phone. She had told me after I had purchased the Bluebell Canyon property several weeks earlier with my partner Trevor, to call her anytime, day or night. She had made a very nice commission on that sale, since the twelve acres we had purchased had been in the multi millions. Today’s offer was coming strictly from me however, because knowing Trevor as I did and do, I knew he would still be sleeping and probably wouldn’t be up for buying another property so soon anyway. After all, we were still working out the zoning for what we planned to do with the Bluebell Canyon property. He, like Chris, would find this to be completely irrational.

 “I’m going to have to call you back,” I heard Chris say, and a moment later I caught his reflection in the mirror as he stood in the bathroom doorway waiting for me to notice him. “Why would you put in an offer on another property when you are in over your head on Bluebell Canyon?” he asked.

“Who says I’m in over my head? I know exactly what I want to do with Bluebell Canyon.”

“And you are going to pay for it how?”

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

“Sure there is. And what is this place going to cost?”

“It’s a bargain at $500.000.” I told him.

 His mouth dropped and he looked at me as if I were crazy. I don’t know what number he’d had in his mind but clearly I had exceeded it.

 “Babe it’s a lot with views of both the valley and the city. You know what real estate costs around here. What did you think I’d say?” I laughed, walking over to kiss him.

“You don’t have that kind of money, do you?” he choked.

“I’ll have to move things around, that’s all,” I told him.

 I leaned in for a kiss and we kissed for just a moment before his phone rang. Looking at the number, he groaned and answered with, “I told you I’d call you back!”

Chris manages two of L.A.’s most popular restaurants for his friend Ronnie, a chef, and the owner of both Tres Bien and Spectacle. There is always a crisis at one or the other of them, generally concerning any one of three things; paparazzi, celebrity reservations, or produce. It’s just the nature of the business, and what he’s stuck dealing with at least six days a week. This was early in the day for frantic phone calls, so I assumed it must be a produce issue.

I went downstairs to the kitchen in search of some breakfast, settling on my usual Almond Crunch cereal. I was craving something a little more delicious, such as waffles and bacon but I knew I could only afford so many indulgences per week, and therefore I generally saved the truly yummy delights for the weekend.

Once my cereal was poured, I pulled a legal pad out of our junk drawer, or to be more honest, one of our many junk drawers, and began sketching out the kind of house I imagined going up on this possible new lot of mine. I envisioned a Spanish/Mediterranean home with a turret and lots of windows to take in the incredible views. I wanted dark wood accents throughout, with tons of old world charm, combined with every modern convenience.

A few minutes later I heard Chris rushing downstairs. He hurried into the kitchen like a whirling dervish, as my grandmother would say, his head swiveling around until his eyes settled on me.

 IMG_1100“I’ve got to go but we should talk. I’m getting concerned Kelly, you are acting weird,” he said giving me a quick peck on the cheek.

“What? I am not,” I laughed. “You’re weird. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Don’t do anything on that property until we talk. Just wait and hear me out,” he said, on his way through the side door that lead out to the driveway.

“I make no promises” I called after him.

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Excerpt Sunday 14

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In looking for this week’s excerpt I unearthed a novel I’d forgotten I’d written. That’s how much I write! The working title for this one is Reflected Light, which sounds a little over done. Here is the opening though. Enjoy!

And so here I sit, all alone in an empty house. You’d think sitting here in a room stripped of everything that once made it personal and mine would finally make it seem real. It’s over. We have lost not just our home but everything in it, including ourselves. I look outside and see blue sky with a breeze gently blowing the leaves of the huge tree in the front yard. It was that tree that drew us to this house in the first place, and yet I don’t even know what kind of tree it is. Is it a maple, an oak? Who knows? I guess there is probably a lesson in that, something to do with taking the time to think before you leap.

I know I have to get up and walk away. It’s unavoidable, and yet I can’t bring myself to move. As soon as I walk out the door I won’t ever be allowed back in. This part of my life will be over, and as quick as I have been to act in the past, I am now paralyzed. Before now, I looked forward to new beginnings. I deluded myself into thinking that change was always a good thing, but it’s not. It’s scary and uncertain and I just want to go back to the way things were. I want to close my eyes and wake up wrapped in Bobby’s arms, surrounded by all of our stuff. The good, the bad and the ugly; I want it all back.

I wrote that almost six months ago. It was scribbled in a small notebook I kept in my purse, and after I wrote it I curled up on the floor and cried all of the tears I’d been refusing to shed for months. It was my friend Julie who came and found me. It was Julie who walked me out of there. She took me to the apartment she was sharing with her then fiancé Louis, gave me their bed, and told me I was welcome to stay with them for as long as I needed. I don’t think she’d ever dreamed that I would curl up into a ball and not move for the next three weeks. I was broken into a million pieces and there was no putting me back together.

Louis is a saint, but even he has his limits, and he eventually told Julie that she was doing neither me, nor herself any favors by allowing me to wallow and vegetate in their bed. She didn’t know what to do, so she called the only other person she could think of, which was of course Bobby.

What can I say about Bobby? He had been the love of my life since I had first laid eyes on him six years earlier. He’d walked into this funky little beer stained club where I served drinks, and the second I saw him I knew he was the one. I told Emily, the other girl serving drinks that night, that my husband had just walked in and she said she hadn’t known I was married. She was kind of dense like that, but I just laughed and told her he probably didn’t know either. Obviously not really paying attention, she congratulated me and continued on to one of the tables she was serving.

I walked right up to Bobby and asked what I could get him. He didn’t miss a beat. He smiled and said; “I suspect you could get me all kinds of things.”

Now honestly, if anyone else had said that I’d have probably “accidentally” spit in their drink and then made a point of stepping on them when I delivered it, but Bobby said it with a combination of charm and sincerity. I told him I’d get him a beer and began to walk away to the objections of his friends who also wanted drinks.

About halfway through the set of this rather awful band that he’d come to see, I took a break and made a point of walking past him and out a side door to the alley. He followed me and asked if it was safe for me to hang out in an alley like that.

“I don’t know, I’ve never come out here before,” I admitted.

“And tonight you are feeling reckless?” he asked.

“Unbelievably,” I said, taking a step closer.

“This is where I get to kiss you, right?” he smiled.

“That all depends on your next move,” I told him, as I put my arms around his neck.

Just to be clear, this was like an out of body experience. I had never come on to anyone like this, ever. But there was something both thrilling and terrifying in what I was doing, and I don’t think I could have stopped if I’d tried.

He put his hands on my hips and gently pulled me even closer.

“Good move,” I mumbled, as our lips met.

We were married two weeks later and I was happier than I had ever beenIMG_0717

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Excerpt Sunday 13

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This excerpt comes from the blog of a character I often write. She is a multi-talented entrepreneur who had five children, who then unexpectedly over just a few years wound up adopting 5 more. Her husband, Kelsey, is a studio mogul and extremely driven, which is why this exchange delighted her. She has been with Kelsey since she was thirteen. Michael and Julia, the two kids in this were both adopted from India a year apart. Julia was often referred to as the tank when she was little because she was a force to be reckoned with. 

I’m probably giving more info than needed, so just enjoy.

September 19, 2011

 “Mama,” the four year old boy said as I was tucking him in tonight, “what I am going to be when I grow up?’

“What do you want to be?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he yawned, “maybe some train driver guy like that man at the farmer’s market, or I could make the snow cones or something.”

I couldn’t help but laugh, nor could I wait to run out and tell Kelsey of his son’s aspirations.

“You can be whatever makes you happy when you grow up,” I said, kissing him goodnight.

“I am going to be beautiful when I grow up,” the 4 year old girl in the bed across from his announced.

“That is not be your job,” the boy told her.

“Can it?” she asked me.

“Well, if you become a model, I guess it could be in a sense.”

“What is that?” she asked.

“That is someone who puts on lots of makeup and beautiful clothes and then poses for pictures that they put in magazines.”

“You are a model?” the boy asked me.

“Not even close, but your aunt Sirri is.”

“I don’t like makeup,” the little tank frowned.

I promised them they have plenty of time to work this out, said goodnight and went to find Kelsey.

“Guess what your son wants to be when he grows up,” I said.

He looked at me and considered.

“A fireman?” he asked hopefully.

“That would be a nightmare.” I shuddered. “Guess again.”

“Fine, so it’s obviously something that you think I won’t like, but which doesn’t bother you, so I don’t know, he wants to work at McDonalds.”

“You wish,” I laughed.

“A dog walker?” he asked.

“Closer.”

“So just tell me.”

“He wants to be the train driver at the farmers market.”

“Okay,” he smiled, “and you think I would tell him he can’t do that?”

“I do indeed.”

“This is his only aspiration?”

“He might make a snow cone or two.”

“Oh hell no,” he laughed. “He can entertain this notion until he’s five but then we’re going to have to have a serious heart to heart.”

I knew that wasn’t going to fly with Mr. Harvard. I love how predictable he is. I also love that were that 4 year old to grow up and truly want to work as that train conductor, there is no one who would support him more than his father. It might kill him, but he’d do it.

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