My Weekly Update – Tagged Twice, Tattoos and Tell Somebody

Tagged #1

Ug! I have been tagged. And, not a normal tag where I tell the world about me.  I can handle that. But, I have been tagged by Karen Einsel in the Next Best Thing Challenge, which means I have to bear my soul and reveal details of my novel. Oh, the horror.  It might be before I am ready, but perhaps Karen is telling me it is time.  So, here it goes.

What is the title of your book/WIP?
  I’m Coming Home

Where did the idea of the book come from?
  I am an American who lives in China and every year when I come back home it never fails, I meet a guy and as soon as I tell him I live in China, he is like, that’s cool and then moves on.  I can’t blame them, really.  China is far away.  So, I was fascinated about this idea if just one time a guy thought of it as an interesting challenge.  How is it possible to develop a relationship with someone who lives so far away?  Also, I love New Orleans and it is great place to start a romance.

What genre would your book fall under?
  I have gone back and forth about this for months.  I think I have narrowed it down to International Rom/Com Chick Lit.

What characters would you choose to play the characters in the movie adaptation of your book?
  The inspiration for my male character is Bryan Greenberg, so he could play him in the movie.  As far as my main character, maybe Thandie Newton or Zooey Deschanel.   A mix of beauty and quirky funny.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
  First of all, I hate this question.  But, here goes:  
An expat living in China meets a guy on a business trip to America and falls in love over Mexican Food in the French Quarter, but will her demanding boss and her own sense of independence threatens what could potentially be her ticket out of her mundane boring life catering to the demands of others and ignoring her own happiness. 
I still hate this questions.

Is your book published or represented? 
  Not, yet and no.

How long did it take you to write your book?  30 days – I wrote it during JuNoWriMo

What other books in your genre would you compare you book to?  I love the quirkiness of the MC in Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic Books.  My MC has some issues with self esteem and sticking up for herself and you want to tell her to get a freakin back bone already, but you like her, too.

Which author’s inspired you to write this book?  Everything I read inspires me.  Plus, places I have lived and visited, people I have met, music I listen to and tattoos (my characters alway have tattoos).  I find inspiration everywhere.  Like Karen, Stephen King is my favorite writer who makes it impossible for you not to get sucked into the world he creates and that is what I want my writing to do.

Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.  Part of the book takes place in Hong Kong and China where I get to pull in a few antidotes about life in China that you could never understand unless you have actually been there. I try my best to take you there.

Tagged #2

I was also tagged by EM Castellan  in the Lucky 7 Meme.  You ladies are really wanting me to put it all out there.  Ok.  Page 77, line 7, 7 lines from I’m Coming Home (You should be hearing the P. Diddy song playing softly in the background).

“Well, in the last hour that I have know him.  He seems ok.”
“Is that it?” Sydney asked. “Ok. The two of you talked about computers for an hour and all you can say is ok.”
“What do you want me to say?” Kevin said. “He is handsome and has good teeth and he smells good, too. What?”
” I am just . . .  I don’t know.” Sydney said.
“Listen, Sydney.” Kevin said. “You have a problem.” 

Ok people, that is it. No more.  I am done. The book is going in the filing cabinet until September.

**The tag rules also include tagging other authors, so my new followers below, consider yourself tagged.  


Starting on Tuesday, I am going to bring to you a new feature; Tattoo Tuesday.  It is my goal to bring this beautiful and often misunderstood art form to my readers.  I will share information on artist, the art, the process, tattoos in pop culture and my own tattoo stories.  I would love to share some of my readers tattoo photos and stories, as well.  If you want to reveal your body art to the world, sent me an email with the artwork and the story.  If you have an image that inspired the artwork as well, sent that, too.  You can reach me at sydliyah at hotmail dot com.

I am am not an expert.  I am just a tattoo’ed girl.  So, if you have any questions that I know I am not qualified to answer, I won’t, but I will find someone who is and will.

Tell Somebody

When I discover great advice on writing, I have to tell somebody.  I have two that I want to share this week:

Nightmares and Realities: Showing vs. Telling by Sevastian Winters – I finally understand the show vs. tell concept.

Dialogic – Part 1:  He said, She said by A.M. Schultz – Great information on writing dialogue.  And, he assured me there will be a part 2.  Right, AM?

New Followers

 Weekly Schedule

Tuesday – Tattoo Tuesday 
Wednesday – Movie Quotes – full blog post version
Friday – Blog Post 
Sunday – My Weekly Update

Distracted, Again

I bet this guy never gets distracted.

I was excited to get home from work today to write a post for the Insecure Writers Support Group and it happened.  I got distracted.

I have been pretty focused lately.  I survived the A to Z challenge with confidence and the accomplishment really motived me to get going this week on outlining my novel.  It is May 2 and I got distracted.

I only have a few hours per day to write.  If I enjoy sleeping, which I do, I can get in about 2-4  hour per day. Maybe another 1 or 2 at work if my boss is away from the office (don’t tell her).

I get home and I am all set to write a quick post and then tackle my outline.  I turn on the t.v. for background noise. And, there is a Woody Allen Movie.  Manhattan Murder Mystery.  Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Alan Alda and Manhattan.

NYC can distract me, too!

I love this movie.  In fact, I love all Woody Allen movies.  Especially the ones that take place in Manhattan. Something about the way he shoots Manhattan.

Then, it got me thinking.  What excuses, if any, are good excuses to interrupt the pursuit of my dream.

Sure there are the easy ones; death and injury – to myself or a loved one.  Work obligation – But, not really.  I run a golf Academy.  Not to many golf instruction emergencies that I can think of.

I have compiled a list of things that I will allow to distract me from my scheduled writing for the day?

  1. Woody Allen Movies – They inspire me, so that is a good thing.
  2. The opportunity to have a great steak with cream corn, broccoli au gratin, and a green salad with red onions and homemade ranch dressing – I am specific about my food.
  3. A phone call from my mother or my cousin – I miss them.
  4. A Stephen King Book – but, this inspires me,too.  I have put off starting 11/22/63 until after June.
  5. A quick read of my favorite blogs – again, that inspiration thing.

And, with that, I think I better close down this list because it could go on forever.  If I stick to this list, then I should have plenty of time left over to get my writing done.

So, my fellow writer out there, how do you handle distractions?  What do you do to stay on schedule?

And, what would you put on your good excuse list?

Z – Zacker, Not Slacker

I finished that!

I found myself perusing the Urban Dictionary (Webster’s is where squares go to find words) looking for a Z word and came across the word “zacker”.

Definition of “zacker” – a real bad ass.  I love that.

“A real bad ass” is what I am feeling like right now because I finished the A to Z Challenge.

Zacker. Yep, that’s me. A real bad ass.

I finished and I am so proud of myself. I did it and I think I did it pretty good.

I tend to be one of those type of people who don’t all the time finish what I start.   Or, I start something with enthusiasm and determination and then finish it at what I can only describe as “half assed”.  *My blog isn’t typically filled with suck explicative. Sorry!

When I graduated from high school, I couldn’t wait to go away to college. I was super excited go to a school out-of-state that none of my other high school friends were going to. I was going to have the perfect college life.  Life was full of promise and possibilities.

First semester, I had a 3.7 grade point average. Second semester, 1.7 and academic probation. I gave up and moved back home.

After my first year of law school I was in the top 1/3 of my class at Georgetown. I really wish someone had not told me that 3rd year students just need to show up for the exam to graduate.  That is pretty much what I did.  And, graduated in the bottom half.  My rationalization:  “Someone has to be in the bottom half.”  I missed out on so much.

Let me pause here for clarification:  I did go back to school.  Florida States University – Go Noles!  Georgetown doesn’t usually accept college drop outs.

I did have the opportunity to actually enjoyed the fact that I graduate and still no one has called me to ask for my diploma back.  The celebration was short lived because then I had to get back in study mode for the bar exam.  Need I remind you that I haven’t really been in a class all year.  Long story short (to late – Clue Movie reference) I didn’t study like I should have and failed it. I haven’t try it again.

I have been writing all my life, but am reluctant to call myself a writer.  All stories must have endings and I am too afraid to start writing my novel and not finish. It can’t be another thing that I give up on or don’t finish. I am not ready to fail at this yet.

But, finishing the A to Z Challenge has given me confidence, motivation and a little swagger as well. I am a bad ass. I can do this. I can finish something.

Hell, I am so bad ass I can finish anything I put my mind to.

In May,  I will be outlining my novel  and starting in June I will tackle another challenge. I have joined JuNoWriMo and have challenged myself to write 50,000 words in the month of June.

I am really excited to get this challenge underway and like the Zacker (not slacker) that I am, I have not doubt I will knock this challenge out the park.

Congratulation to all of you out there who finished the A to Z challenge. Thank so much to the organizers and for all those who stopped by and commented on my blog.  I found some great blogs to follow during this challenge as well.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

Y – Yilpi Marks

Art work by Yilpi Marks

A trip to Australia would not be complete without learning about the aboriginal people and aboriginal art.  You can find examples of the art on every cup, bag, pencil, and t-shirt in every souvenir shop in Sydney.

I knew very little of the culture and the struggles of the aboriginal people before I went to Sydney. To be honest, the reason I even paid attention while there was because I was looking for some inspiration for my next tattoo and the designs and colors of aboriginal art is amazing.

But, I decided once I returned I would read about why their art is so prevalent in the modern society of Australia.

How cute is she?

I came across Yilpi Marks and her art while doing some research.  I saw her art and was instantly hypnotizing by the color and movement.

Like most aboriginal artist, Yilpi learned about the Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories which is reflected in her art by her parents and grandparents. Dreamtime Stories is a creation mythology reflecting the Aboriginal hunter-gather lifestyle. It tells the stories of their ancestors.

It is inspiring how this art has giving the aboriginal people the opportunity to preserve their heritage and cement their legacy as a significant part of Australian Culture.

Thanks to for the great information. 

A – Australian Vacation

In 15 days I leave for my first vacation in 10 years. My first real vacation. I have been on

long weekend trips, business trips with two days of leisure,scouting trips, inquiry trips, business interview trips, and hosting trips, but no real vacation since going to Hawai in 2002.

You might think that since I live in China, it would feel like I have been on one long vacations for the last 5 years, but it really doesn’t.I actually relocated to China just like as if I was in the states and my company relocated me to Illinois from Texas. Longer trip though. Thank God for relocation benefits.

I have a Chinese work permit. I get up every morning and drive to work, just like anyone else in the world. I just do it in China.

Now, I do live in a hotel room at a golf resort and I work in the golf business and yeah, that sounds like a vacation, but let me tell you. It is not.
I pay monthly rent at the hotel. I don’t have to pay for any other utilities, thought. That is kind of nice.
I have to do my laundry just like anyone else. Ok, I pay a lady to do my laundry. But, I have to fix my own meals. That is when I don’t feel like eating at one of the 6 restaurants at the resort.
Oh, and did I mention,  I drive a golf cart to work, not a car. But, I swear in no way does it feel like I am on vacation.

Now, I did travel around China a bit back in October of last year. Actually for 10 days. I went to Hong Kong and Beijing. I saw all the tourist attractions in China such as the Peak and the Big Budda (2nd favorite place on earth) and the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall.  But, that was with my mom and my brother.  I felt like I was more of tour guide then a tourist myself.  And, I didn’t go to another country, so it doesn’t count.  

Australia, now that is a real vacation. New Country, new culture, new experiences and I get to do what every I want to do.  I can’t wait.

If you live in Sydney Australia or have been recently,  let me know what I must see and do!