Lizzie’s weight loss struggles

ID-10038816I’m new to writing, but I know that it’s important to create characters with whom readers can identify. (That sentence sounds a little snooty, but I’m using proper English because I want people to think I can actually write!) I gave Lizzie a struggle that is an issue for a lot of women – weight loss.

I have struggled my entire life to lose weight and keep it off. So have many of my friends. If I put my mind to it, I can usually shed some pounds. Shortly after I reach my goal, I return to my old eating habits. Of course, the weight comes right back.

Like Lizzie, I’m searching for a diet that allows me to eat whatever I want, not exercise, and still lose weight. Unfortunately, I think such a diet will only exist in my novels.

Lizzie does lose weight in book two, A Psychic Couldn’t See It. It’s a pretty rapid weight loss, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend the way she manages to do it. (Just a little teaser there. You’ll have to wait until April 2016 to learn Lizzie’s weight loss trick.)

As far as my own weight loss, I guess I will have to do it the old fashioned way – with diet and exercise. If you ladies know a more fun way to get slim and trim quickly with little effort, please give me some tips!

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A phone call to Lizzie

ID-100266149When I first started writing, I was quite clueless. (I still am, to be honest!) With Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, I just wrote and wrote. It ended up being a really long book. I had to figure out where to cut some scenes.

I decided to cut out the calls Lizzie received from potential clients. I’m going to post those calls – as well as some new ones – on this blog.

Here is one deleted call:

“Hello.”
“Hi. Is this Lizzie?”
“Yes, it is.”
“My name is Torie. You left a flyer on my windshield.”
This was great. Another potential client. Things were looking up. “Hi, Torie. I’m glad you called.”
“If I understand your flyer correctly, you’re a psychic. Am I right?”
“I do have the ability to sense certain things when it comes to love.”
“My situation might be a little different from your usual cases,” Torie said.
Lizzie braced herself for what was likely going to be a strange request. “Different can be good,” she told Torie in a cheerful tone. “It adds variety and keeps business from getting boring.”
“I want you to help me find a lost love.”
“You mean like a missing person?”
“Sort of.”
Torie’s love was sort of missing. That definitely could be considered different. “Have you contacted the police?” Lizzie asked.
“No. I doubt they can help me in a case like this.”
“I work for a private investigation agency. Maybe my boss could help.”
“I doubt that, too.”
“Torie, maybe you should tell me more about your lost love.”
“Allen’s a wonderful guy. Handsome, kind, smart. I love him,” Torie gushed.
“Well, why did he leave you?”
“He didn’t have a choice.”
“He’s not in prison, is he? There’s nothing Lizzie’s Love Connections can do in a situation like that.”
“Of course not. Allen is not a criminal.”
This was really strange. “Torie, since you know so much, how is it you don’t know where Allen is?”
“Oh, I know where he is. I just can’t contact him.”
“Where exactly is Allen?” Lizzie asked a bit cautiously.
“You can find him at the corner of Dargan and Belton.”
That location was vaguely familiar. Lizzie thought about it for a few seconds. “Isn’t the corner of Dargan and Belton…”
“A cemetery? Yes, it is.” Torie said helpfully.
“Oh.”
“I told you this was not going to be your usual case.”
“Is Allen an undertaker or grave digger?” Lizzie really hoped that he was.
“No. Allen’s dead. I need you to conduct a séance so I can talk to him.”
“I’m sorry, Torie. I don’t do séances.”
“Please. I’m willing to pay extra.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to help you.” Actually, that was part of it. Talking to dead people. Was Torie insane? “Contacting the dead is not within the scope of my abilities.” Lizzie was very grateful for that fact.
“Do you know anyone that does have that ability? One of your psychic friends maybe?”
What did Torie think? That there was this big group of psychics living in Ravenside? Or maybe that Lizzie had a string of psychics on speed dial?
“I don’t know anyone who can help you with your situation, Torie. I wish you luck though.”
“Thanks anyway,” Torie said and ended the call.
Lizzie lowered the phone and stared at the screen in disbelief. When she’d conceived the idea of her business, she never considered the possibility that she’d be asked to hook someone up with the nonliving. Maybe she should’ve done some research.

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Need a little spending money? Become a paid psychic!

ID-100263381Like my character Lizzie, I am in need of some extra money. Unlike Lizzie, I don’t have any psychic skills. That’s unfortunate, because there are so many ads online for companies needing psychics.

One company is hiring “ethical and dependable psychic Advisors.” Another company is hiring psychics to entertain others by telling fortunes through “incredible spiritual insight or by perceiving another’s thoughts.” I saw an advertisement for a company holding a “psychic job fair.”

Are the job advertisements even necessary? Wouldn’t true psychics know those businesses are hiring without seeing the ads?

Psychics that have a steady stream of customers can make pretty good money – around eighteen bucks an hour. Not bad at all for sitting at home talking on the phone or chatting with people online.

Even though I don’t have one ounce of psychic ability, it’s very tempting to apply for those jobs. I would love to make eighteen dollars an hour while sitting on my living room couch.

It’s not like my predictions have to be right. The commercials and web sites for psychics always state the readings are for entertainment purposes only. If people believe that I know the winning lottery numbers, that’s their own fault. They should know that if I could predict winning numbers, I wouldn’t be working for eighteen bucks an hour.

And who would they complain to if I’m wrong? I seriously doubt the Better Business Bureau is going to care. The po po is not going to come knocking on my door because some woman did not meet Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome like I predicted.

In spite of the fact that I wouldn’t get into trouble for being a bad psychic, I’m not going to apply for any of those gigs. I have a conscience, and earning money from gullible people just seems wrong.

What do you think? Is it wrong for fake psychics to take money from people? Or are the customers to blame for falling for that telephone/online psychic nonsense?

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do real psychics exist?

canstockphoto16619575Lizzie Chandler, the heroine in my books, is a psychic. While psychics make for great entertainment in books, movies and TV, I’m not sure if there is any more to them than that.

I grew up in the South. I won’t say where, but it’s one of those states that people are a little embarrassed to claim. A few years ago, I moved to another state, but I’m still a Southerner.

We believe some odd things down here. All my life, I’ve been around people who firmly believe in psychics. They believe in ghosts, too. I’m not going into that right now, because ghosts are the topic of my next series of e-books. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.

So, back to psychics. I’ve always wavered on that subject. I’ve had psychic readings at fairs and flea markets (or swap meets as some people call them). The psychics at those places were pretty bad.

There was one older Native American gentleman doing psychic readings at a flea market. I immediately thought of those wise old Indians in the movies. Not being racist there, but we all know Hollywood plays up that stereotype.

I’m guessing the guy at the flea market was counting on poor suckers believing that Hollywood nonsense. I’m embarrassed to admit I was one of those suckers who forked over ten bucks, or however much he charged me that day.

He started the psychic reading by telling me I’d live to be 45 or 50 years old. As you can probably imagine, things went downhill from there! That’s been ____ years ago, and I still can’t shake that stupid prediction. I’m not going to admit my age, but let’s just say that if the guy was right, the Grim Reaper may be knocking on my door any day now.

Once, I went to a house that had one of those “psychic adviser” signs in the yard. The sign should have had the “for entertainment purposes only” disclaimer on it, because it was the most laughable psychic reading a person could ever have.

Every time that psychic made a statement, she paused and asked if it was right. When I told her no, she said, “Yes, it is.” It was quite entertaining, but probably not in the way that woman meant for it to be.

Before I go on, I’m going to take a moment to offer words of wisdom: never, ever go into a total stranger’s home for a psychic reading (or for any other reason if you can avoid it). There are a lot of crazy people out there! I had my coworker with me, but still, it was beyond stupid for two young females to willingly go into a stranger’s home.

I saw a sign in one yard for “physic” readings. I was smart enough not to stop there. If the person couldn’t see that the sign was wrong, then he or she certainly couldn’t see into my future.

I did go to one psychic who seemed to REALLY know his stuff. I’m not going to say more about that person, because I’m paranoid that he’ll know I’ve been talking about him online. I’m thinking it might be a bad thing to get on the wrong side of a true psychic.

But then again, maybe that guy snowed me, and true psychics don’t even exist. What do you think?

E-book Now Available

My first e-book, Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, is now available on Amazon.

Synopsis

Lizzie Chandler is a gifted psychic matchmaker. In need of extra money, Lizzie puts her skills to use and starts a matchmaking business. If only she could have predicted how crazy her quiet—and frankly, boring—life was about to become.

Her first client, Barb, wants a rich, well-endowed man to become husband number four. Barb goes missing, possibly kidnapped by a man she met through Lizzie. Essie, a newly divorced, seventy-eight-year-old woman, wants to find a younger man for sex. This proves to be a difficult task with Essie’s cranky ex-husband constantly underfoot. Then Lizzie meets Tessa, her first normal client. Or so Lizzie believes. Tessa already has a match in mind. His name is Eric, and Tessa’s been stalking him for months. Lizzie quickly determines that Tessa is never going to win the man of her dreams, because Eric is gay.

Lizzie’s oddball clients constantly test her patience and her sanity. Maybe she should have consulted a crystal ball before hanging that “Open” sign.

If you like the book, please tell your friends about it or leave a review on Amazon.  Thanks.