what i’m writing and reading now

1/12/17, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Happy New Year! This year finds my freelance writing business growing in ways I never imagined. What a blessing. I have a handful of steady clients and am looking to add some more. I’ve been blessed with writing articles I love about the arts and wine and interviews and exotic luxury travel. I’m particularly excited about a book I’ve just ghost written about a young woman’s experience getting over tragedy. It’s a very exciting project and I’m honored to be a part of getting her story into the world. I’m also setting my sites on how I can provide encouragement to more people this year.

Right now I’m reading STAND STRONG by Nick Vujicic. It’s a powerful book about overcoming bullying (and other stuff that keeps you down). I had the joy of meeting one of Nick’s relatives while attending church in Woodend, Victoria in Australia. Nick lives here in the Los Angeles area and is well-known for his inspirational life and walk with God. Over tea and cookies after the service, Rachel and I talked about her walk as a novelist and we shared some of our hopes and dreams. The more I travel the more I realize how small the world is.

I continue my large passion project too. I have decided to write Dad’s story as a novel again. That happened while attending a wonderful editing workshop in Australia. I finally have the right structure in which to tell the story. I cherish those breakthrough moments when pieces of a story begin to fall into place. I embrace the process and look forward seeing this story come to life.

I have to thank my daughter for getting me organized. Prior to her help, I was keeping all my deadlines in my head! A shout out to Candice for helping get my goals and commitments all down in one beautiful place so I never get my deadlines wrong for Singapore, London and Jakarta.

Here’s to more adventures in 2017!

9/10/16, San Francisco Xavier, Brazil

I’m happy to share that I’ve recently signed on to be a contributing writer with a new online magazine. The upcoming assigned articles will be fun to write. This is a great beginning as I’m looking to contribute to four magazines. I’m also currently editing the screenplay which has gained even more importance as Dad went home to be with the Lord in July. So much to inspire and write about in this rich period of loss, healing, faith and friendship. I have many projects on my heart these days and pray that I can meet the challenge of writing them all.

I have been unable to write an update to the blog since Dad passed. I apologize for the length of time it’s been since I’ve written. The fact is, this will be the first post he will not read. I remember last year when he told me I’d have to be his eyes in the world now. Through the writing and pictures on Laurasmagicday I brought the world to Dad as he had done with me when I was a child. I miss him every day and yet, it seems that he’s closer to me than ever before. Right here beside me, laying on a wooden lounge admiring the sun-drenched mountains outside of Sao Paulo on this beautiful afternoon. Dancing the Samba in the kitchen this morning with us while the chef and my friend and a few of the ladies who work here all taught me the steps during breakfast. All the while Dad whispers, tell me a story. If he were here I would tell him the same thing I shared with him the last time I spoke with him in the hospital, that I don’t know where to start. Dad would close his eyes, listen to the waterfall and say one of the last things he would ever say to me, write a short story. So I sit here hoping to pull one story out of the thousands that have transpired between July and now to share with you.

I have been called to read a few Brazilian authors during my time here. The books I am enjoying these days are WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT by Paulo Coelho and A BREATH OF LIFE by Clarice Lispector. I’ve also bought a few novels in Spanish and Portuguese to help me get better at speaking the languages. What are you reading these days?

Here’s a quote from WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT that I enjoyed:

“The Warrior uses that combination of discipline and acceptance to fuel his enthusiasm. Routine was never the leader of any important new movement.”  – Paulo Coelho


A Eulogy for Dad | Largo, Florida

I wrote the most difficult 900 words of my life––a goodbye to Dad for his memorial service last Monday. I read two passages in my eulogy, from two books I discovered in his nightstand. One was his Bible, annotated and underlined. He tucked an index card into the page where he’d underlined 2 Chronicles 1:7-13. In this passage God says to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon doesn’t ask for wealth or possessions or honor or for the death of his enemies. Solomon asks for wisdom and knowledge. The next reading would be from a book of love poems. Mom and Dad were married for 62 years. The love poem I read is titled “Absent Yet Present” by Edward Buller-Lytton (1805-1873)

“As the flight of a river
That flows to the sea
My soul rushes ever
In tumult to thee.

A twofold existence
I am where thou art;
My heart in the distance
Beats close to thy heart.

Look up, I am near thee,
I gaze on thy face;
I see thee, I hear thee,
I feel thine embrace.

As the magnet’s control on
The steel it draws to it,
Is the charm of thy soul on
The thoughts that pursue it.

And absence but brightens
The eyes that I miss,
And custom but heightens
The spell of thy kiss.

It is not from duty,
Though that may be owed,––

It is not from beauty
Though that be bestowed;

But all that I care for,
And all that I know,
Is that, without wherefore,
I worship thee so.

Through granite it breaketh
A tree to the ray;
As a dreamer forsaketh
The grief of the day,

My soul in its fever
Escapes unto thee;
O dream to the griever!
O light to the tree!

A twofold existence
I am where thou art:
Hark hear in the distance
The beat of my heart!

7/10/16, Santa Cruz, CA


A year ago last Spring, I sold or donated most of my things, stored what I couldn’t part with, and ventured into the world. These are the guys that helped me. The first of many angels. Fitting all my stuff and my car into the storage unit would be the first of many miracles. For a year now the world has been my home, school, church, playground, office, and extended family. My tour guide? The Lord. I’d like to say I followed Him easily, without questions or drama. This was not the case. Who does this? Didn’t I need more stability–not less–especially after everything I’d gone through? I fought the whole idea from the very beginning. God’s amazing sense of humor would pilot me through my doubts.

A complication started the whole thing. In my case His call came when my then-landlord decided to raise my rent. Again. I began to google apartments in Paris….and the whole year came together from there.

I’d published a book, called WINNEMUCCA, about a girl awakening to her own intuition on an enchanted road trip. During the past year I believe I awakened to mine. My current writing projects revolve around the fruits from the journey. Before I left last July, I dubbed the coming year as my Year of Adventure. As I type, the journey isn’t over. On July 24th, 2016 it will have been a year since I boarded a plane bound for Moscow, home-less.


I wrote “The End” last week. It was a few weeks ago when I had the awareness that the screenplay would be done soon. The revelation was bittersweet. I always knew it would end at some point, but every time I thought I was getting close to “The End” before, the universe revealed another puzzle to solve. Another piece to put into place. The journey seemed never-ending. What an amazing, life-changing journey this has been. What a privilege to be on the journey with you. I appreciate your prayers and your good wishes as I begin a new adventure––selling a screenplay in Hollywood. This week I’ll get back to writing a screenplay I started about a year ago now, a romantic comedy based on the true story of my research trip which turned into a trip around the world. I’m also writing freelance travel articles and making short films. I feel very fortunate to be in a wonderful creative period in my life and thank God for the opportunity to write and for good health. I will complete my 90 days around the world series next week. I was in Nepal this time last year. I have no words to describe the devastation that my friends are going through. I received word last Monday that all my friends are alive. The loss of their culture and of history will take time to understand. But I have received word of so many miracles happening in Nepal. I’d like to share with you a correspondence I received from The Himalayan Children relief fund, based here in Beverly Hills.

HCF update 5-4-2015

2015 is going to be BIG. Lots of great things going on and I’m excited to share them when I can. I’m focused on a travel series about my spontaneous world trip. What an incredible journey. Hard to believe that this time last year I was in Sydney, Australia. The final draft of the screenplay is taking longer than I like but I’m loving the process and its evolution. What a blessing to have such great teachers/mentors in my life. As I begin Lent this year I have found it incredibly inspirational to reflect on my relationship to time. I am participating in a great listening series for the season that points out that the first thing God made holy was time, not a place or a thing or a person. I find this fascinating and it has inspired and informed my work recently. If you are interested, check out the daily videos here at It’s time to…Stop, Pray, Work, Play and Love.

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, a great time for looking inward and getting in touch with dreams. This a week of dreams for me. Taking time to chart my course. Envision where I want to go and what’s important to me. The first forty minutes of GAMELAN is finalized. Working on the final draft of the rest of the movie as the year comes to a close. Have lots of other film projects in the works. Doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to create everything that I hope to. Nice to be able to work again. Last week was the first week I had actual “office hours.”


The Wordless Wednesday post today gave me the courage to share with you where I am on my creative journey. It took a lot of courage for me to venture to Nepal to do some humanitarian work there and trek the Himalayas. Little did I know that a research trip to Australia and Indonesia would lead to a spontaneous trip around the world. Life is one big, glorious ride full of surprises. Like my friend Jen Sincero says, you get to “leap and fall, and look like a rock star, and look like an idiot.” I’m bringing this same courage to my creative process. Unable to write books this year because of all that’s happened, I turned to my alma mater ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN to help take my next steps creatively. It was in a class there that I took last fall where I was inspired to write a story I’ve been trying to tell (for the past ten years) as a screenplay. I hired a teacher in Hollywood before I left on my trip so I had a treatment and an outline with me on my travels. After the research was done, I spent two weeks on the island of Java writing GAMELAN. This transformed the story. I’ve been working hard since I got back, once again at ART CENTER and writing some days long into the night. The script is moving right along. It is a WWII survival story based on the true story of my father. As fate would have it, I would journey to the island where my father fought for his survival as hard as I was fighting for mine. Poor dad has been dealt a bad blow this last month. Please pray for him. The trip I took kicked off with his 90th birthday 🙂 I’ve begun writing a comedy too, which i am very excited about. I’ve furthered my photography and begun documentary film making and feel this has helped my creative process and added a dimension to my storytelling that is very organic, an extension of the book covers and book trailers I produce. Recently, The Shadow Series is whispering to me. We will see where this year continues to take me. I feel the universe is giving me a big smile and I pray she is doing the same for you.


YO! Long time no update. Well, I’m back in the saddle again. Thanks to everyone who has been there for me! I wouldn’t be writing (or, er, eating or showering) without your love and support. I am in a creatively rich time right now. I’ve been recently inspired by Agnès Varda, the only Female Director of The French New Wave. I heard her speak at The Getty. I was particularly low at the time–this was back in October–and a friend and her family were visiting LA and invited me to come with them to The Getty. So, I met them there and had a wonderful time, and I had the pleasure of listening to Agnès Varda reflect on her amazing career. What an inspiration she is, getting an award at the age of 85 from the AFI. She inspired me to think about story in expansive ways. Story can be books, but also can be film or drawings or paintings, even museum installations. She was mind-blowing and I’m using her as my north star. She started her documentary filmmaking back in the day, with no formal training in the art. I’ve completed the first installation in a documentary series I’m producing and look forward to putting together many, many more. I’ve always loved making the book trailers for my books. If you’d like to see the trailers, you can find them on my YouTube channel here. So, I guess, these documentaries are a natural extension of the book trailers that I have been making over the years as well as the features I’d put together at the LAT and E! Hope this finds you happy and healthy and enjoying this wonderful new year.


Celebrating the book tour and release of THE STORYTELLERS 😀 I just finished a short story for a Christmas anthology and am so excited to be back in Roxie’s world of MOON KILLERS (Shadow Series #3). Should be out this Fall. The mermaid short story is on the back burner right now, simmering. So many stories….so little time! Been a very busy month.


Editing THE STORYTELLERS now. E-arc should be ready to go out mid-August. Got everything in motion for it’s release September 10th. Very excited about getting the final design done for its cover. I’ve nicknamed the final version The Quentin Tarantino Cover. He was my favorite interview when I covered junkets and did movie reviews in Los Angeles, and I’ve always liked the bold styles of the movie posters that went along with his movies, so the cover is kind of a nod to Mr. T and to the stories of the main characters in THE STORYTELLERS––Alex, Julia, Rebecca and Tamara––all rolled up in one. I’m working hard on MOON KILLERS, book 3 in the Shadow Series & also writing a short story that will appear in a Christmas anthology. There is another anthology in the works too, a mermaid anthology that I’m just starting to get ideas for. A group of writers and I hatched the idea while we were at the Indie author event in San Francisco in June. I’ve always loved mermaids. The Little Mermaid was the first movie I ever took my daughters to. I’m a big fan of mermaid stories. Well, I better get back to the kitchen to make a new batch of popcorn. It’s a busy day in the fiction factory 🙂


How is it I haven’t updated this in six freaking months!!! Bwaaahahahaha! Well, lots has been going on. I’m editing my first adult novel, The Storytellers. I am sooooo excited about this adventure /mystery/romance novel. It’s the story about four female writers whose stories all come true for each other. The Storytellers will release in mid-August. And this Halloween I will be releasing the third book in the Shadow Series, Moon Killers. So, the rest of this year is going to be a lot of fun. And, if you are interested in reading an e-Arc of either one of my releases, just send me an email… elliwrite [at] yahoo [dot] com.


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s my latest update. MOM’S CANCER FREE! SQUEEEE 🙂 And with that wonderful bit of news, I have more good news. I’m writing again. It took a while, and threats…er, I mean firm deadlines…from loved ones. And lots of lots of chocolate and wine and popcorn. So, my two new projects for the year are under way. Moon Killers, the third book in the Shadow Series (due out this Spring) and my first adult title will be out this year too. Thanks for stopping by and for all of your good wishes during this crazy time. I was very happy to ring out 2012. I had heard the 2013 is a great year for love, something about the number 6? Hmmm. *waves*


Truth is, I wasn’t able to write at all over the past few months. And as you can tell, from my last post, it’s been a while since I had an update. I was trying to soldier through on 10/14 and it didn’t really work. Truth is, the making of the Shadow Slayer trailer, which will be revealed on the tour in the next few days, is the first time I’ve been able to sit and work for any length of time at all. I hope that I will be writing soon again. RL kicked me in the butt and it’ll take time to process all of it. So thanks for all of your emails and messages on FB. It’s really helped, more than you know. I really appreciate your thoughts/prayers and good wishes. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


I’m about to throw myself into a period of intense writing. There are times in my life where I cocoon with words. This will be one of them. I hope to have both book 3 of The Shadow Series & book 2 of The Starjump Series out by the new year. I’ve never written two books at the same time before, but for some reason it feels like what I need to do right now. I’ll keep ya posted on the progress. Only 17 days until Halloween!


Really excited about a Halloween anthology I’ve been asked to be a part of. I’m writing a short story which is a lost excerpt from Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2). The party really gets started Sept. 18th with Shadow Slayer’s [Shadow Series #2] release! 13 on Halloween is FREE on Amazon…so go grab your copy now! Moon Killers, book 3, is starting to find its way onto the page and I’m loving the story.


I wish I knew! whew! I need to decide what to write next after finishing Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2). I’ve got a bajillion ideas in my head and many novels already written, in need of that magic touch. But, there’s this novel I HAVE to write. The one I’ve been working on for a decade. And, well, the time is coming when I’ll be devoting 100% of my time to it. I just don’t know if I’m ready yet. It’s such a big series, an epic really covering two world wars, I guess I might be a little…um, nervous? I guess I’ll have to just take a deep breath and take it one word at a time. I’m off to The Decatur Book Festival this weekend. I love to write when I travel. Heck, who knows, I’ll probably have a whole ‘nother book by the time I get back. There’s this adult story that’s been winking at me. I wrote it years ago, and it’s set in Georgia! I love it because it’s about a group of friends. I’ll be doing lots of research while I’m in Decatur. Maybe I’ll move the setting to Decatur, instead of Athens, where the book opens. Anyway, lots rattling around these days and thats a great thing. I think book #2 in the Starjump Series is next! I can’t wait to get back to Ashley & Rhoe…


OMG. I can’t believe a whole month has gone by since I’ve written here. It’s been a fun & family-filled summer 🙂 I’ve gotten the edits back from Amy Eye, my fabulous editor <3 <3 <3 …. and I’m working to polish the story. I’m outlining book 3 in The Shadow Series too. I had a fabulous time with my family in FL. I always look forward to my talks with Dad. We flushed out more of the story and we actually came up with the title! YAY! I’m really excited about this historical novel, set in the Pacific during WW II. Eeeeep! I wish I could edit and write and research all at the same time. There are SO many books to write 🙂


I’m taking a break from writing while waiting for edits on book 2 in the Shadow Series. I get to use this wonderful in-between time to design it’s cover. I do love the process of getting out “on paper” what’s been living in my head for so long––seeing the characters, capturing the setting. I hope I’m getting better with each one. I always get a little nervous before I get started, but I always have a fabulous time making them. I truly lose all track of time. I’m getting the playlist together for book 2 too! The cover will be revealed soon! Book 3 is whispering to me. I love when books do that 🙂


Working on getting book 2 in the Teen Halloween Series to my editor. I’m super excited about this story and can’t wait to do the cover reveal in July! Squeee! On to book three:)


I’ve had some amazing, lovely distractions this month which I think makes for some exciting writing. I think Julia Cameron said it best in her book The Artist’s Way, when she pointed out that people, not just writers or artists, pour so much of themselves out every day, it’s very important to fill your cup! And that’s what I’ve been doing, seemingly non-stop this month 🙂 YAY! There’s been a whirlwind of celebrations in our family! I’m loving SUMMER. I always have. Even though I don’t go to school or have kids in school anymore, I feel the huge promise and romance of the season. The long days at the beach, vacations and wandering. I love this time of year. One day, I’d like to write a series that takes place in the summer.

Write now I’m finishing up the Teen Halloween Series. It will be four books in all when completed. Book 2 comes out this fall and I’m hoping to release the third book too. That’s what I’m working on today. That and cooking vegan! It’s a whole new world for me, but it’s a surprisingly tasty one:) *waves to vegans everywhere*


I’ve got all kinds of projects I’m working on. It’s sort of a FICTION BUFFET 🙂 LOL! You name it? I’m writing it. That’s what it feels like anyway. I’m loving this project that the carnis have going on. We’re doing a fiction Round Robin and it’s lots of fun. We all write a paragraph of a story and send it on to the next carni to finish. Our stories will post 6/8 at the YA INDIE CARNIVAL.

I’m also writing 14 ON HALLOWEEN while editing my dad’s WWII memoir and putting together a collection of short ghost stories:) WHEW! And there’s been a lot of moving and one BIG graduation in the family too:) Life sure is good! Oh, yeah, and there’s the super secret project that I’m going to announce this summer! squeeee:)


Not much. I’ve been super sick. And having lots and lots of computer problems. So the universe has slowed me down a little bit. To the point where I’m actually appreciating the little things. Like being able to change the sheets on my bed. No, really. I have still been working though, albeit in very short sessions. Progressing on my edits and my short story. Tonight I’m actually doing research for a sweetheart project of mine. It’s a historical novel about WWII I’ve been researching/flirting with for a very long time. It’s an epic, really. One I’d like to have the first draft of by the end of the year.


I’m really excited about a short story I’m working on for an anthology that is due out at the beginning of the summer. Having lots of fun with with this story. There’s a ghost, there’s a girl and there’s a mystery to solve! Super-secret project is progressing and I’ll be making an announcement soon:) Squuueee! Putting the finishing touches on 14 ON HALLOWEEN.


These days I’m working on edits for 14 ON HALLOWEEN, which releases this June! It’s so fun to be back with Roxie and Hayden, Ally & Adrianne and the gang. There’s a new girl in town and things get a WHOLE lot more complicated in high school. The story begins at the tail end of the summer before freshman year in high school.

I’m also working on a TOP SECRET project! I can’t wait to tell you guys about it, but it’s all kinds of fun. You’ll hear about it here first!

I’ll be doing the final proof on the TRANSFER STUDENT paperback this week and it will most likely be available for purchase later this week!

I’m beginning to write book 2 in the Starjump series and am having a lot of fun with it. Thanks to all of you who have written to me about who you’d like to see more of in the upcoming books and what you hope might happen in book 2!

I spend a lot of my day in my writing cave, but I do come out from time to time to workout & eat. My latest guilty obsession is MAD MEN! FINALLY:) Lord how I missed Don Draper.

Here’s to wishing on stars!

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