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2015 Blog

Thanks
Posted by Lili Porter on November 25, 2015

 Ah, the mouth-watering aromas wafting from the kitchen are heavenly! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and as tradition dictates, this is a day we gorge ourselves on food and give thanks for the many blessings we are in possession of.

 The year has been interesting, to be sure, and I am grateful for so many things, including being of sound mind and healthy body.

Thanksgiving at our house is a wondrous affair, full of good food, family, and friends. We make a delicious turkey with an awesome cornbread dressing, complete with gravy. It’s a time for us to sit and be thankful for all the blessings we have – and a time to enjoy the feast of food adorning our table. Yams, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pies—we have it all at our house. 

Thanksgiving comes from older harvest celebrations where people would give thanks for the bounty of the year’s harvest. Nowadays, we celebrate Thanksgiving to show our gratitude for everything we’ve been blessed with, including our family and friends. 

When we’re done with dinner, we will enjoy rooting for our favorite teams playing in the bowl games. Even though I don’t have a root for team, I’ll be sitting on the couch with everyone else cheering and pumping my fist. In cases like this, I usually go for the underdog. Speaking of teams playing tomorrow, I bet you have a favorite, don’t you?

 

On Heels

Posted by Lili Porter on November 16, 2015

Lately my heels have been bothering me. I can’t wear them all day the way I used to. I find that after two hours of walking around three inches taller, I’m done.  My whole lower back feels like it’s going to fall off. It’s a shame. I used to strut around in my heels for hours, stepping out in them everywhere I went. But as the years have worn on…and on… and on, my back enjoys being closer to the ground a whole lot more. It’s a good thing it’s boots season. Boots are absolutely adorable. And I don’t have to sacrifice high fashion to wear them.

I’m trying to figure out when this happened. When did I go from showing off the baddest, boldest heels around to wearing more sensible shoes? Was it after baby number 1, 2, or 3? Because I’m sure birthing those babies is to blame. Now, don’t get me wrong, cause I love those guys, but having them wreaked havoc on my body.

Take my stomach and abs (the missing ones), for instance. Never been the same. When I got married back in 1988, I weighed 95 pounds. My waist-line, wait for it, was 21 inches. Needless to say it’s NOT 21 inches anymore. I won’t say how much of a spread I’ve gotten, but I peddle on a stationary bike every other day, hoping to return to my former glory. Those were the days, man.

    I’m not wishing for days gone by, I just wish I could wear my really cute, really sexy, shoes again. Flats are okay, they’re just not for me. I need an arch support. Sounds like I have picky feet, doesn’t it? Maybe they have become a bit more particular, as they’ve gotten older, but don’t we all become a little more persnickety as we become more seasoned?

Reading Is So Fun-damental
Posted by Lili Porter on November 9, 2015

Creativity is natural. You can’t buy it. Those who say that creativity cannot be achieved if you do not have it naturally, are wrong. Everyone is creative, in his own way. Some can paint, while others solve mathematical equations by imagining its practical applications. Some of us write. Reading, as I see it, is an integral part of writing. It broadens your ideas and thoughts. It guides you through the paths you may never go in real life. It stimulates your fantasies. These fantasies are the roots of creativity.

I have always been a passionate reader. For me, it’s a doorway to escape the realities of this world and to open myself to new adventures. For me, every new book is a new adventure. Reading opens your mind to endless possibilities.

I love learning the different cultures of this world. And when you can’t book a trip to one of those places on your bucket list, you can always visit in a book. My dad loves to read as well, and sometimes he seems like “google” in his knowledge of places and things. People are always pumping him for information. They know where to go, if they want to know something. Reading decorates you with so much cultural information that you can’t help but want to travel the world and see some of the places in person that you’ve only read about.

Lately, I’ve read a lot of books of different genres. So many, in fact, that I no longer have a favorite genre. And I can’t really say that I have a favorite book, either. Not that I haven’t enjoyed many of the books I’ve read. I have. But so many of the books I’ve read have been so darned entertaining that I just can’t say this one or that one is a favorite. Know what I mean?

Anyway, if you’re reading this, then you must love to read as well. What kinds of books get your creative juices flowing? I think I’m going to put on some warm socks and grab a big hot cup of tea and read a sexy new novel I promised a friend that I would review. I know it’s going to be a fun ride. Until next week

Lili

The Crazy So Cal Weather
  Posted by Lili Porter on October 27, 2015

 It’s been hot where I live, and if you live in the West, chances are you’ve been dealing with the unseasonably warm weather that El Nino brings. While it’s quite normal for us in So Cal to have hot weather throughout the month of October, many of us are wondering just when this particular brand of heat will end. This October has seen some really hot days and nights. We’re not used to waking up to 85 degree weather or going to bed to temps in the 90’s. What’s going on here? It’s “cooled down” to temperatures of around 80 or so, the last few days, but just as we try to settle to the comfortable weather, the weatherman tells us that by the weekend we’ll be back in the 90’s. I’m not a huge fan of the hot weather so late in the year, but I’m sure we’ll have our usual hot Halloween. I’m wondering if I need to keep the candy I pass out on a block of ice so it doesn’t melt. Sounds silly, I know, but lately I leave chocolate out and it melts (Shrugs).

 Whether or not you believe in climate change, we’re definitely dealing with heat. El Nino is one of those weather phenomena that causes lots of snow in the Midwest and rainy times on the West Coast. And if we’re having a hard time with the heat, wait until the rain comes. In La La Land, we deal with rain worse than we handle heat. One thing is for certain, we’re going to have an odd bout of weather this winter. I’m lucky I don’t travel far to work. I, like most of my fellow Angelenos, hate driving in the rain. But for all of our complaining, Southern California’s weather has got to be the best in the world.

Lili

Papal Visti To The US
Posted by Lili Porter on October 20, 2015

Pope Francis visited three Eastern States this fall and is the fourth Pope to ever visit the US. I have to say that the excitement surrounding this Pope has been akin to a rock star sighting. But even with that, this visit has given me some interesting things to consider for some of the future Music and Mayhem books. In book one, Paolo mentioned that Karisma was working on the Pope’s World Hunger Control Program at the Pope’s invitation. There was a gift there that kind of fell in my lap. To be writing a novel where one of my characters has dealings with the Holy Father and for him to arrive in the US as I’m writing it? Cool. While he was here, the Pope was a busy man. Here for less than a week, he held several masses and even addressed Congress. He called his US experience to be a different kind of experience. He actually thought that out of the three cities he visited, the people of Philadelphia were the most demonstrative.

He began the tri city trek in Washington, D.C. When he addressed Congress, he became the first pope to ever do so. Maybe I’ll find a way to put Kari and or Paolo there to witness the speech. His canonization of Father Junipero Serra was historic. Each of my three kids attended Junipero Serra High School here in Southern California, and they were all pretty jazzed about the process.
From Washington D.C. Pope Francis went to New York City. He visited the 9/11 memorial and reminded people to never forget those who lost their lives there. His speech at the General Assembly was the best part. He spoke to the United Nations, as did only four Popes before him. He asked that we “think of the poor”.  And while the main characters of my book have spent their young lives making ‘paper”, Kari is a charitable person with a giving heart. She feels guilty, and uses charity to atone for having far too much.
     The trip to Philadelphia gave me ideas about how Paolo can be connected to this trip. Spoiler: Kari gives Paolo a Rosary blessed by the Pope in book 2. I was thinking maybe The Pope could give his blessings to Kari and Paolo in Philadelphia as a dramatic plot point. Maybe. We’ll see.

The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia was an emotional one. People were in tears every time he was on the road. He also spoke on the sensitive subject of child abuse. Everyone knows of the countless children and young adults abused and molested by priests. According to Pope Francis, God is offended when a child is sexually abused. Watching the faces of the audience as the cameras panned the crowd, that statement struck home with so many. Like I said, The Pope had them crying in Philly.

However I decide to incorporate this historic and right on time trip, you best believe, I will enjoy the heck out of doing it. Writing this story, while sometimes driving me to pull out my hair, has been a blast nonetheless. Speaking of which, I need to get back to my desk. I’m feeling creative all of a sudden. Bye for now!

 Lili

Working Very Hard on Book Two

Posted by Lili Porter on October 13, 2015

Sorry if I’ve seemed distracted as of late. I’ve been working very hard on the next book in the Music and Mayhem Series! Book 2 is titled “Cappuccino and Whiskey Splash” and you can bet there are going to be some surprises in it! I’m only 65 percent of the way through the first draft, which means I have a long way to go when it comes to writing, editing, and preparing my book for publication. Kari and Paolo’s story continues!

 These are characters I’ve fallen in love with and spend a lot of time with on a daily basis. Their story is so much fun to create! But it does take a lot of thought and energy. I’m just happy my family’s so understanding. The kids are no longer little and don’t need me hovering all the time. Which helps when it comes to the creative process.

Since I’m talking about the sequel to Chocolate and Italian Wine, what do you think is going to happen in it? Let me know. You just may be surprised where I am going with this! Lots more to come, so stay tuned!

 Lili

When People Tell Me They Want to Write a Book

Posted on October 5, 2015 by Lili Porter

When I wrote my first book, many people told me how much they wanted to write a book. How they had a great idea. How they would be able to write a great novel if they only had the time.

 When I hear this, I nod politely, but the reality is that it takes more than just having time to write a great novel. You need to spend time to learn how to write properly. Going to school and writing essays don’t count. I’m talking real writing. The kind that someone wants to read.

 The best advice I can give a person is to apply butt to chair and apply fingers to keyboard. You make time, if you want to write. And when you write enough to where you have enough to create a book, start learning how to craft a story, edit your work, and create wonderful characters. I’ve found that keeping a notebook with you helps. Your ideas can be written down immediately, which comes in handy, because sometimes you forget those really great ideas you were thinking about. And I absolutely hate that.

   Falling into Fall         
Posted by Lili Porter on September 14, 2015

It’s fall, and it’s my favorite time of year. Even if it’s not cool just now, I look forward to the upcoming changes in the seasons and the colors of the fall leaves. There’s something magical about fall. Maybe it’s the luscious scents of cinnamon, apples, and baking. Maybe it’s the nip in the air, especially in the mornings. Maybe it’s the promise of romantic evenings with a loved one in front of a crackling fire.

What is your fondest memory of autumn? For me, it’s the harvest of brightly colored pumpkins, corn, and squash, the taste of hot apple cider, and the laughter of children as they play in the raked leaves.

Summertime Reunions
Posted by Lili Porter on August 18, 2015

Has it been too hot for you? I bet if you’re like me, you’ve been welcoming the end of summertime heat. This summer has been awesome, but sometimes I feel that we never spend enough time with our families. That’s why it was great to attend my family reunion and reconnect with the people who matter most. Seeing everybody was great. We don’t get together often enough.

Our society often focuses on pulling our families apart, when we should be looking toward building stronger ties. That’s why this family reunion was so important to me. When looking back at it, I look at it a bit wistfully, just like the end of summer.

Lili

Creativity: It’s Not Just Writing
Posted by Lili Porter on July 31, 2015

 

As a writer, I’m naturally creative, which is why I’ve gravitated toward playing piano. There’s nothing more beautiful than playing your own musical instrument. In my case, it’s the piano.  I’ve been taking lessons for four years now, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but I must say, my daughter and youngest son are so much better.  My son can even play music just after listening to it!  Wow!  Talk about talent!

 
My oldest son thinks playing music is boring—which makes him the oddball of the group. He’s more into athletics than music, but maybe when he gets older that might change. After all, it’s not just me and my kids who are musicians in my family. Many of the members of my extended family play instruments.  Maybe we should hold a concert sometime?

 

Since piano playing is creative, it’s little wonder that many writers also love to play music. The crossover goes the other way too: some of the most famous musicians also loved to write poetry. Musicians such as John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, and Prince also set pen to paper, and their poetry became beautiful songs. I’d like to think that creativity knows no bounds.

Wow!
Posted on July 24th, 2015 by Lili Porter

We’re an Amazon Bestseller!!!!

Chocolate and Italian Wine is now available and you’re making it a best seller! I’m thrilled that it’s doing so awesomely! I took a look at it today and it is #93 in erotic romance!  Wow!  I had no idea that it would go this big.  And I have you, my dear readers, to thank for all this.

Wow! I can’t help but keep saying that. As an author, it’s hard to find me without words, but you’re doing it. We’re not too shabby in multicultural romances either at #113.  And my reviewers agree that it’s a hot, hot, hot romance. Continue to tell your friends about Chocolate and Italian Wine and put up a review for me.  I can’t tell you how much your words mean to me, dear readers. Let me know what you think! Let’s push it to number one!

Lili

Summer Vacations
Posted on July 17, 2015 by Lili Porter

When the kids were younger, we travelled a lot during the summer. We’ve been all over the Western US, and even parts of Canada and Mexico.  Our trips were often plane trips, because back then, kids flew at a discounted rate. Once that ended, so did our vacations by airplane. We started taking road trips. We’ve taken some great road trips.

Once, we flew into Detroit to visit relatives, then drove to Syracuse and Cooperstown, NY where we visited the Baseball Hall of Fame. That was cool. We only had two of our three children at that time, so the youngest, who hadn’t been born, feels like he was cheated out of that trip, considering how big of a baseball fan he is. It was such a great adventure, but only our oldest son remembers it. Our daughter, who was two at the time, says she only recognizes herself in the pictures we took. Oh brother. That doesn’t surprise me considering how she takes selfies all day.

We drove through Canada and visited Niagara Falls on the way to Syracuse. We spent a few hours there taking pictures, seeing the sights, and making memories. We also visited Buffalo on the way to Syracuse. After starting out on the trip at 6 that morning, we finally arrived in Syracuse after 9PM.  My husband’s aunt and her family lived in a house in front of Syracuse University. Their backyard was the University’s front lawn. They didn’t have a fence. Nobody around there seemed to. As a kid, my husband remembers tobogganing from a hill behind the University down to his aunt’s yard. Growing up in Southern California, I didn’t experience snow days. We go to the beach in the winter.

After a day of catching up with the family, we drove to The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. That place left a lasting impression on my oldest, who was six. He began playing baseball and became a pretty good player. I enjoyed it as well. We are a family of baseball lovers, in particular, the L.A. Dodgers, so being at the Hall of Fame was exciting for us. We took lots of pictures.

 

Another year, we went to the Grand Canyon. We rode the train from Williams, AZ to the Canyon. On the train, we were treated to a train robbery in which we were “robbed” of our pocket change and spare gold teeth by black clad “bandits”.

The Grand Canyon was majestic. It wasn’t my first time seeing it, however. I had been there before, as a child. We stayed at the El Tovar Lodge then. It’s still there. It was being remodeled and looked a lot different than what I remembered. When we left the Grand Canyon, we headed to Las Vegas, where we played for a few more days before getting back to our home in Southern California. We took a lot of pictures on this trip as well, but forgot the film in the glove compartment (yeah, film) and due to the high temperatures in the car, the pictures were ruined. But at least we have our memories.

Books

 Posted on July 10, 2015 by Lili Porter

It’s just a few days until the release of my debut novel, Chocolate and Italian Wine, and I am so excited! I hope you enjoy reading it and moving through the world of Karisma and Paolo as they take on life and its endless scenarios. I sure had fun writing the beginning of their story.

I guess I started writing because I love reading so much. I curl up with a different book or two every week. This week I’m tackling The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I like it so far. It’s thought provoking, yet easy to follow, which isn’t a requirement for my reading tastes, but sometimes I just want to be entertained.

Another book being released next week, is the highly anticipated sequel to Harper Lee’s masterpiece, the haunting To Kill a Mockingbird, called Go Set a Watchman. Oh yeah, I’ll be reading that one next week. Written in the 1950’s, a few years before To Kill a Mockingbird, she evidently hadn’t intended on releasing it. It’s said that after reading Go Set a Watchman, her editor pushed her to write the latter, and for years she rested on the laurels of having what we call a “One-Hit Wonder”. Oh, but what a hit, right? She won a Pulitzer Prize for it.

The characters are part of our American fabric, as well known as the author herself.  They are Atticus, Scout, Jem, and Dill, Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell and his daughter, Mayella, played in the movie by the late actress Collin Wilcox, who I saw last week in an old Twilight Zone Episode and thought, ‘Look at ole Miss Mayella’.

The book is on every high school’s reading list and the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck, who won the Oscar for best actor, also received an Academy Award for best picture.

But how wonderful must it be to write one novel, one masterpiece, and have other books measured by the standards set by your work? Not sure why the now 89 year old Ms. Lee wanted to release this book after all these years, maybe it’s all the stuff we’re going through as a nation right now, a lot of which mimics the country during the time this novel was originally written. And while the narration is seen through the eyes of Jean Louise Finch; Scout, as we knew her in her childhood, it’s told third person. From the reviews I’ve read, it should be quite an interesting read.

Anyway, I’m gonna close by saying I really hope that you love Chocolate and Italian Wine. It was a yearlong labor of love.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think-I’d love to hear from you!

On Writing
Posted on June 26, 2015 by Lili Porter

Thank you for joining me as I christen my new website! Welcome! 

Wow. I’m finally finished. I am so happy and excited to have completed my novel. Chocolate and Italian Wine is ready for publication!

 Writing a novel is certainly not an easy task. Weaving together a story gets complicated and most of those who start, give up somewhere along the way. I could easily have been one of those. But I was determined to finish what I started, something I drum into the heads of my three kids almost on a daily basis.

I wrote everyday. For hours and hours. Until a few days ago, I was still writing, putting the finishing touches on a novel I began over a year ago. My husband started to wonder whether the light from the laptop had put a spell on me. He just didn’t realize that I needed time to figure out the next thing my main characters would do, or how I could torture my villain.

Sometimes, I would write the same line over and over until it felt right. I had to get it right. I didn’t have the luxury of writing all day. I still had to go to work. And the characters from my book went right along with me.

 Have you ever heard a writer say that their characters talked to them? Not in the way that they actually hear voices (I don’t, anyway) or anything like that, but there is constant chatter going on in an author’s head, and it’s all from those people the writer created. During those times, I made sure to listen. My characters talked a lot. I took good notes. They ended up in the book. J

There were a few times, however, when my characters stopped taking to me. They stopped telling me what they would do and how they would do it. Fortunately that bout of  “Writer’s block” didn’t last long. I took a break from my writing until they took up residence in my head again.

Anyway, once I wrote the last word of the story, I thought I was done. But I couldn’t let go.  So I guess I’m not. Evidently they still have more to say! I hope you enjoy Chocolate and Italian Wine. It’s a very sensual love story, and if you’re prone to sweaty palms and heart palpitations, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 J Happy reading!

Lili

 

Books

     Posted on July 10, 2015 by Lili Porter     

 

It’s just a few days until the release of my debut novel, Chocolate and Italian Wine, and I am so excited! I hope you enjoy reading it and moving through the world of Karisma and Paolo as they take on life and its endless scenarios. I sure had fun writing the beginning of their story.

 

I guess I started writing because I love reading so much. I curl up with a different book or two every week. This week I’m tackling The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I like it so far. It’s thought provoking, yet easy to follow, which isn’t a requirement for my reading tastes, but sometimes I just want to be entertained.

 

Another book being released next week, is the highly anticipated sequel to Harper Lee’s masterpiece, the haunting To Kill a Mockingbird, called Go Set a Watchman. Oh yeah, I’ll be reading that one next week. Written in the 1950’s, a few years before To Kill a Mockingbird, she evidently hadn’t intended on releasing it. It’s said that after reading Go Set a Watchman, her editor pushed her to write the latter, and for years she rested on the laurels of having what we call a “One-Hit Wonder”. Oh, but what a hit, right? She won a Pulitzer Prize for it.

 

The characters are part of our American fabric, as well known as the author herself.  They are Atticus, Scout, Jem, and Dill, Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell and his daughter, Mayella, played in the movie by the late actress Collin Wilcox, who I saw last week in an old Twilight Zone Episode and thought, ‘Look at ole Miss Mayella’.

 

The book is on every high school’s reading list and the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck, who won the Oscar for best actor, also received an Academy Award for best picture.

 

But how wonderful must it be to write one novel, one masterpiece, and have other books measured by the standards set by your work? Not sure why the now 89 year old Ms. Lee wanted to release this book after all these years, maybe it’s all the stuff we’re going through as a nation right now, a lot of which mimics the country during the time this novel was originally written. And while the narration is seen through the eyes of Jean Louise Finch; Scout, as we knew her in her childhood, it’s told third person. From the reviews I’ve read, it should be quite an interesting read.

 

Anyway, I’m gonna close by saying I really hope that you love Chocolate and Italian Wine. It was a year long labor of love.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think-I’d love to hear from you!

 

                                                            Lili

Summer Olympics Are Here!

Posted by Lili Porter on August 11, 2016 

Are you like me? I’ve been counting down to the Summer Olympics for a while now. I love to watch those men and women give their all in the competitions. 

Personally, my favorite events to watch are swimming and gymnastics. I love when rookies like Lily King and Ryan Murphy set records in the pool. I also love seeing competitors like Michael Phelps kiss his baby in the stands. 

How about how the men’s Chinese team is setting records in the synchronized swimming category? What a beautiful sport that is! I can’t imagine how hard it must be for them to stay in sync in the water. 

There are so many inspiring moments that happen during the Olympics. It is truly encouraging to see people who have pushed through hard practices and committed themselves to a life of excellence. 

Of course, there are some tough parts as well. When you watch Danell Leyva fall off of the high bar, it can be so sad. The defeat they must be feeling in those moments is next to overwhelming. 

Track and Field will be starting soon and I can’t wait to see that. 

Probably what is most incredible is how those competitors will leave the Olympics this year and many will return to their extensive training. Both winners and losers will commit to working harder than ever to come back to the Olympics in 4 years to do it all again.

 I am excited to see the moments of triumph in the coming days. What about you? Are you watching along?