Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace. My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them share some of their writing wisdom here.
Today, I am most eager to welcome Frankie Picasso, author of Midlife Mojo: How to get through the midlife crisis and emerge as your true self
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?
Author Frankie Picasso and Bongo
I am a Gemini and as such, I like to be involved in many things, with the emphasis on Many! I have worked in many different fields, everything from a Private investigator to managing a 12 X World Kickboxing Champion. I am also the first Professional female Kickboxing Promoter in the World.
Today I am an author, a Certified Metaphysical Hypnotherapist, a Master Coach Trainer and an instructor in both modalities. I also work as an Intuitive therapist, Animal communicator and Energy healer.
I am moving away from a ‘one on one’ practice to focus on reaching a larger audience. I will always be a Coach, I believe it is in my DNA, however I am very excited to be working on a large project that is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. I have started to build a Humanitarian Radio Station that will help people around the world in a very tangible way. I cannot say too much more about this at the moment but I am hoping to unveil The Good Radio Network to the world by my birthday in June!
I am an Contemporary artist and an advocate for a Socially conscious planet and every piece of art I sell, ( which is featured on http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/frankie-picasso.html) helps a child receive Cleft Palate surgery through Mercy Ships Canada. For me, this is a real WIN /WIN, a 45 minute surgery that will change the life of a child forever. Once the surgery is completed, the child is able to eat and drink without any restrictions and best of all, both the child and family are no longer ostracized by their community. They are accepted back into the fold and this is a big relief for the mothers. What many people don’t know is that a child born with cleft palate is often malnourished as it is difficult for them to get nutrients from food. They find it difficult to eat and drink- both taking it in and keeping food down. I love how this ‘fix’ is so immediate.
Both of my books have been written for the self help genre, but last year I joined the NANOWRIMO movement and started to write a fictional novel during that month. It was a great start to a good story that I do intend to finish. Once completed it will be available under the paranormal romance section of Amazon. It is titled Bearly Human!
Things I love to do..-I am a drumher-(female drummer) and I love to play Funk and Soul music. I am passionate about art and love to go to small interesting galleries. I also love the movies and reading books, hanging out with dogs at the dog park and listening to my husband sing and play his guitar to me every night. I especially love to hang out with my grown kids and their partners. Those are the best nights ever. My kids are so funny and the next day, my ribs and stomach usually hurt from laughing so hard.
Frankie and her beautiful children
One hidden talent I have is animal communication. I talk to animals of all kinds. It’s like being Dr. Doolittle.:)
1. Where do you do most of your writing?
I write in my office which is an open space upstairs in my log home.
Frankie’s log home
My husband purchased a very expensive and lovely desk for me from a beautiful furniture store in Kitchener. It is Mandarin style and I just fell in love with it. I have enclosed a photo of my workspace. You will notice a book shelf next to my desk. Every book in there represents an interview I had with the author over the years, through several of my previous radio shows. My desk faces a window so when I look up, I see the sky and treetops. Nature surrounds me here and I love it.
2. What are some important things on your desk? Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?
I need to have pretty notebooks and a jar of pens. I don’t know why but they inspire me. I need to be surrounded by books and art and I like an esthetically pleasing workspace. However when things get a bit messy I find it helps me to get creative. I also need it to be very quiet when I write. My most productive time is around 5 am.
3. What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?
What I love most about my workspace is my HUGE computer screen, my wireless keyboard and my super comfy leather swivel chair.
4. What’s your writing beverage? What do you love to drink while you’re writing?
In the morning it’s coffee for sure, but I like to alternate hot and cold. So Coffee, herbal tea, Sprite Zero and even water all make an appearance throughout the writing sessions.
1. Who is your favorite author? Who inspired you to write?
I have SO many favorite authors, it’s hard to choose just one. I tend to devour them once discovered. I love Ted Dekker, Jodi Piccoult, Elizabeth Naughton and JR Ward aka Jessica Bird.
I would say that my Mother encouraged me to write. She was a great writer and poet but it was my 8th grade Literature teacher Ms. Laughton who was the real inspiration. No one ever wrote well enough in her class to inspire a grade over a C. For some reason I took this as a personal challenge and I fought her throughout that year for a better grade. I believed I could write and she kept after me to do better. I respected her, loved her and hated her all at the same time. I used to ask her, “Who do you want me to be, Pearl Buck or something?. The first time I received an A in her class, I felt like I had won the lottery. Actually I felt like I was a real author because her standards were so high.
2. What’s your typical day as a writer like? Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?
I wouldn’t say that I have any writing rituals but I do prescribe to automatic writing when I feel there is a block. I need my coffee there, the lights out and the house quiet.
3. Do you write every day? How many hours a day do you spend writing? What are some of your worst writing distractions?
I don’t write a book daily but I do write every day. It might be song lyrics or articles for several online companies like Blogsvertise or Article Marketer. I like to think this keeps my skills sharp. I also write for Ezine Articles.
I probably only write about an hour or two daily but when I am working on a project it can be 6 hours at a time. I tend to get a lot of pain in my hips if I sit to long. That is when I call it quits for the day.
One of my biggest distractions is that I live in an open concept home. So if my husband decides to watch TV or play his guitar, I don’t have a door I can shut to filter noise. I have to do that for myself. Also Bongo my Golden Retriever will come up and start to fuss when he wants to go out and play.
4. Why do you write?
Writing is something that is just a part of me. It’s like breathing. I love how it feels to let my fingers fly across the keyboard and allow my thoughts to take form. I love books and it’s so cool to be a contributor as well as a reader. I like being able to help people or entertain them and writing helps give precision to my voice.
5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us? How about a favorite writing quote?
I think that it is very easy to get bogged down with minutiae when beginning a writing project. My technique is to write everything down first and then go back to edit. One sentence can take up 4 hours sometimes. It’s difficult to write and finish that way.
When people ask for advice on how to write a self help book this is what I tell them. It’s a pretty easy method for anyone and it doesn’t even matter what order the chapters are written in as long as this method is adhered too. First, you make a blueprint for the book. Write down what the book is about and who the audience is or who you feel needs to read your book. This is important because when you begin to write, think about these folks and what it is you want them to know. Plus with their face in front of you when you write, it will inspire you to keep at it. It is also much easier to market your book to a specific group than to EVERYONE..
Next, make a list of all the information you want to make sure goes into the book. Organize that info into big headers that become temporary chapter names. Then for Each chapter, give 15 points that need to go into it. For every point, write 3 sentences and voila, you have a book!
Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Frankie!
Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.
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