My FIRST BLOG

The purpose of this site is to find a larger audience for the ridiculous amount of writing I do. How ridiculous, you ask? In just one year I wrote four novels, nearly completed a sequel to the second novel and collaborated with my friend Laura Hall (best known for her piano skills on Whose Line Is It Anyway?) on a musical “Room to Grow” that is, quite frankly, brilliant.  I have since written a screenplay, a sitcom pilot and a few more novels. I am nothing if not prolific. All the while, I have been raising my two daughters and Laura and I continue work towards mounting a professional production of the aforementioned musical.I also like to draw and/or paint.

My immediate future needs to be about marketing, while continuing to do what I love, and what better way to go about it than to write? The fact that pen and paper is my favorite medium may serve as a hindrance to my computer-impaired brain, but I am determined to get past that, and lets face it, if this has been posted then I am well on my way.

All of my novels, Searching for My Wand, On a Hot August AfternoonThe Salacious Marny Ottwiler and Crashing Into Us, are all available for purchase on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Bridget-Straub/e/B006KEG0KE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 Go check them out!

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Setting Goals

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Do you set goals? I am one of those people always looking for inspiration and ways to further my career. I sign up for online seminars and newsletters, and then am generally disappointed by the vague suggestions sent my way. Today I received an email telling me of how these two writers made millions of dollars all because they set goals. I set goals all the time!

As is always the case, this less than helpful information was followed up with the suggestion that the way to make this happen for me was to sign up (pay for) a course being offered. I don’t need to pay someone to tell me to set goals, build an email list and promote, promote, promote. I need to reach more people. I know that. I also know that there are some things I’m never going to be comfortable doing. Namely, becoming some kind of internet coach of my own. You see, this is what I have come to realize all of these people have in common; they are like a giant pyramid scheme. They tell you to sign up for so and so’s course and then so and so tells his/her list of contacts to sigh up for yours. There is no new information out there.

I think ultimately success comes with hard work, determination, and a fair amount of luck. My goal is to sell enough books to pay my bills. Anything above and beyond that would be the icing on the cake, and admittedly I do love some good frosting.

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With that in mind, remember, books make great gifts not just for friends and family, but for yourself as well. Who doesn’t need an escape right now? On a Hot August Afternoon is a good distraction, as are all of these other books. Why not read them all!

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Rough Start

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There is nothing like asking the universe for a peaceful, smooth morning to get things jumping. My youngest is dealing with crippling anxiety at the moment. Every morning she gets up and does her best to go to school but it’s a constant struggle. Sometimes she makes it but sometimes she doesn’t. We have tried everything we can think of to counteract this, deep breaths, change of diet, therapy, etc. but so far nothing is working.

Somehow she is managing to maintain good grades and her teachers have been understanding. This morning she was set to meet with her math teacher to go over the end of semester project. She was feeling anxious as always, but then my sister, who was going to drive her, began having that weird eye thing – you know, when there is light at your peripheral vision and you are on the verge of a migraine. Disaster!

Thankfully, it’s worked itself out after a few minutes and some Advil. I’ve emailed an explanation to the teacher, and my daughter has gone to school. My sister is feeling better, and all should be calm, at least for now. The stress however is unbearable! Somehow we have got to come up with a workable solution to this. Life has become needlessly complicated and traumatic. I desperately want to find a way to leave all of this behind and to make 2017 the year when finally everything comes together to bring happiness to my home. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Have you ever had to deal with anxiety that completely overwhelms you? Have you found a solution? 

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About That Girl On a Train…

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I realize I have been late to the party. This book has been out for a long time, and been made into a much anticipated film, etc. I’ve been wanting to read it forever and as a fan of Emily Blunt, I’d hoped to do so and then go see the film version. I finished it last night and suffice to say, I won;t be wasting my time going to see the movie.

Spoiler Alert: If you have not read the book and still wish to do so, do not read any further. If you have read the book and enjoyed it, as apparently so many people have, explain to me why? As I see it every single character in the book was deceitful, abusive and unlikable. Are we rooting for the falling down drunk who may or may not do and say horrible things? The victim with the checkered past, to say the least? The husband who was controlling and abused our beloved drunk? The new wife who was a mistress and kind of a bitch? Or the murderer himself who is a pathological liar? The most upstanding citizen in the entire book is the psychiatrist who sleeps with his patient!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need every character in a book to be a perfect person, obviously. Just look at the books I’ve written myself. (Seriously, do! Please. They make great holiday gifts!) But I do need to see something that doesn’t always speak to the very worst of society. Why did every single character need to be so flawed? What caught the attention of so many readers? How can I get even a small percentage of this books sales without writing something so unbelievably ugly?

Is it a desperate need to feel better than others that draws people to stories like this? I really wonder. Am I completely overthinking this? Let me know. Did you read it? Did you enjoy it? If so, why?

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Lets Rewind

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This is the photo I was trying to post the other day. It feels like a throwback to a time gone by, but in truth it was just this weekend. Every year in the N. California city my sister lives in, they hold a canned food drive where volunteers come by on horseback and a makeshift sleigh/trolley, and collect donations while singing Christmas carols. Everyone comes out of their houses, contributes, and enjoys a magical few minutes of community.

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Still Reeling

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It’s really hard not to climb under a rock right now. With every idiotic tweet Trump puts out and every act of violence reported and probably distorted, I just want to hide. Throw into the mix personal things that so many of us appear to be dealing with and it makes it doubly difficult.

For the first time in just about forever, I have stopped writing. Nothing really makes sense right now. I want to put positive energy out into the world. I want to say (and believe) everything is going to be alright. I want to give the world as a whole a big hug and feel better. Convince everyone that we can do this!

Then I try to do something as simple as send a photo from my phone to my computer so that I can use it in this post, and it just keeps not showing up in my email. It is so frustrating that it feels symbolic of everything that is going on right now. Nothing and no one is showing up! And maybe that’s the point. Maybe it really is up to each of us to dig deep, push away our sorrow both personal and political, whatever your believes, and just make a concerted effort to fill the world with kindness.

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Together Again

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For the first time in years, all three of my kids were with me on Thanksgiving. My son drove for close to twelve hours to be here and it meant everything to me. Sadly, he is now on his way home and I have realized that after lots of love and conversations, as well as an adventure out to the easement at the edge of my nephew’s property, I have no family photo to show for it.

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This is particularly absurd when you consider that my sister, the photographer, who just happens to have a brand new Nikon, was here the whole time! It’s a little maddening, but hopefully we will all be together again sooner rather than later, and we can get it then. For now I am just so grateful for family and the fabulous Thanksgiving we have had. I hope your past few days have been equally blessed.

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What to Say…

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I want to post something but everything seems out of whack right now. That carefree artist above is turning seventeen today and yet she is anything but carefree. Gone are the days when she blissfully threw her entire self into a drawing. When her world’s biggest upset was having to take a nap.

I don’t want to get political and wax on about the troubling times we find ourselves in, and yet I don’t feel any of us can afford to ignore it. I am a writer and I write. It’s how I work through things. I want desperately to return to a simpler time, but we all know there is no real turning back. What has happened has happened, and how we move forward is what matters.

I am a writer and therefore I will write. I will continue to do my best to come up with posts, books, scripts and perhaps even the occasional song, in an effort to entertain while we move forward towards better times. I truly believe art can bring people together and offer some much needed relief when life becomes overwhelming. It’s like a breath of air. You take a moment to breathe deep, regroup, and then carry on.

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