Life Lessons from Movies

High Strung

Believe in yourself. Never ever give up on your dreams.

 

Odd Thomas

Everyone has their quirks. Embrace yours and be the best you that you can be.

 

Camp Rock

It’s easier to lose yourself than to take a chance and be you. But you risk losing everything when you blend in instead of standing out.

 

I Give It A Year

Sometimes you have to admit a major life mistake and let go of what you thought you wanted to get what you really want.

 

Spending a good part of my day in bed, I’m catching up on movies. These are just a few of the life lessons I’ve learned from movies this week. Any movies you’d recommend that gave you a sudden insight?

 

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When You Start to Spin

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November has been a tough month. Mostly because when something is wrong, it’s my instinct to hide it. Ignore it and pretend it’s not happening. I’m incredibly good at rationalizing away whatever bad, scary thing is happening until it overwhelms me.

In early November, I stared having episodes of dizziness and lightheadedness. Feeling like I was rocking when I wasn’t–it reminded me of motion sickness. I thought it was stress. Then I blamed a virus.

I pushed myself to keep going because this wasn’t serious. I was fine. I was fine. I was fine.

The episodes grew more frequent and started interfering with my thinking. Everyday tasks became harder to perform. I had to focus to make breakfast. I started doing things out of order. I was mixing up words when I spoke. My short term memory was hazy. I felt like I was drunk without touching a sip of liquor.  My mind wasn’t mine anymore.

I didn’t say anything. Because if I said something that would make it real and this was too scary to make real.

Finally, I decided it had to be a bad ear infection. That’s how I convinced myself to go to the doctor. By telling myself it was simple and treatable. When I went to the doctor, he ran a few tests and ruled out certain things. Unfortunately, it’s not a middle ear infection.

Right now, we think it’s an inner ear issue. I have to wait two weeks for a test to determine what inner ear issue it is (there are over a dozen possibilities) or if it’s actually a problem with my brain. (They cannot treat the vertigo until they are clear on what is causing it.)

A week ago, things got really bad. I started talking slower and having trouble organizing my words into sentences. My ears started hurting–deep inside my skull. And ringing–constantly ringing.

I had trouble walking. The dizziness and lightheadedness and spinning feeling all became constant. The nausea was overwhelming. I’d forget to eat because I was so sick. Headaches became my daily companions. My scalp tingled and I got these weird rushes up the back of my head like I was going to faint, but I didn’t.

Right now, that’s all still happening.

If I sneeze, laugh, cough, or blow my nose, I lose all sense of balance. It feels like I actually move a foot outside of my body going either up or forward. I have to grab onto something solid or risk falling over.

It’s incredibly scary. So I wanted to be honest with you, my readers and my friends.

I can’t function like I used to. I can only be on the computer for limited amounts of time because it makes all my symptoms worse. It’s no longer just me spinning, the ground actually feels like it’s undulating beneath me and the room sometimes tilts.

The scariest part is feeling like I’m losing myself.

I wear sea sickness bands to cut the nausea down. I lie in bed and watch movies because that makes the world and me stop spinning. And I try really hard to do some of my normal tasks like dishes and laundry. They require so much more focus and energy than they ever have.

But I’m still here. And that counts.

 

 

 

 

Posted in illness, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Highway Thirteen’s Blog Tour Stops

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This week, I’ll be on these blogs chatting about my book! On A Writer’s Mind, I’m sharing my favorite scene, genres I like to write, and how the cover relates to the book!
November 21 Spotlight
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November 23 Interview
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November 24 Thanksgiving
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November 25 Spotlight
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November 28 Guest Post
Roxanne’s Realm
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Butternut Blast Giveaway is wrapping up at the end of the month, if you’d like a chance to be a character in the next Six Train book, win Butternut goodies, or an Amazon gift card, please get your entries in by 11/30!
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Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted in blog tour, book launch, Giveaways | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Highway Thirteen’s Blog Tour Continues

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Highway Thirteen to Manhattan’s book tour continues!
This week’s interview reveals my favorite foods, dream trip, and if I write to music. The guest blog is about how to create memorable characters.
The giveaways are still going on too! So swing by any of these posts and chat with me!
November 14 Spotlight
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November 14 Spotlight
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November 15 Spotlight
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November 16 Spotlight
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November 16 Review
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November 17 Interview
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November 18 Review
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November 18 Guest Blog
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I have an author appearance this weekend too. If you’re in CT/MA/RI and you want to get a signed copy, please stop by!
November 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In South Windsor, CT, at Maneeley’s (65 Rye St.) at the 2nd Annual Crafts Show: signing and selling books.
Posted in blog tour, book release, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , ,

HTTM’s Blog Tour Continues

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This week continues my blog tour with a list of my favorite paranormal reads, a couple reviews, a spotlight, and an interview where I dish about the writer I’d like to have dinner with and what you’d be surprised to know about me. Stop by any of the posts this week to chat and enter the giveaways going on there!
November 7 Guest Blog
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November 8 Review
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November 10 Spotlight
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November 11 Interview
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Thanks to everyone who purchased a copy of Highway Thirteen during my release week. It hit the Amazon Bestseller lists for Psychic Thrillers and Psychic Suspense!
It was on the Hot New Releases for Psychic Thrillers, Psychic Suspense, and Paranormal and Urban Fantasy too!
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Also many thanks to readers who read an ARC and left a review! You helped make it an exceptional week for me!
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Posted in blog tour, Giveaways, new release | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Highway Thirteen Bewitching Blog Tour!

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This week kicks off my month long blog tour with Bewitching Book Tours! We’ve got a great mix of spotlights, reviews, interviews and guest posts going on all month!

Here’s where I’ll be this week! I’m closing comments here, so please stop by and comment on any of these blogs on these dates:

October 31 Spotlight
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November 1 Interview
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November 2 Spotlight
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November 3 Guest blog
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November 4 Spotlight
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November 4 Spotlight
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There are book giveaways going on with this blog tour so make sure you enter them!
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Posted in blog tour | Tagged , , , , ,

Upcoming Author Events

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Upcoming Author Appearances

I’ve got a few author appearances coming up this fall/winter. I’ll be selling and signing copies of all my books. You can pick up a signed copy of my newest release Highway Thirteen to Manhattan, the re-release of The Six Train to Wisconsin, and even The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts on any of these dates and times.

 

October 30th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Old Greenwich, CT, at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center (90 Harding Rd.) at the 3rd Annual Arts and Crafts Show: autographing and selling books.
November 12th Canceled.
November 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In South Windsor, CT, at Maneeley’s (65 Rye St.) at the 2nd Annual Crafts Show: signing and selling books.
December 4th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In Mansfield, MA, at the Holiday Inn (31 Hampshire St.) at the 23rd Annual Arts and Crafts Show: selling and signing copies of my novel.

Wisconsin Appearance in 2017

I will also be making a trip to Butternut July 28-30, 2017, for Pioneer Days. So Wisconsin fans, please mark you calendars and join me for a weekend of Butternut awesomeness.

Ordering a Signed Copy Online

If you can’t make it to any of my events and you want a signed copy, please email me at kourtney.heintz@yahoo.com. I am selling Highway Thirteen to Manhattan for $15 + priority mail shipping ($5.75) + tax (varies by state). I will send you a Paypal invoice and get your book in the mail.

Butternut Blast Giveaway

Ever wanted to be a character in The Six Train to Wisconsin series? Or win a basket of Butternut goodies? Or have an extra $50 to spend on Amazon? Then make sure you get your entries in. These are the fabulous prizes being given away!

Highway Thirteen to Manhattan’s Butternut Blast Giveaway lasts until the end of November. Several entries can be done daily to increase your chances of winning! Make sure to get your entries in on the Facebook page using this mobile friendly link:

http://gvwy.io/bwh02f9

 

 

 

 

Posted in author appearance, book release, book tour, Giveaways, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

An Author’s Adventures at CrimeConn

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Saturday, I drove to CrimeConn, an all day mystery conference at the Westport Public Library. It was an amazing day and I’ll definitely be adding this to my must attend list for conferences. I wanted to share my takeaways with you!

The first panel was moderated by the brilliant and entertaining John Valeri with panelists Rosemary Harris, Michael Ledwidge, and Liz Mugavero. They discusses the motives behind a bad guy’s behavior.

Rosemary mentioned the key motives she uses in her writing are greed, lust, and revenge.

John raised the idea that the main reasons people commit murder center around greed, humiliation, safety, cheating, and war.

Mike explained how there are two parts to a person that play into motives–bodily desire (hunger, lust, etc.) and imagination and mind (want to be heroic).

Lis relies on revenge and desperation to motivate her characters.

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The second panel was made up of people who actually work in law enforcement. They discussed the mind games that crooks and cops play.

The moderator was Michelle Clark and the panelists were Dr. Mark Braunsdorf, Lieutenant Ray Hassett, and Sergeant Mike Cummiskey.

One of the key takeaways was that these are ordinary human beings doing extraordinary work. They have to develop coping mechanisms that the rest of society doesn’t have because they face the ugliest parts of society on a daily basis.

Ray talked about having to go deep under cover to bust bad guys and Mark explained how that requires going beyond cognitive empathy to emotional empathy, where you actually feel it personally. This literally rewires your brain because you have become another person.

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The next panel focused on what makes an anti-hero heroic and was moderated by Joe Meyers. Panelists included Tom Straw, David Rich, and Karen E. Olson.

Tom stressed that antiheroes are outside the system and generally against the system.

Karen’s take is that the bad guy has a code that redeems him in some way.

David feels that the antihero knows all the badness inside him and recognizes it in others. He uses his insight to solve a situation or crime.

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Patricia King from MWA and an MWA aspiring author spoke to the audience about the importance of a writing tribe.

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Chris Knopf interviewed the guest of honor, Andrew Gross. It was a revealing and fascinating Q&A.

I loved hearing about Andrew’s breaking away from his previous works for his new novel. He spoke of his fear that readers would abandon him for focusing on scene setting in this new novel. But they didn’t!

He is a big proponent of outlining and sold this book as an outline. Go plotters!

He loves creating tertiary and secondary characters in his stories.

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Captain Chris Chute presented a workshop on how professionals separate fact from fiction. This was one of my favorite parts of the day because, well, my characters lie a lot.

He was a very energetic and entertaining presenter and the time went way too fast. He included video in his presentations, which really drove home all his key points.

One of the most interesting point was that it’s not what people say but how they say it. When someone is truthful they spend a smaller amount of their words on the intro, around half their words on the details of the event, and then wrap it up. In a deceptive statement, it’s mostly intro, nothing or very little on actual incident, and then either a long wrap up or no wrap up.

Another terrific takeaway is that people lie by telling the truth. They will say the one true thing over and over again.

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The final panel of the day was led by the fabulous Kate Kessler and included David Handler, A.J. Pompano, and Jan Yager. They discussed sociopaths and psychopaths.

The key takeaway here was that sociopaths are not psychologically damaged, but have a contempt for society and rules.

Posted in Conferences, writing conference, wrtiting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments