Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Power of Vision

Just the other day I was talking to my friend about my vision of what I want in my life. We discussed what this meant, and how having an attitude of gratitude and excited anticipation is the key to getting what one wants. One thing I know for sure is that in order to accomplish my goals and allow my dreams to come true, I need to keep my eye on the prize and not muddy my vision with "reality."

And this week some amazing things have happened. Mainly they involve my participation in the book The Adventures of Charlie & Moon, by Martin Meader. This book is very near and dear to my heart. I edited the book for a whole year on Skype with Martin, who lives in Australia. We worked for hours everyday and we spent much of that time laughing. And then my publishing company had the privilege of publishing it. The book was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award. It is a wonderful and hilarious book for kids and folks like me, with severe cases of arrested development. My friend, Alison Larkin, the best selling author of The English American, and comedienne extraordinaire began taping an audio version of the book last week. I am producing this audiobook and Alison and I are having more fun doing this than we could have ever imagined. The sound engineer and I laughed so hard we cried. Alison's voices are extraordinary. Hilarious!

Martin and my great friend Irena Mihova, are co-producing the film version of the book.  Jim Henson's Creature Shop, that's right, the Muppet folks, are creating the creatures for the film and we were invited to their Christmas party. I hung out with Big Bird and Elmo, Grover and Oscar, as well as some of the cool humans who create these iconic puppets.

And then to top it all off, this week, the beautiful fair trade chain of stores, Ten Thousand Villages, informed me that their Colorado shop holds a multicultural book club and my book, Weeping Under This Same Moon was chosen to be their January selection.

So, as I keep my vision strong, amazing things are happening. Yes, of course pay your bills on time, take out the trash, feed the cat, but pay no attention to that "reality" behind the curtain when it comes to making your dreams come true. That's my philosphy anyway.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Country Christmas Fair

Yesterday I spent the day selling and signing books at a country Christmas fair in Sheffield, MA.  The day started off rather slowly but business picked up later and I met some fascinating people. I often wonder what will happen in the course of a day like this. Who I will meet and what our connection will be. Yesterday I happened to have a table next to my wonderful old friends Maria and Paul. They have a unique business called Asia Luna selling beautiful handcrafted soaps, body scrubs, lip balms, candles and aroma therapy mists. Maria has started doing House Parties. I might host one.
This is truly a grassroots business. They create all their products together at home and both Maria and Paul are artists and the packaging of their beautiful products attests to that. Silly gnomes handcrafted by yours truly.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet music

I just came back from the most gorgeous concert. As I sat there enraptured by the sweet music, I made a promise to myself. Here it is. I swear that in my next life I am going to come back as a musician. Playing some instrument, any instrument for that matter, but playing it really really well. I want to play Bach on the violin or Mozart on the flute or the piano. I want to play the cello like Yo Yo Ma. I want to sing like Ella. But it ain't gonna happen in this lifetime. So I'm thinking if I have anything to say about it, if I must come back for another go, if I haven't completed what I need to  learn here on planet earth physical plane, I am going to make damn sure I study music next time. Promise.

My morning coffee

My perculator broke a few weeks ago. What to do? Can you start your day without a coffee? I used to be able to. Tea is healthy but my coffee is my vice. It's my only vice these days. And I LOVE it! OK, I am addicted. I admit it. I am a coffeeholic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Last Thursday I sat in the audience of Monument Mountain High School and watched two actors portray my two protagonists from my novel Weeping Under This Same Moon. It was an incredibly moving experience. I had never seen my characters come to life before and it was amazing. I am seriously thinking about creating a play now. What a thrill to watch your creations come to life!
Thank you MMRHS!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Staged Reading of Weeping Under This Same Moon, by Jana Laiz

This is SO exciting! Tonight two high school students, actors, are going to do a staged reading of my novel! I will be there to answer questions and show slides of my journey from miserable 17-year-old to happy human being because of my amazing experience with my Vietnamese refugee family.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Do you have too many ideas? Are you flooded with them? I was taking a walk on the boardwalk and the stories just came, fast and furiously and I'm not sure which to write first. Yesterday I asked my 8 year-old nephew what kind of book he'd like me to write for him, and the ideas that came from that conversation got the creative juices flowing. I want to try to write for little boys this time. A series! Adventures! Creatures! Flying!
I am also thinking of a sequel to my upcoming novel, The Twelfth Stone.
Weeping Under This Same Moon is getting a much broader readership and I am thrilled about it! I'll be in high schools all over the country talking to teens about this book and my experience behind it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weeping Under This Same Moon at Monument Mountain Regional High School

OK, I'm back. Sorry I was away for so long, but I'm really not great at this blogging thing, but I'll give it a try. Here's the great news! The entire Sophomore class and staff at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, MA are reading Weeping Under This Same Moon!!
I cannot tell you how excited I am by this! I've been getting bits of very wonderful feedback, as students, teachers and parents meet me in the post office or at the local breakfast place or the country fair. So here I am, hopeful that some or any of the people reading this book would love to chat. I want to hear everything, the good and the...dare I say, bad (which I hope is minimum.) I invite you to blog with me, ask me anything about the book you want to.
Hope to hear from you and you and you!