Category Archives: Diana Diaries

My Dream for Michigan Central Station

My Dream for Michigan Central Station

Today my heart is both heavy and happy. Heavy with building lust and opportunity lost. Happy that a most beautiful, iconic structure has a savior.

For the past several hours, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole of the #fordetroit posts, absorbing every essence that is the future of Michigan Central Station (MCS) thanks to Ford Motor Company.

I grew up in Detroit, and I remember the first time I drove by that glorious building. My heart leapt with joy. How could something so beautiful be so unloved?

Certainly, I’m not the only person who asked this question. It’s been debated for decades. But once I laid eyes on MCS, my brain began developing a plan that has morphed a bit over time due to technology and the economy, but hasn’t strayed much from my initial vision.

At the time of my first sighting, I was traveling extensively for business. I had to put my idea on the backburner. It sat there and simmered, popped up again occasionally, but I didn’t have the experience to try to pull something like my vision together at the time.

I tracked articles and news stories about MCS, but it didn’t fully come back into my life until I started to write my novel series, The Diana Diaries. Book two – Destiny Dollars – introduces MCS into the discussion and book three (under development) – Destiny Detroit – takes the story to Detroit to pursue the main character’s vision.

The setup scenario in Destiny Detroit is fictional, but the development of the MCS project is all real in my world. My writing is influenced by my interests, and MCS, which took hold of my heart from the first moment I saw it, is part of that. I had hoped to bring it to life, at least through my book, at best through a finalized business plan accompanied by building lovers with deep pockets.

However, the last few years I was a full time caregiver to my mother, and aside from the moments to write here and there, I couldn’t spend a lot of time on my business plan. I had done some research, put together some spreadsheets to support my premise, but my focus was on my Mom. MCS had sat empty for so long I figured I had another year or so to jump in full force. First, finish the book, then present my plan to potential investors. Alas, that won’t happen. But Destiny Detroit will still contain my vision.

Joy Mangano, the HSN power lady and author of Inventing Joy, learned the lesson of not acting quickly enough on her idea for a reflective flea collar. We all know who beat her to market with that product. But, she learned and went on to invent numerous other products that serve millions of people. As I read her book, I kept getting pangs of guilt that I had not fully immersed myself in my MCS project. And now, there is none.

Would my idea have generated as much income as what Ford is doing? Probably not. But it would have helped to grow another local industry and provide much fun and flair to the neighborhood. Still, I applaud Ford for stepping up to save MCS and give it life once again. I can’t wait to see the fully restored beauty. And, should they encounter some snags along the way and need an out – I have a great idea waiting in the wings.

What am I talking about? You’ll just have to wait to read the book. Fingers crossed it will be out by the end of the year, written through tears of joy and happiness – with a touch of regret.

In the meantime, you can read the first two books – Destiny Drop and Destiny Dollars – to catch up on the characters. And, I’ll even send a copy to Bill Ford for his reading pleasure once the third book is complete.

Be sure to join my mailing list so you can be the first to know about the official release date of Destiny Detroit.

Cindi

My First Novel – Destiny Drop

Destiny Drop Book 1 in Diana Diaries Series

Most of my life, it seems, I’ve spent in the non-fiction writing world. Even my poetry and lyrics at a  young age all dealt with real-life situations. School papers, of course, were factual accounts; working in high-tech and writing for magazines all resided in non-fiction.

Even my reading tends to dwell in the living – biographies, business, how-to, art, design. I have had spurts of fiction enjoyment: The Shopaholic Series, Dan Brown, Harry Potter, maybe another here or there. However, it seemed I was trained to write in short segments that got the point across.

My first true foray into fiction happened in 1990 when I drafted my first screenplay. I wanted to start in that medium because I felt it would help me to write better dialog. So much of a screenplay is based in dialog that if you can get that right, you’ve won a good portion of the battle.

I went on to write two more screenplays and while I enjoy them all and have some interest from appropriate parties, they haven’t made it to the screen just yet. (Perhaps I’ll convert them to novels…)

My next interest in fiction writing came about after a trip to the Grand Canyon. I felt incredibly inspired and within just a couple of days penned a draft novel. It was to be the start of a series for pre-teens, but I feel it needs a good edit before it gets published. However, I still love the concept and may address it again in the future.

In between, I published Java Jems, a book and CD of poetry, along with my loving homage to my fine-feathered friend, Divatiel. However, something kept pulling me into thoughts of actually creating my own characters and telling their stories, stories I felt had lessons for us all.

Since then, I’ve had fits and starts in the fiction arena. About a year ago, I was drawn back to one book in particular. I attacked it in earnest, writing and editing every day for about a year, along with penning the second and most of the third in the series.

The result? Destiny Drop, the first book in the Diana Diaries Series.  Here’s my summary of the book from the Amazon sales page:

Diana MacKenzie seems to have everything going for her – love and marriage and a globe-trotting career – only to be beset by the economy, divorce and the challenges of trying to make it on her own in a new town – Las Vegas. It’s a story about life that many a woman – and man – can identify with.

Diana’s move from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas is wrought with troubles. After her business then her marriage fail, she is left struggling to survive. Desperate for income, Diana turns to the only industry in town that will hire her – retail. She loves to shop so she feels this will be her perfect new career.

However, as an employee, Diana is exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly of her new field. Faced with the drama of co-workers and disrespectful customers, having to live on a tight budget, plus her new-found aches and pains, her retail job is often more than she can bear. Still, Diana toughs it out, determined to forge a new life for herself in the city she’s grown to love.

Destiny Drop, book one of The Diana Diaries series, sets the stage for Diana’s new life. Come along for the ride as Diana sets out on a journey of discovery to create a new meaningful life for herself – and still be able to pay her bills! The first three books in the series complete the initial story arc, with more books in the series to follow.

Now that I’m writing in a longer form, it’s hard to limit me to a specific word count. I have to admit, it’s been a blast to embody these strangers and bring them to life. For the most part, the series is devoid of language although this first book has two or three instances of swearing. However, it’s only used to reflect true-life situations.

I think the series is a great pool-side or beach read, to keep you entertained as well as make you think.

I hope you’ll take a chance on my first novel and stay tuned for more.

Introducing the Diana Diaries Series

The Diana Diaries Series follows the life of Diana MacKenzie, a successful marketing manager in Silicon Valley. She falls in love with a very special Chris Christensen, who she believes is the love of her life. After their marriage and subsequent divorce, coupled with a failed economy, Diana aims to rebuild her life in the new home town she’s grown to love – Las Vegas.

Destiny Drop Book 1 in Diana Diaries SeriesThe first book in the series, Destiny Drop, takes us on that journey of the initial rush of new love and business success followed by Diana’s challenging attempts to rebuild her life by working in retail sales. Many people, both men and women, can understand Diana’s frustration at being underemployed and coming to grips with surviving on a much smaller budget. Shockingly, Diana is also exposed to some personalities she could never have imagined.

The end of Book 1 finds Diana still struggling, but with a strengthened resolve to re-imagine her life in Las Vegas. Book 2 moves her life in a positive new direction while Book 3 completes the main story arc.

More books are planned in the series.