Monday, June 19, 2017

A Week of Giveaways!

A special thank you to all who have supported me in the first month of my release. Releasing a book is not an easy pursuit. It is similar to climbing a mountain (something I recently did in California). As you start out you see the lofty goal you set for yourself and wonder if you will ever be able to reach the top of the mountain. And like I did two weeks ago in California, I am ascending a few steps at a time.
(A picture of the mountain I climbed, which may not seem high, but I get dizzy standing on a step stool, so this might as well be Mt. Everest).

If you haven't had a chance to get a copy of My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit there are two opportunities to get a FREE copy this week.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Not So Normal Life by Liz Laz

My Not So Normal Life

by Liz Laz

Giveaway ends June 26, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway
And the book is available for free through Amazon Kindle through Friday.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit Book Release

The day is finally here, the release of My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit. After years of writing and revising and months of editing and formatting my creation is ready to be shared with the world. The book is ready for purchase through Later in the week the book will be available in paperback and hardcover at

Thursday, March 23, 2017


I am forever creating lists of things to do. Were you to look on my desk at work, or my purse you'd find different scraps of paper with long lists of things to do. Lists litter the couch, bedside tables, kitchen tables, countertops at home. The head of my department came into my office yesterday and it was only after he left I noticed I had two lists I had written days ago visible on my desk. I hope he didn't notice, not that I have anything to hide, but I can only imagine what he'd think that I had to write down: "make dinner, walk the dog, exercise, and shower" in a list. I probably sound insane, but when you take on as much as I do, lists are the only way I know to remember and to get a sense of accomplishment. I love the feeling of scratching an item off my list. Currently my list of things to do is long and overwhleming, but I keep working on it.

London: My Town

Ten years ago I found myself in London. London holds a special place in my heart. It is where I met my best friend, Meg. It's where I took my first truly independent steps into adulthood. It's where I learned that being myself was okay. I embraced British culture and became a self-proclaimed Anglophile. Below, is a picture taken from Westminister Bridge 10 years and two weeks ago.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

The scene on this bridge was very different yesterday, with confusion, chaos, and fear. It shakes me whenever there is a terrorist attack. I find myself thinking about the panic and fear that must be running rampant in the minds of all those affected. I think about my brother who was born in a post-9/11 world. I worry about the possibility that one day it will be a loved one who is a victim of the violence in our world. But mostly, I pray for the victims and their families.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wishing for a Snow Day

In high school, I had to do a science fair project. It was an intensive research project that stretched from the fall into the spring. I had to research an idea, come up with an experiment and a thesis statement, perform the experiment, submit a bibliography and review for approval of my teacher, write a long research paper, illustrate my paper and experiment on a tri-fold poster board, and present it to volunteer judges. The research was done in the very early internet age, so much of my research had to be done with books. Admittedly, I was very bad at coming up with ideas. It wasn't until I saw the rest of the boards that I realized the simplicity in some of the ideas that my fellow classmates and how much better their projects were.

What I usually struggled with was finishing the paper. As a teenager, I wasn't the best at my time management. And writing the scientific paper was not my forte. It would take me a very long time to finish. One year in particular, the day before the paper was due and I had barely finished. My heart raced as I considered how long I would have to be up that night and how it would be impossible for me to finish everything I needed to do. My prayers for more time were answered when my school announced an early dismissal in anticipation of a snow storm. I raced home and worked on my paper, enthusiastic for the extra hours I had gained. But, by eight that night it became evident that I needed more time still. God answered my prayers once again and I got the call from one of my friends that we had the next day off too. Thanks in large part to the snow day, I finished my paper.

A few years ago, I was set to take David to the airport on Superbowl Sunday. At that time David was spending three weeks out of the month in California. There was a threat of snow, but it wasn't enough to deter a native Chicagoan from planning to drop David at the airport and then drive to my friend's house to watch the game. The snow came in heavier than usual and remember wishing for David's flight to be canceled so I could have another week with David. After an afternoon full of delays, reschedulings and ultimately,  cancellations we spent the evening together watching football and eating tortellini. I got my extra time.

Earlier this week, Chicago got hit with a snow storm, definitely not unheard of even in mid-March, but enough to make the commute into work more treacherous and grueling. As I sat in my office and watched the snow whirl around outside, sometimes to the point where I couldn't see the building across the street from me or the now green river, I thought about how I want some extra time. Losing an hour on Sunday made the desire for more time stronger. I wished that I could have another miraculous snow day to give me the chance to get enough sleep, to clean my house, organize my closets, write, and read.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wanting to be Leslie Knope but being Andy Dwyer

I wish I was Leslie Knope from "Parks and Recreation." I wish I had her unyielding optimism, the respect from her peers she received in the later season, but mostly, I want her energy. Leslie Knope is someone who is an unyielding source of energy. She does more in an hour than most will get done in a week. She can cross stitch your face on a pillow, make toffee surprise popcorn, a scrapbook about your day together and write an in-depth federal grant proposal in one night. And still be functional for work the next day. As much as I would like to be this type of person, I sadly am not. Working a full day, making dinner, exercising, playing with Robin, talking with David, and trying to continue my writing pursuits doesn't leave me energized for the next day, as my boss noted yesterday, I am almost always tired and drinking coffee. 

When I watch "Parks and Rec" I aspire to be a Leslie Knope or even a Ron Swanson, who also seems to have more hours in the day than the 24 us mere mortals are allotted. But, as I survey the characters I feel I most closely resemble Andy Dwyer. Maybe it's because the laundry can pile up along with the dishes before they are washed. Or the fact that I would love to be able to sleep for 12 hours a night, but I think if I were to take a personality test, I'd be an Andy Dwyer. 

You could argue that these are characters on a television show, who are larger than life and to be a Leslie Knope would be impossible since no one in real life can have the ability to do so much. But I have met some real life Leslie Knopes. A close friend of mine works a full-time job, is getting his MBA, is a real estate broker, and owns a real estate investment company, plus he is a devoted family man and very active in his church. His wife is also a Leslie Knope, she works as a social worker and photographer, is also active in her church, takes care of their young daughter and is still one of the most upbeat optimistic people I know. She was the woman who held an amazing backyard Fourth of July barbecue less than two months after having her first. (This is not a feat I would ever attempt as it takes at least a week of laser focused cleaning  for me to get my house ready for company). My best friend, Meg, is an assistant manager, is on the board of a charity, is a consultant Hilltop Designs (making handmade and natural soaps and such), along with taking care of 18-month-old daughter, cooking new delicious recipes and avidly keeping abreast of current politics and affairs. Honestly, with these people, I cannot keep up. 

So, I will go back to my existence as Andy Dwyer, slightly envious but mostly amazed by all the Leslie Knopes in my life. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tenaciously Writing

I don't know why I write. I think it has always been a part of me. When I was little I wrote plays that I forced my sisters to act out. I cannot even remember when I first put pen to paper and started My Not So Normal Life. Though it was after the tv show Alias aired in 2001. Shout out to J. J. Abrams for creating a show that sparked creativity in me. I don't know why I write, other than I have an idea that I cannot ignore. But I know why I finish: my tenacity. Tenacity runs strong in my family. Projects I start I tend to finish. So books I begin to write I finish. That doesn't mean that I have written all the stories I have thought of, but I will one day. 

Writing a manuscript is not easy. There is a lot of times it'd be easier to just give up and move on to something else. And as someone who generally has a short attention span, persevering through a long writing process isn't easy. But my tenacity prevents me from giving up. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy Ten Year Friendaversary, Meg!

Ten years ago today, I embarked on a journey to London. I was a junior in college and going with a class group on a spring break trip called "Literary London." At almost 21 years old I never had the courage to venture so far from home. At the time it seemed like there were a series of events that led me to enroll in the trip, but looking back I think it was divine intervention.

On the trip, I met Meg. Someone who quickly became like family to me. We bonded over shared political and television interests. For the first time in my life, I felt like I could be myself with her, share my weirdest thoughts and crazy dreams. Meg was the one who encouraged me to self-publish. She has been there for me when I needed her the most. She drove to my side when I took the bar exam and my test refused to upload just to bring me tequila. She invited me to her house when I needed a break from job hunting. She introduced me to David. She made the godmother to her daughter.

I wouldn't be where I am today if it hadn't been for Meg. She is my longest friendship. Meg is the reason I met all the amazing people I consider my closest friends. She has been the catalyst for my adult life, and the main reason I am the person I am today.

I thank God for leading me to London and to meet Meg.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Don't Quit Your Day Job

I don't think it's an uncommon desire to be paid for doing what you love. Whether it's making a living from your writing, painting, singing, acting, running, playing sports, watching tv, reading, or some other passion or hobby. I think we all wish we could be paid to pursue our hobbies or passions. Between law school and my first job as an attorney, while I waited for by bar exam results I was underemployed for just over three months. I worked as a receptionist at a student health center at a local university. In that time I spent most of my free time (when not applying for jobs) writing and working on My Not So Normal Life. That time was challenging, but it was nice to have large chunks of time for writing, reading, and editing. Working a full-time job, with a long commute doesn't always allow me all the time I'd like to devote to writing.

My sister recently reminded me that few authors actually are able to live solely from their writing and have jobs to supplements their income. So, as much as I would love to quit my job and be a writer full-time, working in different cafes, I still have student loans, house payments, and groceries to buy.

I hope my readers are either currently being paid to pursue their passion. Or hopefully, it'll happen for you one day. As for me, I will continue to find moments in my train commute and lunch break to write.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day

This past Tuesday was Valentine's Day. David and I celebrated by having dinner at Cracker Barrel and watching 30 Rock on Netflix, real fancy, I know. We generally have very low key Valentine's Day celebrations. Really, most of our relationship is very low key. Looking at Facebook, I found pictures of my friends indulging in fancy meals, or out of the ordinary activities. I believe there is no "right" way to celebrate your relationships and that the activities should be tailored to fit the couple. I also believe the notion that all love should be expressed passionately is wrong.

In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne believes love should be passionate. She cannot understand and is almost repulsed by the thought of a "calm" love. She eventually learns that love doesn't have to be drama filled. In the episode "1 in 8,000" of Parks and Rec, Ron Swanson advises Donna Meagle, who is worried about being a boring couple "Don't confuse drama with happiness." In the episode "The Tuxedo Begins" of 30 Rock, Jenna and her boyfriend Paul discover that acting normal in their relationship isn't as abhorrent as they expected.

No, these plot lines are not as sexy as Fifty Shades of Gray. If that is the type of love or romance you seek, that's fine. But for me, the love Marianne, Donna Meagle, and Jenna and Paul discover is more preferable than any love you'll find in a romance book.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Finding Writers

As I have gotten more confidence I have begun to talk more about my books. In the past, I would hide the fact I was an author. Usually mumbling something about it to very close family and friends. I was embarrassed that people would think my idea was stupid. I worried that my co-workers/bosses would think that I wasn't serious about work if they knew I had outside interests. (This one I know is pretty dumb, but I began my career during the recession and had the idea that I was replaceable drilled into my head. That work mentality made me think that I had to act as a lawyer-drone, someone who put work before everything else.)

Slowly, I have moved away from being shy about talking about my books and I learned something: there are writers everywhere. I have found a community of writers on Twitter. Friends of friends, work acquaintances, family members, all talk about the book they have written or want to write. I love talking to people about the projects they are working on or want to work on. I love to encourage them to write and publish.

Last week, I mentioned I had experience self-publishing books with a woman in another department at my office. She asked me if I had instructions on how to self-publish on Amazon because she had a book she wanted to self-publish but didn't know how. Being a publishing author was always a dream of mine and to give someone the tools to make their dream come true made me feel like amazing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Checking In

I am truly blessed to be surrounded by an amazing support system. Between my family, David's family, and my friends I know I have many people cheering me on. A few weeks ago I received a text message from one of my uncles. It was a simple message: "you still got me in your corner." 2017 has started out more hectic than I had planned and there have been more setbacks than I anticipated. But it is always nice to have someone say they are in your corner.
"Life moves really fast." And yes, Ferris Bueller was right that you should take a moment to stop and look around. But you should also take a moment to tell someone that you're there for them. You never know the type of day they are having, a simple message just to say I'm in your corner and I love you may make all the difference.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Final editing of My Not So Normal Life 1

It is 7:05 a.m. I am exhausted. For the last few days I don't feel like I have stopped moving. Adding into my schedule of work, exercise, and enough sleep to get by I have been going over My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit over the phone with my editor. Finding time isn't easy when you consider I only have evenings. And the fact that I am getting over a bad cold doesn't help matters either.
Some may ask if this is worth it. They might encourage me to quit. Take my evenings and just relax and watch tv. That's not an option. Writing is a part of me. And I want to share who I am with the world. I could slap some words together and publish (something I did in my youth) but that'd be a disservice to my writing. No one can write something perfextly on the first try. Through revisions to story becomes better. I have worked on My Not So Normal Life for half of my life. I'll gladly give up my precious free time to work on making my book the best it could possibly be.
If only I could take naps at work.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 Resolutions

In January 2015, I created a list of resolutions for the first time in my life. I had never been one in the past to make silly resolutions that got broken by January 10th. But that year, I had been inspired by David to set forth some goals. I had two on the list: Get a new job and lose weight. By June of 2015 I had started a new job and by September 2015 I had lost 20 pounds. 2016 I did not make any solid resolutions (I think my only real goal last year was to acclimate to turning 30). So this year I decided to take a page out of 2015's book and write down what I want to accomplish this year.

1. Lose weight (through diet and exercise I want to lose one pound a week). I will track my progress periodically to let you know if this goal is going according to plan. 

2. Read 50 books. I have already read one book "More Than This" by Jay McLean. This is not that much of lofty goal on it's own, but does get to be slightly daunting when you take into consideration #3 and #4. 

3. Publish "My Not So Normal Life" 

4. Complete revisions on "My Not So Normal Life 2" and get it ready for publication. 

5. Get passport renewed (this *should* be an easy goal but you never know)

Side note: I really wish that for every book I read I lost a pound of fat. 

Wish me luck!

-Liz Laz

Three Years Ago Today

Three years ago I went on my first date with David. It was a very low key affair, a dinner and movie double date at my best friend's house. 2014 had been gearing up to be a bad year. I was in a crappy job that gave me little time to write and left me continuously exhausted. I had lost my grandmother (my childhood hero) a month earlier and my last remaining grandparent, my grandpa was in Intensive Care taking it one day at a time. I worried that I would have to cancel my date with David since my grandpa had been in such poor health.

Luckily, I didn't have to cancel and I don't think my date with David could have gone better. I am so glad that David and I were brought together. I cannot imagine my life without him.