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Window Dressings
Window Dressings:
A Door Closes, A Window Opens:
The Story of One Woman's Quest
To Find Love in the Big Apple

By Masada Siegel

book cover for 'Window Dressings'

riting a book is a lot like dating. You entrust your heart and soul to a stranger with the hope of winning their affection and love blossoming.

My new book, "Window Dressings", is the story of one woman's quest to follow her instincts in the world of love and career. Her compass, a magical Maori mood ring, helps navigate the choppy waters of being single and unemployed in New York.

Being a journalist has allowed me the opportunity to peer into the lives of the rich and famous. All too often their lives appear to be ideal. However, looks are deceiving, and "Window Dressings" reflects these realities in love, life and work. Much of what I saw and experienced living in New York, as well as the stories friends told me, became material I used in the novel.

Writing what you know and what you see, with a splash of imagination, is a great way to develop a story. One of the key components of a novel is having compelling characters. Because many of the characters in "Window Dressings" are based on actual people, I created well-rounded characters. This helped as when I was imagining a character, I could also hear their voices in my head – and not in a weird, see-the-doctor sort of way!

The main character, Skye Silver, is a Jewish woman who is in an interfaith relationship, and she is dealing with turmoil in her personal life that spills into every other area of her world.
As Skye tries to navigate her way through the dating world of New York, so did I, having lived in Manhattan for eight years. So not only was I writing a book on dating, I was experiencing the endless excitement and disasters that occur on the way to finding Mr. Right.

the writer: Masada Siegel

Dating anywhere on the planet seems to be challenging. However, big cities such as Manhattan present a different set of issues – the choices are endless and what one often hears is, "Dating in New York is like being in a candy store." Which, on one hand, is great, but if you are looking for the real deal, it gets depressing and frustrating going on endless dates to nowhere.

Both in dating and writing, there has to be structure. In order to write a great book, a writer needs to have a storyline and to make an outline. Similarly, people dating need to have a goal of what they are looking to find, whether it be a friendship, a future partner and maybe even finding the love of their life.

However, life, like writing, can be messy. Sometime you delete words (and people). Other times, it is all about letting go, and somehow both in books and in reality, situations often unfold as they do in the pages of a novel.

While I was writing "Window Dressings", sometimes the pages tumbled out, as if my brain knew exactly where the story was going. I remember my surprise when 20 pages appeared in one writing session. Other times, I felt unsure, not exactly knowing where the characters were going next.

So while requiring structure, writing is also often a go-with-the-flow situation. But, unlike dating, one of the best aspects of being an author is having ultimate control, as you can put words in characters mouths and decide the outcome of a story. It is truly the closest to feeling like a higher power with the ability to direct other's lives.

Dating, like writing, has it challenges, but sometimes, as in Window Dressings, the unexpected takes us on adventures we never would have imagined. It's good to dream, read and believe, because often life imitates art, and both dating and novels have unexpected but interesting endings! Happy writing and happy reading!.

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Let Masada know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Eugene Chaplin Introduces Chaplin's World Museum in Vevey, Switzerland

Charlie Chaplin and the Chaplin Museum
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin. A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model Kiera Chaplin.

Go There

Tom Weber's travel blog/review
Treasures of Ireland: The Burren (Dispatch #14)

a dolmen at The Burren

The Palladian Traveler ventures back to the days of fearless Celtic warriors to search for some "stones to take you home" as he files his latest dispatch from the monochromatic moonscape known as The Burren.

Go There

Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Provence: As Much a Mood, a Spirit as a Destination

Christmas card
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" goes the song. Robert Goulet sang it and Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis, too, and it surely comes to mind when you stand on a bluff in the Luberon of Provence and stare across at the little hill village of Gordes. The view is the best part; the village's interior itself is not dramatic and stands as a warning of what contemporary popularity can do to the simple homes of 12th century working people.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Exploring Venice: Lost and Found. And Special Finds. Repeat.

Venice street musicians
Walking home to our apartment in Venice, we share a wave through the window with the owner of Baba, our local osteria. Leaving for a day of sightseeing, a cup of my favorite pistachio gelato awaits me despite the early hour. At the Bar Dugole, we relax after a day of sightseeing and order the regular: vodka for my husband and Amaretto for me.

Go There

Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Traveling with Beautiful Boots and a Bison Backpack

Bison Redwood Backpack

People often asked about my favorite travel apparel and gear. This happened to me at the airport recently. One question came as I was putting back on my clothes after going through the TSA checkpoint striptease. Before leaving the area, I heard a soft voice say, "hey, I really like your boots. Where did you get them?" Looking up, I found a uniformed employee staring at my feet.

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Bev Cohn's travel blog
Film Review: "My Hero Brother" – A Tribute to the Human Spirit

a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

I just spent five days attending the Santa Barbara Film Festival and for the most part, the features, animated shorts, and documentaries were quite professional and compelling. That said, "My Hero Brother," a documentary that was particularly outstanding, told the remarkable and inspiring story about a group of Down syndrome young men and women who go on a two-week trek through the Himalayas with their non-Down syndrome siblings.

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John Clayton's travel blog/review
Buckingham Palace – It's THE Most Popular Tour in Great Britain (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)

Buckingham Palace exit
Is it more momentous for a Brit to do the Buckingham Palace tour than say an American or indeed any other nationality? Yes, I know that's an odd question, but if you grow up – as I did – in London back in the 1950s, getting inside Buckingham Palace was the stuff of dreams. Hence my surprise at touring BP in 2005.

Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Paradise on Earth: The Romance of Tahiti and Her Islands

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
The first thing you notice is the fragrance. The intoxicating perfume of the tiare flower announces to your senses that you are in a magical place, overflowing with tropical vegetation and soothing trade winds. It is the same fragrance that the English seamen on the HMS Bounty also first encountered; but they came, not for flowers, but for breadfruit, intended as a new food staple for their slaves in the West Indies.

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