Weekend, #AmWriting, and #AmWatching

I mentioned last Monday we’d have both sons home for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful. Son #1 got hubby (a longtime Pittsburgh fan) an early Christmas present of tickets to the Steelers/Bengals slaughter game yesterday, so the four of us spent the weekend in Cincinnati.

Son #2 and I aren’t really sports fans (he refers to any type of sport as sportsball), so we took a food tour in the downtown area Sunday afternoon. He’s a big foodie and found us a fantastic food tour in NYC a few years ago – one of the best we’ve ever been on – and always looks for tours in cities we visit. This one was filled with fascinating historical facts about Cincinnati and some tantalizing ethnic foods (how have I made it this long without steamed buns?). If you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend it. Shoutout to our tour guide, Jackie – request her if you can.

Thanks to the authors who suggested free writing for my WIP last week to uncover the story hiding among all my ideas and notes taken over the past couple years. I’m taking your advice and giving it a shot later this week. I’ll post an update on the process next Monday.

Son #1 and I went to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife last week and it received a thumbs up from both of us. We liked that it focused more on the young actors (who did an outstanding job) than the adults, and the storyline was a logical extension of the original movies. It came with a few surprises and bittersweet moments, but no spoilers here. If you were a fan of the original movies, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Have a great week!

Travels, #AmWriting, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m writing this post on Sunday. We were out of town this weekend visiting family and are flying back to Nashville today. The youngest son is flying to Nashville from Austin, and if all flights are on time and the stars align, he should arrive at the airport an hour after we land. IF. With air transportion, that’s definitely a capitalized if. Keep your fingers crossed.

For my next book, I’ve been making notes for a couple years and taking pictures of things I come across that I know are included in the story. That’s all good, right? The problem is – I have no idea what the story is exactly. I’ve even had dreams about it, found a house that’s the primary setting, a creepy gate leading to the driveway, and came across an old, twisting tree in a cemetery that fits in somehow. To the writers out there – is this something you’ve dealt with before? You have a general idea, maybe even characters that are talking to you, but you’re still uncertain what the story is about? I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on this.

I’ll still be posting a couple of reviews this week, but with family in, I might be late replying to comments and visiting blogs. To all my American friends, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! To my other friends not celebrating Thanksgiving, have a wonderful week!

Book Event, Thanksgiving, and #AmWatching

I mentioned last week I was attending my first book event in nearly two years over the past weekend. Readers were sparse, but it was nice to talk to the few who attended. I also made contact with local authors who’ve formed a writer’s group, so that’s a plus. They share information on book events they come across, and that’s always helpful. My table was beside D.G. Driver, a writer friend from Nashville who blurbed Sarah. I hadn’t seen her in quite a while, so it was nice to catch up.

Thanksgiving will be a wonderful time with family and friends. Both sons will be here, and the youngest who lives in Austin will be with us a week – yay! Friends (they’re more like family) will be joining us for dinner that day, and since we’re big on games (some of us are super competitive), I’m sure we’ll spend a few hours playing. Hubby always fries the turkey (if you’ve never tried it that way, you’re truly depriving yourself), and the smell is guaranteed to inspire spontaneous drooling.

I finished season two of Locke and Key. I’m not sure how I felt about the ending, but there’d better be another season. A couple weeks ago, I finally watched the series finale of Shameless. The Gallaghers have to be one of my favorite dysfunctional families, and it was an appropriate sendoff for these characters – especially Frank.

Have a great week!

#AmWriting, Author Event, and #AmWatching

With Bad Moon Rising taking up the month of October, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Monday share, so let’s get started.

I’m waiting to get the second round of edits from my publisher for the sequel to Subject A36. One more to go after that. I’m also waiting for the cover design, something I’m super excited about. I gave the designer an idea, but he always puts a spin on it that’s better than anything I could come up with. I’ve seen some truly eye-catching covers in our author group on FB.

I have my first author event in nearly two years scheduled for this Saturday at our local library! The event is for local authors, many I’ve never met, and one who blurbed my first book, Sarah. Even though she lives only an hour away, I haven’t seen her in several years. I’ve really missed meeting and talking with readers. Honestly, I’d talk to a brick wall about books if I thought it was listening. Then again, it doesn’t matter to me if it listens. I just like to talk about books. A crafty friend of mine made some new additions for my author table that I’m excited to display. They’ve just been sitting in a dark box anxious to make their debut. I’ll try to get a pic to post next Monday.

I’ve been watching a little bit of everything. I finished the third season of You – and what a truly twisted, bizarre season it was. As with the other two seasons, I binged it and couldn’t look away. I’d been waiting for Seinfield to drop on Netflix. I was a fan when it originally aired, but I’ve only caught a few episodes in reruns over the years. I’m in the middle of the second season of Locke and Key on Netflix and enjoying it just as much as the first season. I’m not sure how closely it follows the graphic novels, but I’m loving the creativity of these keys. Somehow I missed a 2015 remake of the movie Poltergeist, and watched it over Halloween. It wasn’t bad, but it certainly doesn’t top Craig T. Nelson. That’s a nearly impossible feat.

Have a great week!

Subject A36 Sequel, Writer’s Retreat, and #BadMoonRising

Yesterday I sent the Subject A36 sequel to my publisher a full five days before the deadline! It’s been a long, bumpy road to the finish line. These characters and I had our disagreements – some didn’t want to talk, others demanded more page time. You writers know how they can be – but I’ll miss all of them. I mean, we went through a pandemic together. Anyhoo – I had myself a little celebration after clicking the send button. I’ll get the manuscript back for three more rounds of edits, and then it will be released into the world next May.

After being postponed twice due to COVID, I’m finally going to a writer’s retreat hosted by authors C.J. Redwine and Mary Weber this week! Even better – it’s at a beach – woohoo!!!! It’s limited to a small group, and everyone is required to do an at home COVID test before arriving. I’m not sure who will be attending, but I’m hoping some of my friends from previous retreats will be there. Since the attendees were required to rent their own condos, Hubby had planned to go with me – until several high school friends planned a get together that overlapped the dates. He hasn’t seen some of these guys for years, so I was fine with it. My friend is gladly taking his place (she threatened him about changing his mind), and she’ll be lying on the beach reading while I’m in workshops. I’ve been looking forward to this for months!

Bad Moon Rising starts this Friday! I’ll post a preview with the authors’ names on Wednesday, so make sure to stop by and check the roster. Several you’ll undoubtedly recognize, but there are also new ones to meet.

A Weekend Away

Hubby and I traveled to the NC mountains over the weekend just to get away for a few days. The weather predictions didn’t look that great, but we lucked out (something that rarely happens for us) and only had a couple of brief afternoon showers. He played a round of golf on Friday morning while I rode in the cart and read. The course was beautiful and not crowded at all since it was a weekday. He was pretty pleased with his score – 79 I think?

We also tried some new restaurants, met one of our nieces for dinner (she’s at a local university), and toured some local shops. This is a pic of canine goodies at a place called My Best Friend’s Barkery – you’ve gotta love that name. They also offered cat items, but it was mainly geared toward dogs. Such discrimination, lol.

Saturday morning we went on a roller coaster in the woods, but it’s not like a regular coaster. These were individual cars (only big enough for one adult and a smaller child) that came with hand brakes, so the intrepid could travel full speed while the less adventurous were allowed to set their own pace. I loved the Halloween decorations with the skeletons crawling over the building.

Saturday afternoon was spent at a winery featuring live music and flights of wine. The property was gorgeous, and I sampled a few different types of wine. Usually sangria doesn’t appeal to me because it’s too sweet, but the Apple and Orange Cinnamon was delicious and would be perfect heated on a chilly autumn evening – while reading a book, of course. It’s not a good photo, but the last is a pic of the moon Saturday night.

Today will be spent on edits and contacting three authors who haven’t returned their Bad Moon Rising info. Two of them I know, and I’m sure the deadline just slipped their minds. Have a great week!

Weekend, #BadMoonRising, and #AmWatching

This was my birthday weekend and I pretty much did nothing but read. The weather wasn’t sweltering, there was a nice breeze, and I spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday afternoons on the patio with my Kindle. I’m way behind on reading and reviews, and with NetGalley books I always try to get the review done and posted before publication day, so it was nice to make some progress. Son #2 flew in from Austin – not specifically for my birthday, but his friend happened to have one the same weekend. Honestly, the longest amount of time we spent with him was driving back and forth from the airport in Nashville, lol. Not that I played the guilt card – he made loads of friends here and I know he wanted to see them. We’re talking about making another trip to Austin in October. Now that he’s been there a few months, he’s found some places he’d like to take us.

I might have the last spot for Bad Moon Rising filled? I received an email from an author, but couldn’t find the name on Amazon, and I’ve asked for a book link or the name they write under. Usually a couple authors never return their info, so I always like to have backups. If I have more than thirty-one, that’s fine – I’ll do extra posts if I have to. Better than not having enough. If you’re one of the participants, the deadline for submitting your info is this Saturday! I’ll start prepping the posts this week. It may sound like a chore, but you’d be surprised how quickly I can finish them – especially when I’m laughing at some of the answers.

Two of my favorite shows are back! The eleventh season of The Walking Dead started a few weeks ago, and the final season of Lucifer dropped Friday on Netflix. I also started watching The Chair on Netflix with Sandra Oh. You might think the trials and tribulations of an English department chair at a major university sounds kind of dry, but I was surprised at how humorous it is. Holland Taylor is an absolute delight as one of the professors.

Here’s to a productive week – cheers!

Football Game and #AmWatching

If you celebrate Labor Day, hope everyone is enjoying this long holiday weekend. We spent it in Charlotte visiting family and attending the Clemson-Georgia football game Saturday night. Hubby and I earned our graduate degrees from Clemson University, and a business associate of his got us tickets. Our oldest son is all about sports, so he flew down and met us. Lots of energy, plenty of good-natured ribbing between most fans, and perfect weather. Here are some pics from the game. Those skydivers always amaze me the way they can land on the 50 yard line. Skydiving is something that’s on my bucket list, and I’m determined to give it a try.

You notice above I said “most” fans. There’s always one who takes it all too seriously and tries to start things with fans from the other team. We had two within three rows of us. One nearly got thrown out – have no idea why they didn’t insist he leave – and the other sat directly in front of us. The sad thing was the little boy sitting beside him (not his father) who had to witness all the bad sportsmanship and immature behavior.

Hubby and I started watching Succession last week – aging patriarch of a business empire, four ambitious adult children, one trying to force out the father so he can take over, division of family loyalties, lots of backstabbing and manipulation – you get the picture. There’s not one likeable character on the whole show, but we’re hooked. Two seasons are on HBO Max right now, and I think a third is being released soon.

Wishing you all a great week!

#AmWriting, Fantasy Football, and The Matrix

I don’t care that it’s a dreary, cloudy Monday morning – join me in a Snoopy happy dance! Today I’ll be adding the final touches on the sequel to Subject A36 and sending it to my editor – woohoo!!!!! I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I write out of sequence – weird, but it works for me – and last week I finally put the chapters in order. I balked at my word count. Something looked off, and I’d thought it was higher. Once I began the final read through, I realized I’d left out a chapter – whew! Completing this is such a weight off my shoulders. I’ve been working on this sequel for nearly two years, and I think the characters and I were getting annoyed with each other for taking this much time to complete their story. Saturday, it occurred to me my time with them was nearly over, and a wave of sadness came over me. Has this happened to you other writers out there?

My oldest son was here for the weekend. It’s fantasy football draft time! He’s in two leagues – one with friends from high school and another with fathers and sons – so he had two consecutive draft days. The second draft day was held at our house and it was fun seeing these guys together again – they’ve been friends since middle school. Where did the time go?

I read that the trailer to The Matrix Resurrections (the fourth in the series) was revealed by Warner Brothers at CinemaCon last week, but I guess it’s not out for the general public yet. Trust me – I’ve scoured the internet. I’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning and remember seeing the first movie by myself (hubby is most definitely not a fan of sci-fi) while I was pregnant with son #2. The release date is set for December 2021, so I’m super excited. Sure hope to see that trailer soon.

Hope you all have a fantastic, Snoopy dance-filled week!

Birthday Gift, The Exorcist, and #AmWatching

What happened to last week? I had a long to-do list and made progress, but the time sure flew by. And here we are at Monday again.

Son #2’s birthday was a little over a week ago (Friday the 13th). He and Son #1 are complete polar opposites with their interests in most things, but they share a love of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Son #2 even has a tattoo related to the series. Son #1 sent him a totally cool, creative birthday gift. He got the voice actor of Son #2’s favorite character to make a cameo – a personalized celebrity video message. They seem to be pretty trendy right now, and there’s a website that lists the celebrities HERE. It was perfect, and the actor did a fantastic job. It’s a great idea if you’re looking for something different.

I’ve always said the scariest movie ever made was The Exorcist, and I try to watch it at least once per year around Halloween. I’m late to the party on this one, but I just heard last week there’s a continuation, not a remake, of The Exorcist Trilogy, with the first one scheduled for release October 2023. Ellen Burnstyn is reprising her role as Chris MacNeil, the mother to Linda Blair’s Regan. Some fans may not be as enthusiastic about the project, but I’m excited. I just wish it wasn’t two years away.

Hubby was out of town last week, so when he travels I watch the movies he has no interest in (I have no shortage of things to choose from). I finally got around to The Tomorrow War with Chris Pratt on Amazon Prime. It’s a long one at over two hours, but it sure held my interest. Here’s the official description: The world is stunned when a group of time travellers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: thirty years in the future, mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. I’m a sucker for just about any type of time travel story, and I’m a fan of Pratt. The aliens were just a bonus. If you’re a sci-fi fan, give it a try.

Hope you all have a healthy, fabulous week!