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!

#AmWriting, Author Events, and #BadMoonRising

All you authors out there – does music influence your writing? I was driving home a few days ago, heard a new song on the radio I liked, and the final scene in my WIP played out like a movie in my head. When I asked my characters why they didn’t share this information with me weeks ago, there were looks of confusion and sheepish expressions along with plenty of shoulder shrugging. Guess they just needed inspiration. In case anyone’s wondering, the song was Tell Your Soul by A Killer’s Confession. Yes, my favorite music genre is hard rock, and I was listening to Octane on Sirius Radio. When I got home, over the course of a couple of writing sessions I added about 3K more words to the scene I’d barely started. That may not sound like a lot to some of you (Craig Boyack!) but for me, it’s close to a record. Has this happened to any of you?

Our library has starting having in-person events again (yes!), and I snagged a couple of tickets to see award-winning YA author Jason Reynolds next month. It’s right around my birthday, so what a treat that will be. And signed copies – my favorite! They’re also hosting an Indie Author Day in November. That will be my first author event since February 2020 – so excited to talk to readers in person again!

Bad Moon Rising is filling up fast – only have nine slots are left. This may be the quickest year yet. If you or someone you know is interested, don’t wait! Email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

Corgi Races, #AmWatching, and #BadMoonRising

I asked my son what he was doing this weekend, and he said he’d be attending Corgi races on Sunday. What? This is a thing? I looked into it, and it’s a yearly fundraiser for the Humane Society where he lives. They also have Weiner Dog and All Breed Rescue Run categories. Free admission, $2 corn dogs and $2 beer, and bets can be placed on the dogs. This sounds like such a fun way to raise money for the furry friends who need it at shelters. He said it was a good time, but his dogs didn’t come in. Guess there’s no early retirement for him.

Hubby and I are late to the party with this show, but we blew through Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ last week and got caught up on the couple of episodes that dropped in season 2. We’re Jason Sudeikis fans, and when I read that the show involved sports I knew hubby might enjoy it. Amusing storyline (he’s an American football coach hired to coach a professional soccer team in England), the writing is outstanding, and the actors are perfectly cast. Give it a try if you have a chance.

Signups for Bad Moon Rising started last Friday and half the spots are already full. If you’re an author of horror, thrillers, or paranormal/supernatural and would like free promotion for your book in October, click HERE for more info.

Blurb, Butterflies, and #AmWatching

I’m still working like a maniac to meet my October 1st deadline for the sequel (still untitled) to Subject A36. It occurred to me a couple weeks ago that I needed a blurb for the cover. With this being a sequel, options on who I could ask were limited. As I was putting makeup on last week (I get the best ideas doing that or when taking a shower for some reason) a name popped in my head. I asked and he agreed – which is a huge relief for me and one less thing to worry about.

A weird thing happened Friday evening. I was sitting on the patio reading when small, brown spotted butterfly landed on my hand. And stayed there. I’m a butterfly lover – I even brake for them – so I was thrilled when he stuck around. Over the next hour, he crawled from my hand to my leg, ankle, and foot. Unfortunately, Bond (my cat) discovered my new friend and nearly tagged him with a paw. A ruckus ensued (the neighbors had quite a show if they were watching), but I shooed the butterfly away while restraining Bond. I would have been horrified if Bond had killed it. There’s bound to be some bad karma attached to that. Anyhoo, I was curious and Googled what it means when brown butterflies land on you. In most cultures, it symbolizes a fresh start and also means that important news is coming. If you’re going through a rough time or have experienced a loss, it can signify the situation will get better. All good things. Again, I’m glad Bond didn’t slaughter him.

I mentioned in another fairly recent post about TV shows I watch being canceled. Add a couple more to the list – Manifest (which was supposed to have three more seasons) and Debris. Both ended on big cliffhangers naturally. The Manifest creators promised the fans they’ll have a resolution some way – maybe with a movie. Evil, a show on CBS, was renewed after season one, but moved to Paramount Plus. I guess when all the episodes from season two drop, I’ll sign up for the seven day free trial. The number of shows I watch on network television has dwindled every year and seem to be replaced with more reality shows. If it was just me I’d probably drop cable, but hubby still likes to surf the channels.

Have a great week!

Subject A36 Sequel and #AmWatching

Last Monday I mentioned I’d have an announcement this week – so here it is. Seems like it’s been forever coming, but I can now say the sequel to Subject A36 will be published May 19, 2022! Assuming I meet my deadline, lol. I’ve been revising and editing like a fiend over the past few weeks, and my beta has been reading chapters as quickly as I send them to her. She’s a superhero. Still no title yet (you can’t even be surprised by that), but it’s coming. I hate that it will be a little over two years between the books, something I hate as a reader, but it couldn’t be avoided. The pandemic messed with the creative flow of many writers, me included. I’m toying with the idea of doing some outtakes or bonus scenes for readers and making it free on my website before the release. Let me know your thoughts.

I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this before, but has anyone watched Animal Kingdom? Hubby and I became addicted and binged four seasons on Amazon Prime in a little over a month (and you know how difficult it is to keep his interest). Season Five just started on TNT last week. It’s based on an Austrailian movie by the same name released in 2010. I watched it soon after its release, but didn’t remember much about it. This family is seriously dysfunctional, mostly because of Smurf, the mother/grandmother, but it’s impossible to look away. The way she manipulates those boys is disturbing, but completely fascinating. If you like dark crime shows, we highly recommend it.

Back to edits and revisions!

Our Weekend – Good, Bad, and Ugly #blessed

What a fun weekend we had! Our son’s Canadian girlfriend received her second vaccine a couple weeks ago and flew to KY to visit. They hadn’t seen each other since Christmas. Hubby and I were also invited to visit them for the weekend, and we jumped at the chance. You know what big fans we are of escape rooms, and our son booked one for Saturday. After lunch, we went to a new game the facility was featuring based on the classic boardgame Clue. Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Ms. Scarlet, etc. – they were all suspects. We had to name the killer, weapon, and room the murder takes place in. We traveled through four rooms – the hall, kitchen, conservatory, and study – to find clues and solve puzzles and finished the game with about thirteen minutes to spare. We all said it was one of the most enjoyable escape rooms we’d done – and we’ve done several. If you have the opportunity to try this one out, you’ll spend an enjoyable and nostalgic hour – or less if you escape sooner.

That was the best part of the weekend. On our way home yesterday, just five minutes from our house, someone ran a red light and T-boned our car. We’re both fine, just bruised and banged up. I was driving, hubby was in the passenger seat. My side air bag deployed, but I was unable to open my car door and had to climb over the console to get out. Some very kind Good Samaritans who witnessed the accident (it was at a large intersection) stayed with us to give their statements to the officers. We feel so fortunate and blessed to walk away from this with minor injuries. We’re pretty sure the car is totaled.

I’m thinking I’ll have a big announcement next Monday, so make sure to drop by. Have a great week!