Almost there…

Can ya’ll believe it’s already September? Fall will be here before we know it, and then winter, too. Personally, I can’t wait. South Texas has been hot and a cool front is much needed. Especially since I’ve been trying to make an effort of spending some time outside. Working from home has gotten me into the bad habit of staying indoors for days. I might’ve been turning into a bit of a hermit. Nothing against hermits, but everyone needs their vitamin D.

In other news–football is back, and with it brings a feeling of normalcy that has been lacking since Covid started. I’m a bit ambivalent about it. I love the idea of rooting for my favorite teams and letting myself fall into the distraction sports offers. But watching some of the college games today, and noticing all those fans stacked in the stands–well, it looks like an outbreak waiting to happen. I suppose the laxness was because they were all outside wearing masks? Anyway, I hope no one gets sick.

On the writing front–things have gotten better, and I’m at a place in the novel where things are getting a bit more complex and exciting. Everything is coming together and gelling. I’m getting super stoked about it. I realized that the past few months I was going through a bit of writer’s block. Which happens, because you know… sometimes writing sucks. Like really, really sucks. Words are hard to come by. I’ll hit a wall and nothing seems to get the creative juices going. But the important thing is just to keep at it. And before I know it–things change. Everything just… works. And the words start to flow. So that’s how I’m feeling right now. And it’s really not a bad place to be.

Other than that there’s not really much to report this month. My life is pretty much just work, exercise, writing, and playing guitar or watching TV. Socially–it’s just hanging out with family, but other than that I don’t really get up to much. I’m still not going out or eating at restaurants. Although, I do have a bad habit of going to Target with my mother on the weekends and blowing through money like a gazillionair when all I meant to do was buy a few necessities. It’s gotten so bad I don’t want her to ask if I want to go because I don’t have the heart to say no. Oh, well. I know I’m not the only person who’s got a soft spot for Target.

Well, that’s all from me. Ya’ll take care and stay safe!

August update

Hi everyone! I hope ya’ll are doing alright. Can you believe it’s already August? The year sure is flying by–or is it crawling at a snail’s pace? I suppose it depends on your perspective.

Well, not much to report this month. Had a stay-cation where I spent some time visiting with family and getting some much needed R&R from the day job. I’ll tell ya–usually working from home has its perks, but I’ve been working non–stop the whole darn day since the middle of March. I’ve ended up working harder from my kitchen table then I did when I was in the office. Isn’t that the darnedest thing? So anyway, a week away was exactly what I needed. I even went up to the coast for a day before a hurricane hit. Missed it by a few days!

So, onto a book 2 update. It’s going a little slow, but I’m still planning to wrap it up by end of year. Then it’ll be on to the editing process. To be honest–it’s looking like book 2 is going to be a bit longer than book 1. I can feel it just from the writing and the progress of where the plot is at this point. Good news is I know exactly where I want to end the story. Bad news is there are a lot of words needed before I get there.

Other than that, not much to report this month. Still staying home and being careful. I know things are still not back to normal as much as some folks say otherwise. At this point I’m avoiding all to the stories about people who don’t want to wear masks, or follow CDC guidelines, or the plans to send the kids back to school. My only hope is that everyone stays safe.

That’s all from me. Ya’ll take care.

Another COVID post…

Another month has crawled by and it seems as if things are getting worse around the country in regards to Covid. Especially in Texas which has become a hotspot–the hospitals are filling up and things are getting bad. The media is reporting that we opened too early–and perhaps we did–but I think what hurt us the most was the disregard for social distancing and wearing masks. There are so many people that just don’t care and they don’t believe in how serious the virus is. Personally, I’m just exhausted at dealing with them–their lack of respect for human life is frustrating and galling.

Even with the new Executive Order requiring face coverings–these people complain. They complain as if wearing a mask is taking away their right for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness! Yeah, chew on that. A mask is keeping these people from living out their daily lives. It’s a minor inconvenience at most. And to make matters worse–they’re looking for loopholes around following the Executive Order. They have “medical issues”. The mask is suffocating, or it makes them breathe excessive amounts of carbon monoxide.

Yeah, I can’t make this stuff up.

Personally, I’ve been shut–in for the last few weeks. My family had a Covid scare a few weeks ago, and now we’re being extra careful. Nothing drives how serious this virus is until you are staring face to face with the possibility of actual exposure. It’s a rather sobering experience performing a contact tracing exercise on your own family. It’s an exercise I would rather not do again.

So, now you must be wondering: am I fearful of the virus? Am I stopping living my life because I’m afraid of getting sick of a virus that kills less than 1 percent of infected? To answer honestly–I’m cautious of the virus. I don’t want to get infected and then get someone else sick who is high risk. If that means staying away from high risk activities then that’s what I’ll do.

I’ll wear my mask. I’ll keep up with social distancing. I’ll keep my head up and stay safe.

I hope ya’ll do, too.

BLM

Who would’ve thought that 2020 was going to be as tumultuous as it’s been? I didn’t. I was thinking COVID was going to be the largest issue we would all have to face, but unfortunately, that’s just not the case. In addition to the Coronavirus that has now killed over 100,000 Americans, now we are all dealing with the societal impact of the death of George Floyd.

It seems uneasy and disrespectful to talk about anything else. How can I talk about movies or TV shows when an African American man was murdered for all to see? The video was horrifying to watch–the gall of the police officer that knelt atop Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. There was no fear of reprisal or disciplinary action, or any kind of retribution as onlookers screamed in horror at his actions. There was no crack in his exterior as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

It’s a hard thing to watch-that video, but we all have to realize how important it is to not turn away from it. Not from the killing of George Floyd or of any other innocent black person at the hands of the police, as ugly and discomfiting as it is. Because you should be uncomfortable. You should feel something. And if you’re anything like me, you would want police reform and to end systematic racism. Black Lives Matter.

Just another update…

Hi Everyone! I hope you all are safe and doing well. Talk about crazy times we’re living in, right? Covid has taken the world and nation by storm, and some folks are all about being safe, and others seem to be fed up with being told what to do. Some going so far as to thwart safety measures. I’m guessing they think the government and CDC doctors and other medical professionals don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. And Plandemic! Plandemic people!

Well, I think that there’s nothing hard about wearing a mask and keeping to social distancing. I don’t think it’s an infringement of one’s rights. God, talk about entitled. Whatever. Wear the damn mask and stay six feet away. Alright? Thank you.

In other less crazy news–I’ve been happily hacking away on book 2, and I feel pretty good with the way things are going. If I’m really lucky, and this pace keeps, I’m hoping to be done with the first draft in a few months. God willing! I can hope right! My writing ebbs and flows, so hopefully it keeps flowing.

Other than writing, I’ve also been doing my fair share of watching Netflix. I confess, I am no different than any other American in quarantine. And this week was all about the new season of The Last Kingdom. If you’ve never seen it, I definitely suggest you check it out–especially if you love historical dramas. It’s sort of like Vikings, but better with a more interesting lead in Uhtred, who is played by Alexander Dreymon (yeah, I’ve never heard of him either). It delves into the times of when Danes and Saxons fought and warred in Britain. Very interesting and bloody.

On the other side of the spectrum is Ozark. Most people have heard of this show–it stars Jason Bateman as a money launderer for a Mexican cartel. After his business partner steals money from the cartel, Bateman’s character is put in a bad spot. In a last ditch effort to save his life he promises to launder tens of millions of dollars in a matter of weeks. This causes him to uproot his family to the middle of Missouri. With the FBI on his heels and the cartel watching his every move he attempts to achieve his goal, all the while trying to keep his wife and kids safe. I just completed season three and the season finale blew my mind! That’s all I will say about it.

Well, that’s all from me. Ya’ll keep safe!

These strange times…

So, how is everyone doing during these strange times? I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Especially those of you that are still working and putting yourselves at risk daily so that the rest of us can get our groceries or other essentials–ya’ll the real MVPs.

So what’s going on with me? How have I been spending the COVID-19 shelter at home thing? Well, aside from watching the news everyday and witnessing our president contradicted daily by CDC doctors–I’ve been working from home and staying indoors and away from people. I only wander out to grab groceries. So basically trying to do the whole social distancing thing.

I might be having a bit of a vitamin D deficiency when this whole thing is over with.

Most of my time consists of working, exercising at home, or watching TV. And writing, too, of course. Especially those first few weeks–I was just writing up a storm and getting a lot of words in. Now, it’s a slow drizzle. But progress is still being made so I’m happy about that. Did I mention I have a title? I’ll let you guys in on that soon.

But really–it’s crazy to think how far we’ve come from just a month ago (when I was at Lost in Wonderland) to now. People were out an about with their families having fun. Now, all the stores are closed. Gyms too. Bars. Clubs. All closed. Some of you social butterflies must be really feeling the heat right about now. Cabin fever is a real thing, and I’m sure it’s a challenge right now to do the right thing. Which is stay home.

It’s so simple. Just stay home. Watch some Netflix or read a book. Learn to play an instrument–Musicians Friend delivers by the way, so no need to leave your house. Or just chill. Just relax. This is the best time to do one of my favorite things in the world.

Just do nothing at all.

How the events went…

At the Twig Book Shop!

Hello everyone! So I just wrapped up a couple of events the past month. One was at a book signing at the Twig Book Shop and the other was Lost in Wonderland. The book signing went really well! My book sold a decent amount in just two hours–I was a little concerned of how well it would do due to the limited amount of time I was booked, but overall it was successful.

As for the other event, Lost in Wonderland, it went well even though Sunday was a little slow. I’m not sure if it had to do with the Coronavirus (there was a scare in my city when the CDC let out a quarantined patient who’d tested positive for the virus before the results for their test came in; then the same day the patient went shopping at a mall) or the daylight savings time change. I’m going to blindly hope it was the daylight savings time change, but we’ll see in the upcoming months to come.

I think the one thing I’ve come away with from participating in these events is how there are plenty of book lovers out there that want to support local independent authors. I am so appreciative to all the people that took a second to ask about my novel and then turned around and bought it without even knowing anything about me. It was really just an exchange of a few words and that was it.

So, now I really, really want to finish book 2. I mean–I always do–I’m completely committed. But there’s something about engaging with readers that really lights a fire. So, I’ll continue to chug away.

Well, that’s it from me. I’m keeping it shorter and sweeter than usual. Until next month.

Some book stuff, some movie stuff…

So good new everyone! I have two events coming up! You can check them out here. I’ll be sure to add more events as I book them since I’m planning to do as many as I can in 2020. Hopefully some of ya’ll will come around and see me!

In other news–writing is going slow but steady but it’s getting there. I’m making a great effort to do a little bit of writing everyday–and with my work schedule–it can be tough, but I’m committed. I also have a working title that I’m really pleased with. I think it fits the narrative pretty well. I’ll share that with you guys when I’m a little closer to getting the thing done.

Okay–enough of the book stuff. Let’s talk about movie stuff. I recently saw the new Harley Quinn movie, which had a comically long name that has since been changed to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (Why you ask? Because marketing, that’s why!) and it was so, so good. Margot Robbie was excellent. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big Harley Quinn fan. I’ve never watched the animated show, but Robbie’s take of the character has got me on the cusp of being a fangirl and checking out all things Harley Quinn. She’s that good!

The rest of the cast is pretty good, too. Although, my brother had a bit of a problem with Rosie Perez being cast as Renee Montoya (She’s too old!), and thought Rosario Dawson would’ve made a better choice. But I think Perez was fine along with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Huntress) and Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Black Canary) who make up the rest of the Birds of Prey crime fighting group. I do want to mention that this is not your typical women-fighting-crime kind of move. It’s not Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel. The characters in this movie are gritty anti-heroes. And aside from Black Canery, there’s hardly any skimpy outfits, so if you’re showing up for that, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

But if you’re looking for a movie that has a great plot with decent comedy and action, it’ll be right up your alley.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a good holiday. I know I did. As I mentioned in my previous post–I had two weeks off at the end of the year, and I used it wisely by relaxing, writing, spending time with family, and just pretty much recharging the batteries. All in all, I had a great vacation, and although I’m not as well-rested as I’d hoped, I do feel like getting away from the day job for a little while was exactly what I needed.

First, the writing–I’m at fifty thousand words which puts me about halfway through book 2. I also have a working title, which I will share later when I’ve wrapped up the novel. Since I had some feedback that book 1 was a little slow in the the beginning–I’ve really focused on getting the plot going a lot earlier for book 2. I’ll obviously send the draft off to a few betas when I’m done to get feedback so by the time you readers get your hands on it, the story will be nice and polished.

Writing goals for the year–well, I hope to get book 2 done. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a slow writer and I’m so not a ten-thousand words a day person. I actually don’t count the words. I count pages. I’m actually happy if I can get a page a day during the week. With my work schedule and all the other things that come with life it can be tough, but I’ll try to get more time in to write during the weekend. At least an hour or two before bed. That’s actually the best time for me to write. I just zone out with the TV on and before I know it I’ve got ten pages.

What else did I do at the end of December–well, I saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker of course! Who hasn’t watched it yet? Well, you should. It was entertaining. And if you don’t think too much about how they completely did away with the “Is Rey going to be a Grey Jedi?” and just closed your eyes and imagine a white room with no windows and then watch it–then I think you’ll enjoy it too.

And don’t compare it to the original trilogy either, cause then you’ll be disappointed. And it’s way too early in the year for that.

My first event…

Slinging books!!

This weekend was my first event. Nerdtacular, although exhausting, was a great experience. I sold some copies of my paperback and met other vendors and artists and received first hand experience on what works when it comes to selling my book to people who’ve never heard of me before–which lets be honest, is pretty much everyone. But the best thing about people not knowing who you are or what you’re about is there are no expectations. So you can just put yourself out there with no second guessing. Overall, it was defiantly an interesting experience that I will do again next year.

One of the most enjoyable aspects was talking to all the people who had a genuine interest in my book. It made me realize how supportive people can be, especially when it comes to local, self-published authors. I definitely picked a great event as the participants were definitely my demographic for the book. People that stumbled onto my table had a genuine love for fantasy, and loved talking about fantasy stories. I’m hopeful that I gained some readers that will want to follow the series.

There was even one heartwarming moment when a woman who had bought my book asked me to write something on the dedication page. For those of you that don’t know–I dedicated Dark Sun Rising to my grandmothers, who both passed away before the book was published. Apparently, the woman had recently lost her grandmother last month, and when she opened her new book and read the dedication page, it really touched her. I was really touched as well.

So, what I really want to relate is that my weekend was successful, and definitely memorable. I had a lot of fun. So much so, that I look forward to my next event, which is scheduled for 2/15 at Twig Book Shop at the Pearl. Ya’ll should definitely come see me then if you haven’t made it to see me yet. We can talk books. My books–your books–whatever ya’ll want.