April Update

So, not much to report his month other than I’ve spent quite a bit of time writing and trying to finish up book 2. I’m nearing the conclusion where all the fun happens. So that’s good news, I think. Hopefully I can get it wrapped up very soon. I have my fingers crossed that the day job doesn’t get in the way. Or personal life. When real life gets in the way it’s really difficult to stay creatively engaged. My plan is to manage it with sheer determination and commitment. Time to get it done. No excuses.

Once I do, I’ll reach out to my editor about setting up a date and time to do the hard stuff.

Editing is the worse. It’s difficult. You have to kill your darlings and all that. Be merciless. And truthfully, I’m probably the opposite of merciless. But it’s a necessary skill one has to learn to be successful. So, I’ll do it. I’m positive the work will be better for it. I think I’ll be better for it, too.

I think that’s it for this month. Have a happy, safe Easter.

January Update

Hey everyone! How’s your new year going? Started off a little rocky, didn’t it? What, with all the crap that happened at the capital. Geez! Can’t we get a little bit of a break from all the crazy? Can’t we have some level-headedness, please? But, I guess that’s too much to hope for at the moment. Especially with those individuals that are deep into the conservative echo chambers that are spreading the wildest of conspiracy theories.

To say things have been on a not so even track is an understatement, but I guess it’s to be expected. The shape of things–it’s just in a bad, bad way–and I suppose it’s going to take awhile for our country as a whole to heal. Patience, I suppose, is needed. Lots and lots of patience. And perhaps some alcohol. Or maybe some chocolate? Sweets can get me through the worst of times. They’ll get me through these troubling times as well.

Onto a more positive topic–writing! I think I’m starting to adjust and am finding a work/life balance. It’s still a bit incongruous with a lot more my attention focused on the day job than I would prefer, but its a start. I’m moving steadily, maybe not at as quickly as I would like, but its still moving forward which is progress!

I’m not going to commit to a day, because I hate to see it blow past me and have to apologize for not meeting it. It sucked that I couldn’t keep to the 2020 deadline. But what can I do other than my best to keep on. I will say that I’m still excited about what I’m writing. Still feeling the joy and happiness of creativity and accomplishment when I’ve done something I’m incredibly happy with. Writing, is still one of the best feelings in the world, and so, I’m going to keep at it.

Even if it is a slow, slow ride.

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I hope you’re doing your best to enjoy this year’s holidays despite the craziness we’ve all experienced. I’m off from the day job and am using the time to do some much needed decompressing. The day job has been relentless! Several projects were pushing hard to get completed by end of year, so that made things a little stressful as the holidays loomed. I was counting down the days to my vacation, and was so relieved when it finally came about. So far, I’ve spent my time with family and doing quite a bit of baking. Today, I baked banana bread for the second time in a matter of days. It came out very moist, but not in a good way? At least I think it wasn’t in a good way. I might’ve used bananas that were too ripe. Can you use bananas that are too ripe? Anyway, I definitely need more practice.

So, I’ve got some good news and some disappointing news. First, the good news–I’ve been promoted to a new position in my day job. It’s something I’ve worked for several years, and to finally have accomplished the goal is very, very satisfying. Which brings me to the disappointing news–book 2 will not be completed by end of year as I’d hoped. The new role will bring about more responsibility and activities that I will need to adjust to as well as get a handle on which of course will take much time and energy. But, that’s not to say that I’ve given up on getting any writing done in the foreseeable future–it’s just going to take a bit longer than I’d originally thought. Please be patient with me. I’m still committed and excited about the progress made so far, and look forward to the day I can share it with all of you.

So, that’s all I have for this month. Not much to report, but hopefully that’ll change next month. We’ll just have to wait and see! I hope you all have a happy, happy New Year! Let’s put 2020 in the rearview already, huh? 2021 is going to be so much better.

Another book update and some TV reviews

This post contains spoilers to a TV show.

So, here we are. November. It’s been an exhausting month so far. What, with the election craziness and the spike in Covid cases–2020 sure keeps on giving, huh? I’m staying positive by focusing on the fact that this time next year most of this stuff will have blown over, and we will hopefully be on our way to getting back to normal.

In book news, I’m still writing book 2 and hoping to get done before the end of the year. If that doesn’t happen it’s because of the load of work the day job has dumped on my lap. For some reason many, many departments want to rush their work out before the end of year. I can’t blame them, though. Because if it the work is not complete by mid December, then it won’t happen until February of next year since things seem to shut down after the Holidays.

With all the craziness and stress, of course I’ve gotta decompress. And with that comes some TV watching. What shows have I been watching you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. If you haven’t checked out The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, you need to. It’s so, so good, and with an interesting premise that will keep you glued to the TV watching episode after episode.

The other show that I really enjoyed was Killing Eve. Hulu just released season 3 last week and I had the chance of watching it this past weekend. The show picks up a few months after season 2 ended where Villanelle shoots Eve in the back. I wasn’t sure how the show could’ve continued and have it be believable that Eve and Villanelle would have some kind of relationship, but somehow they do, and the writers managed to pull it off in a seemingly genuine way. The relationship still remains one of the strangest and toxic relationships on TV, but I can’t stop watching and wondering where the pair will go next.

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

Just a bunch of TV stuff…

Well, October is here. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, but of course, Covid has put a damper on things. So, like many people out there, I’m wondering if it’s possible to have a no–contact Halloween. I’m sure there’s some creative folks that have thought of some fun ways to pass out candy while social distancing. The best I can come up with is maybe leaving a bowl out with a “Take one” sign next to it. But then I gotta trust that the kids will respect the Honor System. Call me pessimistic, but I keep thinking a few kiddos will take advantage and take handfuls.

Any who. Aside from writing, I’ve been watching a lot of TV. One of the shows I’ve really gotten into at the moment is LOVECRAFT COUNTRY–which is excellent! I definitely suggest checking it out if you haven’t. It has just the right amount of weird for those of you that love fantasy/horror.

On the flip side of the coin was HUBIE HALLOWEEN with Adam Sandler, which was funny–in a corny kind of way. But a Halloween movie with a few laughs is a good change of pace from the normal blood and guts that is the norm–well, at least I think so anyway.

I also watched the season finale of THE WALKING DEAD, which was… okay. I think there was too much of a break between episodes, and I guess it affected my interest and investment. Oh well, Beta died a gruesome death, Judith is still alive, Darryl and Carol made up, and Maggie came back. I guess that’s all that matters. On a positive note, it looks like they’re setting up for those movies featuring Andrew Lincoln. Boy! I hope so, cause I’m really missing me some Rick.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD premiered Sunday, and it’s looking real good. For as much as my investment and interest has waned with the original series, the spin–off has done the opposite. Ever since they added Morgan’s character, the series had gotten so much more interesting. If you gave up on this show in its earlier seasons, I really suggest giving it another try, because it’s only now really hitting its groove.

Well, that’s all from me this time. I hope ya’ll have a safe and fun Halloween.

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.

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!

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.