Friday, March 24, 2017

How Short? Oh Crap!

Remember that short story I told you about (if you forgot or didn’t read about it, it was on Wednesday). I started in on it and about 400 words later realized that maybe I started in the wrong spot.

The story is supposed to only be 500-1000 words long. What I had started was going to be waaaaay longer than that. Crap. I really didn’t want to scrap what I wrote, because I kind of liked what I had.

Then Hubby suggested I write the short story for my newsletter instead.

While that would work, I still needed something for the guest blog. Then realized I could still share the hidden treasure part on the Literary Escapism blog, but I’d just have stuff before and after that I could share with my newsletter subscribers first. And… (I love it when I think all evil like this), I could invite the readers of the blog to subscribe to my newsletter if they want to read the whole thing.

Score! Problem solved.

Now I can make it as long as I want (well, to a point). Hmmm… except I still have to figure out exactly what kind of hidden treasure Bridget and Rob find in that basement. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Hey, did you notice that the Penguins have secured a playoff spot? I’m happy dancing here! I love playoff hockey when my team is playing!

Hubby is doing so much better when he does a little work during the day. It also keeps him awake more so that he can sleep at night (which he couldn’t do when he napped all day). So my job is to keep him active. Looks like the weather will cooperate for the next couple of days. Time to go walking!

So… If you were reading a short story from one of your favorite authors, featuring characters from a previous book, would you care if it ran long? I’m thinking not, because I certainly wouldn’t care. I kind of eat that stuff up!

Happy Friday!
 
Stacy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Reads and a Short Story Idea

When I registered for Rust City Book Con (to be held in Troy, MI, August 4-6), I was asked if I wanted to participate in a short story event the Literary Escapism blog plans to put on just before the con. The theme is Hidden Treasures. I just have to feature characters from one of my books discovering a new bit of treasure. I thought it would be fun, so I said I’d do it.

Of course this was before we learned Hubby’s cancer had returned. Writing fiction since his surgery has been pretty much non-existent, and I had forgotten about this assignment. Until yesterday, when I came across my reminder note.

Seeing that note jolted something inside me. Maybe it’s my muse, who knows. But suddenly writing a short story seemed…doable. So I thought about which characters I wanted to use. Then it hit me (I love it when ideas do that!). I have this block of time between Ghostly Liaison and Ghostly Interlude (which isn’t published yet). I have Rob, who hasn’t been able to go through his parents’ stuff since they died, and Bridget, just moving into his house and wondering what’s in the basement. Voila! Hidden Treasures.

I’m getting excited about writing now. Yay!

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: March 12-19
Title: “No One Left To Tell”
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Romantic Suspense #13, Baltimore #2
# of Pages: 518
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: A minivan crashes in front of rookie PI Paige Holden’s home. And suddenly she finds one of her pro bono clients dying in her arms—from a gunshot wound. With her last breath, the woman whispers cryptic words into Paige’s ear and hands her a blood-smeared flash drive.
   Five years earlier, State’s Attorney Grayson Smith put a murderer behind bars. But when Paige shares the flash drive with him, its contents cast doubts on the conviction—and lead Paige and him into a world of blackmail, dark secrets, and a decades-long string of murders. An investigation they’ll survive only by trusting each other—and the truth.
My thoughts: Lots of twists and turns. Lots of characters. And a story taking place within a span of 5 days! You’d think it’d drive me nuts, but it didn’t. I started reading this series with book #12 (then skipped to #16 because that’s what I had at the time) and while you don’t HAVE to read these in order, I’m finding I want to now. Because Paige was introduced in another book (Minneapolis #2), so I’m guessing other characters might be moving around, too. I won’t know that unless I read all the books. Which I’m sure I will. Someday. Which means…time to go stick them in my wish list!
   See… All this from reading a freebie first (I got it at a convention). It’s a trap, I tell you. A trap. Authors can be just as bad as drug dealers. I know, I just lumped myself into that statement! At least what we sell isn’t illegal, or life-threatening. J

One week down, five to go. Hubby is already struggling with the chemo and radiation, but promises me he’ll continue to force himself to eat. Most food tastes awful to him and he’s afraid to eat his favorites (for fear of ruining them). It’s been trial and error (mostly error), but he’s found a few things that don’t “gross him out.” He also thinks he sleeps too much (although it was kind of expected), but I told him not to worry about that. I can’t imagine sleep being bad for him.

So… Has anything piqued your interest lately? Maybe writing short stories is exactly the kind of thing I need to do right now. Not a lot of time and dedication is needed for those, and I can write while Hubby naps! J 

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Dark Tower? No, Thank You

Over on Facebook I saw the poster for the upcoming movie, The Dark Tower. The poster was cool, and I loved (loved, LOVED) the books, but I don’t think I can watch the movie. Why? Here are some reasons:

  • Most King movie adaptations suck. Heck, I can say that about most movie adaptations.
  • I have nothing against the actor, but he’s not Roland. I find it strange (well, maybe not, he was probably paid well) that King didn’t think Roland was any race. So why did he write him white? I mean, there’s a big conflict between Roland and Susannah because he’s white and she’s black. Don’t see how that can happen if Roland is also black.
  • Matthew McWhatchamacallit. Need I say more? Ugh.
  • This movie is some sort of sequel, and not really about the books. So why call it The Dark Tower? Talk about confusing.
Heck, it’s not like I get to the theatre all that often anyway. But I’d much rather see The Dark Tower turn into a television series (but not like Under the Dome—TV ruined that book, too!).

The movie I hope to see next is Beauty and the Beast. Tuesday is bargain day at the theatre. I’ll have to see if Hubby is up to going.

So… Are you a fan of movie adaptations? Which King film is your favorite?

Happy Monday!
 
Stacy

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d go with a GREEN theme! That way you can’t pinch my blog. Hahahahaha!

My last name is Irish (now), but would you believe I’m more Irish than my husband? My paternal grandmother was born there as was my maternal great-grandfather. Hubby’s Irish ancestors came over way back in the early 1800s! But my maiden name (Thurber) didn’t reflect my Irish roots.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I AM related to James Thurber. We share a distant relative (I just don’t remember which one).

I like the fact my last name is Irish now (and has been for 37 years). Now I just have to remember to wear something green today (because that’s the only Irish thing I do). I tend to forget that stuff when the Penguins are playing—I just grab a Penguins t-shirt.

Yesterday I finally got time to complete my city income tax. I really hate their site. The instructions are in docx files (I can’t open those and don’t necessarily want to download another program on my laptop so I can). Why would they do that? What’s wrong with PDFs? Ugh.

Then their fill-in form doesn’t even calculate correctly. After printing it, I crossed off the wrong number and filled in the correct one. I plan on taking the form to the office and will pay in person (yeah, we owe a little bit), just in case they have issues with my return.

I liked it so much better when they used to mail me the forms. I get nothing from them now. Not even a reminder.

After a pretty busy week, it would be nice to have a quiet weekend, but that won’t be the case. My RWA chapter is having a mini event (two speakers) which will last all day (8:30-5:30 + 2 hrs of total driving). I may be lucky to get out of bed on Sunday.

So… Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Drink green beer? Eat corned beef and cabbage? Go to Chicago to see the river turn green? Or are you like me: stay at home, eat normal food, and watch TV?

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Lack of Writing

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: March 2 - 9
Title: “Bite Me”
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Pride Series #9
# of Pages: 375
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free
Blurb from Book: Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.
   That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…
My thoughts: I got this book quite by accident. I had ordered copies of my book, Bite Me, I’m Yours, through Kensington. When the package arrived, I anxiously opened the box to discover copies of this book instead. Kensington fixed the mistake and told me I could just dispose of the wrong ones. Well… I couldn’t just throw them out, so I gave some away, but kept one to read. Eventually. Well, eventually finally came.
   This is the 9th book in the series. I hadn’t read the first 8, but didn’t let that stop me. I was slightly confused with the plethora of characters (plethora – I’ll blame Stephan Pastis for that word http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2017/03/09 ), which I’m sure wouldn’t have been a problem if I had started reading the series at book #1, so if you’re confused with numerous characters and this book interests you, you might want to start with book #1.
   This was a crazy-funny story (didn’t realize this when I started reading, not that I minded). The romance was just a tiny bit on the thin side, and I actually wondered what the book was ABOUT until I got about half-way through, but it didn’t stop me from turning the pages.

Two books this week. Whoo hoo!

Dates read: March 10-12
Title: “Hunt the Dawn”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Abbie Roads
Genre: Romantic suspense (with some paranormal woo-woo)
Series: Fatal Dreams #2
# of Pages: 329
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: You can’t hide your secrets from Lathan Montgomery—he can read your darkest memories. And while his special abilities are invaluable in the FBI’s hunt for a serial killer, he has no way to avoid the pain they bring him. Until he is drawn to courageous, down-on-her-luck Evanee Brown and finds himself able to offer her something he’s never offered another human being: himself.
   Nightmares are nothing new to Evanee Brown. But once she meets Lathan, they plummet into the realm of the macabre. Murder victims are reaching from beyond the grave to give Evanee evidence that could help Lathan bring a terrifying killer to justice. Together, they could forge an indomitable partnership to thwart violence, abuse, and death—if they survive the forces that seek to tear them apart.
My thoughts: You know you’re reading a good book when you read it fast. The book is labeled romantic suspense, but it could easily be called romantic horror. Lots of dark and spooky stuff happens (and I LOVE spooky stuff) with two people you just want to be together. You don’t have to have read the first book to understand this one. Some characters overlap, but not in a way that will confuse anyone.

As you can tell from all my reading, I’m not writing as much. I do hope that changes soon, but right now I just can’t seem to deal with my writing with all the other crap that’s going on. You’d think I could use it as a distraction, and I could, but in a way I don’t want to be distracted. I want to be available for my husband. And if that means putting writing on the back burner for several weeks, then so be it.

So… Anyone playing in the March Madness Brackets? I’ve got three going (Buffalo Wild Wings, CBS Sports, and Nathan Bransford's), same bracket, though. Kind of makes it more fun to watch. At least for me. Oh, and don't you LOVE where I found the word plethora? Amazing what you can learn from comics, huh? Haha!

Happy Reading!

Stacy