Monday, March 26, 2018

Story Sale! To "Hotel Haunted" anthology

I've signed the contract, so it's time to share the news that I'll have a short story in the upcoming anthology "Hotel Haunted," published by WolfSinger Publications.

As you might guess, the story, titled "Unfinished Business," takes place in a hotel and involves the paranormal. I was grateful for the invitation to submit to the anthology for a couple of reasons. First, I like the theme. Second, it got me to put my butt in the chair and finish a story for the first time in months. This story kickstarted me into writing again.

The anthology will come out sometime this year. I'll share more details as I get them.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time

I finally got around to seeing "A Wrinkle in Time" today. The critical reviews and general reaction were lukewarm, so I went into the movie with low expectations and, surprise! I loved it.

For me, the movie hits the right tone, and it mostly gets right the themes and characters. The young actress who plays Meg (Storm Reid) does an excellent job portraying her spunk, intelligence and insecurity. The three Missus are fun. The costumes, makeup and special effects are gorgeous. This is a movie that benefits from seeing it on a movie screen.

The changes from the book were minimal and didn't bother me. The Murray family is streamlined with the elimination of the twins. The centaur is instead a giant flying leaf of lettuce with a head. Aunt Beast is gone (which is fine with me because I didn't think that chapter added anything to the story and was weirdly uncomfortable, anyway).

The one scene in the book that has stuck with me since I was a kid, of a suburban street with ball-bouncing children, was brought chillingly to life on the screen.

All in all, the movie worked for me.

In my small group, there were two other reactions.

The first one, from those who hadn't read the book: They had difficulty following the plot and, "The last half-hour, I felt like I was on drugs."

The second one, from those who had read the book, was that the movie didn't capture the essence of the story and changed too many things.

It's been awhile since I've watched a movie that generated such divergent opinions.

Next week, I plan to take the kids to see "Black Panther." Our first attempt to see this one ended in disappointment when every showing was sold out. That was opening weekend, and this is more than a month later. This time, I predict success.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm not Irish, and mostly this day means avoiding the downtown parade route and the epic traffic backup that it causes every year. Still, have a happy St. Patrick's Day.

I'm at work today, at the assignment desk alone except for my cold virus, listening to scanner traffic and hoping the city refrains from fires, shootings and general mayhem. Mayhem is difficult enough to deal with when I'm healthy, which I'm not.

Work update ... I wrote the above sentence about three hours ago. Since then, the news updates have been steady but not crazy-busy. My station shares a helicopter with the other three major Denver stations. We usually don't launch on Saturdays, but we did so today for a fire in a small town on the plains east of the metro area. The chopper is now headed toward Boulder to shoot video of the area where a hiker fell earlier today and sustained bad injuries. Also today, I've updated information from three of yesterday's stories: two shootings and a wildfire that evacuated 250 homes overnight.


Writing update: I've been working on the novel every day for a month, at least 200 words that usually turns into 300 or 400 words. The total word count so far: about 11,000. I'm happy with that. For me, this isn't about huge word counts but about consistency, and writing every day.

Reading update: I finished reading "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeline L'Engle, which is my least favorite of that series so far. My son and I finished "Children of the Fleet" by Orson Scott Card last night, and with my daughter, I'm reading "Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs. On my own, I'm now reading "The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley.


In other news, this is the newest member of the Hicks family:

He belongs to one of the kiddos, who continued to ask for a guinea pig for six months before my husband and I finally relented. Turns out, I like the little guy. His name is Thunder, and the kiddo takes very good care of him. Best of all, the kiddo's anxiety attacks have eased considerably since Thunder came into our lives. I never would have thought a guinea pig could serve as an emotional support animal, but this one does.

I have to close here because the day job will occupy the rest of the evening, with a shooting, possibly a homicide. Such is the way of the news industry. You can be blogging about your family guinea pig one minute and calling the police department PIO about a shooting the next.

Have a good evening, all.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


March 1. Woot! For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we've made it through the coldest and dreariest part of the year, otherwise known as January and February. Welcome to the light at the end of the tunnel.

I surprised myself this month. After my short story attempt blew up, I spent about a week not writing anything. In the last two weeks of the month, however, I've written the first 5,000 words of a novel. Yes, a novel. If that's not surprising enough, here's more: It's mainstream fiction, not speculative, and I'm working without an outline. This feels like, "Hey, why don't you jump into the ocean without a life jacket and dog-paddle back to shore?" It's daunting and exciting.

Also in February, I read a couple of books, "Six Wakes" by Mur Lafferty and "Roomies" by Christina Lauren. I'm currently about a third of the way through "The Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeleine L'Engle, which I'm not enjoying as much as the first two books in the series, but it's still good.

It's amazing how much I've managed to get done, considering the other demands on my time. There's the day job, of course, and my 2e teenager is requiring more attention recently, as well. Speaking of the day job, I need to go do that, so I'm cutting off this post here. Have a wonderful day, all.