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The Speed of Summer

budI’m squeezing the last few moments out of July. It seems that seeing the month on the calendar calms my jangly nerves. As though when the title of August appears, along with its picture of a new summer scene, my nerves will be electrifying once more.

August–the month everything changes. My first born goes to college, the others return to school, and routines of packing lunches and beating the buses comes back around. I don’t like August. I wish July would stay. I wish the long days, the noisy nights of frogs croaking, and not having to wake up to an alarm clock would never go away.

On another note…I did enjoy some family time this week. You know, before July goes away. We all went to the movies. This is a rarity, sort of. I’m always the one to stay home. Seeing that I’m not the least bit into super hero sightings, I find myself usually in the quiet hours on my sofa…watching something romantic. Not this time! I went along. We went to see the new Star Trek movie. It was typical. A lot of aliens, a lot of blasting, and more than ever…I didn’t understand a lot that was happening. For instance, how crashed ships could get started and fly again. Especially after the enemy set fire to it. Or how the captain girl suddenly disappeared from her captors. And reappeared with the good guys. But science fiction seems to have that under control. Anything can happen and with very little reality attached. Overall, it was an enjoyable movie. I watched the original series, so I marveled how the new characters reminded me of the oldies but goodies.

I finished my third Amy book in July. That was a miracle, indeed. I am awaiting the edits and then off it goes to print! Exciting really. Although, like August coming within a few days and putting an end to all that’s calm…the final word on the page ended the Amy series. I will miss her, but I’m satisfied with the outcome. I hope my readers will agree.

This morning, as I lay in bed, another story busted in on my thoughts. As in, tore down the door…yelled with beating hands on chest, and identified itself as the next one to be written. I was ecstatic and exhausted at the same time. It’s only been four days since I finished Amy. I’m recuperating from all the bleeding of words that one caused me. Another one? So soon? I choose to look at it as fortune and nothing else. Now I need to get started. I’ve already got my characters picked out. I’m saving them for a new post. I hope you can join me then. 🙂

 

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Love Comes Quickly

Love-Pictures-2How quickly does love really come? How fast is too fast? I was asked this question not too long ago by someone who thinks they love someone only after a few weeks of talking. There have been two dates, telephone conversations, and endless texts between them. Hmmm…could it be love? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s infatuation. Is there a litmus test for love?

I read a review for my debut book, “Waking Amy” and they stated that the love between the hero and heroine happened too quickly. Don’t you kind of have to write it quickly? I mean, there’s only 250-300 pages to establish love. Less, if you want to add in a problem, some climax, and a conclusion, too! Certainly we don’t have the leisure to drag it out for three volumes. But doesn’t love happen that quickly in real life? My friend seems to ponder the question. And I would figure her to only be on about page 50 of her romance!

I was watching Dying Young tonight. You know…with Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott. Anyway, they were about 25% into the movie when it happened for them. Julia Robert’s character was about to leave when Campbell Scott seduced her and they slept together. BAM!! The next morning he declares his undying love and she returns the sentiment. Are you serious? Isn’t that a bit quick? Shouldn’t they date more than one time before sealing their fate with forever-talk? Couldn’t they’ve remarked how much they liked one another before diving into “here’s my heart, don’t break it”? It must be that I’m just so slow in coming to the conclusion about surrendering my soul to someone. But it works in fiction and movies. I get it. It has to. We only have but so long to convey the message. No heroine walks into a book halfway into a romance with the hero. How would the reader have empathy for anything they went through in the beginning of their romance? Where is the build? Oh yeah…it’s on pages 1-75. So, what makes it so unbelievable then to think my friend isn’t in love? I’m not sure, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Point 2 that I can quickly recall. The movie, “The Longest Ride”, by Nicholas Sparks. The girl dates him only a one time before she rips off her clothes and magically they can’t live without each other. What? I found her to be a little loose quite frankly. I know, I know…that’s what sells. But is it real life? I guess so. For some. I don’t hang around people who have these types of things happen to them…but I wonder…is my friend going to fall to this “fictional” fate of love comes quickly? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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My Birthday

video-hello-my-name-is-doris-coffee-videoSixteenByNine1050I got all my birthday wishes today! Usually when it’s time for my birthday and I have a chance to see a movie, nothing is playing that I want to see. This day was different. I got the Asian lunch, the movie, the popcorn, the dinner out with family, and my favorite shake! And knock on wood, I’m not sick from it all yet. (The kiddies even went home with Grandma for the night!)

Hello, My Name is Doris was really good. Not what I thought it would be, but I’m not sure what I expected. There were some scenes that I thought, what? But it was all good. (Doris had a very active imagination). Basically, for people who haven’t seen the trailer, it’s about Doris who is an older lady and she has a hot crush on a younger guy. It made me laugh out loud a few times. It’s so typical of what women think and do.

I enjoyed it most because it reminded me of how crucial it is to walk out of your comfort zone every now and then…experience things you’d never do before…be someone different for a change. Life can be so much more fascinating when you take chances. New worlds unfold themselves right before your eyes. Life is short…just do it!

I hate to bring this around to my books, but it really enhanced my awareness for writing the third book in the Amy series. Amy is so routine. Work, home, farmer’s market on the weekend. She rarely ever veers from her daily routine. But, you get molded into things when you stay walking in the same footsteps every day. Living is not habits…it’s trying new things on. I think I’ll keep that in mind when I’m formulating Amy’s final chapter. Wings are what lift you from walking in those same footsteps! 🙂

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Lost to a Generation

inside-blockbusterIs it just me, or did someone else out there remember doing this on the weekend? Going to the video store was as necessary as sleeping in on Saturday morning. And if you didn’t get there early enough, the selection for the new releases was picked dry. Don’t get me started on the late fee anxiety. By the time I took the thing back, the late fees could’ve bought it. But wasn’t it fun? Standing around, reading the backs of empty boxes, and picking out the popcorn in the buckets that popped up pretty in its own container. The video store is where I actually met my husband for our first real date. We were going to pick out a movie together and then take it to my house to watch. That way my mother could meet him, watch him for 2 hours, and size him up for not being a killer. He was actually 20 minutes late and I almost left.

Sadly I remember video stores when they carried VHS or Beta tapes. And if you brought it back without rewinding it, they charged an extra 25-50 cents!

More sadly is that my children will not have this ritual available to them. Instead, they watch as I get out of the car and wait to use the Red box. How impersonal. And annoying! Have you ever stood behind someone in 20 degree weather while they read the description to every movie on the screen? Yeah, okay…sometimes I’m that person. But who can help it. I need to know what they’re about. I certainly don’t make a habit of it, but how annoying the entire thing is. Someone standing behind me huffing somehow makes me rush. Not that this trick helps in all situations. Some people certainly don’t care when I huff behind them! And you’re lucky if you find a Red box. Give me a Blockbuster any day. Of course living out in the boonies, Netflix is not an option for me. If only. But still, I think if given the choice of dialing one up on my television or going to the video store, I might….take the television. But I still long for the store. Someone please tell me a Kindle will never take the bookstores away. I looove my Kindle, but I love the smell of books more. 🙂

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My Problem with Unhappy Endings

thLHP0Y7OIThis is full of spoilers!! Not that I would care if I was reading this, but for those who have not watched this movie or read the book, I am discussing the unhappiness of it all. Beware.

So, I’m on day five of being stuck at home from the blizzard of 2016. Which isn’t such a horrible thing, but I’d like the option of leaving if I wanted to. We tried to go, to no avail. The car got miserably stuck on our outrageously long driveway, and so it sits out there mid-way to the main road. Maybe tomorrow…

Anyway, I had this movie on today while I was responding to some emails. It was my third time watching it. The setting brings me peace. A beach in the Carolinas…good music…and Richard Gere! Now the problem comes when Nicholas Sparks tries to infuse heartache in it for affect. I mean really? The catch phrase on the box is, “It’s never too late for a second chance.” Really? Who had a second chance, exactly? They stayed a couple nights at the house, slept together once, and promised to meet up after he got back from saving the world. That’s the second chance? A chance that he would come back? And how do you fall incredibly in love after one night? For all the crying she did? Those must have been some terrific letters they wrote to one another.

You see, I, too, thought that to get someone’s attention, someone had to die. Not true. I’ve come to realize that people like happy endings. I do, myself. Shockingly. I used to not be so Disney-esque.

This movie would’ve been so much better had he come back for dinner, and they actually did have the second chance. It was a major cop-out and let down, quite frankly. Yet still, I watch it. Go figure.

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THE AGE OF ADALINE

AGESince I had nothing else to do last night. *clears throat* Like work on edits or wash clothes so my children don’t go to school naked, I decided to kick back and watch “The Age of Adaline.” In my defense, I was supposed to watch it Friday and keeping it over meant I’d have to pay Redbox another dollar, so I had to watch it.

Plot: Adaline, played by the very tall, Blake Lively (I mention this because it’s fascinating to see such tall people; I’m 5’4″), crashes off a bridge and because of some whacky tale about lightning and frigidness, cannot age past 29 years. So she ends up moving every seven or so years, creating a new identity, yada, yada, yada. Until one day she falls in love with Ellis, played by Michiel Huisman, and goes to his parent’s house for an anniversary party. It is there that she sees an old lover, played by Harrison Ford, and the truth about her identity becomes jeopardized. Without spoiling the rest, I’ll leave it there.

First, I must say it was a far-fetched notion to have the aging process stop. I get it, it’s Hollywood, and that’s what silly ideas are made for. But it wasn’t perfectly played out in the movie. By which I’m referring to backstory. Granted, it’s very difficult to show the viewer that this is why she doesn’t age, and this is why blah, blah, blah. It just seemed very thrown in there. Like “we’ve paused the action of the movie to bring you details of what’s really happened….so you’ll understand the rest.” And this technique of flashbacks were inserted everywhere. I found it to be distracting, personally. And by the sound of my snoring boyfriend, lying next to me, he really wasn’t feeling it, either.

With that said, I liked it. Not loved it, but liked it. Did I think it was worth another buck late charge for the Redbox rental? I’m not sure. It’s over now, and so is the two hours or so it took of my life to watch it. I did, however, enjoy seeing Harrison Ford act again. After all, he’s who I named my first born after. Well, sort of. I just really like his name. It’s upstanding, confident, and clean. Harrison. Yeah, it was nice to see his face. Even if it came during the last half hour of the movie, and then flashed back to a younger him. That guy did well, too. Whoever he was.

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Spoilers–It’s What I Do

spoiler_alert_originalI admit it, I love spoilers. Well, I don’t actually love them, I just need them and appreciate them. Sometimes though they really stink.

Say I’m going to be watching a scary movie on Friday night, I’ll go ahead and take the time and search what happens. It relaxes me during the movie. Life is stressful enough than having heart palpitations when the dude gets a knife and goes hunting down the hall. I know that he’ll go out to the garage kill the best friend. No surprise here! Of course I don’t advertise this sick habit. I just watch like it’s not bothering me. No one knows the wiser:)

Why am I bringing this up? I was just on Amazon ready to order my next season of a show I’ve invested six seasons into and I accidentally read some reviews. Yes, accidentally. For six seasons I not once read the reviews. I enjoy watching and learning as I go. It’s not like it’s a question if someone is going to escape near death. It’s a drama! But I did it. And now I wish I hadn’t. I found out the main character dies. DIES!!!! Gone, never coming back. Sure, I’ve seen her in magazines and know she’s probably sipping wine on her yacht now, but never will she be in my series picking flowers and kissing her husband. GONE. So I decided…I’m not watching anymore. I’m happy to stop watching right now and imagine she lives on. And that’s that. In this case, I’m glad I stumbled onto this. Now I won’t be sad. I guess I should always read the last page and watch the last half hour first on everything. I’m just that kind of girl. Even if it drives my son to utter frustration.

We’re watching Lost together and he makes me promise quite often that I’m not Googling the next episode:) I’m not!! Promise.

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Some Things Hollywood Needs to Leave Alone

footloose1Over the holidays last year I purchased the new edition of Footloose. I’m pretty sure because it was a doorbuster sale on black Friday and I only had to pay a buck for it. Thank goodness. Because I finally got around to sticking it in the ol’DVD player and watching it while cooking dinner the other night. Needless to say, I didn’t like it. There were some aspects I did, of course. Like his uncle being on his side with the whole town against him ordeal, and …  hmmm, I guess that was about it. 🙂 And what was up with New Jersey accent? It was so distracting.

Oh yes, there was something else; I did like Dennis Quaid. But, I’d like him in anything;)) My personal fav is “Something to Talk About” with Julia Roberts. Love it! But, anyway…

When is Hollywood going to stop remaking the classics? It’s sort of like ruining a good book with its screen adaptation. (sometimes—I do like Nicholas Spark’s movies better than the books) But with Footloose, I’ve seen the real one. I’ve memorized the parts, the lyrics to the songs, the dance choreography in the warehouse where Kevin Bacon goes crazy. We can’t reinvent the wheel, guys! It was perfect just the way it was. And now I hear they’re remaking Dirty Dancing? Is there nothing sacred? As if there’s a Patrick Swayze of this generation who could pull Baby from the corner and dance like nobody’s business? I say there is not. Leave it be. Or come up with something totally different. Did you know that “You’ve Got Mail” was a take on the old classic “Shop Around the Corner”? I happened on this little gem while watching TCM channel one night. The similarities cracked me up, but the new edition merely enhanced it; not copied it word for word. It couldn’t; it was a film from the 40’s.

kevin_bacon_footlooseYou can’t mess with a classic.

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Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

thX9AA5EQOWhen I cook or do the bills I need something on the television talking to me. Right…as if I don’t have 5 children bickering and being loud, I need some other source of distraction? But, it’s something that actually relaxes me. Although, it has to be something I’ve seen before so it doesn’t require too much of my attention. And, it needs to be something that’s easy on the ears. I’ve recently discovered The Love Letter, again. It’s such a great background movie to have on. Additionally, it has two of my characters from my books!! It’s always wonderful to be inspired by their personalities on screen. One is Tom Selleck and he plays of the main characters in this movie. He has no mustache in this one. I have to admit, I like him so much better with one. MV5BMTcwODI1MTQwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM2NjgwMw@@__V1_SX640_SY720_And, his hair is parted in the middle! I’m totally not imagining him like this in my book. I prefer the other Tom. tom-selleck-wallpaper-5-761725Yeah, this is absolutely the Tom I imagine as an older love interest in my book, WAKING AMY. There is also Tom Everett Scott. He’s in my single contemporary book, THE KENTUCKY CURE. He plays a doctor who is head over heels for Elise Newton (Mandy Moore). 1a1e2d472d6a244802df5d32bf685f94In this movie, though, he is in love with Kate Capshaw. She starts the whole movie going when she finds a love letter in the seat cushion of her bookstore. She can’t figure out who wrote it and thinks it’s Tom Everett Scott. He finds it and thinks it’s from Kate. Ellen DeGeneres finds it and thinks it’s to her from Tom Selleck. And, so the movie moves forward with a lot of confusion, mistaken identity of the letter and wrong affairs. I suppose what I like about it is the music, the location it’s filmed, and the ease of the story line. I’m actually watching it for the second time in a week right now! So what if it might have a little to do with I’m too lazy to take it out of the machine to find a new one. Either way, I can enjoy it one more time.

I have other movies that I will share in the future:) If you haven’t checked this one out, give it a look!

loveletter_16

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Casting Characters

thRGOL8ML2The first order of business after I’ve decided what my next book will be about, is to cast the characters in it. I need to see them in my mind. Imaginary ones don’t do the trick for me. It’s quite the opposite, of course, when I read a book. It’s like I’m a sketch artist, taking notes of the author’s descriptions, until I’ve got a clear picture who I’m reading about. But, while writing, I need a concrete image. It’s typically very easy to pick the main ones. The girl, the guy, and the other guy. I usually have my mind made up very early who they’ll be. It’s when I delve deeper into friends, the sister, the in-laws, and the pesky receptionist at work that I sometimes need help. But, let’s first understand where I get the key players.

I watch a lot of movies. A lot. I love being taken away for one hour and fifty eight or so minutes, to another place and time. Driving around with people I’ve come to know very well. Watching them figure out the problem they have and solve it. And, it is while I watch these characters that my mind begins to wander to “what if”. “What if” the girl grew up in Maine instead of California and “what if” she didn’t have a rich mother/father, and “what if” she met so and so in a bottling factory while visiting an uncle, taking him his lunch, and not on a movie set. And, then so and so followed her home one day and found out she really was a….

And, so begins the seed of an 80,000 word manuscript. All from watching a character and making up an alternative story about them with the same characteristics they have in the  movie I watched, but with a new guy. One that I watched from another movie. But, they have to connect on all levels. I take them out of what I saw them in and create a new storyline with each other. It’s like a love connection between two actors, playing in the role of the movie I watched them in, separately.

The problem comes when I can’t find supporting actors, I mean characters! Trust me, it takes major brainstorming to get this right. I, sometimes, have to ask advice from my friends. One friend in particular, Amanda, gives me some pretty spot-on suggestions. I relay what role the character is going to play, the color of hair they have, how tall they should stand, and a general age requirement. She does this staring off thing, sometimes hits a few keys on her computer keyboard, and then out spits the perfect character.

After I get all them figured out, I print out their pictures and tack them to my trusty character board that hangs over my writing desk. At times, I might need to Google movies they were in just to get another perspective of a character they might’ve played. I, of course, take liberties to change things about them that fit better in my storyline, but for the most part, I think of them in the roles I’ve seen them in and I write their dialogue for the movie that plays in my own mind.