My Scattered Steps For a Good 2017

I feel electric right now. And sleepy. Strange combination. You obviously survived the deluge of fireworks from exuberant partiers if you are reading this. Oh My Gawd I love the neighborhood I live in. Let me tell you, those are some happy people. I do feel bad for the pets and folks who were scared. But wow! So much excitement was exploding in the ice cold sky in bright lights on New Year’s Eve.

Time to lay out the steps for a good new year. Here we go.

Step 1:

There will be no New Year’s Resolutions (NYR.) I haven’t done NYR’s in awhile. That would be farcical, being I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of big change let alone a diet. Shhhhh. Don’t tell life that, it keeps changing and I don’t want it to lose faith in me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to change. And yet, magically, not only do I not get the results I’m looking for, but it never changes who I am. You know the drill: you can’t run from yourself.

Step 2:

Get out of bed on time.

Step 3:

Stare at schedule every day for five minutes, as it’s changed AGAIN. Life, we need to talk. How’s a girl supposed to get anything done if you keep changing? NEWS FLASH: Life isn’t listening. Must adjust.

Step 4:

Get out of bed ON TIME I said. Realize with new responsibilities and schedule changes that I SHOULD have gotten out of bed an hour and forty-five minutes before I did. Oops.

Step 5:

Working and exercising are going to have to be interchangeable. No, self, don’t complain. I know it’s different. Must wait my turn in line for the treadmill and the next episode of The Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. Gawd I want to live in one of those houses. So. Bad. Almost done with season two then I’m on to a re-watch of Sense8 to see if I can get into it this time. I’m told the sex is steamy enough to keep my attention. Last time I fell asleep. Perhaps my idea of steamy is different from others. We shall see…

Step 6:

Stop capitalizing things so much. The youngest, Little Bear, told me that I don’t text/message/email right. I’m supposed to use caps and exclamation points more often. Snort. Oh yeah, and no complete sentences. So maybe step six should be: Stop listening to the kid. Or start. I’m flummoxed. Which to choose? I’ll ask Little Bear.

Step 7:

Accept that this is, in fact, a list of resolutions and I just fucked up step one. Go figure.

Step-solution 8:

Do laundry every stinking day. How the hell do you working-outside-of-the-home people get your laundry done? I’m just confused. And who does the house cleaning? Where is my house elf? Dobbie, oh Dobbie, wherefore art thou? Yes, I’m good with his ghost.

Step-solution 9:

Gosh. It stings to realize I’ve succumbed to societal dictates. Psh. Okay. FINE. Resolution 9:

I must get back to taking care of book club stuff. Currently running two book clubs, and I’m sadly behind in my reading. Read The Girl With All The Gifts twice already, currently doing a summary to find questions. Also reading Heart Shaped Box and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Must stop looking at FB so I can get on top of this. I think that was kind of number 10 mixed in there, wasn’t it?

The coffee has been consumed and my mind broadened. Awake. Ahhh. What a good feeling. I’m warm and dressed and still feeling electric. I guess I better get my ass to the gym. ‘Cause it’s gym day, even if it’s later than normal and I worked BEFORE I exercised.

I suppose I might be able to adapt to these new steps resolutions :-). Maybe. It’s a work in progress.

Happy New Year y’all.

PS: This is just a part of the actual list. The one inside of my head is long enough to keep a kid awake for days. Lets not dwell on that.

 

Book Club The STRAIN

Here is my last book club post on this page! Let’s go out with a boom!

I very much enjoyed The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. See the full write-up on this book here. I don’t want to go into too many details and create  a spoiler if you haven’t read the book yet or you are still finishing it, so I’ll do a little bit of a sell on it instead :-).

Del Toro is known for his movies, but man oh man does he have some good books out there. Chuck Hogan is a New York Times best-selling author. The two together… wow. I’ve seen this book marked as a Thriller, Science Fiction and most notably Horror. I agree with the first and the last.

Science Fiction has a formula (this may be in my head, but I’m calling it like I see ’em.) 1/4 of the book is usually designated to “telling.” There is a lot of information that needs to be set up before the actual story can start. In some ways this did that, as it was a slow start before we started getting slammed into the action. One might argue the science is in there, and I won’t disagree. There are some rules it didn’t follow in that regard, which I’ll leave off in an effort to not bore you, but suffice it to say, I’m scratching off the Sci-Fi label right here and now.

I want to point out that the first 1/4 of the story NEVER ONCE put me off. I wanted to keep going from page one. Bravo!

Now, the story line says it’s about vampires. I don’t hate vampires, in fact I was drawn to the sexy vamps of the 50’s for a very long time. Twilight kind of squished my love for them, though I’ll be honest I LOVE GLITTER. Just not on humans. Or maybe, not on my villains. Even sexy villains. Anyhow, these are very different vampires, creepy, nasty and not at all like anything I’ve ever seen/read. Again, Bravo!

It’s a trilogy, and perhaps was written with that in mind. So a fair warning the end will leave you craving more. I am personally thrilled about this as I want to learn how they do this intoxicating pacing thing that they do. I’m off to my library’s website after I finish up here to see what formats the next books come in. Bring it on!

Lastly, I want to finish all of the books before I re-watch the series. My first attempt was abysmal. It felt like they changed the story line too much for me. I was in love with the way the writers set it up, and when it didn’t fall in line I kinda just gave up. BUT. Maybe when I’m done with the books I’ll have more patience.

Anyhow, yet another beach read for those that don’t wish to read romance all the time. Go forth and ask/answer questions!

FOR NEW COMERS THE COMMENT SECTION WILL HOLD THE QUESTIONS, AS TO NOT MAKE THE BLOG ITSELF A SPOILER. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK YOUR OWN QUESTIONS AS A SEPARATE THREAD.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Book Club Update

The book club, if you hadn’t noticed, is kind of a bust. Folks wanted me to set it up, so I did. Over on Facebook we have a page where we communicate and I’ve been reminding people to read their books, giving updates and such there.  But it’s been kind of one-way. Well, three or four way really? But you get the picture. I have been posting the book club posts here so that my non-FB friends can participate too, but there doesn’t seem to be any energy behind that one.

Anyhow, I’m not much into self flagellation (in public anyway,) so I’m going to give it one more chance to make this a go before I make it a FB page only thing, and leave it there, without doing the actual book club-y questions. Cheerleading all by yourself is a mute point if you know what I mean.

A note on how I pick the books that *I* bring to the table. I’ve long been a stalker of librarian blogs when I’m looking for new reads. Many of the books I’ve shared and asked if anyone wants to read came from those adventures. It’s pretty cool but I’ve yet to hear a single person complain about a book I’ve requested – including my friends who don’t read horror. Oh wait I take that back, I have one friend who doesn’t care for ghost stories and she *may* have balked at a few, but that’s okay. The folks that have actually read my picks have been very happy.

I’m currently reading the October book, Strain. It’s kind of disgusting in a good way. I was trying to explain the difference between splatter horror (it’s a thing) and what del Torro wrote, and I came up with this: He writes more clinical, less visceral when it comes to blood and guts. For me anyway, it makes it easier to read. I’m about halfway through that one, and I’m honestly shocked. Every time I sit down to read it, time disappears and huge chunks get read. Another beach read, as it turns out. Laugh if you want, but I’m enjoying it.

That’s it for now.

I expect the October 31st (ha funny, just realized we’re reading a horror story for a Halloween) to be the last thread for book club here. Do not fear I cannot stop babbling about books so there will be threads here and there about my faves over time.

See you soon.

 

September Book Club Time!

Yay! It’s Harry Potter Book Club of the First time! So if you haven’t finished reading yet: don’t read the threads. Well, maybe even this post, though I’m only sharing very generalized opinions up here.

An apology: I’m a bit in love with JKR and the Harry Potter franchise so bear with me here. You guys probably know I was skeptical about reading this book. In fact, I wasn’t going to do it. So glad that you guys made me do it.

I’ll start with my happy opinions:

  • Are you a Harry Potter fan? You have to read this book. Just say’n.
  • I loved dancing with my old favorite characters and now have new favorites. Slightly shocked about that.

And then a little not happy:

  • I didn’t like the way some characters were written, and I didn’t love reading a play.
  • I wanted more of a JKR feeling when I was reading. However, it did come through at times, for which I’m grateful. This is really when the story started coming alive for me, but it came a little late in the story for my taste.

Other than that… Bravo! So can’t wait for the Fantastic Beasts movie, and the three other books that are slated to be written. Also, I’m dying to go to Harry Potter World at Universal Orlando now.

Below I’ll post my questions. Please feel free to add yours as well! (Rubbing my hands together.)

Lastly: Sorry to put the blog up a day early. I’ll be out of the country this weekend. I love saying that ha ha. Sounds like a big deal. It’s not when you live three hours from Canada though lol.

This is gonna be good :-).

 

October’s Book Club of the First’s Pick

Good morning.

Here’s a little something to whet your appetite for October’s Book Club choice, The Strain, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I’m on page 145 and I love the pacing, love the level of description when it comes to gore. I write dark fiction with its fare share of gore, but so many are written with much too much if you know what I mean. Also, this isn’t your every day vampire story. At this far in the book there isn’t even a mention of that being the premise of the story.

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I’ve heard there is a great audio version available (I saw it on Amazon and at our library, both in CD and Audible) read by Ron Perlman. That is an excellent way to join us if you’re too busy to sit down and crack open a book.

Here’s Amazon’s Review:

Amazon Best of the Month, June 2009: Who better to reinvent the vampire genre than Guillermo Del Toro, the genius behind Pan’s Labyrinth, and Chuck Hogan, master of character-driven thrillers like Prince of Thieves? The first of a trilogy, The Strain is everything you want from a horror novel–dark, bloody, and packed full of mayhem and mythology. But, be forewarned, these are not like any vampires you’ve met before–they’re not sexy or star-crossed or “vegetarians”–they are hungry, they are connected, and they are multiplying. The vampire virus marches its way across New York, and all that stands between us and a grotesque end are a couple of scientists, an old man with a decades-old vendetta, and a young boy. This first installment moves fast and sets up the major players, counting down to the beginning of the end. Great summer reading. —Daphne Durham

Book Description

The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event.

The Strain

They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come.

In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country.

In two months–the world.

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.

In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing . . .

So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city–a city that includes his wife and son–before it is too late.”

The first chapter is even available on Amazon if you are on the fence. Boom. Look at that.

Looking forward to next month!