Monday, June 16, 2014

#TFIOS, Chris O'Donnell, and a Selfie

I watched the movie trailer for #TFIOS (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green) and bawled my eyes out. I'm only on chapter seven, but I know how it's going to end. No, I didn't read any spoilers. I just know. It's one of those books that sucks you in from page one with witty dialogue and intriguing, intelligent characters and won't let you go. How can I go to the movies and watch this without a dozen boxes of Kleenex? It leaves all the YA chic lit books, with hot guys on the covers, in a pile of dust.

The story resonates with me because I have teenagers. To have one of your children endure cancer and suffer their loss would be pure agony. One person said the heartbreak was more felt and seen through the eyes of the parents. John Green, you know how to make us laugh out loud, weep and experience blood shot eyes for weeks.

So, on a different note, some of you from the A to Z blogging challenge this past April might
remember my admiration for actor Chris O'donnell. (Notice I didn't say "obsession." Although, that might be a more accurate description but not in a creepy, stalker kind of way.) Growing up, I idolized this star, because that's what you do when you're a teenager. I guess I retweeted a pic of him during NCIS:LA's #ShowNShare week. CBS sent me a prize: an autographed photo of CHRIS O'DONNELL! Was not expecting this. Will encase it in bullet proof glass.

Yep, that's me. I don't always take selfies, but when I do it's because I'm one of the biggest NCIS:LA fans this side of the Mississippi. And, yes, that's the Mississippi River behind me. I'm also really into the series, Burn Notice, right now. What's up with me and all these spy guys?!


What are you reading this summer? I still have loads of books to read: The Murder Complex, Nerve, Hacker are just a few on my list. By my book choices, can you guess I'm still in the middle of writing my teen spy thriller set in Chicago?What are your thoughts on #TFIOS ? Have you read the book or seen the movie yet? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's a "Cruel Summer."

Memories of my childhood summers play flashbacks of the movie, The Karate Kid, along with Bananarama's song, "Cruel Summer." My oldest son (the kid with the brand-spanking-new driver's license in his pocket) loves to turn up the radio when "retro lunch hour" starts playing my songs. I humor him and sing along to Bryan Adams or Tears for Fears. After he picks himself up off the floorboard of the car and stops laughing, he heads off to football weight training or wrestling open mat.

My summers in the 80's were spent without a single planned activity and with a sense of freedom. I don't remember ever seeing a parent at the park two blocks from my house. Did I mention the mandatory "no helmet law" back then? Bike helmets hadn't been invented yet. We cruised down the big hill on a bike with two occupants on the banana seat, one on the handle bars and another one attached to the back with a rope and a skateboard. If we sustained an injury, we slapped on a band aid and hobbled along to the next event. It's a wonder we survived our road trip to Florida in my family's blue station wagon. In the very back of our Plymouth was a  rear-facing seat to the world. Seat belts had been invented, but our parents thought it cruel to restrict our movements in a moving missile.

In an earlier post I mentioned my sister and I hiking in the back woods of Illinois, along the railroad tracks and through an insane asylum just to get to the municipal swimming pool. No X-box, cell phones or internet (the Dark Ages, for sure) back then. Atari arrived in the 70's and became popular in the 80's. My uncle, four hours away, owned one. I would never trade my childhood summers for today's scheduled three months off in a million years. I still swoon when I hear the music to the movie The Karate Kid, the first movie I ever watched on a VCR.
Happy "Cruel Summer" !

How will you spend your summer? What's the craziest, most daring thing you ever did during your childhood summer vacation?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG: Overwhelmed & Excited

 My kids have invaded my house for summer vacation & I am feeling overwhelmed. I'm praying for no house fires, broken bones or car accidents (oldest son is now driving.) Writing with kids in the house can be difficult. But I will continue to write and edit, waking up early to accomplish my goals. And why bother cleaning my house this summer? It's just going to stay messy until August.


The birthday girl!
Today, I am also feeling excited because we are celebrating my baby girl's fifth birthday. The feeling of excitement also stems from my upcoming family vacation (moms & writers need a break!) and book signing. During the "Twain on Main" festival over Memorial Day weekend, I met someone special walking the streets of Hannibal. The local news even snagged an interview with the legendary Mark Twain. I feel privileged to live in such a literary town!
Join me at The Mark Twain Museum on July 19th for a book signing!


Do you have a house full of kids this summer? How do you deal with all the stress? Do you have any vacations planned this summer? What are your writing goals for the summer months?





October #IWSG

Come join Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We discuss our fears, insecurities, ups and downs of the writing p...