Double Feature at the Drive-In

Last night, one of my lifelong dreams came true.  I finally got to see a movie at the drive-in!  And wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be a double feature!  Two movies for six bucks?  Why doesn’t everyone go to the drive-in all the time?

Well, bugs and rain and really disgusting food, but I’ll get to that later.

All in all, my first experience at the drive-in was super amazingly fun.  I went with a group of my best friends, we set out a blanket, watched the sunset, and laughed about the disgusting food that I ordered.

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As you all may know, sometimes when I go see movies, I like to write reviews.  Not like, actual reviews because I don’t have that kind of depth or patience.  But my own personal thoughts about the movie.  For example: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/double-movie-day/.

Before I talk about the movies, however, I want to tell you a little more about the drive-in itself.

It is so cool, y’all.  It’s like taking a step back through time.  It’s also set in a wide open field under the stars.  I love being outside, so this was was totally my ideal setting.

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After we parked and set up our blankets, we headed over to the refreshment stand.  I hadn’t eaten dinner, so I ordered a hot dog and some fries.

Big.  Mistake.

The fries were fine but that hot dog?  I’m fairly certain it was just cooked Play Dough.  I’m not kidding you.  It was a weird neon fuchsia color and it felt like plastic.  It also had these weird cooked plastic blisters on it (gross, I know), and when we broke it apart to see what it looked like inside, it was white.  I’m telling you, no part of that hot dog used to be alive.  I have no idea what kind of “mystery meat” nastiness it was, but it was not a real animal.  Needless to say, as someone with a near-crippling phobia of being sick to my stomach, I tossed that plastic piece of grossness into the grass.  I knew I’d made the right decision when even the ants left it alone.

Long story short, if I had eaten it, I’d probably be dead.

Unlike their fake animal byproducts, however, their popcorn was high quality.  Good thing, too, because I ended up not having dinner.

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The experience itself of watching a movie outside is, altogether, awesome.  True, our speakers didn’t work and we had to use the car’s radio, but that’s what you usually do at the drive-in anyway.  Aside from that minor hiccup, I loved sitting out under the sunset, enjoying the summer breeze, and watching movies with my friends. It was simply magical.

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Now.  For the good part.  The movies themselves.

The first movie featured was Disney’s Tomorrowland.  This was not a movie I had planned on seeing.  But since it was Disney and it was a double feature and I was with friends who wanted to see it, I was happy to give it a shot.  It wasn’t a bad movie, but to be totally honest with you, I’m still not entirely sure what it was about.

So, in the spirit of previous movie reviews, here are my thoughts on Tomorrowland in no particular order.

*WARNING*

THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.  PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Thoughts on Tomorrowland

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* Yay Disney! I love Disney!

* For some reason, seeing George Clooney in a kids’ movie is really awkward.

* This is not the World’s Fair.  This is Disney World.  Do not even try to pretend.

* OMG IT’S HUGH LAURIE. HUGH I LOVE YOU. HOUSE!

* Creepy little girl. Is she a vampire? I bet she’s a vampire.

* The It’s a Small World ride. Come on, Disney. You know you’re not fooling anyone.

* I’d be SO mad if some chick I barely knew tricked me into going to a future filled with scary robots.  I don’t like robots.

* I love this flying sequence.  I wish I could fly.

* I’m still not entirely sure when this movie is supposed to be set.

* Casey, I don’t know why, but I really don’t care about what you’re trying to do.

* Okay, I recognize this whole cornfield sequence from the commercials. It’s pretty much the only scene I kind of understand.

* Is anyone’s little brother actually that smart?  Especially at that age?  What is this kid, five?

* Creepy vampire girl is back.

* The lady in this Disney-Is-Totally-Rubbing-The-Fact-That-They-Own-Star-Wars-Now-In-Our-Faces store is dressed like an odd combination of Princess Leia and Ms. Frizzle.  I’m confused.

* I bet she and her husband smoke a lot of pot.

* Oh no they don’t!  They’re robots!

* This movie is doing very bad things for my robot phobia.

* Are people out on the street not noticing all these explosions?

* OMG the creepy little girl is a robot too!  I knew she was something weird.

* Bathroom break. Also need popcorn since hot dog turned out to not be actual food.

* Casey has managed to break into George Clooney’s house and I’m very afraid there will be some weird I-Used-To-Have-A-Crush-On-You-When-We-Were-Kids-Even-Though-You’re-A-Robot tension between him and the creepy vampire robot girl.

* Eiffel Tower is actually a rocket.  Okay.

* I love how absolutely no one is freaking out about this.  They’re all just taking pictures of it on their iPhones.  If it were me, I’d probably be peeing my pants or something.

* Yay Hugh Laurie is back!  I love him and his sexy accent and Mr. Fine Wine good looks.  Although I’m fairly certain he’s the bad guy and I’m not supposed to like him.

* Actually no, I take that back.  I think the real antagonist here is the human condition.  See, I can be deep too.

* Spacey, sci-fi, robot stuff. Not really holding my attention.  Going to check social media.

* Hugh Laurie giving speech in his sexy accent about how we need to save butterflies and bees. I approve. Yet somehow, he’s still the bad guy. I can tell because his outfit is just too badass for a protagonist.

* More spacey sci-fi stuff.  Disney is really milking the Star Wars thing for all it’s worth.

* Beach?  I like beaches.  Let’s stay on the beach.  Also, why are there so few trees in the future?  See, this is why I’d never want to live there.  I like trees.

* HUGH LAURIE NO!  Why is it always your leg?!

* I KNEW IT!  George Clooney and that creepy robot girl are having a moment!  This is so awkward!

* Robot girl turned out to be a bomb.  This is kind of disturbing.

* Reunion Tower just crushed Hugh Laurie.  Very sad.  He was the only character I really connected with.

* I think I just watched a very long infomercial for innovation.  That’s not a bad thing.  I’m a big fan of creativity and thinking outside the box.  But still.

So yeah, that was Tomorrowland in a nutshell.  It was okay.  Probably not one I’ll watch again.  Robots just aren’t my thing.  I much prefer dinosaurs.  Which is why I was super stoked to see the next movie in the double feature…

JURASSIC WORLD!

Like the rest of the world, I’ve been itching to see the long-awaited fourth installment in the Jurassic Park saga.  I absolutely love the first movie.  I’ve seen it at least a thousand times and can quote it like nobody’s business.  The second and third?  Eh, they’re okay.  But I was expecting big things for this fourth movie.  For the most part, it did not disappoint.  I only say that because as good as it was, nothing can live up to the first one.  It puts forth a decent effort, however.

Again.  Spoilers.  You have been warmed.

Thoughts on Jurassic World

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* Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs.  Bring me dinosaurs!

* I didn’t know Judy Greer was in this movie.

* Ah, her kid is such a little NERD. Look at all his dinosaurs and space stuff. So cute.

* Older kid pouting because he has to leave his girlfriend for a WHOLE weekend to go see dinosaurs. Wow Zach, your life sucks.  Poor you.

* Though to be honest, if I were their mother, I would not let my kids go to an island full of dinosaurs alone.  I probably wouldn’t let them go period.

* Return to Jurassic Park sequence + Original Score = All the Chills

* BD WONG.  HENRY.  OMG.  YOU STILL WORK HERE.  BLESS YOUR LITTLE HEART.  THIS JUST MADE MY WHOLE DAY.

* Bryce Dallas Howard is their aunt?  That’s so cool.  I like her.  Especially because this isn’t the first movie where she and Judy Greer have played sisters.  M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village anyone?

* Her character in this movie, however, seems like kind of a flake.

* Oh yeah, there he is.  Chris Pratt.  Hello, handsome.  I’ve heard good things about you.

* OMG he’s training the velociraptors!  WHY is that cute?!  Are raptors supposed to be cute?  Or is just because he’s their trainer?!

* I want a trained velociraptor.

* Evil guy who wants to use the dinosaurs for warfare.  I bet you’re gonna die.

* That raptor trying to get at the dweeby guy through the bars. Is that Blue?  Or Delta?  Or maybe Charlie?

* Is it weird that the raptors remind me of my cat?

* NO I DON’T WANT A TRAINED VELOCIRAPTOR I WANT A BABY BRACHIOSAURUS THAT IS THE CUTEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN OMG.

* Dumb kids ditching their babysitter.  You’re gonna get eaten.

* Dinosaur eats a shark.  Where’d they get the shark?

* Super genetically enhanced hybrid T-Rex.  There is no way this will end badly.

* Oh hello hunky Chris Pratt at your rugged, outdoorsman bungalow.  I like that rugged, outdoorsman shirt you’re wearing.

* Bryce Dallas Howard, no! Don’t make him change! Why would you do that?

* Oh look at that.  Your mutant escaped.  #Fail

* And now your dumb nephews are out there all alone with the escaped mutant. #DoubleFail

* Jimmy Fallon is in this movie? LOL

* I guess they’re still “sparing no expense.”

* Guys go out to try to control this escaped super dinoaur and of course, they all die.  Honestly, who would sign up for this job?!  Does it come with really awesome benefits that you never get to use because you don’t live long enough to actually take advantage of them?

* I hope BD Wong doesn’t die.  He’s the voice of Captain Shang in Mulan.  And Howard Weinstein.

* Children.  No.  Do not go off-road in a park full of dinosaurs.  Especially after you KNOW that something has gone wrong and all the rides are supposed to be shut down.  Are you stupid?  You must be stupid.

* I kind of hope the older one gets eaten.  He’s too stupid to survive on this island.  Survival of the fittest.

* He probably won’t though.  Hollywood and all that.

* Mutant dinosaur with lots of teeth.  There is no way they will survive this encounter.  And yet, they do.

* No!  No, don’t let that sweet brachiosaurus die!  No, this is too sad!  I don’t like this.  😥

* That mutant dinosaur is a douchebag.

* Kids find the old Jurassic Park.  The Dinosaurs of the World sign.  The piano music in the background.  I feel like this movie is designed to feed on our generation’s nostalgia.  And it’s working.

* Good thing this movie also has a genius little brother who somehow knows how to fix a car that stopped working at least ten years before he was born.

* Pterodactyls on the loose. Do they eat people?

* Somehow, I feel like this is all those kids’ faults.  I don’t know why.  I just blame them.

* It turns out yes, Pterodactyls do eat people.  At least the big ones anyway.

* Hold up.  Does that Pterodactyl have a Tyrannosaurus head?  What the heck is that?!  Is that another mutant? Are they cross-breeding now?

* Oops.  There goes the babysitter.

* Dumb kids finally reuniting with their hella lucky aunt who just got to make out with Chris Pratt. 

* Tech guy, you’d do better with the ladies if you shaved off that creepy mustache.

Note: Throughout all of this, it started raining so we retreated back to the cars.  I was alone with my friend and her boyfriend.  They were in the front seats so I sat in the back, but I’m too tall and couldn’t see the movie from the backseat.  So I sat down on the floor in between the back seat and front seat.  Oddly enough, it’s a lot more comfortable than you’d think it’d be.  I couldn’t help but wonder how weird it must have looked though.  At first glance, it looks like two cute people on a date.  Then, after a second glance, you see this third person’s head creeping down in the shadows, just peaking out in between them.  That’s how I felt. 

* Chris Pratt is the Velociraptor’s Alpha.  That’s hot.

* Thanks to this movie, I will settle for nothing less than a man who can ride a motorcycle and herd velociraptors.

* I might be single for a while.

* YOU KILLED CHRIS PRATT’S BABY RAPTOR IN FRONT OF HIM.  NO.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

* I don’t like this movie!  It’s sad!

* Bryce Dallas Howard lighting up a flair and getting the T-Rex to chase her, I can accept.  But Bryce Dallas Howard lighting up a flair and getting the T-Rex to chase her in those heels?  I’m sorry, this movie is far too unrealistic.

* YOU KILLED DELTA HOW COULD YOU.

* STOP LETTING CHRIS PRATT’S BABIES DIE. WHAT IS THIS.

* It’s the ultimate T-Rex showdown.  I also like how the T-Rex and Blue the Raptor seem to have a mutual respect and understanding that they have to work together to kill the mutant.

* HA!  The giant water dinosaur saved the day!  That was awesome!

* Okay, now that mutant is dead, there’s still the whole issue of having a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Velociraptor loose in the park.  I feel like you just solved one problem by creating another.

* Oh.  The T-Rex and Raptor have achieved a higher sense of understanding and go back home on their own.  That’s convenient.

* You know, I still don’t understand why any of these people think that dinosaurs are a good idea.  Except the baby brachiosaurus.  That is the best idea in the history of ever.

* And the movie ends, as usual, with T-Rex lording over her territory.

All in all, good movie.  I will definitely see it again.  Not as good as the first by any means, but you know, what is?  That movie is a classic, a cinematic masterpiece.  Nothing will ever live up to it.  But this movie comes awfully close.

Authorfest 2015

This weekend was incredible.  I was thrilled to be able to participate in the second annual Authorfest in one of my favorite small towns, Denison, Texas.  As a writer, I believe that words are all powerful, but as a photographer, I believe that pictures are worth at least a thousand words.  So here they are.

First, some scenic shots of Downtown Denison.

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Preparing for dinner and a reading at Devoli’s!  It also happens to be part of my favorite winery, Homestead.

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Photograph courtesy of Tim Malek Photography. http://www.TimMalek.com

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Photograph courtesy of Tim Malek Photography. http://www.TimMalek.com

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Usually, I prefer red wine, but this Orange Muscat may have converted me.

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That night, there was another raffle drawing.  I swear to y’all, I have the BEST luck at these things.

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And, of course, there were plenty of books to go around.

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I also got to meet the cutest puppy ever.

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And I spent all the money I earned on wine and new old books including a lot of vintage Stephen King and an old copy of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

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Thank you to everyone who made this weekend such and amazing experience.  Thank you especially to James and Claudette Peercy, who organized and made the entire event possible!

You can find James and his wonderful books here: http://www.jameswilliampeercy.com

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New Project

Hello, friends!  I hope you all had a delightful weekend.  Yesterday was my sister’s birthday, but she wasn’t home, so we’ll be celebrating tonight and tomorrow.  We were still pretty busy over the weekend, however, making preparations and doing some last minute birthday shopping.  I’m really excited for her to see what I got her.  I’m pretty much best big sister ever.

Along with shopping and birthday antics, I’ve also been thinking about my new Young Adult Project that I began for NaNoWriMo.  I’ve decided that I am, in fact, going to publish it under my name.  I’m saving my super secret pen name for the books I actually want to keep a secret.  I’ve also made it my goal to have the new book ready for publication Spring 2015.  I’ve even made a Pinterest teaser board for it.

https://www.pinterest.com/windtrailpub/untitled-young-adult-project/

So, yeah.  It’s coming along nicely.  I finished Chapter 14 last night.  I’m not kidding, I am having so much fun writing this book.  I think my favorite part is that I have absolutely nothing planned for it.  I’m just writing it.  In a weird way, I think it makes writing easier.  The story is evolving the way it’s supposed to and I can’t wait to share it!

In other news, I went out to visit a dear friend of mine at her farm and I want to share some of the pictures.  One of these days, I’m going to take my real camera out there and take some pictures, but for now, iPhone photos will have to do.

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There’s something about a Texas sky…

Road Trip Essentials

Hello, friends.  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  Mine involved a lot of running around, being on my feet, and road-tripping back and forth to Denison, a small town in the Texoma area, about an hour away from where I live.  I am honored to have been asked to participate in Turo’s (formerly known as RelayRides) Road Trip Essentials Campaign (https://turo.com/), so this weekend of road trips really could not have come at a better time.

I love road trips.  Ever since I was little and my family would drive down to San Antonio every summer, road trips have been my absolute favorite way to travel.  Sure, flying is fast and efficient, but nothing compares to watching the world pass by outside your window.  The trees, the buildings, the clouds, and the highway road signs are all integral parts of what makes road trips worthwhile experiences.  Nothing, not even soaring through the sky, compares to the freedom of the open road.  So, without further ado, I present my compilation of Road Trip Essentials.

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Music

Good music is almost as essential to a good road trip as the road itself.  Some driver and passengers get by just listening to the radio, but I’ve never trusted popular music stations to play the music that really makes a long drive what it should be.  A good road trip mix, for me, consists of classic rock, alternative 90s, and maybe a power ballad or two.

A Friend

Don’t get me wrong, driving alone can be great, enlightening, and liberating, but road trips are always more fun with a companion.  That way, you can take turns driving, you have someone to talk to, someone to share snacks with, and someone to navigate while you try to figure out where in the world you’re supposed to turn to make it to the next state.

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A Notebook

Some of the best memories are made on the road, so I always like keeping a journal or a notebook close by to jot down instances or funny moments along the way.  The road is also a great place for new ideas or revelations.  As a writer, road trips have always been very inspirational to me.  The right combination of road, memories, and music can do wonders for the mind.  In fact, it was on a road trip just a few years back that I came up with the idea for a new series.  I am currently working on the first book in that series now.

A Camera

You never know what you might encounter on the open road, so it’s best to be prepared for anything.  Cameras are a great way to capture the world around you, and keep those moments with you.  My camera goes everywhere I go, especially to new and exciting places.

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My friends posing with cameras on a road trip.

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Flowers on the side of the road.

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A Rest Stop

I don’t know about you, but I love rest stops.  Once or twice on every road trip, someone needs to stand up, stretch their legs, re-fuel the car, etc.  These rest stops are usually gas stations or small diners along the road, but my favorites are the ones with snacks and small souvenir shops.  I started collecting post cards on a high school band trip to Orlando, and I haven’t stopped.  I have postcards from Louisiana, California, New Jersey, Florida, all the way to Scotland.  I also love having access to all the snacks I could ever hope to eat.  On the road, you eat what you can get, so no one will care if you want to eat an entire package of beef jerky with an entire bag of Cheetos for lunch.  If you ask me, it’s the best kind of lunch there is!

Snacks

This, I guess, falls into the previous essential.  Snacks and drinks are vital to an enjoyable road trip.  You have a long drive ahead of you.  You’re going to want to stay fed and hydrated.  I personally prefer water, but I know a lot of friends who just have to have their sodas and energy drinks if they’re going to be traveling.  What I don’t consume in carbonated drinks, however, I make up for in chocolate.

A Blanket

Road trips can be chilly, especially if the person you’re with is a little warmer in nature than you.  I tend to fall into the cold-natured group, so naturally, I never travel without a jacket or a blanket.  I think being cold-natured is something of an evolutionary adaptation that comes from living in Texas.

A Sunrise or A Sunset

For me, no road trip is complete without a beautiful sky.  Most of the road trips I take now begin before the sun rises, but several in my past have gone on well into the night.  My favorite road trip I’ve ever taken was a ninth grade band trip to Midland, a small town to the west.  I remember listening to “Good Riddance” by Green Day and driving directly into the setting sun.  It was one of the most incredible moments of my life, simply because, at that moment, everything seemed right.  Watching the sun rise or set from a new perspective is my absolute favorite part of any road trip, even more so than the destination itself.

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You may have noticed I left out the essential Good Book.  I believe books are vital to any trip, especially for longs nights in hotel rooms.  Traveling, however, I can never seem to focus on reading.  Blasphemy, I know.  But I love to watch the world outside, to live in the moment, and to concentrate on the adventure.  While reading is an adventure in and of itself, I never get a lot of it done on the road.

Happy traveling, friends!

Road Trip Weekend

My weekend of miniature road trips began last Thursday.  I drove out to Denison (around Lake Texoma) to meet a friend for a celebration of art and wine.  All the stores and art galleries stayed open and had wine and refreshments set out for visitors.  I had no idea what to expect, I just knew there would be art and wine.  That was good enough for me.  

I arrived at Denison’s Main Street about thirty minutes early, so I decided to park my car and walk around a bit.  As I strolled, I remembered that I had been baptized in a church in Denison, so I called my mom to find out which one.  Denison is a pretty small town, after all.  It was probably within driving distance.  She told me I was looking for St. Luke’s Episcopal.  I typed the name into my GPS and lo and behold, the church was exactly one street over from where I stood.  

It wasn’t open, and I’d forgotten my camera battery at home (dumb!), but I did get a few pictures on my iPhone. 

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I hope to go back sometime to visit when the church is open.  Maybe I can even attend a service there.  It’s such a cool and apparently historic building!  

After my quick trip to the place of my spiritual rebirth, I headed back into town and explored a few of the stores until my friend joined me.  

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One of the stores I stopped in was called The Book Rack, a huge independent book store that sells both new and used books.  I got to talking to the two ladies working there, and, long story short, they want Cemetery Tours for their store!  I’m so excited!  They also offered to have me come back sometime in the summer to do a book signing!  I really hope that happens, because that would just be so cool!  

After finally meeting up with my friend, we perused a few more galleries and stores.  I ended up with three new books, one from The Book Rack and two antique books to add to my collection.  I met several artists and witnessed some incredible works.  I didn’t sample any wine, sadly, as I had a long drive home, but that’s alright.  My friend and I also stopped in a huge antique store.  We are both big believers in ghosts, so we had a fun time exploring and searching for spirits amidst the artifacts. 

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Around that time, we began to hear thunder rumbling in the distance, so I decided to head out before the weather got too hazardous.  I did get some pictures of the small town sunset, though.

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Saturday was another busy day.  I was up uncharacteristically early, 7 AM, to help with my friends’ yard sale.  It was fun, but oh my goodness, I am so sunburned.  I didn’t even think to put on sunscreen!  It’s still March and it was so early!  Alas, two days later, my poor skin is still simmering.  Lesson learned. 

I also spent some time planting sunflower seeds.  Unfortunately, the next day, I went out to water them and discovered several little holes where an animal (okay, a SQUIRREL) had dug up the seeds and left behind their empty shells!  How are you supposed to protect your poor baby seeds from squirrels?!  I’m going to have to get clever, I think.  

Later Saturday, however, my best friend texted me and asked, “How do you feel about the lake?” 

There is only one appropriate response when a friend asks you to go to the lake, and that response is “Yes.”  So, we drove out to the lake. 

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As much fun as I had, however, yesterday, everything caught up with me.  I slept 12 hours straight before finally dragging my achey, sunburned self out of bed.  Then, I really didn’t do anything except watch Catching Fire and color.  It was pretty nice.  

Today, however, I am very ready to hit the ground running.  I’ve received my first copy of my rough draft from one of my beta readers, so I need to go over her notes.  I also need to get back to writing the new manuscript.  Then, of course, there are emails to answer, reviews to post, and goals to set.  I’ll tell you this much, the life of an indie author is NEVER boring!  

I hope you all are having a fantastic Monday and last day of March!  Beware of April Foolers!  

 

 

The Middle

I love the song “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.  I first heard it at an amusement park while waiting to ride the Batman ride. You know, the one where your feet dangle and you go on all those crazy loops and twists and turns.  Every time I ride it, I think, “Oh my God, what am I doing?!  Am I crazy?!”  But then I actually ride it and remember how much I love it and that it’s actually one of the most awesome roller coasters ever.  

Anyway, the song is really great, especially for those of us who are still in the process of really finding out place in the world. 

It just takes some time, little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine.  Everything, everything will be alright.”  

It’s a very encouraging song, especially for anyone in between where they’ve been and where they hope to go.  

I’m only a few chapters away from being done with the first draft of my new manuscript, the sequel to Cemetery Tours.  For a while now, I’ve been a little worried that maybe it won’t be as good, or that people won’t like it as much as they do the first one.  What if people don’t like the plot?  Or what if I’ve ruined their favorite character?  I never thought about any of these things until I got close to finishing the sequel.  

Writing this one hasn’t been the same as writing the first one.  With the first one, I went back and fourth, started it about four or five separate times, renamed characters, changed the plot, took out entire chapters and went back to rewrite them.  With this one, I’ve worked straight through, start to finish, maybe taking out and rewriting a paragraph here or there, but overall, it’s been a pretty straightforward process.  That might just be a sequel thing.  I know the characters, I knew what I wanted out of this one before I knew what I wanted out of the first, and I’ve known all along how this one was going to play out.  Honestly, I wrote the first book just so I could write this one.  But still, the fears persisted that it just wouldn’t be as good, especially since I felt like I haven’t corrected as much on this one. 

The other night, however, I decided to scroll back and reread a few chapters.  I am happy to report that I like them just as much as I like Cemetery Tours.  I’ve come to learn that sometimes, when you’re writing a chapter or a scene, you often think to yourself, “Wow, I really just kind of blew that off.  That was not my best effort.  I just pulled all of that out of the air.”  But then you go back, read what you wrote, and think, “Hey, that was actually pretty okay.”  That’s pretty much the entire book for me.  I know I will find things to change when I go back and do the first official read through (with the glitter markers for editing and what not), but overall, I am very happy and I finally think that readers will enjoy it just as much as they did Cemetery Tours.  At least, I hope they will!  

I’m really looking forward to finishing the manuscript, not only because I’m ready to get back into the publishing process, but because I’m really looking forward to starting something new.  I love Cemetery Tours and my characters, and I know I will write more books about them, but I have other ideas that I’m really excited about and that I want to get started on.  Right now, I’m totally committed to the sequel and that’s a good thing, but other stories in my head are getting antsy.  They want to be written too!  

Speaking of stories, my friend and I went to see Winter’s Tale last night.  It was really a beautiful movie, and I’d love to read the book.  I’d actually never heard of it until the movie was announced, but the book sounds amazing.  I’ll admit, it wasn’t what I expected, but I really liked it.  I’m very grateful that I got to see the entire thing, because my friend and I got lost twice on our way to the theater.  She and her family recently moved about forty five minutes away, and neither of us knows the area very well.  We ended up making a loop, and we arrived at the theater about ten minutes after the movie was supposed to start.  Fortunately, we only missed a few of the previews.  And the sunset was also really pretty, so you know, getting lost can sometimes be a good thing. 

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That’s one thing about living in Texas.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a big city, you’re never more than half an hour away from the typical, small country town scenery that most people envision when they think of Texas.  I love that.  However, it also means that you take one wrong turn and you’re suddenly on this small country road with no lights, no signs, and a lot of creepy old houses.  Or cows.  All I can say is thank God for the GPS, because it is so easy to get lost on those roads.    

In other news, Cemetery Tours has shown up in the “What are you reading” section of the UK’s The Guardian!  Check it out! 

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/feb/10/tips-links-and-suggestions-what-are-you-reading-this-week?commentpage=1 

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Have a good weekend, everyone!