MJ Monday-Manuscript: What is to Come

I am in the process of finishing up the final book of the Service for Sanctuary trilogy.  I’ll share the cover and the playlist when I have a release date.

In the meantime, I’m between projects. I’m hesitant to start something new right now, because I don’t want to be so deep into research or writing then get pulled out to revise the upcoming release. At this time, I have the luxury of time.

The next book I have in mind is a mystery. I’ve developed a lovely backstory. It may be a trilogy. I have lots of notes. I have been doing research, in spite of myself.

One of the exercises I’ve been doing is to go back and re-read my favorite books that are mysteries with a touch of paranormal and define what it is about those books that keep me going back to them time and time again. It’s surprising how “steadfast” I am in the tropes that appeal to me.

I hope I can pull off the same magic in the book(s) I plan to write in the same genre.

 

First World “Problem”

Maybe this isn’t a problem, but rather an annoyance. And in the grand scheme of the COVID-era, it’s downright ridiculous.

At my day job, I wear a headset to talk on the phone.

I wear eyeglasses, too, but I’ve never developed the habit of wearing them all the time. On and off, depending on what I’m doing. Yes, I have bifocals. Can’t see the computer screen with either “setting”.  Plus I have a habit of wearing my glasses on top of my head, too.

Since COVID, I also wear a face mask when not sitting in my cubicle.

Three things on my head.

So when I get up to speak to my manager or use the restroom or refill my water container, I need to put on my mask. Sometimes, though, I put on my glasses instead. Or my headset. Because the brain is thinking, “your head needs something on it” and I grab the first thing at hand. I laugh about putting on my mask to read papers. Or my glasses to answer the phone. Or, and I did this just yesterday) my phone rang, so I put on my mask.

I am not saying I run around without my mask. I always catch myself before leaving my workspace.

Maybe old age is setting in.

 

MJ Monday-Music: Boomer!

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that I have been slowly converting my home office into a sanctuary/retreat. I still have a long way to go, but one of things on the never ending list was music. Yes, I can play music through my laptop, but the sound stinks and computers are temperamental. My little red tablet laptop has some of the worst speakers I’ve ever encountered.

I own a couple of “boom boxes”. One is so old, it plays only cassettes. The other originally played both cassettes and CDs, but the cassette portion died years ago. Time for a new “sound system” for my haven.

It plays CDs and cassettes and (allegedly) mp3s, although I need some kind of cable to plug into a jack or something. It’s small. Is the sound awesome? Nope, but it’s a vast improvement over my computers.

Since I unboxed it (it sat untouched for several months), I’ve been listening to a lot of old favorites while I write. I light a scented candle, put on some mellow jazz or New Age music and my stress seems to melt.

This is an investment I do not regret.

Thursday Thought: Fleabag (Includes Spoiler)

My husband and I sat down one night to binge watch season two of Fleabag, an award-winning show on Amazon. We hadn’t seen season one. Hubs had been told season one wasn’t necessary to understand season two.

I wish I’d seen season one, if only for contest. The first episode of season two dropped the viewer into the middle of a complicated family dynamic, in addition to introducing a “hot” priest.

The show was wickedly, viciously funny. Reality can be hilarious at time, especially when it comes to families.

But. (Isn’t there always a but?)

Truth was also buried in the humor. Parts of the show upset me. People not taking responsibility for their own actions. In the family, okay. That’s what made for the humor. The “hot” priest is another issue. I was infuriated when he blamed the title character for his own failures.

The only thing in the world over which we have control is our own attitude. His was appalling.

I know the program is fiction. On the other hand, who’s to say similar situations don’t happen on a regular basis? It’s okay to admit we’re only human, with all the shortcomings that entails. But don’t blame someone else because you can’t control your attitude.

MJ Monday-Movies: The Ref

The Ref, a 1994 flick (Dennis Leary, Kevin Spacey, and Judy Davis)has become one of my favorite Christmas movies.

This is not a movie for children.

A thief whose heist goes awry takes a bickering couple hostage on Christmas Eve. Much comedy ensues as we see the underside of family holiday gatherings. The visiting in-laws (including Glynis Johns in a completely different portrayal of the mother-in-law than she was in While You Were Sleeping), the criminal child, a drunken Santa Claus, and an inept sidekick all come together for a laugh fest.

For those who think just because a movie is set at Christmas doesn’t make it a Christmas movie will probably argue that The Ref is in that category. But the underlying story is what matters, and although this is a black comedy, the story is deeper than laughing at a dysfunctional family.