Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Post of Thanks - 10 (Shallow) Reasons I'm Happy This Holiday Season

I recently shared in a post how I've been struggling with writing and how grateful I am to have amazing fans. Since it's Thanksgiving, I want to go one step further and list ten things I am currently grateful to have in my life on this holiday of thanks. These are things that go beyond friends, family, and fans, because I feel it goes without saying that I feel blessed and cannot imagine my life without them. Plus those are things of importance and the list I'm about to provide is shallow and petty, but makes me smile nonetheless. So here they are, in no particular order:

1. X-Files reboot. The original series is in my top three TV shows of all time and since the first movie was release, my fingers are always crossed that Chris Carter will give us more. I'm a little annoyed because they're hinting that Scully and Mulder are no longer a couple, but I refuse to accept that they would permanently separate a couple of such epic proportions.

2. New Foo Fighters album. Most of my fans know by now that I freaking ADORE Dave Grohl and crew so much that I recently got a tattoo with the band's logo. This past Monday they surprised fans with an EP containing five new songs they're giving away for free. If you're a fan of music, I suggest you check out their new EP because they're a group of really sweet guys who are also hilarious and know how to rock.

3. Beta reading awesome books. I've had the pleasure of getting to know Kate L. Mary after I fangirled her on Goodreads. Now that she's convinced I'm not a crazy stalker, we've become friends. And when you're an author who is friend with another author, you often get the opportunity to read advanced copies of their work. As Kate is the author of my favorite zombie series, it was better than Christmas when I found her latest masterpiece waiting in my inbox. I know I'm always going on about her Broken World series, but honestly, peeps. If you're into The Walking Dead, you HAVE TO read this series. While it only vaguely reminds me of TWD, the plots and characters are fresh, and there's even a bit of romance involved. The series is available on Kindle Unlimited, and book 5 comes out next Monday! While you're at it, check out her award winning book While We Were Human.

4. Awesome beta readers. I finally finished the first draft of Paranormal Guardians, the sequel to Paranormal Keepers, and sent it off to the hands of some very capable beta readers. In the meantime I'm working on another rewrite of book 3, though that likely won't be released until some time in March. I'm very passionate about this series and cannot wait to share it with my readers! If you haven't read the first book, it's available on Kindle Unlimited.
5. New Stephen King book. I've been a fan of the master of horror for 30-some years and I'm always crazy excited when he releases something new. I have a small bookshelf that seems to be in serious distress from holding all my hardcover editions of his work. At the rate he's going, I figure one day I'll have to devote the entire bookcase to his work. I'm especially pumped for The Bazaar of Bad Dreams because even though I adore the man, some of his books tend to get a bit too long winded and I always think his best work has been in short stories. Even though the book has been out for awhile now, I don't plan on reading it until I'm on a beach in January (which brings us to #6).

6. Vacations. Living in Minnesota is akin to living in the tundra. Our winters are miserably cold, often dipping below zero with a wind chill in the double digitis, and the roads are scary as hell 85.9% of the time. As someone who is considerably fair-weathered, the only way I can survive the long, harrowing months is to know at least for a few days during the season I'll get to put my toes in the sand somewhere warm and read a good book. There's no feeling like it. My favorite part about going somewhere warm is taking a catamaran out to play in the water. Even though we just recently had our first snowfall, I'm beyond ready to pack my bags and get the heck out of here.

7. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. I'm planning to see the highly anticipated finale of the young adult series this weekend with my family. Although I enjoy the movies far more than the books (yeah, I said it), I'm ready for the story to be over. As much as I adore Jennifer, I'm ready for Katniss to go away and live her happily ever after.
8. Teens with a driver's license. I realize having a child on the road will be stressful, but my daughter will have her license in just over a month (she even already passed the test!) and I'm dreaming of all the times I won't have to drive her into town. But it makes me sad knowing she'll have more of a social life than ever.
9. Untraditional holidays. With our adult children spread out and a few of them holding down unusual work hours, it's not as easy to get together for the holidays. Accordingly, our new Thanksgiving tradition has evolved into swimming, doing a little shopping, and a movie afterwards. Honestly, I adore it. My childhood memories of going to my grandparents' and meeting with the cousins over the holidays is something I'll always cherish, but times have changed considerably and our little family is just as unique as our new tradition. (I guess that's a nice way of saying we're weird.)

10. Red Bull. I know it's bad for you, but it's my one big vice these days and it enables me to function instead of drinking coffee, something I cannot stand. There are days when I'm sure I wouldn't be able to write a single word without it. As may times as I've tried to quit the stuff, I've come to accept it's one thing I can't do without.
That's it, folks. Hope all my fans in the US have an amazing holiday and have plenty to be thankful for, both important and shallow.


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