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Friday Fare: 10/14/22

October is already shaping up to be a hectic month.  In my school district, we have a fall break we call MEA and my family has travel plans for that. My bout with Covid coincided with a birthday trip we had planned for our youngest, so we’ve rescheduled that. And my kids want to be … I don’t know what they want to be for Halloween, but I know that I have a laundry list that includes felt and cowls that I need to purchase to execute their visions. And I need a witch hat for myself.

That’s how October is going. Pretty well, if you ask me!

Listening: I am low-key obsessed with this Harry Styles cover.

Am Reading: I finished LIVING THE GIMMICK by Bobby Mathews and just … loved it. After that, I read RUN TOWARDS THE DANGER, a memoir by Sarah Polley. Also very good.  Up next for me are two books: CALLING FOR A BLANKET DANCE by Oscar Hokeah and a future release by Tracy Clark. (Anyone who knows me, knows I stan Tracy Clark.)

Watching:

Trying to catch up on ANDOR. And I turned on CONSTANTINE (2005) the other day for funsies. Still good.

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Am Writing:

Slowly but surely …

Happiness!
– Shelley

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What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Friday Fare: 9/30/22

I’m getting ready to drive this weekend to officiate my niece’s wedding. My brother has five children and this is the second wedding I’ve performed for his progeny. Selfishly, I hope that I get to officiate all of their weddings, but time will tell. (And I would not be pissed at any of my remaining nephews if they decided to elope in Vegas, but if they do – it has to be by an Elvis impersonator.)

My niece is marrying one heck of a great guy and I’m excited to be part of their day.

Otherwise – work is getting back in the swing of things this week and I’m grateful, but also grateful that it was slow when I split focus and was working on Bouchercon.

So – nothing too new and cool on my radar screen, but I made this one-pot orzo dish from Half-Baked Harvest and while it was good, the leftovers were even better. I think this one is going to be a go-to in my repertoire.

Am Reading:

I really need to dedicate a post to the amazing books I read as part of my prep for Bouchercon 2022, but in an attempt to read more than I scroll on social media (and to reach my Goodreads goal of 50 books this years), here’s what I’ve downed lately:

SHUTTER by Ramona Emerson – holy hell that was a good book. David Heska Wanbli Weiden recommended it and I’m glad I picked it up.

KISMET by Amina Akhtar – Again … amazing.  Amina and I are social media friends and she’s wicked funny, wicked talented, and gives me makeup advice via DMs on Instagram. I adore her and this book set in the wellness communities of Arizona was a fast-paced, spooky read.

Currently reading – I feel like Bobby Mathews is my brother from another mother and I got to spend some time talking with him at Bouchercon. LIVING THE GIMMICK has been on my TBR list for awhile and now that I’m 5 chapters deep, I am pissed that I didn’t read it as soon as it came out.  Sincerely – it is an incredible murder mystery featuring the world of professional wrestling.

Watching:

Hubs and I started watching Andor. I don’t know what I enjoy more – the Star Wars canon or snoogling up to my partner and our cats.  Win, win in my book.

Am Writing:

I *am* writing! Last week I joined the ranks of the #5AMWritersClub, but wasn’t able to keep up the practice this week. BUT – Q4 of 2022 is coming up and since I’m weird and make quarterly plans for my work, fiction, and personal life, I have big schemes ahead of me.

Happiness!
– Shelley

***

What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Friday Fare: 9/23/22

I. Am. Back.

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(Top Left: Julie Tollefson, myself, and Kathleen Donnelly. These women are just the greatest and are my very good friends. Top Right: Jessica Laine, Mindy Mejia, and I were recognized by the B’Con 2022 Local Operating Committee as Bouchercon “Superstars.” To say I was touched beyond belief to get this recognition is an understatement. Bottom Left: James D.F. Hannah, Christine Husom, and I exchanging a laugh at our panel “Small Town, Big Crime.” Bottom Right: My stellar panelists – Hannah, Husom, Laura McHugh, and Terry Shames.)

Bouchercon 2022 was a lot. So much, in fact, that I came down with what my friend Tony called the “BoucherCovid.” But that was my own damn fault. I spent a lot of time talking with people and masked intermittently. Lack of caution = a lost week where I spent a lot of time sleeping and became acquainted with paxlovid. Miracle drug, that, even if it left a really strange metallic taste in my mouth.

But other than that, I made new friends, I reconnected with existing friends, spent an amazing week with my mother-in-law, and just found myself recommitting to my creative life.

More soon – I just wanted to say hello and give a quick update.

– Shelley

***

What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Friday Fare: 6/10/22

I’m drafting this from a hotel room and as I was updating this post, I came across the note I wrote about the Garth Brooks concert and how it was in my top list of concert experiences. Time will tell if the concert I am in Chicago for makes the cut of my top list, but since it’s the lead singer of Led Zeppelin and one of the most exciting music prodigies of my era – I think it will be good.

Incidentally, the person I am with is the reason for a concert in my top 3 list. In 2010, my friend Anderson brought me to the Lady Gaga concert in the Twin Cities. This was right as she was coming onto the scene, before the Oscar-winning movies, etc., and I had no expectations. But it was a visual and audio spectacle of amazingness. And yes – in my top 3 concerts. (Also anecdotally, I met my friend while we were both working at Valley Fair some 20+ years ago. She is my long-term and long-standing concert date.)

Am Reading:

First and foremost – I am ridiculously proud of my friend Kathleen Donnelly who released her debut novel Chasing Justice.

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Yes, I love Colorado and I love the mountains, etc., but the most fun was reveling in my friend’s success and getting to crash all of the cool events that she held during her book launch. I have also unofficially adopted her dad, Dennis, who has already sent me cake recipes.

Still reading Murder at Teal’s Pond. (Which is currently overdue at my local library … ooops!)

My travel read was The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. Enjoyable and perfect for travel.

Watching:

Someone else leapt on my great idea to watch BBC’s Sherlock, so that’s on hold for the time being. However, my husband has started watching the new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Our new Friday night routine is to watch the latest episode of that and the new Obi-Wan Kenobi episode. Why yes, we are unabashed nerds.

And because Anson Mount (plays Captain Pike on Star Trek) is so dreamy, I’ve decided to watch AMC’s Hell on Wheels. Good stuff.

Am Writing:

I’ve gone on two trips recently and as I am wont to do, I bring along a print out of what I’m working on. On my Colorado trip – no dice. I had better luck on my Chicago trip, but I will say that my plan to write on the train was a pretty dumb one. You live and you learn!

Happiness!
– Shelley

***

What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Friday Fare: 5/13/22

We had a split second of a rainy, rainy spring and now summer is here with a humid vengeance. Like seriously, it’s really freaking gross here. I usually think of this as tomato growing weather, but as I have not planted tomatoes yet, this humidity is lost on me.

Anyway – in no real order, here’s what seized my ridiculously short attention span this week:

  • A song at Garth Brooks’ Louisiana State University (LSU) concert registered as a small earthquake. Readers of this blog know that I stan hardcore for Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Diamond, but Mr. Brooks is in my top three concerts. (He might actually be the best. And that was on his reunion tour. So that’s saying something about Garth Brooks.)
  • Ted Nugent is excremental. That’s it. That’s the statement. (Incidentally, I saw him in 2000 when he opened for KISS, so I think I can say with all fairness that he’s a turd.)
  • I probably knew that Trader Joe’s was named after a real guy, but I really liked this story about the history of my favorite spot to buy cheese.

Am Reading:

I finished A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss and it was delightful. It was an “enemies to lovers” romance that was light and fluffy. It was a lot of fun.

Currently reading Murder at Teal’s Pond where the authors attempt to solve a 120-year-old cold case that inspired Mark Frost to co-write Twin Peaks. Oh hell yes, I am in on that.

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Watching:

After the great debacle of last month where every show I picked was profane, I erred on the extreme side of caution on grabbed the BBC’s Sherlock on DVD from my local library. I’m loving it. And so far, no terrible words that my children have already heard but make me cringe.

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I also took a mental health day recently and went to The Northman. While I don’t necessarily know that’s a movie that I would recommend going to the theatre for, with the amount of nudity and bloodshed in it, I could definitely watch that at home with my children.

Am Writing:

I snuck a writing date in with my friend K. Bird Lincoln. The coffee was delightful and words were spun. Grateful for writing friends!

Stay cool, drink water, and be well!
– Shelley

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What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Monday Mayhem: 5/2/2022

Monday MayhemHappy Monday, dear ones. I’ve really been trying to read a lot lately – some of it is related to my new Work In Progress, some of it is because I am finally getting some of my “hold” books in from the library. (No joke, I waited about a year for V.E. Schwab’s Addie LaRue book.) My girlfriends and I signed up for a triathlon in August and I am seriously questioning my sanity. (This will be Year Two for this … it’s a run, bike, and hike tri … believe it or not, the hike is the part that kills ya. It makes a 5K and a 15-mile bike ride look like child’s play.)

Anyway – here’s what’s been consumed lately:

Am Reading:

(Still) Reading:

Finished The Wolf Wants In by Laura McHugh (fantastic – I gave my copy to my dad and he’s loving it too – WIN!); Forward by Abby Wambach; and Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaladon. To be honest, Gabaladon’s books are getting so long – I would like that finish to count as two or three books.

Watching:

Considering that our youngest child is totally chiding us on the profanity content of what we’ve been watching on TV lately, I’ve reached for a safe bet and am making my way through the BBC’s Sherlock series. So far I am enjoying it.

Am Writing:

Coffee shop dates, at the teeny tiny lunchroom tables at my son’s dancing classes, etc.  I’m trying.

– Shelley

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Monday Mayhem is what happens when I neglect to write a Friday Fare. Or it can be any kind of article that happens to be published on a Monday.  I hope that it provides a great start to your week!

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Friday Fare: 4/22/22

On the first day of Easter … oh wait, wrong song and season. But … what a weekend where several of the world’s religions hosted important and transformative days in their faiths … and I was struck DOWN with one hell of a headcold.

Bleh – I’m finally feeling about 70%, but my illness replaced my mom’s Easter ham with homemade chicken noodle soup.  Add a challenging work deadline on top of that, PLUS an entire household of sick people? This week was for the birds, birds I say!

Anyway – I watched some television, I read a lot of books, I took naps, I drank a lot of tea. Speaking of tea, I enjoyed this article about how AriZona Iced Tea has stayed .99 cents for the duration of its existence. Nostalgia got me thinking about how my entry into tea drinking has always been so Midwestern … drinking the Lipton Iced Tea with Lemon mix at my old babysitter’s house when I was a kid. Then Snapple, the occasional can of AriZona tea … Tazo’s Passion tea when I was in college. (I still drink that tea, especially when I’m sick.) I may be a snob about coffee, but I’m basic as hell when it comes to tea.  And I’m OK with that.

Am Reading:

(Still) Reading:

Finished The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, When Nobody Was Watching by Carli Lloyd; and Blood In the Water by Silver Donald Cameron. One of these books was purely for enjoyment and two of the books are for my current WIP … any guesses which?

I should also make a note about my (still) reading list. I am a fast reader when I put my mind to it. The books I’ve been reading for the past few weeks are very good, but they’re also either in my dream publishing wheelhouse (McHugh) or about refining my craft (Bell). So they’re taking a little longer than the other books that I’ve been reading.

Watching:

I started watching The Great on Hulu, a dramatic comedy about the young life of Catherine the Great. I am enjoying it, but there’s a LOT of language. Like … my youngest in his headphones at his computer turning and saying “what are you WATCHING, mom?”

I also started watching The Borgias on Netflix.  I like it, but again – I tend to pick shows that are probably better to watch AFTER my kids go to bed.

Am Writing:

I am, I am, I am …

Stay well!
– Shelley

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What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Friday Fare: 4/15/22

I got the chance to catch up with one of my writer friends, a fantastic mystery and short story writer from Chicago named J. Michael Major. Do yourself a favor and pick up his book “One Man’s Castle.” It’s a great story that unwinds with a fantastic pace and has great characters. We hadn’t talked in about two years and our (almost) two hour conversation could have gone on for a few more hours.

One article that I read this week and felt compelled to share … the man, the (Danish) myth, and the (hunky) legend … Mads Mikkelsen.

Am Reading:

(Still) Reading:

Also reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.

Watched:

I’m still a little hungover from the awesomeness of The Gilded Age. But hey – I went to the Sonic movie with my kids. That was surprisingly fun.

Am Writing:

I’m trying to eke out words on paper. One foot in front of the other.

Spring is nearly here, even if it feels like February in Minne-snow-ta. I hope this finds you well!

– Shelley

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What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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Friday Fare: 4/8/22

So, I didn’t mean to take a month’s break from blogging but things … THINGS! happened.  (And by things … my kids’ spring break, my dad’s birthday, a weekend trip to see a concert … y’know. Things.)

Alas, the past few weeks have brought some mind-boggling things:

  • I saw Taylor Hawkins on the 2000 tour he referenced in this article. I honestly think that Hawkins was one of the finest drummers to come out of my generation (many tributes referred to his “ferocious joy” in drumming.) I don’t usually get on the “mourning” train for celebrities – but this is a huge loss to the musical world.
  • I tire of politicians.  (OK – that sentence can just end there, full stop.) But I SINCERELY tire of politicians who constantly work to undermine voting rights and basic human rights. Oh yes, Florida – I am looking at you and your “don’t say gay” legislation. As someone who came of age when Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, this type of legislation and political fear mongering hits way too close to those dark days.

Am Reading:

Reading:

FINISHED!

Watched:

The Gilded Age on HBO Max.  Can we all just take a moment of silence to observe how freaking awesome Carrie Coon is?

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Am Writing:

The last time I blogged, I said I wanted to make it to 30K on my WIP by the end of the month. I missed that mark by about 4,000.  But … I’m plugging away and I’m happy with how the characters are talking to me and what they have to say.

OK – let’s choose kind whenever we can. Let’s not slap people, even if they piss us off. Drink some water, eat some veggies, call someone you love and tell them you love them.

– Shelley

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What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.