Bring it, 2018

Here comes 2018. I’m looking forward to this year, but at the moment things are still bleak. We’ve been in a deep freeze for the past couple weeks. Too cold to walk anywhere, everything’s frozen solid. Fortunately we haven’t had any issues at home or with the cars….YET. Except for my windshield washers. They are either frozen or I blew a fuse or something… they won’t squirt anything, and this can cause serious issues when driving. Aside from that, so far we’re hanging in there this winter. Not even any falls (again, YET).

A very controversial book just came out today about the Trump White House, called Fire and Fury, and I’m kinda excited to read it. I’m not very political though, I try to stay quiet as I’m horrible at arguing, debating things and taking any kind of stand, even on my blog, so I won’t even say I’m in any particular political party, but I am very curious when it comes down to how things really work. I know many top officials, including Trump himself, have claimed everything (or most things) in this book are lies, so this book will be picked apart word-by-word. I’m very curious to see exactly what it’s all about.

I was in the middle of reading “The Woman in the Window”, a book Stephen King highly recommends, before I found out about Fire and Fury, and it was getting quite interesting itself, so I sure hope this one doesn’t turn out to be a waste of my time. But if it does, I’ll be back to The Woman in the Window in a heartbeat.

Creepy Clowns

pennywise-in-my-living-roomThe whole creepy clown phenomenon is silly.  They say Stephen King started it with Pennywise from “IT” (shown here, as I’m watching it this morning as one of my haunting season favorites).  Well, IT (the book) was published September of 1986 and the movie came out on November 18th, 1990–30 and 26 years ago, respectively.  Wow, am I old.  Still, let’s move on.  It’s not just me, listen to the Master:

 

 

Hey wait a minute. Now that I think about it, the book came out exactly 30 years ago… and in the story, every 30 years the creature–IT–returns to Derry to kill and abduct more children! OMG, now it’s all making a little more sense if Stephen King is responsible for starting this thing!

Write every day

I’ve been a Stephen King fan since my mother turned me onto him when I was in high school.  The first book I read of his was The Stand, back in 1979 or 1980.  It was HUGE, lasted a looooong time, and I enjoyed every slow page of it.  I’ve been a big fan of his ever since, and my mom and I shared our King books over the years.

I’ve been reading (listening to) The Stephen King Companion this week.  It’s a huge book containing everything you would probably ever want to know about Stephen King, and then some, written by George Beahm.  Every published book and story, everything he’s written everywhere else, his personal life, and tons more.  It’s just a fascinating read, and has caused me to add several more books to my audiobook collection, including “On Writing”, a book Stephen King wrote about writing itself–from the very basics to how to become a good writer.  Sort of an instruction manual on how to become a writer, and I’m very interested.   I’m still reading The SK Companion though, with about 1/3 of it left to go.

There are plenty of Stephen King books I have yet to read, and this darned book makes me want to read them more now than ever before…and even makes me want to read a bunch of them over again!  Most of them are already in my Audible library, purchased with the 2 book credits I get per month with the membership I’ve had for years.  In fact, I’ve pretty much given up on “old school” real-paper books these days, now favoring audiobooks over them.  It does take longer to listen to an entire audiobook, but I find that I get much more out of them by listening to them being read to me than I do when I read them myself, for some reason.  Plus, I can’t read a REAL book while driving to and from work, so audiobooks give me some extra “reading” time.

Maybe I can use this blog to help me stick to one of King’s tips on becoming a great writer: Write. every. day.

New Stephen King short story for Halloween

Bazaar_of_Bad_DreamsI’m anxiously waiting for Stephen King’s new book of short stories – The Bazaar of Bad Dreams to be released on 11/03/15.  Until then though, there’s a short story by him on the New Yorker website that I haven’t read yet:  Premium Harmony – by Stephen King.

And here’s a list of all of the stories/articles he’s published in the New Yorker in the past…but some may require a New Yorker account in order to read.

 

Mr. Mercedes

Mr Mercedes book cover

I just finished reading the Stephen King audiobook, Mr. Mercedes. It was awesome! Definitely a great audiobook that kept me in the car longer, Ingressing a lot more as a result, as I listened to it over the past couple weeks.  During this time I found out that the anonymous chat site used extensively in the book by Mr Mercedes and Bill Hodges is actually a real site!  Instead of writing my own description of what the book is about, I stole this from Google, who knows all:

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

Christmas is approaching fast, ready or not

Here it comes.  I’m way beyond sick of Christmas music this season, thanks to WMYX starting it up 24/7 the day after Halloween…sheesh.  I’ve already watched some of my must-see annual holiday classics:  Miracle on 34th Street (the original 1947 B&W version), Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and I loved seeing them all again.  I thought I was going to have to pass on Christmas Vacation though–I hadn’t seen it in awhile, and couldn’t find it in the store, but Sandy ran across it last week in a bargain bin for $5.00!  That was an awesome find.

I think we’re ready as we’re going to be this year.  I should say “SHE’s” ready though, not “WE’RE” ready… Sandy’s doing all the work.  She made a nice Cheese, Broccoli, and Rice casserole for the Telecomm Holiday Lunch at my work last week, and it was awesome!  It went over so well, she’s going to make the same thing for our IT Holiday Lunch this week!  Now she’s making cookies for people, buying and wrapping presents, playing the dreadful music, etc. etc….

Socks and I went for a walk today.  In the snow.  It was pretty cold, so we didn’t quite make a mile, but it was nice and he always enjoys a walk.  Plus, I got to listen to some more of the audiobook I’m on–Stephen King’s 11-22-63 while we walked.  I’m in the home stretch now, with just a few hours left, and man, is it good!  Speaking of Stephen King, did anyone else watch the Bag of Bones miniseries last week?  Yikes, was that a mess!  They scrambled and cut up the story really bad and left so much out, I don’t see how anyone who didn’t read the book could really understand much of it.  I assure you, the book was much much better, and well worth reading (or, as I prefer–listening to).  It will definitely straighten out a ton of missing elements in the miniseries and clarify the entire story much more all around.  Mattie didn’t shoot her husband when she caught him trying to drown their daughter!! She didn’t kill him at all–he was electrocuted while working on their outdoor TV antenna on their trailer when he got struck by lightning!  In fact, in the miniseries Mattie lived in a regular house and didn’t even have a trailer. Sheesh.

Starting 11/22/63

11-22-63I purchased and downloaded Stephen King’s new book, “11/22/63” today.  It’s a whopper of a book at over 30 hours.  This one should last me until Christmas if I listen every day to and from work, and on lunch walks.  Here’s the book’s synopsis:

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King – who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer – takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away: a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life – like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963 – turning on a dime.

Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession – to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world – of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading, eventually of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful – and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Thy Kingdom comes

Just a reminder–Stephen King’s first television series, Kingdom Hospital, starts tomorrow, March 3rd, 2003! Please note that this is NOT a mini-series, it’s an actual television series, so there will (with any luck!) be more than just a few episodes. Remember to set your VCRs, TiVos, and DVRs! Both of mine are already set (gotta have a backup, just in case).

Spooky things

Kevin’s all revved up for Halloween. He’s got his Incredible Hulk costume ready, complete with talking Hulk Hands, and he can’t wait to get out there and show it off. Speaking of Halloween, you should check out our favorite collection of Halloween decorations all in one haunted yard!

That’s the kid that greets you at the door. Make any sudden noise and he dances and says “trick or treat!” or several other things. There are several other sound-activated devices throughout the yard, so it’s pretty neat and spooky.

Speaking of spooky, we watched DreamCatcher tonight… Whoa. VERY spooky. I loved it! It’s based on a Stephen King novel, one of the few I haven’t read. King originally wrote it by hand, on paper, after his horrible accident. He was unable to sit at a desk to type, so he wrote it out on paper instead while he healed. Amazing. The movie was great, so the book must be even better! I’d like to read it some time.