Hello from *still cold* New Jersey. I thought I'd be skipping winter by going to Florida but winter laughed right at me and decided to stick around! Sorry everybody. It's my fault.
Ladies & Gents:
I am running through a batch of work due by Friday and then flying off to Tampa next week to speak at my alma matter about…writing and running and the University of Tampa life. If you're a Tampa-based reader: please do join!
It's been a while, eh? Well then I must tell you my other news that also next week, I'm moving to a farmhouse in a small town just south of Lancaster City, Pa. I am excited! Not only will I finally have a place of my own for the first time in over a year, but I am going to be reunited with my stuff: my cast iron skillet, my bacon press, my peacock plates! Funny that those three things are about food, but I'm running again, so I am hungry. But seriously: I know people say stuff is about stuff, and I whittled what I stored down to the bare minimums, so I am looking forward to seeing the stuff I kept again. I am less excited about the prospect of couch shopping because I sold mine before I went (not a bad idea, but ugh couch shopping).
This place is a rental, but even so, a year long commitment seems like a lot given the way I've been living for the last year. It'll be a nice change.
And on with the show!
What I'm Reading
I'm still reading Blue Highways but am reading it in gaps between other books. I know everyone calls it a classic, and I can see why it's been popular, but it is very much Of Its Time. That makes it hard for me to enjoy it all.
So since we last met, I've also read The Heart of the Amish: Life and Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness by Suzanne Woods Fischer. One thing I learned when writing about romance novels is that Amish romance novels are extremely popular among non-Amish readers, so I went to look for some and came across this author, who also writes non-fiction books. It's a book that made me think, especially about my attitudes on forgiveness, especially since I'm still not past what happened to my house (I know, I know – patience, dear reader). It's still squeaking inside my brain.
Then I took a quick spin through The Overlook by Michael Connelly, which was first serialized in The New York Times magazine. What a neat idea! And now I am reading Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's Sex and the City and Us which I can't say anything about because I may be writing about it.
What I'm Watching
I am still on dear Father Brown and a character has just departed us in season 5 that is making me very teary! I also watched Chicago while doing my taxes. Even though it plays a small part in my book (not a spoiler!) I forgot how really really good that movie is. I highly recommend a re-watch if it's been a while. And briefly my two other Chicago stories: I saw the revival on Broadway in high school and wanted to know where all the big costumes were. I was also returning from seeing Chicago in Tampa – or coming back from not seeing Chicago because I got the night wrong – when I was mugged at gunpoint (this is related to something else blinking in my brain so excuse the tangent). I am still going strong with my goal to see a movie a month, and March's was The Party, another take on the classic "dinner part goes wrong" format. I enjoyed it. I also got to lounge on a couch in the theater. Lancaster is strange, folks.