Oh, yeah. They joy. Some of my Facebook friends like Darryl Bell put up a song of the day. Typically, it's a funky little dance tune. Monday, I was couch dancing to one of the tunes when I started singing as well. Jon was at work at the time. That song lead me to others that I used to like to sing. It was exhilarating. I used to sing quite a bit. When I was very young, I was in the grade school choir and glee club. I was in a singing group early in high school. Before writing consumed my soul, I strongly considered it as the art I would pursue. Later, I would sing at home while doing housework or getting ready for my day. It's really strange that I had stopped singing at some point. I can't even remember when I did. But that's not important. What matters is that I started again. I think I spent a good hours or so belting out the Bangles If She Knew What She Wants or Walking Down Your Street and Sade's Sweetest Taboo. Incidentally, Sade has a new CD, Soldier of Love. She still has that amazingly beautiful voice. And I've loved all of the tracks I've heard thus far. She's still amazingly beautiful. I used to think that someone like her had to be some sort of international spy. But I digress. After singing, I felt lighthearted. I got a lot of work done. I even had a brief jaunt around the courtyard before everyone got home from school or work. It was a wonderful day. I didn't sing every day after that, but I did manage a tune or two here and there. I have to keep bugging Jon to burn my music mix on a DVD. But no, I will not be picking up a microphone for any reason. Only Jon and perhaps some startled neighbors will know of my new found joy therapy. Though I can't imagine them being as horrified by my singing as they must be by the hideous swearing I do during football season (yes, I'm still an Eagles football fan). It is yet another therapy to keep me upbeat and ever positive.
Year of Fun PresentsIt's not quite my birthday, but I've already received some really nifty gifts. I tend to like gifts that aren't necessarily expensive. I like ones that really get my interests like the riding crop Jon gave me for ours first Valentine's Day. He has the knack of finding the best geeky gifts that I really love. I can't wait to see what he's come up with for this birthday. This year, my friends have been so thoughtful and generous. First, there was the wonderfully decadent F. Oliver's Aged Balsamic Vinegar. I swear that I find a new use for that stuff every week. I was surprised this week with a wonderful gift from our brilliant, lovely, sweet friend, Allison Embry. She sent me a copy of Giada at Home, the new cookbook by one of my favorite Food Network chef's Giada De Laurentiis. Sorry folks, she really is that beautiful and without makeup (she's one of Craig's neighbors and he's seen her at the gym and found her to be stunning). Her recipes are simple and often elegant. I have who knows how many downloaded from the Food Network site. I even have an earlier cookbook, Giada's Family Dinners. I was so pleased to receive such a wonderful surprise and spent most of a day pouring over the text to figure out what I want to do first. I found myself really enjoying her essays about family and food. They were well written and completely engrossing. Due to my appetite of late, I've been drawn to smaller meals. Giada has a lovely array of recipes for appetizers that sound yummy and, due to her Mediterranean heritage, are healthy. The first two involve dates and olives. I'm planning on having a go at those this weekend. Hopefully, Allison and I will be exchanging photos of the dishes we create (she bought herself a copy as well).
The next gift is whimsical and a little crazy. Old buddy Rich Lehman made a Jib Jab video where Rich, Phil, Scott and I are characters in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I think it speaks for itself. I laughed so hard when I saw it. My friends have been chuckling over it all week. It was such a thoughtful and
unexpected thing to do. I was touched as well as deeply amused.
Since I have no shortage of things to work on and no hard deadline on any of them so far, so I tend to do a little work on one project on a given day. I'm making steady progress on all of them that way. It keeps my frustration level down and my interest level up. I am certain that I will have a deadline on one of the screenplays soon, but for now, everything is receiving an equal amount of attention. Here's what's happening.
NovelsThe third installment of the Soldiers books is A Soldier's Destiny. SPOLIER ALERT! It's about six months after the end of A Soldier's Fate. Rik and Vincent's team are focused on two major problems the Foundation must face. First is the issue of washed out Altereds. These cadets never finished training and have been living in exile on the fringes of society. The military has given the Foundation the contract to evaluate them and determine if they can be trained for service or assimilated back into the general population. The second issue is the appearance of Simon Molinar. Once it is verified that he is still very much alive, plans are made for the inevitable confrontation with the original Altered. Nothing happens according to plan. When the Foundation incursion alarms are tripped, everyone is expecting Molinar not a squad of pissed off female wash outs who want to determine their own destinies. As the dust settles from that attack, Simon Molinar simply walks in the front door to make an appointment at main reception. Rik and Vincent's lives get very busy dealing with both situations. Their relationship has grown more solid and satisfying. Though Bobby is stationed nearby, they have their homes to themselves and are able to make full use of those sanctuaries. Their relationship has become more public and accepted, yet there are those who refuse to see they have a bond that cannot be broken. These unrequited desires could work to tear apart everything Rik and Vincent have built and ultimately endanger many lives.
The third installment of the Surrender novels is the Fate of Surrender. It is twenty years later in the Hanyanoore. Times have been both highly prosperous and volatile. The grand expedition resulted in trade with many realms in the formerly Unknown Lands. Some nations did not offer friendship but sought conquest. Thus, dazzling wealth has come with armed conflicts. In many ways, the Hanyanoore is stronger than ever. This is especially true in the realm of Arinpera. Queen Sarianna and King Nikulainen have much to celebrate on their twentieth anniversary. Their people are prosperous. Despite the occasional battle, their realm is secure. Their children have reached their majority and become extraordinary adults. Prince Alkarin was already a distinguished warrior who had trained many of the young soldiers in Arinpera and throughout the Hanyanoore. Princess Kirsi holds her own battle commendations. But she is literally beloved in all of the realms for her wit, kindness and incredible beauty. Nikulainen's siblings are well and happy. After leading the first Grand Expedition, Julin has fathered two sons. He and his fierce-some wife, Maya lead the Armies of the North that protect the Hanyanoore from invasion. Armas has had his first son with Queen Laurilla and has been granted the right to join her on the throne as King. The only problem for Sarianna and Nikulainen are their children's quests for love. Alkarin has far too many eligible women chasing him while he is chasing every wench who is not fit for a Prince. Kirsi is much beloved but no man seems to have the mettle to take on a decorated warrior with two uncles and a brother with far too much say over who may be interested. But then, one day, Kirsi rescues a stranger who had fallen into the river. The handsome man has a regal bearing but has clearly been physically and possibly emotionally abused. Nikulainen and Sarianna worry over Kirsi's growing attachment to this stranger. What is especially troubling is that he had been touched by great darkness and seeks the Light of Hanaynoore but refuses to reveal why. The royals fear for the tender heart of their innocent daughter and for the grave, unspeakable threat this stranger has brought to their gates.
The Vincent Greven Cookbook is underway once more. I realize that I need a great deal more photos and illustrations of the food prep and the characters. I'm going to address that issue this week.
Jon and I are also researching material for one concept and am about to write a script from another. And I'm still pressing slowly through the memoir about my mother. That's very slow going as I have to stop often to do research and to stop crying. It sounds really daunting and crazy, but it's pretty relaxed since I'm either home all day when I can work for hours on one thing or I'm at the hospital where I have a lot of time to read and take notes. Believe me, I whine when things get really hectic and crazy. The main thing is for me to take my time, enjoy the process and turn out the best work possible while I'm free.