2018 — the New Year

We’ve been having fun entertaining our daughter, son-in-law and 18-month-old granddaughter for the past couple of weeks. We see them every other week on Skype, but this is the first time they’ve been here in person for many months. The last time I saw our granddaughter in person, she was barely crawling and now she’s toddling and babbling and very, very active. We now know everything about our house that isn’t childproofed.

Now that the visit is over, we set about putting everything back in place from where it was hidden to keep the little girl safe.

The temperature has been all over the map. We had another flirtation with flurries a couple of weeks ago. Snow was recorded at the airport, but nothing like what we saw in early December. The temps have been down to the 30s, up to the 70s (earlier today) and back down to the 30s (tonight).

Over at News from the Dead Zone, I posted a year-end summary and a look forward to the year in Stephen King news. I signed my first short story contract of 2018 (the project hasn’t been announced yet, so I’ll hold off on more details until it is) and am getting very close to signing another contract for something that will be out toward the end of the year. I’m awaiting the editor’s feedback on the second draft of an essay I worked on late last year, so I’ll have that to play with next week, more than likely. I also have a new short story I’m contemplating before launching fully into novel-writing mode for 2018.

I finally got to see The Last Jedi last weekend, and I managed to avoid all spoilers before doing so. It wasn’t that hard–I just looked away from any articles or posts that mentioned Star Wars. I was amused by the way the gung-ho pilot who always breaks the rules was relegated to the role of dinosaur in this film and the level-headed women were the voices of reason, even when it seemed like they weren’t. The female characters in general ran the show in this film, and I’m completely okay with that. I found it interesting that a significant part of the movie dealt with a side-mission that not only didn’t accomplish what it set out to do, it ended up making things significantly worse. If those characters had done nothing at all, things would have been better for the “good guys.” I thought the porgs were cute, and I laughed at the scene where Chewie is trying to have his dinner of roast porg while the others give him big sad puppy eyes. They were good comic relief inside the Millennium Falcon, too. I patted myself on the back for figuring out the clue about the red earth under the salt during the big battle at the end. I had no issues whatsoever with the resolution of Luke’s story. I thought it was a good, solid addition to the Star Wars saga. Not OMG good, but good.

I’ve been watching the series Travelers on Netflix. It’s about time-travelers who come from the future to try to correct things that have gone terribly wrong. They enter the bodies of people at the moment of their deaths and take over their lives moving forward. The focus is on a team led by FBI agent Grant MacLaren (Eric McCormack). His colleagues include a young woman who traveled into the body of a mentally handicapped individual, an old man who inhabits the body of a teenager, another guy who has the misfortune of being hosted by a heroin addict, and “MacLaren’s” partner in the future, who is now a single mother with an abusive police officer ex. So they have to try to save the future while blending into these complicated lives in a world that they only know about in theory from far in the future. It’s an interesting premise, and their personal problems are as interesting as their missions. I finished the first season and will move on to Season 2 shortly. It’s produced in Canada and a lot of familiar Canadian actors appear in it, including McCormack, who was born and raised in Ontario.

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