Daredevil Renewed on Netflix!

Are you a fan of Daredevil yet on Netflix? If not, it may be because you haven’t watched it. John and I started watching the weekend it was released and we’re halfway through season 1. (We’d be done by now if we weren’t so busy with other things – like jobs! Haha!)

So I was super excited to read yesterday that it’s already been renewed for season 2! The only thing I’m not so sure about is that the article says they’re changing the show runners. (The show runners are responsible for the story and making the whole show follow their vision.)

On the other hand, Marvel Studios has been doing a great job the last few years in the film entertainment they’ve put out. So I’m going to go with the flow for now and trust that season two will be just as good. Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to finish watching season 1!

You can read the article I read here.

daredevil-show-logo-700x394

Starting Something That You Know Won’t Work

j0182826In general, my personality is such that it is difficult for me to start something I don’t think I’ll be good at, and nearly impossible for me to begin if I’m “sure” it won’t work. It seems like a waste of time and effort.

So the new Bible study topic our group just started is particularly interesting to me. It’s about finding the Messiah in the Old Testament. We all have a pretty good idea of the Messiah in the New Testament – Jesus was born a man even though he was also God, so that he could take the death penalty for sin for all people, and we could once more be reunited with our God and Creator. We know He did that because He loves us and doesn’t want us to be separated from Him.

I knew the Old Testament is full of prophecies of the coming Messiah, Jesus. But when we started at the beginning, we found the first prophecy that there would be a Savior coming to redeem us in the third chapter of the Bible. Hardly anything had happened yet in terms of the history of mankind, and already God made mention of His plan to deliver us from our sin. In fact, as our Bible study leader Doug pointed out, after Adam and Eve sinned God explained how we would be redeemed before he even told Adam and Eve what their punishment would be!

While we can’t be sure if Lucifer defied God and was kicked out of heaven before or after God created the world and mankind, we do know Lucifer had already fallen at some point after Adam and Eve were living in peace and without sin in the Garden of Eden. And that’s another piece of the story most of us know – Lucifer, as a serpent in the Garden, encouraged Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the only tree God told Adam and Eve not to eat from. So mankind, as well and Lucifer and some of the angels, also fell from God’s grace.

Now here is the part that has my head spinning. God is all-knowing, so He knew what was going to happen, knew we would disobey Him and knew He had to have a plan of redemption ready, and He went through with the whole thing anyway! He created us in His image, loved us from day one, knew we would turn our backs on Him and break His heart, but he created us anyway!

j0178844John and I chose not to have children for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that we weren’t sure we would be good parents, and one was that we didn’t want the heartbreak that having children seems to bring. God knew long before we all did what heartbreak children can bring and He chose to have children anyway. That’s just shocking and amazing to me. I can’t see myself ever starting something I knew wouldn’t work.

But then I think about all the books and stories I write. The whole point of a great piece of genre fiction is showing how seriously messed up things can get, and how it can work out in the end. A person can start out lonely and alone and be a large chunk of their own problem, but they can find love in the end. They can start out cut off from their family and hiding from the world and discover that they have super powers that can help make the world a better place. They can be kidnapped, forced to denounce everything that’s important, and still beat the devil in the end.

So many stories reflect the Big Picture Story of Mankind – life seems to start out well for the protagonists, then something trips them up and/or all hell breaks loose, and suddenly it’s hard to believe life can ever be good again. It’s hard to believe the protagonists will even survive, let alone find peace and happiness again. But there is always a plan that includes a satisfying and happy ending.

And like any good author, God figured out the plan to bring about a happy ending before he even started bringing the story to life.

Wow.

Writing SmileyStill wrapping my mind around that. But in addition to the hope this kind of grand design gives us all, I feel more hopeful as a writer of stories. I’m going to go start a new story that I “know” won’t work. The protagonist’s life is all messed up and I’m not sure yet how I’m going to help her fix it. Characters are going to die. Readers might not even like the story. The book may not be bought by a publisher. It may not work.

But I have a new burst of courage to try.

Stop and Say Hello This Saturday at the LA Times Festival of Books

LA Fest of Books logo

I’ve always wanted to go to the LA Times Festival of Books, but I’ve never been able to due to schedule conflicts, etc. This year I not only get to attend, I’ll be signing books there! Yay!

The Southern California chapters of Romance Writers of America are sharing a booth at the Festival this year, and several authors will be signing in two-hour blocks on Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, 2015. I’m first up on Saturday morning from 10:00am to 12 noon, along with my new friend Mia Hopkins. We’ll be at booth 916 near the L.A. Times Stage.

I’d love to meet you if we haven’t met yet, or say hi again if we have. Stop by and chat for a minute. I’ll have all three stories in the superhero series, Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, available in print at discounted prices. Admission is free, and parking is $10. (It’s on the USC campus. Details on how to get there are on the web site.)

During our two-hour block, Mia is even bringing in some cowboy models so you can have a photo taken with them. ;)  Be sure to tell your friends!

Hope to see you there!

3-superhero book covers

Here is a press release for more information on our authors: Romance Authors at Festival of Books 2015 press release

My Soul Pants For You, My God

Last week we had unusually cool temperatures in Southern California – highs in the 60s and 70s – so I had to take the morning last Friday to enjoy it. I knew it wouldn’t last (I was right, the forecast is for the 80s next week), and I wanted to enjoy one more green hike while I still could. Besides, exercise is supposed to help your creativity. ;)

I found a park a mile back from John’s work and thought it might have some nice trails. Sure enough, the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve was beautiful! (Sorry for the misspelling, that “n” is supposed to be an enya, but I don’t know how to make it show up.) About 4000 acres of flat trails and hilly trails and a creek and a waterfall (that was shorter than me!) and lots of birds and lizards and a snake and even a deer!

The deer reminded me of the verse from Psalm 42:1 – “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” S/he was very calm, occasionally watching me with her huge ears pointed my direction. (Hence, the name “mule deer.”) She didn’t give any more notice when several very loud military jets flew overhead. Of course, she’d be used to them her whole life living so close to San Diego.

It was a beautiful morning, three hours of walking through green and yellow and mauve fields, along the very green creek, ducking out of the way of dozens of mountain bikers, out to the very small but nice waterfall and back. I took a bunch of pictures, and thought I’d share them with you. I added a red circle around the deer so you can find her in that picture. :) Enjoy!

Deer on hike in Los Penasquitos

Mule Deer Watching Me Hike

 

Enjoy the green while you can - summer is about here!

Enjoy the green while you can – summer is about here!

Very Small Waterfall

Very Small Waterfall

A peaceful patch of the stream

A peaceful patch of the stream

Hard to believe an industrial park is just out of sight

Hard to believe the I-15 freeway and an industrial park are just out of sight

24 Hours of Gaming at Ryan’s Comics

Ryans Comics front doorMy most favorite thing when moving to a new town, or getting a job in a different area even if I haven’t moved, is finding the nearest library and getting a library card. Ahhh. :) A close second is finding out if there are any good bookstores nearby.

This past Saturday, John and I remembered there’s a comic book store in the next town so we drove over. Ryan’s Comics is just about as cool as Stuart’s comic book store on “Big Bang Theory.” Who wouldn’t love to walk in a door that looks like the TARDIS? We met Ryan himself, a really nice guy, and we all talked geek stuff for an hour. So fun! And in case you live within driving distance of Murrieta, California, I wanted to share with you the flyers he gave us about all the stuff going on there. It’s a LOT!

This upcoming Saturday, April 11, there is 24 hours of gaming from midnight to midnight. (I’m sending some of my brownies in with John.) Then next Friday, April 17th, is Valiant Day with lots of activities and special guest artists, David Baron and Ryan Winn. There’s also game night every Thursday, D&D two Saturdays a month, and Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments every Sunday and Monday. Plus, Ryan says he wants people to feel free to read like it’s a library. Then you’ll know what you like before you buy it.

Cool stuff, huh?! Here are all the flyers for you to check out. Maybe I’ll see you there. :)

Ryans Comics Game Day

Ryans Comics Valient Day

Ryans Comics Usual Events

Ryans Comics Free Back Issues

He Is Risen! Happy Easter!

White Flower near Christian CrossHappy Easter, my friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and have a beautiful and blessed Easter. He is risen, He is risen indeed!

John and I had an unexpectedly relaxing day yesterday. We slept amazingly well – which is always the goal and yet still a pleasant surprise when it happens – and both woke up in this wonderfully fun mood. We were going to sit down and work on our stories, but something came up in a conversation about comics and we made an unexpected trip to Ryan’s Comics in Murrieta.

What a fun time we had! I went through the $1 comic bins looking for comic series that I’m not familiar with to try one or two issues, looking for the kinds of stories I like. We met Ryan, the owner, and the three of us had a great time talking about the best comic book stories, what John and I should try, and all kinds of other geeky things. John found out they’re going to have a 24-hour gaming day next Saturday, April 11, so he’s happy to be going to that. And I promised I’d send brownies in with him. (Haha! The only thing I make that is great.)

Then we rented Interstellar and Annie from Redbox. We saw Interstellar last night. Very well done, very interesting, very cerebral, but a couple things in the overall philosophy that didn’t jive, so we decided it was just okay. (I can’t even tell you what it was because it would totally give away the story.) We’ll try to get home in time tonight to watch Annie, which should be fun and much more straightforward. (Haha!) :-D

We’re so happy to be driving to Los Angeles to go to our own church, Bel Air Presbyterian, instead of watching church streaming live on the Internet. We get to hug our friends, and talk-talk-talk, and go out to lunch. It’s going to be wonderful! I can hardly wait!

Anyway, that’s been our Easter weekend. I hope yours is just as wonderful! Lots of love and hugs and prayers to you and yours. :)

Amazing Writers Conference!!

I had SUCH a wonderful time this past weekend at the California Dreamin’ Writers Conference put on by the Southern California chapters of Romance Writers of America! Everything about it was fantastic – hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones, teaching what I know and learning what others had to teach, pitching a new twist on an old idea to the editor and agent I was most interested in, gathering new information from companies I already have a great relationship with, meeting lots of new people at the book signing – and so much more!

Kitty at CA Dreamin Conf 2015 small

In fact, I was so busy that I not only came down with a cold when it was over (which always happens when I burn the candle at both ends at these conferences) but I also never once thought about taking pictures! Ack! How could I forget?

Because I was so busy having an amazing time!! Thank you to everyone who attended! I hope you all had as great a time as I did! Thanks to my friend Denise who snapped the picture of me at the book signing. :)

And for all those who know how much I love my birthday cheesecake, you won’t be surprised that it was the ONE thing I did take a picture of before everything started. LOL! Thanks to my friend Jess for the wonderful treat! I made it last all three days of the conference! :-D

Kitty birthday cheesecake from Jess SoCalRWA conf

70-Author Booksigning on Sunday, March 29

California Dreamin Writers ConferenceIf you didn’t already know, there are going to be 70+ authors signing their books in Brea, California, this weekend. And I’m one of them – woohoo! Here are the details:

Where: Brea Embassy Suites, Brea, CA
When: Sunday, March 29, 2015, 2-4pm
Who: Mostly romance writers of all types, but some also write urban fantasy, young adult, and more

You can find a map and a list of all the authors (including links to their web sites) HERE.

Please share this on social media so your friends in Southern California can stop by. It’s free and open to the public. You buy the books you’d like to get autographed, or just come and shake hands. :)

Lady Jane Salon – Author Readings

There will also be a Lady Jane Salon Saturday night, March 28, from 9-11pm at the conference. This is also open to the public. There will be 12 authors in each of two rooms at the Brea Embassy Suites, each reading from one of their books for 10 minutes.

I’ve never done this before! Ack! But you have to try new things, right? I’d love for a few friends to show up! :) I will be in the Tut room, adjacent to the hotel bar, and I’ll be reading from 9:20 to 9:30pm.

Also in the Tut room, in order of appearance, are: Mary Leo, Elizabeth Boyle, (then me), Jane Porter, Lucienne Diver, Dayle Dermatis, Susan Squires, Christine Ashworth, Vicky Dreiling, Christie Craig, Teresa Carpenter, and Louisa Bacio.

Reading in the Giza room are: Laura Drake, Louella Nelson, Patricia Rice, Rebekah Ganiere, April Kihlstrom, Susan Meier, Linda O. Johnston, Debbie Decker, Lisa Kessler, Shirley Wilder, Anne Cleeland, and Maggie Marr.

Hope to see you and your friends there!

The Enormous Fragility of Life

Double Delight roses in Lauraine's garden

I’ve always been one of those people who wanted to learn from other people’s mistakes, see the road signs others had left behind, and attempt to walk a smoother path. I took it to heart when my mother quoted from the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph when I was a teenager: “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple.” It was the first time I realized that growing old can come with regrets.

I read and re-read Erma Bombeck’s column “If I Had My Life to Live Over” when I was in high school. Her urging to light the candle shaped like a rose before it melts in storage got me to thinking even more – what can I do now to live my life with the fewest regrets?

One of my favorite movies is Jennifer Garner’s “13 Going on 30.” It’s fun and funny and shows a girl/woman learning important life lessons in a funny way. But I really, really disagree with how the writers wrote the key scene. When Jennifer’s character asks her mother about mistakes and regrets, her mother says she doesn’t regret her mistakes because she learned from them. I absolutely regret every time I’ve hurt someone, intentionally or unintentionally, no matter what lesson I learned from the experience.

I  hate hurting people, whether they’re friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers. But sometimes I feel like I’m all sharp edges, constantly hurting someone no matter which way I turn. I often feel like I think of others and their pain too little, doing too little to help; and too often I feel overwhelmed by the amount of pain in the world. It’s everywhere, in everyone, sometimes like an iceberg so that you don’t see how much the people around you ache.

But then I’ll read something like the beginning of 2 Corinthians:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

Life is fragile, so easily broken or destroyed. We, too, are an odd combination of strong and fragile. I think it’s interesting that during the fragile times when we rely on others’ strength through their compassion, our inner strength is being galvanized so that we can pass it on to the next person, supporting them in our compassion when they feel fragile.

Forgiveness is a form of compassion. And I think that is the one thing that keeps me from feeling completely isolated and alone – knowing that most people whom I have hurt have long ago forgiven me. I hope all the people who have hurt me and regretted it believe that I have forgiven them as well. Then we can all continue to participate in the compassion of Christ, giving and receiving comfort together.

Perhaps this is one way we can live our lives with the fewest regrets.

Marvel Madness – It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This!

Avengers: Age of UltronI am so excited for the awesome entertainment coming out over the next five years! Even before I started reading comic books, I’ve loved comic book movies. Well, loved some, liked some, and forgotten quite a few.

But Marvel has been making pretty amazing movies the last few years, so I’m always excited to hear a new one is coming out. Imagine my exponential excitement when I heard they had several years’ worth of wonderful coming out soon!

You probably already know that Avengers 2 is coming out this May. (Yay!!) But did you know Ant-Man will be out in July? Then two more Marvel movies next year, and seven more after that through 2019. (And that doesn’t even count what DC Comics and others will be putting out!) Here is the full schedule with movie descriptions that is posted on Cinema Blend:

Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015

Ant-Man – July 17, 2015

Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016

Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017

Black Panther – November 3, 2017

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018

Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018

Inhumans – November 2, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019

My birthday is next week and I’m so excited to go see Cinderella with my girlfriends! I’d say it’s a safe bet that for every birthday and Christmas for the next several years, people could give me movie tickets and I’d be just giddy! And our anniversary is May 5, so we’re going to have an awesome date night for the next several years! Woo-hooo!! Hahaha!! :)

See you at the movies!