May '21


Hello there!

Welcome to the new folks who have joined in the past month. Spring has just about sprung! Early spring flowers are poppin’ and I’ve got photos to prove it.

A few quick notes upfront:

  • All previous newsletters are archived. Lots of stuff to check out including a link to the original 2011 screenplay of THE BLACK SKY, hints and helps to get started on the real work easter egg hunt teased at the back of the book, and more!

  • If you read and enjoyed THE BLACK SKY, I would be grateful if you left a positive review or a rating at Amazon or GoodReads.

  • There’s a “music inspired by” soundtrack you can listen to at your favorite streaming sites like SpotifyApple MusicTIDAL, etc. If you prefer physical media, you can also grab the album on a compact disc at Bandcamp.

  • For those that have read THE BLACK SKY, you may remember a mention or two of a bar called “The Dank,” the place Tessa worked at in college where she and Bishop met. I created a virtual playlist for this “punk rock bar,” which you can check out on Spotify. (Hint: this isn’t the last time you’ll be hearing about The Dank in a book)



Pretty, huh? Two years ago you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that wasn’t green in my yard. Just plain bushes and grass. Last years’ lockdown forced us to spend a lot more time at home, and that meant getting out into the backyard so we weren’t in the house 24/7. It meant masked trips to outdoor nursies and swapping cuttings and seeds with neighbors (from a safe distance). We mainly planted perennials, but there will be some annuals this year, along with a variety of fruits and veggies we’ve been doing for years.


THE RED SKY has been moving along nicely. I passed the twenty thousand word mark, so roughly a quarter of the book is done. I recently switched from using Google Docs to Scrivener to write, and it has been extremely helpful in getting organized. I used to keep separate docs for lists - characters, locations - for outlining, and also a Pinterest board for visual help. Within Scrivener, I’m able to manage that from one page with plenty of flexibility. As I get more comfortable, I’ll share more bits and pieces that I’ve discovered.

For THE RED SKY playlist on Spotify, I added Clint Mansell’s In The Earth soundtrack, Volker Bertelmann’s Stowaway soundtrack, and several albums by Damned Anthem.


DARK MATTER - Read this book in about a 24-hour span. Quickly engaging, thought-provoking, finds the right balance of humanity and science fiction WTF-is-going-on insanity. Crouch's style is punchy and avoids giant info drops, which is helpful to keep the plot moving and the characters scrambling.

THE GHOST BRIGADES - I read Scalzi’s first book in the series (OLD MAN’S WAR) many years ago and had it on my very large “to be read” list to get back into the series. Finally, that happened, and I’m glad it did. Scalzi is a master at thought-provoking and entertaining sci-fi that is readable to any kind of fan. Once I finished this book, I immediately ordered the other four books in the series.


  • THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN (Disney+) - Uneven at times, but really nailed the last couple of episodes. Hope there is a second season.

  • SUPERSTORE, S.6 (HULU/NBC) - Going to miss this workplace comedy that wasn’t afraid to feature plots and storylines about what it means to be an “essential worker” in the modern workplace.

  • FOR ALL MANKIND, S.2 (AppleTV) - This season was equal parts slow burn and raging fire, culminating in a great finale.

  • THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER (Netflix) - Not so much a fond remembrance of a corporate giant as a lost collective experience.

  • SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO - Lots of style, but not much substance compared to the original.

  • LUCIFER, S.1 & 2 (Netflix) - Very entertaining. Enjoy the personal dynamics mixed with the humor and other-worldly aspect.

  • LOCKOUT (Netflix) - Wants to be Escape From New York in space, is not.

  • THE OLD GUARD (Netflix) - Entertaining if at times slow action/superhero film. Hopefully, a sequel is made to dispense with the origin story exposition.

  • THIS IS A ROBBERY (Netflix) - Great mini-series about the biggest art heist in history. Very entertaining, lots of twists and turns - trailer below.


What are you watching, reading, listening to at the moment?

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Stay Safe!