Fretting Over Forty

Friday, 22 May 2015

The countdown is on. In a few short months I will hit the Big 4-0. And I can’t lie and say that I am not a little freaked out over it. But my reasons are a bit… I don't know.

I’m not afraid of getting old, hell, I already feel old. Of course, anyone who really knows me will tell you that I don’t act old. Most days I have a maturity level ranging between ages 9 and 12. Put me in the midst of a stressful day in the office with the other two that make up our Triple Trouble and I might dip even lower.

I am upset about all of the things I wanted to accomplish by now and haven’t as of yet, but even that isn’t what has me the most stressed. Nope, like the good old, Type A, ADHD person I am, I am most freaked out over the thought of a party. 

I can’t remember the last time I had a birthday party. Seriously. It never has really been a requirement for me. Part of that is because since we moved to the UK, I have struggled to find a good group of friends. I have one best friend, but she lives clear across the country. Another part of it is because I don’t really want the fuss of planning something. 

But here I am, looking at one of the big milestones, and thinking that I might just regret not celebrating it. I now have a small group of people at work that I would happily call friends, so that is no longer an issue. The only question is ‘How?’. 

I have spent a week now pinning ideas on Pinterest and thinking about whether we could actually pull them off. Most of them would mean either renting a hall or relying on a good day (not a sure bet thanks to the Great British Weather).

So, I ask you. If you have already celebrated a milestone birthday in style—whether it be 30, 40, 50…. (I’d say 21, but I doubt I have the energy these days for that level of partying)—let me know how you did it and what made it really special for you. I’m still on the lookout for more ideas!

I hate Minecraft...

Friday, 15 May 2015

No seriously. As if it isn’t one of the ugliest looking games (I know the graphics are supposed to look that way—they are still crap and the 'toys' that go along with it, don't get me started!), it is also one of the biggest causes of meltdowns in this house.

Normally, we let Hunter have one hour on Minecraft after I get home from work. Today, I got home after Dad and then Dad said ‘no’. Queue the major meltdown and temper tantrum. We went on to endure nearly two hours of shouting, crying, and being told about what horrible parents we are. It was fun. Even more so when the little one decided to stand by her big brother and chant ‘Minecraft’ over and over again.

Anyone else have video game wars regularly? I swear, I wish we would have never let him have that game. Not only is he obsessed with playing it, his best friend found him how to find Minecraft videos on YouTube. And he likes to tell us about every single one. In detail. Fantastic. 

In other news, apparently drinking 1-2 glasses of red wine every evening increases success with weight loss. So, at least there’s that.

Happy weekend, everyone!

How Many is Too Many?

Friday, 1 May 2015

Lately, I have been thinking about the pros and cons to writing a series. The series I have in mind would consist of four books with a possible fifth Christmas title and I have been planning it as one series with the same setting and an interwoven cast for a while now. I have several story lines and character sets which would work well together, but I am just wondering how many books in a series is too many.

Let me start off by saying that I love book series, especially those set in small towns with lots of quaint settings and quirky characters. I mean, you already know that Hart of Dixie is my favorite show these days, right? If a book series can give me a town I want to live in and characters that I want to be friends with, chances are pretty good that I’ll stick around until it ends. 

From what I have read online, though, not everyone feels the same. I decided to do a little research. Okay, it wasn’t all scientific and what-not (I save that type of research for my real job), but I did google and read reviews of book series to see what the general consensus was. What I found was that a lot of reviews seem to lose interest in a series when it reaches the fourth or fifth book. A few blogs I found confirmed it by saying that a series should never go beyond three books. I do not agree. 

First off, I always thought of a set of three books as a trilogy, but not necessarily a series. I was a big fan of the Sweet Valley High books in my younger years. That was a series—there was, like, a gazillion of them! In my own mind, the second book was a sequel, the third made the trilogy, and true series status was achieved with the fourth.

I was surprised at how many reviews and blog comments stated that readers got tired of the same old characters and the same old town. Seriously? Maybe I am boring, but once I find a town and a cast of characters that I like, I don’t think I will ever get bored. Before Hart of Dixie I was addicted to Gilmore Girls (quaint town, quirky characters) and I was devastated to see it end even after 7 seasons.

The thought that readers get bored after the third book worries me. At first I thought it could be explained by a lack of effort or experience on the part of the author, but many of the series reviews I looked at were for very successful, bestselling authors. So, if that isn’t the case, do readers really get bored so easily?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you think more than three books is too many for a series? Is there a set stopping point as far as you are concerned? If you have read a series with more than three books, did you find the last book just as satisfying as the first? Or did you get bored?

Let me know what you think and happy reading (or writing)!

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