Laura Haley-McNeil

4/23/17, At the Movies

Hello, Everyone!

With Easter behind us, it seems as if we are well into spring. I hope you had a wonderful Easter that you could spend with loved ones or that you could just enjoy a day of quiet. Now that my parents are gone, Easter is something my husband and I enjoy together. It’s more fun for me to have little children around who are dressed in spring colors and are excitedly dipping into their Easter baskets or chasing each other around the yard and looking for the treats the Easter Bunny hid. These gatherings are wonderful for the children, but also for the adults, especially for me.

In our area, it seemed as if the blooming trees and the spring flowers knew when was the first day of spring and that beautiful spring green that laces the branches started to burst out throughout the neighborhood quickly followed by pink, white and purple blossoms. The crocus and tulips and daffodils follow leaving trails of color to line the streets. Spring is fresh and new and wonderful for the next month, before these blooms fade to make room for the mad planting after Mother’s Day. This year I’ll plant petunias and cone flowers. The rabbits have discovered the impatiens so as long as they’re in the neighborhood, I won’t be planting those, which is too bad. They add such wonderful color to the yard and they’re very inexpensive.

A few months ago, I subscribed to Netflix DVD. It’s so nice after working all week, to veg in front of my laptop and just not think for a couple of hours but to be entertained. In a way I’m studying. I recently read The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. It has wonderful information on plotting. What I never realized was the pattern movies followed such as the inciting incident has to start on a certain page, depending on the length of the film. It is followed by the beginning hook which leads to the middle build. In a thriller, the ending has to have a speech in praise of the villain. Subliminally, I knew about these elements, but didn’t know they had names or that the timing had to be precise. If you have a chance to read The Story Grid, I highly recommend it. Mr. Coyne analyzes The Silence of the Lambs, which was a book he edited. I haven’t read the book and I tried to watch the movie. Even knowing what was about to happen didn’t make it any easier to watch the movie. Hannibal Lector, the movie’s villain, is very evil and very smart. Whenever the movie approached a scene that showed his evilness, I had to fast forward through that section, which means I missed important information. When I feel braver, I’ll try to watch it again.

One movie I hadn’t seen when it was released in 2008 was Nights in Rodanthe starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere. This movie is based on a Nicholas Sparks’ book. I haven’t read the book so I don’t know how closely the movie follows the book. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, be forewarned, it’s not a romance novel, but it was still good. Most of the plot takes place at an eclectic bed and breakfast, which I would love to visit. The main characters are deeply wounded people. The husband of Diane Lane’s character left her for another woman. Richard Gere’s character is a medical doctor who made a mistake but has trouble dealing with it. The characters deal with their own problems and help each other solve theirs. It has an ending I never expected and should have because I’ve read Nicholas Sparks’ books and watched his movies before and they do follow a pattern. I recommend the movie and if you watch it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Last week, I finished the blurb to the 5th book of the Crystal Creek series so now I have the print cover ready to go. I also sent manuscripts to the formatter so I should have these back soon. Then it will be an evening for my husband and me to sit in front of the computer and load these books to the retail sites. I’m always so nervous when I do this, but the book will be released soon and then it will be on to the next book which is in 2nd draft form. The plot seems to be coming together for this book and I really like the characters. For the 6th book, I was so happy to write JT’s story because he was such an unhappy person and that needed to change.

The next story will be Teagan’s and it’s already developing in my mind. I’ve made a few notes so I won’t forget my idea. Hopefully, I can work on that book a little more when I send Book 6 to the editor. If you’ve signed up for my newsletter, you should receive an email soon, announcing Book 5 – Charisse’s and Trent’s story.

I hope you have a wonderful week. I wish you beautiful weather and joy and peace in your part of the world.