Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Candace Havens
A little piece of flash fiction I wrote based on the photo. :)
Originally posted on Books Make Me Happy:
Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Candace Havens. This story is a precautionary tale… for readers, and for the characters… about taking things for granted! The image is a stock photo from a DeviantART artist who specifically allows it to be used on outside websites, with credit and links posted. Big thanks, to both the author and the artist, for sharing. Now… on to the story…
The Narrow Walk
By Candace Havens
The quiet surrounding her on the darkened path sent a chill down Clara’s back. The sense someone watched her from the shadows was something she could no longer ignore. Her heels clicked along the stone echoing loudly.
I should have taken a cab.
After the loud noise and stale air from the club, she enjoyed walking through the park. During the day, it was filled with too many people and children…
View original 496 more words
Television Critics’ Nominees
Here’s a list of the nominees for the TCA Awards this summer:
Individual Achievement in Comedy
Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX) [2013 winner in category]
Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project” (Fox)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)
Individual Achievement in Drama
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black” (BBC America) [2013 winner in category]
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective” (HBO)
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans” (FX)
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information
“CBS Sunday Morning” (CBS)
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central)
“60 Minutes” (CBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Logo)
“Shark Tank” (ABC) [2013 winner in category]
“The Voice” (NBC)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming
“Adventure Time” (Cartoon Network)
“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” (PBS)
“The Fosters” (ABC Family)
“Sesame Street” (PBS)
“Switched at Birth” (ABC Family)
Outstanding New Program
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox)
“Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Sleepy Hollow” (Fox)
“True Detective” (HBO)
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials
“American Horror Story: Coven” (FX)
“Broadchurch” (BBC America)
“The Returned” (SundanceTV)
“True Detective” (HBO)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama
“The Americans” (FX)
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO) [2013 winner in category]
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“The Good Wife” (CBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) [2013 winner in category – tied with “Parks and Recreation”]
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox)
“The Mindy Project” (Fox)
Career Achievement Award
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“South Park” (Comedy Central)
“Star Trek” (NBC)
“Twin Peaks” (ABC)
Program of the Year
“Breaking Bad” (AMC) [2013 winner in category]
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“The Good Wife” (CBS)
“Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)
“True Detective” (HBO)
I Love You
I used to do a lot of motivational speaking at big conventions. I talked about the road to success and what it took. One of the points I made was surrounding yourself with good people. If you want to be successful, this is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. The last few weeks, I realized what an incredible gift it is to have those amazing people in your life.
I’ll give you an update on Parker in just a bit, but his illness caused a chain of events that made me stop and think about what was important. I’ve been working myself into the ground to pay off bills and a multitude of school loans. I’d sort of closed myself off and hadn’t seen my friends much because I work ALL the time. Seven days a week 12-18 hours a day. ALL THE TIME. My friends, while they worry about my health, get it. We chat when we can, and there’s a lot texting and tweets.
But when I needed them, my friends were there. Britta and Kern Coleman came up the first full day Parker was in the hospital. They brought me and Liz (who I will write an ode to in just a bit) Diet Mountain Dew. I’d driven 14 hours to get to my kid and I needed to be there for him. I needed that Dew more than anything else. My brain had left the building. And Britta didn’t ask, she said, “Kern and I are coming up. What can I bring you?” Britta is someone who knows just how fiercely protective I am of my kiddos, she gets it. And I needed her smiley face and her jokes. That girl always makes me smile. And Kern, you make the best seafood gumbo I’ve ever eaten. Hands down. You to need to write a cookbook. For real. Curtis came up later that night and made Parker laugh so hard he couldn’t breathe. :)
The next day my friends Jenny Martin and Rosemary Clement Moore surprised us with a visit. They came at a moment where things were looking very, very bad. I’d just finished a crying stint in the public bathrooms down the hall so my kid wouldn’t see. I was exhausted, beat up and worried I was going to lose him. (Geez I’m crying now remember how scared I was.) They brought protein bars, which Parker had just said he wanted and bottles of water with money for the vending machines wrapped around them. Another lovely gift since I’d arrived with NO cash in my wallet. And the ATM downstairs didn’t work. But it wasn’t the gifts, it was that they joked around and made Parker smile. And he knew that they were there just as much for him as they were for me, and that made him happy. Rosemary has experienced more loss than anyone person should have to, and she knew exactly what to say and what I was going through. I’m so blessed to have she and Jenny in my circle.
The day we found out his counts had dropped again, my friend Gina Maxwell sent a box with a funny gorilla and an angel in it. “What? Do your friends think I’m 12?” Parker joked, but he hugged that gorilla hard. And then there was a very funny conversation that the gorilla was probably his spirit animal because they both had hairy asses. I know TMI. :)
Every day people on Twitter and Facebook, people I don’t know that well, were asking about Parker and praying for him. I love those people. I really do. Every tweet or Facebook message made me feel like someone out there cared. That they got it. I had a couple of emails where people shared their personal stories. Stories that helped us make wiser decisions about Parker’s care. You guys sent us funny pictures and some scary videos that made us laugh. I love you guys. I truly, truly do.
There was one person who was fighting for Parker as hard as I was. My friend Liz Pelletier. I was at her house working on a book project when the call came in. She wanted to fly me home, but my car was in Colorado at her house. I ran downstairs to pack and she followed me down. “I’m going with you.” Me: “No. I’ll be fine.” Liz: “Uh huh, sure. But I’m still going with you.” About two hours into the 14 hour trip home I turned to her and said, “I’m not sure I could have done this without you.” :) She was kind and didn’t say, “I told you so.” At the hospital she demanded the lab results. She called everyone she knew, even a higher up at the CDC to get more info on what was going on with Parker. We joked that she was getting her hematology degree on Google. But she knew before the doctors what was going on with Parker. It was still scary as hell, but it helped that I knew she was in my corner. Even after she had to go home (and she didn’t want to) I had to send her the daily lab results.
That same week, Liz had made major announcements about her company, Entangled Publishing. All good, but it was a mad house. She was taking call after call, and dealing with the madness. She works harder than I do, and that’s saying something. But she shut it all down to help me. I will never forget what she’s done for me. Ever. She is quite frankly one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met. She’s tough on the outside, but a big ‘ol teddy bear on the inside. And anyone who gives her trouble, I’m putting you on notice. I’m her friend, and I will do anything for her, including, hiding the bodies. ;) Just sayin’. And Parker loves her just as much as I do and will be there to help with said bodies. :)
I’m lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people. And anyone who says social media friends aren’t real, well, they’re full of crap. Never have I experienced, and actually felt, such love from so many. I thank you all. Truly, from the bottom of my heart.
I love you all. Or as I, the native Texan likes to say, I love y’all. :)
This is my valentine to you. You are awesome. You are loved. Each and every one of you.
Parker received some good news today. His counts went up enough that they are postponing surgery for now. He’s taking MASSIVE amounts of steroids and we’re going to see how he’s doing next Tuesday. If the counts continue to go up… Well, we can only hope. His counts have gone up before and back down. So we are cautiously optimistic at this time. :)
It’s The Waiting That Kills You
You guys know me. I have a super cruddy immune system. If it’s anywhere in my vicinity, I catch it. My kids, thank goodness, did not get my immune system. In fact, I think I’ve created a superhuman with a powerful immune system that kills everything in it’s path. That’s what has happened with my youngest son Parker.
A little over a week ago, my perfectly healthy 22-year-old woke up with a bunch of bruises all over his body. And his gums bled really bad when he brushed his teeth. The first day, he didn’t think much about it, except that there seemed to be big knots under the bruises.
After L.A., I’d gone to Colorado to work on a couple of special projects. Parker texted me pics of the bruising, and I sent his butt to the doctor. The next morning we found out he had ZERO platelets in his blood. As in if he bumped into something hard or cut himself, he’d bleed out quickly. They rushed him to a hematologist/oncologist, who did a bone marrow biopsy and quickly admitted him to the hospital. That was last Thursday.
They tried giving him platelets and steroids, but it only made his condition ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Pupura) worse. Basically, something (probably a virus) triggered his immune system and his spleen started eating all of the platelets, not just the broken ones. After four days of that treatment they switched to IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin). It basically takes the antibodies from a thousand different people, puts them in a bottle and is given to my kid through an IV.
Crazy, but it seems to be working. His counts in a just a few days have jumped from 5000 to 64,000. A healthy person has about 350,000 – 450,000 platelets. Still they talked about removing his spleen, but they aren’t sure. It depends on if the IVIG continues to work.
Yesterday, there were rumors that he was doing so well he might get to go home today. Then that dreaded kick in the head happened. Another test came back showing spots on the lungs. Our hope is that those are just swollen nodes, much like the rest of the ones on his body. They can’t be sure until they do another one. That particular scan had been of his stomach, which has the swollen nodes as well. They just happened to see the spots on his lungs.
So now we wait for that, and the results of the bone marrow which still haven’t come in. The waiting sucks. It’s helped by visits from friends, and the wonderful Tweets, Facebook comments and personal emails. You guys have no idea how comforting it is to have so many people care about Parker and our family. We appreciate your kind words, prayers and thoughts. We’ve needed them.
He’s a strong, incredibly fit kid. And the doctors think he’s going to be just fine. But it’s scary as hell and I hope it never happens to you. Really. My heart goes out to every parent with a sick kid. Whether is the cold and flu, or something more serious, I feel your pain. I get it. It’s scary as hell.
They don’t know what set all this in motion, I wish I could tell you how to protect your kids from it. But now you know some of the symptoms and I hope this helps someone else.
DFW Film Critics’ Awards
DALLAS-FORT WORTH FILM CRITICS NAME “12 YEARS A SLAVE” BEST PICTURE OF 2013
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association voted the historical drama 12 YEARS A SLAVE as the best film of 2013, according to the results of its 20th annual critics’ poll released today.
Rounding out the composite list of the top 10 films of the year were GRAVITY (2), NEBRASKA (3), AMERICAN HUSTLE (4), DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (5), HER (6), THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (7), INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (8), CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (9) and MUD (10).
For Best Actor, the association named Matthew McConaughey for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. Runners-up included Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2), Bruce Dern for NEBRASKA (3), Tom Hanks for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (4) and Leonardo DiCaprio for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (5).
Cate Blanchett was voted Best Actress for BLUE JASMINE. Next in the voting were Sandra Bullock for GRAVITY (2), Judi Dench for PHILOMENA (3), Meryl Streep for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (4) and Emma Thompson for SAVING MR. BANKS (5).
In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Jared Leto for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. He was followed by Michael Fassbender for 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2), Barkhad Abdi for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (3), Daniel Bruhl for RUSH (4) and Jonah Hill for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (5).
For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Lupita Nyong’o for 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Runners-up were June Squibb for NEBRASKA (2), Jennifer Lawrence for AMERICAN HUSTLE (3), Julia Roberts for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (4) and Sally Hawkins for BLUE JASMINE (5).
Alfonso Cuaron was voted Best Director for GRAVITY. Next in the voting were Steve McQueen for 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2), Alexander Payne for NEBRASKA (3), David O. Russell for AMERICAN HUSTLE (4) and Martin Scorsese for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (5).
The association voted BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR as the best foreign-language film of the year. Runners-up included THE HUNT (2), THE GREAT BEAUTY (3), THE WIND RISES (4) and THE GRANDMASTER (5).
TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM won for Best Documentary over THE ACT OF KILLING (2), STORIES WE TELL (3), BLACKFISH (4) and THE GATEKEEPERS (5).
FROZEN was named the best animated film of 2013, with DESPICABLE ME 2 as runner-up. John Ridley won the Best Screenplay award for 12 YEARS A SLAVE over a tie between Bob Nelson for NEBRASKA and Spike Jonze for HER.
The award for Best Cinematography went to Emmanuel Lubezki for GRAVITY, followed by Sean Bobbitt for 12 YEARS A SLAVE. The association gave its award for Best Musical Score to Steven Price for GRAVITY.
The association voted FRUITVALE STATION as the winner of the Russell Smith Award, named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association consists of 29 broadcast, print and online journalists from throughout North Texas. For more information, visit http://www.dfwcritics.com.
On the Hunt for Interns
Have you ever wondered what an editor’s slush pile looks like? Or maybe you want to break into the world of publishing, but don’t know how? Do you love books? (That’s the most important part.) If you don’t mind hard work or working for free, I may have the job for you. I’m hiring four new interns. Your job will be reading the books in our slush pile and filing reports on them. You’re key to finding those writers with real talent, who have written amazing books.
There is a chance for advance. Two of my interns are now my editorial assistants, and one of my former interns is a copy editor. I suggest reading books from our Covet, Select and Edge imprints so you know what kind of books we want. And of course, we’ll have guidelines for you when you join the team. It’s okay if you don’t have any experience, we will help you target what is most important when reporting on the books.
If interested, please email your resume to:
I love pens
I’m addicted to office supplies. It’s so bad that I don’t trust myself to go to Office Depot or Staples alone. Even at the bookstore I’ve been known to buy a journal or 10, or smancy file folders I don’t really need. Sigh. But I love pens and paper. I always have. My parents didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, but I always begged for the coolest binder we could find for school. And pens. I covet them. Even in college, those folders and binders were my splurges.
I’m getting ready to start three new projects and I like have new journals and pens when I begin. At some point this weekend I’m going to drag my husband to Office Depot to pick up some new pens. So I’m asking you, my awesome research team, what is your favorite pen and why? I’m fond of anything gel. But I’m willing to try anything. Nothing too expensive, I break and lose things often.
Tell me, I really want to know.
TCA Award Winners
The Television Critics Association Announces 2013 TCA Awards Winners
AMC’s “Breaking Bad” Named Program of the Year
FX’s “The Americans” Wins Outstanding New Program
“Game of Thrones,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Shark Tank,” ‘Behind the Candelabra,” “Bunheads,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Central Park Five” are honored along with favorites “All in the Family” and Barbara Walters
BEVERLY HILLS, CA (Saturday, August 3, 2013) – The Television Critics Association (TCA) tonight recognized the top programs and actors of the 2012-2013 television season at its 29th Annual TCA Awards presentation. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of Comedy Central’s hit series “Key & Peele,” hosted the annual invitation-only event, held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in conjunction with the TCA’s summer press tour. The non-televised ceremony bestowed awards in 12 categories to recipients in comedy, drama, reality, miniseries, news and youth programming.
Members of the TCA, a media organization of more than 220 professional TV critics and journalists from the United States and Canada, voted AMC’s celebrated “Breaking Bad” this season’s Program of the Year and honored FX’s freshman drama, “The Americans,” with the award for Outstanding New Program.
“These were not easy choices for our membership because there were so many deserving nominees,” said TCA president Candace Havens. “In a year that saw a lot of great television, the TCA Awards winners represent the best of the best.”
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, having previously won for Program of the Year in 2012, and BBC America’s “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany was honored with Individual Achievement in Drama for her portrayal of Sarah Manning.
CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” both were award-winners, tying for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. And Louis C.K., star of FX’s “Louie,” nabbed the top trophy in the Individual Achievement in Comedy category for the second consecutive year.
HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra” emerged victorious in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials, while ABC’s “Shark Tank” took home the award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming.
Additionally, the TCA also recognized ABC Family’s “Bunheads” with an award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming, and PBS’ documentary “The Central Park Five” received top honors for Outstanding Achievement in News & Information.
The TCA not only recognized the year’s finest programming, but it also bestowed a Heritage Award upon CBS’ classic sitcom “All in the Family” (1971-1979), for the cultural and social impact the program has had on society.
The non-profit organization also presented Barbara Walters (“The Barbara Walters Specials,” “The View,” ABC News) with a Career Achievement Award for her influence in covering news and information.
Photographs from the TCA Awards are available at http://bit.ly/137T2bD.
2013 TCA Award recipients are as follows:
- Individual Achievement in Drama: Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black,” BBC America)
- Individual Achievement in Comedy: Louis C.K. (“Louie,” FX)
- Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: “The Central Park Five” (PBS)
- Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: “Shark Tank” (ABC)
- Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: “Bunheads” (ABC Family)
- Outstanding New Program: “The Americans” (FX)
- Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: “Behind the Candelabra” (HBO)
- Outstanding Achievement in Drama: “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
- Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: (Tie) “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) and “Parks and Recreation” (NBC).
- Career Achievement Award: Barbara Walters (ABC)
- Heritage Award: “All in the Family” (CBS)
- Program of the Year: “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
ABOUT THE TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION
The Television Critics Association represents more than 220 journalists writing about television for print and online outlets in the United States and Canada. For 29 years the TCA has honored outstanding achievement in television and enduring contributions to the medium’s heritage through the TCA Awards. Membership in the Television Critics Association is open to full-time TV writers at newspapers, magazines, trade publications, news wire services, news syndicates, and text-based Internet news organizations. For additional information on the TCA, please visit http://www.tvcritics.org. The TCA is also represented on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the TCA on Twitter this Summer @TCAOfficial, using hashtag #TCAs13.
And so it begins…
Everyone keeps asking about my vacation. And I just sort of laugh and say, well, it was more an adventure than a vacation. I worked most of the time I was there. And it wasn’t quite what we’d expected. Billed as a mansion by the sea — that part was true. Except the mansion didn’t have screens on the windows or air conditioning. Still, who complains when they look out and see the most beautiful water and beaches — ever?
A Diva like me. Don’t get me wrong. Every morning I woke up excited about the new day. I sat out on the back veranda facing the sea with my lap top and wrote and edited. Inspirational? Absolutely. I swam every day in the infinity pool that looked out over the ocean. You heard me right. I exercised.
I hung out with amazing people and ate great food cooked by a chef. No complaints there.
But it was the nights that were terrifying. I never knew when a spider, the size of my hand, or crab, frog or other critter might show up in my second story room. I even tried closing the shutters and they still got in. And it was really, really hot. I’m a girl from Texas. I like my air conditioning. The mosquito netting was so tight, necessary with all the bugs, that the air from the ceiling fan couldn’t get thru. The last few days I sprayed myself with Deet and slept crosswise at the end of the bed, so I could feel the air moving.
I call it character building.
The best part? I went down there to do research on a book and it practically wrote itself with all the crazy things that happen. And the people I was hanging with, well, we will forever be bonded together. We fought the elements and we won. Did I mention a tropical storm hit the day we arrived? I loved the Dominican Republic. The people there are amazing. They love Americans. And they are just lovely human beings. That said, I’ll need to do some forgetting before I go back. :)
I’m back in the U.S. at the Television Critics’ press tour. People are already cranky about last minute changes, and as president of the association I get to hear it all. But I don’t care. I’m in a high-rise hotel, with air conditioning, far, far, far away from nature in Beverly Hills.
It took me 23 years to take that vacation. I think I’m done with those for awhile. :)
The Glam Life of an Author
So… I came downstairs early this morning and my family room looked as though a murder (maybe two) had occurred there. Giant red/brown spots on the couch, and several large spots (more than two feet long) on the carpet. We have three dogs, one is 130 lbs and still growing. My mind instantly went there. Ugh. But there was no smell and it was kind of weird looking. More like blood.
I’d just bought that streamcleaning stuff for pets. Assuming the worst, I used two whole cans. It worked pretty well on the couch. The carpet, well I never liked that carpet anyway. BUT flash forward eight hours. None of the dogs seemed to be ill or dying. No one in the house seemed to know what happened, except I deduced it happened between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning.
But I couldn’t let it go. I had to know. By putting together the snippets that each person in the house had heard or seen, I put the puzzle together. Turned out, Harley the giant dog from hell, had seen our visitor, Buttons (MIL’s Shih-Tzu) get her eye medicine this morning. It’s brown and powdery. Harley gets very jealous if she doesn’t get some of what other pooches are getting… The entire bottle, which was probably full, had been destroyed. Harley will have very clean eyes, for a very long time. But the vet says she’ll be okay.
This, my friends, is the glam life of an author/tv and film critic/editorial director/entrepreneur/almost former TCA president (THank YOU JESUS!). People always ask how I do everything. Well, the truth is, I never know what the day might hold. One day I may be cleaning up a murder scene in my living room for hours. And then off to see my Hollywood stylists who gives me the evil eye if I don’t wear makeup to get my hair done. The next I might be interviewing a celeb with a summer TV show, and then taking the guys to a preview of The Lone Ranger.
Oh, then I’ll have two columns and a cover story to write, and a book to edit when I get home at midnight. People think my life is so glamorous. It’s interesting, but glam — not so much. :) My house is never as clean as I would like it to be. There is a stack of laundry in my laundry room that is actually taller than me. (I’m kind of afraid of it.) My dogs are spoiled rotten (so are my children, but in a good way, at least that is what I tell myself).
Every day is different. I sit in front of my computer a lot. I write a lot. But I also have so much paper work between Covet, Columns and editor chick that it can swallow me for hours. There’s reader an listener email. I get upwards of 1500 emails a day on one business account and I have five. There are publicist pitching things. There are my own publicists telling me to do “stuff.” There are books to write and revise. There are bosses, yes I do have them, yelling at me. Just like everyone else in the world.
It never stops. Ever. Really. There isn’t a day I wake up when I don’t have something pending/urgent that needs to be done.
And that’s the way I like it. I took exception a few months ago when someone says, “You get to be just an author.” I’m proud to be an author. If I’m being honest, it’s my favorite part of everything that’s going on right now. BUT I’m not “just anything.” I’m a lot of things.
There are some people who think I’m a complete bitch, others call me Goddess (of course I like them best). My life isn’t always so glam, but it is mine and I’m grateful. Even when I come downstairs and find a murder has been committed in my living room.