Knives Out – review

Knives Out – not sure how to catalog this movie. It had comedic moments, and times of thrills, and definitely a whodunit. It was just a fun movie to watch.

The characters could have been caricatures but they weren’t due to some great acting and amazing writing. The audience for our viewing was totally into it. They laughed and clapped. Lots of clapping at the end. Sometimes you just need a FUN movie.

I wish I could share some moments from the movie but there is really nothing to say that doesn’t spoil the fun. Go! Watch! Enjoy!!

Jill James, writer

December? What?!!

Okay, where did the year go? It was summer and now it is the end of the year. How did that happen? It must really be true that time goes faster as you get older.

Did you accomplish what you wanted to this year? Nope, me neither. LOL But I did realize I couldn’t accomplish it all so that is a learning moment for me. I have a great start to a bunch of new books for next year. I finished my Christmas book for the boxed set group on time!! I worked on eating better and exercising better. So, overall, 2019 wasn’t too bad.

How was your 2019? 

Jill James, writer

Just and Only


Writers, women, everyone—Stop!! Stop using only and just in a sentence.


I’m just a stay-at-home mom.

I just went to work today.

I only wrote 2,000 words today.

I only cleaned the house and did the dishes and took care of my children and spouse and ran errands and made dinner and found time for myself.

Just stop!! Take just and only out of those sentences and out of your thinking. We don’t ‘only’ or ‘just’ do anything. We do things. We accomplish things. We are great.

You’re welcome!!

Jill James, writer

First Snow of the Winter

There is something fresh and new about the first snow of the winter. It previews the coming attraction of days of sitting by the fire, reading a thick, new book, and sipping hot tea or cocoa as you snuggle in your home.

I love the wintery days of writing, reading, and binge-watching the shows I need to catch up on. Days of dreaming and thinking and planning what the new year will bring.

What do you do during the long winter season?

Jill James, writer

My writing has stalled

I’m a linear writer. I start a new manuscript with Chapter One and write straight through to The End.

Image by Steve Johnson from Pixabay

I decided to start a new story for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and I knew the beginning and I knew the Black Moment and I knew The End, but I was a little unclear about the events in the rest of the book. So, once I got through the beginning I stalled. In the past, if this happened I just gave up and moved on.

But, since this was Nanowrimo, I decided to work on some other manuscripts I’ve been working on and counting that word count. It’s working. I’ve worked on zombie book #4 and ghost books #2 and #3 and even shapeshifter book #2.

Guess I’m not as stalled as I thought. Maybe it just isn’t time to work on That Moment yet.

Jill James, writer of words.

Nanowrimo – Day 14

After the news of a good friend’s death I fell off the Nanowrimo wagon. Usually if something like this happened I would call it quits for this year, but this year I’m determined to soldier forward. Each new word is another word toward The End. This story is important to me and I mean to finish this book, maybe even by November 30th. We shall see.

Jill James, write or else!!!

Nano, dentist, and presents. Oh, my!!

Are you like me, do you flip a new calendar page and see all those blank squares and think ‘gee, what a nice, unbusy month?’ Then, by the time you finish the month there isn’t a blank day/square on the page. Maybe even notes on the edges. LOL

This week I’m doing Nanowrimo, have two dentist appointments on one day, the husband has one on that day too, and have to pick up a birthday present for grandson. Oh wait, there is also an e-waste dropoff day we have to deal with and returning something to the mall which was the wrong thing. Whew! So much for a day of writing. hahahahaha

I thought being retired was supposed to be calm. Haha on me.

Jill James, writer


Do you remember the old ketchup commercial with the forever waiting for the ketchup to pour onto the hamburger or fries?

That’s how I feel waiting for the results of contests I’ve entered. The date is circled on the calendar, your heart beats a little faster, you check your email a bazillion times or maybe not at all, doing other things to forgot; oh, right, that was today. As if you can fool yourself. LOL

Win, place, or show. Doesn’t matter. It is great to win, don’t get me wrong. But getting eyes on your writing and seeing how it stacks up is its own reward.

How do you wait for news?

Jill James, romance writer

Going to the dentist sucks – part 2

Another week, more visits to the dentist. This week is deep cleaning part 1 and drilling into a root canal, putting strong medicine down the hole, temporary cap on tooth, 3-6 weeks go back to see if medicine worked and refilling root canal.

On the plus side, maybe my teeth will hurt so much I won’t eat a bunch this week. LOL

Jill James, reluctant patient.

Time for Fantasy Football

I can always tell when it is time for fantasy football again. The magazines start arriving. The football sports channel is on all day long with the husband making notes. The big draft board arrives and we start learning new players, old players going to new teams, old players retiring.

Think of me as the Vanna White of Fantasy Football. I stand at the front of the room and put the name stickers on the board. In years past, I wrote the names with magic markers. Ask me how long it took me to learn how to spell Roethlisberger. By the end of the evening the side of my hand was red, green, black, orange, and blue. LOL

We have being doing this with some of the same people for over 25 years. It is a fun evening.

Let’s Go Raiders!!!

Jill James, romance writer


Last night I went to my first Bunco night. Had tons of fun and met other ladies of the neighborhood. I was worried about not knowing the rules but it was easy to learn.

I’m an introvert so it was nice to meet people and have fun.

Jill James, romance writer

The Lull Between Projects

I just finished turning in Sugar Sprinkled Memories for the boxed set with the Authors of Main Street. Now comes the lull as I rest a little when I finish a book. Refill the well. Rejuvenate the creative juices. Get to know the characters in the next book.

Then I piddle around a little bit deciding what to work on next. I have 3 books I will work on this fall/winter; Zombies in the Grass, Book 4 of the Time of Zombies series, Ghostly Deceptions, Book 2 of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, Ghostly Perceptions, Book 3 of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series.

I also have some other stories I’m percolating. An erotic romance with a sex android. A horror with spree killers. A romantic suspense with an FBI team. And many more. Ideas I have plenty. The ability to put butt in chair, hands on keyboard–not as much. But I’m getting better at it.

So, I’ll enjoy the lull and put 1,000 words on this story and 2,000 on that story until my mind settles on one and I get into the zone. (fingers crossed)

Coming Soon! Christmas boxed set with the Authors of Main Street, including Sugar Sprinkled Memories.

Jill James, romance writer

Summer reading

I love the hot, lazy days of summer. Lots of reading and writing done. Next week I’m planning a trip to Barnes & Noble. I have a long list of wants and I hope they have at least some of them.

My list: The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O’Brien–get every book he writes. Season of the Witch by David Golemon–love the Event Group. Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose–another of my auto-buy authors. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness–I’ve fallen in long with this series. The 18th Abduction by James Patterson–I wait for trade paperback for this series since the rest is in trade paperback. (fingers crossed I get some of these)

What is on your to-get list from the bookstore?

Jill James, romance writer and voracious reader