The Lefty Awards!

Exciting news! Skin Deep, my first mystery, has just been nominated for the 2021 Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel, by Left Coast Crime. How cool is that? Now for the rest of my life, I can refer to myself as the “Lefty-Nominated Mystery Writer.” I’m gonna put that on my business card, if I had business cards.

Seriously — this is really super kind of these folks, because to be nominated in the same category with the likes of Carl Hiaasen and Ellen Byron is nothing short of amazing. Huge congrats to the rest of my awesome fellow nominees, Jennifer J. Chow, Cynthia Kuhn, and J. Michael Orenduff.

The winners will be announced on April 10, 2021!

Haiku: Search Party, Season 4, Episodes 1-3

Season 4, Episode 1: The Girl in the Basement

Dory in a trunk
Dory back at “home”, with Chip
The gang’s drunk kisses.

Season 4, Episode 2: Something Sharp

Portia playing Portia
Elliott flipping to Red
Andrew, tall white guy.

Season 4, Episode 3: Escape to Nowhere

Dory’s great escape
from window to car to Chip
Andrew back to Drew.

Dream: Search Party

Ever have a dream you wish would never end?  That’s what I experienced last night, when I was at some kind of a party with the actors of Search Party.

Search Party, if you didn’t know, is a TV show about to start its fourth season.  I came to it very late, but a few weeks ago I got caught up.  And because of the new season, the show’s been on my mind quite a bit.  It’s one of the funniest shows out there, though as the seasons have gone on, the comedy has had company with a bit of the macabre.  Which sometimes makes it even funnier?  Anyway, I adore it, and I wish more people would see it.

I guess the dream took place at a restaurant, though I’m not really sure.  All I know is that Dory, played by Alia Shawkat, was the one I spoke to first, and we sat down at a table.  I told her how much I loved the show, and she gracefully accepted my praise with total sincerity, so this is more like the first-season Dory.  Then Drew, played by John Reynolds, moped in – and he looked tired and didn’t look like he wanted to talk to anyone.  Then Elliott, played by John Early, sat right down, and every time I tried to say something, he’d talk right over me!  Initially this frustrated me greatly, but then I realized he was just being Elliott and then I was okay.  And now here’s the strange part – Portia, played by Meredith Hagner, was not there and instead it was Anna Chlumsky, looking very much like her intense, brittle Veep character.  Now Portia is my favorite character on Search Party so I just couldn’t quite understand why this was happening – like I knew I was dreaming and wanted Portia there, but no, I couldn’t make her appear.

And then we were all in a different restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, and everyone had a proper dish in front of them except for Drew, who had like a Lean Cuisine-type of meal, except it was way bigger, black and white, and had the insignia of the restaurant, so I guess it was more like a pre-packaged meal that they sold?

I’ll never know, as I woke up then (but not before Drew, hangdog as ever, let out a massive sigh of disappointment).  But wow, it was so nice hanging out with my favorite foursome (even though Portia wasn’t there, she was, in spirit!).

Favorite Songs of 2020

Here’s a list of my top songs for this year, in an order that might be surprisingly mixable. These are not necessarily from 2020; I just happened to have heard them in the last twelve months.

Horses, by Tomo Nakayama on Music from Touchy Feely
August, by Taylor Swift on Folklore
Conversations in the Dark, by John Legend on Bigger Love
Husavik, by My Marianne feat. Will Ferrell on Eurovision Song Contest
Now I’m in It, by Haim on Women in Music Pt. III
That Feeling, by Young London on Laggies
I Hate Everybody, by Halsey on Manic
Scared To Live (SNL Live), by The Weeknd on After Hours (Deluxe)
This Is Everything, by Grouplove on Healer
Delete Forever, by Grimes on Miss Anthropocene

Playing Dead, by Breathe Owl Breathe on Your Sister’s Sister
This Summer, by Loren Allred on This Summer
Bad Decisions, by The Strokes on The New Abnormal
Inner Child, by BTS on Map of the Soul: 7
Retrospect, by Vistas on Everything Changes in the End
Nothing at All, by Perfume Genius on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
Death Stranding, by Chvrches on Death Stranding
Empress, by Snow Patrol on Wildness
Spring, by Angel Olsen on All Mirrors

We lost an excellent filmmaker this year, Lynn Shelton. Three of the songs featured on this list are from her movies — Touchy Feely (Horses), Laggies (That Feeling), and Your Sister’s Sister (Playing Dead). Touchy Feely is my favorite film of hers, but really, they’re all excellent.