What I’m Reading Now
I’m going back and reading all the Jack Reacher books I skipped. I read Echo Burning (no 5), which might be one of my least favorite books ever. The story felt like a ponderous slog of a car ride through Eastern Texas until the midpoint, where things finally got sort of interesting. However, I just finished The Persuader (no 7), which is one of my favorite Reacher books. It has a solid mystery, a moderately good twist, and plenty of tension.
Part of being a writer is reading the bad stories along with the good ones.
What I’m Streaming Now
The Blacklist Season 8. I know this feels like something I should be done with, and I should probably be watching Yellowstone (season one has 148,211 reviews on Amazon with a 4.8 average rating), but I have an unhealthy need to tie things up, so I’m enduring the foray into the never-ending but multi-layered romp that is The Blacklist. I’m trying to keep all the storylines straight – I mean who is Raymond Reddington anyway? But I persist each morning while I’m on my bike trainer.
To redeem myself, I finished Star Wars: Andor, which might be the best writing for television since that fateful day when Breaking Bad ended. Episodes 8-10, the scenes where Andor is in prison, are perhaps some of the best storytelling I’ve watched or read in a long time. Highly recommended.
Travel We Just Completed
We just returned from Bora Bora, which is a tiny island in the Tahiti archipelago of French Polynesia. We didn’t do much; read books, jet skied, paddle boarded, and relaxed. I also got some writing done. It’s as beautiful there as the pictures portray.
Podcasts I’m Listening To
Rick Rubin wrote a book called The Creative Act: A Way of Being. Rick is a 9-time Grammy award-winning music producer who looks like Saddam Hussein when they pulled the former dictator from his hidey-hole.
I’m listening to three podcast interviews of Rick talking about the topic of creativity and his new book: Rich Roll, Tim Ferriss, and Dr. Andrew Huberman. I find the Huberman edition the most worthwhile exploration of the nuances of creativity and Rick’s main theme, which is how to incorporate creativity into one’s way of being.
I’ve ordered the book and will report back.
Video I Made
“Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a common question I get asked all the time, and so I made this little tongue-in-cheek film to answer the question.
Manuscript I’m Working On
I just finished the second draft of a story I began during the pandemic lockdown in April 2020. I took a break from it to finish Endgame, Max Austin book six, and now I’m picking it back up again. The as-yet-untitled story stars a minor character from The Hunt, Max Austin book four, and takes place in Southeast Asia. The pacing and action are similar to Max, and books two and three in this new series are planned out. Unlike Max, however, each book in this series will be stand-alone. Stay tuned for updates.
Did You Know?
“Dispatch” means both “a message sent with speed” and “to kill with quick efficiency.” I’ll just leave that right there.