That Time I Embarrassed the Whole Human Race

Here’s an embarrassing story,

So this one night, Dan and I were getting ready for bed and both boys were asleep. It was… maybe around midnight? I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember it was late because Dan and I were binging Hoarders and we both agreed that she shouldn’t have watched the last episode and were about to be exhausted the next day.

Anyway, it was late.

So I’m doing the nightly routine, I’m brushing my teeth, taking out my contacts, etc. etc. And I heard a familiar sound coming from the hallway outside of my bedroom. The sound that parents most dread in the middle of the night. The pitter patter of little feet. I was trying to make Dan go check instead of me. But he had ALSO taken his contacts out and is conveniently more blind than me, so it was my turn to do the dirty deed. I crossed my fingers and hoped that no one was sick and that this would be the only waking instance for the night.

I went into the hallway and it was kind of dim… but I could make out the outline of one of the kids. But they look so dang similar I wasn’t sure which one. Plus I had my contacts out, so I had to squint really hard as I inched closer.

And then I realized… this was not actually one of my kids in green pajamas… this was a teeny tiny green man.

I was like Okay… what in the actual H-E-double-hockey-sticks am I looking at here?? I blinked a couple of times. As if that would help. Eyes not working? Have you tried turning them off and on? That wouldn’t have worked for blind-as-a-bat Dan, he would’ve picked up whatever it was and put it in one of our kid’s beds.

So I’m face to face with this… whatever it is. I’m guessing a toy. But I had heard the footsteps. Distinctly childlike footsteps. So I get closer to the green thing, trying to see if my child is hiding behind it or something.

AND THE GREEN THING TALKS.

I jumped so freaking high it’s a wonder why I wasn’t immediately drafted into the WMBA.

“Hello?” Don’t know why I said that, I mean clearly it was a toy.

“Take me to your leader,” it responded.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy so obviously this was a weird ate-cheese-before-bed kind of dream.

“Take me to your leader.”

So after a a failed attempt at slowing my heart rate I was like, “Okay… so that’s gonna be hard to do…”

“Why?” it asked.

“Because, well, first off… there’s not exactly a ‘leader of Earth’. There are hundreds of leaders of different parts of the world.”

The little green man rubbed it’s chin and went, “So it’s compartmentalized? Like a mini-mall?”

“Wut?”

“Take me to the leader of this room.”

I blinked rapidly because OKAY WHAT EXACTLY WAS HAPPENING HERE. Finally I shook my head and was like, “Uh… okay… sorry, I was not prepared to have an encounter with an extra-terrestrial today.”

His jaw dropped and he slapped his hand on his chest. “You can’t say that! That’s an extremely offensive term to my people!”

“Oh sorry, sorry, sorry!! I’m not accustomed with Martian culture.”

“We’re not even FROM Mars! Wow. WOW.”

And then I watched him teleport onto my front lawn where he started recording a rant video about me on his smart phone.

Sooooo… if an intergalactic war starts… That was my bad guys.

My Kids Say the Darndest Things (March 2021)

Casey had a fever. So I brought down our no-touch thermometer (best pandemic purchase ever). The only set back is the kids loooooove to play with it, so as soon as Casey saw it he demanded he take his own temperature. I let him hold onto it and went off to get the Tylenol. When I returned I heard him talking to the thermometer in his hands, “Hello, temperature. Do you want to play?” And then he replied to himself in a high pitched voice, “Yes.”

We bought a Roomba. (Second best pandemic purchase ever) At first, Casey told me he was “scared the robot”, but he warmed up quickly. Now he follows it around and makes kissy sounds and telling it to “come”. “Come, robot.” Then he announces to me that the robot is named George and George is his friend.

I told Jack to blow a feather off my finger and make a wish. He squeezed his eyes shut and whispered to himself, “I wish for a pink unicorn.”

One night it was really windy and Dan had left the window open in his office the slightest crack. Every time the wind blew through the window it would howl loudly. Well, I didn’t explain to the boys what the sound was… so they decided on their own that it was because there was “an owl” in the house. They were both ABSOLUTELY convinced that there was an owl inside hooting loudly and walked around trying to find it.

*Jack’s stomach gurgles loudly*

ME: Oh, are you digesting?

JACK: I not ‘gestin. I’m Jack!


Casey biting into an uncooked macaroni: “Ooh, this is a yucky rainbow.”

JACK: Moooooooom, get me some juice.

ME: Nuh-uh, mister. You need to use the magic word.

JACK: (in all sincerity) … “chicken”?

ME: “Please”.

JACK: Ohhhhhhhhh.

ME: *after cleaning the kitchen* Wow. Okay. That was a lot of hard work!

JACK: Yeah, it was! You do a lot of hard work, Mom. Good job for doing that hard work!

ME: *trying not to cry*

I CAN’T BELIEVE I FINISHED THE BOOK!

My heart is so full right now. I am thrilled beyond belief to announce that I have finished all the edits on my Beatles time travel book! If you’ve been following along at all, then you know I have been pouring my soul into this project, off and on for the past two years. Typing ‘The End’ feels both relieving and a little sad haha (which I did NOT expect to feel that way).

There are just SO many people that I need to thank for the completion of this book:

DAN for enduring the countless hours of my absence

MY KIDS for playing quietly on occasion and allowing Mommy “book time”.

MY MOM for calling me early in the morning just to demand to know what happens in the next chapter. (Making me feel like maybe this book isn’t the worst thing in the world!)

MY CP MERRILL for all the feedback, creative insight, advice and emotional support

LIZETHE and STORMIE for being terrific invested beta readers and encouraging me through the drudgery of editing

TAYLOR for watching my kids a couple of times so I could write

KATE FRIDRICKS for being my Liverpudlian eyes and ears and teaching me all things Scouse.

The wonderful BILL HARRY for being very, very kind and answering the oddest questions, sending his articles my way and sharing his incredibly precious memories of John Lennon.

JOHN, of course, for being such a freaking interesting and dynamic person to write about

And EVERYONE for their support, related memes, interest of any kind, reading this blog post lol

So I’ve already started the query process (aaaaaaaah). I don’t really know what will come of it, but it feels good to have another manuscript completed and on my shelf.

That Time at Pandemic Panda Express

Here’s an embarrassing story I just remembered:

Sometimes (and what I really mean is everytime) I will get so flustered that I’m going to do something awkward and embarrassing that I END UP ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING AWKWARD AND EMBARRASSING. And this story was one of those times…

Once upon a pandemic we wanted Chinese food. So okay what’s the safest thing to do here? We have one Panda Express x miles away with a drive thru… but everyone and their convertible uses the Morris Farms Panda drive thru. So Dan put in a take out order for a different have-to-come-inside Panda establishment.

So we load up THE ENTIRE FAMILY in the minivan because THERE’S LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE TO GO AND DO. So family trip to the Panda Express it is. We drive up and park and then Dan hands me a mask and tells me to run in and get it.

I start PANIC SWEATING.

Not because I’m afraid of catching coronavirus.

But because I’m a giant woman-child who can’t do anything by herself.

“Wha-what? You want me to get it? But you usually get it! I don’t even know where to go! So where do you pick it up? Do you pay for it or… okay it’s prepaid… so it’s like just picking up the food and walking out!? Do I need my ID? How are they gonna know I’m your wife?? What if I do it wrong somehow? What if I get in trouble should I call you??”

Dan is getting seriously irritated at me because it’s not like I’m a navy seal securing the area, I’m literally JUST PICKING UP ORANGE CHICKEN AND WALKING OUT. 

So I go inside the Panda with my mask on… okay, I don’t know if you’ve been inside a Panda Express in the past year, but they have this military set up. They use their own tables and chairs to BLOCK YOU into the line. And then they very clearly have where you’re supposed to stand marked out on the floor. So as soon as you walk in through the door you’re ushered into the line.

But… okay… I just want to get my take out.

I can literally see the white plastic bag all tied up on a rack WAY at the other end of the line. Like a cheese at the end of the maze. But how am I supposed to get there? Am I really supposed to CUT THE LINE to pick up the food that’s already been ordered. Get my germs into everyone’s personal bubble as I push past them? The idea of cutting the line is basically spiking my blood pressure. I can’t even ask for extra napkins at most places because I do not want to bother anyone. I mean just the very idea that I could be SLIGHTLY inconveniencing someone. Or NOT OBEYING THESE PANDA SAFETY RULES.

So I wait in line.

I can see the food over there getting cold… Dan’s texting me like “R U SERIOUS WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LONG YOU JUST HAVE TO PICK IT UP.” So now I’m having double anxiety about slightly inconveniencing the Panda Express patrons or slightly inconveniencing my husband by making him wait five minutes.

ALRIGHT FINE. I slide past people in line with about a thousand apologies, get the take out bag, run out of there as if I’m a Pink Panther robber with a briefcase full of jewelry. And I’m dying in the most dramatic way you can think of. And if you’re super annoyed and confused reading this… what’s it like to not have anxiety? Is it nice? Is it peaceful? Can you just walk into stores and pick up Orange Chicken at your leisure? How is that kind of power? I bet you sleep great.

I’m so flustered that I’m just power walking through the parking lot, having a pre-argument with my husband inside my mind. “Yeah, well, you shoulda SEEN IT. The tables and chairs were BLOCKING US ALL INTO THIS ONE LITTLE LINE.”

I get to the car and pull on the handle. Locked. I’m flustered and irritated by my pretend argument so I tap ferociously on the window and point down at the car lock. THEN HE STARTED TO DRIVE AWAY! And I chased him down so angrily. Tapping harder on the window. HELLO! DON’T BE A BUTTHOLE JUST BECAUSE IT TOOK ME A SOLID MINUTE TO WORK UP THE COURAGE TO CUT THE LINE.

And then a stranger rolled down her window. BOISTERIOUSLY laughing.

“I’VE DONE THAT!” she yelled at me.

I really just tried to get into the wrong car. Um. It didn’t even look like my car. Hardly even in the same color palette. So not only did I just spend X amount of minutes FREAKING OUT over the Panda Express rules. (As if the Seinfeld Soup Nazi works at Panda Express.) BUT I ALSO TRIED TO GET INTO A STRANGER’S CAR AND GOT IRRITATED AT HER AS SHE PULLED AWAY.

I slunk back to my ACTUAL car with my tail in between my legs. Dan is laughing and probably also like… k… I’m married to this hot mess wtf.

And yeah.

So, that’s it. I could hardly function before the pandemic. And now it’s just one weird social distance freak out at a time.

My Kids Say the Darndest Things (February 2021)

My kids (ages 2 & 4) so often do / say the quirkiest and funniest things that I thought hmmmm… I might as well write them down here and make it a monthly post.

Jack began a weekly soccer class through his preschool and he LOVES it! Every Tuesday I would pick him up from school he would gush about how “Max was there today” or “We all played soccer with Max!” or “I love learning soccer with Max!”. I had seen the young college guy in the jersey who I assumed was this special Max. One day as I was picking up Jack, this guy was packing up and leaving so I said, “It’s Max, right?”. To which he replied, “Coach Logan.” I was surprised and embarrassed, I apologized and quickly signed my kid out of school. As I was buckling Jack into the car I asked, “Honey… who is Max? Is Max someone in your class?” Jack laughed and said, “No, Max isn’t someone in my class! Max is a soccer ball!”

ME: Casey, please don’t scream like that.

CASEY: (scoff) Don’t be so scared, Mom.

JACK: (calling to his Dad) Honey, can you carry my truck down the stairs for me? … thanks, Honey

*Casey very carefully putting his socks on each hand like mittens*

CASEY: (whispers to himself) There. Perfect.

Jack was playing Among Us on my phone and it was his turn to be The Imposter. He wasn’t doing too bad! And after a few successful kills the players were all casting their votes and Jack VOTES FOR HIMSELF.

ME: Jack! Don’t vote for youself!

JACK: But Mom I have to! I’m the ‘poster!

*Casey trying to climb on my lap as I’m eating*

CASEY: I want to sit there!

ME: No baby, not right now. I’m eating dinner.

*Casey climbs on the chair next to me, waits a minute and then suddenly jumps into my lap*

CASEY: Oh noooooo! I fell!

JACK: Mom, Casey bumped me! Say sorry, Casey!

CASEY: Sorry Casey.

JACK: No, I’m Jack!

CASEY: I’m Casey.

One night before I tucked Jack into bed he said:

JACK: Mom, I had fun best friending with you today.

MY HEART 😭😭

I Wrote a Novel in 30 DAYS

Hey so it just occurred to me that I haven’t even told you about the project I started for NaNoWriMo.

(If you haven’t heard me blabber on about NaNoWriMo yet and you don’t know what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. All of these authors around the world commit to writing 50k words in the month of November. It’s a fun challenge. And I do it every year that I can.)

So let me introduce you to the new book I’ve been working on. Ready?

Drumroll…

Dun Dun dun DUN!

It’s an adult paranormal thriller called, “The Glass Box Town”. (working title but we’ll see). Here’s the cover I made for it once upon a time:

Having just stolen her father’s car, Hallie finds herself lost on a desert road. Then the unthinkable happens, a strange woman from nowhere hurls herself in front of the moving vehicle. When Hallie goes to an eerie small town for help, they accuse her of the woman’s murder and force her to stay. The longer she stays the more the town’s diabolical motives begin to unravel.

If you follow my work, you know I’ve been writing Rom Coms for the past… forever. So switching to this one was definitely intimidating. A bit out of the comfort zone, but in a good way.

I won NaNoWriMo even though I felt like I was losing my mind almost every day. I also made a short video on my NaNo journey if you haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet!

Stay tuned for more updates on this novel. And thanks for checkin’ in!

This is Me.

I’m very nervous about this post…

I don’t know about you, but quarantine became an introspection boot camp for me. For the past year, I have been going through an existential, incredibly spiritual, life changing process. And I guess I want to talk about that… I guess I want to talk about me. The real actual me.

Because what I’ve discovered during my introspection boot camp is that I hold back the real me a lot. I mean, it’s a human desire to please others and be likeable, but… I do that to SUCH an extent that… I think many people don’t know me very well. Even people who are very close to me.

So this is a very vulnerable post for me… because it’s real and raw… and it’s me.

Hello, I’m Val.

I’ve always loved being called “Val”. I feel endeared to anyone who shortens my name to “Val”, I’m not sure why. I think it’s because it feels warm and close. Like the person using the nickname wants to be my good friend. The name “Valerie” is always something that I’ve exceptionally liked about myself.

I’m an outgoing person who suffers from an overwhelming social anxiety.

I think this confuses a lot of people and makes me come off as a brat and a flake. (Or maybe that’s the social anxiety telling me how I come off). I don’t know if I’m actually an extrovert or an introvert. I get energy from being around others and desire to be around others. But I also hate leaving my house and often want to be alone. It’s strange. I will go minutes from performing on stage in front of hundreds of people to not being able to go to a cast party of a handful of people. Oh, parties… I’ve been called ‘The Life of the Party’ before… wut?… I am TERRIFIED of parties! Really, really terrified of big groups. I’ll be at a party and have to leave to the bathroom or to my car to cry… spend a few minutes in literal tears… fix my eye-makeup and return to the party. I’ve done this many, many, many times in my life. I don’t want to be an anti-social person, but I get easily overwhelmed and anxious. Really the only way I cope at a big party is if I tuck myself into a corner somewhere with one other person. One-on-one time and quality time are everything to me. And that’s when I really light up.

I am a Mormon.

Yeah, I’m pretty Mormon. Once I got lost in a Walmart and ended up in the alcohol aisle and I actually said out loud, “Where am I?”. HAHAHA!

I don’t post about my religion often, but it is truly me. And I truly am a believer of Christ.

Spirituality is more important to me than my religion.

I have found a personal spirituality and it is the foundation and forefront of my religious beliefs. I really have developed a strong love for exploring my spirituality. Meditation and introspection. I don’t know why I shy away from talking about it so much. I think I’m nervous that people will think I’m “kooky”. But so what? I totally am! That’s who I am! Hahaha!

I just really love communicating with The Divine. With The Spirit. With myself and the energies around me. I have a strong belief in communication. In intuition. It guides me in my daily life and choices. I don’t have to shy away from this part of myself. It’s A HUGE PART of myself. I love my church but my personal spirituality and relationship with God has become the priority for me. I can ask Him anything and receive wisdom and knowledge. It’s a constant battle to put aside my pride and be open-minded to this communication. Open-minded to the fact that I know so little. To the fact that others on Earth and their diversity have so much to teach me as well.

I’m artsy fartsy

Same with spirituality… I don’t know why I hold back this part of me so much, because it’s actually a big part of me! … I find meaning in everything. And everything is lovely and purposeful to me. The shape of the trees and the size of the moon. All these metaphors and lessons all around us. Art is everything. Art is civilization. The hippie culture resonates with me. I enjoy symbolic performance art unironically. (There, I finally said it!) All I want to do is create. If I’m not creating everything feels heavy and sad. I live to create and enjoy creation.

I have weird taste in movies…

Open apology but if you’ve ever asked me if I’ve liked a movie and all I said was yes… I probably lied. I never NOT have a really strong opinion about a movie! I think I lie because I would never want to rain on someone who has connected with a piece of art. I’m not trying to be pretentious or a critic… because the stuff that I actually DO like is weird as hell! I never noticed until Dan pointed this out but I “only watch old movies”. But he’s right! I really do prefer old movies to anything else. Just the same as music.

So I don’t know. It’s not anything shocking or unique. But it’s me. And I realized that I don’t have the easiest time sharing myself. I’ve been spending too much of my life trying to mold myself into whatever will make the other person the most comfortable… but why do that? Why can’t I be my artsy, new-age Mormon bundle of anxieties? There’s nothing wrong with who I am. Even these little things. And if it takes a year of pandemic isolation for me to love who I really am, then that’s okay. And I’m here. Writing these miniscule things about myself but feeling free to do it.

Love is accepting another person for who they are, especially the things that make them different. So this is how I love myself, by accepting these “weird” things about me.

The 20 Worst Things About Playing ‘Among Us’

My family and I are in love with this little game… but there are definitely some downsides… here are the top 20 worst parts about playing ‘Among Us’ online:

1 .02 seconds after everyone pops into your room and start bombarding the chat with this

RED: Start

PURPLE: Start

YELLOW: strt

RED: Start

RED: Start

YELLOW: strt pls

2 But then half of the players bail the same second they find out they’re not The Imposter

SelfAbsorbed has just left the game.

3 When someone slams the emergency button just to tell you this

WHITE: Guys, I have scan. Watch me?

4 Or when someone comes on the chat with this bullcrap

LIME: Who wants to date? How old are you?

CYAN: 12

LIME: Cool! Uh yeah, me too.

ME:

5 And all the preteens make fun of you when you lecture them not to give out their personal info

CYAN: lol it’s my phone number not my social security number

6 When you witness and report the murder and everyone votes you off instead

BLACK: self report

7 When none of the other ghosts want to have a spooky side chat

PURPLE: Pink did me, who killed u?

8 When The Imposter executes a perfect “stack kill” and you can’t tell who it was.

RED: skip i guess

BROWN: skip

9 When you’re fixing wires and you see someone run up behind you

10 When The Imposter keeps turning the lights off but AIN’T NO WAY YOU GOIN INTO THE DARK ELECTRIC ROOM TO FIX IT

11 When you sus the wrong person and then you look sus for getting them thrown off

12 When someone dies and their pet mourns them in the cafeteria

13 When the settings are on 3,800 tasks rather than 4-5

14 Or when the voting time is a full ten minutes…

15 And there’s always that one guy who takes the full ten minutes to vote

RED: BLUE!!! VOTE!!

PINK: Kick him!!

16. When the speed isn’t what you’re used to and you’re either crawling through mud or slamming around like a pinball

ORANGE: Purple sus he was running into walls instead of fixing reactor

PURPLE: Bruh! This 3X player speed is out of control!

17. When you’re waiting for the game to start and someone asks

BROWN: Hey can I have pink?

18. Even worse when someone responds with

PINK: No.

19. When someone shows up with the same cheese hat as you and you have to change into a pair of candy canes

20. When it’s two in the morning and you finally have to stop playing

ME: Okay one more game.

ME: Okay one more.

ME: One more game.

My 2020 Calendar Predictions (Woof)

For the past couple of years I have been making personalized calendars with predictions of what each month would bring…

HOW COULD ANYONE HAVE PREDICTED 2020????

Well, not us! Here is what we thought our 2020 was going to be like, compared to, of course, the actual surreal year it turned out to be.

January

“Find a House”

True

Not only did we find, get our offer accepted and go through the process of A DUD HOUSE. But we found our perfect home the very last weekend of January.

February

“Close on a House”

True!

We closed end of February

March

“Move into our house”

True again!

I don’t know how Daniel predicted this timeline so perfectly, but we moved on his birthday weekend… the weekend the stay-at-home mandate was announced

April

“Be offered a full time position”

False

Due to elective surgeries shutting down, my husband hours were cut working at the hospital. Things normalized and we were offered a full time position six months later.

May

“Find out someone is pregnant”

False

We did find out about our new cousin in August though 🙂

June

“See success with Mom’s Beatle book”

Mixed?

Not sure how to define “success” but I was able to begin editing the second draft this year

July

“Share a vacation with Grandma”

False

Pretty depressing

August

“Start preschool”

False

After everything that was going on I was not planning to enroll Jack in preschool… but he could NOT stop talking about it every single day! In October we made the decision and enrolled him. He loves it and it has not been an issue with COVID (so far)

September

“Talk Daddy into Disneyland again”

False

Disneyland wasn’t even open!

October

“Have an epic family costume”

True??

I don’t know about “epic” haha, but we did have a family costume. Jurassic Park theme.

November

“Get a new president”

True!

Wasn’t sure whether or not that would happen!

December

“Have decided to grow our family”

Mixed

With the risks and complications of COVID, we decided to wait.

Last year, I got it about half right. 50/50 chance… I would say this year it was still pretty close! Most of the predictions DID come true, but not on the actual month we though (i.e. preschool, Dan’s job).

After everything that happened this year, I think 50% is pretty impressive!

5 Reason’s Why you Loved The Queen’s Gambit

A TV show about chess. Why were we so obsessed?

I binged this show in a handful of days. MESMERIZED TO TEARS. This was one of the few series that reminds me how desperately passionate I am about storytelling. Here are my authorly reasons why this series was so captivating. (lite spoilers)

1. They take their time in a meaningful way

Personally, as a writer I’m terrible at this, so I was just in AWE of how flawlessly they pulled this off. It was really a genius move to make a limited series rather than a full movie. They slowed everything down to fully develop the story and the characters throughout the episodes, but it didn’t FEEL slow. And that’s because each shot and scene were purposeful toward the narrative.

You don’t have any of that heavy misplaced exposition. You don’t hear some character droning on about how “Margret from high school became a sad alcoholic.” The MC runs into Margret at the store and hears the liquor bottles clink under the baby carriage. And that’s it. It’s never explicitly said. But we know exactly what it means.  Proving that YES, you can pull off show vs tell in a cinematic sense. 

The Queen’s Gambit is FULL of this brilliant storytelling. Taking time to really show what the other characters are thinking and feeling without saying it. I think the most capital example is the way the Borgov raises his eyebrows when Beth resigns her Paris game in tears. That expression alone. That .04 seconds of screen time and YOU KNOW. You know that character is not the ruthless Soviet antagonist. You know Borgov is a sympathetic man who completely understands Beth. That shot perfectly sets up his warm reaction toward her in the end. (Which made me bawl by the way thank you very much) Such dynamic characters! LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT!

2. The characters are real

Be honest… did you or did you not Google whether Beth Harmon was a real person? BECAUSE IT FELT LIKE A TRUE STORY. If you told me it was a true story, I wouldn’t have flinched! And not just Beth but each character is so carefully developed and detailed with their own voices and experiences. They’re not just pegs of a stool holding up the protagonist, any ONE of them could have had a compelling series themselves.

I never stop complaining about “the generic good-looking cast” that so many movies dish out. It makes the whole movie seem like a catalog ad and not a believable set of people. So I really appreciated that they let the people LOOK real. Even Beth, who in the show is called “pretty” many times, and yeah she is, but in a REAL kind of way. Like someone you would sit across from at the airport. Not a matte photo of a model at a beach shoot.

Another thing I noticed, is they would introduce a seemingly small character and then bring them back a few episodes later. This happened over and over again! Which said one thing to me… this writer loved their characters. This writer loved their characters so much that they had to bring them back and add more and more details. Their crooked teeth. The knife they carry. The full detailed life they had since they last saw Beth. I fell in love with these characters because the creators loved them. And they were actual meaningful driving forces in the protagonists life.


3. The simplicity

I just imagine the original author pitching the novel like:

Tevis: Okay, so there’s this orphan…

Publisher: Yeah?

Tevis: And she’s really good at chess.

Publisher: Okay.

Tevis: Like… super good.

Publisher: … … Can she at least have an addiction of some sort?

Tevis: Yeah, probably. But it’s mostly that she’s really good at chess.

(On my TBD list)

I have never been SO invested in chess in all my life. I never thought I would be on the edge of my seat watching so many chess matches. Caring SO MUCH whether or not this character was going to win. And that’s it! I do think the addiction aspect gave Beth a nice arc and made a clear self-antagonist… but really I cared way more about the chess than anything else. Because BETH cares about the chess more than anything else! We get it! Through the story-telling we understand that for this character, chess is the goal, the motivation and the stakes. And we believe the simplicity. She’s passionate about chess and that’s it.

4. Let’s talk about that actress!

Anya Taylor-Joy. Girl. Wow.

A trait of the Beth Harmon character is that she is solemn and mostly expressionless. That would be SUCH a challenge to portray well. I don’t know HOW they pulled this off, but they really did! I was completely sucked into her emotions. At every moment you knew how she was feeling without obvious expression on her face. Brilliantly done! If she were losing a chess match, fists up to the sides of her temples. If she were winning, fingers clasped under the chin. The consistency was flawless. Not just the adult actress but her childhood counterpart as well. They seamlessly made the character one.

5. THE PRODUCTION WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND DETAILED

I love the sixties. I mean, obviously I do. And I love time period dramas. Of course. SO HELLO! No wonder I was a little biased towards this show. The music was SO good! So fitting too! And THE OUTFITS!! THE PRETTY PRETTY OUTFITS! ALL THE OUTFITS! GIVE ME ALL THE OUTFITS MORE MORE MORE

Excuse me while I swoon over this show for another three months.