• Jason Haskins

All is calm as we reach the midpoint of 2019


Settling in to write this monthly update, one that sometimes involves what's going in my world, sometimes involves processes on writing, and most always gives a brief fly by of what's happening in the Treasure Valley, I realized something valuable about my routine: All is calm.

That is not to say that June did not keep me occupied -- as will July -- because it did. There was filming of short films, re-writing of plays, hammering out pages of The Dragon Slayer , a ten-minute play festival with HomeGrown Theatre, and a lot of reading.

Some of the reading has been in research and prep for the continued building of the fantasy world represented in The Dragon Princess, The Blue Gem, and the upcoming The Dragon Slayer. One thing I've learned, as I get deeper into this series, is that the history keeps expanding, leading to me keeping more detailed notes, reading up on actual historical events from ancient times, and writing shorter stories that may or may not play into the characters currently residing in this fantasy world.

I'm also living in the urban fantasy world of Robert Jackson Bennett and his newest, Foundryside. I enjoyed his Divine Cities trilogy, and, while his newest jumps into another world, the style is still the same, as are the themes.

I've also dug into the worlds of George Burns and Bob Fosse, with the Burns' book Living it Up: Or, They Still Love Me in Altoona and the biography of Fosse titled All His Jazz.

This is on top of the plays I've been reading in advance of Alley Repertory Theater's upcoming 2019-20 season. We have a couple of fantastic plays swirling around the magic pot and it's always great to settle in and read a variety of plays.

Even has I've upped my reading the last month or so -- and Danny, if you're reading this, reading your novel has been started -- I've still found a little time to see some live theater and catch up on what's new (or old) in the music, television, and movie world.

Entertainment

I'll admit it. Old Town Road by Nas X has grown on me.

Podcast listening has taken a back seat as of late but I one I still listen to -- outside of That Baseball Show - is Literary Disco. Hosted by Rider Strong, Tod Goldberg, and Julia Pistell, these three friends discuss, for roughly an hour, an item (or items) from the literary world.

And once in a while, they'll toss a nice music suggestion the listener's way, as they did with Henry Jamison:

Always been a big fan of singer-song writers and Jamison is right up my alley. He even does a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind".

Truthfully, I don't go to the movies enough. I saw Avengers: Endgame and I think that's the last film I saw at the cinema. My good intentions of going often fall by the wayside but I did recently watch on DVD Us, Jordan Peele's newest.

Years without premium cable or a laptop/device that streamed decently have left me a bit behind in the television show universe. While I'm up-to-date on shows like Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and True Detective, there are shows like Shameless, Deadwood, The Good Place, and The Handmaid's Tale that I'm still playing catch up on.

At the top of the list currently, however, is Euphoria. Definitely not for the faint of heart, with its depiction of drug abuse and adult situations, but worth checking out.

I have given up hope trying to see everything new that comes out and/or is recommended to me. You finish one show, or get caught up with a series, and 100 more appear in their places. While it's great for the content creators of the world, it's nearly impossible to watch everything. And I'm not one to binge more than two episodes at a time, so my viewing is usually streteched out over months.

I've also spent a lot of time watching the Women's World Cup and the men's national team in the Gold Cup, meaning soccer is back en vogue in my life.

This has been my T.E.D. talk.

Around the Treasure Valley

A few quick items of note: - Boise's Funniest Person contest is back at The Liquid. The 20 finalists have been named, with their first performance taking place on July 6.

- Shakespeare's As You Like It is being produced by the Encore Theater Company, opening July 19 at Meridian City Hall.

- The Boise Bard Players will be giving the valley more Shakespeare, with The Tempest being produced at the Bishop's House (the old state pen) on July 19 and July 21.

- The Visual Arts Collective in Garden City has a full lineup, especially in the second half of July, with music and burlesque shows on the agenda.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

Be bold. Be kind.

#TheBlueGem #TheDragonSlayer #TheDragonPrincess

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