Friday, April 11, 2014

A to Z Challenge: J is for Jam (and David Jessup and "John Dies in the End" by David Wong)

We're speeding right along, aren't we? Already at the letter J and jogging right along toward the halfway mark.

Featured Author:  David Jessup

I had David in mind for this challenge from the beginning, but I wasn't sure whether to make him the featured author or use his excellent historical novel set in Colorado, Mariano's Crossing. I finally settled on the man instead of the book because of the unbelievable challenges he and his family have faced since September last year.

When the floods came to Northern Colorado and the Big Thompson overflowed its banks near Loveland, the waters claimed big chunks of building and ground at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch owned by the Jessups. Northern Colorado Writers held its first few fall member retreats at that ranch, so it holds a very special place in our hearts. Happily, the Jessups are rebuilding, and have been blessed by donations and volunteer labor from many of their friends who want to see Sylvan Dale back in business.

 David will soon have his second novel, Mariano's Choice, completed. It is described as a prequel to Mariano's Crossing.

Featured Book:  John Dies in the End by David Wong

This is one of the few books I'll mention that I have not read yet. I bought the novel because I like the cover, and because the stuff on the back of the book is entertaining, and I liked the short synopsis which goes like this:

"It’s a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users can drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human.

Suddenly a silent, otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs.

Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity?

No. No, they can’t."

So why haven't I read it yet? Because I've loaded myself down with so many projects I haven't had time to read anything longer than a blog post for weeks.

Word of the Day:  Jam

There are so many ways I can go with this word. Jam as in apricot jam, something I use regularly as a glaze for chicken and Norwegian salmon.

Or jam, as in traffic jam, something we'll experience often in my town as the weather gets better and all kinds of construction and road repairs and gas pipe replacements take place. Sweet progress.

Or jam as in "come on by and bring your keyboard and electric guitar and we'll jam for a couple of hours in the garage where I have my drums, which is right under the neighbor lady's office where she's trying to get some work done, but if we play real loud we can jam her concentration and ruin her day." High fives all around....

I could go on and on, but I think I've said enough.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't read the book, but I did see the movie. Very quirky.
Sad about David's ranch, but glad they are rebuilding.

Margot Kinberg said...

Hmmm...two kinds of jam I like (musical and apricot) and one I *don't* like. That said though, when I used to DJ, I would sometimes play music from the band Traffic (with Steve Winwood) and announce it as a 'Traffic jam.'

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Weren't you going to get some drums? You can have your own jam session. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

Glad I discovered your blog through Marilyn! I love polysemous words like "jam"! And, you intrigued me about the book, so I had to get it, too. It was reminiscent of one of my favorite books by Daphne Du Maurier, The House on the Strand (drug transports man across time). Thanks for an interesting post.

David P. King said...

I like the jam you spread on toast, and the kind that you listen to. But not the traffic variety. :)

Crystal Collier said...

John Dies at the End, didn't they make a movie of that? Or something similar. We rented it and watched it edited, and there was like 40 minutes of movie, but what we saw was absolutely hilarious!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex, quirky sounds good. Maybe I'll give up a little sleep so I can get the book read.

Margot, I'm learning to be patient in traffic jams....playing good music on the radio helps.

Madeline, I'm thinking as soon as the drums start next door, I could haul out my drum and beat an entirely different rhythm. I'm such a naughty rascal.

Sharon, so glad Marilyn brought you this way. Isn't she a gem?

Hi David. I need some of your sci fi/fantasy CDs to play when I know the traffic will be backed up.

Crystal--sounds like the book is a lot longer than the movie...I better read the book first.

Ruby Manchanda said...

I enjoyed reading your ramblings here

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Ruby -- yes, I do ramble, don't I? When I started the A to Z Challenge, my goal was to be short and pithy. LOL.

klahanie said...

Hi Patricia,

Yes, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar has kindly allowed me to use the computer.

Such community spirit as the Jessup's rebuild their land, their building, their lives.

Time for some jam during the traffic jam and keep amused by having a jam session.

Take good care and enjoy your weekend.

Gary :)

Bob Sanchez said...

Or "I don't have time to help you because I'm all jammed up with work."

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

David's book sounds very interesting. When I think of jam, I think of a paper jam in the printer.

Dean K Miller said...

David's book was a splendid surprise for me. I didn't really know what to expect, and his story telling and characters had me turning pages and staying up late. Read this ASAP if you haven't already.

Looks like I'll have to check out John Dies in the End. Looks/sounds intriguing.

Me...I'm jamming some spring fly fishing in before runoff...but know I have much writing to do. When that's my choice: Writing or Fly Fishing....I know life is good!

Grammy Staffy said...

I like the apricot kind of jam.... not the traffic kind... or being in a tough spot kind.

You are so clever.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I haven't read that book. I have only been reading MG and YA books of late. I like mixed fruit jam.

Trisha F said...

I love the idea of that book. The title is great. ;)

Will have to add it to my list.

Vikki T said...

Just stopping by to say Hi from the A-Z list and good luck with the rest of the challenge.

Great J post :) x

E.J. Wesley said...

The movie looked hilarious! Definitely would like to read the book. Just checking in on my friends who are doing A-Z to make sure they're still sane. :D

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read and/or comment on Day J. And E.J., I wasn't sane to begin with or I never would have signed up year one. :D