• Matthew Staggs

Catching Up

It's true, you're not crazy, there was no weekly post from me last Friday. It's been busy around here, and last Friday I was simply unable to find the time or energy to put into my weekly round up of all the goings on in the world, or at least my world.

First things first, last Saturday just so happened to be my birthday! I won't tell you which one it was, suffice it to say that it begins and ends with the same number. I still have to remind myself how old I actually am, and needless to say, it's not a welcome memory. But it was a good day, and my wonderful wife took me out to dinner and a movie (at the same time! Thanks Studio Movie Grill), Ready Player One. More on that below.

That weekend also happened to be Easter weekend, a big holiday for me and my family. Our church hosted an Easter celebration fair that included a helicopter egg drop. Yes you heard that right. There was also plenty of other fun goings on like rock climbing and games. Here's the plot twist: we never made it there. Believe me, we tried, but as it turned out, our church's marketing campaign for the event ended up going viral, and the expected attendance of approximately 800 people was dwarfed in reality when over 5,000 people showed up! Great for the church, not so great if you didn't show up 30 minutes early.

On top of that, my wife's friend Melanie was in town for about five days, staying in our spare bedroom. She has been living in the US for the past two years as an au pair (live-in nanny), and is originally from Germany. She worked for several months next door to my parents-in-law, where we also happened to be living while our current house was being built. Her assignment is up, and she is touring the country for a month before going home. While she hasn't ready Containment, she said she plans to order it once she is back in Germany. Internationally known!

The final impediment to my weekly post was the fact that I was traveling for work last week, getting back late Thursday. I managed to get in some words toward Eradication after hours, but I was left with energy for little else by the end of the week. And if you're wondering, yes I still have a day job.

Moving on...

I posted a few weeks ago about the mysterious disappearance of CDC employee Timothy Cunningham, who told coworkers that he was going home feeling sick from work, and never returned. This week, his body was found in a river in Atlanta, GA, the home of the headquarters of the CDC. While we pray for Mr. Cunningham's family, there are some curious circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

The police have found no evidence of foul play, though they cannot rule out the possibility. Cunningham was a known jogger, and found wearing his jogging shoes. This would help understand why all of his personal effects were located in his apartment, along with his dog. However, it is hard to believe that not even his phone, identification, or keys would have been with him.

There were conflicting reports about Cunningham's status within the CDC. The police initially reported that Cunningham had been distressed about being passed over for a promotion. However, the CDC refuted this claim, stating instead that Cunningham had been given an early promotion in July, 2017.

Cunningham worked with Chronic diseases, not infectious diseases, making it unlikely that he was exposed to anything potentially dangerous that could have resulted in his disappearance. Although he had been part of the response team regarding Ebola and Zika.

In lighter news, April looks to be a big month for Sci-Fi, with several shows premiering new seasons, including: The Crossing, Legion, Lost in Space, The Expanse, Into the Badlands, The 100, The Handmaid's Tale, and my personal favorite, Westworld. Totes excited.

I mentioned above that we went to see Ready Player One. Make no mistake, there's no deep philosophical message underlying the theme of the movie, and the "fight the man" is the prevailing argument, common in most dystopian films. But it was an enjoyable ride, filled with hundreds of easter eggs (appropriate for the opening weekend...) of pop culture references from the 1980's and the world of gaming. Most notably, Iron Giant and the Delorean from Back to the Future. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves nostalgia and has ever been a gamer.

Finally, Eradication continues to move forward, albeit slowly. I'm still targeting May 30th as the release date for both digital and print versions of the books. This past week, I attempted to try a new schedule to get on track, getting up at 5 am to give myself extra time to write. My daughters, 3.5 and 2, had other plans. On both days I attempted to get up early, they woke up 30 and 40 minutes earlier than normal, and are both going through stages of sleep regression and no longer sleeping through the night. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

If you've read Containment and Quarantine, and you haven't yet, please do me a huge favor and go to Amazon and leave a review. It doesn't have to be 5 stars (though I hope yo

u enjoyed it), I'm just asking that it be honest. It is incredibly helpful in getting my books up in the rankings and helps get it in front of more readers eyes. Social proof is the best form of advertising, and any help that you can give is greatly appreciated.

That's it for this (and last) week. Until next time...

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Let‘s get real here for a second. I mean, like, really real. No filter, no promotion speak, just me and you, writer to reader. Writing Eradication is hard. When I first set out to write Containment, I