Sorry, I Just Think It’s Weird—House of the Dragon, updates on a new book, a reunion & Italy

Thoughts on House of the Dragon’s Casting

Last Sunday night on House of the Dragon, they replaced the two actresses who played Raenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey) with two other actresses as ten years had passed between the previous episode and Sunday night’s. The switch was jarring—they didn’t look or act like the previous characters. I’m sorry, I just think it’s weird in today’s era of movie making that they would choose to do this—films age characters all the time. What’s even stranger is that Matt Smith who plays Daemon, continues in his role, looking no older than before despite the passage of 10 years. As well, Paddy Considine, the actor who plays Dragon King Viserys, the father of Raenyra, was aged with makeup. What gives? I didn’t much care for the casting decisions by The Crown, either, when they decided to have young actors play the roles of Queen Elizabeth and Philip and others in the first two seasons, then hired a new cast for Seasons 3 & 4, and then again cast new actors for Seasons 5 & 6. Is this a new trend? Did they learn nothing from Brad Pitt’s portrayal and makeup/aging changes in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? As viewers, we’re okay with makeup and aging or making someone look more youthful. I want the old Raenyra back. She was amazing.

Sorry, I’m just not too pleased. And I love Game of Thrones, so it’s a little disappointing. They didn’t change any actors in the original Game of Thrones over the 10 years (except for the Daario Naharis switch when there was an actor conflict).

This is a small thing in life, I realize. But if I were those female actors, I’d be annoyed.

What I’m Writing Now – Dodging Love

My latest work of fiction that’s one the market — THE LETTERS IN THE BOOKS — and what is forthcoming, DODGING LOVE.

After you publish a novel, as I did in July with The Letters in the Books, the question you have to be prepared to answer is this: What are you writing now?

Well, I can answer that. I’m writing something a little different…a little darker…and it’s historical fiction. Taking place from 1956-1957, I’m writing a story about a female reporter/author who gets caught up in writing the story of a Mafiosi’s life (or mafia Godmother, as they are sometimes called), drama with her own sister, and a fellow writer as a love interest who enters the picture. It’s a story of family secrets, betrayal, love, and revenge. Right now, I’ve written 44,574 words, and I’m guessing it’s going to end up around 80,000 words, so I’m more than halfway there. I’m writing in a different style, too. Low on adjectives and adverbs and high on short, curt sentences, I’m working on painting the picture of a hurt and struggling protagonist. I’ve had to research the era, including what it was like in New York City, where the story is set. You may wonder why it’s called Dodging Love. The love interest of my protagonist is a sports writer who covers The Brooklyn Dodgers before they move to Los Angeles. What will happen to these two?

I’m looking forward to seeing where and how this one ends up. Even I will be surprised by the path this one takes.

Packing for Italy

retro camera with flowers accessories and clothes
Photo by Ali Naaz on

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been getting organized for our 25th anniversary trip to Italy. This will be our second time visiting Italy, but it’s been a while. We went before we had children, so we’re excited to venture back. This trip will take us to Rome, Sorrento, Naples, Capri, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and then back to Rome. The last time we went, St. Peter’s was under scaffolding as they prepared for the year 2000 celebrations. I’m excited to see it, as well as the Pieta and the Sistine Chapel again. I long to eat pizza and drink wine and sit in a piazza. Since we’re going in October, the weather can be tricky, so I’m packing lots of layers and comfy shoes for walking the streets of Positano.

Orioles Staff Reunion

Annual Reunion

Finally, on Friday night, the annual Orioles Staff Reunion took place in the outfield bar at Camden Yards. Approximately 60 of us showed up to catch up and celebrate the Orioles’ great season this year! It was fun to catch up with people who became family when we all worked together for the Baltimore Orioles over many years. When you work in baseball and have to produce 81 games a year, you grow up together and get to know each other well. It was great to see everyone, and I look forward to next year’s reunion!

Three of these couples met at the Orioles and married each other. Any guesses? 😉
With some of my favorite people!

Happy Hump Day!


STEPHANIE VERNI is the author of THE LETTERS IN THE BOOKS; FROM HUMBUG TO HUMBLE: THE TRANSFORMATION OF EBENEZER SCROOGE; BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE; INN SIGNIFICANT; LITTLE MILESTONES; THE POSTCARD; and ANNA IN TUSCANY. She is also a co-author of the textbook, EVENT PLANNING: COMMUNICATING THEORY & PRACTICE. Currently an adjunct professor at Stevenson University Online, she instructs communication courses for undergraduate and graduate students. She and her husband reside in Severna Park, Maryland, and have two children. On the side, she enjoys fashion and writing travel articles for

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