Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bucks County Fall

My Thanksgiving trip to PA did not involve all eating. While I dined well from Pudge's cheesesteak to turkey to my sister's meatballs, I fed the mind as well. Dad and I trekked to Doylestown in Bucks County and wandered the halls of the James A. Michener Art Museum . We enjoyed the current exhibit The Painterly Voice

From Edward Hicks to Baum, Redfield, Coppedge, and Daniel Garber (see Tanis above), my eyes delighted in paintings of trees, country barns, meandering rivers, and frozen landscapes. More than two hundred paintings highlighted the style of Bucks County artists and their colleagues in New Hope. Particularly lovely is the use of light and color.

Then outdoors, I could admire the grand finale of fall. (And I didn't have to rake leaves.)

The Michener Museum exhibit proved enlightening and enjoyable. The curator's written commentary was light, amusing, and casual. We dined on a visual treat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Thanksgiving 2011

I'm very grateful for my family and friends. I'm excited that my book My Zoo World: If All Dogs Go to Heaven, Then I'm in Trouble is published. It's been a great year with poems and flash fictions chosen for various on-line journals.

I'm employed. My husband's employed. We have health insurance. Wow - that says a lot.

My father, at 80 (no, he doesn't admit to being a senior) is energetic and healthy. I'm SO grateful. My sister is doing great, as well as my brother and his family. All in all, I have so much to be thankful for.

Here's a humorous poem to celebrate Thanksgiving and enter the Christmas season:

Peace on earth

bow my head in church and pray
one eye on my teen brother, he texts his girl
other eye on Nate Holcomb, my enemy
I hate him, but it's Sunday so I can't, should
pray for his soul, for that pious face
to break out in zits, but that's not Christian

close my eyes, soar above the congregation
imagine peace on earth, or at least my
sister's grubby fingers out of my stuff
sorry I pushed her, but she stole my glitter
shirt, claimed it was borrowed, but that
implies consent. Stomach growls
pray for last piece of pumpkin pie


and peace on earth

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Movie Review: Puss in Boots

My husband and I, the only people in the theater not accompanying children, snickered louder than the rest of the Puss in Boots audience. Sheer clever enjoyable entertainment that was adult and kid friendly. That's a tough trick. The Toy Story trilogy pulled it off, as well as the Shrek franchise, and now its successful spin-off - Puss in Boots.

Antonio Banderas voices Puss purr-fectly - ladies man, fighter, and charmer. Salma Hayek is his match in Kitty. Zach Galifianakis is excellent as Humpty Dumpty. Essentially, Puss met Humpty as a foster child. They hit it off and had big dreams, brothers forever. Well, Humpty is a bad egg, constantly working the deals, and leaving Puss holding the bag. Just when all is seemingly forgiven, they work to steal magic beans from Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) - the Bonnie and Clyde of fairy tales. Magic beans in hand, they grow the beanstalk to nab the Golden Goose or at least her chick. It's all going to be fabulous - repaying the old town, their foster mother, and living happily ever after. Only, there's a double cross and disappointment.

Fortunately Puss works his own magic and redeems himself as the hero. Did you expect anything less? Lose yourself in amazing animation. Chuckle at clever throw-away lines. Eat a huge tub of popcorn. Puss in Boots is a movie treat. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stephen King:Rare Appearance

Stephen King.

Standing ovation before the man even spoke. Wow! He is a literary magician. On Writing is the bible for writing students. The Stand started it all. IT still scares the bejeezus out of us. Carrie - the book was amazing. The movie introduced us to Sissy Spacek, an impeccable actress.

And so it goes. Our bookshelves groan under the weight of Stephen King's words. I'm grateful each Christmas for his tremendous production, and Ray acts surprised every time he opens a book present. It's tradition.

11/22/63 is Mr.King's latest offering. I have not read it yet. However, his author discussion was fascinating. His opinion is that Oswald assassinated Kennedy alone. Mr King basically said, "Follow the bullet." The book involves time travel and the chance to change history. No doubt, in the world of Stephen King, nothing is predictable or a sure thing.

As we left the Majestic (a gem of a theater), Ray said, "You could spend a day with Stephen King." Indeed, he was funny, charming, opinionated, self deprecating, and a tad odd. Altogether, the perfect dinner guest. I thank the Sixth Floor Museum for hosting an excellent author event.

Stephen King. Standing ovation.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day Salute

Lovely Saturday morning at Spinks Airfield, Fort Worth Texas. Under blue skies, folks could admire The Flying Fortress and contemplate history.

The majestic power of the B17 is formidable. The numbers are staggering - successful missions, and alas, horrific casualties in WWII.

I sat in the green metal cavern, wincing at the loud engines, looking at bombs, and trying to imagine the chaos during battle. Jouncing in the air, it was all I could do to stay seated and look out the window. I can't imagine the tension, intensity, adrenaline, and focus of our young fighters - doing their jobs, intent on an American victory. WWII veterans are in their 80s and 90s now.

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Winston Churchill, 1940

I had the amazing opportunity to fly in a B17 bomber on a sunny day - under no duress. I salute all of our veterans of service.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

TWW Marketing Seminar: Chuck Sambuchino

Chuck Sambuchino, author and editor, was the guest speaker at Trinity Writers' Workshop seminar Marketing Your Writing. He's the author of How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack and could provide information from both an author's standpoint and from the editing side.

Deb McNeill and Rosie Povar discussed writing, publishing, and the challenges both present today.

Randy Cook and Alton Bostick - well these two are trouble. You just don't know what they are talking about. Tall tales, that's for sure.

Rich Ochoa, author of Life Rolls Onand One Way Ticket to Anywhere hawked his books. His humor and humanity shine through his memoirs.

Lots of mingling and enthusiasm. Everyone came away with a greater appreciation for the effort needed to write and publish.

One key - Put down the remote, get the butt in a chair, and WRITE!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Launch

It's been a journey and an adventure both in life and publishing.
My Zoo World (If All Dogs Go to Heaven, Then I'm in Trouble) is available to buy, read, and chuckle as you turn pages.

As an animal fearing woman, Joanne Faries laughs at her acclimation to an animal loving world. She stares down swans in Sweden and a guinea pig in the washroom, but averts her eyes for the wombat in Australia.

My Zoo World is a humorous memoir of animal encounters with a twist. Among published animal tales, very few are skewed with a touch of fear and laughter on every page. Unlike books written by pet-loving authors, these chapters introduce the reader to a manic menagerie of animals: a snapping Shetland pony, a bowling ball playing pit bull, and a terrified turtle that tolerates distress. Meet Benji, the cat, Muff, the dog, and more. Friends are convinced they can overcome Joanne’s concerns with their precious pets. Join them and root for the animals as you read My Zoo World.