Friday, August 31, 2012

September 1 - Wedding Anniversary

 What's September 1st?  Our 23rd wedding anniversary.  AND the opening day of dove season. I married a hunter and he chose that date because he'd always remember it. He did not hunt on our wedding day or that weekend, but he hasn't missed too many years. Because September 1st falls on Labor Day weekend this year, it's an added bonus - more time in the great outdoors.

Here's my idea of camping, games, and the sporting life - Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open air cafe in Paris - Oscar Wilde.
 We said "I do" at the Arlington TX courthouse. The judge presided over a very nice (and short) ceremony.I wore my best Calvin Klein jeans.
 Champagne toast in the parking lot at Gilligan's restaurant. Classy plastic cups. My father paid for the most inexpensive reception ever - burgers and fries for approximately ten people. It was tasty. Gilligan's is where Ray and I met in person for the first time. We had talked work on the phone, and the outside salesgirl from Schweber Electronics set us up.

A lot grayer now and those skinny jeans are long gone. But we're still laughing and loving and having fun. Ray will head to happy hunting grounds on Friday eve, and come home a tired trooper on Sunday. Happy Anniversary!!!

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage - Martin Luther

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Technology and Daniel Silva

This is a quick post today, but I read a Word Craft article in the Wall Street Journal that caught my eye. In it, author Daniel Silva discusses his research. He's fortunate to be able to actually travel to The Vatican, to Jerusalem, and across the Golan Heights to write authentic scenes. However, he acknowledges how easy it is to click on the Internet and capture a lot of atmosphere from pictures and travel commentary.

In his actual stories, "I find myself trying to keep technology at bay ...whenever possible, I focus on the human being using the technology rather than on the technology itself."

He goes on to find electronic marvels "intrusive to real-life human interactions."  Mr.Silva writes in longhand on yellow legal pads. Only after sentences are fully formed does he transfer his work to the computer. He appreciates his ebook sales, but "in the back of my mind, I wonder whether a book is still a book, if it is not a book."

Food for thought, as he laughs that he's "receding in time. Perhaps quill and ink soon."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Plot Party

Sara, Lauren, Susan, and Ann - fellow writers discussing word issues.
  Trinity Writers' Workshop normally meets on Saturdays at the Trinity Arts Building in Bedford, Texas.  However, this past Saturday we met at the home of long-time member Bonnie Pemberton for a plot party. Twenty-four people attended with twelve people offering up a synopsis of their writing issues and questions they asked us to ponder.

Who died first - the wimpy husband, the heiress, or the gardener? Who is the murderer? What about that strange woman in the store - was her question part of a cult? Bats? Electricity? The Amazon Trilogy. All this and more was discussed as ideas begat ideas and the author in question furiously jotted notes.

Food, oh the food - we ate well, snacked some more, and enjoyed Clarice Bostick's homemade ice cream cake (her secret is the amaretto). Laughter prevailed.
An offsite plot party is a great way to renew a group's energy. It's loosey-goosey and the only limitation is the imagination.

Look out publishing world - there are some interesting stories headed your way in the future.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne movies starring Matt Damon were exciting, action packed, government conspiracy thrillers. Rest assured - The Bourne Legacy continues the tradition of baffling, intriguing opening plot sequences that reel us into confusion. Then the movie's spool unwinds with clues, and we along with Aaron (Jeremy Renner) figure out good guys/bad guys and how to evade them all.

Bourne is gone and yet all that he symbolizes lives on in new chemically enhanced operatives. However, as Aaron slowly realizes, he's a wanted man and all of the others have been killed. Plus, he needs his meds. Going straight to the source - the lab - he ends up with a doctor (Rachel Weisz) who had done his workups for years. She, too, becomes a target for elimination and the two have to trust each other, work together, and run like heck through Manila, Philippines. Now if this paragraph totally confused you, well that's the zigzag and surprises aplenty in The Bourne Legacy. I'm not going to reveal more.

Excellent cast. David Straithairn is back. Edward Norton is commanding as the guy trying to shut down the program, knowing the whole thing is ready to blow sky high. He's constantly saying, "If this goes further…" and "Top secret." Jeremy Renner is perfect as the new version of Bourne. He's a tightly wound actor anyway, and in this movie he's coiled to perfection. Rachel Weisz is a great accomplice - smart, pretty, and physically fit.

The Bourne Legacy zooms, hums, and has awesome chase scenes, plenty of blow-em-ups, and fills the bill for a smart summer thriller.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Phyllis Diller: Opening Comedy Doors

Phyllis Diller (1917-2012) died Monday at the age of 95. She began her comedy career after age 40. I first remember her as a kid, when I was allowed to stay up and watch Ed Sullivan. Who was this woman waving a cigarette holder, hair looking electrocuted, with an infectious cackle, and a husband named Fang?

She was hilarious with great lines, superb delivery, and self deprecating humor. She opened the comedy door for women. A lot of comedy is in the act, but when I read some of her lines, they stood on their own. I appreciate good writing and a chuckle. Hope these make you smile and remember a funny lady.

My husband fell in a river right in front of me and drowned. I rushed to the bank but he had already withdrawn all his money.

A terrible thing happened to me last night again - nothing

The only thing my husband and I have in common is that we were married on the same day.

Whatever you may look like, marry a man of your own age: as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Light Hearted Day

Decided to lighten the mood with some fun literature themed quotes:

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train - Oscar Wilde

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal - T.S. Eliot

This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force - Dorothy Parker

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the yard and shot it - Truman Capote

Free verse is like playing tennis with the net down - Robert Frost

There are just three rules for writing - but nobody knows what they are - Somerset Maugham

I know I have won the Nobel Prize for literature. Stop babbling, man: how much? W.B.Yeats

Critics are just cut-throat bandits in the path of fame - Robert Burns

Hope this brightened your Thursday - onward to a great weekend

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Movie: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a small independent film with the feel of a documentary. It takes place in the south, an area the natives call The Bathtub. Surrounded by water, in the shadow of a levee, it's primitive living. We meet Hushpuppy, a girl around six years old, as she bounds around her trailer wearing underpants, a top, and plastic white boots. Her daddy (Dwight Henry as Wink) in another makeshift trailer throws a chicken on the grill, calls to her to put her pants on and come eat. Roosters roam through, dogs wait for a bite, trash piles up, and times are tough.

Plenty of moonshine to go around as the big storm approaches. Folks batten down the hatches and pray. When morning comes and Hushpuppy and her father emerge, they see a new water world. Their old one is submerged. In an improvised boat - the back of a pickup truck with a motor and huge oil drums as pontoons- the two float along to find other survivors.

The remains are heartbreaking but the joy in finding the living is exhilarating. Soon, government intervenes to "save" these folks. But they've never lived in society. It's bewildering and despite the dad's medical condition (i.e. he's dying from a blood disease), the Bathtub clan plan their escape and head back to the world they know.

It's amazing and gut-wrenching at the same time to watch these folks' lives. Yet they are strong and will survive. The girl playing Hushpuppy, Quivenzhane Wallis, is a revelation - so cute, so resilient - she is a superb little non-trained actress. Beasts of the Southern Wild is raw and will stick with you for a while.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

What is the Liebster Blog Award?

“The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers.

The Meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.”   Thanks Kate

Here are your 11 questions:

1. Who is your favorite author?  So many to choose from, but David Sedaris always makes me laugh
2. What is your favorite book?  Classic - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
latest read that was excellent - Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacsson 
and The Hunger Games Trilogy - wow!

3. Do you give books as gifts? If so, how do you decide which book to give?  I definitely give books as gifts for children. Baby shower - start the library with some Dr.Seuss.  For adult friends - it depends on the person.

4. Who is your favorite up and coming author?  I want to read Gillian Flyn's Gone Girl. I've read excerpts and it looks great.

5. What music do you love?   Classics like The Eagles, Hall & Oates, Inxs.
New pop - Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Adele

6. What art do you love?  Impressionists for painting.  And I really like wood sculptures

7. Coffee or Tea?   Diet Coke

8. Vanilla or Chocolate?  Chocolate

9. Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn?   Autumn (in PA with real leaves)   not in TX with brown leaves

10. Beginning or End?    Beginning

11. Why do you blog?  I enjoy sharing reviews of books, movies, travel, or aspects of writing. It's like a warm up for creativity and I try to blog twice a week.

Liebsters to so many - check out my blog links on the right side of my blog - Cozy in TX, Annalisa Crawford, Helen Ginger, Sherry Ellis to name a few. The blog world variety is enthralling

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nostalgia - baseball poems

Summer and baseball. I have two new poems in  Baseball Bard

One is  Hot Streak 

The other is

Red Bat prompted a discussion from my family. Fond memories indeed. Turns out the bat is fifty years old. My Pop-Pop Shutters bought it for me at the Q-Mart in Quakertown, PA. It was oversized plastic - bright red in color. My sister remembers it as faded pink by the time she got to play with it (she's ten years younger than me). Turns out my brother still has it and his kids (now 18 and 21) played with it.
David sent us this picture - it's bone white and doesn't seem as big or unwieldy as when I was four.

Here's what my brother had to say during out email discussion - Would someone like to be buried with the bat! I still have it. Faded totally and cracked at the top

Summertime memories - what's old and faded in your closet?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Review: Lone Wolf

Jodi Picoult knows how to write an engaging tale. Lone Wolf is no exception. I like her method of intertwining stories, so the book pulls together from multiple perspectives. Voices are distinctive, characters are human, motives are muddled at times, and the reader will keep turning pages.

From the book blurb: In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren't so lucky.

Lone Wolf is about Luke Warren, a scientist who's studied and lived with wolves his whole life. His bonds with a wolf pack are almost tighter than with his own family - ex wife Georgie, son Edward who fled to Thailand for a new life, and daughter Cara, who lived with her father and is fiercely loyal. But she was in the pivotal car crash that brings them all back to the hospital to make life/death decisions.

Here's Cara talking about her father to a court psychologist: "Have you ever been swimming in the summer when a cloud comes in front of the sun. You know how, for a few seconds, you are absolutely freezing in the water. But, then all of a sudden the sun's back out and you're warm again and when you tell people how much fun you had swimming you wouldn't even think to mention those clouds." Cara shrugged. "That's what it's like with my father."

Family secrets, motives, relationships, and love are written in the layers of this story. Picoult writes human emotions in depth, and it's easy to sympathize and empathize with each character. Lone Wolf will keep your interest and keep you guessing as to whether this family can pull together for tough choices.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Ray

 August 1st birthday
candles add heat
to the Texas inferno of
good wishes, cheer, and love
that burn for you
 happiness and health
can't ask for much more
well, maybe treats to cover
multi-sports - scuba, hunting
baseball - big score
let's celebrate the day
week, month, and year
cake baked, dinner I'll cook
Ray, you're Olympic gold
in my book

Happy Birthday, Ray!!!!           

note - pics taken in Clearwater, FL where life was cool, fresh, and relaxing. Temps in Texas on August 1st expected to hit 108 F.  Dinner might just be ice cream.