Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy and Healthy

I would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy 2010 and if God forbid you are faced with something difficult, may you find the strength to adapt, heal and move forward.
All the best,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Slap Shot - Newman, Ontkean, Hanson Brothers

Slap Shot is one of my all time favorites movies and as a sports movie, it is fantastic and hilarious. Paul Newman and cast delivered phenomenal performances. The following segment makes me laugh like hell every time. "Dave's a mess."


At some point I will do a list of my fave sports films with clips, for now. Enjoy!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sometimes It's Good to Cry

Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton

Holiday music rules most houses until after the New Year usually. While there are many fabulous holiday songs praising togetherness, Jesus, driedels and more, I have been revisiting many a song that has brought a tear to my eye or a full out bawl. In honor of those who are talented in a realm that I am not, here are some songs that have moved many and few, took us through heartache and pain and at the end of it all, gave us something that elicits an emotion with the first note. Romance has never been easy.

Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma - One of the best arias. The longing in this performance kills me every time. Here is the translation.

Judi Dench - Send in the Clowns - Sondheim was a genius.

"Johanna" from Sweeney Todd - Beautiful.

Janis Ian - Seventeen - A national anthem for many high school girls, whether they know it or not.

Sarah McLachlan - Angel - This needs no explanation, but yeah, I've been there.

Tracy Chapman - For you - Just wow.

Enya - Only Time - So very pretty.

Loreena McKennitt - The Mummer's Dance - Talk about getting transported. Ethereal.

Sinead O'Connor - Jackie - Very sad, sad song.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thoughts about storytelling

I know it is almost Christmas and I admit I am not feeling it this year. Not really sure why. I feel like, while I had a very good year, 2010 will be much better. Of course, my feelings could just be hopeful or maybe I do have a sixth sense that I will finally flourish, I have no idea. Mostly I want to feel as if I have contributed during this life of mine somehow. We are all very fortunate to know the people we know, the people we no longer know and the people we still have to meet. Like it or not, people we hate or no longer speak to have helped make us the people we are along with those that have loved us and cheered for us. All the people that have flowed in and out of my life are responsible for the woman I now am. The best and worst traits of my family and friends have touched me and have imprinted themselves on me. I will always be grateful for this because without it, I am not sure if I would have had the courage to take on the monumental life change in choosing to be a story teller.

Going along with that, author Chimamanda Adichie gave a wonderful lecture about story telling and it is very powerful. She talks about the danger of a single story. Take people of my heritage for example. Italians. We have been completely regaled to two things in the world of movies and TV. You are either a mobster or a Guido. None of my family members fell under these titles, so I was always confused as to why that was all people thought I might be. I want to change that. I want to write about characters who just happen to have Italian heritage or Haitian heritage or Cajun heritage. Heritage is important, but it is not the only thing that should define us. We should be proud of who we are and where our ancestors came from, but we also have to make people understand we are not the stereotype shoved down our throats through the media.

Have a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday with your loved ones and enjoy your traditions and pass them on. Out there somewhere someone wants to know about it.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow and Writing and Men

We have had a delightful foot of snow where we are. Delightful I say because our town was quick in clearing the roads and a neighbor plowed our driveway. Such a refreshing change from where we had originally lived. People who would only shovel up to their property line and wouldn't even speak to you if they saw you outside.
The snow has also made our dog, Isadora, giddy with power as she wheels around and eats snow. I will have to get a picture up of her to show what a true snow puppy she is.

As my quest in writing continues I admit I need a serious refresher course in proper use of punctuation. I also think I could benefit from learning more about "Description" as well. I get caught with that sometimes, unable to express what my character is really feeling of doing. Sure dialogue is the best for that, but certain scenes that do not call for dialogue need to be able to transport the reader with a damn good description. I am hoping to save up my pennies and one day take this course, either in NYC or online, through Gotham Writer's Workshop for a mere $395.00

Level 1 Fiction Writing Workshop - 10 weeks

On a much less serious note, I always have a mental picture for the characters I create. Sometimes I see them drawn as graphic novel characters like in Sandman, Love & Rockets, Spawn, etc. Then I will mish mash that with visuals in my head and even a real person, usually a model/actor/musician type. Recently I discovered someone who physically embodies the whole of one, actually two, male characters I created. How often do you envision a character and then BAM! a full fleshed out version appears? Not often. That being said, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Carter Oosterhouse's parents for unknowingly making a writer's vision real. And yes, I am including a picture below. His eye color is wrong for one of my guys, but I can work around that.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cashback - the movie

Recently watched this little gem on a whim and it was a great drama/comedy/romance. There is nudity, based on the fact that the lead character is an artist and it is used with how he sees the body. There are also discussions about the first time they recognized the female form and of course that is funny as well. Watch the trailer, see if it interests you.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Superb Quote

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” –Mark Twain

I will do a proper post tomorrow because now I am about to finishing painting the office. Then we will put up shelves and I can set up my books and writing and sewing space. Amen!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New discoveries

This is what I look like as I sit and type my blog....just kidding. Only I wish I wasn't.

Things are good here at the homestead. A dear friend let me pick through her bolts of fabric so I can once again, make curtains. Oh yeah, we chose nice pretty fabrics for living room and dining room, but the art room and office? Fun patterns you will hopefully all enjoy once you see them.

Here are recent goodies I would like to share

Natasha Wozniak - an artisan jeweler who does superb work.

Lucky Scent - I have been fortunate to receive some sample vials from a friend who orders from here. Some of the most unique perfumes I have ever smelled. You can order samples for $3 and $4. A steal.

Rustic Cabbage Soup - DELICIOUS!! - Did the President say that? What about those vaccines? They cut through all the crap and give you unbiased reporting. Wonderful.

American Duchess, 18th Century Fashion - Yes please.

I am late to the party on this one, but 1001 Rules for my Unborn Son is a fabulous blog AND book.

Mahar Drygoods - Whimsical toys to encourage imagination in children or adults.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Stephanie Plum no more

A few months ago I had the pleasure of discovering the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. The first one had me howling with laughter, so when I finished it, I was ready for more as I loved the concept behind it. I devoured the next one and the next one, slowly becoming annoyed by the ineptitude of the main character, but hung in there. I just finished reading "Eleven on Top" and that's it. I'm done. While I am a huge fan of fun, light reading, I am having a hard time sticking with a series where the main character, Stephanie, is not progressing one iota. For the love of God, how does she not know how to hold a gun by now? Her instincts have not improved at all and every ending is "deus ex machina". Just when it seems she may die or get maimed, WOOSH! here comes Ranger or Morelli. That is a whole other story line. A crooked love triangle between Stephanie and two attractive men, Ranger and Morelli. If I was one of these guys I would have had a kick to the curb session by now. Listen, I am not trying to imply all books should be on par with Pulitzer Prize winners, but there has to be some point where as you are filling in the formula you go, "Hmph, let's throw a surprise in here, show she understands how to use the stun gun now or let's not have her get thwarted the exact same way by an FTA again." So my dear Stephanie, it has been fun, but alas, I have moved on and will be digging into Raymond Carver's short stories compiled in "Where I'm Calling From" and "Love Stories for the Time Being" by Genie D. Chipps which are stories by 26 master writers.
If anyone has suggestions for some light, entertaining reading, please let me know. Thanks!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

So this is what money looks like

Doing research for my writing has brought me to some interesting places. I am currently looking at LA venues for a wedding that takes place in my story. Let me share what I have come across. Honestly, I would love to just throw a party in one of these places

Private Estate Wedding Locations

The Payne Mansion - I know it's in San Fran, but I couldn't resist

Marvimon House

Lobo Castle

Rancho Sol Del Pacifico