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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Mr Vegas Dances?

Dancing with the Stars announced their dancers for this season...

One of them is the one and only Mr Vegas, Wayne Newton. He is their token "older person".

But I am going to have difficulty watching this.. and the reason is? Because I've loved Wayne Newton since I was very young. Back when it wasn't "in" to like a clean cut young man with an unusual voice singing (of all things) Danka Shoen.

But still, this slightly chubby young man won my heart back then...

I continued to love his singing and the wonderful things always said about him, and his performances as he took over Vegas.

During the years I lived in Florida (and worked at Sears), some of us got together and went south to see him in person! I can admit his audience was NOT full of young people (well.. we were in Florida after all!). But that did not stop him from giving his show his all !.. he was MORE than fabulous! I couldn't take my eyes off of him! I knew then that there really was something magical about him.. something very magnetic, that you couldn't not notice.

But I guess the fact he was in the public eye all his life.. or vanity.. or.. or who knows why, but Mr Newton's face changed. (wild guess it's called plastic surgery). And it actually hurts me to look at him now. Try as he may to smile, as he always does, and give his all.. which he never stops doing, I feel like I lost him somewhere along the line.

Do I still love his voice? You betcha! Do I still think he's a performer to beat most all performers? No doubt about it. But I can't help wishing he let himself grow older along with the rest of us. I have no doubt he'd be handsome without the "plastic look" that seems to have happened to him. If it's possible, I miss what should have been.

Now.. as for Dancing With The Stars... oh boy. It will be hard for me to watch.

As for his chances.. I think he will pull off some good dances, especially things like the Waltz. There's no denying rhythm is part of this man. But he is the token "old person".. and I don't know that he's ever tried to dance they way they make these folks dance. (which btw.. is NOT the normal dancing!)

So I sit here torn. Just the name Wayne Newton conjures a smile on my face... but at the same time.. I kinda wish he didn't offer to do this sort of show.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I have a few things to cover today..

First off I received an award from Asara!

How cool is this?!! Thank you so much Asara!! I will do my best to pass it on..but boy I hate making choices like this because, of course I love all the blogs I read! But I'll give out a few to keep it moving on, as it should!

Stainless Steel Droppings: Carl's blog has not just made me, but MANY others really get back to reading. And the best part is, he doesn't push and he doesn't do anything that he already doesn't love! I am HOOKED on his blog!

Stuff as Dreams are Made on: What can I say about Chris? I love his blog ! He's honest, he's open, he's a joy to know. 'Nuff said.

Fantasy and Sci Fi Lovin' Blog: SQT has it all.. not only does she cover books but movies and television as well.. I can't NOT stop by her blog everyday.

Here in the Hills: I know Naomi doesn't like to have to choose who gets awards, and that's ok (I'm not fond of it either). This is such a wonderful and interesting lady. She knows many in Hollywood and takes some of the most wonderful photo's in her cactus and succulent garden area that you have to be amazed.

I could go on and on but I think I will stop here... if you all knew how long my list of journals and blogs was you'd just laugh!


Coming Soon..Sept 25: Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want

I was surprised today when I visited my Wish List at Amazon (which I do far TOO MUCH) to see that the photo for the cover of Leven Thumps was finally released!

Ben Sowards did the cover art (as he did for the other two Leven Thumps books) and once again it's fabulous! I totally enjoyed Obert Skye's first two books and I'm looking forward to this release.

An update on the autograph show in October.. I just found out my friend Scott Schwartz will be there! He's a great guy and fun to be around.. maybe you remember him from A Christmas Story... he was the kid that got his tongue stuck to the flag pole! (Flick)

So now I get to spend time with 2 artists, Ken Kelly & Roger Kastel..and Flick! Cool!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Short Version..

Book 2 of 4.. RIP

Wizards by multiple authors, Edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
    Publisher: Berkley
    Hardcover (May 1, 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0425215180

  • At 9:30 last night I completed book 2 of Carls RipII Challenge...
    Once again I wondered if it really fit the Challenge. But then.. I had 18 short stores to read to find out!

    Indeed a number of them fit the bill.. beginning with Neil Gaiman's The Witch's Headstone, which all takes place in and around a graveyard. The main character is a young man named Bod, who goes against what he's told and treads on unholy ground. There he meets the ghost (?) of a witch. Learning that witches don't deserve headstones Bod decides differently and goes about trying to get a headstone for the witches grave.

    I have to be up front here and tell you.. not only am I trying to read outside of my love of "fantasy", but this book gave me a second challenge in that.. it was short stories. I have difficulty with short stories. Either I like them and get upset that they are so short and want to know more.. or.. I don't like them, in which case... they can't be short enough!

    I found that this book had both.. (but one must take personal taste into consideration) a number of stories which couldn't be short enough.. and a number of them I would have wanted to read more of.

    It's filled with stories, some by well known authors such as Gaiman and Orson Scott Card and others by authors I had not known before, such as Mary Rosemblum, and Elizabeth Hand.
    Krage Baker wrote a story about someone who was pure evil marrying someone who was pure good.. and their offspring thereof! The marriage itself a force to contend with.

    Elizabeth Hand wrote one that would certainly fall under the "creepy" category when she wrote "Winter's Wife". The story is told by Justin, a young boy who was a neighbor and friend to Winter. Winter was a man who "lived in a creep-looking old school bus in the middle of the woods, with smoke coming out of a chimney and huge piles of split logs around. In the fall he'd had deer and dead coyotes hanging from this big pole that looked like a gallows.. and blood in the snow." (sound creepy enough?) But actually Winter is a pretty nice guy who seems to have a special thing when it came to trees and wood, and a love for 3 special trees called Kings Pines that were at least 300 yrs old.

    Since creepy begets creepy, eventually Winter meets a woman on line, from Iceland, and goes to marry her and bring her back to his "bus". Vala shares in her "weirdness" and adds much to this short story. Not the least of which is the ending.. which I will not give away here because it is a story you most likely will enjoy.. even if it is creepy!

    One of the stories I enjoyed the most was one called "Color Vision" by Mary Rosenblum. It was fast paced and a lot happened in the short 24 pages. She captures kids and their dialogues so well you feel these kids are real! The story is about a young girl named Melanie and her friends Jeremy and Cris.

    It seems when anyone talks Melanie see's color. She's told it's a brain malfunction called synesthesia. Her friend Jeremy thinks this is cool. While in school one day a new principal arrives and when he comes to her class Melanie see's the color silver and feels a wrongness about him, especially when he says he knows her mother who is long gone.

    She runs from school with Jeremy following and takes him to meet her other friend Cris. When they first arrive where Cris lives Jeremy see's an old rundown barn with a wall around it, but as he climbs an apple tree to see over the wall he see's a castle!.. and the creepy stuff begins in earnest. The strange new principal is after all the First Born.. for their power.

    This was so well written.. the story is great, the kids are so realistic it isn't a challenge to see them in your mind... This is one of those short stories I wouldn't have minded it being a bit longer.. you know.. like a full book!
    Wizards ends with a story by Orson Scott Card called Stonefather. This was my first read of Mr Card's and I will say it was a good one to end the book with. It was the longest of the short stories being 74 pages long.. but read as fast as one only 20 pages long! A definite good read.

    All in all, if you like short stories, I can say that I found more good ones here than I expected to, so it's a book I'd recommend. I can't say it will make a short story reader of me, but it surely is a good way to read authors you've never read before so that you can get a feel for the writing they do.

    Read more RIP Book Reviews Here!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    A Package in the Mail

    I received a package today from Book Closeouts! It contained the other two books I need to read for the RIP II Challenge.. plus something else I ordered!

    These two books look Spooky enough for the challenge.. I just hope I can get through them since it's not what I generally read. The reviews indicate a lot of humor in them so I am hoping that it's my kinda humor!

    The other thing I had sent for cost me a whole TWO DOLLARS AND NINETY-EIGHT CENTS! Hello? Does anything cost 2.98 anymore? Well this did!

    As some of you know I love the Space Program, and most especially the Astronauts that were in the Race for the moon. When I saw this in Book Closeouts I was amazed! I mean.. 7 cassettes and a 2 hr. dvd all for 2.98?! What can I loose? So I added it to the books I was ordering.

    Now I may not get to watch or listen to the cassettes for a while, but just knowing they are there makes me feel good. I love those Astronauts.. they are my true heroes! And since I had the privilege of meeting a few of them.. it means all the more to me. I hope I hear Alan Bean and Richard Gordon on the tapes! I also met Buzz Aldren at that particular show. I hope someday they come back to NJ.. I'd go again even if I can't afford their autographs, ... just to be in their presence is a major good feeling.

    I remember sitting and just watching Alan Bean signing autographs for a while and couldn't stop wondering... was he afraid? did it change him ? would he do it again? But when I went to get his autograph, he was such a sweet man, with a big smile that I didn't want to feel stupid asking questions that he must have been asked a million times before.

    They are just incredible human beings.. one and all.

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    I want to come back as a Cat!

    I want to come back as a cat...

    I can play silly games as much as I want for as long as I want..

    I can suck up and beg for treats... knowing I will ALWAYS get them..

    I can sleep in as many boxes, in as many windows as I want.. for as long as I want.

    Ahhh, yes... it's good to be king!

    ... Yep... I know for sure....I want to come back as a cat!

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    ..And the Challenge Begins..

    The Wild Wood... by Charles de Lint

    Book #1 of 4 for the RIP II Challenge

  • Paperback: 208 pages

  • Publisher: Orb Books (June 1, 2004)

  • ISBN-10: 0765302586

  • This is my first book in the RIP Perils Challenge...

    WARNING: Book Reports are not my strong point! But you get what you get.. so you'll have to accept me as I am!

    I picked up this book with no real expectations. Though many just adore Charles de Lint I really had no idea if I would like his writing or not.

    Chapter one confused the heck out of me.. I didn't know what was going on. My first thoughts were: "gads.. I am not going to get through this!"

    Chapter two: turned it all around. From that moment on I read like a madman! I had to find out what the heck was going on with the main character, Eithnie.

    Was she weird?

    Was she dreaming?

    Was she going mad?

    Eithnie was an artist that began to see things in her paintings that she didn't put there! ... or did she?

    Every time I put the book down.. within minutes I'd pick it up again!

    I am happy to say in the end you do find out just what it is going on with Eithnie. And if wanting to know, keeps you reading, you will not put this book down until it's conclusion. de Lint, delivers.. and drives his message home.

    This book is a quick read and although the book did not have vampires or ghouls or things that go bump in the night.. (well maybe a little of that).. it did have the feeling of creepy! If you ever doubted yourself.. or your sanity.. you will in some way relate to this book.

    It was a good beginning for me to have for the RIP Challenge. And I am already curious to read the reviews of the others that have this book on their list!

    Don't forget to check the RIP Book Reviews that are already beginning to come in!

    Friday, August 24, 2007


    To love .. and be loved in return.. Chuff-f-f-f-f-f.
    A voice pierces the sky..It sings of love, of freedom, of total being.It is the roar of a lion.
    I have only been there once; inside myself. It happened at a place called Shambala. As I first passed a lion's cage, he roared. My body shook as it absorbed the music. It was so loud I couldn't think of anything or anyone.. for the moment, I just existed.
    At first, I didn't realize what had just happened. I walked on. The lion, quite possibly Richard, roared again. Another moment passed without thoughts, without all the things, which were known to me as life. I couldn't think of paying bills, of going to work, of what I would wear today. Then it came, roar after roar after roar.
    As it subsided, I found myself becoming aware of the sweet and unobtrusive oblivion I had been in. I knew then that this place was going to become a sanctuary for more than the animals.. it was mine.
    I wanted to lie in the grass and have the mighty kings sing to me, their voices vibrating through me until I can think of nothing but their songs. I feel at peace. Worries and tensionsare gone. Would life then pass me by? Hardly, rather it would be that their songs would bring me to life, not take me from it.
    Did I mention? A tiger chuffed at me. She made me smile. She made me laugh. I was lost with her beauty, but more with her greeting: Chuff-f-f-f, chuff-f-f-f, happy to see you. Scratch me, love me.. please? There is a fence between us, you could hurt me.Not today, chuff-f-f-f not today, chuff-f-f-f.If I love you today, will you love me in return?CHUFF-F-F-F-F !
    As I walk past their fences, chuff-f-f-f, chuff-f-f-f.. be careful, they will mark you for their own! Then let them mark me, for I am theirs.
    Nathaniel bounds forward as if on springs. Nathaniel, not lion, not tiger but the most beauteous of both worlds.
    Do you sing with the Lions? Do you Chuff-f-f-f with the Tigers? You must do both, for I find I want to lie in the grass outside your fence and watch you forever. May I stay? Will you sing to me? Will you love me?
    Their eyes they search for you. All of them are on the prowl for love and to love in return.
    A hidden piece of heaven, Shambala is. I will go there again someday…For the peace..For the music..For the love..

    Click to go to Shambala Preserve Web site.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007


    Just a little catchup with my books..

    I did finish The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo..

    Paperback: 272 pages Publisher: Candlewick (April 11, 2006)

  • ISBN-10: 0763625299

  • ..... the story was about a mouse, a princess, some soup and a spool of thread. (too cute!) The book is a Newberry Medal winner... and winner it is! But this isn't even her first award.. she got one for Because of Winn-Dixie, Which you may or may not know was made into a movie.

    So, do I recommend this book? Yes, I do! This book is said to be for kids .. and it is... but it's also a joy for anyone, at any age. If you have kids or grandkids this would be a really good book for them to read! But I am glad to have it in my collection too!

    I also finished another young adult book that was small...

    The Wizard Test by Hilari Bell.

    Paperback: 176 pages Publisher: Eos (May 23, 2006)

  • ISBN-10: 0060599421

  • This book was enjoyable.. however.. it seemed like parts may have been cut out of the story. She jumped from one moment to "later" and you wouldn't know why something was being said until you read a bit more. It threw me until I got accustomed to her style of writing. I think I would have liked this little book even more if she had more descriptive parts in it. It was a bit too direct. Too only way what you must to get the story told. But I am giving her another shot when I read her book The Goblin Wood later...

    But for now I will begin the RIP challenge and start to read Charles de Lint's Wild Wood.

    On another note.. I spotted a painting that I admired on a website.. I printed it out and asked my brother if he could paint something close to it on a shirt for me... keep in mind my love for sorcerers and dragons...

    The results:

    Not to shabby huh?!

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    They're Creepy 'n' Spooky 'n' all Together Ooky!

    Know this about me..

    I say this because, I have so little of my own life, that committing to anything just takes away from what time I do have for myself.

    But I have decided to join Carl's RIP book Peril Challenge.... that being said, I will also say that I am doing this because I know it's a friendly challenge... by that I mean.. , there's no reason I have to finish it. Knowing this makes all the difference to me.

    I am a slow reader. Partly because.. ummm because I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack? And partly because, If I read fast, I tend not to really read every word, nor do I get to enjoy a book to it's fullest. So.. I read what I read, at what speed I read.. which is to say... I read to enjoy myself.

    Ok.. so... let's get this party going shall we?

    It is indeed time for the 2007 R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) Autumn Reading Challenge, or R.I.P. II, for short. Though the ‘official’ start date for Readers Imbibing Peril is not until September 1st, I decided to accede to public demand and get the word out to you a few weeks early.

    As in last year’s inaugural R.I.P. Autumn Reading Challenge, R.I.P. II is a September 1st through October 31st celebration of all tales gothic, eerie, creepy, and dark. Tales that one reads in the dark of night, experiencing delicious shivers of terror and suspense at each creak of the floorboards or each gust of wind. As in previous challenges the definition for what type of books fit into this category will be very broad. I would venture to say that there is something for everyone that could count as a R.I.P. book.

    And so goes the opening statements for Carl's second annual RIP book reading Challenge! For much more information on the Challenge itself click on the link and read.. read.. read!

    I have to say that this catagory is NOT what I generally read, and what little I have is too soon for rereading Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. (both are still too fresh in my mind)

    So.. what to do? what to do? Well, I've given this much consideration and this is what I've come up with... so far...

    I would like to do his Read 4 books Peril but I'm having difficulty coming up with 4 good ones.. and ones that I think I will at least enjoy reading. So far this is what I have...

    Gil's All Fright Diner: Starred Review. Something Evil (that's with a capital E) is stalking Gil's All Night Diner in Martinez's terrific debut, a comic horror-fantasy novel. Heading the delightfully eccentric cast are buddies Earl (aka the Earl of Vampires) and Duke (aka the Duke of Werewolves), who are looking for a place to eat as they drive through Rockwood, a small desert community besieged by cosmically weird stuff.

    When I read the review of this, I thought.. hey, now this I can handle! It actually sounds funny! Of course I am hoping like heck that it isn't like some movie reviews that I've seen that look funny, but once there.. you find you've already seen all the funny parts!

    In The Company of Ogres: Never Dead Ned is an accountant whose only talent is self-resurrection. Chosen to lead the notorious Ogre Company, Ned ingratiates himself bydying before the senior officers can finish conspiring to killhim,and comes back to life just in time to be caught up in a battle with Rucka, the world's most powerful demon.

    Seeing as Martinez was sticking with humor I figured I'd try In The Company of Ogres too. To be honest here he had me at "Never Dead Ned" .. loved the name, so I ordered both of these books. Now I just hope they get here fast!!

    Dragons of the Highlord Skies: Kitiara's path takes an unexpected turn, leading her to Dargaard Keep to face the dread Lord Soth.

    Highlord Skies if "iffy" at best as a book for this challenge. I do know the book will contain Lord Soth.. who is a very evil knight.. and very dead. I know.. it's pushing the limits. But it's an "alternative"..

    Wild Wood: A young artist returns to her cabin in the deep woods of Canada to concentrate on her illustrations.But somehow, strange andbeautiful creatures are slipping into her drawings and sketches. The world of Faerie is reaching out to her for help-and she may be its last chance for survival.

    I don't know if this fits either! sheesh. I've not read any de Lint books before but it seemed creepy that these things would be slipping into her drawings... taking in to consideration that occasionally I draw.. that would creep me out! Yeah, I think maybe this one fits after all!

    Wizards: Veteran fantasists weave a variety of imaginative spells in this fine anthology of 18 original wizardry-themed tales. Neil Gaiman's charming opener, "The Witch's Headstone," introduces a boy raised by the dead and offers a sneak peek at a novel-in-progress. An Icelandic bride in modern Maine makes magic in Elizabeth Hand's outstanding "Winter's Wife." Mary Rosenblum, Patricia A. McKillip, Nancy Kress, Terry Dowling and Gene Wolfe notably conjure up diverse and indelible, coming-of-age stories featuring contemporary teens discovering their true natures. Garth Nix successfully mixes English legends in "Holly and Iron." The prophet Elijah appears as the "wizard" of Jane Yolen's "Slipping Sideways ThroughEternity." What goes around comes around, even for wizards and monsters in Jeffrey Ford's "The Manticore Spell." Tad Williams, Peter S. Beagle and Orson ScottCard contribute indifferent stories, but overall this magical brew will enchant young adult readers and their elders as well.

    Now Wizards fits the bill... and it's a number of creepy type stories. I don't suppose I could count each story individual huh? (I hadda try!)

    The Thirteen Tale: Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.

    now this sounded pretty good and it fit ..I'd really like to try this one but I've run out of money!.. I put it on the Wish List.. but I doubt I will have the money or order it in time to read... I found the title on Carls blog and checked it out.. it actually sounds interesting! Not my usual cup of tea, but interesting enough that I'd like to try it.

    But I am getting strapped for money here. I already bought more than my allotment and I have to "not spend" so that I can afford to go to the Chiller autograph show the beginning of October and enjoy the company of some terrific artists!

    Soooo, folks.. if you think you'd like to join the Challenge (and I really think you should! Just wait until you see all the wonderful reviews of books that comes out of one of Carl's reading challenges!!) .. well..

    you'd better get to it before you run into spiders and monsters and vampires, without reading about them!

    Thank you Carl for hosting such great reading challenges!

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007


    During my turbulent time waiting to hear about my missing photo album.. I tried to focus on anything.. one thing i chose to try was help keep focused was to copy a drawing out of one of my books.. it looked something like this:

    (pencil sketch)

    I did it freehand, but of course I take no credit for the drawing itself which was in the little Dragonology book I had gotten recently. But it did keep me busy for a little while anyway..

    Some time back I did scan some of my sons baby photo's.. not many.. a few from each age.. I thought I'd show you why I was panicked at loosing the album.. it would be photo's like these that I would have lost forever...

    George is my first son (now 41 yrs old).. I also have another son, named Tom (39). For a short while he tried a blog and so a few who knew me back when he did, got to see his blog.. he does about any type of work to keep afloat, but art is the one thing he keeps going back to.

    So.. I just wanted you to see why I was beside myself for a bit..these are but a few photo's but the book itself is rather large... hopefully other things will iron out soon too...

    ....'till next time...

    Monday, August 20, 2007


    Ten days of Horror. How would you like to have to wait through 10 days of anxiety over a piece of mail?

    This is what happened...
    When I visited my son recently in Florida he mentioned some of his "baby photos".. I told him I had ALL his baby pictures in one album. From the time he was born until about the age of 14. (when he decided he wasn't thrilled having his picture taken). 
    So of course, being a good mom.. I said I would mail the album to him. Which I did. I sent it priority mail, which they said, would get there in 2 or 3 days. On the same day I mailed out Chris's package for winning my contest. (not priority)
    Three days later Chris let me know he received his package. My son did not receive his package. It was a Saturday, so I figured ..not a big deal it will arrive there Monday.

    Monday came and went. No photo album. Tuesday and Wednesday went by.. no package. I began to get really upset. These were the only photo's I had of my son from birth!

    I called him or emailed him each day.. to no avail. I called the main post office here in Orange. They told me exactly what I expected. No tracking number? We can't do a thing. (by the way.. I was told when I mailed it that there were no tracking numbers unless the package was sent Express. ) 
    Over my long life, I've had packages lost ..some from me.. others to me. Even with tracking numbers ..none were ever found.. NEVER.. EVER FOUND. Not a one!

    On that Friday (10 days after I mailed the package) I was past desperate.. I looked up the address and phone number to the main post office in Margate where my son lives. A very nice man listened to my plight and had me hold while he took a quick look around. He found nothing. My heart sank. (though I really didn't think they'd find anything) He gave me the name of a lady there and told me to call her at 8 am the next day. He said they could find out the truck that delivers to his address and the person driving and check with him... this was much more than NJ post office was willing to do. I was very surprised that they would actually check the trucks! 
    Since I had nothing to loose I called the next morning. The lady, named Shiela, had me hold and looked around. Nothing. Then she had me hold again, (not sure what she was doing) she came back and said that his address had a "forward" on it. I explained that the previous owners probably did but that my son had just moved in the house a few months ago.. back on hold.
    When she came back she had the news I could have only hoped to hear... she found the box! My photo's were no longer lost!

    Someone actually took the extra step and found my lost package! She said it was on hold there due to the "forwarding put on that address"..
    How do I thank this lady for the extra effort she put in to find the box?! (yes I am sending a thank you note) While here in NJ they never even took the time to look and see if it even left their post office!! 
    I had a big relief on the matter... I was so lucky I had contacted someone who actually took the time and gave the effort to find my package.
    So thank you Shiela!! Margate Florida has some super people working there!!

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Time for yet another book..

    Well.. I just finished The Quest for the Trilogy by Mel Odom.. I really enjoyed this book! In this, his 4th addition to his Rover series (which I enjoyed also), he put a lot more humor to his main characters, and I have to say it was very VERY enjoyable! I just hope his other books have larger print in them! ARGH! Generally, hardback books are double spaced and the print is a touch larger than it is in paper back books.. not so in the Rover series or this one! If I didn't have this "roving cloud" of a floater going on in my one eye, I'm sure it wouldn't have bothered me at all, but since I do, it did effect how long I could read at any given time without going nuts. And when you are enjoying something you don't want to stop reading because you tire of rolling your eye around to try to clear it up to read more.
    Anyway.. I did like this entire Rover series and the Quest for the Trilogy, he has some really enjoyable characters and put them on some excellent adventures! Thanks Mel! (gosh, maybe I shouldn't have called him that.. he might turn me into a toad!)

    ....'till next time..

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Remembering Great Drummers

    When I was young (and the world was newly made).. I liked all sorts of music.. this included Jazz. As a teenager I was even known to go into the Village in New York and get to see some of the local jazz bands.

    If you are of my generation or maybe have a parent that is, who liked Jazz, you may have heard of names like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Well if you have, and if you've heard their music, chances are you heard of a certain drummer that worked with the likes of them.

    His name is Max Roach. He was one of the "big boys" when it came to drumming. He was also one of the drummers I liked to listen to.

    I was saddened yesterday when I heard of his passing at the age of 83.

    83??!! Good gravy! When did i get this old that my drumming idols are nearly all gone?? *sigh*

    here's a really good article on Max Roach. (here)

    Max's Obituary...

    Being a lover of the drums.. some of my absolute favorite drummers were:

    Buddy Rich.. (passed away 1987) I still have the old LP record of Rich vs Roach of a drum battle between the two! Buddy was known as the faster drummer around.

    ..and no one didn't like the great Gene Krupa..

    But my true favorite of all of them was Joe Morello... (born:1928)

    ... Here's Joe at a much later date:

    Since I know most of you don't know these "old timers".. Joe Morello was the drummer in the Dave Brubeck Quartet, when they recorded "Take Five"..

    I once was privileged and actually got to meet Joe. It seems that in his later years when he had some "off time" he taught drum lessons in a small music store in Irvington NJ.. which was where I lived then.

    Hardly being able to believe it when I heard this, I went to the music store in hopes that I would bump into him. Though I had given up the drums because of being married and having kids by then, I still wanted to see this sensational drummer.

    Well, luck was with me that day. I went to the store, and because I didn't want it to be tooooo obvious that all i wanted was to see Joe Morello, I actually bought a pair of drum sticks... then I heard it. A familiar tap, tap, taping noise coming from upstairs.

    "oh.. do you give drum lessons here?" I asked innocently.

    "Some" the man replied. "Only if Mr Morello thinks your worth it."

    "Ohh.. (I should have gotten an Emmy) Joe Morello?!!"

    "Sure.. he's up there now giving a lesson.. go have a look if you want."

    Heh.. if I want?! Pshaw! I went up.. I looked.. Joe was sitting behind the rubber drum set used for drum lessons. I watched with my mouth open.. his left hand alone was faster then any two hands I had ever seen on a set of drums!!

    He didn't notice me at first. Joe was wearing dark glasses, I found out a bit later that he was now legally blind... but he sure hadn't lost any of his talent!

    I came back down the stairs a happy camper.. I had seen the great Joe Morello!

    You can click on the link below if you would like to go to UTube and hear the Dave Brubeck Quartet play: Take 5

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Just getting through another day...

    As you can tell from my sidebar, I am reading The Quest for the Trilogy by Mel Odom. It has come at a timely time.. I haven't been feeling well the past 3 weeks, more pain than usual.. but it's eased somewhat today. Which figures because my brother has a doc appointment today.. and when he gets one I get one too. I've been having B12 injections. Don't ask why not just take B12, I asked that same question to the doc.. and I got an answer only a doctor could spew out. My co-pay is 30.00 a visit. I have to have these shots every month for a year!.. and the cost of the B12 you ask? .. go ahead.. pahleeze!.. ask!.. Eight dollars and ninety-five cents! For the full bottle of 12 months worth. Again I wonder why I just can't take B12 pills! Anyway.. when I go today I will ask about the "extended pain" I have been in.. cross your fingers she doesn't order some sort of test, that I can't get to because I can't leave my brother home alone for hours at a time. (yeah.. it's a dilemma!)

    So.. back to Mel Odoms book.. the reason I say it's timely is because after reading his first 3 books (The Rover series) I totally expected this to sorta pick up where it left off.. but instead it's 3 quests that integrate into the original books.. here's the part that's timely... the first of the 3 quests he wrote had me laughing! I didn't expect that and it's really pretty funny, the humor he has given the characters.

    My only ONLY drawback to all of Mel's books is that in all 4 books the print is so small it belongs in a small paperback! This is rough on me with the one eye doing it's blurry floater thing... which is why I generally now buy only hard back books or trade paperbacks.. or anything as long as it's double spaced and the print is reasonably readable for me.

    So... it's good to know that even in pain I can get a laugh or two.. (thanks Mel!)
    Of course it figures that we are due for thunderstorms this afternoon.. I just hope we can get to the doctors at 5 pm. You won't get me pushing my brother around in a metal wheelchair in a thunderstorm! NOT!.. nope, not me! I don't go on the phone in one either.. btdt.. a long time ago I had to answer the phone during a storm.. my X had called to tell me to close the basement windows... a clap of thunder happened and a little blue light went from my lip to the phone and I had a fat lip!... never.. never... never again! The only thing a thunderstorm is good for is to grab a book and read! Computer is unplugged.. tv is off and unplugged etc.. so... may as well read!

    On a different note...
    Since I moved in with David and my brother, and because of my computer, at night I make sure none of the cats can get into my room....
    A while ago Booboo kitty got into a fight with Stinkey.. he has a patch on his back between his shoulder blades that hair was torn out and it bled some. Finally, it has come close to healing so at night I've been letting him in my room so that MAYBE it will heal before they go at it again..
    He's been good.. sleeps on my bed and in general behaving. Well... that is until 5 am, which is when David gets up. Then BooBoo thinks I should get up too to feed him. David gives the cats their morning feeding downstairs (booboo can get out of my room easily but doesn't).. so the past 3 mornings Booboo walks over my chest and purrs into my face rubbing on my cheek to wake me.
    Yeah, yeah.. "awww how cute"... NOT! Not at 5 am it's not! I can't wait till he's fur begins to grow back on that spot so I can close him out again!!

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Pay it Forward

    So... today as I was reading journals I found that Chris over at Stuff Dreams are Made on, has given me an award! "Thoughtful Blogger Award".
    ..and all I've ever done to deserve it is to torment him!

    Actually, Chris is a really good kid. (yes, "kid".. he's almost 1/2 the age of my oldest son! agggh) He makes me laugh quite a bit, and his constant reading and reviews have led me to buying many more books then I should! In between all of that he and his family were part of Hurricane Katrina's Fury ('nuff said).. and now he's helping his girlfriend's mom, trying to get her home back together from Katrina.. good old politics is hanging all of that up as you can well imagine. Actually, we probably can't imagine.
    Anyway.. Chris is one of the good guys! And I want to thank him for thinking of me when he found he could only give 5 of these awards out himself, after getting his.
    Which means.. that's all I can hand out too.. which is the only hard part of getting such a nice award. So.. I guess I'd better pass it on!.. The 5 nominees are:
    Helen of My Everyday Life: Helen is one of the first journals I ever read. She tells about life the way it is, and has become a constant in reading . We even email now and then so I can guarantee the 'thoughtful" part is definitely there!
    Astaryth of Adventures of an Eclectic Mind : JJ is another of the first that I ever read. JJ takes great photo's of many animals.. some of which you may never have seen before!
    Annie of Annie's Meanderings Annie is my good friend. We've been friends for a really long time now. I wish she would write more in her journal, but she does when the mood strikes her... you don't get anymore thoughtful than Annie.
    Karen of Outpost Mâvarin Karen never sleeps! lol.. she has many fun "obsessions" not to mention the fact that she's written a book that she's just turned into a publishing company! *crossing my fingers for her!*
    Kiyotoe fo The Dragon 050376 Then there's Kiyotoe!.. "The Dragon" himself! Kiyotoe has made many friends since he began blogging and he deserves each and every one! He writes a great blog full of things to get people talking about.. or to give you food for thought.
    So.. those are my picks. There would be more for sure, but.. rules are rules. If you are so inclined you are to pass it on to 5 or your own "thoughtful bloggers".

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    Good news.. and Sad news

    Anyone who knows me well knows that I love movies every bit as much as I love reading. Though I may not be able to get to the movies anymore, that doesn't tarnish my love of them. With that in mind....

    I just read over at The Fantasy Review that there are the beginnings of a movie for Terry Brook's book Elfstones of Shannara!! This thrilled me! I know that many didn't like Terry's books because the Sword of Shannara was "so much like lord of the rings".. but I found that his characters eventually ruled and much of those thoughts went by the wayside. With each following book it just got better. So I am hoping this comes to pass.. and it looks like it will. But like everything else, by the time it gets made and release I'll have forgotten all about how long I've been waiting.

    (artwork by Darrell Sweet)

    Screen adaptation by Eldon Thompson who's own books include: The Crimson Sword and Obsidian Key. There's a full interview with Eldon Thompson over at A Dribble of Ink that you should read if you are interested.


    On a different topic: I was saddened to hear of the passing of Merv Griffin. (article on his life and passing found here.)

    I think I watched his show from it's concept! Every night at 8 pm, I'd sit and enjoy his show. I even went to see a live show in NY once! I was married at the time, my husband agreed to go but stated: "as long as Selma Diamond is not a guest!".

    Selma, had a voice that some had difficulty listening to. Some might remember her from Night Court...anyway, we went.. and....... yep, you guessed it Selma was one of the guests!

    Anyway.. I liked Merv..and I'll miss him.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    I'm Abby-Normal, I just know it!

    Why do I do this?
    Why can't I pass this movie even though I've seen it a million times?
    I even OWN the dang movie!
    But every time I am flipping channels on the tv and come across certain movies I stop and watch them (even if I come in the middle of the movie!).
    The Abyss is one of those movies. Man, gotta love Ed Harris in the movie !

    But why do I keep doing this?

    I mean.. I do own the movie.. I could put it on any time I want and as much as I want.. but I can't go "past it" when it's on television!
    I mean.. let's get real here.. I can watch it WITHOUT COMMERCIALS!... and yet I sit and watch it WITH commercials!
    It makes no sense!.. so tell me why I do this?
    Do you do that with certain movies? Probably not.. I think I am the only weirdo that watches movies this way even when I've seen them a million times... sigh.

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    Best Buy TV Contest

    I've been known to enter book contests.. but this is the first time I will enter for something other than a book! Take a look at this contest going on!

    5 Minutes for Mom is having a contest to win a FLat Panel LCD HDTV. This prize and contest is sponsored by Best Buy. (can we say thank you Best Buy?!).

    It can be entered by only US and Canadians ..sorry about everyone else :o(

    I know I have very little chance of winning..but hey..worth a try! I could use a new TV really badly! (so if you don't enter for yourself, cross your fingers for me!)

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    A Good Rainy Day

    Wow! I won a book from Pats Fantasy Hotlist!!!

    I gave some books away in my contest and I won one!.. not a bad week!

    I occasionally put my name in for the giveaways but this was totally unexpected ! Mostly I tried for this one because my brother and David are big Dune fans (meaning they've read most all the books) So I will surprise David with it when it gets here!

    I was in the web checking conventions and the one I always go to in the Meadowlands in October started listing guests..

    Two artists who I buddy with are both going to be there so I can count on the fact I will go and have a good time visiting! It's a ways off, not until the beginning of October, but at least I can look forward to it.

    My "buddy" Ken Kelly will be there... I sit in the area with him alot and we chit-chat between customers. He's updated his site recently, if you haven't seen it you might want to take a peek. Mostly he does Sword and Sorcery type paintings and did quite a bit with Kiss.

    The other artist that will be there is yet another sweetie! (I can't begin to tell you how nice both of these men are!)

    Roger Kastel and his wife Grace ... super folks. Always willing to talk with anyone that wanders in their area, ..even if they don't buy anything!

    Roger is most noted for the poster/ book cover for the movie Jaws that he did.

    I wish Roger had a web site but he doesn't.. so I can't send you to see his other great paintings.

    But he's done other really fantastic stuff.. including some artwork from Star Wars.

    I'm happy I found out "the boys" will be at the convention today... it helps pass a dreary rainy day here in New Jersey!

    Have a good weekend wherever you are!..

    ...'till next time...