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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.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Note

Just an update on the catscan.. i know nothing.

By the time the results went to the doctors office, she was on some sort of emergency that won't have her back until the end of this coming week... so, that means it took me 10 days to get approval for the scan and 12 days before i will know the results. Gosh I'm glad it costs me 468.00 a month for health insurance.. they (and the doctors) work so fast for everyone. not.

Meanwhile.. the Bookwyrms are again hard at work..

Oh.. next Saturday I will be going to yet another autograph show.

Henry Winkler will be there (but I just saw him at the last show).. and a new face for these shows.. Val Kilmer! Ohhhh, how I hope he has a photo of him as Madmartigan (from Willow) because I loved him as that character!

But I'm sure most of my day will be spent sitting and chatting with the artists I have gotten to know Ken Kelly and Roger Kastel and his wife Grace... oh, and of course "Flick" from A Christmas Story. :o)

A day away! Always too few.. but always a welcome relief!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale......... (5th book read for RIP III)

  • Hardcover: 416 pages

  • Publisher: Atria (September 12, 2006)

  • ISBN-10: 0743298020

  • Having completed Peril I (Read Four books of any length, from any sub genre of scary stories that you choose. The Wild Wood, Wizards, Gil's All Fright Diner, In the Company of Ogres) I decided to move on and read yet another book, but not before admitting that I am choosing books that aren't quite as scary as others.

    After reading previews of the Thirteenth Tale I thought I would give it a go..

    Right off the bat I am giving Diane Setterfield an A+++ for writing a book I couldn't put down!

    If you ever read a book, and while reading find yourself asking questions (why? where? how? ) and find yourself not being able to put the book down because once asked you just HAVE TO find out... well, this is one of those books!

    It's such a good book that I don't want to spoil a thing for anyone even considering picking it up to read, so reviewing this is hard.

    It is Gothic feeling. Her descriptions are outstanding, you really feel like you can see what she (Margaret, one of the main characters) is seeing, but it's not overdone.

    Part of Amazon's description goes like this:

    Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Now, she says, she is ready to tell her true story.

    There are mysteries to be solved and truth's to be discovered. This author captures you with the beginning of every chapter.. keeps you reading.. and captures you all over again with the next!

    (small excerpt of a brief moment before Margaret actually meets Miss Winter..)

    I selected a copy of Miss Winter's most recent book. On page one and elderly nun arrives at a small house in the back streets of an unnamed town that seems to be in Italy: she is shown into a room where a pompous young man, whom we take to be English or American, greets her in some surprise. ( I turned the page. The first paragraphs had drawn me in, just as I had been drawn in every time I had opened one of her books, and without meaning to, I began to read in earnest.) The young man does not at first appreciate what the reader already understands: that his visitor has come on a grave mission, one that will alter his life in ways he cannot be expected to foresee. She begins her explanation and bears it patiently (I turned the page; I had forgotten the library, forgotten Miss Winter, forgotten myself) when he treats her with the levity of indulged youth...

    And then something penetrated through my reading and drew me out of the book. A prickling sensation at the back of the neck.

    Someone was watching me.

    Time after time you find yourself unable and unwilling to set this book down!

    If you are in Carl's Challenge... or even if you are not, but do like to read... this is a book I would highly recommend!!

    Sunday, September 23, 2007


    While in the garage the other day when I found those photo's in my other post I also came a cross a thin notebook I had. At first I didn't know what it was and then upon opening it I smiled........
    It really is good not to throw everything away, but when I moved from California I had to get rid of about everything, so imagine my surprise when I found this notebook filled with papers from when I did a silly thing, just because it sounded like fun, and signed up to take a Voiceover Class at a local college near where I lived in San Fernando Valley, CA.

    Voiceover Class: Instructor: Nigel Neale
    The more I looked through the papers, the more I grinned... Nigel Neale. He was the instructor for the class which consisted of two parts. One was voiceover for cartoons, the other for radio and television.
    Just in case you don't know what Voiceover is... it's anytime you hear a voice but don't see the face of the person, such as listening to a radio announcer, or watching a cartoon.
    Let me tell you a little of Nigel. (poor Nigel) Nigel was, oh about in his late 40's (?), he wasn't all that tall, and he had a round face topped by a full head of red hair. Now, if you know anything about red heads, you know that their faces can turn red extremely fast when they get embarrassed. .. and during my time in Nigel's class, I tried my best to keep those little round cheeks of his turning red!
    The first time was an accident.. well.. sorta, I mean I was being me, I didn't set out to embarrass him. I guess this is where I tell you that whenI get nervous or sorta flustered, not knowing what to do... the strangest thing happens.. I open my mouth and say things I wouldn't normally say! Generally speaking, they aren't nasty or anything, just ..well, they come from somewhere but it beats me where they were hiding!
    A good example would be when I had to get in front of the class with a small script for a commercial. Nigel's instructions were:, "just read it".. I did.
    Then he said, "good, now give yourself a character and really stretch yourself.".. I did.. I used a similar voice and character like Mae West, and did her "well, hello big boy" (and sauntered over near him and threw my arm over his shoulder) to my teacher.. who immediately turned red. (grinning here)
    Yep, I have to say.. it was a really fun class once you got past the VERY LARGE STAGE FRIGHT of standing in front of your class to do whatever it was Nigel wanted you to do. (it didn't help that it was always what they call "a cold reading", meaning: you had no practice before doing it)
    After a time I think he caught on.. the more nervous I was, the more he was apt to be embarrassed one way or another! At one point when he had used everyone else in the class and he KNEW he had to call on ME, you could hear him utter "oh gawd" before he'd call my name..heh... talk about bravery!
    One of the funnest (is that a word?) things we did was some Looping. That's where he would show us part of a cartoon without sound.. we had to add the voices and try to get our words to line up with the motion of their mouths in the cartoon. I got to be The Little Mermaid...and I nailed it! But I have to say it was the strangest feeling watching it then and knowing that was MY voice! (well,I imitated the voice used from the cartoon as closely as I could)
    While in class we made some audio tapes of what we were doing, but alas, those I did not find. Maybe they are still in one of the boxes somewhere, but I won't hold my breath in hopes that they are. But I am glad I found this notebook.. it sure brought back some fun memories! I know if I had a way to get back and forth I'd still take some adult night classes... just for the fun of it!
    Oh, here in Jersey I'm sure they wouldn't be Voiceover classes, but there are some I'd take anyway.. maybe some computer classes, and an art class and maybe a creative writing class sorta thing. When you can do that just for the joy of doing it, and not be weighted down with the all important grade at the end and feeling like if you don't do great something awful will happen, it's actually fun!

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Lost and Found

    Wow, I got a surprise today while doing some cleaning in the garage.. a found a few very old photo's that I didn't know were still out there. The quality sucks and they've been through so much dirt and water that I'm surprised they survived at all!

    The first two are part of an entire wall I painted for my son George when he was young..

    I guess you can tell he was (and still is) a Trek Fan..

    Then I found something I really didn't know I had! A photo of my old motorcycle! This bike was the first time my X and I painted on a motorcycle! After which we got a lot better and did paintings on bikes for quite a while...

    Anyway... here's my Honda 360 that I used to drive....

    I hoped I had a close up of the other side of the tank but I don't.. I know it was a male lion resting under a tree... and this side is just scenery.

    After our first attempts at painting on tanks we moved on to things we figured bikes might want.. here are some old drawings I did (copied) that we put on tanks..

    ok that's enough memories for one day...

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    Sometimes, ya just wanna Barf.

    Recently I reviewed a book called The Candy Store War. There was a character in there that I didn't go into depth about named John. I still don't want to give him away but I will say this: John was once put under a spell. It worked something like this.. if he broke someone's leg, his leg got broken. If he shot someone in the shoulder, his shoulder felt the shot... get the picture? Good..
    With that in mind I think this same spell should be put on Doctors.

    Maybe no Surgeons..but general doctors. You know.. the ones that send you for all sorts of tests because they don't know what's wrong with you.

    Maybe they would think twice about putting you through some of the things one has to go through for tests. You know, so you could skip those that most likely are NOT going to show what's wrong. Because I do believe they put people through unnecessary tests just for the insurance money. (sorry, but it's how I feel)

    I think it would be nice if when a doctors says.. "oh let's do a catscan". That why you are forced to drink 32 ounces of that ugly stuff called barium, that they to get the feelings like you feel while doing it!

    Granted one doesn't have to drink it all at once... but still. Have you ever had to drink barium? heh..

    Now they flavor it. Oh yes! Now they say, "oh but it tastes like bananas!"
    Let me tell you something. I like bananas. But this stuff does NOT taste like bananas! Unless you want to consider how a rotten banana tastes, all slimy and gross.

    So Wednesday night I drank 8 oz of banana tasting slime followed by 8 oz. of water. My instant thought was: I hope this stuff stays DOWN!
    This began my dreams that the doctor should feelwhat the patient feels.
    When I woke the next morning (after being awake half the night). I had to drink another 8 oz of slime followed by 8 oz of water. Did I mention that I can't even drink a cup of coffee down? I'm a sipper. It takes me about an hour to drink a cup of coffee!

    A half hour passes and I'm to drink 8 oz of water. Already too late to say it's a saving grace.. my stomach is as close as I want it to be before barfing.
    Another half hour passes. I drink 8 more ozs of slime and 8 oz of water.
    Ok.. now it feels like it's creeping back UP my throat. I continue to swallow saliva in hopes it will not explode! I am to take the last 8 oz of slime with me to the catscan place and drink it there. gawd help me!

    By now I really want the doctor to have to go through this with me. After all, it's only right that they REALLY know how the patient feels, don't ya think?
    They take me in the back for the catscan. I have a nice looking young black man for a tech. (cute accent too!) He tells me to take off my bra.

    Do you really know what you are asking?! I'm 63!
    It's been ages since a bra is NOT a NECESSITY! Do you really want to see this????

    The Tech walks away. (he was smart after all!)
    He walks me to the room where the scan is to be done. I am still carrying the 1/2 bottle of barium. I told him I am supposed to drink this before the scan, and he goes to get me some water. When he returns I try my best to smile at him without saliva running out of the sides of my mouth from the I'm about to toss all I already drank into your lap feeling I am having.

    I managed to squeak out a warning.
    If I drink this, there's an EXCELLENT chance you will get to see both bottles of this stuff really quickly... do you have something I can keep near me in case this all comes out like a volcano?

    He smiled at me. (he really was a cutie).. I can tell he's thinking about what I said. He excuses himself for a moment and leaves, only to come back again.
    You know, he says.. I really think we can do this without you finishing the barium. (told ya he was smart!)

    I smiled back at him, as I wipe the slobber from the corner of my mouth..
    I think that is probably a good thing, I said.

    He told me to lay down on the part of the machine that would move me through the scan and once again gave me his most winning smile as he told me : this will only take a moment or two.

    Well dang..(I thought) not much different than when I was married.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007


    Just Updating today...

    That's my list of reading for the year so far...

    On another note: my brother is back in the hospital being treated for cellulitus in his one good hand. It looks like the treatment is working well but he will have to go to a rehab place for 4 weeks because the treatment takes that long and it's nothing we can do for him at home. But he's doing fine.

    Tonight I begin preparations for a ctscan that I will have tomorrow. Now the test itself is nothing much.. lay down and go thru the scan and go home.. the part I absolutely hate is all the dang barium I have to begin drinking tonight and tomorrow morning in order to have the test. I am not a big liquid drinking person, let alone chalky, yucky barium! I'm getting nauseous just thinking of it.. gross.

    We've had a week of gorgeous weather here in NJ so I can't really complain too much. It feels as if fall is here, though it will be back up in the 80's over the weekend. But I think we are nearing the end of that. I love Fall and Spring.. but can't say I like winter all that much. I like seeing snow.. but don't like being out in it or traveling in it, sigh.

    So.. that's it for now. Everything seems a bit out of my control right now and that makes me get anxious and stress. So I will go back to reading some today and hope it all passes me by!

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    The Candy Shop War

    Thanks to SQT, I was given this book to review...

    The Candy Shop War, by Brandon Mull

  • Hardcover: 358 pages

  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain; 1 edition (September 11, 2007)

  • ISBN-10: 159038783X

  • This is not my first Brandon Mull book... nor will it be my last. I have read his other two books about Fablehaven... but this book is not an extension of those books. This one stands alone. This one will make you take a whole new look at the effects of candy! You may even swear off of it for a while! Maybe. But then again if you are very adventurous....

    This is a story about 4, ten year old friends, the bullies that bug them, some very old wizards and a treasure to be found.

    The kids, Nate, Summer, Trevor and Pigeon get involved with helping the owner of a new Candy Store for rewards of some special candy. They soon find out that the candy they are rewarded with have magical powers. Some let them leap heights, and yet others give them the ability to stun a person. One chore they are given is to give out free white fudge, that effects only adults by making them not truly aware of what's going on around them.

    Before they realize it they are in over their heads. They begin to wonder about Mrs White, the lady they are helping, and suspect she is not the nice person that they thought she was.

    Meanwhile, they learn that their, very old and very nice, ice cream man is also a wizard. And there seems to be a strange man in a trench coat following and spying on them.

    Their situations go from bad to worse, and move at lightening speed throughout the book, the "treasure" that the wizards want is always looming in front of them.

    There is a bit of a surprise near the ending... one in which I'm not sure a 10 year old would think of.. but then again...

    This was an enjoyable read, even for someone as ancient as I am. I think kids near the age of the characters in this book will have a number of things they can relate too, and will give them an adventure that only their vivid imaginations could take them on.

    This will be a book I will tell my 11 year old grandson to read!

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    ...and in the News

    Well.. for anyone who doesn't watch the Emmy's.. lol It was a lively night!

    Two (count them TWO) recipients got "bleeped"!!

    Katherine Heigl from Grey's Anatomy was so shocked at winning that when the camera went on her to see her expression of the win, you could see (but definitely not HEAR) her mouth "oh shit!" LOL.. Personally, I thought that was great! I mean, she really didn't expect to win! Give her a break! I doubt that if it were me, I'd be saying.. "oh.. pooh! I didn't write a thank you speech" Nope I surely wouldn't have those words on my lips! "oh shit".. yep.. that's what I'd be thinking alright! lol!

    Then there was Sally Field. Great actress! (to this day Sybil remains a movie that just blows me away when I see it!)

    (Mike Blake, Reuters )

    Audiences will never know if Sally Field's acceptance of her best actress in a drama Emmy for 'Brothers and Sisters' surpasses her famous Oscar speech because censors blacked it out.

    Sally dedicated her Emmy to "mothers". Mothers who wait for their children to come home from harms way... and from war. She got a big applause and then continued to say: "And, let's face it, if the mothers ruled the war, there would be no (expletive) wars in the first place," But as we all know.. that got "bleeped" ..heh.

    Though I agree that personal feelings such as that (no matter how much I may agree!) shouldn't be announced on major television without it being a show that is made for such a discussion... she did express the feelings of mother's of those that have been and are being sent to war.

    For full coverage of the Emmy's use
    this link..

    And in other news....

    (excuse me while I laugh)

    There's O J Simpson... *sigh*


    An apparent audiotape of a standoff with O.J. Simpson during an alleged robbery at a Las Vegas casino begins with the ex-NFL star demanding, "Don't let nobody out this room. ... Think you can steal my (expletive) and sell it?" Simpson is behind bars without bail and faces multiple charges.

    Maybe this time justice will prevail?

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Finding a Small Gem

    One of the many books I have on my shelves is a book called A Quest Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic. (date: 2002 I believe) It's short stories. Something I rarely read, and I'm not even sure why I bought the book . (It's far from new)

    Anyway, I am trying not to get into another book until the books I need to read for SQT arrive. I'm not a person to be into one book and set it down, read two others, and then go back to the original book. I know many can do that.. but I'm not one of them.

    So... I pulled this book out, (blew the dust off of it) knowing it was short stories, and knowing I don't remember reading it long ago when I got it. (old age). I flip through it and stop when I see a story in there by Neil Gaiman called Chivalry. I read Stardust not long ago so decided I'd give the short story a try.

    It was really cute! And what a premise! The story is about an elderly lady who goes into a "used" store, that sells anything and everything used. On one of her weekly trips into the store she finds the holy grail under an old used fur coat and buys it and takes it home. She cleans it up and puts it on her mantle.

    A day or two later a Knight in shining armor shows up at her door and says that he is Sir Galaad and on a quest for the holy grail. He offers to trade her for the grail on her mantle and she refuses. He comes back each day with a new offer, and while in her home she sets him to helping her with her tasks.

    Now, I don't want to finish by telling you what happens.. but I have to say of all the tales involving the finding of the Holy Grail.. this was the most original idea I've ever heard of! What a great idea that something so valuable or so historical could actually be sitting in front of everyone's eyes instead of being impossible to be found! It certainly makes you wonder.. just how many things do we miss because they are right in front of us, but we just aren't seeing them?

    The story (to me) was a bit comical and I totally enjoyed this little story. Should you ever come across it but ALL MEANS don't skip it! Read it! And let it put a smile on your face.

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Just a Quickie

    Hello?! Any chance I could share my bed??

    I somehow managed to squeeze on there and read this little book...

    At The Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery

    Hardcover: 152 pages
    Publisher: David Fickling Books (March 13, 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0385751133

    What a neat little story this is!

    Henry, a young boy about to enter 7th grade, moves with his parents to a village in Suffolk. The first friend he makes is not the young girl next door, but rather her great-aunt, Dottie.

    To Dottie Henry is a reminder of another Henry-her fiance, who was a Royal Air Force navigator that never returned from his 13th bombing mission.

    Henry likes listening to Dottie's memories of that time, and sometimes he has the feeling of being in someone else's body.

    Henry see's a shadowy figure that appears in the evening and seems to be waiting, amid the fireflies, at the gate of the garden and at night he thinks he hears the old planes that flew over more than 60 years earlier.

    While playing with a flight-simulator program on a computer, Henry "sees" what happened on that final mission for Henry.

    I have to stop there or you'll know the whole story! I sent for this book because they said it was a friendship between a young boy and an old lady. (which it was) I really enjoyed this little book.

    Maybe one day you'll see me .. at the firefly gate.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Revisiting Some Favorite Characters

    Although Carl said this book could be used for the RIP Challenge, in all honesty it doesn't fit the Challenge. I did finish the 4 books I said I would read, and hoped to add this as "extra credit", but alas it's not to be. Maybe I can fit it another book before the end of October... maybe.

    Dragons of the Highlord Skies
    Hardcover: 456 pages
    Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (July 10, 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0786943335

    I believe I have read every Dragonlance book that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have written! And after reading this one I can say I felt quite at home! I love, love, love the Dragonlance characters!

    Originally I thought this book would center around Kitiara (rider of the blue dragon Skie) and the Death Lord, Soth. They were both in the book but most of the book concerned Kitiara and her power struggles (trials and tribulations) to remain and further her ambitions above and beyond her Highlord status. (with a bit of rival/ jealousy still on hand towards Tanis half-elf.)

    Emperor Ariakis sends Kitiara to make sure the Solamnic knight Derek Crownguard hears about, then quests after a dragon orb which is being hidden by Feal-Thas (a very powerful elf wizard).

    Loathing the task but having no choice, Kitiara goes to Feal-Thas's Ice Palace in the dangerous land of Icereach to face the wizard and set things in motion.
    Crownguard and his companions join up with Sturm, Tasselhoff, Laurana and Flint. This part I was glad to read since it brought back old friends to me. They head off to find the magical Dragon Orb. And finally at the end of the book Kitiara meets Lord Soth to see if she can live through spending a night at the Death Lord's Castle.

    For me this was a fast read.. I love Dragonlance, like I already said and I can't get enough of the characters Weis and Hickman have made their own, and to me they can do no wrong when it comes to this particular group of characters. It also made me realize that I really want to reread the first 6 books they did . (like I need that with the huge TBR pile!) But I know I need to get to them .. soon. I miss them.

    I've read a few reviews on this book and it seems it's hit or miss for those who have read other books by these authors. For me.. I liked it! Alot! those 456 pages just flew by for me.

    I guess everyone can always find "something" wrong with almost any book.. and if I had to find one with this book I would say that I would have liked to have more of Lord Soth with Kitiara in it.

    Having said that I am not sorry in the least that I read this. And yes..eventually I will most likely reread it... but for now I have to wait until next summer for the 3rd installment to come out. That one is about Raistlin!! Oh yeah! The guy you love to hate! I can't wait!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    How Did I Miss That?

    The books I ordered from Book Closeouts arrived yesterday..

    I can't be surprised.. yet I was surprised! Actually.. more like shocked.

    How can this be? you ask. Well.. I can only assume I neglected to "read" something when ordering these books. Oh! Don't get me wrong, I didn't order a wrong book or anything like that. They surely are the books I ordered.

    Normally, (I say this because OBVIOUSLY I neglected to do this) I look and see how large the books are (page wise). Somewhere along the line I must have missed doing that on one of the books....

    .... Namely the one on the bottom of that stack.. about John Ford. I guess I assumed it would be like most stories of ones life and be a normal size.. ohhhh... saaayyy 3-400 pages or so.. that would seem normal to me. But as I took the books out of the box they arrived in I nearly broke my wrist when I picked this one up!

    838 pages!

    Yes, you read that right... EIGHT HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT PAGES! That's not a book! That's got to be every minute of his life! Hello?! (The book about Ron Howard is 296 pages ...see what I mean?)

    I can't complain about the price! I mean the original price is 40.00.. ( I admit I don't think I noticed the original price either *sigh*) I only paid 6.99! But EIGHT HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT PAGES?!! Shewwww, this baby goes to the bottom of the pile! I have too many TBR books to hang myself up on this one for a while! I know I'll get to it sooner or later...but I think it will be later.

    Sitting here wondering if I'll be able to hold it up once I get to it!

    For now they ALL go in the TBR pile.. which I might add is larger than I EVER expected to have in my lifetime!

    I am half way through Dragons of the Highlord Skies, which is a good read, and I'm glad I'm moving right along with it because on top of all the TBR books I now have I am expecting 2 more books from SQT which I will be reading and reviewing for her. They are YA books.. one of which I would have ordered at the end of the month anyway, so that thrills me since I don't have to do that now!

    So am I glad that no books I want, that add to some series I've read, come out until October (Fatal Reverent, Stephen R Donaldson) and December (Dragon Harper, McCaffrey)? Dang Right I am!!

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Goodbye's are Hard to Do

    Meet Jeff. Husband to Cheryl. They are my neighbors. .. and I'm about to lose them.

    Our neighborhood isn't the nicest. And Jeff and Cheryl have decided to move. I'm happy for them... and sad for me. You couldn't ask for nicer people than Jeff and Cheryl.

    Jeff can be seen a lot outside. He always has a smile and a hello and time to chat with you. He's never "too busy". He's also there if you ever need him.. for anything.

    Cheryl is the nurturer of the family.. but she extends that to friends too. If you ever need a hug.. I mean a REAL hug, knowing she cares.. she's got it for you.

    I can't say we talk to each other every day.. or even every week...but I know they are there. And I know they will never disappoint, for any reason. It's hard letting go of people like that.

    We all say, "oh we'll see you, we'll be around".. but life has a way of not really letting that happen. I am soooooooo going to miss these people. I am happy for them that they will have a nicer home in a nicer area (not really all that far but it isn't a nice stroll to reach it either.) I know that their new neighbors, whoever they are, will be glad to have them for a new neighbor. I know they will remain happy. But I am already sad.

    I just wanted to show you a photo of what a great neighbor looks like... just in case you aren't fortunate enough to have someone like this for your own neighbor.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    Once Upon A Time

    ... and to think... I used to be able to do this same thing without my back going out of whack!

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Meanwhile..back at the ranch..

    The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell.

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; 1 edition (April 15, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0060513713

  • This is a YA book about 12-year-old Makennam who witnessed the murder of her mother, a hedgewitch, by a priest of the Hierarch, aided by the villagers whom Makenna's mother had always helped.

    Filled with fear and hate, Makenna runs away into the woods, with her mothers spell books, where she befriends the goblins (a small race of people who are being killed off by the very same Hierarch.)

    5 years pass and you meet Tobin, an 18 yr old knight who takes the blame for his younger brother's role in an attempted coup. Tobin is given the opportunity to redeem himself by capturing the sorceress (Makenna) who now leads the goblins that are trying to keep their home grounds safe (from humans) for their own survival.

    The story teaches them both that the world cannot be all good or all bad. Because someone is different doesn't make them bad. And because someone is righteous doesn't necessarily make them right. A gentle reminder to keep an open mind.

    This book was a fast and enjoyable read and ends with a possibility of more to come, which makes me wonder if this story will have more to come. The younger of the YA readers would have no problems with it.


    Meanwhile Gandalf and my Book Wyrms have been guarding my To Be Read pile..

    Below are the newest on the pile.. they just arrived today from Amazon. (with more on the way from Book Closeouts! I hope I live long enough to read them all!)

    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and a little book called At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery. (wish me luck ..heh)

    Since I completed the RIP Challenge (reading 4 books: Wild Wood/ Wizards/ Gil's All Fright Diner/ Company of Ogres) I am already 50 pages into reading Dragons of the Highlord Skies, which Carl had said could also count since one of the main characters in this particular book has been dead over 300 years and is about as evil as evil can be. So until the end of October, I'm not so sure I'm done with RIP!

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    In Honor of Football Season

    My buddy Chris did a post about Football season beginning...

    As I read his excitement (and I'm sure many others feel the same) I found myself chuckling...

    Is there something funny about football? Not at all.. or at least, not that I know of! But the longer I read his post, the more I chuckled.

    You see.. I had a flashback. (we of the elderly generation do this now and then!). The last time I had a real interest in football, was when my kids were teenagers, and I was still married and lived in Florida. This folks is what is known as a way back flash back!

    Whenever football was on the guys (my X and my sons) would be glued to the television. I (still trying to hang on to the fact that I was not just one of the guys) but wanting to still be with the family dutifully sat in the living room with them. However, I was generally either reading a book or crocheting,.. heh.

    There was the exception to the rule though. And that was if the Rams were playing. You see.. well.. they had this gorgeous quarterback named Roman Gabriel.. (again, heh).

    He.. just somehow.. made me look away from that book or crocheting to actually watch the football game! (imagine that!)

    Roman Gabriel: The 1962 AFL Draft - December 2, 1961
    First Pick: Roman Gabriel, QB, North Carolina State
    1962-72 Los Angeles Rams
    1973-77 Philadelphia Eagles (16 total playing seasons)

    (no I'm not football smart.. I looked up that information !)

    After a number of years of this, I nearly began to understand what was going on! Lord help me.. but .. I couldn't help myself.

    When I went to find a photo of Roman for this post I also found the below picture..

    Hello?!! Dang! He still looks great! (but he's still way younger than me! For some reason they never do catch up! sigh) I wonder if he'll ever come around my area doing signings??! Ah well...

    So.. that's my one and only Football post! Now I feel like one of the guys!

    ....'till next time...

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    September 7th

    September 7th, 1945..

    That was the year that Jackson DeForest Kelley married the lovely Carolyn Dowling.

    Today they would have been married for 62 years.

    They are forever on my mind.. I miss them more than I can say.

    It's not often you come across the likes of the Kelley's. People who genuinely care for someone for who you are, not what you are.

    Fame never went to their heads. They lived in a small 2 bedroom (one bedroom changed into an office) ranch style home in Sherman Oaks (with Myrtle their turtle), close to De's work.

    They never flaunted their fame, nor did they act anyway out of the normal than your neighbor would.

    They always managed to find some good in everyone they met, and you never heard a bad word about anyone from them.

    When in their presence, you were the most important person to them.. and they showed it in oh so many ways.

    Did I mention I missed them?

    I know they are together smiling down at everyone they knew.. at times I just wish I could hug them and tell them how much I love them one more time.

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    In the Company of Ogres...and others

    Book 4 of 4 (but will continue and if they fit RIP I will do a review!)

    In The Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages

  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 3, 2007)

  • ISBN-10: 0765354578

  • The book begins:
    "His name was Never Dead Ned, but it was only a nickname. He could die. He'd met his death forty-nine times, and forty-nine times he'd risen from the grave. Although, after his reputation spread, people stopped bothering to bury him. They'd just throw his corpse in a corner and wait for him to rise again. And he always did."

    Once again A Lee Martinez explodes with his outlook on the most unlikable characters he could find and turns them into friends, lovers and even heroes. Reluctant though they may be he has given them such character and comedy that you can't help but like them!

    Never Dead Ned, was a nobody, of no consequence, put in charge of a League, called Ogre Company, that most likely would fail at anything and everything. You couldn't have met a more trodden person than Ned, if you tried.

    "Yes, I was dead last night. And yes, I know they call me "never Dead Ned" But I guess that's only because "Occasionally Dead Ned" isn't nearly as catchy.

    But with all the faults of this odd and very diverse group (including trying to figure out how to kill Ned.. and keep him dead.. that is until they and Ned find out the truth about him) they manage to come across as one huge dysfunctional family.

    A crimson lightning bolt arced from the shadows and struck Ned in his chest. He died before he'd even realized it, falling upon his own grave.

    The Red Woman stepped from the darkness. Her staff glowed.

    "Why'd you do that?" asked her raven.

    "I have my reasons," she replied.

    The Red Woman had resurrected Ned many, many times but she'd never before killed him. She waved her staff over him, and Ned gasped. He hadn't drawn in his first breath before she zapped him with another bolt. He died before he could open his eyes.

    The raven hopped to her other shoulder. "What was the purpose of that?"

    "No purpose. Just seeing how it was on the other end of things."

    "And how was it?"

    "Oddly satisfying."

    She turned and walked away, leaving Ned to rot atop his grave.

    This book is definitely light hearted and a refreshing take on many, off the wall, horrid creatures you can think of , brought into a new light with personality and comedy.

    The Cast of Characters:

    Never Dead Ned: ...human (?)
    Gabel: ... an unusually short Orc. (Goblin short!)
    Frank: ...a very large Ogre
    Regina: ...a fighting Amazon woman
    Ace: ...A Goblin "pilot" of an Roc
    Ward & Ralph: ...Ogre grave diggers
    The Red Woman: ....wizard
    Belok: ....a cursed wizard
    Miriam:....a sexy siren
    Owens: ...a blind oracle
    Private Lewis and Corporal Martin: ...Ogre with twin heads
    Seamus: ....a Goblin shape shifter
    Sally: ....salamander
    Treefolk: ...a talking tree
    Ulga: ...elf

    Put them all together and what do you get? A damn enjoyable book!

    I found both of A. Lee Martinez books, Gil's All Fright Diner and In The Company of Ogres very enjoyable reading material and would suggest that when you want a break from the "norm" (whatever that may be for you).. pick up one of these books and enjoy yourself! (Though I will admit I think Gil's All Fright Diner has the edge.. but only a little)

    Read more RIP Book Reviews here!

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Expecto Patronum!

    Daniel Radcliff was on the Regis show this morning. He's had his 18th birthday. Wow. 18! Wasn't he just 12?!

    With all the Harry Potter movies he's made, it made me wonder if it's opened his mind to Fantasy, or if it's all been just a fun way to make a lot of money.

    I know I certainly am open to Fantasy. And the older I get.. the more I wish some of it could come true, and not just be imagined.

    One of the things I found in the Potter books/ movies that would really be neat would be to be able to conjure up a Patronum.

    The Patronus Charm is simple in theory, but hard to perform properly. The spell requires the use of a wand and the incantation "Expecto Patronum."

    The caster assumes a very specific type of emotional state: he or she must tap into, and draw out, the positive emotions that will make up the Patronus.
    The Patronus Charm conjures an incarnation of the caster's innermost positive feelings, such as joy, hope, or the desire to survive, known as a Patronus.

    Your own personal protector against any sort of harm... I could deal with that! How about you?

    If you could, what animal do you think you'd conjure up as your own Patronus?

    (... now I need to make me a wand!... anyone have any spare phoenix feathers?)


    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Earl and Duke Rule!

    (Book 3 of 4) RIP

    Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages

  • Publisher: Tor Books (June 27, 2006)

  • ISBN-10: 0765350017

  • I've come to the conclusion that it takes a darn good writer to take a Vampire, and a Werewolf... make them comical...and make them likeable... and then stir it all up and write a story around them.

    A. Lee Martinez did just that.

    He took one Vampire, named Earl, who was half dead (during the day when he slept) and half alive (at night of course), and one (best friend) Werewolf, named Duke and made them both comical and likeable and then gave them a huge undertaking (pardon the pun) to accomplish at Gil's Diner.

    Add in some other characters like, an overweight gal named Loretta who ran the diner, a ghost named Cathy who was "bound" to the cemetery, some zombies and ghouls, and a couple of teenagers (Tammy & Chad) who, without their knowledge, are doing Gil's bidding to become a god of the dark... and you have Gil's All Fright Diner!

    I didn't think I'd like this book all that much... but I have to say it gave me a smile now and then and had some very interesting characters! How I can wind up liking a Vampire (and by the way for whatever reason each time I read his name "Earl" all I could picture was "My Name Is Earl"!) and a Werewolf (Duke's name conjured up Duke Wayne!) is beyond me.. but if you want some light reading that will give you a smile when you least expect it... this is the book you should read!

    Excerpt, Upon arriving at Gil's Diner: (Earl did not want to stop at the diner)

    "You could'a got a sandwich. That's your problem. You never think ahead. You're always living in the now. You've go one of them there reactive minds."

    Duke cursed the day Earl had gotten his hands on a dog-eared copy of Dianetics.

    The werewolf stopped to sniff the air.

    "Now what?" Earl asked

    "Nuthin'". He tiled his head. "Thought I smelt sumthin' for a minute there."

    "What?" What d'ja think you smell?"


    "Jeezus, Duke, there ain't nothin' for a hundred miles. Where the hell would zombies come from?"

    "Over there."

    Duke jerked his thumb over his shoulder as he entered the diner. As if on cue, the dust raised by the pickup's arrival settle, revealing a small cemetery.



    Click here to read more RIP Book Reviews!

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    Where I'm From


    Where I am From...

    I am from an Irish father and a English mother.

    I am from a small town in the eastern state of New Jersey. A small town that had only one traffic light, one elementary school and no high school. I'm from wild Tiger Lilies lining a creek that flowed thru part of the town. I'm from a 4 family house with a chicken farm next to it and a home with a small sheep pasture next to it.. I am from a town that had no movie theaters, or things to do. I am from an after school playground going higher then the bar on the swing.

    I am from a family without a father. I am from a mother that did a man's job in a nearby factory but did not get the same wages of the man next to her, doing the same thing

    I am from a mother who raised two children by herself. I am from an unknown family. I am from a mother who was adopted and from a father who was a singer and a musician.

    I am from the poor side of the tracks and thrift shop clothes. I am from never having said the word "daddy".

    From hearing that my birth grandparents on my mothers side was someone of some distinction: a "Lord" in England. And that my grandmother by birth came back when my mother was 7 and wanted her back, but the court asked the child who she wanted to live with, and of course chose the only mother she knew. I am from coal and wood burning stoves and irons that had changing handles.
    I am by birth an Episcopalian, by choice Methodist and Presbyterian and now none at all.

    I am from Sunday dinners at my godmothers eating stuffed grape leaves. I am from trips to the beach, crushes on lifeguards and playing pinball and shuffle board. I am from old convertibles with ripped tops and heavy lacquer hairspray.
    I'm from Salvation Army camps, eating home made cookies at my neighbors, playing "pretend" under the front porch, and reading used Zane Grey books.
    I am from puppies and turtles and kittens born on windowsills, from wild strawberries and wild violets, and from catching frogs in streams. From big band and rock and roll music and the Syncopated Clock on TV

    I am..... me.

    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    So.. you want to be a Wizard?

    Another book bites the dust...

    So You Want to be a Wizard

  • Paperback: 408 pages

  • Publisher: Magic Carpet Books (October 1, 2003)

  • ISBN-10: 0152049401

  • As I seem to do more often now, I choose some YA books when I want some light reading, in between others that might be called High Fantasy, or my occasional Biography.

    Publishers Weekly describes it thus:
    As two young wizards embark on a mission to preserve the universe they encounter an eerie version of Manhattan.

    This book could actually be used as one of the RIP Challenge books! It was eerie, it was spooky, and at times creepy!

    A young girl named Nita, who is getting tired of being beaten up by a bully, runs to hide in a Library, down in the basement of kids books. While there she recalls how she's read all of the books in the room, when as her hand, as she lovingly runs her fingers over them, comes to a book she never saw. When she pulls it out she reads the title: So You Want To Become a Wizard. She chuckles, thinking this book is a joke of some sort and opens the book. Upon her nemeses leaving she takes the book home with her.

    Still considering it some sort of joke she reads the Oath to become a Wizard aloud and yep.. she becomes a wizard.

    Along with another young friend named Kit (a boy one year younger than her) who also found this book by different means, they come together to try to discover just what it is they can do.

    During one of her beatings from the bully a gift she loved very much, a space pen, is stolen and Nita wants it back desperately.

    Without going into too much more detail I will say that the kids find their selves going through a timeslide in Manhattan to find that this world was much different. Very Dark, the living things, such as trees dead, cars that think (hatred) and an evil that has stolen the Book of Night with Moon, and they must find the book and bring it back to save the world.

    If I were a kid this would keep me up with the creeps!

    I have to say although it was really well written, and it was a good read.. it would be a book I probably won't read a second time. But then.. I'm as far from being a kid as ..well.. waaaaay tooooo far!