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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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brent, Me, and the Book Store

**Warning** there are a killer amount of photo's on this post!**


As grandson's go, I sure got me a great one! (he's not mine by birth as Kat had Brent by her first marriage)... but If I could pick a grandson.. Brent would be it! And I'm not just saying that to be nice... I wish he was mine by blood birth!

So.. Brent and I had a special outing all by ourselves. Kat had some work to do and dropped us of at........ are you ready for this?..... Borders Book Store! heh.. trust me, that was no accident! Brent had a 20.00 gift certificate that was burning a hole in his pocket!

Not all young boys like to read.. but Brent does! (I told you he was perfect to be my grandson!)

We arrived at Borders and I immediately pulled out my camera. (what's a grandma for if she doesn't have a camera?) We waved good-by to Kat and went in with smiles on our faces.

We headed directly to the Young Adult/ Kids section of the store, and we were both thrilled to see that they had a mighty selection to choose from. Besides having a number of rows of books they had some really nice displays too... and Brent checked them all out!

It was probably a good half hour (or more) before we took a seat to see what we had been collecting so far...

When we were at home he had shown me some books he had. Two of them were from a Trilogy, that he hadn't started reading yet. He was waiting to get the missing book. When we found it there I told him I would get it for him. It's the one with the dragon eye on the cover, titled Fire Within by Chris D'lacey. He also was contemplating a Lemony Snicket book. He was skeptical about it being hardback because of the price (he wanted as much as he could for his 20.00! Love this kid!) So of course I said that I would get it, so keep looking!

One book Brent found was really neat! The Pirateology book. By William Captain Lubber. This is an interactive book and is filled with all sorts of extra little things to look into! Brent loved it but it would have taken his full amount of his gift card, so he said.. it's ok... nothing that special. But you know there was no way I was letting that book stay there! lol... and it paid off BIG TIME!

(By the time we left the store.. this was our take home pile! )

Once home Brent couldn't keep his hands off of the Pirate book lol..

And below.... well... this is where it paid off ! Off and on for the next three days, in between summer homework of reading, he read the entire book to me out loud!

He really reads good! He's 11 and he pronounced words that amazed me!! My grandson has a definite talent towards doing voice-over work !! If my mom read to me when I was young, I don't remember it... so this was the first time I ever remember having been read to! Hello?! Can we say, I was a happy camper?!

There was all this fine reading being done to me... but I have to fess up here..

ALL those books pictured above weren't all for Brent. (most but not all!)

I was so amazed at the amount of creativity they put into the kids books compared to adult books that... well... I couldn't leave empty handed..heh.

THIS is grandma's hord!

The Middle book, Dragonsdale by Salamanda Drake, well... the cover alone took my heart! The book doesn't just "open".. it unfolds! The dragons head and title fold off to the right, and then the "normal cover" opens to the left. Once inside it's filled with wonderful drawings throughout the book! I remember thinking as I flipped through it, why aren't more adult books made like this? There's so much art and graphics that make them so much more interesting and fun!!... so I bought it. (duh)

(sample drawing)

And what can I say? I was jealous of all the wonderful things Brent was having that my books didn't have... so I added 2 more!

Wizardology and Dragonology. These are smaller versions of Brents Pirateology book. They aren't interactive (but they come in that form also).

(sample from Dragonology book) and below samples from Wizardology book.

So... that's my trip with Brent... his treasures... and my treasures... what I need to end this post I don't have. That would be a photo of Brent and I holding hands walking off into our own Fantasy land!

Gawd, it's great being a kid!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Meet The Family

I think I'll just make my first post about going to Florida a simple one... here we go..


Meet The Family..


First there's the cat Smokey... and the dog, Crystal....



Then there's my grandson Brent! .. and Kat and George (my son)



...and grandma, with the tennis ball... IF and when Crystal decides to share it.



...and lastly,.. this is where I got to have a really REALLY good nights sleep!



So, now when I mention any of them you will know who they are!... easy beginning eh wot?!!

I made it back!

Just got back last night... trying to edit photo's and catch up!

Quick note: check the sidebar! I will be listing the links to entries to the "favorite characters contest" there. The first two to enter are posted!

When next I post you all are stuck seeing pictures and hearing about my visit with my son and his family.. so face it... there's no getting away from it!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Darn Good Saturday

So... I went to a convention today .. and I'm off to see my son in Florida tomorrow!

Here's some views from the convention and 2 great autographs I obtained!!!!

I found Anakin and Obi-wan battling it out!

(these guys REALLY looked like who they were dressed like in person!!)

Outside I found the Batmobile... AND The Green Hornet!

The Fonz was there!... Ehhhhhhh!

... and ummm.. so was Henry Winkler..heh.

And then........

And then........

There was LANDO! (quick, get the drool bucket!)

And were would Lando be with Billy D Williams?...pshaw!

some of his other "offerings" for autographs on his table.

And through it all, I spotted this young lady sitting in the corner all alone......

Reading HARRY POTTER!!! (note how far she got in just a few hours!)

Well.. that's it folks.. this is a rush post because I have to finish packing and get my big butt into bed.. I have to get up at 5 am!!! See you all when I return from Florida!!

DON'T FORGET THE POST BELOW!!! LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WANT TO JOIN THE CONTEST!!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Care to enter a Contest?

I discovered Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings a number of months ago. I found his blog at the right moment, one might say. He was hosting a challenge. I came to find out this isn't unusual for Carl. The result of his Challenge would be a prize for some lucky person, at the end of the given time. His challenges all surround reading. (I bet you knew that was coming). The one I stumbled on was to read Fantasy books and leave "reviews" for others. Need I say those reviews lead me to a purchasing a number of books!

Anyway.. as I went around to some of these book blogs I discovered there were other sites that did "give away's" of books. So far I've only gotten lucky once, heh. But still I started noticing how people who may not have read much, were rallying around and were becoming more of a reader than they had been before.

To me, this was really cool! Not all the blogs out there that I found were Fantasy (my personal favorite), but it didn't matter.. these folks were enjoying reading!

I liked the idea of give away's and Challenges... so I thought it, and although I am basically house bound and, well.. not very rich, (understatement!) I still wanted to do something. As much as I enjoyed all the reviews I had been reading, I began to be able to tell when someone enjoyed the book they read .. or..really enjoyed that book!

That part stuck with me and I began to wonder if others felt as I did about certain books, or rather I want to say certain characters in those books. Since I am such a character driven person in my reading, I thought I would try to have a "contest" of sorts myself.

But I didn't want to do what others did..

I didn't want to do "themes"..

I didn't want to do "read X amount in a certain time"..

I wanted to know more about why certain characters stand out to you. Who and why are there some characters in a book (and I mean ANY type of book..not just Fantasy) that you just can't forget. Or one that you just can't read enough of that certain character.

So I thought I'd have a contest, .. the only thing you have to do to enter is...write a post! And to make it even easier, this character doesn't have to be in a new read ! So you don't even have to read something new to enter.

Pretty easy huh? Ok, so write a post and make sure I get the link..heh, that would help.

I want the post to be about a character in a book that you really like. One that for whatever reason, you can't seem to forget. Or one that you related to. Or one that made you laugh. Just make it about a character you can't seem to forget. Tell about how you found this character, and most of all... why you like him/ her/ it... post it before August 3rd and leave a link so that others can read your post.

I do have a slight problem though.. I am hoping everyone can leave their links at my blogspot journal. As most know, I keep a copy of my journal in aol as well as on blogspot (and even in wordpress). Don't ask why.. it's a long story lol. Anyway, if you could leave the links on blogspot I'd appreciate it, since I want everyone to be able to see the links so that they might go around and read the others posts. If you have difficulty leaving the link in comments, go ahead and put it on the journal you are reading. I will be away next week, but I'll have internet access so I will try my best to copy them over to blogspot.

This contest will not be JUDGED! It doesn't matter if you are a writer or not. It will not be judged on content! It's strictly on the fact that you took the time to tell everyone about one of your favorite characters from something you have read.

On Aug. 4th I will copy all the names from the links, put them in a bowl and have my brother pull a name out for a winner.

I have a few things I've gathered for a "prize" for the winner. The first is this t-shirt.


The shirt is large.. a 2X to be exact. Now that may sound outrageous but.. some people, like me, like to "cover up"..heh. But those who don't need that could easily use this as a nite-shirt to sleep in.

The shirt was hand painted by my brother for me to use especially for this contest...

Above and below you can see the artist doing finishing touches.

The other prizes consist of: The first 4 paperbacks of the Harry Potter books. (read once, no marks, no bent pages!), a Dr. McCoy book marker (I bet you're surprised that I would have that around..yeahright) and a colossal card of a painting called "No Passage" that was painted by Ken Kelly It's autographed by the artist. This I can guarantee since I was the one who obtained it from Ken. (the card is 6 1/2 X 10)

Here's a close up of the front and back of the card.

So.. that's the prize package. . I hope the prize package will make some of you take on the challenge and write a really great post about one of your favorite characters from a book you just can't forget!

(Prize Package!)


*******************************************************

I know.. most reading about this Contest don't think I enjoy anything except Fantasy..

Well.. you're Close!..heh.. but I do read an occasional Biography and some books on our Original Astronauts.. in fact on my Amazon wish list I have a few such books waiting..

Like: The Search for John Ford (movie director)

This is what Publishers Weekly says on this book:
After being called the "greatest poet of the Western saga," film director Ford responded, "I am not a poet, and I don't know what a Western saga is. I would say that is bullshit." Yet Ford--who made such classic westerns as Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--helped define the idea of the western as a quintessential American story for audiences around the world. (see?! Not Fantasy!)

I also have Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon..and Beyond on the list (actor/ director) Some of the movies he's directed that I love are:

A Beautiful Mind ..

Apollo 13 ..

Far and Away ..

Backdraft ..

Willow..

Cocoon (I bet you are noticing yet another obsession huh?!)

For Astronauts I have Rocketman: Astronaut Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond on my want list.


A book not yet written.. which I would buy up right away if it ever is writtenwould be on Nick Meyer (director/ writer). I was lucky and got to actually meet him once and watch him at work direction a scene from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country! Some of his many credits that I really like are:

Sommersby (1993) (screenplay) (story)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (screenplay/ director)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (screenplay)

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) (screenplay/ director

Time After Time


So see there!.... I do have other interests!... even if they do sorta all get bundled together, heh.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All... or Nothing at all

Well sheesh!..

Over the past 3 weeks I ordered some books.

Some were used by different sellers.

and some from Amazon.com

I totally expected to receive them on separate days, since I ordered them days, and even weeks between each other.

I am not the most patient "waiter" of something I order... but I waited. Today I found this on my doorstep ! All or nothing at all!

I smiled alot.. but I would have smiled 3 times instead of once had them come on different days! Still.... it didn't take me long to tear into them and make sure they all arrived in good condition. The Amazon ones always do.. but when I order used books I always wonder if they will be "as described". So naturally, I opened those first!

I'm happy to say.. everything arrived in good shape in in good condition!

Here's a photo of the horde!

Two of the used Hard back books are "replacements" for older paperbacks.. Those would be both the David Eddings books of Polgara the Sorceress and Belgarath the Sorcerer. (he's one of those sorcerer's that I fell in love with.. along with Gandalf of course) Would you believe I only paid 3.99 for Polgara and 2.49 for Belgarath!!.. couldn't ask for a better deal! Oh.. well, FREE.. but you know.. cheap is good!

The Gene Wolfe book is used also but "new" condition! (7.00) Now I finally have both of his books to read. I did real good on the used books!!!

The New books are Dragons of the Highlord Skies, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (second of a trilogy) and the 4th installment of Mel Odom's Rover series, The Quest for a Trilogy.

I think it's safe for me to not order books for a while..heh. Though I do still have the Harry Potter book preordered and it will appear this month also. August should be a "no buy" month. (should be) It won't be until September that the last of the Leven Thumps books gets released.

The only thing I don't get is.... why does my amazon wish list keep getting longer?!!!

So... now I can go to Florida next week and go to the bookstore with my grandson and walk out with ONLY books for HIM!! whew... maybe my visit will be cheaper than I expected!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Puzzle, puzzle... toil and trouble

I had so much fun making Mel Odems Puzzle last time that I thought I would do a few of my own.. You really should try doing one.. it's probably something we all did when we were young but for whatever reasons we just stopped.

They are only 48 pieces so not such a big deal as a 500 or 1000 piece puzzle !

I thought I'd make a puzzle from my drawing of Firestorm from my story..


Click to Mix and Solve


Them Pamela asked me if when I made a puzzle if it would be a "kitty".. so these are for you Pamela... some "kitty photos" I took a long time ago when I volunteered at Shambala Preserve........


Click to Mix and Solve

Click to Mix and Solve

Click to Mix and Solve


...'til next time...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Searching Authors

This morning I was thinking about some of the "new" authors I have found recently. I've been enjoying them more then I can say, so I thought I would look up and see if I could find some things on them to share with anyone who thinks they might enjoy a young adults author... and maybe even spur someone to try something new.

First off, I was back at James A Owens web site. I go there to see what he's up to, and found he's busy doing the artwork for this next book. While clicking on his links I came across one that sells the comic book STARCHILD. I know some people who have heard of the comic, and might be interested to know where you can purchase them.

The books are indeed in print, and may be purchased here.

I enjoy the fact that Mr Owen posts and keeps you informed about his books! Of course being able to see the artwork for book 2 ahead of time is tantalizing to say the least.

After I left Mr Owens site I decided to look for Mel Odom who's Trilogy I just finished reading. If you click on his name you will find that Mr Odom has a blog! How cool! I love authors who make the time to let their fans know what's new and what they've been doing!!

One of Mr Odoms posts had puzzles on it.. which I clicked on.. and found the next few minutes I was actually doing a puzzle! (can't remember the last time I made a puzzle!) It was fun! Try it!... just click on the picture below ofIn Quest for a Trilogy and test your ability to do a small puzzle! (this was fun lol... so much fun I think I will make one of my own and post it!)


Click to Mix and Solve

So... if you have read any books by Mel Odom, you might want to check out his blog!

The next author I searched was Obert Skye. He has written the Leven Thumps series, which I adored! I couldn't fine an Obert Skye web site but I did find one for Leven Thumps!

I must say the web builders of Leven Thumps and one for Brandon Mull's, Fablehaven are outstanding and fun to visit! If you have kids,.. or even if you don't.. you might enjoy these interactive web sites.

Lastly, I revisited Cornelia Funke's site. I keep returning there in search of news on book number 3 of Inkheart. It's completed and now being translated into English... but it will be a while before it's released. *sigh*

So... these are some of the authors I have discovered fairly recently and totally enjoyed each of their works. Most are written for Young Adults but, as ancient as I am... I sure enjoyed them all!

....'til next time...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Feline Friday

It's been a while since I contributed to Feline Friday.. (sorry 'bout that)

It's just hard ya know? I mean I live with my brothers 9 cats and getting pictures isn't always easy... think about it. What do cats do with 9/10ths of their life? Let me tell you in case you don't know... they sleep!

Now, I've posted sleeping cats before... and I'm sure this won't be the last one I ever post.. but for what it's worth.. Here's Winkey doing what comes natural!




Don't forget, if you want to post your kitty photo to link up with Steven !

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Book Report Time

The past few days here have been unbelievably hot! Which, unless you are very young, means that the heat and humidity keeps you sluggish and sleepy! Not much gets done!

But it's about to come to an end (for a few days anyway) with another front approaching. And OF COURSE, the front will come in as : SEVERE AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS WITH LIGHTENING AND POSSIBLE HAIL.

I can't tell you how sick I am of that sentence! I'm not sure if the news people just latched onto the words: Severe and Dangerous and "Possible" and can't seem to let go of them.. or if our weather has changed so much that this is the new "norm". I sure hope it's not the new norm!

I also hate it because they say these things and then I have to go and unplugging all the wires to my computer and dsl box and then I get to look at a dark screen. *pout* Then when it rains but no lightening, no thunder and no hail arrive, I get... ummm.. ticked off. I just wish they wouldn't try to scare everyone when it's not necessary. Instead, they give it "all the same" for a Tri-State area... ummm, how the storm is in NY is NOT always the same in NJ. *sigh*

Ok.. gunna get off the soap box... here comes my latest book news.


So.. I just completed this trilogy with Lord of the Libraries (which got very exciting and an excellent conclusion to the trilogy! I really enjoyed these books and the characters that made the adventure all that more interesting) when I discover Mr Odom has released yet another book. (well, actuallyI discovered it a few weeks ago, about mid-way through Lord of the Libraries)

The Quest for the Trilogy

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (March 20, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0765315173

At first I thought it was the trilogy I had just finished reading put into one book. (this has been done before by others)

But.. it's not. (shaking my head).. so.. I ordered it. I had to wait until the release date of a Margaret Weis book so I could order them together and not get the shipping price added to them.

Thank you Mr Odom *sigh* Lord of the Libraries my foot... more like, Lord help me afford all these books! ARGH! Let me warn anyone out there in my age group.. (old!).. Social Security does not pay enough to buy all the books you want! I am seriously beginning to realize that sooner (rather than later) I will be forced to give up this "hobby" of reading!

Thank goodness I enjoy rereading the books I have!

Ok.. so.. my next venture into a book is going to be... The Unexpected Apprentice

Author: Jody Lynn Nye
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (June 12, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0765314339

Book Description... (via Amazon.com)

Halfling Tildi Summerbee has led a typical, unexciting life, tending the house for her brothers while they manage the family farm. Her days are boring, but happy...until a Thraik attack decimates her family.

In an effort to provide for Tildi, the town's leaders prepare an arranged marriage and take control of her farm's assets. After all, a female halfling is incapable of handling such matters on her own.

Tildi sees things differently.

In order to escape her arranged marriage and overcome the prejudices against the "weaker" sex, she decides to pass herself off as a man. Assuming the guise of her brother Teldo, Tildi disappears into the night. She plans to accept Teldo's position as an apprentice to a great wizard.

But she soon finds that the rest of the world isn't very welcoming to halflings. And that she is surrounded by fantastic dangers.

Dangers that are more than a match for a wizard's apprentice.


Sounds like something I will enjoy.. so I'll give it a try!

On the flap of the dust cover (which I always remove while reading) I was surprised to see a blurb by Mel Odom, who's trilogy I just finished!

It went like this: "Did you ever wonder how things might have been different if Fodo or Bilbo had been a female?" Hmmm, well that helped peek my interest!

I don't want to forget to mention that the cover art is by: Michael Kaluta.

O.K.. enough writing... time to go and begin the new book!..

...'til next time....


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

# 26

Anyone ever see the mini series Dinotopia when it was on television? It aired back in 2002, but it's been on a few times since then.

Well.. way back when (sounds like Once Upon a Time huh?!) the show was on television, they had a web site. On the site they had some contest going... I forget the big prize but MANY little prizes were awarded... and guess who received one of those little prizes?! (you didn't think I'd win something big did you? pshawww!)

Heh.. it was a tiny stuffed dinosaur in his plastic eggshell.. his name is #26. I'm happy to report that after these past few years, he hasn't eaten very little, and so he hasn't grown...

#26 got loose the other day (the little rascal!)....... and went right to the book pile!

He seems interested in Gene Wolfe's The Knight ! I wonder if he even knows what a Knight is??? Maybe he thinks the dragon is a relative????

I wonder if he's telling me that I should read that next?.. well.. no.. I think I know what book is next, and I know that I'm saving Neil Gaiman's Stardust to take with me to Florida... it's a paperback and lighter to carry then my other books. (no fool here since I have to lift the luggage above my head to store it on the plane..hardback books stay home!)

Anyway... I managed to get #26 safely back into his "plastic egg shell". Now hopefully, I don't have to go around and check to see if he left me any little "surprises"!


..... 'till next time....