The Versatile Blogger Award



I am always honored when other bloggers nominate me for an award, and I often have to apologize, as I do this time, for taking so long to deal with the award. So, thanks and apologies to Alfa for this honor and for taking so long to recognize it.

Here are the rules of the award:

(1) Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link to their page.

(2) Post the award image.

(3) Nominate and notify five other bloggers for the award.

(4) Tell seven things about yourself.

My nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award:


C. M. Blackwood

Marc Alexander Valle

Khaya Ronkainen


Seven things about me:

(1) I read 3-4 books a week.

(2) I am a die hard Washington Capitals fan.  Maybe this is the year for the Cup!

(3) I am a confirmed Marvel Comics fan.

(4) I love chili.

(5) I make a great Texas style chili.

(6) I am very excited The X-Files is back.

(7) I just submitted my horror novel Evil Lives After to another publisher.

Again, thank you to Alfa


More Reading and Writing Quotations



“Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.”                                    J. K. Rowling


“I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.”                                         J. K. Rowling



“Believe in yourself. Keep writing.”  Neil Gaiman

“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.”                                              Neil Gaiman



“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”            Ray Bradbury

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

                                                                  Ray Bradbury

Favorite Science Fiction Films of the 1950s: The War Of The Worlds



I have been discussing horror films primarily in my blog, but I want to extend my examination to science fiction movies also. Certainly the two genres have much in common, especially in their examination of very real social issues through the motif of the creation of fantasy worlds. They also differ in their focus on monsters or unseen fears in horror and on the dangerous use of technology in science-fiction.

The 1950s was a decade  that saw the emergence of science-fiction films into the public consciousness, especially reflecting the twin fears of the Cold War: of communists and of nuclear annihilation. These were the kind of enormous social anxieties that played well in the genre of science-fiction.


In 1953, H. G. Wells’ classic novel The War Of The Worlds was adapted into a contemporary American setting in their feature film. A previous incarnation had been the 1938 Radio production for the Mercury Theater on the Air by Orson Welles. This was the famous production that had sent much of the United States into a panic, thinking that the country was being invaded.


In post World War Two America, after having experienced an attack on native land by a foreign country and being one of the major forces in a global war of unprecedented scale, the time was correct for a newer adaptation of the novel. The world had suffered devastating losses with a conservative estimate of the dead at 56 million. Immediately upon the ending of that war, NATO and the Soviet Union faced each other in an often silent but still hugely dangerous new kind of conflict.  Fears of a new invasion and of complete destruction permeated the country. This 1953 movie, made by Paramount Pictures, produced by George Pal, and starring Gene Barry, addressed those concerns directly.


Shot in Technicolor and set in California, the film employs sleek new special effects, although dated by today’s standards, and shows powerful alien spaceships from Mars attacking Earth.  The planet’s powerful military defenses are useless against the superior technology of the invaders. (This point, which was a crucial theme against England’s colonizing of countries with lesser technological abilities, was dropped from this film.) Neither God nor the figure of the young scientist, who would save the world in other movies, had any impact on the invaders.  Even the atomic bomb, which had been used to force the surrender of Japan in World War Two, had no ability to break the Martians’ defense. The world is saved only by germs in the environment to which the Martians have no immunity.

It is a powerful film, and a reflection of the fears of that time. If you enjoy science-fiction cinema, take a look at this movie.






Mitch Goldfarb conducted an interview with me for his site. I encourage all of you to visit his blog; you will not be disappointed.

From Stephen King to Dr. King, from steelworker to novelist, Dr. Charles French is fearless in his pursuit of writing. He shares insights on how embracing failure is a key to his success.

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Spirit Animal Blog Award (2)



I have been remiss in responding to award nominations, so I thought I would take this chance to begin to fix this situation. I am honored to have been nominated again for  this award.  Any time a blogger receives recognition from another blogger is important.  I thank Roo from for this honor.  If you have not seen her blog, please visit it.

Spirit Animal Blog Award Acceptance Rules:

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to their page.

2.) Post the award picture on your blog.

3.) Write a short paragraph about yourself and what your blog means to you.

4.) If you could be any animal, what would it be?

5.) Pick and notify ten nominees.

About me:

I am a writer and teacher, and I try to share my thoughts and experiences about both aspects of myself here.  I hope that what I write is both informing and entertaining.  I have found this blog to be a way not only to express myself but also to meet a wide variety of good and fascinating people.

My Spirit Animal:

I am going to take this opportunity to choose a second spirit animal. In the first award, I chose a wolf; this time I will choose the bald eagle.  I feel a great affinity for both animals.  This time I would like to identify with the beautiful birds that fly in the skies and view the world from a very different perspective.


My Nominees:

scrapy do 2

R. S. Gullett




Dr. Suesszues-Zen


Susanna J. Sturgis



Once again, thank you to Roo from

We Have Snow!



(Liz French 1/23/16)

From the recent forecasts over the past few days, the range for expected snowfall was anywhere from 1/2 inch to 24 inches.  Given that fairly wide span of results, I would say the forecasters were successful!  The first two pics are from our front porch.


(Liz French 1/23/16)

This last picture is of our back deck.


(Liz French 1/23/16)

We had already shoveled the deck clear once, and there will probably be another 6-8 inches before it is done.

Let it snow!

Take Time to Read




“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

                                                                                  Stephen King




“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

                                                                              William Faulkner




“We live for books.”   Umberto Eco

A New Semester



Today is the beginning of a new semester at one of the two colleges where I am teaching; next week the other school begins, and I am very excited. I always feel like this at the beginning of a new session.  I certainly needed the winter break after last semester, which was very busy, but now I am filled with energy and ready to begin.

I will have a varied group of classes, but tonight I begin with Medieval Literature at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College.  Among the texts we will read are Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Le Morte d’Arthur.  I love these works, and I hope that the class enjoys studying them.

I have to go and put the finishing touches on today’s opening lecture.


Photograph by my wife Liz French (2014)