Science Fiction Films of the 1950s: The Invasion of the Body Snatchers


This is another of the posts in my series on science-fiction films that I wanted to reblog.

charles french words reading and writing



The 1956 film The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is a seminal piece of cinema.  This movie combined the theme of alien invaders with that of xenophobia and the fear of communists infiltrating American society. Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter starred in the film, and directed by Don Siegel, in an Allied Artists film. The film was based on a novel by  Jack Finney called The Body Snatchers.

This black and white movie is atmospheric and establishes quickly a tone of distrust and disquiet, by creating a world in which normalcy seems just out of place. This questioning of normalcy, especially in  the context of 1950s America, in which conformity was seen as a virtue, is a strength of the movie. In post World War Two America, many people lived in a segregated world, divided by race, class, and religion.  Also, the United States was suffering through…

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16 Query Tips From Agents


This is an excellent and useful post!

A Writer's Path

by Jacqui Murray

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

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Josh Rossi ~ Real Life Superhero


This is a wonderful post!

By Hook Or By Book


Back in 2017, photographer Josh Rossi became famous with a photo series of sick and disabled children turned into Justice League superheroes.


So what could he do to possibly equal that? He found 15 kids who have been victims of horrible bullying and turned them into the Avengers of Bullying! Josh and his wife Roxanne got the idea after seeing the trailer for the new Avengers: Infinity War. He’s spent the last three months working on this incredible project and here are just some of the results.


Jackson Bezzant was born with Treacher Collins syndrome which has left him with facial deformities. Viciously bullied and called “monster” and “freak” by classmates, he’s now Captain America, the leader of the Avengers in their battle against the ultimate bully of the universe, Thanos.



Sydney Gerardis (Gamora), was contemplating suicide when her “friends” told her they’d throw a party if she died…

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Proud Of One Of My Students!




I certainly hope I do not embarrass her by offering public praise for her work, but I had the honor this week of attending the celebratory dinner for the students in Muhlenberg College’s Creative Writing Minor.  One of my adult students was there along with her parents.

Michelle Saul is one of the English Majors at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College, and I have been her advisor and professor for several years now. I am very proud of her for both finishing her degree this year and for having seven of her poems in the Creative Writing Anthology Muhlenberg College 2018.

Michelle is a talented writer, and it was an honor to support her at this dinner.

Michelle — yay!




Raro’s Adogables~


This is another wonderful post by Cindy Knoke!

Cindy Knoke

Rarotonga is the island of happy dogs. No matter what you do, a dog will come with you.

They wait at your door for you to come out.


If you swim, they will come along!

They swim to distant reefs with our son everyday.


Heck yes!

They are master fisherdogs and,

they bring their catch to you!

Hiking? Their paw prints mark your path.

Cheers to you from Rarotonga’s incredible adogables~

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Katie and Miles, The Circle of Life in Reading


This is a wonderful post from an excellent teacher!

A Teacher's Reflections

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.  –Dr. Seuss-

I remember Katie von Campe like it was yesterday.  She was a “Mighty, Mighty Mustang” in my summer camp group.  That was the year, the summer, that Harry Potter was new, popular, and a big deal.  Katie was a reader.  She brought her brand new Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone book to summer camp.  We read!

Recently, Katie was featured in our school’s publication “Look Who’s Soaring Now!” about former students.

Katie was the featured alumna.  She graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature, and an MFA in Writing for Children, from Simmons College.

Katie, I’m not surprised at all.  I could have guessed when we read Harry Potter.   

To my delight, here is what…

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A Book Reading at the Lit Coffee Roastery and Bakeshop in Bethlehem, PA



I am pleased to announce that I will be doing a reading from my new novel Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 tomorrow at 4:30 at a new coffee shop in South Bethlehem, PA near Lehigh University,  one of the places of higher education where I teach.

This should be a relaxed event, with some readings from the novel and a question and answer period. I am very grateful to Lit for allowing me to do this reading!





Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.


Please follow the following links to find my novel:


Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:




Quotations on Imagination






“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”

                                                                             G. K. Chesterton




“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”

                                                                              Ray Bradbury




“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

                                                                             J. K. Rowling






Science Fiction Films of the 1950s: Them


I wanted to revisit some of the posts from this series on science-fiction films.

charles french words reading and writing



One of the main themes that ran through many science fiction films of the 1950s was the combined fear of nuclear war, nuclear explosions, and fallout. This atomic fear is one large terror that haunted the Cold War world and was developed in many ways in science fiction films.



One such expression was in the advent of the giant bug movies, which addressed the question of what might happen to  the world after radiation had somehow been released either through detonation of weapons or by accident. In Japan, the consequences of having been the only nation to have suffered the devastation of nuclear bombs, saw the emergence of giant monsters like Godzilla, often seen destroying Japanese cities–a very direct metaphor for nuclear explosions. In America, a similar motif was seen in the proliferation of Giant Bug movies.  This might be considered an early example of ecological concern in…

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