How Is Everyone Doing?

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The last couple of years have been turbulent, to be a bit understated, and I hope everyone is finding their way through all the difficulties we face.

I simply wanted to wish everyone well.

Please try to be kind and to find joy at least once a day.

I want to ask everyone: how are you doing?

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Roberta Writes: Book review – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

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Please enjoy this excellent review of a wonderful review by Robbie Cheadle! Also, please visit her blog: https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/

What Amazon says

The acclaimed story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history: “An exuberant mixture of history and romance, written with a wit that is incandescent” (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad. Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island’s shores in the form of the conquering Italian army.

Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly…

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New Wave~

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Please enjoy these stunning photographs from Cindy Knoke!

Check out Jim at The New Wave!

The New Wave is a more subtle,

mostly unknown,

and far less traveled,

version of the hugely popular and overcrowded Wave.

It is located near Page Arizona,

in The Glen Canyon Recreation Area. (Where’s Jim? He is in this photo too!)

The formations of previously molten rock,

are made of Navajo Sandstone.

We hiked here entirely alone all day!

Cheers to you from The New Wave~

(Note: We are heading out of wifi range, so I will touch base when I can).

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Pen-Pal Explosion

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Please enjoy this wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections


Our Pen-Pal Wall

Back in April, when school was celebrating children around the world, it struck me that reaching out to other children would be a wonderful thing to do.  We could write letters, send cards, get to know each other.  We could become Pen-Pals.

I emailed fellow preschool teachers – Beth in Michigan I didn’t have my glasses on….  and Ritu in Kent, U.K. But I Smile Anyway…

My goodness, they were as excited as I was.  The children were, too.  We wrote cards with pictures and words, straight from the heart.  It was days of work, swinging from fun to serious.  Children wanted to make beautiful pictures, and they wanted to write words to other children.  This was a big deal.  Writing is hard for preschoolers, yet wanting something makes the hard much easier.

Michigan is 720 miles away.  Beth’s students replied with a flood of cards…

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Favorite Science Fiction Films: 6: Them

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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.

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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 cinema.

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Them, a 1954 production by Warner Bros, starred James Arness and James Whitmore. In the beginning of the movie, a little girl was found alone and traumatized, saying only “them, them.” The girl was rescued, but during the investigation, other people were found who have been killed, and the perpetrators were discovered to be giant ants.  The monsters were created when normal ants came upon sugar that had been irradiated by atomic weapons testing.  They reached the height and size of small military tanks and were ferocious killers and hunters.  This film made Americans think about the potential risks from insects that would normally have been viewed, at the worst, as mere pests at picnics.  Radiation had the capacity to distort they way we  interacted with the world.

Eventually, the creatures were hunted down and destroyed by the use of flame-throwers.  As would be the motif in most of the giant bug movies, the world was saved by using technology against technologically-created creatures.  At the conclusion of the movie, a warning was given in solemn tones that we have entered a new world in the atomic age, and we have to be aware of its dangers. These are themes that would be repeated frequently in other giant bug movies.

If you have not seen this one, it is worth a look.  It may not be the best film of all time, but it does introduce important Cold War themes into science fiction cinema. These are themes which frightened many people.

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Can Anyone Help With Suggestions For Comp Titles For A Query Letter?

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Hello to all the writers and readers out there! I am currently working on a query letter for my YA Dark Fantasy novel, The War Of The Sidhe. In this novel, In 1968, in small town PA, three bullied teens, Dancer, James, and Micah, find refuge in their kind English teacher’s class. When he is missing, to save him, they must defeat a supernatural creature and its followers or die trying. One of the issues I have learned is that the writer who is doing the query letter should include comps, or comparable titles, of books to suggest to the literary agent, to whom the author is submitting the letter, where the book would belong on a bookstore’s bookshelves. The comps preferably should be no more than about from 3 years ago. That presents a problem for me, because I suggest Stephen King’s It and Stranger Things, which is not a book. If any of you can make any suggestions about possible comps, I would certainly appreciate the help!

A Few Quotations On Courage

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“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”

                                                                                  Mark Twain

 

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“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

                                                                                   Nelson Mandela

 

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“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. . . we must do that which we think we cannot.”  

                                                                           Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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“We must always have the courage to oppose tyranny, bigotry, and ignorance. We must speak out, use the power of our voices, and we must vote!”

                                                                          Charles F. French

Honor Memorial Day–2022

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I hope all of you have had a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday, Memorial Day, exists.  The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.

This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America.  Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day.  I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and  thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.

They deserve our thanks and our honor.

Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.

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Quotations On Gun Control

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“One only wishes Wayne LaPierre and his NRA board of directors could be drafted to some of these scenes, where they would be required to put on booties and rubber gloves and help clean up the blood, the brains, and the chunks of intestine still containing the poor wads of half-digested food that were some innocent bystander’s last meal.”

                                                                       Stephen King “Guns”

“When a country with less than five percent of the world’s population has nearly half of the world’s privately owned guns and makes up nearly a third of the world’s mass shootings, it’s time to stop saying guns make us safer.”

                                                                       DaShanne Stokes

“I only wish the NRA and its jellyfish, well-paid supporters in legislatures both State and Federal would be careful to recite the whole of it, and then tell us how a heavily armed man, woman, or child, recruited by no official, led by no official, given no goals by any official, motivated or restrained only by his or her personality and perceptions of what is going on, can be considered a member of a well-regulated militia.”

                                                                       Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

“It is time to start referring to those members of Congress who oppose gun control as what they are–Pro Death of Children and Innocents. They are the toadies of the NRA and the gun lobby, and they must be voted out of office. The time to act is now.”

                                                                       Charles F. French

Neighbors~

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Please enjoy these lovely photographs from Cindy Knoke!

The Holler has the best neighbors. (click/tap to enlarge)

Check out the marvelous modeling mama,

grosbeak!

She is photogenic from every angle,

and loves having her picture taken.

She is a very friendly neighbor.

The orioles,

and acorn woodpeckers add a splash of color to the scene.

Cheers to you from our Holler neighbors~

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