Monday, April 24, 2017

Escape Now on Audio

Instead of a regular blog post today, I'm doing a little shameless self-promotion! My novel Escape: Book One of the Unchained Trilogy is now available as an audio book, produced by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books, and narrated by the velvety-voiced Madison Vaughn.

The Kindle version of Escape is .99 for the next week, and the audio version can be purchased for 2.99.

If you like historical fiction, please consider giving it a try! The synopsis is below:

Daniel and Lori love each other, yet to live as one in 1856, they must escape from the unyielding society that imprisons them. Lori was born a slave in North Carolina, yet by chance was raised alongside Daniel in a wealthy abolitionist household. 

The sudden death of Daniel's mother catapults Lori back into bondage. Relegated to chattel on a rice plantation, Lori lives in constant fear under the tormenting scrutiny of Daniel's wretched aunt.

After Daniel fails to convince his relatives to free Lori, he is compelled to devise a daring escape. Although a life threatening endeavor for both of them, Lori's freedom is priceless to Daniel, and he's willing to pay such a price for her love.


Thanks for visiting and have a great week! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Herbed Chicken and Stuffing Supper

Hope everyone had a very happy Easter! I did Easter dinner this year for the first time since my mom, an extraordinary cook, has been having some back trouble. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold a few days before the holiday. Fortunately, however, my crock pot came to the rescue! This is an easy dish that's great for a Sunday dinner, or any time.  It's in Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook. Enjoy!

Herbed Chicken and Stuffing Supper

3 lbs. bone in chicken pieces, skin removed
1  (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 (6 oz.) package stuffing mix for chicken
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed

Place chicke in slow cooker. Spoon soup over chicken. Top with sweet potatoes. Mix stuffing mix with butter and water. Spoon over sweet potatoes.

Cover and cook on LOW 4-6 hours or until potatoes are tender, and juice from chicken is no longer pink.

Sprinkle green beans over stuffing. Cover and cook on LOW 15-20 minutes until beans are tender.

Makes 6 servings.

What did you have for Easter dinner?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

An Olympic Friendship

Last night I watched the movie Race, a biographical sports drama about African American athlete Jesse Owens, who won a record-breaking four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Great movie, by the way, and afterwards, I wanted to learn more about the friendship between Luz Long and Jesse Owens. Below is what I found in Wikipedia:
Carl Ludwig "Lu(t)z" Long was a German Olympic long-jumper, notable for winning Silver in the event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and for giving advice to his competitor, Jesse Owens, who went on to win the gold medal for the broad jump.
By the summer of 1936, Long held the European record in the long jump and was eager to compete for the first time against Jesse Owens, the American world-record holder. The long jump on August 4 was Long's first event against Owens, and Long met his expectations by setting an Olympic record during the preliminary round. In contrast, Owens fouled on his first two jumps. Knowing that he needed to reach at least 7.15 m (about 23 feet 3 inches) on his third jump in order to advance to the finals in the afternoon, Owens sat on the field, dejected.

Speaking to Long's son, Owens said in 1964 that Long went to him and told him to try to jump from a spot several inches behind the take-off board. Since Owens routinely made distances far greater than the minimum of 7.15 m required to advance, Long surmised that Owens would be able to advance safely to the next round without risking a foul trying to push for a greater distance. On his third qualifying jump, Owens was calm and jumped with at least four inches (10 centimeters) to spare, easily qualifying for the finals.
In the finals competition later that day, the jumpers exceeded the old Olympic record five times. Owens went on to win the gold medal in the long jump with 8.06 m while besting Long's own record of 7.87 m. Long won the silver medal for second place and was the first to congratulate Owens: they posed together for photos and walked arm-in-arm to the dressing room. Owens said, "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment".

Long served in the Wehrmacht during World War II, having the rank of Obergefreiter. During the Allied invasion of Sicily, Long was killed in action on 14 July 1943. He was survived by two sons, Kai-Heinrich and Wolfgang. Kai was born on 13 November 1941 and Wolfgang was born on 30 May 1943, but died on 6 March 1944.
Long and Owens corresponded after 1936. In his last letter, Long wrote to Owens and asked him to contact his son after the war and tell him about his father and "what times were like when we were not separated by war. I am saying—tell him how things can be between men on this earth". After the war, Owens traveled to Germany to meet Kai Long, who is seen with Owens in the 1966 documentary Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin, where he is in conversation with Owens in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Owens later served as Kai Long's best man at his wedding.
Touching story! Were you familiar with it?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Famous Pseudonyms and Stage Names

Norma Jean Baker/Marilyn Monroe
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." William Shakespeare

Are you thinking about choosing a pen name? Perhaps you want something a little more sultry or adventurous sounding. If you already have something in mind, Google it to make sure no one else is using it. A friend from a writers group had the perfect name picked out, until after doing a search realized it belonged to a porn star! Back to the drawing board.

For years, authors have been using pseudonyms for various reasons. Mary Ann Evans, aka George Eliot, used a male pen name to make sure her works were taken seriously. Eleanor Hibbert's complex literary novels produced little interest among publishers. She was told the easiest way to break in to publishing would be with romantic fiction. She chose to write contemporary romances under her maiden name Eleanor Burford, and found success. Talented and prolific, she went on to write historicals as Jean Plaidy, and Gothic romance as Victoria Holt.

Tula Finklea/Cyd Charisse
Nora Roberts, the most popular and prolific author of contemporary romance, shortened her real name from Eleanor Robertson, because she thought all writers used pseudonyms. Ms. Roberts writes her romantic suspense series, "In Death," under the pen name J.D. Robb.

Jayne Castle (birth name) writes futuristic paranormals. Under her married name, Jayne Ann Krentz, she writes contemporary romantic suspense, and as Amanda Quick, pens historicals.

As writers choose pen names, so actors choose stage names. Sometimes these names are used to evoke a certain image, or perhaps disassociate a sibling connection. Years ago, names deemed too ethnic were changed to more all American sounding monikers. And of course, names must be changed if already in use by someone famous. Read on for a fun list of stage names vs. real names.

  • So So to Star: Norma Jean Baker aka Marilyn Monroe, Frances Gumm aka Judy Garland, Tula Finklea aka Cyd Charisse, Archibald Leach aka Cary Grant
  • Sibling Disassociation: Peter Graves (Aurness, Mission Impossible)) and James A(u)rness (Gunsmoke), Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine (Beatty), Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine (de Havilland), Donna DeVerona and Joanna (DeVarona) Kerns
  • Ethnic to White Bread: Rita Cansino aka Rita Hayworth, David Kaminski aka Danny Kaye, Issur Danielovitch aka Kirk Douglas, Bernard Schwartz aka Tony Curtis, Dino Crocetti aka Dean Martin
  • Already Taken: Marilyn Novak aka Kim Novak (not enough room for two Marilyns during the '50s, thanks to Marilyn Monroe), Mike Douglas talk show host, Mike Douglas actor aka Michael Douglas, Michael Douglas actor aka Michael Keaton
Do you have a pen name? If not, do you plan to use one?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally published 7/21/14

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break

I believe spring has finally sprung! The weather in my neck of the woods is finally starting to feel like spring time. My kids are off for spring break this week, so I'm taking a break from blogging. Will be back next week. Happy spring!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Theda Bara: First Sex Symbol of the Silver Screen

My hometown of Cincinnati is the hometown of some very famous screen legends including mega-director Steven Spielberg, actress/singer Doris Day and actress/dancer Vera-Ellen. Another famous legend who hailed from these parts is Theda Bara, the silver screen's first sex symbol.

As a sex symbol, Theda's real life didn't exactly fit that mold. She experienced no scandals, had no substance abuse problems, and she was only married once, and happily at that. And although she retired from the screen while still in her prime before the advent of talking pictures, when she passed away decades later in 1955 at the age of sixty-nine, she died wealthy.

Here's more about this unconventional sex symbol from Wikipedia:

Bara was one of the most popular actresses of the silent era, and her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname The Vamp (short for vampire). Bara made more than 40 films between 1914 and 1926, but most were lost in the 1937 Fox vault fire. After her marriage to Charles Brabin in 1921, she made two more feature films and retired from acting in 1926.


She was born Theodosia Burr Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was Bernard Goodman (1853–1936), a prosperous Jewish tailor born in Poland. Her mother, Pauline Louise Françoise (née de Coppett; 1861–1957), was born in Switzerland.

The origin of Bara's stage name is disputed; The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats says it came from director Frank Powell, who learned Theda had a relative named Barranger, and that "Theda" was a childhood nickname. In promoting the 1917 film Cleopatra, Fox Studio publicists noted that the name was an anagram of Arab death, and her press agents claimed inaccurately that she was "the daughter of an Arab sheik and a French woman, born in the Sahara."

At the height of her fame, Bara earned $4,000 per week. She was one of the most popular movie stars, ranking behind only Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. Bara's best-known roles were as the "vamp", although she attempted to avoid typecasting by playing wholesome heroines in films such as Under Two Flags and Her Double Life. She also appeared as Juliet in a version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Although Bara took her craft seriously, she was too successful as an exotic "wanton woman" to develop a more versatile career.

To read more about Theda Bara, click here.

Are you familiar with Theda Bara? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Charles Thomas: Inspiration to Integrating Pro-Ball

Baseball season is just around the corner, so today I'm republishing a post about Charles Thomas, the man who inspired Branch Rickey to integrate professional baseball.

Below is information compiled from the American Dental Association News. Not only was Thomas an extraordinary athlete, he went on to become a dentist.

Charles Thomas was born in West Virginia in 1881, but his family moved to Zanesville, Ohio, when he was 3 years old. In high school, Thomas was a star athlete in baseball, football and track.  In 1903 he began college at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio where he played fullback on the football team. 

While at Ohio Wesleyan, he met Branch Rickey, the future Brooklyn Dodgers' executive, who was also a two-sport college athlete. When Rickey's playing days ended, he became Ohio Wesleyan's baseball coach and recruited Thomas to replace him as the team's catcher.

At the time, Thomas was Ohio Wesleyan University's only black ballplayer. Several times, Thomas-led teams were refused admission onto their opponents' field because of his skin color.

It's said that Branch Rickey's vision of integrating America's pastime stemmed from his time at Ohio Wesleyan in the early 1900s, and several accounts reveal that Thomas had a lasting impact on him.

During a 1903 road trip, the Ohio Wesleyan baseball team traveled to South Bend, Indiana. When Thomas was refused lodging at a hotel, Rickey asked that Thomas be allowed to sleep on a cot in his room.

Later that evening, Rickey found Thomas upset and crying. According to Rickey, Thomas said, "It's my skin. If I could just tear it off, I'd be like everybody else. It's my skin..."

Years later, Rickey told the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcaster Red Barber about Thomas. Barber recounted this story in "Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns."

"For 41 years, I have heard that young man crying," Mr. Rickey told Mr. Barber. "Now, I am going to do something about it." 

To read more about Charles Thomas and Branch Rickey, check out Black Pioneers of College Baseball.

Had you ever heard of Charles Thomas? And by the way, are you looking forward to baseball season? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally published 3/3/14.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Good 'n Easy Beef 'n Gravy


There's nothing like a hearty plate of comfort food, and when it's easy to prepare, that's icing on the cake! With that said, a recipe can't get more simple than this one from one of my favorite crock pot cookbooks, Fix-It and Forget-It. Enjoy!

Good 'n Easy Beef 'n Gravy

3 lbs. beef roast, cubed
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup beef broth
10 3/4-oz. can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 10-12 hours.

What's your favorite comfort food?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pinky

Racial passing is a subject matter that interests me and Pinky, a film from 1949, deals with this issue. I have never seen it, but plan to watch it this week for research purposes. Pinky is a race drama about a light-skinned black woman passing as white. For more about the film and the plot, click here

One of the controversies regarding the film was the casting of white actress Jeanne Crane to play the title role. Black actress Lena Horne had wanted the part, but having a white actress as Pinky with audience appeal and monetary pull led to the casting of Miss Crane. (In my opinion, since the actress had to be white, I would have chosen Jennifer Jones. She could have more realistically passed for black, again, just my opinion.)

Anyway, here's another interesting fact about the movie from Turner Classic Movies:

[A] major change in the production of Pinky was the director. [Director] John Ford left the film after only a week of shooting that was so traumatic [black co-star] Ethel Waters described it as a "shock treatment", with Ford's abrasive personality making her "almost have a stroke". [Producer] Zanuck was unhappy with the rushes he saw. 
Jeanne Crane
"Ford's Negroes were like Aunt Jemima caricatures. I thought we're going to get into trouble. Jack said, 'I think you'd better put someone else on it." Ford was replaced with Elia Kazan, who had made Gentleman's Agreement (1947), another racially-themed film for the studio, and earning it an Academy Award in the process. The official reason for John Ford's departure was listed as a bad case of the shingles, which Kazan later admitted was a lie. 
Lena Horne
"He pretended to have shingles. Some years later I said to Zanuck, 'Jack Ford never had shingles, did he?' And he said, 'Oh, hell, no. He just wanted to get out of it; he hated Ethel Waters and she sure as hell hated him.' Jack scared her to death and he knew she didn't want to work with him. I also think maybe he didn't like the whole project. Anyway, Zanuck wired me and asked if I'd come out. I wired back, 'I'll do it as a favor.' Firstly, I threw away whatever Ford had shot. It was poor. It showed a lack of interest and involvement. So, all the footage was mine. The only things that were not mine, which are a hell of a lot, were the script and the cast. It was the last time I ever allowed that. Jeanne Crain was a sweet girl, but she was like a Sunday school teacher. I did my best with her but she didn't have any fire. The only good thing about her face was that it went so far in the direction of no temperament that you felt Pinky was floating through all of her experiences without reacting to them, which is part of what 'passing' is." 
Jennifer Jones
Have you ever seen Pinky? If so, what did you think?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ira Aldridge

I recently learned about a black Shakespearean actor named Ira Aldrige who lived back in the 1800's. His life was news to me! Here's more about him from Wikipedia:
Ira Aldridge was born in New York City to Reverend Daniel and Luranah Aldridge on July 24, 1807. At age 13, Aldridge went to the African Free School in New York City, established by the New York Manumission Society for the children of free black people and slaves. They were given a classical education, with the study of 
His early exposure to theater included viewing plays from the high balcony of the Park Theatre, New York's leading theater of the time, and seeing productions of Shakespeare's plays at the African Grove Theatre.
Aldridge's first professional acting experience was in the early 1820s with the African Company. In 1821, the group built the African Grove Theatre, the first resident African-American theatre in the United States.
Aldridge made his acting debut as Rolla, a Peruvian character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Pizarro. He may have also played the male lead in Romeo and Juliet, as reported later in an 1860 memoir by his schoolfellow, Dr. James McCune Smith.
Confronted with the persistent discrimination which black actors had to endure in the United States, Aldridge emigrated to Liverpool, England, in 1824 with actor James Wallack. During this time the Industrial Revolution had begun, bringing about radical economic change that helped expand the development of theatres. The British Parliament had already outlawed the slave trade and was moving toward abolishing slavery in the British colonies, which increased the prospect of black actors being able to perform.

Ira Aldridge as Mungo in The Padlock
Having limited onstage experience and lacking name recognition, Aldridge concocted a story of his African lineage, claiming to have descended from the Fulani princely line. By 1831 he had taken the name of Keene, a homonym for the then popular British actor, Edmund Kean. Aldridge observed a common theatrical practice of assuming an identical or similar nomenclature to that of a celebrity in order to garner attention.
On October 10, 1825, Aldridge made his European debut at London's Royal Coburg Theatre, the first African-American actor to establish himself professionally in a foreign country. He played the lead role of Oroonoko in The Revolt of Surinam.
An innovation Aldridge introduced early in his career was a direct address to the audience on the closing night of his engagement at a given theatre. Especially in the years leading up to the emancipation of all slaves in the British colonies in 1832, he would speak of the injustice of slavery and the passionate desire for freedom of those held in bondage.
To read more, click here.
Had you ever heard of Ira Aldridge? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Love, Love, Love the Lovings!

Mildred and Richard Loving
Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and the story of Mildred and Richard Loving is one of my favorite love stories! The Loving Story was an HBO Documentary back in 2011, and a feature film, Loving, was released just a few months back in 2016. What an impact they made on love!
When I first read about the Lovings several years ago, I thought what a fitting (and ironic) name for them!

Richard Loving was white, and his wife, Mildred, black. In 1958, since they couldn’t marry in their home state of Virginia where interracial marriage was banned, they went to Washington, D.C. where they could legally wed.  However, upon returning home as a married couple, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act.
The Lovings agreed to leave Virginia and relocated to Washington. By doing this they avoided jail time. But after living there for five years and having three children, they missed family and friends and wanted to return home to Caroline County, Virginia. 
Around this time they contacted Bernard Cohen, an attorney volunteering at the ACLU, to request that he ask the Caroline County judge to reconsider his decision.
Cohen and another lawyer challenged the Lovings' conviction, but the original judge in the case, Leon Bazile, upheld his ruling claiming: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. ... The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
The case moved all the way up to the Supreme Court where Cohen made this argument:
"The Lovings have the right to go to sleep at night knowing that if should they not wake in the morning, their children would have the right to inherit from them. They have the right to be secure in knowing that, if they go to sleep and do not wake in the morning, that one of them, a survivor of themhas the right to Social Security benefitsAll of these are denied to them, and they will not be denied to them if the whole anti-miscegenistic scheme of Virginia... [is] found unconstitutional." 
After the ruling, in their favor (now known as the "Loving Decision") they returned home to Caroline County.
A happy ending to now what seems an unbelievable story—and believe it or not, they were arrested in the privacy of their bedroom during the middle of the night!
Had you ever heard of the Lovings' story? 
Thanks for visiting, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Originally Published 2/13/12

Monday, February 6, 2017

Claudette Colvin: Rebel With a Cause

Claudette Colvin in 1953
So it's Black History Month, and one of my kids told me about a young woman in Alabama in the 1950s who refused to give up her seat on the bus before Rosa Parks. That was news to me, so here's a little about her from Wikipedia:
Claudette Colvin (b. 1939) was a pioneer of the African American Civil Rights Movement. On March 2, 1955, she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in segregated Montgomery, Alabama, nine months prior to Rosa Parks.
Colvin was among the five plaintiffs originally included in the federal court case filed by civil rights attorney Fred Gray on February 1, 1956, as Browder v. Gayle, and she testified before the three-judge panel that heard the case in the United States District Court. On June 13, 1956, the judges determined that the state and local laws requiring bus segregation in Alabama were unconstitutional. The case went to the United States Supreme Court, which upheld their ruling on December 17, 1956. Colvin was the last witness to testify. Three days later, the Supreme Court issued an order to Montgomery and the state of Alabama to end bus segregation, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott was called off.
For many years, Montgomery's black leaders did not publicize Colvin's pioneering effort because she was a teenager who was pregnant by a married man; words like "feisty", "mouthy", and "emotional" were used to describe her, while her older counterpart Rosa Parks was viewed as being calm, well-mannered, and studious. Because of the social norms of the time and her youth, the NAACP leaders worried about using her to symbolize their boycott.
Claudette Colvin said, "Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn't the case at all."
On the day Colvin was ordered from her seat by the bus driver but refused to move, here's what happened:
When Colvin refused to get up, she was thinking about a school paper she had written that day about the local custom which prevented blacks from using the dressing rooms and trying on clothes in department stores. In a later interview, she said: "We couldn't try on clothes. You had to take a brown paper bag and draw a diagram of your foot [...] and take it to the store”;and "She couldn't sit in the same row as us because that would mean we were as good as her".
"The bus was getting crowded, and I remember the bus driver looking through the rear view mirror asking her to get up for the white woman, which she didn't," said Annie Larkins Price, a classmate of Colvin's. "She had been yelling "It's my constitutional right!". She decided on that day that she wasn't going to move." Colvin was handcuffed, arrested and forcibly removed from the bus. She shouted that her constitutional rights were being violated. Price testified for Colvin in the juvenile court case. Colvin was convicted of disturbing the peace, violating the segregation law, and assault.
To read the complete article click here.
Feisty, mouthy and emotional; sounds like a teenager, and what a teen she was! I had never heard of Claudette Colvin. Had you?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef & Bell Pepper

Today I was looking for an easy recipe to share and found this one at Let the Baking Begin. Looks easy, delicious and healthy. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef & Bell Pepper

  • 2 lbs beef chuck, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped to 1 inch squares bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled, cut in half, sliced
  • 1 cup broth or 1 cup water + 3 bullion cube
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp freeze dried garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
Place meat on bottom of slow cooker. Top with sliced onion. 

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic. Mix the broth with Sriracha; or water, bullion cubes and Sriracha. Pour over the peppers and beef.(if using bullion cubes, add only 1 tsp salt). Set on high heat for 3.5-4 hours.

Mix 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons corn starch. Add 1 cup of liquid from the meat & pepper mixture and cook on medium heat until boiling, then cook 2 minutes past boil to remove the cornstarch flavor. Add this mixture back to the meat and bell peppers. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, stir and serve.

Sound good to you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Who's Your Favorite, Kelly or Astaire?

I love the old Hollywood musicals and I enjoy the dance numbers the best. I'm a big fan of both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire! Although Astaire appears more graceful and Kelly more athletic, I don't think I could ever say I liked one more than the other because they were both great. For a real opinion on their dancing, check this out from dancer Cyd Charisse's autobiography The Two of Us:
Cyd Charisse
"As one of the handful of girls who worked with both of those dance geniuses, I think I can give an honest comparison. In my opinion, Kelly is the more inventive choreographer of the two. Astaire, with Hermes Pan's help, creates fabulous numbers – for himself and his partner. But Kelly can create an entire number for somebody else ... 
Gene Kelly
I think, however, that Astaire's coordination is better than Kelly's ... his sense of rhythm is uncanny. Kelly, on the other hand, is the stronger of the two. When he lifts you, he lifts you! ... To sum it up, I'd say they were the two greatest dancing personalities who were ever on screen. But it's like comparing apples and oranges. They're both delicious."
Fred Astaire
Delicious is a great way to put it! Who do you like best, Kelly or Astaire?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Princess Leia as Played by...

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
Carrie Fisher, daughter of the late Debbie Reynolds, was another celebrity we lost in 2016. She is best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Ever wondered who else auditioned for that role? Check this out from Starwars.com:

In her interview for Empire of Dreams, Carrie Fisher couldn’t believe that she landed the part of Princess Leia Organa, rising above a room of what she saw as experienced competition; two minor television roles notwithstanding, Star Warswas her major debut. 
Shirley Feeney as Princess Leia? No.
[Yet also]vying for the hair buns was... American Graffiti veteran Cindy Williams — some years prior to her nationwide popularity as Shirley Feeney on Happy Days and the co-eponymous spin-off series Laverne & Shirley...

I don't know about you, but I can only see Carrie Fisher in that role! What are your thoughts?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Singin' in the Rain

In 2016, we said goodbye to lots of celebrities, including Debbie Reynolds, one of the stars of perhaps the greatest movie musical ever made. 
According to Wikipedia:
Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. It offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to "talkies."
The film was only a modest hit when first released. It was recognized by Donald O'Connor's win at the Golden Globe AwardsBetty Comden and Adolph Green's win for their screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards, and Jean Hagen's nomination at the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress. But, it has since been accorded legendary status by contemporary critics, and is frequently regarded as the best movie musical ever made, and the best film ever made in the "Arthur Freed Unit" at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It topped the AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals list and is ranked as the fifth-greatest American motion picture of all time in its updated list of the greatest American films in 2007.
You can check out the plot here.
Now enjoy this funny anecdote from Genekellyfans.com regarding Reynold's first kiss with co-star Gene Kelly: 
Only 17 — and completely innocent, which was why, when they were shooting the last scene of Singin' in the Rain, Reynolds ran off to her dressing room in tears after the 40-year-old Kelly gave her a big French kiss. “He gave me a very mature kiss,” she said demurely. “I was a young girl, and I was shocked and stopped the scene and pulled away and wouldn’t go on, you know, and finally he had to kiss me square on the lips or I wouldn’t do it,” she added, laughing — no, guffawing at the memory. “He was a little upset with that, but I was a very inexperienced young girl.” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Singin' in the Rain is one of my favorite movies! Have you ever seen it?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 2, 2017

What's Your New Year's Resolution?

Happy New Year! Have you decided on a New Year's Resolution? My son says that you shouldn't use the New Year as a way to motivate yourself, you should use YOU to motivate yourself! If you haven't guessed, he's a self-starter, but the rest of us need to start somewhere, so why not with the New Year?

If you're trying to determine a good resolution, there are some great ones listed at Health.com in Alyssa Sparacino's article Top Ten Healthiest New Year's Resolutions. I need to work on staying in touch. Here's what Ms.Sparacino says regarding that: 

Feel like old friends (or family) have fallen by the wayside? It’s good for your health to reconnect with them. Research suggests people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t.

In fact, a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse and smoking, and even more than obesity and lack of exercise, a 2010 study in the journal PLoS Medicine suggests.

In a technology-fixated era, it’s never been easier to stay in touch—or rejuvenate your relationship—with friends and family, so fire up Facebook and follow up with in-person visits.


Sounds like great advice! Have you decided on a New Year's Resolution yet?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!