Archive for August, 2007

Mr. Vegas Dances?

Dancing with the Stars announced their dancers for this season…

One of them is the one and only Mr Vegas, Wayne Newton.  He is their token “older person”.

But I am going to have difficulty watching this..  and the reason is?  Because I’ve loved Wayne Newton since I was very young.  Back when it wasn’t “in” to like a clean cut  young man with an unusual voice singing (of all things) Danka Shoen.

But still, this slightly chubby young man won my heart back then…

I continued to love his singing and the wonderful things always said about him, and his performances as he took over Vegas.

During the years I lived in Florida (and worked at Sears), some of us got together and went south to see him in person!  I can admit his audience was NOT full of young people (well.. we were in Florida after all!).  But that did not stop him from giving his show his all !.. he was MORE than fabulous!  I couldn’t take my eyes off of him!  I knew then that there really was something magical about him.. something very magnetic, that you couldn’t not notice.

But I guess the fact he was in the public eye all his life.. or vanity.. or.. or who knows why, but Mr Newton’s face changed.  (wild guess it’s called plastic surgery). And it actually hurts me to look at him now.  Try as he may to smile, as he always does, and give his all.. which he never stops doing, I feel like I lost him somewhere along the line.

Do I still love his voice?  You betcha!  Do I still think he’s a performer to beat most all performers?  No doubt about it.  But I can’t help wishing he let himself grow older along with the rest of us.  I have no doubt he’d be handsome without the “plastic look” that seems to have happened to him.  If it’s possible, I miss what should have been.

Now.. as for Dancing With The Stars… oh boy.  It will be hard for me to watch.

As for his chances.. I think he will pull off some good dances, especially things like the Waltz.  There’s no denying rhythm is part of this man.  But he is the token “old person”.. and I don’t know that he’s ever tried to dance they way they make these folks dance. (which btw.. is NOT the normal dancing!)

So I sit here torn.  Just the name Wayne Newton conjures a smile on my face…  but at the same time.. I kinda wish he didn’t offer to do this sort of show.

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I have a few things to cover today..

First off I received an award from Asara! 

How cool is this?!! Thank you so much Asara!! I will do my best to pass it on..but boy I hate making choices like this because, of course I love all the blogs I read!  But I’ll give out a few to keep it moving on, as it should!

Stainless Steel Droppings: Carl’s blog has not just made me, but MANY others really get back to reading.  And the best part is, he doesn’t push and he doesn’t do anything that he already doesn’t love!  I am HOOKED on his blog!

Stuff as Dreams are Made on:  What can I say about Chris? I love his blog ! He’s honest, he’s open, he’s a joy to know.  ‘Nuff said.

Fantasy and Sci Fi LovinBlog:  SQT has it all.. not only does she cover books but movies and television as well.. I can’t NOT stop by her blog everyday.

Here in the Hills: I know Naomi doesn’t like to have to choose who gets awards, and that’s ok (I’m not fond of it either). This is such a wonderful and interesting lady.  She knows many in Hollywood and takes some of the most wonderful photo’s in her cactus and succulent garden area that you have to be amazed.

I could go on and on but I think I will stop here… if you all knew how long my list of journals and blogs was you’d just laugh!


Coming Soon..Sept 25:   Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want

I was surprised today when I visited my Wish List at Amazon (which I do far TOO MUCH) to see that the photo for the cover of Leven Thumps was finally released!

Ben  Sowards did the cover art (as he did for the other two Leven Thumps books) and once again it’s fabulous!  I totally enjoyed Obert Skye’s first two books and I’m looking forward to this release. 

An update on the autograph show in October.. I just found out my friend Scott Schwartz will be there!  He’s a great guy and fun to be around.. maybe you remember him from A Christmas Story… he was the kid that got his tongue stuck to the flag pole! (Flick)

So now I get to spend time with 2 artists, Ken Kelly & Roger Kastel..and Flick!  Cool!

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The Short Version

Book 2 of 4..

Wizards by multiple authors, Edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (May 1, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0425215180
  • At 9:30 last night I completed book 2 of Carls RipII Challenge

    Once again I wondered if it really fit the Challenge.  But then.. I had 18 short stores to read to find out!

    Indeed a number of them fit the bill.. beginning with Neil Gaiman‘s The Witch’s Headstone, which all takes place in and around a graveyard.  The main character is a young man named Bod, who goes against what he’s told and treads on unholy ground. There he meets the ghost (?) of a witch. Learning that witches don’t deserve headstones Bod decides differently and goes about trying to get a headstone for the witches grave.

     I have to be up front here and tell you.. not only am I trying to read outside of my love of “fantasy”, but this book gave me a second challenge in that.. it was short stories.  I have difficulty with short stories.  Either I like them and get upset that they are so short and want to know more.. or.. I don’t like them, in which case… they can’t be short enough!

    I found that this book had both.. (but one must take personal taste into consideration) a number of stories which couldn’t be short enough.. and a number of them I would have wanted to read more of. 

    It’s filled with stories, some by well known authors such as Gaiman and Orson Scott Card and others by authors I had not known before, such as Mary Rosemblum, and Elizabeth Hand.

    Krage Baker wrote a story about someone who was pure evil marrying someone who was pure good.. and their offspring thereof!  The marriage itself a force to contend with.

    Elizabeth Hand wrote one that would certainly fall under the “creepy” category when she wrote “Winter’s Wife”.  The story is told by Justin, a young boy who was a neighbor and friend to Winter.   Winter was a man who “lived in a creep-looking old school bus in the middle of the woods, with smoke coming out of a chimney and huge piles of split logs around.  In the fall he’d had deer and dead coyotes hanging from this big pole that looked like a gallows.. and blood in the snow.”  (sound creepy enough?)  But actually Winter is a pretty nice guy who seems to have a special thing when it came to trees and wood, and  a love for 3 special trees called Kings Pines that were at least 300 yrs old.

    Since creepy begets creepy, eventually Winter meets a woman on line, from Iceland, and goes to marry her and bring her back to his “bus”.  Vala shares in her “weirdness” and adds much to this short story.  Not the least of which is the ending.. which I will not give away here because it is a story you most likely will enjoy.. even if it is creepy!

    One of the stories I enjoyed the most was one called “Color Vision” by Mary Rosenblum.  It was fast paced and a lot happened in the short 24 pages. She captures kids and their dialogues so well you feel these kids are real!  The story is about a young girl named Melanie and her friends Jeremy and Cris.

    It seems when anyone talks Melanie see’s color.  She’s told it’s a brain malfunction called synesthesia. Her friend Jeremy thinks this is cool.  While in school one day a new principal arrives and when he comes to her class Melanie see’s the color silver and feels a wrongness about him, especially when he says he knows her mother who is long gone.

    She runs from school with Jeremy following and takes him to meet her other friend Cris. When they first arrive where Cris lives Jeremy see’s an old rundown barn with a wall around it, but as he climbs an apple tree to see over the wall he see’s a castle!.. and the creepy stuff begins in earnest.  The strange new principal is after all the First Born.. for their power.

    This was so well written.. the story is great, the kids are so realistic it isn’t a challenge to see them in your mind… This is one of those short stories I wouldn’t have minded it being a bit longer..  you know.. like a full book!

    Wizards ends with a story by Orson Scott Card called Stonefather.  This was my first read of Mr Card’s and I will say it was a good one to end the book with.  It was the longest of the short stories being 74 pages long.. but read as fast as one only 20 pages long!  A definite good read.

    All in all, if you like short stories, I can say that I found more good ones here than I expected to, so it’s a book I’d recommend.  I can’t say it will make a short story reader of me, but it surely is a good way to read authors you’ve never read before so that you can get a feel for the writing they do.

    Read more RIP Book Reviews Here!

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    A Package in the Mail

    I received a package today from Book Closeouts!  It contained the other two books I need to read for the RIP II Challenge.. plus something else I ordered!

    These two books look Spooky enough for the challenge.. I just hope I can get through them since it’s not what I generally read.  The reviews indicate a lot of humor in them so I am hoping that it’s my kinda humor! 

    The other thing I had sent for cost me a whole TWO DOLLARS AND NINETY-EIGHT CENTS!  Hello?  Does anything cost 2.98 anymore?  Well this did!

    As some of you know I love the Space Program, and most especially the Astronauts that were in the Race for the moon.  When I saw this in Book Closeouts I was amazed!  I mean.. 7 cassettes and a 2 hr. dvd all for 2.98?!  What can I loose?  So I added it to the books I was ordering. 

    Now I may not get to watch or listen to the cassettes for a while, but just knowing they are there makes me feel good.  I love those Astronauts.. they are my true heroes!  And since I had the privilege of meeting a few of them.. it means all the more to me.  I hope I hear Alan Bean and Richard Gordon on the tapes!  I also met Buzz Aldren at that particular show.  I hope someday they come back to NJ.. I’d go again even if I can’t afford their autographs, … just to be in their presence is a major good feeling. 

    I remember sitting and just watching Alan Bean signing autographs for a while and couldn’t stop wondering…  was he afraid?  did it change him ?  would he do it again?  But when I went to get his autograph, he was such a sweet man, with a big smile that I didn’t want to feel stupid asking questions that he must have been asked a million times before.   

    They are just incredible human beings.. one and all.

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    I want to come back as a cat…

    I can play silly games as much as I want for as long as I want..

    I can suck up and beg for treats… knowing I will ALWAYS get them..

    I can sleep in as many boxes, in as many windows as I want.. for as long as I want.

    Ahhh, yes… it’s good to be king!

    … Yep… I know for sure….I want to come back as a cat!

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    The Wild Wood… by Charles de Lint

    Book #1 of 4 for the RIP II Challenge

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books (June 1, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0765302586
  • This is my first book in the RIP Perils Challenge…

    WARNING: Book Reports are not my strong point!  But you get what you get.. so you’ll have to accept me as I am!

    I picked up this book with no real expectations.  Though many just adore Charles de Lint I really had no idea if I would like his writing or not.

    Chapter one confused the heck out of me.. I didn’t know what was going on.  My first thoughts were: “gads.. I am not going to get through this!”

    Chapter two: turned it all around.  From that moment on I read like a madman!  I had to find out what the heck was going on with the main character, Eithnie.

    Was she weird?

    Was she dreaming?

    Was she going mad?

    Eithnie was an artist that began to see things in her paintings that she didn’t put there!  … or did she?

    Every time I put the book down.. within minutes I’d pick it up again!

    I am happy to say in the end you do find out just what it is going on with Eithnie.  And if wanting to know, keeps you reading, you will not put this book down until it’s conclusion.  de Lint, delivers.. and drives his message home.

    This book is a quick read and although the book did not have vampires or ghouls or things that go bump in the night.. (well maybe a little of that).. it did have the feeling of creepy!  If  you ever doubted yourself.. or your sanity.. you will in some way relate to this book.

    It was a good beginning for me to have for the RIP Challenge.  And I am already curious to read the reviews of the others that have this book on their list!

    Don’t forget to check the RIP Book Reviews that are already beginning to come in!

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    To love .. and be loved in return.. Chuff-f-f-f-f-f.

    A voice pierces the sky..It sings of love, of freedom, of total being.It is the roar of a lion.

    I have only been there once; inside myself. It happened at a place called Shambala. As I first passed a lion’s cage, he roared. My body shook as it absorbed the music. It was so loud I couldn’t think of anything or anyone.. for the moment, I just existed.

    At first, I didn’t realize what had just happened. I walked on. The lion, quite possibly Richard, roared again. Another moment passed without thoughts, without all the things, which were known to me as life. I couldn’t think of paying bills, of going to work, of what I would wear today. Then it came, roar after roar after roar.

    As it subsided, I found myself becoming aware of the sweet and unobtrusive oblivion I had been in. I knew then that this place was going to become a sanctuary for more than the animals.. it was mine.

    I wanted to lie in the grass and have the mighty kings sing to me, their voices vibrating through me until I can think of nothing but their songs. I feel at peace. Worries and tensionsare gone. Would life then pass me by? Hardly, rather it would be that their songs would bring me to life, not take me from it.

    Did I mention? A tiger chuffed at me. She made me smile. She made me laugh. I was lost with her beauty, but more with her greeting: Chuff-f-f-f, chuff-f-f-f, happy to see you. Scratch me, love me.. please? There is a fence between us, you could hurt me.Not today, chuff-f-f-f not today, chuff-f-f-f.If I love you today, will you love me in return?CHUFF-F-F-F-F !

    As I walk past their fences, chuff-f-f-f, chuff-f-f-f.. be careful, they will mark you for their own! Then let them mark me, for I am theirs.

    Nathaniel bounds forward as if on springs. Nathaniel, not lion, not tiger but the most beauteous of both worlds.

    Do you sing with the Lions? Do you Chuff-f-f-f with the Tigers? You must do both, for I find I want to lie in the grass outside your fence and watch you forever. May I stay? Will you sing to me? Will you love me?

    Their eyes they search for you. All of them are on the prowl for love and to love in return.

    A hidden piece of heaven, Shambala is. I will go there again someday…For the peace..For the music..For the love..

    Click to go to Shambala Preserve Web site.

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