Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2007

Sunday

Just an update on the catscan.. i know nothing. 

By the time the results went to the doctors office, she was on some sort of emergency that won’t have her back until the end of this coming week… so, that means it took me 10 days to get approval for the scan and 12 days before i will know the results.  Gosh I’m glad it costs me 468.00 a month for health insurance.. they (and the doctors) work so fast for everyone.  not.

Meanwhile.. the Bookwyrms are again hard at work..

Oh.. next Saturday I will be going to yet another autograph show.

Henry Winkler will be there (but I just saw him at the last show).. and a new face for these shows.. Val Kilmer!  Ohhhh, how I hope he has a photo of him as Madmartigan (from Willow) because I loved him as that character!

But I’m sure most of my day will be spent sitting and chatting with the artists I have gotten to know Ken Kelly and Roger Kastel and his wife Grace… oh, and of course “Flick” from A Christmas Story. :o)

A day away!  Always too few.. but always a welcome relief!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I did this review for SQT who so kindly sent me the book! (Thanks again SQT!)

First a short review of the first two Leven Thumps books

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

Hardcover: 348 pages
ISBN-10: 1590383699

Orphan teen, Leven Thumps has a hidden and powerful talent: he can glimpse, and then manipulate, the future. He is also the only person on the planet wh o can protect the gateway to Foo, a mythical realm whose existence ensures that human beings in this reality retain the ability to dream, hope and imagine.

Sabine, the wicked ruler of Foo, wants to rule Foo..but if he does, no one on Earth will ever be able to dream again.

As Leven hurries to find the gateway between the two worlds before Sabine does, he encounters several friends to help him: Winter, a 13-year-old girl who can instantly freeze things and people just by wishing it; Clover, a foot-high furry creature from Foo who has been assigned as Leven‘s companion and Geth, the wise but displaced king of Foo, ( at the moment Geth is ..well.. a toothpick!) who alone knows the full secret of the gateway.

 **************************

Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret

464 pages

ISBN-10: 1416947183

 

Without giving anything away I think I can safely say that I want a Sycophant!  This is a little furry creature you see on the book cover with Leven, named Clover.  He is one cool dude! He can become invisible when he wants to and has a never empty pocket he calls the void. 

After destroying the gateway to Foo Book 2 has Leven and his friends in Foo, where they are trying to get Geth to the Turretts so that he will be turned back into the ruler he once was.

Leven must overcome many new and unbelievable problems in Foo. And to make matters worse Leven digs up aSecret that is determined to whisper the truth to Leven which could be deadly in the wrong hands

Meanwhile back in reality a janitor (Dennis) discovers another “living toothpick” named Ezra (Geth’s alter ego), who is trying to get to Foo. Along the way meet Tim who is Winters adopted father.

 *************************************

Leven Thumps and the Eyes of Want

Hardcover: 432 pages

Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 25, 2007)

     ISBN-10: 1590388003

Some of the characters:

Foo: a mythical realm whose existence ensures that human beings in this reality retain the ability to dream, hope and imagine.

Leven: the teenage grandson of Hector Thumps, the builder of the gateway to Foo.

Winter : a nit with the ability to freeze whatever she wishes.

Clover: A Sycophant from Foo.     He is about 12 inches tall and furryall over except for his face, knees and elbows.  He wears a  robe that makes him invisible if the hood is up.

Geth:   Exiled, but rightful ruler of Foo.   Transformed into a seed who grew into a tree and then became a toothpick

The war to unite Foo and Reality has begun. Leven must deal with the Want, who is the dream master of all dreams. (he see’s ALL dreams from EVERYONE), as we learn that Leven is the only one who can save Foo from ceasing to exist.

Geth and Winter get separated from Leven and Clover as they are taken to the Isle of Lith where the Want resides.  Where the Wants sets him up for what is to come.

While they are dealing with the Want Winter and Geth fall into one peril after another, at least until they continue to believe in fate.

Throughout this book there are times chapters are back in reality catching up with Ezra (the toothpick of Geths alter ego) Dennis and Tim who have to fight parts of Sabrine while trying to rebuild the gateway to Foo for their return.

I’ve enjoyed all three books that Ive read, and would say it’s a great series for YA readers of all ages.

 Besides having some really great characters, you get to enjoy Clover, the Sycophant for some comic relief along the way.  All 3 books contain their own great artwork, created by Benjamin R Sowards.

Here’s a quote from the book that sums up the feelings about Foo…

“It is with great concern that the story of Foo has been written and preserved.  To believe in Foo is to believe in more than magic–it is to believe in dreams coming true.  It is to understand that the time is coming when the limitation we place on ourselves will no longer be an obstacle that we have to climb over.

To believe in Foo is to relax the mind and let imagination win.  It is to step  into fear and let fate worry about the outcome.  It is to want those standing next to you to dream as big as possible so that your own future will be that much brighter.

It is a magical thing.”

The whole time I was reading this book I figured it would come to a conclusion … I figured wrong!

The last page I read went like this:

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES IN BOOK FOUR:  LEVEN THUMPS AND THE WRATH OF EZRA.

……so much for it being a trilogy!

Read Full Post »

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale……… (5th book read for RIP III)

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (September 12, 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 0743298020
  • Having completed Peril I (Read Four books of any length, from any sub genre of scary stories that you choose.  The Wild Wood, Wizards, Gil’s All Fright Diner, In the Company of Ogres)  I decided to move on and read yet another book, but not before admitting that I am choosing books that aren’t quite as scary as others.

    After reading previews of the Thirteenth Tale I thought I would give it a go..

    Right off the bat I am giving Diane Setterfield an A+++ for writing a book I couldn’t put down!

    If you ever read a book, and while reading find yourself asking questions  (why? where? how? ) and find yourself not being able to put the book down because once asked you just HAVE TO find out… well, this is one of those books!

    It’s such a good book that I don’t want to spoil a thing for anyone even considering picking it up to read, so reviewing this is hard.

    It is Gothic feeling.  Her descriptions are outstanding, you really feel like you can see what she (Margaret, one of the main characters) is seeing, but it’s not overdone. 

    Part of Amazon’s description goes like this:

    Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father’s shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it’s the truth. Now, she says, she is ready to tell her true story.

    There are mysteries to be solved and truth’s to be discovered.  This author captures you with the beginning of every chapter.. keeps you reading.. and captures you all over again with the next!

    (small excerpt of a brief moment before Margaret actually meets Miss Winter..)

    I selected a copy of Miss Winter’s most recent book.  On page one and elderly nun arrives at a small house in the back streets of an unnamed town that seems to be in Italy: she is shown into a room where a pompous young man, whom we take to be English or American, greets her in some surprise. ( I turned the page.  The first paragraphs had drawn me in, just as I had been drawn in every time I had opened one of her books, and without meaning to, I began to read in earnest.)  The young man does not at first appreciate what the reader already understands: that his visitor has come on a grave mission, one that will alter his life in ways he cannot be expected to foresee.  She begins her explanation and bears it patiently (I turned the page; I had forgotten the library, forgotten Miss Winter, forgotten myself) when he treats her with the levity of indulged youth…

    And then something penetrated through my reading and drew me out of the book. A prickling sensation at the back of the neck.

    Someone was watching me.

    Time after time  you find yourself unable and unwilling to set this book down!

    If you are in Carl’s Challenge… or even if you are not, but do like to read… this is a book I would highly recommend!!

    Read Full Post »

    1993 Was a Good Year

    While in the garage the other day when I found those photo’s in my other post I also came a cross a thin notebook I had.  At first I didn’t know what it was and then upon opening it I smiled……..

    It really is good not to throw everything away, but when I moved from California I had to get rid of about everything, so imagine my surprise when I found this notebook filled with papers from when I did a silly thing, just because it sounded like fun, and signed up to take a Voiceover Class at a local college near where I lived in San Fernando Valley, CA.

    Voiceover Class: Instructor: Nigel Neale

    The more I looked through the papers, the more I grinned…  Nigel Neale.  He was the instructor for the class which consisted of two parts.  One was voiceover for cartoons, the other for radio and television.

    Just in case you don’t know what Voiceover is… it’s anytime you hear a voice but don’t see the face of the person, such as listening to a radio announcer, or watching a cartoon.

    Let me tell you a little of Nigel. (poor Nigel)  Nigel was, oh about in his late 40’s (?), he wasn’t all that tall, and he had a round face topped by a full head of red hair.  Now, if you know anything about red heads, you know that their faces can turn red extremely fast when they get embarrassed.  .. and during my time in Nigel’s class, I tried my best to keep those little round cheeks of his turning red!

    The first time was an accident.. well.. sorta, I mean I was being me, I didn’t set out to embarrass him.  I guess this is where I tell you that whenI get nervous or sorta flustered, not knowing what to do… the strangest thing happens.. I open my mouth and say things I wouldn’t normally say!  Generally speaking,  they aren’t nasty or anything, just ..well, they come from somewhere but it beats me where they were hiding!

    A good example would be when I had to get in front of the class with a small script for a commercial.  Nigel’s instructions were:, “just read it”.. I did. 

    Then he said, “good, now give yourself a character and really stretch yourself.”.. I did..  I used a similar voice and character like Mae West, and did her “well, hello big boy” (and sauntered over near him and threw my arm over his shoulder) to my teacher.. who immediately turned red.  (grinning here) 

    Yep, I have to say.. it was a really fun class once you got past the VERY LARGE  STAGE FRIGHT of standing in front of your class to do whatever it was Nigel wanted you to do. (it didn’t help that it was always what they call “a cold reading”, meaning: you had no practice before doing it)

    After a time I think he caught on.. the more nervous I was, the more he was apt to be embarrassed one way or another!  At one point when he had used everyone else in the class and he KNEW he had to call on ME, you could hear him utter “oh gawd before he’d call my name..heh… talk about bravery!

    One of the funnest (is that a word?)  things we did was some Looping.  That’s where he would show us part of a cartoon without sound.. we had to add the voices and try to get our words to line up with the motion of their mouths in the cartoon.  I got to be The Little Mermaid…and I nailed it!   But I have to say it was the strangest feeling watching it then and knowing that was MY voice!  (well,I imitated the voice used from the cartoon as closely as I could)

    While in class we made some audio tapes of what we were doing, but alas, those I did not find.  Maybe they are still in one of the boxes somewhere, but I won’t hold my breath in hopes that they are.  But I am glad I found this notebook.. it sure brought back some fun memories!  I know if I had a way to get back and forth I’d still take some adult night classes… just for the fun of it!  Oh, here in Jersey I’m sure they wouldn’t be Voiceover classes, but there are some I’d take anyway.. maybe some computer classes, and an art class and maybe a creative writing class sorta thing.  When you can do that just for the joy of doing it, and not be weighted down with the all important grade at the end and feeling like if you don’t do great something awful will happen, it’s actually fun!

    Before I end this post.. here’s a paper from that notebook.. it’s an Announcer’s Test.. you are to read it aloud as fast as you can and not mumble or get tongue-tied!

    So… did you do it ?? heh! Are those red cheeks I see on you??!!

    Read Full Post »

    Reviewing Leven Thumps..

    First a short review of the first two Leven Thumps books

    Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

    Hardcover: 348 pages
    ISBN-10: 1590383699

    Orphan teen, Leven Thumps has a hidden and powerful talent: he can glimpse, and then manipulate, the future. He is also the only person on the planet wh o can protect the gateway to Foo, a mythical realm whose existence ensures that human beings in this reality retain the ability to dream, hope and imagine.

    Sabine, the wicked ruler of Foo, wants to rule Foo..but if he does, no one on Earth will ever be able to dream again.

    As Leven hurries to find the gateway between the two worlds before Sabine does, he encounters several friends to help him: Winter, a 13-year-old girl who can instantly freeze things and people just by wishing it; Clover, a foot-high furry creature from Foo who has been assigned as Leven‘s companion and Geth, the wise but displaced king of Foo, ( at the moment Geth is ..well.. a toothpick!) who alone knows the full secret of the gateway.

     **************************

    Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret

    464 pages

    ISBN-10: 1416947183

     

    Without giving anything away I think I can safely say that I want a Sycophant!  This is a little furry creature you see on the book cover with Leven, named Clover.  He is one cool dude! He can become invisible when he wants to and has a never empty pocket he calls the void. 

    After destroying the gateway to Foo Book 2 has Leven and his friends in Foo, where they are trying to get Geth to the Turretts so that he will be turned back into the ruler he once was.

    Leven must overcome many new and unbelievable problems in Foo. And to make matters worse Leven digs up aSecret that is determined to whisper the truth to Leven which could be deadly in the wrong hands

    Meanwhile back in reality a janitor (Dennis) discovers another “living toothpick” named Ezra (Geth’s alter ego), who is trying to get to Foo. Along the way meet Tim who is Winters adopted father.

     *************************************

    Leven Thumps and the Eyes of Want

    Hardcover: 432 pages

    Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 25, 2007)

         ISBN-10: 1590388003

    Some of the characters:

    Foo: a mythical realm whose existence ensures that human beings in this reality retain the ability to dream, hope and imagine.

    Leven: the teenage grandson of Hector Thumps, the builder of the gateway to Foo.

    Winter : a nit with the ability to freeze whatever she wishes.

    Clover: A Sycophant from Foo.     He is about 12 inches tall and furryall over except for his face, knees and elbows.  He wears a  robe that makes him invisible if the hood is up.

    Geth:   Exiled, but rightful ruler of Foo.   Transformed into a seed who grew into a tree and then became a toothpick

    The war to unite Foo and Reality has begun. Leven must deal with the Want, who is the dream master of all dreams. (he see’s ALL dreams from EVERYONE), as we learn that Leven is the only one who can save Foo from ceasing to exist.

    Geth and Winter get separated from Leven and Clover as they are taken to the Isle of Lith where the Want resides.  Where the Wants sets him up for what is to come.

    While they are dealing with the Want Winter and Geth fall into one peril after another, at least until they continue to believe in fate.

    Throughout this book there are times chapters are back in reality catching up with Ezra (the toothpick of Geths alter ego) Dennis and Tim who have to fight parts of Sabrine while trying to rebuild the gateway to Foo for their return.

    I’ve enjoyed all three books that Ive read, and would say it’s a great series for YA readers of all ages.

     Besides having some really great characters, you get to enjoy Clover, the Sycophant for some comic relief along the way.  All 3 books contain their own great artwork, created by Benjamin R Sowards.

    The whole time I was reading this book I figured it would come to a conclusion … I figured wrong!

    The last page I read went like this:

    THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES IN BOOK FOUR:  LEVEN THUMPS AND THE WRATH OF EZRA.

    ……so much for it being a trilogy!

    Read Full Post »

    Lost and Found

    Wow, I got a surprise today while doing some cleaning in the garage.. a found a few very old photo’s that I didn’t know were still out there.  The quality sucks and they’ve been through so much dirt and water that I’m surprised they survived at all!

    The first two are part of an entire wall I painted for my son George when he was young..

    I guess you can tell he was (and still is) a Trek Fan..

    Then I found something I really didn’t know I had!  A photo of my old motorcycle!  This bike was the first time my X and I painted on a motorcycle!   After which we got a lot better and did paintings on bikes for quite a while…

    Anyway… here’s my Honda 360 that I used to drive….

    I hoped I had a close up of the other side of the tank but I don’t.. I know it was a male lion resting under a tree…  and this side is just scenery.

    After our first attempts at painting on tanks we moved on to things we figured bikes might want.. here are some old drawings I did (copied) that we put on tanks..

    ok that’s enough memories for one day…

    Read Full Post »

    Sometimes ya just wanna Barf.

    Recently I reviewed a book called The Candy Store War.  There was a character in there that I didn’t go into depth about named John.  I still don’t want to give him away but I will say this:  John was once put under a spell.  It worked something like this.. if he broke someone’s leg, his leg got broken.  If he shot someone in the shoulder, his shoulder felt the shot… get the picture?  Good..

    With that in mind I think this same spell should be put on Doctors. 

    Maybe no Surgeons..but general doctors.   You know.. the ones that send you for all sorts of tests because they don’t know what’s wrong with you.

    Maybe they would think twice about putting you through some of the things one has to go through for tests.  You know, so you could skip those that most likely are NOT going to show what’s wrong.  Because I do believe they put people through unnecessary tests just for the insurance money. (sorry, but it’s how I feel)

    I think it would be nice if when a doctors says.. “oh let’s do a catscan“.  That why you are forced to drink 32 ounces of that ugly stuff called barium, that they to get the feelings like you feel while doing it!

    Granted one doesn’t have to drink it all at once… but still.  Have you ever had to drink barium? heh..

    Now they flavor it.  Oh yes!  Now they say, “oh but it tastes like bananas!”

    Let me tell you something.  I like bananas.  But this stuff does NOT taste like bananas!  Unless you want to consider how a rotten banana tastes, all slimy and gross.

    So Wednesday night I drank 8 oz of banana tasting slime followed by 8 oz. of water. My instant thought was:  I hope this stuff stays DOWN!

    This began my dreams that the doctor should feelwhat the patient feels.

    When I woke the next morning (after being awake half the night).  I had to drink another 8 oz of slime followed by 8 oz of water.  Did I mention that I can’t even drink a cup of coffee down?  I’m a sipper. It takes me about an hour to drink a cup of coffee! 

    A half  hour passes and I’m to drink 8 oz of water. Already too late to say it’s a saving grace.. my stomach is as close as I want it to be before barfing.

    Another half hour passes.  I  drink 8 more ozs of slime and 8 oz of water.

    Ok.. now it feels like it’s creeping back UP my throat.  I continue to swallow saliva in hopes it will not explode!  I am to take the last 8 oz of slime with me to the catscan place and drink it there.  gawd help me!

    By now I really want the doctor to have to go through this with me.  After all, it’s only right that they REALLY know how the patient feels, don’t ya think?

    They take me in the back for the catscan.  I have a nice looking young black man for a tech.  (cute accent too!)  He tells me to take off my bra. 

    Hello?!

    Do you really know what you are asking?!  I’m 63! 

    It’s been ages since a bra is NOT a NECESSITY!  Do  you really want to see this???? 

    The Tech walks away.  (he was smart after all!)

    He walks me to the room where the scan is to be done.  I am still carrying the 1/2 bottle of barium.  I told him I am supposed to drink this before the scan, and he goes to get me some water.  When he returns I try my best to smile at him without saliva running out of the sides of my mouth from the I’m about to toss all I already drank into your lap feeling I am having.

    I managed to squeak out a warning.

    If I drink this, there’s an EXCELLENT chance you will get to see both bottles of this stuff really quickly… do you have something I can keep near me in case this all comes out like a volcano?

    He smiled at me. (he really was a cutie).. I can tell he’s thinking about what I said.  He excuses himself for a moment and leaves, only to come back again. 

    You know, he says.. I really think we can do this without you finishing the barium. (told ya he was smart!)

    I smiled back at him, as I wipe the slobber from the corner of my mouth..

    I think that is probably a good thing, I said.

    He told me to lay down on the part of the machine that would move me through the scan and once again gave me his most winning smile as he told me :  this will only take a moment or two.

    Well dang..(I thought)  not much different than when I was married.

    Read Full Post »

    Older Posts »