Category Archives: Misc

Those Islands at the End of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

We saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening weekend and I have mixed feelings about the repetition of the movie (mostly unoriginality, to be vented later), but besides seeing that Han Solo smile again, one of the favorite parts for us was the Skellig Islands at the end when … whoops, no spoilers here! The Skelligs are isolated, majestic, magnificent – and we’ve been there! On our first trip back to Ireland after living there for a few years, the Skelligs were the only place we wanted to see a second – or third – time around.  They’re off the coast of County Kerry (the southwest corner of Ireland) and always a risky part of the itinerary. The weather has to be just right.  Rough-ish seas wouldn’t bother the ferry boats on open water, but the waves have to be pretty calm to land at the jetty.  Don’t want to drop any tourists against the … Continue reading

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Smile While You “Shut Up and Dance!”

I was working on a different blog post, but this video has taken over my mind – and my smile.   If you need a bit of happy time today, this is for you!  (And as a bonus, how many of the movies can you name?) Doesn’t that make you just start dancing in your seat? While your toes are still tapping, I’ve got to get back to writing now.  So far, though, I see these movies in the video (in no particular order): Beetlejuice Get Smart Risky Business Flashdance (the newer version) Beauty and the Beast Happy Feet Mean Girls Mary Poppins Mamma Mia! Grease Saturday Night Fever Dirty Dancing Big Frozen The Sound of Music The Mask The Blues Brothers Enchanted West Side Story Puss n Boots There are a few more I know and can’t remember the names of, and even more that I haven’t seen.  Can you … Continue reading

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My Solar-Powered Self

The power of thunderstorms fascinates me.  Tree branches whip in the wind, rain pelts against the roof, hail clatters on the deck and the skylights.  Thunder rolls and cracks, and I count seconds until the flash of white.  When the lightning and thunder come on top of each other, I startle, shudder and look on in amazement, safe in my house.  No matter what I’m supposed to be doing (including sleeping at night) I find myself drawn to the window to witness the spectacle. On the other hand, when cottony fog muffles the outside world, cocooning me in my solitary day, I’m grateful that the only commute I have is the three paces to my computer.  And when a soft, gentle rain waters the grass and flowers, the patter on the roof becomes white noise.  These gray days make me glad to stay home and curl up.  It should be … Continue reading

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Winnie the Pooh Gets Banned

Pooh Bear, that “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff,” has been banned and lambasted by a Polish village. Yes, you read that right. Winnie the Pooh has been banned. From a children’s park, no less! In the small town of Tuszyn, the village council, in their oh-so-infinite wisdom, has declared Winnie the Pooh to be unfit for children – or at least unfit to be the face of a children’s playground. They can’t tell what gender he is, so he must be a hermaphrodite,  and *gasp* he doesn’t wear pants!  Actually, sometimes he completely naked. News flash, folks. He doesn’t need pants because he’s a TOY! A toy who is suitably NOT anatomically correct, for which my young children were unknowingly thankful.  (And contrary to what one council member said, I highly doubt that Milne “cut [Pooh’s] testicles off with a razor blade because he had a problem with … Continue reading

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Weird Names & the War That Wasn’t a War

Stolen Ohio chickens, a lost Michigan militia, and men with numbers for names?  You never know what your fiction research is going to uncover. There I was, digging into Midwest canals and railroads for Book 2 of my Shimmer of Time series.  Lots of cool stuff for the book, right?  But I got sidetracked completely by Benjamin Franklin Stickney, who had weird tastes in names and was (probably) responsible for a war most of us have never heard of. Stickney’s mother was a favorite niece of Benjamin Franklin (that’s right, the key-on-a-kite-string Benjamin Franklin, “discoverer” of electricity and inventor of my ever-necessary bifocals), and she named her son after him in 1773.  So Benjamin Stickney grew up, got married, and named his sons … wait for it . . . One and Two!  Evidently he wanted to let them choose their own names when they got older, but they never did.  … Continue reading

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