Music

Song of the Week – “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” by Michael Jackson

Aside Posted on Updated on

I miss the King of Pop, since I grew up with his music still love it.  Michael was more than a singer, dancer and entertainer.  He was humble, generous and sadly, misunderstood.  I wish he were still with us.

The song of the week reflects a challenge that I set for myself today.  I just joined the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (April 2014).   As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD, in her mid-forties, this will go one of two ways (1) help me organize my thoughts and blog every day or (2) create chaos and anxiety in my life.

I choose organization, as it will “force” me to publish book reviews, and some reflection posts, I have been putting off.   I am #1703.  Hear me blog!   Now, DANCE!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Song of the Day – “What Does the Fox Say?” with Corresponding Spoof

Posted on Updated on

If you haven’t seen Ylvis’s video “What Does the Fox Say?” you are a) lucky, b) in for a treat,  or c) may curse me for leaving you with a terrible earworm.  Either way, this is Norwegian comedy at it’s best.  Or worst.   Or strangest.

 

Ryan Higa’s spoof is priceless!  Happy Friday,  everyone!

Happy Release Day to Olivia Cunning!

Posted on Updated on

Olivia Cunning’s Sinners are going to the chapel and going to get married!

Olivia Cunning's Blog

So, the paperback proof copy of Sinners at the Altar just arrived on my doorstep. Freaking finally… *grumble, overnight airmail my ass, grumble*

And all those lines that were on the digital proof’s cover are nowhere to be seen on the hard copy, so in celebration of the release (of the breath I’ve been holding since Friday *cough*) of Sinners at the Altar, I’m giving away 10 autographed copies of the book w/ a Sinners on Tour wristband. (Two are in the picture so you can see both sides.)

SatA Prize 1

And since I’m feeling generous, I’m giving away 20 additional wristbands. 1 per winner.

SatA Prize 2

So that’s 30 prizes up for grabs!

Well, you do have to enter…

Click on the link below to enter for your chance to win.

Sinners at the Altar Release Day Giveaway!

Good luck!

And yes, it’s open internationally.

View original post

Song of the week: “I Wish” by Steve Wonder with Soul Train Line

Video Posted on Updated on

This song always puts a smile on my face and gets me up to move and groove. Happy Friday!

“Battle Flag” by Lo Fidelity Allstars featuring Pigeonhed is the Song of the Day

Video Posted on Updated on

A word of caution.I first heard “Battle Flag” in the late 1990s as a club mix. It was originally written as an homage to Prince by Pigeonhed and remixed and recorded by Lo Fidelity Allstars. The beat and a few of the lyrics stuck with me. However, it was not until I heard it on the episode of “ER” where Dr. Carter (Noah Wylie) meets, and is stabbed by, a Schizophrenic patient that it grabbed me.

Then, I heard it on an episode of The Sopranos and was thrilled when they included on one of their show soundtracks.  It has become one of my get-up-and-MOVE jams.

The song starts off with a bang and just keeps going. Here are the first few lines:

Your construction
Smells of corruption
I manipulate to recreate
This air to ground saga
Gotta launder my karma

Gotta launder my karma, indeed.   Great advice for all of us.     Wave your own battle flag!

¡Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

Video Posted on Updated on

I received the best gift I could ever hope for, on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) – time with Papi, Mami, Hubby, Brother (PSM), Sister-in-Law, 2 Nephews and our Niece. Later today (Christmas Day) we will spend time with my Mom-in-Law and Hubby’s extended family.

We exchanged funny cards and gave the kids the “Harry Potter” boxed set collection. Nothing is better that time with loved ones. Several years ago, we decided to only give gifts to the kids and enjoy the joy of watching tear open their presents. It keeps the focus on our family and we love it!

Hope the spirit of the season fills you with joy.

Please enjoy “Navidad en Panamá.”

Book Review and Trailer – “Moore to Lose” by Julie A. Richman

Posted on Updated on

Followers of this blog will recognize Julie Richman’s name as the author who knocked my socks off with her debut novel, Searching for Moore.   My review, on July 11th, was one of the most organic posts I have written, since starting this blog.    Julie’s words inspired a friendship between Kristen, Samantha, Cleida and I that culminated in the Searching for Moore Book Trailer, on July 23rd.    These relationships have continued to evolve and I am proud to count these women among my dear friends.

Julie and I stayed up countless nights this Summer analyzing publishing trends, discussing the merits of stand-alone books versus book series, realizing that we had worked at similar agencies at different points in our careers and bonding over her “Needing Moore” series.   I knew she was writing a follow-up book to Searching for Moore, but was conflicted.  She originally intended to write two books for the series, not three.   However, her characters, namely Mia Silver, guided her into writing a beautifully, heart-breaking second book:  Moore to Lose.   Julie received advice from many “experts” in the publishing world, who told her not to write this book.    What the “experts” failed to realize, was that when Julie’s characters spoke to her, she listened.   And wrote.

Then she shared her words with Mom Richman, Kristen, Cleida, Samantha and I.

After reading Moore to Lose I was speechless.  Breathless and hyperventilating, I cried.   I was unprepared for the myriad of emotions and memories it would trigger in me.  It was a deeply personal experience, for I have known Mia my entire life.   I have been Mia.

Moore to Lose focused on Mia’s journey. We already knew she was not the typical, innocent ingénue – she was a tough New York City girl.  This story showed us the dichotomy of the sweet teenager versus maturing young woman, in some of her early decisions. Decisions that many readers have made in their own lives – good, bad and ugly. Julie approached these events with great sensitivity, knowing how deeply the readers were invested in Mia’s happiness.

What Julie did not know was that as I was reading these incredibly difficult, gut-wrenching scenes, I was reliving events from my college days.   Events that were entirely too common for college women.  (Still are, unfortunately.)  As Mia continued on her life’s path, I revisited similar situations that my friends and I found ourselves in and our reactions to those situations.   As the story progressed, and Mia’s past caught up with her, my heart broke alongside hers.   Later, Julie placed Mia at the center of one of the most agonizingly painful events in recent history.   As Julie suffered writing those words, she crafted a grief-stricken, yet delicately fitting homage to her beloved NYC.  She should be proud of the way she honored her resplendent and resilient hometown.

Julie continued to weave the rich tapestry that became Moore to Lose by revisiting familiar secondary characters and using New York City as a vivid backdrop for the action.  In fact, NYC served as another character in the story and served as a touchstone for Mia’s voyage of self-discovery.    Julie further incorporated her trademark use of music and popular culture references as touchstones throughout the story. They helped mark the passage of time and kept Schooner with Mia, connected across the miles and years.

Moore to Lose is so much more than a “romance” novel. It is the story of a woman losing, finding, healing and honoring herself and her spirit. We fell in love with Mia in Searching for Moore. In Moore to Lose, we understand why we love her. As Mia lives her life, we live the experiences with her. Searching for Moore was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Moore to Lose took that ride, plunged it into complete darkness and added loops, spins and rolls.

Julie promised that all issues would be resolved in the third, and final, book in the Needing Moore series.  I will be anxiously waiting for that book, and highly recommend Moore to Lose, for readers who want rich characters who evoke tears, anger, joy, heartbreak, forgiveness, friendship, acceptance, and ultimately, love.

Here are the links to my reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.

In the meantime, please enjoy the Moore to Lose Book Trailer. 

Etiology of a Book Trailer – “Searching for Moore,” by Julie A. Richman

Posted on Updated on

Searching for Moore by Julie A. Richman
Cover used with permission by author, Julie A. Richman.

Summer of 2013 has been the Summer of books and reviews, where I rediscovered the joy that leisure reading brought me.   My newest ventures have been writing book reviews and beta reading books for independent authors.  I am still learning how to do both, but writing reviews is definitely my favorite of the two.

Earlier this year, I read and reviewed Searching for Moore by Julie A. Richman (Book 1 in the “Needing Moore” series).    Julie’s book kept me up all night,  deeply invested in Schooner and Mia’s story and I was emotionally drained but my mind kept spinning.   That inspired my best book review to date, as words flew, organically, off my fingers, onto the keys, and onto the screen.  When I hit “publish” on the blog post, the sun was rising and I knew I had to know more about the woman who wrote Searching for Moore.  I had to talk to her.

I “met” Julie on Facebook.   There was the initial awkwardness of the clichéd OMG-when-are-you-releasing-book-2 comment.  Followed by the blubbering on of a fangirl who had too little sleep, too much coffee and not enough Schooner Moore or Mia Silver.  Finally, we started to talk.  Like lifelong friends.   Who had never met before.    The more we talked – about music, college, jobs, life experiences, relationships, etc. – Julie and I found that we had been separated at birth!    Synchronous would be the best way to describe our connection.

Our friendship brought three other women into my life.  All fans of Searching for Moore who had similar reactions to the story.   As, we began “hanging out” together on Facebook, the bond became stronger.    Sure we talked about our favorite parts of the book, but we talked about ourselves.  If someone had a bad day, there were four other women to help her through it.  If we needed a laugh or bawdy comment, we were there.

Together.

Together, we decided to create the following book trailer.   Kristen was our computer guru, taking all the pieces and creating something that represented all of us, even after the infamous crash of “Video Version 1” (shudder).   Cleida brought us Mia and Schooner and had the uncanny eye to spot the right photos of them.   Samantha was our cheerleader, keeping everyone in good spirits.  I suggested “If I Should Fall Behind,” by Bruce Springsteen as the accompanying song and critiqued the final product.     We accomplished this in about two days and presented it to Julie, on Sunday, just past midnight.

As we waited, impatiently, for Julie to view the video, so many thoughts went through our heads.  “What if Julie doesn’t like it?”  “What if the fans don’t like it?” “What if it’s not good enough?”  “What if it doesn’t capture the essence of Schooner and Mia?”  These were the longest three minutes of the entire process!

Julie loved it!

She immediately posted it on her Facebook page.  It was received warmly by other fans, who then shared it with their friends and family.    Now, I share it with you.   Please share, reblog, buy the book and fall in love with Schooner and Mia.   (Book 2, “Moore to Lose,” will be released in September 2013.)    Amazon     Barnes and Noble

After reading Searching for Moore please visit Julie’s author website for additional scenes, written in the point of view of other characters, and find her on Facebook.

Here is our labor of love for Searching for Moore  .

Viral Video: AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” Played On Flame-Throwing Bagpipes

Posted on Updated on

Here’s something to lighten the mood, after the serious discussion on plagiarists yesterday. ACDC sounds great on bagpipes, but they knew it when they wrote “It’s a Long Way to the Top.”
Enjoy, and remember Bon Scott.

LOL Video: Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro Reunite for Fresh Prince Theme, Carlton’s ‘Unusual’ Dance

Posted on Updated on

I love this! Bonus points for everyone who knows all the words (like me). I dare you NOT to smile.
Have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day weekend. Take time to thank and remember, the men and women who served, and continue to serve in our Armed Forces. Blessings to all of them.

TVLine

Now this is a story all about how… Will Smith revisited his Fresh Prince of Bel Air roots on The Graham Norton Show this week, bringing two special friends along for the ride down memory lane.

Appearing on the BBC talker with son Jaden to promote their father-son space movie After Earth, Smith grabbed a mic, introduced longtime collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff and launched into a sing-along-with-me reprise of the Fresh Prince theme. UPDATE: Apparently this was a follow-up to Smith’s year-ago appearance on Graham Norton (seen here).

Smith then segued (at the 3:45 mark) straight into Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual,” setting the stage for onetime cast mate Alfonso Ribeiro‘s cameo, doing a full-on, take-no-prisoners rendition of The Carlton, his Fresh Prince alter ego’s spastic dance perhaps only rivaled on TV by The Elaine.

View original post

Time May Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time

Posted on Updated on

Life is change.  We have the choice to accept and embrace change, or not.   The hardest part is knowing change is inevitable but not  being ready for it.   Or watching helplessly as people we love are hurt by changes in their lives.   A natural instinct is to protect – but, from what or whom?

As I’ve moved through adult life and collected experiences, I am struck by how different my life was 20 or 30 years ago.  I envisioned myself as an attorney and created an elaborate life of excess.  It was the 1980s and “excess” was the “American dream.”   Once I went to college, that vision evolved as my views on social justice and politics were refined.  Excess seemed distasteful and wrought with greed.   It was the wrong fit for me, even though I attempted to make it fit.   After college, I started to find my voice.  It has been, and will be, a lifelong process.Bono Change Quote

But, what happens when someone I care for is experiencing difficult changes?  Especially, when I recognize the process and know it will be painful, albeit necessary, for that person.  Should I “nag?”  Should I leave them alone?  Should I wait to be contacted?  Each situation has been unique and while I want to say I handled them well, that would be inaccurate.  If I’m lucky, I’m breaking even on the “supportive friend/family member” role.

Changes are part of the life cycle and, in some respects, “expected.”  However, “everyday” life changes like starting a new job, marriage, divorce, losing a job, having children, not having children, etc., may be unexpected.  We can attempt to prepare ourselves for them by being the best version of ourselves and staying connected with those we love.   For me, this means not retreating into my cocoon of solitude, or we call it at my house, my “bear hibernation cave.”   I am naturally extroverted and have an opinionated, over-the-top, bull-in-a-china-shop, overwhelming personality.   But, when I become quiet, introspective and retreat into myself, I am either angry or very sad.

So, as I reflect back on how I manage change, I am struck by Bono’s quote, “I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me.”  I think he is talking about growing older and learning from previous experiences.  Then, using the knowledge, understanding and possibly, maturity gained to move forward.

David Bowie expresses it beautifully, in the song “Changes”

Onward and upward.