Wednesday, May 20, 2015



Did you know May is National Get Caught Reading Month? Until yesterday, neither did I. The Get Caught Reading campaign is supported by the Association of American Publishers, the national trade association of the book publishing industry. It began in 1999 as a way to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read for pleasure.  You can read more about it here. Or learn six ways to celebrate it here. Better yet, go Get Caught Reading!

I'm going to go Get Caught Reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. What book would I catch you reading?


Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tardigradous A to Z Recovery

The A to Z Challenge ended twelve days ago, but as Robin Riveria @ Writeonsisters.com states, "A to Z was crazy busy. I still feel like I’m in a slow motion recover phase..."

I believe I'm in a slow motion recovery phase, too. I also think I miss the challenge more than I realized since I found myself reading this article at the Huffinton Post: An A to Z of Noah Webster's Finest Forgotten Words. Since it already has all the work done for you, it would make a great theme for the 2016 A to Z Challenge, but I couldn't resist sharing a few forgotten words that made me smile-- in alphabetical order of course.

  1. AFTER-WISE (adj.)Defined by Webster as "wise afterwards or too late" -- or in other words, the perfect term for describing that feeling of knowing exactly what you should have said (or done) after the opportunity to say it (or do it) has passed you by.
  2. BABBLEMENT(n.)"Senseless prattle" or "unmeaning words," according to Webster. To twattle, incidentally, is to gossip or chatter.
    • BABBLEMENT often bubbles uncontrollably out of me when I'm excited.
  3. FOPDOODLE(n.)The perfect name for "an insignificant fellow" -- Webster described this word as "vulgar and not used.
    • In life and in writing, I don't want to be considered a FOPDOODLE.
  4. ILLAQUEATION(n.)A formal word for "the act of ensnaring; a catching or entrapping."
    • I enjoy reading and writing chapters that end in ILLAQUEATION.
  5. TARDIGRADOUS(adj.)"Slow-paced; moving or stepping slowly."
    • At times the writing process seems very TARDIGRADOUS.
That was only five of Noah Webster's Finest Forgotten Words. If you want to read the other 21, click on the link above. I think, like me, you will see why these words have been forgotten. However, like me, a few of them might bring a smile to your face.

Are you missing the challenge? Do you find yourself looking for things in ABC order? Have you been a victim of Babblement recently?


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A to Z Musing




After a two year hiatus from the A to Z Challenge, I dove back in this year and had a blast! For my challenge, I blogged about Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. Click here, A to Z Challenge 2015, or the link above if you want to check out my 26 posts. 

At dinner time our family takes turns sharing the Highs and Lows of our day. In that vein, here are my random thoughts on the A to Z Challenge 2015...

Image result for HIGHS AND LOWS

Since I consider myself an optimist, I'll start with the Highs...
  • A BIG High for me was my challenge theme. I am a HUGE fan of the Twilight Zone, in fact it as the thought of blogging  about it for 26 days that convinced me to take the plunge after my two year absence. In the past I blogged about cookies and books and wrote poetry to match my vacation spots. Those were good years, but they were hard years. I like baking, but 26 cookies in a little over a month (I started early as suggested by the A to Z co-hosts) is a lot of baking! Blogging about 26 vacation spots was fun, too, but the poetry writing really stretched my brain. I said all that to say this, choose a theme you love and is easy. I still had to research to do my Twilight Zone blog posts, but the research was fun and that is what the A to Z Challenge is all about. 
  • Another high was not killing myself trying to visit everyone. I decided to take the co-hosts advice and set a goal to visit five blogs a day. On most days I was able to visit more, but if I only visited five, I didn't beat myself up as in past years. 
  • I also enjoyed learning new things, meeting new bloggers, and making new friends. That part of the challenge is always a big HIGH for me. 

As for the Lows...
  • Time tops the list. Even though I had two weeks of blogs scheduled before April 1st, I still felt like I needed more time. As one blogger said, "April is the fastest month of the year." It seemed like the month flew by. I'm not sure it if was because I was having fun, or if it was because I was so focused on the letter for the day, I didn't notice the days of the week flying by. 
  • Another low for me was blogs that were cluttered with ads, badges, marketing, etc. I understand the need for self promotion, but I didn't enjoy navigating around all the promotional material to find the A to Z post. 

Overall, I consider the A to Z Challenge 2015 to be the most successful of my trio. I had fun and made a few Twilight Zone converts along the way. Anytime I spend creating new T.Z. fans is always time well spent. 


It's also the first Wednesday of the month time for another IWSG post where we writers help each other deal with our insecurities. A warm thank you to Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his team of Ninjas, for providing writer's a safe and supportive format to speak openly, and without fear, about the insecurities that come with the craft of writing. Be sure to check out the IWSG Facebook page where writers can garner support more than once a month.

My insecurity for this month is simple, will I be able to do the A to Z again next year? I certainly hope so.

Were you a part of the A to Z Challenge this year? Are you going to do it next year? Are you a fan of the Twilight Zone? If not, check out this link for all 26 of my A to Z posts. Hopefully, your next stop will be in the Twilight Zone fandom. 


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 



     Z is for Zone, the Twilight Zone     


   Musings:    It's over!!! I made it through all 26 letters of the alphabet blogging about one of my favorite television shows, the Twilight Zone, while making a few T.Z. fans in the process. Yay!! I am happy the challenge is over, but I'm sad that there where so many episodes I couldn't share. So, here are a few lists that does: 

These six were on (almost) every list:
  1. Living Doll
  2. It's a Good Life
  3. Eye of the Beholder
  4. Time Enough at Last
  5. Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
  6. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
With the exception of numbers five and six, I completely agree with the popularity of these episodes and that's what I like about T.Z., there's something for everyone.

Did you discover a favorite T.Z. episode? Are you a new or reborn fan? What are you going to do now that the challenge is over? 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 




     Y is for You Drive    


Twilight Zone: 
Season 5, Episode 14
You Drive (3 Jan. 1964)
On a rainy day, office manager Oliver Pope (Edward Andrewsis driving home nervous and distracted when he hits a newspaper boy with his car. Pope stops, but then, instead of offering aid, hurries off, trying to conceal his part in the accident. He puts the car in his garage but when his wife sees the lights flashing, she thinks they have an intruder. When co-worker, Pete Radcliff, is inaccurately identified by a witness and is arrested, Pope thinks he's home free. However, his car has other plans to convince Pope to make things right. Watch the full episode HERE.


 T.Z. Trivia:  

  • The title refers to an old Hertz Car Rental ad campaign which called their cars "U Drives". Bud Abbott and Lou Costello turned the U-Drive theme into a famous comedy sketch similar to their "Who's on first?" sketch.
  • The scene where Oliver's car, a 1956 Ford Fairlane, almost runs into him while he is on the ground was filmed with the car speeding backwards, away from him. Then the film was shown in reverse.

   Musings:  Leave it to the Twilight Zone to find an unusual way to exact vengeance on a criminal who not only flees the scene of the crime, but allows a co-worker to take the blame. If only all of our inanimate objects haunted their owners until they confessed to their crimes.

Have you ever let someone else take the blame for something you did? Do you think inanimate objects should expose criminals? Can you believe tomorrow is the last day of the challenge? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 



     X is for EXecution     

Twilight Zone: 
Season 1, Episode 26
Execution (1 Apr. 1960)
In the late 19th century, Joe Caswell (Albert Salmi) is about to be hanged for murder, when he vanishes into thin air. He's been snatched by Prof. Manion's (Russell Johnson)time machine and brought 80 years into the future. Caswell was selected at random and Manion can see the rope marks on his neck. Caswell is eager to see his new world but Manion wants to send him back. When Caswell runs off into the night, his new world proves to be too much for him. Justice is served in the end and a murderer hangs. Written by garykmcd IMDb. Watch the full episode HERE


  T.Z. Trivia:  
  • The background noises heard aboard the time machine were later reused in Star Trek (1966). They were previously heard in Twilight Zone: Third from the Sun (1960) and Twilight Zone: Elegy (1960).
  • This episode takes place on November 14, 1880 and in 1960.

  Musings:  I realize it is a bit of a stretch using Execution for my X post, but it was this or nothing. As I've said in earlier posts, it's really great seeing the before acting of some of my favorites in these T.Z. episodes; like the professorplaying a professor four years before Gilligan's Island. I was never a big fan of the main character, Albert Salmi, but I do recall seeing him in MeTv reruns of Bonanza, Lost in Space, Mission Impossible, and others. I was sad to discover, while researching this post, that he had died in a murder suicide after shooting his wife and then himself. What was even more disheartening were his daughter's words that they should have divorced long ago and possibly avoided their tragic end. Oscar Wilde said that Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life, this seems to be the case in this T.Z. episode. It has the normal surprise ending that is tragic for all the characters involved, which, sadly, somewhat mirrors the tragic ending for Albert and his wife Roberta.

Where you a fan of Albert Salmi? Do you agree with Oscar Wilde? Did you have trouble finding an X word to fit your theme?


Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 



W is for (A) World of His Own      

Twilight Zone
Season 1, Episode 36
A World of His Own
Peeking into the window of her playwright husband Gregory's (Keenan Wynn) study, Victoria West (Phyllis Kirk)sees him with a beautiful woman. When she barges into the room, however, the woman is nowhere to be found. His explanation is preposterous - he claims that when he speaks into his dictation machine, the characters for his play come to life before his eyes. Victoria's first reaction is that her husband should be committed. Even after a demonstration first with Mary and then with an elephant in the hallway, Victoria's still not convinced. Gregory tries one last method of proving to her he's telling the truth. Watch the full episode HERE.

  T.Z. Trivia:  
  • Gregory West's method of working, by using a recorder which would later be transcribed by a secretary, was how Serling produced all of his scripts, although he preferred to do his dictating while lounging beside his pool.
  • Rod Serling's first on-screen appearance on the Twilight Zone (1959). Earlier, all his narration was in voiceover only. He would make many other appearances in subsequent seasons, though this was the only one where he interacted with the characters or appeared during the closing narration; all his other appearances were for the openings.
  • The is the only time Serling interacted with the story's characters while doing one of his narrations.

  Musings:    This one of my favorite T.Z. episodes. In encompasses so many of my loves: writing, humor, and magic, all in one episode. The Twilight Zone used humor sparingly, and with good reason, they were not good at it. However, this episode was a perfect blend of humor and suspended belief capped off with a never done before (or again) twist of an ending. I'm not sure if I love this episode so much because it would a dream come true to be able to bring my characters to life with the help of a recording device, or if I was pleased to see a comedic episode of T.Z. that worked. Maybe it was both. Whatever the reason if you love writing, T.Z., or humor, check out A World of His Own. I do think the ending will surprise you.

Would you like a device that allows you to create reality just with the sound of your voice? What would you create? 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 


        V is for Valley of the Shadow      


Twilight Zone: 
Season 4, Episode 3
Valley of the Shadow 
(17 Jan. 1963) 

Off the beaten path, reporter Philip Redfield (Ed Nelson) stops in a small town, Peaceful Valley, to gas up and perhaps get a bite to eat. When his dog Rollie runs off after a cat, a young girl, Cissy, points a device at the animal and makes it disappear. After he witnesses the secret mechanical device which can control and rearrange atoms, making things appear and disappear, he soon finds himself forbidden to leave the small town. The town's mayor, Dorn, reveals their secret to him. The town refuses to share this and other amazing technology that had been given to them by a "great man of science" from an unknown land and planet (implying super intelligence from an alien world) until men learn the ways of peacePhilip is given the choice to join them or die - and chooses the former, though human instincts soon take hold forcing a confrontation. Watch the full episode HERE.

  T.Z. Trivia:  
  • The title comes from the King James Version of the 23rd Psalm in the Hebrew Bible. 
  • Sissy Johnson's dad is played by James Doohan, who also plays Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, the engineer of Star Trek (1966)'s Starship Enterprise. 
  • The technology displayed at Peaceful Valley has its equivalent in the Federation universe: the device that breaks atomic structure and puts it together again (transporters), the one that creates objects from "statements" about atomic structure (replicators) and the invisible walls (force fields).

  Musings:  I prefer to get my T.Z. in half-hour doses, but this is one of the rare one hour episodes that's worth sixty minutes of your time. Peaceful Valley is similar to the Eagles Hotel California in that if you discover the town's secret, you can never leave. As I watched Philip Redfeild yearn for the freedom of his old life and the glory of curing all sickness, ending hunger, and essentially saving the world, I wonder what I would do in his place. Would I live my life in comfort or want the same for the world? I think this episode not only takes its title from the Hebrew Bible, but its theme from John 15:13: There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.  

How about you? Would you seek to save yourself or save the world? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 




     U is for Uncle Simon  


Twilight Zone: Season 5, Episode 8
Uncle Simon (15 Nov. 1963) 

Barbara Polk (Constance Ford) takes care of her elderly and mean-spirited uncle Simon.
He is a scientist who spends much of his time in his basement laboratory but when he's not there, he seems to take great pleasure in demeaning his niece. She can't wait for him to die and doesn't hesitate to tell him so. While berating Barbara, Simon raises his cane as if to strike her. Barbara catches his cane, and Simon falls down the stairs, breaking his back. Frustrated with his feebleness, nagging, and constant demands of hot chocolate, Barbara allows him to succumb to his injuries. Finally, she is free. She inherits his wealth but can only keep it if she stays in the house. She also has to care for the thing he created in his lab - a life-sized robot into which Simon Polk has programmed with his own personality. Watch the full episode HERE.

     T.Z. Trivia:   
  • The robot created by Uncle Simon is played by Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet(1956). The dome was modified by adding a crude head inside for this appearance. 
  • The next installment of Twilight Zone(1959), would not air for two weeks. The following week's episode on November 22, 1963 - which was to have been Night Call (One of my intial choices for N) - was cancelled due to the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas that day

   Musings:    Greed, in the end, fails even the greedy.― Cathryn Louis This episode, like Masks, deals with the another unique way to handle greedy relatives. Fortunately, I've never had to make a decision to be nice to a relative I hated to collect an inheritance since none of my relatives are rich. However, fortunately for me, I learned at a young age that although money can buy many things, it can't buy happiness. Even if I did have rich relatives I wouldn't have wasted my life waiting around for them to die to collect whatever they saw fit to bequeath me. Instead, I'd choose to enjoy the riches life provides even without a large bank account. 

Do you think money can buy happiness? Would you trade 25 years of your life for the hope of being rich? How do you find riches in your everyday life?