Bah Humbug! Who Scrooged It Better?

Christmas Performances © BillionPhotos.com – Stock.adobe.com

If you asked me to list my favorite stories, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens would be in my top two. We have a wonderful tradition at our house. On many a December night, I’ll curl up under a blanket and listen to the classic tale on audiobook performed by two of the world’s best actors – Patrick Stewart and Tim Curry.

A Christmas Carol narrated by Patrick Stewart (Simon and Schuster – 2006)– I love this performance. It’s Patrick Stewart, Shakespearean actor, Captain Picard, Charles Xavier…the list goes on. He actually played Scrooge in a film version (1999). Did I mention Captain Picard reading Dickens?

A Christmas Carol narrated by Tim Curry (Audible – 2010)– Tim Curry is one of my all-time favorite actors. Stage performer extraordinaire and star of two of my favorite quirky movies: Rocky Horror Picture Show and Clue. His unique voice is beyond cool. Listening to his spin on Scrooge is awesome.

So, who Scrooged it Better? Patrick Stewart or Tim Curry? Who do you think makes a better Ebenezer Scrooge? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

P.S. – Am I missing an outstanding narrator you believe gives these two performers a run for their money? Let me know!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

My Top Three Classic Movies to Get You into The Holiday Mood

Christmas Tree © Africa Studio – Stock.adobe.com

Pine and cinnamon fill the house. Sweet flavors of peppermint tingle your tongue. A wonderful sensation of excited anticipation warms the soul. It’s Christmas time. I typically look forward to Holiday Bliss the moment Jack Frost nips at my nose, but I wasn’t feeling it this year. My new book came out in October. I picked up another client for my business. Rush, rush, rush. That special Christmas feeling couldn’t penetrate my busy mind. I needed inspiration!

If reality is too real, I turn to a magical world where anything can happen. The inhabitants inspire excitement, fear, sadness, and joy. Don’t worry though. Most of the endings are happy. Am I hinting at BOOKS, you may ask. Well. Yes. BUT that’s the entrance next door. For a quick infusion of Holiday Cheer, I enter the cinematic universe.

My Top Three Classic Holiday Movies

Christmas Spirit – © gustavofrazao – Stock.adobe.com

The Polar Express (2004) – Tom Hanks at his best in this classic Christmas story about a boy who

journeys to the North Pole trying to find proof Santa is real.

A Christmas Carol – Any of them, but my favorite is the Disney version with Jim Carrey (2009) – Dickens’ wonderful tale of three spirits who visit a selfish old curmudgeon to save his soul. This story of transformation will inspire joy.

White Christmas (1954) – How can you beat the music and costumes in this Hollywood spectacular?! Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen at their best. Watch this and you’ll be tapping your toes in no time.

What do you do to get into the Christmas spirit? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Top Five Reasons Indie Authors Have to Be Grateful

Thanksgiving, Give ThanksThe Publishing Industry is a harsh place to build your dreams – especially if you’re an Independent Author. Writing the book is a lonely business. Pouring over all those red marks of grammar death from the editor is painful. Marketing the book once published is a nerve-wracking affair. Ask any Indie Author, and they will tell you all the heartaches are worth it. Why? We are creating our art.

In this season of thanksgiving, I wanted to reflect and remind Creatives about the good things.

Top Five Things Indie Authors Are Grateful for This Season

  1. Technology: Thank you, Internet! Technology has revolutionized the way we read with ebook and audio formats
  2. Book Distributors: Amazon, Ingram, Smashwords, and others have made it possible for more authors to publish their own work to a global audience
  3. Independent Bookstores: No offense to big book chains like Barnes and Noble, but I want to give a special shout out to my local indie bookstores. They love supporting local authors. These wonderful folks host book signings and other author events to connect local authors with the community
  4. Goodreads and other book sites: These sites offer opportunities for authors to connect virtually with their readers. And for readers to connect with other readers
  5. READERS: We are grateful to all those readers who support Indie Authors by buying and reading our books, leaving reviews and spreading the word

May your celebrations be full of food, fun, and family. Happy Thanksgiving

 

The Funniest Alien Invasion Ever

Watch The Skies! © BibiDesign – stock.adobe.com

You hear those piano keys pound, and the distinct fifties sound begins. Immediately, you recognize the prologue of THE best horror comedy to come out of the 80s. I’m talking about Little Shop of Horrors, of course! Admit it. You just started singing the lyrics. I watched the movie two days ago, and I can’t stop the Da-doo.

This unique movie was adapted from an off-Broadway musical by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that they based on a 1960 film. In 1986, Frank Oz gave it his magic touch, and a classic was born. Who can forget Audrey II, voiced by Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops? Feed Me, Seymor!

Beware the Greek Chorus

Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon are the mysterious girls who appear throughout the movie as musical narrators. You know something’s about to happen when they start singing. I love their costumes and hairstyles. Each look fits the song and circumstances perfectly.

The strength of their voice talent adds to this outstanding musical score. Every song is gold. They get stuck in your brain until you have to sing along.

Cosmic Comedic Cast

The cast of Little Shop of Horrors is a list of “Who’s Who” in the comedy scene of the 80s. Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Jim Belushi, John Candy, and others I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

We can’t overlook the amazing puppeteers behind the inner workings of Audrey II. That was one huge plant, and I’m sure it took a large crew to make this flowery invader come to life.

I give this movie Five out of Five Intergalactic Green Thumbs!

It’s Release Week!

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The Buffy V.S. Buffy Controversy

Buffy VS Buffy – Which One Do You Prefer? © Subbotina Anna – Stock.adobe.com

When I say, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” which do you think of first, the original 1992 movie or the popular TV series? If you’re not familiar with either, you may wonder if there’s a difference. I did some binge-watching research for this post and can tell you they strike very different tones.

Set in the suburbs of California, the story follows the legend of the Slayer. Teen girls throughout the centuries are chosen to fight the evil Lothos, Vampire Lord. Buffy, a modern high school cheerleader, is the latest Slayer to be born with the amazing abilities needed to fight vampires. She is snarky, talented, and has a keen fashion sense. Buffy and her mentor, known as the Watcher, stalk vampires and keep the world safe.

Vampires, Pompoms and Luke Perry

Buffy is the creation of Joss Whedon. He wanted his snarky, vampire killing, cheerleader to be an intense badass. The studio executives decided to give the movie a lighter tone with plenty of comedy. Whedon left the project after becoming dissatisfied with the film. I understand his frustration as a creator, but as a fan, I still loved the movie. Buffy is a badass, but she remains likable.

What I like about the movie – It’s a fun romp through the graveyard. Buffy’s interaction with Merrick is a hoot. She has some great one-liners. Her emotional change, however, is what makes the movie stand out. The teen slayer grew into a character I came to identify with and like. She shook off her mean-spirited selfish ways and started caring about others. This is the real charm of the movie.

You cannot beat the cast. Kristy Swanson nails it as Buffy (See what I did there? Wooden stake. Vampires. Ahem). Donald Sutherland brought a quiet charm to his role as the Watcher. Rutger Hauer always makes an excellent bad guy. Paul Reubens steals the show. Luke Perry, teen idol back then, did very well in his first big-screen performance. Keep an eye out for young Hilary Swank and a few surprise sightings of famous actors before they became well known.

What I Didn’t Like About the Movie– As if! Seriously. I loved the movie.

High School, Hellmouth and Hunky Angels (Aka Buffy Loses Her Sense of Humor)

According to some hardcore fan YouTube video sites, Joss Whedon finally was able to bring out the version of Buffy he’d first envisioned. She and her world would be darker and much more serious. Buffy fans rejoiced. Soon the TV show gathered a cult following.

This Buffy takes up where the movie left off. Sort of. Buffy and her Mom (who inexplicably has turned from a ditzy, self-absorbed trophy wife to a serious working single mom) move to Sunnydale to begin their new life. Buffy promises her Mom she won’t get into trouble as she did in her last school. A new Watcher, Giles, works in the library of her high school. He wants to start up her training again. Buffy refuses, but circumstances quickly force her back into the Slayer life.

What I like about the series– David Boreanaz as Angel. Yep. He was the only aspect of the show I remembered. Hey. I was a fan of the Dark Angel TV Series. Charisma Carpenter’s character, Cordelia, also shines in both Buffy and Dark Angel.

What I didn’t like about the series– Buffy. She completely lost her sense of humor, which is one of the things I loved about Buffy the movie. TV Series Buffy comes off as snarky and flat. If you put Kristy Swanson and Sarah Michelle Gellar side by side as they do those fight scenes, then it is easy to see which actress is better suited to the role. Kudos Kristy Swanson. You kicked some serious butt.

Final Thoughts

I watched the movie and season one of the TV Series before writing this post. The film still makes me laugh. I wasn’t a fan of Buffy the TV series back in the day, and watching it now hasn’t changed my mind. I suppose things could have developed in later seasons, but I just am not invested enough to find out. Maybe if I hadn’t seen the movie, then who knows?

Which one is YOUR Buffy? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

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It’s release month for Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series. I’m celebrating with a Halloween Giveaway! Click here to enter for a chance to win these Boo-tiful Prizes:

 

  • Signed Print copies of Books 1 – 3 of the Heart of the Warrior series with 2 limited edition bookmarks
  • Mini-flex LED Reading Light
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • Plush Lion
  • 1000-piece Halloween jigsaw puzzle
  • Halloween mug filled with candy

Visit my EVENTs page for scheduling information and blog stops I’ll be visiting this Fall.

Three Life Lessons I Learned from Buckaroo Banzai

The wisdom of Movies – © gorralit stock.adobe.com

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension introduces crime fighting brain surgeon, adventurer, rock star and all-around renaissance man, Buckaroo Banzai. He and his band of eccentric friends, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil aliens from the eighth dimension.

This completely unique Sci/Fi Adventure is a cult classic. I recently watched the featurette of the movie on it’s anniversary release. Though most of the actors had no idea what the plot was really about at the time, they were still excited to be part of the movie. Buckaroo Banzai can be considered a venue for the most talented comedians of the 80s (and today). For me, it was a revelation.

The Wisdom of Buckaroo Banzai

  1. Eight Dimensions of Opportunity – Buckaroo Banzai was released in 1984. I was a freshman just entering the big world of University life. This movie had a strong impact on my world view. I, like many of my contemporaries, were raised by “Depression Era Babies” who drilled the notion of “Get a job. Stay there until you retire. Then have fun.” I’d never been exposed to anyone like Buckaroo Banzai. He showed me I could be more than one “thing.” I didn’t have to live under a Label I’d chosen when I was still an inexperienced kid. I could pursue careers and hobbies I loved during my entire life, instead of waiting until I retired from a job I hated.

Seek out your own truth!

  1. No Matter Where You Go, There You Are – This is probably Buckaroo’s most quotable saying. He admonishes the crowd when they are unkind to a tearful Penny Pretty. I think his words have two meanings. First – Be Kind. We’re all humans going through our own difficulties. Second – Look into your own heart, before judging others. Who are you, really? Do you know for sure? Find out.

Be Kind!

  1. Laugh While You Can, Monkey Boy! – Okay. I’ll admit I doubt John Lithgow meant anything by this, but the obvious warning. It’s still a good message. Life is a terminal illness, so fill it full of laughter and joy rather than negativity.

Fill your life with joy

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

It’s release month for Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warriorseries. I’m celebrating with a Halloween Giveaway! Click here to enter for a chance to win these Boo-tiful Prizes:

  • Signed Print copies of Books 1 – 3 of the Heart of the Warriorseries with 2 limited edition bookmarks
  • Mini-flex LED Reading Light
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • Plush Lion
  • 1000-piece Halloween jigsaw puzzle
  • Halloween mug filled with candy

Visit my EVENTspage for scheduling information and blog stops I’ll be visiting this Fall.

 

 

The Spooky Movie You Forgot You Loved

Start The Spooky Season With An Old Favorite! © Drobot Dean – stock.adobe.com

Happy Spooky Season! I know I’m a few days early, but I am too excited to wait! This October is going to be a fun one. Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series – comes out October 18th. I’ll have details on tours and giveaways soon.

Let’s kick off the season with a blast from the past to get you in the Halloween Spirit!

The Frighteners – directed by Peter Jackson and starring Michael J. Fox – is a satisfying mix of paranormal haunts, suspenseful plot twists, and comedy. Fox plays Frank Bannister, conman and paranormal investigator. Frank finds himself up against a supernatural serial killer preying on unlikely victims around his home town.

First released in 1995, this movie came out at the height of Michael J. Fox’s popularity. His acting is heartfelt and real. The entire cast brings their best performances in this entertaining paranormal adventure. It is Jackson’s ground-breaking special effects that propel this movie over the top. According to Jackson, they developed software and techniques in The Frighteners that made it possible for him to film The Lord of the Rings.

Make sure to put this spooky fun film on your Halloween Playlist. I highly recommend the Director’s Cut released as part of the 15th Anniversary Edition Blue-ray.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well. And Have a Spook-tacular Spooky Season!

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