Nana Had A Somewhat Inspirational Thought…


If I had a knack for beading or making jewelry, this little creature is a wonderful inspiration for a necklace! I just had to share this! This is a rainbow seahorse and it is endangered. I never saw one before either! He’s a beauty isn’t he? Enjoy!


I am not particularly talented when it comes to making things. I don’t cook well. I can draw a little and I write.  I am good with ideas though.  I am hoping some enterprising jewelry maker/crafting addict will make a necklace inspired by this little guy!  He could be silver with cz or aurora borealis and rainbow stones in it or something.  As stated in the caption, this rainbow seahorse is an endangered species. What do you all think?  I hope you all have a beautiful day! I enjoyed time with my grandson!

My son made a wonderful dinner for us all and I noticed that my grandson, although he’s only 2 months old has a GREAT right hook!  He takes that fist and bats at those toys on his busy gym like they are nothing! LOL!

All in all I realized how truly blessed I am today. I’d rather be right here right now than EVER be 21 again–guaranteed!  I feel more alive right now than I’ve felt in 5 years!  I also have a better outlook on life in general and on the future.  If you are down today, I hope you find some inspiration also! Maybe this post will help someone else find a ray of light!  Have a great one!



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The Writer’s Responsibility as ADULTS–And this one is HUGE!

It is the responsibility of every writer, be it a  news reporter or a critic to be honest in their endeavors. Readers can spot it when one tells the truth rather than what the writer thinks the truth SHOULD be and there is a big whopping difference.  The only time a writer can get away with almost any type of bullshit is in fiction because the playing field is level there. Almost anything goes and the purists are losing control over the genre–whether it be vampire fiction, romance, etc…

If a writer is telling a story that can shake one’s emotions to the core, then let him/her have her day–as long as it IS IN the fiction realm. That is much more entertaining than these purists who come in and say, “Vampires can’t do this!” or “That character would not be able to do that in my opinion–” because those opinions simply do not matter in this day and age when anything can happen in a dream or a fantasy.

In the “Changing Tide of Movie Viewing”, I discussed what I see going on with how people in general view the movie critic.  The critic is no longer the voice for the public because the public makes up its own mind what it wants to see–and the public is tired of all the Hollywood schlock.  The public wants real stories, believable plots and things the whole family can enjoy.  This is definitely a lesson Warner Bros. should have learned when it released “Dark Shadows” back in May.  It bombed HERE because everyone who grew up on the original or watched the Dark Shadows Revival Series KNEW how the original writer and producer, the late Dan Curtis, envisioned it.  They liked HIS vision and he knew what worked.  It did well overseas and made its money and some profit because most European fans do not know the original and if they do, they wanted it changed.

Another assumption Hollywood has made in error is that baby boomers don’t tend to go to theaters. Not true. They do go–they just don’t like the constant marketing to teens, ‘tweens and the and Twilight Fiends…Sorry but it’s true. They want to see more of actors like Bruce Willis, Robert Redford, Michael Caine, Ben Cross, Eric Roberts and the list goes on. As for actresses, Helen Mirren, Melissa Leo and Dame Judith Dench have my vote…Chick flicks do not do much for the potential market Hollywood COULD have because there are more baby boomers on the planet than Gen X’ers…Go figure. The Expendables 2 was a nice break for the older audience because they got to see a lot of their favorites in ONE FILM.  By the way, Dolph Lundgren is a talented actor and writer in his own right and is much under-rated. If you don’t believe me, watch “The Mechanik” (aka) “The Russian Specialist“. Ben Cross is also in this one and he makes it shine. The two together were awesome in that film.

Unfortunately the changes made to that movie script  for the Dark Shadows movie rendered it to be an entirely different story than “Dark Shadows”.  This vision that Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Seth Grahame Smith had would have been better served for a remake of “The Fearless Vampire Killers“…Hopefully someone will do a decent remake of that one.

Now back to the premise of this post–writing…How one is going to write their stories or articles depends largely upon the audience which will read it, but if one is going to write a review–then watch the WHOLE movie, SERIES and/or listen to the WHOLE ALBUM before putting out the article.  In fact, do so twice. You probably missed something the first time around.  An audience member somehow, somewhere can spot it when you are trying to bullshit them simply because you don’t like the artists, actor, actress, writer, director, etc…and many readers will now begin to call a writer on the carpet for that crap.  The market for writers is a hard one to break into as it is, but if you’re going to con your readers because you don’t like a person for whatever reason, you won’t get far with it.

I tend to be very blunt, honest and to the point when I write. Some can handle it, others cannot. It doesn’t bother me either way but somebody has to speak up about the nonsense going on in the field.  I write from my perspective.  I point out what I feel are strengths and weaknesses, but my focus tends to lie on the script  writing and direction when it comes to films.  Those are the building blocks of every picture–the very foundation–and if those are screwed up, the film will, most likely bomb.  Star power does not always sell a picture, so when I see an actor’s or actress’s  name attached to a picture that I KNOW would never take a junky part–I will go see that film each time that performer is in it.  I watch for performances, sure–but most performances that go awry have more to do with the writing than anything else, I think.

Now if the movie is based on a novel, I try to read the novel first.  However I didn’t follow that pattern with “The Help”.  Either way, that film rocked and there is much more in the book, so if you go the book afterward, please read it!

I am in the process of writing a book now. It is called “From Cell to Cell” (at the moment).  My life has been a journey, but only at this phase in my life have I found peace with it all.  It is funny how one’s life can change in an instant and it can last for a lifetime–be it good or be it not so good. One lesson I did learn is that not all things that seem to make sense are the best things for us. We may think they are, but in the end, we may have ended up settling for second best out of fear. However we can make it good–but it takes two words “I WILL”–and when the door opens, we have to be willing to go through it at any age.  Did you watch the “Shawshank Redemption“?   I had a few moments standing in the rain enjoying the first taste of freedom in my life. For me that scene with Tim Robbins is very symbolic.  I also recommend “The Green Mile” (RIP Michael Clarke Duncan  1957-2012–You will be missed).

As a writer it is best to remember two things: First,  be honest. Second, don’t try to con the reader.  It will lead to your undoing as a writer–especially if you are writing reviews or anything to do with History.  When writing about History, it is best to stick to what is KNOWN to be fact and/or proven via a written record in the library stacks or film–not conjecture or opinions of other individuals.  If you can piece something together into a logical pattern, say so and why.  It is one thing to check a writer’s sources–but if the sources have been taken out of context to fit the writer’s opinion we have a duty to expose this. I’ve done it before. I’ll do it again. And I will save that topic for another post! Have a great weekend!

The world lost a very talented man when it lost this actor. Michael Clarke Duncan 1957-2012 (RIP)

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Dark Shadows: Wrong and Loathing It (Repost Since the Original is Lost~!)


I originally wrote this when I first saw the movie upon its release. Thank God I didn’t by the freaking ticket. I’d have demanded a refund. To all the die-hard Deppers and Burtonites–sorry if it offends you…I am simply being honest here. That script totally sucked!

Alright people…I actually broke down and went to see this movie.  I will say this, Mr. Ebert was being kind when he gave it 2.5 stars.  Now I am going to write about what is WRONG with this film, and it shouldn’t matter whether or not the viewer saw either the original or the Revival Series prior to viewing it, but before I do, I will say this: I think that it is truly sad that while Johnny Depp is probably one of the greatest actors alive, he is wasting his talent on steering clear of a mainstream audience.  It is fine to be a rebel of sorts in Hollywood, as long as you know whatever the hell your cause is and if it is a cause worth standing ground for.

However I cannot fault Depp for his Barnabas portrayal here. In fact, aside from the clown make up which he’s been using in his past few films, he actually did attempt to give the character of Barnabas Collins a depth of sincerity but was derailed by the horrible script writing of Seth Grahame-Smith.

Each actor was given an interesting part, but due to the lack of integrity in the script, there was little to no character development with the other characters involved. It seemed that the movie was somewhat rushed after the back story about Josette, Barnabas and Angelique was given in the first 20 minutes or so.  I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that those who loved both series (the original and the Revival) will be very disappointed, if not pissed off.  Here are a few reasons why:

It is one thing to take dramatic license and add to a script. It is another thing to bastardize the entire story line just because one has bought the rights to do it.  According to the REAL story, Angelique curses Barnabas prior to Josette’s demise. The part about her bewitching Jeremiah and Josette so that THEY married was completely omitted–not to mention the fact that Barnabas’ parents were NOT killed but remained part of the story line throughout both the original series and the Revival series. He never delved into black magic himself either. Hence that is the beginning of the bastardization of the character.

PLEASE don’t try to tell me they had to rewrite it to make it pleasing to a new generation. That is such bullshit.  They could add some humor without doing the above. It ruined the credibility of the film with fans who know how the story actually went. Also I have a problem with a “witch” leading a mob to bury a vampire alive.  Angelique didn’t try to go too far out on a limb. Besides that Barnabas had killed her and she cursed him with her dying breath. Again…Credibility shot to hell. Victoria not knowing her own damned name on the train didn’t help either. THAT was stupid. Not campy.

Then after 48 minutes into the picture, I was asking myself, “Where in the bloody hell (no pun intended) is this movie going?  I mean, vampires supposedly SLEEP by day…This version of Barnabas was all over the place. I don’t want to hear anyone bitching about the Dark Shadows Revival Series day for night shots when there are plenty of them in this damned flick.  An HOUR into it, I was still wondering where the hell the story was going. The oral sex w/Julia…The sex w/Angelique…Give me a break! The latter was reminiscent of “War of the Roses“…The finale–as another reviewer stated–was reminiscent of “Death Becomes Her”…I didn’t find Eva Green‘s performance or Ms. Heathcote’s as really standing out either.

With only 40 minutes left, total disappointment…NOT in Depp’s acting–although Ben Cross beats his ass down when it comes to the part of Barnabas…Not in Ms.Pfieffer’s acting. AS I said the writing itself, the entire changed story line sucked balls. However there are some aspects of it that did appeal to me. The write-in of Victoria’s childhood did appeal to me–no spoiler. Let’s just say that psychologically, I can see how she feels connected to Collinsport–and why she likes being there–probably because that came out of some of the best fan fiction that I have ever read.  If you don’t believe that, start reading some of it…The apologetic serial killer crap doesn’t appeal to me either–again, it’s bullshit. Barnabas tried not to bring attention to himself.

I also felt a connection with David’s character–having been abandoned emotionally in more ways than one. No  spoiler there either. Only in the last 24 minutes does it seem to pick up to some sort of climactic action…Let’s just say if that first is last and the last is first, there will be no sequel…This Barnabas issue of fans wanting an ending got it…Watch it to the end and you will know why–but this was more of a spin off…Not  a spoof, despite its comedic moments.

What makes it tragic to me, is that if the writer Seth Grahame Smith had taken the FIRST movie to devote to the mystery of Vicky and tie it in that way with Angelique stalking and her connection to Josette, the rest could have come together in part 2 and kicked total ass. By the way, I did like Alice Cooper‘s appearance–even though he wasn’t famous until ’73 or ’74…

Despite the brief cameo of the original cast, this movie does not have the bite it should have had for it being part of the franchise. The entire story–minus the Josette thing at the beginning could have been dealt with in an hour on a TV production rather than this 113 minutes of wasted celluloid.  There is no excuse for the dragging ass pacing of this film for the first 89 minutes.  More could have been told and less time wasted–with more time given to character development.  It boils down to this, stellar cast…Interesting idea…Yet it was wasted on a script that was totally wrong…Hence the title of my review…Dark Shadows: Wrong and Loathing It.

Now that Jonathan Frid is gone, Cross owns the role in my book. I’ll never go to any sequel of the 2012 version, that’s for sure…

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Addendum:  I am clearing something up here by request.  Johnny Depp, while even though he was a producer of this film and bears much of  the responsibility for the fact that it tanked here, needed to learn a lesson here.  There are some parts which even the greatest actor on this planet does not have the range for and should not undertake.  This clearly was one of those roles for Johnny Depp.  If you do some checking, you will find that he did want to play Barnabas in the 1990’s to which Dan Curtis gave a resounding “NO!”  Curtis was right.   The only way to fix this now is to totally change up the story to where Angelique set this whole thing up–including the meeting between Josette and Barnabas in Martinique.

Why do I say that? Because it is the only way to save the franchise and stay true to the characters at this point in time.  Fans want a resolution to this storyline–not drag it out for another 40 years.  Frid is gone.  Cross is older now.   However, this can be redone utilizing some of the original cast members in speaking  roles–even if short ones, and some from the Revival cast.  THAT would have worked and the fans of both versions would have been much happier.  Unfortunately, the Burton-Depp camp didn’t consider the fans when making this version. This was about egos and what they thought would sell the picture: The Depp name.  What does this prove?  It proves Tom Laughlin’s point (You might remember him from the Billy Jack trilogy) that there are times that even superstar power will not sell a picture if it doesn’t meet certain expectations.

If you want to know more, read this book!

For any writer, this book is right on the money!


31 August 1997 and 14 September 1982…Nana Wonders Who Can Remember…


Have you been asked where you were on that fateful night?  I have been asked and I remember it clearly, as if it happened yesterday.  I was standing in line at the checkout at Wal~Mart in Big Spring, TX when it was announced over the intercom that the woman we will always call “Princess Diana” was in a car accident.  A few hours later, her death would be announced.

Her death was not just a blow to her family and friends, but to an entire generation who could now look up to the monarchy in a different light than they had before.  When Charles and Diana married–a lot of us got up early or stayed up all  night to not miss it.  When the two princes were born, we welcomed them into our world as well as their family did.

Diana was also cool and could relate to a lot of our generation as well.  After all, she did get into a lot of the acts that were part of Live-Aid–including Duran Duran. It was through her that most realized that the monarchy are not politicians but they are people. They have feelings, desires, hurts like the rest of us.  I cut them slack then–but still avoided going to theaters and such.  I knew at that time that things were changing with the tide–slowly.

Many a girl wanted to grow up and live the fairy tale life that Diana seemed to have, until it came to an end not too long before she was so cruelly taken from the world.  Was it the paparazzi that was to blame? Evidently even though only in part.  After her death, the reality of her existence was brought to light in an ugly fashion–and then a lot of us realized that while she inspired and motivated us to do good and to try to bring change around ourselves, we were grateful for what we had and we handled our own paths in our own way–which she was able to do before the end.

Perhaps the greatest legacy she leaves is that the monarchy is now more open with the public, and as a result has become more acceptable to it again.  Her brother was right–she will always be “the People’s Princess”…Only Princess Grace of Monaco inspired so many prior to her–this girl included.

She was beautiful and is greatly missed…RIP

Even my three sons felt sad at Diana’s death and got up to watch her memorial service. Their hearts went out to William and Harry, who are very close in age to them. One night they thought that I was in an accident after that and saw a car like mine on the news. They ran up to me and hugged me and were saying, “Why didn’t you call us!? We thought you were in that wreck?!”, etc…This was another moment  I got some perspective and made sure I had a cell phone…

Both women learned to live on their own terms within the circles which they dealt with.  Both were taken much too soon.  On September 14th, that will mark the 3oth anniversary of the loss of Princess Grace…Ironically, I was watching TV when the program was interrupted to announce her death.  It seems that both were lost such a short time ago.  Time definitely does fly, but it has also enabled me to put things in perspective.

So many little girls looked up to Princess Grace…I always thought this was the most beautiful wedding gown I’d ever seen…

Life is too short and precious.  We should be living as these women did live–on their own terms.  That was the greatest inspiration given to me by both being that we still live in an age where in some areas, the desire to do this can make life difficult. I will live the rest of my life on my own terms.

I am grateful to have lived during a time where I was familiar with both princesses.

I think now there is another Queen girls look up to even though she isn’t spoken of much and that would be Queen Rania of  Jordan. This is a woman who actively and tirelessly works to ensure  that there are equal educational opportunities for boys and girls alike.  This often gets risky for her and her husband, King Abdullah II.  However, in the eyes of the west, I believe that they will become icons in our time.

If you really want some inspiration go here:  I have no clue why she is not covered more by the media in this country.  It is not Jordan that we are at war with.  The goals she supports should be supported by educational organizations throughout the entire world.  Like these other two princesses, she lives on her own terms and she is definitely living in an area where that can be a challenge.

On this day I would normally be reflecting and missing Princess Diana and Princess Grace so much, but not this year…This woman, Queen Rania is giving hope and is a ray of light.  I wish her every success possible, and I am almost certain that both Princess Grace and Princess Diana would be supporting her goals if they were still among us.

This is Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan and her husband, His Majesty King Abdullah. If you go to their website, you’ll see the work she is doing, and there is also a gallery with beautiful pictures of her family there. Seeing the work she is doing is inspiring and worthy of recognition around the world.

That being said, we should look forward and not dwell so much on what we cannot change. Queen Rania, I think, is also going to impact generations not only in Jordan but around the world.