Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Fall of a Diva

Most people don't know this, but I am an accomplished tripper - no not day tripper - falling down, clumsy tripper.

My falls have diminished somewhat over the years, which is good, because it's much harder to get up at my age.

Years ago, the guy I dated at the time witnessed several falls which always included the side effect of my handbag flying off in the distance.

He crowned me the gold medalist of Olympic Purse Tossing - it's not officially recognized by the IOC, but if it, I'd be helped up to the pedestal, bite the gold medal (surely breaking a tooth), and then trip off in spectacular fashion!  I'd be a You Tube sensation!!! After all, I was strongly influenced by the Ministry of Silly Walks.  (Don't know your Python? Shame on you!)

The times I fell in front of him were so numerous that he scored them.  I got several perfect 10s.

Even though I don't fall much these days, I fell the other day.  My elderly father and I were entering a popular chain restaurant.  I tripped coming in and went down in the entryway - yep, tossing my designer bag...However, the entryway was small, leading to an interior set of doors, so my purse toss wouldn't qualify.

My father stood there screaming, "Help! help! My daughter's down!" Actually I was on my side like the Andrea Doria, not down like the Titanic.

At any rate, two handsome young men employed by the establishment came and got me to my feet.  They were very nice about it, I must say.

Alas, the after-effects of falling are much different at my age than they were in my youth.  I was shaking so much I knew I needed sustenance right away.  So I said to the waitress after she took our orders, "bring us some chips and salsa, please."

And, like any true Texan, naturalized or native, that did the trick.  The shaking stopped with the advantageous application of carbs and the manna of the gods, salsa!  Talk about a remedy!

I've spent the last few days with various aches and pains, and a bit of stiffness.  But I am better each day.  Nothing was broken or even bruised.

But I think I will make that my last hurrah...It's time I gave up the crown of Olympic Purse Tossing.  I'll leave it to the younger ones, coming up behind me.  My legacy will live on in the annals of tripping history, for being at times spectacular, but never seriously injurious.

Besides this last time was so unique, it's a good time to retire.

I mean, how many people do you know who fall INTO Chili's?  Everybody else falls OUT of Chili's, especially after happy hour.

That being said, yes, I am still working on my project, but found time to write this today.

Take care and keep enjoying our wonderful pop culture.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just a Quickie...

Hello.  I wanted to write and let you know I haven't forgotten my blogs, nor am I moving again, nothing like that.

Instead, I am working on a project that is taking all my time for the next couple of weeks - although I may sneak in a review if my other work is going well.

It's cold here, too, but no precip.  It's due to warm up here to the 70s and then the 80s for the next week.  That's more like it!

Until I write again, take care, and enjoy our wonderful pop culture. (And yes, that includes the Olympics...I'm partial to the figure skaters and the alpine events...)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dixie Cowboy by Dolores J. Wilson

One of my favorite authors, Dolores J. Wilson, has written another winner.  Her latest novel is Dixie Cowboy.  It is the story of Katlyn Mays, only daughter of the town's wealthiest banker.  Her job at the bank includes delivering foreclosure notices to local landowners who are behind on their payments.  It is the least favorite duty she has - although to be fair, she doesn't really like her job at all.

On one such visit to notify the landowner of foreclosure, she meets handsome cowboy, Tyler Davis, who is trying to save the Dixie Rooster ranch for his uncle Frank.  Needless to say, Katlyn is affected by the meeting so much that she makes a life-changing decision.  That's where the fun begins.

Known for writing lively scenes and great humorous dialogue, Ms. Wilson has incorporated her talents into a contemporary love story.  The sense of humor is there in her scenes and her dialogue, but the love story of Katy and Tyler is not without its conflicts.  The reader is drawn through the story, wondering how the conflicts will be resolved.

The characters are lively, real, and sexy as all get-out.  It is a most enjoyable read. 

Good job, Ms. Wilson!

Check it out, you'll like it.



How can a city girl resist a Dixie cowboy?
Serve those foreclosure papers, or find another job.

Katlyn Mays never defies her dad's orders, but how can she bear to evict elderly Frank Davis from his beautiful Georgia ranch, not to mention evicting Tyler Davis, the incredibly sexy cowboy who's fighting to save it for his Uncle Frank?

Her gaze snapped to the message board on the porch. Hiring: Someone to handle reservations, make deposits, pay bills, and manage housekeeping staff. The Dixie Rooster is a working dude ranch.
"Hi, there," Frank Davis said. "I take it you're the reporter from the Cantor Gazette?"

Confused, Katy stammered for a second then found her voice. "No, sir. I'm Katlyn-"

"Tyler?" Mr. Davis looked at the tall cowboy standing next to his wheel chair. "Didn't you tell me the reporter from the newspaper was here?"

"I'm Tyler Davis." The cowboy shook her hand. "I'll be managing the ranch until Uncle Frank gets back on his feet."

He held her hand longer than necessary. Blood hummed through her veins. Captured by his gaze and lost in the crystal blue of his eyes, she felt their power to the bottom of her stomach.

"Well, Katy," Tyler said, "what can we help you with?"

Panic forced a knot in her throat. Impulsively, she ripped the want ad from the message board and then shook it slightly in Tyler's direction. "I want this job."

Dolores Wilson is multi-published in women's fiction. Her novel BIG HAIR AND FLYING COWS was nominated for the Publishers Weekly Quill Award as one of the top 100 humorous books in the United States.

Links for purchase:

Barnes and Noble

Kobo Books

Monday, February 3, 2014

In Memory of Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Actors - Before I expound here, let me share my background with you.  I played my first part at the age of 6, in a school pageant.  I played the lead, because I was the only one who could remember the lines.  For the next fifty years (yep, that's 50) I acted, danced, sang, and directed my way through many productions.  My degrees are in theater, both my BA and my MA. 

That being said, I know actors, what makes them seek the stage, and how the best ones are made.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman was one of the very best it has ever been my privilege to see.  He had the true gift to disappear into the role and become the character.  No matter if he played the computer geek in "Twister", the enigmatic priest accused of child molestation in "Doubt", or the very real character of Truman Capote (for which he won his Academy Award), we believed  him - lived the pain of the character through him.  We recognized our own pain through his work.

Actors, and I'm not talking about a jock-become-action-star, use their own experience - their joy, their pain, their fear, to make their onscreen or onstage characters live. They open their worst memories and pull up their nightmares to become the characters.

Stanislavski called it "the Method" and became famous for developing the process.

In my case, I relived my mother's funeral a year after her passing, night after night during the run of a play.  I never had trouble producing actual tears onstage.  I had trouble turning them off at times.  After each performance I was exhausted. I went home and crashed, only to get up the next day and do it all over again until the play's run ended.

Acting is not easy in any way.  It's hard, gut-wrenching work.  But some of us are driven to it.

It is a catharsis, but has its own pitfalls.  The actor can become mired in his own pain. 

Many actors have abysmal childhood memories.  They never grow up entirely.  They love to become somebody else to completely erase that child who suffered - whether physically, emotionally, or psychically doesn't matter.  The lure of the escape into someone else is too strong to ignore.

But that escape, while fun in many ways, is also dangerous.  The actor during the course of a play or movie from the first script reading to the final curtain or wrap-up, has to face his/her pain - look at something long since put away and deal with it.

The problem is once that emotional memory is opened and examined, it won't go easily back into the safe little box at the back of one's mind.  It is a constant reminder.

That's when actors seek other kinds of pain relief - sex, food, alcohol, or drugs, to name the most popular - sometimes, they use all of them to dull the pain.  The trouble is, pain such as this becomes harder and harder to handle.  Use of whatever relief they choose becomes escalated, until they can no longer function.

When I heard about Mr. Hoffman's death and the manner of it, I knew.  His pain overwhelmed him and he couldn't take it anymore.  I'm not saying he knowingly committed suicide.  I'm saying he needed more and more help to dull the ever present pain.

He was a truly brilliant actor, with few who could compete at his level.  For us, it is a tragedy that his means of coping with the pain in his soul was the means of taking him. But for him, he is finally free.  He can soar unencumbered.

I wish I had been able to see his performance as Willy Loman in the Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman."  He won critical acclaim and a Tony nomination.  I bet he was shattering the the role - in fact, I know he was.

To Phillip, the adult child, I say, in the poignant words of the old song, "this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you."

Rest in peace.