Saturday, November 30, 2013

If Fictional Characters Could Speak...



“Authors have it all wrong. I don’t mind conflict. I actually like it. Conflict gives me a chance to show my stuff and really act. The conflict that torments me (and other characters) is the type that can be seen coming from fifty pages away. That’s when I have to revolt, come alive and step off the page.”   

Marguerite Gautier,  La Dame aux camellias
 

A Word from Beatrice Plotter...




“Plotting has a way of holding a mirror up to your story and showing you what it will really look like.”

Confidence Quote ot the Day...


 
“When you lose your confidence it makes no more sense to look for it than it does to look for your electricity when your power goes out. It didn’t go anywhere. It just stopped existing. You don’t find it. You turn it back on.”
Vince Mooney
 

Wisdom from Willa Rogenia…Panhandle Philosopher




“Pantser or plotter? Let me put it this way: if I plant wheat I know I’m going to get wheat.”

Writing Quote of the Day...


Cessna 150

“I’m one of the few writers who has literally flown by the seat of his pants and while it is fun to discover unexpected sights while in free flight, all it takes is landing at the wrong airport one time to develop an appreciation for plotting your course. It's also not very much fun to develop ‘pilot’s block’ when you are low on gas and you’re not sure where to fly next. Writers write ‘black moments’ -- SOTP pilots experience them!”

Vince Mooney
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quotation Quote of the Day...


“Famous quotations are like famous people: they become famous for many different reasons and most are far from great.”  Vince Mooney
 

Knowledge Quote of the Day...




“There is just something odd about saying that we know what it is that we can’t remember and that we will be able to confirm that this ‘something’ -- that we can’t remember -- is indeed the same thing we could not remember once we do remember it."
Vince Mooney


Philosophy Quote of the Day...




“The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle seems to apply in philosophy wherein the very act of seeking the truth can change that truth. Often the most striking truths are revealed by unexpected, unannounced and unsought for flashes of insight.”
Vince Mooney

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quotation Quote of the Day...



 “By the time a famous quotation has become a cliché, it will have spawned enough offspring to take its place.” 
Vince Mooney

Understanding Quote of the Day...



 “The deeper one’s understanding runs the fewer waves that understanding will make.”
Vince Mooney
 

Wisdom Quote of the Day...



“Silence is sometimes wisdom’s only fingerprint.”
Vince Mooney
 

Communication Quote of the Day...


“If the medium really was the message, there would only be one message per medium.”
Vince Mooney
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quotation Quote of the Day...




“I’m old enough to have known many quotations before they became famous.”
Vince Mooney
 

Philosophy Quote of the Day...



“Great scientists ask the right questions. Great philosophers question the right answers.”
Vince Mooney
 

Learning Quote of the Day...



“Fools must learn from experience because they refuse to learn from those with experience.” 
Vince Mooney
 


Knowledge Quote of the Day...




“Knowledge is power to the degree that others don’t know you possess it.”
Vince Mooney
 

Wisdom Quote of the Day...


“Wisdom is the ability to see the obvious when it is hidden and the hidden when it is obvious and having the acumen to appreciate the difference between the two.”     
Vince Mooney

Communication Quote of the Day...



“Content is often the least important part of any communication.”
Vince Mooney
 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Truth Quotation of the Day...




“Truth is like a knife – it is often judged by the sharpness of its cutting edge and not by its appropriateness for the job at hand.”
Vince Mooney
 

Quotation Quote of the Day...

 

“A great quotation can turn a messy room full of ideas into an orderly place where everything is where it should be.”
Vince Mooney


Communication Quote of the Day...



“Staying silent sometimes says too much. Saying too much sometimes leaves too much unsaid. And sometimes, with the careful selection of the right words, saying ‘nothing’,   says it all.”
Vince Mooney

Friday, November 22, 2013

Knowledge Quote of the Day...



“Knowledge is like currency: it loses its value as the supply increases unless the capacity to utilize that knowledge increases at the same rate.” 
Vince Mooney
 
 

 

Question Quote of the Day...





“It is often a great mistake to assume that a question was asked to get an answer.” 

Vince Mooney
 

Quotation Quote of the Day...




“Many famous quotes stand out because they represent one of the few times when anyone said anything worth repeating.”
Vince Mooney
 

Cosmological Quote of the Day



“A death spiral when seen from a different perspective becomes a flat line.”
Vince Mooney


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Julia Toto’s “City Sidewalks” is a Five Star Holiday Treat that Takes the Novella Format to its Heights!




A Supernovella lights up the Christmas Skies with the Advent of a New Star in the Romance Filament!
 
City Sidewalks
Amazon Kindle
 
If "City Sidewalks" were a Hallmark Christmas Movie the audience would stand at the end with tears of joy in their eyes and the true Christmas spirit in their hearts!
 
 
To be sure viewers would be shedding bittersweet tears of joy. That’s because the ‘happily ever after’ in “City Sidewalks”, is purchased at the price of the ultimate sadness. Such is life. Such is joy. Such is love.

 
Fine old home

In “City Sidewalks” the author spins a web of ever expanding complexity. The story keeps growing. What seems 'to be' becomes something much more complex. This ninety-seven page story has twenty-seven chapters! It's not just a novella…it's a genuine supernovella. I’ve never seen more story, packed with more emotion and written with such verisimilitude, that was told in less than three hundred pages. If I seem a little excited about this book it’s because I am working on a nonfiction book about the novella format and “City Sidewalks” has caused me to expand my book's scope. I believe "City Sidewalks" takes the novella format to its limits.
 
“City Sidewalks” reminds me of “The Great Gatsby” and “The Old Man and the Sea”. I wonder if the author will ever top this singular short format work. 

 
Riverside

"City Sidewalks" just breathes reality. The city is real. It’s Tulsa. I’ve lived here in Tulsa for over thirty years. The city and its sidewalks are used well in this story. The beliefs and attitudes of the characters are as familiar as old friends. The highly emotional inspirational sequences in the book seem to explode from the characters when they can no longer keep the past repressed. The reader gets to experience cathartic moments in which a character’s life is being changed forever. These are genuine inspirational experiences that I found highly moving.  

The Christmas spirit and what it means in the lives of the characters is faced head on.  Readers may see themselves. The “Scrooge” awakening is revived in "City Sidewalks" for a new generation and time.

Fine Shopping
I particularly loved the truthfulness of the narrative. All motivation was well established. There are multi motivational factors involved in driving the characters actions. The 'black moment' does not result from just one event but is the logical consequence of many events. The action builds relentlessly to where the outcomes seem inevitable. And while I give the author 5-stars for taking the novella to the limits of excellence, I want to award myself 5-stars as a reader. I saw and validated one of the major conflicts in the story.
 
One of the conflicts in "City Sidewalks" involves a soup kitchen downtown and a real estate deal. Now as a broker in Tulsa for over thirty years, I said to myself, “I know how I would resolve this problem". I’ve worked with downtown commercial brokers over the years. And yes, my solution is the one in the book. It is the solution that would most likely really happen in Tulsa.  The whole story is like that. Everything is as it should be. 

The real sidewalks
What’s the story about? It’s about love, second chances, forgiveness, the true spirit of Christmas, the importance of giving and opening one’s heart to the needs of others. It’s about redemption. It’s about setting values that leave time to smell the roses and be a good parent. The emotional joy and sadness are the result of events – events that are so well motivated that they just had to happen as they did.  Reading "City Sidewalks" is a Christmas pleasure not to be missed.

 
"City Sidewalks" is a Christmas experience you may well want to enjoy again and again.
 
5 Stars!
Highest Recommendation! 
 
 
 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

“May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris” – Is as Interesting for Adults as it is Fascinating for Children!

 


 Friendship, Loyalty, Trust, Sacrifice, Courage and Love of Country.  
 
(May the K9 Spy)
 
 So Much Fun You'll Wonder who Will Enjoy this Paris Adventure the Most: The kids or the adults? 

 
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”   C. S. Lewis 
 
This is a book well worth reading. A good book is a good book at any age. Mark Twain wrote “Tom Sawyer” for adults. In it Twain talks about looking back in time to remind the adult reader of what it was like to be a child. Twain’s publisher wanted the book marketed to children. And, indeed, “Tom Sawyer”  has become one of the best loved children’s books of all time.

This is exactly what C.S. Lewis was talking about in the quote cited above. It is also what makes “May Finds a Way"  (and each of May's K9 stories) such a good reading experience for both children and adults. This versatility is especially favored by senior adults who read stories to their grandchildren.  
 
 
There is some amazing writing going on in this book..  I want to point this out because the prose is so well written it most likely will go unnoticed by all but the most experienced adult readers.  
 
First the author does a very skillful job of writing in what she called ‘First Dog’ which is like ‘first person’  but a 'first person' as it is experienced by a dog. In "First Dog"  the senses of smell and hearing are primary.  When the pov is the dog, the reader 'sees' the world as a dog would -- by odors and sounds. I’ve been to Paris several times over the years and when I was reading May’s  "First Dog" travels on foot through the city it was like seeing Paris again for the first time. The writing is ingenious. This canine pov makes it easy to believe a dog actually was having these experiences.  (I was an Air Force K9 handler myself. Much of what the author writes dogs was also true for our dogs.)
 
 
Even more  amazing is the  author's use of language. May speaks ‘critter’ so she can talk to other animals…even French animals. Then there are those select and very intuitive humans who can also speak ‘critter’ . May 'talks' to these 'critter' speaking humans in some telepathic way that goes unnoticed by the reader and seems totally natural. Of course, there are humans who cannot speak 'critter'. They cannot talk to the animals and to them communication is almost impossible. May, the K9, Spy has to improvise to 'speak' to these people. This takes great skill.
 
As fanciful as the premise of this story is, a K9 Spy, the narrative still flows naturally.  I found myself as interested in finding out what was going to happen next in this book as I am when reading any other well written  adult novel. Nevertheless, May the K9 Spy, is for the kids. Children love May. It takes just one look at the dozens of pictures of adoring children loving May to appreciate how much these books are enjoyed by the kids.  Check it out for yourself on the author's website. There's no doubt about it. Kids love this book! 
 
"May the K9 Spy" books are also an educational reading experience.  Even writers can benefit from a study of the author’s magical writing techniques. 
 
The story is fun. A little dog, May. is taking an exam in K9 Spy school. She gets mixed up and winds up on a plane to Paris! She uncovers anarchists and has to somehow report what's happening to her superiors who don’t even know where she is. It is an adventure for the reader to follow May around the streets and sights of Paris. 
 
The story is about love, friendship, trust, loyalty, patriotism, courage and a genuine love of the values that made America great. All this is accomplished without preaching. The experience is fun for both the young and not so young.
 
I think the 'May the K9 Spy Series'  features the best children's books that are at the same time great reads for adults.  I just loved them! 
 
 
How I Become a K9 Spy
Review          Purchase
 
Peril in Paris
 
Touble Near Tofino 
 
 

 


Philosophical Quote of the Day...




“Reality is under no obligation to be structured so as to be understandable by the mind of man.”
Vince Mooney


Saturday, November 16, 2013

“Her Christmas Cruise” Takes You On a Festive 5-Star Holiday Tour of Enjoyment!


 
 
Amazon, Kindle, 114 pages
 

“Write What You Know and Write it on the Go!”
 

That’s how I would describe Mona Risk’s “Her Christmas Cruise”.

 
 
If you like romances for where they can take you and what you can see, Mona Risk has the cruise for you!  Mona is a world traveler. She writes romances about where she’s been. And she writes details to perfection. I know. In “Her Christmas Cruise” – I have been everywhere the characters went, Barcelona, Rome, Venice and I’ve taken cruises just like in the book. Mona faithfully writes what I have experienced on my trips. (Even the abandoned ship lifeboat drill.) Reading her books is like going back in time and taking trips again for the ‘first’ time!
 

 
Cruise ship views Grand Canal
Of course, the exotic locations, dancing, stage shows, sight seeing, and fine dining, as wonderful as they are, still only provide the stage for the romance. Rest assured,  Mona Risk can write romance. All her romances provide passion, sparks, and conflict. At each stage of the story there are always a few things coming up that the reader can't wait to turn the page to see what will happen next.  

Barcelona -- Biggest Fountain
Trevi Fountain, Rome
Here’s a secret: the author likes to have a secret or two in her stories which, if they were revealed would end the romance. Her romances have plenty of suspense without being suspense stories. They have great travel adventures without being travelogues. And they have the type of dreamy 'falling in love' scenes that have helped make romances the best selling fiction genre in history.

In the end Mona Risk's stories are all about the fun of being her characters. In “Her Christmas Cruise” the heroine is a beautiful fashion designer. She is well educated and her father is a senator. The hero is a handsome psychiatrist but the heroine thinks he’s a poor travel agent. The heroine had better not find out the truth too soon or...you’ll just have to read the book and find out for yourself! 

Rialto, Venice

 
I should add that the writing is flawless. I never once had to reread a sentence because it had two different meanings and my first reading was the wrong one. I encountered no typos and the prose flowed as fast as the action which is near light speed. Mona Risk is a very experienced writer at the top of her game. It’s a great time to pick up a few of her books.

5-Stars!
My Highest Recommendation!
 

P.S. If you like 'visiting' Greek Islands, don't miss my review of "Sailing with You" which is now called "My Greek Romance" which is a much better title (Except you really do get to 'sail' all around the island in that beautiful boat on the cover!)
 
You get what is in this picture in this story.
 
 

 

“Mistletoe Magic” Is Enough to Send the Eagles Soaring!





(Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)
Terri Denise Weldon
[Kindle Edition] $.99

 

Five Stars for Feisty!
Five Stars for Fun!
Five Stars for Festive!
Five Stars for Original!
Five Stars for Debut Delight!

 
 
Mistletoe Magic  Really Needs Five Reviews to do it Justice! 

This may be the best debut Christmas novella I’ve ever read – and I’ve read many. The heroine, Misty Winslow, and, Britt, her BFF, (for over 25 years), are entertaining enough to carry the story between just the two of them. Britt is so predatory about finding a husband in the small town of Winslow (the town is named for the heroine’s ancestors) that it is like reading a romance from the 1950’s. Britt has already staked out the hero as ‘hers’. Britt saw him first and even works for him!
 
The only trouble is, the hero has eyes only for Misty.  So Misty has to try and sell ‘Dr. Dreamy,’ as she mistakenly calls him to his face when they first meet, on dating Britt. As a conciliation Britt buys Misty a membership to the dating website, Rural Romance, in order to find a husband before she turns thirty. This is realistic because Misty is a stereotypical, bookish, librarian who has not had a formal date in eight years. Dr. Dreamy, however, has just given a wake up call to eight years worth of Misty's sleeping hormones. Poor Misty is being driven to distraction. 

Indeed, it’s love at first sight for Dr. Dreamy, the new dentist. He is finally settling down in the small town of his choice and is ready to marry and start a family. When the stunning redheaded heroine literally falls at his feet, he’s hooked. (I kept seeing Lucile Ball in the part of Misty).
 
The plot thickens. The good doctor also joins the ‘Rural Romance’ dating service. Now right away I thought this won’t work. It is way too hard to make such a coincidence believable in a romance. Believe me, coincidence had nothing to do with this situation and all is totally believable.  

The writing is fresh, bold, inspired even. And yes, this is a good Christian romance. No preaching, just Christmas joy. I loved it. Misty and Britt are so feisty with their repartee that I thought their dialogue must be real. (Confession: I read the author’s bio at this point and sure enough she lives with her sister in Oklahoma! The dialogue is just too good to be fictional.)
 
Flatbed Ford Is Reflected in the Window

Talking about Oklahoma, I live in Oklahoma myself. Yet for a good part of the story I thought the location was Winslow, Arizona. As I read the book, I kept hearing the Eagles singing “Take it Easy”.  My wife and I detoured on our Route 66 trip just to pass through Winslow and have our picture taken with girl in the flatbed Ford. I know the words by heart. I’ve seen the Eagles twice in concert in Tulsa. Sing along with me: 

Well, I'm a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin' down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don't say maybe
 

Even if the story takes place in Winslow, Oklahoma, for me it happened in Arizona. I’m a very proactive reader. Besides, ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Arizona’ both have four syllables. : )  

I know. I know. I had too much fun reading this story. There never was a moment that I was not enjoying myself. I can’t wait to read more from this author. In a way, I feel sorry for her. I can’t imagine how a novella can get any better than this one. But when the time comes I’ll be the first on line to find out if her next book can do it.
 
There are many great Christmas novellas out right now and I’m trying to read them all. Of all of them, I recommend reading "Mistletoe Magic" first!
It’s that good.

 
 
 

Quotation Quote of the Day...




“Quotations can become famous because of their content, their expression or simply because of who said them.  When quotations become famous for all three reasons, they acquire the legs to run through the centuries.”
Vince Mooney


Editing Quote of the Day...






“When writers talk about editing, I don’t know how to take it until I know what kind of editing they are talking about. You see, there are two kinds of editing The first happens when, as you edit, you keep saying to yourself, ‘this is great. Did I really write this?’ and the second is when you cringe and say, ‘this is awful. Why did I ever think I could become a writer.’ All statements about editing need to clarify which type of editing is meant.”
Vince Mooney
 

Writing Quote of the Day...




“Sometimes words are noisy; like thunder they shake and rattle allowing debris to obscure their meanings; and like fossils of long extinct monsters, they are known by their bones –- just the skeletons of false memories.”
 
Vince Mooney
 
 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Philosophical Quote of the Day…

 
 


“The true invisible person is not the person who cannot be seen but the one who cannot be known.”
Vince Mooney
 
 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Question of doubt...




“Great self-doubt necessitates a great self to be doubting.”
Vince Mooney
 

Confidence Quote of the Day...




“Confidence is the body’s emotional way of doing probability problems for the mind.”
Vince Mooney

Wisdom from Willa Rogenia…Panhandle Philosopher


I rope therefore I am.


“The last pantser farmer died in 12,002 B.C.”
 
 
 

Writing Quote of the Day...




“It’s not about writing fast or writing slow. It’s about writing publishable.”
Vince Mooney
 
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Very Enjoyable Christmas Story Showcases Author’s Expertise as a Screenwriter! 5 Stars!

 


(Star Light ~ Star Bright) 
Book One of a Series
Kindle eBook $2.99 
 
 
“Be Mine This Christmas Night” is a very visual novel with real life characters, a beautiful winter location in Boulder, Colorado, and powerful dialogue strong enough to power a radio play.
 
From the very opening the story is a delight of lights and color. The heroine has a traditional of lighting her home up with thousands of lights! Her ‘lights on’  ceremony is attended by hoards of sightseers. This light show would make a great opening scene in a movie. From the first page the reader knows he or she is in for a visual treat. Everyone loves her light show for all the Christmas cheer it brings to those who see it.
 
Well, everyone loves it except perhaps for her new neighbor -- a scientist, who may think of her home as an ostentatious attention magnet with little regard for energy conservation.  He’s a  recent widower with two young sons. He's working at a new office in a new town hoping this will make it easier to get over the death of his wife.
 
First impressions can be misleading, however, and as this is a romance the hero and heroine may soon discover much they like about each other. The boy’s uncle, the hero’s dead wife’s brother, is not so happy with the romance. This proves to be a big problem because the uncle almost lives with the family and has wormed his way into being a second dad to the children.
 
“Be Mine This Christmas Night” is a novel you'll see as much as you'll read. (I call it a novel because it is estimated at 143 pages and that's long enough to be called a novel.) The dialogue is not sugar coated. These characters say what they think, often as it pops into their heads, and it can be very hurtful. They are also slow to change their minds.
 
All in all, I find it much more enjoyable to read stories that are very visual and that would make good movies. I also like realistic dialogue. These story characters talk and think how real people actually would. They also have the views on life such people really would.
 
I enjoy Christmas romances more than any other kind. I also know that there are many good Christmas stories available each new holiday season. I would put “Be Mine This Christmas Night”  before many others because of the unique, fast-paced, visual way it is written. The book is different and refreshing – while at the same time capable of producing the warm fuzzy Christmas feelings that make Christmas romances so popular. Five Christmas Stars!
 
Highest Christmas Romance Recommendation.