Tribute Song to CNN’s New Year’s Eve Show

CNN New Year's Eve Live 2014-2015

So, I’ve never done this before, but I wrote a song. Maybe it was a mistake to sing the lyrics when most of my singing is restricted to the privacy of my car where I normally belt out tunes, but it was fun to try.

I wrote most of this song back in January, but it’s taken until now to finally edit everything together for the video. Made it just under the wire before 2016 turns the calendar.

I hope you all enjoy the video and share it with your pals. Watching Anderson and Kathy on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show has become a favorite tradition in our family. The duo is spontaneous and hilarious, and I adore Anderson’s giggle. So cute! Continue reading

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Listen: John Williams’ Full Score for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Listen to John Williams' full score for the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" movie, and watch the opening scene of the original Star WarsMay the force be with you and your weekend remain spoiler-free, my fellow Star Wars geeks.

As a writer, I must extend great thanks, first, to my dad who taught me to appreciate music that didn’t include words, and to John Williams for his career full of inspiring, beautiful scores that can be a writer’s best friend. Below, you can listen to his new score to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Continue reading

The average cost to build a website in 2016

 

Website-Cost-sm

(See the full image, below)

I was asked, how much is the average cost to build a website? As we head into 2016, here are some factors to consider before you take the plunge.

First, the price is influenced by what you want and what you need. Do you only require something that is a brochure style? That means you would have a few basic pages: home, about, product/services, contact. Or do you require a more advanced site with features such as a blog, CMS-integrated design and programming, and dynamic content? (Most of my designs, for example, fall under the latter…and I love, love doing this work. Tons of fun and opportunity to create something original and enticing.)

I found this super infographic Continue reading

Defining Superior Fiction

Terrence-Des-Pres-quote

As writers, we strive to discover and produce that magical combination that will carry the reader into a new world. I think this quote from Terrence Des Pres explains how to create what he calls “a priceless gift.”

It also explains why writers are famous for day dreaming and why they rely on their craft to vividly broadcast those daydreams in the imagination of the reader.

I came across this quote when I was reading a story in The New Yorker about author John Irving who recently released Avenue of Mysteries. You may know him better from his World According to Garp.

His latest book is on my reading list. I like the concept he used to advance his protagonist’s journey. He discusses it in this book trailer:

 

 

Amazon goes to the dark side

Can you find what’s wrong with this image? A moment ago, I went to Amazon to find a book recommended to me, and this was the first thing I see on the home page.
“Whoa,” I said as I felt like I was pushed back from my computer. “That’s just wrong.”Amazon home pg 11-20-15

Continue reading

Constructing walls of intolerance can be fatal

towEvery person is unique, thank goodness, and by being individual, each person has the potential of offering something wonderful to their family, friends, community, country and the human race. This week, I have been writing about how a local pastor has been promoting messages that divide and categorize people. (Today is the second part of Pastor Mark Smith’s sermon “Justice Mocked by the Jews.”) And as I further contemplate how his actions, his choices, lay the groundwork for anti-Semitism and hate in my community, I realize how much I feel sorry for him and the people to whom he preaches.

Yesterday, I wrote about how he separates people into those who are saved by Jesus, and those who are not. The latter group, he insists, ultimately will be damned if they do not believe what he does; what his church believes. If that is one’s belief, then one has the right to adhere to that belief…as long as one does not force that belief onto someone else, or intentionally hurt others in the name of said belief.

So why do I feel sorry for them? Continue reading

Gentility mocked by the church

quote-canvas-art_15483-2“Keep in mind that when public figures get in trouble for something they said, it is usually not because they misspoke, but because they accidentally told the truth.”

–David Carr, New York Times writer

Just when you think you are making progress to get people to see things from a different perspective, your faith in people’s fair play, decency and altruism is tested…and disappointed. After I (and other people) complained about the Anti-Semitic tone of the sermon title on the billboard facing out onto a busy intersection in front of Berean Baptist Church in Rohnert Park, the title, “Justice Mocked by the Jews,” was changed to “Fundamentals of the Faith.” I’m so very sad to say, the antagonistic sermon title has returned for part 2 of this sermon scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 15. Continue reading

Journalists stunned by ’60 Minutes’ reporter’s death

Bob Simon

“He was a warrior-poet who loved life and loved people.”
–Anderson Cooper

It’s only Wednesday, and already, it has been an especially rough week for news, and for those who report the news: Continue reading

VOTE: What woman should host the Daily Show?

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart

Who will sit behind Jon Stewart’s news desk to helm the empire he built? That’s what Daily Show viewers have been asking since Comedian Jon Stewart announced Tuesday—as though you haven’t heard—he is stepping down as host after 16 years.

“It is time for someone else to have that opportunity,” he told a surprised audience at yesterday’s taping. And while viewers are curious about what he’ll do next, even before the cushion on his chair had cooled, fans began speculating about who will fill Stewart’s role as cultural commentator and political/media watchdog and critic.

The blogosphere chatter is calling for a woman to take the lead. People are saying Comedy Central should step away from the tradition of male comedians hosting late-night shows in favor of selecting from an abundance of female comedians.

Vote for the next Daily Show Host! Continue reading

Peace of mind

Quote

Kayla Mueller

Kayla Mueller

Peace is not something you wish for.
It’s something you make.
It’s something you do.
It’s something you are.
And it’s something you give away.

−Kayla Mueller,
American humanitarian aid worker
held hostage and reportedly killed by ISIS