Saturday, May 31, 2014

Catching Up....

Its 5:46 am

    The birds are chirping the sun up...its muggy outside as we had several big t-storms roll across SE Michigan last night. Paladin just put a paw on my arm....I will have to continue this later...

Its 3:26 am

   Been a while since I posted...sort of curled up and hid for a week. Last week I took three days off at work to observe Lori's passing. I really didn't have any real plans other then trying not to be overwhelmed by my emotions. I have been working overnights at work and while it keeps me very busy,I often find myself in a quiet section where I have a sad moment and cry...its a big store and we only have maybe 4 people working during the middle of the night.

   I decided to bake cookies for the co-workers at Lori's store. I don't know where I got the urge to do that but I did so I baked. Now I am no baker so I had help from Chef Meijer and was glad I did as the sugar cookies I baked turned out very well and not a SINGLE one was burned!
  I made 54 cookies and put them into two containers and drove to the store. I felt both deep sadness and pride both inside. This store only made it because of Lori's drive and vision. She carefully molded and shaped her staff into becoming a very strong team. Her compassion and sharp eye for business made her store one of the best in the region.  I have blogged before about the holiday parties we hosted for her team,how she rallied her team to help a young lady who working two jobs while going to school yet didn't really have enough money left over to eat. But her team came to this young lady's aid and made sure she had food. This included us sharing from our pantry and even making a shopping run or three to help out.

   The store looked nice as I walked in and while there weren't any guests on the selling floor,there was one being helped at the register. I walked up and saw Jomana behind the sales counter handling a phone call.
 While I had intended to spend the three days by myself,when Lori's best friend Deb called and wanted to visit,I took her up on the offer. So she was with me as I made my delivery of cookies.
   The next thing we did was head up to St. John's conference center in Northville. I wanted to film the room where we had our wedding reception at. Whenever Lori and I drove by the center,she would always comment on her most special day. It always brought a big smile to the both of us.

  Deb and I pulled into the parking lot and went inside,we started looking for the room. It was pretty busy with different groups and businesses holding meetings. We stumbled across a Oracle presentation and when we were asked if we attending the seminar,I asked if Larry Ellison was speaking. The rep asked me "Who is Larry Ellison"? Needless to say,we moved on....we found our reception room but it was being used so I had to postpone my video project as I had planned on videotaping both the reception room and Our Lady of Victory where we were married. Next week my schedule loosens up a bit so I am going to make another run at it then...

  We had lunch and went to the Barnes and Noble in Northville. I wanted to pick up the latest Fangoria because the mighty Debbie Rochon had a new column running. We went on a Wednesday but my friend Paul,said that new releases had been pushed back from the traditional Tuesday to Thursdays now. What this means is Tuesdays are generally when new releases hit the market,be it music,movie or print. This means I was a day too early....basically just like my life has been as late,I was a step behind...still had a nice relaxing time with Deb and it was sweet that she drove out for the day.
  The Motor City Comic Con was in town about two weeks ago. I would have liked to have attended but when you need to take out a small loan....well,you know that its time to move on. The days of a 20 dollar ticket to get in plus a 5.00-15.00 ticket to get a signed picture has given away to a 35.00 ticket and a 40.00(!!!) fee for a picture. I must have missed it when the convention morphed from Novi to San! The friends who went did take some very cute pictures with John Barrowman of "Arrow" which I had to admit were worth the money....
  But I miss the days of old when my buddy Farm and I went...he had quite the eye for finding the old comics he was hunting but those days are history as well...

    A  update to a blog entry I posted about helping my friend Dominic save his ill pug Vincent. Sadly,Vincent got progressively more ill and he crossed the Rainbow Bridge about three weeks ago. He was a real gentle soul and his wrasslin' buddy Jerome told me he cried at the news. I really am blessed to have such good friends who have such large hearts...but I think Vincent knew his job as Dom's sidekick was done as he and his lady are expecting their first child. I am going to lobby HARD to name the baby Stringfellow if its a boy and Caitlin if its a girl....those of you in the know will get the story behind my picks....

   Had a lovely chat with a most creative writer from California named Ivy. Ivy lives in SoCal and is in the middle of writing her epic story. What I truly respect about Ivy is the courage to postpone her "professional" life to chase her creative one. That is not always a easy thing to do,especially in California but she is doing it. The other thing that was pretty cool....she said she has quit pretty much watching or reading anything as she doesn't want the clutter in her writing process...but she still reads me.....pretty amazing to me actually...but i am thankful to you all for reading both my words but my guest bloggers and getting to know some wonderful people in "8 Questions with...." series. Thank you for your many comments as well.

 One learns a lot of things when one becomes a widower..besides the empty house you come to and the deafening silence,things you used to do together as a married couple that you took for granted suddenly become heavy emotional projects. For me,the one thing I used to love to do but now dread is grocery shopping. And as bad as it was during the day,since I now am working at nights and once in awhile need to make a run,I drag myself into the store between 2:30 am and 3:15 am.

  Our local Meijer store is about a half-mile away so its pretty easy to shop but the hollowness and emptiness of the store compared to the hustle and bustle of the day is something to see. The employees are hard at work restocking the shelves and depending on the sale,some sections are harder hit then others.
All I hear and feel is how busy it was,what we shopped for,planning a menu,trying something new perhaps.
Trying to get her to eat some fresh fruit like a banana and her wrinkling up her nose at the idea...
Seeing women shopping alone or with the kids,the couples that shopped together...the young men hating to be there,the older ones happy to shop with their wives,they understood how precious time was and is.
I always have known that but it is now more of a cruel mockery...
  It is a merely one place I venture out to now without Lori...and a reason I don't go out very often at all now...

   So I finished Michael J. Fox's second book, "Always Looking Up" which details what he decided to do after he was told he had Parkinson's disease. He decided to retire from acting and start a foundation to advance PD research. Michael explains how PD works in no small detail and how completely helpless he was at times,especially when waiting for his meds to kick in.
  He campaigned for stem cell research which would help advances on all known diseases,not just Parkinson's and the bitterness of George W. Bush vetoing it down. (ordering our troops to death in two wars founded on lies was okay but potential life saving research on "religious grounds" is bad....good ol teapublican logic again).
  His various adventures while suffering from PD always have Michael crediting his wife Tracy for standing with him no matter what how important family really is to him.  What I really liked about Fox's book is while yes,he has fame and wealth,he never uses it as a show-off device and he is very grateful for the life he has and he has no bitterness in his heart,even after he was made fun of and mocked by low life scum Rush Limbaugh who accused Michael of playing his condition on purpose to milk sympathy during the stem cell campaign. He stayed above the filth and stayed true to himself.
  My only complaint about this book was the fact it was 26.00 in hardback which is a lot of cash for a thin (253 pages) book of this level. I was lucky,I found mine at the Dollar Tree and I recommend picking this up if you see it on the shelf.

Heard from my fellow Vega$ friend Derik that Phyllis Davis passed last November. Phyllis played Dan Tanna's (Robert Urich) Girl Friday on the show. After Vega$ ended she slowly withdrew from the public eye and cared for Dean Martin as his health slowly faded.

Well that is it for now....thanks for reading and if you are on Twitter,feel free to follow me @Jinzo_2400

shout outs

Ivy - thanks for hanging out with me,when the time right,I would love a guest blog
Lisa Adams - thank you for your beauty today and every day
Dom and Jerome - Ant Man equals disaster
Deb - thank you for last week,it helped quite a bit
Texas - guess we have to continue to stay grounded
Sue E. - thank you for the wonderful dinner last week!
Elissa - sending it out on Monday,promise.
Mike White - thanks for talking movies with me,its time we finally meet.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

29 May 14

Its 6:27 am

    While I get some sleep and recharge my batteries,check out my goofy cheetah,Paladin.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Guest blogger Susan Smiley - Oliver the Ambassador (Oliver's Story,part 2)

It's 4:13 pm

   I first posted Oliver's story where I started this blog,barely anyone saw it because well,I didn't tell that many people back then. When my computer recently needed to be updated,I couldn't post with it so I merely re-posted some older entries and Oliver's story was one of them. 
  Because now a few more folks read this blog,his story went from 12 views to well over 220 (and counting) .  In fact,before reading this entry,you can read the first part of Oliver's remarkable journey here.
A lot of folks asked me whatever happened to Oliver and who better to answer then the kind woman who adopted him,our friend (and frequent guest blogger) Susan Smiley. So let me thank Susan for doing just that and sharing her side of Oliver's story. 

  If you haven’t read Michael’s post/repost about the big, gray cat named Oliver you might want to check it out because this is, as Paul Harvey used to say, the REST of the story. Or the rest of Oliver’s story anyway.
     I had run up to the small, family owned pet store at the corner to pick up some staple items – cat treats, cat toys, Milk Bones – when I saw a large, gray, long-haired cat lounging in his cage. The pet store had adoption days twice a month but also kept some of adoptable pets from the Animal Welfare Society at the store all the time with the idea that more people might see the animals and adopt. At the time I had a big, gray, plush, short-haired, Russian Blue type cat named Jacques and his brother Travis, a long-haired orange kitty with a most magnificent set of whiskers. I also had Rolo, my wild little white and orange kitty I had adopted through the pet store and the Animal Welfare Society. My roommate had Townes (named after the musician Townes Van Zandt) also adopted from the pet store through the AWS.
   My neighbor worked at the pet store at the time and saw me looking at the handsome gray cat lounging in his cage.
“Oh my gosh!” I said. “This cat looks like he could be Jacques and Travis’ brother! He is gray like Jacques and has long hair like Travis!”
    My neighbor told me that the big gray guy was the nicest cat they had ever had there at the store but that they found people were apprehensive about adopting him because he was so large – almost 20 pounds! The long hair made him look even bigger than he actually was.
    She took the kitty out of the cage for me and I held him and he purred. And drooled. (I would find that was Olivier’s signature move). I wanted to adopt him so much because I could see he was very sweet. But I already had four cats and a huge dog named Hercules at home!
   Reluctantly, I gave the cat back to my neighbor and told her I really hoped that he found a good, good home.
   Fast forward to that evening and I was in my front yard trimming the bushes or some such thing when my neighbor came walking across the street with the big, gray kitty!
   “Listen,” she said. “We all talked at the store and you guys have adopted so many through us and we all really want this cat to have a good home. So I brought him home for you”
My neighbor did not even have a carry crate because she did not have cats – only dogs and birds – so Oliver came to me in a large bird cage initially. I took him from the cage and was secretly so happy my neighbor had done this. With the cat came a note from the folks who had brought him to the AWS in the first place.
     The note said that the cat’s name was Oliver – which I loved. It explained that this wonderful couple had found the cat, fed him, got him all fixed up at the vet and wanted to keep him but their one senior kitty was not keen on the idea so they had to help him find a good home. The note was signed by Lori and Michael.
The story about Oliver touched my heart and I saw there was some contact information for them. I thought that if I were in this situation with an animal, I would want to know that it had landed on its feet. So I jotted off a little note letting them know that Oliver was going to be living with me and that he would have lots of friends to play with including Hercules. I included my phone number in the note and invited them to call for updates.

   Within the week a got a call and a very sweet voice asked “Would you think it was weird if we wanted to come and visit Oliver?” I didn’t hesitate and invited Lori and Michael to come and visit their orphan cat.
 I can only say that when Lori and Michael came to visit, we bonded with each other just as we each had bonded with Oliver. We were friends instantly and so I can thank Oliver for blessing me with two dear friends.
    Later, Lori confided that she had been worried when she read in my note that there was a 120 pound dog in the mix of Oliver’s new friends. But once she met Hercules and saw how gentle he was with Oliver and all of the cats, she knew the big gray guy was in good hands. Oliver and Hercules really bonded and Lori always referred to Hercules as a “world class dog” because he was so good with all of the cats.
Oliver was also special friends with Townes. Every night before dinner they would have a little friendly wrestling match. Almost as if it were choreographed, Oliver would walk up and touch Townes on the head; then Townes would touch Oliver’s head; then Oliver would fall on his back and they would grapple playfully until it was time to eat.
    Most mornings I was awakened by a loud purring and a little bit of drool falling onto my cheek. And sometimes Oliver would get so excited that you were petting him that he would reach up and lightly bite your nose. It was his way of showing affection and trying to return the favor.
   My roommate and I dubbed Oliver the cat who loved everybody and I even considered penning a series of children’s stories about him. He would make a great cartoon kitty. I also thought that I could have carried him around in one of those papoose contraptions that people use to carry babies on their chest. Oliver would have loved that.
    Sometimes he would just go up to Hercules when he was laying on his bed and start rubbing against him and purring and drooling. Herc took it all in stride and sometimes would reach over and give Oliver a gentle nudge or lick the top of his big, gray head. 
I also found that people who professed to “hate cats” always fell in love with Oliver. I mean, how could you not?
    As always, I was very good about getting Oliver and all of the cats in for their regular visits to the vet. On one such visit, the vet pointed out that Jacques, Travis and Oliver were considered “geriatric” cats. I know now the vet was trying to prepare me for the fact that the two brothers and their adopted brother would not be around forever.
     Travis was the first to go. The silly, orange kitty that once hunkered down in a patch of chives and then could not understand why the other cats avoided him when he came into the house had a stroke. I couldn’t get him to eat and he wasn’t getting better so I called the vet to come to the house to help him cross the rainbow bridge. Lori and Michael knew I was distraught and came to be with me for the ordeal. It is something for which I will be forever grateful.

    Two years later on Christmas Eve, I lost Jacques. He just went to sleep and didn’t wake up. I knew he was slowing down, having some trouble getting around, but I’m thankful he went peacefully.
Three weeks into January, there was a night when Oliver didn’t eat – which was unusual. Much like I imagine people are with their kids, I could tell that something just was not “right”. I took him to the vet and found out that he had cancer. The doctor sent him home with some meds that were supposed to make him feel well enough to eat but the vet also told me that Oliver was not feeling well at all and the thought of my big guy suffering was more than I could take. He made it clear that the big fella was not going to get better.  I took him home and made sure everyone had a chance to say good-bye and two days later Oliver also crossed the rainbow bridge.
   As depressed as I was about losing Jacques and Oliver within a month, poor Townes was absolutely despondent. His wrestling partner was gone and he walked around the house in a 
daze. Although Rolo was there, he and Townes have never gotten along all that great. Funny enough, Townes became closer to Hercules, who also missed his big, gray buddy.
  Fast forward to the following November. Enough time had passed that I thought I might be ready for another kitty. I saw a flyer in the locker room of my swim class with a picture of a little tuxedo kitten that was looking for a home. I called the number on the flyer and went to the home of the woman who was fostering this kitten.
The foster mom lived in the same apartment and condo complex where Michael and Lori had lived when we first met. When I got to the condo, I found that the woman was fostering some other kitties in addition to the little tuxedo and when I sat on the couch, a chubby little tabby jumped into my lap and started purring.
Well, I took it as a sign. That was the cat I was taking home.
   I named him Scotty and the very first night I noticed something strange. He and Townes engaged in the same little wrestling match that Townes and Oliver used to do every night. Scotty would touch Townes’ head; Townes would touch Scotty’s head and so on. Then I was petting Scotty one day and he reached up and gently nipped the end of my nose. And Scotty grew to be 18 pounds – a big guy like Oliver. So much was Scotty’s personality like Oliver that my roommate constantly called him Oliver!
     One day Scotty was lying on my bed and I was petting him and I said “Scotty, tell me the truth; Are you really Oliver?” Do you know Scotty nodded his head and winked! That was all I needed to be assured that Oliver had come back to me as a big tabby!
   I called Michael and Lori to tell them. “I know you guys are going to think I’m crazy but…” And good friends that they are, they did not think I was off my rocker at all.

So this is the story about how a stray cat was the catalyst for a friendship. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

20 May 13

Its 11:39 pm

  Dear Lori,
      Looking back at my posts during this time last year,I find myself rather shocked at how all over I was. I never really wrote what was really going on in my heart. I look at my posts and seen a sense of complete denial and fogginess in my writing...but lucky for me,I have complete retention and I need to write what really was going on 20 May 13.

   I last saw you on 18 May..never did I think that would be the last time. We knew our time was running out,I called your brother and he was very shocked to see how fast the end was coming. We agreed to have he and your father come down for the day to say good-bye and I chose to let Brian and Phil have you for the day while I went to work that night.
  Work...what the hell was I thinking? Working for 4 hours because I needed to be able to switch insurances because your insurance was going to run out at the end of June. I had to work a certain amount of hours to stay eligible...again,what the hell was I thinking,once we went into hospice,we knew there wasn't going to be a June. All those plans that we had for our last summer together...I have done nothing on that list we had planned,no cook out,no Tigers game,no concerts,no ploring,not even a trip to the Christmas Tree Shoppe or Home Goods. Part of it is because of the money situation,part of it is because of a lack of drive.
  I keep trying to jumpstart my life but there is no life to jump back into.
I should have filmed us more,no matter what....

  One day.

One day.

I needed one day. I was going to work Sunday night,pack a bag of clothes,go to the funeral home to set up the service and then stay with you until the time you would go home.
But I was scared,I didn't want you alone. I wanted someone with you until I got there and so I did ask for help. Tammy and Jomana from your work volunteered and that made me feel better. I packed my bag,put it in the car and went to work.
   I got home and was surprised to see Jomana had left a message saying she had come home. That dear sweet lady,she braved overcoming her stress about driving at night to go to Ann Arbor and sit with you. She said how sweet you were when you woke up and saw her sitting there. Asking her "how did you find me"? That is the same question I ask myself every day,how did you find me,Lori? Of all the people,you chose me,a very flawed man in California with nothing really to offer you but my heart and love.
  Jomana stayed with you until 2:30 am....and I am so grateful for that. In the dark night,I want you to know that I was ALWAYS thinking of you. Oh but to go back again...I never would have left your side..

7:10 am

Its Arbor Hospice,I answer the phone and get the news,you have left this world,alone,at 7:03 am.

I cannot begin to express how heartbroken I am...dying alone was not part of the plan. I lay awake at night thinking about this,did you look for me? Did you call my name? Wondering where I was? I see your hand stretching out looking for mine for one last wedding hands and not finding it. Alone.
Holding you close after I got to Arbor...I know it was just your mortal shell but I pray God allowed you to feel my tears,hear my sorrow and feel my last kiss. I think of this often as my faith has been broken,I do not understand how this works anymore. I am totally lost here,I wish I could tell you things were better but they are not.

One day.

I struggle with this,I talk to my therapist every month and this is my one never ending thought,I left you alone on the hardest part of our life together. You and I saw so many wonderful and not so wonderful things in our 15 years together. We overcame so much more then most people ever know and yet on the one step where we needed to be together,I wasn't there. I am so sorry,Lori. I have not the words to express how badly I hurt in missing you. We were such a great couple,such a loving couple.
  This past year has been so sad,I feel completely off balance and alone. I don't know what tomorrow will bring but I do know my love for you will always be constant no matter what or where I am.

I love you Lori,always and forever +1


Tonight I fall.....

Thank you all for staying with us,those who knew Lori and those who have gotten to know her through this blog.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

8 Questions with ................Tim Teets of o73 Films

"Because we put our heart and soul into them, they are everything". - Jessica Cameron,award winning actress/director "Truth Or Dare" speaking about working small independent films

Its 11:20 pm

   Welcome to an another edition of my ongoing interview series,"8 Questions with.....". I started this waaaay back when on another social media site and have re-started it here. The series features people from all over who in one way or another have perked my interest. So I ask them to do a interview where they answer the questions themselves,in their own words. 

  Its been a while since I posted a interview and for this edition of "8 Questions with......" I am trying something a little different in this one and I hope you like it!

As some of you know,I run across my subjects from all over the place...I have no set type of person I interview,you can be in a band,a writer,a small business owner or just a citizen just like myself. What is important to me is that you are interesting...and so when I was surfing Facebook one day recently,I ran across Tim Teets of o73 Films.
  Tim owns 073 Films,I caught a picture of one of his kids working on a piece of equipment and I was struck with how DIY it was (Do It Yourself). Just a man with a goal of making movies on shoestring budgets and telling a good story. In other words,someone who I feel has a story to share and I would like to share that story here.
After you read the interview,continue reading as I ask the well known and respected film critic Richard Von Busack about the world of micro budget films. I think Richard makes several good points as the rise of homegrown studios rises each year. 

And now its time for 8 Questions with.......Tim Teets of o73 Films

1. Who are you and why movies?

My name is Tim Teets and I am a 40 year old husband and father of 3. I have held many a job in my lifetime from pizza delivery to Debt Collector, but movies have always been my passion. I have always dreamed not of being in movies but making movies. I wrote my first screenplay in high school and have been doing it ever since. It is only now that I have chosen to give actual film making a chance.

Tim TeetsTim and his wife (courtesy of Tim Teets)

2. What film,writer or director influenced you the most and in what way?

There are 2 directors who inspired me to actually go ahead and attempt to do this filmmaking indeavor, they are Kevin Smith and Edward Burns. Kevin Smith says on his concert film, “Burn in Hell” that when his father died, he died screaming, and it was then he realized we were all probably going to die screaming, so there is no reason not to live all your dreams. He also said to surround yourself if people who ask WHY NOT? instead of just WHY?. Mr. Smith also goes on to say that anyone can make a movie. You don't need millions of dollars, you only need a camera and some friends willing to help out.
Edward Burns is much of the same. In a podcast I heard and listen to when I need the inspiration to get going, he talks about how he, as a known celebrity, couldn't get his movies made. So instead of selling out or just giving up, he just stock of what he had available (i.e. locations), wrote screenplays using those available items, called his friends and made a movie, then another, then another. He used the digital domain to release his movies and now has a career using this model. One of those films was “NEWLYWEDS” which he made for $9,000 To listen to Ed Burn's explain how he creates,click here 3. Had you ever worked on a film before creating your own production company? If so,what did you take away from the experience?

Before creating “o73 Films” I had never worked on a film of any kind before. I tended to watch every behind the scenes special feature and read whatever I could about filmmaking.

4. How did o73 Films get started and do you have any projects in the works?

I worked at a collection agency here in my city for five years, and my extension was o73. And no matter where I moved in the building, while other people's extensions would change o73 seemed to stick with me. So when I decided to attempt filmmaking, I decided to use that as a branding device for my films.

5. How hard is it to actually work on a micro budget film? What are some of the biggest obstacles you have to work around?

I wouldn't call it hard, just engrossing. I have to either do everthing myself, or ask my friend to donate their time. Luckily I have a few great friends (Rob, Bobi Jo, Wil) whom have helped me along the way, as well as undying support from my wife Tera. Those keep me going, The biggest obstacles is trying to balance your time to do all the things that need to get done on your film, while continuing to work and spend time with the family.

6. How does one cast,market and show a indie movie? What is the best and worst part of each segment of film making?

Cheaply. For the first film I am relying on actors/actresses to donate their time for no pay but the possiblity of IMDB credits. I am planning on relying on the internet and social media for the marketing of my film. The best part of this is the writing. I love to make up stories, create the characters, and see how they react to the situations I put them in. The WORST part is the waiting for everything to come together so that I can actually film my story.

7. What do you think of the current state of Hollywood? Is there a place for someone like o73 Films?

I think Hollywood as a whole as lost its way. It seems to be drifting away from smaller budgets higher quality and moved in the direction of higher budget more spectacle. It seems that the CGI driven films get all the press while the smaller films are religated to the home market. As far as is there a place for o73films, I hope so. But I want to put stuff out there that only I can do. If that means staying digital then so be it. I care more about the quality of my films then their box office gross.

8. Where do you see your company in three years? If there anyone today you would love to work with? 

In three years I want to be seen as regular on the festival circuit. I want o73 films to be a place where people can be entertained by stories that are told differently than main stream Hollywood tells them. As far as who, would I like to work with, I would love to work with Danielle Harris. I have been a fan of hers since she starred in Halloween 4. I think she is a talented actress who brings something special to the screen whenever she appears.

9. What were your three favorite films of 2013?

My three favorite movies of 2013 that is a difficult call. I could go all artsy on you and tell you which had the best cinematography, the best acting and so on.... but when it comes down to it, I watch a movie to be entertained. And if a movies has all those good things, wonderful, but if it doesn't that's fine as well. As long as when the final credits roll, I enjoyed the time spent watching it. That being said here are my three favorites:

Now You See Me – This film was a pleasant surprise. Although, a movie with some plot holes, I was throughly entertained thought out the film, from trying to figure out what was going on, to enjoying the chemistry between the actors. This film made time flyby and when the credits rolled had me wanting to watch it again to see what I missed
. You're Next - A horror movie that exceeded my expectations. It had the right mix of scares as well as suspense, with a touch of who-dunit. They cast made of mostly unknowns was also a pleasure to watch
. JOBS – One of the few times I have found Ashton Kutcher watchable. His portrayal of Steve Jobs, co- founder of Apple was never boring. The movie showed Steve Jobs as less than perfect individuall who was career driven over family oriented

To learn more about Tim and o73 Films,you can visit his YouTube Channel by clicking here and "Like" his Facebook page by clicking here to get updates on current and future projects.

Who hasn't at one time either hasn't dreamed of making or starring in a film? It looks so exciting going to various exotic places for location shoots,crazy stunts and amazing make up effects. A lot of folks think its just easy enough to do...but is it? 

" The pro - you typically get more freedom to collaborate and bring your vision as an artist with an indie flick. The con - you get this benefit because you're not paid as much and you typically work under more stressful conditions."

- actress Elaine Hendrix speaking on the difference between shooting a indie film and a big production project.

In keeping with the theme of this interview,I reached out to a old friend and noted film critic Richard Von Busack and asked him for his insight on small films.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guest blogger Sophie Bowns - "Teddy,Part 1"

Its 4:10 pm

     Looking outside at a beautiful spring afternoon...the robins are chirping,the sound of lawnmowers is filling the air with low buzzing noise and kids are outside enjoying the open air.

  I am really liking the idea of guest bloggers. To find someone whose writing you really like and respect is a good feeling. To have them accept a invite to submit a guest column is (to me anyways) is quite the honor. There are a lot of great voices out here in the blogsphere whose writing is just so today's guest blogger, novelist Sophie Bowns from the United Kingdom.

   I ran across Sophie in a blogging group where she was promoting and sharing her new ebook, "Azure". I took a peek at her blog and was impressed with how dense her writing was despite at the same time,being sparse. Its a skill I wish more writers had,too many fall in love with the sound of their keyboards and don't know when enough is enough. The trick to me as a reader is to be entertained and left wanting more....I think Sophie does a excellent job of that and its one of the reasons I asked her if she like to contribute a guest blog. I am so glad she said "Yes".  And I think after you read her entry,you will be glad as well!
  Below is the first chapter of her new work, "Teddy". 
“Now you shall go there, and you…”
Theodore noted the soft pitter -patter of footsteps and glanced up from the book collection he was arranging with pride, upon the hand carved bookshelf.  He held a cluster of the leather-bound books under one arm as he stood on his tiptoes in attempt to reach a higher oak shelf. A gentle cough and a small knock followed the steps.
“Mr Howard, I am here.”
Good afternoon. Might I speak with you, your Grace?”
Theodore’s solemn expression unnerved Mr Howard a little and he was immediately washed with a wave of guilt as he watched him push the final book into place. He glanced up at the slim man with salt and pepper hair.
“I am sorry to have to interrupt you, but..”
“Has my Mother sent you?”
“Yes, she has in fact.”
“Oh dear. What could I have possibly done now?”
“Well your Grace, it is only natural for Mother’s to worry and..”
Theodore shook his head, seating himself in one of the high-backed mahogany chairs by the window. He glanced at the chess board and selected a piece making his next move. He gave in and folded his arms, distracting his glance to the acres upon acres of palace gardens. The rays of sun highlighted the beads of water among the blades of grass and there, they shone like delicate little pearls.
“Queen Evangeline thinks you spend too much time reading.”
“Reading is an academic pastime is it not? One can learn a great deal from indulging in a little literature each day. I study as I read.”
“Oh why of course your Grace, but Queen Evangeline is..”
“She is impatient and scolding.”
“Forgive me your Grace; I was only suggesting that; your Mother is first and foremost the Queen.”
“Why state the obvious, Howard? Well, I am very sorry that I am a disappointment in her eyes.”
“I only suppose that she assumes that a young man of 14 should have his mind-set on other things of greater importance such as..”
“Here we are again, speaking on the subject of marriage. Time and time again Mother mentions Jane Mallis! She is apparently quite the mysterious beauty.”
“She has a title.”
“Mr Howard, we haven’t even been introduced.”
“But you will, in time. I hear that she is one of the most eligible women in the country.”
“Oh and pray tell me, why is that?”
“Because, your Grace she is a Lady; an only child like yourself whose family has an annual income of just over one thousand pounds a year.”
“One thousand?” Theodore whispered, initially struck by the news. He composed himself and shook his head. “I have promised that I would never let myself become overcome.”
“Yes; enraptured by a woman’s fortune and beauty. So much so, that I’d forget myself. If I had my way, I would-”
Theodore did not continue. Instead he rested his elbows on his thighs and placed his head into his hands.
“Everyone expects me to grow up so quickly, I am only 14 years old. Mr Howard, what were you doing at this age?”
Mr Howard thought for a moment. “Well your Grace, I was working on a farm.”
“Aha! Doing what exactly?”
“I was farming your Grace.”
Theodore’s mouth spread into a wide smile.
“Ha! Specifically Mr Howard, please.”
“Well now your Grace, let me see.”
“Please sit down for five minutes Mr Howard.”
“Why of course.”
Mr Howard smiled and obeyed, with great duty.
“We were always expected to rise early.”
“Yes, every morning we would waken at 4 o’clock in the morning to organise things.”
“Gosh, it would have still been dark!”
“Yes, indeed your Grace. We would have to release the cows into the field and then milk them, feed the chickens and pigs all before half past 5.”
“Gosh. I wouldn’t have survived.”
“Why, your Grace?”
“Well, I suppose that I am not accustomed to such things. This is my life and it’s one that I have to follow.”
“You do not like it, your Grace?”
“I accept it.”
Mr Howard’s face fell, a little hurt by what Theodore had just said.
“You feel that you have to accept me?”
“Mr Howard, you are our most loyal servant and I trust you entirely. You are a credit to our family, I more than accept you. You’re a friend and you have my utmost respect. Please forgive me? I do fear that for a moment, I sounded like my Mother.”
“There is nothing to forgive.” Mr Howard smiled. He loved the wise young man in front of him, like a Father would love his son. Prince Theodore was kind, caring and wise beyond his years.
“I just wish that Mother would let me mix with other children.”
“The Baroness brought her son last week, did she not?”
“Yes, but Laurence has status and I found him quite..”
Mr Howard nodded in agreement. The child was a handful to say the very least.
“That boy is very wild, but I think you managed splendidly.”
“You think so?”
“Yes, anyone else who had just had a whole jug of milk spilt over them might have been furious. But on the contrary, you were gracious and composed.”
“Ah no, that was just an accident and he is only 8 years of age. It could have easily been the other way around. I do not feel that I shall ever be gracious.”
“If you don’t mind me saying, your Grace; I think that you’ll make a wonderful king.”
Theodore shuddered at the word. ‘King’ what on earth would that entail? He witnessed his Father’s anguish and he was away so often. ‘Will I ever be good enough?’ Theodore thought.
“Now then, I do believe that your Mother would like to see you in her parlour.”
Queen Evangeline stirred her tea 6 times precisely, ensuring that the large lump of white sugar had dissolved into the hot liquid. She pursed her lips and stared at the clock. Where were they? Theodore knocked on the oak door, pressing his ear to it.
“You may come in now. Ah at long last! Theodore.”
“You wished to see me, Mother?”
“Did I?”
“Mr Howard said..”
“Must you question everything Theodore? You are quite out of line really. Children should be seen if they are good-looking, clean and well dressed. They should most certainly not be heard.”
“Yes Mother.”
“Pray tell me, what have you been doing today Theodore? Not filling your head with those foolish books again, I hope.”
“I find Grandfather’s first editions very comforting.”
“Comforting?” Queen Evangeline laughed. “How can you find peace in a book?”
“In lots of ways, like..”
“Hmm, what about the garden?”
“What about it, Mother?”
“Have you been outside today?”
“Yes Mother; I took it upon myself to study and paint the Red Admiral butterfly which had taken the liberty to perch itself on a poppy for me.”
“I don’t think butterflies  could..”
“Forgive me Mother; I was simply making a little joke.”
“Please don’t interrupt Theodore.” Queen Evangeline sighed, shaking her head.
“I-I apologise.”
“Would you care to be seated? Now then Theodore, I wished to speak to you on the subject of Jane, or should I say; Lady Jane Mallis.”
“Theodore, she is to be your betrothed. Do not say Mother in such a tone. You have a lot to learn my son. Why, when I was your age I was already engaged to your Father. We were promised to each other at the age of 8.”
“Oh heavens! You were just little children.”
“Yes Theodore. We were still babes in arms.”
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

To learn more about Sophie Bowns,please check out her blog here.

 I am working on my next "8 Questions with......" interview. I am going to change things up a little bit and I hope it pans out. I also have Susan Smiley coming back with the sequel to Oliver's story coming up.
   So thankful for all the kind comments as of late....been making writing through this time a little easier.

If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400

Shout outs:

Christine C. - Inspiring? That is high praise indeed!
Mike White - Maybe we need to start a "horror community" *LOL*
Elissa - Sorry for the bad reminder last night,it really is a small world!
Richard Von B - Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions
Sophie - Thank you for "Teddy".
Sue E. - Coffee was excellent,see you Saturday.
Nancy G - finding my way,one step at a time
David Fales and Bene Benwikere - Good luck in the NFL Draft tomorrow! Spartan Strong!