My Photo
Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Search for the Red Dragon

I was waiting for Mr. Owen to show the cover of book III "The Indigo King" before I put this review up... but something happened to make me want put it up NOW!... It's a video interview that you can find the link to at the bottom of this post! I will post the cover to book III when it becomes available!


The Search for the Red Dragon by: James A Owen

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (January 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1416948503


It has been nine years since John, Jack, and Charles had their great adventure in the Archipelago of Dreams and became the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica. Now they have been brought together again to solve a mystery: Someone is kidnapping the children of the Archipelago. And their only clue is a mysterious message delivered by a strange girl with artificial wings: "The Crusade has begun." Worse, they discover that all of the legendary Dragonships have disappeared as well.

The only chance they have to save the world from a centuries-old plot is to seek out the last of the Dragonships -- the Red Dragon -- in a spectacular journey that takes them from Sir James Barrie's Kensington Gardens to the Underneath of the Greek Titans of myth. With friends both familiar and new, they will travel through an extraordinary landscape where history, myth, and fable blend together to tell the oldest story in the world. And along the way, the Caretakers of the Geographica will discover that great deeds alone do not make heroes, and that growing up may be unavoidable...but growing old doesn't have to be.

This is probably the best review I've ever read on a book that I have read... and that's probably because it appears to have been written by the author! So, there's no way I can improve on that!

As book one: Here There Be Dragons, ended we found out who our heroes are ( Charles: Charles Williams/ Jack: C.S. Lewis/ John: J R R Tolkien) book two picks up nine years later, and our heroes continue on to the next exciting adventure in true form. Mr. Owen brings Legends and Myths and Fantasy Figures galore, back to life or references from them to the point you just have to smile as you read along. If you don't have at least some memories pop up from reading this book, I will be greatly surprised!

Once again I have found Mr Owen's writing to be thoroughly enjoyable, found it hard to put down, and with each chapter you are gifted with a piece of his fantastic artwork! You can't ask for much more!

If I had to find something bad to say about this book I would be hard pressed indeed! The only thing "wrong" had nothing to do with Mr. Owen's writing at all..but rather the publishing of it. For whatever reason the glue holding the back cover binding came loose from the pages and now my book sets crooked! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.. someday I will have to replace it, but unfortunately it will have to wait. I am glad the pages didn't loosen or fall out and that I was able to read it all.

I truly enjoyed these books! I know Mr Owen is writing as fast as he can to complete book 3, The Indigo King. I was just at Mr Owen's site and found a wonderful video of an interview of him!!!! He really explains the books so well you really have to see it!! So PLEASE, go to his site, scroll down and on the right hand side under CONNECTIONS, click "James A Owen's Sketchbook and Journal" and it will take you to part one of the interview, with a link to part 2! Hearing about his books from his own lips is worth a lot more than I can say here on my blog.. so please go and see this wonderful interview!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Bookish Meme

Chris over at Stuff as Dream are made On, tagged me for a book related meme. I read his answers and visited a few others doing the meme. For whatever reason, things weren't just popping into my head for answers and at first I thought, "nah, I'll skip this". But then a few I found a few answers to some of the questions mulling around in my head... so I decided just to answer those. So, sorry it's not a full meme...

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Only 3? Well, that's a bummer, heh. Let's see if I can narrow it down.. One thing that does make this a bit more difficult is that a number of characters I like have been portrayed in movies. This makes it more difficult as I'm not 100% sure it's the character and not the actor. *sigh*
Gandalf the Gray would most likely head the list. (.. and no it wouldn't hurt if he looked like Ian McKellan and sounded like him either!) A man of great power, but doesn't flaunt it or use it unnecessarily ..only when there is no other way. I'd like to find out what he's like when he's relaxed and contented. I feel he'd be full of wisdom, of the common sense kind, and that would make him a most wanted guest.
To add fun to the party I think I'd invite Tasslehoff Burrfoot. A character (kender) from Dragonlance. Mischievous and always getting into something that would keep the party lively. Many times he's made me laugh, and I need laughter in my life.
And third, I think should be Masterharper Robinton, from the Pern books.He could play his pipes and sing for us. Another very intelligent yet laid back sort of fellow. (besides, between him and Gandalf I am sure they could keep Tasslehoff from finding too much trouble)

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the characters we love so much were alive?! Sometimes they seem so real it's hard to remember that they aren't.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

I think I would choose German so that I could read the Inkheart series in it's original writing.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

"A" book? duh.. not about to happen! But I would take Anne McCaffrey's Pern series!

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

Mostly I have found a whole new group of YA authors that I really enjoy! Cornelia Funke, James A Owen, Angie Sage, & Brandon Mull just to name a few. And I did enjoy a few books by A. Lee Martinez totally out of my zone about zombies, a vampire and a werewolf! I didn't think anyone could write about them and make me enjoy them but he did.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

A Library? For Me? wow, now that's one I've never considered before.
Well for one thing it would have to be a good sized room, for it to hold all the books I'd want and to have a comfy area to sit and read.
Lots of wood. Wood shelves, wood floor, nice wood tables. Actually the word "nice" may be deceiving. What is "nice" to me means "rough and rugged looking" "well used and thick". All the book shelves must have glass framed doors that open and slide above the books. (I'm old! No more dusting!) The shelves, naturally would go ceiling to floor. I might need a more modern "lift" to the upper shelves since ladders aren't for the elderly, and everyone should have access to the top as well as the bottom shelves. The reading section should have overstuffed, comfy, recliner chairs, each having it's own table and lamp.
I would like a section to have leather bound classics such as Oliver Twist, Scrooge and many others. The more modern books all in hardbacks, with signatures (if possible). Fantasy, would of course be the largest section, followed by many YA books.
Oh, and so I don't forget.. a room off to one side housing a small movie theater, which will have every book that has been made into a movie for viewing. The theater will also be furnished with nothing but recliners to relax and enjoy.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Last Dragon Challenge Book

First, let me tell you that I read The Search For the Red Dragon by James A Owen before I read the following book of Dragonhaven. I put off writing my thoughts on it as I am awaiting Mr Owen's permission to also show the cover to his next book The Indigo King... so I will proceed with the last book on the list of books to be read for the Dragon Challenge..

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (September 20, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0399246754

To me, this book is a mixed bag of nuts!

While the story itself was very good, and very original (which made it interesting to read), it also drove me crazy!

If I were a publisher, and was sent the first chapter, which I might add is 34 pages long, I think I would have stopped reading right there! The book is written as if the teenage boy, Jake, was telling his story. (so far, not a problem) The problem comes when, as a teenage boy, he rattles on and on and on..... and on... and then... and then... refers back to what he already said! Now, I raised 2 sons, who of course were teenagers at one time, and never (NEVER) did I want to slap them across the face and yell, "Shut Up!" But that's just how I felt with Jake.

When I finished chapter one I set the book down and shook my head. I actually went back to my computer and pulled up the book title to reread what it said about it that made me buy this book! Hmmm.. yes, it says:

Viewing dragons as fire-breathing, non-sentient animals with gigantic appetites for livestock, humans have hunted them for centuries, and now they survive only in a few wilderness havens. Jake Mendoza has grown up at one such haven, the Smokehill National Park in the American West, and has inherited his scientist parents' commitment to the park's secret inhabitants. When he rescues an orphaned baby dragon, he sets in motion a cascade of events that may eventually save these top predators from extinction.
As an exhausted Jake explains, he is the first human in history to find out that a marsupial baby dragon out of its mother's pouch still expects a round-the-clock source of food, warmth, and company for over a year. Also, their telepathic communication gives Jake and his fellow Smokehill residents debilitating head-aches, and no one on either side is ever entirely sure they've got the message right.

Yep, that would catch my eye alright. But I let the book set several hours before going back to it. The next chapter better be better than the first one or that's it for this book! Yes, it irritated me THAT much!

The boy continued to rattle, but the magic word was spoken, "dragon". I pushed on, but skimmed here and there because if I didn't I'd smack Jake across the face! I have to say I forced myself to endure the nonstop chatter because the base of the story was really good. Very original, and that is always something you want to read. Never before had I read a story about "raising a dragon" nor the concept of dragons being marsupial!

There were a lot of great things going on here... but I can't deny the wet rag was getting through the rattling on and on and on, to me it was taken to extreme and affected how I felt about the whole book. If Robin McKinley based Jake on a certain someone, I truly feel sorry for the parent!

There really is a good story here, but you need to know ahead of time that you may have to fight your way through the book.

In the end, I'm glad I read it... though I don't know if it will be on my re-read list anytime soon!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Very Old Post "Revisited"...

I came across some old photos I had taken sometime over the course of the last 10 yrs. (or more!) I started looking at them and began to "feel my age".. sheesh. The pictures are of tv actors that I had taken at shows over the years.

I began to wonder if others remembered them the way I do. I'm sure many "young folk" might recognize them thru reruns... but I was there when the shows originally aired! (wow.. now that's really scary!)

So, anyway.. see if you recognize any of the pictures I will put up here. I am putting a picture of them as they were when the show was on television and a picture of what they look like now ("now" being within the last 10 yrs, I don't remember which year I took which photo..heh.. it must be another brainfart! I'd say it's a "senior moment" but I blame that on EVERYTHING~)

Does anyone remember Billy Gray? Or the show he was on called "Father Knows Best"? It starred Robert Young and Jane Wyatt. (I watched Jane Wyatt be a "mother" twice! Once to Billy Gray and then some years later she was Spock's mother on Star Trek!) The show was on from 1954-1963.. (groan, I feel my bones aching!)

Ok, how about Johnny Whitaker? Johnny played "Jody" on the show Family Affair. Brian Kieth was the father and Sebastian Cabot (Mr French)took care of the kids.

I saved the best for last .. why you ask? well because I hadda crush on David Stollery when iI was young! (was I ever young? hmmm. that's a thought that taxes my brain!) Anyway.. here are the pictures..

Wow, now this was a real fun time! Spin and Marty! A "mini series" on the Mickey Mouse Club! Boy, did I want to go to the Triple R Ranch? Only about as much as a fish wants water! haha.

I was terribly in love with the red-headed Marty (David Stollery)*sigh* If you remember this series Harry Carey Jr. played the adult lead, the head of the ranch, it aired in 1955. (gosh, was I old enough for a crush back then? I musta been old for my age.. yeah that's the ticket!)

I have to admit here, as I sit and ponder the situation when I met Tim Considine and David Stollery in person at the show. I gotta laugh even now.. I know I had a grin on my face so wide and hard that my cheeks hurt! lol.. gosh.. there he is! in person! and he's a real redhead! hahahaha. I did get to talk to them both and had to gush out how much in love I was with "Marty", who grinned back in return and did a "nah-nah, nah-nah, nah-nah" back at Tim and then stood up and gave me a hug! It was one of those moments that you know you will never forget!

Well, this post sure ages me! I wish i could say I only remember these people from re-runs, but dang it.. I was there in the beginning! And ya know what... considering some of the programming for kids now... I'm glad i had Spin and Marty!

Actually, something happened after we met. I got this "brain storm" (that's back when i had a brain) to write to Harry Carey Jr. (who played Bill Burnett, the head of the camp) and send him a copy of the photo I had taken of Tim and David. I didn't think too long when I searched to find out how I could write to him and found an address. I wrote him a letter and sent the photo. I think I told him how I loved Spin and Marty and thought he might enjoy seeing "the boys" as they look now. I also told him about the autograph show where I got to meet them.

Anyway.. not too long later I got a note back from Mr. Carey thanking me for the photo and saying he was going to try to come to the show!! OOOOkay.. now I had to write to David or Tim and let "them" know in hopes they would do the show again. Which i did.

Low and behold 6 months later when the show came around again who was there but Spin and Marty..AND!.. Harry Carey Jr!! I couldn't believe it! It was so good to see them smiling and chatting with each other about "the old days"! The whole thing turned out great.. I got a hug from Mr. Carey and.. heh.. and.. yet another hug from David Stollery! (heart be still! hahaha)

Gosh, that made me wish I was a kid again with a crush on "Marty"! Anyway, I thought I'd finish up the "saga" of Spin and Marty for ya.. and for me.. I still get a smirk on my face when I think of it all. It's one of those memories you just never want to forget.. and I doubt I will.

Here's a picture of Harry looking much like he did in the Spin and Marty days.. and a Photo of David, Harry & Tim at their "reunion".

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Memory Brought Back to Life

Yesterday I received an email from a comment made in my Archives.. it was dated back in January of 2006. Needless to say I was surprised! I don't think many people click on archives, in my case I did write more memories back then.

The comment was left on "this post" and it read like this:

DesLily, Just to catch you up... Roy is in rehearsal (January 2008) for a revival of his one-man play "Brief Lives" in England. Here's some info: . He's to be knighted OBE this year . On a much sadder note, his wife Kay died last summer. From another –FriendofRoy

Posted by Anonymous

On the post I talked about Roy Dotrice, who is an actor I met back in 1989. His most popular role was from Televisions show of Beauty and the Beast, he played the character called Father.

(of course it helped that I thought he was handsome.. and I love beards! lol)

(I was in love with his character of Father on Beauty and the Beast.)

(1989 I met Roy for the first time. I also met his wife Kay and one of his 3 daughters, Karen)

Born in May of 1923, Roy is now 85 yrs young and still going strong! Currently (or soon) he will be doing a one man show in England. You can read about it by clicking the link in the comment by Anonymous. On IMDb I found out Roy has a part in the upcoming Hellboy II as King Balor. This, to me was WONDERFUL news, as it reunites him with Ron Perlman who plays Hellboy, and was the Beast of Beauty and the Beast!!

Life is sometimes strange.. having met Roy so many years ago, we kept contact for a few years, then life interrupted and I lost contact with him. Years later I did see him at a convention and low and behold, Roy remembered me and even asked why I hadn't written in so long! Life interrupted again. And I lost contact.

A number of years ago I, for whatever reasons, wrote a story. I know you've heard me mention it, Kesterwood. In my story there's a man named Abbercorn. If you've ever talked to someone who has written a story (even like me, when written for no reason) you will hear them say that they can hear the voices of their characters in their head when they have them speaking. In that respect, I was no different, I too heard their voices.. and the voice of Abbercorn I knew immediately was that of Roy Dotrice. So for two years, as I wrote I heard Roy in my mind.

Two years ago I wrote to him, not knowing where he was, I mailed it to his Hollywood address, and don't know if it ever reached him. I do know that this man (actor) has lingered with me since I first saw him on Beauty and the Beast, and I doubt he will ever leave me for very long.

Hearing he was still working so much made me cheerful, but it was short lived when I read of him loosing Kay. This year would have been their 60th wedding anniversary! Now that's something you don't hear of often!

He's such a nice man, and a really super actor! If you've never seen him you should click on any of the links below and watch any of the short videos of Roy!!!

For your viewing pleasure, click on any links below:

Brief Lives
Madigan Men
Just Shoot Me
Brief Lives intro Down Home
The Cutting Edge
Going to Extremes
Corsican Brothers
Beauty & the Beast
Are You Jim's Wife?
Touched By An Angel

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nicholas Meyer

Carl, over at Stainless Steel Droppings posted about a book about time travel. When I read it I remembered a movie I really like called "Time After Time". This movie was directed by the only director I've ever met, Nicholas Meyer.

Nick wrote/ directed (or both) a number of movies I really like, Including three Star Trek Movies. While he was directing Undiscovered Country, DeForest took me, Sue Keenan and another gal on the set to see them filming a scene. While there De brought Nick Meyer over and introduced us to him.

(you can read *and have a chuckle* about when DeForest introduced me to Nick Meyer: here!)

The above photo is a favorite of mine of Nick while directing, the photo's below are from a magazine. All from Undiscovered Country.

(the next one is my ALL TIME favorite.. can't imagine why!)

Some of the other movies Nick either wrote or directed (or both) are Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Time After Time, The Day After, Sommersby, and of course the Trek movies.

I think the writer/ directors of movies don't get the publicity they deserve. (ok, Peter Jackson did the unthinkable and got the publicity) In my humble opinion, Nick is a fabulous writer and a fantastic director.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who see's how talented this man is, this is what he has in the works right now! :

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (2009) (screenplay)
The Politician's Wife (2008) (pre-production) Writer
The Hessen Affair (2008) (filming) Writer
Elegy (2008) (completed) (screenplay)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Masterharper of Pern

The Masterharper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; (November 28, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0345424603

Although this book is set just prior to Dragonflight, It is best read after the first Trilogy.

This book tells of Masterharper Robinton's details the life, right from his birth.

It traces his loves, and his heartbreaks. The book lets you follow him through a childhood filled with rejection and neglect by his Mastercomposer father, Peitron, the overwhelming love of his Mastersinger mother, Merelan ,the loss of his wife, and the death of his best friend, while on his way to his becoming the Masterharper of Pern.

This book, as her other books is done extremely well. It doesn't take huge jumps through his life, but rather small ones, so you don't miss anything about how and why he turns into the beloved Masterharper. It begins with his birth and ends where Dragonflight begins! You get to learn more about the holds and of course, HarperHall.

I don't know how, Pern, the people of Pern, and the dragons of Pern all fit into one womans head in order for her to write these books.. but somehow it was all there. And I am more than grateful that she wrote it all down to share with me and the world! If you read the first trilogy this book is a must to read along with it! (and the Harper Hall trilogy). And... well never mind ...

The Pern series of books will forever be my all time favorite books! There are a few other series I feel as strongly about, but... this group inches them out as the best!

Yes, there are yet more Pern books, but for now I think I will cease my rereads and move on to something new... before my second round of rereads, heh!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pat is Back

I had the tv guide channel on the television to see what's on when I came across "Pat Neal is Back!" Hello? I didn't know I had gone anywhere! Ohhhhhhhhhh, THAT Pat Neal! (hehe) the Actress!

For as long as I can remember I've been asked if I am related to Patricia Neal, the actress. Nope. Sorry to say I'm not. (Neal is the name I acquired when I married) But I have always enjoyed her movies, does that count?!

Born in Kentucky in 1926, Neal made her film debut opposite future President Ronald Reagan in "John Loves Mary" (1949). Among the dozens of memorable films in which she has starred are "The Fountainhead" with Gary Cooper (1949), "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Michael Rennie (1951), "A Face in the Crowd" with Andy Griffith (1957), "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn (1961) and "The Subject Was Roses" with Jack Albertson (1968).

Neal won an Oscar for best actress for her performance opposite Paul Newman in "Hud" (1963). Years earlier, she won a Tony Award for her stage performance in "Another Part of the Forest" (1947).

Married to Writer Roald Dahl (2 July 1953 - 17 November 1983) (divorced) 5 children

Probably my favorite of her movies are:

In Harm's Way (1965) .... Lt. Maggie Haynes
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) .... 2-E (Mrs. Failenson)
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971) (TV) .... Olivia Walton

In Harms Way being my favorite.. It still blows me away that there was a time that studios could use so many stars all in one movie... something that couldn't be done today with the salaries the actors get!

Just take a look at some of the stars that were in In Harms Way:

John Wayne
Kirk Douglas
Patricia Neal
Tom Tryon .
Paula Prentiss
Brandon De Wilde
Jill Haworth
Dana Andrews
Stanley Holloway
Burgess Meredith
Franchot Tone
Patrick O'Neal
Carroll O'Connor
Slim Pickens
James Mitchum
George Kennedy
Bruce Cabot
Larry Hagman
Henry Fonda

Patricia Neal, now age 82 is still being sought after and getting parts in movies! How fantastic is that!?!!

I wonder if because I have the same name I could learn to act??? huh? no?! Gee, that's a surprise! heh.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Harper Hall: Book III

Harper Hall book 3: the last of the Harperhall trilogy..

Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Aladdin (April 1, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0689860064

(old cover above: new cover below)

The third and final installment of the Harper Hall Trilogy revolves mostly around Piemur, the young man who was Menolly's first friend at Harper Hall.

Piemur was brought to Harper Hall for his fine soprano voice.. in this book he "comes of age" where his voice breaks, and he wonders what will happen to him now.

Masterharper Robinton informs him that he will work for him rather than the voice master and that he wants him to learn the drums (for sending messages) but he has to learn to keep secrets and must not let the others know he is doing things for the Masterharper.

Not the easiest task for Piemur to be secretive. He's always been in places that maybe he shouldn't be but has always known what's going on with everyone. While trying to prove himself to Robinton, his new secretive life finds him in trouble for not being the blabbermouth that he was known to be.

Although mishaps happen to Piemur he becomes a big help to Robinton, and through being at the right place at the right time even gets himself his own fire lizard. From that point on his "real adventure" begins, when while being hidden from a hold owner he is mistakenly taken to the southern continent. There he finds he can survive even in threadfall, begins raising his fire lizard Farli, and inadvertently becomes a big aid to both the MasterHarper and Benden Weyr.

I've read some reviews where people are disappointed that the third book of this trilogy was about Piemur and not all about Menolly, but not so with me. These books did indeed pick up some minor characters from the original series, but it also was about Harper Hall, and how Robinton, through the aid of Menolly, Sebell and Piemur, helped Benden Weyr. So.. for me.. not disappointment at all!

These six books, (again.. to ME) are the best of the best of Anne McCaffrey. One can read the first trilogy and end there and still enjoy Pern, and the dragons and the people who impress them.

There are yet other Pern books that will tell you how humans got to Pern and how things were many years before F'lar and Lessa had to face helping to save Pern from Threads.

I am going to read one more Pern related book which she wrote about the Masterharper of Pern, who (as if you couldn't tell) is one of my favorite characters! *grin*

These books, although they are considered sci-fi/ fantasy, are not High Fantasy.. in that there are no big wars going on and there is not a bunch of sword and sorcery. The books are very character oriented, with problems to solve and good and evil people.. and of course.. dragons!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Harper Hall Book II

Book 2 of the Harper Hall Trilogy: Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Aladdin (April 1, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0689860072

(once again, no artist listed in the "old book"..

the newer book designed by: O'lanso Gabbidon)

In this book we continue finding out more and more about Menolly. Now, she is safely ensconced in Harper Hall... or is she safe?

Life in Harper Hall is lessons and many young people learning skills like making instruments, writing songs.. and of course singing. Through no fault of her own Menolly quickly finds out that the other females at Harper Hall are jealous of her, yet she cannot figure out why.

She meets a young boy named Piemur, who is a bit of a scamp running all over, knowing just about everything about everyone. He befriends Menolly, becoming her first (and only) friend.

Masterharper Robinton (I am soooo in love with this man! lol) takes Menolly under his teaching wing and is ecstatic to find out the little songs that were sent to him were written by "a girl"! This suites him just fine! But others aren't prepared for females invading male territory.

This is such a great little book. A number of times I found my eyes tearing up as Menolly realizes maybe she really does have talent, and maybe she really is good! A hard lesson to learn when before coming to Harper Hall she felt she disgraced her family because she loved music so much and felt unloved by anyone.

Menolly begins to learn many things.. not the least is which that Harpers do more than just sing and make instruments!!

Not one of the books I've been rereading has disappointed me. I still get the same feelings I had when I read them over 25 yrs ago when I read them for the first time. And I can say that this probably isn't the last time I will visit them.

Next, On to Dragondrums. (and then a separate book on MasterHarper Robinton!.. I didn't think I'd reread that one just now but.. the Harper is just too good a character not to read the book wrote just about him!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hollywood's Loss

I just heard today that Johnny Grant passed away.

Many may not know who he is. Back in 1980, Johnny Grant was dubbed The Honorary Mayor of Hollywood by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

I was privileged to have met Johnny a number of times, mostly at one ceremony or another in Hollywood. He presided over the Walk of Fame and introduced every celebrity that was receiving one. So, of course, I got to meet him when DeForest received his star. I also saw him during the Hand Prints at Graumen's when the crew of Star Trek put their hands in cement. And again I chatted with him when a wreath was laid at Gene Roddenberry's star at his passing.

Johnny seemed to be a really sweet and jovial person. He played host to red-carpet arrivals at the Oscars, appeared in bit parts in movies and produced the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.

I don't think there was anyone who met him that didn't like him. I was sorry to hear of his passing. Johnny was 84 years old and died of natural causes.

Below are some photo's of Johnny presiding over DeForests Star Ceremony.. doing the work he loved to do.

(along with DeForest, the man in the lower right corner is Director Edward Dmytryk, who directed DeForest in 3 movies: Warlock/ Where Love Has Gone/ Raintree County)

Johnny loved introducing the friends of the Celebrity so that they could tell stories about them.

(De knew I'd have my camera going like mad!)

Johnny and De with some of the Star Trek people, along with Harve Bennett who helped write "The Search for Spock" movie.

Hollywood won't be the only one who will miss Johnny Grant.....

1924-2008 Rest in Peace Johnny.

The Back of the Book

These ads were at the back of my original Harper Hall Trilogy.. I thought they were worth a grin! Check out those prices!!!

I circled expiring dates.. must be close to when I first read these books... 1980

(would you say the books are turning tan??! heh.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Harper Hall Trilogy

This is my 4th book for Here be Dragons Challenge...

Dragonsong (Harper Hall Trilogy bk. 1): by Anne McCaffrey

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Aladdin (June 6, 2006)
ISBN-10: 141692499X

Strangely, the old book cover doesn't tell me the artist...

The newer version is designed by: O'lanso Gabbidon

So.... After Anne McCaffrey wrote her first Triogy consisting of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon, she went on to write another small Triolgy about Harper Hall. It begins shortly before Ruth is born at Benden Weyr.

You meet Menolly in the other trilogy but these other books specifically picks out a few of the minor characters from Harper Hall and tells you their stories.

Masterharper Robinton is, of course, the head of Harper Hall. In this first book, Dragonsong, you meet Menolly before she became a Harper, when she still lived in Half-Circle Sea Hold. Her father Yanus is head of the hold and of the ships that go to sea, which is the livelihood of the hold.

Yanus ran the hold strictly and no one wasted precious time on anything but the sea and fishing, so when Menolly befriended old Petiron, the Harper assigned to the hold, she began to realize just how much she loved music, both singing and playing instruments that old Petiron taught. When he died her father forbade her "playing tunes". She was allowed to teach the younger children until a new Harper would be assigned to the Hold, but it went against everything Yanus thought right and proper.

When he caught her playing a tune she had written he beat her badly, embarrassed that a girl would do such a thing. Eventually Menolly ran away to hide in a cave by the sea.

Thus begins the story of Menolly, a runaway living outside the hold, living outside when thread would fall, ... her father would send no one to search for the girl to see if she was alive. It would be just another embarrassment to the Hold.

I don't want to tell too much more of the books as it is not a very long book (though it picks up where book one ends in book 2) Her tale is really well told (duh, it's McCaffrey!) and let's you know more about Harper Hall and the goings on of the Masterharper. If you read the first trilogy this second trilogy is a great follow up to things happening in other places at the same time you already know what's going on at the Weyrs and with the dragonriders. These books just make a great story ... even better!

(animation of a painting of Menolly and the fire lizards)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ruth: The White Dragon

The Dragonriders of Pern: by Anne McCaffrey

Paperback: 832 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (October 12, 1988)
ISBN-10: 0345340248

(completed reading this addition )

Book 3: The White Dragon

Mass Market Paperback: 468 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (November 12, 1986)
ISBN-10: 0345341678

(cover by Michael Whelan)

Book three of the original Dragonriders of Pern series...

At the end of book 2 Ruth (the white dragon) was born and Impression was made by the Lord Holder of Ruatha, Jaxom.

In book one we learned that within moments of Jaxom's birth,his father, Fax, had been killed and his mother died in childbirth. He always remembered that his chances of survival were slim at best, and so when the little egg in Ramoth's clutch rocked frantically, trying to crack open, Jaxom jumped to it's aid and helped the little dragon be born. Impression was immediate.

This last book of the trilogy is all about Jaxom, growing up with Ruth at his side.

The runt white dragon will never survive Jaxom was told. But he did.

He isn't normal he was told. They were right. Ruth was not normal.. he was better than normal!

This is a story of becoming all you can be. Of climbing mountains and reaching the top. Toss in a coming of age story, a love story or two, adventures unthought of, of flying on dragons and going between to another where or when, and learning more of the History of Pern, and you have the third installment of The Dragonriders of Pern: The White Dragon.

Anne McCaffrey Outdid herself writing book one.

Anne McCaffrey was Fantastic writing book two.

Anne McCaffrey was Phenomenal writing book three.

There's so much more I could say, but I won't, other than the fact that through all my years of reading, these are some of the best books, best stories, best characters, I've ever read. Which is why I return to them every number of years. Just to remember how I felt the first time I opened the book and found myself in another world, surrounded by dragons!

I loved them so much, that many (MANY) years ago, after first reading them I made an embroidery of Ruth and Jaxom, from theMichael Whelan cover. Obviously I can't draw like him.. and thread doesn't do what paints do ! But I did manage to make this embroidered picture which is about 36 inches wide and 46 inches high.. and that's alotta thread! (no pun intended) Thread isn't the best at blending colors, but I did what I could. (It took me a full year to do this... every inch iscovered in thread!)

I'm not ready to leave Pern or the characters quite yet.. so I am going to read the next 3 shorter books Anne wrote about minor characters called, Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums.

I envy Anne McCaffrey, for she knows every person and every dragon on Pern Personally!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Book 2 of Dragonriders of Pern

Dragonquest: by Anne McCaffrey

Paperback: 333 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (September 10, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0345419375

Original cover:

(artwork on all these books by Michael Whelan... my favorite cover is yet to come!)

If you are thinking I read this fast.. well.. maybe. This set of books never ceases to amaze me. No matter how many times I've read them, I instantly get caught up in them and once I begin I can't stop.

The book is fast paced. Don't skim because you will definitely miss something important! These are books that when you do set them down you want to pick it right up again.. "just one more chapter"..yeah right, if you believe that I have some swampland for sale!

In Dragonquest the Oldtimer's that came forward in time to fight thread give F'lar and all of Benden Weyr grief. They may have come forward, but they refuse to change with the times.

Thread is falling in irregular patterns, times have changed, and are changing, even for those who were born to the time.

Fire-Lizards are discovered and they learn they can be "impressed" like the big dragons and bond to one person.

Discoveries are made in old rooms at the Weyrs that the 'ancients' have left behind, as the History of Pern begins to unfold.

As the dragonriders try to rid Pern of th life threatening Threads, F'nor takes it upon himself (and his dragon Canth) to try to go to the Red Planet to see if Threads can be stopped at the source, ...with shocking results.

This book ends on a happy note: The birth of Ruth: The White Dragon.

Did I mention these books move right along? No dilly dallying whatsoever!

Gawd, I still love these books! It's no wonder I had to return to them!

These books are Anne McCaffrey at her very best! I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves Fantasy, and dragons!

It is nearly impossible to read The Dragonriders of Pern and come away not wanting to "impress a dragon" of your own!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Time Capsule

A 63 year Time Capsule........