Happy New Year!

2015 with heart and goldHappy New Year to all my family, friends, fellow writers and bloggers.

Wishing everyone excellent health, joy, love, and success.2015 new year in green

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Rhetorical Devices Anastrophe and Antanaclasis

primal forestAnastrophe is the deliberate changing of normal word order for emphasis. For example:

“Enter the forest primeval.”

“On a black cloak sparkle the stars.”

“Bright he was not.”

Antanaclasis is when the same word is repeated but with a different sense each time.  Antanaclasis creates comic effect when used in the form of irony and pun. Political leaders make use of this technique in order to persuade and draw the attention of audience.

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired, with enthusiasm.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said:

antanaclasis by Martin Luther King Jr.

Groucho Marx in 1933 said:

Antanaclasis Groucho Marx

BellaOnline Ebook Awards-Gold winner for SF & F: The Keepers of Éire

Way to go, Jordan. Congratulations.

1dragonwriter

As posted December 21, 2014 on the Mused edition for BellaOnline:

Gold Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Keepers of Eire1awards

Here is what BellaOnline had to say about my first novel in The Keepers series:

Devan Fraser might have been born in the US, but her family’s connection to Ireland runs deep. So when her parents are tragically killed, she embarks on a trip to seek out her heritage. What she doesn’t know is that her ancestors intertwine with a secret group of dragon-riders, sworn to protect Ireland from harm.

When she meets Dublin street-rat Christian Riley, they immediately recognize kindred spirits in each other. Together they must find their destiny and help bring an end to a serial killer’s tormented activities.

The Keepers of Eire is a wonderfully, intricately layered journey through the streets of Ireland and the many sacred sites which pepper its green fields. The characters are rich…

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Musician Sam Baker

Sam BakerTerry Gross from Fresh Air on NPR broadcasted her interview with  musician Sam Baker this last week. He didn’t start writing music until after he came close to death in 1986 on a train in Peru traveling to Machu Picchu. Since I’ve been on that train in 2000 and 2002, I stopped my car to listen to the interview.

Baker told about the bomb the Peruvian terrorist group, Shining Path had planted in the luggage rack above where he sat talking to a German family who were vacationing. In the explosion, the mother and father who sat across from him and their teenage son next to him were killed. Baker suffered a brain injury, a cut artery in his leg, severe hearing loss, a shattered left hand, a deflated lung, among other injuries and eventually, gangrene.He was in a Cuzco hospital and then airlifted to a Houston hospital.

He had to have fifteen reconstructive surgeries.During his long recovery, songs came to him, some about the attack, some about his near-death experience, and others that are like short stories written in the voices of characters. Say Grace is the title of his fourth and latest album.

When asked how the bombing changed him he said, “One thing that changed was the sense that all suffering is universal…especially what I learned was empathy, and the faith that I got was the faith in us as a group, as humans.”

You can hear the interview that includes Baker singing a couple of his songs at http://www.npr.org/2014/05/06/310089151/sam-baker-finding-grace

His website is http://sambakermusic.com where you will find his quote: “Everyone is at the Mercy of Another One’s Dream.”

Cooking

Elaine's bookIn Recipes and Recollections of My Greek-American Family, Elaine Manolakas Schmitz shares her family’s traditional recipes and tales. It’s a beautiful book with color photos and high quality paper. She tells about two families who migrated from villages in Greece to Greektown Detroit, Michigan. “As they settled, mingled, and grew, they maintained their culture, customs, and cooking.”

I admire good cooks, cookbooks, and cooking shows, but I try very few  new recipes. I used to be a fair cook but since I’ve become a writer, my culinary skills have diminished. The last two Christmas dinners, I made what should have been a simple dinner of beef roast and vegetables in a crock pot. Last year, I added too much water and it became a boiled roast that took hours longer than the butcher told me it would. This year, I bought the roast from a ranch that prides itself with range free cattle, grass-fed, no hormones or other additives. We buy hamburger from them often and have never been disappointed. The owner gave me directions on how to cook the roast in my crock pot since I told her about my previous attempt.

I chopped the vegetables, laid the carrots, potatoes, and onions on the bottom of the pot and put the roast on top with spices. Then came the water. She had said just enough to cover the bottom. Hmm, cover the bottom of the pot, the bottom of the vegetables, or the bottom of the roast, I wondered. Must be the bottom of the pot. I put in one cup compared to last year when I poured in enough to fill the pot to the top. Six hours at the most, she said.

After three hours, I checked the roast and gasped. The roast had curls. You know those looped scarves that are popular? My roast was a gray, very wet version, sections so curled, I could not loosen them. And water…it was at the top of the pot again, ready to spill through the lid. I quickly scooped out five cups. Where did all that liquid come from?  I struggled to cut a small clinched piece to taste. I chewed and chewed and chewed, tougher than beef jerky.  The flavor of spices was good but no one could eat it. There wasn’t enough meat between all the gristle. The garbage can had a feast.

I thought I could ask Elaine Schmitz for advice since I see her almost every Monday in writing class, but I’ve sworn off of cooking roasts in a crock pot…actually I’ll never buy a roast again. Our family agreed to eat out next Christmas Day.

Movie Theaters

Movie theater seats with popcornFor me, the holidays are a time to see a show in a movie theater. Netflix and On Demand etc. are great, but leaving the house to go to a theater is a treat. This year, we saw the Imitation Game and Big Eyes. We might go to a couple more movies before 2015.

Benedict Cumberbatch played Alan Turing, the scientist who cracked Nazi Germany’s Enigma code that helped the allies win the second World War.

The outstanding performance by Cumberbatch is worth a nomination for an Academy Award. Keira Knightley, one of my favorite actresses, was very good as usual.

Benedict CumberbatchBig Eyes is about American artist, Margaret Keane, whose husband fraudulently claimed in the 1950’s and 1960’s to be the artist of Margaret’s children with the big eyes.  Big Eyes with artist close upI’m interested to read more about the facts. I’ll research the story tomorrow.

What movies did you see in a theater this holiday season?