Friday, December 31, 2010
1. When did they first celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square in New York City?
2. What should someone do first thing on New Year's Day morning for good luck?
3. What are you doing for New Year's Eve?
4. What legend about New Year's do you know.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
1. Which day do you celebrate with family--Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
2. What is one tradition you do at Christmas only?
3. Do you plan to wake up early Christmas morning?
4. Are you going away or staying home for Christmas?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Today, I am interviewing fellow author and good friend, Deborah Painter about her and her new book, Forry, the Life of Forrest J. Ackerman.
Pamela: Please tell us about your latest book.
Deborah: Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman, from McFarland & Company, Incorporated, Publishers, was published in November 2010 and sold out its first printing before December. More will be printed. I credit that to the immense popularity of the loving, kind, funny and tremendously intelligent subject of the book. It was intended as an intimate biography of Mr. Science Fiction, the guy who coined the term “Sci-Fi:”
If Jules Verne is the father of Science Fiction and Mary Shelley is the mother, Forrest J Ackerman is definitely one of their children. A collector extraordinaire, an author, agent, editor, archivist, historian, public speaker, actor, and promoter, Forry’s influence on generations is inestimable. He was wearing costumes to conventions when no one else was; literally, he and his girlfriend Myrtle Douglas invented science fiction convention costuming for the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Forry was the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, published by James Warren’s Warren Publishing Company, among four other magazines. He was the recipient of the “Grimmy” from the televised Horror Hall of Fame in 1990, and he was the first person ever to be awarded a Hugo Award in 1953 at that year’s Worldcon. He received the award for Number One Fan Personality. He created “Vampirella”.
I could go on about the amazing things this man did. But instead of just talking about him and writing articles about him, as I have done for many, many years, I wrote this book.
McFarland’s book description is: “Forrest J Ackerman (1916-2008) was an author, archivist, agent, actor, promoter, and editor of the iconic fan magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland; a founder of science fiction fandom; and one of the world’s foremost collectors of sci-fi, horror and fantasy films, literature, and memorabilia. This biography begins with a foreword by Joe Moe, Ackerman’s caregiver and close friend since 1982. It documents Ackerman’s lifelong dedication to his work in both literature and film; his interests, travels, relationships and associations with famous personalities; and his lasting impact on popular culture. Primary research material includes letters given by Ackerman to the author during their long friendship, and numerous reminiscences from Ackerman’s friends, fans and colleagues.”
Pamela: What can we expect from you in the future?
Deborah: In the near future, I am finishing a book on horses in film; a critical examination of what the horse symbolizes. Also, plenty of magazine articles and books!!
Pamela: What motivated you to start writing?
Deborah: I can’t remember a time when I did not write. I was dictating stories to my parents and older siblings when I was six. When I learned to actually write, I would create little stories illustrated with crayon and bound together with yarn. Oscar the Owl’s Life is a very early, unpublished work.
Pamela: What kind of research do you do?
Deborah: For my day job, I research wetlands, streams, topography and soils for wetland delineations and water quality permitting purposes, and do detailed reports on the environmental impacts of a project on its human and nonhuman surroundings, for Federal documents. For my freelance writing, I research film history, film technology, animals, equitation, geology, history and paleontology.
Pamela: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Deborah: I just go with the flow.
Pamela: Where do your ideas come from?
Deborah: Everywhere…..people I talk to and places I visit.
Pamela: Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
Deborah: My father, Floyd Eugene Painter, my mother, Kay Sewell Painter, and Forrest James Ackerman, all wrote. My mother was a poet (unpublished, I am sad to say) and my father wrote journal articles for archaeological publications and wrote several books on archaeology. Daddy and Mama nurtured my love of books, bought plenty of them for me, and encouraged me to write. I used them as role models in my writing. Forry Ackerman helped me get started in magazines and kept on featuring my works in his magazines and I used him as a role model as well.
Pamela: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Pamela: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Deborah: Sharing what I have discovered and finding out that there are others like my subject matter as much as I do!
Pamela: Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
Deborah: I grew up in the Navy town of Norfolk, Virginia and my father was a marine engineer and archaeologist. My mother was a homemaker. I have a brother and a sister. I earned two degrees in biology from Old Dominion University and my hobbies are photography, rock and fossil collecting, horseback riding, monster movies and studying metaphysics.
Pamela: Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Deborah: There will be people in your life that will not understand your writing or why you want to do it; will resent the time you spend doing it, and will say your writing is stupid or that there are better things you should be doing with your time. Ignore the criticism. Keep on working and believe in your work and yourself. Do your homework; find out about markets and connect with the publishers.
Pamela: Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.
Deborah: I talk too much about myself in Deborah Painter’s Writing News, which is my web site, http://www.deborahpainter.webs.com/ and I also have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Painter/1379491366. Look for me with the sunglasses standing next to a motion picture actor, also in shades.
13.) Now for something fun:
Pamela: Chocolate or vanilla?
Pamela: Favorite thing to do?
Deborah: A walk in the woods or comfy indoors front of a fire? A walk in the woods. Hey, I’m a wetland scientist!! My problem is that I like to eat chocolate before and after the walk.
Pamela: All time favorite book?
Deborah: Cases of the Reincarnation Type: Twelve Cases in Thailand and Burma by Ian Stevenson.
Pamela: Favorite color?
Pamela: Do you like science fiction, fantasy or horror?
Deborah: If I did not like them, I certainly would never have written so much coverage of science fiction, fantasy and horror conventions and films/television over the years, and would never have heard of Forry Ackerman. Perish the thought!!
Pamela: All time favorite actor?
Deborah: Lon Chaney Senior.
Deborah: Jean Harlow.
Pamela: Favorite TV show?
Deborah: My Favorite Martian. A fun and underrated series well acted by Bill Bixby and Ray Walston. There is a lot of wisdom in that TV program.
Pamela: Favorite Movie?
Deborah: Gee, there are so many great films. If I have to pick just one, I will go with King Kong. I mean the 1933 RKO Radio version with Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. (Is there another version?) I love the picture for its intrinsic qualities… it’s just an excellent piece of cinema. It’s a perfectly paced adventure movie with a magnificent score. I feel a personal connection to it, too, through the many times I visited the stop motion animation models used in the film, the brontosaurus, pteranodon, stegosaurus and one of the Kong models.
Pamela: What makes you laugh out loud?
Deborah: Stupid (clean) jokes and funny animal antics.
Pamela: If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be?
Deborah: I want to go to Los Feliz Boulevard near Griffith Park, Los Angeles, and look at the mountains looming up in front of me as I head east toward Glendale.
Pamela: A secret desire?
Deborah: That’s what it is! Secret.
Buy the book at McFarland
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
1. What is the scariest legend or myth you know about anything to do with Christmas?
2. What year did Rudoplh first appear and in what?
3. Since there was a real St. Nicholas bgehind the Santa Claus legend, what good thing did he do, and what was his occupation?
4. What can you tell us about the mistletoe?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
1. What does the holidays mean to you?
2. If you could have anything at Christmas or Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate, what would you like?
3. What book as a gift do you like to see under the tree come Christmas morning? Or do you want to see an ereader, and what kind?
4. What gift to the world would you like to give if you had magical powers and could do so?
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Next week, there'll be no Four Questions Friday as I will be doing shopping on Black Friday and when not, working on my NaNo book since the end of the month is near. Four Questiosn Friday returns December 3rd.
1. Have you read the books, or just seen the films only?
2. Not counting the new one, which is your favorite of the Harry Potter films?
3. Favorite of the books?
4. Which Harry Potter character do you feel is most like you (this can be one of the secondary or ones that been in a book/film once)?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
1. The word not.
3. None! If you don't believe, try writing down all the numbers in words, you won't find the letter "A" in any of them. This is 1-100.
Friday, November 12, 2010
1. What is the answer to this: forward, I'm heavy, but backwards I am not?
2. Which letter of the alphabet flies, sings and stings?
3. Which numbers from 1-100 have the letter 'A"in their spellings?
4. Larry's father has five sons named Ten, Twenty, Thirty, Forty. . .Guess the name of the fifth?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Just scroll down the page--I will be the last author interview. And do check out the other authors, too.
Friday, November 05, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
I am one of the panelists for the all-day Writer's Workshop, being put on by the Chesterfield Writers.It will be from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. this Saturday, November 6th, at the Meadowdale Library. It'd only $10 to attend all day and you can preregister at Writer's Workshop or pay at the door. The address of the library is 4301 Meadowdale Blvd. Richmond.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Pamela K. Kinney
Enjoy this new story by me. It is copyrighted to me, so please do not copy it and put it wherever you post or in a pdf file to give away free, as I own all rights to it. Just let your friends know the link so they too, can read it.
Janie and Bobby dressed in costumes, trudged up the sidewalk as they passed other similarly dressed children. It was Halloween, their favorite time of the year. Where all children could go door to door, knock, and candy were poured into their waiting bags after yelling, ‘trick or treat.’ If the adult refused, the kids could play tricks on them and get away with it.
Janie and Bobby loved the treats, but they loved doing the tricks even more. They loved doing nasty, terrible tricks.
“It’s tradition,” Mama told them. If the adults gave them candy, then fine and dandy, don’t do anything. But for that one who said, “No treats here, now go away!” they could go ahead and do what their family had been doing since the early 1900s.
Janie and Bobby couldn’t wait. The past couple of years they hadn’t been able to play any of their tricks, as every door they had knocked at the owners handed over candy, fruit, popcorn balls, and money. But when they woke up this morning, they sensed that this night would be different.
Nothing happened so far. Both of their bags laden heavy with the fruits of their labor, they stopped before the white picket fence that surrounded the yard of a pretty white Cape Cod home. It looked so normal and so . . . suburbia.
This was it. They felt it. They would finally get what was owed them.
Janie and Bobby looked at each other, shark grins flashing on their sweet, chubby faces. Then they pushed the gate open and wandered up the leaf strewn path to the front door. No Halloween decorations shown anywhere and no lit Jack-O-Lantern greeted them, just the closed door, painted a cheery blue.
They knocked and waited.
The door opened with nary a creak, and a little old lady stood on the other side. Her white hair was swept up in a bun and she wore a cheerful flowered print top and white pants. She peered at them, her eyes blinking behind glasses.
“Sorry,” she said, “but I forgot to buy candy to give out tonight.”
Bobby grinned. “That’s okay. We rather not have any treats. Tricks are oh so much cooler.” He threw aside his bag and sweets scattered across the front stoop.
He lifted his real axe. He had dressed as serial killer on purpose this morning. His sister was garbed as Lizzie Borden, her own axe gripped in her fist. She dropped her own bag and raised it high above her head.
The old lady stepped closer and smiled. “I know. I’ve been waiting for you, my dears. Human killers are not very smart. Not when inhuman ones have perfected their own bag of tricks for eons. My kind has been hunting their prey the hard way for centuries. Many still do. Not me, I found a much easier way. Usually I decorate my place to attract regular human children on this night, but when I moved here and heard of the murders that been going on in this town for a long time, I devised a different tactic.” She giggled. “It’s only justice for the humans in this town after all and delivery food for me.”
Her face cracked and it split, falling to the floor. The rest of the body followed. A giant shaggy wolf-like creature stood on clawed hind feet and with its upper paws, snatched both children to its breast. Bobby and Janie screamed, but were cut off when the door slammed shut.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
We carve jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins around Halloween. People carve monstrous faces to hopefully scare kids approaching doors during trick-or-treat. Sometimes, they are friendly faces, or famous characters from movies, TV and books--like the stormtrooper one my husband carved in one craft pumpkin we have. And yes, you don't have to use the gourds you find at the supermarket or grown at pumpkin farms, you can use craft pumpkins found at craft stores, too. You can also paint pumpkins even. This is safer for children to do, rather than using casrving implements. They can use their own paints to paint cool faces or by using stencils, faces or scenes on the flesh of the pumpkin.
This tradition stated back in Ireland. A turnip was used then. The Irish carved these vegetables and left them on doorsteps to ward off evil spirits. But it did not become part of Halloween until 1866. That was in America and not in Ireland or Britain. There is no documented proof to substatiate that the jack-o-lanterns were ever part of Halloween before this date.
There is folklore behind the jack-o-lantern.In one version of the story, Stingy Jack was a miserly old man who runs into the Devil. He asks if the Devil would turn into a coin he could use to pay some Christian villagers he owed to. These Christians would fight over this coin, which in actually is the Devil. The Devil agreed, thinking how fine a joke this would be.
But Jack pockets him and there's a cross in the pocket, too. The Devil is stuck, unless he promises he will not take Jack's soul when he dies. The Devil agrees to the deal and is set free.
Jack finally dies. He goes up to Heaven, but the gates are closed to him. He has too great a stain on his soul for Heaven to allow him inside. And thanks to his agreement with the Devil, he is barred from Hell, too. The Devil tosses him a turnip and an ember made from Hellfire, and he tells Jack to carve the turnip and put the ember inside. With this lantern his only way to light his way, Jack wanders the earth searching for a resting place. Jack became known as Jack-o'-Lantern.
There are other versions of this Irish tale, even an African-American one. There's even one with the Grim Reaper in place of the Devil, who takes Jack's head to Hell with him. Jack uses a pumpkin to replace his head. No doubt, this is mixed up with the Headless Horseman story.
When you carve that pumpkin and place a lighted candle or bsttery-run one inside it, then stand on your porch and watch the costumed children wandering the street, helped by lit flashlight, think of one man doomed to roam the earth forever.
Will you take pity on him if he comes to your door?
Top sites to find jack-o-lantern carving stencils: http://is.gd/ghLAr