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Wednesday Quotes & Tunes…

Zebra

“A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open…quiet mind.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

“The art of peaceful living comes down to living compassionately & wisely.” – Allan Lokos

“Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it.” – Jack Kornfield

“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” – Allan Lokos

“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Buddha

Currently playing on Little Mountain FM

I Feel Free – Cream
Reptilia – The Strokes
Cover Me – Bruce Springsteen
Say Something – Justin Timberlake (feat. Chris Stapleton)
Good to Me As I Am To You – Aretha Franklin
Like I Do – Live
Proud Mary – Tina Turner (Creedance Clearwater Revival cover)
Bargain – The Who
All Those Years Ago – George Harrison

Special Dedication to my beloved brother, Anthony 

Gimme All Your Lovin’ – ZZ Top
Hysteria – Def Leppard
Crossroads – Cream (live at Winterland, San Francisco / Robert Johnson cover)
Amazing Grace – Elvis Presley (John Newton cover)
Dreams – The Allman Brothers (Live at the Fillmore East)
Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Documentary Spotlight

The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling
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https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/features/garry-shandling-hbo-documentary-zen-diaries-judd-apatow-w518033

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/03/the-zen-diaries-of-garry-shandling-review-hbo/556583/

“Humor is a wonderful way to deal with our suffering because if we can laugh at our troubles, we can feel better. Thich Nhat Hanh is a special man who has helped millions with their suffering with incredible technique. But he doesn’t know real suffering, because he has not dated as much as I have.”

“I don’t think I’m severely politically active. I care deeply, and I have my strong personal beliefs. I think America is dancing on thin ice. But I think it’s bigger even than a political issue. I wonder about the evolution of the human race and spirit and what our goals and reasons for living are.”

I was always a fan of this gifted writer / performer. But after reading some of his intimate journal entries throughout his life (perfect concept / tribute by the way, go Judd!) against a fascinating backdrop of clips, friends, and pictures… I have an even greater appreciation of what his life’s work was truly about.

Considering a few praising words by Garry’s idol George Carlin, completely altered the trajectory of his life. It’s a touching and funny portrayal of one of the most hard-working comic geniuses to ever live. Devotion, passion, enlightenment, struggle, diligent, loquacious, intelligent, grief-stricken, authentic, neurotic, and most importantly zen are the keywords here. Watch it and no flipping!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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David Bowie is

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https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/davidbowieis

Amazed… floored. Some thoughts I had when I saw this unique exhibit at Victoria and Albert Museum in London a few years back. Now it’s stateside in New York, March 2–July 15! Whether you’re a (huge) fan like me or not (shame on you) anything to do with Bowie is a vivid journey worth going on. Never before seen access into the creative brilliance this man encased. David Bowie IS the ultimate artist

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Nicole Belanger

Happy New Year everyone – I hope you had wonderful holidays / festivities! I enjoyed traveling and taking a much needed time out… (despite returning to bone chilling weather) cheers to 2018 with love and great changes to come 🙂

I’m happy to share the first author interview of ’18, I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I relish hosting them!

OneLastWish
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  1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

I started writing when I was six, but it wasn’t until I was about 12 that I became more serious about it and started writing my first book.

  1. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?

I like writing novels, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of poetry.

  1. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Batman or Wonder Woman

  1. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

That’s a tough one. In a review for my book, Shadows, my writing style was compared to Gillian Flynn. I’ll have to go with either her or Chevy Stevens.

  1. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

Currently just writing poetry, but I do want to try to start planning out a new book soon.

  1. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?

I don’t think so. Every book has room to grow, but I’m happy with the was One Last Wish came out in the end. There are some parts that I’m sure have angered readers, but every scene in this book was necessary. Now the other two books, that’s a different story. I have a laundry list of things I want to change in those, but I’m still happy that people like them.

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write for yourself before you write for other people. It took me a long time to realize that by writing for others held me back because I was more concerned about what they would like or dislike. Once I learned to write for myself, my writing improved drastically.

  1. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉

Always A’s.

  1. How much research do you do for your writing?

I do a lot of research. When you write about such heavy topics, you want to get it right. The things that I put my characters through are intense, and I want to be able to accurately portray what they’re going through. I want my books to be believable.

  1. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I own a typewriter, but it doesn’t work. I write my longer works on my computer, but for poetry I often write it on a piece of scrap paper then transfer the polished version into my journal.

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

My junior year of high school I let my English teacher read the first few chapters of my book Lost Voice. He responded by telling me that if I didn’t at least try to pursue publication then he was going to fail me for the semester. I’m glad I listened to him, because publishing that first book brought me on an amazing journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  1. What book do you think everyone should read?

My current favorite book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I read it recently and fell in love. Its about WW2 and the holocaust. It is such a raw and emotional book. It was so beautifully executed I cried during almost every chapter.

  1. Two-part question: Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?

I do not play an instrument, but I would love to learn violin or the guitar.

  1. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?

For my first two books I published through the Createspace platform. It’s an independent publishing platform that gives you 100% control of everything. I liked this method as I was starting out because I didn’t have to pay any costs and I was able to get my work out there quickly. For One Last Wish, my most recent book, I published through a company called Bookfuel. It’s still an independent publishing platform, but it’s very much layed out like a traditional publisher. I was signed on by an agent, and got an editor who still let me have complete control of edits and primarily pointed out flaws, plot hole, and grammar issues as well as adding in suggestions for things to change. They designed a cover for me based off what I described as my vision (and made it much better than I pictured in my head) and formatted my book for me. It definitely cost a pretty penny, and it took me about 2 years to pay off,  but it was worth it in the end.

  1. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?

There’s this Instagram page made by this guy called The Doggist, who takes pictures of dogs for a living. He basically walks up to strangers and asks if he can take a picture of their dogs. How do I get this kind of job?

  1. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?

Outside of writing, I work as a CNA at a hospital and I go to school for Nursing. Alongside that, I’m also a self taught freelance photographer. I wouldn’t change what I do for anything.

17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?

That’s tough. Bill Murray and Michael Palin.

  1. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)

My vows. I made everyone (including myself) cry when I read them.

19.  What quote do you live by?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.”

  1. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer Prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)

I think successful self-published author. I feel like having the pressure of people harassing you for the next book causes an author to rush through it. I like taking my time and putting out the best material I can, while still having time for my family and friends.

  1. Would you like to ask me a question?

Sure! What have you enjoyed most about interviewing authors? Thanks for having me!

The whole process really, I enjoy networking with fellow authors and learning about their craft while having some laughs. 

Thanks again to Nicole for interviewing with me, be sure to check out her gifted work here:

nicolebelangerauthor.com

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Twenty Question Interview with Christine Solimeno

This interview is a special treat because I have known and been dear friends with this talented & kind lady since I’m 5 years old! Her musical/vocal skill is much to envy! We had a blast last week laughing over fun memories at my house for this interview and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

1. Where are you from?
Lynbrook, NY

2. What is your occupation?
Singer and musician

3. What effort in your profession are you most proud of?
My original songs and arrangements recorded by my choir at the school I work at

4. If you could, what would you change about the city you live in?
Everything lol… traffic, housing/apartment prices, and attitudes

5. What was the strangest thing that happened to you while commuting or traveling?
It was with you actually, on our way to San Francisco, CA back in 2007 where we had to deplane at JFK, wait a couple of hours. Then we boarded again and sadly only made it as far as Cincinnati, OH because of storms out West. You, me and our new plane friend, Katie had to sleep at the airport due to all hotel rooms being sold out! Then we boarded another plane at 7am – we had laughs but boy it was tough and a bit scary!

6. Of all the famous people you’ve met, who’s your most treasured?
Hmm… a few come to mind. Matthew Broderick when he was acting in the Producers. Eddie Money at his show. Steven Schwartz, composer of Wicked, etc. And a pseudo famous dancer, Elena Grinenko from Dancing with the Stars I got to know through a friend

7. If you could commit a crime and not get caught, what would it be?
Be a stowaway on Alicia Key’s yacht if she has one

8. Do you cook? If so, are you ‘Chopped’ worthy or ‘Worst Cooks’ material?
I don’t and definitely worst cooks!

9. What quote do you live by?
“A heart is not measured by how much you love but by how much you are loved by others.” The Wizard of Oz

10. What do you most admire about your creative process?
Hearing all the melodies and harmonies in my head come to life in my recordings.

11. Black, brown, red or blonde haired hottie?
Brown!

12. What award would you love to win?
An award for writing songs that ‘Touch the Soul’

13. Favorite dessert?
Friendly’s Watermelon Roll!

14. What do you dislike about your profession?
Low pay… lugging equipment… several gigs in one day/night

15. Do you play a music instrument or would like to learn to play?
Piano, drums, guitar, and sax very well aside from being a classically trained vocalist. I would like to learn to play the auto harp and chromatic harmonica

16. Favorite concert to date?
A few stand out. Billy Joel, Van Halen – Living Color (opening act), and Duran Duran – Thompson Twins (opening act)

17. If you could have a dinner date with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
Judy Garland

18. Biggest pet peeve?
Having too many bookings to choose from and not having a total free day to myself

19. What’s your latest plug / project / promotion?
My two CD’s – Stages and Christmas Bouquet. You can order from me or at Sip This in Valley Stream, NY.

20. What is the last question you would like me to ask you? Or want to ask me one?
I have one for both of us. List three-two word phrases that best sum up your life
Mine are:

  • Precious gift
  • Various melodies
  • Meaningful insight

Cool question! Hmm… a quote and an album title come to mind.

  • Knowledge speaks
  • Wisdom listens
  • Secret samadhi

Heart felt thanks to Christine for sharing her insights with us! Please follow this lovely singer/musician below and buy her music & see her perform at Sip This monthly among other shows throughout the NY area:

http://www.sipthisny.com/
Solimenosong@yahoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/christine.solimeno

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Scene / Quote of the day…

“Jonathan Trager, prominent television producer for ESPN, died last night from complications of losing his soul mate and his fiancee. He was 35 years old. Soft-spoken and obsessive, Trager never looked the part of a hopeless romantic. But, in the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. This hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the Agatha Christie-like pursuit of his long reputed soul mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure. Yet even in certain defeat, the courageous Trager secretly clung to the belief that life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan. Asked about the loss of his dear friend, Dean Kansky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor of the New York Times, described Jonathan as a changed man in the last days of his life. “Things were clearer for him,” Kansky noted. Ultimately Jonathan concluded that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call “fatum”, what we currently refer to as destiny.”

Currently ♪ ♫ ♬ on Little Mountain FM
Hayling – FC / Kahuna
Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani
Do You Wanna Hold Me? Bow Wow Wow
Che Onda Guero – Beck
Mystery Achievement – The Pretenders
Nothing – Depeche Mode (101 concert version)
Dangerous – Big Data (feat. Joywave)
Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer

Special Dedication to Tony ❤
Trapped – Bruce Springsteen
Rocket Man – Elton John
Shout – Tears For Fears
Armageddon It – Def Leppard
Caught Up in You – 38 Special

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Mia Powell

Woods 3

  1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

I remember writing a short story about a ladybug when I was around six or seven. I typed it up on the family computer, printed it out, drew pictures, and stapled it together. My parents were friends with the owner of a restaurant by our house and I remember bringing my little book with me to dinner one night; I think I wanted to show him my accomplishment!

  1. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?

Prose, poetry, and plays mostly! I’ll write or read anything!

  1. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Right now, Wonder Woman and Moana. I thought they were both beautiful stories, I loved all the characters, and these heroines are super important for audiences, especially children, to see.

  1. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

I’ve been compared to Hemingway and I absolutely love that. I also have a strong connection in my heart to Stephen King: my grandfather and I are very much alike and King was his favorite; towards the end of his life, he read and reread any King book he could get his hands on.

  1. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

My major WIP is a high fantasy novel, but I’m also working on two poetry collections. I have a blog (http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/) where I post some of my creative writing, op-eds, and reviews. And I’m planning out a YouTube channel centered around writing, books, and makeup that I hope to get up very soon!

  1. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece? 

Yes, I already have to! There’s a character in the first few chapters that I decided I didn’t need. I knew that if I went back to edit her out before moving on, I’d stop writing (it’s happened before). I just made her leave as soon as I could and kept writing, so I’ll have to remove her when I go back for the first big edit!

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Try everything. You don’t have to write one specific way or genre because you’ll get stuck and sad and think about giving up; you don’t have to follow every piece of advice that people give you because it will contradict. Try everything until you decide it doesn’t work for you – and then try it again later.

  1. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉 )

Straight A’s! I still talk to some of my English teachers from high school, and I so admire the professors I have in college.

  1. How much research do you do for your writing?

Depends on the piece. If I’m doing something that’s soaked, marinated, and covered in history I’ll go through months of timelines and history books and trivia. There’s a WIP in the deep, deep depths of my folders set in WWI or II and I spent an entire year reading books and looking at maps and writing out a timeline of real-life events that might affect the characters and important fictional events in the characters’ lives before I even sat down to write the first word. In another historical romance, I didn’t do any research except for what I already knew until I had a question or two that needed to be answered immediately. For my current WIP, the only “research” I’ve done is figuring out how to draw a map and finding the pictures I put on my Pinterest board.

  1. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I mostly write on my laptop, but there are a few that I’ll write longhand if the mood demands it. I almost always write poems longhand first, because I get a line stuck in my head in class and need to put it somewhere, so I write it out in my binder or maybe my phone if I’m in the hall. There’s one WIP that needs to feel like a journal and an essay, so I have a very in-character notebook that I’m writing that in.

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given? 

One of my writing professors is an absolute Godsend, especially when it comes to speaking actual gold very offhandedly. I’ve tweeted two things in particular that I find to be excellent reminders: “I think a lot of people stop writing because they don’t think it’s good. But it’s not good because it’s not done,” and “There’s no ‘good enough.’ There’s just what you want to do.” Keep an eye out on my Twitter for #GreenFacilitates (he often says he doesn’t teach, he facilitates – because you can’t teach writing)!

  1. What book do you think everyone should read?

There are three books I recommend to absolutely everyone no matter what they usually like to read: Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby, The Winter Seaby Susanna Kearsley, and Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys.

  1. Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?

I do not! I took piano and violin lessons when I was younger, but I never quite connected. I’d love to learn the harp – that would be so cool!

  1. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?

I think I’d like to go the traditional route, but I’ve only done minimal research into the different paths so far.

  1. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?

I don’t know who Tom Hanks considers to be his best friend, but that person! I would love to hang out with him!

  1. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?

I almost wish I enjoyed science, so I could be a marine biologist!
 
17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?

Bill Murray. John Cleese. No question.

  1. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)?

My senior year of high school, I got to direct a one act play that I wrote the year before. I don’t really like the play that much anymore and I wish certain circumstances could have been better, but I’m still really proud that I got it to production.

19.  What quote do you live by?

Robin Williams: “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Mr. Williams is a huge inspiration to me, and the reason behind my tattooed R on my wrist.

  1. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer Prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)   

I think it would be really cool for my work to be taught in school.

  1. Would you like to ask me a question?

Was there a specific book or author that sparked your interest in writing?

Probably Catcher In The Rye.  It was the first book I read where I felt like an adult… absorbing his (J.D. Salinger) compelling words considering I was only 15 years old. I paid homage by naming one of my characters in my book, Feedback after him.

Many thanks to Mia for interviewing with me! Please keep tabs on this cool up and coming writer here:

Twitter @LegendsOfMia
https://www.instagram.com/legendsofmia/
http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW7GrcwJRId2_ulUJdKDHIA

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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