Sunday, December 4, 2022
Tiny Tim, one of the most well known characters from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, is a little boy, the son of Ebenezer Scrooge's clerk, Bob Cratchit. rickets, or likely renal tubular acidosis, though the disease is never named in the story, would otherwise die but for the change of heart Mr. Scrooge undergoes, giving Bob a better salary and therefore enough money to have Tiny Tim treated. The little boy's character is vital to the story in that without him, Scrooge's change would seem to be done only to save himself, and the terrible fate awaiting his soul after death. Because of Tim being there, we witness Scrooge's growing compassion for others, and his need to change to help others as well as himself. Because of this, despite the fact that Tim Cratchit is a fairly minor character, his presence is vital for the message of the story to come across, and for Scrooge to be seen as a truly changed man who has learned to be selfless and giving.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, upon which so many movies have been based, is a thought provoking and uplifting story about redemption. Ebenezer Scrooge is a selfish, miserly gentleman of middle years who goes about life looking out for himself and no one else.
A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart, directed by David Jones, and produced in 1999 is one of my most favorite versions of Charles Dickens' classic tale by the same name. Dominic West, to Mrs. Cratchit, Bob Cratchit's clever and supportive wife, played by Saskia Reeves. The story follows Mr. Scrooge's journey through his past, present, and potential future, guided all the way by the ghosts sent to him through Jacob Marley's intervention in Mr. Marley's attempt to keep his friend from ending up chained with an eternity of regret for not changing his selfish ways while he had the chance. There was only one thing I didn't like about the movie, and that was that we never see Mr. Scrooge apologize to the two gentlemen he was rude to, the night before. But the rest of the movie I thoroughly enjoyed. And I highly recommend it to adults as well as children.
Mickey's Christmas Carol, produced by Disney in 1983 and directed by Burney Mattinson is a fun version of the classic tale.
The Muppets' Christmas Carol, directed by Brian Henson and produced in 1992 is a thoroughly delightful movie that children and adults will enjoy.
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, directed by Abe Levitow and produced in 1962, follows the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge from the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
It's a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra, and produced in 1946, is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It stars Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess is a delightful children's book that I have enjoyed since I was a child. I also enjoy the animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, produced in 1966 and directed by Chuck Jones. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, produced in 2018 and directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney. I recommend both movies I mentioned, and the book, to children and adults! The book was first published in 1957.
I was very delighted to find Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl in my local library. I had not heard of it before. It is as delightful as Roald Dahl's other works of which I am very happily familiar.
Slumberland, available on Netflix, is a movie for kids, but I think many adults would enjoy it as well. Francis Laurence and produced in 2022. Slumberland follows the story of a little girl, Nemo, who loses her beloved dad in a boating tragedy. She goes to live with her uncle in the city, and her uncle, Phillip, is as different from his brother as she can imagine. To Nemo's surprise, her first night in her new home she dreams of going back to the lighthouse where she lived with her dad. But instead of seeing her dad in her dream, she meets a strange character named Flip. It turns out, Flip is not just a creation of her mind, but a sentient being who exists in Slumberland and was a friend of her dad. He did once have an identity in the waking world, but was somehow disconnected from his conscious self and has not connected with his waking self in years. Nemo and Flip decide to go on an adventure together through Slumberland to find some magic pearls that will help Nemo see her dad in her dreams. But they are hounded the entire way by a shadowy nightmare squid. And as Flip tells Nemo, while you can't die in your own dreams, you can when you travel through someone else's, as they have to do to get to the sea of nightmares where the pearls are. After this, Nemo does everything she can to find opportunities to fall asleep and continue her adventure to find the pearls. But when this lands her in trouble with her school and her uncle, what is Nemo to do? And how can she and her uncle find ways to connect and be a family? Watch the movie and find out! Slumberland is rated PG.
A Life on our Planet, hosted by David Attenborough and availabe on Netflix, is an inspiring nature documentary that highlights the diversity of our planet as well as its vulnerabilities. David Attenborough skillfully conveys the urgency of being responsible citizens of the planet, and how irresponsiblity on the part of humans could change our planet for the worse. While the warnings are clear, the movie itself is bright and hopeful. Adults and children who love nature and conservation will enjoy this educational and enlightening movie. A Life on our Planet with David Attenborough was first produced in 2020. It is rated PG.
The movie Amazing Grace, produced in 2006 and directed by Michael Apted, is an inspiring story based on the true life efforts of William Wilberforce. Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace is rated PG.
Enola Holmes 2, which is available on Netflix.com, and is directed by Harry Bradbeer, continues the adventures of young Enola Holmes, a brave and enthusiastic detective living in London in the late 1800s.
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Duchesne High School's Drama department has completed 2 performances of Annie: The Musical on Friday evening, and Saturday evening. I attended the Saturday evening performance and enjoyed it very much. Annie is a spunky, redheaded orphan growing up under the critical eye of Miss Hannigan in a New York City orphanage. Despite her difficult situation, Annie is brave and resilient, as well as supportive to her fellow orphans. One thing she really believes is that her parents will one day come for her.
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Swiss Family Robinson, first released in 1960 by Disney, is a fun classic movie about a family, a mom, dad, and three boys ranging from their early twenties, to pre-teen. After being abandoned by the crew of the ship they were sailing on, the family barely make it to an island where they bring as much ashore as they can, including the animals. There is an exciting scene where the dad and older sons have tied all the animals that can swim in a line behind the raft their on, and are trying to get them to shore when sharks start to circle. They're able to fight off the sharks without anything bad happening, and continue to make the best of things on the island. Some conflict enters in when the older boys, on a trip to explore around the island, rescue someone from some pirates, and realize later that they've rescued a young woman! They thought at first from the way she was dressed, that she was a boy. And then the two brothers start to compete for her attention. But then their problems only worsen when the same pirates that captured the young woman come after the family as well! Will the six of them be able to fight off a whole boatload of pirates? Watch the movie and find out!
Encanto is a delightful story about a family where each member has marvelous powers. Except for Mirabel. The grandmother, Alma, subtly looks down on her granddaughter because of this, but Mirabel has an amazingly bright outlook on life despite the inner struggle she has with not having a power of her own. At least until she starts to realize, and helps her family members start to realize that their worth is not defined by what they can do, but simply by their being themselves. Will Abuela start to see her children and grandchildren as worthwhile people with or without magical powers? Watch the exciting movie to find out! Encanto was directed by Jared Bush and Bryon Howard, and was first released in 2021.
Jumanji, starring Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, and Bradley Pierce, is an exciting, family friendly movie about a dangerous board came that two children and adults are forced to play to the end to make the bad things that come out of it, go away! But will they be able to get to the end of the game before the dangerous animals, plants, and a human hunting hunter get them? Watch the exciting movie to find out! Jumanji was first produced in 1995.
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Daniel and Nephi by Chris Heimerdinger is a book about two eleven year old boys around 600 b.c. in Jerusalem and the nearby lands.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is about a small Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. He is about half the size of an average human.
Miracles from Heaven starring Jennifer Garner and Kylie Rogers, and directed by Patricia Riggen is a inspiring, faith-promoting, family friendly movie.
Friday, September 2, 2022
The Return of the King the final book in The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien concludes the adventures of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, the surviving members of The Fellowship as they face Sauron and his orcs in their last struggle. Sam and Frodo are in Mordor, but will they make it to Mount Doom? And will Frodo be able to throw the ring into the lava, or will it completely take over his mind?
The Two Towers, the second book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien continues Frodo's journey toward Mordor. Now, separated from his companions, except for Sam and a strange little creature named Gollum, Frodo is still trying to get the ring to Mount Doom. But he can't fully trust Gollum.
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, starts off the adventure of Frodo Baggins, the nephew of Bilbo Baggins who once found a mysterious ring on his adventure to fight a dragon and help some dwarves get their home back.
Monday, August 1, 2022
Kanab Writers Conference. I had a fantastic time teaching a class titled Helping Readers Suspend Disbelief, and enjoying the other classes and activities that the conference hosts. Connecting with friends, old and new, was one of the great parts of the conference. And the presenters were also given a lovely airbnb to stay in for the conference which was so fun! the Kanab Writers' Conference is a great conference for writers at all stages of the writing journey! The committee for the conference did a fantastic job!
Inspired by true events, Iron Will directed by Charles Haid is the story of a young man who sets out on a dangerous cross-country sled race hoping to win the $10,000 prize and save his family's farm from financial ruin.
Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torresan, is an exciting, family friendly movie about a friendship that develops between a girl and a horse. Spirit, Stallion of the Cimmaron, continues his story as he and his herd see a train and race it for fun. A girl on the train sees him, and tries to make friends before the train outpaces Spirit and his herd and leave them behind. The girl, Lucky Prescott, is on her way to see her father whom she hasn't seen in years. Not since her mother was killed in a circus accident involving horses. Once in the town where she'll be staying with her father, she makes several friends. And finds, to her surprise, that the stallion she tried to befriend from the train, has been caught and put in a corral. Will she be able to free him? And what happens when Lucky and her friends uncover a plot by rustlers to capture the rest of Spirit's herd and take them into captivity? Watch this fun, family friendly movie to find out! Spirit Untamed was first produced in 2021.
Friday, July 15, 2022
I am excited to let you know that I was featured in The Uintah Basin Standard on July 13 for my books! Journalist Mason Miles was very kind to contact me and ask me about interviewing me for the paper. Of course I was excited to! HERE is a link to his article in the July 13, 2022 issue of The Uintah Basin Standard. Below is a picture of the front page. No need to tell you that the topmost article is not about me, but the one below it, beside the picture of Felicity's cover!
Saturday, July 2, 2022
My Book Cave is for you. There are 17 titles you can choose from, and download the first few chapters, read them, and decide if you want to read the rest of the book. Check it out HERE.
Northanger Abbey, directed by Jon Jones and starring JJ Field and Felicity Jones and based on a novel of the same name by Jane Austen, is the story of a young woman, Catherine, the fourth child and oldest girl of a family of ten children. She loves to read, and when she is invited to go with her neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Allen to Bath for a while, she starts imagining all sorts of wild scenarios based on what she's read in her books.
The movie Emma directed by Douglas McGrath and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and based on the movie of the same name by Jane Austen is a delightful adaptation of the book.
The movie Sense and Sensiblity directed by Ang Lee and based on the book of the same name by Jane Austen follows the struggles of three sisters Elinor, Maryanne, and Margaret Dashwood and their mom after the death of their dad and husband.
The Thief Lord, directed by Richard Claus, and based on a book of the same name by Cornelia Funke, is the story of two brothers recently orphaned. The Thief Lord was first published in 2003.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Some good friends recently experienced the tragic loss of their beloved sister and daughter, Becka Denney Milne to cancer. She fought the whole way, and for a month or so, after one operation, things were looking hopeful. But the cancer came back aggressively, and this time there was nothing the doctors could do. HERE. This Gofundme was organized by Maigen Zobell on Gayleen Denney's behalf.
Friday, June 3, 2022
Are you ready for summer? Do you need a good book? Or two? Or...62? Visit the page HERE to find all sorts of FREE ebooks in all sorts of genres! Plus, find more information about this exciting summer giveaway! My book, Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale is one of the giveaway books. If you've already got it, check out some of the other exciting books, to see what kinds you'd be interested in!
The movie Austenland, staring Keri Russell and JJ Field was based on the book Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale.
The Great Mouse Detective by Disney is, in my opinion, a fun movie. Basil of Baker Street, the mouse equavalent to Sherlock Holmes, is called upon by a small mouse child whose daddy has been kidnapped.
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Raccoons and Rabbit Holes will be part of a promotion that will be helping children in Ukraine. Children in Ukraine are innocent of all political conflicts, and SAVE THE CHILDREN charity is there to help these littlest victims. Authors in this group promotion are donating the proceeds from these books to help. The more books you buy during the promotion, the more they will donate! Visit Read. Help Children. Win. to browse the books which have all been marked to 99¢! Raccoons and Rabbit Holes is only one of several books in many different genres and ratings which are all participating in this fundraiser. I hope you visit the site and browse through the list to see what books you're interested in! There are also a number of exciting prizes you might win by participating!
The Last Unicorn is an animated movie released in 1982 and directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. It follows the story of a female unicorn who sets off to find out why and how all the other unicorns have mysteriously disappeared.
The live action movie Dumbo, released in 2019 and directed by Tim Burton was a fun, family friendly movie about a baby elephant who is rejected by most others when he is born, because his ears are so big.
Saturday, April 16, 2022
I am so excited to announce that my new book, Woodlands and Wormholes is out! This is the fifth book in the Raccoons and Rabbit Holes series. And this time Jax and Julie are off on an adventure. With the help of Will and Amy, except that... Well, I won't give that part away. Here's the back blurb.
Friday, April 1, 2022
Mustaches for Maddie is a wonderful book written by my friend Shelly Brown, and her husband, Chad Morris. Based on a true story, Mustaches for Maddie follows the story of silly Maddie a girl who loves to make people happy by wearking fake mustaches. When it is discovered however, that Maddie has a brain tumor, it is her friends and loved ones who step in to cheer her up with mustaches of their own!
On the distant plant Thra in the far past, a Gelfling named Jen, on the instructions of his gentle master, Ursu, sets out on a quest to retrieve a shard broken from the Dark Crystal that rules his world. If he can put it back in the crystal before the conjunction of the three suns, he will undo the power of the evil Skeksis, and restore order.The Dark Crystal was directed by Jim Henson, and first released in 1982.
The live action Mulan directed by Niki Caro is a wonderfully exciting movie with all sorts of great visuals, from gravity defying jumps, to beautiful displays of martial arts. Much like the cartoon version, Mulan dresses like a man and sneaks into the Chinese army to save her father's life when China is threatened by enemies.
Muppets Most Wanted, directed by James Bobin, is a fun movie with the usual muppet mayhem A lookalike for Kermit has escaped a high security gulag in Siberia, Russia, and with the help of a dastardly sidekick, wants to frame Kermit for his nefarious deeds!
Saturday, March 5, 2022
A Proper Dragon by E.B. Wheeler is a delightful story that takes place during regency times, but with dragons! Some people are dragon linked, which is something some people don't like. Phoebe Hart is one of the dragon-linked. Fortunately, her brother, Max is supportive. But not everyone is. She and Max are on their way to London with Phoebe worrying how the season will be for her, when they spot a body on the side of the road. Wait, not a dead body. Someone still alive.
Dork Diaries-Tales from a Not so Happy Heartbreaker by Rachel Renée Russell is a fun story for upper elementary or middle school students. Nikki Maxwell is hoping to go to the Valentine's Dance with her crush, Brandon but when he starts to ignore her, and worse, send her insulting texts, Nikki is floored.
Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen is an exciting steampunk retelling of the story of Sleepy Beauty. Dr. Isla Cooper (the 's' is silent, like in island) is setting out to find the witch who cursed her. Every night at midnight, whether she wants to or not, she falls into a profound sleep from which she cannot waken until morning. And if she doesn't break the curse soon, her sleep will become permanent.
Monday, February 21, 2022
I am really excited that shepherd.com chose to host one of my books! Shepherd is like wandering around your favorite bookstore but reimagined for the online world. They make book browsing fun and all the recommendations are made by authors, experts, and creators. They don't just talk about the books of the authors they host, but on each book's page they highlight several other books in the same genre and with the same general audience. That way, if you find a particular book you like, you'll also find a few others as well! Take a look at the page they created for my book, Felicity and the Featherless Two Foot. They also have links to five other books that I have enjoyed reading which feature animal characters. These books include I Don't Want to Eat Bugs! by Rachel Branton, The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, The Golden Owl, by Lana Axe, and Detective Trigger and the Ruby Collar by M.A. Owens.
Thursday, February 3, 2022
I don't Want to Eat Bugs by Rachel Branton is a cute story about a little girl named Lisbon who wants a snack before dinner. All her well-intentioned animals friends want to help her out, but nothing they offer is appetizing!
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is an exciting book for children and adults. It was first published in 1955. A radio theatre version of it was made in 2005 by Focus on the Family. This version doesn't follow the story word for word, but still is a fun and exciting narrative with special sound effects like other radio plays, and is very well done. I could see what was going on in my head, and enjoyed this version as much as the unadbridged version of the story.