Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Touching Our Emotions..."

I pulled a post out of the Blogspot Vault from July 2013. Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to share your thoughts on what my grandmother called "tear-jerker movies."

The other night I watched the movie “Back Street,” the 1961 version with Susan Hayward and John Gavin. The premise of the movie is a wealthy – and married – man (John Gavin) has an affair with a single, career-minded woman (Hayward). The couple is truly in love, but the husband has two small children and an alcoholic, self-centered wife (Vera Miles) who tried to commit suicide when he mentioned divorce. The Hayward character is content to be “the other woman.”

In the end, the husband and wife are killed when the car the wife is driving crashes.

The scene that breaks my heart and has me running for the tissues is the very last one. When the two devastated children come to visit a grieving Susan Hayward and tearfully ask if they could visit her from time to time, she gathers them in her arms.

The movie is actually based on a novel written by Fannie Hurst (since I’ve never read the novel, I’m not sure how closely the 1961 version follows the book or earlier movie versions). As I cried my eyes out while Susan Hayward gazed at the grief-stricken children, I imagine an author at her computer typing out this scene and contemplated the power of the written word to touch our emotions.

What about you, readers? Has anyone seen an earlier version of "Back Street?" Are there any movies or books out there that have you crying long after the words, “The End”?

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o skooterkurt

Sunday, March 22, 2015

From Song to Novel?

When baseball season is in full gear, my radio is tuned in to anything Philadelphia Phillies. During the rest of the year, my radio is locked on our local "oldies" station.

Recently, I heard a song, and although I'd heard this tune many times over the last 30+ years, I had never really soaked in the words. I realized the lyrics actually made a good novel. Which got me to thinking about songs I've listened to in the past that would make an interesting read.

I've included youtube links should you want to give a listen. What do you think? Novel in the making? Is there a song you'd like to add to my list?

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes

Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin

Honky Tonk Woman by Rolling Stones

The River by Bruce Springsteen

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o npclark2 at

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Lookin' Like Spring!

What a difference a week makes! On Thursday, as I walked through Philly's Washington Square, those words ran through my mind. Exactly one week ago, I had been home, starting a four day "snow weekend" looking out my window and watching as the white flakes fell from the sky.

By this Thursday, the sun shined brightly, the temperature was in the 50s and snow? What snow? The white stuff was completely gone thanks to a combination of rain earlier in the week followed be some warm temperatures. When I arrived at my bus stop, I overheard everyone expressing the same sentiment, Spring is on the way. The season will officially be here at the end of the week, but today feels very much like Spring!

While everyone chatted as we waited, I thought about what I like about Spring, the warmer temperatures, baseball, daylight savings time, leaves and blossoms on the trees, Rita's Water Ice, flea markets...

Yay! What makes you happy that Spring is here?

(photo c/o paulabflat at

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Contest and Conference Update!

Writing contests and conferences, which provide feedback and networking activities, are essentials to a writer’s career. Periodically, I enjoy updating everyone on what’s out there and approaching deadlines.


Narrative Magazine’s Winter 2015 Story Contest; deadline, March 31, 2015; fiction and non-fiction, multiple genre entries including short shorts, short stories. Cash prizes. FMI,

2015 Touched by Love Award; sponsored by Faith, Hope and Love RWA Chapter; deadline, April 1, 2015; first 20 pages of an inspirational manuscript plus 2 page synopsis.  Cash prize and editor critique. FMI,

32nd Annual Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers; sponsored by Orange County RWA; deadline April 15, 2015; 35 pages including synopsis; FMI,

84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition; Early Bird Deadline, May 4, 2015; multiple genre entries including short story, essays, and poetry. Cash prizes and feature in Writer’s Digest. FMI, 


28th Annual Pennwriters Conference; May 15-17, 2015; Pittsburgh Airport Marriott, Pittsburgh, PA; FMI,

2015 Milwaukee Writing Workshop; May 15, 2015; Country Inn & Suites, Brookfield, WI; FMI,

Chicago Writing Workshop; May 16, 2015; Marriott Chicago Northwest, Hoffman Estates, IL; FMI,

67th Annual Philadelphia Writers Conference; June 12-14, 2015; The Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Hotel, Philadelphia, PA; FMI,

 (photo c/o ranbud at

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dr. Seuss and Read Across America

Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of one of the wisest men to grace the world of children’s literature, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka “Dr. Seuss.” Along with March 2nd being this special man’s very special day, March 2nd is also the date of 2015 “Read Across America Day” created by the National Education Association. Each year the annual event coincides with Dr. Seuss’s actual birthday or the school day closest to it.

Dr. Seuss said, “Children want the same thing we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.” All of which Dr. Seuss has accomplished with generations of children.

On “Read Across America Day”, schools, learning centers, and libraries across the nation bring children together to inspire, motivate, and make them aware of the joy and importance of reading. Check the websites listed below, and those in your area, for special reading events.

And, Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! We love you!!

For more information on the National Education Association and Read Across America, check out,

For information on events nationwide, books, and activity sheets, see Seussville 

Have a great week, Everyone!

(Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat photo c/o

(Read Across America/NEA photo c/o

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"The Way I Like My Snow... on a book cover!"

Often I'll hear people say, "I love snow," or "I hope it snows." When our Philly news teams were calling for a snowstorm earlier in the week, I overheard the gentleman in line at the supermarket bemoan to the cashier, we "didn't get enough snow this year." Considering the amount the forecast was calling for, and that I'd have to shovel, this man's words made me queasy. 

Whenever someone sighs and breathes the words to me, "I love snow," my reply is, "Me, too. When it's on a book cover."

Snow does look beautiful on a book cover. Seeing the lovely, fluffy white stuff will make me click on a book while surfing the web, or pick up the book in a book store, faster than I can utter the words, "Rock Salt."

But, whenever I see snow outside my window, am forced to trek through it, or even hear the weather forecaster mention the word "snow," I cringe.

Since the snow we had earlier in the week has now turned to frozen, ugly, dirty, nasty-looking mush, I've decided to feature some book covers with snow.

Because this is how I like my snow -- on a book cover!

For more information on the books listed, check out the accompanying links! If you have a favorite "snow cover" book, please feel free to share with us.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(snowflake photo c/o pippalou at

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Cracks in My Heart"

“Cracks in My Heart” was featured in Long and Short Reviews (back when it was known as The Long and Short of Itin July 2010. The e-zine, at that time, showcased fiction shorts of 1,000 words or less.

I truly love this story. Many thanks to all who have complimented me on Jeff and Susan’s romance.

And, to all our Veterans out there, a huge, heartfelt "thank you," for your service to our country.

Cracks in My Heart

by Angela Adams

The red and gold leaves, blazing bright, swayed in the afternoon autumn breeze. Children romped in the tailored green grass. Patrons sat on wooden park benches, eating lunch, reading, or simply enjoying the sun’s rays. 

Seeing the oak tree, its thick branches hanging over the iron fence onto the busy sidewalk, I managed a smile despite the usual tears blurring my eyes. Jeff and I had always sat on the bench beneath this particular old tree. 

A low sigh escaped my lips as I slid onto the firm bench. My thoughts wandered, and it was two years ago. I felt Jeff sitting beside me, our thighs pressed together. He held my right hand, our fingers laced. 

"I’m sorry," he uttered. "Our relationship has to end. I can’t go fight a war and leave you here, alone. Waiting. You deserve better." 

We had only been dating two months when his notice arrived from the military. 

"But I want to wait."

He shook his head. "No." His tone was adamant. "It’s not fair to you. You ought to have a life. There’s a guy out there who deserves a great woman like you. Promise me you’ll move on. Forget about me." 

Forget him, he said. How could I forget a man so kind and honest? The man who made my heart race, my pulse rush, and my cheeks ache from grinning? Who made sitting in the park watching children play, tossing peanuts to squirrels, and hearing birds whistle a memorable experience? Forget him was like asking me to forget to breathe. 

I had learned how steadfast he could be when he had a conviction in his head. He couldn’t concentrate on the hardship of a battle zone, defending his country while thinking of me at home, yearning, and waiting for letters that he perhaps would have no time to write. 

And what if he didn’t come home? At all? Or arrived in a box with a flag draped over it? Or came back with a part of his body missing? Or his mind not fully functional? 

Those factors were sometimes the heartrending outcome of war. 

We had yet to say the words, and I wouldn’t pressure him with them now. Despite the short time the calendar said we’d been together, we loved each other. 

Jeff believed you didn’t burden people you love. 

I believed that when you love someone, pain was sometimes part of the deal. 

"All right." I slipped my hand from his. Even as I felt the cracks in my heart, I wished him well. With tears stinging my eyes that day, I watched him walk away.

Much has changed in those two years since Jeff and I sat under this oak tree together. The war has ended. Some soldiers were coming home, adjusting to a life that would never be the same as before they had left. Others would never return. For those soldiers, it was their families who would be forced to make the adjustment. 

I finished college and am teaching sixth grade. Some day this war will be in the history book I’ll teach from. I wonder how our side will be chronicled, and how I’ll feel every time I present the lesson, knowing that I had lived through history and what it had taken from me. 

What hadn’t changed, what remained over time, were those cracks in my heart. They hadn’t healed. Tears streamed down my cheeks. 

"Susan?" a male voice called.

My breath stopped. Jeff’s voice? Or was it my imagination? I began trembling. I was afraid to turn, fearing he wouldn’t be there. That his voice was all in my head and only a fantasy. 


My head swirled toward the park’s front gate. His dark hair was cropped. He had dropped some weight, his jeans baggy, his chest lost in the khaki green T-shirt he wore. But the slow, leisurely smile that made me tingle inside hadn’t disappeared. 

 "Jeff!" I cried, swiping at my tear-stained cheeks with the back of a hand.

I jumped up from the bench. We ran toward each other, he with arms held wide open. I couldn’t help myself and threw myself against him. His arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me close and holding me tight. Jeff was gentle, yet strong, and everything I had dreamed of all these months. Only now he wasn’t a dream. He was real.

"You‘re home," I whispered.

"A week," he said. "I’ve been coming here every day looking for you." He eased back and looked at me. "I missed you so much." His eyes held mine and he blurted out the words. "Are you seeing anybody?"

I was stunned by the question, but couldn’t help the smile as I shook my head. "I’ve thought of you every day while you were gone. Sometimes, like today, I’d just come here and think of us being together."

With the back of his hand, he rubbed my cheek "I love you, Susan. I have since the day we met."

"If you love me, why didn’t you want me to wait?" 

"Because by not asking, I had hope. That’s what kept me going," he said. "If I had asked you to wait, there was always the chance you’d get tired. I’d get the letter saying you had found someone else and we were finished. By not expecting you to wait, I always had the anticipation that you would be here when I got back."

"There’ll never be anyone else for me. You’re the one I love."

When my arms slid around his neck, he pulled me closer and kissed me. His mouth was warm and soft. As he deepened the kiss, I got lost in him.

And the cracks in my heart began to heal.

****The End****

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Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o pippalou at