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