McCartney Green Ministry
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Revelations 3:16
I will no longer be lukewarm
It's about to get real up in here. The line between light and dark, good and evil, draws ever clearer.
Are you ready for the end times? They are here!
|Posted on August 2, 2016 at 8:00 AM|
South of Los Angeles
The moment she’d uttered the words, “Help me,” he’d come immediately awake. He'd been dreaming again. Same dream. Same feeling of urgency. He glanced at the clock. 3 a.m.. Rising, he made his way to the bathroom, flipped on the light and reveled in the sensation of cool water as he splashed it on his heated face. He glanced in the mirror and gasped. Staring back, floating before him for a brief instant, were “the eyes.” Raising a dark eyebrow, he shook his head and gave a soft chuckle. He could see the headlines now; Martial arts master, Eric Kino, dies of fright in his own bathroom.
He’d been having dreams and visions of “the eyes,” as his son called them, for some time now. He had no idea to whom the eyes belonged. They were definitely feminine. Beautiful, but always sad and sometimes filled with fear. He'd had precognitive dreams before, but they'd always involved someone he knew. These dreams were different and they were accompanied by an enormously intense feeling of desperation.
He’d struggled to interpret the meaning of the dreams. Who is this woman? Is she going to be appearing in his life? What does she have to do with him? Tonight, he'd heard her voice clear as a bell. “Help me,” she'd said, as if she'd been lying right next to him and whispered in his ear. He’d felt her breath against his cheek, felt the press of her body as she’d leaned close. He'd come immediately awake with the knowing that he had to find her. He had to actively search for her and not just hope that one day he’d run into her.
Decision made, he returned to his bed, stretched out, and visualized a white light moving throughout his body, commanding each muscle to relax. Taking long, slow breaths, he slowly sank into a deep sleep.
The next morning Eric tossed items into a suitcase as he packed for a regional martial arts tournament in Atlanta. He was glad to be on the move after the decision he’d made the night before. He intended to keep watch for “the eyes.”
When he and his son had first received the invitation to the Atlanta tournament they'd had to decline, but then Ricky's schedule opened up. Eric would be there only as observer and “honored dignitary.” He shuddered at the title. His son, movie icon Ricky Kino, was scheduled to perform one of his much demanded demonstrations. Eric wasn't immune to the pride a father feels when his son achieves success and he enjoyed seeing Ricky do his thing. After all, Eric was the one who’d schooled Ricky in the martial arts since he'd been old enough to walk.
Eric hadn't realized at the time that passing his knowledge on to his son would make Ricky a celebrity. Ricky had the “package” as the producers put it. The looks, the body, the talent, the personality. He'd begun as a child star and worked his way up to leading man. At only twenty-one years of age, Ricky was one of the hottest stars in Hollywood.
Even though thoughts of Ricky's success always lifted Eric's spirits, his mind was still heavy with images of the woman in his dream. It concerned him because other such dreams had turned out to be a prediction of unpleasant things. He'd dreamt of his wife in great peril and pain a year before she was diagnosed with cancer. He'd seen a branch of a great tree snap over and over the week before Ricky fell out of one and broke his arm. There had been numerous dreams touching numerous subjects.
Every once in a while he'd actually been in tune enough to be able to avoid disaster, like the speeding truck that ran the red light. He'd known not to go when the light turned green, avoiding his own death and the death of his son. And he'd known the time the punks waited in an alleyway with thoughts of murder and mayhem. He'd revised their actions if not their thinking. Those events, however, involved himself and people close to him. Now, for some reason, he felt he was supposed to help a woman he didn’t even know. Still, he trusted that nothing is random. Things happen for a reason, and so he was anxious to find her before it was too late.
The cloud hanging over Eric dissipated at the sound of his son’s voice. Eric glanced over. Ricky stood in the doorway with his usual wide smile. He was a breath of sunshine wherever he went, and Eric could think of no one in the world he loved and treasured more.
“What’s up, Dad? You look like you’re going to a funeral.”
“Yeah. And you’re not. You're coming to watch me and what could be more pleasant than that?”
Eric smiled. “Truly,” he said, not hiding the slight sarcasm.
Ricky grinned. “So really, why so down?”
“I’m not down.” Eric shrugged. “Guess I’m feeling a little– intense.”
Ricky circled around to massage his father's shoulders. “Whatever you want to call it, Dad, you gotta learn to lighten up. You know what they say– stress kills.”
“Really? What do 'they' say about the surviving children? Do they say anything about the guilt that must consume them?”
“Funny, Dad. So it seems you have a sense of humor after all, be it ever so small.”
Eric closed the suitcase. “Large enough to accommodate you every day.” He placed an arm around Ricky’s shoulder. “Let's go.”
“You know, you don't have to come if you’re not up to it.”
“Are you kidding me? I'm looking forward to it. Besides, I'll be able to keep an eye out for my MART student.”
Ricky smiled. “I have no doubt you'll find the right one.” He thought about his father's legendary status as MART instructor. The MART, an acronym for Martial Arts Recruiting Tournament, had become a huge event. An instructor takes a rookie student and turns them into a black belt champion in one year's time. The MART, the Olympics of the martial arts world, had become big business, thanks in part to his dad. What Bela Karolyi is to the world of gymnastics and Vince Lombardi is to football, Eric Kino is to the world of martial arts.
“I will find the right one,” Eric agreed. “And after last night’s dream, I’ve decided that I also need to find the owner of ‘the eyes.’”
Ricky nodded thoughtfully. “Maybe they are one and the same.”
Eric shrugged. “Maybe.”
Throughout the long and tedious flight to Atlanta, Ricky kept up a steady stream of chatter. Hours later in the elevator of the Atlanta Hilton, Ricky eyed his father. “You’ve been awfully quiet.”
Eric touched his son on the shoulder and sighed. “I guess I haven't been very good company. I'm okay, just a little preoccupied.”
“As long as you’re okay.”
“You're starting to sound like your grandmother,” Eric teased, trying to lighten the mood.
Ricky's smile flashed. “Well, Grandma did tell me to take good care of you.”
“That’s funny. She told me to take care of you.”
“Well, I was about to go straight in and order up some room service for the both of us. Would you consider that trying to take care of you or just being polite?”
“I’d never think you were just being polite,” Eric quipped, knocking Ricky in the back of the head as he swiped the key card.
Ricky headed straight to lower the thermostat and next, to the phone to order food. Atlanta in June was unbelievably hot and humid. Having been raised in Los Angeles, Ricky was accustomed to the heat but not the humidity. He placed his order quickly then plopped across the bed, bemoaning the heat.
Eric smiled at his son’s discomfort and decided he would make up for being a lousy traveling companion by resorting to some of their old antics. “Heavy air, lots of oxygen, this would be a great alternative to your training– give some diversity to your workout.”
“Yeah, until I have to fight on a mountain top.” Ricky rolled over, grabbed a pillow. “Work out if you want, I'm already in great shape and even if I wasn't, I'm not leaving the air conditioning.” He grabbed the remote. “Let’s see what the Braves are doing.”
Nonchalantly, Eric made his way to the bathroom, ice bucket beneath his arm. “I don't know Rick,” Eric called from the bathroom. “You're looking a little soft to me.”
“No way Dad, you're just jealous.”
“Of your youth maybe,” Eric said quietly, having crept up beside Ricky. “Or, maybe because I'm standing here all hot and sweaty and you're nice and cool.”
“What are you talking ab– ”
The bucket of water hit him square in the face. Eric's laughter almost botched his quick retreat to the bathroom. He locked the door, but could hear Ricky sputter and threaten to do all kinds of ill will to his own father. Ricky's tirade soon ceased and the room became eerily quiet. Smiling, Eric folded his arms and waited.
It took Ricky only a few seconds to pick the lock. Slowly, the door eased open. Ricky stood calmly in the entry, grinning wickedly, dangling his nail clippers before his father's eyes. “I'm gonna kick your butt, honorable father.”
Eric sprang forward with blinding speed, disarming his son and tossing him handily and unceremoniously into the shower. Before Ricky could get his footing Eric flipped on the cold water. Ricky gasped for breath, reached out and grabbed at his dad, but Eric easily deflected his son's arm, leaving Ricky to clutch nothing but air and cold water.
“Honorable father kicks honorable son's butt, amazingly effortlessly.” He bowed to his worthy opponent. “Like I said son, you're getting soft.”
Ricky returned the bow. “Well, you ARE 'the Master'.”
“And don't you forget it” Eric called back as he left the bathroom to wait for room service.
|Posted on July 30, 2016 at 8:00 AM|
She gasped, her jaw dropping. “How can you say that?” Shelley stared incredulously at her husband. “I brought it on myself? Are you kidding me?”
He shrugged. “You go walking around in those tight exercise shorts, just begging some guy to have his way with you. Now that it's happened you want sympathy from me.”
“I can't believe you can turn this on me. I’m not the criminal here.”
“Admit it, Shelley, if you didn't think you shared some of the guilt why didn't you go to the police right away?”
She shook her head as the tears began to fall anew. “I– I was confused. I needed to get home before Bree came home from school. I needed to pick the boys up from after-school. I wanted to wait for you to get home. I needed you, Robert.” Wiping her face on her sleeve, she looked back up at him expectantly.
His mouth taut, he rolled his eyes. “Well, come on, then. Let’s go. You’ve waited so long they probably won’t believe you now. I’m not even sure I do.”
“Oh my God, are you saying I made this up?”
He shrugged again. “How did he subdue you? Did he hit you? Where are the bruises?”
Shelley could feel the blood drain from her face and she thought she might pass out. She hadn’t fought. Not much anyway. She’d frozen.
Shaking her head, she raised her eyes to her husband. “He, he pushed me down. He was so strong.” Noting her husband’s raised eyebrows she threw her hands in the air. “Do you think I’m doing this for attention?”
“Just get dressed and let’s go,” he answered as he turned to leave the bedroom.
She watched the door close. He didn't slam it. He never slammed anything. He was perfect. Mr. Perfect. She laid back across the bed, staring up at the ceiling. The sense of utter and complete loneliness threatened to engulf her. She'd thought she’d tell her husband what had transpired and he’d take her in his arms, hold her, comfort her, promise her everything would get better. Instead, he was acting like a total prick. She wanted to hate him, but she couldn’t let herself. After all, he was the father of her children.
But, oh, Robert, I needed you. I need someone. The emptiness of that thought jolted her. Had Robert ever been there for her when she needed him? Had her own parents? Her brothers? In so many ways, she suddenly realized, she was alone in the world.
Shelley rose and went to the window. It was dark outside now and with the light on behind her she could see nothing but her own image. Staring at her reflection, she mentally fought down the emotions, but the self hatred kept surfacing. I didn't even fight. I just laid there and let him do it. God, how weak. And now I'm standing here crying because my own husband doesn't even care.
She pulled the edge of her shirt up to wipe her tears then eyed herself in the glass once more. So what am I gonna do now? Am I gonna just lie down and take it? I already did that once today, she thought sarcastically, giving a slightly hysterical chuckle. Getting a grip, she shook her head. Why do I allow him to treat me like dirt? He treats me like I’m nothing.
And it struck her, penetrating her brain and lodging there. I don’t have to stick around and take this. I deserve more than this. I don’t have to stay. What makes me think I’m stuck here? I’m not. I can leave him. That would surprise you, wouldn't it, Robert? She sniffed, stood up straight, her mind now racing with the powerful ideas springing to life.
She realized she’d never really stopped to question how she feels. She’d simply been moving through life like it was a chore, her head down, obediently placing one foot in front of the other. She asked herself now, what do I feel? The answer was obvious. Miserable. She was miserable. And she’d been miserable for a long time. It reminded her of the time she’d been hiking with some friends as a teen and there was this pain in her foot. She’d walked with that pain most of the day before getting the idea to finally sit down and see what the heck is the problem. She’d taken off her shoe to find a small rock. Why hadn’t she looked earlier instead of walking all day with that pain? It was like a light going on. Robert had been a rock in her shoe, a source of pain and discomfort in her life. How did I let this go on for so long?
She drew a deep cleansing breath. This is about to change. Right here. Right now. I have a right to be happy. I am NOT going to just take it anymore. She wasn't sure if her thoughts were aimed at her husband or at the man who had stolen her dignity earlier that day. Actually, she acknowledged, both men had accomplished the same thing.
“I have a right to be happy,” she said aloud this time, and she realized as she spoke the words a transformation came over her. Declaring her intentions aloud not only felt really good, but seemed to spawn some magical occurrence. She felt exhilarated and strong and suddenly had a rock-hard resolve to obtain a goal.
The door opened briskly. “What are you doing? I said to get ready to go.”
What I’m doing, she thought as she slipped on her shoes, is waking up.
|Posted on July 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM|
More fun with quotes from Grandmaster Eric Kino! Now up for pre-order at Amazon...
Messages from Transcendent Beings
We Are NOT Alone
A Super Easy Guide for Spiritual Alignment,
Self-Help and Personal Development
|Posted on July 27, 2016 at 9:00 AM|
How often are we the first ones to belittle our own selves? Shelley has been assaulted along the path of a nature trail and is trying to get back to her car.
As she walked, paranoia took over. She could swear he watched her, waited for her, behind every tree and shrub. Of course, she thought, he’d be long gone by now, wouldn't he? The trek to the clearing seemed to take an eternity. She’d thought she’d feel calmer once she'd made it out of the woods, but terror overtook her at the brink of a field of empty picnic tables.
She stared at her car, now the only one in the parking lot, which was on the other side of the picnic area, another eternity away. Was he watching? She stood motionless, minutes ticking by, watching from her place of cover, wishing she could just wiggle her nose and transport herself. No use wishing. Somehow she found the courage and dashed across the clearing, fumbled with the key, opened the door, climbed in and slammed the door behind her.
Once locked inside the relative safety of her little car, Shelley tilted the rearview mirror down and stared. The tear-streaked face of a stranger stared back. Images of what had just transpired flashed through her mind and with those images came nausea and despair and a terrible feeling of helplessness. She touched her face and the hysteria bubbled up. She wanted to scream and cry and– and– what? Hurt him back? Yeah, she did. She wanted to hurt him. She wanted to make him feel what she felt. The indignity, the shame, all topped with the most debilitating fear she’d ever felt in her life. Utter devastation.
How could she have let this happen? How does a man think he can assault a woman in broad daylight and get away with it? Well, of course he thought he could– he just did. She hadn't even tried to fight, had she? Not really. She'd made it easy for him. That man was walking around at this very minute, a greasy smirk on his face, smiling and speaking to his friends or family as if nothing had happened. As if he hadn’t just destroyed her world. The thought forced the scream from her lungs. Shouting, she pounded the steering wheel, finally giving vent to all the turmoil she felt.
The van pulling up beside her, teenagers spilling out, music blaring, brought her to her senses. School was out. She had to get going. Taking slow, deep, breaths to calm herself, she quieted, glancing back up at the mirror as she wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Get a grip,” she whispered to herself. “Come on now, get a grip, you wimp.” Sniffing, she turned the ignition and started home.
|Posted on July 26, 2016 at 3:35 PM|
I want to keep up my blog. Seriously, I do. But there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I need to do. Then... I read a "blog" about using what you've already written several ways. For example, write your speech, use part of it as a video and also in your blog. I've struggled a bit, even with that, so I was thinking of material I already had, and of course, my books came to mind. So, this will be an experiment of sorts. Let me see what happens if I post parts of my books, not very long parts at all, as a blog post. Should I post them randomly, or in order, as a book? I'm not sure, but maybe someone will have an opinion. So then, what follows is the opening scene in Dandelions Never Die. It was a gruesome time for our Shelley and unfortunately, a time too many women know all too well.
Shelley struggled desperately against the large hand braced against her chest, pressing her down into the soft bed of pine straw. She whimpered as she strove to free herself from his grasp. Even though she fought with every ounce of strength in her body, it seemed he held her down effortlessly. How could he be that strong? Or maybe it was how could she be so weak?
“Oh yeah, that's it. Fight me, baby.”
His words brought her efforts to an immediate halt. Resisting was futile. Tears welled in her eyes as she accepted her fate. It was really going to happen. This wasn’t some news story on TV. It’s really happening and it’s happening to her, here, now, in the bright sunlight.
No one would’ve held this man suspect. He wore expensively tailored slacks and shirt, a businessman by all appearances, who'd struck up a friendly conversation with her as she'd walked in the middle of the afternoon. She hadn't questioned it. Several regulars walked the peaceful paths of the nature preserve during their lunch hour to breathe fresh air and grab some exercise. “A nice walk after lunch before returning to the drudgery of the office.” That's what he'd said. She'd smiled at him, commented on the beautiful weather.
“What? That's it?” he asked, derision in his voice. “That’s all the fight you got? That's because you want it. Secretly, you know you do. All women do. I know your secrets. How does that make you feel? Huh?”
Her entire body trembling with fear, she looked up into his glazed eyes, hoping to see a shred of compassion. “Please– please don't do this,” she begged. “Please don't.” Her voice whined, as if that of a child's and she hated it. She hated him. Mostly though, she hated herself for being weak, for sounding so pitiful and for begging.
Shelley frantically tried to think, searching her mind for some small bit of information she may have picked up on TV or in a magazine about self-defense. But nothing came. Should she fight or be passive? Which one would preserve her life? My life! For the first time the thought crossed her dazed mind that she might not live through this. Oh God, is this guy crazy enough to kill me? What can I do? She had no time to decide.
His hands tore at her shirt and she did nothing. He ripped away at her shorts and she did nothing. Groped her bared skin, and still, she did nothing. And for many minutes, after he left her in a heap on the bed of pine straw, she did nothing.
Slowly, her mind began functioning again, her first cognizant thought being that she was indeed, still alive. The second was of her kids. The two youngest were in after school care and would be okay until she arrived, but her eldest would be home from school soon and wondering where she was.
Brain numb and hands shaking, she struggled to her feet and began gathering the remnants of her clothing– and her mind. She dressed, holding her shirt closed in her fist and began the frightful walk back to civilization along the path of the nature trail she’d taken. A trail that should’ve been safe in the middle of the day. A trail to which the local school brought children on field trips. A trail she’d once loved to walk and breathe in the rich aroma of earth and trees and flowers. Now, a trail where a complete stranger had assaulted a woman in broad daylight. Her stomach turned. Assaulted in a public park in broad daylight. There was shame in that and she felt it deep within her soul.
|Posted on June 11, 2016 at 10:20 PM|
Was I stumbling....or was I being watched over....or maybe a little bit of both.
|Posted on June 11, 2016 at 7:45 PM|
Well, then, I guess I owe everyone an apology. I was going to write each week about one of my fav shows, and then, I got so busy, I was unable to accomplish what I'd set out to do. It doesn't really matter now, however, my OCD-ness won't let me simply go on so, here is my final post for Dancing with the Stars Season 22 2016. Below is my opinion only, so don't go gettin' all huffy.
Jodi Sweetin went home too early.
Ginger Zee stayed on too long with a little help from her popularity on GMA. No offense, she is adorable, just shouldn't have been in the finals.
Wanya definitely should have been in the final three.
I'm okay with Nyle winning because what he accomplished was simply amazing.
Paige VanZant was definitely the best dancer.
Congrats to everyone. I truly enjoyed the show. Sorry I've been so busy, but for me.... that's a good thing!!
Wanya and Lindsay (Abc.com)
Ginger Zee (Abc.com)
Paige and Mark (US Magazine.com)
Nyle and Peta (Abc.com)
|Posted on April 26, 2016 at 8:05 AM|
I suppose I should start with an apology for not writing about the past two weeks. Life got busy and I had to let something go, and of course, that would be my “guilty pleasure.” However, I’m going to try to make it up to everyone today.
Last night’s show was awesome. I love when they reconstruct iconic dance numbers! Though, I have to say, I sure missed Derek. I still think that he and Mark Ballas are the most amazing choreographers.
First up last night were Kim and Sasha who performed a fantastic Jive from Hairspray. It was really well done and I could tell Kim was having a great time. I could also tell she was disappointed that they got three 8's. Bless her heart. I have to agree with the judges. It really wasn’t sharp enough to get nines. But don’t give up Kim, you can obviously dance! It would probably help if she wasn’t dancing on tiny stress fractures in her ankles, ya think? The week before during the “switch-up” night, Kim danced a Viennese Waltz with Keo and the judges jumped all over Keo for not dancing in “hold.” Keo said he was so large and Kim so small he was trying to compensate for that. Good try, Keo. I thought it was lovely. Those scores were 8 - 6 - 6 - 8 (Max was there as guest judge.) I first decided Kim could really move however, the week before during “Disney” night when Kim and Sasha did a Quickstep to I Wanna Be Like You from the Jungle Book. Those scores... four 8's. (Zendaya was back as guest judge.)
Second up, Von and Witney. This was my big surprise of the night. Von did a great job with MJ’s Bad. You might think, how could he go wrong with such a great dance number, but when you’re big and not used to intricate work, it can be difficult. Last night showed he can actually dance. They received all 8's. The week before, switch-up week, went badly for most everyone and Von and Lindsay’s Jive was no different. Len and Max judged pretty harshly. Their scores, 8-7-7-7. Disney night Von and Witney performed a really nice Viennese Waltz from Cinderella. They were pretty and so were their costumes. Those scores, four 8's.
Third up, Jodi and Keo performed a contemporary number of Pink’s video, Try. It was amazing. Jodi, like Kim, was injured but fought through it. They struggled a bit on one lift, but it was still really, really good and I’m so proud of Jodi, and I just really like Keo. I even liked how he got upset after the dance with Kim the week before when they fussed at him about not being in hold. He’s a passionate guy. Anyway, this week Jodi and Keo scored 9-8-8. The week before, Jodi danced a Paso Doble with Val. They were one of a few who received good scores that night and those scores, 9-8-9-9, were well-deserved. On Disney night Jodi and Keo danced a Samba to Zootopia. I loved it even though Jodi was upset that she messed up. No biggie. Those scores, 7-6-7-7.
Fourth, Paige and Mark were AAMMAAAAZZZIIING doing the Austin Powers opening jazz number. They had originally planned to do something else but it got pulled due to legal complications so they had to start over. Their number was the best. My husband happened to look up from his computer to watch this number and said he thought Paige was the pro. Yep, she was great though I don’t think anyone, (except for Max last week,) is giving her enough credit yet. No one ever talks about her as the “one to beat.” To me, she is right up there with Wanya and Nyle. Last nights scores, 9-10-9. The week before Paige danced a Rumba with Sasha. It was beautiful and her lines were perfect. But, she smiled too much I guess. The Rumba is supposed to be an intensely sexy dance. They scored 8-8-7-8. On Disney night Paige and Mark performed a magnificent Quickstep to Toy Story’s You Got a Friend in Me. It was “To infinity and beyond!” They received all 9's!
Fifth, Nyle and Peta danced a Quickstep to Hey Pachuco from The Mask. The costuming was so great, you really couldn’t even tell it was Nyle under that mask. Nyle always dances well, but this one was a little sloppy and he was a little off. I was just telling my husband last week that I think he is usually so in sync with his partner because he really has to zero in on their every nuance. But tonight, that didn’t happen. Also, he got a little over-confident, and that’s always a precursor to a fall. They scored, 8-8-9. The week before on switch-up night, Nyle and Sharna danced a beautiful Viennese Waltz almost perfectly! 9-10-9-9, one of the few high scores for that night. On Disney night Nyle and Peta danced a cute Samba to Tarzan’s Trash the Camp. 8-8-9-9.
Sixth, Ginger and Val danced a jazz number to Janet Jackson’s Nasty. I thought Ginger did an awesome job. She can obviously dance, but needs to be a little more precise in her movement. I could tell she was disappointed in her all 8's, but I think those scores were low because, she just can’t be, “nasty.” Her bright smile during the number took away from the intensity she was supposed to express. The week before Ginger and Mark danced a bright yellow saucy Salsa and she got four 8's. On Disney night, Ginger and Val performed a Foxtrot to Belle from Beauty and the Beast and it was FANTASTIC! They received all 9's! Don’t be discouraged Ginger, you’re doing great!
Seventh, Doug and Karina performed Bollywood from Slumdog Millionaire. He did a great job and obviously was having a blast! It was his last dance because at the end of last night’s show Doug exited the show. But he did a credible job and I really grew to respect him even more, not so much for the dancing, but for who he is on the inside. They scored all 7's. They also got four 7's the week before when Doug danced a Tango with Peta. On Disney night Doug and Karina performed a Jazz number to Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins. It was, well, a good try! They received four 6's.
Eighth up, Wanya and Lindsay danced a “Jazz” number from Nsync’s Bye Bye Bye. As usual, Wanya delivered an almost perfect dance. He was awesome, and their scores reflected it, 10-9-10. Almost perfect! The week before Wanya danced with Lindsay’s best friend, Witney and did a great job, but Len and Max thought there was too much movement “up top” for the Tango. They scored, 8-7-7-8. Disney night Wanya and Lindsay did an awesome Samba to Lion King! 8-9-9-9.
Last up last night, Antonio and Sharna received three 9's for their production of Footloose! I’ve always loved that number. It just makes you want to get up and dance! I think Antonio struggled a bit with it, but the scores say differently. There was a little bit of an uncomfortable feeling because his partner, Sharna, the week before said she thought Wanya may win and that upset Antonio. He wants her to be totally loyal and believe in their own team, and I get that, but I felt sorry for Sharna. She wasn’t being disloyal as much as being totally honest. I think she has a little more experience and logically, she “called it like she saw it.” However, I’m sure in retrospect she would take it all back, because she didn’t mean to show disloyalty to the “team.” The week before Antonio danced a ChaCha with Karina and received low scores, so that may have contributed to Antonio’s hurt feelings. 7-6-6-7. On Disney night Antonio and Sharna did a fantastic job dancing a Jazz number to Aladdin’s Never Had a Friend Like Me. Carrie Ann called Antonio a “smooth operator,” and he certainly was. Their scores, 9-8-9-9.
Not dancing last night or switch-up night because they went home after week four, was Marla and Tony. On Disney night they a very pretty Waltz to Little Mermaid’s Part of Your World. Both Bruno and Carrie Ann commented on Marla’s natural elegance. I agree. Still, she only received four 7's. I wish she could have stuck around a few more weeks because I love when older women come out and show that you’re never too old. Oh well. Thank you, Marla.
So that’s it. Next week, I think are the team dances and I think they are going to do guys against girls. Not sure if I like that, but we’ll see how it goes.
|Posted on April 7, 2016 at 10:55 PM|
I was moving some old blog pieces to my new blog spot and found this little story I wrote about the blessing these baby birds helped to give me. I decided to reshare.
This picture was taken two years ago. It is a picture of baby birds in a plant that I move from inside my home each spring to sit outside in the shade of the eave of my house. Here's the story...true story.
I woke up this morning with a terrible feeling in the pit of
my stomach. I felt sad, or troubled, like there was some impending doom.
I didn't want to begin my day in such a negative way so I immediately tried to quiet my mind. I "pulled light", a meditation techinique I like to use. It is usually empowering and calming.
This particular morning however, it did not do the trick, at least not immediately. I was having a difficult time shaking this feeling of despair. My vibration was very low. So, I then prayed, asking for guidance and asking for assistance in changing my vibration. I usually meditate after prayer, so that I can calm my mind enough to actually "hear" the whisperings of my soul. Yet, when I rose and dressed, I realized I was still feeling the same blah, troubled feeling.
I went about my usual morning activities and went outside to water my tomato plant and flowers. One of the plants I water is a large ‘Wondering Jew’ potted plant that sits under the eaves of my house just outside the sunroom. A few weeks earlier I’d discovered a bird had built a nest in this pot under the leaves of the plant. Every morning, when I water the plant, the little bird flies out of the nest and then comes back when I walk away. I have peeked inside of the nest a few times and saw five or six beautiful dark blue eggs with white swirls. This day, I peeked in again. . . and was horrified.
Apparently, the baby birds had hatched. And now, the nest, which was very deep, was filled with water and the baby birds were floating under the water, mouths gaping open, still…dead. Gasping, I dropped the hose and stood back, tears coming to my eyes immediately. It may sounds silly to some, but the horror and despair I felt at that moment, knowing I’d killed those sweet new babies just overwhelmed me.
I rushed into the house, crying to my husband about what I’d done. He was slightly sympathetic, trying to convince me that it wasn’t my fault, that I didn’t realize they’d hatched. But all I could think was how stupid I was, that I should have been more careful, that I’d destroyed something beautiful, something innocent. I'd taken away that mother’s current reason for being. If only I could take it all back and do it over again. I knew I was acting was silly. There are so many more serious things going down in the world right now to waste tears over a few baby birds. War, murder, children being hurt and abused, starvation, etc.. My mind went back to the bad feeling I’d started the day with and thought, "Oh no! My bad feelings are perpetuating! What else may go wrong? How do I stop this train?!
My son and granddaughter were visiting and after I’d cried about this for a time, they decided to go out and see the tragic site firsthand. They came back in and reported that my original diagnosis was wrong. The birds were alive, breathing, sleeping, and whatever water had been in the nest had now drained away. It was almost too good to be true and at first I thought maybe they were teasing me. But they had me go see for myself and I came back inside all smiles, a huge weight lifted off my chest. And for the next several hours, that wonderful feeling of relief and elation and joy and miracles and wonder kept coming back to me.
It was then that I realized, my prayer HAD been answered. The feeling of despair was gone. My vibration had indeed risen to soaring heights.And why was it back? How did that happen? It was gratitude. Gratitude was back. My gratitude for life and for every single living thing was back.
I’d asked for help fully believing I’d get it. But I'd left my room feeling disappointed. I'd forgotten to count my blessings. I'd forgotten to be grateful. I'd had a little bit of faith that I would receive help in raising my vibration, which is why I asked for help in the first place. The asking always shows a bit of faith or why would we ask if we didn't believe we would receive and answer? The help I was given was a miracle.
In hindsight, it is so easy to see how all it took to raise my vibration and get rid of the blah feeling was a little divine wisdom shown to me in the form of the miracle of baby birds. I was reminded of the importanace of living in gratitude..... gratiude for each tiny insignificant little life.
And so now, I will say...I am grateful for this small divine intervention that helped me to understand the power of living in gratitude. I am grateful for feeling such a strong spiritual connection and for the absolute knowledge I have that when I appeal to the loving powers that be, I WILL receive just what I need!
|Posted on April 5, 2016 at 10:45 AM|
MISCHA BARTON & ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV exited this week [photo from wetpaint.com]
DWTS Episode 3 theme was most memorable year for each star. This night on each season is usually full of emotion and gives us a glimpse into each of their lives. Last night was tremendous. I heard some wonderful, amazing, lovely and sad stories and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you!
One of the very best things I love about this show is how supportive and loving the cast is to each other. I think it makes the show so very high vibrational and it just makes me smile in my heart!
1) First to dance was Ginger and Val who performed a contemporary number to Phillip Phillips’ Home. Ginger’s most memorable year was 2013 when she met the man whom she would marry, Ben Aaron, at the fountain outside New York City's Lincoln Center. They fell madly in love and apparently that fountain has been a part of their relationship every since. (First kiss, etc..) Ginger did a great job with her number. I always love the contemporary dances and this one was no exception. Though it wasn’t perfect, it was beautiful. Well done Ginger Zee! (Her name just demands you say both sometimes, lol!) Their scores 7 - 7 - 7.
2) Doug and Karina performed a Waltz. He chose 2015 as his most memorable year and with good reason. His emotions were raw as he told the story. His father had been ill and finally passed away. His mother then rose and crossed the room, approached his father and kissed him on the forehead, and then, she simply fell forward and “was gone.” When I heard this story I was blown away. He said he just wanted to make them proud. Still trying to prove himself, even to them. My heart went out to him. Their waltz was much better than I thought it would be. He put a lot of effort into making it smooth and graceful. Great job! Their scores 7 - 6 - 7.
3) Kim and Sasha performed a Foxtrot to the old Facts of Life theme song. Kim chose as her year 1976, when she nervously auditioned for a Mrs. Butterworth syrup commercial. She was very intimidated by the large, highly competitive group who were there to audition, which included Janet Jackson. But her mom gave the 6-year-old a pep talk and she went for it and got it! That was the beginning for her career and it changed her life, obviously. Their Foxtrot was rock solid, graceful and well done. Len said it was like maple syrup, smooth and tasty. Their scores 8 - 7 - 7.
Coming back from the break we got to see a tiny bit of the awesome jazz dance performed by troupe members Shannon and Hayley.
4) Von and Witney performed a contemporary number. As expected Von chose 2016 as his most memorable year, the year he and his team won the Superbowl and he was awarded the MVP. I loved the story about Von’s father not wanting him to play football and his mom sneaking him off to play on the weekends. Though once his father found out he was playing, he supported him. Even more I love that Von uses Phil Collins’ song, In the Air Tonight to get psyched up for the games. And even more than that, I LOVED the expression on Von’s face when Bruno describes him as a superhunk. They did a respectable job. The lifts were great! Their scores 7 - 6 - 7.
5) Marla and Tony performed a jive, one of my favorite dances. Marla chose 1993 as her most memorable year as it was the year her daughter was born. I’ve gotta say, that Marla is such a darn classy lady, I just really like her. She is so positive and .... up. Her dancing to Happy is perfect. She was a little soft in energy, but, that’s just her and I like her. Their scores 7 - 7 - 7.
6) Antonio and Antonio and Sharna with a Foxtrot. Nope that’s not a typo. Antonio chose as his most memorable year 2007, a year he set college records (not the only year he did that,) and the year his first son, Antonio, was born. Love how much Antonio loves his kids, (four of them) and how he’s vowed to be a great dad, something he knew very little about. Little Antonio performed with his Dad in the number and they all did a great job. Their scores 7 - 6 - 7.
7) Paige and Mark performed a Paso Doble. First let me say that I’m very happy to see Mark is feeling better and is back. That’s not to slight Alan who was awesome to come in last week and dance for Mark last minute. Paige chose the year 2014, when she won her first UFC championship. She went in against an undefeated opponent and won, because she truly believed she could. This was an amazing transformation after she was bullied so much in high school that she went from being a 4.0 student to never showing up for class. Bullying... I just don’t get it. But that’s another whole story. Let me just say, parents, check to be sure YOUR child is not doing that bullying. Some of you may be surprised. Back to the dance.... Mark’s choreography is always cutting edge and tonight was awesome. Len didn’t like it because it wasn’t the normal type Paso, but as Carrie Ann pointed out, it’s choreography like Mark’s that keeps this show moving forward. And as Carrie Ann also said, their number was “bad ass!” I agree. If you just take time to watch Paige’s lines, her grace, her ease of movement, she is really a top-notch dancer. Their scores 8 - 7 - 8.
Jodi and Keo performed a Foxtrot. Jodi chose 2015, the year she came back to do Fuller House, as her most memorable year. She describes how she grew up on Full House from age 5 to age 13 and suddenly it was over. She felt like she’d lost her family, likened it to a death that she was unable to grieve. She fell into the depths of despair using drugs and alcohol. She’s been sober now, I think she said, 5 years. And then, they called her for Fuller House and she thought, “What a gift!” I’m so happy for her, that she has been able to defeat her demons. I hope she continues to heal. Keo’s choreography for the Foxtrot, much like Mark’s, was out of the box and I love it. Their number was awesome and finally, Jodi is beginning to show what she can do on the dance floor. Their scores 8 - 7 - 8.
Coming back from break we got a glimpse of Jenna, Alan and Kiril in a powerful Paso Doble.
9) Mischa and Artem performed a Samba. Somehow I think Mischa got the news that she needs to focus on the good and not “the bad.” She chose 2008 as her most memorable year as it was the year that brought much change in her life. She actually smiled during rehearsal and during her number. Focusing on the positive made her performance much less painful to watch. I mean, let’s face it, she’s not great at dancing, so that’s when she needs to let the fun take over and just be grateful for being able to do the show. That seems to be what she did. Their scores 6 - 6 - 6. Later in the show, we discover that Mischa was the next to be eliminated. I hope she was able to learn from her experience and discover that “reacting” to a circumstance is not conducive to a happy life. She can “choose” to be happy and focus on the good things and that will bring her many more good things.
10) Wanya and Lindsay performed a Waltz to the National Anthem. Yep, you heard that right! Wanya chose the 1996 as his most memorable year. It was the year of the Atlanta Olympic Games. If you recall, there had been a terror attack during the games and Boyz II Men were singing the National Anthem in the closing ceremonies. Wanya says they just wanted to do a good job and make it beautiful for everyone after all that had happened. They nailed it and he said, it was then he thought they had truly arrived. So Wanya and Lindsay danced to that version of Boyz II Men singing the National Anthem. She had to come up with way to make it a Waltz and to give it a beat and she did an amazing job. Their dance was beautiful. Their scores 8 - 8 - 8.
11) Last but definitely not least, Nyle and Peta performed an amazing Tango! Nyle’s most memorable year was 2012. He’d been born into a deaf family and in 2012 he decided he wanted to discover the world. He traveled without an interpreter and became fearless. He is amazing and Peta too is amazing and their Tango was amazing! Top scores of the night... 8 - 8 - 9.
Next week is Disney week and Zendayah Coleman will be back as guest judge! Zendaya danced with Val in Season 16 and was fantastic! She is adorable for sure!
|Posted on March 29, 2016 at 4:10 PM|
|Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska [pic from tvnewser]|
It’s so much fun to get home late on a Monday night, looking forward to relaxing before bed and then remember, oh, wait, I have a recording of DWTS to watch! Okay, let’s get this mirror ball rolling.
First of all, I want to say that I think the scoring by the judges was a little bit more in line with my thinking this time, except for one. We’ll get to that one in a bit. I also want to say that Carrie Ann’s braid was really pretty and feminine. I like it.
Up first were Jodi and Keo with a Samba. I gave you last names in the first edition, we’re on a first name basis now, lol. I thought she did great though I still feel like Jodi hasn’t broken out of her shell yet. I wish I could help pump up her self-esteem a bit. Keo told her in rehearsal, “Don’t be desperate...and bring that energy!” He’s so supportive and seems to realize she needs a boost. I’m lovin’ me some Keo. Even the judges wanted to help Jodi. Bruno said, “Don’t doubt yourself.” He’s right. Come on, Jodi, we love you and you can do this! Go for it. I think her scores will go up soon. Tonight’s scores... 7 - 7 - 7. A little lower than she deserved..IMHO. Still, she went first and I think that hurts because they want to keep them low at first.
2) Marla and Tony performed an Argentine Tango. Marla is just so darn pretty and graceful and elegant. She seemed a little detached to me and at least one of the judges agreed with me. Len said it lacked intimacy but was clean and polished. Carrie Ann said it was elegant and classy. Exactly. She has such good lines. I love her all natural way of life. I know some people who do all those things she was talking about. Their scores 7 - 6 - 7.
Coming back from break Dennis and Jenna were doing a cha-cha. It was so hot. Wish we could have seen the whole thing. I love watching the pros dance. After some research I have found the names of the Season 22 Troupe. Their names in this photo (which I found on BuddyTV.com) from L to R are Shannon Holtzapffel, Jenna Johnson, Kiril Kulish, Dennis Jauch, Hayley Erbert and Alan Bersten.
3) Geraldo and Edyta tried hard to do a Salsa. Geraldo impersonated ‘The Donald’ and they had great fun. There was a bit of improvement and Carrie Ann agrees. Len said he came out and gave it his best shot and Bruno called him a source of inspiration. Bless his heart. Scores were 5 - 4 - 4. At the end of the night Geraldo was the one to leave the show this first elimination. I think he may have been relieved, though I hate to see Edyta sidelined. It was her first time back after having a baby and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.
4) Next, Paige and Mark, only it wasn’t Mark. Mark hurt his back just a few hours before showtime. I haven’t heard how bad the injury is yet. I hope it’s not as serious as it seemed to be. Pro troupe member Alan stepped in and learned the routine in short time. I guess that’s why they’re called “pros.” That’s hard on Paige to learn the dance with a new partner, but you couldn’t tell. She and Alan were great. Paige is a powerful presence when she’s dancing. I still think she’s one of the top. Mark’s choreography was awesome as usual. Alan was awesome too, but I hope Mark is okay and can come back, cuz I think he and Paige have a real chance. Their scores, 8 - 8 - 8.
5) Antonio and Sharna performed an intimate, sexy, Rumba. With those two beautiful bodies, how could it not be sexy? They did a great job but had points taken off for a lift. We won’t talk about the “blood flow” comment. They did better than their scores show. 6 - 6 - 7.
6) Next up, Tootie, oh shoot, I mean Kim and Sasha. They did a Salsa to to Conga by Gloria Estefan, a song I loooovvvveeee! If that can’t make you move, nothing can. Apparently Kim loves Gloria Estefan and so Sasha surprised her by getting Gloria on the, I don’t know... facetime? Instagram? Skype? Google Hangout? Something like that. Kim was very excited. She did a great job on her number, though she had a little mess up. Their scores, 7 - 6 - 6.
I was excited to see that Noah Galloway dropped by. The double-amputee Iraq War veteran was on Season 20 of DWTS with partner Sharna Burgess.
7) Nyle and Peta performed a Rumba. I thought it was wonderful, but Len and Bruno felt like it was too intense and too aggressive and hectic. Carrie Ann thought it was stunning and so did I. They took off points for a lift. I was surprised that one of the judges hasn’t told Nyle to keep his bum tucked. I love what Nyle had to say. He said that first show was the most memorable experience of his life. He thought people would see him as a sympathy vote, but he’s a dancer! Yes, he sure is! Their scores 7 - 6 - 7. Too low.
In the audience they showed a quick shot of Adrianne Haslet-Davis, the ballroom dancer who lost her leg in the Boston Marathon bombings and announced that she would be running the Boston Marathon again when it takes place in a few weeks! You go girl!
8 - Mischa and Artem with a Cha-Cha. In rehearsal she was worried and frustrated. If we can learn anything from Mischa, and we can, we see a perfect example of being your own worst enemy. Her performance was a good try. The judges tried to encourage her. Carrie Ann told her that people’s hearts want to embrace her and lift her up, that’s why they love this show... yes, we do! Here’s what we can learn from her. I wrote down just a few of the phrases she said after her dance. “...really bad...really rough... kinda tough...” If she perked up, focused on the positive, just tried to have fun, and maybe even, be grateful that she is there because soooo many of us would love to be in her place, then I think things would go better for her. Preach over. Their scores, 5 - 5 - 5.
9) Von and Witney danced a Cha-Cha though Bruno said there wasn’t much Cha-Cha in it. Love Von. He has a great attitude. He still seems a little ...unleashed... I guess, but I think if he really applies himself and actually tries to dance a real ballroom dance, he might be great. His passing gas fines were hilarious and I’m glad they are donating the money to a charity. I enjoyed their dance. Their scores, 7 - 6 - 7.
10) Wanya’ and Lindsay did a fantastic Salsa. I loved it. He is up there at the top with Paige as far as I’m concerned. He’s already lost 15 pounds and he says he just wants to look like a dancer. Well he’s looking great! And while we’re talking about looks, come on, did you see Lindsay’s dress/costume? That girl is smokin’!!!! Their scores, 8 - 8 - 8. Tied for first with Paige!!
11) Doug and Karina with a Paso Doble. Sooooo much better. Doug came across as powerful and masculine and moved with confidence. So glad to see this. Way to go. Their scores, 7 - 6 - 7.
12) Ginger and Val rocked a Samba. If they judged just on Ginger’s legs they would have 10's. Gorgeous. They did a great job, though Ginger slipped a couple of times. I’m sure their scores would have been higher if not for that. Their scores 7 - 7 - 7.
So that wraps the night. If you missed it earlier, Geraldo was the first to exit. It was a great night and the scores were a little more in keeping with what I was thinking. We’ll see who surprises us this next week!
|Posted on March 23, 2016 at 8:00 PM|
I have a few guilty pleasures and Dancing With The Stars is definitely one of them. There are many things about the show that I love, but one of the main ones is watching the camaraderie develop from week to week. Everyone is so supportive of each other and that makes this show high vibrational which makes it absolutely worth watching! I've thought about writing a blog about the show each season, and now, finally, I'm doing it. That being said, let's get into it. Since there are so many dancers to write about this first time, I will do six today and six tomorrow.
Last night's show, Monday, March 21, 2016
Hello to judge Carrie Ann Inaba, love her enthusiasm and honesty. Wonder how many times she'll fall out of her chair this season. Hello also to judge Bruno Tonioli who is usually upbeat and positive while delivering his innuendo-filled remarks. Welcome back, Len. I hope he will try to be kind. I loved last season because all three judges were positive and uplifting. I will miss Julieann Hough, however, it's no surprise that the adorable talented young lady has a lot of things going right now. I heard that she promises to come back at some point. I'm personally hoping it's as a dancer! Brother Derek too will be missed. He has always been one of my favorites. Currently he's doing Singing In the Rain on Broadway and I'm sure his audiences are in for a real treat! One more thing before I get to the dancers... Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews...love them. I loved Brooke Burke too, but I can't be mad at Erin for the way Brooke's "letting go" was so poorly handled. A little integrity and class would have gone a long way in that area.
Moving on, first up, "little Tootie" Kim Fields and Sasha Farber did a chacha. Kim is looking fabulous and I guess I can't call her "little Tootie" anymore since she is all grown up. She did a great job and I agree with Carrie Ann, she's a firecracker. Gotta root for the "home team" a little bit since she's in Atlanta. Sasha is not only gorgeous but like all the pro dancers...has an impressive resume'. Read about him here... Their scores, 7 - 6 - 7. Pretty much right on. I have no doubt she'll improve.
2) - UFC fighter Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas with a foxtrot. Oh yes! I was excited to see that Paige has a feminine side too. I have to root for her because she's a fighter, like Shelley in my novel, Dandelions Never Die. Shelley too definitely has a feminine side. Not only was Paige beautiful last night, but she did a great job. Great lines, graceful and shows great potential. She's in my top five to win. Of course, with Mark Ballas, whom I love and who I think has some of the most innovative and artistic choreography, she is in good hands. You may notice that I will focus on the pro dancers quite a bit and with good reason. They are all so very impressive and have worked hard to get to be as awesome as they are. I loooovvveee the pro's. Read about Mark here.... Their scores 7 - 7 - 7.
3) - Big time QB Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff also did a foxtrot...sort of. Well, he wasn't the worse. They danced to Sweet Caroline in honor of Boston/NE. Loved hearing the very human side of Doug, stating that throughout his life, things didn't come easy and he always had to prove himself. He stumbled a bit on the dance, but hey...Karina's dress was smokin'!!! No, really, it was beautiful! Read about Karina here.... She's pretty awesome! Their scores 5 - 5 - 5. Hopefully he will loosen up and not be the first to go home.
4) - Full House middle sister Jodi Sweetin and Keo Motsepe performed a tango. I love Jodi and I LOVE Keo so this should be a great team! They did a great job and I only expect them to get better. I just wanted to hug Jodi when she talked about her insecurities as an adult and wandering what people will think about her. Hey, Jodi, don't you worry about that. You are loved. She had good lines and did an impressive job. I'm really hoping she and Keo will make it to the top five. Keo, from the moment I saw him like, three seasons ago I think, I thought, wow, this guy can dance. His flair reminded me of Derek Hough and I am glad he won't be one of the first to go this season. I'm rooting for these two. I hope Jodi doesn't worry about the "expression on her face." I got it..she was trying to look fierce for the tango. Read about Keo here.... Their scores 7 - 6 - 7.
5) - Journalist Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska with an attempt at a chacha. Well, Geraldo is 72, so...good for you. Edyta, and welcome back to this gorgeous young lady!... did what she could. Mostly this is going to be a dance around him type deal, but maybe he can loosen up and do a little better before he has to leave. I have faith in him. Read about Edyta here... (At this link it actually said her bio was coming soon..so I hope it is there by the time you click on it.) Their scores 5 - 4 - 4 were the lowest of the night, but I doubt they expected any more. If Geraldo goes home soon, I hope Edyta will at least be featured in many of the pro dances.
BTW, the pro cast who aren't paired up and perform all the other numbers...they are rockin' too. I don't know all their names yet this season, but that Jenna.... that girl is awesome!
6) - Marla Maples and Tony Dovolani performed a quickstep, a beautiful quickstep I must say. She was like an angel floating over the floor. I was pleasantly surprised. She is, of course, known as the ex- Donald, but she has a lot more going for her. One of the most interesting to me is her "single "House of Love," off her album The Endless, features Deepak Chopra and LogiQ Pryce, and won the Hollywood Music in MediaAward (HMMA) for best song in the Ambient/New Age category." (From her Dancing With The Stars Bio on ABC.go.com) Fifty-something Marla is a beautiful lady. She had a few missteps in her dance, but her smile and happiness overcame any little mistake she made. I hope she sticks around a long time. Tony is amazing, and so kind, and such a gentleman. Love him. Read about Tony here..... Their scores 7 - 7 - 7.
|Pictured Witney Carson and Keo Motsepe|
So, let's get on with this delicious night! That brings us to the 7th dance....Wanya Morris!
7) - Wanya Morris and partner Lindsay Arnold performed a cha cha. Wanya, representing his peeps from Boys II Men said he was looking forward to having a great time, losing some weight and meeting some great people. Well, I have a feeling he is going to do much more than that. He did a great job. I knew he could move, but I didn't expect him to be so smooth. Bruno called him delicious. He is blessed with a delicious partner, Lindsay Arnold, who is one of my fav dancers, of course, she trained with the Ballas' so, yeah, she's good. Read about Lindsay here.... They received a great score and I think he may end up in my top five. Their scores 8 - 7 - 8.
- Next up, the lovely Ginger Zee and the beautiful Val Chmerkocskiy (yes, I can call a man beautiful...I call Chris Hemsworth that all the time, lol.) Ginger, the GMA meteorologist, was adorable trying to 'pump' there in the dance studio in front of Val. He didn't know what to think. Hat's off to Ginger for having just had a baby three months ago and going for it in front of the world. She was beautiful and vivacious and she pushed hard. Maybe they call her "Ginger" for a reason. They danced a jive, a hard dance, especially when you're breastfeeding. Ginger and Val are going to be great together. Read all about Val here.... Len said Ginger was sunshine, and I agree. They also received high scores 8 - 7 - 8.
9) - Ninth to perform were actress Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev. Mischa seemed a little stiff and a little lost during her tango. My heart went out to her. She is so pretty and so sweet and she looked so sad after Len's comments. I was happy that Erin Andrews had some comforting words for her in the interview. Mischa has never danced before, but I'm thinking she is going to improve greatly with Artem as her partner. He is kind and seems to be able to sense her feelings. He has quite the resume and was a finalist in So You Think You Can Dance in 2014. Read about him here.... Their scores were not the best, but they were also not the worst. 5 - 5 - 6.
10) - Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd. Their cha cha was aawwweesssooommmeee! Nyle is totally deaf. He got recognition as a winner of America's Next Top Model and is an actor and spokesperson. He did a great job, stayed right on the beat. Great job to the lovely Peta too, who is going the extra mile in working with Nyle, teaching him to dance and her learning sign language so that she can communicate with him. Learn more about Peta here.... They have an uphill battle and they were beautiful to watch. Deafness aside, I think Nyle is going to be a contender for sure. Their scores 8 - 7 - 8.
11) - Pittsburgh Steelers' own MVP Antonio Brown dancing with one of my very 'favoritest' pro dancers, Sharna Burgess. I knew Antonio would be able to move, and I wasn't wrong. He does need to work on his toes turning in and keeping his frame up. His feet though are fast and he came out like a beast. They performed a quickstep, one of the most difficult dances right out of the gate. Let's talk about Sharna. Every time I see her I think, how can a woman be so very beautiful. And the dress... I mean, wow! I don't mean to minimize her by speaking of her appearance... she is an amazing dancer and her choreography is top notch! Really looking forward to what she has planned for Antonio. Read about Sharna here.... Their scores 8 - 6 - 7.
12) - Last but definitely not least, Von Miller, Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP partnered up with gorgeous Witney Carson. Von's attitude was awesome, humble and hardworking, and Witney was called a Barbie Drill Sergeant. Love that! Witney is tough and a ball of energy. Read more about her here.... Von is big and a little cumbersome, but he can move. Eventually one of the judges will address his big hands and how he can be more graceful with them. A foxtrot is a hard one when the partners are so physically different, one giant, the other tiny. Their high score surprised me, but hey, we'll take it! 8 - 6 - 7.
So, Carrie Ann called the night, "All Kinds of Good." And I agree. I'm excited to see how the season progresses.
I've been trying to settle on a top five, but I'm having a little trouble. I think the world would pick Wanya, Antonio, Nyle and Ginger for sure...and maybe Von Miller though I think his score was a little inflated. I'm saying that Jodi Sweetin and Paige VanZant maybe a little underestimated. I think Paige's numbers were lower because she was near the front of the lineup and they were trying to keep them low and Jodi can dance, she was just nervous. I expect these two ladies to improve greatly and surprise some people. With partners like Mark Ballas and Keo, I pick them.
So, my top five, Paige and Mark, Wanya and Lindsay, Antonio and Sharna, Nyle and Peta, and Jodie and Keo. . . followed up closely with Ginger and Val.
Either way, I love them all. Who do you pick?
|Posted on February 10, 2016 at 9:45 PM|
I’ve written 8 Romance novels, so, I feel I would be amiss if I didn’t write a little something about Valentine’s Day. I love love. I love the celebration of love. When I come upon a couple holding hands or kissing in public, it doesn't bother me. I find myself grinning and wanting to ask them about their love for each other.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is not the most romantic story and in my mind has no bearing on the celebration of this day. To me, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to share some romance, some hugs and kisses (chocolate ones!) with the one(s) you love.
However, Valentine's Day is also that time when I hear and read many complaints from people about how Valentine’s Day is nothing but a commercial holiday encouraging people to buy chocolate and flowers and Hallmark cards and how we’re all fools for falling for it. It’s a time when I read blogs from single people about how cruel Valentine’s Day is, about how they resent seeing hearts and flowers everywhere, and not be able to get a reservation in a restaurant. They resent being reminded they don’t have a current relationship.
I get it, really I do. However, I just don’t feel sorry for you, mostly because feeling sorry for someone is a negative concept and only adds energy to the problem. So because I love you and care about you, I refuse to commiserate with you. The hard ass in me wants to tell you that as long as you have that attitude, which is really resentment for other people’s happiness and joy, then your joy will be a while in coming. But, hey, I won’t say it. I retract that statement, because I also want to handle your tender feelings with gentle care.
I want to tell you that I love you. I really do. I have compassion for you. Mostly though, I want to encourage you to look at Valentine’s Day in a new and different light. When you see a couple snuggling in the booth at the restaurant, smile, and be happy for them. Smile, and imagine yourself in a wonderful relationship, for seeing it in your own eye will help to draw it to you. When you’re standing in line at the grocery story behind a guy purchasing a balloon and chocolates, instead of rolling your eyes, try this. Try thinking of the tired mom, who gets home from work, helps the kids with homework, throws in a load of laundry, figures out what to make for dinner and opens up her bedroom door to find a balloon and a box of chocolates waiting for her on the dresser. It’s no big deal. It’s merely an expression of love and appreciation from her spouse. Don’t you want her to smile, and feel appreciated?
Don’t you care about the joy and happiness of the women and men who use this day as a good time to remember their loved one with a little something special? Yes, we should do that everyday, however, holidays and celebrations are made to take us out of the tedium of every day life and make us stop for a minute and appreciate what we have. A time to celebrate love.... what could possibly be wrong with that? It’s wrong because you envy others what they have? Time to awaken and change up that attitude.
If you’re single, try to look at it this way; Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, whether you are in a relationship or not. Celebrate the love your best friend shares with her guy, or the love your sister shares with her hubby, or the love your parents share with their mates, or the first love of a little boy in fifth grade. In other words, try sending love out. Change up that resentful attitude with one of appreciation for all the love people share in the world. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, for that is about as attractive as a mangy rat. Glory in the love you see all around you and send your love out to join it, and you may be finding that when you do that, love comes back to you threefold.
Love is happiness and happiness is a choice. Choose wisely.
|Posted on July 2, 2010 at 10:15 AM|
Many times since I began writing romance/women's fiction, I've run up against what I call 'the snobbery of the publishing industry.' It comes from everywhere but mostly from educated individuals who sincerely look down on the romance genre. I believe the words I've heard associated with it are .... silly, cheesy, porn, worthless, waste of time, .. just to name a few.
I've always found those who judge something harshly usually have not given it sufficient consideration, or are merely, "protesting too loudly," for fear they may lose some credibility for themselves. Maybe if they actually took the time to read a few mainstream romance novels they would begin to understand the pull. Here are a few statistics. Click on the link for more detail.
In 2008, romance was the top performing category on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists.
Romance fiction: $1.37 billion in estimated revenue for 2008
Religion/inspirational: $800 million
Mystery: $668 million
Science fiction/fantasy: $551 million
Classic literary fiction: $446 million
In Wikipedia it states... "By the 2000s, romance had become the most popular genre in modern literature. In 2004, romantic fiction generated $1.2 billion in sales, with 2,285 romance novels published. Almost 55% of all paperback books sold in 2004 were romance novels, and this genre made up 39% of all fiction sold that year.
Why do I love romance fiction? For its entertainment value of course. Why do people go to movies, most of which play just as a romance novel reads? Why do we watch romantic comedies? Why do movies like Pirates of the Carribean pull so many? Romance... who can resist Jonny Depp in anything and who wanted to see Orlando Bloom get together with Keira Knightley... we did! As artsy as a sad ending is, wouldn't you prefer to walk away from a movie or book with a smile on your face and a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart?
A friend of mine who is working on her PHD in English, doesn't really read romance, or like it per se. As a favor to me, or possibly out of boredom, she read Dandelions Never Die. She came back with the report that she was surprised. She found it was really very entertaining and she went on to read my other books and even took the time to write a review on Amazon for two of them.
I was on Amazon the other day and stumbled across a discussion "Finally comfortable with being a romance reader." Click on the link and check it out, but I saved a few comments (with permission) to post here on my webstie. Here they are....
MK says: I think it is kind of funny...I have been reading romance novels for over 25 years, since I was in middle school basically with the "teenager" versions of Harlequin novels. I have hidden this from everyone I know forever. It just seemed so embarrassing to me for some reason. I am a scientist who spent many years studying chemistry, all of my friends belong to book clubs where they read thought provoking "literature". I have no interest in that...I want to read something that helps me escape for a while! I love to laugh and cry while I read a book, but I always want to know that there is a happy ending. I am a fortunate person, but like anyone out there I have a lot of things to be sad about. I read books to feel better and cheer myself up!
I have finally started telling people proudly (Even the book club literature friends) that I read romance novels. I read them because they make me happy. And by the way- I aced all the verbal/written standardized tests in high school (SAT etc) because of what I picked up from romance novels. I think they have given me a better vocabulary than most people, and I know a lot about history that many people would never be aware of.
Ansyway- here is a "hurrah" to all of us romance novel readers. I think we are an awesome group of people!
R. Huang says: Hi MK,
Congratulations, you are finally out of the romance "closet"! LOL I am so glad to see a fellow smart and intelligent scientist admitting to the love of romance novels. I am also a scientist in academic biological science and like you have been hiding my passion for romance novels from my friends and colleagues. I've only started reading them about a year ago. I was working on a difficult project at work and stressed to the hilt so I was looking for something else other than Nature, Cell and Science to read so I can escape for a little bit each day. I started reading the Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paulina Simmons that I picked up from Borders and fell in love with romance novels. At first I was a little bit embarrassed to admit to my friends that I read romances and my bf made fun of me when he found my stash under the bed. Then I realized hey some people turn to drug, alcohol or sex to distress and I turn to romance novels, at least my method is way more harmless to both my health and wallet. So I just didn't care anymore and have them to think or ridicule all they want to, I even told them they should try to read a couple themselves and see if they'll change their attitudes toward romance novels. Later on I found out all my colleagues have their own indulgence, one guy reads sci-fi fantasy novels, another plays the computer game Civilization for hours and hours each day, and another watch Japanese anime on a regular basis. They are all brilliant scientists with PhDs by the way but none of them are embarrassed about their hobbies, they talk about it all the time. One of them joked that I should consider putting romance novel reader on my CV because I am sure to pick up skills from those that I won't be able to pick up from the lab, he said it makes me more well rounded...LOL.
Its time to shout to the world that you are a romance reader and be proud of it!
McCartney says: I love romance novels. I write romance. Still, it took time to bravely lift my chin when someone asks, "You're a writer? What do you write?" I think it stems from the snobbery I encountered from many English majors and self-help gurus who intimated that a romance novel was a waste of good time. Contrary to that belief by the "intellectuals" of the world, romance is not only entertaining, but helps to empower women, helps all to search for their ideal career, and even gives us goals and ideals to work for. They uplift and yes, even educate. And so..... My name is McCartney Green and I read ... and write.... romance!
Deanna L. Fisher says: Which is ridiculous because some of the big names in romance have phd's and other various degrees...Eloisa James has a PhD in English (Shakespeare I think); Diana Gabaldon has a PhD in Ecology (or something like that)
The discussion had so many wonderful people and discussions I wanted to copy and paste the whole thing here!
And so, in closing, I stand proudly to say, I love romance!