Importance of Imagination

Standard

Imagination is one of the most important aspects of life and of writing. We should cherish it and help develop it in others.  Here are a few quotations for your consideration:

 

albert-einstein-1144965_960_720

https://pixabay.com

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

                                                                                  Albert Einstein

carl-sagan-647717_960_720

https://pixabay.com

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”

                                                                         Carl Sagan

marktwainpd2746834

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.”

                                                                                    Mark Twain

 

Favorite Horror Films of the 1960s: Psycho

Standard

Psycho_(1960)

(https://it.wikipedia.org)

It is time to both revisit and move forward with my series on horror films. Psycho (1960) is a Paramount Film that was both produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and was based on the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch.  This movie stands as one of the best, not only horror but American, films as a whole. Hitchcock is, without a doubt, an auteur, one of the great Masters of American cinema, and this film had huge influence on the creation of slasher films and psychopathic villains in films.

The film revolutionized the way the public viewed evil; it did not have to be supernaturally based nor a radiation caused event; rather, Hitchcock established that the human mind and life experience could create more frightening monsters than vampires and werewolves. These are people who suffered horror, and their creators were other people, at least in most cases of psychopathology.

Psycho_gip

(https://it.wikipedia.org)

Psycho had an exemplary cast. Among the actors were Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam, and Vera Miles. All gave extraordinary performances in this movie.  From the deeply disturbing opening sequence of the murder in the shower to the end revelation of Norman Bates’ level of insanity, the film is a masterpiece of cinema.

Hitchcock’s cinematic formalism is evident in his complete control of every detail of each shot. This is a film that is created with the planned brushstrokes of a master artist. The power of the murder scene in the Bates Motel bathroom is so strong that many people watch it and believe they have seen much more than they actually have.  Hitchcock never shows the killer’s knife entering the body of Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh.  Hitchcock’s use of careful angles and reaction shots as the young women is being murdered makes the viewers perceive more than is being shown on the screen.  The effect is far more powerful than later films which would rely primarily on gore to have an impact and not on story and cinematic technique.

Hitchcock,_Alfred_02

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

It is also interesting to note that the first victim, Marion Crane, was a woman who had committed a crime, in the theft of a substantial amount of money from her boss.  Hitchcock would establish this pattern that was too often used to the point of becoming cliched that the so-called “bad” girl was the one to be killed.  Additionally, if Norman Bates is also viewed as a victim of the circumstances of his own life, then the film focuses primarily on the impact of these crimes on the young.  This is certainly not exclusive; others who are older are also attacked, but Hitchcock seemed to be exploring the effect of this horror on the younger generation. Perhaps he also understood that group was the primary audience for his film.

Psycho made an extraordinary profit at the box office, and it was nominated for several Academy Awards.  Its legacy is well established. Norman Bates is a character who has grown past this film and entered into the public’s awareness through other remakes and adaptations, and many of the motifs of horror/slasher/gothic films are derived from this movie.

Psycho must be seen as one of the best films in American cinema, and Hitchcock is one of the American film masters. If you have not seen this movie and are prepared for powerful images and shocks, then I recommend it highly. It is one of the best films of all time.

 

Meet and Greet Weekend @ Dream Big: 2/26/16

Standard

Dream Big Dream Often is hosting a Meet and Greet party! Stop by to introduce yourself and discover other bloggers.

Dream Big, Dream Often

always dream big orlando espinosa credit: orlandoespinosa.com

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!!  I cannot believe it is almost March, but as we all know time keeps marching on…pun intended!  lol

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet n Greet…

View original post 7 more words

Science Fiction Films of the 1950s: Them

Standard

Them02

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

One of the main themes that ran through many science fiction films of the 1950s was the combined fear of nuclear war, nuclear explosions, and fallout. This atomic fear is one large terror that haunted the Cold War world and was developed in many ways in science fiction films.

nuclear-weapons-test-67557__180

(https://pixabay.com)

One such expression was in the advent of the giant bug movies, which addressed the question of what might happen to  the world after radiation had somehow been released either through detonation of weapons or by accident. In Japan, the consequences of having been the only nation to have suffered the devastation of nuclear bombs, saw the emergence of giant monsters like Godzilla, often seen destroying Japanese cities–a very direct metaphor for nuclear explosions. In America, a similar motif was seen in the proliferation of Giant Bug movies.  This might be considered an early example of ecological concern in cinema.

Themtitle

https://en.wikipedia.org

Them, a 1954 production by Warner Bros, starred James Arness and James Whitmore. In the beginning of the movie, a little girl was found alone and traumatized, saying only “them, them.” The girl was rescued, but during the investigation, other people were found who have been killed, and the perpetrators were discovered to be giant ants.  The monsters were created when normal ants came upon sugar that had been irradiated by atomic weapons testing.  They reached the height and size of small military tanks and were ferocious killers and hunters.  This film made Americans think about the potential risks from insects that would normally have been viewed, at the worst, as mere pests at picnics.  Radiation had the capacity to distort they way we  interacted with the world.

Eventually, the creatures were hunted down and destroyed by the use of flame-throwers.  As would be the motif in most of the giant bug movies, the world was saved by using technology against technologically-created creatures.  At the conclusion of the movie, a warning was given in solemn tones that we have entered a new world in the atomic age, and we have to be aware of its dangers. These are themes that would be repeated frequently in other giant bug movies.

If you have not seen this one, it is worth a look.  It may not be the best film of all time, but it does introduce important Cold War themes into science fiction cinema. These are themes which frightened many people.

nebula-2273069_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

 

Empathy, Diversity, and Reading

Standard

Never Less Than Everything

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

–James Baldwin

jbJames Baldwin 

Far too many messages in our society are of hatred, exclusion, and bigotry, in a myriad of forms. In a time when we, as a society, should be embracing diversity, there are those who shout and scream at us to exclude others, to divide ourselves, and not to embrace those who seem to be different.  We are told to expel people who are different, to exclude them from our society, and  not to allow people to be different.  These speakers of hatred and bigotry are completely wrong and are delivering messages that must be…

View original post 349 more words

The Benefits of the Written Word Upon the Worried Mind

Standard

This is a very useful and interesting post about the benefits of reading and writing.

A Writer's Path

Reading

by Vincent Mars

While my medical adventures drag on, slowed down by paperwork and the (un)availability of doctors, I am trying to take things easy, to eat healthy food, to go on enjoyable walks every day, to rest, and, of course, to read and write.

You know already that writing about your life and problems can be cathartic and that reading has numerous benefits for your brain. When you combine the two, reading with writing, the result is a highly effective home-brewed potion against anxiety, worry, and even depression, a much better way to spend your time than watching TV or YouTube, stalking people on Facebook, or letting yourself be alarmed by Google’s worrisome results.

View original post 679 more words

Quotations from Harper Lee And Umberto Eco

Standard

To honor the writings of the two recently deceased great writers, Harper Lee and Umberto Eco, I wanted to offer these quotations in remembrance:

harper-lee2

http://mayfieldfhs.wikispaces.com

  “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”                                                                                                      Harper Lee  To Kill A Mockingbird

  “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”                                                    Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird

Umberto_Eco_04

https://es.wikipedia.org

 “Love is wiser than wisdom.”                                                                                                        Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose

“This, in fact, is the power of the imagination,  which, combining the memory of gold with that of the mountain, can compose the idea of a golden mountain.”

                                                 Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose

 

R.I.P. Umberto Eco and Harper Lee

Standard

Harper-lee

https://tr.wikipedia.or

The world lost two of its most important writers today, Friday February 19, 2016: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.  I offer this small post in remembrance of their brilliance.

Eco,_Umberto-1

https://en.wikipedia.org

Umberto Eco was a renowned professor of semiotics, the study of language and signs, as well as a best-selling novelist, and he died at the age of 84. He is probably best known outside of the academic world for his novel The Name of the Rose and the successful Hollywood film based on it, which  starred Sean Connery.  The book was, on the surface, a medieval murder mystery that was heavily influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his great detective Sherlock Holmes. It was also a multi-layered exploration of the medieval as well as the contemporary world. Eco incorporated a difficult series of puzzles and codes within the text by utilizing his knowledge of semiotics, and his labyrinthine library was based on the writing of Jorge Luis Borges.   The Name Of The Rose established Eco’s career as a novelist, which he followed up with books like Foucault’s Pendulum.   His writing entertains on  the surface and then challenges the reader to delve deeply into intellectual exploration of the world.

The_Name_of_the_Rose

https://ru.wikipedia.org

Harper Lee,  the novelist whose seminal work on racism and justice in America To Kill A Mockingbird, also died today.  She was 89 years old. Her book focused attention on racism and the lack of justice in southern small-town America as well as the attempt by her hero Atticus Finch to fight for the life of a black man accused of raping a young white woman. This book, and the enormously successful film based on her novel by the same name and starring Gregory Peck, a powerful adaptation, are both beloved and masterpieces of literature and film. In 2015, Lee released a book that can be seen as a sequel, prequel, or adaptation of To Kill a MockingbirdGo Set A Watchman.

tokillamockingbird

http://thereadersreview.org

As a reader, I have loved their writings.  I have also used To Kill A Mockingbird and The Name Of The Rose in my college classes.  Both books presented challenges to my students as well as great rewards for the studying of them.

The world has lost two powerful and deeply important writers.

Rest in Peace: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.

 

Tour For the Re-release of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Standard

Gabrielle_Final_525x8_BW_290_Front_PROOF(1)

I am very pleased to be one of the hosts on the blog tour of the re-release for The Curious Tale of Gabrielle by Zachary Paul Chopchinski. Mr. Chopchinski is a talented writer, whom I have had the honor of meeting through the world of the blog, and I hope all of you consider reading his book!

Mr. Chopchinski discusses his reasons for the re-release:

As with many things in life, you will always be your own worst critic. This is not only true in my case, but a savage reality that drives much of what I do. I look at my writing as an extension of myself, it is something that I created and breathed life into. You strive for perfection in what you create as it mirrors its creator, no? This is one of the primary factors behind me re-releasing my first book in a second edition.

There are many things that I had to accept and overcome with the first edition of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle. There were plenty of grammatical issues, to start. I like to believe that I am a gifted wordsmith, however it is impossible to produce a good piece of work without proper editing. This is exactly what I was missing as I couldn’t afford a conventional editor the first time through. While I was proud of what I did put forth, there was a lot to be desired in the final fit and finish. So the first step that I took was to enlist the assistance of a proper editor. Which made the first huge leap.

Secondly, as I am working on the next steps of the journey, I began to look at what will become of Gabrielle and the adventures ahead of her. I realized that, as I was currently writing, there was a lack of a running antagonist. All of the books would be stand-alone with their endings bringing the end to that story. I felt that by introducing a secondary protagonist (Morrigan), who will give Gabrielle someone to grow and develop with, this would lay the foundation and allow for the introduction of a running antagonist. I thought that this would bring a bit more depth and realism to the series. As my readers grow and develop relationships with the light in my books, they must first respect the shadow. So I designed and introduced a theme that will develop into essentially a fight between good and evil.

I also wanted to expand on the story a bit. For selfish reasons, I wanted to put my book at around the 70,000 word mark so that, by definition, it was a novel. This may seem petty, and I don’t mean for it to. I set a goal for myself to write a novel, and that is what I intended to do. I cannot bake a singular brownie and then proclaim it to be a cake.
So with the extensions of the book, the proper editing and accepting my own flaws, developing more profound foundation for the future works, and placing my book in an arena where I can look to it and be proud of what I have created, I felt that sending it out into the world with a proper sendoff was fitting. Hence the re-release.

LLP_5958

Author Bio:

Zachary is 27 and lives in Florida with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their four fur-children.

Zachary has degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology. He had two short stories and a poem published by Ohio State University. Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, he decided it was time to give his other passion a chance.

Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.

Author and Book Links:

Where to buy the book:

The first edition of the book can be found on the following sites. However, the second (expanded) edition will be available on March 25.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Tale-Gabrielle-1/dp/1508423938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453249542&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Curious+tale+of+gabrielle

From Me (cheaper rates): http://zachchop.com/mywork/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/524345

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details

/Zachary_Paul_Chopchinski_The_Curious_Tale_of_Gabri?id=k4XjBgAAQBAJ&hl=en

Connect with me on social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zachary-Paul-Chopchinski-772308849490741/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Website: http://zachchop.com

Tumblr: http://an-author-and-his-books.tumblr.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZachChop

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9853623.Zachary_Paul_Chopchinski

Gabrielle_Final_525x8_BW_290_Full_PROOF

Mr. Chopchinski,

Thank you for appearing on my blog!

Blogger Appreciation Award: II

Standard

I want to continue to send out thanks and appreciation to bloggers I have found through WordPress and to show support to them.  I cannot list or mention everyone I want to honor, so I will do it in various posts–the order of the posts themselves does not indicate any kind of hierarchy of importance or liking, more of my inherent disorganization.

There are many wonderful people who write here and who offer positive contributions to the world through their blogging. This is simply a small indication of appreciation to them.

BAA

The Rules of the Award:

The rules are simple.

(1) Thank the blogger who nominated you, link back to their site.

(2) Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.

(3) Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.

(4) Use the award image.

My nominees: (If you have not visited these blogs, please make a trip to them.)

C. M. Blackwood https://cmblackwood.wordpress.com

KC Redding-Gonzalez https://zombiesalmonthehorrorcontinues.wordpress.com

Esther Newton https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com

Herminia Chow https://aspiringwriter22.wordpress.com

Cathleen Townsend http://cathleentownsend.com

Russell J. Fellows http://russelljfellows.com/

Khaya Ronkainen http://www.khayaronkainen.com

Zach Chopchinski http://zachchop.com

Linda http://fabulousfaresisters.com

Nurse Kelly http://nursekellyknows.com

R.S. Gullett https://rsgullett.wordpress.com/

Lea https://foundinfrance.wordpress.com

There are many more bloggers who deserve to be mentioned, so I will post another Blogger Appreciation Award in the not too distant future.

Again, thank you for all you do!