Monday, October 26, 2015


Bish Denham over at Random Thoughts sponsored this Listing Hop. Stephen T. McCarthy invited folks to specifically list their 25 Favorite Movies. Lists are hard for me. I know I will be upset when I realize I've forgotten a favorite. About this list: It's not necessarily the BEST 25 movies I've ever seen, but FAVORITES. Yeah, there's a difference. Most of the time, for me, that revolves around how many times I've watched it, or would watch it.

Here are my 25 Favorite Movies in random order. Some have quotes from the movie. Others have clips. Watching is optional, but recommended.


"Two dollars!" ~ The Paper Boy

2. SAY ANYTHING (1989)

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." ~ Lloyd Dobler


"You look at me, mother, and you don't like what you see. But this is the price... the price of belonging to you." ~Astrid


"She was like the water that freezes inside a rock and breaks it apart. It was no more her fault than it is the fault of the water when the rock shatters." ~ One Stab


7. ICE CASTLES (1978)

"Don't give me that. Not trying is pointless and cruel. Not trying is wondering your whole life if you gave up too soon. Who the hell needs that?" ~Nick Henderson

8. FREQUENCY (2000)

"You went down 30 years ago, pal. You just don't know it yet." ~John Sullivan


10. ABOUT TIME (2013)

"There's a song by Baz Luhrmann called Sunscreen. He says worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life will always be things that never crossed your worried mind." ~Tim

"Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed." ~Brian Johnson

12. PITCH PERFECT I and II (2012, 2015)

13. CONSTANTINE (2005)

[speaking to God]  "I know I'm not one of your favorites. I'm not even welcome in your house. But, I could use a little attention." ~John Constantine

14. THE BIG EASY (1986)

"Why don't you just face it, Remy? You're not one of the good guys anymore." ~Anne Osborne

15. P.S. I LOVE YOU (2007)

16. THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY (2005, 2008, 2012)

"People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed; but as a symbol... as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting." ~Bruce Wayne AKA Batman

17. INCEPTION (2010)

"They say we only use a fraction of our brain's true potential. Now that's when we're awake. When we're asleep, we can do almost anything." ~Cobb

18. GREASE (1978)


"Mankind is not evil, just... uninformed." ~Prof. Charles Xavier

20. PRETTY WOMAN (1990)

Vivan: People put you down enough, you start to believe it.
Edward: I think you are a very bright, very special woman.
Vivan: The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?



"Any fool can get into college. Only a select few can say the same about Amanda Jones." ~Laura Nelson


Hans Gruber: Who are you then?
John McClane: Just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass.


Cora Munro: They're going to hang you. Why didn't you leave when you had the chance?
Hawkeye: Because what I'm interested in is right here.


POWDER (1995)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Battle of the Bands Results and Karen Walker's In The House!

I've got a guest here today with some exciting news, but before I let her take the floor I want to give you the Battle of the Bands results.

The song was The Story. The contenders were Sara Ramirez and Brandi Carlile. What I discovered in this battle is that your comments much resembled the threads on YouTube. Even though the songs are more similar than many covers, the opinions about them are strong. Seriously strong. A few of you called it "close" or had a "tough time trying to figure it out." But most of you had very strong ideas about who sung this one better. The people who liked Sara's cover really liked it and the people who liked the original by Brandi really liked it. Isn't that funny? I think it's funny. Not hahaha funny, but interesting funny.

So, how did you guys vote?

Sara Ramirez: 12
Brandi Carlile: 11

My vote is for Sara Ramirez. Her version gives me chills. I've watched them both many times and listened to both without video for the purpose of this battle. Unlike the folks on YouTube (and even you fine folks), I actually do like both versions. I think they are both pretty darn good. BUT, Sara's version always gives me shivers when she hits the lyric "I climbed across the mountaintops" and throughout that verse. It only makes the chorus that makes stronger. And then she nails the ending. Just fantastic.

All in all, a great battle. Very close. And great comments by you fine folks:)

Now for the good part of this post! I have a guest here to share a bit of her journey to publishing her first novel (a big deal, I assure you). Karen Walker, take it away!

Thank you Robin, for hosting me today.

By Karen Helene Walker

If you’re a glass half empty kind of person like me, if that’s what comes naturally to you rather than seeing the glass half full, you tend to view things from a negative perspective. The problem with this is that it keeps us stuck feeling badly about ourselves and the people and world around us. So I’ve had to train myself to find the silver lining when the bad stuff happens. And the truth is, I’ve either learned something I needed to learn or some powerful insight was revealed, or whatever it was I thought I wanted or needed wasn’t really going to be good for me.

I’m here at Robin’s blog because I’ve written a novel, The Wishing Steps. I actually can’t believe I’m able to write that sentence and have it be the truth. I. WROTE. A. NOVEL. Okay, here’s the negative: Who do you think you are – you think you can write a novel? You’re a nonfiction writer. You can’t write fiction. You get the idea, right. These are the things I heard inside my head through most of the six years I was pulling this story out of the depths of my soul. Now, here’s the positive. I. WROTE. A. NOVEL. I did it. Despite the voices. Despite the doubts. Despite the fears. And here I am telling you about it.

After I completed the book, I decided I wanted to be published traditionally. Nice dream, yes? I knew in my heart of hearts that the likelihood of that happening was slim to none, but I needed to try. I don’t think I was being negative in that regard. Just realistic. Anyway, I heard back from one of the publishing companies that they wanted to read the manuscript. Yippee. I’d never gotten that far before. Days passed and I anxiously waited. Two readers from the company wrote critiques explaining why they thought the manuscript wasn’t okay. I was devastated. It validated all those voices I’d been hearing about my inability to write fiction. But then I shifted into a peaceful, grounded, meditative state and read the critiques again. Both readers had read the book as if it was historical fiction and every criticism was related to why it didn’t work as historical fiction. Ahhhh! The book isn’t historical fiction and I’d neglected to say that. The positive which came from this experience is my writing an Author’s Note that appears at the beginning of the book which addresses the issues these readers had.

Life is difficult. We have moments of joy, perhaps even days or weeks. But then something happens to pull us off our center. I’m learning, one day at a time, to tune into my thoughts and feelings so that I’m not operating on automatic pilot. When I stay tuned in, I can catch those negative thoughts and shift them before they become stuck in me and I become stuck in the muck of negativity.
Now that my book is out in the world, I know there will be people who won’t like it, who will criticize it and perhaps me for having written such a book. All I know is that I was called to write it and I can’t allow other peoples’ opinions to make me feel bad about something that is so deeply meaningful to me.

Here’s the scoop on The Wishing Steps.
Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia
“Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!”Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess
Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.
“Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.”Rev. Clara Z. Alexander

Karen Helene Walker is a widely published essayist and author of the 2009 memoir, Following the Whispers. When she isn’t writing, you will often find Karen performing in nursing homes and retirement communities as part of the Sugartime or Sophisticated Ladies musical groups, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary, or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit the author’s website at
Author photo

The Wishing Steps is available for purchase in both print and ebook versions at: You can also purchase it as an ebook on Kobo, I Tunes, and at Barnes and Noble.

Thank you, Karen, for stopping by and sharing not only your book but your insights on how to push through those negative thoughts that do nothing but keep us from achieving our dreams!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Battle of the Bands/Soundtrack ~ The Story

Battle of the Bands is, once again, colliding with my Soundtrack posts. Yep, I'm doing those again. Here is a quick list of other people participating in The Soundtrack Of My Life:


Cherdo on the Flipside 

Holli's Hoots and Hollers 


Mean Who You Are

Wrote By Rote

If you decide, at any time, you want to start posting these on your blog, let me know, and I'll add you to the list.

First, the story.

The romance with J1 went really well for about a month. Yeah, a month. I can tell you WHAT happened, but I'm less clear on WHY it happened.

J1's sister became pregnant. Her boyfriend wanted to get married. Her parents, particularly her dad, weren't crazy about the idea. He really wanted her to finish school. It was a thing.

Why was this J1's problem? The answer: it wasn't. Not really. But, he and his sister were always close, and he said he needed to quit school to be there for her. Does this make sense? No. Because if dad was unhappy with the sister's situation, J1 quitting school only compounded the problem.

I, too, didn't want J1 to drop out (again). However, once he set his mind on something, let's just say this: hard head.

Do I think J1's quitting school had much to do with the sister? Not really. I think it gave him a reason to do what he already wanted to do, though I absolutely didn't think that back then. He still felt lost at school, with no clear idea of where he was going or what he wanted. Things were probably intense with me, and when the going gets scary, the scared get going.

Knowing what I now know about relationships, I'd say this was the first Red Flag. Serious Red Flag. This is the sort of flag that you don't ignore. Instead, you wish them well on their Life Journey. Alas, I didn't know anything about Red Flags. Plus, I loved him, so this is still just the beginning of a fairly long, and ultimately painful, story.

Now, the song.

I, like many many many people, first saw/heard this song on Grey's Anatomy during season seven. They did an episode musical style. It turned out better than you might think. There were a few misses, but many of those folks could actually sing. Hands down, though, the best singer of the bunch was Sara Ramirez. Before she contracted on Grey's Anatomy, she was on Broadway. She even won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

I'm going to introduce this song to you the same way I found it, with Sara Ramirez on Grey's Anatomy.

Well, that was so exciting that people all over the world blew up YouTube looking for this song. Turns out, that it was originally performed by Brandi Carlile (not to be confused with Belinda Carlisle of the 80s group, The Go-Gos). Now there is much discussion in the YouTube threads about who sings this song better. Ergo, I decided to settle that argument once and for all right here.

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Battle of the Bands Results and IWSG

Everyone who is here to read my contribution to the IWSG, fear not. We will get there very soon.

FIRST, I need to give you the results on Battle of the Bands. The song was Maybe I'm Amazed. The contenders were Terry McDermott and Carleen Anderson. This battle was tough for me. Tough in the voting and tough in the putting together. My favorite cover of Maybe I'm Amazed comes from Jem. (Click HERE to listen.) But, I really like mellow music that I can relax to and (possibly) fall asleep. As an insomniac, I look for all manner of things to aid in sleep. In that endeavor, I've learned to appreciate music that soothes and relaxes me. BUT, I've learned in these battles that you guys don't tend to go for that. So, even though I originally had Jem against Carleen, I switched it to Terry at the last minute (because I thought Jem would get crushed, and I really didn't want to see that happen!). Turns out that was probably a good choice because this battle was back and forth, at least in the beginning. And then Terry gained a firm lead and Carleen didn't stand a chance.

Finally tally:
Terry McDermott: 16
Carleen Anderson: 7

My vote? I'm torn, but I'll give the nod to Terry.

Now, on to IWSG. If you're a writer struggling with insecurities, there is a sign up list HERE. You, too, can let them loose on your blog the first Wednesday of every month. It's good to know you're not alone!

What is my insecurity right now? Well, I haven't been feeling well, which is NOT conducive to my writing in any way. Or my editing. Or even my reading.

I think part of my problem lies in the fact that I'm just not excited about my story any longer. I've read and edited it enough times that I'm (dare I say it?) bored with it. Yikes. When I feel that way, it's tough for me to imagine anyone else getting hyped to read it.

When you're bogged down in editing and revisions, what do you do to keep yourself psyched about your own story???

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Battle of the Bands/Soundtrack ~ Maybe I'm Amazed

Battle of the Bands is, once again, colliding with my Soundtrack posts. Yep, I'm doing those again. Here is a quick list of other people participating in The Soundtrack Of My Life:


Cherdo on the Flipside 

Holli's Hoots and Hollers 


Mean Who You Are

Wrote By Rote

If you decide, at any time, you want to start posting these on your blog, let me know, and I'll add you to the list.

Given how long it's been since I've done a Soundtrack post (7/15/15), I think I better do a very quick recap. We're in my junior year of college. J1 told me that kissing me would be like kissing his sister (ouch!), and then he changed his mind after giving it a whirl. Kissing me turned out to be nothing like kissing his sister.

Even though J2 was my first "real boyfriend," in some ways J1 felt more like my first real boyfriend. I was always on shaky ground in my own mind with J2. I suppose, given that very rocky beginning, I was on shaky ground with J1, too. But, it didn't feel that way after we finally surpassed that first hurdle... at least, it didn't until it did. However, we aren't there yet.

Those first months with J1 were truly a Grand Romance. The world felt right and good and made for me.

It was October (1988) and my sorority went on an annual hay ride Date Night. Of course, there was the hay ride. Cooking out round an open fire. Just a *bit* of drinking. And then a haunted house. All in all, pretty fabulous. This was also my first "date" with J1.

Here is a picture from the Hay Ride:

After the hay ride, J1 and went to the beach. My college was very close to Lake Michigan. It was a very beautiful at night. Almost magical. Okay, magical. It was there on that beach in that moonlight that J1 told me he loved me for the first time. I can honestly say that, even now, it felt like something out of a movie.

So, you've heard the story. Now, it's time for the song.

Maybe I'm Amazed by Paul McCartney and Wings. It's been covered many times. Honestly, narrowing down who to feature on this battle was tough. Only your votes will let me know if I decided well on this match up.

First up is Terry McDermott:

Next up is Carleen Anderson:

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles: