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Friday, April 29, 2016

A Magically Romantic Night...

Happy Friday All,

My heart is dancing today (well aside from being slightly tired because Youngest had a bit of a rough night) but I won't let that ruin why I'm on an emotional high.

Last night, as an early anniversary present to ourselves, my handsome Real Life Hero (my husband) and had a rare night out
Picture of the program we got
at the performance
and went to see the musical of Disney's Beauty And The Beast.


Not everyone dresses up at this theater, but I was brought up that fancy places like the one we went to, you wear something dressier than jeans or khakis and a top. So I wore a floral pleated skirt, a dressy black top, my new sparkly low-heeled
sandals, sparkly necklace and bracelet. And, with the help of at least a dozen bobby-pins, I put my hair up (all by myself, which is really something since I'm completely uncoordinated with fixing hair. I'm lucky I can do a simple bun and low or high ponytails. I can't even really braid my own hair or operate a curling iron. I know that's kind of sad and pathetic for a woman of my age, but it's the truth!)

Real Life Hero wore a new black suit, dark green shirt, tie, and dress shoes (he looked so handsome. But,
Real Life Hero and I at the performance
 I'm not sharing him. You want a hero, you'll have to choose someone else. LOL :-)  ).


We arrived with enough time to hang around the areas outside the main part of the theater. Husband got a Sprite, and I got a bottle of water. Then it was time to get to our seats. We were up in the gallery, so I was a little dizzy, but it was okay. Real Life Hero lived up to his hero status and kept me steady.

Before I get into the details of the performance, from my personal point of view and opinion, despite the number of children we saw, both Real Life Hero and I agree the musical is for more mature audiences. Some of the humor, acting,
Me inside the theater.
I'm not sure why I look so serious,
I was having a good time.
and at least one of the songs isn't exactly geared toward them. This is me and my husband's opinion and not to start any debate. Each parent has to decide what's best for their kids, we're just giving our input.


The musical opens much like the movie. Our version didn't have any stained glass windows for this part like the movie, but that does NOT take ANYTHING away from the performance.

Some of the main differences (aside from humor, innuendo, and music being more mature) is that there are more musical numbers, and some things expanded on, and other things changed to suit the venue. In movies you can do things you can't do on a stage and vice versa.

One of the songs that isn't in the movie, and one of my new favorites, is If I Can't Love Her, and the Reprise. I loved seeing more into the Beast's emotions in a way the movie doesn't show as much. It also put me in mind of a little of how Monroe sometimes
feels in my novel, All's Fair In Love & Lion.

Also, the lessons the servants give the Beast (Sam Hartley did an awesome job in this role) and the way he tried to implement them were hilarious. At one point he was repeating to himself "Act like a gentleman. Act. Like. A. GENTLEman." It was cute and heartwarming.

Brooke Quintana gave a lovely performance as Belle. She can belt out some of those notes, too. It was amazing! I really enjoyed one of the new songs they had for Belle called Home.

Speaking of Gaston, Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek was superb. He played up the arrogance even more than the movie, and sang extremely well.

In the movie, LeFou (Gaston's sidekick) is a bit of a bumbler. In the musical they played this aspect of his personality up with a ton of tumbling. Both me and Real Life Hero were extremely impressed with Matt Dasilva's performance.

You can get the full cast information here.

The Be Our Guest musical number was impressive (and got a ton of applause). The Beast's transformation was also done well.

There's a Gaston song called Me. Given the time period of the story (probably early 1700s) it illustrates much of the mindset of a woman's role in society and how they were often viewed. It's not the most flattering toward women type of song, but when taken in context, it makes sense.


All in all, if the musical is coming to your area, I highly recommend going. It's romantic, funny, fun, and definitely worth it.

I plan on getting the soundtrack at some point. I really enjoyed it.

Have A Fantastically Fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How Do You Do It?

Happy Wednesday All,

Whew. I'm tired, are you? For one thing, Texas is back to yucky weather. Luckily it's not supposed to be as bad as a week ago, but it certainly wasn't fun to be woken at 4:30 a.m. with a Tornado Warning.

Now, I appreciate the National Weather Service (NWS) doing its best to keep people safe. In fact, I'm grateful, and I respect what they're doing. Honestly, I do. What I don't like is the fact that after being woken at 4:30 a.m. (when I finally was able to sleep after dealing with Youngest waking up every 1-2 hours because Youngest is going through a rough patch right now--something all people go through and it's not dangerous, just hard) is that I couldn't go back to sleep for the longest time! I finally conked out
around 6ish, I think. Only to wake up again around 6:30 or so. Then I went back to sleep until Youngest decided that at 7:27 a.m. sleep was a rotten idea, and it was time to get up (this was after Youngest had been a little restless here and there).

Now I've been in the very little/no sleep position as a Mom before. This is NOT my first sleep deprivation rodeo. However, it's not any easier than any other time. In fact, any time it happens is harder than before because I'm older now than I was before. (That's the funny thing about the years passing, huh? You get older!)

Does sleep deprivation kill the writing side of my life--the creativity? Sometimes. Not always. It really depends on where I am
in a story or what's going on. Currently the incredibly talented and awesome Stacy Hoff is looking over one of my WIPs (Works In Progress) so I'm not really working on it too diligently. My husband teases me because I've been working a little on several stories at once. He thinks I need to focus on one story at a time. He might be right, but I figure if I have an idea for something, get it written so that I can focus. 

In fact, I got an idea for one story that I'll be implementing while I'm waiting for Stacy's comments. (Speaking of which, Stacy's novels are fun and imaginative, I urge you to check them out. Particularly her Desire series. The television network in her stories is just itching for lawsuits! LOL).

A lot of people ask me "How do you do it?" I write whenever I can grab a minute--or whenever Real Life Hero (my husband) takes the
Offspring and I have a flash of inspiration. I think about my stories and work almost all the time. Laying in bed at night, I'll contemplate scenes before falling asleep.

When writing is what you want to do--really want to do--you find a way. I've learned that whatever you have a passion for you will make time to do. As a mom, I have a responsibility to my Offspring to be Mom to them. I love them, and want to provide for them. So, I find ways of doing it. I love to read, so I find time to do that, too--even if that means reading off my E-reader apps on my phone. You have to be flexible. But if I didn't have the passion
for these things, I don't think I'd make the time. It's not easy and if you're doing one thing other things will suffer (like housework) but you have to find a balance (if you can, sometimes you don't find a good balance, but you have to do your best)--and sometimes you just have to accept the bad with the good. Some days are good, some are bad. I think that's what any mom or person goes through with whatever they do. I don't think it's exclusive to Moms/Dads who are writers. Based on what I've seen/heard, it's just life.

Anyway, I hope your week is going well and if you're in Texas, stay dry!

If you cross paths with Stacy Hoff, tell her I said hi. :-)

Have A Wondrously Whimsical Wednesday!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Motorcycles, Deep Characters, & More...

Happy Friday One & All,

And also, Happy April! It's April 1st. No, I'm not going to play any April Fool's jokes on you. Just a straight post, so no worries.

Today, though, is a surprise book review! No, the author didn't ask me this time, this is just me telling you about a book I read this week.

On Tuesday, March 29, YA Contemporary author, Katie McGarry's newest Thunder Road series book, Walk The Edge came out. I had pre-ordered an e-book copy and it arrived on Tuesday. I finished it at 11:38 p.m. (between family, and my own writing demands) I finished it.

Razor and Breanna are excellent characters--complex, emotional, and deep.

Katie's writing has a sense of honesty about it. I can't exactly explain it.

Her characters are "broken" and/flawed, but want what's good and right in the world. They have a strong sense of justice. Even if they're down a bad or dark path, they want what's good. They want something right, they just don't always know what the right thing is or how to get it.

Her stories are gritty, and pull no punches.

I've been following Katie's career with great interest (and have read everything she's published) since her first novel, Pushing The Limits (one of my favorites) was first released. (You can read about how I met Katie here).

I also appreciate the amount of time and research she puts into her work.

So, if you're in the mood for motorcycle clubs, emotional story lines, and complex characters, I recommend you head out to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and get yourself a copy of Walk The Edge.

Have A Fabulously Fun Friday!