May 29, 2013

Hollywood Hearts-The Great Gatsby

New York. 1922.  The tempo of the city had changed. The buildings here higher.  The parties were bigger. The morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness approached hysteria. -The Great Gatsby.

View The Great Gatsby's official trailer.

We just saw The Great Gatsby and I liked it.  Filmed in Australia, the scenery, the sets, the costumes, oh those costumes, and Leonardo DeCaprio were standouts.  He played the ever hopeful Jay Gatsby.  At 38, his face is still pretty and, as he ages, I think he will remain a handsome man. His intense blue eyes speak of his love... If you are not familiar with F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel, please read it, and watch this movie. I don't want to spoil the story for you here.

Computers are heavily involved in the making of this film, yet the actors still emote and the drama seems real in an artfully unrealistic way.  Tobey MacGuire, aka Spiderman, did a believable job as Gatsby's friend. I read they are friends in every day life, too.  I also heard someone say Carey Mulligan was not exotic enough to play Daisy, the main female character. I don't think she needed to be exotic.  Gatsby's love for her was pure and although she wore the ornate dresses and glitter and pearls of the rich Roaring Twenties, her face carried an innocence to warrant his want for her.

View a video of Carey Mulligan's Vogue shoot as she reads from the novel. .

View The Great Gatsby and Tiffany's 2013 Blue Book Collection jewelry-

View The Great Gatsby costumes -

I was disappointed by all the electronic music and screaming vocals. One trailer I found played a ragtime tune, but the movie soundtrack was more modern, more Moulin Rouge.  Come to find out, the director of Gatsby, Baz Luhrman, likewise directed Moulin Rouge.  Don't get me wrong.  I loved the music in Moulin Rouge.  I've seen it several times- on purpose.  Perhaps they were going for a younger audience in The Great Gatsby.  Did I hear a rapper at one point?  Not sure. The music was often distracting.

Music aside, it's worth the price of matinee admission, at least, to see the hundreds of extras in all their glamorous glory, plus you still have DeCaprio's blue eyes...

I want to thank YouTube and its contributors for putting up such great clips for me to find and share with all of you.

May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Ceremony

Each year we see attendance grow at the Memorial Day ceremony at the foot of Centre Street in downtown Fernandina.  Simply put, it does a heart good.

2013 Memorial Day Ceremony
veterans stand before WWII Army truck

 Laying the wreath in honor of those who have died.
(Note gull overhead in top left of photo.)
Taps Bugle Call being played... 
Post 54 American Legion Chaplain Bruce Malcolm


May 21, 2013

Diet Dessert

I came up with this gem of a recipe I like to call Chocolate, Butter, Sugar Juice. While it's really not much of a recipe, the good news is you probably have all the ingredients on hand.  When you need a sweetie and chocolate but don't want to eat the whole cake or box of cookies, try this. No flour calories plus the real secret is to eat this with a fork.  It's a slow process so you can savor each bite and your sweet teeth will be satisfied.  Enjoy!

You'll need:

a microwavable proof glass
a pat of butter or any kind of margarine or cholesterol cutting spread you use
a dusting of cocoa
a pack of Splenda or Stevia
a splash of vanilla
a small blob of peanut butter (optional)

Mix the above ingredients and nuke in the microwave until melted.
Be sure to use a pot holder to retrieve the hot glass.

It might not be pretty but it sure serves as a sweetie substitute.

May 18, 2013

Quotes for Book Lovers

There is a lovely used book store in Tallahassee, Florida called My Favorite Books. Here is a link to their site.
As we were checking out, I saw three totes hanging overhead with the following quotes on them. Oh, these canvas totes are available for purchase, of course.  Just contact the store through their website.
"I cannot live without books."- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1815

 "She is too fond of books and it has addled her brain." - Louisa May Alcott
"When I get a little money, I buy books: and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. " - Erasmus

May 14, 2013

Making the Mark- Character Names

As I've said before, I like to use different, old-fashioned sounding names for players in my Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trilogy, set in the 1880s in Florida.  BUT, they must be universally pronounceable so all readers are thinking the same name as the story unfolds.

I have three new background characters in Mark of a Man, volume #3 in the series. (Each novel stands alone.)

Juniata- first name of the secretary for the fictional Dunnigan family's Aqua Verdi Passenger Line company.  I saw an old graduation announcement from Juniata College near Altoona in Pennsylvania. There is a Juniata river in central Pennsylvania, too.  I like the flow of the sound of the four syllables when I say the name.

Jency- first name of a Dunnigan character by marriage.  Her involvement promotes much angst from misunderstanding...  I recently heard someone talking about their relative by this name. Different and old-timey sounding, I think.

Perpetua- first name of a baby in Mark of a Man.  I changed the baby's original name to this, but won't tell you what that original name was lest I hurt someone's feelings who has that name.  I heard Perpetua while watching the History Channel.  She was a Christian martyr who died in the Roman Coliseum for not renouncing her faith.  While the name carries a rich pedigree, I thought, why not give it to the baby because this saint was, after all, once a baby, too. It's a beautiful name.  Here is a link with interesting facts about Saint Perpetua. -

The sources of my characters' names are random.  I don't seek the names.  They jump to within my hearing and what a joy it is for me as I stop, listen and adopt them into my fictional family of characters.

May 11, 2013

Mama, Mother, Mom


Thoughts of a mother take us home and we are blessed.

May 8, 2013

Off or Off-Off Broadway?

You hear about Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, right?  I always figured it had to do with small or low budget productions or shows working on improving their plots and staging. These shows weren't ready for the main Broadway drag so were housed a few blocks away, in lesser-known theaters.  I was wrong.  It's all about seating capacity. If a theater has 100 to 499 seats, it's considered Off-Broadway.  If there are less than 100 seats, it's called Off-Off Broadway!

May 7, 2013

50th Annual Shrimp Festival

Friday afternoon we set up the tent, dodging raindrops and wearing our Disney World ponchos with Mickey Mouse on the back. We'd put up the tent before but never the side curtains. Like squeezing 20 pounds of potatoes into a 10 lb. sack, we managed to get the zippers down on all sides. The most surprising part was the front flap ended up at the front of the tent.  A few mishaps occurred by nothing major.  My wet flip flops slipped off the ladder and I fell on my elbow but the picket fence behind the tent broke my fall. 
It rained all day Saturday while we, along with all the other vendors, waited patently inside for the heavens to dry up. Didn't happen. The winds blew, knocking over this, breaking that- my main poster frame and glass--bummer. A few patrons walked about town under umbrellas. When someone found my tent, I knew my carefully combed hair and makeup was less than perfect.  "Please excuse the way I look."  "You look just like everybody else," she replied.  How right she was.  Finally, at 5 pm, the official shut down time anyway, we exited the tent, zipping her up and left for the night.
It was sprinkling at 7 am on Sunday.  Out came the ponchos but by 9ish, someone shouted, "Look, look!  Blue sky!"  Whoops and hollers roared and the streets filled with thousands of town folk and visitors ready to cram two days of fun into one. It was a good show, at least one day of it, and we were all glad for that.
It took longer to tear down than it did set up and we had more stuff to get home.  Bruce explained it was because he'd made several trips home for more things like shelves and racks at my request.  I forgot that part.  With his pickup literally overflowing and tied down as tightly as he could get it, I followed him home, ready to flash my lights if and when something fell off the back.  Despite hitting a pothole or two, nothing landed in the street! We unloaded his truck once home, but were so tired, we left my car packed until---Well, it's still loaded. It's on the list to do tomorrow, two days after the event. 
A great big thank you to all the new friends I met at the Shrimp Festival.  Join us here at the Gracious Jane Marie Blog and where we celebrate
 heart and home with roses, recipes and tasteful romance! 
 the tent was up just before the rain - that's Jane Marie peeking out
setting up inside the tent while the rains came and came and came,
 note book in ziplock bag for safe keeping

Jane Marie's stuff

                    painted art glass, painted crystal necklace, easel art- where the livin' is easel, tea tiles

The Goodbye Lie- what started it all...

                                                             hand painted carafes for wine, water or juice
Secret Pebbles-hand painted stones, verses with organza gift bags
and then the sun shown.  Oh happy, happy day!
See you next year!