Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Walkin' Myelin & Myel-out" to Help Support a Friend

On April 19th, I will be participating in the 2015 Walk MS in Narragansett, Rhode Island as part of team "Walkin' Myelin & Myel-out." The team is captained by my friend Renee Holder and so far a little over $1,900 has been raised of the team's $2,500 goal - with most of that being raised by Renee who personally battles MS every single day of her life.

I'm walking this year not just to support Renee who is an amazing woman but also to support the on-going research of a disease that affects millions of people with its unpredictable symptoms that range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

I'd like to ask for your support in helping my team meet its goal but rather than just hope you'll find it in your heart to donate the cost of a cup of coffee (the expensive Starbucks kind!), I'd like to offer you something in return for your kindness and generosity. If you click on the link that I'm providing at the end of this post, visit my personal page, and make a donation in the amount of $3 or more, I will send you a digital file of this photo of Portland Head Light in Maine - one of America's most iconic symbols - that I recently shot on a very cold February day.



The high-resolution file (that won't include a watermark!) will print up to 16x20 should you want a photo that large or make a snappy background photo for your computer if you don't want to print it out but either way, it's my way of saying "thank you" for your support and help in the battle against MS.

If you don't wish to make a donation, I fully understand and would simply ask that perhaps you'd consider sharing this post just in case someone you know does. So what do you say? Visit the link and help a friend out who's trying to help a friend out! Thank you!

My MS Walk 2015 Page

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Ordinary Boy" is No Ordinary Read

I've not posted anything on this blog in a very, very, very long time but I thought I'd bring it out of mothballs long enough to share a book review from Goodreads as I think this book is definitely worthy of not just reading but reviewing and recommending!

Ordinary BoyOrdinary Boy by Stacey Longo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a rule when I think about Stacey Longo's writing I think of words like "Terrifying and scary!" but the only thing that's terrifyingly scary in her new book is how well she - as an adult female - has managed to get into the mind of a teenage boy. Even though the opening of the book tells us that Curtis Price is dead, Stacey does a terrific job of bringing him to life along with all of the nuances growing up as an outsider in the 80s entailed.

In "Ordinary Boy" you meet ordinary people who lead ordinary lives but they're ordinary people that you like, ordinary people that you don't like, and ordinary people that you've no doubt met in the course of your own ordinary life. Stacey Longo has written an extraordinary story about an ordinary boy who may have led an ordinary life but who is anything but ordinary as there is a little of Curtis Price in all of us.

Curtis is a good kid with a good heart growing up on the wrong side of the tracks (if Osprey Falls, Maine has tracks that is!) with a mother who can't afford to pay the bills, his older sister Sally that he shares a room with even into his late teens, and his beloved Nana who exits the story way too soon. Like a lot of kids from broken homes, Curtis has a dad who fails to pay his child support and barely pays any attention to the kids he left behind leaving Mom to explain about things like wet dreams and other parts of growing up male that should have been answered by dear old Dad. It's in some of Curtis' conversations with his mother that you really have to wonder if Stacey Longo grew up as a boy in another life as she's got male puberty nailed down quite well.

Growing up in The Meadows, Curtis is not one of the popular kids in school nor is he one in his own neighborhood after a brief indiscretion but he doesn't go out of his way to try to become one either. He frequents his local library (good boy!) where some of his best friends are found in the pages of sci-fi and horror novels, makes a real-life best friend in another outsider - Al - whose family has money but a lack of familial warmth, works at a local nursing home where he truly cares about the residents there, and falls in love with a girl who in turn loves Curtis for the sensitive, good guy that he is. Unfortunately though, there are adults in the book who make a lot of bad decisions which end up in Curtis' tragic death which in turn ends up showing Curtis that he was no "ordinary boy" after all.

The true hallmark of a good writer is when you want to reach into the pages of a story and shake or slap a character or two and that's exactly what you'll want to do with several of them in this book. A story that you're going to have a hard time putting down once you pick it up, I highly recommend an "Ordinary Boy" which left me with a few questions but that's good as it meant I cared about the story's characters and I think you will too.


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