Monday, December 30, 2013

Events For CALIFORNIA APRICOTS Now Scheduled for 2014

With my friend Claudia Nord Campbell, a friend since kindergarten, who stopped by my book event at Capitola Book Cafe. It was a surprise since she lives in Washington State!

Now that we are in the final days of 2013, I'm guessing many of you will have purchased your 2014 calendars--those of you who still use the analogue calendar, as I do. The computer and iPhone are efficient for schedule-keeping, but I still enjoy writing things down. 

But, whatever style of datebook you use, I hope you will mark it for the CALIFORNIA APRICOTS events we have scheduled in the early months of the year. So here we go:

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Mysterious Message in the Pocket of the Chinese Jacket

The jacket came from a discount store I frequent, and carried the Guess label. 

Just before Christmas I did a little shopping for myself, and, as is my wont, I descended upon one of my favorite discount stores, into which goods trickle from some of the better shops. Bloomies, Saks, and other stores of that ilk are always changing displays and seasons and, after a certain amount of time, they sell what consumers don't purchase to discounters like TJMaxx and Marshalls. Lovely.

If you take your time and sift though the loads of stuff that isn't worth very much, you can find a gem or two from time to time. That is how I felt when I came across a jacket on my shopping day in brown-ish/red-ish leather. The price was right. The jacket fit and it had these cool zip pockets: just the right size for an iPhone or a house key. And, it was from the company called "Guess" a nice sportswear brand.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hale and Farewell to Two of Hollywood's Best

Joan Fontaine and Peter O'Toole died this week. Each is unforgettable and each appeared in films that will never be forgotten.

I was sad to hear that two of Hollywood's best were gone this week: Joan Fontaine (age 96) and Peter O'Toole (age 81) died just a day apart. They both were born with photogenic faces and both had the talent to make that beauty memorable. Fontaine's career began to sparkle at the end of the richest years of Hollywood--the 1930s--and bloomed in the 1940s. She and her famous sister, Olivia de Havilland, became the only two siblings to each win an Oscar for Best Actress. 

O'Toole was a hard-living man of the 1960s, who made one of the best films of all time--Lawrence of Arabia--and, though he almost killed himself with alcohol, he did survive to make more films for which he will also be remembered. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last Minute Booking at Andy's Orchard

With friends at Books Inc., in Mountain View. We had a really busy day!

I just did CALIFORNIA APRICOTS book event #37 on Saturday, 12/14/13, at Books, Inc. on Castro Street in Mountain View. This wonderful independent bookstore was swamped as shoppers dropped in for Christmas gifts and browsed the many titles. The people who work at Books, Inc. are great at customer service too! Doug, Alex, Loren--you know who you are!

Anyway, this is just to let my readers know we have one more event scheduled (#38) ... before we all take off for the rest of the year ...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Treasures Of Old Photos Help Us Time Travel

My father, in a photo of the 38th Engineers on Ascension Island. I have a lot of photos of Ascension, but I had never seen this one. 2nd Lt. William Ashley Chapman is in the back row, sixth from right. 

A Colorado man whose father served with mine on Ascension Island during World War II, found a blog I keep about the men who built Wideawake Field. Michael Murray sent me the above photo, which made me ponder the importance of these photos of our loved ones, especially those who we have lost who served our nation.  Here's a link to my thoughts on "Wideawake Engineers."

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Writers Behaving Badly in the London Blitz

New book from Lara Feigel of King's College, London.

I've been working on research about World War II, and, at the library one day, I happened to stumble upon a fascinating new book with the curious title, The Love-charm of Bombs, by Lara Feigel. She has accomplished a daunting work of scholarship, as she follows five prominent writers during the time of the London Blitz.

The eerieness of the setting and the wild behavior of the protagonists, makes the story irresistible. The skies seem to rain orange on every page.