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DARYL HANNAH: One Year Later; A New Face for Autsim Awareness by Scott Lentine, with Elizabeth Searle

One year ago, Daryl Hannah boldly became a public face for Autism.  Author and Autism activist Scott Lentine had this update to add to his comments a year ago:

Singing Star SUSAN BOYLE

Singing Star SUSAN BOYLE

” Within the past year, numerous celebrities have forward with their diagnoses of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. In September 2013, Daryl Hannah revealed her diagnosis to People Magazine after years of much speculation by the press.

Not long after Daryl Hannah’s interview, Scottish singer Susan Boyle disclosed her diagnosis of Asperger’s to the public. Having these stars come out of their inner shells about their status on the autism spectrum will help bring autism issues to the forefront of the public in the coming years.”

Thanks to SCOTT LENTINE for the update and for his words below, from September of 2013:

Because I taught autistic students for several years as a Special Ed. aide, I was moved by Daryl Hannah’s recent announcement that she has struggled with Autism.

I decided to ask fellow writer and Autism activist Scott Lentine for his reaction.dhUnknown

Scott had this to say:

I posted that link on my wall since Daryl Hannah is perhaps the noteworthy Hollywood celebrity on the spectrum. I know for a few years that she was somewhere on the higher end of the spectrum. As a person with high-functioning autism, this announcement from Daryl H. mean a lot to me since Hollywood hasn’t always accurately pictured autism in the movies, with “Rain Man” and “Temple Grandin” so far being the best movies about autism. In general, Hollywood is still lagging behind on autism compared to the other social issues they have tackled over the century. Personally, from Daryl, I have enjoyed Splash, Wall Street, Roxanne, Blade Runner, and the Kill Bill movies. Perhaps, someday, Daryl Hannah could get invited to autism functions across the U.S., including at AANE in Watertown.”

Hope that Daryl Hannah hears Scott and other voices in the Autism community urging her to keep speaking out and stepping out as a new and beautiful face  in the forefront of Autsim awareness.

Cheers and thanks to Scott Lentine, who blogs at:

http://scottlentine.wordpress.com/about/

(photo: Independent.com via GoogleImages)

THE SNOWDEN TEN by Litotes

ap_edward_snowden_dm_130610_wg

SEPT. 8, 2014: In honor of today’s International Day of Readings for Edward Snowden, I re-post:

THE SNOWDEN TEN

by Litotes

~Should we expect our public servants not to lie about what they’re doing in our name?
~Should we expect our public servants to stop doing something if we tell them to?  (As opposed to simply renaming the program and carrying on?)
~If whistleblowers are supposed to tell their bosses, and Snowden did that, what was he supposed to do next?
~Why did the US government feel it necessary to reassure the world it wasn’t going to torture Snowden?
~What would it take to get someone to leave a pole-dancing girlfriend and a cushy six-figure job in Hawaii?
~If the bad guys already know they are being watched, exactly what did Snowden leak that would prevent the NSA from doing its job?
~Is there anything in the “we need a haystack for our needle” argument beyond – duh – “if we knew everything we could catch every bad guy”?  That justifies hoovering how, exactly?
nsaimages~How do we know the NSA doesn’t classify some things, not because they need to be secret, but only because they’re embarrassing?
~If Obama came into office wanting more government transparency, exactly how did the NSA change his mind?
~If the Internet is compromised, what does the NSA use instead when it wants to do secret stuff?
Litotes
(photos: GoogleImages, AP.com, businessinsider.com)

Dark Yet Perky: Elizabeth’s Blog Book Tour by Elizabeth Searle

Welcome to my ‘Blog Book Tour'; happy to discuss my works-in-progress here and to introduce three scribes on the rise.  THANKS, first, to PAULA TREICK DeBOARD, who asked me to take part in this ‘blog book tour.’  Paula is a stellar novelist and a Stoneocast MFA alum. I knew the minute I read Paula’s workshop work that she is a born storyteller who won’t let you go once you start her compelling tales.

Check out Paula’s blog and Blog Book Tour answers:  Live from the Bean (Go, Paula!)

Suzanne Strempek Shea and me at Stonecoast MFA this summer

Suzanne Strempek Shea (right) and me at Stonecoast MFA this summer, 2014

Paula kindly ‘passed the torch’ and a Book Tour question-list to me.  In the Blog Book Tour, writers answer the questions below on their blogs and tap other writers to do the same.  So I’m happy to answer these questions below, then to introduce three terrific authors whose answers I will be eager to read: Suzanne Strempek Shea, Matthew Phillion and Eugenio Volpe.  All have new books out!

First: my own answers to the Blog Tour’s four questions:

1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

This will be my longest answer because I am always juggling many balls:

Bravo Sierra Pictures & Creatrix Films are 'developing' my first novel as a feature film

Bravo Sierra Pictures & Creatrix Films are ‘developing’ my first novel as a feature film

*A NOVEL set on the night of the Boston Marathon bombing man-hunt, centering on one messily ‘blended family,’ a Birth Night gone wrong and a stepson on the run.  The novel alternates between a husband and wife– two characters I’ve written about for almost as many years as I’ve been married myself.  I have always wanted to take a Birth Night and the ‘stages of labor’ and concoct a novel around that.  I didn’t know this novel would also wind up involving the horrifying and riveting Boston bomber man-hunt.  But I’ve felt compelled to set my tale on that unforgettable night, since I  live in a suburb of Boston that was ‘locked down.’  I take the title of this novel-to-be from a ‘Tweet’ sent out by Mayor Tom Menino after the capture of the bombing suspect: “We Got Him”.

*THREE PERSONAL ESSAYS which will come out in THREE FORTHCOMING ANTHOLOGIES in 2015: Paper Camera from New Rivers Press; an anthology edited by Elizabeth Benedict from Algonquin Press and an anthology edited by Nina Gaby from She Writes Press titled Dumped: Women Unfriending Women, about female friendships run aground.  Also we have a reading coming up in October from my most recent anthology, Knitting Yarns, edited by Ann Hood with a super group of fellow contributors.

The LA stars of Tonya & Nancy with me in Feb 2014

The LA stars of Tonya & Nancy with me in Feb 2014

*Several THEATER WORKS including the latest revisions on my ongoing theatrical adventure, TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA (see our Website).  I have written the libretto for a new classical opera, SEVEN RABBITS ON A POLE, based on the play by John Picardi.  Stay tuned.

*FILM SCRIPT revisions on an adaptation of my novel A FOUR-SIDED BED, which is being developed by two small film companies, Bravo Sierra and Creatrix Films.  See our sizzler reel at www.afoursidedbed.com

*SHORT STORIES; I have two that I hope to finish to ‘finish’ a new collection…

2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?

As you can see above, I work in multiple genres.  In fiction and scriptwriting both, I aim for high intensity.  I crave a certain mix of tones that I call ‘Dark Yet Perky.’ Continue Reading »

Luque PhotoLuis M. Luque is still struggling to finish his first novel. He served as a U.S. Navy mass communications specialist for 20 years and now works as a writer-editor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program. He and his wife, Vera, live in Newnan, Georgia.

The Age of Shamelessness By Luis M. Luque

The world has come out of the closet. I don’t mean that literally, of course, or even sexually. I mean it as a comment not only on the end of privacy, but also on the epidemic of immodesty and outright shamelessness that continues to spread faster than Ebola through a crowded hut.  Once upon a time, when an athlete made a game-winning play, he smiled, ran the bases, politely tipped his hat to the fans, maybe jumped into another player’s waiting arms.

cAfterward, he thoughtfully congratulated his teammates for their fine play and the opponents for their competitive spirit. 320px-Rob_Ford_MayorToday, players thump their chests, dance, blow kisses at the fans, point to their numerous tattoos, make obscene gestures, or cross themselves and point at the sky as if God were on their side. Then, for the cameras they piously talk about “heart” and “courage,” rarely acknowledging luck or the tens of millions spent to acquire more and younger talent than the opponent’s owner chose to pay. Naturally, they’d never dream of discussing the possibility that they are on a better doping schedule than their opponents!bonds_300

Still, if shamelessness were confined to the sports world, it would be a forgivable occupational hazard. There must be a bit of Hector “Macho” Camacho, Muhammad Ali, and John McEnroe in all athletes. Modesty, after all, never made a game-winning shot, buckled a championship belt, or signed a contract worth more than the budget of a small nation. Modesty never lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs despite hitting 73 home runs in your late-thirties, winning seven Cy Young Awards, or seven consecutive Tours de France.640px-Lance_Armstrong_(Tour_de_France_2009_-_Stage_17)
Hollywood, too, is one of the usual suspects. It’s easy to find fault with the brazenness of the Housewives of Anywhere, the wacky costume-wearing “singers” who audition for American Idol, or the Honey Boo Boos, the bearded Duck Dynasty stars, and Hillbilly Handfishers of the world, none of whom I suspect betray even a twinge of embarrassment when drawing on their salaries from an ATM.
Once upon a time, Elizabeth Taylor was widely reviled for her extramarital affairs, and Charlie Chaplin and Errol Flynn actually faced criminal charges for such carrying on. By contrast, Kim Kardashian settled for $5 million with Vivid Entertainment over the release of her sex tape, making more than a few cynics wonder if the “leak” of all the moaning and backdoor escapades was planned from the beginning.

Continue Reading »

Ophoto 3OBAMA IS IN THE HOUSE by Elizabeth Searle & her Friend on the Faculty

My son and I were happy to get to watch our Presdent Barack Obama speak at Worcester Technical High School’s graduation June 11th. Even in a crowd of 5000, we felt he was speaking just to us.

Our friend on the faculty (who kindly got us our tickets) files this ‘insider’ report on the big day:

** “The Secret Servicemen were not only nice, but surprisingly handsome. Watching them walk back and forth helped the female teachers pass the time backstage.”

**”Watching my junior student Lois Dwira sing the National Anthem and then get hugged by the President was a major highlight for me. She is such a lovely young woman. I’m thrilled that she was part of such an incredible event.”

Obama bonds with the student who introduced him.

Obama bonds with the student who introduced him.

**”All of the graduates were beyond excited to shake the President’s hand after receiving their diplomas. Many of the students hugged him. Several students cried. From my seat, it was clear that this touched the President. He gave those students an extra big squeeze, which made me think, You truly *get* kids. That’s great to see in a president.”

Cheers to Worcester Technical High! In the ‘disgrace’ that is our underfunded public education system, this school stands out as a success. Obama captured that can-do spirit at the lively graduation. As a voice shouted from the crowd: “OBAMA IS IN THE HOUSE!” We were thrilled to be in the house with him.

(Photos shared by our teacher on the scene to Elizabeth Searle)

As the Boston Bruins lost to the Montreal Canadiens in game seven of the semi-finals on the road to the Stanley Cup, Suzanne Strempek Shea consoled herself with memories of better Bruin days, including those she knew as a kid, when she fell in love with hockey during the reign of Bobby Orr. Here’s one of those memories.

baypathSuzanne Strempek Shea is the author of ten books, including the newly released “This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both.” www.suzannestrempekshea.com

Love on ice … at age 13 

by Suzanne Strempek Shea

“Watch out!”

My mother flung out her arm and knocked me back to the sidewalk. The big blue car that I’d almost stepped in front of rolled smoothly past us and down Causeway Street.

We’d traveled so far and I’d waited so long for this day, my mother reminded me. We were almost in the door of the Boston Garden and now I was going to get myself killed.

“But, but…”bobbyorr

“But what?”

“But that was Bobby Orr!”

I was 13 years old an absolute nut for the Boston Bruins.

This was 1972, two years after the team had won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1941, and one year after its unsuccessful defense of it. But I was no fair-weather fan. I’d long before caught the bug from my father, who grew up playing hockey on the Chicopee River that marked the end of his dead-end Chicopee Falls street. He dated my mother at Springfield Indians games in the Coliseum, where team owner and former Bruin great Eddie

Shore regularly stalked around, shining a flashlight in the face of fans brazen enough to put their feet up on the chairs in front of them.

Winter nights, I’d fall asleep listening to our radio fuzzily picking up the Bruins games on Boston’s WBZ. In time, we purchased and hooked up in our attic a huge television antenna that was shaped like an arrow and pointed in the general direction of the other end of the state, and Boston. With the dawn of cable, we got our first clear and regular pictures of the Boston Bruins in action. My passion shifted into full gear. Continue Reading »

Now updated to include pictures from our recent sold-out performances in LA, our new website tells the ongoing story of our show.  Two Girls Go for the Gold– keep updated on forthcoming 2014/2015 performances and watch our Highlights reel.

READ REVIEW QUOTES ABOUT THE ROCK OPERA:

Read more on our Press & Reviews page!
tnkingBrilliant …one of the most exciting spectacles I have ever seen …Remarkable
Steve Almond, WGBH Boston

Absurdly FUNNY… surprisingly POIGNANT moments amidst the comedy and a ROUSING SOUNDTRACK
Boston Phoenix (also printed in Weekly Digg)

Glitter, spandex and rock anthems… Searle and Director Janet Roston don’t just play the story for laughs; both Tonya and Nancy are portrayed as somewhat sympathetic… Kristen Lee Sergent is the spitting image of Kerrigan, and petite Darcie Champagne comes pretty close to Harding… Sergeant boasts a sweet, operatic soprano with a lot of power up top, and Champagne, also a fine singer, belts out Tonya’s music with accuracy and energy.”
IceNetwork.com (national figure skating website)
Knee whacking as opera; this is irresistible
Bill Littlefield, NPR

SEX AND SPORTS AND ROCK N’ ROLL… About the only thing that could have mae the 1994 Olympics any more tailor-made for the media would have been a classic rock soundtrack. Now it has one.”
Bostonevents.com

An explosive cabaret of over-the-top rock tunes sung with operatic glass-shattering intensity and accompanied by off-the-wall dance numbers. Not to mention, a storyline so melodramatic, duplicitous, and droll, It’s downright Shakespearean. I’ll never look at rock ‘n’ roll, theatre, or figure skating the same way again.”
-Will Barry, The Noise

(photo: Barry Weiss)

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