A favorite, inspirational video

So let us cut to the chase and view exactly what is going through my head and inspiring me to write.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, just going through the post-Christmas pre-New Year’s part of the year pondering the next.
Traditionally, we’re still going through the 12 days of Christmas.
Jesus’ birthday seemed even less spiritual this year despite repeated viewings of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and reading the nativity passage from the Gospel of Luke.
The holiday seems over and done with as the decorations come down and the gift wrap gets thrown out.
Trying to find ways to keep entertained, I’ve been watching classic movies I’ve missed such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” on my new Kindle Fire.
Also re-reading “Spellsinger” as noted in my last blog entry. I’m sure I’ll write more about that next year.
A big thank you to my thoughtful roommates for the Kindle Fire gift.
Haven’t figured out how to text or write effectively on the Kindle yet, though.
Any movie suggestions welcome.
Will probably watch “The Hustler” next as it is considered a classic.
I’ll go out with a new video that showed up in my Facebook newsfeed thanks to Zooey Deschanel.

Zooey, I’m free but would need a babysitter for my daughter if you’re thinking about Times Square.


Why Spellsinger Movie?

I saw “Heavy Metal” at the movies three times.                        

That animated feature showed Rock ‘n’ Roll short films that were just plain cool.

Rock remains part of my life that helps me feel good.

Now there’s a move toward making one of my favorite fantasy books featuring Rock into a movie – Spellsinger.

The book poses the question “Can an amateur musician draw the magic from the music before evil forces overcome the worlds he knows?”

Spellsinger as a movie will sell tickets and earn dollars because anything featuring Rock ‘n’ Roll, magic, fighting overwhelming odds, human and anthropomorphic characters with subversive humor and even a patriotic theme will attract both Baby Boomers and rebellious teens.

Think Lord of the Rings – both feature quests into hostile territory – except Spellsinger’s content is a bit lighter and features Rock instead of classical music.


Spellsingers’ characters themselves attract the liberal and conservative, the wise greybeard (a turtle this time out), a young peacenik man pulled from a rite of passage into yet deeper rites of good battling evil, a cowardly thief unsure there may be something in life worth fighting for, a strong woman that would give Scarlett O’Hara a run for her money – if not beat Scarlett senseless for her pettiness and weak dependence on men.

Shrek and other animated movies like it show that subversive sells well – especially when mixed with Rock.

Spellsinger features classic rock, classic themes and classic scenes.

The potential exists to turn it into a successful, money-earning franchise due to the original book’s sequels.

I just want to see it again.

I saw it the first time in my mind when I read the series and am seeing it again as I read back through “Spellsinger.”

Long after the movie’s first run, the film will likely be seen as a showcase for Rock and a turning point in film production.

The technology exists to turn a special book into a special film.

And bring the music-made magic back into the movies.

Bedtime Kahani / Positive Movie

Very little to write this week other than my plans for the weekend shown by clicking on the “Bedtime Kahani” link in my blogroll.
In addition, I had to miss a movie premiere and I’m wondering how I got on the list of invites.
The movie was “The Mighty Macs.”
The producer’s “mission statement” seemed attractive but the invitation came at such short notice that after RSVP-ing the invite went to Smita Lal and her husband (see link above) who enjoyed the movie.
Here’s the mission statement from the producer:

The mission of the filmmakers is to make movies that move people in a positive way. We have all seen films that have impacted us and changed the way we think and live. Films like Hoosiers, Rudy, Schindler’s List and many others that have impacted us and even in some cases changed us for the better. It is our hope that when people leave the theater after seeing The Mighty Macs, they leave inspired and impacted in a positive way. If you would like to help us increase the reach and impact of this film, please click on the share button above and tell your friends and family about the opening on October 21st. Encourage them to tell everyone they know and even if they want to buy out the theater for their local sports team or high school. Thank you for your support.

Tim Chambers
Writer, Director and Producer of The Mighty Macs

Spellsinger – Soundtrack Possibilities

Movie soundtracks can make or break those moving pictures.
That’s my belief anyway.
So here we go with another riff on a favorite book.
To understand the possibilities picked during a slow day at work, you must understand the premise behind Alan Dean Foster’s book “Spellsinger.”
This can be found on my last blog entry, but I’m going to Google deeper to see if there’s a synopsis available that I can edit down to prevent giving away too much.

I think I’ll just link to one:


Okay, so that out of the way, we know the book contains references to real songs.
I’m waiting on another copy of the book from Amazon.com because mine has been misplaced through the decades since I’ve read it.
The same mistake will hopefully allow for some of my choices here that are meant to be heavy on guitar and magic.
I know there’s a Johnny Cash song in the book but don’t remember it, but here goes my suggestions for the soundtrack:

Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix
Rock of Ages – Def Leppard
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC / DC
Tom Sawyer – Rush
Walking in Space – Quincy Jones (Guitar solo at 7.25 minutes)
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Strange Universe – Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush
Be Free – Loggins and Messina
Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band
Daydream – Robin Trower
The Lightning’s Hand – Kansas
The Man on the Silver Mountain – Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow
Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
Green Grass and High Tides – The Outlaws
Stranglehold – Ted Nugent
Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
Agora – Phil Keaggy
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed – Allman Brothers Band
Birds of Fire – Mahavishnu Orchestra
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – Jeff Beck
Season of the Witch – Donovan
Zap – Eric Johnson (1977 version)
I’m Ok – Styx
Rock and Roll Fantasy – Bad Company

But wait, there’s more:

Breaking the Law
Hell Bent for Leather– Judas Priest
Hopelessly Human – Kansas
Flirtin with Disaster – Molly Hatchet
I Will Follow – U2
Rough Boys – Pete Townsend
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide – ZZ Top
Girl U Want
Satisfaction – Devo

Feel free to add your selections, correct me and quote songs from the book.

For fun, here’s a rendering of Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

A Favorite Book to Become Movie

A favorite author / adventurer, Alan Dean Foster, recently optioned movie rights to his fantasy novel “Spellsinger” first published in paperback in 1983.
I’m hopeful to see it rendered in a form like that of “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”
Amazon.com features this description of the book made available for Kindle this February via publisher Open Road:

Jonathan Thomas Meriweather is a typical college student, interested in girls, music, and an occasional taste of reefer. But when a journey through an interdimensional portal lands him in a world of talking animals and ominous sorcery, he finds he is on a very different trip indeed. Here, when he plays a strange instrument called a duar, peculiar things happen—powerful magic that may be the only way to stop a dark force that threatens his new world—and his old one. Reluctantly, he finds himself teaming up with a semi-senile turtle wizard; a thieving, backstabbing otter; and a bewildered Marxist dragon to rally an army for the war about to come.

Concept pictures for two main characters appear at a fellow WordPress Blog:

Official Announcement from Alan Dean Foster.

Foster deserves the title author / adventurer thanks to his ongoing world travels and competitive powerlifting mentioned in his October update on his website here:


Eulogy for a Father-in-law known only by phone

The telephone rang and the male voice on the other end asked cheerfully “is my daughter Alana there?”

That left little doubt who was calling – her father Alan Keith Cook whose memory and military service we honor today.

There was also little doubt as to the pride and love Mr. Cook felt for his daughter. After more than 30 years they were working to re-knit a relationship unraveled by time, distance and struggles to survive.

On the telephone, you could hear in Mr. Cook’s voice an exuberance that their ties were renewed and his daughter had done well in life despite their separation.

We can only speculate that his life was improving as well with God’s peace and love touching his soul.

What makes great art is its reflection of life.

In that theme, Mr. Cook’s life had parallels with a musical titled “Carousel” where a man named Billy fathers a daughter days before dying. He is sent back to earth 15 years later and the plot unfolds as he helps a daughter struggling with unfair stereotypes and life.

At the musical’s end, Billy, whispers to his daughter, telling her to have confidence in herself as she and others sing the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

I can imagine Mr. Cook, in his way, echoing this song:

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.

(Play Johnny Cash version)

Wooden Art Q&A

A static display of pine cones and sticks arranged by my daughter.

I’m rewriting this to get in some important (to me, at least) observations about nature, Noah’s Ark, Jesus, Christianity, Martha, Mary and Lazarus (a New Testament dysfunctional, strange family who hosted Jesus a lot) and anything else I might think of while viewing nature at its best and worst.

To start, a short Q&A with the daughter, 6.

Dad: Can I ask you some questions?

Daughter: I want to do something on your blog.

Dad: We are.

Dad: What did you arrange the cones for?

Daughter: I don’t know.

Dad: I thought you said you were trying to keep the bears from getting them?

Daughter: I want to do something else. I want to play with the pokemon or yu-gi-oh cards.

(Phone rings) Son says: Dad, we just got here. Just wanted to let you know. (Son, 10, went with friends and friend’s mom to restaurant).

Dad: Okay, thanks for checking in.

Interview obviously over, daughter looks through the movies on DVD as dad ponders another blog entry.

Then daughter hands dad the DVD repair kit to fix a scratched-up “Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper.”

While that DVD undergoes repair, she gets out “Godzilla.” This is the 1998 version with Matthew Broderick.

Chaos ensues as dad and daughter try to find a more appropriate DVD for a six-year-old.

Finally, she settled on “Baker’s Hawk.”

The story centers on a boy, an injured hawk and eccentric old man who helps heal the hawk.

Dad put the blog on halt to use computer as DVD player.

That was over quick because daughter couldn’t get past the introduction.

So dad and daughter made sure the Barbie DVD was indeed repaired as the boy returned and lamented on having to return to his mother’s home.

I remarked on the drive to his mother’s home how God had been providing for our needs, not letting us go hungry. The boy, 10, had just feasted on ribs (his favorite meal) and had evidence to show for it all over his face.

I related how people at work kept giving me chicken, pizza, potato salad and other food. I had ramen to eat for lunch, but I rarely could eat it because co-workers continued to bring me food as if someone had died in the family. It’s just been crazy weird that way since Christmas and Jehovah-Gireh Dad has got to be behind this.

Father God is providing for both my physical and spiritual hunger. The physical gets quenched. The spiritual seems to get worse and I want to know, feel, live all God can give.

But I wasn’t really knowing, feeling, living that way when I wrestled the children out of bed Sunday morning to make them go mingle with believers thinking this is what the children need and it’ll be good for them.

Right when we got to the middle school we believers meet in, I noted with satisfaction we were meeting in the auditorium.

The auditorium featured a nice big screen with black drapes and stage – no distracting Coolio poster here (see https://samwrites2.wordpress.com/2008/04/03/sometimes-my-aadd-kicks-in-during-praise/ ).

The elders put the podium down in front of the stage so everybody still related on the same level

Then we heard about Colossians 3:12-17 and after that Luke 10, I think.

Basically, it boiled down to this. Are we doing what we want to do and then asking God to help us or are we asking God what we should be doing and when?

This is where the dysfunctional family Martha, Mary and Lazarus come in.

See, in the first tale Martha got miffed at Mary who was hanging out at Jesus’ feet trying to be a disciple. Feminist overtones aside, Martha thought she was doing what Jesus needed (without asking Jesus) and told Jesus to tell Mary to get off her butt and help with the womens’ work. Jesus gently said Mary was doing what was right (and following God’s priorities). Then later we have the whole dead Lazarus scene where Martha tells Jesus he could have stopped her brother’s death. Then Jesus had to explain how Lazarus had to die so God could be glorified and everyone would know God sent Jesus.

Then Mary washed Jesus’ feet with the nard and once again Jesus had to expound how she was seeking God’s priorities instead of man’s or her own. That was the commentary anyway, which rang true to me.

Meanwhile, the kids are studying Noah’s Ark. My son tells me God shut the door to the ark.  I had to ask, “Who opened it?” We figured somehow Noah probably did even though it just says in the Bible “So Noah came out” when God told him to. (NIV).

And that’s pretty much our Sunday aside from a short walk with Dixie the dog.

Son made this neat ark model, below.