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Happy Independence Day!

I just wanted to wish everyone out there in the U.S. a Happy Independence Day tjomorrow!! With all the fear of contagion and political turmoil, I think that it is more important than ever to remember what this holiday stands for, and to come to together to celebrate not what issues we have with one another, but what brings us together as one nation. I linked this to a post I wrote a few years ago, because I think it is even more important today. Happy Holiday and stay safe out there my friends!


Happy Fourth of July!  Photo by Pixabay on

Tomorrow is officially the day we celebrate our Independence in the United States, but the festivities have already started!  (In my neighborhood, we’ve been hearing firecrackers go off in the evening all week!)

On this most important of national holidays, we recognize that our country, despite our differences, our problems, and our political debates, we all share a core of ideals and values.  We acknowledge that though we are far from perfect, we still have such potential, along with the freedom to choose our own destinies.

Tomorrow, and this week, is the perfect time to set aside our petty arguments and embrace that which makes us all Americans.  Take a moment to remember that we have servicemen and women overseas even now, sacrificing to keep our values and our safety intact.

white and red flag Happy Independence Day! Photo by Aaron Schwartz on


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In Memoriam

I wanted to share with you again this post that I wrote last year. I have never re-shared one of my own posts before, but this one so clearly captures what I was feeling at the time, and so feel, when I contemplate the meaning behind Memorial Day.
This is a day we chose to honor the memories of our fallen families, and especially the memories of those who have given their lives in service to our country.
This holiday may not be marked by the chaotic, commercialized excess with which we endow other holidays, but it is no less important in meaning.
So today, however you chose to celebrate, with fireworks and parades or visits to the graves of loved ones or just a cookout with family and friends, I wish you and yours all the best for this most solemn and proud holiday. Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day...... This cemetary has been in use for perhaps generations.  Photo by Astrid Photography. on / CC BY-NC

One of my earliest reminisces of this May holiday, before I even understood its real meaning, is of riding in the back of a pickup truck with my family down winding country roads to reach the old family cemeteries.   Once there, we would disembark and make our way up a hilly path, to a fenced-in area of carefully tended lawn bordered by shady trees.  Laden with plastic tulips and daisies, we would seek the markers for ancestors whose names I only recognized from stories, and place our bounty in careful clusters and rows.

This is one way my family honored those who had gone before, ancestors whose faces were etched in the memories of the older generation, and introduced to the children by way of books and boxes of old sepia-toned photos.  My…

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First look–Kenneth Branagh and all-star cast bring Christie’s Poirot back to the big screen

The first Agatha Christie novel I ever read was the timeless classic, Murder on the Orient Express, featuring the Belgian genius Hercule Poirot. With a cast led by actor/direction Kenneth Branagh, Hollywood once again brings the iconic tale to the big screen.


Everyone is a suspect.  The clues are everywhere.  For mystery lovers, it’s a staple.  It’s Agatha Christie’s most well-known 1934 novel come to life, Murder on the Orient Express, the fourth major production for film or television of the classic whodunit in the English language–the 1974 Academy Award winning Sidney Lumet film being the best known.  For the older generation the story is known, but for a new generation the stage is set for a big screen version of Clue/Cluedo.  As with the 1974 version, the cast of the 2017 version is extraordinary.

So how do you cast a film against the last generation of film greats?  Leading a bevy of thespian knights and dames, Sir Kenneth Branagh both directs and stars as master detective Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, played previously by Albert Finney (who refused a knighthood in the year 2000).  Sir Derek Jacobi plays the butler Edward Henry Masterman…

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Film Quiz: Inspirational Women

I came across this interesting quiz that highlighted decades of strong, female leads and had to share it. It’s amazing how many inspirational women we can find movies of all types, from dramatic romantic heroines to advocates of political change to military powerhouses. Film has long had the ability to capture the best, and the worst of us. Perhaps from this list you can reconnect with an old favorite or find a new one.

Alex Raphael

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Alien Covenant on the same day, I twice saw the trailer for Wonder Woman (and what looks to be the woeful King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). DC will be hoping for success for its empowering heroine to match films within the Marvel Universe. It got me thinking about what other Hollywood females have been inspiring viewers through the decades. How many did you get? Are there others that inspire you?

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 1 1. (1930s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 2 2. (1940s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 3 3. (1970s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 4 4. (1980s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 5 5. (1990s)

GI JANE 6. (1990s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 6 7. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 7 8. (2000s)

MCDVEGU EC003 9. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 10 10. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 11 11. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 12 12. (2010+)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 13 13. (2010+)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 14 14. (2010+)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 15 15. (2010+)

Answers below

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Interview With Author @GeralynCorcillo via @tdmiller820917

This author writes stories with strong, independent female characters who live life to the fullest. What’s not to love?


You know that expression “Live Life To The Fullest?” Well, that notion immediately springs to my mind when I think of author Geralyn Corcillo. When you read her books, and if you’re like me are fortunate enough to be able to interview her, you get the sense of a woman who appreciates and respects life in all of its infinite mystery. She is a very compassionate, very intelligent, very imaginative and very talented woman who combines all of these wonderful attributes in her creative endeavors. The result: a treasure trove of marvelous books to excite, intrigue and inspire readers. Even in a chaotic and uncertain world, if we can let inspiration serve as our guide, perhaps we can uncover hope amidst the confusion. Corcillo’s characters live life to the fullest and through her writing, readers are welcomed along for the ride.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Geralyn Corcillo…

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Under Construction

construction zone

Photo credit: granth via / CC BY-SA

Those words are ones we all associate with building, change, dust and dirt and hard work.  But the term “under construction” can mean more than just the erection of a new high rise or the remodel of a favorite venue; it can also be used to describe anything in flux in our lives.  When we decide to take a new direction, to learn something new, to expand our outlook, our lives are “under construction,” that may include physical, mental or emotional change.

It could be argued that we are all under construction, because we all grow and change with age and from our experiences.  We would rather not dwell on the negative, or things that change us in ways beyond our control, such as illness or injury.  We hope the changes we make are positive, brought about by the desire to improve rather than necessity due to disaster.  We hope we are growing into better, happier, more fulfilled people.

Right now I personally have a very big project under construction.  I plan to be ready in the very near future to release my first novel.  This has been a work in progress for a long time, but I’m finally getting down to the finishing touches on this thing I’ve been building.  I’ve had several setbacks, but now am actively working on getting the cover together, which I will be showing here and on Twitter as soon as I can.  After I finish with the editing and formatting, I plan to release my book on Kindle for those interested.

Please bear with me as I seek to complete this construction project.



Don’t Discount History’s Part in Our Future

There’s no question we live in an amazing time.  Technology is exploding around us; we have experiences and opportunities that our ancestors cannot begin to imagine.  As we enter a new year we can witness the birth of Virtual Reality and expect a manned mission to Mars in our lifetimes, but we should realize that none of these things came out of thin air.  The amazing accomplishments we benefit from today were built on a foundation of successes in the past, things that in their own time were just as amazing.

It would be too easy to assume in our pride and arrogance that we are better, smarter,  than those who came before us, but what we have to remember is that our successes would not be possible without those which came before us.  Each generation makes their own advances, successes and failures; and history has proven that no step forward is gained without a price.

I remember walking with my father and listening as he told amazing tales of his past.  Oh, there were no computers or any other technical advancement in his tales, but that did not make them any less remarkable.  He lived in a time where such things either did not exist or were far simpler, but he had incredible experiences without the burden of such hardware.

My father travelled from Tennessee to Washington D.C. to work on the construction of the Watergate Apartment complex.  He raised free-range turkeys on a plot of land that had been in the family for generations.  He sold his farm to move to the city so he could make a better living to support his family.

I cannot totally comprehend the times he lived in; just as I am sure he probably wouldn’t understand many aspects of the life I live now.  That does not mean we could not appreciate each other, or that we had nothing in common.  We could relate to each other on the most basic human levels, and those have never changed.

While times and technology may change, people remain the same.  They live, they love, and they face challenges and solve problems.  People continue to be human, no matter how advanced they become, and what the future holds.  And while we can be proud of what we’ve accomplished in the here and now, there will always be a successive generation to think we are old-fashioned, boring, and out of touch.

Be kind to your elders, and your kids.  You have been and one day will be walking in their shoes.



My Favorite Post-Apocalypse Movies of the 1990’s…

One big part of science fiction has always been speculation about what happens after the world, as we know it, comes to an end. Will there be a remnant, a continuation of civilization or life, in any form? What will bring about this destruction and how will those survivors cope? My fellow blogger, Tattered Remains, has listed some of the best movies made regarding this topic in his post that I’m reposting here with thanks.

From the Wastes...

The 90’s…. it was only a decade prior to this one that I was just a kid.  Now I was a soldier, a combat veteran, a college graduate, a husband (well, for a year anyway – Gads, what an utter slut!), and working man.  Didn’t stop my inner nerd from enjoying that which I enjoyed most… post-apocalypse movies!!!

The 90’s were known for being the decade in which we moved from practical effects to full-blown CG.  It was amazing how things changed in just ten years!

As always, click the poster to watch a trailer, clip, or full movie.

12 Monkeys – Based on a 1962 French independent film called La Jetée, 12 Monkeys was directed by Terry Gilliam.  This is without a doubt, one of my favorite PA movies of all time.  For those who did Terry Gilliam, this is a masterpiece.  For those who may not dig Brad Pitt, this…

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