18 December 2010

How would Phineas and Ferb handle Benita Bizarre?

Saturdays aren't what they used to be. When I was a child, I looked forward to Saturday morning all week. The parents would sleep in and the TV would be all mine (well, ours, I have brothers). We'd watch cartoons until our eyes glazed over--or until we'd get into a  fight over the channels.

I'd get up early and watch the Bugaloos, a strange show about bugs with British accents who were always escaping from a witch, Benita Bizarre, who wanted their music or their wings. Then I'd watch Ultraman, a strange show about a superhero who helped a Japanese team fight monsters (Yes, I wonder about my strange taste in TV shows).

Then my older brother would get up, switch the channel to Bugs Bunny, Wylie Coyote or Scooby Doo, and we'd get into a fight over what to watch until Pop would get up and threaten to send us outside, to our rooms or into next week.

Now, my niece and nephews can watch cartoons any time they want on a dozen or so cable channels. Disney has at least three and there's a couple of Cartoon Networks, but cartoons are nothing special.

Yes, they still fight over what to watch until I come in and turn the channel to Phineas and Ferb. Yes, they still all like something different, but without a special day for cartoons, there's no ritual for getting up and watching them, and there's nothing at stake in the fight over what to watch.

If you lose the 10 a.m. fight, you can watch a rerun of the same show at 2 p.m. By being available 24/7, cartoons have lost their specialness. I kind of miss that.

06 December 2010

Guest Blogger talks about Christmas in Bayeux

I'd like to thank Keena for having me on the blog and allowing me to visit today. Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army for a great adventure and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. I met a fair-haired California boy and we were married in Denmark in 1991. Little odd fact: I went to Berlin before the wall fell in 1988. Now, the adventure over, I work for LAPD as a 911 Operator.

I love Keena's historicals. I enjoyed Anam Cara and Ties that Bind. As I write this, I'm currently reading Enthralled. Keena really captures a vibrant authenticity of the period she's writing. When I learned about the Bayeux Tapestry, I knew I wanted to talk about it today.

I picked Bayeux, France as the setting for my Christmas story which is included in "A Christmas Collection, Stimulating." Why Bayeux? Because it is the closest city to the beaches of Normandy and I always wanted to visit the beaches.  A military cemetery is nearby and American soldiers are buried there from World War I and World War II. The land is considered American soil.  As I did my research on Bayeux, I discovered the tapestry.  And what a delicious discovery it was!

The tapestry isn't really a tapestry, it's an embroidery, but it depicts William the Conqueror's conquest of England in 1066. In William's time, people believed his wife commissioned the tapestry, but through modern day history detectives, it is believed William's half-brother, Odo, commissioned it.  It is believed to have been finished in 1077, just in time for the dedication of the Bayeux Cathedral.

The tapestry contains several panels and takes up the length of a wall. It begins with Edward the Confessor sending Harold Godwinson to Normandy. Harold tells William Edward wants him to be king after he dies.  A star with a tale appears on the tapestry. It's believed to be Halley's comet. According to astronomy, Halley's comet would have appeared 4 months after Harold was crowned king. (I'm not giving away the plot of the tapestry! –wicked evil grin)

Interesting note: 2 panels of the tapestry are missing and were reconstructed. 

The tapestry was first found in the Bayeux Cathedral in 1476. Remember William's brother, Odo? He was the Bishop of the Cathedral.

Several reproduction exist and can be found in England, Denmark, and New Zealand.

I wonder if any of Keena's characters have had a chance to see the tapestry…

BLURB: Aiden Seward is an Iraq war vet who has gone to the Beaches of Normandy to heal his wounded heart. Noel Rousseau was the girl he knew as an exchange student years ago. Can Noel help heal the ache in Aiden's heart?


Her cheeks reddened, but she only gestured toward the hall. "It's this way."
They entered the main room and he saw that the tapestry hung on the wall opposite of them. It filled the space entirely. Aiden stood stock-still, admiring its craftsmanship.
"We believe it commemorates the Norman conquest of England in 1066. We all call it a tapestry, but it's really an embroidery." She paused, then pointed. "Of course, the hero is William the Conqueror. His forces defeated those led by the English king, Harold Godwinson."
Aiden walked the length to the tapestry, marveling at the story and how the work had been well preserved for close to 1,000 years.
"Edward the Confessor had no heir so he sent Harold to tell William he would rule England once Edward died. Harold, however, usurped the throne."
Aiden pointed to a star with a tail. "Is that a star?"
She grinned. "Modern interpretation believes it to be Haley's comet. It was a bad omen for Harold."
"What happened next?"
Noel giggled. "William conquered him."
"Silly me. I should have known that." He grabbed her waist and pulled her against him. Their eyes locked, hers smoldering with desire. Damn. He wanted to kiss her. Right now. Screw his willpower. Aiden grabbed her hand and led her to the nearest hallway. Empty, thank God.

Buy Links:

Create Space, Print book: https://www.createspace.com/3494425

Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE
Find me on the web at: http://sgcardin.tripod.com

Goodie Time: Leave me a post and I'll pick out two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Tell me about one of your Christmas traditions and I'll pick a winner to a print copy of A Christmas Collection, Stimulating. I'll come back on 07 DEC to pick the winners.