Saving Mr. Banks, Miss Potter, and Magical News

Castle at Disney World

Castle at Disney World

Saving Mr. Banks

One of my favorite Disney movies is Mary Poppins. I’ve often joked with children in my care that I’m “practically perfect in every way.” I’ve seen the play on Broadway three times (once without any kids) and of course, know all the songs. I thought I already knew everything about the classic movie the night my honey and I decided to see Saving Mr. Banks.

I was wrong.

P. L. Travers:

  • grew up in Australia, not England. (She moved there later in life.)
  • idolized her father, who died quite young due to alcoholism.
  • based Mary Poppins on her stern aunt rather than her mother
  • originally declined Walt Disney’s repeated offers to buy the rights to her story because she didn’t feel a musical set the correct tone
  • eventually agreed to the musical when she fell in love with some of the songs
  • disapproved of the animated portions of the Disney movie
  • created Mary Poppins was her way of “saving” her father in fiction since she hadn’t been able to save him from himself in reality

Illustration from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

Illustration from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

Miss Potter

As a kid, I memorized Green Eggs and Ham, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Peter Rabbit. When I became a mother to a baby boy, I decorated his bedroom with Peter Rabbit and other Beatrix Potter characters. I read all her stories to my children and own the video adaptations on VHS. When I came across Miss Potter on Amazon Prime a few weeks ago, I figured I knew most everything there was to know about the author.

Once again, I was wrong.

Beatrix Potter:

Illustration from Peter Rabbit

Illustration from Peter Rabbit

  • was from a wealthy family
  • was secretly engaged to her publisher but he died before they could marry
  • was very particular about the final appearance of her illustrations
  • insisted on limiting the cost of her books so more people could afford them
  • eventually married later in life to the realtor who sold her a country estate

I also recently watched Magic Beyond Words: An Unauthorized Biography of J. K. Rowling, but too many reviewers of that movie question its authenticity for me to feel comfortable sharing my comments.

Why the recent interest in author movies?

A typical summer day writing on the patio

A typical summer day writing on the patio

Perhaps it’s because…

I sold!

I’m a bona fide, sold-my-first-book author. (See, all those late nights, early mornings, and weekends tapping away at a keyboard eventually pay off.) Entangled Publishing has bought the rights to One More Sunset, my romantic suspense/magic novel set between two of my favorite places–New York City and Key West. Entangled is a wonderful, quality company and I’m thrilled to join their team. The book’s release is estimated for late fall/early winter 2014 and will be part of Entangled’s category suspense line, Ignite.

Until next time, enjoy the Moments. Springtime, here we come!!!

Jolyse xoxo

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

Kindle Fire Obsession Update

A Tropical Drink to Chase Away Winter Blahs

Happy Margarita Moment, everyone! I’m excited to share a couple of fun travel posts, pics/music, and news I discovered on the web this week. But first, here’s that update I promised.

It’s been two months since I purchased a Kindle Fire. In that time, my crush has become a full-fledged obsession. In fact, it’s hard to imagine life without it–or at least my late evenings, weekends, waiting rooms, and car rides. Amazon Prime’s promotional month of free movies and tv shows was a nice perk. As I shared in my initial post about the Fire, I was hesitant to pay the $79 annual fee until I knew how often I’d actually use the service.

Here’s my Fire money breakdown for the past month:

$11 on movie downloads

$30 on ebook/music downloads

If I were a Prime member, I would have had unlimited streaming access for three of the four movies as opposed to a 48 hour rental window, saving $8. At that rate, I’d save $96 for the year, coming out $15 ahead. Not a huge difference, but I know I would have watched 3-4 more movies had they been “free.”

 

The exciting news for parents of kids with Kindle Fires came on February eighth. Amazon announced a deal with Viacom that brings a number of Nickelodeon, MTV, TVLand, and Comedy Central shows as part of Prime’s package. Considering my son spent $41 of his Christmas gift card to own a complete season of a favorite Nick show, a $79 investment can very well save money in the long run–in addition to more viewing options.

Be cautioned:  Unlimited streaming only works when the Fire has Wi-Fi connection. You still need to purchase and download tv shows and movies to view them offline. Let’s say you want to watch The Bodyguard, one of Amazon Prime’s new listings. As a member, you can watch this Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner flick via Wi-Fi as often as you wish until the movie is removed from the Prime listing. (I’ve only owned the Fire for three months, but I haven’t noticed any movies taken off the roster yet.) If you aren’t a member, you can download it or watch via wi-fi for $2.99 in a 48 hour rental period.

Fire Text Customization Features

Let’s talk ebooks.

I’m so excited to finally have an ereader and instant access to my favorite authors’ work. As you may remember, I discovered a new contemporary romance author, Abigail Strom, and consumed all four of her delicious titles. Since then, I’ve read Jan Rome’s ONE SMALL FIB romantic comedy and began THE CHASE IS ON by Maggie Van Well.  I haven’t had an issue with eyestrain or awkwardness holding the Fire. I actually prefer the backlighting for reading at night, and I figured out how to customize the ebook by background color, font, letter size, line spacing, and margins. Just click on bottom of screen and a pop-up menu appears. (Not all custom features are available with all ebooks, however.) As long as the Kindle Fire is indoors or in shade, visibility is excellent.

Now, for your Margarita Moment Mini-Mashup…

I follow Nicole Basaraba’s blog faithfully, not only because she’s a kindred writer spirit, but because of her awesome European travel posts. Check out her recent trek to Alicante, Spain. You won’t be sorry!

In the same vein as my recent youtube video, Livin’ on Key West Time, is this relaxing slideshow of Mexican vistas by Adinasadventures.

Last, but not least, is this article about a Long Island couple who recently won a $3 million scratch-off jackpot. After paying off their bills and taking care of two children’s weddings, guess where they’re taking a little trip? In their words, they’re going “heaven on Earth…Key West.” I couldn’t agree more, and I wish them all the best.

Until next time, I wish you all the best too. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a little slice of heaven on Earth wherever you are this week.

%d bloggers like this: