No, I did not die. Nor have I been ill. I have been working hard on finishing a book project and planning and carrying out my mother’s 90th birthday celebration. I just didn’t have the time nor energy to work on this blog. I have continued taking photos, but did nothing with them. Today’s update includes the one I wrote about earlier but was unable to find. Fortunately, while looking for other things, I located it.
Since I last posted another one bit the dust. The building owner wanted to add windows to the building, so he painted over the mural. I almost cried when I saw that. I’ve re-posted that mural below so you know which one I speak of. The community was quite upset about this one going down, the owner promised to support local artists and the Sprout Fund. We’ll see if they keep that promise. There was an article about it in the Post-Gazette recently.
Have a very merry Christmas everyone. I’ll likely post something festive next week, then back to the mural project.
I was given an advance copy of Dandelions on the Road by Brooke Williams with the understanding that I would do a character review when I finished it. I really enjoy reading Brooke’s books because her characters are so much like normal folk. They are flawed, but yet are really good people. This book was a follow-up to Accept This Dandelion. The main character, Eva, was a contestant on a dating reality show called “Accept This Dandelion.” Eva didn’t win, but the producers decided to do a sequel. On the new show, Eva is the bachelorette with twelve men trying hard to become her next love. Brian, a TV newscaster, was asked to host the show. It was difficult for him, because he had feelings for Eva himself. I chose to interview Brian instead of Eva. The interview follows:
Thank you for joining me for this interview. I really enjoyed your work as host of “Dandelions on the Road”. Although I have not seen you in your other role, I hear you are a very professional and charismatic news reporter. I absolutely loved the way Dandelions on the Road ended, but instead of giving that away to those who haven’t yet read it, I have a few other questions.
It’s so good to be here, thanks for having me!
I often saw a twinkle in your eyes when you were interviewing Eva. When did you notice that you had fallen for her?
You’ve seen her, right? She’s drop dead gorgeous. No man in his right mind wouldn’t fall for her. But forget about looks, she has a heart of gold and a personality to match. She’s the whole package. When I interviewed her for the TV new morning show, it was hard to get a coherent thought out. I was so taken by her beauty. But it was when I started to learn what she was all about that I really fell hard.
How difficult was it for you to watch her holding hands with or kissing one of the contestants?
I was jealous. There’s no better word to describe it. Downright jealous and a half. It was torment. Not only because she was finding love with other people, but also because I knew I had my shot with her and I blew it. I’d known her for a year before the show came up. I could have asked out on many different occasions and I didn’t.
Did you avoid the trip to Kate’s ranch because of Eva or was it really to avoid bringing up your feelings about Kate?
It was all Eva. Kate and I have a history. That’s no secret. She was one of my closest friends and for a long time, I considered her the one that got away. But there was space between my relationship with Kate and I realized she was right in the end. We weren’t right for one another. I was over Kate, but I was very much NOT over Eva at the time!
How did you manage to pull off that amazing feat with the animals and the video so quickly?
TV magic! And a little help from Eva’s co-workers. When I told them what I wanted to do, they were all on board. They didn’t know if Eva and I would end up together…and neither did I…but they wanted to give her the best shot at love possible and I guess they thought helping me would help the animals too, in the long run!
What was your reaction when you saw Eva alone on the stage when Mike sent you out there?
It was hard to breathe. She looked so alone and so tiny standing there all alone. I couldn’t get to her fast enough.
How many of the animals that you fostered for the video do you see yourself keeping? Which is your favorite?
All of them! Ha! Eva was right when she said it’s hard not to think of them as your own once they live with you. I’ve held myself back on adopting because I still have my old cat Flash. When she passes, I’ll probably keep on and all! But for now, she is the only cat that gets to call my house her permanent home. That being said, it’s heart wrenching when some of the animals find permanent homes. Though I’m happy for them too.
Dandelions on the Road
By Brooke Williams
Release Date: November 5, 2015
Join the Nov. 5th Release Day Party on Facebook HERE
Enjoy giveaways and fun chats!
Twelve men…one woman…plenty of dandelions. Eva Merida has her life in order. She loves her job at the Furry Friends Rescue League and has a loving, supportive family. But she’s still missing that one special person to stand by her side. When she comes in third place on the local TV version of “The Bachelor,” entitled Accept this Dandelion, she nearly loses all hope for romance. Fortunately, the TV station decides to do a second season of the dating show…and they name Eva as the Bachelorette! With a plethora of dating mishaps recorded for TV, Eva finds herself falling for several men at once…including the show’s host. Will she find love at last or simply embarrass herself in front of the entire city?
Add “Dandelions on the Road” to your Goodreads list HERE
About the Author
Brooke Williams writes in a sleep-deprived state while her daughters nap. Her romantic comedy is best read in the same state. Brooke has twelve years of radio in her background, both behind the scenes and on the air. She was also a television traffic reporter for a short time despite the fact that she could care less about hair and make-up. Today, Brooke stays at home with her daughters and works as a freelance writer for a variety of companies. When she isn’t working for paying clients, she makes things up, which results in books like “Dandelions on the Road.” Brooke is also the author of ” Mamarazzi,” “Accept this Dandelion,” “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Someone Always Loved You,” and “Beyond the Bars.” She even has children’s books on the market, such as “Shower in the Rain” and looks forward to releasing “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut” in June 2016 with Wee Creek Press. Brooke and her husband Sean have been married since 2002 and have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (6) and Sadie (2).
Connect with Brooke:
Note from the Author on the book’s inspiration:
I wrote “Accept this Dandelion” in a silly, sleep-deprived mood and thought that was it. But the characters in the book kept coming back to me, begging me to continue the story. Eventually, I listened, turned the tables, put a woman in charge, and created “Dandelions on the Road.” I got so much joy from writing it, I’m glad I did! Now I just hope those reading it get even half the pleasure I got from writing it.
She has two more completed novels entitled:
After the Final Dandelion
Watch her website for details on upcoming releases….
Today’s murals are located behind Station Street Hot Dogs, which itself will soon cease to exist. It will remain a restaurant, but with a different name. They are not visible from the street, only from the busway. I went back there several years ago to shoot it, but only had two pieces of it, and had not labeled them, so I had to go find them again. This mural is another amazing project by the MLK Mural group, headed by the extremely talented Kyle Holbrook. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Kyle yesterday and after letting him know what a big fan I am, we discussed collaborating on a Pittsburgh mural book. I’m totally hyped.
So, you know how the best things in life are way closer than you think? This is the perfect example. I found a map of murals in Pittsburgh that was created by some amazing biker. When I looked at it, I noticed a location that is within walking distance of my house. Of course, I had to go check it out. It turned out to be, perhaps my favorite one of all. I cannot really show it to you in a way that does it justice. It’s as wide as half of a city block, painted in the loading dock of a huge warehouse. It is beautiful, positive, and just simply fun. I have included shots of the separate pieces, because that was the best I can do for now. There’s a cool message too. At first I didn’t get it, but when I looked at them from a different vantage point I did. I’m shaking my head at how something so very close was so easily missed.
There was once a beautiful mural on Penn Avenue in East Liberty, filled with music. That mural has since been
destroyed torn down in the name of progress. The other murals in today’s post are in the same area on buildings that are slated to be torn down soon. I realized that if I didn’t capture them soon, it would be too late. These are all located on Penn Avenue in the business district of East Liberty. Even the name, “East Liberty”, I fear, may soon cease to exist as well.
The murals on this page are from a neighborhood I drive through quite often. I have repeatedly told myself I would shoot them, but until this weekend, had not done so. The last couple were taken yesterday. The Hill District was once famous for its amazing jazz venues and the artists who frequented the area. Several of the murals depict this legacy. Playwright August Wilson was a Hill District native. One of the murals is a tribute to him. The last three are on a cart of sorts. Two of them unfortunately depict an uglier part of the Hill District. This is a neighborhood in transition, so, thankfully, that is slowly changing. The third is full of toons. It makes me smile.
Food Cart Memorial to Homicide Victims
I don’t usually do this, but there are three things I purchased recently that I absolutely love, and I just had to share. If you are interested in any of these, you can click on the photo or the purchase links at the bottom of my post.
The first thing is the new 5th Generation Amazon Fire.
It really surprised me; not so much that I like it, but just how amazing it is at that low price. I needed a new tablet. My husband has watched me getting cranky as my four-year old ASUS Transformer tablet freezes. Let me make it clear, it’s not that the tablet doesn’t work, or that I don’t love it, but it’s just four years old. New apps are much bigger and it has trouble keeping up. I have a Kindle Touch, which I received as a replacement for my broken regular Kindle. I am NOT a fan of the Kindle Touch. They have likely improved it since this version, but that being said, I was itching to move up, but didn’t want to spend $100 or more to replace it yet.
I spoke out loud that Amazon had a new Fire tablet for $49 and my husband told me to buy it with his credit card. I was a bit skeptical that it could fill my needs at that price, but I seized the moment and bought it. What woman in her sound mind would refuse such an offer? When I submitted the order, they said I wouldn’t get it until Oct. 28. It arrived on Oct. 5th. HAPPY!!! It does everything I need it to, and more. I can’t even imagine what I’m missing out on. It’s just the right size for easy transport. It’s fast. There are tons of free apps, and the popular games with in-app purchases are also available (Candy Crush, Words With Friends, etc., ). It comes with a free six month subscription to the Washington Post, and some pretty cool magazines. For me, it was the perfect, affordable solution. I couldn’t be happier (unless my husband lets me go clothes shopping with his credit card 🙂
The next two things go together and are the perfect solution to my camera issue. I have difficulty carrying things that are heavy. I shoot with a Nikon D90 camera, and generally carry two or three lenses with me when I am shooting. My “real” camera bag is too heavy. My camera backpack that is small and lightweight is not supportive enough, which led to my breaking the LCD screen on my camera and a UV protective filter that was on my smallest lens. I also bent my hot shoe. I decided it was time to protect my equipment and my shoulder. My solution: A camera bag insert and a very lightweight sling bag.
Camera sling bags tend to be bulky and expensive. The combination of the camera partition and this sling bag is exactly what I needed. The camera partition is strong, waterproof and supportive. It fits snugly in the bag, and sometimes I just carry it by itself. The sling bag has plenty of room for my other things, so I don’t need my purse when I go out shooting, and the price is perfect. I’m very happy with both of these. No more broken equipment, and my shoulder is very happy. Grand total, about $56.