Happy New Year to everyone from all of us at OfficialDaraJoy.com. Hope everyone has a great holiday!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at OfficialDaraJoy.com
Over the past several years Dara has received numerous requests for an unusual story she wrote called IN KIRKPATRICK’S WOODS. As a loving tribute to the romance genre, the story seemed to hit a high note with many readers. Since then, the story (actually, the entire compendium) has been very hard to find. Recently, the site received so many letters asking about this story that she decided to release it in electronic form for a limited time. For this special ebook format, Dara has decided to issue a new, second edtion. The story has been lightly expanded for enrichment of the tale. (The length of this story is about the same as Death By Ploot Ploot). If you have not read this story before you are in for a real treat. (It is spooky that the things she wrote about in 2003 regarding the economy and unchecked greed are a reality today, which is why I think we have been getting so many requests for this story lately) Hey, we all need a little something to uplift us.
Here is a sampling of reviews from the first edition:
“In Kirkpatrick’s Woods reads like a beautifully written love letter to her fans. You will treasure it forever.”
“I was amazed at how well-written it is. Beautifully written, in fact, and all shades of unconventional.”
“Kirkpatrick has become one of my favorite hero’s. He’s pretty much EVERYTHING you want in a man.”
“I did not want [the] story to end.” Shelly Freeman
TO ORDER THE BOOK SIMPLY GO TO:
TO READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK GO TO:
Hope to see you in chat next Saturday!
P.S. If you would also like to order the Matrix of Destiny story “DEATH BY PLOOT PLOOT” please go to:
P.P.S. And be sure to check out this link.
To all of the readers who are writers- this one is for you.
THE WRITER’S RED BALLOON
One of my favorite short films, THE RED BALLOON (fr. Le Ballon rouge, directed by Albert Lamorisse), was recently re-released in the United States and if you have Comcast cable, you might be able to catch it ON DEMAND. (Not to be confused with FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON (fr. Le Voyage du ballon rouge), currently showing in Indy theaters and directed by the visionary artist Hou Hsiao-hsien. Hailed as an adaptation of the original film, FOTRB is, in my opinion, a sharp departure from the original.)
For those of you not familiar with THE RED BALLOON, the story unfolds as little Pascal journeys to school and along the way comes across a red balloon caught up in a lamppost. From the very first scene of this classic, we get to know this boy as he lovingly bends down to pet a mewing, stray cat in the war-ravaged streets of Paris. We are not surprised when Pascal climbs the post to free the balloon.
Of its own accord, the red balloon begins to follow the boy through the streets of post World War II Paris and the magical adventure that unfolds is breath-taking as the two companions, boy and balloon, traverse the cityscape. As beautiful as ever, this masterpiece still speaks eloquently to the higher self, to our dreams, to love, to friendship, to hope, to imagination, and to the power of faith.
Not bad for a thirty-four minute film with barely any dialogue.
In the years since I’ve last seen THE RED BALLOON, I have become a professional writer. Writers often live (and die) by dialogue. Entranced by a different perspective this go-around, I began to view the film as an allegory for the writer.
After all, as writers, we all have our red balloons, don’t we?
That special idea. That wisp of a tale that teases us along the edges of cognition and won’t let go. . . That playful balloon, laughing, coercingâ€“ a companion that follows us everywhere. (If you are a writer, your red balloon continually taunts you to come out and play, giving you no peace until you give in and “do” it.)
All of the sweet stories that writers hold dear become as alive and vibrant to them as the red balloon does for Pascal.
In the film, the boy and the balloon visit a flea market, viewing odd items (although none could be as odd as the pair). The balloon floats in front of a gilded mirror as if posing and laughing at itself all at once. A few adults smile, or ignore them; but the surrounding children watch the pair with envy. Throughout the course of the film, these children will eventually become a mob.
When the balloon tries to follow Pascal into his classroom, the stiff-necked teacher firmly puts it outside, ignoring its wonders and impossible potential. To a writer, this scene is a clear allusion to establishment rejection. (The notion that if it is outside the box, it will be put outside.) The person who should be inspiring Pascal, is, instead, sadly doing his best to strip away any sense of wonder. His grandmother also refuses to let the balloon in her house, promptly tossing it outside as it tries to follow Pascal in. Clearly, no family support for Pascal’s dream, either.
On the street, the red balloon becomes attracted to a little girl’s balloon and for a while all four hit it off famously. (Another truism: it takes a writer to grok another writer.)
Eventually, the mob of children catches Pascal and his balloon. Like a confederacy of dunces, the miniature pundits beat the balloon to death before Pascal’s horrified eyes. Caveat scriptor. Let the writer beware.
But all is not lost.
Even as Pascal mourns the terrible treatment and death of his red balloon, hundreds of balloons from all over the city come to him, lovingly surround him, and in one of the most magnificent, soul-stirring scenes on film, lift him into the air and carry him off.
So to every writer struggling to hold on to a visionâ€“
Remember Pascal and his red balloon.
When I was a little girl, my father took me to Arlington National Cemetery.
We stood in the middle of a sea of gravestones, silent.
My small hand in his, we came to the Tomb of the Unknowns. With tears in his eyes, my father told me that these heroes names were lost to history. He explained to me why soldiers wear dog tags. In the distance, a flag-draped coffin was lowered into the ground- the latest addition to the silent neighborhood. Once, someone in this crowd laughed at a movie, or held hands with his girl, or patted the heads of her children. The flag, snugly folded into its triangular nest, was then handed to the next of kin.
We stood before JFK’s final resting place, with its flickering gas-lit torch.
The three of us, Bostonians.
“That flame never goes out,” my father said.
That night I pulled the covers up to my chin in the darkened bedroom and I thought of that flame forever burning; forever chasing shadows away. I drifted off to sleep comforted by the thought that no matter how dark it became- there in Arlington National Cemetery, a torch always burned.
That was many years ago. My father is gone now. . . but, still, the light remains.
EVERYONE’S INVITED TO JOIN DARA IN THE CHATROOM ON SATURDAY AROUND 11PM FOR LATE NIGHT COOKIES AND COCOA!! TO GET TO THE CHATROOM GO TO :
A NICE WAY TO WIND DOWN THE DAY : }
(If you haven’t chatted before, fear not, it is a very simple sign in procedure. Click the registration link. Enter your chat name and password then click the registration button. Now enter your chat name and choose PHP-STREAM, then just hit login. A page will load asking for your password, and once it is entered you will be inside the chatroom.)
Cassandra sent us a pic of her adorable pups for captioning. We are getting lots of great pics, keep them coming! (We will post all pics in the pet parade under STABLES button, even if they are not used for the caption game)
I’ll start you off this week with my caption:
Hum, that chat sounds like a good idea.
Looking forward to seeing you all in chat on Saturday!
A reader, Tee, sent us some pictures of her very adorable animals for our captioning game. The kitten’s name is Tazz and the puppy’s name is Brindle. Brindle is a rotti/wolf mix and Tazz is only 10 weeks old. How could we resist? On that note, I’ll start off the fun with the first caption:
“Mmm, my appetizer has arrived!”
You all did a great job last time- let’s see what you come up with for this playful shot! If anyone would like to submit pictures of their animals for the game we would love to see them. We will pick the photos that have the best potential for the game. All submitted pictures will be posted in the Pet Parade on the STABLES link so all your pets will be the stars they deserve to be! Oops, I got to go back to finishing this novel.
Raising a glass of good cheer!
Okay, I’m going to admit it right off the bat.Â IÂ don’t know if I am a blog kind of person but I amÂ willing to give this thing a try since so many of youÂ have requested it.Â The thing is, I feel as if I amÂ walking into the middle of a one way conversation withÂ myself.Â Not that there’s anything wrong with that- itÂ just feelsÂ slightly odd.Â (Usually I walk into theÂ end of a two way conversation with myself.) Â ThatÂ being said, the answer is, “I am getting take outÂ Chinese for us tonight.” Â So I am curious about you. Â How many of you like this format and what is theÂ sexiest thing anyone has ever said to you?Â C’mon,Â spill it.Â
Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day. : D