Novel Thoughts

AlTonya's Opinions, Musings & Other Information…


January 2013

Changing The Game…

Football Blog


My son would probably split his side laughing if he knew that I was writing about football in this week’s blog, but I wanted to chime in on the talk regarding the possibility of football becoming a ‘safer’ game in light of player injuries and those consequences. My son has played football since he was in 2nd grade. He started with Pop Warner and is still going strong now in a different league where he plays/practices on the same team with kids in high school. As a middle-schooler, he plays on the junior squad and the older guys play on the senior squad, but they all practice together and my son often considers it his primary goal to take down one (or more)of the bigger guys.

As far as changing the game to make it less violent, I have to say that at this time I sit on both sides of the fence er sideline. I certainly want to know that my child is safe and will walk away from every game he plays without the risk of injury. What also concerns me however is how my son would feel about this game he so dearly loves if it were to change to such an extent. I mean, this guy…he’s one of the smallest on the team but the man loves to hit and be hit. And for an active, active, active boy that sort of release has turned him into a more confident and focused individual in my opinion. When he first started playing, the coaches were of course doubtful that he’d bring anything to the game given his size. After the first tackling practice, they were convinced and told his dad that they wished they had 20 more lbs to pack on him, because his heart and drive were awesome.

He’s still playing, still loving the game and still stunning his coaches and his teammates with all that determination. But I know it’s also about what he gets from the game that builds all that excitement for it. As a parent, I’d love to see more interest taken in the way the game is taught- teaching kids at these young ages the CORRECT way to block and tackle. I’d also like to see more interest taken in enhancing uniforms to make them safer when the kids (and adults) take and give these hits.

I certainly don’t know enough about this game to share any sort of authoritative commentary on it. I can only speak as a mom who enjoys seeing how her son comes alive on practice days and football Saturdays. I do know that lots of time and consideration need to be taken before firm decisions on how to ‘improve’ the sport are made.



Fly Hat

My Pocketbook

Book Reading Blog

Hey Everyone,

So I’m late on this week’s blog mostly because I have no idea what to discuss. I decided to share a little about what I’m reading- or carrying around in my pocketbook so I’ve got something to dive into when I’m in a waiting room or under the dryer at the salon.

Presently, I’m on book 4 of the Savannah Vampires Series by Raven Hart- The Vampire’s Betrayal. It was purely a fluke that I got hooked on this series-until then I had never really been a big fan of the vampire genre. At any rate, I’ve enjoyed it from the moment I started. It’s categorized as a vampire romance but that is only the half of it. There’s so much going on in the series from vendettas and voodoo to shapeshifters and suspense. There’s a rich assortment of characters and much of the plot surrounds a voodoo priestess and her young daughter. There’s also a Mayan goddess tossed into the mix.

The day job and working on my own projects have seriously cut into my reading time, but I’m looking forward to finishing up the last two titles in the series. Then it’s on to L.A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress Legend Series. I hear it’s phenomenal and in a class by itself. I Can’t Wait!!

Happy Reading!






Okay so over the holidays, I had the chance to catch up on some movie time. Going to the movies is like one of my favorite things next to being at home curled up and watching from the comfort of my sofa or bed- tee hee!

Anyway, I just love everything about the movies- the smell of popcorn and butter in the air, the mixed conversations from folks trying to decide what to order from the concession stand or those winding their way to their theatre or those leaving a showing and discussing what they thought about the film. A good film, followed by a good dinner and discussion about the film ranks up there in the ‘perfect evenings’ category for me.

So, as I was saying- this holiday season I had the chance to indulge- A LOT. My movie tastes are broad but I have to say that some of the films I saw during the holidays made up the most varied list I’ve ever put together.

Lincoln- I wanted to take my son to see this, but the length made me glad I waited. I truly enjoyed it. I found it a treat to watch the portrayals of historical figures known through vast accounts in school textbooks and autobiographies. I thought Spielberg did an amazing job of presenting them as the real people they were- complete with all the uncertainties and fears that we all face from time to time. Since I love long movies, I was quite pleased, but I don’t think my 12yr old would’ve appreciated it as much J

Jack Reacher- I wasn’t really planning to see this one when I saw the theatrical trailer, but am I glad I did. I had an afternoon to myself and didn’t want to spend it at home- working J so I took a short trip to my neighborhood theatre. It’s such a cool place, comfy chairs and you can sip cool wine or hot tea while you take in a show- love it! So anyway, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Tom’s new film. I actually love his movies but I just wasn’t up for seeing this one until I started watching. A great story- hard to guess the ending. The beginning is a little rough to take but it’s worth watching-suspense & action abound.

The Hobbit- From suspenseful crime to fantasy epic. This movie certainly lived up to the book-of course the book was better. Still, Peter Jackson did an incredible job of bringing the world and characters in it to vivid life. I wasn’t very surprised given his work in the LOTR Trilogy but hey it was really incredible to take in. The ending was unexpected and I’m still not sure how I feel about that- those who read the book probably know what I mean 😉

Django Unchained-  Okay so…Damn, what can I say about this movie? Didn’t even know this was being made until I saw a quick trailer on TV one night. That’s all I needed to plan how I’d spend Christmas night. I was a little anxious because I didn’t know if they’d show it in the area of NC where I live. They didn’t show it at my little wine and tea theatre, but luckily there are plenty of others. Thankfully, it hadn’t sold out by the time we got there. That quickly changed and I had the chance to watch a very diverse audience trickle in for a movie that was every bit as good as the trailer promised. I know some have criticized it but that was to be expected. I’ve told people who have asked for my opinion to leave their political correctness at the door and if they offend easily perhaps they should stay home.

To me, this movie called on the shortcomings among black and white- so everyone could feel equally offended and that made so much of the movie hilarious. On the flip side, there were just as many comedic moments as there were scenes that invoked disgust, anger and justice. I’ve already said too much-just go see the dang thing. That’s Django- the ‘D’ is silent.

Til next time, folks!





Old Manual Typewriter

Happy Wednesday Everyone! So this week, I’m very excited about an event I’ll be attending this Saturday in South Carolina: The Pee Dee Local Authors Expo. I’ve had the chance to take part in this event previously and I encourage those of you in the area to stop by. The Pee Dee Local Authors Expo is designed to introduce readers to the writers who live in their own backyard so to speak.

I enjoy taking part because I get to go home and visit family and former co-workers (now friends). I got my introduction to the library world at the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Library where I once worked. It’s a gorgeous place folks! Definitely worth a trip to check it out. There’s something for everyone and the local author’s event is quite a lively gathering. There are books to satisfy a wealth of literary tastes. Last year’s event drew more than 200 people!

So mark your calendars for the Third Annual Pee Dee Local Authors Expo. This Saturday, January 12th from 2pm-4pm.

And for those authors out there who are just learning of the event, I encourage you to make contact with the folks at the Bruce and Lee Library to find out how you can be part of next year’s program.




New Year Blog

            Happy New Year Everyone! I do hope that you all had lots of laughter with friends and loved ones and that you got all or most of the things your hearts desired during the holiday season.

My holiday was filled with all sorts of new things. I started a new job as a reference librarian for a North Carolina HBCU (Historically Black College/University). This was quite a gift following a two-year journey towards an MLS (Master of Library Science) degree. I moved into a new and very lovely place that will keep me in the town I’ve grown to love and allow my son to stay at his same school. I was even given this completely amazing oak desk where I hope to create lots of new stories and gripping characters. I’m drafting this week’s blog from my bed-old habits die-hard I guess…

Yes, I am and continue to be blessed. Unfortunately, not all the holiday haps were good ones. Despite all my endeavors to have a smooth relocation to my new home, all things didn’t work according to plan. The internet and cable service I’d hoped to have installed on moving day- wasn’t. To make matters worse, the company wouldn’t even work to make it right although they knew it was their mistake. When the techs finally arrived to set me up, they told me the service wasn’t even available in my new location! For some reason, customer service neglected to provide that helpful bit of info during the hour (and change) I spent complaining and they spent passing the buck.

Yeah I know it’s useless to complain and my scathing opinion of this customer service team isn’t a grand, sweeping review of all customer service. I spent many years working in customer service myself, so I feel I’ve earned a small fraction of room to gripe. Thankfully, I’m not nearly as angry as I was eleven days ago. I now take this as a learning experience.

When it comes down to it, there are just some things you can’t control. It’s a hard lesson for some of us control freaks to learn. Anyway…as I- as we all go into this New Year, let’s be aware of that. Let’s work to do our best with what we have and continue to strive towards doing even better. I’m definitely gonna work harder at not coming unglued when things don’t go according to my carefully crafted plans. I think we could all stand to work harder at that. Our blood pressures will surely thank us!

Happy 2013 Folks!


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