Donna S.'s blog

A Place in the World

What do Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Jane Eyre, Anne Shirley, and Harry Potter have in common?

The answer is rather an easy one.  They are all orphans.

It’s a theme that’s been used over and over again in storytelling, from fairy tales and classic literature to fantasy and comic books.  The child whose parents have died or perhaps disappeared.  The child who often feels all alone in the world.  The child who finds friends or a calling to see him or her through the roughest of times.

Patty Duke (1946-2016)

Patty Duke was a star at 12 years old, taking Broadway by storm in The Miracle Worker, playing young deafblind Helen Keller.  At age 16, she received an Oscar and a Golden Globe for that same role in

Like Mother, Like Daughter

It’s not unusual for children to follow in the footsteps of their parents.  A talent or interest for certain professions seem to run in families.  Sometimes it’s to carry on a business.  Sometimes it’s because the child grows up seeing the parent making a career and wants to do something similar.  Whether it’s farming or manufacturing or being a doctor or a teacher, parents and children will often travel along the same path. 

2016 Oscar Nominations: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

There’s a first time for everything.  And this year’s Oscar nominations include first time recognition for wonderfully talented actresses.  Of course there are repeat nominations for other equally talented women.  But I have to say that, when I heard the list of contenders for this year’s awards, a few of those first-time nominees had me cheering and saying, “It’s about time!”

So let’s take a look at the actresses up for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress this year.  And try to figure out if the winners will be those new to the Oscars or someone who’s already made a trip up to the podium to accept the award.

Best Actress

New Orleans

Next Tuesday is a day that means “Party!” to many people.

Mardi Gras!

And when it comes to Mardi Gras, most of us think of two place: Rio de Janeiro or New Orleans.  Of course, New Orleans is much closer and therefore more likely for a destination celebration.

While the city has been a center of commerce and tourism, it has also been a place of art, literature, and – perhaps most known -- music.  Artists over the decades have found homes there.  Numerous movies have been set or filmed there.  Writers have been inspired by the area and its history, as well as the legends of intrigue -- and maybe even magic.

Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

There have been obituaries that were somewhat difficult to write.

This one is particularly rough.

Alan Rickman first came to my attention – in fact, to the attention of most people -- back in 1988 when he portrayed Hans Gruber, the villain of the movie Die Hard.  Like so many others, I became of fan.

In Memoriam 2015

This past year, we lost so many talented people.  I wanted to acknowledge some I did not cover in individual blog entries during the year.  Though most are listed simply by name and work, I want to draw attention to some particular favorites of mine.

New Year -- and a New Path

It’s a new year.  And, of course, when there’s a new year, people start thinking of their new year’s resolutions.
When it comes to resolutions, we first think of ways to improve ourselves.  Number one is usually our health.  We’re going to get in shape, lose weight, get healthy.  Number two is often about our finances.  Save money, make a budget and stick to it, control our spending.  Sometimes we want to improve ourselves in other ways.  Learn something new.  Cooking.  Dancing.  (Hey, those could help with the health and fitness resolution…)  Or maybe we decide this is the year to do some home improvement, either inside or outside.

Maureen O’Hara (1920-2015)

She was truly born and bred in Ireland.  Her given name was Maureen FitzSimmons.  If she could have, she would have stayed with that name.  But her fellow actor and mentor Charles Laughton said that no one would get the last name right and said she should change it to O’Mara or O’Hara.  She balked, saying she wanted to stay FitzSimmons.  Laughton replied, “Very well, you’re Maureen O’Hara.”

Welcome Back to the Big Screen, Charlie Brown!

My brother introduced me to Charlie Brown and the gang.

For whatever reason, the evening newspaper my family got did not carry the Peanuts comic strip.  Perhaps it was in the morning paper.  (Yes, there was a time when cities had a morning paper and an evening one.)  So if my brother had not discovered Peanuts and bought paperback compilations of the daily strip, I’m not certain when I would’ve found the wonderful characters created by Charles M. Schulz.

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