The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

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Libraries are still FUN!

Since the first group of cave dwellers, there have been story tellers.  A great deal of human history was passed on by librarian-types, those who wanted to share survival tactics, knowledge, and history.

In recent years, some people have said that libraries are no longer necessary because we have technology at our fingertips with our “smart phones”—iPhone, Android, etc., with which we can do research, but nothing can take the place of the enthusiasm of a great librarian.

Years ago, I went into the library and never looked back.    My first job ever was a page (a job which entails shelving and retrieving library materials and even circulating materials) in my local branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in East Baltimore.   I shelved books and magazines daily and gladly while in high school.   I fell in love with reading.   With a book or magazine, my imagination was able to travel warp-speed to other people’s lives, investigate dangerous places and situations, and fantasize safely.

I worked in a library for the next 30 years from the time before Baltimore Junior College became Baltimore City Community College—from student worker to secretary to circulation technician.  I loaned books, magazines, rooms for meetings, and computers to our college population.   Even some community members were provided limited library services as well.

After that, I worked at the Johns Hopkins University Press as a Permissions/Office Assistant for a short time where I had the pleasure of handling and reading books and professional journals, as well as copyrighting the same.   I also got a chance to work with authors which was a thrill!

Now, I’m an author (see my website at https://nervikularose.com).   In the past year, I joined a book club, Woodlawn Page Turners, for which I have read a book a month.   We are reading Jodie Picoult’s book Small Great Things for June, but we will be off-site discussing it over great food.   I will be writing a review of that book for my blog (https://nervikularose.wordpress.com).

To this day, I am more likely to have a book or journal in my hands rather than using my phone or laptop to read a book.   I use an audio book only when the physical book is not available or when I’ll be doing a lot of driving.  It was great hearing Ta-Nehisi Coates, a former Woodlawn High School graduate, reading his own audio book, Between the World and Me, to me.   It would make a great book assignment for high school students as it was written to his teenage son.

And, let’s not forget the TNT television show, The Librarians, in which an ensemble of librarians live out the adventures we can only imagine.

Libraries today are staying in the thick of things, providing computers for typing papers and game play, conducting classes and workshops, having speakers, providing musical entertainment for all ages, etc.    Visit your local library especially if you’ve never been to one in your life and not just for the computer games!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of The Alienist television show on TNT

A few years ago, I read the 496-page crime novel, The Alienist, written by Caleb Carr, originally published in 1994, but I wasn’t in the habit of making notes then.    The film rights to Carr’s book were purchased by Scott Rudin and Paramount Pictures but didn’t come to their television division until nearly 24 years later when a 10-part-event tv series was adapted.

I watched a marathon of the first season of The Alienist television show on TNT recently.  All the characters were deeply flawed.   And, adult men preyed on young boys who only wanted to survive, eat, and find a place to sleep.   Some boys had poor parents while others were homeless.  Prostitution of boys was not shown in history as much as that of girls.

Doctor Laszlo Kreizler, played by Daniel Bruhl, attempted to solve the murders of young boys by using the 19th century version of psychology.   Of the people he recruited to help him, the doctor pointed out everyone else’s faults but his own.   He has book learning, but the “friends” have common sense enough to add up the facts and draw their own conclusions.    He needed all these people to come into his life or he eventually would have ended up in an asylum himself.   He had read all the popular writers in his field of psychology and tries to help others of lower standing in society, but he himself was emotionally and physically disabled.

His housekeeper, Mary Palmer, played by Q’orianka Kilcher, hooked his shoes and helped him to dress as well.   She didn’t speak at all, but the looks she gave the doctor and others was understood.  The doctor and Mary became lovers.

The newspaper illustrator and painter of portraits, John Schuyler Moore played by Luke Evans, lived with his grandmother and ventured into the city’s red-light district nightly to have sex with the same prostitute and drink, reliving a love lost.   He tried to use his knowledge of brothels to help find the murderer, and in trying to be of help to the doctor, got himself into dangerous situations.

Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, played by Brian Geraghty, is a quiet honest man among corrupt police (like Captain Connor, played by David Wilmot, counting bribe money openly in their offices) and political crooks (like former police commissioner Thomas Byrnes played by Ted Levine).   Roosevelt was Police Commissioner in New York in 1896 and “authorized the purchase of a standard issued revolver for the NYPD”.  It was the “Colt New Police Revolver in .32 Long Colt caliber”.

The Police Commissioner’s female secretary, Sara Howard, played by Dakota Fanning, was rare in the police department at that time.   Though she dressed appropriately for her job, she was raised like a boy and drank whiskey in public.   Sara was abused by her male co-workers in a male-dominated profession.  She had a good mind, but she too felt like an outsider socially and emotionally.

The two Jewish detectives, Marcus and Lucius Isaacson (played by Douglas Smith and Matthew Shear), did the research for the doctor, introduced new criminology techniques they heard about such as fingerprinting, etc. to help find the murderer. They, too, were treated like outsiders and were also in danger.

The doctor’s Black male servant, Cyrus Montrose, too, (played by Robert Wisdom) was always ready to serve and defend the doctor in this dangerous undertaking.

Stevie Taggert, played by Matthew Lindzt, was the young boy who went under cover in the brothel which catered to older men by providing young boys for sex.

Maxie, played by Dominic Boyle, was the main male prostitute who dreamed of being free like one of the murdered boys.

I really liked the historical flavor of the show with the fights for rights that were going on then:  women’s suffrage (right to vote), one woman in the police department, etc.  The mutilation and slaughterhouse ripping of the children’s bodies brought tears to my eyes, but the men who ran the brothels were just as much to blame as the murderer.

As usual, the rich got away with their bad habits that would put the average person in jail.   While the poor might sleep several generations in one apartment.  Mass production did give people jobs, but those people were treated as part of the machinery with no safety precautions, lived in housing that should have been condemned, and had no medical care, nourishing food, or living wage.

TNT definitely knows drama!

Other sources:

Wikipedia

IMDb

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

Review of book, Had I Listened: The Things You Do Before You Know, by Hines Early

If you’ve lived in Baltimore, Maryland, from the 1950’s on, you will certainly be able to relate to Hines Early’s first non-fiction book, Had I Listened.  He vividly describes the hustles that were available to African-Americans to keep their heads above water back in the day.

Hines Early started out smart.  At the age of 9, he schooled his young mother about a colored television she bought on time, meaning $5 per week until it was paid for.  Hines figured out that the used television that she bought from a door-to-door salesman would end up costing three times what it was worth.  She sent it back and they eventually bought their own outright.

Hines had jobs like cleaning out A-rabbers’ horse stables that his grandmother used for manure in her plants.  A-rabbers were the entrepreneurs of their day, bringing fresh fruit, vegetables, and fresh fish daily to our doors via horse and wagon, a rare sight these days.  Hines has been everything from show promoter to clothing salesmen to mail business owner.  Can you imagine seeing Jackie Wilson, soul singer extraordinaire, live at the Royal Theater in Baltimore, Maryland?

Along the way, he had a few good advisors like his grandpa Steve.  But, Hines was no different than we are.  He chose the things he wanted to assimilate into his life from his advisors, but mostly went by his own instincts, making mistakes along the way, experimenting with various vices like gambling and drugs.

Hines can proudly say that he and his wife raised their own children and a few others with college aspirations.  He came out of it all, giving back to the community.  In his first book, he imparts the things he learned along the way, even after he knew.  You will laugh with him and cry with him. His story was more than “interesting enough to read about”.  His book was later produced as a play.

Publisher:  Graphic Imaging, Inc.  © Hines 2007.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of Book, Once Upon a Wedding, by A.N. Hopps

This book, Once Upon A Wedding, is an emotion-packed ride from beginning to end.   A.N. Hopps makes you laugh, cry and lust after her characters in her first novel.  But, the most burdensome emotion is the constant frustration of not being able to strangle Norma Jean.

The author’s voice is natural and plain-speaking, the way real people talk.  I like the way she doesn’t over-detail the descriptions of her characters, leaving us to use our own imaginations to envision them.  You can feel the pauses, embarrassments, tension, and need to murder.  I certainly used my imagination.

Everyone has known someone like Norma Jean, the “friend” who tries to control you and constantly puts you down.  Edith, the “side-kick” who bowed to the “queen’s” wishes most of her school years.  Although Edith eventually became her own woman, she was still haunted by Norma Jean’s influence over her.

I hated to put the book down between readings to carry on my daily commitments.  A.N. Hopps has written a true romance in every sense of the word.  And, the author has done it in such a way that anyone could put themselves into the story, whether as one of the male or female characters.  I plan on reading it again.

Publisher:  Xlibris Corporation.  © A.N. Hopps 2009.

Review written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

 

Review of book, Baltimore: A Not So Serious History, by Letitia Stockett

Ms. Stockett, a Baltimore teacher in 1926, was successful at giving a cultural view of how Baltimore, Maryland came into existence in her book, Baltimore: A Not So Serious History, published in 1997 by Johns Hopkins University Press.   The book is rich in imagery and detail.  Her tour of the Baltimore region is presented in flashbacks by neighborhoods and street intersections.

She began on Charles Street at Mount Vernon Place and wrote of specific historic details covering  the years 1500 to 1900.  When she was finished with an intersection or neighborhood, she went on methodically to the next.  There was a great deal of overlapping and repetition which I appreciated.  This helped to connect different events and people.

What I really liked was Ms. Stockett’s style of telling the story as if it were hot news or local gossip—the kind of telling where you wished you were a fly on the wall to be able to hear it for yourself.

I loved her anecdotes about real Baltimore citizens’ and visitors’ personal relationships and lives.  Hetty Cary was a famous female Confederate spy.  The Peabody family’s original name was Boadie and they were from Ireland (even Ms. Stockett admitted the lineage from the Celtic “wild woman”, Boadicea, was questionable).  Betsy Patterson, Baltimorean, married Jerome Bonaparte without Napoleon’s permission, and was refused entrance to France in her pregnant condition.  John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln, had a proud family lineage in Baltimore.  Russia requested and got American engineers to build railroads for the Czar.  Fires, riots, inventions, songs, art, and yellow fever bouts were also detailed.

The other thing I liked was her imagery of how the region looked from trees like the locust “with their heavy ivory perfume” to the origin of the Jones Falls.  But, there were also times when you couldn’t tell if the quotes were hers or someone else’s.  There was mention also of terms and names that were left unexplained, as if she assumed that you knew those things.  In Ms. Stockett’s opinion, something historic always had to be destroyed for progress to come.

However, no other religion except Christian (in a time of freedom of religion) or any other race except white accomplished anything by Ms. Stockett’s account.  Now she was a feminist when it came to women’s accomplishments during and after women’s “days of their servitude” as eye candy and property, otherwise there is nothing politically correct about Ms. Stockett’s book.

She had definite opinions of races and ethnic groups in this 1997 edition, which I assume reflected the attitudes of her day.   American Indians attacked Baltimore or were represented as wooden Indians in front of tobacco stores.  African Americans yelled “deviled crabs” at Lexington Market or were represented as wooden hitching posts for horses.  I’m sure I’m fair in saying that minorities were accorded perhaps 10 phrases in the whole book, mostly derogatory.    I would be interested in reading her original book.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

 

 

Review of movie Belle de Jour

Catherine Deneuve is a French actress who has played in a lot of R-rated movies.   The movie, Belle de Jour, is French and subtitled in English.   She usually played one of the aloof, cool, mysterious blondes like Alfred Hitchcock’s Grace Kelly or Tipi Hedron.

In Belle de Jour, Catherine’s character, Belle ne’ Severine, married a successful surgeon, but constantly fantasized about sex.   Catherine’s character acted frigid and her husband (Jean Sorel) didn’t force the issue.   What would have made the movie more interesting was if it had been explained why she didn’t desire her new “Prince Charming”-like wealthy doctor husband.   Thus, the marriage was never consummated.

But, she got hired at a local brothel where she gave up her treasure to diverse strange men and was quite happy during the day while her husband was at work.   The movie ends in near-tragedy, but not in the way you would think.  Individuals can’t necessarily live out every fantasy they can think up.  But, I liked the movie because I like adult fantasy movies, and I don’t remember seeing any nudity.

Catherine Deneuve played in a vampire movie that I liked called The Hunger, with David Bowie who acted as well as sang the theme song of the movie.   Of her movies that I have seen, the one I didn’t like was the half of the musical, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, that I watched.

“Belle de Jour Author [Dr.] Brooke Magnanti Insists She was a Call Girl”, https://www.telegraph.co.uk. The doctor had a blog before she wrote the book and had the successful television show, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” produced.

On January 10, 2018, www.usatoday.com issued a video about Catherine Deneuve and 100 other women, including female writers, performers, and academicians, who put an article in the French publication Lamonde, denouncing the #MeToo movement as puritanical and fueled by hatred of men, following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.    She classified what happened to the women as flirting.

But, Catherine, there is a huge difference between flirting, molestation, and rape.   I am sure there are men supporting the #MeToo movement, also.   Catherine Deneuve has worked with various directors such as Francois Truffaut, Luis Bunuel, and Roman Polanski.   And, remember, Roman Polanski fled the United States in 1978 because he was wanted for rape.   Instead of “Where’s Waldo?”, officials should be searching for Roman.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Book Signing and Author Panel at Liberty Senior Center May 9, 2018, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rosa L. Griffin will be participating in a book signing and author panel at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. during the Liberty Senior Center’s Book Club Extravaganza being held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.   She will be discussing her writing life and her book of short stories, Attraction:  Sexy Tales of Good, Bad, and Ugly Relationships.   Payment at the Center is by cash or check only.  Come on by, look around, and listen to some fascinating stories.   The Center is located at 3525 Resource Drive off of Liberty Road, Randallstown, MD 21133, 410-887-0780.

Nervikula Publishing LLC

Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Erotica

Blog https://nervikularose.wordpress.com

rosalgriffin@nervikularose.com

 

 

Woodlawn Page Turners Book Club 20th Anniversary

As I mentioned before, the Page Turners Book Club meets at 7 p.m. usually on the third Thursday of each month, except for July and August, at the Woodlawn branch of the Baltimore County libraries, 1811 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn MD  21207, https://www.bcpl.info/locations/woodlawn/index.html, 410-887-1336.   However, their 20th Anniversary will be held on the fourth Thursday.

Woodlawn Page Turners

20th Anniversary Celebration

Fourth Thursday, April 26, 2018

6 p.m.

All adults are welcome

This special night includes a Book Buzz event where librarians share and discuss the must-read books of the season that you don’t want to miss. In addition, appearances by local authors and, of course, food and entertainment!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Workshop–Owning Your Copyrights, May 5, 2018

On Saturday, May 5, 2018, 1-3 p.m., Rosa L. Griffin will be conducting a workshop for the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland entitled “Owning Your Copyrights”.    The workshop will be held at the Enoch Pratt Library, 4330 Edmondson Avenue, Baltimore, MD  21229.

Understanding copyright law can be hair raising.  Join us for an informative workshop for writers which will help guide you through the muddy waters of what you can and can’t use for your writing projects and much more!

You will learn:

  1. How to copyright your work
  2. What can’t be copyrighted
  3. How to earn income from others’ use of your work
  4. How you can use someone else’s work
  5. How to copyright your work in other forms

Rosa L. Griffin is the author of an adult fictional short story collection entitled Attraction:  Sexy Tales of the Good, Bad, and Ugly Relationships.   One of the stories in her collection, “Life-Box”, received honorable mention in a Writer’s Digest Magazine contest.   Rosa earned two A.A. degrees in Human Resource Management and Secretarial Science at Baltimore City Community College.   She also served as secretary for the Black Writers’ Guild for 8 years.   Her expertise in copyright is based on her work experience at the Johns Hopkins University Press.    Rosa hopes to see you there!

The workshop is open to the public.  Donations ($5.00) can be made via the BWG website at www.blackwritersguild.org.  Annual membership is $35.00.  Bring a friend!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin