Funky Pretty by the Beach Boys

I’m not sure how I’ve lived 50 years on this planet without knowing about this song, but many thanks to bestselling author Richard Maddox, who brought it to my attention during a phone call about his upcoming interview on The Writestream. Before I can even hope to finish my sequel, I have several client projects to complete, but when I do get around to it, I may have to find a way to incorporate this into the dialogue.

Anyway, just thought I’d post this fun video before I get back to work. Enjoy the weekend!

If you would like to preview and/or purchase Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, featuring two main characters (male and female) who are Pisces, visit Available in paperback and Kindle.


Tommy and Me by Ray Didinger Evokes Nostalgia for a Bygone Era in Professional Sports

Tommy and Me by Ray Didinger Evokes Nostalgia for a Bygone Era in Professional Sports

When my brother Mark announced his plan to take us to see Tommy and Me by Ray Didinger, I had no idea what to expect. Although a lifelong Eagles fan, my earliest memories of the team begin in the 1970’s with players like Tom Dempsey, Harold Carmichael, and Roman Gabriel…when the Dallas Cowboys ruled and loyal fans suffered through consecutive losing seasons until Dick Vermeil came along and turned the Eagles into winners, beginning with the 1978-79 season. The one characterized by the Miracle at the Meadowlands, culminating in a 9-7 record. Winners!

I had heard about older players and the 1960 championship from my parents and brothers, but it didn’t mean much to me until I attended Didinger’s one-act play, featuring just four excellent actors. Performed at Theatre Exile, it tells the uplifting and heart-warming story of a Philly boy (Didinger) who loved his Philadelphia Eagles, and in particular, his idol Tommy McDonald. Their personal relationship begins one summer day in Hershey, during the Didinger family’s annual Eagles training camp vacation, when after patiently waiting outside the locker room for an autograph, young Ray meets his favorite Eagle. Tommy McDonald graciously engages the boy in conversation and asks him to hold his helmet as they walk together toward the field. It’s the start of a lifelong connection, though McDonald won’t realize it until decades later.

We follow Ray through his career as a Philly sportswriter and commentator, which reunites him with McDonald in the 1980’s and culminates in McDonald at last being inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 1998. At the end of the performance, I learned something new about my own family when my dad raised his hand during the Q & A to tell the story of how he took care of McDonald when he was a resident doctor at Misericordia Hospital in West Philly.

More than anything, Tommy and Me made me nostalgic for the days when professional athletes were connected to their fans and played mostly for the love of the game. What a refreshing tribute to a bygone era in professional sports. Many thanks to the cast, writers, and crew for the fun, interactive conversation with the audience at the end of the performance. I’m so thankful I was still “up north” to see it.


Thank you, Showstopper Photography!

A few weeks ago, Lisa Tarves and I had a professional photo shoot with Showstopper Photography — one of the many items on our ‘To Do List’ while I’m visiting PA. If you live anywhere near Pottstown, I highly recommend them! Owner Chris was professional, fun, and creative. Since I’m not one who enjoys posing for formal pictures, I really appreciated that!

Lisa and Daria 3

It’s nice to have updated photos for professional use — especially now that biz is taking off (more on that later)!



Visit Showstopper Photography for more information.


Visiting Melbourne? Stay at The Crane Creek Inn

Renee enjoys the view from her porch off the Ida Mae room.

Renee enjoys the view from her porch off the Ida Mae room.

One great thing about living in Florida is that everyone wants to visit. But what to recommend if you don’t have a lot of space to accommodate visitors?

The Crane Creek Inn.

I discovered this little gem, located just two blocks from downtown Melbourne during one of my causeway walks with my good friend Damalis. When I’d mentioned that several friends and family members were interested in visiting, she suggested we extend our walk to Melbourne Avenue, where I could investigate a B & B.

We arrived at a lovely craftsman style house decorated in Key West style, where owner Andy gave us a tour. Upon entering, I was struck by how the decor, amenities, and ambiance created a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for travelers who just want to get away from it all. Unlike an impersonal hotel, the Crane Creek Inn was like stepping back in time to an era when strangers actually engaged each other in conversation. Although a throwback in some ways, the Inn is definitely in tune with modern times, offering WiFi, a private guest bathroom in each suite, a well-maintained pool and deck, and a boardwalk complete with Adirondack chairs along the river.

Karen is all smiles by the pool deck.

Yet there’s also a library where guests can select from a variety of reads, and a lovely dining room where they can enjoy a hot, made-to-order breakfast every morning, compliments of Andy. The rooms also come with their own porches or decks depending on the accommodations (some even have kitchens!). And while you feel as if you are tucked away in a peaceful sanctuary brimming with characteristic Old South charm, you’re still just a few blocks away from shops, restaurants, bars, and other activities. For travelers without cars, it’s very manageable to walk to variety of entertaining venues.

That day I was so impressed with the place I recommended it to friends Renee and Karen, each of whom booked reservations. Last week, Renee enjoyed a few days at the Inn and currently my good friend Karen is staying there.

Captain Andy takes us for a ride on the river.

Captain Andy takes us for a ride on the river.

Next month, my parents will no doubt enjoy it as much as my two girlfriends when they check in at the Crane Creek Inn.

Husband and wife owners Andy and Bambi have done an outstanding job in transforming the Crane Creek Inn into a little slice of paradise on the Central Florida Coast. Yesterday, he even offered Karen and me a complimentary boat ride on the river, where we took in the beautiful scenery and even spotted a few manatees along the way. This place is clean, modernized, hospitable and hard to leave. If your future plans include visiting Melbourne, consider staying at the Crane Creek Inn. You’ll be very glad you did!

Visit the Crane Creek Inn website and like the Crane Creek Inn Facebook Page.

Old South charm along the river.

Old South charm along the river.


Blocks away from renowned places like Meg O'Malley's Irish Pub.

Blocks away from renowned places like Meg O’Malley’s Irish Pub.

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