May 12

Robin Williams





 
 
 
 
 

    Robin McLaurin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Laurie McLaurin, was a former model from Jackson, Mississippi. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a senior executive in Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln-Mercury Division. Williams had two elder half-brothers, Robert and McLaurin. Robin credits his mother as being an important influence for his sense of humor, using this as a way to get her attention.

    Williams was a shy and quiet child up until high school when he joined the school drama department. At the time of his graduation in 1969, he was voted ” Most Likely Not To Succeed” and ” Funniest” by his classmates.

    Williams began his stand-up comedy shows in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1970s. His first performance took place at the Holy City Zoo, a comedy club in San Francesco, where he worked his way up from tending bar to getting on stage. Some of the comedians that have  influenced and inspired him are: Jonathan Winters, Peter Sellers, Nichols and Mary, Lenny Bruce, Jay Leno, Sid Caesar, Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Richard Pryor.

     Due partly to the stress of doing stand-up Williams started using drugs and alcohol early in his career. He would never drink or use drugs while on stage but would suffer from hangovers. During the time he used cocaine he would be paranoid while performing on stage. Along with stand-up comedy Williams also did: television live performances, television, film and theater.

     Robin married his first wife Valerie Velardi in June 1978. They had a son Zachery Pym “Zak” Williams ( born in 1983). They divorced in 1988. On April 30, 1989, he married Marsha Garces, Zachery’s nanny, who was pregnant with his child. They had two children, Zelda Rae Williams ( born 1989 ) and Cody Alan Williams (born 1991). Garces filed for divorce in March 2008 and it was finalized in 2010. Williams married his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, on October 22, 2011, in St. Helena, California.

     Williams stated, “My children give me a great sense of wonder. Just to see them develop into these extraordinary human beings.”

     Williams became a devoted cycling enthusiast, having taken up the sport partly as a substitute for drugs. In 1986, Williams teamed up with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal to found Comic Relief USA, an annual HBO television benefit devoted to the homeless, which has raised $80 million, as of 2014. Bob Zmuba, creator of Comic Relief, explains that Williams felt blessed because he came from a wealthy home, but wanted to do something to help those less fortunate.

    Williams and his second wife Marsha founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many charities. In response to the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, he donated all proceeds of his “Weapons of Self Destruction” Christchurch performance to help rebuild the New Zealand city. Half the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross and half to the mayoral building fund. For several years, Robin supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

     During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams was addicted to cocaine. He was a casual friend of John Belushi. The sudden death of Belushi and the birth of his son Zak served as a wake-up call and prompted him to quit both drugs and alcohol. Williams turned to exercise and cycling to help alleviate his depression shortly after Belushi’s death, according to bicycle shop owner Tony Tom, Williams said, “cycling saved my life.”

    In 2005, he started drinking alcohol again in 2006, he checked himself into a substance-abuse rehabilitation center in Newberg, Oregon, saying he was an alcoholic. Years afterward, Robin acknowledged his failure to maintain sobriety, but said he never returned to using cocaine. In March 2009, he was hospitalized due to heart problems, he had surgery to replace his aortic valve on March 13, 2009.

   In mid-2014, Williams admitted himself into the Hazeldon Foundation Addiction Treatment Center, for treatment related to his alcoholism. His publicist Mara Buxbaum commented that he was suffering from severe depression prior to his death. His wife Susan stated that in the period before his death, he had been sober, but was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease, which he was “not yet ready to share publicly.”

   Although Williams was first recognized as a stand-up comedian and television star, he later became known far acting in film roles of substance and serious drama. He was considered a “national treasure” by many in the entertainment industry and by the public. According to Judd Apatow, Williams’s rapid-fire improvisational style was an inspiration as well as an influence for other comedians, however, his talent was unique enough that no one else tried to copy it. As a film actor, Robin’s roles often influenced others, both in and out of the film industry. It’s been said that Robin  Williams would have the director hire homeless people for the movies he worked on. This in itself shows what a selfless and wonderful human being he was.

   Robin Williams committed suicide on August 11, 2014 in his home at the age of 63. An examination of his brain tissue revealed the presence of “diffuse Lewy body dementia.” His doctors reportedly believe that Lewy body dementia “was the critical factor” thatled to his suicide.

  Robin Williams will forever be missed. It is my hope that people will learn from his death and know that there is help out there and you are not alone. Depression is a serious disease but it can be fixed.

Mar 12

Headaches…5 Types





 
 
 
 
 
 

     I’m going to tell you a little bit about 5 types of headaches and unfortunately I have experienced all of them at one time or another and non of them are any fun at all. Although some are worse than others.

       1) Tension: Not as severe as migraines but the most common. They don’t usually cause nausea or vomiting and continuing your daily routine is possible. You will experience constant pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck.

       Normally over-the-counter drugs work to correct this particular headache. Tension headache refers to head pain associated with stress and muscle contraction. Areas you feel the pain:

  • Upper back and neck

  • Base of head

  • The ears

  • The jaw

  • Above the eyes

         A few causes and risk factors are:

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Depression

  • Eyestrain

  • Poor posture

  • Injuries or arthritis of the neck area

  • Chemical imbalance of the brain

  • Being overweight

  • Teeth clenching or grinding

  • Sleep disruption

  • Sleep apnea

  • Low physical activity

  • Medications

   Symptom’s of a  Tension Headache:

  • Constant, steady pain and pressure

  • Dull and achy pain

  • Pain felt on both sides of the head, forehead, temples, and back of the head

  • Feels like a tight band around the head

  • Intensity ranges from mild to severe and can vary

  • Tightness in head and neck muscles

  Tension headaches can become severe enough to interfere with normal activities and sleep. These types of headaches are managed ,rather than cured. Therapies aim to stop the headache and reduce the frequency of future episodes.

 2) Migraine: The exact cause of these headaches are not fully known or understood. Migraines usually run in the family. The severity of a migraine run from mild to extremely severe and can sometimes be very debilitating. The worse the headache is the worse the symptoms, which can even be nausea and/or vomiting. Daily activities at this point are usually not possible.

 These types of headaches also tend to make the person sensitive to light, sound, odor, etc. some people may also see spots/flashing lights or have a temporary loss of vision.

 Some triggers can be:

  • Physical exertion or activity

  • Stress/Anxiety

  • Hormonal changes

  • Skipping meals

  • Too much sleep or not enough

  • Weather changes

  • Perfume or strong odors

  • Neck pain

  • Bright lights/loud noises

  • Alcohol, Caffeine ( too much/ withdrawal )

  • Smoke

  • Heat

  • Food/Diet

 There are many different forms of migraines. The two most common forms seen are with aura and without aura.

    A) Migraine with aura (classic migraine), may have sensory symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before the attack.

  • Seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines or blind spots

  • Numbness or tingling in the face or hands

  • Disturbed sense of smell, taste, or touch

  • Feeling mentally “fuzzy”

 B) Migraine without aura (common migraine)

  • Doesn’t have an aura but has all the other features of an attack

Migraines have no cure but can be managed with the help of your doctor and possible life style changes.

3) Rebound headaches:

          When medication is not taken as directed they can cause a withdrawal reaction, prompting you to take more medicine. This in turn gives you another headache. A few of the commonly misused drugs are:

  • Aspirin

  • Sinus relief medications

  • Tylenol

  • Aleve

  • Sedatives for sleep

  • Codeine and prescription narcotics

  • Over-the-counter combination headache remedies containing caffeine

  Treatment for this type of headache:

  • Discontinuing the use of the medication or gradually reducing the dose

  • “Detoxifying” under carefully monitored medical conditions

 Most important thing to remember is to always talk to a doctor that specializes in this particular headache area.

 4) Sinus Headaches:

   These types of headaches are usually the result of your sinus cavities becoming inflamed and blocked. Normally you have a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. Moving suddenly or straining usually makes the pain worse. A few other sinus symptoms are:

  • Nasal discharge

  • Feeling of fullness in the ears

  • Fever

  • Facial swelling

 Treatment for this is directed toward symptom relief and treating the infection. A misconception is that allergies cause sinus headaches but they only cause the infection that lead to the pain and headaches. The two must ultimately be treated separately and by a doctor.

 5) Cluster Headaches:

This type of headache recurs over a period of time. They normally happen same time each year. These attacks will awaken a person from sleep 1 to 2 hours after going to bed and are usually more severe than during the day.

 Cluster headaches may go into “remission” for months or years, only to return without warning. These particular headaches are more common in men than women and usually start before the age of 30, they are also the least common of headaches.

 The cause of cluster headaches is unknown but is believed to be connected to our “biological clocks”. Most common trigger for these types of headaches are the seasons. Being seasonal headaches they are commonly mistaken for allergies or business stress. Smoking and drinking alcohol excessively can also be a cause for these types to become common.

        Symptoms of a Cluster Headache:

        A) Type of pain: pain is almost always one-sided, during a headache period, pain remains on the same side. When a new headache period begins, pain rarely occurs on the opposite side.

           B) Severity/ intensity of pain: Often described as burning or piercing the pain can be debilitating. The person affected can rarely sit still during an episode.

     C) Location of pain: Located behind one eye or in the eye area, without changing sides. This pain can radiate to the forehead, temple, nose, cheeks, or upper gum on affected side. The scalp may become tender, and pulsing in the arteries can be felt.

      D) Duration of pain: Anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Time varies for each person and circumstance.

       E) Frequency of headache: Most people that suffer from these headaches get 1 to 3 headaches per day during a cluster period. They have also been known as “alarm clock headaches” because they wake the person up at the same time during the night.

Cluster headaches don’t usually cause nausea or vomiting. It is very possible for someone with cluster headaches to also suffer from migraines. Some subtle signs of an on coming cluster headache are:

  • Feeling of discomfort or a mild, one-sided burning sensation

  • The eye on the side of the headache may become swollen or droop. The pupil of that eye may get smaller and the pink tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid will redden.

  • Nasal discharge or congestion and tearing of the eye during an attack, which occur on the same side as the pain

  • Excessive sweating

  • Flushing of the face on the affected side

  • Light sensitivity

   Treatment for Cluster Headaches:

  • Abortive medications

  • Preventive medications

  • Surgery

 All of these treatments should be done under the care of a doctor that is familiar with cluster headaches.

Dec 17

Reading For Pleasure or Learning

                          Reading For Pleasure or Learning

I’m always talking about the pleasures of reading and how they can help you if you are in the need of relaxing or escaping reality so to speak but books are also good for learning. They have so many self help and do it yourself books out there it almost seems unreal.

The great flipside to reading is it’s also very helpful other than just helping you relax.   I actually like the learning part of all this also. I believe if we can get our children interested in reading for pleasure when they are young and just learning how then it will be easier to keep them interested when they need to use this wonderful skill for knowing about the world.

When I was in middle school I had to learn about King Tut and it was the most fascinating thing in the world. From there I actually became interested in learning and reading about all sorts of stuff. Greek Mythology, Egyptians, etc. and for me things have just gotten better with reading.

I’ve seen a series of books that are actually used to help you in your everyday life. Each one having it’s on special purpose- one that comes to mind right off hand is Chicken Soup For The Soul. The written word can be so powerful- sometimes seeing it on paper can make it more believable somehow.

If you can think of any book in particular that you would like to see talked about on here please feel free to make a comment or suggestion. I love being able to talk specifics about any book even if I need to hunt it down and read it. Wishing everyone best wishes and good luck. (Looking forward to reading what you all think).

Dec 10

Books vs. Audio Books

                                           Books vs. Audio Books

        I belong to a group of people on Facebook who love Stephen King and his writing and the other day a question was asked that got me to thinking. What does everyone think of audiobooks? I’ve personally never given them much thought since I love the feel of an actual book in my hand while I read. cropped-Books.jpg

      Thinking about that made me think of the fact that my family and I will be on the road more than usual since my daughter has gotten into karate and other such sports and reading anything in a moving vehicle makes me sick. That being said I started thinking of all the good things about audiobooks.

     I think sometimes having someone else read the story to you would be kind of interesting ( as long as it’s the right narrator). It might actually put a different feel to the story itself. I’ve discovered along the way that everyone gets something different out of books depending on “how” they read it.

    I’ve found myself doing different voices in my head as I read for all the different characters-the voice depends on how I picture them in the story to be. It makes it more fun and interesting if you give each person their own personality as you go on the journey with them. This is just the way I’ve always read my books so hearing what someone else does with the different characters would be really interesting.

      I’ve been so set in my ways when it comes to reading that I almost refused to even think about any other way to read. I guess the older I get the more I have come to realize that sometimes change is ok.  I haven’t had the chance to stop and actually find the right book to try out yet but I plan to very soon.

      As soon as I get to try my first audiobook I will post it and give my personal experience and opinion on them. Until then your thoughts and opinions would be nice. Best wishes and good luck to each and everyone of you.

audio book link

Nov 16

Personal Religious Beliefs

Holy Bible                  Personal Religious Beliefs

   This is one of the touchiest subjects to talk about these days because there are so many different opinions out there. I personally think everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I also think you should be respectful of what other people believe. I’ve noticed that with a lot of people don’t seem to care about actual facts. I’m not one to just openly start talking about my beliefs because I’m a little more private and always have been.

    Things have happened lately that have made me do some serious thinking. I have always known and believed no matter what that all I have to do is put it in God’s hands and he will take care of me. I’m not saying this is always easy because it’s not. In times of trouble and personal problems doubt always seems to show it’s ugly head, it’s just a matter of how strong your faith is. I actually have a little help in keeping my faith strong because I married a Youth Pastor/Preacher.

     Believing everything happens for a reason can help you get through anything (in my opinion). I try to keep in mind my favorite Bible verse of all time- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This particular verse has been my go to since I was little.

       There are other great verses in the Bible and most people have their own personal favorite. This is a tricky subject when it comes to discussing it but I would like people to know that I welcome your opinions and don’t mind talking about religion on here. If you have questions I will try and get answers for you. If I can’t answer them I’m sure my husband will be willing to help anyway he can.

         I want people to feel comfortable when talking on my site so I will ask that any negative thoughts be kept civil and that if possible keep an open mind when in a discussion.

Nov 14

Westerns (Genre)

Westerns (Genre)

         Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the later half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some westerns are set as early as the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The Western genre sometimes portrays the conquest of the wilderness and the subordination of nature in the name of civilization or the confiscation of the territorial rights of the original, Native American, inhabitants of the frontier. The Western depicts a society organized around codes of honor and personal, direct or private justice such as the feud, rather than one organized around rationalistic, abstract law, in which social order is maintained predominately through relatively impersonal institutions. Most western stories center around the life of a semi-nomadic wanderer, usually a cowboy or a gunslinger.

         A showdown or duel at high noon between two or more gunslingers is a popular stereotype of westerns. Cowboys are typically know for their rescuing of damsels in distress. The Western typically takes these elements and uses them to tell simple morality tales. Westerns often stress the harshness of the wilderness and frequently set the action in the arid, desolate landscape.

             I love reading and watching Westerns for the fact that they not only tell the story of the hardships (and wonders) of living off the land and dare I say without the troubles of technology but they usually have a small touch of romance in them. They aren’t known to overwhelm you with the romance or anything outlandish. Most of what I’ve read in this genre seems as true as possible without actually having been there in that time. It does also show that things today really aren’t that different, they were just handled a little different.

              This is not a genre that is talked about a lot, it seems to me that it is a ‘dying’ breed so to speak. This is actually one of my go to genres when I really want to ‘get away’ and disappear into a book. The Western is a classic genre that I absolutely love. I believe in my opinion Louis Lamoure is one of the best writers in this particular genre.

       Your opinions and comments would be wonderful. Best wishes and good luck.1175165_10200327605262946_641229705_n

Oct 27

Genres/ The Top 5

Genres the top 5

From the talented aspiring writer struggling to make the distant ends meet, to the world-renowned author winning international awards and making serious bank: What differentiates the two? Is it even possible to pin down the seemingly intangible nature of what makes one wordsmith successful over another? In an attempt to answer this question, perhaps we ought to look at certain celebrated writers- J.K. Rowling, E.L. James, and John Grisham, for example- and query what they have in common?

The answer is not immediately obvious. They all come from widely varying backgrounds, their novels are incomparable, and their styles disparate. However, each of these writers have one area of common ground; their successful novels are specifically ‘genre’ works. These authors are known, respectively, for fantasy, romance and mystery- and if the statistics show us anything it’s that genre books sell better than your average literary piece, short story collection or poetry. Novels that can be pinned into one genre tend to attract a niche audience, the sort of people who label themselves ‘readers’, perhaps frequenting vintage bookstores and grand libraries in their spare time. Genre readers, however, might be more likely to browse through their kindle and purchase the latest novelty at the click of a button. This is, of course, a generalization and not true of all genre or literary readers, but the fact is, genre readers have a voracious appetite and it’s genre novels which are driving the publishing industry today.

The question of whether writers should limit themselves to a genre if they want to make a living depends, of course, on passion and investment. A writer, involved in the work for love of money, will write about what interests them. Sometimes, this will fit neatly into a popular genre. Genre writing, though, is notorious for having a rather formulaic checklist of things that need to be incorporated into the novels. Fantasy, for example, will need some form of magic, good and evil at war, and usually a hero or heroine.

Horror (# 5)

With genre leader Stephen King and Dean Koontz, horror’s clearly a popular genre- but it’s undeniably a smaller niche than some of the other popular genres. Readers enjoy being scared and they’re loyal to their favorites, which is perhaps why King and Koontz- although having both written out of the genre-have been particularly prolific writers, each releasing fifty plus novels throughout the course of their career.

King generally publishes at least one book every year, including genre classics like ‘The Shining’, ‘Salems Lot’, and ‘It’. Horror can explore shocking subjects, often incorporating romance, fantasy and action along the way- but many people simply don’t have the stomach for it, making this one of the less popular genres.

Science Fiction and Fantasy (# 4)

With fantasy books such as ‘Harry Potter, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ being turned into blockbusters, it stands to reason that this genre would be popular. Writers like ‘Suzanne Collins’ and ‘J.K. Rowling’ target a fanatical audience, often falling under the now hugely popular ‘Young Adult’ fiction umbrella.

The fact that fantasies are commonly written in sagas may have much to do with this genre’s popularity. Fans of the fantasy world seem to enjoy staying with the characters for as long as possible, being left with cliffhangers. As long as there are more books, more movies and more fantastical worlds to be discovered this genre is likely to maintain its popularity.

Religious/ Inspirational (# 3)

It’s common knowledge that the Bible sells very well, it’s the most-translated and widest-distributed book in the world. So doubtless that does a lot to boost the religious and inspirational genre. However, inspirational writers like ‘Paulo Coelho’- whose international bestsellers like ‘The Alchemist’ have been hailed as transformative to the religious and inspirational genre- and ‘Deepak Chopra’, have kept the genre relevant in the 21st century.

Crime/ Mystery (# 2)

Similar to fantasy, the crime and mystery genre is often built on sagas. Although the same set of characters might not be present in every part of a writer’s series, there’s usually a protagonist that the readers connect with and travel alongside. Readers become the Watson, working alongside Sherlock, dissecting every clue and racing to the end before moving onto the next case. Crime is a way into the minds of murderers, something forbidden but intriguing; and often, the ‘true crime’ stories are the most popular.

Some of the industry’s big names include ‘John Grisham’ and the deceased ‘Stieg Larsson’ with his ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’. For those interested in this particular series the publishers have hired a ghostwriter to continue ‘Dragon Tattoo’ series.

Romance/Erotica (# 1)

Industry analyst the Bookseller has been reported as expounding, in the 2012 report, that erotica was ‘cannibalising’ the genre industry-at least in the United Kingdom. And what better example of this than the enormously popular ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, which boomed its way into the publishing world and made E.L. James a star. The genre was ripe to be explored, and erotica showed a huge increase in Kindle purchases as people were too shy and embarrassed to buy the books in stores.

With the biggest name in the genre being ‘Danielle Steel,’ the genre is undeniably popular. Steel, herself, is known for publishing a number of books a year, sometimes working on five projects at a time. The writing of romance books is almost a science- certain story-lines need to be featured, the same kinds of endings and so on. Steel’s books have been noted to have a format to them which readers enjoy. Readers of the romantic genre are similar to the erotic, in the sense that they want to stick to what they know but the romantic genre reader is less willing to move onto a different author, this is why Steel is so popular.

Aug 28

Emily Dickinson…Poetic Genius

Emily was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst,MA. Her father, Edward Dickinson, worked at Amherst College and served as a state legislator. He married her mother, Emily Norcross, in 1828 and they had 3 children, William Austin, Lavinia Norcross and Emily. Her family had deep roots in New England. Samuel Dickinson, her paternal grandfather, was well known as the founder of Amherst College.

Emily was educated at Amherst Academy ( now Amherst College ) and at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She was an excellent student despite missing long stretches of the school year due to frequent illness and depression. She made her final departure from the academy in 1848. People can only speculate as to why precisely.

Dickinson began writing as a teenager. Her early influences include: Leonard Humphrey, principal of Amherst Academy, and a family friend by the name of Benjamin Franklin Newton. She also befriended a minister named Charles Wadsworth who would become a cherished correspondent. Susan Gilbert married William Austin and also became Emily’s closest friend and advisor.

Emily served as chief caregiver for their ailing mother from the mid-1850’s until her death in 1882. They believe that Emily’s seclusion during this time was due to her responsibility to her mother. People also speculated that Emily herself may have suffered from conditions such as agoraphobia, depression and/or anxiety. She was the most productive in writing her poetry during her time of seclusion. She also studied botany and compiled a vast herbarium.

Emily’s relationship with Judge Otis Phillips Lord seems to have turned into a romance before Lord’s death in 1884. Emily died of kidney disease in Amherst, Massachusetts on May 15, 1886. She was laid to rest in her family plot at West Cemetery. The Homestead where Emily was born is now a museum.

At the time of Emily’s death little of her work was published, and the few works that were they altered and edited to adhere to conventional standards of the time. The alteration causing much of the power of Dickinson’s unusual use of syntax and form to be lost.

Lavinia Dickinson discovered hundreds of Emily’s poems in notebooks, after her death, that she had filled over the years. The first volume of these poems was published in 1890,with additional volumes following. A full compilation, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, wasn’t published until 1955.

Emily Dickinson’s stature as a writer soared from the first publication of her poems in their intended form. She is known for her poignant and compressed verse which profoundly influenced the direction of 20th century poetry. The strength of her literary voice and eccentric life, contributes to the sense of Dickinson as an indelible American character.

Famous quotes by Emily Dickinson:

  • Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson

  • To love is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. – Emily Dickinson

  • Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality. – Emily Dickinson

  • If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain. – Emily Dickinson

  • Beauty is not caused. It is. – Emily Dickinson

I believe we can still learn from those that have lived and passed on from this world. Poetry is always been a great way to express yourself and how you feel and I think that some of the poets from long ago really had the right idea so I thought I would share some with you.

I would love to hear your opinion and thoughts on this. If you have a particular writer you would like to know about leave me a comment and I will see about getting something wrote up and on here. Thank you, Good luck and Best Wishes to you all.Books2.jpg

Jul 31

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

One of my favorite writers was Edgar Allan Poe, both his short stories and poems. His style of writing was defiantly different and a little dark, he was the master of mystery and madness. He didn’t have the easiest life but he did manage to get out some great poems, short stories and one full length novel.

Poe’s Childhood:

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. His parents were David and Elizabeth Poe. They had 3 children, Henry, Edgar and Rosalie. Elizabeth Poe died in 1811, when Edgar was 2 years old. All 3 children went to different homes. Edgar was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan, he was a successful merchant so Edgar grew up in good surroundings and went to good schools.

When Poe was 6 he went to school in England for 5 years. In 1926 when Poe was 17 he went to the University of Virginia. Although he did well in Latin and French he started to drink heavily and quickly became in debt. He had to quit school less than a year later.

Poe In The Army

Edgar Allan had no money, no job skills, and had been shunned by John Allan. Edgar went to Boston and joined the U.S. Army in 1827 when he was 18. He did  reasonably well in the Army and attained the rank of sergeant major. In 1829 Mrs. Allan died and John Allan tried to be nice to Edgar by signing his application to West Point.

Edgar entered West Point but didn’t stay long because John Allan refused to send him any money.

A Struggling Writer

In 1831 Edgar Allan Poe went to New York City where he had some of his poetry published. He submitted stories to a number of magazines and they were all rejected. No money, no friends and in financial trouble he sent a letter to John but got no response. John later died in 1834  and did not mention Edgar in his will.

In 1835 Edgar finally got a job as an editor of a newspaper because of a contest he won with his story, “The Manuscript Found in a Bottle“. Edgar missed Mrs. Clemm  and Virginia so he brought them to Richmond to live with him. In 1836 Edgar married his cousin Virginia ( he was 27 and she was 13 ).

As the editor for the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe successfully managed the paper and increased its circulation from 500 to 3500. Poe left the paper in early 1836 complaining of poor salary despite the increase in circulation. In 1837 Edgar went to New York. He wrote “The Narrative of Arthur Pym” but found no financial success. He moved to Philadelphia in 1838 where he wrote “Ligeia” and “The Haunted Palace“. His first volume of short stories, “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” was published in 1839. Poe received the copyright and 20 copies of the book but no money.

In 1845 Virginia’s health started to fade and Edgar became distressed by it. Virginia died in 1847, 10 days after Edgars birthday. After losing his wife Poe collapsed from stress but gradually returned to health later that year.

Final Days

In June of 1849 Poe left New York and went to Philadelphia where he visited his friend John Sartain. In July he left and went to Richmond where he stayed at the Swan Tavern Hotel but joined “The Sons of Temperance” to try and stop drinking. He renewed a childhood romance with Sarah Royster Shelton and planned to marry her in October. On October 3, Poe was found at Gunner’s Hall, a public house at 44 East Lombard Street, and was taken to the hospital. He lapsed in and out of consciousness but was never able to explain exactly what happened to him. Edgar Allan Poe died in the hospital on Sunday, October 7, 1849. There is a mystery surrounding Poe’s death that has led to myths and urban legends.

Any comments or discussion welcome. Would love to know what you think about Edgar Allan Poe or if there is another writer you would like to know about let me know.

Jul 24

Books vs Movies

Books vs Movies

It’s always been interesting to me to see the differences between books and movies. Books are better in the sense that you have to use your imagination because you can’t actually see things. In most cases the author’s usually do a really exceptional job at describing details but you still have to use your imagination to get a good picture of what they are talking about.

Movies are wonderful in there own way because they can show you things that just can’t be expressed in a book or in so many words. Take The Green Mile for instance, I love both book and movie. One of the biggest differences in those two is the way you see and feel the different emotions involved in this story. When reading the story you feel the emotions of every character ( if you really get into the story ) but in the movie you can really see first hand each and every emotion and seeing it makes it come across differently ( in my opinion anyway ).

I treasure my book but in having both I think you can get more out of a story because it’s like seeing the characters and places in “a different light”. People feel emotions differently so when reading I think they come across the way you perceive them but in the movies they come across the way the writer/actor intends them to.

Everyone has their own opinions and thoughts and I would love to hear some of yours. Please feel free to leave a comment/opinion below.

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