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   These are just a few of my favorite things!

Favorite Authors

 
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Terry Pratchett :: This man has a serious thought in his head, and it rooms quite nicely with his sense of humor. Both must haves in my list of things I look for in an author. I was first introduced to his work via a novel he co-authored with Neil Gaiman called, Good Omens. This book is rumored to be in the works of becoming a movie, I hope and I pray they do it justice. If you're not familiar with his works I recommend Good Omens as a good starting place, or better yet, start out with the first book in his Discworld Series.

 

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Mike Resnick :: I've read many of his short stories in various anthologies over the years and almost always finish the story thinking, wow. Usually after I finish laughing. He is another who meets my criteria of having a sense of humor and the ability to think at the same time. My new favorite of his is of course his newest collection entitled New Dreams for Old. From beginning to end this book had me alternating between tears of laughter and tears of just about every other emotion you can think of. He makes me think and he doesn't do it in an overbearing pushy sort of way. Just makes it such a natural part of the story you don't feel as if you've just finished reading a scientific article. I'm more of a fantasy than sci-fi person but even his sci-fi stories can give me thrills.

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Cory Doctorow :: Ok, remember what I said about sense of humor and all that blah blah blah? This guy is a genius. He is hysterical and quite serious about it too. I first found him when I stumbled across his book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, almost literally at my local library (It was on the floor in one of the aisles). This book was not a huge novel, what some might call "a slim volume" but oh my gosh it sure packs a wallop. When I finished it I had to read it again just to make sure I didn't miss anything. Since then I have been hooked and am always on the lookout for his work, I love him so much that I get excited when I see a story of his I've already read in an anthology. Take a chance, he speaks tech novel talk like no other and his stories are mostly "sci-fi" flavored in far/near future with technology gone wild looming on the horizon, but for all the techno babble and future visions he does not bore you in any way. Thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking at the same time. A hard feat to manage, but he does it with ease.

 

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Stephen King :: Whoops did you read that right? Three sci-fi fantasy masters and I toss out the horror King himself? Yes indeed. This man was pretty much my first introduction to the world of real world novels. His visions of now are often times so much more frightening than some author's visions of tomorrow. And I'm not talking about the horror stories. Oh they're good horror stories, but what draws me back to him time and again are the real people and the real things that happen to them in most of those stories, his straight no scary monster stories scared the crap out of me sometimes worse than his bloodiest novels. These books scared me, fear for the characters lives, souls, and minds in The Body, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (let me tell you this is one of the FEW stories that has ever translated so well to the big screen as the movie version starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman did), The Stand - yeah yeah I know there was a scary supernatural figure in that book but that didn't scare me, what scared me was the real story; the real possibility of a flu pandemic breaking out and killing off most everyone in the world...hmmm sounds kinda familiar to the news nowadays, bird flu anyone?
But one book of his that really moved me was On Writing. Actually that book helped get me started on my own writing, something I'd always talked about but never did, until now. For that alone I have to thank him, for the other books/stories I've mentioned, I have to thank him too, he made me care for those people, cry with them, feel what they felt and that's too powerful of a gift to ignore.

 

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Lynn Johnston :: For Better or For Worse - this is more than just a comic strip to me. It is a window into the lives of the Patterson Family. Lynn Johnston writes so well within those few panels that you feel as if you're reading a novel or watching events unfold right before your eyes. I've fallen in love with these characters over the years because she has made them all so believable and real. She's not afraid to push outside of those little boxes and touch on subjects that affect us all, life, death, birth, and prejudices. She has made me laugh out loud, and cry when one of her characters goes through an emotional moment. Sadly, due to real life health reasons she is planning on giving up the daily strip and will be converting to a hybrid version within the next year or so. Still, despite this sad fact, For Better or For Worse is definitely worth a look.

Radio :: TV :: Computer

 
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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! :: This is a weekly news "quiz" show out of Chicago and I'm not kidding when I say they NEVER fail to crack me up. I sometimes listen to old broadcasts from before I started listening at work and you know what? It is the hardest thing in the world to laugh without a sound. You feel like you're going to explode if you don't laugh out loud soon, and it must be a sight to see if you walk past my cubicle when the panel is riffing one joke after another without pause. It's a wonder really that whomever sees me trying to laugh without disturbing my co-workers doesn't think I'm on the verge of a stroke or perhaps choking to death before their very eyes. But I guess I'm ok as no one has pulled me out of my chair by my armpits and attempted CPR or the Heimlich, but then again, maybe they haven't because they just don't like me, nah...

 

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A Prairie Home Companion :: This show is not only a taste of home for a homesick mid-westerner, it is full of funny topical jokes, most safe enough my 9 year old could listen to it, she wouldn't get most of the jokes but they're still safe enough for her to hear that I wouldn't fear her repeating them in public. Plus I have to admit, this show has exposed me to not only folk and country music that I'm somewhat familiar with, but to beautiful voices singing gospel, Broadway classics, opera, Hawaiian folk, classical music, and so much more it's too hard to describe.
Garrison Keillor's voice is incredible, and he showcases some extraordinary talents on his show. It's funny, I remember as a vague recollection back when he "closed up shop" on his show and it seemed as if the whole mid-west was in an uproar, but then he came back (and they say he's better than ever). I've only recently discovered his show and have to wonder how I could have gone for so long without having listened to this wonderful program.

 

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Heroes :: Another shocker, I'm pushing a commercially driven television show? Yes. A glitzy hyped comic book for TV? Yes. Not since Twin Peaks has a TV show hooked and drawn me in so much as Heroes has. I'd blather on about the quality of the acting and the moving story lines, but well, you know what? I'm not going to. You'll eithuer love it or you'll hate it. But you can decide for yourself. They show entire episodes online at their site, and I'll just let it go at that. Enjoy. Or not.

 

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The Sims 2 :: You are not imagining things, I am actually endorsing a video game. This game has opened up a whole new world to me creatively speaking. I love to draw, but the plain truth of the matter is, I have absolutely no talent in that area. This game allows me to not only design a house, but build it from foundation to roof and then accessorize it, wallpaper, paint, floors, landscaping, furniture, you name it. I spend hours upon hours (about 2x a month) creating houses and sometimes the families that "dwell" within. Sometimes I have created a house for the simple purpose of giving me a sort of 3-D model of a story setting. I don't go all high tech and design my own custom content the way so many users of this game do, but I do enjoy using the in game offerings and it helps to satisfy a previously unsatisfiable urge within me to create in a different way than writing. Words may be my paintbrush but doggone it, sometimes I like to actually see what I'm painting too you know?

Websites

 
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Liberty 1st :: This is a site run by a former classmate of mine in Three Rivers. He has a forum and blog and brings some issues of local liberties and rights and other community matters to the attention of not just local residents but people all over the world. I visit for some interesting conversations and debate on local and national matters. Not to mention that touch of home. It's great to see community involvement in any form and this site is a perfect example of people voicing their concerns and where some local officials actually take the time to answer their questions or at least try and find the answers if they don't know.

 

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RedLineStudio :: My friend Matthew S. Trimnell is a Web Designer and experimental photographer. This site is still under-construction but he has some very cool photographs up right now. Please keep checking it as I know Matt will be adding more photos as he has time.

 
Copyright © 2006- Teresa Rothman