Thursday, January 31, 2008

Early A.M. Ramblings....

Drove to the gymnasium for Casey's game at 5:45 p.m., but there were two strange teams on the court warming up for the 6 p.m. game -- with Casey's gang nowhere in sight, so came home again. Don't know what happened; the schedule must have changed this week. Didn't want to wait around an hour to see if she was in the 7pm time spot...

Tonight at 7 I will be trying out to see if I can become a contestant on Jeopardy (unless I forget to logon and try out at the proper time)! There's an on-line test to take at that time for folks living on the west coast. I really enjoy Jeopardy and can usually do a pretty good job playing it. Some categories are beyond me by miles -- I'm not much into popular culture the past thirty years or the sciences, but even with those, many of the clue-driven answers are often so obvious that I can guess the correct questions based on those alone. It's worth a shot. I'd also be a good Wheel of Fortune contestant -- and maybe even a pretty decent ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER contestant... but that's dicier!

I have submitted my resume for a couple of freelance copywriting gigs in the area and am waiting to see if I get either or both of them. Just read another book on starting and running a copywriting business. It doesn't look like rocket science and I'd enjoy 95% of it (that's a very high percentage). It's just scary to think about doing! I would love it, though -- being my own boss, working from home... I'm disciplined enough to do that, and there are no distractions here. I bet I could do it. I just need to develop a client list, so have registered at Elance and and at other freelance websites hoping to get a few gigs and some buzz about my abilities from new clients. If you hear of anyone needing web content or brochures, flyers, newsletters, or other copy-heavy projects, please keep me in mind. I'd be happy to quote a price after I hear the scope of the work...

I went to bed at 9 and slept like a log 'til about midnight or a little after.. awoke in prayer! I really did! I came awake praying for a number of concerns and people... That has happened a couple of times before. They weren't frantic or anxiety-driven prayers at all.... they were mostly thanksgiving and affection-based prayers for friends or family members going through an uphill struggle on some level. I'll menton a few of them so you can join me in prayer:

My sister Jackie lost one of her long-time friends this week: Bruce Lindoff, who she went to school with. Bill, Bruce's twin, was actually closer to Jackie, but Jackie always told me what a treasure both Lindoffs were to her when she was in school. So my heart and prayers went out to Jackie and to the Lindoff family. Bruce was in Hawaii having the time of his life with his wife -- snorkeling, playing golf -- when he just sat down in a chair (after snorkeling) and was gone. Even though sad, Jackie said, "What a way to go -- in Hawaii, in the midst of doing everything he loved -- and without a struggle." We should all be that fortunate when it's our turn to go -- but not at age 53! That's just too sad. Bruce and his wife have a son and a teenage daughter. Please keep the Lindoff family in your prayers.

I also prayed for my own situation, asking God to keep me strong and positive and to not allow Satan to mess with my feelings of self-worth during this period of unemployment. I also asked that He would keep me focused on attaining the kind of work He placed me here to do, using my pen (er, keyboard these days!) to persuade, encourage, guide and entertain people. My best suit and greatest passion has always been the written word. There's a place in this world for people like me, or God wouldn't have given us the drive to keep at this day-by-day since childhood the way He has...

What else? Wish there were more. I'd like to keep writing, but don't want to bore you, so will hush now until something else crosses my mind that seems worth sharing.

The one-year anniversary of the launch of this blog is right around the corner (February 23rd). Time sure flies when we're having fun! I hope these effforts are keeping you entertained and informed . Sure would love to hear your appraisal of how I'm doing "so far" and what else I can do to make our time together here even better! Let me know. That's how I grow!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Veddy Interesting!!!

It's week three of my unemployment adventure. I've lost six pounds by exercising a lot, and have rested and have applied for upwards of thirty jobs that are listed in this area (or are for telecommuters). Nothing yet, but have a few bites and some interest.

The race for the presidency is becoming veddy interesting. Of course you already know I'm for Obama, and was happy to see so many Kennedys come out for him. That was a relief for me; I was worrying that perhaps I was "wishful thinking" that Obama was a worthy heir to the legacy that was cut short by assassination (twice) over forty years ago, but after hearing Caroline Kennedy say she wanted a President who would inspire her own children, and that Obama is her choice for the next President, that felt good. I was also glad to see Senator Kennedy endorse him, but more wary than with Caroline. Senator Ted brings baggage and a lot of anti-Kennedy sentiment with him, and the last thing I want to see happen is a rift/chasm develop again between people of differing opinions. I want our next President to bring people together and create the kind of America that knows we're all interlinked, that when one American suffers unjustly, we all are diminished by that suffering. I think Barack (Barak means "bless" in Hebrew -- interesting, huh?) Obama is just the man for such a time as this. Senator Clinton, bless her heart, brings too much vitriol and animosity into the mix, and her husband is being crass and clueless as far as what he has been saying to try and turn the tide back to Hillary. I wonder if his heart bypass has affected his reasoning abilities. (Not an uncommon side effect of heart surgery.) I still think Bill Clinton's presidency (notwithstanding Monica) was one of the best and most representative of all of them, but the winds of change and the urgent desire among Americans for a new kind of hope are just palpable. I haven't sensed this kind of anticipation since RFK's candidacy. I'm totally jazzed.

I like McCain but see in him a continuation of policies engendered by the current President...and frankly I don't see much worth continuing from the Bush administration. I especially wonder what McCain would do about Iraq. Warriors are warriors, and it's hard to get them to consider options that don't require weapons. To a hammer, everything else is seen as a nail, something to be pounded.

Think about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how President Kennedy's military advisers were itching to engage Khruschev, which could have touched off a nuclear war. I think we're best de-escalating provocative actions. We have made our point -- that attacks on America will not be answered with a whimper, but with muscle: military, financial, ideological and practical. With boycotts, financial seizures, embargoes, measures and other methods of retaliation. But when we respond "in kind" to insane acts, the hatred burns that much hotter and the gulf separating ideologies just gets wider. Fight fire with fire and eventually both houses will burn down -- and all sense of proportion and justice will go right out the window...

On other subjects...

I went to Wal-Mart this morning and saw a slew of new STAR TREK (original generation!) greetings cards and some wonderful wacky, wild, very funny political greeting cards. Jackie has a birthday coming up (Groundhog Day) as does Margot Worthington (Feb 12th), so of course I had to get cards for them. Jackie is a Republican to the core, so I got her an Obama-based birthday card that will crack her up! (We agree to disagree on politics; we're both peaceable about allowing others to make their own decisions on who should be President). Margot is an original generation fan, so I got her a card with Spock on it, only because it was perfect!

I have registered to help the Obama campaign in Washington until the caucus late in the second week of February; haven't heard back yet, but just registered last night, so it would be pretty freaky to hear back this soon. But time's a 'wastin' and I have the time, so I hope someone calls me soon and gives me some marching orders!

My car might have a transmission problem, so I may have to get a new (or used) one very soon. I'll probably get a Kia Rio. They get 41 mpg and only cost $8K new and have a good warranty and good reviews. I'll decide on that when I get my next work... sooner if the Saturn craps out!
(Nice Saturn.... sweet Saturn.. I need you right now... please hang in there until I have a job again!) I have the money in savings -- I just don't want to use it, in case I need it, before I get a job.

Tonight is another basketball game for Casey's team, so I'll be there at six.

I jumped on a mini-trampoline for 35 minutes yesterday while watching Oprah (after spending 35 minutes earlier in the day walking "with" Leslie Sansone on her DVD) and did a number on my left hip; it's aching in a tiny spot this morning, so I'm foregoing exercise today to allow it to recover....

What else?

Oh! Billie Rae Walker just interviewed me again (for an update on my new De book) for a STAR TREK newsletter. If it's accepted, and she gives me permission, I'll include a link to the newsletter when I get it.

Stay tuned! If you can't wait that long, you can always access our FIRST-ever interview at STARTREK.COM. Here's the URL to take you directly to the interview:

And here's a link to a Treks in Sci Fi podcast I did with Rico Dostie at about the same time during STAR TREK's 40TH anniversary:

Hey, Rico, it's about time for a follow-up podcast interview, isn't it?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's A'Happenin'

For an unemployed person, I sure have been busy lately! Today I renewed my driver's license for another five years and walked an aerobic three miles (so far) in my house (to the accompaniment of the first of Leslie Sanson's Walk at Home Walking Slim DVD) ... and it's just past noon in my time zone.

I went to Torchbearer's (the elder set at Church ForAll Nations) yesterday from ten to noon for the first time, but not for the last time, unless I get a job right away and can't go again. Tonight I plan to go to church for the women's ministry get-together, and tomorrow night I'll go to a potluck at Pastor and Mrs. Wuerch's in the evening.

The spiritual support I receive right now (from both heavenly and earthly realms) is very helpful. No matter how "worthy" a person feels on a regular basis, when they lose their job it can be more than a little depressing! I'm fortunate to have lots of emotional support from all around the globe at a time like this. It keeps me feeling more peaceful than I would otherwise, for sure! And hopeful. I know I'm in God's will for this time in my life. So whatever happens next will be a definite step forward in my ability and willingness to "let go and let God" direct my steps.

This week I also attended Casey's basketball game. Last week I attended both games she played.

It's a heap of fun to watch seven year olds play basketball... and to see how quickly they improve over the course of just a few games. This year the teams are co-ed, so the girls are getting a dose of male competitiveness. It has kicked their own adrenaline into high gear as well, making them much better than I think they would be otherwise.

The weather outside my window is downright frigid. It drops into the low twenties (Fahrenheit) at night and rarely gets above freezing in the daytime right now. This is unusual for this neck of the woods.

The interesting thing to note is that there are buds on trees and bushes already, and ducks and geese that should be flying south are flying north again -- so even before Pauxatawny Phil pokes his head out of his burrow in Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day, I am going to prophesy that spring is on the way. My cats are shedding again; that's a dead giveaway too.

There isn't a lot else to report, which is why you haven't heard much from me lately. I was very sad to hear about Heath Ledger's death... I didn't know a thing about him before he died, never having seen any of his portrayals, but Hollywood is really down-hearted at the news in a way I don't often see, so he must have been quite the actor with decades' worth of potential. It's always sad when a young person dies... and it seems to be happening so often in the Hollywood crowd these days. I surely anticipate more, unless the drug culture there is vanquished.

I'm pretty ticked off at what lengths the Clintons are going to in order to discredit Barack Obama. I think it's going to backfire on them. They need to lighten up. I like both Hillary and Barack, but think Hillary is too divisive a person to lead as well as Barack might. Too many people really find her repulsive. Again, I don't understand why they do; I just know they do. Barack doesn't have that kind of baggage. He has given people real hope. He's a tipping point candidate.

I continue to pray that the best candidate will get into the White House, whoever God deems the best candidate to be. Only God can see into candidates' hearts and minds, and only God knows what will be coming against the U.S. during the next decade... I just hope that whoever the candidates are on both sides will be someone we all, as Americans and as citizens of the world, can be proud of. It has been far too long since that has been the case...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hear/Read Barack Obama's Speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Martin Luther King, Jr. -- He Had a Dream...

Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist preacher who changed America in myriad ways but did not live to see his dream become as much a reality as it has. Today a black man, Barack Obama is running for President -- and is winning races and offering hope to millions -- red, yellow, black, brown and white citizens all over the world -- as he goes along.

I remember the days before Martin Luther King Jr was on the scene. I was a white kid in a white bread world living in the Pacific Northwest. Black people were rare up here back then. The first two black people I knew were my Sunday School teacher and her son Walter, who was in my class. I adored them, so had no "racist" baggage weighing me down -- and wasn't aware anyone else had any, either. I had never heard the "n" word uttered. Kids have to be taught to hate and to fear and to have an "us versus them" perspective; they aren't born with it.

It was during the school integration era when police were setting fire hoses and German Shepherds loose on "Negroes" that I had my first look at the way racism can disfigure an otherwise attractive white face. I watched on television as white people shouted, screamed and belittled school-age children whose only "crime" was being sent to a school that hadn't accepted black children before. I remember asking my mom, in horror, "What country is this happening in?" I was horrified when she responded, "It's happening in America." It was beyond comprehension to me. "Where?!"

And I began to feel, palpably, on the side of the "underdogs" in the fight. Even when H Rap Brown or Stokely Carmichael would get in-our-faces and scare us with words of revolution and "taking what is rightfully every American's to have", I would think, "If I were black, I'd probably be feeling exactly the same way. Racism is unfair and it's cruel and I'd be mad as a hornet if I were black."

Then along came Martin Luther King Jr., a man of peace and love, a man of the cloth, and I knew instinctively that racist white people would have to take a step back and listen to him instead of becoming more afraid and defensive as they were doing with other spokesmen. Like coming to Christ, a call to conscience cannot be compelled -- it can only be gently offered if it is to achieve a desired goal.

Martin Luther King Jr was the way forward. Because he lived and gave his life in the cause of making sure all Americans were "free at last," today we are a better nation in this regard. Still not a perfect nation... equal opportunity is still a goal to be achieved... but would any of us who were there at the time want to go back to the way it was then?

My friends are now a rainbow of colors, nationalities and creeds. I can't imagine life any other way. When we see all people as fellow sojourners along life's road we realize that everyone wants the same thing: to be loved, respected, and given the same chance to provide for themselves and their families as everyone else. When we deny this to anyone, we deny ourselves all the creative, positive contributions those denied would have given to the world -- and that's a crime beyond measure.

It all comes back to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What a concept! Why O why haven't we tried this one concept all over the world? Just once, for perhaps a decade? We'd be utterly transformed... and would never want to go back.

"Remember..." An Excerpt From My Next DeForest Kelley Book

Several people sent me "I remember De!" messages yesterday on what would have been his 88th birthday. I tried to locate an earlier essay that was published in newspapers, called REMEMBERING DeFOREST KELLEY, but it's on a disc that's unaccessible right now, so instead, I'll give you a sneak-peek of my next book,THE ENDURING LEGACY OF DeFOREST KELLEY: ACTOR, HEALER, FRIEND.

Following is the working draft of the intro to the ACTOR section of the book. It's copywrited, but if you'd like to use it for publicity purposes at any of the STAR TREK or DeForest Kelley websites, just let me know and also append this: "Author Kristine M Smith's first book about DeForest Kelley is DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES, garnering 5-star reviews at Amazon. She is seeking additional contributors to her next Kelley book, of which the preceding has been a preview. Fans, friends and co-workers are encouraged to tell their stories of meeting or knowing De -- or of simply loving him from afar. Send your reminiscences to Kris at KRISTINE M SMITH AT MSN DOT COM."

Fans are undoubtedly familiar with De’s portrayal as Dr. McCoy on the original, iconic STAR TREK® television and motion picture series. This is probably the way most of today’s fans became fans, watching him interact with the crew of the Starship Enterprise. As we all know, McCoy’s on-again, off-again irascible tendencies covered a heart of gold that was sold out to his patients, to his mission, and to his crewmates (yes, even Spock). There was no doubt about that. Time and again, he offered his life for theirs, as they had for his.

A television host in Colorado, a huge fan of Westerns, once regaled De and his Good Day Colorado audience with an almost “word-for-word” recreation of some of De’s lines from “Warlock,” a better-than-most Western starring Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, and Anthony Quinn. Pretending to be De’s character Curly Burne in the movie, the host did a fast draw, then stopped short when he realized his opponent (Fonda) had out-drawn him. Much to De’s delight, the host flailed helplessly as he “backed down” from the confrontation he had engendered, and then jumped to another aspect of the same scene. “And just before that, where you’re trying to goad him into this gunfight, you say, ‘Oh, them pearly handles of yo’s … they’re enough to blind a man’s eyes. You really ought to stop polishing them that way, por favor, you know, the way you always do… Someone ought to just take them pearly handles from you and rough them up a bit, you know?”

When the host finished his faithful rendition of the scene, De’s eyes shone and his grin was as wide as Colorado itself. He took a brief look into the studio audience – the largest audience for that particular show, ever, filled as it was past capacity with TREK fans imported from a STARLAND convention nearby – and he laughed. “You know,” he told the show host, then pointed at his fans and said, “They know! If this wasn’t a television show, I could tell you a story about that very scene…” And he left it there. The show host undoubtedly asked for, and received, “the rest of the story” backstage.

For those who haven’t heard it:

Days before the scene was filmed, the director had told De that the Princess of Greece, Princess Sofia, would be on the soundstage the day he was scheduled to shoot the scene. De thought he was joking, because this particular director had a dry sense of humor. “I thought maybe he meant Sophia Loren.”

Sure enough, when the day arrived a very real Princess Sofia and her large entourage gathered on the upper part of stairway in the “saloon” where the filming of this scene was about to take place. The visitors to the set were out of camera range.

“At first,” De recalled, “I was very nervous – not necessarily because the Princess and her people were there, but because in this scene I had to do a fly-away – that’s a move with a gun where I flip it and it goes into my holster, with any luck at all – and I had been practicing this move, but it was nowhere near certain I could get it on the first take, or even the second.

“Henry Fonda was away that day – Tyrone Power had passed away the week before and Fonda was at his funeral – so his lines were read to me. In this scene, I’m supposed to goad Fonda into a fight, and when I do, his gun is out of the holster in a flash and I realize I’m done for unless I back down, so I quickly, and as humbly as this hombre can, back down. I do the fly-away and it goes in perfectly; a big relief to me. Then I start backing away, with a little wave to Fonda, toward the bat-wing doors, and… this wasn’t in the scene… I trip backward over a chair! As I went over, I called out, ‘Oh, shit!’

“Well, you could have heard a pin drop. All of a sudden I remember Princess Sofia and her people are standing on the staircase watching this whole thing! So I crawled out through the bat-wing doors on my knees! And on the other side of the doors, the director looks down at me and says, ‘De, I’ll bet you sat up all night trying to think of what to say in front of the Princess of Greece.’

“As it turned out, Princess Sofia didn’t know what that word meant. But when I went to the commissary for lunch that day, everyone stood up and applauded me! It was all over the lot what I had said in front of the princess!”

Okay, now you know about the outtake. Go and rent or buy the movie and see what De, a conscience-ridden bad guy hanging with the wrong crowd, does when confronted with the enormity of his gang’s depravity. In a way, he becomes the hero of the motion picture, in my opinion. ‘Nuf said.

Curly Burne in Warlock was one of De’s very few good-natured bad guys. Most of his portrayals were so cussedly ornery and demonic that he was often hired to snarl at the likes of Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Audie Murphy, the Lone Ranger and the Bonanza boys. If you haven’t seen his other portrayals, you are missing out on some of the best acting ever in Westerns. (A top-notch and complete filmography of De’s entire acting career can be found at Karen Halliday’s website: Check it out, rent some of the films at your local video store, and feast your eyes on ACTOR DeForest Kelley If you don’t have Internet access, ask a friend to download the site for you, or visit a library to download it.)

Be forewarned, however: Before watching any of De’s Westerns, you may have to divorce yourself from any knowledge of Dr. McCoy (and that takes some doing!) in order to truly appreciate his pre-McCoy portrayals. Remind yourself beforehand that McCoy had not yet been created and that De’s cowboy portrayals were the rationale the network had for believing that STAR TREK’s audience could never “buy” DeForest Kelley as good guy Doctor McCoy, which is why he wasn’t in the first pilot of STAR TREK. You will understand their concern after seeing him in these earlier roles!

In my opinion, De deserved a Best Supporting Actor award for a number of his bad-guy portrayals in motion pictures, among them: as Toby Jack Saunders in APACHE UPRISING and as Wexler in THE LAW AND JAKE WADE. And a Best Supporting Actor television award wouldn’t have hurt for his role in THE HONOR OF COSHISE, a BONANZA episode. The fact that De’s character bites the dust in so many of his Westerns – whether soon or late – just underscores that his scoundrels had to die or the audiences would have gone home with nightmares, and the tales told -- most of which were morality plays in disguise -- would have fallen flat!

De was asked at numerous conventions about how he managed to portray scoundrels so ably, when he was obviously such a gentleman. He said, “When I was a boy growing up in Georgia, there was a Sheriff who looked as though he couldn’t wait to find someone stepping out of line so that he could shoot him. He just looked like a snake to me; coiled and ready to strike. He was one of the role models for some of the heavies I played. I figured if I could capture that sheriff’s ominous aspects, my portrayal would be convincing.”

When De was in the hospital the last few months of his life, he related that one of his and Carolyn’s best friends for over 60 years had told them, years ago, that she would never believe De in a bad guy role and so that’s why she had never gone to see him in one. “When she said that, I became a bad guy right in front of her, just to show her I could do it. Well, I when I did, it scared her so badly that she started to cry! So I started to cry! I had to apologize! I wanted to convince her I was an actor, not scare her half to death! It was just awful…”

In APACHE UPRISING, an AC Lyles film, De portrayed a sociopath, Toby Jack Saunders, a man so void of decency and conscience that he exuded malevolence from every pore. The role haunted De even years later. He reflected, “I sat up half the night last night” (in the hospital) “thinking what a no good son of a bitch Toby Jack was. In the script, he was supposed to ride into town and when the town mongrel came out to wag a barking hello, I was supposed to pull out my gun and shoot him. Well, that was too much for me. I told AC I couldn’t do that. I told him I would establish his character some other way.”

He did! I had a nightmare about that hombre after seeing APACHE UPRISING!

De was one of very few actors in the late 40’s and early 50’s with a “crossover” career, working in motion pictures as well as in the new medium of television. For the most part, motion picture actors felt it was “beneath them” to work in television. As a struggling young actor, De wasn’t allowed the luxury of that lofty an opinion of himself; his focus was on keeping a roof over his and Carolyn’s heads. His list of credits from the 40’s 50’s is mind-boggling: he appeared in over 100 different series episodes, as well as in fifteen motion pictures, mostly as heavies, ne’er-do-wells and scoundrels.

Occasionally he appeared in a role as a hapless fellow falsely accused of a crime (in motion pictures, FEAR IN THE NIGHT and ILLEGAL, and in television, the Bonanza episode THE DECISION). The despair, anger or panic he showed in these portrayals was spot on. Viewers could vicariously experience this poor fellow’s dilemma as we sweated for him, hoping against all hope that his innocence would be discovered before the executioner could do his fatal job. In the case of ILLEGAL, our hope is dashed. Seconds after his execution, the truth is found out, too late to save him. The consequences are agonizing for the star of the show, Edward G. Robinson, who suffers the tortures of the damned for the rest of the picture. De’s role in this movie is small, but pivotal.

Another small but powerful role in RAINTREE COUNTY captures the attention of the audience as De -- the only Southern soldier seen in the film in a seminal role -- rides in on a horse and is felled by a bullet. For the next ten minutes or so De’s unnamed character plays with Lee Marvin’s mind in an attempt to get him to let down his guard long enough so that De can shoot him and escape to get help before he bleeds to death. The charm and easy attitude of De’s character is utterly captivating. The audience begins to hope that these two enemies will bury the hatchet and strike some kind of mutually-acceptable deal that will allow them both to survive the intersection of their lives as soldiers. Alas, it is not to be… and the men meet their end in a sudden showdown that is both a surprise and an outrageous obscenity to the audience.

 “What a shame,” we sigh – and then we realize the sentiment is the epilogue for the entire sorry history of the Civil War in which men like these, with personalities and potential for greatness, fought and perished. These two men embody, in a palpable way, the obscenity of war. In other times, they would likely have been fast friends and would probably have been willing to lay down their lives for each other…

Many of De’s roles were small, but very few of them were insignificant. The power of his performances proves the adage, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” Any time De appeared in anything, his character seemed to be the true north for that particular type of human soul. He got inside his characters and breathed life into them. His heavies were not cardboard caricatures; they were people largely unaware that they were deviating from a norm; they were simply responding to cards that had been dealt to them since childhood. Their stories and actions were made perfectly understandable given their wounded psyches, and no word of exposition had to be written to explain them; we just knew because De-the-actor seemed to know.

De made bad guys bad, but he also made a number of them somehow pitiable, fearfully and wonderfully accessible. He allowed us to inhabit them as easily as we could the hero of the piece, not happily, not willingly, but with a sense of morbid curiosity, the way we examine mothers who drown their children or Hitler or Ted Bundy, people who irrationally embarked on workable plans to carry out successive, horrible deviant behaviors. We don’t know how they got there, and we realize that if we understood them we would be just as whacked out as they were, and yet we try to figure out their pathology as if figuring it out would make us safer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My New Book is Begun!

Its title is ENTHUSIASM, with a subtitle I won't be divulging right now. I've written the Foreword and will be adding to the book over the course of the next several weeks, as inspiration dictates. Its' about "following your bliss," something I'm endeavoring to do as I search for a new job, because I won't be happy for long if I keep putting off what God placed me here to do, which is: to encourage people to hope, trust and work toward their God-given goals, which are always disguised as "enthusiasms, passions, and callings."

I walked five miles today. It was chilly but I walked fast and worked up enough warmth to unzip my heavy jacket. My feet are sore right now; they're not used to that much walking all-at-once. I took two trips, an hour apart, to get to the five mile mark.

I want to remind De's fans to send me your reminiscences of him. I want to get my next De book published sometime before 2011, when the 45th anniversary or STAR TREK arrives. If I get enough additional contributions, I can publish it this year.

There just hasn't been enough "buzz" about it in TREK venues to let fans and co-stars know of their opportunity to contribute to it. I planned to mention it in Vegas during the "wrap-up" segment of my appearance, but the talk was amputated twenty minutes early and I had to leave out the mention of the upcoming book, THE ENDURING LEGACY OF DeFOREST KELLEY: ACTOR, HEALER, FRIEND. So if you have any clout in the TREK world, or know of anyone who does, please let them know I'd like to do an interview or podcast about De again so I can announce to fans that I need their contributions to complete the book. It's true that I could finish it myself, but my vision for it is that lots of fans will contribute. There are so many wonderful stories out there of ways in which De touched his fans and I want to include as many of them as I can... The contributions I've received already are terrific and I know there are a lot not yet written that should be written.

So get going!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm A Free Agent Again!

Friday was my last day at On-Hold Concepts ( I campaigned hard for a much-deserved raise in my hourly wage, but it wasn't accepted, so I was laid off, but with three letters of recommendation and with my own kind words for the opportunity. It was painful to go, for sure, because I loved it there. I was pretty miserable all afternoon on Friday! But now that I've had time to go through the "grieving process" in my head (denial, fear, anger, bargaining, and acceptance) at warp six, it's on to the next opportunity, with no looking back except in gratitude for the friends I made, the lessons learned (which made me much better at what I do), and the freedom to choose again!

I applied for about sixteen positions Friday evening and Saturday and already have three responses, all of which pay better than I was getting, so God is up to something. I also have an idea for a new book, so I'm going to be working on that over the course of the next two weeks.

I am taking two weeks off -- except for a typing test mandated by one of the potential employers, and except for looking for more opportunities so I have as many options to choose from as possible -- because I've been working for a year without a break and need to "vacation" now if I'm going to have one this year. So now's the time...

Every word spoken to me since Friday afternoon has been divinely-inspired -- I have never gone four days without reading more appropriate-to-moment books (Re-Position Yourself by Bishop TD Jakes; Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee; and Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, by Wayne Dyer), hearing a more spot-on Bible study and sermon (you can hear the sermon at; click on Media and select the audio or video version), or receiving more unconditional love from family, friends and former co-workers. It has been one of the loveliest four day spans in my lifetime! And that, too, is a result of divine grace. The vibration of love is very strong...

In reading Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee I inoculated myself against the common tendency to allow the "negative" in this situation to make me fearful. I understand now, to the core of my being, how much God loves me (loves us all -- this isn't an arrogant statement) and how much he hungers for me just to trust Him and the process, even when it doesn't go according to my plan -- which was simply to have my true value to the company validated in dollars. (It has been said, "We make our plans, and God laughs." But God laughs at Satan's plans, too, when He knows we're firmly in the palm of His hand and cannot be influenced by the Father of Lies and his minions). I have always known -- have always been told -- how much God loves us, but until I read Demon: A Memoir, I don't think I had it spelled out for me quite literally enough (connecting the dots) that I could fully rely on the "hype" of being that precious to the Creator of the Universe. As David said in one of the Psalms (a paraphrase), "What is man, that you think so highly of us?" I finally understand what we are to God. It's just amazing what we are to God!

Then I read Re-Position Yourself by Bishop Jakes. Strange, how I ordered this book two weeks ago and it arrived on the exact day I most needed to read it! This book is a salve for the soul of any person with a dream for their life that has not yet been fully realized. Bishop Jakes is a masterful theologian and motivator. He basically reassures the reader that God doesn't give us any dreams that He doesn't want us to accomplish, and that the giftings we have are given by God so that our dreams will become goals -- and then accomplishments.

Wayne Dyer's book Inspiration echoes Bishop Jakes, but from a "vibrational" perspective. He talks about (among many other things) the higher, faster vibration of love and creativity as opposed to the lower, slower vibration of fear, jealousy, anger, and apathy and says that the higher energies are the ones to stay in vibrational harmony with. If we will do that, "nothing shall be impossible" (this is a biblical quote) because we will be in-Spirit with the living God, with the source of all that is good, all that is God (whatever you conceive God to be). Jesus reminded us that he is with us always, even to the end of the age. So the "message" to take from that is, "If God is for you, who can prevail against you?"

Again, Tosca Lee's Demon: A Memoir made it perfectly clear that the cards are stacked: God's plans to make us victorious as his image-bearers will prevail. I believe that in a way I'm not sure I ever have before... Although it's a work of fiction (demons do not write, or ask ghostwriters to write, their memoirs) it's biblically sound and utterly riveting. Lee uses similes and metaphors that carry you along, which makes it impossible to put the book down!

Anyway, I just got an email asking me to apply for a $48K/annually job... so guess I'd better sign off for now and answer at least this one before I take my vacation... wouldn't you agree this is wise?

Keep me in your heart and prayers -- and as you do, be sure to vibrate to the Faith Factor, not the Fear Factor!

Thank you!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Demon" A Powerful Read!

I’m reading a work of fiction (horrors! What’s the world coming to?) called DEMON, by a fantastic first-time author. It’s incredibly good. It’s about a guy who meets a demon and finds out what it’s like to know you’re damned, from the demon’s point of view. The author is a Christian and she has done a wonderful job of making it seem real, and creepy, even sad! It’s no wonder demons are out to grab a few more of us in any way they can. It’s gonna be lonely separated from God with just other demons – they want some "human" companionship when they get where they’re going!

When you get into the storehouse of cherubim and seraphim information and the place they hold in the hierarchy, it seems weird to think they would ever want to be anywhere else, but those who saw Lucifer as "shining perfection" (the way God made him) and decided to worship him (a created being) rather than the Creator made a choice to go that way because it seemed harmless to do so – as we all do when something or someone "outshines" our Creator in today’s world – whether it’s riches, celebrities, stuff, whatever…

I’ve been guilty of it myself … at times on a weekly basis. I always repent as soon as I realize I’m heading in that dangerous direction.

It’s not always easy to remember that the only One worthy of our worship and efforts is God. Because he’s invisible and usually quiet, it’s easy to forget unless we keep a mantra going inside us: "O Worship the King…. Lord of heaven and earth."

Who else can measure up, after all? Only He who made the heavens, the cosmos, the things seen and unseen, the atoms, microbes, cells, sinew, hair, land, waters is worthy of awe and worship.
There are some amazing things in the world, and people, but all were created by God, all are His handiwork… so our gaze should extend beyond them.. to Him!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Obama For Me!

I spent Saturday evening watching the Presidential candidates debate and then watched C-Span coverage at Jackie’s home on Sunday, and have decided that I am going to start visibly supporting Barack Obama’s candidacy (wearing T-shirts, putting bumper stickers on my car, etc.).

I like all four of the Democratic contenders and would vote for any of them should they be the party’s nominee. I like a couple of the Republican contenders, too, (Huckabee and McCain), but not as well as I like any of the four Democrats currently in the forefront.

I sense a renewed hope in America for America because of the Obama candidacy – something I haven’t felt since Robert Kennedy ran for President in 1968. I pray several times a day that Obama’s candidacy will not end as Bobby’s did – for if it does, I think the citizens of this country, black and white, will become utterly despondent for yet another significant period of time.

The American voice, in all its diversity, needs to be heard and I think Barack Obama is the candidate most likely to be its figurehead and founding father. He will gather around him the best and brightest and will know he needs to perform as perhaps no other President has, to establish once and for all that there should never again be a color barrier in this country -- to any position.

We’ve been in a political wilderness of sorts ever since Watergate. Very few Americans have the sense that politicians are little more than grown up-looking adolescents… almost gangs but lacking guns… so intent on fighting across the aisles that nothing ever gets done to heal and help America. I am sick and tired of it.

I like Hillary, and wish she were better liked, as her policies are sound and her dedication is huge, but I’m afraid that if she gets in, partisan bickering will be renewed and will continue unabated. It’s a real shame, because she’d be a terrific President and would break the gender barrier, but I just don’t see a lot of America rallying around her the way they have Obama.
I also like Edwards and Richardson, and would love to see all four Democratic candidates (and Bill Clinton) in Obama Administration positions, but the leader America needs now is Obama. He is drawing Dems, Republicans, Independents, young and old, into his camp – and that’s a good sign!

And I saw Obama’s wife on C-Span and she’s just as amazing as he is! I was riveted by her talk yesterday. She is charismatic, smart, wise, tough, tender and tenacious. She’ll be a phenomenal First Lady!

One of Obama’s bumper stickers reads "got hope?"

I do now, finally -- once again! When I see white-bread Ohio and New Hampshire voting for Barack Obama in the majority, it’s impossible to be as pessimistic as I have been for the past almost 35+ years.

The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before they were allowed into the Promised Land, mostly because of unbelief and bickering. (Sound familiar?)

God is at work. I think Obama will take us across the Jordan this time – as long as his Secret Service men and heavenly angels work hard to keep him safe.

I think he’s gonna win! And I think it will be a HUGE step forward for America!


Friday, January 4, 2008

Caucus Results...

Obama and Huckabee won the Ohio caucases last night. Gads, if they end up being the candidates, it will be a hard choice, even though I’m a Democrat. I like them both. (I guess that means I’d vote Democrat… unless I discern something between now and then that just won’t fly in either of the two Democrats.)

I’d love to see the race/gender barrier broken this time out… and Clinton (although she’s less well-liked than her hubby) is probably the woman most likely to do it. Barack Obama is certainly the man to do it. It’s real hard not to like him. He’s not as experienced as other contenders, but he’s smart and will gather around him a Cabinet that is and that will advise him wisely (lots of Clintonites and others, I’m sure… if they don’t turn him down… which would be dumb and viewed as sour grapes).

I’d love to see an Obama ticket with Edwards or Clinton as the VP (or vice versa, if Obama loses his first place ranking). And if Huckabee and McCain hooked up for the Republican ticket, I’d be happy with that ticket, too.

At least in either case we’d have leaders that America could be proud of again! I am so sick of the way the present administration has besmirched the planet and our reputation in the world. It’s sadly pathetic. He’ll go down as the worst President ever… and that’s a shame, but he just refused to be anything more than his own self-(and-cronies) centered worst, until relatively recently when he decided that maybe “his way or the highway” isn’t the most prudent course for the planet. He’s even warming to the threat of global warming – a freaking MIRACLE in itself!