Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Lily is afraid of this week's Illustration Friday topic. I'm still trying to calm her down.

People (August 25, 2015)
(Illustration Friday: August 22, 2015)

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Here are the hearts of Melissa's Kitties: Tyrone, Lily, Simon, Gordon, The Mother Kitty, Comet, Ashes, Norman, Mini, and B.J.

Heart (August 16, 2015)
(Illustration Friday: August 14, 2015)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Lily is an easily stressed kitty. In the worst instances, everything about her gets pointy.

Pointy (August 15, 2015)
(Illustration Friday: August 7, 2015)

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Mini dreams of being big, if only she could find the potion Alice drank.

Grow (August 14, 2015)
(Illustration Friday: July 31, 2015)

Sunday, August 09, 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

Hi everyone,

When my sister saw Cary Elwes's memoir, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, on display as soon as she stepped into Barnes & Noble, she snatched it up for me for Christmas. I finished this book in about a week's time because The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies. After I finished it, I watched my 20th Anniversary Buttercup Edition of The Princess Bride on DVD. Now, I'm searching for my old beat-up copy of the original book by William Goldman to read it again.

I had no idea that The Princess Bride was not a huge hit when it first came out in 1987, but that's the kind of thing you'll learn in this memoir. I was waiting for this movie. It was Robin Wright's first starring role in a feature film, and she was one of my favorite actresses on the soap opera "Santa Barbara," which was very important to me at the time. (I knew she was bound for greatness well before "House of Cards.") So, I saw this movie in the theater at Carnation Mall in Alliance, Ohio. I loved it so much that I walked down the hall to Waldenbooks afterward and bought the novel on which the film is based. I loved that too! (Written by request for his daughters, William Goldman's original novel is even his own favorite. You'll get a taste of it from the film because he also wrote the screenplay.)

If you haven't seen The Princess Bride, it's a wonderful movie that is suitable for the whole family. It starts as a storybook fairytale being told to a sick grandson (Fred Savage). Poor farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes) loves Buttercup (Robin Wright) and leaves their home in Florin to seek his fortune so that they can be married. Soon after, though, Buttercup hears that Westley had been captured and killed by pirates. Five years later, Florin's Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) chooses Buttercup as his bride. But, before the wedding, she's kidnapped by a Sicilian (Wallace Shawn) and his helpers,  who intend to start a war with neighboring country Guilder. I'd explain more of this adventure, but there is too much. The grandfather (Peter Falk) offers a good list of what's involved: "Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!"

Directed by Rob Reiner, The Princess Bride has a fantastic cast, including not-yet-mentioned Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Mel Smith, Peter Cook, and Andre the Giant, with a great cameo by Billy Crystal and Carol Kane. Not just a fairytale adventure, it's also a perfect mix of satire, drama, and comedy with so many classic lines and memorable moments. It will never go out of style, and I'm sure that anyone at any age would find it heartwarming and entertaining.

In this book, Cary Elwes (who I still refer to as Westley) recounts his experience in making The Princess Bride with great detail and fondness. You get a sense of the fate and camaraderie that, after several other attempts over the years, finally brought this film to be in 1987. You'll read similar reflections from other cast and crew members, all of whom felt lucky to be involved – even though, worried about his performance, Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) assumed he'd be fired at any second. (Can you believe it? Inconceivable!) Speaking of casting, they considered Arnold Schwartzenegger to portray Fezzik. (Can you imagine?) Even more shocking, Sting was contacted about playing Prince Humperdinck! (What are the odds of this being a fun fact for me to discover?) Want to learn more, read this joyful tale about the making of a classic film based on a classic novel. You'll want to experience it all again.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015


All kitties take care of things in their own time.

Nature (July 30, 2015)
(Illustration Friday: July 24, 2015)