Capitolfest 15: A Snapshot

My husband and I attend a silent/early talky film festival every summer. Each year, Capitolfest focuses on one artist who worked in the silent era and transitioned to early talkies. This year’s featured artist was Fay Wray, primarily known for her role in King Kong.

Her daughter, Victoria Riskin, is writing a book about her parents, tentatively titled Roses in December. She was Googling her mother’s name and came across this film festival in tiny Rome, NY.  She reached out to the organizers and made arrangement to attend the event. Ms. Riskin spoke to the audience on Friday night, shared the memorial DVD tribute one of her nieces made for Ms. Wray’s funeral, held a lunch-break Q&A for festival participants, and spoke to the attendees again on Sunday afternoon. She also graciously posed for photos.  I did not have one taken with her, but I did take one of TV Stevie with her.

She confessed to the crowd that she had not seen many of the features shown at the festival. Life before DVDs. Life before film restoration. Life before sound on film.

Here is a list of Fay Wray motion pictures shown at Capitolfest 15 (silent films are accompanied on the Capitol’s 1928 original installation Moller Theater Organ):

  • The Coastal Patrol  (1925, Silent)
  • The Sea God (1930)
  • Four Feathers (1929, Silent)
  • The Countess of Monte Cristo (1934)
  • Wild Horse Stampede (1926, Silent)
  • White Lies (1934)
  • Stowaway (1932)

 

 

September 17: Constitution Day

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain  and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If you’d like to read the rest, click here.

National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day

I tried to teach my children to cook before they went to college. I think they got the basics down pat (although I’m certain they were much better at doing laundry). One summer, I decided that each week each child would find a recipe, make sure we had all the ingredients on hand, and cook the meal. I actually stole this idea from my friend Kris Fletcher. Her children were (and are) far more cooperative than mine were.

But X-Chromo became the Campus Molasses Cookie Queen at her college.

And Y-Chromo  found and made one recipe that has become a keeper.

Encourage your children to take over the kitchen. Cooking is a survival skill, and it’s never too early to learn.

Swapping Ideas

Yes, there really is such a thing as National Swap Ideas Day. And it’s today!

Authors will recognize this as another way of saying “brainstorm.”

I love to brainstorm. I could not write without my critique group. When someone shares a scene and asks for input, the ideas from others start flying. My local RWA chapter also plays a role in my creative process, although not as intimately as a critique group. The energy in a room of authors bouncing ideas off ideas off random statements is invigorating.

But brainstorming isn’t confined to writers. When I worked in local TV, we sat around brainstorming promotional ideas, special news features for ratings periods, and even stories for the evening news.

When you get together with your siblings to ponder what you should get the parents for the holidays, that’s brainstorming.

The key to successful brainstorming is keeping feedback positive. Stay open minded, and don’t reject suggestions out of hand. Maybe a suggestion won’t work for you, but it could spark another idea that is perfect.

National Read A Book Day

Personally, I think everyone should read a  book every day.

I read the way many people I know watch television. As a general rule, I do not watch television. Watching television is something that doesn’t occur to me when I’m looking for something to do. My brain isn’t wired that way. And you know what’s odd about that? I worked in local TV for a lot of years. Ironic. But I would rather re-read an old favorite book for the zillionth time than flip through channels looking for something to occupy my brain.