Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sweet Bedtime Story

Jane Fonda and Robert Redford pair up beautifully in Our Souls at Night, a romantic Neflix film that makes my heart sing. And, of course, I couldn’t resist writing a poem about it.  

“Help me get through each night, neighbor?”
A strange request coming from her.
She’s asking him to share her bed,
but not for sex, just talk instead.

Spouses they lost sometime ago.
And romance hopes seem rather low.
But who knows what their future brings?
We hope it’s filled with lovely things.

OUR SOULS AT NIGHT – a sweet movie.
Fonda and Redford work for me.
They play these roles with style and grace
in this fine film not rushed for pace.

Each character we get to know.
We watch their friendship slowly grow.
This motion picture was for me
a special treat I loved to see.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Las Vegas Lament


So many lives lost needlessly.

When will we learn; why can’t we see?

Tears for loved ones – an endless flow.

Action needed – we ought to know.

Some say don’t talk about it now.

Free speech needed for that, and how!

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Toronto Shorts Film Festival Screening

Just wanted to share some good news with you, dear readers! CAKE: A Love Story, a short film based on It Had To Be Us -- the romantic memoir my husband Larry and I wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence -- screened at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival last night (9/22).

I understand there were 800 short films submitted to TSIFF but only 50 were selected to screen at this event.

The film also won an AWARD OF MERIT from IndieFEST for being “a notable artistic and technical production.”  And the movie is an Official Selection of the First Annual NSAEN International Online Film Festival.

Congratulations to the creative co-directors/writers Misha Zubarev and V. Ulea as well as to the wonderful cast members Debra Lord Cooke, Richard Vernon, Nancy Lombardo, George Bettinger and all the terrific crew! 

This is all so exciting. Wish Larry and I could have hopped on a plane to Toronto for last night's screening!

(CAKE: A Love Story is an Ariella Media production. Image by Denise Cassino)

For more information about the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival, click on the link below.

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Monday, September 04, 2017

Ode to Lucid Living

Jane Bernard’s beautiful and inspiring book, Lucid Living in the Virtual Age, motivated me to write the poem below.


You want to make your dreams come true?
LUCID LIVING – the book for you.

Her wise advice the author shares.
It’s clear she knows and feels and cares

Our true selves she wants us to be
with Grace and Joy and Dignity.

Please eat to live, don’t live to eat.
Notice the Universal beat.

While facing change most every day,
Intuition can point the way.

Our senses are important too.
They help us feel what’s right to do.

This splendid book contains the tools,
and you will find they’re precious jewels.  

Lucid Living in the Virtual Age is published by Transitions Press, LLC. It will be available on September 15, 2017.  

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

IndieFEST Award of Merit

Congratulations to filmmaker Misha Zubarev on receiving an AWARD OF MERIT from IndieFEST for his short film Cake: A Love Story!  My husband and I are very happy about this award because the movie is based on It Had To Be Us, an award-winning romantic memoir we co-wrote under the pen names of Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence.

IndieFEST discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality films and new media. The AWARD OF MERIT honors “notable artistic and technical productions.”

A major goal of this festival involves promoting filmmakers of cinematic gems and unique voices to a worldwide audience.

We are proud of Misha Zubarev and his assistant V. Ulea for their sensitive adaptation of our story about how true love can stand the test of time. And we applaud the cast (Debra Lord Cooke, Richard Vernon, Nancy Lombardo, George Bettinger) and entire crew for their impressive work on this beautiful film.        

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Monday, August 07, 2017

International Online Film Festival Selection

I am happy to announce that Cake: A Love Story has been designated an Official Selection of the 2017 NSAEN International Online Film Festival.

Cake: A Love Story is a short film based on It Had To Be Us, the award-winning romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. The book tells about our journey back together after a divorce and estrangement that lasted almost twenty years. Adapted and directed by Misha Zubarev with the assistance of V. Ulea, the movie stars Debra Lord Cooke as Elizabeth and Richard Vernon as Harry. Nancy Lombardo and George Bettinger portray Elizabeth’s friends. Congratulations to the cast and crew for this special recognition of their fine work!

It’s an honor to be part of the first annual film festival sponsored by the No Strings Attached E-News Online Magazine. This special festival was created to bring together filmmakers from around the world to showcase their work in an exclusively online format. Because online is the way many people today view movies, news and TV series, NSAEN folks want to recognize new media professionals who demonstrate craft and creativity and produce fresh entertainment.

A panel of celebrity judges will pick winners in eleven categories, and the results will be announced during December of this year.  

(Thanks to Denise Cassino for the lovely collage.) 

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

A Night To Remember

Talk about a stroll down memory lane. No, I take that back. Watching Brave New Jersey was more like a time travel trip to a special 1938 October night when my cousins and I were enjoying our weekly ride in the backseat of Uncle Frank’s car. After about fifteen minutes, we got a bit rowdy so Aunt Elizabeth said, “Turn on the radio, Frank. Maybe that will calm these kids down.”

But instead of calming us down, the program we heard just happened to be the infamous Orson Welles’ dramatization of Martian attacks. Unfortunately we got in after the announcement at the beginning of the show. And, of course, like many other listeners who tuned in late  -- we thought this was a news broadcast. Well, you can imagine how frightened we were!

Uncle Frank decided that we would head to the hills and hide from the monsters. By the time we arrived in the small mountain community near our town, we heard the announcer explain about this dramatization – and we couldn’t stop laughing all the way home.     

Brave New Jersey is so much fun.
You’ll chuckle lots before it’s done.
It’s based on facts about a prank
that we have Orson Welles to thank.

His hoax fooled folks in days gone by.
It made them fear and scream and cry.
This comedy shows a small town
in panic searching space men down.

Though not one creature can be found,
these folks still try to hold their ground.
Some lives are changed by this big night.
For the better? Yes, that is right.

The film excels production-wise.
Period look should win a prize.
The actors fit their roles with ease.
Their funny actions aim to please!

Director/writer Jody Lambert uses the impact of the Welles radio broadcast as the backdrop for his amusing movie. He deserves kudos for putting together a wonderful, diverse cast and crew to create a film that looks as real as possible. The sets, costumes, autos, and hair/makeup made me feel like I was back in 1938. (Full disclosure: I’m one of the few folks still living who remember what things were like during that time period.)       

Brave New Jersey proves that nostalgia can be exciting as well as fun.        

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