Friday, November 18, 2016

Poetry Award for Cinema Stanzas

I am very excited and surprised that my latest book received recognition in the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards contest. My thanks to the judges as well as to Phil Hall for his splendid Foreword, to Denise Cassino for her creative images, and to Ronald Hull for his inviting cover blurb. Below is the press release from Linda F. Radke, president of the Dragonfly Book Awards program.

        CHANDLER, AZ (November, 2016) – The judges of the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes excellence in all genres of literature have spoken, and Cinema Stanzas: Rhyming About Movies by Betty Jo Tucker with Foreword by Phil Hall and images by Denise Cassino, won Second Place in the Poetry category. 

"Winning any place in the Royal Dragonfly Contest is a huge honor because in order to maintain the integrity of the Dragonfly Book Awards, a minimum score is required before a First or Second Place or Honorable Mention will be awarded to the entrant – even if it is the sole entry in a category,” explains Linda F. Radke, president of the Dragonfly Book Awards program. “Competition is steep, too, because there is no publication date limit as long as the book is still in print.”

              Cinema Stanzas: Rhyming About Movies is a collection of the author’s poems incorporated into her  reviews of 70 motion pictures representing various genres. This unique Kindle E-book retails for $3.99 and can be purchased at

              For a complete list of winners including all first and second place and honorable mention recipients, visit and click on “Winners.”

              The next Royal Dragonfly Book Awards contest is already underway. Final deadline for submissions is October 1, 2017. The final deadline for the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards Contest, which recognizes outstanding literature in children’s books, is May 1, 2017. For complete rules and submission forms for either contest, visit and click on the contest of choice.

              To learn more about the Dragonfly Book Awards, visit, email or call 480-940-8182.


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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hooray for Trolls!

After seeing Trolls, I kept smiling for a very long time. Everything about this animated movie musical delighted me, but especially the song and dance numbers. The look of the film also charmed me completely. Lots of color, cute characters, and zippy action helps move the simple plot along. Of course, a movie musical doesn’t need much plot – and this one is very easy to follow. It’s about the Trolls vs. Bergens (ogre-like creatures). Happily, a romance between the most optimistic Troll (Poppy) and the most cynical one (Branch) gets thrown into the mix, which gives lucky viewers a chance to hear how wonderful Anna Hendricks and Justin Timberlake sound singing together.    

Happiness is the “Trolls” movie
for bringing out the child in me.
It perked me up and gave me zing.
I wanted just to dance and sing.

Like kiddies in the audience,
my feelings were not on the fence.
I sided with those little Trolls
and feared they might end up as rolls.

Bigger creatures seek Trolls to eat.
They’re never happy or even neat.
It takes Poppy, a Troll princess
and her helpers to fix this mess.

And all along there’s music great
with A. Kendricks and Timberlake,
voices together that sound grand.
Let’s give them both rousing hand!

Speaking of a rousing hand, young members of the audience at the screening my husband and I attended clapped for Trolls at the end. We haven’t seen that much enthusiasm for a movie lately. Naturally, we applauded this animated gem right along with the kids.

(Released by DreamWorks Animation and rated “PG” for mild rude humor.)


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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

A Woman President?

With Hillary Clinton running for President this year, I can’t help thinking about a 1964 movie titled Kisses for My President. It was a comedy, of course. But after all these years, we have the serious possibility of life imitating art. We actually recognize now that a qualified woman could handle this top executive job as well as a man. The 1964 film starred Polly Bergen as President Leslie McCloud, the first female President of the United States of America. And Polly attempted to prove her character could handle this important job. No matter how silly some of this comedy was and how ridiculously it ended, Bergen’s scenes as a tough, intelligent President making decisions were done superbly. As Elizabeth Gregory pointed out in The Huffington Post, “The Soviets gave the new president some grief, and Polly Bergen made them settle down, exactly as if she were Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir or Indira Gandhi.”

Because we can’t forget the image factor, Polly’s President McCloud really knew how to dress for success – and as a result, Kisses for My President won an Oscar for costume design. But, seriously, we should look for the same qualities in a woman that we would in a man running for this office. I want an intelligent and courageous President who’s open-minded and knows how to communicate with us. I also want our President to place the good of the country above personal ideology or concerns. And, Polly Bergen’s Leslie McCloud met all those qualifications during the limited time she served as President. Limited? Oh, I forgot to mention she was married and that her husband (played by Fred MacMurray) found it awkward to be the "First Gentleman." So how does the film end? 

(SPOILER ALERT) President McCloud faints one day because she’s pregnant. Naturally, she has to resign. Remember, this movie came out in 1964. If Hillary wins in 2016, at least this is one situation she doesn’t have to worry about.      

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